Our teeth help us chew our favorite foods, talk to family and friends, and smile. But did you know that our teeth are also intricately intertwined with our jaw health? Our Moreno Valley dentists explain how teeth keep your jawbone healthy, and what to do if you have missing teeth.
How Your Teeth Connect To Jaw Joint Health
Did you know that a misaligned bite can be detrimental to your jaw? We use our temporomanidublar joint to chew, open our mouths, and speak. Therefore, it only makes sense that when your dental health is amiss, your jaw muscle health can be affected. TMJ disorder is a condition related to issues with your temporomandibular joint. One of the main causes of TMJ disorder is malocclusion, or misaligned bite. This is because the jaw muscles constantly struggle to hold misaligned teeth in the correct position. The symptoms of a malocclusion can be harmful not only to your teeth, but also to your overall health.
How Missing Teeth Contribute to Alveolar Atrophy
Alveolar atrophy is one of the hidden detrimental effects of missing teeth. This phenomena involves jawbone shrinkage due to a lack of stimulation from tooth roots. When a tooth is missing, that section of your jawbone seems to be no longer needed; therefore, your body will stop sending nutrients to that part of the jaw. The result is a weaker jawbone, deteriorated from lack of use. (more…)
Your diet affects more than your weight or overall health. What you eat also affects the health of your mouth. Your mouth is constantly coated by a thin biofilm of bacteria and plaque. When certain ingredients in food and beverages come into contact with this biofilm, they secrete harmful acids that attack tooth enamel. Your Corona dentist gives advice on maintaining a diet that will benefit your dental health.
Refined Sugar and Your Teeth
Refined sugars and other fermentable carbohydrates cause a reaction in plaque when they meet. The byproduct of plaque absorbing and processing these substances is lactic acid, which saps minerals from your teeth in a process called demineralization. Because your enamel is made of mineral crystals (i.e., calcium and phosphate), after acid drains the tooth’s minerals, the enamel cannot remineralize and is vulnerable to attack. As summer dawns upon us, lemonade and iced tea become the popular thirst-quenchers of the season. Aside from their sugar content, lemonade and other fruit juices also contain harmful acids. If you consume a sugary beverage, try to do so quickly in one setting, as opposed to prolonged sipping over time. Also, rinse your mouth with water after finishing your drink to flush away any food debris, bacteria, and lingering plaque. (more…)
One of our most popular cosmetic procedures, porcelain veneers can make smile transformations in as little as two office visits. To describe this sought after cosmetic dental service, our Riverside dentists will start from the beginning of the process, the cosmetic dentistry consultation, to the final product, a beautiful smile makeover.
Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation
At our Riverside dental office, our cosmetic dentist will discuss your smile desires with you. Would you like to close smile gaps that not only look embarrassing but add excessive wear to your teeth? Are you tired of noticing your chipped tooth in the mirror or is a jagged edge catching your tongue? Perhaps your teeth have permanent stains form medications or just unslightly yellowing. You might be surprised to find that porcelain veneers can actually cover all of these smile imperfections at once.
Unique Veneers Specifications
After our Riverside cosmetic dentist has determined the right type of veneers for you, we will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be used in the fabrication of your veneers to give you optimal attachment. Our cosmetic dentist will determine the exact shade of your smile so that your dental restorations blend seamlessly and appear natural. The specifications and impression re sent to a ceramics lab for your porcelain veneers to be sculpted by skillful hands.
Smile Makeover Completion
When your veneers arrive at our Riverside dental office, our cosmetic dentist can place the veneers in one office visit. This process involves preparing your teeth for optimal attachment, placing them with dental bonding, and hardening the bond with a curing light. During the entire process, our dentist will make adjustments to the restorations to match your facial structure, occlusion, and smile makeover desires. After a quick polishing, your new smile is ready to show off to the world. (more…)
Gum has a bad reputation for impromptu haircuts, ruining shoes, inhabiting the undersides of desks and bus seats, and tarnishing public addresses. However, our Riverside dentists encourage you to go ahead and chew your gum. But before you pop a piece in your mouth, remember these three rules: 1. choose a sugar-free gum; 2. consider xylitol; and 3. no marathon chewing.
How Sugar-Free Gum Can Prevent Cavities
Our Riverside dentists agree that brushing your teeth after every meal is a good oral hygiene habit that can keep your teeth sparkling and healthy. However, you may not always have that option. For times when you can’t brush your teeth or floss after a meal, chew sugar-free gum instead. The key words here are “sugar-free”. Because the basis of tooth decay relies on sugar, reintroducing this acid forming substance into your mouth can actually have opposite effects by contributing to cavities. Along with encouraging saliva to wash away bacteria, sugar-free chewing gum can also help dislodge food particles stuck between your teeth.
How Xylitol Fights Back Against Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
May gum manufacturers have taken sugar-free gum one step further by introducing this miracle ingredient into their product. A natural sweetener, xylitol tastes similar to sugar but actually kills pathogens instead of feeding them. Xylitol attracts the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, traps them, and starves them. Look on the ingredients list for sugar-free gum made with xylitol. Trident is one of the major brands of chewing gum with this sugar alternative.
Spit Your Gum Out to Prevent TMJ Issues
Fifteen minutes is the maximum time you should chew your gum. Any time over that could result in jaw muscle exhaustion. Continued excessive gum chewing may even create problems with your jawbone health, known as TMJ disorder. Set a timer on your phone if you must, but avoid chewing gum for long periods of time as the harmful effects may outweigh the benefits. (more…)
Fluoride Treatment… for Felines
If you are a frequent reader of our Moreno Valley dental blogs, you may already know that fluoride is good for your teeth. This mineral, commonly added to toothpastes and mouthwashes, can help strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. However, did you know it can do the same for cats? Studies show fluoride supplements in cat water can improve their oral health. Keep fluoride away from your puppy though. Fluoride is considered poisonous for dogs.
The 24,972nd Molar: Snail Wisdom Teeth
The average human mouth can hold up to 28 teeth. That’s why when wisdom teeth erupt, they typically crowd surrounding teeth or become impacted. Wisdom teeth, called the third molar, come in behind your two back molars on the top and bottom of your smile. Did you know that snails’ mouths, although microscopic, can hold up to 25,000 teeth? Less impressive, armadillos rack up an average of 104 teeth.
Nature’s Feathery Dental Hygienist
The crocodile bird has a tough job. This smile creature hops into the open mouth of a crocodile to remove food particles and parasites. Out of gratitude for alleviating reptile toothache, the crocodile rewards his feathery friend by not eating him. Don’t have a tiny bird to clean your teeth every night? Try flossing daily to prevent plaque buildup and gum disease instead.
Severe Pachyderm Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding for humans can cause serious damage to your teeth and your overall health. Some symptoms of teeth grinding, called bruxism, include earaches, headaches, sensitive teeth, and chipped teeth. Teeth grinding, for elephants, is just all in a day’s work. Overtime, elephants grind their 7 inch molars down to a nub. This is no matter, however, because the elephant will simply grow a new tooth. This happens about six times over the elephant’s lifetime. (more…)
What is Riverside sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of anesthesia or conscious sedation to make dental procedures more comfortable. For simple dental services like fillings, root canals, and most cosmetic dentistry, local anesthesia is enough to numb the site of the dental procedure and prevent sensation. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is another form of sedation dentistry that allows patients to feel more relaxed you fully conscious during dental procedures. In cases of complicated oral surgery, or dental procedures that take an extended period of time, our Riverside dentists may use IV sedation.
How can sedation dentistry in Riverside help me?
Sedation dentistry is a great option for patients with dental phobias, patients who need extra help relaxing in the dental chair, or children who are not old enough to sit still during delicate dental procedures. For these patients, we may offer nitrous oxide. The benefit of this sedation method is that the medication will lose its effect quickly after the dental procedure, allowing patients to safely take themselves home without supervision.
What should I know about sedation dentistry?
At your sedation dentistry consultation with your Riverside dentist, we will discuss pre-operative and post-operative instructions. For patients undergoing dental procedures using nitrous oxide or IV sedation, our Riverside dentists recommend avoiding eating at least 2 hours before your procedure, as this may induce nausea. Additionally, patients who have had local anesthesia should not eat or chew gum until the numbness in their mouth wears off. Chewing with a numb mouth could result in dental injury from biting your tongue or cheek, or biting down too hard. (more…)
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