Dry Mouth Causes and Symptoms | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dry mouth can be caused by a natural inability for your glands to produce sufficient saliva, medication, aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy. Dry mouth is a condition in which one’s salivary glands produce an insufficient amount of saliva to keep your mouth wet.

Saliva is important because it naturally prevents tooth decay by neutralizing acids, limits bacterial growth and washing away food particles throughout the day. It also makes the consumption of food easier as enzymes in the saliva aid in the breakdown of food. While dry mouth is an inconvenience, it can also have a notable impact on your general and oral health.

Common symptoms include:

– Dryness or sticky mouth feel

– Bad breath

– Dry or grooved tongue

– Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing

Try mouth complications:

– Increased plaque

– Mouth sores

– Tooth decay

– Gum disease

– Sores or split skin around the mouth

Due to the variety of causes for dry mouth, it’s important to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your dentist however may be a good resource for suggestions about how to protect your teeth.

Some suggestions may include a fluoride tray or rinse to prevent cavities. There are also  prescription or over-the-counter artificial saliva or moisturizers to lubricate your mouth. These can be effective means of alleviating discomfort in addition to suggestions made by your physician.

At-home remedies:

– Sip water or chew ice chips during the day and during meals

– Chew sugar-free gum

– Over-the-counter saliva substitutes

– Breathe through your nose

– Utilize a humidifier

Dry mouth habits:

  – Consumption of caffeine and alcohol

– The use of tobacco, antihistamines, and decongestants

– Consumption of sugary, acidic, spicy or salty foods

If you are curious about whether or not these symptoms apply to you, or have dry mouth and would like suggestions from a dental professional, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

Dental Specialists and You | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dentistry, like many healthcare fields, allows practitioners to specialize in a given aspect of their craft. It is important to understand these differences, and to seek the appropriate care for any concerns you may have regarding your oral health.

It’s important to recognize these differences, and seek our directories that bridge the gap between dental specialists and you.

Endodontists diagnose, treat and prevent infections and injuries to the pulp or nerves of teeth. You may seek the opinion of an endodontist if you experience acute pain in your tooth, injure a tooth or notice swelling around the teeth and gums. They perform root canals, treat traumatic dental injuries and apply dental implants.

Orthodontics. An orthodontist specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of misaligned bites, and the neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of orofacial structures. You may visit an orthodontist to evaluate jaw alignment, straighten teeth, close gaps or improve speech. If you are referred to an orthodontist by your dentist, it is important to make a visit to better understand how you may improve your oral alignment as misalignment can lead to serious health concerns later on.

Periodontists are experts on gum health. Your dentist will recommend a periodontist if you show signs of gingivitis (gum disease), have a complex case of gingivitis or are at risk of tooth loss. Periodontists will aid in the prevention of gum disease, and support your natural or manmade teeth as they monitor your soft oral tissues.

Prosthodontist. A Prosthodontist repairs deficient teeth and replaces missing ones. As their name suggests, they work with prosthetics and custom fit dentures and crowns as permanent replacements for missing teeth. 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Oral surgeons treat diseases, injuries and defects of hard and soft oral tissues. They may work with patients whose cases require work on the jaw, face, and mouth with issues ranging from misalignment to tumors and cysts within this region.

To learn more about the services Dr. Yankowskas provides, or schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

Cosmetic Dentistry | Tyngsboro Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry can transform the appearance of your teeth while retaining or enhancing your oral health. According to AACD.com “…cosmetic procedures can range from basic color correction to replacing missing teeth, and everything in between.” While cosmetic dentists may employ the use of anesthesia for a surgical improvement, most procedures are non-invasive. Here are a few procedures cosmetic dentists perform.

Teeth Whitening – a common procedure for cosmetic dentists is teeth whitening. Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, predisposition and many other things can contribute to a less-than-white smile. If over the counter methods haven’t quite worked to bring back your pearly whites, you may consider speaking with a cosmetic dentist for a more intense treatment.

Dental Bonding– for chipped, cracked or gapped teeth, your dentist will apply a tooth colored resin to the chipped area. They will layer resin, utilizing a UV light to harden it as they go, in order to build back the original look of the chipped tooth or teeth.

Veneer Application – you can think of a veneer as a thin shell that fits over the surface of your existing teeth to improve the color, shape, size or length of teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain or a resin composite and permanently bonded to the teeth.

Gum Reshaping – when your gums appear more pronounced than your teeth, or your gemlike is uneven, a cosmetic dentist may recommend gum reshaping. Essentially, a small amount of gum or bone tissue is removed or contoured to even out the appearance of your gum line or tooth ratio.

Crowns – similar to a veneer, dental crowns are a porcelain or ceramic tooth look-alike that fits over a weak or damaged tooth. Crowns are made to fully encase the tooth and can last between five to 15 years depending on how well they are cared for.

Braces – these are within the realm of cosmetic dentistry because braces shift the teeth into optimal position for your bite and mouth size. Braces are one of the most common procedures a cosmetic dentist may perform, as tooth alignment is just as much about oral health as it is aesthetics.

To learn more about cosmetic procedures, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

Mouthwash for Oral Health | Tyngsboro Dentist

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For many, mouthwash is an unnecessary extra step and added cost to their oral care routine. Mouthwash isn’t exactly the first thing a dentist will mention when reviewing your regimen, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Mouthwash, after proper brushing and flossing, can provide peace of mind to individuals who struggle to keep cavities at bay, despite their best efforts.

Mouthwash is advertised to kill bacteria and give you fresh breath, but that isn’t the whole story. Mouthwash reduces the bacteria in your mouth and reduce the amount of plaque it forms. Regular use helps prevent periodontal disease, and those with fluoride work to reduce cavities when used as directed.

What ingredients in mouthwash make it effective?

The bacteria-fighting active ingredient(s) in mouthwash are what make it an effective addition to your routine. Ingredients such as cetylpyridinium chloride, zinc gluconate, or quaternary ammonium are commonly found in washes. Just one of these will provide the bacteria fighting benefits that enhance your routine.

Are natural mouthwashes effective?

Some people advocate for fluoride, and others want little to do with it. Many brands make natural alternatives, utilizing essential oils or harvested ingredients like garlic as an astringent. Whatever the formula, natural mouthwashes have been shown to be effective at preventing gum disease without adding to the rise of antibacterial- resistant bacteria.

Is mouthwash safe for children?

Children under the age of 6 should not be utilizing mouthwash, as they are likely to consume it. Once your child has developed the muscle reflexes necessary to swish and spit the wash, with adult supervision, they can begin to incorporate it into their care routine.

While mouthwash isn’t going to make-or-break your oral hygiene, it is a great way to round out your routine. Mouthwash may bring you peace of mind between visits or be an effective way to keep bacteria at bay for cavity-prone teeth.

To learn more about oral care practices, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

A Guide To Oral Infections | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all know that brushing our teeth for two minutes, twice a day along with regular dental visits contribute to positive oral health. You may not know the infections that can occur as a result of not practicing consistent oral hygiene routines. Here are some of the most common oral infections that may result from poor oral hygiene.

Gingivitis– Simply put, Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is the precursor to Periodontitis, the escalation of Gingivitis should it go untreated. Gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup that spreads from the gums to the ligaments that support the teeth.

Periodontal Disease– When left untreated, Gingivitis may spread below the gum line, affecting the supportive tissues and bone of our teeth. This progression is known as Periodontal Disease which deteriorates these supports leading to the potential loss of teeth and may even spread to the lungs causing pneumonia.

Canker Sores– These are cuts that develop on the gums and other mouth tissues and are common in children and teens. Vigorous brushing, cheek bites and sports injuries – as well as hormones and immune problems may lead to canker sores.

Oral Herpes– According to centerforbeautifulsmiles.com, “50-80 percent of American adults” carry the Herpes Simlex Virus. This can lead to “blisters and ulcers on the gums and tongue, flu-like symptoms, or no symptoms at all.” While there are things individuals can do to keep the virus dormant, an outbreak may last ten days to two weeks.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease– Toddlers and school aged children are the most susceptible to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The virus Coxsackie A16 is spread by direct contact with saliva and mucus; children are particularly unconscious of their direct exposure to these fluids. Children may experience fever, sore throat, and the development of painful blisters on their body but should only last a few days.

Herpangina– Similar to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Herpangina typically affects children and presents itself with fever symptoms and difficulty swallowing. Yet, unlike Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, it forms blisters on the back of the mouth that once ruptured, become ulcers. Symptoms typically only last a few days.

Interested in learning more about proper oral care or if you may be experiencing an infection? Visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

What To Know About Fluoride | Tyngsboro Dentist

Believe it or not, fluoride is a controversial mineral. Proponents of fluoride tout its ability to aid in the fight against cavities and tooth decay. Opponents say fluoride is a harmful neurotoxin that has been pumped into our community’s water without express permission by the people. Here is what we feel you should know about fluoride.

While trace amounts of fluoride have been added to public water for decades, it has yet to cause widespread neurological issues. According to smiledentalcenterct.com, “research has shown that by adding fluoride to public water supplies, tooth decay-related conditions decline by 25 percent among adults and children.” The addition of fluoride is meant to be a public health benefit, rather than a source of controversy.

As with anything, there is such thing as too much fluoride; two dental visits a year and drinking community water however, isn’t likely to cause harm. Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis that changes the color of tooth enamel and is likely to impact children ages eight and younger as their teeth grow in. As a result, it is not recommended to give children fluoride toothpaste- especially as they develop the motor skills to properly brush and not swallow the paste.

A dentist may dissuade a patient from using fluoride toothpaste if they experience an allergic reaction, or if the individual feels strongly about the amount of fluoride in their daily lives. Fluoride-free formulas offer the same cleaning power and is recommended over not using toothpaste; the difference is that on average, fluoride formulas reduce the number of cavities and occurrence of tooth decay one may experience over their lifetime.

In general, trace amounts of fluoride in drinking water works to improve the oral health of our communities and the use of fluoride toothpaste is safe for adults. The decision to use fluoride toothpaste lies with the individual, but he or she may need to take extra steps such as mouthwash and flossing to ensure they receive the cavity fighting benefits normally provided by fluoride formulas.

To learn more about oral care practices, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

The Positive Effects of Smiling | Tyngsboro Dentist

There is no official evidence supporting the adage “it takes more muscles to frown than to smile” but there is evidence to support the positive effects of a smile. Everything in the human body is connected, and smiles have real-life implications for our physical and mental health. Friends may even encourage one another to smile during difficult times; that is because even a fake smile produces real endorphins. Here are some positive effects of smiling.

Smiling and Our Health. When we smile, our brains release neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that alleviate the stressors of our day. The most common hormones associated with these results are dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Dopamine and serotonin are “happy hormones”, acting as antidepressants. Endorphins offer mild pain relief; together, they have been shown to reduce stress and our heart rate. A smile a day can go a long way to making us feel better and look out onto the world with a positive attitude.

Smiling and Our Relationships. People who smile more often are seen as being more approachable, likable, creative, and productive. Smiling can also have a “ripple effect” as one person’s expression of joy can cause an onlooker to also feel joy and smile too. The next time you are out with friends, or a loved one could use a pick-me-up, remind them of their positive attributes and share a smile with them!

It is important to note that there are individuals who experience smile anxiety and may hesitate to share in this exchange. Smile anxiety occurs when an individual becomes reluctant to smile in public because he or she dislikes, or is embarrassed by, the aesthetic appeal of their smile. There are many factors that may cause someone to feel this way including trauma, decay or the way in which their adult set has grown in.

Its important to retain gentle kindness if you know a loved one struggles with the appearance of their smile, though there are several means of restoration your dentist may accommodate.

To learn more about oral care practices, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

Oral Hygiene for Your Child’s Teeth | Tyngsboro Dentist

“Baby teeth” are the precursor for adult teeth, they are the placeholder and it’s important they be maintained for gum health and reduction of harmful bacteria.

Oral hygiene for children begins the day their first tooth breaks through the gum. With a damp, soft cloth, lightly wipe your babies gums after feeding. Once more prominent, you may begin using a soft toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste twice a day until preschool age. At that age, the amount of toothpaste the can be safely used increases to the size of a pea.

There are many fun, child-friendly toothpaste and flossing options for your child to make the experience their own!

When your child is at that age and able to brush on his or her own, it’s important to keep an eye on them. Many children find the process of brushing teeth to be boring or unimportant, but this is an important age to develop good habits. Singing toothbrushes and flavored toothpaste help encourage kids to find the process more enjoyable and help them guide them towards brushing their teeth for two minutes.

Another great way to encourage your child is to brush with them and show them how to get to their molars, back of their teeth and along the front.

Parents who take their children’s oral hygiene seriously and encourage good habits aid the child’s adult teeth later- even if they don’t know it yet.

To learn more about children appropriate oral care practices, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

Dental Anxiety and IV Sedation | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental anxiety is common among kids and adults alike. Whether someone has had a bad experience at the dentist or not, it’s good to understand dental anxiety and to learn if IV Sedation may be right for you.

When dentists perform restorative procedures, there are typically a variety of sedation options available to the individual. The two main ones being nitrous oxide or intravenous (IV) sedation. The inhalation of nitrous allows a patient to relax, but IV sedation can guide the patient into a deeper relaxation and in some cases, lull them to sleep.

The following are benefits to utilizing IV sedation for sleep dentistry.

  • Administration of the drug is tailored to the patient’s needs
  • The results of IV sedation are reliable and the most effective means of sedation
  • If you are particularly sensitive to your gag reflex, IV sedation will relax the reaction, but your dentist may recommend nitrous oxide
  • In contrast to general anesthesia, IV sedation is safer and allows you to retain consciousness.
  • Due to the amount of control your practitioner has with the dosage of IV administered, your recovery time is shorter than with oral sedation.

If you do enter into a restorative process, and feel you may have dental anxiety, discuss your concerns with your dentist to see if IV sedation may be right for you.

To learn more about sedation or to schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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

A Guide to Wisdom Tooth Removal | Tyngsboro Dentist

Wisdom teeth can crowd valuable gum space and can cause third molars to grow improperly and teeth to overlap one another; for individuals with small mouths and jaws, this is especially detrimental. Wisdom tooth removal is a very common procedure performed on a majority of young adults, and is nothing to be afraid of.

Not everyone gets wisdom teeth, but if your wisdom teeth do grow in, this is the basic process you can expect to go through:

Consultation. If you are feeling the growing pains of new teeth coming in at the back of your jaw, it may be a sign your wisdom teeth are coming in. It is common for this set of teeth to erupt in young adults between one’s late teenage years to their early twenties.

Removal. The removal process will look a little different for everyone depending on the circumstances of tooth positioning, jaw size and angle at which wisdom teeth come in. For some, this set of molars does not impact their jaw or existing teeth and they can safely retain them. Most people however do require removal and have two options:

         IV Sedation. For those with dental anxiety or who are generally concerned about their procedure, IV sedation is a great option. Upon arrival, you are allowed a few minutes to breathe and relax as an IV drip slowly puts you to sleep. When the procedure is over, you will wake up and may experience a somewhat dazed feeling until the solution fades.

         Nitrous Oxide. Commonly known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide allows one to remain awake during the procedure and is administered as a means of relaxing an individual into their procedure. It’s important to note that nitrous oxide does not work for everyone and that increased amounts do not necessarily mean a more effective result.

Recovery. Initial recovery from the effects of sedation or nitrous oxide after surgery typically only lasts a few hours. Healing time for the gums can take up to two weeks and the reintroduction of certain foods follow this period so as not to further disturb your gums. Your dentist will speak with you about proper cleaning methods for the gums to ensure a safe and effective healing process.

Wisdom tooth removal can be viewed as either a rite of passage into adulthood or terrifying for someone to go through. Either way, the removal of our wisdom teeth for those who attain them is important.

To learn more about wisdom teeth removal, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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