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Posts for: September, 2017

By Kuhn Family Dentistry
September 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.

First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.

Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?

Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.

Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.

So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.

If you would like more information about mouthrinses and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule a consultation.

September 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Is root canal therapy in your future? Find out what your tooth is trying to tell you!root canal

While no one wants to undergo restorative dentistry procedures, sometimes they are necessary in order to preserve the health of a tooth. In this case, if a tooth is infected, decayed or injured, this can affect an inner structure known as the dental pulp. When the dental pulp becomes damaged or infected it’s time for our Reno, NV dentist, Dr. Melinda Kuhn, to remove it. Are you experiencing symptoms that could be trying to tell you that you need root canal treatment? Find out now!

While you may not always get warning signs that you need dental treatment, there are some common symptoms that can manifest themselves. The most common symptom is dental pain. Now pain takes many shapes and forms. Maybe you only notice pain when you chew or bite down on the tooth. On the other hand, you may experience persistent pain.

The pain may be characterized as aching, throbbing or severe. Regardless of the type of pain you are dealing with, dental pain of any kind isn’t good. It’s often a sign of decay or infection that has spread far enough to reach the dental pulp.

The dental pulp is the structure that lies inside the tooth and because it’s made up of nerves, you could call it the “feeling center” of the tooth. When the pulp is damaged or infected, it will cause the pain you are experiencing right now. Pain alone is enough of a reason to pick up the phone and schedule an immediate appointment with our Reno general dentist.

Along with pain, you may also notice these other unpleasant oral symptoms:

  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Gum swelling or tenderness near the tooth
  • A pimple-like growth (known as an abscess) around the affected tooth

Of course, these symptoms can also be indicative of other dental problems that require urgent attention. Either way, don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself (and don’t ignore it). Let our dental team diagnose and treat the issue right away before complications set in.

If we do discover that the dental pulp is infected or damaged then we will need to remove it. This is the purpose behind getting root canal therapy. Besides removing the pulp we will also disinfect the inside of the tooth to prevent the infection from returning.

If you are experiencing a toothache, tooth sensitivity or other symptoms then it’s time you turned to the Reno, NV dental experts at Kuhn Family Dentistry. Don’t let this problem linger!

By Kuhn Family Dentistry
September 01, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

You’ve recently learned one of your teeth needs a root canal treatment. It’s absolutely necessary: for example, if you have decay present, it will continue to go deeper within the tooth and it will spread to the roots and bone and could ultimately cause you to lose your tooth. Although you’re a little nervous, we can assure you that if we’ve recommended a root canal treatment, it’s the right step to take for your dental health.

There’s nothing mysterious — or ominous — about a root canal. To help ease any fears you may have, here’s a step-by-step description of the procedure.

Step 1: Preparing your mouth and tooth. We first take care of one of the biggest misconceptions about root canals: that they’re painful. We completely numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with local anesthesia to ensure you will be comfortable during the procedure. We isolate the affected tooth with a thin sheet of rubber or vinyl called a rubber dam to create a sterile environment while we work on the tooth. We then access the inside of the tooth — the pulp and root canals — by drilling a small hole through the biting surface if it’s a back tooth or through the rear surface if it’s in the front.

Step 2: Cleaning, shaping and filling the tooth. Once we’ve gained access we’ll clear out all of the dead or dying tissue from the pulp and root canals, and then cleanse the empty chamber and canals thoroughly with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions. Once we’ve cleaned everything out, we’ll shape the walls of the tiny root canals to better accommodate a filling material called gutta-percha, which we then use to fill the canals and pulp chamber.

Step 3: Sealing the tooth from re-infection. Once we complete the filling, we’ll seal the access hole and temporarily close the tooth with another filling. Later, we’ll install a permanent crown that will give the tooth extra protection against another infection, as well as restore the tooth’s appearance.

You may experience some mild discomfort for a few days after a root canal, which is usually manageable with aspirin or ibuprofen. In a week or so, you’ll hardly notice anything — and the tooth-threatening decay and any toothache it may have caused will be a distant memory.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, 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 “A Step-by-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”