What causes bad breath?
Bad breath (halitosis) can be caused by numerous factors, but its most common cause is due to bacteria, commonly known as plaque. The bacteria in the mouth produce sulfur-containing compounds which cause bad breath. If left untreated for a long time, plaque can harden into calculus or tartar. Tartar cannot be removed easily at home and must be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. It is important to see your dentist regularly for cleanings to remove heavy plaque deposits and tartar and to discuss a home-care regime to prevent its formation in the future.

What causes teeth to be sensitive?

Teeth can be sensitive due to numerous reasons. Grinding can cause sensitivity by stressing the ligaments that hold the teeth into place. Grinding sensitivity can be treated by having a dentist fabricate a mouth guard to wear at night.

Gum recession can also cause sensitivity. Recession can be caused by grinding, tooth brush abrasion, and gum disease. Be sure to discuss with your dentist at-home sensitivity regimes as well as topical medication that can be applied by the dentist to alleviate sensitivity.

Tooth decay can cause tooth sensitivity as it progresses towards the pulp (or nerve) of the tooth. Tooth decay can only be removed by a dentist.

Cracked teeth can cause sensitivity. Studies show that molar teeth with large amalgam (silver) fillings are most likely to crack. In mild cases, a filling or crown can be placed in/on the tooth to alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, a root canal or extraction may be indicated. If you are experiencing extreme bite or temperature sensitivity, please contact our office as you may have a cracked tooth.

Why is it important to go to the dentist twice a year?
A good number of people only see a dentist when something bothers them, but in an overwhelming majority, these problems do not happen overnight. Conditions that cause tooth pain happen over the course of years. These “crisis treatment” events can almost wholly be prevented by getting preventive care in the form of twice yearly cleanings and exams. Proper preventive care can help reduce cavities and gum disease and also detect existing cavities while they are small.

How can missing teeth be replaced?
Missing teeth can be replaced with varying levels of sophistication in treatment. Removable appliances (dentures and partials) can be made to replace numerous or all missing teeth.

Fixed bridges can also be made to replace missing teeth located between other teeth. A fixed bridge is a prosthesis consisting of three crowns supported on two or more teeth. Modern advances in dental materials allow for more natural looking bridges that are extremely durable.

Dental implants can replace one or numerous missing teeth. Dental implants can also increase the stability of a denture or partial. In some cases, dentures can be made that do not come out of the mouth. A dental implant is a titanium fixation device that is placed by an oral surgeon or periodontist into the jaw bone. A tooth (or denture retaining device) is then placed onto the implant by a general dentist. Dental implants have an extremely high success rate in addition to high patient satisfaction.

If you are interested in any of these tooth replacement options, please contact our office.

Can oral health affect the whole body?
Yes. Taking care of your mouth is taking care of your body. Studies have shown correlations between periodontal (gum) disease and illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and auto immune disorders.

I’m pregnant. Can I still come to the dentist?
Definitely! Pregnant women and especially those interested in becoming pregnant soon should see the dentist. It is imperative to detect any conditions that can cause pain or infection before you get pregnant. Pregnant women can develop more severe gingivitis than one who is not pregnant. Dental x-rays are safe for pregnant women, but our office still utilizes a lead apron to prevent an x-rays from coming near the baby. Pregnant women can still have dental work done, but only emergency or urgent treatment preferably done during the second trimester with a mandatory letter from your OBGYN. Lastly, oral bacteria can be transferred to your baby, most commonly by kissing your child. A clean mouth devoid of plaque and tartar kissing a baby is much better for the baby as well as the parents.

Insurance Information

Do you take my insurance?
Dr. Ferrage is an in-network provider for most insurance plans commonly offered within the state of Louisiana. In addition to being an in-network with numerous insurance plans, Dr. Ferrage will take on Workman’s Compensation cases. In the unlikely instance that we do not take your insurance and you still would like to be a patient in our office, we can file your insurance “out of network”, which may reduce reimbursement on your treatment. Dr. Ferrage does NOT take Louisiana Medicaid at this time.