Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

Is it Safe To You An Expired Tooth Paste?

If you suddenly ran out of toothpaste and you are tempted to use an old tube lying back in your bathroom cupboard, you might want to think again about using it. While toothpaste does not have an expiration date, dentist in Saddle River recommends not using toothpaste if it is eighteen months old.

Does Tooth Paste Really Expire?

  • Toothpaste has to go through a lot of checks and balances before it can make it to the shelf of a drug store. Sometimes, it has to have certain ingredients and must follow standards set by the American Dental Association. Those who pass the standards get the seal of approval.

While the toothpaste does not have a fixed expiration date, some of the ingredients used to make one may have limited shelf-life. When this shelf-life exceeds the recommended time, these ingredients may become ineffective.

  • So in other words, if you are using a toothpaste that is older than 18 months or more, you are not getting the intended benefits. One of the first signs of an expired toothpaste is that it can start to break down which can decrease the protection you receive from it.

The Active Ingredients of a Toothpaste

  • Toothpaste are typically made with five active ingredients which include flavor, fluoride, abrasive, moisturizing agent, and a sweetening agent. All of these ingredients are listed on the pack of the toothpaste you buy. 

Sometimes these contain sorbitol or saccharin which is a cleaning agent. These ingredients have a limited shelf life and may not be as effective as they were while still in their shelf-life threshold. So it is very important to use a new tube if you suspect your toothpaste is old.

  • Most toothpaste have an expiration date of two years to ensure that the fluoride in them is effective when you use it. The ions in the fluoride only remain effective for two years. After this time has passed, the consistency, effectiveness, and the taste of the ingredient can change.

This is a good way to tell if you are using an expired toothpaste.

How Can You Keep Toothpaste Fresh

  • To ensure that your toothpaste does not expire before the 18-month mark, make sure to always close the cap properly after use. You must also make sure that the cap does not have any toothpaste left on it because it can easily attract dust and dander. 

If you store the toothpaste in the bathroom, it is a good idea to keep it inside a cupboard instead of keeping it outside. Try to keep your toothpaste and toothbrush away from the toilet because the bacteria near the toilet can easily contaminate your toothbrush and toothpaste.

  • While replacing toothpaste with a new one after a few months is recommended, it is also a good idea to visit your dentist occasionally for the best oral health possible. There are certain underlying dental conditions that can only be remedied by professional cleanings and exams by a dentist. 

Visit Vitarelli Dental in Saddle River for a periodontal therapy today and let us have a close look at your oral health. We will recommend the needed steps to ensure that your teeth and gums remain in pristine condition for the rest of your life. 

3 Common Types of Mouth Bacteria and What They Do

You can’t feel, taste, or smell them, but your mouth is home to over 70 types of different bacteria and most of them occur naturally and don’t do any harm to your oral health. However, there are bacteria that can cause tooth decay and periodontal (gum) diseases. 

Here’s a little post on where these bad bacteria are found and which causes tooth decay and gum infection and how you can prevent them from building up in your mouth.

Streptococcus Mutans

  • The Streptococcus Mutans or S. Mutans are bacteria that cause tooth decay. This bacteria is present in every corner of your mouth, but for dental decay to occur, the S. Mutans must make contact with sugar or sucrose-containing products.

When the bacteria meet with sugar, they increase in number and start to secrete acids that are harmful to your teeth. These acid attacks typically target the enamel of your teeth which results in tooth decay. 

Treponema Denticola and Porphyromonas Gingivalis

  • These two types of bacteria are most associated with causing gum disease. They are anaerobic in nature which means that they can survive in the mouth without oxygen. Both of them can easily multiply in the mouth and can cause inflammation of the gums.

T. denticola and P. gingivalis produce toxins known as the ‘Red Complex’ which can disrupt the good bacteria in the mouth. When they increase in numbers, they can start to attack the gumline and later on, break down the bone and connective tissue around the teeth. This ultimately leads to loosened teeth which may require tooth extraction. 

Preventing Harmful Bacteria From Damaging Your Teeth and Gums

  • While these three types of bacteria sound harmful and dangerous, they are not beyond control. Regular brushing and flossing along with routine periodontal therapy from a dentist is a good way to prevent them from multiplying and hurting your oral health.

Make sure to use a variety of oral care products to control these bacteria and visit your dentist biannually for regular checkups. 

Vitarelli Dental in Saddle River is open for new patients. Book an appointment today by emailing us or filling a short online appointment form on our website. Once we receive your request, our team will get in touch with you immediately. 

7 Best Home Remedies for Managing Root Canal Pain

Many consider root canal a very uncomfortable procedure, but at some point in their life, people will have to deal with it. The pain and swelling from an infected tooth can render your daily life difficult, so a root canal is the only option for long-term relief.

However, some people will go through intense pain even after the procedure has been completed by the dentist. We sat down with Vitarelli Dental in Saddle River to discuss how you can manage root canal pain at home. They gave us a list of home remedies that you can use to find immediate relief from post-root canal pain.

Use Garlic to Sooth Root Canal Pain

  • Garlic is often used to provide relief from everyday toothache. It is widely known for its medical and antibiotic properties and has been used throughout history to treat various common illnesses. 

To soothe the pain of root canal, simply slice a piece of garlic and place it next to the affected tooth. You can also chew the garlic to find immediate relief from pain.

Salt And Pepper

  • Mixing salt and pepper together can help you relieve sensitivity in your teeth. Combining these two provides antibacterial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. For the best results, mix salt and pepper in equal amounts with a few drops of water and turn it into a paste.

Apply the salt and pepper paste directly to the affected tooth and leave it there for a few minutes. Keep on doing this for a few days and you’ll be free from pain.

Ice Pack

  • An ice pack is a very effective remedy for immediate pain relief. Simply apply the ice pack topically on your jaw nearest to the affected tooth. It will not only help reduce the root canal pain but will also control any inflammation you have on your gums.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also a good remedy for root canal pain. You can add a few drops of this tea into lukewarm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly with the solution. Repeat this couple of times daily and you’ll be free from pain.

Salt Water

  • A tablespoon of salt mixed with a glass of warm water can also help you with pain. Gargle the mixture thrice a day and try to hold the liquid in your mouth for a couple of minutes before spitting. Saltwater gradually decreases the pain so you will have to keep on repeating this.


  • A freshly cut piece of cucumber placed on the affected area in your mouth can effectively beat toothache and any other pain such as post-root canal pain. Try it today, it’s really easy!

Olive Oil

  • You can also apply olive oil over the affected area with the help of a cotton bud or ball. It will gradually soothe the area and the pain will reduce. You can use clove oil for treating the pain as well.

Visit Your Dentist

  • If the pain persists even after a few days have passed, you may need to visit your dentist for a quick checkup. Some times the root canal procedure can result in a failure and may need to be checked again.

Vitarelli Dental will gladly look at your mouth for suspected problems after a root canal procedure. Book an appointment and come for general dentistry and we’ll get to the bottom of this together.

Top Dentist Reveal Why You Still Feel Pain After a Root Canal

It’s common to need a root canal at some point in your life. Despite its reputation, the root canal procedure is not actually painful. However, a lot of people still wonder whether the pain after the procedure persists or not. 

The short answer is that it is quite common to feel some sort of discomfort after a root canal. But the level of the pain you feel depends on how well the procedure was performed and the cause of the discomfort. For instance, if your tooth was infected before you had a root canal, you are more likely to continue to feel pain afterward.

According to Vitarelli Dental, Saddle River, you may still feel pain and discomfort after the procedure but mostly this is a temporary thing. We will discuss the reasons why you still feel pain afterward in this post. 

Common Causes of Pain After Root Canal

  • There can be many reasons why you still feel discomfort in your teeth after a root canal. Some of the most common are listed below. 


  • The most common reason why you feel pain after a root canal is due to the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth. Inflammation can occur if the debris escapes the area of the root. 

While a professional dentist takes utmost care in providing you a root canal, this is quite common. Fortunately, the problem can be fixed by taking an over-the-counter pain medication consisting of inflammatory properties. 


  • If the tooth was severely infected before the root canal, the pain will sometimes last even after the infection has been healed. Sometimes the tooth can be infected without you feeling any pain at all.

Unfortunately, the infection is sometimes triggered by the procedure that often results in a more severe and painful acute infection. This is not the same as simple inflammation and must be taken care of with prescribed anti-biotics. So in other words, if the pain persists after the procedure, you must let your dentist know so that the infection can be beaten.

Root Canal Failure

  • In very rare instances, the procedure can be unsuccessful. This is especially apparent if you keep on feeling severe pain after a root canal and the pain does not go away even after taking antibiotic medicines. 

You’ll know that the procedure didn’t work if you feel the following symptoms.

  • The pain does not go away after the procedure
  • You suspect the pain level getting worse 
  • Fluid accumulation, drainage or swelling in the gums
  • Feeling extreme discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold things
  • Recurring pain after feeling better for a few days

If any of these symptoms are true for you, then you will likely need to see the dentist again for a periodontal therapy where the dentist will be able to check if the root canal was successful or not. In an unfortunate event of a root canal failure, you may be advised for a tooth extraction. But keep in mind that this is only true for very rare occasions.

We highly recommend seeing a reputable dentist for sensitive oral care procedures such as a root canal so that you do not end up with trouble afterward. 

What Happens if You Swallow Gum? Expert Dental Advice

You’ve probably done it at least once out of curiosity – almost everyone has swallowed a piece of gum in their life and have never really needed a doctor. And then there are a lot of myths too, one particularly popular says that gum can stay in your stomach for several years. 

Although your stomach is unable to break gum in the same way it dissolves food, your digestive system is perfectly capable of moving the gum to normal intestinal activity. In simple words, it will come out the other end. 

When Should You Call a Doctor

  • Swallowing a piece of gum is not really a big problem, but if you or a young one has a habit of swallowing gum regularly, then it may become a big problem since it can block your digestive tract. Blockages typically happen when the gum is swallowed with a foreign object just as a coin or some dry food like sunflower seeds. 

Young kids are more likely to be affected by this because they may not understand the risks of swallowing gum. But apart from that, chewing gum and swallowing it by accident does not pose any major threat.

Should You Allow Your Children to Chew Gum?

  • Chewing gum is an excellent way to maintain healthy teeth since it helps remove bacteria and food debris from the teeth. Some children may have a problem adapting to the daily habits of brushing their teeth. 

For children who have problems with brushing teeth, the gum is a very good alternative to help them keep their teeth clean while they learn to brush their teeth on a daily basis. But just like any other thing, too much of it can be harmful.

Too Much Gum is Bad for Your Jaws

  • Chewing gum requires your jaw to work hard and it can easily cause jaw pain if you eat too much gum. The pain and this condition can worsen and may only be fixed by a dentist after you have gone under a periodontal therapy

Although chewing gum prevents cavities, it has to be sugarless otherwise it can promote tooth decay if consumed too much. Another problem with gum is that many of its flavors are made with chemicals that are not good for your health. For example, the cinnamon-flavored gums are made with ingredients that may irritate the mouth lining. 

A good rule is to stick with sugarless gum. Talk to your dentist today and find out how you can continue eating gum without its side effects. 

Why Do Gums Bleed When You Floss After a While

At Viteralli Dental, Saddle River, perhaps the most common thing our patients tell us that their gums often bleed when they floss and this is the reason behind them giving it up completely. But truly, flossing has nothing to do with it even if the patient insists that their gums are sensitive. 

And worse of all, most patients believe that a little bit of bleeding from their gums is okay. It really is not!

Despite how many people believe, bleeding from flossing or brushing your teeth is not a normal thing! Unfortunately, bleeding gums usually mean that something is wrong with your oral health and flossing is probably not the reason why they bleed. Most of the time, you may need to change your dental hygiene practices a bit to see relief. 

Healthy Gums Never Bleed

  • No matter how often, or not too often you floss, healthy gums should never bleed. Bleeding is, in fact, a sign of an underlying condition in your mouth which can be revealed through consistent and regular periodontal therapy

The bleeding you experience while flossing or brushing is due to inflammation caused by bacteria that builds up around your teeth and into your gums. This should never be taken lightly. 

Here is why.

  • If you do not brush your teeth often, or at least daily with the correct technique, plaque can grow and accumulate on the surface of your mouth and underneath your gum line. This leads to inflammation of the gums which is commonly referred to as gingivitis in dental language.

Anyone, including dental hygienists and dentists who do not floss for at least a period of 2 weeks will develop gingivitis. It is an inflammation of the gum tissue that occurs when excess plaque is present and it can take on an aggressive form depending on the bacteria living in your mouth.

  • But don’t worry, it is a condition that is easily reversible and typically heals after getting a professional dental cleaning done at a dentist’s office. But you will still need to adopt a healthy oral hygiene routine in order to prevent it from happening again.

When a dentist does not remove plaque above and below the gum line, it can harden and turn into tartar. This can further irritate the gums leading to more inflammation that can result in damage to the bone. 

  • So it is very important to seek treatment of gingivitis on time because if you do not, it can lead to a worse condition that is often irreversible. 

Daily Flossing Is Crucial

We hope that after reading this post, you should be convinced enough to not quit flossing. If your gums bleed as a result of flossing or brushing your teeth then you should visit a dentist immediately and seek out dental cleaning.

At Viteralli Dental, our doors are always open for new patients seeking regular dental cleanings or periodontal therapy. Contact us through phone or email and book your appointment today. 

Is it Safe To Drink Water Before You Brush Your Teeth in the Morning

Many people believe that drinking water before morning brushing is harmful to health, contrary to popular belief it is actually beneficial for your health according to Vitarelli Dental, Saddle River. 

This is because when we wake up in the morning, our mouth is full of saliva and by drinking water, we wash that saliva and it goes directly into our gut where the high acidity kills the bacteria that was in your mouth.

Just remember, your body contains 70-75% water and this should be enough to help you understand why drinking water is so important for us. If you drink water in the morning, it not only boosts your immunity but also improves your bowel movement. 

In fact, drinking water just after waking up is a very popular thing in Japanese culture. If you still believe drinking water is not safe for your health before brushing your teeth, the following benefits will help you understand why it is actually beneficial.

Strengthens Your Immunity

  • Drinking water on an empty stomach hydrates your body and boosts the immunity. When your immunity is boosted, your immune cells become stronger and they tend to fight dangerous bacteria or viruses better, keeping you safe from many diseases including Covid-19.

It Improves Bowel Functions

  • Drinking water after just getting up will help your stomach flush out bowel movements better. If you do not drink the recommended amount of water, your body could become dehydrated and that will cause your stool to get stuck in the colon leading to constipation and other common digestive problems.

To avoid this, drink water in the water and continue to meet the daily recommended water intake of at least 8 liters.

It Will Help You Lose Weight

  • Drinking a lot of water throughout the day boosts your metabolism. This is in a way good for weight management since you really want your metabolism to be fast when trying to lose some pounds. 

It Can Prevent Colon Infections

  • Constipation can cause colon infection especially when your body does not flush bowel movements properly. Drinking a lot of water, especially during the early morning will keep constipation away from the bowel system thus protecting your colon from infection. 

Will Improve Your Skin

  • Water is really good for your skin complexion if you drink it early in the morning. It helps wash down your entire digestive system that then helps in generating new body cells including skin cells.

So if you’ve been made to believe that drinking water is unhealthy for you first thing in the morning, these benefits should convince you. For best oral health, make sure you brush and floss your teeth daily and visit the dentist for periodontal therapy regularly. 

The American Dentists Association recommends visiting the dentist at least every six months for the best dental health. 

You Could Hurt Your Partner If You Don’t Brush Your Teeth – Here’s How

You’ve probably read this many times that brushing and flossing your teeth every day is essential for good oral health. But if you are someone who doesn’t brush their teeth regularly, or don’t brush at all, here is what happens to you and how you can hurt your partner in the process.

Why Is It So Important To Brush Teeth Daily?

  • Did you know that about 32 percent of adults in the U.S have cavities? While tooth decay and cavities can occur even if you routinely brush your teeth, one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t get either is to regularly visit your dentist for periodontal therapy

So back to our question, what happens if you don’t brush your teeth? How does it affect your significant other?

  • According to research, there are more than 300 specific types of bacteria living in your mouth at all times. When you stop brushing your teeth, these bacteria start ingesting what you eat and ultimately cause tooth decay.

Worst of all, if you don’t brush your teeth regularly, the bacteria can spread to your partner through kissing or even direct contact. So it is very important to brush your teeth daily if you value the health of your partner.

  • Dentists at Vitarelli Dental, Saddle River recommend never skipping on brushing because skipping it can have heavy consequences even if it was for one night (or morning). By not following good oral hygiene practices, the risk of bone and tissue damage around your teeth significantly increases. 

The Many Benefits of Brushing Your Teeth Daily

  • Some people are naturally at a high risk of developing cavities and tooth decay. So it is a good idea to get in touch with your dentist and get a complete exam to see the real picture. Those who suffer from autoimmune disease are at a higher risk of developing gum disease (periodontal disease) and tooth decay leading to tooth extraction. This is why maintaining good oral health is critical for you.

You can easily reduce the number of bacteria residing in your mouth significantly by brushing and flossing your teeth daily. This simple two-minute habit will help keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy for a long time to come. 

  • If you are someone who travels a lot, it is a good idea to always have your toothbrush in your travel bag and toothpaste that works for your teeth. 

Consistent oral care can help you save a lot of trouble and can even cut down visits to the dentist office especially for bigger problems that require a lot of strict measures by the dentist including drilling. 

Visit Vitarelli Dental in Saddle River today and get a routine dental exam and cleaning. This way, one of our dentists will be able to provide you advice and treatment if needed for stronger teeth and gums. Our doors are always open for new patients, just call us or get in touch with us through our website. 

Is Kissing Bad For Your Oral Health? Precautions to Know

One of the best ways to show your affection to your partner is to kiss them. But have you ever wondered about the benefits and consequences of kissing someone from the point of view of oral health?

Dental and medical researchers know these benefits and consequences and today we are going to talk about these so you are well-educated and careful when kissing someone. Let’s just start by saying that the saliva in your mouth helps in washing down the bacteria and keeps your mouth healthy in addition to playing a crucial role in digestion. 

The problem with kissing is that the saliva also carries disease-causing bacterias if an individual’s oral health is poor. So when you kiss someone, the bacteria and virus from their saliva can end up on your own and cause you to suffer from common diseases. There are in fact some diseases that are easily spread through kissing. 

Kissing can Spread Viruses

  • If someone suffers from a common cold or flu including the novel coronavirus, kissing can spread it. Many different viruses are responsible for causing common flu and cold. The common cold is believed to be spread by direct contact with the virus. So if your loved one suffers from any respiratory tract infection, it is highly recommended that you avoid kissing until they have fully recovered.

It is also very important to not come in close contact with someone who has a viral disease such as a cold, flu, or coronavirus. This is because some viral infections are caused by micro-droplets in the air especially after someone has sneezed or coughed. 

Spread of Serious Diseases Through Kissing

  • While flu and the common cold are not something to worry about too much, dentists say that dangerous diseases like hepatitis B virus can also be transmitted through a kiss under limited conditions. 

Although hepatitis is more commonly spread through blood because it has higher concentrations of the virus, infection is still possible through the mouth to mouth contact especially if an individual suffers from bleeding gums. Be aware that warts in the mouth can also be spread through the act of kissing especially if there are any areas of recent trauma.

Kissing is Good for Your Health Too!

  • While a kiss may spread disease if you are not too careful, it is actually also very good for your health. Researchers found out that passionate kissing has many valuable health benefits if your mouth is healthy. 

This is because saliva contains substances that fight back bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Since deep kissing increases the flow of healthy saliva, it can help protect your mouth, teeth, and gums.

Tips For Preventing Diseases Through Kissing

There are a number of preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of passing on or catching an infection through a kiss. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Avoid kissing your partner if they are sick
  • Do not kiss a partner on their lips when they have an active cold sore, ulcer, or warts around the lips or inside their mouth.
  • Encourage your partner to visit a dentist for periodontal therapy at least once in every six months.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth
  • Get flu and other common viral disease immunizations from your doctor

If you maintain good oral hygiene, there is no need for a complete dental exam before kissing. Just make sure that you and your partner practice oral hygiene on a daily basis and the two of you will be fine!

How Vitamin E Helps In Beating Periodontal Diseases (Gum Disease)

Periodontal disease (gum disease) can significantly affect the tissue that surrounds your teeth such as gingiva, the ligaments that hold your teeth strongly in place, the bones that surround and stabilize your teeth at their root, or your gums. 

Periodontal diseases typically develop due to poor oral hygiene or exposure to toxins or through a side effect of another disorder in your body. Vitamin E, which is one of the essential nutrients of any diet, is beneficial in controlling the development and preventing periodontal diseases.

How Does Vitamin E Impact Inflammation?

  • Vitamin E naturally prevents inflammation which is one of the primary causes of periodontal diseases. Because chronic inflammation plays a crucial part in causing gum disease, exposure to anything that increases inflammation increases the risk of having such a disease.

Moreover, if you keep on ignoring the problem, it can also lead to gingival inflammation which can promote the recession of gum tissue and can produce ulcers in your mouth. And inflammation on the bone or ligaments of the teeth can lead to tooth loss or loosening. 

  • Taking sufficient vitamin E will help you reduce levels of inflammation in your body and mouth which will help control chronic inflammation related to periodontal diseases.

Vitamin E and Antioxidants

  • Vitamin E is also an antioxidant which means it can help in preventing the harmful activities of free radicals in your mouth. These free radicals can easily oxidize and damage the tissue in your mouth. 

With antioxidants in your mouth, it can lead to gum tissue damage which can result in gum disease. Consuming vitamin E can help reduce the levels of antioxidants and can prevent gum disease in some individuals.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

  • A family member who is diabetic is at a higher risk of developing gum disease especially if they do not control diabetes disrupts in their body. This increases the risk of having abnormal inflammation in the body which can promote gum diseases. 

Vitamin E is an effective aid in helping diabetic patients in controlling their blood glucose levels. The vitamin also helps decrease the side effects of the condition. 

How Much is Too Much?

  • Just like any other essential vitamin, Vitamin E should be taken in moderation. While the vitamin is very helpful in preventing gum diseases or the management of periodontal disease, it is still something that is not fully understood and needs more research.

This is to say that Vitamin E is not a cure for periodontal disease. If you have gum disease, it is a good idea to visit your dentist today. At Vitarelli Dental, Saddle River, we look at your mouth health and suggest whatever is needed to ensure optimal oral health.

Walk-in today at one of our dentist offices for periodontal therapy and learn more about how vitamin deficiencies can create problems for your oral health and learn how to prevent most oral diseases by making healthy changes in your diet.