No one is a stranger to mouth pain, especially to those who do not keep up with regular brushing and flossing and exit the dentist’s office with sore, puffy gums after a routine cleaning. But while that pain goes away within the hour, some pain is longer lasting and may be present as a dull ache for days after an in-depth procedure. This can disrupt one’s day and make even the simplest of tasks that much harder to do. Here are a few tips and tricks to reduce your dental pain:

  • Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen: These are the most common type of pain relievers, often a go-to for headaches and general body pains, which includes tooth pain as well. You can get them over-the-counter (OTC) at most grocery stores in the pharmacy section. Always read and follow the label to be sure these products are right for you as those under a certain age and those with certain health conditions are not able to take them. Patients that have undergone a wisdom tooth extraction or something similar in which bleeding was involved are advised to stay away from Asprin as a relief as it is a blood thinner and complicates the healing process.
  • Ora-Jel: For something more targeted and topical, trust Ora-jel to get the job done. Available in a wide variety of application methods, Ora-jel contains benzocaine for fast-acting temporary relief of toothaches. Again, read and follow the label for proper application and to ensure that this product is suitable for your needs.
  • General Avoidance: This one may seem like common sense, but it deserves to be mentioned. Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where your procedure was performed to reduce the risk of pain. Steering clear of hot drinks such as coffee and tea, and laying off the ice cream for the first little while after your dental treatment is beneficial as well. Stick to room temperature, softer foods such a soft cheeses, yogurt, and jello, and you shouldn’t experience any discomfort.
  • Saltwater Rinse: After 24 hours has passed following your dental procedure, you may start saltwater rinses. Mixing 1 tablespoon with a glass of water (about 8oz), swish the water gently around your mouth and then deposit it in the sink. Be sure not to swallow the mixture. Rinses are recommended to be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.
  • Bed Rest: Especially after an extensive procedure like a root canal, implant, or tooth extraction, limiting your activities for the first few days is recommended. Strenuous activity may cause increased bleeding, swelling, and general discomfort. Because your caloric intake has been decreased from the lack of solid foods, muscle weakness and light-headed feelings may occur when rising from a laying down or sitting position. Take it easy and let your body recover.


This is list is certainly not exhaustive. There are many other home remedies out there, but your dentist should provide you with a post-procedure care guide to take home before you leave the office. If your pain persists and is accompanied by uncontrollable bleeding and extensive swelling, please contact your dental professional as soon as possible.

Living in a society that is heavily focused on the idea of being ‘perfect’ and looking like the celebrities in magazines, it is hard not to feel self-conscious when it comes to our body image, and in some cases, our smile. It is one of the things that most people notice right away, and while braces, implants, and veneers can solve some problems, it is sometimes our gums that are the ones in need of modification.

That is where gum contouring comes in, also known as tissue sculpting or gum reshaping. Gum contouring is, in most cases, an elective cosmetic procedure focused on improving the client’s smile by modifying uneven gum lines in the form of lengthening or shortening. As it is considered a cosmetic procedure, insurance will not cover the costs unless it is deemed medically necessary by your dentist. Depending how much work is needed to be done, costs will vary so a consultation with your dentist is recommended to get an exact number.

Before we get into that though, it is important to know what causes our gum lines to become uneven. Prescription drugs, certain health problems, and even our genetics can all play a role in the case of gums that sit far too low on the teeth, making them appear smaller than what they are. Most often, these are the cases that are deemed cosmetic.

Shortened gums–gums that sit high up on the teeth–are more often than not caused by a condition called gum recession, which requires immediate attention to avoid tooth decay and even tooth loss. Gum recession can also be a symptom of periodontal disease, a serious condition where the gums and bone supporting the tooth begin to deteriorate. If you suspect that you may be at risk for developing periodontal disease, please make sure to book a consultation with your dental professional as soon as possible.

When considering gum contouring, it is important to find a dental professional who has experience and will take the time to understand your needs and desired outcome, and will create a plan tailored specifically to you. Do not be afraid to ask questions and request before and after photos of previous patients. Your dentist should also go over the risks of the procedure, as every surgery has them. When in doubt, seek a second opinion and explore other options.

Once you have found a dentist that you are comfortable with, you can go ahead with the procedure.

So what all is involved with gum contouring?

There are several techniques that your dentist can use depending on your unique situation. Scalpels, lasers, and even radiosurgery are used to achieve the desired outcome. Your dentist will discuss with you beforehand which technique is the most effective for you and will often use a pen to outline and give an idea of where the gums will sit after the procedure is complete. Gum contouring can be done directly at the dentist’s office using local anaesthesia to freeze the area. Those with dental anxiety may opt for general anaesthesia where available, although individuals who experience allergic reactions to anaesthesia may have to seek other options.

Recovery can take several weeks so it is important to follow the post-procedure instructions carefully to avoid complications and to achieve the best results. Your doctor will have a detailed plan for you to follow before you leave the office, but as a general overview:

  • Take over-the-counter pain medication to minimize the pain you feel, but avoid Asprin as it also acts as a blood thinner and will cause bleeding. Tylonel and Advil are your safest options, but other medications may be prescribed if the pain you experience is severe.
  • Avoid flossing as this will irritate the healing gums. Your dentist will provide you with safe ways to brush your teeth and minimize discomfort.
  • Avoid spicy foods and anything hot. Stick with softer, cool foods for the first few days such as: jello, soft cheeses, ice cream, and yogurt, gradually moving up to more solid foods.
  • Everyone recovers at their own pace so take your time and listen to your body. If you experience excessive swelling or bleeding, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Dr. Sam Saadat of Newbury Smiles is an experienced dental professional with 10+ years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. If you feel like gum contouring might be the right option for you, please contact him and his associates at 805-499-3691 or to set up your free consultation.

If “do I need a Root Canal?” is a question you have been asking yourself these days, you should know a little bit more about what exactly Root Canal Therapy is, what are the causes, what are the symptoms, and how can you be sure if you need it. For the majority of tooth issues, you may guess you need a filing, which can be true. However, when the cavity reaches your nerve and your tooth becomes inflamed and/or infected, that’s when you need Root Canal Therapy. Root Canal Therapy is also called endodontic therapy in which your dentist uses a drill to remove the cavity and empty the root.

Let’s talk about a few of the symptoms. The primary symptom is the tooth pain which will have a different nature than the tooth pain you may have for a normal cavity. It usually feels intense and more painful when you bite something. You may also feel a very intense pain when your tooth touches something hot like your morning coffee, or something cold like an afternoon ice cream treat. If there is infection involved with it, you gums also may feel painful and appear red and swollen. Seeing these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you need root canal therapy, and the absence of any of these does not guarantee that you don’t need it.  The final diagnosis and decision will always be up to your dental professional.

There is no benefit of doing Root Canal Therapy for a cavity which can be treated and cured with a simple filling.

Contact your dentist sooner rather than later!

If your cavity is not severe enough to reach the nerve and need Root Canal Therapy, you will be able to have it fixed without the expensive procedure and save yourself hundred of dollars. However, if you wait too long, your condition will worsen and a simple filling will no longer be an option.

Even if you are sure that you need Root Canal Therapy, doing it as soon as possible will help prevent infection. Infections can cause complications and require some additional steps in the treatment including follow-ups and possibly medication depending the severity.

At Newbury Smiles, we do a detailed diagnosis, take X-Rays, and make you sure if you need Root Canal Therapy. Since root canals are a difficult process and require your dentist to drill the tooth all the way to the bone, it is always recommended to have this treatment done by an experienced dentist who knows all the ins and outs of Root Canal Therapy. Dr. Sam Saadat at Newbury Smiles is experienced in Root Canal Therapy, and if you have a feeling that you may need this treatment, a consultation is strongly recommended.