When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

Knowing when to seek emergency dental care is an important part of maintaining good oral health. If you’re like most people, you already know that you need to see a dentist as soon as possible if you get a tooth knocked out while playing sports or because of an accident. In the event of sudden tooth loss, you can maximize your chances of saving the tooth if you preserve it properly and see an emergency dentist right away. If this happens to you or someone in your family, quickly place the tooth in milk before leaving for your dentist’s office. Keep in mind that the quicker you can get there, the better the chances of the tooth remaining viable enough to be reattached. Here’s what else you need to know about when you should see an emergency dentist:

See Your Dentist if Tooth Pain Becomes Increasingly Painful

Tooth pain that doesn’t respond to conventional home treatments may be an indication of an infection — and it’s important to stem the infection before it goes systemic and affects other parts of the body. If the pain is accompanied by swelling, that may mean that one or more of your teeth has become abscessed, and this means that you’ve developed a serious infection that won’t go away on its own. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

See Your Dentist if You’ve Experienced Substantial Dental Trauma

Not all dental emergencies involve getting a tooth knocked out or having an abscess or other serious infection. If you’ve experienced dental trauma to the point where one or more of your teeth are significantly loose or you’re in a great deal of pain, you should see an emergency dentist, especially if you have reason to suspect that the root of your tooth has become damaged or separated — you can lose the tooth even if it hasn’t become completely dislodged.

When in doubt about whether to seek emergency care, contact your emergency dentist for advice. Please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience to schedule an appointment or for more information on maintaining the best possible dental health.


Help! My Teeth Are Moving! Find Out Why

Even though most people expect that their smile will always be the same, the teeth can actually shift places in the gums and jawline. When this starts to happen, it can be rather alarming to see, especially if the shifts are leaving gaps or misalignment. Here is a look at some of the common reasons teeth can shift from their usual position.

The issue may be due to changes in the mandible.

The mandible is the lower jaw bone, and it does have the potential to both grow and shrink over the years, even in older adults. These changes can cause your teeth to appear as if they have shifted, but the change will be a very gradual thing. For example, if you notice that the teeth on your lower jaw are getting more crowded than they have ever been, this could be a sign that the width of your lower jaw is changing.

You could be grinding your teeth while you sleep.

Bruxism is the medical term given to teeth grinding, and a lot of people do this without even realizing that they are. One of the unfortunate side effects of tooth grinding is the undue stress on the teeth can cause them to shift and move. If you feel like you have sore jaws in the morning or notice your teeth seem to be moving, talk to your dentist to determine if teeth grinding could be to blame.

You may have issues with bone loss.

Bone loss is actually bone breaking down and becoming less dense, and your jawbones can be affected. If your jaws are suffering from bone loss, it can definitely cause the teeth to shift and move. You may notice that your teeth seem to have sunken downward or tilted back. Even though bone loss can be age-related, it can also be related to certain medical conditions.

Get More Information About Tooth Shifting

It is never a good thing to see your teeth shifting positions in your mouth, and professional attention to the matter is always best. If you have started to notice changes in your teeth and where they are positioned in your mouth, contact us at the office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta DDS.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Procrastinate on Dental Care

When it comes to making and keeping dentist appointments, some people are better than others. If you’re a person who regularly procrastinates on dental care, you may also put off dental problems that come up, or even your personal dental hygiene. Here are X reasons why you should never procrastinate on caring for your teeth and gums.

1. If You Put Off Brushing and Flossing, You Invite Cavities

Experts advise that you brush and floss as soon as possible after each meal. The reason for this is that food gets trapped in between teeth and becomes food for bacteria. As bacteria multiply, they may end up causing cavities in your teeth. The sooner you can remove this trapped food, the better your chances at avoiding cavities. So try to make an effort to brush and floss immediately after eating.

2. If You Avoid the Dentist, Problems Only Escalate

Your dentist has many tools and treatments available to take care of any dental problem that you have. But the earlier your dentist can treat you, the less complicated—and less costly—the treatment will be. When you avoid the dentist, those problems only get worse. Eventually, you could end up with full -blown periodontitis or worse. So why let something small escalate into something more serious? Visit your dentist at least once every six months.

3. If You Ignore Signs of Trouble, You Could End up in Emergency Care

Your teeth and gums always give warning signs when something is amiss. Sometimes it’s swollen or bleeding gums, a tiny throbbing in a tooth, pain when exposed to cold beverages, or something else. These little signs should never be ignored. In other words, they will become big problems, not little ones. They won’t go away on their own. What might happen is that you end up in excruciating pain suddenly and have to rush in to get emergency treatment. And it could have all been avoided if you hadn’t ignored the signs. If you suspect there’s something going on that shouldn’t contact your dentist right away to have it checked out.

Never procrastinate on dental care. These three reasons should help you to see how important it is to have regular dental visits your entire life.


3 Signs You May Have a TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the primary connective point between your jaw and your skull. This complex joint bears the responsibility of allowing the jaw to open and close so you can chew, bite, speak, and open and close your mouth. TMJ disorders involve problems with this important joint, and many of these issues do go undiagnosed because people do not realize they have a correctable problem. Take a look at some of the most common signs of a TMJ disorder.

You hear popping and cracking when you open and close your mouth.

Do you hear your jaws pop every time you chew your food? Have you ever had painful pops when you open your mouth really wide or yawn? Do you hear crackling when you speak? All of these could potentially be related to a TMJ disorder. Excess air gets into the joint if there are small pockets inside, and this excess air can cause the popping and crackling sounds you are hearing.

You frequently feel tension or pain in your jaws.

Tension and pain in the jaws are some of the most common symptoms of a TMJ disorder, but this tension or pain constantly gets blamed on other issues. The sensations actually come from overworked nerves and muscles surrounding the joint; they work harder to compensate for the undue stress on the joint. Over time, these sensations can actually grow worse, so early diagnosis is key.

You have an issue with grinding your teeth.

People who have a tendency to grind their teeth can be more prone to also having a TMJ disorder. The grinding, whether you are doing it when you are stressed or when you are simply asleep, puts a lot of strain on the muscles that surround the TMJ and the joint itself. If you have already been diagnosed with bruxism (teeth grinding, clenching, or gnashing), it is important that you talk to the dentist about any symptoms of TMJ as well.

Reach Out to the Office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta for Advice

A dentist can help properly diagnose a TMJ disorder and make recommendations about treatment so you can get some much-needed relief from the symptoms. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Michael J. Tupta in Charleston, WV for an appointment.

Why Has My Bite Changed?

Have you ever bitten down and felt like your teeth aren’t lining up the way they used to? Or have you ever been surprised to discover that your back teeth don’t meet up anymore when you clench your jaw? These are indicators that your bite has changed. Your bite is the term for the position of your upper and lower teeth when you close your mouth and bring your upper and lower jaw together. The alignment of your bite is important as far as your ability to speak and chew food, but it’s also important for your overall dental health. Persons with a severe underbite or overbite get important treatment to remedy the situation. If your bite has changed, you will also need to get dental treatment. Here are some reasons why your bite may have changed.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a very serious condition in which the mouth is overrun by bacteria, gum tissues have loosened away from the edges of the teeth, and bone loss may have occurred. Due to the extreme nature of periodontal disease and its way of loosening teeth, the bite is usually affected as well. If you feel that you have one or more loose teeth and your bite has changed, see your dentist right away to find out if you have developed periodontal disease.

Jaw Hinges

If you’re an older adult with relatively healthy teeth and gums but your bite has changed, your jaw hinges may be wearing down. Don’t worry – this happens to many people as they age. Certain other conditions can speed up this process, such as arthritis and grinding the teeth at night. Your dentist can do some diagnostic tests to determine if this is the cause, and recommend treatment options for you.

Wisdom Teeth

If you’re a younger adult, you might experience a change in your bite when your wisdom teeth grow in. As you can imagine, room must be made for more teeth at the back of your mouth. The change should be subtle, but if it’s not, or if it’s causing a problem, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

If you notice that your bite has changed, don’t try to figure out the reason by yourself. Make a dentist appointment so you can get a professional opinion on the cause, as well as available treatment options.

4 Hygiene Tips For Denture Wearers

If you wear dentures, you should know that hygiene is just as important now as it was when you had natural teeth. You may even have a combination of natural teeth and a partial denture. It’s crucial that you take care of your denture so that you don’t cause harmful bacteria to build up in your mouth. Here are X hygiene tips for denture wearers.

1. Soak Dentures Overnight

Only if your dentist allows it should you wear your dentures while you sleep. For best hygiene, you should invest in a good quality denture cleaner and soak your dentures overnight. This gives adequate time for the denture cleaner to kill any bacteria on the dentures. Soaking your dentures isn’t just about making them look better; it’s about hygiene.

2. Clean Dentures Before Wearing

You might think that if you soak your dentures overnight, that’s plenty of cleaning. However, the denture cleaner isn’t something you really want in your mouth. For best hygiene, clean your dentures after you take them out of the soaking solution and before you insert them in your mouth. You should always clean your dentures before you wear them, especially if for some reason you didn’t soak them overnight.

3. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

There are special denture cleaning brushes, but you can substitute with a soft-bristled toothbrush if you don’t have one. Use a special denture cleaner; not regular toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend one for you, or maybe even give you a sample to try.

4. Ask For a Demonstration

If you are new to wearing dentures, ask your dentist for a demonstration as to the proper technique for cleaning your dentures. The manufacturer may even have some literature that you can review to make sure you’re doing it right.

Depending on why you needed to get dentures in the first place, you may not have taken dental hygiene seriously in the past. You should realize that being lax about taking care of your dentures can have harmful effects on your gums and oral health, just as if you were taking care of natural teeth. It’s time to get serious about dental health. Use the four tips above to take excellent care of your dentures!

Waterlase Dental Treatment: Patient FAQs

Waterlase is a dental laser treatment tool that makes it possible to perform regular dental treatments without the need for shots or major discomfort. Commonly used on children and even pregnant women, this treatment has numerous advantages, including less discomfort for the patient. Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions regarding Waterlase dental treatment.

What exactly is Waterlase dentistry?

Waterlase dentistry is an innovate treatment method that involves the use of a laser that is combined with both water and air to perform certain types of treatments. lasers have been used in other medical procedures for many years, but they have only started showing up in the dental practice field in the last few years. Waterlase can be used to treat multiple conditions, including:

  • to eradicate cavities before a filling
  • to eliminate small fragments of bone after an extraction
  • to properly clean sugar spots from the teeth
  • to prepare a tooth before a crown is added

Why is the Waterlase method better for fillings?

When you get a filling done in the traditional way, the dentist uses a small drill that has a bur on it that breaks away bits of the damaged tooth. Even though this method is effective, the friction from the drill can cause some pain and discomfort for the patient. Plus, it is easy to cause damage to adjacent teeth or the tooth being drilled. Waterlase gives the dentist a gentle and precise way to remove only the damaged parts of the tooth. There is no friction, no heat, and no risks to the surrounding teeth.

Why do patients heal faster after Waterlase treatments?

Waterlase is a gentle and efficient way to perform many common dental procedures. The procedure is non-invasive and is less likely to damage the soft tissues in the mouth than some forms of traditional treatment, such as drilling. Therefore, after a patient has received treatment using Waterlase, there is less discomfort and they can bounce back rather quickly.

Overall, Waterlase dentistry treatment is a valuable component of modern-day dental practice. Reach out to us at the office of Michael J. Tupta for more information about Waterlase and if this is a treatment option we can offer you.

Home Remedies for Dental Pain That Actually Help

Most people claim that toothache pain is one of the most intense pains ever, and it really can be. When the enamel breaks down on a tooth, it exposes the sensitive nerves in the soft tissue, and the pain can be quite severe. If you have to wait to see a dentist, you will be willing to try a lot of things to help thwart the throbbing toothache. Here are a few safe home remedies that may actually help.

Rinse Your Mouth in Warm Salt Water

Saltwater has the ability to calm inflammation and has healing properties for wounds in the mouth. Therefore, rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can actually help with a toothache. The salt also acts as a natural disinfectant and will loosen debris that may be stuck in your teeth that is causing irritation. Simply mix a 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a warm glass of water and stir before using the solution to swish around your mouth.

Apply Garlic Paste to the Aching Area

Garlic has been recognized for all kinds of amazing therapeutic reasons, but it can do something that a lot of people do not know about: it can act as a pain-relieving agent. Simply peel one clove of garlic and crush it. Work with the crushed garlic until you have what resembles a bumpy paste and then apply it to the area causing the pain. You can add a tiny bit of salt to further help with inflammation.

Dab the Area with Natural Vanilla Extract

Alcohol can help numb pain, and vanilla extract does contain a small percentage of alcohol. Plus, natural vanilla extract can help heal wounds because it boasts antioxidant properties, so if an abrasion is causing pain the extract may help. Simply use a cotton swab or cotton ball to dab the area that’s hurting with the extract and repeat as often as you need to.

Toothaches are never something easy to deal with, and there are effective ways to relieve some of the pain, but it is a must that you seek professional attention from a dentist as soon as possible. Reach out to the office of Michael J. Tupta DDS in Charleston so we can help you.

teeth whitening

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Professional Teeth Whitening

If you are dissatisfied with the color of your teeth, you can have them professionally whitened to improve your smile. Your dentist can provide this helpful service upon request, though it is not covered by insurance. To help you decide if this procedure is right for you, read through this FAQ to learn all you need to know about professional teeth whitening services.

How bright will my teeth look after whitening?

Although the brightest white might seem tempting, it does not suit everyone. You need to consider many different factors to find a shade that flatters you. You will work with your dentist to find the optimize tooth whitening shade for your perfect smile. Professional teeth whitening can often lighten your enamel by up to eight shades. Your dentist will show you all the possibilities and you can select from them to perfect your beautiful smile.

Will whitening my teeth hurt or make them sensitive?

Having your teeth professionally whitened should never cause any pain or discomfort. If you note any problems, let your dentist know right away.

Over-the-counter tooth whitening kits have the potential to make your teeth much more sensitive, but it is much less likely with professional whitening services. Your dentist will take the necessary steps to ensure your enamel does not incur any damage during the whitening process. There is always a risk of increased sensitivity, however, as is the case with all teeth whitening products.

How long does it take to fully whiten my teeth?

To keep the risk of sensitivity to a minimum, dentists usually take up to four weeks to complete the professional teeth whitening process. By gradually removing stains and whitening the teeth, it is possible to achieve the desired results without side effects. You can expect to spend at least one hour in the office once a week throughout this process.

Do I need to have the teeth whitening process repeated?

Although effectively, professional teeth whitening does not provide permanent results. You must take proper care of your teeth and avoid stain-causing substances to get the most out of the improvements to your smile. Even then, you may need to have the process repeated from time to time to retain your dazzling smile.

When can I come in for teeth whitening?

You can schedule an appointment for professional teeth whitening services at your earliest convenience. Just give us a call at 304-744-4150 to schedule your visit with your trusted dental care professionals.

The Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural mineral that contains the key element fluorine. It is widely used throughout the world as an additive for drinking water because it is known to promote healthier teeth and gums. Namely, fluoride helps protect teeth from decay and subsequent cavities.

Why do we need fluoride?

Fluoride is necessary for your teeth because it helps you combat cavities. It does this by working with the phosphate and calcium already present in your teeth. Together, these three elements fight against the harmful acids that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities in your mouth.

How can you get more fluoride in your diet?

Many communities and countries throughout the world fortify their public drinking water with fluoride. This does not change the taste of the water and is considered safe. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the practice of fluoridation as completely safe and healthy.

If your community does not fortify their water with fluoride, however, certain over-the-counter dental products can help you get the fluoride you need. For example, fluoride-fortified toothpastes and rinses are widely available.

Finally, you might consider a fluoride treatment. Most dental offices offer these treatments, which are often recommended for children and teens but can also be provided to adults.

What is fluoride treatment?

Fluoride treatments are typical procedures performed in dental offices by hygienists. Generally speaking, the fluoride is applied to the teeth by way of a foam, gel, or varnish. Depending on the product, the fluoride may be painted on the teeth or applied with a mouth guard. After a specified amount of time, the fluoride is then removed and rinsed.

Are you a good candidate for a fluoride treatment?

Not everyone needs fluoride treatments, but your dentist may recommend them for children and teens or some adults who struggle with tooth decay and cavities.

If you are interested in strengthening your tooth enamel with a fluoride treatment or need to book a regular teeth cleaning, you can request an appointment at today by filling out our online appointment request form or calling our office directly at (304) 744-4150.