Posts for: July, 2017
We've all had them — tiny sores that pop up seemingly out of nowhere under the tongue or the inside of the cheek. They're named aphthous ulcers, but are more commonly known as canker sores. For some people, they can be a recurring irritation.
Round with a yellow-gray center surrounded by reddened skin, aphthous ulcers seem to coincide with periods of anxiety or stress, or as a result of some minor trauma. Many people will feel a tingling or painful sensation a few hours or days before the ulcers appear. Once they appear they usually persist for a week to ten days before finally drying and healing. In the meantime they can be painful, especially while eating or drinking.
One form known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) affects about a quarter of the population with outbreaks of multiple ulcers that occur regularly. RAS ulcers are usually one centimeter or more in size — the larger the sore the more painful they tend to be.
There are ways to ease the discomfort of an ulcer outbreak and help hasten their healing. A number of over-the-counter products can be used in minor cases to numb the area temporarily and cover it to facilitate healing. We can also apply steroids or inject other medications for more severe cases. You may also find curbing your eating of certain foods like tomato sauce, citrus or spicy dishes can help.
For the most part aphthous ulcers aren't dangerous. In some situations, though, you should seek dental or medical evaluation: a sore that doesn't heal within two weeks; increases in severity, frequency or duration of ulcers; or when you don't seem to ever be without an ulcer in your mouth. We may need to perform tests, including tissue biopsy, to make sure there aren't any underlying systemic conditions causing the ulcers.
More than likely, though, you'll only need relief from the aggravation caused by aphthous ulcers. Among the many remedies, there's one right for you.
If you would like more information on aphthous ulcers or other mouth sores, 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 “Mouth Sores.”
Discover the many ways that dental veneers can restore and enhance your appearance.
You are ready to improve the look of your smile but you’re not quite sure how to do it. Maybe you have small chips or cracks in your teeth that make you feel self-conscious. Perhaps you want to cover that awkward gap between your front teeth without having to get braces. If so, our Burlington, VT, dentists Dr. Paul Dunkling and Dr. Greg Penney have the answer you’ve been looking for: dental veneers.
It’s amazing how much these thin tooth-colored translucent shells can instantly transform and reshape your smile. You won’t believe that just by bonding these custom-made restorations to the front surface of your teeth that we can completely change the color, length or shape of your smile.
Before you can get veneers you’ll need to go through a consultation process. This is when our Burlington, VT, cosmetic dentists will examine your smile and discuss your treatment goals to ensure that veneers are the right cosmetic option to meet your needs. We will also need to make sure that your teeth are healthy enough for this treatment.
What problems can veneers fix?
Since a dental veneer is a cosmetic restoration it is great for improving a variety of issues from discolorations to poorly shaped teeth to crookedness. Veneers can be a great way to hide chips and cracks, spaces between teeth and even minor overlapping of teeth. If you have discolorations that professional teeth whitening can’t treat, dental veneers can be the best option for hiding these stains and getting your smile whiter.
How do you prepare for veneers?
Before traditional veneers are bonded, some enamel will need to be removed from the front of your teeth. This will ensure that there is enough room for the veneers without the final results looking cumbersome or bulky. After all, we want you to have a smile that looks natural and beautiful (no one should be able to tell that you have veneers).
We will also have to take impressions. Impressions are necessary for the dental lab to create your unique set of veneers that will fit your tooth or teeth perfectly. It can take up to one week or more for veneers to be fabricated.
Once your veneers are ready to be placed you’ll come back into the office where we will immediately check the fit and make sure you approve of your new restorations before we permanently bond them to the front of your teeth with a special dental resin and a curing light.
Dunkling and Penney Dentistry in Burlington and Jericho, VT, are ready to help you achieve the perfect smile. Just because you weren’t born with it doesn’t mean you can’t still have your dream smile. Call us today to find out how dental veneers can help.
Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of allÂ Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.
What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.
Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.” Â If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.