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.

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.

 

Avoiding Bone Loss After a Tooth Extraction

If you have a tooth extracted and have no plan for replacing it, bone loss will occur over time. Bone loss happens when the bone recedes, or remodels, after an extraction. Dental implants can help you avoid bone loss and should be performed as soon after the extraction as possible.

What Is Bone Loss?

The chewing motion and pressure caused by teeth as they break apart food “exercises” the jawbone. It keeps the bone beneath your tooth healthy, active, and well-formed. Once a permanent tooth is extracted, however, there’s no longer anything holding the bone in place. this area of bone will then begin to recede over time. We call this bone loss, and the longer it’s left untreated, the more damage it may cause.

How to Prevent Bone Loss?

The best way to prevent bone loss is to take good care of your teeth and gums. If you never need to have a tooth extracted, you won’t have to think about how to keep the bone beneath it from receding. In the event you do end up needing to have a tooth pulled, either due to cavities or trauma, you’ll need a plan to replace it with something such as a dental implant to keep the bone healthy.

What Are the Dangers of Untreated Bone Loss

The dangers of ignoring bone loss after tooth extraction are relatively serious. Left untreated, this type of bone loss can cause changes to the structure of your face, making you appear much older than you are. Also, the longer the bone loss is left to deteriorate, the more difficult it will be for your dental professional to fix the problem. If you lose too much bone, dental implants won’t be possible. Instead, you may need a bone graft to correct the problem. Bone grafts are typically an expensive fix that is more invasive than a simple implant procedure.

If you’re struggling with bone loss following tooth extraction in the Brookeland, TX area, contact Rayburn General Dentistry. We have solutions to correct bone loss. Call today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss the options available.