Happy 2022! 3 Reasons to Start the Year with a Dental Appointment

The new year has come! Now that 2022 is here, it’s important to start the year off right with clean teeth and a good oral hygiene habit! There are many things you can do to protect your pearly whites from tooth decay and bacteria in the coming year, but the most important thing you can do is make a dentist appointment in Charleston WV. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Preserve Your Dental Health

When you go to the dentist, you’ll start by getting a full cleaning of your teeth. During that time, your dental professionals will be looking for signs of dental conditions that could lead to trouble like cavities, lost teeth, a root canal and more.

If you’re showing signs of gingivitis, your dental professional will speak to you about the ways that you can treat it, or procedures that you may need in order to protect your dental health.

This preventative work will help you preserve your dental health, to ensure that your teeth will continue to be healthy throughout 2022 and beyond.

2. Clean the Holiday Sugar Away

Did you eat a lot of sugar over the holidays? You’re not the only one. Many people over-indulge in December. It may be fun, but it can be bad for your teeth, for sure!

If you ate too many sweets over the holidays, it’s important to see the dentist in Charleston WV as soon as possible to get that plaque removed. This can help protect your teeth from problems like gum recession and tooth decay.

3. Avoid Dental Problems

Ultimately, the best reason to make a dental appointment soon is because seeing the dentist can help you avoid dental problems. Seeing the dentist can help you catch oral hygiene challenges in their earliest stages, so you can protect your teeth!

At Michael J Tupta, we’re committed to helping our patients maintain healthy teeth in the new year. Call today to make your next appointment for a general cleaning, and take care of your teeth in 2022!

Is Your Toothache Related to Sinus Issues?

The toothache that you have been experiencing is making you miserable. The pain is unbearable, and it gets worse when you’re sitting down at your desk, lying down for a nap, bending over to pick up something, or moving your head quickly. If you can’t shake the feeling that something other than dental problems is triggering your toothache, you have come to the right place. Here are some tell-tale signs that your tooth pain may be related to sinus issues.

Your Back Upper Teeth Hurt

If you’re feeling pain in your upper back teeth, a sinus infection may be causing your severe toothache. Often referred to as maxillary sinuses, the cheek sinuses contact the upper roots of your teeth. As a result, there’s a greater possibility of experiencing a sinus-related tooth infection there, and it may even spread to several teeth. If you notice a toothache in your front or bottom teeth, it may not be related to your sinuses. Your dentist in Charleston, WV will be able to help determine the source of your discomfort.

The Toothache Is Coupled With Sinus Symptoms

According to virtually every dentist, your toothache has to be accompanied by sinus symptoms to be related to a sinus disease. The most common sinus symptoms are runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, ear pain, bad breath, tiredness, headache, fever, and a change in smell. Many of these symptoms are often mistaken for cold and nasal allergy symptoms.

Severe Pressure Or Facial Pain

When you’re trying to determine if your toothache is sinus-related, ask yourself how the pain feels. If you also feel intense pressure or facial pain in addition to perceived tooth pain, it could be that your toothache is related to sinus issues. The pain may be felt close to your eyes, near your cheekbones, and on the bridge of your nose. For many people, the toothache will also get much worse when they move vigorously when sinus problems are involved.

Do you want to know whether your toothache is being caused by sinuses or dental problems? There’s no doubt that the many similarities between these two oral problems can cause you to question what’s triggering your toothache. Your Charleston, WV dentist will be happy to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

Is Your Oral Hygiene Routine Working For You? Signs Your Oral Health Needs Help

Do your teeth seem healthy? If you’re facing oral health challenges, this could mean that your oral hygiene routine isn’t working for you. Whether you’re not seeing the dentist often enough, you’re brushing too hard, or you’re not brushing enough, this can affect your overall oral health. In this article, we’ll go over the signs that could mean your oral hygiene routine isn’t working for you. If your oral hygiene routine isn’t working for you, it’s time to see your dentist in Charleston. Here’s what you need to know.

Gum Recession

Gum recession can occur when you have poor oral hygiene. It can also happen when you brush your teeth too hard. Gum recession can lead to tooth sensitivity, bone loss and eventually, lost teeth.

Swollen, Bleeding, Puffy Red Gums

Swollen, bleeding and puffy red gums are a sign of gum disease or gingivitis. This problem occurs most often when a person has poor oral hygiene, leading to a buildup of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.

Bad Breath

Bad breath occurs because of the breakdown of food particles around the mouth, forming bacteria. People who suffer from chronic bad breath may have poor oral hygiene habits, or they may be suffering from a problem like gum disease.

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain can happen for many reasons, including dental decay, cavities and more. These conditions happen when the teeth are not being properly cleaned on a routine basis. Painful conditions often occur when patients skip dental checkups in Charleston.

How Can You Improve Your Oral Hygiene Routine?

The best way to improve your oral hygiene routine is to see the dentist on a regular basis, brush your teeth twice per day, and floss once per day. It’s also important to find out from your dentist whether you’re brushing and flossing properly. If you’re brushing your teeth incorrectly, or if your flossing technique is not as good as it could be, you could be putting your teeth at risk.

For more information about how you can take care of your teeth, and to find out whether your oral hygiene routine is meeting your needs, contact our office to schedule your appointment today.

What Causes Bone Loss?

One of the most important parts of your face, your jaw lets you speak and chew properly. However, all this changes if you experience bone loss. Should this happen and it is left untreated, it will impact not only your oral health, but also your overall health. Following are some causes of bone loss in the jaw.

Missing Teeth

If you have missing teeth, this can result in bone loss within your jaw. With no roots present to stimulate the bone, your body will begin to send fewer and fewer nutrients such as calcium to your jaw, ultimately resulting in bone loss. Always get problems with missing teeth resolved with your dentist in Charleston, West Virginia, so you can avoid this issue. Missing teeth can be fixed with dentures, bridges or dental implants.

Gum Disease

When advanced gum disease is present, your odds of experiencing significant bone loss in your jaw are very high. In the advanced stages of gum disease, the bacteria associated with it eats away at supporting bone tissue, causing bone loss in your jaw. You might not notice it at first, because this condition develops slowly, over time. You can avoid this scenario altogether by ensuring that you visit your dentist at least once every six months.

Medical Conditions

In certain individuals, various medical conditions can be a driving factor in jawbone loss and atrophy. Common conditions include osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of bone, osteomyelitis, and cancerous tumors. If you have any of these conditions, work closely with your doctor and dentist to limit the amount of bone loss you may experience. Note that certain prescription medications to treat these conditions may also carry side effects that include bone loss.

Trauma

If you have a jaw fracture, teeth that get knocked out, or other injuries to your jaw, these can lead to decreased bone stimulation and increased tissue deterioration. Also, should you have a history of suffering injuries to your teeth and jaw, this can lead to tissue and bone eventually dying within your jaw. Unfortunately, this can happen many years after you suffered your initial injury.

If you notice pain in your jaw or atrophy beginning to show, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist in Charleston, West Virginia at once to see what treatment options may be available.

How to (Mentally) Prepare for a Root Canal

There’s a lot of humor out there about people being afraid of the dentist, but the jokes are very much rooted in truth. Plenty of people put off going to the dentist for services because they don’t want to climb into that chair for any reason, let alone a root canal!

But the truth is that a root canal in Charleston, WV is your best chance at saving the natural tooth, and you really should take the dentist up on their offer. We’ll look at how you can prepare yourself so it’s a little easier.

Open Up

You can find plenty of horror stories out there about painful root canals or root canals that went wrong. If these are the only stories you’re seeking out though, it’s time to talk to someone about your fears. Making assumptions is not going to help you in this case, particularly when it can stop you from getting something you really need.

So let your dentist know what you’ve been reading or ask questions about what’s going to happen during the procedure. If you’re going to a reputable dentist, one who uses the tools of modern dentistry, you should be in good hands.

Work Out a Signal

Sometimes you just need a break, whether it’s at work or during a root canal. There should be plenty of anesthetic during the procedure, which should mean that you won’t have to stop because of the pain. However, you may want at least an option to stop the procedure if you’re feeling overwhelmed. This little trick can do a lot for patients, even if they never use it. All it takes is raising a hand to pause the whole process.

Stay Busy

Meditation, music, visualization: there are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy during a root canal. And even if you don’t achieve full relaxation (or anything like it), it may help you take the worst of the edge off.

Find a Dentist in Charleston, WV

If you’re looking for a dentist in Charleston, WV, the friendly staff at the office of Michael J. Tupta, DDS can help you schedule an appointment. We’re here to talk you through whatever is bothering you, so you can focus on your oral health.

Boy at the dentist consultation. Checking and dental treatment in a clinic.

Why Choose Waterlase Over Traditional Dental Treatments

If you dread getting dental work done, you can look to Waterlase for relief from your anxieties. This innovative dental laser allows your Charleston dentist to take a gentler approach to cleanings, fillings, and other treatments. You can then handle all your dental care needs with confidence while enjoying all the following benefits offered by this innovative approach.

Get Pain- and Heat-Free Care

Waterlase eliminates the needs for drills, needles, scalers, and other sharp tools responsible for the pain you may feel while in the dental chair. Furthermore, there’s no vibration or heat, which virtually eliminates discomfort during all types of procedures. The dental laser just does the work without the fanfare all while you rest up for the remainder of your day.

Skip the Need for Anesthesia

Without any pain and discomfort to worry about, you can say goodbye to the need for anesthesia. This is great news for those who are sensitive or allergic to local anesthetics and nitrous oxide. Without the need for anesthesia, you can simply get the dental work done and move on with your day — all without having to wait for the numbness to wear off.

Eliminate the Fear Factor

By taking the needles, drills, and scrapers out of the equation, the fear factor dissipates fast. You can then look forward to getting your dental work out of the way without worry about pain and discomfort. After your first Waterlase visit, you might be surprised at how little anxiety you feel about making your next appointment.

Enjoy Great Results

With Waterlase treatments in Charleston, you’ll walk away from each appointment feeling like you didn’t have any work done. But when you look in the mirror, you’ll see great results as you gaze upon your clean teeth and healthy gums.

If you’d like to enjoy all the benefits of Waterlase, schedule your visit with Michael J. Tupta, DDS, with a call to 304-744-4150. No matter what care you need, we can use our dental laser to complete your treatments from start to finish. So, please feel free to give us a call any time you’d like to talk about how to improve your oral health.

Oh No! A Knocked-Out Tooth? Follow These Steps

No one ever expects to sustain a knocked-out tooth, but this could be deemed as one of the more common dental emergencies in Charleston, WV. Knowing what to do if one of your teeth is knocked out of pits socket can mean the difference in if the tooth can be saved. Take a look at the most important steps to take if one of your teeth is dislodged from its socket.

1. Retrieve the Tooth if Possible

If you can get your tooth back into place in its socket—even loosely—within five minutes, the tooth has the best chance of survival. The tooth still has a good rate of survival if you can get it back in place within an hour. Locate the tooth if at all possible, even if you have to enlist the help of several people to find it.

2. Clean the Tooth Gently and Place It

Once the tooth is found or if you already have it, pick the tooth up by the tooth and not the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it quickly with tap water. Avoid the temptation to scrub the tooth or rub it briskly in your hands as you wash.If possible, place the tooth back in the socket.

3. Contact the Dentist Immediately

Whether you can get the tooth back in the socket or not, contact a local dentist. Let them know the situation and that you need to be seen right away.

4. Prepare the Tooth for Transit If Necessary

If you were unable to place the tooth in the socket, you can either hold it in your mouth between your gum and cheek or place it in a small container or bag with milk—don’t use tap water. This keeps the tooth moist, so the fibers attached to the root survive.

Find Emergency Dental Care in Charleston, WV

When a tooth is knocked out, every minute can be critical. The longer the tooth is out of your mouth, the more it can be prone to being a total loss. Therefore, if you need help with a dislodged tooth, be sure to reach out to a dentist in Charleston, WV that offers emergency dental services like us here at the office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta, DDS.

Tips to Comfort Your Teething Baby

Even babies whose teeth have not yet come in can be susceptible to gum and teeth problems. But when teething does start, you’ll need to be ready. Your Charleston, West Virginia dentist wants you to know that there are safe ways to comfort your teething baby. The crying and discomfort of teething can be eased with a few simple, dentist-approved tips.

How to Know When Teething Starts

There are some common signs you can learn to recognize to know when teething starts. They are:

  • Inconsolable crying or fidgeting
  • Bottle or nipple refusal
  • Drooling
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Unusual sucking/chewing motions
  • Low-grade fever
  • White spots on gums

If your baby exhibits two or more of these symptoms, it’s possible that teething has started. Consult with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist to be sure.

Tips to Comfort Your Teething Baby

Following are the best tips that will help comfort your baby without jeopardizing their oral health.

Massage gums with warm fingers

Warm your clean index finger in a cup of warm water. Then gently massage the gums with a small bit of pressure. Don’t be surprised if baby falls asleep while you’re doing this!

Use a cold washcloth

An icy cold washcloth can help to numb the discomfort of teething. In Charleston, dentists recommend chilling a clean washcloth in the freezer for several minutes until it’s slightly frozen. Let your baby chew on the cloth under your watchful eyes.

Chill fruit snacks

If your baby is old enough to nibble on fruit, trying chilling it before you give to your baby. You can chill mashed mango or mashed bananas, as well as other fruits.

Massage cheeks

Try gently massaging the outside of your baby’s cheek with circular motions. The soothing sensation will feel good and help distract from the discomfort.

Chill pacifier

If your baby uses a pacifier, keep a spare one in the refrigerator. The cold may help soothe aching gums. When one has come down to room temperature, replace it with a freshly chilled one.

Monitor temperature

Even though it’s natural for teething babies to have a low-grade fever, that doesn’t mean you should let the fever run rampant. If it climbs higher than about 99 degrees, consult with your dentist about getting teething medication.

These tips will help you and your baby get through the teething process as smoothly as possible. When you’re ready to bring your baby in to see your Charleston dentist, contact us to book your appointment!

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

If you’ve been going to your dentist in Charleston on a regular basis, you know that x-rays are frequently part of your visit. X-rays help your Charleston dentist to detect and diagnose dental health problems. They also factor in what kinds of treatment your dentist can provide. However, health-conscious people often ask, are dental X-rays safe? Here’s what you need to know about the safety of dental X-rays.

What Are Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-rays are radiographic images of your teeth, jawbone, and tissues. X-rays use low-level radiation to “see” beyond the surface level. Dental X-rays enable your dentist in Charleston to find issues like deteriorating jawbone, shrinking gums, impacted teeth, and more. Dental X-rays have been in use now for several decades and they are considered safe as long as they are done using safety protocols.

Risks of X-Rays

There are some risks associated with radiation, in general, that should be understood. Severe and chronic radiation exposure has been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, brain tumors, and thyroid problems. In addition, in pregnant women, severe and chronic radiation exposure has been linked to birth defects.

Now, it’s important to understand that the dental X-rays you receive at the dentist’s office do not expose you to high levels of radiation or chronic levels of radiation. So essentially, there are little to no risks of radiation exposure from dental X-rays.

How Your Dentist in Charleston Protects You

When you get dental X-rays, your dentist takes several precautionary steps to protect you. First of all, your dentist never gives you X-rays unless they are needed. X-rays are not a “routine,” and they are only used to help your dentist to understand the condition of your oral health. Second, your dental team places a lead blanket over the susceptible areas of your body, including your thyroid gland and torso. Finally, dental X-rays are not done on women who are expecting which is why your dentist asks about that situation when you come in for a visit.

Your dentist in Charleston uses only high quality X-ray equipment to help to ensure your safety. If you have any questions about dental X-rays or our X-rays protocol in the future, please feel free to contact us.

 

Easy Ways to Keep Gums Healthy

Your Charleston dentist wants you to know that oral health can be achieved with consistent habits and proper, routine dental care. The foundation to healthy teeth and a beautiful smile is healthy gums. Here are the easiest ways to keep gums healthy for a lifetime.

Floss Regularly

Every time you eat, tiny bits of food get trapped in between teeth and at the gumline. Regular brushing and rinsing can help, but often, there are still bits of food that can’t be reached. Regular flossing ensures that you remove these tiny bits of food so that bacteria doesn’t buildup and destroy your oral health.

Get Professional Dental Cleanings

Dental cleanings go beyond brushing, rinsing, and flossing. Your dental hygienist not only cleans above and below the gum line; they also look for signs that can lead to gum disease. That way, preventative treatments can be done to help protect your teeth. Dentists recommend cleanings at least every six months.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of teeth and gum disease. Even though it may be hard to believe that smoke can cause gum problems, it most certainly does. One reason is that smoking lowers your immune system so that your gums have a harder time fighting off harmful bacteria. Try to quit smoking using ideas your doctor recommends, such as nicotine patches.

Don’t Drink From the Mouthwash Bottle

Many people, especially single folks, assume that it’s okay to drink from the mouthwash bottle since they are the only ones in the household. However, bacteria from your mouth can get into the bottle when you drink from it, thereby rendering the sterilized mouthwash contaminated with bacteria. Instead, use disposable paper cups and use them each time you use your mouthwash.

Use Therapeutic Mouthwash

Everyone wants to have fresh breath, but some of the nice-smelling mouthwashes don’t offer germ-killing benefits. Make sure you choose a therapeutic mouthwash that’s recommended by your dentist. Many of them now come in refreshing flavors that also leave your breath smelling nice.

Contact your Charleston dentist whenever you have concerns about the health of your teeth and gums. And remember, regular dentist appointments are your best defense against gum disease.