What to Know if You Think You Have a Cracked Tooth
March 15th, 2023
You use your mouthguard for sports, wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth, and never bite down on solid objects. But even with all the care in the world, accidents happen. If we break a leg, our bones can regenerate tissue and knit together over time. A cracked tooth, on the other hand, can only be repaired, but will not heal. The right treatment is essential to protect your injured tooth. If you suspect you have a fractured tooth, what should you do?
Sometimes you know right away when you’ve cracked a tooth. A fall off a bike, a blow to the face on the basketball court, a bite of something that turned out to be much harder than it should have been—the results can be instantly apparent. If you have a broken or chipped tooth, call our Lynnwood, WA office immediately. If you have lost a piece of your tooth, bring it in with you. Early treatment can not only restore the appearance of your tooth, but might prevent the possibility of infection or damage to the root and pulp.
Sometimes, a fractured tooth is an unwelcome surprise. It doesn’t take one specific incident to cause damage to a tooth. A crack or break can develop over time if you grind your teeth, have a large filling that has compromised a tooth, or have undergone a root canal procedure that has left the tooth brittle. You might notice a crack or a missing piece of tooth, or experience pain while chewing or sensitivity to heat and cold. If you have any of these symptoms, call us. Once again, the earlier a tooth is treated, the better the outcome.
No matter how you discover an injury, immediate treatment by Dr. Naghmeh Izadi is the best way to safeguard your healthy smile. Prompt treatment and restoration repair your smile cosmetically, and, in the case of more serious fractures, extend your tooth’s life, prevent further damage, and ward off potential infections of the gum and bone.
We have many options for restoring your damaged tooth, and our recommendations will depend on the type of injury your tooth has suffered.
It is important to bring any broken piece of your tooth with you because sometimes the piece can be reattached. If that is not possible, a small chip might only require bonding with a tooth-colored resin. A veneer is an option for a larger chip, or where a translucent, natural appearance is important. If the chip is deep enough, and there is pulp damage, we might suggest a root canal and a crown.
- Broken Cusps
A lost cusp is a common result of injury, especially near a filling. If the pulp is unaffected, which is generally the case, a filling or crown can restore the appearance and function of the tooth.
- Cracks through the Tooth
A tooth cracked from the chewing surface to the root presents a more serious problem. If the crack has extended to the pulp, but remains above the gum line, a root canal and crown can preserve the tooth. If the crack extends below the gum line, however, extraction might be necessary. Early cracks will eventually extend below the gum line, so early treatment is essential.
A tooth can also fracture from the root up. Any crack in the root is a serious matter, and often is not discovered until infection has set in. Extraction is a common recommendation, although some specific cracks near the tip of the root might be treated with endodontic surgery.
- Split Tooth
Sometimes an untreated vertical crack can lead to a tooth split into two pieces. An endodontist can determine whether any portion of the tooth can be saved, although extraction is more likely.
If you injure your tooth, or have any symptoms of a tooth fracture, call us immediately. Whether you have suffered a chipped tooth, a broken cusp, crown or root fractures, or even a split tooth, prompt treatment is the best way to restore and protect your attractive and healthy smile.
I drink a lot of coffee. Could it be hurting my smile?
March 15th, 2023
At Naghmeh J Izadi DMD, we know most of our patients enjoy a cup of coffee or two throughout the day. But what many of you don’t know is that coffee can be especially tough on your teeth because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, staining your pearly whites and being generally detrimental to your smile.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with more than 50 percent of people drinking a cup daily. Other foods and drinks such as wine, chocolate-flavored beverages, and soft drinks can all cause tooth enamel discolorations. A hot cup of Joe, however, goes one step farther: extreme temperature changes in your mouth can cause teeth to expand and contract. This allows stains to penetrate deep into the micro-cracks of your tooth enamel.
Additionally, caffeine is considered a diuretic, which means it causes the body to lose fluids. So when you enjoy coffee or any kind of caffeinated beverage, it slows the production of saliva and causes dry mouth, which can potentially lead to bad breath and even tooth decay.
If you just can’t make it through the day without a cup of java, we encourage you to consider these tips to help make sure your teeth stay in tip-top shape:
- Drink a glass of water with your coffee or rinse with a glass of water after every cup. Not only does it help neutralize and rinse away the acid left behind from the coffee, but it also helps replenish fluids drawn out of your body by caffeine.
- Chew gum after you drink coffee. Chewing gum will help keep your saliva production up and prevent dry mouth.
- Enjoy your beverage with a straw so that tannins don’t make contact with your front upper and lower teeth.
- Switch to decaf. Each cup of regular coffee you drink has an average of 110 milligrams of caffeine. Decaf has the same great taste with only two to 12 milligrams of caffeine.
Dr. Naghmeh Izadi and our team also invite you to visit our convenient Lynnwood, WA office for whitening options. We can help bleach your teeth with proven and professional products. To learn more about whitening options available at Naghmeh J Izadi DMD, please give us a call!
Teeth, Bones—What’s the Difference?
March 8th, 2023
They’re often mentioned together, and that’s understandable. After all, they’re the strongest parts of the body, they’re made of many of the same elements, they both require a diet rich in vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, a pirate flag wouldn’t be the same without them–so, what makes teeth and bones different? Glad you asked!
Teeth and bones are so strong because of their mineral composition. They have the highest concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the body, and these minerals combine to create sturdy structures which support our bodies, protect our organs, and help break down and digest our food. And they work well together—healthy teeth maintain jawbone density, and healthy jaws hold our teeth firmly in place.
But there are important differences in the anatomy of teeth and bones as well. Bones contain living cells, blood vessels, and nerves. They grow larger as we grow. As we age, old bone tissue breaks down and is constantly replaced with new bone tissue. This process enables our bones to stay strong throughout our lives. And bones heal.
When you break a bone, your body begins working right away to protect and heal the damaged area. Blood cells help with clotting around the break. After a few days, collagen proteins work to replace the clotted cells and form a soft callus. Within weeks, calcium phosphate deposits strengthen the collagen framework. Over time, the bone hardens and reshapes.
And while tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our bodies—harder even than bone—it is not indestructible. Our enamel is basically composed of minerals rather than living tissue, so it can’t regenerate. The enamel covering our teeth doesn’t replace cells as they age, and it can’t create new tooth cells if a tooth is injured through damage or decay. This means that a cracked or broken tooth can’t knit itself together, and enamel lost to decay won’t grow back.
Dr. Naghmeh Izadi can restore your smile with fillings, or crowns, or even implants if necessary, but preventing injury to your teeth is always best.
Protecting Teeth and Bones
You can make sure your teeth and bones are their safest and strongest by being proactive.
External bone injuries can be avoided with the use of proper safety equipment. Helmets, padding, work boots—if your work or play recommends protective gear, use it! Fortunately, there’s also protective gear for teeth.
Helmets not only protect against brain injury and concussion, they are often designed to protect the face, mouth, and jaw as well.
Mouthguards protect the teeth, lips, tongue, and jaw from damages caused by physical contact and falls. They’re available over-the-counter, or ask Dr. Naghmeh Izadi to fabricate a custom guard for the most comfortable and secure fit. A custom guard is an excellent option for people with braces, bridgework, or other dental appliances.
- Night Guards
Grinding and clenching the teeth at night can lead to loose and cracked teeth, headaches, jaw pain, and other unhappy consequences. Protect your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism (tooth grinding) by wearing a night guard.
Finally, one big difference between tooth and bone design: bones are safely hidden away inside the body, while our teeth are exposed to harmful plaque, bacteria, sugars, and acidic foods every day. Give your teeth the preventive care they deserve with twice-daily brushing, flossing, and regular visits to our Lynnwood, WA office. After all, your beautiful, healthy smile was never designed to be hidden!
When snoring becomes more than just annoying: The dangers of sleep apnea
March 8th, 2023
Sawing wood. That’s what your wife calls it when you wake her up with your snoring. This type of scenario plays out in homes around the world, and couples have to find a way to make light of the nocturnal annoyance. Snoring can become more than just an irritating nighttime disturbance, however. It can be the first sign of a potentially serious sleep disorder.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing repeatedly pauses throughout the night. Possible symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring loudly and feeling tired after a full night’s sleep.
Three health problems linked to sleep apnea
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed and untreated, which puts you at a greater risk of developing health problems. While being robbed of quality sleep can take its toll on you, sleep apnea can also result in the following.
- High blood pressure. When you wake frequently throughout the night, it causes your body’s hormonal systems to become unbalanced and go into overdrive. This results in high blood pressure.
- Heart disease. The disrupted oxygen flow caused by sleep apnea increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. The cutoff of oxygen makes it difficult for the brain to regulate the flow of blood in the arteries.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness. Daytime fatigue often results in impaired judgment and slow reaction times, and this may increase your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Lifestyle changes like losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and quitting smoking are often enough to cure sleep apnea. Medical treatment is also a potential solution. Surgery, oral appliances, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is a treatment involving a specialized breathing mask, are all possible ways to resolve the problem of sleep apnea.
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Naghmeh Izadi at our convenient Lynnwood, WA office, please give us a call! Our entire team at Naghmeh J Izadi DMD look forward to giving you back a full night’s rest!