Common Problems Caused by Gapped Teeth

January 25th, 2022 by

Do you have gaps or wide spaces between your teeth? Maybe you do but you’re not bothered by their appearance. However, having widely spaced teeth holds other concerns besides just the way they look.

There are certain dental problems that are caused by, or more likely to occur when you have excessive spacing. Here are just a few:

1. Food Impaction: Having gapped teeth often causes food to get trapped in certain areas of your smile. Not only is it tedious to clean, but it also increases your risk of infection.

2. Gingivitis: If you don’t eliminate the plaque or food between your teeth on a daily basis,
then you’re more likely to develop gingivitis (which is the early stages of gum disease.) Signs of gingivitis include redness, bleeding, swelling, and soreness of the gums.

3. Gum Disease: As gingivitis continues to go undetected or ignored, gum disease will cause tissue detachment and “pockets” around your gapped teeth. You may also begin to experience bad breath, receding gumlines, or bone loss.

4. Tooth Decay: Leaving food or plaque between gapped teeth for long periods is damaging to the healthy tooth structure. Decay is an irreversible condition and unfortunately, gapped areas are more prone to cavities than straight teeth are.

5. Premature Wear and TMJD: When your teeth don’t line up together properly, gapped teeth can cause several issues like excessive wear on certain teeth or joint pain.

Young Children and Gapped Teeth

What about kids who have spaced teeth 一 is this an issue as well? While some of the above
concerns do apply to children, it’s actually more of a positive thing if your child has gaps between teeth, because the space allows more room for their permanent ones. Adult teeth are bigger than baby teeth, so they require more space once they erupt.

Managing Gapped Teeth

To prevent severe issues from a gapped smile, you want to make sure your oral care routine is on point. Brushing after every meal, regular flossing, and not missing your professional cleaning appointments will help ensure that your gums stay healthy and your teeth are free of decay. Wearing a nightguard can help prevent excessive and irregular wear patterns as well. Nightguards are available over the counter or a custom fit one can be made by our dentist.

Fixing Gapped Teeth

A gapped smile should be evaluated by a dental professional so that a custom treatment plan
can be developed, if necessary. Suggested procedures may include orthodontics like braces or clear aligner therapy, restorations like crowns, or dental implants, or even a retainer to prevent tooth movement. Ultimately the health of your teeth impacts their function just as much as your overall appearance.

If you have gapped teeth, contact our Garland dentist to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Dooley and the excellent team of Dooley Dentistry are glad to meet with you and address each of your oral health concerns. Don’t wait any longer. Make an appointment with us today.

Combat Holiday Dental Stain With These 7 Easy Tips

December 21st, 2021 by

With all the fun and busyness going on in Garland during the holiday season, it can be easy to put your oral care on the back burner and start neglecting your teeth more than normal. Plus, this time of year usually involves more tooth-staining foods and beverages than we typically tend to enjoy. Here are some easy ways to combat holiday tooth discoloration and keep your smile bright.

1. Stay Away From Tooth-Staining Foods

Have you been waiting all year to indulge in that decadent cranberry sauce or pie? You may
want to think twice when you learn that cranberries are one of the worst teeth-staining foods you can eat. Other dark berries and red wine are just as bad. Avoid these dark foods when possible or rinse your mouth immediately afterward.

2. Avoid Dark Drinks

Dark drinks are well-known for their teeth-staining power, and drinking them can leave you with stained enamel across several teeth. Cocktail drinks containing dark liquid and red wines should be avoided. If you’d like to have an alcoholic beverage, then try sticking with champagne, white wine, beer, or other clear or light-colored liquors.

3. Watch Your Sugary Drinks and Foods

Constant sugar intake is the number one cause of cavities. And cavities stain your teeth. During a time of year when sweet treats are everywhere you turn, try to limit sugar as much as possible.

4. Starchy Foods Are Dangerous for Teeth

Starchy foods like bread, potatoes, and pasta not only turn into sugar but stick everywhere on your teeth and in certain areas of your mouth that can be difficult to clean. If not removed, these starchy foods cause staining and eventually cavities.

5. Quit Smoking

If you’re thinking about giving up smoking as a New Year’s resolution then why not go ahead
and make the commitment now? Since smoking stains teeth quickly, you could go ahead and
get a head start on your lifestyle change.

6. Don’t Neglect Your Oral Hygiene

As you already should be, remember to brush after every meal. If eating starchy, sticky foods it’s best to go ahead and floss about 30 minutes after your meal. If eating a meal or having drinks at someone else’s house, then plan ahead and take your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you. No one will judge you if you excuse yourself to the restroom to go take care of your teeth. In fact, you might start a new trend!

Whatever you do, don’t wait to go brush and floss. If you don’t do it quickly after you eat, you might forget about it, and fall asleep in the recliner with a full belly.

7. Visit Your Dentist

When you’re gearing up for the holidays it’s also a great time to get your year-end cleaning and checkup. Especially if you have unused insurance benefits remaining. Before you get too busy, come to see Dr. Dooley at Dooley Dentistry. We’ll check all of your teeth and make sure that you don’t have any areas that are more prone to staining or need attention. Don’t wait any longer, give us a call today!

Schedule a Checkup Before Your Annual Dental Benefits Run Out

November 30th, 2021 by

Do you have dental insurance? Has it been a while since you’ve been to a dental office in Garland ? Did you know that dental insurance plans cover a specific dollar amount for procedures every year? If your benefits aren’t used, unfortunately, they do not roll over to the next year. They simply run out. With the end of the year approaching, now is the time to schedule a dental check-up and take full advantage of what your dental insurance plan has to offer.

Take Advantage of Your Included Checkup and Cleaning

Your dental plan will typically pay at or close to 100% for two professional cleanings each year. Typically, they are six months apart from each other. But not all plans make this a requirement. Additionally, you may qualify for no co-pay x-rays and an exam to check all your teeth, gums, and screen for things like oral cancer. That way if you do need treatment, it can be completed while it’s still fairly conservative.

Even those patients that have the best possible at-home care need to visit the dentist regularly for a professional cleaning. No matter how hard you try, there will always be areas that you cannot reach or clean. Our dental hygienists will need to use special tools to remove tartar buildup from these hard-to-reach areas before disease sets in.

Regular exams are also important. Just because you aren’t experiencing any pain or discomfort doesn’t mean that you don’t have a cavity or other dental issue that requires attention. Oral exams allow our dentist to thoroughly check all of your teeth and spot issues that need attention. Preferably before they become advanced problems that are more difficult to manage.

Periodic x-rays are also essential because even though we look in your mouth to diagnose issues, we can’t see everything between teeth or behind your gums. Dental radiographs show us problems that may be occurring in your mouth that aren’t visible to the naked eye. For example, cavities or bone loss from gum disease. Even an abscessed tooth may be symptom-free but an infection will often show up on a routine x-ray.

Schedule Your Treatment ASAP

If your exam and/or x-rays determine that you have a cavity or some other dental issue that needs attention, it’s best to plan the procedure quickly. That way you can use your dental insurance coverage before it expires for the year.

You never know what the future holds and what unexpected treatment you may need next year. Most dental issues are best treated while they’re small. So don’t waste this year’s benefits, go ahead and plan a visit before December 31st.

Limited Appointments Still Available

Be smart about your insurance coverage, book your cleaning and checkup at Dooley Dentistry today. With so many people wanting to take advantage of their dental benefits before they expire, our Garland practice has limited appointments available. Dr. Dooley looks forward to seeing you very soon! Call us today to schedule.

6 Advantages of Dental Implants

October 20th, 2021 by

If you have a tooth that needs to be replaced, our Garland dentist will typically
recommend dental implants as the best option. Some of the top advantages that implants offer
as opposed to other tooth replacement treatments include:

Implants Are Non-Removable

Implants and the crowns that are attached to them are permanently fixed in place. That means you don’t have to worry about regularly removing and replacing any false teeth as you would if you had a partial or full denture (an alternative tooth replacement option).

You’ll Still Enjoy Your Food

Dentures and partials cover your taste buds, making food less enjoyable to eat. With implants,
you’ll enjoy the same foods you always have without any dietary restrictions.

Implants Preserve Your Jawbone and Facial Appearance

Once a tooth goes missing, your jaw bone begins to deteriorate. As a result, your cheeks will
sink in and you’ll have more apparent wrinkles and loose skin. Replacing a missing tooth with a
dental implant maintains healthy bone levels and supports your facial structure.

Enjoy The Same Convenience as a Natural Tooth

Removable prosthetics can be uncomfortable for some people to wear because they fill your
mouth with a plastic appliance that can feel cumbersome or rub your gum tissues. With an implant being a single post and a stand-alone crown, they are as comfortable as a natural tooth. you’ll forget it’s even there!

Implants Stand Alone and Don’t Affect Other Teeth

A dental bridge is a connection of three or more crowns that are used to replace a missing
tooth. Each bridge is fixed in place by cementing it to the teeth adjacent to the space. However,
in order to fit the bridge, these natural teeth will need to be cut down. Doing so isn’t something
that we recommend if there are healthy virgin teeth involved. If something occurs in the future
to one of the anchoring teeth and a single one needs to be repaired, you’ll need to remove and
replace the entire bridge.

Implants are non-invasive to the adjacent teeth. They are completely stand-alone restorations,
making them healthier for your overall smile. Placing an implant prevents altering the neighboring teeth or having to worry about one of them potentially failing at a later point in time.

An Implant Can Last The Rest of Your Life

As long as you prevent gum disease and bone loss with good oral hygiene, you can expect to
keep your dental implant for a lifetime. Though partials and bridges do last a long time, you’ll
need to replace them every so often to ensure they fit properly or as the acrylic wears out.

Dental Implants In Garland

Find out if a dental implant is the best tooth replacement option for you. Plan a visit with Dr. Dooley of Dooley Dentistry in Garland to see if you qualify. We would love to meet you and discuss your treatment options. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation!

How Often Should I Schedule a Dental Cleaning?

September 20th, 2021 by

Our Garland dentist believes that brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once per day are great ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums between checkups.  However, being diligent in daily oral hygiene doesn’t mean that you don’t need to visit the dentist regularly.

No matter how good of a job you do cleaning your teeth at home, there will almost always be some residue left behind in hard-to-reach spaces. Visiting the dentist routinely is imperative to ensure that you’re doing all you can to maintain the best oral health possible.

How Often Should You Be Going To The Dentist For A Cleaning?

The frequency of your dental visits depends on your oral health.  The typical healthy patient will come in for a preventative dental cleaning (aka prophylaxis, or prophy,) every six months. During this visit, our hygienist will remove the tartar buildup along the gumlines, measure your gums, and polish your teeth.

What are Probing Depths?

During your hygiene visits, we periodically evaluate your gum tissue by measuring your probing depths.

Healthy gum tissue is snug around the base of each tooth. Our dental hygienist will use a special measuring tool that when inserted between healthy gum and tooth, only slips down about 1-3 mm.

When we slack on flossing, the gums become swollen and pull away from the teeth, creating a deep pocket because of bone and gum detachment. In this case, the probe slips a bit deeper down into the pocket. 

Deep pockets are a breeding ground for bacteria, as they collect excess tartar along the root of your tooth. This condition is called periodontitis, or gum disease.  Periodontal disease requires a deeper cleaning called scaling and root planing (SRP) where we use different instruments and need a bit more time to complete than a regular prophy. Usually, we’ll numb your mouth for a deep cleaning, to ensure that you’re comfortable as we remove the buildup beneath your gum line.

An SRP is usually easier if you split it into two visits, cleaning half of the mouth at a time. Once your initial SRP is completed and your gum disease is under control, we recommend that you return for a maintenance cleaning every 3-4 months.

Dental Check-Ups and X-Rays

Other important elements of your dental cleaning appointments are your x-rays and exam. Our dentist will examine your teeth and mouth to identify any abnormalities, such as cavities, TMJ issues, or oral cancer. 

X-rays are important to take on a regular basis because they show things that we can’t see when we look inside your mouth. For example, decay between your teeth, abscesses or infections, impacted teeth, and bone loss.

Has it Been 6 Months Since Your Last Dental Cleaning?

Dooley Dentistry is passionate about holistic, patient-focused dental health care. Dr. Dooley is happy to answer any of your questions. Contact our Garland office today to reserve your next checkup and dental cleaning. We look forward to meeting you!


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