How to Choose the Right Toothbrush

Choosing the right toothbrush can feel like a frustrating task with all the options available. From bristle types to handle designs, there's a lot to consider. Dr. Sonal Desai at North Richland Hills Dentistry in North Richland Hills, TX, is here to help you make the best choice for your oral health.

Understanding Toothbrush Bristles

First things first, let's talk bristles. Toothbrushes generally come with soft, medium, or hard bristles. But here's the kicker—most dental professionals, including Dr. Desai, recommend soft bristles. Why? They effectively clean your teeth without being too abrasive on your gums and enamel. Medium and hard bristles might seem like they do a better job, but they can actually cause damage if you're not careful.

Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

Next up, manual or electric? It's a personal preference, really. Manual toothbrushes are perfectly fine if you use the correct technique and brush for the recommended two minutes. Electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, can be more effective for some people. They do a lot of the work for you and often come with timers to ensure you're brushing long enough. Dr. Desai often suggests electric toothbrushes for those who struggle with manual brushing due to arthritis or other dexterity issues, but they can be helpful for anyone!

Handle and Head Size

Don't overlook the importance of the handle and head size. The handle should be comfortable to hold, giving you a good grip. The toothbrush head should be small enough to reach all areas of your mouth, especially the back teeth. A compact head can make a big difference in how thoroughly you can clean.

ADA Seal of Approval

Whatever toothbrush you choose, make sure it has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. This seal means the toothbrush has been tested for safety and effectiveness. It's a quick way to ensure you're getting a quality product.

Replace Regularly

Lastly, remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn-out toothbrush won't clean your teeth properly and can harbor bacteria.

Customized Dental Advice From North Richland Hills Dentistry

At North Richland Hills Dentistry, Dr. Sonal Desai and her team are dedicated to helping you maintain excellent oral health. If you have any questions about choosing the right toothbrush or need personalized recommendations, don't hesitate to reach out. Your oral health is our top priority, and we're here to support you every step of the way.


How to Maintain a Healthy Smile for a Lifetime: Tips for All Ages

Teeth were meant to last a lifetime. Whether you have a youngster with newly erupted teeth or you’re a senior enjoying your golden years, taking care of your oral health is essential for maintaining that confident grin. Here are five tips to ensure a lifelong healthy smile:

1. Start Early & Stay Consistent

Instilling good oral hygiene habits from childhood is crucial. If you have a child, begin brushing your child's teeth as soon as they emerge, and teach them to do so properly as they grow.

As an adult, maintain consistency in your oral care routine by brushing twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease!

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat plays a significant role in your oral health. Limit sugary snacks and beverages that can lead to cavities and erosion. Opt for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy. Foods like crunchy apples and carrots can even help clean teeth

3. Regular Dental Check-Ups

Regular dental visits are vital for preventive care. Schedule check-ups every six months to allow Dr. Desai to catch issues early and perform professional cleanings. This proactive approach helps prevent potential problems from escalating.

4. Customized Care for Different Life Stages

As you age, your oral health needs change. Children might require fluoride treatments and sealants, while adults might consider orthodontic treatments like Invisalign, and seniors may need to focus on gum health. At North Richland Hills Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, we offer
care for smiles of all ages, including pediatric dentistry!

5. Protect Your Teeth

Engaging in sports or physical activities? Wear a mouthguard to safeguard your teeth against impacts. If you grind your teeth at night, consider a nightguard to prevent wear and tear. A custom nightguard or mouthguard can prevent the need for uncomfortable symptoms and
costly treatments.

Comprehensive Dental Care in North Richland Hills, Texas

Maintaining a healthy smile for a lifetime involves daily care. However, a healthy smile can boost your self-confidence, support overall health, and enhance your quality of life. By following these tips and scheduling appointments with our team, you can enjoy a healthy smile for

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Why Are Straight Teeth Important?

Many of us dream of having a perfectly straight movie star smile. You may think that it’s only a cosmetic concern, but actually, having straight teeth can benefit your overall health for many reasons.

Brush & Floss More Easily

First and foremost, straight teeth are easier to clean. Crooked teeth sometimes create tight spaces where plaque and bacteria can accumulate that are hard to reach with a normal toothbrush. It can also be tricky to thread floss between overlapping teeth. We all know that poor oral hygiene can result in cavities, gum disease, decay, and many other issues. Straightening your teeth will help you keep your smile healthy and sparkling.

Prevent Wear & Tear

Your upper and lower teeth are meant to align in a certain way when you bite down. When your teeth don't line up properly, they can rub against each other in unusual ways, leading to uneven wear on the tooth surfaces. This makes chipping or cracking more likely to happen. Wear and tear also erode the protective layer of enamel on the outside of your teeth, leaving you more susceptible to problems like cavities, decay, and tooth sensitivity.

Minimize Jaw Pain

A misaligned bite can also put undue stress on your jaw muscles, resulting in stiffness or pain. When you have crooked teeth, your jaw may have to work a little harder to chew or talk properly. When those muscles get fatigued, it can lead to headaches or TMJ. Straightening your teeth can help alleviate tension around the jaw and reduce discomfort.

Invisalign in North Richland Hills, Texas

If you think it might be time to straighten your teeth, contact our team at North Richland Hills Dentistry for an orthodontic consultation. We offer Invisalign clear aligner therapy, so you don’t have to deal with unsightly metal braces. For more information, schedule an appointment today!

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Who Is a Candidate for Dental Sedation?

Do you avoid visiting the dentist due to fear or anxiety? Have you had a negative dental experience and are now hesitant to try again? If you answered yes, then you may be a candidate for dental sedation. Dental sedation has allowed many patients to get the quality dental care they need and deserve, despite their nerves!

What Is Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is a common technique for patients who feel anxious or nervous during dental visits. Contrary to belief, dental sedation is not just for lengthy or major dental procedures! And dental sedation is not only just for adults.

Dental sedation is a safe, easy, and highly effective way to manage nervous or anxious patients during any treatment. Our office offers several types of sedation, including:

Dental Sedation Candidate

Dental sedation is beneficial for most patients, especially patients with:

Is Dental Sedation Safe?

Dental anxiety or nerves often prevents dental visits or dental work. When it’s severe, it becomes a problem as your oral health can begin to affect your overall wellness. To ensure your safety with dental sedation, our team will go over your health history before sedation. If you are a candidate with good health, we monitor your vital signs before, during, and after sedation for a safe treatment. We will also direct you on how to prepare for sedation to have the most effective treatment.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Besides making treatments less intimidating and forgettable, the benefits of sedation include:

Never Miss a Dental Visit with Dental Sedation

Do you think you can benefit from sedation dentistry? Let us know. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we’re here to make your visit more comfortable and effective.

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3 Signs You May Have TMJ

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, occurs when patients frequently clench their teeth, usually when they are asleep. Putting pressure on the teeth and jaws and straining the jaw muscles every night can lead to serious consequences, which is why we always recommend that patients visit our office for treatment as soon as they can. In this blog, we look at three signs you may have TMJ.

1. Jaw Pain, Stiffness, or Soreness

One of the most common TMJ symptoms is pain in and around the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the top of the jaw to the skull. This pain can spread to the ears and rest of the face, and even cause tension in the neck, shoulders, and back. If you often wake up to jaw pain, it’s likely that you were unconsciously clenching your jaw throughout the night.

2. Frequent Headaches

Headaches are a symptom of many different ailments and disorders, and patients who suffer from frequent headaches may find it very difficult to diagnose and treat the cause of their pain. If your headaches often occur in the morning after you wake up, it’s possible that they are being caused by the stress that is being put on your TMJ. If you get a lot of headaches and experience additional TMJ symptoms as well, it’s worth scheduling a visit with our team.

3. Jaw Clicking or Lockjaw

Excess pressure on the temporomandibular joint can lead to inflammation, which can cause additional issues aside from pain and soreness. Jaw clicking or popping is a key indicator that frequent jaw clenching is occurring. In severe cases, patients may have difficulty opening their mouths all the way and chewing food. These symptoms can have a great impact on a patient’s daily life as well as their physical and oral health.

TMJ Therapy at North Richland Hills Dentistry

Looking for a dentist in North Richland Hills that provides TMJ therapy? Our team would be happy to help. Contact our office today!

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Why Flossing Is So Important for Your Dental Health

Professional cleanings and exams help keep your dental health in good shape, but good oral hygiene at home is essential, too. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Unfortunately, many people forget about flossing. Why is it so important?

Why Flossing Matters to Your Oral Health

When you eat and drink anything other than water, a substance called plaque forms on your teeth and along your gumline. Plaque is very sticky and if it’s not cleaned, it hardens into tartar. The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause cavities and gum disease.

Brushing gets a lot of the plaque off your teeth, but flossing is the only way to remove the plaque stuck in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you don’t floss, plaque and tartar build up between your teeth and along your gums.

What Happens When You Don’t Floss

You’re at a much higher risk for gum disease if you don’t floss regularly. In its early stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis. It often doesn’t cause many symptoms, but you may notice tenderness, redness, swelling, and mild bleeding. Start flossing right away and soon, your gum disease should improve.

More severe gum disease is known as periodontitis. At this stage, it can only be managed, not reversed. Treatments include deep cleanings, antibiotics, and in advanced cases, surgery. If gum disease isn’t addressed, it leads to tooth loss.

Gum & Dental health at North Richland Hills Dentistry in North Richland Hills, Texas

During an exam at our office, we’ll floss your teeth and check for signs of gum disease. If we see any problems, we’ll recommend treatments like improved oral hygiene and flossing. There are a few flossing tool options, so don’t hesitate to ask us which ones might work best for you. Have questions or want to schedule an appointment? Please contact us today!

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Can a Root Canal Be Done on a Front Tooth?

Our back teeth, those big, strong molars, are the ones that do a lot of the work when it comes to grinding down our food before it goes down the pipe. They also have more surface area with little crevices and grooves where food particles can often get stuck. Put those two things together and you can see why it’s more common for the back teeth to develop infections that may need root canals. So, what happens if you have an issue with one of your front teeth and it requires a root canal? We have the answers!

How a Front Tooth Root Canal Works

Regardless of whether the tooth is in the front or in the back, the general root canal procedure is really the same. We start by accessing the inner pulp of the tooth, remove the infected material, clean and shape the area, and eventually place a dental restoration, like a dental crown, on top to fully restore the tooth.

The big difference with the procedure is that with back teeth, we create a hole in the top surface of the tooth to access the inside while with the front tooth, we need to make that hole from the back. There’s also the fact that sometimes a front tooth doesn’t require a whole dental crown and instead can be restored using just a filling.

The Difference Between Front & Back Root Canals

Many people consider root canals on front teeth to be “easier” because of the recovery afterwards. Since front teeth are thinner and have less pulp inside, it’s a faster healing process overall. It may only take you a few days to be completely recovered! It’s normal to feel a bit of discomfort right after a root canal as the local anesthesia wears off but this is often less than with a back tooth since it was a smaller area being treated.

Do you need root canal therapy on a front tooth? Contact North Richland Hills Dentistry today to set up your appointment at our practice!

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Bleeding Gums? Here's 3 Tips to Help

Let’s just put it out there: Healthy gums should not bleed. If your gums are bleeding, that could be a sign of bad oral hygiene, or it could mean something even more serious like gum disease. Since bleeding gums can be a symptom of a wide range of dental issues, what it takes to treat them can vary. That being said, here are three general tips to get your gum health under control and help stop the bleeding.

1. Reassess Your Dental Routine

Do you often find yourself skipping brushing your teeth in the morning or night? If your gums are bleeding whenever you do clean your teeth, it could be because you’re not brushing them frequently enough and it’s giving time for plaque and tartar to build up. Make sure you stick to a routine of brushing at least twice a day, and definitely don’t forget to floss!

2. Change Your Dental Tools

Another reason your gums may be bleeding is because you’re using a toothbrush with too hard of bristles that are actually aggravating your gums. Even if you’re trying to brush away food debris and bad bacteria, you should still be gentle so as not to cause damage. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are the way to go! Additionally, if traditional dental floss isn’t cutting it for you, then you may want to switch to a water flosser so you can probably clean the spaces between your teeth before plaque can settle there.

3. Consult Your General Physician

Sometimes, bleeding gums are a result of another medical condition. For instance, gums may bleed more easily during pregnancy, if you have a certain vitamin or protein deficiency, or if you’re taking certain medications. Check with your family doctor to see if there’s anything that might be causing bleeding gums as a side effect that can be adjusted.

Visit Us at North Richland Hills Dentistry for Help with Bleeding Gums

If you’ve tried all of the tips we’ve just mentioned and you’re still dealing with bleeding gums, then we recommend booking an appointment at your dentist’s office as soon as possible. You don’t want the problem to get worse, and the sooner you figure out what’s causing the bleeding, the sooner you can get it treated. Contact North Richland Hills Dentistry today to set up your visit or schedule an appointment online!

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How Sedation Dentistry Can Ease Your Dental Anxiety

Raise your hand if the thought of going to the dentist makes you anxious. It’s not something that you should be embarrassed about. Many people have dental anxiety, and as dental professionals, we’re trained to work with patients who may not feel as comfortable in the dental chair. In addition to choosing a dentist who you can trust and who makes you feel at ease, there’s another option to help ease your dental anxiety: sedation dentistry

What Is Dental Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a scope of dentistry that involves using medication to help patients feel calm and relaxed throughout their treatment. What exactly that medication is depends on what you and your dentist discuss. There are different levels of sedation available with levels ranging from mild to moderate too deep. For example: Have you ever heard of laughing gas? The formal name for it is nitrous oxide and that’s considered a mild form of dental sedation.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

Depending on what kind of dental sedation you get; you can feel different things. You may feel totally calm throughout your body, you may feel an overall feeling of comfort or contentment, and you may even feel so relaxed that you actually doze off. In general, sedation dentistry is there to let your worries float away so you can sit through your dental procedure without any stress or fear. Many people under dental sedation feel like their appointment went by in the blink of an eye, which certainly helps you to get through it too!

Ask Your Dentist About Sedation Dentistry

If dental anxiety has stopped you in the past from taking care of your smile the way it should be taken care of, then we welcome you to North Richland Hills Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry where we provide comfortable sedation dentistry. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you have about your dental sedation options!

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What Is TMJ Therapy?

Around 12% of people in the United States have a TMJ disorder. If you’re experiencing symptoms like jaw pain, a clicking sound when you open your mouth, or difficulty moving your jaw, you may be part of that group! Luckily, we offer therapy that can help.

What Is TMJ?

TMJ” is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint. You have two of these joints connecting both sides of your jawbone to your skull. You use them to chew, talk, yawn, and so on. If either of the TMJ joints gets hurt or tenses up, all these activities are affected. It’s often hard to figure out why someone has a TMJ disorder, but causes can include an injury, arthritis, teeth-grinding, autoimmune diseases, dental surgery, or an infection.

What Is TMJ Therapy?

Dentists can offer relief to patients with TMJ. We’ll teach you exercises that stretch your muscles and release tension in your jaw. Therapy may also involve a custom mouthguard. Mouthguards protect your teeth from clenching, grinding, and other damage. They’re usually worn at night, but we may recommend wearing one during the day, too.

How Do You Know If You Have a TMJ Disorder?

Wondering if you have TMJ and need therapy? Common signs include:

Anyone can develop TMJ disorders, but research shows women tend to get it more than men. You’re also more likely to have issues if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth when you’re stressed.

TMJ Therapy at North Richland Hills Dentistry in North Richland Hills, Texas

While we may not know what causes a TMJ disorder in every case, TMJ therapy can ease your jaw pain and give you better jaw movement! No matter how mild or severe your TMJ is, Dr. Desai and the team are ready to offer the most effective treatments. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please get in touch today!

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Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?

Although none of us have 25,000 teeth like snails, some of us have more teeth than others. This is because of the somewhat mysterious wisdom teeth. They lurk in the back of your mouth as your permanent teeth come in, but typically don’t emerge until between the ages of 17-21. While many people have four wisdom teeth, some have fewer. And some people don’t have any wisdom teeth at all! Here's a little more information about wisdom teeth and why we have them.

Why Are Some People Born Without Wisdom Teeth?

For many of our patients at North Richland Hills Dentistry, wisdom teeth require surgical removal before they cause problems with alignment or crowding. However, some patients don’t need wisdom teeth surgery because their jaws are large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth. Why is it that some people never develop wisdom teeth at all? Partly due to genetics and partly because our bodies have evolved away from needing them.

Why Were Wisdom Teeth Necessary in the Past?

In the past, our ancestors had very different diets. They foraged for foods that were harder to eat, like leaves, bark and tough meats. To chew, they relied on their powerful wisdom teeth to grind down the tougher materials. Now that our diets have changed, that extra grinding power is no longer necessary.

Is Wisdom Tooth Surgery Painful?

Wisdom tooth surgery is a preventive measure that can actually save you pain in the long run. After all, we only remove wisdom teeth when we’re worried that they’ll put your oral health at risk. Removing wisdom teeth helps avoid crowding issues, misalignment, or painful impaction. This happens when wisdom teeth become trapped in your gums or jawbone as they try to emerge. During a wisdom tooth extraction you shouldn’t feel any pain because the area will be numb. After surgery, you may experience some swelling and discomfort for a few days. If you carefully follow our aftercare instructions, you’ll be back to normal after about a week.

Wisdom Teeth Removal in North Richland Hills

Fortunately, if you need your wisdom teeth removed, there's no need to go to an oral surgeon. We handle wisdom teeth removal right here at North Richland Hills Dentistry. When you visit us for your regular exam every six months, we'll be able to monitor your wisdom teeth. Dr. Desai will know if they need to be removed before they cause you any trouble. To ask our team any questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your next appointment, call us today!

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Oral Cancer: Know the Signs

Someone dies from oral cancer every hour. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we want to lower that statistic by offering comprehensive dental care that both prevents and addresses different oral health ailments. In this blog post, we’ll cover the signs and symptoms of oral cancer so you can better understand your oral health.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a cancer that originates in the mouth, tongue, gums, or tonsils. Like other forms of cancer, the causes of oral cancer is different from individual to individual. But some of the leading causes of oral cancer include excessive use of tobacco and alcohol and exposure to HPV. Inconsistent oral hygiene and poor diet can be contributing factors to oral cancer.

Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer

An oral cancer screening, which is usually performed by a dentist, can help reveal if you have oral cancer. Common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:

What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening doesn’t require any equipment and takes only minutes to complete. First, your dentist will examine your tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, and massage your neck and lymph nodes to detect any swelling. Oral cancer screenings take place during routine dental appointments, which is why it’s so important to schedule biannual cleanings and examinations.

How To Prevent Oral Cancer

Some of the best ways to prevent oral cancer is to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day, eat a balanced diet, and avoid alcohol or smoking if you can.

Affordable Dentistry in North Richland Hills, TX

North Richland Hills Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services, starting with preventive care. If you are due for a cleaning and examination and would like to have an oral cancer screening, contact us to schedule an appointment today. We work hard to make sure we’re accommodating patients of all backgrounds. Visit our financial page to learn more about our different payment options and how we make our treatments affordable!

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Everything You Need To Know About Dental Fillings

If you get a cavity, a dental filling is the most common fix. What are fillings made from? Does the process hurt? Here’s everything you need to know.

What Are Fillings?

Dentists use materials like porcelain, composite resins, and even gold to make fillings. The material acts as a patch that fills in a dental cavity. Fillings prevent further decay, treat any pain, and strengthen your tooth. At North Richland Hills Dentistry we offer tooth-colored composite fillings. We like this restorative option because composite fillings are strong and they blend in with the rest of your smile.

What’s It Like To Get a Filling?

Once we’ve determined that you need a filling, we'll numb the area. Next, we'll remove the decay from your tooth. This keeps bacteria from spreading. The final step replaces the part of your tooth destroyed by decay with the composite filling. Most of the time, we can complete a filling in about an hour. If you have several cavities that need fillings, we might need more than one appointment. You won’t feel pain during the procedure, but your teeth might feel slightly sensitive for a short time afterward.

How Do You Care for a Filling?

Fillings don’t require any special care. Continue brushing, flossing, and coming in for regular cleanings and exams with Dr. Desai. Fillings can break down or crack, so you might need to replace yours at some point. Most fillings last for years before replacement is necessary. Prevent lost fillings and cracked teeth by avoiding hard or super chewy foods that can damage your teeth. If a filling falls out or breaks, it’s considered a dental emergency, so please give us a call!

Dental Fillings at North Richland Hills Dentistry in TX

Every cavity is different, so we’ll always assess the specific situation and discuss your options. We use dental fillings regularly, so we’re happy to answer any questions you might have. Regular preventive care exams allow us to detect cavities early while they're still small. Please contact us today if you want to learn more or if you want to book an appointment!

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Why Dental Cleanings & Exams Are Important

Life gets busy, so it’s easy to forget things like scheduling a dentist’s appointment every six months. If you don’t have any major oral health problems, you may wonder if it is still important to come in for a regular cleaning and exam. The answer is, "Yes it is!" and here are three main reasons.

Cleanings & Exams Prevent Tooth Decay

Cavities are a very common problem. To prevent them, you do most of the work at home by brushing and flossing every morning and evening. However, professional cleanings and exams are necessary, too. With special tools, we remove hardened plaque (known as tartar) from your teeth, which is something you can’t do at home. We also identify teeth that are at a higher risk of decay, so you can improve your brushing/flossing and prevent a cavity from forming.

We Diagnose Gum Disease

Many people get gum disease at some point in their lives. In its early stage when it is known as gingivitis you might not experience symptoms. When you keep up with regular check-ups, we diagnose and reverse gum disease before it starts bothering you. Most of the time, all you need to do is improve your oral hygiene at home. If the gum disease is more advanced, a deep cleaning gets your oral health back on track.

Cleanings & Exams Catch Other Problems, Too

Cavities and gum disease aren’t the only issues a dentist can identify. During every exam, we always check for signs of oral cancer. That includes things like swelling, mouth sores that won’t heal, lumps, and red or white patches. If we find anything unusual, we’ll let you know what we recommend next.

Preventive Dentistry at North Richland Hills Dentistry

Keeping up with cleanings and exams is an essential part of good health. Our goal is to keep your smile healthy by preventing stressful and more expensive oral health problems. Even if you have great habits at home, we recommend visits to our office every six months. Have questions or want to schedule a cleaning and exam with Dr. Desai and our team? Please contact us today.

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Best Way to Clean Dentures

If you have dentures, it’s important that you do your part to take good care of them so that they last as long as possible. Additionally, properly functioning dentures help you keep your oral health in great condition. Don’t worry though, cleaning your dentures isn’t complicated! Here’s what you need to know about the best way to clean your dentures.

Daily Brushing

You should be brushing your dentures at least once a day. To do this, use a soft-bristled brush and nonabrasive denture cleanser. Both of these components are important so that you don’t damage your dentures or leave marks on the surface. With daily brushing, you can remove any food and bacteria that gets stuck or trapped on your dentures.

Overnight Soaking

Aside from your daily brushing, make sure you’re soaking your dentures overnight. This helps them keep their correct shape. You can either place them in water or in a specific denture-soaking solution. If you’re using water, make sure the water is not hot since high temperatures can distort your dentures. If you use a solution, you need to rinse your dentures before putting them back on in the morning so you don’t accidentally ingest some solution.

Consult Your Dentist

Having a hard time keeping your dentures clean? If there’s a build-up of stains on your dentures, you can bring them to your dental team at North Richland Hills Dentistry so that we can give them a professional cleaning. Dr. Desai and our team can also give you individualized tips for how to keep your dentures clean at home.

Dentures & More at North Richland Hills Dentistry

If you have any additional questions related to taking care of your dentures, don’t hesitate to call or email us at North Richland Hills Dentistry. We provide full and partial dentures as part of our restorative dental services, and our friendly team is more than happy to help. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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Ways Smoking Destroys Your Teeth

The dangerous effects of smoking and tobacco are widely known, yet millions of Americans smoke or use tobacco products regularly. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the ways smoking destroys your teeth, and how you can take steps to improve your oral health.

Why You Want to Quit Smoking


Dry mouth occurs when you do not produce enough saliva. This causes bacteria to grow at a more rapid rate and accelerates tooth decay. It also contributes to bad breath. Saliva washes away plaque and food particles from the surface of your teeth to prevent cavities and keep your teeth protected between the times you brush and floss.

Tobacco restricts the amount of blood flow in your body. This means that it takes even longer for your gums to heal should they be injured, bleeding, or swollen. Given that the latter two symptoms are telltale signs of gum disease, it’s clear smoking exacerbates this disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss if it isn't treated.

Cigarettes contain nicotine, which, when combined with oxygen, can produce a yellow/brown color that appears on the surface of your teeth. A temporary solution to stained teeth is professional teeth whitening. Stains will return however if smoking continues.

Smoking increases your risk of many cancers in general. Because tobacco products come in contact with your mouth, the likelihood of developing oral cancer is significantly increased when you consume them regularly. This includes chewing tobacco as well as cigarettes.

Maintaining a Healthy Smile

One of the most important ways you can maintain a healthy smile is to stop smoking or to not take it up in the first place. Smoking is an addictive habit, so quitting is much easier said than done. But the sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll see improvements in your oral and overall health. Apart from not smoking, brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, and seeing a dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and exams is the best way to ensure your teeth are healthy, strong, and bright.

Comprehensive, Affordable Dentistry in North Richland Hills, TX

If you are seeking preventive, cosmetic, or restorative dental treatments, North Richland Hills Dentistry has got you covered. No matter what type of treatment you need, we will work with you to develop a flexible financial plan that fits your budget. Call us or schedule an appointment online to get started!

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Why Tooth Pain Is a Dental Emergency

You may think that tooth pain will subside on its own over time. However, that pain you're experiencing indicates an underlying problem. And if you don't address the pain initially, the issue may continue to worsen and lead to a serious problem that's much more expensive, and possibly more invasive, to correct. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, serving North Richland Hills, TX and the surrounding area, we want to take a moment to educate you about the severity of tooth pain.

Pain From an Abscess

An abscess refers to an infection in your tooth. This infection stems from bacteria that reach the pulp of your tooth. The bacteria enters through a crack or chip in your tooth and works its way down to the portion of your tooth with nerve endings, hence the pain. If you don't treat an abscess, the infection from it has the potential to spread throughout your body.

Pain From Tooth Decay

That pain you're experiencing could mean you have tooth decay. While tooth decay is always treatable, it is much easier to stop in its early stages. If you don't receive treatment early, the decay will spread and eventually can result in infection and an abscess. Untreated decay can also enter the tooth pulp and require root canal therapy to save the tooth.

Pain From a Damaged or Missing Filling

Fillings are used to prevent tooth decay from spreading but they don't last forever. If you have a damaged or missing filling, exposed nerves can be very sensitive. Fillings should be replaced as soon as possible to protect the tooth from further decay.

Pain From a Damaged Tooth

If you have a damaged tooth, bacteria could invade through the crack or chip. Once this decay starts, it could lead to an abscess or your tooth's pulp dying completely. We will want to get your tooth restored with a filling or crown to prevent loss of the tooth.

Pain From a Gum Infection

Tooth pain isn't always a sign of a problem with your teeth. The problem can stem from an infection in your gums.
When you don't receive prompt care for this gum infection, your teeth and gums are both susceptible to problems. Unchecked gum disease can eventually result in lost teeth.

Tooth Pain Treatment at North Richland Hills Dentistry

Tooth pain may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it's often a tell-tale sign of a more serious problem lurking in your mouth. Schedule an appointment with North Richland Hills Dentistry before your tooth pain turns into a dental emergency! And if you are past that point and are in need of urgent relief from tooth pain then call us at 817-656-2945 for emergency care!

Contact us for all of your oral health needs!

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

Dental crowns are frequently used to save the smiles of patients because they’re handy in a variety of dental situations. They can strengthen a tooth that’s been severely weakened by decay, they can cover up a tooth that has been chipped, and they’re often used along with other procedures like dental bridges or dental implants. If you think a dental crown might be the solution you need for your smile, your next thought may be, “Okay, but how much is this going to cost me?” Let’s break it down:

Average Cost of Dental Crowns

There are a few factors that can influence the cost of a dental crown. The material yours is made out of will certainly affect the price. For example, there are all-porcelain crowns, porcelain fused-to-metal crowns, zirconia crowns, and gold crowns. A general range is that a dental crown can cost between $800 to $1,700. If you have dental insurance, your plan might cover a good portion of that since crowns are often used as restorative measures.

Our Financial Options

At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we’re used to seeing patients with a range of budgets. While everyone may be coming from a different financial situation, we strongly believe that everyone deserves to access the dental care they need. As a way to make our services affordable to our community, we offer a few types of payment options. For example, we accept all dental PPOS, we have an in-house savings plan, and we extend payment plans through CareCredit and our own in-house financing.

To learn more about any of our financial options, you can head to the Financial page of our website. You’re also more than welcome to contact our office directly with your questions.

Dental Crowns at North Richland Hills Dentistry

Remember, if you need a crown, it may cost you more in the long run to ignore the problem. The North Richland Hills Dentistry team wants to make sure your dental health is always in tip-top shape and that you don’t have to break the budget getting there. Contact our practice today to set up your dental crown appointment

Contact us for all of your oral health needs!

Emergency Dental Services Offered By Our Dentist in North Richland Hills, TX

At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we offer emergency dental services that can treat a wide variety of dental issues and complications. Before you call our office, we recommend looking over the following questions and checking out our emergency page to get a better sense of what constitutes a dental emergency. If any of the following situations match what you are experiencing, please get in touch with our office right away!

Are You in a Great Amount of Pain?

If you are experiencing a mild or moderate amount of tooth or mouth pain that can be controlled by home remedies, we recommend making an appointment with our team for a convenient time at a later date so we can diagnose and treat the problem. In the meantime, you can try holding a cold compress to your cheek, taking pain medication, or chewing on a clove of garlic to help reduce your toothache. However, if the pain ever becomes unbearable, you should call our office to make an appointment with our team right away.

Are You Experiencing Uncontrollable Bleeding?

If you have suffered an injury that has caused your gums or the inside of your mouth to begin bleeding, we recommend mixing half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm (not hot) water and using it to rinse out your mouth. Then, if you can locate the source of the bleeding, hold a piece of gauze or clean cloth over the injury gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Resist the urge to check if the bleeding has stopped before the time is up, and if the bleeding persists, please call our office right away.

Has a Tooth or Dental Restoration Come Loose?

Any time an adult tooth is knocked out, it is considered a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. The faster you can put the tooth in a cup of milk and head to our office, the higher the chances that we will be able to reattach the tooth. If a crown or other dental restoration comes off, it’s not as urgent, but it is considered a dental emergency because if the exposed tooth is left unprotected for too long, it could lead to tooth decay or a serious infection.

Does Something Just Not Feel Right?

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are on the fence about whether you need to make an emergency dental appointment or not, feel free to call our office for advice. Our team can help you decide what to do next, whether you can treat your symptoms at home or whether we think you should come in right away. Call our office at 817-656-2945, and someone in our front office will be in touch with you shortly!

Contact us for all of your oral health needs!

What Is the Dental Implant Procedure Like?

Interested in replacing a tooth—or teeth—with a dental implant? Well, you’re not alone! Dental implants have become very popular in recent years. Read on to learn why implants are such a favored restoration solution, and what you can expect when you get one!

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the dental implant procedure, we’ll tell you why you’re going to want one. Replacing a tooth with an implant comes with a number of great benefits. One of the key reasons why implants are favored over other great restoration options—like dentures and bridges—is that they look and feel just like a natural tooth. That means that your new tooth won’t alter your appearance or your ability to eat or speak. Implants are also stable, permanent, and long lasting. Finally, the dental implant procedure is straightforward and virtually pain-free. Keep reading to learn more!

Inside the Dental Implant Procedure

If you are due to get a dental implant, you can expect the process to be completed in two visits to the dentist or oral surgeon. At the first visit, we will insert the implant into the jaw bone. The implant itself is a titanium post that’s formed like a screw and is inserted where the tooth root would have been. After the first procedure, you’ll be given time to heal. During that time, the implant will fuse with the jawbone, forming a strong and steady bond. Once healed, you’ll come back in to have your custom-made restoration attached to the implant.

Dental Implants in North Richland Hills, Texas

Sound good to you? The next step is to meet with Dr. Desai here at North Richland Hills Dentistry to talk about your treatment plan. To set up a consultation, give our office a call. Or, request a visit on our website.

Contact us for all of your oral health needs!

Electric Toothbrush vs. Regular Toothbrush: Which Is More Effective?

Wonder if you’re doing all you can to optimize your dental routine? If you’re wondering if you’re using the right kind of toothbrush, the answer might be personal. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of manual and electric toothbrushes.

Electric Toothbrush: Pros

When it comes to dentistry, technology is your friend! Some studies have shown that an electric version can provide a superior clean. There are also some other reasons why you might consider a switch. Electric toothbrushes can be much easier for people with limited mobility to use. They also often come with helpful features, such as a built-in timer or pressure sensor. Plus, many users--kids especially--find that using an electric toothbrush makes brushing fun!

Electric Toothbrush: Cons

As with anything, there are some downsides to using an electric toothbrush. They are more expensive at the outset than a traditional toothbrush. Also important to consider: they need to be fully charged or they won't be effective. That means keeping the toothbrush plugged in or having a battery handy.

Manual Toothbrush: Pros

One of the best things about sticking with a traditional toothbrush? They're portable and easy to use. No need to charge or replace batteries, your toothbrush will be ready to go when you are. Additionally, manual toothbrushes are cheap and can be found in all kinds of stores. And most importantly, manual toothbrushes are tried and true. They're proven to cut plaque. So, you really can't go wrong.

Manual Toothbrush: Cons

Generally, the cons of manual toothbrushes are solved by an electric toothbrush. People with braces, arthritis, or other issues that hinder their ability to brush can have trouble manoeuvering an electric toothbrush. And without a motor doing most of the work for you, it can be easy to brush too hard with a manual toothbrush.

Total Care in North Richland Hills, Texas

We can’t stress this enough: manual or electric, what’s most important is that you’re brushing your teeth multiple times daily! Round out the routine with dental floss, a healthy diet and biannual visits to North Richland Hills Dentistry for your routine cleaning and exam! Contact us for all of your oral health needs!

Why Do My Teeth Hurt in Winter?

Winter can be a real bummer. Shorter days, frigid weather, icy roads. And on top of all that misery, so many of our patients find that their teeth hurt more in winter than they do throughout the rest of the year. In this blog post, we’ll explore why that happens, as well as some other common causes of sensitivity.

Tooth Pain & Sensitivity in Winter

Whether you live in a cold climate, or you’re just taking a vacation to a frosty locale, you may notice a difference in your teeth. You’re not imagining it: cold weather can affect the way your teeth feel. Cold temperatures cause the teeth to expand and contract, which will exacerbate any issues you may have such as cavities, enamel loss, and gum disease, causing increased pain and sensitivity. The best thing to do is to prevent these issues from developing or getting worse by keeping up with your oral care routine.

Other Causes of Tooth Pain & Sensitivity

Regardless of your weather, pain and sensitivity are common problems, and they’re known to occur for a variety of different reasons, we’ll list a few below:

Aggressive Brushing. Brushing the teeth with too much pressure can contribute to enamel loss, which makes your teeth vulnerable and sensitive. Sound like you? Look for an electric toothbrush with pressure sensors.

Bruxism. Otherwise known as clenching and grinding your teeth, this issue can also wear away at your teeth. It’s also known to cause your jaw muscle pain. Talk to your dentist about solutions, which may involve wearing a mouthguard.

Teeth Whitening. Some people experience increased pain and sensitivity when whitening their teeth. Looking for a brighter smile? Your best bet is to work with your dentist to obtain it.

Comprehensive Dental Care in North Richland Hills, Texas

If you’re struggling with chronic tooth pain, it’s time to drop us a line. Here at North Richmond Hills Dentistry our passionate team of dental professionals will move quickly to pinpoint the cause of your pain or sensitivity and address it before the problem progresses. Contact us to learn more about all we have to offer at our practice!

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

Did you know that 3 out of 4 Americans have some kind of gum disease? Gum disease is very common and can have some serious consequences, but it also can be caught early and easily addressed. What is gum disease exactly and how is it treated?

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, develops when your teeth and gums are attacked by bacteria. When your teeth aren’t cleaned properly with good brushing and flossing, plaque, full of bacteria, forms and hardens into tartar. This can’t be removed at home, so if it isn’t addressed with a visit to the dentist, your gums can actually form pockets perfect for bacteria. Infections are the natural consequence and can lead to tooth and bone loss.

The very first stage of gum disease - gingivitis - is very common, but it still requires attention. Your gums become inflamed, swollen, and tender. If they bleed when you brush or flush, that’s another sign of early gum disease. When this happens, it’s time for a dental checkup at North Richlands Hills Dentistry, so we can treat the problem before it gets serious.

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

If caught early, treating gum disease is very simple. If it’s a very mild case, we might not even need to do anything special in the office beyond a cleaning, but you will need to improve your oral care at home. Flossing, which many people neglect, is very important. We may also recommend a deeper dental cleaning, a special mouth rinse, and/or local antibiotics to deal with the built-up bacteria.

Make an Appointment Today!

The best treatment for gum disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Good oral care at home and biannual visits to Dr. Desai can help ensure your gums and teeth are as healthy as possible. Contact us if you have any questions about gum disease treatments or to make an appointment!

Dealing with Sensitive Teeth

We will all deal with sensitive teeth at some point in our lifetime. Sometimes the cause is acute and can come on suddenly. Other times, we may deal with chronic sensitive teeth for long periods of time. Either way, it’s important to know what causes sensitive teeth and what you can do to treat and prevent this common problem.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

If you’ve noticed an unusually uncomfortable feeling when eating hard, cold, or hot foods, you may be dealing with sensitive teeth. You aren’t alone. Approximately 1 out of every 8 American adults suffers from sensitive teeth, with women experiencing this more than men. Sensitive teeth are affected by hot and cold air and food, and can feel tender upon touch or biting down. The causes of sensitive teeth are varied. Chronic tooth clenching, cavities, or a dental infection can all cause your teeth to feel pain. That’s why it’s always best to see a dentist when you notice new or worsening pain. We can help treat urgent and chronic problems and help you find relief.

How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth

Chronic tooth clenching, or bruxism, is an extremely common condition that means you grip your jaw shut. Often, this happens at night while we are sleeping. If you wake up with a sore jaw, headache, or neck ache, you may have bruxism. Bruxism can cause enamel to wear away and break down, causing sensitivity. If you think you have bruxism, a simple night guard will help prevent tooth sensitivity. To prevent other causes of dental pain, like cavities and tooth decay, you need to take great care of your teeth. Each day, brush with a soft-bristled brush for two minutes, twice a day. Be sure to floss once daily. Make sure to have your teeth regularly cleaned and examined by a dentist. All of these actions will help to prevent the causes of acute dental pain.

How to Cure Sensitive Teeth

Although chronic tooth sensitivity will come and go, there are ways to reduce your pain and discomfort. First, avoid eating and drinking foods that trigger a response. Ice, soups, hard candy, anything that may bring you pain should be avoided until the condition improves. We recommend using a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These types of toothpaste contain ingredients that will help relieve pain, while building strength in your enamel.

We Care About Your Oral Health!

As always, let us know about pain in your mouth and teeth, especially if it comes on suddenly. This could be a sign of a condition that needs to be treated right away. Taking good care of your teeth is key to preventing tooth pain. If it’s time to schedule a check-up, contact us today!

What Are Teeth Made Of?

Have you ever thought about what your teeth are made of? Here, we’ll give you a rundown of what’s inside your pearly whites.


But first, let’s discuss what exactly is inside your mouth. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth, meaning the teeth that come in after you’ve lost your baby teeth. The middlemost four teeth on your upper and lower jaws are called the incisors and there are 8 in total. Next are the 4 canines, the pointed teeth that are next to the incisors on both the upper and lower jaws. Then there are the 8 premolars which are the teeth that are in between the canines and molars on the upper and lower jaws. Next are the molars, which are the 8 flat teeth in the back of the mouth that are used to grind up your food. Last are your 4 wisdom teeth all the way in the back. These are usually removed after they’ve erupted in order to prevent them from displacing other teeth.

Now onto what’s inside your teeth.


The first layer of your tooth is called the enamel. It is the hardest part of your tooth and made of calcium phosphate. It acts as the first line of defense against any dental issues such as cavities. Acid can weaken the enamel and lead to tooth decay.


Dentin is the next layer and is hard tissue that contains microscopic tubes. It’s more delicate than your enamel and if that outer layer is weakened, cold and heat can reach the dentin and cause tooth sensitivity. Naturally yellow in color, if your enamel has thinned out, the dentin layer can show through and cause your teeth to look discolored.


The next layer is called the pulp. This is the soft, living inner structure of the tooth, considered living because connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels run through the pulp to nourish the tooth. The pulp has two parts: the pulp chamber, located in the crown of the tooth, and the root canal, located in the root of the tooth. Blood vessels and nerves enter the root and go through the canal into the pulp chamber.


The cementum is the next layer, and is composed of connective tissue that covers the outside of the root under the gum line. Cementum is hard as bone and firmly binds the roots of the teeth to the gums and jawbone.

Periodontal ligament

The last part of your tooth is called the periodontal ligament. This is a tissue that holds the teeth against the jaw.

We Care About Your Teeth!

We care about your teeth and overall oral health. If you have any other questions about the composition of your teeth, any oral health concerns, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Can Problems with Teeth Give You a Headache?

Sometimes, dealing with the side effects of a dental problem can feel like a headache. Other times, your teeth may be directly responsible for your headache! Today, we want to discuss some of the ways your teeth and mouth can be responsible for your headaches so you can get the answers and treatment you need to feel your best.

Grinding Your Teeth Can Lead to Headaches

Do you grind your teeth at night? In addition to potential damage to your teeth from grinding, nocturnal teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) can lead to headaches during the day. Grinding your teeth at night puts additional strain on your jaw muscles that can cause tension headaches. In order to treat tooth grinding and alleviate the resulting headaches, our team will work to determine the root cause of your teeth grinding. Common causes include stress, bite alignment issues, and sleep apnea.

Jaw Issues & Headaches

A misaligned bite can cause ripple effects throughout your head and mouth. When your bite is off, the muscles in your jaw need to work harder to help you chew and talk. This results in muscle strain along with popping, clicking, and locking in the jaw. Even worse, this can cause pain to radiate throughout your head and cause headaches. To treat alignment issues, Dr. Desai may turn to orthodontic options or a custom oral appliance that gently shifts the position of your jaw while you sleep.

Toothaches & Headaches

Toothaches resulting from cavities and infections can also lead to headache pain. However, headaches caused by tooth decay are typically just on one side of the head and can be eased by treating the damaged tooth through root canal therapy, fillings, or through other means.

Contact Us for Treatment Options

If you’ve been living with regular headaches, our team wants to help. The first step in treating your headaches will be to determine the root cause. Then, we will work together to come up with a treatment plan that gives you the relief you need. To ask our team any questions or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Are Invisalign or Braces Better?

For patients interested in a straighter smile, the decision between Invisalign and traditional metal braces can be a difficult one. The two treatments have many differences and it can be tough to determine which one is the best fit for you. If you’re interested in orthodontic treatment, a consultation with Dr. Desai can recommend the better option depending on the type of treatment you need, your personal goals, and your budget.

What Kind of Orthodontic Treatment Do You Need?

Invisalign is a system of clear aligners that uses a new aligner every two weeks to gradually straighten your teeth. Invisalign can treat issues like misalignment, gaps, and overcrowding. However, more severe issues may require traditional metal braces for effective treatment. Our team can tell you which treatment is the best fit for you depending on the scope of the work you need.

What Are Your Goals?

If your goal is for your orthodontic treatment to be as subtle and convenient as possible, you may opt for Invisalign. Unlike traditional metal braces with their brackets and wires, Invisalign aligners are invisible. You can also remove Invisalign while you eat, allowing you to continue to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks during your orthodontic treatment.

What Is Your Budget?

Once we determine the scope of your orthodontic treatment, our team will have a better estimate of the cost. Typically, traditional metal braces are the more affordable option. We offer multiple payment and financing options to help you fit orthodontic treatment into your budget.

During your consultation for orthodontic treatment, our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your goals, fits your budget, and delivers you the smile of your dreams. To ask us any questions about orthodontic treatment or to schedule your consultation, contact our office today!

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Suffer From Chronic Snoring? Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Help!

Has anyone ever told you that you’re a major snorer? Or maybe your partner is currently being driven crazy by your chronic snoring. If that’s the case for you, you might want to consider getting diagnosed for sleep apnea. While snoring doesn’t definitely mean that you have sleep apnea, it is a common symptom of those with the condition. Sleep apnea treatments won’t just help you sort out your snoring issues, but it’ll also ensure you don’t suffer negative effects from a serious health condition.

The Connection Between Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Snoring happens when your airway is partially blocked and this leads to vibration during breathing, which in turn causes the snoring sound. Obstructive sleep apnea is the form of the sleep disorder where your throat muscles relax to the point where your airway gets blocked and causes pauses in your breathing. This commonality of a blocked airway is why many people who have obstructive sleep apnea also snore.

Basics of Sleep Apnea Treatment

The goal of sleep apnea treatment is to stop your airway from being blocked so you can breathe seamlessly while you sleep. To do this, a dental professional can make you a custom mouthpiece that repositions your jaw and opens your airway. Opening your airway can also take care of the cause of your snoring! Getting to enjoy uninterrupted sleep and no more snoring sounds like a win-win to us!

If you’re curious to know more about sleep apnea treatment, or you’d like to get started on your own treatment, contact North Richland Hills Dentistry today. We are happy to answer any and all questions you have, and we can provide our patients with sleep apnea relief.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

The Pros & Cons of Chewing Gum

At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we have mixed opinions on chewing gum. On the one hand, it can be a great quick fix to freshen breath and clean teeth. On the other hand, it can lead to tooth decay and excess wear on your teeth. Today, we want to take a closer look at the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to chewing gum and your oral health.

The Good: Freshen Breath & Fight Cavities

When you chew gum, it stimulates saliva production in your mouth. Saliva can not only wash away leftover food residue on teeth before bacteria have a chance to feed on it and produce acid -- it also contains an enzyme that can fight off the number of bacteria in the mouth. When fewer bacteria are present, your breath smells fresher!

If you’re looking for benefits of chewing gum, reach for a pack of sugar-free gum sweetened with Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar free sweetener that can neutralize the pH of your mouth and keep acid from wearing away on teeth and causing cavities.

The Bad: Chewing Gum May Loosen Dental Work

For folks with retainers, oral appliances, or dental work like fillings and crowns, chewing gum can create more problems. It can loosen fillings, crowns, and bridges or limit their longevity. If you have had dental work done, consult with our office if you are unsure whether you can chew gum.

The Ugly: Chewing Gum Can Lead to Tooth Decay

If you chew gum that contains sugar, you may be unknowingly contributing to the growth of cavities in your mouth. Bacteria feed on sugar to produce acid, so chewing gum with sugar may result in more bacteria and acid in your mouth. Without proper care, this can lead to cavities and tooth decay.

While chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to clean teeth and freshen breath, chewing gum that contains sugar can actually damage teeth. If you do decide to chew gum, choose wisely! To ask our team any questions about chewing gum or to schedule your next appointment, contact our office today!

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

What Is a Dead Tooth?

Of all the tooth trouble you could be faced with, a dead tooth might sound the most dire by name, and certainly the creepiest. In this blog post, we’ll let you know how to spot a dead tooth, and help you understand why you might have one.

What’s a Dead Tooth?

When a tooth is healthy, the pulp and the nerves that reside within its hard, outer shell are healthy, and it’s considered alive. When that matter within the tooth is damaged, thanks to decay or injury, it is possible for blood flow to the tooth to halt, causing the tooth to die.

What Causes a Dead Tooth?

One possible cause is trauma. If you have an accident and your tooth gets hit with enough force, the tooth might end up dying. That death can occur quickly, or it might take months. Poor dental care is another common cause of tooth death. If you fail to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist for your biannual cleaning and exam, you’re putting your teeth at risk and a dead tooth can come as a result. Without proper oral hygiene, cavities are nearly inevitable. If left untreated, that decay targets and infects the tooth pulp, leading to that loss of blood flow and the eventual loss of the tooth’s vitality.

Spotting a Dead Tooth

The most apparent and outward sign of a dead tooth is discoloration. While healthy teeth should be a shade of white, if a little bit yellow, a dead tooth will stand out amongst the other teeth as discolored. Dead teeth can be yellow, brown, gray, or black, and that discoloration tends to deepen over time. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a dead tooth, you may feel pain, experience foul breath and/or a bad taste in your mouth, or see swelling around the affected tooth.

If you think you might have a dead tooth, it’s crucial that we tend to the tooth quickly so that the problem doesn’t spread. Make an appointment to come see us here at North Richland Hills Dentistry as soon as you can.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Is Chocolate Bad for My Teeth?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means that you can expect to eat (or at least be tempted by) lots of chocolate over the course of the next few weeks! But if you’re trying to maintain a strong, healthy smile, will an uptick in chocolate consumption harm your efforts? We’ll share the truth behind chocolate’s effect on your teeth, and ways you can keep your smile sparkling this Valentine’s Day season.

Is Chocolate the Problem?

You’ve probably heard that chocolate and other candy can “rot” your teeth, but this isn’t entirely true. Yes, eating too much candy can harm your teeth and cause cavities in the long run, but it’s because of its high sugar content above all else. When sugar sits on your teeth for too long, it attracts plaque and bacteria that secrete acid when they snack on the sugar. This acid in turn corrodes your teeth, making it easier to develop cavities and decay. If left untreated, you can lose your teeth down the line.

How to Curb the Effects of Sugar

The number one way to avoid sugar damage to your teeth is to avoid eating sugar entirely. It’s understandably hard to do this time of year, so if you must indulge in a little chocolate here and there, you should opt for dark chocolate or even sugar free options (like chocolates sweetened with stevia or coconut sugar).

Another way to protect your teeth is to make sure that you thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after eating sugary foods. That way plaque and bacteria won’t have much time to develop on your teeth and won’t have much to consume if there is no sugar sitting on your teeth to begin with.

Other Foods to Avoid

Aside from sugary chocolate and candy, other foods you should generally avoid in order to protect your teeth are foods that are high in acid like certain fruits (including dried fruit, which is loaded with sugar), coffee and soda, and alcohol.

Foods to Eat Instead

Want something healthy that feels indulgent this Valentine’s Day? Try dipping strawberries (which are full of malic acid that can whiten teeth) in dark chocolate for a guilt-free snack. Other foods to eat year-round are fresh fruit, nuts, cheese and dairy products, dark leafy greens, and crunchy vegetables. All of these foods contain fiber and vitamins and minerals that support strong teeth!

Show love to your teeth this Valentine’s Day by opting for less sugary snacks. If you’re in need for a dental checkup this year, pay us a visit at North Richland Hills Dentistry. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Can Poor Oral Hygiene Cause Acne?

Your oral hygiene and health has an impact far beyond just your teeth and gums. Not only does research show a link between gum disease and heart disease, it also suggests a connection between your oral health and clear skin. If you’ve been struggling with acne that just won’t go away, there’s a chance that oral bacteria may be the culprit!

The Link Between Healthy Teeth and Clear Skin

If the thought of healthy pearly whites is not enough to motivate you to practice good oral hygiene, maybe this will encourage you: studies show that oral bacteria from an infected tooth or gums can get onto your face, irritating your skin and causing you to break out. Research suggests that if your acne is clustered around your chin, lips, or cheeks, this may be a sign that poor oral hygiene is the cause.

You can limit the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth by following a good dental hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, floss each day, and visit our office regularly for professional cleanings and exams. When it comes to brushing teeth and washing your face, order matters. Be sure you’re washing your face after you brush your teeth to clean away any bacteria from your mouth that may get onto your face as a result of brushing.

If you’re wondering if your oral health may be to blame for your acne, schedule a professional cleaning at our office. Dr. Desai and our team will carefully examine your mouth and note any problem areas that may be behind your skin issues. Treating your skin may be as simple as addressing your oral health.

To ask our team any questions about the link between oral hygiene and acne or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today!

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

What Is Gingivitis?

You know from dental visits and toothpaste commercials that gingivitis is something you want to avoid. But what do you really know about gingivitis? What causes it and how can you prevent it? We have all the answers for you here.

An Overview of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum line near your teeth. It’s a mild form of gum disease or periodontitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red or swollen gums that may bleed while brushing or flossing, bad breath, and receding gums. Gingivitis in common but can cause deeper problems if not treated, and can eventually lead to periodontitis and tooth loss.


Gingivitis is most often caused by poor dental hygiene, but the risks increase for the elderly, people with dry mouth, and those with lowered immune response. Hormonal changes like pregnancy and certain contraceptive methods can also increase risk. Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up around the gum line, causing the tissue to become inflamed. Plaque forms when bacteria feed off of food (especially sugar) left in the mouth. This leads to tartar (the hardening of plaque) on teeth, cavities, and bad breath.


In order to prevent gingivitis, you must take good care of your teeth. Brush two times a day for 2 minutes each time. Floss daily, especially after meals. Reduce sugar intake. Oral bacteria feed on sugar in the mouth. Maintain dental appointments for cleaning. At your dental appointment, we’ll scrape off tartar and plaque that brushing can’t remove.


If we see gingivitis at your next visit, we’ll let you know. Please let us know if you notice any of the signs or symptoms. We will help guide you toward a treatment plan that is right for you. This may include a deep clean of your teeth, or simply better maintenance of tooth care at home. We also recommend you consider purchasing a gingivitis-fighting mouthwash in addition to your daily brushing and flossing. Look for the active ingredients cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine.

If you suspect you may have gingivitis, contact us today. We’ll talk you through ways to improve the condition of the gums and may want to schedule an appointment. You don’t want your condition to worsen, so please let us know if you have concerns!

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

What Is Phantom Tooth Pain?

Phantom tooth pain—also variously known by the technical names "atypical facial pain," "atypical odontalgia," and "neuropathic orofacial pain," is one of the most mysterious conditions in the field of oral health. Chronic pain in a tooth or teeth is the defining characteristic. However, unlike the typical toothache, there is no evidence of decay, periodontal disease, injury, or other identifiable cause.


Constant throbbing or aching in a tooth, teeth, or extraction site that is persistent and unremitting is how phantom tooth pain is usually described. In addition, hot or cold sensations do not significantly affect the pain, and even local anesthetic often cannot relieve it. The intensity ranges from mild to severe.

What Causes It & Who Is Most Likely to Get It?

It is theorized that phantom tooth pain is caused by changes in parts of the brain that process pain signals, causing a persistent sensation of pain even when an identifiable source of pain does not exist. Why this happens, however, is not known. Genetics, age, and gender seem to play a role, with women and those older than middle-age being the most affected.

How Is It Diagnosed & Treated?

If a review of the patient's history, a thorough clinical examination, and radiographic assessment cannot identify the source of pain, a diagnosis of phantom tooth pain is often made. Various medications have been used in an attempt to treat it, with tricyclic antidepressants being the most common. Generally, treatment is successful in reducing the pain but not eliminating it completely.

If you have any symptoms of phantom tooth pain, be sure to contact us at North Richland Hills Dentistry right away so Dr. Desai can evaluate your specific situation and help you determine the best course of action.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

How to Prepare for a Dental Emergency

Emergencies happen when you least expect them—that’s why they’re emergencies! It’s important, however, to be mindful that bad things do happen. We know how we can ready ourselves when bad weather, a sudden disaster, or a medical emergency strike, but would you know what to do if you found yourself having a dental emergency? Here’s how you can prepare for one.

Recognizing a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency isn’t always obvious. While chipping or knocking out a tooth would definitely constitute a dental emergency, you can also consider excessive bleeding, swelling, or pain as a dental emergency, whether it occurs in relation to a recent dental procedure or not. When in doubt, consider it an emergency!

Preparing for a Dental Emergency

One thing that you should absolutely have on hand before you find yourself in an emergency is to have your dentist’s contact information handy, and to be sure that your dentist can accommodate emergency visits (or can recommend someone who does ahead of time).

In the event of a knocked out tooth, try to put the tooth in a glass of milk before you head over to your dentist. If they can see you within the hour, they may be able to reattach it!

If you are having excessive pain and swelling, grab some ice and place it on your cheeks in ten-minute increments. This will help numb the area and even reduce puffiness.

How to Prevent a Dental Emergency

It’s not always easy to prevent a dental emergency, but there are a few ways that you can avoid having one in the future. First, always practice good oral hygiene habits and brush and floss your teeth twice a day. This will greatly reduce your chances of developing painful tooth decay, which can cause bleeding and swelling. Moreover, having a clean bill of oral health means you probably won’t require any dental procedures in the future, so you won’t have the chance of developing any potential complications like excessive swelling from them. if you play contact sports, it’s important that you always wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from being chipped or knocked out.

At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we offer convenient scheduling and see emergencies promptly. Contact us at 817-656-2945 if you experience a dental emergency or contact us below to schedule your next treatment at our practice!
Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

What Is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy sounds serious and scary, so when your dentist says you may need one, it’s common to feel a little nervous. We’ll explain what this procedure actually entails, and if you should take any precautions with your oral health before or after you’ve had one.

What Are Frenula?

A frenulum is just a small bit of tissue that helps prevent a particular organ from moving much. They are very helpful in keeping everything in their place, giving you more control over those particular parts of your body.

Frenectomy Definition

A frenectomy involves removing a frenulum. There are three types of frenectomies that are common in dentistry:
1. Lingual: Removal of the tissue that connects your tongue and mouth floor.
2. Labial: Removal of the tissue that connects your upper lip to the gums of your upper teeth.
3. Gingival: Removal of the gum tissue that connects two teeth.

Why Would I Need a Frenectomy?

Sometimes, frenula can actually cause harm, especially when they are overgrown and begin to add unnecessary discomfort and pressure on surrounding tissues. We have seen this occur with the aforementioned frenula, which can cause pain, gum recession, gaps between teeth, ability to properly speak and eat, and impact the function of teeth.

Frenectomies usually happen while the frenula are still developing or have just developed, so they are more common in children (either before or just after permanent teeth come in) in order to prevent further damage.

Frenectomy Procedure

Frenectomies are easy and painless procedures, and involve a simple laser to remove the excess tissue. In fact, the procedure usually lasts for around 20 minutes, and there isn’t much down time necessary after the procedure is over!

Your child’s dentist will be able to check their frenula growth during their exams, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to schedule routine dental appointments and examinations twice a year. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we’re dedicated to delivering superior service to all of our clients. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Will My Gums Grow Back?

As you get older, you may notice that your gums appear to be receding from your teeth. Today, we want to talk about what may be causing your gum recession and how we treat and reverse receding gums.

What Causes Receding Gums?

A variety of factors can cause gums to recede. Poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to grow, accumulate into plaque, and harden into tartar, which can inflame gums and cause them to recede from your teeth. If left untreated, gum inflammation can advance into gum disease. Brushing too vigorously (or with anything other than a soft-bristled toothbrush) can also cause gum recession. For some patients, we can create a customized nightguard that helps limit tooth grinding at night, which may be causing your gums to recede. And in other cases, you may have your genetics to blame!

Do Gums Grow Back?

We'll start with the bad news: unfortunately, gums do not grow back. However, the good news is that there are several things that Dr. Desai and the rest of our team at North Richland Hills Dentistry can do to help repair gum recession. The most common treatment is called a gum graft. In this surgical procedure, we take tissue from one part of your mouth (often the roof of your mouth) and add it along your existing gums. In addition to stopping gum recession in its tracks and giving you a more even gum line, gum grafts also reduce tooth sensitivity and protect the roots of your teeth from decay.

What Should I Do If You Notice Gum Recession?

If you notice that your gums are receding, let us know. In the meantime, you can protect yourself from further gum recession by practicing a proper oral care routine that includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and regularly visiting our office for checkups and cleanings. To ask our team any questions or to schedule your next visit, contact our office!