Signs of a Gum Infection

Gum infections lead to all kinds of negative outcomes, including the loss of permanent teeth. But before that happens, there are many chances for you to see your dentist in Brookeland, TX when you first begin to notice the signs of a gum infection. Being proactive about this problem can potentially save you from tooth loss. Here are the signs of a gum infection to be aware of.

Swelling Along the Gum Line

Swollen gums indicate a buildup of pus and/or bacteria, which almost certainly means a gum infection. While there are other possible causes, a gum infection is the most common. If you notice anything like this, see your dentist as soon as possible for treatment.

Bleeding Gums

Unless you’re brushing much too vigorously, your gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush them or otherwise. A gum infection often causes gums that bleed during brushing or even at other times when you aren’t practicing oral hygiene.

Receding Gums

Have you ever heard the phrase, “long in the tooth”? This refers to older people who have more of the surface area of the teeth showing due to receding gums. However, this isn’t limited to the elderly. Anyone who has a gum infection may experience the same thing.

Chronic Bad Breath

When you have an active gum infection, no amount of breath mints, rinsing or chewing mint leaves will alleviate the unpleasant odor that emanates from the mouth. While bad breath can also be a side effect from other causes, such as certain prescription medications, it’s not a sign that you should ignore, just in case it is caused by a gum infection.

Change in Teeth Alignment

Have you noticed that your bit has changed? Do your upper and lower teeth fit together differently? This indicates shifting teeth, which often goes along with an advanced gum infection. Talk to your dentist about treatment options.

When you have a gum infection, there may still be time to save your permanent teeth. The first step is to have a thorough teeth cleaning in Brookeland, TX, so your dental health can be fully evaluated. If it turns out that you do have a gum infection, treatment options are available to potentially reverse the problem. But the sooner you address the situation, the better the outcome may be.

4 Benefits of Dental Implants

Missing or severely damaged teeth can be a source of considerable embarrassment. But thanks to technological advances in the field of dentistry, problems like this may be solved with dental implants in Brookeland, Texas. Dental implants offer substantial benefits over other options such as dentures, as you will see here.

Dental Implants Need Less Maintenance

Dental implants only require the same kind of care and maintenance as you would give your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, for example, you don’t need to buy special cleaning products or do anything more than brush, floss, and rinse.

Dental Implants Are Natural Looking

Dental implants are made out of special material that is custom-tinted to match the hue of your natural teeth. Furthermore, dental implants don’t include “faux” gum tissue, unlike dentures. This makes dental implants much more natural-looking than any other form of cosmetic dental treatment in Brookeland, TX, including dentures and bridges.

Dental Implants Are Permanent

Dental implants are permanent. Quality dental implants can last decades when good oral hygiene is practiced. This means that you never have to remove the dental implants for any reason. They will become so much a part of your natural teeth that it’s likely that over the years you will almost forget you have them!

No Refitting is Necessary With Dental Implants

Dentures are great if they are your only option. But the benefits of dental implants include no refitting. A common issue with dentures is refitting over time. As gum tissue erodes or changes, dentures may become ill-fitting, which can lead to awkward slippage or trouble speaking or chewing. Refitting dentures usually takes care of the problem. But with dental implants, no refitting is necessary in the future. The dental implants that you can get in Brookeland, TX become a fixed part of your mouth’s structure, and there is very little chance that they will ever fail you by becoming ill-fitting in the future.

These are just some of the benefits of dental implants. Of course, your dentist in Brookeland, TX can give you even more information about all the ways that dental implants can solve your oral health problems, such as missing or damaged teeth. Contact Rayburn General Dentistry today to see if dental implants are a viable option for you!

How to Keep Gums Healthy After Tooth Extraction

Though it’s probably not something you look forward to, having a tooth extraction in Brookeland, TX is sometimes important for your oral health. Yet once your tooth is extracted, it is just as important that you follow the advice of your dentist regarding how to keep your gums healthy and allow your mouth to heal. To avoid post-extraction problems, here are some steps you can take.

Keep the Extraction Site Clean

To prevent infection, do as your dentist says and keep the extraction site clean. To do so, you can gently rinse your mouth with a glass of water than has one teaspoon of salt added to it. Though you will probably have to wait about 12 hours after the extraction before you can rinse, doing this about three times daily for a few days will yield positive results.

Don’t Drink Hot Liquids

If you like coffee, hot chocolate, or any other hot drinks, you’ll need to steer clear of these for a few days following your extraction. If you don’t, chances are the hot liquids will increase the swelling around your extraction, prompting another visit to the dentist.

Brush Your Teeth Gently

While you can gently brush your teeth following an extraction, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. First, don’t brush close to the extraction site. If you try brushing too close, you may dislodge the blood clot that formed, leading to excessive bleeding. Also, don’t use any toothpaste when you are brushing. Since you would have to rinse and then spit out the toothpaste, this too may dislodge the blood clot.

Eat Soft, Healthy Foods

Finally, since you’re not expected to starve yourself after a tooth extraction, remember to eat only foods that are soft and healthy. Popular options include applesauce, spaghetti, and yogurt. If you need some comfort food to help you feel a little better, maybe a bit of ice cream can also be eaten.

After your tooth extraction, always take the advice of your dentist in Brookeland, TX. By doing exactly as your dentist instructs you to do and using your common sense and good judgement along the way, it should not be long until your gums are healed up and your mouth is feeling great.

New Years Resolution: Take Care Of Your Beautiful Teeth!

Your teeth are beautiful, so it’s important to take care of them! Taking care of your teeth can help you maintain a lovely, pearly white smile. As your dentist in Brookeland, TX, we can provide the services and care you need to take good care of your teeth. We can also teach you more about maintaining good oral hygiene, so you can keep your teeth cleaner at home. Here’s what you need to know.

Brush Your Teeth for the Recommended Length of Time

Brush your teeth for about two minutes every time you brush. It’s very important that you avoid brushing your teeth too hard for these two minutes, as hard brushing can cause gum recession and damage.

Not sure how long two minutes is? One way to tell is to time yourself as you’re brushing. Most cell phones have a timer or a countdown feature that makes this easy. Another way to tell is to get an electric toothbrush. Most electric toothbrushes are designed to stay on for two minutes only, and then turn off.

If you use your tooth brush for two minutes until it turns off, then you won’t be under brushing or over brushing. Some electric toothbrushes also have sensors and can tell you when you’re brushing too hard!

See the Dentist At Least Twice this Year

Most people need to see the dentist for a dental checkup in Brookeland TX twice per year. Some people need to see the dentist more often, because of dental conditions they have. Make your first appointment with your dentist to find out how many times you should get a checkup this year.

Get a Lesson in Brushing and Flossing from Your Dentist

Many people don’t brush their teeth properly. Some people brush too hard, others don’t brush hard enough. Many people miss the dirtiest parts of their mouths when they brush.

You can avoid this problem by getting a lesson in brushing and flossing when you see your dentist. The next time you come in for a dental appointment, find out from your dentist what you can do to brush your teeth properly.

Need more information about how you can take care of your teeth? Call Rayburn General Dentistry to make your next appointment.

Questions to Ask At Your Next Dentist Appointment

When you go see the dentist, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask your dentist questions that you have about oral hygiene. Making a list of questions can help you prepare for your next tooth cleaning in Brookeland TX. With your list of questions ready, you’ll be set to learn how to take care of your teeth.

Is My Oral Hygiene Routine Adequate?

The way you take care of your teeth has a big impact on how healthy they are. If your oral hygiene routine needs improvement, your dentist in Brookeland TX will be able to tell you the ways in which your oral hygiene habits can be improved.

Maybe you’re missing your back teeth when you brush, or maybe you’re not flossing properly. Your dentist will be able to tell! In fact, your dentist will even be able to give you a lesson in tooth brushing. Just find out from the dentist what is best.

Am I at Risk For Any Dental Conditions?

Knowing what dental conditions you’re at risk for can help you take care of your teeth. If your teeth are showing the early stages of gum recession, for example, your dentist can help you adjust your tooth brushing habits to prevent further gum recession. Asking this question starts a conversation that will help you learn more about how you can care for your teeth!

What Can I Do to Keep My Teeth White?

There are many things that people can do to keep their teeth white. If your dentist offers tooth whitening services, this can help restore your pearly whites to their original beauty. Your dentist can also tell you about various things you can do to prevent your teeth from staining at home.

When Should I Return For My Next Dentist Appointment?

One of the last things you should do before leaving the dental chair is to find out when you should come back! Most people return to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning. If your dentist has a different timeline in mind for you, they’ll let you know.

Is it time for a tooth cleaning? Call us today to make an appointment for a cleaning. If you have questions for the dentist, let us know when you call! We’ll do what we can to get you the answers you need.

Why do Dentists Check Tooth Pockets?

When you hear the term “tooth pocket,” you probably have no idea what this means. Actually, it’s an opening that occurs in the space between your gums and teeth. However, the bad news is that no pocket is supposed to be there. Instead, your gums should be close and firmly against your teeth. Should tooth pockets form, this signals trouble inside your mouth. Now that you’re wondering why your dentist in Brookeland, TX checks tooth pockets, here are some common reasons and how the problem gets resolved.

Indication of Gum Disease

When your dentist finds tooth pockets, these are clear indicators that gum disease is present and has gone unchecked for quite awhile. When a pocket forms, this means gum disease has progressed from gingivitis to periodontitis, meaning the base of your teeth and the gum tissue are being affected.

How Tooth Pockets Form

As gum tissue gets infected with bacteria, the gums and tooth enamel begin to break down. The bacteria then goes to work hollowing out a space between your gums and teeth, resulting in the infamous tooth pocket.

Why Pockets are a Problem

When you have a tooth pocket, you’ve got a serious problem that requires dental expertise as soon as possible. Since the root or base of your tooth is no longer protected by gum tissue, an infection can target the root of your tooth. In many cases, this will lead to the tooth being destroyed and either falling out on its own or being extracted by your dentist.

Severe Cases

When you visit your dentist for a regular checkup, they will check for tooth pockets that could look like trouble. Actually, most everyone has tooth pockets, but they are generally very small and rarely develop into major problems. But in severe cases, your dentist may need to clean your teeth, scrape away plaque, and remove infected gum tissue. If it’s too bad, periodontal surgery will be needed to work on the base or root of your tooth, which will be followed by treatment with antibiotics while your gums heal.

Needless to say, gum disease needs to be taken seriously from the early stages. To ensure any tooth pockets you may have don’t get out of control, make sure you have regular checkups with your Brookeland, TX dentist.

How to Protect Your Little One’s Teeth This Halloween

Halloween is coming! At this time of year, it’s important to pay extra attention to your little one’s teeth and oral hygiene. Sugary candies can do serious damage to tooth enamel, but you can protect your child’s teeth by adopting these good habits around the Halloween holiday and by taking your child to see the dentist in Brookeland TX. Here’s what you need to know.

Brush Extra

Children need their teeth brushed by their parents until they’re about seven or eight, because they don’t have the manual dexterity to properly clean their teeth on their own. If you still brush your child’s teeth, take the time to brush your child’s teeth extra well on Halloween night.

If your child is brushing their teeth on their own, ask them to brush their teeth for twice as long as usual. If they’re only just learning to brush their own teeth, consider supervising their work on Halloween night.

Switch Out Sticky and Hard Candies

Sticky and hard candies are especially bad for tooth enamel. Candies like caramel, taffy and suckers can easily stick to your child’s teeth, causing a buildup of bacteria that can lead to cavities and other problems.

Encourage your child not to eat these candies – and consider switching out these candies for other sweets like chocolate. Chocolate melts in the mouth and is easily washed away with water.

Drink Lots of Water

It’s important to encourage children to drink plenty of water when they’re eating Halloween candy. Drinking water helps wash away foods and keep the inside of the mouth clean. Drinking water is no substitute for brushing teeth, but it can help keep your child’s teeth cleaner between tooth brushings, so that extra sugar is less of a problem overall.

Manage Candy Consumption

One of the reasons that Halloween candy causes such problems is because children have uncontrolled access to their candy throughout the day and night. Consider keeping your child’s Halloween candy up and out of your child’s reach. Give them a piece of candy or two after meals, when their saliva production is up. Managing candy consumption can prevent the candy from becoming a big problem.

Take care of your child’s teeth this Halloween – make an appointment for a pediatric tooth cleaning in Brookeland TX.

How Dental Restoration Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Your smile is important. It’s one of the first things people notice about you and influences everything from relationships to career opportunities. If your smile isn’t where you would like it to be, dental restoration in Brookeland, Texas, may be the solution. Dental restoration restores and repairs areas of opportunity such as stained or missing teeth, unsightly gaps, and misaligned bites. As a result, you’re left with the dazzling smile you were always meant to have. Restorative procedures aren’t merely aesthetic either. They also often alleviate pain and prevent bone loss. Learn more about dental restoration in Brookeland.

What is Dental Restoration?

Your dentist in Brookland, TX, uses restorative dentistry to fix problems that have developed over time. Many things may cause your teeth to deteriorate, including:

  • Neglect
  • Injury
  • Trauma
  • Disease

As a result, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. But through restorative services, such as dental implants, veneers, and more, your teeth can look new again. Best of all, no one will ever know you had dental work done unless you tell them. Dental restoration seeks to look natural, so everyone will think you’re still sporting the perfect teeth you were born with.

Who Needs Restorative Services?

Anyone may benefit from dental restoration. Restoration encompasses a wide range of services aimed at making teeth and gums look and function better. It may ease toothache, prevent infection, deter bone loss, and eliminate the need for tooth extraction. Dental restoration may include:

  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Inlays and onlays
  • Braces or aligners
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Fillings

Generally, any dental procedure that improves the appearance of your smile and the functionality of your teeth fits into the category of restoration.

Call Rayburn General Dentistry Today

In Brookeland, Texas, Rayburn General Dentistry provides an excellent level of dental restoration. If your smile needs a boost, we’re the ones to call. Contact us today to book an initial consultation to discuss your goals. Our experienced dental professionals are happy to sit down with you and discuss your options for smile restoration.

Rayburn General Dentistry is your go-to choice for dental restoration in Brookeland. Schedule an appointment today to take that first step toward a more beautiful smile.

Dry Socket 101 – FAQs for Concerned Patients

While having a tooth pulled is rarely the most desirable option, sometimes, an ailing tooth must be removed to protect your oral health or prevent pain. After you have undergone a tooth extraction in Brookeland, TX, you do have to do what you can to take care of the extraction site. A dry socket is one problem that can come up for some people.

What is a dry socket?

When a tooth has been pulled from its socket, a small hole is left behind that exposes the nerves and bone left behind. Part of the healing process involves a blood clot forming to conceal the sensitive opening. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot either does not develop or develops and then comes out of place.

How do you know if you have a dry socket?

A dry socket is usually relatively easy to point out. You may notice:

  • Intense pain that settles in a day or two after the tooth is pulled
  • You can see inside the extraction site; you may see bone
  • Foul breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Pain that seems to radiate from the extraction site and into your face

Can the dentist help with a dry socket?

The dentist can help with the dry socket, and they should be contacted as soon as you suspect you have this issue. In most cases, the dentist will clean the socket, give you medication to help with the pain, and may possibly pack the area with special medication to conceal the area.

Tips for Avoiding a Dry Socket

  • Don’t use a straw for about a week after the extraction
  • Stick with soft foods for the first day or two after the extraction
  • Check with the dentist about medications you are taking that may prevent blood clotting
  • Keep your mouth clean with gentle rinsing
  • Avoid smoking or vaping

Work with a Brookeland Dentist for Your Smile’s Health

Any time you have a tooth extracted, be sure to follow the guidelines set forth by your dentist to avoid the risks of developing a dry socket. If you have a tooth that is giving you problems and may need to be extracted, talked to a Brookeland dentist like us at Rayburn General Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

 

Common Oral Health Concerns for Seniors

Just like other health aspects, the mouth changes as you age. As a senior, you may be more prone to certain issues that can affect your smile. Therefore, having a good dentist in Brookeland to help you keep tabs on your oral health is important. While every individual is different, many seniors commonly face certain issues with their teeth, gums, and oral health as they get older. Take a look at some of the most common issues and how your dentist can help you avoid problems.

Bone Loss

Bone loss refers to the natural breakdown of bone density. As you age, the mineral content in the bones can change, which allows some of the bones to lose their height. Bone loss can be especially prominent among patients who have lost some of their teeth. If you are concerned about bone loss and how it could affect your smile, talk to your dentist about what you can do to support a healthy bone structure as a senior.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can be the result of a number of changes within the mouth. Changes in blood circulation, a drop in salivation, and other issues can occur in your mouth as you get older. While these natural changes don’t necessarily always lead to gum disease, they can mean you are more at risk as you get older. One of the best strategies to protect yourself against age-related gum disease is to stay vigilant about your oral health care routine, including having your teeth cleaned at the dentist every year.

Decay

Older adults can grow more prone to problems with decay, but the causes can be different than for someone younger. The teeth can lose some of their density as you age, which can mean the exterior can break down easier with exposure to sugars and acids in what you consume. Your dentist can help you monitor your teeth for obvious weakening and tend to any issues with decay quickly.

Find the General Dental Care in Brookeland You Need to Maintain Your Smile

No written rule says you have to stop taking care of your smile at a certain age. In fact, with a good care plan and a healthy lifestyle, you can retain your original smile for the years to come. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a checkup as a senior, reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry.