Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: February, 2020

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
February 21, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dry socket  

Surgical tooth extraction is a fairly routine procedure with few complications. But one rare complication called dry socket does affect a small number of patients. Dry socket, which derives its name from its appearance, can be quite painful. Fortunately, though, it doesn't pose a danger to oral health.

Normally after a surgical extraction, a blood clot forms in the empty socket. This is nature's way of protecting the underlying bone and nerves from various stimuli in the mouth as well as protecting the area. Sometimes, though, the clot fails to form or only forms partially (almost exclusively in lower wisdom teeth), exposing the sensitive tissues beneath the socket.

Patients begin to notice the painful effects from a dry socket about three or four days after surgery, which then can persist for one to three more days. Besides dull or throbbing pain, people may also experience a foul odor or taste in their mouth.

People who smoke, women taking oral contraceptives or those performing any activity that puts pressure on the surgical site are more likely to develop dry socket. Of the latter, one of the most common ways to develop dry socket is vigorous brushing of the site too soon after surgery, which can damage a forming blood clot.

Surgeons do take steps to reduce the likelihood of a dry socket by minimizing trauma to the site during surgery, avoiding bacterial contamination and suturing the area. You can also decrease your chances of developing a dry socket by avoiding the following for the first day or so after surgery:

  • brushing the surgical area (if advised by your surgeon);
  • rinsing too aggressively;
  • drinking through a straw or consuming hot liquid;
  • smoking.

If a dry socket does develop, see your dentist as soon as possible. Dentists can treat the site with a medicated dressing and relieve the pain substantially. The dressing will need to be changed every few days until the pain has decreased significantly, and then left in place to facilitate faster healing.

While dry sockets do heal and won't permanently damage the area, it can be quite uncomfortable while it lasts. Taking precautions can prevent it—and seeing a dentist promptly if it occurs can greatly reduce your discomfort.

If you would like more information on oral surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dry Socket: A Painful but Not Dangerous Complication of Oral Surgery.”

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
February 20, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Find out how our cosmetic dentistry services could give you a new and improved smile.

Looking to reshape and revamp your smile to feel more confident in your appearance? If so, our Westfield, IN, dental team is here to help. While our pediatric dentist Dr. Katie Krause provides gentle and thorough dental care to your budding little ones, our general dentist Dr. Kenneth Krause can provide adult patients with these top cosmetic dentistry treatments,

Dental bonding: bonding uses a tooth-colored resin that is applied and hardened to a tooth to make small changes in the shape and size of a tooth (great for hiding small chips or discolorations, as well as minimal gaps between teeth).

Tooth and gum reshaping: from extremely pointed canines to excess gum tissue, our dentist can shave down enamel and remove excess tissue to make your teeth and gums more symmetrical and even.

Porcelain veneers: these porcelain shells are bonded to the front of teeth to completely alter the shape, size, color and alignment of your smile (ideal for defects and imperfections that affect several teeth).

Teeth whitening: if you are dealing with yellowing teeth, professional in-office teeth whitening can get your smile several shades whiter in often just a single whitening session.

Dental implants: replace your missing tooth or teeth with an artificial tooth that is embedded into the jawbone and acts and looks just like a real tooth (no one will be able to tell the difference).

Should I consider cosmetic dentistry?

The fact that you’re reading this right now probably means that you are considering getting cosmetic dentistry because your smile is leaving something to be desired. Even the smallest cosmetic flaws can leave you hiding your smile in photos or during important business meetings.

Ask yourself,

“How would my life benefit if I had a perfect smile that I felt confident in?”

Then list all the ways in which your life might change. You may find yourself on more dates. You may finally feel ready to sit down with your boss to ask for a raise. You may be amazed to find that cosmetic dentistry can benefit not just your smile but also your personal and professional life. Our Westfield, IN, cosmetic dentist would be happy to sit down with you and discuss the benefits of cosmetic dentistry and whether it’s right for you.

Cosmetic dentistry may be right for you if you have a healthy smile and you maintain good oral hygiene but you are dealing with,

  • Stains and discolorations
  • Chips and cracks
  • Gaps between teeth or slightly crooked teeth
  • Malformed, uneven or misshapen teeth
  • Excessively sharp teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Gummy smiles

Krause Dental in Westfield, IN, provides comprehensive cosmetic dentistry for adults looking to fix everything from a chipped front tooth to crooked smiles. If you want to learn more about how your smile could benefit from cosmetic dentistry then schedule a consultation with us by calling (317) 399-9329.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
February 18, 2020
Category: Periodontal Health

Preventing Periodontal Disease

It's a given that proper brushing, flossing and diligent oral hygiene is imperative to the health of your teeth and gums. But did you that oral wellness is linked to total body wellness?

Inadequate oral hygiene can affect your overall health, with periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease as well as potentially leading to tooth loss and receding gums.

Dr. Kenneth Krause of Krause Dental in Westfield can provide tips for preventing the development of periodontal disease, and our family dentistry office is ready to put you on the path to lifelong oral health.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an oral condition which develops when the bacteria in plaque begins to build up in your gums and between your teeth, causing inflammation to your gums. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause the bones in your jawbone to begin deteriorating.

What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?

Our family dentistry office in Westfield advises both at home and in-office prevention practices to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

At home care:

  • Brush thoroughly, at least twice a day.
  • Floss every night to make sure any food particles trapped between your teeth or along your gum line are removed.
  • Rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing and flossing to rinse away any stray particles.
  • Make sure to eat a balanced diet, low in sugary foods and beverages.
  • Abstain from smoking and tobacco use

At our family dentistry office in Westfield:

  • Schedule regular exams and cleanings at our Westfield family dentistry practice. We can provide you with a deep cleaning and use our special tools to scrape away any tough plaque or tartar.
  • Let our professionals know if you have any history of periodontal disease so we can provide you with any additional help you may need.
  • If you are already experiencing signs of periodontal disease, we can provide periodontal therapy.

Call Krause Dental in Westfield, IN today at 317-399-9329 for all your dental health needs.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
February 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

Tooth decay doesn't occur out of thin air, but is the end result of bacteria feeding on sugar, multiplying and producing acid. High acidity erodes tooth enamel and creates an environment for cavity development.

Modern dentistry can effectively treat cavities and often save the tooth from further damage. But you don't have to wait: You can reduce your chances of cavities by managing risk factors that contribute to decay.

Here are 4 top risk factors for tooth decay and what you can do about them.

Poor saliva flow. Saliva neutralizes acid and helps restore minerals to enamel after acid contact. But your enamel may not have full protection against acid if you have diminished saliva flow, often due to certain medications. You can help increase your saliva by consulting with your doctor about drug alternatives, drinking more water or using a saliva boosting product. Smoking can also inhibit saliva, so consider quitting if you smoke.

Eating habits. High sugar content in your diet can increase bacterial growth and acid production. Reducing your overall sugar consumption, therefore, can reduce your risk of decay. Continuous snacking can also increase your decay risk, preventing saliva from bringing your mouth back to its normal neutral pH. Instead, limit your snack periods to just a few times a day, or reserve all your eating for mealtimes.

Dental plaque. Daily eating creates a filmy buildup on the teeth called dental plaque. If not removed, plaque can then harden into a calcified form called calculus, an ideal haven for bacteria. You can help curtail this accumulation by thoroughly brushing and flossing daily, followed by dental cleanings at least every six months. These combined hygiene practices can drastically reduce your cavity risk.

Your genetics. Researchers have identified up to 50 specific genes that can influence the risk for cavities. As a result, individuals with similar dietary and hygiene practices can have vastly different experiences with tooth decay. Besides continuing good lifestyle habits, the best way to manage a genetic disposition for dental disease is not to neglect ongoing professional dental care.

If you would like more information on managing your tooth decay risk factors, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What Everyone Should Know About Tooth Decay.”

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
February 01, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   nutrition  

You can find some version of the ever popular kids’ meal at most major fast-food restaurants. It’s a neat little package: child’s size portions of burgers, chicken nuggets or sides—and often a small toy or treat to boot—all tucked into its own colorful cardboard container.

The drive-thru menu board at your favorite fast-food joint gives you plenty of choices to fill out your child’s meal. But you may notice something missing on many major chains’ kids’ menus—the mention of soft drinks as a beverage choice. You can still get one for your child’s meal, but the visual cue is no more on the menu board.

None of the “Big Three”—Burger King, McDonald’s or Wendy’s—post soft drinks as a menu item for their kid’s meals. It’s the result of an effort by health advocates promoting less soda consumption by children, the leading source of calories in the average child’s diet. With its high sugar content, it’s believed to be a major factor in the steep rise in child obesity over the last few years.

Sodas and similar beverages are also prime suspects in the prevalence of tooth decay among children. Besides sugar, these beverages are also high in acid, which can erode tooth enamel. These two ingredients combined in soda can drastically increase your child’s risk of tooth decay if they have a regular soda habit.

You can minimize this threat to their dental health by reducing their soda consumption. It’s important not to create a habit of automatically including sodas with every meal, especially when dining out. Instead, choose other beverages: Water by far is the best choice, followed by regular milk. Chocolate milk and juice are high in sugar, but they’re still a healthier choice than sodas due to their nutrient content.

Keeping sodas to a minimum could help benefit your child later in life by reducing their risk for heart disease, diabetes and other major health problems. It will also help them avoid tooth decay and the problems that that could cause for their current and future dental health.

If you would like more information on these and other effective practices for protecting your child against tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.