Scott W. Grant, DMD

FAMILY AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY

Schedule an Appointment Call: 208-215-7449
important info abscessed teeth

Important Info on Abscessed Teeth

One of the primary goals of several various areas of dental care is the reduction and elimination of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria are the cause of several significant dental issues, from cavities to tooth decay and several others as well. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help you and the entire family control bacteria in the mouth. One significant bacteria-related tooth issue is called an abscess, or abscessed tooth – what is this, and why might it form? Let’s go over this general condition, the types and symptoms to watch for, and the treatments – possibly including a root canal – that can help with it.

Basics and Types

When bacteria is able to cause an infection in the gums and teeth, it can create a pus pocket that swells up and won’t drain. This is called the abscess, which creates a barrier around the infection – this barrier stops the infection from spreading, but this will only last for so long. With enough time, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and even to other parts of the body. There are two primary types of abscesses in the mouth:
  • Periodontal abscess: An infection located between a tooth and the gum. In most cases, periodontal abscesses are caused by food that’s trapped in this section of the mouth, plus is not properly removed by brushing and flossing. If this is left untreated, it can even affect the bone structure.
  • Periapical abscess: This is an infection actually inside the pulp of the tooth, which can begin to die over time if it isn’t treated. This type can also spread to surrounding bone in some cases.
Abscesses are known to form in a hurry – within two or three days in some cases. As we’ve noted here, they can have a significant effect on overall health due to infection spreading. Cysts can form in the jawbone, requiring surgical removal, and infection may spread to soft tissues, the brain and the heart. It’s very important that you see a dentist if you note any symptoms, which we’ll get to next.

Symptoms to Watch For

Symptoms of abscessed teeth include:
  • Pus-filled bumps visible in the gums
  • Throbbing, sharp or shooting pain
  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Major sensitivity to extreme temperatures
  • Open sores on the gums
  • Pressure on the area
  • Aches in the jawbone
  • Non-mouth symptoms: Fever, illness, swollen neck glands

Treatment Tips

Abscessed teeth should be treated by dental professionals, though you can take over-the-counter pain medication to limit you pain symptoms while you arrange this treatment. There are some cases where draining pus from the abscess using a small incision will be enough to correct the issue, but in others a root canal might be needed to remove the infected pulp and protect the tooth. For the most severe cases that have been allowed to spread, root surgery or full tooth removal might be needed if the tooth cannot be saved. For more on identifying and treating abscessed teeth, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
post-procedure care dental implants

Post-Procedure Care for Dental Implants

For those who have had them, dental implants can be extremely valuable for long-term oral health. There are several types of dental implants available, each of which come in a form extremely similar to your natural teeth so you’ll have a limited adjustment period and virtually no aesthetic changes.   At the offices of Scott W. Grant DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have a variety of dental implants depending on your needs, from single-tooth implants to all-in-four implants that allow replacement of a full set of teeth without any dentures. We can also help you with the basic care areas you should be considering after dental implant surgery – here are some essential tips.

Basic Habits

The most important bit of care for dental implants can be accomplished simply by practicing smart oral habits. Many of these are simple, the same kinds of habits you were given from a young age to take care of your teeth and gums. Some areas include:
  • Flossing: Your dentist may recommend a specific floss brand based on the type of dental implant you received. They may also recommend a floss threader to make flossing easier.
  • Proper brushing: Brushing with the proper technique, including higher up on the gums, helps keep them healthy despite a change to tooth structure.
  • Nonabrasive brushes: You want to be at least moderately careful with the dental implant in the first few months after it’s put in place, and one way to do this is by using softer, nonabrasive brush bristles.

Areas to Avoid

There are a few broad areas to generally avoid when it comes to caring for dental implants:
  • Bad foods: You want to avoid foods that might stick between the new implant or cause damage if you bite down on them too hard. These may include rice, nuts, popcorn or apples. Instead, prioritize softer foods in the days and weeks after the procedure.
  • Extreme temperatures: Teeth are often sensitive directly after an implant procedure – including teeth that were not even impacted. For this reason, avoid extremely hot or cold foods or beverages for the first few weeks.
  • Picks: If you’re looking to reach plaque buildup areas using a pick device of some kind, avoid metal or plastic picks at all costs. These are highly likely to scratch or weaken the implant surface. Your dentist can recommend a water pick if you have areas you struggle to reach.

Mouthwash Considerations

Whether or not mouthwash was part of your oral routine before your implant, it should be afterward. Mouthwash is great for removing bacteria and germs in tough places to reach in the mouth, which might be exacerbated during the adjustment period to a new structure in the mouth.

When to Seek Dental Assistance

It’s expected that you’ll have some mild sensitivity and perhaps even very minor discomfort in the days and weeks following a dental implant. However, if any of the following takes place, you should immediately contact our dentists:
  • Major pain or swelling
  • Nausea shortly after the operation
  • Blood oozing from the affected area within 24-48 hours of the procedure
For more on caring for dental implants, or to learn about any of our dental services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Continue Reading
causes bleeding gums

Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

Within the world of dental care, the gums are one of the most important considerations. Even significant tooth-related treatments like dental implants have a major impact on the gums, and this entire system works in harmony when things are going properly.

At the offices of Scott W Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our preventive care services include a variety of methods to help promote gum health. For some patients, bleeding gums is a regular occurrence they’re looking to get a handle on – what are some of the reasons why your gums might be bleeding, and are they reversible? Let’s take a look.

Plaque Buildup

One of the most common reasons for bleeding gums is gingivitis, the medical term for a buildup of plaque in the mouth around the gum line. The body has a reflexive inflammatory response to this, triggered by the immune system. If plaque isn’t removed and continues to build up, it will harden and become tartar, which can lead to even further bleeding issues.

Periodontitis

Another possible condition that could be causing bleeding gums is periodontitis, which is more serious than gingivitis. It’s a jawbone disease where bacteria on the gum line actually begins to destroy pats of the jaw itself, which in turn can lead to major tooth decay or tooth loss for some people. Periodontitis is a serious condition that needs the attention of a dentist.

New Dental Routine

In other cases, the cause of your bleeding gums might be a simple change to the normal processes they’re used to. The teeth and gums are very sensitive to changes in routine, so even something as simple as a new toothbrush or a new floss type could trigger temporary bleeding.

In most cases, if this bleeding subsides in a few days, there’s nothing to worry about. If it continues beyond this, however, consider whether the changes you made might not have been totally healthy.

New Medications

Down similar lines, new medications may cause bleeding in the gums in some cases. Blood thinners, immuno-suppressants and anticonvulsants may all lead to inflammation in the gums, which makes it easier for them to bleed. Blood pressure medications may have a similar effect. Even certain other medications like sedatives or antihistamines may decrease the saliva in your mouth, which makes bleeding more likely. Inform your dentist of any medications you’ve recently started if bleeding is an issue.

Nutritional Issues

If you lack proper quantities of vitamin C or K in your diet, this could contribute to bleeding gums. Ask your doctor to test your levels for these vitamins and prescribe solutions.

Health Problems

In some rare cases, bleeding gums might actually be a sign of a larger health condition like leukemia or ITP (a blood clotting condition). If you fear this is the case, be thorough in documenting your symptoms before seeing a doctor.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy involves a major change to many hormones for mothers, and one common result here is gums becoming more sensitive to bleeding. This should usually go away within a couple months after giving birth – speak to your doctor if it doesn’t.

For more on the causes of bleeding gums, or to learn about any of our other dental services, contact the pros at Scott W Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
white smile

Tips for Whiter, Shinier Teeth

When it comes to the aesthetic areas of teeth, virtually all of us have the same primary desire: Shiny, white teeth that show off the smile. We go to various lengths to achieve this, from basic brushing and oral care up to specific teeth whitening services. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re here to help. We have teeth whitening and bleaching services for those who feel they need a little extra boost in their whitening, but we also can help with numerous whitening tips for those who don’t want to take this kind of step. Here are some important tips to help reduce yellowing and show off those pearly whites.

Brushing and Scraping

The simplest and most well-known way to keep teeth white and healthy is through brushing twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. This also keeps the gums healthy, a big contrasting factor in ensuring that teeth appear white and properly placed. Use a whitening toothpaste if you like, brushing in circles for the duration of your brush. Another important factor: Scraping the tongue, which you should do on every brushing. This will remove bacteria from the back of your mouth, bacteria that might otherwise have spread to the teeth and yellowed them out. Use long strokes, starting from the back of the tongue and moving forward to move bacteria out of the mouth. Be sure to clean the toothbrush well afterward.

Yellowing Areas to Avoid

There are several foods, drinks and other items you should avoid or limit if you want to keep your teeth from yellowing:
  • Coffee
  • Other darker foods and drinks such as wine or tea
  • Cigarettes
  • Processed foods
  • Foods heavy in citrus
  • High-acid drinks like soda or energy drinks

Whitening Areas to Promote

On the flip side, certain foods will actually promote white teeth – and these are the same foods that promote health elsewhere in the body, too. Lots of fruits and vegetables, particularly green veggies like broccoli or kale, will help produce more saliva in the mouth that helps clean out bacteria. Many of these also have minerals that protect the teeth from yellowing.

Using a Straw

If you absolutely must drink something like coffee or wine as part of your day, we highly recommend doing so through a straw. This will limit the amount of contact these beverages have with your teeth, allowing you to get the drink you want without risking yellowing teeth.

Loosening After Eating

Whenever and however possible, you want to work to loosen any possible food particles left over in your mouth after eating. This will remove bacteria that can form on them. The optimal strategy here is brushing after eating, but this isn’t always possible – in cases where you can’t brush, simply take a gulp of water and swish it around in your mouth for several seconds to loosen anything in your mouth. Using toothpicks can help as well, but be careful not to irritate the gums too heavily here. For more on how to keep the teeth white and shining, or to learn about any of our other general dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading

Risks of Leaving Teeth Missing

At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD, our dental implants service is one of our largest sources of pride as a family dentist office. Whatever the reason or cause for your missing or damaged teeth, we can help you get the proper replacements that benefit you in both oral health and cosmetic areas. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, about 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. With this number expected to continue growing, many might ask: Why do so many people feel they don’t have to replace missing teeth? Here are some of the risks of leaving a missing tooth with no replacement.

Healthy Tooth Decay

When teeth shift around in the mouth, which we’ll discuss in a moment, they can make it tough to reach and clean certain other areas. Extra space in the mouth can also function as a breeding ground for bacteria to grow, which can cause decay in other teeth that are not missing.

Face Changes

Many aren’t aware of it, but the roots of teeth play a big role in the development of bones in and around the jaw. Chewing food, for instance, stimulates these roots and their corresponding bones. But when you lose a tooth, not all areas of bone are being stimulated. This can cause certain bone areas to resorb, which can cause certain parts of the face to appear sunken in. You may also notice functional issues as well, particularly in the jawbone.

Tooth Shifting

The adult jaw is designed to hold 28 teeth, and the entire mouth functions within this construct. If certain teeth fall out and are not replaced, others will slowly start to shift into the open space. This can lead to biting issues, plus jaw damage from straining of the joint. In a worst-case scenario, teeth may erupt and have major sensitivity issues.

Digestive Issues

Even a single missing tooth can change the way you chew food, which is a big part of the digestive process. Various issues can result from this, including acid reflux and even choking when food isn’t chewed entirely.

Speech Troubles

Certain people with missing teeth begin slurring certain words or sounds based on the way the tongue interacts with teeth. This condition may cause you to have to put more thought into saying certain words just to avoid spitting or lisping. For more on how a missing tooth can damage your oral health, or to learn about how our dental implants and crown services can help, speak to the staff at Scott W. Grant, DMD today. Continue Reading
"The entire staff is friendly and fun. I always hear laughter in the office when I’m there. Dr. Grant seems to genuinely care about his patients.”
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Let us put a smile on your face.

With our office conveniently located in Meridian, our services are well known throughout the entire Treasure Valley area. Our dental office is fun and friendly with a kind and caring staff to support Dr. Grant and bring you first-class care.

With Dr. Grant you’re in the hands of a family dentist who cares for you and the Treasure Valley community.

You'll find our dentist office is fun and professional with staff dedicated to your first-class dental care. Whether you require routine dentistry, IV sedation dentistry, emergency tooth care, veneers, a same day crown, teeth whitening, or want cosmetic dentistry work, come see Dr. Grant and you'll be happier about your smile in not time!

Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
208-215-7449
2275 South Eagle Road Suite 140 Meridian, ID 83642