Suffering From Jaw Pain?

urgent care for jaw pain Lafayette

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, our areas of expertise go beyond the teeth and gums. In this blog post, we are going to discuss jaw pain, and TMJ/TMD treatment.

The human jaw is a complex joint, and sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint the cause of pain that is centered there. The upper jaw, of course, is firmly attached to the skull. But the lower jaw is connected by movable hinge joints. They are really quite spectacular, because these joints allow so much movement, like what makes chewing possible.

Here are some of the possible causes of jaw pain:

Infection

A localized infection can trigger or exacerbate jaw pain. An infection puts your tooth and jaw bone at risk, so swift intervention is essential for many reasons. If your jaw starts swelling, call us  immediately. This could indicate a dangerous, fast-moving infection.

Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder (TMD)

The jaw joint is called thre temporomandibular joint. That word is a real mouthful (excuse the pun!) and it’s usually shortened to TMJ.

Chronic TMJ pain is called TMJ disorder, or TMD. Teeth clenching or grinding can cause TMD. It can also be caused by injury or arthritis.

Some people with TMD notice flare-ups when they are under a lot of stress. If stress is the only cause, stress-reducing behaviors can help you prevent it or reduce the severity. But the first step is diagnosing the cause.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we can treat TMJ disorder. The first step is an accurate diagnosis. We also offer a wide range of general and family dentistry procedures. Call us to schedule an appointment today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 8170

Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

cosmetic dentistry Lafayette

Everyone wants nice, pearly white teeth. It makes sense, then, to brush our teeth more often to get them – right? Well, no. As we explain in this post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, brushing too aggressively can result in receding gums.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It creates a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?

A common misconception is the idea that if you want to lighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get white teeth is to brush longer, not harder. The key, though, is to use a very light touch. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

Why?

When you brush your teeth too quickly, you may not remove all the food particles. You don’t want this debris turning into plaque.

If you truly want whiter teeth, brush in a slow, circular motion for about five minutes. Methodically go over each tooth surface.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. The fluoride helps your enamel re-harden.

Let’s Review

Brushing too aggressively can lead to gum recession. Gum recession can (and most likely will) cause a space to form between your teeth and gum line. This pocket collects bacteria. Bacteria causes cavities. Plus, if the gums continue to recede, the tooth can become loose.

The best approach is to brush longer, and with a light gentle touch. Don’t forget to floss!

If you’re gums have already begun to recede, don’t despair! It’s a treatable condition. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette we offer a full range of general and family dentistry procedures, and specialties like dental implants. Call to schedule an appointment today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

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The Health And Beauty Consequences Of Missing Teeth

Boulder County tooth implants

This message from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette focuses on missing teeth and bone health, and how dental implants can make a difference.

Our teeth have many important functions. We need them to chew our food, talk, and smile. But have you ever considered their role in holding up your face? When we lose teeth, the bone around the site of the extraction begins to shrink. This, in turn, causes our facial muscles to sink in and collapse.

Bone Metabolism

We sometimes think of bone as a solid mass, unlike the softer tissues in our body. In reality, below the seemingly rock-hard surface, bone tissue is full of small holes – kind of like a sponge.

In the interior bone tissue, the bone is constantly regenerating itself. This process is called “bone metabolism.” The movement of the teeth stimulate this process of rebuilding. When the tooth is gone, the bone starts to shrink as blood flow is reduced.

People with missing teeth not only have an unattractive gap in their smile, they begin to look older because of the bone recession and eventual facial sagging.  It can become difficult to chew food, too, making it harder to get adequate nutrition.

Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Recession

Modern dentistry to the rescue! Dental implant technology provides a tooth restoration solution that maintains healthy bone metabolism while providing near-normal tooth function.

One dental implant can support an artificial tooth. Several, usually four, can support a full dental arch.

Even if you have lost jaw bone mass, bone grafting can promote new bone growth, enough for an implant.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette we offer dental implants, as well as a full range of general and family dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7725

How Are Dental Implants Priced?

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In this post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we take a look at the pricing of dental implants. Looking into the cost and getting an easy answer can be frustrating. But there is a reason for that.

Let’s take a moment to explain why most dental practice sites don’t publish the cost of tooth implants.

1. The Math Might Come Out Higher Than it Should
The number of teeth being replaced may be more than the number of implants needed to cover that section of the mouth. Implant dentists want to offer accurate pricing rather than scare you away with higher estimates. It takes a quick consultation to review dental history, analyze needs and construct a treatment plan. This could mean a more efficient surgery with fewer implants.

2. There Might Be Something Better For Your Mouth
While dental implants are the state of the art in tooth replacement, sometimes the technique won’t be what you thought it was going to be, or maybe you aren’t a good candidate.

3. Supply Costs and Lab Costs Change

A ballpark number might be possible to post on the Internet but the changing cost of supplies and lab fees make it impossible to guarantee an accurate price for full mouth dental implants. Dentists who offer implants can correctly calculate dental implant surgery costs based on current prices when you come in for a consultation.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we are committed to excellence in dentistry and in service. We offer dental implants, along with a full range of general and family dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7727

6 Ways To Improve Your Smile

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Who would say no to a more attractive smile? At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we’re guessing no one! With all of the cosmetic dentistry procedures now available, most people can get the smile they want.

Here is a quick look at some of the most popular treatments.

  1. Teeth whitening is a very common procedure used to lighten stained teeth. This quick and easy procedure is usually done in the dentist office, and the results can be extremely dramatic.
  2. Bonding is a popular treatment that uses a dental composite that resembles enamel. This material is applied to the surface of the teeth, sculpted into the desired shape, and then hardened and polished.
  3. Tooth reshaping is a simple way to improve the appearance of your smile. It involves removing part of the enamel and can be used to fix small chips or to change the length or position of teeth.
  4. Veneers are custom-made porcelain coverings that are very thin. They are bonded to the teeth and can be used to close gaps or cover discolored teeth.
  5. For most patients, dental implants are the ideal way to replace a missing tooth.
  6. And finally, there is the smile makeover. A smile makeover uses a combination of procedures to get dental patients the smiles they want.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we want our patients to have the best oral health possible. We also want them to look their best. We offer a full range of cosmetic dentistry procedures, including dental implants. Call for an appointment with us today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 4766

Is The Humble Toothbrush Obsolete?

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Are manual toothbrushes obsolete? Would you believe people have asked that for more than fifty years? At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we assure you that the answer is no – an old school manual toothbrush is one of your best friends, when it comes to maintaining your dental health.

“Wait a minute,” you might say, “isn’t an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?”

That very question was addressed in the Journal of the American Dental Association, way back in February of 1964. Their article sensibly concluded that all toothbrushes, when used properly, are effective at removing food debris and plaque to keep your smile free of decay.

Electric toothbrushes are great, and they certainly have their place. But they do not do a better job cleaning teeth, simply because they’re electric. When it comes to any toothbrush, the most important thing is to choose one with soft bristles. They are gentle on the gums, but still effective in brushing away plaque.

For most people, whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush boils down to personal preference. Both do a good job cleaning your teeth. A manual toothbrush may take a little longer. But they’re a lot cheaper! At the end of the day, though, the choice is yours.

One important point in favor of the electric toothbrush: they are a tremendous benefit to anyone with issues like arthritis.

The important thing is to find a toothbrush that works for you, and use it. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we stress brushing and flossing twice a day. Our services include general and family dentistry, and special procedures like dental implants. Call for your next checkup today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7305

Let’s Work Together To Keep Your Smile Healthy And Beautiful

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Here at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we approach all your oral care needs from two separate angles—what we can do in our office and what you can do at home.

For example, teeth whitening can be treated in our office or at home. Here in the office there are safe and effective methods for whitening yellowed or stained tooth enamel. At-home whitening techniques are also safe and effective and sometimes more affordable.

Additionally, we guide you about food and drink choices that can affect your whitened smile. Be aware of staining substances such as coffee, tea, tobacco and soda. We understand that abstaining from these items altogether is not an easy lifestyle change. Nor do we expect it.

Awareness and precaution can make a big difference. Rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking a dark or sugary liquid can cut down on the contact your teeth have with it and help neutralize the acids. Prolonged exposure to sugar can lead to buildup of plaque and tartar and prolonged exposure to staining substances can negate the results of teeth whitening.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO we offer general and family dentistry, and special services like dental implants. Call to schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6856

Tooth Replacement For The 21st Century

Boulder County tooth implant supported dentures

Not everything was better back in the “good old days.” Take dentures, for instance. Dentures have been around for generations and have certainly improved the lives of thousands of people. But they don’t compare favorably to modern implant dentures, like those available from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette.

Traditional dentures can impede many critical oral functions: chewing, tasting, swallowing, talking, and smiling. You may know people who have stopped attending social activities because they are embarrassed by dentures that are far from inconspicuous.

As you may know, a dental implant is a titanium post that is placed in the jaw, where it fuses with the bone. Multiple posts, usually four, can support a set of dentures.

In most cases, implant-supported dentures are made for the patient’s lower jaw. That’s because lower dentures tend to be the most problematic; the uppers are more stable and don’t need the extra support that implants provide.

That said, implant-supported dentures can be made for the upper and lower.

Implant-supported dentures have a number of advantages over traditional dentures:

  • More stable. Because they are attached to titanium posts that have fused with the jaw, people have much greater biting and chewing power.
  • Natural in appearance. They look more like natural teeth, and are easier to care for.
  • Built to last. Because they are physically attached to the jaw, implants are long-lasting.
  • Prevents bone recession. With traditional dentures, the bone around missing tooth roots begin to deteriorate. The titanium posts replace some of the tooth rootes, so the bone is preserved.

Implant-supported dentures can transform your life, and they are among the procedures available at Boulder County Smiles. We also offer general and family dentistry. Call our office to schedule an appointment today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6958

Foaming At The Mouth: Are You Brushing Right?

Lafayette affordable family dentist

In this post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we review some details about brushing your teeth. It bears repeating that brushing and flossing are the best ways to maintain good dental health.

One key to activating the value of toothpastes is creating foam when thoroughly brushing.

Working up a good foam is achieved by pre-wetting the toothbrush, then attacking at a 45 rather than 90 degree angle. The foaming assists in dislodging food debris from nooks and crannies in the mouth. Go ahead and swish it around at the completion of brushing to pick up any stragglers. The abrasives in toothpaste are designed to polish the teeth without damaging the enamel.

Because of the abrasives, soft toothbrushes are best for proper brushing. Harder bristles can put the enamel and gum line at risk. When the gum line recedes from aggressive brushing (or any other cause) a patient may see tooth pain, increased build-up and decay, tooth structure weakening, and in acute cases, tooth loss.

The fluoride in the toothpaste promotes remineralization when the paste has been rubbed around on all surfaces of all teeth in the entire mouth. This takes time so make certain you brush for at least 2-3 minutes.

Furthermore, remember that flossing is vital and rounds out the 5 minutes each day to give you healthy, pain-free chewing for years and years to come.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we want all our patients to brush and floss twice a day, and see us for a checkup twice a year. Our services include general and family dentistry, and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next checkup today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6935

6 Good Reasons To Visit Your Dentist More Often

6 Good Reasons To Visit Your Dentist More Often

Most people visit the dentist about once each year. As many as forty percent of Americans see their dentist less often. Some go as long as five years between visits. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we recommend a checkup every six months.

Here are six great reasons to visit us more frequently.

1. Oral Cancer Detection

That’s right: cancer detection. Not many people think about the risk of getting cancer in their mouth or throat. Patients with oral cancer have a far better prognosis when it’s detected early. Note that tobacco users have a substantially higher risk of developing oral cancer.

2. Cavity Damage

Unfortunately, almost everyone gets cavities. If cavities are caught when they are small, they aren’t difficult (or pricey) to fix.

The problem comes when they aren’t discovered early and the damage requires a serious fix. Cavities are one of the reasons many people avoid the dentist. Getting a tooth filled used to be painful. Not anymore.

3. Gum Disease, Gingivitis, or Periodontitis

Gum health is a part of an overall dental health. We will check your gums and treat gum disease, if need be.

4. Bad Habits

Bad habits can have a negative influence on your oral health. Smoking, poor diet, biting nails and clenching teeth are among the more common. It helps to have an experienced professional to help you deal with habits so they don’t become destructive.

5. Deeper Problems

X-ray technology allows us to detect potential problems before they become visible. Many issues can be fixed before damage occurs.

6. More Than Just Teeth

We are concerned about more than your teeth. We care about your overall physical health, and are trained in the anatomy around your mouth, including your neck, throat, lymph nodes and head. We always check for signs of trouble.

But we never lose sight of your dental health; at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, that’s what it’s all about. We offer general and family dentistry, and a full range of restorative procedures. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7785