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.

Sometimes You Need a Tooth Pulled | Tyngsboro Dentist

Sometimes You Need a Tooth Pulled

We all want our teeth to last a lifetime. But we can’t always control what is going to happen and there may come a time when we need to replace a tooth. And if it hasn’t fallen out on its own, we need to have it extracted. This can be the case in a number of circumstances, including physical injury (such as sports injuries where the tooth is physically damaged), severe decay or gum disease, where the underlying bone socket is simply unable to support the tooth. Because your dentist is trying to save all your natural healthy teeth, the flawed tooth needs to be pulled.

The extraction process may be conducted by a dentist or an oral surgeon, depending on the condition of the tooth and the patient’s general health. Typically, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area. If more than one tooth is to be removed, general anesthesia may be used. After the tooth is removed, stitches will be used to close the opening, keeping food out of the socket while the incision heals.

After the procedure, it’s important to follow the procedure your dentist prescribes for caring for your mouth. You’ll likely be prescribed mild pain killers, and your dentist may recommend ice to help control pain and swelling. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to help clean bacteria from the extraction site and pack it with gauze to help control bleeding. You should avoid smoking, eating on that side, hard foods, and avoid touching that area of the mouth with your tongue, as it may encourage bleeding. If you develop any issues, contact your dental professional immediately.

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.

Contour Your Gums for a Better Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

When many people think of a perfect smile, they focus on bright, white, straight teeth. However, many patients fail to realize that there’s another component as well: great looking gums.

Some patients have gums that are too high, and others have gums that are too low. The causes vary – genetics plays a part, but certain prescription drugs can cause gums that cover more of your teeth than normal, and activities such as smoking can cause gum recession, causing your teeth to look longer than expected.

Thankfully, this can be treated by your dental professional. Gum contouring is typically considered a cosmetic procedure – most insurance plans do not consider it medically necessary and will not cover the costs. However, it is available from many dental and periodontal offices. For severe cases of gum recession, exposed tooth roots can cause gum contouring to be considered a medical necessity, as the receding tissue can contribute to long term problems such as tooth decay and tooth loss.

But, how is it done? The procedure can be done with traditional surgical techniques or lasers – ask your dentist to determine which they recommend. In many cases, local anesthesia is sufficient, though general anesthesia may be considered for larger procedures. And you will be happy to know that the recovery is typically straightforward – there is some bleeding and swelling to be expected, but generally the soreness will subside within a week and you can go back to your daily activities. At the end of the procedure, the patient can look forward to a gum line that is both healthy and cosmetically appealing. Find out if gum contouring is the best option for you.

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.

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.

Keeping Your Smile Healthy at Home | Tyngsboro Dentist

While it is important to know that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies, it is also important to know that you are practicing proper dental hygiene. Here is a quick rundown of the basics. Practice them and your next dental visit will be a smooth one.

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. Adding some type of an oral rinse to your routine will be greatly beneficial to your oral health.

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. 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. 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.

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

How to Eat Your Way to Dental Health | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all know the basics of good dental hygiene – brush twice a day and avoid sugar. But there are also foods you can eat that will not only benefit your overall health but also your mouth. And if you want to keep your teeth throughout your life, it is wise that you have a combination of these basic tips in your day-to-day lifestyle.

Research indicates that antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts may strengthen immunity and improve the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, all of which can help protect the teeth and gums. And some foods and dietary habits even have distinct effects on the mouth’s ability to handle cavity-causing bacteria spikes:

Dairy. Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D and help promote healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk for tooth loss. Cheese unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.

Produce. Crispy fruits and vegetables help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath. Vitamin C, folic acid and other nutrients from fruits and vegetables will also help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.

Water. Believe it or not, but water is as effective as mouthwash at swishing away stuck particles and residue from teeth, while keeping your gums hydrated while stimulating saliva.

It is possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth. So, try to work these everyday foods in order to maintain your oral hygiene.

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.

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.