Posts for: June, 2017
According to Dear Doctor, up to 35 percent of adults in the United States have some kind of dental sensitivity--that is, their teeth hurt when exposed to hot, cold or sugary foods and drinks. Are you one of these sufferers? Endodontist, Dr. Philip Bauer, sees a lot of patients with tooth sensitivity in his Greenwich and Stamford, CT, office. As an expert in root canal therapy and the interior anatomy of the tooth, he educates individuals on the causes and solutions of this common problem and also treats it with kindness and skill.
What happens inside a tooth
Your teeth are not just solid blocks of rock-hard enamel. Enamel just represents the outer protective layer that everyone sees when you smile. No, each and every tooth in your mouth is a complex structure. For instance, directly under the enamel is a yellow layer called dentin. It has little tubules which transmit sensations to the tooth's interior pulp. In addition, you have a calcified layer called cementum which coats the surface of the tooth roots.
At the very interior of the tooth, and down each of its roots, is a chamber filled with nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. This soft pulp is the living portion of your tooth, and it can experience pain when injured, uncovered or exposed to pressure or temperature extremes.
Why teeth hurt
So why do our complex teeth become sensitive? The causes, says Dr. Bauer, are many, and include:
- Dental decay
- Deteriorating fillings and crowns
- Chips, cracks and other surface defects due to wear and tear or oral injury
- Acid erosion from too much coffee, soft drinks or acidic foods such as tomato sauce and citrus fruits
- Exposed roots due to heredity, gum disease or vigorous tooth brushing
- Dental abscess, or infection
- Simple wear and tear
- Thin enamel due to the aging process
- Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
What can be done in Greenwich and Stamford
Only your dentist can diagnose tooth sensitivity correctly. He will perform a complete oral examination, including dental X-rays, to pinpoint the source of your pain. Also, he will formulate an individualized care plan to address the issue so your smile is as comfortable as possible.
Depending on his findings, Dr. Bauer may recommend:
- Sensitivity toothpaste
- Prescription mouth rinses
- Fluoride varnishes and plastic sealants
- Replacement of old fillings or crowns
- Using composite resin bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns to cover and protect cracked enamel
- Tooth-colored fillings to treat decay
- Root canal therapy to heal dental abscesses
Fortunately, you and your smile are in good hands. Dr. Bauer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. That means he is highly trained in the interior workings of your teeth and knows all about treating dental sensitivity.
So if you have a tooth that is sensitive or painful, please don't hesitate to contact Philip J. Bauer DMD & Associates in Greenwich and Stamford, CT, for an answer to your problem. Call (203) 327-1613 for an appointment.
For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.
After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.
As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.
Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.
Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.
What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.
To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.
If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
When your favorite baseball team wins, it's hard not to get excited — especially if you're right there in the stadium. It's even better when a player tosses the ball to fans. But sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things can go awry.
That's what happened during a recent game at New York's Yankee Stadium. After catching the ball that ended the game in an 8-2 Dodgers win, Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig tossed it into a cheering crowd of supporters. “I saw it coming at me and I remember thinking, 'I don't have a glove to catch this ball,'” Dodgers fan Alyssa Gerharter told the New York Daily News. “I felt it hit me and I could feel immediately with my tongue there's a hole. And I looked down at my hand and saw there's a tooth in my hand.”
Ouch. Just like that, one fan's dream became… a not-so-good dream. But fortunately for the 25-year-old software engineer, things went uphill from there. Ushers quickly escorted her into a first-aid room at the stadium. She was then rushed to a nearby hospital, where the upper front tooth was re-inserted into her jaw. After a follow-up appointment at her dentist's office the next day, Gerharter said she remains hopeful the re-inserted tooth will fuse with the bone, and won't require replacement.
We hope so too. And in fact, she has as good a chance of a successful outcome as anyone, because she did everything right. If you're not sure what to do about a knocked-out tooth, here are the basics:
- locate the tooth, handle it carefully (don't touch the root surface), and if possible gently clean it with water
- try to open the person's mouth and find the place where the tooth came from
- carefully re-insert the tooth in its socket if possible, making sure it is facing the right way
- hold the tooth in place with a soft cloth as you rush to the dental office or the nearest urgent care facility
- if it can't be replaced in its socket, place the tooth in a special preservative solution or milk, or have the person hold it between the cheek and gum (making sure they won't swallow it) — and then seek immediate care at the dental office
- follow up at the dental office as recommended
In general, the quicker you perform these steps, the more likely it is that the tooth can be preserved. How quick is quick? The best outcomes are expected when re-implantation occurs in no more than five minutes. So if you're in this situation, don't wait: get (or give) appropriate first aid right away — it just might save a tooth!
If you would like more information about what to do in a dental emergency, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more the Dear Doctor articles “Knocked Out Tooth,” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”