Smoking and oral health: how tobacco use can impact your smile

Women smokingIf you smoke cigarettes or chew chewing tobacco, you know the ways in which this bad habit can impact both your health and oral health. Quitting tobacco use is always a great way to bring the body back to health and improve your overall quality of life. But how exactly does tobacco use impact your oral health? Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM is here to help you understand the many ways in which these habits can impact you.

How does tobacco use impact your smile?

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth and gums. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you may notice that your teeth and gums are stained yellow or brown. This may be improved with brushing or teeth whitening but will continue to be a problem as long as you are using tobacco.
  • Tobacco smoke can cause bad breath. The smoke from tobacco can also cause bad breath, which can impact interpersonal relationships. While chewing gum can help temporarily, quitting is the best way to avoid halitosis associated with tobacco use.
  • Tobacco use can increase the risk of developing gum disease and mouth cancer. Oral cancers are just as dangerous at other types of cancers. Patients who smoke tobacco may also be increasing their chances of developing cancer in other areas of the body such as the throat or lungs.
  • Tobacco use can also lead to tooth loss. Because tobacco can irritate the gums, it can contribute to the development of gum disease. Untreated, periodontal disease can cause the bone of the mouth to shrink, in turn loosening teeth and putting a patient at substantial risk of tooth loss.

Quitting tobacco use can improve your oral health and overall health, while also saving you money! Patients who are using tobacco and want to quit can ask Dr. Steven E. Holbrook about the best solutions to leading a healthier lifestyle. If you are located in the Albuquerque, NM area and want to learn more about how tobacco use is impacting your smile, call the office today at 505-881-1159 to request an appointment at our office. We provide comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative solutions for both new and returning patients.

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Should I use mouthwash as part of my oral hygiene routine?

Closeup of mid adult man pouring bottle of mouthwash into capMouthwash has long been a staple in oral hygiene routines, but there are still many people who aren’t sure whether mouthwash is necessary or not. Dr. Steven Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM is a professional who can work with patients and discuss the benefits of mouthwash. There are different mouthwashes that can be used to target specific oral health concerns, including bad breath, periodontal disease, or sensitive teeth. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to your dental health needs, mouthwash may be the answer!

What can mouthwashes be used to treat?

There are a variety of mouthwashes on the market that can be used to address different oral health concerns. Some mouthwashes are designed to help fight bad breath, while others are meant to combat gum disease or sensitivity. If you’re not sure which mouthwash is right for you, consult Dr. Steven Holbrook for advice.

How do I use mouthwash?

Mouthwash should be used after brushing and flossing your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water first, then pour a small amount of mouthwash into your mouth and swish it around for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Be sure to read the instructions on the bottle carefully, as some mouthwashes require you to hold them in your mouth for a specific period of time. Some require rinsing with water after while others do not.

What conditions can mouthwash be used to treat?

There are many reasons why Dr, Steven Holbrook may recommend integrating mouthwash into a patient’s dental health routine. Some of the conditions below can be addressed with the addition of mouthwash:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum disease
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Halitosis
  • Oral thrush
  • Tooth decay

How do I learn more about integrating mouthwash into my oral health habits?

If you are looking for an all-in-one solution to your dental health needs, the addition of mouthwash may be the answer! Consult Dr. Steven Holbrook for advice on which mouthwash is right for you. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C, and new and returning patients can call (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation visit with our team.

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Bone grafting to prepare for dental implants

Dentist check-up teeth X-ray film with innovation technology.Patients who need to reconstruct their smile due to damage from periodontal disease and tooth decay may feel overwhelmed at the choices that are available to them. This includes tooth replacement options like partial dentures, full dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. There are many options available for those who are in need of smile reconstruction, and Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM is here to assist patients in making a knowledgeable decision regarding their care. One popular option for patients missing a single tooth is that of the dental implant, which provides long-term improvement of the smile’s appearance and functionality. However, not everyone is a proper candidate for this unique tooth replacement option. Learn more about the dental implant and how to prepare for placement!

What are dental implants?

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook describes the dental implant as a titanium metal restoration that is used to act as a tooth root replacement. The restoration is placed during oral surgery into the bone of the jaw. The portion above the gumline, called the abutment, is the foundation for a dental restoration. This may include a dental crown, a dental bridge, or a full denture, depending on how many teeth a patient is replacing.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

It is vital that a dentist evaluates a patient to determine if they are a good fit for dental implants. Implants require sufficient bone to ensure successful placement, so x-rays are taken to evaluate the jawbone and its current state. If patients are serious about having dental implants but are not good candidates due to the lack of bone, bone grafting procedures may be done to build up the jaw and make it proper for the placement of an implant in the future.

Bring back the beauty and function of your natural smile with dental implants

Albuquerque, NM patients who are in need of replacing missing teeth can ask Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team about the benefits of using dental implants to do so. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and can be reached by calling (505) 881-1159. With over 30 years of experience, patients can rest easy knowing they are working with a quality provider that offers comprehensive dental care for new and existing patients and families.

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Obtaining emergency care during a pandemic

Woman in dental clinic this CovidMany patients are well aware of times when they need emergency dental care. Whether they are dealing with a significant toothache or have experienced damage to their teeth, they know that a visit to the dentist is incredibly important. During the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, many patients lived with problems before they felt comfortable making an appointment with their dentist for care. However, dental services continue to be provided regardless of the pandemic status of the COVID-19 illness. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook is here to assist individuals when they need care even when COVID-19 continues to surge throughout the United States and other countries of the world.

Is it safe to visit the dentist during a pandemic?

Dental offices have always had extremely high standards of care and cleanliness, and during the pandemic, we further increased the steps we take to ensure everyone is healthy and the spread of COVID-19 is reduced. We sanitize all of our instruments and tools between patients, and also wipe down and clean all surfaces that have been used by the patient or staff. We also screen patients who arrive at our office with temperature checks and questions regarding their recent exposure to other individuals who may have COVID-19. Patients can then undergo an evaluation and have their dental emergency addressed with our experienced, skilled team of professionals.

What are some examples of dental emergencies that require immediate attention?

  • Broken or chipped tooth
  • Loose or lost restorations, including dental bridges, dental crowns, and fillings
  • Signs of an infection
  • Signs of an abscess
  • Significant trauma/injury to the soft tissues
  • Knocked out teeth

Schedule an appointment with our team today if you are experiencing a dental emergency

Dental emergencies require immediate care, even during a pandemic and endemic. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM provide emergency dental care, even for patients who have never visited his practice before. If you are in need of care, do not wait! Contact our practice today by calling (505) 881-1159 and visit with our dentist who has over three decades of experience in providing general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dental care for new and returning patients.

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What to do about sore gums

Woman with gum inflammation, closeupIf you are dealing with red, inflamed, and sore gums, you may be dealing with discomfort. These are often the early signs of a condition called gingivitis, which is an infection that can become a more serious problem if untreated and it progresses to periodontitis. For some, it may be just be caused by irritation from dentures or changes in hormone levels. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM encourage you to speak to a dentist about the cause of the problem, then consider at-home care. Below are just a few things to consider when it comes to managing sore gums.

  • Use the right toothbrush. For some patients, hard-bristled brushes or aggressive brushing can lead to red and swollen gums. By using the right tools, patients can not only keep their teeth clean but reduce inflammation.
  • Rinse with salt water. Soft tissue injuries and swollen gums may benefit from a salt water rinse in the mouth. It can sooth inflammation and also wash away bacteria and plaque.
  • Use a mouthwash. It can be beneficial to integrate the use of a mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine each day. Those with ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide can ease inflammation while also fighting off bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease.
  • Use over-the-counter medications. Swollen gums that are painful may also benefit from the use of over-the-counter pain medications to provide comfort. These should be used as needed per the directions, and can be combine with any of the above solutions. Acetaminophen works best for pain while ibuprofen is beneficial for fighting inflammation. There are also special gels that can be used on the gums to numb them and ease discomfort too, and these are often found at the local pharmacy.

Call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today

Albuquerque, NM area patients dealing with sore or inflamed gums will want to speak to their dentist about their needs. Call (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation appointment with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook, a dentist with over three decades of dental experience. The office is located in Suite C at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE and accepts new patients and families.

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Why should I invest in a tongue cleaner?

A Woman Looking In Mirror Cleaning Her TongueWhile all of us know that brushing and flossing each day is the best way to achieve and maintain good oral health and wellness, there are other steps that can be integrated into one’s daily routine that can also help improve the smile. One condition that affects many patients is that of halitosis, or bad breath. Halitosis is often caused by poor oral hygiene or the presence of bad bacteria in the mouth. With the right tools and products, many patients can not only improve their oral health and address the source of the problem. One instrument that patients can use to further protect their smile from bad breath is a tongue scraper or tongue cleaner. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM can advise patients if this would be a great tool to integrate into their daily routine.

How does a tongue cleaner work?

It is no surprise that the mouth is full of bacteria. There is good bacteria and bad bacteria. Bad bacteria feeds off of sugars and acids in the mouth to multiply and grow. This increase in bad bacteria can cause sticky film to form on the teeth called plaque. Plaque is the first step towards the development of tooth decay and periodontal disease. This is why patients need to brush and floss each day, but many forget that the tongue is one of the places with the most bacteria. If you do not keep your tongue clean, you are not effectively removing bacteria that can impact your oral health. In turn, it can also contribute to halitosis. This device is easily used to clean and scrape excess saliva off of the tongue, removing what is called the “toxic mucus.” Not only will cleaning the tongue remove bad bacteria from the surface, but it also unlocks the taste buds and can make your food taste better! Cleaning the tongue with this device is another great step in a quality oral hygiene plan.

Learn more about the tools to achieve and maintain oral health and wellness

If you reside in the area of Albuquerque, NM and are ready to speak to a provider about your options when it comes to keeping the smile clean and healthy, contact Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his providers offers over three decades of experience to assist! The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C. Call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment at our facility to receive comprehensive dental care.

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Why do I need a dental crown?

handsome young man in eyeglasses looking at camera and smilingA common general dentistry solution for the smile is that of dental crowns. Dental crowns are used in a variety of situations to provide protection, strength, and beauty. Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM work routinely with patients to determine if they are a good candidate for crowns. Many patients might have questions about when a crown should be placed to restore the smile.

Why do I need a dental crown?

Below are a few common reasons why a patient might need a dental crown:

  • Root canal therapy. If a patient has had root canal therapy, or endodontic therapy, their tooth is significantly compromised and can become weak and brittle. Because of this, the placement of a dental crown is often necessary to protect the tooth from damage. The crown is placed over the treated tooth.
  • Damaged tooth. A tooth that has been damaged from chewing on something hard or clenching the teeth may have a crack that leaves it susceptible to problems such as infection or decay. Covering this tooth with a porcelain dental crown is a great way to keep the tooth from further breakage.
  • Large fillings. If a tooth has had a large cavity, a large filling can compromise the tooth’s structure. To protect the tooth from becoming damaged further, the placement of a dental crown can be beneficial.
  • Permanent staining. A tooth that is permanently stained may impact the appearance of the smile, and a crown is one way to provide coverage with a natural-looking restoration.

What are dental crowns made of?

At the practice of Dr. Steven Holbrook, dental crowns are created from porcelain to look just like natural teeth. The porcelain used is made to match the patient’s existing teeth for seamless integration.

How do I learn more?

Albuquerque, NM area patients who are curious about dental crowns and other restorations that might be used to repair or restore a tooth will want to work with Dr. Steven Holbrook. His office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and accepts new and returning patients who call (505) 881-1159 for an appointment.

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Whitening options: in-office versus at-home

Smiling young woman on white backgroundIf you’ve wandered down the oral health aisle at your local drugstore, you may be familiar with the many at-home whitening kits and products available to you. While affordable, many patients who try these strips, trays, and toothpastes fail to see the results they truly desire. Instead, we encourage patients to learn more about professional whitening options that are monitored and provided by a dentist with years of experience. Many patients find our professional-strength products and services to be far more successful at brightening the smile than anything available over-the-counter.

Why patients choose at-home whitening with OTC products

Over-the-0coutner whitening products may seem like a smart choice as they are often inexpensive and affordable for most patients. Unfortunately, the failure to achieve results make them just one of many ways to throw away hard-earned money! Patients often complain about not seeing noticeable results, or even deal with tooth sensitivity and discomfort after use. Instead, patients should turn to a dental professional to learn more about in-office whitening products and professional-strength whitening products for home use to safely and effectively achieve the results they want to see. Dr. Steven Holbrook sees many patients who arrive at his practice and are disappointed in the results—if any—achieved with over-the-counter treatments. Patients will find that even though professional whitening is more expensive, it is worth the money to achieve the desired results in a shorter period of time. In fact, we offer same-day whitening treatment that can brighten the teeth up to eight shades whiter in a single visit!

What in-office methods of whitening are available with Dr. Steven Holbrook?

Our practice is pleased to offer three methods of professional whitening, including:

  • Home teeth whitening
  • Power teeth whitening
  • Deep teeth whitening

These are far more effective than anything available over-the-counter at the local drugstore and should be considered over these treatments for reliable and safe results.

Schedule time to speak to Dr. Steven Holbrook about your cosmetic dental needs

Are you located in the Albuquerque, NM area and are considering the benefits of professional teeth whitening? Now is a great time to speak to our team regarding your desires for a more beautiful smile! Call the office at (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment at the office, located in Suite C at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE.

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Using porcelain veneers for smile enhancement

Portrait of serene mature woman in gardenDr. Steven E. Holbrook is a dentist of the Albuquerque, NM area who is here to help patients with comprehensive dental care in his office. Patients who are seeking cosmetic work can also rely on his for solutions to improve the appearance of the smile. This includes the fabrication and placement of porcelain veneers.

Understanding porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers are one of many cosmetic solutions available for patients in and around the community. They are best used on the teeth near the front of the smile. The veneer itself is a very thin piece of ceramic. It is custom-made to match the patient’s remaining teeth and bonded over a tooth that needs a cosmetic enhancement.

What are porcelain veneers used for?

There are several situations when a patient might consider the placement of a porcelain veneer. They are used to cover:

  • Permanently stained teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Chipped/cracked/broken teeth
  • Unusually shaped teeth
  • Misaligned/crooked teeth

How do I prepare for a porcelain veneer?

First, patients will need to work with their dentist to determine if they are a good candidate for the porcelain veneer. This requires an evaluation with our team to determine if the smile is in good health and the condition the patient wants to addressed can be improved with a porcelain veneer. Preparations of the tooth are required, during which the dentist will remove a thin portion of natural tooth enamel from the front portion of the tooth and files it down so it is roughened. This helps the new veneer adhere properly. Impressions are completed and sent to a dental laboratory to create the final restoration that is bonded in place once it returns to the office.

How long do porcelain veneers last?

Many patients love porcelain veneers other alternative treatments such as dental bonding as veneers can last several years with proper care and attention.

Learn more about porcelain veneers

Albuquerque, NM area patients who are interested in learning more about porcelain veneers and want to find out if they are a good candidate can book a consultation with our dentist with over three decades of experience in patient care! Call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.

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What is root canal therapy

Positive Man Gesturing Ok SignIf you have been to the dentist and they recommended root canal therapy, there is no reason to fear! While many think of a painful treatment when they hear the words “root canal,” this is not the case at all. Dr. Steven Holbrook is here to dispel the myth that causes fear in patients who may need root canal therapy.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure that is performed by a dentist to save a tooth from extraction. The root canals are actually the canals within the teeth that go down to the root of the tooth, hence the name. Inside of the canals are a mass of tissues called the dental pulp. If a tooth has a large cavity, area of decay, or trauma that reaches the dental pulp and causes an infection, it needs to be removed. The dentist creates a small hold in the tooth to remove the dental pulp and then fill and seal it with special materials. Because the removal of the dental pulp can cause a tooth to become brittle and susceptible to damage, the dentist may also recommend the fabrication and placement of a dental crown over the top. The entire process is performed with the patient properly sedated and anesthetized to ensure comfort from start to finish!

Why might I need root canal therapy?

There a few situations that may arise in which a patient may be told that root canal therapy is necessary. These include:

  • An abscess on the tooth
  • An infection that has reached the dental pulp
  • A large cavity that has caused significant tooth damage
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth

What alternative treatments are available?

The only alternative solution for a tooth that could benefit from root canal therapy is extraction. This is avoided if at all possible, which is when root canal therapy may be attempted to save the tooth from removal and replacement.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Steven Holbrook today!

If you reside in the area of Albuquerque, NM and want to work with a professional who offers comprehensive dental care, including root canal therapy, connect with Dr. Steven Holbrook’s front office team to book an appointment. Call (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation visit at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.

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