The Anatomy of Your Teeth  

When was the last time you thought about the anatomy of your teeth? Probably never unless you are a dentist in Brookeland TX! However, the anatomy of your teeth is quite remarkable. Here are some interesting facts when it comes to your teeth and the parts of a tooth.

The Anatomy of Your Teeth

There are four different types of teeth in your mouth (more about that in a moment) and almost every adult has approximately 32 teeth in their mouth. Starting from front to back, you have eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 12 molars, four of which are wisdom teeth. Most of an adult’s teeth will have erupted by the age of 13 except for their wisdom teeth.

The Four Different Types of Teeth

Here are the four different types of teeth in your mouth.

  1. Incisors – Your incisors are the teeth that are located at the front of your mouth. The tips of your incisors are flat and are designed to help you cut through food.
  2. Canines – Your canines are the pointed teeth near the front of your mouth. Two are located on your upper set of teeth and the other two are located on your lower set of teeth. The canine teeth are designed to help tear and hold food.
  3. Premolars – Your premolars are located near the back of your mouth, and they have two bumps on them, almost like having two teeth attached to each other. The premolars are designed to tear and crush food.
  4. Molars – Your molars are located at the very back of your mouth and have multiple bumps at their tips. The molars are designed to grind and chew food.

The Different Parts of a Tooth

There are three different parts of a tooth, and each tooth also has additional small pieces that make up the tooth as a whole.

  1. Crown – The crown is the part of your tooth that sticks out of your gums. A root canal and crown in Brookeland, TX are common dental procedures.
  2. Neck – The neck is the part that is in between the crown and the root.
  3. Root – The root is the bottom part of your tooth, and it holds your teeth in while connecting your teeth to their sockets.

If you need a dentist in Brookeland, TX, please Contact Rayburn General Dentistry today. We pride ourselves on providing personal attention and detail in a relaxing, comfortable environment.


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!

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.

Solutions for Wonky Wisdom Teeth

Usually, between the ages of 17 and 21, we begin to notice that third set of molars known as wisdom teeth. We call them wisdom teeth because they put in their first appearance when we’re almost grown. Sometimes, these teeth break through the gums cleanly and in the proper position, causing no problems. Often, however, they end up misaligned. This is when your dentist in Brookeland, TX, may recommend oral surgery to remove them.

Common Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can cause of host of problems when they’re positioned wrong. They can crowd the teeth you already have, causing them to become cracked or damaged. They can grow in at strange angles that trap food and bacteria and contribute to dental caries. They may also try to grow in behind healthy teeth that have already erupted. All of these situations may be painful and may cause damage to your surrounding teeth. They may make it difficult to chew properly and cause painful, inflamed gums and infection.

How Do I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Are Problematic?

The best way to keep tabs on wisdom teeth is to schedule regular dental checkups with your dentist. If you’re a mature teen or young adult, your dentist will X-ray your teeth to check on the progression of wisdom teeth. Through proper diagnostics, they can recommend the treatment that’s right for you.

If it’s been a while between dental visits, and you’re experiencing pain in the gum area near the back of your mouth, this could a sign of wisdom tooth distress. Make an appointment to discuss wisdom teeth removal in Brookeland, TX.

Treatment for Wonky Wisdom Teeth

The most common treatment for problematic wisdom teeth is removal. Your dentist will probably refer you to an oral surgeon who can remove the teeth before they begin to erupt and cause painful issues. Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure that’s performed many times a day in America. Healing time is minimal, and the benefits are well worth the surgery.

In Brookeland, TX, Rayburn General Dentistry can help diagnose and treat problems with wisdom teeth. Call today to schedule a consultation and diagnostic testing. Early detection is key to preventing the pain of an impacted wisdom tooth. Contact us today to learn more.

Is It Safe to Have Mercury Fillings Removed?

Mercury has been used in dental fillings for over 150 years as a component of amalgam fillings. Currently, it’s estimated that over 100 million Americans have mercury fillings. Unfortunately, since mercury was approved as an ingredient in amalgam fillings, it has come to light that mercury is a potent toxin. Mercury fillings release mercury vapor inside the mouth, which infiltrates the blood and brain. It’s estimated that between two and twenty micrograms of mercury seeps out of fillings as you go about your daily business; talking, eating, and drinking. If you happen to chew gum, even more mercury is being released into your system. The question is, should you have mercury fillings removed? Or is it better to leave them in place? What is the safest choice?

Should You Have Mercury Fillings Removed?

Whether or not you should have mercury fillings removed depends upon your dentist’s recommendations and your individual circumstances. The smartest thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with your Brookeland, TX dentist for the purpose of discussing whether or not to have your mercury fillings removed. Chances are, if you have just one or two mercury fillings, the choice to remove them may be easy. But if your entire mouth is filled with old mercury fillings, it may be harder to weigh the pros and cons.

Reasons to Keep Mercury Fillings

There are hugely positive reasons to consider keeping your mercury fillings, despite the health dangers. When mercury fillings are “disturbed,” they release vapors that are largely made up of mercury. These vapors get inhaled into the respiratory system, which can cause extensive risks to your overall health. Mercury vapors are so dangerous that even your dentist would theoretically exposed to them. Essentially, it is not safe to have mercury fillings removed. Yet, there may be better reasons to get rid of them.

Reasons to Have Mercury Fillings Removed

There are many good reasons to have mercury fillings removed and replaced. For starters, if your mercury fillings are damaged in any way, odds are high that they are releasing a lot of mercury vapors. If your mercury fillings are old, this is another sign that they are probably causing more damage than you think.

Talk to your dentist in Brookeland, TX today about how best to handle your mercury fillings. Your dentist is the best source of information and advice when it comes to your dental health.

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.


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.

diabetic dental care

Type 2 Diabetes and Your Smile – What to Know as a Patient

About 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. has diabetes, and as many as 95 percent of those individuals have type 2 diabetes. This condition affects how your body processes sugar, but it can have so many other repercussions on your health. Being especially vigilant about your oral health with type 2 diabetes is important. Here are a few things to know about your smile, type 2 diabetes, and the unique risks you face.

High glucose levels can mean you have heightened risks of tooth decay.

If you have higher than usual blood glucose levels, the body tries to expel it in any way that it can, including through your saliva. The higher concentration of glucose in your saliva is really hard on your teeth. In fact, you can be extremely prone to problems with decay if you have type 2 diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

You really have to pay close attention to gum health.

Gum disease is extremely common among people who have type 2 diabetes. The combination of high glucose in the saliva, a dryer mouth, and changes in blood circulation to the mouth can make your soft tissues in your mouth much more prone to inflammation and deterioration. Be sure to keep your sugar levels in check, take your medications, drink plenty of water, and monitor your gums for signs of problems.

Infections of the mouth can be more common as a diabetic.

Infection caused by either fungus or bacteria in the mouth is more common among people who have diabetes. If you have a decaying tooth, this means you can be a bit more at risk of developing an abscess. Therefore, any small lesion, injury, or point of decay should be immediately dressed by a dentist. Infections in the mouth can heighten your risks of needing to have certain teeth extracted.

Get Help Taking Care of Your Smile from a Brookeland Dentist

When you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, being vigilant about your oral health is so important. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry if you need help taking care of your smile as someone with diabetes.

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.