Top 4 Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

added on: March 6, 2017

sensitiveHaving sensitive teeth can be brutal. The sharp, shooting pain that often accompanies tooth sensitivity can put a damper on enjoying favorite foods. At our dental office in Modesto, we don’t want any of our patients to suffer from sensitive teeth, but we understand that a lot of them do. We’d like to explain some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity and talk about some possible remedies.

  • Eating Acidic Foods

Certain foods can directly affect oral health. We all know that sugary foods can eat away at tooth enamel and lead to cavities, but acidic foods can also cause some dental problems. A diet packed with acidic treats like citrus fruit, tomato sauce, and wine also causes enamel erosion and weakened teeth. Once the middle part of the tooth known as the dentin becomes exposed, teeth can become painfully sensitive.  

  • Too Much Brushing

That’s right, your dentist in Modesto just said there’s such a thing as too much brushing. While we encourage our patients to brush, we don’t want them to cause damage by doing it. Damage from over-brushing can be caused by either doing it too often or using a rough, scrubbing technique. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush two times a day in soft, gentle circles to protect your grin against sensitivity.

  • Not Enough Flossing

We typically recommend flossing about once a day, every day, and for good reason. If you only brush your teeth, you’re not cleaning two sides of each tooth which can lead to plaque buildup. Plaque that’s not removed by regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings can damage enamel and leave teeth feeling a bit sensitive.

  • Tooth Grinding

Grinding tooth against tooth is a great way to not only cause chips and breaks that will require restorative dentistry to fix, it’s also a top contributor of sensitivity. Grinding files down the enamel which, as we know, leaves the inside of the tooth exposed. Usually a bruxism mouthguard can be custom fitted to prevent grinding and damage that comes with it.

If you’re experiencing the pain associated with having sensitive teeth, you don’t need to continue to suffer. Call our Modesto dental office to schedule an appointment and get relief.

Accepting patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale and beyond. 

Top 4 Ways to Stop Biting Your Cheeks

added on: February 22, 2017

bitingCheek biting is a common habit and is actually very similar to nail biting. Typically brought on by stress or when nervous, biting the inside of the cheek — or the lips or tongue — can be painful, and in certain cases, concerning for the dental team at our Modesto dental office. We’re here to explain why and offer up some of the best ways to stop.

Identify the Cause

Before we discuss why biting any of the tissues in your mouth is bad for you, we should identify why it happens in the first place. If you catch your cheek in between your teeth while chewing and talking only on occasion, there’s probably nothing to be too concerned about. However, if this happens to you chronically, or if you nibble on your cheek constantly throughout the day, there may be reason for concern.

Why is It Bad?

First, any continued trauma to oral tissues can result in painful mouth sores which can become infected. Infection in the mouth is never a good thing and can actually be quite serious. Second, if you bite yourself quite often while eating, you may suffer from a misaligned bite (malocclusion). Malocclusion can lead to more serious problems like chronic headaches, a sore jaw, TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and shifting of teeth. When your teeth don’t fit together neatly, there’s a greater chance of your cheek, lip, or tongue finding its way in between them causing you to crunch down on it (Ouch!).  

Ways to Stop

No matter what the cause may be behind biting your cheeks, there are a few tips you can try to help stop it.

  • Figure out when you do it. If your lip or cheek biting is a result of stress or nerves as opposed to a bad bite, start paying attention to when you’re doing it and work to either avoid those triggers or work to consciously stop yourself.
  • Find a support system. Sometimes, you may not realize you’re biting so often. Talk with trusted friends or coworkers about trying to stop the habit and ask them to help you identify when you do it.
  • Do something! Another common reason behind biting is boredom. If you find yourself nibbling away while watching TV, get up, get active, and do something!
  • See your dentist. If you believe your bite may be contributing to your chronic biting, talk with your dentist in Modesto for advice on how to help.    

If you suffer from chronically biting your cheeks, lip, or tongue, schedule an appointment at our dental office in Modesto. We’ll check any active sores you have for infection and help treat them if necessary, and work with you to determine not only what’s causing you to bite so often, but also the best ways to help you stop.

Accepting patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sugar Intake

added on: February 10, 2017

reduce sugarSugar is every dentist’s worst enemy. It negatively affects oral health and puts teeth at increased risk for decay, cavities, and can lead to more serious dental and overall health problems. At our dental office in Modesto, we care about our patients’ smiles and well being, which why we’re strong believers in limiting the amount of sugar they ingest. In this blog, we talk about the top ways reduce your family’s sugar intake for a healthier, happier smile and body.

Sugar: It’s Not Just a Tooth Problem

When most people think of sugar, they immediately think of its negative effect on teeth. And while that’s definitely a fact, too much sugar can be dangerous to overall health too. An abundance of sugar in one’s diet can cause headaches, lead to overeating, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and contribute to cardiovascular disease.

How Much Is Too Much?

You shouldn’t cut sugar out of your diet entirely as it’s necessary for proper body function. But how much do you really need? The recommended amount of sugar intake varies from age to age and between genders. According to the American Heart Association, maximum daily sugar intake for adults is 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women.

Ways to Lower Sugar Intake

  • Eliminate sweets. Sounds easier said than done, but there are other healthier ways to get the recommended amount of sugar, like fruits, for example.
  • Check out labels. Sugar can hide in some surprising places such as yogurt and cereal. Read the labels and know what you’re buying.
  • Remove sugary drinks. Soda is the obvious one, but teas, flavored waters, and sports drinks can also pack a sugary punch. Stick to water.
  • Cook at home. By making your own meals, you’re in control of what ingredients you include.
  • Choose unsweetened. Satisfy cravings for treats by selecting unsweetened versions of common baked goods.

Reducing the amount of sugar in your family’s diet can do a lot to protect oral and overall health. We know it may be challenging, but we know you can do it! Remember, diet is only part of what makes smiles and bodies happy. Always keep appointments with your Modesto dentist at least twice a year.

If you’re looking for a new dentist or it’s time for your checkup, give our Modesto dental office a call today!

Accepting new patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale and beyond.

Dental Care is Important for Pets Too

added on: January 23, 2017

pet teethAt my dental office in Modesto, we have a soft spot for fuzzy animals. Which is why we think it’s important to talk about dental care for pets. Dental care for our furry family members is just as important as dental care for humans. And while we don’t accept four-legged patients in this office, we do want to provide you with tips for proper pet dental care.

Signs of a Problem

Before we discuss how to keep your pet healthy, it’s extremely important to know the signs of some serious dental concerns. Keep a lookout for the following:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bleeding
  • Refusal to let you near his mouth

If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your vet as soon as possible as they may be signs of something serious.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

You heard us correctly. Pick up a toothbrush that’s right for your animal at your local pet supply store, apply some pet toothpaste (do NOT use human toothpaste — it can cause stomach issues in animals), and scrub gently in soft circles. It may take some practice, but brushing your pet’s teeth two or three times a week can be beneficial to his dental and overall health. It’s also recommended that all pets receive professional cleanings at the vet once a year.

Allow Puppies to Chew

It’s an unavoidable reality — puppies chew everything. From shoes, to table legs, and even clothes, there’s nothing a new puppy won’t sink its teeth into. Part of the natural desire to chew has to do with teething, and it’s actually beneficial. It helps strengthen teeth, massage gums, and scrape away tartar. So stock up on chew toys and encourage your pup to chew only on those toys, not only for the health of his teeth, but also for the health of your shoe collection.

Pick an Appropriate Diet

Your pet’s diet can affect his dental health, just like your food and drink choices can affect yours. There are a variety of pet foods available to help reduce tartar and plaque buildup. Talk with your vet to see what’s best for your buddy.

Following the advice above can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy for a lifetime. But don’t forget about your own oral health. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and maintain visits to my Modesto dental office at least every six months. Don’t let dental problems plague you or your pet. Make the commitment to proper oral health for you both.

Accepting patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale and beyond. 

Why Are There So Many Different Types of Mouthwash?

added on: January 12, 2017

mouthwashAs you probably already know, there are several types of mouthwash available — some minty, some a bit fruity, some that claim to kill germs, and some that protect against gum disease and gingivitis. But do we really need so many? At my dental office in Modesto, we know choosing a mouthwash can be overwhelming, which is why we’d like to explain the differences between them so you can pick the right one for you.

Problem: Bad Breath & Oral Infection

Solution: Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most recommended choice for those battling bad breath or fighting off an infection. These types of mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine gluconate, which is incredibly effective at killing dangerous bacteria and bad breath. However, if antiseptic mouthwash is overused, the teeth may become discolored.

Problem: Not Enough Fluoride

Solution: Fluoride Mouthwash

While most people receive a sufficient amount of fluoride through their tap water or toothpaste, some individuals can benefit from an additional supply. This is when a fluoride mouthwash may be recommended. Fluoride mouthwash can help make teeth stronger and protect them from decay. It’s definitely not appropriate for everyone, especially those under six, but your dentist in Modesto will be able to help determine if it’s right for you.

Problem: Just a Bit of Bad Breath

Solution: Cosmetic Mouthwash

Similarly to antiseptic mouthwash, cosmetic mouthwashes can help freshen breath. What makes them different, however, is they really don’t help protect teeth or fight off bacteria. If used in addition to brushing, a cosmetic mouthwash can be effective at giving you a burst of freshness, but that’s about it.

Mouthwash Alone Isn’t Enough

Even if you choose the mouthwash that helps your specific dental concerns, swishing with it once or twice a day isn’t enough. In order to really help your mouth get and stay healthy, mouthwash should only be used as an additional step in your oral hygiene routine. Keep brushing twice a day, maintain flossing at least once a day, and don’t forego checkups with your dentist in Modesto.

Still have questions about which mouthwash is right for you? Schedule an appointment at my Modesto dental office. We’ll be happy to help.

Welcoming new patients in Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale and beyond. 

“Can I Use Baking Soda to Whiten My Teeth?”

added on: December 19, 2016

baking sodaEveryone wants a white smile, but everyday habits can really take a toll on our teeth. Red wine, smoking, coffee, tea, and many other culprits have a tendency to transform our once pure white grins into dull, discolored smiles. The good news? It doesn’t have to be permanent. There are multiple ways we can effectively whiten our teeth.

Baking Soda as a Whitener

At my Modesto dental office, we want you to not only have a smile you’re happy with, but also help you get it safely and effectively. Baking soda is often promoted as an effective way to whiten teeth, and while it can eliminate some staining, there are several things you should know about the technique before giving it a shot.

It May Not Work

Yes, baking soda has been proven to remove some types of tooth staining, but not all. Since baking soda is abrasive by nature, it can basically scour away minor surface stains and help give your smile a whiter appearance. But if teeth have more severe staining, or staining that actually resides below the tooth surface, baking soda probably won’t work. If this is the case, you may find an in-office professional whitening treatment or cosmetic dentistry, like veneers, more effective. Talk with your dentist in Modesto to figure out what’s best for you.

There’s a Right Way to Use It

Whitening your teeth with baking soda may seem easy and harmless, but there is a correct way to use it.

  • Mix the baking soda with equal parts water to tone down the level of abrasiveness
  • Brush gently, don’t scrub
  • Don’t use it every day — once or a twice a week is the recommended limit
  • Remember to still use your regular toothpaste every day, twice a day to continue to protect against bacteria

Be Aware of Possible Disadvantages

Using baking soda to whiten teeth is appealing to many people due to the fact that it’s low cost, yet effective, but there are still risks associated with it. Even though the abrasive texture is what makes it an effective whitener, it’s also one of the major risks. If used too often or inappropriately, baking soda can damage enamel and increase the risk for decay and tooth sensitivity.

If you desire a smile that’s whiter, give my Modesto dental office a call today to schedule an appointment. We can work together to determine which whitening treatment is best for you.

Welcoming patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale and beyond. 

4 Ways Your Smile Can Show Your Age

added on: December 12, 2016

agingAs time goes on, things change. Your smile is no different. Lifestyle factors like drinking red wine, smoking, or grinding your teeth can all have an affect on your grin and can add years to your appearance. Even old dental work can cause you to look older than you really are. At my dental office in Modesto, we hear these concerns from patients often, and we’re always happy to help provide solutions to boost both confidence and health.

Gum Recession

Gum recession can be caused by a number of things like brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or gum disease. When gums recede, more of the teeth show and they appear longer. Unfortunately, we subconsciously assume those with longer teeth are older. This is where we got the phrase ‘long in the tooth.’ There are various options available to treat gum recession and reduce how much of the teeth are visible. Talk with your Modesto dentist to determine which is right for you.

Yellowing Teeth

Perhaps the most common concern among patients is how to get a brighter, whiter smile for a more confident, youthful look. The appropriate treatment depends on the type and level of staining. In some cases, a professional in-office whitening will get the desired result. In other situations, veneers or replacing old, metal dental work with tooth-colored options may be recommended.

Crooked Smile

When you think of a crooked grin, you may immediately think of teenagers in metal braces. But the reality is, it’s extremely common for adults to experience shifting in their smile. It’s natural, even if they did have braces. Some of the ways to can help straighten adult teeth is through dental veneers, traditional braces, or with clear orthodontics. The right solution is unique to your specific needs.

Chips and Cracks

As we grow older, our enamel tends to weaken and the chance of chips or cracks increases. But thanks to advancements in dental technology, we’re able to repair this damage with tooth-colored restorations like porcelain inlays or onlays, veneers, or dental bonding. These treatments are long-lasting, virtually unnoticeable, and can even help whiten your smile.

No matter what your concerns may be, my Modesto dental office is here to help. We’ll work with you to identify your the best treatment to get you a smile that’s healthy and beautiful. Call us to schedule an appointment today.

Accepting new patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale.

Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

added on: November 21, 2016

diabetesOver the years, I’ve treated numerous patients with diabetes at my Modesto dental office. We always want every patient to make sure they’re taking great care of their teeth, but it’s important for folks with diabetes to be even more vigilant about maintaining their oral health care routines. Why? Unfortunately, diabetes can leave you more susceptible to other issues that affect the mouth and teeth. These include: periodontal (gum) disease, infections, poor healing, and dry mouth.

I’ve put together this list of tips to help you make sure both you and your mouth are healthy:

Tip #1 — Keep Blood Sugar Numbers Stable

  • It’s estimated there are nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes, and every single one of them knows maintaining their target blood glucose numbers is of the utmost importance. But making sure blood glucose is stable helps your oral health too! If your levels are poorly controlled, there’s an increased risk of developing gum disease or loose teeth, compared to non-diabetics. Like any other infection, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise, making diabetes more difficult to control.

Tip #2 — Remember to Eat Healthy

  • Following a healthy diet is good for both your oral and overall health, no matter if you have diabetes or not. Getting rid of sugary foods is best! Try to eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to keep you and your smile healthy. Be sure to work with your doctor to design a dietary plan that’s suitable for your needs.

Tip #3 — Maintain Your Oral Hygiene Routine

  • Your Modesto dentist knows that keeping your teeth and gums healthy starts with great at-home care. Always make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to protect against tooth decay. Usually first thing in the morning and then again at night before bed works best. Be sure to use a soft brush and soft circular motions to clean the front, back, and top of each tooth. Don’t forget to clean your tongue too. You should also floss at least once a day. Flossing will help keep pesky plaque from building up and causing potential problems. If you have dentures, keep them clean, take them out nightly, and have them adjusted if they’re loose or uncomfortable.

At my dental office in Modesto, we want our patients and their smiles to be in the very best health every day. If you have diabetes and notice anything unusual about your mouth or teeth as you go about your daily hygiene routine, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Welcoming patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale.

What We Know About The Link Between Gum Disease & Dementia

added on: November 7, 2016

dementiaEach November, we recognize the 5 million Americans struggling with debilitating Alzheimer’s Disease and their loving caregivers. While there’s still a lot of research to be done on this disease, there has been a great deal of scientific research and studies devoted to learning if there’s a possible connection between gum (or periodontal) disease and dementia.

At my dental office in Modesto we share the importance of maintaining excellent oral hygiene with our family of patients every day. It’s important to ensure your mouth is free from harmful gum disease and the bacteria that comes with it! Not only for your mouth’s sake, but your whole health.

  • Reminder: It’s a good time to make sure dementia patients are receiving the oral health care they need, as they’re at an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay due to a decline in personal hygiene and side effects associated with some medications.

What Research Tells Us

According to a recent article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, there is a chance people with poor oral hygiene or elevated gum (or periodontal) disease could possibly be at greater risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. One study took samples of brain tissue from patients with dementia, along with tissue samples from patients without dementia. What interested scientists was: the dementia patient tissue had gum disease bacteria, but the non-dementia tissue did not.

  • Reminder: There’s still more research that needs to be conducted to better understand the potential link between gum disease and dementia. As of this year, there’s still no definitive proof that gum disease causes dementia or that they are directly related.

Blame The Bacteria

The connection between gum disease and dementia (along with other possible illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease) is due to bacteria. Our mouths are full of bacterial combinations — some good, some bad. The bad bacteria can end up in our bloodstream due to diseased gums simply by eating, chewing, and brushing, and can affect the rest of the body.

As we continue to see what happens with the possible gum disease and dementia correlation, my Modesto dental office would like to remind patients about the importance of keeping up with your regular oral hygiene routine and seeing us for cleanings. Give us a call to schedule your next appointment!

Accepting new patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale and beyond. 

Dental Implants – Bringing New Life To A Dead Tooth

added on: October 17, 2016

dental implantsAs things tend to get spooky this month, my Modesto dental office wants you to know that living with a dead tooth can be a thing of the past thanks to dental implants. These extremely durable and natural looking replacements are specifically designed to bring life back to your smile.

Implant Magic

The curative power of a dental implant is almost magical. Not only can an implant make a smile look whole again, it can also restore function as if the natural tooth and its root never even left. The implant post, made of titanium, actually mimics your tooth root and helps to prevent facial bone loss. Implants are anchored to the bone, creating a solid foundation for a porcelain crown, bridge, or even a set of dentures.

Beware of the Bite

When a tooth is not operating to its full capacity, surrounding teeth may suffer due to the fact that they have to pick up the extra slack when it comes to the rigors of everyday function. Some people tend to chew only one side of their mouth, which could cause an imbalanced bite that is potentially damaging. This is where the titanium posts come into play.

Titanium Has:

  • Super Strength – Titanium is a silver transition metal with low density and high strength that is resistant to corrosion.
  • High Acceptability – It turns out our bodies are highly likely to welcome the titanium post and integrate it neatly within the jaw bone for a delightfully durable, permanent pairing.

After the post is set, a porcelain dental crown can be custom created and placed capping the post. The crown is strong, looks natural, and is very good at restoring full biting force.

Goodbye Bad Teeth. Hello, Implants!

Are you missing teeth? Do you have a tooth that’s doing more to harm or hurt your smile, rather than boost its beauty? You should know that you’re not alone. My dental office in Modesto is always available to speak with you about how a dental implant may be able to restore your smile.

Your Modesto dentist will be able to assess your individual needs and decide whether an implant could bring your dying tooth back from the dead. It’s a great way to help you enjoy a more comfortable bite, lessen the chances of gum disease, boost confidence, and improve speech. Ask us how implants can restore life to your smile

Accepting new patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale.

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