Smile Characteristics 

Botox Use in Dentistry

Botox and other dermal fillers (cosmetic injectables) are popular aesthetic products used for treating fine lines and wrinkles. But did you know their efficacy goes much deeper — so to speak — than treating the skin of your face?
In dentistry, Botox can be an effective part of treatment plans managing problems like gummy smiles and TMJ disorder. That’s because it serves as a natural muscle relaxer, which is how it works in anti-wrinkle treatments. When applied, it partially paralyzes/relaxes the muscle tissue in that area, causing it to relax and smooth out.

How Botox Treats TMJ Disorder (TMD)

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD or TMJD) can be a painful and debilitating condition. It’s often associated with symptoms like:

  • Joint stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Popping
  • Clicking
  • Jaw deviation
  • Difficulty eating
  • Migraines and headaches

Applying Botox to the muscles around your TMJ can naturally ease the tension in those tissues for several months.
The great part about using Botox around your TMJ is that it sometimes eliminates the need for a daytime bite splint or pain medication. Rather than treating the symptoms of TMD, Botox manages some of the causes of the problem, such as bruxism (teeth grinding) and muscle tension.

Botox For Gummy Smiles

A “gummy” smile is one where excessive gingiva (gum tissue) shows when you’re laughing or smiling. One of the reasons this can happen is because of hyperactive muscles in your upper lip.
When Botox is applied just under your lip, it helps those muscles to relax. As a result, your upper lip drops just a small amount so that it doesn’t come up as high when you’re smiling. Consequently, it covers some of that gingiva so that you’re seeing more tooth than gums. The best part? Botox treatment in dentistry eliminates the need for surgery!

How Long Does Botox Last?

At your first application, it can take a few days before you start to see any visible effects of the treatment. That’s because it can take up to a few weeks before Botox fully affects the muscles where it’s applied.
When used regularly, the results of Botox are fairly consistent and manageable. Most people need a touch up about every 3-6 months. That means you can get Botox reapplied during your regular dental checkups, or just schedule a short visit during your lunch break every now and then. When it’s combined with other aesthetic products such as dermal fillers, the results last even longer.

Does Your Dentist Offer Botox Treatment?

Smile Bar dentists are trained to incorporate Botox cosmetic injectables into a variety of aspects of care. It’s also a perfect “finishing touch” to your smile makeover, giving you a smoother and more youthful frame around your teeth. Yes, dentists also use Botox to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. As orofacial experts, your dentist can accurately apply the product on the delicate skin of your face.
Contact us at Smile Bar to find out more about Botox use in dentistry.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is perhaps the most affordable cosmetic dental option for our patients to choose from. Effective and easy to maintain, professional whitening treatments can safely brighten the color of your teeth while erasing years of superficial stains that have built up.

Oxidation Of Stain Particles

Most whitening products contain a concentrated blend of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. When oxidation occurs, these compounds cause stain particles across the tooth to dissolve and break apart, lifting them away from the enamel and leaving a whiter color behind. Such peroxide blends are also effective in helping healthy tooth structure appear brighter.

Types Of Teeth Whitening Available

In-Office Whitening Treatments —

Same day whitening treatments take about an hour to complete. We apply the product directly to your teeth and use a light to trigger the oxidation process. After the gel is rinsed away, we repeat the process one or two more times, until full results are achieved.

Take-Home Customized Kits —

An impression is made of your teeth, which is used to create a form fitting whitening tray. Apply the provided whitening gel into the reservoir of each tooth and wear the trays for an hour per day. You’ll start to see results after a few days, with full whiteness achieved between 10-14 days.

Over The Counter Products —

Available online or at your local supermarket, these products come in the form of pens, strips, rinses, and trays. However, the ingredients inside of the products are generally weaker than what’s available from your dentist (think over the counter medication vs. a prescription from your doctor.) As such, they won’t work as well for moderate to severe staining and results will be weaker than something you get from your dentist.

Candidates For Teeth Whitening

Whitening is fine for any teen or adult with healthy teeth. However, existing dental work — such as porcelain veneers, crowns, or tooth colored bonding — won’t change color. Any visible restorations will remain the same shade as they were before. If you’re planning to have them updated, it’s best to do so after you’ve whitened, so that their shade can be matched to the new color of your teeth. For this reason, we frequently recommend whitening before undergoing other cosmetic treatments.

Is It Safe To Whiten Your Teeth?

Is teeth whitening safe? If your teeth and gums are healthy, absolutely. The only issues that tend to be a problem are when there is active tooth decay, a leaky filling, or gum disease. Applying whitening products to these areas can cause severe sensitivity, irritation, or burns. That’s why we recommend having a brief screening (or a routine dental checkup) before starting any type of teeth whitening regimen.
Medical experts do advise that teeth whitening products be avoided if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. While no negative effects have been proven to result from such products, it’s often better to err on the side of caution.

Talk To A Smilebar Trained Dentist For Whitening Recommendations

Smilebar Center dentists are trained with the most up to date research and focus on the patients’ health first. Find one in your area – Alumni Look Up

Keeping Your Smile Healthy Through the Holidays

Avoiding sweets over the holidays is an intense feat. Why not snack “better” instead of setting yourself up for disappointment? Here are some simple tips to keeping your teeth healthy when you’re surrounded by all of those foods that are “bad” for you.

Scheduling Is Key

Technically, it’s worse for your teeth to snack on things frequently throughout the day than it is to have your holiday sweets right after a meal. Since acid exposure takes place each time you snack, it’s better to restrict it to specific times during the day instead of a more frequent basis. For example, if you want to have a few Christmas cookies, eat them right after your meal instead of nibbling on them all afternoon.

Sip On Water Between Meals

Water helps to wash away sugars to neutralize pH levels inside your mouth. If you’re not able to brush during the day, at least sip on water or rinse your mouth out well at the sink. Just remember, rinsing doesn’t replace brushing and flossing.

Opt For Fresh Fruits When Possible

A crunchy apple or pear is good for your teeth and gums while you chew it. The texture massages your gums and helps wipe away loose biofilm on your tooth enamel. If you’re snacking at a holiday party, try to end with these foods after indulging on any processed carbs.

Check For Xylitol

Mints or gum with xylitol in them can help strengthen teeth and make them resistant to decay. Although xylitol is a sugar substitute, it’s best not used for cooking your holiday goodies as it can lead to stomach irritation if you ingest too much. But if you’re chewing gum or sucking on a mint, it’s fine!
Be sure to check with your Smilebar Dentist if you experience any sensitivity. Teeth that are sensitive to sweets are particularly at risk for cavities.

How Much Toothpaste Should I Use?

Chances are, the amount of toothpaste that you use each day has been the same since you can remember ever brushing your teeth. You may be surprised to find out that you’re probably using too much! Sure, most people know that they want to keep the product out of the reach of children (in case of accidental ingestion) but is there such a thing as too much or too little on your toothbrush each day?

Less Is More

Using too much toothpaste (like the long smears you see on commercials) can mask your mouth into thinking you’ve gotten it cleaner than you really have. As the tingly mint flavors and sensations coat your tongue and teeth, there may still be plaque left behind. Using a smaller amount will provide your tooth enamel with adequate fluoride while helping you to detect any areas that may not be getting as clean as they ought to.
In fact, some dentists and hygienists even recommend brushing your teeth without toothpaste first, and then going back after your teeth feel clean to brush again with toothpaste. This helps the fluoride and other minerals work better and can significantly reduce the amount of plaque or tartar buildup that people tend to get between dental checkups.

A Pea Sized Amount For Adults

For adults or anyone that’s old enough to brush their teeth independently (including children that can rinse well and floss on their own,) only a pea sized amount of toothpaste is necessary. Anything more than this is unnecessary.

Rice Grain Sized Smears For Kids

As soon as your little one starts to get teeth, it’s important to start using fluoridated toothpaste. Recommendations from the American Dental Association have changed as new data has become available. In the past, parents were told to avoid having their toddler use any form of fluoridated toothpaste until they were able to rinse well (to avoid accidental ingestion over time.) Today, experts recommend using fluoridated products earlier, but only an amount that’s the size of a grain of rice. That way if it’s accidentally swallowed, it won’t be enough to cause intestinal problems or issues with tooth development.

What About Prescription Strength Toothpaste?

If your dentist prescribes a special toothpaste for you to use, he or she may want you to use it at night after you’ve already brushed with another toothpaste. That way the prescription grade product can have maximum contact with your already clean teeth and work as designed.
Most prescription toothpastes contain a higher concentration of fluoride, which is why they’re sold behind the counter at pharmacies.
As with everyday toothpastes, you only need to use an amount about the size of a pea when you’re brushing with a prescription grade gel. Any more than that, and you could accidentally swallow too much fluoride and get an upset stomach.
Ask your Smilebar Center dentist about which type of toothpaste you should be using or if a prescription toothpaste is necessary.

Root Canals vs. Dental Extractions

If you have a “bad tooth” that’s been giving you problems for an extended amount of time, you may be wondering if the easier thing to do would simply be to plan a dental extraction. After all, if you remove your tooth for good, you don’t have to bother with it anymore…or so you assume.
In reality, it might actually be better to have your tooth treated with a root canal. During endodontic therapy, the infected or dying nerve is removed from the inside of your tooth. This step eliminates the source of discomfort and delays further infection. But a lot of people think that root canals have to hurt and would rather get their tooth pulled.

The Consequences Of Losing A Tooth

When you have a tooth extracted — regardless of the reason — it creates extra space inside of your mouth that wasn’t supposed to be there. This open gap can alter the alignment of the teeth on either side, causing them to drift inwards. One by one, the teeth gradually start leaning until your entire arch is affected.
Not only are adjacent teeth impacted by tooth loss, opposing teeth are as well! When a tooth no longer has a biting partner, it will start to erupt further out of its natural socket, looking for something to bite against.
So not only does tooth loss affect the area’s immediate neighbors, it alters your entire smile.
That being said, there are instances where having a tooth removed is in your smile’s best interest. For instance, severe damage that can’t be repaired, aggressive periodontal disease, or a dental emergency. When that’s the case, you’ll want to find a solution for replacing your missing tooth as quickly as possible, such as a dental implant or bridge.

The Truth Behind Root Canals

Endodontic therapy is designed to protect your tooth and help it function for several more years. Even though your tooth is no longer “alive” after a root canal, it’s still capable of working alongside of its partners when we reinforce it with a full-coverage crown.
Getting a root canal is easier than it’s ever been, thanks to modern techniques and advanced technology. For instance, specific equipment makes cleaning out the chambers gentler and more efficient, compared to older manual methods. And 3D imaging allows your dentist to evaluate different nerve chambers, as opposed to relying on two-dimensional X-rays.
With a little local anesthetic to numb your tooth, getting a root canal in a modern dental office shouldn’t feel much different than any other routine procedure.

Which One Is Right For You?

Should your tooth be removed, or is it better to try to save it? Visit with a Smilebar Center dentist in your area for a holistic approach that puts your entire smile’s health at the forefront of every care plan. Working with a Smilebar dentist allows you to feel confident knowing that your future smile is in good hands. Find a partnering dental team in your area today for more information!

What Are All On 4 Dentures?

If you need to replace your teeth — due to years of wear, chronic decay, gum disease, or something else — All-on-4 dental implants offer a straightforward and long-lasting alternative to wearing conventional removable dentures.

A Hybrid Denture Design

All-on-4 treatments feature a streamlined, hybrid denture design that follows the contour of your jaw, rather than covering the entire roof of your mouth the way a “plate” would.
The entire prosthesis is permanently affixed to four strategically placed implants, which support the biting and chewing forces in a way that resembles the function of healthy, natural teeth.
Only four implants are necessary because each one can withstand the weight and pressure of multiple teeth. Placing them in key points across the jaw allows a full-arch prosthesis to be stabilized in a predictable manner.

Permanent, Stabilized Full Arch Design

Conventional dentures and partials have to be taken out each night, making them tough on your gum tissues and the bone underneath that supports them. But with an All-on-4 denture you can have a permanent full mouth restoration that never comes in and out of place. You eat, sleep, and live with it 24 hours a day. This makes them healthier for your mouth overall, as implants aid in strengthening the bone and preventing sunken-in facial tissues associated with missing teeth.

How To Care For All-On-4 Dentures

We recommend that all implant patients care for their smiles as if they were made up of natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing are essential to keep the gingival tissues around each implant healthy and free of infection. Because it can take some practice to thread floss under a fixed restoration such as an All-on-4 prosthesis, there is also the option of investing in a water flosser to use instead.
Continue to schedule regular preventative care appointments every six months to ensure any issues are intercepted as early as possible.

What To Expect From Treatment

Getting an All-on-4 denture is similar to our other dental implant treatments, in that the biocompatible, artificial roots are set into the mouth and a healing prosthesis is affixed to them until full osseointegration occurs. From there, we change the restoration out with a permanent one (unless immediate placement the day of treatment is an option.)
Today’s implant treatments can be digitally mapped out well in advance, aiding in a simpler and straightforward placement on the date of treatment. This 3D visualization makes it possible to select the most optimal location for each of the four supporting dental implants, taking advantage of natural oral anatomy and minimizing additional treatments such as bone grafts or sinus lifts.

Choosing An Implant Provider

Selecting the right an All-on-4 implant dentist is an essential step in ensuring a predictable and optimal outcome for your smile.

Smilebar Center dentists are trained with the most up to date research and focus on the patients’ health first. Find one in your area – Alumni Look Up

What Are Dental Veneers?

Understanding The Advantages Of Dental Veneers

When you have healthy, stable teeth, but don’t like the way they look when you smile, it’s possible to change their appearance without having to fully cover them with a restorative crown. Aesthetic dental veneers provide dramatic results to enhance the way you look and help you regain the confidence of feeling comfortable in your own skin.

What Are Veneers, Exactly?

Dental veneers are crafted from thin shells of porcelain. Each bonds directly to an individual tooth, masking what it looks like from another person’s point of view. Generally, several veneers are placed side-by-side to address overall aesthetic concerns across your visible smile.
Depending on your unique anatomy and cosmetic concerns, you may need anywhere from 6-10 veneers or more. They can also be combined with other restorative services (such as porcelain crowns or composite bonding) on adjacent teeth, for optimal overall results.

Aesthetic Enhancements With Veneers

What aspects of your smile can be changed with veneers? More than you might have realized.

  • Crowding
  • Gaps
  • Misalignment
  • Staining and discoloration
  • Misshaped enamel

By covering the teeth in your “smile zone,” dental veneers are able to create the appearance of a perfectly straight, white smile. No braces are necessary! The entire process only takes 2-3 trips.

What To Expect During Treatment

Most veneer cases begin with a consultation and exam. At this visit, we’ll discuss the concerns you have about your smile, what enhancements you would like to make, and any long or short-term goals that we need to keep in mind. From there, we’ll be able to review which aesthetic services are most appropriate — such as veneers, whitening, etc. — and create a customized plan that outlines the process step by step.
For more complex cases, we may recommend a diagnostic wax up or a digital smile design before the treatment is started. This model allows you to preview the veneer design proposed by our ceramists so that it’s easier to envision what your final results will look like. You may even be able to try them in (although they’re not permanent.)
When you’re ready to move forward, we’ll schedule a preparation appointment where a thin layer of enamel is buffed away (to prevent a bulky appearance once your veneers are bonded in place) and an impression taken of your teeth. You’ll wear a set of temporary veneers while your permanent ones are designed at our lab. About two weeks later, you’ll return to have the ceramic ones bonded onto your teeth.

An Investment In Yourself

Choosing to get cosmetic veneers can help you feel free to smile more often, talk to people you don’t know, and even boost your overall confidence in social or professional settings. Being comfortable with the way your smile looks affects just about every aspect of your personal life.
Smilebar Center dentists are trained with the most up to date research and focus on the patients’ health first. Find one in your area – Alumni Look Up

What Causes Bad Breath?

Halitosis (chronic bad breath) is an embarrassing condition that can affect your personal, private, and professional life. Even if your friends aren’t saying anything, you’re aware of the problem.
Fortunately, a Smilebar Center dentist is one of your best resources at pinpointing the exact cause…so that you can keep it from coming back. Here are a few factors to watch for:

Dry Mouth

When the natural flora inside of your mouth is altered, odorous bacteria can become plentiful. Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a common result of many medications. But even self-care products like mouthwash often contain alcohol, which is a naturally drying agent.


Breath mints, gum, and sweetened drinks (even if they’re artificially sweetened) can feed bacteria and cause them to multiply. While a mint or gum may offer short-term immediate relief, the symptoms of bad breath can be worse within the hour. Opt for products that contain Xylitol, which inhibit biofilm buildup.

Tongue Surfaces

Approximately 90% of bad breath bacteria reside somewhere on the surface of your tongue. Covered in hundreds of tiny papillae, your tongue is a convenient host for bacteria. Use a special tongue cleaner to wipe away buildup a few times a day; you might just be surprised at how much film it removes.

GI Health Issues

Believe it or not, some of the causes of bad breath may not come from your mouth at all. It could be a gastrointestinal issue or health condition causing odors to come up through your digestive tract and into your mouth. If you and your dentist cannot pinpoint the cause of your halitosis, it’s time to see your physician!

Food Selection

Sure, garlic can leave a strong and lingering smell for a while, but other foods like eggs and milk can cause a delayed effect. Sulphur compounds can cause odorous bacteria to multiply well after your meal is over. Keep a food diary and mark when you notice symptoms of halitosis, then bring it with you to your dental checkup to see if there’s any correlation in your food choices and the problem at hand.

Periodontal Disease

When addressing the previous issues doesn’t seem to help with relieving symptoms of breath malodor, it’s likely that the halitosis is caused by an infection within the gum tissues surrounding your teeth. Chronic gum disease is known for harboring potent bacteria that cannot be reached with a toothbrush or floss, leading to ongoing symptoms of bad breath.
Seeing a dentist for a periodontal exam will provide you with fast answers as to if a gum infection is causing bad breath and equip you with a straightforward solution to correct it. Usually a series of deep cleanings or other soft tissue therapies such as laser treatment are adequate for eliminating the infection and managing relapse.

Confidential Advice From Your Dentist

Smilebar Center dentists understand the social and emotional challenges of battling bad breath. If you’re struggling to manage halitosis or severe malodor, ask your dentist what can be done to help. You’ll receive honest and straightforward advice on the primary cause of the concern and what can be done to help. Contact a Smilebar Center dentist in your area today.

What Causes Crowded or Crooked Teeth In Children?

Crowded or crooked teeth mainly occur when the teeth coming into your child’s mouth are larger than the space available in the jaws. Erupting teeth will follow the path of least resistance. If there is not adequate space for them to come in straight, they will rotate, overlap, and become crooked. Genetics is often a factor.

Are Crowded Or Crooked Teeth Normal In Children?

Crowded or crooked teeth can be a normal part of a child’s development. Jaw bone development and tooth development may not happen at the same rate or time. A size discrepancy between the adult teeth and the baby teeth can also lead to crowded, crooked teeth. As your child grows, the teeth are better able to fit properly in the mouth.

How Do I Manage My Child’s Crowded Or Crooked Teeth?

It is recommended that your child be evaluated by their dentist when crowded or crooked teeth are a concern. Orthodontic treatment may be necessary if normal jaw growth does not provide enough room for teeth to straighten out.

What Will Happen If I Do Nothing About My Child’s Crowded And Crooked Teeth?

If you do nothing about the crowding and/or crooked teeth, there is a good possibility the teeth may stay that way. Other than the compromised appearance of crooked teeth, a person’s bite and chewing can be affected by misaligned teeth. Abnormal wear on the teeth and jaw pain may result. Crowded teeth may cause an adult tooth to become impacted and never grow into the mouth properly. Occasionally, adult teeth may have to be removed to make space to straighten the remaining teeth. Crowded teeth may also be difficult to keep clean. Orthodontic correction at the appropriate age can help guide the adult teeth into the mouth for proper fit, function, and appearance.
Smilebar Center dentists are trained with the most up to date research and focus on the patients’ health first. Find one in your area – Alumni Look Up

What Kind of Toothpaste Should I Get?

For some of us, the toothpaste isle in our favorite drugstore can seem overwhelming. The dozens of brands multiplied by the various types of product choices make toothpaste selection feel like a game of chance.
Is it as easy as picking your favorite shampoo and sticking with it for decades? How can you be so sure that you’re getting the best type of toothpaste for your oral health needs?

Specialized Formulas

If you don’t have specific types of dental concerns, an ADA-approved fluoridated toothpaste is generally appropriate. Backed by professional research and carefully formulated for precise mineral levels that promote healthy tooth enamel, it’s hard to go wrong. But if you have specific types of dental problems, you’ll want to select a toothpaste formula that’s uniquely designed for those needs.
Whitening — One of the most popular types of toothpaste you can buy is for whitening. But be warned, a whitening toothpaste can only do so much when it comes to the color of your teeth. It can help to limit superficial stains from everyday cups of coffee, but it won’t lift tenacious internal discoloration.
As an important side note, tooth sensitivity is a common side-effect of everyday use of whitening toothpaste.
Sensitivity — Gum recession or whitening products may make your teeth more sensitive than they used to be. With a toothpaste formulated for sensitivity, the added minerals help to block off the microscopic pores in your teeth, preventing nerve irritation when temperatures change, or cold air comes into contact with them.
A sensitivity toothpaste can take about two weeks of daily use before you’ll see the full effects.
Cavity Control — If you have a history of recurring cavities, acid reflux disease, acidic diet, or are prone to decay because of exposed root surfaces, then a standard cavity-control toothpaste is a great choice. This type of formula is more of a generic everyday product that anyone can use, but it’s especially beneficial to people with ongoing dental problems.
Gum Health — Are you prone to gingivitis? Chronic puffy or red gums are more of a problem for some people than others, especially if you’re pregnant or have diabetes. Periodontal disease is a common cause for tooth loss, so if you haven’t had trouble keeping your teeth healthy but you do tend to have gum issues, then this type of toothpaste may work best.

Prescription Strength Toothpaste From Your Dentist

From time to time, dentists may prescribe special toothpaste for their patients due to extensive enamel demineralization, sensitivity, or tooth decay. This type of toothpaste helps remineralize teeth to stop the earliest signs of cavities or even reverse early symptoms.

A Note About “Natural” And “Holistic” Toothpastes

Some people feel that it’s healthier to choose fluoride-free toothpaste from “natural” brands sold stores. This minor routine change can deprive your tooth enamel of the natural minerals that it needs to stay strong.
Ask a Smilebar Center dentist which type of toothpaste is best for your individual oral health needs.

What Is Proper Tooth Brushing and Flossing Technique?

An effective oral hygiene routine starts with a few simple steps:

A Proper Brushing Technique For Your Teeth

A proper tooth brushing technique is the first step to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Plus, it helps minimize the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, the major causes of tooth loss.

Before You Begin

While there are several tooth brushing techniques with a manual toothbrush, always ask your dental professional for their recommendation and be sure to follow their instructions. To start, use fluoride toothpaste with a soft-bristle toothbrush, and don’t forget to replace it every three months.

Two Minutes, Twice A Day

To brush your teeth correctly, spend at least two minutes using a recommended brushing technique, which includes 30 seconds brushing each section of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left), both morning and night. Since most manual toothbrushes don’t have built-in two-minute timers, you may want to have a clock handy so you can be sure you’re brushing long enough.

Positioning The Toothbrush

How you hold the toothbrush depends on which part of the tooth you’re brushing.

  1. Start with outer and inner surfaces, and brush at a 45-degree angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes against the gum line. Make sure you reach your back teeth.
  2. Move on to chewing surfaces. Hold the brush flat and brush back and forth along these surfaces.
  3. Once you get to the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use gentle up-and-down strokes with the tip of brush.
  4. Be sure to brush gently along the gum line.
  5. Brush your tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and help remove odor-causing bacteria to freshen your breath.

Now that you’ve learned proper brushing technique, a little discipline in practicing it every day will help make it feel like second nature. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
tooth brushing

Proper Flossing Technique

  1. Use about 18 inches of floss, so you have a clean piece of floss to use on each tooth in the cleaning process.
  2. Curve the floss into a C-shape as you slide it up and down along the side of each tooth.
  3. Don’t forget to floss the back sides of your back teeth on both the left and right of the upper and lower teeth.

Proper brushing and flossing technique as part of your daily oral care routine are the most important components in the fight to keep your teeth plaque free – and protecting your teeth and gums for a lifetime.
Smilebar Center dentists are trained with the most up to date research and focus on the patients’ health first. Find one in your area – Alumni Look Up
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Why Are My Teeth Cleanings So Painful?

Is seeing the dentist for a cleaning something that you don’t schedule as often as you should, or avoid altogether because of sensitive teeth and sore gums? It could be that the real reason for the dilemma is because you’re suffering from gum disease.

What Is Gum Disease?

 Gum disease is better known as periodontal disease. It’s an infection that attacks the gums, ligaments, and bone around the roots of teeth, causing them to detach and pull away. As a result, common symptoms include:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Swollen, bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth mobility
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Shifting or changes in your bite alignment
  • Tartar buildup

Sensitive Teeth During Cleanings

Some of the most sensitive surfaces of teeth are the roots. When gum disease causes the tissues to pull back (recede) it exposes the root surfaces to changes in temperature, physical stimulation (such as toothbrushing), and bacteria. During a cleaning, the physical removal of buildup from the tooth roots can cause significant amounts of sensitivity for some individuals.

Problems With Sore And Bleeding Gums

Your gum tissues are full of tiny blood vessels. When mild forms of gum disease (gingivitis) set in, the gingiva become swollen and tender. If not quickly reversed though changes in brushing or flossing techniques, the condition can progress into more aggressive forms of periodontitis.
Moderate to severe periodontal disease can cause gums that bleed extremely easily, even when touched with a toothbrush or floss. During a cleaning, such areas tend to bleed quite heavily due to the amount of active infection.

A Periodontal Scaling And Root Planing Could Help

Sometimes called “deep cleanings” or an “SCRP” for short, a scaling and root planing procedure targets your dental infection at its source: below the gumlines. The goal of a deep cleaning is to eliminate the source of what’s causing your sensitive teeth and to avoid tissue detachment. Left untreated, periodontal infections are the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
To keep you comfortable, your dentist will likely recommend using local anesthetic to numb the area being cleaned. Lighter sedations such as nitrous oxide can be extremely helpful, without any of the lingering drowsiness of deeper sedatives.
After your scaling and root planing, you’ll want to plan to see your dentist and hygienist about every 3-4 months for maintenance visits. These easier cleanings help to prevent disease relapse and ensure efficient healing throughout your mouth.

Let Your Dentist Or Hygienist Know If It Hurts

Bleeding gums are never normal. While gingivitis or gum disease are often to blame, it can also be a symptom of underlying medical conditions such as anemia.If your teeth or gums hurt during a routine cleaning, let your dental team know. They’ll take special steps to ensure your comfort so that the preventative procedure is one you’ll feel relaxed about. And for situations involving deep cleanings, be sure to request light sedation like laughing gas, a topical numbing gel, or local anesthetic to completely numb the area.
With soft tissue therapy and routine preventative care, you can avoid the painful dental cleanings you’ve experienced in the past! Find a Smilebar Trained Dentist near you.

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