Sunnybrook Dental - Olathe, KS Dentist Blog

​Perhaps it’s ice cream or a breath of crisp air, or maybe it’s a cup of hot tea or a cozy bowl of soup. No matter

what it is, hot and cold tooth sensitivity is a commonailment experienced by many people. At my dental office in Olathe, we’d like to answer some of the questions we get asked regarding tooth sensitivity to both hot and cold foods and drinks.

 

“Why are my teeth sensitive?”

Tooth sensitivity is caused when the outside of teeth, or the hard enamel, wears down or gums recede and the tiny tubes in the tooth dentin become exposed. Each of those tiny tubes contains a lot of nerve endings, and when they’re left open, it can hurt when you put hot or cold things in your mouth. A lot.

 

“What causes the enamel to wear away?”

Most often, tooth enamel wears away due to eating of too many acidic foods or drinks, excessive acid reflux, brushing too hard, or by clenching or grinding.

 

“How can I ease the pain?”

Choosing the right toothpaste and toothbrush can go a long way in easing tooth sensitivity. When looking for a toothbrush, select one that has soft bristles and brush gently when using it. If your bristles are pointing in several directions, you’re probably brushing too hard. For a toothpaste choice, avoid anything that contains sodium pyrophosphate as that can contribute to sensitivity. Many whitening toothpastes and tartar-control pastes have this ingredient. Instead, select a desensitizing paste. Finally, mind your food choices. Having water instead of acidic drinks like soda or juices, and even avoiding acidic foods like certain tomato- or olive-based pasta sauces can help.

 

“What will my dentist do to help?

There are multiple treatment options that may be helpful in reducing tooth sensitivity including:

  • Sealants or other desensitizing agents

  • Bonding

  • Root canals

 

Your dentist in Olathe will determine the most appropriate option for you following an in depth discussion about your pain, your habits, and the treatments available.

                 

If you’re still experiencing sensitivity related pain, come to my Olathe dental office. We’ll discuss what could be contributing to it and work with you to provide the best way to ease it.


 

 

Whether it’s out of boredom, nervousness, or your nails just get too lo

ng and nail clippers aren’t handy, biting your nails is one of the most common habits. While nail biting may seem to ease stress, at my Olathe dental office, we want you to know that it’s not only a great way to transfer germs that could make you sick, it could also lead to a variety of dental problems.

 

  1. Chips. We’re not talking about the salty, crunchy kind. We’re referring to the tooth enamel damage caused by nail biting. Fingernails are hard, and gnawing on them can lead to chips or cracks in the teeth.

 

  1. Wear and Tear. Like the rest of your body, your teeth need to take periodic breaks. If you’re constantly putting stress on them by nail biting, teeth may begin to wear down and could become uneven.

 

  1. Jaw Issues. Biting your nails may lead to TMJ Disorder, which causes painful headaches, locking or popping of the jaw, or jaw pain. Because of the abnormal way your jaw needs to move around to nibble off a nail, it may throw the alignment out of whack, leading to TMJ Disorders.

 

  1. Back to the Grind. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) states that nail biters may be putting themselves at greater risk for bruxism, or unintentional grinding or clenching of teeth. Grinding and clenching can lead their own host of problems including jaw issues, headaches, and tooth damage.

 

  1. Dental Bills. Since there is such a strong correlation between nail biting and dental problems, it’s not surprising that those who are chronic nail biters end up having higher dental bills than non-biters. According to the AGD, people who bite their nails end up paying an additional $4,000 in dental bills throughout their lifetime.

 

If you’ve been biting your nails and can’t seem to stop, give my dental office in Olathe a call. We can talk about ways others have successfully broken the habit, check your mouth of any potential side effects, and work with you to get your mouth healthy.


 

 

The holidays are well upon us, and there’s never been a better time to celebrate friendships, spend time with family, and be grateful for our health. However, with the hustle and bustle of parties every weekend, fulfilling wish lists pages deep, and all that food, it’s also a time when our health is at increased risk. At my dental office in Olathe, we’re always focused on our patients’ health, and not just in their mouths, but throughout their entire bodies. With that philosophy always at the forefront of everything we do, this holiday season we’d like to share some tips for making your holiday season a healthy one.

 

Be Stress Free

Over the holidays, life seems to become so incredibly busy, it’s like there’s never a chance to breathe, let alone enjoy it. Try breaking the cycle of constantly being stressed by following these tips.

  • Don’t overcommit. If you’re inundated with piles of invitations to holiday parties, don’t feel obligated to accept them all. Overcommitment to more events than you can handle can lead to loss of sleep and an increased risk of getting sick. Politely pass on some of those parties and stay in to relax instead.

  • Stay within budget. Start your holidays by setting a budget, then stay within it. Managing the amount of money you’re comfortable spending on gifts, food, and travel can keep your stress levels low and give you one less thing to worry about.

 

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – Just Not Too Much

One of the best parts of the holidays is the variety of food and drinks available at every turn. While we’d never tell to you skip out on enjoying a holiday feast, your dentist in Olathe will encourage you to monitor your intake of food and alcohol. Overeating can lead to an upset stomach, so watch how much you consume. The same thing applies to alcohol. If you’re of age, partaking a glass of wine with dinner or a dessert of eggnog is absolutely acceptable, just don’t overdo it. Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water, and try to limit yourself to two adult beverages per party. Nothing compromises your immune system or makes you feel sicker than a hangover that belongs on the naughty list.

 

Wash Your Hands Often

During the holidays, we interact with more people, visit more houses, and are presented with more opportunities to swap germs. This makes washing your hands well and often really important. Scrub with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to rinse away harmful germs that can make you sick and put a damper on your holiday.

 

Everyone at my dental office in Olathe wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. Following these tips can help make it a healthy one too.

 

 

I haven't been to the dentist in years

Several things can keep you from visiting the dentist every six months as normally recommended. A bad experience, a fear of the dentist, finances, or maybe you’re just too busy. However, when you make the decision to get back in the dental chair, you may still feel reluctant. The team at my Olathe dental office wants to ease your concerns and help you understand what you can expect at your first visit.

 

A Lecture-Free Zone

One of the main fears patients have when they’re getting ready to come back is fear of a lecture. When you visit your dentist in Olathe, we don’t want you to be afraid of getting chastised. Our philosophy doesn’t include making our patients feel guilty, but rather we talk with you about your concerns and work together to ease them. With us, you’re never in trouble and we’re always here to help.

 

A Longer Visit

Your first visit after a hiatus will typically warrant a longer visit. This isn’t to scare you but because we like to spend time getting to know our patients personally and familiarizing ourselves with their mouths. We’ll also perform a thorough evaluation that will most likely include x-rays, a comprehensive exam, and cleaning. We’ll move at your pace and constantly ensure that you’re at ease.

 

Cavities

If it’s a been a few years since you’ve seen a dentist, there is a good chance that you have some decay and cavities. However, they’re nothing to fear. Most people, even those who do see the dentist every six months, get several cavities throughout their lifetime. But thanks to improvements in dental technology, treatment is easier, less painful, and faster than ever before. Getting a cavity filled is a much better option than leaving it untreated as a cavity that is left to fester can lead to more serious problems.


Whether it’s been a few months, years, or decades since you last visited the dentist, we’re here to welcome you to my dental office in Olathe. Our goal is not only to get your mouth healthy, but to make sure you’re comfortable and that you’re an active part of your health care team. We welcome you to talk to us about your concerns so we can help ease your worries and get your smile back to health, beauty, and strength.

are you a mouth breather?

 

We all mouth breathe a little bit during a cold, while running, or when lifting something heavy; however, doing it all the time may have negative effects on your dental health. Most people who are chronic mouth breathers do not even realize it, which is especially distressing for all of us at my Olathe dental office.

 

People don’t mouth breathe because they choose to, they typically do it because there’s something wrong with the nasal passage. When you can’t get enough oxygen by breathing through your nose, you do the only other thing you can – you breathe out of your mouth. Chronic mouth breathing may result in some serious dental and facial issues.

When a child mouth breathes, it may actually  impact the natural growing process of their face. When we use our mouths to breathe, our posture has to change to keep the airway open. In a kid, if mouth breathing and this change in posture is left untreated, it may lead to a long, narrow face, a narrow or flat nose, a short upper lip, and a pouty lower lip. Additionally, it could create some other concerning oral health problems in both children and adults.

Many people don’t know the multitude of issues that are linked to mouth breathing, which worries your dentist in Olathe. However, the many problems associated with mouth breathing are so serious, they were highlighted in a study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry. Chronic mouth breathing may lead to overcrowded teeth, a gummy smile, problems with facial development, even with the overall health of your mouth.

Using your mouth to breathe instead of your nose increases your risk for several oral health issues. Breathing out of your mouth dries it out and decreases saliva production. Without saliva, dangerous acids and bacteria are left to create problems like tooth decay and gingivitis. More so, mouth breathing can lead to chronic bad breath, poor sleep, headaches, and sore throats.

Some Signs & Symptoms

  • Dry lips

  • Crowded teeth

  • Snoring and open mouth while sleeping

  • Increased number of airway infections including sinus, ear, colds

  • Chronic bad breath

 

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of mouth breathing, or if you know you are a mouth breather, call my dental office in Olathe. We have the ability to recognize mouth breathing and can work with you to fix the problem and get your mouth, and quality of life, back to health.





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