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

What are the best ways to get rid of tooth sensitivity?

There are sensitivity toothpastes that helps with sensitivity such as Sensodyne. It is also very important to have it checked out by a dentist to make sure you are not having some READ MORE
There are sensitivity toothpastes that helps with sensitivity such as Sensodyne. It is also very important to have it checked out by a dentist to make sure you are not having some other problems. If it is just sensitivity, you can sometimes have fillings at the neck of the tooth if you have a groove near the root of your tooth to cover up the root surface that can be causing the sensitivity. Sometimes, fluoride treatment to the area can help stop the sensitivity. This can be prescribed to you by your dentist.

I had my wisdom tooth removed yesterday. When can I start eating solid food again?

You can start eating solids within 24 hours. You can progress to normal diet soon after. If you are still numb, you must wait until the numbness ends before chewing as you can READ MORE
You can start eating solids within 24 hours. You can progress to normal diet soon after. If you are still numb, you must wait until the numbness ends before chewing as you can end up injuring your cheek or your tongue.

My tooth in the back is half broken, what should I do?

This constitutes a dental emergency. Make an appointment with a dentist right away to have the tooth treated to prevent an infection from forming and severe pain kicking in.

Skin is shedding on the inside of my mouth (my cheeks). Is this normal?

Yes, there are many toothpastes out there that causes the sloughing of tissue or more so the lining of the mucosa and you see whitish stringy sloughing. Crest Pro health toothpaste READ MORE
Yes, there are many toothpastes out there that causes the sloughing of tissue or more so the lining of the mucosa and you see whitish stringy sloughing. Crest Pro health toothpaste does this.

Wisdom teeth removal

The removal of wisdom teeth can be done by any skilled dentist. When the wisdom teeth are impacted and it is too close to vital areas such as the nerve or if the roots are severely READ MORE
The removal of wisdom teeth can be done by any skilled dentist. When the wisdom teeth are impacted and it is too close to vital areas such as the nerve or if the roots are severely twisted or curved, then a referral to an oral surgeon may be needed because they are more likely to deal with these more complex types of extractions. But overall, when wisdom teeth are pretty straightforward, any general dentist who is experienced in oral surgery can remove them.

What if only one tooth is crooked?

You can always move one tooth that is crooked without compromising the position of the other teeth. It really depends on how crooked it is and if it is twisted or just needs to READ MORE
You can always move one tooth that is crooked without compromising the position of the other teeth. It really depends on how crooked it is and if it is twisted or just needs to be tipped back into the arch. Some other options are veneering or bonding the tooth to better improve the position of the tooth.

I don't understand how I got Periodontal disease

Yes, periodontal disease does have a genetic component. Some people are more prone to "grow" more tartar than others. When this happens, you are then susceptible to having gum READ MORE
Yes, periodontal disease does have a genetic component. Some people are more prone to "grow" more tartar than others. When this happens, you are then susceptible to having gum disease as the tartar causes the gums to bleed as it is recognized by your body as a foreign substance much like a splinter would if it was lodged in your finger. Prolonged exposure of the gums to tartar will result in the gums reacting to the tartar and bleeding and causing a cascade of inflammatory reaction resulting in bone loss or periodontal disease. We recommend that if you have gum disease, you visit your dentist at least every 3 months.

I wear my retainer, so why are my teeth still shifting?

If you had a long braces case and your teeth had to have a lot of movement to get to the straight position that it is now, it is very important to make sure that you wear your READ MORE
If you had a long braces case and your teeth had to have a lot of movement to get to the straight position that it is now, it is very important to make sure that you wear your retainer every night and also to have multiple clear retainers made from the mold of your teeth when you were finished with your braces. That way, if there is plastic fatigue...meaning if you wear it every night, and the teeth are more prone to move in the first year after you are done with braces, you can wear a new retainer every 3 months. It is also advisable that you wear your retainer full-time first 3 months, then proceed to 1/2 day next 3-6 months and then every night for as long as you would like to keep your teeth straight.

Very swollen and red gums after routine dental cleaning

If you have not had a cleaning in over 6 months, then you may have gum disease. It is not uncommon to have pain and gum swelling for a few days after a cleaning. The cleaning can READ MORE
If you have not had a cleaning in over 6 months, then you may have gum disease. It is not uncommon to have pain and gum swelling for a few days after a cleaning. The cleaning can cause your gums to be red and swollen, since the dentist removed tartar and plaque below the gums to help your gums go back to health. Removing the tartar below the gum line of inflamed gums can cause it to appear swollen, and since the gums were probably inflamed to start with. Tartar acts like a splinter under the gums and similar to when a splinter is stuck in your finger and you have left it there for a while, it would be inflamed and painful to have it removed. This is similar to dental cleaning on teeth that have a lot of tartar below the gums. If you don’t feel better in a couple more days, you should contact a dentist to see if something is going on.