My Blog

Posts for: July, 2015

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
July 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth pain  

As with the rest of the body, tooth pain is an indication that something’s wrong. While the exact cause requires a dental exam, the location, quality and duration of the pain could narrow the possibilities. With that in mind, here are 3 types of tooth pain and what it might be telling you.

Sensitivity. Pain or discomfort when you eat or drink cold foods or bite down could mean you have a small area of decay in the tooth, a loose filling or an exposed root surface from gum recession. Dental work to repair a decayed tooth or filling could alleviate the pain; in the case of gum recession, you may need to reduce overaggressive brushing or seek treatment for periodontal (gum) disease, the two main causes of the condition.

Dull or lingering pain. A dull ache in the rear sinus area could indicate a problem with a back tooth — they share the same nerve pathways as the sinuses, so you may be feeling referred pain. In the case of lingering pain after eating or drinking something hot or cold, there may be decay within the inner pulp chamber of the tooth that’s damaging or even killing the nerve tissue. If so, a root canal treatment might be in order.

Sharp pain. That sudden, excruciating pain when you bite down could mean you’re experiencing advanced decay, a loose filling or possibly a cracked tooth. If the pain seems to radiate from the gums — and they’re swollen and sensitive — you may have developed an abscess brought on by periodontal (gum) disease. In all these cases, appropriate dental treatment like decay removal and filling, root canal treatment or plaque removal may be necessary, depending on the cause and extent of the problem.

Regardless of what kind of pain you’re feeling, you should see us as soon as possible — in many situations waiting will only make the problem worse. The sooner we discover the cause, the sooner we can begin the right treatment to solve the issue and alleviate your pain.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Pain? Don’t Wait!

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
July 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
July 01, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Botox  

Dental BotoxBy now, most people know that Botox can help to freshen up your face and give a more youthful glow. You might assume that only a plastic surgeon can offer Botox injections. But did you know that same youthful glow is now available at your Mill Creek dentist? That’s right – the skilled dentists at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry offer Botox treatment in their dental office.

Why Dental Botox?

You trust your dentist to help give you a beautiful smile. Your dentist is highly trained in the complexities of the jaw, teeth, and facial muscles, and all of these work together to help keep your smile youthful and bright. As a professional trained in the intricacies of your maxillofacial region, your dentist knows precisely how best to administer botox to achievethe best results for you!

Advantages of Dental Botox

Convenience – You already see your Mill Creek dentist every six months for a tooth cleaning and examination. Why not schedule your Botox treatments at the same time? You’ll enjoy the convenience of a single office visit with the procedure performed by a dentist who knows your unique facial bone structure.

Long-Lasting TMJ Disorder Relief – If you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, Botox can relieve the stress and tension in your jaw by relaxing the muscles. This can provide long-lasting pain relief, reduced neck and shoulder pain, and reduced headaches.

Help for a Gummy Smile – If you feel that too much of your gums show when you smile because your upper lip pulls back more than it should, dental Botox can help to relax your upper lip to help give you a more beautiful smile. Dentists across the world are now using Botox to relax a hyperactive upper lip, which may help avoid other, more costly surgeries that are designed to correct a gummy smile.

Though it’s becoming a more common procedure, not all dentists are trained to offer dental Botox. If you’re interested in dental Botox, contact the skilled dentists of Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry in Mill Creek, WA by calling (425) 337-7300. Your beautiful new youthful smile awaits.