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.

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.

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.

Is My Tooth Too Decayed to Fix?

Tooth decay and cavities are common among adults, and sometimes, it is easy to prolong a dental visit to get an issue fixed. Cavities can spread and cause a lot of problems, so they should be tended to as quickly as possible. However, there are situations when a tooth is decayed to fix. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have a severely decayed tooth.

Basic demineralization and enamel decay are the easiest to repair.

The outermost layers of a tooth are made up of hard minerals. When the enamel initially starts to deteriorate, you may notice changes in the color of your tooth at a certain point or feel a change in the texture of your teeth. At this stage, decay is easiest to repair; the inner parts of the tooth have not been affected. Therefore, it is best to get to a dentist right away for attention.

Enamel decay leads to holes, which require full fillings.

If basic surface deterioration is allowed to progress, you will end up with enamel decay. You may see a hole in your tooth that appears dark in color. Over time, the hole will grow larger, and the enamel around the hole may grow weak or brittle. This is the most common point when people will seek a dentist to get a filling.

Dentin damage can be signaled by pain and the decay may be harder to fix.

Dentin is the inner layer of tooth material between the enamel and the pulp. Dentin is soft, so it can deteriorate relatively quickly once it is exposed. While decay that leads into dentin can be repaired with a filling, the process can be harder and the structure of the tooth may be weakened.

Decay leading into the pulp may require extensive measures.

Once decay beaks down the enamel and dentin, the innermost pulp may be affected. The pulp is where the majority of blood vessels and nerves reside, which means by this point, you may have a pretty major toothache and a lot of sensitivity. Pulp damage requires a root canal, but a root canal alone may not always be enough to save the tooth as the entire structure can be weakened.

Any time you have a cavity, it is a good idea to reach out to a dentist as quickly as possible. The faster you get in for an assessment and treatment, the less likely it will be that your tooth has to be extracted. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry in Brookeland for an appointment.

 

How Often Should I Replace My Oral Hygiene Supplies?

Brushing and flossing your teeth are important parts of a good oral health routine. Something that is equally important is maintaining the instruments you use for oral hygiene. This includes cleaning and replacing these items regularly.

How Frequently Should I Change My Electric Toothbrush Head or My Manual Toothbrush?

Dental professionals recommend that you change the head of an electric toothbrush or your traditional toothbrush every three or four months. You should change them sooner if you notice that the bristles have become frayed. There is ample research indicating that once the head of an electric toothbrush or a traditional toothbrush starts to wear down, it loses its effectiveness at removing plaque. Replacing your toothbrush in a timely manner ensures that it is effective.

Does Mouthwash Go Bad?

It is generally accepted that mouthwash is effective for two years after the date it is manufactured. Depending on the ingredients used, some mouthwash brands may last longer. A good indication that you should change your mouthwash is checking the expiration date. The manufacturer has invested time in research and development to determine how long the product will remain effective and safe. Using a mouthwash that is past its expiration date will have no positive effect on your oral health. It will not fight gum disease, it will not prevent plaque buildup, and it will not protect you from bad breath. Worst case scenario, there is a minimal risk that using expired mouthwash is harmful.

How Frequently Should a Dental Guard Be Replaced?

It is recommended that you visit your dentist every six months and bring your dental guard with you. Dental guards lose effectiveness when they lose their thickness. There is less material to absorb the shock caused by your teeth, so you will have reduced protection from injury. If your dental guard is under warranty, you should take it to the dentist and have it replaced as soon as possible or before the warranty runs out. If your mouthguard is deformed or frayed, you should have it replaced. Some people get into the bad habit of chewing on a dental guard when they are not wearing it. This reduces its ability to protect your teeth.

 

Oral hygiene can be improved when you remember to change your supplies on a regular basis. For more information, talk to your dentist.

 

3 Reasons Your Old Toothbrush Is No Good

Maybe you are partial to your old toothbrush because you can’t find another one like it, or perhaps, buying a new toothbrush is just one of those things you tend to disregard because you think it’s not all that important. In any situation, hanging onto an old toothbrush could be doing you more harm than good.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you replace your toothbrush about every three to four months, but most people are lucky if they replace their toothbrush a few times a year. Take a look at some of the common reasons that an old toothbrush of yours really should be replaced.

It can be harboring dangerous bacteria.

You may keep your mouth clean by your standards, but your mouth is home to all kinds of bacteria and pathogens. When you use your toothbrush, all those germs and pathogens naturally transfer from your mouth to the bristles of the brush. Cleaning your toothbrush is always important, but it is still possible for germs and bacteria to bury themselves within the bristles.

It can be too broken down to thoroughly clean your teeth.

Some people like to hand onto their toothbrush because it has reached a point where the bristles are softer and gentler on their gums. As much as this sounds like a logical thing, it actually is not a good idea. If the toothbrush bristles have become frayed and broken down, chances are, it is not doing a good job of sloughing away plaque and bacteria when you brush. You can buy soft-bristled toothbrushes, and buying one of these every few months is far better than hanging on to a toothbrush that is broken down.

It can be bad for your gums.

A toothbrush that you’ve had for a long time can actually be hard on your gums. Most of the bacteria that can get into your bloodstream when you brush your teeth will make an entrance through the soft tissues of your mouth. If broken bristles manage to puncture your gums, you are making way for bacteria to slip right through.

Talk to Rayburn General Dentistry for More Information

Do yourself and your oral health a favor and kick that old toothbrush to the curb. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry for help with finding the best toothbrushes for your oral health.

 

5 Tips For Eco-Conscious Dental Hygiene

Have you made changes in your daily routine in order to be more eco-conscious? If so, you might be wondering how you can practice being ecologically aware during your morning routine. Here are three tips to transition to more eco-conscious dental hygiene.

1. Make Your Own Oral Rinse

Unless you have existing dental health issues, there’s no reason you can’t use a homemade oral rinse. You can make one up easily using baking soda and apple cider vinegar and water. Use filtered water and add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda. Stir it up and swoosh around your mouth, being careful not to swallow before you spit it out.

2. Don’t Leave the Water Running

For some reason, many people leave the water running while they brush their teeth. This wastes many gallons of water over the course of a day or two. Instead, wet your toothbrush, and turn the water off. Turn the faucet back on again only as much as you need to wet your toothbrush again. This will save water and only takes a small effort.

3. Use a Bamboo Toothbrush

Bamboo is a sustainable material that is being used more often. One new product to try is a bamboo toothbrush. The handle is made from bamboo, which is very similar to wood. Bamboo toothbrushes won’t hurt the environment like plastic toothbrushes, and they have the added benefit of looking very chic.

4. Choose A Local Dentist

Choosing a dentist that is near you will help reduce your carbon footprint when traveling to and from the dentist. On the other hand, choosing a dentist office even just an hour away would result in more gas emissions than one that is much closer.

5. Eat a Whole Foods Diet

Surprisingly, another way that you can have more eco-conscious dental hygiene is to simply eat a whole foods diet. By avoiding processed foods and sugar additives, you’ll enjoy fewer cavities and have fewer restorative dental needs. This will result in less time spent going to and from the dentist, and the whole impact of your dental needs on the environment will be reduced.

These are five easy ways to lessen your carbon footprint through your dental hygiene needs. For even more possibilities, consult with your dental professionals.

Understanding the Preventative Dental Care Needs of Adults and Children

Adults and children alike can benefit from attending regular dental checkups for teeth cleanings and preventative care from their dentist. The dental cleaning and care process helps remove plaque that can cause harm to the teeth and gums. During the cleaning, your dentist can identify cavities and other problems that may need attention to prevent complications, including tooth loss. Your dentist will also teach you how to best care for your teeth and gums at home to achieve the healthiest smile possible. You can get started in working toward healthier teeth and gums by learning about the preventative dental care needs of adults and children.

At Home Dental Care

Great dental care starts at home with toothbrushing and flossing sessions two to three times a day. Your dentist will teach you about the right tools and techniques to use to remove food debris and biofilm from the teeth. With the daily removal of all residue at and below the gumline, you can keep your teeth and gums in healthy shape for years to come.

Professional Dental Care and Teeth Cleaning Services

To achieve your goal of enjoying great dental health, you will also need to go see your dentist approximately twice a year to have your teeth cleaned. The type and level of preventative dental care you may receive depends on your specific care needs and expectations. Your dentist will asses your dental health during the examination and cleaning, and then discuss all other necessary care options with you.

Finding the Right Level of Dental Care for You

With your dentist’s help, you can find the best level of dental care for your needs. With routine tooth cleanings and examinations, your dentist will help ensure that your teeth and gums stay in good condition. If you would like to get started in improving your dental health, you can schedule your consultation and routine cleaning appointment by calling our team at 409-698-8800.