Category Archives: General Care

Santa Cruz Geriatric Dentists

Photo Credit:  Scott Griessel | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Scott Griessel | Adobe Stock

At Landmark Dental Group, we believe in dental health for the whole family.

Elders have special dental concerns that should be checked on by dentists who see geriatric patients in their practice at least twice a year. Older people are more likely to run into issues with both their teeth and gums. But why is that, exactly?

Tooth enamel may seem very hard, but it’s actually porous and relatively thin. As we age, the enamel starts to thin out even in otherwise healthy teeth. This can lead to symptoms like sensitivity to heat and cold. Plus, it makes cavities more likely.

Gums also need to be proactively protected in the golden years. Gum tissue will naturally recede from the teeth over time, so the gums can become more vulnerable to damage and infection. Teeth that are fully intact can still get loose and need restoration, too.

How Often Should Elders Visit a Geriatric Dentist?

In general, people aged 55 and older should schedule two appointments with their dentist each year. You should set up more frequent appointments if you notice symptoms or have an active dental concern that should be checked on regularly.

Be sure to contact a geriatric dentist for any of these issues:

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, takes place when natural production of saliva is hindered. Saliva helps defend teeth against bacteria and maintain the pH balance of your mouth, so it should be treated whenever it arises. Although dry mouth is often caused by medications, it can also be relieved with medicine, certain mouthwashes, and even some sugarless gums.

Root Caries

Dental caries are familiar to just about everyone – they’re cavities. But did you know root caries can also take place? Root caries can happen when decay in the front surface of the teeth damages nearby gum tissue. Gum tissue can recede below the enamel line and may pull sharply away from the tooth surface. Prompt treatment is important to protect the tooth.

Tooth Attrition

Thanks to ordinary contact between teeth, tooth surfaces can wear down over time. Sometimes, this causes intermittent pain. It can also make cracking and chipping more likely. An occasional x-ray is important for monitoring the structural integrity of teeth. If you habitually grind your teeth, geriatric dentists may be able to help you minimize damage.

Easier Dental Care with Trusted Geriatric Dentists in Santa Cruz

Let’s face it: No one wants to sit in a dentist’s office all day long, and many people are wary of dental procedures that might be uncomfortable. At Landmark Dental Group, we make treatment easy, efficient, and affordable. We want you to feel comfortable every step of the way.

For those with dental anxiety, we offer safe and easy sedation dentistry. You can have a pleasant nap while we take care of everything. We pride our practice on being insurance-friendly, too, so it’s as easy as it can be to use your dental benefits. We even offer a senior discount.

To find out more, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Your Entire Family is Welcome at our General Dental Practice!

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At every stage of life, your dental needs change – that goes for the whole family!

Kids and teens need braces, adults need regular cleanings and fillings, elders may need dentures – and little ones deserve a lollipop after doing a good job at the dentist’s office! Our general dental practice makes it easy for everyone to get the services they need.

Why a General Dental Practice is Your Best Bet for Family Dentistry

A general dental practice is a one-stop solution for the whole family’s dental needs. This makes things easier over the years, since you can build rapport and really trust your dentist. That’s much better than changing providers or keeping a whole list of specialists.

Using a general dental practice has a lot of advantages:

You Can Really Trust Your Dentist

People who have a good relationship with their dentist generally report higher satisfaction and feel better when they visit. One reason may be because the sense of relaxation and safety you feel with dentists you trust makes it easier to get through longer, more complex procedures.

At Landmark Dental Group, we strive to provide a peaceful environment for everyone. We believe in spending as much time with each patient as necessary to provide outstanding service. Plus, we have specialized options like sedation dentistry to maximize your comfort.

You Can Get the Services You Need

Sticking with your general dentist over time means you get real, personalized insight. As with any kind of healthcare, this means it’s easier to spot problems and get the right treatment faster. You won’t have to worry that someone you’ve never seen will read your x-rays or history wrong.

It’s not just age that affects dental wellness, but all kinds of personal habits. When your dentist gets to know you better, you’ll get advice that will make life easier. Just to give one example: There are easier ways to floss! Ask us how at Landmark Dental Group.

It’s Easier to Maintain Your Teeth

With an established general dentist, you’re more likely to take the plunge and visit regularly. That makes a huge difference over time. Prevention is the best dental strategy. Since most mouth issues start small, regular check-ups can help you catch problems faster.

Even if you are doing everything you can to protect your dental health, there may be a slight tweak that can help you now and in the future. Even brushing too hard, or with the wrong type of brush can cause problems down the line. We can help you get it all figured out.

Visit Landmark Dental Group, the Top General Dental Practice in Santa Cruz

From the first set of teeth to the first set of dentures, a general dentist is your best ally.

At Landmark Dental Group, we to make dentistry easy for the whole family. We know how to keep things light and simple for the kids, fast and convenient for the adults, and virtually discomfort-free for everybody. Visit us and see the difference!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Avoid Gum Disease With Regular Visits to a Family Dentist

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When you smile, talk, or chew, you are probably thinking more about your teeth than about your gums. The truth is, though, that gums and teeth work together to promote dental health. From the time the first tooth erupts, all teeth depend on the blood flow provided by the gum tissue.

And, just like teeth, gums can be attacked by harmful bacteria.

Millions of people all throughout the United States have gingivitis, an early-stage infection that can develop into full-blown gum disease. Gingivitis can go unnoticed because the symptoms are relatively mild, including redness and irritation in the affected gum tissue.

Occasional light bleeding of the gums may or may not be present.

Here’s the thing: If gingivitis is allowed to progress to gum disease, it can be very painful.

Sufferers will often notice the difference right away:

  • Gum disease usually produces ongoing pain, versus only occasional irritation;
  • Gum disease can cause large patches of black, gray, or red gum discoloration;
  • Areas with active gum disease may develop lesions that can have discharge.

Gum disease can threaten the underlying bone that anchors teeth and gums in the mouth. The loss of bone is usually permanent, although some cutting-edge treatments can result in limited bone recovery. All in all, it’s best to protect your gums with the help of a family dentist!

Safeguarding Your Gums: Advice from a Santa Cruz Family Dentist

When it comes to the well-being of your mouth, your gums are just as important as any one of your teeth. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the most crucial step for defending them. To make them even safer, consider these good dental habits:

Floss Regularly

Flossing can be a tough habit to start, but it is worth it! Much of the damage bacteria can do to gums arises from small food particles left between teeth. If you find regular floss difficult to use, try a soft interdental pick or a water flosser set to a low setting.

Massage the Gums

Massaging your gums can promote better blood flow, which helps support gums’ overall health. You don’t need to use toothpaste while massaging the gums. A soft-bristled manual toothbrush is better than an automatic one, since it will be more gentle.

See a Family Dentist

Many problems with the teeth and gums are hard to spot on your own. They might produce very subtle symptoms at first. In many cases, they will show up in parts of the mouth that you can’t see easily. Visiting a family dentist at least twice a year is the safest way to stay healthy.

Gumline Symptoms? It’s Not Too Late to See Your Friendly Family Dentist

The most common sign of gum problems people notice is bleeding. Bleeding can be prolonged (with a darker red color) or it might show up as a slight pinkish tint when you wash out your mouth. If it happens more than once, set a dental appointment.

For friendly, professional help, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

General Dentists Offer Anxiety-Free Services

Photo Credit: oneblink1 | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: oneblink1 | Adobe Stock

When you think about the dentist, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

For many people, anxiety rears its head as soon as they think about general dentists.

According to Gallup, about 33% of Americans didn’t go to the dentist in 2013. Some people don’t go to the dentist until they have an emergency! That can endanger their health and make recovery more expensive.

There’s no doubt dental anxiety is a big part of the picture.

What is Dental Anxiety and Where Does it Come From?

General dentists have long known they need to go the extra mile to make their offices safe and comfortable.

Older people in particular cite the possibility of pain and discomfort as a major reason why they don’t always go to the dentist, even though they know they should.

Luckily, there are two great new things to know about modern dentistry:

Discomfort from Routine Procedures is All But Gone

It’s true that, decades back, hand tools like scrapers and drills were in common use. However, dentistry is undergoing a transformation. More procedures use laser dentistry, rendering many visits completely discomfort-free.

Even in cases where hand tools are used, their design and manufacture is totally different from what it was. When you visit expert general dentists like those at Landmark Dental Group, you can be certain your comfort is the #1 concern.

There’s a Greater Awareness of Dental Anxiety

There was a time when if you admitted to having worries about the dentist, you may not have reached a sympathetic ear. That has completely changed. At Landmark Dental Group, we’ve pioneered a comfort-first approach to dentistry.

From beginning to end, you’ll completely understand your dental options and the procedure you choose. Nothing is ever performed without your consent. From our front office team to our general dentists, everyone makes the process easy.

Sedation Dentistry Can Make Any Procedure Simple for Dental Anxiety Sufferers

Last, but not least, there’s sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry allows you to enjoy your choice of sedation options so you can rest peacefully during your procedure. Patients usually awaken refreshed, with little memory of the goings-on.

There’s a wide range of mild and moderate sedation options for you to choose from:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide “takes the edge off” while allowing you to recover completely within just a few minutes after your procedure. The gas is inhaled with oxygen through a nose mask. Afterwards, it is safely flushed out with pure oxygen and you awaken fully.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation uses oral medication – typically in the Valium family – about an hour before your appointment. Patients using oral sedation may doze off completely during their visit. It’s crucial to bring along a friend or family member to drive you home.

Conscious IV Sedation

Medication administered through a vein can produce the strongest relaxation. This safe, effective approach typically leaves patients with little memory of their visit. Again, a driver is required.

To learn more about anxiety-free dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Family Dentists Who Care

10 12Dr. Thomas Young

Do you want a Santa Cruz family dentist everyone can trust and enjoy?

At Landmark Dental Group, we (Dr. Tran, Dr. Weston and Dr. Young) work hard to build trust with each one of our patients. We know that the choice of a dental practice is not always an easy one, and finding one you can rely on for years to come will improve the quality of your dental care.

When you are comparing your options for a Santa Cruz family dentist, what should you look for?

Consider these ideas to make sure your dentist measures up:

A Family-Friendly Approach to Dentistry

Let’s face it: Kids don’t always love going to the dentist. The same is true of many adults who may have had negative dentistry experiences in the past. The right family dentist is one who customizes treatment to the needs of each individual, making things relaxing and enjoyable.

A Peaceful and Professional Dental Practice

In bigger dental practices, patients often feel rushed. To get the complete care you need, a dentist should offer you personalized attention. When you arrive, everything should be ready for you. When you’re done, you should have the leisure to ask questions and get clarifications.

Complete Transparency About Your Options

Some dentists tout their status as “special providers” of different products – and it’s no surprise that they always find a reason to recommend a certain service. A Santa Cruz family dentist who is truly focused on your needs will discuss your options and help you make an informed choice.

Respect for Your Needs and Your Budget

Ongoing dental care is an important part of your healthcare budget. Not everyone is in a position to invest in pricey, premium options or to resolve all their dental health concerns instantly. Your dentist should be prepared to focus on the most important issues first and work with your budget.

Thorough, Gentle, and Understanding

You can tell right away when a dentist truly cares about his or her patients. A great dentist should have compassion for the worries and concerns that so many people have about dentistry. Making a personal connection is essential – and so is providing options to reduce dental anxiety.

When All is Said and Done, It’s the Human Touch that Makes the Difference

When you pick a Santa Cruz family dentist, you should rest assured you are getting someone who will be your dental health partner for the long haul. One that gives you peace of mind and makes it easier to protect your teeth, gums, and smile.

At Landmark Dental Group, we’ve had the chance to serve our friends in the community consistently by providing them with the highest standards of care – watching kids grow up and working with each family member to meet changing needs.

If you’ve chosen the right dentist for you, you’ll know it – because visiting won’t be a dreaded chore. In the end, that matters most.

To connect with a Santa Cruz family dentist you’ll love, call Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Diabetes And Oral Health With A Santa Cruz Dentist

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While many people are born with diabetes, others develop it later in life. Diabetes is a chronic illness that stems from the body’s inability to produce or utilize insulin, a substance that helps turn sugars in food into fuel.

In the wake of a diabetes diagnosis, people often have many questions. What many don’t suspect is that dental health is important in diabetes. Likewise, a Santa Cruz dentist is a key member of your diabetes wellness team.

The Unexpected Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Although most people think about blood sugar and liver health when they hear “diabetes,” it actually has a number of effects all throughout the body. Many of these can be controlled using proactive approaches to optimal health – but others remain as ongoing concerns.

One of them is dental health.

People with diabetes have a tendency to have impaired blood circulation in the extremities. One drawback of this condition is that it takes longer for many superficial wounds to heal. When you are injured, blood flow should naturally increase in the damaged area to support recovery.

For those with diabetes, healing takes place, but not usually as quickly as a typical non-sufferer.

That being the case, those with diabetes need to be careful to avoid situations where they might risk superficial wounds to the extremities. Special shoes have been designed to protect the feet, for example – and they should also be cautious about dental health.

With diabetes, the minor abrasions from brushing too hard can take a long time to heal.

In a more serious situation, gingivitis – a mild inflammation of the gums – can progress more easily into full-blown gum disease because it is more difficult for the periodontal tissue to carry a rich blood supply to the teeth. Gums can recede and teeth may fall out.

Your Santa Cruz Dentist Can Support Robust Health For Diabetes Sufferers

With all this in mind, it’s important to set regular appointments with your Santa Cruz dentist.

Your dentist can help you maintain your teeth and keep an eye out for problems that might otherwise go unnoticed, including cavities and infections. The sooner treatment begins, the more likely it is that problems will be resolved quickly.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy with diabetes, always remember:

  • Infections and other complications are less likely in those who do not smoke;
  • Controlling your glucose levels is essential to protecting your teeth and gums;
  • You should strive to brush teeth at least twice and floss at least once every day;
  • If dentures are used, remember to remove them at night and clean them daily.

While the average adult might plan to see the dentist only once a year, it’s best to schedule at least two visits a year – once every six months. That’s true both for people who have chronic conditions that affect dental health and for elders over age 55.

Landmark Dental Group can protect your smile even through diabetes.

To find out more, contact us today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

See A Family Dentist During Pregnancy For A Healthy Mouth

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Pregnancy is a complex time in a woman’s life. In addition to planning for the joys of motherhood, you have to maintain good health. Between eating right, getting enough rest, and exercise, one thing often gets overlooked.

Believe it or not, pregnancy is an important time for your teeth and gums – and it’s vital to check in with a family dentist, just as you would with other prenatal care specialists.

Pregnant? Your Family Dentist Can Help Protect Your Teeth in a Time of Change

During pregnancy, many of your body’s systems change quickly to support the new life growing inside. You know that you’re “eating for two” – or more – but did you know pregnancy can also affect your teeth and gums?

The American Dental Association has pointed out infections in the teeth and gums can influence the rest of your body. Bacteria, especially those that attack the gums, may travel through the bloodstream if they are allowed to thrive.

For a smooth and simple pregnancy that supports peak health for mother and baby, it’s vital to see a family dentist. Even a relatively simple dental cleaning can help ensure fewer inconveniences and health issues down the line.

A Top Dental Priority: “Root Out” Unnoticed Gingivitis During Pregnancy

One thing a family dentist can help with is gingivitis, a long-term infection in the gums that starts with mild inflammation and occasional bleeding. People may not realize they have gingivitis: It can progress quietly for months or even years.

Left unchecked, it develops into much more serious periodontal disease.

This is one major dental concern any pregnant woman should ask her family dentist about. Let’s face it: Pregnancy can be hectic! You might not be spending as much time as you used to on brushing and flossing. Far better to get professional help sooner, not later.

What to Expect from Your Family Dentist Appointment

Your first dental appointment during pregnancy might be a little longer than usual. It’s a good idea to get a complete dental examination, which may include x-rays if it’s been a while or you have dental concerns. A dental cleaning is also helpful.

In cases where gum infection is active, it may be necessary to perform a deep cleaning. This is a specialized procedure that helps clear out bacteria under the gumline. Using this treatment, most simple cases of periodontitis can be arrested or reversed.

To make your appointment successful, be ready to tell your dentist how far along you are in your pregnancy, what medications you are taking, and whether you have any tooth or gum symptoms.

During pregnancy, be sure to follow these dental health tips:

  • Brush teeth gently at least twice every day with a soft-bristled brush;
  • Replace brushes at least every three months as bristles become hard;
  • Use floss or a soft interdental cleaning pick on a regular basis.

A caring and trustworthy dental team makes things easier. Contact Landmark Dental Group to find out more or set an appointment.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Our Family Dentists Help Patients With Bad Breath

halitosis santa cruz dentist

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Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem – but did you know family dentists have been helping patients with this issue for years?

It’s been decades since halitosis – persistent bad breath – was recognized as a serious dental issue by dentists. Although bad breath by itself does not cause any severe health problems, it can be a sign of one.

There are three main causes of halitosis family dentists encounter:

Bad Breath Cause #1: Dental Hygiene Issues

One of the most important ways to defend yourself against bad breath is to brush your teeth regularly.

If you are brushing at least twice a day, but still notice you have issues with bad breath, start by adding one more brushing session to your daily routine. If this helps, but the issue doesn’t go away completely, look at your flossing schedule.

When bad breath seems to come out of nowhere, the culprit may be food particles between teeth. Bacteria feed on these, causing odors. Without flossing, bits of food can remain in teeth for days.

As your toothbrush gets older, it’s less effective at removing bacteria and food particles. It can also start to irritate your gums more easily. Replace it regularly as the bristles get worn down.

Bad Breath Cause #2: Diet

Diet is a major factor in breath – for obvious and not-so-obvious reasons!

First, you could simply be eating things with a pungent odor, like onions and garlic. Brushing your teeth within 30 minutes of eating these foods usually resolves breath issues. However, that’s not the only thing to watch out for on the menu!

Generally, diets high in sugar are more likely to cause bad breath.

Many cases of bad breath are caused by bacteria in the mouth as it attempts to colonize the teeth. These bacteria flourish when given access to sugar, facilitating faster growth of dental plaque. Ultimately, tooth decay can result.

By cutting some sweet treats out of your meals, you may improve your breath.

Proteins, including red meat, can also provoke sour breath.

Bad Breath Cause #3: Injury & Illness

Bad breath with no other obvious cause can be the result of tooth decay or gum disease. However, these conditions rarely progress far enough to cause changes in the breath without other symptoms, including bleeding, discoloration, and pain.

Any type of injury or surgical wound in the mouth can cause bad breath during the healing process. Follow the instructions of your doctor or dentist to ensure these are taken care of so they can heal naturally.

A number of infections can cause lesions, sores, or other problems in and around the mouth. These may cause bad breath until resolved. Some conditions affect the breath even if there are no other oral or dental symptoms.

Halitosis? Contact Your Trusted Family Dentists

Bad breath can be an annoyance. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but you should look into it to rule out any serious problems. Contact Landmark Dental Group to get to the bottom of it.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

If You Grind Your Teeth Make An Appointment With Our General Dentist


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Grinding your teeth can lead to problems only a general dentist can solve.

Grinding the teeth is a common habit that can arise for many reasons. There’s no way to know exactly how many people grind their teeth, but it happens enough to have its own medical name – bruxism.

For most people, bruxism is a result of unrelieved stress and tension they may still be feeling when it’s time to go to bed. In other, rarer cases, it can be the result of joint issues in the jaw. Other underlying medical problems can contribute, too.

Here’s why you should see a general dentist right away if you suspect bruxism.

When Grinding Your Teeth Causes Problems

The human bite is powerful. When you bite down, you’re exerting anywhere between about 100 and 150 pounds of force!

The limiting factor in that force isn’t actually your muscles, but your teeth – that is, most people stop biting down when their teeth hurt, not when muscles tire.

Naturally, when you grind your teeth, you’re not putting quite as much pressure on them. Still, it could amount to anywhere between 10 and 80 pounds of force.

Not surprisingly, this can cause a lot of issues:

  • Tooth surfaces become worn down, which makes it harder to chew normally;
  • Teeth may chip or crack, and in the most serious cases can even split entirely;
  • Surface damage caused by grinding can make teeth more susceptible to decay.

If you realize you’ve been grinding, a general dentist can offer treatments that might help.

The problem? Most bruxism sufferers don’t even realize what’s going on!

Do You Suspect Bruxism? How to Find Out for Sure

Until it causes serious pain, bruxism can be subtle.

Most people have symptoms that they can easily chalk up to other issues. For example, you might notice pain in the jaw upon first waking up that quickly subsides over the course of the day. Teeth might become more sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure.

However, there’s another aspect to the problem: Sleep issues.

If you notice jaw or tooth pain coinciding with sleep problems, bruxism is a cause to investigate. People with bruxism often find that they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep at night, or remaining asleep in the morning before the alarm goes off.

They may feel nervous, anxious, or frustrated about issues encountered during the day.

One early warning system? A sleeping partner. Chronic grinding usually makes sounds loud enough for someone sleeping in the same room to notice. This can help you confirm your suspicions even before you see a dentist.

A General Dentist Can Relieve Bruxism Symptoms Fast

Bruxism starts as an annoyance, but it can build to a serious problem. Luckily, it’s easy to treat.

Your dental team at Landmark Dental Group can help you overcome bruxism using a special night guard. This prevents teeth from coming into contact at night, so symptoms can completely disappear from practically the first evening.

To find out more, contact us.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Don’t Ignore A Toothache – Your Family Dentist Is Just A Phone Call Away!

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Worried about a toothache? Your family dentist can help.

Toothaches can come on suddenly and might have no obvious cause. If you have a toothache, you could be tempted to “wait and see” how it feels in a few days. Sadly, though, a toothache always means that there’s an underlying problem that needs to be figured out!

Where Do Toothaches Come From?

Teeth might seem like simple, solid things that don’t have very many parts. In truth, though, they are part of a complex system that interacts with everything else in your body. Beyond all the familiar enamel of your teeth is the dentin, the pulp, and of course, the nerve.

The pulp is responsible for maintaining blood flow to the tooth and is a key part of the loop between each tooth and the gums. The nerve helps you sense hot and cold, which is why people who have had a root canal procedure done do not have this sensation in the affected teeth.

Tooth decay is the most likely cause of any given toothache. You can have tooth decay even if you have been very diligent about brushing your teeth – dental caries (also known as cavities) start out microscopically and can develop over a very long period of time.

Tooth decay starts with sticky biofilm, which forms on teeth as bacteria use the sugar and other chemicals in food particles as fuel. Within a short time, biofilm that hasn’t been disrupted by brushing hardens into plaque, starting the process of tooth decay.

A toothache usually indicates that decay is progressing to a more advanced state.

Some other problems can also cause a toothache:

  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease, the infection process that attacks gum tissue;
  • An infection – caused by the same “tooth decay bacteria” settling into the tooth;
  • Trauma to the jaw, face, or even the neck, which can loosen or damage the tooth.

Toothaches can cause a wide variety of other symptoms that can range from distracting to severe. For example, toothaches in the upper teeth often lead to pain in the ear. It’s important to get any toothache checked out: Minor symptoms can actually signal the spread of a serious infection.

What Can I Do About a Toothache?

If a toothache has any of the following symptoms, it should be considered an emergency:

  • Swelling in the jaw or the face;
  • Discoloration in the gums near the affected tooth, especially if black;
  • Bleeding or other discharge in the gums;
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath;
  • Pain in the ear that persists or gets worse.

Even if the toothache is minor, set an appointment with a trusted family dentist within three days. Continue to brush daily, being especially careful and gentle with the problem tooth, or avoiding it if light brushing causes pain. Use warm saltwater as a mouthwash. You may use pain relief gel from your pharmacy, such as Orajel.

Contact your family dentist at Landmark Dental Group for prompt, caring help with your toothache!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz