Focusing On The Top 3 At The Gentle Art of Dentistry

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There are three dental health issues that affect as many as a third of all Americans. At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we want all of our patients to have healthy teeth and gums. If any of these common issues affect you, tell us. We can do something about it.

The problems were identified by the Health Policy Institute, which is part of the American Dental Association. In a survey of fifteen thousand people from all walks of life, they asked about problems with teeth and gums.

The top three answers were:

  • Tooth pain
  • Difficulty with chewing
  • Dry mouth

Tooth Pain. When a tooth hurts, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong. The most likely cause of tooth pain is a cavity, but it’s not the only one. It could also be a sign of gum disease, which is one of the leading causes of tooth loss.

Difficulty With Chewing. This too may indicate a cavity, but again, there could be other problems. There may be enamel erosion, a cracked tooth, or recessed gums. It can be serious, because certain foods may be difficult. If you avoid them you could be missing out on important nutrients that your body needs.

Dry Mouth. This, in fact, was the most common issue cited in the survey. It isn’t just a matter of being thirsty all the time. Chronic dry mouth can indicate poor saliva flow. This, in turn, can indicate a systemic condition. Dry mouth is a common side effect from some prescription medications. Poor saliva flow makes you more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, call us at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston right away to schedule an appointment. Patients from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein know they can trust our general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule a cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):


102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 6436

New Protein For Dental Implant Patients

Klein Dental ImplantsCountless men and women have replaced missing teeth with jaw-bone anchored tooth implants, like those available at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston.

Unlike a dental bridge, a tooth implant consists of a titanium post inserted into the jaw bone. The bone meshes with the post to create a strong base for the natural-looking prosthetic tooth and crown that attaches to the post.

Dental implants are usually the perfect restoration for people who want to replace a missing tooth. There is a problem, however, if the jaw bone is too thin at the implant location.

When a tooth is extracted, the bone loses the blood circulation at the former site of the root. Consequently, bone recession often occurs. If the recession is acute, there is not enough bone to hold the dental implant post.

Bone grafting can augment the bone at the implant site and provide the bone density necessary for a successful implant. This is usually effective, but it does require time for the new bone to be created. A new discovery may provide a quicker solution for regenerating bone.

Researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University College of Dental Medicine have identified a protein that quickly stimulates the production of new bone. The research team, led by Dr. Ulf M.E. Wikesjo, implanted bone morphogenetic protein in test subjects and discovered that “more new bone formed within four weeks than with conventional bone grafting.”

This protein will necessitate extensive testing before it is available for dental implant patients. However, I am pleased with the prospect of an additional method for making dental implants possible for my patients with missing teeth and jaw bone recession.

For information about tooth restoration options including tooth implants, dental bridges, and porcelain crowns, call The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston. Patients from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein also call us about cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 2987

Is Your Mouth Sore Something Serious?

North Tomball Dentists And Your Mouth SoresIf you have a mouth sore that lasts more than a week or two, come see us for an exam at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston. Mouth sores can be an indicator of disease, and an early assessment helps with preventing more serious dilemmas.

If necessary, important treatment and pain relief can be offered. In certain cases we will refer you to a medical professional who specializes in conditions that can cause mouth sores.

There are two types of mouth sores: canker sores and cold sores.

  • Canker sores are small ulcer-like sores with a white or gray base and a red border. They are found on the inside of the mouth and while they are not contagious, they can be painful. Canker sore generally heal in a week or two. Antimicrobial mouth-rinses, over-the-counter topical anesthetics, and avoiding spicy and acidic foods helps with temporary relief while your sore is healing.
  • Cold sores, also called fever blisters or Herpes Simplex, are groups of fluid-filled blisters that appear around the lips, sometimes appearing under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are contagious and painful, but typically heal in about a week. Some over-the-counter anesthetics furnish relief.

There are cutting-edge antiviral drugs on the market that have shown promise in curbing outbreaks, but there is currently no known cure.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we can provide relief. People from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein come to us for complete general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):


102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 341

The Future Of Tooth Decay In Houston

The Future Of Tooth Decay In Houston

Tooth decay is the single most common dental issue there is. Unlike a cut on your finger, a cavity will not heal itself. In a worst case scenario, an untreated cavity can lead to future problems, up to and including tooth loss. That’s why we stress regular brushing and flossing to all of our patients, at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston.

Cavities form when acids in the mouth attack the enamel and dentin of the teeth. The acid is produced by bacteria in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the surfaces of teeth. When sugar is introduced it interacts with the bacteria in the plaque, and makes the acids, which attack the teeth and cause cavities.

That’s why it is so important to choose food and drink wisely. But it isn’t easy, is it? Sugar seems to be in just about everything. Health experts say the average person in the United States consumes about 19.5 teaspoons of sugar every single day! That’s twice as much as is recommended by the American Heart Association.

Knowing how much sugar is in the food that you buy is vital: not just to your teeth, but to your overall health. Reading ingredient labels on processed foods is essential.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. So cut back on sugar, brush and floss your teeth, and see us for a cleaning and checkup every six months. Patients from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein come to us for general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):


102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 4071

The Five Stages of a Cavity

stages of a cavity Houston

In this message from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we discuss something about cavities you might not know. You may have heard that once tooth enamel is eroded, it’s gone forever. This is not entirely true. In the earliest stage of enamel erosion, a cavity can be reversed.

Here are the five stages of a cavity.

Stage 1: Attack of the Little White Spots

The tooth begins to show signs of damage. White spots appear. They are under the surface of the enamel, but you can see them from the outside.

Demineralization will result in these spots. When they occur in children’s molars, it can be easy for parents to miss them. That’s why daily dental hygiene and regular dental exams are crucial.

It this stage, it’s possible to halt a cavity before it needs a filling. Dental hygiene can stop the erosion. Fluoride can remineralize the enamel.

Can Stage 1 be reversed? Yes!

Stage 2: Enamel Decay

Did you know that tooth decay begins under the surface of the enamel?

The visible enamel is intact for the first part of Stage 2. Then the hole busts through the surface.

Can Stage 2 be reversed? No…but the tooth can probably be saved.

Stage 3: Going Deeper Into the Dentin

The decay breaks down the enamel and hits the soft dentin layer that lies below. This is an advanced cavity.

The good news?

The decay hasn’t yet reached the pulp. It will, however, start to cause pain.

Can Stage 3 be reversed? No…but maybe the tooth won’t need a root canal.

Stage 4: Ouch! The Decay Hits the Pulp

Hopefully, your youngster will never suffer stage 4. This is very painful. The infection has reached the pulp where the nerves are located. Unfortunately, a root canal is the only treatment option. Unless, of course, the tooth is extracted.

Remember, childhood cavities are completely preventable.

Can Stage 4 be reversed? No…and it must be treated with a root canal.

Stage 5: Abscess Distress

The decay (and infection) has traveled through the pulp and out the end. In the final stage, it drills through the tip. Now the infection is in the tissue and bone surrounding the tooth root. The area swells up and it’s exceptionally painful.

It’s also hazardous for anyone’s health. This is a serious infection that can spread to other parts of the body. Abscesses originating in a tooth can be fatal.

Can Stage 5 be reversed? No…and can be life threatening.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from tooth decay so you all have a healthy smile for life.

Patients from throughout East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein come to The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston for general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):


102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 8247

Chipped Tooth? No Need To Panic

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Your teeth are among the strongest parts of your body, but they are not invincible. Far from it! A fall, a collision, or any number of other accidents can result in a chipped or broken tooth. If it happens to you or a loved one, contact us at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston for treatment.

If a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. It’s a serious matter, but if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t usually require immediate attention. Even if there isn’t any pain, you’re probably going to feel some sharp edges with your tongue. It’s important that you avoid that area when you chew, because chewing might chip it some more. We may be able to smooth out the chip and repair any damage with composite filling.

If your tooth is giving you pain, call us immediately. There could be a serious crack or fracture, with accompanying damage to the inside of the tooth. The sooner you get into the OnCall Dental office, the better. In severe cases it is not always possible to save the tooth.

There are some things you can do before you get to the office:

  • Clean your mouth thoroughly with warm water, swished gently
  • Apply a cold compress to your face if there is swelling
  • Take a pain reliever with acetaminophen (don’t take aspirin). Brands with acetaminophen include Tylenol, Alka-Seltzer Plus, and NyQuil, and there are many others.

Once you’re here, we will probably take an X-ray. If there is damage to the tooth’s pulp a root canal may be in order. If not, bonding or a crown may be enough to fix you up.

If you have a chipped or broken tooth, take nothing for granted, even if there is no pain. At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we treat serious cases with emergency dentistry nearly every day. People from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein trust us in emergencies and with general dentistry. Call us to schedule your next cleaning and checkup today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 6411

Be Glad Doctor Anderson Has X-Ray Vision

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During a dental checkup at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we do a thorough inspection of your teeth and gums. But visual inspections can’t tell us everything we need to know, which is why we take x-rays.

For most patients, we update our x-rays once a year. They help us to make accurate diagnoses by showing what cannot be seen by the eye alone. Also known as radiographs, the images give us the total picture: not just inside your teeth, but the tip of the roots and the bone under the gums. Thanks to x-rays, we are able to identify and treat dental issues before they become more serious.

There are several types of x-rays:

  • Bite-Wing x-rays give us a picture of the upper and lower back teeth. We can see how they touch each other and see if there is any decay.
  • Panoramic x-rays give us the big picture: a view of the teeth, jaws and jaw joints, nasal area, and even the sinuses. These are especially useful if we think the patient may need orthodontics or a dental implant.
  • Occlusal x-rays show us the floor of the mouth, and the bite of the upper or lower jaw. They’re good for showing the development of children’s teeth, both the baby and permanent teeth.

X-rays use radiation, but are designed to minimize patient exposure. Patients only get negligible amounts, making them safe. The latest generations of x-rays reduce radiation even more. Still, we take the added safety measure of covering the patient with a heavy leaded apron and collar.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible dental care. People from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein come to our practice for complete general and cosmetic dentistry, and much more! Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 7351

Bleeding Gums After Your 6-Month Cleaning?

bleeding gums West Cypress

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are critical for good dental health. Sometimes our patients at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston worry because their gums tend to bleed after a thorough cleaning. Is that bleeding a problem?

Well, it depends. If your gums bleed for a day or two after your cleaning, it shouldn’t concern you. But if it lasts much longer, you really need to come back to our office so we can check further for signs of gum disease.

Gum disease arises when plaque builds up along the gum line. It can be painless, so you may have it and not even realize it. In the earliest stages it is called gingivitis. Left untreated, it can travel below the gum line and get into the bone. That’s a more serious condition called periodontitis.

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. It also puts you at risk for conditeions like heart disease and diabetes. Early detection is the best way to prevent gum disease.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we stress good dental health in all our patients. Patients come to our office from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein for complete general and cosmetic dentistry, and so much more. Please call our office to schedule your next checkup today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 5448

Trouble Getting Numb For Dental Treatment?

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For most of us, getting a cavity filled is not exactly a highlight of the day. But thanks to modern anesthesia, like what we use at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, it’s really just an inconvenience.

Some people, though, are resistant to local anesthesia like lidocaine. That makes what is ordinarily simple, like filling a cavity, a real challenge: the tooth needs to be fixed, but the level of pain can go off the charts.

The patient may be filled with local anesthestic, but for them, it’s like it’s not even there. A slow response to lidocaine is fairly common, and a second injection usually takes care of it. But sometimes it just doesn’t work.

There has been research into this but no conclusive findings. Some theorize that the tissue in certain people doesn’t absorb anesthetic they way it does in most. Another possibility is that some of us have nerves in slightly different places than in most. But no one knows for sure.

All of this is cold comfort to anyone who who has trouble getting numb for their dental work. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please let us know at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston. We will find a solution to your issues. Patients from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein seek us out for complete general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 8085

Aching Jaw?

Aching Jaw In Houston?

In this blog post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we are going to look at some of the conditions that may result in jaw pain.

The jaw joint is a complex structure. It’s made up of muscles, tendons, and bones, which enable us to bite, grind, and chew. Jaw pain is common, and may result from any number of things.

Jaw pain may be caused by sinusitis. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the tissues that line your sinuses, and when these tissues are inflamed, the sinuses exert pressure on surrounding areas. If the inflamed sinus is near the jaw, pain in the jaw joint may result. This commonly happens with a cold or allergies.

Injury or trauma to the jaw can also lead to recurrent, ongoing pain. It may be on one or both sides of the face, pain may come and go, or only occur when  chewing.

Jaw pain may be broadly categorized as temporomandibular joint disorder, usually shortened to TMJ or TMD. We can help identify what’s going on and treatment can begin from there. But remember, jaw pain shouldn’t be ignored.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, our patients come from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein for general and cosmetic dentistry, and many other services. Please call our office to schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

ArticleID 4025