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.

Family dentist in Clinton NJ

Tips for Parents about Children’s Dental Care

As a parent, you want your child to have the healthiest teeth possible. Here are some tips for you to consider as you strive to help your child achieve this oral health goal.

Teach oral hygiene
Helping your children take care of their teeth should start at a very early age, so that proper hygiene habits are learned and practiced throughout life. Begin brushing their gums with a soft toothbrush even before the first tooth erupts to prevent bacteria from building up. Once your child is old enough to brush, allow them to do it with supervision until about age eight. Also teach your child to floss properly as part of a daily dental care routine.

Choose the right toothpaste
Look for the key ingredient of fluoride in toothpaste, which helps fight bacteria and plaque. When your child is young, supervise the use of fluoride toothpaste so that none is swallowed.

Visit the dentist
Begin taking your child for dental visits around their first birthday, and continue with regular checkups twice a year. Early dental visits help your child become comfortable with the process, and allow the dentist to watch for oral health problems so that they can be treated as soon as possible.

Avoid bedtime bottles
Do not give your child bottles filled with milk, fruit juice, or soda at bedtime. The sugars in these drinks can harm teeth and cause decay, and prolonged exposure to them such as overnight makes it even more hazardous.

Consider sealants
Ask your dentist about applying sealants to your child’s teeth in order to help prevent decay and cavities. Usually applied by your dentist to the chewing surfaces of back teeth, sealants help keep food and bacteria out of areas where decay most often occurs. Sealants are a painless way to help protect your child’s teeth.
Kids dentist in Clinton NJ

Root canal treatment Clinton NJ

Signs that Point to a Root Canal

You may be scared off by the words “root canal” because it sounds like a dental procedure to avoid no matter what. However, if you’re experiencing the symptoms that mean a root canal might be necessary, it’s better to have the procedure because it will get rid of the painful symptoms. Once you recover from the root canal, your oral health will be restored.

What exactly is a root canal?
It’s a procedure to restore a severely decayed tooth. Instead of extracting the tooth, the nerve is removed and the tooth is sealed to prevent further damage.

What are the most common indications that a root canal may be needed?

  • Lingering tooth pain when you consume hot items. It can also occur when eating or drinking cold items.
  • Pain when chewing on a tooth. It may also be swollen or sensitive when touched.
  • Pain that begins in one tooth and moves to other areas of your jaw or head. For example, pain may start in a back tooth and move to your ear so that it feels like both a toothache and earache.
  • Toothache that interrupts your ability to sleep.
  • Bubble on your gum similar to a pimple, which may bleed or release pus when touched.
  • Tooth discoloration can result from severe decay.

If you experience symptoms like these listed, it’s time to call your dentist for an appointment. You should get a dental examination as soon as possible, so that you can receive treatment before your symptoms get worse. Even if a root canal is required, it’s better to have the procedure than continue with a terrible toothache.

Root canal treatment in Clinton NJ

Don’t Fall Victim to Bad Breath

One thing that can make you a pretty unpopular person is bad breath. People will avoid being around you if you emit a stinky odor every time you open your mouth. If you don’t want to fall victim to this embarrassing problem, try the following tactics.

Brush and floss
For many reasons, you should carefully brush your teeth at least twice a day. This includes brushing your tongue and gums, where bacteria tend to build up and lead to mouth odor. Flossing should be performed daily to help get rid of food debris and plaque.

Drink water
Having a dry mouth increases bad breath, so staying hydrated is an important way to avoid odor. It is recommended to drink thirteen cups of water each day, which may be difficult to accomplish but it is a good goal to keep in mind. You can also prevent dry mouth by limiting foods and drinks known to cause dehydration, like coffee, energy drinks, and anything high in sugar or caffeine.

Chew parsley
A natural remedy for decreasing odor, chewing parsley can be helpful for stinky breath. It contains chlorophyll, which is known to fight smells and freshen breath.

Brush with oils
Peppermint oil and tea tree oil are both known to decrease halitosis, or bad breath. Placing just a couple of drops of these oils on your toothbrush can help attack the bacteria in your mouth and therefore fight mouth odor.

Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning.

How to Enjoy a Whiter Smile

Over time, age and lifestyle choices can diminish your smile’s beauty. Stains and discolorations can make teeth look dull or yellow. If you would like to brighten your smile, talk with your dentist about professional teeth whitening. Both at-home and in-office whitening can remove discolorations and lighten your smile up to 10 shades.

After you whiten or to naturally keep teeth looking their best, follow these tips:

Practice good home care

One of the most important steps you can take to enjoy a gorgeous, vibrant smile is brushing and flossing. Make sure you brush after meals and floss at least once a day.

Choose food and beverages wisely

Coffee, tea, and dark soda can contribute to stains on your teeth. As well, blueberries, cherries and other pigmented foods may cause discolorations. When you partake in these choices, rinse your mouth right away to lessen the impact.

Chew sugarless gum

If you chew gum after meals, you will stimulate saliva flow and clean the surface areas of your teeth.

Pick the right snacks

Foods like apples, carrots, strawberries and celery act as natural detergents for teeth, so munch on these yummy morsels when you feel hungry.

Say no to nicotine

When you smoke, not only do you leave a yellow residue on teeth and gums, but many people also experience problems with bad breath. Smoking also increases the risks of gum disease and oral cancer.

Drink lots of water

Not only does water increase saliva production and promote a healthy smile, but it also washes away food particles and bacteria, which contribute to plaque and tartar build-up.

Schedule your appointment at our Phillipsburg dental office

Restorative Dentistry Makes Patients Smile

Even with proper care, you can still face dental issues. Daily wear and tear can result in broken, fractures, or lost teeth. Restorative dentistry focuses on re-establishing a strong, healthy smile. Fillings, dental implants, inlays and onlays, crowns, and dentures can restore damaged teeth and improve oral health.

What options are available for missing teeth?

When you don’t have a complete smile, your oral health and self-confidence suffers. Bridgework, dentures, or dental implants can revive function and appearance. Permanently cemented in place, a dental bridge can close gaps left by missing teeth. Dentures are prosthetic teeth attached to a gum-colored base that replace some or all of your original teeth. Surgically placed in your jaw, dental implants mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.

What’s the difference between a filling and a crown?

For a small area of decay, your dentist will probably remove the damage and restore the area with a filling. Made from composite resin, the filling is hardened with a curing light and buffed to create the desirably look. When you sustain more damage, you may need a crown, a restoration that covers the entire tooth above the gum line.

Why would I need an inlay or onlay?

Sometimes, you need more than a regular filling but not a full crown. Inlays and onlays work in these situations. An inlay is bonded into the center of the tooth, while an onlay reaches one of more of the cusps.

Why is my doctor suggesting a root canal?

Deep decay or severe trauma can affect the soft inner core of a tooth, referred to as pulp. If the pulp dies, an infection and pressure build, causing intense pain. To save the tooth, your dentist may recommend a root canal. During root canal therapy, your dentist will remove the diseased tissue, seal off the tooth, and place a crown to stabilize the tooth.

If you live in the Milford, NJ, contact us today

Dental Symptoms You Need to Watch

When you have regular dental visits, you help keep your teeth and gums in good condition. These appointments enable your dentist to maintain a watchful eye on your oral health. Even with routine checkups, people still develop problems.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist right away:

Changes in gum tissue

Swollen, bleeding gums are generally the first signs of gum disease, or periodontal disease. Caused by bacteria under the gum line, periodontal disease can lead to pain, gum recession, and even tooth loss without proper treatment.

White spots on your teeth

In the early stages, decay can present as white spots on your teeth, a sign that the hard enamel is dissolving because of acid produced by bacteria. With kids, white spots can point out an overexposure to fluoride.

Increased sensitivity in your teeth

Any time you feel sensitivity to hot or cold, you should mention it to your dentist. Often, sensitive teeth are an indication of tooth decay or other issues such as bruxism, or teeth grinding.

Pain from teeth or gums

Persistent pain can indicate a serious issue. Sometimes, your tooth may become sensitive to touch or develop a pocket of pus near the gum line. Even if the pain subsides, you should call the dentist because you could have an infection inside your tooth.

Color or texture changes in the mouth

As you brush, spend a little time looking at your cheeks, tongue and underneath your tongue to see if you notice anything unusual. White or red spots as well as any lumps should be investigated by your dentist. Often, oral cancer starts with these mild symptoms, so don’t ignore potential signs.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bloomsbury, NJ dental office

How Much Pain Does a Root Canal Involve?

Root canal treatment has a bad reputation of being extremely painful, but actually that’s not really true. Modern advancements in the procedure allow patients to have this valuable treatment without all of the pain and anxiety associated with it in the past.

When you need root canal treatment, the dentist or endodontist (a specialist in this type of dental work) removes infected or damaged tissue in the tooth’s pulp. Many patients are experiencing significant pain before the procedure is even performed, so the treatment can serve to actually relieve pain. Since anesthetics are using during the procedure, most patients compare it to getting a regular tooth filling.

Here are some circumstances that might involve discomfort during root canal treatment, and suggestions on how to manage the pain:

  • If you feel discomfort during the procedure, alert the dentist so that your anesthesia may be adjusted. Often additional local anesthesia takes care of the problem right away.
  • Patients who have a history of dental anxiety will likely be more nervous about the treatment than other patients. Your dentist can help calm your nerves by offering sedation dentistry options, such as nitrous oxide or oral medications.
  • If you have jaw problems like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you may find that your jaw pops, clicks, or locks during root canal treatment. Talk with your dentist about your TMJ if you know you have this issue, so that precautions might be taken to help avoid pain.

After your root canal is completed, expect some minor discomfort or tenderness at first. Over-the-counter pain medications should relieve pain and reduce swelling. If your pain is more severe, ask your dentist for a prescription for a stronger pain medication. Your dentist will provide you with a list things to watch for as you heal that might indicate you need to return for a checkup. Otherwise, you should expect a complete recovery within a few days.

Our dental office is located in Milford, NJ

Teeth Whitening Basics

Each year, people spend millions of dollars to look younger. A stunning, white smile can take years off your appearance and boost self-esteem. Safe and effective, teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments available today. In just a short time, you can achieve lasting radiance.

The aging process naturally darkens our teeth, but other factors can impact our smiles as well. Dark beverages, certain foods, and lifestyle choices can produce extrinsic stains, which change the surface color of teeth. Intrinsic stains, the discolorations found on the inside of the tooth, usually come from trauma to the tooth, excessive fluoride, or specific medications. Typically, extrinsic stains respond well to teeth whitening, but intrinsic flaws may need a more permanent solution like crowns or porcelain veneers.

To transform your smile from blah to brilliant, consider these teeth whitening options:

Drugstore Kits

Although you can try to brighten your teeth with over-the-counter whitening kits and toothpastes, these products may not produce the desired results. Often, the concentration levels aren’t high enough to make a big difference in your smile.

In-Office Whitening

When you choose in-office whitening, the process takes about an hour. Your dentist will usually apply a bleaching agent and may use a special light to activate the gel. In-office whitening penetrates deep discolorations so that you leave the appointment with a stunning, whiter smile.

Whitening at Home

Some people choose to lighten teeth gradually on their own timetables. For this option, the dentist can take impressions for custom whitening trays and then supply professional-strength whitening gel. You apply a thin layer of gel, and wear the trays as directed each day. Most people notice a difference right away, but the full effect of your smile transformation will be visible after you stop the whitening treatments.

If you live in the Hunderton County, contact us today

What is TMJ Dysfunction?

Do you suffer with chronic headaches or migraines? Do you hear your jaws click or pop? If you answered yes, you could be one of the millions living with TMJ dysfunction (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). Problems with TMJ dysfunction can generate a host of painful symptoms and negatively impact your wellbeing.

The TMJ joints hold the lower jaw to the temporal bone and allow routine jaw motion. When these joints are misaligned, associated muscles are strained and discomfort can occur. Stress, heredity, certain habits, and a number of other factors can contribute to TMJ dysfunction.

If you think TMJ dysfunction is a problem for you, contact your dentist. The doctor will complete a thorough exam and then make treatment recommendations.  Dr. Yolonda Cruz offers Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA), which records the vibrations that occur during jaw movement.  This gives Dr. Cruz a better understanding of the TMJ function before and during the creation of a dental appliance or oral splint.  Other treatments include physical therapy, stress reduction, rebuilding damaged teeth with restorations, or habit changes to relieve TMJ symptoms.

These tips may help you deal with your TMJ dysfunction:

  • Apply warm compresses to the area, which may reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort.
  • Consider meditation to slow breathing, help you relax, and alleviate uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Find an effective way to handle stress. A calming bath, long walk, or yoga class may ease your anxiety and reduce triggers for flare ups.
  • Talk with your dentist about a mouth guard. An oral splint can keep your jaw in the proper position so that the chewing system doesn’t become strained.
  • Join a support group. Talking with others who have similar experiences can give you a safe place to share your feelings and find comfort.

Schedule your appointment at our Phillipsburg dental office