Ignoring Oral Hygiene is Asking For Trouble

You might think that brushing once a day is okay. If you haven’t had a cavity in a while, you can forget how easily your teeth can begin to decay. Plaque begins forming within hours of food consumption, attracting bacteria in less than twelve hours. These bacteria can become seriously problematic overtime, leading to tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.

Gingivitis is a very common result of plaque buildup at the gum line. The bacteria present cause the soft gum tissues to become inflamed. You might notice that you bleed during brushing or flossing. If left untreated, this gingivitis can turn into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a serious infection of the gum tissue that leads to bone loss around the affected tooth. This infection can spread to surrounding teeth where it will erode them over time through a process known as demineralization. Acids released by accumulated plaque demineralize the tooth’s surface, leading to cavities. In a normal mouth, saliva plays a role in preventing cavities by neutralizing the acid produced by the plaque’s bacteria, but when built-up plaque prevents the saliva from contacting the tooth’s surface, it can’t help fight the acid.

Professional checkups and cleanings work to prevent the buildup of plaque and help prevent the decay of a tooth. Going to your dentist every six months for these professional cleanings is extremely important, but your at-home oral hygiene routine is equally important. You should be brushing at least twice a day, and flossing before bedtime. Rinse your mouth following sugary snacks or drinks and change your toothbrush every six weeks.

You are able to effect a real change in the condition of your mouth through your own action or inaction. Make the right choices and focus on beginning and continuing a lifetime habit of good oral hygiene, and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.

 

Contact our Shreveport dental office to schedule a cleaning today.

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Risks of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is an easy and popular cosmetic dental procedure that can leave you with a winning smile. However, many people try to avoid a trip to the dentist by using one of the many do-it-yourself teeth whitening treatments available to purchase at their local drugstore. While over-the-counter teeth whitening products can be effective, there are some mistakes you can make that will produce less than desirable results.

  • Patients who try to whiten unhealthy teeth can risk damaging teeth and nerves. The bleaching agents used in whitening products can creep into compromised teeth and cause pain and even more damage. It is always wise to have a thorough dental examination and cleaning before using a whitening treatment.
  • Using whitening mouthwashes that are exceptionally high in alcohol content can damage teeth and usually do not produce optimal results.
  • Leaving whitening strips on longer than recommended on the directions can cause splotchy results and increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Using whitening systems more than every six months can have the reverse effect and cause your teeth to lose their healthy shine.
  • Patients who use teeth whitening treatments that are not approved by the FDA risk damaging not only their dental health, but their overall health due to the possibility they contain dangerous chemicals.
  • Patients with dental crowns or bonding who use teeth whitening products will find their restorations do not whiten, leaving them with an uneven smile.

While it’s possible to achieve a satisfactory result from over-the-counter teeth whitening, to guarantee the results you desire without the worry of these risks, visit our Shreveport LA dental office to learn more about professional whitening. When performed by a qualified dental professional, teeth whitening can produce dramatic results in as little as one office visit, allowing you to walk out with a winning smile.

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Results You Can Expect From Root Canal Treatment

If you’re about to have a root canal treatment, you might be full of questions. Historically, especially on television and in movies, root canal therapies are often characterized as extremely painful and torturous to undergo. In fact, this is completely opposite from the truth. Patients who require a root canal treatment are often in extreme pain prior to the procedure and have virtually none afterward. Here are some of the symptoms you can expect after completing your root canal treatment.

The soft gum tissue area around the affected tooth may be sore. This is a result of the dental dam used to isolate your tooth and catch any bits of debris that are dislodged as the dentist works. This tenderness shouldn’t last longer than forty-eight hours.

If your mouth is still numb from your treatment, don’t eat anything. You could end up chewing your cheek or tongue, or you could seriously burn yourself on too hot foods or liquids without realizing it until later. Don’t eat anything on the affected tooth until you get the go-ahead from your dentist, as you don’t want to damage the restoration work.

Do not drive while under the influence of any narcotic painkiller. Try not to email, phone or text while taking a narcotic, as you might say something you would regret later.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics, take your entire course. This will ensure that your mouth is free of infection and that your root canal procedure will have a long life.

If you begin to experience any serious pain that cannot be fully treated with your prescribed analgesics, or if you begin to run a fever, contact your dentist immediately. Other signs of a problem could be a feeling of looseness, or the filling falling out. Any sign of breaking or cracking or of swelling that extends up your cheek is an indication to call your dentist.

Root canal treatments are performed across the world each day, safely and effectively. With proper care, your treatment will go well and leave you pain free with a healthy mouth.  If you need a root canal and live in the Shreveport area, contact our office to schedule your appointment.

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Oral Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

2015-3If oral surgery is in your future, you might be worried about what’s to come. The way to relieve that worry is to talk to your oral surgeon. Your oral surgeon has the experience and knowledge necessary to guide you through whatever concerns or questions you may have. Here is a guide to some of those questions and answers:

How will I handle pain following surgery?

  • In many cases, you will have been prescribed narcotic pain relievers. If you are taking narcotics, take them only as recommended and do not mix them with over-the-counter pain relievers or alcohol. Driving while on narcotics is dangerous and can have serious consequences for you personally and for others. If you weren’t prescribed any medication, use anti-inflammatory analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

What will happen to my stitches in the days following surgery?

  • Some stitches will be designed to dissolve over time and will not need to be removed. Others will not come out on their own and will need to be removed at a subsequent appointment. In many cases, losing a single stitch or two in the days following surgery isn’t serious; however, for bone-graft treatments, it is problematic and you should contact your surgeon immediately.

Can I eat normally after surgery?

  • Immediately after surgery when you’re still experiencing any mouth or tongue numbness, don’t eat anything. You could mistake the soft tissues of your mouth for food and do serious damage to your mouth without realizing it. After your numbness subsides, consume soft foods of tepid temperatures for several days to allow for healing. Talk to your surgeon to learn when you can resume normal eating patterns as dictated by your particular surgery.

What other tips do you have?

  • Stay hydrated and rest as much as possible to facilitate complete and quick healing. Call our Shreveport dental office if you have excessive bleeding or pain that doesn’t lessen with time. Be aware of signs of infection (swelling, redness, odorous or sour discharge) at the surgical site and seek professional care when needed.
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