Posts Tagged ‘general dentistry’

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.

Dental Crowns Will Improve Your Smile | Dumas Dentist

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

crownsHaving a dental issue is nothing unusual. There are plenty of reasons your tooth can get chipped, cracked or damaged, so it’s comforting to know that there is a fix when something happens. So, when something happens to break your teeth, you need to visit the dentist. Chances are, your dentist is going to suggest applying a crown to the damaged tooth.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength to improve its function and appearance. While typically used for cosmetic reasons, dental crowns may be beneficial in aiding a number of oral care areas, 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
  • 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 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.

For more information on dental crowns, 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.

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.

It Is Important that You Are Aware of Oral Cancer | Dumas Dentist

Friday, April 28th, 2017

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Whether or not you are aware, April is oral cancer awareness month. Not one of the more popular versions of cancer, awareness is very low but approximately 49,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. If you break it down, that 132 new people in the US EVERY DAY will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it. It’s high time that we make ourselves aware, don’t you think?

Smoking and tobacco use are the obvious reasons behind oral cancer development, but the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. And since we cannot stop this virus from spreading, it’s important to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40.

The first thing we need to know about oral cancer are the symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist to schedule a visit:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

Yes, there are quite a few symptoms that could possibly be the beginnings of oral cancer, but prevention is key. Here are ways to prevent oral cancer:

  • Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, so use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.
  • See your dentist on a regular basis. You should conduct self-exams, but there are times spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own. During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

For more information on oral cancer screenings, 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.

Which Dental Filling Is Right for Me? | Dumas Dentist

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

 

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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. Your dental options vary depending on your health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of pressure the tooth takes on while chewing, and the type of materials that should be used for your individual needs. Some of the choices you may have to choose from include amalgam, composite, and ionomers.

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.

Composite fillings consist of fine glass particles or quartz and resin, and usually people can’t even tell its been filled! More of the natural structure of the tooth is preserved, it provides great resistance against fractures and are also quite durable. Unfortunately, composite fillings can chip off the tooth, discolor and stain over time, are a bit more expensive.

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 filling that doesn’t require any chewing resistance.

To determine what type of filling is fitting for your individual needs, 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.

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