expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Thu-Nga H. Ortega

Dentist

Dr. Thu-Nga Ortega is a Dentist practicing in Fairfax, Virginia. Dr. Ortega specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases and conditions associated with the mouth and overall dental health. Dentists are trained to carry out such treatment as professional cleaning, restorative, prosthodontic, and endodontic procedures, and performing examinations, among many others.
Dr. Thu-Nga H. Ortega
  • Fairfax, Virginia
  • Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry
  • Accepting new patients

#2 tooth with deep cavity - why infected after filling?

Whenever a tooth is drilled to have a new filling placed or an old filling replaced, the tooth is subjected to trauma. Because a tooth is a live structure with nerve and blood READ MORE
Whenever a tooth is drilled to have a new filling placed or an old filling replaced, the tooth is subjected to trauma. Because a tooth is a live structure with nerve and blood supply the trauma to a tooth can show in forms of sensitivity after a filling. When this happens, the tooth is hypersensitive and letting you know that it is inflamed and this inflammation can result in death of the nerve or the tooth just getting over the inflammation and go back to normal. Based on what you have told me, you may have had an inflammation in the tooth and it has gotten better, I would not do any further treatment with the tooth unless it hurts you further down the road. I would also have x-rays taken of the entire tooth showing the root of the tooth over time to make sure there is not infection at the end of the root. (if a tooth dies, over time, the nerve and blood supply in the tooth rots causing an infection at the end of the root) This can be seen on x-rays and also if you become symptomatic meaning having a toothache in the tooth. For now no further treatment is suggested for the tooth if you are without symptoms.

What are the most visible signs and symptoms of a gum disease?

Early signs of gum disease is bleeding when you floss or brush. If the bleeding does not go away after flossing regularly for a week after you notice bleeding, consult a dentist. READ MORE
Early signs of gum disease is bleeding when you floss or brush. If the bleeding does not go away after flossing regularly for a week after you notice bleeding, consult a dentist.

Can cavities in one tooth affect other teeth as well?

If you were told you do not have decay in any other teeth around the tooth you had filled, then more than likely the sensitive is from the filling. If the sensitivity doesn't go READ MORE
If you were told you do not have decay in any other teeth around the tooth you had filled, then more than likely the sensitive is from the filling. If the sensitivity doesn't go away, you need to see your dentist.

What could be the reason for my mouth dryness?

Have you had a change in medication? Or supplements? Some medication such as blood pressure medication, can cause dry mouth. Sometimes the dryness can be due to other medical READ MORE
Have you had a change in medication? Or supplements? Some medication such as blood pressure medication, can cause dry mouth. Sometimes the dryness can be due to other medical conditions. You will have to visit your physician if that is the case.

How should I maintain my gum health?

Flossing at least once a day is imperative. Once a week is too infrequent since food and plaque can get caught under the gums and cause gingivitis. Purchasing a Waterpik is also READ MORE
Flossing at least once a day is imperative. Once a week is too infrequent since food and plaque can get caught under the gums and cause gingivitis. Purchasing a Waterpik is also a great device or removing plaque between teeth if you do not like to floss.

I recently read an article that said poor dental health could cause respiratory problems. Is it true?

Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day is required regimen as well as seeing a dentist once every 6 months to remove tartar from below the gums is important to a person's READ MORE
Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day is required regimen as well as seeing a dentist once every 6 months to remove tartar from below the gums is important to a person's overall health. Inflammation of the gums is bad for your heart and overall health.

Does switching toothpaste matter?

Brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste is important. I personally think switching to a another toothpaste does not make it more effective. Stick with ones that you enjoy the taste READ MORE
Brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste is important. I personally think switching to a another toothpaste does not make it more effective. Stick with ones that you enjoy the taste will make brushing more enjoyable.

Is higher or lower pressure better with water flossers?

Waterpik us a great product. I use one myself. I try to set it up to 8 out of 10 if it goes up to 10 or at high (on other models)at all times. It is more effective at removing READ MORE
Waterpik us a great product. I use one myself. I try to set it up to 8 out of 10 if it goes up to 10 or at high (on other models)at all times. It is more effective at removing food debris and plaque between teeth if set on high. If you have gum disease, you can use the Pik Pocket tip. This rubber tip is safe below the gum line and it automatically only allow a lower pressure through even if you have the setting set on high. Sometimes gums bleed, that does not mean that it is hurting your gums. You may have had a food particle trapped below your gums. Bleeding should go away in a few days. If it continues, consult a dentist.

What is gingivitis and its risk factors?

To prevent gum disease...gingivitis (early form of gum disease) it is important to floss daily. And brush twice a day and visit your dentist every 6 months.

Can an infected tooth spread the infection to the other teeth as well?

When you mention an infection, do you mean a root canal problem in a tooth or gum disease in SOME of your teeth. An infection IN a tooth cannot spread to other teeth in most cases. READ MORE
When you mention an infection, do you mean a root canal problem in a tooth or gum disease in SOME of your teeth. An infection IN a tooth cannot spread to other teeth in most cases. Gum infections do affect more than one teeth in many cases. If you have gum problems, antibiotics is very good for the treatment of gum disease.

Can brushing my teeth with salt whiten my teeth?

Brushing your teeth with salt may help to remove stain because it is more abrasive, but it does not technically whiten your teeth the way professional teeth whitening systems READ MORE
Brushing your teeth with salt may help to remove stain because it is more abrasive, but it does not technically whiten your teeth the way professional teeth whitening systems do. I recommend having a professional cleaning done at a dentist office, make sure you don't have any cavities and then professionally whiten. Some professional whitening kits are quite inexpensive nowadays.

What should I do for my chipped tooth?

If your chip is small, all you need is a bonding (white filling that blends with your tooth). Selecting a dentist trained in cosmetic dentistry can help you have a bonded tooth READ MORE
If your chip is small, all you need is a bonding (white filling that blends with your tooth). Selecting a dentist trained in cosmetic dentistry can help you have a bonded tooth that can look seamless as though nothing has ever happened to your tooth. In rare cases and the chip is large, you may need a veneer or a crown. A conservative dentist will chose a minimally invasive solution for you and avoid removing healthy tooth structure while building back your tooth.

What could be the cause of my throbbing tooth pain?

You can have a cracked tooth, a large cavity to the nerve, etc. A visit to the dentist is highly recommended. Without an exam and X-rays by a professional, there is no diagnosis READ MORE
You can have a cracked tooth, a large cavity to the nerve, etc. A visit to the dentist is highly recommended. Without an exam and X-rays by a professional, there is no diagnosis that can be recommended.

What are natural ways to deal with tooth sensitivity?

A sensitive tooth will indicate that you may have something going on in the tooth. A visit to a dentist is recommended as it is important to take an X-ray of the tooth to determine READ MORE
A sensitive tooth will indicate that you may have something going on in the tooth. A visit to a dentist is recommended as it is important to take an X-ray of the tooth to determine if something other than just sensitivity is going on in the tooth.

I have white dots on both of my gums and tongue. What could these be?

Without seeing them in person, it is not possible to give an opinion on this. Please seek a dentist's opinion on this in person.

Rash in the mouth

The picture is hard to decipher. A visit to an oral surgeon is recommended for another set of eyes on this.

Does clove oil really work in easing tooth pain?

Clove oil has been used in dentistry for a long time. It just "numbs" or calms down the tooth. It can give you a false sense of security that the tooth is ok when it may not be. READ MORE
Clove oil has been used in dentistry for a long time. It just "numbs" or calms down the tooth. It can give you a false sense of security that the tooth is ok when it may not be. A visit to the dentist to determine what is wrong with the tooth is warranted. You will need an X-ray and an exam and diagnosis.

My daughter has a cut inside of her mouth from falling. How can I rule out any infection?

Salt water rinse for her 4 times a day. If this gets worse instead of improving in the next few days... If she has a fever or swelling of her mouth is worse instead of better, READ MORE
Salt water rinse for her 4 times a day. If this gets worse instead of improving in the next few days... If she has a fever or swelling of her mouth is worse instead of better, you will need to bring her in to see a dentist.

How many times should I floss?

If flossing is done properly, you can floss after every meal if you so choose. But flossing at least once a day is recommended.

What could be the reason behind the burning sensation in my gums?

If this is a new thing, visit a dentist. If you notice changes in your gums as well, I recommend seeing a dentist.