Dental Headaches

An estimated 80% of all headaches occur from muscle tension and can be directly related with your bite. A “bite” is a term we use that explains how your teeth are coming together. Tension headaches result from muscle strain, or contraction. When muscles are held tight for a long period of time they begin to ache. If you have a tooth that has grown in different from the rest of the teeth, you may be biting harder on one side of your mouth causing those muscles to work even harder. Which then cause pain in those muscles. The pain feels like a dull, non-throbbing ache.

Specific signs that you may have a dental headache include:

~ Pain behind the eyes

~ Sore jaw muscles or “tired” muscles upon awakening

~ Teeth grinding

~ Clicking or popping jaw

~ Head and/or scalp is painful to the touch


Many people don’t realize that every time we swallow, our upper and lower teeth must come together in a firm way to brace the jaw against the skull. We swallow over 2000 times each day and night. If our bite is unstable from poorly aligned teeth or even a missing tooth, the muscles must work harder to bring the teeth together. The overworked muscles become strained and eventually painful.

If you suspect that your headaches might be caused by your bite contact us to get an appointment. We will examine your teeth, your muscles, and jaw joints to determine if the dental stress is the source of your headaches. The important aim of correcting your bite is to insure optimal long-term health. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned let us help! Your health is your most priceless possession and its worth the investment!

Posted in General Dentistry

Everyone loves helping people and what is better than helping Children?


Beginning March 1st and continuing through June 30th , we are helping raise money for underprivileged and disabled children in Louisville and around the world!

On your next visit to the office, purchase whitening products and the $65.00 fee will be given to the Smiles for Life Foundation.  We are offering FREE WHITENING TRAYS along with this promotion to encourage you to participate!

We are members of Crown Council ~ an alliance of leading-edge dental teams passionately committed to promoting oral health, fighting oral cancer, and serving through charitable work.

50% of our donation to Smiles for Life is returned to Louisville.  Our charity this year is the Neighborhood House.  Neighborhood House is a community-based organization that provides individuals with opportunities to enhance the quality of their lives.  They are located in Portland, one of Louisville, Kentucky’s most economically disadvantaged communities.  Neighborhood House provides programs and services for all ages, focusing on educational enhancement, civic responsibilities, cultural enrichment health promotions, social skills development, employment opportunity and training.  From their youngest six-week-old to their eldest senior citizen, they offer a variety of programs and services to accommodate the needs of a diverse group of people!

So, if you already own trays, great…come by and get a refill on your whitening gel.  If you don’t yet have trays, take advantage of the FREE WHITENENG TRAYS offer and get started on the path to a whiter, brighter smile, while helping children around the world!!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Turn Back the Clock by Whitening Your Smile!

PEOPLE OFTEN TURN TO fancy-pants hair styles, costly skin care procedures, hip wardrobes, or even surgical procedures to look and feel younger. However, studies have shown that your smile can do more to make you look younger than anything else!

Even when you take good care of your teeth, over time they naturally yellow. Microfractures, thinning enamel, and built-up stains all make your teeth look duller and older. But that can be changed with professional smile whitening from our office!

3 Tips That Help Make Your Smile Stand Out!

  1. Whiten your smile! It’s safe and affordable.
  2. Find shades of lipstick that suit you. Certain shades can make your teeth look brighter and your skin look more youthful.
  3. Relax your jaw. This lifts your facial muscles.

Be Confident In Your Smile

One of the best ways to appear more youthful is to smile more! This can start a wonderful cycle too! Smiling more can actually make you happier, and make youwant to smile more.

So make sure you’re confident in your smile.

Right Now, Smile Whitening Also Helps Kids In Need!

Thanks to the Smiles For Life Campaign you can whiten your teeth, regain your confidence, AND help a child.

We participate in the Smiles For Life campaign. Smiles For Life raises money for ill, disabled and underprivileged children both locally, and around the world.

Make Your Contribution Today

It’s easy for you to be a part of it!

  1. Make a whitening appointment with us today.
  2. Spread the word! Whether you choose to have your own smile whitened or not, you can make a HUGE difference by simply sharing this opportunity on your social media accounts, such as Facebook!

Thanks for helping us make a difference in children’s lives!

Let us know if you have any questions about our teeth whitening options. Call us to schedule your appointment today!

Posted in Uncategorized

What To Know About Infant Dental Care And Teething


DENTAL CARE IS IMPORTANT at all ages, even for babies! Here are some tips on how you can care for your child’s mouth even before their first precious smile.

Good Oral Care Begins Before Teething

Even though your baby’s primary teeth won’t come in until they are around four to seven months old, caring for their gums before teeth come in is important. Even before tooth eruption bacteria can leave behind plaque that can damage teeth as they come in.

To prevent bacteria from adhering to your baby’s gums, gently wipe them down with a soft, moistened washcloth or piece of gauze. Do this at least twice a day, especially after feedings and before bedtime.

Teething Can Be A Difficult Time For Your Baby

When your little one does finally start teething, it’s normal for them to be fussy and irritable. Common symptoms are difficulty sleeping, decrease in appetite and increased drooling. It’s also normal for their temperature to increase slightly when they’re teething, however, high-grade fevers are not normal. If your child seems overly cranky or has a high fever, call your physician.

You Can Keep Your Child Comfortable With These Tips

Your baby may seem inconsolable while teething but here are some things you can do to soothe and ease their pain:

  • Massage their gums. The counter pressure of your finger helps ease teething pain.
  • Use teething rings or toys. Even a simple chilled washcloth will work. Chewing soothes the baby as counter pressure relieves pain. When chilling toys or rings, remember to refrigerate instead of freeze.
  • Relieve pain. Talk to your child’s doctor about pain relief if your little one seems to be having a more difficult time. Appropriate dosage of acetaminophen may be beneficial during especially painful teething episodes. Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine.

Once Teeth Appear, Take Proper Care Of Them

The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. Once teeth appear you can also begin brushing. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. Since very young children haven’t yet learned to not swallow toothpaste, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice.

We’re Here To Help From The Very Beginning

Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. We’re here to help you every step of the way! If you have any questions concerning infant oral health care or teething, call or make an appointment with us today. Baby teeth may be small but they’re important!

Thank you to our patients who make our job worthwhile!

Posted in Family Dentistry

Dental Fees

Fortunately, in these times, a lot of patients have dental insurance. Insurance is, on the face of it, a good thing. It minimizes out-of-pocket expenses for treatment and encourages people to keep up with the care they need. But most dental plans do not pay 100%. There simply is no perfect insurance plan.

Part of the problem is what’s called “usual and customary fees.” Insurers have come up with a fee structure intended to reflect the “average” cost of “average” dental care. Urban residents may be allowed different compensation than people who live in rural areas. Reimbursement for a crown may be a certain percentage of the actual cost (the dentist’s charge to you), and another percentage for a cleaning. Patients are sometimes puzzled at the discrepancy between insurer reimbursement and actual dental fees.

Of course your dentist can’t dictate the amount your dental insurance plan decides is “average.” And they don’t ask your dentist what cost he or she thinks is fair. The dilemma is this: your dentist can’t, in good conscience, recommend less than quality dentistry, even though your insurer may impose an unreasonable ceiling on treatment. It’s a rock and a hard place.

For this reason, you should take objections directly to the insurer or compare dental plans with your employer. If enough people make enough noise, the reimbursement picture might improve.

Ask your dentist to sit down with you and go over your dental plan. He or she will try to make your dental insurance plan work to your advantage. Your dentist cares about your finances, and your health.

Posted in Dental Insurance

Dental Fear? Relaxation Dentistry May Be the Answer

Most people are well aware of the value of dental care, but cannot bring themselves to get into their dentist’s office and climb into the chair. The reason: fear.

Dental anxiety, unfortunately, is sometimes a shared family experience. Whether it’s just a bout of sweaty palms or acute anxiety, the fears and attitudes of parents can easily be passed along to children unintentionally. Perhaps you grew up without the technical advantages available today. Your memories of pain can be fierce enough to interfere with family dental education – and health.

Parents can begin to allay phobias – and keep from spreading them around – by examining the source of apprehension. Dental phobia generally hinges on fear of pain, choking, or loss of control. The dental environment might feel overwhelming. Invasion of personal privacy – the mouth – can be frightening. When you schedule an appointment, how do you feel about it? Do you find yourself cancelling appointments at the last minute? Do certain pieces of equipment make you uneasy? A little soul-searching can help pinpoint your fears.

You need to speak frankly with your dentist. Chances are, he’ll understand. He’ll take time with you to describe new techniques – and there are many – to overcome fear. His dental staff will take special care to respect your feelings and dispel any misgivings.

With some effort, nearly everyone can learn to relax. The direct benefits – you’ll feel more comfortable when you visit, and, if you or your family have been avoiding the dentist altogether, your dental health will begin to improve. Indirectly, you’ll offer a positive role model for your family. Take this step for yourself, and the family will follow. Call your dentist today to find out how he can help.

Posted in Relaxation Dentistry

Find A Dentist To Help You Answer Why I Have A Toothache

There are many causes of toothache and pain in the area of the mouth. When experiencing pain and/or swelling, it is important to see your dentist to have the area evaluated. The pain and/or swelling is most often related to a disease process that originates within a particular tooth.

The pulpal tissue within the tooth can be irritated by bacteria, external traumatic events, repetitive or extensive dental care procedures, or even periodontal
disease causing a toothache. When this irritation occurs, the pulpal tissue reacts by becoming inflamed.

Since the pulpal tissues and the tissues supporting the tooth have a rich supply of nerve fibers, the inflammatory process can cause pain as these nerve pathways are stimulated. Additionally, the pulp tissue is encased inside tooth structure and it cannot swell and expand in reaction to injury like tissues in other areas of the body.

When the injured pulp tissue attempts to swell within the confined root canal space, the pressure buildup can cause a significant toothache.

Pain originating from the dental pulp can be either “spontaneous”
or “elicited.” Spontaneous pain occurs without an identifiable stimulus, whereas elicited pain occurs only in specific situations. Elicited pain requires a specific stimulus such as drinking cold or hot fluids or biting
on the tooth.

As is typical anywhere in the body, the initial stages of a disease process do not always cause symptoms. Millions of teeth have irreversible pulpal disease yet the patients have no clinical symptoms.

Most of these situations will become
evident when the dentist obtains a thorough history, does a clinical examination, performs specific tooth tests, and takes a series of well-angulated radiographs. It is important to note that pulpal disease can refer pain to other areas within the head and neck.

If the results of the endodontic examination indicate that root canal disease is not the source of the patient’s toothache, then the dentist must consider other possibilities. When attempting to identify the source or cause of facial pain and/or swelling, the dentist must consider that the symptoms could actually originate in a tooth (endodontic disease), the gum tissues (periodontal disease), the muscles (myofacial pain), the joints (TMJ), the sinuses (sinusitis), or even the surrounding vascular (blood vessels) or nerve tissues.

Facial pain requires an accurate diagnosis so that the proper treatment can be recommended. At times, various medical and dental specialists may need to be consulted before an accurate diagnosis can be determined.

By Clifford J. Ruddle, DDS, in collaboration with Philip M. Smith, DDS

Posted in General Dentistry

Choosing Family Dental Insurance For Your Child

I’m sure you’ve noticed that you and your child are two distinct people with entirely different needs, including dental health needs. When employers label children as dependents, however, they often see them as extensions of their parents. That means when it comes to awarding family dental benefits, you must be on the same policy. It’s important to be sure you select a dental plan that works for both of you. Here are some things to consider when choosing your dental insurance carrier:

  • Your child has the right to see a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to address the unique dental needs of young children, such as early preventive care and alleviating dental anxiety. If your family dental insurance plan only allows your child to see a pediatric dental specialist after an unsuccessful visit to a general dentist, consider making a change.
  • What is the extent of your preventive care coverage? Children’s teeth are in a critical stage of development. Any potential problems should be identified and resolved as early as possible. It’s also crucial to establish positive dental care habits right from the start. This means dental exams early and often. If your dental plan puts unreasonable restrictions on a child’s early dental care, look for dental coverage elsewhere.
  • What other procedures are covered? As mentioned, your child’s teeth are only just developing. If they do not grow properly, your child can experience pain or misshapen facial structure. Special care, such as orthodontics, is often required to correct the problem, and is often medically necessary. If your family dental insurance plan considers this specialized care to be cosmetic, and therefore not covered, look for something better.
  • What is the extent of your emergency care coverage? Kids have accidents – it’s a fact of life. Not only are they generally more active than many adults, playing sports and climbing trees, but many have not yet developed refined coordination. That means plenty of falls or balls to the mouth. If your child loses a tooth or experiences some other sort of dental trauma, be sure your plan allows you to seek immediate emergency care without anybody’s permission.
  • It’s important for you to have a reasonable amount of control over your child’s dental care. If your dental insurance company makes it difficult to choose or change dentists when you feel it’s necessary, or allows you very little say in whatever treatment is performed, shop around.

Insurance may seem like a costly investment, but a family dental plan that truly fits you and your children’s needs is well worth it. The preventive and emergency care you’ll receive will ensure all of you will enjoy good oral health for a lifetime.

Posted in Dental Insurance

What Is An Office Visit Co-payment, Dental Co-insurance And Plan Deductible

What is an office visit co-payment and co-insurance?

An office visit co-payment is a fixed dollar amount or a percentage that you pay for each dentist visit or for each dental service provided. For example, with some plans you may pay a fixed amount such as $5 or $10 per visit. Other plans will charge you a percentage of the total fee – or dental co-insurance — for the visit. So if your co-payment is 10% and the dentist visit was $200, you would pay 10% which, in this case, would be $20.

What is a dental insurance deductible?

A deductible is the amount of annual dental expenses that a dental plan member must pay before the plan will
begin to cover expenses. For example, if your plan has a $50 deductible, you will pay the first $50 of your dental expenses before your dental plan begins paying the expenses. Only expenses for covered services apply towards the deductible. For example, if you paid $1,000 for orthodontic work that was not an expense covered by the plan, then the $1,000 will not apply toward your annual deductible.

by Internet Dental Alliance

Posted in Dental Insurance

Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Take Advantage of Dental Coverage

  1. Yearly Maximums. Dental insurance plans put a maximum on the amount of money they’re willing to pay for your dental coverage. Maximums vary from one company or policy to the next, but typically fall around $1000. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? Insurance companies consider this amount to be a good investment. Allowing you to get regular dental care, your carrier can prevent the need for more serious (and more expensive) dental procedures down the road! Why not do you both a favor and use it, ensuring your mouth is in tip-top shape when next year rolls around?
  2. Premiums. Most people pay a monthly premium for their dental insurance plans. Even if you don’t need extensive treatment, you should use that money for regular check ups and cleanings to prevent them in the future. Don’t throw your money away!
  3. Deductibles. Insurance companies typically expect you to pay a certain amount of money for your dental care each year – usually about $500. If your smile isn’t in good shape, your dentist can create a treatment plan to put you back on track. Deductibles begin anew each year, so spreading out this care over more than 1 year will mean you have to pay more out-of-pocket.
  4. Inflation. It seems everything becomes more expensive from one year to the next, and dental materials and equipment are no exception. Putting off necessary dental care could mean that you’ll have to pay more down the road.
  5. Dental Problems Escalate. If your pearly whites are anything but, they’re only going to get worse. That is, of course, unless you take advantage of your dental coverage and tend to your teeth and gums. A little cavity that isn’t bothering you one year may become a major headache (or toothache!) the next.
Posted in Dental Insurance


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Dr. Charles Barrett DMD FAGD
Barrett Dental Care
4505 Shelbyville Road, Suite 102
Louisville, KY 40207
Call: 502-895-0911

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