Am I Healthy Enough For a Dental Implant?

Missing teeth can have a number of serious consequences to your oral health as well as your overall wellbeing. Dental implants are an excellent solution for treating this situation in many cases. Even so, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. To be considered a good candidate, you need to meet certain health requirements.

Why Do You Need to Be in Good Health for Dental Implants?

Certain health standards are required to be considered a candidate for dental implants due to the fact that the procedure to place dental implants is a surgical procedure. The implants are embedded below the gum tissues directly into the jawbone. General anesthesia is required for this procedure.

Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

While you do not necessarily need to be in excellent health, you do need to have stable health. Certain conditions can cause complications related to the implant procedure or even cause your implants to fail. Such conditions include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Arthritis

There is also concern regarding any other condition that causes chronic inflammation. Additionally, if you have periodontal disease, you may not be considered eligible for dental implants. This is because patients with advanced gum disease often have a reduced density in the jawbone. Since dental implants are placed in the jawbone, this can naturally present complications, including the high risk of implant failure.

Additionally, you need to be able to handle general anesthesia reasonably well. You will need to tell your dentist if you’ve ever undergone general anesthesia and whether you experienced any complications. Finally, you need to either be a non-smoker or you need to be willing to quit smoking. In addition to the fact that smoking makes healing from any kind of surgical procedure more difficult, smoking also contributes to teeth grinding. Therefore, if you are considering dental implants and you are a smoker, you need to make a commitment to quitting permanently.

Dental implants are a great solution to missing teeth. To take advantage of those benefits; however, you need to be a good surgical candidate. If you still have questions about dental implants and your possible candidacy for implants, please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your questions.

dentist with patient

Why You Shouldn’t Wait if You Have a Dental Emergency

You may wonder when a dental issue constitutes an emergency. And is a dental concern so serious that it’s necessary to head to the dentist right away? You may want to put off dental care, but dental concerns tend to progress and worsen when they’re not treated. These are some scenarios of dental emergencies and why you should get immediate care if you experience them.

Types of Dental Emergencies

Your dental situation may have appeared out of the blue or been an ongoing problem that progressed. Either scenario can be an emergency.

It’s important to visit the dentist as soon as possible if you have:

  • A toothache
  • Mouth pain
  • Mouth swelling
  • A broken or fractured tooth
  • A tooth knocked out or fallen out
  • A loose tooth

These are some top scenarios that should be addressed right away. If you’re not sure whether your situation is a dental emergency or not, give your dental office a call.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait

People often like to take a wait and see attitude, but that’s not always the best course of action, especially when it comes to medical emergencies. Dental emergencies may seem less severe than other emergencies, but in reality, they can create immense pain, cause people to wind up in the ER, and even be dangerous.

These are some examples of why it’s important to see a dentist right away with a dental emergency:

  • Symptoms such as sensitivity or toothache tend to be a sign of a problem that progresses when left alone.
  • Severe pain will only become harder to bear with time.
  • An oral infection can be dangerous without intervention because the bacteria can reach heart tissue or other parts of the body, even becoming life-threatening if it comes with symptoms such as fever, increased heart rate or breathing rate, stomach pain, swelling or dehydration.
  • A knocked-out tooth could potentially be saved when a dentist intervenes immediately.

Emergency Dental Care in Texas

At Southern Oaks Dental Care, we provide emergency services along with our full range of dental services in Beaumont, TX. Call our office at 409-835-6257 to ask about your situation or set up your emergency appointment. We’ll bring you in as soon as possible.

What Kind of Toothbrush is Best?

If you want to keep your gums and teeth healthy as well as the rest of your body, brush your teeth at least once or twice per day. In addition to giving you a great smile and healthy gums, you’ll also be lessening the risk of developing other more serious conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. But as the first step toward great oral hygiene, you’ve got to select the proper toothbrush. If you’re wondering how to do so, here are some tips to keep in mind.

 

Electric or Manual?

For many people, the first decision for choosing a toothbrush is whether to use an electric or manual type. Though electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manual ones, they have the advantage of giving you far more strokes per minute. On average, an electric toothbrush can produce up to 10,000 strokes per minute, while a manual toothbrush can produce up to 3,000 strokes per minute.

 

Bristle Selection

Before ever putting a toothbrush in your mouth, give some serious thought to what types of bristles you prefer. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, you’ll be able to select from soft, medium, or hard bristles. If you are like most people, you will probably want to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. This is a crucial decision for you, since using bristles that may be too tough on your teeth and gums can lead to damage to tooth enamel, gums, and even root surfaces.

 

Seal of Approval

When you find a toothbrush you like, always make sure your new toothbrush has the seal of approval from the American Dental Association. By having this, you will know your toothbrush has undergone numerous quality control tests regarding safety and how effectively it can clean your teeth.

 

Pick the Right Size

Finally, always choose a toothbrush for yourself that is the right size to make it comfortable to hold and put in your mouth. Along with making sure the brush’s head will clean hard-to-reach teeth, use one with a handle that feels comfortable and is long enough to meet your needs.

 

By following each of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your dental health, no matter whether your toothbrush is manual or electric.

Problems Potentially Corrected with Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are small onlays made of body-safe materials that get bonded to the surface of a tooth. Veneers can totally transform a person’s smile, but what problems could be corrected? Here is a short list of problems potentially corrected with dental veneers.

Discoloration of the Enamel

Many types of dental stains can be eradicated through professional whitening procedures. However, some people have teeth that are naturally an undesirable shade due to genetics or because of deep discoloration. Veneers can be created in any tooth shade you want, and when these are applied to the teeth, it completely changes the whiteness or color of the smile.

Oddly Shaped Teeth

Teeth with odd shapes can have a major impact on the overall appearance of your smile. For example, if you have a tooth that is angled on the bottom, it changes the bite and uniformity of your smile. Veneers are a good solution for correcting this issue.

Minor Alignment Issues

Minor alignment issues can also be corrected with dental veneers. Teeth that appear slightly crowded or spaced in an awkward fashion can be covered with a veneer that is perfectly smooth with a uniform shape to correct the issues.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity issues can make it really difficult to enjoy your favorite foods or even sip on a cool drink. This sensitivity can come from weakened or more porous enamel that allows heat or cold to travel through the tooth and affect the underlying nerves. Veneers can help this issue by covering the porous surface of the tooth and reducing the instance of sensitivity.

Gaps Between Teeth

Veneers can widen the size of a tooth and help close the space that creates noticeable gaps in the smile. For example, if you have a gap between your two front teeth, the veneers can be slightly wider than your natural teeth so the gap will be far less noticeable if it is noticeable at all.

Contact Us About Dental Veneers in Beaumont, TX

Even though veneers may be a bit overshadowed by some other forms of cosmetic treatment, this dental treatment is still just as effective and just as desirable for correcting issues with your smile. If you would like to know if you would be a good candidate for dental veneers, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX to schedule a consultation.

 

dentist with patient

Everything You Should Know About Dark Spots Around Your Gumline

While doing your usual routine with a toothbrush and floss, you spot an area around your gumline that looks darker than what it should be. Dark spots around your gum line can be a good reason to talk to your dentist, especially if those spots remain after you brush. Here is a look at what you should know about dark spots around your gumline.

You could have problems with gum disease.

If the darkened colors you see are specifically your gums, there can be a list of problems taking place, but most of them are going to be related to some form of gum disease. Gingivitis is a telltale cause of darkened gum tissue, for example, because it can have an effect on blood flow to the gums. Smoking or infection or two causes of darkened gums that may or may not be related to gum disease.

You have to watch for decay at the gumline.

Decay that starts at the gumline is actually a really common thing, especially around the bases of teeth that don’t get the most attention while you brush. For example, the backside of your front teeth or the molars in the back can develop gumline decay. Decay commonly starts out as small darkened areas on your teeth, and this can happen right where the gums attach to the teeth because these spots are missed while brushing.

You should see your dentist right away.

Regardless of what it is, that is causing dark spots around your gumline, it is imperative that you speak to a dentist right away. These small issues can grow into something more worrisome. Even though this is not a dental emergency, it is something that your dentist should see, diagnose, and treat.

Contact Us for a Dental Checkup in Beaumont, TX

Any time you spot something odd around your gumline that can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing, it is best if you talk to your dentist. Something that looks minor could be something more concerning. If you would like to see a dentist for a checkup, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX to schedule an appointment.

Helping Your Teen Adjust to Their New Braces

Your teen needs braces to help align their teeth, but these dental implements can cause a little discomfort initially. If your teen is having a hard time, make sure you take a few minutes to try some things to help them out.

1. Encourage them to eat softer foods for a few days.

In the first few days after your teen gets their braces, it is a good idea if they eat softer foods. Mashed potatoes, ice cream, gelatin, soup, and even soft vegetables will be easier to chew. The teeth can feel a little pressure with the new brackets in place, and chewing hard foods can make the issue feel a bit worse.

2. Make sure your teen uses the wax for their braces.

Your teen will be given a small thing of wax that they can rub onto the brackets on their teeth if the edges are rubbing the inside of their lips. Even though the brackets are designed to be rounded and smooth, initially, the unusual contact can cause some irritation on tender skin.

3. Show them how to rinse with saltwater.

Rinsing with warm salt water can actually help with some of the soreness on the lips and gums. Saltwater pulls out excess fluid, which can help with inflammation and deter some of the pain in small swollen areas of the mouth. Using warm salt water can also soothe some of the pain.

4. Talk to the orthodontist about issues your child can’t overcome.

If your teenager continues to have problems even with all the tips and tricks, reach out to your orthodontist for advice. In some cases, minor adjustments can be made to help negate some negative symptoms. For example, if one bracket is causing a lot of pain, the dentist may be able to use a different type of bracket on that particular tooth.

Talk to Us About Braces for Your Teen

Getting braces can be a major life change for an adolescent, and you being on board with helping them make the transition is ever-important. If you have a teen that needs braces or is having problems with their braces, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, Texas.

 

3 Ways Smoking Is Really Bad for Your Smile

If you are part of the population that is still firing up a cigarette when you get the chance, you should know that quitting could be one of the best things you ever do for your oral health. In fact, if you value your smile, you have a really good reason to kick the habit. Take a look at just three of the ways that smoking is really bad for your smile.

Smoking increases your risks of gum disease.

People who smoke are naturally more prone to gum disease. Smoking naturally elevates the temperature of your mouth when you inhale by 0.2° C for 30 minutes afterword. The elevated temperature can contribute to bacterial growth that can encourage infections of the soft tissues in your mouth. Plus, smoking seems to negatively interfere with normal gum tissue cell regeneration.

Smoking puts you at risk of losing your teeth.

Smokers are more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. The issues already mentioned are often to blame for smokers losing their teeth. For example, the elevated temperature can lead to excess bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay. According to Delta Dental Insurance, men lose an average of 2.9 teeth per ten years of smoking and women lose 1.5 teeth per ten years of smoking.

Smoking causes stains on the enamel of your teeth.

Nicotine and the tar in cigarettes are known to cause stains on both your clothing and your hands. However, these components in tobacco smoke can also cause stains on the enamel of your teeth. The stains are usually a brownish-yellow color, and they are the result of the tar and yellow nicotine absorbing into microscopic pores on the tooth’s enameled surface. Many people do not understand that even though nicotine is clear, it can actually turn yellow when it is exposed to oxygen, which means even clear nicotine juice or salts used in vape cigarettes can cause stains.

Contact Us for a Dental Checkup in Beaumont, TX

If you are a smoker, it is even more important that you are vigilant about your dental health needs and get the proper checkups. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Common Myths Associated with Dental Veneers Exposed

Slight imperfections, misshapen teeth, teeth that are too small, discoloration—all of these are examples of dental situations that can possibly be corrected with veneers. Veneers are onlays that are uniquely customized and shaped to slip over the surface of a tooth to change its overall appearance. While veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment, many myths surround them.

Myth: Veneers do not last that long.

Dental veneers can actually last a really long time if the person who has them is attentive to oral hygiene and follows their dentist’s instructions about caring for their veneers. Veneers can last anywhere from 7 to 15 years if they are properly cared for. To get the longest life span from your veneers:

  • Get routine dental checkups and cleanings
  • Brush and floss your teeth and veneers daily
  • Stay away from hard candy
  • Don’t chew on hard objects, such as an ink pen
  • Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco

Myth: Veneers stain easily.

Veneers can be made out of composite resin, porcelain, or other materials. Some veneers are easier to stain than others. For example, porcelain veneers can be more prone to stains if you eat or drink a lot of deep-colored foods, such as berries or coffee. However, if you are vigilant about brushing and flossing and having routine oral hygiene visits, you will likely not have issues with your veneers getting stained or discolored.

Myth: Veneers do not protect your smile from further deterioration.

One of the reasons people like veneers is they can get them even if the teeth they have are starting to deteriorate. When a veneer is placed on a tooth, it is sealed in place with a bonding agent similar to what is used to do a dental filling. Therefore, once the veneer is in place, it can actually be a line of protection for teeth that are starting to break down.

Find Out More About Veneers at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX

Overall, dental veneers can completely transform your smile, and they are a worthy investment. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care for more information about veneers or to find out if you are a good candidate for treatment.

4 Tips to Combat Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety affects hundreds of thousands of Americans. There are many reasons why people might have dental anxiety. They may have fear of the unknown, fear of the motorized dental tools or simply be afraid of getting bad news from the dentists. Whatever the reason for your dental anxiety, it’s not healthy to let this anxiety prevent you from going to the dentist. Here are some ways to combat dental anxiety.

1. Talk to Friends and Family

People don’t often discuss their dental visits. Naturally, it’s not a topic that is very interesting at a dinner party. But talking to your friends and family about their own dental treatment experiences can help you feel less anxious about going to the dentist. You’ll hear firsthand what they had done, what it was like, and the outcome. This will probably make you feel more confident going into your next dentist appointment.

2. Go More Often

Another way to combat dental anxiety that is derived from a fear of the unknown is simply to go more often. For three months, visit your dentist once a month. Just go in for simple reasons, like a routine examination, a teeth whitening or to get dental sealants. The more you visit your dentist and get to know the staff and the office environment, the more comfortable you’ll start to feel about dental visits in general.

3. Try Some Remedies

If you feel that you need to relax before your dental visit, try some remedies that others have used. You can try meditating, having a glass of wine, or even try CBD, which is gaining in popularity. Of course, if you don’t feel good about having a glass of wine or trying CBD, you should choose an alternative relaxation remedy that aligns with your values and lifestyle.

4. Ask For Sedation Dentistry

You can always be upfront and honest with your dentist about your anxieties. Your dentist may offer you sedation dentistry. This is a calming agent that in no way impairs your ability to make decisions or be aware of your surroundings. It’s just a very mild relaxant that can help you combat dental anxiety.

Remember, it’s better to seek ways to combat dental anxiety than to avoid seeing the dentist at all. For more ideas about getting over dental anxiety, please contact us.

Recognizing Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the non-destructive form of periodontal disease; however, left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the more serious form of the disease, periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. For this reason, recognizing and seeking treatment for gingivitis is crucial.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis

Inflammation is probably the most noticeable sign of gingivitis; however, this swelling often leads to a variety of other symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Soft gums that bleed while brushing and/or flossing.
  • Consistent bad breath.
  • Bright red gums.
  • Gums that are tender or painful when touched.
  • Purple-looking gums.
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth (i.e., receding).
  • Shiny gums.

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis frequently occurs due to the buildup of a sticky, bacteria-filled biofilm called plaque. This biofilm accumulates on, between and around the teeth, triggering an immune response, which results in inflammation of the gingival tissue (i.e., gingiva or gums).

What Creates the Plaque?

The plaque is created by colonizing bacteria. Unless removed through the use of proper oral hygiene techniques, the bacteria start binding to the plaque that has settled on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed adequately within 24 to 72 hours of its development, it hardens into tartar (i.e., calculus). Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional.

Treating Gingivitis

During a traditional cleaning, or with a more extensive cleaning process known as scaling, plaque and tartar are removed. Since certain dental problems can contribute to poor oral hygiene, your Southern Oaks Dentist may recommend procedures to fix damaged or crooked teeth. In addition, your dentist may want to address dental appliances that are not fitting correctly. Besides aggravating the gum tissue, these badly fitting dental appliances can make it difficult for you to remove plaque from the areas where they sit.

Gingivitis typically resolves after the individual visits the dentist for a cleaning, addresses any other issues that may have contributed to the development of gingivitis (e.g., damaged teeth, ill-fitting dental appliances, etc.) and begins practicing a better daily oral hygiene regimen. For example, brushing longer and more frequently (at least twice a day) with an electronic toothbrush, flossing regularly, and using an antiseptic mouthwash have all been effective solutions for gingivitis.

If you notice that your gums are red and puffy, and they bleed easily when you brush or floss, you need to make an appointment with a dentist at Southern Oaks Dental Care right away because you may have gingivitis.