What is Dry Mouth and How to Treat It

What Is Dry Mouth? 

Dry mouth, known medically as Xerostomia, occurs when the salivary glands found in the mouth, do not make enough saliva to keep it wet.  

Though dry mouth is often nothing to be concerned about, it can be quite annoying and make you feel uncomfortable. 

The lack of saliva in the mouth can also have an impact on other areas of your oral health and affect your everyday life and enjoyment of food. 

Common Symptoms

The lack of sufficient saliva in the mouth can lead to a number of symptoms including:

  • Bad breath
  • Your mouth feels dry or sticky
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Sore throat and hoarseness (you may have difficulty speaking)
  • Cracked tongue and lips
  • Dentures becoming uncomfortable to wear
  • Tooth decay (discovered by your dentist)

What Causes It? 

There are a number of factors things that can cause dry mouth or exacerbate it.  

The main causes  include: 

  • Certain medications can decrease the amount of saliva produced in the mouth
  • Radiation therapy (used in the treatment of cancer)
  • General aging can lead to a decrease in the production of saliva 
  • Dehydration
  • A condition that affects the salivary glands (less common)

The Impact On Your Health

Salvia is a very important component of your overall oral health.  It works to prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria. It also works to wash away particles of food that are left in the mouth after eating.  If these particles remain, it can lead to bad breath. 

Saliva is also important in how we taste, chew and swallow our food and contain enzymes that aid the digestion of food in the stomach.

If dry mouth continues over an extended period of time, you are at greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease, sores inside the mouth, oral thrush, cracked and split lips.  

If dry mouth is severe and affecting your appetite, then it can cause a lack of proper nutrition and unwanted weight loss. 

Diagnosis

Dry mouth is very easily diagnosed, but your doctor will want to determine what has caused it and treat any underlying medical issues you may have. 

They will take a detailed medical history, review all of your prescribed and over the counter medications. They will also ask you about your general lifestyle, diet and drinking habits.   

An examination of the mouth might be required and if indicated, blood tests and scans might be arranged to make sure there is no underlying cause in the salivary glands.

If there is shown to be a potential underlying issue with the salivary glands, a small biopsy will be taken.  

Treatments 

The course of treatment recommended will depend on what is causing your dry mouth in the first place.  In many cases, simple lifestyle changes are enough to keep it under control. 

Lifestyle Changes 

  • Drinking water regularly throughout the day and keeping a glass of water by your bed at night. 
  • Use sugar-free sweets and gum – they stimulate the production of saliva. 
  • Stop smoking. 
  • Use a rich lip balm to prevent your lips from cracking.  A one with vaseline is a good choice as it will leave a protective film. 
  • Practice good oral hygiene – brush your teeth at least twice a day and use an alcohol-free mouth wash. 
  • Limit the amount of acidic, spicy, sugary and salty foods you eat. 
  • Reduce the amount of caffeine, soda, and alcohol you drink. 
  • Breathe through your nose and use a humidifier at night.

Medical Treatments

Depending on what has caused your symptoms, your doctor may ask you to stop taking or switch medications (never stop taking a medication without speaking to your doctor). 

They may also prescribe a mouth rinse or artificial saliva. If your dry mouth is particularly bad, they may prescribe specific medications meant to stimulate saliva production. 

If your dentist is concerned that the health of your teeth and gums may be affected, they may prescribe a weekly rinse to control cavities of fluoride trays to wear over your teeth while you are sleeping.

What Should You Do If You Are Experiencing Symptoms Of Dry Mouth? 

We hope this article answers your question about what is dry mouth. If you are experiencing symptoms, mention it to your dentist or doctor, who can help find the cause and work with you to devise a treatment plan. 

Remember, in the vast majority of cases, simple lifestyle changes or modifying your medications are all that is needed to reverse the condition.  

What To Do When A Dental Emergency Occurs?

Unfortunately, accidents happen. In our society, we’ve been fortunate enough to have an infrastructure in place to address medical emergencies such as Urgent Care Facilities and Emergency Rooms. We’ve also been taught how to assess and manage minor medical events to the point where, on average, every household owns emergency medical supplies in some form or fashion. The bottom line is, we know what to do in case of a medical emergency. However, when it comes to dental emergencies, most people are not so knowledgeable. In this article, we’ll discuss what constitutes a dental emergency and what to do about it.

What is a Dental Emergency?

In general, any experience that leads to profuse bleeding, severe pain, or a lost tooth is a dental emergency. If you have any of these problems, call your dentist right away to address the issue. Below, we’ll discuss these situations in further detail.

Tooth Fracture or Loss

A chipped or cracked tooth is not necessarily a dental emergency. However, if the cracked tooth causes problematic shards that lead to cuts and bleeding or reinforces severe pain, then it’s time to see an Emergency Dentist immediately.  If a tooth is chipped, but you aren’t experiencing any pain, it’s not an emergency. Similarly, some may experience a lost crown or filling. This can also wait a few days until you can see a dentist. For a temporary measure, you can place a piece of sugar-free gum in the area to fill it in or purchase some over-the-counter dental cement or dental adhesive to replace the crown temporarily until your visit with the Dentist.

If you experience tooth loss, this is a serious matter. If this does happen, you need to act fast. Pick the tooth up carefully avoiding the root. Scrub it clean and put it into a clean container or milk. Go to the Dentist immediately, The Emergency dentist may be able to save the tooth. 

Severe Pain, Infection, or Abscess

If you’re experiencing severe pain, it may be time to see a dentist. Severe pain accompanied by swelling, bumps along the gums, and/or fever is a sign of infection. This is a potentially life-threatening situation and you will need to take careful precautions. Rinse your mouth with mild salt water a few times to draw out any puss that may be present and to reduce pain. Go to the dentist immediately to address the issue without delay. An abscess or signs of infection can lead to permanent damage to your mouth and jaw and it can spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible.

A dental emergency is not as scary as it sounds. We have made great strides in the dental industry to provide comprehensive care that prolongs the health and vitality of your teeth. The best way to avoid a dental emergency is to continue good oral hygiene and maintain routine check-ups with your dentist. These visits allow your dentist to identify any distressed areas of your teeth such as loose crowns, decay, or infection. Your dentist can create a custom treatment plan that will help you avoid dental emergencies from ever happening. 

3 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Oral Hygiene in 2020

When a new year comes around, we tend to make declarations and resolutions. We do this to improve various things about our lifestyles, to reach our goals, and to ultimately become better versions of ourselves. New Year’s resolutions often include losing weight, starting a new business, learning more, and many other positive, life-affirming activities. Unfortunately, oral hygiene often takes a back seat to other more attractive resolutions like visiting a foreign country, for example. But today, we encourage you to include oral hygiene in your quest to improve your life! It will be a huge benefit in the present and in the future. Here are three things you can do to improve your oral hygiene in 2020.

Upgrade your toothbrush.

We don’t recommend going out and buying the most expensive toothbrush you can find. But studies have shown that an oscillating sonic toothbrush can reach areas that a regular toothbrush can not. These types of toothbrushes are specifically designed to push saliva and toothpaste around in your mouth giving much needed attention to those harder to reach places. Even though an electric toothbrush is much more expensive than a manual one, you’ll get a much better return on your investment in the form of healthier gums and whiter looking teeth. 

More water.

Eating is vital to survival. Food is a fundamental need in order to stay alive as humans. Our bodies naturally digest the foods we eat while distributing nutrients derived from food appropriately. What people don’t realize is that our teeth play a huge role in digestion and our mouth is the gateway. Unfortunately, a lot of sugar is found in many of the foods we eat which causes adverse effects on our overall health, including oral health. That’s where water comes in. Water can help minimize the damaging effects of sugar by rinsing sugar molecules away from the enamel of your teeth before it has a chance to cause tooth erosion. Additionally, replacing sugary beverages with water instead, can improve digestive functions immensely helping you to lose weight, speed up your metabolism, moisturize your skin, and more. Water has so many health benefits! 

Make small diet changes.

In addition to adding more water to your diet, there are other small changes you can make to  improve oral health. Eating a healthy diet which includes vegetables, grains, chicken and fish, can reduce risk of cavities and gum disease. In fact, eating certain foods such as apples, carrots, and seeds can help you keep that smile white and bright for years to come. This might seem to contradict logic, but stay away from sugar-free foods as well! According to the Wisconsin Dental Association, even though these foods and drinks don’t contain actual sugar, the sugar substitutes used instead are still harmful to your teeth and the ecosystem of your body overall. However, eating organic, whole foods and maintaining a balanced diet will have long-lasting health benefits.

As a bonus, we recommend setting up your bi-annual dental appointment now, if you haven’t already. This will remind you to keep your teeth-cleaning appointments for the year. Partnering with your dentist and making small changes to your daily routines as mentioned in this article will improve your dental health greatly over time. The trick is to keep these healthy habits up throughout the year! Keep brushing twice a day, make health a priority, and you’ll set yourself and your family up for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

Teeth Friendly Stocking Stuffers for Kids

It’s the time of year for good cheer, good food, and gifts – Christmas! This time of year is indeed one of the most popular holidays of the year and arguably the only holiday that kids look forward to for making their biggest dreams come true. There are many traditions observed by families across the country during the holiday season. One of those traditions is the Christmas stocking. The Chrstmas stocking is essentially a decorated sock hung on the fireplace mantle on Christmas Eve. It is filled with small gifts, candy, and trinkets presumably by Santa Clause when he arrives to bring gifts. Unfortunately, treats such as hard candies, and peppermints aren’t the best selections if you’re trying to avoid cavities and preserve healthy teeth. But there are some healthier alternatives! If jolly old Saint Nick needs stocking stuffer ideas that are also teeth-friendly, we’ve got you covered.

First let’s talk about why those go-to Christmas candies aren’t the best teeth-friendly options. As you know sugary candy can wreak havoc on your teeth. Sugar centric candies that are also sticky like gummies, caramel, sour candy and bubble gum are more likely to get stuck in the grooves and crevices of the teeth. These particles are full of sugar and can corrode tooth enamel and make teeth more susceptible to decay.

So what are some good alternatives? There are lots of healthy options that are easier on teeth and fun for the kids! Snacks such as microwave popcorn, cheese sticks, and trail mix can be a big hit with the kids. You can also go for healthier alternatives such as sugarless candy and gum. Even some chocolates such as candy bars with nuts and dark chocolates are a better choice than hard, sugary candies. Also, a treat doesn’t always have to involve food. A fun game, puzzle, or bubbles can be a neat treat that the kids will enjoy. Try including non-food items in the stockings as well such as bubbles, side-walk chalk, puzzle books, crayons, glow sticks, temporary tattoos, and bouncy balls. We even recommend including a personal toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss in stockings! Afterall, this is the best way to fight off cavities, isn’t it?

In case the kids do get into chewy and hard candies, which we advise to consume in moderation, do take measures to minimize the negative effects. Be sure to have them drink plenty of water before and after indulging. Follow-up candy with a healthy treat like fruit and vegetables. Also, monitor their brushing and flossing schedules to make sure they are brushing and flossing daily.
Carefully watching what your kids eat and drink will help you minimize cavity development at this crucial time in their life.  Allowing them to eat sweets and sugary foods in moderation and enforcing a twice daily brushing and daily flossing routine will give them the good oral hygiene structure they will rely on in their adult life. And of course, as always, we encourage you to bring your child in for a dental checkup if they’re due for an appointment. Scheduling their dentist appointment with us is easy! Simply give us a call at 978-794-0010.

What Sugar Drinks are Doing to Your Teeth

Daily brushing and flossing is a sure way to keep your teeth healthy. It helps prevent serious gum infection, also known as periodontitis. It keeps your mouth free of unnecessary food particles and builds a barrier against plaque. Taking this approach to your oral health is integral to good oral hygiene and will keep your smile looking bright longer. However, your food consumption also plays a huge role in the overall health of your teeth. In this article we’ll discuss sugary drinks in particular, and how they impact your teeth.

First, let’s talk sugar. Sugar itself is actually not the problem. The problem comes in when actions are triggered after sugar enters your mouth. Did you know our mouths contain thousands of tiny bacteria? Most of the bacteria is beneficial, but there are some harmful bacteria present that feed off of sugar. This creates acid that can destroy the tooth enamel which leads to cavities. If cavities go untreated, it could progress and ultimately cause tooth loss. Therefore, the end result of sugar after being introduced to your oral ecosystem can be devastating.

Now that we’ve uncovered what sugar does to your teeth, it’s easy to make the connection that sugary drinks can be detrimental to your oral health. Did you know that sugary drinks are known as one of the most common dietary causes of tooth decay? Having a cool sugary beverage on a hot afternoon or after a long day of work can be enticing, but the risks and consequences associated with this habit over the long run should be seriously considered. What’s more, due to the pleasant taste of these drinks and the addictive nature of sugar, we tend to over-consume them and have difficulty cutting back. Unfortunately, just one of these drinks can set off an unhealthy chain of events. When sugary drinks are consumed the sugar molecules actually latch on to your teeth. Nearby bacteria see sugar as food and begin eating it. As a result the bacteria produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel causing you to lose the valuable protection enamel provides. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to decay and rot as they become much thinner and a lot weaker. 

Even though sugary drinks and sodas go down easily, they don’t make things easy for your health and especially not your teeth. The best way to prevent this kind of tooth damage is to avoid sugary drinks whenever possible. We recommend drinking water instead of sodas and juices. In fact, water can be very beneficial and help you reach many of your health goals.  It all begins with making small changes to your routine, such as opting for a bottled water with a meal instead of a soda. 

We know completely avoiding sugary drinks can be tough, especially in our social-centric culture. If you must indulge on anything containing sugar, try rinsing your mouth with water afterward to flush and remove any remaining sugar. We also recommend using toothpaste and mouthwash products that contain fluoride since it’s been shown to reduce cavities and strengthen tooth enamel. If you have more questions about maintaining a positive oral hygiene routine, contact us. Dr. Demetriou’s experience in dentistry is coupled with genuine concern for his patients. All our staff is dedicated to your comfort and prompt attention as well. Our goal is to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.

5 Tips to Find the Right Andover Dentist

Whether you’re just moving to Andover, Massachusetts or you’re a local trying to find a new Dentist, there are several avenues you can take to find the best dentist for you and your family. When looking for a Dentist, it’s important to consider your needs first. Do you have small children? Do you have an atypical work schedule? Do you have specific oral health care needs that would require you to see a specialist frequently? These are just a few questions you would likely need to answer. Additionally, there are other factors to consider like health insurance, location, and more. In this article, we’ll discuss how to research and find the right dentist for you in Andover, MA.

#1 Contact a local association.

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to consider your specific needs in terms of oral health care. For example, if you have small children or are raising a family, it may make sense to seek out a family dentist who can offer oral care for children as well as adults. Likewise if you have specific dental conditions, you’ll need to find a dentist who specializes in treating you. The local Merrimack Valley District Dental Society might have some resources to help you find a dentist. 

#2 Use a local referral network.

Another thing you can do is ask family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers for recommendations. If you have any network in the area to tap in to, you’re sure to find several options. Other health care professionals such as your family doctor or local pharmacist might offer some referrals as well. If you’re moving, don’t forget to ask your current dentist to make a recommendation.

#3 Use Google Maps and consider reviews from real people.

Your dentist will likely be a part of your long-term oral care journey. Therefore, selecting the dentist that’s the best fit for you and your needs is vital. This includes office hours and location. Your dentist’s office should be in close proximity to where you either work or live. This gives you the convenience of getting to your appointments on time without much hassle with traffic and commute. Cancellation fees can be tough on the budget, so having a nearby dentist helps you avoid missing appointments. Office hours should also be considered. Choose a dentist who has availability that works with your schedule.  We recommend checking Google Maps. This feature shows you dental offices on a map giving you an easy way to pinpoint providers who are in your vicinity. In addition, Google also features reviews from real people which can give you a snapshot of each provider’s reputation in the area.

#4 Determine compatibility.

Another thing to consider is whether or not a dentist you’re considering offers services compatible with your health insurance. It’s best to call the office and ask if they accept your particular health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance, you may want to ask for a price breakdown on particular services for patients paying out of pocket to give you an idea of cost. Ask for estimates on common procedures such as full-mouth X-rays, an oral exam and cleaning, and filling a cavity. Also be sure to ask if they offer payment plans. These considerations should be addressed up front before starting a relationship with any healthcare provider. Now that you’re looking for an Andover Dentist, this is the best time to look into these factors. 

#5 Go see the office. 

Once you’ve identified a dentist or two, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment, even if it’s just to see the office and meet the dentist. Put together a list of questions you can ask when you arrive. Also observe the staff. Are they wearing gloves and protective gear? Are they cordial with their patients? Is the office clean?  Are you comfortable in the environment? Ask about the Dentist’s educational background and whether or not he or she is part of any professional associations. Imagine yourself being a patient there and feel it out. If it’s a good fit, you’ll know.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Andover, Ma let’s talk. Dr. Gary C Demetriou uses the latest in dental technology to be able to enhance your smile using a wide variety of techniques, depending on what is necessary to each patient. We practice a full scope of general and cosmetic dentistry with expertise ranging from porcelain veneers to dental implants, crowns, and bridges. Dr. Demetriou can now correct a wide variety of so-called permanent cosmetic dental problems, and can literally redesign your smile to look like the one you have always dreamed of having. Our office is located at 451 Andover Street, Suite G8, North Andover, MA. Call us at 1 978-794-0010. Call now (978-794-0010) or visit our website to schedule your appointment.

An Overview of Dental Bridges

Dentistry as an industry has made great strides in oral health care. Techniques, tools, and technology have all contributed to the evolution of Dentistry. For example, if you lost a tooth or are missing teeth, did you know you can have new teeth in just one day? Did you know that Dentistry utilizes laser therapy? Botox has been one of the newest trends in the 21st Century, and Dentistry has also incorporated botox into available oral care treatments. It’s phenomenal how much positive impact a good Dentist can make on the quality of your life. In this article, we’re going to discuss the invention of the dental bridge and how it can literally fill in the gaps between a few missing teeth and a shiny smile. 

A brief history of the dental bridge.

Missing teeth have been an ailment for many ages. Research has shown that civilizations from 4000 years ago have explored solutions for missing teeth.  In 1500 BC, the Egyptians used a system of tooth replacement similar to what’s now known as the dental bridge. According to archeological evidence, “the Egyptians used gold and silver wire to thread artificial teeth together.” Other civilizations went as far as using animal or human teeth to fill in missing teeth which led to many cases of infection. The practice of wiring false teeth to real teeth continued to evolve. In the 19th Century, George Washington famously used dentures as an answer to a lifetime of poor oral health. Contrary to popular belief though, they were not made of wood. They were made of ivory and they were wired to Washington’s real teeth. Today bridges are made up of medical grade ceramic and are applied by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth. 

Why would one need a dental bridge?

Dental health is the most important reason for needing a bridge because teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders. Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.

How is a dental bridge attached?

A traditional bridge is made by creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the space and placing a false tooth, or teeth, between the crowns. The crowns can be supported by natural teeth or by implants. The false tooth, or teeth, are attached to the crowns and fill the empty space. 

A dental bridge is not the only treatment option. You might also benefit from partial dentures or dental implants. It’s important to talk with your Dentist to find out the best course of treatment. If you have missing teeth, set up an appointment with us! Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D. uses the latest in dental technology to be able to enhance your smile using a wide variety of techniques, depending on what is necessary to each patient. Dr, Demetriou practices a full scope of general and cosmetic dentistry with expertise ranging from porcelain veneers to dental implants, crowns, and bridges. Dr. Demetriou can now correct a wide variety of so-called permanent cosmetic dental problems, and can literally redesign your smile to look like the one you have always dreamed of having. Contact us today, we are committed to your oral health. 

What to expect at your bi-annual teeth cleaning visit

If you’ve visited our office lately or read any oral care articles, you are aware that we recommend visiting your dentist at least twice a year. The purpose of these visits are two-fold. It’s important to maintain your teeth to make sure they are healthy and at their best, but it’s equally important to avoid serious conditions such as gum disease. Much like the annual physical with a primary care physician, your bi-annual dental visit ensures that your mouth is running at optimum efficiency. The other benefit to visiting your dentist twice a year is that you’ll be able to catch medical issues often before they develop. As they say, preventive care is better than curing ailments. Consequently, we work super hard to make sure our patients are well informed on how best to take care of your teeth while we do our part to ensure your oral health remains in perfect condition. That’s where your twice yearly dental visit comes in to play. What happens at your bi-annual teeth cleaning visit?

  • We examine your teeth.
  • You receive a dental cleaning.
  • Diagnostic work.
  • Preventative steps are taken.
  • Restorations can be completed.

When you come to see us, we will provide you with a professional cleaning. This professional cleaning is part of your routine checkup. We will remove plaque and tartar buildup, which helps to prevent periodontal disease. This type of deep cleaning can not be achieved with your regular toothbrush. We use professional dental instruments such as scalers and polishers to gently scrape off plaque and tartar and polish your teeth. It’s customary for a dental hygienist to floss your teeth as well during this procedure. 

It’s possible that we will also take digital x-rays. Routine digital x-rays are taken periodically throughout your oral care journey. Believe it or not, in just one year, your teeth can shift and move around in your mouth causing a domino effect that can be adverse. Other things taking place in your mouth can also be detected with a digital x-ray such as bone loss, tooth decay, tumors, and gum disease. Dental x-rays are super important especially for new patients because they allow your dentist to quickly assess the current state of your teeth and gums before moving forward.

Not only do we provide a professional deep cleaning, we also perform a thorough checkup. We look for early warning signs of disease and any other problems that could threaten your oral health. These signs typically go unseen by our patients, but we are trained to spot them during your visit. Issues such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer may not be visible at early stages and may not cause discomfort. However, coming in for a regular teeth cleaning visit allows us to check for these kinds of issues in order to catch them early and put an action plan in place to prevent or treat them before they become more serious.

At your regular visit with us, we will make dental care recommendations and share tips with you based on your personal situation. Dr. Demetriou’s experience in dentistry is coupled with genuine concern for his patients. All our staff is dedicated to your comfort and prompt attention as well. Our goal is to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright. Contact us today to set up your next appointment.

What to do about Tooth Ache

Toothache is a dreadful pain. Having that throbbing feeling of non-stop pain in your mouth that you can’t really soothe can be debilitating. Maybe you’re dealing with a sore and tender mouth, throbbing gums, and even headaches. Whatever the case may be, a toothache can be a sign of a serious problem and you should schedule an appointment with your Dentist to get it checked out. But until then, here are some things you can do at home to ease the pain.

Try a Salt Water Rinse

Swish around warm, salty water in your mouth. It helps! A good rule of thumb is to use a ½ teaspoon of salt for every 8 ounces of water. It doesn’t have to be boiling water, but we recommend making your salt water rinse a bit hotter than lukewarm water. The salt and warm water combination works as an antiseptic. It gently removes bacteria from the infected area which may alleviate the pain. Be sure to give it a few swishes, then spit it out, but don’t swallow it. It may be a good idea to gently floss around the tooth to remove any food particles that may be affecting the pain.

Try OTC Pain Relievers

Acetaminophen is a good pain reliever which we suggest for children. In addition, adults can choose from many of the over-the-counter options such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Remember to follow the instructions carefully when taking OTC medicines and be careful not to mix them with other substances that might cause harmful effects such as alcohol and prescription pain medicines.

Apply a Cold Compress

Swelling typically occurs due to a buildup of fluid or as a result of inflammation. If you’re experiencing swelling of any kind, it’s a good idea to put a pack of ice on your jaw or cheek. This may help ease the pain as the swelling starts to go down. Swelling could also point to a more serious issue such as an abscess. Watch for fever and red gums as this will point to a very serious infection that would require an emergency dental visit.

Use OTC Anesthetics

Did you know you can numb your mouth to the pain? Yes, anesthesia is not just for hospitals. Now you can get them over-the-counter. These pain relieving gels can soothe a toothache in no time. They come in both gel and liquid form. They contain benzocaine, which acts as a temporary numbing agent. You can apply it directly over the area that is sore such as your tooth and gums. For immediate relief.

The remedies outlined in this post should help alleviate the pain until you can get in to see your Dentist. Whether it’s a light throb or an excruciating pain, toothaches can be a sign of tooth decay and other major dental problems. Therefore, seeing your Dentist when this occurs is your best course of action. At our Dental Office, we practice a full scope of general and cosmetic dentistry. If you haven’t had a dental check-up, that’s a great place to start when preventing toothache and tooth decay. Contact us to set up your next dental appointment.

What to do Before Your Scheduled Teeth Cleaning

Most people have their teeth cleaned twice each year, and sometimes more frequently if problems arise. In order to get the most out of each of your dental cleanings, there are a few things you can do which will make the experience more productive and more beneficial for you.

Don’t bother brushing

This may sound odd, but it’s generally better if you don’t brush your teeth before visiting your dentist. If you’ve recently had a meal before going to the office, it’s likely that food will be caught somewhere in your teeth, and may still be there at the time of your cleaning. This will show your dentist exactly where your problem areas may be, and where food routinely would become trapped between teeth. That in turn, will be a cue for him/her to point out to you where you need special attention with brushing and flossing.

Don’t whiten your teeth

Some people have the mistaken notion that whitening their teeth will show the dentist what a great job they’re doing at brushing. In fact, any whitening process that you use is very likely to trigger sensitivity in your teeth, and that’s not what you want when you’re about to undergo a cleaning. If you really want to have your teeth whitened, talk to your dentist about doing it after a cleaning, which is when your teeth will be more receptive to the whitening agents anyway.

Take in questions you may have

Some people have such a dread of going to the dentist, that they just go blank as soon as they arrive at the office, or get in the chair. It would be much better for you if you can jot down any questions you have for your dentist prior to a teeth cleaning, so that you can get things explained which you don’t understand. For instance, if you routinely have sensitivity in a certain area, you should point that out to your dentist so that it can be investigated. When you get in the chair and say nothing, your doctor will have no way of knowing that something might be amiss.

Skip the appointment if you’re sick

There is a good reason to skip your dental appointment if you happen to be under the weather. Whenever your gums are scraped so as to remove tartar, they can become irritated, and small amounts of bacteria can actually be injected into the bloodstream via the mouth. This is a completely normal situation, but if you’re not feeling well to begin with, it can exacerbate the situation and cause you to feel much worse. It’s worth the delay to reschedule your dental appointment if you’re not feeling 100% healthy.

Bring in your oral appliance

If you’re a patient suffering from sleep apnea, and you wear a breathing device at night for opening your airway, you should bring this in when you have your dental appointment. Because tartar can form on your breathing device just like it can form on your teeth, that tartar needs to be removed so that your breathing remains free. Many dentists have ultrasonic cleaning devices in their office which can accomplish the cleaning while your teeth are being operated on.

When you’re ready for an appointment

If you’re moving into the North Andover area of Massachusetts, you’ll want to start off on the right foot with your dental hygiene. Contact Dr. Gary Demetriou for your first dental appointment, and give yourself the opportunity to have your oral care come under the watchful monitoring of a world-class DMD, right in your neighborhood.