It’s National Dental Hygiene Month…and Halloween | Tyngsboro Dentist

It may seem hard to believe, but October not only brings out tiny ghosts and goblins to our front door, but also celebrates the antithesis of sugary confections – National Dental Hygiene Month. With this conundrum in our midst, let’s focus on how to keep our teeth healthy while we enjoy our Halloween treats. After all, creating good dental habits will only prevent bad news during your next appointment.

Practice proper oral hygiene. First thing’s first – if you want to keep your smile looking healthy and bright, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each session with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss at least once a day and use a good fluoride mouthwash. Round that out with regular dental checkups and you are on the right track to a great smile for a long time to come.

Keep it out of your mouth. Chewing on things that do not belong in your mouth is never a good idea. Not only can you chip of crack a tooth, but you are slowly wearing your teeth down. Instead of an ice cube, chew on sugar-free gum. The saliva production you create will keep away cavity-causing bacteria.

Kick your smoking habits. If you ever needed another excuse to kick the habit, keeping your smile bright and shiny should be the main one. Not only are your teeth prone to staining, but smoking can also lead to mouth cancers and other harmful health issues.

October is a spooky time that everyone loves to celebrate. Keep the haunts out of your mouth with these simple dental tips.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Periodontitis: What You Need to Know | Tyngsboro Dentist

It has been proven that most Americans will develop some form of periodontal, or gum, disease at some point in their lives. We can help prevent it through good daily oral care and regular dental examinations. Unfortunately, if we don’t take these simple measures, it can lead to a more progressive form of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Periodontitis, one of the two types of progressive gum diseases that exist, is the worse of the two because it causes gums to become inflamed and eventually bleed. Untreated periodontitis can lead to missing teeth. While periodontitis is one of the two type of gum diseases, there are several types of periodontist that exist. Here is a quick rundown:

Aggressive periodontitis. This explains a rapidly progressive form of periodontitis that leads to gum deterioration and jawbone destruction.

Chronic periodontitis. This version is the most common form of the disease. Here, inflammation occurs at a slower rate, however may still eventually result in tooth loss.

Periodontitis. Periodontitis may occur in association with and be exacerbated by other health problems including diabetes, lung disorders, and heart disease.

Necrotizing periodontal disease. Individuals who have conditions such as malnutrition, HIV infection, and cancer are vulnerable to this type of periodontitis.

It is important to be aware of symptoms in order to have it treated before it progresses to something worse. If you have any of the following symptoms, seek dental care immediately so you may be treated:

  • Sensitive teeth, especially when faced with something cold, hot, or sweet
  • Swollen, irritated gums
  • Mouth pain
  • Mouth sores
  • Loose teeth
  • Frequent bleeding of the gums
  • Difficulty biting or chewing

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Implant Supported Dentures: What You Need to Know | Tyngsboro Dentist

Having a bright, healthy smile is important. So, when we need to have a smile makeover, some major decisions need to be made. Today, there are lots of ways your flawed grin can return, from traditional dentures to dental implants. But did you know that there are dentures that are implanted into your mouth, so you no longer have to deal with the traditional care and lifestyle changes? It’s true. Here is a quick rundown of what you can expect from implant-supported dentures…

Implanted supported dentures are a type of denture made mostly for individuals who don’t have any teeth in the jaw but have enough bones in the jaw to support the implants. The whole process is a long one – it takes approximately five months for the upper jaw and seven months for the lower and includes a series of steps in order to begin this process and will need to be fully healed before the dentures are actually fitted and placed in the mouth.

These dentures will provide the same functionality as the traditional versions, however, there are a few differences. Once the dentures are fitted for the mouth, you will be able to snap them in and take them out whenever you please. No more soakings, no more extra care necessary to keep them in tip top shape. In fact, you can rest assured that your new smile will not shift while speaking or chewing because they are screwed in, making the transition as easy as possible to maintain your normal day-to-day lifestyle.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Keeping Your Smile Healthy at Home | Tyngsboro Dentist

While it is important to know that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies, it is also important to know that you are practicing proper dental hygiene. Here is a quick rundown of the basics. Practice them and your next dental visit will be a smooth one.

Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant. A few straight strokes won’t get the job done. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque. When you move behind your front teeth, you should turn your tool vertically to better reach the entire tooth. And make sure to give special attention to the back of your mouth, since that area normally hides the largest amount of plaque. Adding some type of an oral rinse to your routine will be greatly beneficial to your oral health.

Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. Brushing with a medium or hard model can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your tooth’s roots. Since the root surface isn’t as hard as the exposed enamel-covered part of your teeth, scrubbing this area can wear it away more easily and cause little cavities. Pick a soft bristle and change your toothbrush every couple of months. If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately. Residual bacteria and viruses from an illness can cling to the brush and potentially re-infect you.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Got a Crooked Smile? Fix It with Invisalign | Tyngsboro Dentist

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When thinking about changes we can make to improve our appearance, our first impulse is to change something facially. If we have are getting wrinkles, we buy some moisturizer. If we have dingy teeth, we whiten them. But if our teeth have some gaps or crookedness to them, an easy way to get them fixed is through Invisalign.

An Invisalign treatment consists of a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners that you change every two weeks for the next set of aligners. Each aligner is individually manufactured for your teeth, and your teeth only. As you replace each aligner, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position prescribed by your dental professional.

You will be shown a virtual treatment plan generated by Align Technology’s unique ClinCheck® software that will show you the series of movements your teeth will go through over the course of the treatment. This allows you to see upfront what your teeth are expected to look like at the end of the treatment. From the results of the ClinCheck software, your custom-made, clear aligners are produced especially for you, so you are guaranteed the best treatment for your personal case.

If you’re ready for a smile that transforms your appearance, Invisalign is your answer. Although there are many choices out there, no other treatment works as comfortably, and discreetly, as Invisalign. In fact, for the least amount of changes to your daily life, Invisalign is the best way to transform your smile.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Dental Terminology | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Your mouth is a complicated place, full of teeth, your tongue, active bacteria and your gums – all play a vital roll all need to be properly cared for and controlled. As we know, so many things can go wrong inside your mouth without proper oral care. But sometimes when you go to the dentist, you may hear terms you’re not quit familiar with – or maybe you are too shy to ask. We’ve compiled a list of terms you could possibly hear during your visit so you can feel comfortable knowing you understand whats going on with your oral health.

Teeth conditions or terms you may hear at the dentist: 

  • Cavities (or caries): Bacteria evade removal by brushing and saliva and damage the enamel and deeper structures of teeth. Most cavities occur on molars and premolars.
  • Tooth decay: A general name for disease of the teeth, including cavities and caries.
  • Periodontitis: Inflammation of the deeper structures of the teeth (periodontal ligament, jawbone, and cementum). Poor oral hygiene is usually to blame.
  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the surface portion of the gums, around and between the crowns of the teeth. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis.
  • Plaque: A sticky, colorless film made of bacteria and the substances they secrete. Plaque develops quickly on teeth after eating sugary food, but can be easily brushed off.
  • Tartar: If plaque is not removed, it mixes with minerals to become tartar, a harder substance. Tartar requires professional cleaning for removal.
  • Overbite: The upper teeth protrude significantly over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite: The lower teeth protrude significantly past the upper teeth.
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism): Stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders can cause teeth grinding, usually during sleep. A dull headache or sore jaw are symptoms.
  • Tooth sensitivity: When one or more teeth become sensitive to hot or cold, it may mean the dentin is exposed(Source: webmd.com).
  • Root Canal: A dentist can save a damaged tooth by performing a root canal, which removes decayed pulp from interior space of the root. The space is then filled with an inert material. A root canal is sometimes but not always followed by the adding of a crown.
  • Crown: Tooth crowns are placed over existing teeth, and are typically a way to cover teeth that have metal fillings or misshapen teeth. They are most commonly given to patients who have crooked, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.
  • Denture: Dentures are removable (partial or complete) set of artificial teeth.
  • Dental Implant: A dental implant is a metal cylinder surgically placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw to provide support for a dental restoration or appliance.
  • Bridge: Bridges resemble natural teeth, and are designed to take the place of areas where there are gaps between teeth. bridge is a stationary dental prosthesis (appliance) fixed to teeth adjacent to a space. It replaces one or more missing teeth, cemented or bonded, to supporting teeth or implants adjacent to the space.

A more extensive list of terms can be found at the ADA’s website at: http://www.ada.org/en/publications/cdt/glossary-of-dental-clinical-and-administrative-ter

While we encourage you to never be shy ask your dental professional to elaborate on what they’re speaking about – Dr. Yankowskas is happy to guide you!

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

 

What to Expect at a Long Overdue Visit to the Dentist | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

If you’re wondering what’s in store for you as a patient, rest easy – modern dental visits are fast, easy, and will be much less painful than in years past. So, if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, your first visit back will require a lot of routine procedures. Most dental visits will follow a similar path, and knowing what to expect can help lower the stress of the unknown. Dentistry has come a long way though, so there is no need to have anxiety on your visit to the dentist. 

Here’s a basic explanation:

– You’ll almost certainly start with X-rays. X-rays allow dentists to get an understanding of the state of your mouth. Not only will they be able to see large problems like misaligned, missing or cracked teeth, they’ll also be able to see small cavities caused by decay, and even problems such as bone loss in the jaw caused by periodontal disease. Most dentists will conduct a number of X-rays – some of them may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful.   

– Once the X-rays are complete, the dentist will likely check your teeth manually for anything that they noticed when reviewing the X-ray, and also check the health of gums for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. If you haven’t been in a while, the dentist may also check your head, neck, and mouth for signs of oral cancer – this may seem unusual, but it’s a great way to find problems early. 

– If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination. Depending on time, the dentist may be able to treat the problem immediately – in the case of minor cavities, this typically means a local anesthetic to numb the area, followed by a brief period of drilling to remove decay, and then a filling using composite resin. Once the resin is set and cured, the dentist will polish and shape the resin with the dental drill.

– Depending on the length of your appointment, your dentist or dental hygienist may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. In some cases, this can be done in the same appointment – in others, scheduling may dictate that you come in for a follow-up, when more time is available. If you haven’t seen a dentist in quite some time, the professional cleaning may be more involved, with techniques such as periodontal scaling (cleaning the roots beneath the gum line), which can take multiple visits.

If you’ve been putting off seeing your dentist because you’re anxious about the pain, rest assured that modern dentistry involves far less pain than you may remember. Talk to Dr. Yankowskas if you’re nervous, he’ll be happy to go slower, and explain what they’re doing to help keep your mind at ease. Visiting the dentist twice yearly can help catch minor problems before they become major problems, which means fewer and faster dental visits in the future.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Threats to Good Oral Health | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Dental checkups and cleanings are designed to help patients keep as many natural teeth as possible. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings are three key components to maintaining natural tooth health. However, there are many threats to good oral health, and knowing the threats can help patients minimize risk.

Here are some common threats to consider when you think about your overall oral health:

  • Smoking damages oral tissue causing gum recession, increases risk of oral cancer, stains teeth, and causes other long term health risks.

  • Periodontal disease – infections below the gum line – can spread to teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and can cause one or more teeth to be lost

  • Obesity has been linked to an increase in oral bacteria, which contributes to increased rates of periodontal disease among obese patients

  • Patients who regularly bite their nails are more likely to chip, crack, or cause atypical wear on their front teeth, and are statistically more likely to suffer from bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching), which can cause issues with tooth sensitivity, recessed gums, and tooth loss

  • Research shows that patients who get less than six hours of sleep per night are shown to be more likely to have periodontal disease, which is generally attributed to a lowered immune response due to fatigue, as the body becomes unable to fight off oral infections

  • Patients with a diet high in sugar, especially sugary drinks, are significantly more likely to suffer from tooth decay and periodontal disease, as the presence of sugar fuels bacteria which contributes to both negative factors

  • Patients that are anemic – having insufficient red blood cells – often have pale gums and painful or swollen tongue. Extended periods of anemia (often due to poor diet) can contribute to periodontal disease and the body becomes unable to push sufficient nutrients to the gums to combat infection.

While there are certainly a lot of risks to dental health for patients, proper brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning helps protect teeth. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in addition to maintaining proper oral hygiene routines will help fight off bacterial colonies that contribute to periodontal disease as well as keep gum tissue healthy to prevent gum recession. If you have questions about any individual threat, contact your dentist – they’ll be happy to explain oral health risks to you on your next scheduled visit.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Halloween Candy & Your Oral Health | Tyngsbro Dentist

Have you been elbow deep in candy-corn since September? You’re never too old to fall in to a Halloween candy coma. The threat is real, people!

So next time you go fishing for candy in that plastic pumpkin, let us offer a few suggestions for the ‘better’ choice in a sugar snack.

Candy Corn

Even though candy corn is a Halloween candy trademark, it is one of the worst Halloween candies for you teeth. Candy corn has lasting negative effects on your teeth because it has a high amount of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay.

Caramel Apple Suckers

Caramel apple suckers are also a huge symbol of Halloween. However, as good tasting as they are, they are extremely bad for your teeth. Not only do they have a caramel coating that can get stuck in your teeth, but they also have a high amount of sugar that can cause tooth decay.

Chewy Candy

Chewy candy like Starburst and gummy bears can hit the spot sometimes, but also cause cavities in your teeth. Chewy candy is one of the worst candies for your teeth because it gets stuck in the crevices of your teeth, unable to be removed by your toothbrush alone. This can lead to tooth decay.

Filled Chocolates

Candy bars are one of the most popular items to give out on Halloween, and will fill the majority of your basket. However, chocolates filled with caramel, cream, or coconut are bad for your teeth. They stick to your teeth like chewy candy, allowing bacteria to feed on it and cause tooth decay(Source: daterdentistry.com). 

Ideally you should brush your teeth after eating sugar but that may not always be available to you, rinsing your mouth out with water is a good secondary option. Keep those teeth clean, neither of us wants to hear the word ‘cavity’ on your next visit!

Enjoy the Halloween holiday!

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Tooth Extractions | Tyngsbro Dentist

One of the primary goals of dentists is to help patients keep as many natural teeth as possible. Guidelines for brushing, flossing, and cleaning are often designed to maximize a patient’s chance to keep as many teeth in their mouth for as long as possible. While replacements (such as implants, bridges, and dentures) can do a reasonably good job of restoring a smile, most dentists will prefer to save a tooth if at all possible.

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not possible, and a dentist will recommend tooth extraction. This can be the case in a number of circumstances, including physical injury (such as sports injuries where the tooth is physically damaged), or severe decay or gum disease, where the underlying bone socket is simply unable to support the tooth. In these cases, a dentist may need to recommend oral surgery for the purpose of tooth extraction.

The extraction process may be conducted by a dentist or an oral surgeon, depending on the condition of the tooth and the patient’s general health. Typically, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area. If more than one tooth is to be removed, general anesthesia may be used. After the tooth is removed, stitches will be used to close the opening, keeping food out of the socket while the incision heals.

After the procedure, it’s important to follow the procedure your dentist prescribes for caring for your mouth. You’ll likely be prescribed mild pain killers, and your dentist may recommend ice to help control pain and swelling. You may be asked to rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help clean bacteria from the extraction site. You’ll likely be packed with gauze to help control bleeding, and that gauze will need to be changed periodically. You should avoid smoking, eating using that part of the mouth, hard foods, and avoid touching that area of the mouth with your tongue, as it may encourage bleeding.

If you have questions about an upcoming extraction, or if you’ve recently had an extraction and you have questions about the recovery process, contact your dentist. They’ll be more than happy to explain the process, and help ensure you’re recovering as quickly and painlessly as possible.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.