What Is Cementum?
Cementum is a hard layer of tissue that helps the periodontal ligament attach firmly to a tooth. Made of cementoblasts, cementum slowly forms over a lifetime.
Cementum is a hard, calcified layer of tissue that covers the root of the tooth. On its outer side, cementum is attached to the periodontal ligament; on its inner side, the dentin. Along with the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingiva, cementum helps a tooth stay in its place. In fact, if it weren’t for cementum, the periodontal ligament wouldn’t be able to attach firmly to a tooth.
Slowly formed throughout life, cementum is created when the root of the tooth excretes cementoblasts. Though cementoblasts are somewhat of a mystery, it is known that cementum is yellow in color and softer than dentin. Its chemical makeup is similar to that of bone — but unlike bone, cementum is avascular (not supported by blood vessels).
Types of Cementum
There are three types of cementum: acellular cementum, cellular cementum and afibrillar cementum. Acellular cementum covers about 1/3-1/2 of the root and has little to no cellular components. Cellular cementum covers about 1/3-1/2 of the apex and is permeable. Afibrillar cementum sometimes extends onto the enamel of the tooth.
If you have periodontal disease, your acellular cementum, cellular cementum or afibrillar cementum may also be diseased. A gum disease treatment called scaling and root planing can be performed to remove the diseased cementum, as well as dental tartar and diseased dentin.
If it has been awhile since your last dental visit, make an appointment today.
Does your jaw ever click, pop or grind while you’re eating, talking or yawning? While this may not feel like a serious condition, it’s usually caused by problems with the temporomandibular joint. If left untreated, this can develop into a painful and occasionally debilitating disorder known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
TMD can cause headaches, dizziness, facial pain and tooth sensitivity. It can cause difficulty in chewing and opening your jaw, and can lead to other problems like jaw clenching. As your dental office, we want to help you maintain good oral health. If you’re experiencing jaw clicks, please call our office for an appointment today.
Puberty is a fact of life where a child’s body matures and becomes capable of reproduction. It is during this time that hair sprouts up in unusual places, voices drop, girls start menstruating and smiles can become plagued with swollen gums that are more sensitive to dental plaque and at greater risk for dental problems.
Puberty is fueled by hormonal signals to the brain and the release of those compounds is essential to the maturation process. However, while those hormones are imbalanced, growing girls and boys are more prone to oral issues including infections, gingivitis and mouth sores. Fortunately a good dental hygiene regimen complete with daily brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist will act as a form of preventative dentistry and minimize any oral health risks associated with the natural evolution of life.
Time flies! The end of the year will arrive in a flash and, with it, the end of your annual dental insurance benefits.
Speaking of which, are you aware that insurance companies make millions of unearned dollars each year, free income derived from patients who forgo necessary and preventive dental care? It’s a little known insurance industry secret.
Unfortunately, many individuals paying for dental insurance don’t realize their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually. Consequently, some patients fail to schedule the dental treatment they need, deserve, and already have covered.
Since the allocated dollars cannot be rolled over year-to-year, insurance companies pocket the unclaimed revenue. In short: what patients don’t use they lose.
So, before the year ends, we want to ensure you take full advantage of any remaining benefits you or your family might still enjoy. In fact, you might even save money if, by completing your treatment before year’s end, you avoid a new deductible next year.
We want to help you secure all insurance coverage available to you on every dental procedure you schedule. If you have any questions about how much coverage remains within your insurance benefit plan, please call our office we’ll research that for you. In parallel, we can schedule you for the earliest available appointment to ensure you maximize your insurance benefits.
We look forward to seeing you again and sharing some of the many innovative methods we now offer. We aim to remain at the forefront of modern dental healthcare to ensure you always benefit from the latest technologies, professional care and superior service.
Again, please call or email us to make an appointment before the end of the year. We are scheduling November and December appointments right now.
Don’t wait until the last minute! Our end-of-year schedule usually fills up quickly.
Do your teeth hurt when you drink or eat something hot or cold? Most people think this is normal, but that’s not always the case. When your teeth hurt, they’re trying to tell you something: See your dentist.
More often than not, tooth sensitivity is a sign of a dental problem like tooth decay or gum disease. But there are other reasons why your teeth may be hurting:
- You might have a cracked or broken tooth
- One of your fillings could be broken or rotten
- You might be grinding your teeth while you sleep
- You could be brushing your teeth too hard
- There might be dental plaque buildup on your tooth roots
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring sensitive teeth or trying to self-treat. If your sensitivity lasts longer than a couple of days or keeps recurring over a couple of weeks, make an appointment to see your dentist. The longer you wait, the worse it can get and the more expensive treatment will be. A quick exam can reveal exactly what’s going on and get you back to living pain-free.
The main responsibility of preventive care falls on you! In order to reduce your chances of getting a dental disease, you have to take care of yourself. Consider the following points when it comes to your preventive dentistry program:
Oral Hygiene — Brushing and flossing removes dental plaque, a film-like substance that is constantly forming on your teeth. If not removed, dental plaque can build up over time and produce dental tartar, a hardened, sticky substance which harbors the acid-producing bacteria that generate tooth decay. Eventually, dental tartar will creep under the gum line, leading to gum disease as well.
Diet — A good diet is incredibly important to your dental health. Not only do foods that contain sugars and carbohydrates feed the bacteria that produce dental plaque, but studies also show a diet low in calcium can increase your chances of ending up with periodontal disease and jaw deterioration.
Smoking and Drinking — Smoking, chewing tobacco and consuming alcohol can wreak havoc on your mouth! If the dry mouth, tooth discoloration and buildup of dental plaque aren’t enough for you to want to quit smoking, consider this: Smoking causes gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer.
- Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings. Now that their permanent teeth are growing in, it’s the perfect time to get kids used to healthy habits that are good for their teeth — that includes going to the dentist every six months!
- Teach them how to brush and floss. By the time your child reaches the age of 6 he or she should have the coordination skills required to brush teeth. Teach your child proper tooth brushing techniques (short, up-and-down and back-and-forth strokes and brushing around their gum line). Teaching your child how to floss might be trickier, so you may want to buy floss picks to start.
- Ask us about dental sealants. Dental sealants offer added protection against tooth decay.
- Monitor fluoride use. Check to see if your community water supply is fluoridated. If not, ask us about professional fluoride treatments for your child. Keep in mind that too much fluoride can cause fluorosis.
- Ask us for mouthwash recommendations. We know which types of mouthwash are safe for kids. Generally speaking, an alcohol-free mouthwash made especially for children is your safest bet.
- Prepare healthy meals and smart snacks. A nutritious, well-balanced diet is just as important for your child’s teeth as it is for overall health. Instead of cookies, potato chips and ice cream, give your kids smart snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetables, unsalted pretzels, plain yogurt, nuts and low-fat cheese.
- Schedule an orthodontic evaluation. It’s recommend that children receive a complete orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7.