Tag Archives: general dentist

As You Begin Adjusting to Dentures | Indianapolis Dentist

No one likes change – but for some, dentures are an inevitable one. And you are going to need some time to adjust to your new smile. Your mouth will be sore because your gums are still getting used to the dentures, but that pain will begin to subside after a few weeks. Luckily, there are several dental remedies available to help ease the discomfort and pain while your mouth adjusts. The following is a list of pain relievers that can help make this adjustment a whole lot smoother:

Topical gel or cream. One of the quickest ways to relieve gum pain is to apply a topical gel or cream. Millions of teething babies can’t be wrong.

Saltwater rinse. For the easiest way to reduce inflamed gums pain, remove the dentures, mix ½ to 1 tsp. of salt with a glass of warm water and rinse for about 30 seconds.

Aloe vera. If you find your gums feel a bit irritated, rub some aloe vera on the area to soothe them.

Massage. A quick, gentle massage to your gums will also help when in a pinch.

Over-the-counter pain relievers. Everyone has some type of headache relief available. If you find your gums are beginning to give you headaches, try taking some ibuprofen.

Denture adhesive. Loose dentures will begin to move and disturb other areas of your teeth. Try using a denture adhesive to help them stay in place.

One final tip as you adjust to your new smile: taking out your dentures at night will help alleviate some of the pain you experience. But if you think your dentures aren’t the right fit, contact your dentist as soon as possible for an adjustment.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Sleep Apnea Will Ruin Your Sleep | Indianapolis Dentist

Getting a good night’s sleep is very important to all of us. Not only does it refresh our outlook on the day ahead, but it’s also our bodies time to heal itself in order to be able to handle another day. And while it’s common to have a bad night every so often, there are some that have a difficult time to get that well-needed sleep. The interesting thing is, we generally don’t realize we have a sleep issue – we just feel sleepy the next morning. It’s our significant others that notice our sleep issues because they’re likely affected by your sleep patterns. If you find that this is becoming more of an issue in your life, it’s time to make a dental appointment because you may have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where you have one or more pauses when breathing or shallow breaths while you’re asleep. The pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur thirty times or more an hour. While this occurs, your diaphragm and chest muscles are working hard to try to open your obstructed airway and pull oxygen into your lungs. Sleep apnea can be dangerous due to the decrease in oxygen flow to your vital organs and can cause irregular heart rhythms.

In order to properly diagnosed sleep apnea, your doctors will have to perform a physical exam and take your medical and sleep history. Here are a few of the signs of sleep apnea to look out for:

  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Trouble keeping focused
  • Feeling depressed, irritable or having mood swings
  • Waking up frequently to go to the restroom
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Brighten Your Smile at Home | Indianapolis Dentist

teeth whitening

The more brilliant your teeth, the better your smile looks. The problem with white teeth really lies in the degree you take your oral hygiene. You can brush & floss every day, but your teeth may not keep its natural sheen. Teeth whitening sessions, but that can get pricey. Over-the-counter versions is another route, but what if there was a way to do it without going the chemical route? Here are six easy ways to DIY your smile back to the pearly white scene you’re used to:

First, there is old reliable – hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Just drop a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into a little bit of baking soda makes a paste. Apply it as you would regular toothpaste.

These next couple take natural to a whole new level – fruit. Grab a couple strawberries, add about a teaspoon of baking soda & rub the paste on your teeth for 5-7 minutes. Or peel a ripe banana and rub a piece along the inside of your teeth for two minutes.

If you have some apple cider vinegar in your pantry, dilute it with some water (3 parts water, 1 part vinegar) and mix it with an all-natural toothpaste, you’ve made yourself a pretty efficient tooth whitening solution. If you have coconut oil, swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes.

Lastly, there’s activated charcoal. The porous nature of the charcoal turns out that it can also be fantastic at binding to bacteria before it can leave stains on teeth. Mix with a little bit of water, gently apply it to your teeth, leave to set in your mouth for two minutes, then rinse.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Remedies to a Dental Abscess | Indianapolis Dentist

Dental issues can be some of the most painful we can get, especially when you can’t get a dental appointment. The aching, throbbing pain that can develop from a dental abscess is a dental emergency that cannot be overlooked. Treatment for an abscessed tooth focuses on clearing up the infection and relieving pain. But how is it treated? Depending on your particular case, treatment options include:

Draining the abscess. Your dentist will make a small cut in the abscess to drain the pus. They’ll follow up by cleaning the area with a saline solution.

A root canal procedure. A root canal involves drilling into the affected tooth to drain the abscess and remove any infected pulp. Next, your dentist will fill and seal the pulp chamber, which holds pulp, and the root canal.

Tooth extraction. If your tooth is too damaged, your dentist might remove it before draining the abscess. Your dentist may pull the tooth if it can’t be saved and then drain the abscess.

Antibiotics. If the infection has spread beyond the abscessed area or you have a weakened immune system, your dentist might prescribe oral antibiotics to help clear the infection.

Removal of foreign object. If your abscess is caused by a foreign object in your gums, your dentist will remove it. They’ll finish up by cleaning the area with a saline solution.

Because tooth pain can happen out of the blue, you may not be able to get in to see your dental professional right away. Don’t worry – take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to help with the pain. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water may also help until you can get into the dental chair.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

How Does a Patient Know What Will Look Good in Cosmetic Dentistry? | Indianapolis Dentist

For a patient, it is a big decision to have cosmetic dentistry done to enhance his or her smile. It can take years off the face, increase confidence and improve the overall oral health of the patient. But it is not inexpensive. How does a patient decide to move forward? It can be very risky to believe that the dentist has the same taste in what the patient think looks good. We all have preferences, and maybe there are some ideas that the patient doesn’t have words to describe. What if the patient has a photograph of a smile from a magazine that she likes and she wants that look for her smile? Clinical parameters might dictate certain aspects of the restorations that don’t allow for the design that the patient has in mind. So many things can be difficult to communicate in dentistry, because the patient doesn’t have the dental knowledge or vocabulary to rely on. And before/after pictures of other people don’t do much for the patient’s imagination because it is another person’s face!

Here’s an idea!  Why not use cosmetic imaging with Envision A Smile? By taking photographs of the patient’s face, smile and side view, the new smile can be designed with all things considered: the clinical parameters, the patients desires, and the practitioners desires. Voila! Now, the patient can relax because she knows that the dentist knows and understands what she likes.  The approximate shade of the teeth can be shown in different levels of brightness and small changes like the shape of the incisal (biting) edge of the front teeth. And the patient can go home with photos of the proposed treatment.  THIS is how a patient can decide if cosmetic dentistry is for them! Now it is only down to the cost of treatment and with the photos in hand, she already knows she wants it.

Envision A Smile helps the patient and the dentist because communication is everything, and pictures are worth a thousand words. Once the treatment is accepted by the patient, the dentist takes molds to send to the laboratory along with Envision A Smile’s imaged views so the lab can follow the design. Although it would be impossible for the final outcome to be ‘exactly the same as the imaged views’ (because the photos are only 2 dimensional) the outcome will be very much the same as the imaged views.

Envision A Smile offers a cosmetic imaging software or a service for imaging.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Why Are You Leaving Your Baby Tooth Under Your Pillow? | Indianapolis Dentist

One of the first rites of passage as a child is losing your first tooth. Not only is it fun to wiggle it around, but tiny humans missing a tooth are officially turning into big kids. The bonus is learning that you tuck it under your pillow for a special surprise from the Tooth Fairy.

But where did this tiny dental nymph come from? Some believe that the story begins with a fairy living under a tree’s roots near a riverbank. One of her favorite things to do was to collect the little objects people lost that washed up on the shore. These tiny treasures were not only toys, but she could also feel the memories associated with it.

The one treasure she always wanted but never washed ashore was a child’s tooth. To her, there was nothing happier than a child about to lose their first tooth and she wanted one very badly.

One day, a little girl found our little fairy while playing with her friends. When the fairy noticed she had a loose tooth, she asked if she could have it. The little girl said yes and that she would put it under her pillow as soon as it fell out.

The fairy couldn’t wait for the little girl’s gift, but then she thought, “Oh, no! She’s going to give me her tooth. I need a gift in return!” So, she rummages through her trinkets and finds a coin.

The next morning, the little girl wakes up and finds the coin gift left by the little fairy, so she tells her friends at school to try it and thus, the Tooth Fairy was created. Happy National Tooth Fairy Day!

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

When Eating Healthy Goes Rogue | Indianapolis Dentist

As we approach our brand-new year, we gear up for loads of life improvements, and many of them focus on our health. But finding the right diet to fit our lifestyle is a tough quest. Not all diets are alike and it’s important to find the right one in order to be effective and keep us on pace to achieving our new year’s goals. But what if your diet is giving you side effects? To be specific, what if your diet was giving you bad breath?

By eliminating all sugar and most carbs, and eating foods high in fat and protein, your body becomes a fat-burning machine. However, by getting your energy from fat and protein rather than carbs, one of the common byproducts is intolerable breath. But why?

The popular ketogenic diet, and most other low carb eating plans all rely on getting your daily calories mostly from fat and protein, and very little from carbohydrates. If you keep your carb intake to less than 30 grams per day, your body eventually enters a metabolic state of ketosis. Instead of breaking down carbohydrates to create glucose for energy, your body instead breaks down stored fat, which release ketones in the body. They are also released in your breath, creating a distinct odor that some keto enthusiasts describe as rotten fruit, or even metallic. 

Unfortunately, that also means ketosis breath can’t be extinguished with the typical handful of mints and swig of mouthwash. Natural remedies to try are drinking extra water, or chewing on fresh mint leaves, cloves, or fennel seeds, or grab a sugar-free gum made with xylitol.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Tooth Extractions | Indianapolis Dentist

There’s a classic idiom in the English language that compares unpleasant, difficult tasks to pulling teeth. Known as dental extraction, pulling teeth is recommended in situations in which you’ve likely developed a toothache and it hurt enough to visit the dentist. And while it isn’t our idea of a fun day, dental extractions have come a long way, and you shouldn’t have a bad feeling about getting one. Here are some of the reasons your tooth needs to be extracted:

  • Seriously damaged teeth, either due to injury or decay, unable to be saved
  • A wisdom tooth (third molar) that may cause crowding, alignment problems, pain, or infection
  • Teeth blocking another tooth from coming in
  • Baby tooth that didn’t fall out in time
  • Crowded teeth may require removal to allow braces to better adjust the remaining teeth
  • Infected teeth that could potentially be an infection source in high-risk patients such as those undergoing organ transplants or cancer treatment

Extractions typically fall into one of two classes – simple and surgical. Dentists often perform simple extractions, which generally involve a single tooth that is visible in the mouth, with clear alignment – after numbing the area with local anesthetic, the tooth will be loosened using an instrument known as an elevator, and then pulled with an instrument known as forceps. For surgical removal, the surgeon may use local anesthetic, moderate sedation, or general anesthesia, and likely use a combination of tools and techniques to remove teeth that may be difficult to see (or still within the gums).

If your dentist recommends an extraction, it’s likely that you have a potentially serious problem. While it’s unlikely you’ll celebrate the news, you need not fear – there are worse problems to have than pulling teeth.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Halloween Sweets that Are Harming Your Smile | Indianapolis Dentist

As parents, we want to give our children the world, even if that means we have to play ‘bad cop’ once in a while. Halloween is the brink of the holiday season, a season that is filled with delicious treats everywhere we look. And that’s bad news for our smiles if we aren’t careful. The following is a list of a few culprits – the more you avoid them, the better off your smile will be. We aren’t saying don’t celebrate the season, just do it in moderation to avoid issues in the future:

Skittles. Skittles may want you to taste rainbows, but they are also letting you ruin your teeth’s enamel by combining sweet and sour for a pH level of 2.5, levels so high they can cause serious damage to your little one’s teeth. 

Caramel. Not only does the sticky texture stick to your teeth’s surface and loves to get deep into the crevices, but it can also loosen dental fixtures, like braces or fillings, making it especially harmful for those with dental work. 

Gummy Bears. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, the gelatin used to make the gummy candy gummy, also sticks to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove.

Jolly Ranchers. Not only are they a hard candy that can damage teeth when bitten but sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process, and the sugar wastes no time working their way into a tooth.

Halloween is an exciting holiday for the little humans. It is important to impart good habits early, while still allowing the fun to continue. The best way to do that is to make it a family affair. Happy Halloween!

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

All Is Not Lost if You Lose a Tooth | Indianapolis Dentist

For most of us, losing a tooth can be a nerve-wracking experience. Not only do you have every reason to panic because you were likely in an accident of some sort, but there is no need to fret if you think your smile is doomed. Because hockey players may consider a lost tooth a badge of honor, but it is possible to re-implant a knocked-out adult tooth. A severed root experiences damage to blood vessels and tissue, but the ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone can be re-formed. The key to a successful reimplantation is how the missing tooth is stored and for how long.

Assuming you can find the tooth, avoid scraping off any dirt particles, as you risk damaging the root further. Instead, rinse it gently with a saline solution while carefully handling it by the crown. If possible, place the tooth back in its original socket, or store it in a small container with saline or milk. Milk – containing proteins, sugar, and antibacterial substances—provides the ideal environment for a lost tooth. As an added bonus, the sugars in milk help feed cells, which need to remain alive and growing in the short term.

Don’t have access to any of the above? Don’t panic. Your cheek will work well for storage in the interim; just be careful not to swallow your precious cargo.

Placing pressure on the gums will also help to reduce the bleeding and pain as you are en route to the dentist. Depending on the damage, a successful reimplanted tooth can heal significantly in three to four weeks and become fully repaired within two months.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.