700 N Fairfield Rd Suite C
Layton, UT 84041
(801) 889-1044

Posts for tag: Tooth Decay

By 4 Dental Health
September 27, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: toothache   tooth pain   Tooth Decay  

Cavities are generally the most common cause of a toothache. However, there are different types of tooth pain, and other dental toothacheproblems like tooth sensitivity, a cracked or chipped tooth, or an infection may also be at the root of persistent pain or throbbing in a tooth. Because a thorough dental exam is usually necessary to determine what is causing a toothache, the dentists at Layton, UT-based 4Dentalhealth advise patients to schedule an appointment for persistent tooth pain in order to get the appropriate treatment and to avoid potentially serious complications in the future.

Emergency Dentistry in the Layton, UT

In general, pain is considered a dental emergency, and should be examined by a dentist as soon as possible. If a tooth is chipped or broken as the result of an accident, bacteria can accumulate in the space that holds the nerves, blood vessels, and pulp inside the tooth, which can lead to painful infections and potential permanent damage and even tooth loss. An emergency root canal may be necessary, depending on the damage, in order to save the tooth.

Other Sources of Tooth Pain

Another common cause of tooth pain is sensitivity, which is sometimes a symptom of a cavity. Sensitivity causes numbing and sharp pain when the teeth come into contact with hot or cold food and beverages. In addition to cavities, gum recession and wearing down of the enamel can cause sensitivity. A dental exam can help to determine the cause of tooth sensitivity.

In some cases, pain can be a sign of a broken or cracked crown or dental filling that needs to be replaced. Conditions like temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and sinusitis cause pain that can be mistaken for pain in a tooth or the jaw.

Find a Dentist in Layton, UT

If you are suffering from a persistent toothache, contact 4Dentalhealth by calling (801) 889-1044 to schedule an appointment with a dentist today.

By 4 Dental Health
August 23, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Decay   salvia  

We often don't realize how important something is until it's gone. Like saliva: you're usually not aware that it's cleaning the mouth, neutralizing mouth acid or helping with digestion. But that could change if your saliva flow drops below normal: your health may soon suffer with your mouth taking the brunt.

In particular, reduced saliva flow increases your risk for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Both diseases are linked to oral bacteria. While many of the myriad strains in the mouth are beneficial, a few bacteria can infect and inflame gum tissues. Bacteria also produce acid, which can soften and erode enamel and make the teeth more susceptible to decay.

Saliva inhibits bacteria in a number of ways. It first clears the mouth of leftover food so not as much stays behind to form bacterial plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on teeth. You still need to brush and floss daily to remove plaque, but it's less effective without saliva's cleansing action. Saliva also contains antibodies that destroy disease-causing bacteria and other organisms, which keeps their populations in the mouth low.

One of saliva's most important functions, though, is buffering acid. The mouth's ideal pH level is neutral, but many foods we eat can cause it to become more acidic. Even a slight acidic rise after eating can soften the minerals in enamel. But saliva goes to work immediately and usually restores normal pH within a half hour to an hour. It also aids in re-mineralizing the enamel.

For these reasons, it's important for you to find out the cause of chronic dry mouth and treat it. If it's a side effect of your medication, talk to your doctor about an alternative, or drink more water before and after you take your dose. Certain products can also stimulate saliva flow, like chewing gum with xylitol, an alcohol-based sweetener that has dental health-protecting properties too.

Although you often don't notice this unsung bodily fluid swishing in your mouth, it's important that you take care of it. Keeping your saliva flowing will help ensure better oral health.

If you would like more information on the importance of saliva to health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Saliva: How it is used to Diagnose Disease.”


Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavi­ties. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

By 4 Dental Health
November 25, 2013
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Decay   Layton  
Dentist Layton UTTooth decay is the process that results in a cavity (dental caries), and occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth.  If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection and potential tooth loss.  No one wants to lose a tooth, or even experience a cavity.  Luckily, tooth decay is easily preventable by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, visiting 4 Dental Health and Dr. Steven Christensen for teeth cleaning and checkups, and avoiding foods that are high in sugar. 

Dr. Christensen Shares the Causes and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

The combination of bacteria and food causes tooth decay.  When food is not properly removed from your teeth a clear, sticky substance called plaque that contains bacteria is always forming on your teeth and gums.  As the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food that you eat, they make acids, which attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating.  Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. 
Typically, tooth decay does not cause any symptoms until you have a cavity or an infected tooth. When this occurs, a toothache is the most common symptom experienced.  As a general and cosmetic dentist in Layton, Dr. Christensen diagnoses tooth decay by:
  • Asking questions about your past dental and medical problems
  • Examining your teeth
  • Taking x-rays of your teeth and mouth

The Types and Stages of Tooth Decay

Young children can develop baby bottle tooth decay, or early childhood caries, which destroys enamel quickly.  This type of decay is common in children who are put to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice.  The bottle exposes the teeth constantly to carbohydrates through the night.  Bacteria then rapidly grow, producing acid that decay teeth.  If a parent does not clean the child’s teeth properly, decay can worsen.  
In older adults, the exposed roots of teeth can develop cavities.  Older adults are more likely to have receding gums caused by years of hard brushing or periodontal disease.  Additionally, older adults are also more prone to have dry mouth, which provides less protection of the teeth due to a decrease in saliva production. 
Decay can form beneath fillings, or other tooth repairs, such as crowns.  Sometimes bacteria and bits of food can slip between the tooth and a poorly placed filling or crown.  This also can happen if the filling cracks or pulls away from the tooth, leaving a gap.

Listen to Your Layton, UT Dentist and Begin Prevention Measures, Now

You can help prevent tooth decay by following these tips provided by the American Dental Association (ADA):
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between your teeth daily with floss
  • Eat nutritious and well-balanced meals
  • Limit snacking
  • Check with Dr. Steven Christensen about the use of supplemental fluoride to strengthen your teeth, and about dental sealants to protect chewing surfaces
  • Visit 4 Dental Health regularly for professional cleanings and oral examinations
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Christensen, our dentist serving Layton, at 4 Dental Health today for further examination of your teeth.  With regular cleanings and examinations, you can help prevent tooth decay with the help of your dentist.

Contact Us

4 Dental Health

700 N Fairfield Rd Suite C
Layton, UT 84041