Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: tooth decay

November 04, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth decay   root canal   tooth pain  

Though often perceived as the opposite, a root canal is a critical dental procedure which can mean the difference between losing a tooth root canaland preserving its structure. But what really happens during a root canal? Find out with Dr. Sam Malouf at Malouf Family Dentistry in St. Clair Shores, MI.

When is a root canal necessary? 
A root canal removes decayed or infected tissue from your tooth’s inner chamber and roots. As the decay eats through your tooth, it creates a hole, called a cavity. Dentists treat most small cavities with a dental filling. If the decay reaches the tooth’s inner pulp chamber, it causes a toothache. At this point, the decay requires a root canal since a simple filling will not remove the tooth’s inner contents.

What really happens during a root canal? 
First, Dr. Malouf numbs the area of your infected tooth to ensure that you feel no pain or discomfort during your procedure. Then, he creates a small hole in the top, or crown, of your tooth. This hole serves as an entrance for the specialized instruments used during the procedure. Dr. Malouf removes any infected tissue within your tooth’s pulp chamber and removes the tooth’s nerves. He then scrubs the inside of the tooth and its roots to completely remove any infection which may still remain. Dr. Malouf then fills and seals the tooth to prevent further infection.

Crowns and Root Canal Therapy in St. Clair Shores, MI
Teeth which have undergone a root canal often require a dental crown to cap off the tooth to help stabilize and protect it. A crown requires Dr. Malouf to prepare the tooth, then take an impression of your mouth to send to the dental laboratory. The lab uses the impression to design and create your crown, and once the lab has finished it the crown is placed during a second dental appointment.

For more information on root canals, please contact Dr. Malouf at Malouf Family Dentistry in St. Clair Shores, MI. Call (586) 772-9020 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Malouf today!

By Malouf Family Dentistry
November 05, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

Tooth decay doesn’t suddenly appear out of the blue. Cavities and other damage are the result of a long process that begins with bacteria living in a thin biofilm on tooth surfaces known as plaque. These bacteria thrive on sugars from leftover food in your mouth and then produce acid as a waste product. Chronic high levels of acid cause your enamel, the protective layer of your teeth, to soften and erode.

While there are treatment options at each stage of decay — including crowning or even tooth replacement — the best approach is to try to prevent plaque buildup that supports disease-causing bacteria. Here are 3 of the best ways you can do that.

Brush and floss daily. It usually takes 12-24 hours for enough plaque buildup to support bacteria. By brushing and flossing at least once a day, you can remove most of this buildup, with twice a year dental cleanings to remove hard to reach plaque you may have missed. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel against high acid. And wait a half hour to an hour after eating before brushing to give saliva time to reduce the acid level in your mouth.

Cut back on sweets. You’re not the only one who loves sugary snack foods — so do oral bacteria. The more sugar and other carbohydrates they feast on, the more they produce acid. The best approach is to cut out sugar-rich snacks altogether and instead snack on fresh fruits, raw vegetables or dairy products. Limit sweet treats to meal times.

Use decay-fighting supplements. Your mouth and hygiene efforts may need a little assistance, especially if you have low saliva flow. You can boost this with an artificial saliva supplement as well as with products containing xylitol, an alcohol-based sugar. Xylitol also has an added benefit in the fight against decay because it inhibits bacterial growth. And be sure to talk with us first before taking any dental supplement.

If you would like more information on dental hygiene and care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cost-Saving Treatment Alternatives.”