• Treating an Abscessed Tooth

    An abscessed tooth may develop as the result of a very painful infection in your tooth pulp or between your tooth and your gums. This infection is often caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease, or oral trauma. An abscessed tooth is best treated by root canal therapy. If you’re concerned that you’re suffering from an abscessed tooth, visit an oral surgeon near Middletown or Walden to discuss root canal therapy.

    Watch this video to learn more about treating an abscessed tooth. A representative of the American Dental Association discusses the causes of abscessed teeth and the treatments your dentist can offer you.

  • Understanding the Causes of Periodontal Disease

    Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can result in tooth decay and tooth loss if left untreated. If periodontal disease is not caught in its early stages—known as gingivitis and periodontitis—it can elevate your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis include red, swollen gums that are tender and sore, bad breath, and receding gums. If you notice these symptoms, visit a periodontist serving Middletown or Walden as soon as possible.

    Hormonal Changes and Illness
    Changes in hormones during menopause, pregnancy, puberty, and menstruation can make your gums more sensitive. This can make you more vulnerable to gingivitis and periodontitis. Certain illnesses can also affect

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    the health of your gums. Cancer and HIV affect your immune system, which can cause your oral health to deteriorate. In addition, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing infections, including gum infections.

    Certain Medications
    Many medications can affect your oral health. If your doctor prescribes a medication with troubling side effects for your gums, discuss your concerns with a dentist or periodontist to find out if there are steps you can take to maintain your oral health while on the medication. Some medications cause dry mouth, which reduces the saliva in your mouth that helps to protect your gums. Other medications are known to cause excessive growth of gum tissue.

    Poor Habits
    Certain lifestyle choices, such as excessive drinking and tobacco use, can be very detrimental to your oral health and increase your risk for gum disease. Tobacco and alcohol use can cause dry mouth, and tobacco affects your gum tissue’s ability to heal itself. Poor oral hygiene habits can also lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque can build up between your teeth and along your gum line. This plaque harbors harmful bacteria that can cause infections and cavities, as well as gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Get to Know Dr. Marita Smith

    At Hampton Family Dentistry of Middletown & Walden , we use advanced dental techniques to provide our patients with comprehensive dental care. Our team includes dentists, periodontists, oral surgeons, pediatric dentists, and orthodontists in Middletown and Walden. We are proud to have Dr. Marita Smith on our pediatric dental team. Dr. Smith provides our community with exceptional pediatric dentistry services.

    Dr. Smith received her doctorate in dental surgery from New York University in 2011. Following that, she completed a general practice residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, and completed her pediatric dental residency at St. Barnabas Hospital. She was the chief resident for both residencies.

    Dr. Smith is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the New Jersey Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Bronx County Dental Society. She is also board-certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

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  • Are Straight Teeth Better for Your Health?

    Straightening your teeth can improve not just your confidence, but also your overall health. Crooked teeth can harbor dangerous bacteria that may cause tooth decay, gum disease, and infections that can lead to serious health problems. In fact, the American Dental Association has found that having straight teeth can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Continue reading to find out more about the connection between tooth alignment and health, and visit your dentist near Middletown or Walden to discuss undergoing treatment with braces or Invisalign.

    Straight Teeth Can Improve Oral Health
    If your teeth are crowded or crooked, your gums can become inflamed and red. When you straighten your teeth, you allow your gums to fit more securely around each tooth. This can help to prevent gum disease. Overcrowded or crooked teeth can also lead to wear and tear of your tooth enamel, as crooked teeth can rub against each other while you chew. Crooked teeth can also place stress on your jawbone. This may result in

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    chronic jaw and neck pain.

    Straight Teeth are Easier to Clean
    Teeth that are overcrowded can be very difficult to clean. Flossing and brushing may not be enough to remove food and plaque that gathers between the teeth. A buildup of plaque can quickly lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and infections. When your teeth are straightened, it is much easier to floss and brush effectively.

    Straightening Your Teeth Can Improve Overall Health
    The health problems caused by plaque and bacteria buildup can be very serious. These bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease, and if left untreated, may lead to bad breath, mouth sores, bleeding gums, tooth loss, and infections. Oral infections can even contribute to more serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia. Straightening your teeth and practicing good oral hygiene can help to reduce your risk of these health problems, which is why it is important to talk to your orthodontist about your teeth straightening options.