smiling-woman

How Often Should I See the Dentist?  

Knowing how often to see the dentist can help you take care of your teeth. If you don’t go often enough, you could end up with dental caries, plaque, gum disease and more. In this article, we’ll talk about the frequency with which you should see the dentist, so you can have the information you need to take care of your teeth and gums.

Most People See the Dentist Every 6 Months

How often you should see the dentist depends on how healthy your teeth and gums are. The frequency of visits should be set by your dentist. According to the American Dental Association, over 50% of the population sees the dentist every 6 months. About 15% of the population sees the dentist once per year, and an even smaller percentage of the population visits the dentist every two to three years.

Your Dentist Will Tell You When to Return

When you go in for a dental cleaning, your dentist will tell you when you should come back. Your dentist may send a reminder to you – either as a postcard or as an email – around the time of your next visit. If you’re visiting a new dentist, find out if your dentist will send such a postcard. If not, you’ll need to have a reminder set up in your phone or on your calendar to ensure that you remember to make that appointment.

Signs It’s Time to See the Dentist

If you’re having any of the following symptoms, you should see the dentist even if you don’t have a regularly scheduled appointment coming up:

  • Inflamed or swollen gums. This is a classic sign of gum disease. Catch gum disease early to prevent it from progressing.
  • Tooth pain. Tooth pain could be a sign of a cavity or a more serious problem. Don’t live with tooth pain, see your dentist.
  • Extra sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. This could be a sign that your teeth are going through changes – let your dentist know.
  • Injury to the mouth. Did you crack or lose a tooth? See a dentist right away.

Contact Southern Oaks Dental Care

Are you seeing signs it’s time to see the dentist? Contact Southern Oaks Dental Care today to make an appointment.

Important Nutrients to Monitor for Your Oral Health If You Live a Vegan Lifestyle  

The shift toward plant-based diets has been a drastic one in modern society. And, there is no question that eating whole foods that are derived from plants can yield a list of health advantages. Nevertheless, when you completely eliminate animal products from your dietary lineup, certain nutrients can be a bit harder to come by. Unfortunately, not getting enough of certain key vitamins and minerals can be bad for the health of your smile. Take a look at a few key nutrients you may be missing if you eat strictly plants and how you can work them into your diet.

Calcium

Calcium is one of the most vital nutrients where the health f your teeth are concerned, and you can easily miss out on proper levels of calcium intake if you are eating only plant-based foods. To make sure you are getting enough calcium, be sure to incorporate plenty of leafy green veggies, such as kale and collard greens, but you may also want to consider adding vegan-friendly milk products that have been fortified with calcium. For example, you can find some almond and soy mils that have calcium added.

Vitamin B12

B12 is an essential vitamin that your body needs for many reasons, but it is also important to your oral health. B12 is not abundant in plants; it is usually found in meat and dairy products. However, quite a few foods are fortified with vitamin B12, such as breakfast cereals. You may also want to consider adding a B12 supplement to your everyday nutrition plan.

Amino Acids

Certain amino acids are more readily available in foods like poultry, red meat, milk, and fish. One amino acid specifically, arginine, is known to help thwart your risks of gum disease and possibly even help to break down plaque on the teeth. Even though you are eating vegan, you don’t have to go without arginine; you only have to work to incorporate certain foods into your diet. A few good sources of arginine include peanuts, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas.

Work with Your Beaumont Dentist to Protect Your Oral Health

Eating all-vegan all the time can offer a lot of good things to your body, but be sure your teeth are still getting what they need. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX to keep your oral health in check.

bleeding gums

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

Bleeding gums may be a precursor to more serious oral health complications. If you have signs of bleeding gums, you should see your Beaumont, TX dentist as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the problem.

When Do Bleeding Gums Occur?

Typically, bleeding of the gums occurs when you are conducting oral hygiene. This is because the gums are stimulated when you brush, floss, and rinse. If you notice that your gums are bleeding during any of these activities, that doesn’t mean you should stop brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Bleeding gums are harmless as far as immediate danger and you should continue your oral cleansing routines. When your gums bleed there is a distinct distaste in the mouth. You should never swallow any of the blood. Always try to spit out as much as possible. Rinse your mouth with warm water until the rinse water is clear of blood.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

There are many possible causes of bleeding gums. Some of them can be quite serious, which is why you should always contact your Beaumont dentist when you experience bleeding of the gums. Following are some common causes of bleeding gums:

  • Too vigorous brushing – avoid exerting too much force on the delicate gum tissue
  • Too hard bristles – try switching to a medium or soft-bristled brush
  • Systemic bleeding disorder such as hemophilia– this should be managed by a physician and your dentist
  • Hormonal pregnancy changes – the situation is likely temporary
  • Incorrect flossing – ask your dentist to demonstrate the technique
  • Disease – Diseases like leukemia can cause gum bleeding
  • Vitamin deficiency – Insufficient Vitamin C or Vitamin K can lead to excess gum bleeding
  • Overuse of blood thinners – even too much aspirin can cause gums to bleed
  • Poorly fitted dentures – ask your dentist to refit dentures
  • Tooth infection – especially if the bleeding is localized around one tooth
  • Periodontal disease – this must be treated immediately to avoid tooth loss

As you can see, there is no definitive reason why your gums may be bleeding. This is why a dentist visit is imperative; to diagnose and treat your bleeding gums. If no serious cause is determined, then you’ll have assurance that your overall oral health is not in danger. If a serious cause is determined, then your Beaumont dentist will be your first line of defense to get you back to oral health!

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.

 

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.

woman in dental chair smiling

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.

woman with toothbrush

Tooth Enamel Loss

Everyday activities such as eating and drinking cause some degree of tooth enamel erosion at some point in nearly everyone’s lifetime. However, because tooth enamel is not comprised of living tissue, it doesn’t have the regenerative powers of certain other bodily elements such as skin — once your enamel is gone, it’s gone. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to help minimize tooth enamel erosion. They are:

Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly
Avoiding hard candy
Reducing sugary beverages
Drinking beverages through a straw to reduce exposure to tooth surfaces
Visiting your dentist for checkups and cleanings twice per year
Other causes of tooth enamel degradation include eating too many acidic foods, grinding your teeth at night, having dry mouth due to health conditions or specific medication side effects, and having acid reflux.

Signs of Tooth Enamel Loss

Those whose teeth experience higher than average sensitivity to hot and cold temperature extremes probably have developed a degree of tooth enamel loss. Other signs are teeth that have significantly yellowed or have otherwise become discolored, teeth that easily chip or fracture, and teeth that have a slightly translucent appearance. You may also notice rough edges and shiny spots on teeth that have lost some of their enamel.

Tooth enamel loss causes the internal tissues of the teeth to become vulnerable to damage by plaque and bacteria. Your dentist may recommend specific dental care products, such as enamel-protective toothpaste, to minimize this damage. These often work by neutralizing the bacteria and plaque present in the mouth to minimize the amount of damage they can do. Antibacterial mouthwashes also may be recommended.

woman with toothbrush

Dental Procedures That Can Help

Although the best defense against the erosion of tooth enamel is to practice good oral hygiene regularly to help reduce the chances of it happening in the first place, there are measures your dentist can take if tooth enamel erosion is severe enough so that it interferes with the patient’s quality of life. Bonding, a process in which a material called resin in applied over damaged or stained teeth, is among the most popular. For teeth that have experienced significant enamel loss, the dentist may recommend using veneers or crowns. All of these choices help prevent further damage by providing a barrier between the teeth and outside substances.

Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions or concerns regarding enamel loss or other dental health issues.

Causes of Tooth Pain

Causes of Tooth PainIn most cases, tooth pain is caused by a problem with your teeth or your jaw, and the pain can go from a nagging, annoying pain to so excruciating it’s debilitating. Whenever you have tooth pain, it’s always a good idea to be checked out by your dentist. Wondering what could be causing that pain? Here are a few of the most common causes of tooth pain.

Cause #1 – A Cavity

A cavity is a hole in your tooth that goes through the enamel and dentin, and it’s caused by tooth decay. Cavities are very common and often the source of tooth pain.

Cause #2– Abscess

Sometimes tooth decay can be so severe that it causes an infection of the pulp and nerve inside of your tooth. This is known as an abscess, and it can cause very severe tooth pain as well as swelling around the affected tooth.

Cause #3 – Damage to the Tooth

Damage to a tooth can result in pain. A trauma that results in a broken or fractured tooth may leave you hurting. Tooth trauma should always be treated as quickly as possible to prevent further dental problems.

Cause #4 – Loose Filling

If you have a sharp pain when you bite down on food, you could have a loose filling. A loose filling has the potential to cause a toothache and leave you uncomfortable, particularly when you’re eating.

Cause #5 – Gum Disease

While gum disease causes swelling and redness of the gums, this may result in both gum and tooth pain as well.

In some cases, non-dental problems can result in tooth pain as well, such as:

  • Cluster headaches
  • Sinus infections
  • Diabetes
  • Nerve diseases
  • Certain viral infections
  • Drug abuse

There’s a lot you can do to prevent dental pain — brushing, flossing, eating right, and keeping up with routine dental visits. However, tooth pain can happen to anyone. If you’re experiencing pain in a tooth, contact us today for an appointment.