What Can Be the Cause of My Tooth Pain?

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, you’re probably wondering where it’s coming from. Oftentimes, this pain can be a symptom of a little or major dental problem. In a simple situation, a piece of food or a foreign object can be stuck between the teeth or in the gums. In a complex situation, one of these problems could be causing your pain:​

-Tooth damage: When you damage a tooth or a dental restoration, there is a good chance you could experience a toothache. If you suffer a broken tooth or restoration, it’s best to save the pieces and take them with you to your dental appointment.

-Tooth decay: When a cavity forms, it causes extreme pain that won’t just go away. This is because bacteria have attacked and damaged your tooth. It’s important to get the cavity treated as soon as possible. Your dentist can restore the tooth with a dental filling (for a simple cavity) or a dental crown (for a major cavity).​

-Tooth infection: When you don’t fix a cavity, it spreads and harms the sensitive layers that lie beneath the outer shell of the tooth. Then, it infects the tooth and permeates even more discomfort. It’s important to schedule an appointment immediately so your dentist can do what he can to restore the tooth. Typically, oral surgery is necessary.

If your tooth pain lasts longer than two days, it’s best to contact Pell City Dental Center PC at 205-473-0044 and schedule an appointment with your dentist, Dr. Scott Barnett. Our dental team also encourages you to contact our office if you have any questions about how to identify the cause of tooth pain in Pell City, Alabama. We look forward to hearing from you!


Getting Ready for Your Braces

At some point, your dentist may recommend that your child get braces. And if your smile could use some improvement, you may want to bring up the subject with the dentist yourself. Getting braces is a big step, and here are some things to consider before you get started.​

First, your dentist will need to give you a thorough exam, complete with dental x-rays. Afterward, you and the dentist will discuss which option is best for you. You may need braces that are comprised of brackets that are bonded to the front of your teeth. There are also brackets that your dentist can bond to the backs of your teeth; and a third option that consist of a metal band around your teeth. Depending on your age and your needs, you may be a candidate for a system such as Invisalign®.​

A few days before your the big day, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning so that your teeth are free of plaque. On the day of your appointment, brush and floss your teeth. These simple steps will make your appointment go faster.

If you receive metal braces, you may have some discomfort over the first few days. You may find it difficult to eat. If that is the case, stick with soft foods for a few days. Your braces may irritate your mouth, and your dentist will provide you with dental wax to relieve the discomfort. A topical or over-the-counter-pain reliever may also help.

You will need to spend a little more time brushing and flossing with your braces on. You should rinse your mouth before and after you brush. Start with brushing at the gumline, then from the gums down to the tops of the brackets, and then up from the gumline to the bottoms. Afterward, brush the wire. Flossing is very important for maintaining your braces. If you have problems flossing around your dental work, try using a water flosser or a floss threader.

If it is time for you or your child to get braces, you should call 205-473-0044 to make an appointment with Dr. Scott Barnett at Pell City Dental Center PC in Pell City, Alabama.


The Best & Worst Halloween Candies

During the week of Halloween, Americans consume a shocking 90 million pounds of candy. The reason candy is harmful to your teeth is that bacteria in the mouth burn the sugar, which creates an acid. The acid then dissolves tooth enamel, which is the cause of cavities. Read on for the best and worst candies.

The Bad Candy:

  • Chewy candy – These are one of the worst candies to eat for your teeth. Because of their stickiness, the sugar often lingers and sticks around in your mouth, which gives them more time to cause tooth decay. On top of that, some candies are sticky enough to pull out a filling, bridge or braces bracket.
  • Sour and citrus candy – These candies not only contain high levels of sugar, they also contain acid, which can eat away at the enamel of the teeth, leaving them even more vulnerable to cavities.
  • Hard candy – Eating hard candy can cause your teeth to crack or break and should be avoided. Also, hard candies stick around in your mouth for longer and expose your teeth to the sugars for a longer period. This is a recipe for cavities as extended contact with sugar can weaken and destroy the enamel.

The Good Candy:

Milk chocolate – Chocolate is one of the safest bets when it comes to consuming candy. This is good news as Americans spend $1.9 billion on chocolate each Halloween. The reason chocolate is a safer option is that it washes off your teeth more easily than other types of candy, making it less destructive to the enamel.

Dark chocolate – This is an even healthier option than milk chocolate as it contains less sugar. It also contains a flavonoid called epicatechin, which has been shown to slow tooth decay and also reduce cholesterol. Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols, which are naturally occurring chemicals that help control bad breath.

Sugar-free gum – Chewing gum assists in increasing the flow of saliva, which washes away food particles and neutralizes the acids in your mouth. Opt for a sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol. When xylitol is present, bacteria loses the ability to stick to the tooth, restricting cavities from forming.

For Halloween this year, you don’t have to avoid candy altogether; just try to stick with chocolate and avoid hard, sour or chewy candies. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day, and remember to clean between your teeth with floss to keep your enamel strong and your mouth healthy.


Everything You Need to Know about Dentures

Whether you have dentures, know someone who does, or are considering them, there is a good chance you have questions. What’s important to know is that if you are missing teeth, dentures are a viable option for restoring your smile’s look, feel and function. The quality of dentures is constantly improving, too, allowing for better fit, increased comfort, and a more natural look than ever before.​

What are dentures?

Dentures are a removable, restorative solution for those missing one or more teeth. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth in a full dental arch and partial dentures replace multiple missing teeth when you still have some remaining natural teeth. Dr. Barnett and the team at Pell City Dental will work with you to determine the best plan of action if you are considering dentures.​

What is the process like?​

The process for dentures is unique to each patient. However, the process usually begins with teeth being extracted. Which teeth and how many will depend on whether you are receiving a complete or partial set of dentures. Pell City Dental is one of the only dental practices offering IV sedation for the extraction process, which will help keep you calm and comfortable. Your mouth will need some time to heal so your gum is able to return to its permanent shape after the swelling has subsided. Once that has happened, an impression of your mouth will be taken to guide the making of the dentures. Dr. Barnett will work with you to select the tooth shape and color (shade of white) you want for your new dentures.​

At Pell City Dental, patients approve all dentures before they are processed – one of the only practices to do this – which saves you time and money. After you approve your dentures, they will be created. Once created, you will have your initial fitting and Dr. Barnett will make all necessary adjustments to ensure maximum comfort. You may need additional appointments later to fine-tune any areas of soreness.​

How do I care for my new dentures?

The first step to taking care of your dentures is to make sure they are taken out of the mouth every night and placed in a cold glass of water. You can add a mild cleaning solution to the water if you would like, but it is not necessary. Your dentures need to be brushed as if they were your real teeth, and this should be done before you put them back in your mouth. Make sure you clean your dentures over a bowl or towel, as they are fragile and can break or chipped if dropped. Regular visits to Pell City Dental will still be required to ensure optimum oral health.​

How long will my dentures last?

As time goes on, the shape of your mouth changes causing your dentures to become loose and you may have difficulties chewing. It is important to attend regular check-ups so your dentist can notice the need for replacement sooner than later and before any irritation occurs. How long your dentures last also greatly depends on the quality of your dentures. Pell City Dental offers multiple denture options such as Geneva 2000™, premium, deluxe, temporary and ultra-section dentures.​

Dentures can be a great option for patients looking to restore and complete their smile. Pell City Dental will work with you to create a customized treatment plan to enhance your mouth and keep it healthy for years to come.

Do you have more questions about dentures and if they are right for you? Call Pell City Dental today at 205-473-0044!