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Why Does My Jaw Ache?

 

When your jaw hurts, it can throw your whole life out of balance, especially if you don’t know why your jaw is hurting or when it will stop. Thankfully, many causes of jaw pain are temporary and don’t require much intervention, but occasionally jaw pain is a sign of something a bit more serious. But how do you know the difference - and when should you see a doctor? If you’ve got jaw pain, check out these possible reasons why, and what you should do to stop it.

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What Is Dental Bonding?

 

When you think of bonding, what comes to mind? Perhaps a nice campfire retreat with your family? Getting acquainted with your new baby? Well, when it comes to dentistry, bonding means something a little different. Dental bonding is a resin composite that is adhered (or bonded) to the tooth to repair chips, cracks, decay and discoloration on the teeth. It’s called bonding because the resin is literally bonded to the tooth, creating a natural-looking surface that is usually undetectable to the naked eye.

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All About Dentures


 

It’s been estimated that up to 40 million American adults wear a full set of dentures - and each year, that number increases. Dentures, both full and partial, are prosthetic teeth that secure to the inside of the mouth to replace teeth that have been lost or that maybe never developed in the first place. But while dentures look a lot like a natural set of teeth, the way you care for them is very different.

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Surprising Reasons Fillings Could Fail


For many people, there are few things more frustrating than hearing they need an old filling replaced. After all, you already went through the pain to have it put in the first time - who wants to go through that again for the same tooth? Unfortunately, despite what we may have been led to believe, fillings aren’t meant to last forever. But for some people, filling failure happens more often and in some cases sooner than anticipated. So, what causes this premature failure, and what can be done to prevent it? 

 

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Could Aspirin Cure Cavities?


If you’re one of the 91 percent of Americans with dental caries or cavities, you know what a pain they can be. But good news may soon be on the way from a team of researchers at Queens University in Belfast, Ireland. The study, which was discussed at the British Society for Oral and Dental Research annual meeting in September, claims that dentists may someday be able to use aspirin to heal dental cavities.

 

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Is It Time to Reconsider Dental Implants?


If you’re missing one or multiple teeth, chances are you've considered replacing them. Replacing lost teeth not only looks and feels better, but it is also better for your teeth and jaw. That’s because when you leave open spaces in your mouth, you can experience bone loss and the shifting of the rest of your teeth. Shifting teeth isn’t just an aesthetic problem, it can also cause uneven wear, excess tooth decay, and even headaches and jaw pain.

 

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Could Your Dentures Be Making You Sick?


  It is estimated that at least 20 million Americans wear some form of denture- ranging from a partial to a full set of teeth. But despite these high numbers, many denture or partial denture wearers have not been properly trained in the care and cleaning of these dental devices. This can cause huge problems for the wearer- ranging from ‘dirty’ looking teeth to bad breath to an increased risk for illnesses. So, what can you do to make sure you or your loved ones are properly cleaning these helpful oral appliances? Keep reading to find out.

 

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Could Your Dentures Be Making You Sick?


It is estimated that at least 20 million Americans wear some form of denture- ranging from a partial to a full set of teeth. But despite these high numbers, many dentures or partial denture wearers have not been properly trained in the care and cleaning of these dental devices. This can cause huge problems for the wearer- ranging from ‘dirty’ looking teeth to bad breath to an increased risk for illnesses. So, what can you do to make sure you or your loved ones are properly cleaning these helpful oral appliances? Keep reading to find out.

Nobody really wants to get dentures. Having dentures means you have lost the last remains of your natural teeth, and must now put in a device that doesn’t always feel great or stay put properly. Perhaps this is why many older patients who have had dentures for many years don’t wear them as frequently as they could. The good news is that today’s dentures are more comfortable and natural looking than ever before. New denture wearers never have to experience those awkward dentures of years past, and those replacing older dentures may actually want to wear their new ones, even if no one will see them. But while dentures do replicate the look and feel of natural teeth, what they do not do is replace the need for proper cleaning and oral hygiene.

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Alzheimer’s Drug Could Heal Cavities


Dental occlusions, or cavities, are the number one dental problem facing American adults today- with nearly 90% of people between the ages of 20-39 possessing at least one filling in their teeth. But when it comes to treating cavities, very little has changed since the 1830’s when the first amalgam fillings were used- that is, until now. Recently, a team of scientists at King’s College in London made headlines after finding success treating cavities with a new drug in development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease- and their findings could change how we treat cavities forever.  Wilmington, NC’s Dr. Michelle Simpson explains.Though it hasn’t even hit the market yet, the drug Tideglusib is already causing quite a stir in the medical and dental communities- for its ability to help both Alzheimer’s patients and surprisingly, regrow the dentine in the teeth of laboratory mice. Recently, a group of researchers at King’s College in London set out to discover if the stem-cell-encouraging drug Tideglusib can be used to help more than Alzheimer’s patients. To conduct the study, researchers drilled small holes in the teeth of test animals and then filled those holes with tiny, biodegradable sponges soaked in the drug Tideglusib. As the teeth absorbed the Tideglusib, the sponges dissolved, and the holes in the teeth healed shut on their own. "This is important because unlike with fillings that simply act as a semi-permanent patch which re-fills the damaged area of the tooth, Tideglusib healed the damaged teeth- eliminating the need for fillings entirely," explains Dr. Simpson.Next up for Tideglusib is more clinical trials- this time with actual cavities- not just holes drilled into healthy teeth. If the King’s College team is able to demonstrate success with tooth decay, then human trials will likely follow, and hopefully someday in the near future, Tideglusib will be approved for use in treating cavities. In addition to trials for the treatment of dental occlusions and Alzheimer’s disease, the drug is also in testing for use in patients with Myotropic Dystrophy and teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.So, what does a dentist think about Tideglusib potentially healing cavities? "It would be wonderful," says Dr. Simpson. "I actually think it would help patients take better care of their teeth because they would be less afraid of getting fillings or having teeth extracted, and less afraid to visit their dentist in the first place. If I were to tell a patient ‘if we catch your cavity before it has a chance to worsen, we could heal it’ I think they’d be a lot more likely to come in at the first sign of a problem. Instead of waiting until the pain is unbearable, and losing the tooth."

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Veneers vs. Crowns: Which is Best for You?


If you read a lot of celebrity news, you’ve probably already heard a lot about porcelain veneers- which celebrities have them, which celebrities need them, and how much better their teeth look after getting them. If you’ve ever wondered if veneers are right for you, keep reading. Dr. Michelle Simpson discusses these handy little porcelain facings, and the many ways they can benefit your smile.

One of the most common questions we get about porcelain veneers is, what are veneers- and how are they different from crowns? Veneers are porcelain facings that are adhered to the front of your tooth to improve the look of your smile. They are often used on teeth with chips, undesirable shapes, permanent discoloration, or other damage that is only on the front facing surface of the tooth. Conversely, crowns are cap-like fillings that offer 360-degree coverage that encompasses the entire tooth’s surface- so, it not just the front of the tooth. Crowns are most often used when a tooth is broken, or when too much of the original tooth has already been replaced by fillings and attempting another filling or veneer carries too much of a risk. In terms of insurance, whereas veneers are usually considered cosmetic, crowns are generally considered more of a necessity and are often at least partially covered by some insurance plans.

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Sealing the Deal: The Benefits of Dental Sealants

With debates about the efficacy of some tried and true dental treatments in the news this summer, many consumers are wondering what is really necessary when it comes to their teeth. Dental sealants are a widely recommended treatment for children as their new teeth erupt: but are they effective? With many insurance plans declining to cover sealants, it's important to know if they're even worth the out of pocket expense.

A sealant is a clear plastic coating that is painted over the tooth and acts as a barrier against plaque and cavities. According to the American Dental Association, when done properly sealants can reduce decay in teeth by up to 80%. While sealants are usually applied to newly erupted teeth (most commonly on the back molars) they can also be applied to adult's teeth if there is no decay present, or if that decay has already been correctly filled. However, according to Dr. Michele Simpson DDS of Wilmington, NC, it is rare for adults to receive sealants. Says Simpson "We generally don't seal adult's teeth as often because unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine whether or not an adult tooth is 100% free of decay." According to Simpson, sealing a tooth with even a tiny bit of decay can cause significant problems. "Using a sealant on a tooth that already has begun deteriorating can actually make decay the worse by trapping it under the sealant and causing infection." In most cases, it's not worth the risk.

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
Suite 140
Wilmington, NC 28409