Top 7 Ways to Protect Yourself This Flu Season

couple with the flu

 

Nobody enjoys the threat of the flu lurking everywhere this time of year. But with the right precautions you can protect yourself and your family and reduce your risk of contracting the flu. Our dental office in Doylestown has put together a guide to help you avoid the flu and keep you healthy all year long.

Wash Your Hands Often

Using warm water and soap, scrub your hands before preparing food, after eating or using the restroom, and after shaking hands. If soap and water are unavailable use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face

Germs spread easily through the eyes, nose, and mouth. If your hands get in contact with flu germs and you rub your eye, itch your nose, or bite your fingernail, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll get sick.

Drink Plenty of Water

Your body functions optimally if it’s hydrated. This includes its ability to fight off germs. Not to mention, a well hydrated mouth is a healthy mouth, and that’s sure to make your dentist in Doylestown happy.

Eat a Well Balanced Diet

Fueling your body with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins is crucial in helping your body stay healthy. Proteins, in fact, have been proven to support the immune system so make sure you’re getting your fair share.

Clean Your Home and Your Office

Sanitize the areas you or others use most. Think about the items that get touched often like doorknobs, toilets, elevator buttons, or your computer mouse. A good rule of thumb to follow is to clean it even it doesn’t look dirty.

Take Care of Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes can hold a lot of bacteria and if not taken care of properly could make you sick. Make sure you rinse the bristles thoroughly after each use, store family members’ brushes far away from each other, and consider sterilizing them once a week in hot water.

Avoid People Who Are Sick

Although this seems obvious, it’s not always simple. If a co-worker comes to the office sniffling and sneezing, it’s difficult to avoid them and everything they touch. Try to communicate via email instead of face-to-face meetings, carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you, and again, always wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you do happen to get sick, try your best to stay home to help prevent the illness from spreading to others. Our dental office in Doylestown also encourages you to find sugar-free medications so as you’re working on feeling better, you’re not doing damage to your oral health.

Are Root Canals as Scary as they Sound?

root canal model

Root canals have an unnecessarily bad reputation of being painful, which causes many people to be afraid of the treatment. However, the team at our dental office in Doylestown wants to ease any concerns you may have about root canals and hopefully relieve any apprehension.

Do Root Canals Hurt?

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding just how terrible a root canal is when, in fact, advancements in dental technology have made them virtually pain free. If your dentist in Doylestown recommends a root canal, it’s most likely because you’re experiencing pain caused by deep decay or a severe infection. A root canal treatment can actually make that pain go away so you can finally get relief.

So, What Exactly is a Root Canal?

The name of the treatment itself isn’t necessarily descriptive of the actual procedure, so let’s take a look at how a root canal is typically done. Your dentist will:

  • Numb the area to reduce any discomfort.
  • Make a tiny hole in the tooth.
  • Gain access to the inside of the tooth. This is where the the pulp chamber and canals are located. Inside the canals, nerves, pulp, and blood vessels are found.
  • Clean out all of the canal contents.
  • Seal the pulp chamber and canals.
  • Place a dental crown restoration to protect the tooth.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Besides the obvious sign of tooth pain, there are other symptoms that may warrant a root canal including:

  • Gum pain and swelling
  • A pimple-like bump on the gums by the painful tooth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Worse pain when chewing or applying pressure
  • Hot/cold sensitivity that doesn’t go away once the food or drink is removed

Notice any of the symptoms listed above? We encourage you to call our dental office in Doylestown to schedule an appointment. A thorough examination by our caring and gentle dental team will help us identify the cause of your problem and recommend the best treatment for you. If the appropriate solution is in fact a root canal, we assure you that you have nothing to fear.

What You Do At Work May Be Harming Your Teeth

workspace covered with snacks

When we spend as much time as we do at work doing similar responsibilities every day, we are bound to develop habits. Some workplace habits like diligently checking emails or reserving a block of uninterrupted time to get work done can be beneficial and make for an efficient employee. However, other things we tend to do at work can be harmful to our teeth. Our dental office in Doylestown would like to highlight a few of the most common workplace habits that may be damaging your smile.

Taking Smoke Breaks

Smoking, as well as using smokeless tobacco, can lead to very serious health problems. Some of which can be life threatening. These habits can also contribute to several oral health concerns ranging from minor problems like tooth discoloration and bad breath to very serious issues including gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Smoking can be a very difficult habit to break, but instead of stepping outside to light up, consider chewing sugarless gum and talk with your doctor about ways to quit.

Not Brushing Your Teeth

We believe that everyone should keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in their desk drawer for use in between snacking and lunchtime. When we eat, the bacteria that live in our mouths begin to feed on the tiny foodstuffs left behind. As a result, these bacteria release acid. When the acid isn’t rinsed away by either saliva or through a proper brushing, it’s left to eat away at enamel. Enamel is designed to protect teeth from decay and once it’s gone, we’re left at increased risk for cavities.

Chewing on Pens

Chewing on the tips of pens or pencils is incredibly common among office employees and even children in school. We typically put pens in our mouths during times of intense thought, boredom, or stress. Sometimes we aren’t even aware we’re doing it. But nibbling on these tough writing utensils can cause some serious damage. Biting on pens or pencils has a tendency to lead to cracked, chipped, or broken teeth that will require restorative dentistry treatment from your Doylestown dentist to fix.

Not Using the Right Tools for the Job

Whether you’re trying to open packaging that may be sealed a bit too well, or you need to rip a piece of tape off the roll, you should always use tools meant for these purposes like scissors, not your teeth. Teeth are meant to help us chew food to make it easy to swallow and digest. They aren’t designed to grab and rip or cut. Using teeth as tools can result in damage like cracked or broken teeth.

Recognizing the habits that can lead to tooth damage can help us realize when we’re putting our smiles at risk. If you find yourself doing any of the habits, our Doylestown dental office is here to help you stop or fix any problems you may have as a result.

Top 5 Causes of Tooth Pain

woman with tooth pain

We all know the feeling associated with tooth pain. You take a sip of your hot morning coffee and immediately feel a zing of pain. You clench your teeth and get a sharp jolt that makes you wince. Or perhaps you have a constant toothache that just won’t go away. No matter which type of tooth pain you have, you want to know what’s happening and, more importantly, you want to fix it. The team at our dental office in Doylestown is here to provide you with some of the main causes behind tooth pain.

 

Before we dive into some of the possible reasons your teeth hurt, it’s important to note that any tooth pain is usually a sign that something isn’t quite right in your mouth. It’s best to see your Doylestown dentist sooner rather than later to get a proper diagnosis and recommended treatment plan for your individual needs.

Cavities

The first thing you probably consider when experiencing tooth pain is a cavity. And you may be right. Cavities can cause tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods or sharp pain when biting down. Treatment is usually an easy filling. While a cavity is probably the most obvious culprit behind tooth pain, it’s definitely not the only possible explanation.

Gum Infection

Not all tooth pain is a direct result from something in your actual tooth. Some tooth pain can be caused by a problem with the gums. For example, a gum infection can cause pain, swelling, a pimple-like bump on the gums, and may even include pus. Get to your dentist quickly to treat the infection to limit the risk for an abscess.

Gum Recession

Gum recession occurs when your gum tissue starts to pull up and away from your teeth, leaving tooth roots at risk for exposure and pain. Gum recession can be caused by a number of things, but most commonly is a result of brushing too hard. Always brush in gentle, circular motions to reduce your risk of receding gums.

Chronic Tooth Grinding

When someone grinding their teeth, also known as bruxism, they’re placing a lot of constant pressure on both their teeth and their jaw. The repeated grinding motion can wear down teeth and increase risk for decay. It can also lead to severe jaw pain and headaches. Your dental team will be able to recognize the signs of grinding and may recommend a custom nightguard to help reduce grinding impact.

Dental Restorations

You may be thinking to yourself, “Aren’t dental restorations supposed to fix a problem, not cause pain?” And you’d be right. However, occasionally you may experience some mild tooth pain following a dental procedure. Minor sensitivity for a few weeks is normal, but pain when biting may require a minor adjustment in the restoration.  

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, you don’t need to live in agony. In fact, we discourage it. Instead, give our dental office in Doylestown a call to schedule an appointment and start getting relief today.

Can Probiotics Help Keep Your Mouth Healthy?

woman wearing probiotics tshirt

When we think of probiotics, we typically think of how they can aid in keeping the stomach healthy. But at our dental office in Doylestown, we became aware of how some probiotics can assist oral health, too. Let’s take a closer look at the research that supports the idea that probiotics can help keep mouths healthy.

What Are Probiotics?

Before we dive into learning how probiotics may be beneficial to oral health, we should first identify what probiotics are. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have historically been noted as being good for gut health. Even though we usually associate bacteria with being bad, there are both good and bad types of bacteria. Probiotics are the good guys.

Not All Probiotics Are the Same

The type of probiotics that are most commonly discussed are ones often found in certain types yogurt and various foods. These probiotics are meant to help the digestive system and can help the body replace beneficial bacteria that the body loses after taking antibiotics. But the probiotics researched in relation to oral health are different.

Oral probiotics, which doesn’t have anything to do with how you ingest them but rather describes the area of the body they help, have been researched to see if they have impact on oral health. Several studies support a positive correlation between specific types of probiotics and reducing the risk of gum disease, plaque, and bad breath.

Bifidobacterium & Lactobacillus

While difficult to say, the benefits of these two probiotic strains are easy to explain. Both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are naturally found in the human body and, more specifically, in the mouths of mammals. Several studies have identified a possible positive effect of these probiotics. While not absolutely conclusive, there is strong evidence that an increase of both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus can help the treatment of periodontal disease and halitosis, and may even reduce the risk of cavities.

Since this research is still in the early stages and no concrete claims have been made, we don’t recommend starting yourself on a probiotics before discussing it with your medical team, including your dentist in Doylestown.

If you have questions regarding your oral health, whether those questions include probiotics or not, we welcome you to schedule an appointment at our Doylestown dental office.