15Sep

Providing optimal oral health care begins with the foundation of your smile—your gum tissue. If your gum tissue is not strong and healthy, your entire smile will suffer as a result. Today, our Santa Monica dentists are sharing some information about oral health problems related to gum disease, and what you can do to protect your smile.

What causes gum disease?

The short answer is—oral bacteria. The same harmful bacteria infect teeth and cause cavities, can also infect your oral tissues and cause gum disease. Bacteria actually feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates, so every time that you indulge in sweet goodies you are giving bacteria a boost.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Gum infections can develop asymptomatically in their earliest stages. However, as time goes on you will likely notice a few unwanted symptoms including:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding tissue
  • Tender gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gum tissue that pulls away from your teeth (forming gaps that are called periodontal pockets)
  • Teeth that feel loose or teeth that shift along your gum line

The key is to pay attention to any changes that you notice with your oral health. If your gums look redder than usual, or if you know you are experiencing increased gum sensitivity, you should reach out to your dental team for an oral health assessment. If left untreated, gum disease will become more severe periodontal disease. The infection may even spread to your jawbone and the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place.

How can I treat gum disease?

Our team will recommend treatments depending on the current state of your smile and the severity of oral infection. You may benefit from:

  • Treatment that removes diseased tissue
  • Upgrades to your at-home oral hygiene routine (specific toothpastes, mouth rinses, or tools)
  • Frequent professional cleanings to clear away plaque and tartar
  • Gum grafts to rebuild lost tissue

The first step in the treatment process is to complete a consultation with our Santa Monica gum disease dentists. We are here to help you!

28Jul

Taking steps to tweak your daily routine and protect your smile can give your oral health a boost. Many of us have developed habits, or fallen into ruts, that are actually unhealthy. Keep reading to learn more from our Santa Monica dentist

  • Dental Grinding

The tooth-on-tooth contact that occurs when you grind your teeth or clench your jaw will weaken your dental enamel over time. Although you may not see cracks or chips right away, you are developing small weak spots in your teeth. Over time these vulnerable spots will accumulate dental bacteria and become more severe.

  • Chewing Indiscriminately

Certain substances are too hard or abrasive to chew regularly. Ice, mints, and hard candies should dissolve in your mouth. When you chomp on these things you are putting too much stress and pressure on your dental enamel.

  • Using the Wrong Tools

Not all dental tools are created equal! When you choose the right tools for your smile and your routine, you will see improvements in the efficacy of your daily dental routine. Let’s start by talking about tools to avoid: wooden and metal toothpicks, for example, may cause damage to your oral tissues or irritate sensitive dental nerves. On the other hand, a soft-bristled toothbrush is designed to effectively clean your smile without being too abrasive. If you think you may need a brush with firmer bristles, please talk to your dental team first; they will be able to tell you what type of brush is both safe and effective for your smile.

  • Loading Up on Sweets

We have always been told that sugary treats are bad for our smiles, but, why? Well, the oral bacteria in your mouth need fuel to grow and multiply. The most effective fuel for these bacteria is sugar. That is why you want to indulge in sweets and refined carbohydrates minimally and at specific time-limited sittings.

We hope these simple tips have given you a better idea of how you can take control of your oral health. If you have any questions or you would like to learn more, give our Santa Monica dentists a call! 

07Jul

One of the most important things that our Santa Monica dentist does is to help our patients evaluate their treatment options, and, ultimately, choose the perfect one for them. Today we are getting started by comparing two popular and convenient treatments: dental bonding and custom veneers.  

Uses

Veneers and dental bonding can be used to achieve many of the same dental goals, including:

  • Resurfacing dark enamel
  • Repairing dental damage
  • Closing gaps between teeth
  • Making the smile appear better aligned and seamless
  • Lengthening disproportionally short enamel

Material

Veneers are individually crafted from porcelain. They are only as thick as a contact lens, which is why they do not look bulky once their placed. Porcelain is an ideal material for this type of treatment because it mimics the appearance of natural enamel, and it is stain-resistant.

Dental bonding, on the other hand, is made from composite resin. Our team will shade the resin to match your natural tooth shade. Or, if you are transforming your entire smile with bonding, we will color the resin to achieve your desired level of whiteness.

Application

Veneers take two or three appointments to fit and place. Your veneers will be crafted to your specifications. Our team will prep the enamel of relevant teeth by filing some of it down—this helps ensure a comfortable and natural looking fit once the veneer is in place.

Dental bonding takes just one appointment to complete. When our team applies the resin to your natural tooth structure it will be soft and malleable. We’ll shape it achieve your desired results, and then cure it with a special light so that it hardens and bonds to the tooth surface.

Our Santa Monica dental team is here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help you schedule a personal consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!