‘Tis the Season: Fruitcake Edition | Dumas Dentist

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

What Is a Dental Crown? | Dumas Dentist

August 31st, 2016

crownsHaving a dental issue is nothing unusual. There are plenty of reasons your tooth can get chipped, cracked or damaged. life is full of all kinds of accidents that can damage our teeth. So it’s comforting to know that there is a fix when something happens. First thing’s first – get to a dentist stat. The sooner you get into a chair, the better off your tooth will be. Chances are, your dentist is going to suggest applying a crown to the damaged tooth.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap basically that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Dental crowns are actually very beneficial. Dental crowns, while typically used for cosmetic reasons may be beneficial in aiding a number of oral care areas for adults such as:

  • Protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • Restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • Cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • Hold a dental bridge in place
  • Cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  • Cover a dental implant

For children, a dental crown may benefit them in these ways:

  • Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  • Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  • Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia

Dental crowns can drastically improve your smile and oral health, and may be necessary for your child’s as well. Dental crowns are fit to you personally and are customized to ensure they are as authentic as possible, as well as require as few as two dental visits!

What if I need more than one crown?

A dental bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap; these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, with false tooth/teeth in between. Like dental crowns, these provide more than just the cosmetic benefits to your overall oral care. Similarly, dental bridges are custom fit and colored to provide a cohesive look to provide natural look.

If you feel you may need dental crowns, 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 Dental Implants! What to Expect

July 1st, 2016

dental implantYou never thought it could happen, but your dentist tells you that you need dental implants. What exactly does that entail? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root similar to a screw that is placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Like a prosthetic for your smile. It will take a few procedures but once it’s done, it’ll be like you never had a missing tooth.

But what now? You have a basic grasp of daily oral care, but implants can’t possibly be the same to maintain as normal teeth, right? Does this mean you will need to retrain yourself a new dental care routine in order to look after them? Not exactly, but you will definitely have some things to alter a bit. The following are just a few things to keep in mind as you are going forward with your brand new teeth.

Once you have your implants in place, you will have a tooth/teeth that will look just like the others. You will be able to eat normally, speak without issue and no one will be able to tell so you can smile just as you did before losing the tooth. While implants are designed to withstand quite a bit, but just because they aren’t your originals, it doesn’t mean you can go neglecting them. They may not be able to get cavities like your originals, but they can go bad on you like the real versions. You can get inflamed gums and infections, or periodontal disease, just like before. So consider them exactly like your real teeth when you are looking after them. Dental implants are generally meant to last for decades to come, but they are still breakable. Handle them with care. Make sure you are careful when you are cleaning or caring for them.

Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure that everything is working properly and the surrounding gums and bone are being maintained and remain healthy. They will also require x-rays periodically to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. If gum disease is taking place, your gums will recede, showing your implants and making them weaker and prone to breaking. Dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.

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

First Signs of Periodontal Disease and What To Do About It

June 15th, 2016

ThinkstockPhotos-481249532Periodontal disease or gum disease usually starts with the reddening and the swelling of the gums, or more commonly known as gingivitis. At this early stage, the gums may also bleed whenever you brush or floss your teeth. If your gums are bleeding, don’t think that it’s caused by brushing too hard. Bleeding from the gum tissues is not normal and chances are, could be an early sign of periodontal disease.

There are cases where periodontal disease does not start with the reddening, swelling and bleeding of the gums. In fact, the gums may not swell, bleed or appear reddish at all. Your mouth may be an indicator in this case, especially if it smells bad before after you’ve already brushed your teeth. Another indicator is a foul taste in your mouth.

If you choose to ignore the early signs and symptoms of gum disease, the infection may progress further and cause your gum tissues to recede. As a result, the root surfaces may become exposed, causing tooth sensitivity. Even worse is that the infection may cause pockets to form in the gum lines, causing bone loss in the supporting bone and tissues around your teeth.

In the later stages of gum disease, painful pus pockets or abscesses may form. The infection may then cause the teeth to drift and become loose, which can make eating and chewing to become difficult and very painful.

The worst possible result of periodontal disease is tooth loss. This is something that you never really want to happen. Aside from losing your teeth, the later stages of periodontal disease has also been linked to various complications in the heart, lungs and brain.

What You Can Do About It

If you haven’t been visiting the dentist as regularly as every six months, now would be a good time to start doing so. The bleeding and swelling in your gums is a likely sign of early periodontal disease, which is something that you definitely want to be checked by a dentist. Even just an initial checkup would help, as it will allow the dentist to assess just how bad your mouth’s condition is. Although, if you’ve only visited the dentist regularly before, the dentist would’ve caught the earliest signs of gum disease already and have taken the necessary steps to prevent it.

In the meantime, you can start taking better care of your teeth. Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush may help, as well as would brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once and rinsing with mouthwash.

Avoid taking in sugary foods and drinks as well, as they can only contribute to the decay and make things worse.

Ultimately, though, visiting the dentist is your best option. The sooner you set an appointment and seek treatment, the better off your teeth will be.

Remember, gum disease is a serious medical issue and can affect anyone at any age. It should never be left untreated.

Taking proper care of your teeth at home and visiting the dentist regularly are two of the best things that you can do for your oral health.

If you feel you may be suffering from periodontal disease, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information regarding gum disease.

What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

May 11th, 2016

dental treatment

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.

As I mentioned there are many stories floating around about root canals, one being that they are painful. Though the truth is that root canals themselves are actually quite painless. However the same cannot be said about an infected tooth, which is probably what lead you to believe root canals were.

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.

Root canal treatments are known to have high success rates and can last a lifetime. However, if you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene it can lead to further dental problems. So be sure to practice proper oral hygiene to ensure the success of your root canal treatment. The following list includes a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene- Be sure to brush twice a day, for two minutes each time and to floss at least once a day. You can also use mouthwash to remove any loose bacteria and plaque. Practicing proper oral hygiene can help prevent against further dental problems.
  • Visit Your Dentist- It’s been recommend that you see your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Make it a priority to visit your dentist regularly.
  • Avoid Chewing on Hard Items- As most people know, chewing on hard food or items such as ice or pencils can damage teeth, as well as harm root canals.

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. Though, let’s hope you’re practicing proper oral hygiene, as to avoid dealing with such dental problems.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information regarding root canals.

Benefits of Dental Implants

April 14th, 2016

dental implantYour teeth are supposed to last your entire life, but sometimes they don’t. Teeth don’t just fall out from natural causes, however you can lose a tooth due to periodontal disease, injury and various other reasons. While some may think having missing teeth is no big deal, what they fail to realize is just how vital replacing a missing tooth is to their overall health and to the health if their remaining teeth. Not only will you lose your chewing ability, but missing teeth can cause your remaining teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded. There’s also the fact that missing teeth aren’t exactly attractive and can cause lowered self-esteem.

However, there are many ways you can go about regaining all off those lost attributes. One way being with the help of dental implants. Dental implants are an ideal and effective way to replace your missing teeth or severally damaged teeth, and are considered more predictable to alternative treatments. Not only do dental implants seamlessly blend in with your smile, they provide several benefits, both emotionally and physically.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Next Best Thing to Natural Teeth. Dental implants are durable, strong and stable due to the fact that the implant fuses to your jaw bone. This makes dental implants feel and function your natural teeth would. Not to mention that they seamless blend in with the rest of your teeth.
  • Designed to Last. While dental implants may need occasional adjustments, they can last you a lifetime when they are taken care of properly. You should take care of your implant the same you would your natural teeth.
  • Improves Speech. Missing teeth can cause for pronunciation problems and even slurred speech. By replacing missing teeth with dental implants, you can improve both speech and pronunciation problems.
  • Improves Facial Profile. When you’re missing several teeth it can cause your face to sag and appear sad or sunken in. Dental implants allow for you to improve or retain the natural facial profile.
  • Protects Jaw Bone. When tooth are lost it leads to empty spaces between your teeth which can cause further problems such as jaw atrophy, also known as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants are the only dental restoration that prevents bone loss and stimulates bone growth.
  • Improves Daily Life. One of the many bright sides to dental implants are that they can improve your quality of life. Dental implants won’t slip out while talking or eating your favorite foods.
  • Improved Self-Esteem. Not only do dental implants restore you smile, they help restore and boost your self-esteem as well. They can restore confidence in the simplest things such as eating, drinking, conversing or being intimate.

As you can see there are many benefits that stem from dental implants. So whether you should opt to replace your missing tooth with a dental implant or not shouldn’t be a question, but rather an answer.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental implants, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

 

Newsletter