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How to Prevent Trauma to Your Teeth

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen, and mouth trauma occurs. Common trauma can include a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth, or a tooth that becomes dislodged or knocked out. Serious injuries may mean emergency dental care or an unplanned dental visit. Trauma can often involve more than your teeth and affect your lips, tongue, or cheeks. Sometimes preventive care can help prevent trauma to your teeth.

Tips for Preventing Tooth Injuries

Wear a Mouthguard

A mouthguard serves many purposes. When playing rigorous sports, kids and adults should wear mouthguards. They can help prevent tooth injuries. A night guard is worn at night to help to prevent tooth injuries for those who grind their teeth during sleep.

Wear Protective Sports Equipment

Some sports have more potential for causing facial or tooth trauma. Football, hockey, rugby, and baseball are rigorous enough that your teeth and face are in danger. You can protect your facial area by wearing a face cage and helmet. Sometimes face guards can be worn in conjunction with a helmet. Without the faceguard, a helmet also protects the head. Even though it might not protect mouth and tooth injuries, it can reduce concussions and other serious injuries.

Likewise, if you are skating or biking, wearing a helmet can be great preventive care. Depending on their design, they can help prevent facial injuries. But they can also save your life or prevent a serious head injury.

Avoid Some Foods

Chewing on hard objects like pencils or eating hard foods like ice or candy can cause damage to your teeth. There are a lot of tooth injuries that occur when someone eats hard foods like nuts. Chewing on hard objects can injure a tooth. Stopping these habits can help prevent tooth injuries.

Wear Seat Belts and Use Car Seats

Wearing a seatbelt could save your life or the life of your loved one should you be in an automobile accident. They can also help prevent injuries to the jaw, face, and nose. Even minor accidents can lead to serious injuries. Small children can be spared serious injuries by being restrained in an approved car seat that is properly fastened into the vehicle.

Wear a Hard Hat on the Job

If you work behind a desk, this may not apply to you. However, if you work in an industrial area or construction area a hard hat can protect you from potential accidents. They are required in some work zones.

Supervise Young Children

Young children are very susceptible to injuring their teeth. Supervising them when they engage in risky activities can help prevent many injuries. When babies begin walking, make sure they don’t have objects in their hands that could cause damage to their teeth or mouth if they were to fall. A toy or even a sippy cup can cause injury to a tooth. Many small children slip in the bathtub and injure a tooth or their mouth. Installing safety gates can keep them out of areas too dangerous for them to play in. Padding on sharp corners on furniture can help protect small children from mouth trauma. Taking preventive measures can help prevent tooth injury for small children.

Let us help YOU!

Wearing mouth guards and other types of protective gear, supervising small children, and wearing seatbelts can go a long way when it comes to preventing mouth trauma and injuries. If you do need emergency dental care, or injure your mouth or a tooth, please call our offices. Let us help you take care of your family’s mouth and teeth.

Trauma to the teeth and mouth can turn very serious. Here are a few tips from Stephen Petinge, DMD to help you prevent mouth trauma.

Five Reasons to Never Miss an Appointment with Your Saugus Dentist

Who doesn’t have a busy schedule these days? It is easy to think you can skip that next dental appointment with your Saugus dental professionals and save some time. It is even easier to consider skipping appointments when you deal with any level of dental anxiety. You may think you are saving lots of time by missing a routine appointment with your Saugus dentist. The truth is, it can cost you a lot more in the long run. A lot!

Generally, you need to see your Saugus dental professional two to three times per year for regular checkups and cleanings. This can help prevent numerous other problems you may not think about until they appear. Let’s take a look at the top five reasons you need to keep your routine dental appointments.

Win the Battle Against Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities

Even when you diligently brush and floss your teeth, areas of the mouth can be missed. Those little areas provide the perfect place for plaque to build up. Once it has solidified, it turns to tartar and it’s difficult to remove without help from a professional. Regular dental cleanings by your Saugus dentist help prevent tartar from eroding the teeth and causing cavities. Cavities don’t usually appear without any warning signs. Regular cleanings can get rid of plaque and tartar before they become destructive. A dental cleaning is less expensive than a filling. So, you don’t want to miss your appointment!

Keep Bad Habits in Check

When you have poor oral habits, your oral health is negatively impacted. Sometimes, you may not even realize your bad habits are causing you issues, or potential problems. Clenching your jaw, chewing ice, grinding your teeth, and biting your nails are just a few examples. If you eat hard, sticky sweets, drink too much wine or caffeinated drinks, or brush your teeth incorrectly, you may be harming your teeth and risking your oral health. During regular checkups with your Saugus dentist, your mouth is examined for any damage caused by unhealthy habits. You may not realize they are causing your damage. Routine visits help keep your oral health in the best shape possible.

Prevent Gum Disease

Gingivitis is often the first sign of gum disease. Poor oral hygiene can lead to bleeding and swelling gums. If the dentist catches gingivitis early enough it is treatable and curable. However, if it is allowed to progress, it becomes periodontitis and can result in the loss of teeth or bone. This can be painful and uncomfortable. In advanced stages, gum disease requires intensive treatment and oftentimes surgery to correct. Keeping your routine six-month checkups with your Saugus dentist can help detect gum disease in its early stages while it is easily treatable.

Oral Cancer Screening

At routine exams, dentists perform screenings to determine if you are showing any signs of oral cancer. If they notice symptoms, you may be referred to a specialist. When it is caught early enough, the progression of the disease is easier to stop. The sooner you get treatment, the easier it is to treat.

Avoid other Health Problems

There is a strong link between your oral hygiene habits and your overall well-being. Your teeth influence most other systems in your body including the digestive, respiratory, reproductive, and circulatory systems. Many serious diseases begin in the mouth. Poor oral hygiene habits can allow a buildup of bacteria that can make its way into other parts of the body via the bloodstream. Making sure your teeth are well cared for can help reduce the risk of infection and inflammation. By reducing the risk of inflammation and infection, you decrease your risk for developing conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Schedule Your Visit with Your Saugus Dentist

A trip to the dentist every six months can save you money, time, and your teeth. Checkups with Dr. Petinge ensure your teeth, gums, and mouth are in good shape and that you are not at risk for serious oral health problems. Contact us today to schedule your next exam.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Most adults will have a canker sore eventually. These small, painful mouth ulcers show up inside the cheek or lip, on the gum line, or under the tongue. They may appear alone or show up in groups. For many, canker sores are recurrent. Even though they are painful, they usually go away on their own in a week or two.

Are canker sores the same as cold sores?

A cold sore and a canker sore are not the same things. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. They are contagious. However, a canker sore is not contagious. Cold sores also appear on the lips or outside of the mouth. On the other hand, canker sores occur on the soft tissues inside the mouth and are not caused by a virus.

What causes a canker sore?

It is difficult to tell exactly what causes canker sores, but hereditary factors, stress, and injury are the most likely causes. In most cases, there is no way to determine the cause. However, for those who have them frequently, it can often be attributed to one of these causes.

Vitamin Deficiency

Canker sores seem to be more likely when there is a deficiency of vitamin B-12. This deficiency can be caused by not consuming enough fruits and vegetables. This is more likely in kids who have an aversion to them. Some studies have also indicated that canker sores can be triggered or caused by the lack of folic acid, iron, or zinc.

Stress or Injury

If the tissue in the mouth is injured, it can lead to a canker sore. It might be something as simple as hard brushing that causes tissue damage leading to the sores. Dentures or braces can rub soft tissue leading to the development of a sore. They are also often caused by accidentally biting the inside of the cheek or lip.

Acidic Foods

Citrus fruits, high in nutritional value, also have a lot of acid. Highly acidic fruits can cause or worsen a canker sore. In general, fruits like lemons, pineapples, or oranges may not directly be the cause. But if an area of tissue is already stressed, the area may react adversely to the acid and cause a sore to appear. When a canker sore is present, it’s best to avoid acidic foods like apples, figs, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Weakened Immune System

Having a weak immune system can make you more prone to sickness, infections, and canker sores. It is difficult to correlate the effect of a weak immune system with the development of canker sores. However, it is likely that when the immune system is not working up to par it will not be able to prevent or repair them quickly. It is also highly likely that gastrointestinal problems and other diseases may contribute to their development.

Can I prevent canker sores?

Dr. Stephen Petinge, DMD, offers a few tips for preventing canker sores. While it may not be possible to avoid them altogether, these tips may be helpful for reducing their frequency.

  •   Avoid chewing gum as it can irritate the mouth’s tissue.
  •   Avoid foods that may irritate the inside of the mouth, including spicy foods, citrus fruits, and acidic vegetables.
  •   Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  •   Brush after each meal and floss daily.

Talk to Your Saugus, MA Dentist About Preventing Canker Sores

Most of the time, canker sores go away in a week or so without any treatment. However, in some cases, you will want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Petinge. If the sores are unusually large, recurrent, or don’t heal on their own within two weeks, it’s a good idea to schedule a dental exam. If you are concerned about your dental health or canker sores, contact us today to make an appointment.


How Can Dental Lumineers Benefit You?

Dental Lumineers are used to address a number of problems so that you can have a beautiful white smile. Maybe you’ve looked at others and wondered how they got their teeth so pretty, white, and straight. You might be surprised to find out how many of them rely on Lumineers to get their great smile.

What are Dental Lumineers?

Lumineers are thin shells that fit over teeth. They are a type of dental veneer. There are various materials used to make Lumineers. Some are made from composite resin; others are made of porcelain. If your teeth are slightly misshapen or discolored, dental Lumineers can make a huge difference in your smile.

Benefits of Dental Lumineers

One of the best benefits of dental Lumineers is that they are reversible. There are no needles or drills involved and the process is a relatively simple one. Dr. Petinge will take impressions of your teeth and send them to the lab where custom-fit Lumineers are constructed. Once the custom-crafted dental Lumineers are made, they are placed on your teeth. Lumineers are made of strong, thin porcelain. For comparison, they are about the same thickness as a contact lens. Some of the benefits of dental Lumineers include:

Brighten Stained or Discolored Teeth

It’s common for teeth to become stained. While professional teeth whitening is a common option, some stains may not be eliminated that easily. Lumineers can give your teeth a bright, natural look.

Restore Chipped Teeth

Do you have a chipped tooth, especially right out front where everyone can see? Dental Lumineers are a painless way to repair the chipped tooth or teeth for good.

Eliminate Gaps and Spaces

Do you have a gap or obvious spacing problem in your front teeth? Lumineers are a quick way to eliminate gaps between teeth. Your teeth can be reshaped, and gaps eliminated in just a couple of visits to your Saugus, MA dentist. The procedure is non-invasive and painless so there is no need for any medications.

Realign Crooked Teeth

Dental Lumineers are often used to give your teeth a perfectly aligned look. If your teeth are slightly out of alignment, adults often choose Lumineers over wearing traditional braces. They can close the gaps between teeth and can be used to make the teeth look more uniform. They also help fix chipped, worn down, or broken teeth. They are often as effective as braces for making teeth look straighter and more aligned.

Renew Older Dental Work

Crowns and bridgework can add years to your face no matter what your age. Lumineers can be placed on crowns or bridgework to provide you a beautiful smile.

What’s the difference between Lumineers and veneers?

Veneers require each tooth to be prepared for the veneer. Since some of the enamel has to be removed to fit the veneer, the procedure is not reversible. However, Lumineers are bonded directly to the surface of the teeth and do not require any prepping of the tooth. This also means there is no need for any drilling or anesthetics during the procedure. The existing tooth remains intact. If for some reason you wanted them removed, Dr. Petinge can do that.

Contact Petinge Dental

If you are interested in dental Lumineers, contact Dr. Petinge to discuss if they are the right option for restoring your smile. They can be an effective treatment for stained, crooked, damaged or other cosmetic dental flaws. Call us today to schedule your consultation!

Want a dazzling smile? Here’s how cosmetic dentistry can help

man with a great smileMost people want a perfect set of teeth and a winning smile. There can be a lot of roadblocks that prevent them from having the smile they want. That’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. There are many advanced techniques and procedures to help improve dental health and smiles. If you want a dazzling smile, Dr. Stephen Petinge and his dental team can help you achieve it.

How can cosmetic dentistry help your smile?

Cosmetic dentistry incorporates improving the appearance of your teeth and gums. There are various treatment options that your Saugus, MA dentist can use to reposition, reshape, align, or color teeth to improve their appearance and your smile. With all the advancements in modern dental technology, these procedures are faster, more effective, and pain-free. Here are some of the cosmetic procedures the Petinge Dental team may recommend for improving your smile.

Teeth Whitening

One of the least expensive ways to get a dazzling smile is to have your teeth professionally whitened. The process removes stains and discolorations, so your teeth are left bright and white. You may try over-the-counter teeth whitening products, and they may help slightly. Having a Saugus, MA dental professional clean your teeth will mean a deeper, more thorough whitening.

Teeth Straightening

The days of traditional braces are fading away. Invisalign is a clear aligner that can help straighten teeth without having a lot of metal in your mouth. The see-through aligners work to straighten your teeth and improve your smile. They are not attached to your teeth like braces are and can be removed for oral hygiene and eating.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin shells that are placed permanently over the fronts of teeth. They can dramatically improve your smile by covering small flaws. Veneers are natural-looking. Dr. Petinge customizes them so they look like your natural teeth. They can be used to correct many flaws like improper alignment, shape, color, size, and length of a tooth.

Dental Crowns

Crowns are a restorative treatment for teeth. Each crown is custom-designed to fit over a tooth. They will look and feel like natural teeth and are also used with implants. A crown does more than restore the shape of a tooth. It also restores the tooth’s strength and function. Crowns are durable and not subject to decay. They are able to withstand years of wear and tear.

Dental Implants

Cosmetic dentistry helps create dazzling smiles with dental implants. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Implants are also a good option for teeth that have been severely damaged. The procedure will require more than one visit to the dentist’s office. But once the crown and surgically implanted artificial root are placed and have healed, they are permanent. They will feel almost like natural teeth. Dental implants remove the gaps and look and feel like natural teeth.

Beyond a Dazzling Smile

The wide range of procedures a cosmetic dentist can provide can give you a dazzling smile. But there is more! When your teeth are straightened using Invisalign, your bite will improve too. A properly aligned bite can prevent damage to the teeth over time. Cosmetic procedures can help you smile with new confidence. Feeling like you can smile confidently in front of others boosts your self-confidence and can help you nail that job interview. You are likely to see improvements in your overall health as well.

Are you ready for a dazzling smile? Contact us!

Cosmetic treatment can take care of many issues including cracks, gaps, misshapen teeth, misalignment, chips, and discoloration. Call us today to schedule an appointment with your Saugus, MA dentist. Dr. Petinge will listen to your concerns and recommend the appropriate cosmetic dental treatment to restore your smile.


How can you prevent canker sores? Here are five tips.

If you’ve ever had a canker sore, you know how painful they can be. They often just appear seemingly for no reason. These uncomfortable sores are often found on the inside of the cheek or along the gumline. But they can be anywhere in the mouth. They usually heal without requiring any help from a dentist in Saugus, MA. However, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent them from occurring. The way to prevent canker sores is to find out what it is that triggers them.

What Causes Mouth Sores?

There is no single cause that leads to canker sores. They often occur following trauma to the soft tissues in the mouth such as when you bite your cheek by accident. A flare-up may occur during a time of extreme stress. For some people, eating acidic foods like strawberries, coffee, tomatoes, and citrus fruits can lead to sores. It can also occur as a result of vitamin deficiency. Some diseases can make you more susceptible to developing canker sores such as celiac disease. If you have mouth sores that do not go away on their own, discuss them with your doctor.

How to Relieve and Treat Canker Sores

A canker sore usually only lasts a few days, but it can be painful and uncomfortable. They should be completely healed in a week or two without any type of medical or dental treatment. There are a few ways you may be able to find some relief while you wait for it to heal.

  • Antibacterial mouthwashes can be used as a rinse to help soothe and promote natural healing when mouth irritations are minor.
  • If the sore is extremely painful, over the counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen can offer some relief from the pain.

 Five Tips for Preventing Canker Sores

Since each person may have a different cause behind the occurrence of canker sores, try to identify what is causing them. If you know it is the result of trauma to your mouth or they appear after you eat acidic foods, then making changes is easy. Here are a few tips to help you reduce or prevent canker sores. 

  1. Get adequate sleep, rest, and relaxation as emotional stress and fatigue are often associated with canker sores.
  2. A canker sore often occurs after you bite the inside of your cheek or your tongue. To prevent this, eat slowly, chew your food carefully, and don’t talk while you are eating.
  3. Avoid spicy or acidic foods if you think they are responsible for the development of canker sores. If you already have a sore, these types of foods can make them feel more painful. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks hot, spicy foods can prevent them from getting worse or more painful.
  4. Canker sores are sometimes the result of a vitamin deficiency. Make sure to eat a diet that includes foods high in iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and folic acid. You may also take vitamins or nutritional supplements to help prevent deficiencies.
  5. Oral health habits can help keep the mouth free from bacteria and can bring some relief if you get a canker sore. Brushing your teeth two times a day and flossing once daily can help your sores in your mouth heal properly.

Contact Petinge Dental

If you have questions about frequent or severe canker sores in your mouth, contact our offices in Saugus, MA to speak with Dr. Stephen Petinge, DMD. He will be happy to speak with you about possible treatment and strategies for preventing or reducing their occurrence.

Five reasons why Cavitron Ultrasound Dental Scaling can Work Better for You

Scaling is a dental procedure used by your dentist in Lynnefield, MA. It is a type of periodontal therapy that involves removing dental plaque that can lead to gum disease. Thanks to the advancement of dental technology and techniques, Cavitron ultrasound dental scaling can provide effective treatment and enhance the patient experience. There are also some distinct benefits for patients and dental professionals alike.

What is a Cavitron?

A Cavitron is a state-of-the-art ultrasonic scaling system used to clean teeth. The machine uses oscillating sound waves to produce gentle vibrations that vibrate plaque and tartar off the teeth. Once removed, a steady flow of water washes away the loosened debris. The actions reach areas that toothbrush bristles cannot quite reach. This is most beneficial in fighting periodontal disease and is an effective preventative treatment used by your Lynnefield, MA dentist.

Can a Cavitron Ultrasonic Scaler be used If I already have signs of gum disease?

 When the ultrasonic scaler was first being used in dental offices, only the visible tooth surfaces were treated. Now, it is understood that they can also be used to remove calculus deposits from below the gum line too. They are capable of gently cleaning exposed tooth roots without causing damage to their softer surfaces. Ultrasonic scalers are a great tool for preventing gum disease, but they are also useful if there are already signs of gum disease.

A Cavitron Ultrasonic Scaler can help remove calculus in gum pockets that have formed. These are often seen when there are infections and inflammation of the gums. Spaces start to form when gums begin to recede or pull away from the teeth. Ultrasonic scaling is beneficial especially for those who need more frequent cleanings to help control gum disease. Treatment is typically much faster than when done manually. The Cavitron is also gentle on tooth structure. The smaller sized tips are effective for cleaning in challenging areas and help eliminate more bacteria that can lead to gum disease.

5 Reasons the Cavitron Ultrasound Scaler is a Good Choice

Ultrasound scaling is effective at removing calculus from the teeth without causing any damage to gum tissue or roots. Other ways you may benefit from Cavitron Ultrasound dental scaling include:

  1. The ultrasonic scaler can be used to reach areas unreachable using hand tools. Specifically, the Cavitron can reach areas between teeth and gums at 4mm and greater.
  2. The ultrasonic scaler uses specially designed tips that are able to get into corners and crevices for a deep clean of areas that are often missed.
  3. Cavitron systems do not use sharp edges so there is no scraping sound. Also, most patients find it to be more comfortable than scaling with hand dental instruments.
  4. Using the ultrasonic scaler is faster than when it is done by hand. This saves the hygienist and patient time.
  5. Since the scaling device is ergonomically sound and uses vibration for removing plaque and tartar, there isn’t any need to exert pressure on the teeth.

Because of these and many other benefits for patients and hygienists, many dental offices are choosing to use ultrasonic systems like the Cavitron.

Learn More About the Cavitron Ultrasonic Scaling System

If you have more questions or would like to know if you are a good candidate for the Cavitron scaling system, please give us a call. We will be happy to discuss the dental scaling process with you and provide you with more information. Call us today!

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