The Affordable Dentists in Houston, Texas

​Tips for Care After a Root Canal

06-27-2017

By: Colgate

Image on Pixabay, CC0 License.

A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root.

What to Expect During a ROOT CANAL

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a must after a root canal. You might need to schedule an additional visit with your dentist to X-ray the treated tooth and to make sure that all signs of infection are gone, in addition to twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams. It's important to keep up a good oral care routine at home, including brushing twice a day.

If you think you need a root canal, consult your dentist. There are a number of steps that occur over a few office visits.

X-ray – if a dentist suspects you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays or examine existing X-rays to show where the decay is located.

Anesthesia – local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is no more painful than a filling.

Pulpectomy – an opening is made and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.

Filling – the roots that have been opened (to get rid of the disease pulp) are filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with cement.

A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate. Here are a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

Practice good oral hygiene – brush teeth twice a day, and floss at least once. Taking care of your teeth can help prevent future problems.

Visit the dentist regularly – cleanings and examinations by dentists and hygienists.

Avoid chewing on hard foods – chewing on hard foods such as ice can cause teeth to break, and can harm root canals.

Thooth Abscess

06-20-2017

By: Web MD

Photo credit: typexnick via Foter.com / CC BY.

A tooth abscess is a buildup of infected material (pus) in the center of a tooth. It is an infection caused by bacteria.

Causes

A tooth abscess may form if there is tooth decay. It may also occur when a tooth is broken, chipped, or injured in other ways. Openings in the tooth enamel allow bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (the pulp). Infection may spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.

Infection results in a buildup of pus and tissue swelling within the tooth. This causes a toothache. The toothache may stop if pressure is relieved. But the infection can remain active and continue to spread. This can cause more pain and can destroy tissue.

Symptoms

The main symptom is a severe toothache. The pain is continuous. It does not stop. It can be described as gnawing, sharp, shooting, or throbbing. Other symptoms may include:

·Bitter taste in the mouth

·Breath odor

·General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling

·Fever

·Pain when chewing

·Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold

·Swelling of the gum over the infected tooth, which may look like a pimple

·Swollen glands of the neck

·Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw, which is a very serious symptom

Exams and Tests

Your dentist will closely look at your teeth, mouth, and gums. It may hurt when the dentist taps the tooth. Biting or closing your mouth tightly also increases the pain. Your gums may be swollen and red, and may drain thick material.

Dental x-rays and other tests can help your dentist determine which tooth or teeth are causing the problem.

Treatment

The goals of treatment are to cure the infection, save the tooth, and prevent complications.

Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. Warm saltwater rinses may help ease the pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers may relieve your toothache and fever.

Do NOT place aspirin directly on your tooth or gums. This increases irritation of the tissues and can result in mouth ulcers.

A root canal may be recommended in an attempt to save the tooth.

If you have a severe infection, your tooth may be removed, or you may need surgery to drain the abscess. Some people may need to be admitted to the hospital.

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​Your 3 Most Common Smile Problems

06-12-2017

By Christina Heiser

Photo credit: Foter.com, CC0 License.

You probably spend plenty of money on skin care products to fight wrinkles and dark spots. But how much attention do you give your smile? Just like your skin changes as you age, your teeth also start to show signs of wear and tear as you get older. According to the World Dental Federation, 90 percent of people across the globe will deal with some sort of oral disease in their lifetime.

In honor of World Oral Health Day, we asked top dentists for the best ways to treat common dental problems so you can show off your smile with confidence at any age.

Acid erosion

Eating foods like oranges, raspberries, and pineapples, which have a high acidic content, can be great for your waistline but not for your smile. These foods can increase your risk of acid erosion, the wearing down of your tooth’s hard outer layer. Coffee and soda are bad for your teeth’s enamel, too.

“When acid hits the enamel, it wears down the surface of your tooth,” says Debra Glassman, DDS, a New York City dentist who has teamed up with ProNamel for the brand’s Acid Truth campaign. “This causes your teeth to get weak, dull, thin, and yellower.”

Luckily, you don’t have to give up your favorite foods and drinks — you just have to change your habits. Sip drinks through a straw to lessen the effect of acid on your teeth. “When you drink through a straw, this doesn’t allow the tooth to bathe in the acid liquid,” says Glassman.

Swishing water around your mouth after eating and drinking can also help protect your enamel. “If you swish it [water] around and swallow, you’re lowering the amount of acid in your oral cavity that causes the erosion,” says Glassman.

Bad breath

Garlic, onion, and spices may add tons of flavor to your meals, but they’re also most likely the culprit behind smelly breath. To eliminate the stink, pay extra attention to your tongue when you brush and floss.

“Many people don’t rake or scrape their tongue; they brush it,” says Thomas Connelly, DDS, a New York City dentist and the creator of 32 Effervescent Breath Treatment. “But brushing your tongue just compacts the debris and bacteria. Tongues must be raked or scraped.” You can find a tongue scraper at your local drugstore.

If you like to use mouthwash to fight dragon breath, look for natural formulas that don’t contain alcohol or triclosan, an antibiotic. “Chronic use of alcohol and antiobiotics can cause other, more severe problems than bad breath,” says Connelly. Alcohol can irritate canker sores, and some studies have linked mouthwash to oral cancer.

Tooth decay

Need another reason to skip that late-night cookie binge? The World Health Organization recently released new guidelines for decreasing sugar intake — not just for your health’s sake, but for your teeth, too, citing research that people who eat more sugar have more tooth decay.

“Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consumes the sugars you eat,” explains Marc Lowenberg, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in New York City. “The sugar gives the bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start the process of tooth decay.”

The most important thing you can do to prevent decay is also the easiest. “If I were to give anyone three tips on oral hygiene, it would be, floss, floss, and floss,” says Lowenberg.

Just make sure you floss before you brush. “Flossing first removes all the food particles from between your teeth,” says Glassman. “I found that when patients did it the opposite way — brushing before flossing — the food particles would seep right back into where they were and it wouldn’t really be a good cleaning job.”

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