Dealing with Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Dealing with Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Fun in the summer sun can cause unpleasant side effects such as cold sores and fever blisters. Brought on by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), cold sores and fever blisters are transmitted from person to person by saliva or by skin contact. With cold sores, you generally develop clusters of tiny blisters on the lip. Most people are exposed to HSV-1 before age 10. After the first infection, the virus remains inactive until stress, illness, or sun exposure causes a new outbreak.

During the first exposure, you may have headache, nausea, fever, and/or vomiting. Patients may also have painful swelling and open mouth sores. Most of the time, cold sores or fever blisters appear on the edges of your lips. Usually, these outbreaks start with tingling or burning followed by swelling or redness. One or more blisters will typically appear within 24 to 48 hours.

Initial symptoms can last for 7 to 14 days. When the cold sores or blisters reappear, they generally crust over in about four days and then heal within 10 days. You may want to visit your doctor or dentist the first time you develop cold sores or fever blisters, but after that, you shouldn’t need medical attention. Keep the area clean and apply topical medication to lessen symptoms as well as promote healing.

Preventing a first infection for loved ones involves making sure that no one with an active fever blister kisses your kids or other family members. Sunscreen can help protect your lips from cold sores brought on by too much time in the sun.

Dentist in Longview

Baby Teeth Basics

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

Our dental office is located in Longview

Sedation Options During Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Sedation Options During Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Many types of cosmetic dentistry procedures such as crowns, bridges, tooth implants, or other invasive procedures require some kind of anesthesia in order to be performed in comfort for the patient. Even a procedure like porcelain dental veneers can be aided by the addition of some kind of sedation dentistry, especially if the patient is experiencing anxiety or fear regarding the treatment. For any patient seeking a more relaxed cosmetic dental experience, sedation dentistry presents several options.
Inhaled sedation, or nitrous oxide, is more commonly known as “laughing gas.” It is inhaled via a mask and is controlled by your dentist. It is a light sedation, and allows you to remain completely responsive and compliant to instruction. Nitrous oxide sedation wears off quickly; because of this, you may be able to drive yourself home after your treatment.

Conscious oral sedation reduces your anxiety while still allowing for responsiveness to requests and directions. Oral sedatives are typically prescribed in pill form, and can be taken up to an hour before your dental procedure. Some dentists believe that taking a mild oral sedative the night before treatment can alleviate anxiety and ensure proper rest. You should not drive yourself home if you have taken an oral sedative for your dental treatment. You will not be fully alert.

IV sedation is also known as “sleep dentistry.” It provides the most relaxed dental experience, allowing you to be deeply sedated while never completely unconscious. A natural effect of the drugs is full or partial memory loss of the time during its use, so you may have no memories of your procedure. You should never drive following IV sedation, and you may not be fully alert for several hours. Plan to go home, rest, and sleep.

Your cosmetic dentist wants you to be comfortable throughout your dental therapy and will know which sedation dentistry option is right for your particular cosmetic dentistry procedure. Talk to your cosmetic dentist today about any concerns you have regarding your treatment so that you may have the most positive, pain and anxiety-free experience possible.


We look forward to seeing you in our Longview dental office

Invisalign and Children – A Good Fit?

Invisalign and Children – A Good Fit?

Does your child need braces, but isn’t sure about being a “metal mouth” for two or more years? Did your teen come to you and beg for some other option to traditional braces? Perhaps you’ve heard about Invisalign aligners but are wondering if they’ll work for your child. Invisalign is absolutely appropriate for your teen if all of his or her baby teeth have fallen out and adult teeth have erupted.

Invisalign provides the same results as traditional metal braces, but without the metal brackets. Concerns over eating with braces are removed with the Invisalign trays, as they come out for meals, leaving your teen free to eat any food he or she desires.

Invisalign utilizes clear plastic trays that allow the process of straightening your teen’s teeth to be less obvious and less obtrusive. Beginning with x-rays and molds, your orthodontist will make a series of trays, called aligners. These trays are worn most of the day, taken out only to eat or to be cleaned. The process of straightening happens gradually and comfortably.

It is essential during this time that the trays are worn as recommended by the orthodontist. Wearing them less than the recommended amount of time will result in slower correction, and has the potential to lengthen treatment. Have your teen continue with any established good oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing must continue on a regular basis, brushing twice a day at minimum and flossing before bedtime.

Being a teenager is full of difficulties, and it is during this time that teens are at their most self-conscious. Adding metal braces to this transition can make everything worse for your child, leaving him or her self-conscious about eating with friends or smiling, talking or laughing in public. Your teen’s gapped, misaligned or crowded teeth can be improved significantly with Invisalign trays. Talk to your orthodontist today to see how Invisalign can make a difference for your child.

We treat patients from Longview and the surrounding area

Opting for Invisalign

Opting for Invisalign

One of the most recent innovations in modern orthodontics is Invisalign. These unique clear aligners are becoming increasingly popular for improving smiles without the stigma associated with traditional braces. Invisalign aligners straighten teeth by placing gentle pressure on them to move into better positions. This solution offers distinct advantages to some of the other options in orthodontics.

Hidden appearance:
One of the most obvious benefits of Invisalign is that the clear plastic is practically invisible in your mouth. The subtle appearance of the retainers is much less obtrusive than traditional metal braces. For patients who want to diminish the fact that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment, Invisalign in the perfect solution. Personal and professional relationships are not at risk of embarrassment due to being self-conscious about your smile.

Easy removal:
You will remove aligners from your mouth when eating or performing oral hygiene tasks. There are no impacts to your diet during Invisalign treatment, since you take out the aligners anytime you eat. Brushing and flossing are performed normally without having to worry about cleaning food debris out of intrusive wires and brackets. This can have positive impacts on your oral health as well.

Increased comfort:
The lack of metal pieces in the aligners means a more comfortable experience. Traditional braces have a reputation for poking the mouth or breaking. Invisalign offers a clear advantage of being very comfortable when worn.

Boosted confidence:
No matter if you are a teenager or an adult wearing braces, it can be embarrassing to have a mouth full of metal in your smile. The invisible quality of Invisalign eliminates those self-conscious feelings, giving you the confidence to smile, laugh and eat as usual even while undergoing treatment.

If these benefits of Invisalign sound appealing to you, schedule an appointment with a qualified orthodontist who provides this type of treatment. It may be the winning route to your beautiful smile.

Our dental office is located in Longview

Oral Surgery: Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Oral Surgery: Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on the bottom and two on top. Many people do not have enough room for these molars to emerge completely, causing them to become impacted in the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay and disease. Other dental problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and bite alignment issues. For these reasons, your dentist may recommend having the impacted teeth removed to prevent future problems.

Surgery to extract an impacted wisdom tooth or set of wisdom teeth is usually an outpatient procedure done in your dentist or oral surgeon’s office. If the tooth or surrounding area are deemed to have an infection prior to the procedure, surgery will be delayed, and your dental professional will likely prescribe antibiotics to help heal the area.

On the day of surgery, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where the extracted tooth will be removed. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist or oral surgeon may also utilize a general anesthetic.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, an incision will be made to open up the gum and any bone blocking the tooth will be removed. Your dentist or surgeon will then separate the tissue connecting the bone to the tooth and extract the tooth. Some teeth are too large to remove in one piece, in which case your surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Finally, the incision is closed with stitches and packed with gauze to help alleviate bleeding.

Long-term complications from impacted wisdom tooth surgery are rare. To ensure a successful recovery from this or any oral surgery, be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.


If you live in the Longview area contact us today