Austin Premier Dental


Dr. Bruce Silva and his team at Austin Premier Dental are dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate dental health care.

February 12, 2016

We often take things for granted and our oral health is no exception. When people start cutting expenses, regular dental checkups are one of the first things to go. But not anymore! Valentine’s Day is a day to make time for those that are special to us. It’s time we realize what our teeth really do for us and give them the love and attention they deserve.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

Our mouths can be a good indicator of our overall well-being and help tip off health care providers that something is wrong elsewhere. Dark spots, decayed teeth, and swollen gums can lead not only to oral struggles but major health problems as well. For example, there is an undeniable link between gum disease, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

We all know it by now, but it’s worth repeating: when we take care of our mouths, we take care of our bodies. Seeing your dentist twice a year can help you catch oral health and overall health problems early, when they are most treatable.

Project Self-Confidence

It’s no secret, being self-conscious about your mouth impacts the way you project yourself in the world. Your smile is one of the first things other people notice about you.  Not only does it add value to your appearance, but it also sends a message about YOU.  It conveys that you care about yourself, your health and your appearance. Your healthy smile projects self-confidence, which draws people to you.

Opportunity Knocks

Smiles are contagious. And the truth is, we also use them to judge one another. In 2009, Crest White strips commissioned a study that looked at the direct effect a white smile has on successful social and professional relationships. “The Impact of Whiter Teeth on Key First Impressions” used simulated job interviews and first dates followed by a quantitative online survey. The results showed that after whitening their teeth:

  • 58 percent of the study participants were more likely to be hired
  • 53 percent received larger salary offers
  • 54 percent received greater interest in continued interaction following a first date
  • 65 percent were seen as more professional and 61 percent as more confident
  • 59 percent were seen as more outgoing

Love your mouth this Valentine’s Day. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited our office, make an appointment and we’ll treat your teeth to a day at the spa. Your teeth will love you for it! Call us now at (512) 605-0860.

(Source: DentalInsurance.Org)

January 22, 2016

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, or TMJ syndrome, cause pain and poor function in the jaw joint and the muscles responsible for jaw movement. TMJ can be just a nuisance, or a potentially life-altering problem. When it’s less severe, crunching down on a hard bit of food can be painful through the jaw joint – unpleasant, but not serious. With severe cases, however, simple tasks like eating or talking can be difficult, or even debilitating.

Typically caused by injury to the joint, TMJ syndrome leads to pain with chewing; swelling on the sides of the face; nerve inflammation; headaches; tooth grinding; Eustachian tube dysfunction; and sometimes dislocation. While anyone can be subject to TMJ disorders, the condition appears to be more common in women ages 18-44 than in men.

This joint is located just in front of the ear, and pain associated with TMJ syndrome may involve the face, eye, forehead, ear, or neck. For most people, pain in the area of the jaw joint or muscles does not signal a severe problem. Discomfort from these conditions can be occasional and temporary, often related to stress and lifestyle. For others, however, symptoms can be a serious hindrance and need to be addressed in order to live a happier, pain free life.

Signs and symptoms of TMJ syndrome include the following:

  • Pain in the jaw, especially at the area of the joint
  • Popping/clicking of the jaw
  • Ringing or popping sounds in the ears or a sense of fullness in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Tight, stiff, or sore jaw or neck muscles
  • Locking or dislocation of the jaw (usually after widely yawning), referred to as lockjaw
  • Dizziness or vertigo

The Delta Dental Plans Association says that in about 90 percent of the cases, your description of symptoms combined with a simple examination by your dentist provides useful information for diagnosing these disorders.

Your dentist may take x-rays and make a cast of your teeth to see how your bite fits together, or may request specialized x-rays for the TM joints. Your complete medical history may be reviewed as well, so it’s important to keep your dental office record up-to-date.

Your dentist will recommend what type of treatment is needed for your particular case, or you may be referred to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist if we think the cause could be rooted in another area.

Some of the treatments that we may also recommend at Austin Premier Dental are as follows:

  • Modifying the pain. This can mean applying moist heat to painful areas or taking medications prescribed by your dentist like muscle relaxants, analgesics, or anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Practicing relaxation techniques. Biofeedback or relaxation training may help to manage stress. Your dentist may also prescribe a night guard to prevent your teeth from clenching or grinding during sleep.
  • Fixing poorly aligned teeth. This could include some in-office adjustments or possibly a referral for orthodontic treatment to correct teeth alignment altogether.
  • Scheduling surgery. In severe cases, dental surgery may be necessary. TMJ arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure usually done in an outpatient setting. Recovery time for this procedure is about a week.

While TMJ is hard to avoid in some circumstances, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research also recommends a “less is often best” approach in treating minor TMJ disorders, which includes:

  • eating softer foods
  • avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails
  • using dental splint appliances as recommended by Austin Premier Dental;
  • while exercising, working, or participating in sports, using proper safety equipment to prevent jaw fractures and dislocations

At Austin Premier Dental, we are ready to handle TMJ with a selection of medications, non-pharmaceutical therapies, or if necessary, surgical or other procedures. If you have questions about TMJ disorders or think you might have it, call Dr. Silva and his team today at (512) 605-0680 to setup an examination!

(Source: MedicineNet & Delta Dental)

April 15, 2014

Ever wonder about what’s going on in your mouth, especially after you eat? Why does your teeth and tongue have that sticky, colorless film all over and what the heck is that? More importantly, is it good for you or not? That film is called plaque and is produced by the bacteria in our mouth who just love all the foods we eat, especially starchy or sugary foods. But if the bacteria produce it, is it good for us or should we care about it?

It turns out it’s one of the biggest things our dentist would really like us to take care of on a daily basis, especially after meals. Plaque is actually made up of acids produced by the bacteria and can attack our tooth enamel, causing problems down the road if not dealt with daily.

When plaque builds up in our mouths, the acids in the plaque start to break down the enamel and can lead to tooth decay. You see, tooth enamel is one of the hardest things in our bodies but when it’s gone, our bodies replace it, exposing our teeth to even greater problems.

So what can you do to help prevent losing the hardest protection in your body? To start with, brushing your teeth, especially after meals, can help remove any food material left behind that are attractive to the bacteria. By using a toothpaste that’s fluoridated you can help protect the enamel even more, since the fluoride helps strengthen our teeth.

Flossing also helps tackle plaque that might hide between your teeth where your brush can’t reach. While some people shy away from flossing, following some simple steps can help guide you to one of the best ways to fight plaque, as suggested by Colgate.

To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:

  • Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
  • Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue
  • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  • To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth

But even though brushing and flossing can help get rid of some of the problem, the bacteria will still linger around, waiting for that next meal of sugar or starches. That’s why it’s also important to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

By preventing the buildup of bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque, you also help protect your gums and mouth from things like gingivitis and other inflammations. Those can lead to tooth decay and periodontitis.

So what are the best ways to reduce plaque in your mouth? Here are some things suggested by the American Dental Association:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.

Above all, be sure to visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning. Regular visits can help catch plaque and tartar before they lead to greater problems.

If you haven’t set up a regularly scheduled visit with Dr. Silva, you can call our office at (512) 442-6728 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you and helping you maintain that beautiful smile.


Get in touch

Contact us for your next appointment!




2550 Interstate 35, Suite 210
Austin, TX 78704

Just For You

Specials and Promotions

  • Free teeth whitening kit with dental exam, x-rays, and cleaning.
  • $50 toward 1st dental visit (no cash value). NEW PATIENTS ONLY*

Reduced cost for patients without insurance.

Follow us

On Social Media

Copyright by Dr. Bruce Silva 2017. All rights reserved.

Bruce Silva D.D.S. Austin Dentist