Posts for tag: dentists

Question: What is an abscess?



Answer: When you have tooth decay or gum disease, you can get infection deep within the tooth or gum. This infection is an abscessed toot and can be very painful. If it is not treated, the infection can spread and you can lose your tooth or have other health problems.


What causes an abscessed tooth?

Damage to the tooth, an untreated cavity, or gum disease can cause an abscessed tooth.If a cavity is not treated, the inside of the tooth (called the pulp) can become infected. Bacteria can spread from the tooth to the tissue around it, creating an abscess.


Gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets. If food builds up in one of these pockets, bacteria can grow, and an abscess can form. Over time an abscess can cause the bone around the tooth to dissolve.


What are the symptoms?

You may have:

* Throbbing pain, especially when you chew.

* Red, swollen gums.

* A bad, foul smelling taste in your mouth.

* Swelling in your jaw or face.

* A fever.

* A bump (gumboil) that looks like a pimple on the cheek side or tongue side of the gum near the tooth.


Over time as the infection spreads, the bone in your jaw may begin to dissolve. When this happens, you may feel less pain, but the infection will remain. If you lose too much bone, your tooth will become loose and may have to be removed.


If you have a severe toothache or notice drainage of pus, call your dentist right away. You may have an abscessed tooth. If it is not treated, the infection could spread and become dangerous.


How is it treated?

If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist will give you antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection. Antibiotics may help for a while. But to get rid of the abscess, your dentist will need to get rid off the source of infection. This is done by making hole in the tooth or gum to drain the infection. Usually this will relieve your pain. If the inside of your tooth is infected, you will need a root canal or to have the tooth removed. A root canal tries to save your tooth by taking out the infected pulp. If you don't want a root canal or if you have one and it doesn't work, the dentist may have to remove your tooth. You and your doctor can decide the best step to take.


You may be able to reduce pain and swelling from an abscessed tooth by putting an ice pack wrapped in a towel against your cheek. You can also try over-the-counter pain medicine, including aspirin, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin). But you still need to see your dentist for treatment.


How can you prevent an abscessed tooth?

You can prevent an abscessed tooth by preventing bacterial infections in your mouth. The best way to do that is to take good care of your teeth and gums:

* Brush your teeth 2 times a day, in the morning and at night, with fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association.

* Use dental floss to clean between your teeth every day.

* See your dentist for regular dental cleanings and checkups.

* Eat a healthy diet, and limit between-meal snacks.


Some people have a very dry mouth. This can cause deep dental cavities to form quickly, which can infect the pulp of a tooth and lead to an abscess. You may be able to prevent these problems by taking frequent sips of water, chewing gum, or sucking on sugarless candy. If you have severe dry mouth symptoms, you may need to take medicine to treat the problem. Many medicines can cause a dry mouth, including some medicines used to treat depression and high blood pressure.


Contact Dr.Glasmeier today if you have an tooth abscess or infection!

What is a cracked tooth?

With more sophisticated procedures, dentists are helping people keep their teeth longer. Because people are living longer and more stressful lives, they are exposing their teeth to many more years of crack-inducing habits, such as clenching, grinding, and chewing on hard objects. These habits make our teeth more susceptible to cracks.


How do I know if my tooth is cracked?

Cracked teeth show a variety of symptoms, including erratic pain when chewing, possibly with release of biting pressure, or pain when your tooth is exposed to temperature extremes. In many cases, the pain may come and go, and your dentist may have difficulty locating which tooth is causing the discomfort.


Why does a cracked tooth hurt?

To understand why a cracked tooth hurts, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is the inner soft tissue called the pulp. The loose pulp is a connective tissue that contains cells, blood vessels and nerves. When the outer hard tissues of the tooth are cracked, chewing can cause movement of the pieces, and the pulp can become irritated. When biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in a momentary, sharp pain. Irritation of the dental pulp can be repeated many times by chewing. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged to the point that it can no longer heal itself. The tooth will not only hurt when chewing but may also become sensitive to temperature extremes. In time, a cracked tooth may begin to hurt all by itself. Extensive cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum tissue surrounding the tooth.

How will my cracked tooth be treated?

There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location, and extent of the crack.


Craze Lines

Craze lines are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel. These cracks are extremely common in adult teeth. Craze lines are very shallow, cause no pain, and are of no concern beyond appearances.

Fractured Cusp

When a cusp (the pointed part of the chewing surface) becomes weakened, a fracture sometimes results. The weakened cusp may break off by itself or may have to be removed by the dentist. When this happens, the pain will usually be relieved. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so root canal treatment is seldom needed. Your tooth will usually be restored with a full crown by your dentist.


Cracked Tooth

This crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth vertically towards the root. A cracked tooth is not completely separated into two distinct segments. Because of the position of the crack, damage to the pulp is common. Root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. Your dentist will then restore your tooth with a crown to hold the pieces together and protect the cracked tooth. At times, the crack may extend below the gingival tissue line, requiring extraction. Even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in saving these teeth.

Split Tooth

Vertical Root Fracture


A split tooth is often the result of the long term progression of a cracked tooth. The split tooth is identified by a crack with distinct segments that can be separated. A split tooth cannot be saved intact. The position and extent of the crack, however, will determine whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. In rare instances, endodontic treatment and a crown or other restoration by your dentist may be used to save a portion of the tooth. Vertical root fractures are cracks that begin in the root of the tooth and extend toward the chewing surface. They often show minimal signs and symptoms and may therefore go unnoticed for some time. Vertical root fractures are often discovered when the surrounding bone and gum become infected. Treatment may involve extraction of the tooth. However, endodontic surgery is sometimes appropriate if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root.


After treatment for a cracked tooth, will my tooth completely heal?

Unlike a broken bone, the fracture in a cracked tooth will not heal. In spite of treatment, some cracks may continue to progress and separate, resulting in loss of the tooth. Placement of a crown on a cracked tooth provides maximum protection but does not guarantee success in all cases. The treatment you receive for your cracked tooth is important because it will relieve pain and reduce the likelihood that the crack will worsen. Once treated, most cracked teeth continue to function and provide years of comfortable chewing. Talk to your Dr. Glasmeier about your particular diagnosis and treatment recommendations. He will advise you on how to keep your natural teeth and achieve optimum dental health.


What can I do to prevent my teeth from cracking?

While cracked teeth are not completely preventable, you can take some steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks.-

Don't chew on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels or pens.- Don't clench or grind your teeth.

If you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, talk to your dentist about

getting a retainer or other mouthguard to protect your teeth.

Wear a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports.


Question: Once a denture is broken, then repaired, can it ever be the same?

I dropped mine, since the dentist repaired it I now have a space between my two front teeth I've never had. The dentist said if you don't get too close you don't notice it so much. What!! The inside of the plate is rough. I have a toxic taste of what acrylic smells like. And when I talk I have a lisp. He took an impression so it would be right and it does clip on as it should, that aside doesn't fit. Do I have to live with this as he said? I feel like I was written off and I don't know where to turn. Do you have any advice?


Answer: Sounds like the dentist attempted to perform a lab repair and the broken pieces were not reapproximated correctly. Depending on how bad the denture fractured, it can be a very difficult to repair and sometimes impossible. If there is a space between the teeth that was not there, it means the broken pieces are not bonded back together correctly. The rough surface is due to newly formed acrylic and may possibly not be 100% compatible with the acrylic in your exisitng denture.


If you are having issues with phonetics, esthetics and fit issues, I would go back to your dentist and voice your concerns over the repair. I, often times, will not do repairs as they can be very difficult and very unpredictable. As a result I often advise having a new one made based on the extent of the fractures as well as the age of the denture.


Hope this helps!


I don't understand..if my child has a cavity on a baby teeth and they are going to get a permanent replacement anyways, why fix the baby tooth?



I get this question a lot as one would think if there is replacement what is the big deal? The big deal is that the baby teeth need to be thought of as "space holders" for the permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a permanent tooth can come in a different position which can further alter the development of the rest of the adult teeth. An adult teeth can also be affected if an infected baby tooth left untreated can cause disturbances of a permanent tooth's growth and development. In some cases I have seen an abscessed baby tooth that caused an adult tooth to become infected before it had a chance to even erupt!


Once again, an ounce of prevention can prevent a ton of is much more conservative(and cheaper) to have a cavity fixed on a baby tooth rather than "letting it go" only to find out then that the child could lose a permanent tooth or have major crowding issues with the permanent teeth(much more expensive!!). Having said this, if the baby teeth has a cavity but is within 3-6 months of coming out anyways, then a filling may not be necessary. Please consult the dentist before you try to make that determination as we are knowledgeable when a child will lose a particular baby tooth. Don't let your child miss out on school and other activities due to a toothache!



Question: Hi Dr.Glasmeier,


My son is 9 years old and has a big space between his front teeth and it seems bigger than his siblings' spaces. I want to know if this will resolve on his own or he is going to need dental work to correct this space?


Answer: Spacing between the two front teeth (known as a "diastema") is a very common finding not only in children but adults as well. Children who have baby teeth with type of spacing is actually a good situation however if this occurs with the eruption of the permanent teeth, this is quite different.


There are many different factors that can contribute to abnormal spacing between the two front teeth. The one I most commonly see is what is called a "low frenum attachment". The frenum is the soft tissue that attaches the inside of your lip to the gums above or below your teeth. Normally the frenum attaches high up above the tooth but it can also much lower on the gums between the teeth. When the gum attaches between the teeth, it can result in a diastema(space between the teeth).


When this occurs, typically two things must happen to close the space:

1. Patient needs to be evaluated to determine whether or not

orthodontics(braces) will be necessary to close the space or if they can be

closed by other means (e.g. veneers).

2. Patient will likely require a frenulectomy, where the soft tissue attachment

between the teeth is removed or reduced. There are multiple ways this is

accomplished but the most common is with a laser. With a little local

anesthesia and a laser, this procedure can be accomplished in several

minutes pain free and with little, if any postop pain. Most children have no

pain or discomfort the next day!


So back to your question, yes it can be treated but he needs to be evaluated the best way to accomplish this. Consult your dentist for the course of treatment necessary!


Best of luck!