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Yeast: Not Just for Baking Bread

What do scones, wine, crusty loaves of bread, and cheese have in common? Well, besides the fact that this Irvine sedation dentist loves all these delicious treats, they all require yeast! From this short but sweet list, we can see that yeast is an essential ingredient to many wanted goods in our lives, but is there such thing as too much of a good thing?

 

This Irvine sedation dentist thinks so! Too much of yeast is not something we want, especially when it comes to oral health. Yeast can overgrow in the mouth and cause conditions like oral thrush, which we definitely do not want. So, as much as yeast is great for our carbohydrates, they aren’t something we should try to grow in our mouths. Already knew this? Well, let’s see how yeast-savvy you are by taking the quiz below. 

 

1)   What kingdom is yeast apart of?

a)    protists b) fungi c) monera

 

2)   What kind of yeast is most commonly the cause of oral thrush?

a) candida albicans b) candida albacore c) candida expelliarmus

            3) The same type of yeast that causes oral thrush also causes…

                  a) diabetes  b) cancer  c) diaper rash

 

4)   Oral thrush lesions look like:

a)    cotton balls b) chigger bites c) cottage cheese

 

5)   Risk factors for oral thrush are

a)    eating yogurt and cheese excessively b) dust c) smoking

 

6)   Why are diabetes more likely to get oral thrush

a)    because they use corticosteroids b) because they are immunocompromised c) because they have extra sugar in saliva

7)   What is a serious side effect of antifungal medication

a)    liver damage b) sickle cell anemia c) HIV

 

8)   What is NOT a treatment for Oral thrush?

a) nystatin b) bezoar c) fluconazole

 

Answers:

1)   B

2)   A

3)   C

4)   C

5)   C

6)   C

7)   A

8)   B

 

For more information on oral thrush and yeast and oral health, contact your Irvine sedation dentist today.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Ever heard of burning mouth syndrome? If you haven't this Irvine dentist isn't surprised. Although burning mouth sounds like what you get when you eat one jalapeño too many, in this particular case it's a bit more serious. Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a condition where there is a painful scalding sensation in the tongue, lips, palate and really just throughout the mouth. It is most commonly found in middle-aged or older women, although it can occur in anyone. There are number of reasons for why BMS occurs, these include: damage to nerves, hormonal changes, dry mouth, nutritional deficiencies, fungal infection, acid reflux, poorly-fitted dentures or allergies to denture materials, and even anxiety or depression. In many cases BMS can occur for more than one reason, but the exact cause may not be found. 

 

The main symptom for BMS is moderate to severe burning sensation in the mouth, but other symptoms are: tingling or numbness, bitter metallic tastes or dry mouth. Howevr, before you start to worry, let this Irvine dentist reassure you that there is treatment for this condition. Some of these include: adjusting irritating dentures, treating existing conditions like diabetes, taking supplements to address nutritional deficiencies, relieving dry mouth and helping control pain from nerve damage.

 

To help relieve the feelings of BMS, drink water frequently, suck on ice, avoid hot spicy food, avoid alcohol and tobacco, and chew sugarless gum. For more  information on Burning mouth syndrome contact your Irvine dentist today!

Happy Halloween

Ah, do you hear that? It’s the scream of the wind whooshing through the dead space in the trees. It’s the rattle of the skeletons on the front door of the neighbor’s house. It’s the howl of the (were) wolf chasing the midnight moon. It’s that Halloween sound that we have all learned to recognize and look forward to all year-long. Well at least, this Irvine family dentist has.

Halloween is a ghostly good time, where children and adults alike can dress up and be anything they want to be—from a famous pop star to a pirate without a ship. As a dentist, some might think that shoveling sugar-filled treats would be good for business; but the fact is that it’s not good for patients! As a lover of a traditional Halloween, I’m not saying not to enjoy the night. Definitely do! However, there are ways to enjoy the night and keep your smile safe.

 
Therefore, as much as this Irvine family dentist hates to be a broken record, sticking with the following tips will keep your Halloween both enjoyable and cavity-free.

 
1) Try to stick with chocolate. They melt in your mouth and are more easily brushed away than sugary candy or sticky caramel.

 
2) Drink water in between. Water will help keep your mouth and body hydrates (giving you the energy to keep going), and will help rinse excess sugar away.

3) Try avoiding sugary drinks. You’re already getting enough sugar from all the candy, limiting with fizzy drinks will help!

4) Remember to floss and brush the sugars away. We don’t want any excess sugars feeding the bacteria in your mouth!

With that all said, enjoy your Halloween. I know that this Irvine family dentist will.  949-857-1270.

 

Cavities Have Class

Common sense dictates that if you neglect your smile by brushing less and eating more sugar, a mouthful of cavities may be coming your way. This Irvine dentist has warned of the perils of a bad oral hygiene routine, but perhaps I have not made clear what you can exactly expect.

Cavities develop when the bad bacteria that lives in your mouth indulges on the leftover sugars and starches that your lunch or dinner may have left behind. As these bacteria digest, acid is produced. This acid in combination with saliva, food particles and the bacteria itself form something called plaque—which eventually wears away at the enamel of the tooth. This process ends in a cavity, which your Irvine dentist will classify.

Cavities develop in several different locations—from the pits and grooves of your teeth to the smoothest of surfaces. What is more common in cavity formation is in the deep grooves of your teeth. This is because food and bacteria can easily be stuck there, and it is harder for these areas to be cleaned properly.

Classification is based on a system that was created back in 1908 by an American dentist named G.V. Black. His system defines five classes of cavities, with a sixth class being added later.

Class I cavities occur in the cracks of your teeth (pits and fissures).

Class II cavities are on the chewing surfaces or, including premolars and molars in the back of the mouth.

Class III can be on the sides of the incisors or the canine teeth which are located in the front of the mouth.

Class IV is similar to III, but it involves an angle where the middle and far side of the teeth connect. This is called the incisal angle.

Class V cavities develop on the surfaces of the teeth, which are closest to the face or tongue. They don’t involve formation on cracks (pits or grooves).

Class VI cavities occur on the edges of the front teeth or even on the back teeth that touch the jaw.

As we mentioned previously, smooth surface cavities aren't as common, but they may be more serious than cavities that occur in the grooves of your teeth because they cover a wider area of your tooth. Typically, the more of your tooth that is involved, the more damage the cavity will do.

It is via this classification system that your dentist will treat you. It helps assess how much damage has taken place and what materials can be used for the best replacement. For more information on cavity classification contact your local Irvine dentist today (949) 857-1270!

Let’s Talk about Plaque

This Irvine family dentist uses the term ‘plaque’ considerably, as it is basically the enemy of the smile, and therefore this dental professional. Plaque is an unwanted guest in our mouths who enters after we consume food. As most people know, plaque is a filmy yellow coating on the teeth. If left alone, it grows and eventually covers every crack, crevice and surface. Even more, it can settle into a hard and crusty layer that can be noticeably felt on the teeth.

To evict plaque from the mouth, a good oral hygiene routine is necessary. Because it is the nature of plaque to stick to the bacteria in the mouth, much effort must be made to be rid of it. This effort requires the right set of tools (floss, toothbrush, toothpaste) and even some allies, this Irvine family dentist for example. 

The reality of plaque is that just after 20 minutes of consuming food; food particles, bacteria and saliva combine to become plaque. This small window of time is when bacteria are most active. Starchy, sugary and foods that have stick factor are ones that contribute most to plaque formation, so avoidance is key. That and of course flossing and brushing regularly, preferably after meal time.

For more information on how to avoid plaque, contact your local Irvine family dentist today at (949) 857-1270. 

Floss and Mouthwash for Kids

As adults we find it necessary to use floss and mouthwash on the regular—at least this Irvine dentist hopes so! However, what about the young people in our lives, the kids? Adults and children are similar in a lot of ways. We both need the basics, such as food, clothing and love; but the difference is in the amount, size and kind; the details.

Before I answer the question of whether the use of floss and mouthwash is needed or recommended in children, this Irvine dentist will discuss why these tools are important for adult oral health. As I hope most of us know, we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day. Still, that isn’t enough. Flossing plays a significant role in dental care, as it removes plaque and food from our teeth—which the bad cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths feed on. Mouthwash is also helpful, not only in keeping our breath minty fresh, but also in removing plaque and killing bacteria--all while guarding the gums against disease.

We go through the routine of dental care to protect ourselves in the long run, but the thing is children’s teeth is that they fall out, so does it even matter to go through such processed to protect them? The answer is most definitely yes. Just like us, children are vulnerable to all kinds of decay and disease. Therefore, the usage of floss and mouthwash can ensure their healthy smiles last, even if they have only a few teeth in their name.

What we have to remember is this. Not only does initiating this oral hygiene process reinforce behavior so that they are responsible for their permanent teeth when they do eventually come in; but it also sets the foundation for healthy teeth growth. You wouldn’t build a house on a shifty foundation now would you?

For more information on a child’s dental care routine, contact your local Irvine dentist today at (949) 857-1270. 

Whitening Strips and your Teeth

Living in proximity to the stars can result in a lot of people being inspired by the bright white smiles of Hollywood stars. In fact this Orange county dentist can attest to the demand of whitening procedures. However, not everyone gets their whitening done at the dentist. In fact, at home teeth-whitening products are crowding the markets, as they are appealing for their convenience, price and easy use. 

Most whitening strips are small pieces of flexible plastic that can be molded to the surfaces of your teeth. The strips are coated with a treatment of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that breakdown surface stains. Now what’s the difference between whitening done at home and whitening done in the office? According to the American Dental Association both methods are mostly safe and effective.

With that said, the ADA recommends consulting a professional (your Orange county dentist will do) in order to avoid and prevent problems with teeth or gums. Also, the ADA acknowledges that whitening products can cause irritation, which is further aggravated by cheap chemicals that some products may use. The best way to avoid this is by consulting a professional and purchasing products from a trusted professional or brand.

For more information contact your local Orange county dentist today at (949) 857-1270. 

Tooth Decay

As an Irvine dentist, it’s quite a common thing to be talking about tooth decay on a normal day-to-day basis. Usually, I talk about how to prevent decay and what decay actually is. However, I thought I would take the time to discuss another important aspect of decay: why some teeth decay more quickly than others.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that you tend to get cavities in a certain parts of your mouth, perhaps in the back of your mouth, and this Irvine dentist is here to inform on why that is; and what factors inform such processes. 

Decay really depends on the age and lifestyle of the individual. In the case of infants and small children, the most likely cause of cavities are baby-bottle tooth decay. This is primarily developed in the upper front teeth as children sleep with their bottles of juice or milk—leaving sugar on the teeth over night (what the bad bacteria in our mouths live on).

In teens and adults, decay usually occurs in the permanent back teeth. This is because their job is to grind and chew-up food—sealing their fate, so to speak. Furthermore, the pits and fissures in the back teeth allow for food to get stuck and toothbrush bristles can be too large to fit. To prevent decay, at any age, it is essential to limit sugary or starchy foods. A good oral hygiene routine is mandatory as well.

For more information, contact your local Irvine dentist at (949) 857-1270. 

Bad Breath: What You Need to Know

This Orange County dentist will admit that they personally don’t have 24/7 fresh breath. With that said, it is a goal of mine and something I try to keep true to, after all this is my passion! Many a times the concept of bad breath is lost on people (as we all may know), this is due to misconception on how to keep our mouths from being less than pleasant.  Test your knowledge below (with a short quiz) to see how you rank in terms of knowledge.

Questions:

1) True or False: Some people just naturally have bad breath

2) True or False: Mints and gum only temporarily alleviate the smell of bad breath.

3) True or False: Bad breath only comes from the tongue

4) True or False: Bad breath can come from poor oral hygiene. 

Answers:

1) This is absolutely False. This Orange County dentist is here to tell you that halitosis is almost always caused by something simple as what you ate (garlic) to something more serious like a medical condition.

2) True. If the problem is food-related, popping a mint may help. However, chronic bad breath will come back to haunt you.

3) False. Although the tongue is many times the reason behind bad breath, odor can also come from the gums.

4) True. Brushing and flossing are extremely important in preventing decay, as well as halitosis.

For more information on how to keep your mouth fresh, contact your local Orange County dentist today at (949) 857-1270.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

Back in the day, the toothache used to be one of the worlds most vexing problems. Nowadays, thanks to technology and your Irvine family dentist, these can be annoying but solvable problems. Tooth pain can be attributed to many a thing, one of them being an abscessed tooth.

What is an abscessed tooth? An abscess is a collection of yellowish-white fluid that is surrounded by inflamed tissue. In other words, it’s an infection. An abscessed tooth is most commonly caused by tooth decay, but other culprits include gum disease and teeth trauma. They start when the openings in the tooth enamel allow bacteria to enter and infect the pulp or center of the tooth.

Furthermore, this Irvine family dentist can tell you that the hallmark of the abscessed tooth is a painful throbbing toothache, which is sometimes followed by bad breath, bitter taste, swollen glands or swelling and fever. To treat the tooth, it must be drained through a root canal or incision in the gums or teeth. Antibiotics are often used too.

To reduce risk for abscessed teeth, ensure that you upkeep your teeth with a proper oral hygiene routine. For more information, contact your local Irvine family dentist today at (949) 857-1270.