1129 West Chester Pike
West Chester, PA 19382

610.430.CARE (2273)

General Treatment

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is an infection caused by severe tooth decay, trauma or gum disease. An abscessed tooth can be sensitive or painful. There are several different types of abscessed teeth:

  • Periapical (root-tip) Abscess: an infection that is localized in the tooth's root usually caused by a result of trauma or deep decay. Generally, a root canal or extraction is necessary.
  • Lateral Abscess: an infection that develops along the lateral surface of the tooth's root usually caused by periodontitis (gum disease). The infection usually comes from outside the tooth instead of from inside. Treatment involves gum therapy.

Treatment is necessary to avoid more serious complications like gum disease.

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Allergies

While many people have allergies to dust and pollen, others may be allergic to certain medications or materials. As you complete your Patient Information and Medical History forms, you will be asked about any allergies you may have. Please be sure to let us know of any allergies you have prior to your treatment.

  • Allergies to Medications: Even if you can't remember the name of the medication you had an allergic reaction to, please let us know and we can contact your healthcare provider that prescribe the medication to find out. Please also let us know if you have allergies to dental anesthetics as we have alternatives available that we can use as "numbing" agents.
  • Allergies to Materials: Please notify us if you are allergic to Latex so we can use vinyl gloves instead. Also, if you are sensitive to mercury, let us know and we can use composite resin fillings instead of amalgam (silver fillings).

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Bleeding Gums

It is important to know that healthy gums do not bleed! Gums that bleed are a sign of infection. If you notice bleeding, brush and floss your teeth well and if the bleeding persists, contact our office for an appointment.

Untreated infections can lead to gum disease and potential tooth loss. Early treatment is the key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Very rarely does gum disease cause pain so your only indication that you have infection may be bleeding gums. Don't hesitate. Contact us for an examination if your gums persistently bleed.

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Broken/Chipped Tooth

Contact our office immediately if you have a chipped or broken tooth due to a very recent accident or trauma!

If your broken or chipped tooth is not a result of a recent trauma, it is possible we can still provide treatment options to restore the shape and health of your tooth. Immediate treatment is still important to ensure optimum results.

Treatments may vary depending on the case; however, treatment options for small chips may include:

  • Enamel shaping
  • Bonding
  • Veneers
  • Onlays

If the fracture involves a nerve, root canal therapy may be necessary.

If your tooth is broken, a crown is needed to avoid becoming abscessed or infected.

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Bruxism/Grinding Teeth

Teeth grinding or bruxism, is the habit of grinding, gnashing or clenching the teeth. Occasional teeth grinding is not harmful. However, severe teeth grinding that occurs on a daily basis, can lead to tooth fracture or loss. Other health complications as a result of severe and frequent teeth grinding include jaw disorders and headaches.

While some people unconsciously clench their teeth during the day, teeth grinding most often occurs during sleep. This means most people are unaware that they are grinding their teeth.

Signs and symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • A dull headache
  • Sore jaw
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Fractured, flattened or chipped teeth
  • Chronic facial pain
  • Tightness in the jaw muscles or jaw pain

Although doctors do not completely understand what causes teeth grinding, possible causes include, stress, anxiety or the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. Both children and adults can experience teeth grinding.

During regular dental exams we can check for the physical signs of teeth grinding. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, call us. If you notice that your child is grinding his/her teeth or is displaying any of the symptoms, please inform us at their next appointment.

In most cases, no treatment may be necessary. Most children simply "outgrow" the condition, and many adults do not experience the severe teeth grinding that requires therapy.

If the problem becomes severe, we can fit you with a mouthguard or splint to prevent further damage to your teeth, or correct misaligned teeth. If stress is to blame, you need to find a way to relax.

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Cavities

Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, they may negatively impact your quality of life.

When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.

If caught early, a filling can correct the problem; however if left untreated, the decay will spread a may cause an abscess, which may require a root canal or extraction.

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Cracked Tooth

Contact us immediately if you have recently had an accident or trauma that has cracked your tooth.

If a tooth is cracked, a crown is placed over the tooth to hold the crack together. If left untreated, the tooth will become more fragile due to the pressure of chewing and eventually break. Early treatment is the key to prevent your tooth from breaking. The only treatment for a broken tooth is an extraction.

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Denture Problems

Loose Fitting Dentures

Because dentures rest on the ridge of the gum tissue and bone, the ridge will eventually begin to shrink causing the dentures no long fit well. Overdentures, partial dentures and implant-retained dentures help slow down the deterioration of the ridge, but the change will still happen over time. Dentures and partials can be realigned to fit properly, but in some cases, a new set of dentures/partials may need to be fabricated to achieve a proper fit.

Sore Spot

Since dentures rest on the ridge of the gums, it is possible for sore spots to develop. If this occurs, contact us for an adjustment appointment.

Discoloration

Similar to your natural teeth, dentures can accrue bacteria build-up. It is important to brush your dentures/partials daily with a denture brush and denture toothpaste. In additionally, occasionally soak your dentures in a cleaning solution. If you are unable to remove stains or bacteria, schedule an appointment for us to professionally clean your dentures.

Bad Odor

Since dentures can absorb some bacteria, it is possible for offensive odors to develop. If your dentures are clean and the odor still persists, contact us for advice on remedies for eliminating these odors.

Broken/Chipped Denture

If a chip or fracture develops in your denture/partial, just contact us to have it easily repaired.

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Discolored Tooth

There are several factors that can contribute to the discoloration of teeth over a period of time, including:

  • Drinking coffee, tea and colas
  • Taking certain medications
  • Aging
  • Using tobacco products
  • Trauma
  • Root canal therapy

We offer several treatment options to help treat discoloration, including: bleaching, veneers and crowns.

We will help you determine which treatment option is best for your specific case.

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Gingivitis/Pyorrhea

When left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can inevitably lead to tooth loss. The term "periodontal" means "around the tooth." Therefore, periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. While this is often the main cause of periodontal disease, other factors can also be attributed to affecting the health of the gums and bone, including:

  • Smoking or Tobacco Use
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications
  • Diabetes
  • Poor Nutrition

Periodontal disease comes in many forms. Gingivitis is perhaps the mildest form of gum disease. While the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily, there is very little to no discomfort associated at this stage of the disease. Through a good oral hygiene regimen and treatment from your dentist, the results of gingivitis can be reversed.

Periodontitis is another form of periodontal disease and can be aggressive or chronic. Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of periodontal disease and is frequently seen in adults. The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation.

Treatment and Prevention

In certain cases, periodontal surgery may be recommended to treat periodontal disease when non-surgical treatment is ineffective. We may advise procedures such as pocket reduction, soft tissue grafts or bone regeneration to treat periodontal disease. If a tooth has been lost due to periodontal disease, dental implants are always an option for permanent tooth replacement.

Good oral hygiene and regular visits with your dentist and periodontist can prevent periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing can keep plaque to a minimum and, in conjunction with professional cleanings 2-4 times a year, can keep your teeth healthy for life.

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Gum Pain

Several factors can cause gum pain, including toothbrush or food trauma, ulcers, gum disease, Herpes Simplex, an abscessed tooth, erupting teeth, impacted teeth oral cancer or cysts, just to name a few.

If your gum pain persists, contact us for an appointment for a thorough examination.

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Loose Teeth

Adults

Gum disease is the most common cause for loose teeth in adults. If you have loose teeth, contact us immediately for an evaluation.

Children

Erupting permanent teeth is the most common cause for loose teeth in children. This is normal; however, if the primary (baby) tooth does not fall out before or soon after the permanent tooth erupts, contact us so we can prevent complications.

The primary teeth are very important in guiding the permanent teeth into their proper position so encourage your children not to apply too much pressure to primary teeth to speed up its removal.

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Malocclusions

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions.

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Sensitivity/Tooth Ache

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

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Snoring

Snoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Oral appliance therapy is the most common treatment for the most severe snoring problems. Treatment procedures range from changing your sleep patterns to utilizing orthodontic-related appliances that help open the airways during sleep.

Common Causes of Snoring

Snoring is caused by the vibrations of your soft and/or hard tissue palates; these vibrations occur because of increasingly narrow air passages. When air passes through these passages, a "flapping" sound occurs because the tissue is soft in nature. Surgery (to alleviate the snoring) is not always successful, however, because the sound may not originate from the soft palate; the snoring sometimes originates from tissues in the upper airway.

Common causes:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Health problems
  • Obesity
  • Obstructed nasal passages – deviated septum
  • Poor muscle tone of the tongue
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies

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TMJ

The "Temporomandibular Joint," more commonly referred to as the "jaw joint," assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that "popping" sounds in the jaw indicates a TMJ dysfunction, this is not always true. Many times, your jaw is functioning properly even if a "popping" sound is present when chewing or talking.

We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the "hinge" of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue, which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth. Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.

For more serious cases of TMJ, we will recommend alternate treatments. Often, we will suggest using a mouthguard to relieve teeth grinding. In some cases, we will instruct you to use orthodontic appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint. For the most severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend certain invasive procedures.

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Wisdom Teeth

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.

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Worn Teeth

Worn teeth is when the enamel of the tooth is somehow "worn" away resulting in tooth sensitivity and potential decay.

Several factors can contribute to worn teeth, including:

  • Attrition is the most common cause. This occurs when people grind or clinch their teeth when speaking, eating and most commonly while sleeping.
  • Abrasion is when a foreign object, like a tooth brush of fingernails, cause the wearing away of tooth enamel. Brushing too hard or long, fingernail biting, chewing on pens or pencils and having oral jewelry are all contributing factors.
  • Erosion is chemical wear on teeth usually caused by an acid, like citric acid. Also, people suffering from bulimia often have tooth erosion due to the strong stomach acids that are present when vomiting.

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