5 Causes of Tooth Discoloration

woman wearing a hoodie smoking a cigarette

You know that taking good care of your teeth is all about keeping good habits. But what about bad habits? There may be ways that you’re sabotaging your oral health without even realizing it. Several habits can lead to problems like discoloration that can be hard to treat or reverse. Here are a few habits that you should avoid if you want to maintain bright, white teeth.

1. Using Tobacco Products

Smoking and using chewing tobacco is a quick way to stain teeth and cause discoloration. These products contain particles that will stick to the teeth and create a brownish hue. Not only that, cigarettes and tobacco products can cause oral and lung cancers. We recommend quitting as soon as possible if you use these.

2. Staining Beverages

Coffee, tea, and wine are some of the most popular beverages consumed by American adults. The problem is that they can also cause a lot of extrinsic staining on your teeth. That means that the dark tint these drinks create stay on the enamel, or outer layer of the teeth. If you’re not ready to give up your favorite morning or evening drink, try drinking them through a straw. This will reduce the chances of staining. When you do drink coffee, wine, and tea, be sure to drink plenty of water to rinse and brush teeth after if possible.

3. Abrasive Tooth Cleaning Products

“Natural” whitening products like charcoal toothpaste, baking soda, or fruit can create irreversible staining by eroding the enamel of the teeth. Unlike extrinsic staining, this type of staining is harder to fix. We recommend avoiding these types of products for tooth cleaning. If you’re interested in having your teeth whitened, let us know. We are happy to talk to you about professional whitening.

4. Bad Brushing Technique

Forgetting to brush or not brushing correctly is a surefire way to stain teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each day. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush. Many people brush their teeth too hard. This can also lead to enamel erosion and staining that’s difficult to correct. Brush gently and in circular motions.

5. Ditching the Dentist

Not prioritizing your biannual dental appointments will not only contribute to discoloration and staining, but it will also increase your chances of developing cavities, plaque and gingivitis. Coming in for regular cleanings is necessary for a bright, healthy smile.

Interested in Whitening Options?

Call today if it’s time to set up a checkup. Let us know at your appointment if you’re interested in whitening options for your teeth. We have solutions to help you achieve your brightest smile!

Want to avoid tooth discoloration?


Toothache Pain Relief Options

Brunette woman cringes in pain and touches her cheek due to a toothache

Toothaches can happen for a variety of reasons. If you’ve ever had a severe toothache, you know how much they can affect your ability to function. Trouble eating, sleeping, brushing teeth, or even concentrating can be side effects of a toothache.

A severe toothache is considered a dental emergency because it could signify a deeper issue, like advanced decay or an abscess. Call our office if you’re suffering from new or worsened tooth pain. Additionally, there are a few ways you can manage your pain from home until we see you.

1. Use A Cold Compress

If your toothache is so bad that it feels as though it’s radiating from your cheek and face, use a cold compress for some quick relief. Soak washcloths or dishrags in cool water and place them in the fridge. Switch them out intermittently as they begin to become warm on your face. Doing this will help reduce pain and swelling.

2. Take Over-The-Counter Medication

Anti-inflammatory pain medication is available at your local drugstore and can bring fast relief and help to reduce swelling. Ibuprofen and aspirin are the best options until we can see you. If you need a stronger medication, call us first. Do not take a friend or family member’s prescribed pain killer.

3. Eat Soft Foods

Avoid hard, hot, and cold foods until your problem is addressed. Applesauce, scrambled eggs, low-sugar yogurt, purees, and other soft foods are best to help you not aggravate the area in pain.

4. Be Gentle While Brushing & Flossing

Brush gently around the area in pain and try to not place too much pressure on it. A few times a day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water to cleanse and reduce pain.

Toothache Treatment in Elk Grove, CA

We’re so sorry if you’re experiencing dental pain! Rest assured, there is a solution and we can help you find it. So please don’t delay calling us if you have a toothache.

Tooth pain driving you crazy?


Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy

Brunette man with facial hair in a gray shirt strokes his chin while wondering if he needs root canal therapy

For some, just hearing that you might need root canal therapy is enough to cause a toothache. But how do you know that you may need to get one? Here are some of the warning signs to look out for.

Why Would I Need Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal therapy is required when the pulp, the innermost soft layer of a tooth, becomes damaged or infected. The cause of this could be advanced decay or even serious trauma to the tooth such as a bad chip, break, or a bad crown. Additionally, if you’ve had a lot of dental work done around the tooth, it might have sustained enough damage to require root canal treatment.

How Do I Know If I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Common warning signs that indicate you need root canal treatment include severe and throbbing pain (especially when you apply pressure on the tooth), your tooth becoming darker, extreme sensitivity, and swelling around the tooth.

The Root Canal Therapy Procedure

After we have determined that you require root canal therapy, we will first numb the area around your tooth so you won’t feel any pain during your procedure. We will then remove the infected pulp from your tooth and clean out the canals to remove all traces of infection and damage from the area. After the tooth is cleaned out and free of infection, we’ll fill the canals with a special material called gutta-percha to strengthen the tooth and ward off future infection. Then, the area will be fortified with a filling or dental crown, depending on the extent of the damage.

How to Prevent Root Canal Therapy

In order to prevent root canal treatment, it is important to maintain exceptional oral health habits. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss daily, brush your tongue every day, stay hydrated with water, chew only sugar-free gum, consume a balanced diet, and come visit our Villa Vista Dental team for cleanings and exams twice a year, even if your teeth seem perfectly healthy.

Don’t Delay Receiving Treatment

If you are feeling pain, sensitivity, or discomfort, don’t wait to see a dentist. It’s better to catch things as early as possible to prevent further damage.

Schedule a checkup today!


Abscessed Tooth Symptoms & Treatments

Brunette man cringes in pain and touches his cheek due to an untreated abscess

Tooth abscesses can be debilitating painful and are almost always an indication of a more serious underlying issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Here’s how you can tell if you have an abscessed tooth and how you can properly treat it.

Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that is due to a bacterial infection. Abscesses can either occur at the tip of the tooth root or on the gums beside the tooth root.

Abscesses are caused by injury due to prior dental work or advanced decay. Signs of an abscess include severe pain that can radiate, sensitivity to temperature or pressure, fever, swelling, foul smell or taste in your mouth, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Abscess Treatment

If you suspect that you have an abscess, you must seek treatment from a dentist right away. They will take an X-ray and conduct any other necessary tests to confirm that you have an abscess, and then develop a course of action from there. Usually, they will drain the abscess, and may have to perform a root canal (if you have infected pulp) or pull the infected tooth entirely. You will also have to take antibiotics in order to kill off any of the bad bacteria that have collected in your mouth over time. You may also be prescribed painkillers and be required to rinse your mouth with warm salt water to reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.

Preventing a Tooth Abscess

In most cases, abscesses are due to neglect and lack of proper dental hygiene. To avoid an abscess, you should be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice a day to maintain good oral health. Seeing your dentist regularly is also a good way to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong.

If you believe you have an abscess and require treatment or if you have any questions about how to improve your oral health, don’t hesitate to contact our staff at Villa Vista Dental. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

If you have any questions about any oral health issue, contact Villa Vista Dental!


Dental Implants vs. Veneers

Man and woman with dental implants and veneers smile as they cuddle on the couch with orange mugs

Dental implants and veneers are increasingly common dental procedures, but patients are often uncertain which one is best for them. Simply put, dental implants are intended to solve an oral health problem, while veneers are intended to solve merely a cosmetic problem. In this article, we give an overview of both dental implants and veneers, and summarize the benefits of each.

Dental Implants

When teeth are missing or removed, the only options are to do nothing or to add artificial replacement teeth. Traditionally, replacing teeth has been accomplished with dental bridges or dentures. But dental implants are now recognized as the superior option for a permanent solution. They serve as artificial tooth roots, with a biocompatible titanium rod being surgically inserted into the jawbone to bond with the natural bone. Then, an “abutment” is connected to the top of the dental implant that serves to hold an artificial crown, which is custom-made to match the look and feel of your natural teeth.

Benefits

Not only are modern dental implants the strongest and most realistic option to replace teeth, but they require virtually no more maintenance than regular teeth. They are also the only tooth replacement option that actually helps stimulate bone growth to prevent bone loss.

Veneers

Dental veneers are thin pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that are cemented to the front surfaces of natural teeth. They offer a permanent solution to many cosmetic dental issues, such as teeth that are misshapen, discolored, or otherwise imperfect. Gapped teeth or crooked teeth are typically treated with braces or other orthodontic treatments, but veneers can often accomplish the same cosmetic effect. Of course, it doesn’t correct the underlying condition, but the cosmetic flaws are rendered invisible.

Benefits

Veneers are designed to look just the way you want, so you can create your dream smile! Additionally, being stain-resistant, veneers offer a permanent way to whiten your smile. There’s never any need for whitening treatments!

If you have any questions about dental implants or veneers, contact us today to set up a consultation at Villa Vista Dental!


The History of Modern Dentistry

Brunette man sits in a dental chair as a dental hygienist examines his mouth with modern dentistry tools

Humans have been trying to fix bad teeth since about 7,000 B.C., according to archaeological evidence. But dentistry didn’t become a serious profession until the 18th century. Read on to learn about the history and evolution of modern dentistry!

The Birth of Modern Dentistry

The French surgeon Pierre Fauchard is widely considered to be the founding father of modern dentistry. His book The Surgeon Dentist, published in 1723, defined the first comprehensive system for caring for and treating teeth.

Dr. Fauchard was the first person to assert that tooth decay was caused by acids derived from sugar, refuting the centuries-old belief that cavities were caused by tooth worms. He also pioneered the use of dental fillings, and kept dentures in place by anchoring them to molars—a technique that provided the foundation for modern metal braces.

Dentistry in the USA

The world’s first dental school was established in 1828 by Dr. John M. Harris in Bainbridge, Ohio. Not long afterward, in 1840, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery was established as the first dental college in the nation, followed five years later by the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati. In 1859, the dental profession’s first official organization, the American Dental Association, was formed. And in 1867, the Harvard University Dental School was the first university-affiliated dental institution.

Dentistry & Consumer Products

In the 1870s, the soap and candle manufacturer Colgate and Company introduced the first commercial toothpaste packaged in a jar. After Dr. Sheffield introduced a collapsible tube of his Crème Dentifrice in 1892, Colgate followed suit. Mass-produced toothbrushes with nylon bristles appeared shortly after the debut of Colgate toothpaste. Proctor and Gamble was the first company to put fluoride in toothpaste, with its Crest brand in 1955.

Modern Dental Care at Villa Vista Dentistry

Of course, dental technology and techniques have come a long way over the years. At Villa Vista Dental, we keep up with the latest advancements in our industry. Our office is equipped with modern dental technology, and we constantly search for ways to improve each patient’s experience.

If you have any dental issues, or if you’re overdue for a checkup, contact us today to set up an appointment with Dr. Tin!


How to Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Brunette woman with strong enamel, glasses, and gray shirt smiles in a downtown of a busy city

Did you know that the enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body? It’s true! Consisting mostly of minerals, it covers the outer layer of each tooth. Strong enamel acts as a shield for the sensitive inner layers of your teeth from decay, infection, and foods and beverages that are very hot or very cold. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to maintain and even strengthen your teeth enamel.

1. Consume an Enamel-Friendly Diet

Eat a diet high in whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and dairy products with tooth-strengthening calcium and phosphate. In particular, cheese, nuts, and celery are foods that promote or maintain saliva, which remineralizes enamel. Additionally, limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Drinks like carbonated sodas, citrus fruits, and wine can gradually remove small amounts of tooth enamel. If you do drink acidic liquids, use a straw to reduce the fluid’s contact with your teeth and drink water afterwards to wash any residue away.

2. Maintain a Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

Brushing your teeth too hard can wear down the enamel and create sensitive spots. The dentist-recommended routine is to brush gently for two minutes, twice per day, and use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Floss between your teeth at least once a day with string floss or a water flosser.

3. Use a Fluoridated Toothpaste

Fluoride has a remineralizing effect, which helps strengthen enamel, so be sure to choose a fluoridated toothpaste. Most municipal water supplies in the United States also contain fluoride, so merely drinking tap water can help strengthen your enamel, too. In addition, consult with our team to determine if you need a professional fluoride treatment. Although some skeptics question the safety of fluoride, it has been deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Dental Association, the World Health Organization, and more than 100 other health organizations around the world.

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?

If your teeth are sensitive to ordinary eating, drinking, and brushing, you probably already have some enamel damage. Fortunately, desensitizing toothpastes are readily available, which contain ingredients that help block painful sensations from sensitivity. A reduction in tooth sensitivity should be noticeable after using a desensitizing toothpaste several times.

If you have additional questions about tooth enamel, contact Villa Vista Dental to set up an appointment with Dr. Tin today!


Are My Teeth Sensitive?

brunette woman wearing a yellow sweater cringes and touches her cheek in pain due to sensitive teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a relatively common dental issue. For many patients, it becomes especially noticeable during the winter months when exposure to cold air results in a stinging sensation in teeth. Drinking an especially hot or cold beverage can have a similar effect, along with eating highly acidic or sugary foods. If doing any of the things makes you wince or if they provoke a painful sensation in your teeth, you have sensitive teeth. Luckily, our team at Villa Vista is experienced in treating tooth sensitivity. Today, we want to explain some of the causes of tooth sensitivity and discuss some of the common treatments.

Damaged Enamel

One of the primary causes of tooth sensitivity is damaged enamel. Enamel is the hardest material in your body and serves as a protective covering for your teeth, but it is not indestructible. For one, enamel can be damaged through poor oral hygiene. Bacteria produce acid as they feed on your dietary sugars and starches, and this acid can dissolve and demineralize your tooth enamel. Enamel can also be damaged by nighttime teeth grinding and vigorous tooth brushing, as the bristles on your brush can scrub away enamel along with food particles. When enamel is damaged, it exposes the sensitive roots of your teeth to irritation from extreme temperature and pressure, causing that sharp stinging sensation associated with tooth sensitivity.

Receding Gums

Like damaged enamel, receding gums are another common source of sensitive teeth that can also be caused by poor oral hygiene and vigorous brushing. Without proper cleaning, bacteria in your mouth build up and can accumulate into plaque, a sticky biofilm. Left unattended, plaque can harden into tartar, a substance that irritates gums and can cause them to recede. Moreover, vigorous brushing can damage gums and cause them to recede. When gums recede, they expose the roots of your teeth and cause sensitivity.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

When our patients come to us with sensitive teeth, we may first recommend they purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush and an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. In other cases, we may recommend using a rinse with fluoride in it or an in-office fluoride treatment. Fluoride can help strengthen enamel through a process called remineralization. Sometimes root canal therapy is necessary. But regardless of how severe your sensitivity is, we’ll help find the right solution for you!

If you’ve been dealing with sensitive teeth this winter, give us a call today to learn about how we can help!


How the Dentist Can Fix an Overbite or Underbite

Blonde woman wearing a black shirt covers her mouth with her hands because she is embarrassed about her overbite

Malocclusion refers to the misaligned positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed. Two common forms of malocclusion are underbite and overbite. With an overbite, the upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth, while underbite is the opposite, with the bottom row of teeth overlapping the front of the upper teeth. Read on to learn about problems associated with these conditions, and how we can help here at Villa Vista Dental.

Issues From an Overbite or Underbite

Problems with one’s bite can cause functional and aesthetic problems over time. Problems related to an overbite include:

  • Broken, cracked or chipped teeth
  • Uneven tooth wear
  • Jaw pain and temporomandibular joint dysfunction/TMD
  • Gum disease (due to difficulty keeping misaligned teeth clean)

Problems related to an underbite include:

  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, and swallowing due to the protrusion of the lower jaw
  • Increased tooth decay and uneven wear
  • Pain in the jaw and TMJ dysfunction

How to Fix an Overbite or Underbite

In many cases, bite correction involves orthodontia. At a consultation with Dr. Tin here at Villa Vista Dental, we’ll examine your teeth and bite to determine the best treatment for your specific situation. Depending on the severity of your bite issues, we may recommend ClearCorrect®, a series of custom aligners that, as the name suggests, are completely clear and virtually undetectable. Get in touch with our team to discover if your dental goals can be accomplished using this amazing orthodontic treatment or if you’d benefit from traditional braces.

Schedule an Orthodontic Consultation

Since untreated jaw alignment issues ultimately can lead to increased wear and tear on the teeth, as well as pain and difficulty eating and/or swallowing, it’s best to seek bite correction treatment before your symptoms become problems. Although teeth position is more easily changed during childhood and the teenage years, adults who wish to correction their bite can (and should) seek treatment!

Schedule a consultation at our Elk Grove dental office! Our hours are varied so you can schedule a time that is most convenient for you.


Tips for Recovery Post-Dental Surgery

Dark-haired couple wearing blue shirts smile while sitting, the woman leaning on the man's shoulder

Whether you’ve had a tooth extraction, root canal therapy, or a more complex dental procedure, there are certain things you can do after it’s complete to increase your comfort and promote healing. In this article, we offer a few basic recovery tips.

1. Get Plenty of Rest

Avoid physical activity and exercise for two to three days. Vigorous activity soon after your procedure can dislodge the blood clots that are necessary for your mouth to heal. When lying down, you can keep your head propped up with pillows to help reduce any swelling.

2. Ice As Necessary

Ice helps keep inflammation down and helps to numb the area of pain. If you don’t have a proper ice pack, you can put ice in a ziplock bag and wrap it in a hand towel, or even just place ice directly in a towel. Then, place the ice pack on the affected area for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off. Remember to never place ice directly onto your skin or to ice longer than 20 minutes.

3. Eat Soft Foods Only

For the first few days after surgery, be sure to follow a liquid or soft food diet. Drink plenty of water and avoid soda. Pureed soup, yogurt, smoothies, pudding, gelatin, and mashed sweet potatoes are tasty and easy to eat. Definitely avoid drinking through straws and eating anything hard or crunchy until a dental professional gives you the go-ahead. Also, until the anesthesia wears off, avoid anything hot, because the numbness can cause you to burn your mouth without even knowing it!

4. Take Prescribed Antibiotics

As in general medicine, antibiotics are also sometimes prescribed in dentistry. If prescribed antibiotics for an infection, it’s very important to finish the entire course as directed. Not doing so can be harmful to public health by ultimately leading to antibiotic resistance.

5. Brush Gently & Keep Your Mouth Clean

Although you shouldn’t brush or floss the teeth in the surgical area for at least 24 hours, you should continue to gently brush and floss the other parts of your mouth. After 24 hours have passed, you can rinse gently with warm salt water. However, avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting. In many cases following oral surgery, the antibacterial rinse chlorhexidine is prescribed, which provides the surgical area with extra protection.

6. Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol

Smoking and using other forms of tobacco are incredibly harmful for oral health. Not surprisingly, it should be avoided when recovering from oral surgery — as should alcohol, because they both can interfere with the healing process.

Further Concerns? Contact Us!

If you have any questions about your after-care instructions or if you experience abnormal pain, swelling, or bleeding, call us at 916-691-6802. Dr. Tin and our team at Villa Vista Dental are here to make your recovery as smooth, pain-free, and successful as possible.

Reach out to us with any additional questions about your recovery!