expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Travis E. Hampton

Dentist

Dr. Travis Hampton is a Dentist practicing in Covington, Georgia. Dr. Hampton 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. Travis E. Hampton
  • Covington, Georgia
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • Accepting new patients

Do fillings need to be replaced?

All dental work has a life expectancy. Your dentist should tell you when your feelings are beginning to leak and need replacing. Most feelings have a long life expectancy but READ MORE
All dental work has a life expectancy. Your dentist should tell you when your feelings are beginning to leak and need replacing. Most feelings have a long life expectancy but sometimes, particularly in the front, they are replaced more frequently. You have to trust your dentist on this one and that’s why it’s important to go on a regular basis.

What is gingivitis and its risk factors?

Gingivitis is swelling and irritation of the gums. It is caused by plaque and tartar that forms around your teeth. If left untreated, the infection in your gums can spread down READ MORE
Gingivitis is swelling and irritation of the gums. It is caused by plaque and tartar that forms around your teeth. If left untreated, the infection in your gums can spread down to the bone that holds your teeth in place and eventually you could begin losing teeth. We call this Periodontitis. The signs of gingivitis would be red, inflamed gums around the teeth with bleeding upon provocation. I.e. flossing or brushing. The best way to prevent gingivitis is by flossing and brushing regularly and going to the dentist to remove tartar that will inevitably form.

Is a root canal in pregnancy safe?

There are always risks and possible side effects with any treatment. In general, we do not like to do treatment on a pregnant woman but if it becomes necessary, we like to do READ MORE
There are always risks and possible side effects with any treatment. In general, we do not like to do treatment on a pregnant woman but if it becomes necessary, we like to do it in the second trimester. You must understand that pain from an abscessed tooth causes stress on you and your child. The infection from the tooth can also spread which likewise is dangerous for you and your child. If left untreated, the pain could get severe or the infection could get dangerous. Occasionally, we prescribe antibiotics to try to keep the infection at bay until the baby is born but If you are six months pregnant, you may not be able to hold off another three months. I would recommend the treatment, especially if you are in your second trimester.

Is higher or lower pressure better with water flossers?

It is unlikely to damage your gums, but I would leave it where you feel comfortable. I always tell my patients who have a WaterPik to continue to floss.

How can flossing help in maintaining the health of teeth and gums?

If all of my patients flossed everyday, I would go broke. I never miss a day of flossing. It is the easiest way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It is arguably more important READ MORE
If all of my patients flossed everyday, I would go broke. I never miss a day of flossing. It is the easiest way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It is arguably more important than brushing. In general, you want to work the floss past the contact between your teeth and then gently go up and down below the gum line pulling the floss against each tooth. You do not want to floss back-and-forth as this may cut your gums. Getting into a regular habit of flossing will save you a lot of money at your dental office.

Can a tooth abscess be seen on an X-ray?

A dental abscess can usually be detected on an X-ray as a dark spot around the root of the tooth in question. You can also typically detect an abscess clinically by tapping on READ MORE
A dental abscess can usually be detected on an X-ray as a dark spot around the root of the tooth in question. You can also typically detect an abscess clinically by tapping on the teeth, the tooth in question will usually elicit a response from the patient. If a tooth is abscessed, the only treatments are extraction or root canal.

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

It is possible for a dental infection to spread from one root tip to the next, potentially killing the adjacent tooth. The infection has to be rather large for this to happen READ MORE
It is possible for a dental infection to spread from one root tip to the next, potentially killing the adjacent tooth. The infection has to be rather large for this to happen and it’s not very common. Just the same, any dental infection should be treated as soon as possible.

What does bone loss in the teeth mean?

Generally, when a dentist tells you you have bone loss, he is referring to the bone that holds your teeth in place. We call this periodontitis and the bone loss is irreversible. READ MORE
Generally, when a dentist tells you you have bone loss, he is referring to the bone that holds your teeth in place. We call this periodontitis and the bone loss is irreversible. It is important to stop it before it gets any worse as it could eventually lead to tooth loss. The best way to stop further deterioration would be flossing daily and seeing your dentist on a regular basis.

Is chewing gum often bad for your teeth?

Sugar free gum is good for you. Over chewing may cause jaw joint problems, but as far as your teeth, it stimulates saliva and helps clean your teeth after a meal. Keep on chewing. READ MORE
Sugar free gum is good for you. Over chewing may cause jaw joint problems, but as far as your teeth, it stimulates saliva and helps clean your teeth after a meal. Keep on chewing.

Pain after a filling?

It is common for a tooth to be sensitive to cold for a few weeks after a new filling is done especially if the cavity was deep. This pain will typically improve week by week until READ MORE
It is common for a tooth to be sensitive to cold for a few weeks after a new filling is done especially if the cavity was deep. This pain will typically improve week by week until gone, meaning this week should be better than last week. If the pain is a throbbing constant pain (not provoked by cold), then you might have a tooth that is dying and you should see your dentist. If the pain is not getting better or it is getting worse, you should see your dentist as well. If each week is better than the last, then let it go and it should go away in time. One other thing, make sure the bite is not high. If the bite feels off, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible as a high bite will lead to tooth ache pain and might even kill the tooth over time.

Can a tooth abscess be seen on an X-ray?

Usually abscesses can be seen on an x-ray as a dark halo around the root tip of the tooth in question. Not always though. In the early stages of an abscess, the root tip may seem READ MORE
Usually abscesses can be seen on an x-ray as a dark halo around the root tip of the tooth in question. Not always though. In the early stages of an abscess, the root tip may seem normal on a radiograph. In the mouth, the dentist will 'tap' on the tooth. If it hurts or feels different than the adjacent tooth, then that is not a good sign. Patient signs of a dying tooth will be a throbbing pain particularly at night or a pain to cold that doesn't go away within a few seconds.

Is reflux giving me bad breath?

If you are flossing daily and brushing well, then the cause of any halitosis is probably not bacterial (which is the most offensive). It is possible for breath problems to arise READ MORE
If you are flossing daily and brushing well, then the cause of any halitosis is probably not bacterial (which is the most offensive). It is possible for breath problems to arise from the back of the throat or even from what we eat, but usually these are not strong odors. A lot of breath problems that are not caused by bacteria are related to dry mouth. If your mouth feels dryer than normal, your breath can stale. I would recommend that you chew sugar free gum more frequently to stimulate saliva. You can also try Listerine strips and drinking more water helps with stale breath. I notice in my practice, a lot of patients think that they have bad breath, but I cannot detect a problem.

Food getting stuck behind wisdom teeth

I have no 80 year old patients with wisdom teeth, and it's not because they were 'rushing' to get them out. In other words, probably at some point in your life, you will have problems READ MORE
I have no 80 year old patients with wisdom teeth, and it's not because they were 'rushing' to get them out. In other words, probably at some point in your life, you will have problems with them and need to get them out. Food catching around wisdom teeth can lead to cavities or a painful gum infection called pericoronitis. I see it a lot in my practice. The general rule is, if you are over 32 we try to keep them. If you are younger than that - get them out.

Biting down on side of cheek when eating

Cheek biting is a pain and a nuisance, but it usually doesn't last. The tongue and cheek are 'mold-able' muscles and usually will mold out of the way of your teeth. You might need READ MORE
Cheek biting is a pain and a nuisance, but it usually doesn't last. The tongue and cheek are 'mold-able' muscles and usually will mold out of the way of your teeth. You might need to see a dentist to make sure that there is no growth or scar tissue forming. Your teeth can move at anytime but usually will stay in place because of the pressure the cheek and tongue applies to them. I doubt that is it. I have no good answer to solve your problem here except to say that it usually doesn't last forever. Good luck.

How to get rid of mouth ulcers

Apthous ulcers are a pain and can really hurt. We are not 100% sure of the cause and therefore treatment is limited. We do know that stress can bring them on (physical or emotional) READ MORE
Apthous ulcers are a pain and can really hurt. We are not 100% sure of the cause and therefore treatment is limited. We do know that stress can bring them on (physical or emotional) but as you said, sometimes they seem to come on for no reason. We do know that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (or SLS) can bring them on. SLS is the ingredient in tooth paste that makes it 'suds'. When I have a patient who has this problem frequently, I recommend finding a toothpaste without SLS. (Aquafresh for canker sores is one but can be hard to find). We also have a product called Debacterol in our office. Your dentist may have it. It doesn't treat the problem, but literally burns the sores off. Some patients love it because they are healing after that and some obviously don't. Hopefully, this will not become a regular problem for you. Usually minor apthous ulcers go away in 2 weeks.

How can flossing help in maintaining the health of teeth and gums?

I always say that if all of my patients flossed every day, I would go out of business. Flossing is the cheapest and easiest way to prevent dental problems. The bacteria that cause READ MORE
I always say that if all of my patients flossed every day, I would go out of business. Flossing is the cheapest and easiest way to prevent dental problems. The bacteria that cause decay and gum disease mainly live at the gum-line and in between your teeth. Flossing is the easiest way to clean the ones in between your teeth. You should do it daily. I recommend adding this to your morning routine as you will often be too tired at night to be consistent. The floss should be worked past the contact, pulled towards each tooth, and then gently worked up and down as far below the gum-line as you can go without hurting yourself. If it bleeds, floss more. Infected gums bleed, healthy gums do not. Also 6 month cleanings and evaluations are very important to finding problems early and preventing tooth loss.

Is a root canal during pregnancy safe?

We don't like to work on pregnant women but if we do, we like to do it in the 2nd trimester. There is always a risk when doing any dentistry on a woman who is pregnant but the READ MORE
We don't like to work on pregnant women but if we do, we like to do it in the 2nd trimester. There is always a risk when doing any dentistry on a woman who is pregnant but the risk of stress to the baby from pain and infection is usually worse. A tooth that is in pain will not usually get better without treatment (either extraction or root canal). The root canal is usually easier on the patient and therefor less stressful to your baby than an extraction. Leaving the tooth infected and you in pain is probably the worse thing you can do. Taking antibiotics will usually 'postpone' the pain for a few weeks at a time but again, taking medication is typically not advised in the third trimester.

What does bone loss in the teeth mean?

Bone loss is another term for gum disease. Your teeth are sitting in your 'jaw bone'. The gums overlay that. When you get gum disease, infection from bacteria and tartar eats away READ MORE
Bone loss is another term for gum disease. Your teeth are sitting in your 'jaw bone'. The gums overlay that. When you get gum disease, infection from bacteria and tartar eats away the bone that holds your teeth in place. If enough bone goes away, your teeth can literally fall out. Early bone loss means early gum disease. Next would be moderate, then severe. Bone loss is irreversible. What you have lost, we cannot grow back, but it is possible to stop future bone loss. Floss every day, especially if you have diabetes. See your dentist at least every 6 months and if you cannot control your diabetes, see your dentist more frequently for cleanings (3 or 4 month recalls). Diabetics have problems fighting infections, gum disease is an infection. Keep the bacteria gone, and the infection will go away.

Having an abscessed tooth? What could this mean?

An abscessed tooth is a tooth that is dying. For some reason (usually decay but sometimes injury), the tooth is dying or already dead. There is a nerve in your tooth that is necrosing READ MORE
An abscessed tooth is a tooth that is dying. For some reason (usually decay but sometimes injury), the tooth is dying or already dead. There is a nerve in your tooth that is necrosing (or basically becoming gangrene). There is no way to reverse gangrene, you must remove it from your body. This means you will either have to remove the tooth (an extraction) or remove the infected nerve (a root canal). Left untreated, an abscessed tooth will usually lead to severe pain, spread of infection, and rarely even death. The early signs of an abscessing tooth will be a throbbing pain, especially at night, and prolonged temperature pain (or pain to hot and cold). Seek treatment as soon as you can.

What is gingivitis and its risk factors?

Gingivitis is an infection in the gums around your teeth. If untreated, this will lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis which is infection in the gums AND the bone READ MORE
Gingivitis is an infection in the gums around your teeth. If untreated, this will lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis which is infection in the gums AND the bone that holds your teeth in place. The simple treatment and prevention of gingivitis and periodontitis is flossing and seeing your dentist regularly for professional cleanings. Bacteria and tartar that live around the gumline is the cause of the infection and removing them is the cure. The signs of gingivitis will be a changing of color in the gums close to the teeth from a light pink (coral pink) to a darker red. Also, you will see swelling of the papilla or the triangle gum area between the teeth. Healthy gums will also appear stippled, like an orange, from top to bottom.