7 Reasons Your Teeth Might Hate You – and What You Can Do About It

February 24th, 2015 by Dr. Karen Mcneill

You take a sip of your latte, only to be reminded of the sharp pain you’ve been experiencing in your teeth. Hot drinks, cold drinks, even the chilly winter air in WA seems to set it off. What’s causing this pain and what can you do to prevent it?

Tooth pain and sensitivity are quite common, affecting millions of people. These occur when the enamel in a tooth is worn away and the gum line recedes. This leaves the unprotected surface beneath (called dentin) exposed. When the dentin is exposed, this allows the trigger to shoot straight to the nerve, causing that unbearable pain you feel.

Tooth sensitivity may feel like sharp pain in one or two teeth or constant discomfort in your whole mouth. The good news is, you can do something about it!

What can cause tooth sensitivity?

Dentist in Redmond WA

Brushing Too Hard

Although you should brush thoroughly several times a day, go easy – brushing too hard can contribute to enamel erosion. Using a new, soft-bristled toothbrush along with proper brushing techniques can make a huge difference in maintaining your oral hygiene without potentially harming the enamel or exposing the dentin around the gum line.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

Tooth grinding, either when awake or asleep, can damage enamel. It’s sometimes hard to know if you are grinding your teeth at night, however, a dull headache or sore jaw upon waking are tell-tale signs. In addition to causing sensitivity, bruxism can cause severe tooth damage, tooth loss, and other serious medical issues. If you think you might be grinding your teeth, speak to Dr. McNeill about using a dental mouth guard.

Harsh Mouthwash

It might be hard to believe, but certain over-the-counter mouthwashes actually contain acids and chemicals that can increase your sensitivity, especially when your gums have begun to recede. Don’t risk making your tooth pain worse! Use neutral fluoride solution instead.

Potential Tooth Decay or a Crack

It’s possible a decaying or damaged tooth is to blame for your sensitivity. A sudden onset of pain may be a sign that one or two teeth in particular are in severe need of attention and repair. Regular visits to Dr. McNeill are vital to keep up with proper oral health.

Plaque Build-Up

Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It can build up when proper flossing and brushing are neglected. A little plaque on the teeth is normal, but when it starts to build up, it could result in tooth sensitivity. Removing plaque that’s built up over time can be very difficult, so preventative measures should be a priority. Schedule a dental cleaning to remove plaque and avoid causing more damage to your teeth.

Acidic Foods and Beverages

You may notice certain foods or drinks may trigger your tooth pain. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, wine, soda, juice, or other acidic beverages. Even certain foods with high acid content can contribute to discomfort. Sometimes changing what you eat and drink is enough to reduce your sensitivity, but it’s important to see Dr. McNeill to evaluate the underlying cause.

A Recent Dental Visit

It is entirely normal to feel some tooth sensitivity when leaving the dentist after a check-up or procedure. Teeth cleaning, crown placement, or tooth restoration can all cause discomfort, but this tends to disappear within a matter of days or weeks. If you’ve recently had a root canal or a tooth removed, this too will likely cause considerable sensitivity for several weeks.

Understanding these common causes of tooth sensitivity will help you manage and control your symptoms. With the help and guidance of your Dentist in Redmond WA, your teeth and gums can remain healthy and pain free. Call us for an appointment at (425) 881-6699 and find relief for your tooth sensitivity today!

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Help Wanted! Write an Online Review about Your Dental Experience

March 17th, 2014 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Whether you’re looking to buy a new vehicle, choosing a hotel, or deciding which dentist to trust, online reviews can influence your decisions.

Why Patient Online Reviews Rule

If you’ve visited Dr. Karen McNeill and her dental team, you’ve no doubt formed an opinion. That opinion matters to us and we would love to hear from you! Your friends, family, neighbors, and those  checking reviews online would also value your input because it helps differentiate between quality dental care and “flashy” advertising.

We’re proud of the dental services we provide and are asking you to please help us spread the word. It only takes a few minutes to write an online review about your experience with us— and your honest evaluation can help prospective patients for years to come.

Click here to watch a super easy How-To video!
How to Leave a Google Review in Less Than 2 Minutes

You Possess Valuable Insights

Not sure what to write? Here’s what most would love to hear regarding your experience with us:

  • Accuracy of diagnosis
  • How well did we explain the procedures?
  • How well did we listen?
  • Delivery of treatment
  • Time spent with you as patient
  • Friendliness of staff
  • Ease of scheduling
  • Office environment, wait times, & cleanliness

We truly care about every one of our patients and want to help others achieve beautiful, healthy smiles, too. Please help spread the word with your online review!

Write your review now by clicking here.


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Do You Follow These 4 Toothbrush Tips from Redmond WA Dentists?

December 18th, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Redmond WA dentists urge proper brushingMany know the essential role that regular tooth brushing plays in the battle against tooth decay and infection. Yet Redmond WA dentists are noticing that some patients are unaware of other important toothbrush factors to consider in their efforts to maintain sound oral health.

The oral cavity contains numerous different types of microorganisms — some good and some bad. When teeth are brushed, some of these microorganisms end up being transferred to your toothbrush. Dr. McNeill highlights a few precautions to keep in mind in order to minimize issues arising with the condition of your toothbrush.

1. Change Toothbrush Regularly—Develop the habit of replacing your ADA approved toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if bristles become frayed or worn. Use a new toothbrush after getting over a sickness, like a cold or flu.

2. Storage Habits—Store toothbrushes as far away from the toilet as possible. Don’t keep toothbrushes covered in closed areas, as microorganisms thrive in moist environments.

3. Clean Well—Ensure that all leftover toothpaste and food debris is thoroughly removed from the toothbrush by adequately rinsing it with water after usage.

4. Use Your Own Toothbrush—Sharing a toothbrush can result in the exchange of unwanted microorganisms, and increase the risk of developing infections or other oral health issues. Prevent cross-contamination by storing toothbrushes far enough apart.

Contact us today for all your dental needs, including any questions you have about your oral health. As one of the premier Redmond WA dentists, Dr. McNeill would be happy to assist you in maintaining a youthful, healthy-looking set of pearly whites that keeps you smiling proudly.

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Make Great First Impressions with Your Redmond WA Invisalign Experts

December 8th, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Make a great first impression in Redmond WA with InvisalignWe only get one chance to make a first impression. Dr. McNeill has helped numerous patients make the best of that opportunity by enhancing Redmond WA smiles with Invisalign. If you’re not familiar with Invisalign, it’s a high-tech method of straightening teeth that has taken the dental industry by storm. Is a straight smile really that important?

Recent studies from the makers of Invisalign and Kelton research reveal that having a straight-looking set of pearly whites may be more beneficial than one might originally think. In a recent survey involving over 1000 people, it confirmed that people with straight teeth are perceived more likely to be:

Happy * Healthy * Friendly * Popular * Trustworthy * Second-date Worthy * Successful * With High Self-esteem *

Invisalign provides the superior choice in comparison to other orthodontic solutions, like that of traditional metal braces, because:

  • The entire teeth straightening procedure is usually completed on an average of only 12 months.
  • The straightening process is accomplished by means of aligner trays that are made of a clear composite, high-tech resin that’s virtually invisible. No more concerns about metal mouth.
  • They’re metal-free, which means that these custom-made aligners will be comfortable, and not irritate the soft tissue in the mouth.
  • The aligners are simply slipped over teeth and are completely removable for eating, brushing and special occasions.

Book a consultation with your Redmond WA Invisalign experts today. Smile with pride and start reaping the benefits of making great first impressions.

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Dentists in Redmond WA Expose 6 Culprits Causing Bad Breath

November 28th, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Dentists in Redmond WA Expose 6 Culprits Causing Bad BreathThere’s absolutely nothing to smile about with bad breath, regardless of whether suffering from it ourselves or having to endure it from others. Among the elite dentists in Redmond WA, Dr. McNeill provides some insight about some of the main culprits causing this condition.

1. Food Intake—Pungent smelling foods like onions and garlic contribute to unpleasant odors. Once absorbed into the bloodstream at digestion, these odors are expelled while breathing.

2. Inadequate oral hygiene—By not brushing and flossing daily, food particles can remain between teeth, and on the gums and tongue. This leftover food debris can begin to decay, resulting in bad breath.

3. Medical Conditions—Bad breath can be a sign of a medical disorder such as a respiratory infection, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, or an ailing liver or kidneys.

4. Periodontal disease—Persistently bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can be signaling serious gum disease. Plaque constantly forms on teeth and if left untreated, gums become irritated, swollen, inflamed and infected.

5. Dry Mouth—Often caused by salivary gland deficiencies, or by various kinds of medications, lowered levels of saliva impedes the mouth’s ability to fight off bad breath.

6. Tobacco and alcohol—Both emanate unpleasant smells that can even be detected by others standing in the general vicinity.

If suffering from persistent bad breath, visit your dentist right away. Dr. McNeill can provide suggestions, assistance and treatment options to help get the freshness back in breath. Chronic bad breath doesn’t have to be a constant irritant in your life. Top-of-the-line dentists in Redmond WA like Dr. McNeill can help you smile radiantly, and breathe a sigh of relief that’s odor free.

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Invisalign Braces Redmond WA Smiles without the Metal!

November 22nd, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Invisalign Braces Redmond WA Smiles without the Metal!The glinting metal of traditional braces is difficult to ignore. “Braces” by Invisalign offer Redmond WA patients an effective yet incognito alternative, available through our Smile Dentistry practice now.

One teen with distractingly crooked frontal teeth provided this feedback: “I decided to go with Invisalign as I have always been very self-conscious of my smile, and felt as if traditional (metal) braces would only draw attention to something I was uncomfortable with.” He added that being able to remove the clear aligners in order to eat what he wanted was an additional bonus.

  • Step 1: Consult with Dr. McNeill to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign.
  • Step 2: Dental impressions, dental images and photographs will be taken and then submitted to Align Technology.
  • Step 3: A 3-D model is created and a treatment plan mapped out.
  • Step 4: A series of clear aligners designed specific to your case will be supplied.
  • Step 5: Wear the aligners at least 20-22 hours per day, removing them to eat, brush and floss.
  • Step 6: Approximately every two weeks simply graduate to the next prepared aligner, visiting our practice for periodic check-ups.

Typically within the year, Invisalign gives Redmond WA smiles the transformation previously only dreamed about! Visit our website or office and learn more today.

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Give the Gift of Bright Smiles with Teeth Whitening in Redmond WA

November 12th, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Give the Gift of Bright Smiles with Teeth Whitening in Redmond WANothing communicates sheer happiness like radiant ear-to-ear smiles and hearty laughs. Unfortunately, stained, discolored teeth sometimes hold individuals back from openly expressing their delight. Teeth whitening provides Redmond WA residents with the ability to do more than just learn to live with their smiles. Dr. McNeill offers both BriteSmile and Zoom! professional teeth whitening treatments so that her patients quickly develop a love for their smiles.

Under her professional supervision, these whitening procedures are safe, and can dramatically take years off the appearance of a smile in just a single, one hour treatment. In fact, with Dr. McNeill, teeth can commonly be brightened by as many as 9 or more shades. With boosted smile-ability, your grin will communicate confidence and joy, as well as attract positive attention from others.

We encourage smiling unashamedly by means of our many high-tech services, including in-office teeth whitening. Share the gift of dazzling grins with your friends and family, by giving them gift certificates for that next special occasion. Our professional teeth whitening services in Redmond WA are brightening smiles, and improving lives along the way. Book your smile transforming appointment today, and proudly put your gifted smile on display.

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How to Smile like a Superhero with Your Dentist in Redmond WA

October 31st, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

How to Smile like a Superhero with Your Dentist in Redmond WAEvery day we make decisions about food and beverage consumption — the amount, the type and the frequency. How does keeping your dentist in Redmond WA in mind when making these choices help promote sound oral health?

Many popular food and beverage choices are often acidic in nature, including fruit, fruit juices, wine, carbonated beverages and vinegar-based salad dressings. Acid is to teeth what the substance Kryptonite is to the comic book hero Superman — it weakens incredible strength and diminishes the ability to protect itself. When introduced to the mouth, acid attacks and temporarily softens the hard, protective enamel on teeth. Over time, these repeated battles can weaken the enamel coating until it’s unable to provide adequate protection. That’s when teeth become more likely to develop cavities, sensitivity and translucency.

Much can be done to protect teeth by simply limiting daily consumption of products loaded in sugar and with a high acidic content — like carbonated beverages. Avoid swishing the beverage in the mouth and drink with a straw to help limit the acidic exposure to teeth. Limit the frequency with which teeth are under attack, by consuming acidic foods and beverages at mealtime as opposed to snacking on them throughout the day. Drinking water afterwards to rinse the archenemies sugars and acids from off of teeth.

By making smart food choices and regularly visiting the professionals at the office of Karen McNeill DDS, good oral health is well within your grasp. You don’t need to be a superhero to achieve a healthy, dazzling smile, but your dentist in Redmond WA can help you to feel like one every single day.

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Dentist in Redmond WA Shares 3 Tips on Chewing Gum Habits

October 29th, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Dentist in Redmond WA Shares 3 Tips on Chewing Gum HabitsAs a top-quality dentist in Redmond WA, Dr. McNeill emphasizes that a healthy set of chompers doesn’t occur simply by accident. It requires committing to a good routine of brushing, cleaning between teeth, and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings and thorough check-ups.

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of chewing gum in aiding your defenses against the relentless enemies plaque and tooth decay. To ensure your gum chewing habits are doing more good than harm, note 3 tips to keep in mind.

1. Read the label—Choose gum containing the stamp of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). This signifies that the manufacturer has already provided the results of both laboratory studies and clinical studies in humans, and that the gum has been deemed acceptable by the ADA.

2. Choosing the right type—Some chewing gums can actually hinder oral health as opposed to come to its aid. Make a habit to only chew gum that is sugarless, as opposed to the candy-like gum that bombards tooth enamel with unwanted sugars.

3. Picking the best time— Clinical studies reveal that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. The gum chewing stimulates saliva production, cleans the mouth of food debris, and neutralizes acid in the mouth.

Individuals suffering from TMJ should consult with Dr. McNeill before making it a practice to chew gum regularly. Chewing sugarless gum can prove to be helpful, but it’s in no way a substitute for brushing, flossing and regular dental visits. Contact us today to help you achieve a healthy mouth that keeps you smiling for a long time.

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Cosmetic Dentist in Redmond WA Adds 4 Tips for Natural Looking Veneers

October 10th, 2012 by Dr. Karen McNeill

Perfect veneers from your cosmetic dentist for Redmond WAThe key to a successful procedure from your cosmetic dentist in Redmond WA is that the finished smile upgrade looks absolutely amazing, but doesn’t scream, “I’ve had my teeth worked on!” Dr. McNeil has the specialized training and expertise as a cosmetic dentist to ensure your smile displays a natural-looking dazzle, and attracts nothing but positive attention. One popular option is that of porcelain veneers.

Veneers are effective in covering over smile flaws including teeth that are oddly shaped, misaligned, chipped, worn, cracked, stained, or with spaces between them. These thin, custom-made pieces of durable porcelain are attached directly to teeth — most commonly the upper ones that show when you smile. We consider a number of important factors with our patients before helping them choose the right veneers for their unique look. One such factor is the coloring.

1. Eyes—For veneers to display a natural looking smile, their color should not be a brighter white than the whites of the eyes.

2. Layering—In order to provide a natural appearance, veneers should have natural layers of color and characterization like other teeth do.

3. Teeth Whitening—Teeth Whitening doesn’t change the color of veneers. If having teeth whitened is part of the plan, do it first so that veneer color can be matched to the newly brightened teeth.

4. Skin Tones—Darker skin colors contrast much more dramatically with the color of teeth than those with lighter coloring. Lighter skin tones therefore often call for much whiter shades of teeth whitening than those with a darker complexion.

Contact Dr. McNeil, your expert cosmetic dentist for Redmond WA right now for a complimentary cosmetic consultation. Your teeth will thank you with a lifetime of stunning smiles.

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Smile Artistry
16150 NE 85th St #126
Redmond, WA 98052
phone: 425-881-6699
fax: 425-869-6084
mail: info@topseattledentist.com



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About Dr. McNeill’s Blog

Dr. Karen McNeill has been creating smiles since 1992. Dr. McNeill established her practice in 1998, creating one of the very first practices in the Northwest dedicated to Advanced Full Mouth Reconstruction.

The Northwest Smile Makeover Team