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Perla Dental Blog: Oral Health & Hygiene for Families

abscessed tooth

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

What is that horrible pain inside of your mouth? Have you been experiencing sharp pain in your mouth and you’re not sure where it is coming from? It could potentially be an abscessed tooth.

What causes an abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth is caused by contamination in your mouth which can be brought on by pockets of pus in the tissues around the tooth.

  • An Infected Tooth

A tooth can get infected and form an abscess when the pulp of the tooth dies because of tooth damage or decay. Once this happens, bacteria will begin growing in the dead tissue and cause a pocket of pus within the tooth.

  • Gum Disease

Gums and teeth are another reason why a tooth might become abscessed. Gum disease can cause pockets to form in the back of the teeth allowing bacteria to grow and spread within the region of the tooth. At this time, an abscess will begin to form under the top of nicotine gums and will swell and cause pain.

Signs of an Abscessed Tooth

If you have any of these symptoms you should contact your dentist because you could have a major dental emergency on your hands.

  • persistent, throbbing tooth pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold substances
  • Pain when eating
  • Swelling of your cheeks
  • A fever along with a toothache

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth may start out mild; however, if left untreated can be extremely damaging.

How is an Abscess Tooth Treated?

Many times when we’re experiencing a dental emergency, we think that the pain will go away on its own. However, if your infection is left untreated it will progress and you could permanently lose a tooth and cause severe pain that could have lasting damage.

A solution for treatment with an abscessed tooth is root canal therapy. Working with a team of trusted dentists and root canal therapy can save your tooth.

What is a Root Canal?

At Perla Dental, we have trained root canal specialists that can remove the infected tissue from your tooth. Once the infection is completely eliminated, we will seal the tooth with a temporary filling. After the tooth has recovered, you can come back to one of ten Perla Dental locations and have a permanent filling or dental crown.

Contact Perla Dental – Your Favorite Dentist in Dallas

Our highly skilled team of dental professionals are here with you every step of the way! If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact Perla Dental immediately.








4 Teeth Whitening Myths

Always wanted shiny, white teeth, but afraid you might damage your teeth in the process?

There’s a lot of teeth whitening misconceptions out there, and we at Perla Dental aim to educate and inform our patients of these myths so no one misses out on a brilliant first impression.

Here are four common teeth whitening myths to be aware of as you decide whether or not whitening is for you.


It’s easy to be intimidated by the word “laser,” however what many people don’t realize is that the laser is not really a laser—it’s a UV or LED light that activates the whitening gel so it can penetrate your teeth. This light does not harm or damage your enamel; it simply puts the whitening gel into action so it can eliminate stains and discoloration on your teeth.


Whitening toothpaste may remove stains on the surface, but it won’t change the inherent color of your teeth. Not only that, but the abrasive ingredients in the toothpaste can wear away your teeth’s protective layer, causing tooth sensitivity.


Unfortunately, crowns, fillings and veneers resist whitening treatments. Your best plan of action is to whiten your teeth before you get these dental procedures done, that way you can match them to your whiter teeth. While the color of your natural teeth and restored teeth may not match perfectly, over time the whitening will fade, providing you with a more even-colored smile.



While dentists recommend avoiding acidic foods and drinks such as coffee, wine, soda and fruit juice the first few days after a whitening treatment, consuming such items after a period of time will not

dramatically affect the color of your teeth. A good rule of thumb is to always drink water after consuming these foods and beverages so you wash away any sugar stuck to your teeth.


Teeth whitening not only brightens your smile, it also improves your self-esteem. When attending a special event such as a wedding or graduation, instead of hiding from the camera, you’ll be happy to show off your shiny, new smile.

Not only that, but now until Dec. 31, get Zoom Teeth Whitening for a reduced price. Visit for a complete list of all our locations so you can schedule your appointment before our special ends!

5 Ways to Get Back on Track for Back to School

Summer is an exciting time for any parent. Not only do you get to catch up with your kids, but you can also feel good knowing they’re getting some much-needed play time.

With summer camps, vacations, family reunions and more, it’s easy for your hygiene routine to get off track. Luckily, it’s never too late to get back into a rhythm, especially once the kids are back in school! Here are some tips to ensure your children’s teeth stay in tip-top shape:


It’s recommended to replace your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months, as an old toothbrush can cause bacterial contamination, cavities, tooth decay and other dental emergencies. Buying your kid a colorful, cartoon-animated toothbrush will not only get them excited about brushing again—it’ll also make your job a lot easier!


There are numerous children’s books and programs that discuss the benefits of good oral health without putting your kid to sleep. If you’re on a budget, consider visiting Half Price Books—they have plenty of children’s books at affordable prices. A visit to the library is also a convenient way to diversify your bookshelf while on a budget.



While many parents think juice is a healthy drink for their child, drinking it too often can quickly lead to tooth decay. As a rule of thumb, limit your kid’s juice consumption to 4 ounces a day, and make sure the beverage is always 100 percent fruit juice. This will help keep their teeth healthy and prevent them from becoming addicted to the sugar. When your child is finished with their juice, follow up with some water. Water

neutralizes the sugar and helps wash away food that gets stuck in their teeth.


While flossing is a chore for even the most experienced adults, it’s one of the most vital aspects of dental hygiene. A key way to get your kid in the routine of flossing is to always be patient with them. The more frustrated you are, the less likely they will be to adopt the habit later in life.


Make sure you don’t wait until your child is exhausted to brush and floss their teeth. The sleepier they are, the less cooperative they will be. So, set aside about an hour before bedtime to get this task done—you will be glad you did!

Lastly, don’t forget to schedule your back-to-school check-up! Visit for a complete list of all our locations and their contact numbers. We look forward to seeing you and hope these tips help you get your children’s dental health back on track!

Dental Veneers

What are Dental Veneers?

Veneers are ultra-thin shells made of ceramic (porcelain) or a composite resin material attached to teeth. It is a process that requires little or no anesthesia and is used to correct and improve the appearance of the front teeth, mask eventual discolorations or just to brighten a smile.

It is important that the patient spends time and takes an active role in the design process for a better overall result. Be clear about your expectations and objectives, because veneers can’t solve all esthetic problems.

In many situations, Veneers can be the ideal choice and an excellent alternative to the crowns. Patients with stains and damaged, chipped or worn and discolored filings or with gaps between their front teeth may choose veneers instead of crowns.

Dental Veneer Procedure

Veneers1Patients may need up to three appointments for the entire process. There are usually three stages:

-Diagnosis and planning stage,


– Bonding

The dental veneer procedure consists of slightly buffing the enamel, to allow for the added thickness of the veneer. It is usually 0,5 mm of the tooth removed and it may necessitate an anesthetic for patients anxious or overly sensitive. Because of the buffing, veneers are not considered a reversible form of treatment.

For the ceramic veneer, a mold of the teeth is taken and after several days, approximately, the dentist places each veneer to the tooth to check their color and their fit. Composite veneers are commonly done in one appointment and thus may cost less than the ceramic ones. The color of the veneers can be changed before the cementation process, but not after it.

The tooth gets cleaned with chemicals that help to achieve a bond and once the cement is placed it gets hardened with a white light beam.

The period of adjustment is necessary for about two weeks. You must get used to your new teeth that have changed shape and size, as well as color. After a period of adjustment your dentist will ask you to return for a follow-up. This visit will give your dentist the opportunity to evaluate the gum tissue response and overall success of the procedure.

Maintaining Your Dental Veneers

The dental veneer procedure, if approved by your dentist, will surely make you smile bigger and enhance your self-esteem.

I`m sure you don’t want to ruin it with bad habits of chomping and grinding on the hard stuff. What you need to discern is that veneers are reproductions of natural teeth, but not perfect and indestructible replacements. Opening cans and pistachio nuts with your teeth or chewing on hard candies and candy apples is not a good idea. Dental Veneers are strong but may be more brittle than your natural teeth, so use good old common sense when you chew.

Dental Veneers can Cost anywhere from $250 to $2,000 per tooth, depending on what part of the United States you live in.

The maintenance of veneers is actually very simple. You need no special treatment, just floss and brush without fear of damaging them. Any non-abrasive toothpaste is suitable and good oral care will ensure nice and bright veneers for years to come.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is a healthy smile

Our body is a complex machine. The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, too. If you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable.
Tooth decay happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth.

Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. To control the amount of sugar site you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages and choose options that are lowest in sugar. Common sources of sugar in the diet include soft drinks, candy, cookies and pastries. Your physician or a registered dietitian can also provide suggestions for eating a nutritious diet. If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This may contribute to gum disease. Severe gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is potentially more severe in people with poor nutrition.

healthydiet2Refreshing Eats, Ever bright Smiles

For healthy living and for healthy teeth and gums, think before you eat and drink. It’s not only what you eat but when you eat that can affect your dental health. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. If you are on a special diet, keep your physician’s advice in mind when choosing foods.

For good dental health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
    • whole grains
    • fruits
    • vegetables
    • lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes
    • low-fat and fat-free dairy foods

Limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose something that is healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.

For good dental health, always remember to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. With regular dental care, your dentist can help prevent oral problems from occurring in the first place and catch those that do occur in the early stages, while they are easy to treat.

How to Floss


If You Want to Look Like a Boss, Then You Should Frequently Floss

At home, dental care is necessary and flossing is an essential part of dental hygiene, even more than brushing. The main purpose of flossing is to remove food residue between our teeth and prevent plaque formation. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day as an essential step in getting rid of harmful plaque, the bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing removes plaque from the areas between your teeth, places where your toothbrush can’t reach. Everybody gets plaque, that is inevitable, and it can only be removed by regular flossing or a deep cleaning from your dentist.

Flossing options

There are several options for cleaning the space in-between your teeth. You might choose to use dental floss and there are few types like: waxed floss or un-waxed, thick or comfort floss or another product specifically made for this purpose. Some of the products are:

Dental pick,

Pre-threaded flosser

Interdental brushes (tiny brushes designed to get in between teeth)

Wooden plaque remover

Spongy floss

– Dental tape

– Water flosser

Floss is usually made from nylon or plastic filaments. It may have flavoring agents, such as mint, to make flossing more pleasant. You can ask your dentist which type is better for you and how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums. The ADA does not recommend using a floss strand more than once.

The most important thing about flossing is to do it and do it on a daily basis, at least once a day; the best time would be before going to bed. Don’t look for excuses as so many people do. It seems that flossing is the most difficult grooming activity. We all hate it. Just don’t be lazy, “I don’t know how to floss“ is just an excuse.

How to floss

floss2The right way to floss your teeth consists of few essential and not overly difficult steps.

  1. Use about 18 inch of floss, wind it around your middle fingers and leave an inch or two to work with.
  2. Hold floss between your thumbs and index fingers and gently guide it between the teeth by using a zigzag motion.
  3. Contour the floss around the side of the tooth, do it gently.
  4. Slide the about – floss up and down your tooth and under the gum line, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums. Gums can bleed easily so it is better to be careful.
  5. Floss each tooth with a clean section of the floss, thus avoiding bacteria transfer.


Flossing or brushing

There have been endless debates between brushing and flossing. Which is better?

Flossing essentially removes the food residue between your teeth that a toothbrush might fail to reach and brushing is indispensable for the rest of your teeth and oral cavity.

When all is said and done, brushing and flossing are both important for your oral health. If you are planning to keep your teeth strong and in optimal health for life, make sure you use both techniques. If you brush your teeth, but do not floss, you are leaving a lot of plaque and bacteria which can cause gum disease and cavities.

Teeth Whitening – 5 Do’s and Don’ts

Getting your pearly whites stained is something that can become troublesome, if not a serious issue. While the stain itself is usually not a terrible issue, it can be a sign of neglect of oral hygiene, or an improper diet. Staining can also be caused by extreme use of tobacco and alcohol, especially beer. Stains can have an impact in your social life, whether in terms of relationships or for your career, you should have in mind that white teeth are the way to go, health wise and social life wise.

While there are many reasons to your teeth getting yellowish, here are the top five you should avoid, as well as the five things you should do if you lose that pearly white color.

The five don’ts:

  1. Tea and coffee – by far some of the most widespread drinks, favored by many, can be a cause of stained teeth. You should avoid these, especially in high doses or for a prolonged period of time if you want your teeth to remain white.
  2. Dry mouth syndrome or xerostomia is also a frequent cause of stained teeth, although through an indirect approach. The enamel is weakened by the lack of saliva, therefore exposed to more damage. Getting this under control may require help from your local dentist, although, drinking a lot of water helps.
  3. Certain fruits can color your teeth, starting from cranberries, raspberries, blueberries to citrus fruits which contain acid, among other things. Limiting your consumption of these will help keep your teeth white.
  4. Alcohol, especially beer and red white are a sure way of getting your teeth stained, not to mention tobacco use. These two should be avoided if you want to keep your teeth white and your body healthy.
  5. Avoid acidic food, and try and keep your diet balanced.

Do note that some people have stained teeth due to genetics. If things get out of hand, visiting your dentist is always a good idea.

The five do’s:

  1. Since we’re on term with a good diet, eating crunchy vegetables and fruit helps keep your teeth clean. Apples and carrots are a notable example of a way to keep your teeth clean the natural way.
  2. But, when nature cannot do things on its own, then we step in to help, with a toothbrush and floss. Brushing and flossing twice a day should keep the stains away. Be sure to brush after a rough meal or some of the food and drinks that color teeth. Keep a travel toothbrush handy, in case you decide to hop aboard a plane.
  3. There are many teeth whitening products and kits that you can use at home. These are designed to be safe and easy to use, so you would have no problems getting your teeth white with those products. It is a very user friendly and relatively cheap way of getting some white back to your teeth.
  4. Most products such as toothpastes or mouthwashes are white teeth friendly, in other words, they have whitening properties. Buying these off the counter is more than just possible, it is also a convenient way of starting your journey to the land of pearly white smiles.
  5. Lastly, although, in most cases it should come in at the first spot, visiting your dentist on a regular basis. Most people come to their dentist when they are in dire need of assistance, or in the case of others, just in time to prevent a complicated surgery, and they end up making things worse. Do not tally, visit your dentist often and they will help you keep your smile white.


Mouth Sores – How to Prevent Them

Mouth sores can be quite a pain, in more ways than one. They can be classified into two types of sores, canker sores, the more common ones, and cold sores, which are not typically found inside the mouth although it is not unheard of.

Canker sores are the more frequent ones, usually found in the mouth and have the shape of a round white or yellow spot with a red swell around it. Their causes are many and the good thing about them is that you cannot transfer them to another.

Cold sores, on the other hand, you can transfer and they are the result of the herpes simplex virus. They take the shape of red spots with a blister in the center. It can hurt and feel sore, therefore the name, as well as be swollen, too. They can be found on the lip or outside the mouth, though in rare occasions you can also find them inside the mouth. You can get them via saliva or contact with another person who has it, or by simply touching a cold sore. It is worth noting that some people have the virus in them but are not affected by it, therefore signaling the importance of the immune system.

Canker Sore Prevention

Canker sores can be caused by many things, starting from the food you eat, to physical injuries to the mouth such as biting it. Acidic food and juices can also be a cause of these types of sores and not to mention stress. A deficit of minerals and vitamins can also be a cause, that is, an improper diet.

In order to prevent canker sores, you should note that their exact cause is often unknown, but that you could prevent them if you happen to know your own cause. At times, they can be caused by bites to the mouth which can be prevented by chewing slower or avoiding talk while you eat. At other times, sharp food can also be a cause like chips, bread crust and the like. Being cautious while eating those is as good advice as you can get.

Using softer brushes is another way to avoid getting canker sores, as is stress control and limiting or completely omitting tobacco and alcohol from your life.

A balanced diet helps with many things, so does it with the prevention of canker sores, especially zinc, folic acid, iron and vitamin B12.

Visiting your dentist is always a good choice, as they can tell you if your sores are problematic or simply a sign of temporary bad habits.

Cold Sore Prevention

Since cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, you would have to get the virus to get the sores. Getting the virus is surprisingly easy, you only need to kiss the infected person or share glasses of wine or maybe the fork that you forgot for your camping trip.

Getting the virus is one thing, but you still may do things to prevent it from spreading and causing cold sores to form. You should avoid touching the sores, as you might help them spread to the eye or other people, too. You should avoid stress and keep your immune system up as colds or a flu can trigger the sores. Likewise, you should avoid sunlight or get a lip balm or sunscreen, as direct sunlight can make the sores flare up.

Talk to your doctor if you are prone to getting cold sores. They can help you in preventing them, as well as help you find your specific cause.