Drinking Wine Can Be Good for You | Tyngsboro Dentist

With the holiday season in full-swing, it is time to gather together with family and friends to give thanks for our blessings and celebrate the day. This will typically go hand-in-hand with an adult beverage or two. In general, alcoholic beverages aren’t the best option for us, but there may be a slight ray of hope to the original theory. According to research published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, red wine contains antimicrobial elements that were found to help kill bacteria in simulated lab tests. While the same result was produced by taking in shots of grape seed extract, red wine is much more appetizing.

Cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss are caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. When together, they form communal groups of bacteria that turn into plaque, produce acid, and are difficult to kill. In order to test this red wine theory, scientists grew cultures of mouth mimicking bacteria, and dipped them into different liquids such as red wine, alcohol-free red wine, and red wine with grape seed extract. Out of the three, red wine proved the most effective in eliminating bacteria.

But before you stockpile wine bottles, know that while red wine has proved to protect our teeth against gum disease, it still does a great job in staining our teeth. Rinse your mouth with some water between glasses to fight stains. This is a time for celebration – just make sure you take the necessary steps in helping aid your teeth from staining before you start pouring the glasses.

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, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

What to Avoid on Halloween | Tyngsboro Dentist

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 your 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 apples. Caramel apples 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. Starburst and gummy bears are great for a fruity treat, but are some 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.

Chocolate. Candy bars are one of the most popular items, but 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.

When brushing your teeth after eating sugar isn’t an option, rinsing your mouth out with water is a good secondary option. Keep those teeth clean, no one wants to hear the word ‘cavity’ on your next visit!

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

Eat Your Way to a Brighter Grin | Tyngsboro Dentist

Let’s face it – a set of bright shiny teeth can make a smile go from pretty to incredible. But keeping up with their white sheen isn’t as simple as one thinks because much of our diet includes foods and drinks that stains them into a dingy shade of white. And there are ways to whiten your teeth, but is there a more natural way to get back the pearl back in our pearly whites? The answer is yes. The following is a list of foods that are not only nutritious, but will also help whiten our teeth at the same time:

Fruit. The crispiness of the apple is what is doing most of the work here by helping to strengthen your gums. The juiciness of the apple produces saliva, which clears out all of that bacteria that gives us cavities. Another juicy fruit that gives your teeth a good shine is the orange because the citric acid also scours your teeth. One fruit that may surprise you as a whitening agent is the strawberry, but the malic acid is the strawberry’s secret ingredient.

Vegetables. When it comes to vegetables, but we never correlate an onion as a dental secret, but this colorless veggie won’t stain your teeth and their natural alliums are actually good for you. Broccoli is probably Mother Nature’s most blatant toothbrush. Carrots and celery are the next in this line of veggies. And if you think about it, celery is kind of like nature’s floss so eat up!

Dairy. Chockful of calcium, foods like milk, yogurt and cheese strengthen your teeth and gums. The stronger your teeth enamel is, the white & healthy they become.

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

Reasons You May Not Be Brushing Properly | Tyngsboro Dentist

Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies. And while you may brush regularly, the problem may not be that you don’t do it enough, but may lie in the way you brush your teeth.

First off, your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities. 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 scrub at a 30- to 45-degree angle and rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque. 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. Brushing with a medium or hard model can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your tooth’s roots. Pick a soft bristle and change your toothbrush every couple of months. 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.

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

How Chewing Gum Helps Whitened Tooth Sensitivity | Tyngsboro Dentist

177406608Have you ever noticed that our teeth seem to feel extra sensitive after we get our teeth whitened? Sure, they look great but at what cost? We know there are chemicals involved, but what about the tooth whitening process makes our mouths feel this way and how can we get it to stop? The remedy to this tooth sensitivity is as simple as popping a piece of chewing gum into your mouth.

Before getting into the evidence to support this theory, let’s take a quick look at what constitutes sensitive teeth. A tooth can become sensitive for a different reasons. First, there is the breakdown of your teeth’s enamel and when we get our teeth whitened, we are polishing up said enamel. As the enamel wears down, your teeth become increasingly prone to pain when drinking or eating certain foods. Receding gums can also play a major role in causing your teeth to become sensitive and there are lots of reasons gums can recede. Dentin exposure can cause your teeth (and their roots) to no longer have all of the protection our gums and tooth enamel provide. It is this that causes the pain we feel.

Now that we know a little bit more about what could cause the sensitivity, let’s get back into what can help relieve it. A study was published in the British Dental Journal stating 88 patients were broken into three groups prior to receiving an in-office teeth whitening. The groups were as follows: patients without chewing gum, patients with sugar-free gum, and patients with sugar-free gum that also included Recaldent, a product that helps strengthen tooth enamel by adding calcium & phosphate to its list of ingredients. After the procedure, those patients with gum were asked to begin chewing. Surprisingly enough, those that chewed on a piece of chewing gum had significantly less pain than the group that went without.

But why? Why did the gum-chewing patients feel so much more relief than those that didn’t? Scientists aren’t exactly sure. They have theorized that perhaps the increased saliva production gave the patient some type of relief. Or perhaps, the act of chewing gum made the patient forget about the pain altogether. What they did find is that the version of chewing gum that helped to remineralize teeth did not make a difference in the experiment whatsoever. If the patient had gum, the patient felt some relief, despite its ingredients.

So make sure to pick up a pack of sugar-free gum on the way to your next teeth whitening appointment. Not only will it help prevent cavities, tooth decay and bad breath, but it will also help relieve any sensitivity the whitening procedure may cause.

If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening procedure or professional cleaning for your child, contact Dr. James Yankowskas at  DDS with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule a appointment today or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information regarding cavity prevention for children.

Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry 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.

 

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.