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
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
For more information on oral thrush and yeast and oral health, contact your Irvine sedation dentist today.
Martha Ha, D.D.S.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Irvine dentist has a favorite topic on this blog, which is probably fairly obvious. It’s tooth decay. Tooth decay, otherwise known as cavities, is the most commonly seen problem at this dental office, if not most. Often times cavities start long before they are identified. This happens when we neglect our teeth by not brushing and flossing regularly, which leaves food particles in our mouth that provide fuel for the bad bacteria in our mouth.
As the number of bacteria increase, they produce acids that break down the enamel of the tooth. As the enamel wears away, a hole can develop. This is the start of the cavity. This is the point where patients take notice, at least that is what this Irvine dentist has seen! This is for all the wrong reasons, as the tooth starts to become sensitive to touch, heat and cold, painful when you bite down and pus may even form.
The reality is that if left unchecked the cavity would eventually breakdown the entire tooth. Hopefully this point would not be reached. Instead perhaps measures could be taken to stop the cavity from getting worse! Some people seem to believe that treating a cavity via remineralization is a possibility.
There is some truth to this. The first stage of a cavity is when a white spot appears on the enamel, which is before it has made a hole. It is at this stage that fluoride treatment may help avoid the dentist drill. However, once the enamel has been penetrated, it is too late. Fluoride can strengthen existing enamel, but it cannot replace what is already gone. So in one sense, yes you definitely can stop a cavity in its tracks, but that takes a certain level of vigilance and a visit to your dentist.
For more information on tooth decay and oral health tips, contact your local Irvine dentist today.
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.
When we think of the word deadly, we may think of grizzly bears, snakes, chemicals and incurable life threatening diseases or conditions, but a cavity probably doesn't make the cut. Well this Irvine dentist is here to let you know that although you don’t have to worry about a cavity mauling off your limbs, it is smart to think about the consequences of decay.
In fact evidence suggests that what happens in your mouth doesn’t stay in your mouth. Instead, it has far reaching consequences with statistical correlation between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers, diabetes, respiratory infections and even pregnancy problems.
Ongoing research continues to try to ascertain how the bacteria in our mouths invade our bodies, with the link between oral health and cardiovascular problems being one of the most urgent issues. This is because those with gum disease are twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease. Trust this Irvine dentist when I say, you don’t want either!
Some theories exist on why one affects the other. One is that oral bacteria enters the bloodstream through stores in bleeding gums and then attach themselves to fatty plaques lining the blood vessels in the heart; which them obstruct blood flow. The other theory is that periodontal bacteria causes arterial inflammation restricts blood flow, which then causes a heart attack.
Regardless of which scenario is the reality, both cases are life-threatening and to the point, deadly. For more information on how to reduce risk of decay or infection, contact your local Irvine dentisttoday!
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!
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.
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.
I know that this Irvine family dentist has no first hand knowledge when it comes to pregnancy, but what I do know is that pregnancy is a beautiful journey that ends with a beautiful gift: a baby. This journey is unique and often times filled with weird cravings, swollen feet and of course a swarm of other specific issues.
Some of these issues happen to be dental! The reality is this: pregnancy can lead to a number of dental problems in women, including gum disease; as well as increased risk of tooth decay. This is because when a woman is pregnant, hormone levels increase; which can typically sometimes worsen your body’s response to plaque.
That is not to say that pregnancy automatically ruins smiles. That old wives tale about tooth loss for each baby born is completely false. However, that being said, this Irvine family dentist still likes to take certain precautions. Some of these are increasing your supplement of Vitamin D and Calcium. Others are exercising proper dental hygiene (i.e.—brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly). Also, when at the dentist, be sure to mention that you’re not glowing due to a recent Caribbean vacation! Remember that the demands of pregnancy on the body should not be overlooked! It is estimated that about 18 out of every 100 premature births are triggered by periodontal disease!
For more information on pregnancy and oral health, contact your Irvine family dentist today at (949) 857-1270!
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