The Practice of Dr. Michael Koumas

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

tooth brushes in jar

Tooth decay is caused by the billions of bacteria that live inside our mouths, that build up as plaque which causes cavities and gingivitis. Long-term tooth decay can cause periodontal (gum) disease. All of this may sound scary, but if you practice daily good oral hygiene and regularly visit your dentist, you should have nothing to worry about. Here are the steps you need to take to help prevent tooth decay.

  1. Brush After Meals

Brushing your teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush will help remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. Make sure your toothbrush is the right size and shape and can easily fit all areas of your mouth.

  1. Use Antimicrobial Mouthwash

Make sure you use an antimicrobial mouthwash containing fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. Antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

  1. Floss At Least Once Per Day

Flossing removes the plaque between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Brushing alone is not enough to prevent tooth decay, you must also floss in order to get a proper cleaning.

  1. Healthy Diet

A healthy diet limits the amount of sugary and starchy foods that enter your mouth. Sugars and starches cause the bacteria in your mouth to create acids which causes harm to your gums and teeth.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about how to prevent tooth decay, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: College of Dentistry

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What You Should Know About Dentures

woman looking at dentures in dentist office

Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be easily removed and reinserted into your mouth. Dentures have gone through many changes over the years, and now they look and feel more natural than ever. While they will never feel exactly like your real teeth, dentures become more comfortable and feel more natural after taking some time to get used to them.

Types of Dentures

There are two main types of dentures: partial and full. Depending on your specific needs, your dentist will help you choose which type of denture is best for you.

Full Dentures

Full dentures have a flesh-color acrylic base that fits over your gums. The top denture adheres to the roof of your mouth and the bottom is shaped like a horseshoe to fit around the tongue. The two types of full dentures are conventional dentures and immediate dentures.

Conventional dentures are placed in your mouth after all teeth are removed and you have finished healing. The healing process can take months, which during that time you are without teeth.

Immediate dentures are placed in your mouth immediately after the extraction process, which means that you never have to be without teeth. However, the dentures will have to be realigned after some time due to the bone that supported the teeth reshaping itself during the healing process.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures rest on metal framework and attach to your natural teeth, which sometimes have crowns placed on them to serve as anchors for the denture. This is a removable alternative to bridges.

Source: Colgate

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about dentures, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

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What is the Best Toothpaste for Gums?

toothpaste on toothbrush

You can’t have healthy teeth without also having healthy gums, so it’s important to have a dental care routine that focuses on the health of your gums as well as your teeth. Brushing your teeth at least two times a day, as well as flossing regularly, is the best way to keep your mouth healthy, and it’s also the best way to prevent gum disease from developing. However, it’s also important to know the right products to use in your dental care routine to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

Where Gum Disease Comes From

The mouth naturally contains bacteria, but this bacteria can cause serious problems if allowed to multiply out of control. Bacteria causes plaque, which leads to tartar that cannot be removed without a dental professional. The buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria eventually causes gum inflammation and a receding gumline which when left unchecked can eventually cause your teeth to fall out. I know this all sounds scary, but don’t fret! As long as you are keeping a good dental care routine and going to your semiannual dental checkups, your oral health should be in good standing!

The Magic Ingredient

As stated earlier, it’s important to know the right products to use to maintain good oral hygiene. To help prevent gingivitis, gum disease, and to maintain healthy gums, the most important ingredient is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents cavities and can reverse the earliest stages of tooth decay. Keeping your teeth and gums clean helps to keep the gums free of inflammation, making fluoride toothpaste the magic ingredient for good oral health.

Source: Colgate

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about gum health, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

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Should I Consider Tooth Bonding?

Dentist Office

Tooth bonding is a simple cosmetic procedure that enhances the look of your smile and is usually performed to repair chipped, decayed, or discolored teeth.

Tooth Bonding Procedure

First, by using a plastic resin, the dentist chooses a color that best matches your teeth. Next, the tooth you are bonding to will be etched lightly and coated with a liquid. This liquid conditions the tooth to allow the resin to stick properly. After the resin is molded and shaped to the tooth, an ultraviolet laser bonds and hardens the resin to the tooth. This procedure may be completed in one visit or over the course of several visits depending on how many teeth need to be bonded.

What Happens Next

For the first 48 hours, it is important to avoid foods or drinks that are known for staining teeth, such as coffee and chocolate. Keep in mind that the material used for teeth bonding is not as strong as enamel, making it more susceptible to chipping from chewing on hard substances like ice. The benefits of tooth bonding can last for several years before needing to be redone depending on your dental hygiene rituals and how much bonding was completed.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth bonding, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: Colgate

Why Mouthwash Matters

animated picture of tooth

While mouthwash is only used for about 30 seconds twice a day, its impact can be significant. All mouthwashes contain alcohol and detergents. The alcohol is used to kill germs and the detergents are used to loosen plaque and debris which contributes to excellent oral health.

Matching Mouthwash with Dental Needs

Although saliva is our own natural mouthwash, professionally crafted mouthwash is designed to go the extra mile by filling in the gaps in your oral hygiene needs. Not all mouths are prone to the same issues which makes mouthwash a great way to cater to specific oral problems.

  • Dry mouth – Alcohol-free options are recommended because of drying agents that may make mouths even drier.
  • Sores and cuts – Salt water rinse is the most natural option. It is great for temporarily disinfecting and reducing swelling.
  • Tooth sensitivity – Mouthwash with extra fluoride coats teeth and makes them stronger to prevent further tooth decay.
  • Gum disease – Oral rinse that contains chlorhexidine has powerful antibacterial properties to better control mouth bacteria.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your dental hygiene, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: National Dental Care

Implant Crowns: Types and Benefits

process of installing and implanting a crown step by step

Implant crowns look, feel, and function like natural teeth, giving you your beautiful smile back. Implantation involves placing posts into the jawbone in place of the missing tooth. It will take three to six months for the bone to bond to the post and once completed, the implant can be connected to the post. Learn about the different types of implant crowns and their benefits below.

Screw-Retained Crown

The main benefit of a screw-retained crown is retrievability. This means it can be recovered and no damage occurs when the crown Is removed. The crown can also be easily removed if loosening or fractures occur. Many dental professionals will recommend a cleaning and screw replacement each year.

Cement-Retained Crown

Though retrievability is the main advantage of a screw-retained crown, cement-retained crowns can also be recovered when the correct cement is used. Some cements can be softened with a water-soluble gel to make it easier to retrieve the crown. The advantage of a cement-retained crown is that it eliminates the sight of unaesthetic screw holes and provides better resistance to porcelain fractures.

Both types of implant crowns have their benefits and drawbacks. Consulting with your dentist about the best option for you is recommended.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth sensitivity, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source:

Glidewell Laboratories

Signs, Causes and Treatments for Dental Abrasion

Couple brushing teeth together

Dental abrasion occurs when tooth enamel wears away from an excessive external force. When enamel is lost, risk of tooth sensitivity or decay increases. So, when taking care of your teeth, you must do so gently and with care.

Types of Dental Wear

There are three types of tooth wear to be aware of. They are:

  1. Abrasion– Dental abrasion occurs when an external force wears away your tooth’s enamel.
  2. Erosion- Dental erosion occurs when acid from food or your stomach break up the enamel on the surface of your teeth.
  3. Attrition- This occurs when your teeth rub together, wearing away the actual structure of your teeth. This most commonly occurs if you grind your teeth.

Signs & Causes of Dental Abrasion

Dental abrasion occurs over time as the enamel wears away. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush, aggressively brushing, and biting your nails can all lead to dental abrasion. Over a period of time, the abrasion can cause notches in your teeth. You may notice that this area is a darker color than the rest of your tooth, this is because the enamel has worn away. Another sign of dental abrasion is tooth sensitivity. As the enamel wears away and the dentin is exposed, your teeth may become more sensitive.

Treatment for Dental Abrasion

Untreated dental abrasion may lead to cavities and tooth decay. In the beginning stages of dental abrasion, treatments to protect and cover up the exposed dentin may be possible. If part of the tooth is exposed, a veneer can be placed over the tooth to protect it.

The bad news is that once enamel wears away, it doesn’t grow back. To help prevent dental abrasion from occurring, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride or calcium-based toothpaste to help strengthen your enamel. If you brush your teeth with too much force, bite your nails, or chew on hard objects, do your best to stop those habits. Last but not least, receive regular checkups from your dentist to make sure your teeth are happy and healthy!

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth sensitivity, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source:

Colgate

Porcelain Veneers: Lifespan, Pros, and Cons

before and after photos of patient who got porcelain veneers

Dental, or porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front surfaces of your teeth. They give you an instant, beautiful smile that lasts for years, which is why they have become so popular.

Pros of Porcelain Veneers

When bonded to the teeth, porcelain veneers are practically undetectable, this is one of the major benefits of having them. They are ultra-thin and stain resistant to things like coffee and cigarettes. (It is important to note, however, that this does not mean smoking is okay. Smoking can still seriously impact your mouth’s health and case oral cancer or gum disease.) When compared to other restorative options, porcelain veneers resemble healthy, white tooth enamel almost identically.

Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can be pricier than other dental restoration options. Alternatives to veneers can include crowns or bridges. Aside from the price, some people are wary about the fact that once porcelain veneers are bonded to the teeth, this process cannot be reversed. To avoid a chip or crack, or the entire veneer falling off, avoid using your veneers as a tool to open something or to bite your nails.

Durability of Porcelain Veneers

With proper care, porcelain veneers can last for well over a decade. This means taking care of your teeth by brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouth wash. Continuing to visit your dentist regularly is also encouraged. At Dr. Koumas’ office, we only craft porcelain veneers from the highest quality porcelain and use the most advanced and proven material available to bond them to your existing teeth.

For more information, or to make an appointment, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

The Benefits of a Dental Crown

dental crown

Dental crowns are a reliable solution to major dental problems caused by disease, accidents or poor habits over time. Fortunately for those who need them, a dental crown can look, feel and function like your natural tooth.

Key Benefits

Dental crowns can give you back your beautiful smile. They replace missing teeth, offer support to broken teeth, and can act as a long-term solution. When a tooth has a root canal, a dental crown can protect the tooth from future breakage. A dental crown is usually made out of either high-grade porcelain, or porcelain bonded to metal.

It is common for people to feel pain in teeth that have fillings in the back of their mouth, usually caused by a hairline crack. Placing a dental crown over the tooth with relieve the tooth of pain and allow you to chew and put pressure on it without causing any pain. For the front of the mouth, teeth that have become weakened by fillings or are chipped or discolored can be fixed with a porcelain crown or bridge.

The Procedure

In most cases, fitting a dental crown will require at least two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your dentist will remove any decay that’s still present in the gum, then shape the tooth, and fit it with a temporary crown. On the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the final crown, after fitting and adjusting it. The dental crown will be held in place with cement to make it look as natural as possible.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about dental crowns, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Causes and Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

person biting into anchocolate ice cream bar with sensitive teeth

Nothing is worse than biting into an ice cream bar on a hot summer day and feeling sharp, sudden tooth pain. If you have experienced this before with cold or hot foods and liquids, you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity occurs when your enamel becomes worn or you have exposed tooth roots.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

In some cases, tooth sensitivity may be minimal, and you will be unbothered by it. In other cases, tooth sensitivity can be severe and will cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Tooth sensitivity is caused by the wearing of enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the protective layer on your teeth. Not only can hot or cold foods and liquids trigger pain, but sweet and acidic foods have the tendency to do so too.

Keep in mind the following factors that may be contributing to your tooth sensitivity:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Forceful brushing
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities, cracked or chipped teeth

Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

Depending on the cause and severity of your tooth sensitivity, there a few solutions to consider. Keep in mind, enamel doesn’t naturally grow on your teeth, so once it’s gone, it’s not coming back. To save the enamel that is still present, consider using a softer bristled tooth brush and not using so much force when brushing. Additionally, choose a toothpaste formulated to protect enamel.

The most obvious solution to sensitive teeth is to avoid the foods that cause pain. This can be ice cream, candy, soda or juice and instead, replace it with snacks like yogurt, cheese and vegetables. Next, if you know that you grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Most importantly, if you think you have a cavity or you have a cracked tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth sensitivity, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.