Does Charcoal Make Teeth Whiter?

One of the latest trends in oral health is activated charcoal. Before using any trendy products on your teeth, be sure to consult with your dentist in Beaver Dam and Owensboro, KY. Despite what you may have heard online, trendy oral health care products may do more damage than good. Since the results of any oral healthcare product will depend on your individual circumstances, it’s best to talk to a dentist first.

The Allure of Whiter Teeth

Almost everyone wants whiter teeth. White teeth symbolize health and wellness and, quite simply, make a person’s appearance more attractive. This is why teeth whitening products are so popular, and is likely the reason why the idea of activated charcoal has gained in popularity.

Why Activated Charcoal Works

In fact, activated charcoal does work to brighten teeth. However, it’s not for the reasons you may think. Activated charcoal doesn’t contain some “magic” compound that makes teeth whiter. The whitening action comes from the micro-abrasive composition of the charcoal. When a person brushes with activated charcoal, they’re simply scrubbing away with more abrasion than comes from a simple toothpaste. You could get similar results from brushing with baking soda or salt, both of which also are mild abrasive.

The Dangers of Using Activated Charcoal

There are potential dangers in using activated charcoal on a regular basis. For one, the enamel on your teeth is not impervious to abrasives. It’s easier to scrub away important enamel when you’re using an abrasive substance like charcoal. This would leave your teeth more vulnerable to tooth pain and decay.

If you really want whiter teeth, your best option is to get professional teeth whitening from your dentist in Beaver Dam and Owensboro, KY. Contact us today to book an appointment.

Why Does My Tooth Hurt All of a Sudden?

Sudden tooth pain can be brought on by a number of reasons. Often, this is a sign that you need to see your dentist in Owensboro and Beaver Dam, KY. Your dentist will help to determine the cause of your sudden tooth pain and offer necessary treatment. Following are the most common reasons for sudden-onset tooth pain.

Excess Cold or Heat Exposure

Simply biting into something or drinking something that’s very hot or very cold can cause sudden tooth pain. Examples include ice cubes, ice cream, shaved ice treats, hot tea or coffee and other things. Almost everyone’s experienced this every now and then. But if this happens often for you, it’s best to talk to your dentist about the problem.

Receding Gums

If you have receding gums, you could also have an infected tooth. If you suddenly experience tooth pain, it’s possible that your infected tooth is getting even worse. Contact your dentist to have your teeth and gums examined for advancing gum disease.

Enamel Erosion

Your teeth have an outer layer of enamel that protects each tooth. For various reasons, enamel can wear away in spots. This often leaves the tooth overly sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, which usually result in sudden tooth pain. Your dentist may have some solutions for you. Make an appointment to find out what your options are.


Toothaches often come on slowly, over time. Other times they come on very suddenly, even waking you in the middle of the night. Toothaches indicate a serious problem with a tooth, and they rarely if ever go away on their own. Call your dentist’s office as soon as possible to get it taken care of.

Your dentist in Owensboro and Beaver Dam, KY can help with sudden tooth pain. Contact us today for relief from tooth pain and treatment.

Woman holds fingers on her cheek showing toothache

The Dangers of DIY Tooth Extraction

You notice one of your teeth is severely loose—should you pull it yourself? No matter how loose a permanent tooth may be, you are much better off to trust tooth extraction in Owensboro to a qualified dentist. Here is a look at some of the things that can go wrong with a DIY tooth extraction.

Severe Pain

Tooth extraction can be painful. You are essentially ripping the tooth away from the soft connective tissue that supports it. Even a tooth that is really loose can have bits of connective tissue still in place. This is why dentists inject a local anesthetic to numb the nerves in the area and keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.

Nerve Damage

The mouth, gums, and jaws are filled with important nerves. Trigeminal nerves that lie near the teeth can actually be connected to multiple other points, such as the lips, gums, and chin. Damage to these nerves during extraction can bring about severe side effects, such as changes in speech or constant electrical pulse sensations. If you don’t know where these nerves are located, you could easily damage them during a DIY attempt to pull a permanent tooth.

Damage to Surrounding Teeth

When your tooth is pulled by a dentist, they do x-rays and thorough examinations to get familiar with the shape of your jaws and the positions of the surrounding teeth. They do this to make sure they can dislodge the existing tooth safely without causing damage to any of the surrounding teeth. When you attempt to pull a tooth on your own, you could easily cause permanent damage to the teeth that surround the area.

Work with an Owensboro Dentist to Have a Tooth Pulled

While teeth extractions are a highly routine dental procedure, this is a procedure that should be trusted to an Owensboro dentist. If you have a tooth that you suspect should be pulled, please reach out to us at the office of Dr. Travis Wilson DMD to schedule an appointment.

“Sedation Dentistry Is Hard on Your Brain” and Other Myths

Some studies indicate that as many as one out of three patients deals with some level of anxiety about going to the dentist. Thankfully, sedation dentistry in Owensboro can make these treatments more comfortable for patients who may not otherwise get the care they need. While sedation dentistry has become a normal part of modern-day dental care, this level of treatment is not immune to some pretty unfair myths.

Myth: Sedation dentistry is hard on your brain.

Sedation dentistry does not have long-term effects on your brain, your memory, or any of your neural processes. This myth stems from the fact that IV sedation is associated with losing memory of what took place, but there is no merit to the idea that the treatment is detrimental to your brain function.

Myth: You can still feel everything while sedated.

When you are sedated via IV, you won’t feel anything at all. However, if you are sedated with oral medications, you do retain your sensitivity. Therefore, if you opt for oral sedation with prescription medication before treatment, the dentist still follows the same protocols. They will use a local anesthetic to the area where work is being done so you don’t feel anything.

Myth: You stay groggy for days after sedation.

After being sedated, whether with IV sedation or oral medication, you may feel groggy for a few hours after treatment. However, most people are back to their fully alert state within a few hours. We do recommend that you arrange for someone to drive you back home from your appointment for this reason.

Find Out About Sedation Dentistry in Owensboro

If you’ve put off dental treatments you know you need because you are anxious about the procedure, sedation dentistry in Owensboro can be a saving grace. Reach out to us at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry to schedule your appointment for treatment with sedation today.

Why Are My Teeth Gray Around the Gumline?

You spot noteworthy gray areas right where your teeth meet your gums. If you have spotted grayness where your teeth meet your gums, you may need periodontal treatment in Beaver Dam, KY, or you could just have an issue with decay that also needs immediate attention. Let’s take a closer look at both issues and how to spot the difference.

Could the Problem Be Gum Disease?

Gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease, can bring about several different symptoms, one of which happens to be discoloration of the gums. Unfortunately, if the gums are turning black or gray, this can be a sign of necrotizing, or the gum tissue starting to deteriorate due to infection. Look closely at the points of concern in your mouth and try to see if your gums are changing colors or your teeth.

Could the Problem Be Decay at the Gumline?

Most often, gray lines or spots around the gum line are a sign of decay. Because the areas where your teeth meet your gums can often be overlooked during brushing and flossing, this is a common area for decay to start to develop. Using your finger or fingernail, feel the area to see if there seems to be a difference in surface texture. If you fill dips and grooves, you may be dealing with decay.

Work with a Beaver Dam Dentist for Proper Diagnosis

Whether you are dealing with gum disease or decay at the gum line, both issues should be immediately addressed by a Beaver Dam dentist. Both problems can mean your smile is at risk and you could face further health threats without prompt treatment. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Travis Wilson DMD to schedule an appointment for a proper diagnosis.

The Many Benefits of Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

We all know that practicing good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining the health of our teeth and gums, however, besides ensuring you have a beautiful smile, good oral hygiene offers a variety of other health benefits.

How Good Oral Hygiene Benefits the Teeth and Gums

Good oral hygiene reduces the risk of developing potentially painful issues like cavities (aka dental caries) and gingivitis (aka periodontal disease and gum disease).

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If left untreated, the disease continues to progress, causing permanent damage to the teeth, gingival tissue (i.e., gum tissue), and even the jawbone.

Signs of tooth decay include:

  • Surface stains.
  • Tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity is frequently associated with temperature changes and consuming foods and beverages that are highly acidic (e.g., oranges, lemons, limes, etc.).
  • Tooth pain.
  • Pits or holes in the teeth.

There are four levels of gum disease:

  1. Gingivitis.
  2. Slight periodontal disease.
  3. Moderate periodontal disease.
  4. Advanced periodontal disease.

Early symptoms include inflamed gingival tissue, irritation, redness, and bleeding while brushing. Any damage incurred during this early stage can be reversed, however, damage resulting from the other three cannot.

Symptoms experienced during the more serious stages of gum disease:

  • A receding gumline.
  • Red gums that are swollen and tender.
  • Loose or shifting teeth.
  • A bad taste remains in the mouth.
  • Halitosis (i.e., chronic bad breath).
  • Pockets of pus at the gumline.

5 Other Potential Benefits Associated with Eliminating Bacteria by Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

  1. May Help Prevent the Onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Studies indicate that individuals with gum disease experience more issues related to cognitive skills and memory than people with healthier mouths. It is believed that the oral bacteria enter the nerve channels and bloodstream leading to the brain, once there, the bacteria kill brain cells, resulting in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

  1. Can Decrease the Likelihood of Developing Cardiovascular Problems

Once gingivitis develops and the gums begin bleeding, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream, allowing it to spread throughout the body, increasing chronic inflammation. This inflammation can lead to a variety of cardiovascular problems including heart disease and stroke.

  1. May Improve a Woman’s Fertility

A study conducted in 2014 found that when a woman has gum disease, it will take her longer to conceive than a woman with healthy teeth and gums.

  1. Decreases the Likelihood of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

It is believed that, once again, the oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream increase widespread inflammation, leading to insulin resistance.

  1. Reduces the Risk of Some Cancers

The oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream may actually boost cancer cell growth. In addition, individuals with gum disease may be at an increased risk of developing oral or pancreatic cancer.

How to practice good oral hygiene:

  • Brush twice a day, in two-minute intervals.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a fluoride toothpaste that has the ADA’s Seal of Approval.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Use a mouthwash recommended by the ADA.
  • Limit sugar consumption.
  • Avoid using tobacco.
  • Have biannual cleanings and exams at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry.

If you are in the greater Beaver Dam area, Morgantown or Owensboro, Kentucky, and you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with gum disease or you are due for a dental cleaning and exam, contact Travis Wilson Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with an experienced and caring dentist.

Travis Wilson Family Dentistry has offices located at 2014 Triplett Street in Owensboro, Kentucky, and at 1042 North Main Street in Beaver Dam, Kentucky. You can either use our online appointment request form, or contact the office of your choice via telephone. To contact our Owensboro, Kentucky, office please call: (270) 926-6040. To call our Beaver Dam, Kentucky, office, please dial (270) 274-3645.

What Are Dental Veneers?

A dental veneer is an extremely thin, shell-like covering that is custom-tailored to fit an individual’s tooth. Using dental veneers, Dr. Travis Wilson can improve his patients’ smiles.

Enhancing a Patient’s Teeth with Dental Veneers

A dental veneer can consist of porcelain or composite resin.

Veneers are ideal for changing the size, shape, color and length of the teeth.

When veneers are used near a patient’s natural teeth, Dr. Wilson chooses a shade of veneer that closely matches the color of the remaining teeth.

What is the Difference Between Resin and Porcelain Veneers?

Resin and porcelain are the materials that are most frequently used to create dental veneers.

Veneers Consisting of Porcelain

Since porcelain veneers reflect light, they look more like natural teeth than those made of resin do. This light-reflecting characteristic typically makes porcelain veneers the most desirable material for tooth enhancement. In addition, studies show that veneers made of porcelain offer patients more durability than those consisting of composite resin.

When compared to resin veneers, the veneers made of porcelain are better at resisting stains. Furthermore, these veneers offer the patient a long-lasting solution with many patients enjoying their porcelain veneers for up to 20 years.

One drawback to porcelain veneers is that the process takes longer than is necessary when resin veneers are used. The entire porcelain veneer process usually requires at least two weeks, possibly three. However, while the patient waits for his or her custom-designed porcelain veneers to arrive at the office, the patient wears temporary tooth coverings.

Veneers Consisting of Composite Resin

Veneers that consist of resin are constructed using the same materials as those used while bonding or filling a tooth. Composite resin has tiny particles of a hard filler in it. Since these particles are extremely small, the resin should remain soft and pliable, thus, making it easier for Dr. Wilson to shape and mold the veneer.

Cosmetic Issues That Dental Veneers Are Used to Fix

Dental veneers offer individuals an easy, long-lasting solution for improving their smile.

Veneers are commonly used to address:

  • Tooth discoloration – may be caused by root canal therapy, excessive fluoride use, stains resulting from certain medications (e.g., tetracycline, etc.) or visible resin fillings.
  • Worn down teeth – this issue frequently occurs when an individual has bruxism (i.e., teeth-grinding while asleep) or has a habit of clenching his or her jaw.
  • Misaligned, irregularly shaped or uneven teeth – these issues can easily be addressed with dental veneers.
  • Gapped teeth – Dr. Wilson can use veneers to close the spaces between the teeth.
  • Broken or chipped teeth – since veneers cover the front of the tooth, chips and broken teeth are hidden behind the veneer.

If you reside in the Beaver Dam or Owensboro, Kentucky, area and you are interested in improving your smile with dental veneers, contact one of Dr. Travis Wilson’s offices today. Dr. Wilson’s Owensboro, Kentucky, phone number is 270-926-6040 and the phone number for his Beaver Dam, Kentucky, office is 270-274-3645.


Can My Loose Tooth Be Saved?

If you have a loose tooth, you will certainly want to save that tooth if possible. Permanent teeth do not grow back in once they have fallen out, so it makes sense to do everything within your power to save a loose tooth. However, there are times when a loose tooth can be saved, and other times when the tooth will be lost. The following are some circumstances regarding a loose tooth to give you an indication of when it might be saved.

What Causes a Loose Tooth?

there are many things that can cause a loose tooth, and the cause of the loose tooth is relevant to whether or not that tooth can be saved. For example, if the loose tooth is due to periodontal disease, chances are that it may not be able to be saved unless you seek treatment very early in the stages of the disease. Another reason for a loose tooth may be physical trauma. For example, if you are involved in an automobile accident, you may suffer trauma that results in a loose tooth. In an instance like this, chances are that your dentist may be able to save the loose tooth. Other physical trauma that can lead to a loose tooth includes sports injuries, physical altercations, and slips and falls.

When Can a Loose Tooth Be Saved?

typically, a loose tooth can be saved when the surrounding infrastructure of the tooth is not damaged. teeth are held in place by connective tissue and bone. If you have gum disease or periodontal disease, this is an indication that the infrastructure is damaged. However, if your loose tooth came about due to some kind of physical trauma, then chances are that the surrounding infrastructure is in good shape. Even if some of the gum is damaged around the loose tooth, your dentist may be able to restore the loose tooth to its previous condition Using various treatment methods such as gum grafting.

The way to ensure that you have the best chances of saving your loose tooth is to get treatment as soon as possible after you realize that the tooth is loose. Never delay treatment. The sooner you are able to be seen by a professional dentist, the better the outcome will be.


What Can Be Done About A Chipped Tooth?

Chipped teeth can be easily fixed and made like new thanks to today’s modern dental technology. If you have a chipped tooth and are worried over it, don’t fret. There are many options you have available to get it filled in and looking like brand new.

First Aid Treatment

A chipped tooth can cause pain and discomfort immediately after the damage to the tooth. Don’t worry though, because this is a natural reaction to your teeth’ pain receptors sensing damage. There is nothing to worry about. Eventually, the pain will go away, but in the meantime, you can apply a cold pack to the outside of your cheek to alleviate pain.

Take ibuprofen or aspirin if you need one and you can apply an over the counter numbing cream such as lidocaine, available at a local pharmacy or store to the area to numb the nerves in the tooth until you can get to the dentist’s office.

Dental Filling

One of the most common methods of cosmetically restoring a chipped tooth is dental filling or dental bonding. A dentist will use a polymer resin that will naturally bond with the rest of your undamaged tooth. This is a non-invasive and painless, tried and true method that involves no alteration to your natural teeth.

A dentist will select the correct shade of polymer resin to match your teeth’s current color shade. Like molding clay, while the resin hardens, your dentist will mold and shape it to match the rest of your teeth. Eventually, it will harden and it will look brand new.

Tooth Reattachment

If you still have the chipped part of the tooth, you may be able to arrange to have it re-attached to the teeth with bonding resin. This is an option that is more practical if a large part of your tooth has been chipped.

Tooth reattachment can be an option for more health-minded individuals who would like a more natural technique compared to filling in their chipped or damaged teeth with plastic resins or polymers.

While getting a damaged or chipped tooth repaired at the dentist may seem like a painful process, it won’t be at all. Thanks to modern procedures, the work will be done non-invasive and simply involve the application of resins and polymers to bind to your chipped tooth.

Contact your dentist right away if you need to have a chipped tooth repaired.


Should You Have Your Mercury Fillings Removed?

Should You Have Your Mercury Fillings Removed? 

As time has gone on, more information has become available about the dangers of mercury fillings. Mercury, in general, is a hazardous substance. But in the past, it was commonly used as a dental filling because of its durability and ease-of-use. Almost everyone over a certain age has mercury fillings in their mouths if they ever had a cavity filled. It is now possible to have mercury fillings removed and replaced with amalgam fillings, which are considered to be safer. But there are hazards associated with removing mercury fillings, just as there’re hazards associated with keeping mercury fillings in. So what is the right choice tonight? Should you have your mercury fillings removed?

The Dangers Of Having Mercury Fillings Removed

Mercury is a substance that releases vapors when is disturbed. One situation where papers could be released is when you have mercury fillings removed. The vapors could theoretically cause some health issues which you may not have previously had if you had kept your mercury fillings in place. So one of the main dangers of having mercury fillings removed is that those vapors will be released.

The Safety Of Keeping Mercury Fillings In

The other side of the argument is to keep your mercury fillings as they are. If your mercury fillings are not causing any problems if your health we’re with your dental health, there is a safety that should be considered in keeping mercury fillings in. In other words, there’s really no reason to fix something that isn’t broken.

Talk to Your Dentist

If you are seriously concerned about the dangers of mercury fillings, you should talk to your dentist. Your dentist will have more information about the arguments on both sides of keeping your mercury fillings or having them removed. In addition, your dentist can conduct a thorough visual examination of your feelings see if they are damaged in any way. If there is damage, your dentist makes talk to you about the possibility of having your mercury fillings removed.

Alternately, the choice of whether to have your mercury fillings removed or keep them is to be made by you and your dentist. Always follow the advice of your dentist when it comes to your health. For more information about mercury fillings, please feel free to contact us.