Do My Teeth Need a Deep Cleaning?

Brunette woman in a lavender shirt wonders if her teeth need a deep cleaning to treat gum disease

Even if you brush well and floss every day, we recommend you visit the dentist every six months. Routine professional teeth cleanings are an important part of good oral hygiene. Using our expertise and special tools, we examine, clean, and polish your teeth. We also evaluate the health of your gums.

For some patients, we’ll recommend a deep cleaning. Read on to learn about this treatment for gum disease.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is characterized by mild inflammation and irritation due to the buildup of plaque, a harmful film of bacteria. Your gums might feel tender, be prone to bleeding, and change color. If untreated, gingivitis will advance to periodontitis.

In periodontitis, your gums pull away from your teeth, creating pockets. This can result in swollen gums, toothaches, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and infection. Jawbone and tooth loss can also occur.

Gum disease is most often a result of poor oral hygiene. Your risk increases if you use tobacco products, have uncontrolled diabetes, and consume a diet excessively high in carbohydrates and sugar. Certain medications and underlying medical conditions can also make gum disease more likely.

What Is a Deep Cleaning?

In its early stage, gum disease can be reversed with improved oral hygiene and routine visits to the dentist for cleanings.

If your gum disease is more severe, a routine dental cleaning may not be enough. Our team can create a custom deep cleaning treatment plan, which can involve antibiotics, scaling, and root planing. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar below your gum line. Root planing smooths out your tooth roots so your gums reattach and heal.

Gum Disease Treatment in Temple Terrace, FL

Many patients visit our Temple Terrace dental office twice a year for routine cleanings. However, if you have advanced gum disease, you may need to visit 3-4 times a year. Deep cleanings can cause more discomfort than a regular cleaning, but they’re not painful thanks to a local anesthetic. Our office offers comfortable dentistry for patients of all ages!

So if you’re noticing any warning signs of gum disease, please contact us sooner rather than later so we can get your gum health back on track!



Is a Root Canal Painful?

Brunette woman smiles before receiving root canal therapy in Temple Terrace, FL

Many patients worry if root canal treatment is painful. In this blog post, we aim to put your fears to rest!

Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?

The procedure itself is not painful because we use an anesthetic to numb the affected area. What is truly painful is leaving severe tooth decay untreated! This can result in bad breath, infection, tooth loss, bone loss, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and malnutrition.

During the recovery process, you may notice some discomfort in that area. Any sensitivity should go away within a few days.

What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?

It may further ease your concerns to know what exactly happens during root canal therapy.

Once you are numbed and comfortable, root canal treatment starts with creating a small hole to reach the center of your tooth. The damaged or infected pulp is removed and your tooth is cleaned out. Then, a special substance called gutta-percha is inserted. This material acts as a bandage and prevents further infection from occurring. Finally, you may get fitted with a realistic-looking dental crown to give your tooth strength.

Signs You Might Need Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is not something to put off. If you’re in pain, it’s best to receive treatment as soon as possible! Delaying treatment will only prolong your pain and increase the damage to your mouth.

Untreated tooth decay will only get worse. If we are unable to treat your tooth early enough, we may not be able to save it. This means we’ll need to extract it to preserve your jawbone, gum tissue, and other teeth.

If you notice any of these signs, call us!

  • Throbbing pain localized in one tooth
  • New and sudden onset of oral pain
  • Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Sores on your gums
  • Swollen gums

Preserve Your Teeth at Henson Family Dental

Our team can perform root canal therapy at Henson Family Dental in Temple Terrace, FL. If you’re experiencing any tooth pain, contact us today to let us know your concerns! We’ll schedule an exam to determine what’s happening so we can come up with a personalized treatment plan.



Tips for Handling Dental Emergencies

A red first aid kit next to a white tooth to indicate a dental emergency

Dental emergencies are sometimes the result of a poor oral hygiene routine or inadequate protection when playing sports. To help prevent stressful dental emergencies, be sure to: brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time; floss every day; visit Henson Family Dental every six months for a cleaning and checkup; and wear a custom-fitted mouthguard if you play contact sports or grind your teeth at night.

Other times, a dental emergency can’t be prevented. But whatever the emergency is and how it occurred, it needs to be addressed right away.

Here are some tips on how to handle a dental emergency!

Know What Is Considered a Dental Emergency

Many dental emergencies involve pain, bleeding, and/or loss of dental function.

For example, an infection can cause a toothache. If not dealt with, the infection can spread.

A crack or break in your tooth can also cause pain or sensitivity. But even if you aren’t experiencing pain, a crack can weaken your tooth and expose it to infection. This makes further damage more likely.

Lost dental restorations, broken dentures, and knocked-out adult teeth are also emergencies. In fact, a knocked-out permanent tooth requires immediate treatment to save the tooth!

Have a Dental First-Aid Kit

Dental emergencies can happen anywhere, so it’s a good idea to keep a dental kit with you. You can store it in your car or somewhere else that’s easily accessible.

A basic kit should include non-woven gauze, floss, a pain reliever, and a small container to transport a tooth or tooth fragments. An empty prescription bottle works. A little salt packet is also a good idea since rinsing with warm salt water can help soothe pain and promote healing.

Call Us ASAP!

Save our number (813)-988-9800 into your phone so if you experience an emergency, you can call us right away. Dr. Henson and our team understand how stressful and even scary an emergency can be. Henson Family Dental offers same-day emergency appointments to get you the care you need when you need it!

If you have any questions about dental emergencies or our other services, please contact Henson Family Dental, your emergency dentist in Temple Terrace, FL!



Can Dentures Be Whitened?

Older man in a green sweater smiles with white dentures in Temple Terrace, FL

Losing teeth can negatively impact your quality of life. Dentures restore your smile and ability to eat your favorite foods, to speak, and to smile with confidence! Some patients wonder if dentures will change color and need to be whitened. Read on to learn the answer!

Types of Dentures

There are several types of dentures. Partial dentures are great if you still have some natural teeth. Using plastic or metal clips, we connect the partial dentures to your remaining teeth to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. We customize the look and color of your artificial teeth so they blend in with the rest of your smile.

Full dentures are for when you’ve lost all or nearly all the teeth in your upper or lower arch. These consist of an acrylic base with realistic-looking artifical teeth attached. They can be held in place with dental adhesive, fixed with dental implants, or be clipped into implants while still remaining removable.

Whether you get partial or full dentures, there are many benefits. They help prevent sunken cheeks, restore your appearance, and let you chew properly again!

Can Dentures Be Whitened?

Dentures are made of a different material than your natural teeth. That means professional whitening and over-the-counter whitening strips won’t work. We also don’t recommend household cleaners, harsh teeth-whitening toothpaste, baking soda, or lemon juice. You can actually damage your dentures using these.

The good news is that porcelain dentures are more resistant to stains than your natural teeth. To keep your dentures looking their best, prevention of stains is the best course of action.

Rinse your dentures after consuming anything that stains, like coffee, tea, wine, or tomato sauce. When cleaning your dentures, a special denture cleaner and denture brush works best. Store your dentures in a dentist-approved soaking solution when you’re not using them. With good care, your dentures will stay clean and white.

If you feel self-conscious about the color your dentures, consult with our team about your options!

More Questions? We Have Answers!

Henson Family Dental custom-crafts your dentures to feel comfortable and look natural so you are satisfied with them! Our Temple Terrace office is also family-friendly, modern, and equipped with relaxing patient amenities.

If you have questions about how to care for your dentures or you are interested in our other dental services, please contact us today.



Smile Makeover with Veneers

Brunette woman smiles after a smile makeover with veneers in Temple Terrace, FL, in a yellow blouse

A smile makeover is just what its name suggests – a makeover for your smile! For a smile makeover, your dentist will tailor a plan to improve the appearance of your smile.

At Henson Family Dental, we offer smile makeovers for patients in Temple Terrace and Tampa, FL, and surrounding areas. One of our cosmetic dental services is include porcelain veneers, which enhance the color, size, and shape of your teeth.

What Is a Smile Makeover?

The purpose of a smile makeover is to improve the appearance of your smile, thereby boosting your confidence. The treatments address cosmetic and structural imperfections, such as small gaps, irregularly shaped teeth, cracks, fractures, and chips. Additionally, a smile makeover can address staining and discoloration.

Process of a Smile Makeover

If you opt for a smile makeover, you will first sit down with your dentist and discuss your dental needs and budget. The dentist will conduct a full evaluation of your teeth and gums, identify what you dislike about your smile, and come up with your personalized treatment plan.

Importance of Veneers During a Smile Makeover

Veneers are a versatile treatment that can correct a wide range of problems, such as gaps, cracks, discoloration, and issues with the size and shape of your teeth. These thin shells of porcelain are bonded to the front of your teeth, making them a permanent enhancement to your smile.

This cosmetic solution is stain-resistant, long-lasting, and fully-customizable. As part of a smile makeover, veneers can transform your smile. Moreover, you regain your confidence with a treatment specialized to your needs.

Your Smile Awaits at Henson Family Dental!

Ready to learn more about how you can achieve a dazzling smile? Book your consultation with Henson Family Dental in Temple Terrace, FL. We also offer comprehensive dental services for individuals and families, with relaxing patient amenities to make your visit as comfortable as possible.



Is Summer a Good Time to Schedule a Dental Cleaning?

Curly haired woman in a yellow shirt smiles while sitting in the dental chair at the dentist in Tampa, FL

As a family-oriented dental office, we understand firsthand just how difficult it can be to get your entire family in for a dental cleaning and exam twice a year. Especially this year with COVID-19, which has prompted social distancing and more time at home. As things pick up in the fall with back-to-school and the approaching holidays, your schedule may become more hectic. And with more things on your schedule, dental visits can get forgotten.

With summer in full swing, now is a great time to call Henson Family Dental to schedule cleanings and exams for your family. You’ll be relieved to get those appointments on the calendar, thereby decreasing your mental load. Read on to learn about a few reasons to schedule at Henson Family Dental in Temple Terrace, FL!

Patients of All Ages Are Welcome

Our team is prepared to treat every member of your family, including infants, children, teenagers, adults, and grandparents. We offer comprehensive dental services and family-friendly amenities to help each patient feel calm and relaxed throughout their visit with us.

New Patient Gift

If you’re new to our dental practice, we want to thank you for joining our dental family with a new patient gift!

Affordable Payment Options

Henson Family Dental does all we can to keep the cost of our oral healthcare services affordable. One way we do this is by accepting a variety of payment options. We accept cash, checks, debit and most major credit cards; are insurance-friendly; and offer financing through CareCredit®.

Schedule Appointments for Your Entire Family!

If you or your loved ones are overdue for your dental exam and cleaning, contact Henson Family Dental today. Our team is ready and equipped to take care of your smiles. We offer family block scheduling so that we can get everyone in on the same day.

Henson Family Dental strives to provide high-quality, gentle care that helps your family enjoy being at the dentist. Please contact our team with any questions about our services, payment options, amenities, or scheduling.



What Are Periodontal Disease Treatment Options?

woman covering her mouth to hide periodontal disease

Periodontal disease – also known as gum disease – is very common. If left untreated, the consequences can become serious. We always want to catch it as soon as we can. What is this disease? And what treatment options are there?

Periodontal Disease Defined

Periodontal disease always starts as gingivitis. In its very early stages, you might not experience that many symptoms. If you keep up with regular dentist appointments, we’ll catch the disease in this stage. It’s easily reversed by improving your at-home brushing and flossing. However, if it isn’t addressed, gingivitis becomes periodontitis.

Symptoms include bleeding gums, swollen and tender gums, pain, receding gums, and looser teeth. If periodontal disease progresses, it can lead to tooth and jawbone loss. Gum disease is most often caused by poor oral hygiene. Other risk factors include the use of tobacco products, genetics, diabetes, certain medications, and age.

Periodontal Disease Treatment Options

If the gum disease is caught early, you can treat it by taking better care of your oral health. With improved brushing, flossing, and regular trips to our office, gingivitis will go away! If the disease has progressed further, Dr. Kristanya Henson will need to create a custom treatment plan. Treatment usually involves scaling, which is the removal of plaque and tartar in periodontal pockets below the gum line. Root planing, which is done after scaling, smoothes out your tooth roots. This helps them reattach to your teeth.

Concerned You Might Have Gum Disease?

If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease or it’s been a while since your last appointment, it’s time to visit our Temple Terrace office! Addressing gum disease will improve your health and prevent more serious health issues down the road. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment, contact us today.



We Offer Emergency Dentistry in Temple Terrace, FL

young woman holds her jaw in pain with a dental emergency

Dental emergencies can’t wait—that’s what makes them an emergency! We know that given the current global situation, you may feel unsure about whether or not you can, or even should, see the dentist for certain concerns. While our Temple Terrace dental practice may not be providing our regular office hours and routine procedures at the moment, we’re still there for you if you have an urgent dental problem. Just call us at 850-445-7603 so we can get to seeing you ASAP!

What Counts as a Dental Emergency?

The first question you might have is, “What’s actually considered a dental emergency?” If you’re not a dental professional, it’s understandably not always the easiest to determine this on your own. Here’s a list of some of the most common dental emergencies:

  • Broken tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Loose permanent tooth
  • Severely cracked tooth (crack goes down to the nerve)
  • Severe dental abscess/infection

If any of those situations applies to you, please seek professional medical attention, like Dr. Henson and our team, as soon as possible. The faster you get emergency dental care, the better off your health and your smile will be.

Still not quite sure if what’s going on with your tooth or teeth calls for urgent dental care? Your best bet is to give us a call so we can provide an assessment over the phone and steer you in the right direction.

Safety Measures at Henson Family Dental

If it’s determined that you have a dental emergency on your hands and you need to come into our office, we want to assure you that we’re upholding the highest standards when it comes to health and safety. Henson Family Dental has always closely followed the requirements in place by our professional organizations, like the American Dental Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as rules set in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With hygiene on everyone’s mind, you can rest easy knowing that we are being even more mindful of your well-being and taking extra steps to ensure that when you visit us, you’ll be kept safe.

Call Henson Family Dental for Emergency Dentistry

At Henson Family Dental, we take pride in being the dental practice you can count on in good times and in bad. Instead of suffering with a dental problem that’s causing you stress or pain, call us at 850-445-7603 for emergency dentistry!



Emergency Dentist During COVID-19

covid-19 closure notice

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, our Temple Terrace, Florida, dental office is operating under limited hours for emergencies only. The safety and health of our patients, our employees, and our community are our top priorities. We will let you know when we are once again able to provide our patients with the quality care and the safe environment that is a hallmark of our practice.

Henson Family Dental adheres to the strict safety standards recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We have always been extremely mindful of our patients’ health and safety and will be even more vigilant in the future. Rest assured when we do welcome you back that our office and equipment will be thoroughly disinfected.

Protect Yourself & Your Loved Ones

We encourage all of our patients to protect themselves and their families by following the recommendations from the CDC. For example:

  • Practice social distancing. Stay home as much as possible.
  • When it is necessary to go out, keep at least six feet away from others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of it.
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Do not share dishes or utensils.
  • Get adequate rest and eat a healthy diet.
  • Take extra precautions if you are sick to reduce the spread of the disease.
  • Even if you feel healthy, be mindful of the health of others. Some people are asymptomatic when they have the disease and can unknowingly spread it to others.

Keep Brushing & Flossing!

We recognize that many of you are experiencing unprecedented upheavals and challenges in your daily lives and routines. Please take good care of your mental health as well as your physical health and your oral health. We encourage everyone to take some time for positive, uplifting activities to help relieve stress.

Henson Family Dental thanks you for your loyal patronage and regrets the inconvenience our temporary closure will cause to those with scheduled appointments and plans for smile improvements. Our team looks forward to welcoming you again to our office as soon as this crisis has passed.

Emergency Dentist in Temple Terrace, Florida

If you experience a dental emergency, call us at 850-445-7603 for an appointment!



How to Prevent Cavities

young woman brushing her teeth in front of the bathroom mirror

You can keep your natural teeth your whole life, but they need care. If your teeth aren’t cared for properly, decay – known as cavities – can develop. When decay spreads, it leads to issues like infection and even bone loss. How do you prevent cavities in the first place? There are five things you can do:

1. Brush at Least Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth is one of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid cavities. You want to brush after meals, so bacteria doesn’t have a chance to eat the food debris and create plaque. A soft-bristled brush is the best choice. Brush for two minutes and don’t forget your tongue! Lots of cavity-causing bacteria can live on your tongue’s surface.

2. Floss Once a Day

Many people are good about brushing, but flossing isn’t always a habit. Cavities can start in the spaces between your teeth and go unnoticed for a while. This is why flossing is necessary. You want to use a clean piece of floss for each space. If you haven’t flossed in a while, it’s normal for there to be some bleeding and swelling, but your gums adjust. If the discomfort persists, please let us know and we can take a closer look.

3. Get Sealants & Fluoride Treatments

Dental sealants are important for children’s teeth. The back molars have crevices perfect for trapping food debris and plaque, but sealants protect the teeth. Adults can benefit, too. The same goes for fluoride, a natural mineral shown to reduce tooth decay. ADA-approved toothpaste contains fluoride, but at our office, our fluoride treatments are stronger. They’re a good choice if you are at high risk for cavities.

4. Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco

Studies show a connection between smoking and tooth decay. Gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss, is also common among tobacco users. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quitting is one of the best ways to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

5. Visit the Dentist Twice a Year

Only a professional can identify cavities! Most of the time, you won’t notice tooth decay in its early stages. That’s why visiting a dentist like Henson Family Dental is so important. Dr. Henson and the team perform routine cleanings and exams and treat cavities before they become serious. We recommend coming in at least twice a year. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment at our Temple Terrace office, please contact us!