Sinus Pressure Or A Toothache?

Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year, but it can also bring on a lot of suffering for those with allergies. Due to the blossoming of plants, flowers, and trees, sinus pain becomes a regular problem for many Americans.

On the other hand, a toothache can happen in any season. Therefore, some people mistake toothaches for sinus problems caused by allergies. So how can you tell them apart?

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is an inflammation that can be caused by mucus or bacteria build up; Illnesses including,  common cold, flu, allergies, lodged particles, and others.

How Do Our Sinuses Affect Our Teeth?

You have multiple sinus passages, but the pathway that can impact your teeth is called the maxillary sinus. This sits right behind your cheekbone and is extremely close to the roots of the top and back teeth. When inflammation occurs in this area, it can put pressure on the roots that creates a sensation comparable to a toothache or cavity.

How to Tell the Difference

Telling the difference between toothaches and sinus pain is as simple as checking your symptoms.

Sinusitis Symptoms

  • A clogged or a runny nose
  • Phlegm in the throat
  • A mild cough
  • A sore throat
  • Pain or aching in the cheekbones
  • A headache near the ears
  • A fever

Toothache Symptoms

  • Mouth swelling
  • Gum redness
  • Bad breath
  • Bad mouth taste
  • Fever
  • Pus from tooth

See Your Dentist at Fairfield Dental Arts

If you cannot identify the cause of your pain, visit us sooner rather than later! Seeing us for a checkup appointment can save you time and money by taking care of the problem before it gets worse.

Fun Facts About Smiling

Smiling tells a lot about a person. Our perception of a  “happy” person is directly connected to the amount they smile. It doesn’t matter what someone’s teeth look like or what they are smiling or laughing at. If they smile, we consider them cheerful! In reality, smiling goes deeper than perception. It is directly correlated with our mental health and overall well-being and not just how others perceive us. Here’s a list of how smiling can benefit your mental and physical health:

Smiling Betters Your Mood

When you’re in a bad mood and stressed out, the last thing you want to do is smile. However, when you smile, a chemical reaction occurs in the brain that releases hormones like dopamine and serotonin.

Dopamine is a chemical that increases happiness, while serotonin is a chemical associated with stress reduction. Turning your frown upside down can help the body reduce its response to stress and lower your heart rate, putting you in a better mood and state of mind.

Smiling Strengthens Your Immune System

When a smile turns into a laugh, our bodies release a signal to molecules in our brain that fight illnesses. Stress weakens our immune system by straining our bodies ability to circulate blood due to increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, etc.

Smiling Makes You More Attractive

When you smile, you are better looking and more approachable overall. Studies show that when you smile, people tend to treat you differently than when you do not. Also, smiling is contagious: when others see you smile, they want to experience your happiness with you. We can help each other achieve genuine happiness with a simple flash of our pearly whites.

We don’t expect you smile all the time, but with beautiful teeth from Fairfield Dental Arts, we encourage you to have fun, laugh, and smile as much as you can!

For more information on dentistry services at Fairfield Dental Arts, contact us today or schedule an appointment.

Try This Toothpaste Quiz!

At first glance, toothpaste may seem like just a product you were taught to use to brush your teeth; however, what you find out while taking this fun toothpaste quiz just might surprise you and give you a greater appreciation of this messy glop that does way more than just make orange juice taste funny.

True or False?

Toothpaste kills plaque and bacteria on your teeth.

Answer

True: Toothpaste contains an ingredient called PVM/MA copolymer, which helps antibacterial agents, like triclosan, adhere to your teeth and oral tissues longer.

True or False?

A professional dental cleaning allows your toothpaste to work better.

Answer

True: A professional dental cleaning cleans the tooth’s surface, which allows the ingredients in the toothpaste to work better.

True or False?

Toothpaste does not have an expiration date.

Answer

False: The FDA recommends all toothpaste to have an expiration date to ensure that the fluoride in it remains at its peak.

True or False?

Gel toothpaste is the best.

Answer

False: All toothpaste, whether it’s gel, powder, or paste, works great provided they contain fluoride, which helps prevent cavities.

True or False?

Toothpaste was discovered in the year 1960.

Answer

False:: Toothpaste is actually believed to have been discovered in 5000 BC by the early Egyptians.

True or False?

Fluoride is the only active ingredient in toothpaste.

Answer

False: Though all toothpaste must contain the active ingredient fluoride in order to be ADA approved, some toothpastes also contain other active ingredients, such as those needed to reduce tartar build-up, lessen teeth sensitivity, and whiten teeth etc.

True or False?

I should wait until my child turns two to brush their teeth.

Answer

False: You should brush your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. However, avoid letting them brush their teeth on their own until they reach about age 6 because too much fluoride at an early age can cause white spots on their teeth, also known as fluorosis.

As you can see, there is more to toothpaste than meets the eye. There are various types of toothpaste on the market to address various dental concerns. To find the best toothpaste for you or to schedule a professional dental cleaning to help make your toothpaste more effective, simply contact Fairfield Dental Arts.

We are a leading comprehensive dental team that specializes in quality dental services for your entire family.

Stop Acid Erosion

The enamel, which is the strongest substance in the body, is a hard, somewhat clear exterior layer that shields your teeth from everyday wear. It also keeps you from feeling temperature extremes and safeguards against chemical and acid damage.

Unfortunately, once the enamel is worn down it doesn’t grow back; therefore it is important to stop acid erosion in its tracks.

What are the Main Contributors of Acid Erosion?

Sugar

Plaque and other bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, which they use to make acids that eat away at the enamel. And it can get worse if you don’t immediately clean your teeth after eating sugary foods.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Citrus fruits, fruit juice, carbonated drinks, sour candies, and wine have high acid levels which easily erode your enamel. Therefore, be sure to drink plenty of water while consuming acidic foods and drinks in order to dilute its acidic effect.

Stomach Acids

Vomiting, and sometimes acid reflux, also referred to as GERD, causes stomach acids to flow up into the mouth which allows the acid to reach your teeth.

Some Signs of Acid Erosion

  • Discolored teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Rough or uneven edges on the teeth
  • Transparent teeth
  • Rounded teeth

Preventing Acid Erosion

Good dental care is the best defense against acid erosion. However, some other things you can do to help preserve your enamel include:

  • Limiting the amount of acidic foods and drinks you consume
  • Rinsing your mouth with water immediately after consuming acidic foods and drinks
  • Using a straw for acidic drinks so it doesn’t come in contact with the teeth
  • Enjoying a piece of cheese or drink milk immediately after meals to neutralize acids
  • Chewing sugar-free gum and candy
  • Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Seeking treatment for acid-related illnesses

If your teeth have become discolored, worn down, or chipped, we can protect your damaged tooth with tooth bonding, which provides a protective covering for your teeth. In more serious cases, we can cover the tooth with a crown to protect it against further damage.

At Fairfield Dental Arts, we specialize in a wide range of dental services, including dental implants and more, to help preserve the beauty of your teeth for your healthiest smile yet. Simply contact us or visit our office!

Orthodontic Options: What’s Right For You

Bite issues and misaligned teeth can be embarrassing not to mention uncomfortable. However, these issues can generally be improved with orthodontic treatments. There are two common orthodontic treatments available: Invisalign and traditional braces. Which treatment is best for you usually depends on the severity of your dental issues.

Invisalign

Invisalign offers a more concealed way to straighten your teeth over traditional braces which use metal brackets and wires to align the teeth. Instead, the Invisalign treatment uses multiple clear, plastic aligners, which look similar to clear retainers that custom fit to your teeth. They are also removable so they enable you to enjoy many of the foods you like. And since they are removable, they are also easier to clean.

Invisalign is usually recommended for individuals who prefer more control over their orthodontic treatment or who simply prefer a quicker way to straighten their teeth. It is also created to improve basic orthodontic problems; however, there are more advanced designs that can improve bite issues as well.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces offer a long-established way to straighten your teeth, and though they often consist of metal brackets, your orthodontist can substitute ceramic brackets for metal brackets to create a more concealed look.

Metal braces function by aligning the teeth to their right position in the mouth and then rubber bands or other techniques may be used to correct the bite.

Traditional braces are typically recommended for those with extremely crooked teeth or bite issues. In fact, since traditional braces are a semi-permanent treatment, they are more likely to improve extreme orthodontic issues quicker and for a longer period than other orthodontic treatments.

Fairfield Dental Arts is a leading dental practice that specializes in orthodontic, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, using only the highest quality materials, for both adults and children. We also provide preventive care for the entire family, including dental implants, crowns, bridges, and porcelain veneers. And we incorporate quality techniques to ensure your dental work looks as natural as your own teeth.

If you reside in Fairfield, including Westport, Bridgeport, Weston, and surrounding areas, and would like to put your best smile forward, feel free to contact us to see what we can do for you or your family today.

How Does Toothpaste Work?

Toothpaste is necessary for keeping your mouth healthy and clean. In fact, it contains various ingredients, including fluoride, abrasives, and detergents, which together work hard to provide the following benefits for your teeth:

Helps Prevent Cavities and Plaque

Each time we eat or drink, our enamel becomes susceptible to attack by the sugars, carbohydrates, and acids in our foods, which help contribute to plaque, a sticky bacteria film that leads to gum disease, and dental erosion, which eventually leads to cavities. Therefore, toothpaste is specially formulated to help safeguard our teeth against these attacks.

One of the main ingredients in toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen the teeth against acid erosion and plaque by penetrating deep into the enamel where it helps to remineralize the tooth, thus making it more resistant to food and plaque attacks. Some toothpastes also include other plaque-fighting ingredients, such as triclosan and Xylitol, which helps hinder plaque and bacteria growth.

Cleans and Polishes the Teeth

Toothpaste contains mild abrasives and detergents that help keep your teeth clean and stain-free.

The mild abrasives work by physically scrubbing away food, plaque, and stains from the enamel and also polishes the tooth surface, while the detergents neutralize food particles, and the foam helps break up and dislodge stubborn debris from the teeth for a healthy clean mouth.

Whitening toothpaste contains special abrasives that are designed to clean surface stains better than standard toothpaste.

Freshens the Breath

Cleaning food debris and bacteria from your mouth with toothpaste helps remove odor causing substances and also neutralizes volatile sulfur molecules, which contribute to bad breath. Additionally, toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors like bubble gum, mint, and cinnamon to help leave your mouth with a fresh scent.

A good toothpaste along with proper brushing, regular flossing, and yearly dental cleanings can help keep your enamel strong, so it is less vulnerable to enamel- damaging elements, such as plaque, which can lead to oral problems.

If you would like a dentist-recommended toothpaste or toothbrush for best results, or if you would simply like to schedule a yearly dental cleaning as part of your oral hygiene regimen, feel free to contact Fairfield Dental Arts, the leaders in comprehensive dental care

Why Dentures Are My Best Option

If you have severe toothaches, inflamed gums, loose, shifting or missing teeth, mouth pain, chronic indigestion or difficulty eating foods that are hard or chewy, it may be a sign you need dentures.

At Fairfield Dental Arts, we can create comfortable, natural-looking dentures that can give you the confidence to live a full life and have a brilliant smile. We have the necessary technology to create quality crowns, bridges, porcelain veneers,  as well as partials and full dentures made from the highest quality materials. This ensures your restorations will look like your natural teeth. If regular brushing and flossing fails to prevent your teeth from decay or loss, we can show you how dentures can give you back your smile and have you eating any type of food you want without pain or discomfort.

Our dentists use state-of-the-art equipment to create beautiful dentures that will enable you to smile, talk, and eat with confidence. For many people missing, decayed or broken teeth can force them to limit their personal and professional contacts and diminish their quality of life. At Fairfield Dental Arts, we can create comfortable, natural-looking dentures that can give you the confidence to live a full life and have a brilliant smile.

We have been providing dentures for families in Fairfield, Bridgeport, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and the surrounding areas for over 25 years.Not only are we known for our caring and compassionate services, we also offer convenient evening and Saturday appointments with guaranteed satisfaction on all our work.

Contact Fairfield Dental Arts. We have the expertise and equipment to help. We offer a wide range of dental options for people of all ages.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

For those of us with sensitive teeth, there is little doubt about how unbearable it can be. The professional term for tooth sensitivity is known as, “dentin hypersensitivity”, and this occurs when dentin (the inner layer of enamel) is exposed. Eating a great deal of citrus and other sweet and sour foods is what generally triggers this pain.

Receding Gums

The first culprit is that of receding gums. This occurs because of poor cleaning habits where excessive amounts of pressure is applied. Gum tissue is degraded surrounding the teeth which exposes the roots. If it’s not due to poor cleaning habits then it’s likely unhygienic practices which enable the buildup of plaque. The plaque quickly turns into tartar which attracts bacteria which can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, and of course, receding gums.

Fractured or Decaying

Your teeth will also be unhappy if they are fractured or undergoing decay. If your oral hygiene is poor then your teeth will become weak and can chip. These fractures and cracks invite tarter and bacteria, which will create inflammation in the tissue and gums, creating sensitivity. If you don’t brush well and develop cavities then you will have damaged enamel and exposed dentin, and lots of sensitivity.

Mouthwash and Whitening Products

You may be surprised to know that some mouthwash and tooth whitening products can be the culprit. Many of these store-bought mouthwashes are full of acidic ingredients that erode tooth enamel. You must also avoid tooth whitening products that contain high amounts of baking soda and peroxide which are abrasive and create sensitivity as well.

Old Age

Sometimes the culprit is simply old age. With time our bodies become weaker and less resilient. Specifically, we’re talking about the strength of the bones in our bodies which includes teeth. Gums also naturally recede with old age.

Overall, one must be diligent in developing proper oral care habits in order to prevent, minimize, or even reverse tooth sensitivity. We need to take care by purchasing the right products that are easy on our teeth and gums. Having a good toothbrush, flossing regularly, and avoiding acidic and other harsh foods will lead to strong happy teeth.

For more information about tooth sensitivity, contact us today!

The Anatomy of a Mouth

The human mouth is quite an interesting adornment to the front of our faces, but it has a myriad of components that make it quite complex despite its simple facade. However, it is good to be familiar with the anatomy of a mouth so that you will be able to notice any problems and maintain a good degree of health. In fact, many sometimes consider the mouth as the key to all good health overall. At Fairfield Dental Arts we certainly take pride in being able to help you with any issues and to keep your mouth looking good.

The structure is complex, but it starts with the mouth cavity that is divided into the oral cavity proper and the vestibule. This is also the beginning of the alimentary canal, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, which is where food is consumed and works its way through as it is digested. The outer portion between the teeth, lips, and gums is the vestibule.

Then, the alveolar process is the hard ridge of bone that holds the teeth in their sockets and is the front border of the oral cavity proper. In the back, near the throat, it is bordered by the isthmus of the fauces which is where the uvula is located. On the roof of the mouth, there is the hard and soft palate in the front and back respectively. The floor then has the tongue and some other mylohyoid muscles that help with processing food as well as talking and other natural activities.

The mucous membrane of the mouth helps to keep things moist as is generally required for comfort. The teeth are separated into the maxillary and mandibular divisions. Maxillary denotes the upper ones while mandibular is for the lower, and they are both attached to portions of the trigeminal nerve. This gives them the feeling and such so that any irregularities might be noticed due to pain sensations, and it helps to keep everything in functional order. The lips denote the outside of the mouth, and they represent the transition from the inside mucous membrane to the external skin of the human body.

Overall, the human mouth is an excellent representation of how the species has evolved and developed over the years. Be sure to get regular checkups by the dental experts so that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle without the discomfort that some overlooked issues might cause. More information can be found at Fairfield Dental Arts here.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Cavities

No one likes to hear that he/she has a cavity, but the good news is, the sooner it is detected, the quicker it can be fixed. Left undetected, the cavity progressively gets worse and leads to further complications. So, think of it like this, finding the cavity means fixing the cavity.

Let’s start with a reminder of how cavities occur. When we eat foods that have starch or sugar in them, bacteria that are in our mouths use the starches and sugar to create acids. Those acids begin working on breaking down our tooth enamel. Don’t panic! Our saliva is equipped with calcium and phosphate to replace the minerals lost. Fluoride in toothpaste and in water also help, but be careful because repeated contact with those acids result in a cavity.

The following is a list of signs or symptoms of dental cavities. Knowing these signs or symptoms can help you seek dental care immediately rather than allowing the cavity to get worse.

Stains

A stain that initially appears as a white spot can mean that minerals have been destroyed off of the enamel on the tooth. At this point, the enamel, with some proper care, can be repaired. If decay continues on the stain, then the spot may become darker in tint; brown or black.

Sensitivity

A sudden unexplained sensitivity of a tooth can be serious. If you feel a sudden sensitivity, especially when eating certain foods, then seek out professional dental attention.

Bad Breath

Inexplicable bad breath is another sign that something may be wrong in your mouth. The bacteria responsible for the decay of your teeth are also responsible for bad breath. This sign is not always initially noticeable by you, but friends and family might not always feel comfortable telling you that your breath is unpleasant.

Bacteria

The bacteria causing the erosion of tooth enamel can also create a bad taste. You may experience some disagreeable taste in your mouth as a result of the bacteria breaking down food.

Pain

Pain is also a common symptom of cavities and one that should initiate immediate dental attention. The pain can be in the tooth that is decaying or has the cavity, and it can also be present in the jaw.

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms of a cavity for more than a day or two, it is crucial that you seek medical attention from a dentist. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!