Getting To The Root Causes Of A Root Canal

Root canals, also known as endodontic therapy, are performed when the nerve or pulp of the tooth becomes infected and inflamed. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or, trauma. Some patients experience prolonged sensitivity to hot food or liquids, and your gums may also feel tender and swollen near the problem area. If you are experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist right away, infection that close to the brain is not a good thing.

The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The term “root canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root.

Many patients dread the idea of a root canal, but is the treatment really necessary? In many cases, the answer is ‘yes’.

Saves the natural tooth: It is a common thing for people to consider getting their tooth out in case of decay. However, a root canal treatment prevents that from happening. It only removes the inflamed pulp from the inside of the tooth, cleans the root canal, and seals it back with a crown or a filling. By then, the treated tooth can resume its function just like the other teeth.

 

No need for extra expenses: Since a tooth extraction is irreversible, you cannot get back a lost tooth unless you plan to get prosthesis. Removable, or even fixed, prosthesis can be significantly costly, and can even be more expensive than having a root canal treatment. Getting this treatment instead of prosthesis can save you from making more expenses.

 

Restoring teeth function: Because of the discomfort caused by tooth decay, the patient may have difficulty chewing, biting, or do anything with his or her mouth. A treatment to the root canal can restore efficient chewing and biting sensation, as well as bring back the teeth’s natural appearance. It also protects the other normal functioning teeth from wear and tear due to excessive use.

 

Having a decayed tooth can be bothersome and can be a source of hindrance in one’s daily activities. The great news is that root canals are covered by most dental insurances and are an affordable solution to keeping your natural teeth. Remember to visit your dentist twice a year for regular exam and routine cleanings to further prevent a root canal. Keep in mind that even with the best care root canals are sometimes unavoidable, so contact Royal Dental at (713) 330-7700 and book an appointment with us today.

How To Get A Head Start On Proper Oral Hygiene For Children

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child to the dentist before their first birthday. But so many don’t see the value of getting a head start on teaching children the importance of taking great care of their teeth.

Although rare, decayed baby teeth may need to be removed prior to permanent teeth coming in.  To avoid such treatment, it is important to clean your child’s teeth and gums regularly. Clean your baby’s gums by wiping them with a clean, moist cloth. When teeth start to come in, decay can occur. Avoid this by lightly brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear.

At Royal Dental, your child’s first dental visit will include checking the teeth for decay and an examination to look for early developmental challenges, an explanation on how to care for your child’s teeth and of course to answer any questions or early concerns you might have.

Assuring early oral care is not just to get the kids comfortable with taking an interest in their teeth, it’s also to prevent cavities.

  • One out of 10 two- year-olds already have one or more cavities
  • By age three, 28% of children have one or more cavities
  • By age five, nearly 50% of children have one or more cavities

For children younger than 3 years old, clean teeth with fluoride toothpaste in an amount no larger than a grain of rice. Do this twice a day or as directed by a dentist or physician. For children 3 to 6 years old, you can increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount.  Continue to monitor your child’s teeth brushing, twice a day.

As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily.

Preventative Dentistry | Houston, TX

Teach children at their level, the importance of regular professional dental visits, and explain to your children that the dentist will help keep their teeth strong and healthy, so they can eat.

How often should I bring my child for a visit to the dentist?

The Royal Dental team recommends bringing your child in a minimum of two times, per year.

“It is very important to get your child to visit a dentist early on in life,” says Dr. Sheryl Stewart, who has more than 25-years of dentistry, and serves pediatric patients at all Royal Dental offices. “This will allow your child to feel more comfortable with regular dental visits as he or she grows older.”

One of the great ways to explain the first dental visit for your child is to tell him or her Royal Dental is going to check their smile and count their teeth. By keeping it simple and by bringing your child in for regular 6-month check-ups, your child will enjoy dental visits and will be able to maintain good oral hygiene for years to come.

 

Schedule a Consultation

Please visit Royal Dental for your next check-up. Royal Dental, where you and your family will always get the Royal Treatment! Call today at (713) 330-7700 to schedule your next appointment!

Royal Dental is a state-of-the-art, dental practice that combines family dentistry with specialty dental care such as: orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, and pediatric dental services with practices located in the Greater Houston Area.

Adjusting To Your New Normal With Braces

So, you’ve finally made the great decision to achieve a straighter, more aligned smile with braces. That’s terrific but adjusting to having new ‘hardware’ in your mouth will certainly take some getting use to. The good news is that there’s certainly no need to worry as your teeth will soon adjust, and the discomfort will become less and less. To get you better adjusted to your new normal, we’re happy to share a few tips on how you can still enjoy life with your braces!

Soreness is temporary

Once you have braces, the mouth and teeth may feel generally sore and sensitive to biting pressures. A quick solution for this is to rinse your mouth with warm saline mouthwash, or water with salt. If the discomfort is severe, you may consider over the counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen to alleviate it.

Chewing matters

Because eating and food is such an integral part of our life, we totally understand your concern about eating with braces. During the first few days of having your braces in, you may want to stick with soft foods to avoid discomfort and to protect your orthodontic appliance. Also avoid foods that are chewy, crunchy, or sticky, like bagels, chips, or gum. Eventually, you will be able to resume your favorite snacks that you’ve missed out on.

Brushing and Getting in between your teeth are vital

Of course, you will be more obliged to brush and floss your teeth regularly if you have braces. This routine keeps teeth and gums healthy. When you have braces, food particles could easily get stuck on the wires and bacteria could soon accumulate there. Instead of flossing, a Waterpik is used to rid your mouth of food debris that can get stuck, not only in between your teeth but between your teeth and your braces.

Orthodontics in Houston

We know that adjusting to your braces is not as easy as it sounds, but just think about how improved the appearance and function of your teeth will be when it’s time to remove them! Let the Royal Dental dentists and orthodontists provide you with all the available options to address your needs. Call us today at (713) 330-7700 to book an appointment with us. And, be sure to ask about our $2999 special on braces!

Healthy Smile, Happy Heart

Preventive Dentistry Houston, TXWe natural perceive a person’s smile to be a reflection of their happy heart. This is one of those universal truths that is known without the need for explanation. Did you know that there is another connection between your smile and your heart? Research data strongly suggests that the state of our oral health is directly related to how healthy our heart may be. Because so many of us are expressing a desire to live a long and vital life, paying attention to such data is beneficial.

Heart Health Explored

Researchers have spent decades exploring how the heart works and what happens to increase the risk of cardiac events and disease. Studies have confirmed that stress management one important aspect of protecting health and wellness. Diets low in salt and saturated fat, and regular exercise have also been noted as beneficial in several studies. Only recently has research connected the dots regarding the correlation between oral disease and cardiac risks.

Recent studies have identified bacteria as a risk for cardiovascular disease. Bacteria may combine with fatty deposits and other debris in the arteries of the heart, making this organ work harder to pump blood from one place to another. The discovery of bacteria in the heart was one thing; what stands out to us as dentists are the fact that the bacterium or specific type of bacteria, present in the diseased heart was the exact type that exists in the mouth. The conclusion of this finding has been that an excess of bacteria in the mouth, such as occurs with gum disease, is a direct risk for cardiovascular disease by instigating:

  • This condition occurs when the lining of the heart becomes inflamed due to the presence of bacteria.
  • Arterial sclerosis. When debris collects in the arteries of the heart, these vessels narrow and clog. This means that blood has a difficult time getting through as necessary for optimal health and wellness.
  • Cardiovascular events. The narrowing of the arteries is a direct risk for heart attack or stroke because there is a chance that debris from arterial plaque can break loose and travel into the heart or to the brain.

The team at Royal Dental is proud to offer the kind of personal dental care that can help our patients maximize health and wellness and protect their heart from preventable disease. Call an office near you to schedule your exam and cleaning with our friendly staff.

How Your Mouth Relates to Longevity

Oral Preventive Houston, TX | Royal DentalWe all know that we will grow older and that, eventually, we will be “old.” The realities of growing old spur many of us on to take better care of ourselves. Long before our senior years, we may eat better and exercise more. We may take supplements to support the health of our brain, heart, bones, and other organs. There may be certain strategies that you have already implemented to minimize the chance that aging might degrade your vitality and quality of life. We wonder, though, is managing your oral health one of them?

The Mouth-Body Connection

You may have heard this term before, and may even know that a condition like gum disease could increase your risk for heart problems. The truth is, there is evidence that links the mouth to every part of the body. The health of the teeth and gums is relevant to the level of risk one has for low-grade toxicity and inflammation in the body, to sleep troubles, and even to dementia.

Reviving an Old Model

If you were to look at life as a timeline from birth to death and create an arc for the quality of living, you might feel naturally inclined to draw that arc from a high point to a low point. This is an old model of aging that is slowly changing, fortunately. And the good news is that each of us has the opportunity to affect how long we enjoy a good quality of life. We have a bit of control over the sharpness of that arc.

When you imagine yourself at 80 years of age, do you see things like taking a walk with your beloved every day? Do you imagine that you will still be able to travel, and get down on the floor to play with great-grandchildren? Will your 80-year-old self-be able to eat a variety of foods – and with your teeth? These are all aspects of rounding out that arc and adding longevity to your quality of life.

It’s Never Too Late to Start

  • Twice a day. Two full minutes. Not too hard.
  • Floss every day.
  • Use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the back of the mouth.
  • Minimize the acidity of your diet.
  • Obtain dental checkups and cleanings twice a year.
  • If you grind your teeth, obtain proper treatment from your dentist.

Royal Dental has several offices in which friendly service is the norm. Contact us so we can get started on maintaining your oral health for life.

Children Win Big with Early Dental Care

Oral Exam & Cleaning Houston, TX The early childhood years are some of the most developmentally-inclined in a person’s life. Babies learn to sit up. They get their first teeth. They go from breastfeeding to eating solids to walking and talking and changing right in front of our eyes. During this time, a parent has a lot to manage. In the busy-ness of parenting, the significance of dental care could easily get muddled. Here, we want to point out the various ways that children win big by seeing the dentist.

Healthy Teeth Support Speech Development

For us to be able to make certain sounds of speech, it is necessary that teeth be in place. This is particularly relevant to the teeth at the front of the mouth because it is these teeth that the tongue touches to make sounds like “s” and “t.” Baby teeth are integral to the development of clear speech and need proper care from the moment they erupt.

A Healthy Smile is a Confidence-Booster

Children are far less concerned about their appearance than the average adult, thankfully. However, a child learns through early dental care what it means to have a healthy smile. The habits that are learned early in life foster ongoing practice that turns a learning child into a capable adult. Good oral care prevents a child from needing obvious tooth restorations and also from having bad breath. Finally, early orthodontic evaluation and treatment is a proactive step that can support high confidence during the teenage years.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Body

Most people realize that the state of the mouth has an effect on general health and wellness. Children who are “prone to cavities” may struggle with systemic immunity due to the heavy stress load presented by poor oral health. The chronic inflammation and presence of bacteria in infected gums have been linked to a long list of medical conditions later in life. Ultimately, an unhealthy smile affects a child (any person, really) on the most basic level. Discomfort such as sensitivity and tooth pain distract from both the pleasures and responsibilities of life.

Royal Dental has multiple offices in which children are treated with friendliness and compassion. Contact us to schedule your family’s care at Royal Dental.

Are you Wondering about your Breath?

Are you Wondering about your Breath? | Royal Dental | Houston TXHave you ever found yourself face to face with an important client, or with a person you like, and wondered “is my breath ok?” Many of us have had this experience. Many of us have had it more often than we’d like to admit. If you take a look at the checkout of any grocery store, you can see that breath is on the minds of most people. Mints and gum may help a little to freshen up, but they may also only partially mask the problem, making it obvious that there is a problem to mask.

How About Another Tactic?

If you would like to stop wondering about your breath and start feeling more confident in your freshness, consider what may be causing the problem.

Is it Hygiene?

Oral hygiene is the very basis of a healthy smile. To brush every day, morning and night, may not be enough to tackle a breath problem. In truth, brushing alone isn’t quite sufficient to keep the mouth optimally healthy. What is needed to minimize the risk of bad breath – and dental problems – is consistency with the following practices:

  • Two-minute brushing sessions morning and night. Two. Minutes.
  • You know that you need to floss. Did you know, though, that flossing cleans a decent percentage of the tooth surfaces in the mouth? If you don’t floss, these hidden surfaces don’t get clean. Without getting directly cleaned by floss, these surfaces in between teeth will accumulate plaque and bacteria, which means odor and much more.
  • Scraping may also be needed. Most people could do with a little tongue-scraping after they brush and floss. To brush the back of the tongue only means that bacterial buildup is slightly disrupted. And where does that bacteria go when you brush it? On your toothbrush. A scraper is much more efficient at eliminating bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Rinsing with water is good, but rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash may be much better. The protection that comes from antimicrobial agents in mouthwash do more than freshen breath; they work to prevent bacteria for a longer period.

Schedule a Consultation

Breath shouldn’t be a hindrance to your confidence. Contact Royal Dental for friendly dental care that keeps your mouth healthy and fresh.

 

Hit the Road, but Remember your Smile!

checkup and cleaning houston tx Summertime just so happens to be one of the best times of a year. Soaring temperatures aside, the months of summer tend to naturally incite this desire to unwind, to get away from it all, to reconnect with our family and friends, and with nature. Doing so often means that we travel, sometimes far away from home. The whole point of summer road trips and flights and campfires and the like is to depart from the norm. At the same time, this disruption to the schedule we are so accustomed to can do some damage to the smile.

Travel-planning Done Right

It’s possible to be mindful of oral care regardless of where the road takes you. Here are a few tips to keep you smiling on a day away, or on that thousand-mile trek from home.

  1. Eat right. It’s interesting how our penchant for potato chips seems to take root on the road. The fact is, it’s easy to pick up fast food or snacks from the market at the gas station when fueling up for the next 300 miles. In the end, bad snacking can lead to plaque buildup and even to erosion. Packing your snack basket of celery, carrots, apples, and other crunchy foods can go a long way at gently cleaning teeth, while also feeding you treats that are truly tasty.
  2. Drink right. Sugary and acidic beverages set the tone for erosion very quickly, and yet these are common summertime drinks. Remember the value of water. Keep a bottle of fresh, non-flavored, non-carbonated water nearby, and sip often. Doing so dilutes residue that could damage teeth and cause inflammation along the gum line. It also supports saliva production, which is necessary for mineralization.
  3. Freshen up. You know that feeling you get about halfway through an hours-long trip, the feeling of wanting to chew the whole pack of gum just to freshen up your breath. That feeling. The dirty mouth feeling. Yuck, right? This is an easy fix. Before your journey, put a kit together with a small toothbrush, a roll of floss, and a travel bottle of mouthwash. This kit may save you on more than one occasion.

The easy breezy schedule of summer is a great time to check in with your dentist. Contact Royal Dental to schedule your checkup and cleaning.

Gearing up for Spring Training? Remember to Protect those Teeth!

oral health houston tx | Royal DentalSpring training is a fun time for parents and kids of all ages. Whether you are the participant, or you are cheering your child on from the sidelines, it is important to know that playing sports comes with certain risks. Of course, you have obtained the appropriate gear to minimize the chance of an injury. But what about tooth enamel? How could playing sports pose a risk of cavities? We’re about to find out.

What does just about every kid ask for during half-time or any other break from a game? Their favorite sports drink, of course! Sports drinks have become popular because they are supposed to supply the athlete with much-needed hydration during times of intense physical activity. The problem is, these beverages deliver much more than the needed electrolytes and carbohydrates. They also have high amounts of sugar, but that’s not the worst of it. It is the high acidity of sports drinks that makes them particularly dangerous to tooth enamel.

Double-Down

Drinking sports drinks to recoup during physical activity could be doubly harmful to your teeth, according to studies. Not only are these drinks made with ingredients that are acidic and sugary, but the mouth is in a more vulnerable state when we are physically active. Saliva slows down, and this means there is less fluid to dilute the sugars and acids in sports drinks (the drink itself doesn’t count, sorry). Without dilution, bacteria in the mouth have fuel in sugars. When bacteria consume sugar residue, these organisms excrete acidic byproduct. This is a vicious cycle that we would be better off avoiding.

Can you Pick and Choose?

Sports drinks are better than soda. This is a common misconception. There is no picking and choosing between these two, nor between energy drinks and soda, or energy drinks and sports drinks. The bottom line is, even if you find one of these beverages in a sugar-free formula, the acid content will still be somewhere around 2.4 to 4.5 regarding pH. The lower on the scale a beverage is, the stronger its acidity. On that note, water has a pH of 7, which is neutral – which is good.

There may be a few ways to reduce risks associated with unhealthy beverages, such as sipping through a straw. However, the best choice is to choose water every time.

Royal Dental offers general, restorative, and cosmetic dental services to help you maintain your smile. Call one of our convenient office locations today.

 

 

Winning the War against Cavities

cavities houston tx | Royal DentalThe war on cavities is one that we start to wage very early in life; in fact, before we know it. Early dental care is one of our priorities at Royal Dental. Working with the parents of young children, we focus on education and demonstration. Children learn as they continue to develop that what they eat will affect the overall health of their teeth. By the time each of us reaches adulthood, we may think that the war against cavities is over. But it may not be.

A prevalence of cavities in adulthood may not always be as easy to understand as one would think. You may be a person who brushes your teeth every day. You may even floss as your dentist recommends. Sugary treats may not be a regular indulgence, and yet, you still encounter cavities more frequently than you should (any cavity is one too many cavities,too). If this happens to you, there is probably one question you would like answered: why?

There are a few hidden triggers that could be instigating your run-ins with cavities.

Trash in the Trenches

Young patients who visit one of the Royal Dental practices may be treated with dental sealants. Sometimes, it is beneficial for adults to consider the value of this preventive treatment, too! The reason dental sealants are applied is because the back teeth have deep grooves in their center. Tiny particles of food can get trapped here, and will attract bacteria to the feast. Thus, plaque buildup occurs. After a thorough cleaning of the grooves, a liquid solution can be applied into the space. When the sealant hardens, it acts as a barrier to prevent debris from collecting.

Total Lockdown

Your saliva glands are an important part of cavity-prevention, not just for keeping the mouth moist and comfortable. Under certain conditions, such as taking some types of medication, the saliva glands may go into lockdown, producing very little fluid. Without adequate flow, the mouth becomes chronically dry, and the chronically dry mouth is one in which cavities are more of a problem. This is because moisture is needed to diminish the strength of acidity, and of sugar residue that may sit on teeth after a meal. While gum can temporarily kick glands into action, it is also important to remember to hydrate by sipping water every few minutes.

We care about your smile and want to help you and your family avoid unnecessary problems like cavities. Schedule your visit at (713) 330-7700.

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