Category Archives: Lafayette LA Dentist

Is It Normal to Get a Pimple on Your Gums?

I’ve got a pimple on my gums. I’m worried about it. My husband says I’m overreacting, that it’s just a pimple. But, I’ve never heard of a pimple on gums and it hurts. Is this normal?

Danya L.

Dear Danya,

Emergency Dental Care

You’re right to be concerned. This is more serious than a simple pimple. It’s likely one of two things. First, it could be the beginnings of a canker sore and just resembles a pimple. This won’t be very large, but it will “open up” and start to resemble a canker sore rather soon.

This is not an emergency, but you will want to attend to it. Salt water rinses will help, along with over the counter pain relievers. It should clear up within two weeks. If it doesn’t, see your dentist for an oral tissue exam. Sometimes oral cancer resembles a canker sore. Your dentist examines you for this at every check-up. If you’re diligent with your check ups, the canker sore is the more likely scenario.

If it truly resembles a full-sized pimple, then it is most likely a fistula. This is filled with puss, so don’t pop it. You won’t like the taste. A fistula means you have an active tooth infection. This needs to be seen right away. In fact, if you don’t have a regular dentist, you need to see an emergency dentist. They’ll work you in sooner than most dentists even if you’re not an established patient.

There are a number of possible treatment options here depending on why the bacteria is pooling. If the tooth is cracked and leaking bacteria into the gums, then you’ll need a dental crown. If it’s in a visible place then you’ll want to be sure to get an all-porcelain crown. They look completely natural. If there’s an infection, it’s possible to need a root canal treatment.

Either way, you don’t want to put off treatment. The infection will spread. The quicker it’s treated, the less invasive the procedure will need to be.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

What are some decent tooth replacement options?

I have to get a tooth extracted. I wanted to get a second opinion on some good tooth replacement options. Money is no object. I want the best. What are your thoughts?

Martin C. – Albany, NY

Martin,

My initial thought is if you want the top tooth replacement option, than just about any dentist would tell you to get dental implants.  They’re the most like having your own natural tooth.  If you’re in good general health, than you are likely a candidate.

There are times when a dental bridge makes more sense. That’s generally if the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth happen to need dental crowns. If that’s the case, a dental bridge will take care of two procedures at once.

You didn’t say what your dentist suggested. If he’s not adequately trained in dental implants, then he wouldn’t be likely to suggest them.  But, it is the ideal treatment if you’re a candidate.

There are other options, as well, aside from implants and bridges, such as a removable partial denture, but you asked for the top treatments.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Whitening crowns

Can I whiten a dental crown if it is old? My crown is turning beige.  So are my teeth for that matter.  I know I can whiten them, I was just wondering about the crown.

Beatrice N.  – Pennsylvania

Beatri ce,

A dental  crown, or any other dental restoration, cannot be whitened. Only natural tooth structure is whitened. That doesn’t mean you can’t have white teeth.

What it will mean is doing professional teeth whitening and then getting a new crown. Make sure you go to a dentist that does an all porcelain crown. It will be much more beautiful than a porcelain fused to metal crown.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA  Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

 

Trying to decide between a dental implant or a bridge?

I have a tooth I need to replace. I am trying to decide whether I should get a dental implant or a bridge. Is there any advantage to the implant? They are much more expensive.

Desiree J. – New Mexico

Desiree,

This is an important question. Dental implants are fantastic and function much more like your natural teeth than a bridge, but there are times where a bridge would make more sense. Your dentist can help you determine which one is the better treatment, but here is a basic  guideline.

When one of your adjacent teeth needs some work, such as a dental crown.  If you’re going to need to have an adjacent tooth ground down anyway, you can save money by getting a bridge. It will replace your tooth and crown the sick one simultaneously.

If, on the other hand, both of the adjacent teeth are healthy and you have the money, you’ll be much happier with the dental implant.   It is much more like your natural tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr.Mike Malone.

How will dental bonding fix my gap?

I have a tooth gap that is a little over 1/2 a centimeter. My dentist said he can fix it with dental bonding. How will that fix it? Wouldn’t that make my teeth really wide? Will that look attractive and I just can’t picture it?

Rhianna L. – Newark, NJ

Rhianna,

Over 1/2 a centimeter is quite a large gap. In fact, you can fit a small tooth in that size space. Unless your teeth are unnaturally narrow, I don’t think adding in that much structure will make your teeth look normal.

Tooth bonding (or dental bonding) is generally a good way to close a tooth gap, but it has to be a small gap.  I’m not sure your dentist is the one to do it. You seem to have more of a sense of aesthetics than he or she does. That isn’t a good sign.

You don’t want your basic family dentist to do serious cosmetic procedures. These take additional post-graduate training. You also want someone who has an artistic eye. If you’re serious about closing your gap, I’d look into Invisalign. It will actually close the gap and almost any dentist can perform this.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.