Dentist Blog
By June Goodall, DDS & Associates
December 11, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

For over half a century, dentists have promoted a proven strategy for sound dental health. Not only is this strategy effective, it’s simple too: brush and floss every day, and visit your dentist at least twice a year or as soon as you see a problem.

Unfortunately, this strategy isn’t resonating well with people between the ages of 18 and 34, known more commonly as the “millennials.” A recent survey of 2,000 members of this age bracket found a startling number: over one-third didn’t brush their teeth as often as recommended, some going as long as two days between brushings. About the same number also reported fear of dental visits. Given all that, the next statistic isn’t surprising: tooth decay affects one in three people in the millennial age group.

This isn’t to pick on millennials, but to point out that good oral hygiene naturally leads to good oral health, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. Here’s more about the dental care basics for better health.

Brush twice, floss once daily. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a thorough brushing with toothpaste containing fluoride twice a day. You also shouldn’t neglect a once a day flossing between teeth to remove plaque from areas brushing can’t effectively reach. Keeping plaque accumulation to a minimum is the best way to prevent diseases like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

Visit your dentist at least twice a year. Dental visits every six months (or more if your dentist recommends it) accomplish two things: a professional dental cleaning removes any buildup of plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) missed by daily hygiene. It also allows your dentist to inspect your teeth and gums for any signs of disease that may require treatment.

See your Dentist ASAP if you notice problems. You should also see your dentist sooner if you notice anything abnormal like unusual spotting on the teeth, tooth pain or sensitivity, or swollen, reddened or bleeding gums. These are all signs of disease, and the sooner it’s treated the less chance your teeth and gums will suffer serious harm.

Like other age groups, millennials know the importance of a healthy smile, not only for social and career interaction, but also for their own personal well-being. Sticking to a regular dental care program is the primary way to keep that healthy smile.

If you would like more information on effective oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By June Goodall, DDS & Associates
December 06, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants can make a huge difference in your appearance and your dental health, but it's important to make an informed decision any time you have a procedure done. That's why dentist, Dr. June Goodall, is committed to providing accurate, detailed information about dental implants to her patients in West Houston, TX. If you've been considering dental implants to replace one or more of your missing teeth, you've come to the right place!

Parts of a dental implant

Dental implants from your West Houston dentist start as a tiny metal post with ridges on it, similar to a screw. This is the part that implanted in your jawbone during a brief procedure at our office. Healing is easy and typically requires no downtime or special instructions, but it will take several months before the post integrates with the bone, which grows back around it to permanently lodge it into place. After an X-ray confirms that the post is firm, it will be time to attach the abutment, a tiny metal piece that serves as the middle portion of the implant. The crown is the final piece to your dental implant; it will be the only visible portion. Crowns are made from porcelain that is shaped, painted, and polished to look just like a natural tooth.

How dental implants can help you

As you've probably guessed, dental implants improve your appearance by giving you the appearance of a full and healthy smile again. But there's more to dental implants than just good looks! The way that they're designed actually protects the health of your remaining teeth by keeping them from shifting out of place. The post of the implant "tricks" your jawbone into behaving as if there's a natural tooth there, keeping it healthy, strong, and stable, while the crown allows the surrounding teeth to have support above the gum line. Best of all, dental implants do not need to be removed for cleaning or adjustments. They can last a lifetime with proper care.

If you're ready to take the first step toward a new smile, call your dentist in West Houston, TX, to schedule an appointment with Dr. June Goodall today.

By June Goodall, DDS & Associates
December 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

With smart phone in hand, you can instantaneously find out just about anything. Unfortunately, online search results aren’t always accurate. Case in point: there’s an idea floating on the World Wide Web that root canal treatments cause cancer.

Sounds ludicrous? Yes, but like other strange ideas this one has historical roots (pardon the pun). In the early 20th Century, a dentist named Weston Price propagated the idea that leaving a “dead” organ in the body caused health problems. By his view, a root canal-treated tooth fell into this category and could potentially cause, among other things, cancer.

But concern over root canal treatment safety is on shaky ground: dentistry examined Dr. Price’s ideas over sixty years ago and found them wanting. But first, let’s look at what a root canal treatment can actually do for your health.

Tooth decay is an infection that first attacks the outer tooth enamel and then continues to advance until it infects the inner pulp. It can then travel through the root canals to the roots and bone. Without intervention, the infection will result in tooth loss.

We use a root canal treatment to save the tooth from this fate. During the procedure we remove and disinfect all of the diseased or dead tissue within the pulp and root canals. We then fill the empty chamber and canals with a special filling and seal the tooth to prevent any further infection. And while technically the procedure renders a tooth unable to respond to thermal sensitivity or tooth decay, the tooth is still alive as it is attached to the periodontal ligament and its blood supply and nerve tissue. The tooth can still “feel” if you bite on something too hard and it doesn’t affect the tooth’s function or health, or a patient’s overall health for that matter.

As to Dr. Price’s theory, extensive studies beginning in the 1950s have examined the potential health risk of root canal treatments. The latest, a 2013 patient survey study published in a journal of the American Medical Association, not only found no evidence linking root canal treatment to cancer, but a lower risk of oral cancer in 45% of patients who had undergone multiple root canal treatments.

While root canal treatments do have potential side effects, none are remotely as serious as this online “factoid” about cancer. It’s far more likely to benefit your health by saving your tooth.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, 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 “Root Canal Safety.”

By June Goodall, DDS & Associates
November 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By June Goodall, DDS & Associates
November 14, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you wondering what makes someone a good candidate for this tooth replacement?

If you’ve just had a tooth extracted then chances are good that our West Houston, TX, dentist Dr. June Goodall has started talking to you about different ways to replace the missing tooth. After all, the sooner you replace the tooth the better for your oral health. Of course, before deciding whether dental implants are right for you, you’ll need to understand more about them and what makes someone an ideal candidate for this restoration.

What is a dental implant?

This small titanium tapered post is designed to take the place of your missing tooth’s roots. The roots of your teeth are an integral part of your oral health, providing your jawbone with the stimulation it needs to remain strong.

Without this stimulation, the jawbone will begin to deteriorate. The only way to prevent bone loss is by placing a dental implant. An implant even fuses together with the jawbone and gum tissue to become a permanent and stable foundation from which to support a false tooth.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

There are many things to consider before getting dental implants in West Houston. Of course, the first step is to schedule a consultation so that Dr. Goodall can sit down with you and help you decide the best tooth loss treatment to fit your specific needs. Some factors that determine your candidacy for implants include,

Your oral health: We will need to make sure that your mouth is healthy enough to receive implants. Since we will need to place the implant into the jawbone, we will also need to run X-rays to make sure that the jawbone is dense enough to support your restoration.

Your overall health: We will also need to go through your detailed medical history to make sure that there aren’t any conditions that could impact your recovery process or implant surgery. For example, conditions such as heart disease or diabetes can slow the healing process, which can delay your treatment. We will want to make sure that you have these conditions under control.

Other factors that affect your candidacy include:

  • Your oral hygiene
  • Your dedication to treatment
  • Your budget/financial constraints
  • Your lifestyle and habits (e.g. smoking; pregnancy)

If you are dealing with tooth loss in West Houston, TX, and want to learn more about dental implants and whether they are right for you then call our office today to schedule your consultation. We would be happy to discuss your tooth replacement options with you.

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