What Are My Options For a Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Mouth Reconstruction in Long Beach

Are you worried about the kind of impression your smile is making? Having damaged, missing, or decaying teeth can yield a huge blow to your self-confidence and leave you feeling embarrassed every time you open your mouth. Sound familiar? Then you may want to consider getting full mouth reconstruction.

There have been many recent advancements in available techniques and prosthetics within the dental field. This means that your dentist can use a variety of methods to provide faster, more precise, and higher quality service than ever before.

After a thorough examination to determine the extent of the dental damage, your dentist may recommend dental implants, dentures, or a combination of solutions. No matter what, you can trust that full mouth reconstruction is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.

Do You Need a Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Adults with severe dental problems may benefit from full mouth reconstruction as a long-term solution. This type of rehabilitation is best suited for those who struggle to perform basic functions like chewing, talking, and smiling as a result of failing teeth.

Typically, this occurs when people have experienced severe tooth decay, aggressive gum disease, accidental trauma, or some other issue that has created significant complications with the function of their mouth.

A full mouth reconstruction will allow your mouth to achieve functionality again using natural-looking replacements for your teeth. During this process, all of your existing teeth will be removed and replaced with a set of artificial teeth to both restore your smile and help to relieve pain and discomfort.

Factors to Consider with a Full Mouth Reconstruction

If you are thinking about a full mouth reconstruction, you should make sure that you are well educated about the procedure so that you know what to expect. You should be working closely with your dentist to achieve optimal results and lasting success.

Before moving forward with a full mouth reconstruction, make sure you consider the following:

The Condition of Your Teeth

The current condition of your teeth will have a major impact on your dental treatment plan. In many cases, patients need all of their existing teeth extracted before a full mouth reconstruction can begin. Tooth fractures, extensive decay, and other oral health problems are all reasons that your dentist may suggest getting a full extraction.

However, if you have some remaining healthy teeth at the back of your mouth, your dentist may opt to leave them in place and reconstruct the rest of the area to provide additional support.

Gum Tissue Health

Unhealthy gums present a major obstacle when it comes to full mouth reconstruction. Gums that are in poor shape because of disease or severe decay will not be able to support any teeth replacements. Before reconstruction can begin, you will likely need to undergo treatment to address periodontal disease concerns.

Laser technology can be used to treat periodontal disease, along with root planing, scaling, and antibiotics. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your gums to determine if just one or a combination of these treatments should be used.

Jawbone Health

To be a good candidate for full mouth reconstruction, your jawbone structure must be in good health. Otherwise, your jaw will be too weak to support any new dental implants.

If your jawbone strength and density have deteriorated significantly over time, your dentist may perform a bone grafting surgery to help restore it to good health.

Appearance

Your dentist will custom-design your replacement teeth to fit so that your mouth looks as natural and realistic as possible. Your prosthetic teeth will be created based on the shape, size, color, and proportion of your existing teeth. Your mouth will once again look and feel great!

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a permanent titanium fixture that is attached to the jaw using a set of screws. It is designed to replace the root system that is leftover from a missing tooth. It takes approximately three months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. An implant uses a natural-looking material to create an attractive yet fully functional set of teeth.

Dental implants are a popular option since they can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. In some cases, people will use dental implants to replace the entire upper and/or lower sets of teeth.

If properly cared for, dental implants will continue to prevent bone deterioration and facial sagging for a lifetime. This is in stark contrast to dentures and bridges, which last just under ten years.

Furthermore, implants are the only tooth replacement option available that prevents bone loss and will remain securely in place without ever needing adjustment.

Dentures

Dentures are the preferred option when a patient does not have any of his or her natural teeth remaining. These replacements are removable. Dentures use an oral sealant to secure its placement and ensure that the appliance fits comfortably in your mouth.

There are two main types of dentures: Conventional and immediate.

Immediate dentures can be placed in the mouth right after extractions are complete. They must be adjusted in the first few months following your procedure since the gums will change as they continue to heal.

Conventional dentures, on the other hand, are placed only after the gums are completely healed from the extraction procedure. This period can be anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks. Complete dentures replace immediate dentures, which are only meant for short-term usage to give the gums enough time to recover from surgery.

If a patient needs all of their teeth replaced, the dentist will use complete dentures. But for situations where a patient only needs a small section of their teeth replaced, partial dentures may be used.
The base of the device will be matched to your gum color for a more natural appearance. The artificial teeth will also be custom-designed to resemble your existing teeth.

The Bottom Line

A full mouth rehabilitation can help to restore the health of your mouth and give you back your confidence so you can smile bigger and brighter. Call Dr. Greg Campbell at (562) 988-0148 to learn more about the ways that full mouth reconstruction services can help you.

Which Restorative Dentistry Option is Right For You?

Restorative Dentistry Near You

Your teeth are strong and durable, but they’re not invincible. The truth is, they’re vulnerable to many different threats, including decay, injury, and disease. This is exactly why restorative dentistry is so important.

You must repair the damage done to your teeth quickly before that damage triggers unwanted complications. Work with a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry to determine which of the following restoration procedures is the best solution for your unique needs.

Restorative Dentistry Fillings

Dental fillings are the simplest and most common form of restorative dentistry. They’re used routinely in children and adults alike to address cavities and decay. After the portion of your tooth affected by decay is cleaned and removed, a filling is added to “fill” the resulting empty space or hole.

Don’t ignore the signs of a cavity or assume it will just fade away on its own. Cavities wreak havoc on your oral health and trigger many dangerous side effects. Consider these potential consequences of leaving a cavity untreated:

  • Severe pain and discomfort from the decaying tooth
  • Tooth abscess
  • Trouble chewing
  • Tooth loss
  • Gingivitis and gum disease

It’s not worth the risk! One simple filling can preserve your oral health.

CEREC Crowns

Crowns address the damage of tooth decay that’s too severe to be repaired with a simple filling. These tooth-shaped caps are placed over your damaged tooth to improve its strength and structure.

Standard crowns are created in a lab using an impression of your existing tooth, then cemented into place over your damaged tooth. Now CEREC crowns are also available as a new innovation in restorative dentistry.

The CEREC porcelain crown makes that process quicker than ever before by restoring your tooth in as little as one hour. Better yet, the CEREC technology guarantees that your crown will be precisely customized to your exact tooth. All CEREC crowns are attractive and blend right in with your teeth, so nobody will even know that you have a crown at all!

Complete Dentures

You may need complete dentures if no teeth remain along the top or bottom row of your mouth. Dentures are a dental device made of a plastic base that replicates gum tissue and supports a full set of natural-looking teeth. They’re designed to stay in place by forming a seal with the gums.

Complete dentures are available in two different forms: conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures aren’t placed until all teeth have been extracted and the gum tissue has healed, which usually occurs over 8 to 12 weeks.

Immediate dentures, on the other hand, are made as a temporary set to use during the healing process after remaining dead or damaged teeth have been extracted. This method makes it possible to have a set of teeth while your gum tissues recover, but immediate dentures do need to be adjusted over time.

Partial Dentures

While complete dentures help patients who need all teeth replaced, partial dentures replace a smaller number of teeth using the same type of device. The smaller base is designed to match the color of the gums, and the teeth are created to closely resemble existing teeth in the mouth.

There are a few different techniques used to install partial dentures, which can be permanent or removable.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures offer a middle ground for patients who want a solution more advanced than standard dentures but not quite as complex as full implants. They are attached to at least two implants installed in the jawbone itself.

This is a viable option if you have enough bone to support implants and prefer to secure your dentures with the help of such implants.

Dental Implants

Dental implants replace missing teeth with durable alternatives that look exactly like natural teeth. The first step involves installing the implant itself, which is a small titanium screw, into the jawbone. This titanium screw replaces the missing tooth root and fuses with the jawbone to become a permanent part of the mouth.

After it has healed, a crown is attached to the end of the implant to replace the appearance and function of the tooth itself. You will be able to chew, talk, laugh, and smile like normal, and nobody will have any indication that one of your teeth is not real. Implants are the best restorative solution if you want to enjoy your favorite steak, brush and floss your teeth, and chew gum as if you never experienced tooth loss at all.

Find a Restorative Dentistry Professional Near You

Your restorative dentistry procedure isn’t as simple as a haircut that can grow out if it goes wrong. You need a professional and experienced dentist to perform your restorative procedures and help you regain the optimal form and function of your smile.

Dr. Greg Campbell serves patients throughout Long Beach, California with superior dental and oral health services, including advanced restorative dentistry treatments. Dr. Campbell and his team continually strive to create beautiful, healthy smiles. Call (562) 988-0148 to schedule your consultation now and give your teeth the care they deserve.

The Ultimate Guide to Invisalign

Invisalign Near You

What is standing in between you and your perfect smile? If you’re one of the 4.5 million Americans in need of orthodontic treatment, crooked teeth are probably your biggest roadblock to a confident smile.
Getting braces is difficult enough when you’re a kid, but it’s even more humiliating as an adult. You want to fix your misaligned teeth… just not at the cost of unsightly metal braces!

Fortunately, there’s a much better solution, Invisalign Treatment Process. If you want straighter, healthier teeth, consider Invisalign instead. Invisalign is a comfortable and nearly invisible way to straighten your teeth without any of the restrictions of metal braces.

Why Is It Important to Fix Crooked Teeth?

Crooked teeth aren’t just unattractive. They’re also extremely dangerous to your oral health and overall wellness.

Left untreated, crooked teeth can lead to periodontal disease. Common misalignment issues like crowding, spacing, and poor bite make it difficult to remove plaque from certain areas. If that plaque isn’t properly brushed and flossed away, it has the chance to spread and trigger gum inflammation and tooth decay. This eventually turns into gingivitis, the early stages of gum disease.

Unfortunately, untreated gingivitis progresses to full-blown periodontal disease. The most common complications of periodontal disease include severe infection, bone loss, and tooth loss.

Not only will periodontal disease diminish your quality of life and create speaking and chewing problems, it will also force you to pay thousands of dollars for reconstructive dental work in the future. It’s so much easier to prevent these problems by straightening your teeth now!

What is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

Invisalign is an innovative teeth alignment system that uses a series of flexible plastic aligners to shift your teeth into their proper positions. The FDA-approved aligners are thin and clear, so they fit snugly over your teeth without causing any obvious changes to your appearance.

In order to begin the Invisalign treatment process, you’ll work with your dentist to create a digital treatment plan that demonstrates the exact movement of your teeth as they adjust into straighter positions. You’ll soon receive a customized set of clear aligners designed with advanced SmartTrack® thermoplastic material. The aligners work in a specific order to gently shift and push your teeth into an attractive and straight arrangement.

You can expect to swap one aligner for the next every 1 to 2 weeks as long as you wear each set for 20 to 22 hours per day. It’s okay to take out your Invisalign aligners when you brush, floss, eat, and drink, as long as you wear them at all other times. With just a bit of effort, you’ll experience a strategic step-by-step transformation until you reach your beautiful new smile.

Is Invisalign Right For Me?

Invisalign is a great solution for most teenagers and adults seeking an alternative to braces. Since Invisalign uses advanced technology proven to fix nearly all common teeth-straightening bit issues, whether simple or complex, chances are that you can improve your smile using these invisible aligners. If you’re not sure, just ask your dentist for professional advice and work toward a personalized solution.

How Long Will Invisalign Take to Fix My Smile?

This is just one of the many benefits of choosing Invisalign as your teeth-straightening system! The average Invisalign Treatment Process time is only 12 to 18 months, and you may even start to notice results in just weeks. Of course, every case is different, so only your dentist can determine your exact treatment protocol based upon your mouth’s specific condition and needs.

Overall, Invisalign tends to work faster than standard braces. Some patients achieve their new, straight smile in just six months!

What Are the Benefits of Using Invisalign?

Invisalign is a comfortable, versatile, and effective treatment that helps teens and adults alike straighten their teeth without any of the embarrassment or pain common with standard metal braces. You can expect to enjoy the following benefits when you select an Invisalign plan.

Removable and Invisible

Some of the best perks of using Invisalign are the benefits that metal braces can’t offer. Your Invisalign aligners are so thin and clear that nobody will notice you’re even wearing them– you definitely can’t say that about traditional braces!

You can also remove your aligners whenever you eat, drink, brush, and floss to make those tasks easier and more enjoyable. It’s even possible to remove your Invisalign trays for special events like weddings, job interviews, and playing sports. As long as you wear them for a total of 20-22 hours a day, you’ll enjoy maximum results.

Faster Results with Less Pain

No teeth straightening procedure is completely painless, since shifting your teeth within your gums is bound to cause an uncomfortable sensation. However, Invisalign creates such a gentle shifting motion that you should only experience a slight, subtle discomfort, compared to the intense pain often caused by harsh metal braces.

The slight discomfort you feel during the first few weeks is a good sign that your aligners are doing their job! You’ll quickly adjust to this pressure and enjoy the remainder of the Invisalign Treatment Process virtually pain-free.

Even better, Invisalign’s gentle treatment process can deliver results faster than normal braces. You may notice changes to your mouth’s alignment in a matter of weeks, with the full treatment process lasting anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

Safe and Reliable

Invisalign aligners are designed to be 100% free of BPA, BPA, latex, and gluten. They’re also FDA-approved, so you can trust their safety and quality.

The plastic material used to create your Invisalign trays are made of medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers. In other words, they’re formed with a material that has a long history of safe use inside the human body. It’s been FDA-approved for use in Invisalign aligners since 1998, so you have more than two decades of proof that this is a reliable treatment option.

Where Can I Get Started With Invisalign?

Not every dentist is qualified to guide patients through the Invisalign Treatment Process. It’s important to find a dentist with extensive experience with Invisalign treatment so that you know you’re trusting your mouth to an expert.

Greg Campell and his team in Long Beach, CA earned the distinguished title of SIlver Invisalign Provider in 2019. Dr. Campbell understands the intricacies involved in straightening your teeth and has the experience and training necessary to create your very best smile.

Call (562) 988-0148 today to schedule your initial consultation and take the first steps to a smile you’re proud to show.

8 Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity in Long Beach

If you’ve ever experienced tooth sensitivity, then you’re well aware of its symptoms. You bite into some freezing-cold ice cream or knock back some soda, and suddenly you’re wracked with tooth pain.

If you experience this on a rare or frequent basis, you’re most certainly not alone. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that as many as 40 million U.S. adults experience tooth sensitivity at one point or another. On the outside of each tooth is a protective layer of enamel. Over time, the enamel can wear away leaving an inner layer, called the dentin, exposed. This occurs due to normal wear and tear, poor dental hygiene or certain lifestyle choices. Dentin contains fluid-filled tubules that reach into the innermost part of the tooth where all the nerves reside. Because the nerves inside the tooth are exposed when the enamel is eroded away, sensitivity is the result. Another form of tooth sensitivity develops when gum recession leaves the root of the tooth exposed to food, drink, and air.

The primary triggers of tooth sensitivity are consuming acidic, cold, hot, sour, or sweet foods and drinks, breathing cold air, and/or brushing or flossing already sensitive teeth. Most commonly, symptoms manifest as a sudden, sharp, and sometimes deep pain in a tooth that then goes away. What many people with tooth sensitivity don’t realize is why they experience this pain in the first place. That knowledge is essential if you want to get to the root of your tooth sensitivity and identify a viable solution.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

The root cause of most tooth sensitivity is the loss of a protective covering around a tooth’s dentin or the material that composes most of the inside of each tooth. Dentin is typically protected by enamel (the outer covering of each tooth), cementum (which protects the tooth root under the gum line), and the gums (which further help protect the root of the tooth), but a number of issues can erode this protective layer. When that happens, heat, cold, acidity, and so on can penetrate into the cells and nerves of the tooth, thereby provoking sensitivity.

A number of factors can contribute to enamel loss, while others may account for additional causes of tooth sensitivity. These include the following:

Brushing too hard

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush and/or brushing aggressively can wear down tooth enamel. Brushing too hard can also provoke gum recession, which exposes the root of the tooth and may provoke sensitivity.

Eating an acidic and/or high-sugar diet

Consuming acidic and/or sugary foods and beverages—such as soda, coffee, tomato sauce, candy, refined carbohydrates, and citrus fruits—can erode tooth enamel, thereby making the dentin more vulnerable.

Using an acidic mouthwash

Just as acidic foods can wear down tooth enamel, so too can acidic mouthwashes. Long-term use of an acidic mouthwash (such as those containing alcohol or other harsh chemicals) can worsen existing sensitivity.

Teeth grinding

Grinding or clenching your teeth on a regular basis (whether at night or during the day) can gradually wear down tooth enamel, leaving the dentin less protected.

Gum disease

Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease typically provoke gum inflammation and/or recession, which can expose the roots of teeth and cause sensitivity.

Frequent use of whitening products

Tooth-whitening products are common culprits of tooth sensitivity. That’s because some of the whitening chemicals added to these products are tough on tooth enamel and can wear it down over time.

Cracked teeth

A chipped or broken tooth is vulnerable to bacteria, which can travel through the crack into the tooth’s dentin and cause pain or sensitivity.

Recent dental procedures

Routine dental procedures such as professional cleanings, crown placements, fillings, and tooth restorations may provoke tooth sensitivity. The good news is this type of sensitivity is typically temporary and goes away on its own over the course of a few weeks.

No matter the cause of your tooth sensitivity, the first step in treating it is to consult your dentist. They will help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your sensitivity and come up with a treatment plan that works for you.

Follow These Helpful Tips To Avoid Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can range from mildly annoying to severely painful. To prevent further damage to your teeth or any sensitivity in the first place, follow the suggestions below:

  • Practice proper oral hygiene. Gum disease and tooth decay are frequently the cause of tooth sensitivity. In addition, avoid smoking or any form of tobacco use.
  • Don’t brush so hard. Aggressive brushing or brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause gum recession and enamel erosion. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t apply too much force. Plaque comes off easier than you think!
  • Protect your teeth. If you clench your teeth frequently or have been diagnosed with bruxism (teeth grinding), make sure you protect your teeth with a nightguard provided to you by your dentist and try to be conscious of your clenching habits during the day.
  • Make sure your diet is healthy. Eat sugar and carbohydrates in moderation. Drink plenty of water and eat foods that are good for your teeth such as dairy products and vegetables.

Why Does Your Saliva Matter?

Saliva Optimizing Treatment in Long Beach

Most of us consider saliva to be nothing more than “spit”. An afterthought in the realm of oral health. But the truth is that saliva is one of the most underrated necessities for a healthy mouth. If your “spit” isn’t doing its job, you can forget about protecting your bright, white smile.

Overall, saliva is the clear liquid produced by glands in your mouth. Hundreds of salivary glands cover the mouth and create the wet substance all day, every day. In fact, most people product between 2 to 4 points of saliva daily. That’s equal to ¼ to ½ a gallon!

Saliva is mainly made of water, but about 1% of saliva is composed of important enzymes, blood cells, and other components that give saliva its power.

The 4 Most Important Jobs of Saliva

Saliva doesn’t move through your mouth for fun. It has several important responsibilities. When saliva can’t do its job, dental problems develop quickly.

Saliva Neutralizes Acids

Your saliva is supposed to hold a neutral pH and flow through your mouth after you eat. This neutralizes acids and creates an oral environment where good bacteria thrive.

Acidic saliva with a pH lower than 5.5 can’t dilute harmful acids in the mouth. It just makes the problem worse. As a result, unhealthy acidic saliva makes the teeth and gums more vulnerable to erosion and decay.

Remineralizes Teeth

Your teeth are made of four different types of tissue: enamel on the surface, dentin underneath, and pulp and cementum at the core. These tissues rely on minerals like calcium and phosphate to retain strength and durability.

Sugars and acids directly threaten the tissues of your teeth. They pull minerals out of your teeth in a process called demineralization. This is a primary cause of cavities, decay, and the enamel erosion that causes tooth sensitivity.

Healthy saliva is so powerful because it contains calcium and phosphate ions that repair enamel damage and restore the strength of your teeth. As soon as healthy saliva covers your teeth, it zaps the acids causing demineralization and then replaces lost minerals.

Carries Bacteria From Mouth to Gut

Your mouth is the starting point of your digestive system. All of the bacteria, acids, and sugars that sit in your mouth travel into your gut through your saliva. This means that the condition of your mouth directly influences your overall health.

If you skip brushing and flossing or drink too much soda, you’ll ultimately swallow harmful bacteria and carry them into your gut. Systemic diseases like colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis have all been linked to oral bacteria and infection… just to name a few!

Breaks Food Down with Enzymes

Of course, saliva also supports the eating process. It softens food, helps the chewing process, and assists the digestion process. In particular, the enzyme amylase breaks down starches to help digestion begin before food even reaches the stomach.

Take These Steps For Healthier Saliva

It’s not enough to hope for healthier, more productive saliva. Take these steps to help your saliva do its job the right way.

Ditch the Chemicals

SLS, triclosan, added sugars, dyes, and other toxins and artificial ingredients are listed on many of the most popular toothpaste products out there. Do your homework by reading the labels and finding a chemical-free toothpaste that gives your mouth the chance to thrive.

Eat More Fresh, Whole Foods

You don’t need a reminder that fresh whole foods are better for your body than artificial and processed foods. But don’t forget that healthy foods protect your teeth and gums as well.

Foods rich in calcium and phosphate, for example, promote healthier saliva, teeth, and gums. Milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, lean meat, nuts, and beans are all delicious and nutritious options to supplement your oral care routine. Leafy greens, apples, carrots, almonds, and celery also lend their own protective properties to your smile.

Drink Plenty of Water

If it seems like water is the magic elixir for everything, you’re not wrong! Human life doesn’t just rely on water for survival; we rely on water to thrive and function at optimal levels.

Drinking water regularly helps to clear food debris and plaque away from your teeth. This keeps your saliva alkaline and prevents dangerous acidity. As long as the spit flowing through your mouth keeps a balanced pH, it can banish bacteria and remineralize enamel.

Chew Xylitol Gum

Chewing gum is an easy and enjoyable way to stimulate the salivary glands and ensure that you’re never left suffering from dry mouth. But xylitol gum is especially powerful because it’s known to prevent cavities by reducing bacteria and acid production in the mouth.

Xylitol even promotes the remineralization of enamel, which no other gum can claim to do!

Visit Dr. Campbell today to get the help you need optimizing your saliva– and your dental health. You can’t have one without the other! Dr. Campbell and his team are committed to helping every patient in Long Beach, CA achieve their most beautiful smiles.

How Alcohol is Affecting Your Oral Health

Oral Health Treatment in Long Beach

We all know that consuming alcohol in large quantities can not only affect your liver, digestion, and skin, but it can also affect your oral health. While moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle, alcohol isn’t generally considered healthy. Part of its mixed reputation comes from both the short- and long-term effects it has on your body and your health. Believe it or not, drinking too much alcohol can have a substantial impact on our oral health. It can lead to a range of diseases from tooth decay to mouth cancer. Studies have found that compared to non-drinkers, those who had one or more alcoholic drinks per day saw a reduction of healthy bacteria in the mouth, with a significant increase of harmful bacteria also detected. Studies show that almost one in five people that drink occasionally display signs of severe gum disease.

Why Alcohol Affects Your Oral Health

In a nutshell, our mouths contain billions of bacteria, both beneficial as well as those that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, plaque buildup, and bad breath. There is a constant battle taking place in your mouth between these two teams who have opposite goals. The beneficial bacteria work 24/7 throughout the mouth by producing beneficial proteins, which prevent the overpopulation of the bad bacteria. Alcohol is a risk factor for oral and other cancers, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis, and trauma. The risk of oral cancer is six times higher in those who drink alcohol compared to non-drinkers. In order to maintain a healthy mouth, make sure you keep your alcohol and sugar intake to a minimum.

What This Means For Your mouth

When it comes to your oral health, even a tiny imbalance in the oral microbiome can lead to many oral care problems, including bad breath, dry mouth, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Moisture in the mouth helps good bacteria flourish, and many of the negative effects of alcohol could stem from causing dry mouth. Saliva performs many valuable functions including the prevention of bad breath, and tooth decay, by buffering oral acids and the delivery of valuable minerals to keep teeth and gums healthy. Consequently, alcohol, whether in adult beverages or mouthwash, may wreak havoc on the fragile balance of the oral microbiome.

How it affects your overall health

However, potential health concerns don’t end with the mouth. According to researchers, evidence has shown that an imbalance of oral bacteria is linked to mouth diseases like cavities. It may be connected to more generalized diseases as well, including gastrointestinal cancer and cardiovascular disease. Bleeding gums are an exposed wound site, which can then allow oral bacteria and their associated toxins to enter the bloodstream. Numerous studies have shown a strong link between bleeding gums and medical issues such as increased heart attacks, strokes, erectile dysfunction, and even premature low birth weight in babies because these toxins can even cross the placenta.

A Healthier Mouth

The easiest way to diminish the negative effects of alcohol on the mouth is by increasing your water intake. After drinking alcohol, simply take a sip. Drinking water helps wash away any residual alcohol from the tongue and oral tissue, and throughout the day, make sure to drink about 48 ounces of water to help replenish saliva. Another way to keep your mouth healthy is to look for a mouthwash that is alcohol-free since it is proven to be beneficial to the oral microbiome. When it comes to toothpaste, buy one with gentle ingredients, like aloe vera, and avoid those that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. He said it is a harsh detergent that creates foam when you brush, but that has been linked to painful canker sores. Dentists suggest to also use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as well as flossing regularly. There is no better way to get rid of food particles stuck between your teeth, which act as a fuel source for oral bacteria. So next time you’re contemplating on having one more drink, take into consideration that you may be affecting your oral health while doing so.

Teeth Whitening 101: Everything You Need to Know About Achieving a Whiter Smile

Best Teeth Whitening Treatment in Long Beach, CA

Your smile is one of the first attributes that people notice about you, but with so many DIY treatments out there these days it’s hard to choose the safest teeth whitening method. When it comes to teeth, most people feel that brighter is better. Everyone wants to have a smile that dazzles; yellow or dull-looking teeth aren’t an option for folks who truly want to look their best and turn heads wherever they go. But how can you obtain that Hollywood-level glow? We are here to help, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how to achieve a pearly white smile safely!

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Before we talk about ways to create a brighter whiter smile, we need to talk about what causes yellow or dull teeth in the first place. There are two types of discoloration that can take place when teeth are looking stained and dull, which are extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. Extrinsic discoloration is when foods, beverages, smoking or lifestyle habits stain your teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, foods with dyes, and tobacco can contribute to this type of staining. These stains affect the outside of your teeth. Extrinsic discoloration may be treated with whitening toothpaste that targets the teeth’s outside stains. On the other hand, Intrinsic discoloration is caused from within the tooth. You may have intrinsic discoloration due to medication use, childhood illness, infection, tooth trauma, or aging. Intrinsic discoloration may need to be professionally bleached to get the same level, or better, of teeth whiteness. Depending on what type of discoloration you have, you can then indicate which type of whitening method is the right fit for you.

Professional Teeth Whitening

There are many different ways you can whiten your teeth these days, but the safest and best option would be to have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist. Generally, the methods they use will bleach your teeth with carbamide peroxide. This breaks down to hydrogen peroxide and targets the tooth’s color in a chemical reaction. It’s considered a safe way to whiten teeth. When getting your teeth professionally whitened, your results can last longer than at-home treatments, with quicker processing time. Often, you may only need an hour treatment or a few visits to whiten your teeth. This is because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the applied products is greater than in the products you use at home. Another alternative to professional whitening is at home treatments through your dentist. Your dentist will create a custom tray for your teeth and send you home with a whitening gel that can be used whenever you feel like your smile needs a little pick me up.

Over The Counter Methods

For a cheaper alternative, you can always try over the counter teeth whitening treatments to achieve a white smile. Unlike products used by a dentist to whiten teeth, these products have no carbamide peroxide, or, much less than the products dentists use. This means that if your teeth are intrinsically discolored, over the counter teeth whiteners may not work as effectively or may take longer to whiten your teeth. Over the counter, methods might also cause sensitivity and irritate your gums throughout the whitening process, which does not make it the safest way to brighten your smile. One of the most common treatments to achieve a whiter smile is through whitening kinds of toothpaste. Whitening kinds of toothpaste don’t use carbamide peroxide. Rather, these toothpastes target the surface of your teeth with a variety of substances. It may take more time for whitening toothpastes to work, but could be effective after just one brush since the chemical in the toothpaste makes your teeth appear whiter. Another popular method is teeth whitening strips. Whitening strips contain a smaller amount of hydrogen peroxide than professional products. You apply them one or two times a day to your teeth for a set period of time as indicated by the instructions on the product.

Maintenance is Key

Now that you have decided what whitening method is best for you, it’s time to talk about how to maintain your pearly whites. Your eating, drinking, and oral hygiene habits can impact how long your teeth whitening results last. After you’ve completed any whitening treatment, your teeth are vulnerable to staining from beverages like tea, coffee, wine, and certain foods. Rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth soon after eating or drinking can keep those kinds of discoloring agents from settling into the surface of your teeth, which results in the decrease of plaque build-up. Aftercare is extremely important when it comes to prolonging your whitening treatment results. Directly after following your teeth whitening appointment or at-home application is when you should pay the closest attention to keeping your teeth stain-free. The first 48 hours after whitening, is the most crucial time to avoid any acidic or teeth staining foods that can weaken your enamel and cause more discoloration.

When Should I Start Taking My Child To The Dentist?

Pediatric Dentistry in Long Beach

Often times, adults with major tooth problems admit to not having learned how to properly care for their mouths when they were younger. Educating our children about the importance of oral hygiene is critical to ensure they maintain the health of their mouths into adulthood.

Children’s Oral Health Facts

  • Our baby teeth form while we are still in our mothers’ wombs.
  • Unfortunately, up to 75% of young children across the globe have at least one cavity.
  • Children miss over 6 million school days because of a dental-related ailment or injury.
  • Kids who drink more than 3 carbonated beverages each day have 62% more cavities than kids who don’t drink pop.
  • American children spend close to half a billion dollars annually on chewing gum.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene During Childhood

Don’t wait until children become adults to teach them how to properly care for their mouths. In fact, there is arguably more urgency to teach kids about the importance of oral hygiene since children will have to care for two different sets of teeth in their lifetime.

While children still have their baby teeth, as a parent or educator, it’s your responsibility to encourage your kids to clean their teeth twice a day. If they can stick to a daily routine throughout their childhood, they should have no problem carrying over their regimen as they grow older.

It’s common knowledge that most children adore sugary treats and desserts. This is one of the biggest reasons to enforce proper mouth care in our youth; failure to do so will result in the development of cavities, which can force your children to require expensive dental work even before the eruption of their permanent adult teeth.

Child Dental Care Tips

Child dental care varies a little bit from adult dental care, namely because their teeth are smaller and impermanent. Special oral hygiene products are developed especially for children to motivate them to pick up their toothbrushes. These include toothbrushes decorated with popular media characters, colored toothpastes (that won’t stain their teeth), and different flavored mouthwashes.

  1. Teach dental hygiene to preschoolers by demonstrating how to brush your own teeth.
  2. Show your children to brush gently in a circular motion, starting at one side of the mouth and ending at the opposite side.
  3. Repeat the brushing for the bottom teeth.
  4. Remind your children to reach all the way to their back teeth. This can be challenging for kids with small mouths who also have sensitive gag reflexes.
  5. Start off by flossing your child’s teeth for them. Some technique is required for proper flossing, so this is one of the more difficult regimens to learn. Also, make sure to be gentle so as not to injure their gums.
  6. Create a chalkboard checklist and leave it near the bathroom sink to serve as a reminder for your children to brush twice each day. They will feel encouraged and motivated to tick off the checkboxes.
  7. Be patient and help your children brush and floss if they have difficulty in the beginning. They will gradually become more confident in cleaning their teeth on their own.

Morphology of Teeth

As mentioned above, we develop baby teeth, also known as milk teeth or primary teeth, before we are born. Children grow 20 primary teeth in total (10 on the top and 10 on the bottom of the mouth). Baby teeth are smaller, whiter, and smoother than adult teeth.

By the age of one or two, a child will start teething, which indicates the eruption of their baby teeth from their gums. This can be painful and irritating to many toddlers, so be prepared to treat the pain by using special teething toys.

Once your child reaches the age of 5-7, they should have their full set of baby teeth on display. This is the best time to enforce a proper oral hygiene routine, as they are now able to understand the importance of looking after their teeth.

Between the ages of 7-9, your child’s primary teeth will start to loosen to make way for their permanent adult teeth. Keep in mind that your child will be tempted to wiggle or nudge their baby teeth out of their gums. Try to encourage them not to play with their teeth too forcefully, as they will naturally fall out on their own.

It can be an exciting time in a child’s development as they lose their baby teeth. Support their imagination of the “tooth fairy”, and reward them for enduring the feat of making way for their adult teeth.

Your child’s adult teeth should emerge by the time they are 11-13. Our permanent adult teeth are larger and more rigid than our baby teeth. In addition, we sport 32 permanent teeth in adulthood (16 on the top and 16 on the bottom). Once your child has their full set of permanent teeth, they should be able to follow proper oral hygiene without assistance.

How Often Should a Child Go to The Dentist?

Most dental experts recommend bringing your child to the dentist no longer than six months after their first baby tooth emerges. On average, parents will start bringing their children to the dentist regularly by the age of 2-3. Once your child reaches the age of 3, it’s important to schedule check-up appointments every six months.

The first visit to the dentist can be scary and even traumatizing for some children. Dental procedures can seem invasive, especially if your child sees, hears, and feels the different tools being used to clean their teeth.

Pediatric dentistry differs from general dentistry:

  • Pediatric dentists use smaller equipment to better fit the small mouths of children.
  • Procedures are carried out with extra attention to the child and can be paused in the event of any discomfort.
  • Dentists who work exclusively with children are trained and prepared to deal with inevitable tantrums and hesitation.
  • Education is a major component of pediatric dentistry, and your child’s pediatric dentist will be all too happy to demonstrate the importance of oral hygiene during childhood.

“Fun Dental Facts.” Imagine Smiles, www.imagine-smiles.com/fun-dental-facts.html.

Proper Oral Care Before & After a Dentist Appointment

scheduled your next appointment

The way you care for your teeth before and after your next dentist appointment will determine the longevity of your treatment.

Dental work can be very expensive, so pre and post-operative care of your mouth is essential.

Things to Do Before Going to The Dentist

Once you;ve scheduled your next appointment, the way you care for your teeth matters in the interim. This list of do’s and don’ts will show you how to prepare for a dental procedure:

Brushing Teeth Before The Dentist

If you’re wondering if you should brush your teeth before going to the dentist, the answer is yes. You absolutely can brush (and floss) your teeth the day of your next office visit. However, if you are planning to undergo a full teeth cleaning, any residual food particles or stains will be effectively removed whether you brush your teeth or not.

Eating Before Going to the Dentist

The timing of your appointment will dictate whether or not you should have anything to eat before your visit. If you are particularly anxious of undergoing dental work, then it’s recommended to keep an empty stomach to avoid becoming nauseous in the dentist chair.

Proper Oral Care Techniques

As a general best practice, it’s recommended to adopt a regular oral hygiene routine which consists of proper brushing and flossing technique. Leading up to your next dentist appointment, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once either when waking in the morning or before going to sleep at night.

Following the listed steps below will ensure you properly look after your teeth before your next dentist appointment so as to avoid any pain or injury before being operated on with fine tools.

Can you brush your teeth before surgery?
  • You may brush your teeth and floss before your dentist appointment. However, please note that if you’re scheduled for a regular cleaning, your dental hygienist will be assigned to floss your teeth thoroughly.
Can I eat before going to the dentist?
  • It is recommended you do not have anything to eat or drink (except for water) at least 5 hours before your scheduled appointment. This will prevent food debris from lodging in your teeth, which can irritate you during a cleaning and give your dentist a little extra work to do.
Smoking Before Dentist Appointment
  • Do not smoke at least a few hours prior to your dentist appointment. It is recommended not to smoke at all, since cigarette smoke contains other harmful chemicals that can wear your enamel over time.
Dental Care for Pregnant Women
  • If you are pregnant, you need to follow careful instructions before scheduling your next dentist visit. Since you may have heightened senses during this period, you may not be able to undergo certain procedures which would require the use of anesthetics since they can negatively harm your gestating child. Check with your dentist to find out what services you are still able to receive while carrying.
  • If you are expecting to undergo major oral maxillofacial surgery, your dentist might recommend not brushing or flossing your teeth the day of your appointment. You should also avoid eating or drinking any fluids for at least 12-24 hours prior to your procedure, which especially applies if you are typically anxious when visiting the dentist.

What to Do After a Dentist Appointment

Depending on your scheduled procedure, it may be necessary to temporarily abide by certain oral care routines in the interim while you are recovering from possible numbness, pain, and swelling. However, once the side effects of your treatment subside, you should resume your normal oral hygiene routine by brushing twice daily and flossing once each day.

How to Relieve Pain After Dental Cleaning
  • If you need to relieve pain after a procedure, especially if you just underwent a root canal or wisdom tooth removal, you can ask your dentist for prescribed numbing agents to take home with you to use over the course of the next few days while you recover. In cases where oral maxillofacial surgery is required, your dentist might already prescribe you mild oral sedatives to take at home.
How Long After Fluoride Can I Drink Coffee?
  • If you’ve just endured an oral cleaning followed by a fluoride varnish, you might be reluctant to consume any of the culprit food and beverages that can lead to lasting stains, including coffee, tea, and red wine. You can eliminate these substances from your diet altogether if you wish to preserve the whiteness of your smile, but if these foods are part of your daily regimen, then it is safe to consume them 2-3 hours after your varnish.
What to Eat After Teeth Cleaning
  • Depending on the type of work you just got done at the dentist, it may be necessary to eliminate certain hard, crunchy, or crispy foods until you’ve fully recovered from the side effects of your procedure. Implants and cavities might also need some time to settle and harden into your teeth before chewing anything at all. As a general rule of thumb, it is safe to consume soft substances after a dentist appointment, including:
    • Oatmeal
    • Rice
    • Bananas
    • Jello
    • Soup
    • Any foods that do not require much chewing
Dental Care Mouthguard Instructions

If you’ve been custom-fitted for a mouthguard to help you resolve the side effects of conditions such as bruxism (grinding teeth) while sleeping, make sure you brush and floss your teeth before inserting your mouthguard before bed. You may not eat or drink anything while you are wearing your mouthguard.

If you need a mouthguard to help you while you’re sleeping but can’t afford to have one custom-fitted to your mouth, visit your local big-box retailer to find a standard mouthguard. It may be uncomfortable to wear at first, but it can protect your teeth from chips and breaks if you suffer from anxiety symptoms during wakefulness or rest.

Dental Advice for Patients

By taking good care of your mouth throughout the year in between your routine dental visits. Proper brushing and flossing techniques can save you a ton of money in the long run by preventing the need to have expensive surgery performed on receding gums or cavity-ridden teeth.

Tooth Brushing Technique For Recession

If you have started to notice the recession of your gum line as a result of inconsistent flossing or long-term exposure to harmful activities such as smoking, then it may be necessary to visit a periodontist to have a deep cleaning procedure performed to eliminate any hard-to-reach bacteria under the gumline that may be the cause of your receding gums.

  1. It is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour after your last meal to brush or floss your teeth, since the acids on your teeth from the food you just ate can actually wear your enamel if your saliva does not have enough time to neutralize these acids.
  2. Most people prefer to floss before brushing so as to loosen any embedded food particles that may not be reached with a toothbrush.
  3. Choose a toothbrush that contains soft bristles so that you do not harm your gums or scrape your teeth during brushing.
  4. Make sure to move your toothbrush around your tooth in a circular fashion without pressing too firmly on your teeth, which can cause pain if you have a sensitive mouth.
  5. After you are finished brushing, you can use an antibacterial or antiseptic mouthwash to help you dislodge any residual debris that may have been missed during brushing and flossing.

Common Types of Dental Diseases

Common Types of Dental Diseases

Our mouths host millions of bacterial cells; some are beneficial, while others can be very harmful. Bacteria is only one cause of the many oral diseases that can affect the different areas of our mouths. Some of the most common oral diseases include, but are not limited to:

1.  Periodontal Disease

If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you need to take better care of your gums. Also known as gum disease, this common dental problem is usually the result of neglecting to floss your teeth on a regular basis. The buildup of plaque-causing bacteria eventually leads to the development of gingivitis or periodontitis, the first stages of periodontal disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
  • Gums that bleed after brushing, flossing, or eating crunchy foods
  • Tender, painful, swollen gums
  • Enlarging space between teeth
  • Frequent mouth sores

The good news is, periodontal disease can be treated through over the course of a few dental appointments. Deep teeth cleanings will be required to remove the plaque and tartar buildup in and around your gums. This procedure can be painful to some people but is usually spread out over a number of sessions.

2.  Tooth Decay & Cavities

One of the most common dental diseases is tooth decay, which affects millions of children and adults worldwide. The development of cavities is the result of tooth decay caused by a failure to brush your teeth after consuming sizeable quantities of sugary and acidic foods and beverages. These substances perforate the enamel, which later allows the proliferation of cavity-causing bacteria.

Symptoms of Tooth Decay
  • Sharp, localized pain around affected teeth, even if you are not chewing
  • Grey or brown colored spots appearing on the surface of your teeth
  • Swollen gums surrounding decaying teeth
  • Difficulty chewing food due to sensitivity

Cavities are treated by scraping or drilling away the bacteria from the surface of the tooth, which is later filled by composite or amalgam material to match the appearance of your natural tooth. Cavities that advance beyond the surface of your tooth to the interior pulp will require a root canal procedure performed by an endodontist. Alternatively, advanced-stage cavities can be cured through a tooth extraction.

3.  Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can target multiple regions of the mouth, including your throat, tongue, cheeks, and lips. Oral cancer can go undetected for a while, especially if you fail to visit the dentist every six months as recommended. This disease usually manifests as a swollen or tingling sore with a red or white surface which can be caused by excess tobacco consumption or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Symptoms of Oral Cancer
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Red or white ulcers that won’t disappear
  • Bleeding in affected areas

Your regular dental check-up should include an oral cancer screening, which involves probing every region of the mouth to detect early stages of the disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with oral cancer, there are many treatment options available such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

4.  Cleft Lip or Palate

A cleft lip or palate occurs in the fetal stage when tissues in the upper lip do not form completely at 6-9 weeks gestation. Cleft lip is not actually a disease; rather, it is a developmental issue. Depending on the severity of the cleft, this condition can either be cosmetic, or it can cause issues with eating, swallowing, and speaking.

Causes of Cleft Lip or Palate
  • Smoking or alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  • Pre-existing diabetes in carrying mothers
  • Certain epileptic medicines used before or during pregnancy
  • Genetics

If your child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, surgery must be performed within 18 months of birth to prevent serious health issues in the future. As your child ages, they can also undergo speech therapy if their cleft palate is more serious.

5.  Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is one of many types of oral infections caused by the growth of harmful Candida fungus in the mouth. This condition namely affects infants and people with reduced immunity. Oral thrush is easily noticed, as it results in milky white lesions spread out over the tongue and cheeks. If left untreated for too long, Candida fungus can target the tonsils and throat, leading to difficulty swallowing.

Symptoms of Oral Thrush
  • Spotted white sores or lesions covering mouth lining
  • Cracks and irritation on the corners of the mouth
  • Burning sensation when attempting to swallow
  • Reduction in appetite and dulled sense of taste

Oral thrush can be prevented by sticking to an oral hygiene routine that includes daily brushing and flossing. Once thrush is diagnosed in the mouth, your dentist may prescribe certain antibiotics to kill the fungal spores before the infection progresses.

6.  Halitosis

More commonly known as “bad breath”, halitosis is a chronic condition that can be caused by a number of risk factors, including smoking, poor dental hygiene, and existing respiratory tract infections. Halitosis can also be a side effect of gingivitis or periodontitis, which are caused by plaque and tartar buildup around the teeth and gums. This condition can lead to anxiety in social settings, as the mouth odor can be very noticeable in close face-to-face encounters.

Symptoms of Halitosis
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Dry or cracked mouth
  • Thick, mucousy saliva
  • Constant bitter or metallic taste

Halitosis can be treated by simply adopting a strict oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist on a regular basis. Flossing and brushing should be accompanied by the use of antiseptic mouthwash to get rid of bacteria after eating and before bedtime. In addition, staying hydrated with fluoridated water throughout the day can alleviate the symptoms of bad breath.

7.  Diabetes

Although diabetes is not a dental disease in and of itself, many studies suggest a relationship between diabetes and oral health problems. Surprisingly, advanced gum disease leads to issues with blood sugar control, which can cause Type 2 diabetes in some people. Vice versa, people who suffer from diabetes may have a weakened immunity, making them susceptible to bacterial infections in the mouth.

Dental-Related Symptoms of Diabetes
  • Blood sugar dysregulation caused by periodontal disease
  • Halitosis due to ketosis (production of ketones for fuel when sugar is deficient)
  • Dry mouth

Regular visits to your dentist will ensure none of the above dental diseases are left undetected. If you are experiencing the latter stages of any one of these oral health problems, your dentist will be able to provide you with an effective treatment plan as early as your next appointment. We want to help you achieve a radiant smile. Call us at (562) 988-0148, and let us show you how!