6 Common Dental Problems and How to Fix Them

female holding jaw in painSuffering from a dental problem? You’re not alone. Here are 6 common dental problems and how to fix them.

  1. Tooth decay
    Patients suffering from a toothache are likely dealing with tooth decay. Depending on the severity of the decay, the best treatment will likely be either a filling or the placement of a dental crown. Both treatments are designed to restore the tooth’s strength and health.
  2. Crooked teeth
    Crooked teeth are problematic not only because they are unattractive, but also because they can hinder a patient’s ability to chew and speak normally. In addition, crooked teeth can be difficult to keep clean. Patients with crooked teeth can benefit from orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign clear braces, traditional metal braces, or other appliances.
  3. Discolored teeth
    Teeth can become stained or discolored by the foods and beverages patients consume, the use of medications, or aging, among other factors. For many patients whose teeth are discolored, a professional whitening treatment can make a significant difference. For patients with very stubborn staining, veneers can hide the stains and result in much whiter smiles.
  4. Gum disease
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of American adults have some form of gum disease. In its earliest stage, gingivitis, patients can receive in-office treatment, which includes removing plaque and tartar, and then improve their oral health habits.
  5. Wisdom teeth
    Some patients’ wisdom teeth will grow in properly without causing problems, but for many patients, toothbrushes in a cupthis is not the case. Wisdom teeth often grow in crookedly or only partially erupt. This can lead to painful infections, among other problems. Having the wisdom teeth extracted is often the best option for many patients.
  6. Missing teeth
    Having missing teeth makes it more difficult to eat, talk, and smile confidently. For patients who are missing teeth, there are multiple options. Some patients benefit from dentures, partials, or appliances such as fixed bridges. For many people, however, dental implants are the ideal treatment because they are a permanent solution that looks and feels natural.

Why Do I Need to Go to the Dentist If My Teeth Aren’t Hurting?

There are many oral conditions that don’t show symptoms in their early stages. Mouth care

In order to detect these conditions in time to have them treated sufficiently, it is crucial to see your dentist every six months, even if your teeth aren’t hurting and nothing feels out of the ordinary.

Here are a few reasons it is so incredibly important to see a dentist on a regular basis:

  • If you haven’t seen your dentist recently, you may have tooth decay and not realize it. When the tooth first begins to decay, you may not experience the pain or sensitivity typically associated with a cavity. Any decay should be treated immediately to avoid the need for a root canal or losing the tooth; by catching it early, the procedure is much simpler.
  • Many people unknowingly have gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease. The condition is treatable, but if it advances to become periodontitis, the condition can only be managed rather than cured. Gum disease threatens the health of your entire body, so it is wise to detect and treat it as early as possible.
  • During your routine exam, you will receive an oral cancer screening. If anything is found during your screening, you can be referred to a specialist and begin treatment as soon as possible.
  • If you are unhappy with your bite or the way your smile looks, your dentist can offer suggestions. You may discover there are treatments that can significantly improve your smile.

Dr. FixariIt’s much better to detect and treat problems as soon as possible than to wait until they become painful, expensive, and perhaps even irreversible.

Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, there may be an underlying problem threatening your oral health.

Make it a priority to schedule your dental checkup every six months to prevent serious conditions and enjoy consistently good dental health.

Is it Safe to Go to the Dentist When You’re Pregnant?

In addition to eating well and receiving prenatal care, it is very important to maintain good treatment room at Fixari Family Dentaloral health during pregnancy.

Many moms-to-be worry about whether they should continue their regular dental appointments or undergo treatment for any conditions that may develop during pregnancy.

Rest assured, going to the dentist when you’re pregnant is not just safe, it’s highly recommended.

Dental Exams are Safe During Pregnancy

  • During pregnancy, the main purpose of dental visits is to minimize the risk of infection. Any slight risks involved with seeing the dentist during pregnancy are overshadowed by the benefits of maintaining the patient’s oral health. Pregnant patients should see the dentist for regular appointments, but should avoid cosmetic/elective procedures until after the baby is born.
  • Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to gum disease due to increased levels of the hormone progesterone. This results in gums that are swollen and in danger of infection. Left untreated, the condition can cause bone and tissue loss as well as health problems in other parts of the body, such as heart disease.
  • New moms can actually pass their bacteria on to their children if the baby’s mouth comes into contact with mom’s saliva. By maintaining good oral hygiene and detecting decay ahead of time at dental appointments, the risk to baby is minimized.

Safety During Dental Appointments

Fixari Family Dental hygienist performing teeth whitening on a patientAs always, it is important to discuss any medications you are taking with your dentist prior to treatment. Patients who have high-risk pregnancies should consult their OB-GYNs before scheduling a dental appointment.

Overall, though, most pregnant women can only benefit from going to the dentist.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the second trimester is the ideal time to undergo dental work.

If ever you feel uncomfortable with going in for dental appointments during your pregnancy, our dentists at Fixari Family Dental encourage you to discuss it with your doctor, as well as with us. Your oral health is more important than ever at this time.

3 Common Problems Your Dental Bridges May Be Causing

Dental bridges typically don’t last a lifetime, so many patients will experience problems with them at some point. Fixari Family Dental dental bridge pictureuses the latest procedures and techniques to fix our patients’ dental bridges problems and give them a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile. Here are 3 problems that bridges may be causing:

1. Decay is forming underneath the crowns of the bridge.

It’s harder to maintain good oral hygiene with a dental bridge, but it’s incredibly important to keep the surrounding teeth and gums free of bacteria. Rather than flossing normally, patients who have bridges need special tools to get food particles out from under the bridge. If the teeth that support the bridge become decayed, the bridge is likely to fail.

In this situation, we’ll likely need to replace the bridge and get rid of the decay. Oftentimes, the better alternative to replacing the bridge is to use dental implants, which replace missing teeth permanently.

2. The bridge looks unnatural.

Bridges are designed to replace missing teeth, not only to enable the patient to eat but also to improve the patient’s appearance. If a dental bridge looks unnatural because it doesn’t match the color of the rest of the teeth, or the crowns do not line up with the gum line, the patient is likely to feel disappointed and unconfident.

Bridges are an investment, so you deserve to love the way it looks.

In some cases, gum contouring can improve the appearance of the bridge. If the problem is that the bridge is whiter than the rest of the teeth, teeth whitening treatments can help even out the smile as a whole.

3. The bridge is ill-fitting.

Dental bridges need to fit perfectly to enable the patient to chew with ease and to avoid pain later. A bridge may become ill-fitting due to decay or a bad fit when the bridge was created.

older couple smiling togetherWe may be able to make your bridge fit better by working on the teeth that support the bridge, or we may recommend replacing the bridge. The bridge may fall out completely if decay is present. If this happens, we may be able to reattach it, but if it cannot be reattached, we can create a new, better-fitting bridge.

We understand how frustrating it can be to have problems with your bridge. Our office is committed to helping patients who are experiencing problems with their bridgework or other dental appliances. We’ll do whatever it takes to improve your appliance and your quality of life. If you’re struggling with your dental bridge, we encourage you to contact our office.

How to avoid common dental problems

Many dental problems can be avoided with a little knowledge and effort. By Fixari Family Dental staff membersfollowing these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of excellent oral health and save yourself from these common problems.

Problem 1: Tooth decay

How to avoid it: Tooth decay occurs when bacteria form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque. Plaque eventually hardens to become tartar, which eats holes (cavities) into the teeth. Limit your exposure to sugary foods and beverages, brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist every six months to avoid tooth decay.

Problem 2: Bad breath

How to avoid it: Besides limiting your garlic intake, the key to avoiding bad breath is to eliminate odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can all go a long way toward freshening your breath. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, as well. If you’re still experiencing chronic bad breath, see a dentist for a more aggressive treatment plan.

Problem 3: Gum disease

How to avoid it: Brush and floss on a regular basis to remove bacteria from near your gums. If you notice symptoms of gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease, be sure to see your dentist right away. These may include bleeding gums, pain, and swelling, among other symptoms. The key is to catch gum disease early, while it can still be treated.

Problem 4: Bruxism (teeth grinding)

How to avoid it: Teeth grinding can lead to several problems, including headaches, heavy wear, and sometimes broken teeth. Using a mouth guard will provide a barrier between your top and bottom teeth to prevent you from grinding down your teeth at night. Reducing your stress levels can also reduce the amount of teeth grinding you do.

Problem 5: Stained or discolored teeth

oral hygiene productsHow to avoid it: Teeth can become discolored due to age or genetics, but often it’s due to lifestyle choices. Dark beverages such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine are staining agents, so avoiding or limiting them (or using a straw) can help prevent tooth discoloration. Avoid tobacco use as well, and be sure to practice good oral hygiene.

Don’t wait until you’re experiencing a painful dental emergency to begin taking care of your teeth and gums. Good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments can go a long way toward preventing serious oral health problems.

One of my teeth is more discolored than others. Does that mean it is going to fall out?

It’s easy to worry that the discolored tooth will fall out, but relax – it is cavity detection in Columbus Ohiohighly unlikely that the tooth will just fall out on its own! However, if one tooth looks different from the rest, it’s certainly time to see your dentist.

Why does tooth discoloration happen to only one tooth?

Without a dental exam, it’s hard to know why one of your teeth is more discolored than others. There are two possible explanations:

  • The tooth is stained.
  • The tooth is dead.

The good news is that there are effective treatments available in either case.

Treating a Stained Tooth

Sometimes, a tooth may appear more discolored than the surrounding teeth because it has become stained. Tooth staining can occur due to the foods and drinks we consume and certain medications we take. If one tooth is slightly discolored, it may simply mean the tooth has a stain.

We offer in-office and at-home whitening and stain treatments to help your tooth match the rest of your smile.

Treating a Dead Tooth

When a tooth is “dead,” it means the nerve inside the tooth has died. A dead tooth often has a darkened, gray or black appearance. It’s important to receive treatment for the dead tooth because the space inside the tooth where the nerve used to be can become infected easily.

  • The best treatment for a dead tooth will depend on the appearance of the tooth, as well as how long the tooth has been dead.
  • In some cases, if the tooth has only been dead a short amount of time, it can be saved with a root canal. Fixari Family DentalThis procedure removes the dead nerve and bacteria before they can cause a serious, painful infection, and a cap is placed over the tooth to provide strength and make the tooth more natural-looking.
  • In other cases, the tooth may be pulled. However, we aim to keep as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, so this is a decision that is never made lightly.

In short, having a discolored tooth is no reason to panic – but it IS a reason to go see your dentist. If you are concerned about your smile for any reason, why wait? Let us help you find a good solution that will improve your smile. Contact either of our offices (Columbus or Canal Winchester) and schedule an appointment.

Germs on My Toothbrush?

Toothbrush cup
Keep a spare toothbrush!

As the cold and flu season decends up on us, we often overlook ways to help ourselves and our families stay healthier.

Continuing to use the same toothbrush can prolong your illness. Keep a spare!

Here some times to help reduce these germs:

– Allow your toothbrush to air dry after each use.  Harmful bacteria generally don’t like oxygen.

– Wash your hands before and after brushing

– Store toothbrush upright to keep moisture away

– Consider running brush through the dishwasher from time to time

– Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.  Worn bristles don’t effectively clean your teeth and may cause damage.

Best wishes for a healthy cold and flu season.  As always, call us if you have questions or simply need a new toothbrush.  We are happy to send you one!

 

5 Tips for Dental Emergencies

While it is never a convenient time to face a dental emergency, when one does occur, it is often at the worst time possible. Before you or someone you love is in this situation, it’s best to have a plan of action, as well as access to good dentist who offers same-day dental appointments. In Columbus, OH, the place to go in an emergency is Fixari Dental. Drs. Mark and Shayne Fixari are prepared to help patients begin feeling better quickly and get their oral health back on track.

When a dental emergency happens, staying calm and following your dentist’s directions is the best course of action. Here are 5 tips to get you through a dental emergency.

1. Determine the urgency of the situation.

If the emergency is life-threatening, you should of course contact 9-1-1 immediately. If not, we encourage you to call us as soon as possible so we can begin providing pain relief.

2. If you or a loved one has an injured jaw, go to the emergency room immediately.

A jaw injury often requires immediate attention. If you or a loved one has injured or dislocated his or her jaw, especially if you suspect the jaw may be broken, we strongly recommend visiting the emergency room as soon as possible.

3. Follow our instructions for home care.

We offer same-day appointments to best serve our patients. In the case of a dental emergency, you will likely be able to be seen the same day. If not, however, don’t panic – we provide instructions on how patients should take care of themselves until they can be seen so they can remain as comfortable as possible.

4. Knocked out tooth? Save it.

One very common dental emergency is a broken, cracked, or completely knocked out tooth (also known as dental avulsion). If this should happen, it’s important to save the tooth or the broken-off piece of tooth and bring it with you to your dentist. Gently clean off the tooth with water and then place it in a cup of milk or saliva. If the patient is seen by a dentist quickly, there’s a better chance for reattachment. In the meantime, keep yourself as comfortable as possible. Apply ice to the area to reduce swelling.

5. Toothache? Contact us ASAP.

Sometimes, the pain of a toothache can be enough to cause the sufferer to miss school, work, or other important activities. We never want our patients to have to suffer from a toothache! If you are experiencing a very painful toothache, contact our office immediately. We’ll schedule you to see a dentist as soon as possible and we’ll let you know what you can do to start feeling better immediately.

Fixari DentalOur two convenient office locations in Columbus and Canal Winchester make it easy to be seen by a trusted dentist as soon as possible in the event of a dental emergency. If you are dealing with an emergency situation, we encourage you to contact our office located nearest you to schedule a same-day appointment. Let the Fixari Dental team help you feel better quickly!

Same Day Dentistry in Columbus, OH from Fixari Family Dental

Dental emergencies are a fact of life – they are bound to happen at some point. When they do, it’s important to have access to a dental office that is willing to take same day appointments. Fixari Family Dental in the Columbus, OH area enables patients to be seen the same day so they can get the dental treatment they need, when they need it.

Convenient Same-Day Appointments

  • When you or a loved one is experiencing pain and discomfort, it isn’t easy to wait for days until you can get a dental appointment. The dental professionals at Fixari Dental understand this, which is why they make themselves available for emergency appointments.
  • For busy professionals who aren’t always able to take time out for a dental appointment, we offer the convenience of last-minute appointments. Patients are able to go to the dentist when it is most convenient for them.

Dentists Who Care

  • Our team makes patient comfort the top priority. When problems such as a toothache, a broken tooth, or an abscess hinder a patient’s ability to function normally, Dr. Mark Fixari and Dr. Shayne Fixari want to do whatever it takes to help him or her get fast pain relief. Patients who visit us can be confident that they are seeing a dentist who truly cares about their well-being and has the ability to restore their dental health.

Dental problems do not have to cause you to miss work, school, or other important parts of your life. If you or a loved one is experiencing dental pain or discomfort, Fixari Family Dental is an invaluable resource. Trust our dental health care providers for fast, convenient treatment.