In Case of a Dental Emergency, Read This Blog

dental emergencyThe last thing anyone ever wants to deal with is a dental emergency. Dental emergencies, like any type of unexpected issue, can be scary, painful, and even confusing as to how to handle them. At our dental office in Boulder, we want to help our patients and neighbors understand different types of dental emergencies and what to do if any happen to them.

Common Dental Emergencies & What to Do

Before we talk about what you can do at home in case of a dental emergency, there’s one thing you should always do first. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call your dentist in Boulder as soon as you can.

If you can’t get in to see your dentist immediately, try some of the tips to relieve some of the most common dental emergencies:

  • Knocked Out Tooth – A knocked out tooth has a higher chance of being saved if it’s put back into the socket within an hour, so it’s important to act as quickly as you can. After you find the tooth, only touch the crown (the white part). Contact with the roots can cause even more damage. Try putting it back into the socket without using too much force. If you can’t, put the tooth in milk or store it under your tongue with some spit and get to a dentist.
  • Lost Filling – Losing a filling can be painful and the best thing you can do is get something into the hole. Head to a drugstore to buy over-the-counter dental cement and pack the area where the filling used to be. If you can’t find dental cement, sugarless gum is another temporary option. Whatever you do, don’t use anything with sugar, it’ll make the pain worse.
  • Chipped or Broken Tooth – Find any piece of the tooth that you can and rinse them with water. You should also give your mouth a good rinse as well. Stop any bleeding by applying pressure with a piece of gauze and use a cold compress to reduce pain.

Avoid a Problem

The best way to avoid a problem is to prevent a problem. How? We’re glad you asked! First, make sure you’re maintaining regular visits with your dentist in Boulder at least twice a year. Regular appointments can help catch any problems before they become an annoying, and possibly painful, emergency. Next, be aware of things that may lead to an issue. For example, popcorn, sticky foods, and hard, crunchy snacks are notorious culprits of dental emergencies. Avoiding them can reduce your risk of a dental problem.

If you’re looking for a new dentist, are experiencing a dental emergency, or are new to the area, we welcome you to make an appointment at our Boulder dental office. We’re here to keep smiles healthy and help those experiencing an emergency get relief.

Welcoming patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette

How a Dentist Becomes a Dentist

become a dentistAt our dental office in Boulder, it’s no secret to our patients that we really love our jobs. Dentistry isn’t only rewarding because we get to boost people’s confidence and get them smiling again after smile transformations, but also because we help keep people healthy. To us, dentistry is one of the best careers out there. But how does a dentist become a dentist? Let’s check it out.

The Basics

Before someone considers a career as a dentist, they should examine some of their interests and characteristics to ensure they’re compatible with what’s necessary for the job. For instance, dentistry is highly scientific, and the required courses dentists-to-be need to take are mainly science related. Because of this, someone thinking about dentistry as a career should have an interest and excel at science. Additionally, since a dentist’s main job is to monitor oral health,  and then determine and perform proper treatment if there’s ever a problem, one considering becoming a dentist should care about the health of others and have a desire to help.

The Schooling

Dentists complete, at a minimum, eight years of school and need to pass some exams before they can fulfill all the steps necessary to become a dentist. We’ve detailed them below.

  • Finish a Bachelor’s Degree. While a Bachelor’s is usually required prior to getting into dental school, the undergraduate degree can be in anything. However, it’d be wise to explore science-related degrees or classes such as biology, physiology, and chemistry to get a head start.
  • Take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). Taking this exam, and scoring well on it, is required before applying to dental school.
  • Complete a Dental Degree. Whether it’s a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD), a dental degree will require at least another four years of schooling.
  • Pass Your Boards. All states require dentists to pass the National Board Dental Examinations before practicing dentistry. Other requirements may be necessary and vary by state.

The Job Market

Nobody wants to prepare for a career where there are no jobs available. Thankfully, dentistry isn’t one of those occupations. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 18% job growth for dentists through 2024 — more than twice the average growth rate for other jobs.

At our Boulder dental office, we would encourage anyone with an interest in our field to explore what it takes to become a dentist and what the job could look like in more detail, and if it sounds like a good fit, to take the plunge and become one.

Accepting patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and beyond. 

Top 7 Ways to Show Your Smile Some Love

love your smileAt our dental office in Boulder, we love helping our patients get a smile they’re proud of. But visits to our office twice a year are only part of what you can do to make sure you’re showing your smile the love it needs to stay healthy. If you want to get and maintain a smile you’re happy with, check out the top 7 ways to care for your smile.

  • Brush, brush, brush. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we have to say it. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mouth free of decay causing bacteria.  
  • Floss everyday. We get asked often if flossing is really that important. The short answer: Yes! If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35% of each tooth. Food particles and bacteria love to hide in between teeth, and you don’t floss, it’s left there and can lead to cavities.  
  • Kick the tobacco habit. About 80% of those with oral cancer use tobacco. Whether it’s chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes, if you want to keep your mouth healthy, you should try to quit.
  • Ease up on dark-colored drinks. We’re talking about drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine. These colorful beverages can stain teeth. Usually a professional whitening can reverse that, but other times, the staining seeps into the enamel requiring a more advanced cosmetic dentistry treatment to mask it.
  • Drink more water. If we could have our patients drink only one thing, it’d be water. Not only is it free of sugars and coloring, it helps neutralize acid that contributes to cavities.
  • Resolve dental problems early and quickly. If you suspect a dental problem, don’t let it go, especially if you’re in pain. Early resolution of many dental concerns can reduce the likelihood that you’ll need more advanced treatment or that a more serious issue will arise.
  • See your dentist in Boulder twice a year. Ok we already covered the importance of this one, but it’s worth repeating. Getting a dental cleaning and checkup every six months is the best way to ensure no serious problems are creeping up and to remove plaque build up.

If you’re looking for a dentist, have a dental concern, or you’d like to talk about other ways to get a smile you love, schedule an appointment at our Boulder dental office today.

Accepting patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and beyond. 

Celebrate Heart Health Month with Your Boulder Dentist

heart healthIt’s not uncommon for the month of February to be full of hearts — candy hearts, heart shaped boxes of chocolate, and a whole host of other gifts given in the name of love. At our Boulder dental office, we’re all for celebrating love, but this February, we’d like our patients to pay attention to a different kind of heart — the one inside you — and ways to keep it healthy.

Fast Facts on Heart Disease

February is recognized as Heart Health Month and is used to raise awareness of the seriousness and widespread occurrence of heart disease in America. Here are some important facts you should know about heart disease.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds
  • Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event
  • You can decrease your risk of heart disease by making lifestyle changes

The Effect of Oral Health on Heart Health

Why should you take heart health advice from a dentist? Isn’t that what a cardiologist is for? Well, yes, a cardiologist is the best person to help diagnose and treat any heart problems you may have. However, your Boulder dentist can be a crucial part of your health care team.

In recent years, there have been numerous studies that show a clear link between gum health and heart health. In fact, gum disease doubles a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke. But how?

Your gums are like a portal to your bloodstream. An infection in your gums means that the infection can easily enter your bloodstream. When there is infection in your blood, your body reacts. The liver begins to produce certain proteins such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and these proteins lead to all kinds of problems including:

  • Inflamed arteries
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes

How Can You Minimize Your Risk?

There are ways to decrease your chance of gum disease and the overall health concerns associated with it. Start with maintaining regular visits to our dental office in Boulder. In between appointments, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss everyday, and avoid tobacco products. Proper dental care can, in fact, save your life.
Accepting patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and beyond. 

What Causes Bad Breath?

bad breathHalitosis, also known as bad breath, is a common issue that affects nearly 80 million Americans. It’s a serious problem that doesn’t only affect your oral health, but can directly impact your personal life as well. Don’t worry, your dentist in Boulder is here to help.

Dry Mouth

Your mouth needs an adequate saliva supply to keep itself healthy. Essentially, it helps wash away bacteria and neutralize acid that can lead to decay and cavities. Without it, bacteria are left to linger around and cause all sorts of problems, including bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by numerous things including some medications or mouth breathing.

Foods

Although fragrant foods don’t tend to be a serious, long-lasting problem, they are a cause of bad breath. The typical culprits like your morning cup of coffee, a garlicky pasta sauce, or a tasty onion-packed sandwich can sometimes leave an after-smell in your mouth, even after you brush and floss.

Poor Dental Hygiene

When someone doesn’t follow a proper at-home oral health routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, the chance of odor causing bacteria sticking around and creating an unpleasant stench increases. Not to mention, poor dental hygiene can lead to more problems like cavities, the need for root canal treatment, discoloration, or even tooth loss.

A Whole-Body Problem

While bad breath may seem like a small yet embarrassing issue, it may be a sign that something more serious is happening somewhere else in the body. Bad breath has been linked to:

  • Gum disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Diabetes

This is why the team at my Boulder dental office encourages anyone suffering from chronic bad breath to see their dentist as soon as possible.

If you’re worried about bad breath, or it’s just time to see a dentist, we welcome you to call my dental office in Boulder to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to see you and discuss any dental concern you may have.

Accepting patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette

“Why Do I Keep Biting My Tongue At Night?”

biting tongueEveryone enjoys getting a solid night’s sleep. It not only feels great… it also provides some valuable health benefits, too. But sometime, sleep can be interrupted by any number of things — a snoring partner, a sick child, or even from biting your own tongue. If this last item happens to you frequently, my dental office in Boulder encourages you to find out why. We’re here to help.

Common Causes

Nighttime tongue biting is actually pretty common, but it can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. What’s more, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on. The top reasons someone may experience tongue biting during sleep include:  

  • Nighttime seizures
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Rhythmic movement disorder

Let’s take a closer look at each cause and potential treatment.

Nighttime Seizures

Seizures are usually categorized by a tightening of muscles accompanied by violent twitching. Involuntarily biting of the tongue is also one of the main indicators of seizures. But the symptoms aren’t always so noticeable, and sometimes there are no daytime signs and rather only occur during sleep. Treatment: Using a seizure medication can help prevent seizures and, in turn, tongue biting.

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

This disorder causes individuals to experience jerks or sudden movements during sleep, usually in the head or neck. Typically more common in children, sometimes rhythmic movement disorder can appear as head banging and may result in injuries to the eyes, brain, and yes, tongue. Treatment: The good news is rhythmic movement disorder in children tends to go away on its own. If not, medication may be recommended.

Grinding Your Teeth

Nighttime bruxism, also known as grinding your teeth, is fairly common but can cause someone to bite their tongue unwillingly. Teeth grinding may also create additional dental problems like chips and cracks. Treatment: A bruxism night guard can protect teeth from grinding against each other, as well as the tongue from being bitten

If you suffer from frequent nighttime tongue biting, talk with your dentist in Boulder to determine if grinding your teeth may the cause and to discuss the best treatment for your specific needs. My Boulder dental office also encourages you to see your physician if another culprit is suspected.

Accepting patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette

Top 4 Causes of Dry Mouth

dry mouthDry mouth is an uncomfortable feeling that all of us experience occasionally. But living with a chronically dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s unhealthy too. At my Boulder dental office, we wanted to examine the top causes of dry mouth, why it’s so concerning, and ways to combat it for healthy, happy mouth.

Why Is Dry Mouth Concerning?

When the mouth is dry, it means your body isn’t producing enough saliva to keep it moist. Saliva is crucial for oral health has many jobs. It helps wash away food particles, neutralizes acids, and even kills bacteria. Without it, you’re at increased risk for things like tooth decay and infections in the mouth.

Top Causes of Dry Mouth

  • Medications. Many medications can contribute to dry mouth, hundreds in fact. Most commonly, these medicines are those used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, and cancer. Look at the label on your medications to see if dry mouth may be a side effect.
  • Diseases & Medical Conditions. Dry mouth could also be caused by another health problems including, but not limited to, Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.
  • Smoking & Drinking. Both smoking and drinking alcohol can have a drying effect on the mouth.
  • Mouth Breathing. If the mouth is opened for prolonged periods of time, the constant exposure to air dries out the mouth.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Cracked, dry lips
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Dry throat or tongue
  • Bad breath

How to Combat Dry Mouth

Treatment of dry mouth can vary from person to person, depending on their own individual reason for having dry mouth. Some ways you can help stop dry mouth include:

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate salivary glands
  • Speak with your dentist in Boulder

If you’ve been suffering from dry mouth, or believe it may be a problem, give my dental office in Boulder a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll evaluate your symptoms and talk about the possible cause. Then together, we’ll determine the best treatment for you.

Welcoming patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and beyond. 

Does Oil Pulling Actually Work?

oilBy now you’ve probably at least heard of oil pulling, but perhaps you’re unsure as to what exactly it is, how it’s supposed to help your oral health, and if it actually works. Don’t worry, my dental office in Boulder is here to help. We’ve looked into the now popular technique and we’ve got some good, and not so good, news regarding the latest oral health trend.

Where Did Oil Pulling Come From?

First thing’s first, we need to talk about what oil pulling is and where it came from. While it may seem like a fairly new trend that popped up over the past couple of years, oil pulling is actually a technique that’s over 3,000 years old. Originally founded in Ayurvedic medicine — a holistic approach to medical care, oil pulling claims to help not only oral health, but lists several other whole-body benefits as well. For the sake of this blog, we’re going to focus on the oral benefits.

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is a pretty simple technique, but requires some time and a commitment. All you need is some liquid vegetable oil, usually coconut oil is used, and 20 minutes. Simply take about a tablespoon of the oil and swish it around in your mouth, pushing and pulling through the teeth, for 20 minutes. Then just spit it out and rinse with water. Repeat daily.

What Does Oil Pulling Do For Oral Health?

There are several supported oral health benefits to oil pulling including:

Does It Work?

Using oil pulling can help in some areas of oral health, but not all. For example, regular oil pulling can remove some surface stains and whiten teeth, even if just a little bit. It can also be used post-brushing instead of mouthwash for boost in fresh breath. Oil pulling can even reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth, but that’s about where the benefits stop. Oil pulling 20 minutes daily doesn’t remove enough plaque to fight against gum disease or help protect cavities, and shouldn’t be used as an alternative to brushing, flossing, and visits with your Boulder dentist.

In short, more research needs to be done in order to fully understand the possible benefits of oil pulling. Until then, keep brushing and flossing every day and remember to visit my Boulder dental office twice a year. Maintain those important steps and your mouth will stay healthy.

Accepting new patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and beyond. 

“Is My Dentist Happy to See Me?”

happyPart of what makes being a dentist so rewarding and enjoyable is getting to know patients and their smiles. At my Boulder dental office, my team and I always like to take the time to help without making anyone feel rushed or uncomfortable. I am truly happy to see each and every one of my patients, every day. Here’s why:

  1. We’re Preventing Problems, Together

My patients know the importance of maintaining great oral health thanks to regular cleanings and checkups. They also understand the power of prevention, to make sure pesky problems like cavities, gum disease, and root canals don’t happen. It’s a win-win situation that makes everyone smile!

  1. We’re Keeping Gums, Teeth, and Your Entire Body Healthy

Gum disease can be damaging to not only teeth, but studies show it may be connected to other problems in other parts of our bodies that can affect overall health. I enjoy seeing my patients’ healthy gums and knowing they’re free of disease. I want only the very best for their smile and the rest of their body too.

  1. We’re Working Together As A Team

Building long-lasting relationships with patients is a main priority for me, but it’s also something I strive to do with my staff too. I care as much about my patients as I do my team. When we are happy and working well together, we can provide patients the very best dental care possible.

  1. We’re Making Patients Feel Comfortable

Your dentist in Boulder understands that a trip to the dental office usually isn’t on the list of things people are most excited to do. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be unnerving. It makes me so happy to help put a nervous patient at ease. I want to see them smile, and I truly enjoy going out of my way to do so!

  1. We Love Making People Smile

Any dentist will tell you, one of the best things about what we do is helping a patient really get to love and be proud of their smile. It’s gratifying to see them speak and smile with confidence.

At my Boulder dental office, my team and I never grow tired of helping, treating, and seeing healthy teeth. Our patients truly make what we do enjoyable and gratifying. If you or someone in your family is in need of a checkup, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to see you!

Welcoming patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and beyond.

Foods For Dentures: What to Try, What to Avoid

denturesWith the holidays just around the corner, there are going to be tempting foods and beverages hitting the dinner table and gracing party spreads. This can pose a real challenge with patients who rely on full or partial dentures. My Boulder dental office knows that some foods (no matter how tempting) just don’t mesh well with dentures, and we try to get patients to steer clear of them to avoid possible pain or discomfort. We ask denture patients to try and keep these things in mind when deciding what snacks you’re going to have.

What to Try

  • Decaffeinated Coffee: We know this is easier said than done. But drinking large amounts of the caffeinated stuff can lead to less saliva production, which means a dry mouth. Denture wearers want to ensure their mouths are moist whenever possible to avoid pain from possible friction.
  • Sugar-Free Gum: Sweet treats don’t have to be completely off the table if you wear dentures. Just reach for a more denture-friendly alternative such as sugar-free gum. There’s are even kinds specifically made for people with dentures.
  • Olives, Grapes, Etc.: Soft-textured, healthy snacks like pitted olives are good for your heart and won’t get stuck in dentures. You can also try seedless berries and grapes!

Your dentist in Boulder knows it’s not always easy to have denture-friendly snacks and beverages on hand, especially if you’re traveling for the holidays. Here are a few foods it’s best to avoid or limit.

What to Avoid

  • Nuts: These delicious treats can be tricky to eat when you have dentures. Pieces of nuts can get stuck in full and partial dentures causing discomfort.
  • Seeds: Just like nuts, seeds also tend to get stuck and lodged in uncomfortable places. Try opting for some whole grain breads where the grains are baked inside.
  • Steak: Chewy steak is tough to break down with dentures. Biting into steak and other tough foods can make dentures unstable, causing them to dislodge. They can also lead to sore spots.

The team at my dental office in Boulder wants you to be comfortable living with dentures. It’s just a matter of taking the time to make them work for your and your lifestyle. Sometimes accidents happen and problems are unavoidable, but watching out for troublesome foods and drinks can be a big help to avoid any issues. If you have any questions about denture care, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Accepting patients from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and the surrounding areas.


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