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Meriden, CT 06450
Ouch! I Have a Mouth Sore!

Ouch! I Have a Mouth Sore!

There are few things more irritating than having a painful, swollen sore in your mouth. It bothers you while eating, talking, and even just sitting around. There are a number of types of mouth sores with different causes. Some are infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Or they can be a result of an ill-fitting denture, broken tooth or filling, or loose orthodontic wire. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a medical condition. Here are some details about common mouth sores.

Canker sore
These small sores occur inside your mouth, and are white or gray with a red outline. They aren’t contagious, but are recurring and can happen one-at-a-time or several at once. Experts believe that lowered immune systems, bacteria, or viruses are risk factors. Canker sores often heal by themselves in about a week, and topical anesthetics or antibacterial mouthwashes may provide relief.

Cold sore
Also called fever blisters, these sores occur outside of your mouth around your lips, nose, or chin. These blisters filled with fluid are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, and are extremely contagious. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, it remains in your body and occasionally flares up. Cold sores usually heal in about a week on their own. Topical anesthetics may help, and your dentist might prescribe antiviral medications to reduce outbreaks.

Candidiasis
Also called oral thrush, candidiasis is a result of the yeast Candida albicans reproducing in large quantities. It usually happens to those with weakened immune systems, and is common with people wearing dentures or with dry mouth syndrome. Candidiasis is also linked to taking antibiotics. Controlling candidiasis is done by preventing or controlling the cause of the outbreak. Ask your dentist for advice.

Leukoplakia
Common with tobacco users, leukoplakia are thick white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums, or tongue. In addition to tobacco use, they can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or continual chewing on the inside of your cheek. Leukoplakia is linked with oral cancer, so your dentist may advise a biopsy if the patch looks suspicious.

 

Contact our dental office in Meriden to schedule a dental checkup.

 

A Healthy Mouth is Your Goal

A Healthy Mouth is Your Goal

Chances are that you want to have a smile full of sparkly, white, straight teeth. You must not forget about the goal of having a healthy smile too. If you don’t pay proper attention to your mouth, there are a number of diseases and problems that can arise. Poor hygiene causes many problems, from minor to severe, so it’s smarter to make sure your teeth stay in good condition. Follow these suggestions for a healthy smile.

Focus on daily care
Your mouth requires care every single day. You simply can’t perform hygiene tasks once every few days or just when it’s convenient, and expect to have a healthy, attractive smile. Follow your dentist’s instructions on properly brushing your teeth at least twice daily, and flossing every day too. In fact, flossing is just as important to your oral health as brushing! By performing both of these daily tasks, you’ll be able to remove debris and germs and improve your smile.

Choose your products wisely
Select toothpaste that meets your goals. It should always contain fluoride, but you can also choose brands with objectives like tartar protection, improving bad breath, and teeth whitening. You may also want to choose a mouthwash that you can use to quickly clean your mouth, or supplement your other oral care products.

Don’t ignore your dentist
Even if you’re properly caring for your mouth at home, it’s important to continue seeing your dentist regularly. Experts suggest having dental checkups every six months, so your dentist can look for problems like gum disease, cavities, and infections. It’s smart to get any issues treated right away, before things worsen and lead to more costly, painful procedures later.

Schedule your appointment today at our Meriden dental office.

Watch Out for Oral Cancer

Watch Out for Oral Cancer

Each year, more than 30,000 Americans receive an oral cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, less than 57 percent will live beyond five years. In fact, the death rate for oral cancer is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, brain cancer, and liver cancer. Usually seen in older patients, oral cancer in individuals under 40 is on the rise.

Fast Facts about Oral Cancer

• Early detection increases the survival rate to almost 90 percent.
• Initially, oral cancer patients may have few obvious symptoms of the illness.
• Certain factors, such as gender, lifestyle choices, and age can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. An estimated 25 percent of oral cancer patients, however, have no risk factors for the disease.
• Famous people who have battled oral cancer include Michael Douglas, Roger Ebert, Aaron Spelling, Humphrey Bogart, Eddie Van Halen, and Babe Ruth.
• Signs of oral cancer include a sore that does not heal after two weeks, color change in oral tissue, hoarse or scratchy throat, and difficulty with chewing or swallowing.
• Side effects of oral cancer may include chronic discomfort, loss of oral function, and difficulty in chewing, swallowing, or speaking.
• Research suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables decreases your chances of developing cancerous lesions.
• Routine dental visits allow your dentist to look for signs of oral cancer, which can lead to early detection if there is a problem.
• Tobacco and alcohol use can result in a 75 percent chance of receiving an oral cancer diagnosis.

If you live in the Meriden area contact us today

Choosing the Best Cosmetic Dentist for Your Smile Makeover

Choosing the Best Cosmetic Dentist for Your Smile Makeover

Straight, white smiles are in high demand, and choosing who is going to perform your smile makeover is not a decision to be taken lightly. The American Dental Association does not include cosmetic dentistry as one of the eight specialties, meaning there are no legal restrictions against any dentist calling themselves a “cosmetic dentist.” Therefore, it is vital to the success of your treatment to do research and find the best cosmetic dentist to perform your smile makeover. When searching for a qualified cosmetic dentist, consider the following:

  • Ask your potential dentist about their cosmetic studies. Beyond dental school, a trained cosmetic dentist should have taken postgraduate courses and training in the particular types of procedures you are seeking.
  • Find out what organizations they belong to that focus solely on cosmetic dentistry. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is the most notable, and offers an accreditation program that includes extensive continuing education and rigorous testing to ensure outstanding skills. Dentists who complete this accreditation are considered to be the very best in their field.
  • Ask to see “before and after” photos of patients they have treated for smile makeovers. It is important you like the style and quality of the work shown in the photos before moving forward with your chosen cosmetic dentist.
  • Inquire about testimonials and reviews from patients who have been treated for cosmetic problems similar to yours. An internet search can also yield information and reviews from previous patients about the cosmetic dentist you are considering.
  • Find out how long the cosmetic dentist has been practicing and which cosmetic dental procedures they most commonly perform.
  • Ask about the technology in their office. Current dental technology is one way to determine the level of advanced care in a cosmetic dentistry practice.
  • Is the dentist and office staff friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable?

Be sure you feel comfortable and confident with your choice of a cosmetic dentist before proceeding with a smile makeover. Making the best choice can mean enjoying years of a beautiful, bright smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Meriden dental office

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

At one time, metal fillings were the only choice to repair tooth decay. Now, many dentists have switched to composite resin fillings, which match natural-tooth color so they don’t compromise the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings have gained popularity, and many dentists only offer this option. In recent years, there has been a strong push to eliminate amalgam fillings all together.

Amalgam fillings are made of several metals, with up to a 50 percent composition of mercury. It is widely known that mercury is toxic to the body. Some of the concern about amalgam fillings is the affect mercury has on the body, including:

•    Causing damage to the kidneys
•    Contributing to infertility
•    Impacting the nervous system
•    Interfering with the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands
•    Posing unknown risk to a fetus
•    Weakening the immune system

Because each person is different, you may have no reaction to the amalgam fillings. Over time, though, these restorations may change shape or crack, which can cause them to leak. If the fillings don’t hold up, the area may become susceptible to additional damage or decay.

At your checkup, have the dentist evaluate any old fillings to make sure they are still in good condition. You can also discuss the benefits of replacing amalgams with composite fillings. The newer restorations blend with your natural tooth coloring and require less removal of health tooth structure, which allows for a more conservative repair.

Our dental office is located in Meriden

Don’t Be Afraid of a Smile Makeover

Don’t Be Afraid of a Smile Makeover

Does your smile need some work? Are you sensitive about your teeth and how you may look while you eat or drink? Does speaking in public leave you anxious because you’re worried about the appearance of your teeth? Have you been putting off talking to a cosmetic dentist because you’re worried about the dental therapies you might need? Don’t be afraid of a smile makeover! A smile makeover can be a simple thing, as minor and fast as teeth whitening, a process that can often be completed in-office in a single visit.

If you are looking for solutions to your smile problems, begin by finding a skilled cosmetic dentist. You want to be sure to see photographs of some of the actual work done by a particular cosmetic dentist. Don’t assume that what you see online are actual patient photographs – they may be someone’s patients, but if they weren’t this dentist’s patients, you’re not getting any closer to identifying the right cosmetic dentist for you.

Ask around for private recommendations from friends and family; it might surprise you how many people you know have had work done to their smiles. You might assume that your coworker’s smile is all natural, only to learn it’s the result of a skilled cosmetic dentist and veneer work done so carefully and well that they look just like natural teeth.

Dental veneers can transform your smile in only a few visits. Good veneers will be made of materials that mimic the color and translucency of natural teeth. They won’t look puffy, too long or artificial and will complement your hair and skin color. Orthodontia can change the alignment of your teeth, with choices such as Invisalign to help you feel more confident as you change your smile.

A smile makeover can benefit you in so many ways by simply boosting your self-confidence. After you complete your treatment, you will be surprised at how much better you feel about yourself and about life in general. You will face the day with confidence, knowing you can live your life without worry about your smile.

Dr. Hergott is a cosmetic dentist in Meriden offering smile makeovers.