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David J. Campbell DDS
7110 Highland Road
White Lake, MI 48383
(248) 887-8387
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Posts for: February, 2017

By David J. Campbell DDS
February 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
TomHanksAbscessedToothGetsCastAway

Did you see the move Cast Away starring Tom Hanks? If so, you probably remember the scene where Hanks, stranded on a remote island, knocks out his own abscessed tooth — with an ice skate, no less — to stop the pain. Recently, Dear Doctor TV interviewed Gary Archer, the dental technician who created that special effect and many others.

“They wanted to have an abscess above the tooth with all sorts of gunk and pus and stuff coming out of it,” Archer explained. “I met with Tom and I took impressions [of his mouth] and we came up with this wonderful little piece. It just slipped over his own natural teeth.” The actor could flick it out with his lower tooth when the time was right during the scene. It ended up looking so real that, as Archer said, “it was not for the easily squeamish!”

That’s for sure. But neither is a real abscess, which is an infection that becomes sealed off beneath the gum line. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease, or even an infection deep inside a tooth that has spread to adjacent periodontal tissues. In any case, the condition can cause intense pain due to the pressure that builds up in the pus-filled sac. Prompt treatment is required to relieve the pain, keep the infection from spreading to other areas of the face (or even elsewhere in the body), and prevent tooth loss.

Treatment involves draining the abscess, which usually stops the pain immediately, and then controlling the infection and removing its cause. This may require antibiotics and any of several in-office dental procedures, including gum surgery, a root canal, or a tooth extraction. But if you do have a tooth that can’t be saved, we promise we won’t remove it with an ice skate!

The best way to prevent an abscess from forming in the first place is to practice conscientious oral hygiene. By brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes, and flossing at least once a day, you will go a long way towards keeping harmful oral bacteria from thriving in your mouth.

If you have any questions about gum disease or abscesses, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses” and “Confusing Tooth Pain.”


By David J. Campbell DDS
February 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

What your dentist in White Lake wants you to knoworal hygiene

When you think about your general health, don’t forget the importance of your dental health. The good news is a healthy dental regimen should take only a few minutes each day. A healthy dental regimen can protect you from heart disease, endocarditis, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. David Campbell in White Lake, MI, wants to share the facts about how you can develop a healthy dental regimen.

The goal of a healthy dental regimen is to remove plaque from your teeth, thoroughly and regularly. Plaque is composed of millions of microscopic bacteria that produce toxins. These toxins cause inflammation and infection in your gums, infection in the bone that supports your teeth and decay in your teeth. When you remove the plaque, you help to ensure your healthy smile for life.

Following a healthy dental regimen is quick and easy. Remember to:

Brush your teeth after each meal and before you go to bed. Remember to use a soft toothbrush because hard toothbrushes can cause receding gums, tooth abrasion and make your teeth sensitive. Brush in a gentle circular motion along the gumline and all the surfaces of your teeth. Sonic or electric toothbrushes are also good choices, especially if you have arthritis or dexterity issues.

Floss at least once each day, using a single piece of floss. Wrap the floss around each tooth as you floss, to ensure you are reaching difficult access areas in between teeth. Floss picks are a good choice for children or if you have dexterity issues.

Don’t forget to schedule a dental examination and x-rays at least once each year. Many dental issues start out small and develop into major problems later on. Dr. Campbell wants to make sure your dental issues stay small.

Professional dental cleanings by a hygienist should be done at least every 6 months, more frequently if you have periodontal disease. Your dental hygienist can clean areas which you can’t reach with normal brushing and flossing.

A healthy dental regimen will keep your smile looking great, and help ensure your good health. Get started on your good dental regimen by calling Dr. Campbell in White Lake, MI. Protect your dental health by calling today!


By David J. Campbell DDS
February 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
WatchOutforRe-InfectionAfteraRootCanalTreatment

So, you've undergone a root canal treatment to save a decayed tooth. The tooth has a new lease on life — and the pain is gone too. But there's a reality you need to keep in mind — your tooth could become re-infected, putting you back in the same painful circumstance.

Root canal treatments are often necessary when decay works its way deep within a tooth, into the pulp. The excruciating pain a person feels is the infection attacking the bundle of nerves within the pulp tissue. If the infection isn't addressed promptly, it will continue to work its way to the root, eventually damaging the tooth beyond repair.

During a root canal treatment, we drill into the tooth to access the pulp chamber. After clearing it completely of its infected tissue, we then fill the chamber and root canals with a special filling and then seal off the access. A short time later we'll bond a crown over the tooth to protect it and to make it more attractive.

Most of the time, this preserves the tooth for many years. Occasionally, though, re-infection can occur. There are a number of reasons why: the first infection may have been more extensive than thought; the root canal network was more complex and some tinier canals weren't able to be identified; or the protective crown may once again get tooth decay contaminating the root canal.

If infection does reoccur it doesn't mean the tooth is lost. It's possible a second root canal treatment can successfully correct any problems, especially those that may not have been detected the first time. More complex cases might also require the services of an endodontist, a specialist in root canals. They're skilled in advanced techniques and have specialized equipment to handle even the most complicated root canal networks.

In the meantime, if you notice signs of re-infection like pain or swelling around a treated tooth, contact us promptly for an appointment. You should also contact us if the tooth is injured in an accident. The sooner we can treat your tooth, the more likely the second time will be more successful.

If you would like more information on preserving a tooth through root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment: How long will it Last?