Why does my tooth hurt?

Are you experiencing pain in your mouth? Does this pain radiate from a tooth in your smile? If so, you may be curious about the need for dental care. Aching, sore, and painful teeth are often an indication of problems such as tooth decay or infection. Find out what factors can lead to tooth pain and how the team of Comprehensive Dental Care can help!


Patients who have persistent grinding of the teeth, known as bruxism, are often at risk of damaging their natural tooth enamel and any dental restorations that are in place. This grinding and clenching can wear down natural tooth enamel or damage the teeth with cracks or chips. This pressure on the teeth can be detrimental to ones oral health and wellness. Patients may want to speak to their dentist about mouth guards to protect the smile from bruxism and reduce the chances of tooth pain.

Tooth decay

One common cause of toothaches is an undiagnosed and untreated area of tooth decay. Also known as cavities, these areas can become deep and result in the development of a toothache. Fillings are the best method of treatment for areas of decay and can often improve discomfort. Our practice offers tooth-colored fillings, which blend into the smile and are difficult for others to notice.


Sometimes, tooth decay can become so deep that it reaches the inner canals of the tooth where the dental pulp resides. Dental pulp is a mass of tissues that keeps the blood supply to the tooth and houses the nerves which can send signals of pain. When the dental pulp is infected, treatment such as root canal therapy may be advised to save the natural tooth structure while addressing the infection. Patients may also be prescribed antibiotics to further treat the infection and keep it from spreading elsewhere in the mouth.

Do you have questions about mouth pain?

Our team at Comprehensive Dental Care of Albuquerque, NM wants to assist patients in avoiding toothaches and other problems that can impact the smile. To find out more, schedule a consultation by calling our practice today at (505) 881-1159.

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3 Things You May Be Doing That Cause Enamel Erosion

Having a strong body is good and all, but here at our office, we encourage all of our patients to get stronger teeth. One way to get a stronger, healthier smile is to ensure that your tooth’s enamel is in good shape. Let’s go over a few things that you may be doing every day that may be weakening your enamel without you even knowing about it.

Drinking Coffee

Coffee may be the only thing that can get you out of bed in the morning and for a good reason, but drinking too much coffee is bad for your teeth. Coffee is high in acidity, which makes it the perfect tool to erode the enamel on your teeth. Try either cutting back on your coffee or brushing your teeth right after you have your morning cup of jo; the less time that coffee sits on your teeth for, the better.

Eating Starches

Starches are one of those types of foods that give you comfort; especially after a long day at work. Whether you prefer starchy foods in the form of mashed potatoes or pasta, they aren’t doing your teeth any favors. Why? Because starch turns into sugar, which in turn can weaken your teeth’s enamel and cause extreme tooth decay.

Not Drinking Enough Water

If you get fatigued easily, get a lot of headaches, or tend to feel light-headed, it may be because you aren’t drinking enough water. On average, you should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce cups of water every day. Not only will drinking more water help you to feel better overall, but it will also help to speed up your salivary glands, which naturally keep your teeth clean. Try getting into a better habit of drinking more water and your entire body will thank you.

Do you want to learn a little bit more about how you can get a healthier smile? Contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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5 Benefits of Dental Bridges

When it comes to choosing an oral prosthesis for your mouth, we want you to feel 100 percent confident in your decision. One of the most popular dental prostheses out there is a dental bridge. Dental bridges work by literally bridging the gaps between your teeth. Let’s take a closer look at five benefits of this treatment.

Helps You Maintain Your Face Shape

You may not realize it, but if you have one or more missing teeth, it can lead to issues like bone and jaw deterioration. And although other treatment solutions like dentures are great at restoring your mile, they may change your face shape. With a dental bridge, you won’t have to worry about your face shape changing at all; in fact, it will just restore it.

Looks Natural

A dental bridge is either attached to a dental implant or your natural tooth. The good news is that the crowns we use will always be matched to your existing teeth to ensure they look seamless and natural.

Restores Your Smile

Smiling and having one or more missing teeth isn’t exactly going to make you look professional. When you get a dental bridge, it will restore your smile so that you can feel confident in your appearance again.

It’s Fast

Another great thing about dental bridges is that they can be a fairly fast procedure depending on whether or not you need a dental implant. If you don’t need one, we can do the procedure quickly. If, however, a dental implant is required, the process may take several months to complete.

Restore Your Ability to Chew

If your favorite food has suddenly become impossible to chew and enjoy, then you will be excited to learn that dental bridges can help restore your mouth’s ability to eat which is an ultimate plus in our books.

The list of the benefits of dental implants goes on and on. If you want to learn more about them, contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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How to Avoid Gum Erosion

Periodontal Disease Albuquerque, NMHaving a naturally gummy smile is one thing, but having receding gums is something else. Receding gums happen when your gums pull away from your teeth, which can cause the tissues to become exposed. When your tissues are exposed, it not only doesn’t look appealing, but it can lead to a host of problems like bacterial infections. Luckily, there are a few basic things that you can do to avoid getting it.

Don’t Brush too Hard

There is such a thing as brushing too hard when you are brushing your teeth. Although you want to get all of the plaque and tartar off of your teeth, brushing too hard can erode the gum tissue, which can eventually lead to receding gums. One of the best things that you can do before you brush along the gumline is wet your soft-bristled toothbrush with hot water which will soften your bristles even more.

Get Regular Cleanings

Another excellent way for you to avoid getting gum erosion or gum disease is to get regular and frequent dental cleanings. During each one of your cleanings, Dr. Holbrook won’t just clean your teeth, but he will clean along the gum line to get rid of any harmful plaque or tartar build-up. Also, if he notices any premature signs of gum erosion, he may recommend a treatment called gum scaling. Gum scaling is a comprehensive cleaning along the gum line to get rid of tartar.

Don’t Use Tobacco

Chewing tobacco, in particular, can lead to extreme gum erosion and gum disease. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of developing a variety of different things, including gum erosion.

Are you ready to learn a little bit more about how you can take better care of your teeth and gums? If so, schedule an appointment with us at our Albuquerque office and call us at  (505) 881-1159.

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Back to School Oral Health Tips for Your Kids

Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to get your kids ready for another long school year. In addition to getting new backpacks, pencil boxes, and clothes, there are a few other things that you can prepare your kids with like some oral health tips. To make sure that your kids start the year off without cavities and end it in the same way, let’s go over a few tips to give them.

Get a Dental Exam Before School

Once school starts, things can turn from busy into hectic in a matter of seconds. In between carpools and soccer practice, it can be hard even to fit their homework in, let alone a dentist appointment. Before their school year starts, schedule a dental cleaning at our office to get it out of the way before all of the hustle.

Get them gum

In an ideal world, kids would brush their teeth after every meal (even lunch), but the last thing any kid wants to do is clean their teeth at school in front of all of their friends. Although sugar-free gum can’t replace regular toothbrushing, it is a good alternative for your kids. Chewing gum is proven to help speed up your salivary glands, which are a natural way for you to get rid of plaque, bacteria, and tartar on your teeth.

Get them a water bottle

The more water your kids drink, the better they will feel overall, and the same can be said for their oral health. Similar to chewing gum, water also speeds up your mouth’s salivary glands which is a plus. Plus, water will naturally rinse your child’s teeth as they drink it, which makes it ideal for drinking after snacks and lunch.

The tricky thing about parenting school-aged kids is that you can’t keep tabs on their every move, but you can help give them the tools they need to be happy and successful. Before school starts, keep these things in mind to ensure that our little ones keep their mouths as healthy as ever. To learn a little bit more, contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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How to Avoid Broken Dentures

It’s not uncommon that we have some denture patients come into our office because they dropped and cracked their dentures.  To help you avoid being that person, we have a few ways for you to take better care of your dentures and avoid dropping them anytime soon.

Put them in a Case

When you’re not soaking your dentures in a cleaning solution or wearing them, don’t just set them on your counter or bedside table; they could fall off and crack, or they could fall off, and someone could step on them. Make sure that you get into the habit of putting your dentures inside of a plastic case every time you take them out; that way you now that they are safe.

Use Both Hands When Taking them Out

You may be able to do a lot of things with just one hand but taking out and putting your dentures back in doesn’t have to be one of them. In fact, it’s something that we don’t recommend. When you use both hands when you’re holding onto your dentures, you have more control over them and are less likely to drop them.

Don’t Be Distracted

It can be hard not to be distracted sometimes; especially as we age. When you are cleaning, putting your dentures back in, or taking them out, try not to be distracted. If you have someone who is testing you or trying to call you, call them back after you’re done handling your dentures; trust us, it will be a lot cheaper to just call them back than accidentally dropping your dentures.

If you’re careful, dentures can last a really long time. Keep these tips in mind to avoid dropping and breaking your dentures. To learn more, contact our  Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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Abscessed Tooth? What to Know About It

Cleanings & PreventionCavities are one of the most common oral problems that patients run into. Caused by bacteria and germs that sit on the tooth for too long, cavities cause holes in the tooth, which can lead to a variety of problems like an infection or pain. Often, a cavity is mistaken for an abscessed tooth when an abscessed tooth may be the result of a cavity.  So, what is an abscessed tooth?

What’s an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscessed tooth is when the tooth itself or the gums around it get infected. There are two types of abscesses that we commonly see patients for:

  • Periapical Abscess: A periapical abscess occurs when a cavity goes untreated and then it causes infection at the tip of the root.
  • Periodontal Abscess: A periodontal abscess occurs within the gums on either side of the tooth’s root.

How Is It Treated?

If we can, we will try to save the tooth and perform a root canal. During a root canal, we will clean out the bacteria and infection from the inside of the tooth and take out the root. Then, we will seal it off so that no more bacteria can enter into it.

In some instances, if we cannot perform a root canal, we will have to remove the tooth and then replace it with a dental implant.

What are the symptoms?

Having pain in your mouth is never a good thing; especially if it’s persistent. One of the reasons why patients mistake a cavity for an abscess due to the constant pain. Other signs of an abscessed tooth include:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling
  • Pressure when chewing or biting
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes
  • A sudden foul smelling or tasting fluid in the mouth if the abscess ruptures
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fever

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could mean that you have a cavity or it could mean that you have an abscess. The best thing that you can do is come into our office, get an exam, have some x-rays done, and then get a proper diagnosis. To learn more about tooth abscesses, contact our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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How to Tell if You Need a New Filling

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, that’s true when it comes to your dental fillings. Although your filling may have saved your tooth during a cavity, the average composite filling only lasts 10 to 15 years, but sometimes it can last a lot longer. If you have had a filling for at least that long, you may be wondering when on earth you should have it replaced? Let’s go over a few signs.

Food Gets Stuck In One Spot

Does it seem like every time you eat a meal that you’re always picking food out of one part of your mouth? When a filling falls out, it opens back up that hole in your tooth which make sit easy for food to get trapped inside of it. Until you get your filling redone, try rinsing your tooth with water after you eat to get rid of any bacteria, extra food, or germs.

Tooth Sensitivity

Often, when a filling falls out, it can cause a lot of tooth sensitivity. If you have started to experience tooth sensitivity to both hot and cold food when you go to eat something, then this may be a sign that you need to get a new dental filling.

A hole in your tooth

The most significant way for you to spot whether or not you have a missing filling is to look at your tooth. Is there a black or brown spot on it? Does it seem like there’s a hole in the tooth? These are all signs that your filling fell out and that you need to have it replaced.

General Tooth Pain

If you are experiencing general tooth pain in the tooth that has a filling in it, then you may need to have a filing put on the tooth again, or it may be a sign that you have new bacteria in your tooth and that you need a root canal.

If you suspect that you have a missing filling, but you aren’t sure, then schedule a dental appointment with us and call our Albuquerque office at (505) 881-1159.

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4 Myths About Sedation Dentistry Debunked

Sedation dentistry is a newer form of dentistry that is designed to help patients feel calmer and comfortable while in the dentist chair. If you have a hard time getting yourself to the dentist because you’re so anxious about the what-ifs of your cleaning or procedure, then one form or another of sedation dentistry may help do the trick. To help you learn a little bit more about it, we have created a list debunking a few common myths.

Myth: Sedation Dentistry is Only for Patients with Anxiety

Although sedation dentistry is primarily used to treat patients who have a lot of anxiety, it is also used on patients who are elderly, who have a disability, or who want to feel relaxed while getting some dental work done.

Myth: Sedation Dentistry Is Only For Complex Surgeries

The unique thing about sedation dentistry is that it’s designed to help ease patients with all ranges of anxieties which are getting a variety of different procedures. For instance, a lot of patients have anxiety about dental cleanings, and so we might use a mild form of sedation to help ease their fears. Sedation dentistry can be used for small procedures or large ones.

Myth: You Will Be Unconscious

Our goal with sedation dentistry is to take the edge off and help you feel relaxed during your procedure. Even though we can completely sedate you, that’ s usually not necessary. In fact, we can generally use a mild sedative like valium or laughing gas, which means that you will be calm but completely conscious.

Myth: It’s Not Necessary

To some people who don’t have anxiety, they may think that sedation dentistry isn’t necessary, but if you are a patient with anxiety, you would agree to disagree. If your stress and dental fears are getting in the way of you getting regular cleanings or dental work done, then sedation dentistry is necessary. Look at it this way; if sedation dentistry helps us give you the proper dental work that you need, then it’s a must.

Are you interested in learning more about sedation dentistry? If so, contact us at our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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Is Your Toothbrush Doing Its Job?

brushing TMJ steven e. holbrook DMD albuqurque NM

The most basic thing that you can do to take care of your teeth is to brush them at least twice a day. But, because brushing your teeth is so basic, it may not be something that you necessarily put a lot of thought into— especially when it comes to your actual toothbrush. So, how can you make sure that your toothbrush is actually doing its job?

Fancier Isn’t Always Better

You may think that if you spend hundreds of dollars on a vibrating toothbrush that you are getting the cleanest mouth around, but just because a toothbrush has a high price tag on it, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to get your mouth any cleaner. In fact, we have seen a lot of patents get just as clean of teeth with a regular toothbrush than with an electric toothbrush.

Bristles Need to Be Intact

Do you brush your teeth while trying to get laundry done, cleaning your kitchen, or writing a bunch of emails? If you do, then you probably bite down on your toothbrush which can make your bristles all disheveled. When your bristles aren’t in good shape, they are definitely not going to be able to do their job to keep your mouth clean. If you can’t kick your habit of biting down on your toothbrush to the curb, then make sure that you replace your toothbrush more often.

Strong Enough Bristles

You used to be able to buy soft, medium, and hard bristled toothbrushes but now you can usually only find soft bristled toothbrushes. Why?Because hard bristled toothbrushes were too abrasive and were eroding away at enamel and causing bleeding gums. The trick though, is finding a toothbrush that is hard enough to get plaque off your teeth without being so abrasive tha tit auss damae.

It may sound basic, but knowing what to look for in a toothbrush can really save your oral health. If you want to learn more tips and tricks, contact our Albuquerque office today at (505) 881-1159.

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