Archive | Dental Health

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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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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Caring for your teeth the right way

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but only if you put in the time and effort to protect them from damage and take care of them. Cavities, periodontal disease, and other conditions can cause harm to the smile, but with proper care, many patients can keep these problems from becoming a serious issue.

If you are interested in learning about ways to care for the smile, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM can help by educating patients on ways to care for the smile—the right way! 

  • Brushing – brushing is the best way to remove food particles that may develop into plaque, acid, and cavities. Patients need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and hold it at an angle of 45 degrees. This allows the brush to cover the teeth and gumline. Using a gentle up-and-down, left-to-right motion, brush the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste after every meal. Don’t forget the roof of your mouth and your tongue!
  • Flossing – food particles can become trapped between the teeth, especially in patients who have misalignment of the dental arch. Flossing should be done at least once a day. Floss should be guided between the teeth and used in a C-motion around each tooth to ensure a thorough job.
  • Lifestyle habits – in addition to brushing and flossing, patients need to make note of their lifestyle habits and their effect on their smiles. This includes the consumption of alcohol and high sugar foods, or the use of tobacco products, either chewing tobacco or cigarette smoking. These can impact one’s smile and leave them at a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease or tooth decay. Tobacco use is also highly corelated with the risk of oral cancers.
  • Routine dental visits – visiting the dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation is also an integral part of good oral health habits and preventative care.

Educate yourself on taking care of the smile 

There’s a lot to learn from Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his dental team. If you reside in Albuquerque, NM or any of the surrounding communities and want to speak to our providers about your oral healthcare needs, book a consultation visit by calling (505) 881-1159 and request an appointment at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.     

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Why general dental checkups are necessary

Dental checkups are one way for patients to take a proactive approach to maintaining their oral hygiene and wellness. Many patients don’t realize how important these general visits every six months are to the health of their teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone visit the dentist every six months to undergo an evaluation, x-rays, and a dental cleaning. But why is this so important? 

Why are dental check-ups necessary? 

The primary goal of dental check-ups is to provide preventative care. Preventative treatments can help eliminate the risk of certain conditions that can negatively affect the smile, including periodontal disease and tooth decay. Many of these problems, if they develop, can be caught early and treated before they become a more serious concern for individuals. Routine dental evaluations also allow the dentist to monitor the smile for specific issues that may develop with time, and intervene at a point where treatment can be successful. If patients experience problems such as gum disease, early diagnosis and treatment is critical to protecting the smile from irreversible damage. In some cases, periodontal disease can become extremely serious and damaging and cause the loss of bone, gum tissue, and even teeth. This can be incredibly expensive to repair and restore, making routine visits to the dentist the much more affordable alternative. 

What to expect during dental check-ups 

  • Evaluation. An evaluation is done with both a physical examination and may also include x-rays to see within the teeth and below the gums to look for any concerns.
  • Cleaning. The dental hygienist will clean the teeth and gums thoroughly, while also looking for signs of decay or disease that may need to be brought to the dentist’s attention.
  • Education. Patients are educated with the proper ways of brushing and flossing. They may also be prescribed prescription toothpastes or mouthwashes, and may be advised of possible treatments they may need in the future.

Connect with a dentist today 

Speaking to a dentist about your oral health needs is the first step in learning about the importance of routine dental care. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM are dedicated to providing the best care for new and established patients at the office, located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C. Call (505) 881-1159 to work with a dental provider with over three decades of experience, available at Comprehensive Dental Care.

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How implants benefit your oral health

Dr. Steven Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM is a dental provider who offers a wide selection of services to new and current patients. In addition, he can provide restorative dentistry for those who have lost natural teeth. Restorative solutions such as dental implants are popular options for many of our patients, and continue to be a desirable choice for both adult men and women in replacing one or more teeth. Additionally, many patients find that this treatment is also beneficial for oral health and wellness in many different ways. Below are just a few of the ways in which dental implants are beneficial:

  • Dental implants are stand-alone restorations. Unlike dental bridges, which require preparation to the surrounding teeth for stability and strength, dental implants are self-supporting. They use the bone of the jaw as the foundation to ensure they are strong enough to function as natural teeth do. This is also what makes them so durable and long-lasting, as they are fused with the jawbone for the best functionality.
  • Dental implants prevent bone resorption. When teeth are lost, the bone underneath can deteriorate through a process known as bone resorption. This is what causes patients who have dentures to have a sunken appearance to the lower portion of their face. With dental implants, osseointegration helps maintain the bone and keep this from occurring.
  • Dental implants are easy to care for. Dental implants are cared for just like the rest of the smile with daily brushing and flossing. They do not need to be adjusted like dentures do, and they function as they should. Patients can have their dental implants cleaned thoroughly at their routine six-month appointment with our dental team.

Ready to discuss the possibility of implants with your dentist?

Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM are here to help. Our practice is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C, and accepts new patients and families. We encourage future patients to call our office at (505) 881-1159 to request a visit at our practice and get started learning more about the treatments available to restore the smile!

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Hormones and your oral health

Women experience many changes over the years with their hormone levels. Between puberty and menopause, these hormonal fluctuations can have an impact on weight, mood, and sex drive. But did you also know that hormones can impact your oral health? Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM work with women to help them understated how hormones affect their oral health and what they can do to ensure a healthy smile for many, many years!

What hormonal changes can impact oral health?

  • Puberty – during the teen years, many changes occur during puberty. Common concerns seen at this time include red, swollen gums and even a jump in canker sore development. Maintaining good oral health habits can reduce discomfort, inflammation, and bleeding during this time.
  • Periods – menstrual changes impact many things each month, including the gums. Swollen and bleeding gums can occur during a woman’s period, and will resolve when it stops. However, if these changes occur but do not go away after a week or two, it may be time to visit the dentist for an evaluation.
  • Pregnancy – during pregnancy, hormones are almost in hyperdrive, and can cause women to experience pregnancy-related gingivitis. This is commonly seen between months two through eight during pregnancy, and can be usually kept under control with daily care. Maintaining a smile free from periodontal disease is also important during this time, as periodontal disease is linked to birth concerns including preterm labor and low birth weights.
  • Menopause – during menopause, the body is going through a lot of hormonal changes during this transition. It can cause patients to experience bone loss through osseointegration and experience dry mouth.

Discuss your hormones and dental health with a professional

Dr. Steve E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, New Mexico work directly with women who are concerned about the impact their hormonal changes have on their oral health. If you live in the community and are interested in talking with a dental professional about your hormones and oral health, call (505) 881-1159 today to request a consultation visit. Our team can educate you on what to expect as your oral health changes with hormonal impacts. The practice is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new patients.

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How birth control can affect a woman’s oral health

Women make many decisions in their lives, including the choice of when, and if, to have children. If women want to delay this journey into motherhood, they often use one or several forms of birth control to do so. Birth control sometimes includes the use of hormones to regulate the cycle and reduce the chance of fertility when it is not desired. However, hormones, and birth control as well, can impact one’s oral health and wellness. Women may notice changes during certain hormonal changes in their lives, including puberty and pregnancy, and are typically not aware of how these hormonal increases and decreases can cause them to experience problems such as gingivitis.

How do hormones impact oral health?

Women need to pay close attention to their oral health during times when hormones change dramatically. The most common times include:

  • Puberty
  • PMS
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause

During these times, hormones will fluctuate greatly. These changes in estrogen and progesterone in the system can contribute to symptoms similar to periodontal disease, including bleeding and swollen gum tissues. In addition to this inflammation, women may be at a much higher risk of developing other medical concerns including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. This is why it is so important for women to work with their dentist to ensure their oral health is at its best—especially during hormonal fluctuations.

How can I effectively combat dental problems associated with hormonal fluctuations?

We can’t always be in control of the fluctuating hormones that we experience during certain milestones in our lives, but we can work with a dentist to ensure these changes do not impact oral health. Women should brush and floss as recommended and visit Dr. Steven E. Holbrook every six months for evaluations. Additionally, women should call their dentist at any time they notice unusual changes to their oral health, including severe toothaches or bleeding gum tissues.

Learn more about how hormones can impact your oral health

Women interested in discussing the ways in which their birth control impacts their oral health are welcome to speak to their dentist about their concerns. Call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM at (505) 881-1159 today, and visit the practice conveniently located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C.

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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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Going on Spring Break? How to Take Good Care of Your Smile While You’re Gone

Dental Care, Albuquerque, NMSpring break vacation is the perfect time of year to escape the mundane and head somewhere tropical or just change up your scenery. Before you head out of town, Dr. Holbrook has created a packing list of things for you to bring so that you don’t come back with a mouthful of cavities.

Travel Toothbrush

The number one thing that you need to bring with you on vacation is a toothbrush. But, if you feel like your toothbrush is too bulky to travel with, then consider getting a travel toothbrush. Travel toothbrushes usually have a removable handle that you can fold into your toothbrush or place over the top of the bristles so that they take up less room.


If you are flying on a long flight, then make sure to you bring a pack of sugar -ree chewing gum with you. Even though chewing gum isn’t a toothbrush and toothpaste, it can help to increase your mouth’s production of saliva which works to clean your teeth and get rid of plaque and tartar. Plus, gum is one of the best ways to fight bad breath!

Water Flosser

Water flossers used to be bulky and the last thing that you would bring with you on vacation. Luckily, they are now wireless and a lot smaller which means that they are ideal to travel with.

If you are the type of person who hates to floss everyday— especially on vacation— then bring a water flosser with you; that way you get your gums and teeth as clean as possible.

To fully enjoy your spring break trip, make sure that you don’t leave your oral health behind. To learn more about these and other tips, contact Dr. Holbrook at our Albuquerque office and call us at (505) 881-1159.

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