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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.

Putting the Brakes on Tooth Decay

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.

(949) 857-1270


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

 

 

Is Tooth Decay Deadly

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! 

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!

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.