Why Even Minor Toothaches Could Be Serious

woman with toothache and pictureDoes your tooth seem slightly sensitive when you drink a hot or cold beverage, or bite into a hot or cold piece of food? Like most other forms of discomfort, toothaches occur with varying degrees of severity, from minor nuisances to serious, sometimes-debilitating aches and pains. Though minor tooth sensitivity might not be an immediate concern, it usually indicates a developing dental issue, and can quickly become an emergency situation if not addressed promptly. (more…)

Is It Time for a New Smile?

amazing beautiful smileA funny thing about your smile is that, even when it’s at its healthiest, it can still exhibit physical blemishes that mar its appearance and appeal. Luckily, if your smile just needs a cosmetic fix to make it look its best again, you don’t have to undergo extensive dental procedures typically reserved for oral health issues. Your Shrewsbury cosmetic dentists, Dr. Pizzi and Dr. Messina, offer a wide variety of cosmetic dental procedures to give your smile the makeover it deserves. (more…)

Learn How to Brush & Floss Properly

brushing okYou might think, “I’ve been brushing and flossing my whole life, I know how to do it.” The simple routine is designed to keep your teeth clean between your regular dental checkups and cleanings. Since over 90% of adults in America have been affected by tooth decay in their permanent teeth, and around 80% have gum disease to some degree, there’s a chance that you may be missing something important in your daily dental hygiene routine. To help you make the most of your toothbrush and floss, your Shrewsbury dentists, Dr. Pizzi and Dr. Messina, provide an overview of how to effectively brush and floss your teeth. (more…)

Why Am I Waking Up With Jaw Pain?

black & white portrait of man with jaw painIf you wake up and you find that your teeth feel worn down, your jaw muscles are tired, or obtain increased tooth sensitivity, you may be a grinder. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, commonly occurs during sleep, and can be caused due to an abnormal bite, or even any missing or crooked teeth. Because bruxism mostly happens during sleep, people are often unaware of the occurrence. Often, bruxism does not cause harm, but if it is persistent, it can damage your teeth and even cause other oral health complications. (more…)

Why Crooked Teeth Deserve Your Attention

straight and happy smileThere’s no denying the fact that misaligned teeth can drastically diminish your smile’s appeal. Nevertheless, many people hesitate to correct their crooked teeth out of apprehension about traditional orthodontic treatment. If beauty were the only consideration, then treating malocclusion (a misaligned bite) would be nothing more than an aesthetic choice. Unfortunately, there is more at stake than vanity when your teeth are not in their proper place and position. Shrewsbury dentists, Dr. Pizzi and Dr. Messina, explain why you shouldn’t ignore malocclusion, even if it doesn’t bother your aesthetic sensibilities. (more…)

Bad Breath? There’s a Reason

shocked womanYou take pride in the attention you pay your teeth, brushing them after every meal (whenever possible) and flossing between them at least once every day. Though your teeth shine from your efforts, however, your breath might not always be as fresh as your teeth are beautiful. When bad breath mars your otherwise good dental health, there’s typically a reason behind it; luckily, your Shrewsbury dentists can help you eliminate bad breath by controlling the common forces behind it. (more…)

Oral Bacteria Can Travel through your Body

Oral-SystemicIf you are one of the many Americans who is afflicted with periodontal disease, you probably think your biggest concern is tooth loss. While this is a valid concern which might reach fruition without good oral hygiene and preventive dental care, there are more reasons to worry about the presence of gum infection. Oral-systemic health is the concept that your dental health can affect your overall health. You may wonder how bacteria in your mouth could possibly survive traveling through the rest of your body. If you think about it, the potential journey of bacteria which originates in your mouth and ends up elsewhere makes a lot of sense.

Inhaling Bacteria

Various germs can enter your gums, and then your body, through your salivary output. Crafty bacteria adhere to the microscopic water droplets which float around in the air you breathe. Each time you inhale, some of the droplets enter your lungs. The attached germs are then liable to be aspirated, leading to potential pulmonary infection, or even pneumonia. For the elderly, babies, or people with weak immune systems, these types of health conditions are particularly dangerous.

Secondary Infections

Once the bacteria which ignite gum disease enter your body, you are likely to have a systemic inflammatory response. This inflammation can contribute to (or complicate) certain dangerous health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart (more…)

Toothbrush Care Basics

When is the last time you switched out your toothbrush? How often do you rinse your brush thoroughly with tap water? Do you store your oral cleaning instrument in a case, or in a cabinet? Many people perceive the toothbrush as being an instrument to remove plaque from the teeth and gums, but what they don’t understand is that your bristles may be a home to bacteria. (more…)

Lifestyle Choices for a Healthy Jaw

It’s time for lunch, and you skipped breakfast. Your stomach was rumbling so loudly in the office all morning that your co-workers were giggling. You are starving. You can’t wait to make a b-line to the restaurant up the street where you can order a burger so big, you can barely open your mouth up wide enough to consume it. Normally, you order lighter, but today you’re just hungry enough to devour the whole thing. As you open up to take that first juicy bite, you feel a shooting pain in your jaw. Beware that this could happen to you if you don’t eat mindfully.

Biting Off More than you Can Chew

Many of us are wired to believe that “bigger is better.” Bargains take precedence over better judgment. Why order the six inch sub, when the 12 inch with double meat and cheese is only dollar more? Beyond the obvious caloric concerns, the answer is that taking a bite that’s bigger than the size of your mouth can simply cause damage to your jaw and the joints which hold it together. Even if your friends are cheering you on to eat the gargantuan corn dog at the fair for a good picture, over-extending your jaw in such a way can lead to real issues with your temporomandibular joints (TMJs).

Wise Choices

Do you remember the classic commercial from the 1970s where Mr. Owl is questioned as to how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? While Mr. Owl is thrilled to implement the necessary scientific research to get the answer, after three licks, he can’t resist taking a hearty bite out of the hard candy shell. You may be tempted to do the same with similar hard candies and foods, but this is another way to hurt your jaw and teeth. Chewing hard substances (including non-food objects such as pencils and fingernails) can cause chips and cracks in your teeth and inflammation in your TMJs.


At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.

Do Teeth Stains Mean Your Teeth Are in Danger?

woman with embarrassed smileTooth sensitivity may be among the most diverse signs of dental trouble, and can indicate anything from a developing dental disease (cavities or gum disease) to structural tooth damage. Teeth stains, however, are perhaps the most common source of dental concern, and can occur from something as simple as eating and drinking. When your teeth are stained or discolored, their appearance can make your smile seem as though it’s in serious trouble, but not all stains indicate an immediate need for restorative dental treatment. In fact, quite often, teeth stains are just teeth stains, and can be erased with a simple, unobtrusive teeth whitening procedure. (more…)