Category Archives: Bridgetown Dental Blog

How Poor Dental Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health

Over half of all American adults (and one-third of all American children) aren’t brushing their teeth enough.

But is that really such a big deal?


Contrary to what you might think, your oral health has a huge impact on the rest of your body. Keep reading below to learn the negative effects of poor dental hygiene.

Impaired Speech

Impaired speech is a concern for young children who struggle with tooth decay.

When young children lose teeth at an early age, they have trouble learning how to talk. This can lead to impaired speech development that lasts for the rest of the child’s life.

Trouble Sleeping

People with oral diseases often deal with a lot of chronic pain. This pain can make it difficult for them to fall and stay asleep at night.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you can become sleep deprived. And this is more dangerous than it sounds.

People who’re sleep deprived are at risk of many other serious health concerns, including heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, etc.

Low Self-Esteem

People with any type of oral disease may feel embarrassed when it comes to the appearance of their teeth. Because of this embarrassment, they may avoid smiling.

This can cause a huge blow to a person’s self-esteem.

Low self-esteem doesn’t just affect the way a person feels about themselves. It affects how a person experiences the world. Over time, low self-esteem can reduce the quality of a person’s life and lead to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Complications During Pregnancy and Birth

Periodontitis is a type of gum disease. While it may seem contained to your mouth, this serious disease affects a lot more than that.

Oral bacteria release toxins into the bloodstream. That means these toxins get into the placenta of a pregnant mother. These toxins also cause the mother to produce more labor-triggering substances than normal.

Because of this, periodontitis can lead to premature birth and a lower-than-normal birth weight.

Cardiovascular Disease

Some types of oral inflammation and infections can encourage cardiovascular disease.

The oral inflammation develops plaque in the heart’s arteries, which can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.


Endocarditis is another type of heart disease.

As bacteria and germs from other parts of the body spread through your bloodstream, they attach to the inner lining of your heart. Oral bacteria from infections inside your mouth can contribute to this disease.

Endocarditis can lead to serious heart damage that can destroy your valves. If you don’t get the right treatment soon enough, it can be life-threatening.

How Dental Poor Dental Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health

You should never make the mistake of thinking your oral health doesn’t matter. If you have poor dental hygiene, the bacteria in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body and cause serious health concerns.

That’s why brushing and flossing every day is so important.

Think you might be struggling with gum disease? Don’t hesitate to contact us and set up an appointment.

How to Find a Dentist You’ll Love to Visit

Whether you’ve recently moved to a new city or you’re simply looking to switch, the task of finding a new dentist can be both daunting and frustrating. There are nearly 200,000 dentists in the US alone, so it’s no wonder the search can be intimidating!

Read on for our tips on how to find a dentist you’ll love to visit.

Insured? Look for “In Network”

If you have dental insurance through an employer, your first step is to access your insurance provider’s website and search for “in network” dentists. If you end up with an “out of network” dentist, you’ll pay close to full price for services.

Some insurance provider search tools even allow you to select other information about the dentist, such as gender or years of experience.

Not Insured? Consider Low-Cost Providers

If you don’t have dental insurance, be forewarned that services might cost a pretty penny. This is especially true for treatments like root canals or bridges.

Consider low-cost providers or local dental schools, especially for your twice-annual preventative cleanings. Dental students are supervised full-time by professionals and teachers, so fear not: you’re in safe hands!

Convenience is Key

Once you’ve selected an in-network or low-cost provider, next to consider is the distance from your home or work. This is especially true in the event you need an emergency appointment. No one wants to drive forty minutes through traffic with a throbbing toothache!

Look at office hours, too. If you work the nine-to-five, you may want to search for a dentist who takes evening or weekend appointments.

Specialty Needs

If you’ve got kiddos who hate the dentist, or you would like a dentist who specializes in sensitivity, keep this in mind as you perform your search. Many dentists provide heated blankets, TV screens, music headphones, or even mild anesthesia for regular cleanings.

You may also consider a dental office that performs oral surgery if you expect to need services like root canals or wisdom teeth removal. Or, if your kids will need braces in the future, consider a dentist who also offers orthodontic services.

Ask Around to Find a Dentist!

If you’re really stuck on the dentist search, ask coworkers, neighbors or friends for referrals. Coworkers are a great resource to find in-network providers, whereas neighbors can help you find someone friendly and local.

You might even score some perks by using a referral because many dentists offer discounts or savings (to both of you!) when you tell them who referred you.

Do Your Due Diligence

Just because you’ve chosen a new dentist doesn’t mean you’re committed. Consider stopping by the office to set your first appointment and ask for a tour, and take close note of the staff, equipment, etc. If equipment looks old or unsanitary, it’s a red flag.

Also, check to see whether the dentist is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), the main organization supporting reputable dentists.

We Can Help!

For more tips oral health, how to find a dentist, and when to see a dentist, check out the rest of our blog today!

Tooth Abscess Danger Signs and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Them

5 Tooth Abscess Danger Signs and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Them

Home remedies may ease the pain for a while but an infected tooth needs urgent medical care. Ignore these tooth abscess danger signs at your peril.

Keyword(s): tooth abscess danger signs

Tooth pain is enough to spur you to get an appointment with your dentist. No one likes carrying that ache around for longer than is necessary. Your toothache could be anything, including an abscess. Did you know abscesses aren’t only painful, but could also be deadly?

If left untreated too long, you could suffer more than a lost tooth. Not sure that’s what’s causing your pain? Here are some tooth abscess danger signs to keep you vigilant.

Tooth Abscess Danger Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Pain is the body’s natural warning system. It warns you when something is wrong, and when to do something about it. That’s why you should never ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Bacteria in the affected tooth can cause an abscess. It can come about from having bad oral hygiene.

What are some signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth?

1. Aching and Throbbing

When a tooth has become infected, you’ll know it. There will be plenty of aching and throbbing that won’t go away. It will get worse and worse, and be unbearable. If the pain gets to be too much before seeing a dentist, try home remedies to dull the ache.

2. Swelling in the Affected Area

Not only will you experience pain, but you’ll also see some swelling. There may even be a pimple-like swelling on the gums around the tooth that is infected.

If you suddenly taste or smell something bad following relief, it likely burst. You should still see your dental professional if this happens. You could still have a dental infection deep down.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be common in some people. But if the affected tooth is more sensitive than usual, don’t ignore it. Severe sensitivity to hot or cold substances can be another sign something is wrong.

4. Swelling in the Face or Cheeks

In most cases, when you have an infection, there is swelling. Swelling of the abscessed tooth isn’t uncommon. Though, if you start to experience swelling in the face, it means it’s getting worse. You’ll need antibiotics for the tooth infection.

If your dentist appointment is too far out, don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room. They can help you deal with the infection before it gets to a dangerous point.

Tooth abscess complications are serious and deadly. They can include sepsis and Ludwig’s Angina. Both are complications that can cause severe health problems.

5. Swollen Lymph Nodes

Another reaction the body can have to infections is a swelling of the lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes in your neck or jaw become tender and swollen, don’t wait any longer. Your body is fighting an infection and needs medical help to do so.

More Dental Reads

If these tooth abscess danger signs sound familiar, make an appointment as soon as you can. Contact Bridgetown Dental to get treatment of your infection before it gets worse. Bridgetown Dental offers a variety of dental services.

Dental hygiene is essential to your health. Read our blog to find more articles about taking care of your teeth.

Warning Signs You Might Have A Cavity

Cavity Symptoms: How to Tell if You Have a Cavity

If you don’t know how to tell if you have a cavity, then you should keep reading. In this article, we’re discussing cavity symptoms you should never ignore.

According to research studies, over 91% of Americans have had cavities in between the ages of 20 and 64. And while this number is sure to have increased within the last couple of years, it’s important to do your research on what causes these cavities to begin with.

It’s recommended that you schedule a bi-annual service with your dentist in order to check on your oral health. But in between visits, what do you search for in order to diagnose a cavity?

If you don’t really know, that’s not a problem. Fortunately, we have put together a list of symptom you should look for if you don’t know how to tell if you have a cavity.

How To Tell If You Have A Cavity: Bad Breath

While a lot of people associate bad breath with halitosis, you’d be surprised by its association with cavities. Tooth decay, in general, generates bacteria and this bacteria leads to bad breath.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times you brush your teeth or tongue, it’s recommended you visit a dentist as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.

Tooth Sensitivity

Want to know how to tell if you have a cavity? Tooth sensitivity!

Drinking something really hot or really cold will hurt the tooth that has a cavity. Fortunately, there are gels and toothpaste that can help alleviate the pain and hold you over until you make your way to a dentist.


Let’s try an exercise! Take your tongue and feel around your teeth for holes and chips. One of the sure tale signs of a cavity is finding holes and/or dark spots on your teeth.

Immediately schedule an appointment with your local dentist in order to the cavity filled.


An unattended cavity can lead to further complications. One of the extreme symptoms of a cavity is pus excretion from the infected area. Because a cavity is essentially an opened wound, it’s easy for bacteria to infect the area and generate pus. Often times clients will experience a bitter aftertaste in their mouth that comes as a result of this.


As simple as it might sound, a normal toothache can be a sign of a bigger issue. Usually, teeth with cavities cause teeth to crack.  Whether you’re biting into food or hypersensitive to the weather, be sure to contact your dentist if you are experiencing pain.

Looking For A Dentist In Portland? Try Us!

Whether you don’t know how to tell if you have a cavity or want to inquire about dental implants, we’re here to serve. Ever since we’ve been in business Bridgetown Dental has strived to provide excellent Dental services for the Portland area. Because our services vary from Family Dentistry to Cosmetic – we specialize in all kinds of clients.

Thinking about getting some dental work done? No problem. Feel free to contact us and a member of our team will be more than happy to reach out to you.

5 Oral Health Benefits of Using a Metal Tongue Scraper

We’ve all heard of the benefits of brushing your teeth daily, flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist. But have you ever heard about tongue scraping?

What sounds like a somewhat gross activity is actually painless and imperative for maintaining oral health. Using a tongue scraper is an easy way to improve oral health and take care of your tongue.

Still not convinced? Here are 5 benefits of using a tongue scraper.

1. Removes Harmful Bacteria

Bacteria easily builds up on the tongue which can lead to infection, gum disease, and cavities. Studies show that using a tongue scraper can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and cavities.

2. Makes Your Tongue Look Better

We’ve all seen some unsightly tongues in our time: unclean or dirty tongues can get a sort of white, spongey, fuzzy film on the top of it. Using a tongue scraper will not only get rid of this somewhat gross appearance, but it can also prevent that coating from coming back.

3. Improves Your Breath

Bad breath, known by the scientific term halitosis, can have a number of causes. Food debris, dry mouth, smoking, gum infections, and bacteria build-up can all lead to bad breath.

As we went over earlier, tongue scraping can remove debris and built-up bacteria, which can help improve bad breath. While you shouldn’t stop brushing and flossing to fight odor, one study did show that tongue scraping was better than tongue brushing at removing bacteria that cause bad breath.

4. Enhance Taste

Your tongue isn’t just there for show: it helps you swallow, talk, and eat. A dirty tongue coated with bacteria makes it harder for food and tastes to reach the taste buds, which dulls your sense of taste.

Research shows that tongue scraping has the potential to enhance your sense of taste. Why not go for it if it means you can taste your favorite foods better?

5. Improves Overall Oral Health

All of these benefits combine to mean one overall benefit of tongue scraping: improved oral health. Reducing bacterial concentration in your mouth will reduce your risk of tooth decay, cavities, infection, and bad breath.

Poor oral health has also been linked to other health disorders including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Improving your oral health with tongue scraping will not only help your mouth; it could help boost your general health as well.

Using a Tongue Scraper Can (and Will!) Improve Your Oral Health

Research shows that tongue scrapers can improve your dental hygiene and oral health. Whether you buy a professional grade stainless steel tongue scraper or use a spare metal spoon, using a tongue scraper daily will benefit you.

However, don’t think that you can stop flossing or brushing just because you start using a tongue scraper. Your dental hygiene routine should include scraping, flossing, brushing, and visits to a dentist.

Check out our blog for other information about your oral health. You can also contact us with any questions you have or to set up your next dental appointment.

What Causes Root Canals And When Do You Need One?

The thought of going to the dentist is a sure fire way to get stressed. The mouth is a mystery, and all you’re told is that drills will fix it. Let’s decrease your worries by learning what causes root canals and when to get a root canal.

A root canal refers to both the treatment and the condition itself. In either case, if someone asks if you want one, chances are you’ll want to say no!

With the understanding of a few key features, you’ll be able to take care of your mouth better. You’ll also have the benefit of finding the best doctor for the dental work you need.

Nitty Gritty

It all has to do with hygiene.

Three layers make up your teeth.

  • Enamel
  • Dentin
  • Pulp

The enamel is the outer layer of your teeth and extremely hard, but always worn away at. Neglecting your daily mouth routine can leave you with a layer of plaque.

Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria and the reason that you want to brush your teeth every day. A layer of plaque creates acids that destroy the enamel. This can eventually expose the bone underneath.

Congratulations, you have a new cavity.

What Causes Root Canals

You have your cavity, you have poor dental hygiene but when is a root canal needed?

Without intervention, the cavity will continue to grow and decay. This decay can then reach the root of your tooth.

During this time you can experience a few nasty symptoms:

  • Severe tooth pain and sensitivity
  • Pimple-like bumps on the gums
  • Tenderness and swelling of the gums
  • Darkening of the tooth

At this point, the decay is so far-reaching that it can become an infection and reach your bloodstream. This can be deadly.

It’s time for you to find a doctor, the longer you wait with tooth pain, the more time the decay has to progress.

What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

It’s nothing to be afraid of.

Your dentist will do their best to save your natural tooth, which can have a few benefits.

  • Normal biting force and sensation
  • Natural look
  • Proper chewing
  • Protection for other teeth

Having a root canal is much like getting a filling.

Your doctor will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. This is the only pain you might experience, a needle prick.

Your dentist will drill into your tooth to remove the infected material. Then a rubber compound fills the hole followed by a standard filling at the entrance.

In some cases, this can’t be done. Root canals may become a tooth removal or a crown depending on the extent of the damage done.

Before your procedure, the dentist will go over each possibility.

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Don’t Stay in Pain

What causes root canals? A root canal, a painful paradox and one you don’t have to suffer through.

Root canals are a daily part of life, and your dentist will be able to treat you kindly and effectively. There’s no reason to let yourself suffer.

Set up an appointment today or learn more about keeping your already perfect teeth in order!

What are Veneers and How Do You Care For Them?

If you’ve always wanted a perfect smile but were not blessed with perfectly straight and white teeth, veneers could be a great option for you.

What are veneers, you ask? Veneers are a common cosmetic dentistry procedure aimed at giving you the perfect smile. With cosmetic dentistry on the rise and with more people wanting to participate worldwide, the procedure has evolved to be simple and accessible.

If you’re interested in veneers but aren’t quite sure what they are or how to care for them, keep reading! You will learn all the ins and outs of teeth veneers so you can make an informed decision.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or resin that, when attached to teeth, create a natural-looking white smile while providing strength and resilience greater than that of your natural enamel. A dentist will custom make your veneers so they fit perfectly against your natural teeth. They can correct misalignment, discoloration, chips, and fractures.

The process involves removing a layer of enamel in order to attach the veneers, so the process is usually permanent. Veneers can and should be replaced after some time. However, modern porcelain veneers do not stain, so once in place, your veneers will stay bright and white until your next dentist appointment.

How To Take Care Of Your Veneers

Now that you have a rough idea of what veneers are and what they can do for your smile, it’s time to learn about how to take care of them. It’s important to understand this before getting them placed! Following these simple steps will ensure that your veneers stay put and shiny for as long as possible.

1. Practice Stellar Oral Hygiene

Whether you have veneers or not you should always be brushing three times daily and flossing regularly. Taking these precautions when you have veneers can extend their lifespan and save you a bit of money in the future.

Use non-abrasive toothpaste and a manual or electric toothbrush at the very least twice daily. Flossing after every meal is recommended, but if you find that you don’t have time, floss at least once a day. Use antiseptic mouthwash to finish it all off at least twice a day.

2. Avoid Grinding

If you’re a tooth grinder, veneers might be something to think a bit harder about. Grinding your teeth while you have veneers on puts a lot of stress on them and can cause them to become damaged. Ask your doctor if you can get a sleeping guard in order to avoid this.

3. Beware Of Stains

Try not to drink too much coffee or other staining drinks or foods unless you have stain-resistant porcelain veneers. More affordable kinds of veneers, like resin veneers, are stain-prone like your regular teeth, so keep that in mind!

Wrapping Up

Now that we’ve answered the question “what are veneers?”, you’re more informed to make a decision. Veneers are life-changing for hundreds of people every year. They can transform your entire face by creating a perfect, bright smile.

If you’re considering getting veneers and are not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to contact us or stop by! We’d be happy to help you on your journey to the perfect smile.

Deep Cleaning At Bridgetown Dental

What Is a Dental Deep Cleaning?

A dental deep cleaning is not the same thing as your regular 6 month check ups. Read this to learn the differences and when you might need one.

Keyword(s): Primary Keyword: dental deep cleaning; Secondary Keywords: dental clean, does teeth cleaning hurt, dentist teeth cleaning, deep teeth cleaning

Over two in five Americans are not getting enough preventive dental care.

That may not sound like a big deal, but untreated oral health can lead to many problems. These problems can go beyond your mouth, and into your bloodstream, your heart, and even your brain.

Not going to the dentist can cost you a trip to the emergency room, and is costing 100s of thousands of Americans to do as such on an annual basis.

But more often than not, dental issues are preventable through checkups and cleanings. Most dentists recommend that you have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year.

If it has been longer than a year, it may be best for you to get a dental deep cleaning.

What Is a Dental Deep Cleaning?

There isn’t too much of a huge difference between a dental cleaning and a deep dental cleaning.

Along with a regular cleaning, what a deep dental cleaning focuses on is the health of your gums. The dentist uses their tools to scrape away at plaque and tartar under the gums. They will also reach up along the roots of your teeth to smooth the cementum on the surface.

This process takes awhile: about three hours total (approximately 45 minutes per quadrant). And it could take multiple sessions.

Does this form of teeth cleaning hurt? It can, depending on your sensitivity. But most dentists will use what is referred to as sedation dentistry during the procedure so that the patient can feel comfortable during the entire process.

Why Should I Look Into Dental Deep Cleaning?

Your teeth are just one part of your mouth. This root scaling and under gum scraping is a needed treatment for gum disease.

The early stages of gum disease are called gingivitis and happen when bacteria inside your plaque let go of toxins. These toxins can make your immune system respond, and this can lead to inflammation. This inflammation makes your gums become red, and they will bleed with relative ease.

Usually, gingivitis can go away with usual cleanings, but if you are not keeping up with a healthy mouth routine, gingivitis can easily turn into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is basically your mouth attacking the bones and tissue inside of it. It can cause your bones to thin inside your mouth, and eventually, can lead to the need for the removal of one or more teeth.

How Do I Know If I Need to Get One?

If your teeth are hurting from regular activities, like eating or brushing, it may be time to make an appointment.

If your dentist recommends you get one: you should get one. Yes, the dental industry does make money off of all the work you get. But this is the type of investment you should be making to prevent spending thousands of dollars later on down the road.

Periodontitis is like Diabetes or Hypertension. Once you get it, it is very challenging to make it go away.

From Our Mouth to Yours

Dentists are doctors. They go to school for it, and they have all the credentials to tell you what is needed for your oral health.

If a dentist suggests a dental deep cleaning: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Your teeth, just like the rest of your body, need to be taken care of accordingly.

Don’t wait for a good time to do it. If a dentist recommends you need one, the good time to do it is now.

Got questions or comments about dental health or preventive care? Please feel free to contact us!

5 Signs You May Have a Tooth Infection

5 Signs You May Have a Tooth Infection

Is your tooth aching and sensitive to the touch? It could be a tooth infection. Read this to learn the 5 main signs of a tooth infection and what to do.

Keyword(s): tooth infection

If your tooth is aching or you’re feeling pain in your mouth, it could be due to a tooth infection. Unfortunately, many people don’t know the common signs to look for. As such, they end up going to the dentist when the problem is already worse.

According to the CDC, about 30 percent of adults have untreated dental caries. Thus, it’s not surprising that their dental health deteriorates while they are unaware.

Regular dental care gives you fresh breath and stain-free teeth. It also removes tartar buildup and prevents gum disease. Moreover, it saves money on future treatments for avoidable dental problems.

To get to a dentist on time, you need to know how to spot signs of a tooth infection. Keep reading to learn the common signs.

tooth infection - portland dentist appointment

Common Signs of a Tooth Infection

Last year, more than 120 million Americans visited the dentist. While this is good news, the sad part is people wait until their tooth problems get worse before they see a doctor.

Here are the common signs of a tooth infection to get you to a dentist sooner:

1. Chronic Tooth Pain

Once in a while, you might feel a bit of pain in your tooth. This could be due to eating something hard or sharp that hurts your tooth and gums. Yet, there’s a different kind of pain, which lasts long and even causes jawbone pain.

This persistent pain can become so severe that you are no longer comfortable. You may also feel a throbbing pain in your tooth accompanied by a headache.

Any time you feel this type of pain starting, you should head to the dentist immediately. Otherwise, it will get to a serious point where it will be excruciating.

2. Cheek and Gum Swelling

Cheek inflammation is a clear sign there’s a problem inside your mouth. Confirm whether the gum is red and swollen. There could also be a sore in your mouth leaking pus.

The swelling may cause a bit of pain as well. As such, visit the dentist to rule out any infection.

3. Dental Sensitivity

Sometimes, your teeth hurt when you eat or drink something hot or cold. This happens when the temperature changes hurt your teeth nerve endings. While some of this is normal, it is a sign of trouble if the sensitivity persists.

You could start feeling a lingering pain even after eating or drinking. This shows the problem has gone beyond the normal threshold. It could mean there’s now an infection deep inside your tooth that requires a tooth canal.

4. Fever

Sudden or prolonged fever can be a sign of an infection. It’s the body’s way of dealing with germs and other harmful bacteria.

Note whether you have other symptoms of a dental problem. This will be your sign that the fever is due to an infection in the mouth. Since fevers can cause other health problems, visit the doctor as soon as possible.

5. Tooth Discoloration

Since many people desire to have white teeth, it is easier to spot a discolored tooth. It shows there could be a bigger dental issue such as a diseased tooth pulp. An infection in the pulp causes the tooth to have a brownish or greyish color.

This situation needs urgent dental treatment.

Learn More About Dental Health

It is clear from the points above that it is simple to spot a tooth infection problem. Pay attention to your normal tooth state to be able to know when there’s a dental issue lurking.

Contact us to book an appointment and to learn more about dental health.

3 Signs Of Gum Disease

3 Signs of Gum Disease to Watch Out For

3 Sign of Gum Disease to Keep in Mind

Gum disease is more common than people think, and knowing the signs of gum disease can help prevent any problems in the future. Click here to learn more.

Keyword(s): signs of gum disease

Did you know that gum disease, or periodontitis, can contribute to stroke, respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and coronary artery disease? Gum disease affects far more than your mouth.

Recognizing the signs of gum disease and seeking appropriate treatment is necessary to make sure that the rest of your body is not impacted.

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontitis, commonly referred to as gum disease, is a serious infection in your gums that damages the soft tissue surrounding your teeth and damages the bone that supports your teeth.

It can cause teeth to become loose or even lead to tooth loss.

Periodontitis is caused by a number of factors, including plaque on your teeth, hormonal changes, illnesses, medications, smoking and using chewing tobacco, and poor dental hygiene habits.

The good news is that while periodontitis is common, it is preventable. By having good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily and making regular visits to your dentist, you can reduce your risk of gum disease.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Even with good oral hygiene habits, you still may develop gum disease, especially if you have a family history of gum disease.

Healthy gums are firm and pale pink and fit tightly around your teeth. If you have any of the following symptoms, however, it might be a sign of gum disease.

  • Puffy or swollen gums
  • Gums that are bright red or have a purple tint
  • Gums that feel tender
  • Bad breath
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth, making your teeth look longer than normal
  • New spaces between your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

If you have any of the above signs of gum disease, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you begin to treat gum disease, the more likely it is that you can reverse the damage.

How Can Gum Disease Impact My Overall Health?

Your gum health does not only impact your mouth.

Gum disease can lead to a host of other health problems, including issues with your heart and lungs. If you have a compromised immune system, bacteria from your mouth may make its way into your bloodstream, which can contribute to things such as stroke and heart disease.

Diabetes is also associated with gum disease, with diabetics being more likely to have gum disease, and worsening effects of gum disease due to diabetes.


gum disease portland or

Ready to Maintain Good Oral Health?

Now that you know what the signs of gum disease are, keep an eye on your gum health. You want to keep your teeth and gums healthy and happy.

Check out our blog for more tips for maintaining good oral health and if you find that it’s been a while since you have least seen the dentist, contact us today to make an appointment.

Dental Crowns at Bridgetown Dental: What to Expect

Dental Crowns: What To Expect From The Procedure

Need Dental Crowns to strengthen your teeth? Here’s what to expect when you come in for the procedure.

Keyword(s): dental crown

Did you know 30 to 40 million people fear going to the dentist? If you’re amongst those people, it might be difficult to keep up with routine visits.

If you’re in need of a dental crown, but fear the dentist, you should read about what to expect.

Read on to be on your way to better dental health.

When is a Dental Crown Needed?

A crown is necessary for several reasons. For example:

  • To protect a decayed or fragile tooth
  • To place over a dental implant
  • For cosmetic reasons on a broken tooth
  • To hold in place a dental bridge
  • A few others

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

There are several types of crowns and the material you pick often depends on the cost. Also, depending on your case your dentist might recommend a material over the other.

  • Stainless Steel
  • Metals such as gold, platinum or base-metal alloys
  • Porcelain
  • Resin
  • Ceramic

At the Time of the Procedure

Depending on the complexity of your procedure, you will require several sessions at the dentist’s office. Your dentist has to prepare your tooth, get impressions, and placing the crown.

Tooth Numbing

Before any dental crown work can begin, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic to the area. Even if you’ve had a root canal the area should be anesthetized because the instruments come near tissues.

Dental Impressions

In order to get a crown that fits perfectly over your tooth, a dental impression has to be made.

An impression of your lower and upper arches will be taken to create a model of your teeth.

The impression will be used to create your permanent crown and to fashion a temporary crown in the meantime.

Preparing the Tooth

Since the crown needs to fit perfectly to shield your tooth from outside bacteria, the dentist has to prepare your tooth.

The dentist will have to inspect the tooth and remove any fragments of your tooth or old fillings in order to ensure the crown is a perfect fit.

If in the process the dentist discovers tooth decay, this should be completely removed.

Temporary Crown

Temporary crowns are not only for cosmetic reasons. After the dentist has prepared the tooth, the temporary crown acts as a barrier to keep bacteria out.

Also, if any changes need to be made to the crown, the dentist can do so before your permanent crown is made.

Permanent Crown

Once your permanent crown arrives, you’re ready for the final step. Your dentist will numb your tooth and cement the permanent crown on your tooth and ensure it’s a perfect fit.

Post-Operative Care

Once the procedure is complete, your dentist will check your bite, and give you a list of post-operative care.

dental crown portland or

This is What to Expect from a Dental Crown

Getting a dental crown is not something anyone looks forward to. But with the right dentist, you could make this experience tolerable.

Are you in need of a dental procedure? Trust Bridgetown Dental.

Contact us to make an appointment or browse our services.

Filling Cavities: How To Prep Your Child For The Procedure

Filling Cavities: 3 Ways To Prep Your Child For The Procedure

Is your child nervous about filling cavities? Here’s how you can prep them for the procedure.

Keyword(s): filling cavities

It’s no secret that some people get nervous around dentists. While plenty of adults still shun their oral hygienist, perhaps no group is as frightened by the thought of a dental procedure as children.

Yet thanks to sugary juices and cereals, kids are perhaps the most vulnerable age group when it comes to tooth decay and cavities.

Therefore, it’s important that you visit the dentist early and often with your young one. But a trip to the dentist doesn’t always have to be a scary experience.

Here are three ways you can prep your child for the procedure of filling cavities.

1. Teach Them That Filling Cavities Is A Common Procedure

Filling cavities, while certainly not fun, presents no danger to your child or children. Of course, teaching them that is another matter entirely.

You can combat feelings of nervousness and fear by explaining to them just how common the procedure is.

In fact, as of a few years ago, 91 percent of the population in the United States have or had a cavity that needed filling.

That means that nine out of every ten adults your children come in contact with have a cavity or multiple cavities filled. Explain the prevalence to your children to help them understand that there’s nothing painful or scary about it.

2. Visit The Dentist Often

One of the best ways to get over any fear is by exposure. And taking your kids to the dentist is certainly no exception.

A great way to teach your children that their dentist is here to help is by starting early.

Most professional dentists recommend that children start seeing a dental hygienist at around the one year mark or after their first tooth erupts, whichever comes first.

Unfortunately, not all parents can or will take their kids that young. The more exposure your child has to their dentist, the less afraid they’ll be when they eventually need fillings.

Additionally, frequent trips to your dentist is a great preventative measure for future dental problems. Your dentist may be able to catch a possible problem before it gets out of hand.

3. Let Your Kids Watch Your Dental Visit

Finally, it’s well-known that kids learn from example. And as their parent or guardian, it’s quite likely that they look up to you.

You can use this to your advantage by letting your children watch you during your own dental exam or cleaning. Allowing them to watch firsthand shows that dental procedures like filling cavities don’t have to hurt and can be beneficial.

dentist for children

Schedule Your Appointment Today

At Bridgetown Dental, we understand that kids may be nervous or fearful. That’s why we make it our goal to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for patients of all ages.

If it’s time for your child’s next dental visit, don’t wait, schedule today.

Get in touch and ask about our insurance and financing options!

What to Expect When Getting a Cavity Filling

What to Expect When Getting a Cavity Filling

If you’ve never had to get a cavity filling the whole process can seem confusing or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out more info about it here.

Keyword(s): cavity filling

The sound of a dentist’s drill is scary to many people. Unfortunately, it’s essential to your dental health to repair a cavity.

If this is your first cavity it really helps to know what’s going to happen.

Read on to find out what to expect when you get a cavity filling.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a place in your tooth that has been weakened and decayed. It’s caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that shows up as plaque. If you don’t maintain consistent dental hygiene this can eventually cause decay and thus a cavity.

The bacteria in plaque release lots of toxins that are very bad for both your teeth and your gums. The natural response of your body is to release acidic compounds to kill these bacteria. Unfortunately, these can also damage your teeth.

It’s very important to your oral health to maintain a consistent schedule of brushing and flossing to remove plaque and bacteria. Gingivitis, commonly known as gum disease, is also caused by this bacteria. If left unchecked gingivitis can develop into periodontitis and cause bone loss in your jaw.

What Happens During Your Cavity Filling

Cavities are generally discovered during regular cleanings or when tooth pain becomes noticeable. Generally, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment to have the decayed spot drilled out and a cavity filling put in.

Once your dentist is ready to fill your cavity a numbing agent will be used. This prevents you from filling any pain while we drill out the decay and fill the cavity.

If you have a particular fear of dental procedures or are in for a longer one, sedation dentistry might be a good option. Sedation dentistry uses either nitrous oxide or a true sedative to put you to sleep for the course of your procedure. You don’t feel or remember a thing about the dental work done to you.

Filling Materials

There are several different types of filling materials available today. Each has pros and cons, though there is a general consensus on the best filling available. The most common types of fillings are:

  • Gold
  • Amalgam
  • Composite Resin

Golden fillings are created from a cast made of the decayed spot in your tooth. They are then cemented in place at a later appointment. Golden fillings are extremely durable but are usually the most expensive.

Amalgam fillings are what most people picture when they think of a traditional cavity filling. These use a blend of metals and are durable but show up in the mouth as a dark silver on your white teeth. Some amalgam fillings actually included mercury, making them potentially toxic.

Composite resin is made using advanced plastic technology and chemically bonded to your teeth. A blue UV light is used on the liquid filling material to seal and harden it. Composite fillings are the most modern and popular type of filling material used today.

Questions or Concerns?

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is very important to your overall health. Cavities should be taken care of promptly to prevent them from requiring a more serious procedure like a root canal.

If you believe you have a cavity, or simply wish to improve your overall dental health, contact us to schedule an appointment.

fillings in portland - dentist

Dentistry for Children: Preparing for Their First Visit

Dentistry for Children: Preparing for Their First Visit

Avoid any potential problems or fearfulness before your child’s first visit to the dentist by following this guide to dentistry for children.

Keyword(s): dentistry for children

The arrival of your baby’s first tooth is a monumental step in his development. It’s important that you’re prepared for that big moment with a plan that makes dentistry for children a joy from the first visit through their formative years.

Your child should see the dentist within 6 months of getting her first tooth or by her first birthday. Set an early pattern for regular checkups.

Your child will grow familiar with the office and begin to see the dentist as a friend. Any potential mouth-related problems can be dealt with while they are minor as well.

Consider the following tips as you prepare for your child’s first trip to the dentist:

Choose a Dentist You Trust

Building a great relationship with the dentist is as important for children as adults. Choosing a family dentist you can trust will help promote a lifestyle of good dental hygiene.

It should be obvious how much your kid’s dentist loves working with toddlers on top of being a qualified practitioner. Dentistry for children requires different people skills than adult dentistry.

Consider the child-friendliness of your potential dentist’s office. Gauge their communication and behavior reinforcement styles. What sort of post-visit rewards do they use to help ensure your child has a positive experience?

Every aspect of your child’s first visit should reinforce the benefit of going to the dentist. By choosing the right one, you gain a partner in creating that environment.

Model Positive Behavior

Being in an unfamiliar setting with new people can be unsettling for a child. But overcoming these anxieties is both necessary and beneficial.

Embrace the newness of your child’s first dental visit and create a positive environment around the experience.

Leave any of your own prior hangups and fears about the dentist behind. You don’t want to impart them to your child and jeopardize their chance to have a good relationship with the dentist before it even begins.

Make Going to the Dentist a Special Occasion

Help foster a good experience for your child by creating a positive buzz about her first visit.

Talk to them about what to expect and build up the fun aspect of it. Use tooth brushing time to generate excitement. Create a routine around it that makes it feel less like a chore.

If possible, enlist the help of older siblings or other family members. As your little one sees the whole family happy about their oral hygiene, he will come to anticipate his first visit.

Let him pick out a special “going to the dentist” outfit and he’ll take even more pride in the trip.

Dentistry for Children Is About Building Trust

Your relationship with your dentist is as important as your relationship with your doctor. Help your child build a lifelong appreciation for maintaining regular dental hygiene and they’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

If you’re in the Portland area we want to help your whole family smile. Whether it’s for your first appointment or to have emergency work done, we pride ourselves on making you as comfortable as possible for all your dentistry needs.

Contact us with your questions or to book an appointment today!

dentist for children

Preventative Dental Care: Tips For Healthier Teeth and Gums

Prevention: 4 Tips for Gum and Teeth Care

Oral hygiene is an absolute must when it comes to gum and teeth care. You can keep a bright, white smile well into your golden years by following these tips.

As a child, you were probably told about the importance of brushing your teeth on a regular basis. But what you weren’t told is that neglect of gum and tooth care puts you at risk for more than just cavities and a trip to the dentist.

In fact, there are clear indicators that oral hygiene and other health problems such as heart problems are linked. It’s important to take care of your pearly whites not only to keep a great smile but to stay healthy.

Whether you’re looking to get back on track or need to start from square one, here are four gum and teeth cleaning tips that will keep you happier and healthier.

1. Brush Twice per Day

You likely already understand that brushing your teeth should be an important part of your daily routine. However, you may not know that there’s a ton of debate over how often you should really brush.

It isn’t always feasible to brush after every meal, but brushing only once a day doesn’t remove all of the tartar and plaque in your mouth.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you brush twice a day. Ideally, you should brush as you start your day and then again before you go to bed.

2. Rinse After Every Meal

Of course, brushing only twice a day leaves a whole lot of opportunities for nasty bacteria to enter your mouth…and stay there.

Luckily, a quick rinse should take care of the problem. When it comes to rinsing, you have two simple but effective options.

First, you can simply rinse with water. Six to eight ounces of water is typically more than enough to get a good rinse. Fill your mouth with water, then swish it around for 30 seconds and spit.

Mouthwash is another great resource for those looking to boost their gum and teeth care. It often contains bacteria-killing elements that freshen your breath at the same time.

3. Skip the Floss

There’s a bit of debate about this tip, as well, but as of last August, flossing isn’t seen as a necessity. That said, there’s nothing harmful about it, but your time would be better spent brushing or rinsing.

As long as you brush and visit your dentist on a regular basis, you should be fine to skip the floss.

4. Visit Your Dentist

The easiest way to practice good gum and teeth care is by making sure you regularly visit your dentist. A quick check-up once every six months or so is more than sufficient.

In addition to providing treatment for issues like cavities or gingivitis, your dentist can provide expert advice on the best products and practices to keep your smile healthy.

Worried About Your Gum and Teeth? Stop by Today

Here at Bridgetown Dental, we understand how valuable your time is. That’s why strive to provide you with the friendliest and fastest dental services around.

Get in touch with our staff today and schedule your appointment. Isn’t it about time you got your smile back?

Cosmetic Dentistry: Top 4 Cosmetic Procedures

Dental cosmetics are saving the smiles of people around the globe. But which procedure is right for you? Here are the top 4 most common procedures.

Want to be in a better mood? Smile! It turns out that even a pretend smile can actually lower your stress.

If you’re unhappy with your teeth, however, flashing a smile might not be your first choice of stress relief. Learn how dental cosmetics can improve your looks and your attitude!

Four Top Dental Cosmetics Procedures

You already brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist as recommended. Sometimes that’s not enough. Here are the top ways to make your teeth whiter, straighter, or generally more attractive.

Whitening Procedures

Have you ever tried an at-home teeth whitening kit? The over-the-counter versions that are available at the drugstore or grocery store are great for quick touch-ups, but to truly make your pearly whites white again, you will want to look into professional teeth whitening services.

Using the latest in bleaching technology, a cosmetic dentist can boost your smile. First, a custom mouthguard will be created from a mold of your own teeth. Then you’ll be given a safe, effective solution to fill the mouthguard.

The bleaching solution is applied for just a few hours each night. Over the course of a few weeks, your teeth will become noticeably whiter and brighter.

Porcelain Veneers

For those whose teeth are uneven in addition to being discolored, porcelain veneers provide the perfect solution.

Veneers, which are essentially thin shells of ceramic, bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth, are virtually indistinguishable from one’s natural teeth. Not only do they provide a nice white appearance, but veneers can also make your teeth look more even and uniform.

In addition, veneers resist staining, so they are a long-lasting way to improve your smile.


Similar to veneers, bonding is a procedure in which a plastic resin is applied to the front of the teeth, then shaped and polished. The one downside to bonding is that the resin is not as strong as your natural teeth or the ceramic used for veneers, so it’s more likely to chip, crack, or become stained over time.

The major upside to bonding? Well, there are a few, actually. One is that bonding can be accomplished in just one trip to the dentist. Another is that they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other dental cosmetics.

Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

You can think of inlays and onlays as the new alternative to bridges and crowns. They fulfill basically the same purposes — replacing damaged teeth or parts of teeth.

Inlays and onlays are superior, however, thanks to advances in the materials used. They are stronger, with a lifespan of up to 30 years, and they can be more easily matched to the color of your surrounding teeth. That makes them more natural in appearance.

Ready to Smile Again?

Contact Bridgetown Dental to learn which of these dental cosmetics options are the best for you! We accept a variety of dental insurance plans and even offer flexible financing.

Best of all, our caring staff can help you achieve the bright, white teeth of your dreams. Now that’s something to smile about!

Top 5 Benefits of Getting Inlays and Onlays for Your Teeth

Top 5 Benefits of Getting Inlays and Onlays

Do you want to make your teeth look healthy again? Click here for the top 5 benefits of getting inlays and onlays for your teeth.

Keyword(s): inlays and onlays

Oral health is very important. Your gums, teeth, and tongue are good indicators of other issues going on in your body. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take care of your mouth. Problems like gingivitis, periodontitis, and oral thrush are the direct results of poor oral hygiene.

If the problem has gotten out of hand and the teeth have started to decay, the dentist will look to advanced solutions. Fillings and crowns have always been popular options used to remedy tooth decay.

Nowadays, many dentists and patients are opting for porcelain inlays and onlays. Read on to learn more about this dental device that will save your smile.

The Problem with Fillings and Crowns

Fillings do exactly as their name suggests: fill the tooth. When a patient gets a cavity, plaque buildup makes your body produce excess acid which eats away at the tooth. As a result, a hole forms. Now leaving this hole alone will cause your tooth to rot and create additional problems. So, it must be filled using gold, porcelain, or resin.

When the cavity is large, a simple filling won’t do. By this point, the tooth is already halfway through decay. Dentists create a special cap, called a crown, to encase the tooth and protect it from further damage. Crowns are made from the same materials as fillings: gold, resin, silver, and porcelain.

The problem is that crowns and fillings go through excessive wear and tear. Oftentimes, they have to be replaced, refilled, or tended to. Porcelain inlays and onlays are much different. Here’s how:


Porcelain inlays and onlays look exactly like a tooth. Porcelain shares the same off-white marble color as the tooth. Unlike fillings or crowns, they don’t have a gold or silver finish. No one will be able to tell that they are not your teeth.


Porcelain is durable. These devices last more than 15 years. They can also withstand heat and cold much better than fillings. Extreme temperature changes cause fillings to expand, damaging the tooth and possibly creating fractures.

Teeth Stay Intact

The filling and crown process involves lots of filing which will change the shape of your tooth forever. Inlays and onlays require less filing, so the dentist preserves more of your natural tooth.

Teeth Become Stronger

Porcelain devices can actually make your teeth stronger. They resist the pressure of chewing and biting which prevents further damage. Inlays preserve the interior of the tooth much like a filling. Onlays protect the exterior of the tooth.

Inlays and Onlays are Customizable

These porcelain dental devices are created in a lab. The dentist takes impressions of your teeth at the office to get your dimensions. Then, the impression is sent to a laboratory where porcelain teeth are created. The next time you visit the dentist, the inlays are cemented over your teeth.

Scheduling An Appointment

Getting any dental work done is a serious procedure. Only you and your dentist can decide what device is right for you. The first step to healthy teeth is scheduling an appointment. Contact us today to schedule your dental consultation.

Why Coming in for a Regular Teeth Cleaning is So Important

Coming in for a Regular Teeth Cleaning is Important

You might think coming by for cleanings doesn’t mean much, but you might be surprised. Here’s why getting a regular teeth cleaning is so important.

Keyword(s): teeth cleaning

Are you part of the minority that enjoys regular teeth cleaning? We didn’t think so. But, today, we’d like to change your opinion.

Regular cleanings mean healthier, stronger teeth that will last well into old age. Not only that, they can prevent major disease well into old age.

If whiter, brighter teeth are the byproducts of these cleanings, who can complain, right?

Believe it or not, the perks don’t stop there. Together, let’s vow to protect one of our most prominent features, our smiles.

Here are some added reasons why it’s worth your while.

1. Whiter Teeth

All our favorite stars in Hollywood always seem to have the whitest, brightest, most beautiful smiles.

And while we can achieve some measure of that beauty with our at-home toothpastes and whitening strips, a dental hygienist can remove stains with even greater precision.

2. Gum Disease Prevention

Many were shocked when doctors discovered the link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease.

One of the main theories is that gum disease allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

That bacteria can then attach to fatty deposits in our heart’s blood vessels. The strain this puts on your heart can lead right to cardiovascular disease.

Gum disease can also cause early tooth loss. You know what that means. Regular teeth cleanings can prevent the time, money, and pain future dental implants may incur.

But, more than that, gum disease prevention can impede unwarranted strain on our hearts.

3. Cavity Prevention

If you don’t realize you have a cavity, it can continue to worsen until the day arrives when you feel terrible pain chewing anything hot, cold, or sweet.

Regular teeth cleaning can fill that cavity when it’s no bigger than a pinprick. Waiting until it’s a full-blown cavity will cause you pain that could’ve completely been avoided.

4. Teeth Cleaning Done Right

In the end, we should all be brushing and flossing twice a day. Raise your hand if you’re as diligent as you should be.

We know it’s a tough routine to fall into. But, even if you’re the best brusher and flosser this side of the moon, we’ll still never clean every last nook and cranny from the comfort of our homes.

5. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer isn’t talked about as often as some of the other variations of this awful disease. Sadly, one American dies every hour from oral cancer.

As with all cancers, the earlier it’s spotted, the better. Regular teeth cleaning means regular cancer checks.

Visiting your dentist puts you on the right side of a plethora of ailments, spanning from a common cavity, to gum disease, to oral cancer.

Seems like time well spent, doesn’t it?

Ready for a Killer Smile?

Here at Bridgetown Dental, we’re ready to give you your brightest smile yet.

We specialize in general dentistry, including crowns and fillings, as well as cosmetic dentistry, including whitening and veneers.

You’ll be pleased to know we work with an ever-growing list of insurance companies. Take a look at our expansive list.

Our proud standing as number one in all of Portland is rooted in our patient happiness.

Feel free to book an appointment online or give us a call today at 503-286-5654.

Is Chewing Gum Bad For Your Teeth?

The sticky nature of gum combined with the repetitive action of chewing has caused many people to believe that bubble gum can be harmful to your teeth. What people don’t realize is this is just a myth and chewing gum can actually help improve your oral health.

Chewing Gum Helps Increase Saliva Production

Recent research suggests that individuals who chewed gum after eating noticed an increase in saliva production. Increased saliva production can help improve oral health by minimizing damage done to the teeth by acids and sugars that are found in the food that is eaten.

The Type of Chewing Gum Matters

While chewing gum can help improve your oral health, you have to choose a very specific type of gum. You can’t just pick any gum off the shelf and expect to see a reduction in tooth decay.

The type of chewing gum you need to use is sugar-free. Using a gum that contains sugar could actually cause more damage to your teeth. All sugar-free gums are labeled as such on the package.

In addition to sugar-free gum, you may want to look for gum that has some kind of agent in it. Some gums have active ingredients in them that can help reduce tooth decay, reduce plaque buildup, or even help restore your teeth.

Improve Oral Health by Chewing Gum

If you want to improve your oral health by chewing gum, take the following things into consideration.

  • Make sure to use the right gum (sugar-free)
  • Try to find gum that is uniquely designed to improve your oral health
  • Chew gum for approximately 20 minutes after meals
  • Promptly dispose of gum after chewing
  • Chew in a gentle manner, not in a way that puts too much force on the teeth
  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day
  • Do not chew gum if you have cracked or broken teeth. See a dentist to have them fixed before chewing gum


Remember Chewing Gum Doesn’t Replace Regular Trips to the Dentist and Brushing/Flossing

Even though chewing gum may be able to help improve your oral health, it doesn’t replace the benefits you receive from regular trips to the dentist or actively brushing and flossing on a daily basis.

When it comes time to have a dental checkup, come visit the friendly staff at Bridgetown Dental in Portland, Oregon. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

Starchy Foods and Plaque Buildup

Starchy foods are one of the most popular types of food cravings. People just can’t get enough of their rice, pastas, and breads, but did you know that all that starchy food could be the cause of any excessive plaque buildup you might be experiencing?

How Does Starchy Foods Cause Plaque Buildup?

Starchy foods, such as cupcakes, pastas, cereals, and breads, have a very high sugar content. Even foods that aren’t thought of as sweet, such as rice or bread, have components that the body views as sugar.

When you consume these foods, left over food gets left on and around the teeth. That sugary food attracts bacteria. Too much bacteria attracted to the teeth can cause excessive plaque to build up.

Why is Excessive Plaque Buildup Bad?

Excessive plaque buildup is bad because it could severely damage your teeth. The plaque and the bacteria on the teeth could do everything from cause gum irritation to the softening of enamel and even cavities.

What can You Do to Help Prevent Plaque Buildup Caused by Starchy Foods?

Even though starchy foods can cause plaque buildup, just eating this type of food is not enough to cause the plaque to build up. It is a combination of excessive amounts of starchy foods and poor dental hygiene.

If you like to eat starchy foods, there are things you can do to prevent the plaque from building up.

Brush Teeth Immediately After Consuming Starchy Foods and After Meals

The best, and most important, thing you can do is to immediately brush and floss your teeth after consuming starchy foods. This will get rid of any leftover food on your teeth. If there is no leftover food, the bacteria won’t have anything to feed off of and grow on.

There may be some occasions when you can’t brush your teeth immediately after a meal or consuming starchy foods. When this happens, you can make sure you rinse your mouth out with water. This will get rid of some of the food that is left over then you can brush your teeth when you get home.

Eat a Healthy, Nutritious Diet

You don’t have to cut out starch completely, but you do need to make sure you are eating nutritious foods. It is important that you consume a diet that is rich in calcium, vitamins, and minerals. It will improve not only your oral health, but your overall health.

Visit the Dentist Regularly for Routine Cleanings

No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to clean your teeth as thoroughly as a dentist. To prevent plaque buildup, it is important that you regularly visit your dentist for routine cleanings.

If you live in the Portland area, you can schedule an appointment with Bridgetown Dental. Our caring staff is willing to conduct a routine examination, perform a cleaning, and even provide you with tips on how to properly care for your teeth.

Cal us today to schedule an appointment.

Should You Be Flossing Daily?

If you have turned on the news or watched any of the daytime doctor talk shows, you may have heard the latest news about flossing. The latest news involves a recent report about dietary guidelines that was released by the Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.

The report from the Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services lists numerous things that you should do on a daily basis to stay healthy, but one thing was missing – flossing. The absence of any mention of flossing has led many people to believe that flossing is no longer necessary.

Before you toss out your dental floss, we would like to explore why – even though this dietary guideline excludes flossing – you should still continue to floss on a daily basis.

Flossing Helps Keep Gingivitis Away

There are very few studies conducted on the effectiveness of daily flossing. Even though there are only a few studies, what those studies have shown is promising.

The few studies that have been performed show that daily flossing often helps prevent gingivitis. It is believes that this happens because flossing helps break up the plaque and bacteria that is present in between the teeth. When plaque and bacteria is broken up, your gums tend to stay healthier which leads to a lesser chance of gingivitis.

Proper Flossing Technique is Key to Improved Oral Health

Many people believe they are using proper flossing technique, when in reality they are not properly flossing. It is important to use the proper flossing technique because it helps to improve your oral health.

The dentists and dental hygienists at Bridgetown Dental, located in Portland, Oregon, will be willing to teach you the proper flossing technique. We will teach you how much floss to use, how much force you should use while flossing, and how to make sure that each and every tooth is cleaned properly.

Flossing techniques can be taught during a routine oral examination.

In addition to teaching you how to floss, we will gladly teach you proper brushing techniques, too. Many people are improperly brushing their teeth, which could result in bleeding gums, torn gums, or damage to their teeth. Our dental hygienists are willing to teach you how to properly brush your teeth in order to improve your oral health.

Call Bridgetown Dental today to schedule an appointment. We will be glad to see you!

Dental Sealants – Do You Need Them?

Tooth decay can be extremely destructive. It is responsible for cavities, and in extremely cases tooth loss. Dental sealants promise to provide people with an extra layer of protection against tooth decay, but the question that arises is – do you need them?

Do You Need Dental Sealants?

The simple answer is yes. Dental sealants are extremely beneficial to younger patients, as well as adult patients who may have teeth that don’t have fillings or previous dental sealants applied.

Now that you understand the importance of dental sealants, you may be wondering what exactly they are and the process involved with them. We will take a brief look at what dental sealants are and how dentists apply them to the teeth.

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a clear plastic coating that is placed directly onto the surface area of the teeth. This clear plastic coating is uniquely designed to form a protective barrier between your teeth and tooth decay.

Back teeth, like the premolars and molars, could use an extra layer of protection against tooth decay. The extra layer of protection is needed because these teeth often have tiny grooves that can – and will – trap food and bacteria. When the food and bacteria becomes trapped it could lead to tooth decay that causes cavities and occasionally tooth loss.

When are Dental Sealants Applied to the Teeth?

Typically, dental sealants are applied to children’s teeth right after they have lost their first set. However, adults can get dental sealants too.

Many adults have teeth that do not have cavities or were not previously treated with dental sealants. These individuals will find dental sealants beneficial as it will help protect the health of the teeth.

What is the Process Used for Dental Sealants?

Applying dental sealant to the teeth is a relatively easy, pain free procedure. First, the dentist will clean your teeth using traditional toothpaste. The tooth, once it is cleaned, is completely dried and prepped for the application of the sealant.

The application of the sealant is a two-step process. The first step involves placing a safe acidic solution on the surface of the teeth. This solution will make the surface of the teeth porous, which help hold the sealant to the tooth. After the acidic solution is removed, the sealant is applied to the tooth. The sealant is placed on the tooth and left to harden. Once it has hardened, the tooth is sealed and you can go home.

Dental sealant is a cost-effective way to protect healthy teeth against tooth decay. If you live in the Portland, Oregon area and are interested in learning more about dental sealants, call Bridgetown Dental today to schedule an appointment. We will gladly discuss dental sealants with you and help you determine if this is a dental procedure that is right for you.

Do You Need Fluoride Treatments?

Are Adult Fluoride Treatments Necessary?

 It’s a natural, everyday occurrence, your body takes in fluoride and it loses it. Fluoride is absorbed through water intake and different foods you eat. The way you lose fluoride is through demineralization of your teeth when acids caused by plaque bacteria and sugars in your mouth attack tooth enamel. You can “put fluoride back” (as well as calcium and phosphate) into your tooth’s enamel layer by eating healthy foods and drinking fluoridated water. Another way to get more fluoride is through fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office. If you aren’t healthy foods and drinking water that contains fluoride you are going to lose it faster than it can be replaced putting you at risk for tooth decay..

 What does Fluoride Treatment Do?

 Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by defending your teeth against acid attacks caused by plaque, bacteria and sugars in your mouth. Not only can fluoride prevent tooth decay, it can also reverse early tooth decay. For children under the age of 6, fluoride is part of the the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth.

But we now know that adults can also benefit from added fluoride. Fluoride disrupts acid production in the already erupted teeth of adults, as well as children.

In addition to fluoride in foods and water, fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Products containing fluoride in lower strengths over the counter at your local drugstore. Stronger concentrations require a doctor’s prescription or you can get them at your dentist’s office.

 Risk of Fluoride Loss?

 Some people have certain conditions that put them at increased risk of tooth decay, and so they will benefit from additional fluoride treatments. Here are some examples:

  • Dry mouth conditions caused by diseases or medications.The lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized, putting your teeth at risk of demineralization.
  • Patients who have deep pits and groovesin their teeth are prone to dental decay.
  • Patients who are frequent snackers, eat sugary foods, or have a family history of cavities are at an increased risk of tooth decay.
  • Gum recession and gum diseasecan expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay.
  • History of frequent cavities:If you have one cavity every year or every other year, you may benefit from additional fluoride.
  • Dental work present in the mouth, like crowns, bridges or braces: Some dental treatments put teeth at risk for decay at the point where the crown meets the underlying tooth structure or around the brackets of orthodontic appliances.
  • Patients who are frequent snackers, eat sugary foods, or have a family history of cavities are at an increased risk of tooth decay.

Bridgetown Dental will help you know if your teeth would benefit from additional fluoride. If they would, it’s easy to have this procedure done when you’re in for your regular appointment.



Portland Dentist- Have a Leaking Filling?

There is a common dental misconception that dental fillings are built to last forever. While dental fillings are strong and sturdy, they are not built to last and can eventually start to leak.

We will take a look at what it means to have a leaking filling, how you can tell if you may have one, and what can be done for leaking fillings.

What Happens When a Tooth Filling Starts to Leak?

A tooth filling is uniquely designed to close any crack or gap that appears in the tooth. The gap is closed using a variety of material from composite resin to porcelain. Closing a gap or crack in a tooth is necessary because it prevents bacteria from entering the gap and causing cavities to form.

While a filling is supposed to be sealed tightly against a tooth, sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometimes the seal on the sides doesn’t fit as tightly as it should. When this happens it is known as a leak.

A leaking filling can be caused by any number of the following situations:

  • Improper placement of the original filling
  • Wear and tear that causes the sides to wear down over time
  • Shrinkage of the filling after it has been placed

How to Tell if You May Have a Leaking Filling

Most of the time, a leaking filling has no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, it is often too late and there may be a potential infection or severe cavity forming.

Some of the signs that you may have a leaking filling include:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold that appears suddenly or several years after the filling has been placed
  • Feeling as if the filling is moving or loose
  • Appearance of a dark or grey color surrounding the filling

A dentist can often tell if a filling is leaking by taking an x-ray. The x-ray will often show an open margin between the filling and your natural tooth if a leaking filling is present.

What Treatment Options are Available for Leaking Fillings?

If you have a leaking filling, you may have several treatment options available to you. The first option available is the opportunity to replace the filling. This treatment option requires the dentist to complete remove the old filling and replace it with a new filling that has a tighter seal.

In some situations replacing the filling is not an option. If the filling has been left to leak for a while, your only option may be to undergo a root canal.

Bridgetown Dental located in Portland, Oregon can help you if you suspect you have a leaking filling. Our Portland dentist will be able to determine if you have a leaking filling and provide you with recommendations for how to treat this problem.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our dentist if you think you have a leaking filling.

North Portland Dentist Using Low Radiation X-Rays

Sometimes the only way to diagnosis a dental problem is with the help of x-rays. Unfortunately, in order to take an x-ray it requires our patients to be exposed to radiation.

Radiation exposure is a huge concern amongst our patients, as more and more research suggests that too much exposure could cause numerous health problems. Out of concern for their health, many patients are reluctant to have x-ray images taken, which means dental problems could go undiagnosed.

Many dentists, like those at Bridgetown Dental in Portland, Oregon, understand patients’ concerns regarding radiation exposure and have taken steps to address those concerns. The most common, and best, way to address those concerns is by making the switch from film-based x-rays to digital x-rays.

Why Digital X-Rays May Be Better for Patients Concerned about Radiation Exposure

There is no way, currently, to completely eliminate people’s exposure to radiation when they receive a dental x-ray. There are, however, ways to reduce the amount of radiation they are exposed to during the imaging process.

When digital imaging is used, the levels of radiation a patient is exposed to is dramatically reduced. In fact, recent research suggests that the levels of radiation are 80% less than film-based x-rays.

By offering patients an opportunity to have dental x-rays taken without fear of radiation exposure, dentists are able to correctly and quickly identify dental problems.

Digital X-Rays Help Keep Dental Office Staff Healthy

Low radiation digital x-rays don’t just help patients, but it helps the staff at the dental office, too. Dental office staff are no longer exposed to harmful chemicals and high levels of radiation when working with patients on a daily basis.

Dental hygienists working in an office with low radiation digital x-rays can quickly take patients’ x-rays without fear of being exposed to harmful levels of radiation. They also do not have to spend long hours working with chemicals to develop the x-ray images.

Choose a Dentist that Offers Low Radiation Digital X-Ray Imaging

If you are worried about your health or potential exposure to high levels of radiation, it is important to find a dentist that offers low radiation digital x-ray imagine. For those who live in the Portland, Oregon area you can visit Bridgetown Dental.

Bridgetown Dental has made the switch from film-based x-ray imaging to low radiation digital x-ray imaging. This switch was made in an effort to protect the health of our patients and staff.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our dentist. If you are concerned about radiation exposure, please let our office know and we will do everything we can to make sure you are comfortable with your experience at our dental office.