My Blog
By Dr. David A. Slaughter
June 17, 2014
Category: Mouth Care


Eliminate Pain and Treat Infections with Root Canal Therapy

Often, when people think of root canal therapy they associate it with pain.  The pain experienced is from the infected tooth, which is then relieved through root canal therapy.  Known to restore and save an average of 17 million teeth each year, root canal therapy helps to keep your tooth and stop the pain, which is always better than having a tooth extraction.  
When decay is likely to damage or has already killed a tooth, root canal therapy is needed.  During a root canal, your dentist in Austin, Dr. David A. Slaughter, removes the pulp from the center of a tooth and fills the pulp cavity.  This can prevent the development of a painful infection in the pulp that could potentially spread to other teeth.  A root canal can also treat an infection that has developed into an abscessed tooth, which can relieve toothache, stop infection, and promote healing. 

Your Austin Dentist Explains: What is Root Canal Therapy?

Your tooth is made up of a hard protective shell called enamel, a softer middle layer called dentin and a soft tissue inner layer called dental pulp.  Composed of nerve tissue, lymph tissue and blood vessels, the dental pulp is considered a vital part of your tooth.  If your dental pulp is severely damaged, the tooth begins to die.  Root canal therapy is often the best treatment to prevent and eliminate infection, preventing tooth loss.  
Signs you might need a root canal include:
  • Minimal to severe pain
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Swelling and irritation in the surrounding gum tissue
  • Signs of infection visible on a radiograph
Root canal therapy allows your Austin dentist to save your teeth in the safest way possible and is used to find the cause and treat the problems of the dental pulp.  The narrow channels beneath the pulp chamber in the inner part of your tooth are hollowed out and cleaned through root canal therapy and the roots are filled with materials that are designed to prevent pain and infection from recurring.  
Contact our office in Austin for more information on root canal therapy.  Your dentist in Austin is available to help save your tooth and eliminate your pain. 
By Dr. David A. Slaughter
June 17, 2014
Category: Mouth Care


Regular Visits to Your Austin Dentist Give You a Healthy, Radiant Smile

Many Americans dread visiting the dentist and will often avoid scheduling regular dental appointments because of their deep fears and misgivings.  Unfortunately, if you are one of the millions that fear these important visits, you may be risking your health. Periodic check-ups allow your Austin dentist, Dr. David A. Slaughter, to monitor the condition of your teeth and gums, along with other issues and questions that may arise.  It is important to consistently visit your dentist in Austin to prevent serious infections or decay. 
The American Dental Association recommends each person visit the dentist at least every six months for a check-up and professional cleaning.  In between these visits it is also necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean at home through proper brushing and flossing.  To learn more about regular visits for clean and healthy teeth continue reading. 

Good Oral Health Starts at Home

In addition to a professional dental exam, it is also important to brush your teeth and floss at home on a regular basis. Brushing your teeth is a critical step for keeping teeth and gums healthy and strong.  Good brushing should take a minimum of two minutes, brushing in a circular motion.  For the best cleaning, use a soft bristled brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Remember to floss to remove food particles and plaque where a toothbrush can’t reach. 

Early Detection and Prevention Save that Smile

With the recommended six month visits to your [Location] dentist, you can make sure any dental problem is identified and treated appropriately.  Only a dentist can clean away the plaque that forms below the gum-line, and only a dentist has the tools and expertise to detect a problem in its earliest stage. Plus with increasing evidence pointing to a connection between oral health and overall health, it has become even more crucial to visit your dentist in Austin on a regular basis.
Going to your Austin dentist, Dr. David A. Slaughter, for a regular visit is easy. A typical check-up and dental cleaning involves careful inspection of your mouth, teeth and gums.  With a routine cleaning, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned, polished and flossed.   Your Austin dentist will also look for any signs of gum disease, loose or broken teeth, a damaged filling or tooth decay.  Dental x-rays may also be taken for a more in-depth look at your teeth.  These are used to reference the condition of your teeth at each visit to check for any differences that have occurred since your last appointment. The comprehensive check-up process will help in the diagnosis and prevention of any problems that may develop. 
Taking care of your mouth is a big part of taking care of your whole body, and your oral and overall health will improve each visit. If you are ready to take the next step toward a healthier, more beautiful smile, speak with your Austin dentist and schedule a visit. It’s easy, painless and an essential step to achieving an overall healthier you.  
By Dr. David A. Slaughter
June 17, 2014
Category: Mouth Care


Good Oral Health is Essential During Pregnancy

Protecting your oral health and overall health are essential, and this is especially true for expectant mothers. When it comes to dental care, pregnant women and women contemplating pregnancy have unique considerations.  Failure to adequately care for your oral health during this sensitive time could have serious consequences for you and your child.  During pregnancy, your teeth and gums are more susceptible to bacterial accumulation due to an associated increase in hormone levels. Including a thorough dental exam as a part of your healthcare plan is an important step for achieving a healthy pregnancy. Visit your dentist in Austin, Dr. David A. Slaughter, for further information on how you can properly care for your oral health during your pregnancy. 

Oral Health Conditions Commonly Associated with Pregnancy

There are a number of oral health conditions that are associated with pregnancy.  These conditions can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and regular consultations with your dentist.  Pregnancy related oral health conditions can include: pregnancy gingivitis, periodontal disease and pregnancy tumors (pyogenic granulomas).
Gingivitis occurs more frequently during pregnancy because the increased level of hormones amplifies the way the gums react to the irritants in plaque.  Keeping your teeth clean, especially near the gum-line, will help dramatically reduce or even prevent gingivitis during your pregnancy.  Substituting sweets with more wholesome foods such as cheese, fresh fruits or vegetables is better for your teeth. 
It is important to seek the advice of your dentist about gingivitis so that the condition does not progress into periodontal disease, which can develop as a result of untreated gingivitis.  Periodontal disease leads to deterioration of bone and surrounding gum tissue.  
If you have periodontal disease or gingivitis, you may be more susceptible to the development of pregnancy tumors which make it difficult for you to eat or speak, causing discomfort. Your dentist in Austin, Dr. David A. Slaughter, can remove pregnancy tumors during pregnancy.  It is always important to visit your dentist regularly, but even more so during pregnancy to protect you and your baby.

Dental Treatments to Avoid During Pregnancy

There are a number of dental procedures that should be avoided during pregnancy, although it is still healthy and important to visit your dentist for all other procedures.  X-rays are one of the main procedures that women should avoid during pregnancy.  Although x-rays only produce a small amount of radiation, they are not recommended during pregnancy.
Extensive dental work, such as restorative and cosmetic dental procedures should be avoided.  Those that require you to sit for long periods of time in a dental chair are not recommended because you put increased pressure on the major blood vessel that supplies blood to your lower extremities which can make you feel faint. Consult your Austin dentist to determine procedures that are deemed safe for you and your unborn child.
Consult your dentist in Austin today for tips on maintaining good oral hygiene and protecting your child. 
By Dr. David A. Slaughter
February 20, 2014
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Fluoride   Tooth Enamel  
We have all heard about the positive effects of fluoride on our dental health and strength of our teeth.  Fluoride can be found in the food we eat, the water we drink and even in the air we breathe.  Along with calcium and phosphorus, fluoride boosts strength and durability of our teeth, as well as ensures normal development of our bones and growth of our hair and nails.  
Fluoride plays an essential role in protecting and strengthening teeth.  Most tooth enamel begins with a very high concentration of fluoride in its outer layers, but the fluoride can dissolve over time.  Whether ingested through fluoridated beverages or applied topically with toothpaste, rinses or treatments, replenishing fluoride is one of the best ways to strengthen tooth enamel and help it to resist acids that can lead to cavity production. By visiting your Austin dentist at David A. Slaughter, DDS, you can take the next step toward optimal oral health. 

Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound that has been proven to effectively reduce the prevalence of dental caries and tooth decay.  Approximately 170 million people in the United States use fluoridated water provided by their public water authorities.  According to the American Dental Association (ADA), widespread availability of various sources of fluoride has greatly diminished tooth decay rates in America and abroad.  
One of the main benefits of fluoride is increasing durability of tooth enamel and making the enamel less sensitive to the influence of sugar, acids and other dental enemies we consume with the food.  Fluoride slows down formation and growth of plaque and dental calculus.  Additionally, fluoride is also an important element for formation of healthy tooth enamel, which is why fluoride treatment is frequently recommended to young children.  
In addition, fluoride keeps teeth stronger to help prevent initiation of dental caries and tooth decay resulting from acid contained in sugars and the breakdown of carbohydrates.  It also provides a therapeutic output in which fluoride re-mineralizes areas of the teeth that are weakened by acid.  

Types of Fluoride

Your dentist in Austin will help to determine if you are receiving an appropriate amount of fluoride in your diet.  If you are not, your dentist can develop a proper treatment plan to provide you with adequate fluoride.  Fluorides come in two basic forms – Topical and systemic.  Topical fluorides strengthen teeth by providing better resistance to decay.  This often includes toothpastes and home mouth rinses, as well as gels, foams and rinses incorporated during your dental visits.  
Systemic fluorides include water fluoridation, tablets, drops or lozenge dietary fluoride supplements.  Not all public or private water sources contain ADA recommended levels of fluoridation.  Be sure to check with your dentist in Austin for more information about the fluoridation level in your community’s water.  Dietary fluoride supplements may be recommended for children between the ages of six months and sixteen who live in communities without fluoridated water and are available by prescription only.
If you have concerns about fluoridation and want to avoid fluorosis, talk to your Austin dentist today.  Fluoride levels should provide an effective level of fluoride that will continue to reduce the incidence of tooth decay in children and adults of all ages, while minimizing the rate of dental fluorosis.   
By Dr. David A. Slaughter
January 23, 2014
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: teeth whitening  

Brighten Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Dingy teeth can keep your smile from shining its brightest, so why not change that?  Don’t keep your pearly whites under wraps.  Whiten your smile with help from your dentist in Austin, Dr. David A. Slaughter.  Nothing freshens up your appearance like a whiter, brighter smile.  
Teeth whitening is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.  Since having a whiter smile has now become the number one aesthetic concern for most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten your teeth this season.  
Almost anyone can benefit from teeth whitening.  However, there are some cases where the treatment may not be effective.  Your dentist in Austin will determine if you are a viable candidate for the whitening process through a thorough oral examination and diagnosis.  Teeth whitening is ideal for patients who have healthy, unrestored teeth and would like to have a whiter, brighter smile.  
If you are looking for a way to whiten your discolored smile, it is always safer and more effective to choose a professional teeth whitening system under the direction of your Austin dentist.  Contact your dentist in Austin today, to make an appointment and to see if you are a candidate for whitening.  

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