Additional Helpful Information for Our Patients

TJ Bolt office photoWe are dental health success planners. One of the key factors in that success is the continual education of our patients as we strive to achieve and maintain the results we have determined together to be our goals. Towards that end, we have compiled the following information and helpful links about the symptoms we encounter, and the procedures we use every day in our office.

Optimum Repair Vs Optimum Health

A person can purchase many dental products and procedures, but still not have complete dental health.
Read Why by Downloading the Article Here (PDF: 37k)

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Bleeding gums

When you think about dental health, your focus is likely to be on preventing cavities in your teeth. But it's important to pay attention to your gums, too. Your gums play a major role not only in your dental health, but in your overall well-being.

In many instances, swollen and bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. But there are a number of other factors that could be causing your gum problems. Whatever the cause of your sore, painful gums, there are steps you can take to minimize gum damage and discomfort.

Read more on WebMD >

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Gingivitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease

describes the events that begin with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end - if not properly treated - with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures

Periodontal disease is gum disease. The key in treating periodontal disease is ensuring that the dental plague does not accumulate over time and cause your body to not only attach the plague, but also the bone that holds the teeth.

Even if you don't notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.

Read more on WebMD >

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Root canal (also known as endodontic therapy)

is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth whose end result is the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Although this set of procedures is commonly referred to as a root canal, this term is imprecise;[citation needed] root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the anatomical hollows within a tooth which are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and a number of other cellular entities, whereas endodontic therapy includes the complete removal of these structures, the subsequent cleaning, shaping and decontamination of these hollows with the use of tiny files and irrigating solutions and the obturation, or filling, of the decontaminated root canals with an inert filling, such as gutta percha and a usually eugenol-based cement. After the surgery the tooth will be "dead", and if the infection is spread at apex, root end surgery is required.

Although the procedure is relatively painless when done properly, the root canal remains the stereotypically fearsome dental operation, and, in the United States, a common response to an unpleasant proposal is, "I'd rather have a root canal."

Read more on Wikipedia >

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Sensitive teeth

Tooth sensitivity is tooth discomfort in one or more teeth that is triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. The pain can be sharp, sudden, and shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Sensitive teeth occur when the underlying layer of your teeth -- the dentin -- becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue (the protective blanket that covers the tooth roots). The roots, which are not covered by hard enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth's nerve center (the pulp). These dentinal tubules (or channels) allow the stimuli -- for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food -- to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.

There are many factors that may lead to sensitive teeth, including:

  • Brushing too hard. Over time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down enamel and cause the dentin to be exposed. It can also cause recession of the gums (the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth).
  • Tooth decay near the gum line.
  • Recession of the gums. As gums move away from a tooth due to conditions such as periodontal disease, the root surface becomes exposed.
  • Gum disease (gingivitis). Inflamed and sore gum tissue may cause sensitivity due to the loss of supporting ligaments, which exposes the root surface that leads directly to the nerve of the tooth.
  • Cracked teeth. Chipped or broken teeth may fill with bacteria from plaque and enter the pulp causing Inflammation.
  • Teeth grinding. Grinding or clenching your teeth may wear down the enamel and expose underlying dentin.
  • Tooth whitening products or toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide. These products are major contributors to sensitive teeth.
  • Your age. Tooth sensitivity is highest between the ages of 25 and 30.
  • Plaque build-up. The presence of plaque on the root surfaces can cause sensitivity.
  • Mouthwash use. Long-term use of some mouthwashes. Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids that can worsen tooth sensitivity if you have exposed dentin (the middle layer of the tooth). The acids further damage the dentin layer of the tooth. If you have dentin sensitivity, ask your dentist about the use of a neutral fluoride solution.
  • Acidic foods. Regular consumption of foods with a high acid content, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and tea, can cause enamel erosion.
  • Recent routine dental procedures. Sensitivity can occur following teeth cleaning, root planing, crown placement, and tooth restoration. Sensitivity caused by dental procedures is temporary, usually disappearing in four to six weeks.

Read more on WebMD >

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Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD or TMD), or TMJ syndrome

is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the skull. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment.

Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder vary in their presentation and can be very complex-but are often simple. On average the symptoms will involve more than one of the numerous TMJ components: muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth.[1] Ear pain associated with the swelling of proximal tissue is a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder.

Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may be:

  • Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Dull, aching pain in the face
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
  • Night Guards or Splints

    People who suffer from Temporal Mandibular Disorders (TMD) or headaches should know the difference in appliances that are presented to them by their dentists. There are many types of appliances that are used by dentists to help their patients and it is important for patients to be aware of their uses and differences.

    First the use of a night guard is implemented by dentists with one objective. That is to protect the teeth from rubbing against each other if a person grinds their teeth. This appliance is the lowest form of protection but offers no therapy or relief of symptoms of joint disease or headaches to any major degree. It is just a piece of plastic that is not used to get to the root of the problem. It just covers up the problem. Contrast this to a splint that is customized to the patients particular disharmony of the lower and upper teeth coming together not functioning properly with the muscles and joints. When a diagnosis is made that teeth are not functioning with the joints and the muscles, the dentist will confirm the diagnosis with the use of a splint or a Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthotic. Because this is specifically made to correct the disharmony, it offers therapy to get the foundation healthy by managing the changes that will occur month to month until the system reaches a stable state (stable condylar postion). As a patient wears the device the chewing muscles will relax and the joints will go into a near normal position over time. Because of this, the teeth will hit differently from week to week on the appliance and must be accounted for in order for healing to occur, and thus help the patient feel better. The night guard does none of these things.

    There are many people who are given night guards to try and help them feel better from headaches and TMD problems and these either make the problem worse or at best have minimal affect at relieving discomfort. Now you know why.

    Read more on Wikipedia >

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    Tooth decay

    Cavities occur as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Tooth decay can affect both the enamel (the outer coating of the tooth) and the dentin (the inner layer of the tooth).

    TJ Bolt Dreadful Story

    Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as breads, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest these foods, turning them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth called cavities, or caries.

    Read more on WebMD >

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    Having no worries of metal brackets can be very appealing to a person who wants to have their teeth straightened. Unfortunately this type of procedure has minimal application. Read for more information regarding Invisalign.

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    Cerec Crowns

    These are in office porcelain crowns that can be made in one day. Although this seems like it would be a very good way to do things coming to an appointment only once, there are some concerns that I have seen in this process. Read for more information regarding Cerac Crowns.

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    Other Useful Links

    We have many years of experience partnering with our patients to help restore them to health. Regular checkups and maintenance to cosmetic dentistry, implants or dentures...we provide comprehensive dental care to help you reach (and maintain) your goals.

    Schedule a visit or contact us today to learn how you can be on the road to Complete Dental Health!

    Thomas J. Bolt D.D.S., P.C.
    2953 South 168th Street Omaha, Nebraska 68130
    Phone: (402) 572-8000

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