Did You Know?

Why Your Teeth are Sensitive to Hot or Cold Food

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Sometimes, while eating either hot or cold food, a pinching pain from a tooth shoots up and might catch you by surprise. This pain occurs because of tooth sensitivity, a rather very common yet curable condition. Cells within the tubes in dentin are stimulated by the hot or cold temperature of the food or drink, sometimes even by air, and causes that sudden, intense pain.
Experiencing tooth sensitivity is not a spur of the moment episode, does not develop overnight and there are several underlying reasons. Sensitivity follows a pattern, starting with acquiring sensitivity to cold foods due to bad oral practices. If this is ignored, it is likely to escalate to sensitivity to hot foods. When this happens, it may indicate the presence of a serious dental condition.

What may cause teeth sensitivity to cold and hot food?

A cavity or a decayed tooth may be a major reason behind the tooth sensitivity to hot foods. A cavity exposes the inside of the tooth to entry of food debris, saliva and bacteria that interact and lead to the beginnings of decay. When there is tooth decay and if left untreated, further severe oral issues may follow. Another cause of tooth sensitivity is enamel breakdown. The enamel becomes thin at the gum line; as it weakens it breaks down exposing the inner dentin which is sensitive to temperature changes. The pain can travel to the roots and can be excruciating.

Infections can also induce sensitivity.

Accumulation of plaque leading to hardened tartar can irritate the gums causing them to swell and inflame. This can end up with gingivitis. At this point, teeth can become sensitive to coldness and hotness. Likewise, improper brushing can also irritate the gums. Harsh and robust brushing with hard-bristle toothbrush can weaken the enamel and expose dentin. Finally, bad eating habits, like consuming too many acid-based processed foods, can also cause sensitivity.

So how does one prevent tooth sensitivity?

One must maintain proper oral hygiene with the correct brushing technique and frequency, right toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Drink plenty of water to wash away traces of acidic or sugary food and drink. Regular visits to the dentist are important to oral well-being; routine check-ups can keep one abreast of the condition of teeth, gums, and mouth.

Sensitive No More in Lynnwood

Suffering from tooth sensitivity? Whether that’s hot or cold sensitivity, it is commendable to see your dentist right away. Our team at Song Dental in Lynnwood address this issue immediately to prevent further progress of this otherwise common and treatable condition.


Numbness: How Long does the Feeling Last?

Understanding How Numbing Work

Most people who’ve had dental procedures done that may involve pain or discomfort have used local anesthesia. Hence, Novocaine, a brand name for an injectable local anesthetic has been quite popular even for those who haven’t used it. However, its heyday was some 30 years ago and has since been replaced by Lidocaine. The classic drug Novocaine was observed to have some side effects, notably allergic reactions ranging from mild to serious. By the 1980s, nearly all dentists had stopped using Novocaine in the United States, and lidocaine became the most frequently used local anesthetic. The newer drug lasts longer, works better and less likely to cause allergic reactions.

How do these local anesthetics work?

They are numbing agents because they are primarily vasoconstrictors, narrowing your blood vessels so less blood flows to the site, creating a numbness. They also include chemicals to prevent the constriction from breaking down, making the numbness last longer. They also contain sodium hydroxide, which helps the numbing drug work, and sodium chloride, which helps the drug get into your blood.

How long does the numbing work?

That really depends on several factors. However, Lidocaine is reported to begin numbing a particular area in 90 seconds or so, and numbness can last for about 60 to 90 minutes or longer. Then again, that depends on any of the following conditions.

The dose. The higher the dose, the longer the numbing effect will last. The amount will in turn depend on the type of procedure to be done, the number of nerves involved, and size of the area to be treated. A root canal would require a higher dose than a simple filling procedure.

The individual. Numbing effects vary from person-to-person. Medical conditions can affect the breakdown of the drug, making it shorter-acting, or can prolong its effects because a medical condition could not metabolize Lidocaine. Some individuals have conditions that make them less sensitive to local anesthetics and so these people may require higher doses.
Presence of infection. The tooth to be worked on may be infected Anesthetics are less effective when used on an infected area. The infection causes the tissue to become more acidic, reducing the effectiveness of the drug during dental procedures. More Lidocaine is needed in these cases.

Educating You About Anesthetics in Lynnwood

Need to know more about the actions of local anesthesia, how it feels and what to expect next? If you think you need a dental procedure done, consult with your Lynnwood dentist right away.


What Is Wrong With Pale-Looking Gums?

Most Causes of Pale Gums

As far as appearances go, the color of a person’s gums is just as important as the teeth’s. It indicates the person’s hygiene or state of health. Healthy gums are generally pinkish, and consistently so, though some people can have gums paler or darker than others. So, if you should notice a change in the color of your gums, it is best to consult your physician or dentist. Gums that are pale-looking can be caused by several conditions, such as the following.


It’s a very common condition whereby the body does not get sufficient oxygen-rich blood. It often results when other diseases interfere with the body’s ability to produce healthy red blood cells or abnormally increase red blood cell breakdown or loss. Anemics are generally pale, easily fatigued, have pale or yellowish skin and eyes, and suffer from headaches or chest pains. Their gums can also look pale.

There might be medical conditions resulting to anemia, like very heavy menstruation, pregnancy, liver, spleen, or kidney conditions, hypothyroidism, or bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Treatment is generally a 6-month prescription of iron supplements and iron-rich foods. Menopause is a natural condition known to decrease blood flow, which can cause the gums to become pale and dry.

Oral leukoplakia can cause thin, white patches to develop on the gums and other parts of the mouth. While cause is unknown, they are usually found in individuals with poor oral hygiene, are smokers or alcoholics. Leukoplakia are generally harmless or can be precancerous. The doctor may choose to monitor leukoplakia patches or surgically remove them.

Oral lichen planus is a web-like, slightly raised white threads throughout the gums’ mucus membranes. Sometimes it can be erosive in character becoming ulcers or open sores, treatable with topical corticosteroids or systemic steroids. A biopsy may have to be taken to rule out other medical issues. Though there’s no cure, treatment involves limiting the flare-ups and the severity of symptoms. A balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising, and quitting smoking can help to manage the condition.

Seek medical advice or go to your dentist if symptoms of infection accompany pale gums. Symptoms as bleeding, swelling, painful and receding gums, gum abscess, loose teeth, foul breath, difficulty swallowing, pain in jaw or the face, and fever. If paler than usual, see a doctor or dentist to rule out anemia and other underlying conditions. Certainly, the best recourse to keep gums healthy is consistent oral hygiene.

Looking Out For Gum Health in Lynnwood

If you are bothered by pale-looking gums, come to us for a consult. Lynnwood dentistry looks after gum health as well. We can advice how to always keep your gums in the pink of health.


Oral Health and Diabetes Link

New Study: Declining Dental Visits of Diabetics

A very large study involving 2.5 million people is saying that diabetic adults are less likely to go to the dentist than people with prediabetes or who don’t have diabetes. This is quite alarming considering that, for people living with diabetes, regular dental check-ups – paired with proactive dental and diabetes self-care – are important for maintaining good oral health.
Researchers at New York University’s College of Nursing and East Carolina University’s School of Medicine found that people with diabetes were the least likely to obtain oral healthcare.

An annual phone survey examined the 2004-2014 data collected of U.S. adults 21 and older, thus, 248,203 people with diabetes, 30,520 with prediabetes, and more than 2.2 million people without diabetes. The percentage of annual dental visits declined from 66.1 to 61.4% among diabetics, from 66 to 64.9% among pre-diabetics, and from 71.9 to 66.5% among people without diabetes. Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to visit the dentist than were white people during the entire decade. Single people and men were also less likely to visit the dentist than women and married people.

The findings are cause for concern. Those who need dental care are the ones to be the least likely to have it. Regular dental visits are highly recommended to potentially help with blood glucose control and preventing complications from diabetes. Are diabetics not aware of links between diabetes and oral health care? The study didn’t break down those with dental insurance, but affordability played a role in the number of dental visits for many.

The researchers say that providers and professionals should promote oral health among diabetics and encourage them to have dental visits at least annually. Increasing access to dental services is vital to achieving this goal.

These findings have been published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Understanding the Link in Lynnwood

Regular dental visits are opportunities for prevention, early detection, and treatment of periodontal disease. Lynnwood dentistry disseminates ample information on the association of oral health and diabetes. We have our fair share of this special population and we see to it that proper co-management is working for the benefit of our patients, here in Lynnwood.


Tips to Not Get Cavities?

Natural Home Remedies That Strengthen Teeth

While cavities and tooth decay are conditions treated by dentists and that cavities are best countered by dentist-recommended fluoride use, there are some people who prefer to use natural home remedies, rather than products containing fluoride. Here are some helpful tips to get along without fluoride.

Oil pulling is an ancient practice of teeth-cleaning that, though not scientifically proven, can contribute to oral health. This Ayurveda system is simply swishing a tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil around in the mouth for a prescribed period, then spitting it out. Oil tends to pull plaque and bacteria with it, thereby, cleaning and even freshening the mouth. Studies are needed to prove that it re-mineralizes enamel as well.

Vitamin D supplements may help reduce the incidence of dental cavities significantly, that’s according to a 2013 study. The vitamin has a known mineralizing effect, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel.

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can reduce levels of bacteria that damage enamel, according to a 2015 study results. Having less of this bacteria makes the enamel better able to withstand decay.

To better prevent enamel damage, certain foods containing phytic acid must be avoided. A 2004 study suggested that phytic acid may also break down minerals in enamel and lead to tooth weakening. Examples of these foods are maize, wheat, rice, rye, kidney bean, pinto beans, black-eye beans, and broad beans. However, more collaborative trials are needed. And lastly, another natural and cavity-prevention technique is to avoid overly sugary foods and drinks. It is one of the best remedies, yet cannot be adopted alone.

Dental Expert Advice in Lynnwood

Dental experts in Lynnwood say that these home remedies work best together with dentist-recommended techniques, such as brushing, preferably with fluoride toothpaste.


Gum Pain: When To See The Dentist

Common Causes of Painful Gums

Wonder why some people, in spite of good oral hygiene practices, are still prone to suffering from gum pain. Healthy gums have a light pink hue and do not bleed easily. However, hard brushing, sometimes with a bad toothbrush, can cause bleeding or pain after prolonged usage or if you suddenly changed your toothbrush. Do you brush your teeth and still have gum pain? It does not mean that your dental condition is extremely poor. In fact, gum pain is fairly common and sometimes can be due to reasons other than hygiene.

If you have been suffering from pain in the gums for a long time now or if it is severe, you shouldn’t ignore it. Make sure if it’s not related to any habit or anything else that might be causing the pain. Gum pain may be due to a variety of conditions, from easily treatable to dangerous if long neglected.

One such cause of gum pain is yeast infection, compared to other fungal infections is easily treatable. Thrush is a sign of a yeast infection, a painful and pale white coating on the tongue and teeth. Brushing harder is not going to cure it, but rather the problem can be treated by consuming yogurt with live cultures and maintaining oral hygiene.

Another manifestation of gum pain is when thrush is accompanied by painful, white mouth ulcers with red borders, called canker sores.They start out mild and painless until the red borders appear. Small ones appear after consuming spicy, salty or acidic foods, clearing up in 1-4 weeks time. Larger sores can be extremely painful. Consult with your dentist right away, and in the meantime, avoid spicy and acidic foods.

In gingivitis, gums bleed easily without reason. Because this condition only causes bleeding and no pain, many tend to ignore it until it reaches a severe stage. Gingivitis is a highly prevalent condition in the US. According to ADA, more than three-quarters of people over the age of 35 suffer from gum diseases. Periodontitis is the severe form of gingivitis, about 5-15% of adults are affected, usually a result of neglected gingivitis. Gums can be exceptionally painful and teeth sensitive.

Hormonal changes can cause sensitive gums, particularly in women during puberty, pregnancy, menses, and menopause. These situations can lead to excess blood flow into the gums, leaving them swollen, red, and painful. Chemotherapy can produce side effects including pain in the gums, bleeding and swelling. Patients undergoing this treatment develop stomatitis which causes painful sores and ulcers in the mouth.

Gum Pain or Discomfort? Talk to our dentist in Lynnwood

Suffering from painful gums and not sure what is causing it? Come for a consult with your Lynnwood dentist. The sooner we catch the cause in its early stage, the better and healthier will your gums be.


What Conditions Dentists See Most Often

New Cases of Old Problems

Teeth problems happen to the best of us. While we brush and floss regularly, dental troubles can still pop up. Dentists encounter many different types of oral issues at the office, yet some are more frequent than others.

Most Common Conditions

Here we will list the most common conditions that dentist regularly see.

Dental Caries. You may be more familiar with the other name for tooth decay: cavities. Symptoms of dental caries are not often noticed by patients. Slightly discolored spots on enamel, invisible pits on the tops and sides of teeth, a small crack somewhere, are beginnings of dental caries. They present no pain or sensitivity yet but if unattended, only then will you note the presence of cavities and symptoms might be felt.

Gum Disease. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is the only stage that gum disease is reversible. At first the gums may be reddish, can swell and are tender to the touch. It is an inflammation, as bacteria has settled in the gum tissue, that for a long time can be painless. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum disease called periodontitis. This condition is the leading cause of bone damage and tooth loss today.

Misaligned Teeth. Teeth can be crooked, overlapped, twisted or impacted in the dental arch. It can present as an overbite or underbite. Several causes, as undersized jaw that can lead to overcrowding, early loss of baby teeth or adult teeth causing shifting, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting in young children, improper fit of restorations, or undue pressure on the teeth and gums by constant grinding can contribute to misalignment. Gaps between teeth, gingivitis, periodontitis are also causes. Improperly positioned teeth have hygiene issues, prone to caries, with attendant speech and eating difficulties, and affects self-esteem.

Tooth Sensitivity. This means experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot or cold drinks or ice cream. Some people with sensitive teeth even experience discomfort from brushing and flossing. This can occur when the dentin or middle layer of a tooth is exposed as dentin have open tubules that connect to the pulp root where nerves are present.
Bad Breath. Halitosis is a common symptom some people have and yet are not aware of, often overlooked. It can be caused by simply poor hygiene, bacteria trapped on the tongue, the types of food or drink you have been accustomed to consume. Other common causes are gum disease, cavities, and dry mouth. Bad breath can be an indicator of other health conditions like digestive issues or acid reflux, or oral cancer.

Solving Everyday Issues in Lynnwood

Come to Dr. Song’s Dental Center for any of the most common oral problems. We see them everyday and treat them everyday. Remember that taking action with early signs works better for both dentist and you.


Oral Health Conditions Common By Age 55

Common Oral Issues of Seniors

Oral health is vital to the general health and well-being of all Americans across all ages. Mouth issues can impact general health as general health can also influence the state of oral health. As a person ages then, issues may appear in the mouth that can impact quality of life. Those who are 55 years of age and above may see some common conditions of poor dental health. Dental and periodontal diseases among older adults can profoundly diminish quality of life and have an adverse impact on general health.

The CDC’s Division of Oral Health found that about 25% of adults over the age of 65 no longer have their natural teeth. Loss of dentition can result from untreated or neglected cavities and tooth decay which in turn can lead to a myriad of other oral issues, such as tooth sensitivity, gingivitis, periodontal disease, bone loss, and even ill-fitting dentures.

Periodontal disease plays a huge part in tooth loss. One reason it is so widespread among adults is that it’s often a painless condition until the advanced stage. Untreated, gums can begin to pull away from the teeth and form deep pockets where food particles and more plaque may collect. Advanced gum disease can eventually destroy the gums, bone and ligaments. Another oral health issue associated with older adults is dry mouth, which is an offshoot of many medications. And then there is mouth cancer.

As a result, older adults may experience difficulty maintaining a healthy diet that may lead to malnutrition. It can also affect speech, which in turn limits social interaction and intimacy, detracts from physical appearance, and lowers self-esteem. While dental disease is largely preventable, many older adults experience poor oral health. Dental care can be difficult for seniors to access to be able to avail of interventions effective in preventing and controlling oral disease. This is largely due to loss of dental insurance after retirement or economical disadvantages.

While the dilemma of oral health economics is the burden of public health infrastructure, the oral conditions described could be managed or prevented by making regular dental check-ups. From professionals, adults can learn how to properly focus on oral health and hygiene, avail of treatment interventions that can save teeth from loss and prevent gum destruction before it is too late.

Oral Health for Older Adults in Lynnwood

At Song Dental Center, look after the welfare of our patients at any and all ages. We are especially concerned about our older adults with their particular oral issues and needs. However, do not wait till you are 55, but rather, be under our professional care and management as early as possible.


Root Canal: Misconceptions and Truths

Facing Root Canal Squarely

So your dentist is recommending a root canal for you. You start feeling uncomfortable because you’ve heard a lot of bad news regarding the procedure. Actually, you have no idea at all. But you worry about what you know – the pain, the inconvenience, the upcoming illness, the cost. Because of these, you either will think seriously about tooth extraction or adopt the let’s-wait-and-see stance.

The common misconceptions about root canal are causing many patients to stay clear of a widely accepted and trust-worthy restorative procedure that has helped millions of patients already. 15 percent of people in the U.S. avoid seeking critical dental procedures like root canals due to common myths about the therapy.

Root canal or endodontic therapy is considered the most feared of all dental procedures, yet it’s a much better option than extracting a tooth. Root canal therapy is the most common of endodontic procedures as it is very safe and effective. Every day, root canal procedures are performed in the U.S., relieving patients from tooth pain and decreasing their risk of dental complications from tooth infections and abscesses.

Root canal used to be a painful procedure, but not anymore. With modern technology and anesthetic techniques, root canals are pain-free, quicker procedures. Another myth is that the procedure causes illness. This false claim was based on long-debunked and poorly designed research nearly a century ago, long before modern medicine understood the causes of many diseases.

There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal to disease elsewhere in the body. One more myth is that tooth extraction is better. Replacing an extracted tooth with a bridge or implant requires more time in treatment and may result in further procedures to neighboring teeth and supporting tissue.

Root Canal in Lynnwood: In Expert Hands

Lynnwood dentistry offers laser assisted root canal utilizing laser technology to disinfect and sterilize the root canals for optimal treatment. Reap the benefits of the best in pain suppression and root canal procedures and the most caring of professional staff in Lynnwood.


The Perils of Dental Abscess: By Lynnwood Dentistry

Abscess: From Root to Tooth to Everywhere Else

Dental abscesses can occur at different regions of the tooth for different reasons. A pocket of pus caused by bacterial infection, abscesses can occur at the tips of roots, called periapical abscess, or in the gums next to a root called periodontal abscess. A periapical tooth abscess usually results from an untreated cavity, an injury or prior dental work. Bacteria enters the cavity or a crack and infects the pulp all the way to the tip of the root.

Dentists will treat a tooth abscess by draining it and getting rid of the infection. They tooth can be saved via a root canal treatment or extraction. Antibiotics may not be needed if infection is limited to the abscessed area. Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.

What are the symptoms of tooth abscess?

Most abscesses manifest as severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear. The tooth is sensitive to hot or cold temperatures or the pressure of chewing or biting. There may be fever, tender, swollen lymph nodes under the jaw or in the neck, swelling in that part of the face. There can also be a rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in the mouth and pain relief if the abscess ruptures.

If oral hygiene is poor, it can increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth abscess, and other dental and mouth complications. A diet high in sugar can contribute to dental cavities and turn into a tooth abscess.

A tooth abscess requires treatment. The pain may decrease significantly if the abscess ruptures, but dental treatment is necessary. If the abscess doesn’t drain, the infection may spread to the jaw and to other areas of the head and neck. You might even develop sepsis, a life-threatening infection that spreads throughout your body via the bloodstream. A weakened immune system with an untreated dental abscess increases the risk of spreading the infection even more.

A prompt visit to the dentist is in order if you have any signs or symptoms of a tooth abscess. In the absence of a dentist, a trip to the emergency room of a hospital especially if you present with fever and swelling in your face, there is difficulty breathing or swallowing. This indicates that the infection has invaded the deeper tissues or has spread to other areas of your system.

Prompt Attention to Abscesses in Lynnwood

Relieve tooth abscess pain and avoid complications by seeing us at Lynnwood Song Dental. Rest assured of a prompt and caring treatment for all dental abscesses.