4 Oral Ailments To Discuss With Your Dentist

Bad Breath Treatment North Tomball

This article is about some of the most frequent conditions that should be discussed with us, at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston.

There is a solution for each one of these issues.

  • Tooth Decay. This is easily the most common dental problem. Tooth decay, or cavities, occur when plaque combines with the sugars and/or starches in food to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. We can always do a drill-and-fill, but prevention via regular brushing and flossing is best.
  • Dry Mouth. Also known as xerostomia, this lack of saliva is very bothersome and can predispose you to a host of dilemmas such as decay and gum disease. It’s a common side effect of prescription medications, so make sure to bring a list of current prescriptions with you to your appointment.
  • Jaw Issues. If you suffer from jaw pain or notice a clicking sound, be sure to schedule an appointment with us immediately. These symptoms can be signs of a condition called temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.
  • Dull Teeth. Even with regular brushing, most people see their smile grow dull over the years. Professional teeth whitening can revitalize them!

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, the dental health of our patients is always our top priority. Patients from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein come to our office for general and cosmetic dentistry, and much more. Please call to schedule your next 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

 

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Are Floss Picks As Good As Regular Dental Floss?

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Are floss picks as good as regular floss? While it’s better to floss with a floss pick than to not floss at all, it’s important to note that floss picks can only clean a part of the tooth’s surface. At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we recommend traditional floss or tape. Here’s why:

A floss pick holds just a small piece of floss stretched in a straight line. But teeth are rounded, with occasional irregularities. A straight segment of floss just won’t conform to the contours of the tooth as well as traditional string floss.

By wrapping string floss completely around a tooth, you can clean off plaque far more effectively. We have seen patients who are dutiful floss pick users who developed decay due to a small crack the floss pick missed day after day.

Flossing, The Right Way

Here is a guide to proper flossing:

  • Cut a segment of floss about 18 inches long and securely wind each end around your middle fingers.
  • Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with. Thread the floss between two teeth.
  • Hold the floss tightly against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gumline. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s critical to scrape up and out of the pocket.
  • Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface—especially those that your brush can’t reach. You can use a “shoeshine” method if you like. With 18 inches, you should have enough to furnish a clean segment for each tooth.
  • Some people find it simpler to start on one end of the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the end on the opposite side, and then repeat for the lower arch.
  • If you don’t usually floss, your gums might bleed the first few times. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding typically stops within a week or two.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we want all our patients to enjoy excellent dental health. That means daily flossing and brushing, and a checkup in our office every six months. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next 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

 

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Soft, Medium, Or Buzz Lightyear?

Affordable Dentistry in Houston

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, patients sometimes ask us how they should go about choosing a toothbrush. Picking this most basic dental health tool can be as hard as choosing a paint color, and there seem to be just as many choices.

The most important consideration for a toothbrush is soft bristles. We recommend them for everyone: our youngest patients to the oldest. Soft bristles are gentle on the surfaces of your teeth, but are still rigid enough to brush away plaque and food debris. Remember to use a light touch as you brush, so that the bristles don’t bend.

Tooth enamel is extremely sensitive, and it can wear down over time. Using a hard bristled brush can scratch it. That’s also why you should use a light touch as you brush.

If your child shows any resistance to brushing, get them involved by letting them choose their own brush. There are lots to choose from at the store, including brushes with just about any cartoon character you can think of. The important thing is to settle on one with the ADA seal of approval.

Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. (So is flossing, but we’ll save that topic for another blog post.)

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we offer general dentistry services. People from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein also improve their smiles with 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

 

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Gum Disease And Tooth Loss

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Did you know that the most common cause of tooth loss among adults is gum disease? At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, the good news is that gum disease is easy to treat if it is detected in the early stages.

Regular check-ups are critical, but there are warning signs for gum disease that everyone should be looking for.

  • Gums that bleed often
  • Gums that are tender, swollen, or very red, or gums that have visible pus in between them when they are pushed
  • A bite that changes suddenly so that your teeth don’t seem to fit together correctly
  • Receding gums
  • A bad taste in the mouth or chronic bad breath
  • Loose or separating teeth

Gum disease is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.

No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. It takes a professional cleaning to remove it, which is why we encourage regular checkups.

If you notice the above symptoms, call us at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston right away. People from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein come to our practice for complete general dentistry, and to improve their smiles with 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 6724

Are All Carbs Created Equal?

Diet Changes For Healthier Teeth In Houston

Most people know that the sugar in candy, cookies, juices and sodas can harm your teeth, but some people don’t realize that all carbohydrates can cause cavities. As we’ll describe in this post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, a handful of pretzels or a piece of pumpernickel bread can have the same effect on your teeth as a fudge brownie.

All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, which are converted into plaque, which can then cause cavities and gum disease. Carbs are naturally sticky and adhere to your teeth. Eating carbs with meals is healthier than eating them as snacks because more saliva is generated at mealtime. Saliva helps prevent food particles from sticking to teeth.

Another  way people can improve their oral health is to get plenty of calcium: 800mg a day for men and 1,000mg for women under 50. Calcium helps strengthen your jaw and secure your teeth firmly in the jaw bone.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we want all our patients to enjoy clean teeth and healthy smiles. Our services include general dentistry. People from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein also come to us for cosmetic dentistry. Call for 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

 

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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

 

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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 Five Stages of a Cavity

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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

How Dental Implants Are Changing Dentures

How Dental Implants are Changing Dentures in Houston

If you wear dentures, you know that they are not an ideal solution for missing teeth. They can slip, cause gum irritation, bone loss, and leave you with an inability to taste food due to a covered palate. The good news? Implant-supported dentures from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston offer a better solution.

If you currently wear traditional dentures and are not happy with them, implant anchored dentures can dramatically change your life. Your chewing ability will be similar to that of natural teeth and you will be able to eat hard foods again.

What makes them such an improvement is in the name, “implant.” A dental implant is a titanium post that is placed into the patient’s jaw. It fuses with the bone to provide a solid support for replacement teeth.

It takes multiple implants, usually four, to support a full dental arch. In addition to supporting dentures, they help to prevent bone recession.

To find out more about implant-supported dentures from The Gentle Art of Dentistry, please give us a call. People from East Spring, West Cypress, and Klein trust our complete general dentistry. 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 1013

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

 

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