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Posts for: September, 2012

By Berger Family Dental
September 26, 2012
Category: Oral Health
FourQuestionsAboutTreatingTraumaticInjuriestoTeeth

As the Boy Scouts say, it's best to be prepared. You may never have a traumatic injury to your teeth. But what if you do? Here are four questions and answers about such injuries and their treatment that may be helpful some day.

What are traumatic injuries?
We are talking about physical damage caused by a fall, an accident, or a blow to the face. The word trauma comes from the Greek root meaning “wound.”

A traumatic injury can also cause broken, cracked, or split teeth, or a fracture to the root of the tooth. A tooth may be dislodged from its proper position, pushed sideways, out of or deeper into its socket. It may even be completely knocked out of your mouth.

What should you do if your tooth is knocked out?
With proper treatment, the tooth can be restored to its original place. You must handle the tooth gently and seek professional help as soon as possible. Rinse the tooth in cold water if it is dirty, but do not use any cleaning agent. Avoid touching the root. While hurrying to your dentist, keep the tooth from drying out by keeping it in a container of milk or of your saliva, or by holding it in your mouth between gum and cheek. It is vital to keep the tooth's living tissues moist until it can be professionally assessed and replanted in its socket. If a tooth has been dislodged but not knocked out, it must be repositioned in its socket and may be stabilized with a splint.

Who can treat a tooth that is damaged by a traumatic injury?
A general dentist, an oral surgeon or an endodontist is trained to treat such injuries. An endodontist is trained to treat the root canal(s) inside a tooth. The word comes from “endo” the Greek word for “inside,” and “odont,” the word for “tooth.” After a tooth is replaced in its socket and stabilized, root canal treatment is often needed.

What is root canal treatment?
A tooth is composed mostly of dentin, a living tissue. The top part or crown is covered by hard mineralized enamel. The soft tissue inside the tooth, the pulp, contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. It extends from the crown to the tip of the roots. Treatment of dental pulp injuries is called root canal or endodontic treatment and is usually needed to treat teeth that have been dislodged or fractured.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about injuries to teeth and related nerve damage. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth.”


16 Tips to Conquer Buffet Binging

by Katherine Schreiber

Anyone who’s been to an all-you-can-eat buffet (or college cafeteria…) knows: Limitless food supplies inspire us to put far more on our plates than we need to. (They also make us crave and consume things we never wanted in the first place.) Does this mean we’re all bound to binge? Not if we utilize these strategies to combat calorie overload. Below are 16 tricks to curtail excess om-nomming.

Map it Out — Your Action Plan

1.Double Down. Use smaller plates and glassesto avoid taking in too much. Not only do big cups, bowls, and plates hold more food and liquid to begin with, but oversized dinnnerware also makes normal portion sizes seem smaller than they actually are. Finishing a full plate makes us feel full. The larger the plate, the more we’ll need to eat before that visual cue gets to our brains.

2.Cue cards. The sheer awareness of abundance prompts us to eat more. So entering an unlimited buffet or cafeteria already sets us up for bingey behavior. To resist the environmental set up, portion out single servings in advance.

3.Log. Keeping track of what we put in our mouths helps keep us aware of how much we’re eating (so we’re more likely to know when to stop. By jotting down some thoughts and feelings about our food intake, we can also write away some food-related stress — and reducing stress can help keep impulsivity in check and hunger-promoting hormone levels down.

4.Hit it and quit it. As soon as you load up at the food bar, nab a seat as far away from it as you can. Studies show that the more distance there is between you and a stockpile of edibles, the less likely you are to get up for seconds, or crave more. (The mere awareness of a food being within our midst makes us want to eat it, even if we’re already full.) If it’s not possible to steer clear of more food, try positioning yourself closer to the salad bar than the dessert trays, since we tend to consume more of whatever’s conveniently within reach. At the very least, face away from the buffet — one study shows this also aids in curbing excess consumption.

5.Pay attention! Keep an eye on your plate to track how much you’ve taken in. Visual cues make more of an impact on our hunger/fullness levels than, well, actual fullness. The  more food we see we’ve eaten, the sooner we’ll realize we’ve had enough.

6.Socialize strategically. Surround yourself with people who eat healthy. Studies show we readily pick up on our family’s and friends’ eating behaviors. So nibble next to pals with more colorful plates for optimal inspiration in the dining hall.

7.Slow down. Taking your time during a meal makes you feel fuller, faster. “Signals for feeding are sluggish in terms of influencing the brain, so they’re easy to ignore,” says neuroscientist Gary Wenk, author of This Is Your Brain On Food. It can take upwards of 30 minutes for stop signals to register. Pace yourself by savoring each bite, chewing thoroughly, and using a knife and fork (or chopsticks, if you can).

8. Stay Warm. Dining in colder atmospheres makes us eat more. Bring a sweater — or Snuggie — to the dining hall!

9. Cash In. If you pay item per item, use cash — not a credit or meal plan card — to pay. Plastic payment methods,studies show, weaken our impulse control. In the absence of immediate consequences (i.e. actually watching the cash leave your hand) we indulge more.

10.Tray Bien! Without a tray to pile plates on, we feel more restricted, explains Cornell University food psychologist David Just: “The more restricted you feel in the amount of food you can take in, the more likely you’ll be to grab the one or two items you really want — which tend to be the dessert items and main dishes, rather than the side salads or extra veggies.” Trays also give us the space to notice whether we’re missing any greens or other good stuff to balance out a meal.

11.Survey The Area. A full walk around the cafeteria to look at all the options may sound overwhelming at first. But, says Just, “knowing what all the offerings are enables you to make decisions based on what you’d like as well as what you should make room for on your plate.” Otherwise, we’re tempted to return to the buffet multiple times to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

12. Hold On.Sneaky waiters who swiftly exchange finished plates for desert menus are onto something. Without lingering evidence of how much we’ve consumed, we tend to forget. Same goes for discarding plate one, two, or three as you grab a dessert bowl and head back for the finale. Just recommends keeping all plates, bowls, and cups used throughout a meal right on the table as reminders of how much we’ve consumed.

13.Gum. Before you head back for seconds, try sticking a wad of sugar-free gum in your mouth. This can help sate that need to keep on noshing even after our stomachs are crying for help. Some studies even suggest munching on gum burns a few extra calories. (Not bad!)

14.Pre-Game.  Eat a low-cal but filling fruit or veggie serving prior to hitting the dining hall. One study found that participants who snacked on a skinned apple before sitting for larger meals ate an average of 187 calories less than those who ate nothing at all. (Pro tip: juice and smoother foods, like applesauce, don’t achieve the same effect since liquid leaves us less full. So stick to less processed edibles.)  Also: Hunger depletes our willpower, so a pre-dining hall snack could help you control your impulse to hit the dessert table first.

15.Picture This. Imagine your favorite buffet item while you’re walking to the dining hall. Picture eating it, bite by bite, in entirety. “When we visualize consuming a food we crave before we start eating it,” says Wenk, “we end up consuming less of it.” Likely, he adds, because this tricks our brains into getting habituated to (read: bored by) a food.

16.Gotta Jet! Committing to some type of physical activity directly after a meal reduces how much food we stuff in our bellies, says Just. We’re less likely to ask for seconds when we anticipate a food coma getting in the way of post-cafeteria plans — like lugging heavy groceries, speed-walking across campus to class, or making a volleyball practice in time for warm up.

The Takeaway

Buffets, cafeterias, and lunchrooms of all sorts set us up for nutritional shame walks. But pay close enough attention to plate size, progress on a meal, and the people around you, and you just might find yourself stopping before going overboard on the plates.

What are your favorite tips for keeping eating in control? Tell us in the comments below!


FollowinVannaWhitesFootstepsandReplaceThatMissingBackTooth

As the co-host of one of America's most beloved television game shows, Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White is recognized for her beautiful gowns and her dazzling smile. However, during an exclusive interview with Dear Doctor magazine, she shared her experiences with cosmetic dentistry. “I had a bridge put in probably 30 years ago where I had a tooth pulled and there was a space,” Vanna said.

Prior to having a permanent tooth pulled, most people are concerned with what can be done to replace it. It's important to follow through and do exactly that. This is especially true with back teeth. Just because you can't see them, it doesn't mean you won't face problems if they are not replaced.

For example, did you know that missing posterior (back) teeth can lead to a wide array or problems with the remaining teeth, muscles, ligaments, joints and jaw bones? This includes:

  • A decrease in chewing efficiency that in turn can impact your diet, nutrition and overall health
  • Excessive erosion or wear of remaining teeth
  • Tipping, migration, rotation and even loss of adjacent remaining teeth
  • Painful jaw problems such as Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD)

One treatment option is to follow in Vanna's footsteps and consider a fixed bridge. This is an excellent option when dental implants won't work. And through our artistry, we can easily blend them in color and appearance with your surrounding teeth.

When implants are possible, they represent the best option. They are easily maintained and are a durable, long-lasting solution that can increase bite support.

To learn more about this topic, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Replacing Back Teeth.” Or if you are already missing a permanent tooth, you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination. We will also address any questions you have as well as your treatment options. And if you want to read the entire feature article on Vanna White, continue reading “Vanna White.”




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