Address: Jollyville Dental Professionals. 11672 Jollyville Road. Austin, Texas 78759
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How to Take Care of Inflamed Gums

oral health When your gums become red and swollen, it’s a sign that something has gone amiss with your oral health. Often, this condition is related to an increase in bacteria that causes the buildup of plaque on your teeth, irritating your gums and leading to gingivitis and associated symptoms.

Although this condition is often easily preventable with proper oral care, there are several factors that could contribute to the formation of inflamed gums. For example, certain medical conditions or medications can cause dry mouth that allows bacteria to flourish. Use of tobacco products could also play a role.

Regardless of the cause, however, you do have options for treatment when you notice that your gums have become inflamed.

Proper Oral Care

The best way to prevent and treat inflamed gums is with proper oral care. This means brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash after every meal, or at least in the morning and evening when you’re at home.

You might want to speak with your dentist to make sure you’re doing these things properly and using the right products. Most of us haven’t had a lesson in brushing since the age of five or six. Maybe it’s time for a refresher course.

In addition, some products may be better suited to your particular condition. If, for example, a needed medication is causing dry mouth, you might want to try a mouthwash that helps to keep your mouth hydrated and combats dry symptoms and bacterial growth.

Home Remedies

If you’ve started practicing proper oral care but you’re still experiencing symptoms of swollen gums, you might want to try a common home remedy like swishing with salt water or a mixture of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide (1-3%). These rinses should help to reduce the bacteria responsible for swelling – just make sure not to swallow them.

Of course, these homemade rinses are comparable to regular mouthwash, so you needn’t use both. Just keep in mind that these products won’t remove plaque that has already formed.

Professional Help

Although you can do a lot on your own to improve oral health, you still need the expert services of your dental professional to remove plaque on teeth and below the gum line. This is essential if you want to reduce swelling in gums and stave off worsening conditions, including gingivitis and periodontal disease. By working with your dentist you can get your gums back in ship shape and protect your overall oral health.

The Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

impacted tooth Most people have their wisdom teeth removed as teenagers. This is a common occurrence because of the pain and other symptoms that coincide with wisdom teeth coming in during adolescence.

Also, in many cases, wisdom teeth can crowd existing teeth, ruining the work of previous orthodontics, necessitating future orthodontic adjustments, and even causing oral health issues. Plus, wisdom teeth are extremely hard to care for, as they are at the back of the mouth, which makes them prone to cavities and other problems.

In other words, it makes sense to remove wisdom teeth as soon as they start coming in. However, not everyone chooses to do this, and they can suffer issues later in life as a result.

One major issue is impacted wisdom teeth, which occurs when other teeth stop the wisdom teeth from fully erupting. How can you tell if one or all of your wisdom teeth are impacted? Here are a few common warning signs.

Discomfort or Pain

The most common side effect of impacted wisdom teeth is pain. When your wisdom teeth are blocked from erupting, they don’t necessarily stop growing. They just start pushing up against surrounding bone and tissue.

This can cause a lot of discomfort as your developing tooth butts up against your teeth, your jaw bone, and your gums. The pain can be severe and if you don’t address the issue, it will likely increase over time as wisdom teeth continue to grow and move.

Swelling and Bleeding

If wisdom teeth are unable to erupt properly and they impact surrounding bone and tissue, painful swelling and bleeding can result. The gum tissue surrounding wisdom teeth may become tender and bleed whenever pressure is applied, such as when eating, brushing, or flossing.

This can make normal daily activities difficult and frustrating. In addition, swollen gums can lead to additional problems like infection that you definitely don’t want. Your jaw can also become swollen, as can nearby glands in your neck and shoulder. This swelling is not only painful and inconvenient, but it can also impact your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and cause headaches.


When these symptoms occur, it’s important to speak with a dental professional immediately to find out if impacted wisdom teeth are the cause. If so, the best form of treatment is generally tooth removal.

If impacted wisdom teeth aren’t removed, they can crowd other teeth and lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even cysts. With professional help, you can avoid all of these symptoms and get on with your life.

Resin Direct Bonding Care and Maintenance Tips

Resin Maintenance Tips Tooth bonding is a common way to restore teeth. The bonding, however, must be cared for or else it too will degrade over time. Following good habits and maintenance practices will boost your dental health and prolong the life of the composites that are used to restore your teeth.

A good habit is to brush at least twice a day, using an ultra-soft toothbrush. Flossing should be completed at least once a day. The best time is before going to bed, because it is after you have had all your meals for the day. Direct composite resins can easily pick up surface stains. Foods such as blueberries and sauce can cause staining, as can coffee, tea, and red wine.

Avoid Abrasive and Corrosive Substances

An abrasive toothpaste can easily damage direct bonding resins, so avoid these and baking soda. You should also avoid mouthwashes that have alcohol, as it can damage the finish. Any mouthwash that doesn’t have alcohol in it is fine. Also, only use sodium fluoride and not any other variation that can be damaging.

Watch Your Oral Health Habits

Don’t bite into hard items such as bones, ribs, or hard candy. Nuts can be just as bad, as can be hard bread, which can stress the material and fracture it. Avoid habits such as opening plastic packages with your teeth, nail biting, chewing ice, or pipe smoking. Bonded teeth can also be susceptible to damage from eating apples, corn on the cob, and carrots, which can chip the bonding away.

Restore Damaged Bonding Quickly

It does not take long to renew a chipped or fractured veneer. However, you should schedule an appointment soon so your dentist can avoid any further damage. Bonding can last, but how long depends on many factors. Your regular dental habits contribute to the amount of stress put on your teeth, but composite materials can last a long time if you follow proper care and maintenance tips.

If you do care for your veneers and bonding, your teeth will also look better. Eating right and avoiding unhealthy items, at least from a dental perspective, can strengthen your teeth and help the resin last longer. Bad habits can discolor it and even weaken the bond, so it won’t be effective for that long. Staying vigilant can avoid or at least put off any additional dental work to maintain your smile after resin direct bonding.

4 Tooth Enamel Restoration Tips

Enamel Restoration Serving as a protective shell, tooth enamel can withstand biting, chewing, grinding, and other everyday stresses. It’s also resistant to temperature changes and chemicals. Over time, however, enamel can wear away, and even chip and crack. A chronically dry mouth can also degrade tooth enamel because saliva has calcium, phosphate, and other protective compounds. Once this outer protective layer is gone, it doesn’t grow back, but there are ways to repair tooth enamel.

1. Cap the Tooth with a Crown

If the enamel is weak enough, a crown can be used to cap the tooth. This will protect the damaged areas and restore the tooth’s function. If pain has prevented you from eating, it will now go away. Additional decay can be prevented as well. Crowning is a procedure done in a dental office and each crown is fit to the unique size and requirements of the person’s teeth.

2. Tooth Bonding

Bonding is used in mild cases of enamel erosion. A tinted resin is applied to the damaged tooth; it then hardens and the dentist will polish and trim the resin to perfect the fit. Bonding is usually completed in an hour during one dental appointment.

3. Get Veneers

A dental veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that fits over the front of the tooth. Some enamel is removed anyway when veneers are put in, and they are permanently attached to the tooth with cement, which hardens upon exposure to a special light beam. Teeth are still prone to staining and decay. Veneers can restore your mouth if a lot of enamel has worn away and you want to have a better smile.

4. Use Plenty of Fluoride

Fluoride is a compound found in some toothpaste that helps strengthen enamel. Your teeth are therefore protected against acid and other aggressive substances. It’s best to start using fluoride as early as possible, so it’s also recommended for kids.

Enamel restoration can be tricky. Try to protect enamel by avoiding drinks with sugar in them, and try not to swish drinks around in your mouth, which can expose more of each tooth to corrosive acids. Rinse after eating, consume more dairy, and drink green and black tea that have antioxidants that can prevent tooth erosion. Starches, citrus fruits, and fruit juice can also damage enamel. Although some enamel erosion throughout your life is likely, there are ways to protect and restore it when the time comes.

10 Alternative Uses for Toothpaste That Will Surprise You

dental health Toothpaste isn’t just for brushing anymore. Sure, it’s the best defense against cavities and gum disease but did you know you can apply it to any number of additional household purposes? While some of these alternative uses will no doubt surprise you, the reasoning behind them will not. Toothpaste contains a multitude of components and active ingredients that can be applied to clean, soothe, and replenish a whole list of things around the house and on you as well.

1. Cleaning Baby Bottles

Parents know how rank those used baby bottles can get after repeated use. Just combine some toothpaste and hot water and scrub them clean. They’ll be smelling fresh as new in no time. If you really want to sanitize them, stick the bottles in the dishwasher when you’re done.

2. Removing Stains

Carpets, clothing, walls, it doesn’t matter. Toothpaste can help remove tough stains from all of those things and more. Just apply toothpaste to the affected area, add some water, and scrub. Avoid applying a whitening toothpaste with any bleaching ingredients to colored materials, for obvious reasons.

3. Repairing Holes

Out of caulk or drywall putty? No problem, just grab a tube of toothpaste and fill the hole with that instead. Keep in mind, this should only be done for those really small jobs.

4. Replenishing Leather

Any of your leather goods from coats to purses to shoes and more can look like new by using toothpaste to take out those unsightly scuffs.

5. Remedying Bruises

Bruises look as bad as they hurt, so apply some toothpaste and skin cream to that bruise and wrap it up with a bandage or some Band-Aids and leave it overnight. In the morning, wash it off and repeat before bedtime each night until the bruise disappears.

6. Soothing Skin

Bug bites and rashes are no picnic so to soothe those itchy areas affected by these nuisances, use a little toothpaste to stop the itch and ease the skin. You’ll find that you won’t be bothered by those issues much longer.

7. Replacing Hair Gel

That’s right, your toothpaste has similar components and polymers as hair gel. So if you run out of the former, you can use the latter to get the look you want when you have no other options.

8. Restoring Headlight

The headlights on your car take a beating from all the road hazards out there. But you can buff out those flaws with some toothpaste and they’ll look good as new.

9. Eliminating Coffee Table Rings

Got some rings on your coffee table? Dab a little toothpaste on those rings and wipe them away with a soft cloth. You won’t even need any water either. When you’re done apply your favorite furniture polish to get that shine back.

10. Deodorizing Fido

When your dog gets into it with a skunk in your backyard, simply wet your pet, add some toothpaste and let the fluoride absorb the smell for a few minutes before rinsing it all out. You may need to repeat the process a few times but it should get the job done.

5 Important Oral Health Tips for Seniors

oral health Oral health is imperative for seniors’ well-being. That’s why we’ve come up with five tips for maintaining proper care and hygiene of the mouth so that you can stay healthy in the face of greater risk of tooth loss, development of cavities, and other oral health challenges that seniors face.

1. Dry Mouth – Also known as “xerostomia”, this can be a serious condition that often develops as a result of taking certain medication. When seniors experience dry mouth, it means they are producing less saliva and that can make them more likely to have tooth decay. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against poor oral health and you can combat this condition by drinking more water, use sugar-free gum or lozenges, or talk to your doctor about changing prescriptions.

2. Bad Breath – Not a pleasant condition to deal with as it can make seniors feel uncomfortable in social situations and give them lower self-esteem. Brushing and flossing twice a day can combat bad breath symptoms and make your mouth and teeth look and feel healthier. Be sure to brush inside your cheeks as well, that’s where much of the odor causing bacteria hides.

3. Gum Disease – Gum disease and gingivitis are also very serious and they can lead to painful oral conditions, characterized by red and puffy gums that often bleed for no reason. So in order to avoid developing periodontal problems, brush and floss regularly and keep regular appointments with your dentist. Plaque build-up can lead to major oral health issues if you’re not careful.

4. Mouth Cancer – Oral cancer can strike anywhere, the mouth, the tongue, and the throat, and there are over 30,000 cases diagnosed a year. While the median age for seniors diagnosed with mouth cancer is 62 years, this condition can strike if you neglect the early warning signs, which can be detected quicker with regular checkups. Symptoms can include painful sores, discomfort in the lips or tongue, and discolored areas that are white or red.

5. Paying for Dental Care – Many seniors put off dental care simply because they aren’t sure how they are going to pay for it. Since Medicare doesn’t pay for routine dental costs, you may want to start saving for these expenses as part of a retirement savings plan. There are also many discount and supplemental dental plans that seniors can explore that come with lower monthly premiums and reduced out of pocket costs.

Laser Gum Sculpting Benefits

laser gum The average person may not give their gums a second thought, as long as they are pink, healthy, and doing their job to protect teeth. Unfortunately, not everyone has a perfect, beautiful gum line.

In some cases, gums cover too much of the teeth, producing a smile that is “gummy” and making teeth appear smaller and less attractive. In other cases, gums can recede over time due to vigorous brushing, poor oral hygiene, or other causes. This is not only unattractive, but it can expose teeth to infection and harm. Or perhaps gums are simply irregular, asymmetrical, or otherwise less than aesthetically pleasing.

In all cases, laser gum sculpting can be used to contour the gum line and create a uniform, attractive appearance. Here are a few benefits you stand to gain when you elect to undergo laser gum sculpting.

Sculpt Your Smile

One of the main reasons patients undergo laser gum sculpting is to change the appearance of their smile. If you are unhappy with the amount of gum tissue covering your teeth, whether you have too much, too little, or it is uneven, laser gum sculpting could be the answer.

In order to be a good candidate, your mouth will have to be healthy and free of infection. From there your dentist can let you know if laser gum sculpting is the ideal solution for creating the perfect gum line to frame your beautiful smile.

Prevent Harm

By and large, there is no harm in having too much gum tissue, so long as you brush, floss, and rinse properly and maintain good oral health. When your gums are receding in areas or all around, however, you could be more prone to infection, decay, or other issues due to exposed roots.

In some cases, laser gum sculpting can kill two birds with one stone, improving your oral health and your cosmetic appearance at the same time.

Avoid Invasive Surgery

It used to be that in order to correct an undesirable gum line, patients had to undergo a surgical procedure in which gum tissue was cut and sculpted with a scalpel. Thanks to diode lasers, these unpleasant surgical procedures are largely a thing of the past.

Lasers can cut, sculpt, and cauterize as they go, reducing pain, bleeding, and the risk of complications like infection after the fact. This reduces healing time and gets you back on your feet and ready to flash your new smile in no time.

5 Halitosis Treatment and Prevention Tips

oral hygiene Halitosis is more commonly known as bad breath, but there’s more to it than the temporary odor that results from eating a garlic-anchovy pizza. This can be treated easily enough with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing, or even a breath mint.

Halitosis is really chronic bad breath, and while it can result from bad habits like a poor diet that is high in odiferous foods, from tobacco use, or from poor oral hygiene, it could also be due to a number of other factors. In most cases, halitosis is treatable. Here are a few treatment and prevention tips that will have your breath smelling fresh in no time.

1. Proper oral hygiene

When you brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash after every meal you have the greatest opportunity to clear away food and bacteria that can cause lingering odors.

2. Clean your tongue

It’s not enough to brush your teeth; you need to clean your whole mouth when you’re suffering from halitosis, and bacteria can build up on soft tissue like the tongue. If a toothbrush doesn’t seem to do the trick, pick up a tongue cleaning tool (scraper) that is better suited to cleaning this soft surface.

3. Hydration

Any number of factors could cause you to experience a dry mouth, including illness, medication, smoking, and even the way you breathe (through your mouth, for example). When this happens, you might not produce enough saliva to rinse away odor-causing food and bacteria.

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water each day can help with the natural rinsing process, but if your dry mouth is severe, you might want to use a product like Biotene rinse, gel, or spray that is specially designed to treat dry mouth symptoms.

4. Dietary changes

In addition to drinking more water, there are a few dietary changes you might want to make in order to enjoy fresher breath. A balanced and nutritious diet is a good place to start, and you can get tips on how to eat right at (a revamping of the old-school food pyramid).

If you suffer from halitosis, you might want to cut back on foods like onions, garlic, coffee, or fish that are known to cause bad breath. You could also try chewing fresh fennel or cloves, which have antiseptic qualities, or mint leaves for fresher breath.

5. Consult with your dentist

In addition to scheduling regular visits for check-up and cleaning, it’s a good idea to speak with your dentist if halitosis has become a problem. This professional can help to pinpoint the cause of halitosis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

abscess There are many causes of a painful toothache including a cavity, bruxism also known as teeth grinding, periodontitis, sinus infections, and another painful condition that is caused by an infection in between the tooth and gums. This infection that can occur is known as an abscessed tooth. If you are experiencing constant pain in a tooth, have swelling and tenderness in the gum close to the painful tooth, or have recently began running a fever in correlation with a painful tooth it is important to visit your dentist for treatment. Allowing an abscess to prolong can result in gum disease and tooth loss. To know for sure if what you are experiencing is an abscess look for specific signs and symptoms.

  • A recent trauma or injury to a tooth can lead to an abscess. An injury to your mouth can cause damage even if you aren’t aware of a it. A small crack or opening in the tooth can allow bacteria to go beneath the gum line leading to an infection.

  • Pain when chewing or sensitivity to hot and cold. A cavity or decay in the tooth can lead to infection and these pockets known as abscesses. Consistent pain when you chew is a good indication there is a problem.

  • A small knot or what looks like a pimple is visible on the surface of your gum. The pocket of infection located between the root of your tooth and gum will surface as a small bump on your gum and can even form a white head like a pimple.

  • Drainage from tooth or gum area. When an abscess is allowed to get worse it can start to drain. By this time the pus or infection in the gums as progressed to the point that it has broken out of the gum.

  • Fever, chills, and swollen glands. When an infection is left untreated you could display more severe signs such as fever and chills. If you have these and other symptoms of an abscessed tooth it is very important to seek help from your dentist.

To prevent an abscess from occurring pay close attention for early signs of decay or cavities in teeth. Injuries that cause cracks should be treated as soon as you realize that has been damage to a tooth. Regular care of your teeth such as brushing and flossing will help prevent gum disease that can also lead to abscesses. For more information or to schedule an appointment contact us at Jollyville Dental Professionals.

Top 3 Signs You Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth

impacted-tooth Around the ages of 17-21 our third set of molars know as wisdom teeth begin to push their way through the surface of gums. Our ancestors used their teeth to chew down tough nuts and sticks and when damaged teeth were lost wisdom teeth had space to grow in. Anymore, we don’t have much use or space for these giant molars. As the wisdom teeth begin to grow in there may not be enough room in behind other teeth for them to break completely through the gums. When wisdom teeth can’t grow in they can become impacted under the gums and start to cause problems with the rest of your teeth. There are specific signs and symptoms to take notice of that will indicate those new molars need to be removed.

  1. Your gums are tender and sore. When wisdom teeth become impacted they may attempt to break through the gum line. Impacted teeth cannot push all of the way through and so leave raw openings that can cause soreness and swelling.

  2. Bleeding gums. As wisdom teeth attempt to push through but remain impacted gums aren’t allowed to heal and close. Edges of teeth continuously poking through the surface of gums can lead to bleeding when brushing teeth or chewing. If you have pain, swelling, and bleeding in the back of your mouth it may be time to visit your dentist.

  3. Fever and jaw pain. It is possible for bacteria to make their way below the surface of the gums once impacted wisdom teeth have attempted to break through. Bacteria under the surface can lead to infections that cause swelling, pain, and fever. It is important to see your dentist once you start to display these symptoms.

Most dental patients will need to have their wisdom teeth removed as our mouths don’t have the room anymore for them to grow all of the way in. Not everyone will have to have all four molars extracted but it is not unusual to need them all removed. If wisdom teeth are impacted below the gum line it is necessary to have surgery. Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is an in office procedure that is relatively simple. For more information or if you suspect that you have impacted wisdom teeth call Dr. Roach at Jollyville Dental Professionals for an appointment. The excellent care team at Jollyville is ready and waiting to assist you today.