I’ve been told that I am Tongue Tied. What is that?
Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can’t stick her tongue out at her brother!
See blog photos under tongue
Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!
What does it mean to be tongue tied? And is this a condition that requires treatment?
When your dentist or physician says that you are tongue tied it is a descriptive term that means that the ligament that holds the tongue to the floor or bottom of your mouth is attached very close to the lower anterior teeth. The more correct term for this is ankyloglossia.
Possible concerns of being tongue tied:
Difficulty nursing as an infant
Difficulties with speech especially the pronunciation of certain sounds that require the tongue to position in a way that is not possible due to the extra attachment
Difficulty licking something off your lips
It may be more difficult to lick an ice-cream cone
Difficulty sticking your tongue out at your brother when needed!
Being tongue tied is usually not a problem. Sometimes babies that are tongue tied have difficulty nursing because their tongue does not have a lot of freedom of movement. If this is a concern, a small surgery is performed to remove this attachment so the tongue can move more freely. It is also possible to have speech difficulties depending on the location of the attachment. You may have trouble with “S” “F” and “Th” sounds.
The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being ‘tongue-tied’ was comfortably treated with a diode laser.
One way to tell if you are tongue tied is to open your mouth wide and, without closing, try to touch the top of your mouth or your palate with the tip of your tongue. In our office, we often diagnose tongue tied in patients who never knew that their tongue moved any differently than anyone else’s. If there is a concern, we might offer to complete a conservative surgery with a diode laser that will free this attachment and offer improve tongue mobility. The surgery is completed with local anesthetic and the recovery is swift. There is little to no bleeding involved – which is one of the many things we love about the diode laser.
Dr. Julie Gillis and her dental team in Grand Junction, Colorado provide the highest quality dental treatment in a clean, caring and comfortable environment. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.
What is Disclosing Solution or Caries Detecting Dye?
This blog describes the use of disclosing solution which is the same as caries detecting dye and shows photos of caries detecting dye used during tooth preparation.
Cavity between teeth shows up on an x-ray as a dark shadow.
The decay is removed and the tooth looks pretty good. Time to test with disclosing solution!
If your dentist is using disclosing solution or caries detecting dye that means they care about you and they care about your teeth! Caries detecting dye or solution is like disclosing solution. Both are composed of a liquid die that will stain bacteria and bacterial byproducts.
Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is used by dentists and dental hygienists for the following reasons:
To show you where bacteria are sticking to your teeth
To improve your brushing techniques
To evaluate if there is decay on your teeth
To be conservative in tooth preparation by removing all the decay and leaving healthy tooth structure
You can see why these things would be good for you! The photos included here illustrate the treatment of a cavity that occurred in the ‘flossing zone’ between two teeth. The dentist has removed the obvious decay and shaped the tooth so that a tooth-colored restoration can be placed. Dark, stained areas of decay have been removed. The tooth looks ready to restore but it isn’t. Now is the time to paint on the caries detecting dye!
Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity.
Disclosing solution or caries detecting dye is painted over the prepared cavity and then rinsed away. Remaining dye shows remaining decay!
The dye comes in several colors. Red is the most common. The dye is painted onto the cavity preparation and allowed to remain a couple seconds. The excess dye is rinsed away and any stain that remains indicates the presence of bacteria or bacterial byproducts. This is carefully removed by your dentist. Since tooth-colored fillings or restorations bond to your tooth there is no longer a need to cut in undercuts to help hold fillings in. Your dentist will want to be conservative in tooth preparation by removing all the decay and leaving healthy tooth structure.
The tooth is restored to ideal contours knowing that all decay has been carefully removed.
In our office, we may paint on the dye several times. Each time removing just the areas where decay remains and saving as much tooth as possible. This is just one of the many ways we would like our teeth to be treated and so that is the way we treat our patient’s teeth! Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns. We would love to see you!
Would you like to Test Drive an Electric Toothbrush in Our Office? How about the Oral B Pro 5000?
Now you can do just that in our office and here is how:
Purchasing an electric toothbrush to improve your oral hygiene is a good idea. But which one do you buy? How do you know the differences or whether or not you would even like using the electric toothbrush? Our office and Oral B have made this easier for you. You can now use an Oral B Pro 5000 in our office and test it on your own teeth. You can see how this electric toothbrush feels in your mouth and how your teeth feel after using the brush for free in our office.
Our office is always trying to think of ways to make getting and keeping your mouth healthy as comfortable as possible. Although you can clean your teeth very well with a regular manual toothbrush, studies have proven that you will be more effective when you use an electric toothbrush. The Oral B Pro 5000 is a great one to try! My hygienist, Melanie, explains how our patients can text drive the Oral B Pro 5000 in our office. How the electric toothbrush handle is protected and how each patient wanting to test drive the toothbrush gets their own toothbrush.
Call our office in Grand Junction, Colorado at (970) 242-3635 for more information. We would love to have you visit us on Facebook and see all the fun things going on in our office!
Fluoride Treatments – should your child have them? As a treatment assistant for Dr. Julie Gillis, I have the pleasure of seeing many young patients. One of the services we provide for our young patients is a fluoride treatment when they come in for their dental cleaning. Along with x-rays, cleaning and an exam with the doctor, a fluoride treatment is a very important part of your child’s visit. The goal of fluoride is to help prevent cavities and it also serves to decrease tooth sensitivity. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that produce acids that weaken the enamel.
A Fluoride Treatment is applied directly to the tooth surfaces with a paintbrush.
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and helps protect the teeth from damage. In our office we use fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnish is a quick and simple way to help protect teeth. Fluoride varnish is applied directly to clean teeth with a small brush.
Fluoride treatments come in several flavors and consistencies to afford the maximum in tooth protection and comfort for the patient.
One of the benefits of using a fluoride varnish is it leaches fluoride into tooth structure for several weeks after being applied. In between visits, make sure your child is using a fluoride tooth paste. Our office at 1190 Bookcliff Avenue Suite 201 in Grand Junction, Colorado would love to see you and your children. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have at 970-242-3635.
Tooth filling present in both molars. Notice the gray halo around the larger silver filling – that is tooth decay!
Many people have wondered what is under their fillings and usually don’t have the opportunity to see what their dentist is removing. If this is true for you, this blog will show you what we found below two very small silver restorations. We knew that there would be decay below the silver/mercury tooth filling on the first molar (note the dark halo surrounding the filling on the photo) but our patient wanted us to remove the silver/mercury filling that is present on the back tooth as well.
See the photos below to see what we found below these tooth fillings.
Our office would like your teeth to be as healthy as possible and certainly as healthy as you would like them to be! Oftentimes decay can be caught early enough that the treatment is much less expensive and much less invasive. Patients will often ask us to remove their old silver/mercury fillings because they want the look of white teeth. We find decay often (maybe 50% of the time) when we do this which indicates the limit of x-rays in determining decay.
Your dentist and dental hygienist should look and feel carefully around every restoration in your mouth as this is the area where tooth decay often starts! Finding problems early is another advantage of seeing your dentist regularly for examinations and cleanings! Please call our Western Colorado office at (970) 242-3635 if you have questions about tooth decay or any other dental topic.
Yours for better dental health, Julie Gillis DDS
Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles
Dark stained, decayed tooth present below the existing silver/mercury tooth filling. You can also see the dark area of tooth decay below the tooth filling that was on the back molar.
Existing small silver/mercury tooth filling. You can also see an area of stain behind the existing tooth filling.