Teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching: What’s the Difference?

Having a bright, beautiful, white smile is something we all desire. It signals health and prosperity and leaves the best possible first impression a person can make. There are a host of products at the drug store that label themselves “whitening.” Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening strips, gels and creams all line the shelves, promising a “new you!” Your dentist, however, offers something labeled as “bleaching.” So what’s the difference? Which should you choose?

Your natural tooth is made up of two specific layers: enamel and dentin. The enamel layer is on the outside of the tooth. It’s the white part we see when someone smiles. It’s hard and heavily mineralized and can appear like porcelain. The dentin is the inner layer. It’s yellow in color and supports the enamel on the outside. Over time, your enamel naturally wears away and the yellow dentin color can begin to show through.

The term “whitening” is applied to any product that helps restore teeth to a natural color by removing debris and stains from a natural tooth’s surface. Any substance that restores the surface of a tooth’s enamel is a whitening product. Many whitening products contain a mild abrasive that removes leftover discoloration and food particles, leaving the enamel of the tooth smooth and white. Teeth whitening products combat stains caused by ageing and the discoloration left by many foods, or by smoking.

The FDA permits the term “bleaching” only for products that can whiten a tooth beyond their initial, natural color. Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated so that it releases oxygen molecules that enter the tooth enamel and break down stains in a way that whitening products cannot. This activation can occur immediately, in the case of some in-office bleaching products, like laser whitening, or it can take several hours, as it can with custom take-home bleaching trays.

If you are considering brightening your smile, talk to Clinton NJ teeth whitening dentist Dr. Townsend to see what product is best suited to your smile needs!

We look forward to seeing you in our Clinton NJ dental office

Dental implants dentist

The Benefits and Risks Associated with Dental Implants

As with any surgery, there are benefits and risks that come with getting dental implants. This procedure to replace missing teeth is becoming increasingly popular, so here are some things to know if you are considering this type of treatment.

What are the benefits?

  • Appearance – implants blend in with your smile and look very natural.
  • Comfort – they function and feel like natural teeth.
  • Support – implants support your jaw and avoid a “caved in” look to your face, preserving your youthful appearance.
  • Sensitivity – many patients have less tooth and gum sensitivity after getting implants.
  • Adjacent teeth – neighboring teeth are not affected.
  • Durability – implants are usually there for life, not needing surgical replacement. Even if the artificial tooth needs replacing, it can be done without surgery.
  • Speech – dental implants allow you to speak clearly, as you would with your real teeth.
  • TMJ – replacing missing teeth helps prevent jaw disorders
  • Bone loss – titanium posts implanted into your jaw can help prevent bone loss and gum recession.

What are the risks?

  • Infection – gums and tissue may become infected without proper oral hygiene. It’s important to follow all recovery and maintenance instructions carefully.
  • Failed integration – sometimes implants do not integrate properly with the bone. If the implants do not fuse, they can be uncomfortable or loose. When this happens, implants must be removed and can be redone after the area has healed.
  • Sinus problems – your sinuses can be affected when implants are placed in the very back of your jaw, sometimes requiring sinus augmentation surgery.
  • Nerve or tissue damage – rarely, implants damage nerves or blood vessels. This can cause pain, tingling, swelling, or numbness. This typically is not a risk when a qualified dentist or oral surgeon performs your implant procedure.

 

Dental implants dentist in Clinton NJ
emergency dentistry in Clinton NJ

When Emergency Dental Care is Needed

As much as you hope it doesn’t happen, dental emergencies can sneak up on you. Some clinics offer emergency dental care to provide quick, effective, and safe treatment. It’s important to know what kinds of dental problems require urgent care, as opposed to those that can wait until you can get a regular appointment with your dentist. Here are some common types of emergencies that warrant immediate treatment.

Severe toothache
A painful toothache that won’t go away should not be ignored. These can occur suddenly, be confined to a single area, cause pain when eating, and also involve your gums. Symptoms like these may indicate an abscess, which can also lead to facial swelling. Sometimes your airway can even become blocked. A severe toothache requires immediate relief, and therefore is considered a dental emergency.

Excessive bleeding
If you have oral bleeding from something like losing a tooth and you can’t get it under control, you need to see an emergency dentist. Normally when a tooth falls out, the bleeding will stop after a few minutes. If the blood won’t clot for some reason, or if there was severe trauma, excessive bleeding can occur. A dentist can help stop the bleeding by applying pressure, using a hemostatic agent, or even using stitches.

Fractured teeth
Infection may occur when a tooth is fractured, especially if the break goes deep into a permanent tooth, so immediate care is necessary. An emergency dentist will apply dentine padding to the affected area, so that you can visit your own dentist the next day for further treatment.

Surgery complications
If you have had oral surgery and the pain is more severe or lingering than your dentist anticipated, you should seek treatment immediately to make sure complications like a dry socket or jaw fracture hasn’t occurred.

If you have a dental emergency, contact our Clinton NJ dentists office.

Implant dentist in Clinton NJ

Making a Decision about Dental Implants

For many years, your only choice for replacing missing teeth was dentures or bridges. Now dental implants offer an impressive alternative. Don’t rule them out just because you don’t know what they are, what the process is, who makes a good candidate, or what the benefits include. Learn more about implants so you can make an educated decision whether they’re right for you.

Teeth can be lost or severely damaged for many reasons such as gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Dental implants provide a solution by surgically placing a titanium root directly into your jawbone. A post connects the implant to an artificial tooth that is placed on top during a second surgery. Usually there is a delay between the first and second surgeries to allow for proper healing so that the implant is successful.

Implants offer lots of benefits. They look and feel like your real teeth, and there’s no slipping or speech problems as with other restorations. They have a very high success rate and can last a lifetime with good care. Your oral hygiene tasks are the same as with real teeth. Your self-esteem will increase with your fully restored and functional smile.

Although many people are good candidates for implants, your dentist will let you know if there are risks for you. Healthy gums are very important, so those with periodontal disease may not be suitable. There also must be sufficient jaw bone support for implants to attach successfully, or you might be able to have bone grafting done to achieve more jaw strength before implants.

Dental implants are often the ideal solution for people who are missing teeth. Even though you might be nervous about the procedure, implants provide a great way to restore your smile comfortably and naturally.

Dental Implants Clinton NJ

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

asthma and oral health

Does Asthma Affect Oral Health?

About 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, a long-term lung disease that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. The condition has been linked to oral health, with patients having increased risk for cavities, gum problems, and bad breath.

One of the main culprits negatively impacting an asthma patient’s oral health is the medication required to treat the condition. Some medicines, such as corticosteroids, decrease the flow of saliva. This leads to dry mouth, which in turn can increase cavities and bad breath. Dry mouth is worsened by the fact that many asthma patients breathe through their mouth. Inhaled steroids can also increase the risk of thrush, which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth.

Here are some tips for keeping your mouth safe while still controlling your asthma:

  • Make sure your dentist is aware of your condition, as well as all medications that you are taking.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash after using your inhaler.
  • Consider using a spacer device with your inhaler, which will spray the medication directly into your throat and avoid some of the direct risks to your mouth.
  • Bring your inhaler with you to dentist appointments, both to show it to your dentist and to have your medication available in case you experience an asthma attack at the office.
  • Ask your dentist if more frequent dental visits are recommended in your case.
  • Inquire about adding fluoride supplements to your routine, especially in areas where the water is not fluoridated.
  • Maintain good brushing and flossing habits.

Our dental office is located in Clinton NJ

Emergency dentist in Clinton NJ

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth
A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings
Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown
If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

Abscess
If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.

 

Emergency dentist in Clinton NJ – Perryville Family Dentistry

family dentist

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

Dentist for seniors in Clinton NJ

FAQ for Seniors

Senior adults have unique oral health needs that come with age. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions by seniors.

Do seniors need to worry about cavities?
Cavities can actually occur more often in seniors than younger people. Less exposure to fluoride over your lifetime and deterioration of older fillings can contribute to decay. Receding gums can expose tooth roots, promoting cavities in that area. Also, dry mouth is a common problem in seniors and can cause tooth decay.

Why are my teeth more sensitive as I get older?
Receding gums are often a culprit of tooth sensitivity. A soft tissue graft may be required to solve this problem. Switching to toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help, as well as using a fluoride mouth rinse.

What can I do if arthritis makes it hard to care for my teeth?
There are several things to help seniors who have difficulty completing oral health tasks. Wrap your toothbrush handle with tape to make it thicker, or tape popsicle sticks or small wooden rulers to the handle to make it longer. Try switching to an electric toothbrush, and check out the flossing aids available at your drug store.

What can I do about loose teeth?
See a periodontist, a type of dentist who specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth and supporting structures. This dentist can examine your mouth, and provide suggestions for treatments or changes in your hygiene or medical care that might help.

Can my mediations affect my oral health?
Medications can definitely impact your teeth and gums. Provide your dentist with a list of medications you take so that any issues can be best addressed. For example, some drugs are known to cause dry mouth, which can increase your risks of decay. It’s possible that another medication without that side effect can be prescribed instead.

Are seniors at more risk for oral cancer?
Oral cancer risks increase with age, and long-term smoking also puts you at higher risk.
Any lesions on your tongue or in your mouth should be closely monitored by your dentist.

At what age can I stop seeing the dentist?
Even if you have little or no dental problems, you should continue with regular dental checkups for your entire life.

dental office in Clinton NJ

Learning about Tooth Extractions

Sometimes it is necessary to have a tooth removed. Common reasons for dental extractions include infection, disease, teeth crowding, or injury. Your dentist will usually refer you to an oral surgeon who specializes in mouth surgeries to extract your tooth. If there is an infection present, the extraction should be scheduled as soon as possible so that it doesn’t spread or cause more serious problems. It is helpful to know what to expect during and after a tooth extraction so you will be prepared.

What is the procedure like?
You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the extraction area, or a stronger general anesthetic if several teeth are being removed or the procedure is complex. General anesthesia will put you to sleep and prevent pain in your entire body. After the extraction is complete, you may need stitches which will either have to be removed later or will dissolve on their own. You might be instructed to bite down on gauze initially after the procedure to help stop any bleeding, which is a normal part of the tooth extraction procedure.

What about recovery?
Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully for the best recovery results. You can usually expect recover to take at least a few days. Here are some guidelines to help with healing:

  • Take pain medications as prescribed.
  • Change gauze pads before they are saturated with blood.
  • Do not drink through a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day after the first 24 hours following surgery. This will help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Limit physical activity because it can promote bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods like thin soup, gelatin, and pudding. As you heal, you can increase your intake of solid foods.
  • Try not to rub the extraction area with your tongue.
  • Carefully brush your teeth and tongue as directed by your doctor.

If you live in the Clinton NJ area and you need a great dentist, contact our dental office today.