Veneer Teeth

How to Properly Maintain Dental Veneers

Veneers are a modern aesthetic treatment used to obtain beautiful smiles, perfect for patients with stained, chipped, or gapped teeth. Before deciding on the procedure, it’s important to understand proper dental veneer maintenance.

Two Main Types of Dental Veneers

Composite or Porcelain: The best veneer material depends on individual goals and budgets.

Composite Veneers

  • Generally placed on the tooth in one appointment.
  • More affordable than porcelain veneers.
  • 4 to 8-year lifespan.
  • Require more maintenance as they are prone to chipping.
  • Once the tooth has been reshaped for the veneer, the dentist bonds and shapes the composite material to best match teeth. A special light is used to harden the material and the veneer is smoothed to resemble a natural tooth.

Porcelain Veneers

  • Popular for restoring the strength and appearance of teeth that may be:
    • Chipped, Cracked, or Broken
    • Discolored
    • Gapped
    • Poorly Shaped
    • Worn

7 Tips to Properly Maintain Dental Veneers

Tip 1: Practice Proper Oral Hygiene

  • Proper oral hygiene prolongs veneer lifespan and maintains oral health. Though porcelain veneers do not decay, there are parts of the teeth that may be exposed and be at risk for decay.

Tip 2: Use a Soft Toothbrush and Proper Toothpaste

  • Hard-bristled toothbrushes damage veneer polish.
  • Avoid toothpaste with harsh abrasives as they can damage veneers.

Tip 3: Prevent Gum Disease

  • Gum disease causes inflamed and receding gums.

Tip 4: Schedule Routine Dental Check-Ups

  • Schedule routine dental appointments to prolong veneer longevity.

Tip 5: Avoid Chewing on Objects

  • Chewing on hard objects can damage or chip veneers.

Tip 6: Avoid Grinding and Clenching Teeth

  • Talk to your dentist about teeth clenching or grinding habits.
  • Treatment options are available to help you stop before causing damage to teeth or veneers.

Tip 7: Avoid Teeth-Staining Foods

  • Avoid drinks such as coffee and soda.
  • Try using a straw in order to decrease veneer staining.
  • Quit smoking

Southwest Florida's Leader in Dental Veneers

Want to flash an award-winning smile without feeling conscious of your teeth? Veneers may be the answer! Veneers tremendously improve patients’ appearance and confidence.

Nobody does porcelain and composite veneers in Coral Gables and Doral, Florida better than iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares. Schedule your free consultation today!

We service Brickell, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Doral, Miami, and the surrounding South Florida areas.

To discover more about dental veneer maintenance, call iSmile of Coral Gables, FL at 305-620-8272 or iSmile of Doral, FL at 305-396-1026 today.

For a Free Video Consultation, visit

Bright Smile

Dental Bonding: Pros and Cons

A smile often gives the first impression and it can be difficult to confidently smile with chipped or discolored teeth. iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares understands the importance of a perfect smile. We offer a selection of cosmetic procedures to enhance smiles and deliver confidence.

Dental Bonding is a simple, quick, and inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure in which a dentist bonds tooth-colored resin to the natural substance of teeth, enamel, and dentin. Dentists use dental bonding to:

  • Change the shape of teeth
  • Close spaces between teeth
  • Improve the appearance of discolored teeth
  • Make teeth appear longer
  • Protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed by receding gums
  • Repair chipped or cracked teeth
  • Repair decayed teeth (composite resins are used to fill cavities)
  • Replace amalgam (such as silver) fillings with a cosmetic alternative

Types of Dental Bonding

  • Adhesive Bonding: Uses an etchant, a type of acid or corrosive chemical, an adhesive, and a curing light to attach a restoration to damaged teeth. This procedure is best for fillings, porcelain veneers, and crowns that do not contain any metal.

  • Direct Composite Bonding: The most common dental bonding procedure. Dentists create a composite resin that matches teeth color, molds it to fit teeth, apply it using a bonding agent then cured using a UV light. The bonded tooth can then be further shaped after it hardens.

Pros of Dental Bonding

  • One of the least expensive and simplest dental procedures available.
  • Can be done in one visit.
  • Does not require a customized fitting or temporary molds.
  • Any shaping or molding is done at the time of bonding.
  • Removes the least amount of protective enamel from teeth, compared to veneers or crowns.
  • Fairly painless and does not require anesthesia, unless used to fill a cavity.

Cons of Dental Bonding

  • While the composite resin used in dental bonding procedures is stain-resistant, it is not as stain-resistant as veneers or crowns.
  • The bonding material does not have as long of a lifespan, compared to veneers or crowns.
  • Because the bonding material is essentially plastic, it’s far easier to chip or break off the tooth.
  • Used for minor cosmetic issues including small cosmetic changes or temporary corrections for cosmetic defects.

Risks of Dental Bonding

  • Infection: Before the dental bonding material is placed, infection, tooth decay, and debris must be removed for the tooth sterilized. If an infection is present after the composite resin material is placed, it will continue to degrade the natural tooth structure, and will eventually result in the need for root canal therapy or tooth extraction.
  • Allergic reaction: It is possible for patients to experience an allergic reaction to the conditioning liquid, composite resin, or tools used during the dental bonding procedure.
  • Wearing down of the bonding material: Composite resin used in the dental bonding procedure will wear down over time, as is the case with natural tooth enamel. In more serious cases, the bonding material can chip or crack.
  • Discoloration of the bonding material: The composite resin material is not completely resistant to staining and will not respond to teeth whitening treatment.

Aftercare Instructions

Dental bonding patients should follow aftercare instructions to ensure the longevity of composite resin bonding material.

  • Brush: Brush teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night, using toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss: Floss once a day. Be sure to bring floss all the way up to the gum line to thoroughly remove plaque before moving on to the next tooth.
  • Drink water after meals: Drinking water after meals flushes out food particles and reduces acidity levels in the mouth.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that stain the teeth: Avoid tea, dark-colored sauces, red and white wine, berries, sports drinks, sodas, juices, and candies with bright artificial coloring stain the teeth.
  • Avoid products that stain the teeth: The use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco, causes yellow and brown stains to appear on the teeth and bonding material.

Schedule a Dental Bonding Consultation in Coral Gables and Doral, FL Today!

iSmile by ​Dr. Sonia Olivares, Coral Gables, and Doral, Florida’s leader in cosmetic dentistry, provides teeth bonding treatments.

Dr. Sonia Olivares has dedicated her life to helping patients obtain oral health, beautiful smiles, and the confidence that goes with them. She spends time with each and every patient to ensure they receive proper care, from evaluation to procedure. Her goal is to completely resolve dental issues while providing courteous, knowledgeable, and professional service.

Looking for a fast, minimally invasive, and inexpensive option for a beautiful smile? Teeth bonding may be right for you. To discover more, contact an iSmile dental office or book an appointment online today.

Tips For Avoiding: Dislodged, Broken, Cracked Teeth

Avoiding Broken, Cracked and Dislodged Teeth | iSmile

A broken or cracked tooth may seem minor at first, but if left untreated, matters may escalate. A broken tooth is a serious problem that causes hesitation to talk, laugh or smile in public and requires time at the dentist to rebuild the mouth as well as confidence. A general dentist will be the first to tell you that a broken tooth will not repair itself like a broken bone. The only way to restore the former appearance of a broken cracked or dislodged tooth is with a dental restoration or tooth contouring.

Tips to Prevent Broken, Cracked or Dislodged Teeth

1. Wear a Mouthguard

It can mean the difference between a safe smile and a broken or dislodged tooth.

  • While practicing sports.
  • Suffering from bruxism.
  • Teeth-clenching.

2. Avoid Assumptions

  • Avoid asking too much of teeth.

3. Stay Committed to Oral Care

  • Unhealthy teeth can break, crack or dislodge more easily.
  • Brush and floss daily.

4. Schedule Routine Checkups

  • Routine dental checkups identify small cracks that can be easily fixed and prevent them from increasing in severity.

5. Maintain Teeth Strength

  • Tooth enamel is a hard substance, but one that can be eroded or damaged due to bad habits like drinking soda, eating sugary foods, brushing too hard and chewing fingernails or ice.

Types of Cracked Teeth

  • Craze lines. Tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel. They are shallow, cause no pain and are of no concern beyond the way they look. Craze lines are common for adults.
  • Fractured cusp. When a piece of a tooth’s chewing surface breaks off, it’s called a fractured cusp. It usually does not cause much pain.
  • Cracked tooth. A cracked tooth means a crack extends from the chewing surface vertically toward the root. Cracked teeth left untreated worsen as time goes by and can result in tooth loss.
  • Split tooth. A split tooth is usually the result of a long-term cracked tooth. It is identified by a crack with distinct segments that can be separated. A split tooth cannot be saved intact.
  • Vertical root fracture. These cracks begin in the root of the tooth and extends toward the chewing surface. Often, they show minimal signs and symptoms. Many times, they are discovered when the surrounding bone and gum become infected.

Dental Procedures to Repair Cracked or Broken Teeth

To avoid further damage and possible infection, visit a dentist right away if you have a cracked or broken tooth.

1. Dental Bonding

  • Composite bonding is a way to repair chipped, cracked, decayed, discolored, misshapen, and gapped teeth.
  • Composite bonding can last up to 10 years.
  • During the procedure, anesthesia is not required unless bonding is being used for cavities.

2. Veneers

  • Veneers are covers for a tooth.
  • At iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares, we use porcelain veneers because they provide the most attractive and realistic results possible.
  • The veneer is bonded to the front of the tooth, transforming the tooth’s appearance. With good care, veneers can last up to 30 years.

3. Crowns

  • Badly chipped teeth or pain with chewing or drinking generally requires a crown. Crowns are one of the most common restorative treatments.
  • A crown is a cap that covers the tooth, protects the tooth, and improves the appearance.

4. Root Canals

  • Cracks in the tooth that have extended into the pulp can be treated with a root canal.
  • Getting a root canal involves clearing out the decayed tooth matter and removing the nerve.
  • This procedure has a bad reputation for being painful. But if it’s done correctly, you should feel no pain or only minor discomfort.

5. Dental Implants

  • Used when a crack in the tooth extends below the gum line, a tooth is no longer treatable, and the tooth is not able to be saved.
  • Requires a tooth extraction followed by a dental implant.

Smile Makeover Procedures in Coral Gables and Doral, Florida

Dr. Sonia Olivares and her team at iSmile transform patients lives by creating healthy and beautiful smiles. We perform thorough examinations and build customized smile treatment plans for each patient to meet unique needs and expectations. We are committed to providing premier Smile Makeover Procedures.

iSmile of Coral Gables and iSmile of Doral offers flexible payment options and accepts most insurance plans.

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Convenient monthly payments
  • Coupons and monthly specials

To discover more, visit

Contact iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares for a free online consultation or call today for an appointment.

Oral Health

Oral Issues and Disease in Coral Gables & Doral, FL

Oral issues and disease pose major health burdens including pain, discomfort, disfigurement, and even death. With billions of bacteria living inside our mouths at any given time, practicing daily proper oral hygiene is a critical, lifelong commitment.

Symptoms of Oral Issues and Disease

  • Bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Frequent dry mouth
  • Jaw clicking
  • Loose teeth

  • Pain or toothaches
  • Pain with chewing or biting
  • Receding gumline
  • Sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling of the face and cheeks
  • Ulcers, sores, or tender areas in the mouth that won’t heal after a week

Factors Contributing to Oral Issues

  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Certain infections such as HIV or AIDS
  • Diabetes
  • Family history or genetics
  • Frequent vomiting

  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Poor brushing habits
  • Smoking
  • Sugary food and drink consumption
  • Use of saliva reducing medications

Causes of Oral Disease

  • The oral cavity collects various bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some of which belong there, making up the normal flora of the mouth.
  • Harmless in small quantities, but a diet high in sugar creates conditions in which acid-producing bacteria flourish. This acid dissolves tooth enamel and causes dental cavities.

  • Bacteria near the gumline thrive in a sticky matrix called plaque. Plaque accumulates, hardens, and migrates down the length of the tooth if not removed regularly by brushing and flossing.
  • Inflamed gums cause gingivitis.
  • Increased inflammation causes gums to begin pulling away from teeth.

Types of Oral Disease

  • Cavities
  • Dental Carries
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Gum disease (gingivitis)
  • Noma

  • Oral cancer
  • Oral manifestations of HIV
  • Oro-dental trauma
  • Periodontitis
  • Sensitive teeth

Diagnosing Oral Issues and Disease

Most oral issues and disease can be diagnosed during a dental exam. During an exam, dentists closely inspect:

  • Cheeks
  • Jaw
  • Mouth
  • Neck

  • Teeth
  • Throat
  • Tongue

If oral cancer is suspected, dentists may order imaging tests to determine if cancer has spread. Tests may include:

  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy

  • MRI scan
  • X-ray

Treating Oral Issues and Disease

Even with proper oral care, routine visits to the dentist with professional cleanings twice a year a recommended. Dentists recommend additional treatments if signs of gum disease, infections or other problems arise.

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be in the form of a gel, mouth rinse, oral tablet or capsule.
  • Cleanings: Deep cleaning is also known as scaling and root planing. It removes tartar from above and below the gumline that can’t be reached during routine brushing.
  • Daily Habits: Dental hygienists provide education regarding how to properly care for teeth and gums.
  • Dental Implants: Used to replace missing or lost teeth.
  • Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel and increase resiliency to bacteria and acid.
  • Fillings, Crowns, and Sealants: A filling is used to repair a cavity, crack, or hole in the tooth. First dentists use a drill to remove the damaged area of the tooth and then fill the hole with material, such as amalgam or composite.

  • Probiotics: Mostly known for their role in digestive health, probiotics, and healthy bacteria may be beneficial for teeth and gums.
  • Root Canals: Required if tooth decay reaches inside the tooth nerve. During a root canal, the nerve is removed and replaced with a filling made of a biocompatible material, usually a combination of a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and adhesive cement.
  • Tooth Extraction: Necessary when a tooth cannot be saved with a root canal or other procedure.

Maintaining Oral Health

  • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
  • Floss at least once a day. Flossing is one of the most beneficial things ways to prevent oral disease.

  • Follow a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit sugary snacks and drinks.
  • Visit a dental professional every six months for a cleaning.

The Dentist's Role

Oral health has an effect on more than just the teeth. Poor oral and dental health can contribute to issues with self-esteem, speech, comfort, nutrition, and overall quality of life. Many oral issues develop without any symptoms. Regularly visiting a dentist for a checkup and exam is the best way to catch a problem before it worsens.

Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health. Their responsibilities include:

  • Creating treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of their patients.
  • Diagnosing oral diseases.
  • Ensuring the safe administration of anesthetics.
  • Interpreting x-rays and diagnostic tests.

  • Monitoring growth and development of the teeth and jaws.
  • Performing surgical procedures on the teeth, bone, and soft tissues of the oral cavity.
  • Promoting oral health and disease prevention.

Ultimately, long-term outcomes depend on patient efforts. Cavities are not entirely preventable, but the risk of severe gum disease and tooth loss is reduced with proper oral care.

Trust the Oral Experts at iSmile Coral Gables and Doral, FL

Dr. Sonia Olivares and her iSmile team provide comprehensive dental services from routine check-ups to urgent care, offering convenient and affordable options to patients in Coral Gables, Coral Springs, St. Doral Florida, and the surrounding areas.

If you need dental assistance or an annual general dentistry check-up – call iSmile Coral Gables and iSmile Doral. To make an appointment, contact our office today!

  • iSmile Coral Gables: 305-396-1026

  • iSmile Coral Gables: 305-396-1026

For online consultations, visit

We accept major insurance plans and all major credit cards. We offer convenient monthly payments coupons and monthly specials. To access available payment options visit

For additional information, visit our website at

The Advantages of Composite & Porcelain Fillings

Nearly 90% of adults in the U.S. will have at least one cavity in their lifetime. When a cavity develops, dentists remove decay from the tooth and “fill” it with a filling.

Most patients seek pain management and cavity treatment before further damage to a valuable tooth is done. Beyond health-based concerns for teeth, filling appearance is of great concern to many patients. Traditionally, fillings were a silver-colored material, known as amalgam, that were quite visible in contrast to the shade of a natural tooth. Nowadays, several tooth-colored options are available.

Composite Fillings

  • A tooth-colored filling that can be shaded to match surrounding teeth.
  • An excellent option for teeth that are exposed or visible when talking or smiling.
  • Composite fillings are effective for repairing chipped or cracked teeth because they blend and deliver a natural look.
  • Made from plastic and ceramic or powdered glass and acrylic resin.

Advantages of Composite Fillings

  1. Aesthetics: The shade of the composite filling can be closely matched to existing teeth, making them virtually invisible. Composite can also be used in other cosmetic alterations, such as changing the color or shape of teeth.
  2. Bonding to Tooth Structure: The resin material in composite fillings micro-mechanically bond to tooth structure, providing further support.
  3. Versatility: Composite fillings are well-suited to small fillings and repairs. In addition, to use for decay, composite fillings can also be used to mend chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
  4. Tooth-Sparing Preparation: Material is slightly flexible resulting in reduced drilling and increased tooth preservation.

Disadvantages of Composite Fillings

  1. Lack of Longevity: Composite fillings wear out faster than amalgam fillings (lasting at least five years compared with 10 to 15 for amalgam fillings). Not ideal for areas of the mouth that sustain heavy use, such as the chewing surfaces of molars.
  2. Increased Chair Time: Because of the composite application process, these fillings can take up to 20 minutes longer than amalgam fillings to place.
  3. Chipping: Depending on location, composite materials can chip off teeth.
  4. Expense: Composite fillings can cost up to twice that of amalgam fillings. Some dental plans won’t cover the cost of a composite in areas of the mouth that sustain heavy use due to their reduced strength in comparison to amalgam.

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain fillings are an additional option for filling a cavity.

  • Made from oxygen and silicon that have been compounded into the non-crystalline glass.
  • A porcelain filling is common when there is a large cavity that needs filling since it can be crafted to mimic the actual tooth.
  • Common for cavities on the flat surface of the tooth, such as on the horizontal part of a molar.

Advantages of Porcelain Fillings

  1. Longevity: Porcelain Fillings usually last a minimum of 10 to 15 years and can sometimes last for decades.
  2. Durability: Porcelain Fillings are made of metal, which means that they present a hard surface.
  3. High Success Rate: Higher success rates than composite fillings.
  4. Aesthetics:  Porcelain Fillings are a lot harder than resin and more natural-looking, blending well with surrounding teeth.

Disadvantages of Porcelain Fillings

  1. Expense: Porcelain fillings are the most expensive filling procedure.
  2. Additional Office Visits: Filling a cavity with porcelain requires more than one visit since several layers must be applied in order to properly repair the tooth decay.
  3. Increased Chair Time: It is more time-consuming to build the tooth in several layers.

Composite Versus Porcelain Fillings

Using a composite filling or a porcelain restoration is dependent upon the following five conditions:

  1. Cavity Size: Composite fillings make sense when the cavity was caused by decay.
  2. Cracked Teeth: If the tooth is cracked, a porcelain restoration is needed to protect the tooth from fracturing.
  3. Worn Teeth: Worn teeth can be restored with either material depending upon the extent and location of wear.
  4. Root Canal: Teeth that have had root canal therapy generally require porcelain crowns to protect them from breakage. These teeth are brittle and somewhat hollow as a result of the root canal.
  5. Tooth Modifications: Larger modifications including gaps between teeth, poorly aligned teeth, and teeth that are restored to improve the bite generally require the use of porcelain.

Southwest Florida's Leader in Composite & Porcelain Fillings

Dr. Sonia Olivares has dedicated her life to her patients’ oral health, beautiful smiles, and all the confidence that goes with them. She takes her time with each and every patient to ensure they receive proper care, from evaluation to procedure. Her goal is to completely resolve any dental issues her patients are faced with while providing courteous, knowledgeable, and professional service.

iSmile Coral Gables and iSmile Doral FL offer a variety of dental treatment procedures including Composite & Porcelain Fillings.

Dr. Sonia Olivares, together with her team of dental experts, have years of dental experience, are equipped with the latest technologically advanced dental equipment and offer affordable care to their patients in Coral Gables, Doral, FL and the surrounding areas.

Call the dental offices of iSmile or book your appointment online today.

For additional information, visit our website

Woman Holding Jaw

TMJ: Treat the Cause of Jaw Pain, Not the Symptoms

More than 10 million Americans suffer from the temporomandibular joint disorder, also called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or simply TMJ disorder. These acronyms are used to describe the spectrum of issues that can cause jaw issues and pain. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, there are three main categories of TMJ.

First Type: Characterized by pain in the face, head, and neck muscles that control the jaw.

Second Type: Involves issues with joint function including a dislocated jaw, a displaced disc or injury to the condyle.

Third Type: Characterized by arthritis, meaning there is a degenerative or inflammatory joint disease affecting the jaw.

Discover the symptoms, causes, and treatment of a temporomandibular joint disorder. Call iSmile of Coral Gables at 305-620-8272 or iSmile of Doral, FL at 305-396-1026 for a free consultation.

What is TMJ Pain?

TMJ Symptoms

  • Clicking or grating sensation when opening and closing the mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Hearing issues or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Locked jaw
  • Pain in or around the ear

  • Pain in neck or shoulders
  • Pain or tenderness in jaw joint
  • Pain while chewing or an uncomfortable bite
  • Swelling on the side of the face
  • Tired feeling or pain in the face
  • Toothaches

TMJ Causes

The temporomandibular joint combines a hinge action with sliding motions. Parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.

  • The shock-absorbing disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
  • The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
  • Joint is damaged by a blow or other impact

TMJ Risk factors

  • Various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Jaw injury
  • Long-term (chronic) grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Certain connective tissue diseases that may affect the temporomandibular joint

TMJ Treatment

  • There is no specific test to diagnose TMJ.
  • A doctor will diagnose TMJ by collecting a patient’s medical history and conducting a physical exam to discover the cause of symptoms.
  • A doctor may send a patient to an oral and maxillofacial specialist, an otolaryngologist (also called an ear, nose, and throat doctor or ENT specialist).
  • A health care professional may order an MRI of the temporomandibular joint to detect damage to the cartilage of the jaw joint and to rule out other medical issues.

  • A condition that may have some similar symptoms to TMJ is trigeminal neuralgia.
    • The trigeminal nerve supplies nerve impulses to the temporomandibular joint, and when irritated, it can cause facial pain.
    • Other causes of face or neck pain include swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands), giant cell arteritis, salivary gland disease, sore throat, ill-fitting dentures, or dental braces.

Contact Coral Gables and Doral, FL's Leading TMJ Specialist

Experiencing extreme pain? It’s time to explore a TMJ treatment. Seek help from the best Doral General Dentistry and Gables General Dentistry.

Dr. Sonia Olivares focuses on various extensive teeth and dental issues in Coral Gables and Doral, Florida. She specializes in smile makeovers, focused on achieving highly aesthetic and natural-looking smiles. We offer flexible payment options.

To discover more, schedule an online consultation with Dr. Sonia Olivares or call us today!

What Causes Dry Mouth? Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

Xerostomia also called dry mouth, is caused when salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. A dry mouth can be caused by medications, dehydration, or breathing through the mouth. Chronic dry mouth can lead to serious problems, severe dental health issues and should not be ignored.

Causes of Dry Mouth 

When salivary glands are not working properly as the result of:

1. Medications

  • Among the more likely types of dry mouth, issue-causing medications are various drugs used to treat depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety, as well as different antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, and pain medications.


  • Aging often results in increased medication use, changes in the body’s ability to process medication, inadequate nutrition, and long-term health problems.

3. Cancer Therapy

  • Head and neck radiation treatments can damage salivary glands, causing a marked decrease in saliva production.

4. Nerve Damage

  • An injury or surgery that causes head or neck nerve damage can result in a dry mouth.

5. Tobacco and Alcohol Use

  •  Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco increases dry mouth symptoms.

6. Night Sleeping

  • Dry mouths manifest mostly at night during sleeping, especially in mouth-breathers.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Mouth 

  • Burning, sore, or tingling sensation in mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Dryness in the mouth and throat
  • Frequent thirst, dry eyes, pale gums, and hoarseness
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, and swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Increased desire to drink and swallow liquids
  • Diminished or altered sense of taste.
  • Chapped or cracked lips
  • Difficulty wearing dentures
  • Mouth sores, ulcers, nausea, and bad breath
  • White tongue, indicative of a fungal infection like yeast (candidiasis)
  • Red, bleeding gums, gingivitis, and periodontitis
  • Tooth decay, especially around the gum line or on the root surfaces
  • Fungal infections occurring in an individual with dry mouth may be associated with underlying diseases or disorders such as Addison’s disease, HIV, or diabetes.
  • A common sign of fungal infection of the mouth is a burning tongue or white or dark plaque on the tongue or soft tissues of the mouth.

Untreated Dry Mouth can Lead to Serious Problems

  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Improper denture fit
  • Yeast infections

Dry Mouth Treatment

Tips to Ease Dry Mouth

  • Avoid decongestants and antihistamines when possible.
  • Sip water before swallowing capsules or tablets. Water moistens the mouth.
  • Take medication in the morning, not at night. Dry mouth at night is more likely to cause mouth problems such as cavities.
  • Try easy-to-swallow formulas, such as liquids. Avoid under-the-tongue forms.

Dry Mouth Remedies

Make Your Own Mouthwash

  • Blend 1 cup of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  • Swish in your mouth for a few seconds, then rinse with water.
  • Repeat every three hours.
  • As a break from the mouthwash, keep other liquids nearby to sip and to keep your mouth and throat moist


  • Acidic, spicy, salty, dry, and sugary foods and beverages.
  • Alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated drinks.
  • Mouthwashes with alcohol or peroxide, which may dry your mouth even more.
  • Smoking.

Dry Mouth Prevention

  • Drink plenty of water. Aim for eight glasses of water per day, sipping frequently.
  • Use a humidifier, especially in bedrooms, to prevent dry mouth at night.
  • Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
  • Gently brush teeth at least twice a day.
  • Floss teeth every day.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods. If you do eat them, brush immediately afterward.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist might also suggest you use a prescription-strength fluoride gel.

Florida’s Leader in Dry Mouth Treatment | iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares

If you suffer from a dry mouth, it is critical to visit the dentist regularly. Dentists monitor the condition and health of the mouth, teeth, and gums. If your dry mouth causes a chronic condition, don’t suffer any longer!

Award-winning cosmetic dentist Dr. Sonia Olivares offers comprehensive treatment options for patients suffering from various dental problems, including dry mouth.

Schedule your online consultation today!

iSmile General Dentistry Services

iSmile Dental Payment Options

  • Convenient and flexible payment plans
  • Coupons and monthly specials
  • Most major insurance plans accepted
  • All major credit cards accepted

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How Do You Know if You Have a Tooth Infection

Discover the causes, symptoms, and treatment of tooth infection.

It is estimated that 13% of adults seek dental care for dental infections and that 1 in 2,600 people in the United States is hospitalized due to a dental infection. More than 1 in 5 people have untreated dental caries, and 3 in 4 people have had at least one dental restoration during their life.

A tooth infection or “tooth abscess” is a collection of pus and bacteria that forms and grows inside the tooth. Without proper treatment, a tooth infection can spread to other areas of the body and can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications.

An infected tooth can be diagnosed following an examination by your dentist.

Facts About Infected Teeth

  1. Infection leads to damaging tooth decay. Food particles contain bacteria, which form acids that attack tooth enamel and infect the tooth interior.

  2. Infected teeth threaten the health of the entire body. A toothache doesn’t just affect oral health; it can affect your entire body.
  3. An absence of pain does not mean the problem has gone away.
  4. A tooth infection often leads to a painful dental abscess.
  5. An infected tooth can be saved if treated in a timely manner. A toothache does not necessarily mean an extraction is necessary. In fact, most dentists prefer to save teeth whenever possible.

Symptoms of a Tooth Infection

It’s important to recognize the most common signs and symptoms of a tooth infection.

  • Tooth pain – An infected tooth can cause a throbbing sensation that radiates into the head, jaw, ear, or neck. This pain can be severe and persistent, making it hard to chew, talk and sleep.
  • Bad breath – An infected tooth, caused by bacteria growth, may result in a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath.
  • Sensitivity – Eating, chewing, or biting may cause irritation or pain.
  • Fever or swelling – An infected tooth causes facial swelling and the body’s attempt to fight the infection.


  • Tap on your teeth. A tooth that has an abscess at its root is generally sensitive to touch or pressure.

  • X-ray Recommendation. An X-ray of the aching tooth can identify an abscess. Dentists also use X-rays to determine whether the infection has spread, causing abscesses in other areas.
  • CT Scan Recommendation. If the infection has spread to other areas CT scan may be used to assess the extent of the infection.


  • Open  (incise) and drain the abscess. The dentist will make a small cut into the abscess to allow pus to drain out and wash the area with salt water (saline). Occasionally, a small rubber drain is positioned to keep the area open for drainage while the swelling decreases.

  • Perform a root canal. Eliminate the infection and save the tooth. The dentist:
    • Drills into the tooth in order to remove the diseased central tissue (pulp) and drain the abscess.
    • Fills and seals the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals.
    • Caps the tooth with a crown to increase strength, especially if it is a back tooth.
  • Extract the affected tooth. If the affected tooth cannot be saved, the dentist will extract the tooth and drain the abscess to eliminate the infection.
  • Prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is limited to the abscessed area, antibiotics may not be required. If the infection has spread to nearby teeth, the jaw, or other areas, antibiotics will likely be prescribed to inhibit further spread.

In most cases, tooth infections are easily treatable. However, a person who delays treatment is at risk of developing the following complications:

  • Osteomyelitis: An infection of the bone surrounding the tooth.
  • Cavernous sinus thrombosis: An infection of the blood vessels within the sinuses.
  • Cellulitis: An infection of the skin and fat directly beneath the skin.
  • Parapharyngeal abscess: An abscess at the back of the mouth.
  • Sepsis: A serious medical condition in which the immune system severely overreacts to an infection in the blood.

Without treatment, a tooth infection can spread to the face and neck. Severe infections may even reach more distant parts of the body. In some cases, they may become systemic, affecting multiple tissues and systems throughout the body

Call iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares Today

Experiencing a tooth infection? To discuss treatment options and determine which route is best for your overall health, call iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares today. We serve Coral GablesSt. DoralCoral SpringsFlorida, and the surrounding areas.

Dr. Sonia Olivares has dedicated her life to improving patients’ oral health, creating beautiful smiles, and increasing the confidence that goes with them. She spends time with each and every patient to ensure they receive proper care, from evaluation to procedure. Dr. Sonia Olivares’ goal is to effectively resolve any dental issues her patients are faced with, while providing courteous, knowledgeable, and professional service.

iSmile Service List

For the convenience of our patients, we offer flexible payment options, accept most major insurance plans, set up convenient monthly payment plans, offer coupons and monthly specials, and accept all major credit cards.

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To Prepare for your Appointment:

  • Make a list of experienced symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to your tooth or mouth pain.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, herbs, or other supplements and the dosages that you’re taking.
  • Prepare questions to ask your dentist.

Discover more at or call us today!

Mouth Reconstruction

Reasons For Full-Mouth Reconstruction | iSmile

Full mouth reconstruction,FMR, is one of the most involved and complex procedures in dentistry. Reconstruction repairs worn down, broken, and severely damaged teeth to the jaw, facial, and full mouth structures. There are a variety of options available for patients seeking a restored smile.

  • Accidents or Injury: Damage to the mouth or loss of teeth.
  • Advanced Tooth Decay
  • Aggressive Tooth Wear
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding.
  • Dental Disease: Infected gums due to gingivitis or periodontal disease.
  • Faulty Restorations

  • Gum Disease: Bacteria infection in the spaces between teeth and gums.
  • Misaligned bite (overbite or crossbite)
  • TMJ or Jaw Pain: Pain in the jaw or headaches resulting from jaw misalignment (malocclusion).
  • Tooth Erosion: Teeth have become very worn down.
  • Trauma

Typical Restorative Measures and Procedures Taken in FMR

  • Ceramic Onlays: Installed to fix a diseased tooth or repair an uneven bite in a patient’s mouth.
  • Deep Cleaning under gumlines where the disease has developed.
  • Treat decayed teeth and fill any resulting cavities.
  • Dental Bridges: Replace lost or broken teeth.
  • Dental Crowns: Hide stained or discolored teeth.
  • Dental Implants: Restore diseased teeth or replace a missing tooth.
  • Dental Implant Restorations

  • Repair damaged, cracked, or chipped teeth.
  • Dentures: Adding a full or partial set of artificial teeth.
  • Gum/Bone Grafting
  • Inlays and Onlays: Address decay.
  • Invisalign: An installed clear aligner geared to fix alignment issues without the aesthetic disruption of metallic braces.
  • Osseous/Gum Surgery: Eliminate infected gums and unhealthy bone in the mouth.
  • Root Canals: Remove infection and preserve teeth with crowns.
  • TMJ Treatments: Address biting difficulties.

Goals of FMR

Countless patients experience dental issues which require comprehensive treatment to improve functionality and esthetics. Patients may exhibit multiple missing teeth, numerous teeth with large, failing, or decaying fillings, cracked teeth, broken teeth, or badly worn teeth due to bruxism (teeth grinding) and other habits.

  1. Allow patients to experience normal mouth functioning.
  2. Create a beautiful set of teeth.
  3. Eliminate gum disease.
  4. Reduce bad breath stemming from disease in the mouth.

  1. Reduce mouth pain.
  2. Repair and restore diseased teeth.
  3. Replace missing teeth.
  4. Stop the cycle of mouth pain and disease

General FMR Steps

  1. Consultation
  2. Panoramic X-ray: Conducted to assess the extent of oral damage and help to determine if root canal therapy is necessary.
  3. Gum Examination: Discovers the presence of periodontal disease.
  4. Cosmetic Evaluation: Establishes desired cosmetic alterations (e.g. whitening).
  5. Diagnosis
  6. Customized Treatment Plan: Surgeries including gum restoration and root canal therapy will likely be done first, followed by dental implants and cosmetic alterations.

Cape Coral and Doral, Florida's Leader in Full Mouth Reconstruction

Dr. Sonia Olivares, together with her team in Coral Gables and Doral, Florida, delivers leading full mouth reconstruction procedures.

Dr. Sonia Olivares’ smile design approach utilizes her mastery skills with porcelain veneers, perfecting each patient’s smile. Personally crafting each smile, Dr. Olivares ensures every patient’s distinctive facial features are considered.

Additional iSmile Services

Ready to schedule your smile design consultation? Call iSmile by Dr. Sonia Olivares or connect with us online today!

Dr. Sonia Olivares

Simple Reasons Why Should I Make the Switch to a Holistic Dentist

Holistic Dentistry is an overall philosophy relevant to teeth and mouth hygiene that appreciates the significance of biologic dentistry of overall health.

Simply, the holistic dentistry approach believes that teeth have a strong connection with the rest of the body, which refers to the mouth and body connection. Meaning, a dentist gathers important information on the overall health of the body to determine the best approach for whole-body health and not exclusively dental health.

To this effect, holistic dentists do not carry out invasive procedures right away as they would apply natural remedial methods first to address dental issues. Holistic dentistry highlights the importance of nutrition as an utmost defense against dental distress.

Dental OfficeThrough the years, traditional dentistry evolved to a holistic approach as dentists would discover the mouth-body connection. As such dentists do not limit the connection of teeth to the gums, but also to the face, head, neck, and entire body.

As a result, holistic dentistry does not use harmful dental appliances, cleaning materials, and dental hygiene products that use toxic chemicals like mercury amalgam fillings, sealants with Bisphenol A (BPA), and fluoride.

Mercury exposure will surely put your body at risk. Even a small leak of mercury is harmful because it is toxic. As such, mercury tooth filling is not recommended anymore and that being said, holistic dentists apply fillings that match the substance of the tooth to protect it.

BPA is a chemical ingredient found in plastic materials that are frequently used as dental sealants. The issue with BPA is its attribute to stimulate estrogen, which is fatal against the body’s hormonal balance. In short, holistic dentists avoid BPA.

Fluoride is another chemical that was widely used to strengthen teeth. Though deemed harmless, it is toxic when taken in excessive amounts.

Dentists do not even recommend root canal therapy to save a tooth because the process of sterilization of the canal requires chemicals to hinder the growth of bacteria. This is the main reason why infection that causes the growth of cancer cells and other degenerative diseases usually comes from the canal.

In summary, holistic dentists believe what goes into a mouth affects the entire body.

The difference between traditional and holistic dentistry lies in the philosophical fact that traditional dentistry treats symptoms in the teeth and gums and attempts to prevent the recurrence of the problem while holistic dentistry treats the underlying problem that caused the symptoms and ensures the elimination of the pertinent problem and its recurrence.

Ask your dentist about procedure details to ensure you’re in good hands. Still worried about your level of dental care? Contact Dr. Sonia Olivares by iSmile for cosmetic and restorative needs. Doral: 305-620-8272 Gables: 305-396-1026. Visit the iSmile website to discover more at