Digging for Gold? Not with Scaling and Root Planing

Visiting your dentist every six months is crucial to your oral health. That is unless you want gum disease and other tooth decaying ailments. The reason for these cleanings is to take care of plaque build up that you otherwise couldn’t get rid of. If you don’t visit your dentist every six months, you’re at an increased risk of gum disease. In this case, a root scaling procedure might be the next viable step.

Digging for Gold? Not with Scaling and Root Planing

What is a Scaling and Root Planing Procedure?

Root scaling, or root planing, is a standard procedure for patients with advanced periodontal disease. It’s a non-surgical procedure meant to deep clean your teeth and gums. When your gums show symptoms of periodontal or gum disease, they are usually red and swollen. In this case, you might require root scaling.


The procedure involves a small metal hook-like rod being inserted between your gums and teeth that scrapes any tartar or plaque off the bottom portions of your teeth. Does dental scaling hurt? Root scaling, or planing, may involve anesthesia to minimize pain and discomfort, but it is a very standard procedure. Learn more about our sedation dentistry options if you have a fear of dental procedures.

Follow-up visits

Depending on the severity of your periodontal infection, you may be required to come in for more than one visit to get the procedure done all the way. In any case, your dentist will want to check up on you, so a follow-up visit is standard. Your dentist will check if your gums are healing properly and if the root scaling worked well enough. If not, it may require more attention.


During this time, it’s important to keep up with maintenance and cleaning more than ever.

  • Keep brushing twice a day
  • Rinse with mouthwash nightly
  • Thoroughly floss daily
  • Avoid harmful activities (smoking, chew tobacco, etc.)

Keep Up the Good Oral Hygiene

From this point on, it’s up to you to keep up with the good habits. That means brushing, flossing and rinsing regularly. On top of that, schedule an appointment with your dentist at least every six months for proper cleansing and maintenance. Refer to the section on maintenance, repeat those steps daily along with your dentist visits and you’ll surely never have to worry about getting the procedure done.

Why You Don’t Need Luck to Have Beautiful Teeth

Not all of us are born with a perfect smile. But even though you were born that way, you don’t have to live that way. You may require some dental work, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Cosmetic dentistry just might be your perfect solution.

Why You Don’t Need Luck to Have Beautiful Teeth

Cosmetic Dentistry and Getting Beautiful Teeth

There are a variety of ways cosmetic dentistry can help: jagged or uneven teeth, stains or discoloration, worn enamel, or maybe you’re just not satisfied with your smile. In any case, you have many options to discuss with your dentist.

Teeth whitening

Let’s say your teeth are an off-white color, but you idealize having pearly whites. Luckily, there are options for both in the dentist office and at home. You’ll get the best results from your cosmetic dentist, but you can start with these at-home remedies:

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Tooth whitening trays
  • Tooth whitening strips

At-home whitening treatments have different results than the professional treatments your dentist provides. Teeth whitening trays, for example, are best used in the office by your dentist. They can fit the tray perfectly for your mouth, while at home it might be more difficult. Your dentist will use a bleaching agent that’s more powerful and therefore more effective. Over the counter products only give a small degree of effectiveness.


Veneers are a porcelain tooth-colored shell that goes over the surface of the teeth, designed to remain stain-resistant while covering damaged or discolored teeth. It also gives the wearer straighter and more natural looking teeth without the use of braces.

To get veneers for your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist. It may require three separate visits, including your consultation, which is important for you and the dentist to decide if you’re a good candidate for porcelain veneers. From then on, the dentist will reshape, prepare, and place the veneers.


If you have broken or damaged teeth, crowns or CEREC crowns may be a good option for you to look into. A crown is designed to cover the top of the tooth where it is exposed. The dentist will remove the damaged outer enamel so the tooth-like crown can fit around it. The crown itself is identical to a normal tooth, so no longer will you have to worry about having metal in your mouth.

Here are some reasons to consider getting fitted for crowns:

  • Damaged or broken tooth
  • If you had a root canal
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Discolored teeth

With crowns, it’s also important to find out if you’re a good candidate, so schedule an appointment with your dentist for your consultation on dental crowns or one-day CEREC crowns in Las Vegas.


If you’re missing some teeth or have big gaps you want to fill in, bridges or “partial” dentures are an option. Similar to crowns and veneers, bridges resemble real teeth. This also may take up to three visits. The dentist must remove some of the enamel for the new “teeth” to fit into the gaps. Then, the dentist prepares a temporary bridge to ensure nothing changes in your mouth.

If you’re missing only certain teeth and different sides of an otherwise healthy tooth, partial dentures are still an excellent choice. These allow you to take them out and put them back in like regular dentures, but you’ll still have all your teeth.

The Next Step to a Beautiful Smile

If you find yourself a viable candidate for any of the aforementioned cosmetic dentistry procedures, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a consultation and get your teeth “straightened out”. There are more options available than listed in this article (invisalign, snap on smile, etc.), so be sure to go to the cosmetic dentistry section for more information. Get a beautiful smile today!

Have Green Teeth? How to Treat Stains

Don’t be embarrassed about tooth discoloration. It can happen for a number of reasons. Along with those causes, there are also different ways of restoring your beautiful white smile. Getting to the root of the problem is the first step, and once you identify what the issue is, you need to take appropriate action accordingly. Read about the different types of tooth discoloration and how to whiten teeth.

Have Green Teeth? How to Treat Stains

Treating Teeth Stains

Intrinsic stains

First, there’s the intrinsic stain, which is inside the tooth. These types of stains affect the dentin, a thin tissue behind the protective enamel. Dentin itself tends to be a darker color than your tooth, so identifying the stain is rather easy. The usual cause of an intrinsic stain is tooth damage. Because dentin is below the enamel top layer, something happened to break through that layer.


Because it’s such a deep stain, the more effective solution is bleach. The best way is to make an appointment with your dentist because bleach trays in the office tend to be more effective than over the counter products.

Extrinsic stains

Just like how intrinsic is inside the tooth, extrinsic is outside—more specifically, the enamel. Extrinsic stains come from what you drink and what you eat. Red wine, coffee, and soda are big factors for extrinsic discoloration, as well as red sauces and fruit. Smoking or chewing tobacco is the biggest player, since it contains highly damaging chemicals that break down and stain your tooth enamel.


The best way to prevent extrinsic tooth discoloration is to avoid the aforementioned substances but to also brush, rinse, and floss daily. Also in this case, since it’s external, over the counter bleach products will work just fine, even though it’s more effective to get it professionally done by a dentist.

Aging stains

The older you get, the weaker your enamel gets. Despite taking great care of your teeth, it might get harder because of your age. So, a little discoloration will be harder to avoid. It’s worth noting that some of it is completely unavoidable, due to the fact that dentin gets darker as you age.


Instead of using any over the counter bleach, ask your dentist about which one is best for you to use. To get rid of the stain, you’ll need to directly treat the dentin, which is something you might have trouble with. Your dentist can give you treatments to either strengthen your enamel or replace them all together.

Get Treatments for Tooth Discoloration

If you think it’s time to rid your mouth of those awful stains, find out which stains you suffer from, and take care of them with the appropriate options. Again, your dentist will be of the most help to fix discolored teeth, and only they can recommend the best treatment options for you. Schedule your appointment today and get your smile shining again!

How to Make Your Teeth Stronger

Dental care is very important. The most important thing about it, keep in mind, is how strong your teeth are. You can do many things to improve the strength of your teeth, from watching what you chomp on to self maintenance. Check out this list of things you can do to improve the overall strength of your pretty pearly whites.

How to Make Your Teeth Stronger

How to Get Stronger Teeth

1. Fluoride products

Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash is like adding a protective shield to your tooth enamel. On top of protecting your teeth, fluoride also aids in repairing and strengthening your enamel each time you use it. So get brushing!

2. Avoid certain foods

It’s perfectly okay to enjoy a piece of candy from time to time, but over consumption of sugary or acidic substances can have harsh long term effects on the strength of your enamel. Things like candy, soda and energy drinks, or even fruit juice contain high amounts of teeth-weakening sugar and acids.

To maintain proper dental care, eat calcium-enriched foods like dairy, because they work to strengthen your teeth and bones. It’s a good idea to have a good balance of calcium in your diet if you enjoy eating or drinking sugary things.

3. Don’t grind your teeth

It can be hard for a lot of people to quit this nasty habit also known as bruxism. But, it’s important to stop this habit if you want to get stronger teeth. For many, it’s an involuntary neurological condition that requires professional treatments. Grinding or clenching your teeth can break down tooth enamel a little bit at a time and eventually lead to jagged, chipped, and weakened teeth.

Often, people will grind their teeth, so if you wake up in the morning feeling tense and your teeth aren’t as strong as they should be, there are treatment options, including:

  • Nightly Mouth Guards
  • Botox
  • Relaxation Treatment

Make an appointment with your dentist to help resolve the issue, but keep in mind that grinding your teeth could be a sign of something more severe like sleep apnea, in which case you should discuss options with your healthcare provider. Learn more about bruxism here.

Your Dentist Can Help

Possibly the most important thing on the list is scheduling regular dentist visits. Your local dentist will ensure that your teeth are as healthy and strong as they possibly can be, so it’s critical to visit your dentist at least every six months.
Your dental health is vital to your overall health. Schedule an appointment with Balle & Associates today.

How Does Smoking Affect Your Oral Health?

During the past, smoking was so commonplace and accepted that a dentist could have lit up a cigarette in his or her office without a single care. Fast-forward a few decades, and now smoking is the scourge to dental practitioners in the United States. While we understand our patients have every right to smoke, we felt the need to discuss how smoking and dental health have a not-so-great relationship.

How Does Smoking Affect Your Mouth?

Stains your teeth

What does smoking do to your teeth? Well, it does a lot. Cigarettes contain nicotine and tar. When these substances combine with oxygen and are inhaled, the substances slowly build into a yellow residue on the teeth. The residue is difficult to remove and helps contribute to dry mouth and tartar build up. This can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.

Contributes to gum disease

Smoking is the biggest contributor to gingivitis and gum disease. Smoking reduces the body’s ability to fight off infection. This means bacteria has a greater chance to get beneath the gum line and make them recede.

Increases risk for oral cancer

Smoking and dental health do not get along. Perhaps the most significant and dangerous issue with smoking cigarettes is the increased risk of mouth cancer. If your healthcare provider can catch it early, oral cancer can be treated without major surgery. However, if left to grow, the damages can potentially result in jaw or tooth loss or tongue tissue removal.

What can a smoker do?

To improve your oral health, quit smoking. It may seem impossible due to smoking’s addictive nature. If you continue to smoke, there are some ways to maintain a healthy mouth and get back your teeth’s whiteness.

The first and most important plan of action is maintaining a consistent brushing and flossing regimen and seeing the dentist regularly. Try stronger toothpaste for smokers. These toothpastes are not too expensive, and they have a combination of ingredients to negate the effect of discoloration over time.

Smokers teeth whitening is also an option if a person wants immediate treatment for smoking. However, keep in mind that continued smoking will discolor the teeth again.

Your Smoking and Dental Health

Smoking and dental health just don’t mix. If you smoke, try to break the addiction. Your teeth will thank you. However, if you must smoke, you need the best dental care in Las Vegas to keep your teeth healthy. Consult Dr. Balle or Dr. Guild to keep your pearly whites bright and healthy.

4 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Tongue

Your poor tongue. It may not be the most attractive part of your mouth, and it may not be the focus of cosmetic procedures, but the tongue is critical. A healthy tongue helps you enjoy the foods you love. It’s one of the mouth’s major defense mechanisms against plaque and bacteria. It helps you articulate your words. It’s also very important for kissing in the French persuasion! You have to keep it clean and happy, so here are four ways to keep a healthy tongue.

4 Ways to Keep a Healthy Tongue

Watch the color

Your tongue’s color can reveal the state of your oral health. The healthy tongue color is bright pink and smooth. There should not be any fissures, wrinkles, or legions. If your tongue is black, red, or has patches of white, see a dentist immediately. You could be at risk for certain tongue problems, like a bacterial infection or symptoms of something more serve.

Drink more water and avoid acidic drinks

A dry tongue is an unhappy tongue. Without the help of saliva, the tongue would become dry and cracked, allowing more bacteria into a patient’s system. The tongue would also be unable to taste food, making all those delicious chicken parmesan dinners bland and gross. By drinking more water, you can keep your saliva glands healthy and saliva production regular. Drinking acidic drinks can contribute to more bacteria production and dry mouth.

Scrape your tongue regularly

Scraping your tongue once in awhile can cut back on the bad breath and acid producing bacteria in the oral cavity. Tongue scraping has also been shown to reduce the effects of halitosis.

Get regular dental check-ups

During regular dental check-ups, a dentist may ask you to stick out your tongue for inspection. The reason they’re doing this is not to see what you ate last night. No, what they’re actually looking for is abnormalities patients may not notice. Abnormalities include looking for sores, discoloration, or the onset of thrush or cancer. If your dentist doesn’t ask you to stick out your tongue, don’t worry. Most dentists perform the inspection while cleaning your teeth.

Why It’s Okay to Stick Your Tongue Out at Us

At Balle and Associates, we want to see your healthy tongue color and your smile. If you have any oral health concerns, schedule an appointment today. We’ll happily ask you to stick your tongue out.