Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
X-Rays are commonly used by dentists to see beneath your gums and into your bones. However, x-rays use radiation to create their pictures which can cause anxiety in some people. Radiation can have potentially harmful effects and you can find lots of information online about the dangers of radiation. But are dental x-rays really dangerous? Join us at Summit Family Dentistry as we dive into the information about x-rays and radiation.
How safe are dental x-rays?
In short, dental x-rays are considered to be very safe. When performed properly, dental x-rays give off extremely low levels of radiation. Additionally, over the years there have been many improvements to x-ray technology that continue to improve the safety of the procedure.
Just how little radiation do you get exposed to with dental x-rays? A set of 4 bitewing x-rays will expose you to 0.4mrem of radiation. Compare that to the amount of radiation you are exposed to from a variety of things you do in your daily life – drinking water exposes you to 5mrem per year and using natural gas for heating/cooking exposes you to 9mrem per year. You are even exposed to 35mrem of natural radiation from the soil every year.
We also take additional safety precautions to minimize your exposure to radiation during the x-ray. We will have you wear a lead apron to protect most of your body. We also have a leaded thyroid collar that protects the thyroid, which is more sensitive to radiation. If you are pregnant, please let your dentist know so they can take extra precautions or they may decide against taking x-rays at that time to protect you and your fetus.
What are the benefits of dental x-rays?
Dental x-rays are very useful and help us diagnose a number of oral health problems that can cause patients pain and discomfort. Letting these issues go unchecked can cause far worse problems than the small amount of radiation received from the x-ray. The problems that we can identify include:
- Tooth decay occurring between the teeth
- Bone loss
- Tumors or other growths
- Changes in a root canal
- Infections between the teeth and gums
If these problems are not promptly addressed, they can lead to serious long-term issues for your oral health.
Overall, the benefits of having x-rays taken vastly outweigh the risks associated with being exposed to such a small amount of radiation. If you have more questions or concerns about dental x-rays, call our Denver, NC dental office at (980) 222-7501 and we will be happy to give you more information.
Toothache Causes & Home Remedies
A toothache is a pain in or around a tooth. Toothaches can be caused by simple issues like a popcorn kernel stuck in your gum to more serious dental problems like an abscess or broken tooth. Some tooth pains won’t get better on their own and you will need to see a dentist for treatment. If you’re suffering from a toothache, Summit Family Dentistry in Denver, NC can help!
Toothache causes—and treatment options—can vary. Depending on your symptoms, you could have one of the following issues:
- Tooth decay or untreated cavities
- A tooth abscess (a bacterial infection inside the tooth)
- Tooth crack
- Broken tooth
- Damaged filling
- Gum infection or damage
Toothache pain can range from mild to severe, and it may be constant or intermittent. Pain in your tooth and mouth is the primary symptom of a toothache, but the type of pain can vary from:
- Sharp, throbbing, or constant pain on or around an infected/damaged tooth
- Pain that only occurs when pressure is applied to a tooth, gums, or jaw
- Swollen or painful gums
- Bad taste in the mouth (likely from an infection in a tooth)
- Fever or headache
Home Remedies for Toothaches
If you’re hoping to minimize pain from a toothache, you can try the following home remedies. Please talk with your dentist before using any of the home remedies listed below if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical condition that may be impacted by herbal ingredients.
- Saltwater rinse. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water then use a mouthwash.
- Apply a cold compress on/near the area of pain.
- Use over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Advil to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Teabags. Apply a cold or warm tea bag to your tooth—but tea can stain teeth so don’t use this method often.
When to See the Dentist
If your pain is severe or has persisted for more than a day or two, it’s time to see your dentist. They can provide guidance on how to relieve your symptoms and prevent future pain. You should also see a dentist if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- trouble swallowing
- general pain that lasts more than one or two days
- pain when you bite or chew
- abnormally red gums
- foul-tasting discharge, or pus
If you’re experiencing tooth pain and need to see a dentist in Denver, NC, contact Summit Family Dentistry today.