Posts for: December, 2017
While it’s common for most of us to get an occasional cold sore, you may suffer from regular breakouts. If so, you know firsthand how uncomfortable and embarrassing they can be and seeming to erupt at the most inopportune moments.
What you’re experiencing is the result of a virus — the Herpes Simplex virus (HSV) Type I to be exact. Don’t let the name disturb you — although similar it’s different from the sexually transmitted virus known as HSV Type II. As with any virus the body responds by making and distributing antibodies to stop its attack. That’s typically the end of it but for some people the virus appears to be able to hide in the nerve roots of the mouth and elude the effects of the antibodies.
The sores associated with the virus tend to break out when a person is under stress, experiences trauma to the lip or even from sun exposure. The breakout begins with a slight itching or burning around the mouth that typically advances to more severe itching, swelling, redness and blistering. Eventually the sores will scab over and heal as the outbreak winds down. The period from breakout to final healing (during which you’ll also be contagious to others) usually lasts seven to ten days.
Although normally not a danger to health, cold sore outbreaks can be painful and irritating. In the past, most patients simply had to let the outbreak run its course with topical ointments to ease discomfort.Â In the last two decades, however, new anti-viral medication has proven effective in preventing the outbreaks in the first place or at least lessening their duration.
If you have regular bouts of cold sores prescription drugs like acyclovir or valcyclovir taken orally can help suppress the occurrences altogether, and have few side effects. Topical agents can also be used as a supplement to the drugs to help ease itching and other pain symptoms.
It’s important, though, that you undergo a complete oral examination to rule out more serious conditions associated with mouth sores. If we find that your problem is recurring cold sores, these new treatments could help you escape the cycle of discomfort.
If you would like more information on the treatment of chronic cold sore outbreaks, 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 “Cold Sores.”
Making sure children are comfortable when visiting the dentist is an essential part of creating a lifetime habit of dental care. We recommend children start dental visits around their first birthday.
But for some children this may not be enough — despite parents’ and dentists’ best efforts they may still develop an inordinate fear of dental visits and even routine procedures. This kind of anxiety could inhibit them now and later in life from receiving needed dental care.
To relieve this anxiety, dentists have developed sedation therapy for children. Not to be confused with anesthesia, which numbs pain, sedation uses drugs to place a patient in a relaxed state. Depending on the drugs and dosage used, we’re able to achieve anywhere from a light state of relaxation to a deep suppression of consciousness. The approach is similar to one used with adults, although drug dosages and applications will differ with children.
Â If we’re planning to use sedation with your child we recommend you feed them a low-fat dinner the night before and then refrain from any other foods or liquids until after treatment the next day.Â Just before the procedure (and after we’ve evaluated them physically to be sure they’re healthy enough for the sedation medication), we’ll administer the sedative, usually Midazolam and Hydroxyzine. Taken by mouth in a syrup form, this places them in a mildly relaxed state.
During the procedure a designated staff member will continually monitor their pulse, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs. We may also take other protective measures like special chair positioning or immobilization to keep movement to a minimum.
After the procedure, your child will remain in the office until their vital signs return to pre-sedation levels. Once at home, you should keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. They should not return to school or regular activities until the next day.
As sedation medication and techniques continue to advance, they’re becoming a routine part of dental care. If your child experiences anxiety, this can help make dental visits more pleasant and more likely to become part of their life from now on.
If you would like more information on taking the anxiety out of children’s dental care, 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 “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”
Get your smile several shades whiter in no time thanks to our North Attleboro, MA, dentists.
You are about to walk down the aisle but you don’t want your dress to be the only thing that is truly white. You know that your teeth could use a sprucing but you aren’t sure what to do with time flying by. If you are down to the wire and want to get your smile significantly whiter then our team of cosmetic dentists in North Attleboro, MA, are here to the rescue.
Sure, there are a variety of ways to whiten teeth but whether you are on a time crunch or you have severe stains, the best approach to getting the results you want is through professional teeth whitening. Our professional in-office system is able to remove surface stains and actually brighten the color of your teeth. In just one session, we could even get your smile up to seven shades whiter.
What makes in-office teeth whitening more effective is the strength of the bleaching gel that we use. In order for bleaching gels to work, they must contain an active ingredient such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The higher the concentration of active ingredient the more potent it will be and the better the results.
At-home systems can’t contain as high a concentration of the active ingredient as in-office systems because such an effective system requires special training that our dentists receive before they can successfully whiten smiles.
When you come into the office for our chairside whitening here are the steps you can expect:
Step 1: We will first need to make sure that your teeth are free of decay prior to getting any cosmetic treatment. A thorough physical exam will determine whether you are a good candidate for whitening.
Step 2: Before we start the whitening process we will need to thoroughly clean your teeth to make sure that the whitening gel is able to cover all surfaces of your teeth and won’t be blocked by plaque or tartar buildup.
Step 3: Once teeth are cleaned we will place an applicator in your mouth to keep your mouth open and to protect soft tissue from coming in contact with the whitening gel.
Step 4: Next, the gel is painted over the teeth and left on for approximately 15 minutes. Sometimes a dental light is directed over the teeth to stimulate the active ingredients and speed up the whitening process.
Step 5: After about 15 minutes, we will remove the gel and then apply a fresh coat of the gel over the teeth once more. One session usually involves multiple applications. Once the process is complete you will walk out of the office with a visibly whiter smile.
Unique Dental Care in North Attleboro, MA, is ready to give you the vibrant smile you want thanks to professional teeth whitening. Call us today to schedule a consultation. Showing off your beautiful smile has never felt better!