Tooth Extractions

Tooth Extractions: Simple & Surgical

Do you have a tooth that has been damaged from decay so badly that it cannot be fixed with just a filling? You may need to have it extracted. There are a few other reasons for the need of an extraction, which include overcrowding and infection. Some people are simply born with an excess number of teeth. In this instance, more room may need to be created in the mouth by extracting teeth. This will help prevent any problems that may come with overcrowding. Infection or abscess are other reasons an extraction may be necessary.

The Difference Between Surgical Extractions and Simple Extractions

There are two types of dental extractions:

    1. simple
    2. surgical

Simple Extractions

A simple extraction involves first numbing of the surrounding area, so patients will feel little to no pain during the extraction process. Then, the dentist will begin loosening the gums around the tooth. Once the gums have been loosened, it is easy for the dentist to use forceps to grab and remove the tooth.

Surgical Extractions

With a surgical extraction, the dentist will have to use a scalpel to cut away gum tissue. Once that has been done, your tooth will need to be cut with a hand piece into smaller sections and will be removed one piece at a time. It is normal to feel only pressure when getting either type of procedure done.

Dry Socket 

Proper care is necessary to ensure you heal correctly with no complications. Only a small number of patients get a condition known as dry socket if they don’t care for the extraction site property. Dry socket is very painful and occurs when the blood clot in the socket is lost. This exposes nerves and the jawbone and causes a lot of pain. Wisdom tooth extractions are more common to get dry socket but following the post-extraction instructions given to you at your appointment should help prevent it.

What To Expect During Your Extraction Appointment With Us

When you visit Dr. Greer at Sweet Water Dentistry, you will get an exam and x-rays to determine whether an extraction is the best option for you. In moving forward with a tooth extraction – we know the aftermath can feel overwhelming, so we are excited to provide our patients with Dr Greer’s 5 Tip Recovery Guide to a relieving and fast recovery.

The staff at Fairhope’s Sweet Water Dentistry, strive to assist each patient with the best care for every dental need. We pride ourselves in offering the best dental service around. Call us today to schedule your appointment and make us your new dental home! (251)210-22773

Tooth Extraction Recovery Guide

Post-Tooth Extraction: 5 Tip Recovery Guide

Think about the recovery process of a tooth extraction. Do you know exactly how to recover in the most timely manner with minimal complications? Dr. Greer’s 5 Tip Recovery Guide will help you properly identify the safest, and most comfortable steps to take during your recovery.

Manage Bleeding:

Patients should bite firmly for one hour on the gauze pad placed in mouth at the conclusion of surgery. After 1 hour, remove the pads. If further bleeding occurs, replace the gauze pad directly over the area of bleeding and bite firmly for an additional hour. Repeat for additional 1-hour periods until bleeding stops.
Excessive spitting, rinsing, or vigorous physical activity will increase bleeding.

Pain Control:

Have the prescription for pain medication filled and take the first dose one hour after surgery (the time you first remove the gauze pad). After the first dose, follow the instructions on the bottle. If the medication prescribed does not relieve your pain or causes nausea, rash, itching, or other issues occur, please call us for further instructions.

Control Swelling:

  •  Applying an ice pack to the face over the area of surgery for about 45 minutes of each hour for the first 48 hours after the procedure can help relieve swelling, and pain. You can also use a heating pad, warm washcloth, or warm salt water held in the mouth for heat. The warm saltwater solution should be made with 1 teaspoon of table salt in about 8oz of warm water. The ice/heat should be used as much as possible for best results.
  • If prescribed, take all medication as directed.

Avoid Smoking:

Smoking will increase the likelihood of post-operative-complications – especially the occurrence of a “dry socket”. Smoking should be discontinued for at least 24 hours after extractions.


When bleeding has stopped, you may continue with your normal diet, choosing foods that are most comfortable for you to eat. Liquids and soft foods are usually best for 2-4 days and then progressing to normal dietary options as tolerable. Use of a straw tends to increase bleeding and prevent clotting, so we recommend avoiding these for the remainder of the recovery process.

We Care About You!

If proper care is not followed after the surgery, Dry Socket is a potential risk factor. After your tooth extraction with us, we want your experience to continue even after you leave our building. Our team is happy to be available to answer any questions or concerns you have about your recovery process. Call your Sweet Water Dentistry Family at: (251) 271-2797

What are Ebner Glands?

Our spit (saliva) plays a very large role in our overall health, especially in the mouth. Saliva protects our teeth and gums from bacteria and acids.  It also lubricates the mouth and helps to begin the digestion process. It also plays a significant role in the complex process of taste. There are six major salivary glands and many more minor glands found in the cheeks, lips, bottom of the mouth, tongue, palate, and pharynx.

The Von Ebner Glands (Serous Glands) are minor glands and are located on both sides toward the back of the tongue. Part of their job is to secrete amylase which is a digestive enzyme that helps to break down food as you chew. It is unique among the glands in the mouth for its other role: aiding with taste.

Salivary Glands and Taste

The tongue has over a thousand tastebuds. They are located on the spongy bumps called “papillae”.

There are four kinds: filiform, fungiform, foliate, and circumvallate. The Ebner Glands are near the foliate and circumvallate papillae. This is on the back and sides of the tongue. When you drink liquid or eat, the liquid the glands secrete will wash food particles over these protrusions sending flavor onto the taste receptors and then into the gustatory portion of the brain.

Research has found that von Ebner Glands also secrete a protein unlike any other that is found in the mouth. This protein is similar to a protein found in the nasal cavity that helps the olfactory receptors. This research has scientists thinking that Ebner Gland may play an even bigger role when it comes to connecting flavors to our taste receptors. While it is known that saliva plays a vital role in taste, we are still learning more about these fascinating glands every day.

So as you can see, our spit (saliva) plays an important role in our overall health and helps to give us one of life’s greatest pleasures: taste! If you are having any issues with your oral health, be sure to consult a dentist for the best care possible. Oral care is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, so be sure to make it a priority in your daily routine! Schedule a dental checkup with Sweet Water Dentistry today.

How To Choose A Dental Clinic

Keeping your teeth in great shape is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Regular dental visits can help prevent problems with cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. This, in turn, can have numerous positive benefits including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving digestion, minimizing pain, and increasing self-confidence. 

Of course, the only way that you can keep your teeth healthy and strong is by seeing the dentist regularly. To ensure that you keep up with your annual checkups, it is important to choose the right dental clinic. Here are some factors that you should consider when deciding which clinic to use: 

  • Is the dental office conveniently located? One of the primary reasons that people put off visiting the dentist is that they can’t find time in their schedule. This is particularly true if their dentist’s office is located clear across town or in an out-of-the-way location. Choosing a dentist who has an office that is located close to your home or your job can make it easier to stick to your appointments.
  • Does the clinic offer appointments outside of normal business hours? If you work a 9-to-5 job, you may find it hard to get time off to go to the dentist. Fortunately, many dental clinics offer extended hours, serving patients in the evenings and on the weekends. This can make it easier to see the dentist without having to miss work.
  • How qualified is the dentist? It is important to make sure that the dentist is well educated and that they have a lot of experience working in the dental field. After all, you don’t want to leave your teeth in the hands of someone who doesn’t really know what they are doing.
  • How much does the dentist charge? Some dentists are priced much higher than others. Make sure that their rates are affordable enough that you will keep your appointments.
  • Does the clinic accept your insurance plan? If you have dental insurance, you need to make sure that the dental clinic that you choose is on the list of approved providers. You can contact your insurance company to verify that the cost of your visit will be covered before making an appointment. 

You should give a lot of thought to choosing the right dental clinic. After all, your teeth are one of your most important assets – not only from a cosmetic standpoint but also from a health standpoint. Taking good care of them is essential. 


All About Baby Teeth

We all know those baby teeth are the cutest! Some parents wonder when the right time is to take their little one to the Dentist. The rule to follow is after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday.  When you visit this early it is called a “well-baby checkup” for the teeth. They will check for cavities and any other problems. Your dentist will also show you how to clean their teeth properly and how to handle habits like thumb-sucking.

Taking care of your child’s teeth is important. Here are a few things to remember: 

  1.  Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth just a few days after they are born. All you have to do is wipe the gums with a clean, moist washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, decay can begin. Their front four teeth usually push through the gums around 6 months of age. Some children can be delayed with teeth until around a year. Remember, every child is different. 
  2. For a child younger than 3, start brushing the teeth as soon as they appear. Use fluoride toothpaste, but just a tiny smear or a dot about the size of a grain of rice. Brush twice a day (morning and night). Always supervise them to ensure that they are using the right amount of toothpaste and that they are actually cleaning their teeth!  
  3. For kids ages 3 to 6 years, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush twice a day still.
  4. Always supervise them and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.  
  5. Until you are comfortable with their ability to brush on their own, continue to brush their teeth for them twice a day.
  6. When they have two teeth that are touching, it is time to start flossing.

It is never too early to start caring for your child’s teeth. The first visit to the dentist should be after the first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday. This visit is important because it allows the dentist to check for cavities or any other problems, as well as show you how to properly care for your child’s teeth. Taking care of your child’s teeth is essential for their overall health, so be sure to schedule that “well-baby dental checkup” by calling (251) 210-2773 today!

What Is Endodontics Used For?

Endodontics specializes in the diagnosis, cause, prevention, and treatment of diseases related to the dental pulp which is in the center of a tooth and is made up of connective tissue and cells. The word comes from Greek with “endo” meaning inside, and “odont” meaning tooth, therefore endodontics means “inside the tooth”. While all dentists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of endodontic disease, particularly difficult cases are referred to a dentist who specializes in endodontics. An endodontic specialist normally completes a further two to three years of study in advanced education relating to treatments such as root canal procedures. Endodontics involves the further practice of treatments and techniques in much greater depth than normal dentistry. 

Endodontic treatment involves a range of procedures including root canal or endodontic treatment, repeat endodontic treatment, and endodontic re-treatment, as well as other complicated dental cases. Most people know what a dental filling is, but have little knowledge regarding root canal treatment or endodontic treatment. Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the blood supply and nerves inside the tooth, called the pulp of the tooth become infected. 

During the early stages of infection there may be no pain, however, sometimes the tooth may become darkened in color which could indicate that the blood supply to the tooth has been cut off indicating that the nerve has died. There may not be any symptoms during the early stages of infection. When the tooth pulp becomes infected it spreads to the root of the tooth and eventually leads to an abscess which is
extremely painful. 

At this point, antibiotics are usually prescribed which sometimes can alleviate the pain temporarily. The continual use of antibiotics can create resistant strains that make them less effective each time they are used, causing more problems in the future. Instead of relying on repeated antibiotic treatments to clear up the infection, it is preferable to treat the root cause. 

A dentist will be able to diagnose infection of the pulp and in difficult cases refer you for endodontic therapy. If the problem is left untreated the tooth may deteriorate to such an extent that it would necessitate extraction. Large abscesses are capable of destroying the bone surrounding the affected tooth to such an extent that it limits restorative options. 

The purpose of root canal treatment is to remove all infection from the canal of the tooth and to sterilize and fill the space completely with the inert material. After the infected pulp has been removed and the abscess has been drained the endodontist will disinfect the canal space and insert a temporary filling to allow the tooth to settle. When all infection has cleared up the canal will be filled with ‘Gutta-percha’, a rubbery substance, after which a permanent filling will be done. 

In some cases, it may be possible to do a root canal treatment in one session depending on the state of the tooth after the completion of the first stage. Teeth that have been subjected to root canal treatment often have missing tooth structure and it may be necessary to insert a crown to support and strengthen the tooth.
Some endodontic treatments may fail and require re-treatment, sometimes after several years. There are a variety of reasons for root canal failure and your dentist will be able to explain the reasons in your particular case.

Source: American Dental Association (ADA)