Rather Have A Root Canal?

Durham EndodonticsHave you ever heard the phrase ‘I’d rather have a root canal’ to describe something painful or unpleasant? At Durham Dental Group, we perform root canal therapy routinely for our patients and many report minimal discomfort.

Root canal procedures have come a long way in recent years. For many patients, the procedure is no more stressful than getting a filling.

If root canal therapy is necessary to preserve a tooth, we provide the most advanced endodontic treatment in North Carolina.

How do you know if you need a root canal? You call us immediately if you experience tenderness or pain, hot or cold sensitivity, tooth discoloration, tooth injury, gum swelling, gum pain, or lymph node tenderness or drainage. However, for some endodontic patients, there are no symptoms. That is why it is essential to visit us for a thorough dental examination and cleaning twice a year.

In addition to root canals, Durham Dental Group provides general and cosmetic dentistry and many other services. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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Smile Makeovers: First Things First

smile design Durham

Do you like your smile? Do you ever think there is room for improvement? At Durham Dental Group, we use the techniques of cosmetic dentistry to perform smile makeovers that improve the appearance of our patients’ smiles.

A smile makeover can produce dramatics results in your overall appearance. Even a small change can have a big impact, and give you a boost in your confidence and self-esteem.

Maybe there’s something about your teeth you don’t like. It could be a chipped tooth, a gap between a couple of teeth, too much gum tissue when you smile, or teeth that have lost their youthful luster over the years. It might even be a missing tooth. You can identify the things you don’t like, and we can use cosmetic dentistry to fix them.

The procedures available include:

  • Porcelain veneers
  • Bonding
  • Dental implants
  • Teeth whitening

Any or all of these procedures can be used to customize your smile, according to your exact specifications.

Cosmetic dentistry is not foolproof, and you’ll need to take good care of your teeth once your smile makeover is complete. But with proper care, you should have a breathtaking smile for years to come.

At Durham Dental Group, we offer general and cosmetic dentistry services that keep your smile in tip-top shape. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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Durham Mouths And Stomatitis

Durham Mouths And Stomatitis

Ouch! The mouth is a bad place for injuries, sores, or inflammation. Even the smallest irritation can cause serious discomfort for our patients at Durham Dental Group.

These non-specific irritations in the mouth have a name. They are called stomatitis.

A good general definition for stomatitis is the inflammation of the membranes in the mouth. These usually affect a person’s ability to speak, eat, and even get to sleep at night. If you suffer from mouth sores, you know that stomatitis can really impact the lives of Southpoint Crossing, Blands, and Genlee residents.

Some common causes of stomatitis can be canker sores, cold sores, gum disease, biting the inside of your mouth or your tongue, burning your mouth, and irritation caused by braces or broken teeth. Many sores in the mouth will generally clear up on their own in less than two weeks.

However, we can determine if it is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, and they can also advise you on treating the symptoms of stomatitis with pain relievers and at-home remedies such as salt water rinses.

At Durham Dental Group, we encourage all of our patients to brush and floss twice a day, and see us for a checkup twice a year. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. If you have anything resembling stomatitis in your mouth, call us for an appointment right away.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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Gum Disease And Tooth Loss

Here is a statistic that should make everyone sit up and take notice: nearly half of all Americans over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease. That works out to about sixty-five million people. Gum disease treatment is available at Durham Dental Group.

These statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they refer specifically to periodontal disease, the more advanced form. In its earlier, milder stages, gum disease is called gingivitis.

Gum disease is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.

No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. It takes a professional cleaning to remove it, which is why we want to see our patients twice a year.

Risk factors for developing gum disease include:

  • Smoking, which is the most significant
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses, like AIDS, and their medicationMedication that reduces the flow of saliva

The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

The type of treatment a patient gets for gum disease depends on the extent of the condition. Part of the treatment might include behavioral changes, like giving up smoking. And it is essential that the patient adopts good daily dental care.

We think there already are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, and to start brushing and flossing twice a day. But if you’d like another, there it is: to head off a disease that could result in losing your teeth.

The unfortunate truth is that anyone can get gum disease. But there is hope; the earlier it is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. The periodontist at Durham Dental Group provides gum disease treatment. We also offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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3 Reasons Not To Skip A Dental Checkup

cosmetic dental Durham

Life gets busy. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with everything on your to-do list. At Durham Dental Group, we understand that. But we encourage you to think twice before you cancel or postpone a dental checkup because you think it’s less important than the other twenty items on your to-do list.

Twice-yearly dental exams are crucial for keeping your smile in ideal shape!

“But my teeth feel fine.”
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Dental problems can be progressing without you being aware of it.

1. Your Gums May Be Receding
Gum recession doesn’t happen all at once. Gum tissue can move back almost imperceptibly until teeth and bone are in jeopardy.

2. Decay May Be Lurking
When the acids in plaque start drilling into a tooth, we usually don’t feel it until it has passed through the enamel and dentin and hits the nerve. Ouch! By that time, there is a crater in the tooth. Regular cleanings remove plaque before it can do any damage.

3. Prevent Oral Cancer
About 50,000 individuals will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. We will screen for oral cancer during your exam. As with all types of cancer, early diagnosis is vital.

After your entire mouth has been examined, we’ll review what is required moving forward. Whether that’s flossing more often, or just staying the course with your dental hygiene regimen, we will make sure that you get all the information you need to ensure your smile is bright and beautiful!

At Durham Dental Group our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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5 Critical Things To Know About Periodontal Disease

gum disease exam Durham

Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part, it is preventable by brushing and flossing at home twice each day, and see the dentist at Durham Dental Group for regular checkups.

Gum disease condition is so omnipresent in the US that it has been called a ‘health crisis’ by the American Dental Association. Fortunately, periodontal disease can be treated.

  1. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage such as tooth loss.
  2. Practicing proper dental hygiene and having 6-month dental exams are the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
  3. Periodontal disease can be present where there is no tooth decay.
  4. Almost half of all 30+ adults in the US have periodontal disease.
  5. In some cases, periodontal disease produces no noticeable symptoms.

Even if you have an excellent dental health regimen at home, we strongly recommend seeing us at Durham Dental Group for a cleaning and checkup twice a year. It’s the best way to ensure good dental health. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 


7 Surprising Causes Of Bad Breath

bad breath treatment Durham

People with chronic bad breath know the embarrassment and frustration associated with this condition. In this post from Durham Dental Group we look at possible causes, some that are often overlooked:

  1. Poor oral hygiene
  2. Digestive problems
  3. Systemic infection
  4. Bacteria on dentures
  5. Gum disease
  6. Food particles on tonsils
  7. Dry mouth

We can help you with this uncomfortable issue. If your bad breath is the result of inadequate oral hygiene, you’re in luck—this is one of the easiest types to treat. If you have visited our dental blog before, you know step one: make sure you brush for a full three minutes and floss before you climb into bed.

People with no idea how long they brush can set a timer (there is probably one on your smartphone). In addition to cleaning tooth surfaces, scrub your tongue! Then take the time to carefully floss around each tooth to wash away the plaque between your teeth and keep your gums healthy.

Some people brush after each meal to prevent particles of food from sitting on their teeth during the day. Excellent idea! In addition to freshening your breath, consistent oral hygiene will improve your health.

Possible dental causes are: a cavity, a broken crown, or gum disease. If we suspect that your bad breath is related to a non-dental condition, such as a respiratory infection, you will be referred to an appropriate medical professional.

Treating bad breath starts with a visit to Durham Dental Group. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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Are Toothpicks Good For Cleaning Teeth?

At Durham Dental Group, our dentists always remind patients how important it is to clean their teeth on a regular basis. Not just the front surfaces, but between the teeth, too. This is essential for cavity prevention.

What’s the best way to go about getting those narrow spaces between teeth? That’s an easy one: dental floss. Our rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss at least once – ideally, just before bedtime.

What about during the day, though? You’ve just had lunch, or a mid-afternoon snack, and you can feel the gunk that’s stuck between your teeth. It isn’t always easy to pull out dental floss in the middle of the day, especially if you’re in a meeting or some other appointment.

How about a good old-fashioned toothpick? They’re quick and convenient, easy to carry around, can be subtle, and have pointy tips that are good for digging into tight spaces.

Our quick answer? No. In fact, we frown on toothpicks. For one thing, they don’t do a very good a job compared to other options. For another, it is not unheard of for people to get splinters in their gums when a piece breaks off. You might also poke into your gums by accident.

But the bottom line is that they don’t clean off plaque. Which brings us back to those other options: when you’re out and about during the day, we recommend using an interdental cleaner. There are several types available at any grocery store: they’re usually made from a soft plastic with bristles on the end. They’re slender and compact, so you can slide them easily between your teeth to dislodge and remove food particles.

We’ll admit that chewing on a toothpick looks pretty cool. But they are not recommended for cleaning teeth. Use an interdental cleaner like those made by DenTek, or GUM. Floss picks are also good.

Above all, see us at Durham Dental Group for a professional cleaning and checkup every six months. Our services include general and pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 


Is Your Low-Carb Diet Giving You Dragon Breath?

bad breath treatment Durham

This post from Durham Dental Group focuses on a sometimes-unpleasant topic, bad breath. Many people mistakenly believe that it is always linked to poor brushing. The truth is that there are many causes of halitosis. We can help you pinpoint the cause of yours, and discuss how to cure it.

Your diet greatly impacts your breath. Because foods begin to be digested the second they enter your mouth, and because they are absorbed and distributed throughout the body, you probably will be able to smell strong foods like onions and garlic long after you’ve eaten them.

Therefore, using a mouthwash will only mask the smell. Constantly sucking on breath mints is also not smart. This may bring additional oral issues—especially if the mints have sugar. If you want real relief, you may need to avoid the strong foods altogether.

Additionally, many dieters find that their diet regimen is making it harder to keep their mouth fresh and clean. Low-carb and no-carb diets promote fat burning, but the the chemicals released during this process can lead to the side effect of bad breath. Increasing water intake can help alleviate this.

Lastly, flossing regularly is often the key to truly fresh breath. Many men and women don’t realize how much food can be stuck between their teeth, and this food can cause halitosis if it isn’t removed. More importantly, the food particles turn into plaque which can cause cavities and gum disease.

At Durham Dental Group, we want all our patients to enjoy fresh breath. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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Infant And Toddler Teeth Q&A

Durham pediatric dentistryThis post from Durham Dental Group is for new parents. You’ve got a lot of new responsibility and a lot to remember. Make sure pediatric dentistry is one of them.

Here is some Q&A about caring for baby and toddle teeth.

How should I clean my toddler’s teeth?
For infants, gently wash their gums with a piece of gauze or soft cloth. The ADA does not recommend any toothpaste for infants. When your child is three, a pea-sized amount (but no more!) is recommended. Young children rarely spit after you brush their teeth, they swallow. When your child’s teeth start to appear, you can use a very soft brush to softly wipe away food and liquid left on the teeth after feeding.

When should my child see a dentist for the first time?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to take their child to a dentist before their first birthday, or when their first tooth appears. This is vital for their oral health and also to help them become comfortable with a dentist from an early age.

What should I do if my toddler has a toothache?
First, call us to make an appointment. Before that you can rinse the sore tooth and surrounding gums with warm salt water. Never put aspirin directly on the tooth, not even children’s aspirin. If your child will let you, use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek to relieve swelling.

How can I prevent my toddler from getting cavities?

  • Have your child get a dental check-up every six months.
  • Brush your child’s teeth gently but thoroughly before they go to bed.
  • If possible, brush your child’s teeth after meals, or have them rinse with water.
  • Don’t let your child sleep with a bottle unless it only contains water.
  • Don’t let your child drink juice all day – it is best to have juice along with a meal.
  • Limit or avoid sugary snacks – especially gummy types that stick to the teeth. (A fresh apple is better than a pack of fruit snacks).
  • Consume acidic foods and beverages with meals to guard enamel.
  • If your child sucks his/her thumb after the age of three, talk to your dentist or pediatrician.
  • If your child grinds his/her teeth, seek guidance from your dentist or pediatrician.
  • Make sure your child has a healthy diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Follow your dentist’s or pediatrician’s recommendations regarding fluoride supplements and fluoridated water. Remember that too much fluoride is toxic.
  • Ask us about dental sealants.

Should I avoid dental x-rays of my child’s teeth?
No. Modern dental x-rays are extremely safe when standard procedures are followed. The diagnostic boon greatly outweighs the almost non-existent risk of detrimental radiation exposure.

If child’s baby teeth are widely spaced, does that mean their permanent teeth will be too far apart?

No, this is normal and does not necessarily mean that their permanent teeth will be spaced too far apart.

At Durham Dental Group we offer pediatric dentistry, and general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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