Saturday, 15 February 2020

Water Flossing

Below is an excerpt from an article found on mouthhealthy.org

Water flossing is a way to clean between and around your teeth. A water flosser is a handheld device that sprays streams of water in steady pulses. The water, like traditional floss, removes food from between teeth. 
Water flossers that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance have been tested to be safe and effective at removing a sticky film called plaque, which puts you at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Water flossers with the ADA Seal can also help reduce gingivitis, the early form of gum disease, throughout your mouth and between your teeth. Get a list of all ADA-Accepted water flossers. 
Water flossers can be an option for people who have trouble flossing by hand. People who have had dental work that makes flossing difficult—like braces, or permanent or fixed bridges—also might try water flossers. 
Cleaning between your teeth once a day is an important part of your dental hygiene routine. You should also brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and see your dentist regularly.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org

7181 Westwind Dr., Suite A
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 581-1511

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Dental Anesthesia Side Effects And Causes For Treatment

Below is an excerpt from an article found on colgate.com

Medical procedures are sometimes necessary to maintain your health, including oral health. Anesthesia is inherent to more involved procedures, whether it's knee surgery or filling an advanced cavity, and when properly administered, it isn't a point of concern. But some people do suffer from dental anesthesia side effects. Here's a look into anesthesia and why some patients don't respond as well to it.
Anesthesia Types
There are two types of anesthesia: local and general. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) defines local anesthesia as "the temporary loss of sensation including pain in one part of the body produced by a topically-applied or injected agent without depressing the level of consciousness." In effect, your dentist simply desensitizes a portion of your mouth by injecting medicine into the gum or inner cheek; you can stay awake for this process. General anesthesia, according to Aetna, sedates you for an extended period of time, and an air tube allows you to breathe while you're asleep.
Although the term can be misleading, general anesthesia has a much more specific role to your comfort during a procedure, and is administered by a trained professional such as an oral-maxillofacial surgeon or medical anesthesiologist. Local (or regional) anesthesia is used for much simpler types of treatment, wherein your needs are minor enough that your bodily state can remain the same.
Procedures Requiring Anesthesia
Unfortunately, not all trips to the dentist are as easy as a routine cleaning so check before booking your next appointment. Tooth extraction is one of the most common processes necessitating anesthesia. When a tooth that has become decayed needs to be removed, the doctor anesthetizes the area of your mouth surrounding that tooth. Wisdom teeth are another common cause for anesthezed removal, usually due to impaction or simply not having enough room to erupt.
Although root canals have become much easier over the years, they are another example of when an anesthesia is necessary. When a tooth's pulp becomes damaged or diseased, the part of the tooth that houses the pulp needs to be removed and sealed, thereby saving the tooth from extraction. Probably the most common need for anesthesia, however, is in the filling of a cavity. A filling is required when a small section of your tooth succumbs to decay, creating a small area that the dentist will remove the decay and fill the cavity.
Dental Anesthesia Side Effects
Side effects from a local anesthesia are few and far between, but they do occasionally arise. Numbness felt beyond the affected part of the mouth is a very common one. Following a local injection to your gums, for example, the medicine can cause your eyelid or cheek muscles to droop. After the anesthesia wears off, this numbness dissipates. Here are a few more:
  • Unable to blink – If you can't blink one of your eyes, your dentist can tape it shut until the numbness ceases so that it doesn't dry out.
  • Hematoma – Described as a blood-filled swelling, this can happen if the needle strikes a blood vessel upon injection.
  • Racing heart beat – The vasoconstrictor drug in the anesthesia can increase your heart beat for a minute or two. Be sure to mention this to your doctor if you notice it.
  • Nerve damage – If the needle directly hits a nerve, the result can be numbness and pain that lasts for weeks or months. Nerve damage is very rare in a regional injection, according to the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA).
The best way to avoid any dental anesthesia side effects is to lower your risk of issues that warrant a desensitizing solution. A good way to achieve that goal is by using a toothpaste such as Colgate TotalSF Advanced Deep Clean. Brushing, flossing and a healthy diet are all keys to keeping a healthy mouth. Of course, make sure you schedule your regular dental checkup, too.
To read the entire article visit colgate.com

7181 Westwind Dr., Suite A
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 581-1511

Friday, 24 January 2020

New Year, Healthier Mouth

Below is an excerpt from an article found on mouthhealthy.org


What does ringing in the new year have to do with being mouth healthy? 

More than you may think. Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months? Bristles that become frayed and worn are less effective at cleaning your teeth. That means, celebrating the new year with a brand new toothbrush is actually smart dental hygiene.

Here are MouthHealthy resolutions:
  • Start brushing 2min2x. Always brush twice a day for two minutes for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems. 
  • Floss daily. Flossing is part of being mouth healthy.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Drink fluoridated water. Fluoride helps prevent cavities by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities.
  • See your dentist. Regular dental visits will help you be Mouth Healthy for Life.  

To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org


7181 Westwind Dr., Suite A
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 581-1511
Westside-Dentistry.com

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Finding A Dentist

Below is an excerpt from an article found on colgate.com


How Do I Look for a Dentist? 
A good place to start is by asking for a referral from people you trust — your friends, family, acquaintances, work associates, pharmacist or family doctor. Ask them how long they've gone to their dentist, how comfortable they feel asking questions, what type of dentist they go to (general or specialist). It is important that you find a dentist with whom you feel comfortable.
Other ways to find a dentist include:
  • Calling your local dental society for a list of recommended dentists in your area. Your local dental society can be found in the Yellow Pages under "dentist."
  • Searching online for dentists in your area. More and more dentists have websites explaining their approach and treatment methods.
What Kind of Dentist Should I Look for?
General dentists are trained to do all types of treatment. If you have difficult or unusual problems, your dentist may refer you to one of the following specialists:
  • Pediatric Dentists/Pedodontists specialize in pediatric (children's) dentistry.
  • Endodontists diagnose and treat diseased tooth pulp and perform root canal work (many general dentists also perform root canals).
  • Prosthodontists specialize in crowns, bridges and dentures.
  • Oral pathologists use laboratory procedures to diagnose diseases of the mouth. They also specialize in forensic dentistry.
  • Oral/Maxillofacial surgeons perform surgical treatments, such as removing cysts, tumors and teeth. They can correct fractures or other jaw problems that require surgery, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ). They also use methods similar to those of plastic surgery to treat cosmetic problems of the jaw and face.
  • Orthodontists correct improperly positioned teeth, using braces and other appliances to move teeth into a better position.
  • Periodontists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
How do You Become a Practicing Dentist?
A general practitioner or specialist can be degreed as either a D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine), depending on the school from which he/she graduated. The requirements for each degree are identical: four years of post-graduate study for general practice plus one to two years of advanced study for a particular specialty. A graduate must then pass a state licensing examination in order to begin practice.
To read the entire article visit colgate.com


7181 Westwind Dr., Suite A
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 581-1511
Westside-Dentistry.com

Monday, 6 January 2020

Brown Teeth: Causes and How to Remove Brown Stains on Teeth

Below is an excerpt from an article found on crest.com

What Causes Brown Teeth Stains?

Brown teeth stains are not uncommon, and they have many causes, including diet and medications. But smoking is one of the top causes of brown teeth stains. Constant exposure to the nicotine in cigarettes over time creates brown teeth stains that can get in the way of an attractive smile. There are many other causes of tooth discoloration and the appearance of brown teeth—heredity, trauma or illness, certain medications, food and drink stains, poor oral hygiene ... the list goes on. While you can't control all of these causes of brown teeth, it’s important to focus on the ones you can since oral health has a significant impact on your overall health.

How to Remove Brown Stains from Teeth

Brown teeth stains often respond well to teeth whitening systems. If you have brown teeth stains due to smoking, a combination of products including those from the Crest 3D White collection, may help reduce brown teeth stains and prevent them from recurring. 
But it's important to be realistic. If you smoke and you are unwilling to quit, it will be harder to keep brown teeth stains at bay. Also, keep in mind that brown teeth stains from smoking may require more powerful whitening products than yellow teeth stains. If you are a smoker, the best first step toward improving the appearance of brown teeth stains is to quit smoking. Studies have shown that quitting can improve the appearance of brown teeth stains, and smokers who quit can significantly reduce their risk of gum disease and of mouth, lip, tongue, and throat cancers. Even cutting back on the number of cigarettes can help improve brown teeth stains. But remember that cigarettes alone to blame. Smoking pipes or cigars can cause brown teeth stains, too.

How to Get Rid of Brown Stains on Teeth for Good

Frequent brushing and flossing and regular visits to your dentist can help reduce plaque build-up on your teeth. Too much plaque build-up leads to brown teeth. Also, stay in tune with your mouth—look at your teeth closely in a mirror on a regular basis. If you have brown teeth or notice your gums are bleeding or swollen, it’s probably a good idea to consult with your dentist. Once you have a proper oral health routine of brushing twice daily and flossing once a day, look for at-home teeth-whitening products to help maintain your pearly whites.
To read the entire article visit crest.com


7181 Westwind Dr., Suite A
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 581-1511
Westside-Dentistry.com


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Tooth Anatomy: Know The Parts Of Your Teeth

Have you ever wondered what makes up a tooth? Each part of a tooth has unique functions and properties. Aetna's Simple Steps to Better Dental Health lists major parts of tooth anatomy, including enamel, dentin, cementum, root(s) and the root canal chamber(s) inside the tooth. Damaged teeth, especially teeth with cracked or eroded enamel, are very susceptible to cavities. Advanced gum disease, another oral health condition that threatens tooth health, attacks the bone of the teeth and may cause tooth loss. Understanding the function of each part of a tooth and the steps required to keep teeth healthy with home care and regular checkups are important components of oral health education for you and your family.
Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is a protective barrier that surrounds the visible part of the tooth. It is composed of strong minerals, including calcium phosphate. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and healthy enamel is resistant to cavity-causing bacteria. Because of its mineral composition, tooth enamel is translucent. Fortunately, enamel can be strengthened. Fluoride, a common mineral, helps replenish deficits in tooth enamel. Parents can help replenish enamel at home with Colgate® toothpastes that contain fluoride. Dentists also offer special fluoride treatments. These are commonly administered to children to help keep their teeth strong and free from cavities.
Dentin
Dentin is found underneath the enamel surface of the tooth and underneath the cementum that forms along a tooth's roots. Made of living cellular material and tissue, dentin is what makes up the majority of a tooth's structure. Dentin is a bone-like substance that contains microscopic tubules. Unlike enamel, exposed dentin is highly susceptible to the bacteria that cause dental cavities and can cause tooth sensitivity.
Cementum
Cementum is a coating that surrounds the roots of teeth and is similar to enamel, but softer. Cementum assists with root stability by attaching to the fibers that anchor the tooth in the jawbone.
Roots
Much as a tree's roots help anchor it in the ground, a tooth's roots anchor it in the jawbone. This allows teeth to withstand the force of biting and chewing food on a daily basis. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, one major threat to the health of a tooth's roots is periodontal disease. This oral care disease is caused by bacteria in the dental plaque invading the gum tissue and supporting bone, thus leading to destruction of the bone holding the tooth or teeth in place. Tooth roots are integral to maintaining dental health. Even children can develop gum disease. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene practices — including thorough flossing and brushing — is an easy way to keep mouths healthy with home care. Regular dental cleanings for you and your family will also combat tartar and, ultimately, gum disease.
Root and Pulp Canals
Located inside the tooth in a hollow chamber is the root or pulp canal. A tooth may have one root and many premolar and molar teeth may contain two or three roots. It houses cellular material including pulp and the tooth's roots. This area of the tooth is extremely sensitive and is responsible for providing the blood flow and nutrients that are necessary to keep teeth alive. When this area is damaged or infected by extensive decay and trauma, root canal treatment is often necessary to save a tooth from extraction.
Learning about the basics of tooth anatomy will help you understand how oral health conditions form so that you can teach your children healthy dental habits. Explaining the unique biological makeup of teeth to your kids can also be a fun and productive way to introduce biological concepts in an easy-to-understand format.
To read the entire article visit colgate.com
Westside Dentistry  
Stephen J. Kimball, DMD
7181 Westwind Dr., Suite A
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 581-1511
Westside-Dentistry.com

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Cavity Fillings: What to Expect, Types & Potential Problems

The process of filling cavities is a fairly simple and straightforward one that can be done right at your dentist's office.

Filling Cavities: What to Expect

You should expect to be at your dentist's office for around an hour. This gives him or her enough time to take x-rays if needed, talk to you about the procedure and complete the dental work. Before filling cavities, your dentist will numb your teeth, gums and surrounding skin to avoid and lessen discomfort during the procedure. Next, he or she will drill out the decay in the tooth and replace it with a filling. This process only takes a few minutes.
Once you're done, your mouth will probably remain numb for a few more hours. There aren’t any significant risks associated with filling cavities, but be sure to keep your dentist’s contact information on hand in case you have any questions or complications.
The most common use of tooth fillings is to fill a cavity in the tooth. But tooth fillings also can be used to repair damage to teeth caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) or to replace part of a broken tooth.

Types of Cavity Fillings

Many options are available for tooth fillings, and all of them have their pros and cons. Types of tooth fillings include gold, silver amalgam (a composite of mercury, silver, and other metals), tooth-colored composite material, porcelain, and a special type of glass. The best tooth fillings for you will depend on cost, what your insurance may cover, and your aesthetic preferences.
There is a wide variety of materials used for filling cavities and they vary in strength and color. The two most common types are amalgam and composite.
  • Amalgam Fillings: Amalgam has been used by dental professionals for more than a century; it is the most researched material used for filling cavities. Amalgam fillings are strong and are therefore ideal for filling cavities in the back of the mouth such as in the molars, where chewing takes place. Since they are made of a combination of several metallic elements, amalgam fillings can be noticeable when you laugh or smile. These fillings are among the least expensive of all cavity-filling materials.
  • Composite Fillings: Sometimes referred to as composites or filled resins, these fillings feature a combination of glass or quartz filler and can be made to match the color of your tooth. Composite fillings are also fairly durable and are ideal for small-to-mid-size restorations in areas of your mouth that perform moderate chewing.
  • Metals: Gold or silver amalgam are the most common metals used for a cavity filling. Gold fillings can cost as much as 10 times more than silver amalgam fillings, but some people prefer the appearance of gold to silver fillings if they want the durability of metal vs. a less-durable composite material. Some people don’t like the appearance of metal fillings, but metal fillings can last as long as 10-15 years before they need to be replaced.
  • Ceramic: A ceramic cavity filling (usually made of porcelain) is tooth-colored, and it may be less likely to show tooth stains over time than a composite cavity filling. But price is a factor—a ceramic filling can be nearly as expensive as a gold cavity filling.
  • Glass Ionomer: This blend of acrylic and glass is used to create a cavity filling that releases fluoride to help protect teeth. But a glass ionomer cavity filling is less durable than other types, and may need to be replaced in as little as five years.

Taking Care of Cavity Fillings

You may experience some sensitivity and pain after receiving tooth fillings, but this discomfort should subside. Don't neglect your oral care routine. Instead, try products designed specifically to protect sensitive teeth. Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Plus Enamel Shield Toothpaste protects sensitive teeth, and also provides protection against future tooth decay. In addition, Oral-B Glide Floss for sensitive gums shouldn’t irritate the area around tooth fillings.

When to Replace a Cavity Filling

Tooth fillings usually last for many years before they need to be replaced. But tooth fillings can wear out over years of chewing. If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need to have tooth fillings replaced sooner.
If you notice signs of wear on your tooth fillings, such as cracks or worn areas, see your dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. Continuing to chew with a damaged filling can cause the tooth to crack and require additional repair that is more expensive and more complicated than a simple cavity filling. If additional tooth decay develops around a filling, whether or not the filling is damaged, your dentist may choose to repair the tooth with a crown instead of a second cavity filling.

Other Potential Problems with Cavity Fillings

It’s important to know about potential problems, so you can see your dentist promptly to have cavity fillings adjusted or repaired. Possible complications from cavity fillings include: 
  • Infection: Sometimes a cavity filling will pull away from the tooth to which it is attached, creating a small space. This space can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause additional tooth decay. If you notice a space between your tooth and your cavity filling, visit a dentist as soon as possible.
  • Damage: Sometimes a cavity filling breaks, cracks, or falls out. Damage to a filling can occur when you bite down on something hard or if you are hit in the mouth while playing sports. See a dentist as soon as you notice damage to a cavity filling to avoid irritation and infection of the unprotected tooth.
To read the entire article visit crest.com

Westside Dentistry  
Stephen J. Kimball, DMD
7181 Westwind Dr., Suite A
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 581-1511
Westside-Dentistry.com