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Getting to the Bottom of Chewing Gum Myths

May 12th, 2021

It's a moment many of our patients have experienced. One second you're chewing on a piece of gum, then suddenly you forget to keep chewing and swallow the entire rubbery gob whole! It's at this point you remember your mother warning you as a child that if you swallow gum it will stake a claim and take up residency in your belly for seven years. Drs. Stern, Guzek, Shnaydman, Jutras, and Abdennour and our team at Worcester Endodontics hate to take all the fun out of the mystery, but the truth is that chewing gum, when swallowed, will enter your stomach and move through your digestive system just like any other piece of food. So, if you ever accidentally swallow a piece of gum, there is no need to worry!

That being said, it's important to know that gum does not have any dietary benefits, so while it’s not exactly harmful to swallow, you still want to avoid swallowing it. If you are an avid gum-chewer, we encourage you to chew sugarless gum, especially if you are wearing braces, because gum with sugar can lead to cavities. Sugarless gum still has the same amount of flavor, but has fewer cavity-causing ingredients. In fact, many brands contain an additive called xylitol, a natural sweetener known to fight cavity-causing bacteria. Xylitol is also known to increase salivary flow as it rinses away plaque and acid.

The fact is, when the bacterium in your mouth breaks down sugar, what’s left behind is acid. This acid eats away at the enamel coating of your teeth, causing holes that we call cavities. Cavities can lead to other long-term mouth problems if they are not treated in time, so it is best to try and avoid overexposing your teeth to too many harmful substances!

If you have any questions about chewing gum, please contact our office. Happy (sugar-free) gum chewing!

Root Canal Awareness Week

May 5th, 2021

Across the continent, the May calendar is filled with meaningful days. Cinco de Mayo. Memorial Day. Victoria Day. National Patriots’ Day. And, of course, Mother’s Day. One occasion that’s probably not on your calendar? This May marks the return of the American Association of Endodontists’ “Root Canal Awareness Week”! Let’s take this opportunity to talk about the many amazing ways a root canal can improve your dental health.

  • Root Canals Save Teeth

Left untreated, a seriously damaged or infected tooth will almost inevitably be lost. And even one lost tooth can affect your eating, your speech, your bite, and your confidence. A root canal procedure at our Worcester, MA office can prevent tooth loss, and is safe and straightforward. After infected and damaged tissue is removed from the pulp chamber in the crown of the tooth and from the root canals within the root, the interior of the tooth is carefully cleaned, disinfected, shaped and filled. A crown will help protect the tooth after treatment. A tooth that has undergone a root canal procedure can go on to last a lifetime.

  • Root Canals Relieve Pain

If you have suffered a tooth injury or pulp infection, you know how painful that trauma can be. With a root canal, the source of your pain and discomfort is removed. Many patients experience immediate relief from severe pain after the procedure, and any post-treatment sensitivity or discomfort usually only lasts a few days.

  • Root Canals Protect Your Health

You are saving more than a tooth when you are proactive about root canal treatment. If infection persists, it can spread to other parts of the body, resulting in tooth loss, bone loss, and even more serious consequences. A root canal can not only save your smile, it can actually save your health.

If you’ve been postponing a trip to the dentist because you’re worried about a root canal—don’t! Here’s another great fact about root canals:

  • Root Canals Are Nothing to Fear

Endodontists have two or more years of additional training after dental school to become specialists in the treatment of the inner tooth. They keep up with the latest in endodontic technology, tools, and treatments, and the root canal is a procedure that they perform on a daily basis. With today’s advances in the field, many patients find a root canal appointment with an endodontist no more uncomfortable than getting a normal filling!

Root Canal Awareness Week is meant to remind us that we can have a lifetime of healthy, natural smiles with proper dental care and treatment. But, really, any week is a great time to acquaint yourself with what endodontists like Drs. Stern, Guzek, Shnaydman, Jutras, and Abdennour can do for you and for your smile. It will be time well spent!

How an Endodontist Can Save Your Teeth

April 28th, 2021

What exactly does an endodontist do?

If you are in need of a root canal, your regular dentist may refer you to an endodontist—a dental specialist who concentrates on performing root canals. After completing dental school, endodontists, like Drs. Stern, Guzek, Shnaydman, Jutras, and Abdennour, attend an additional two or more years of specialty training in their field. They learn all about root canal therapy and other procedures that involve care of the roots of the teeth. Because they specialize in root treatments, endodontists develop considerable experience with these procedures. If you have been directed to an endodontist to address a root canal problem, you may rest assured that your teeth are in expert hands.

How will an endodontist save my teeth?

One of the many benefits of seeing an endodontist is the fact that endodontic procedures can help you avoid the extraction of your tooth. When your tooth is removed, obtaining a replacement can be costly and painful. It is also a time-consuming process that may still lead to a fairly unattractive end result. To avoid losing your natural teeth, treatment by Drs. Stern, Guzek, Shnaydman, Jutras, and Abdennour can be highly preferable. When you require a root canal, it is most often because the root, or interior, of your tooth has become infected with bacteria or other diseases. During an endodontic procedure, the doctor removes the inflamed and infected pulp of the tooth, cleans and shapes the interior, fills the tooth with protective material, and seals it so no more bacteria can get inside. After that, you will receive a crown or other restoration device to protect the tooth from further damage and return it to full function. After the endodontic procedure, you essentially have a brand-new natural tooth!

Will I need additional treatment?

In some cases, patients need additional treatment following a root canal. One of the most common post-root-canal procedures is a root-end resection. If a patient continues to experience pain or inflammation in a tooth after endodontic treatment, it usually means the infection has spread to the bony area around the tooth. This is especially common when the tooth has experienced new trauma or decay since the root canal, or the crown has become cracked or broken. During a root-end resection, the doctor will open the gum tissue, remove the infected areas, and fill in the treated space to seal the root canal. After this procedure, it is rare that a patient will need further treatment. The careful and precise work of an endodontist can save you from future pain and additional dental work. If you need one or more root canals, treatment by a qualified endodontist can save your teeth.

If you have further questions about how how Drs. Stern, Guzek, Shnaydman, Jutras, and Abdennour can help you save your natural teeth, please don't hesitate to contact Worcester Endodontics at our Worcester, MA office for more information!

Every Day is Earth Day

April 21st, 2021

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at Worcester Endodontics wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

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