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Caring for Your Teeth from the Inside Out

Warning Signs It’s Time To See A Periodontist

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A periodontist is a specialized dentist who focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating advanced stages of gum disease (such as periodontitis). Many periodontists also specialize in dental implants. Your regular dentist’s office may or may not have a periodontist on its staff; if not, and if you’re having problems with your gum or jaw bone health, you may need to be referred to a specialist. Here are a few of the most common warning signs that it’s time to schedule an appointment with a periodontist. Your Gums Bleed (Seemingly for No Reason) While it’s not entirely uncommon for a person’s gums to bleed on occasion after brushing or flossing too hard, your gums shouldn’t be bleeding regularly or without a reasonable cause. If they do, this could be a sign that you have gingivitis or have even developed periodontal disease (an advanced form of gum disease). Specifically, if you notice bleeding in your gums while you’re eating or even just talking, it’s definitely time to see a periodontist. Your Teeth Feel Loose Many people with periodontal disease (periodontitis) suffer from bone loss in the jaw; specifically, this occurs at the point where the tooth anchors into the jaw bone. As a result, their teeth begin to feel loose over time. They may shift during eating or even when pushed with one’s tongue or finger. If you’ve begun to notice this (especially if you’ve noticed loose teeth in combination with bleeding gums), then you might be suffering from gingivitis or even the beginnings of periodontal disease. You’ve Noticed Persistent Bad Breath If you’ve noticed any changes in your breath over the last few weeks or months, this could also be a sign of gum problems. Specifically, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can have a very foul odor. Some compare it to the smell of mothballs, but it can smell different from person to person. Either way, if you’ve noticed bad breath that’s persistent and that you’re unable to get rid of despite chewing gum and using an antibacterial mouthwash regularly, this could be a sign of gingivitis periodontal disease.  These are just a few examples of situations in which it may be necessary to see a periodontist right away. Fortunately, if you’re seeing your regular dentist as recommended, he or she should be able to notify you if you’re displaying any of the signs of periodontal disease or other gum...

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Don’t Ruin Your Visions Of Sugarplums With A Toothache This Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Think about the holidays and you probably have visions of family gatherings, office parties, and, of course, plenty of holiday goodies. With tables laden with cookies, cakes, and pies to tempt you, it’s difficult to keep your teeth healthy as you enjoy the season. Don’t ruin your “visions of sugarplums” with a painful toothache on the night before your Christmas celebration. Use these helpful tips to protect your teeth. Tip #1 – Drink Water After Eating   When you’re bustling about from party to party or heading out to do last minute shopping, it’s easy to forget to brush your teeth after every snack or meal. If you don’t have a chance to head to the bathroom to brush your teeth, make sure you drink water after eating. Water helps to wash away cavity-causing sugar and bacteria. Another option is to pop in a piece of sugarless gum, which stimulates saliva to wash sugar and bacteria away. Tip #2 – Eat Dairy with Sweets While you should limit the sugary sweets you eat during the holidays, sometimes you just have to eat a piece of grandma’s pie. If you’re going to eat sweets, eat some dairy with the sweets. Cheese, milk and other dairy products contain enzymes that help protect teeth from the damaging acids that develop when bacteria feeds on sugar in your mouth. Tip #3 – Fill Your Plate with Fruits and Veggies Most holiday gatherings will have fruits and veggies, so try filling your plate with fruits and veggies so you limit the room you have for sweets. Carrots, apples and celery are great choices, since they naturally help clean your mouth. Tip #4 – Limit Your Festive Holiday Drinks Limit the festive holiday drinks that you enjoy at holiday parties. Many festive holiday drinks, such as apple cider, hot chocolate, and peppermint coffees, can actually stain teeth or wear down your enamel. If you want to indulge, limit yourself to only one staining or acidic drink each day. To fight off stains that may develop, consider switching to baking soda toothpaste during the holidays. Tip #5 – Limit Hard or Sticky Treats Hard treats, such as peppermint bark and candy canes, can damage your teeth or your dental work. Sticky treats stay on teeth longer, increasing your risk of cavities. Limit both types of treats to prevent cavities and other oral damage during the holidays. Of course, while these tips can help, remember that regular brushing and flossing is still the most important thing you can do to prevent cavities. With a good oral hygiene routine and these helpful holiday tips, you’ll find it easier to enjoy your favorite foods while avoiding a painful end to your holiday season. For more information, you can contact a local dentist or...

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Light-Accelerated Bleaching

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your smile says a lot about you. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of people believe a smile is an important social asset and nearly three-quarters believe people with an unattractive smile may be hurting their chances at a successful career. In one survey, when asked what they would most like to improve about their smile, the majority of individuals responded with, “whiter, brighter teeth.” Whitening or bleaching teeth is the most common cosmetic dental procedure, and while many over-the-counter whitening kits promise results, in-office procedures are generally regarded as safer and more effective. Laser teeth whitening, also known as light-accelerated bleaching, is one of the more popular dentist-supervised treatments many people opt for in search of whiter teeth. Read on to learn more about the process and see if it’s right for you. How It Works From beginning to end, the laser teeth whitening process usually lasts 1-2 hours. It begins with your dentist cleaning your teeth, to remove any buildup and surface stains. Your mouth is then prepared to have the whitening agent applied. This involves the use of a retractor to keep the lips and cheeks from touching the teeth. The gums are covered to avoid contact with the whitening gel. Once your mouth has been prepped, the bleaching solution, which can contain up to 6% peroxide, is applied to the teeth minutes. During that time, the bleach is exposed to a high energy light, usually halogen, LED, or plasma-arc, which strengthens the effect of the peroxide.   According to, the light breaks down the peroxide in the gel, releasing oxygen particles that then bond with particles that cause tooth discoloration. Once the oxygen has bonded to these particles, they can be removed much more easily. After approximately 15 minutes, your dentist will remove the whitening solution. Patients have reported results as much as 10 shades lighter following a single treatment.  Possible Side Effects Unlike some other cosmetic dentistry procedures, no recovery time is needed following teeth whitening. There are no serious side effects associated with laser teeth whitening, but some people report increased sensitivity or irritated gums following the procedure. Irritation is usually due to unintentional contact between the bleaching compound and the gums. To avoid compounding the problem, most dentists recommend avoiding very hot or very cold drinks and foods for a short time after having your teeth whitened. These side effects usually disappear within a short time. You can learn more about accelerated bleaching by...

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How to revent A Root Canal

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your endodontist has gone to school and studied endodontics for many years just in order to perform root canals, and you appreciate that.  But it might be best if you try to prevent having to go see him altogether.  Root canals are the best solution for tooth root infections, but they require a lot of pain and money.  The days and weeks leading up to your appointment might be painful, as tooth root pain is not fun.  The procedure, although it relieves a lot of the pain, is long and can be unpleasant, to say the least.  Included here are some great ways that you can prevent the need for a root canal.  But First, What is a Root Canal?    The endodontic treatment known as a root canal is when the infected, dead, or injured inside part of your tooth, known as the pulp, is removed.  The nerves in the tooth are located in this portion of the tooth structure.  The infected root pulp is cleaned out and filled in with a substance that will prevent infection from coming back, and will not cause you any pain.  Although pricey, a root canal is the only relief from tooth pain caused by infection in the pulp.  So How Can I Prevent a Root Canal?     When the nerves in the tooth root come in contact with bacteria, they will become infected.  The best way to prevent a root canal is to prevent bacteria from getting into this portion of the tooth.  Bacteria gets into the root through injuries, cavities, and old fillings and infects the nerve.  Excellent Oral Hygiene    Brushing and flossing are obvious ways to help prevent root canals.  Brushing after every meal and flossing daily are an important part of good hygiene in general, and especially good oral hygiene.  Taking Care of Old Fillings       After a number of years, an old dental filling from a cavity will start to crack.  This can cause damage to the tooth and can allow bacteria into the root and pulp of the tooth.  The tooth will become infected and will begin to die, causing you pain.  Visit the Dentist Regularly      The best way to prevent older fillings from becoming damaged is to regularly visit your dentist and have them check every dental restoration that is currently in your teeth.  Checking and repairing a broken filling will keep you from having pain and will also keep the tooth from becoming infected.  Insist on the Best Materials    When you do get a restorative procedure done on your teeth, such as a filling, insist that the best quality materials are used.  This can help the filling to last a bit longer without cracking and allowing bacteria to get into the root. Protect Your Teeth       Any type of trauma to the teeth can cause cracks which will allow bacteria to get into the pulp and root of the tooth.  When you play sports, always wear a mouth guard to protect your pearly whites.  If you grind your teeth at night, you are risking cracking a tooth without even knowing it.  Wearing a mouth guard at night will prevent damage from being done to your teeth while you’re asleep.          Prevent Cavities through Diet     A sugar free diet is the best kind when it comes to...

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Have A Good “Filling” At Your Next Dental Visit: Debunking Cavity Myths

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The word “cavity” strikes fear in the young and old alike. Many dread or even avoid the dentist chair because they feel that cavities are unavoidable. However, understanding some common myths about cavities may help you take better care of your teeth and avoid those fillings and dental costs. Myth #1: The award for “Most Cavities” goes to the kids People assume that kids are always going to have more cavities than adults. They drink all the soda and eat all the candy they want, right? Well, not necessarily. Over the last few decades, this has become less true. The amount of cavities in school children is actually down, but it is rising among adults, especially senior citizens. This could be the result of more dental health education in schools, dental insurance plans for the elderly, and many other factors. Myth #2: Fillings are not that effective The most common treatment for a cavity is to receive a filling. This will stop the spread of decay in a particular tooth (other parts of the tooth could begin to decay later, however, if proper care is not taken). Yet, many people believe that fillings will always fall out and eventually have to be replaced. This doesn’t have to be the case. Unless something goes wrong with the filling or there is improper dental care, the filling should be fine for many years. Myth #3: Tooth sensitivity always means there is a cavity Actually, some people just have sensitive teeth. Sensitivity could also be caused from the recession of your gums that allows for root exposure. Tooth decay can be a reason for sensitivity, but it is certainly not the only factor. Myth #4: Some people just get cavities no matter what This is a very common idea to believe that some are just born with bad teeth. Of course, certain diseases such as diabetes can cause dental issues, but strong dental health is still very important. Anyone can avoid cavities through brushing, flossing, and regular dentist visits. Brushing should be done at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, and you should take special care to floss in those cracks and areas of your teeth where cavities form. No one has to become a victim to cavities. Myth #5: You will always know when you have a cavity You may not realize that you have a cavity at the very beginning. Tooth decay that is mild may not cause pain or discomfort. Pain usually comes from a tooth that has progressively decayed and has already caused nerve damage. Understanding cavities and your role in avoiding them is imperative in keeping a great smile for years to come. You don’t have to fear or misunderstand cavities next time you take a seat in the dentist chair. For more information, contact a dentist like Larsen-Haslem...

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Dangers Of Leaving Wisdom Teeth In Your Mouth

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Most people will start to develop their wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 25. They are indeed called wisdom teeth because they start to grow in later in life when people are considered to start gaining some wisdom. Many people will remove these teeth shortly after they begin to develop. Is this really necessary? Doesn’t this affect your ability to chew? As it turns out, wisdom teeth are not actually needed and can begin to cause problems if not properly taken care of. Complications from Not Removing Wisdom Teeth 1. Shifting Teeth. As you age and your wisdom teeth start to grow and develop, they will begin to impinge on your other teeth. This will cause the teeth to start to move and shift. This is because the jaw is usually too small to correctly allow the wisdom teeth to grow in straight, and they will grow at an angle. This will cause all the teeth to misalign. 2. Gum Irritation. Because wisdom teeth often do not fully develop and emerge from the gums, it can begin to cause gum pain and inflammation. This makes it harder to clean the tooth and gums as bacteria will infect the partially emerged area. This is often known as pericoronitis. This gum disease is also known to cause sinus infections and other sinus-related problems. 3. Bone Loss. If the wisdom teeth are no removed in a timely manner, bone loss can also occur. This is due to the bacteria that will begin to eat away at your jawbone. Again this is due to the fact that wisdom teeth seldom grow in correctly and will cause disease and infection. Wisdom Teeth Extraction If any of the above symptoms are experienced, it is more than likely that the wisdom teeth will need to be removed. It may also be prudent to remove the wisdom teeth before they start to cause a problem and before you experience pain. The ideal time is around 16-17 years old. This allows the wisdom teeth to develop enough for an oral surgeon to feel comfortable enough to remove them. By removing the wisdom teeth at the appropriate time, you will also reduce the chance of medical complications, such as dry socket. It is important to understand the signs and dangers of keeping your wisdom teeth in. If not taken care of, they can cause long term damage to your mouth. Consult your dentist, like Southland Smiles, Ltd, for more...

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3 Restorative Treatments Your Family Dentist Can Do

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have a large family, it’s important to save time and money. One way to accomplish this goal is by going to a family dentist for all of your dental needs. It’s possible to schedule many appointments on the same day for you or your children. Knowing what restorative treatments your family dentist can perform is helpful. Dental Fillings The key to saving a tooth and restoring it as quickly as possible is by getting it filled. In order to obtain a dental filling, the decay must fall within the classification of one to six. This will dictate the extent of the cavity and what is required to fix it. This process involves the dentist removing the decay and using a composite material to restore it. Common types of composite materials that are used include gold, porcelain and amalgam. The average cost to fill a tooth that is classified as a one or two is $50-$150, and to fill a tooth classified three and up is $120-$300. Dental Crowns If a member of your family has a tooth that’s severely decayed beyond the classification of six, a dental crown may be necessary. This process usually takes two visits to the dental office to be completed. Listed below are the steps for getting a crown: 1. The dentist will remove all of the decay. 2. There will be an impression made of the tooth. 3. A dental lab will make the crown. 4. The dental patient will be called back into the office to have the crown cemented in place. Dental crowns can immediately restore a tooth and are long lasting. Crowns can last 15 years and in some cases even longer. The average cost of a dental crown is $500-$1,500 per tooth. Dental Bridges Replacing missing teeth for any family member is important. One of the most effective ways to get this job done is with dental bridges. These consist of crowns that are created for the missing teeth and are joined together to create a bridge. The cost of dental bridges is based on the number of crowns that are necessary for restoration. Getting teeth restored when necessary will improve the overall health of the teeth. Be sure to rely on a family dentist such as Hudson Family Dental to meet all of the needs of you and your family members. Understanding what your family dentist can do will make your visits to them more...

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