Howard Posner, DDS | Pediatric Dentist
Marc Henderson, DDS, FAGD | General Dentist
Matthew T. Goslee, DMD, MPH | Pediatric Dentist

255 North Main Street
Bristol, CT 06010

860-589-7170

Our Blog

The Importance of X Rays

November 26th, 2015

Dental X-Ray

In 1985, German physicist Wilhelm Rontgen became the first person to discover x-rays and is credited with their important role in the medical and dental industries. His discoveries led to extensive studies and research on radiology that ultimately contributed to the development of the modern-day machines we use in medicine and dentistry today.

However, with today’s modern advanced technology, many individuals assume that dental x-rays are a thing of the past. In truth though, the use of x-rays has never been more important.

Thanks to the help of x-rays, dentists can detect and treat dental problems long before they turn into serious issues. Considering preventative care is the primary reason we visit the dentist, x-rays are essential to finding potential concerns that would otherwise go unnoticed in standard physical examinations. Some of these underlying issues include:

  • Cavities
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Infections and abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Cancer
  • More

If left untreated, these conditions can result in painful oral issues like gum disease and recession, chronic pain and much more. In today’s era, there are two types of dental x-rays that serve a variety of purposes:

  • Intraoral X-rays: These are the most common types of x-rays taken and provide your dentist with a lot of important details and information regarding possible cavities, and root and bone health. These x-rays also check the status of developing teeth like wisdom teeth, and are helpful in monitoring the general health of your teeth, gums and bones. These different types of intraoral x-rays each target different aspects of the teeth:

-          Bite-wing: shows upper and lower teeth in a specific area of the mouth.

-          Periapical: show the entire tooth from the crown to the end of the root.

-          Occlusal: show tooth development and placement.

  • Extraoral X-rays: Though these pictures show teeth, their primary purpose is to observe the welfare of the jawbone and skull, which can’t be detected by intraoral x-rays. They are vital in detecting impacted teeth or issues with the growth and development of the jaw. Extraoral x-rays can also identify any concerns between the teeth, jaw and other facial bones in relation to the teeth. Like intraoral x-rays, there are several types of extraoral machines:

-          Panoramic: shows the entire mouth area including upper and lower jaws.

-          Tomograms: show specific layers of the mouth.

-          Cephalometric projections: show the entire side of the head including jawbone and skull.

-          Sialography: shows salivary glands (after a dye injection).

-          Computed tomography: shows body’s interior structure in a 3D image.

Not surprisingly, many dental patients worry about the harmful effects of x-rays and the exposure to radiation. However, there is very, very little cause for concern. Modern technology has reduced the amount of radiation levels to practically non-existent amounts.

In fact, for nearly three decades the American Dental Association has worked with dentists across the nation to ensure a patient’s exposure to radiation is as low and harmless as possible. Furthermore, there are several precautionary measures dentists can take to further reduce radiation. Things like protective aprons and collars help to deflect any rays that may be emitted by the machine.

To learn more about the benefits of dental x-rays or to schedule an appointment for a dental visit, visit Posner, Henderson and Goslee today.

7 Ways To Prevent Receding Gums

November 19th, 2015

Gum recession happens as a result of gum tissue decline, which then lowers its position on the tooth. This is a fairly common oral issue than many people in the US suffer with. In fact, a recent US study of nearly 10,000 people reported that 38% of individuals 30-39 years old had receding gums and 71% of test subjects aged 50-59 had some form of the condition.

Why is gum recession so common? There are several contributing factors that spur gums to recess:

  • Brushing or flossing too aggressively: hard-bristled brushes cause the gums to recede, especially in the corners of your mouth, around canine teeth and premolars. This can create notches on the surface of the tooth’s enamel and can also expose sensitive gum tissue.
  • Genetic influences: The makeup of your gums depends largely on your genetics – if it runs in your family, in particular one or both of your parents, there’s a strong chance you’ll have the issue, too.
  • Uncommon tooth positioning: If your teeth are not properly aligned, they’ll likely be prone to gum recession because the tissues are being pulled in abnormal directions, causing more tartar build up. They are also harder to properly brush and floss.
  • Tobacco Use: Using tobacco – both smoking and smokeless tobacco – is a leading cause of severe gum recession and other secondary gum infections. Because the tissues loose vital blood supplies, they’ll suffer from aggressive recession.
  • Poor oral health: Untreated cavities, lack of professional cleanings and other common gum problems can lead to rampant tooth decay.

Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to prevent gum recession or further gum decay. These seven tips can get you started:

  1. Ask your dentist how to properly brush. They’ll likely advise you to brush at an angle and not to scrub. Also ask about proper flossing, too.
  2. Be sure to only use soft bristle toothbrushes. Medium and hard bristles can cause rapid decay.
  3. Ensure that your bite is properly aligned and comfortable. Consider orthodontic adjustments if necessary.
  4. If you’re currently experiencing gum recession, talk to your dentist about a gum graft. Gum gum tissue can be attached to cover the roots of your teeth.
  5. Do you grind your teeth at night? This can be a habit caused by dental maladies and should be talked about with your dentist immediately. He or she will likely recommend using a night guard to reduce the stress on your teeth.
  6. Avoid piercings on the lips, tongue or other areas of the mouth. Foreign objects like these often result in chronic irritation and can cause gum tissue to shift and expose sensitive roots of the teeth.
  7. Take overall good care of your teeth and mouth. Avoid periodontitis, or poor oral health, by brushing regularly, flossing and using mouthwash. Stay away from foods and beverages that can harm your teeth, especially items with high acidity.

To learn more about gum recession or to get professional help with your oral health, visit Posner, Henderson and Goslee, today.

Crazy Ways To Pull A Baby Tooth

November 12th, 2015

Think back to when you were a kid: how did you pull out your teeth? Did you play with it incessantly until it finally let go? Did you loose it in an apple? Did you absolutely hate the idea of pulling it and just let it wiggle its way out alone? Maybe you were incredibly adventurous like one of these kids who went above and beyond to extract that wiggly baby tooth.

1.     Extraction By Drone

One brave little girl let her father tie a long piece of dental floss to a remote-control drone. The other end, they attached to a very loose front tooth. After a quick three-second count down, the drone lifted off the ground and within milliseconds the tooth was extracted from the little girl’s mouth. Below it was an already growing adult tooth.

2.     Extraction By Nerf Gun

Loosing baby teeth can be fun with a Nerf gun! This little boy let his older brother attach his loose tooth to a foam Nerf arrow. A ten-second count down prepared the tooth for a ride of its life. The brother released the gun, which immediately extracted the loose tooth. Afterward, the little boy was all toothless-smiles.

3.     Extraction By Sling Bow

“Aright Alexis, go ahead and shoot your tooth out of your face,” said the father of this young girl as she pulled back her sling bow. The arrow contained a string, which connected it to a back left molar. She opens her mouth, stretches her elbow back and releases – yanking the tooth out of her mouth.

As a parent, determining how to deal with your child’s loose tooth can be much different that simply pulling out your own tooth as a youngster. While Nerf guns, bows, and drones may seem like a fun way to extract those pesky loose baby teeth, it’s generally advised that parents should not assist their child in pulling teeth until the tooth is absolutely ready to come out. Pulling a tooth before it’s ready risks damaging sensitive tissue and possibly causing infection, bleeding and pain.

Though it may be tempting, the best rule of thumb is to allow your child to play with the tooth until it falls out on it’s own. If you’re worried about your child’s tooth or are looking for more information on ways to care for your kid’s baby teeth, visit Posner and Henderson today.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Mouthwash

November 5th, 2015

Mouthwash

Chances are you brush at least twice a day and take good care of your teeth. However, if you follow your brushing and flossing routine with a swish or two of mouthwash, you’ll set yourself up for a successfully healthy, fresh mouth.  Using mouthwash comes with many benefits: here are the top five.

1.     Freshens Breath

One of the top reasons to use mouthwash is to fight bad breath. Medically known as halitosis, bad breath can be embarrassing and offensive to others. Bad breath is caused by the buildup of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria causes inflammation and can disperse foul odors and gasses that can smell like sulfur, rotten eggs, or worse. Mouthwash comes in a variety of different flavors and kills these nasty built-up bacteria.

2.     Removes Food Particles

While mouthwash should definitely be used after brushing, it can also be used after meals and even before brushing to rinse out any food particles. Not only will this give you a quick-fresh breath fix, but it will also lay a solid base for effective brushing and flossing. Loosening these particles gives you a better shot at removing harmful bits of food and bacteria that create potential cavities.

3.     Prevent Plaque

Though every type of mouthwash differs, most mouthwashes help to prevent the build up of plaque on your gums, in between your teeth, on your tongue and on the surface of your teeth. Plaque is a thin group of bacteria that sticks to the surfaces of your teeth.

Without proper prevention, plaque can breakdown the enamel on your teeth, causing tooth decay. Remember, however, that using mouthwash doesn’t remove plaque that’s already on your teeth, so use toothpaste and floss to remove plaque before it becomes a threat.

4.     Stops the Formation of Cavities

By regularly using mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can greatly reduce your chances of forming cavities. Mouthwash contains fluoride, a natural mineral found in the earths crust, as well as in some foods and water supplies. Fluoride is a natural reducer of tooth decay. By rinsing daily with mouthwash you can reduce your chances of forming cavities. Fluoride also strengthens your enamel. However, not all mouthwashes contain fluoride, so be sure to check the label before purchase.

5.     Fight Gum Disease

If you suffer from periodontal disease like gingivitis, your gums and tooth sockets are at risk of getting inflamed or infected due the bacteria and food that gets stuck in your teeth. By using a mouthwash with alcohol or chlorhexidine, you can greatly prevent your risk of suffering from periodontal disease.

To learn more about the benefits of using mouthwash, visit Posner, Henderson and Goslee Dentistry today. At Posner, Henderson and Goslee we provide clients with comprehensive general, pediatric and orthodontic services. We offer complimentary consultations for dental care for you and the entire family. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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