Keep Up With Good Oral Health Habits

Just as it is a fact that children are more susceptible to tooth decay older adults are at a higher risk for some other dental issues. The years of daily use and abuse will take a toll. The most common repercussion is gum disease and the only way to prevent it is to adopt a regimen of habits that will be beneficial to every aspect of your good oral health.

Because we ask so much of our teeth we have to take good care of them in return. Brushing and flossing are fundamental in order to remove harmful bacteria and avoid plaque buildup but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Your toothbrush for instance, should be stored in an upright position and open to the air so that it can dry thoroughly.

Bacteria thrives in a warm and moist environment. If you pack your travel toothbrush in a plastic tube, be sure to rinse it completely before your next brush. Clean the tube out with water and mouthwash. You might even want to consider keeping several unopened new brushes on hand for travel purposes, and overnight guests.

“Don’t brush where you flush.” The bacterial spray from a single flush of your toilet can travel further than you might think. Store your toothbrush at least six feet away and always put the toilet lid down before you flush.

You don’t have to look forward to flossing your teeth and you don’t have to enjoy doing it but if you want to do a thorough job of cleaning your gums and teeth you do have to floss at least once a day. While brushing is important too your toothbrush can’t reach deep in between your teeth like dental floss can. Ask your dental hygienist to give you some tips about how to make flossing easier.

Find out more about how to protect against dental disease at your next appointment with the professionals at Spokane Valley Dentistry. Call today @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley WA.

Changing Colors?

Have you noticed that your teeth seem to have changed in color? This can be caused by one of several factors. You may be surprised to know that the particular shade of the color can help to pinpoint what’s causing the change. If for instance, the discoloration is a brownish yellow or orangy color you may assume that the change is being brought about by the foods and beverages that you consume. This kind of stain is likely to have a uniform effect. Remember – any food or drink that is dark in color is likely to stain your teeth.

Some darkening is to be expected as we grow older. Our teeth are covered in a protective coat of enamel that becomes thinner over time. When this happens the underlying layer of dentin which is considerably darker in color, will begin to show through the weakened enamel.

Genetics also plays a role. Some people have teeth that are naturally lighter in color while others are more grayish. Dentists consult what they call a “shade guide” to match the color of a veneer or a crown to that of the patient’s natural teeth.

Anything that affects the nerve tissue of a tooth may result in changing its color either entirely or partially. A previous injury or extensive root canal therapy can trigger the change.

“White spot lesions” are the only early signs of tooth decay that you can actually see. They usually appear when plaque has been left to collect on the teeth sometime in hard to reach areas of the mouth or around orthodontic apparatus.

The color of your custom made dental crown will not change but when your natural teeth begin to yellow with age or darken from stains the crown will no longer match them. Consult your dentist before using an over the counter whitening solution.

When gums start to recede more of the dentin layer of the teeth will be exposed meaning that they will take on the yellowish to tan color of the dentin. Periodontal treatment may restore the natural gumline.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is accepting new patients @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley, WA. Call for your appointment today.

Root Canal Therapy Can Save Your Tooth

Most root canal therapies are non-surgical procedures commonly done to remove an infection that has affected the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is located in the root canal that extends from the root to the crown of your tooth. Once the tooth is completely developed it no longer needs the support of the pulp.

During root canal therapy a small opening will be drilled into the surface of the tooth so that the infected pulp can be removed. The root canal will be cleaned out and your dentist will apply an antiseptic solution. Next, he will fill the canal and seal it off to prevent more bacteria from getting in and causing further infection. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic as an extra dose of prevention. Soon after root canal therapy he will install a permanent filling or a crown to restore the tooth’s structure.

Don’t put stock in the stories you may have heard. Non-surgical root canal therapy is a lot like having a tooth filled. Novocaine is used to prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure which can often be completed in one session. The best thing about the treatment however is that it can keep you from losing your natural tooth due to trauma or decay. It can restore your ability to chew your food thoroughly and with ease and let you get back to living without the pain of infection.

If your tooth was causing you pain before the therapy was performed it may take a few days for the discomfort to subside completely. In the meantime an over the counter medication should work to make you more comfortable. A follow up appointment will be scheduled usually within the next six months, just to assure that the healing process is proceeding as expected but if you have any concerns before then don’t hesitate to call your dentist.

Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry is technically equipped and personally experienced in performing non-surgical root canal therapies. Call the office @ 509-926-6261 to arrange for a consultation and evaluation today.

Call For Immediate Care

When a tooth has been damaged whether due to trauma or disease, there is always the potential for infection. Your body will react to the invasion of bacteria by forming an abscess to block it out. An abscess will be noticeable soon after the onset of an infection and may form at the root of the tooth or between the gum and the infected tooth. People who suffer from gum disease are more susceptible to a periodontal abscess.

An abscessed tooth is usually accompanied by pain severe enough so that a person will seek relief and call their dentist right away. This is fortunate in a way because the sooner an infection is treated the better. Other symptoms that may occur with an abscess include redness and swelling, bad taste in the mouth and increased tooth sensitivity.

Your dentist can recognize the presence of an abscess by examining the tooth and confirm the diagnosis with x-rays. Once the infection has been determined your dentist will drain the abscess and perform root canal therapy to clean out the bacteria, replace the pulp, seal off the area and restore the tooth. He may place a crown over the tooth for added protection and to improve its appearance. The process may require more than one appointment and you may experience some discomfort after a procedure. It can usually be controlled with an over the counter pain reliever but your dentist can prescribe a stronger medication if you feel the need.

As with any medical matter, prevention is key. If you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist for six month checkups you can probably avoid any serious issues. However, do not ignore symptoms. Call your dentist’s office as soon as you feel anything unusual even if it’s not time for your regular visit. If something is wrong getting immediate treatment is the best way to avoid serious repercussions.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is prepared to meet your dental emergency. Don’t hesitate to call us with your concerns. The number in Spokane is 509-926-6261.

You Can Prevent Loss

Tooth loss is not an inevitable consequence of growing older. If we work to maintain good oral health we can expect to keep one set of natural teeth throughout our lifetime. There are definite measures that we can take to realize that goal.

One of the most important things that you can do to prevent serious repercussions from tooth decay and gum disease is to see your dentist every six months. Dental issues have a way of sneaking up on us. By the time symptoms arise the damage may already be extensive. If you have regular check ups and x-rays when advisable a problem can be detected at its earliest stage and any necessary treatment will most likely be minimal.

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, but it doesn’t have to be. If it is diagnosed in the early stages, the damage can be reversed and the disease contained. Be aware of the early signs of gingivitis which include red or swollen gums that bleed easily. If the disease is allowed to advance it will eventually affect the bone structure that is necessary to support the teeth and quite possibly lead to tooth loss.

Pay close attention to any obvious changes. Noticeable gaps between the teeth or evidence of receding gum tissue are issues that you should bring to your dentist’s attention asap, don’t wait for your next scheduled appointment.

It would be hard to ignore the pain that a toothache can bring, but home remedies only provide temporary relief in most cases. The pain may go away only to return again. Call your dentist!

When a tooth is lost to decay or disease the remaining teeth have to take up the slack. The added stress can take a toll. Prompt tooth replacement is recommended for the prevention of additional loss.

Instead of losing a tooth wouldn’t you rather have it restored with a crown or a root canal therapy? Those options are only possible with early detection. See your dentist regularly.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is taking new patients today. Call 509-926-6261 in Spokane WA for your appointment .

Sealants Can Make A Real Difference

Some people, no matter what their age, are just more susceptible to tooth decay. If your mother or father or your grandparents were prone to this chronic disease chances are that you will also be in the high risk category. Along with adapting a regular routine of home dental care and having your teeth examined and cleaned every six months you may well benefit from dental sealants.

A sealant is actually a fine plastic like coating that is applied to the surface of the teeth that we use to chew our food i.e., the back molars. These teeth are full of grooves and notches where bacteria can gather and grow. Once a sealant is bonded to a tooth it acts as a roadblock to keep the food particles that breed the bacteria from getting in.

If your child’s baby teeth were exceptionally grooved it follows that his permanent molars will be too. As soon as they erupt, usually by a child’s seventh birthday, your dentist will be able to determine if your child is a good candidate for dental sealants. The earlier the sealant is applied, the sooner the extra protective benefit can kick in.

If you have had to have one or two of your adult molars filled due to tooth decay you will definitely want to talk to your dentist about having a sealant applied to the others. The actual procedure is painless and can be done in the time it takes for a typical dental appointment. A sealant can save you money in the long run by avoiding more extensive treatments.

A dental sealant can be expected to last a good ten years. Your dentist will check it as part of every routine dental exam to make sure it is holding up as expected. If you feel that your sealant has been altered before your next scheduled appointment let your dentist know right away.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry to talk more about the benefits of dental sealants. Call the office @ 509-926-6261 today.

No More Excuses

What is it that makes going to the dentist bring on those feelings of anxiety? Everyone seems to have their own particular trigger. Just the thought of the sound of the dentist’s drill for instance, can be enough to make some people put off making an appointment. Others dread the prospect of having to have a procedure that will require an injection of painkiller – that needle can be intimidating.

Some dental procedures can be costly and time consuming. Dental insurance isn’t an option for a lot of people and today’s lifestyles can be so hectic that it’s hard to set aside enough time for treatments that may require several sessions in the dental chair.

People who are afraid of going to the dentist have probably avoided it for some time. In these cases shame and the prospect of revealing the negligence can make it difficult to relate to a new dentist.

Let’s tackle these issues one at a time. Things at the dentist’s office have improved. You can forget about the old fashioned drill that felt like Rosie the Riveter was inside your head. The sound factor has been significantly reduced and with the help of headphones and background music it is a non-issue.

If a problem is detected at an early stage it can be treated without the need for “numbing up” in preparation for the procedure. That should provide incentive enough to keep up with those regular six month

Again, the sooner a problem is recognized the easier it will be to deal with. Less invasive dental procedures are much less expensive as well. Most dentists however, do maintain an in house payment plan to make expenses more manageable. New patient offers may also apply

A well established dental practice has earned the loyalty of their clientele. These professionals are only interested in instilling the pleasure and self confidence that comes with good oral health. No judgements here.

Spokane Valley Dentistry provides patients with a wide range of general and cosmetic dental services. Call today @ 509-926-6261.

What The Office Can Reveal

Going to a dental appointment can trigger genuine feelings of anxiety for some patients and let’s face it, nobody really looks forward to having a cavity filled or root canal treatment. You may not be aware of it but the atmosphere of a dental office can affect your frame of mind from the time that your arrive, during and after the visit. When you’re looking for a dental home that will be a good fit for all of your family members go to the office yourself to get an impression of the kind of environment you can expect.

What should you look for? Comfort is key. Furniture may be decorative but more importantly it should be practical. If the dentist or hygienist is running behind you may have to spend some time in the reception area and you’ll want to be comfortable while you’re waiting. And what will you be doing during the wait?

Check out the reading material in the office. If it’s up to date you will know that the staff cares enough to keep subscriptions current. You may notice a t.v. in the outer office but this could actually be a source of anxiety depending on what is being aired. Soft background music may be more appropriate.

The treatment room is where patients are prepped to meet the dentist before the exam. It is imperative that this area and all the dental tools in it be kept in mint condition with sanitation being a major concern. There are cleaning enterprises that provide specialized services to medical complexes. Does the dentist you’re considering take advantage of such a service?

A people friendly staff is a good indication that the dentist has made every effort to employ people who are good at dealing with others and who know how to talk to patients who are stressing out about having a dental procedure. This is a definite for the plus side in making your decision.

Spokane Valley Dentistry offers the convenience of filling out the basic new patient form on the website We also welcome you to visit our office on East Broadway Avenue in Spokane Valley, WA.

Be On The Alert

You hear it all the time – if you see or feel change in your body, don’t ignore it. That advice rings true for your dental health as well. Hopefully you see your dentist for a regular checkup at least twice a year but in between visits you should be alert to any significant changes. An increased sensitivity of hot or cold foods, a dryness in the mouth or redness of the gums are just some of the symptoms to be aware of.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease in which the gums become red and swollen. At this point the symptoms can be treated and progression to more serious complications avoided. Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can lead to tooth loss, so treating gingivitis is extremely important. Call your dentist right away if you notice the signs.

There are several things that can cause your teeth to suddenly react when exposed to extremes such as hot or cold foods and drinks. The sensitivity is a result of a deterioration of the enamel – the outer coating that protects the more susceptible layers that lie closer to the nerve center of a tooth. If sensitivity continues make a dental appointment. It may be that a cavity is brewing or an existing filling could need to be repaired or replaced.

Recurring tooth pain is not normal, something is wrong. As tooth decay progresses so will the pain that it brings. An infected tooth may become so sensitive that it is sore to the touch. This could mean that a cavity has advanced or that you may have cracked a tooth. Infection is nothing to take lightly, see your dentist to see what’s going on.

Saliva is essential for easy digestion and to wash away harmful bacteria. A lot of medications can cause the flow of saliva to decrease so if that seems to be the case you may need to change your prescription or adjust the dosage.

Look to Spokane Valley Dentistry for all your general or cosmetic dental needs. Call the office @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley,WA.

Research Sources Are At Work

More and more researchers are looking into the possibility of a parallel to gum disease and other physical illnesses. Everything from heart disease and stroke to certain kinds of cancer is being investigated for a link to periodontitis.

We have long accepted the concept that the mind and the body interact. We know for instance, that excessive stress or anxiety can raise our blood pressure. Some people have reported actually feeling the change in their body when emotionally distraught. We are also aware of the connection between having a healthy smile and enjoying the feeling of self confidence that it can bring. It is important to know that our shiny teeth and healthy gums are helping us to make a good first impression in a business or social situation. Keeping this in mind, it’s not too much of a stretch to believe that there may well be a correlation between our oral health and our overall general well being.

Gum disease is caused by infection that develops when oral health care is neglected. Without regular brushing, flossing and dental attention the plaque that leads to the infection is allowed to build up on the teeth. Advanced periodontitis must be treated professionally with a deep cleaning method known as scraping and root planing. Without treatment periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and deterioration of the bone structure.

Once infection is present it can easily be spread through the bloodstream causing other parts of the body to be affected. Any existing diseases will only be escalated.

Whether or not gum disease is a harbinger or a symptom, indications have proven to be significant enough to convince some dental insurance providers to pay for preventive treatment.

All the data is not in yet but because gum disease is so prevalent among dental patients studies will continue. Ask about the educational information available at your next appointment with Spokane Valley Dentistry. Call the office today @ 509-926-6261.

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