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

 

ArticleID 8128

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

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

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

Have you replaced your toothbrush lately? You don’t have to answer that. At Boulder county Smiles in Lafayette CO, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. Too many people wait too long to get a new toothbrush, which can be bad for their dental health. It’s one of the reasons why most dentists hand out free ones at every checkup.

Of course, you don’t need to mark your calendar or set up a reminder on your smartphone. How often you replace your toothbrush depends on how often you use it. We recommend, strongly, that you brush at least twice a day. If you’re brushing twice a day, picking up a new toothbrush at the store every three months is recommended.

Why Replace It So Often?

A toothbrush can become familiar, like a comfy pair of shoes. Sometimes the idea of tossing out the old one and replacing it isn’t very appealing. But after three months, the bristles are going to be bent and frayed. There may be some gunk – dried toothpaste foam – starting to build up, too. So toss that old brush, and get a fresh one!

What kind of brush should you be using? There are so many choices. The most important thing is to choose a brush with soft bristles. They are gentle on the gums, but still effective in brushing away plaque.

Manual or Electric?

Should you use a manual toothbrush, or go electric? This boils down to personal preference. Provided you use them correctly, both do a good job cleaning your teeth. A manual toothbrush may take a little longer, and requires you to be sure to brush up and down and in little circles. But they’re a lot cheaper! At the end of the day, though, the choice is yours.

Electric toothbrushes are a tremendous benefit to those with issues like arthritis. There are two basic types: a regular electric toothbrush, and a sonic toothbrush. A sonic toothbrush is essentially a super-charged electric brush. They can give you up to thirty thousand brush strokes per minute!

To recap: for good dental health, the important thing is to change your toothbrush every three months. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we offer a full complement of general and family dentistry, as well as restorative dentistry and many other services. 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 7776

Replace Old Silver Fillings

white fillings Lafayette

Filling cavities with a resin composite material is increasingly popular in dentistry. They are commonly called “white fillings,” and they’re what we use at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

One of the things that makes composite fillings so attractive is the color. They easily blend in with the color of your teeth, making them all but invisible. For that reason, we get requests to replace old silver fillings with composite.

Traditional silver fillings have been used in dentistry for more than 150 years. Often called amalgam fillings, they are made from a mix of different metals.

More and more people are concerned about the safety of those old-style silver fillings. And make no mistake, they still have the approval of the American Dental Association, the Food and Drug Administration, and the World Health Organization.

Yet many patients are concerned that in addition to silver, copper and tin, silver fillings contain mercury, a known toxin. They release low levels of mercury in the form of a vapor that can be absorbed by the body.

The FDA has reviewed the best scientific evidence and concluded that dental amalgam fillings are safe. Clinical studies have not established any links between silver fillings and health issues.

But at Boulder County Smiles, we would rather be safe than sorry. And besides, white fillings look so much better! We use them exclusively, so there are no safety concerns whatsoever. We offer general and family dentistry, and special services like dental implants. 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 7296

Trust Us For Accurate Dental Info

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In the Internet age, our patients at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayetete CO are better-informed than ever before. There are tons of information about dental health and treatment online.

We think this  is a good thing. Proactive self-education can be beneficial for you and your family, especially if it aids in living a healthy lifestyle. But we caution you not to count on online dental information exclusively. Always ask us to confirm or refute what you’ve read about.

Misconceptions about medical treatment in general, and dentistry in particular, began circulating long before the Internet emerged. But it has greatly accelerated the speed and distance it can travel.

Some of the most prevalent dental myths are focused on the safety of x-rays, the risk of root canals, and the facts about fluoride. Sometimes patients delay or avoid needed dental treatment because of something they read online. We encourage our patients to discuss all areas of concern with us.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we are committed to keeping the smiles of our patients healthy and beautiful for life. We offer a full range of general and family dentistry services, and treat issues like sleep apnea. 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 7144

The Value of Dental Health

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, the dental health of each of our patients is important. Too often dental health is not taken seriously enough, even by people who should know better. In this post, we are going to review some of the most important reasons for taking good care of your teeth and gums.

First, let’s get to the most obvious ones. A healthy mouth helps to prevent:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath

Those are three pretty good reasons. But there are other really good reasons why you should make brushing and flossing your teeth a practice you wouldn’t dream of skipping.

Poor dental hygiene may put you at greater risk of the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

You may wonder: why does my mouth have so much to do with my overall health? If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the mouth is a window to the rest of your body.

An examination of the mouth, and saliva in particular, can reveal the presence of systemic conditions such as AIDS and diabetes. Incredible as it may seem, more than ninety percent of systemic diseases reveal themselves in the mouth. Saliva testing can also reveal the presence of environmental toxins that indicate hepatitis and other serious illnesses.

Brushing and flossing may not help you ward off systemic conditions, but they can be detected by a dental exam.

We’ll wrap up this post with a predictable reminder: never go to bed without brushing and flossing your teeth first. Remember to brush for at least two minutes and to thoroughly brush the inside and outside of your teeth. And don’t forget your tongue!

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we want all our patients to have happy mouths – in other words, good dental health. Services include general and family dentistry, and restorative dentistry. 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