The most common cause of tooth loss is dental caries; also known as tooth decay and periodontal disease, which affects the gums and bone structure that supports the teeth. Dental caries is the major cause of tooth loss in children. Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults; however, it can also affect children. Over time, tooth enamel is weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity. Tooth decay can be stopped or reversed though. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva and/or fluoride from toothpaste and other sources. Dr. Anthony Chapman is here to help with preventative solutions and if necessary, to provide cavity filling(s), using the upmost care.
Plaque is a thin, colorless, sticky film that contains bacteria and constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria use carbohydrates—sugars and starches—to produce an acid that attacks the enamel covering the teeth. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel can be broken down and start forming a cavity. If not treated, the acid exposure will eventually dissolve the enamel and penetrate the softer, inner layer of the tooth, where decay can spread rapidly throughout the tooth’s structure. Acid attacks begin immediately after every meal or snack and last about 20 to 30 minutes. Brushing and flossing regularly helps, as well as receiving regular dental cleaning and check-ups.
Teeth can be protected from acid attacks by removing plaque, reducing the number of times and the amount of sugar and starches eaten, using fluorides, having plastic sealants applied to teeth, and by regular professional cleaning of teeth by a dental hygienist. Set up an appointment and let us help you develop a preventative plan of care.
Plaque can produce harmful byproducts that irritate the gums, causing gingivitis - the early stage of periodontal diseases. If plaque is not removed daily, it will build up into a hard deposit called calculus. If plaque continues to form on top of the calculus, it can irritate the gums, and a pocket may develop between the teeth and gums. Plaque buildup can eventually destroy the gums and bone that support the teeth.
Two key factors in preventing dental caries are fluoride and dental sealants. Fluoride compounds are found naturally in soil, water, and in many foods. Plaque attacks can’t be stopped, but you can help to prevent plaque build-up by following a good oral care program of brushing, flossing, rinsing, and regular visits to your oral health care professional.
The American Dental Association suggests brushing twice each day. This disrupts the formation of plaque that feeds the bacteria that cause decay. This may not be enough for some people, depending on factors such as their diets and the efficacy of their brushing technique; however, each person is unique and needs a tailored plan of care. Understanding your body and altering habits can be very helpful. The ADHA recommends that you discuss this with your dental hygienist, who understands your individual oral health needs and will be able to make a recommendation appropriate for you.
Comparisons have been made between electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes, to look at the ability of each to remove plaque and prevent or reduce calculus (tartar) buildup and reduce gingivitis (gum disease). These research studies have shown both manual and powered toothbrushes to be equally effective when used correctly. So probably, which brush you use is not the most critical factor; but how you use it. The ADHA website includes instructions for proper tooth brushing technique with a manual brush, and product packaging shows the best way to use powered brushes. There are a lot of products to choose from, and much of the decision depends on individual preference. Your dental hygienist and dentist can share about features that make one product more suitable than another. Check out this newer technology in powered toothbrushes.
A fluoride based toothpaste is recommended. There are many brands to choose from, so find one that best fits your taste and needs. Within fluoride based toothpaste brands, there are options that are tailored to individual needs and preferences, such as teeth sensitivity, teeth whitening and taste (flavor). Find what works best for you and your needs but remember that regular usage is the key!
Most people have teeth that are naturally darker than pure white. Many people would like to have whiter teeth but have questions about what solutions are most safe and effective. Sometimes Dr. Chapman can apply what is known as “prophylaxis” to remove stain. It also can help to reduce consumption of staining agents such as coffee, tea, smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, etc. Some people respond well to the use of whitening toothpastes while some do not. Other options available include bleaching (at home or in the office), with chemicals and/or lasers. Sometimes a combination of options works best. People are unique and respond differently to procedures used to whiten teeth, so it is best to have an in-person consultation.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that a child have his or her first oral health care appointment around the age of one. ADHA suggests an oral health visit as soon as a baby’s first tooth shows. We strongly recommend that you schedule your child’s first dental appointment prior to them having a toothache or dental emergency. As a result, Dr. Chapman and team can help to make your child’s first dental appointment a positive experience which in turn will help reduce your child’s fear about going to the dentist. At Chapman Family Dentistry we are family focused and enjoy working with children.
There is a certain amount of fluoride that you can obtain in toothpaste and potable drinking water; however, the recommended amount required for a person is based on general suggestions and not specific needs. There are many factors involved and individual needs vary; for example, it can depend on your oral health status, lifestyle and additional sources of fluoride that you may be receiving. Our board-certified dentist and experienced dental hygienists can help you further answer questions about fluoride intake, so contact us for more information.
Bad breath is often caused by less than optimal oral care. Sometimes people do not realize the importance of regular dental check-ups and teeth cleaning, as a manageable solution to bad breath. If you or a loved one is dealing with bad breath, it is a great first step to consult with a professional, dentist and/or dental hygienist. At Chapman Family Dentistry we are here to provide discreet solutions and recommendations to help minimize or alleviate bad breath and more importantly the possible underlying causes that might be associated. If it turns out that the problem is not in the mouth area, then we recommend scheduling a physician appointment to check on other possible factors; such as sinus problems, stomach issues, certain foods, medicines and other factors.
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is surgically placed in the jawbone. Dental implants are permanent and they are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
At Chapman Family Dentistry, we use state-of-the-art x-ray systems. If you are a new patient, we always recommend getting x-rays so that Dr. Chapman and staff can better determine what is taking place in your mouth. If you are transferring from another practice and have taken a full set of x-rays within the past six months; ask to have your x-rays sent to Chapman Family Dentistry. If you have not had x-rays taken within 6 months; then a full set of new x-rays may be taken during your first visit. Depending on your health and situation, it might only be necessary to get x-rays once per year. We provide video based x-rays, so that you can see the x-ray on a digital screen during the visit. This visual image along with Dr. Chapman’s feedback, often helps with understanding.
When a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the hole where the tooth once was. This blood clot is very important because it protects the bone tissue underneath. Also, it supplies the surrounding tissue with nutrients to help the healing process. If this blood clot fails to form properly or becomes dislodged, the bone tissue is exposed to air and debris. As a result, the bone will begin to dry out, which is where the term “dry socket” is derived from. A dry socket is very painful and should be treated immediately, so that proper healing can take place and to reduce the risk of other complications. When a dry socket occurs, Dr. Chapman will typically clean out the socket and pack it with a medicated dressing.