tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem, and many patients encounter pain or discomfort when they eat certain foods that are hot or cold. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, around 40 million adults suffer from sensitivity. Usually, the pain is temporary and can be treated to improve, but not cure the condition.

At Graceful Smiles Dentistry, we provide many general dentistry services including treatment for patients that suffer from sensitivity. We strive to provide quality dental care in a caring and friendly environment, where patients can relax during their treatment. We welcome new patients to our practice, and look forward to you joining our dental family.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can happen suddenly, and to anyone. Typically, symptoms of sensitivity include a sudden sharp pain when your teeth are exposed to cold, hot, or acidic foods. Tooth sensitivity can also come after you brush or floss your teeth. Teeth whitening can cause sensitivity after treatment, so patients should consider this when they are deciding to start a whitening regimen.

Our teeth are protected by enamel, and underneath the enamel is a layer of dentin. Dentin is soft, and if the enamel on your teeth is worn down, or your gums have receded the dentin can become exposed. Dentin can be exposed from cavities or cracks in your teeth. The dentin is connected to the nerve area, and this is what can cause pain or sensitive teeth.

Other Actions That Can Cause Sensitivity

  • Brushing too vigorously
  • Gum recession from periodontal disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Cracked or injured teeth
  • Plaque
  • Acidic foods or drinks
  • Dental procedures such as sensitivity after a filling
  • Teeth Whitening treatments

What Treatments Are Available for Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can never completely go away, but there are treatments available that can help alleviate the sensitivity you experience. If you are experiencing any sensitivity, we recommend you make an appointment for an exam in our office. We can treat sensitivity easier if we know that is what is causing you pain. Never leave pain untreated as this could lead to more serious issues in the future.

Sensitivity Treatments

  • Using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
  • Changing to a soft bristled tooth brush.
  • Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
  • Avoid acidic foods or drinks.
  • Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.
  • Inlays or bonding can help fix a tooth and decrease sensitivity.
  • Gum grafts can help protect the root area of the tooth.
  • Fluoride gel or varnish treatment can help protect your teeth from wear and tear.
  • Root Canal therapy if needed can help with severe tooth sensitivity, but this is typically the last resort.

Taking care of your teeth and knowing when to call your dentist is important. Patients should never have prolonged pain or sensitivity to hot or cold. It is always important to take care of your oral health, and practice good habits at home. At Graceful Smiles Dentistry, your oral health is our priority, and we strive to provide our patients with quality and affordable dental services. Let our team help you take charge of your dental health.

Ready To Schedule Your Appointment?

If you are interested in finding out more about treatments for tooth sensitivity, contact Graceful Smiles Dentistry, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

General Dentists

General Dentists provide services to diagnose, treat, and maintain your oral health. Our office specializes in general dentistry, and this includes preventative, corrective, and restorative treatment for patients. Our general dental care services allow us to remove any decay or disease from your teeth and gums. We preserve your natural teeth and keep you looking and feeling great.

Visiting our office regularly to maintain your oral health is important. Starting out good habits at an early age can create a good foundation for taking care of your teeth. Preventative treatment helps to keep teeth and gums healthy, and stop decay. During your exam in our office, we will evaluate your teeth and mouth, and develop a customized treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.

What Treatments Are Included in General Dentistry?

Our office has many general dental services to help keep you looking and feeling great. We provide consultations to discuss any concerns you have with your smile. Our consultation includes a detailed exam to determine what procedure is needed.

General Dentistry Services

  • Cleanings
  • Oral Exams
  • Fillings
  • Oral Cancer Screenings
  • Dental Implants
  • Extractions
  • Root Canals
  • X-rays
  • Fixed Bridges and Crowns

What Can I Expect During a General Dentistry Appointment?

Our general dentistry appointments begin with a visual exam of your teeth and mouth. If needed, x-rays are taken so we can take a closer look at the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. We will discuss any prior health history, and review any prior x-rays if the patients had them sent over to our office.

Next, our team will perform a thorough dental cleaning. This removes plaque from the teeth and gums and polishes the teeth. We also check any existing restorations to ensure they are all stable and in great condition. This includes fillings, implant, bridges, and crowns. Our team will also do an oral cancer screening of the mouth and tongue.

If there are any areas of concern, we will discuss those details with you and create a customized treatment plan. Our staff will discuss next steps if you require further treatment. Patients may have to return to our office for another appointment depending on what is required.

Interested in Scheduling an Appointment?

Attending your regular exams twice a year in our office is an essential part to our oral health. We can help maintain your teeth and gums and keep them looking and feeling great. Exams allow our team to get in front of any potential complications or decay, and prevent serious complications. Let us help you take charge of your oral health, and call our office today!

If you are interested in scheduling your cleaning and exam with us, please contact Graceful Smiles Dentistry, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

Small Cavities

If you have a cavity and are reluctant to call your dentist, you may be hoping the cavity will just heal itself. A cavity is tooth decay that causes a hole in the tooth. If cavities are not treated more serious issues can develop. At Graceful Smiles Dentistry, it is important to take care of your oral health and practice good habits at home. Attending your regular cleanings and exams in our office can identify if you have any cavities, and make sure they are addressed promptly.

How Will My Small Cavity Be Treated?

If you have a large cavity, you will most likely need a filling. If the cavity is small and is causing you no pain or discomfort, we may be able to watch the cavity by comparing x-rays to determine if the cavity is active or arrested. Small cavities that are caught early on can be stopped with good oral hygiene. Taking care of your teeth with brushing, flossing, and using fluoride can help strengthen the enamel, and stop a cavity in its tracks.

Treatments for a Cavity

  • Fillings
  • Inlays or Onlays
  • Crowns
  • Root Canals
  • Extractions

What Can I Do To Reverse Decay and Prevent Cavities?

  • Brush and floss at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Increase your fluoride intake to help stop the cavity from further decay. Our office provides fluoride treatments, and fluoride can be found in toothpaste or mouthwashes.
  • Sealants can be applied to molars to prevent cavities from forming. This is a clear plastic protective coat that can help halt or reverse current decay on a tooth if the cavity is small enough and in the early stages.
  • Limit eating and drinking foods that have a high sugar content. These types of foods and drinks contribute to tooth decay. If you do consume these foods, make sure to brush right afterwards.
  • Visit our office twice a year for your regular cleaning and exam.

Interested in Scheduling an Appointment?

If you have a cavity that needs to be filled, or is causing your issues please do not hesitate to call our office. Leaving a cavity untreated can cause more serious issues if the cavity is not addressed promptly. Our flexible hours and schedule allow you to be seen right away. Your health is our priority and we welcome new patients to our office.

To schedule your dental exam or cleaning contact Graceful Smiles Dentistry, and our staff will be happy to assist you!

General Dentistry

Do you notice when you smile you see gum tissue more than your teeth? This is known as a gummy smile, and many patients are bothered by how their smile looks. There are treatment options to correct a gummy smile, and we are here to help you find a treatment that works best.

What Can Cause a Gummy Smile?

  • Your Bite

Your bite can be genetic and your top jaw may not align properly with your bottom jaw. If your bite causes the upper jaw to protrude this can cause a gummy look.

  • Hyperactive Upper Lip

If your lip raises up too high gum tissue may be exposed, and this results in a gummy smile.

  • Excess Gum Tissue

The most common cause of a gummy smile is having too much gum tissue. In many cases gum tissue can over grow when permanent teeth erupt in the mouth.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Crown Lengthening

Crown Lengthening helps to reshape the gum tissue around the tooth and correct a gummy smile. This procedure exposes more of the patient’s natural tooth and make the teeth look longer.

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring can help change the shape of your gum, and this can be done if you have excess gum tissue. This procedure also helps if the gum line is uneven. Gum contouring removes the excess gum tissue and exposes more of your teeth. This helps to give patients a beautiful even looking smile.

Scaling and Root Planing

If a gummy smile is caused by inflamed gums a deep cleaning treatment may be recommended. Scaling and root planing reach down deep into the gum pockets to remove bacteria. This can help the gummy appearance subside.

Lip Lowering

This procedure involves removing a section of gum tissue to reveal a shorter looking lip. This keeps the upper lip from rising too high and exposing your gum tissue.

Orthodontics

If you have an issue with your bite orthodontics may help correct your gummy smile. Orthodontic treatment can help adjust your bite to avoid gum tissue showing when you smile.

Looking To Take the Next Step to a Beautiful Smile?

If you are looking to correct your smile we encourage you take the first step and schedule a consultation in our office. This will give our team the opportunity to evaluate your concerns, and discuss possible treatment options that work for you. We want you to be proud of your smile, and we are here to help you get the smile you have always wanted.

If you are interested in scheduling a cosmetic consultation, contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.

Family Dentistry

Creating an oral hygiene routine at home is important to help maintain your oral health and keep your teeth and gums feeling great. Brushing and flossing each day is extremely important, and the order in which you do these two items is a common question. Many wonder which way gives the most benefit.

Is Brushing First Better?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a key part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing cleans your teeth and removes plaque, as well as prevents cavities from developing. Brushing is not the only thing you need to do to keep your oral hygiene in check. Flossing is another integral part of oral hygiene. The order in which you do these two items is a popular discussion.

Brushing does allow the toothpaste with fluoride to get in-between the teeth and help lift residual plaque when you floss after brushing. Studies show that flossing first is better, and is a more efficient way to keep up with your oral health. Flossing last also leaves particles in your mouth if you do not remember to rinse afterwards.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

Benefits of Flossing and Brushing

  • Prevents gum disease that is caused by poor dental hygiene or not brushing and flossing properly. Routine dental cleanings in our office are important and we recommend dental cleanings at least twice a year.
  • Removes plaque that is the leading cause of gum disease. If you floss and brush your teeth regularly plaque does not have the chance to harden on your teeth.
  • Prevents decay and costly dental procedures. If you take care of your oral health you can avoid serious complications or dental procedures in the future.

Overall, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy by practicing good oral hygiene habits. Cavities and gum disease are preventable, and remembering to floss and brush each day will help keep your mouth feeling great. Visiting our office regularly for your cleaning and exam is another way to stay on top of your oral health.

During your dental exam our team will discuss any hygiene recommendations, and review how to keep up with your oral hygiene care at home. Taking care of your oral health is important, and your health is our priority.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to improve your oral hygiene routine at home, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Oral Health

Mouthwash is used to help rinse away bacteria or food particles after you brush and floss each day. Using mouthwash is an additional way to help protect your teeth and gums. Knowing the differences between mouthwashes can help you choose the right one to incorporate into your oral hygiene routine.

What Are The Different Types of Mouthwashes Available?

Mouthwash With Fluoride

Fluoride mouthwash contain sodium fluoride, and this helps to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. Fluoride is also found in toothpaste and is added to our tap water. Only using the required amount each day is important because too much fluoride can be harmful to your health. Reading the labels can help to ensure you are only using the appropriate amount that is recommended daily.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most common mouthwash used by most patients. This type of mouthwash contains alcohol and can help to stop bacteria in its tracks. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help fight bad breath, and prevent infections. Patients must be careful using this type of mouthwash. Overuse can lead to stains or discoloration on your teeth. Following the recommended daily guidelines is important to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

This type of mouthwash is used to only freshen your breath. Cosmetic mouthwash does not do anything to help with your oral health. Using this type of mouthwash can help rinse food particles away, and is a temporary solution for bad breath.

Natural Mouthwash

Natural mouthwash is a common type of mouthwash that helps keep bacteria away and freshens your breath, but contains only natural ingredients. Natural mouthwash brands do not contain alcohol, and the ingredients are safer compared to other types of mouthwashes available.

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

Interested in Finding Out More?

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

If you are interested in finding out more about what mouthwash may be best for you, or to schedule your next exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Family Dentistry

Dental care can be costly, and simple procedures can even run up your bill. Caring for your teeth is necessary to keep your oral and general health in check. Many people have no dental benefits at all, or if they retire their benefits are lost.

Skipping dental care is not an option, and can lead to other more serious health issues such as diabetes, or heart conditions. There are ways you can reduce your dental care costs, and help pay for those costly procedures that are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Ask Your Dentist if They Offer an In-House Membership Plan

Many dental practices today offer their own dental membership for patients. These plans act like an insurance plan, and give patients discounts on procedures that are done in their office. If a patient does not have insurance it is wise to inquire about an in-house plan to help keep costs down.

Sign Up for a Dental Plan Through Your Employer

Many companies offer both medical and dental insurance plans. Most plans pay for at least half of the cost, and preventative services are typically covered 100 percent. Routine procedures are usually covered around 80 percent, and larger more involved procedures such as crowns are usually covered at 50 percent. Using in-network providers can help you save money, and allow you to get the dental work you need.

Dental Savings Plan

Dental savings plans are available to participants who pay a fee to join. The fee is typically annual, and allows you to choose from a network of dentists that offer discounts for members. Dental savings plans allow patients to get the work done that they need at a discounted price without insurance.

Affordable Care Act

Patients can apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Logging on to their website can let you know if you qualify to purchase dental coverage.

Dental HMO Plan

A dental HMO plan may be available in your state. Typically cleanings and exams twice a year are covered, and procedures are at a discount. Many dentists participate and accept HMO plans, and this is a good way to help save on dental care.

Veterans Benefits

If you are a veteran you qualify to receive insurance at a reduced rate. Disabled veterans are also eligible for free dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Do Your Research

If you are required to have a costly procedure, research the average price of that procedure. Ask your dentist for a discount, and most likely they will work with you, and help find a price and payment plan that fits your needs.

Create an Emergency Dental Fund

Setting aside money each month for dental care can help cover procedures or emergencies that are unpredictable.  Knowing you have a savings account will put you at ease if an emergency arises and you need dental care.

Looking for an Affordable Dentist Near You?

Taking care of your oral health is a great way to prevent costly dental procedures. Brushing and flossing each day, and staying away from foods and drinks that contain sugar can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Visiting our office regularly for exams and cleanings is extremely important to maintain your oral health. Regular visits allow our team to get in front of issues before they become urgent, and we can help you keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling great.

We care about our patients, and our team is here to help take care of your oral health. Ask our team if you have questions on coverage or payment plans, and we will work with you to ensure you can receive the very best care.

To find out more about dental programs we offer, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

There is a belief that children do not need to go to the dentist until their final teeth come out. Traditionally, the dentition of milk has not been given much importance, because it is thought that since it is not definitive teeth, the problems that it suffers should not be treated. It’s a mistake. There are dental diseases in children that can affect from an early age and must be treated. This is responsible for child dentistry, also called pediatric dentistry. Specialists in dental treatments for children.

What Are the Most Common Childhood Dental Ailments?

The child’s dental health has an impact on his general health and also conditions the health and condition of the final denture. A bad mouth can have a negative influence on how to chew food, causing the child to suffer digestive and even nutritional problems. Oral health also affects the child’s immune system. These are the most frequent diseases in the infant mouth:

Gingivitis

A disease that can become serious if left untreated. It is caused primarily by poor oral hygiene. It is important not only to treat it, but to correct it as soon as possible, instilling in the child good dental cleaning habits. Gingivitis can lead to loss of tooth support, bone loss and tooth decay due to poor gum conditions, which fail to hold them.

Stomatitis

Also called the disease of canker sores, it causes the appearance of very painful ulcers in the mouth, including lips and tongue. Burning becomes unbearable and feeding difficult due to pain. This disease usually affects girls more than boys. The causes are unknown, although it points to stress, systemic diseases and some immunological factors. These ulcers also appear by friction or by introducing irritating substances into the mouth, such as acidic foods. Occasionally, the appearance of mouth ulcers is indicative of an important disease.

Herpangina

They leave ulcers in soft areas of the mouth, such as the palate, tonsils or pharynx. They are caused by a virus and more frequent in school age. They usually cause epidemics and run with fever.

Hand-foot-mouth disease

It is due to Coxsackie A 16 virus. It is manifested by vesicles in the hands, feet and mouth.

Oral candidiasis

Produces typical whitish and cottony pseudo membranes that break off easily, leaving the gum red and inflamed.

Mucocele

It usually comes out in the lower lip but it can also be done in other areas of the oral mucosa with salivary content. Sometimes cysts form that must be surgically removed.

Contact Graceful Smiles Dentistry

At Graceful Smiles, we provide exceptional dental care for patients of all ages. We take care of our families, and ensure that each appointment is a positive experience for everyone.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Elsa Mammen, please contact our dental office in Richmond, TX today! 

Wisdom teeth are third molars that usually appear at ages between 14 and 25 years. Although this may vary from person to person. Sometimes they may also never appear or begin to develop before the established age.

They get their name because when they start to appear people already have a more developed judgment than when the rest of the final denture appears.

Most people usually have four, two above and two below one in each quadrant of the mouth. They are in the last position of the dental line and their size is variable.

For being the last teeth to grow, sometimes the mouth does not have a free place for them. So, in many cases they press on other teeth and their appearance causes pain.

Also, if they go awry, their development can affect others by pushing and moving them, even if you had already done some of the orthodontic and maxillary orthodontic treatments. They usually cause a lot of discomfort and require surgery to remove them.

How Are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?​

Wisdom teeth are the last to grow, they are the same and as useful as other teeth. This is only if they grow properly, and the gum tissue around them is healthy.

Should I Extract My Wisdom Teeth?

A myth regarding wisdom teeth is that you should always take them out. Experts believe that, if the tooth remains inside the bone it is not necessary to extract it. When performing an extraction without motives, it would be an invasive procedure. In addition, it is not consistent to have a patient go through this process without need.

However, problems often occur and need to be extracted.

In the case of retained wisdom teeth there is no way to prevent them. For this reason, you should visit your dentist periodically and if it is possible to have X-rays at least once a year. These molars usually present problems so it is common to remove them, even when the patient has not presented any symptoms.

How Do You Remove Wisdom Teeth?

The process to be removed may vary, since each tooth is unique and the procedure will depend on it. The duration of this surgery also depends on the state of it. 


The specialist will apply local anesthesia to avoid any type of pain. In some cases
, when they remove the four wisdom teeth, they may apply general anesthesia. The dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth. Subsequently removing the bone that prevents reaching the root and begins to divide it by sections as it is easier to remove it. 


Once 
they have removed all the teeth and cleaned the area, they proceed to sew the wound through some stitches. The dentist will also apply some gauze to control bleeding and allow a blood clot to be created. 


After the operation, after a recovery period of a few days you may have to go to the specialist to remove the stitches.
 

Contact Graceful Smiles Dentistry

At Graceful Smiles, we provide exceptional dental care for patients of all ages. We take care of our families, and ensure that each appointment is a positive experience for everyone.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Elsa Mammen, please contact our dental office in Richmond, TX today! 

Many parents wonder what age is the right age to bring their child to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) recommends that parents seek out a dentist for their child by age of one, or when they notice the first tooth erupting. Typically primary teeth erupt around six months of age.

In many cases, parents feel their child is too young to see a dentist, or that they don’t have enough teeth to warrant a visit. Visiting a dentist at this early age helps to ensure baby teeth are coming in properly, and allows the dentist to determine if they see any issues early on. It is important that children keep their primary teeth in place until they are lost naturally.

What Are The Benefits of Primary Teeth?

Some of the benefits of getting primary teeth include:

  • They help children to chew their food properly
  • They help with speech development
  • Primary teeth promote a healthy smile, and they give children confidence about their appearance.
  • Primary teeth save space for future adult teeth

Starting your child out right with proper dental care helps build good oral hygiene habits. If you establish a good relationship with your dentist, this helps your child to understand how important it is to take care of your teeth.

Contact Graceful Smiles Dentistry

Our team will check for any issues as your child grows older, and ensure your child’s teeth are looking and feeling great during each visit.

At Graceful Smiles, we provide exceptional dental care for patients of all ages. We take care of our families, and ensure that each appointment is a positive experience for everyone.

If you are interested in scheduling your child’s first appointment with Dr. Elsa Mammen, please contact our dental office in Richmond, TX today! Graceful Smiles today!

Tips to Improve Dental Hygiene for Children

You need to be in charge of teaching your children better brushing habits.

Children need to see the dentist twice a year to keep their teeth healthy and clean. Unfortunately, many children do not take good care of their teeth at home, which means they may develop cavities and other dental problems that cause more work to be needed at their checkup visits. By adopting healthier habits at home, you’ll find that your child’s checkup visits are easier and quicker.

Choose the Right Tools

The right tools will make all the difference for your child when brushing and flossing their teeth at home. While manual brushes are fine, powered toothbrushes help to brush away plaque, bacteria and debris quicker than any manual would be able to accomplish. Choosing a kid-friendly flossing tool can help in creating healthier and stronger teeth and gums. Remember to always use a toothpaste meant for children that contains fluoride, as this helps to prevent cavities.

My wife adviced to try graceful smiles after her visit. Looks like she was right again. This is now the dentistry for me, my wife and our two little kids.

Eleghosa Obasohan

Teach Good Brushing Habits

You need to be in charge of teaching your children better brushing habits. You can do this by either showing them or by brushing your teeth in front of them so that they can follow in your footsteps. When you take the time to care for and appreciate your own smile, you’ll find that your children do the same and put more effort into their oral hygiene.

Get Involved

In most cases, you’ll need to brush your child’s teeth for them until they’re about five to six years old. Younger children may not have the dexterity to hold the brush and hit every tooth’s surface. By brushing your child’s teeth for them, you can be sure that they’re being cleaned properly twice a day. However, once your child is old enough, they need to learn how to care for their own teeth.

Adopt Healthier Eating Habits

Eating healthier foods can have a serious impact on the health of your child’s smile. Sugary snacks and drinks can cause tooth decay and deep stains. By teaching your child to eat better and make healthier choices, they’re less likely to go for sugary sweets and candies that could ruin their beautiful smile.

As with all patients, routine trips to the dentist help to keep smiles healthy and bright for life. If you have a child who needs to see a dentist, call our office today and we will work to get them in for an appointment.