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Oral Health Myths Debunked

Oral Health Myths Debunked

It is commonplace for patients to have their own set of beliefs, whether they are from experience, their education or maybe word of mouth. Some beliefs are sometimes ludicrous while others make more sense. Regardless this Irvine sedation dentist knows how easy it is to believe in something, when we feel like it’s credible. Oral health is a department where several people beg to differ on what is good or bad for their chompers. As an Irvine sedation dentist, I feel it is my job to debunk some popular ones, if not for a healthier smile; for knowledge’s sake!

Oral Health Myth #1: We are born with weak teeth

This is absolutely not true. Many patients come in believing that they just have naturally ‘weak teeth,’ that allow them to be more susceptible to tooth decay or disease. However, ‘dentally speaking,’ ‘weak teeth’ means developmental defects for dentists. Of course, there are some effects caused by systemic illness or genetics, however, outside of these factors; lifestyle is the largest contributor to oral health. So much is preventable. That is what’s so great about healthcare.

Oral Health Myth #2: My teeth don’t bother me, so I don’t have to visit the dentist

The reality is that often times we don’t know if there is something wrong until it is too late. Many times gum disease does not prevent itself until it is so far along that drastic treatment must be taken. Furthermore, there are conditions that may not necessarily raise a red flag for you but should be treated. For example, teeth grinding, bleeding gums, teeth sensitivity or teeth flatness.

Oral Health Myth #3: My Gums are bleeding, so I shouldn’t brush so much.

If your gums are bleeding it seems natural to let them be, so they can ‘heal.’ However, gums aren’t like other parts of your body. When gums bleed it is a sign that food and plaque have accumulated and are therefore irritating your mouth. The best thing to do is to brush to remove all possible irritants. Gum bleeding can also be a sign that you are flossing or brushing too vigourously. Gentleness and consistency is key to a perfect smile, remember that!

Oral Health Myth #4: My breath smells, so I’m not brushing properly.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of different factors. This of course includes poor hygiene, but it can also mean that the foods you are eating are causing a pungent odor. Dehydration and illness also plays a role.

Yeast: Not Just for Baking Bread

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.

Warm regards,

 Martha Ha, D.D.S.

Phone: 319-621-4114

Root of Evil: Cavities

Some people like to say that the root of all evil is money. This Irvine dentist likes to blame it on a more likely (or more dental) culprit, the cavity. Yes, that was a bad dental joke. In all seriousness though, cavities found in the mouth can lead to serious problems—ranging from loss of tooth to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  It’s essential to safeguard against cavities, and the bad bacteria that cause.

As they say, prevention is better than a cure!

 

To help prevent the risk of tooth decay it is important to understand how we become susceptible to cavities. This Irvine dentist will give you the rundown of the top 4 causes.

 

1)   Sugar

             It seems like an obvious answer, eh? Well it all begins with a germ called mutans streptococcus. It’s the bad                  bacteria in the mouth that feeds on accumulated sugar and starches. By consuming a large amount of sugars,              you increase the risk of caries and decay because these bacteria create acid in the mouth, which start                            eating away at your enamel.

 

2)Acidic foods

As you might have guessed from the previous paragraph, acid isn’t really the best thing for your pearly whites. This is because acid can start to destroy the structure of the tooth, which gives way to damage. The best thing to do is limit the intake of citrus foods, carbonated beverages and alcohol.

 

3)Poor Hygeine

Before you roll your eyes and go, ‘duh,’ keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children to begin oral hygiene regimes before they even have teeth. This should stress the importance of a good oral hygiene routine. What’s even better is that you don’t have to always give up you nightly glass of vino.

 

4) Genetics

Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about this…well besides the first three things mentioned. If your family is prone to cavities it is incredibly be important to be more watchful than the average patient.

 

 

For more tips and information, contact your local Irvine dentist today.

Sore Gums

Soreness isn't necessarily a wanted sign, unless you've recently added a gym membership to your life. In that case, soreness may be good sign of progress. Nevertheless, in the world of this Irvine sedation dentist, soreness is never a good sign; especially when it comes to sore gums.

Let me explain further. Gums are like a good pair of skinny jeans. You want them to be tight, so they fit your body right. Teeth and gums should be tight enough so that they stick together, and it should only accommodate little more than the daily dental floss that we all surely use (at least this Irvine sedation dentist hopes so). Sometimes temporary irritation happens from tightness. However, the most likely scenario is that the gums have lost some attachment to the teeth, making them larger and looser—allowing bacteria and plaque to accumulate.

This accumulation then causes soreness, swelling and even bleeding. So how do you know if this soreness is just a passing phase or a chronic condition that needs treatment? The first step is to look in the mirror. Do your gums look swollen, red or have any ulceration? Gum disease and gingivitis may be the culprit. Still, even if you may not see anything; it may be smart to consult a dentist. This is because gingivitis is often caused by an invisible buildup of tartar and bacteria. So ask yourself, if your oral hygiene routine has been tip-top, if you have some doubt contact your local Irvine sedation dentist to treat your gums and to pick up a good oral health routine! 

Decay: Foods and Drinks that contribute

This Irvine sedation dentist has been so fortunate to have patients who really understand the need for a good oral health routine. Of course, nobody is perfect and there is always room for improvement, but there is a general consensus amongst my patients to take care of their smiles. Oral health happiness is an ongoing battle or process, so there is always a need to keep ourselves sharp. One way in doing that is to test our knowledge.

Because what we eat and drink highly affects our oral health, knowing what helps and hurts our chompers is what this Irvine sedation dentist likes to call, ‘necessary information.’ Take the quiz below to see if you pass the test!

 

1)      What has the same amount of sugar as a candy bar?

A)     Cranberry juice  B) Vitamin Water

2)      Why is Vitamin A necessary?

A)     It helps prevent inflammation of gums B) It forms tooth enamel

3)      What fruit is notorious for sticking sugar to our teeth?

A)     Kiwis  B) Raisins

4)      What teeth are named for the fact they appear later in life?

A)     Bicuspids B) Wisdom Teeth

5)      What drink can help rinse sugar from our teeth?

A)     Water B) Hydrogen peroxide

6)      Eating what after chewing some sticky candy can help clean teeth?

A)     Yogurt  B) crunchy and crisp fruits and veggies

Eating what sugar-free dairy product can help produce saliva?

            A)  Cheese B) Sour Cream

For more information on foods and drinks for better oral health, contact your local Irvine sedation dentist today. 

Answers:

1.B

2. B

3. B

4. B

5. A

6. B

7. A

 

 

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.

 

Stuck in Between

Being stuck is never a good feeling, whether it be being stuck in traffic, stuck on a homework problem or in the case of this Orange county dentist stuck in a pair of jeans after a long weekend of snacking! Another ‘stuck’ problem is when food gets stuck in between teeth! It’s a horrible feeling, that not only doesn't look great, but it also has really negative health consequences.

Let this Orange county dentist explain! When food gets in between teeth, it acts as a source of food for the bad bacteria living in our mouths. When the bacteria consume these foods in our mouth, they produce an acid that wears down the enamel in our teeth and causes tooth decay—ultimately making our pretty smile, not so pretty.

Some of the top foods that get stuck-in-between (and should be avoided) are: corn, taffy, tenderloin (meats in general), popcorn, and toffee! However, if these items do happen to get stuck, just follow these easy tips: rinse your mouth (gurgle if necessary), floss, and brush! Easy as can be!

For more information on dental care, contact your Orange county dentist today at (949) 857-1270!

A Summer at the Movies

If I haven’t said it enough, summer time is one of my favorite times! One specific reason that makes this Irvine dentist a big fan is the number of blockbuster hits available during the summer time. I mean the movies are just jam-packed with hits this time around aren’t they? The lights from the silver screen, the crisp sound of the speakers, and the plush red seats are all appealing, but the cinema going experience wouldn’t be quite complete without a snack to keep all 5 senses entertained.

Tradition dictates soda, popcorn and some candy. However, tradition can be overrated. Besides this being a recipe for a few extra calories and a possible stomach ache, it also means increasing chances of tooth decay. Let me break it down for you:

1) Soda

This carbonated drink just seems so especially refreshing in the air-conditioned rooms of the theatre, but remember to not get too carried away by the acid and sugar content of these drinks! Acid and sugar ruin the protective layer of your teeth, called the enamel and fuels the bad bacteria in your teeth, respectively. Try drinking some carbonated or flavored water instead, but if you must have some Coke—try to remember to rinse after the movie. This will help limit damage to your teeth.

2) Popcorn

If this wasn’t obvious, popcorn is one of the worst snacks to, well, snack on. Common sense probably dictates you to know that anything that sticks to the corners of your teeth can’t be good for you. However, this Irvine dentist understands the appeal of a little crunch in your life. First try an alternative, maybe a pretzel or even chips. Popcorn kernels are hard to floss out and unpopped kernels can even crack your teeth. If this snack is unavoidable, rinse and bring some floss!

3) Candy

After having a salty snack at the movie theatre, it seems natural for you to want a little bit of sweet in your mouth. If that is the case go for something chocolaty instead of chewy. Chewy tends to get stuck in your mouth and can be difficult to brush out. After getting out of the movie remember to brush your teeth to decrease chances of decay.

For more information on protecting your smile during your movie experience, and all other experiences in life, contact your local Irvine dentist today at (949) 857-1270.