Dental Hygiene 101: Tooth Decay | Dumas Dentist

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

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It’s a little-known fact, but October is National Dental Hygiene Month. In order to honor this month, let’s take a look at one of the most common dental issues for everyone – tooth decay. Tooth decay are bacterial colonies that eat away at a patient’s teeth, forming painful cavities, infection, and tooth loss.

The primary way to minimize tooth decay is to minimize the bacteria that can come in contact with teeth – by removing the bacteria, a patient can minimize the acids that break down teeth, virtually eliminating the risk of tooth decay.

When it comes to removing bacteria, we can rely on basic dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing removes food, which bacteria need to survive, and removes the bacteria on the surface of the teeth themselves. The bacteria will typically be present in a sticky, bacteria-rich substance known as plaque. Proper brushing and flossing can remove plaque from the surface of the teeth and the gum-line, but failure to do so regularly can allow plaque to harden into tartar, which is far more difficult to remove. As plaque hardens into tartar, the harder surface protects the bacteria, allowing it to damage teeth without being brushed or flossed away.

In addition to brushing and flossing, patients should have regular dental visits – every 6 months or so – and use fluoride mouthwash. The professional cleaning will help break down the hardened tartar deposits, and fluoride helps resist acid created by plaque.

As you can see, preventing tooth decay mainly relies on you and your dental hygiene practices. The better you treat your teeth, the less chance of developing tooth decay in the future.

For more information on tooth decay, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

What Is a Prophylaxis? | Dumas Dentist

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

176997237Prophylaxis, or prophy for short, is a non-therapeutic dental cleaning procedure aimed towards the maintenance of a clean and healthy mouth. Not only do you get a very thorough cleaning, but it also prevents the progression of periodontal diseases and gingivitis, which invade and colonize right around the gum line. The good thing is, if you need to have a prophylaxis, you are doing a fantastic job maintaining your dental health!

So, why is a prophylaxis cleaning done if you’re doing a great job? Well, even your best efforts will never clean as well as a professional cleaning. They have instruments that can get into places a regular brush and floss cannot, so having this extra-strength cleaning will only help your dental efforts.

During your prophylaxis treatment, your hygienist will remove tartar and plaque build-up, both above and below the gum line to help prevent gum disease. Stains will be removed, leaving your smile a beautiful shade of white. By removing any food particles, plaque and bacteria, you lessen the chance of having chronic bad breath. Not only will you have a more aesthetically pleasing smile, but having this cleaning done will also anticipate any issues that may arise in the future. If caught early enough, you may never develop dental issues that may call for a more serious procedure.

Regular cleaning is done a couple times a year and is considered a preventative procedure by your dental insurance, as regular cleanings can help prevent future dental issues.

For more information on prophylaxis cleanings, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

Fact or Fiction: Root Canal Edition | Dumas Dentist

Friday, June 30th, 2017

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There is little your dentist can tell you more frightening than the words root canal. If you think of a root canal as a tremendously painful dental procedure, you’re not alone. There are several myths about root canals that have mislead many people, and it’s about time that these myths are put to rest. Here are the top five:

Myth 1: Root canals are only necessary when you experience tooth pain.

In some cases, when teeth die they no longer cause pain and need to have root canal to avoid it from becoming infected.

Myth 2: Root canals are painful.

Root canals are actually what relieve the pain associated with progressive and severe decay that has reach the root of a tooth and caused infection.

Myth 3: Root canals are long process.

Many people have been lead to believe that root canal treatment requires several visits to the dentist office, but that is not the case. In fact, a single visit can restore the infected tooth and preform a root canal.

Myth 4: Root canals can cause illness.

Not only is a root canal treatment safe and effective, it eliminates the bacteria from the infected tooth, improving your oral health and overall health.

Myth 5: Tooth extractions are a better alternative to root canals.

Root canal treatment isn’t only cost effective, it allows you to keep your natural tooth. Replacement alternatives for missing teeth requires additional treatments, a lengthier process, and an elevated cost.

For more information on root canals, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

Flossing: Why You Need to Do It | Dumas Dentist

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

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We all know we’re supposed to floss daily and its importance, but let’s be honest – most of us don’t! We bet you even answer, ‘Yes!’ when we ask you at your dental visits if you’ve been flossing. We can tell you haven’t. So, instead of flossing the morning of your dental appointment, let’s go over why it’s so important to floss daily.

Brushing + flossing = more effective. A toothbrush works to removing plaque with its bristles. Brushing alone has one big drawback: A toothbrush’s bristles can’t adequately clean between the teeth or under the gums. That’s where floss comes in, to get in those tiny spaces between your teeth to get the grime out your toothbrush can’t reach.

Protect your gums. Where the gums and teeth meet are where flossing plays its major role. Particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden over time to form tartar, that your dentist will remove with a scraper. Tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis.

Disease Prevention. Gum disease can have effects that go beyond discolored teeth, discomfort and bad breath. Research has shown that the bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illness.

Flossing is an essential part of any oral health care routine. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to achieve optimal oral health. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care.

For more information on flossing, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

How to Whiten Your Teeth Without a Dental Visit | Dumas Dentist

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

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We visit the dentist when our teeth hurt, but when we voluntarily go to the dentist it’s cosmetic – we want a “brightens any room” kind of smiles. However, it’s important to understand that while whitening is effective, you are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping your pearly whites pearly.

One of the major causes of stains is a dark colored beverage, such as coffee, tea, and wine. The surface of your teeth is made up of enamel, a hard material, but not a perfectly flat or smooth material. While enamel is great at protecting your teeth from breaking, those cracks and ridges allow dark colored particles to collect. Over time, those particles will become more and more visible. For patients that are unwilling to sacrifice dark beverages, consider drinking these beverages at a specific time each day rather than throughout. Rinse or brush any remaining particles from the mouth afterwards so you can continue to indulge with a lower chance of developing significant staining.

Smoking is damaging to many parts of the body, and teeth and gums are no exception. Much like particles from coffee can sit in the pores of your enamel, tar will find its way into the pores of your teeth, causing a similar stain.

For both beverage-related and smoking-related staining, the best way to avoid the problem is by stopping the staining activity, if at all possible. Even lowering your intake will make a significant difference in the state of your smile.

For more information on teeth whitening, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

Root Canal Therapy: Pain in Your Mouth Shouldn’t Be Avoided | Dumas Dentist

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

jaw pain-tmjAccidents can happen every day, and sometimes those accidents happen in our mouths. Your poor dental hygiene can lead to cavity development, and if left untreated, can progress into a much deeper issue. A physical accident can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Again, if you don’t have it looked at, it can progress into something worse, and likely accompanied by a lot of discomfort or pain. In order to avoid this ailment, keeping routine dental visits is important to keeping up with your dental health.

Pain and pressure associated with a root canal only occurs when the root canal becomes infected and dies. A root canal in your tooth can become infected due to a cavity or fracture that allows in bacteria. Pain and pressure are the first signs that you will need one of the most common restorations, root canal therapy. Without treatment, the infection spreads and could lead to tooth loss. When it gets to that point, you are likely to visit your dental professional to fix it. And chances are, this will result in the need of a root canal.

What is root canal therapy? Root canal therapy is the process by which the infected tooth is cleaned and diseased tissue is removed, and the canal is reshaped and filled. A root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!

For further information on your oral health, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

‘Tis the Season: Fruitcake Edition | Dumas Dentist

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

There are people who love it. There are people that would be happier if it never existed. But no matter what your stance is on the fruitcake consumption issue, fruitcake is a holiday staple in America. Made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts and spices and sometimes soaked in “spirits”, fruitcake has been a holiday gift-giving tradition for many years. And on December 27th, we celebrate National Fruitcake Day. But who invented this most controversial of holiday delicacies?

Rome is believed to be the creator of fruitcake, as one of the earliest recipes dates as far back as ancient Rome. This original recipe included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into barley mash. Records indicate that in the Middle Ages it changed slightly to include honey, spices, and preserved fruit, but it seems every country has their own take on the original recipe. Due to the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits, Americans created an excess of candied fruit, making fruitcakes more affordable and popular.

Here are a few fun facts about our beloved holiday dessert:

  • In America, mail-order fruitcake began in 1913.
  • In 1935, the expression “nutty as a fruitcake” was coined during the time Southern bakeries, Collin Street and Claxton, had access to cheap nuts.
  • Most mass-produced fruitcakes in America are alcohol-free, but some traditional recipes include liqueurs or brandy. In fact, brandy-soaked linens have been used to store fruitcakes as they are believed to improve with age.

According to the American Dental Association, we should be brushing two times a day for at least two minutes, just barely the appropriate amount of time to sufficiently remove dirt from the front and back ends of the teeth. After brushing, use dental floss to get in between and hard to reach areas. Floss removes any extra food particles left in between teeth. If left untouched, those particles may turn into plaque, resulting in a higher risk for gum disease. Flossing is merely the act of wrapping a piece of string around your teeth, one by one, in order to remove any bacteria and excess material stuck between each tooth. Wrap a piece of floss around your index fingers, pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth in a downward zigzag motion, gently scrubbing the spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Finally, rinse your mouth with an ADA approved mouth wash to seal the cleanliness in and for a trace of fresh breath. Top off your oral hygiene with regular trips to the dentist to ensure all of your efforts are doing the trick.

For further information on your oral health, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

I Need a Filling. What Are My Options? | Dumas Dentist

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

494183909It’s unfortunate, but it happens to the best of us. Even the strictest of dental routines cannot always prevent cavities from developing. And now you have found yourself back in the dentist’s chair, waiting to get the cavity filled. Are you curious about what types of dental filling options you have, and what types there are? Lots of people can get confused by what sort of dental filling options they have. Worry not. Thankfully, Daniel West, DDS of Dumas Family Dentistry is extremely experienced and can help you along this process by offering a great deal of options for your procedure.

Your dental options vary depending on your health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of pressure the tooth will have to endure while chewing and the type of materials that should be used for your individual needs. These days, there are three main versions of fillings available: amalgam, composite, and ionomers. But what are the differences between each? Is one better than the other?

Amalgam filling are extremely durable, relativity inexpensive compared to the alternatives and can be done in one dentist visit. This type of filling can sustain a heavy chewing load and are usually used in the restoration of your molars. One of the disadvantages of amalgam filling are that they won’t match your natural tooth due to the materials having a silver tone and more of your natural tooth is removed to accommodate the filling.

Composite fillings consist of fine glass particles or quartz and resin, the mix of these materials produce a more natural tooth colored filling and usually people can’t even tell it’s been filled! With composite fillings, less of your tooth is removed and more of the natural structure of the tooth is preserved, providing great resistance against fractures and extreme durability. Unfortunately, composite fillings can chip off the tooth, discolor and stain over time, are a bit more expensive depending on the size of the filling and technique used and the procedure is generally longer compared to using amalgam.

Ionomers are the least durable filling and are made out of a mixture of fine glass powders and acrylic acids. This type of filling is commonly used to fill cavities on the root of teeth or in small areas that don’t require any chewing resistance.

Cavities are natural and shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. But taking care of the cavity as soon as possible will help prevent any further damage to your oral health.

If you feel you need to have a cavityfilled, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Forget to Floss | Dumas Dentist

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

flossingWe all know we’re supposed to floss daily and that it’s very important when it comes to keeping our mouths healthy. But let’s be honest – most of us don’t. Just like the rest of us, you probably answer ‘Yes!’ when we ask you at your dental visits if you’ve been flossing on a regular basis. We know you’re fibbing, by the way. We can tell. So instead of flossing the morning of your dental appointment, let’s go over why it’s so important to floss daily.

Flossing and brushing is more effective than brushing alone. A toothbrush works to removing plaque with its bristles. Brushing alone has one big drawback: A toothbrush’s bristles can’t adequately clean between the teeth or under the gums. That’s where floss comes in, to get into those tiny spaces between your teeth to get the grime out your toothbrush can’t reach.

Flossing protects your gums. The area where the gums and teeth meet is where flossing plays its most important role. Particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden over time to form tartar, build-up that only your dentist can remove. If left untreated, tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis not only affects your mouth, but it can also lead to other health issues.

Gum disease can have effects that go beyond discolored teeth, discomfort and bad breath. Research has shown that the bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illness.

Flossing is an essential part of any oral health care routine. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to achieve optimal oral health. The most important thing about flossing is to do it. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch. And don’t forget, children need to floss too! Getting them into a routine of flossing will only help them keep up great dental health. You may feel discomfort when you first start flossing, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and flossing, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. If your pain persists, talk to your dentist.

If you feel you need to find out more about flossing, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

I Need to Get a Prophylaxis: Should I Be Nervous? | Dumas Dentist

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

494183909You take a lot of pride in your smile and you have a daily dental hygiene routine that rivals even the most perfect of smiles. And it shows. You always pass your check-ups with flying colors. Then you get the news…you get a notice from your dentist’s office that you need to get a dental prophylaxis. Now you’re nervous. What is a prophylaxis?

Prophylaxis, or prophy for short, is a non-therapeutic dental cleaning procedure aimed towards the maintenance of a clean and healthy mouth. Not only do you get a very thorough cleaning, but it also prevents the progression of periodontal diseases and gingivitis, which invade and colonize right around the gum line.

Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies to have this treatment done. Regular cleaning is often recommended only to patients who have a healthy mouth, free from periodontal disease, bone loss, infection, bleeding, loose teeth, receding gums or exposed roots. So congratulations – if you need to have a prophylaxis, you are doing a fantastic job maintaining your dental health!

So why have the cleaning done if you’re doing a great job? Well, even your best efforts will never clean as well as a professional cleaning. They have instruments that can get into places a regular brush and floss cannot. Having this extra-strength cleaning will only help your routine do its job. After all, your oral health isn’t guaranteed forever.

What can you anticipate from this prophylaxis treatment? Lots of good things your smile will love. Your hygienist will remove tartar and plaque build-up, both above and below the gumline, a great advantage to preventing gum disease. Stains will be removed from your teeth, leaving your smile a beautiful shade of white. Fresh breath – by removing any food particles, plaque and bacteria from the mouth, you lessen the chance of having chronic bad breath. Not only will you have a more aesthetically pleasing smile, but having this cleaning done will also anticipate any issues that may arise in the future. If caught early enough, you may never develop dental issues that may call for a more serious procedure. So, continue to keep up your fantastic dental regime. Prophylaxis is only going to be helping you keep that brilliant smile for as long as possible.

Regular cleaning is done usually twice or thrice a year, depending on the advice of the dentist. It’s also considered as a preventative procedure by your dental insurance, as regular cleanings can help prevent gum disease and other dental problems.

If you feel you need to find out more about prophylaxis treatment, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.comfor additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

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