Get to the Source of Your Tooth Pain: Scottsdale Dentist

Though it is common to feel a toothache, the pain may not be originating from the source you think. Regardless, you should seek help immediately upon feeling a toothache to ensure that more damage and pain do not occur. Your Scottsdale Dentist is always understanding of a toothache and will help diagnose the cause of pain, as well as treat it in the best way possible.

If you experience a quick, shocking and stabbing pain with hot and cold foods or drinks, you most likely are experiencing sensitive teeth. Read our blog about sensitive teeth here:

If the pain lasts only a moment or a few seconds, you may have a small amount of decay in a tooth, a loose or leaky filling, or an exposed root. An exposed root can commonly occur because of aggressive brushing or periodontal (gum) disease. In both cases, the gums may have shrunk back or receded to expose the root surface, causing an achy, tender feeling.

If you experience a sharp pain when biting down, this may be a sign of decay or a loose or leaky filling. This type of pain could also indicate a fracture or crack present on a tooth. In any of these situations, you will need to undergo a dental procedure to fix the problem and relieve the pain.

You may also experience a lingering tooth pain that could feel dull or sharp. It may be localized to one tooth or feel as though it is radiating from a larger, general area, such as the “lower left jaw.” In this scenario, there are several possible reasons for the symptoms, but two prominent ones are an abscess or deep decay within the pulp. A root canal treatment for the affected tooth is a probable solution. In this procedure, we drill an access hole into the pulp and clear it of infected and dead tissue. You will not be able to feel anything from this tooth as we will have removed its infected nerve. Then, the clean and empty pulp chamber and root canals are filled with a special filling and sealed. Later, we bond a permanent fabricated crown to the tooth to further protect it and restore its function.

Whether your pain is momentary or lingering, dull or sharp, you should see us as soon as possible to determine its cause. Even if the pain goes away or is on and off, you may have a dental problem that needs to be treated or a lingering infection. The sooner you treat the problem – big or small –  the better your chances of a happy and less costly future!

If you would like more information on tooth pain and what to do about it, please contact your Scottsdale Dentist for an appointment. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Pain? Don’t Wait!

Developing a Dental Strategy that will Save you Money: Scottsdale Dentist

Taking care of your teeth is a commitment you need to make for a lifetime. Similar to any other realm of healthcare, it can get costly — from regular dental visits and cleanings to more expensive treatments and procedures for protecting, preserving, and repairing your teeth.

If you are limited financially, it does not mean that your dental care has to wait or your health has to suffer. If you commit to following an effective strategy for oral care, your dental visits do not have to be expensive in the future. Apart of a good oral health hygiene plan, here are a few key tips:

  1. Practice effective daily oral hygiene. Many of the potential dental problems people experience are the result of not having a consistent, effective oral hygiene habit — which includes daily brushing and flossing along with semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups. The goal of oral hygiene is to remove bacterial plaque effectively, the sticky film that adheres to teeth after we eat, and keep it from building up and causing significant damage over time. Removing plaque reduces your chances of developing the two major dental diseases caused by it, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which could result in additional treatment needs. However, even with excellent oral hygiene you’ll still form tartar (hardened plaque deposits) on your teeth, so professional cleanings from a dental hygienist are necessary.
  2. Take care of your whole health. Your teeth and gums aren’t islands to the rest of your body. In fact, your oral health is heavily influenced by other conditions in the body, especially systemic diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. So, be sure you’re following a healthy diet, following an exercise plan and seeing your doctors regularly. Your teeth will benefit from a holistic approach to your health.
  3. Work with your us to make your finances worry-free with treatment plan options. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee your teeth and gums won’t need additional treatment and procedures sometime in your life, even with excellent care and attention. If you’re in need of extensive treatment or you feel you need to enhance your smile, talk with us. We’ll be glad to talk through your options, and work out both a treatment and financial plan that fits your best health and financial goals.

Learn more about the cost of dentistry and how to make the best of your budget and health in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Finances and Dental Care.”

Scottsdale Dentist: Science Reveals News About Smile Makeovers

Smile makeovers have increased substantially in popularity over recent years, not only for Hollywood celebrities. Over 70% of all smile makeover consultations come from people in the 31 to 50 year old age group, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). While smile makeovers are completed for self-esteem boosts and appearance, many studies have shown that first impressions are lasting and appearance makes an impact. Now, many business professionals or people with publicity are investing in smile makeovers for not only their appearance, but their success.

The AACD study provided though-provoking statistics that support why a smile makeover is a smart investment that can yield a life-changing return on yourself!

  • 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.
  • 50% of all people polled were unsatisfied with their smile.

Beall Research & Training, Inc., an independent marketing research firm, published a study that used before and after photos of smile makeovers for a survey. It was found in this study that people who have had a smile makeover are viewed by others as more attractive, intelligent, happy, successful in their career, friendly, interesting, kind, wealthy, and appealing to the opposite sex. This evidence undoubtedly shows the importance of a first impression, as well as what it can silently express about yourself!

Want to learn more?

See your Havasu dentist for a smile makeover consultation! We will walk you through every step of the way so you achieve the most attractive smile imaginable! The Dear Doctor article, “The Impact Of A Smile Makeover” can provide you with more information on smile makeover’s effect.

Simple Tooth Extractions: A Common Dental Procedure: Scottsdale Dentist

When a tooth is not able to be repaired due to disease, decay, or injury, it may be best to remove it. A “simple” tooth extraction is a member of the most common dental procedures and is not the grievous procedure you may think it is!

The term “simple extraction” is used because the shape of the tooth and root allows for a fairly uncomplicated removal. An example would be the normally cone-shaped upper front tooth that offers a resistance free extraction.

The simple extraction process is quite straightforward. The periodontal ligament holds your teeth in place. The periodontal ligament is an elastic tissue with tiny fibers that attaches the tooth to surrounding supporting bone. With careful manipulation by the hands of an experienced dentist, the fibers loosen. Once the fibers have detached, the tooth can be removed with little effort; with the aid of local anesthesia, you should not experience pain. You may experience slight pressure.

Immediately after removal of the tooth, we commonly insert bone grafting material in the socket to minimize bone loss. If you’re planning an implant or other restoration in this area, the bone graft helps make the next phase simpler. After your extraction, we place sterile gauze over the site until a blood clot forms. If you have a large socket, we may place a few dissolvable stitches to close the area and promote faster healing. Post-extraction materials are given to you for proper caring and cleaning methods. After extraction procedures, we commonly prescribe antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce potential discomfort.

Although a simple extraction is a very common procedure, we still perform a proper assessment of the tooth and the surrounding bone beforehand, which includes x-rays to determine the tooth’s exact structure and position.

It’s our hope you’ll have your natural teeth for a lifetime. But if you find yourself needing a simple extraction, you can rest assured it’s a very common — and uneventful — experience.

If you would like to more about simple tooth extractions, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Simple Tooth Extraction.

Chronic Dry Mouth: 3 Common Causes: Scottsdale Dentist

Like most people, you’ve most likely experienced occasional dry mouth when you’re thirsty or just waking up in the morning. Usually, this doesn’t last long and shouldn’t concern you.

But xerostomia, which means chronic dry mouth, is a concern. Chronic dry mouth is this persistent lack of adequate saliva. Not only is this uncomfortable for you, it could also increase your chances for tooth decay or gum disease.

Here are 3 common causes of chronic dry mouth and what you can do to help the symptoms.

  • Insufficient fluid intake.
    • Obvious, but very common —you’re simply not consuming enough water. Insufficient fluid intake deprives the salivary glands of essential fluid to produce the necessary amount of saliva. If you find that you’re often thirsty, you’ll need to increase the amount of water you consume throughout the day.
  • Medications.
    • More than 500 drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription, can list dry mouth as a side effect. Older adults who take more medications than average, may have increased problems with dry mouth. You may be able to help your medication-related dry mouth. Talk with your healthcare provider about alternative drugs for your condition that are less likely to cause dry mouth. Also, drink more water right before and right after taking your medication. Lastly, focus on increasing your daily intake of water.
  • Diseases and their treatments.
    • Along with some other, systemic diseases like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease can lead to xerostomia. Autoimmune conditions are particularly problematic because the body may turn on its own tissues, the salivary glands being a common target. Radiation or chemotherapy treatments can also damage the glands and lead to decreased saliva production. If you have a condition and are experiencing xerostomia, talk with your healthcare provider about ways to protect your salivary glands.

You can also ease dry mouth symptoms with xylitol gum (“saliva boosters”) or medications that stimulate the production of saliva. Caffeinated drinks and sugary or acidic foods affect your saliva production, so try to avoid them. Importantly, stay diligent with your oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits to continually reduce your risks of dental disease.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatments of dry mouth, please contact us for a consultation. Also, the following article gives you more insight on xerostomia: Dear Doctor magazine article “Dry Mouth: Learn about the Causes and Treatment of this Common Problem.”