5 Ways Periodontitis Can Wreck Your Smile

Periodontitis is a form of advanced gum disease that can wreak havoc with your normally beautiful smile. Affecting your gums, teeth, and even the bones that make up your facial structure, this is one condition you don’t want to ignore. Your dentist in Beaumont, TX, can treat periodontitis, helping you avoid some of the worst symptoms of this common dental condition, including:

1. Loss of Permanent Teeth

Periodontitis usually happens when plaque forms on teeth beneath the gum line. If it’s allowed to remain, it can cause infection that’s not only painful but that compromises the health and placement of the affected tooth. This can lead to the loosening or loss of permanent teeth.

2. Receding Gums

Gum tissue may recede from the teeth when you have periodontitis. This means it “backs away” from the tooth it’s holding in place. Aesthetically, this can make teeth appear unusually long, giving them a fang-like appearance. It may also expose the roots and compromise the integrity of the tooth.

3. Formation of Gaps Between Teeth

When gums recede and teeth loosen, this may cause them to shift or move out of place. The result can be bigger-than-average spaces between teeth. Wide spaces between your teeth can give your smile a “gappy” appearance.

4. Open Bite

Open bite is a big problem because it affects your ability to bite and chew. When your upper and lower teeth no longer meet in the front or in the back, enjoying your favorite foods becomes a chore. You may no longer be able to bite into a sandwich, for example. An open bite may also cause speech impediments because your teeth aren’t in the position required to form sounds such as “S” properly.

5. Discolored Gums

If you have periodontitis, your gums may darken or turn color. They may appear bright red, a dusky shade of red, or even purple. This may be apparent when you smile, alerting everyone around you that you have a dental problem.

Fortunately, periodontitis is relatively easy to treat, but it does require the services of a professional. For help with gum disease in Beaumont, TX, call on Southern Oaks Dental Care today. We’ll schedule a convenient time for you to come in and discuss your dental goals.

When Is It Time to See the Dentist?  

Beautiful teeth make smiling rewarding, but in order to maintain beautiful teeth, you’ve got to see the dentist on a regular basis. Knowing when it’s time to see the dentist in Beaumont TX is important. Below, we’ve listed when it’s important to see the dentist, and why.

You’re In Pain

Dental pain isn’t normal – even relatively minor pain. Severe dental pain could be a sign of a serious problem, like a tooth infection, or it could be a sign of a more minor problem, like a mere cavity. Either way, if your tooth is in pain, it’s probably time to see the dentist before the problem gets worse.

Your Gums Bleed

If your gums are bleeding after you brush your teeth or floss, this is a sign of gum disease or gingivitis. Gum disease can be a serious problem that can lead to infection, loss of your permanent teeth, chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis) and other problems. Your dentist can help you with this issue, but only if you seek help. Make an appointment to get a deep cleaning and more advice about how to address the problem.

You’re Noticing Other Symptoms

Bleeding gums and tooth pain aren’t the only symptoms of problems that need to be addressed by your dentist. Some other symptoms to watch for include:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Puffy, red, swollen gums
  • Chronic bad taste in your mouth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Loose permanent teeth

If you’re having any of these problems, talk to your dental professional to find out what you can do to get help.

Every Six Months

Whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not, you should go to the dentist every six months to get your teeth cleaned. If you need to see the dentist less or more often for dental cleanings, your dentist will let you know.

When It’s An Emergency

When you’re having a dental emergency, you could lose one of your teeth if you don’t see the dentist on time. Some examples of dental emergencies include:

  • Loss of a permanent tooth
  • Severe dental pain
  • Dental injury

Need to see the dentist for a tooth cleaning in Beaumont TX? Call Southern Oaks Dental Care today to make an appointment.


What is a Dental Emergency?  

Knowing whether a dental problem requires urgent care can be challenging. This is especially true when it occurs outside of regular office hours. 

At Southern Oaks Dental Center, we prefer that patients err on the side of caution and seek emergency dental care in Beaumont, TX as soon as possible. Here are three common reasons why our dental patients request immediate care.

Knocked Out a Tooth? We May Be Able to Save It!

If you or a family member lose a permanent tooth due to facial trauma, your emergency dentist may be able to reattach it if you act quickly. Please contact our Beaumont dental practice immediately and try to get here in under two hours. The possibility of saving the tooth decreases significantly after that.

You can place a clean tooth back into the gum line, press it down into the socket, and bite down on a gauze pad to secure it until you arrive. When the knocked out tooth is dirty or in pieces, pick it up by the crown and place it in a small container of cold milk. Taking this action helps to preserve the tooth on your trip to the dentist.

Although we don’t attempt to reinsert primary teeth that children knock out prematurely, it is still important for your child to receive treatment. Dr. Seale will insert a space maintainer in the empty spot on your child’s gums to preserve the space for the future permanent tooth.

Lost Filling or Crown

If you lose a restoration and can see where it went, place it in a clean container and schedule an appointment right away. You can place chewing gum on the spot of the lost restoration to minimize discomfort.

Severe Tooth Pain

When you have tried everything you can think of to relieve a toothache without success, it’s time to see our emergency dentist. Our team will determine the cause of the tooth pain and recommend an immediate treatment plan to help you start feeling better quickly.

Your Dental Emergency May Be Different

You may still need to visit our emergency dentist in Beaumont, TX, even if you don’t see your specific issue described here. Please call us at 409-835-6257 and we will help you decide if immediate treatment is appropriate.


What Is Bone Loss, and When Should I Worry?

Dental bone loss most often happens when you lose a tooth or have it extracted and put nothing in its place. Because the space remains empty, your body reabsorbs the bone beneath the tooth socket. Your dentist in Beaumont, TX, can tell you more about bone loss, including how to prevent it.

Why Does JawBone Material Reabsorb?

Your natural teeth have roots that extend far into your gums and jawbone. And as you bite and chew, this stimulates the bone and causes it to remain healthy. But once your natural tooth and its roots are gone, there’s no longer anything to stimulate growth. As a result, the bone recedes or is ‘reabsorbed’ into the body. This is why your dentist will recommend some type of prosthetic device to replace a missing or extracted tooth. This may come in the form of a dental implant, denture, or other dental device.

Does Dental Bone Loss Cause Problems?

Aside from leaving gaps that affect the appearance of your smile, bone loss will eventually cause other serious problems with facial structure, speech, and the way in which you’re able to bite and chew. These include:

  • Shifting and spreading of the surrounding teeth
  • Speech impediment
  • Open bite (inability to bring the upper and lower teeth together)
  • Pain in the jaw
  • Premature aging

If left untreated, bone loss that’s severe can cause your facial structure to shift or appear ‘collapsed,’ making you look older than your biological age.

What Can Be Done to Treat Bone Loss?

Dental loss caused by missing or extracted teeth is best treated by the immediate placement of a dental implant. A dental implant uses a post that bonds with the jawbone upon which an artificial tooth is set. This keeps pressure on the bone beneath the tooth and provides enough stimulation to keep the bone from receding.

If bone loss has already begun taking place, your dentist in Beaumont, TX, can still help. In severe situations, you may need a bone graft before you can have a dental implant procedure. But eventually, these treatments will stop additional damage from occurring.

For more information on treating dental bone loss in Beaumont, TX, call Southern Oaks Dental Care today.

What Should I Know About Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry might sound as though it’s related to the procedure you’re getting. For instance, a root canal is painful, which is why sedation would be necessary. However, this technique is more about addressing a patient’s fear of the dentist. Too many people end up with lifelong dental issues because they’re nervous about anything from drills to shots. If you’re looking for sedation dentistry in Beaumont, TX, we’ll look at what that means and how it works.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help patients relax during different dental procedures. This can be implemented in a few ways:

  • With minimal sedation, the patient is relaxed but awake.
  • With moderate sedation, the patient is conscious but may not remember the procedure.
  • With deep sedation, you’re teetering on the edge of being awake and asleep.
  • With general anesthesia, you’ll be completely unconscious for the full procedure.

The most important takeaway here is that you’re not necessarily asleep while you’re in the chair. Even with deep sedation, you can be awakened if need be. The right dentist in Beaumont, TX can tell you more about which treatment is right for you based on both the procedures you need and your feelings about them.

Who Should Get Sedation Dentistry?

Anyone who’s been putting off procedures should get sedation dentistry. There is no reason to let anxiety stand in the way of good oral health — particularly when dental issues are only likely to get worse the longer you let them go. Whether you have sensitive teeth or a history of traumatic dental experiences, sedation dentistry can literally be a stepping stone toward a better life.

Find a Dentist in Beaumont, TX

If you feel tense even thinking about the dentist, the staff at Southern Oaks Dental Care understands your concerns. Sometimes, you just need a helping hand to get you on the right path. Our options are the definition of safe because we know how important it is to treat our customers with compassion. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today to discuss what you’re looking for. We can tell you how sedation dentistry can be used to make your visit a good one.

How Is an Endodontist Different from an Orthodontist?

It’s easy to think of dentists as a general category of a profession. However, the truth is that oral care is a complex field, one that requires people to specialize in certain kinds of care. If you’re looking for dentists in Beaumont, TX that can handle a number of disorders, learn more about how endodontists differ from orthodontists and what that means for you.

What Is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is someone who will work to align the teeth and jaw. When your teeth are spaced correctly, it does more than fix your smile. Crooked teeth can affect everything from your bite to the number of cavities you have every year. Misaligned teeth are harder to clean and can put more pressure on the mouth every time you eat. An endodontist might design any number of treatment plans for their patients, including spacers, braces, headgear, or retainers.

What Is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a professional who specializes in the pulp of teeth. The inner tissue of a tooth is soft and sensitive, and if infected, the pain can be intense. An endodontist not only performs root canals but also helps people with traumatic injuries to the mouth. So if a tooth is knocked out or otherwise severely damaged, an endodontist might be the one to help in this situation.

What to Know About the Two

There is some degree of overlap when it comes to endodontists and orthodontists. Both will be able to perform many of the same treatments, but the two will have different skills and industry knowledge about different parts of the mouth. Much of the difference between dentists is a question of scale. For instance, a general dentist might only do one root canal a week, but an endodontist might perform 25 or even more.

Endodontics in Beautmont, TX

If you’re looking for an orthodontist or endodontist in Beaumont, TX, Southern Oaks Dental Care is here to help. Our professionals are able to complete a wide range of specialty care, regardless of the complexity of the problem. Specializing in a certain field means more exposure to different kinds of problems that can occur in the teeth and jaws. Contact us today for more information on our dentists.

Why Does My Child Get So Many Cavities?

Every year, you bring your child to the dentist to get their checkup, and sometimes it can seem like every year, your child has new cavities that need to be filled. Why is your child getting so many cavities? We get this question a lot at Southern Oaks Dental Care from worried parents, and we are always here to help. We’ve pulled together some of the most common reasons a child can have ongoing issues with dental caries.

1. Children are not vigilant about at-home oral hygiene.

Children may appear to be brushing, but a child’s effort to brush and floss can be far less in-depth than an adult who understands the importance of dental hygiene. In addition, children are more likely to skip brushing and flossing if parents are not watching or supervising the task. For younger kids, it is always best to supervise brushing and help them with flossing. For older children, check in with them daily to make sure they are actually brushing and flossing. Even teens can need a gentle reminder to brush and floss.

2. Children don’t always follow the best nutrition plan.

Poor nutrition can be directly related to excess problems with decay. Therefore, if you have a picky eater that is not eating a lot of vitamins and minerals, their teeth can be more prone to decay. Plus, children are more likely to reach for candy, gum, and sugary drinks that can be hard on the teeth. If your child does have ongoing issues with decay, examine what foods they are consuming, supplement where they are lacking, and try to swap out sugary choices for healthier options.

3. Children can have issues with cavities due to a lack of fluoride.

Lack of fluoride can also mean heightened problems with decay because fluoride helps strengthen teeth enamel. Take a look at your child’s main water supply and make sure it is fluoridated. Talk to the dentist about fluoride treatments as well.

Get Advice from a Pediatric Dentist in Beaumont, TX

Ongoing problems with cavities during childhood is an issue parents should closely monitor. If your child seems to be more prone to decay than most, be sure to work closely with a pediatric dentist in Beaumont, TX to develop a good care plan. If you are looking for a dentist that treats children, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care to schedule an appointment.

Artificial jaw in the dentist's office

3 Good Reasons to Replace Ill-Fitting Dentures with Dental Implants

Even though more modern forms of smile restoration are available, 90 percent of the 23 million Americans with no teeth do have dentures. While dentures are a cost-effective and functional way to give you your smile back, dentures are not always the best-fitting solution for every individual. If you have dentures that don’t seem to fit so well, dental implants may be something you want to consider. While the investment in implants can be considerably more, by comparison, the outcome can be so valuable. Here is a look at good reasons to replace your ill-fitting dentures with dental implants.

1. Be more confident about your smile.

Even though well-made dentures can give you a certain degree of confidence, ill-fitting dentures can do the opposite. You may find yourself self-conscious about sharing your smile or worried about dentures shifting while you speak or eat in front of others. Dental implants give you prosthetic teeth that look more natural and stay firmly placed so you can smile, speak, and eat in public without any issues or concerns.

2. Protect the bones in your jawlines.

Did you know that once your teeth are pulled the bones in your jaws start to lose height? Over time, this can make it harder for you to be fitted with well-fitting dentures, but it can also change the shape of your face and mouth. Dental implants are anchored directly into the bones in your jaws, which helps them to retain their height and you retain the shape of your face.

3. Regain your chewing power.

Some estimates claim that dentures only give you a fraction of your usual chewing power. Dentures, especially those that don’t fit well, can shift and move in your mouth when you chew your food. You may even find there are foods you simply cannot eat. On the other hand, dental implants restore both biting and chewing power. The implants are stable, anchored into the jawline, which means they won’t move while you chew.

Talk to a Cosmetic Dentist in Beaumont About Dental Implants

Dental implants are a big decision, but you may find your life changed for the better once you take the leap. If you would like to know more about dental implants, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX to schedule an appointment.

4 Changes You May See in Your Mouth During Pregnancy

You’ve found out that you have a huge reason to be smiling—congratulations! At Southern Oaks Dental Care, we’re here to help you keep your healthy smile throughout your pregnancy. Here are a few changes you may see with your smile while you have a baby-in-progress.

1. You may have more issues with bleeding gums.

During pregnancy, your blood volume naturally increases to support your growing baby. However, this extra blood volume gets circulated throughout the body as well. You may actually notice that your gums bleed a little easier than usual.

2. You may have problems with dry mouth and bad breath.

Dry mouth and bad breath can be a little more common during your gestation due to fluctuating hormones, changes in blood glucose levels, and other things happening within the body during pregnancy. Stay hydrated and talk to your dentist if you are still having issues.

3. You may experience inflammation in your gums.

Changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy may mean you are more at risk of gingivitis. In fact, about 60 to 70 percent of pregnant women will experience gum disease during pregnancy according to the Centers for Disease Control ad Prevention. Pay close attention to any inflamed areas, swelling, or sore spots on your gums and alert the dentist if you spot anything out of the ordinary.

4. You may have more issues with plaque around the gumline.

Most women do change their diet to some degree when they’re pregnant. You may eat more starchy foods because you are eating for two, find yourself snacking more frequently, and even dealing with new and unusual cravings. All this is perfectly normal, but it can also mean you are a little more prone to plaque buildup on your teeth. In general, women are more prone to cavities while they are pregnant, and this excess plaque caused by dietary changes can have a part to play.

Work with a Beaumont Dentist Throughout Your Pregnancy

When your baby is born, you will no doubt be doing a lot of smiling. Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy will sure help make sure you are confident as you do. If you need to schedule an appointment for oral care during pregnancy, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX.

Can a Loose Tooth be Saved?

If you find yourself with a loose tooth, you may panic. However, a loose tooth does not mean it cannot be saved. In fact, modern dentistry has many techniques to solve the problem of a loose tooth. But to have the best chance of success, it is imperative you do several things, one of which is to see a dentist as soon as possible.

What Causes Loose Teeth?

When you have a loose tooth, it is probably due to one of several reasons. While your tooth could have been loosened if you got hit in the mouth while playing contact sports or if you fell down, it may also have gotten loose due to gum disease or bruxism, a fancy term for grinding your teeth. But no matter the reason, prompt treatment almost always results in success.

Leave it Alone

While it may be tough to avoid using your tongue or finger to poke at your loose tooth, muster up all the willpower you can to do so. If you don’t, the constant poking and prodding will loosen the tooth even more or even make it fall out of its socket.

Keep it Clean

Since you don’t want an infection to form around your loose tooth, gently rinse your mouth with room-temperature water to remove food particles.

Tooth Splinting

As for how a loose tooth can be saved, most dentists use the technique known as tooth splinting. When this is done, a dental crown is attached to the loose tooth and its surrounding teeth, creating a “splint” that holds them together.

Periodontal Treatment

If gum disease is the reason for your loose tooth, your dentist may need to perform certain types of periodontal treatment. The most common are scaling and root planing, which will remove plaque and tartar.

Dental Implants

In very severe cases or where treatment was significantly delayed, a loose tooth may be pulled and replaced with a dental implant. Though the original tooth will not be saved, the dental implant will look, feel, and perform just like a regular tooth.

Should you discover one of your teeth is loose, don’t just sit around and poke at it with your tongue. Instead, contact your dentist as quickly as possible to schedule an appointment.