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What are dental implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. There are many reason you should consider a dental implant:

  • Improved appearance – Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
  • Improved speech – With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
  • Improved comfort – Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
  • Easier eating – Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
  • Improved self-esteem – Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
  • Improved oral health – Dental implants don’t require shaving other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
  • Durability – Implants are very durable and will last many years.
  • Convenience – Especially when it replaces an existing wobbling removable denture. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
Marijuana and oral health

Marijuana has been readily available these days in our society, the general consensus in the population that it’s not harmful, and it’s a safe thing to use. Now we have some major studies that extensively examined the association of Marijuana use with some serious problems in the mouth. Here is the list I copied from the American Academy of General

Dentistry Impact publication:

  • Loss of the bone supporting teeth in the mouth.
  • Tooth decay, and tooth loss.
  • Tooth staining.
  • Dry mouth (which contribute to decay and gum tissue inflammation)
  • Gingivitis, and periodontitis.
  • Gingival hyperplasia (increase in the size of the gum tissue).
  • Gingival Leukoplakia (precancerous).
  • Increase appetite for cariogenic foods and drinks.
  • Oral Cancer.
  • Oral candidiasis (fungal infection).
  • Possible peripheral dilatation and tachycardia associated with Marijuana toxicity when an anesthetic is given.
  • Uvilitis.
Gum and kidney disease

Hello friends and patients, just want to share this important study linking periodontal (gum) disease with kidney disease. I’m copying it from the publication Dentistry Today.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 26 million American adults, with millions more at risk, according to the National Kidney Foundation. It damages the body’s ability to remove wastes from blood, leaving sufferers at best tired and unable to concentrate, eat, and sleep. But it also could lead to anemia, weak bones, nerve damage, heart and blood vessel disease, and even death.

CKD primarily is caused by diabetes and high blood pressure, yet periodontal disease may play a role too. Research has implicated it as a novel risk factor for CKD, though evidence of its association with kidney function decline over time has been limited. Scientists at the University of California San Francisco, however, recently completed research investigating this association.

During a longitudinal retrospective cohort of 761 elderly men with preserved kidney function at baseline, researchers performed multivariable Poisson’s regression to examine the association of severe periodontal disease with incident CKD. They defined severe periodontal disease by 2 criteria: equal to or greater than 5-mm proximal attachment loss in 30% of teeth examined (European Workshop in Periodontology Group C, European Workshop); and 2+ interproximal sites with attachment loss equal to or greater than 6 mm and 1+ interproximal sites with probing depth of equal to or greater than 5 mm (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American Academy of Periodontology [CDC/AAP]).

At baseline, the mean age of the subjects was 73.4 years (standard deviation 4.8), and 25.4% of the participants had severe periodontal disease. After a mean follow-up of 4.9 years (standard deviation 0.3), 56 participants or 7.4% had incident CKD. Severe periodontal disease was associated with a twofold greater rate of incident CKD after adjusting for confounders compared with not-severe periodontal disease by European Workshop criteria, but it did not reach statistical significance by CDC/AAP criteria.

The researchers concluded that severe periodontal disease may be associated with clinically significant kidney function decline among a cohort of elderly men. Their paper, “The Association of Periodontal Disease with Kidney Function Decline: A Longitudinal Retrospective Analysis of the MrOS Dental Study,” was published by Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.

When should my child have an orthodontic exam?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should have an orthodontic check up no later than age 7. The check up might identify an existing problem, or a potential for a future problem, that will require an immediate interception, or a recommendation to monitor the child growth and development. Early treatment allows us to prevent some problems from developing into bigger and more complicated ones. In most of these cases we can achieve results that may not be achievable, once the jaws and face are fully developed.

How to choose a tooth brush?

The manufacturing companies add campaigns, had turn this to a big confusing mess to consumers. Here is the menu, we have manual, and powered brushes, with bristles that could be flat, dome shape, rippled, etc.., we have soft, medium and hard bristles, we have small, medium and large bristle size. For handles we have straight, angled and flexi grip handles, etc. The best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and allows you to reach all teeth surfaces easily. Both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively clean your teeth. Powered brushes could help a person with special need to brush with ease .Children may find that brushing with a powered toothbrush is fun. Whether you decide on manual or powered, choose a toothbrush that you like and find easy to use. Brushing should be done twice a day, for two minutes to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of your teeth, especially before going to bed. Some studies have suggested that sonic brushes provide superior brushing quality. To sum it up, for a manual brushes I suggest a small head, with soft bristle, angled handle brush. The fancy Sonic brushes all are nicely designed and do a great job. The spinning powered brushes I’m not big on those, mainly because you loose your dexterity and tactile sensation while brushing, however they might be more useful for kids.

How often should I change my tooth brush?

According to the American Dental Association, tooth brushes should be changed every 3-4 months, kids should get a new one more often. With time, the bristles get damaged, making brushing less effective. It’s also important to know, that your tooth brush could provide a perfect environment for germ growth. There are few things to put in mind. Replace the tooth brush if you get sick with the flue, cold, cold sore, or sore throat. Don’t store your brush in a closed container, let it hang in upright position, allowing it to dry up, hence reduce the chances of microbial growth. Don’t share your tooth brush with others. Rinse your tooth brush with worm water (or antibacterial) before brushing.

It’s our sixteenth office anniversary

Sixteen years ago today, we assumed our private dental office in Anaheim. It has been a privilege and an honor, knowing and working with so many of you and your families. Thank you all for your support. We promise to continue working diligently to provide you with the best dental care.

New Year resolutions

Happy New Year, I hope everyone had a great holiday season. For those of you that have a New Year Resolution, please consider the addition of the following to your list.

  • Brushing minimum twice a day for TWO minutes.
  • Flossing at least once a day, with regular floss or water pick (water floss)
  • Avoid Soda, energy drinks and any beverage that is known to weaken the enamel.
  • Avoid nail biting, ice chewing, biting on pencils and pens.
  • Finally, keep your dentist in mind every six months for a check-up and cleaning.
Don’t ignore these symptoms…

The cost of dental treatment is the most frequent reasons people delay seeking the dental care. Ignoring some symptoms will definitely makes things worse in the mouth, essentially that leads to more dental work needed, more time at the dentist, and that comes with a higher cost.

I would like to list some symptoms that you don’t want to ignore:

First – Sensitivity to hot, this an indication of a nerve involvement, ignoring it might lead to sudden increase in symptoms that could include, spontaneous throbbing, sever pain and swelling.

Second – Intermittent (on and off) discomfort or pain coming from a tooth, or few teeth on one side. Our body including our teeth communicate to us a problem, the on and off symptoms is one way the body is trying to tell us there is something wrong. If you have this, I suggest brushing and flossing that area thoroughly for 10 days. If symptoms don’t improve call your dentist for an evaluation. One of the most common intermittent pains is, wisdom teeth pain, it happens when the gum tissue covering the tooth gets infected and inflamed.

Third – Bleeding gum tissue. Just another common issues that my patient list as a chief complaint. Brushing for two minutes at least twice a day, and properly flossing at least once a day (see my post flossing made easy) should improve the condition. You might need to see your dentist for a regular or a deep cleaning.

Fourth – Uneven bite. Unbalanced bite could lead to all kind of problems that include teeth cracking, breakage, mobility, shifting, and tenderness. You could also develop facial muscle spasms, headaches, and TMJ symptoms.

Fifth – Dry mouth. The saliva has an antibacterial effect on the teeth and gum tissue. Decrease in the level of saliva in the mouth could have devastating consequences in the mouth.

Sixth – Sensitivity to cold and sweet most of the time is due to a developing cavity in one or more teeth. It could also come from a receding gum tissue.

Is coffee bad for my teeth?

Coffee is a good antioxidant that contains several compounds which are known to affect human body chemistry. The coffee bean itself contains chemicals which are mild psychotropic. The primary psychoactive chemical in coffee is caffeine, which acts as a stimulant. A 2012 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that coffee drinkers “who drank at least two or three cups a day were about 10 percent or 15 percent less likely to die for any reason during the 13 years of the study. Other studies have suggested that drinking 3-5 cups a day could reduce the development of, among others, Alzheimer, Parkinson, gallstones, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and improve short term memory.

When it comes to teeth, we have some different opinions. Some say that, coffee drinkers are very familiar with the unpleasant tooth staining that forms on their teeth, just the way it forms on the coffee mug. Good brushing and periodic visits to the dentist should eliminate these stains. However, heavy stains on teeth could act as a retention mean for germs, which in turn could lead to tooth decay and gum tissue inflammation. Other studies have suggested that coffee beans have an antimicrobial effect on S. Mutans (the bacteria that cause tooth decay). Some studies shown that, coffee could even interfere, or inhibit bacterial cells adhesion to the teeth.

In summary, drinking coffee comes with a lot of medical benefits (unless your medical doctor have suggested otherwise). So I suggest that you enjoy your coffee, and drink moderately, don’t forget to brush and floss properly. Remember to contact us for your periodic checkups and cleaning to remove stains, and if needed whiten your teeth.