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.

Easy Practices for Better Oral Hygiene

Boy brushing his teeth

Caring for our oral hygiene is highly important to our overall health. While we all do our best, habits you may have picked up along the way that may contribute significantly to the deterioration of our overall oral health. Here are some behaviors that may be worth considering the next time you step into your bathroom.

Storage. How we care for our toothbrush matters – a dirty or splay-bristled toothbrush can introduce unwanted bacteria or hurt your gums while you brush. The best way to care for your brush is to rinse after brushing and allow to air dry on its own.

Cleanliness. Keeping your toothbrush dry and clean is important for your oral hygiene and the longevity of the brush. Packing a wet toothbrush invites a warm, moist environment for bacteria to grow. Overcleaning your brush however will deteriorate the bristles faster, meaning more replacement.

Multitasking. Many of us utilize brushing time to pick out our clothing for the day or wipe the mirror. While this isn’t a bad thing, it may mean you aren’t brushing your teeth properly. Over time, the lack of care will contribute to a buildup of bacteria between your teeth or gums.

Dental Visits. It’s completely understandable why people may be hesitant to visit the dentist; dental anxiety, bad experiences and strange noises can contribute to an uneasy visit. Avoiding the dentist, or having inconsistent visits can escalate what may have been a small issue under regular care.

To schedule an appointment today or learn more about Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry and see the beautiful smiles Dr. James Yankowskas has created, visit us today at http://www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com/.

Oral Care Myths and Misconceptions

Oral care and hygiene are paramount to our ability to maintain and retain our teeth as we age. With so much information about oral care practices online, we felt it was important to demystify some of the most common misconceptions we hear and offer advice on how to move forward.

Myth 1. Hard Brushing Cleans Better.

This action is counter-productive, as excess pressure on your teeth can work to damage enamel rather than support it. Hard brushing also hurts our gums and can lead to a recessed gum lining over time. We recommend taking care to brush gently with a soft-bristle brush.

Myth 2. Chewing Gum Helps Clean Teeth.

Chewing gum is certainly not a replacement to brushing. Chewing gum can be a great way to combat sugar cravings or a candy habit, but while it makes your breath smell better, it cannot replace the benefits of brushing.

Myth 3. Baby Teeth Don’t Need Brushing.

Good oral care practices begin when we are young, and proper oral care for a child’s first set of teeth matters. Tooth decay in a baby tooth can lead to complications as an adult, so we recommend a twice daily brushing routine as soon as the child has teeth.

Myth 4. Sugar Causes Cavities.

Sugar itself is not the cause of cavities, though the bacteria that eat the sugar can be. The starches and sugar itself attract bacteria that thrive on the surface of your teeth and release an acidic compound that promotes tooth decay. Regular brushing and rinsing after eating particular sugary foods will go a log way to prevent decay.

Myth 5. Enamel Loss Causes Sensitivity.

There are many reasons why we may experience sensitivity, and enamel loss doesn’t happen overnight. Tooth grinding, abrasive toothpaste, aggressive brushing and lack of regular proper oral hygiene all contribute to both sensitivity and a loss of enamel. Should you lose your enamel however, you will likely experience tooth sensitivity as well.

To schedule an appointment today or learn more about oral care, and see the beautiful smiles Dr. James Yankowskas has created, visit us today at http://www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com/.

What Do I Need to Know About Dentures? | Tyngsboro Dentist

We commonly think of dentures as a solution for elderly individuals with a lifetime of oral hygiene and age considerations that have contributed to the full or partial loss of teeth. However, younger demographics have increasingly sought dentures to repair damage caused by poor oral hygiene practices or in extreme sports.

Dentures are removable acrylic replacements for missing teeth. They can be created to fill in gaps, or replace a full set of teeth, depending on your need. Typically, individuals who need dentures have experienced a trauma to their teeth that caused them to decay, fall out or become chipped.

Here are some things to consider if dentures are a solution for you:

  • They take some getting used to. As with any new thing in our lives, speaking with new dentures will take some practice. Over time however, the muscle memory from speaking throughout your life will help you overcome the unfamiliarity in no time.
  • Made of synthetic materials, a denture might not feel like your teeth, but are hand created to look good and be comfortable to wear. Dentures are first molded to the space or row of teeth that has experienced the loss and fastened according to your need.
  • Dentures are available as a full, partial, or implant-supported set.
    • Full Dentures. Used for patients missing either arch or both, full dentures are permanently secured into a base. They can be held in place via adhesive or suction.
    • Partial Dentures. More like a retainer, false teeth are held by a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Partial dentures are for patients missing only a few teeth.
    • Implant-Supported Dentures. These dentures snap into implants inserted into a patient’s jawbone. The implants give the denture more support, preventing movement while you speak, eat or drink.

Before you embark on attaining a set of dentures, your dentist will consult with you about your options, the healing process, and best practices for maintaining your dentures. It is important to maintain your daily brushing routine as well as clean and sanitize your dentures for overall mouth health.

To learn more about dentures, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us at http://www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com/.

Natural Solutions for Whiter Teeth | Tyngsboro Dentist

Everyone wants that Hollywood perfect smile, but over time, daily decisions can discolor our teeth despite best practices with our oral care. While habits such as smoking and drinking coffee may require professional whitening to correct, certain foods can aid in the daily maintenance of whiter teeth.

It is important to note that too much professional or at-home whitening products may work to decay tooth enamel over time. If you have tried different whitening methods and nothing seems to work, a closer look at your diet may hold the missing key to bright white teeth.

Here are some ways you can incorporate natural teeth whitening solutions into your routine.

Fruit. Apples are a powerhouse food for a white smile. The crispness of an apple works our gums and strengthens them when we bite and chew. The tart taste produces saliva which helps clear bacteria that may produce cavities. Pears are another great fruit to indulge. Like apples, pears help strengthen gums while neutralizing odor-causing, stain-inducing bacteria. If citrus fruits are more your taste, reach for an orange. The Vitamin C boost is great for overall health, and the citric acid helps remove top-level stains.

Vegetables. Vegetables may not seem like the most likely way to maintain pearly white teeth, but the benefits of eating veggies go beyond nourishment. Vegetables contain a mix of water, fiber and texture that work to scrub and clean your teeth. Celery and other fibrous vegetables act like natural flossers while the texture of veggies like cauliflower scrub away at surface buildup.

Dairy. Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are rich in calcium. This mineral works to strengthen your tooth enamel, an important contribution to long-term oral health. Each of your teeth have their own shell of enamel that protect it from erosion and cavities, but we only generate tooth enamel once in our lifetimes.

Along with regular brushing and flossing, consuming these foods work to maintain your pearly white smile without breaking the bank or eroding enamel.

To learn more about safe whitening practices, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us at http://www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com/.