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Experience a Modern Dental Office in Oklahoma City

 

The dentist office is no place to fear or avoid, thanks the many technological advances in dentistry.

With the use of 3D imaging technology, the use of more durable, lightweight materials and improved tools, dental treatment is more effective, faster and more comfortable than ever.

With new and improved technology, patients have access to superior dental solutions such as same day crowns, Invisalign invisible braces, Zoom in-office teeth whitening, veneers, and metal-free fillings.

New dental technology has not only sped up the treatment process, but more sedation options are now available to relax overly worried patients.

A Modern Dental Experience

For the best dental experience and service for your family, choose a dental office that utilizes the newest and latest dental technology.

Creating Masterpiece Smiles is dental office in Oklahoma City that has been on the cutting edge of dentistry for many years. Our modern dental facility features only the newest dental technologies and equipment. All our dentists, hygienists and dental assistants are fully trained and experienced in all the latest dental methods and techniques.

We believe that each of our patients deserve the best treatment that only comes from using the most modern dental methods, equipment and materials.

Our four dentists have a combined experience of nearly 70 years so you know that your family’s dental health is in good hands.

For patients who are still apprehensive about visiting us, our dentists are certified and experienced in sedation dentistry, a specialization not every dental practice offers. We can offer patients the most appropriate type of sedation based on their intake preferences, level of anxiety and the length and intensity of their dental procedure.

We are committed to the health and well-being of each patient and the use of modern technology has enabled us to provide patients with the highest-quality, effective and efficient dental treatment and services.

Masterpiece Smiles provides a wide array of dental services including preventative and restorative dental care, family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry and skin treatment.

Whether you’re in need of a regular dental cleaning, need a bridge to replace some missing teeth, teeth whitening to brighten your smile or invisible braces to straighten your teeth, we are dedicated to helping each patient achieve the best, most natural smile possible.

Don’t be stuck with a family dentist that uses outdated methods, technology and equipment in order to keep prices low. Outdated dental practices can’t offer the comfortable, fast, high-level service your family deserves.

If you’re ready to make the switch to experience modern dentistry, contact Masterpiece Smiles today to schedule an appointment.

Oral Cancer Facts – For Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Stop Oral Cancer on Open Hand.This April was Oral Cancer Awareness Month, an annual effort to increase the discussion around this serious subject and encourage more people to get screened for the disease. This is a very important discussion to have because it affects tens of thousands of people every year.

Despite the severity, though, a lot of people don’t realize that it’s a problem. Unfortunately, this leads to many people putting off their regular dental checkups or screenings, and then a diagnosis can’t be made until it’s too late.

To help expand this discussion, we wanted to take a look at some of the important facts and statistics.

A Closer Look at the Statistics

The National Cancer Institute provides a number of important statistics that highlight the importance of awareness of this disease. So, let’s start by looking at these statistics.

  • 49,670 – The estimated new cases of oral cancer in 2017.
  • 9,700 – The estimated deaths that result from this condition.
  • 5% – The percentage of people who survive 5 years or more after being diagnosed.
  • 55 to 64 – The age at which people are most frequently diagnosed.

The Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Part of understanding this disease is knowing the risk factors. So, let’s take a look at the things that may increase a person’s chances for this form of cancer.

  • A history of tobacco or heavy alcohol use (especially when using tobacco and alcohol together)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • A weakened immune system
  • Poor diet, nutrition, and oral hygiene can increase your risk
  • Men are also more likely to be at risk than women

It’s also important to understand that the stage in which the cancer is diagnosed can have a huge impact on how the patient will receive treatment. The earlier oral cancer is detected, the more likely the patient can be treated. In fact, the 5-year survival rate increases from 64.5% to 83.7%.

The good news is that more people have been getting the screenings and treatments that are needed, and the survival rate has gone up significantly since 1975 (when the survival rate was around 52%).

You Can Do a Self-Exam

If you’re concerned about these risk factors, or have noticed some possible symptoms, there are some simple things you can do to check things out for yourself (though this should just be as a preliminary measure before going in for a dental appointment). This method of self-examination will help you spot any potential problems.

  • Look and feel inside the lips and the front of the gums
  • Inspect the roof of your mouth
  • Check inside the surface of the cheeks and the back of the gums
  • Look at all sides of the tongue
  • Check for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in the sides of your neck and under the lower jaw

What Should You Look For?

So, now that we’ve looked at the methodology for self-diagnosis, let’s consider exactly what you should be looking for. These are some of the common symptoms for oral cancer, and if you spot any of them, be sure to mention it at your next appointment.

  • Red or white patches (or both) on the soft tissues
  • Sores that don’t heal and bleed rather easily
  • Abnormal lumps or thick tissues in the mouth
  • Constant or chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • A lump or lumps in the neck area

Early diagnosis is critical to receive the necessary treatment, so make sure you make your appointments and come in and get checked on a regular basis.

How to Make Your Teeth Last a Life Time

natural teeth Never underestimate the power of a healthy mouth. People who don’t take care of their teeth eventually end up with dentures, which are expensive, often uncomfortable, and make it harder to eat and taste your food. Instead of resorting to fake teeth in your old age, you can keep your natural teeth your entire life. As a dentist in Oklahoma, we are here to tell you that it’s easy and takes less time than you think.

Five Minutes a Day

Too many people feel like doing a proper mouth cleaning takes too much time out of their day. If you fall into this category, we have some good news. All it takes to have a healthy mouth is five minutes a day. The American Dental Association recommends flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, for two minutes. When flossing, make sure you scrape along the side of each tooth and along the gums of each space. With brushing, using proper technique is very important to ensuring a good clean.

  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Replace your toothbrush when the bristles are no longer straight, or approximately every 3-6 months.
  • Split your mouth into four quadrants and move systematically through each one. Start on the outer side of your teeth, then move to the biting surface, and finish up with the inner side. Move to the next quadrant after approximately 30 seconds.
  • Brush in circular motions and only apply slight pressure.
  • Don’t forget to brush your gums and tongue for a full mouth clean.

Follow up your routine with a little mouthwash to remove any lingering particles and bacteria.

Twice a Year

Getting a professional cleaning every six months is important to keeping your teeth as clean as possible. The hygienist scrapes off plaque and tartar, helping to prevent decay and tooth loss. This is also essential in preventing gum disease. Left unchecked, gum disease can contribute to tooth loss from receding tissue, bone loss, and just the inability to hold your teeth in your mouth.

These cleanings also give us a chance to examine your teeth visually and with an x-ray to stop small problems from becoming bigger ones. From cavities, TMJ pain, and oral cancer, we can do a lot to help manage your health and keep your teeth where they belong. Don’t underestimate the importance of a checkup twice a year.

No Time at All

The last step to a lifetime of healthy teeth is making healthy choices for your mouth. These choices don’t require time in most cases and are lifestyle choices.

  • Don’t smoke. If you already smoke, stop.
  • Limit sugary foods in your diet.
  • Make sure you’re getting all the required nutrients to support healthy bones and gums.
  • Protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard while playing contact sports.

The last tip is to be aware of your teeth. If you start experiencing pain or something feels different or off in your mouth, make an appointment and get it treated right away. We want to help you keep your teeth healthy and functioning for however long you need them.

How Our Oklahoma City Dental Office Offers all the Services Your Family Needs

A mouth full of healthy, straight, pearly white teeth is something we all aspire to have.  At our Oklahoma City dentist office, Masterpiece Smiles, we have over 30 years of cosmetic and restorative dentistry that can make that perfect smile a reality.

Masterpiece Smiles utilizes the latest in dental technology and offers patients a selection of sedation dental services to help them relax and have a more pleasant dental experience.

We Make Patients Look Healthier and Younger With a Bright Smile

Masterpiece Smiles offers patients a variety of cosmetic dental procedures including teeth whitening, teeth bleaching, veneers, implants, life-like crowns, implants, dentures and dental bonding. The patients of our Oklahoma City dentist office can achieve having the bright, perfect smile they’ve always wanted at a price that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Masterpiece Smiles is different than other Oklahoma City dentists in that we help complete our patients’ beauty transformation by offering Botox and NeriumAD Skin Treatment. These products enhance and tighten the skin of the face and lips, yielding a youthful, healthy appearance. These services greatly complement our cosmetic dental services.

Our dentists are specially trained in Dentox, which include select dentists who use Botox in dentistry to help improve facial aesthetics, treat TMJ, migraines and deflated nasalblasial folds.

Dermal fillers and Botox treatments work great with our cosmetic dental services in giving our patients to look like their youthful, beautiful younger selves.

We Can Help Patients With Their Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a temporary dental condition where the joints of a patient’s jaw cracks and produces sometimes debilitating pain. Common and important tasks such as chewing and speaking can become difficult.

Our dentists can treat TMJ through such treatment options as exercises, medication and customized night mouth guards. If a patient’s temporomandibular joint disorder is severe and long-lasting, surgery may be needed.

We Provide Patients With the Latest in Dental Technology

At Masterpiece Smiles, we know our patients are investing a great deal into the improvement and restoration of their smiles. Our Oklahoma City dentist office utilizes the latest dental technology to meet patients’ dental needs and surpass their expectations.

Some of the dental technology patients will find at Masterpiece Smiles include: digital dental x-rays and ZOOM teeth bleaching system.

We provide Oral Surgery and Sedation Dentistry to Patients

In extreme cases, oral surgery is necessary to effectively treat a patient’s dental condition. Our Oklahoma City dentists are some of the few dentists certified to perform oral surgery.

At Masterpiece Smiles, we know that the dental office is a place many fear. We offer patients a variety of sedation dental services to help calm and relax them. Our dentist office in Oklahoma City has sedation ranging from medication and laughing gas to general anesthesia. The right form of sedation depends on the level of the patient’s anxiety and the invasiveness of the patient’s dental procedure.

Masterpiece Smiles also provides routine teeth cleaning, composite and silver fillings, and root canal therapy to patients. Whether you want to dramatically improve or enhance your smile or regain lost or damaged teeth, call us today to set up an appointment.

The Risks You Face When You Avoid the Dentist

Visiting the dentist is one simple way that you can take better control of your health. Brushing your teeth and flossing every day are important to keeping your teeth in good condition, but it isn’t enough. Regular trips to the office are required for optimal health.

Dental Cleanings

When you come into the office for a cleaning, the hygienist does more than just cleans your teeth. The x-rays we take help us know what is going on inside your teeth to get a more complete picture of their condition. After that, plaque is removed with our special tools. While brushing and flossing does help to limit the amount of plaque on the teeth, they can’t remove it all. It’s important to get the build-up off your teeth before it eats away at too much of the tooth enamel and causes cavities.

Another problem that plaque causes when built up for too long is gum disease. Scraping it away helps prevent eventual tooth loss. The best advice given by experts to prevent this from happening is with good oral hygiene and, you got it, regular dental cleanings. An added bonus is that less plaque means stronger teeth. While it is recommended to get your teeth cleaned professionally every six months, don’t go more than one year between visits.

Fixing Small Problems

No one loves getting cavities fixed, but it is necessary. When you come into the office routinely, we can monitor your teeth. Areas of interest are weak or dark spots that could turn into cavities. If one of these areas turns into a small cavity, it is better to get it fixed before it turns into something bigger. Other problems that come up are loose fillings and cracked teeth. You may not always notice these, but if it isn’t fixed quickly, the pain will hit you unexpectedly.

Another benefit of getting problems fixed earlier is that it saves you money in the long run. One small cavity can turn into a large cavity over time that requires a crown because the tooth becomes too brittle to fill. A crown is going to cost a lot more money, even with insurance, than it will to fill a cavity. It is also a longer procedure that takes more time to recover and involves more pain.

Cosmetic Advantages

Many foods cause tooth staining like coffee, cigarettes, and berries. When you come in for regular dental cleanings, your teeth are whiter and brighter. If you have minor things that bother you about your smile aside from the color, we can help you fix it too. When a smile is one of the first impressions you give a person, it helps if you feel confident smiling.

More than the Mouth

The mouth is not a stand-alone area of the body. It is connected to everything you do and your overall well-being is affected when there are problems. If you are dealing with dental pain or have a lot of missing teeth, eating is harder and proper nourishment suffers. When left for too long, cavities can reach jaw bone or mess with your sinuses.

Research studies are also showing that gum disease is linked to heart disease and stroke. Not keeping your mouth clean is also dangerous if you have diabetes because it makes it harder to control your blood sugar. The best ways to combat these health problems, according to the studies, are to brush and floss regularly and get regular dental cleanings to scrape off plaque.

We work hard to make sure that we aren’t just the best dentist in Oklahoma City, but that every visit is a positive experience. No matter what your dental experience has been in the past, we can help.

Top 10 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

You brush and floss your teeth regularly. You see your dentist regularly and do whatever he or she says. While you invest in toothbrushes, dental floss and mouthwashes, you can unknowingly be causing damage to your teeth by the food that you eat. The usual suspects such as citrus, coffee, tea, soda and sugar are included on the list of banned foods to avoid. Besides these usual suspects, there are other foods and drinks that you should also avoid, or at least, greatly limit the intake of. Below are some additional foods that are big “no-no’s” for dental health.

Hard candy

It has been known for years that chewy, sticky candies such as taffy and gum are magnets for cavities. These candies quickly adhere to the surface of teeth and leave behind particles in between teeth. You would think that hard candy is better as they don’t stick to teeth and there aren’t as many pieces that can get stuck in and between teeth.

But not so fast. Hard candies pose their own threat to the health of your teeth.  The sugar in hard candies dissolves slowly and exposes the mouth to dangerous sugar for several minutes. This gives bacteria more time to create acid that can destroy tooth enamel.  They expose to your teeth to sugar for longer periods of time. Sucking on a sucker is just as bad, if not potentially worse than soft candies.

Besides the prolonged exposure to sugar, hard candies can also destroy your teeth by posing the threat to causing cracks and fractures.

Pickles

Pickles make for an occasional snack. The salty tartness can be refreshing. These tastes are accomplished with the vinegar used in the pickling process. The vinegar, however, used to make pickles dissolves tooth enamel. A study was conducted in England which showed that eating pickles twice a day increased the odds of tooth wear by 85%.

Sports drinks

After a long, hard workout, a sports drink is a refreshing and vital recovery drink your body craves and needs. Drinking sports drinks while not heavily exercising can be dangerous for your teeth. Sports drinks are full of harmful acids that can destroy teeth enamel. Those energy drinks you rely on to get you through the day won’t help your teeth either. In fact, these drinks also contain dangerously high levels of enamel destroying acids.

Wine

Red wine contains two harmful ingredients that damage teeth: chromogens and tannins. Chromogens produce pigments that discolor teeth and tannins dry out the mouth and make the teeth extra sticky and prone to attract plaque. Despite its lack of color, white wine is just as harmful to your teeth as red wine is. White wine also contains enamel erasing acid that can make your teeth more susceptible to the stains from other foods and drinks.

Refined Carbs

Another reason to avoid white bread and saltine crackers is their harmful effects on your teeth. Refined carbs quickly turn into sugar which makes for a yummy meal for the cavity causing plaque, germs and bacteria. Crackers and bread can also turn mushy when being in your mouth chick can cause particles to get lodged on and between teeth.

Ice

Nibbling on some ice after finishing a cold, refreshing drink seems innocent enough. After all, ice is just frozen water. No sugars or cards or destructive pigmentation. While ice doesn’t eat away at the enamel, it can cause cracks and fractures of the teeth, loosen fillings and crowns and can damage orthodontic treatments.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a nutritious, convenient snack. They are also packed with unhealthy doses of sugar. They are also soft that enables sugary pieces to get stuck on the surface of teeth and in between teeth.

Potato Chips

Once in a while, it is nice to have a small bag of your favorite flavored potato chips. These yummy snacks contain refined carbs and other artificial ingredients that can compromise the strength and look of your teeth. The satisfying crunch is also a risk to your teeth as it can loosen brackets on braces, chip fillings and loosen crowns. Particles can also get lodged in between teeth which can become a breeding ground for plaque.

Chips aren’t the only hard snacks that you should avoid. Toast and popcorn are two other food favorites that can have the same devastating effects on your teeth.

Alcohol

Alcohol doesn’t have nutritional content, but it can be a relaxing reprieve at the end of a long work day. Cocktails, especially, are bad for your teeth. Not only is there alcohol which can damage tooth enamel, but they also contain high amounts of sugar which only adds to the enamel destruction.

Alcohol also dries out the mouth, which hinders you mouth’s natural cleaning mechanism from rinsing the plaque out from inside the mouth.

At Masterpiece Smiles, we are just as committed to the health of your teeth and gums. We offer a variety of dental services to give you the bright, straight, healthy smile you deserve. Contact us today to set up an appoint and let us help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce has the enamel eroding acidity and the pasty texture to make it get easily stuck to the surface of teeth as well as lodge debris in between teeth.

How to Make Brushing Fun for Kids and Adults

Let’s face it, kids are not the cleanest critters in the world. They actively seek out mud puddles to splash around in, avoid bath time at all costs, and worst of all, they rarely brush their teeth without a parental reminder. So, as a parent, how do you teach your kids good oral hygiene habits that they will willing follow? The number one thing that kids (and let’s be honest, adults too) love to do is have fun.

Can brushing your teeth be fun? You betcha, and here is how:

Kids Love Television

Everyone’s heard the phrase “tv rots your brain,” but in this case, allowing your kids to watch certain programs are actually beneficial in many ways. These days, shows are geared towards helping children learn important life lessons, in fun and exciting ways. If you child has a passion for Doc McStuffins, Spongebob Squarepants, or any other lovable character, most likely there are online games that are specific to teaching kids how to do things, such as brushing their teeth. If Spongebob has a flare for fighting cavities, your kids will be more willing to destroy harmful bacteria, too.

There is no fighting the digital world. Technology is here to stay, so take advantage of it while teaching your little ones the importance of oral hygiene. Jump online, find an interactive-brushing game, and watch your kids become enthusiastic about dental hygiene.

Whistle While You Work

The amount of time that a person, child or adult, should brush their teeth is a minimum of 2 minutes. Plenty of adults fall short in this area, so how will a youngster, who most likely is just learning the ins and outs of time, follow this important rule?

Easy… Music!

Find a song that they love, that’s at least 2 minutes long, and play it each time they brush their teeth. This will help teach them the concept of just how long they should be cleaning their chompers.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Sure, brushing your teeth can be a boring chore for a child, but perhaps a special Superman cape or a Luke Skywalker action figure can help them battle the monsters within their mouths (bacteria). A lightsaber toothbrush could be the perfect weapon in the great cavity war. Kids love a good story and allowing them to use their imagination to tackle the “tooth monsters” will make brushing interactive and fun, for you and them.

How About Some Friendly Competition?

Whether you have a gaggle of kids, two loving siblings, or trying to teach an only child, a little competition can motivate and encourage good dental habits. This could be as simple as having a goal chart and each time someone brushes their teeth (without being reminded), morning and night, they get a star. Whoever has the most stars at the end of the week receives a special prize. Maybe it is a small toy, a trip for ice cream, or popcorn and a movie of their choice. No matter the prize, competition is an incredible motivator, for kids and adults. This is a must-try method to help your little ones navigate the world of oral hygiene.

Be a Good Example

Ok, this one may not fall into the “fun” category as much as the others, but it is quite possibly the most important. Kids are extremely observant and will pick up on the habits of parents and older siblings, good or bad. When it comes to oral hygiene, “do as I say, not as I do” just doesn’t cut it. Make sure that your children see you brushing and flossing daily. If you have family breakfast, lunch, or dinner you can make brushing after meals a family affair. If they see that brushing is important to you, it will become important to them as well.

Habits don’t just happen overnight. The average amount of time to form a habit, if you are diligent, is an average of 21 days. With these creative ideas, you can help your kids create good oral hygiene habits that will last them throughout their lives. Remember, if you don’t do it, they won’t do it. For more “fun” ideas on how to teach your kids to brush, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to share their knowledge.

Overcome Your Dental Fears with Sedation Dentistry

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry, sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” uses medication to help their patients relax during dental procedures. Most patients are relaxed, but still awake. Only patients who are under general anesthesia are asleep and unconscious.

Sedation can be used for any dental procedure from simple teeth cleaning to surgery. The level of sedation will vary depending on the extent of dental work needed and the severity of the patient’s anxiety. The most common sedation techniques and practices used in dental offices include: inhaled minimal sedation, oral sedation, IV moderate sedation, deep sedation and general anesthesia.

The levels of sedation are the following (from weakest to strongest effect):

Minimal sedation – The patient is relaxed, but awake.

Moderate sedation – Patients won’t remember the procedure and may be drowsy enough to slur words.

Deep sedation – Patients are on the verge of consciousness, but can still be easily awakened.

General anesthesia – Patients are completely unconscious during the procedures.

Though sedation is often prescribed for patient comfort during more intensive dental procedures, it is often useful for patients who have odontophobia, or extreme fear of the dentist. Using sedation will calm the patient giving him or her a more positive dental experience and it allows the dentist to do the procedure quicker and more efficient.

Fear of the Dentist

The fear of the dentist is very common. Some estimate that as many as 75% of the US adult population fear going to the dentist to some extent. Of that percentage, 5-10% have a debilitating fear where they avoid the dentist at all cost. Typically, women fear going to the dentist than men and younger people are more afraid than older adults. Understandably, people are more fearful of more extensive dental procedures, such as surgery, than routine teeth cleaning.

Those who have such a strong fear of the dentist are putting their oral health at risk. Pain and discomfort are clues that something isn’t right and need prompt professional treatment. Unaddressed issues, especially those that can’t be felt or seen, can easily turn into more complicated conditions that require intensive dental treatment.

How Sedation Dentistry Helps

Sedation takes away the pain and discomfort of dental procedures. Patients who fear going to the dentist fear feeling pain. Sedation relaxes the patient’s muscles and provides temporary numbness in the mouth.

Sedation can help erase bad memories. Most patients develop a fear of the dentist, not because of a bad past experience (though that is a major reason for some), but because of the coldness of the dentist and the smells, sights and sounds of the office. Some sedation techniques are strong enough that the patient will not remember the procedure. Not being able to remember the procedure may help patients overcome the mental block or the pain of negative past dental office visits. Not remembering the procedure make the procedures not as bad in the patient’s mind and make future dental office visits less dreadful.

Make the dentist’s job easier. When a patient is relaxed and cooperative, the dentist can complete the procedure quicker. The longer a patient is in the dental office, the worse their fear may become. Lessening the time of their procedure will help ease their fear.

At Masterpiece Smiles, we understand your concerns which is why we offer oral sedation, nitrous oxide and general anesthesia to help make our patients relaxed and comfortable while at our office. Don’t let the fear of the dentist keep you from getting the dental care you need any longer. Call us today to set up an appointment and go over our sedation offerings.

When is Dry Mouth a Problem?

Glass of waterDry mouth is a common problem that has many causes. Most often dry mouth is caused by being a side effect of medication you’re taking. It can also be caused by another health issue or dehydration. Often dry mouth caused by these issues are temporary and will go away. Chronic dry mouth, on the other hand, can be the catalyst to potentially serious oral health problems. It is the chronic dry mouth that needs attention and treatment before it’s too late.

Chronic dry mouth may not be seen as anything more than a nuisance, but an effective treatment by your dentist is needed if it’s been an issue for a long period of time. What is often seen as an inconvenience can wreak havoc on your mouth. Some of the dental issues chronic dry mouth causes include:

  • gingivitis (gum disease)
  • tooth decay
  • mouth infections, such as thrush
  • makes wearing dentures difficult

All these more serious oral health issues typically occur from the lack of saliva due to dry mouth. Saliva coats, protects and cleanses your teeth and gums. Without this natural oral defense
system, your mouth can become a breeding ground for bacteria and weakened gums and teeth.

The symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • A dry or sticky feeling in the mouth
  • Frequent, unquenchable thirst
  • Sores in the mouth, at the corners of the mouth or cracked lips
  • A dry feeling throat
  • A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and on the tongue
  • A dry, red, raw tongue
  • Problems speaking, tasting, chewing, and swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Dry nasal passages
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Red, bleeding gums, gingivitis, and periodontitis
  • Tooth decay—especially around the gum line or on the root surfaces

How is Chronic Dry Mouth Treated?

Though there is not a cure for dry mouth, there are multiple treatment options available to alleviate the discomfort and slow the damage of dry mouth to your mouth. We can provide you with the best option for you based on the severity of your dry mouth. Below are the treatment options available ranging from preserving the little saliva you do produce to cavity prevention:

If your mouth is still producing some saliva, it is important to preserve it. Treatment options for this include avoiding foods, drinks and living habits that can dry your mouth out. Lifestyle habits such as breathing through the mouth and consuming excessive caffeine, alcohol and tobacco products will dry out your mouth.  Along with limiting these lifestyle choices, using a humidifier can also help keep your mouth from drying out.

  • To complement the lack of saliva, you can also try saliva substitutes. Drinking more water, sucking on ice and using an alcohol free mouthwash can add moisture to your mouth. Over the counter saliva substitutes and oral lubricants can also help.
  • Another way to make up for the lack of saliva include saliva stimulation treatments. Chewing sugar-free hard candies or gum can help stimulate saliva production. Prescription medications such as Evoxac and Salagen help.
  • Dry mouth provides the perfect environment for cavities and gum disease to occur. To control the growth of plaque, frequent appointments with us is necessary. We’ll recommend to you a low-sugar diet, daily use of fluoride treatments such as prescription tooth paste and antimicrobial rinses.

At Masterpiece Smiles, we’ll help reduce the discomfort of your dry mouth and prevent further damage done to your mouth, teeth and gums. For more information about dry mouth and other oral restoration services we offer, please contact us and set up an appointment.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental Emergency InfographicWhen there is severe damage to your teeth, trauma to your mouth or face, bleeding from your mouth or extreme pain, it likely means a dental emergency and usually requires surgery. Our dental office should be the first person you call is you suspect you have a dental emergency. These types of emergencies take into account the condition of your teeth.

To see if you are experiencing a dental emergency, it helps to answer the following questions:

  • Are you bleeding from the mouth?
  • Are you in severe pain or experience pain when biting down or having cold or hot foods and beverages?
  • Do you have any loose teeth?
  • Have you been hit in the face or mouth?
  • Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area?
  • Do you have any bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?

A “yes” answer to any of these questions means you may have a dental emergency and should call our office immediately.

Common Dental Emergencies

Knocked-Out Tooth

When you have a tooth that has been knocked out, it is important to call us right away. Quick action will increase the chances that your tooth will be able to be preserved and reinserted by our dentists.

If you have a knocked out tooth, be gentle with handling it. Be sure to pick it up by the crown, not the root. Gently clean it, but don’t scrub it. If you’re able to, gently put the tooth back into the socket and hold it in until you get to the dentist.

Loose Tooth, Tooth Out of Alignment

If one of your teeth is lose or out of alignment, you should call us. In the meantime, you can hold the tooth in its original position with you finger, putting slight pressure on it if needed. You can also bite down to help keep the tooth in place.  Whatever you do, don’t try to force the tooth in.

Cracked or Fractured Teeth

A cracked or fractured tooth is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. If a tooth is cracked or fractured, it usually means that there is damage that has occurred both on the inside and outside of the tooth. If the fracture is severe, the tooth may not be able to be saved. If you have a fractured tooth, follow these steps after you call your dentist:

  • Use warm water to gently clean and rinse out your mouth.
  • If your tooth fracture is caused by trauma to your face, you can apply a cold compress to the area to reduce the swelling.
  • Take Tylenol or Advil or other brand acetaminophen to relieve the pain. Don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Do not apply topical painkiller to your gums as it can burn and irritate the gum tissue.

Tissue Injury and Facial Pain

If you incur any kind of injury inside of your mouth that includes lacerations, tears and puncture wounds to the mouth, lips, cheeks and tongue, you have a dental emergency. If you experience any type of tissue injury, it is important to clean the area immediately with warm water. If your mouth is bleeding, place pressure on the wound using gauze. Bleeding from inside the mouth requires you to see an oral surgeon immediately.

Take acetaminophen to relieve any facial pain you experience as a result of a tissue injury. Don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen as they can cause excessive bleeding.

Other Dental Emergencies

Any severe infection or abscess in the mouth is a dental emergency and requires immediate attention. Some infections can be deadly if not treated right away. An infected tooth may warrant a root canal by our dentists. The root canal will allow the abscess to drain.

Your wellbeing and comfort as well as salvaging your teeth are all important. If you experience severe pain in and around your mouth, have had trauma to your face or mouth, have bleeding from inside your mouth, have loose or misaligned teeth or fractured teeth, you likely have a dental emergency. Be sure to have our contact information so we can quickly assist you in your dental emergency.