How Do I Get Pain Relief For My TMJ?

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint syndrome, is a uniquely painful jaw condition. Patients with TMJ may have severe pain in the joints connecting the upper and lower jaw. The pain can also spread to the face, ears, shoulder, and neck.

TMJ can prevent patients from relaxing, sleeping, and enjoying life. Fortunately, your dentist has many noninvasive ways to relieve pain and help patients live normal lives.

These methods include oral appliance therapy or jaw splints, medications, diet changes, relaxation techniques, and stress reduction. In extreme cases, surgical options may be necessary.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. We have two temporomandibular joints: one at either corner of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is a complex sliding hinge that allows for a flexible range of motion. TMJ syndrome develops when this joint becomes inflamed or irritated enough to cause problems.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

TMJ does not always have clear causes. However, several commonalities may tie this condition together:

Methods for TMJ Pain Relief

Diet Change

Eating a softer diet can be beneficial when dealing with a TMJ flare-up. You can take some pressure off your joints if you can avoid eating hard, chewy, or crunchy foods.

Relaxation and Stress Relief

If you can relieve stress, you may be able to take some pressure off your temporomandibular joint. Many patients find meditation, yoga, and talk therapy beneficial.

Habit Changes

Avoid singing, yawning, chewing gum, and making other large or repetitive jaw movements.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Dentists can prescribe appliances that hold the jaw relaxed at night, preventing clenching and grinding that could aggravate the temporomandibular joint.


Patients may need muscle relaxants or pain medication to feel better but try non-drug therapies first.


In cases of arthritis or joint deterioration, jaw surgery may be your best option. Most cases of TMJ can receive relief from alternative methods.

Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ

Will TMJ go away on its own?

TMJ may leave on its own, but this circumstance is unlikely if you continue the activities that caused it. If you feel any of the symptoms of TMJ, call your family dentist to discuss treatment options.

Can TMJ result from a car accident?

Traumatic injury is a major cause of TMJ. If you have been in an accident, consult your dentist as soon as it is safe.

Call Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental

TMJ can significantly impact your quality of life. If you believe you have TMJ, please call our Albuquerque, NM, office at 505-898-1976 for help. We can schedule a consultation with one of our expert dentists to help you feel more like yourself.

4 Myths About Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of today's best options for tooth replacement. However, harmful misinformation about these useful medical appliances continues to circulate.

Here are four of the top myths concerning dental implants. We will share the truth behind each myth and explain the process of getting dental implants. 

Myth #1: Dental Implant Surgery is Painful

When many patients think of dental implant surgery, discomfort might be the first thing on their minds. Dentists surgically place implants with care and precision. They use expert local anesthesia to make sure the patient feels no amount of pain during the procedure. Many patients opt for sedation or anesthesia if they feel anxious about the surgery.

The recovery period after surgery may involve some minor discomfort, but you can easily manage it with over-the-counter or prescription medication.

Myth #2: Dental Implants Look Artificial

In the past, dental implants may have been easy to distinguish from natural teeth, but today, most people cannot tell them apart. What they will notice is your beautiful, complete smile.

Myth #3: Implants Don't Last Long

Dental implants last for many years and have an extremely high success rate of about 95 percent or higher. The titanium implant post may last a lifetime with excellent oral care.

The crown, bridge, or denture that completes your implant may need periodic replacement due to normal wear and tear. On average, the restoration appliances need replacement every 8 to 10 years.

Myth #4: Dental Implants Are Unaffordable

While dental implants do cost more than other tooth replacement methods, they should be considered a high-value investment in your oral health. If you replace a missing tooth with an implant, you will avoid problems with shifting teeth and jaw bone loss that can lead to costly problems in the future.

If you need full-arch implants, these are a particularly good investment. They last much longer than conventional dentures and protect your oral health much more than their traditional counterparts.

The Process of Placing Dental Implants

The multi-step dental implant process may take some time to complete, but you will have permanent tooth restorations when it is over.The initial step in getting implants is visiting your dentist for a consultation and thorough exam.

The dentist will determine whether you have sufficient bone mass in your jaw to place an implant. If you do not, you can receive a bone graft. Bone grafts take about four to six months to heal, after which you can have dental implant surgery.

The next step in installing dental implants is often extracting a problem tooth. In many cases, your dentist can install the dental implant post on the same day as extracting the existing tooth, saving you time and money.

After extraction, the dentist places the post. Using special tools, the dentist makes a small opening in the jawbone and inserts the anchor. The anchor will bond with the jaw in osseointegration, creating a rock-solid base for your implant that looks and feels like a natural tooth.

After the post heals and integrates with the jaw, the next step is placing the abutment. The abutment is a cap for the dental implant post.

When the gums have healed around the abutment, the dentist can place the final restoration, torquing it to create a durable restoration.

Types of Dental Implants

You can choose from several types of implants, depending on how many teeth you need to replace:

Single-Tooth Implants

These implants replace one tooth at a time. They are ideal for patients who only need a few teeth replaced.

Implant-Supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges are sturdier than standard ones connecting to crowns on either side.

Implant-Supported Dentures

You can choose from partial or full-arch implant-supported dentures. Full-arch implant-supported dentures are an excellent value compared to single-tooth implants. They can replace a complete arch of teeth in one step, using only a handful of dental implant posts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

What can I eat with dental implants?

With implants, you do not need to restrict your diet. Within reason, you can eat anything you like as long as you practice good oral hygiene.

Do I have to visit the dentist regularly with implants?

It is best to keep up with your standard schedule for cleanings and exams. Your dentist will want to monitor the health of your implants and ensure you take good care of them at home.

Call Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental

Dental implants can change your life for the better. Your dentist can help you debunk myths about dental implants' safety, effectiveness, and quality. Please call our Albuquerque, NM, office at 505-898-1976 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Can Dental Implants Be Done In One Day?

Although dental implants have been around for decades, they are still one of the most popular and effective methods for replacing missing teeth. Thanks to advances in technology, dental implants can now be placed in a single visit – in as little as one day!

This is a huge advantage over other methods of tooth replacement, such as dentures and bridges, which can take weeks or even months to complete.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at dental implants and how they can be done in just one day. We’ll also dispel some of the myths surrounding this popular procedure.

The misconceptions about dental implants

Despite all the technological advances and the ability to put in dental implants in one day, there are still many misconceptions about these procedures.

The first is that dental implants are unsafe or risky. While it’s true that you should always consult a dentist before deciding to have any type of surgery, dental implants are generally very safe for most people. The implant placement is done with very fine, specialized instruments and careful attention to detail. Furthermore, a trained dentist will carefully plan the placement of the implant to ensure that it is properly placed and secure.

The second misconception is that they are too expensive. While dental implants may be more expensive than some other options available, they are a long-term solution that can last a lifetime with proper care.

The third misconception is that they aren’t comfortable. While this may have been true of earlier generations of implants, modern implants are designed to be as comfortable as natural teeth. Thanks to technological advances, they are now custom fitted to fit the structure of your natural teeth and the surrounding gum tissue.

What is the truth about dental implants?

The truth about dental implants is that they are a great option for those facing the loss of teeth. They provide a sense of stability, with fixed teeth that look and feel natural while offering durability, strength, and security.

Dental implants can also be a cost-effective long-term option when compared to other forms of tooth replacement, and when combined with proper care, can last for many years.

Furthermore, thanks to advances in technology, having a dental implant is now a much more comfortable experience. With modern implants, a trained dentist can custom-fit them to the shape and structure of your natural teeth and the surrounding gum tissue, and the procedures can be done in a single visit. In addition, the procedure itself is generally very safe and requires minimal recovery time.

Overall, the truth about dental implants is that they are a safe, reliable, and comfortable way to replace missing teeth without sacrificing your comfort and quality of life.

Why you should consider getting dental implants

Having dental implants can give you multiple benefits, from improved oral health to better aesthetics. Firstly, and most importantly, having dental implants can help you restore your original smile. Thanks to their longevity and strong form, they look and feel like your natural teeth.

In addition, dental implants also protect your existing healthy teeth. Unlike bridgework and conventional dentures, dental implants do not rely on adjacent teeth to remain in place. This means that your surrounding teeth are not at risk of being damaged.

Dental implants can also help better your bone health by preventing bone deterioration, which can have detrimental effects on your appearance and the fit of your dentures.

Finally, dental implants are easy to maintain. With proper oral hygiene, they can last for many years and provide you with an easy and confident way to chew, eat, and talk without worrying or thinking about your teeth.

The benefits of dental implants

Having dental implants offers multiple benefits beyond simply improving the aesthetics of your smile. Here are five of the most important benefits of dental implants:

1. Improved oral health – Dental implants mimic the function of natural teeth, helping to restore proper chewing and eating. Since they are securely rooted in the jawbone, they provide a more stable and secure fit than dentures or other restorations, helping to keep your existing, healthy teeth in place.

2. Easy to maintain – Dental implants require no special cleaning, and they can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth. They are also extremely durable and can last for many years with proper oral hygiene.

3. Improved speech – Dental implants help to improve your speech by providing a secure foundation for your artificial teeth, allowing you to speak clearly and confidently.

4. Improved self-confidence – Dental implants will help to improve your self-confidence, as you will no longer feel self-conscious or embarrassed about the appearance of your smile.

5. Improved quality of life – Dental implants are designed to restore the look and feel of natural teeth, allowing you to enjoy a greater quality of life with an improved ability to chew, speak and smile confidently.

Can dental implants really be done in one day?

A dental implant procedure typically takes several steps and can take several months to complete. However, there are now dental implant techniques that allow the entire implant to be placed in a single day. This is known as “same-day implants” and is becoming increasingly popular as a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth quickly.

The same-day implant procedure typically involves the surgical placement of a titanium implant post, followed by an abutment that connects the implant post to the replacement tooth. This is followed by the placement of a crown, bridge, or denture to complete the restoration.

If you are a good candidate for same-day implants, the entire procedure can be done in one day, allowing you to walk away with a beautiful, natural-looking smile in a single appointment.

Ultimately, while same-day implants are becoming increasingly popular, you must consult your dentist to determine if the same-day procedure is right for you.

Dental Implants in Albuquerque, NM

Seeking out dental implants is a great decision; they are often the best solution for replacing missing teeth that have been damaged or lost due to injury, infection, or decay. However, when it comes to same-day implants, you must consult your dentist to determine if it is the right option for you.

Although same-day implants are becoming more popular, it is important to remember that more complex cases may require additional time during the surgery, as well as an extended healing period prior to the completion of the implant.

Contact us at 505-898-1976 to assess your individual needs and advise you on whether same-day implants are right for you. 

Signs of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a common dental problem that affects many people worldwide. It is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and damage to the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health issues.

The signs of periodontal disease can vary depending on the severity of the infection. In the early stages, the symptoms may be mild and easy to overlook. However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more noticeable and can include red, swollen, and bleeding gums, bad breath, and loose teeth. Regular dental checkups are essential to detect and treat periodontal disease early.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial in preventing periodontal disease. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash can help remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth. A healthy diet and avoiding tobacco use can also lower the risk of developing periodontal disease. Understanding the signs of periodontal disease can help individuals seek treatment before the condition worsens.

Causes of periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria on the teeth and gums. Over time, this bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums, which can lead to several different symptoms. Several factors can contribute to the development of periodontal disease, including:

It is important to note that while these factors can increase the risk of periodontal disease, they do not guarantee that a person will develop the condition. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, it is possible to prevent or manage periodontal disease.

Symptoms of periodontal disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health problems. Recognizing the signs of periodontal disease is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment.

Some common symptoms of periodontal disease include:

In some cases, periodontal disease may not cause any noticeable symptoms, which is why regular dental check-ups are important for early detection.

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of periodontal disease is crucial for maintaining good oral health. When gum disease is caught in its early stages, known as gingivitis, it is easier to treat and reverse the damage. If left untreated, however, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss and other serious complications.

One of the reasons why early detection is so important is that gum disease is often painless in its initial stages. Many people may not even realize they have a problem until it has progressed to a more advanced stage. This is why regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential. Dentists and dental hygienists can spot the early signs of gum disease and take the necessary steps to prevent it from worsening.

Another reason why early detection is crucial is that periodontal disease has been linked to other health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems. By catching gum disease early, you can not only protect your oral health but also reduce the risk of developing these systemic health issues.

Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease

While anyone can develop periodontal disease, certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing this condition. By understanding these risk factors, you can proactively prevent gum disease or catch it early.

By being aware of these risk factors, you can take appropriate measures to minimize your chances of developing periodontal disease. In the next section, we will discuss the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease.

Periodontal care in Albuquerque, NM

Periodontal disease is a common dental issue with serious consequences if left untreated. By understanding the importance of early detection and recognizing the signs of gum disease, you can take proactive steps to protect your oral health and maintain a healthy smile.

Regular dental check-ups, practicing good oral hygiene, and being aware of your risk factors are essential for preventing gum disease. If you do develop periodontal disease, various treatment options are available to manage and reverse the condition. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so prioritize your oral health and take care of your smile by contacting us at 505-898-1976.

How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?

Periodontal disease threatens healthy teeth by attacking the gums and jaw bone tissue. It is a major cause of tooth loss in older adults, and its prevalence among younger adults is rising. Fortunately, dentists can treat the periodontal disease successfully, slowing its progression and lowering the chance that patients will lose their teeth.

About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection and inflammation affecting the gum and bone surrounding your teeth. Patients who do not practice adequate oral care and neglect to make recommended dental visits are at a significantly higher risk of developing periodontal disease.

In patients with periodontal disease, plaque, tartar (calculus), and food particles build up in deep pockets between the teeth and gums. The gum and bone begin to break down as these pockets collect toxic bacterial products. Eventually, the bone weakens, so it can no longer hold the teeth.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Stages of Periodontal Disease and Corresponding Treatments

Stage 1: Gingivitis

Your gums may bleed when they are brushed or flossed. If treated promptly, you can reverse gingivitis and keep it from progressing to periodontal disease.

Treatment involves professional dental cleaning, checking your restorations to ensure they are not irritating your gums, and stepping up your home oral care routine. You may need a prescription antibiotic mouth rinse.

Stage 2: Slight Periodontitis

The dentist diagnoses the stages of periodontal disease by measuring the pocket depth between your teeth and gums. If the pockets are between four and five millimeters, you have Stage 2 periodontitis. This condition has progressed to the point where it is no longer reversible, but you and your dentist can manage it with proper treatment.

At this stage, you will need scaling and root planing treatment. Scaling and root planing involve using specialized instruments to remove every trace of tartar and plaque above and below the gum line. When the tooth and root surfaces are clean and smooth, healthy gum tissue can adhere to them and shrink periodontal pockets.

Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis

If your periodontal pockets have progressed to six to seven millimeters, your disease is moderate. At this time, the bacteria infecting your gums can progress into your bloodstream and affect your immune system.

Scaling and root planing also treat this level of periodontal disease, together with increased home care.

Stage 4: Advanced Periodontitis

If you neglect to treat the prior stages of gum disease, you will reach stage 4. Stage 4 periodontal disease means you have a 50 to 90 percent chance of permanent bone loss that will lead to tooth loss.

If your gums are red, swollen, and ooze pus, or if you find it painful to chew, you may have stage 4 periodontal disease. You may also notice that your teeth are extremely sensitive to cold.

Treatments for end-stage periodontal disease include periodontal pocket surgery, where the dentist folds the gums back to allow the dentist to remove the bacteria, and laser periodontal surgery, where a strong beam of light cleans and sanitizes the gums.

Call Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental

If you have known periodontal disease or have noticed any of the symptoms listed above, don't wait to call us for a prompt appointment. The sooner your dentist intervenes, the more likely it will be that you can preserve your teeth for a lifetime. Please call our Albuquerque, NM, office at 505-898-1976 for an exam and consultation.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

According to a CDC report, it is estimated that 47.2% of adults 30 years of age and older have some form of periodontal disease. And this number only increases with age. 

When it comes to oral health, so much time is spent focusing on teeth, but the gums are just as important. Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the soft tissues of the gums and, if not addressed, can lead to tooth and bone loss. 

Signs of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease comes with many warning signs to look out for. And taking action when you first spot them is a must. Below are the most common signs of gum disease: 

Any time you notice a small change in your teeth or gums, it is so important to visit your dentist for an examination. However, with routine dental visits, your dentist will be able to spot signs of periodontal disease even when you can’t.

What Causes Periodontal Disease? 

The most common cause of periodontal disease is plaque. This sticky film of bacteria latches onto your teeth and can wreak havoc within your mouth. 

Plaque comes from the starches and sugars found in foods you consume. It can hang around your mouth and mix with bacteria as it hardens into tartar. This can be on your teeth - and below the gum line.

The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the worse damage they can do. And, since brushing cannot remove tartar - it is going to stick around for a while unless you make an appointment with your dental hygienist. 

Are some people more prone to gum disease than others? Everyone is at risk for gum disease on some level, but there are a few risk factors that can increase the chances, including: 

Preventing Periodontal Disease

The prevention of periodontal disease really comes down to how well you care for your teeth. Having a good oral hygiene routine, consisting of: 

More than that, though, you need to make visiting your dentist a priority every 6 months. Professional cleanings and routine exams can allow your teeth and gums to have the best chance of being free from gum disease. 

Treatment for Periodontal Disease 

If you are showing any signs of periodontal disease, you do not want to delay seeking treatment. While it can only be reversed in its very early stages, it is possible to halt further damage with the right attention. 

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental, we have the tools to help you once again have healthier gums. 

To learn more, contact us today at 505-898-1976.

What is Emergency Dentistry?

Dental emergencies can unexpectedly strike at any time. Some emergencies require immediate care, others can wait for a promptly scheduled appointment, but in all situations, it's always best to contact your dental team as soon as you can! 

Lost Tooth

Whether due to sports play, a fall, or car accident, getting a tooth knocked out needs urgent dental intervention. 

Chances to save the natural tooth decreases extremely quickly - between 30 to 60 minutes after the injury occurs. If you can find your tooth, you should:

If the tooth can’t be saved, a dental implant, which is as durable and long lasting as your own tooth, is the best replacement. 

Your Tooth is Chipped, Cracked, or Broken

A chipped tooth can usually be fixed with a simple filling; a broken tooth restored with a dental crown. While you need to reach out for an appointment, these issues aren’t considered urgent, but reach out when they happen to schedule a timely visit. A lost filling or crown should also be treated this way: call your dentist immediately, but there’s no need for an urgent visit when this injury first occurs. 

Tooth Pain

While you may see no visible sign of trauma, a severe toothache or tooth pain can be an urgent dental emergency. Experiencing pain in your tooth, gums or gum tissue can be extremely debilitating. You may experience lesser pain or sensitivity to hot or cold prior to the occurrence of these severe symptoms. Call your dental team; the severity of the pain will affect the urgency of a dental visit. 

Pain from an impacted wisdom tooth, or an infected tooth, particularly if the gum area is swollen, or you experience any swelling of gums, cheek, jaw, or neck  should be treated as an urgent emergency situation. 

Tooth Abscess

A tooth or gum abscess can indeed be extremely painful. An abscess is basically a pocket of pus developing at the root of your tooth, causing pain and a bad taste. You may also have some swelling of the gums, or a fever. A throbbing toothache is another sign of an abscess. Whether caused by tooth decay which has reached to the inner pulp area of your tooth or for another reason, this is also an emergency - abscess should be dealt with very rapidly as an infection could spread to other areas of your mouth and body.

What is a Dental Emergency?

While in some situations, you only need to contact your dentist and set an appointment time, when an emergency strikes, reach out immediately! 

We’ll assess the situation over the phone and get you into our office ASAP. Call right away if you’re experiencing:

Do You Need Emergency Help?

If you need emergency help, whether urgent or to schedule a timely appointment, reach out to us today. We’re ready to help with all your emergency dental needs!

Rock Your Family’s Smiles in 2020

Nothing’s better than your loved ones’ smiles. That sly smile your spouse or partner shoots you across a crowded room that only you can decode. The gaping grin your six-year old proudly presents after losing another baby tooth. Smiles lighten our moods and relieve stress, and best of all, they’re contagious. In fact, you can improve your family’s health by simply smiling and laughing more. In 2020, take these four practical and doable steps to protect the smiles you love most.

1. Take Care of Your Brain

When you smile, your brain mixes up a feel-good concoction of neurotransmitters—dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Upon their release, your body relaxes, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Even your immunity gets a boost. Plus, the more you smile, the more your brain rewires itself to positive thoughts. And it does this while connecting you to others; smiles of a loved one stimulates your brain to release the social hormone, Oxytocin. This “love hormone” is key to social ties, trust, and bonding. And studies show even your dog’s oxytocin levels rise when they see you smile.

Let’s face it. We don’t always feel like smiling, nor should anyone be compelled to smile. And smiling doesn’t magically cure clinical depression. Yet even on our toughest days, smiling will make you and those around you feel better. Even a forced a smile tricks your brain into activating a flood of feel-good chemicals. Study after study tells us that smiling improves our moods, relieves pain and stress, and breaks down relationship barriers.

In 2020, take care of your brain by making plenty of opportunities for smiles. Be a more intentional consumer of media. Balance the negative news of the day with healthy doses of comedies and funny films or theater. Laugh at pet videos. Play with your family pet. Even uplifting music will bring out your cheery side.

2. Take Care of Your Oral Health

When you take care of your family’s oral health, you’re doing more than protecting smiles; you’re protecting your family’s overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, poor oral health can contribute to various diseases like cardiovascular disease and even pneumonia.

Oral health is rooted in good oral hygiene practices and habits. And it’s never too late to improve those habits. Focus on the basics:

  1. Beat bacteria with daily brushing and flossing. Brush with a soft-bristle brush after meals or at a minimum, twice a day. Floss nightly. Not only are you fighting bacteria that cause tooth decay, gum disease and infections, but you’re also lowering the chances of that bacteria spreading to other parts of your body.
  2. Use fluoride toothpaste. Study after study concludes that brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste prevents dental caries. If you are concerned about how much fluoride should be in your family’s toothpaste, talk to us at your next dentist appointment.
  3. Talk to us about dental sealants to prevent cavities. Dental sealants are an effective protective barrier between your tooth enamel and decay-causing bacteria. Unlike tooth fillings that are applied to a cavity to seal off an area where decay has been removed, dental sealants are applied as a preventative treatment to teeth that have no decay or previous cavity fillings. Dental sealants can help your children avoid tooth decay and fillings. In fact, sealants are so effective that most dental insurance covers them for children and young adults.
  4. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings. Ensuring your family members have their teeth cleaned at least twice yearly will maintain your family’s healthy smiles. Beyond removing plaque and tartar, your dental professionals protect your family’s health by identifying other oral health issues early, including gum disease, oral cancers, and TMJ Disorder.
  5. Pay attention to warning signs. Bleeding or swollen gums are a sign of infected tissue. Take any sign of infection in your mouth seriously and have it checked out. Other warning signs include tooth or filling movement, chronic bad breath, and persistent sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. The sooner your attend to these symptoms, the better the outcome.

3. Take Care of Your Diet

Reducing the amount of sugar in your family’s diet is one of the best ways to protect your family’s oral and overall health. Removing sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and sugary snacks from lunches and snacks is a great start. But reducing your family’s sugar intake requires even more vigilance since sugar has wheedled its way into all kinds of processed foods. Making a habit of reading labels and leave the more sugar-filled options on the store shelf.

The good news is that a diet that will rock your family’s smiles and foster good oral health is also a diet for optimum overall health. According to the American Dental Association, the following are simple and doable components of smile-healthy diet:

  1. Water. Drink plenty of it and offer it instead of sugary drinks.
  2. Variety is the spice of life. Provide your family foods from each of the five major foods groups: whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean sources of protein (like lean beef, skinless poultry and fish) as well as beans, peas, and other legumes, and low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.
  3. Snacks. Limit snacks, and when you do offer snacks, choose fruit, nuts, vegetables, or a piece of cheese.

4. Take Care of Yourself

Your health and well-being are essential to your family’s smiles. As you care for a your busy family, make sure you are establishing everyday habits that integrate your own self-care.

  1. Get adequate sleep. Give yourself enough time to sleep every night. Don’t squeeze sleep out of your busy schedule. Just as you ensure routines for when your kids go to bed and wake up, keep a sleep schedule routine for yourself. Staying up late and sleeping in late on weekends can disrupt your body clock’s sleep–wake rhythm.
  2. Get outside. This is especially important in the winter months. When you get yourself outside, you’re naturally going to engage in more physical activity. Even if it’s just a short walk with your dog, get out there.
  3. If you smoke, get some help to QUIT. Smoking stains your teeth and can cause tooth and gum problems. Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes many diseases. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Check out gov for help.
  4. Limit alcoholic drinks. A drink now and then isn’t a problem, but even moderate drinking stains your teeth, dries out your mouth, and exposes your tooth enamel to more acids. Moreover, heavy drinkers have more gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores. Plus alcohol abuse is the second most common risk factor for oral cancer.
  5. Don’t demand perfection from yourself. Practice self-compassion. Cut yourself some slack and remember that sustainable growth starts with baby steps.

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we love smiles and love partnering with families to keep those smiles healthy. We welcome any new patients. Make an appointment today!

Have You Been Screened For Oral Cancer?

As you’re packing up the family to head to this year’s Corrales Harvest Festival for hayrides and a foot-stompin’ hootenanny under the stars, I’m going to be a buzz kill for a second. I want you to think about oral cancer, which kills one person every hour of the day. In fact, approximately 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer this year alone, and far too many will receive their diagnoses at a late stage of the disease, lowering their chances for survival. The good news is that oral cancer can be found early in its development, through a simple, painless, and quick screening. That’s why you’ll see Davis Gribble Hollowwa at a free Oral Cancer Foundation screening stand in the Corrales Harvest Festival Village Marketplace on September 28, 9 am to 5 pm.

Who Should Stop By for a Screening?

Every adult. We encourage you to stop by and bring a loved one. Your stop is especially important if you haven’t been to a dentist in a while or if you’re experiencing any of the signs or symptoms we list below.

Also, two population segments are especially at risk: long-term tobacco and alcohol users, and young healthy, non-smokers who have been exposed to the HPV16 virus (human papilloma version 16). HPV16 is also responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. The same HPV strain is responsible for oropharyngeal cancers (cancers in the back of the mouth, throat, and tonsils), and affect men 4 to 1 over women.

If You Have Any of These Symptoms, Stop For a Screening!

  • Any sore that does not heal within 14 days.
  • Hoarseness that lasts for a prolonged period of time.
  • A sensation that something is stuck in your throat.
  • Numbness in the oral region.
  • Red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Ear pain that occurs on one side only.
  • A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, still does not heal.
  • A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth or on the neck.

What Happens During a Screening?

Screenings are quick, painless, and non-invasive. They are visual and tactile. We thoroughly examine your mouth, face, and neck to check for any spots or sores that may be early warnings. A blue light helps us detect tissue changes that may not visible with regular light. We will also ask you some questions about tobacco and alcohol or symptoms. The entire exam takes just a few minutes, so you’ll be off to festival fun before you can say “looks good!”

Oral Cancer Screenings Save Lives

Our dentists at Davis Gribble Hollowwa want you to incorporate yearly oral cancer screenings into your routine preventive health care just as you do other screenings. To learn more about oral/oropharyngeal cancers, log onto The Oral Cancer Foundation’s official website at And plan to come to the Corrales Harvest Festival on September 28 for your free oral cancer screening. It may save your life!

Let’s Talk About Mouthguards and Sports

The kids are back in school. Just when you think life might slow down a bit, your afternoon taxi service to and from sports practices hits full throttle. Luckily, you have a bit of wait time before sweaty and thirsty kiddos pile in the back of your car. Enough time to catch up on some blogs and learn about the importance of mouthguards. For starters, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), one third of all dental injuries are sports related, and mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries annually. Moreover, the risk of an orofacial sports injury runs 1.6-1.9 times higher when a mouthguard isn’t worn. Glad you’re reading this, because mouthguards can save your kids’ teeth.

Mouthguards Are For More Than Contact Sports

We’re not merely talking to moms and dads sitting in minivans at the football field. Contact sports have been on board with mouthguards for a long while. However, according to the ADA, if you’re waiting to pick up your child in a limited- and non-contact activity like gymnastics and skating, your child is participating in a sport where dental injuries are prevalent. In fact, in addition to all contact sports, the ADA promotes a properly fitted mouthguard for the following limited-contact sports and activities:




Equestrian events

Field events


In-line skating











Extreme Sports

Types of Mouthguards

Generally, there are three types of mouthguards:

  1. The ready-made or stock mouth guard. You can pick these up at any sporting goods store. These are inexpensive, so you don’t have to worry about your kids losing them. But they are also a pain because they’re bulky and have to be held in place by biting down on them. They interfere with breathing and talking. Kids hate them, so they often fail to wear them. These mouthguards are the least protective of the three types. We don’t recommend them.
  2. The mouth-formed boil-and-bite mouthguard. These popular mouthguards conform to the shape of your teeth by first being immersed in hot water. Once softened, the thermoplastic is placed in the mouth to take the shape of the teeth. These are also available at most sporting goods stores and pharmacies. They are more expensive but superior to stock mouthguards, which is why so many athletes use them. Even so, they are not as good as custom-made mouthguards.
  3. The custom-made mouthguard. By far the most protective mouthguard is one that is dentist- customized from an individual dental impression. These mouthguards fit perfectly, are more comfortable, less obtrusive, and more likely to be worn. The downside is they are more expensive. If you have a younger child whose teeth are changing or is prone to losing things, you’ll want to discuss the pros and cons of this option with your dentist before making this choice. Online companies also provide impression kits, but taking a good impression takes practice. Ask any dental assistant. We don’t advise mail-in mouthguard kits for that reason.

Mouthguards and Braces

Kids (or adults) who wear braces risk damage to their braces, so it’s particularly important that those who wear braces discuss the best sports mouthguard solution with their dentist and/or orthodontist. Also, remember that kids with retainers or other removable orthodontic appliances should not wear them during sports activities. Invisalign trays are an exception, which can sometimes be worn with a mouthguard. Again, talk to your orthodontist about when and when not to wear them.

Keeping Mouthguards Clean

Teach your kids to treat their mouthguards as an extension of their oral hygiene.

  • Rinse off with cold water (not a sports drink) immediately after use. Then place it in a perforated container to transport it. This keeps it from being crushed by cleats, water bottles, or other items that may be in your child’s sports bag or backpack.
  • When it’s time to brush and floss, brush the mouthguard with a small bit toothpaste or clean with soap and water. Then rinse it well and place it back in its case.
  • Protect the mouthguard from extreme temperatures (dashboards of cars, boiling water, etc.).
  • Protect the mouthguard from cats and dogs. Cats are great at knocking mouthguards off counters; to dogs, mouthguards are chew toys.
  • If the mouthguard is a custom-made mouthguard, take it to your child’s regularly scheduled dental checkup and cleaning to ensure it still fits correctly.

Mouthguards Don’t Last Forever

You know how hard it is keeping your kids in clothes that fit. Well, the mouth changes as well. Depending upon how often your child participates in sports, you may wish to get a new mouthguard at the beginning of each new school year. More often for younger kids whose teeth are growing in.

Make an Appointment Today

Have one of our family dentists at Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental take a look at your child’s mouthguard, talk to your child about the importance of wearing one for all sports, or even fit your child for one if you determine that is the best option. We have convenient hours that work around our most dedicated sports enthusiasts’ schedules, and our online appointment form is easy. Or call us at 505-898-1976.

What is Truly a Dental Emergency?

It seems there’s one in every family. The minimizer. You know who I’m talking about. These stoic souls who say things like “it’s just a scratch” when you’re applying direct pressure to a serious wound. Or “it’s just a little toothache” when you can see pain etched deeply in the person’s eyes and grimace. Maybe that person is you. Whomever your family minimizer is, this handy guide can help you identify what is truly a dental emergency. And if it is, you need to call us and get in for some help!

A Loose or Missing Tooth

A loose or knocked-out tooth is usually the result from an injury in adults. Likewise, in children. Both are emergencies. If your tooth is knocked out, clean the tooth carefully with milk or water by holding the tooth by the crown (never by the root). Carefully place the tooth back and hold it in place with a rolled-up piece of gauze. A cold compress will help with swelling. If you can’t place the tooth back in its socket, place it between your cheek and gum until you get to the dentist. Contact us immediately.

A Severe Toothache

A severe toothache is one symptom that tells you something is wrong with your tooth. If the severity of the pain affects your ability to function normally, call us.

Tooth pain may be caused by a cavity. Cavities generally get more painful when heat or cold hit them. Chewing also causes pain.

Abscesses are another cause of severe tooth pain. An abscess is when a pocket of infection has developed around the tooth or at its root structure. notes other symptoms that may accompany an abscess are:

Severe tooth pain combined with these signs of infection need to be addressed by one of our expert dentists ASAP.

A Lost Filling or Crown

Losing a filling or crown can be extremely painful, because the underlying tooth will be sensitive to temperature. Pain is your emergency marker. If you lose a filling or crown, you can dab the sensitive area with oil of cloves. You may also wish to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol. Contact us right away to get either a filling or crown replaced. You don’t want to be in pain.

An Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that tries to break through the gum but can’t quite make it. Wisdom teeth and canines are the most common culprits for this problem. A child might get an impacted tooth if a baby tooth fails to fall out when it should or if a permanent tooth erupts in the wrong place. This crowds other teeth and can harm the roots of healthy teeth.

If biting and chewing become difficult, or swollen gums and pain accompany chewing, it’s time to see a dentist. Usually impacted teeth don’t arrive all at once, so regular dental care with X-rays will likely detect any potential teeth that could become impacted. But when it happens, it’s painful, and you need help. Call us.

A Cracked, Chipped or Broken Tooth

Whether it happened while binge-watching GOT with a bowl of popcorn or catching an elbow in a pick-up game of basketball, a cracked, chipped or broken tooth needs treatment ASAP. If your tooth damage is the result of a head injury, you should visit the emergency room first.

Cracked Tooth: your tooth may be sensitive and it is weakened. Although you may not need to come in immediately if you’re not in serious pain, call us to make an appointment to get it assessed and fixed. Be careful about chewing on this side or hot or cold liquids.

Chipped or Broken Tooth: It helps to rinse your mouth out with warm salt water. If there is bleeding, apply a rolled-up piece of gauze to tooth and gently bite down until bleeding stops. You may wish to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. A small chip is probably not going to cause you much pain, but it needs to be fixed to keep the tooth strong and prevent decay. A broken tooth may be jagged and sharp. Either can be painful. Call us ASAP.

Don’t Wait Until You’re in Serious Pain

It’s not just minimizers who too often ignore tooth sensitivity, hoping it will go away. We get it, you have busy lives. But tooth sensitivity can result from a variety of factors including worn tooth enamel and exposed tooth roots. Other causes include undetected cavities, cracks, chips, a worn filling, or gum disease.

If you have sensitivity, although it may not constitute an emergency, it is a red flag. Tooth sensitivity is your body’s way of asking you to make a dental appointment. And at Albuquerque’s Davis, Gribble, and Hollowwaa, we’re here to prevent dental emergencies when we can and treat dental emergencies when they disrupt your life.

Whether you are currently one of our patients or not, we’re here to help you in an emergency. Call us at 505-898-1976.

How to Cope with Kids’ Dental Emergencies

You know how it goes. A perfect day. The kids are running around having a great time. You’ve just stretched out under a shade tree with all children in your sights. You crack open your summer thriller, and within two pages—the SCREAM! Your son flies to you. Blood runs from his mouth. Excited children stream toward you. All have a story and need calming. Your son is now gulping tears in his panic. And you see it. A bloody hole where his front tooth used to be.

You’re a parent. An emergency expert. But even pros who pack the 3-Bs in their purses (Band-aids®, Benadryl®, and Bactine®) can use the following pro tips to cope with kids’ dental emergencies.

When a Tooth is Knocked Out

The above scenario is a common one. In fact, nearly 50% of kids have some type of injury to a tooth during childhood.

Primary Teeth: If your child’s primary tooth (usually a front tooth) is knocked out, soothing the tears is the first and biggest job.

  1. Don’t try to put the tooth back in. Doing so could harm the permanent tooth underneath. If you can’t find the tooth, your child may have swallowed it or even inhaled it. Inhaling a tooth is rare, but if choking or wheezing accompanied the injury, make sure you get your child to an emergency room for an X-ray.
  2. Control the bleeding. Have your child gently bite down on a rolled-up piece of gauze or clean cloth.
  3. Reduce swelling. You may also wish to apply a cold compress to the area.
  4. Bring your child into the office for an exam. We’ll ensure the other teeth and underlying permanent teeth are okay.

Permanent Teeth: If your child loses a permanent tooth, you need to act quickly.

  1. Recover and gently clean the tooth. Be careful to hold the tooth by the crown and not the root. Gently rinse off any dirt or debris without scrubbing or scraping the tooth.
  2. If your child is old enough (and calm enough), carefully insert the tooth into its socket and have your child hold it there with gentle pressure. (Although this sounds like adding trauma to an already traumatic situation, putting a tooth back in within 5 minutes is your child’s best chance of saving that tooth. In fact, one report in the United Kingdom found that 85% of teeth reinserted within 5 minutes survived.) If the socket is too tender, placing the tooth in your child’s cheek pouch on the way to the dentist is fine, too. If your child is younger, place the tooth in a container of saliva or a bit of milk. Moisture is critically important for reimplantation.

Some things not to do:

  1. Don’t wrap the tooth in a napkin or paper.
  2. Don’t let the tooth dry out.
  3. Don’t clean the tooth with soap or any sterile agent.
  4. Roll up a piece of gauze and have your child gently bite down on it to help keep the tooth in place and control the bleeding.
  5. Reduce swelling. Apply a cold compress to the area.
  6. Call our office and get here ASAP!

Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth

For any tooth fracture, it’s important to call our office. We can help you decide the seriousness of your child’s situation.

Primary Teeth: Broken primary teeth need to be assessed to determine if the tooth’s nerves and/or blood vessels are also damaged.

  1. Collect any tooth fragments you can. Don’t try to put the fragment back in your child’s mouth.
  2. Rinse your child’s mouth with lukewarm water.
  3. Control the bleeding. Have your child gently bite down on a rolled-up piece of gauze or clean cloth.
  4. Reduce swelling. You may also wish to apply a cold compress to the area. If the area isn’t too sensitive, you may give your child ice chips or a cold ice pop for swelling.
  5. Call our office!

Permanent Teeth: Follow the steps for the primary teeth. Retrieving the broken piece is even more important for permanent teeth.

  1. Retrieve the broken piece of the tooth. Make sure to briefly rinse the bit of tooth bit and place it in milk to transport it to the dentist.
  2. Rinse your child’s mouth with lukewarm water.
  3. Control the bleeding. Have your child gently bite down on a rolled-up piece of gauze or clean cloth.
  4. Reduce swelling. You may also wish to apply a cold compress to the area. If cold doesn’t irritate the area, you may give your child ice chips or a cold ice pop to quell swelling.
  5. Call our office!

Loose Permanent Tooth

A permanent tooth loosened by trauma needs prompt treatment.

Yay! Your child didn’t lose his tooth, but that loose permanent tooth may require stitches or splints.

  1. Rinse your child’s mouth with lukewarm water.
  2. Control the bleeding. Have your child gently bite down on a rolled-up piece of gauze or clean cloth.
  3. Reduce swelling. Apply a cold compress to the area. If the area isn’t too sensitive, ice cubes or a cold ice pop can also help reduce swelling.
  4. Call our office ASAP!

Cuts and Wounds of the Mouth and Lips

There will be blood.

The mouth is endowed with a rich blood supply. When trauma occurs to the lips, gums, and mouth, small wounds can really bleed and heighten anxieties about the severity of the wound.

  1. Calm your child. Remember, your verbal and non-verbal communication will either help your child relax or elevate the panic. It’s time to act like blood is no big deal, even when your inner mother or father is having a full-tilt freak out.
  2. Apply pressure with a clean cloth—any clean cloth. Do this for several minutes. Don’t rub.
  3. Wash your hands as soon as you can
  4. If the wound is on the outside of the mouth, clean it gently with soap and water once the bleeding has stopped.
  5. Apply antiseptic lotion or cream.
  6. Reduce swelling with a cold compress. Good time for an ice pop or ice chips to suck on.

Tongue Bites or Inside Lip Bites

If the wound is inside the mouth:

  1. Rinse your child’s mouth with water. Examine the extent of the injury. Injuries that may require stitches include a cut that extends through the lip or across the edge of the tongue. For these kinds of wounds, you should seek emergent care.
  2. Stop the bleeding. Apply pressure with a rolled-up piece of gauze or clean cloth.
  3. Reduce swelling. Wrap a piece of ice in gauze or a clean cloth and hold it next to the wound. If the wound is small, an ice pop is a bonus.

A Word about Head Injuries

Most dental emergencies aren’t tied to serious head injuries. However, if your child’s dental emergency is the result of a head injury, that head injury takes precedence over dental concerns.

The Mayo Clinic provides a good list of symptoms to watch for. If your child experiences any of these symptoms after a head injury, call 911 immediately and keep your child still until help arrives.

An Ounce of Prevention

Kids are going to be kids. We can’t protect them from all harm. Having said that, some dental accidents can be prevented.

  1. Insist on mouthguards for sports. A broad analysis of mouthguard effectiveness showed that players who did not wear mouthguards had a 1.6-1.9 times greater risk of dental injury.
  2. Teach your children not to walk or run with objects in their mouths.
  3. Teach your child not to suck or chew on hard or pointed objects.
  4. Model for your children that your teeth are not scissors.
  5. Keep your children’s teeth strong and healthy with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups. Also, don’t let a small pain go unattended. That could be a cavity that ends up weakening your child’s tooth.

We’re Here When You Need Us

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental, our emergency dentists are on call.

Our administrative team is thoroughly trained to assist you by phone in an emergency. If you’re not sure your child’s situation warrants an immediate office visit, our staff will talk to you to determine if your child needs to be seen immediately. If your little one does need to be seen, we will contact one of our caring and experienced dentists to help treat the emergency and alleviate your pain as soon as possible.

And don’t worry if you’re not one of our existing patients. Nobody should be in pain.

Experiencing a dental emergency? Call us immediately at 505-898-1976.

Learn more about our emergency services

3 Tips to Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy this Summer

Summer is here, and you’re at preparation level Eagle Scout. Play dates and camps are scheduled. Each backpack has its own stash of healthy snacks, sunscreen, and bug spray. You’ve restocked the first aid kit and have a chore calendar on the frig. But solstice has barely arrived and you’re already having to put extra parent power into the kids’ brushing and flossing. Summer is longer than its June sunlight, even if your kids are on APS’s Alternative Schedule. Here are 3 tips on how to keep your kids’ teeth healthy this Albuquerque summer without losing your cool.

1. Keep a Brush-Book-Bed Routine

During summer months, keep the regular bedtime routine of brush, book, and bed recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Not only does this routine maintain the reading skills kids gained throughout the school year, but it also helps children settle more quickly to sleep. Fifty years of research show these routines help children sleep better and wake up less frequently. Remember, this before-bed routine is also about comfort and bonding. It’s up to you to prevent late nights or vacations from altering these routines:

Remember, everyone in the family pays when your child doesn’t sleep well. And your child’s dental health will suffer long term if you inadvertently convey the message that healthy dental routines are only for the school year.

2. Limit Acidic and Sugary Drinks

“Here, stay hydrated with a nice cool glass of battery acid.” That’s almost what you’re offering up your kids’ teeth with summer favorites like lemonade, sodas, and fruit juices. Sounds like hyperbole, but let me explain.

Pure water has a pH of 7. Water is good for your teeth. It helps wash away food particles that stick to your teeth and create plaque, which creates its own acid that gnaw at your enamel. Yuck.

A pH less than 7 is considered acidic. Each whole pH value below 7 is 10 times more acidic than the number above it, so a pH of 6 is 10 times more acidic than water. A pH of 5 is 100 times more acidic than water. By the time you get to a 4, you’re 1000 times more acidic than water. Hit the three range where many fruit juices and fruit drinks’ pH values sit, and you’re looking at acidic values 10,000 times more acidic than pure water. While that’s all very interesting, the pH value you really need to remember is 5.50, for tooth enamel dissolves at that acidic level and below. Plaque has a pH of 4; pH just got real!

Let’s take a look at some popular summer drinks and their pH levels:


Coca Cola: pH 2.52

Pepsi: pH 2.39

7Up: pH 3.20

Sprite: pH 3.24

Fanta Orange: pH 2.82

Hansen’s Cane Soda Kiwi Strawberry: pH 2.59

Sunkist Orange: pH 2.98

Canada Dry Ginger Ale: pH 2.82

Mug Root Beer: pH 3.88

A & W Root Beer: pH 4.27

Fruit Juices and Fruit Drinks

Ocean Spray Cranberry: pH 2.56

Dole Pineapple Juice: pH 3.40

Juicy Juice Apple: pH 3.64

Simply Apple: pH 3.67

Tropicana Orange Juice with Calcium: pH 4.09

Welches 100% Grape Juice: pH 3.38

Minute Maid Lemonade: pH 2.57

Simply Lemonade: pH 2.61

Sunny D Smooth: pH 2.92

Your children’s teeth get a double whammy of acid and sugar with sweet summer drinks. If you need information on why sugar is a health problem beyond harming children’s teeth, check out our previous blog post, “Is it time to break up with sugar?”  For starters, the American Heart Association recommends children consume no more than 8 fluid ounces of sugary beverages per week. But a 12 ounce can of soda exceeds that weekly limit and daily sugar intake limit. Plus, kids usually drink these drinks when you’re out and about, far away from the ability to brush.

In the end, you model the behaviors you want your kids to adopt. If you drive through Starbucks and order a grande S’mores Frappuccino, which contains 67 grams of sugar (17 teaspoons of sugar), it’s going to be pretty hard to enforce a no soda or sugar rule with your kids. Not to mention, your dental health will suffer.

3. Always Carry Cold Water

Arm your family with insulated water bottles so your kids can get a cold drink of water instead of and after consuming sweet drinks. Look, sweet drinks are going to happen, especially when your children are in a group. You can’t run into the baseball dugout and snatch the sports drink out of your child’s hand. Not without being “that parent.” But water can help.

  • Don’t add to plastic pollution. Purchase good, insulated stainless steel water bottles and write each child’s name on them. These come in a variety of styles and colors. Have your kids choose their favorite.
  • Carry an insulated water jug in the car for family outings so family members can refill their water bottles.
  • Make water the main “away drink” for your family. Don’t leave home without it.

Establishing good habits is a long-term endeavor. Don’t let the healthy habits you’ve worked hard to instill slip through the summer.

Remember, too, that parenting isn’t about perfection. It’s sticky pockets and tantrums in Target and thinking on your feet. If the only way you can get your little one to brush for a week is by becoming a human Narwhal, be a Narwhal. It’s all worth it and oh, so fleeting.

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we’ve got your back. Summer is a great time to have you children’s dental cleanings, checkups, and/or fluoride treatments. Or make an appointment for you to come in for some needed self-care.

Schedule Your Child’s Summer Dental Appointment Today

Your eyes may be the window to the soul, but your mouth is the window to your overall health. Believe it or not, your general health is directly affected by the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Good dental health is essential for a high, pain-free quality of life.

Maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile starts early. Since children are more at risk than any other age group for tooth decay, it’s important that your child has regular dental check-ups. Although a trip to the dentist may not be on your agenda for the summer, here are a few reasons why you should schedule your child’s summer appointment sooner rather than later.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Regular dental checkups can help prevent painful and costly restorative work down the road. Taking your child to the dentist every 6 months may seem unnecessary, especially if they practice good dental hygiene, but frequent visits are essential to the health of developing teeth. Most importantly, these appointments check for more than just cavities. During each checkup, dental hygienists and dentists examine your child for a variety of oral health issues including:

Besides daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups are one of the best ways to prevent expensive problems from developing.

Starting Young Creates Excellent Dental Habits

Dentophobia, or fear of dentists, is a real phobia among people of all ages. While getting over this fear is difficult, preventing it is easy. By taking your children to the dentist frequently, and starting at a young age, your children will build a relationship with the dental staff and learn that the dentist’s office is not a scary place.

Cavities often appear in hard-to-brush places and are usually caused by improper tooth brushing. During regular checkups, dentists help educate your children on oral hygiene habits such as the importance of flossing, how to brush teeth properly, and brushing techniques. These lessons promote lifelong habits that children will carry with them into adulthood.

Wisdom Teeth Removal is No Walk in the Park

Getting wisdom teeth removed is almost like a rite of passage for teenagers. Although no one ever looks forward to wisdom teeth extraction, not removing them can be even more unpleasant. Wisdom teeth can cause other teeth to become misaligned or overcrowded. You don’t want to spend money on braces for your teen just to have their wisdom teeth ruin the results!

Wisdom teeth extraction is a very common procedure, but every case is different. Most teens recover in three to four days, yet other teens can take up to a week. Recovery from wisdom tooth removal can involve facial swelling, bruising, and post-operative pain. These side effects are much easier to handle at home during the summer when your teen doesn’t need to worry about missing school or facing their peers with chipmunk cheeks.

It’s Not Too Late – Schedule Today

Summer is a great time for fun activities, vacations, and dental checkups. At Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental, our family dentists will create a comfortable and relaxing dental experience for your child. Contact us to schedule your child’s summer appointment today!

Here’s Looking at Your TMJ!

The pain started during her favorite movie–Casablanca. She needed to relax, so with a bowl of popcorn, she settled in with the characters at Rick’s Café Américain. While immersed in the 1941 lives of expats, refugees, Vichy French, Nazi scoundrels, and resistance heroes, she noticed her jaw ached. Soon a sharper pain began radiating up to her ear on one side. By the time Rick put his beloved Ilsa on that plane to Lisbon, the jaw joint seemed to click hard, almost locking. She found it difficult to open her mouth very far. How could a little popcorn and a favorite movie cause all that? She had heard about TMJ. Was it that?

Although there isn’t a standard definition for TMJD, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, at first glance our Casablanca-loving popcorn muncher appears to be one of over 10 million Americans who suffer from TMJ Disorder. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves with an Internet diagnosis. Let’s discuss what the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is, what can cause problems with the TMJ, symptoms of TMJ Disorders, and how we can alleviate these symptoms.

Of All The Temporomandibular Joints In All The World…

Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are true engineering marvels. You’ve got two, one on each side of your head. Not only do these joints connect your lower jaw to the bones at the side of the skull, they also act as flexible sliding hinges. Place your fingers on both sides of your head about an inch in front of the bobble of your ears. Move your lower jaw up and down and side to side. Those simple actions require muscle, ligaments, the rounded ends of the lower jaw called condyles, and way-cool elastic cartilage shock absorbers called articular discs to work together.

TMJ Disorder Causes–As Time Goes By

It should be no surprise that the older this engineering marvel gets, the more likely some parts will go awry. After all, it’s the most used joint in the body. Although TMJ disorders can occur at any age, the risk increases dramatically between the ages of 20 and 40. According to Tooth Wisdom, age-related factors that affect how well the temporomandibular joints work include:

Other Causes Of TMJD–Round Up The Usual Suspects

Trauma Can Lead To TMJ Disorder

The Fundamental Things Apply—Symptoms And Women

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, TMJ disorders affect 5 to 12 percent of the population at any given time. Extensive research suggests that the disorder is 1.5 to 2 times more prevalent among women, who comprise 80% of the patients who seek treatment. For women, TMJ pain often occurs after puberty and peaks in the reproductive years, with the highest prevalence occurring in women aged 20-40. And 85% of patients with TMJ disorders also experience other painful conditions. To name a few, these include chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, endometriosis, and fibromyalgia. Because women are exclusively or over-represented in these as well as TMJD, researchers are looking for common threads like hormones that underpin these conditions.

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as the most common symptoms of TMJ disorders:

The good news is that if you experience any or some of these symptoms, know that the pain is usually temporary.

How We Treat TMJ Disorders

We believe in taking a conservative approach to treating the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. However, pain isn’t fun. Make an appointment to see one of our dentists. In the meantime, we recommend soft foods, ice packs, and an over-the-counter pain medicine such as Tylenol or Advil. Avoid gum and crocodile yawns.

  1. Initial Evaluation. We will look at your jaw to see if your pain is coming from the bones, the joint, the muscles, the teeth, or any combination of the four.
  2. Jaw splint. If we determined you are suffering symptoms of TMJ disorder, we may use a splint for your jaw. This is really a type of mouth guard that stabilizes your jaw and reduces your discomfort.
  3. Aqualizer. If you have a more acute case, we may recommend wearing a device called an Aqualizer for one to two weeks. This is a fluid filled pouch–similar to a tiny waterbed that fits inside your mouth. The Aqualizer helps stabilize your jaw like the splint. This can help decrease the pain.
  4. Medication. We may prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug or muscle relaxant to help decrease inflammation or relax the muscles around the jaw.
  5. Heat therapy. Sometimes we use a laser to focus heat directly onto the region of the jaw muscle or joint. This increases blood flow to ease pain and tension.

I Think This Is The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship

If you are suffering from jaw pain, contact us to set up an appointment. We will create a treatment plan for TMJ disorder that can help reduce the pain, so you can get back to living your life. We’ll get you back to your favorite activities and films quicker than you can say “here’s looking at you, kid.”

Is it Time to Break up with Sugar?

I’ve been thinking I may need to break up with sugar.

“But, you and sugar have been together for decades,” friends say. “You love sugar! Wasn’t sugar there for you at every holiday? Isn’t it sugar you turn to when you’re tired or stressed out? I can’t believe you’re thinking of abandoning the very partner that sweetened every calamity and triumph in your life!”

Yeah, but I’m feeling like sugar fatally attracts me. Even when I’m not seeking it out, there it is, lurking in my ‘healthy choices’ like low-fat yogurt, granola, and protein bars. The other day, I found sugar hiding in my vitamin water–after I’d just worked out! And yet, the more I try to break away from sugar, the more I crave its sweet charms.

It’s Time to Reassess our Relationship with Sugar

Any healthy relationship has balance. Some sugar in the diet is not a problem. But Americans now consume on average 57 pounds of added sugar per person annually. That translates to 17 teaspoons every day. That’s nearly triple the American Heart Association (AHA) recommendation of 6 teaspoons for women and nearly double the 9 teaspoons for men. And when your teen power slams a 12-ounce can of Coke, which contains about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar (39 g), your child has not only exceeded the AHA recommended daily limit (less than 6 teaspoons per day), but also the no more than 8 fluid ounces of sugary beverages per week recommendation. The sad truth is that toddlers now consumer more sugar than the recommended amount for adults.

Added sugars. Processed foods and beverages have sugars and syrups added to them. These added sugars do not include sugars that occur naturally, like those in milk (lactose) and fruits (fructose).

Sugar is Sneaky

We eat sugar when we don’t know we’re eating it.

Sugar in cookies and ice cream comes at us in honest garb. Unwrap a Reese’s 2-pack of Peanut Butter Cups, and you’re fully prepared for that 5 ½ teaspoons (22 g) of sugar. But a lot of our daily sugar comes disguised as highly processed foods. Worse yet, sugar goes by different names like glucose, sucrose, or the hip HFCS for high-fructose corn syrup. Busy people drop their guard when grabbing quick a jar of Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic, & Onion pasta sauce, which packs a whopping 3 teaspoons (12 g) of sugar per ½ cup serving. Sugar even sneaks into your canned soups. If you lovingly complement your kids’ grilled cheese sandwiches with Campbell’s Slow Kettle Style Tomato & Sweet Basil Bisque, you’ve just offered up 10 ¾ teaspoons (43 g) of sugar in just the soup alone! And sugar hides in healthy organic soups, too. A one-cup serving of Amy’s Organic Black Bean Vegetable Soup contains 1 ¾ teaspoon of sugar (7 g).

Condiments are a sweet cover.

Although you’d never sprinkle sugar onto your hotdog, when you squeeze Heinz Ketchup onto that dog, you’re adding 1 teaspoon of sugar (4 g) for every tablespoon serving. Prefer barbeque sauce? Kraft’s Bulls-Eye Barbeque Sauce will add 3 teaspoons of sugar for every 2-tablespoon serving.

Sugar hides in even the healthiest sounding salad dressings.

Who would suspect you’d find 3 teaspoons (12 g) of sugar (high fructose corn syrup) per serving in the benign-sounding Ken’s Fat-Free Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette? Or Ken’s Steak House Fat-Free Raspberry Pecan that courts you with its fat-free promise, but delivers you 2 ½ teaspoons (10 g) of sugar per serving?

After surveying these covert ways sugar hides in our foods, it should be no surprise that the United States is top among nations in daily sugar consumption. And it’s damaging our health.

Sugar and Your Teeth

With all the foods we eat throughout the day that contain sugar, it’s no wonder that 92% of adults in the U.S. have experienced tooth decay. Here’s how it works. You eat sugar. The bacteria in your mouth like sugar, too, and they gobble up sugars or carbohydrates. Within about 20 seconds, the bacteria have digested those sugars, discarding acid onto your teeth. That acid not only attacks your tooth enamel, it lowers the pH level in your mouth. The lower the pH, the better the acid can work to weaken the enamel.

It takes about 20 minutes for our saliva to recalibrate and neutralize this sugar-caused pH drop. So, with every sip of soda, every snack, every bite of sugary processed food or even salad dressing, your hard-working saliva has to start all over. Meanwhile, while the pH is low, the acids are wearing away at your enamel. Your teeth are under attack the entire time you’re grazing on high-carb sweets or drinking sweet drinks.

Sugar and Your Health

Sugar may be breaking your heart.

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found a “significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for CVD [cardio-vascular disease] mortality.” Even among children, a diet full of added sugar increases a child’s risk of “developing obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity-related cancers, and dental caries.”

Sugar may be sabotaging your attempts at maintaining a healthy weight.

Why? Because sugar spikes your blood sugar and then tells your body to store all that excess energy as fat. In fact, in a recent review of 68 studies published in the British Medical Journal, researchers found the more sugar a person consumed, the more they weighed. Plus, these studies evidenced a “consistent association” between a high intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and the development of obesity.

As bad as it is, sugar doesn’t cause diabetes.

If you’re consuming a lot of calories (including those from sugar), you’re likely to gain weight, and weight gain increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by a number of factors including genetics and lifestyle factors. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and factors that are still being researched.

How to Limit Sugar’s Power Over You

Whether you guzzle Coke when barbequing or a binge queen who straightens pie edges until they’re gone, you’ve probably developed some specific behaviors with sugar that you may wish to reconsider. Here are recommendations by the American Heart Association that will help you reduce your sugar intake:

  1. Drink water instead of soda. Keep an insulated water bottle handy wherever you go, so you’ll always have the option of a cold drink when a soda tempts you.
  2. Eat fresh or frozen fruits instead of fruit juices. Fruit juices are acidic and often have added sugar, which lower the pH of your mouth, making your teeth vulnerable to damage.
  3. Read food labels! Look for healthy fats and lower amounts of added sugars.
  4. Add fresh fruit instead of sugar to your oatmeal.
  5. Try spices like fresh ginger to enhance food flavor.
  6. Use unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar in recipes.
  7. Toss the table sugar. Cut back on the amount of sugar you add to coffee, tea, or cereal. Start by using half as much as you usually do, and then wean down from there.
  8. Beware of relying on artificial sweeteners. These create a host of other problems.

Your oral health is integral to your overall physical and mental health.

If sugar is negatively affecting one part of your health, it’s time to rethink your options. Small changes can lead to big improvements.

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we can help you jump-start your new take-charge lifestyle with a dental cleaning and/or fluoride treatment. We are here to support you as you strive toward optimal health! Call today for an appointment.

Is Holiday Stress Wrecking Your Smile?

Holiday joy often arrives with stress. After all, you’ve searched for and wrapped “just the right gift” for each family member. The house is drop-in-guest spotless and decorated so tastefully that Martha Stewart would want a selfie in your living room. Guests! Your in-laws arrive Thursday to be followed by your brother and his new gluten-free girlfriend. And do you have enough extra coats for these relatives who think December in Albuquerque is like Palm Springs?

While standing in a grocery checkout queue, your jaw aches up into your ear. You’re grinding your teeth. And what’s that new bump on your tongue? Ugh, a canker sore. A Ramones’ Christmas song blares suddenly over the store’s loud speakers, following a sedate Silent Night. The woman in front of you has a stack of coupons. Your jaw tightens. You love the holidays. The Ramones. You love your family. Reindeer. Lights. All of it! But your teeth are telling you, honey, you are stressed out!

Your Teeth Say You’re Grinding Them Down, Too

While you’re grinding yourself down to make the holidays perfect for everyone, you may be doing the same to your teeth. Bruxism, teeth grinding and jaw clenching, can occur when asleep or awake. It is a common sign of stress, and it’s hard on your teeth. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of bruxism include:

Unfortunately, drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages only make teeth grinding worse, so that glass of wine you’re dreaming of once you get those groceries unpacked may be counterproductive. Also, smoking makes bruxism worse. But then, smoking makes your health worse all the way around. Another good reason to stop.

Don’t let possible bruxism go on too long. Our dentists can evaluate any indicators of bruxism and whether you have tooth damage or enamel erosion. Sometimes a simple mouth guard for sleeping will help. Of course, getting to the root of the stress is key.

Studies Show Stress Linked to Canker Sores

It should be no surprise that canker sores often show up for the holidays. The small lesions, called aphthous ulcers, are non-lethal warnings that your ignored body is sick of you offering up too little sleep and too much food while prancing around like a reindeer on Red Bull. Although various studies link stress to canker sores, research has identified no single cause. Studies do identify factors that can trigger canker sores:

The good news is that most canker sores hurt for a short time (7 to 10 days) and usually heal completely within three weeks. Simple home remedies can alleviate a lot of your discomfort. Try rinsing your mouth with a solution of 1 t. of baking soda and ½ c. of warm water. While at parties, let ice chips from your drink slowly melt in your mouth against the lesions. No one will know. They’ll think you’re in deep thought.

Over-the-counter and prescription products can also help relieve pain and speed healing. If you’re really miserable, the Mayo Clinic recommends considering products with:

Talk to your doctor or make an appointment with one of our dentists for advice on which product may be best for you. And, remember, canker sores inside the mouth are not the same as highly contagious cold sores, which occur outside the mouth and are caused by the HSV-1 virus.

Manage Stress During the Holidays by Giving Yourself a Present

When stress negatively affects your health, including your oral health, you need to act. Don’t wait until the holidays are over. Give this PRESENT to yourself—every day.

Happy holidays from all of us at Davis, Gribble, and Hollowwa! We are thankful for the smiles our patients bring us every day.

6 Tips for a Tooth-Healthy Halloween

Vampires, pirates, and even T-Rexes will soon roam Albuquerque’s streets. As frightening as that prospect sounds, it’s what’s in their bags that’s truly scary. On average, each bag packs around 3 cups of sugar. A high achiever with a variety store plastic pumpkin could conceivably fill a 10-quart container with as much as 9 pounds of candy. That’s extreme, of course, but the average American downs 3.4 pounds of Halloween candy over the Halloween holiday. As a parent, you’re up against a tradition that works against the healthy habits you try to reinforce. And your kid’s teeth suffer. Don’t despair. Here are 6 tips to protect your family’s teeth and health during this Halloween season.

Tip #1: Focus on Activities, Not Treats

In Albuquerque, we have great community activities to take your family members’ minds off candy. The Galloping Grace Ranch’s Annual Pumpkin Patch is open daily in October for $4 per person (little ones under 2 are free). That buys you something for everyone: a harvest maze, duck races, pumpkin bowling, mud pie kitchen, scarecrow dress up, and fall décor for the decorator in your house. The petting zoo and paintball target arena are extra.

ZooBoo is another fun option at the Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo. On October 27, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., your family can enjoy games and haunted habitats. Wear your costumes.

Run or walk in the Run Fit’s Annual Great Pumpkin Chase on Saturday, October 27. Don a costume and follow the flat 5K, 10K, or Kids’-K course that suits you. Awards will be given per age group and for Best Costume. Check it out. Hydrate with water, not sugary sports drinks.

If you’re a tread head, get your bikes and pedal to Day of the Tread on Sunday, October 28. This charitable cycling event is for all ages and skill levels. Choose from a variety of rides: 9, 12, 26, 60, 64, or 100 miles. Of course, there’s a costume contest and a post-event party at Civic Plaza. Make sure your children have quick energy snacks for the ride like bananas and sliced apples. Both are quick-energy carbs loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Let’s not kid ourselves. There will likely be candy at Halloween events. So, carry sugarless gum and water, and make sure your kids brush and floss after these outings.

Tip#2: Break the Sugar mold

Steering kids away from enamel-damaging sugar and candy means rethinking what we take to school or community functions. When you receive an email requesting treats for your child’s school Halloween costume party, browse Pinterest for “Healthy Halloween.” You don’t have to spend hours. You need only a couple small Halloween cookie cutters, some sliced cheese, crackers, and some apple slices. And, voila! You’re a “cool mom” arriving with ghosts on crackers. If you have a bit more time, cheesy witches’ broomsticks will be a big hit at any event.

Tip#3: Hand out non-food ‘treats’ halloween night

When deciding what to hand out Halloween night, consider something other than candy. If you are conscious of plastic pollution, that leaves out fun items like glow stick bracelets and spider rings. Yet there are great alternatives. Have kids choose from a cauldron of fun Halloween pencils, which you can pick up in large variety packs. Kids also love temporary tattoos and fun stickers. Sure, you’ll see some crestfallen if not stricken looks, but more even children’s faces will light up as they find stickers or tattoos they love. Don’t be afraid to buck Halloween expectations.

Tip #4: Choose Candy Wisely

Perhaps you are of the mind that learning to eat candy in moderation is an important part of developing balanced and healthy eating habits. If that’s your perspective, then another option is to choose candy wisely.

Candy that does the least amount of damage to children’s tooth enamel.

Avoid candies that are harmful to children’s tooth enamel.

Tip #5: Don’t keep halloween candy in the house

If you decide to hand out candy on Halloween, don’t buy it way ahead of time. It seems like a great idea to buy bulk bags, especially if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of trick-or-treaters. But on stressful days, it’s all too easy to hear that bag’s siren call from a high cupboard. Or even a garage freezer.

Likewise, once your children have returned home with their treat bags filled with candy, have a strategy for getting that candy out of the house. Here are some creative ideas for getting rid of that candy:

Tip #6: Brush and Floss after Eating candy

In the season of candy consumption, more brushing and flossing is your final weapon against cavities. Help your children by providing them with fun new themed toothbrushes, and make sure they floss daily. If your child is going through a Star Wars phase and wants to be a Jedi for Halloween, find a Star Wars toothbrush or toothpaste. And parents, don’t forget to take care of yourselves. You do nobody in your family any favors by harming your own health by over doing, over-consuming candy, or getting too little sleep. Your oral health matters as well. Model the behaviors you want your children to adopt. Brush and floss often!

Dr. Steve Grant announces retirement after serving Albuquerque for more than 30 years

August 17, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Dr. Steve Grant, a longtime dentist of Grant Davis & Gribble, announced this week that he will retire after 30 years of service to the Albuquerque area.

“We thank Dr. Grant for his years of dedicated service to the families of Albuquerque and wish him well as he focuses on spending time with his wife and family,” Said Dr. John Davis, dentist, and partner at Davis Gribble Hollowwa.

Grant earned his doctorate in dental surgery from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio and has been in practice in Albuquerque since 1988.

The dental care team members from Grant’s team have remained with the practice including the dental hygienist, dental assisting team and front office professionals to provide a consistent continuum of care.

About Grant Davis & Gribble

Specializing in family, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry, Grant Davis & Gribble is a trustworthy practice equipped with the latest technologies like intra-oral cameras and X-ray machines to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Their caring staff regularly participate in continuing education to ensure the best service possible. For more information, please visit us at or call 505-898-1976.

Summer is Wisdom Teeth Removal Season

Parents, you’ve organized a fun Albuquerque summer for the family. You’ve set a limit on video games, late nights, and have a summer chore list on the refrigerator. You have planned tons of family activities: Isotopes home games and Zoo Concerts. Everyone is looking forward to summer. But your teen is balking at a scheduled wisdom teeth extraction. “Why summer?” s/he challenges. Here are five reasons for why summer is the season for wisdom teeth removal that you can present to your teen skeptic:

1. Wisdom teeth can cause other teeth to become misaligned and overcrowded.

The sooner these problem teeth go, the sooner the other teeth can take their positions without competition for space. For teens that have had braces, this reason might be enough.

2. Summer gives your teen time to recover.

Although wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure, every case is different. Most teens take only three to four days to fully recover. For others, recovery can take up to a week. If your teen’s teeth are impacted, recovery may take a bit longer. During summer, your teen won’t have to worry about missing school and extra-curricular activities.

3. Chipmunk cheeks

It’s no fun to go out in public, let alone sit in AP Calculus, while recovering from oral surgery. Wisdom tooth removal, in particular, can cause facial swelling and bruising. This is easier to handle at home during the summer.

4. Post-Operative pain

Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) with an ice pack help keep the swelling and pain contained. That’s easiest to manage at home. If the wisdom teeth were impacted, the oral surgeon may even prescribe a small number of prescription pain meds. Due to the current drug crisis, codeine blends are now prescribed more prudently. These are medications that you should take at home and certainly not at school.

5. Popsicles, milk shakes, and smoothies

While recovering, your teen has an excuse to indulge in soft, non-acidic cold foods. Summertime foods. Remember, no straw! Add chilled apple sauce, yogurt, and Jello. Smoothies are healthy, but be careful of small seeds from fruit, which can get lodged in the healing wound.

If you have not yet scheduled an appointment to have your teen’s wisdom teeth assessed, it’s not too late. Call our office today at 505-898-1976, or fill out our convenient online scheduling form, and our staff will call you to set up an appointment that works for your schedule.

5 Quick Tips for Whiter Teeth

Must you choose between teeth-staining foods and a radiant smile? Grandma and the ancients used to say moderation in all things. We say moderation and mitigation. Here are five tips to whiten your teeth if your past indulgences are dimming your smile.

1. Rinse and then brush more

We get it. Your morning latte is a sacred ritual. So, add more brushings to your day. However, coffee acid is hard on enamel, so drink a glass of water right after your morning caffeine to dilute the acid and pigment. It’s best to wait 30 minutes after finishing that morning coffee to brush. Brushing directly after consuming coffee or other acidic foods with pigment actually abrades your tooth enamel.

2. Chew sugarless gum

Sugarless Gums

Saliva dilutes and neutralizes acid, which prevents discoloring chromogenic particles from adhering to your teeth. Plus, clinical studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. Sugarless gums that advertise as ‘whitening gums,’ don’t really make your teeth whiter, but they can reduce staining. In general, your teeth benefit from the stimulation of saliva after you eat, and by chewing sugar-free gum right after consuming teeth-staining foods, you reduce stains and caries. Here is a list of ADA-accepted sugarless gums.

3. Your toothpaste counts

Try a whitening toothpaste. Many good whitening yet non-abrasive toothpastes are available. They range from the pricier Opalescence to the more affordable Crest 3-D White Brilliance. Most whitening formulas contain a minor bleaching component like peroxide. In many cases, they’ll deliver the low-cost, noticeable whitening boost you’re looking for. And for those who prefer more natural products, Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste has great reviews.

4. Strips and gels

crest 3d whitestrips

When it comes to teeth whitening strips and gels, Crest 3D White Whitestrips (Glamorous White) is the only ADA-approved product on the market. Gel products like Go Smile Super White Snap Packs will also give you great results in a short time. Teeth and gum sensitivity are common with these products, so be mindful to take some time away from them if you experience sensitivity.

5. In-office dental teeth whitening systems

When you want to quickly but safely get professional whitening results for your pearly whites, schedule a visit today at Davis Gribble Hollowwa! We examine your teeth to assess your sensitivity level and gauge your treatment accordingly. We also have in office the Philips Zoom Whitening System, which uses a special whitening formula that both whitens your teeth and delivers nutrients like potassium nitrate and amorphous calcium phosphate. Come relax in our office while we brighten your smile! Call Davis Gribble Hollowwa at 505-898-1976 to schedule your appointment.

Learn Healthy Habits Scientifically

A common New Year’s resolution story

Vowing my 2018 New Year’s resolutions would stick, I pursued a healthier lifestyle. Daily flossing. Exercise. Healthy foods. More sleep. I charged into my new routine with a new pack of floss and a Fit Bit. Like Khaleesi claiming her right to the Iron Throne, nothing would stop me!

Nothing but homemade chocolate chip cookies and a who-done-it novel that sucked me deep into the plot until 2:00 A.M. Characters, flossing, and sleep suffered that night. Then, tired the next day, I skipped my after-work walk. Instead, I binged on CNN and the last of the Christmas peppermint bark. From there I spiraled to familiar ground. Within a week or so, I’d relegated my Fit Bit to the bathroom drawer, where it sat by my sporadically used floss. Now, when I open that drawer, I hear the Talking Heads refrain: “Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…”[i]

Chances are, you have a similar story

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, in 2017, only 9.2% of people felt they were successful in achieving their resolutions. That means that a lot of you can relate to my story. But it also means that the 9.2% that are successful are worth studying.

If the only exercise you’re getting is kicking yourself, stop

For a long time, psychologists believed that 9.2% possessed super willpower. Now neuroscientists and psychologists better understand how our brains turn repeated behaviors into habits. According to Wendy Wood, provost professor of psychology and business at the University of Southern California, it’s not about willpower. It’s about teaching your brain to take a repeated healthy behavior and program it to automatic pilot.

Brain scanners show that different parts of our brain activate as we repeat a new behavior. When we first start establishing a new behavior, our prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are active. That’s decision-making-central in our nervous system. Yet when the new behavior is repeated and rewarded, the brain creates a new neural pathway, and activity shifts to the basal ganglial areas, specifically the putamen. This part of the brain allows us to do things automatically without thinking about them. Sort of a habitat for habits. And this area is busy. For at least 43% of what we do in a day is performed automatically, or out of habit.

One reason it’s so hard to break an unhealthy habit is because once our brain establishes a neural pathway, it’s there. We can create new, healthier pathways, however, and our brains will eventually default to those instead. Once that has occurred, we have a new habit.

How to create a new habit

According to Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habitthere are three steps to creating a new habit. Duhigg calls these steps “the habit loop.” They are: cue, reward, routine. I’ll illustrate a habit loop using my after-work walk.

1. Set a cue as a reminder.

2. Choose a reward.

3. Live your new routine.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind:

1. It takes a long time to establish a new habit. Be patient with yourself.

Depending upon the behavior, the person, and the environment, creating a new habit can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days. A simpler habit like flossing will take less time.

2. Identify how your unhealthy habits serve you.

Does sugar give you an energy boost? Do you alleviate stress with food? Wine? Once you figure out what you get from these, you discover how they reward you. If you need a mid-afternoon energy boost, a banana might work. You can alleviate stress in so many ways short of food and wine. Here are 16 ideas that even include chewing gum, which is good for your teeth, provided its sugarless.

3. Get triggering temptations out of the house, and solicit your family’s support.

If you’re trying to replace a cookie habit with crisp apple slices, and you come home to find your husband bought out the local Girl Scouts’ Thin Mints, you’ve got a problem. Reinforce your process with your family, and remind them that your habit changing is about your improving your health.

4. Keep your healthy options visible and easily accessible.

5. Be a good teacher to your brain.

[i] Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime,” released February 2, 1981, lead single on Remain in Light, Sire Records.

Add New Teeth-Healthy Traditions to Your Southwest Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings friends and family together, which often means accommodating a variety of food tastes, diets, and cultures. Celebrate diversity and gratitude this year by adding some Southwest spice to the holiday that is good for your oral health.

Consider Calories

On average, Americans consume 4,500 calories at the Thanksgiving feast. When you consider that depending upon gender, age, height, weight, and activity level, caloric intake recommendations run between 2,200 and 2,700 calories, 4,500 isn’t healthy by any standard. While it is tempting to not worry about calories on one day of the year, nutritional habits that lead to unhealthy weights should not be ignored. Although New Mexico’s obesity rate is nearly 8 points lower than the national average, 28.3 percent of New Mexico’s citizens still face a host of obesity-associated diseases including periodontal disease.

The good news is that you need not give up a fabulous feast or that turkey and gravy. You should, however include healthy options throughout the Thanksgiving Day to reduce calories, ensure nutritional value, and keep teeth healthy.


Pumpkin Oatmeal

Thanksgiving mornings are busy in the kitchen, and most people don’t have an extra oven for baking breakfast foods. Start the day off with heart-healthy pumpkin oatmeal topped with toasted pepitas. Because raisins can stick to teeth, chopping up a couple Fuji apples instead can make this recipe more teeth-friendly. Plus, with 11 grams of protein, your Thanksgiving crowd’s hunger will be satisfied until you break out the appetizers.


Appetizers typically pack on the Thanksgiving Day calories. For heart and teeth health, always provide a healthy relish tray. Include raw jicama, carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, and green and black olives. For a center dip offer a yogurt-based dip like Dukkah Spiced Yogurt Dip or any variety of hummus. Use low-fat yogurt to make the dip, and it will still be great and so much healthier.

mango guacamole

Mango Pomegranate Guacamole

Of course, in the Southwest, no appetizer selection is complete without some good guacamole. Since it’s the holidays, dress up the guacamole with fresh mango and pomegranate for anti-oxidant zip. Serve with blue corn tortilla chips, which have 20% more protein than their white corn counterparts, less starch, and a lower glycemic index (GI), which is healthier for people with Type II diabetes. Look for the low-salt choices.


Don’t forget to include a nice fall green salad for your Thanksgiving meal. Baby arugula, walnuts, pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, and fresh thyme are a nice complement to turkey and cranberry relish. And with olive oil and walnuts, you’re offering healthy fats. Packed with nutrition, arugula gives you vitamin A, C, potassium and calcium for oral health.

Vegetable Sides

Sometimes simple is best. Get away from the heavy casserole vegetable dishes and simply spice up vegetables with flavor.

Black Beans with Corn and Green Chiles

Black Beans with Corn and Green Chiles

Black beans with corn and green chiles adds Southwest flare to the meal without a lot of fuss. Black beans are good for teeth, giving you per cup 46 milligrams of calcium and 611 milligrams of potassium. Calcium hardens tooth enamel, and potassium improves bone mineral density.

Oven Roasted Carrots. Carrots deliver vitamin A to keep your tooth enamel strong. Toss peeled carrots in olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and pepper, some Spanish smoked paprika, and bake.

Green Beans with Garlic. Instead of the heavy green bean casserole, try a lighter green bean fare. Cook them al dente, because they’ll retain more of their vitamins and minerals like fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay.


Chile and Spice Grilled Turkey

Chile and Spice Grilled Turkey (Photo: Shelly Strazis; Styling: Valerie Aikman-Smith)

There are two sacred Thanksgiving food items that must be honored: turkey and dressing. For Southwest flavor, try: Chile and Spice Grilled Turkey. Brine the turkey overnight for the most tender, juicy bird that ever flapped its way to your table. Free range, organic birds are by far the healthiest but also the most expensive. Local grocers carry free-range/organic turkeys, but they can go quickly, so you will want to order ahead. For a locally sourced bird, try: La Montanita Coop.

Organic skinless white turkey meat is a great source of low-fat protein. (Yes, stay away from the skin.) Turkey provides iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. Zinc helps fight against bacteria and plaque.

In the Southwest, dressing is understood to be cornbread dressing. Because dressing is starch, brush your teeth after dinner.


Cranberry relish is a critical side dish for Thanksgiving. Cranberries can prevent bacteria from binding to teeth and may be beneficial in preventing gum disease. The cranberry’s oral health virtues earned it the moniker “super food” due to its antioxidant, nutrient, and disease preventive properties. The problem is, cranberries are a bit “puckery” to eat without sweetening them, so it’s helpful to find cranberry recipes with less sugar. Here are some healthier cranberry relish alternatives to the heavy sugar recipes:

Naturally sweetened cranberry sauce, made with honey.

Healthy cranberry sauce, sweetened with apple sauce and honey.

Healthy cranberry sauce, sweetened with pineapple juice, orange juice, and 1 T of maple syrup. (Note that the acids in pineapple can be hard on your enamel, so brush after dinner.)

Pumpkin Pie

Skinny Pumpkin Pie

Skinny Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a piece of pumpkin pie. While it is recognized as a healthier option among pies, here is a delicious way to reduce its sugar, cholesterol, and caloric liability: Skinny Pumpkin Pie. Your teeth won’t mind, either. Pumpkin pie is full of Vitamin A, which promotes gum health and builds tooth enamel. Don’t forget to brush afterward.


Your best bet for oral health is water. Of course, during the holidays, alcohol is often served, and while there is no such thing as a healthy alcoholic drink, some are worse than others as far as your teeth go. If you’re going to have a drink, here are some dental tips:

Do: Go with a less acidic and higher water content light beer or low-acid, non-staining gin and tonic.

Don’t: Because of acid, don’t have a whiskey and Coke, or start the day with a Bloody Mary. (If you have that Bloody Mary, eat the celery. It will clean your teeth some.)

Your enamel will thank you. And of course, if you plan to drink, make sure to have a designated driver.

Traditions Change Slowly

Creating new, healthier food traditions are good for friends and family. Aunt Gladys will still lovingly bring her green Jello salad with tiny colored marshmallows, and your neighbor will still bring the high-cholesterol Buffalo chicken wings that “must be dipped in sour cream ranch.” That’s okay. Traditions change slowly. Keep offering healthy, delicious options for the people you love.

Parent’s Guide to Children’s Dental Care

Early dental care determines a child’s dental and overall health for the rest of their life. Part of your job as a parent is to pay attention to developmental milestones and keep up with regular dental visits for your child. Here’s what you can expect and when as they are growing up.

Ages 0-1: First Appointment

Some children are born with baby teeth already present, while others don’t get their teeth until they’re 1 year old. Either way, they should have their first dentist appointment by the time they turn 1. After their first appointment, visits should be scheduled for every 6 months. As you probably know, they should keep this habit through adulthood!

Age 2: Baby Teeth

Children usually have all 20 baby teeth in by age 2. Just because they’re going to lose these to make way for permanent teeth doesn’t mean you don’t have to be just as careful with them. According to the CDC, fluoride varnish can prevent up to 33 percent of decay in baby teeth.

Age 6: Permanent Teeth

Around this age, the first permanent teeth start coming in. Even without a full set of permanent teeth, it’s important to know that children can have cavities at this early of an age. No matter how many teeth have come in, they need regular care, as these will be their teeth for the rest of their lives. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 21 percent of children ages 6-11 get cavities.

Ages 9-10: Potential Crowding

By this age, most of their permanent teeth are in, including canine or “eye” teeth. This is when spacing and crowding patterns can first be detected, making age 9-10 a pivotal time to see an orthodontist for early intervention with any issues.

Ages 12-14: Full Development

In most children, all permanent teeth are in by age 12, except for the wisdom teeth. During adolescence a lot of facial and skeletal developments take place. Overbites, underbites and crowding may become more apparent. Early intervention by an orthodontist helps with planning braces so that teenage growth patterns can be taken into account for the development of a healthy bite.

Age 16: Wisdom Teeth

Generally, wisdom teeth start coming in around age 16, and their relation to your child’s jaw is inspected for impaction. Most children have their wisdom teeth removed.

Having a family dentist helps to keep your child’s teeth (not to mention yours!) in top shape with consistent appointments and records. Learn more about Davis Gribble Hollowwa’s family dentistry in Albuquerque.

5 Quick Tips for Whiter Teeth

When your teeth are discolored, it makes you want to hide your smile. It can affect your confidence in all areas of your life, from dating to job interviews to everyday social situations. The good news is that there are many simple ways to achieve a brighter smile.

1. Be Cognizant of What You’re Eating

Foods and beverages with dark coloring, such as tomato sauce and red wine, produce tannins that can add chromogenic particles to your teeth. You may want to avoid them entirely if you really want to nip your teeth discoloration in the bud.

2. Brush Regularly

If you just can’t resist indulging in a glass of wine and bowl of bolognese, make sure you brush your teeth as soon as possible after consumption. Twice a day is actually the bare minimum for brushing. Three times a day and after you eat is even better if you know you’re prone to tooth stains.

3. Whitening Toothpaste or Mouthrinse

Not seeing results from brushing? Try a whitening toothpaste or mouthrinse. Usually, they contain a minor bleaching component, a light concentration that can help prevent discoloration. In many cases, they’ll deliver the low-cost, noticeable whitening boost you’re looking for.

4. Bleach Strips

You can also try bleach strips and trays at your local drug store. They have greater bleaching strength. If you use them consistently over time, they can deliver fantastic results. Just be mindful to take some time away from these products if your gums get overly sensitive.

5. In-Office Dental Teeth Bleaching

If none of the above seem to be working, or if you simply would prefer to have a professional use top-quality products to reveal your pearly whites, you can call Davis Gribble Hollowwa at 505-898-1976. Our in-house teeth whitening solutions have the greatest bleaching strength for best results. You can either sit in the office while we give you a light-activated gel treatment that takes a few hours of your time, or we can send you home with a tray that you can use and wear at night. Schedule your visit today!

Healthy Back-To-School Checklist

1. Schedule Dental Checkup

A regular checkup and cleaning scheduled about month before school starts helps you maintain a consistent schedule and gives you time to schedule follow-up appointments should any problems arise. Right before school is a good time to talk to your dentist about sealants and mouthguards for sports.

Check one off your list! Ask about our sibling appointments! To save you time we can often schedule siblings at the same time.

Schedule Your Appointment

2. Check on Immunizations/Paperwork

Make sure you know if your child is up-to-date on vaccines and if you have the appropriate paperwork filled out for your school. Here are the New Mexico School Entry Immunization Requirements from the NM Vaccine Advisory Committee.

3. Schedule Physicals/Paperwork

If your child needs a physical and form signed by a doctor to participate in school sports, make sure to get the appointment and appropriate form to the doctor for signature.

4. Schedule Vision Check

Undetected vision problems can cause learning and behavior problems in school. Make sure to have your child’s vision checked for more than distance. Don’t wait, especially if your child is having problems with reading.

5. Allergies Communications

Eight percent of children under the age of eighteen have some type of food allergy. Working with an allergist to determine what if any accommodations need to be made at school, as well as establishing yourself as a “resource rather than a watchdog” when communicating with school personnel, will help all to best serve your child.

6. Make Sleep Adjustments

Start readjusting to a school-year bedtime now. Readjust slowly, because cold turkey is as hard on parents as it is on kids trying to go to sleep when it’s still light outside. Try a 15-minute adjustment per night, and slow down the pace before bedtime with some reading. Do not let kids read from a smartphone screen or tablet before bed, unless you relish having crabby, unproductive kids the next morning.

7. Re-establish Healthy Brushing Routines

While you’re settling kids in earlier, it’s a good time to re-establish healthy brushing and flossing routines. Start with a new toothbrush, although your child may have one from the recent dental visit you scheduled. Regardless, you want to replace that frayed, sad relic in the cup with one your child likes and your dentist recommends. Whether it’s Wonder Woman or Power Rangers, it should have soft bristles made of a round-ended or “polished” material that are easy on children’s gums.

8. Create a Healthy Learning Space

Make a special place for thinking, reading, and studying. Have your kids make a “great thinking in progress” sign, reinforcing that study, reading, and thinking are valued. Wherever you decide to set up your special thinking place, ensure TV noise and adult conversation does not clutter study time. Make sure the space is comfortable and well lit with a desk or table and a comfortable reading chair. A portable materials caddy allows you to bring out your collection of supplies when assignments call for them.

Parents should have a visual on the computer screen if computer work is involved; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, computer games, and cellphones should not be allowed in this space while “great thinking is in progress.”

9. Healthy Lunches and Snacks

Protein and low-sugar choices keep your child alert and your child’s teeth healthy. Every lunch should have at least three grams of protein. Include teeth-friendly snacks and lunch-items like fruit, string cheese, veggies and hummus, and unsweetened applesauce. Don’t pack in lunches cavity-causing fruit roll-ups or sticky granola bars. Need some ideas? Here are 27 fun ideas for portable lunches. Encourage your child to drink water throughout the school day by packing a sealed, easy to attach to a backpack water bottle. Also, choose water for your child’s lunch drink flavored with an orange or lime slice.

10. Parents, take care of yourselves

Make sure you are doing for yourselves what you do for your children. Have you done these back-to-school healthy “to do’s” for yourself? Have you had your eyes checked lately? Have you had that mammogram? Is your dental exam and cleaning overdue? Remember, you can’t care for others if you aren’t caring for yourself.

Take the first step and fill out the appointment request today!

6 Steps to Take During a Dental Emergency

When you have a dental emergency, every moment before you get into the dentist’s chair can feel like an eternity. Whether you got into an accident and knocked your teeth out or your crown broke unexpectedly, it’s important to know what steps to take.

1. Ease the Pain

As soon as a dental injury occurs, take Advil and/or Tylenol as directed. If you have different over the counter painkillers that you prefer, take those instead. Not only could this make you feel better, but it may also help keep the swelling down. If you have an infection, medicating can lower or prevent any fever that might arise.

2. Apply Heat or Cold

Use a hot or a cold compress for a few minutes at a time, and repeat. This is a simple way to immediately relieve the pressure in your mouth, especially if it’s throbbing. If one doesn’t work, try the other. Whichever alleviates the pain is the one to stick with.

3. Rinse Your Mouth Out

There is no shortage of mouthwash products out there. If Listerine is too much for your mouth to handle while it’s in pain, there are other options. Alcohol-free mouthwashes can be very effective and gentler on your mouth. Salt water is also tried and true home remedy. Simply use a combination of warm water and salt to rinse your mouth out. This will disinfect and have a soothing effect, and can help clean out any loose particles that may be irritating your gums.

4. Swish Oregano Oil Or Milk

Many people rave about the benefits of oregano oil, but if you’re in the midst of a dental emergency, you may not have it on hand. Consider purchasing some when you don’t have a dental emergency and keeping it in a cupboard in case you ever do have one. Depending on the state of your mouth, you may want to drink a glass of milk or at least swish a few mouthfuls around. It will keep your mouth hydrated, which is especially important if you have gotten your teeth knocked out.

5. Apply Pressure

By adding pressure to the affected areas of your mouth, you can lessen the pain that you’re feeling. Use a clean gauze or tissue, and try not to fuss around with the affected area too much.

6. Call a Dentist

When you’re experiencing a dental emergency, you need to act fast. If it’s the result of a head injury or an accident, go to the ER first before calling your dentist. Once everything has been checked out, it’s time to give your dentist a call.

Here at Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we’re available for dental emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll get you in quickly and prescribe antibiotics, painkillers, and antianxiety medications as necessary. Then, we’ll evaluate whether we need to schedule surgery. Click here to learn more about our emergency dentistry services.

5 Ways to Prevent a Dental Emergency

No one likes to make an emergency trip to the dentist. It can be scary, expensive, and time-consuming. While even those who take care of their teeth can encounter an unexpected dental problem, there are some precautions you can take to prevent a dental emergency–or at least minimize the likelihood of one.

1. Regular Checkups

You should have your teeth cleaned and examined by your dentist at least every six months. If you have special dental needs, you may need to go more often. Most people schedule their next cleaning at the end of a visit, but do not keep the appointment as it draws closer. Make it a point to go through with your appointment so you don’t go longer than the recommended six months between cleanings.

2. Brushing and Flossing

Brush your teeth at least twice per day, for two full minutes each time, and floss at least once per day. Don’t cut corners. You might also consider choosing dental products based on your needs. For example, if you were prone to dry mouth and/or sensitive gums, a softer brusher and perhaps a water flosser would be the way to go. The most important thing, of course, is to stay consistent.

3. Well-Rounded Diet

Stay away from foods that are high in sugar and corn syrup, and eat your vegetables! Your diet greatly impacts the long-term health of your gums and teeth, and eating well can go a long way toward preventing dental issues. Foods that are high in calcium are especially beneficial for dental health.

4. “Nip it in the Bud”

If you feel any sort of pain in your mouth, such as a dull pain that comes and goes, make an appointment immediately. It could be something as simple as having something stuck in your gums, or it could be more serious. Acute, stabbing pain is a clear sign to visit the dentist. Why wait until the discomfort is unbearable? If your gums are bleeding when you brush your teeth, that is also cause for concern.

Regardless of the issue, the longer you wait to get things checked out, the more you’re increasing the chance that you’ll have to make an emergency dental visit.

5. Be Mindful

Your mouth is delicate – treat it as such. You should be protecting your teeth with the same consciousness that you protect your body. Whether it’s going up for a rebound in rec league basketball or opening a beer bottle with your teeth, an accident can result in a chipped or missing tooth.

Of course, if you do need to make an emergency visit to an Albuquerque dentist, Davis Gribble Hollowwa is here for you. You can make a same-day appointment, even on weekends. Click here to learn more.

Dentistry Tools Demystified: A Quick Guide to Everything in Your Dentist’s Office

You’ve finally gotten up the nerve to sit in the big chair, and for no clear reason, you’re terrified. We don’t blame you for being scared of dentists. Chances are you have no idea what any of the devices we use are called or what they’re for. Having dental treatment done is less intimidating when you know what’s what during the process. Let’s take a quick tour of a typical dental treatment room.

The Chair

The purpose of a dental chair is to keep your body comfortable while we try to make the dental treatment as painless as possible. It’s easy to adjust, so always tell us if you’re not quite comfortable. The right side of the chair has three pieces: a syringe for dispensing air and water, and two dental handpieces at two different speeds for surgical procedures.

The Overhead Light

These have come a long way over the years. At Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we use LED lights because they are not as harsh as the Nuva Lights of yore.

Hand Mirror

Contrary to the overhead light, the hand mirror has remained pretty standard for quite some time. It allows us to magnify what we’re able to see inside your mouth.

Anesthetic Syringe

This is the device we use to numb the area we’re treating, if necessary. We typically use lidocaine or a combination of other local anesthetics. Don’t hesitate to ask us what we’re using beforehand!

Panoramic X-Ray

You’re probably familiar with the 2-D “bite down” photos that dentists take inside your mouth. Those are created using an x-ray computer that allows us to see any cysts, abscesses, tumors, or other issues. It also enables us to track changes in your bone structure.

Foot Control Rheostat

We definitely want to keep our hands as free as possible while we’re working, so we use a foot pedal for a few controls.


Lasers are used primarily as “cutting” instruments. They can also vaporize tissues, or be used to direct heat to the jaw area for patients with TMJ discomfort.

When you visit our offices at Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we’re never too busy to give you a tour and answer your questions before we get to work. Make an appointment today!

5 Reasons to Choose a Dentist with an In-house Lab

Did you know that it is surprisingly tough to find a dentist office with an in-house lab? Davis Gribble Hollowwa has one of the only in-house dental labs in all of Albuquerque. And that’s not marketing jargon; an in-house lab can dramatically enhance your experience at the dentist. Here’s how:

1. Higher Quality

We conduct extensive research on the supplies we use, in order to ensure quality and longevity. If you’ve also done your own research, we can even place a special order to meet your aesthetic and functional preferences.

2. Faster Turnaround Time

After impressions or moldings of your teeth are made it can usually take around two weeks for a mouthguard or crown to be shipped from an outside dental lab. With our in-house lab, that same process only takes about a week!

3. Human Touch

At Davis Gribble Hollowwa, it’s protocol for the lab technician to sit down with you and actually take a look inside your mouth. At most dentists’ offices, this is all done through a remote series of digital images, so whoever is developing the materials will never meet you, much less answer your questions. Our in-house technician, Richard, is one of our most valued staff members not just for his expertise, but because he helps us build stronger relationships with our patients.

4. Celebrity Treatment

Do you have a particular celebrity jawline you’d just love to have? Bring a picture in. We can’t promise you’ll look just like Chris Pratt or Angelina Jolie, but we’ll give it a try! We will work one-on-one with you to read your facial expressions and figure out how to make sure you’ll maintain your good looks after dental treatment has been done. Give yourself true star treatment by choosing a dentist’s office with an in-house lab.

5. Efficient Adjustments

Sometimes, crowns don’t end up being quite the right fit. If that’s the case, an in-house lab can make those adjustments much faster versus going to a dentist who has to reorder crowns from an outside lab. We all know the waiting game is no fun when it comes to obtaining the perfect smile.

Davis Gribble Hollowwa is constantly improving its in-house lab facility. Meanwhile, we have a team of certified lab technicians who take pride in what they do. They are up on all of the latest technology and materials so that we can provide you with the customized dental care you deserve. Getting dental implants does not have to be a long and painful process. Contact us today to set up your first appointment!

How to Find the Right Dental Insurance for Your Needs

Having good dental health is an important part of having good health overall. In order to maintain your dental health, it’s imperative to have a dental insurance policy that meets your unique needs. But where do you start? Insurance can be confusing, and if you don’t know what to look for in a dental policy, they all begin to look the same.

There’s no shame in not understanding how insurance works. Many people don’t. Here are a few handy tips from Albuquerque dentists Davis Gribble Hollowwa to help you figure out which dental plan is best for you. The first step is to assess your needs based on the two basic types of care that dentists provide: preventative care and restorative care.

Preventative Care

If you practice good oral hygiene and have visited the dentist on a regular basis throughout your life, it’s likely that your teeth are in pretty good shape, and a plan that focuses on coverage of preventative care will probably be best for you. Examples of preventative care including cleanings, exams, sealants, and fluoride. These are referred to as “preventative” because they aim to prevent problems rather than simply respond to them. With frequent exams, your dentist will be able to spot an issue before it becomes something more painful and costly.

Restorative Care

If you’ve gone a while without dental coverage, or haven’t visited a dentist in a long time, a plan that provides coverage for restorative care is probably your best bet. You might be in need of some more extensive dental care, like fillings, root canals, crowns, tooth extraction, deep cleaning, or dentures.

Many employers offer dental benefits to their employees, but the plans might not always be ideal for each individual. It’s important to take some time to review what’s being offered to you and make a decision based on your own needs. If the plan being offered doesn’t work for you, it’s always possible to opt out and choose your own plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Coverage Options

When considering dental plans — whether through your employer or the Marketplace — take a look at the percentages of various procedures covered. If you’re looking for a plan that focuses mainly on maintenance and preventative care, you’ll find that there are plans offering up to 100 percent coverage on exams and cleaning. If you’re in need of a plan that involves restorative care, it’s especially important to note what’s covered and in what capacity.

For example, if you end up needing a root canal and your existing plan says it covers root canals, you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised to learn afterward that actually only 10 percent of the cost of the procedure is covered by your insurance. In that case, the remainder of the cost comes out of your pocket!

It’s also important to keep in mind that insurance is meant to help ease the burden of the cost of dental care, not eliminate it. The amount you pay for the care you receive depends on many factors, but you will have to pay something, regardless of what plan you end up going with.

It may seem like an inconvenience among all of the other expenses that life throws at us, but having healthy teeth is definitely worth crunching the numbers for. It’ll improve your life, help you avoid health troubles in the future, and keep your smile looking bright.

What Does My Dental Insurance Cover? Understanding Your Coverage

Whether your dental insurance is offered through your employer or the Health Insurance Marketplace, it’s important to know the ins and outs of what your plan offers in order to avoid unexpected costs. Reading over an insurance policy, however, can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the language and terminology. So, we’ve created a brief guide to help you fully understand your dental insurance. This is however, just a guide, and you should always consult with your insurance provider regarding the following subject matter.


A premium is the amount of money you have to pay, usually per month, in order to receive coverage. It might be tempting to choose a plan with a very low premium, but these plans usually provide lower coverage. If you’re comparing different dental insurance options, don’t automatically go for the cheapest policy. Read the details and choose the best coverage that you can comfortably afford.


Everyone has their own specific dental needs, so be sure to consider yours before you commit to a policy. Most plans cover common procedures, like cleanings and exams. But, some policies are designed for those who require additional treatment.

The cost of your monthly premium generally increases with the number of treatments covered. For example, a plan that covers braces or implants will have a higher monthly premium than one that doesn’t. If you have any questions about what’s covered in your dental policy, call your insurer and have them explain your coverage. Don’t be afraid to ask questions relating specifically to the procedures you think you might need.

Provider Access

Many insurance companies dictate which dentists you can visit to receive coverage. This can be disruptive in some situations, such as if you’re switching jobs and your current dentist is not an in-network provider for your new employer’s coverage. There are plans out there that allow you to choose the dentist you visit, so if that’s important to you, ask your insurer about this possibility.


If a dentist’s services are covered by an insurance company, it means they have a contract with that company that usually includes a set list of fees for different treatments.

It’s best to know the fees and the percentage of the costs covered under the plan before undergoing a procedure, so that you can plan your finances accordingly. If you choose to visit a dentist that is out of network for your insurance plan, you are responsible for paying the dentist’s own fee for the service, usually out of pocket.


Your deductible is the amount of money that must be paid out of pocket before the insurance company begins to cover your dental care. An insurance plan with a low premium usually has a higher deductible, and vice versa. If you need extensive dental treatment, it is probably a good idea to choose a plan with a low deductible.Provider Access

Many insurance companies dictate which dentists you can visit to receive coverage. This can be disruptive in some situations, such as if you’re switching jobs and your current dentist is not an in-network provider for your new employer’s coverage. There are plans out there that allow you to choose the dentist you visit, so if that’s important to you, ask your insurer about this possibility.


Most insurance plans also have an annual maximum for coverage. This means that if you exceed the plan’s maximum, additional costs come out of pocket. It may also mean that there is a limit on the number of procedures you can receive under a plan’s coverage. If you will need a lot of treatment, be aware of your maximum, and consider choosing a policy with a high annual limit.

Your dental policy is nothing to be afraid of. By discussing these issues with your insurance provider, you can know exactly what you’re covered for and how much you will pay for a given procedure. Looking for an Albuquerque dentist? Contact Davis Gribble Hollowwa today. If you have your insurance information on hand, we will be happy to tell you whether we are within your provider’s network, and how much you can expect to pay for common procedures at our office.

What is TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder?

Temporomandibular joint disorder is, aside from a mouthful to pronounce, a condition defined by pain or discomfort in the joint area of the jaw. More specifically, TMJ disorder involves pain in the hinges that connect your jaw to your skull. These joints allow your jaw to move up and down or side to side, enabling you to do everyday actions like talking, chewing food and yawning.

While TMJ disorder affects people in all walks of life, it is most common in women between the age of 20 and 40. It is estimated that TMJ disorder actually affects between 5 to 12% of the overall population at some point in their lives. When the issue becomes symptomatic, the disorder manifests itself in various ways, ranging from a clicking or popping when stretching the lower jaw, to general discomfort and mild pain.

The Four Components of TMJ Disorder

When a person has TMJ disorder, 4 areas can be involved:

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

There are several things that can cause TMJ disorder. One of the primary causes of TMJ disorder is grinding or clenching of the teeth. This puts unnecessary pressure on the jaw, which leads to discomfort. Stress can also be a factor that causes a person to clench and grind their teeth.

An injury caused by a traumatic event such as a car accident can also cause damage to the jaw, joints and muscles in your back or neck. Another common cause of TMJ disorder is arthritis in the jaw joint, which causes pain in that area when moving your lower mandible.

How to Treat TMJ Disorder

There are a number of dental-related treatments that can relieve the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. Davis Gribble Hollowwa takes a conservative approach to treating the issue.

  1. First, we conduct an initial evaluation, checking the patient’s jaw to see if TMJ disorder is the cause of their discomfort. We will do an exam to determine if the pain is coming from the bones, the joint, the muscles, the teeth, or any combination of the four.
  2. If it is determined that the patient does in fact suffer from the symptoms of TMJ disorder, the first line of defense is a splint for the jaw. The splint functions similarly to a mouth guard, while stabilizing the jaw and helping to reduce discomfort.
  3. For some acute cases, we may recommend wearing a device called an Aqualizer for one to two weeks. This is a fluid filled pouch–similar to a tiny waterbed–that fits inside the patient’s mouth to help stabilize the jaw in the same way a splint does. This can help decrease the pain and assist in diagnosis.
  4. Medication is also a common option for treating TMJ disorder. We may prescribe medicine such as an anti-inflammatory drug or muscle relaxant to help decrease inflammation or relax the muscles around the jaw.
  5. Finally, there’s heat therapy. The use of a laser that focuses heat directly onto the region of the jaw muscle, increasing blood flow to ease pain and tension.

TMJ disorder is pretty common among the adult population. If you are suffering from jaw pain that you think might be related to TMJ disorder, contact us to set up an appointment. We can create a treatment plan for TMJ disorder that can help reduce the pain, so you can get back to living your life.

5 Reasons You’re Afraid of Going to the Dentist

So, you’re afraid of us? We understand, and we don’t take it personally. It’s because we’re dentists. We know. From years of experience, we’ve noticed a few themes that explain why so many people are afraid of going to the dentist. If you have a fear of dentists, we’d be willing to bet that it’s for one or a combination of the following reasons.

1. Horror Stories

Depending on how old you are, your grandparents have probably told you some pretty scary stories about going to the dentist as children. Perhaps they had a tooth pulled without enough Novocaine, or the drill that was used to fill a cavity wasn’t quite fast enough. Don’t worry, we always use the best dental materials and communicate with you to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible.

2. Privacy

Your mouth is personal and you have every right to protect it. It’s completely reasonable that you would be particular about who gets to care for, or even take a close look at your mouth. But trust us when we say that you can trust us. We’ve gone through years of school and practice, and can assure you that your mouth is in good hands here at Davis Gribble Hollowwa.

3. Uncontrollable Triggers

Logically, you know that going to the dentist is a safe and healthy thing to do, and yet without fail, you still get panicky when you sit in that chair. This is something we’ve seen a lot of patients struggle with. The sight of the big fluorescent light, the medical smell of the office, and the sound of the drill may make you feel nervous automatically. We expect it, especially from new patients, and will work through your fear with you.

4. Pain

If you have a nagging toothache, loose crown or cavity, the idea of a dentist touching your sore spots with anything can be a very unpleasant thought. You may think that there is no hope or reason to bother going to the dentist, but it’s actually the opposite. We can help you minimize or perhaps even get rid of the pain in the long run. It may take some time for you to get back to feeling 100%, but there is hope!

5. A Bad Experience

Instead of telling you that you have nothing to be afraid of, we like to acknowledge that it’s totally okay to be nervous about going to the dentist. When you show up for your appointment and sit in that chair, we are already proud of you, because many people don’t take that first step to overcome their fears.

Is it something else that you fear about going to the dentist? At Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we take the time to understand each patient before doing any dental work. It makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved. The more relaxed you are, the more smoothly everything will go. Call us at 505-898-1976 to schedule your visit and conquer your fear for good.

7 Fun Facts About the History of Dentistry

A trip to the dentist today is much different than it was thousands of years ago, to say the least! Here are 7 fun facts about the history of dentistry that will make you appreciate all the technology in dentists’ offices these days.

1. Tooth Decay Used to Be Blamed On “Tooth Worms”

The first historical reference to dentistry that we are aware of happened in 5000 BC, according to a Sumerian text. We are not entirely sure what they meant by “tooth worms,” as it was a very different time, but it’s a pretty disturbing mental image, isn’t it?

2. Barbers Used to Pull Teeth

Back in the Middle Ages, “barber-surgeons” were the people you would visit in order to get your face shaved and your teeth pulled. While the efficiency may be something to admire, it sounds like a fairly bloody trip overall and probably made for a pretty painful afternoon for the customers.

3. Paul Revere Was a Dentist

He may be most known for his role in the American Revolutionary War, but Paul Revere was also a dentist. He was responsible for the first known case of post-mortem dental forensics, as he was able to identify his fallen friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, by the bridge he had put into his mouth before he passed.

4. The First Power Drills Were Powered by Feet

One of George Washington’s dentists invented the “dental foot engine” by turning his mother’s spinning wheel into something that could rotate a drill fast enough to get through the first president’s mouth. Sounds like quite a workout!

5. Novocaine Wasn’t Invented Until 1903

German chemist Alfred Einhorn formulated the first known local anesthetic and called it procaine, but these days we know it as Novocaine, as it is trademarked. We use dental anesthetic every day in our office and not a day goes by where we don’t think about all the people before this time who had to brave dental work without it.

6. Dentists Didn’t Used to Use Both Hands

In fact, it wasn’t until the 1960s when “sit down, four hands” dentistry became the norm. The technique that we use today is much more reliable and comfortable. We certainly wouldn’t want to turn back the clock on this technique!

7. High Speed Dentistry Started in the 1950s

The length of time needed to perform what are now considered routine procedures was decreased considerably when John Borden introduced the Airotor in 1957. It could reach speeds of up to 300,000 rotations per minute!

Has it been awhile since you’ve been to the dentist? Dentistry has come a long way, and here at Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we stay up to date to offer you the latest and best dental technology available so that your visits with us can be as painless and pleasant as possible. Learn more about our services.

Cosmetic Dentistry Options to Improve the Quality of Your Smile

Your smile is often the first thing another person notices about you and the last thing they remember. Whether you embrace Steve Buscemi-esque choppers or you desire the most polished, Courteney Cox-like pearly whites possible, it’s our job as dentists to make sure you leave our office feeling ready to take on the world with a confident smile.

From tooth coloration to shape, cosmetic concerns run the full gamut. At Davis Gribble Hollowwa, we have the technology and expertise to meet your needs and encourage you to feel comfortable opening up about your dental goals. Through in-house lab work and cutting edge technology, we take molds, photographs, and detailed measurements of your teeth and face shape to ensure that your finished smile looks as natural as possible. We even impose wax over physical molds and edit real photos of your teeth to simulate the final look of potential alterations.

But before you set your heart on a specific procedure, it’s a good idea to understand your options. Below we’ve outlined the six most common cosmetic dental procedures, with the pros and cons of each.

Veneers, For A Sparkling Smile

Technically a partial crown, a veneer is a thin material (often dental porcelain) that permanently adheres directly to the front of the tooth. Frequently used to create a Hollywood-worthy smile that reveals no fractures or discoloration, veneers are convenient because they can preserve your natural tooth structure. That said, not everybody is a candidate for veneers. If your teeth are crowded or severely mal-positioned, your bite can determine whether or not veneers are a realistic solution.

Full Crown, For A More Comprehensive Fix

Like a veneer, a crown is a permanent layer that adheres directly to your teeth. Unlike veneers, crowns cover the entire surface of your teeth, including the backs. Though they hide imperfections and strengthen a weak tooth, crowns do require attention to oral hygiene in the form of regular flossing.

For A Single Missing Tooth, A Simple Bridge Will Do

A bridge is a quick and convenient fix for an awkward gap in your teeth. A bridge works by relying on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth as support for the false tooth inserted between. Compared to an implant, a bridge is usually the quicker permanent solution for a missing tooth. That said, if either of the supporting teeth for a bridge has problems, the integrity of the entire bridge is jeopardized.

When In Doubt, Opt For An Implant

Like a bridge, an implant is used to replace a missing tooth. Unlike their permanent counterparts, freestanding implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth and can be managed as individual units. The downside is that it’s a solution that traditionally takes a bit longer to proceed. Candidates must be screened for general health. Also, the bone at the potential implant site must be fully healed before the implant can be placed.

For An Entirely New Smile, Go For Dentures

As unglamorous as they may be, if you have multiple teeth that need to be replaced, dentures may be your best bet. Though they may be the least natural-feeling solution with the longest adjustment period, dentures are the most affordable type of cosmetic dentistry. Plus, like a removable prosthetic, they’re conveniently impermanent and can be used as necessary.

Fillings, For A Natural Look

Tooth-colored fillings can be placed to repair fractures, replace missing tooth structure due to decay, or change the size, shape, or color of your tooth in order to give it the most natural appearance. Though they tend to blend seamlessly with your teeth, due to the nature of the material, it’s not uncommon to experience mild sensitivity following the procedure.

Trusted Cosmetic Dentists in Albuquerque, NM

Are you considering a cosmetic procedure to improve your smile? Visit us at Davis Gribble Hollowwa so that you can learn more about the options available to you before you make any decisions. Schedule a visit with us to have our specialists assess your goals and needs.

Do This, Not That: 5 Quick Tricks to Minimize Teeth Stains

Red wine and coffee.

It’s unfortunate that two of life’s simplest pleasures are known to cause teeth stains. Many of our favorite foods are culprits, too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid them altogether. Read on for a few easy tips to minimize teeth stains.

Drink White Wine, Not Red

You may have seen this one coming, but here’s the science behind it: Anything that is acidic erodes tooth enamel, allowing colored compounds known as chromogens to affect your teeth. Tannins, which can be found in grape skins, tomato skins, and tea leaves can encourage chromogens to stick around, further darkening your teeth in the meantime. Red wine is a triple whammy because it is acidic, and it contains both chromogens and tannins!

White wine can be slightly less discoloring to your teeth for the time being. However, remember that white wine is acidic. It may not have the same immediate effect, but white wine’s acidity still makes teeth more susceptible to being stained by whatever you consume later.

Eat Cheese While You Sip

Now here’s something we can all get onboard with! If you do choose to drink wine, pair it with cheese. Why? Because cheese helps to neutralize the acidity of the wine, acting as a natural barrier protecting your teeth from chromogens. Also drink lots of water, both to wash away the chromogens and to take advantage of the tooth strengthening qualities in fluoride.

Order Alfredo Instead of Bolognese

The same way the grapes in red wine produce tannins, the tomatoes used to make pasta sauce are also a recipe for teeth stains. If you’re really cognizant of maintaining a white smile, it’s safe to bet that any food with dark coloring—think pasta sauce, curry, balsamic vinegar, etc.—is also high in chromogens. White sauces, on the other hand, don’t do nearly the same damage as the red options.

Skip The Green Tea

Coffee already has a bad rep for turning teeth darker, but did you know that the same thing that makes green tea so nutritious also accelerates teeth staining? The leaves in green tea contain a significant amount of tannins—more than coffee, in fact. Thanks to its mild acidity and dark color, green tea is surprisingly worse than coffee when it comes to encouraging chromogens to stick to your teeth.

Drink From a Straw

Though it’s not scientifically proven, drinking acidic, sugary beverages like sports drinks, coffee, wine, and tea from a straw can go a long way to protect freshly whitened teeth. Since it helps direct the beverage past the front of your teeth, a straw can serve as a great temporary (or habitual) solution so that you don’t have to give up these items altogether.

Does all of this mean that you should toss your bowl of spaghetti and swear off otherwise enjoyable beverages like green tea and the occasional glass of wine? No. Simply consume them a little less often, particularly immediately following the use of any whitening products—and brush your teeth before and after! The sooner you can clean your teeth, the less damage you will see and the whiter your teeth will stay.

Professional Remedies for Teeth Stains

Are you looking to brighten your smile? Let the professionals at Davis Gribble Hollowwa offer a personalized teeth whitening solution that fits your preferences. Our take-home kits are twice as powerful as over-the-counter brands. For those seeking a more thorough whitening, you can also schedule a visit for a one-hour bleaching.

Common Disease Among Children: Tooth Decay Tips To Avoid the Disease

What is the most common chronic disease for children?

Dental decay!

What is Disease

What does it mean for your child to have a chronic disease? A disease, by definition, refers to any condition that impairs the normal functioning of the body. If your child has asthma, they have a disease. Their normal body function is impaired. If your child has the flu, they have a disease. Their normal body function is impaired. Like asthma and the flu, dental decay can impair normal body function.

Tooth Decay

Dental decay is a silent process. It is silent in the sense that, many times, a decayed tooth will not cause any symptoms or discomfort until the disease has significantly progressed. Most people do not pursue treatment of a disease until their normal body function is impaired. This can be quite an unfortunate mistake when it comes to “silent diseases” like dental decay. This is an unfortunate mistake for two reasons:

  1. Once dental decay has impaired normal body function, the treatment is usually more extensive, and more expensive.
  2. Dental decay is not only treatable, it is preventable!

Let’s think back to the flu and the asthma examples from earlier. How do you prevent your child from getting the flu? You may have them get a flu shot. You may have them wash their hands before every meal. How do you prevent your child from having an asthma attack? You may have an inhaler for them to use before exercising. You may know their limitations and prevent asthma attacks simply by behavior control.
So, what needs to be done to prevent tooth decay? You can have your children wash their hands to prevent them from getting the flu. What about having your children brush their teeth to prevent them from getting cavities? You can monitor behavior to prevent major asthma attacks. What about monitoring behavior to limit sugar intake and minimize dental decay?

The Truth

You may be thinking to yourself right now, “my child washes their hands, but still gets the flu;” or “I try to monitor my child’s activity level to prevent asthma attacks, but they still run outside and have an occasional asthma attack.” That is reality! You may feel that same way about dental decay. “My child brushes their teeth, but still gets cavities;” or “I monitor my child’s diet to minimize sugar intake, but they still get cavities.” You are not alone if you feel that way! Fortunately, with dental decay prevention, there is more advice for you! Try these tips to help prevent tooth decay in your children.

The Tips

What are the extra tips for preventing dental decay?

1. Be aware of family dental history!

Research continues to show that bacteria can be passed from mother or father to their child. If you as a parent remember having many cavities, there is a good chance your child could have your same, or a similar, aggressive oral bacteria population! They may be more prone to dental decay from the start, and need more significant prevention methods!

2. Crackers cause cavities too!

Many parents say, “my child does not eat that much candy or drink that much soda!” Well, those are not the only kinds of sugars in our diet! Breads, pretzels, crackers, and many other seemingly harmless foods contain carbohydrates that break down into sugars and cause cavities just like candy and soda!

3. Brush, brush, then brush some more! (and help!)

Get the debris off the teeth! Your kids are going to snack. You just have to make sure they clean the debris off their teeth by frequently brushing the food particles off after eating! And make sure they are brushing properly. Do not assume a three-year-old that can barely tie a shoe has the ability to properly brush teeth!
Your children deserve the best. Be aware of what is happening inside their mouth. Do not let the disease of dental decay silently disintegrate your child’s teeth until they lose function of their mouth! Dental decay is the most common chronic disease amongst children, but it should not be! Follow the tips above, and contact our office for a cleaning and exam to prevent dental decay in your child’s teeth!

Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Child

Parents always want what is best for their children. When it comes to your child’s health, it is all about creating good habits that stick with your child into adulthood. In many families, the hope is that children will be better off than the parents were. This applies to everything from finances to health. Make sure that if you are guiding and educating your children about their health, you are pointing them in the right direction. Social and technological advancements in health care, and in dentistry in particular, have created environments that are far more comfortable than they may have been in the past. Here are three tips for finding the right dental office for your child so they may establish proper oral hygiene habits that can lead to a healthy and happy future.


Dentistry can create anxiety for many patients. People may experience anxiety by just saying the word “Dentist”. When you are looking for a dental office for your children, you want an office with a caring staff that will treat your child as an individual. Every child has different needs, and when it comes to finding the right dental environment for your child, you want an office that will focus on the specific needs of your child. You can find the right office by asking family and friends or by reading office reviews online. You want to begin to establish a dental home for your child by age one.


Dentistry has advanced significantly in the last ten years. You have to remember that your child has many opportunities that you as a parent never had. Be sure when you are looking for a dental office for your child you are looking for a state-of-the-art office that strives for a clean, comfortable, and caring environment. Check out a dental office online, or call ahead to find out what services the office offers to keep patients comfortable. At Davis Gribble Hollowwa Dental, we offer dental care for children, and we offer services such as television at the dental chair and massage pads in the chair that help keep your child comfortable while they are learning what it is like to visit the dentist.


Every child is unique. When you take your child to the dentist, you want the office to cater to your child’s individual needs at each visit. Every time you go to see your child’s dentist, you want your child to see familiar faces and a familiar environment so they can begin to associate those faces and places with positive feelings. Find an office with a consistent staff so your child can develop a reliable dental home as they grow. You want an office that will pay attention to keeping your child calm. You want an office that will track the development of your child’s dental health as they begin to lose their baby teeth and develop their adult teeth. You want a comfortable office that consistently cares about your child’s unique situation so your child can grow into a healthy young adult. Look for an office specific to your area that has dentists and staff who will be there as your child grows up.

Your child deserves the best care available. Take the time to find the right fit. Children receive great dental benefits in most states because establishing proper oral health is critical for developing overall health. Dental decay is the most common chronic disease amongst children. Take the necessary steps now to ensure the best future for your child.

What Your Smile Says About Your Personal Health

Are you happy with your smile? Do you feel your smile represents who you are as a person? In social interactions, the mouth is one of the first body features other people notice. Make sure your smile represents you and accurately reflects your personal health.

Missing Teeth

The most common reasons for people to be missing teeth are dental decay and periodontal disease. Our modern diet contains refined carbohydrates, which when broken down, provide an energy source for bacteria in our mouth. If left unchecked, the unhealthy bacteria can dominate the oral environment and cause tooth decay or bone loss that leads to loose teeth. When your teeth decay or erode beyond the point of repair, or if bone loss progresses until teeth are extremely loose, treatment often requires removal of the affected teeth. Unfortunately, after we lose our baby teeth and develop our adult teeth, we do not get another chance at “growing” another set of teeth. Open spaces in the mouth due to missing teeth may not only reflect poor overall systemic health, but may also cause problems with the jaw and the ability to properly process food.

Chipped, Worn, and Broken Teeth

Teeth can also chip, wear down or break throughout your lifetime. Dental enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but it gets put to work! We expose our teeth to hot coffee, cold ice cream, acidic sodas and sports drinks, crunchy almonds and a variety of other challenging substances. In one year, we can chew up to one million times! This does not include teeth grinding. As people progress through life, teeth become more prone to chipping, wearing down, and breaking. These inevitable situations do not only occur in older teeth. Sometimes accidents happen. Crashing a bike, a baseball striking the mouth, slipping on ice, or even biting a popcorn kernel can lead to problems. When teeth chip, wear down, or break it can be painful. Preventive care can reinforce cracked teeth before they break. Accidents will happen, and fortunately there are treatment options available when the accidents occur!

Treating or Replacing Teeth

The good news is that there are a variety of treatment options for missing, chipped, worn, or broken teeth. Doctors have been treating and replacing teeth for thousands of years. In fact, archeologists have found ruins from the Etruscan civilization that show tooth replacements fabricated from bone or ivory tracing back to 700 BC! Luckily, with the constant progression of modern dentistry, there are treatment options that are structurally and cosmetically superior to bone or ivory. Typically, replacing missing teeth and treating broken, worn, or chipped teeth involves a few steps.

  1. Meet with your dentist for a consultation to plan and set functional and cosmetic goals that create a solution for your particular case. At Grant Davis and Gribble we have an in-house dental laboratory with a Certified Dental Lab Technician that can come to your room and provide professional chairside input on each individual case. This allows our dental team to provide you with a new smile, unique to yourself, based on color, shape, size and function.
  2. Decide what option best fits your case. Broken, worn, or chipped teeth can be treated with porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, or a variety of other dental restorative materials. Missing teeth can be replaced with dental crowns, bridges, dental implants, or dentures. If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in New Mexico, our modern practice of cosmetic dentistry incorporates cosmetic dental surgery, the current materials, and expertise to provide a treatment that suits your functional and aesthetic dental goals.
  3. Maintain your oral health. When you make the decision to take the steps towards improving your overall health, it is critical to maintain your health constantly. When you have dental treatment to replace or treat missing, chipped, worn, or broken teeth you must keep your mouth clean in order to insure the longevity of your dental treatment. Brush at least twice a day, floss frequently, use a mouth rinse, and see your dentist and hygienist for your regular check-ups.

Decisions, lifestyle choices, or accidents that resulted in missing, chipped, worn or broken teeth can be overcome with a commitment to your overall health. The body is a system and the mouth not only reflects and portrays your health and personality, it plays a vital role as the entry point to your entire body’s system. We wish you a healthy and happy smile and invite you to explore our website to watch animated videos that explain the treatment options listed above.