Thursday, December 25, 2014

The advantages of X-rays at the dentist

If you’ve ever seen an X-ray photo of your mouth, you’ve probably noticed that your teeth appear much lighter than the rest of the surfaces. This is because X-rays cannot penetrate hard surfaces like teeth as easily as they can gums and tissue. But why is it so important to get these high-tech photos of your mouth? The main reason is because many oral health problems cannot easily be detected during a normal examination.

It’s possible for a patient to have spots of decay that are not visible to the dentist. By looking at an X-ray, dentists can look for signs of decay between teeth, gum disease, bone infections, and many other serious conditions, including hidden tumors. The American Dental Association suggests that children are especially good candidates for X-rays, as their teeth are still developing and are more prone to tooth decay. Another benefit of X-rays is that patients can save time and money by catching any hidden problems early.

X-rays may even help someone avoid having to undergo the complicated procedures that advanced-stage conditions often require. Talk to your dentist about your X-ray schedule and ask if you (or your children) are due for another screening. A little extra time in the chair at your next visit could pay off dramatically down the road.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Biting your tongue and cheeks

Everyone has accidentally bitten his tongue while eating or woken up with a small mark on the inside of his cheek. But what do you do if this nuisance becomes a common occurrence? Many people frequently bite the inside of their mouth during sleep or while eating, but the causes vary. In some cases, it is due to misalignment of the teeth or poor denture fitting.

In that situation, the teeth can overlap with the person’s tongue, increasing the chance of a bite. In other cases, a person may constantly breathe with his mouth open, leading to a slightly swollen tongue, which can again lead to accidental bites. In some rare cases, a person may also have seizures, causing him to involuntarily bite his tongue or cheek. Regardless of the reason, though, constant wounds in the mouth can become more than just annoying.

Over time, biting can lead to scars and decreased sensitivity, so it is important to treat the bites properly and speak with a dentist about preventing future occurrences. He or she will help you identify the cause of the biting and hasten the time until you can eliminate the bites altogether.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Communicating openly with your eye doctor

Sometimes the things you don’t say can be just as powerful as the ones you do. In the case of going to the eye doctor, keeping an open and honest line of communication is vitally important to protecting your vision. Often, people will neglect to tell their eye doctor important information about their health, including problems with high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma.

They may also remain silent about a family history with cardiovascular disease or stroke. While these health concerns may not seem immediately related to vision care, it is absolutely important to tell your eye doctor about your entire medical history. If an ophthalmologist is unaware of prior medical conditions, he or she may not be able to recommend the correct treatments or medications. This can lead to serious health consequences if you are prescribed medications with conflicting side effects or are allergic to a certain substance.

Before you go to your next eye appointment, make a list of any questions you want to ask your doctor, and bring along a sheet that outlines your medical history. It’s normal to want to say everything is fine when the doctor asks how a current treatment is working, but doctors appreciate honesty about your health. Being open about your struggles and conditions will allow you to be treated more safely and effectively. So, the next time you visit your eye doctor, speak up. The health of your eyes and body depends on it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

When is it time to replace a filling?

If you've ever gone to the dentist and were told you needed to get a tooth filling, you're certainly not alone. Millions of people receive fillings each year in order to replace a section of a tooth that eventually decayed. However, even with modern dental advancements, all fillings need to be replaced at some point. The Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that unless fillings are replaced in a timely manner, gaps can be created between the filling and the tooth, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth.

Left untreated, that bacteria can result in the need of a root canal, or worse, removal of the entire tooth. To avoid these unpleasant consequences, it's a good idea to visit your dentist regularly so he or she can test the strength of your current fillings. The American Dental Association makes it clear that early detection is vital because it reduces your chance of needing more intrusive and expensive procedures. Your dentist can tell you at your appointment if there has been excessive wear or cracks in a filling. In that case, you will need to get it replaced as soon as possible.

Talk to your dentist about what's right for you and how long it will be before you should expect to replace one or more of your fillings. Fortunately, modern technology has increased the quality and appearance of fillings, so if you do need to get a replacement, it will likely last longer and serve you better than your previous ones. And with your True Dental Discounts - dental plan you will be able to get the treatments you need for a price you can afford.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recognizing and treating toothaches

In its most basic form, a toothache is described as having pain in or around a tooth. If you've ever experienced this type of pain, you know it can grow from a mere annoyance to being a full-fledged medical problem. Usually, toothaches are caused by tooth decay and cavities, but they can also result from an infection. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, tooth decay is caused by a combination of poor dental hygiene and genetics.

However, a toothache can also be a sign of an earache, abscessed tooth, jaw or mouth injury, or even a heart attack. To treat the pain, it is recommended that you contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. The benefit for you, as a True Care customer, is that you can be assured that you will get pain relief at a significantly reduced cost. To help ease the pain during the time it takes to get in for an appointment, over-the-counter pain medications can also be taken. If the toothache is caused by a decayed tooth, your dentist may suggest such treatments as antibiotics or a root canal.

As a final note, it's especially vital that you seek medical care if your toothache is causing you severe pain, if it lasts longer than one or two days, or if it is accompanied by a fever or earache. Your dentist will be able to treat the symptoms and can even take X-rays if the cause is not easily determined. Be prepared to answer questions about the frequency and strength of the pain, any associating symptoms, and factors that worsen the pain (for instance: drinking, consuming cold liquids, or chewing).

If you have any doubts, the best course of action is always to seek the advice of a professional. This will save you from experiencing ongoing pain around your teeth and restore you to full health.