Understanding the Relationship Between Acid Levels and Tooth Decay | Dentist Cambridge

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Acid levels in the mouth can have a major impact on the likelihood of developing tooth decay. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can cause the enamel of the teeth to become weakened, leading to the development of cavities. When the acid levels in the mouth are too low, it can lead to tooth demineralization, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take steps to prevent the condition.

 

The mouth is a slightly acidic environment, but the acidity of the mouth can fluctuate depending on the foods and drinks you consume. Highly acidic foods and drinks, such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, and sports drinks, can cause the acid levels in the mouth to spike. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can weaken the enamel of the teeth, making them more susceptible to cavity formation.

 

In addition to acidic foods and drinks, the bacteria that naturally inhabit the mouth can also increase the acid levels in the mouth. Bacteria produce acids as part of their metabolic processes, and some bacteria are more acid-producing than others. Streptococcus mutans is a common acid-producing bacteria that is responsible for the development of tooth decay. The presence of too many of these bacteria in the mouth can cause the acid levels in the mouth to rise, leading to the formation of cavities.

 

The saliva in the mouth also plays a role in regulating the acid levels in the mouth. Saliva helps to buffer the acidity in the mouth and neutralize the acids produced by bacteria. When the saliva is not able to do its job, the acid levels in the mouth can rise, leading to the weakening of the enamel and the development of cavities.

 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay due to high acid levels in the mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can help remove the bacteria and food particles that can contribute to an increase in acid levels in the mouth. You should also floss your teeth daily to remove any plaque buildup that can cause an increase in the acid levels in the mouth. Finally, you should limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep the acid levels in the mouth balanced.

 

By taking steps to reduce the acid levels in the mouth, you can help protect your teeth from tooth decay. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take the necessary steps to prevent the condition. For more information, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Maintaining Your Oral Health During Illness | Cambridge MA Dentist

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Sniffling, sneezing, and coughing. Being sick can make it more difficult to keep up with your daily routine. Don’t let your cold or flu become an excuse for overlooking your oral hygiene. In fact, when you’re sick it is essential that you continue to stick to your regular brushing and flossing routine. Here are a few tips to keep you on track and on your way to getting better. 

 

Brush After Each Meal 

When you’re sick, try maintaining a schedule of brushing your teeth shortly after each meal. Your mouth can be a prime location where bacteria breed. Being extra vigilant in your brushing routine is an excellent way to minimize the multiplication of germs and bacteria. 

 

Be Selective with Cough Drops and Lozenges 

Numerous brands of cough drops and throat lozenges contain sugar. In fact, many cough drops or lozenges are similar to candy. Candy, particularly sucking candy that lasts in your mouth for an extended period of time, can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth feeds off sugar to create acids that damage your teeth. Consider looking for drops and lozenges that are sugar free, or those that do not include corn syrup and fructose. 

 

Rinse Carefully 

If you are vomiting, keeping your mouth clean is important. Stomach acids can damage your teeth. However, brushing right away will just cause you to rub the acids all over your teeth. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash and wait at least 20 minutes before reaching for the toothbrush. 

 

Drink Plenty of Water 

Staying hydrated is one of the keys to recovery. Drinking water is also an effective way to prevent dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to decay and bad breath. Some medications you might be taking to relieve your cold or flu symptoms might dry out your mouth, so be sure to continue to drink water throughout the day. 

 

Replace Your Brush 

Once you have recovered from your illness, consider replacing your toothbrush. While it isn’t likely that you would cause yourself to get sick again, you may wish to err on the side of caution. The American Dental Association recommends that you regularly replace your toothbrush every three to four months. 

 

When you are sick, make it a point to keep up with your oral health. Your medications or over-the-counter remedies can have an impact on your oral health. Watch out for sugar content in cough drops and throat lozenges, and stay hydrated with water to avoid dry mouth. Keeping your mouth healthy is the first step to keeping your entire body healthy. 

 

For more oral health tips or to schedule a visit to our office, please contact Sweet Spot Dental.

 

 

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Revolutionizing Dental Care: How Dental Technology is Changing the Way We Treat Tooth Decay | Cambridge MA Dentist

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In today’s world, dental technology has become an integral part of treating tooth decay. Dental technology has revolutionized the way dentists diagnose and treat problems, providing faster and more accurate results than ever before. This technology has made it easier for dentists to provide better care for their patients, while also reducing the amount of time it takes to diagnose and treat tooth decay.

 

Tooth decay is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and feed on the sugars and starches in food. These bacteria produce acid that can break down the enamel on the teeth, leading to cavities and other issues. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to a wide range of complications, including pain, infection, and even the loss of teeth.

 

Dental technology has made it easier for dentists to diagnose and treat tooth decay. With advanced imaging technology, dentists can see detailed images of the entire mouth, including the teeth, gums, and jaw. This allows dentists to identify tooth decay in its early stages and treat it before any serious damage is done. Advanced imaging also allows dentists to detect hidden cavities and other issues that might not be visible to the naked eye.

 

Another important piece of dental technology is lasers. Lasers can be used to remove enamel decay from the teeth, as well as treat gum disease. Lasers are also used to whiten teeth, remove plaque, and even reshape teeth. Lasers offer a minimally invasive way to treat oral health issues and can be used to improve the overall appearance of the teeth.

 

Finally, dental technology has allowed dentists to provide more personalized care to their patients. With the help of digital tools, dentists can design custom-made dental appliances, such as crowns, bridges, and dentures, that fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. This can improve the comfort and effectiveness of treatments, as well as reduce the amount of time it takes to complete them.

 

Overall, dental technology has revolutionized the way dentists diagnose and treat tooth decay. With advanced imaging, lasers, and custom-made dental appliances, dentists are able to provide better care for their patients in a shorter amount of time. This technology has made it easier for dentists to detect and treat tooth decay, as well as improve the overall look and feel of the teeth. Contact Sweet Spot Dental today. 

 

 

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Are Your Medications Damaging Your Oral Health? | Cambridge MA Dentist

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans are currently taking prescription medications and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements. Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health. Always let us know if you are taking any medicines or supplements and if those have changed since your last visit. 

 

Here are some common side effects of medications that can impact your oral health: 

 

Abnormal Bleeding 

Blood thinning and reduced clotting accompany the use of some medications. This can cause problems with excessive bleeding during treatments for periodontal disease or oral surgery. Your dentist needs to know if you are taking any medications or supplements before scheduling any treatment that may involve bleeding. 

 

Dry Mouth 

Many medications can cause reduced saliva production. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. 

 

Fungal Infection 

Oral Candidiasis is an oral fungal infection that can affect those who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler. 

 

Gum Tissue Enlargement 

Overgrowth or enlargement of gum tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. Patients with this condition need to give special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation or decay. 

 

Soft Tissue Reactions 

Inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of soft tissues can occur as a side effect of some medications. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen that can alleviate your discomfort. 

 

Tooth Decay 

While tooth decay is not directly a side effect of medication, several types of medicines use sugar to improve the flavor, especially those in liquid, chewable, and lozenge forms. When these are taken over a period of time, the sugars left on the teeth can make the patient more likely to develop tooth decay. When possible, select sugar-free versions of medications, take with meals, or rinse your mouth after taking a sugared medicine. 

 

Severe tooth decay can lead to the need for Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, and can even lead to tooth loss. If you have concerns about your medications, contact your Cambridge MA dentist immediately. Contact Sweet Spot Dental today.

 

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Decrease Your Odds of Hypertension | Cambridge MA Dentist

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You may be unaware of how your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health. The warning signs of systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can often be found by during a routine examination at our dental office. You may be surprised to find out that hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be linked to your oral health habits.

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a link between oral hygiene and high blood pressure, based on the results of almost 20,000 adults surveyed in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). It was found that individuals with poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing of teeth, were more likely to suffer from hypertension. Individuals that brushed their teeth more than once daily and also utilized other oral health products such as floss or mouthwash were less likely to suffer from hypertension. The study concluded that maintaining good oral hygiene habits may help prevent or control high blood pressure.

Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy life and regular dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health. Contact Sweet Spot Dental to schedule your appointment for an examination and cleaning with our Cambridge dentist.

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth | Cambridge MA Dentist

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 No time to brush or floss your teeth? When brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can still keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy.  

 

Cheese provides several benefits 

for your teeth, such as preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps to produce saliva, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. 

 

Tea contains polyphenols, which slows the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It prevents the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that cause bad breath. 

 

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that cause tooth decay. Also, chewing on naturally abrasive foods removes stuck food particles, massages gums and cleans between teeth. 

 

Vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into these lesions. 

 

Sugarless gum contains xylitol that helps to prevent plaque and aids in producing saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh. 

 

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease. 

 

Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay. 

 

It is important to have a balanced diet for your oral and overall health. While these foods help to combat plaque buildup and tooth decay, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointments with our Cambridge MA dentist. Contact Sweet Spot Dental today.

 

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Unexpected Ways to Use Toothpaste | Cambridge MA Dentist

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Toothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get rid of stains and pungent smells. Read these tricks on how toothpaste can do much more than leave your smile looking bright. 

 

Relieve irritation from bee stings and insect bites. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the sting/bite to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. The toothpaste dries up the wound and helps it heal faster. 

 

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove the paint off the walls. 

 

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on the mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time during your morning routine by not waiting for the mirror to clear up. 

 

Remove scuffs from dirty shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require additional toothpaste or multiple applications to remove completely. 

 

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them using a toothbrush, toothpaste and water. 

 

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This technique works well on only shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc, rub gently and rinse clean. Repeat the process if there are many scratches. 

 

Decrease the size of a pimple. Apply toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed and wash it off in the morning. Toothpaste will dry out the area and speed up the healing process. 

 

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water. 

 

Fill in small nail holes in walls. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife to remove excess toothpaste. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also touch up the paint. 

 

At your next dental appointment, be sure to tell our team how you decided to use toothpaste other than for your teeth!

 

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Root Canals Without Fear | Cambridge Family Dentist

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According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are popular misconceptions people may have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Below are some common myths that you may have heard about root canal treatment.

 

Myth 1: Root canal treatment is painful.

  In reality, the only pain that is generally associated with root canal therapy is caused by the underlying reason for the treatment – tooth decay or infected or diseased tissue. The root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, relieving the pain in the process.

 

Myth 2: Root canal treatment can spread infection.

In fact, root canal therapy has been proven to have a much lower incidence of bacteria entering the blood stream than tooth extraction and causes much less discomfort for the patient. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has also found that patients who have had multiple endodontic treatments have a 45% lower risk of cancer than patients who have not.

 

Myth 3: It’s better to just extract problem teeth.

By saving the natural tooth whenever possible, doctors and patients avoid the need for further, more costly treatment. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and can often allow the natural tooth to last a lifetime.

 

If you still experience anxiety about the prospect of root canal treatment, there is another option you may consider. Sweet Spot Dental is pleased to offer sedation dentistry. Whether you have sensitive teeth that make treatment difficult, prohibitive anxiety that keeps you out of the dental chair, or multiple treatments that need to be done in one sitting, sedation dentistry can remove the worry from dental care.

 

Don’t let dental anxiety prevent you from receiving the quality care you deserve. Our qualified team is fully certified to offer sedation dentistry. Turn a potentially stressful trip to the dentist into a relaxing experience while receiving the care you need. To learn more about our sedation offerings, contact our dental team today!

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

What is Periodontal Disease? | Dentist in Cambridge

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Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.  

 

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove the tartar from teeth. 

 

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build unchecked. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance to gingivitis. In this stage, gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, and difficulty or pain with chewing. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis. 

 

When gingivitis is not treated in time, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis. 

 

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women. Some medications can cause gum tissue to grow abnormally, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease. 

 

Many recent studies have found that untreated periodontal disease may negatively impact other aspects of your overall health, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight or premature birth. 

 

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation. 

 

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

Modern Dentistry: Managing TMD Discomfort | Cambridge MA Dentist

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Discomfort and pain in your jaw, clicking while you talk or chew, and swelling on the sides of your face can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMD can make talking and eating both painful and uncomfortable. Our team understands how TMD can make your day a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for managing TMD discomfort, but also encourage you to schedule a visit to see us for a full evaluation. 

 

Finding Relief at Home 

If your jaw is swollen, try applying a cold compress to your face. We recommend holding the compress in place for about 10 minutes. If you are able, try a few gentle jaw stretches. After the cold compress, apply warm, moist heat to the same area. You can keep this warm compress in place for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.  

 

If your discomfort is particularly noticeable, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or ibuprofen. If you find yourself taking pain relieving medications daily, please contact us immediately. 

 

The “Don’ts” of TMD 

Applying excess pressure to your jaw can make your TMD discomfort worse. Don’t use your hand as a rest for your chin, as doing so increases the amount of pressure and strain placed on your jaw. If you talk on the phone frequently, avoid holding the phone on your shoulder while bending your neck to keep it in place.  

 

Clenching your jaw and keeping your teeth tightly closed can also lead to a build-up of pressure in the jaw. During the day, try to keep your teeth from touching. By create a little space between your teeth, you will be relieving pressure from your jaw. 

 

Contact Us 

Our team is here to help you. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about the solutions available for people just like you dealing with TMD discomfort. We will provide a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment for your TMD.  

 

Relief may be closer than you think. Contact our dental team to learn more today.

Sweet Spot Dental
Phone: (617) 945-1974
cash, credit card
763 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 1
Cambridge, MA 02139

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