Posts for category: Oral Health
Both tooth decay and gum disease pervade the American population. Good oral hygiene habits, however, can dramatically improve your dental health. In East Lansing, MI, your dentist, Dr. Thomas Faiver, and his team help their patients develop and maintain an effective routine. It combines both at-home and in-office habits.
Use a soft brush that fits your mouth comfortably. A fluoride toothpaste strengthens tooth enamel, and your systematic, gentle brushing removes the plaque which quickly collects on your teeth and at the gum line. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush twice daily for a full two minutes.
Floss once a day. Wind the strand around opposite index fingers, and gently insert it between two teeth. Form a C with the strand, and move it up and down gently. Never snap floss against the gum tissue. Move systematically around your mouth. Then rinse.
You know what to do. Limit sugar and carbs. Consume four to five servings of fruits and vegetables, and get into the habit of drinking water throughout the day. Limit dark drinks and foods so your teeth stay bright and white.
Ask Dr. Faiver if an ant-plaque, fluoride, or whitening rinse would benefit your smile.
Tobacco darkens your tooth enamel, compromises gum tissue, and causes oral cancer. See your primary care physician about a smoking cessation program.
Semi-annual dental visits
These are ADA standards. Your exam with your dentist and cleaning with your hygienist in our East Lansing office will be comfortable and thorough.
- Tooth scaling with ultrasonic instruments and/or hand-held curettes to remove plaque and hard tartar
- Tooth polishing with a low abrasion toothpaste and rotary brush
- X-rays as scheduled to detect hidden decay
- Periodontal probing with a very small metal instrument (gum pockets deeper than three millimeters indicate periodontal disease)
Then Dr. Faiver does your examination, looking for:
- Tooth decay and signs of gum disease
- Proper dental bite
- Signs of oral cancer
- Jaw joint function
- The appearance and condition of your crowns and fillings
Finally, you'll receive your exam findings. Dr. Faiver may recommend changes in your oral hygiene routine at home, tell you if you need any restorative work, and may advise certain cosmetic improvements.
Keep your good habits
Oral hygiene is the mainstay of a healthy, attractive mouth. Dr. Thomas Faiver and his team ask you to keep up with these important habits at home, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to be available for your dental emergencies. Phone us with any concerns or questions you have: (517) 351-7222.
It's an unfortunate fact that millions of Americans are currently struggling with periodontal disease. An inflammatory condition that heavily affects gum tissue, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss today, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and it can have wide-ranging effects on your overall wellbeing as well. Fortunately, Dr. Thomas Faiver, your dentist in East Lansing, MI, can help provide treatment for this potentially deadly disease!
More about periodontal disease
From mild gingivitis (evidenced by bleeding when you brush) to advanced periodontitis, gum disease develops in the space between the gums and tooth surfaces. Called the sulcus, this space may fill with bacteria-laden plaque and calculus, or hard tartar. As the sulcus fills, it becomes infected, causing:
- Gum recession
- Puffiness, tenderness and redness
- Bone degradation
- Exposure of tooth roots
- Halitosis (very bad-smelling breath)
- Dental sensitivity
- Tooth drift or mobility
- Changes in the fit of a denture or in dental bite
- Pain when biting and chewing
- Discoloration of gum tissue
Even worse, many scientific studies show a link between heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, dementia, and more, according to the American Heart Association.
Do you have it?
At our East Lansing office, Dr. Faiver includes periodontal measurements with every dental examination. During this step, your dentist or hygienist gently inserts a tiny metal probe into each gum sulcus. A measurement of one to three millimeters is normal and healthy, but four millimeters and deeper is diagnostic for periodontal disease.
Treating gum disease
Plaque and tartar in pockets of this depth are difficult to remove. However, your hygienist practices scaling and root planing with manual and ultrasonic tools that effectively lift out these harmful deposits. With the installation of antibiotics and good oral hygiene at home, gums usually reattach to tooth surfaces, creating that characteristic turtleneck sweater appearance and snugness which nourish and support your teeth.
Additionally, more advanced cases of gum disease may respond to gum grafting, laser treatments, or more complex in-office procedures to cover bare tooth roots. Dr. Faiver will advise the procedure best for your long-term oral health. Of course, your semi-annual cleanings and exams, along with diligent brushing and flossing habits at home, help remove dangerous biofilms.
Need more details?
Contact the team at Dr. Thomas Faiver's office in East Lansing, MI. They'll answer any questions that you have and help you achieve a healthy smile—phone (517) 351-7222 today.
Do you know the signs that might mean you need a root canal? The therapy, offered by your East Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Thomas Faiver, can help you prevent the loss of a tooth.
These signs and symptoms may occur if you need a root canal
Root canals are performed when you have an infection or inflammation in your tooth pulp. Located in the center of your tooth, pulp consists of nerves, blood vessels and soft tissue. Although it's normally well protected, an infection or inflammation can occur due to tooth decay or an injury.
Pain is a common root canal symptom. It can become severe as the inflammation or infection progresses, but might be mild or intermittent at first.
Does your tooth hurt when you eat? Chewing, or any pressure placed on your tooth, can irritate your inflamed or infected pulp, causing an increase in pain. Pain may also worsen if you eat or drink hot, cold or sugary foods or beverages. Your tooth may hurt as long as 30 minutes after you finish your meal.
An inflammation or infection can cause changes in the appearance of your tooth or the gum surrounding it. You may notice that your tooth has darkened or that your gum looks red or swollen.
Because pain in a tooth can occur for several reasons, it's important to make an appointment with your East Lansing dentist if you experience a toothache.
Root canal therapy is essential if you have an abscess. The bacterial infection is not only painful but can affect your health if it spreads. Fortunately, a root canal and antibiotic therapy will protect your tooth and your health.
A severe, throbbing pain is a common symptom if you have an abscess. You may also feel unwell and notice that you have a fever. Other abscess symptoms include facial swelling, swollen lymph nodes and pus or a small bump on the gum.
Protect your smile with root canal therapy. Call your East Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Thomas Faiver, at (517) 351-7222 to schedule your appointment.
A good oral hygiene routine between visits to the dentist is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The naturally-occurring bacteria in all of our mouths gravitate toward the food particles left behind after meals, and the chemical reaction that occurs between them results in decay-causing acid. Dr. Thomas Faiver, your dentist in East Lansing, MI, has answered a few of the common questions he hears from patients about how they can improve the way they clean their teeth at home.
How often should I brush my teeth?
Brushing after every meal is ideal for keeping plaque from collecting on the teeth, but that's not always feasible. Your East Lansing dentist recommends all patients try to brush at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Dividing the mouth into quadrants - upper right, lower right, lower left, upper left - and spending 30 seconds on each section will help break up the time and ensure you're getting your all teeth thoroughly clean.
Why is flossing important?
It may seem like brushing is enough to keep your teeth healthy, but food particles can collect in the narrowest of spaces between the teeth, areas where a toothbrush cannot effectively reach. Carefully wedging floss in between each tooth breaks up these particles and disrupts the process of plaque formation and bacteria collection on the gums and teeth. Flossing should be a daily activity, as it takes very little time for plaque to develop.
How can I get better about flossing regularly?
Many of your East Lansing dentist's patients have trouble sticking to a flossing routine. The advent of the flossing picks - disposable plastic tools with a section of floss on them - has made the process of flossing easier, but making it a habit can still be a challenge. Try keeping several picks in an area where you'll be more likely to use them - the car, next to your bed, or in your purse or backpack - and mark off each day that you floss on a calendar so you can see your progress in action.
To learn more about good dental hygiene, make an appointment with Dr. Faiver today. Contact our office in East Lansing, MI, to get started on your road to better oral health!
Properly caring for your smile begins with committed at-home oral care including both brushing and flossing. However, this only makes up half of an effective dental hygiene routine. Regular cleanings and oral examinations help your smile in more ways than one, ensuring that your teeth remain clean and healthy. Find out what makes cleanings and examinations so important with Dr. Thomas Faiver in East Lansing, MI.
What can I expect at a dental examination and cleaning?
Your examination will begin with your dentist looking at your head, neck, and mouth to ensure there are no obvious abnormalities. Then, they will examine your teeth and oral tissues, looking for any signs of cavities, gum disease, or other dental issues which would require treatment. If your dentist finds a problem, they may suggest a procedure like a dental filling or a root canal which would correct the issue. A dental hygienist will then thoroughly clean your teeth, removing any plaque or tartar with special scraping or supersonic tools. After your cleaning, your dentist will polish the teeth and schedule your next regular appointment in six months.
Why are examinations and cleanings so important?
If left untreated, the early stages of teeth decay and gum disease can progress into a more advanced condition. Though most oral issues are treatable, the more advanced they become, the more invasive and complex procedure it requires. Finding and treating problems early allows your dentist to nip the condition in the bud and even preventing more serious conditions from occurring at all.
Regular Cleanings and Oral Examinations in East Lansing, MI
Regardless of their age or dental condition, patients should see their dentist at least once every six months for regular examinations and cleanings. They should also commit to a strong at-home dental routine consisting of brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Together, these dental habits will keep your smile healthy and free from decay and disease.
For more information on routine cleanings and exams, please contact Dr. Faiver in East Lansing, MI. Call (517) 351-7222 to schedule your appointment for a cleaning and exam with Dr. Faiver today!