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Periodontal Care Omaha NE

Toothbrushes: Battery-Powered vs Traditional

April 10th, 2019

A quality toothbrush is the cornerstone of everyday oral care. A quality toothbrush with soft bristles will clean the surfaces of the teeth, removing plaque and food debris, keeping the teeth both clean and healthy. But there are so many different options for a quality toothbrush. There are numerous brand choices, bristle choices, head shape, etc. And while many of those options will depend on personal preference—or, if you have any questions as to which toothbrush your dentist at Premier Smile recommends, then call today—the biggest difference in modern toothbrushes is whether it is battery-powered/electric or traditional. Here’s a few of the pros and cons to each.

Powered Toothbrush

A powered toothbrush should be capable at effectively removing both plaque and debris form the surfaces of the teeth. The toothbrush will likely have a head that both spins and vibrates, and this extra action (extra meaning that it is near impossible to replicate the action of a powered toothbrush with a traditional manual-type) will help to remove the plaque and debris without too much effort. This makes a powered toothbrush a good choice for those who have trouble with the effort of tooth brushing. Powered toothbrushes are also terrific options for children. Children may have trouble with the motor skills involved in brushing teeth, and, as benefit, will appreciate the fun associated with the toothbrush—some models even play the songs to entertain.

Traditional Toothbrush

The traditional toothbrushes benefits are in its simplicity. You can find a traditional toothbrush in any store across the world. It’s a simple and easy process to take out a toothbrush, regardless of batteries and/or an electrical outlet and use it. And the fine motor skills involved in using a traditional toothbrush might actually benefit a child who is learning these skills.

If you have any questions as to which toothbrush would work the best for you, or you would like to know the brands/types of toothbrushes that your dentist at Premier Smile recommends, then call today. And don’t forget that along with a quality toothbrush, it’s very important to keep to the habit of twice yearly cleanings and checkups with your dentist at Premier Smile.

Flossing

February 11th, 2019

Flossing is an important component for dental health, and here’s why. First, flossing cleans the plaque between our teeth. In most cases these spaces are too narrow for the bristles of a toothbrush to clean adequately. So, uncleaned, plaque is allowed to thrive within those spaces, potentially causing cavities and gum disease. Remember that plaque contains certain bacteria that feed on the food and sugar present in the mouth; the bacteria produce an acid that eats away at the surface of the tooth, and causes a cavity. Also, the unremoved plaque can eventually harden into a hard substance called tarter. And tarter around the gum line is a catalyst for gum disease.

There’s been some recent speculation about the effectiveness of floss to clean between teeth; if the practice of flossing is a necessity, or if appropriate brushing habits are enough to clean plaque. But even the U.S Health and Human Services Dept. has stated that the act of flossing is an important hygiene practice.

And floss is the first thing to reach for in the event you find something stuck between your teeth. According to several studies, folks will reach for almost anything when they find something; the tip of a knife and credit cards are listed as a few of the tooth cleaning devices someone could, unfortunately, reach for.

There is no one perfect time in the day to floss. In fact, it doesn’t make much difference if you floss before or after brushing; it doesn’t matter whether you floss in the morning or at night. The important thing is that it gets done. If you find you are too rushed to remember to brush your teeth in the morning, then it may be best to set it to your evening brushing routine. Or, if you find yourself too tired in the evening to spend time flossing, then you may want to brush in the morning, or set aside some time at the lunch hour.

If you have any questions about flossing, or are ready to schedule your next appointment with your dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Links Between Diabetes and Dental Health

December 9th, 2018

Diabetes is a difficult disease for the entire body; it takes a toll on everything, including dental health. Diabetes, like other types of systemic disease, can increase the risk of dental disease. Practicing quality dental health is a necessary component to both quality oral health as well as disease management. Diabetes can be responsible for tooth loss—according to the American Dental Association, diabetes can be responsible for total tooth loss—but when quality dental health is put at a premium, including routine cleaning both at home and at the dentist’s office at Premier Smile, the risk of total tooth loss and other dental disease is lessened.

First Signs of Gum Disease?

Bleeding gums is a likely symptom of disease. Gums that bleed when you brush or floss could be a sign of gum disease. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t mean that the symptoms cannot be reversed. In its earlies stages, gum disease is treatable with quality oral care—twice daily quality brushings, and flossing once—and through dietary restriction. Limiting sugar in a diet, etc. When a person has diabetes, fluctuating blood sugars can increase the likelihood of gum disease.

Dry Mouth and Infection

Diabetes can cause symptoms of dry mouth. And saliva is responsible for clearing away sugar and other food debris from the teeth. Infection is a common condition among people with diabetes because diabetes decreases the immune system. A condition called thrush, which is a type of yeast infection within the mouth, a white, patchy covering. The yeast in the mouth feed on the sugars, and, thriving, can unfortunately leave a person suffering the condition with a persistent bad taste. Infections may also be as simple as a common mouth sore. When a person has a compromised immune system his or her body has a difficult time healing cuts and sores, etc. And a sore in the mouth, however simple, may not heal for a long time.

If you have any questions about the complications of diabetes and dental health, or if you are ready to schedule your next appointment with your dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Holiday Candy Season… Survival Guide

November 8th, 2018

Halloween has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the candy season. There are plenty of opportunities to imbibe sweets—both of the candy and pastry/cookie variety—throughout the next few months. And while those sweets are delicious and fun, there are many reasons to either consume in moderation or, in some cases, avoid some sweets entirely. Here’s why…

Sugar is an enemy to teeth, but it’s not the sugar, it’s the bacteria which feed on the sugar. The bacteria in your mouth love sugar, probably even more than you do, and as bacteria consume sugar they produce a weak acid that harms teeth. That acid is the cause of cavities.

If You’re Gonna Eat Candy Then Eat…

Chocolate! In moderation chocolate is one of the better types of candy for your teeth (there is absolutely NO candy that is actually good for your teeth). The reason? Because chocolate washes from the teeth. Some types of candies form a film or remain sticky, but chocolate can be washed away by saliva and water. But that isn’t to say that there is no damage done: the bacteria are still provided sugar and the teeth should be cleaned. And if you’re going to eat chocolate, then know that most brands of non-milk chocolate are lower in overall sugar than milk chocolate.

Sticky and Gummy (Candy, Carmel Apples, and the Like).

Try to stay away from sweet treats that are sticky or gummy. These types of sweets are more difficult to remove–some hardier-types can hide between the teeth even after a vigorous brushing (for instance, if you are going to consume popcorn balls you should floss immediately because some of the kernels can become tightly wedged between the teeth)—and the long length of time it takes to dissolve or remove the sugar from the mouth gives the bacteria more time to consume the sugars and produce harmful acids.

Have a wonderful start to the holiday season, and enjoy the sweet treats, but remember to enjoy them in moderation, and to clean your teeth whenever possible.

Dental Emergencies While on Vacation. Plus, Travel Tips.

October 12th, 2018

Usually our dental health is not our first thought when we prepare for vacation. But the truth is that a dental emergency can happen at any time, and it would be entirely unfortunate to have to undergo a sore tooth or other mouth issue that could arise while you are on a beach somewhere, or at the top of a mountain. You could have to cancel the rest of your vacation if the situation was dire enough. That’s one reason why it’s important to have regular checkups; a good time to have checkup is right before you go on vacation. Your dentist at Premier Smile should notice a potential problem before one occurs; even if a patient has a mouth disease and that disease has not yet evolved to be symptomatic. One tip to remember is to keep your Premier Smile dentist’s phone number in the contacts on your phone so that you can call in the case of emergency.

Another travel tip is to remember to keep your toothbrush clean by storing it in either a toothbrush container built for travel or in a sealed-shut plastic sandwich-type bag. Your toothbrush gets clean at home because you rinse it after use and then leave it out to dry out. When you travel, you should place it in the container until you arrive and then you should remove it from the plastic bag/container to dry out.

If you forget your toothbrush—it’s easy to do—then you can use a washrag or even the tip of your finger. Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste to either a clean washrag or finger and scrub all the surfaces of your teeth. If you’ve also forgotten toothpaste, then a firm swish-out with water and a scrubbing sans toothpaste will work to rid your mouth of some bacteria, however as soon as you are able you should pick up a toothbrush and toothpaste.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule your next appointment for a routine checkup then call your dentist at Premier Smile today.

Vacation and Dental Health: Prepare for Anything…

July 10th, 2018

When you are on vacation, the number one dental tip you should always try to remember is to keep to your regular dental routine of brushing twice and flossing once. Remember, your mouth does not realize you are going on vacation, and in fact it’s while on vacation that many of us eat those undesirable goodies, drink sugary beverages, etc. So, remember to keep to a routine and keep your teeth and gums clean. In addition, here’s a few more tips to keep your mouth healthy while on vacation.

Keep to Regular Dental Visits

Regular Dental Visits are important for many reasons, but before you go on vacation it’s important to remember to go in to Premier Smile for a routine check-up. Your dentist will be able to determine problems long before they become physically apparent to you. Not only does this allow you peace of mind while on vacation, but it also provides your dentist with up-to-date information on the current state of your mouth. If you have a dental emergency while on vacation, and you know the number to Premier Smile, then your dentist can help walk you through the problem; sometimes, a dental emergency can wait until you get home for treatment, while in other cases you may need to go in for an emergency dental treatment.

Tooth Brush Tips:

The toothbrush can be one of the most confounding-to-pack items. But it doesn’t have to be. To keep it simple, pack your toothbrush in a simple plastic sandwich bag; the bag will help protect the tooth brush from dirt and grime and it can also be easily opened and stored once you get to your destination. If you forget your toothbrush, you can get away with a simpler cleaning, placing a small amount of toothpaste on the tip of your clean finger or on a damp, clean rag, and brush. And while this does work to clean the mouth the effectiveness of the cleaning is subpar to a cleaning from a bristled toothbrush, and you should try to find a replacement toothbrush soon.

National Mouth Guard Awareness: Take Care of That Healthy Smile

May 10th, 2018

Sports are fun and highly valued in our communities even though participation in them comes with certain risks of injury. Mouth injuries and sports, unfortunately, go hand in hand: baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, hockey pucks, and people’s elbows, knees, helmets, etc., all are potential tooth dislodgement devices. Luckily, however, your dentist at Premier Smile can custom fit a mouth guard that, if properly worn, will lessen the risk of injury.

A mouth guard minimizes the risk of a broken or cracked tooth, because the mouth guard helps to cushion the blow of a strike. But this only works if the mouth guard is worn properly. Oftentimes we see athletes with mouth guards in the corners of their mouth, chewing on the ends. They may not even realize they are doing it, but if they were to get hit that mouth guard isn’t going to protect their teeth.

When to Wear a Mouth Guard

A Mouth Guard should be worn in any sport—although not every sport requires one—where there is an inherent risk of injury to the teeth. From a very early age children should be encouraged to wear mouth guards when participating in certain sports; the earlier the better so that the child gets used to the mouth guard early. Sports such as Football and Martial Arts, Hockey and Lacrosse, usually all require the use of a mouth guard to participate. But that isn’t to say that someone can’t have major dental damage when they fall doing gymnastics or catch an elbow by another kid at a soccer game.

Types of Mouth Guards

Any mouth guard can be custom fitted by your dentist at Premier Smile. If you purcase an entirely customized mouth guard, it can be created and molded for that perfect comfortable fit—kids who wear braces may appreciate the comfortable feel of a custom fit mouth guard. You can also use the standard “boil and bite” style of mouth guard. But make sure if you choose this style of mouth guard that you precisely follow the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve that perfect fit.

If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment to have your child fitted with a mouth guard, call Premier Smile today.

Proper Nutrition And Dental Health

April 8th, 2018

We all have probably heard that consuming overly-sugary foods and beverages can lead to tooth decay, but did you also know that your mouth is likely to be the first place to indicate signs of poor nutrition? It’s true. Evidence of poor nutrition is evident, usually, within the mouth before it shows in areas of the body. Everything you eat and drink has an impact, no matter how small or how brief, on your dental health.

Nutrition depends on many things; to consider nutrition per the recommended guidelines developed by the Department of Agriculture, a person’s nutrition depends on age, gender, level of activity, and other inherent health factors. This means that calories and other dietary restrictions are based on several different factors, and that no two people are exactly alike, but everyone’s diet should have balance and moderation. For instance, unless a person has certain dietary restrictions that prevent it, people should consume lots of fruits and vegetables. Also, grains are important—of course, again, this depends on dietary restrictions—and foods such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice are an especially important part of our diet. Dairy should be low-fat and limited to moderation, and foods that are rich in protein such as fish and skinless meat—remember that certain meats can be hard on the body and should be consumed in moderation—but also protein-rich foods such as legumes—i.e. beans and lentils.

While a diet is an incredibly important aspect to full body health, quality dental health depends also on several other factors that include: the frequency a person eats—regular snacking is not recommended, because it’s hard to keep the teeth clean—the combinations of foods a person consumes in one sitting, and any other conditions—gastrointestinal problems and systemic diseases such as diabetes—which may alter the way our bodies process food.

Remember, our mouths are one of many of the components to full body health, and oral health is not only about just twice daily brushings one once daily flossing—although these are very, very important components.

Halitosis

January 6th, 2018

Halitosis is the word for chronic bad breath. And if you are suffering from halitosis, then there’s no quick and easy remedy; mints and mouthwashes and extra brushing won’t alleviate the problem. Halitosis is not the same as morning breath, and it’s not bad breath caused from potent-smelling foods like garlic, onions, or tuna fish. It’s a possibly long-term condition, and because halitosis can oftentimes be a sign of a more serious condition, it should be checked out by your dentist at Premier Smile, immediately.

Causes of Halitosis

Halitosis could be a sign of a more serious condition, including a possible underlying dental issue; something not yet symptomatic. Halitosis could signal a cavity, or a pocket of thriving bacteria and the beginnings of gum disease—remember that in the initial stages of gum disease there are very few, if any, symptoms. Halitosis could also be the cause of an infection within the mouth, nose, or throat. Bacterial caused conditions such as strep throat could be the cause of halitosis. Other conditions such as a sinus infection could bring on halitosis, because bacteria feed on the mucous produced from the infection. Serious conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and chronic acid reflux are also potential causes of halitosis—a good reason to get yourself checked!

What to do about Halitosis

Halitosis is not a forever condition, and in fact your dentist should be able to determine the cause of it after a checkup and a cleaning. If you are experiencing bad breath, you should first examine your everyday oral care routine: are you brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing at least once? Are you drinking plenty of water—dry mouth is also an underlying cause for halitosis. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to pay a visit to your dentist at Premier Smile. If it turns out that the halitosis is dental caused, you will have your answer after an examination, but if it’s not caused by a dental condition, then your dentist can advise you as to how to proceed.

Wisdom Teeth

November 7th, 2017

Wisdom teeth are appropriately named, because they are a set of molars that don’t grow up through the gums until later in life. Usually, wisdom teeth begin to sprout when a person is between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one, although it varies—some people get them sooner, others later. Wisdom teeth can sometimes be helpful, because that extra set of molars helps us chew our food. Unfortunately, many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed, because there isn’t enough space for them in the mouth.

Problems of Wisdom Teeth

Oftentimes, wisdom teeth don’t have the room to grow. Because the molars develop so much later than other teeth, oftentimes well after a mouth has fully developed—sometimes after a dental appliance, such as braces, have already aligned the teeth—there isn’t room for these extra molars. And there’s no easy way to predict how the wisdom teeth will grow in the mouth. Sometimes wisdom teeth can become impacted (impacted means that a tooth is trapped beneath the gum line, possibly even in the jaw). If wisdom teeth grow too closely to other teeth, it’s possible that food debris can get trapped in the spaces between. Sometimes these tight spaces can be very difficult to keep clean. Sometimes they grow so close to the neighboring molar that it becomes difficult, if not practically impossible, to floss. And when the spaces between teeth are not cleaned, bacteria thrive; and, when bacteria are allowed to thrive, a mouth can suffer from conditions such as infection and gum disease. Also, when wisdom teeth grow too close to their neighboring molars, they can damage those other teeth, destroying the roots, or even damaging the bones in the jaw that support those teeth.

Removal

When wisdom teeth overcrowd, or when they do damage to a mouth, they should be removed. Your dentist at Premier Dental will be able to determine if there is a potential issue. You and your dentist can discuss possible treatments, or, when wisdom teeth don’t require immediate removal, a plan to monitor their growth. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, your dentist at Premier Dental is ready to answer them.

Halloween

October 5th, 2017

Halloween. It’s that time of year again! Now, obviously, your dentist is not going to recommend you binge out on candy. No person’s teeth can handle an overabundance of sugars. You might be wondering, however, why is sugary candy so, so bad for your teeth? The answer involves bacteria. Bacteria love the abundance of sugars in candy, and while they devour the sugars in your mouth they produce an acid that wears at tooth enamel and creates cavities.

Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the best candies for teeth, because the excess debris that gets left behind is more easily washed away naturally by saliva. The better the chocolate than the lower the artificial sugar content—at least, that’s usually true (dark chocolate has considerably less sugar than milk chocolate).

Sticky Candies and Hard Candies

No, no, sticky candies. Sticky candies make it difficult for the mouth to wash away the sugar. They stick to the surfaces of the teeth and encapsulate the tooth like a sugary cap. Not good.

Sticky candies are essentially setting up bacteria colonies. When chewed, hard Candies can easily chip or crack a tooth.

Halloween Treats

There are many Halloween-time extras that are delicious; delicious, but bad for your teeth. Caramel apples are a wonderful tasting Halloween treat, however the caramel that surrounds the apple is very bad for your teeth. Caramel may be the worst sticky treat you can chew. Caramel is terrible for your teeth. If you do partake in a caramel apple, make sure that you both brush and floss your teeth soon after. Popcorn balls are another seasonal favorite. Popcorn balls are usually held together by some type of sticky, sugary substance—somewhat comparable to caramel. Popcorn balls are also usually hard and can damage teeth in a way similar to hard candy. Also, the corn kernels may get stuck between teeth or in the spaces between a tooth and the gum line; if you do eat a popcorn ball, then make sure you brush and floss.

Stay safe this Halloween, and keep to your good oral health practices.  If you need to make your next appointment, make sure to call Premier Smile today.

Why We Floss

September 10th, 2017

We all know that flossing is important. But why? Why, daily, should we have to slip that strand of floss between our teeth, clean out the space down to the gum line? Don’t a toothbrush’s bristles get far enough into those narrow spaces? The number one reason to floss is to help to rid the surfaces of the teeth from harmful bacteria that can develop plaque, which, if allowed to thrive, will then harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by twice-daily brushing and flossing. Bacteria that are allowed to thrive can cause chronic conditions such as gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease. Bacteria allowed to thrive can be responsible for halitosis (bad breath).

How to Floss

Flossing is relatively simple, and if you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience (it’s estimated that over thirty percent of adults who are over the age of thirty don’t floss—at all) with a week’s worth of practicing you will have mastered the skill. First, start out with a strand of floss about 12-18 inches in length. (It doesn’t matter which type of floss you use; floss comes in numerous sizes, colors, and flavors—they all work!). Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers and work it into the space between two teeth. Slide the floss between the teeth keeping your hands at opposing angles that make the floss bend around the tooth—it should look like the letter C. It’s easiest to begin at a tooth at the edge of the mouth, or a tooth in the very center, so that you will remember which teeth you have already cleaned.

If you have issues with dexterity, there are appliances which can be used with just one hand. One such product is a soft plaque remover, which resembles something like a soft toothpick, and the other appliance is a flossing aid, which traps the ends of the floss between two prongs, and the flossing aid can be maneuvered over the spaces between the teeth, using just one hand.  To schedule your next dental checkup, call Premier Smile today.

National Hygiene Month--Let's Get to Know Kim S.

October 18th, 2016

Kim’s main focus is to have a little fun in this thing called life. Kim has been in the dental field for 21 years and her philosophy on dental care is preventative, preventative, preventative. She recommends fixing it when it is small, so it’s not a big deal later. Her favorite thing about being a dental hygienist is not only getting to know families and helping them understand dental health, but she loves when she can help a patient with dental anxiety overcome their dental fears.
Kim worked for 6 years as a dental assistant before entering the Dental Hygiene program at Iowa Western Community College. Kim graduated in 2003 and joined Premier Dental in July of 2015. When choosing a dental office, Kim wanted an office that had progressive thinking, is patient focused, has updated technology along with being professional yet fun.
When not in the office Kim enjoys spending time with her husband Todd and daughters, Brooke and Hillary. She also enjoys walking her dog Sadie, traveling, outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, running, boating, jet skiing) and cheering for the Hawkeyes. Kim dreams of traveling the US in an RV and seeing all the National Parks.

What Is A Cracked Tooth?

October 11th, 2016

Did you know that our teeth can be easily damaged? True story, teeth need to be well cared for and protected. But, there’s also unavoidable circumstances which can lead to tooth damage. Consider these symptoms: you feel sharp pain when you bite down, chewing, and the pain is only on one side of the mouth; the pain could either be localized to a tooth or area around the tooth, or the pain could be pervading throughout the teeth, gums, jaw, etc. on one side of the mouth. What then (in a healthy mouth, a mouth that hasn’t sustained recent injury, a well-cared for, cleaned mouth) could the pain be caused from? It’s possible that the problem could be a cracked tooth.

Causes of a cracked tooth

Teeth crack for the obvious reasons like injuries, or chewing on hard foods, but there are a few, lessor known reasons, some you may not realize are even happening within your mouth. Tooth grinding is one cause, and many people may not realize that they grind their teeth while they sleep. Also, you may chew foods with uneven pressure. It could also just be that your aging, that past fillings, etc. are breaking down, and the tooth’s structural integrity is no longer supported.

How to tell if a tooth is cracked

It’s difficult to know if painful symptoms are caused by a cracked tooth, because a crack may be too fine to see, or it may be in a location not easily found without the proper dental equipment. Regardless, it’s not something you will want to suffer through. Symptoms like these most often won’t just go away, and it could greatly affect your quality of life. It’s absolutely important to pay a visit to your dentist if you are in pain. If it’s determined to be not the cause of a cracked tooth, but of something more serious and more difficult to treat, early treatment is important.  If it is a cracked tooth, your dentist may treat it with a variety of methods, depending upon the severity of the damage.

Remember, don’t suffer through dental pain. Call us TODAY (402) 718-8737 to schedule your appointment today!

The Right Toothbrush

April 10th, 2016

There are hundreds of types of toothbrushes.  Toothbrushes range in shape, firmness, features, and even mechanical or manual.  With so many options, what toothbrush will work best for you?  One option is to visit your dentist, or ask at your next appointment.  Your dentist can direct you to a toothbrush that will work great for your mouth.  But, what if you are not able to visit the dentist soon, and you’re standing in front of an entire aisle of toothbrushes, trying to decide on a type?  Here’s a few things to consider if you are looking for your next, best toothbrush.

Firstly, consider the firmness of the bristles.  Toothbrushes often come in bristle hardness determined at firm, medium, and soft.  Most people will want to use a medium to soft bristled toothbrush, as a firm-bristled toothbrush may do damage to the teeth and the gums.  Then consider the head shape.  Toothbrush head shape and bristle shape differ widely by brand.  Pick a toothbrush that you’ll feel comfortable using, and also look for the ADA—American Dental Association—seal on the package, as this will indicate that this brush meets or exceeds the standards of the ADA.  Also, if you are choosing between a mechanical brush and a manual one, there are a few things to consider.  Firstly, if you are someone who has difficulty using a toothbrush to clean all areas of the teeth, then maybe a mechanical toothbrush, which usually has some type of spinning or vibrating head, will help you to clean the surfaces of the teeth.  A mechanical toothbrush is also a good choice for children, because a child may find the toothbrush to be fun to use, and it will hopefully increase the likelihood of developing a good brushing routine.

A toothbrush isn’t everything, however.  Even if you have the best toothbrush equipment made, you can still brush your teeth and gums too hard, removing enamel and damaging gum tissue.  So, brush regularly, clean the surface of the teeth, removing that unwanted plaque, but don’t overdo it.  If you have any questions about toothbrushes, or the proper way in which you can use them, make an appointment with your dentist.

Visit Premier Smiles for all of your oral health care needs! Omaha's Best Dentist!

Dental Infections

December 15th, 2015

Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke and our team at Premier Dental will tell you that dental infections can be very serious; sometimes, they develop into a life-threatening situation. Cavities are caused by acid-generating microorganisms that deposit themselves on teeth surfaces. Over time, acid erodes tooth enamel, compromising tooth strength. The major culprit or cause of cavities is sweets, but even diet soda plays a substantial role in tooth erosion, largely because the phosphoric acid it contains alters the oral pH. Cavities can pave the way for other, more serious infections to develop.

Types of infections

Pulpitis

Pulpitis is an inflammation of the tooth pulp. It typically occurs when cavities get deep enough to allow infection to reach the pulp. When this happens, bacteria travel through the pit or fissure that the cavity created. It can also develop from a fractured tooth. The symptoms may include moderate pain that comes and goes. Pain may intensify when cold liquids touch the pulp.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a consequence of chronic gingivitis, which occurs when the supportive bone structure of the tooth erodes, causing the periodontal tooth ligament to detach from the tooth. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 and adults over age 30 are most likely to develop this disease. In severe cases of periodontitis, a periodontal abscess may form. Symptoms of the infection typically include redness, sensitivity to touch, and swelling.

Pericoronitis

Pericoronitis is an infection that occurs when food particles and other microorganisms get trapped under gum flaps. It typically happens when impacted wisdom teeth erupt. Pain at the site of the infection is a common symptom. You should try to prevent food particles from lodging in the gingivitis flaps.

Dental abscesses

A dental abscess is one of the most serious dental infections anyone can get. It begins at the base of the tooth, but without treatment can spread rapidly. When the abscess is more severe, the bacteria spread, often very rapidly, and cause severe facial swelling, pain, and discomfort.

The best way to minimize the risk of developing a dental infection is by practicing good oral hygiene, making sure that food or other particles aren’t trapped between the teeth for too long, flossing, using oral rinses that bear the ADA seal of approval, and seeing the dentist regularly. If or when there are any symptoms of infection, even if the only symptom is pain, be sure to visit the dentist. Early intervention may prevent the infection from escalating into something far more severe, painful, and costly to treat.

To learn more about dental infections, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Beninato, Larson, Bost, Butler, and Ebke, please give us a call at our convenient Omaha, NE office!

Is periodontal disease contagious?

June 16th, 2015

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults age 30 and over suffer from some form of gum disease. Caused by plaque buildup, gum disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. In its advanced stages, it is known as periodontal disease. If left untreated, it can result in the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth, causing teeth loss. It’s a preventable condition seen far too often by Drs. Beninato, Larson, Berry, and Bost.

Research between periodontal disease and other diseases is ongoing. Some studies have indicated that gum disease is linked to other health conditions such as stroke or diabetes. Furthermore, while most factors that lead to periodontal disease are dependent on the individual (genetics, diet, poor oral hygiene) there is a possibility that periodontitis is capable of spreading from one person to another.

What the Research Says

Periodontitis is a gum infection, and the bacteria that cause the gums to become infected travels in saliva. Researches have used DNA coding techniques to track the path of infection from one person to another. In other words, kissing and close contact play a role in the transmission of the infection, so if you’re married to a spouse with periodontal disease, then your chances of having gum problems are slightly increased. Other studies have indicated that saliva contact is common in family settings through coughing, sneezing, and shared utensils and food. Children with parents who have periodontal disease are at a somewhat higher risk of developing it. At the same time, just because you exchange bacteria with your loved ones doesn’t mean you will get periodontal disease.

It is important to note that the scientific evidence supporting the spread of periodontal disease is limited and ongoing. The best way to prevent gum disease is through proper plaque control, which includes brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and twice a year trips for professional cleanings. Contact our Omaha, NE office if you have any questions about periodontal disease.

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