Easily Prevent Periodontal Disease | Tyngsboro Dentist

Periodontal Disease can cause a significant amount of unwanted damage to your oral health and hygiene. These dental damages include swelling, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and permanent tooth loss. Avoid having to deal with these long-term damages and prevent periodontal disease with these simple steps:

  • Brush after Meals- Brushing after meals is highly effective when preventing periodontal disease because brushing allows you to remove food particles and plaque that accumulate in the mouth.
  • Flossing- Flossing is also extremely important when preventing periodontal disease because it removes any plaque buildup that cannot be removed from brushing alone.
  • Appointments- Only a professional can thorough examine your teeth to determine how well your oral health is. For this reason, schedule regular appointment to ensure you are steering clear of periodontal disease.

For more information about different preventable measures for periodontal disease call Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 978-649-7773 or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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Tyngsboro Dentist | Oral Cancer Month – How to Prevent Oral Cancer

oral cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 48,330 were diagnosed with either oral cavity cancer, otherwise known as just oral cancer, or oropharyngeal cancer. Additionally, around 9,570 died of the said cancers. Mind you, these estimates were from 2016, and the estimated number of deaths and new cases has been projected to only grow in 2017.

Fortunately, oral cancer can be prevented, and treatable, especially if caught very early on, which usually happens during a routine dental checkup at the dentist’s office.

Early Warning Signals, Signs and Symptoms

Mouth cancer can occur on the lips, tongue, throat and even the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. Because early detection is key to the successful treatment of oral cancer, it’s important that you take note of the following symptoms and visit your doctor or dentist immediately if they persist for at least two weeks:

  • Sores, swellings, lumps, or thick patches found anywhere inside or around your mouth and/or throat
  • Clusters of red or white lesions in and/or around your mouth or lips
  • Uncomfortable feeling in your throat, as if there’s a lump or object stuck inside
  • Swellings that make wearing dentures uncomfortable and/or painful
  • Feeling of numbness, tenderness, or pain anywhere in your mouth or your tongue
  • Pain in any one of your ears, but your hearing is unaffected
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or anything that involves moving your jaws or tongue
  • Sudden loose teeth with no apparent cause
  • Hoarseness or a sore throat that lasts for more than a week

Why Frequent Dental Checkups Are Important

According to the American Dental Association or ADA, in addition to checking your teeth and gums for oral disease, your dentist will also check your lips and face for any signs of oral cancer during a routine oral check-up. If the dentist deems it necessary, he or she may palpate your neck and jaw areas, as well as examine your tongue more closely. These dental checkups / oral cancer screenings should be done every six months to increase the chances of oral cancer being caught early on.

If the dentist finds any reason to suspect oral cancer, he or she will recommend a biopsy of the affected area. If the diagnosis is positive, surgery is usually recommended, followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

While oral cancer survival rates hover around the high 80s (90% in the UK) if detected early enough, prevention is and will always be better than cure.

Practicing good oral hygiene at home to prevent tooth decay and gum disease can help lower your risk for gum disease. Making certain lifestyle choices and changes, such as limiting alcohol consumption, abstaining from smoking, eating right, and limiting your exposure to the sun, just to name a few, has the same effect.

Of course, it will help for you to take note of any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above. Knowing where to look and what to look for increases the chances of identifying oral cancer early on and having it treated before it becomes a life-threatening condition.

Call Dr. Yankowskas today for an appointment to have an oral cancer screening at 978-649-7773. Visit the website to learn more about the practice at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Don’t Let the Holidays Ruin Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

Christmas homemade gingerbread cookies

During the holidays, we are generally running around like crazy, bouncing around from function to shopping mall and back again. With so many things on our plates, it is difficult for us to keep our typical routines straight. Sadly, this leads to things slipping through the cracks. One such routine is our dental health routine. Because we are surrounded by foods that aren’t exactly the best for us, it’s easy for things to go awry as we celebrate. It’s tough not to indulge – there are so many tasty treats surrounding us. It’s a true test of wills, so we need to be conscious of what we consume during this time of year. And if we take extra good care of our teeth during this delicious season, the less of a chance we will have a bad report when we go back to visit the dentist. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you are celebrating the season:

Indulge your sweet tooth. There are so many traditions we have that involve sugary foods, it’s easy to lose track of our intake. There’s no reason to stay away, so just keep things in moderation. After you are all done enjoying yourself, take the time to brush and floss.

Make sure to enjoy “good” foods. Staple holiday foods, like cranberries, turkey and cheese, are actually very good for your teeth. The vitamins and minerals not only benefit your body, but also help to strengthen, and even whiten, your teeth. Just remember, overindulging can have negative consequences. Cranberries contain a lot of acid that can eat away at your teeth so don’t overdo it. Too much dairy can also have negative effects.

Your teeth aren’t tools. Using your teeth for opening bottles or packages is never a good idea. Not only will you damage your teeth, but you can actually pull whole teeth out right by the root using them as bottle openers or scissors. Use the appropriate tools to get things done.

Keep up with your dental routine. It’s important to remember to brush and floss your teeth, even when there is fun to be had. And your little ones may even put up a fight, but taking the time to brush, floss and rinse every day will definitely be worth it when the dentist gives you and your family a clean bill of health. And just to make sure your holiday didn’t cause any issues, make yourself an appointment to see your dentist once the celebrations have ended.

To find out more, contact Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry for an appointment today. Call 978-649-7773 or visit his website at  www.tyngsborocosmeticdentistry.com.

Accepting patients from Tyngsboro, Townsend, Westford, Hudscon, Pepperell, Pelham and all surrounding areas.

Endodontists: The Root Canal’s Worst Enemy | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatmentWhen we think about cleaning our teeth, we think about our dentist. When we think about straight teeth, we think about our orthodontist. There are specialists for all facets of dental health, just like there are with other doctors. Have you ever heard of an endodontist? It’s like a dentist, but better. First thing’s first…what is endodontics anyway?

Endodontics involves the tooth pulp, which in the center of the tooth made of living connective tissue and cells. Endodontists handle these oral pains through pulp therapy, root canal therapy, nonsurgical of root canal systems, surgical removal of tissues, and surgical removal of tooth structure.

I know what you’re thinking. Root canals are frightening to think about as it is. Why would someone search out someone who specializes in them? Believe it or not, it’s actually more beneficial because that’s they’re specialty. An endodontic specialist will examine the damaged tooth and determine if the pulp is infected of inflamed. Some individuals argue that a general dentist has equivalent qualifications to treat endodontic related predicaments. But here are five reasons that will change your mind:

Variety of anesthesia options. Endodontists have access to far more anesthesia options. Root canal treatments are very painful and sometimes, the typical anesthesia isn’t enough. Endodontists are also much better trained in numbing up specific areas, such as those with severe infections.

Comfort. Root canals can be very painful, but endodontists are better equipped to handle these procedures. They have access to better tools and have gone through specialized training to make sure that the process goes much more smoothly with less pain involved.

Preservation of severely corrupted teeth. Because of their expertise and training, endodontists can save the most corrupted teeth, making your smile look natural. While extraction is almost always an option, an endodontist will do everything possible to make sure that the corrupted teeth are saved.

Better emergency care. Not only do you get better quality care, but an endodontist can also take care of your emergency much faster. This means you’ll rarely have to book an appointment to far in advance to have your dental problem solved.

More specialized training and experience. As mentioned earlier, endodontists are just better equipped to handle root canals. Not only are they just dentists, but they also receive additional training to make sure that they can handle the complexities of root canals and re-treatments. So, if you find that you have any of the following, instead of going to a dentist, seek treatment from your endodontist:

  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Breath odor
  • Sever tooth aches
  • Fever
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
  • Pimple-like swelling of the gum over the infected tooth
  • Swollen glands of the neck
  • Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw

These signals are serious indicators on infected pulps, which can only be treated by an endodontist. Refrain from ignoring these major signals of pulp infections and visit an endodontist. They can provide a myriad of treatment options that will save your teeth from further infection.

To find out more, contact Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry for an appointment today. Call 978-649-7773 or visit his website at  www.tyngsborocosmeticdentistry.com.

Accepting patients from Tyngsboro, Townsend, Westford, Hudscon, Pepperell, Pelham and all surrounding areas.

How Galileos 3D CT Scan Is Beneficial to Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

galileos-3d-ct-scanBefore any dental procedure can begin, an examination must be done by your dental professional. Back in the day, this involved an x-ray. The x-rays would let the dentist see what is going on with your mouth, more than by physical examination. They would tack them to the screen and you would both sit down and discuss any issues that may be happening and discuss a plan of attack. Today, only the most advanced and innovation technology is used by the professionals of Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry. This technology includes the Galileos 3D CT Scan, which allows for an in-depth view of your mouth, teeth, jawbone, and jaw points.

3D scans, in a way, provide a live feed of a patient’s dental anatomy from various angles. The various perspectives allow for a better view of the structure of the bones, making it easier to locate root fractures and canals. Even more importantly, 3D scans provide dentists the ability to gain more accurate measurement of their patient’s dental structure. They can also be used in conjunction with an already existing treatment plan to increase its possibility of success and allowing dental practitioners to be more confident in preparing for various dental procedures, such as extractions, root canals, implants and so on. The clearly laid out details allow dental practitioners to make better decisions, which in turn allows patients to have more confidence.

The use of 3D dental scans also create a more engaging environment where dental practitioners and professionals can assess their patient’s dental health, while at the same time the patient can also ask questions about what they see on the screen. This allows for constant communication between patient and doctor, allowing for a more comfortable dental visit for the patient, which may help put them at ease, especially those who suffer from dental anxiety.

The Galileos 3D CT Scan is highly beneficial because it provides useful information about oral conditions, including:

  • Placement of wisdom teeth
  • Jaw and jaw joint problems
  • Receding bone levels
  • Dental implant positioning and planning
  • Tumors or cysts located on the jaw

Contact Dr. James Yankowskas in Tyngsboro, MA at 978-649-7773 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information regarding periodontal.

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

How Can I Maintain Good Oral Health at Home? | Tyngsboro Dentist

460453373Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies. And while you may brush regularly, you may be still making some basic mistakes.

Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities. Your morning method is equally important. Saliva production slows down as we sleep, allowing the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster. 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. And this may come as a shock to you, but spitting out your toothpaste doesn’t totally remove all the harmful stuff that you loosened while brushing. Adding some type of an oral rinse to your routine will be greatly beneficial to your oral health.

Another problem you may have is your toothbrush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. If plaque isn’t removed, you increase your risk of developing gum disease. 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. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months and this is why. The average brush contains more than 10 million bacteria, according to one study. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria.  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.

I know this may not sound like something you should think of when brushing your teeth, but your tongue traps harmful bacteria too. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue. Run that toothbrush over your tongue as well! Keeping these few tips in mind will ensure that you will have great oral health when you go in for your dental checkups.

For further information regarding your daily dental routines and/or make an appointment, contact Dr. Yankowskas at 978-649-7773 or www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable 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.

Choosing a Toothbrush | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Toothbrushes come in a number of different varieties – not only manual and electric, but also different bristle firmness ranging from soft to hard. Given that brushing is vital to tooth health, choosing the right toothbrush is important not only to tooth health, but also gum health. While there is some personal preference in choosing a toothbrush, there are some guidelines to help you make the right decision.

Deciding between manual and electric toothbrushes is almost entirely a personal preference, however, there are some factors that may help some people choose one side or the other. Some studies have shown that electric toothbrushes tend to be more effective at removing plaque. Electric toothbrushes vibrate much faster than manual brushes, which may allow them to be more effective with less physical pressure against the tooth. For that reason, for patients who tend to push too hard on the brush, using an electric toothbrush may help them avoid damaging their gums by brushing too hard. However, electric toothbrushes cost more money, and require regular cleaning to stay safe and effective – manual toothbrushes are cheap and disposable, and can simply be replaced regularly.

Regardless of whether you choose electric or manual, you’ll have a choice of bristle firmness. Studies have shown that all three options – soft, medium, and firm/hard – are likely to clean your teeth equally well, but softer brushes are less likely to damage gum tissue. For that reason, most dentists tend to recommend soft bristle brushes unless you have a reason to use a medium or firm brush. You should choose a brush that is comfortable to hold, and comfortable to use – ensure that you can reach the sides of each tooth, and reach to the back of your molars.

No matter which style or firmness you choose, be sure to choose a brush that carries the ADA symbol, to ensure it’s been tested for both safety and effectiveness. Also, be sure to replace manual brushes every 3-4 months, and clean electric toothbrushes according to manufacturer recommendations. Minimizing bacteria on the toothbrush will help avoid tooth decay and periodontal disease. Finally, be sure never to share your toothbrush – tooth decay is bacterial in nature, so you can transfer tooth decay causing bacteria between people who share a toothbrush.

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.