Category Archives: Emergency

3 Red Flags That Your Teeth Are In Trouble

Rows of Red and White ballsI don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a mysterious ache or pain pop up on some occasion, and make them stop and wonder, where the heck did that come from?

Tooth woes can do the same, and it can be confusing to decide whether to ignore them or seek help.

Well, in all honesty, a face to face check up and an x-ray or two are usually needed for a true diagnosis.

But being the tooth whisperer (*chuckle*) that I am, here are some red flags–i.e. the I-can’t-affort-to-let-THIS-get-outta-hand–that require immediate attention:

1. Sensitivity to heat

While it’s not uncommon to get a zinger or two with cold things like ice water or ice-cream, its inconvenient though not often serious. But ooh boy if you get a zinger with your hot coffee or soup, it’s time to take notice.

Heat is a signal, loud and clear, that something is brewing, like a cavity or a root canal-to-be.

2. Lumps or bumps

Notice something new (to you) that wasn’t there before, on your lip, gums or tongue? If it doesn’t go away within a week or so on its own, get it checked.

It may be nothing serious, at least that’s what we hope for. Then again, it could. And there’s only one way to find out–by getting it looked at and possibly biopsied.

‘Biopsy’ may be a scary word, but all it is is getting a sample of your cheek or tongue using a swab or a brush for a closer look. The last thing you want to do is ignore it, and it turn out to be oral cancer.

The same goes for any red or white spots, even if they’re not lumpy or bumpy.

3. Throbbing toothache

A dull and/or throbbing ache almost always is an infection waving to you, Yoo hoo, I’m here!

Left on its own to dilly dally, infection can keep spreading, painful or not. Before long, it can spread far enough to be life-threatening (and yes, an infection from something as small as a tooth can do that).

On a side note, I’ll add that it is perfectly possible to have a cavity, a lump or an infection happily brewing inside your body, and IT NOT HURT.

Then again, neither does dangerously high blood pressure or cholesterol . . . at first.

Out of sight may mean out of mind, but not necessarily out of trouble.

We strongly advocate prevention and oral wellness, but if you have an issue that’s misbehaving, let us know.

Prevention doesn’t just mean not allowing a problem to happen, it also means tackling it early if it does, thus making it able to be treated faster, before it gets painful and with more conservative means, and usually easier on your wallet.

Ditch the red flags and stay out of tooth trouble. Raise the white flags instead, and declare a truce with your teeth 😉

(214) 522-3110        www.raodentistry.com

Have questions? Call or email us via our website, or ask in the comments!

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Filed under Emergency, Oral Cancer, Oral Health, Wellness

Easy Tips to Keep Your Smile Holiday Happy and Healthy

Temps in the 60s. A light sweater. Tamales. Pecan pie.

In other words, Christmas!

That’s how we do it in Texas.

The anticipation builds for months, and for a few days we get together with family and friends to celebrate one of the (if not THE) happiest times of the year.

With much food, drink and merry-ing, you’re bound to use your teeth at some point. Maybe to chew, to smile, perhaps even to open a beer bottle. Don’t smirk…it happens.

Having a dental difficulty is hardly convenient in everyday life, let alone the holiday season. While it helps if you’ve been keeping up with your regular check-ups, it makes good sense to prevent getting into a pickle.

Here are some easy tips to keep your teeth out of holiday hoopla:

From yummy to crummy

Peanut brittle, peppermint bark, toffee chunks–as delicious as they may be, they’re not kind to your teeth, especially if you have a lot of old fillings. These hard treats can chip or break them quite easily. Bite carefully, in small portions and be mindful while chewing.

Floss schmoss

If you’re gonna do the crime, you gotta make the time….to floss. Sugar consumption goes way up during the holidays, and so should your flossing. Don’t skimp on brushing your teeth either.

Glam ’em up

Holiday time means lots of pictures. Don’t be caught with anything less than your brightest smile. Be sure to touch-up your teeth whitening at home a few days before and you can show off your pearlies with confidence. 

Get a handle on these handy tips and any of you city-slickers will enjoy a family hoedown without any tooth trouble on the horizon.

Yee-haw.

Happy Holidays, y’all.

(214) 522-3110         www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Emergency

How to Manage Dental Emergencies on Vacation

Your bags are packed, your neighbor’s watching your dog and here ye go! It’s time to kick back and enjoy your much deserved vacation.

The last thing you need to put a damper on your good mood and a great time is a tooth problem.

Dang it.

I’ve had people call me from the next town to across the country. What do I do because my tooth . . . . ?

No fear, ladies and gents. I’ve slogged, toiled and burned the midnight oil to put together a vacation dental emergency guide so YOU can gallivant gleefully.

For starters, if you’re having any dental issues, get them checked out or at least mention it to your dentist before your departure. Often it’s something simple and easily taken care of, and worth having peace of mind.

Here is a list of the most common dental ailments that might hitch hike with you, and what to do about them.

1. I chipped my tooth!

More crunch in your food that you expected? If you chip a tooth, find a mirror and try to locate it. Sometimes the tooth enamel chips, other times an old filling. Don’t panic. Hi-five yourself if there’s no pain, avoid chewing on that area, and call your dentist as soon as you get back in town.

2. My tooth is sensitive —> here!

If a sip of iced tea makes you curse out loud in front of your in-laws, blame it on a sensitive tooth. Or not.

Sensitivity to cold may indicate that something more than tea is a-brewing, like a cavity. Politely apologize for your outburst (*wink) and make a note to call your dentist asap. Avoid cold drinks/foods, and chew on the other side. Cursing, however, is optional.

3. My (temporary) crown came off!

Who wouldn’t be upset at losing royalty status?

First off, grab the loose crown (“cap”) before you swallow it. If all looks fairly normal, head to the nearest drugstore for some denture adhesive (because stealing from Grandma is wrong). Find a mirror, and try to fit the crown back in. Practice a few times. Dry with cotton, dab on the adhesive, put the crown back on your tooth and bite for 30 seconds. This should get you back to your merry meandering until you get home.

Can’t get to a drugstore? Try some toothpaste. Do NOT head for the super glue.

If the crown doesn’t go in like before, put it in a safe place till your dentist can check it. Also see #1.

4. I have a tooth ache!

Yikes! No way to slice it, this one ain’t fun. If you can tolerate ibuprofen, try that first. If the pain gets progressively worse, chances are it’s an infection and needs attention. Call your dentist (or their emergency number after hours) and describe your symptoms. Most likely your dentist can call in antibiotics at the nearest pharmacy to get it under control. If unavailable, head to an emergency room.

5. My tooth broke!

Ooph. Before you hit the panic button, take a deep breath. Count your blessings if it’s not a front tooth, and the break was painless, if uncomfortable. Avoid chewing on that side and you’ll be able to hang in there if the break was small. If you’re in pain, see #4.

If it does happen to be a front tooth, you may be in deep spit. This is probably an important enough reason to find a local dentist and be seen on an emergency basis, if only for a temporary replacement till you get back in town and see your own.

For international travels, the same rules apply, but I would stress a thorough dental check-up before your trans-oceanic trek.

I will add that I may be enticed to join you should you encounter a dental emergency in any location that has the words “Riviera”, “Tuscany” or “Southern coast” in it.

Yes, really.

Thoughts? Don’t be shy, let me know in the comments!

www.raodentistry.com        (214) 522-3110

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Filed under Emergency, Experience, Wellness