Common Questions

Experiencing Tooth Sensitivity?

If you notice occasional sensitivity or “zings” after cold food items or sweets it may be caused by an area with little or no enamel to protect the tooth. Generally using a sensitivity toothpaste (Sensodyne) or fluoride rinse (ACT) daily will alleviate the problem; however discontinuing may cause the sensitivity to return. We can also prescribe inexpensive medicated toothpaste that can reduce sensitivity and prevent decay.

Having Bad Breath?

There are several causes of bad breath, but most frequently bacteria on the back part of the tongue cause it. Brushing the tongue surface, and/or using a tongue scraper in addition to brushing and flossing can improve and often solve the problem. Using an antibacterial mouth rinse, such as Crest or Listerine is also a good option. Other causes include dehydration, medications, gum disease, smoking or certain foods.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a gas that is combined with oxygen to produce a calming effect and a sense of well being when inhaled. Nitrous oxide is used to help a patient relax during a dental appointment. When the treatment is over, we will have you breathe pure oxygen for five or ten minutes to eliminate the effects of the gas. Unlike other sedations, patients should have a clear head within minutes of coming off of the nitrous oxide allowing them to function normally with no lingering effects.

Gums Sore Following A Cleaning?

After a deep cleaning the areas around the teeth can be sensitive. To help alleviate soreness, using an over the counter anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) and warm salt-water rinses (one glass of warm water mixed with one tsp. salt) can both be very effective. If the teeth themselves are sensitive, using sensitivity toothpaste daily and/or a fluoride mouth rinse can also help. It is also very important to continue to brush and floss, to keep bacteria off the gums and allow them to heal.

Trouble Relaxing During Your Dental Appointment?

We try to make every dental appointment as comfortable as we can for all our patients. To accomplish this it is important that you express your needs so we can accommodate you. We offer neck pillows, blankets, “relaxing gas” (nitrous oxide) and AM/FM radios for your comfort. We also recommend bringing personal music, on your phone or digital player, and eating a small meal before you come in to see us.

Why The Extra Fluoride?

The amount of fluoride in regular toothpaste helps prevent decay, but many teeth have areas that break down from plaque acids. A stronger concentration of fluoride will help to remineralize these areas and protect them from further decay. Some medications and health problems can cause dry mouths, which can create a great environment for cavities and gum disease to develop or progress rapidly. We often recommend a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste or rinse to prevent decay in patients with dry mouth, those with a high cavity rate, patients with root exposure, and those whose diet is laced with sticky or sugary foods or drinks. These stronger fluoride products will also help to reduce tooth sensitivity.