Tag Archives: gum disease

“Mouth Mask” is more than Stinky Breath: Gum Disease on the RISE

“Mouth Mask” is more than Stinky Breath: Tooth Decay & Gum Disease is on the RISE!!

Did you know that stinky breath behind your face mask could be more than a simple, embarrassing problem? Today, more and more dentists are seeing a rise in gum disease. A term coined “mask mouth” is a contributing factor to the increase in oral health problems. Thankfully, there are many ways to treat this and keep mask mouth at bay! Let’s dive into some helpful tips and information.

Mask Mouth: Learn More about the seriously stinky side effects HERE.

Related Article: What is that SMELL?? It may be more than bad breath.

Here’s How to Conquer Mask Mouth

Bad breath is often a sign that something isn’t quite right. When we wear our masks, we may breathe through our mouths more and dry out our mouths. While this may not seem like an issue, when we dry out our mouths, we leave them more susceptible to bacteria growth. When bacteria grows in our mouth, we can experience things like cavities and gum disease. Saliva is a huge multitasker in our mouths and it constantly keeps bacteria at bay. When we lose saliva production, we lose our biggest bacteria fighter.

There are definitely some changes we can make to reduce the symptoms of mask mouth and keep our teeth cleaner and less prone to decay.

  • Watch your diet: Certain foods can make our breath stink, so when we’re wearing a mask it’s extra important to think about what you’re consuming. Try to avoid coffee, garlic, and onions and try swishing with water after eating.
  • Freshen up. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth correctly and try keeping mouthwash on hand to fight bad breath and bacteria in-between your brushings. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help with this. It also might be time for a new, fresh toothbrush.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day and try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and sugary drinks, which can cause dehydration and buildup of bacteria.
  • Use a clean mask. Replace your mask often and clean between wearing.
  • Take fresh-air breaks. Try and take a few breaks throughout the day and breath fresh air through your nose.

If your breath smells unpleasant, it could mean that there are germs and bacteria that you need to get rid of. Learn More about how to take care of your mouth behind a face mask HERE.

Mask Mouth Symptoms

Curious if you’re experiencing mask mouth? Here’s the most common symptoms to be aware of.

  • Bad Breath and Dry Mouth: One of the most common signs of mask mouth is bad breath. If you’re breathing through your mouth while wearing a mask, you’re drying out your mouth and causing bad breath. This can also cause dry lips. Saliva is such a great tool that our body already produces to help keep the germs out of our mouth, so when our mouth becomes dry and we lose saliva production, we build more bad-breath bacteria in the mouth. Less saliva in the mouth also means we are more prone to tooth decay and infections.  So, when we are wearing our mask often and experience dry mouth, we’re advancing or progressing tooth decay.
  • Bleeding gums: Another symptom of mask mouth is bleeding or swollen gums. This also comes from an excess of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.

Oral Bacteria and Your Smile

Healthy teeth are about more than just a pretty smile… and what does oral bacteria have to do with a pretty smile?

Your oral health has a major effect on the overall health of your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe. If not, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

Learn more in this article: Oral Bacteria: Are Healthy Teeth Just About a Pretty Smile?

Related Article: Gum Disease: Can a Simple Cavity turn into Gum Disease?

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment. 

Is there a link between Pneumonia and Poor Oral Health?

Anyone and everyone can get pneumonia. In fact, according to a study by Science Daily, over 1 million Americans are infected with pneumonia every year. Furthermore, studies have also shown that there is a link between oral health and your risk for getting pneumonia – with people who never get dental checkups having an 86 percent higher risk of getting pneumonia.

More information about geriatric oral health and pneumonia risk HERE.

Pneumonia & Poor Oral Health: Pneumonia Prevention

Knowing that there is a link between pneumonia and poor oral health, one can assume that good oral health can help prevent pneumonia. According to scholar, Koichiro UEDA, “In recent years, the need for oral care in preventing aspiration pneumonia has been recognized across the academic disciplines.”

Pneumonia prevention consists of:

Regular Dental Cleanings

Regular cleanings and visits to the dentist will greatly reduce the number of harmful bacteria and plaque in the mouth. This keeps your mouth healthy and less at risk. On the flip side, when dental cleanings are ignored, there is a much greater risk for bacterial pneumonia because the bacteria are thriving in your mouth. According to Michelle Doll, MD, “In the case of bacteria that cause pneumonia, for example, they have to be inhaled to cause an infection. Getting regular cleanings and check-ups may reduce the amount of these bacteria.”

Read more on the importance of dental cleanings from Health.com HERE.

Related Articles:

Clean Teeth and Clean Lungs

Did you know that dental cleanings do much more than just clean your teeth and improve your oral health? They’re also beneficial for your lungs!

Here’s the basic rundown.

  • Dental cleanings reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • When bacteria are reduced in the mouth, it doesn’t get into the lungs.
  • This also reduces your risk for lung infection and helps keep your lungs bacteria free.

Learn more from WebMD about oral health and lung health HERE.

As you can see the link between pneumonia and poor oral health is a true concern, especially for our older dental patients. It’s clear that oral health is connected to your overall health, so remember to take care of your smile and your body will thank you!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment. 

Dental Exams are Important for SO Many Reasons …

We ALL need to visit our Dentist every 6 months!!

Every person, whether you have good teeth or not, whether your gums are healthy or not, whether you build up a lot of plaque and tartar or not, whether you are the world’s best brusher and flosser, or not.

That’s right, everyone needs to see the dentist every 6 months.

Regular dental exams are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends a visit to the dentist at least once a year but making an appointment once in six months prevents a host of oral related problems.

Regular Dental Exams Keep MORE than Your smile Healthy!

Have you had a dental cleaning and exam this year? Professional dental exams and cleanings aren’t just for keeping your smile bright; they can have a significant impact on your general health.

Insufficient oral hygiene has been linked to several serious illnesses. Associated medical and dental issues include bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancers, and many other problems. Brushing and flossing at home are essential, but to ensure teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean, you should schedule regular check-ups with your dentist and annual dental cleanings with your dental hygienist.

Here are nine reasons professional cleanings are so important.

  1. Your dental hygienist can remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth, so you’ll be left with a brighter, whiter smile.
  2. Having your teeth cleaned can prevent gum disease, which leads to early tooth loss. We’ll discuss more about this later…
  3. In America alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour, but many of these cancers are curable if detected at an early stage during a routine cleaning.
  4. A strong link exists between cardiovascular disease and gum disease. Because getting your teeth cleaned twice a year helps prevent gum disease, it can also reduce your chances of potentially deadly heart attacks and strokes.
  5. During a professional dental cleaning, it’s easy for your dentist to detect early signs of problems such as broken fillings and fractures.
  6. Many dental plans cover cleanings, and you’ll save money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your policy.
  7. If your dentist finds any serious problems during a teeth cleaning or exam, the office can help you make financial arrangements to cover the necessary procedures.
  8. Professional dental cleanings give your dentist or hygienist an opportunity to compare the state of your oral health to that of previous visits. If you’re moving in the wrong direction, immediate intervention can put you back on track.
  9. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings help prevent and resolve persistent bad breath. 

Check out this article about how often you should see your dentist in SELF MagazineDo I Really Need Teeth Cleanings Twice a Year?

Don’t let oral bacteria (or cavities) get you down!

Bacteria is a sneaky opportunist that loves to break down your enamel and cause issues that can affect the health of your teeth and gums. When you get regular, professional cleanings, your dentist can help you avoid bacteria build up and catch any problems early on, including cavities – saving you time and money!

Cavities happen all the time. They’re an extremely common problem that most everyone faces when they’re a child, teen, or adult. When you sit in the dentist’s chair and find out you have a cavity, it can put a damper on your day. Cavities are often minor inconveniences, and annoying toothaches and tooth sensitivity are often associated with cavities.

Cavities are simply no fun at all. Nonetheless, with quick treatment by your dentist and oral hygiene diligence, cavities don’t have to form into bigger problems. If left untreated; however, cavities can form into much bigger oral complications, such as tooth loss, broken teeth, and gum disease.

Don’t forget, your dentist also performs an oral cancer screening during your dental exam as well!

More on Cavities and Tooth Decay from The Mayo Clinic.

Cavity Formation and Risk Factors

Cavities form because of tooth decay – often due to excess bacteria and plaque in the mouth. Once the tooth begins to decay, a cavity forms over time and creates little holes in teeth. Sometimes, when a cavity forms, you can experience a toothache or sensitivity to hot and cold. Some people may not experience any pain or discomfort from a cavity and that’s why it is so important to see your dentist for regular dental exams and cavity checks.  

Bacteria is a destructive force in the mouth. When bacteria are present, they begin breaking down enamel, causing a build-up of plaque and tartar, and irritate the gums. Everything in connected with your oral health and if bacteria begins affecting a tooth and causing a cavity, it could also be causing gum disease.

Here’s a deep dive into Gum Disease.

Gum Disease Causes and Treatment

Cavities are a tell-tale sign of excess bacteria in the mouth. This means that you probably need to ramp-up your oral hygiene routine. Maybe you need to spend more time brushing, add in more flossing, and so on. Talking with your dentist will help you pin-point what you can do to eliminate the risk of cavities and gum disease. When cavities are present and bacteria is left untreated in the mouth, your gums can begin to get inflamed, which is the basis of gum disease.

According to WebMD, gum disease begins with bacteria in the mouth and can lead to tooth loss because of the loss of gum tissue. Gum disease attacks the gums, making them recede and not hold on to your teeth as well as they should. Look for these signs and symptoms:

  • Swollen or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Pockets between the gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath

Catching gum disease early is key to recovery, much like cavities. Proper plaque and bacteria control are key to eliminating gum disease and cavity risk! So, talk with your dentist to see what works best for you, and remember that proper oral healthcare, including dental exams twice each year, is the best defense against bacteria.

More on Gum Disease Treatment Options from WebMD.

Dental Benefits are on Your Side

Keeping up with a regular cleaning schedule helps you make the most of your dental benefits. Remember, prevention is always better than a treatment. Preventive Dental Care is almost always covered 100% by your insurance provider, so talk with your provider to understand the full benefits of your preventive care, and, once you know them, schedule dental exams with your dentist in advance.

When you make the most out of your benefits, you’re not leaving money on the table. Benefits will not roll over into next year, so once they are gone, they are gone for good! Make sure your oral health is on track and use your benefits to the maximum this year.

According to WebMD, read more about what is and is not (typically) covered by Dental Insurance. If you have questions about your dental insurance benefits or coverage, please give us a call at 210-633-3477 — we’d love to help you!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Bacteria: Are Healthy Teeth Just About a Pretty Smile?

Healthy teeth are about more than just a pretty smile… and what does oral bacteria have to do with a pretty smile?

Your oral health has a major effect on the overall health of your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe.

Oral Bacteria and Health

Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay – by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume – they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm known as dental plaque.

Our mouths have lots of bacteria that is usually harmless. (Did you know that the bacteria in our body aids with digestion and other biological tasks?) However, if you do not brush or floss regularly, oral bacteria can reach dangerously high levels. When this happens, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

Health Risks Throughout the Body

There is evidence that the oral bacteria and high level of inflammation associated with the serious gum disease known as periodontitis can play a role in diseases in other parts of the body.

The following health issues and diseases are linked with poor gum health:

  • Infections from Abscesses: In some rare instances, severe tooth decay can lead to an abscess. The infection can travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, causing severe illness or even death.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: There are researchers who suggest that heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries are linked to the inflammation and infections caused by too much oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications: Severe gum infection has been linked to premature births and low birth weight.
  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. This can occur when bacteria from other parts of your body, such as your mouth, move through your bloodstream and become attached to damaged areas in the heart.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Did you know that 85% of Americans suffer from gum disease, yet only 60% of those infected know they have gum disease? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, the impact can extend beyond your mouth.

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can significantly affect your general health.

Research shows that there is a connection between gum disease and other serious conditions such as:

  • osteoporosis
  • oral and pancreatic cancer
  • brain stroke
  • heart disease
  • gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia from oral bacteria that spread through the blood stream
  • gum disease also impacts those with diabetes by making it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels
  • Read More: Oral Disease: The Top 3 that Could Impact Your Health

If you have one of these systemic conditions, it is important to talk to your dentist about your risk for gum disease and the best treatment options.

Related Article: Gum Disease: Can a Simple Cavity Turn into Gum Disease?

Causes of Gum Disease:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Sugar and acid
  • Tooth abnormalities
  • Poor dental work
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tooth grinding

Symptoms of Gum Disease Can Range from:

  • chronic bad breath
  • red, swollen gums
  • bleeding when you brush
  • painful chewing
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • sensitive or receding gums

Sometimes there are no signs of gum disease, which is why it’s essential to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup.

Related Article: Oral Diseases and Tooth Loss

Treatment | Gum Disease is Treatable

The three goals of treatment involve:

  1. reducing inflammation
  2. decreasing pocket depth (the space between your tooth and gum)
  3. stopping bone loss

Initial treatment options can include Laser Pocket Disinfection or scaling and root planning (also known as deep cleaning). There are surgery options for advanced gum disease.

Protecting Your Oral Health

By protecting the health of your teeth and gums, you can keep yourself healthier too. Practice good oral hygiene daily to prevent overgrowth of bacteria.

This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth
  • Avoid tobacco use, as this can cause irritation in your gums
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months
  • Limit sugary snacks, which can feed bacteria and increase their growth

You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings. Why? Read more about “Why it’s important to schedule your dental exam twice a year”.

If you notice a problem with your teeth or gums, call for an appointment right away. The sooner these are handled, the sooner you will be back to full health. Gary Skrobanek, DDS provides general and family dentistry in the San Antonio, Texas area to keep his patients healthy – including healthy teeth, healthy gums, and a healthy body. Time for your checkup? Call to schedule today.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Toothache Causes: My tooth is throbbing! What do I do?

Toothaches are tricky — they can feel like a minor tinge or they can cause crippling pain. That’s why we want to share some common toothache causes, their symptoms and when you should seek help from your dentist.

What is the definition of a toothache?

Pain or inflammation in or around the tooth, often caused by tooth infection or decay.

What are common toothache causes?

A toothache can have causes that are not due to underlying disease. Toothache causes may include getting something stuck in between the teeth, flossing, biting into something hard, or braces. Remember, in children, tooth pain is a regular part of the developmental process.

Common Toothache Causes:

  • Tooth decay
  • Inflammation of tooth pulp
  • Tooth fracture or broken tooth
  • Sensitive Teeth
  • Damaged filling
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Infected gums or gum disease
  • Impacted tooth
  • Repetitive motions, such as grinding teeth or chewing gum
  • Sinus congestion or infection (non-dental related issues)

Related Articles:

Common Symptoms of a Toothache:

  • Tooth pain that may be constant, throbbing, or sharp
  • Tooth pain while chewing
  • Pain results only when pressure is applied to the tooth, for some people
  • Foul-tasting drainage from the tooth infection
  • Cold or hot sensitivity when eating or drinking
  • Swelling in your jaw or around the tooth
  • Bleeding or discharge from around a tooth or gums
  • Headache or fever
  • Trauma or injury to the area

When do I need to see a Dentist About my Toothache?

We recommend seeing your dentist as soon as possible about your toothache if:

  • Your toothache is severe
  • You have consistent tooth pain that lasts longer than 1 or 2 days
  • Inflammation increases
  • Swelling occurs around your jaw or face
  • Redness occurs around the gums or your gums are bleeding
  • You have an earache or fever
  • If you notice that a tooth is cracked, broken, or chipped
  • You experience pain upon opening your mouth wide
  • Dull, persistent pain can be a sign of something that will get worse if not treated
  • You’ve suffered a recent trauma to your face or mouth

How do I stop my tooth from throbbing?

Try these self-care tips for some temporary relief, while you’re waiting to see your dentist:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
  • Floss gently to remove built up plaque or food in between teeth
  • Apply a cold compress to your cheek or jaw
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and aspirin can relieve minor pain
  • Numbing gels or pastes, such as benzocaine, can help to dull the pain

When I Go to the Dentist for a Toothache, what happens?

Your dentist will conduct a dental exam first. He or she will ask you questions about the pain, such as:

  • when the pain started
  • how severe it is
  • where the pain is located
  • what makes the pain worse and what makes it better
  • does the pain wake you up in the middle of the night

Your dentist will examine:

  • your mouth, teeth and gums
  • tongue, jaws and throat
  • sinuses, nose, ears and neck

X-rays may be taken as well as other tests, depending on what your dentist suspects is causing your toothache.

What Treatments Are Available for a Toothache?

Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause or source of pain. If a cavity is causing the toothache, your dentist will remove the decay or infection, fill the cavity or possibly extract the tooth (only if there is no way to save the tooth).

A root canal may be necessary if the cause of the toothache is from an infection of the tooth’s nerve. Bacteria that have worked their way into the inner areas of the tooth cause that type of infection. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic, if there is swelling or fever in the jaw to get rid of the infection.

Related Articles:

Root Canal Treatment: Root Canal Myths Debunked

Tooth Extraction: Reasons for Pulling Teeth

How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?

Tooth decay causes most toothaches, so following a good oral hygiene routine can prevent most toothaches.

Practices of good oral hygiene consist of:

  • brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • floss daily
  • rinse once or twice each day with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • see your dentist twice a year for professional exam and cleaning

Gently brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste will remove the bacteria and plaque that are toothache causes to begin with. In addition to these practices, ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and sealant applications and make healthy snack, food, and beverage choices that are low in sugar.

Related Articles:

Why is it important to schedule your Dental Exam Twice Each Year?

Dental Health Services for Your Children

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Root Canal Treatment: We’re Answering Your Questions

Have you heard scary things about getting a root canal treatment? We can help ease your fears and shed some light on this common treatment that helps relieve the tooth pain for so many of our patients.

Typically, we get a lot of questions from our patients. For example: What is a root canal? What are the symptoms? How can I avoid needing a root canal treatment? And … Is it gonna hurt?

First, here are some interesting root canal statistics:

  • A root canal performed on any tooth (front or back) with a nerve
  • Most teeth are fixed with root canal therapy with a 95 percent success rate
  • A root canal is a standard and very common procedure
  • Since the roots aren’t necessary for the tooth to function, they can be removed
  • There is only one main purpose for the tooth’s nerve: to provide the feeling or sensation of cold and hot
  • Nearly 15 million root canals are performed each year in the United States
  • Most teeth fixed with root canal therapy can last a lifetime
  • Some roots have more than one root canal, but all have at least one canal

Let’s get started!

What is a Root Canal?

The term “root canal” is used to refer to two different things:

  1. the dental procedure used to remove infected material and relieve root canal pain
  2. the inner part (passages) of the tooth between the pulp and tooth roots, containing nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue

Today we’re going to talk about the dental procedure.

It’s pretty straight forward … a root canal treatment is an attempt to save your tooth after your nerve has been exposed to bacteria from a crack or has become permanently aggravated. And it will get you out of pain!

Related Article: Will my dentist pull my tooth?

A root canal treatment is required when a tooth is badly decayed or seriously infected. To protect the tooth, the nerve and its surrounding tooth pulp are removed, and the tooth is permanently sealed or closed. The interior of the tooth is left virtually resistant to future decay.

What do these terms mean?

  • Dental Pulp: is the soft substance in the center of the tooth that consists of the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
  • Pulp Chamber: is the hollow part in the center of the tooth that contains the pulp and continues down canals that extend through the roots of teeth and into the bone around the tooth.

What causes a root canal?

DECAY that leads to INFECTION causes your tooth to need a root canal treatment.

Here are the two main causes:

Decay: Decay (commonly referred to as a cavity) is the main reason patients need to have a root canal treatment. If a cavity becomes large enough before it is treated, it can enter your pulp chamber or nerve. If bacteria enter this chamber, it causes severe pain, and will cause an infection.

As a result, a root canal is needed to save your tooth and reduce pain.

Trauma: If your tooth cracks or breaks, there’s a chance you’ll need a root canal treatment, because trauma to your tooth can expose your pulp chamber, damage your nerve and cause severe pain.

Again, the nerve will need to be removed to salvage your tooth.

If I need a root canal, what symptoms will I be experiencing?

Sometimes, a person may ignore the symptoms for a while. It takes some time for this type of infection to take root and they can be completely avoided; that’s why it’s important to schedule regular dental appointments.

In other cases, a person may show no symptoms.

These symptoms indicate a root canal may be needed:

  • Severe toothache pain from chewing or putting pressure on the area
  • Your tooth may start to hurt in the middle of the night; you wake up with severe tooth pain
  • Your tooth hurts longer than it should after exposure to hot or cold temperatures
  • Drainage, tenderness and swelling surrounding the tooth, in the nearby bone, gum tissues or lymph nodes
  • A “rotten” taste in your mouth
  • Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
  • Dental abscess

What you should know about a dental abscess:

  • An abscess is a small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of tooth pain
  • Sometimes it causes significant swelling of the jaw, cheek, or throat.
  • Bleeding or swelling around the tooth may occur if you have an abscess.
  • If this swelling is noticed, treatment needs are urgent, and you need to contact GPS Dental for a dental emergency appointment.

IMPORTANT: if you’re experiencing tooth pain, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Skrobanek immediately!!

Related Article: Reasons to have a root canal: What symptoms should I look for?

Do all toothaches require a root canal treatment?

Sometimes you may feel intense tooth pain that makes you think you need root canal treatment, but the pain is a symptom of another problem requiring a completely different treatment. Such as:

  • Sinus congestion can produce pressure around the roots of the upper teeth and cause pain upon chewing, which mimics root canal pain. 
  • Gum disease can also mimic the throbbing pain around teeth that can feel like root canal pain.
  • Exposed root surfaces as a result of gum recession can mimic cold sensitivity.
  • Jaw pain can either be an indication of pain in the jaw joint or pain referred from a tooth needing a root canal.

Can I avoid needing a root canal treatment?

Here are some common causes and how to avoid needing a root canal:

Failure to Brush or Floss Regularly

Prevention is key! Brushing your teeth (twice a day) is the most important thing you can do each day to avoid tooth decay is brushing your teeth.

Cavities and root canals are prevented the same way … by brushing your teeth consistently. Brushing will interrupt the growth of bacteria that turns into plaque.

Flossing is essential too, because it helps clean hard-to-reach areas in between your teeth and remove any food particles left behind.

Forgetting to Visit the Dentist

Millions of people face some anxiety about going to the dentist. At GPS Dental in San Antonio, TX, we make it easy for you. A compassionate, experienced dental team can help spot early warning signs of decay, infection and other issues you might not notice on your own. Treating a cavity early, before it leads to decay, is one of the easiest ways to avoid needing a root canal treatment.

Related Article: Why is it important to visit the dentist twice a year?

Long-Term Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also referred to as “gum disease” is a long-term infection process that attacks the soft tissue that supports, binds, and provides blood flow to your teeth. If you have symptoms like discoloration or bleeding in your gums, it could mean gum disease, which can spread throughout your mouth and needs immediate attention.

Related Article: Can a simple cavity turn into Gum Disease?

What is root canal procedure?

During a root canal treatment or procedure, the infected pulp and nerve are completely removed. Then, the tooth’s interior is cleaned and permanently sealed. A dental crown is then placed on top of the affected tooth to make sure it maintains its proper function — chewing.

Will I need a dental crown after having a root canal treatment?

The short answer is: Yes.

You will need a dental crown after your root canal treatment. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that will be placed over a root canal-treated tooth at a second appointment (usually a week later). It is designed protect the remaining tooth structure and continue the function of the molar teeth, which is chewing food. This will also guard against any future tooth pain.

Will a root canal treatment be painful?

Root canal treatments have gotten a bad reputation as a painful procedure; however, it can be less painful than having a cavity filled. The real pain you experience is typically BEFORE you get a root canal treatment completed.

Once your procedure is complete, you will be OUT of Pain!

Be sure to follow a regular oral hygiene routine after your root canal treatment to maintain your crown and avoid future issues. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth, If you notice increased tooth sensitivity after a root canal.

If you are suffering from a toothache, we can help!

Suffering from the pain of a toothache is an awful way to live … We want our patients to be able to go about their day, PAIN FREE!! If you or one of your family members is in pain, please call to schedule an emergency dental appointment with Dr. Skrobanek. We want to make sure to treat you as quickly as possible.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Disease: Top 3 Oral Diseases that could Impact Your Health

Headline: The top three oral diseases that could impact your health

When it comes to your mouth, it’s important to know what you’re up against in order to stay on top of your oral health and prevent future issues. According to the CDC, oral health includes the “teeth, gums, and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, speak, and chew.” There are three common oral diseases that can greatly affect your oral health:

  • Dental caries (cavities)
  • Periodontitis
  • Oral cancer

By knowing the causes and prevention methods for each of these three diseases, you are one step closer to avoiding these oral problems and increasing not only your oral health, but your overall wellbeing.

Related article: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/index.html

Oral Disease: Dental Caries

Dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay, are the most common dental problem in both children and adults. Caries affect up to two thirds of adolescents, and 60-90% of school age children, according to statistics.

Specifically, dental caries are caused by numerous factors such as:

  • Consuming an excess of sugar
  • Not thoroughly cleaning the teeth
  • Having a high number of bacteria/plaque in the mouth

These factors can all lead to tooth decay or holes in the surface of your teeth. Thankfully, dental caries are also easily preventable. By brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, using a fluoride-based mouthwash, frequently flossing, and implementing a reduction in sugar intake will make a huge difference in your oral health and will greatly reduce your risk of oral disease.

Oral Disease: Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a gum disease caused by the inflammation of the gums and deterioration of the soft tissue surrounding the bones that support your teeth. Similar to dental caries, poor oral hygiene and a high concentration of plaque leads to a higher risk of periodontitis. However, there are other factors that also increase one’s risk, such as diabetes, a weakened immune system, smoking tobacco, and obesity.

Regular dental checkups are a must in order to catch this oral disease early for treatment. If left untreated, periodontitis can make the gums inflamed and infected, leading to tooth extractions. So, make sure to keep up with your regular hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and getting professional teeth cleanings to stay clear of this disease.

Oral Disease: Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is any type of cancer that forms in the mouth. It’s important to be diligent with your symptoms, and immediately let your doctor know if you are experiencing indicators such as: a sore that doesn’t heal, painful swallowing, a white or red patch in your mouth, or mouth pain. Like other types of cancers, oral cancer occurs when cells around the mouth mutate and form abnormal cells. It’s also important to catch this oral disease early on to increase the chances of ridding the cancer and improving your health.

Unlike dental caries and periodontitis, where frequent brushing and flossing will greatly decrease risk, there is no known prevention for oral cancer. However, according to Mayo Clinic, there are some steps to take to reduce your risk of developing this cancer, such as reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption.

To learn more about risks and prevention, please visit: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mouth-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20350997

Knowing how to prevent these three common oral diseases can make such a huge impact on the future of your teeth. Knowledge is power! Don’t forget to check back over our tips and prevention techniques to reach the best level of oral health.

GPS Dental Can Help

Dental professionals are true advocates of oral care. We are not only adamant about keeping teeth clean, but we­ are also concerned with your overall dental health. Checking for defects, abnormalities, and indications of severe issues in the bone, teeth, or gums are also at the forefront of our practice. Similarly, offering advice on how to properly care for teeth and correct certain habits is also a part of the patient education that we offer. Should you be looking for a dentist that is serious about oral care, contact our dental office to book your dental appointment.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Diseases and Tooth Loss… GPS Dental Can Help

oral-disease

Not many individuals understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as heading to the dentist regularly are essential habits to adopt. Ignoring these practices can lead to various oral diseases, commonly known as periodontal disease.  It is imperative that people implement positive habits to prevent these issues from happening.

According to statistics, more than half of Texans aged 45 to 64 experienced tooth loss due to oral disease. It has also been proven  that one out of every 7 adults in the U.S. aged 65 and older are missing all of their natural teeth. These issues highlight the importance of oral health, and individuals should commit to healthy oral habits to avoid tooth loss and other adverse effects.

What are Oral Diseases?

Dentists are always stressing to patients the importance of up keeping their oral health. Patients are often advised to brush their teeth every day and implement daily flossing. That is because the frequent consumption of food causes plaque to build up on teeth. Cleaning teeth thoroughly removes plaque, which left unchecked can produce acids that attack the teeth and gums.

Neglecting dental cleaning can cause deterioration, the development of gingivitis, and eventually, gum disease if not treated appropriately. Ultimately, the gums begin to recede, giving bacteria access to tooth roots and the ability to destroy exposed bone structures.

How Does Oral Disease Contribute to Tooth Loss?

As mentioned, gums begin to pull away from teeth, creating pockets that food and plaque can easily be trapped in. These pockets with wedged pieces of food can lead to infection. As the disease progresses, the bacteria eat away at the bone, causing a weak structure that results in the loss of teeth.

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Other Types of Dental and Oral Diseases

In addition to gingivitis, gum disease, and oral infections, other dental diseases can surface. These include cavities and oral cancer. Cavities generally occur when sugar and bacteria in the mouth create an acid that eats away at tooth enamel.

In adults, cavities occur due to bacteria getting caught around the perimeter of a filling. Root cavities also happen due to gum recession and the exposure of roots, which are susceptible to cavities and damage.

Oral cancer is also a common issue among adults. Heavy tobacco and alcohol use are some of the leading causes of this detrimental disease. Signs of oral cancer include difficulty swallowing, a white or red patch in the mouth, pain when moving the tongue or jaw, and more.

Related Article: Get Your Oral Cancer Screening

GPS Dental Can Help to Improve Your Oral Health

At GPS Dental, we encourage patients to adopt healthy oral habits. Our job as professionals is to guide the oral health of our patients. Therefore, professional checkups and cleanings, in addition to everyday habits, are essential to avoid oral diseases. Should you be looking for a team of dental professionals that are dedicated to your oral health, contact our office in San Antonio to book an appointment.

Related Article: Brooks City Base Dentist: GPS Spotlight on Gary Skrobanek, DDS

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers family dentistry for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Show Your Teeth Some Love: Gum Disease & Your Heart

tooth-brush-loveYour mouth and your heart might be more connected than you think! We always stress the importance of oral hygiene at GPS Dental. Most of our patients don’t realize what their oral health means for the rest of their body. Since February is Dental Health Month, it seemed only fitting to explore what dental health can do for you!

How Are Gum & Heart Disease Linked?

Scientists are still working out exactly how the two diseases interact, but the studies they have conducted show it’s too much to be a coincidence. Gum disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth in your mouth, and it’s the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Even though it’s too early to tell what gum disease says about your overall health, it was associated with several significant health conditions, such as heart disease in the studies, even after other risk factors were eliminated.

What does this mean for you? Approach your body’s health from a holistic stance. If one part of your body is failing, such as your gums, it could be a sign of other, more dangerous problems.

Related Read: Sensitive Teeth? 4 Steps for Reducing Pain

Ways You Can Show ‘Em the Love

Your Heart

  • Quit Smoking. Smoking cessation has been proven to reduce heart disease, and after only one year of being smoke-free, the risk for heart disease drops by as much as 50%.
  • Eat Well. While there are many opinions on exactly what makes a heart-healthy diet, it’s generally agreed upon that foods high in sugar and salt, alcoholic beverages, and foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil are out.
  • Get Active! Exercise is a key part of keeping your heart healthy. Click the link to see the recommended physical activity requirements for adults.
  • Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure. Talk to your doctor about high blood pressure, as it’s often difficult to detect on your own.

Your Gums

  • Quit Smoking. Not to sound like a broken record, but one study found that smokers were about four times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease. Again, your risk is reduced after you quit.
  • Brush Your Teeth. Brush after eating, and remember to include your tongue!
  • Floss. Flossing cleans parts of your mouth your toothbrush can’t reach. Make sure you floss all the way down along the gumline.

Even if your gums and pearly whites are looking great, you should still be visiting your dentist for regular checkups! Give GPS Dental a call at (210) 633-3477 to schedule your appointment today!