Posts for: August, 2016
Does your child complain of tooth pain? Dr. Jason W. Dyson, your Cedar Park, TX, family dentist at Parmer Oaks Dental Care, shares a few common cavity signs and explains how you can reduce your child's risk of tooth decay.
A toothache or a persistent throbbing in a tooth is the classic symptom of a cavity, but there are others signs that can indicate tooth decay. White, brown or black spots on the teeth are often caused by tooth decay. If the decay progresses, you'll eventually see small holes in the tooth. Your child may complain of pain when biting or putting pressure on the tooth. Cavities also tend to make teeth more sensitive because they eat away at tooth enamel, the outer layer that protects the dentin and pulp. Your child may experience pain when eating or drinking hot, cold or sweet foods and beverages and when brushing his or her teeth.
Abscesses - when tooth decay turns into an infection
If tooth decay isn't caught and treated in the early stages, your child may eventually develop an abscess, a painful tooth infection. Symptoms of an abscess include:
- Severe pain
- Swelling in the cheek or jaw
- A white, pimple-like bump in the mouth near the tooth and fever
It's important to take your child to your family dentist as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms.
You can help your child avoid painful cavities by:
- Supervising Brushing and Flossing: Daily brushing and flossing are an excellent way to remove cavity-causing plaque. Unfortunately, many children don't do a good enough job on their own. Supervising your child's oral hygiene routine and lending a hand as needed will help decrease your child's cavity risk.
- Limiting Sugar: Sugar combines with the bacteria in plaque to create acids that attack your child's tooth enamel. Avoiding foods and beverages high in sugar, such as candy and fruit juices, can help prevent cavities.
- Taking the Bottle Away at Night: Although milk helps build strong bones and teeth, it contains sugar. If your child falls asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth, he or she is much more likely to develop cavities.
Concerned about your child's teeth? Call Dr. Dyson, your Cedar Park, TX family dentist at Parmer Oaks Dental Care, at (512) 528-8900 to schedule an appointment.
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Your teeth and gums are filled with nerves that make the mouth one of the most sensitive areas in the body. But thanks to local anesthesia, you won't feel a thing during your next dental procedure.
The word anesthesia means “without feeling or pain.” General anesthesia accomplishes this with drugs that place the patient in an unconscious state. It's reserved for major surgery where the patient will be closely monitored for vital signs while in that state.
The other alternative is local anesthesia, which numbs the area that needs treatment, while allowing the patient to remain conscious. The anesthetics used in this way are applied either topically (with a swab, adhesive patch or spray) or injected with a needle.
In dentistry, we use both applications. Topical anesthesia is occasionally used for sensitive patients before superficial teeth cleaning, but most often as an “opening act” to injected anesthesia: the topical application numbs the gums so you can't feel the prick of the needle used for the injectable anesthetic. By using both types, you won't feel any pain at all during your visit.
Because of possible side effects, we're careful about what procedures will involve the use of local anesthesia. Placing a sealant on the exterior of a tooth or reshaping enamel doesn't require it because we're not making contact with the more sensitive dentin layer beneath. We've also seen advances in anesthetic drugs in which we can now better control the length of time numbness will persist after the procedure.
All in all, though, local anesthesia will make your dental care more comfortable — both for you and for us. Knowing you're relaxed and comfortable allows us to work with ease so we can be unhurried and thorough. By keeping pain out of the equation, your dental care has a better chance for a successful outcome.
If you would like more information on managing discomfort during dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”