Exams and Dental X-rays = Best Care

A time for everything…

…Including a regular exam and dental X-rays.

X-rays are for patients who have something wrong (or so you thought), why do dentists need x-rays

It's crazy trying to find time for everything but don't skip dental exams and dental x-rays.

It’s crazy trying to find time for everything but don’t skip dental exams and dental x-rays.

and an exam…when you just want your teeth cleaned. This might be something you thought recently if you called to set up an appointment with your dentist and were informed you are due for dental x-rays and or an exam.

For most patients dentists will want to do a minimum of an annual exam–and depending on the information they have on the condition on your teeth and gums–potentially dental x-rays annually or semi annually. If your dentist is new to you or your last exam was more than one or two years ago–even if you think your teeth are doing great–expect to get a full exam and x-rays. It can seem overwhelming and confusing, especially when it takes up valuable time and adds to the cost of oral care, but it’s too risky to skip, here is why.

The Short Answer

Dentist are able to find abnormalities in teeth and soft tissue and head off problems before they affect long term health.

Dentist are able to find abnormalities in teeth and soft tissue and head off problems before they affect long term health.

Your dentist will be held accountable for missing things that put your health at risk. Cavities, root absorption and gum disease are a big deal and have been linked to other serious disease processes but oral cancer is potentially deadly.

The Rest of The Story

X-rays only take minutes.

  • They are fast, and painless though it may be uncomfortable for a few minutes.
  • Children should get dental X-rays every one to two years.
  • Adults should get dental X-rays each two to three years.
    Dental X-rays are fast and painless.

    Dental X-rays are fast and painless.

X-rays are unmatched for diagnostics:

  • They Show cavities:
    • Between teeth,
    • underneath fillings and other dental work,
    • X-rays also show cavities that are below the gum line.
    • All of which a dentist would not be able to identify without an x-ray.
  • X-rays give the dentist information about teeth that are below the gumline, both for children and adults.  (For example, adults with retained wisdom teeth.)
  • X-rays let your dentist assess jaw position.
    • Jaw position can determine susceptibility to bruxism, TMJ, over and underbites (among other things) that can increase likelihood of fracturing teeth or other long term problems.
  • X-rays tell dentist about progression of gum disease or infection that may not be well evaluated with the naked eye.
  • X-rays also give your dentist an accurate way to assess potential bone loss in the jaw.
    •  Bone loss can happen for several reasons:
      • previous trauma from your youth or more recent.

Oral cancer now kills as many americans as melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. In addition to x-rays, during an annual exam your dentist will be looking for physical anomalies in the teeth, gums, tongue and surrounding soft tissues. Anomalies are abnormalities that might signal bigger issues in the mouth, like cancer. Dentist can identify cancerous and precancerous lesions in the mouth and throat, as well as find and assess tiny cracks or fissures in the enamel of teeth that may indicate future problems like a potential for fractured and broken teeth. 

Life just keeps getting busier and busier and having the time and resources to get it all done all the time is tricky. As dentist we want the best for our patients, the best care, the best diagnostics, the healthiest and best smiles.

Make time for your annual check-ups, you’ll never regret the time you’ve spent staying healthy.

Call us today.


What You Don’t Know About White Teeth

What You Don’t Know About White Teeth

A Myriad Of Culprits Contribute To The Everyday Dulling Of A Beautiful, White Smile

It’s not just the dread coffee responsible for staining your pearly whites and giving you a lackluster smile.

Dark Colored Foods and Drinks

These days everyone is obsessed with having the brightest, biggest, whitest smile. Considered common knowledge–most of us know–that certain foods will stain our teeth, especially if consumed often.  There are several that are particularly bad foods to watch out for in order to keep teeth white and bright.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Surprise, did you know that foods high in acid are also responsible for yellowing and discoloring teeth? It’s not just the color of the foods and drinks you consume but the level of acidity as well. High acid levels soften the enamel coating on teeth leaving them susceptible to stains, soft and more likely to absorb colors in foods that stain teeth.

Why Yellow?

Thick, healthy enamel looks bright and white but really it’s slightly translucent, like fine china. As healthy enamel is worn away it becomes easier to see the dentin underneath. Dentin is the next layer of the tooth and it less white and more yellow. Thinner enamel, coupled with stains that seep into the pores of enamel can give teeth a yellow cast to them.

The Double Whammy List

Here’s a short list of foods that tend to be both dark in color and acidic making them the most likely to stain teeth.

  1. Black Tea. If you do drink black tea, avoid eating other foods with it that also have the potential to stain teeth, dark colored fruits or juices, basically anything that would stain clothing. The tannins in black tea are exceptionally good at increasing the way other foods colors can bond to enamel. Opt for Green Tea, it is considered not just a healthier option but also has less likelihood of staining teeth.
  2. Sugary Sweet, Sticky Treats. The longer sugar stays in your mouth the more time it has to work its mischief, so hard or chewy, those brightly colored drops of sweetness spell disaster for teeth. When you eat a candy that stains your tongue and lips a deep shade of red, blue, purple or green, guess what? Those same bright colors are also leeching into your enamel. Avoid the brightly colored hard and or chewy candies and go for a stick of sugar free gum, or even a small piece of dark chocolate instead.
    Greens can help coat teeth with a protective layer to stop other foods from staining your teeth.

    Greens can help coat teeth with a protective layer to stop other foods from staining your teeth.

  3. Curry and other Sauces. Some sauces are deeply colored by spices or tomatoes, they tend to have heavy concentrations of color and can be acidic as well equalling easy attachment to enamel, leaving dark stains over time.  Don’t avoid healthy foods but do consider two things that will help mitigate staining. a.) Drink less wine during a meal like this. Wine is acidic and will only increase the staining potential. b.) Eat your greens. Many vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, even onions–for example) and a variety of green leafy vegetables are known to coat the teeth in a protective layer helping to prevent staining and even bacterial colonization.
    Acids, not just tannins make teeth susceptible to staining. White wine stains teeth too.

    Acids, not just tannins make teeth susceptible to staining. White wine stains teeth too.

  4. Red and White Wine. It’s common knowledge that red wine will stain teeth, in fact it will stain just about everything, even rocks. The deeply colored polyphenols and tannins in red wine are responsible for its staining powers. Maybe it will be a surprise that white wines can stain teeth equally well, if not better. The acids and tannins in white wine give it super powers for staining your teeth. Avoid eating other foods that stain teeth at the same time you are enjoying a glass of white wine.
  5. Soda, colas, and sports drinks. Everything we just covered about wine plus sugar! It’s not tannins in cola that does your teeth in, its phosphoric acid, and the effect is staggering. Thinking of switching to a sports drink? Think again. Studies have shown some of the most popular sports drinks to have even higher levels of acid in them then the two leading brands of soda. Drink water. Consuming water actually helps flush out acids and correct pH plus it aids your body in making more slippery saliva and that is good news for healthy teeth and gums.
  6. Juice Drinks. Store bought, commercially packaged juice, marketed as healthy, has an even higher acid level (for preservation) than fresh squeezed juice. Buying processed juices, especially brightly colored ones, can be more of a staining hazard than most people realize. Freshly squeezed, made on the spot, juices aren’t processed, so there is less acid, more fiber, more vitamins and they are more healthy. You still don’t want them lingering on your teeth for an extended amount of time.  Swish around a sip of water when you finish just to clear out the acids and sugars left hanging out on and in between teeth.
  7. The Extras. Condiments like soy sauce, ketchup, balsamic vinegar and any other dark, acidic topping to your food, including some hot sauces and salsas can increase the likelihood of staining and yellowing teeth, particularly when paired with other richly colored foods than might impart more stains. This is another great time to reach for a tall glass of water. eating acidic foods or dark colored foods in combination with other foods and water can help dilute the effect and keep stain powers to a minimum.
    Polyphenols in brightly colored fruits and veggies are good for you...and stain teeth.

    Polyphenols in brightly colored fruits and veggies are good for you…and stain teeth.

  8. Richly Colored Fruits and Vegetables. Lastly, some of the most healthy foods can stain teeth because they are loaded with bright colors. The bright colors are a good indicator that they are loaded with super compounds known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are great for the body…hard on the teeth. Go ahead, eat your blueberries, your beets and your pomegranate. Eat all the blackberries you want and raspberries. Then go for some water. Sounding like a broken record?

You might be inclined to brush your teeth first but that’s a mistake. The acids in many of these foods tend to not just stain teeth but soften the enamel. It’s best to let enamel recover for at least an hour first then go in for the brushing with your soft bristled toothbrush. In the meantime, a cool glass of water and a little swish between teeth is the best first move to make. Water will dilute and neutralize strong acids and deep colors to help minimize the risk of staining teeth.

If your teeth have staining or discoloration we can help restore a bright smile giving you that confident feeling with every smile and helping your teeth stay their healthy best.

Mouth Matters: Facts and Tips

Your mouth matters. There are hundreds of things our teeth, tongue, lips and mouth do for us everyday and there are only a few things we need to do to keep our teeth, gums and tongue at their healthiest.

Did You Know?

Your Tongue

Your tongue can host the majority of bad breath causing bacteria in your mouth

Your tongue can host the majority of bad breath causing bacteria in your mouth

  • Your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body.
    • Thomas Blackstone holds the record for the strongest tongue. He once lifted 24 pounds and 3 ounces of weight hooked through his tongue.
  • Men have longer tongues than women generally, the longest man’s tongue recorded at a length of 3.86 inches while the longest womans tongue in the record books came in at 2.76 inches.
    • Blue Whales win with the largest known tongue in the entire animal kingdom. Their tongues are the size of an elephant, or 5,400 pounds.
  • By using research on identical twins, scientist believe the ability to roll your tongue does not seem to be an inherited trait.
  • Most of the bacteria that cause bad breath live on your tongue.

Taste Buds on Your Tongue

  • Your tongue can taste; bitter, sweet, salty, and sour, the fifth taste, is Umami.
    • Umami taste was identified in 1908 by a Japanese researcher.
  • The Average person has 10,000 taste buds in their mouth.
    • 2,000 taste buds are on the inside of the cheeks, on the roof of the mouth and under the tongue.
    • A single taste bud contains between 50 to 100 taste cells.
      • A single cell may contain multiple types of receptors for taste but no single cell can identify both sweet and bitter.

Your Teeth

  • Your teeth are the hardest substance in the human body.
  • Including Wisdom teeth, adults have 32 permanent teeth.
    • 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars (counting wisdom teeth).
  • Having white teeth is not an indicator of healthy teeth.

Taking Care

Healthcare of mouth and dental floss. Dental hygiene

Healthcare of mouth and dental floss. Dental hygiene

  • Certain cheese and dark chocolate have been found to protect teeth from decay.
  • More than a billion dollars a year is spent on over-the-counter products that only mask bad breath odors.
    • We have something better.
  • Brush your teeth twice daily.
    • Replace your toothbrush every six months sooner if you’ve been sick with a virus.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
    • Skipping flossing leaves upto 40% of teeth surfaces untouched, still dirty.
  • See your dentist twice a year and schedule cleanings at least twice per year.

Your Health

  • 90% of all life-threatening diseases have some oral symptom.
  • Cavities, or tooth decay, in the U.S., is the 2nd most common disease, 1st is the common cold.
  • 100 million bacteria can live in one drop of saliva.
    • The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime.
      • That’s enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.
  • 4 million children are affected by cavities.
    • That’s greater than the population of the city of Los Angeles.


Lasers in Dentistry

Lasers in Dentistry

Lasers In Dental Technology; Improving Patient Care.

Lasers aren’t new in dentistry but the applications and the precision continues to make heady improvements. Lightwalker lasers have been leading the way in advancements for almost five decades, in precision, performance, consistency, and overall perfection.

Since the 1990’s dentists have been using special lasers in dental treatments. Lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. The light from different lasers can be used to vaporize tissue, cut tissue, harden and enforce a bond between a filler and the remaining tooth, even to stop bleeding, cut away tissue or aid in whitening teeth.

Why Lightwalker Lasers are Special

With new innovations in lasers comes viable solutions for patients and doctors to quickly and painlessly treat a myriad of oral conditions with improved healing, improved accuracy, and less overall invasiveness. Lightwalker Fotona lasers are so accurate and reliable they can be successfully used for very delicate procedures and very specialized procedures. Used to treat some types of decay or cavities, used in gum surgery, hard and soft tissue applications, for treating gum disease and even for a nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea and throat anomalies. Procedures that once were invasive, with long healing times are now nominally invasive, and have a much faster healing time  with lasers and with much less trauma to sensitive oral tissue.

The Benefits of Our Lightwalker Fotona Dental Lasers Include:

  • A full range of hard- and soft-tissue treatments
  • Extremely precise hard-tissue cutting and ablation
  • Easy and effective endodontic treatments
  • Little or no bleeding surgical procedures, with simultaneous disinfection
  • Easy-to-select operating modes for greater simplicity
  • Greater patient satisfaction and less operator fatigue
  • Excellent training and support for medical staff

Do You Need Oral Surgery or Have Sleep Apnea?

Contact our office and we can schedule you for a quick consultation to see if our Lightwalker Fotona lasers can treat or help remedy your dental, oral, or sleep apnea related problems.

Get Rid of Your Bad Breath

Get Rid of Your Bad Breath

Why You Have Bad Breath and How to Get Rid of It!

Let’s face it, one of the most humiliating social situations to find yourself in the middle of involves serious halitosis, or bad breath. When it comes to bad breath not everyone is created equal, some people have slightly bad breath, while others have a putrid cesspool in their mouth. Some people have occasional bad breath and others are habitual offenders.

If you’ve ever struggled to get rid of chronic bad breath you know how difficult it can be. There are a few crucial facts to understand in order to finally get rid of your stinky breath problems.  The cause of bad breath is not the food particles left behind between and on teeth, the real cause of halitosis can be traced to volatile sulfur compound producing bacteria (VSC) that are consuming the pieces of food left between and on teeth, in the crevices of the tongue and in deep crevices of molars.  Ever get a whiff of a stinky barnyard, a heap of rotting trash or a pile of feces?  Those are the same types of (VSC) bacteria working their magic in those stinky things too.

Steps To Getting Rid of Stinky Breath Once and For All

Stop doing this:

  • Avoiding foods that are known to increase bad breath like dairy, onions, garlic, sugar, and other high protein foods along with sugary starches can all worsen bad breath.
  • Smoking of any kind can also increase bad breath, and as with smoking, which dries out the tissues in the mouth and encourages bacterial growth, alcohol also tends to increase the likelihood of bad breath.

Start doing this:

  • Drink green tea after meals. In studies green tea and some other teas have been proven to inhibit (VSC) bacteria from proliferating. It’s a short term solution, but the study, measurable improvement from green tea was greater than the benefits of those from using mints, chewing gum, even greater than celery or parsley.
  • Don’t skip brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing your teeth one time daily, routine oral hygiene easily eradicated hundreds of millions of bad breath causing bacteria.
  • Drink! Lots of good, clean water. Staying hydrated helps ensure that you’ve got as much good, slippery saliva as possible. Saliva helps keep sensitive tissues healthy and also flushes out and washes away debris from food, this inhibits bacteria growth.
    Purple onion, bad breath perpetrator.

    Purple onion, bad breath perpetrator.

  • While onions and dairy are noted for causing bad breath, cheese shouldn’t be skipped because cheese is also good for your teeth and bad for bacteria, just like onions, while smelly themselves, they are noted for killing several specific types of bacteria found to cause halitosis…so kill the bacteria and then grab some gum.
  • Get your beauty sleep. It’s not just for looks, in one study getting less than six hours of sleep was the greatest contributor to worsening periodontal disease, even over smoking or skipping brushing. Getting seven or more hours of sleep are crucial for keeping (VSC) bacteria at bay.
  • Clean your tongue. A thorough brushing can be effective though tongue scrapers are made especially for this task, scraping from back to front during your daily brushing sessions drastically reduces the number of stinky bacterial colonies inside the mouth.
  • Use the right mouthwash. If you already use a mouthwash, make sure it’s one that will make a difference and not compound the issue. After you brush and floss use a mouthwash that is alcohol free and for the very best results look for ones containing the active ingredient; stabilized chlorine dioxide.
  • Routine dental cleanings with a dental hygienist up to three times per year are crucial to eradicating colonized bacteria living in films and tartar, on teeth and below gum lines.

Other Considerations That Will Affect The Success of Your Fight On Bad Breath.

  • Prescription medications that may have the side effect of halitosis
  • Poorly managed health conditions like diabetes, esophageal reflux, kidney disease, can contribute to bad breath.
  • Serious medical problems also can affect breath smell: certain cancers, sleep apnea and heart disease specifically.


5 Tips To Better Brushing

Old School

Dental plaque in human mouth on the denture.

Dental plaque in human mouth on the denture.

The old saying goes, brush in the morning to keep your friends and brush at night to keep your teeth, but if that’s all your doing for oral hygiene you are leaving a lot of room for improvement. We all want to keep our teeth healthy and strong and we want our teeth to last our entire lifetime. Here are some simple steps to make sure you’re incorporating into your hygiene regimen. Besides brushing, here’s what you need to know.

How Often Do You Brush?

Millions of bacteria will grow in your mouth over a 24 hour period. after 24 hours the bacteria in your mouth will have begun to form a dense layer, forming what is referred to as plaque. Plaque is the bacterial colonies that can coat tooth surfaces and form calculus and tartar, causing decay and serious periodontal infection. If you are brushing your teeth only one time per day it’s not enough to prevent plaque build up.  Dentist recommend brushing after every meal but if you cannot do that, the consensus is to brush at least two times per day.

Watch Out Though

Is there such a thing as brushing your teeth too often? If brushing three times per day is a good idea then four or five times must be better right? That’s wrong. In this case there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Excessive brushing can wear away tooth enamel and irritate delicate gum tissue, which can lead to inflammation or infection.  If you are prone to eating many small snacks or more than three times in a day, try chewing sugarless gum after you eat. When you chew gum it increases the saliva in your mouth, flushes out bacteria and loose food particles and helps to keep the mouth clean in between brushing.

Right Angles

A perfect right angle is 90 degrees but the perfect angle for brushing teeth is exactly 45 degrees, angled towards the gum line. Angling toothbrush bristles towards the gum line will increase the amount of detritus, bacteria and plaque that is dislodged and removed at the gum line and below. Most adults are more prone to cavities below the gum line or infection at or below the gums, this technique makes the most of your brushing efforts and is still very gentle to delicate gum tissue.

Not a Straight Line From Start to Finish

Think of brushing teeth like polishing fine silver or delicate furniture. Using a sawing motion would not be the best way to clean and shine up such prized possessions. Over time a straight back-and-forth motion would leave wear patterns and it is the same with the enamel in your teeth. Sawing motions are abrasive, instead use a circular motion, just as you do on the silverware or the antique hutch and you will ensure that your teeth and your antiques are their sparkliest.

Toothbrushes Not Sandpaper

While we are talking about wearing down enamel let’s talk about bristles. You would never want sandpaper in your mouth. Pushing too aggressively, brushing too briskly and using a brush with really stiff bristles will wear teeth and inflame gums needlessly.  Always use a soft or extra soft toothbrush because, while it’s true, you can partially remineralize your existing enamel,  you cannot build it back up if you brush it all away.

Last But Not Least

Flossing. We’ve said it before (and we will probably say it again). Flossing is necessary to remove bacteria and food that brushing teeth alone cannot reach. Don’t skip flossing, but remember you only need to floss once a day to reap the benefits. The benefits are that you get to keep your own teeth for longer.

Flossing keeps teeth cleaner and helps stop plaques and tartar from forming between teeth and below gums.

One last secret, there is significant evidence that some mouthwashes or rinses can significantly help reduce bacterial colonies that grow between brushing. This can help reverse or stop periodontal disease, eradicate chronic bad breath and help keep your teeth whiter and healthier between dental cleanings.  If you’re looking for the right rinse for you, need to catch up on cleanings or an exam, give us a call today!



What Came Before the Modern Toothbrush?

Ever have time to ponder the little things in life, like what came before the modern toothbrush?

What came before modern toothbrushes was a lot more rotting teeth!  In fact regardless of fluoride, countries across the globe that employ modern dentistry and routine dental care have all recorded progressively lower rates of decay and tooth loss over the last 100 years.  We have all benefited from the advent of the modern toothbrush.

The toothbrush in your bathroom cabinet is the culmination of not just revision after revision, science and engineering has brought forth the best version ergonomically, hygienically and scientifically to clean and deter further bacterial colonization and plaque build up on your pearly whites.

The First Toothbrushes

Bearing in mind that people have always had teeth, it may not be surprising that we’ve been attempting to keep them clean and healthy for a very long time. The toothbrushes predecessor, the chew stick, have been unearthed in various places around the globe The oldest chew stick, found in Babylonia and dated to 3500 BC, followed by archeological evidence in Egypt dating to about 3000 BC.

Chew Stick or teeth cleaning sticks.

Chew Stick or teeth cleaning sticks.

Chew sticks were a stick that was tapered on one end and frayed on the other end. The soft frayed ends were used to gently clean the surfaces and the pointed end could dislodge debris stuck in the teeth crevices and cracks.  A variety of trees or bushes could be employed to make chew sticks.  Different regions and cultures each, had their own prefered bush or tree, sometimes cinnamon, sassafras or even tea tree and walnut. Well over a dozen different types of trees/bushes with bitter roots were utilized for chew sticks, or teeth cleaning sticks.  The types of trees and bushes typically selected for teeth cleaning or chew sticks have long been known to have antimicrobial benefits that no doubt benefited the user to some degree.


Toothbrush believed to have belonged to Napoleon

Eventually the chew stick evolved into a bristled brush similar to our more modern toothbrushes. The first of which have been unearthed in ancient China.  The Toothbrush made it’s way across the globe and while the handles varied between bamboo, ivory and bone, the bristles on those first toothbrushes were generally made from horse-tail hairs, boar bristles, even badger fur. By the 1900’s modern handles made from man made materials were the norm and nylon bristles were standard.


The Zenith of the Toothbrush

Over the last hundred years or so the toothbrush has changed but is still recognizable from even its earliest versions. The biggest difference in the latest models are those brushes that offer ultrasonic cleaning speeds.  We easily assume that this feature is but a mere gimmick, yet by far, this is the pinnacle of hundreds of years of reinventing and researching oral health. Today’s ultra-sonic toothbrushes–outfitted with a new toothbrush head and properly charged–remove stains, debris and colonies of bacteria both above and below the gumline. Ultrasonic toothbrushes may even contribute in retarding harmful anaerobic bacteria.

As ultrasonic toothbrushes are moved from tooth to tooth they create thousands of teeny-tiny bubbles, some that may be small enough to slip into the tiny space between the teeth and gums. Those little bubble are all it takes to break up the party of nasty anaerobic bacteria hanging out down below the gumline. Anaerobic bacteria can be some of the stinkiest and contribute, extensively, to periodontal disease, gum disease, decay and other oral infection.

By now you’re probably day dreaming about a nice rendezvous with your new, modern, toothbrush!

Contact our office weather you still use a chew stick or even if you have the fanciest, latest version–the ultrasonic toothbrush–we can help you make sure your oral health and your whole health are in alignment.



A Holistic view of Biological Dentistry

A Holistic view of Biological Dentistry

Biological Dentistry with Dr. Marilyn K. Jones DDS is a one of a kind dental practice in Houston.

As true holistic dentists we perform dentistry that is good for the body as well as the teeth and gums.

The true differences between holistic dentistry and traditional dentistry is philosophical: traditional dentistry is the practice of treating the symptoms in the teeth and gums and attempting to prevent such problems from reoccurring. Holistic dentistry is the practice of treating the underlying problems that cause symptoms in the mouth, attempting to eliminate those problems (and, hence, preventing the symptoms from recurring) while ensuring the work done in the mouth does not have an adverse affect on your overall health.

Studies have concluded a link between gum disease and heart health, diabetes, and pregnancies. However, many dentists are not trained in the long term effects of what dentistry does (or could possibly do) to the whole body. We educate our patients on the importance of overall health and how dentistry can play a role in the overall health. We place emphasis on a more natural or holistic approach to dentistry in order to support total health and ensure the best long term results.

With a unique approach to dentistry, we customize our approach to your biological needs, placing priority on education and long term health. Doctor Marilyn K. Jones DDS primary focus is on ensuring that toxins from prior dental work is safely removed and properly replace with superior products that are biologically compatible, strong, aesthetically pleasing, long lasting and promote ideal, lasting results.

Our services include all aspects of dentistry including:

Call our office now at (713) 785-7767 to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to meeting you and earning your trust.


A Chip In The Armor

Enamel: The Armor of Teeth

Closeup of a woman patient at the dentist waiting to be checked up with the woman doctor in the background

Closeup of a woman patient at the dentist waiting to be checked up with the woman doctor in the background

Chipped teeth are one of the most common things dentists get asked about.  Common sense tells us we need to see a dentist when we have a cavity, a broken tooth, or pain in our mouth, but chipped teeth don’t always fall into routine dental education we get from visits with the dentist.  Enamel is the most dense, hardest substance in the humane body, and yet–for a variety of reasons–can unexpectedly chip or fracture, sometimes just from normal wear and tear.

The Teeth Most at Risk

Several factors that can conspire to make teeth more susceptible to chips and fractures.

  • Activities that put teeth at a higher risk like baseball, hockey, and other sports, leave the mouth exposed to a higher than average risk of impact from body parts, balls, sticks, bats or other items used in play
  • Eating hard or extremely crunchy things like nuts, hard candy, caramel, popcorn kernels and ice not only can cause chipping directly but indirectly by creating small fractures and cracks
  • Chewing on non food items that are hard or abrasive
  • Using teeth to open clasps on small vials, bottles, jars and other containers
  • Bruxism (clenching jaws and grinding teeth)
  • Young children who take tumbles may chip teeth if they fall onto hard things like bathtubs, pavement, hard flooring, toys or furniture
  • Aging teeth can also become more brittle if not properly cared for or sometimes because a life time of microscopic cracks or fissures in the enamel
  • Teeth that already have, even slight, decay are more susceptible to fractures and chipping because softer

What Should You Know

Even chipped or fractured teeth that have no pain, that don’t seem to have affected the dentine, or underlying tooth structure, should be evaluated by a dentist. Soon. Chipping, and especially cracks in enamel near the chipping, can leave the inner, delicate and sensitive parts or a tooth vulnerable. Sharp jagged edges and uneven surfaces can be ideal spots for bacteria to form colonies.

The difference between a chipped tooth and a broken tooth is that a chipped tooth has a very small shard or thin piece of enamel that cracks or splinters off, but does not affect the dentine, cementum or pulp of the tooth. A piece of broken tooth needs saved and an emergency trip to the dentist should follow immediately after recovering the piece of tooth which may still be viable.

Often small chips or fractures may go unnoticed initially. Over time the areas where small chips and fractures occur can worsen. As the crack intensifies it can lead to tooth sensitivity and the nerve may become inflamed and irritated. Your Dentist has a number of remedies for chipped or cracked teeth. From veneers and bonding to sanding out rough spots and repolishing the tooth’s surface have your dentist evaluate the damage and decide what will isolate the cracks and prevent further damage in the future.

If You Already Have A Chip…

If you already have a chip or crack in your tooth, it is important to have a dentist evaluate it as soon as possible to help ensure that future damage can be prevented. proper at home hygiene and a diet rich in proper nutrients can help keep teeth their strongest in between visits.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment now.

Integrative Medicine and Whole Body Wellness

Integrative Medicine and Whole Body Wellness

Integrative Medicine and Whole Body Wellness.

Integrative Medicine is not a new practice but more of a merging of traditional Western Medicine and more nontraditional methods of medicine such as acupuncture. In a recent article from Kurir Magazine the effectiveness and principles are outlined and explained. Dr. Momir Dunjic a gynecologist in Belgrade contributed to and provided the information discussed in the article. He is the president of the European Integrative Medicine Congress and Assoc. Prof. of Gynecology & Obstetrics at the School of Medicine Pristina, Serbia.

“…- We forgot that if some lifestyle and environment caused the disease, then we have to teach that patient that they must change those circumstances, because they will not be saved from their disease by returning to the same environment and the same way of life as before.”

For more information and for the full article click here.