What is a Dental Debridement?

Your body will always naturally produce plaque. It’s the soft sticky substance that coats your teeth. If the plaque doesn’t get cleaned off and is allowed to build up along the teeth, it will then become tartar. Tartar is a hard substance and much harder to remove. During your dental check-ups, these substances usually are addressed, and you leave the dental visit with completely clean teeth.   

If you happen to miss several checkups, the plaque and tartar can become severe and stubborn. This will most likely make your dentist use a technique called debridement before your usual check-up. If this is suggested to you, no worries! It is absolutely necessary for your oral health and this procedure can put you back on the road to a healthy mouth!   


How Is a Debridement Different From Other Cleanings? 

gum Debridement

Imagine an archaeologist working on your teeth, exposing an artifact. Before they are able to examine the piece, they have to uncover it and clean every crevice. They have to do more than simply brush away the coating. They even use special tools to uncover the artifact. This is similar to how your dentist debrides.   

Periodontal debridement is a specialized procedure designed to remove tartar deposits and periodontal pathogens that can cause inflammation and contribute to gum disease. 

In some cases, the dental hygienist will perform the debridement procedure on a quadrant or half of the mouth to make the procedure more comfortable or easier for the person.  

A simple cleaning by your dental hygienist is enough to prep the teeth for a routine check-up. But if your teeth haven’t been professionally cleaned and plaque and tartar have built up, it will obstruct the view the dentist needs. The hygienist will remove the tartar and plaque with an ultrasonic device and scaling tools. This appointment will be longer and usually isn’t included in the cost of your regular dental appointment.   

If you are looking for superior gum debridement in Fairhope, AL you’ve come to the right place. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment. 

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

If you have ever taken a swig of ice-cold water or soda and your teeth start to hurt, you are dealing with teeth sensitivity. While it is painful, it is treatable!   

Tooth sensitivity can be a temporary or chronic problem. If you only experience it occasionally, it is most likely due to something you have eaten or drank. However, if you find that your teeth are sensitive all the time, it could be a sign of a more serious issue and you should see your dentist. 

Here are a few reasons you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity:  

1. You’ve undergone a dental procedure  

If you have had a root canal, tooth extraction, or crown placement, it will be common to feel some sensitivity. If the symptoms linger, you may need to schedule another visit to your dentist. If the sensitivity appeared after a dental procedure and doesn’t go away, this may be a sign of an infection.  

2. Your tooth has a crack  

Having a chipped or cracked tooth might produce discomfort that goes beyond sensitivity. Your dentist can examine your teeth and recommend the best course of action, such as a cap or extraction.  

3. You are brushing too hard  

Brushing your teeth with too much pressure could be wearing away the enamel. This will expose the inner layers of your teeth and cause them to become sensitive. Use a softer toothbrush and pay attention to how hard you are pressing while you brush. You should also switch to toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. 

Sensitive Teeth

4. You have gum disease  

Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss. If you have gum disease, you may notice your gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily. You might also have bad breath. Gum disease is caused by plaque, so be sure to brush and floss regularly. 

5. You have teeth grinding  

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a condition that can occur during the day or at night. If you grind your teeth, you may not be aware of it because it happens while you are sleeping. Grinding teeth can lead to cracked teeth and sensitivity. If you think you might be grinding your teeth, ask your dentist for a mouthguard. 

6. Erosion of Tooth Enamel 

The most common is the erosion of the tooth enamel, which is the hard, outer layer of the teeth. Enamel can be worn away by acidic foods and drinks, brushing too hard, or grinding your teeth. Other causes include gum disease, cavities, cracked teeth, and exposed roots. 

Again, tooth sensitivity is treatable. One of the best treatments is using toothpaste that is specifically made for sensitive teeth. If your sensitivity is extreme and persists no matter what steps you have taken to heal your teeth, take a trip to your dentist.  An office visit can help decide the most likely because of your tooth sensitivity and your dentist can work with you to find the best solution for your situation.

No matter the cause of your tooth sensitivity, the first step in treating it is to consult your dentist. We can help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your sensitivity and come up with a treatment plan that works for you. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. 

Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity after Whitening

The best solution for most stains and discoloration on teeth is to whiten them. There are numerous choices available, both at-home and in-office, that can be performed by your dentist. The issue is that many patients experience tooth sensitivity after using conventional carbamide peroxide for external tooth bleaching.

There are a variety of treatment options, including gels, bleaching strips, whitening toothpaste, and even mouth rinses. According to the ADA, there are two types of tooth whitening: bleaching treatments and non-bleaching products. The teeth may be whitened using a substance that changes the natural color of the teeth. Alternatively, non-bleaching products contain ingredients that only work to remove surface stain and does not penetrate further.

Sensitivity can happen during and after using peroxide-based bleaching agents.  Having sensitive teeth means having enhanced responses to hot and cold drinks, aggressive toothbrushing, or sweet foods.  It comes in with a short, sharp pain. Usually, this sensation happens during the initial stages of bleaching when the hydrogen peroxide soaks through the enamel.

Products like whitening toothpaste usually cause less sensitivity because it only treats the teeth’s surface. Everyone is different, so a person can experience a different result with the same product. Usually, gels that are used in bleaching trays, as well as some over-the-counter bleaching products, have a greater potential for causing sensitivity after whitening.  A person’s individual tooth anatomy, such as the thickness of the enamel, can also play a role in how sensitive teeth become during bleaching.

Professional teeth whitening

If you experience sensitivity, there are a few things that can be done to help lessen the symptoms.

1. Use a desensitizing toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpastes contain compounds that help to block the pain signals from reaching the brain. If you experience sensitivity during bleaching, consider using a desensitizing toothpaste to minimize discomfort.

2. Try over-the-counter gels: Some people prefer to whiten their teeth at home rather than in a dentist’s office. If you opt for at-home bleaching, ask your dentist about using a gel with a lower concentration of peroxide. You may also want to try an over-the-counter desensitizing gel or paste to help lessen sensitivity during and after bleaching.

3. Consider in-office treatments: In-office bleaching is generally more effective than at-home whitening, but it also tends to cause greater sensitivity. If you are experiencing a lot of tooth sensitivity during bleaching, talk to your dentist about other treatment options, like in-office veneers or professional take-home kits.

If you experience tooth sensitivity after bleaching your teeth, it’s important to talk with your dentist about possible solutions. You may want to try a lower bleach concentration or use other methods, such as softening the enamel of the teeth before bleaching. Request an appointment today.

Are You Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard?

If your teeth are sensitive, you may be brushing too hard or using the wrong toothbrush. When it comes to brushing your teeth, the proper technique should be practiced. If you brush your teeth too hard or use the wrong toothbrush for your mouth, it can damage your teeth and gums, leading to receding gums and enamel wear.  Sometimes people feel the need to brush aggressively, thinking that is the only way they can get their teeth to feel clean and look white.

Doing this is counterproductive. It causes the gums to recede, but also wears away the white glossy enamel on the teeth and then they look yellow and darker. If this happens, you are at risk of developing sensitive teeth. 

If you are unsure if you are brushing too hard, look at your toothbrush.  If you have been using it for three months or less, it should still appear relatively new.  If it is flat and beat up, that is a sign you are brushing way too hard.  

Brushing Your Teeth The Right Way

Changing your hard-brushing ways can be difficult, but it is possible.  Follow these simple tips to help brush properly.  

Use A Soft Bristled Toothbrush

Find one with the ADA seal, and replace it every three months or sooner if signs of fraying at present. Foley Best Family Dentist AL 

45-Degree Angle. 

Keep your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. The bristles will reach and clean underneath your gumline. Gently move the brush back and forth using short, tooth-wide strokes.  Clean the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.  If you use an electric toothbrush, let it do the work. Just lightly glide it all over your teeth instead of pushing it against them. For a gentle grip, swap to your non-dominant hand. Foley Best Family Dentist AL 

The ADA-Approved Way of Brushing Your Teeth