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.

Don’t Fear the Root Canal | Dumas Dentist

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

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Have you recently been told that you need a root canal? If so, you’re not alone. There are millions of people that have had to have root canal treatment. While you may feel apprehensive about getting the procedure done due to all the stories floating around, I assure you they aren’t as bad as you may think.

Root canal treatments are done to repair and save a damaged or infected tooth. The treatment involves your dentist or endodontist removing the damaged tooth pulp, cleaning out the infection, and then filling and sealing the tooth. Below includes a list of what you can expect during a root canal treatment:

  • X-rays. If your dentist seems to think that you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays to confirm and to show where the decay is located.
  • Anesthesia. Before the actual root canal treatment begins your dentist or endodontist will administer local anesthesia to the affected tooth. Despite popular belief, root canals are no more painful than dental fillings.
  • Pulpectomy. After your tooth has been numbed an opening is created and the damaged tooth pulp is removed from both the crown and root.
  • Filling. Once the pulpectomy is done, the roots that have been opened are filled with a rubber-like material and sealed with dental cement.

Now that you’ve been properly informed about root canal treatments, you should hopefully feel less hesitant and more relaxed about having the procedure done if you ever have to. Keeping up with your dental hygiene will drop your chances extensively.

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.

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.

‘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.

I Have a Splitting Headache. What Should I Do? | Dumas Dentist

Friday, September 16th, 2016

200324634-001We’ve all been there before…we wake up in the morning to the most painful headache. A shooting pain overwhelms your entire mouth and even eating sounds like a terrible idea. You’ve gotten yourself a whopper of a toothache and it’s time to visit the dentist.

But what exactly is a toothache and how did we end up in this kind of pain? Well, there are lots of different ways a toothache can occur. It can be as simple as a cracked tooth, cavities or exposed roots; but it can also be something more serious, like your ears or sinuses causing the issue.

When it comes to pain, each one of us has a different threshold of pain tolerance. Some can work through a headache, some are taken out at the first signs of one. The problem with this is that denying yourself a solution to your frequent headaches is only delaying the inevitable, and possibly making your situation worse. If your headaches persist, you may need to figure out what is causing these frequent migraines. Because both headaches and toothaches are detected by the same trigeminal nerve in your head, which means one can be the cause of the other without being aware that is the case. There is no real way to crack the case without the help of your dental professional.

It may be unbearable but there are ways for you to give yourself some temporary relief while you are waiting to see the dentist. Over-the-counter remedies, like Ibuprofen or pain relieving gels are both great options, but there are also some natural ways to help ease your pain. Try chewing on a piece of garlic for a while every day. Not only is it a great pain reliever, it is also a way to strengthen your teeth at the same time. The heat and salt your mouth gets from gargling with hot saltwater for a few minutes also help relieve a toothache. Vitamin C from citrus juice is also a way to reduce tooth pain. If sinuses or some other infection is causing the pain, take a day to relax. Lots of water and sleep will do wonders to help your aches.

In the end, it is important to pay attention to the signals your body gives you when something is wrong. Ignoring the pain will only lead to more problems, so make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you find headaches or toothaches are persistent. There’s nothing to be afraid of. The technological advancements in dentistry makes dental procedures easy and virtually painless. Take care of your teeth. Good oral hygiene is the best line of defense against a toothache.

If you feel you have a headache caused by a toothache, 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.

Tooth Decay

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

459953231One of the most common problems for patients of all ages is tooth decay – bacterial colonies that eat away at a patient’s teeth, forming cavities that can eventually cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. While many patients know that tooth decay should be avoided, it can be helpful to explain tooth decay in simple terms, so that patients both know how to avoid tooth decay, and how it will be treated.

Feeding bacteria causes the physical action of tooth decay. These bacterial colonies create which break down the tooth material. 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.

The primary method of removing bacteria is removing food particles from the teeth and gums through brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing both 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 mentioned previously, failure to take proper care of your teeth will lead to decay – once diagnosed, a dentist will treat decay by removing the damaged tooth material with a high-speed drill. Once the decaying material is removed, the hole created will be re-filled with either a composite resin (tooth colored), or a metal amalgam filling (typically silver in color) – while they’re very different, they both serve the same purpose of filling the hole caused by decay, and protecting the tooth from further damage.

To prevent decay, cavities, drilling, and fillings, be sure to follow your dentist’s recommended oral hygiene routine – brush and floss daily, and have a professional cleaning every 6 months.

To learn more about oral health 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.

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