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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
March 04, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: crowns   bridges  

Missing teeth can compromise the beauty of your smile, and keep you from enjoying the foods you love. Dental crowns and bridges can restore your smile and your self-esteem. Dr. Jennifer Robb in Lorain, OH, offers a full range of dental care services, including dental crowns and bridges, to repair and restore your smile.

There are many reasons why dental crowns and dental bridges are important to you and your smile like:

  • Dental crowns restore teeth that are badly damaged, and dental bridges fill in space where you are missing teeth.
  • Dental crowns can make your teeth look whole again, using materials that look just like natural tooth structure. Dental bridges can complete your smile, using prosthetic teeth which are suspended over the space where you are missing teeth.
  • Dental crowns cover the entire visible surfaces of your teeth, above the gum line, protecting your teeth from breaking and allowing you to enjoy the foods you love. Dental bridges create increased surface area for chewing, so you chew better, which aids your digestion and your overall health.

When you choose a dental crown, one of the most popular materials is porcelain. You will enjoy the translucent beauty of porcelain and the fact that it is stain-resistant. A full porcelain crown provides a beautiful addition to your smile.

If you need a crown on a back tooth, you can also choose a porcelain-fused-to-metal or a PFM crown. These crowns offer the beauty of porcelain and the increased strength of a metal framework underneath.

You can choose a dental bridge to replace a single missing tooth or several missing teeth. The prosthetic teeth, known as pontics, are suspended over the open space and anchored by the adjacent teeth, which are crowned to support the cemented bridge.

Dental crowns and dental bridges can repair and restore your smile. To find out more about how dental crowns and bridges can save your smile, call Dr. Jennifer Robb in Lorain, OH, at (440) 960-1940. Start on your new smile by calling today!

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
March 04, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

Narcotics have long played an important role in easing severe pain caused by disease, trauma or treatment. Healthcare professionals, including dentists, continue to prescribe them as a matter of course.

But narcotics are also addictive and can be dangerous if abused. Although addictions often arise from using illegal drugs like heroin, they can begin with prescriptive narcotics like morphine or oxycodone that were initially used by patients for legitimate reasons.

As a result, many healthcare providers are looking for alternatives to narcotics and new protocols for pain management. This has led to an emerging approach among dentists to use non-addictive non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as their first choice for pain management, reserving narcotics for more acute situations.

Routinely used by the public to reduce mild to moderate pain, NSAIDs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin have also been found to be effective for managing pain after many dental procedures or minor surgeries. NSAIDs also have fewer side effects than narcotics, and most can be obtained without a prescription.

Dentists have also found that alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen can greatly increase the pain relief effect. As such, they can be used for many more after-care situations for which narcotics would have been previously prescribed. Using combined usage, dentists can further limit the use of narcotics to only the most severe pain situations.

Research from the early 2010s backs up this new approach. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) concluded that patients receiving this combined ibuprofen/acetaminophen usage fared better than those only receiving either one individually. The method could also match the relief power of narcotics in after care for a wide range of procedures.

The NSAID approach is growing in popularity, but it hasn't yet displaced the first-line use of narcotics by dental professionals. The hesitancy to adopt the newer approach is fueled as much by patients, who worry it won't be as adequate as narcotics to manage their pain after dental work, as with dentists.

But as more patients experience effective results after dental work with NSAIDs alone, the new approach should gain even more momentum. And in the end, it promises to be a safer way to manage pain.

If you would like more information on dental pain management, 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 “Are Opioids (Narcotics) the Best Way to Manage Dental Pain?

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
February 12, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   oral health  

As they mature, your child's teeth, gums and jaws develop—if all goes well, they'll all be healthy and functioning normally when they enter adulthood. But tooth decay and other problems could derail that development and cause lingering oral health issues later in life.

Following these 4 guidelines now during your child's early years will help ensure their teeth and gums have a healthy future.

Start oral hygiene early. There's no need to wait for their first teeth to come in to begin your child's regular oral hygiene. Start with wiping their gums right after feeding with a clean wet cloth to minimize bacterial development. Then, start brushing as soon as teeth appear—to begin with, use a slight smear of toothpaste on the brush. As they mature, teach them to brush and later floss for themselves.

Check your water. Most utilities add tiny traces of fluoride to their drinking water supply. If your water supplier does, it can make a big difference (along with fluoride toothpaste) in helping your child avoid tooth decay. If your system doesn't, then speak to your dentist about whether your child could benefit from topical fluoride applied directly to their teeth.

Keep a check on sugar. Decay-causing bacteria thrive on the sugar added to processed foods, candies and many beverages. Even milder forms of sugar like lactose found in milk or formula can stimulate bacterial growth. So, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, do your best to minimize sugar in your child's diet. And don't put infants or toddlers to bed with a bottle filled with any liquid other than water.

See the dentist. Starting around their first birthday, regular dental visits can help keep your child's dental development on track. Dental visits are also an opportunity for preventive treatments against decay like sealants or topical fluoride. Your dentist may also detect the early signs of bite problems that if addressed now, could lessen their impact later in life.

Your child's dental health could get off course before you even realize it. But partnering with your dentist, you can help make sure your child's teeth and gums have a bright and healthy future.

If you would like more information on how best to care for your child's oral health, 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 “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
February 01, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

If you're intrigued by the strange and bizarre, here's one to pique your interest: geographic tongue. It's a rare condition that causes the appearance of red patches on the tongue surface, surrounded by grayish-white borders, and which look a lot like continents on a map (hence the name). But although it may look odd, geographic tongue won't harm your health.

The condition is also known as benign migratory glossitis, so named because it's not cancerous and the patches seem to move or “migrate” around the tongue surface. The most common causes are thought to be stress or hormonal disruptions in those predisposed to the condition. Many researchers believe zinc or vitamin B deficiencies in the body contribute to its occurrence. It also seems more prevalent among non-smokers and pregnant women, as well as occurring as a family trait.

The red patches are created by the temporary disappearance of some of the papillae, tiny bumps on the tongue's top surface. The patches can abruptly appear during a flareup and then disappear just as suddenly. But as “angry” as the patches may look, geographic tongue is not considered a health danger. It isn't normally painful, although people can experience stinging or numbing sensations emanating from the patches that can be mildly uncomfortable.

Because it's also rare, you're not likely to encounter it personally. But if you or a loved one does begin to notice red patches on the tongue, there are a few things you can do to lessen any accompanying irritation. For one, cut out foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, eggplant, mint or highly spicy or acidic foods, all of which have been known to increase discomfort. You might also avoid astringents like alcohol or mouthwashes that likewise irritate the patches when they occur.

Although geographic tongue can't be cured, your dentist can help you manage symptoms when they arise with the help of prescribed anesthetic mouthwashes, antihistamines or steroid lozenges. These not only can help lower any discomfort or irritations, they may also lessen the duration of a flareup.

For the most part, geographic tongue usually causes more embarrassment than physical discomfort. But with a little help from your dentist, you can keep it to a minimum. Geographic tongue may be odd, but it's nothing to worry about.

If you would like more information on geographic tongue, 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 “Geographic Tongue: No Cause For Alarm.”

By Jennifer Robb, D.M.D.
January 27, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Brushing Habits  

If you’re like most people, daily brushing has become such a routine habit that you barely even think about it anymore. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing a good job. You may even be brushing your teeth incorrectly.

Dr. Jennifer G. Robb is a dentist in Lorain, where she provides full general and cosmetic dental services.

How to Develop a Good Oral Hygiene Technique

Lorain residents will find that following these tips will help them to develop good brushing habits and maintain healthy teeth and gums.

  • Choose a good soft or medium bristled toothbrush with an angled head.
  • Your toothpaste should contain fluoride and may also contain a tooth whitener.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Leave at least 20 minutes after a meal before brushing.
  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth with a slight rotation movement.
  • Brushing should take about two minutes.
  • Floss at least once each day, preferably before you go to bed.
  • Rinse with a non-alcohol mouth wash.
  • Maintain a healthy diet; avoid excess sugar.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Visit your dentist every six months for an exam and professional cleaning.

Maintaining good brushing habits is important. It can protect your teeth from decay and your gums from gingivitis and periodontitis. It can also prevent tooth loss and save you money in dental fees. As well as brushing it is important to get regular dental checkups. That way, if you do have a problem with your teeth or gums, your dentist will be able to spot it straight away and treat it before it develops into a serious issue.

If you live in or around Lorain and you are looking for a dentist, give Dr. Robb a call today at (440) 960-1940 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.