Susan has been coming to Forman Dental Care for more than 7 years and is now 45 years of age. When Susan was 7 years old, her and younger brother were horsing around and an accident occurred when her brother’s head collided with her upper front tooth. She felt significant pain when it happened, but the pain subsided in time. Susan had forgotten about it until she was in her mid-twenties.
She didn’t have any pain, but she did notice a bump on her gum under her lip. Susan asked her dentist about it, and was told that the tooth’s nerve was dead and the tooth had abscessed. The dentist asked Susan if there had been any history of trauma to the tooth and that was when she remembered her childhood accident. Susan required a root canal to treat the infection, and once again, Susan forgot about it until a few years ago.
What Susan noticed was that the tooth was getting darker and darker over the last few years. She came to her hygiene maintenance appointment with a great deal of concern and wanted to know what was happening, and if it could be improved.
We explained to Susan that sometimes root canal treatments can cause a tooth to discolor and turn dark even though the root canal procedure was successful. We were able to help Susan by whitening the inside of her tooth and restoring the color to match her other teeth. This procedure is called internal whitening.
It’s a simple procedure and doesn’t require any freezing. We create an opening in the top part of the tooth, (the root canal portion is not touched as long and it is well sealed) and sealed where the root canal material starts. A whitening solution is then placed inside the tooth and left for 1 week. We repeat this procedure 2-3 times until the colour is adequately improved, and a final filling is placed in the tooth. Our goal is to match the adjacent teeth so that it blends seamlessly.
One of the most common things we do for patients when they come in for their routine hygiene maintenance appointments is to apply fluoride to their teeth. Fluoride helps prevent cavities, and is absorbed into the tooth enamel to help make the teeth strong and resistant to decay. If asked, most people think that fluoride is only necessary for kids. While it is great for children and their newer teeth, adult teeth need it too. Dr. Forman recommends professional fluoride treatment for adults, as well as kids, at least once per year. We also recommend daily use of a tooth paste with fluoride as well as fluoride rinses.
Multiple sources of fluoride ensure that it can be properly absorbed by the tooth enamel. Research has also confirmed that multiple sources of fluoride produce the best results. It’s important to note that using these topical fluorides won’t produce a significant or unsafe level of fluoride in the body. Research has also confirmed that fluoride stays in the gums around the teeth and in the saliva where it’s picked up by the teeth.
At your next hygiene maintenance appointment, why not think about having a fluoride treatment for your teeth? Check your tooth paste to see if it contains fluoride, and consider adding a fluoride rinse to your daily routine. Not only does fluoride make your teeth stronger but it helps kill the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.
How Does The Fluoride Work To Prevent Cavities?
Dental cavities are caused by the continuous build-up of bacteria on or around the teeth. Oral bacteria produces acid after consuming sugar, leading to demineralization of the teeth. Sources of sugar include refined sugar, fruit, breads, pasta and other carbohydrates. The tooth structure can essentially be dissolved without proper care. Teeth also have a natural re-mineralization process to repair damaged areas, so using fluoride to control the damage can allow the cavity to be avoided.
As bacteria produces more and more acid, the natural pH of the mouth falls below 7. When the pH falls to 5.5, tooth enamel begins to dissolve. The re-mineralization process will begin as soon as the pH falls below 7. The lower the pH gets the more fluoride you’ll need to neutralize the acid and allow for repair. Tooth material repaired with available fluoride does not begin to dissolve until the pH of the mouth falls to 4.5 so teeth become much more resistant to cavities when fluoride is available.
If you’re in need of fluoride treatment, or have any other dental needs, please use our appointment booking tool, or call us at (905) 303-9355.