What’s Your Dental IQ?

We here at Dental Associates of Moreno Valley are excited that you have chosen us to take care of all your dental needs. Not only will we provide you with quality care and treatment, but we will also educate you on the ways that you can continue that same quality care at home. Test your current dental knowledge with the following quiz and see how well you’ve been doing on your own.

1. Which of these actions will help protect teeth against decay?

a. Avoiding sugary snacks

b. Brushing and flossing

c. Using a fluoridated mouthwash

d. All of the above

The answer is d, all of the above. Eating healthy foods and following a daily oral hygiene routine are very important to the protection of your teeth. Fluoride is a helpful ingredient to have in your oral care products because it strengthens tooth enamel, making the teeth less prone to tooth decay.

2. Which oral problem has been found to put people at risk for diseases such as arthritis?

a. Bad breath

b. Gum disease

c. Dry mouth

d. Yellow teeth

The answer is b, gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, it affects more than just the mouth. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for rheumatoid arthritis, gum disease also increases a pregnant woman’s chance of delivering an underdeveloped baby. (more…)

Dental Specialties in Moreno Valley

At Dental Associates of Moreno Valley, we offer more than general dentistry. Our services also include specialty dental care in the areas of pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery. We would like our patients to familiarize themselves with these specialties so that they have a more thorough understanding of the dental care that we can provide.

Pediatric Dentistry

This area of dentistry is geared towards the oral health of younger patients, including infants, children, and adolescents. Not only do pediatric dentists have a special understanding of children’s oral development, but they also make sure to communicate with their younger patients in a fun and comfortable manner that puts them at ease.

Orthodontics

The alignment of the teeth and jaw are the main concerns of an orthodontist. Fitting their patients with devices such as braces and retainers, these dental specialists help their patients achieve straight teeth and properly-aligned bites. Orthodontic treatment can also help prevent tooth loss and gum disease because oral care becomes easier to maintain with teeth that are properly aligned. (more…)

Riverside Dental Reviews Worst Habits for Dental Health

Recently we reviewed some basic tips for maintaining your good oral hygiene. This week, Riverside Dental Group is going to point out that what you don’t do is just as important as what you do to maintain a clean and healthy mouth and strong teeth. We develop habits in all areas of our lives as part of our daily routine. Below is a list of common bad habits that are destructive to your oral health and tips to help avoid, or abandon, these habits if you suffer from them.

  • Smoking—The destruction that tobacco brings upon your dental health is no secret. Aside from lung diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer, the harmful chemicals in tobacco can also lead to gum disease and oral cancer. These chemicals can irritate the gums—causing them to recede from the teeth and expose the roots—and interfere with gum tissue cells, making smokers more vulnerable to periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Crunching—It seems natural to chew on the ice cubes left over after you finish a refreshing soda or iced tea, but the rigidity and bitter cold temperatures of ice can damage the structure of your teeth. The pressure can fracture your teeth or cause cracks to form in the enamel, which is the protective layer of your teeth, and lead to more serious dental problems down the road. Popcorn kernels, hard candy, pens and pencils, and the pits of fruits such as peaches, plums, and mangos, are also among the things that you should avoid crunching between your teeth. (more…)

Riverside Dentists Recommend Trying These Healthy Sugar Alternatives

How Sugar Causes Cavities

Sugar is one of the most notorious villains of dental health. When sugar invades your mouth it combines with plaque and saliva to form enamel-eroding acid. Some of the usual offenders for sugar are obvious. Candy and sweet treats are some of the worst foods for your oral health, but did you know that sugar also lurks in unexpected places like refined carbohydrates?

How Carbohydrates Can Contribute to Tooth Decay

Have you ever noticed that white bread in sandwiches or dinner rolls often stick to your teeth? In this chemical reaction, the sugar fermentation from the bread actually softens your tooth enamel temporarily, making them susceptible to tooth decay. Replacing sugar with healthier alternatives is one way you can protect your teeth from acid erosion and cavities while enjoying something sweet.

Xylitol Protects Enamel and Fights Plaque

For sugar replacement that might actually be good for your teeth, our Riverside dentists recommend xylitol. Found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables, xylitol is extracted from berries, oats, mushrooms, and corn husks. Xylitol is non-fermentable, so it will not develop sugar after combining with saliva, unlike some carbohydrates. Even more beneficial for cavity prevention. xylitol helps remineralize enamel. As a result, your teeth have better defenses against bacteria and plaque. In fact, xylitol actually fights against plaque by attracting and starving the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Stevia Replaces Sugar in Baked Goods

Since xylitol is non-fermentable, this sweet alternative is not recommended for making bread. For baking, our Riverside dentists recommend stevia. A sugar alternative from the sunflower family, stevia is also called sweet leaf or sugar leaf. This sweetener is often used in low-carbohydrate alternatives and may even help reduce hypertension. (more…)

Welcome to the Dental Associates of Corona blog!

Welcome to the Dental Associates of Corona blog! We’re so happy that you’re taking an active interest in your dental health and health care. Over the next few months, the pages of this blog will be filled with everything you ever wanted and needed to know about the health of your teeth and gums, the beauty of your smile, and top-notch dental care in Corona.

Some of the topics you can expect to see discussed on this blog include:

  • Basics of Brushing and Flossing
  • Why Going to the Dentist Every Six Months is so Important
  • Can Cosmetic Dentistry Transform Your Smile?
  • Healthy Eating for a Healthy Smile
  • Who are Your Corona Dentists?
  • Much, Much More (more…)

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…)