For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.
Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.
If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.
If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.
When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.
When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment.Â Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.
And as for Noah Galloway:Â In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!
If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
"A third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep," says the CDC. Not getting the sleep you need can be linked to many diseases, which is why if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it's important to contact your Leesburg, VA, dentist, Dr. Amirreza Rafaat.
Sleep apnea is an SRBD, sleep-related breathing disorder, that affects a person's respiratory airflow. The airflow is interrupted when soft tissue, like the tongue, at the back of your throat collapses while you're asleep causing your the windpipe to be partially closed off. The soft tissue vibrates which results in you snoring.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the upper airway is blocked and significant airflow disruption occurs, complete blockage of airflow may result as well.
Someone suffering from sleep apnea may wake up several times a night. These awakenings are called micro-arousals and prevent deep and restful sleep.
Lack of Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation's 2005 Sleep in America poll, approximately 168 million people reported feeling drowsy while driving.
Not getting enough sleep isn't just important for your health, but for the welfare of others. If you're not getting enough sleep and decide to drive, that may result in you falling asleep at the wheel.
There are many diseases that are linked to a lack of sleep, so make sure you ask your Leesburg doctor about how he can help you cope with sleep apnea to improve the quality of your sleep.
Here are a few examples of conditions that affect sleep:
- Heart disease
Your dentist offers oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea. This oral device repositions the jaw during sleep so that there is less chance of obstruction. This reduces symptoms and improves your quality of sleep. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your health, or if you are suffering from sleep apnea, then it's a good idea to contact your Leesburg, VA, dentist today!
Saliva probably doesn’t rate high on your amazement meter. You’re more likely to notice its absence and the dry irritation that results.
But you might be more impressed with this unsung bodily fluid if you knew all the things it does. It’s definitely a multi-tasker, performing a number of jobs (including aiding in digestion) that not only keep your oral health on track, but your general well-being too. And there are even new testing methods where saliva may even tell us when you’re not doing so well.
Here are 3 more tasks your saliva is doing for your mouth right now that truly makes it amazing.
Cleansing. Your teeth’s chewing action shreds food so it’s easier to digest. But that also leaves behind tiny particles in your mouth. Bacteria feast on these particles (especially carbohydrates like sugar) and produce acid as a byproduct, which can increase your risk of tooth decay. Saliva serves as a kind of “rinse cycle” for your mouth, helping to wash a good bit of these errant particles down your throat and away from hungry bacteria.
Defense. Speaking of bacteria, your mouth is home to millions of them. While most are harmless or even beneficial, a fraction can harm your teeth and gums. Saliva is your first line of defense, emitting an antibody known as Immunoglobulin A that targets these bacteria. Saliva also produces an antibacterial substance called lyzozyme that prevents bacteria from growing.
Enamel Protection. Although it’s the strongest substance in the body, your teeth’s enamel can’t withstand the effects of mouth acid, the by-product of bacterial feeding and growth. Acid levels naturally rise after eating; but even this sudden rise can begin the process of demineralization where minerals in enamel dissolve. Saliva saves the day by first neutralizing the acid and restoring the mouth’s normal pH in about thirty minutes to an hour. It also helps restore minerals in enamel, a process called remineralization. It’s all in a day’s work for this remarkable fluid.
If you would like more information on the importance of saliva to oral health, 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 “Saliva: How it is used to Diagnose Disease.”
Invisalign can straighten your smile and correct your bite issues in the same way as traditional braces, but without all the hassle of having metal brackets and wires permanently attached to your teeth. But how does Invisalign work? Is it the right orthodontic treatment for you? Find out with Dr. Amirreza Rafaat in Leesburg and Herndon, VA.
How does Invisalign work?
Just like traditional orthodontic care, Invisalign places gentle but steady pressure onto the teeth to move them into their correct positions. However, Invisalign does not use metal brackets and wires. Instead, it uses a system of aligner trays made from clear plastic. The trays fit in the mouth and snap into place around the teeth. Each tray in the series is slightly different from the last, ensuring that your teeth move on a specific, pre-planned route to their new, final positions.
Is Invisalign the right orthodontic treatment for me?
Invisalign treats the same things as traditional orthodontic treatment, including:
- misaligned teeth
- under crowding
- uneven teeth
Though Invisalign can most likely treat your orthodontic problem, you should always consult with your dentist to determine if this is the best treatment for you. Since Invisalign is removable, the treatment requires an adequate amount of commitment to the process to wear the trays for the necessary amount of time. Additionally, you should have a strong at-home oral care routine to keep your smile healthy and decay-free.
Invisalign Treatment in Leesburg and Herndon, VA
Instances of tooth decay or gum disease during treatment can hinder your results or lengthen the treatment’s duration. This makes brushing and flossing more important than ever. Brush twice a day and floss at least once. For more information on Invisalign please contact Dr. Rafaat in Leesburg and Herndon, VA. Call (703) 724-4220 to schedule an appointment in Leesburg, and (703) 464-0000 to schedule an appointment in Herndon today!
It’s hard to avoid stress in the 21st Century. We’re all bombarded with stressors, from work to family — even our smart phones!
The problem really isn’t the stressors themselves but how we respond to them and try to relieve stress. This can often have a negative effect on our health. One example: bruxism, also known as teeth grinding or clenching.
These habits involve the rhythmic or spasmodic clenching, biting or grinding of the teeth, often involuntarily, beyond normal chewing function. It often occurs while we sleep — jaw soreness the next morning is a telltale sign. While there are other causes, stress is one of the most common for adults, bolstered by diet and lifestyle habits like tobacco or drug use, or excessive caffeine and alcohol.
Teeth grinding’s most serious consequence is the potential for dental problems. While teeth normally wear as we age, grinding or clenching habits can accelerate it. Wearing can become so extensive the enamel erodes, possibly leading to fractures or cracks in the tooth.
When dealing with this type of bruxism, we must address the root cause: your relationship to stress. For example, if you use tobacco, consider quitting the habit — not only for your overall health, but to remove it as a stress stimulant. The same goes for cutting back on your consumption of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.
Adopt an “unwinding” pattern at night before you sleep to better relax: for example, take a warm bath or keep work items or digital media out of the bedroom.Â Many people also report relaxation or stress-relief techniques like meditation, mindfulness or biofeedback helpful.
There’s another useful tool for easing the effects of nighttime teeth grinding: an occlusal guard. This custom-fitted appliance worn while you sleep prevents teeth from making solid contact with each other when you clench them. This can greatly reduce the adverse effects on your teeth while you’re working on other stress coping techniques.
Teeth grinding or clenching can prove harmful over time. The sooner you address this issue with your dentist or physician, the less likely you’ll experience these unwanted consequences.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatments for teeth grinding, 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 “Teeth Grinding: Causes and Therapies for a Potentially Troubling Behavior.”
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