When Is It Time for a Root Canal?

too late for a root canalMost people get very concerned when the words root canal are being used. A visit to the doctor accompanied by pain may require a simple extraction but there are times when other options are chosen. The problem with a root canal is that the signs to have one performed may not always be a simple one. There are a few reasonably clear options that a root canal should be considered. If any of these problems exist then a dental appointment should be set up for an immediate evaluation.


One of the first things to consider is that your indications for the procedure are not always about pain. You may be going about your routine without a care in the world when you realize that there is some level of discomfort around one or more of your teeth. It is also possible for the color of your teeth to change or even be slightly discolored. The level of discoloration will depend on the stage of your infection. In the same manner if you are experiencing discomfort it will continue to increase and eventually evolve into excruciating pain.

The pain

There is almost no chance of avoiding a painful tooth infection especially since it goes straight to the nerves. More often than not, the infection will trigger a great deal of pain when you touch the area in question. An infection does not stop at the tooth it heads straight for the source and wreaks havoc through inflamed nerves. Sitting on a tooth infection that has progressed to the nerves is next to impossible since it will affect your ability to chew your food.

Not just a feeling

Most patients will be asked to sit through a few x rays before a diagnosis can be made. If you have ever attempted to consume a glass of cold liquid such as water or milk with an infection you will understand. The sensitivity to extreme temperatures will trigger excruciating pain. That pain may not be immediately obvious to the patient. If it is accompanied by tenderness or swelling then the diagnosis will usually turn out to be a root canal.

Second attempt

Broken or cracked teeth do not always point to a root canal but there are times when the diagnosis will turn out that way. There are instances when a root canal will fail to solve the problem and it may be necessary to repeat the process. It is always possible that the effects of your pain will not be discovered until the middle of the night on a weekend. Most patients simply want to experience relief which may not be readily available. The odds are pretty good that you will need to take an antibiotic to deal with the infection.

Need a root canal? Inner Banks Dental are the experts if you are located in the Washington, North Carolina area. Visit or call today if you are in need of emergency dental care.

Dental Night Guards: Why you need one

Are you one of the millions of people who grind their teeth at night? Are you tired of waking up with jaw pain? Then it might be time for a dental night guard.

Who needs a dental night guard?
Those who may clench or grind their teeth should have a night guard to prevent damage. This includes children and adults of all ages. Typically these are worn at night while sleeping. Often times people do not realize they are damaging their teeth, so a night guard is recommending to any one.

What happens if you grind your teeth with no guard?
When a person grinds their teeth with no guard it causes the teeth to flatten and become brittle. Prolonged grinding can be so intense that it causes nerve pain and sensitivity. Think of it as putting a ten thousand pound weight on your jaw. Over time this wears on the teeth, and leads to cracks and loss of teeth.

How do you know if you grind your teeth?
Because it is often done while sleeping, many people do not realize they grind their teeth. However, there are several signs that one is grinding their teeth. Indicators of teeth grinding include: pain in your back, ears, and neck. These can often be associated with other health issues, so it is important to have regular dental check ups.

How long until I feel relieve once using a dental night guard?
It depends on the type of mouth guard, and the severity of grinding. In some cases people will find relieve immediately upon use. On occasion some have reported in order to find relieve they must wear a guard night and day. Those who have poor fitted guards may experience a less effective result. It is important to know that on average the most positive results often occur within 3-5 days of the first use.

What type of dental guards are out there?
There are three general types of mouth guards for your teeth. The already fitted stock guard is inexpensive and usually available at local retailers. These are already preformed and generally one size fits most. Then, there are dental mouth guards you boil and shape to your teeth. These can also be found at local retailers and offer a better fit. Lastly, a specially made dental night guard is highly recommended overall. These are custom fitted to a persons mouth and provide the most protection. Ask your dentist today which guard is right for you!

Teeth Whitening Tips That Can Change Your Life!

Tooth Whitening before and after picNot only do white teeth indicate good health, but are also very beautiful. Most people want to look and feel the best they can. The information below will give you some nifty teeth whitening tricks. Explore your options and enjoy your whiter, brighter smile. Red wine can have a very negative impact on the quality and color of your teeth. The tannin in red wine stains tooth enamel, causing discoloration. Therefore, your solution is to cut back or completely eliminate your consumption of red wine. You can also check with a local cosmetic dentist to see what professional in-office tooth whitening options are available.

Avoid coffee, tea, colas and other dark colored drinks to keep your teeth their whitest. These beverages can stain your teeth. If you were to drink coffee, make sure you rinse your mouth out immediately after you are done. This can help slow down any negative effects these drinks have on your teeth. Stay away from wine, coffee and cigarettes. Chemicals in these items bond to your teeth making it difficult to keep your teeth stain-free. If such products are too hard for you to give up, give your teeth a thorough brushing after you indulge in them. Alternatively, companies have started to sell mini finger brushed that you can use as a mild abrasive to brush your teeth, without having to carry around a toothbrush. The abrasive bristles are what function to clean and whiten your teeth.

If you are currently pregnant, stay away from all teeth whitening products. Some of these teeth whitening products have ingredients that could harm the fetus. Consult with your doctor if you are using a toothpaste that whitens teeth to ensure that you are not using a product that could be harmful to your pregnancy. For the fastest results, it is best to have your teeth whitened by a professional. Your dentist or beautician can use chemical products to whiten your teeth in a few sessions. Dentists can use techniques not offered in over-the-counter preparations.

Make the peels and leaves a powdery mixture. Use this powder and combine with water to create a toothpaste. Besides helping to whiten teeth, this mixture can also inhibit the spread of gum disease and the formation of cavities. Get an electric toothbrush if you want really white teeth. These toothbrushes can remove any strains that are on your teeth from particular foods, wine, and tobacco. It will take yellowness away that could be embedded on the outside of your teeth.

Rigorous dental hygiene practices can lead to better breath and a whiter smile. Lick your clean palm to test your breath. If you smell an unpleasant odor, use a breath freshener, mouthwash or brush your teeth. Avoid using alcohol based mouthwashes though so that you avoid the dreaded dry mouth. Mouthwashes are great to kill germs, but you could discolor your teeth. If you still prefer to use mouthwash, opt for a formula that is not brightly colored or excessively strong.

After reading this article you should know exactly what to do to get whiter teeth. If not, Mark Andrews, DDS can help you with all of your cosmetic dentistry needs. Read on for more information. There is no doubt that anyone would want to look and feel their best. Enjoy your beautiful, bright smile!

Getting Through Halloween Cavity Free

some pretty gross halloween cavitiesNow that you’ve gotten through trick-or-treating with your little ghosts and goblins, it’s time to manage their candy consumption. There are several tricks that parents use during the days immediately following Halloween to moderate the amount of sugar going into their children’s bodies. See if any of these sound familiar:

  • The Eat-What-You-Want Method: The candy is dumped in a big bowl and placed in a conspicuous location. As the children desire, they can help themselves to the candy. Naturally, it is gone within a few days. Halloween is now officially over.
  • The Hard-and-Fast Rule Method: Parents have decided upon an appropriate number of candy pieces to be eaten each day. The children can have their daily allotment at a specific time, then aren’t allowed any more until the next day. The candy might last until Thanksgiving, or even longer.
  • The Trade-In Method: Kids are allowed, encouraged or required to trade in their loot for something more valuable, such as money, iTunes gift cards or a toy that they’ve been eyeing. With any luck, the candy disappears on the evening of Halloween or early on November 1.

Then, of course, there are the methods that include the parents eating most of the good stuff after the kids go to bed, or those that involve bringing the candy to area nursing homes or hospitals so that others may enjoy the sweet confections before they can damage their children’s teeth.

No matter how you handle Halloween at your house, there are a few steps you can take to help your kids get through the season without developing any new cavities. Follow these guidelines for a healthy, happy, cavity free smile that lasts well into the new year.

Brush, Floss, Repeat

If your children keep up with their regular dental routines, they should not have much of a problem, even if they are eating candy each day. Make sure that they’re brushing morning and night, and help younger kids with flossing before bed.

Get It In – and Out – of Their Systems

Instead of allowing your children to graze on candy all day over the next several weeks, encourage them to eat their daily allotment in one sitting. This naturally cuts down on the amount that they’ll eat, and it also allows you to then promptly follow up with required toothbrushing. The teeth won’t be being bathed in sugar all day, which can cut down on cavity-causing bacteria.

Choose the Right Types of Candy

Anything chewy or sticky is more likely to anchor itself to the teeth. It might be helpful to go through their candy stashes and remove anything super-sticky. You can also pick up a few packs of sugar-free gum, particularly the type that contains xylitol, and slip it in their bags. That kind of sweet is actually good for teeth!

If your child does develop some sensitivity, be sure to give us a call promptly so we can get him or her in for a checkup. Remember that small problems can usually be treated quickly (and relatively inexpensively); the same cannot be said for larger, more painful problems!