Causes of Toothaches

Causes of Toothaches

Just about everyone has suffered from a toothache at some point. They can cause you pain, headaches, and suffering that interfere with your everyday life.

In most cases, a toothache is caused by a cavity and tooth decay. They’re not the only causes of toothaches though. You can have a toothache even when you don’t have a single cavity.

For you to be better informed, we have created a list of causes of toothaches so you can learn what could be causing yours.

Have a toothache in the Plano, Texas area? Call Dr. Wilhite for Treatment: (972) 964-3774

 

TMJ Pain ReliefCauses of Toothaches

  • Tooth Decay
  • Tooth Abscess
  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Fractures
  • Temperature Sensitivity
  • Damaged Fillings
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Brushing Too Hard
  • Chewing Gum
  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Orthodontic Alignment

 

Tooth Decay

The most common reason for a toothache is tooth decay. Most people know when they have a toothache that it’s likely to be from a cavity. If a the ache begins to change into a sharp pain, the tooth decay may have reached the center of the tooth. This can become very painful and we won’t even have to advise you to see a dentist when it reaches that point – you’ll want to.

 

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess is an infection in or around the root of the tooth which may be painful.  When tooth decay has advanced to the where it is affecting the root beneath the visible tooth, there is a high chance that the root and the surrounding tissue have become infected. This can cause widespread pulsating pain.

 

gum disease fact and statisticsGum Disease

Gum disease is caused by toxins secreted by bacteria in plaque buildup. Gum disease can cause red gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, and over time, result in toothaches.

Related: Gum Disease Treatment

 

Tooth Fractures

A tooth can be cracked or chipped in many differ cracked or chipped in many different ways. Sometimes this can happen and not result in any pain at the time it happens. Over time, the crack or fracture can spread, and enter the middle of the tooth where your nerve endings are. This can result in excruciating pain.

Related: Types of Broken Teeth

 

Temperature Sensitivity

For a variety of reasons, from poor dental care, brushing too hard, or teeth whitening, your tooth enamel can wear down and expose the dentin layer of your teeth over time. If you experience toothaches during or after eating or drinking something that is hot or cold, this may be the cause.

Related: The Causes of Sensitive Teeth

 

Tooth Extraction

Damaged Fillings

Dental fillings cover fractures, pits, and grooves in teeth, protecting sensitive areas of the tooth. If fillings become damaged, it exposes sensitive parts of your teeth to hot and cold temperatures, food, and bacteria. This can result in a toothache.

 

Teeth Grinding

Some people grind their teeth while they’re sleeping or during stressful situations. Teeth grinding (bruxism) can be a common reason for toothaches, as well as tooth, jaw, neck, and TMJ pain and headaches.

Related: Teeth Grinding FAQ

 

Brushing Too Hard

It is fairly common for people to apply to much pressure when brushing or flossing. This result of brushing too hard can cause irritated, inflamed, and bleeding gums. It can also cause gums to recede and can make teeth unstable, causing a toothache.

Related: Teaching Your Children to Brush or Floss

 

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum creates a repetitive motion that is repeated constantly. Over time, this may lead to TMJ Disorder and sometimes toothaches.

 

Misaligned Teeth

Teeth that are misaligned can press against your other teeth, pushing them out of where they should be and cause toothaches.

Related: Clear Invisalign Braces

 

Toothpaste and brush - What is in toothpaste?Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can fester below the gum line and sometimes push against other teeth, causing toothaches and xtreme pain.

 

Orthodontic Alignment

Braces, retainers, and other dental alignment systems are a common cause for oral discomfort and aching pain among teeth.

Related: What are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces?

 


Ready for your dental appointment in the Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your examination. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience helping patients to keep their smiles healthy. He will be able to identify possible issues and recommend further treatments if needed.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped thousands of patients with a wide variety of dental health issues from general to cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign clear braces, TMJ treatment, dental implants and full mouth restorations.


Tips for Making Brushing and Flossing a Habit

Tips for Brushing and Flossing Habit

The most important thing you can do for your dental health is to properly brush and floss your teeth each day.

Not everyone finds it so easy to brush and floss as often as they should though. We believe there’s always a way to make an improvement in your life and take on a new healthy habit.

In this post, we give you some tips that can help make brushing and flossing a habit in your life.

 

How to make brushing and flossing a habit

  • Make it a part of your routine
  • Attach brushing/flossing to existing habits
  • Give yourself a reminder
  • Keep floss in different places
  • Create a reward for yourself
  • Give yourself 21 days to succeed

 

brushing your teeth routineMake it a part of your routine

In order to make your brushing and flossing a habit, you will need to work at making it something that is automatic. This is the hardest part of any new habit. You need to make it so normal that you no longer have to think about it, you just do it because it’s a habit. So how do you make it a habit?

Related: What order do I brush, floss, mouthwash?

Attach brushing/flossing to existing habits

The best way to accomplish making brushing and flossing a new habit is to attach it to existing habits and make it a part of your existing routine.

If you shower every day, then make it a point to add brushing to your routine when you get out of the shower. Or brush right before you leave for work every morning. Make an evening routine for brushing and flossing as well. It might be: change into sleepwear, wash your face and then brush your teeth before grabbing a book to read in bed.

The important thing is that brushing and flossing have a specific time in your routine. Just do the same routine each morning and night and brushing will become natural and easy.

 

Tips for Brushing Your Teeth

 

Post it noteGive yourself a reminder

Try creating a new reminder that will alert you and remind you to brush or floss. Some people use a post-it note. It doesn’t even need to have anything written on it, but you’ll know what it means when you see it in the bathroom mirror.

Others try putting their toothbrush or box of floss out in a new visible spot in the bathroom. You could also set yourself alarms on your mobile phone. Setting up reminders can help you get in the habit of brushing and flossing at the same time each day.

The key to a new habit is changing it from something new to something routine. After a few weeks, you won’t need to set your alarm anymore, you’ll just do it automatically.

Related: Is gum disease reversible?

Floss

Keep floss in different places

Get yourself some extra packages of floss and keep them in places other than the bathroom. Maybe one roll in your glove compartment, one in your workout bag, and one in your bag or purse. When you’re starting out trying to get a new habit going, it might be helpful to have floss around in case you forget at home.

 

Create a reward for yourself

Sometimes a little bribery works in helping to get a new habit established. If you have a favorite TV program to watch every night after dinner, then let that become a reward for brushing. Don’t let yourself watch it until you’ve brushed and flossed. Another good thing is that this helps you establish a new habit that becomes automatic. You eat dinner, you brush and floss and then you watch TV. After a few weeks, it starts to become very normal and easy to do.

With some creativity, you can establish other rewards for yourself. The idea is just to find one that works. Maybe some time on Facebook becomes your reward for flossing. Maybe you give yourself a dessert after dinner only if you brushed or flossed the night before. You can put money in a jar to save for a present for yourself. If you’re brushing and flossing, you really will be saving yourself money on dental work, so maybe spend that money on yourself instead.

Related: Causes of Sensitive Teeth

21 days to new habitGive yourself 21 days to succeed (at least)

It takes more than willpower to create a new habit. You need to do the new habit enough times that it becomes automatic, and not something you have to think about.

Popular psychology websites and advice columns routinely say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Research has shown that that is sometimes true. Sometimes it takes even longer.

It will take some commitment on your part no matter how long it takes. Just understand that flossing every day, or any other new years resolution is not going to happen just because you want it to. It’s going to take work to establish a new habit and routine.

 


Ready for your dental appointment in the Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your examination. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience helping patients to keep their smiles healthy. He will be able to identify possible issues and recommend further treatments if needed.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Dentist in Plano, Texas who has helped thousands of patients with a wide variety of dental health issues from general to cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign clear bracesTMJ treatmentdental implants and full mouth restorations.


Holiday Dental Tips for Kids

Holiday Dental TipsDental health is important at every time of the year, all through your life. For kids, it’s important that we establish good dental habits.

During the holiday season though, your kid’s dental health will be put to the test. Snack trays, sweets, pastries and sugary temptations will be everywhere. Well-meaning grownups and grandparents will be more than happy to fill them up with treats.

We want to make sure your children stay healthy during the holidays and don’t head into their next appointment with new cavities.

In order to help, we’re going to share some holiday dental tips for kids provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Read the tips below to keep your kids healthy.

 

Healthy Habits to keep your kids smiling through the holidays and into the new year.

The holiday season is always a busy time, especially for families. With kids out of school, a steady stream of festivities and a new year to plan for, the rhythm of everyday life gets put on hold. And sometimes that means good oral health routines and habits go out the window too.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) wants to remind parents and caregivers that the holiday break is a great time to help your kids establish and maintain healthy dental habits. This includes good brushing, flossing and eating habits that are essential for healthy teeth.

  • The AAPDS recommends that a child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist should be by the AGE OF ONE or when the FIRST TOOTH APPEARS. Regular check-ups should occur every SIX MONTHS.
  • Parents should help their children brush their teeth TWICE DAILY – after breakfast and before bedtime are ideal. It’s recommended that parents/caregivers supervise the brushing for school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.
  • The BEST TOOTHBRUSHES for children have soft, round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. The handle should be proportionate to the size of the child’s hand.
  • Parents can begin FLOSSING for their children when two teeth are touching. Children can begin flossing on their own around age 7.
  • Look for FLOURIDE TOOTHPASTE with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
  • Sugary candy, food, and drinks are part of the holidays. With this, the risk of cavities and poor dental health also increases. Parents should try to moderate sugar intake, and WATCH OUT FOR CARBONATED DRINKS, which actually erode teeth more than sweetened drinks.
  • Keep an eye on on snacking – ideally, children should have NO MORE THAN THREE SNACK TIMES a day.
  • COOKED STARCHES CAN LEAD TO CAVITIES just as sugars can. In fact, cooked starches such as bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips frequently take longer to clear the mouth than sugars.
  • LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE by checking labels and buying sugar-free varieties of food options, if available.
  • CHEESES such as aged cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella and Monterey Jack are great as a snack or to eat after a meal because they clear the mouth of food and neutralize the acids that attack teeth.

This story originally appeared on The Mouth Monsters

Healthy Habits at the Holidays Infographic

We hope that you will take these recommendations into consideration for your own children during the holiday season. We want to help parents establish good dental health habits for children so they get a good foundation for health as adults.


Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in children’s pediatric dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with children’s dental carethumb sucking and pacifier usedental fears in children and baby dental care.

Keep your child smiling now and in the future!

Contact us online or call us today at (972) 964-3774


The Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity affects around 1 in 8 adults in the United States. Sensitive teeth can cause pain for people when they drink hot or cold foods and beverages.

In the most basic sense, tooth sensitivity is caused by the outer layer of enamel being worn away from the tooth, exposing the second layer of the tooth, known as the dentin.

That is a basic explanation, but what causes the outer layer of enamel to wear away from your teeth? In this post, we will list some of the root causes of sensitive teeth.

TMJ Pain ReliefCauses of tooth sensitivity

  • Brushing your teeth too hard
  • Using a toothbrush with hard, stiff bristles
  • Overuse of acidic mouthwash
  • Eating too many acidic foods
  • Using a tooth whitening toothpaste
  • Performing tooth whitening at home
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Recent dental work
  • Gum disease
  • Excessive plaque
  • A cracked tooth
  • Tooth decay

Using a toothbrush with hard, stiff bristles

Brushing too hard with a very stiff toothbrush can wear away your tooth enamel over time. It can even cause your gums can pull away from tooth roots. It is not necessary to brush your teeth so hard. Gently brushing your teeth is effective enough and won’t damage your enamel

Related: Teaching your children to brush and floss

Overuse of acidic mouthwash

Sometimes people can be too enthusiastic about using mouthwash. Some mouthwashes and rinses may contain alcohol and acidic compounds that can make already-sensitive teeth worse.Try limiting your rinsing to once or twice a day or skip the mouthwash and be better about flossing instead.

Related: What order do I brush, floss and mouthwash?

Worst Foods for your TeethEating too many acidic foods

Eating too many acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices can wear away at your enamel. Besides cutting down on the amount of them you consume, you can try cutting the acid in your mouth with a piece of cheese or glass of milk after eating.

Related: Worst foods for your teeth

Using a tooth whitening toothpaste

Many special teeth whitening kinds of toothpaste can have chemicals that may cause sensitivity in people. You may need to switch to one without whitening agents or ask your dentist for a recommendation.

Related: Myths about white teeth

Performing tooth whitening at home

Home tooth whiteners and with peroxide-based ingredients may cause sensitive teeth. This can go away when you discontinue use.

Related: How does tooth whitening work?

Grinding your teeth

Over time, grinding or clenching your teeth can wear down your outer layer of enamel, causing tooth sensitivity.

Related: Teeth grinding

Receding gums

The roots of your teeth are usually covered by a layer of gum tissue. If you have periodontal disease, the gums can begin to recede away from the root of the tooth and expose the sensitive part of your teeth, resulting in a sensitivity to temperatures.

Related: Periodontal gum disease treatment

David Wilhite Plano Dentist

Recent dental work

Teeth cleanings, replacement crowns, tooth restorations, and root planing can all cause tooth sensitivity. These should only be temporary until your teeth have had time to recover. If it doesn’t go away, call your dentist to make sure there is not an infection.

Contact us for an appointment to keep your smile healthy

Gum disease

Gingivitis or periodontitis can cause tooth sensitivity. Visit your dentist for gum disease treatment.

Related: What are gum disease treatment options

Excessive plaque

An excessive buildup of plaque can cause tooth enamel to wear away and expose the sensitive dentin or roots. This can be caused by not brushing and flossing as you should or getting regular teeth cleanings from your dentist.

Related: Is gum disease reversible?

Types of broken teethA cracked tooth

A chipped or cracked tooth may cause tooth sensitivity. A cracked tooth can happen from chewing on ice, eating hard candy or wear and tear.

Related: Different types of broken teeth

Tooth decay

Tooth decay and cavities can result in your roots or other sensitive parts of your teeth to be exposed. See your dentist to get your decayed teeth treated.

Related: How to treat thinning tooth enamel

There may be options to help ease your sensitive teeth. Contact your dentist today!


Ready for your dental appointment in the Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your examination. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience helping patients to keep their smiles healthy. He will be able to identify possible issues and recommend further treatments if needed.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped thousands of patients with a wide variety of dental health issues from general to cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign clear bracesTMJ treatmentdental implants and full mouth restorations.


Why We Recommend Oral Cancer Screenings

Why We Recommend Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer affects over 200,000 Americans every year. Among these people include members of our community, including some of our own patients.

We consider our patients to be friends and family and we want you to live healthy and happy lives.

This is why we are excited to be able to offer Oral Cancer Screening in Plano, TX using the latest technology to our patients and community.

We have offered oral cancer screenings at yearly exam visits for over 20 years now. The challenge has always been to be able to detect oral cancer fast enough. Oral cancer can grow at a rapid rate. The earlier the detection, the better the likelihood of a successful treatment.

Today, we use a proven, optically based method of detection called, “fluorescence technology.” The fluorescence technology of the OralID examination light uses a blue light to aid the doctor in the visualization of oral cancer, pre-cancer, and other abnormal lesions.

Using this cancer screening tool, we can now detect oral cancer and pre-cancer earlier than we ever could using previous methods. As we mentioned already, it is critical to identify issues as soon as possible in order to have a successful treatment.

The procedure is simple, painless, fast, affordable and proven to save lives.

We recommend performing this screening every 6 months at your regular dental exam visit. This gives you and your doctor the best opportunity for early detection.

While it is possible to get cancer at any age, we advise anyone from age 17 and up to take advantage of this life-saving exam.


Ready to schedule your oral cancer screening in Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your examination. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can detect oral cancer issues. He will be able to identify possible issues and recommend further treatments if needed.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped thousands of patients with a wide variety of dental health issues from general to cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign clear braces, TMJ treatment, dental implants and full mouth restorations.


Different Types of Broken Teeth

Types of broken teeth

OUCH! Are you suffering from a broken tooth? There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks that require different treatments:

Minor Cracks – Also called “craze lines,” these are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks rarely need treatment. However, your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.

Cracked Tooth – This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces remain in place, but the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material. The tooth often will need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues) is damaged, you may need a root canal as well.

Chips – Minor chips don’t always need treatment. Your dentist may suggest repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse or to make the tooth look and feel better. If the chip is very small, the dentist may polish and smooth out the chipped area.

Broken Cusp – These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of the teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. Your dentist may repair the damage to restore the tooth’s shape. Frequently, however, an onlay or crown will be required.

Related: Six Issues Porcelain Veneers Can Fix

Serious Breaks – These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal treatment to remove the exposed nerve and probably a crown to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly.

TMJ Pain ReliefSplit Tooth – This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your back teeth (molars), have more than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be covered with a crown. First, you will need root canal treatment. Second, the dentist will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third, you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. In some cases, when a root cannot be saved, the tooth will have to be removed.

Relate: Worst foods for your teeth

Vertical Breaks or Split Root – These cracks start in the root of the tooth and extend upward toward the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area around the root may be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth will have to be removed.

Decay-Induced Break – In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. Your dentist will evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, if the decay is extensive and goes down to the bone, the tooth may have to be removed.

We hope that this article helps you if you are dealing with a broken or cracked tooth. We recommend you visit a dentist as soon as possible so they can help you and work to prevent further issues in the future.

Related: Broken Tooth – What do I do?


Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774