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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Highland Dental
October 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Root Canal  

Wondering whether or not your dental problems need root canal treatment?

Need a root canal? Have a family member that needs a root canal? Dealing with a toothache and wondering if a root canal is on the horizon? Root canal therapy is one of the most common dental procedures our Smyrna, GA, dentist Dr. Michael Nguyen performs. While there is a lot of misinformation out there about root canals, we are here to explain why they are performed and how to know whether you might need one.

Why are root canals performed?

A root canal is a classic endodontic procedure, which simply means that our Smyrna GA dentist will need to go inside the tooth to treat the problem. There is a wide range of reasons why your dentist may recommend a root canal. Some of these include:

  • Widespread and severe decay
  • A cracked or chipped tooth
  • An infection within the tooth
  • Issues with a faulty crown or filling
  • A tooth that has undergone multiple dental procedures
  • Traumatic injury to the tooth (e.g. sports; car accident)

It all boils down to the dental pulp, a structure that lies inside the tooth. If bacteria get inside the tooth and infect the pulp, the only option is to perform a root canal to remove the pulp before the bacteria continues to spread or turns into an abscess (a serious dental infection that can damage bone, teeth, and tissue).

Do I need a root canal?

Sometimes you won’t experience any symptoms or changes at all. This is why visiting the dentist for routine checkups twice a year is a must for everyone. We can catch these problems that may otherwise go undetected, and we can all agree that the sooner we catch the problem and treat it, the better!

Of course, it’s also important to come into our office right away if you do experience any of these symptoms of an infected or inflamed dental pulp:

  • A sudden, severe toothache
  • Pain that gets worse when chewing or putting pressure on the tooth
  • Intense, lingering tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures or sugar
  • Swollen, tender gums around the tooth
  • A tooth that suddenly turns dark (a sign of tissue death within the tooth)

If you still have questions about getting a root canal, our Smyrna, GA, dental team is here to answer your questions and assuage your concerns. Don’t hesitate to call Highland Dental at (678) 305-9916 to talk to Dr. Michael Nguyen.

By Highland Dental
May 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Gum or periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissues holding your teeth in their proper places. It is usually a result of poor oral care practices that enable a sticky and covert film of bacteria, known as plaque, to accumulate and harden on your teeth. In its later stages, gum disease could progress into periodontitis and cause pain when chewing, bleeding and sore gums, or worse, tooth loss.

If you suspect that your gums are infected, you can visit our dentist Dr. Michael Nguyen at Highland Dental in Smyrna, GA, to determine your condition and obtain proper treatment.

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Common gum disease warning signs include the following:

  • Swollen, tender, and red gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitive teeth

What Causes Gum Disease?

The mouth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to flourish. Bacteria, as well as leftover food debris, are constantly forming plaque on your teeth. While proper oral care habits could help eliminate plaque, some plaque just can’t be removed and could harden and turn into tartar that only dental professionals could effectively clean.

There are various risk factors associated with the development of gum disease, with smoking tobacco products being the most significant. It can likewise make gum disease treatment less effective. Other gum disease risk factors include genetic susceptibility, hormonal changes, diabetes, certain chronic health conditions, and medicines that reduce saliva production and flow.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

The primary objective of gum disease treatment is to keep the infection under control. With this in mind, the specific types of treatment methods will differ from one person to another and will be based on the severity of the gum infection. That being said, regardless of the treatment plan recommended by your dentist in Smyrna, GA, your cooperation and consistency, especially at home, are immensely vital.

To keep your gums healthy and prevent the recurrence of gum disease, brush your teeth two times every single day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Stop smoking or using tobacco products and see your dentists for professional cleanings and checkups. Don’t forget to floss every day to clean plaque that has accumulated on your teeth.

Need Help Preventing or Treating Gum Disease? Contact Us

Arrange a consultation with Dr. Michael Nguyen, our dentist here at Highland Dental in Smyrna, GA, by calling (678) 305-9916.

By Highland Dental
September 25, 2019
Category: Oral Health

Periodontal disease often begins with subtle changes to your gums that, unfortunately, often go unnoticed until they begin to cause major damage to your gums and loosen up your teeth. To combat this, your Smyrna, GA, dentist, Dr. Michael Nguyen of Highland Dental, helps you care for your gums and provides effective treatments for periodontal disease. Read on to learn more!

Periodontal disease starts with gingivitis

Gingivitis, the mildest form of periodontal disease, occurs when your gums become inflamed. This inflammation occurs due to the presence of bacterial-laden plaque and tartar that occur due to inadequate oral hygiene. If plaque stays on your teeth for as little as a week, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar that can only be removed by a professional cleaning.

Inflammed gums tend to bleed easily when you brush and floss your teeth. Bleeding isn't normal and should never be ignored. Your gums may be puffy, red and tender if you have gingivitis and might even begin to recede slightly. Fortunately, in many cases, a dental cleaning and better oral hygiene can reverse gingivitis.

Symptoms worsen if gingivitis isn't treated

Gingivitis eventually turns into the more severe form of periodontal disease if you don't visit your Smyrna dentist for a cleaning. Gum pain, tenderness, and swelling continues, along with an increased presence of bad breath.

As the disease progresses, deep pockets form in the gum tissue around your teeth. These pockets then fill with bacteria that attack your gum tissue, ligaments, and bones that hold your teeth in place. Eventually, you may even lose teeth if you don't receive treatment.

How we can help

A deep cleaning to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria above and below the gum line may be recommended if you have periodontal disease. If you've lost a significant amount of gum or bone tissue, you may need grafts to replace and repair these structures. Gum surgery may be required to close the pockets and help your gums adhere to your teeth once again.

Fortunately, it's easy to prevent gum disease simply by brushing and flossing thoroughly every day and visiting your dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam.

Concerned? Give us a call

Do you have any periodontal disease signs and symptoms? Call your Smyrna, GA, dentist, Dr. Michael Nguyen of Highland Dental, at (678) 305-9916 to schedule an appointment.

By Highland Dental
June 27, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Filling  

Tooth PainDental fillings strengthen and restore teeth damaged by infection or decay, which can be too weak or sensitive to perform normal biting and chewing functions. Signs you may need a filling include tooth sensitivity and pain when biting into food. Restoring infected or damaged teeth with fillings makes it possible to resume normal biting and chewing functions without pain, discomfort, or sensitivity. At Highland Dental, Dr. Michael Nguyen is your Smyrna dentist for strengthening and restoring teeth with fillings.

Types of Fillings

There are several types of dental fillings to choose from and Dr. Nguyen, your Smyrna dentist, can help you decide which type is right for you. Two main categories of dental fillings include metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings. Metal fillings include silver amalgam and cast gold, both of which are strong and durable options. Tooth-colored fillings are a more discreet option to metal fillings as tooth-colored fillings readily blend in with the natural teeth. Tooth-colored fillings can be made from porcelain, composite, or glass ionomer.

Signs a Filling is Needed

There are several signs you may need a filling. In many cases, the signs associated with needing a fillings are an indication that a cavity has developed. Schedule an appointment with your Smyrna dentist right away if you develop any of the signs a filling is needed. Signs a filling might be needed include:

  • Changes in the color of the tooth
  • Pain when biting into food
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold items
  • Sensitivity to sweets
  • A persistent toothache
  • A visible hole in the tooth

When to Replace Fillings

Dental fillings can last for several years when cared for properly. At some point, though, an old filling might need to be replaced. For example, a filling that has come loose or falls out should be replaced. A filling should also be replaced if develops a crack or becomes worn down. Additionally, if soreness develops in a tooth with a filling, it might be time for that filling to be replaced. During your regular dental checkup, you dentist can examine your fillings to determine if any might need to be replaced.

There are several signs you may need a dental fillings, such as a change in the color of your tooth or experiencing pain when biting into foods. If you have any of the signs of possibly needing a filling, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nguyen, your Smyrna, GA, dentist, by calling Highland Dental at (678) 305-9916.