What Can You Do about Toothache?

toothache-reliefIt can be highly unpleasant to wake up to a throbbing pain in your tooth, or to feel discomfort whenever you bite or chew. This type of pain is often caused by untreated tooth decay or a dental abscess. You should book an appointment with a dentistas soon as possible, before the situation gets any worse. It’s a different matter if you experience a true dental emergency, as you should contact your Shreveport, LA dentist right away. They are likely to fit you in as soon as possible, often on the same day.

However it’s not always possible to get an appointment immediately, so in the meantime try some of these home remedies to ease the discomfort of toothache:

  • Ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter oral analgesic ointments to help temporarily numb the area.
  • Gently floss around the tooth just in case any food is trapped in between. This can slightly move the tooth out of position, causing pressure and pain. Afterwards rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Make up a mixture of vinegar and powdered bayberry bark and apply this paste to the affected tooth.
  • A damp wet tea bag placed on your gums can relieve soreness, and may help stop any bleeding.
  • Garlic is a natural pain reliever and has antiseptic qualities, so place a small piece of crushed garlic clove on the affected tooth.
  • Using an ice pack on the outside of your face can help relieve pain and swelling. If this doesn’t help, try switching to moist heat, using a hot compress and gargling with warm salt water.
  • Take over-the-counter pain painkillers, for example ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin as this can increase any bleeding during dental procedures.
  • Apply oil of cloves to the affected tooth every 20 minutes, using a clean cotton bud.
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Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

whitening-dental-1It can be upsetting to see that your smile no longer looks as bright and appealing as it used to before your teeth became stained and discolored. It can make your whole appearance look dull and unkept, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out why this happens and what you can do about it.

Causes
There are a number of reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. Here are some of the most common causes for tooth discoloration:

  • Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
  • Tobacco use – smoking or using tobacco stains teeth.
  • Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
  • Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
  • Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
  • Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
  • Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can discolor teeth.
  • Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
  • Trauma – a hit to the mouth or damage from a fall can harm tooth enamel and cause discoloration.

Prevention
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.

Treatment
Options for treatment vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Some whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers.

 

Professional teeth whitening at our Shreveport LA dental office.

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The Basics About Root Canal Treatment

rootcanal3While hearing the term “root canal” may make you want to run away, the symptoms of needing root canal treatment are usually worse than the procedure itself. Root canal therapy these days can be compared to getting a regular filling. That is likely worth it as opposed to suffering through severe pain of needing treatment or losing your tooth completely.

Why is root canal treatment needed?
The interior of your tooth called the pulp and its associated root canal can become infected, inflamed, or otherwise damaged. It contains nerves which can cause intense pressure and pain when irritated. Some common reasons that people need root canal treatment include severe tooth decay, cracked tooth, multiple dental procedures that compromise the tooth, or trauma to the face or mouth.

Are there common signs that treatment is required?
Sometimes there are no symptoms at all, so it’s important to maintain regular dental checkups to make sure there are no problems. However, signs that treatment may be needed include sensitivity to hot or cold, pressure, tooth discoloration, swelling near a tooth, or a persistent pimple appearing on the gum line.

What is the procedure?
Anesthesia is used to numb the area, and a drill will be used to access the root canal area. The damaged tissue will be removed and the area will be thoroughly cleaned before it is filled with a special material. The tooth will be sealed to prevent future bacteria from entering, and X-rays will be taken to ensure everything is secure. The procedure may take between one to four hours depending on the case. Most patients compare the procedure to getting a regular filling, and pain can typically be managed afterwards with over-the-counter remedies.

Can I avoid root canal treatment?
If your dentist recommends this treatment, it is usually the best course of action. Decay that has progressed to this point really can’t be treated another way, unless you are willing to have the tooth extracted. Most dentists advise root canal treatment over tooth extraction nearly every time.

 

If you need a root canal dentist and you live in Shreveport area, contact our office today.

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Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

xraydental1If you have an unsightly gap in your smile or tend to cover your mouth when you are with others, it’s time to consider restoring your smile with dental implants. Thanks to this innovative approach to replacing missing teeth, you can get an attractive and permanent new look.

Dental implants involve surgically inserting a titanium tooth root into your jawbone, allowing it time to heal, and then placing an artificial tooth on top to complete the procedure. These restorations are durable, and give you a natural look and feel. Good candidates for dental implants must have sufficient bone structure to accommodate the restoration, so some patients require a bone graft to prepare for the implants. As with any medical procedure, there are some pros and cons that you should consider when deciding whether to choose dental implants.

Pros

  • Implants provide the look, function, and feel of your real teeth.
  • There are no negative impacts to your adjacent healthy teeth.
  • Implants become a permanent part of your body when they fuse with your jawbone.
  • They are usually made of titanium that can withstand strong biting force.
  • There is no appliance slipping when eating or speaking like some other restorations tend to do.
  • There are no clicking or hissing sounds of the appliance or glue.
  • You do not have to remove anything for cleaning.
  • Implants restore confidence and give you back a more youthful appearance.

Cons

  • Surgeries always have associated risks or complications.
  • Swelling, pain, or bruising may occur at the implant site.
  • Swelling or bruising of the face or gums can occur.
  • You may experience chronic inflammation of the gums in the implant area.
  • Nerve damage may occur that causes numbness, tingling, or pain.
  • Your tooth can break.
  • An infection is possible.
  • Several dental visits are required to complete the entire process.

Dental implants dentist in Shreveport LA

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