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Posts for: March, 2017

By Endodontics & Periodontics Associates, PA
March 24, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: endodontics  

Find out when it might be a good time to visit an endodontist for treatment.Endodontics

If you are dealing with decay or a dental infection that has spread to the inner workings of the tooth—better known as the dental pulp—then you may be referred to our Tampa, FL, periodontist, Dr. Maria Torres, and endodontist, Dr. Alberto Ruiz, for the proper and specialized dental care you need. Find out more about endodontic treatment and how it can improve your oral health.

Do I need endodontic treatment?

Most of the time you won’t be able to determine this all on your own. You may be referred to our Tampa endodontic specialist by your general dentist. Why were you referred to us? More than likely you are dealing with a dental pulp that is infected or inflamed. A dental pulp is a structure within the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. If you came in for an emergency dental appointment, it was probably because you were experiencing a pretty unpleasant toothache.

What can cause a dental pulp to become infected?

Despite the strength and durability of enamel, problems can still penetrate this barrier and reach the dental pulp. Deep-seated decay, cracks, chips, fractures and getting multiple dental procedures performed on a single tooth can all lead to a tooth that is weak and susceptible to further infection and damage. Dental trauma such as a sports-related tooth injuries can also lead to an inflamed dental pulp, which if not treated can cause a tooth abscess, or infection.

Along with pain you may also notice discolorations or darkening in the tooth. It’s also not uncommon to experience tooth sensitivity to hot and cold. You may find that dental pain gets worse when trying to chew. Of course, you also may not experience any symptoms, which is why routine cleanings and exams are a vitally important part of any oral care regimen.

What does an endodontist do?

When you come in for an infected or inflamed pulp, our duty is to remove the dental pulp. This procedure is known as a root canal and it is performed right here in our office in a single visit. Once the procedure is complete, you will need to come back in to have a dental crown placed over the tooth to protect it and strengthen it.

Whether you have questions about endodontic treatment or you want to schedule an appointment, Endodontics & Periodontics Associates Of Tampa Bay are ready to help. Call our Tampa, FL, endodontic office today to book your next visit.

By Endodontics & Periodontics Associates, PA
March 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teething  

Teething is an important phase in your baby's dental maturity. During the approximate two-year process, they will acquire their first set of teeth.

It can also be an unpleasant two years as each tooth sequentially breaks through the gums. The severity of teething problems differs with each child, but there are common signs: irritability, biting and gnawing, chin rash, drooling or ear rubbing among them. Although for most babies the discomfort isn't that great, the pain can occasionally be a lot for them — and their care-givers — to handle.

Although having a very unhappy infant can be nerve-jangling, there's no real cause for concern health-wise. If, however, they begin to run a fever or experience diarrhea, that could be a sign of something more serious. In those cases, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Otherwise, there are some things you can do to make them more comfortable during teething episodes. One thing to remember: cold items for biting or gnawing usually work wonders. So, be sure you have chilled teething rings or pacifiers (but not frozen — the extreme temperature could burn their gums). For older children, an occasional cold food like a popsicle can bring relief.

You can also try massaging the gums with your clean finger, which will help counteract the pressure of an erupting tooth. But avoid rubbing alcohol or aspirin on the gums, and you shouldn't apply numbing agents to children less than two years of age unless advised by your doctor.

If their pain persists, it's permissible to give them a mild pain reliever like the appropriate dosage for their age of baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Again, you should give this by mouth and avoid rubbing it on the gums.

By the time they're three, all their primary teeth should be in and teething symptoms should have largely dissipated. In the meantime, make them as comfortable as you can รข?? in no time the unpleasantness of teething will pass.

If you would like more information on coping with your child's teething, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teething Troubles: How to Help Keep your Baby Comfortable.”

By Endodontics & Periodontics Associates, PA
March 01, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.