“Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?”

sensitive

Do you experience shooting pain through your teeth when you drink something hot or bite into something cold? If so, you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. It’s a common problem for many people, but our dental office in Austin wants to help explain some possible reasons behind your sensitivity and how we can fix it.

Reason #1: Clenching & Grinding

Although tooth enamel is really strong stuff, it can be worn away by chronically scraping teeth together through clenching or grinding (also known as bruxism). When enamel erodes it leaves the middle part of the tooth exposed and sensitivity results. Tooth clenching and grinding can not only lead to sensitivity, but also other dental problems like cracked or chipped teeth which require restorative dentistry to repair.

Solution: Tooth clenching and grinding can be treated. Typically a custom-made bruxism mouthguard is recommended. These mouthguards keep your teeth from scraping together, protecting them from damage.

Reason #2: Brushing Too Hard

Although it seems to make sense that the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner your mouth will be, that just isn’t the case. Using a side-to-side motion or scrubbing too vigorously will make enamel wear down more quickly than normal, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity.

Solution: Revise your brushing technique. You should brush using small, gentle circles while holding your brush at a 45 degree angle. You may also want to make sure your brush has soft bristles for an even gentler clean.

Reason #3: Gum Disease

One of the common symptoms of gum disease is sensitivity. Why? Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the tooth roots. These roots contain nerves and if these nerves are unprotected, it can be very painful.  In addition to sensitivity, signs of gum disease can include red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

Solution: See your dentist in Austin as soon as you can. Gum disease is a serious concern that can not only cause tooth sensitivity, but also contributes to whole body problems like strokes and heart disease.  

If you have sensitive teeth, give our Austin dental office a call to schedule an appointment with us. We’ll work with you to determine the cause and discuss relief options.

Accepting new patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park and beyond. 

Dental Care is Important for Pets Too

pets teeth

At our dental office in Austin, we have a soft spot for fuzzy animals. Which is why we think it’s important to talk about dental care for pets. Dental care for our furry family members is just as important as dental care for humans. And while we don’t accept four-legged patients in this office, we do want to provide you with tips for proper pet dental care.

Signs of a Problem

Before we discuss how to keep your pet healthy, it’s extremely important to know the signs of some serious dental concerns. Keep a lookout for the following:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bleeding
  • Refusal to let you near his mouth

If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your vet as soon as possible as they may be signs of something serious.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

You heard us correctly. Pick up a toothbrush that’s right for your animal at your local pet supply store, apply some pet toothpaste (do NOT use human toothpaste — it can cause stomach issues in animals), and scrub gently in soft circles. It may take some practice, but brushing your pet’s teeth two or three times a week can be beneficial to his dental and overall health. It’s also recommended that all pets receive professional cleanings at the vet once a year.

Allow Puppies to Chew

It’s an unavoidable reality — puppies chew everything. From shoes, to table legs, and even clothes, there’s nothing a new puppy won’t sink its teeth into. Part of the natural desire to chew has to do with teething, and it’s actually beneficial. It helps strengthen teeth, massage gums, and scrape away tartar. So stock up on chew toys and encourage your pup to chew only on those toys, not only for the health of his teeth, but also for the health of your shoe collection.

Pick an Appropriate Diet

Your pet’s diet can affect his dental health, just like your food and drink choices can affect yours. There are a variety of pet foods available to help reduce tartar and plaque buildup. Talk with your vet to see what’s best for your buddy.

Following the advice above can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy for a lifetime. But don’t forget about your own oral health. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and maintain visits to our Austin dental office at least every six months. Don’t let dental problems plague you or your pet. Make the commitment to proper oral health for you both.

 
Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park and the surrounding areas.

Which Mouthwash Is Right For You?

mouthwash

Like most aspects of dental care, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting a mouthwash. There are different types of mouthwash that are appropriate for different needs. But what options are available? What makes them so different? And more importantly, which one is right for you? Let my dental office in Austin help.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

If you suffer from chronic bad breath and if you battle bacteria in your mouth often, perhaps in the form of an infection, there’s a specific mouthwash that may be appropriate for you. We call this type of mouthwash antiseptic mouthwash. What makes it so good for fighting bad breath and infections? It contains chlorhexidine gluconate, which helps fight off and kill bacteria. This not only helps protect the mouth, it can make bad breath a thing of the past. Use it sparingly as too much can cause tooth discoloration.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

Like antiseptic mouthwash, cosmetic mouthwash options are effective at freshening breath, but that’s about all they have going for them. Cosmetic mouthwashes are best paired with proper brushing and flossing, and used only for the extra burst of freshness. This type of mouthwash doesn’t have any properties to help protect against bacteria or decay, or to strengthen teeth.

Fluoride Mouthwash

Have you been told that your teeth don’t get enough fluoride? Then a fluoride mouthwash may be something to consider. Fluoride mouthwash contains, you guessed it, sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride is used by dentists to help build up and strengthen teeth as well as protect enamel from decay. Many people already get enough fluoride through their water, toothpaste, or at dental appointments, so a fluoride mouthwash isn’t right for just anyone. Talk with your dentist in Austin to see if it may be appropriate for you.

Mouthwash Is NOT A Replacement

Whichever mouthwash you select, it’s important to note that mouthwash is not a substitute to regular brushing and flossing. Mouthwash should be used in addition to a proper at-home oral hygiene routine in order to maximize its benefits.

If you’re looking for guidance on selecting the right mouthwash for your specific dental needs, give our Austin dental office a call. We’ll be happy to talk with you about your concerns and suggest the most appropriate mouthwash for you.  

Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park and the surrounding areas.

Smile! It’s National Dental Hygiene Month

hygienist

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and at our dental office in Austin we’re going to take a moment to recognize our hygienists for all the hard work that they do, the variety of services they provide to patients, and their wealth of dental knowledge.

Dental Hygienist Qualifications

Did you know hygienists have excellent training and education to help teach patients about the importance of keeping teeth healthy and clean? Most hygienists attend local community colleges, technical colleges, dental schools, or university programs. Typically after two years of schooling, hygienists earn an associate degree and then take a state, local, or regional licensing test. Some hygienists choose to attend four-year degree program too!

Dental Hygienist Duties

At our Austin dental office, we see so many patients who have a lot of great questions about their oral health. That’s where hygienists are so helpful! Hygienists are usually a dentist’s right-hand person, helping to treat teeth and tell patients all about the importance of keeping teeth healthy. Depending on what state a hygienist works in, their duties around the office could vary. Here are just a few of the fun things they do:

1) Making Teeth Clean – To get teeth looking and feeling great, most hygienists will give your smile a good cleaning by scraping away tartar and plaque from surface of all teeth.

2) Learning All About Patients – Hygienists are usually responsible for talking with patients to get an oral health assessment, reviewing health history, performing an oral cancer screening, and taking blood pressure.

3) Serving Up Healthy Tips – Hygienists are also really good at speaking with patients about the importance of good nutrition and how it relates to maintaining excellent oral and overall health.

4) Prevention Intervention – During a checkup and cleaning, hygienists may also apply fluoride or sealants to teeth to help keep acids, bacteria, and cavities from damaging teeth.

5) Making An Impression That Lasts – If an impression of a patient’s teeth needs to be made in order to better determine what treatment may be appropriate for them, hygienists can help. Many hygienists are trained and qualified to take impressions, and keep patients comfortable during the process.

When you visit the dentist in Austin, we hope you give your hygienist a high five for all they they do to keep you and your teeth healthy. Hygienists truly care about your oral and overall health. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Hygienists are always happy to help!

Accepting new patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park.

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