Cambridge MA Dentist | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

Dentist in Cambridge

Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Most patients have some form of complications resulting from their wisdom teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth can impact your overall health? Here’s what you need to be aware of regarding your wisdom teeth.

Cambridge MA Dentist | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

The Basics
Typically, your wisdom teeth will come in between the ages of 17 and 25. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), as many as 90% of patients have an impacted wisdom tooth. An Impacted tooth is unable to properly grow through your gums because of a lack of space.

What This Means for You
An impacted wisdom tooth is something you should talk to our doctor about. Impacted teeth can cause infection and damage to surrounding teeth. It is extremely important these issues are addressed early on. Your wisdom teeth are hard to clean in the back of your mouth. An infected tooth not receiving the proper care can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to infection and gum disease.

Wisdom Teeth & Your Overall Health
An infection of your wisdom teeth can lead to oral diseases, but it can also lead to further, more serious complications as well. THE AAOMS explains that oral bacteria that gets into your bloodstream can lead to heart, kidney, and other organ infections. That’s right, your teeth can impact your overall health!

The Importance of Examinations
You might not notice any pain or discomfort around your wisdom teeth, but that does not necessarily mean they are healthy. Even wisdom teeth that fit properly can be the target of a future infection. It is essential to keep up with regular examinations so that our trained, experienced team can take a close look at your wisdom teeth.

What You Can Do
We cannot overstate the importance of regular oral examinations. Our doctor can help assess your wisdom teeth and whether they will need to be removed. Wisdom teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health and your overall health, so we recommend staying vigilant with your daily oral hygiene routine.

For more questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your examination, please contact our office.

Cambridge MA Dentist | You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why

Dentist in Cambridge

Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.

Cambridge MA Dentist | You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why

What is it?
Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores.

Who does it affect?
Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients.

What can it do?
Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth.

Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.

How can I prevent It?
Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.

The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you.

We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.

Cambridge MA Dentist | Can Kissing Be Hazardous to Your Health?

Dentist in Cambridge

When you are close to someone you can often be overly comfortable in sharing. This is especially true with kissing. In one kiss, more than 500 germs can be shared between two people. Sharing a kiss can have an impact on your oral health. Here are some of the dangers of kissing.

Cambridge MA Dentist | Can Kissing Be Hazardous to Your Health?

Colds & Flus
When you feel like you might be coming down with a cold or flu, it is best to avoid kissing. You certainly don’t want to transmit any diseases. Colds and flus are easily passed on through saliva and nasal fluids.

Cold Sores
If you see a cold sore near your mouth and lips, you should avoid kissing someone. Cold sores will look like small, clear blisters usually close to your lips. Cold sores are a viral infection, but are extremely contagious. Cold sores that are leaking fluids are especially contagious, however even a sore without any fluid can spread to others in contact. Avoid contact if you see cold sores!

Mono – The Kissing Disease
Mononucleosis, or mono, is spread very rapidly through kissing. The disease can also be spread by sharing behaviors such as sharing a cup, food, or straw. We recommend avoiding sharing your food and drink with others. Someone carrying mono might appear healthy, so always play it is safe by avoiding sharing your food and your germs.

Tips for Fresh Breath
It makes sense to want to have a clean, fresh breath when kissing. It is best to avoid foods that contain strong spices and flavors, such as garlic or onion. Long after they have been consumed, it is still possible to smell these foods on someone’s breath. Make sure you follow a regular daily oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily, as well as brushing your tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside of your cheeks. We suggest using a mouthwash or sugar-free gum after eating to help diffuse strong odors. Sometimes bad breath can be caused by other factors, so if you feel these solutions are not working, make an appointment with us.

Hundreds of germs can be shared when kissing. Watch out for cold sores as well as cold or flu symptoms. Don’t forget to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy, or to schedule your next visit, contact our office.

Cambridge MA Dentist | One Simple Treatment Can Save Your Child’s Smile

Dentist in Cambridge

Our dentist might suggest dental sealants for your child during a visit to our office. Sealants are a way to protect your teeth against decay. With any dental treatment, it helps to understand the procedure and how it can impact your child’s oral health.

Cambridge MA Dentist | One Simple Treatment Can Save Your Child’s Smile

Why Get Sealants?
Sealants help to prevent tooth decay. Sealants are applied on the back teeth, where decay is most likely to develop. Our dentist will often recommend sealants for children and teens, but adults may benefit from sealants, as well.

The further your teeth are in the back of your mouth, the more difficult it can be to maintain the proper hygiene needed to keep them healthy. Sealants can prevent up to 80% of decay within the first two years alone. After 4 years, sealants continue to prevent as much as 50% of decay. Children without sealants are more than three times as likely to develop tooth decay than those with sealants.

When Should You Get Them?
Your child’s first molars usually become visible around age 6, with the second set around age 12. You will want to talk to us about the best course of action for keeping molars healthy. Sealants are most effective when they are done as soon as the molars break through. Regular examinations with our dentist will determine the best time to have sealants applied.

What Should I Expect?
Sealants are one of the simplest treatments we perform in our office. There is generally no discomfort associated with this process. We will first thoroughly clean your child’s teeth, and then use a special gel. The gel is then cleaned off before the sealant is applied. A small blue light is used to harden the sealant in a matter of moments.

What Concerns Should I Have?
There are no side-effects from sealants, and allergic reactions are extremely rare. However, talk to our doctor about any allergies your child has so we can discuss the best possible course of action.

Next Steps
Sealants last for years before needing to be reapplied. It is important to schedule regular visits to our office so that our dentist can check the condition of the sealants and teeth on an ongoing basis. If your child had sealants several years ago and you are unsure if they should be reapplied, schedule an appointment with us.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy and for questions about dental sealants, contact our office.

Steps to make getting a “shot” easier

Dentist in Cambridge

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” ~ Lily Tomlin

Everyone hates needles, and we know that

There is no surprise that you don’t like getting injections (or shots) at the dentist.  We all are aware that it is probably one of the biggest triggers for you at the dentist! Here are a few tips for making this process much easier to deal with if you have an appointment where you know you will need to get numb for the procedure.

Trust should be established before an injection is performed.  

See the previous post on questions you should ask your dentist! [LINK TO THIS POST]. Then: 

Explain your triggers

Opening up a conversation about any bad past experiences is crucial to having an easy visit.  By doing this with a provider who is sensitive to dentally anxious patients, there are a lot of “tricks” we are able to use to overcome a sometimes painful administration of local anesthesia (a.k.a., getting a shot).

Mindful breathing

Mindful breathing has been immensely helpful while I worked with patients chair-side throughout my career.  The principles may seem very basic, but in reality it gives you something to focus on other than pain. Additionally, slow deep breathes have a helpful physiologic response during this procedure. I have learned to coach my patients chair-side for every single injection on mindful breathing techniques and I am then able to time my injection at the easiest moment for my patient.

For a quick mindful breathing exercise, see the video below:

 

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

What BIG question should you be asking your dentist?

Dentist in Cambridge

“Walking into our stories of hurt…can feel dangerous and foreboding, and what we must ultimately confront is ourself.  The most difficult part of our stories is often what we bring to them – what we make up about who we are and how we are perceived by others.” ~Bréne Brown

EVERYONE has a unique brand of crazy

Trust me, you do. I say this with lots of love in my heart, but everyone has very unique traits and beliefs that will undoubtably make them crazy (ok, maybe unique is a better word) to someone else. This is the side people are embarrassed to talk about, but it is also what makes them unique. These characteristics should be discussed with a dentist you trust. This explanation can open so many doors that will enable the right provider to create customized care that fits you exact needs.

So, what is the BIG question to ask?

Trust is about vulnerability. Putting yourself in someone else’s hands is tough, especially for those with dental anxiety. I think it is also important to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. This means that for some people only one question is needed, and for others it may need a special visit just to “meet and greet” the dentist.  During either of these types of visits, the question I would like you to feel comfortable asking is: “What do you do differently for dental anxious patients?”  The secret to this is not the question or necessarily the answer you get; it’s the need to open the door for both of you to discuss how to make your visit an easy one.

 

Dr. Jeffrey E. Greenberg DMD

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To view the video series, visit us:

Facebook: @sweetspotdental

Instagram: @hellosweetspotdental

To see how Dr. Greenberg and his team can help you click here

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Cambridge Office

Cambridge, MA Dentist

763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1, Cambridge, MA 02139

Phone: (617) 945-1974

Email: Hello@SweetSpotDental.com

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Saturday: By appointment only.

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