When is Tooth Contouring Recommended?

0249.jpgSmall chips and enamel defects are not necessarily enough to compromise your teeth’s health, but they can affect the way your smile looks. If you find your eyes drawn to chips and other small irregularities, our cosmetic dentist may recommend enamel reshaping or contouring.

Contouring can be used to address a variety of minor cosmetic problems, including overlaps, pointy teeth, flattened teeth, irregular tooth length and chips. At your appointment, we will examine your teeth and determine the best way to help you accomplish your goals. In some cases, dental X-rays can be necessary to protect the pulp and maintain a healthy bite.

During the procedure, only the outer coating, or enamel, is sculpted and then polished. This tissue contains no nerves, so you will not necessarily need an anesthetic. You should feel no pain, but you might feel some vibrations as your tooth is shaped and contoured. Tooth contouring can be performed alone or in conjunction with teeth whitening, bonding or other conservative procedures to brighten and improve the look of your smile.

Call our dental office today to learn more about your options or to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist in Houston.

What is the Procedure for Inlays and Onlays?

0291.jpgDental inlays and onlays are special restorations that are used when a tooth is too badly damaged to be restored using a dental filling and placing a dental crown would require the removal of an excessive amount of healthy tooth structure. Inlays and onlays are placed using similar procedures and are usually completed over two dental appointments.

First, our dentist, who performs inlays and onlays in Houston, numbs the treatment area using a local anesthetic. The decayed or damaged area is removed, and the tooth is cleaned and prepared for the restoration. A special tray is filled with dental putty to take an impression of the prepared tooth. This impression is used as a template for your restoration and is sent to a dental lab to create an inlay or onlay to match your tooth precisely. We place a temporary restoration over your tooth to protect it until your next appointment.

Once your permanent inlay or onlay is ready, the temporary one will be removed, and we will check the fit and look of the final restoration. We then use a strong adhesive to attach it to your tooth. Each appointment will take about an hour, although the first appointment might take longer than the second appointment due to the preparation of the tooth. Call our dental center today to learn more, or to schedule a consultation with our dentist.

What Could Cause Gum Swelling?

Three young people smilingHealthy gums are pink, firm and tight around the teeth. However, gums can become swollen and puffy, and they may bleed easily. In most cases, swollen gums are due to irritation from bacteria, but other issues can also be to blame. Our Houston dentist can help you identify the underlying cause for gum swelling, and restore your gum health.

1. Gingivitis
This bacterial infection is one of the most common causes of swollen gums, and almost half of American adults have some degree of gingivitis. Better attention to dental hygiene and a professional cleaning might be all you need to get your red, swollen, bleeding gums under control if gingivitis is to blame.

2. Hormones
Female hormones trigger changes in your gums that make them more sensitive to bacteria. Women are more likely to have bleeding gums during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and perimenopause. Close attention to dental hygiene and regular dental checkups can help.

3. Medications
Blood thinners and some other medications can affect gum tissue making it more vulnerable to bacteria and prone to swelling.

Swollen gums need to be treated with care. You may need a professional cleaning to remove any buildup that could be irritating sensitive gum tissue. If your gums are tender or painful, an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be helpful. Call our dental office today to learn more about managing swollen gums or to schedule an appointment.

How Tooth Grinding Affects Your Dental Health

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Bruxism, commonly known as tooth grinding, is a common habit that can have serious consequences for dental health. Unfortunately, patients often do not realize that they grind their teeth. Here is what bruxism can cause and how you can tell if you grind your teeth.

Effects of Bruxism on Oral Health

Over time, bruxism can damage teeth and the tissues that hold them in place. As enamel is worn away, the teeth may become sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, and sour foods. Without full enamel coverage, the teeth are also more prone to cavities. Damaged periodontal ligaments can allow teeth to loosen and fall out.

Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism is commonly tied to stress. While some patients grind their teeth while they are awake, most do it while they are asleep, preventing them from stopping it. Patients may awaken with sore jaw joints due to the strain. Eventually, patients may also have sensitive teeth and higher dental costs as their tooth enamel is worn away.

Our dentist may recommend custom mouth guards, medications, and restorative care depending on the cause and extent of bruxism and the damage it has caused. Patients can visit our dentist in Houston to have their teeth examined for signs of teeth grinding.

Effects of Dental Health on the Heart

Senior Couple Relaxing On Sofa At Home

Research has shown that dental health is linked to health in the rest of the body, particularly in the heart. If you have dental problems, you may be more likely to suffer from heart problems at some point as a direct result. Below, you can learn more about this connection, which highlights the importance of good oral habits and general dentistry.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Diseased gums are the oral factor most clearly linked to heart problems. According to researchers, periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream from inside the mouth and raise inflammation in the blood vessels. In fact, stroke and atherosclerosis have both been linked to oral bacteria.

More Connections Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Periodontitis may also harm the heart through its links with diabetes and endocarditis. Diabetes is strongly associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining, can result from oral bacteria traveling to the heart through the blood stream.

Brushing, flossing, and visiting our dentist regularly holds benefits for your heart as well as your teeth and gums. By scheduling a consultation with our cosmetic dentist in Houston you can learn more about the importance of dental wellness for overall health.