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What causes a tooth to become impacted?

Written by : Posted on April 4, 2016 : Comments Off on What causes a tooth to become impacted?

dentist carrolltonAn impacted tooth is a common reason to visit the dentist. It happens most frequently with wisdom teeth, which then usually need to be removed. A tooth becomes impacted when there isn’t enough room for it to properly emerge. This can result in infection.

Side Effects of Impaction

Impaction occurs when a tooth is “trapped” and can’t emerge fully from the gums. If teeth are crowded, it’s more likely for a tooth to become impacted. Teeth can also become impacted if they emerge at an incorrect angle. Some teeth are situated improperly in the jawbone and this causes impaction as they try to emerge from the gums sideways or at an angle that is blocked by neighboring teeth.

An impacted tooth can push other teeth out of position, causing achiness, sensitivity, and misalignment. Impacted teeth are also prone to infection. Because impaction creates a situation detrimental to the health of your other teeth and to your oral health in general, your family dentist will probably recommend that your impacted tooth be removed. Depending upon the location of the tooth, how far it has emerged, and its overall positioning, this might be done in your regular dental office. In other cases, you might require oral surgery.

Impaction and Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth often become impacted. As the last molars to emerge, they often don’t have enough room to successfully join the rest of the teeth in your mouth. The result is discomfort, swelling, movement of your other teeth, and possibly infection. For this reason, your family dentist will keep track of the positioning and size of your wisdom teeth even before they begin to emerge. If your wisdom teeth are starting to come in and you notice symptoms of impaction, you should discuss this with your dentist.

Other teeth can also become impacted. If a tooth is positioned incorrectly in the jawbone, it might try to emerge from an angle where it wedges against adjacent teeth. Regular X-rays usually detect these problems before the tooth emerges, allowing your dentist to recommend appropriate treatment.

Are you concerned about your wisdom teeth coming in? Contact our office today to set up a consultation with our caring team today.

What can I expect to happen to my teeth and gums as I get older?

Written by : Posted on March 7, 2016 : Comments Off on What can I expect to happen to my teeth and gums as I get older?

far north dallas dentistJust like the rest of us, our teeth change with age. As we get older, it’s important to visit the dentist regularly to ensure age-related changes aren’t leading to long-term problems. Our teeth are subjected to high levels of everyday stress, which can lead to damage and other issues.

Your Teeth and the Aging Process

You use your teeth every day to bite and chew. This activities place high levels of stress on the teeth. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is still subject to wear and tear over time. Chewing and biting can eventually cause the enamel to become thinner and to break down. If you have issues with your enamel—for example if it is softer than normal or didn’t develop properly—these problems are made worse.

Under normal conditions, the teeth will become darker over time as the enamel becomes thinner. The dentin beneath, which is softer and darker than enamel, shows through. In addition, teeth can become chipped or cracked from the stress of chewing and biting. This kind of damaged is more likely and usually more severe if you habitually grind your teeth.

Your Gums and the Aging Process

The leading cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. If untreated, gum disease, also called periodontitis, causes the gums to recede and pull back from the tooth roots. The teeth become loose and can eventually fall out. If you have dry mouth—also more common among older adults—this can increase your risk for both gum disease and tooth decay. If you’ve already lost some teeth and have dentures, you’ll still have to practice preventive care by thoroughly cleaning your dentures so bacteria doesn’t collect under them and cause gum disease. Implants must also be cared for diligently to keep gum disease at bay.

Your family dentist can help you ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy well into your old age. Visit the dentist regularly and point out any issues you might have, such as bleeding gums or uncomfortable sensitivity. Practice diligent at-home care, and together you and your dentist can keep your teeth healthy for many years to come.

Call our caring team at Bliss Dental today to set up an appointment to discuss your mouth!

Tired of Old Discolored Fillings?

Written by : Posted on February 10, 2016 : Comments Off on Tired of Old Discolored Fillings?

tooth colored fillings carrolltonMetal amalgam fillings are a common approach to tooth restoration, used to restore teeth after decayed areas have been removed. In time, however, these fillings can become discolored and make the surrounding teeth look darker. Replacing amalgam fillings with tooth-colored fillings gives you a more natural look.

What are Tooth-Colored Fillings Made Of?

Tooth-colored fillings are generally made of either porcelain or a composite resin. Porcelain fillings are very durable, but must be custom-made, usually in an off-site laboratory. Your dentist removes the decayed area of your tooth—or removes your existing metal filling—then makes a cast that is used to make your final filling. Composite resin can be placed in the tooth in the dentist’s office just like metal amalgam. It is cured with a special light, making it hard and durable.

The type of tooth-colored filling you choose is based on your personal preference as well as that of your dentist. This type of filling can be designed to match or very closely approximate the color of your teeth, giving you a natural look and eliminating stains that can be caused by metal amalgam fillings.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Porcelain and resin fillings provide a number of advantages over metal fillings. These advantages have led many people to choose to have their old amalgam fillings replaced. Some of the advantages include:

  • Resin is more flexible and less likely to pull away from the surrounding tooth
  • Less tooth structure must be removed to make room for a resin filling
  • Tooth-colored fillings do not contain mercury, which concerns some patients

A disadvantage of tooth-colored fillings is that they tend not to last as long as metal amalgam. With proper care, however, they will serve you well for a decade or more. Your dentist will examine your new fillings on a regular basis during your routine examinations. Regular brushing and flossing will help reduce the chances of developing additional decay in other teeth or in other areas of the teeth you’ve already had restored.

If you’re looking to get tooth-colored fillings, contact our friendly team at Bliss Dental to schedule an appointment today!

Gingivitis and your overall health

Written by : Posted on January 4, 2016 : Comments Off on Gingivitis and your overall health

far north dallas dentistGingivitis is inflammation in the gums. If untreated, it can worsen and develop into infection and gum disease. The presence of gingivitis can lead to other issues with your overall health. If you have gingivitis, you should talk to your dentist about how to treat it.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It consists of fairly minor inflammation of the gingival tissues, otherwise known as the gums. It occurs when certain bacteria in the mouth build up just below the gum line. If it isn’t treated promptly, the inflammation can develop into serious infection. The gums begin to draw back from the teeth, resulting in loose teeth and even eventual tooth loss. Gingivitis itself is fairly simple to treat, but if it is allowed to develop into severe gum disease, treatment becomes complex and invasive.

You can prevent gingivitis by brushing and flossing regularly. This removes the bacteria that cause the inflammation and also massages the gums to keep them healthy. Your dentist will check your gums for any signs of inflammation or infection during your regular check-ups, so be sure to go about every six months for this important evaluation of the health of your mouth.

How Does Gingivitis Affect My Overall Health?

Studies have shown that people with chronic gingivitis or gum disease are much more likely to develop cardiovascular problems, including heart disease. The bacteria that build up in your mouth can move to other parts of your body through the bloodstream, leading to inflammation in the arteries and elsewhere. This spread of inflammation leads to cardiovascular problems, and can become a serious issue.

To prevent the bacteria from your mouth from spreading and to keep gingivitis from developing in the first place, pay close attention to your oral health. Brush regularly and thoroughly. Daily flossing helps remove food particles and bacteria that brushing can’t reach, including bacteria and plaque that build up just beneath the gum line. With diligent oral hygiene, you can preserve not only your oral health, but the health of your whole body.

If you’re concerned about gingivitis, have our dentist evaluate your oral health at your next checkup.  Call us to make an appointment at Bliss Dental today!

Preventive dentistry: Your first line of defense for a healthy smile

Written by : Posted on December 7, 2015 : Comments Off on Preventive dentistry: Your first line of defense for a healthy smile

dentist CarrolltonPreventive dentistry is the best way to ensure your teeth remain strong and healthy. Caring properly for your teeth and visiting your dentist regularly helps prevent problems from developing and makes it more likely that any signs of cavities or gum disease will be diagnosed early. With diligent preventive care, your chances of a serious dental health issue are greatly reduced.

Types of Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry includes anything that helps prevent problems from developing and that safeguards your oral health. This includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. During your check-ups, preventive care includes X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatment, digital photography, oral cancer screenings, and everything else your dentist does to keep track of the health of your mouth. These techniques help the dentist find and diagnose any problems before they become serious, making treatment easier and more effective.

Your at-home hygiene efforts are also an important part of preventive care. Regular brushing removes plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing cleans between your teeth and just under the gum line while also massaging your gums to keep them healthy. If you brush your tongue, this eliminates even more bacteria from your mouth, helping prevent bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.

Additional Preventive Care

Your dentist will also screen for oral cancer during your regular check-ups. He’ll look for any unusual growths, bumps, spots, or lesions in your mouth. Early diagnosis is vital for successful treatment of oral cancer, so this screening could save your life.

Other issues your dentist will keep an eye out for regarding your oral health are gingivitis, gum disease, dry mouth, problems with the interior of the tooth, or inflammation that is visible on X-rays but might not be producing any symptoms. He’ll also keep an eye out for impacted teeth, root resorption, damage caused by bruxism, and signs that your teeth are out of proper alignment. By practicing good preventive care, you and your dentist can work together to be sure any problems with your oral health are spotted long before they become serious issues.

Call our dentist today to set up your biannual appointment with us!

Is your mouth stressed out?

Written by : Posted on November 4, 2015 : Comments Off on Is your mouth stressed out?

dentist north dallasStress can cause numerous problems with your health, including your oral health. Though we often acknowledge stress-related issues like high blood pressure and anxiety, we don’t recognize stress-related dental problems as often. If you are suffering from high levels of stress, you should talk to your dentist to alleviate problems this could be causing in your mouth.

Effects of Stress on Dental Health

The effects of stress on your dental health are many and can cause serious problems. If you have issues with stress in your life, your teeth, mouth, and gums can suffer issues that you might not immediately connect to your stress levels. These can include:

  • Canker sores
  • Teeth grinding
  • Stress-eating that leads to cavities
  • Less diligent oral care, resulting in decay or gum disease
  • Less effective immune system

If you notice problems such as canker sores or teeth grinding, see your dentist for help. He can recommend treatment. For teeth grinding, our dentist can provide a custom-made mouthguard to keep you from damaging your teeth. Visit our dentist regularly and be sure to keep up with your normal dental care routine and eat healthy foods to avoid additional problems.

Managing Your Stress

The best way to combat the health issues related to stress is to learn how to manage it. This could include cutting back on your obligations, if possible, or looking for a less stressful job or a friendlier workplace. Other approaches can also help, such as regular meditation, exercise, or yoga. Your doctor can recommend a good approach to stress management if you can’t find something that works well for you.

In the long run, managing your stress will pay off in dividends of much improved health across the board. People under stress are more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and other major health problems. They’re also more likely to develop cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and bad habits like teeth grinding or chewing on pens and pencils. If stress is eating away at your health, find out what you can do to counter it by contacting our office today to set up an appointment with our Dr. Sheth. 

Porcelain veneers: Affordable luxury

Written by : Posted on October 5, 2015 : Comments Off on Porcelain veneers: Affordable luxury

veneers carrolltonWhat would be the one thing you would change about your smile if you could? Remove stain or discoloration; close unwanted gaps between teeth; make your teeth appear less misshapen; or fix chipped or broken teeth? There is a minimally invasive procedure that can correct many cosmetic dental maladies: porcelain veneers.

Our dentist will consult with you to demonstrate the many ways veneers can improve your appearance. Veneers are wafer thin shells that are made to match neighboring teeth that do not require correction. This means that you can correct one or multiple teeth, and no one will be able to tell you’ve undergone the dental correction.

Why are veneers so popular when it comes to cosmetic dental repair? The veneers are made from porcelain making them stain resistant. Teeth covered with veneers are strengthened when porcelain is cemented to the front of the patient’s teeth.

This affordable process allows your dentist to enhance your smile by covering:

Dental stain – When stubborn intrinsic stains mar your smile, veneers can take dull, stained, and drab teeth to white and bright. To enjoy the whitest smile possible, your dentist may recommend whitening your teeth first so your veneers can be matched to your new dental shade. This is important as porcelain is not impacted by teeth whitening.

Unwanted gaps – Those spaces between your teeth may have been “cute” when you were a child, but are a distraction now. Veneers appear to close those gaps completely.

Crooked, uneven teeth – You may have a few teeth that lack symmetry making you self-conscious about your smile. Veneers can even out your smile by making your teeth appear straight and uniform in size.

Chipped teeth – Dental enamel is strong, but not invincible. Teeth can chip and break. It is not necessary to undergo extensive repair when veneers can cover up the problem.

Our dentist will prepare your teeth by removing a very small amount of the enamel (about the thickness of the veneer itself) from the front of teeth to receive the veneers. Part of the preparation involves roughing up the tooth’s surface to provide better gripping. The veneers are temporarily placed to guarantee a proper fit and excellent appearance.

If needed, minor adjustments can be made at this time. Once everyone is satisfied with the result, the veneers are cemented in place making this a permanent, affordable smile makeover.

Call our office to discuss your cosmetic treatments with our experts!

Can anything be done about unattractive, discolored fillings?

Written by : Posted on September 7, 2015 : Comments Off on Can anything be done about unattractive, discolored fillings?

tooth colored fillings carrolltonTraditional fillings have been around for many years, and it’s only in the last few decades that a workable replacement has moved into mainstream dentistry. If you have metal fillings that have become discolored, you can have them replaced with tooth-colored fillings that are much more attractive.

Tooth Colored Fillings for a More Attractive Smile

Fillings have been a staple in dental reconstruction for a very long time. Traditionally, they are made of a metal amalgam. In recent years, however, more and more dentists are using tooth-colored fillings. These are made of plastic resins or porcelain. While not always as durable as metal fillings, they are more attractive, and some people feel they are better for your overall health.

One problem often associated with metal fillings is discoloration. They can become dark and unattractive and give your teeth a stained appearance. If you’re unhappy with the way your fillings look, talk to our dentist about tooth-colored replacements. If you’ve had tooth-colored fillings before and they’ve become stained, they also can be replaced with newer, color-matched versions to revitalize your smile.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Aside from the obvious advantage of matching your natural teeth, tooth-colored fillings provide additional advantages, including:

  • They don’t conduct heat and cold, which can result in discomfort
  • The resin bonds with your tooth to help prevent cracking
  • Resin does not expand and contract like amalgam
  • They do not contain mercury like amalgam fillings do
  • They don’t require as much drilling

Porcelain or resin fillings are often more expensive than metal fillings, but these advantages offset the additional cost. If taken care of, they will last nearly as long as amalgam fillings. They also reduce the possibility that your tooth will crack over time and require a crown. For teeth that experience considerable bite pressures, such as molars, wear might be more extreme, so be sure to discuss your options with our dentist.

Contact our office today to set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Sheth and discuss your treatment options.

Electronic toothbrush: A great weapon against plaque formation

Written by : Posted on August 3, 2015 : Comments Off on Electronic toothbrush: A great weapon against plaque formation

far north dallas dentistPlaque is a sticky white substance that clings to your teeth. Its acidic nature means it can eat through the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly keeps plaque from building up on your teeth, and regular visits to your dentist ensures any cavities can be treated before they become serious. But another, very effective tool against plaque buildup is an electronic toothbrush.

Benefits of an Electronic Toothbrush

An electronic toothbrush has several important advantages over a regular toothbrush. It can brush evenly and at a consistent speed and pressure. Many electronic toothbrushes have timers you can use to be sure you brush for a full two minutes—the length of time recommended for effective brushing. The motion of the brushes helps massage the gums, increasing blood flow to these vital tissues. Some electronic toothbrushes also have specially designed bristles that help clean between the teeth, removing plaque and food particles that a traditional brush might not reach.

If you are interested in using an electronic toothbrush, ask our dentist for a recommendation. There is a wide variety of brands available, and we might feel one or two are better than others. Our specialists can also base his recommendation on your individual needs and your oral health history.

Helping Maintain Your Oral Health

In addition to regular brushing with an electronic toothbrush, there are other measures you can take to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and clean. Brushing with a regular toothbrush is effective if you brush regularly and diligently and are sure to brush for about two minutes with each session.  Regular flossing is also very important, as it removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth. If you have difficulty with gingivitis in spite of using an electronic toothbrush, a water-based tool to clear out the spaces between the teeth can be a helpful addition. Also be sure to visit our dentist regularly, and if you have any questions about proper brushing and flossing technique or what kinds of tools are best for you and your teeth, be sure to ask.

Are you ready for your biannual dental cleaning? Call us today at Bliss Dental to set up your appointment!

Will Teeth Whitening Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

Written by : Posted on July 8, 2015 : Comments Off on Will Teeth Whitening Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

teeth whitening carrolltonTeeth whitening is a simple, straightforward procedure that produces dramatic and immediate results. It is extremely safe and has very few side effects, although some patients do experience increased sensitivity after whitening treatment.

Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

As a general rule, teeth whitening has few to no side effects. This is particularly true for in-office whitening performed by a cosmetic dentist. When the dentist prepares you for treatment, she uses a special gel to protect your lips and a plastic appliance to protect your tongue. This greatly reduces the risk of irritation to the soft oral tissues due to contact with the bleaching agent. This side effect is more common in over-the-counter whitening treatments or take-home treatments, in which it is more likely that your lips and tongue will come in contact with the whitener.

One fairly common side effect of whitening is increased tooth sensitivity. This is usually not extreme, and in most cases fades after a few days or weeks. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help alleviate this sensitivity until it goes away.

Choosing Teeth Whitening

If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look due to discoloration or staining, talk to your cosmetic dentist about whitening. This type of treatment is appropriate for almost everyone, with some exceptions, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing women
  • Patients under 18

If the discoloration on your teeth is due to staining agents and affects only the outer surfaces, whitening is likely to be very effective. However, if your teeth are discolored due to exposure to fluoride or antibiotics, or because the teeth have been injured, whitening won’t help. In these cases, you should consult with your dentist regarding the best option. For intrinsic staining, porcelain veneers are a good choice. For injured teeth, you might need restorations, a crown, or even a root canal treatment to restore your tooth so it will continue to be usable.

If you’re ready to receive a brighter smile, call us at Bliss Dental and schedule an appointment with our specialist, Dr. Sheth.