Cracked tooth

What is a cracked tooth?

A cracked tooth is a tooth that has become broken.

Do all teeth crack in the same way?

No. Teeth can crack in several different ways:

Cracked tooth

This is when a crack runs from the biting surface of the tooth down toward the root. Sometimes it goes below the gum line and into the root. A cracked tooth is not split into two parts but the soft, inner tissue of the tooth is usually damaged.

Craze lines

These are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel of the tooth. They are common in all adult teeth and cause no pain. Craze lines need no treatment.

Cracked cusp

The cusp is the pointed part of the biting surface of the tooth. If a cusp becomes damaged, the tooth may break. You will usually get a sharp pain in that tooth when biting.

Split tooth

This is often the result of an untreated cracked tooth. The tooth splits into two parts. Vertical root fractures are cracks that start in the root and go up towards the biting surface.

Why do teeth crack?

Many things can cause teeth to crack, such as:

  • Excessive tooth grinding can put the teeth under enormous pressure.
  • Large fillings weaken the tooth.
  • Chewing or biting on something hard: for example ice, boiled sweets, fruit stones or meat bones.
  • A blow to the chin or lower jaw.
  • Gum disease, if there has been a bone loss. This could make the teeth more likely to suffer from root fractures.
  • Sudden changes in mouth temperature.

What Are Some of the Causes of a Cracked Tooth?

There are a number of reasons that a tooth might crack. These reasons include:

  • Biting down on hard foods like ice, hard candies, and nuts
  • Stress that leads to jaw clenching or grinding
  • Chewing unevenly
  • Loss of tooth structure due to wear or large fillings
  • Exposure to temperature extremes (such as eating hot food and then immediately washing it down with an ice-cold glass of water)
  • Brittleness of teeth following a root canal

What Are Some Signs that I May Have Cracked My Tooth?

Unfortunately, identifying a cracked tooth on your own may be difficult. Oftentimes, there is a vertical hairline fracture that may be nearly invisible to the human eye. Sometimes, these tiny cracks cannot even be seen on X-Rays. However, there are 5 warning signs of a cracked tooth of which you should be aware:

  1. Tooth pain when biting or chewing. This can be a good indicator of a cracked tooth; although you might not experience the pain every time you eat. It may only occur when you eat certain foods or bite down in a certain way.
  2. Lack of constant pain. Unlike a cavity or an abscess, the pain of a cracked tooth is sporadic. If you are not experiencing chronic pain, you are likely to have a tooth fracture.
  3. Increased sensitivity. You may notice that you experience pain when biting into hot foods or drinking cold liquids. Possibly, you may even experience sensitivity when eating sticky, sweet, or sour foods as well. Increased sensitivity may be a sign of a cracked tooth.
  4. Infection. At times, a cracked tooth can lead to an infection in the gum line around the area of the fracture. This infection would look like a small bump on the gum near the tooth.
  5. No visible signs. Often with a cavity, you can spot signs of decay. For instance, you might see a dark spot on the tooth’s surface or a hole where the enamel has eroded. If you are experiencing tooth pain but you cannot see any obvious sign, this may be another indicator that you have a cracked tooth.

How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the location and severity. Tiny cracks are common and typically do not even require any treatment. However, cracks that affect the cusp of a tooth may require a treatment procedure – possibly a crown.

Roughly 20% of cracked teeth require a root canal, and in some severe cases, the cracked tooth may need to be removed altogether. In that case, we can replace the tooth with an implant or a bridge.

What Should I Do If I Discover a Cracked Tooth?

Early treatment is important with a cracked tooth. If treatment is delayed, the crack will worsen and may result in tooth loss.

https://akronsmile.com/blog/5-signs-cracked-a-tooth/

Mouthguard

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a specially made, rubber-like cover that fits exactly over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage.

When would I need a mouthguard?

It is important to wear a professionally made mouthguard whenever you play a sport that involves physical contact or moving objects. This includes cricket, hockey and football – which can cause broken and damaged teeth; and American football, boxing and rugby – which can all cause broken or dislocated jaws. A mouthguard will help protect against these happening.

Where can I get one made?

Your dental team will be happy to make you a custom-made mouthguard, which will fit your mouth exactly and protect your teeth and gums properly. Custom-made mouthguards can prevent damage to the jaw, neck and even the brain – helping to prevent concussion and damage caused by a heavy blow.

How much will it cost?

Costs can vary from dentist to dentist. Ask your dental team about mouthguards and always get an estimate before starting treatment. When you consider the cost of expensive dental work and the risk of losing teeth, it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

How long do custom-made mouthguards last?

Depending on your age, your mouthguard may need replacing fairly regularly. If you are still growing, new teeth will come through and move into position. So the mouthguard may become too tight or loose, and will need to be remade to fit the new shape of your mouth.

Types of Mouth Guards

As Healthline so helpfully explains, there are three distinct types of mouthguards. They are stock mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards. Now, you’ll really only see the first two types in your local sporting goods store. These keep you or your kids from losing a tooth or biting through their tongue during any serious impact.

Stock

Stock mouthguards are essentially one-size-fits-all, and you’ll usually see them in organized sports. You may need to clip the back ends of the guard for smaller mouths. Still, remember it isn’t intended to fit perfectly.

Boil and Bite

Boil and bite guards are more common in martial arts due to the sheer number of times you’re likely to be hit in the face while sparring. In this case, you take a standard boil and bite guard. First, you need to place it in boiling water for a specified amount of time. Then, you fish it out, let it cool for a few seconds, and put it around your teeth. To help the guard form the shape of your mouth, use clean fingers and your tongue to gently push the guard against your teeth. Creating a little suction helps as well.

Custom and Dental

However, if you’re recommended a mouthguard due to a health concern, you will probably need to make an appointment with your dentist. For chronic grinding and sleep apnea, you will need to have a customized mouthguard made specifically for you.

Cleaning your Mouth Guard

Every human mouth contains about six billion bacteria, so all mouthguards should be cleaned after every use. You should also consider keeping two cases, one where you store your mouthguard after use and one where you store it once it has been cleaned to avoid cross-contamination.

To clean your mouth guard, avoid using hot water. Most mouthguards are made of rubberized material, so using hot water risks warping its shape. Instead, rinse it with mouthwash and brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Additionally, make sure your case(s) provide ventilation, as a wet mouthguard is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other potential pathogens.

The American Dental Association suggests using this cleaning ritual to check for any damage, which could undermine the efficacy of your mouthguard. The ADA also suggests bringing your mouthguard with you to dental office visits. This will allow your dentist to inspect it with a trained eye. He then can help you determine whether it needs to be replaced.

Continued Mouthguard Care

Keeping your mouthguard clean and dry will help it last much longer and continue to do its job. Remember that if you have kids that wear mouthguards, it is imperative that you help them to understand how important hygiene is in this case. Inappropriate care and mouthguard sharing can lead to the transmission of dangerous diseases, so it may be worth your time to have your dentist or physician explain the importance of keeping their mouthguard clean. You can only control how it’s cared for once they get home. So, they need to correctly care for it on the field or in the ring.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10910-mouthguards

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening or bleaching is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment to change the color of natural tooth enamel to enhance the beauty of your smile. Teeth whitening may be accomplished in a dental office or at home. The procedure uses a chemical called peroxide to bleach or whiten the teeth.

Why Did My Teeth Change Color?

Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:

Food and Drink

Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).

Tobacco Use

Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.

Age

Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.

Trauma

If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.

Medications

Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?

No, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

What Are My Whitening Options?

Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:

Stain Removal Toothpastes

All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Look for whitening toothpastes that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal (it will tell you on the package). These toothpastes have additional polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these types of ADA-Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

In-Office Bleaching

This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth.

At-Home Bleaching from Your Dentist

Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made tray for at-home whitening. In this case, the dentist will give you instructions on how to place the bleaching solution in the tray and for what length of time. This may be a preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still with the guidance of a dentist. Out-of-office bleaching can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

You may see different options online or in your local grocery store, such as toothpastes or strips that whiten by bleaching your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent in these products is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are thinking about using an over-the-counter bleaching kit, discuss options with your dentist and look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means it has been tested to be safe and effective for teeth whitening. Get a list of all ADA-Accepted at-home bleaching products.

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.

Overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist.

Is whitening good for teeth?

Over 10 years of clinical use of teeth whitening products containing 10% carbamide peroxide have not shown any damage to existing fillings. Do teeth whiteners damage a tooth’s nerve? There’s no evidence that the teeth whitening process has a harmful effect on the health of a tooth’s nerves.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry helps you feel calm, relaxed and at ease during dental procedures. It’s a moderate level of sedation, so you’re still technically awake but feeling very carefree. It’s sometimes called conscious sedation dentistry or “twilight sleep” because it creates a state of short-term amnesia (forgetfulness) where you experience insensitivity to pain without the loss of consciousness.

What types of sedation are used in dentistry?

There are varying levels of sedation dentistry based on your unique needs. Factors include your level of anxiety, the length of your procedure, your health history and personal preferences. The most common types of sedation dentistry include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and intravenous (IV) sedation.

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide is commonly known as “laughing gas.” You inhale nitrous oxide through a mask or nosepiece, and calming effects begin within three to five minutes. Your dentist controls the amount of sedation you receive and adjusts dosages accordingly throughout your procedure. Once your treatment is over, your dentist gives you pure oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out of your system. Because the laughing gas leaves your system so quickly, you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Oral conscious sedation

With oral conscious sedation, your dentist gives you sedative medication (usually in pill form) about an hour before your procedure begins. Most dentists use triazolam (Halcion®), which is in the diazepam (Valium®) family. But your dentist might use other medications, too, including zaleplon and lorazepam. Dentists often used liquid sedation in pediatric dentistry, such as midazolam oral syrup.

Oral sedation makes you quite groggy, and you may even fall asleep. But you’ll still be able to communicate with your dentist if necessary, and you’ll awaken with a gentle nudge. Because oral sedation temporarily affects your memory and motor skills, you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure.

Intravenous (IV) sedation

IV sedation dentistry is the deepest form of conscious sedation available in a dental office setting. Your healthcare provider delivers sedative medications directly to your bloodstream through an IV line. During your procedure, your dentist monitors your heart rate blood pressure and oxygen levels. They can adjust your dosage at any point and can use reversal medications if necessary. Most people who receive IV sedation dentistry fall asleep and have little to no memory of their treatment when they wake up. This option is best for people with severe dental anxiety or those who are undergoing lengthy procedures.

What happens before sedation dentistry?

You’ll talk with your dentist about sedation options during your initial consultation. They’ll discuss your health history and ask about any medications or supplements you’re taking. Once they’ve gathered all the necessary information, they’ll make sedation recommendations based on your specific needs.

In most cases, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for at least six hours before your dental appointment. Unless otherwise noted by your dentist, you should take all routine medications without interruption.

Be sure to tell your dentist if you’re taking any blood thinners, though, such as warfarin. They may ask you to skip these medications for a few days leading up to your procedure.

What happens during sedation dentistry?

Your dentist gives you sedative medications before beginning your procedure. You’ll still receive local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums, but your dentist usually does this once you’re already feeling comfortable from the sedatives.

What happens after sedation dentistry?

Unless you choose nitrous oxide as your sedation option, you’ll need a trusted friend or family member to drive you home after your appointment. You should go straight home and rest while the sedative medication wears off.

What are the advantages of sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry eases anxieties and phobias, helping you remain calm and comfortable during dental procedures. Because your dentist can often work faster when you’re under sedation, it can result in fewer appointments. Finally, many people have so much dental anxiety that they avoid going to the dentist altogether. Sedation dentistry helps you feel more comfortable so you can receive the care you need and deserve.

Recovery time

Recovery times vary. It depends on what type of sedation you choose and how your body responds to the medications. In general, people who have nitrous oxide recover within 15 to 30 minutes and can drive themselves home following their appointment. Those who choose oral conscious sedation or IV sedation typically need about 24 hours for full recovery.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22275-sedation-dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry

If you’re not satisfied with your smile, modern cosmetic dentistry can help. This method of professional oral care focuses on improving the appearance of your mouth, teeth, gums, and overall smile. Common procedures include teeth whitening, veneers, fillings, and implants.

Cosmetic dentistry is becoming more and more popular, with the industry as a whole projected to reach $32 billion by 2026. Although it’s not an essential procedure, cosmetic treatment can restore confidence in your smile.

What Does a Cosmetic Dentist Do?

A cosmetic dentist is responsible for a variety of procedures — from minor fixes to major surgeries. Here are a few of the cosmetic procedures they offer.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are used when a tooth is too decayed to support a typical filling. These fillings are created in a dental laboratory and bonded in place by a cosmetic dentist.

An “inlay” is when the material is bonded in the center of the tooth. An “onlay” is when the filling covers one or more parts of the tooth or covers the tooth’s entire surface.

This procedure is an alternative to the crown, preserving more of the tooth’s natural surface while still strengthening and restoring the tooth after decay or deterioration.

Dental Implants

After severe tooth decay or tooth loss, dental implants are used to replace teeth. The cosmetic dentist first attaches a screw to the jaw to provide support. Then, the implant is inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth.

Over time, the bone and tissue fuse to the implant, securing the replacement tooth inside the mouth. Once properly attached, the dental implant should blend into the surrounding teeth.

Dental Bonding

For dental bonding, the cosmetic dentist applies a moldable resin to the tooth and hardens it with ultraviolet light. Then, they trim, shape, and polish the material to blend into the surface of the tooth.

Bonding can repair chips, cracks, misshapen teeth, and tooth decay. For minor cosmetic issues, bonding is a more affordable alternative to fillings or crowns.

Reasons to See a Cosmetic Dentist

There are many reasons you might see a cosmetic dentist, including:

  • Tooth decay
  • Damage (cracks, chips, etc.)
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Discoloration
  • Missing teeth

People with damaged, decaying, crooked, or discolored teeth may also have difficulty when eating and speaking. For others, dental issues may affect their self-esteem.

According to a 2015 survey by the American Dental Association, 33% of young people are reluctant to smile due to conditions of the teeth and mouth. Another 23% of adults have cut back on their participation in social activities due to embarrassment about their smiles.

If you feel dissatisfied with your smile, a cosmetic dentist can improve the condition of your teeth.

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth.

Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. About 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.

What kind of training do pediatric dentists have?

Pediatric dentists have completed at least:

  • Four years of dental school
  • Two additional years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children, teens and children with special needs

What types of treatments do pediatric dentists provide?

Pediatric dentists provide comprehensive oral health care that includes the following:

  • Infant oral health exams, which include risk assessment for caries in mother and child
  • Preventive dental care including cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and diet recommendations
  • Habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking)
  • Early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics)
  • Repair of tooth cavities or defects
  • Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short frenula, mucoceles and pediatric periodontal disease
  • Care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced or knocked-out teeth)

Where can I find a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists practice in a variety of locations including private practices, dental schools, and medical centers. Your pediatrician can help you find a pediatric dentist near your home.

Pediatric dentists — the best care for children

Children are not just small adults. They are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind.

A pediatric dentist offers a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth. When your pediatrician suggests that your child receive a dental exam, you can be assured that a pediatric dentist will provide the best possible care.

https://www.healthychildren.org

Zygomatic implants

Implants

If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable, or don’t want to have good tooth structure removed to make a bridge, talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are an option for you.

Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. The development and use of implants are one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.

Zygomatic Implants

Zygomatic implants are dental implants that are anchored in the zygoma or cheekbone. They are prescribed for patients who have moderate, advanced, and even extreme resorption in the maxilla, or the upper jaw. Normally, when needed, zygomatic implants will be used to replace a full set of teeth in the upper jaw for patients who have severe bone loss in the maxilla.

Are Zygomatic Implants Safe?

Yes, when placed by a board-certified maxillofacial and oral surgeon, zygomatic implants are safe, effective, and painless. As these implants come near sensitive parts of the face, including the eyes and sinuses, they must be placed by a qualified and experienced surgeon to avoid serious complications.

The most effective way to understand zygomatic implants is to see them. The animation below illustrates the placement of two zygomatic implants and four traditional implants, an all-on-six implant procedure. The implants support the whole upper bridge.

Zygomatic implants make it possible to sidestep bone loss issues. The extended length of the implant allows it to anchor into a patient’s cheekbone or the zygoma. No bone grafting or sinus lifts are needed. The zygoma is a very dense bone and provides excellent implant support for the lifetime of the patient.

Why Does Losing Teeth Cause Bone Loss?

Like a muscle, bone is a tissue that requires exercise to maintain strength and mass.

A natural tooth is nested within the jawbone. Chewing and biting down regularly works the bone and tells the body to build a healthy jawbone. When the teeth are lost or removed, the surrounding jawbone is no longer stimulated by chewing activity, and this disuse quickly leads to bone loss.

When teeth must be removed, a dental implant is the last resort option to replace the missing or unsalvageable teeth. Quality dental implants, including zygomatic implants, offer a lifetime solution that is comfortable and strong, matching the look and feel of natural teeth.

How Do Implants Work?

The roots of a natural tooth are secured within the root canal of a person’s jawbone. Similarly, conventional dental implants are anchored in place by the jawbone.

Titanium is the preferred material for implants due to effective osseointegration with the patient’s jaw.

A typical implant cannot be securely secured in someone who has severe bone loss in the upper jaw, resulting in further difficulties and chronic pain or discomfort.

How Do Dental Implants Help Prevent Bone Loss?

Dental implants that imitate the natural stimulation of teeth are the most effective method for preventing further bone loss. The titanium root of a new teeth implant duplicates the pressure and stimulation of chewing, matching the natural stimulation of teeth. This gentle action signals the body to continue fortifying the jawbone, significantly reducing the risk of bone loss, and quite often leading to stronger and healthier bones.

Titanium implants imitate the role of a natural tooth root, providing stimulation to your jawbone and allowing osseointegration, and fusion with the bone.

To prevent additional bone loss, implants should be placed immediately following tooth extractions. The sooner the better.

Can You Have Dental Implants If You Suffer from Severe Bone Loss?

Since zygomatic implants can be placed in one day and have a higher success rate than bone grafting, they are the ideal solution for bone loss when receiving a full-arch prosthesis in the upper jaw.

While traditional implants are placed in the jawbone, surgeons utilize the zygomatic implant’s length to securely place them in the patient’s cheekbone, or zygoma. The zygoma is a very dense bone and provides excellent support for the lifetime of the patient.

Where Can You Get Zygomatic Implants?

Although the placement of zygomatic implants is a very safe and effective procedure, it requires the specialization and experience of a qualified oral surgeon. Not many oral surgeons have routine experience placing zygomatic implants. Depending on your location, you may need to travel to have your zygomatic implants placed.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/i/implants

Oral Piercings

Body piercing is a popular form of self-expression. Oral piercings or tongue splitting may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health. That’s because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. For instance, your mouth and tongue could swell so much that you close off your airway or you could choke if part of the jewelry breaks off in your mouth. In some cases, you could crack a tooth if you bite down too hard on the piercing, and repeated clicking of the jewelry against teeth can also cause damage. Oral piercing could also lead to more serious infections, like hepatitis or endocarditis.

If you pierce your tongue, lips, cheeks, or uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat,) it can interfere with speech, chewing, or swallowing. It may also cause:
  • Infection, pain, and swelling. Your mouth is a moist environment, home to huge amounts of breeding bacteria, and an ideal place for infection. An infection can quickly become life-threatening if not treated promptly. It’s also possible for a piercing to cause your tongue to swell, potentially blocking your airway.
  • Damage to gums, teeth, and fillings. A common habit of biting or playing with the piercing can injure your gums and lead to cracked, scratched, or sensitive teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings.
  • Hypersensitivity to metals. Allergic reactions at the pierced site are also possible.
  • Nerve damage. After a piercing, you may experience a numb tongue that is caused by nerve damage that is usually temporary but can sometimes be permanent. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste, or how you move your mouth. Damage to your tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.
  • Excessive drooling. Your tongue piercing can increase saliva production.
  • Dental appointment difficulties. The jewelry can get in the way of dental care by blocking X-rays.

If you already have piercings:

  • Contact your dentist or physician immediately if you have any signs of infection—swelling, pain, fever, chills, shaking, or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing.
  • Keep the piercing site clean and free of any matter that may collect on the jewelry by using a mouth rinse after every meal.
  • Try to avoid clicking the jewelry against teeth and avoid stress on the piercing. Be gentle and aware of the jewelry’s movement when talking and chewing.
  • Check the tightness of your jewelry periodically (with clean hands). This can help prevent you from swallowing or choking if the jewelry becomes dislodged.
  • When taking part in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouthguard.
  • See your dentist regularly, and remember to brush twice a day and floss daily.

Of course, the best option is to consider removing mouth jewelry before it causes a problem. Don’t pierce on a whim. The piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep. Talk to your dentist for more information.

Oral Piercing Safety

If you’ve decided to get an oral piercing, make sure you’re up to date on vaccines for hepatitis B and tetanus.

Pick a piercing shop that appears clean and well-run. Look for a piercer who has a license, which means they were specially trained. The piercer should wash their hands with germ-killing soap, wear fresh disposable gloves, and use sterilized tools or ones that are thrown away after one use.

Oral Piercing Care

Once you leave the shop, you’ll need to make sure your piercing heals and doesn’t get infected. Healing usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. During that time, you should:

  • Rinse your tongue or lip piercing after every meal or snack and before bed. Use warm salt water or an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Not share cups, plates, forks, knives, or spoons
  • Eat small bites of healthy food.
  • Not eat spicy, salty, or acidic foods and drinks
  • Not have hot drinks, like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate
  • Be gentle. Talk and chew carefully, and try not to click your jewelry against your teeth.
  • Check every once in a while to make sure your jewelry is still tight to prevent swallowing or choking.
  • Take out your jewelry while you play sports, and wear a mouthguard.

While the piercing heals, you should be able to remove the jewelry for short periods without the hole closing. If you get a tongue piercing, the piercer will start with a larger “barbell” to give your tongue room to heal as it swells. After the swelling goes down, dentists recommend that you replace the large barbell with a smaller one that’s less likely to bother your teeth.

After your tongue has healed, take the jewelry out every night and brush it the way you brush your teeth. You might want to take it out before you go to sleep or do anything active.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-piercings

 

Jaw pain or Facial pain

Many adults suffer from chronic jaw and facial pain. Some common symptoms include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, pain when biting, or headaches. Many things can cause facial pain, which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam, which may include X-rays, to determine the cause of the pain.

Possible causes of jaw pain or facial pain include:

  • sinus problems
  • toothache
  • infections
  • arthritis
  • injury
  • tooth grinding /Bruxism
  • periodontal disease

Sinus problems

A sinus infection (sinusitis) can cause a toothache. The pain in the upper back teeth is a fairly common symptom of sinus conditions. The sinuses are pairs of empty spaces in your skull connected to the nasal cavity. If you have sinusitis, the tissues in those spaces become inflamed, often causing pain.

Toothache

Toothache occurs from inflammation of the central portion of the tooth called the pulp. The pulp contains nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. Inflammation to the pulp or pulpitis may be caused by dental cavities, trauma, and infection. Referred pain from the jaw may cause you to have symptoms of a toothache.

Infections

Bacteria can enter the innermost part of the tooth through either a deep cavity or a chip or crack in your tooth. The resulting infection and inflammation can cause an abscess at the tip of the root. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection.

Arthritis

Arthritis can affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that opens and closes the mouth, sometimes making it painful to open and close your mouth. Different oral Infections can also occur: Bacterial infections can cause swelling around your tooth or over the jaw, severe pain, fever, and swollen nodes around your jaw

Injuries

Traumatic dental injuries often occur as a result of an accident or sports injury. The majority of these injuries are minor – chipped teeth. It’s less common to dislodge your tooth or have it knocked completely out but these injuries are more severe. Treatment depends on the type, location, and severity of each injury.

Bruxism/ Tooth grinding

Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism). Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder

Periodontal disease

Periodontitis is gum disease. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that is triggered by bacterial microorganisms and involves a severe chronic inflammation that causes the destruction of the tooth-supporting apparatus and can lead to tooth loss. It can also lead to other health problems.

Your dentist’s plan for treatment will depend on the source of your facial pain, but recommendations may include:

  • mouth protector
  • muscle relaxants
  • exercises
  • anti-inflammatory drugs
  • antibiotics
  • root canal therapy
  • periodontal treatment
  • extraction

If you suffer from jaw pain or facial pain, speak with your dentist or physician for diagnosis and treatment.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/j/jaw-pain

Cavities, or tooth decay

Cavities, or tooth decay, are the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth. It can be a problem for children, teens, and adults. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down. This is when cavities can form. A cavity is a little hole in your tooth.

Cavities are more common among children, but changes that occur with aging make cavities an adult problem, too. The recession of the gums away from the teeth, combined with an increased incidence of gum disease, can expose tooth roots to plaque. Tooth roots are covered with cementum, a softer tissue than enamel. They are susceptible to decay and are more sensitive to touch and to hot and cold. It’s common for people over age 50 to have tooth-root decay.

Decay around the edges, or a margin, of fillings, is also common for older adults. Because many older adults lacked fluoride and modern preventive dental care when they were growing up, they often have many dental fillings. Over the years, these fillings may weaken and tend to fracture and leak around the edges. Bacteria accumulate in these tiny crevices causing acid to build up which leads to decay.

You can help prevent tooth decay by following these tips:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacking>
  • Check with your dentist on the use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth, and on the use of dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (where decay often starts) to protect them from decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examinations.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/cavities