Decay Under Crown: How To Fix It & Find It

Decay Under Crown: How To Fix It & Find It

It is essential to fix decay under the crown of a tooth as it can lead to serious health concerns. Brown and grey spots show up on the tooth material around a crown where pearly whites should be. These spots indicate tooth decay, which can be the culprit of nerve damage. Decay under crowns starts with a buildup of a sticky yellow plaque film. Plaque contains bacteria that attacks the teeth and combines with saliva to mineralize into a hard, crusty yellow or brown tartar. Tartar deposits adhere to the teeth, trap stains, and accumulate. If the problem persists, it can damage nerves, lead to root canals and other complicated procedures. The cavity under crown repair process is to remove the old crown, remove the decay, and replace the crown.

What causes Decay Under Crown?

After someone eats, the food left on the teeth and surrounding areas becomes a feast for harmful bacteria. So what causes tooth decay under crowns? This bacteria lives within the plaque that lives inside of mouths. The bacteria microbes sustain themselves through sugar. Consequently, they flourish from leftover food. Acid develops from the bacteria, attacking and damaging the enamel. This acid creates holes in the teeth, also known as tooth decay.

Regularly brushing and flossing teeth removes plaque. Having a dentist monitor and clean one’s teeth also helps remove plaque. Most importantly, dentists can notice signs of decay before the decay worsens. Neglecting these oral hygiene steps will result in plaque becoming trapped under crowns and in the cracks of teeth. As a result, the plaque causes decay under crowns.   

What happens if you get a rotting tooth under a crown? 

decay under crown

Crowns are covers that are connected on top of teeth to improve them when they have problems. These problems include cracked teeth and cavities that are too large for a filling. When decay occurs, it happens around the crown’s edges on the natural tooth and quickly spreads underneath the crown. Consequently, the old crown needs to be removed, along with the decay. 

After that, dentists must add a new crown. Sometimes the decaying eats through the natural tooth entirely and destroys the nerves. In these cases, if dentists can still save the tooth, a root canal will need to be performed before adding a new crown. 

When a tooth has already had a crown, the new crown’s edges will need to be deeper. The process requires this additional depth because of the space left from where the dentist removed the decay. Fixing a rotting tooth under a crown is a difficult process and may require a crown specialist.

How to identify cavity under crown symptoms 

Sometimes the size of the area affected by decay under crowns is relatively small. However, decay under a crown is always unpleasant, with the ability to cause severe damage. There may be brown and grey spots that one can see. But some of the signs of decay are less specific. Dentists can X-ray to look for decay under crowns. Even so, a more in-depth examination may be necessary through a second opinion. 

Other signs of a cavity under a crown to look for include crown tooth pain or sensitivity, inflamed gums, and bleeding while practicing routine oral hygiene. Keeping up with regular dental appointments and going in as soon as one suspects any signs of decay under crowns will make a difference in their oral health.

How to prevent dental crown pain

Crown tooth pain is caused by plaque, which can be removed by brushing and flossing. To avoid having the bacteria in the plaque cause damage and pain under the crown, one should keep up with routine oral hygiene. That includes brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and visiting a dentist regularly. One final way is to preserve a dental crown’s integrity is to avoid chewing on hard or crunchy foods, especially ice.

Stop decay before it starts with regular checkups from Dr. Wilhite’s dental team. Our practice is here to deliver high-quality dentistry to the Plano, Texas, community. We want to keep you happy and your smile healthy!

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Decay Under Crowns FAQs 

How do I know if my tooth crown is infected?

Crown tooth pain, swollen gums, tooth sensitivity, and fever can all be signs of an infected tooth crown.

Why does my crown smell bad?

Dentists use dental cement to put crowns in place. Over time the cement wears down, leaving space for material like bacteria and food to enter. This bacteria can lead to a bad smell. Space for bacteria to flourish can also occur if a crown becomes loose for any reason. 

How do you clean under a crown?

Good flossing technique keeps plaque from causing issues. Floss should be threaded and moved through the space between the crown and the gumline. Regular brushing also helps clean around the crown. 

How does a dentist remove a crown? 

Removal of temporary crowns is standard practice. Dentists gently pry temporary crowns. This action causes the dental cement that holds the crown and tooth together to break. Dentists may take alternative methods for other more permanent crowns. The first of these methods is cutting a hole in the crown and using it to lift the crown from the tooth. The second is cutting into the crown with a high-speed rotary instrument in which case the crown is not reusable.


Plano Dentist David Wilhite David Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774


Ceramic Braces vs. Metal: What’s the difference?

Ceramic Braces vs. Metal: What’s the difference?

When it comes to ceramic braces vs. metal, ceramic braces might seem like a clear choice, but metal braces are more popular for a reason. Here at David Wilhite DDS, we can explain the biggest difference, the cost, and how they look! To request an appointment or ask questions, please call us at 972-964-3774 or contact us.

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What is the difference between Ceramic and Metal braces? 

Both ceramic and metal braces typically use the same archwires and rubber bands. The main difference is in the look and durability of the brackets. Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, use brackets made from polycrystalline alumina, an expensive and delicate material. This material is transparent or tooth-colored, meaning it blends into the tooth visually. Metal braces utilize medical-grade stainless steel and, therefore, are stronger, more durable, and more visible than ceramic braces. 

Ceramic Braces vs Metal Braces Pros and Cons

After weighing the pros and cons of clear braces vs metal braces, metal braces seem to be the better choice overall. Here is why: 

Appearance

Ceramic braces win in the appearance department in terms of subtlety. They are clear and, therefore, draw less attention than metal braces to the mouths of the people wearing them. However, ceramic braces are prone to staining and discoloration. This feature means that wearers must be vigilant about oral hygiene and altogether avoid dark food and beverages. 

clear braces vs metal

Durability

When deciding between ceramic or metal braces, it is critical to understand that ceramic braces are twice as likely to break or fracture. This fragility means that individuals with ceramic braces can expect to pay more for maintenance. Additionally, individuals with ceramic braces must adhere strictly to braces’ care rules to prevent additional visits to the orthodontist. That means absolutely no gum, hard candies, crunchy foods etc. 

Comfort

Ceramic braces cause less friction than metal braces against the sides of one’s mouth and gums. Consequently, ceramic braces are less painful and do not irritate the mouth as much as metal braces during daily use and adjustment appointments. 

Hygiene 

Clear braces typically use larger brackets than metal braces. The size difference makes clear braces harder to clean thoroughly. It is essential for wearers to completely clean around the brackets of ceramic braces to prevent gums from swelling or receding. 

Cost

Ceramic braces cost more than metal braces. Typically, clear braces can range in price between $3,000 and $7,000. On the other hand, metal braces cost between $1,700 and $6,000. The price difference stems from the nature of the materials ceramic braces use. 

Time

Ceramic braces can take longer to straighten someone’s teeth because they are more delicate. The fragility of ceramic braces means wearers typically have more visits to the orthodontist for repairs causing delays in completing the treatment. Metal braces move teeth faster because they are stronger, do not break as often, and require less incremental adjustments at appointments. 

Removal 

Ceramic braces are brittle and, consequently, more likely to fracture during the removal or debonding process. This quality increases the possibility of damage to the enamel during the process and makes removal for ceramic braces less gentle.

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The Takeaway From Ceramic Braces vs Metal

When choosing between ceramic or metal braces, individuals must decide what is most important to them. Ceramic braces are the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing choice. However, they come with the sacrifice of cost, time, and convenience. Metal braces are the best option for individuals who don’t mind a little shine while they quickly and affordably straighten their teeth. If you are looking for another option, Invisalign might be a good fit. 

invisalign david wilhite dds


Plano Dentist David Wilhite David Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774


 

Dentist tips for your kids during the holidays

Dentist tips for your kids during the holidays

Dentist appointments are important at every time of the year, all through your life. For kids, it’s important that we establish good dental habits.

During the holiday season though, your kid’s dental health will be put to the test. Snack trays, sweets, pastries and sugary temptations will be everywhere. Well-meaning grownups and grandparents will be more than happy to fill them up with treats.

We want to make sure your children stay healthy during the holidays and don’t head into their next appointment with new cavities.

In order to help, we’re going to share some holiday dental tips for kids provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Read the tips below to keep your kids healthy.

 

Healthy Habits to keep your kids smiling through the holidays and into the new year.

The holiday season is always a busy time, especially for families. With kids out of school, a steady stream of festivities and a new year to plan for, the rhythm of everyday life gets put on hold. And sometimes that means good oral health routines and habits go out the window too.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) wants to remind parents and caregivers that the holiday break is a great time to help your kids establish and maintain healthy dental habits. This includes good brushing, flossing and eating habits that are essential for healthy teeth.

  • The AAPDS recommends that a child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist should be by the AGE OF ONE or when the FIRST TOOTH APPEARS. Regular check-ups should occur every SIX MONTHS.
  • Parents should help their children brush their teeth TWICE DAILY – after breakfast and before bedtime are ideal. It’s recommended that parents/caregivers supervise the brushing for school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.
  • The BEST TOOTHBRUSHES for children have soft, round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. The handle should be proportionate to the size of the child’s hand.
  • Parents can begin FLOSSING for their children when two teeth are touching. Children can begin flossing on their own around age 7.
  • Look for FLOURIDE TOOTHPASTE with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
  • Sugary candy, food, and drinks are part of the holidays. With this, the risk of cavities and poor dental health also increases. Parents should try to moderate sugar intake, and WATCH OUT FOR CARBONATED DRINKS, which actually erode teeth more than sweetened drinks.
  • Keep an eye on on snacking – ideally, children should have NO MORE THAN THREE SNACK TIMES a day.
  • COOKED STARCHES CAN LEAD TO CAVITIES just as sugars can. In fact, cooked starches such as bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips frequently take longer to clear the mouth than sugars.
  • LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE by checking labels and buying sugar-free varieties of food options, if available.
  • CHEESES such as aged cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella and Monterey Jack are great as a snack or to eat after a meal because they clear the mouth of food and neutralize the acids that attack teeth.

This story originally appeared on The Mouth Monsters

Healthy Habits at the Holidays Infographic

We hope that you will take these recommendations into consideration for your own children during the holiday season. We want to help parents establish good dental health habits for children so they get a good foundation for health as adults.

Canker sore problems: a real pain in the mouth

Canker sore problems: a real pain in the mouth

A canker sore is a mouth ulcer or sore that is open. They are commonly found on the inside of lips or cheeks. They are also found on the gums and under the tongue. Canker sores are usually white or yellowish oval shaped sores and surrounded by red, irritated tissue. Canker sores are most common during adolescence and young adulthood and become less common as we age. About 1 in 5 children develop a canker sore. Though often confused for cold sores, they are not related. In addition, canker sores are not contagious.

Canker Sore Causes

Researchers are not sure what is the exact cause of a canker sore, however they believe a combination of factors may contribute.

Potential contributing factors include:

  • accidental cheek bite
  • anxiety
  • food sensitivities
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • allergic response to bacteria in your mouth
  • stress
  • hormone changes
  • toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate

Cankers sores may occur because of diseases such as:

    • celiac disease
    • Chrohn’s disease
    • ulcerative colitis
    • Behcet’s disease
    • HIV/AIDS
    • immune system issues
    • Treatment

Canker sores usually heal on their own within a few weeks, with pain diminishing in about a week. If your canker sore has not healed in three weeks, you may need to seek medical care. Several over the counter remedies exist, including pastes, gels, or mouth rinses with ingredients to minimize canker sore pain. A doctor may prescribe oral medication for severe canker sores.

To help healing at home you can use a salt-water rinse. In addition, it is advisable to avoid spicy or acidic foods, which can exacerbate the sore. You may also find relief in allowing ice chips to dissolve over the sore. Lastly, it’s important to brush your teeth gently (including with a gentle toothpaste) to avoid irritating the sore further.

If you can identify what triggers canker sores in your mouth, it is best to avoid it. Pay attention to potential food allergies.  Eat healthfully to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Always practice good oral health and brush daily and floss and use mouthwash regularly.

Mouth breather? This can lead to dental problems

Mouth breather? This can lead to dental problems

If you are a mouth breather, it can have negative impacts on your dental health such as risk of decay and periodontal disease, the pathological inflammation of the gum and bone support surrounding the teeth. Mouth breathing leads to dry mouth and decreases the production of saliva. Saliva is important to regulate your mouth bacteria and neutralize acids.

In 2016, a study showed that individuals who are a mouth breather while they sleep experience higher acidity levels than those who do not.

This study measured ten healthy volunteers who slept with a nose clip to force them to breathe through their mouths. They slept with a device that measured the pH and temperature of their mouth. The volunteers wore this device to sleep for two sets of 48 hours. In addition, they wore the nose clip on two nights and without it for two nights to prevent any natural bias from affecting the study.

Mouth Breathing & Teeth: The Results

PH measures acidity, with pH 7 being neutral, under 7 is acidic, and above 7 is basic. An acidity level of pH 5.5 is the threshold in which tooth enamel begins to break down.

The results showed that a daytime mouth pH was 7.3 and during sleep it was 7.0. The mean pH during sleep with mouth breathing was 6.6. At some points during the night, mouth-breathing individuals had mouth pH levels of 3.6, which is far below the level in which tooth enamel breaks down.

The significance of the results shows that breathing through your mouth is detrimental to your overall oral health, but specifically tooth enamel through acid breakdown.

Are You A Mouth Breather?

Signs of breathing though your mouth include:

– Dry lips & throat
– Chronic bad breath
– Crowded teeth
– Snoring
– Red, inflamed gums
– Frequent cavities
– Regular respiratory and sinus infections
– Enlarged adenoids

Recent research has shown similar information

I clench and grind, and also snore. Are these connected?

I clench and grind, and also snore. Are these connected?

Dr. David WilhiteQuestion: My dentist has told me that I clench and grind, and I also snore. Is there a connection between the two?

David Wilhite says:

The problem frequently begins in childhood with allergies and enlarged tonsils. This sets off a whole cascade of events.

The allergies and enlarged tonsils result in a constriction of the airway. The constriction causes the child to breathe through the mouth as opposed to the nose. Now, the tongue assumes a lower position in the mouth to assist the mouth breathing. Without the tongue in the roof of the mouth, the upper jaw does not develop properly and stays too narrow and too highly vaulted. Thus, it takes up space for the nasal airway, further compounding the difficulty of nasal breathing. Under normal conditions, breathing through the nose filters and humidifies the air, removing allergens so that they don’t pass into the lungs.

The increased exposure to allergens inflames the tissues of the throat, enlarges the tonsils, and increases the level of inflammation in the body. Thus, the airway is narrowed and causes snoring– which can lead to sleep apnea even in children as young as 2-3 years old. Therefore any child who snores or grinds their teeth needs to be evaluated for sleep apnea.

Many patients with apnea also clench and grind to open their airway so that they can breathe. Unfortunately, clenching does not completely solve the problem of a constricted airway.

A high percentage of the patients with sleep apnea have acid reflux and vice versa. After an apneic event, the first breath is usually a gasp that brings stomach acid up into the throat or mouth.

Sleep apnea also leads to an accumulation of stress hormones, mainly cortisol, and this leads to more clenching and grinding.