Posts for: February, 2016

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
February 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental filling  

If you have ever had dental work done to your teeth, you are probably familiar with a dental filling. As one of the most common dental procedures, a filling removes decay from the tooth before it reaches the tooth’s inner chamber, preventing infection of the tooth’s pulp dental fillingsand nerve. But is there any chance of decay after a tooth has been filled? Find out with help from your Westland, MI dentist at Carey & Aylward Dental.

What is a dental filling? 
When decay forms on a tooth, it eats away at the tooth’s outer enamel. However, cavities do not always hurt. A toothache only occurs when decay eats far enough into the tooth to infect or damage its inner pulp and nerve. The resulting infected pulp and nerve require root canal therapy, where the pulp and nerve are removed from the inside of the tooth altogether. When the decay is still at the outer layers, your Westland dentist removes it with a dental filling, leaving the pulp and nerve in tact.

Do I have to worry about cavities after a filling? 
Yes. Just because a tooth has been filled does not mean that decay cannot still form afterward. Tooth decay starts from the outside, with bacteria turning into plaque, a sticky substance which sticks to your teeth. If this plaque is not brushed away, it turns to decay-causing tartar. This is what makes brushing and flossing twice a day so important to the health of your teeth.

What can I expect from the procedure for a dental filling? 
A dental filling is a fast and easy procedure which usually takes around 30 minutes. First, your dentist numbs the area of the tooth. Then, he or she removes the decay using a dental drill. Thanks to the local anesthetic, this is painless. A filling material fills the hole made by the drill. The filling is then shaped to fit your bite correctly and checked using transfer paper. If the filling is too large to stand up to everyday activities on its own, your dentist may recommend a dental crown to strengthen it.

For more information on dental fillings and cavities, or to speak with an associate about scheduling an examination or cleaning, please contact Dr. Dennis E. Aylward, Dr. Brent L. Carey and Dr. Allison A. Carey at Carey & Aylward Dental in Westland, MI. Call (734) 425-9130 to schedule your appointment today!


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
February 21, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  
AlthoughaGlobalProblemToothDecaycanbePrevented

Other than the common cold, tooth decay is the most prevalent disease in the world. And while a cavity or two may seem like a minor matter, tooth decay’s full destructive potential is anything but trivial. Without proper prevention and treatment, tooth decay can cause pain, tooth loss and, in rare cases, even death.

This common disease begins with bacteria in the mouth. Though these microscopic organisms’ presence is completely normal and at times beneficial, certain strains cause problems: they consume left over carbohydrates in the mouth like sugar and produce acid as a byproduct. The higher the levels of bacteria the higher the amount of acid, which disrupts the mouth’s normal neutral pH.

This is a problem because acid is the primary enemy of enamel, the teeth’s hard protective outer shell. Acid causes enamel to lose its mineral content (de-mineralization), eventually producing cavities. Saliva neutralizes acid that arises normally after we eat, but if the levels are too high for too long this process can be overwhelmed. The longer the enamel is exposed to acid, the more it softens and dissolves.

While tooth decay is a global epidemic, dental advances of the last century have made it highly preventable. The foundation for prevention is fluoride in toothpaste and effective oral hygiene — daily brushing and flossing to removing plaque, a thin film of food remnant on teeth that’s a feeding ground for bacteria, along with regular dental visits for more thorough cleaning and examination. This regular regimen should begin in infancy when teeth first appear in the mouth. For children especially, further prevention measures in the form of sealants or topical fluoride applications performed in the dentist office can provide added protection for those at higher risk.

You can also help your preventive measures by limiting sugar or other carbohydrates in your family’s diet, and eating more fresh vegetables, fruit and dairy products, especially as snacks. Doing so reduces food sources for bacteria, which will lower their multiplication and subsequently the amount of acid produced.

In this day and age, tooth decay isn’t a given. Keeping it at bay, though, requires a personal commitment to effective hygiene, lifestyle choices and regular dental care. Doing these things will help ensure you and your family’s teeth remain free from this all too common disease.

If you would like more information on preventing and treating tooth decay, 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 “Tooth Decay.”


By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
February 06, 2016
Category: Oral Health
EvenCelebritiesLikeJenniferLawrenceArentImmuneFromBadBreath

Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”