Why Does My Tooth Hurt?

Having a toothache can be a debilitating problem that affects your ability to go about your day like normal. This pain can lead to headaches and even cause a loss of appetite. To determine whether your discomfort will go away on its own or if you should see your dentist, it can help to understand why you are having a toothache in the first place. See below for common causes of oral pain and discomfort, and whether or not you may be experiencing a dental emergency that needs prompt care. Sensitive: If your tooth hurts when consuming hot or cold foods, you may simply have sensitive teeth, such as from gum recession or thinning tooth enamel. However, this may also mean you have developed a cavity. Cavity: One of the most common causes of toothache is a cavity. The decay that occurs with a cavity can eventually irritate the nerve or lead to a damaged tooth. Cracked tooth: Whether from an injury or resulting from a cavity, a cracked tooth can make a tooth hurt and become more sensitive. Infection: Constant, throbbing pain could be a sign you have an abscess or infection, which needs to be addressed as soon…

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Foods You Can & Can’t Eat with Braces

With orthodontic treatments like traditional braces and Six Month Smiles®, a series of wires and brackets are utilized to slowly shift the teeth into a straighter position. Traditional braces use metal wires and brackets, while the Six Month Smiles system involves tooth-colored nickle titanium wires and clear brackets. To help braces stay in good condition and do their job properly, Dr. Robin Rutherford recommends his orthodontic patients adjust their diet to avoid certain types of foods. While this doesn’t have to be a drastic change, there are specific foods that can increase the risk of loosening or breaking brackets.  What to Eat: soft foods and foods that are in small pieces What to Avoid: foods that are hard, sticky, chewy, or tend to stain Sometimes simply adding an extra stage of preparation can make foods safer to eat with braces. This includes slicing apples or pears into smaller pieces and cooking vegetables like carrots so they’re softer. Keep in mind, however, that certain food items should be avoided altogether, as they tend to damage braces or encourage tooth decay. This includes taffy, gum, popcorn kernels, and nuts.  Dr. Rutherford will help you understand how to care for your braces—whether you…

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Treating Gum Disease Without Surgery

The purpose of gum disease treatment is to remove harmful bacteria from the teeth and gums. Although gum disease can’t be reversed once it has progressed past its beginning stage, gingivitis, the condition can be managed to minimize future damage to the mouth. At The Art of Dentistry, Dr. Robin Rutherford prefers a non-surgical approach to gum disease treatment whenever possible. In addition to scaling and root planing, Dr. Rutherford may conduct saliva testing to diagnose the exact type of bacteria present, allowing him to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotics for the patient’s needs. Many people also benefit from laser therapy, which removes the diseased tissue, destroys the bacteria, and promotes healing of the gums. Since the most effective way to manage gum disease is with consistent oral care, Dr. Rutherford advises patients to adhere to a strict oral hygiene regimen at home, including use of the advanced Perio Protect® system. Perio Protect is a topical medication delivery system that involves the use of custom-made trays, in which the medicated gel is applied. The trays are then worn for the recommended duration and frequency—typically 10 to 15 minute sessions, one to three times daily. These trays fit snuggly, causing pressure…

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Studio 7’s ‘Art of Dentistry: Teeth Grinding’

In our latest video, Dr. Rutherford discusses the dangers of one of dentistry’s most common problems – teeth grinding. He tell us not only what can be done to fix worn teeth, but also what options you have if you are one of the many teeth grinders out there.

Studio 7’s ‘Art of Dentistry: Why Teeth Break’

Have you ever had a broken tooth and wondered – how did this happen? If you have a cavity filling that covers a majority of your tooth, it is likely that over time a crack will develop and a thin shell of your tooth’s enamel will break off. Dr. Rutherford explains how instead of getting it filled again, you should probably get a crown – learn more!

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