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Easiest way to extract a tooth at home?

By Dental Emergency, General Dentistry

I have a tooth that is killing me. It’s on the top left. I don’t want a dentist touching it. I would rather yank it out myself. What is the best way with the least pain to pull the tooth myself? – Lyle

Lyle – There is no best way to extract your own tooth. You need to see a dentist. And the dentist probably won’t have to remove the tooth at all.

A gentle dentist will numb your gums to give you a pain-free injection. After your tooth is numb, you will receive an examination and x-ray. Your tooth is probably infected, in which case, a root canal treatment is needed. It can be pain free.

Extracting your own tooth will be quite painful, and it can cause damage to nearby teeth, which will cause even more pain. When a tooth is missing, the remaining teeth will begin drift into the space. Misaligned teeth will create additional problems for you.

Saving your teeth is important to your oral health. We advise patients who are on a budget or who don’t have dental insurance to let us know. We will work with your budget to make dental care affordable for you.

If you are nervous or anxious about dental appointments, make it known when you schedule your appointment. Steps will be taken to ensure you are comfortable during your dental visit.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Does your child grind his or her teeth?

By Oral Health, Pediatric Dentist

Teeth grinding is a common habit among young children—particularly those under 11 years old. It is so common that it should only be a concern if it happens at night, or if it is causing tooth pain or is wearing down teeth.

During intense concentration or stressful situations, a child may unconsciously grind his or her teeth. If you make him or her aware of the problem, and remind the child each time you see him or her doing it, it may be enough to help break the habit.

Often teeth grinding or bruxism occurs during sleep. Bruxism is common in young children who snore or breathe through the mouth while asleep. In these cases teeth grinding may be related to sleep apnea or enlarged tonsils.

When older teens grind their teeth, it may be done in association with smoking, or alcohol or drug use. Medication, trauma, and certain diseases, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and epilepsy may contribute to bruxism.

Most bruxism is related to some type of anxiety or stress. Be sure to have your child’s teeth examined regularly. If your pediatric dentist determines that bruxism is affecting your child’s teeth or bite, he or she may recommend a nightguard, or refer you to a specialist.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Anthony LaVacca of Naperville Dental Specialists.

If frenum is removed will my gap close?

By General Dentistry, Tooth Gap

I have a large piece of fleshy tissue between my teeth that has created a pretty big gap. I guess the technical term is frenum. If the frenum is removed why wouldn’t my teeth grow closer and close the gap? Do I really need braces? – Nick

Nick – Your case needs to be evaluated by an orthodontist. Removing the frenum, or muscle tissue, before you have orthodontic treatment can create scar tissue that will prevent the gap from closing. In some cases, only minor tooth movement is required to close the gap, and it may be possible to accomplish the closer with a retainer.

If too much muscle tissue is removed, when the gap is closed, a dark triangle will be left between your teeth. Generally, it is best to close the gap first, and then remove the frenum with a simple surgical procedure. An orthodontist will let you know your options.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Lost filling and tooth cracked – best at home remedy for pain?

By Damaged Tooth, Toothache

The filling in one of my upper molars was probably 15 yrs old. I started to feel some sensitivity in the tooth about 4 months ago. 2 weeks ago the filling fell out and over the weekend the tooth cracked. I am terrified of the dentist. I don’t care a whole lot about the tooth because it’s in the back of my mouth. I just want to know what I can do about the pain at home so I can avoid the dentist. Ibuprofen is not working. – Tony

Tony – If over-the-counter medication is not alleviating your pain, you need to see a dentist. You can find a dentist who is gentle and who enjoys treating nervous patients.

If there is a problem with the tooth, your pain may increase. If the tooth is infected, other teeth may be affected and eventually cause you more pain.

Schedule an appointment with the dentist first to explain your anxiety. A dentist who treats fearful patients has techniques to help you relax. If necessary, sedation dentistry can be used to calm your fears.  It is important that you see a dentist promptly.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

help! what should i do about a mouth ulcer?

By Oral Health

i was hoping that it would go away but it’s been 2 weeks so i am thinking that maybe there’s a problem or something special that i need to do. how do i get rid of a mouth ulcer? peter

Peter – There are various causes of an ulcer in your mouth. The ulcer is usually not serious and goes away within two weeks. Some ulcers last longer. A tooth infection, or abscess, can cause a sore in your mouth. A virus or bacteria may also be the cause, and certain conditions or diseases may result in mouth ulcers. Do you have a fever or a general feeling that something is making you ill? If you have these additional symptoms, see your dentist or medical doctor right away.

If you have no additional symptoms, you can consider using antibacterial treatment that is made specifically for mouth sores. If you don’t get any relief in a few days, schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she will examine the ulcer, and if necessary perform a blood test or biopsy to determine the type of mouth ulcer you have and how it should be treated.

If you prefer, you can schedule an appointment with your dentist or doctor right way, without trying to take care of the mouth ulcer yourself.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca

Dental implants and meth

By Dental Implants, Health Issues and Teeth

Meth has messed up my teeth. I am pretty much addicted to it but I don’t know if I can stop. I am trying to cut back on using it. I have plenty of money to get my teeth straightened out. Will dental implants work for me if I am still using? T.W.

T.W. – Tobacco use, alcoholism, and drug addiction affect the success of dental implants. These habits can contribute to bone loss, which affect the ability of implants to be placed. Bone grafting may be needed. The habits also affect the ability of dental implants to heal and to stabilize.

It is best to have your teeth examined by an implant dentist. He or she will let you know how methamphetamine has affected your oral health, and determine if you are a candidate for dental implants or if another treatment is required to restore your teeth.

This post is sponsored by Naperville implant dentist and board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.


Daughter’s elbow loosened son’s tooth. Is a pediatric dentist necessary?

By Damaged Tooth, Pediatric Dentist

My 7 yr old son and 3 yr old daughter were wrestling yesterday evening. They play around a lot which is fine with me, but sometimes they get a little rough. The 5 yr old can actually handle it. While they were wrestling, my son tried to pin her down. He is careful not to hurt her, but this time she hurt him instead. She took defense with her elbow which went right into my son’s mouth.  Her elbow hit one of his teeth pretty hard. The tooth bled for about 20 minutes and today before he went to school he said it hurts a little. I checked it and it’s a little loose. I wasn’t really worried about it because it’s not a permanent tooth, but my husband thinks we need to have it looked at by our pediatric dentist. Is this really necessary? I don’t want to call the office because I know they will tell me to bring my son in whether it’s needed or not. Thanks. Cherise

Cherise – When a tooth is loosened it is normal for it to bleed a little from the gums. A slightly loose tooth usually tightens up on its own.

If the tooth feels very loose, or if your son is in persistent pain, you should call your pediatric dentist. Your dentist will likely want to check the tooth anyway to see if it needs to be repositioned, or if it’s very loose, your dentist may want to remove the tooth altogether.

If a primary tooth is loose and needs to be extracted, a spacer may be needed to hold the place for the permanent tooth so that the adjacent teeth won’t shift into the space.

Contacting your pediatric dentist just to check out the tooth is a good precaution.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Severe toothache but dentist says it’s fine. Am I crazy or is she?

By Toothache

I had a mild toothache that started early this month. The pain increased significantly by mid-month so I made an appointment with my dentist. She examined the tooth, took an x-ray and said everything is fine. No prescription, no follow-up appointment, nothing. So I made a second appointment last week. When she came into the exam room and saw it was me again she shook her head and sighed. She said she would write me a prescription for pain but nothing is wrong with my tooth. So what is the prescription for? Anyway, I told her that I want to know what’s wrong with my tooth not get drugged up with pain meds. Well my tooth still hurts. Could she really think that I have a severe toothache and nothing at all is wrong? I know I’m not the crazy one. Appreciate your help. Tish

Tish – We are not certain why you received this response from your dentist. If you have severe lingering pain in your tooth, the tooth is likely infected and abscessed. An abscess is an infection at the root of your tooth. The infection needs to be cleaned out so it won’t continue to spread into the bone and beyond. Later, the tooth will be protected with a porcelain crown.

Make an appointment with another dentist. He or she will see you right away.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Do I need to see a dentist?

By Damaged Tooth

I rollerblade on Monday nights and last month I collided with another blader. The impact was on my face and although I was wearing a mouthguard it still jammed my mouth pretty good. I guess I’m lucky that I didn’t lose a tooth. Anyway I was just looking in the mirror and notice what looks like a hairline crack in my tooth. It doesn’t hurt consistently-only every now and then. Do I need to see a dentist? – Matthew

Matthew – We are sorry to hear about your accident. If you see a hairline crack in your tooth and are experiencing pain from time to time, you should get it checked by a dentist.

Treatment for a cracked tooth varies depending on the size and length of the crack. A simple crack may need to be concealed with dental bonding. If the pulp of the tooth is affected, a root canal treatment may be needed. If the root of the tooth is damaged, it may need to be removed.

An untreated crack may progressively get worse. Make an appointment with your dentist right away.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Is it okay to get dental work done while I am pregnant?

By Gum Disease, Tooth Decay, Toothache

Hello. My baby is due in July. I need dental work done, but it is nothing critical. My dentist says that my pregnancy is not an issue. I won’t say that I don’t trust my dentist, but I don’t know him well. We recently moved from Ohio six months ago, so this is a new dentist for me. I just want to verify that there is no known problem with getting the work done at this stage of my pregnancy. Thank you. Rachel

Rachel – At this stage of your pregnancy, one of the biggest problems with getting dental work done is your comfort. You will be reclined, so you may experience discomfort during the treatment.

What type of dental work is being done? Have you been told how long the dental procedure will take?

Dental cleanings and exams during pregnancy should continue as normal. You want your teeth to be kept clean to reduce the chances of having tooth decay or gum disease. Dental x-rays and invasive dental treatment should be avoided.

If you are in pain with a toothache, or if there is an infection in your tooth, it should be treated promptly to stop the infection.

If you have the dental work done, consider bringing a pillow or whatever back support makes you comfortable. Speak with your dentist about any concerns you have about being comfortable. The staff will make the effort to get you as comfortable as possible.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

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