Osborne Family Dental Excellence
Kids dentistry service in North Canton, OH
Grandma and little girl treated family dentistry at Osborne Family Dental
Osborne Family Dental kids dental service in North Canton, Ohio
Osborne Family Dental North Canton dentistry services
Young woman with great smile treated at Osborne Family Dental

Tooth Decay Causes & Treatment

Tooth decay is damage that occurs to your tooth when bacteria in your mouth create acids that eat a hole in the tooth. This hole, a cavity, if left untreated, can cause pain, infection, and the loss of the tooth itself. The larger the hole, the worse the damage is.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is caused by a combination of bacteria and food that you eat. Bacteria live in the plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth. These bacteria thrive on the sugars in the food you eat. The bacteria turn the sugars into acids that attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating. Eventually, these acids destroy tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

What Makes My Tooth Decay Worse?

These things increase the speed of tooth decay:

  • Not brushing or flossing
  • Irregular dental visits
  • Sugary foods and carbohydrates
  • Lack of fluoride
  • Lack of saliva to protect your teeth by washing away bacteria
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking or using smokeless tobacco
  • Lack of minerals in the teeth

What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

There usually aren’t any symptoms until it is too late. Tooth decay quietly sneaks up on you and creates a cavity without warning. Then you may notice:

  • Toothache
  • Swelling in the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Black, white, gray, or brown spots on your teeth

Of course, a toothache is the most common symptom. This signals that the call needs to be made to the dentist. Even if the pain goes away for a while, the decay will continue to grow. If you don’t seek professional treatment, the cavity will enlarge, and you may lose the tooth.

How Is Tooth Decay Treated?

First, your dentist will diagnose the cause of your toothache or other symptom. Some of the steps he or she will use are:

  • Collect medical and dental history information
  • Check your teeth with a small pointed tool and a mirror
  • Take X-rays of your teeth

Then, your dentist will choose the best treatment for the seriousness of your condition. If decay is just starting and hasn’t gone through the enamel yet, fluoride treatments and special toothpaste may be all that is required. However, if the enamel has been eaten through, you will need a filling. If the decay is severe enough, a crown may be required to replace part of your tooth.

A root canal or extraction may be done when the decay reaches the nerve or pulp of your tooth and becomes infected from a large cavity.

What Should I Do for a Toothache?

Toothaches are quite uncomfortable and only progress in getting worse. Call your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment. While you are waiting to see your dentist, you can use an ice pack on the outside of your cheek to reduce swelling and take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

If you don’t have a dentist, or can’t get in, contact us at Osborne Family Dental in North Canton. We have emergency care available to help you. We will be glad to answer all your questions and show you what options are available to treat your problem.

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

Great dental hygiene means that your teeth are clean and free of debris, bad breath is not a constant problem, and your gums are pink and do not bleed when you brush. Keeping your mouth and teeth in good shape is paramount to your overall good health. You can also lower your dental bills by keeping cavities and gingivitis at bay. The best way to do this is to practice these tips for great dental hygiene every day.

  1. Avoid plaque build-up with regular brushing and flossing
    Plaque contains bacteria and sticks to teeth. It will lead to tooth decay and gum disease if it is not removed. The best way to remove it is to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. Floss between your teeth once a day to reach those places the brush won’t. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove additional bacteria.
  2. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash to increase the cleanliness of your mouth
    An antimicrobial mouth rinse reduces bacteria and plaque to reduce and prevent tooth decay and gingivitis and gum disease. Check with your dentist before using any mouth rinse. Some are not appropriate for all people. There are factors to consider before choosing a mouth rinse such as: age, health history and dental history. At Osborne Family Dental, we want to help you choose what is best for the health of your teeth and gums.
  3. Get regular dental check-ups
    Have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Your dentist will check for any problems in your mouth while you are there. Many problems can be headed off before they become huge by early detection. Letting someone who knows what to look for examine your mouth is key to prevention.
  4. Eat a balanced diet
    Some foods are believed to protect tooth enamel with calcium and phosphorus that are needed to remineralize teeth. This is a natural process where minerals are re-deposited in tooth enamel that has been stripped away with acids caused by sugary foods. Good food choices include milk, cheese, chicken, fish and nuts.Foods high in water content that stimulate the saliva to protect the teeth are firm and crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots.
  5. Limit sugary snacks
    Foods high in sugar are poor choices because they create acid that eats the enamel on the teeth. This includes candy, cookies, cakes, pies, breads, chips, French fries, bananas, raisins, and dried fruits.
  6. Seek treatment early for any problems that arise.
    If you have questions, see Osborne Family Dental for expert advice. Contact us to make an appointment for a cleaning or to discuss your dental concerns.




Swollen Gums: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Swollen gums are also called gingival swelling and are easily identified because they are red instead of the normal pink in color. The swelling usually starts where the gum meets the tooth and can progress to hide part of the tooth. The swelling can be painful and lead to serious results like tooth loss. Let’s take a look at swollen gums: causes, treatment and prevention.

What Causes Swollen Gums?

Swollen gums can stem from many things, but the most common are:

  • Gingivitis – a gum disease that can cause you to lose teeth
  • Pregnancy – the increase in body hormones can cause your gums to swell
  • Malnutrition – a deficiency in vitamins B and C can cause gums to swell.
  • Infection – caused by fungi and viruses can cause swollen gums. Herpes, canker sores and thrush are the most common
  • Chemotherapy – a side effect of the treatment can be swollen gums and sores in the mouth
  • Smoking – delicate gum tissue can be bothered by harsh tobacco leading to symptoms that include sensitive bleeding gums to painful sores

How Do I Treat Swollen Gums?

Swollen gums need to be treated gently. Soothe them by:

  • Being gentle when brushing and flossing
  • Rinsing your mouth with saltwater
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and strong mouthwashes
  • Using a cold compress to reduce swelling
  • Avoiding extreme temperatures in foods – not too hot or cold

How Can I Prevent Swollen Gums?

Obviously, prevention depends on the cause.  Gingivitis is the most common cause and can be treated and healed with proper treatment and oral hygiene.  Left untreated, gingivitis continues to degrade and can lead to tooth loss.

There are some preventative measures that can help you avoid swollen gums.

  • Oral Care – Brush and floss after meals.  See your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning.
  • Eat better – watch your nutrition to be sure you are getting enough calcium, vitamin C, and folic acid.
  • Avoid tobacco – tobacco is hard on the soft, delicate tissue of the gums
  • Relax – Stress raises levels of cortisol increasing the likelihood of inflammation in the body, including the gums
  • Drink lots of water – water tends to rinse dangerous bacteria off of the teeth

When Should I See My Dentist?

Swollen gums are a symptom of something wrong in your mouth.  Seek professional advice for these symptoms, even if there is no pain:

  • Changes in your bite
  • Deep pockets between the teeth and gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush
  • Loose teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums for more than 2 weeks

What Will My Dentist Do?

He or she will want to know if you are pregnant or have had any recent changes in diet.  Your dentist will ask when the symptoms began and how serious they have been.  The treatment he or she will prescribe will depend on the cause of the swollen gums.

A blood test may be ordered if an infection is suspected. Oral rinses may be prescribed to prevent gingivitis and reduce plaque.  A specific brand of toothpaste may be ordered.  Sometimes antibiotics are used. One common treatment option is curettage, the scraping away of the diseased gums to allow the rest to heal.  In extreme cases of gingivitis, surgery may be required.

If you have questions about your gums, contact us at Osborne Family Dental.  We will be glad to answer your questions or schedule an appointment to examine your gums.