Dental Cleaning vs. Periodontal Maintenance | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatment

A typical patient thinks all dental checkups are the same but that’s completely untrue. There are various procedures used to keep your smile maintained. After all, you are the main person keeping your smile healthy, but there are some spaces even your toothbrush and floss can clean thoroughly. But don’t worry – regular dental visits will make up for these gaps in dental hygiene. Many patients have asked the question, “What is the difference between a dental cleaning (prophylaxis) and a periodontal maintenance visit?” This is a great question and it is important to understand the difference.

The medical term for a professional dental cleaning, prophylaxis, is purely a preventive measure and not a treatment for disease. Part of your dental checkup, prophylaxis is used to remove dental plaque and other irritants from the oral cavity. As these deposits build on your teeth, they form dental tartar, which contributes to most dental problems. Unfortunately, some of these deposits can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing and it is important to have them removed by a dental professional.

The term periodontal maintenance refers to a dental cleaning performed by a dental professional that is for the treatment and maintenance of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost. Periodontal disease is a condition that cannot be cured unfortunately, but with regular visits for these more detailed dental cleanings it is a condition that is very treatable and patients with periodontal disease can keep their teeth for a lifetime.

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.

What Is Toothpaste Anyway? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Brushing our teeth is a given. We use the toothbrush to scrub those teeth in hard-to-reach places. Without it, our dental hygiene routines would be really difficult. But have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? I mean, the main purpose is to scrub away any debris and bacteria that can cause us harm. We don’t necessarily need anything but a brush to do that. And sure, it tastes great, which helps with our breath, but again, we can use sugar-free gum or mints to do that job. So, why toothpaste?

Just like our handy toothbrush, toothpaste helps to clean our teeth of plaque and food debris without damaging our delicate enamel because it contains fluoride, which helps to protect enamel. Some varieties have also included ingredients to reduce plaque, another dental issue that plagues all of us. So, it isn’t just a cosmetic thing to get us to brush twice a day, toothpaste is a huge part of preventive dental care and the fight against periodontal disease.

To reinforce the benefits of toothpaste, there are several ingredients used to make our preferred paste to help clean your teeth. Here is a quick rundown:

Abrasives. These help to remove stains and plaque.

Detergents. Y’know the bubbles? Detergents are what makes the toothpaste foam. It helps to dislodge food debris.

Humectants. These ingredients give the toothpaste texture and moisture.

Thickeners. It’s important for toothpaste to stay on our brushes and these thickeners help to do just that, in addition to the way it squeezes out the tube.

Preservatives, Flavoring and Coloring. This is the stuff that gives our favorite toothpaste the look and taste it has.

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.

Celebrating the Holidays with a Glass of Red Wine | Tyngsboro Dentist

‘Tis the season for holiday festivities with our family and friends. We are brought together to catch up and exchange gifts and good tidings. Many times, these good tidings are shared with a glass of wine – or many glasses of wine. It is common knowledge that drinking red wine will eventually begin to stain your teeth, but what if we told you that red wine is good for you?

It’s true. 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. So, what does that mean for your teeth? Well, the bacteria that is killed is the bacteria that is giving your mouth dental issues. Let’s break it down…

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.

So, enjoy your festivities with your glass of wine. Just remember your dental hygiene routine after you indulge to help avoid stains before you start pouring the glasses. After all, staying proactive will only improve your dental health. Happy holidays!

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.

Subtle Changes for Your Dental Health | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all want a great smile but aren’t all lucky enough to have one. It isn’t something that is impossible – there are plenty of ways your dentist can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. But it is maintenance that causes the hiccups. 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:

  • Smoking damages oral tissue causing gum recession, increases risk of oral cancer, stains teeth, and causes other long-term health risks.
  • Gum disease 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).
  • Research shows that patients who get less than six hours of sleep per night are shown to be more likely to have periodontal disease.
  • Patients with a diet high in sugar, especially sugary drinks, are significantly more likely to suffer from tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • Anemia can contribute to periodontal disease and the body becomes unable to push sufficient nutrients to the gums to combat infection.

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.

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.

Periodontal Disease: The Hidden Enemy | Tyngsboro Dentist

periodntal disease

We all want a bright healthy smile, but not all of us are blessed enough to have one our entire lives. In fact, if we aren’t careful, our mouths can become mysteriously invaded by bacteria. And it’s these bacteria that we need to look out for because it can cause more dental issues down the road. More dental issues equal more time in the dental chair, and no one wants that! No, the best way to prevent gum disease from developing is to keep up with your daily dental routines.

Periodontal disease, or gum 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. The problem is, we may not know we have gum disease just by looking at our smile. This is why it is important to keep up with our dental checkups – only a dental professional can tell if you are developing an issue. So, keep up with your dental hygiene. It isn’t tough to do. Just follow 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.

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.

Why Do I Have Bad Breath? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Have you noticed friends or co-workers stand further away than necessary to talk to you? Do you receive daily offers of gum and mints? If the answer is yes to any of these questions … you probably have bad breath, also called halitosis.

The most common reason people have bad breath is decaying food particles and bacterial growth in the mouth, especially on the tongue. If you have poor oral hygiene habits, the accumulation of food and bacteria will make your breath smell bad. But gum disease and cavities can produce halitosis, and so can systemic illnesses such as diabetes, acid reflux (GERD), and sinus infections.

Keeping a daily oral hygiene routine can go a long way to prevent halitosis. Other measures you can take to prevent halitosis are:

Drink plenty of water. Water loosens and rinses away food particles and also encourages saliva production.

Chew sugar-free or gum sweetened with Xylitol. Chewing also encourages saliva production, and minty flavors help freshen breath.

Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Your dental professional may have suggestions for the best over-the-counter mouthwashes and may also give you a prescription oral rinse.

Use a tongue scraper. These devices are designed to remove the bacteria and food debris that cling to your tongue’s surface.

Invest in an electric toothbrush. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque, and since most of them are designed to turn off after a specified time, people tend to brush for a longer period.

Go to your regular checkups. Attending your regular exams with both your dentist and your medical doctor ensures your health issues will be addressed at their earliest appearance.

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.

Toast Your Smile with Red Wine | Tyngsboro Dentist

Here we are, wrapping up one more holiday season and about to embark on a brand-new year. It’s an exciting time of year to say the least, between the events and hectic schedules. We need a moment to relax and soak in everything the season has to offer. What better time for a nice glass of wine? Not only can a glass of red wine ease some of the holiday tensions, but it can also help prevent dental issues in the future. 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, who wants to drink grape seed extract when there’s red wine on the table?

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.

While red wine has proved to protect our teeth against gum disease, keep in mind that red wine still does a great job in staining our teeth. Make sure you take a moment to practice proper dental hygiene after indulging in this adult beverage. Enjoy the holiday season!

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.

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.

What Health Problems Are Associated with Bad Breath? | Tyngsboro Dentist

oral cancerLet’s face it – no one wants to hear they have bad breath. It is not only embarrassing but can cause problems with your social life. The best thing to do about bad breath is to find out why you have it. Sure, you can eat a lot of onions, but there are also reasons that can cause you to have chronic bad breath.

Gum disease. Constant bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

Dental issues. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental cavities.

Dry mouth. The medical condition dry mouth also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Other health issues. Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath, such as respiratory tract infections (pneumonia or bronchitis), chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan.

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.