How Can Plaque Affect My Oral Health? | Tyngsboro Dentist

We are on the cusp of one of the most dangerous times in our mouth’s life – Halloween. Yes, this spooky holiday not only enjoys scaring us, but also scares our smiles if we aren’t careful. Candy is running rampant through the streets and if you aren’t careful, you can invite the cavity creeps into our mouth to wreak havoc. Their first moves? Plaque build-up.

Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless or pale, yellow film that is constantly forming on your teeth. When saliva, food and fluids combine, plaque – which contains bacteria – forms between your teeth and along the gum line. And it starts developing 4-12 hours after brushing.

Plaque is the root cause of many oral health issues. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel causing cavities. The bacteria in plaque can also cause the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. Plaque can also contribute to bad breath and can make your teeth look dingy and yellow.

If plaque is not regularly removed from your teeth by proper brushing and flossing, it mineralizes into tartar, a hard, yellow or brown deposit that tightly adheres to the teeth and can only be removed by a dental professional. If tartar is not removed it can lead to more serious gum disease.

Now, you may be wondering how you remove plaque from your teeth before it causes harm to your smile. Fighting plaque is the most critical factor in protecting and preserving your teeth, and gums, for a lifetime. The answer is simple – practice proper dental hygiene every single day and visit your dental professional for regular check-ups. They are the only ones that can tell you if you’re developing dental issues.

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.

When You Wake Up with a Toothache | Tyngsboro Dentist

Waking up with a toothache is one morning most patients hope to never experience. Not only is the pain relentless, but it will likely end up in a visit to the dentist. This pain is the reason we avoid the dentist, but now we need to face facts – we really need to take care of our teeth. Not only is our smile the first thing someone sees when we meet, but it is also the first line of defense against lots of our overall health issues. Fortunately, there is a solution to your tooth pain – root canal therapy.

Root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, is necessary when the nerve of the tooth is infected due to exposure to bacteria. Because the buildup of bacteria is mainly caused by poor oral hygiene, it is essential to maintain excellent oral healthy by brushing, flossing, and using mouth rinse.

Although poor oral health is one of the main reasons for root canal therapy, failing dental restorations and cracked teeth also allow bacteria to leak inside the tooth and infect the nerve. Not only will this situation cause excruciating pain but will result in root canal therapy to treat your condition.

So, how do we prevent endodontic treatment and root canal therapy?

Regular dental visits. We are responsible for taking care of our own teeth, but without regular checkups, we won’t be sure if everything is healthy and issue free. Now, do you see how all the pieces fit together? Taking care of your smile is a team sport – everyone needs to pitch in, or we wake up with a toothache.

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.

An Apple a Day | Tyngsboro Dentist

They come in all sorts of colors and flavors – it’s almost impossible to choose a favorite. Some are used to bake. Some are better off as snacks dipped in peanut butter or caramel and on a stick. Yes, we are talking about apples. From infancy through adulthood, the apple is one sweet treat that we have our entire lives, in all of its various forms. Originally from Central Asia and with 7,500 varieties available around the world, apples have become world-renowned as a go-to fruit. So much so, this Saturday (September 19) is International Eat an Apple Day.

But it isn’t just the sweet snack that has captured our hearts – did you know that apples also have loads of health benefits that range from our bones to our heart, while also improving our smile? It’s true – this crispy fruit is fantastic for producing saliva, which is our natural way of keeping our mouths clean and bacteria free. Additionally, the fibers within the apple play an added role in cleaning our teeth in a way similar to a toothbrush. However, apples are a healthy snack, not a replacement for your daily dental hygiene routine. Just a natural way you can improve your smile while enjoying a tasty treat.

How will you celebrate International Eat an Apple Day? Snack on an apple with a bit of peanut butter or a slice of apple pie. In fact, because this fruit is international, why not try some German apple cake or Polish apple pancakes? Even the French and the English got in on the fun by making a popular fermented drink called cider. With so many options, you may need a week to properly celebrate!

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.

Reduce Your Chances of Gum Disease | Tyngsboro Dentist

periodntal disease

When we go to the dentist, we cross our fingers that all of the effort we’ve put in between checkups is good enough to keep our mouths healthy. After all, a dentist is there to help keep your smile healthy, but your efforts are really what keeps things running smoothly. If you put in the work, the checkups go much smoother. If not, trouble will be afoot. One of the more common issues is developing gum disease.

While it is a common occurrence, 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. If you find that you have these symptoms frequently, it’s a good idea to have a dental professional examine the developing issue in order to ensure things are okay.

The good thing is gum disease can be prevented, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. To avoid having these long-term damages and prevent periodontal disease, 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. Just make sure you wait a half hour after your meal.

Flossing. It may not be your favorite part of the day, but flossing is also extremely important when preventing periodontal disease because it removes any plaque buildup that cannot be removed from brushing alone.

Keep your dental appointments. Only a professional can thorough examine your teeth to determine how well your oral health is. 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.

Celebrate Your Smile with a Picnic | Tyngsboro Dentist

Now that we begin to loosen up restrictions in the world, it is a good time to make sure quarantine didn’t lead to any dental issues by visiting your dental professional for a quick checkup. But as we wait for an appointment to be scheduled, you can give your smile a bit of a boost by heading outside for a picnic. Not only does the sunshine improve your overall health with a burst of vitamin D but having a bit of a picnic while soaking it all in can also improve your smile. June 18th is International Picnic Day – so pack yourself up a healthy meal option and head on out to celebrate. Here are just a few of the picnic foods geared towards brightening your grin:

Traditional. If you are considering a traditional, family-friendly option, there are lots of choices that can benefit your dental health. Cheeses and various proteins can help strengthen your teeth, while fruits and veggies help scrub them and encourage saliva production, which is key to rinsing cavity-causing bacteria while you eat.

Wine and cheese. If you are of legal drinking age and have a more sophisticated palette, you may opt for a nice wine and cheese pairing. Cheese is full of calcium, which strengthens your teeth enamel, and red wine also has dental benefits. But be careful – too much acidic red wine will begin to break down your tooth enamel and begin to stain your teeth.

When you’re out and about, it is important to maintain some type of hydration at all times so make sure to pack plenty of water in your picnic basket. Enjoy your picnic!

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

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

Dental 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.

Become Aware About Oral Cancer | Tyngsboro Dentist

It is important to maintain a steady dental hygiene routine in order to have a healthy smile. But there is more to it than just a nice smile. Preventative steps must be taken to also prevent diseases like gum disease and oral cancer. And since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to take a second to learn a bit more about this particular form of cancer.

Let’s throw out some statistics so you can get a better grasp on why we need to be aware of oral cancer. Oral cancer will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 53,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.

During an oral cancer screening, your dental professional will examine your mouth for red or white patches, and your throat and neck for any lumps that may be developing. Some may have a specific screening dye or laser to further examine your mouth. It’s all painless and part of your typical dental checkup, so there’s no need to worry about a thing.

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

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

Keeping Our Smiles Bright | Tyngsboro Dentist

teeth whitening

When we practice proper dental hygiene, we are drastically lessening our odds of developing dental issues in the future. After all, taking a proactive approach to your dental health will only produce a healthy smile. But regardless of our dental care, our teeth can begin to look dingy and stained. Lots of factors can contribute to this happening, which is why stains generally have nothing to do with our daily care. Many times, it is our lifestyle choices that will cause stains to develop because the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by consumption of beverages with caffeine, soda, wine and smoking.

There is no reason to feel embarrassed by stained teeth – we can have them whitened by a variety of products. But when outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth while they wait to be brushed again, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened. That said, here is a list of contributing factors to yellowing, stained teeth:

  • Tetracycline based antibiotics used before the age of 8 years old
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride as a child
  • Internal bleeding due to trauma
  • Discoloration due to a health condition
  • Natural aging- as time goes by enamel gets thinner and thinner and will get a yellowish hue
  • Soda
  • Wine
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine

And now that you know how they became stained, here are some simple tips to slowing the process down:

  • Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings
  • Rinse your mouth out with water several times throughout the day
  • Use toothpaste with whitening agents

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.

What to Expect from Your Dental Apppointment | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatment

Modern dental visits aren’t anything to be nervous about. They are fast, easy, and will be much less painful than they were in the past. There’s no getting around it – it’s time to make an appointment. But do you have any idea what you’re getting into? Let’s go with a quick rundown, so there is no need to have anxiety on your visit to the dentist…

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.

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. 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.

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.