What are the signs of needing a root canal?

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal therapy aims to cleanse the bacteria from your infected root canal, so the infection doesn’t come back, and you can keep your natural tooth. We need to do a root canal when the inflamed or infected pulp needs to be removed. This procedure entails cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth before filling and sealing it.

What are the signs of needing a root canal?

A root canal might be necessary if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp pain while chewing or biting
  • Pimples on the gums
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers even after the sensation has been removed.
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Deep decay or darkening of the gums

Will I feel pain during or after the root canal?

Most endodontic procedures aim to soothe the pain that comes from an irritated or infected tooth. Most patients report being comfortable with current anesthesia and pain management methods.

After your treatment, you may experience a few days of sensitivity in the tooth. This is normal, especially if pain or infection is present before the procedure. The pain and discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.

After completing your endodontic treatment, your tooth may feel slightly different from your other teeth. If you experience severe pain or pressure lasting longer than a few days, it is best to call your dentist.

How much will the root canal procedure cost?

The price you pay for this dental procedure will be based on the severity of the issue and which tooth is involved. For example, molars are generally more challenging to treat and require a higher fee. Many dental insurance policies cover some, if not all, of the cost of endodontic treatment.

In general, root canal therapy costs less than extracting the tooth. If a tooth is removed, an implant or bridge must be put in place to support the teeth on either side and enable chewing. These alternative procedures can often cost more than endodontic treatment and restoration.

After the procedure, will the tooth need any special care or additional treatments?

Do not damage the treated tooth by biting or chewing on it until your dentist can fix it. If you leave your tooth unrestored, it is more likely to fracture, so you should schedule a meeting with your dentist for a full restoration. Good oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing daily and regular checkups and cleanings, is crucial for keeping your teeth healthy.

What can I eat after a root canal?

Once you’ve had a root canal, try to stick to softer foods that don’t require much chewing. Be careful when consuming hard or hot foods to prevent cavities or tooth pain. Some dentists recommend not eating for a few hours until the numbness from dental work fades so you don’t accidentally bite your cheek or tongue.

Does a root canal kill the tooth?

The purpose of a root canal is to remove the diseased tissue from inside the tooth while keeping the tooth alive. In fact, after a successful root canal procedure, your treated tooth will return to work just like it did before you had any issues. Although root canals remove the nerves inside a tooth, these nerves are not essential for a fully formed tooth.

Is Gum Disease Linked to Overall Health?

You probably already realize that brushing and floss­ing your teeth is essential for good dental hygiene, but did you know that periodontal disease – an advanced form of gum disease – could be connected with other serious health issues? Recent studies have found links between periodontal disease and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and strokes. If you think you may have periodontal disease, it’s essential to get treatment immediately to help prevent further complications.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

Diabetes and periodontal disease (gums) share a strong relationship.

Gingivitis occurs when your gingival tissue (gum) detaches from your tooth enamel. The spaces between your gum and tooth become filled with bacteria which causes inflammation and irritation. If left untreated, these bacterial infections may lead to periodontal disease.

Sugar-linked hemoglobin in your bloodstream may be higher if you suffer from severe periodontal infections. According to the American Dental Association, the connection between dental health and type 2 diabetes goes in both directions. Periodontal diseases may affect your body’s ability to manage your sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop an oral infection, which could lead to tooth loss.

People with diabetes need to take care of their oral health by regularly visiting the dentist and having regular cleanings. However, nonemergent dental procedures should be put off if your glucose levels aren’t under control.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

There is evidence linking periodontal diseases and heart diseases, but more research must be done before we can say if there’s a link between them.

Inflammatory items such as C-reactive protein (CRP) may cause the link between gum disease and heart disease. CRP is present at higher levels in the bloodstream of people who suffer from periodontal disease, which causes an increase in systemic inflammatory markers.

Periodontal diseases may contribute to heart attacks. One theory is that bacterial infections from gum disease can cause an inflammatory response throughout the entire body. A study published in 2010 showed a strong correlation between periodontal disease and atherosclerosis.

Heart diseases and gum diseases share many of the same risks, including smoking and obesity.

According to recent research, gum disease could cause strokes. Plaque buildup in the mouth increases the risk of blood clots forming in the brain.

Preventing gum disease

To avoid gum diseases, practice good oral health habits, including brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once a day, and using mouthwashes.

It’s also essential to visit your doctor regularly and take good care of your teeth and gingivitis. If you have diabetes, you must maintain regular checkups and care for your teeth.

If you already have gingivitis, several treatment options are available depending on the degree of the problem. These include:

Deep cleaning: Removing hardened deposits from beneath the gums

Antibiotics: to help kill bacteria and reduce swelling

If there is severe damage to the gums, then surgery might be required to repair the damaged tissues.

Whether you’re at an early stage of gum infection or suffering from advanced gum diseases, it’s important to seek treatments to help keep your teeth and gingivitis under control. Gum infections have been linked to many serious medical issues, so maintaining good oral hygiene is vital for your overall well-being.

Early Detection Is Key

There is still no proof that good dental hygiene prevents diabetes or heart disease. However, keeping your teeth clean and healthy should be a top priority for your overall well-being.

The ADA suggests brushing your teeth two times per week using fluoride toothpaste, flossing every night, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year for an exam and professional cleanings.

Can I Get Tinnitus from TMJ?

Do TMJ disorder and tinnitus or ringing in the ears share a connection? Furthermore, what does it mean if you have a headache accompanied by ringing in your ears? This post will cover the link between TMJ disorder (TMD) and the most common ear noises, such as hissing, buzzing, crunching, ringing, pulsating, roaring, and clicking.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a noise in one or both ears that no one else can hear. It affects 15-20% of people, but it isn’t a disease. Tinnitus is a symptom caused by various other conditions.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder is a condition that causes pain in the jaw and facial muscles. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to the skull. TMJ disorder can be caused by several things, including teeth grinding, clenching, trauma, arthritis, and teeth or jaw misalignment.

What is the Connection Between Tinnitus and TMJ Disorder?

Although scientists have not concluded whether tinnitus and TMJ disorder are connected, many people who suffer from the latter also experience the former. Some experts believe the two might be related because they share causes like muscle tension and nerve damage in regions like the head or neck. Furthermore, both can lead to symptoms like pain or discomfort.

TMJ tinnitus is often cured through TMJ treatment. If you have headers and ringing in your ears, it might be due to a TMJD. To check if this is the case for you, see how changing the position of your jaw changes the noise coming from your ear.

Can TMJ Cause Tinnitus?

TMJ originates right in front of the ear. Some nerves from the jaw area go to the TMJ. If there is inflammation or discomfort in the TMJ, it might change how your ear hears sounds. This could make you hear a sound that does not exist. Also, if there is an injury to the discs in the TMJs, it might make clicking or crunchy noises that people near you can hear.

Occasionally, ringing can be the only TMJ symptom. The good news is that tinnitus associated with TMJ may be managed and will go away due to treatment. Patients who had TMJ issues were three times more likely than those who did not have ear ringing.

How is TMJ Tinnitus Treated?

When you undergo TMJD therapy, one of the most noticeable changes you might notice is a change in facial alignment. If you had an underbite previously, your chin might appear more balanced and level with the rest of your face. Patients with overbites frequently claim to observe a stronger-looking chin and a clearer jawline.

If you notice any of the issues described above, please do not hesitate to contact us. Ignoring problems may result in more severe consequences if left untreated.

6 Important Facts About Cavities

Chances are, you will have a cavity at some point during your lifetime. In fact, 92% of adults in the United States will have at least one. Here are six interesting facts about cavities in San Pablo.

1) A cavity is a form of tooth decay

Tooth decay is a scary word. It conjures up visions of rotting teeth, yellowed and crooked smiles we don’t want to think about.

Untreated tooth decay can cause serious health issues. According to studies, 26% of adult Americans between ages 20 and 64 have some form of untreated tooth decay.

Decay can spread, causing an infection that may require surgery and antibiotics.

2) Bacteria cause cavities.

Cavity formation occurs when bacteria get trapped between your teeth’ enamel layer and the outermost surface. Plaque builds up over time, leading to cavity formation. Brushing your teeth regularly and flossing at least once daily can help prevent cavities.

3) Cavities don’t have age limits; they’re not just for kids.

Because cavities can begin forming in your child’s mouth before their first teeth appear, visiting the dentist regularly is essential for helping you keep track of your child’s dental health.

On the one hand, though, older people are experiencing a rise in tooth decay because some medicines dry up their saliva, which protects them from harmful bacteria. This is often caused because certain drugs dry up the saliva, which helps keep the teeth safe from harm.

4) Sugar promotes cavity formation.

Sugar and other carbohydrates often cause an acid in your mouth, weakening your teeth and making them more likely to decay. Fortunately, sugar is usually found alongside proteins in foods, so you can avoid consuming sweets entirely if you want to keep your teeth and body healthy.

5) To prevent cavities, brush twice daily for two minutes each time.

To avoid cavities recurring, you must keep them away from your mouth in the first place.

To keep your teeth healthy, brush and floss daily, and see your dentist every six months for regular checkups.

6) You cannot always tell whether you’re developing cavities

If you don’t go to the dentist regularly, you might miss early warning signs of tooth decay. And because dentists know so much about teeth, they can spot any early warning signs of tooth decays before they get worse.

Your dentist suggests you visit them at least once every six months for a thorough cleaning and check whether anything needs fixing.

Tooth decay can be scary – but it’s manageable. Brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting our dentist every year, can keep your teeth healthy and strong for decades to come. If you need help scheduling an appointment, call us today.

11 urgent signs that require a visit to the dentist

Have you been to the dentist in a while? Here are some indicators that it’s time for a dental visit.

1) An ongoing toothache
If your toothache persists despite your efforts, it indicates something is wrong. Because there are numerous potential causes of a toothache, seeing us immediately is critical to receiving the best results.

2) Ongoing headaches
It’s critical not to overlook jaw difficulties, which may also trigger headaches. If recurring headaches are caused by jaw discomfort, they are linked and need to be treated.

3) Ongoing bleeding gums
The bleeding of the gums can detect gum disease after tooth cleaning or flossing. A tiny amount of blood may be discovered if individuals regularly floss for months and then stop. If the blood only lasts a day or two, there’s no cause for worry. If the bleeding continues for weeks, please contact us immediately.

4) Your Gums are Receding
Have you noticed that your gum line has dropped? If your teeth are becoming increasingly visible, this might be due to bone loss. See your dentist as soon as possible to determine what’s causing the recession.

5) A tooth that has been cracked or chipped
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you see a specialist, the more likely your dental problem will be resolved.

6) A tooth that is loose or has been knocked out
If one of your permanent teeth becomes loose or is knocked out of your mouth by accident, go to a dentist right away.

7) A filling or crown is loose or has fallen off
Fillings and crowns protect teeth from infection, decay, and other problems. If they are loose or missing, the patient must get them replaced as soon as possible to preserve the tooth.

8) An abscessed tooth or extreme swelling
If you have a tooth that is abscessed or has extreme swelling, it indicates infection and necessitates a trip to the dentist.

9) You Have Bad Breath
Is it just you, or are others avoiding you? Bad breath can be a social issue and signal a more serious dental problem. It might indicate an infection, poor dental hygiene, or a dry mouth. Any of these factors might cause bad breath.

10) You Are Clenching Your Teeth
Damage can be done to your teeth over time if you clench or grind them. The continual grinding or clenching of your teeth might produce muscular discomfort, premature tooth wear, and even receding gums.

11) You Are Increasingly Sensitive to Cold or Hot Substances
Have you ever had an odd sense in your teeth while sipping a glass of ice water or a hot drink? If you’re having problems with temperature sensitivity, we recommend visiting your dentist. Depending on the reason, it could be anything from a cavity to enamel erosion.

Why should I replace missing teeth?

The health of your mouth may have a significant impact on your overall health. When your teeth are in excellent shape, you tend to be healthier. Missing teeth can affect your bite, speech, and food choices. This problem might lead to social, psychological, and nutritional issues.

Losing teeth necessitates the continued use of remaining teeth, increasing the chance of premature wear and tear. Lost teeth can also lead to adjustments in your bite, which may cause headaches and jaw discomfort.

Who would want their looks and health to suffer? The jaw shrinks naturally as a consequence of missing teeth. People can lose up to 25% of their supporting jaw bone structure after tooth loss in the first year. The good news is that dental implants replicate natural teeth by protecting and preserving your bone structure, health, and appearance. Dental implant dentistry is an area of practice for your periodontist, who will assess if you are a candidate for dental implants.

What Happens If I Do Not Replace a Missing Tooth?

If you have lost one or more teeth, your day-to-day life and oral health could be affected. If you do not replace a tooth, you may experience various consequences right now and throughout your life.

You May Have Difficulty Chewing and Speaking

Missing teeth prevent normal chewing techniques and cause speech difficulties. Your teeth are essential for eating and breaking down food for nutrition while also aiding in speaking. It takes only one missing tooth to harm your ability to pronounce words correctly or clearly.

Your Teeth Become Misaligned

When a tooth is lost, it leaves a hole in its place, and the adjacent teeth naturally move toward each other to close it. Unfortunately, this movement can cause jawbone strain and chewing difficulties.

Your Jawbone Starts to Deteriorate

Your jawbone is kept strong and stable by a tooth’s continual contact. When you lose a tooth, the portion of the formerly stimulated bone begins to shrink. Furthermore, your gums will start to recede into the space left by the lost tooth. This procedure generates early-onset aging because your facial skin will droop due to lack of stimulation, and adjacent teeth may weaken.

How Can I Replace Missing Teeth?

Fortunately, tooth replacement surgery is one of the most popular ways to recover damaged teeth. The options for treating tooth replacement include:

  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Dental bridges

If you’re searching for a long-term solution for a missing tooth, now is the time to visit your dentist. To find out whether dental implants and other tooth replacement choices are available in San Pablo, contact us at San Pablo Dental Care.

The 7 common symptoms of tooth decay

To have healthy teeth, you must be aware of the warning indicators of tooth decay and gum disease.

When teeth are exposed to acidic foods and beverages for an extended period, they may be prone to decay. However, to consume the food, the bacteria generate harmful acids. The bacteria, acids, and food particles trapped between your teeth combine to form a biofilm coating on your teeth known as plaque.

Knowing the early warning signals of tooth decay is vital to preserving your teeth. Here are seven telltale signs of tooth decay:

1. White Flecks on the Teeth

The first indication of tooth decay is seen in white flecks on your teeth. The plaque acids have chipped away at the enamel layer, revealing the inner structure to show where damage has been done – if left untreated, this will lead to brown or black discoloration.

If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque builds until it hardens into tartar. The tooth decay process’s acids will eventually eat through all of your teeth’s layers, beginning with enamel and ending at the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves!

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent health issues in the United States, especially among children and teenagers. On the other hand, adults suffer from tooth decay; according to the CDC, more than 26% of American adults have untreated tooth decay.

Enamel erosion is an indication of the next stage of tooth decay. On the surface, this creates a void or gap. You’ll likely notice it when you look in the mirror while brushing or flossing.

Over time, you may feel a tiny hole or gap in your teeth with your tongue. Keep in mind that if a cavity develops, the only remedy is to visit your dentist so it can be treated and filled.

2. Bad Breath

Bad breath is another common indication of tooth decay. This is generally caused by food trapped in a cavity or a buildup of harmful germs in the mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth (at least once a day) are the most significant dental hygiene measures. If you still have bad breath, see your dentist right away.

3. Toothache

Tooth decay is characterized by recurring pain or toothaches in the mouth. Pain is a sign that a tooth is diseased due to tooth decay. If you experience discomfort when chewing food, see your dentist.

4. Sensitivity to hot or cold foods

When you eat or drink something hot, especially if it has an even worse flavor, you might get a dull pain in your teeth. Tooth decay wears away the enamel or protective layer of the teeth. This exposes the dentin and pulp layer where your nerves lie. So any hot or cold food that you eat stimulates your nerves and blood vessels, causing pain.

5. Sensitivity to sweets

When you eat something sweet, you may experience minor or severe discomfort. We should only feel pleasure when we eat sweets, so pain indicates enamel damage.

6. Swollen gums or a tooth abscess

Tooth decay can affect your teeth in a variety of ways. If it reaches the pulp, you’ll most certainly acquire an infection because this is where nerves and blood vessels are!

7. Permanent tooth loss

The last stage and symptom of tooth decay is tooth loss. If the infection progresses far enough, a diseased or loose tooth can be ejected from its root with little help from your dentist; on rare occasions, they may even decide to pull the ailing region!

What to do to stop and correct the tooth decay

Tooth decay is a big problem, but there are methods to prevent it. If you eat many sugary foods or live an unhealthy lifestyle (eat sweets frequently), you may be at risk of getting cavities. In that scenario, the dentist may recommend varnish in afflicted regions and fluoride gel into everyday routines as added protection against future stains from plaque accumulation on teeth, which cause acid attacks on enamel – the hardest substance found inside the human body!

A crown or a filling is sometimes required in severe cases of tooth decay. A filling is used to fill the tooth after removing the damaged portion during a crown procedure. Tooth decay has progressed to the point that your pulp is dead, and you will require a root canal. Even if a root canal works to cure tooth decay, it may still fail. After healing, replace the lost tooth with a denture, dental implant, or bridge.

Plaque, Tartar, & Calculus: What is the Difference?

You may have heard the terms, plaque, tartar, and calculus and wondered what the difference was between them. Mostly, they are spoken of in a way that leads you to believe they are all enemies of good oral health, right? But how are they different, or are they?

  • Plaque – You have probably heard your San Pablo, CA dentist mention many times how important good oral hygiene is for your oral health. One reason is plaque. Plaque is a substance that forms continuously on tooth enamel. You have to stay on top of your oral hygiene routine to make sure you keep it from building up. If plaque is not addressed, it can lead to other oral health problems.
  • Tartar – If you allow plaque buildup, it will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar leads to tooth decay and numerous other dental problems. It can make a gum infection worse. Brushing alone isn’t enough to remove tartar. You’ll need the help of a dental professional to get rid of it before it causes tooth decay.
  • Calculus – Plaque and tartar are two totally different things. But tartar and calculus are the same thing. Calculus, or tartar, as you have read, can negatively impact your oral health. Good oral habits like brushing your teeth twice daily and routine exams by Dr. Edwin Kim can help prevent plaque buildup which leads to calculus.

How Tartar Impacts Your Gums

Tartar forms from plaque buildup that is caused by bacteria which is ever-present in the mouth. Untreated tartar on the teeth puts your oral health at risk and can lead to issues such as:

In its various stages, periodontal disease can cause irreversible damage to your oral health, teeth, and gums. If left untreated, tartar buildup can lead to tooth loss. This demonstrates why it’s important to visit with a dental professional who can take care of oral issues before they get out of hand.

How Tartar or Calculus Develops

Plaque begins to form because of a mix of foods and proteins that form a buildup on the teeth. It starts to work its way into the crevices of the teeth, inside the gum line, and in those hard-to-reach areas making it hard to combat it. When dental plaque hardens, calculus forms. This helps provide an ideal surface for plaque to continue to form. Calculus forms along the gum line and in the narrow areas between the teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent plaque buildup and calculus. Once calculus forms on plaque, it’s too hard to remove with a toothbrush. A dental professional will need to remove tartar buildup with specialized tools.

Why is it crucial to remove tartar?

Gingivitis is usually the beginning of periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed from your teeth, it starts to accumulate along the gumline. Bacteria in the plaque can irritate and infect gum tissues leading to gingivitis. If plaque is not removed and tartar is allowed to build up, it can lead to more serious gum disease and dental conditions. Removing tartar helps prevent periodontal disease and helps keep your teeth and gums healthy.

The Dangers of DIY Plaque Scraping

A dental professional at San Pablo Dental Care is extensively trained in dental scaling and scraping. They know exactly what to look for and how to remove plaque and tartar safely. Even though you may think it is a simple task that you could perform at home, misuse can be harmful. You may be tempted to grab a DIY dental scraper and attempt to scrape your own teeth. Failing to realize that scrapers and dental scalers are specialized medical equipment that requires training to use safely can cause damage including:

  • Damage to delicate gum tissue leading to gum recession
  • Scratching teeth enamel which can cause tooth sensitivity
  • Injury to soft tissue like your cheeks, or tongue
  • Causing infections by accidentally pushing tartar below the gumline

Removing Plaque Safely

If you are concerned about plaque buildup, visit Dr. Kim. They can examine your mouth to determine if you have plaque or tartar buildup or other dental problems that need attention. Plaque can be removed safely by a trained dental professional like Dr. Kim or a dental hygienist. Even though it’s not safe to use a DIY plaque scaler at home, there are a few things you can do to help. Floss your teeth once daily and brush them twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Plaque removal is essentially important to your oral health, but it’s not a safe DIY project.

three beautiful women with beautiful smiles

Why Visit Your Dentist at Least Twice a Year?

Regular visits to San Pablo Dental Care can help manage plaque and tartar buildup so that some problems are prevented before they get the chance to start. Scheduling a teeth cleaning every six months can keep your teeth pretty and white, but it’s about more than that. Exams with Dr. Kim include an assessment of your overall oral health including your tongue, throat, neck, face, and head. By examining these areas, Dr. Edwin Kim can often detect other ailments or diseases like swelling, redness, diabetes, or cancer. Schedule twice a year dental checkups also helps with accountability. You’ll be more inclined to brush and floss regularly between visits if you know you have a dental exam coming up soon.

Is it time for your routine dental exam?

Call us today to schedule your next exam and stay ahead of plaque and tartar buildup. You can also use our appointment request form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kim. Let us help you keep your healthy smile!


San Pablo Dental Care

13925 San Pablo Ave., Ste. 210
San Pablo, CA 94806

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