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.