How Clean Is Your Toothbrush? | Tyngsboro Dentist

There is one hygienic tool we interact with on a daily basis. In fact, if we are using it correctly, we use it on a couple of occasions throughout the day. That handy tool? The toothbrush. Manual or electric, soft or hard bristles, our toothbrush not only keeps our smiles bright, but it also affects our overall health. Unfortunately, there may be things left on your toothbrush after these cleanings you may not notice after the rinse.

Blood. When you brush your teeth, it is not uncommon to find traces of blood from time to time. It may be the way you are brushing, it may be something more serious, like the beginnings of gum disease. So, if you find that you have begun bleeding during a tooth-brushing session, make sure you rinse your toothbrush well. Also, make an appointment for a check-up so you can catch any developing issues.

E.Coli. We don’t want to bring up anything gross, but there is the likelihood of fecal matter being on your toothbrush, especially if you store your toothbrush on the sink. What’s worse is that dangerous bacteria, like E. Coli, can come along with it. If you brush with a toothbrush that has E. Coli on it, it can make you very sick.

Staphylococcus Aureus. These bacteria live in our respiratory systems and on our skin. While rare, if conditions are just right, it can lead to a MRSA infection.

Thankfully, your mouth doesn’t need to be a vessel of terrible things. Here are ways to keep your toothbrush bacteria-free:

  • Don’t let anyone use your toothbrush.
  • Let your toothbrush air-dry upright.
  • Store your toothbrush at least six feet from your toilet.
  • Replace every 3-4 months.

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.

Not-So-Fun Facts About Gum Recession | Tyngsboro Dentist

periodntal disease

As a dental professional, there are some very common questions asked when patients come in for a check-up: Does gum tissue grow back after they’ve receded? Is it the result of brushing too hard? Do gums recede because of gum disease? And many of them are asked because of a misunderstood oral condition known as gum recession.

The gum tissue is nothing more than a layer of skin that covers the bone tissue of the upper and lower jaws. And, so long as the underlying jawbone stays intact, the gum tissue will stay straight and high on the teeth. Simply put, gums recede only because the bone responsible for supporting the gum tissue has withdrawn. Four reasons you jaw would begin to demineralize would be advanced gum disease, bruxism, trauma and genetics.

Gum disease. If left unchecked, gum disease can progress to the point where it can compromise your jaw bones and your overall health. Advanced forms of gum disease can’t be cured, so make sure to keep your appointments.

Bruxism. Whether it’s caused by stress or sleep apnea, the habitual clenching and grinding of teeth can compromise the strength and structure of the jaws, which can make it prone to gum disease and in turn, gum recession.

Trauma. Your teeth are built to be solid, but not indestructible. If left untreated, a chipped tooth – or in worse cases, a lost tooth or two – can put you at more of a risk for gum disease and subsequently, gum recession.

Genetics. Sometimes, though, the thickness of the facial jaw bones may be determined by genetics. Although it may sound unfortunate, those born with thinner jaw bones are more prone to demineralization and are at a much higher risk for 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.

You Need to Keep Your Dental Appointment | Tyngsboro Dentist

For whatever reason, we have a tough time keeping our dental appointments. Sure, it can cause us some anxiety, but isn’t your smile worth the sacrifice? It’s the first thing strangers see when you introduce yourself. Shouldn’t we be taking care of those pearly whites? Of course we should. But we can’t do it alone…we need to be able to lean on someone to tell us if something is going awry. That person is our dental professional.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Periodontal disease is typically painless, and you may not know you have it, and therein lies the problem. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. Here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Many factors that can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease including smoking, pregnancy, and diabetes. This is why it is so important to make (and keep) your regular dental appointments. We cannot diagnose ourselves – we don’t have the knowledge or the tools to be able to do so. They are the final word on our mouth’s health. This is why we need to do our best to look after our teeth in between visits as well. The better we do in between visits, the easier our visits will be.

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.

Dodging the Situation Isn’t Doing You Any Favors | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all do it – but that doesn’t mean it’s the best idea. In fact, skipping out on your dental appointments is only going to cause more issues for you down the road. And what does that mean? Well, longer appointments, that’s for sure. Naturally, it will take longer to examine a mouth that hasn’t seen a dentist in a while. So, what should you expect when you finally keep that appointment? Here are the basics because patients are like snowflakes – each one is different…

You’ll almost certainly start with x-rays. X-rays allow dentists to get an understanding of the state of your mouth, so there will be quite a few. 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’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination and possibly treat the problem immediately. Lastly, 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, which can take multiple visits.

So, as you can see, the only reason this appointment may be extensive is because you kept putting it off. Don’t worry about it – dental visits aren’t the scary ones you’re thinking of. Today, a dental checkup could almost be as relaxing as a day at the spa. Don’t believe me? Make the appointment and see.

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.

How You Can Protect Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatment

Whether we like it or not, dental checkups and cleanings are designed to help patients keep as many natural teeth as possible. They’re necessary. Yes, 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.

Patients with a diet high in sugar, especially sugary drinks, are significantly more likely to suffer from tooth decay and periodontal disease.

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.

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.

Thank Your Smile This Thanksgiving | Tyngsboro Dentist

Thanksgiving is a holiday all about giving thanks and breaking bread with the people in your life. Unfortunately, we rarely consider our dental health during these types of holidays. Our mouths are susceptible to much more because of it is where we ingest almost everything into our bodies, both good and bad. And because we love what we do and are thankful to help out our patients achieve the greatest smile possible, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you celebrate this delicious holiday:

Keep things short and sweet. Between the pre-meal snacks and the post-meal desserts, it’s impossible to not fall victim to grazing the entire day. The longer you allow the acids in foods to hang out in your mouth, the easier it is for cavity-causing bacteria to invade your teeth and set up camp. It’s all about moderation.

Stay hydrated. Keeping a glass of water handy will not only help with digestion, but drinking plenty of water will also wash away any food debris still lingering around in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defender against the bad bacteria in your mouth.

Keep your routine. We can’t forget to pay special attention to our teeth during this delicious holiday. They work overtime for you during times like these. Make sure you brush, floss and rinse the way you normally would. Scratch that, pay more attention to them. Your teeth don’t know you’re celebrating. After the holidays, be sure to make an appointment for a quick dental check-up. Thanksgiving is a fantastic time to give thanks for everything in your life – and your teeth are no exception.

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 Your Child’s Smile Healthy During Halloween | Tyngsboro Dentist

It’s Halloween…that one day of the year that children hold dear to their hearts. Sure, there is Christmas. We all know there’s no competing with Santa. But it’s the one day of the year that everyone can be anyone or anything they want to be. And above all that, there’s candy. But how can you monitor your child’s oral health during this sugar-infused time of year? Here are some pediatric dental tips to keep in mind when going through your little monsters’ stash:

Instead of denying them the sweets, have them choose a set number of candies they want the most and let them have them. Whatever they don’t choose, throw it out or freeze it for later. Not only will you know that what they are eating is safe, but you can rest at ease that they aren’t sneaking it behind your back.

In addition to the limitation of sweet treats, set up a time of day that your child will be able to eat that candy. Similar to snack time at school, having a time when your little one knows a snack is allowed teaches them that snacking isn’t an all-day event, making them less inclined to crave sweets all day.

Lastly, good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing before bed will prevent cavities from attacking while your little one sleeps. To make it more fun, let them pick out their own dental stuff. The key is to make brushing less of a chore and more of a fun way to fight “cavity crime”. Not only will they continue to love Halloween, but they can be their teeth’s superhero all year ‘round!

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.

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.