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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Garlitz Dentistry
March 21, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Hygiene  

Most people are aware that practicing good oral hygiene is an important step in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. But keeping up withoral hygiene good oral hygiene practices, which include brushing and flossing as well as regular visits to the dentist, can be something of a challenge for people of all ages. But wherever you and your family may be on the oral health spectrum, it is never too late to improve your oral hygiene practices and jump start your oral health. Dr. Kyle Garlitz, a dentist in Columbia, SC, recommends starting with a dental exam and professional cleaning and discussing your diet and lifestyle habits to make sure that you are getting the best out of your oral hygiene routine.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment in Columbia, SC

There can be a lot of conflicting and confusing information when it comes to your dental health. How often should you brush your teeth? What type of toothbrush should you use? Is flossing really necessary every day? Do you really need to see a dentist if you don't have any symptoms?

But practicing good oral hygiene doesn't have to be stressful or feel like another list of chores to pack into an already busy and overcrowded schedule. In fact, lowering your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease is easier than many people know. The key is to focus on prevention.

If you are already brushing after meals and flossing once a day, you are ahead of the game. But there are a few additional steps in a comprehensive oral hygiene routine, including:

  • See a dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning every six months
  • Eat a healthy diet and watch your sugar intake
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Change your toothbrush on a regular basis

Find a Dentist in Columbia, SC

For more information about the best oral hygiene practices and for recommendations based on your personal oral health care needs, contact Garlitz Cosmetic and Family Dentistry by calling (803) 736-8606 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Garlitz today.

By Garlitz Dentistry
June 26, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: toothache   tooth pain   dental pain  

Dental pain can be one of the most uncomfortable sensations that you can experience. It can disrupt your entire life, making eating, tooth paindrinking, talking and sleeping very difficult. If you have a tooth that's been giving you fits, Dr. Kyle Garlitz, your dentist in Columbia, SC, has a solution for you. Read on to learn how tooth pain is treated at Garlitz Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Why are my teeth painful?

Like hair and fingernails, the enamel covering the outside of the teeth is inert, meaning that it does not have nerve endings. However, inside each tooth are complex networks of tissues and nerves, which connect the teeth to the circulatory system and keep them healthy and viable. When decay or trauma on the outside of the tooth progresses to these inner structures, the body responds by sending signals to the brain in the form of sensitivity and pain.

What is the cause of tooth pain?

Your Columbia dentist often sees patients complaining of tooth pain. For many, it's advanced decay that has started to affect the inside of a tooth. A sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli can indicate a breakdown in the enamel. A cracked tooth can also produce pain when biting down, as the slight movement of the tooth causes it to push against a nerve. An examination and x-rays can help determine why your tooth is causing you pain.

How is tooth pain treated?

After Dr. Garlitz has determined the source of your tooth pain, he'll devise a plan for fixing it. In many cases, a simple cavity filling may not adequately treat the problem. In these cases, root canals, also called endodontic therapy, can help by removing the damaged inner tissues while keeping the tooth's outer structure intact. Irreparably damaged teeth may need to be extracted, or removed, and a restoration put in their place.

If you have a painful tooth, don't wait; contact Garlitz Dentistry in Columbia, SC, today to schedule an evaluation.

By Garlitz Dentistry
February 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: fillings  

Dental fillings aren’t designed to last forever. Discover the telltale signs that it might be time to get them replaced.fillings

When your Columbia, SC, dentist, Dr. Kyle Garlitz, tells you that you have a cavity it can feel rather disheartening, but don’t lose hope. Cavities happen to many people at some point during their lifetime. Luckily, getting a dental filling is simple and painless, and it’s a great way to restore a tooth. Of course, while the materials we use are quite durable and designed to last a long while, they certainly aren’t meant to last forever. So, how do you know when a dental filling needs to be replaced?

Dental Pain

While it’s not unusual to notice a little sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures right after a filling is placed, this sensation shouldn’t last more than a few weeks. In fact, you should become comfortable with and acclimated to your dental filling rather quickly.

However, if you notice pain or sensitivity that doesn’t go away after a few weeks, this could be warning you that there is an issue with your filling. Any time you experience pain, it’s your mouth’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you notice pain when biting down or pain that affects your bite, then you will need to see our Columbia general dentist right away to have the filling reshaped.

If pain or sensitivity lingers after being exposed to hot or cold temperatures, this could also be a sign of something more serious like nerve damage. In this case, the dental filling may not be all that’s needed to treat the tooth. If you experience any of these symptoms, visit us right away.

Signs of Wear

A deteriorating restoration is one of the most common reasons why we will need to replace your dental filling. While fillings will naturally wear away over time, there are certain bad habits like teeth grinding, clenching or ice chewing that can damage or quickly wear away at even the most durable filling. By coming in every six months for routine cleanings, you can easily ensure that your filling is still in tact. If a filling is broken, it can cause decay to get trapped under the filling, which can lead to further problems. By coming in regularly for cleanings and exams, we can quickly detect a broken filling and replace it right away.

If you need to schedule your six-month visit, don’t hesitate to call Garlitz Dentistry in Columbia, SC, today. We would be happy to get you on the books. Protect your beautiful investment by visiting us at least twice a year for routine care. You won’t be sorry!

By Garlitz Dentistry
January 18, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth loss  

Tooth loss is an unfortunate situation which, in the past, meant a permanent gap in your smile. However, thanks to modern dentistry, you tooth losshave several options to replace your missing teeth to fill in your gaps and get your smile back. Learn more about your tooth replacement options with Dr. Kyle Garlitz at Garlitz Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Columbia, SC.

What can I do about my missing tooth?

  • Dental Bridge: A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth by using the natural teeth surrounding the gap as an anchor. The bridge, which has a dental crown on either end, fits onto the natural teeth which then hold them securely and permanently in place. Between the two crowns lies a prosthetic tooth which sits on top of the gumline to fill in the gap.
  • Dentures: For those who have many gaps or no remaining natural teeth at all, dentures can renew their smile to restore its functionality and look. Full dentures, which contain a full arch of teeth, replacing all of the teeth on the bottom or top arch. Partial dentures, which resemble a full denture with one or more holes in it, allow any remaining healthy teeth to fit through, further supporting the denture and holding it in place.
  • Dental Implants: Dental implants are a permanent and natural looking way to replace your teeth. Your dentist will assess your dental situation to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. If so, a metal post implanted surgically into the jaw’s bone holds the prosthetic tooth in place. Unlike dental bridges or dentures, implants stand alone and do not require any of your natural teeth to hold them in place.

Tooth Replacement in Columbia, SC
If you feel as though you should begin replacing your missing teeth, your dentist can help you determine which replacement option best suits your teeth and mouth. For example, a dental bridge requires two healthy natural teeth surrounding the gap. Dental implants require enough healthy bone underneath the missing tooth to hold it securely in place. For more information on tooth loss or replacing your missing teeth, please contact Dr. Garlitz at Garlitz Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Columbia, SC. Call (803) 736-8606 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Garlitz today!

By Garlitz Dentistry
October 31, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: nutrition  

Learn about the dangers of soda from you Columbia dentist.

Your soda habit could be damaging your smile. Dr. Kyle Garlitz, your Columbia, SC dentist at Garlitz Dentistry, explains how soda affectssoda your teeth.

Drinking sugary sodas increases your cavity risk

Sugar, whether it's natural sugar or high fructose corn syrup, helps make your favorite soda taste good. Unfortunately, sugar is bad news for your teeth. It interacts with the bacteria in your mouth to create acids that attack your tooth enamel. If the acids create breaks in your enamel, tooth decay can occur.

Sugar isn't the only problem

Acids aren't just created by the combination of sugar and bacteria. They're also added to sodas to add flavor. Every time, you drink soda, your teeth are exposed to these acids. Both regular and diet sodas contain a variety of acids, including citric, phosphoric and carbonic acids.

All-day sipping increases your risk of cavities

If you constantly take sips from a soda during the day, your cavity risk increases. The longer your mouth is exposed to acids and sugars, the higher the tooth decay risk. If you can't give up soda, consider drinking the beverage only with meals to decrease your exposure to sugars and acids.

Change your habits

Reducing your soda intake, or even giving up soda, are good ways to prevent cavities. Even if you don't stop drinking soda, alternating soda with water or replacing your favorite with root beer, which contains less acid than other sodas, can help.

Some people decrease their exposure to sugars and acids by using straws when they drink soda or other sugary drinks. When you use a straw, much of the beverage bypasses your teeth and is deposited farther back in your mouth. Straws can also reduce staining caused by soda.

Wait to brush your teeth

Brushing your teeth as soon as you drink a soda may seem to be a good way to prevent tooth decay but it can actually boost your cavity risk. Brushing immediately after you finish your soda spreads the acids throughout your mouth rather than removes them. It's a good idea to delay brushing until about an hour after you've finished your soda.

Regular dental visits are particularly important if you're a soda drinker. Call Dr. Garlitz, your Columbia, SC dentist at Garlitz Dentistry, at (803) 736-8606 to schedule an appointment.