Posts for: August, 2016

By DiPiero Family Dental, LLC
August 22, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral piercings  

Learn about the affects of an oral piercing on your smile from your Akron dentist.

Considering an oral piercing? While many individuals consider having their ears pierced a rite of passage, today people are turning to oral piercingsoral piercings as a fashion statement. Dr. Jennifer DiPiero is an outstanding dentist in Akron, OH that discourages oral piercings, as they can lead to a myriad of oral health problems. Read on to discover what oral piercings can do to your smile.​

The mouth is full of bacteria that can enter the piercing site and cause an infection. Handling the lip or tongue ring with unclean hands can transmit bacteria. Food particles that accumulate around the lip or tongue ring can also breed bacteria. An infection may result in swelling and pain and it can be life threatening if it is not diagnosed and treated promptly.​

Nerve Damage
Nerve damage can develop if the lip or tongue piercing is done incorrectly. Numbness at the piercing site can occur if a nerve has been damaged. The injured nerve may affect your ability to taste. Tongue and lip piercings often result in nerve damage that's usually temporary, but can also be permanent.

Gum Problems
Jewelry – especially barbell tongue rings – can rub against the gum tissue and cause an injury. Gum recession may occur due to the lip or tongue jewelry rubbing against the gum tissue. Individuals with oral piercings also have a greater risk of developing gingivitis than individuals without oral piercings.

Damage to Teeth
The metal lip and tongue jewelry that rubs against the teeth can cause cracks in the teeth, especially while talking, eating and sleeping. Playing with or biting the oral piercing is a common habit that can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Studies show that 47 percent of individuals wearing barbell rings for 4 or more years have at least one chipped tooth.

If you want to keep your mouth healthy, consider using your smile as a fashion statement and avoid oral piercings. If you want to improve your smile, call DiPiero Family Dental in Akron, OH at (330) 867-9494 to schedule your next dental appointment. Dr. DiPiero can help you create the gorgeous smile you have always dreamed about.

By DiPiero Family Dental, LLC
August 20, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”


Your tooth is in peril if its innermost layer, the pulp, becomes infected and inflamed. Deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures or fractures can all expose the pulp and ultimately the roots to infection and lead to tooth loss.

But that scenario isn't inevitable — we can often save the tooth with a root canal treatment. By accessing the tooth's interior through a prepared hole, we're able to clean out the infected tissue in the pulp chamber and root canals, and fill the empty space with a special filling. We then cap the tooth with a custom crown to protect it from a re-infection.

Root canal treatments have a very high success rate — chances are good your tooth will survive for many years afterward. But there's a slight chance the tooth may become re-infected; in that case, a second root canal treatment may be in order.

In a few cases, though, a second root canal may not be advisable, and could even accelerate damage to the tooth. For example, if past dental work resulted in an extensive crown restoration, accessing the root canals the conventional way will require disassembling that restoration. This could weaken the tooth significantly.

We can approach the problem from a different route: instead of accessing the tooth's interior through the crown (the visible part of the tooth), we instead perform a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy, which accesses the tooth at the root end through the gums.

In this procedure we numb the area with local anesthesia and then make a small incision through the gums at the level of the affected root. After access, we remove any diseased tissue around the root and a few millimeters of the root tip itself. We then insert a small filling in its place to seal the canal and prevent further infection. In some cases we may also insert a graft to encourage bone growth and aid in healing.

Over time, the affected area will heal and return to normal function. Even if a traditional root canal treatment can't be used, an apicoectomy could be another option for saving your tooth.

If you would like more information on your options for preserving a problem tooth, 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 “Apicoectomy.”