SARASOTA, FL – It is great to enjoy Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet during the holidays, but don’t turn your teeth into “nutcrackers,” says Dr. Ruth Rojas, an experienced Sarasota dentist.
“Few things ruin the holiday festivities like an unexpected dental emergency,” said Dr. Rojas, a doctor of dental medicine (DMD) who specializes in Prosthodontics, the restoration and replacement of teeth. “A cracked tooth needs immediate diagnosis and treatment before the problem gets worse.”
While most holiday treats are safe to chew, Dr. Rojas advises caution before biting down on four types of food:
• Almonds, which are harder than most people think. “It’s safer to buy slivered almonds, and eat them in moderation,” said Dr. Rojas.
• Olives that contain pits. Instead, buy pitted olives to avoid the risk of a cracked or fractured tooth.
• Hard candies, toffee and brittle. These treats should be softened in the mouth before chewing gently.
• Artisan breads, which contain seeds and harder crusts. “If you can’t easily break a bread with your fingers, don’t trust your teeth to do it,” Dr. Rojas said.
Other types of nuts, hard, candy, pitted fruits and seeds can also put you at risk for “cracked tooth syndrome” (CTS), a painful condition caused by tiny splits or fractures on the surface of the tooth. If untreated, the tiny cracks can lead to severe pain, infection and loss of the tooth.
“You should also use the right tool, rather than your teeth to open gift bags and packages,” said Dr. Rojas. “Biting down on paper, cardboard or plastic can put unexpected stress on your teeth, and is never a good idea.”
Dr. Rojas says the symptoms of CTS include a sudden pain from a certain tooth, when biting down on foods. There may also be a “rebound” pain that occurs after you release your teeth. Other CTS patients experience a sharp pain when drinking cold beverages or eating sugary foods.
“Many times the pain is intermittent, making it difficult to diagnose to exact cause,” added Dr. Rojas, “If you are having dental pain during the holidays, you should consult with an experienced dentist.”
Dr. Rojas has extensive training in Prosthodontics, including a three-year residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also served in the U.S. Air Force as a Prosthodontist in New Jersey.
Since moving to Sarasota with her family in 2014, Dr. Rojas has worked as assistant professor at LECOM School of Dental Medicine in Lakewood Ranch, serving as director of several Prosthodontic and Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder courses.
Dr. Rojas’ practice, which is located at 3400 S. Tamiami Trail, offers dental restorations, hygiene and cosmetic services, including cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers, whitening, dental implants, extractions, crowns, inlays and onlays, bridges and other dental services.
For more information call (941)-951-7711 or visit drruthrojas.com.