Posts for: March, 2014

March 26, 2014
Category: General Dentistry
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Schenectady mouth painWhen you’re in pain, you’re not yourself. And the longer that discomfort lasts, the more serious the effect it has on your life. Don’t ignore oral pain that could be a sign of a larger problem. No matter your aches, there’s a treatment that will soothe them. Dr. Robert Scotto will diagnose the problem and get you back on your feet.

Common Causes of Oral Pain

Many patients experiencing some kind of oral discomfort decide to wait it out. They believe that the problem can’t be anything too serious, and plan on seeing whether it subsides. It’s true that not every twinge mandates a call to the dentist, but some pains are signifiers of significant dental problems. The intensity and location of your pain can point to the culprit.

A few of the most common causes of mouth pain include:

  • Cavities – Also known as dental caries, cavities form when acids eat through enamel and cause tooth decay. Cavities destroy the hard tissues that make up the tooth. If treated in their early stages, cavities can be no big deal. But if they’re allowed to progress, the entire tooth may become infected. Treating an infected tooth involves root canal or even extraction. Pay attention to your teeth: if one is in pain, if you notice a new dark spot, or if you notice sudden bad breath, a cavity may be forming.
  • Gingivitis/periodontal disease – Plaque buildup causes more than just cavities. Your gums also suffer the consequences of increased oral bacteria. Once your gums become inflamed, they’re susceptible to infection. Pockets of bacteria may form between your teeth and gums, jeopardizing tooth stability and gum health. If your gums are tender, swollen, red or purple, or bleeding, give us a call so that we can get the inflammation under control.
  • TMJ disorder – Your temporomandibular joint is located on either side of your jaw. It connects the lower and upper jaws, and allows for the full range of jaw motion that you enjoy. Unfortunately, the TMJ doesn’t always work harmoniously. A damaged or aggravated TMJ may give rise to a TMJ disorder. Disorders cause stiffness, pain, and fatigue at the jaw joint.
  • Bruxism – Teeth grinding is an incredibly common problem, and one that many patients don’t actually recognize. Because most clenching and grinding take place at night, patients don’t realize what their jaws are up to. Chronic grinding will wear down your enamel and can cause problems with your jaw joint. Grinding-related pain is most often felt in the morning, in the jaw and across your teeth.
  • Aphthous ulcers – This term sounds alarming, but it’s actually the least damaging of this group – aphthous ulcers are canker sores. While canker sores cause discomfort, they rarely lead to larger problems. Use over-the-counter canker sore relief products to soothe the area.

Schenectady Treatment for Jaw Pain and Mouth PainSchenectady mouth pain treatment

The problems we’ve detailed above can be resolved with a visit to Dr. Scotto. One that bears special mention is TMJ disorder. Pain stemming from jaw disorders can be debilitating. Our office provides a variety of solutions for those experiencing TMJ-related discomfort. For some patients, wearing TMJ splints will help stabilize and realign their lower jaws. These mouth guards are worn at night, and they ensure that the jaws remain in a healthy relationship with one another. TMJ splints also allow the jaw joints to rest and heal. Night guards are equally helpful for patients struggling with bruxism.

If a TMJ splint isn’t adequate for your clenching, Botox therapeutic will persuade jaw muscles to relax. A precise injection at the jaw joint will help prevent forceful muscle contractions without robbing patients of their jaw function. Give us a call if you suspect that Botox could be helpful, or if you’re interested in learning more about Botox therapeutic. And, as always, get in touch if you have any questions about your oral pain or your dental health.

March 12, 2014
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
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Schenectady cosmetic dentistryWhen you decide to make a change to your smile, you’re investing in new teeth. Naturally, you want that investment to last as long as possible. But our teeth (and dental work) can fall prey to damaging external forces. Fortunately, there are simple, daily steps you can take to ensure you reap the full rewards of your gorgeous, healthy smile. Put in a little extra work each day to see your efforts pay off – some forms of dental work will remain with you for decades.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Schenectady

Cosmetic dental work is both beautiful and functional. There’s no need to compromise tooth strength in order to change your smile’s appearance. Dr. Scotto will never make a cosmetic decision that weakens your grin – rather, the work will protect and preserve your natural teeth. Whether you get dental bonding, a porcelain veneer, or a porcelain crown, those treatments will support natural teeth by protecting your enamel and supporting the tooth’s structure.

Maintaining Brighter Teeth

Teeth whitening is incredibly popular and widespread. Different whitening systems offer various treatment experiences and results. No matter the whitening system you choose, you want to make sure that your brightened grin offers great longevity. Whitening results can only last so long, but there are home steps you can take to give them a boost.

  • Avoid staining habits. Some of the guiltiest staining agents are tobacco use and dark, acidic liquids (primarily coffee, red wine, and cola). If you must indulge, use a straw to drink, and rinse with water afterwards.
  • Watch out for grinding. The outer layer of your teeth is your enamel, a hard, protective surface that provides teeth with their white shade. Below the enamel is your dentin, which is naturally yellow. When patients grind their teeth and wear the enamel away, the dentin begins to show through. This darkens the smile’s appearance. Grinding has countless other unwelcome effects. Avoid them by asking Dr. Scotto whether you may benefit from a night guard.
  • Use fluoride products. Fluoridated mouthwash and toothpaste helps remineralize enamel, thickening its layer and protecting your teeth. Using fluoride prior to whitening can also help reduce tooth sensitivity.
  • Practice whitening upkeep. Using whitening trays at home will give your in-office whitening a boost! Follow Dr. Scotto's instructions to whiten at the appropriate frequency.

Preserving Dental Bonding

Schenectady cosmetic dentistryBonding applies tooth-colored dental composite to teeth. This has cosmetic and functional benefits. Bonding isn’t as strong as porcelain restorations, but accomplishes many of the same results. In order to make your bonding last as long as possible, it’s important to treat it well.

  • Brush and floss the area gently but thoroughly.
  • Don’t bite into anything other than food (teeth should never be used as tools, but doing so is especially harmful to dental work).
  • No grinding! As with whitening, teeth grinding will cause problems. Applying that unnatural pressure to your bonding will likely cause chips and breaks.

Caring for Porcelain Dental Restorations

Porcelain restorations are the hardiest cosmetic treatments. The porcelain material is incredibly durable, and allows for lasting changes to be made to your smile. Because the restorative process is more involved than whitening or bonding, it’s vital that you treat your restorations with respect. Care for them as you would natural teeth (daily brushing and flossing), and be sure to clean at the gum line. Avoid exposing your restorations to extreme force (like that associated with bruxing) and they will continue to enhance your smile for many years to come.

Interested in learning more about home care for dental work? Simply contact our office for more helpful tips. We will base your personalized advice off your own teeth and existing dental work to help you take an active role in the state of your smile!

Schenectady Cosmetic Dentist | Schenectady Cosmetic Dentistry | Schenectady Cosmetic Dentall Treatment

Robert M. Scotto, D.D.S.
615 Union St.
Schenectady, NY 12305




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