Common Problems


We understand how important first impressions can be, and we want to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that will make a lasting impression. There are a number of common problems that can hinder a person from having an aesthetically pleasing smile. Here are just a few common problems that we can fix.

Crooked Teeth

Some people may have crooked teeth, perhaps without the benefit of braces as a child. Dr. Burks may recommend porcelain veneers that can help change the look, shape, color of your teeth to improve the overall look of your smile. They cover up your teeth’s defects and seamlessly blend in with your other teeth. If you’re in need of a more lengthy treatment option, he may recommend Invisalign, an orthodontic treatment that uses sets of clear trays to move your teeth into their corrected position.

Gaps between Teeth

A diastema, or gap between two teeth, can form for a variety of reasons including thumb-sucking or a mismatched jaw bone. This often happens between the two front teeth but can also happen between any two teeth. We can use porcelain veneers to the affected teeth or dental bonding.

Cracked or Chipped Teeth

You may suffer a cracked or chipped tooth from chewing hard foods like ice or eating sticky candy. You may also have a tooth crack due to a cavity or trauma to the tooth. Dr. Burks and his team are skilled at determining what type of procedure is best for your situation and may recommend porcelain veneers, inlays or onlays, or bonded fillings.

Discolored Teeth

If you have noticed the color of your teeth darken or begin to stain easily from consuming tea, wine, coffee, from smoking tobacco, or tooth decay, don’t worry. We provide in-office and at home teeth whitening to give your smile and self-confidence a boost. Just give us a call for an initial exam and to discuss which teeth whitening service is best for you.

Old Mercury Fillings

Most of today’s adults have at least one old gray filling made of that metal-mercury amalgam. These old-style fillings were long-lasting and effective for treating cavities, but not very attractive. If you’d like to trade in those old fillings, we can replace them with a more natural looking tooth-colored filling.

Missing Teeth

Whether through disease, tooth decay or some kind of trauma to the mouth, adults are sometimes left with a missing tooth, forming an unattractive dark space between your teeth. While one of Dr. Burk’s primary goals is to keep your smile looking bright and beautiful, he also knows that a missing tooth can lead to some serious oral health problems like shifting teeth, periodontal problems and deterioration of the chewing function. Turn to Dr. Burks for dental implants that can replace one or multiple missing teeth. In addition to being easy to care for, implants will last a lifetime. Dental implants will look, feel and function like your real teeth.

Dry Mouth

Everybody gets a dry mouth from time to time. Temporary mouth dryness can be brought on by dehydration, stress, or simply the normal reduction in saliva flow at night. But persistent mouth dryness, a condition known as xerostomia, is cause for concern.

Dry mouth.Xerostomia occurs when your salivary glands, which normally keep your mouth moist by secreting saliva, are not working properly. A chronic lack of saliva has significant health implications. For one thing, it can be difficult to eat with a dry mouth; tasting, chewing and swallowing may also be affected. This could compromise your nutrition. Also, a dry mouth creates ideal conditions for tooth decay. That's because saliva plays a very important role in keeping decay-causing oral bacteria in check and neutralizing the acids these bacteria produce; it is the acid in your mouth that erodes tooth enamel and starts the decay process. A dry mouth can also cause bad breath.

Possible Causes

There are several possible causes for xerostomia, including:

  • Medications. For most people suffering from dry mouth, medications are to blame. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there are more than 500 medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) that have this side effect. Antihistamines (for allergies), diuretics (which drain excess fluid), and antidepressants, are high on the list of medications that cause xerostomia. Chemotherapy drugs can also have this effect.
  • Radiation Therapy. Radiation of the head and neck can damage salivary glands—sometimes permanently. Radiation to treat cancer in other parts of the body will not cause xerostomia.
  • Disease. Some systemic (general body) diseases can cause dry mouth. Sjögren's syndrome, for example, is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own moisture-producing glands in the eyes and mouth. Other diseases known to cause dry mouth include diabetes, Parkinson's disease, cystic fibrosis and AIDS.
  • Nerve Damage. Trauma to the head or neck can damage the nerves involved in the production of saliva.

Getting Relief

If you are taking any medication regularly, it's possible that your physician can either suggest a substitute or adjust the dosage to relieve your symptoms of dry mouth. If this is not possible or has already been tried, here are some other things you can do:

  • Sip fluids frequently. This is particularly helpful during meals. Make sure what you drink does not contain sugar and isn't acidic, as these will both increase your risk of tooth decay. All sodas, including diet varieties, should be avoided, as they are acidic and attack the tooth surface.
  • Chew sugarless gum. This will help stimulate saliva flow if your salivary glands are not damaged. Choose a variety that contains xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that can be protective against tooth decay.
  • Avoid irritating foods/drinks. These include toast and crackers, salty and spicy foods, alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
  • Don't smoke. This can dry out the mouth and also increase your risk of gum disease.
  • Use a humidifier. Running a cool-mist humidifier at night can be soothing.
  • Use saliva stimulants/substitutes. There are prescription and over-the-counter products that can either stimulate saliva or act as a substitute oral fluid. We can give you some recommendations.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste; this will remove bacterial plaque and add minerals to strengthen your teeth. Don't forget to floss.
  • Come in for an exam/cleaning. If you have dry mouth, it's more important than ever to maintain your regular schedule of visits to the dental office. Please be sure to let us know what medications you are taking, particularly if there have been any changes recently. We will do our best to help relieve any dry-mouth symptoms you are experiencing.

Contact Dr. Burks for Your Next Appointment!

Dr. Burks has decades of experience, along with a commitment to stay ahead of the trends and techniques in the world of dentistry to make him the ideal dentist for your entire family. Call us at (407) 327-2030 or complete an online appointment request form to get started. We look forward to hearing from you soon!