Denture Problems

Loose Fit Dentures rest on a ridge of bone and gum tissue. Over time, that ridge will shrink causing the dentures to no longer fit properly. If there are tooth roots that have been retained to hold the denture (Overdenture), or if implants have been placed to retain the denture (Implant-Retained Denture), or if it is a Partial Denture, the ridge will not shrink as rapidly as with a Complete Denture, but there will still be some change over time. This causes the denture or partial to become loose. Sometimes a denture or partial can be relined to make it fit properly. However, if the denture or partial is worn or brittle, or if the change in the ridge is significant, a new denture or partial may need to be fabricated in order to obtain a proper fit. Sore Spot As gums change over time, a sore spot will occasionally develop due to changes in how the denture or partial rests on the gums. If a sore spot develops, make an appointment for an adjustment or relining of your denture or partial. Discolored Dentures Dentures get bacteria build-up on them, just like natural teeth. Soak dentures and/or partials daily in a cleaning solution and brush daily as well. If all of the stain and bacteria can’t be removed, bring the dentures and/or partials to our office to be professionally cleaned. Bad Odor Dentures can absorb bacteria and fluids that cause offensive odors to develop. If your dentures appear to be clean but have an odor, contact us for advice on some simple remedies for removing these odors. Broken or Chipped Denture Chips or fractures in your dentures or partials can sometimes be easily repaired. Bring them to our office for evaluation.

Cracked Tooth

If you have a cracked tooth as a result of a very recent trauma or accident, contact your dentist immediately! Click here for information about how to Contact Us. Click here for more information on Accidents. When a tooth is cracked, a filling may not seal the crack. A crown may have to be placed over the tooth to hold it and the crack together. If the crack is not restored, the tooth will become sensitive to chewing pressure, or will eventually break. It is important to restore a cracked tooth before it breaks, because in some cases a broken tooth cannot be crowned and must be extracted.

Cavities / Decay

Tooth Decay begins when the protein of your saliva combines with the sugars and carbohydrates of food particles left on and between your teeth. This combination creates bacteria-laden plaque, from which acid is produced that eats away at the hard enamel shell around your tooth. Left unchecked, a hole will be created in the enamel and a cavity will rapidly form in the softer dentin which lies under the enamel. If the cavity is caught in time, usually a Filling will correct the problem. Larger cavities may require an Inlay or Onlay, or a Crown. However, if nothing is done and the decay spreads, the sensitive pulp (nerve) may become involved, often causing an Abscess, and Root Canal Therapy or Extraction may be required. No cavity on first X-ray. Months later, cavities that start between the teeth can’t be seen by visual examination, but they can be detected on an X-ray. This cavity was detected and filled before the patient felt any discomfort, and before the nerve became infected or the tooth became abscessed. There is another cavity shown in the X-ray on the right. Can you find it? It’s difficult for the untrained eye to spot. Click here to see where it is. (Hint: It’s not the left edge of the top left tooth. That’s just the edge of the frame around the X-ray).

Broken / Chipped Tooth

If you have a broken or chipped tooth as a result of a very recent trauma or accident, contact your dentist immediately! Click here for information about how to Contact Us. Click here for more information on Accidents. If you have a broken or chipped tooth that is not the result of a recent trauma, Dr. Loar can evaluate the tooth for possible treatment. It is still important to have the tooth evaluated right away, because in some situations a minor procedure now can save you from a more significant procedure in the near future! A very small chip may be corrected by enamel shaping. If the chip is a little larger, the best options may be bonding or a veneer. If the chip is on a molar, an onlay may be appropriate. Large chips and fractured teeth generally require a crown. If the fracture involves the nerve, Root Canal Therapy may be necessary before the tooth is crowned. It is important to have a broken tooth crowned before it becomes infected or abscessed! In extreme cases, a broken tooth cannot be saved. In this case, an extraction is needed. The missing tooth can be replaced with a bridge or a partial denture. Each case is unique. Only your dentist can properly diagnose the best course of treatment for your tooth.

Bleeding Gums

Healthy gums do not bleed! Bleeding gums are a sign of infection. Healthy gums do not bleed. Brush and floss the area well. If bleeding persists, Contact Us immediately for an appointment. Infection can lead to Gum Disease and tooth loss. Bleeding gums can often be your first indication of infection. Early stages of Gum Disease are rarely painful, so bleeding gums may be your only indication of Gum Disease! Healthy gums do not bleed. So what’s the moral here? Healthy gums do not bleed!

Bad Breath / Halitosis

Many times bad breath is caused by the bacteria in the mouth and on the tongue. Sometimes it can be an indication of gum disease. Either way, your first stop to address persistent breath problems should be our office, because if gum disease is present, it must be treated promptly to avoid tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults! Possible causes for halitosis are: Tooth Decay Periodontal (Gum) Disease Inadequate Oral Hygiene (not brushing and flossing) Odor-Causing Foods Use of Tobacco Products Sinus or Respiratory Infection Continued Mouth Dryness (Xerostomia) Some Medical Disorders Some Medications Dr. Loar can help you determine the cause, and if the cause is an oral condition, a treatment plan can be developed to combat this common source of embarrassment. Part of your treatment may include CloSYSII® oral rinse, available from our office.


Many people have allergies to dust and pollen. Some people have specific allergies to certain medications or materials. You will be asked about any specific allergies you may have on your new-patient questionnaire. Be sure to let us know prior to treatment if you have allergies to any of the following: Allergies to Medications If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medication, including dental anaesthetics, please let us know. If you can’t remember the name of the medication, we can contact the health care provider that used or prescribed the medication to get the name. We have alternate anaesthetics that can be used in case of allergies to certain dental anaesthetics (“numbing” agents). There are also alternate drugs that can be prescribed in case of allergies to oral antibiotics or analgesics (pain relievers). Allergies to Materials If you are allergic to Latex, please notify us prior to treatment and we will be happy to use vinyl gloves instead. If you are sensitive to mercury, or simply prefer mercury-free fillings, we can use modern resins instead of amalgam (silver fillings). If you have any other allergies we should be aware of, please let us know so we can provide a comfortable environment for you.

Accidents / Trauma

Tooth Knocked Out Do not wipe the tooth clean. Place the tooth in a glass of milk, if possible. If milk is not available, use a wet napkin or cup of water. See a dentist immediately. Sometimes, if the tooth is placed back in its socket soon enough by your dentist, the tooth can be saved. Time is critical in this situation! Broken and Chipped Tooth Remove the fractured piece to prevent choking and don’t chew on anything hard. Call your dentist immediately. Some teeth can be filled. More severe cases may need to be crowned. If the tooth has broken into the nerve, the tooth will need Root Canal Therapy and a Crown, or it will need to be extracted. Loose Tooth If you were hit by an object, call your dentist immediately. Depending on the severity of the blow, your dentist may let the tooth “tighten-up” on its own, or your dentist may bond the tooth to the uninjured teeth next to it for support until it heals. The tooth may turn dark and/or abscess after an accident. That may happen immediately, or it could be years later. If the tooth does eventually abscess, it will require Extraction or Root Canal Therapy and a Crown just like any other abscessed tooth. Lacerated (Cut) Lip or Tongue Apply pressure to stop or slow the bleeding. If the wound is severe or doesn’t stop bleeding, call your dentist or go to the Emergency Room at the hospital immediately. The wound may require stitches to stop the bleeding, prevent infection and to help it properly heal. Click here for information on how to Contact Us.

Abscessed Tooth

Periapical (root-tip) Abscess A periapical (root-tip) abscess is a pocket of infection at the base of a tooth’s root. The tooth becomes abscessed after the pulp (nerve) of the tooth becomes infected. A periapical abscess is usually caused by deep decay or an accident (trauma to the tooth involving nerve damage). A periapically abscessed tooth will require either Root Canal Therapy or an Extraction. In some cases an antibiotic will also be prescribed. Lateral Abscess A lateral abscess is similar to a periapical abscess, but develops along the lateral surface of the tooth’s root. In this case, the infection comes from outside the tooth instead of from within. A lateral abscess can either be gingival (located near the gum line) or periodontal (located deeper in the periodontal tissues). Since most cases of lateral abscess are due to periodontitis (gum disease), treatment is part of an overall periodontal (gum) treatment program. All Abscesses An abscessed tooth is usually sensitive or painful. The discomfort is what normally alerts the patient to the problem. Occasionally, an abscess may be detected on an x-ray and treated before the patient experiences any discomfort. Left untreated, an abscess may compromise the immune system and in some cases may become life-threatening.