Monday, February 22, 2016

Tips for Proper Denture Care


As a practitioner with ABC Family Dentistry in Greenville, Tennessee, Joshua Grooms, DDS, helps patients care for both natural and replacement teeth. Joshua Grooms, DDS, draws on extensive experience treating patients with dentures, having built early-career experience as an associate with prominent dental offices such as Aspen Dental.

Although dentures are artificial teeth and thus immune to decay, broken or dirty dentures can negatively impact the overall health of the mouth. Dentures that do not receive regular cleaning collect bacteria and tartar, which can then spread to the underlying tissues and cause irritation or infection. The same may occur in patients who have dentures and neglect to rinse and massage the gums or in those with partial dentures who do not brush and floss their remaining natural teeth.

Denture wearers need to be similarly aware of any changes in the way their appliances fit. The structure of bones and gums can subtly shift with time, whether due to natural aging processes or periodontal disease. These shifts can cause an improper fit that may lead to pain, sores, and even abdominal discomfort caused by the swallowing of air. Experts recommend that denture wearers visit their dentists at least annually for fit checks, adjustments, and a thorough cleaning.                            

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tooth Extractions - What to Expect


Joshua Grooms, DDS, practices as a member of ABC Family Dentistry, PLLC, in Greeneville, Tennessee. As part of his practice, Joshua Grooms, DDS, regularly performs extractions and other treatment procedures.

The first step of a tooth extraction involves the dentist anesthetizing the area. Many extractions require only a local numbing agent, though more complex procedures require general anesthesia. Once the medication has taken effect, the dentist will being cutting away any gum or bone tissue that covers the tooth.

After the tooth is fully exposed, the dentist uses a tool known as a dental elevator to loosen the tooth from its place within the jaw bone, in much the same way a camper loosens a tent peg before pulling it from the ground. The elevator allows the dentist to push the tooth against the bone and thus compress the spongy bone tissue. When the dentist has created enough space to loosen the tooth, he or she uses extraction forceps to rock and twist the tooth. This ultimately separates the tooth from the bone and allows the dentist to draw the tooth out of the socket.

After the dentist has removed the tooth, he or she can remove infected material by scraping the socket's walls. The dentist can then re-compress the socket, smooth roughened bone edges, and irrigate the socket to remove loose fragments. Once the site is clean, the dentist will place any necessary stitches and ask the patient to bite on a piece of gauze, which begins the clotting and healing process.