How Your Mouth Behaves Like An Ecosystem

Not All Oral Bacteria Are Harmful

You may be surprised to find that your mouth has anywhere from 10-50 billion oral bacteria that thrive or die under specific conditions controlled by your oral hygiene, lifestyle habits, and diet. Unique types of bacteria are responsible for oral health issues like tooth decay, halitosis (chronic bad breath), and gum disease. At the same time, positive bacteria help your mouth protect itself against these harmful pathogens.

Smoking Kills Good Bacteria

Microbiologists study how healthy mouths are coated with a thick “forest” of good bacteria which prevents pathogens from touching down on your mouth. Recent research by a professor of periodontology at Ohio State University describes how smokers mouths are toxic to these helpful oral bacteria. In fact, the chemicals from smoking actually cause your body to turn against these positive bacteria, making your mouth a friendlier environment for pathogens that cause gingivitis, bad breath, and cavities. Professor Kumar describes the phenomena like a yard with weeds. An imbalance in the chemical composition of the soil allows weeds to sprout up and choke out healthy plants in the same way that smokers’ mouths destroy good bacteria.

The Ecosystem Inside Your Mouth

The mouth behaves so much like a forest that ecologists are taking an interest in how the 50-75 different species in the mouth cohabitate. According to a recent NPR story, studies show that different types of bacteria congregate in certain areas of the mouth, much the way that different animal species choose specific parts of the forest to live. For example, the bacteria on the back of your tongue may be a different species than the bacteria on the tip of your tongue. (more…)

Common Questions about Gum Disease Treatment

Who is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who is certified through advanced course work, experience, and studies in periodontics, one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Periodontists specialize in treating gum disease  using specific techniques, as well as preventing and diagnosing periodontal disease. Since gum disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss, periodontists also specialize in one of the most effective tooth replacement techniques, dental implants. At Riverside Dental Associates, we have an experienced periodontist on our team to help you reclaim your oral health from the ravages of periodontal disease.

How can a periodontist help me?

During the first appointment, the periodontist will examine your health records for specific medications, diseases, or hormonal conditions that may contribute to gum disease or hinder successful treatment. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are all characterized by hormonal changes that affect the course of periodontal disease. Our Riverside periodontist will also take into account any diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory diseases that you may have had before or after gum disease.

How does a periodontist diagnose gum disease severity?

Our experienced periodontist will determine the severity of your periodontal disease by assessing gum recession, probing periodontal pockets, and taking x-rays to check for bone damage beneath the gum line. As periodontitis progresses, gingival tissue recedes further, the pockets between teeth and gums become deeper, and eventually, the infection reaches the jawbone. (more…)

Your Dental Health in Moreno Valley

At Dental Associates of Moreno Valley, we strive to help our patients achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful smiles. Most people know that brushing and flossing contribute to healthy teeth and gums, but what many people don’t know is that the formula for quality dental health is tri-fold. It takes brushing, flossing, and receiving professional dental care to maintain a truly healthy smile. Moreno Valley dentists Dr. James Lampasi, Dr. Johnny Koo, Dr. Tonia Cantrell, Dr. Norman Carter, Dr. Stephen Taylor, and our entire team are here to help you receive the dental care you need and deserve.

General Dental Care in Moreno

The American Dental Association recommends that you see the dentist every six months for professional dental cleanings and checkups, and we agree. If you have good oral health, we’d like to see you in our dental chair for routine dental appointments every six months. If you’re overcoming a dental health condition, we’d like to see you more often to ensure that your treatments are working. (more…)

Welcome to the Dental Associates of Moreno Valley Blog!

Welcome to the Dental Associates of Moreno Valley blog! Here, you’ll find all of the information you ever wanted to know about your dental health and your dental care at Dental Associates of Moreno Valley in Moreno Valley, California.

Your Dental Care in Moreno Valley

At Dental Associates of Moreno Valley, we offer comprehensive dental care, which means that we provide dental treatments and services of all kinds to patients of all ages from across the greater Riverside area. Some of these services include:

General Dentistry

  • Dental Cleanings
  • Dental Exams
  • Children’s Dentistry (more…)

Brushing Up On the Basics: Oral Hygiene Tips from Riverside Dentists

If you are like most Americans, you probably learned how to care for your teeth at a young age. There was probably a week dedicated to getting to know your teeth in the second grade where an animated tooth told you to brush in the morning and before bed and go easy on the candy. While you may think you know everything you need to know about at-home dental care, you may have lost some of that knowledge along the way. Freshen up your adult oral hygiene routine by brushing up on the basics of caring for your smile.

When is the best time to brush your teeth?

Many people think brushing your teeth immediately after eating is an excessive, yet effective way of brushing your teeth. However, new studies show that brushing your teeth directly after eating might actually be harmful for your tooth enamel. When you eat soft breads, pastries, and other fermentable carbohydrates, your enamel temporarily becomes soft. This is because the enamel is being attacked by sugars and acid formation. Harsh brushing at this stage could actually do more harm to your teeth than good. This is why more dentists recommend brushing before bed and when you get up in the morning.

Why do I have bad breath in the morning?

In fact, brushing at these times in the day is crucial to protecting your teeth. Your mouth relies on saliva to wash away food particles, dead cells, and bacteria to keep your mouth fresh and clean. During the night, your saliva production dramatically drops, leaving you that stale breath feeling in the morning. Brushing before bed will remove the food particles and bacteria that can wreak havoc on your teeth overnight. In the morning, brushing your teeth removes the buildup of dead cells that your saliva did not wash away during your sleep. (more…)

Prosthodontic Treatment and Oral Surgery in Riverside, CA

Last week, we discussed the orthodontic, periodontic, and endodontic services we provide to our Riverside, CA dental patients at Dental Associates of Riverside. Today, we’d like to discuss two other dental services we offer that go beyond the realm of general and preventive dental care: prosthodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery.

What is Prosthodontic Treatment?

Prosthodontics is the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of our patients. (more…)

How much do you know about TMJ disorder?

TMJ Disorder Questions

Q1. Which of the following does not describe TMJ disorder?

A. Issues with jaw pain


C. Temporary mouth joint disorder

D. Temporomandibular joint disorder


Q2. Which of the following is the temporomandibular joint?

A. A joint in your neck

B. The hinge joint for your lower jaw

C. Your knee joints

D. None of the above


Q3. True or False: Teeth grinding is both a symptom and a cause of TMJ disorder.


Q4. Which of the following is not a symptom of TMJ disorder?

A. Bruxism, or teeth grinding

B. Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods

C. Earaches, neck pain, and shoulder pain

D. Excessive tooth wear and loss of enamel


Q5. What are some effective treatments for TMJ disorder?

A. Correcting malocclusion

B. Nightguards

C. Stress relief

D. All of the above (more…)