What’s Causing These Dark Areas Over My Teeth?

When the gum tissue that arches a tooth exposes dark sections, what you’re seeing is actually the tooth’s root. This is generally caused by gum recession, which exposes sensitive roots to hot or cold food and beverages as well as tooth brushing.

Even though you may not notice the exposed area at first, the painful jolt you get when eating ice cream or drinking hot tea tends gets your attention immediately! While the pain may be mistaken for a cavity, an examination can quickly determine the true cause.

Gum recession occurs for several reasons, which include:
– Rigorous tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth with a scrubbing motion or using a hard bristle tooth brush can erode tender gum tissue. Also, some abrasive substances, such as baking soda, are too harsh to use for brushing.
– Poor oral hygiene: Without proper brushing and flossing, oral bacteria can build up and form plaque. When not removed on a daily basis, plaque hardens into calculus, a substance that is actually a hardened colony of bacteria. Oral bacteria thrive and reproduce by dining on gum tissue.
– Periodontal (gum) disease: When bacteria accumulate, diseased gum tissues loosen from teeth, exposing tooth roots. As gum disease progresses, gum tissue and the bone that supports teeth can also be damaged and even result in tooth loss.
– Smoking: The chemicals of tobacco are horribly drying to oral tissues. Oral dryness occurs when there is insufficient saliva to wash bacteria out of the mouth. This provides an ideal environment for plaque that destroys gum tissues, leading to gum recession.
– Night-time clenching and grinding: When you clench or grind your teeth while asleep, this places such force on teeth that they can tilt out of  position with the gums eventually releasing their grip from teeth.
– Misaligned teeth: When teeth are not aligned properly, it adds strain to teeth when biting and chewing. This also strains jaw joints, gums and supporting bone. This can lead to recession.

Yes, dark portions of a tooth detract from a smile’s appearance but they also place teeth at higher risk for decay or gum disease. For comfort, appearance and health of the tooth, it is important to remedy the cause and repair the problem before damage requires expensive and time-consuming treatment.

Repairing receded gums can be performed comfortably and quickly by gum recontouring procedures. In many cases, we use a dental laser that ensures a precision line, minimizes bleeding and reduces healing time.

The best time to treat recession is as soon as it is noticed. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more.

Afraid Of Dental Visits? Sedation Options Can Help.

For most adults who have dental fear or anxiety associated with dental visits, it’s not unusual for its originating source to be from a traumatic dental visit in their past. As an individual who had typically good experiences with dental care growing up, I cannot imagine the memories embedded in those who have endured this type of pain and fear.

What results is typically a reaction that emerges when the victim (and yes, I use the term purposefully) thinks about going to a dentist. Some individuals are so traumatized that they cannot even call a dental office without experiencing an increased heart rate, sweating or even crying. This includes men and women, by the way. There is no age or gender bias when it comes to the reactions of dental fears.

I’m very proud that I have a reputation for a gentle touch. Many patients claim I give ‘painless’ injections. And, while I focus on providing the highest level of skills and technology in all procedures, creating a comfortable experience throughout each patient’s visit is a commitment I try to bring to every aspect of care.

This is also exemplified throughout the practice. From the staff who greet you upon entering to the hands that care for you to the smiling team members you see as you leave, we believe you deserve a warm, caring atmosphere from start to finish. And while all this sounds warm and fuzzy, I’ve treated enough high fear patients to know those reassurances aren’t going to create much of a dent in your receptiveness to dental care.

This is why we offer sedation. Many individuals prefer Oral Sedation. This is a small pill that is swallowed prior to arriving to our office. By the time you arrive, you’ll be relaxed and less antsy. As the pill takes full effect, your relaxation level expands. You’ll be seated in a comfortable treatment chair and covered with a warm blanket. You may doze off but you will be able to respond to questions. You just won’t remember them.

The medication has an amnesiac effect that helps you forget any aspects of treatment. But don’t worry — we still numb the areas being treated. We just wait until your sedation is fully active before we give any injections. You’ll be monitored throughout treatment for safety and comfort by a trained staff member.

Once your procedure is complete, you will return home to rest for a brief period of time. However, you will recover rather quickly and should be back to normal in several hours.

For some with dental phobia, the most extreme level of dental fear, I. V. sedation is the preferred option. Also known as twilight sleep, this is a deeper level of sedation that places you in a sleep state. Although this is an in-the-vein form of sedation, it is also a more reassuring option for those who want to be (and this is their words, often, not mine) “knocked out.” This means that the recovery period is longer than oral sedation as a result..

We are sensitive to the needs of our patients, but especially those with fear associated with dental visits. Often, these patients have sedation with one or two visits and then decide to forego it, feeling reassured that they can trust us to be gentle and caring at all times.

My staff and I try to liken how we care for fearful patients with how we would want someone to care for our own children. We would want them treated kindly, patiently and with gentle hands. That’s what you will find here.

Have dental fears? Know someone who does? Begin by calling and speaking to a friendly staff member – toll free 1-866-9-Smiles. If desired, we can also put you in touch with some patients who have overcome their dental fears. They’ll be happy to share their own experiences while answering your questions.

Dental Implants Expensive? They Are Actually Wisest Investment For Replacing Teeth.

Dental fear is a common reason many people hesitate or avoid looking into replacing teeth. Unfortunately, it is this same fear that is often the reason people lose teeth in the first place. When adults are too afraid to have regular dental care, the eventual results can be gum disease and tooth loss.

With the addition of I.V. or oral sedation, many fearful adults are able to have much-needed dentistry and tooth repairs or replacement. Sedation, along with our other comfort options, provide a way for high fear patients to relax before and throughout their care. Yet, the larger obstacle that remains for many individuals is cost.

Dental implant treatment seems more costly than crown-&-bridge combinations, dentures or partial dentures. However, it’s really not. Because the expenses for dental implants are all ‘up front,’ many people perceive them as much expensive. Broken out, they are actually a far wiser investment.

For example, once a dental implant is placed and the final teeth are attached, the investment made is intended to last your lifetime. Dental implants are constructed from a NASA developed material known as titanium. Titanium has proven to be highly compatible with living bone. This means that the body accepts it, grows around it and embeds it to serve successfully as a replacement tooth root.

The attached teeth will not experience cavities, never need a root canal and not cause problems for neighboring teeth. While this seems to be a larger investment, dental implants are actually a savings down the road.

Crown-&-bridges are a popular way to replace one or several missing teeth in one area. We highly recommend this option for a number of patients. However, a crown-&-bridge requires the crowning of neighboring teeth on both sides of the bridge. The potential for future costs includes root canals, crown repair, bridge replacement, etc.

The most problematic issue, however, lies beneath the gums. Without the presence of natural tooth roots, the bone that once held them begins to shrink. This process, known as resorption, creates a number of problems. Resorption impacts the health of existing teeth and weakens the strength of the jaw bone. As bone loss continues, it also creates changes in facial appearance. These include deep wrinkles around the mouth, jowls, and a mouth that appears to sink inward.

Because dental implants are held by the jaw bone, they halt the potential for bone loss. They do not reply on neighboring teeth to serve as supports for replacement teeth since they have the same, sturdy foundation that your natural teeth have.

When you make a purchase based on quality – how long it will last and how well it will hold up over time – the additional expense is well worth it considering how much you actually receive for the investment made. This is the same situation when it comes to replacing teeth. Your decision to get the most for your hard-earned dollars begins with opting for the best outcome long-term.

If you are contemplating dental implants or any tooth replacement option, begin with a no cost, no obligation consultation. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles and we will discuss your individual needs and goals. From there, I’ll explain options best for you and answer your questions so you can determine how you wish to proceed.