Cold Sores and Canker Sores

There are many things that affect your mouth. Many times, a person will experience painful bumps around the lip or gum area. These are cold sores or canker sores. Even though a person may think that they are the same, the are quite different and are caused by different things. Treatments vary as well.

What are Canker Sores?

Canker sores appear as white ovals inside of your mouth. Although they may be painful, they are usually harmless and will go away in a few days. They are not contagious.

Canker sores are caused by autoimmune problems. They tend to occur when your body is run down. Also, they may be caused by a food allergy, nutritional deficiency, hormonal changes, or eating something that caused trauma in your mouth.

These sores tend to heal by themselves. However, to speed recovery, try rinsing with saltwater. This heightens blood flow to the area and lowers inflammation. To avoid extra pain, try to stay away from spicy or acidic foods as well.

What are Cold Sores?

The root of cold sores is a virus, which is spread through kissing, sharing utensils, or touching something that contains the virus. Even though it may lie dormant, it remains in the body permanently. An outbreak may be triggered by a number of things, including exposure to sunlight or wind, stress, hormonal changes, suppressed immunity, or a viral infection.

Typically, a cold sore will go away within two weeks. However, to minimize the discomfort, there are prescription creams available. Applying ice packs may temporarily reduce pain as well. If you are a woman, you should avoid covering the sore with makeup. This may irritate the wound and dampen the healing process.

For ultimate dental care tips, consult with Dr. Dana Walters. He will be able to explain how to distinguish and treat both types of sores and other oral problems.

Share Button

The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is an important part of everyday life. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth will benefit your teeth and overall health. Many people do not realize that flossing helps prevent the development of diseases like cancer. Removing bacteria from the mouth will keep your breath smelling fresh as well. Here is a closer look at the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.

Effects on Personal Health:

 Brushing and flossing will prevent many negative health conditions. When bacteria is allowed to thrive in the mouth, you immune system is constantly at war. This raises your blood pressure and leaves your body vulnerable to other problems. Chronic gum disease makes diabetes difficult to control as well. Infection can cause insulin resistance, which disrupts your control of blood sugar.

The mouth is a moist environment that is ideal for bacteria. Also, it provide a tunnel to you stomach and to your bloodstream. Maintaining proper oral hygiene will limit the spread of bacteria and keep you healthier.

Ways to Maintain Positive Oral Hygiene:

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice each day with a soft toothbrush. You should use gentle strokes throughout your mouth so that all debris can be removed. Brushing helps to scrape away plaque buildup that can lead to cavities.

Drinking plenty of water is good for your oral hygiene as well. This increases you saliva production, which acts as a natural disinfectant. Keeping items out of your mouth will prevent the spread of bacteria as well.

Upholding positive oral hygiene is a key part to unlocking better overall health. For more tips or to learn more simple ways to pack the most punch within your oral hygiene routine, consult with Dr. Dana Walters. He is always wiling to take time and discus ways to improve your smile and well being.

Share Button

When Is A Root Canal Necessary?

Many people suffer from small cavities. However, there are times when a regular filling will not solve the problem of decay. If the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, a person will begin to experience a toothache that will require action. Most times, a root canal procedure will be necessary to save the tooth.

What Causes a Tooth’s Pulp to Become Infected?

The American Dental Association has listed a few reasons why a tooth’s pulp may become infected.

  • Deep Cavity. When decay has gotten severe, it penetrates deep within the layers of a tooth. As this occurs, the nerves in the pulp become negatively affected.
  • Repeated Dental Procedure. When a tooth continuously needs to be drilled, it may damage a tremendous amount of structure and cause sensitivity. When pulp becomes exposed on a repeat basis, it can lead to infection.
  • Cracked Tooth. When a tooth develops a crack, the interior is left susceptible to outside elements. Food and other debris can become caught, which can lead to bacteria buildup that leads to an infection.
  • Tooth Injury. When a tooth becomes injured, it is possible for the nerves to become damaged. This can lead to pain and infection.

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

A dentist will determine whether or not a root canal will be a viable solution for you tooth problems. Many times, multiple issues will signal the need for this type of procedure.

  • Heat/Cold Sensitivity
  • Pain When Chewing
  • Severe Ache
  • Pus in the gums surrounding the tooth
  • Pain that radiates from the mouth to the ear

If you have a toothache and question whether a root canal procedure may be necessary, consult with Dr. Dana Walters. He is always available to help with your oral problems and offer tips that improve your dental care.

Share Button

Why To Consider Dental Care A Lifelong Priority

Home dental care, a healthy diet, and regular visits to the dentist, are not limited to children and young adults. The benefits show why dental care should be a lifelong priority.

Dental Care and Your Oral Health. You do not want to lose your natural teeth. The simplest way to avoid tooth loss is by making dental care a part of your daily life. You will decrease your risk of cavities, and may keep your natural teeth for life.

Dental care affects your gums, too. While tooth loss can be troublesome, gum disease can be worse. You may never need treatment for periodontal disease if you take care of your gums every day.

Dental Care and Your Overall Health. When you fail to brush and floss regularly, it can be harmful to your overall health. The bacteria in your mouth does not stay in your mouth. It can enter your bloodstream, and move throughout your entire body.

Bacteria in your bloodstream can cause serious health problems. Heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis are only two examples. A simple way to reduce your risk of health problems is by prioritizing your dental care.

Dental Care and Self-Confidence. While your dental health and overall health are your main concerns, you should not dismiss the effects of oral health on your self-confidence, mood, and self-esteem. When you know you look your best, you naturally feel good about yourself.

You will not hide your teeth when you talk, and you will smile more often. Whether you are a teen or a senior citizen, oral health improves your quality of life.

Dental care should begin when a child has his first tooth. It should continue to be a priority throughout your golden years. While your oral health needs change at different stages in life, it is important every day, every year, and every decade.


Share Button

What Will You Gain From A Routine Dental Visit?

shutterstock_314124986Although many people cringe at the thought of going to the dentist, it is vital to make regular annual appointments. Since patients gain many advantages from dental visits, the American Dental Association recommends that individuals should receive professional checkups twice a year. Here are some of the positives that come from routine office examinations.

Uncover Small Problems Early. During routine dental visits, your dental provider will perform thorough exams of your mouth. Even though you may not be experiencing pain, it is possible that a problem exists. Your dentist may find a small cavity that can be simply fixed before a larger issue begins. Receiving a filling is much easier and less expensive than requiring a root canal in the future.

Check for Other Oral Issues. During routine dental visits, your dentist will examine all parts of your mouth. Although most people only think this professional looks at your teeth, he or she also is concerned with your gums, tongue, and other oral areas. Many times, your dental provider will screen you for oral cancer, which can save your life.

Receive a Better Clean. Even when a person brushes and flosses daily, it is impossible to remove everything. With time, plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar. This is extremely difficult to remove at home. During an office visit, a dental hygienist will perform a thorough cleaning that removes this type of material from your teeth. A fluoride treatment may be applied as well. This will keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

To learn more oral tips and to uncover what you will gain from routine dental visits, speak to your dentist. Dr. Dana Walters is always available to discuss ways to improve your oral health so that your smile looks great and your overall health is maximized. To schedule an appointment, call the office today.

Share Button

Healthy Tips For A Beautiful Smile

shutterstock_95560018Your smile says a lot about your personality. When your smile is genuine, people know you are friendly, interested, and approachable. Your smile also shows you have confidence. When your teeth are in excellent condition, smiling will be easy and natural.
Dental Tips For A Beautiful Smile

Daily dental care at home and regular visits to the dentist will improve your oral health, but there is more you can do to make your smile bright and beautiful. First, choose the foods you eat with your dental health in mind. Avoid sticky and acidic products as well as sweets.

Second, give up habits that harm your teeth. If you smoke cigarettes or drink too many caffeinated beverages, cut down or quit. These habits can stain your teeth. If you bite your fingernails or other objects, give up the habit. Your teeth will be healthier if you do not bite or chew objects that do not belong in your mouth.

Third, ask your dentist about teeth whitening. While whitening toothpastes only remove surface stains, professional whitening provides better results.
Consider Dental Care A Lifelong Priority

Dental tips are only useful if you practice them consistently and conscientiously. You cannot skip dental appointments, binge on sweets, or make excuses for not brushing every day if you want healthy teeth and a nice smile.

Dental care is health care. If you want the best results, you can never afford to neglect it. You may need to make some changes in your daily schedule or your lifestyle, but the results will definitely be worth the effort.

When your teeth and gums are healthy, you will take every opportunity to smile. Your smile will be healthy and beautiful, and you will be more confident with your appearance. You can enjoy life much more, and show it every time you smile.

Share Button

Never Make Excuses For Dental Visits

shutterstock_405967594Some people do not place routine dental visits on their list of priorities. If this describes you, it is time to make some changes. There can be many complications when you make excuses for avoiding the dentist.
What Will You Gain From A Routine Dental Visit?

You are not experiencing any problems with your teeth or gums. You may believe this means your oral health is excellent, and a dental visit would be a waste of time. This is not a valid excuse.

Even if you show no signs of oral health problems, it does not mean they do not exist. One of the most important benefits of a dental visit is a thorough examination. When your dentist performs an exam, dental problems may be detected that you have not yet noticed. The earliest stage of gum disease, small cavities, and other issues may be found when they are much easier to treat.

Professional cleaning is a second benefit. Daily home dental care is not nearly as effective as having your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office. When you want your teeth to be completely free of plaque, tartar, and bacteria, it can only be accomplished by your dentist.
Tips To Avoid Excuses

When you make an appointment, your dentist will advise you on how often you need routine visits. For most people, visits should be scheduled twice each year. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits if you have oral health issues or certain types of dental work.

Mark your dental appointments on your calendar at home. Keep a list of questions you want to ask your dentist. Make routine visits a priority, the same as any type of health care service.

No matter how busy you are, you can find time to keep your appointments. It is the way to maintain dental health.

Share Button

The Importance of Avoiding Hard Candy

shutterstock_108246734Almost everybody loves candy. Sugary treats can be difficult to avoid. As hard candy poses special risks to your dental health, you should not eat it.
Hard Candy And Your Oral Health:

You may know the importance of reducing sugar in your diet, but hard candy can present more problems than a plain chocolate bar. When you eat a piece of hard candy, much of the sugar remains on your teeth. The sticky, sugary film lingers on your teeth, increasing your risk of tooth decay. Sugary residue becomes trapped between your teeth, and it is harmful to your gums as well as your teeth.

Hard candy also increases the risk of breaking or chipping a tooth. Even if you try to suck on the candy, you are tempted to bite and chew it. If you break or crack a tooth, you may need emergency dental care. You can easily avoid the time and expense by not eating hard candies.
Dental Tips For Treats:

The best way to avoid unnecessary dental problems is to focus on healthy foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better than sugary treats. However, there may be holidays and other special occasions that make it difficult to avoid treats entirely.

Instead of peppermints, sour balls, and other hard candies, choose plain chocolate. Limit the amount of chocolate you consume, and brush your teeth after you eat it. While much of the sugar is swallowed, you still need to brush and floss. You do not want sugary residue to remain in your mouth.

Extend these tips to everyone in your family. Even the youngest children can be encouraged to avoid hard candy when they are allowed to have an occasional treat. You can keep hard candy out of your home, replace it with healthier options, and remind your kids to make healthy choices when they attend parties or visit their friends.

Share Button

Diagnosing and Treating Root Canals

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-4-56-28-pmWhen dental problems are allowed to become severe, a tooth may require extensive repairs, including a root canal treatment. This is a common procedure that will save a tooth from being pulled or causing more pain. Here is a closer look at the root canal procedure.

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

When the pulp, or soft tissue inside of a tooth, becomes inflamed, you will be in a great deal of pain. This area is filled with sensitive nerves and blood vessels. The American Dental Association explains that an infection often begins from a deep cavity, a repeated dental procedure, or an injury to a tooth.

Diagnosing a Root Canal

Many times, patients schedule dental visit for persistent toothaches. A dentist will perform visual exams, take X-rays, and complete thermal tests. These will help to determine how much damage a tooth has incurred. When extreme damage is present, a root canal may be recommended.

What is Involved with a Root Canal Procedure?

After a dentist determines that a root canal procedure must be performed, it is helpful to understand what the treatment entails. After examining an X-ray, a dentist will determine the shape of the tooth’s root, and the area will be numbed. A hole will be drilled, and the pulp will be removed. This ensures that future pain, swelling, and other problems will not occur.

The entire length of the tooth is scraped throughout the root canals. After the cleaning is finished, the tooth is sealed. If an infection is present, a medicine may be placed inside. A temporary filling may be set in place until the next appointment.

After the permanent filling is completed, further tooth restoration may be necessary. Since the tooth may have extensive damage, it may be extra weak. This means that a crown may be necessary. This will be placed over the tooth to keep it from breaking.

Even though people fear pain, this procedure is no more uncomfortable than a routine filling. For a few days following a root canal, a patient may experience slight sensitivity. However, this should subside within a few days.

For more information about the root canal procedure, contact the office of Dr. Dana Walters. He has performed this treatment on numerous patients, and he is ready to help you retain a beautiful smile.

Share Button

Protecting Teeth With Mouthguards

shutterstock_164298476Mouthguards are not only for professional athletes. Members of your family can benefit from a mouthguard, too.

The Purpose of Mouthguards:

A mouthguard will protect your jaw and teeth if you sustain an injury. It should be used when participating in contact sports and non-contact sports. Without a mouthguard, injuries can occur from impact with another player, impact with sports equipment, or falls.

Oral injuries can range from minor to severe. Without a mouthguard, you can suffer from broken teeth, dental work or appliances can be ruined, or your jaw may be injured. The consequences can range from needing emergency dental services to surgery. A mouthguard is a simple way to avoid these issues.

General Dentistry and Mouthguards:

The cheapest type of mouthguard is a ready-made mouthguard. It can be purchased in sporting goods stores. However, as a ready-made mouthguard is not designed specially for you, it is not the best choice if you can afford a better option.

Boil-and-bite mouthguards are better, as they conform to your own mouth. The best option, though, is to have a mouthguard made by your own dentist. When it is created just for you, it will fit properly in your mouth. It is the most comfortable, effective type of mouthguard.

Activity and Your Oral Health: 

From basketball to skateboarding, sports and recreational activities can lead to injuries. This will not be a concern when you wear a mouthguard. If you wear it every time, you may never experience an injury to your mouth or jaw.

Keep your mouthguard clean, and store it in a safe container when you are not wearing it. Keep your device away from hot water and direct sunlight. Replace it as often as your dentist advises.

From the youngest children to adults, a mouthguard will safeguard oral health. Whether you are going out to football practice or hopping on your bicycle, make sure your mouthguard is in place.

Share Button