Discover some of the warning signs that might mean you have a cavity.
No one wants to deal with a cavity; however, it’s one of the most common dental problems that both kids and adults face. In fact, about 91 percent of American adults between the ages of 20-64 had at least one cavity in 2012; however, our Huntsville, AL, dentist, Dr. Michael Pugh, wants to make sure you get the dental care you need to ward off cavities and also to treat them should they happen to you.
So, you might be wondering about the most common signs and symptoms of a cavity. After all, the sooner you discover these warning signs the sooner you can seek treatment. Unfortunately, sometimes cavities surface and we don’t even know it. That’s why making sure you visit your Huntsville general dentist every six months is the best way to know whether or not a cavity has surfaced. Even before a cavity surfaces, we will be able to pinpoint decay. In some instances, if we catch the decay soon enough it can be reversed with the proper oral care and maintenance before it turns into a full-blown cavity.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that cavities can’t sometimes cause symptoms such as a toothache or sudden tooth sensitivity. You may even notice a small brown or black spot on the tooth. If you notice any of these symptoms then it’s time to call your dentist as soon as possible.
How is a cavity treated?
If we do detect a cavity it will need to be treated right away. The only way to get rid of a cavity is to remove the decay. After the decay is completely removed we will need to restore the tooth both for strength and appearance. To do so we will place a dental filling.
More often than not we will place a tooth-colored dental filling because it most closely resembles the look and shade of natural tooth enamel. The filling is a special dental resin that is matched to the color of the tooth before it is applied in layers over the drilled areas of the tooth.
The resin is moldable so we can easily shape and contour it. After each layer is applied it is hardened into place with a special dental laser. Once the tooth is fully restored by the filling we will give the tooth a good polish so that the resin shines just like your natural tooth enamel.
Don’t let a cavity ruin your smile. Turn to Dr. Michael Pugh in Huntsville, AL, if you believe that you might have a cavity. The sooner you seek dental care for problems the better when it comes to the health of your smile. Call our office today.
Dental decay is a common issue for Americans, which is why root canal therapy is one of the most common dental treatments administered by dentists. In a way, root canal therapy can be considered a preventative measure, because it prevents unnecessary tooth loss or extraction. It’s preferable to keep all of your original teeth for as long as possible, if not for a lifetime. Keep an eye out for these signs that may indicate a need for a root canal session with Huntsville, AL, dentist Dr. Michael Pugh.
Watch for what is called intrinsic discoloration, which is a darkening of the teeth at the inner layers. It may be an indication of either dental trauma or disease. When one tooth starts to lose its color while the others stay the same, that is an isolated issue that may be related to a single tooth's infection or decaying nerve tissue.
Severe Tooth or Jaw Pain
Mild tooth sensitivity sometimes happens in patients when they eat certain foods, but it is not normal to experience severe sharp tooth pain. Pain is a sign that the nerves of the tooth are irritated or infected. That infected tissue must be completely removed by your Huntsville, AL dentist to get relief and save the tooth.
Boils, Bumps, and Other Gum Abnormalities
Sometimes when there is a problem inside of a tooth, evidence will start to show along the gumline. If you notice any bumps or boils forming on the gums (especially if it’s in a painful spot) this could be a sign of a dental abscess or infection. Check the gums for swelling and redness as well.
Make the Appointment
Despite the myths and fears about root canals, this treatment is often the best choice for keeping your smile healthy and disease-free. Contact Huntsville, AL, dentist Dr. Michael Pugh at (256) 536-3386 today to schedule an appointment.
Crowns offer an excellent solution if you're concerned about a flaw in your smile or want to stabilize a damaged tooth. Huntsville, AL, dentist Dr. Michael Pugh explains how you can improve your smile with a crown.
What are crowns?
Crowns are made of durable porcelain and look just like natural teeth. They're hollow inside, which allows them to fit over your teeth easily. Dental technicians create your new crown using an impression of your mouth made in our Huntsville office. Before the impression is made, the tooth is reduced in size slightly. While you wait for the dental laboratory to create your crown, you'll wear a temporary crown. Your permanent crown is attached to your tooth with dental cement after a few minor adjustments are made.
Are crowns a good choice for me?
You may benefit from a crown if:
- You don't like the way your tooth looks: Crowns are often used to completely change the appearance of a tooth. They offer an excellent solution if you want to improve the appearance of a twisted or crooked tooth or would like to conceal a discolored tooth.
- You had a root canal: Crowns are usually recommended if you've had a root canal. Although root canal therapy saves your tooth, removing the pulp in the center of the tooth weakens it. Crowns add strength and stability, protecting your tooth from cracks or fractures.
- Your tooth is cracked: Constant pressure from chewing and biting can eventually cause cracked teeth to fracture. When you top your tooth with a crown, the restoration absorbs the biting forces and protects the tooth underneath.
- Your tooth is fractured: Fractured teeth can be easily restored with crowns. Adding a crown not only improves your appearance but makes eating easier.
- Your tooth is too short: Has one of your teeth always been shorter than surrounding teeth? A crown offers a simple way to extend it. Crowns are also a good choice if your teeth have become shorter due to grinding while you sleep.
- You lost a tooth: Crowns anchor dental bridges used to replace missing teeth and are also added to dental implants. A dental implant bonds to your jawbone and acts as a replacement root. The addition of a crown to the top of the implant restores the appearance and function of the missing tooth.
Crowns protect and improve your smile. Call Huntsville, AL, dentist Dr. Michael Pugh at (256) 536-3386 to schedule an appointment.
Let’s put your oral habits to the test and see if you are doing everything you should for your smile.
Most people know to brush and floss their teeth, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t actually know the proper technique or how often they actually need to do these things every day in order to keep teeth and gums healthy. Our Huntsville, AL, dentist Dr. Michael Pugh is here to provide you with insight into what constitutes good oral hygiene.
Replace Your Toothbrush Head Regularly
Your toothbrush wasn’t meant to last forever. Even if you have an electric one, you still need to replace the head every three to four months. Why? As you may be able to tell, over time the bristles of the toothbrush begin to splay out. Once this happens the toothbrush head needs to be replaced, as the bristles could end up scratching up and wearing away tooth enamel. Another good rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush head immediately after an illness to prevent bacteria from infecting you again.
Brush Twice a Day
Most people don’t brush as often as they should or for as long as they should. If you aren’t brushing at least twice a day then you aren’t giving your teeth the thorough cleaning they require. Twice a day for a minimum of two minutes is all that’s needed (however, brushing after meals is also encouraged!). If you aren’t brushing long enough, set a timer to make sure that you are spending enough time caring for your teeth and gums.
Don’t Skip Flossing
We know that flossing isn’t the most fun activity you could do but it’s necessary if you want to keep gums healthy and if you want to keep your teeth safe from decay. While brushing is great for cleaning plaque and food off the back and front surfaces of your teeth, your toothbrush isn’t capable of really cleaning between teeth as precisely as it should. Flossing once a day (preferably before bed) is the best way to ensure that your teeth and gums are truly free from plaque.
Check Your Diet
The foods you eat can also make or break your oral health. If you consume a lot of junk food, sugars and starches (e.g. white bread) then you may be more prone to decay than someone who eats a healthier, smile-friendly diet. Avoid sugary drinks and foods, as well as processed foods and you’ll notice a big difference.
Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL, is here to ensure that you get the professional, compassionate dental care you deserve for the whole family. Whether you just need to schedule a routine checkup or you want to discuss your cosmetic dentistry options, we are here for you.
A toothache can come on slowly or suddenly and often causes serious pain and discomfort if left untreated. However, this unfortunate condition is treatable with the help of your dentist. Dr. Michael Pugh of Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL offers various procedures for diagnosing the cause of and treating toothaches. Find out more about toothaches and what you can do about them.
What causes a toothache?
Toothaches can occur due to various situations. When the nerve, which sends pain signals to the brain, becomes damaged or irritated, you feel it as a toothache. Often, a toothache is a result of tooth decay reaching the tooth’s inner pulp chamber which houses the blood vessels and nerve. However, the nerve can also become damaged by injury or trauma to the tooth. Bruxism (tooth grinding), gum disease, or an abnormal bite can also cause a toothache. Underlying conditions like TMJ disorder cause toothaches due to the tension placed onto the jaw by the condition.
How are toothaches treated?
If you have a toothache, you should schedule an oral examination with your dentist immediately. If a toothache is a result of tooth decay, you will most likely need a root canal. This procedure allows your dentist to preserve the structure of the tooth by removing its contents, cleaning out the infection, and restoring the strength of the tooth with a dental crown. If a toothache is a result of an injury or trauma, your dentist will repair the tooth to relieve the pain. Toothaches caused by an underlying condition require treatment of the condition itself.
Preventing Toothaches in Huntsville, AL
Preventing toothaches is easy with proper oral hygiene. You should see your dentist at least twice a year for regular examinations and cleanings. These appointments will help keep your teeth healthy and clean and allow your dentist to treat existing conditions early before a toothache ever occurs. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once to maintain the results of your regular cleanings.
For more information on toothaches or routine dental examinations, please contact Dr. Michael Pugh at Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL. Call (256) 536-3386 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Pugh today!
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