How to Get Rid of a Canker Sore

It all started with a slight tingling sensation in your mouth. Then all of a sudden, up pops a canker sore. Now you’re stuck with this uncomfortable and painful blister-like sore. What can you do to get rid of it? Even though there’s no official cure for canker sores, there are some things you can do to help reduce discomfort. Join our dental office in Plainsboro as we cover some common canker sore treatments and talk about how you may be able to prevent one in the future.

Canker Sore Treatment

While there isn’t any cure that will quickly and easily get rid of canker sores, you don’t have to stay feeling uncomfortable while the sore runs its course. Your first go-to treatment option can be buying one of the several over-the-counter products designed to numb and ease the pain associated with canker sores. If that doesn’t quite cut it, you can schedule an appointment with your Plainsboro dentist. They may be able to use a laser to speed up healing time or may even suggest a corticosteroid or prescription-strength antimicrobial rinse.

Symptoms of a Canker Sore?

Canker sores can start with that weird tingly or itchy sensation before you can even see any signs of a sore at all. Other signs of a canker sore can include a blister-type sore inside the mouth. Canker sores are typically small, red and can have a white or gray middle. They’re usually found on the tongue, cheeks, or roof of the mouth. Sometimes canker sores can also cause a fever.

Causes

Unfortunately, there isn’t a known or proven cause of canker sores. But many people can identify triggers to what caused one to develop. Some common explanations behind canker sores include:

● Stress
● An injury to the mouth
● Spicy or acidic foods

If you can find out what seems to be causing canker sores, do your best to avoid them. Doing so can help prevent canker sores or limit how often you get one.

Unlike cold sores, which are very similar to canker sores but affect the outside of the mouth, canker sores are not contagious. They’re mostly just annoying. But if you’ve been dealing with a canker sore for longer than three weeks or you notice any other changes to your mouth, don’t hesitate to call our Plainsboro dental office today.

Tooth Extraction or Root Canal: Which is Best for You?

When you’re dealing with tooth pain or severe decay you may think that a tooth extraction is your only option. However, at our dental office in Plainsboro, we want all of our patients to know that there may be another option available that can save your tooth.

The Truth About Root Canals

Root canals have a bad reputation of being scary and painful, but the truth is the treatment itself actually makes the pain go away. Your dentist in Plainsboro may recommend a root canal if a tooth has deep decay or infection, or sometimes even when a dental restoration is too big. Oftentimes, a root canal can be used instead of extracting a tooth.

When an Extraction May Be the Answer

Even though saving your natural tooth is always the preferred treatment, doing so is not always possible. When decay compromises too much of the tooth or if there’s a severe dental injury to a tooth, an extraction may be more appropriate. However, advancements in dental technology provide you with many options to replace a tooth once it’s pulled. Some tooth replacement options include:

● Dental Implants
● Dental Bridge
● Partial Dentures

Once a tooth is pulled, replacing it with a dental restoration is highly recommended. If an extracted tooth isn’t replaced, other teeth may start to shift and not only affect the cosmetic appearance of your smile, but may also lead to bite problems and TMJ.

Signs of a Problem

Besides generalized tooth pain, there are several other signs that you may have severe decay or dental trauma that needs treatment. Some other symptoms include:

● Surges of pain while eating or applying pressure
● Long-lasting tooth sensitivity
● Tooth discoloration
● Gum swelling or pain

The best way to prevent an extraction or root canal treatment is to keep up with your dental checkups at least every six months. These visits allow the team at our Plainsboro dental office to monitor your oral health and catch any problems before they turn into something serious. If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve seen a dentist, or if you’re suffering from tooth pain, we welcome you to call and schedule an appointment with us today. We’re here to help make the best recommendation for you to get you out of pain.

The 8 Worst Habits for Teeth

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Seeing your dentist in Plainsboro twice a year is one of the best ways you can protect your smile and keep your mouth healthy. Pair those visits with a good oral hygiene routine at home and your oral health is pretty well protected. Except when the things we do or the foods we eat counteract our hard work. In this blog, we cover some of the worst habits for your teeth.

1. Tobacco Use - Let’s start with a pretty well-known habit that’s dangerous to oral health. Using tobacco, whether it’s cigarettes or chewing tobacco, can cause tooth discoloration and increase the chance of gum disease and oral cancer.

2. Eating Lemons - Eating too much of any citrus fruit, including lemons, can be bad for teeth. Citrus fruits are loaded with acid that essentially erodes tooth enamel. Without the protective layer of enamel, teeth are exposed to bacteria and are more likely to get cavities.

3. Drinking Soda - Another commonly known culprit of cavities are soft drinks. These beverages are packed with sugar, and as we all know, sugar is bad for teeth. What makes soda particularly damaging is that when we drink it, it coats our mouths and teeth with sugar, essentially bathing them in sugar.

4. Crunching on Ice Cubes - Chewing these frozen solid cubes can cause tiny little cracks in our teeth where bacteria can camp out and cause cavities. Eating ice can also cause large, serious chips and breaks.

5. Using Teeth as Tools - Using our teeth for anything other than chewing is a bad idea. Yet many people turn to their teeth to rip, saw, or cut open packages or to hold onto things when two hands aren’t enough. These are surefire ways to crack or chip teeth.

6. Nail Biting - Not only are our nails loaded with bacteria, but they’re also really hard. Using our teeth to trim our nails can easily cause damage. Nail biting may also lead to jaw pain or TMD/TMJ.

7. Too Much Whitening - Getting a whiter smile is safe and possible with many teeth whitening products. However, using these products too often can cause sensitivity and erode enamel.

8. Brushing Too Hard - Brushing your teeth twice a day is one thing, a very good thing. But brushing your teeth twice a day when you’re scrubbing too hard isn’t so great. A rough brushing will do more harm than good by scratching up tooth enamel and damaging gums. Gums may even recede, leaving teeth sensitive.

When it comes to protecting your teeth and overall oral health, make sure you’re not only brushing twice a day and visiting our dental office in Plainsboro every six months, but that you’re also staying aware of all the things that can damage your smile. Do your best to avoid these dangers or at least enjoy them in moderation.

GERD & Dental Problems

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as its more common and easier to pronounce acronym GERD, is an uncomfortable problem associated with digestion. But while the issue originates in the gut it can have a negative on oral health. If you suffer from GERD, our Plainsboro dental office has some insight for you.

What Is GER/GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is the medical term used to explain what happens when stuff inside the stomach comes up into the esophagus. The result is often the feeling of heartburn or indigestion. If symptoms of GER happen more than two times a week for several weeks, it could be a sign of GERD. GERD is a more serious, long-lasting problem that can lead to more health concerns. It’s important to note that if someone has GER, it doesn’t always mean they have GERD.

Dental Concerns Linked to GERD

Since GER/GERD increases the mouth’s exposure to acid, it also increases the risk for dental problems and tooth damage. In fact, acid is one of the worst things for our pearly whites. It can easily wear down protective tooth enamel, increase the risk of decay, and quite literally eat away at teeth. People with GER/GERD are more likely to have bad breath, decay, and cavities than those without the condition. Additionally, dealing with the effects of GER/GERD may also increase sensitivity, which can be painful and make sufferers not want to brush their teeth. However, it’s crucial to still brush and floss regularly. Using a soft toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help reduce any discomfort.

Signs of GERD

Signs of GER or GERD vary from person to person and can even be different based on age. Besides feeling the discomfort of heartburn, there are several other common symptoms including:

● Acidic taste in the mouth
● Bad breath
● Difficulty swallowing
● Vomiting
● Nausea
● Holes in teeth

How to Reduce the Risk of Dental Problems

Your dentist in Plainsboro, as well as your family doctor, may recommend certain changes in diet and habits to help reduce GERD symptoms and dental problems associated with it. Some recommendations include:

● Avoid acidic foods and drinks
● Stay away from sour treats
● Limit spicy foods
● Eat a well-balanced diet
● Chew thoroughly

While it’s important for everyone to visit the dentist regularly, it’s incredibly crucial for those with GERD. Dental visits at least every six months can help protect smiles from the acid produced from GERD or catch any problems early when they’re easily treatable. If you’re in need of a dentist, we welcome you to call our dental office in Plainsboro to schedule an appointment with us today.

Smoking and Your Oral Health

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By now we all know that smoking is bad for our health. It increases the risk for cancer, heart disease, and numerous other problems throughout the body. Your mouth is no exception. This November, during the Great American Smokeout sponsored by the American Cancer Society, our dental office in Plainsboro wants to help the cause of moving towards a smoke-free life by providing our community members with some more reasons to quit.

How Smoking Affects Your Oral Health

One of the commonly overlooked dangers of smoking is how it affects oral health. But it’s certainly a concern for your dentist in Plainsboro . The truth is, several oral health problems are directly related to smoking, and continuing to smoke can put you at increased risk for:

● Gum disease
● Oral cancer
● Dry mouth
● Discolored teeth
● Bad breath

Tips to Quit

Smoking is addictive and therefore not easy to quit. Some people even try quitting multiple times before they succeed at never picking up another cigarette. We understand how difficult quitting can be and are here to provide support for anyone looking to improve their health by never lighting up again.

1. Find a Support Team. Trying to do something as difficult as quitting smoking isn’t easy to do on your own. Sometimes it’s made easier by finding trusted friends, family members, or health professionals to help. Make sure your chosen quit team can be supportive in the way you need them to be and set up a plan with them.

2. Identify Your Reasons to Quit. Writing out a physical list of why you want to quit smoking can be a great first step to success. Seeing your reasons on paper may help them feel more ‘real.’ When you have a strong craving, get out your list and remind yourself all of the reasons why quitting is important.

3. Know Your Triggers. Part of what can make quitting so difficult is that smokers often develop a routine to when they smoke -- on the car ride to work, when drinking alcohol, drinking coffee in the morning, to name a few. While some triggers may be harder to avoid than others, try your best to steer clear of anything that will make you want to light up.

4. Find Alternatives. Another thing that makes it difficult to quit smoking is that smokers get so used to having something in their hand that when they suddenly don’t, it feels uncomfortable. Keep your hands busy by holding a pencil or straw. This can mimic the feeling of a cigarette and ease the mind.

This year’s Great American Smokeout can be your time to finally quit smoking. On November 15, make a plan to quit and stick to it. Select a quit date and take the steps to become smoke free by that date. Your physician, along with our Plainsboro dental office, can also provide you with additional ways to help.

Diabetes Awareness Month

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November is recognized as National Diabetes Awareness Month and serves to raise awareness of diabetes, other health problems associated with the disease, and the importance of regulation. In fact, one of the little-known facts about diabetes is that it directly relates to oral health. Our dental office in Plainsboro wants to help do our part this month and let our patients know all about the importance of sharing a diabetes diagnosis with your dentist.

“How Does Diabetes Affect My Oral Health?”

One of the most important parts of managing diabetes is keeping blood glucose levels stable and within a healthy range. Properly managing diabetes can reduce the risk of complications or other health problems such as heart disease. But healthy blood glucose levels can also keep mouths healthy too. Recent research has shown a strong connection to diabetes and gum disease. In fact, studies show that this connection may go two ways. For example, people who have diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease but at the same time, gum disease can make diabetes difficult to regulate, causing it to progress more rapidly.

“What Information Should I Tell My Dentist About My Diabetes?”

Your Plainsboro dentist will start each new patient appointment by getting to know the person behind the patient. They’ll ask questions about health history, oral health goals, and any problems patients are worried about. Dental teams do this to better diagnose, treat, and prevent any problems that may arise. If you have diabetes, it’s important to share that with your dentist along with the following things:

● Results of some of your diabetes blood tests (the A1C or fasting blood glucose)
● Information about any prescriptions
● Your need for antibiotics before and after dental treatment for uncontrolled diabetes

“Does My Oral Hygiene Routine Need to Change?”

We always recommend that our patients brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day, whether they have diabetes or not. Following this proper at-home oral hygiene routine will not only keep teeth clean, but can help reduce the likelihood of developing gum disease and, in turn, protect against the progression of diabetes or unwanted spikes in blood glucose.

The team at our Plainsboro dental office is committed to protecting the health and smiles of all of our patients. Knowing all about any disease or health problem you have, including diabetes, can help us provide you with better care catered to your individual situation. If you have questions about how diabetes can affect your oral health, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today. We’re here to help.

What’s Worse for Teeth Than Candy?

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Another candy-packed holiday is right around the corner, and our dental office in Plainsboro is busy getting into the spirit of Halloween. From pumpkins and fall colors, to costumes and hayrides, there’s a lot to be excited about this time of year. But as we all know, candy is one of those things that’s scarier to us than any goblin or ghoul.

Candy Concerns

We know that when we start talking about the dental dangers of candy it may seem that we’re putting a damper on one of the biggest parts of Halloween. But there’s a good reason we encourage our patients to limit the amount of sweet treats. While sugar itself doesn’t create cavities, it does give the bacteria that live in the mouth plenty to feed on. When this happens, the bacteria produce an acid that will erode tooth enamel and a cavity can form. Even though we recommend enjoying candy and foods with a lot of sugar in moderation, there are other foods that could be even spookier for your teeth.

Chips & Crackers

While the sugar in sweet snacks are often thought of as the most likely to cause cavities, there are other surprising snacks that can be even more dangerous. While often considered pretty harmless and perhaps even healthy snacks, chips and crackers can contain ingredients that put teeth at greater risk for cavities than most candies. This is because of the high starch content found in these types of foods. Starches can have a very similar effect on the body as sugars, even though they don’t have a sweet taste.

Starchy Foods & Oral Health

First and foremost, starchy foods such as crackers and chips become sticky as they’re chewed. This makes it really easy for them to leave pieces stuck in the crevices of teeth. Second, chips and crackers have something called a high glycemic index. The glycemic index is basically a scale used to explain how likely a food is to raise blood glucose level as the food is broken down. This means certain non-sweet foods can have a similar effect on your body and your oral health as, you guessed it, sugar. The combination of stickiness and a high glycemic index is a recipe for a scary situation. Again bacteria are left to feed on the leftover food particles, produce the acidic byproduct, and the result is a cavity.

Protecting Teeth

Whether you treat yourself to a few pieces of candy or enjoy a few crackers this Halloween, make sure to drink plenty of water to help wash away sugars and neutralize acid. As always, make sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist in Plainsboro at least twice a year.

From all of us at our Plainsboro dental office, we wish you and your family a safe and happy Halloween.

How to Get a Better Looking Smile

Our smiles are one of the first things others notice about us, and they can say a lot about who we are. After all, we use our smiles to display friendliness as well as express emotions. But if you’re unhappy with the way your smile looks, it may affect your self-confidence and unfortunately, first impressions made by others. Our dental office in Plainsboro has tips for our neighbors on how they can get a better smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry

When it comes to improving the appearance of your smile, the best place to start is by talking with your dentist in Plainsboro about cosmetic dentistry. There are many forms of cosmetic dentistry available to fix nearly anything you dislike about your smile. Let’s take a look at some of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments and how they transform teeth.

Smile Whitening

The most popular form of cosmetic dentistry is smile whitening. While there are kits available at your local store or online, the best tooth whitening product is found at your dentist’s office. Professional whitening contains more powerful whitening gel than any over-the-counter kit and can dramatically whiten teeth in as little as one visit.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

If you have several silver fillings, your smile may appear dark or dull. But thanks to advancements in dental technology, we now have another option that’s more aesthetically pleasing. Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings, can replace old silver fillings and really brighten your smile.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the surface of teeth to cover up imperfections such as deep stains that can’t be removed through whitening alone, gaps, crooked teeth, or broken teeth. Dental veneers are created to match the shape and color of your other teeth so they appear natural.

Dental Bonding

When it comes to fixing chips or cracks in teeth, dental bonding may be your best solution. Similar to veneers, the dental bonding material is mixed to compliment the tooth’s natural color. It’s then shaped onto the affected area and hardened for a seamless and strong restoration.

Getting a smile you’re proud of can transform your confidence and your life. We welcome you to schedule an appointment at our Plainsboro dental office. We will talk with you about what you’d like to change about your smile and discuss the best cosmetic dentistry treatment for you.

Is Chewing Gum Good for Teeth?

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Gum may be your go-to fix to temporarily get rid of bad breath. Or maybe you just like to chew gum and there’s always a pack nearby. But is this sweet treat good for your teeth and overall oral health? Our dental office in Plainsboro has the answer.

Gum Can Be Good, But Not All Gum is Good Gum

The truth is, chewing gum after a meal when you can’t brush or floss can help remove plaque or food particles that stick around after lunch. It can even help stimulate saliva to neutralize acids and wash away bacteria. But some gum may do more harm than good.

If your chewing gum of choice contains sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or saccharine, chances are that it’s contributing more to the problem of bacteria and acid than helping it. But gum containing Xylitol is a different story.

Why is Xylitol Beneficial?

Xylitol looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, but doesn’t act like sugar once it’s in the body. It doesn’t increase blood sugar levels and doesn’t affect oral health the same way traditional sugar does. Regular sugar and many of the sugar substitutes will feed bacteria in the mouth with a delicious meal, making these bacteria happy and more than willing to stick around. After bacteria feed on sugars they give off an acid byproduct. This acid puts tooth enamel at risk of erosion and increases the chance of decay. But Xylitol functions differently.

Even though bacteria will still feed on Xylitol in the mouth, they aren’t getting any nutrients from it. This starves bacteria and it can die off. This also means that bacteria aren’t excreting the damaging acids that contribute to decay. That’s not all.

Xylitol gum can:

- Prevent tooth decay

- Starve bacteria

- Prevent oral inflammation

- Reduce your risk for gum disease

Is Xylitol Safe?

Xylitol isn’t only found in gum but actually occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It is safe for humans but occasionally, some people have experienced negative, yet not serious, side effects when they ingest too much. Some of these common side effects include gas, bloating, diarrhea, or other discomfort.

The next time you’re looking for a piece of gum to cover up the lingering smells of lunch, choose a brand that includes Xylitol. It can not only freshen your breath, but protect your oral health in the process. However, nothing is as good for oral health as brushing and flossing regularly and maintaining biannual visits to your dentist in Plainsboro.

All About Dental Hygienists

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This month we’re taking some time to thank our dental hygienists, and with good reason. Every October is recognized at National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s 31 days dedicated to not only recognizing the important role dental hygienists have at our dental office in Plainsboro, but also to educate patients on just what our hygiene team does during their appointments.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Dental Hygienist?

Many people know that dental hygienists are responsible for giving each and every patient a thorough, in-depth cleaning at their appointments. But the responsibilities of hygienists go far beyond dental cleanings. These team members also help educate patients on any oral health concerns and proper at-home care, identify any problems early, and are focused on preventing these problems in the first place in order to keep patients healthy. After all, according to the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), there is a link between oral health and several problems that can affect the entire body such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

What’s Required to Become a Dental Hygienist?

The first step to becoming a dental hygienist is to get an associates degree. As of 2017, there were more than 300 accredited dental hygiene programs available in the United States. These programs can be found at local community colleges, technical schools, and universities. To earn a degree in dental hygiene it takes about three years of schooling, including labs, clinical work, and classroom lectures. An interest in the sciences including biology, chemistry, and anatomy would make the coursework and a dental hygiene career more enjoyable. Once a degree is earned, dental hygienists are usually required to pass a licensing test.

Top Tips for Patients

When you visit your dentist in Plainsboro, you will most likely have some time with a dental hygienist. Besides preventing any dental problems from popping up, this hygienist is also responsible for passing along information on how you can keep your teeth healthy in between visits. Some of the most helpful tips are below.

1. Brush for Two Minutes

Brushing every day is great, but brushing twice a day using correct technique and for the recommended two minutes is even better. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and small, gentle circles instead of scrubbing back and forth.

2. Floss Regularly

When you don’t floss regularly, you’re leaving about 35% of each tooth uncleaned. That greatly increases the likelihood that bacteria will wear away enamel and cause decay. Flossing in between every tooth and up under the gum line can minimize this risk.

3. Use Mouthwash, But Choose Wisely

Many times mouthwash is used as a breath freshener, but if you’re using the wrong mouthwash for you it can actually make bad breath worse. If you choose to use mouthwash, choose one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance or talk with your hygienist about what's right for you.

This October, and at every visit, we hope that you will thank your dental hygienist for doing their part in keeping your smile healthy. If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental cleaning, we welcome you to call our Plainsboro dental office to schedule an appointment today.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

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Having bad breath can be embarrassing. But the team at our Plainsboro dental office is here to help. In fact, we help patients everyday find out what’s causing their bad breath and work with them to fix it. Today, we’re going beyond the help that we can provide in our office and providing you some tips on what you can do to help get rid of bad breath at home.

Watch What You Eat

Of course if you eat a pasta dish packed with garlic or a hot dog loaded up with diced onions your breath is going to tell everyone you talk to what you had for lunch. But your diet can affect your breath long-term, too. Eating enough fresh and crunchy fruits and veggies such as apples, carrots, or celery regularly will help rub off any bad breath bacteria that may be sticking around on teeth.

Brush, Brush, Brush

Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day not only protects your pearly whites from decay and cavities, it also helps remove any bacteria that’s built up throughout the day (or night!). Besides brushing, flossing helps get rid of the more stubborn bacteria that have wiggled their way up under gums. Don’t forget about your tongue either. A gentle brush or a swipe of a tongue scraper will take care of any bacteria that’s left over.

Fight Off Dry Mouth

There are many things that can cause dry mouth including smoking, mouth breathing, and even certain medications. While dry mouth is uncomfortable, it may also a contribute to bad breath. When a mouth is dried out there’s not enough saliva to clean away bad breath bacteria, which builds up and gives off an unpleasant smell. To protect yourself from dry mouth and bad breath drink a lot of water, talk to your doctor about possibly using a different medication, and make a plan to quit smoking.

Stop Smoking

Speaking of quitting smoking, smokers tend to suffer from something known as smokers’ breath. This unique smell is caused by the tobacco itself and also from the chemicals found in cigarettes. These chemicals bring a stench all their own which lingers around even after someone is done smoking. Quitting can help your health in more than ways than helping freshen your breath. It can reduce your risk for heart disease and several types of cancer.

It Could Be More Than Just Bad Breath

Bad breath doesn’t only affect oral health. The truth is it can also be a sign of a problem somewhere else in the body. Not all bad breath smells the same, and different smells can indicate various health concerns. For example, a slight stench of ammonia may be a symptom of liver cirrhosis. Bad breath has been tied to many systemic diseases including kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, and respiratory infections.

Bad breath should be taken seriously. If it’s a chronic problem, you should see your dentist in Plainsboro as soon as possible.

Nobody should have to live with the embarrassment of bad breath or the fear that it’s a sign of something serious. Our dental office in Plainsboro can help. We encourage you to give us a call to schedule an appointment with our trusted team today. We’ll talk with you about your health history, habits, and discuss the best solutions to get rid of your bad breath.

Home Solutions for Toothaches

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There’s no telling when a toothache may strike. You could be on vacation far away from your dentist in Plainsboro . Or perhaps you woke up on Sunday morning with a tooth throbbing in pain when no dental office is open. What can you do if these situations occur? We’re happy to help by providing you some easy things to try right in your own home.

Best Ways to Relieve Tooth Pain

Before we dive into the ways you can treat a toothache from home, we need to make sure all of our neighbors and patients know that these are short-term solutions. It’s still crucial to get to our dental office in Plainsboro as soon as possible so we can treat the pain at the source.

1. Oral Anesthetic. Keeping some over-the-counter oral anesthetic in your medicine cabinet is a great way to be ready for any toothache that comes your way. These gels or liquids contain benzocaine and will temporarily numb your pain. Just apply it to the painful area and follow the usage instructions.

2. Oil of Cloves. Acting very much like an over-the-counter anesthetic, oil of cloves is a natural way to ease tooth pain. Just apply some to the painful tooth or hold a soaked cotton ball to the area.

3. Salt Water. Swishing warm salt water in your mouth, focusing on the painful area, can help reduce pressure on the nerves and allow you some relief. You can do this a few times a day, just don’t swallow the solution.

4. Ice. Some good old fashioned ice may be just want you need to get relief from your tooth pain. Wrap a cold compress in a cloth and apply it to your face. You can keep it there for about 15 minutes at a time, but make sure to take breaks.

5. Anti-inflammatories. If your health allows, taking an anti-inflammatory medication can reduce swelling and ease discomfort. Take as directed... and don’t apply the pill directly to the tooth or gums. This will burn and may cause even more pain.

Keep Toothaches Away

There are ways you can help protect yourself from the discomfort of toothache pain by preventing one in the first place. Start by seeing your dentist twice a year to significantly lower your risk of an unpredictable toothache. Your bi-annual dental cleaning and exam help catch any problems before they have a chance to develop into a bigger, painful problem. Also, make sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to remove any food debris, bacteria, or plaque that can contribute to the development of cavities.

Many things can cause toothaches, but most commonly they’re a result of a cavity or perhaps an infection. But no matter what is causing the toothache, it’s important to have it checked sooner rather than later so you can get permanent relief. We welcome anyone with any dental need to schedule an appointment at our Plainsboro dental office. We’re here to help get, and keep, our patients and neighbors healthy and pain free.

Eat Whole Grains for a Healthy Smile

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September is recognized as Whole Grains Month and is a 30-day celebration for all things grainy. These whole grains are beneficial for heart health, overall health, and may even boost oral health too. In this blog, our Plainsboro dental office covers some quick facts about whole grains and how it relates to good oral health, as well as some of the best ways you can help your family get enough of the good stuff.

How Many Servings of Whole Grains Do You Need?

Like most things, the recommended amount of whole grains varies from age to age and even by gender. Use the handy table below from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to determine how many whole grains each member of your family should eat every day.

Recommended Daily Whole Grain Servings

Age / Female / Male

1-3 / 2 / 2
4-8 / 2.5 / 2.5
9-13 / 3 / 3.5
14-18 / 3.5 / 4
19-30 / 3.5 / 4.5
31+ / 3 / 4

Great Sources of Whole Grain

Getting enough whole grains in your diet may seem difficult, but whole grains can be found in tons of delicious foods including:

- Cereals
- Popcorn
- Bread or Wraps
- Crackers
- Pasta

How Do Whole Grains Help Grins?

Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are great for bodies of all ages. In terms of oral health, the B vitamins and iron found in whole grains help keep gums healthy, and the magnesium keeps bones and teeth strong. Research also shows that eating a good dose of whole grains can also reduce the risk of gum disease since whole grains help the body better process blood sugar. As we all know, sugar makes your dentist in Plainsboro shiver, and anything that helps protect the body against it is welcomed.

Ensuring that your whole family is eating a well-balanced diet can go a long way in keep both bodies and smiles healthy. Getting regular dental checkups every six months can help too. If anyone in your family is in need of a dentist, call our dental office in Plainsboro to schedule an appointment today.

What’s The Difference Between Gum Disease & Gingivitis?

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Gum disease is often one term used to describe what are actually three different things. While each level of infection is recognized by a medical term all its own, they are all in fact an infection of the gums. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we want to help our neighbors identify each level of gum disease, educate them on the risk factors, and talk about the complications that may result if gum disease is left untreated.

Different Stages of Gum Disease

1. Gingivitis

Let’s start with the mildest form of gum disease -- gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and is classified by gum inflammation, redness, or maybe some bleeding while brushing and flossing. It’s caused when too much plaque builds up under the gum line. When caught before it has a chance to progress gingivitis can be treated and reversed.

2. Periodontitis

The next stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. When gingivitis isn’t treated, the plaque buildup can start to affect the bone and tissues that are responsible for keeping the teeth sturdy and in place. If this occurs, it usually can’t be undone and recommended treatment is more about limiting any more damage.

3. Advanced Periodontitis

The most severe form of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. During this stage, bones and tissues are seriously weakened which can cause teeth to shift, become loose, or fall out. While treatment may help stop any damage from progressing, the damage that has already occurred is irreversible.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

There are several factors that may put someone at greater risk for developing gum disease. Some of these risk factors are controllable while others are not. For example, genetics are thought to play a role in the development of gum disease, and we can’t do much about the way we’re built. However, we can reduce our risk by not smoking, brushing and flossing regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet.

Signs of Gum Disease

You may have heard gum disease described as a silent disease, but what does that mean? In the earliest stages of gum disease (gingivitis), a person may have little to no symptoms and never suspect a problem. But knowing what to keep an eye out for can help you identify gum disease early and while it’s still treatable.

- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Receding gums
- Swollen, red gums

Gum Disease & Overall Health

If not treated early gum disease can lead to tooth loss and some other serious whole-body concerns. Numerous studies have shown that gum disease has been linked to serious medical conditions and diseases including:

- Lung disease
- Cancers
- Osteoporosis
- Heart attacks
- Strokes

The best way to protect your smile from gum disease is to brushing and floss everyday and make sure to visit your dentist in Plainsboro at least twice a year.

If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental check, give our Plainsboro dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.

Why Your Mouth Waters

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When we talk about your mouth watering, we’re not referring to the sensation you may experience when smelling or eating something delicious. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we talk about mouth watering in terms of dental health. While saliva is an important part of maintaining good oral health, too much of it could be a sign of hypersalivation.

What is Hypersalivation?
Hypersalivation is the medical term used to describe the overproduction of saliva. Basically it means a person has too much saliva in their mouth which can cause them to drool and be uncomfortable or embarrassed. What’s more is that hypersalivation may also be a sign of an underlying problem.

What Causes Hypersalivation?
There are several things that may cause someone to produce too much saliva. Some of the most common explanations are temporary, easily treatable, and no cause for serious concern. However, other times hypersalivation may be sign of something bigger. A few reasons why someone may hypersalivate include:

● Infections including gum disease
● Ulcer
● Acid reflux
● Side effect of medication
● Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease
● Toxic poisoning

How Much Saliva is Too Much? 
Typically people produce around 1.5 quarts of saliva every day. This saliva helps break down food to make it more easily digestible and protects teeth against acids and bacteria that can lead to cavities. However, if someone produces even more than that it can lead to hypersalivation.

Signs & Symptoms

● Intense desire to spit a lot
● Drool spots on a pillow
● Feeling the constant need to swallow
● Saliva easily falls out during regular activities
● Difficulty eating or drinking

Excessive saliva production isn’t something that you should ignore. We recommend talking with your dentist in Plainsboro about your symptoms, how long you’ve been experiencing them, and your thorough medical history. We’re always welcoming new patients at our Plainsboro dental office and will be happy to help. Schedule an appointment with our compassionate team and we’ll work with you to determine what’s causing hypersalivation and the best way to treat it. Give us a call today.

Smile-Friendly Labor Day Foods

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The team at our dental office in Plainsboro is pretty sure that the last thing on your mind when you’re enjoying food at a Labor Day picnic is your oral health. However, we can’t help ourselves when it comes to protecting our patients’ smiles. So in preparation for this year’s Labor Day celebration we’d like to provide a list of some of the best summer treats for your smile as well as some of the worst.

What’s Good?
A good way to determine if a certain food is good for your oral health is to think about whether it’s good for your body. Chances are what’s healthy for one is healthy for the other. Try to select foods that contain calcium and phosphorus as these two minerals help build strong teeth and protect enamel. Some foods high in calcium and phosphorus that you may find at your local

Labor Day picnic include:
● Cheese
● Chicken
● Leafy Vegetables

Additionally, pack your plate with fresh veggies such as raw carrots, apples, celery to help remove plaque buildup and stimulate saliva flow.

What’s Not So Good?
Some of the typical picnic foods that fall under the not-so-good category may be obvious, and others may a bit surprising. Let’s take a look at some of the worst foods for oral health.
● Condiments - Condiments including ketchup and barbeque sauce are loaded with acid and sugar, both of which can damage tooth enamel and cause decay.
● Soda - This is one treat that your dentist in Plainsboro will always put on the bad list. Soda is packed with sugar and greatly increases the risk for cavities.
● Alcohol - Besides causing dry mouth, alcohol can seriously affect oral health if consumed in excess. In fact, drinking too much alcohol greatly increases the risk of developing gum disease.

Besides brushing and flossing regularly, following a well-balanced diet can really help keep teeth and gums healthy. That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t indulge every once and awhile, especially at a celebration like Labor Day. However, we recommend drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, help neutralize acids, and rinse away sugars. 

Our Plainsboro dental office team hopes you and your loved ones have a fun, safe, and delicious Labor Day!

“I’ve Lost a Filling, What Do I Do?”

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Dental fillings are super-strong restorations that help fill the space left over after we remove decay. But sometimes things happen that can cause a filling to come loose or totally fall out. Whether it’s from crunching down on a popcorn kernel or grinding your teeth while you sleep, a lost filling may cause worry. The team at our Plainsboro dental office is here to help relieve some of the worry by providing you with a few tips on what you can do if you were to lose a filling.

First Things First
The best thing you can do if you lose a filling is call your dentist in Plainsboro as soon as you can. Many offices, like ours, leave appointments open for situations just like this so we can fit patients in if needed. At the appointment, we will probably talk about what happened and check out the area. Then we’ll recommend the best treatment to restore the filling and your tooth.

Treatment Options
Recommended treatment will depend on the location of the filling and the amount of damage. In many cases the filling can simply be replaced with another filling. However, if the filling was covering a large area, a crown may be more appropriate. Dental crowns fit over the entire tooth and provide a strong protective cap.

What You Can Do at Home
Sometimes we can’t fit you into the schedule that day, or perhaps you lost your filling on a Saturday afternoon when a dental office isn’t open. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer. There are a few things you can do on your own to help protect your tooth and reduce pain if you have any.

● Keep it clean by gently brushing the area after eating to remove any food particles that may have become trapped in the groove.
● Swishing with salt water will also help loosen food and rinse away bacteria.
● Use a pain reliever to reduce sensitivity.
● Place temporary filling material made from zinc oxide into the space. This can be found at most pharmacies. Remember, this is a temporary fix and it’s still important to have the tooth restored.

Reduce Your Risk
Nobody wants to lose a dental filling, and the best thing you can do to protect your dental restorations is to avoid things that can damage them. This includes limiting your intake of chewy, sticky foods as well as hard, crunchy snacks, treating any grinding with a mouthguard, and seeing your dentist regularly to monitor all your dental work.

If you’ve lost a filling, don’t wait. Call our dental office in Plainsboro.

6 Ways to a Whiter Smile

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Whether it’s due to your daily morning cup of coffee, your nightly glass of red wine, or time itself, there are plenty of things that can make our smiles appear dull, discolored, or simply just not as white as we’d like them to be. However, at our dental office in Plainsboro , we want everyone to know that just because a smile may have become a little less vibrant, doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way. There are plenty of things you can do to help get (and keep!) your smile your
ideal shade of white.

1. Smile Whitening
Many times tooth discoloration can be easily fixed by getting professional smile whitening from your dentist in Plainsboro . The whitening solution offered by dental professionals is different than what you can buy in the store and tends to result in more drastic results. Some dental offices offer the option of in-office whitening or take-home whitening, both of which can transform your pearly whites.

2. Dental Veneers
If your teeth are stained below the surface and a professional smile whitening won’t give you the results you’re looking for, you can talk to your dentist about dental veneers. Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that cover your natural tooth and can help whiten a smile or even repair small chips or cracks.

3. Eat Well
Besides having dental treatment done to give your smile a brighter look, keeping an eye on what you eat and drink can help keep teeth white. Some common foods that can cause staining include berries, wine, tea, coffee, and pasta sauce. If you can, try to rinse your mouth out with water immediately after enjoying any staining foods and then brush about 20 minutes later.

4. Stop Smoking
Smoking or using any type of tobacco not only puts your oral health and your overall health at risk for some serious health concerns, it can also cause your teeth to appear yellow or have a spotty brown look. Tooth stains caused by tobacco are also more difficult to reverse.

5. Brush Often
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep your teeth white and healthy. Maintaining proper oral hygiene keeps plaque off of teeth which, if left alone, could make stains harder to remove.

6. Visit Your Dentist
We always recommend that our patients see us at least every six months. These regular appointments not only help us keep an eye on your overall oral health, but also allow us remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth that could contribute to staining. 

If you’re unhappy with the color of your smile, we welcome you to call our Plainsboro dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’ll talk with about what you don’t like and what you’d like to change so we can put together the best treatment plan for you.

Share Your Medical History for The Best Dental Care

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Whenever you first visit a healthcare provider, you’re going to have to fill out a health history form. The same is true when you visit your dentist in Plainsboro . But why does a dentist need to know so much about your overall health, and why is it so important that you share this information? We answer these questions in this week’s blog...

“Why Does My Dentist Need to Know All of This?”
When it comes to providing you the best dental care possible, it’s important for our Plainsboro dental office to know about any former or active health conditions. Some health problems can affect what treatment is appropriate for you or if additional precautions need to be taken. What’s more is that many diseases can directly affect your oral health, and if we know about these ahead of time, we’ll know what to keep an extra close eye on at your appointments.

“Do I Really Need to Tell Them Everything?”
The most important part of sharing your medical history with your dentist is to be complete and honest. The more we know, the better. You should always disclose as much as you can. Some things you shouldn’t leave off of your health history forms include:
- Heart problems
- Asthma
- Pacemaker
- Epilepsy
- Allergies
- Joint replacements
- Autoimmune conditions

“What About Prescriptions? Do I Need to Share That Information?”
Besides sharing your health history, it’s also incredibly important to tell your dental team about any and all medications you take. Both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as herbal supplements, can have an effect on your oral health. For instance, dry mouth is a really common side effect of many medications and may increase your risk of decay and cavities. Even though cavities are treated quickly and easily with fillings, if they’re left untreated, the decay will continue to progress and may require a root canal.

“Why Does the Form Ask About Alcohol, Smoking, and Drug Use?”
While often sensitive subjects, talking about alcohol, tobacco, and drug use can help your dental team evaluate your risk of several serious diseases. Smoking, for example, can cause oral cancer or gum disease. Additionally, regular alcohol use may also increase the likelihood of developing gum disease. When it comes to recreational drug use, it’s important to know that some drugs can interact with local anesthetics and cause an irregular heartbeat that could be fatal.

At our dental office in Plainsboro , we’re committed to providing our patients the best, individualized care. Part of what makes that possible is knowing their complete medical histories so we can cater their treatments specifically to them. We’re also dedicated to protecting the privacy of each and every person that walks through our door. If you have any questions regarding our medical questionnaire or our privacy policy, we’re here to help.

All About Veneers

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At our Plainsboro dental office we often have patients who are unhappy with the way their smiles look. But thanks to cosmetic dentistry, there are a number of ways that we can help transform the appearance of smiles. One of the most common and versatile cosmetic dentistry options available are dental veneers.

What Are Veneers and What Are They Used For?
As the name implies, dental veneers are used to cover up existing teeth. Made of porcelain, veneers are incredibly diverse and can be used to fix many cosmetic concerns which may otherwise take several separate procedures. Each veneer is custom-created to mimic the size, shape, and color of other teeth so the finished look is natural and enhances overall appearance.

Veneers can be used to correct:
- Teeth discoloration that couldn’t be brightened through whitening
- Worn teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Crookedness
- Unevenness or shape irregularities
- Gaps

Veneer Treatment

Consultation: The first step to getting dental veneers is to set up a consultation with your dentist in Plainsboro . The purpose of this appointment is to have an honest conversation about what you’d like to change about your smile to see if dental veneers are the best option for what you want. You will also review a treatment plan, discuss costs, and schedule your next visit.

Preparation: Your veneer procedure will begin with your dental team preparing your tooth or teeth for the veneer. This usually includes the gentle removal of a thin layer of tooth enamel. Afterwards, temporary veneers will likely be placed and your dentist will send your permanent veneers and specific instructions to a trusted lab to be custom made.

Bonding: You’ll come back for a second appointment when the permanent veneers are ready. At this visit, your dentist will carefully and artfully place the veneers. That process requires a bit of scuffing to your natural tooth and strong adhesive material for tight, permanent bond.

You don’t need to live with a smile you’re just not happy with. Cosmetic dentistry can enhance your smile, your confidence, and your life. Call our dental office in Plainsboro to schedule a consultation today.