20Nov

There are many options in dentistry today for missing teeth replacement. A dental bridge is just one such option, and today we explain the benefits of fixed bridges. A fixed (non-removable) bridge is durable and creates an excellent replacement for missing teeth

You’re probably most familiar with a “traditional bridge” that involves two crowns that are placed on two adjacent teeth and are then attached to an artificial tooth (pontic). This creates a “bridge” that fills the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

4 Reasons to Choose a Dental Bridge

You and the Santa Monica family dentist may decide on a fixed bridge for any of the following reasons:

  • Fill space of missing teeth.
  • Prevent drifting of remaining teeth
  • Restore ability to chew and/or speak clearly
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture
How We Place a Dental Bridge

Placement of a fixed bridge will generally require two or more visits. The two anchoring teeth will be prepared by removing a portion of enamel, allowing room for a crown. Your Santa Monica family dentist will then take an impression of your teeth. This mold is sent to a dental lab where a custom-fit bridge will be created specifically to fit your teeth and accommodate your bite. You will leave your first appointment with a temporary bridge created by your dentist.

Your second appointment takes place once the permanent bridge has been created. At this point, it will be carefully checked and adjusted to make sure it fits properly. The bridge is then permanently cemented.

At the conclusion of this visit, you receive instructions on how to properly care for your new permanent bridge. The life of your new bridge will be extended greatly by following proper brushing and flossing techniques and scheduling regular dental visits.

15Nov

It will no doubt surprise some of our patients that many of the foods and drinks we love are also among the most damaging to teeth. Dr. Carol E. Follette, a respected Santa Monica dentist with expertise in all facets of oral care, reviews some of the worst offenders.

Citrus

It’s an incontestable fact that lemons, oranges, and grapefruit are packed with healthy doses of vitamin C. Alas, it’s also a fact that these foods are also packed with enamel-eroding acid that renders teeth vulnerable to cavities and decay. Not only are citrus fruits bad for teeth, they can also exacerbate mouth-sore symptoms. If you enjoy snacking on an orange or adding lemon to your water, our advice is to consume citrus in moderation and rinse your mouth with water right after consuming.

Dried Fruits

Sticking with the fruit theme, the dried versions of the aforementioned foods, as well as figs, prunes, and apricots, also provide health benefits. Acid content is a bit lower in dried fruits, but sugar content is higher, and the fact that dried fruit is sticky means that it lingers on the teeth longer than normal. This gives the sugar time to find its way o to the teeth and into the gums, where it can do damage if left untreated. After consuming dried fruits, our local dentist recommends not just rinsing with water, but brushing and flossing too.

Alcohol

Many of us enjoy an after-work or weekend drink, but few people realize that alcohol actually dries out the mouth. This leaves our mouth short on saliva, which is a key protector of teeth since it washes away food particles and keeps solids and liquids from sticking to teeth and gums. Saliva even helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Thus, when you consume alcohol it’s a smart move to drink water during and after consumption.

Sour Candy

Candy is bad enough for our teeth if not consumed in moderation, but sour candy is especially harmful. That’s because sour candy is chewy, sticky, and chock-full of acids that can do a number on enamel. If you’re not diligent about ridding your mouth of a sour candy’s residue, cavities and tooth decay will likely follow. If you’re looking for a sweet that’s better for your mouth, choose chocolate. It tastes good, goes down quickly, and is easily rinsed away.

Potato Chips

Who doesn’t enjoy tearing open a bag of potato chips from time to time? The problem with chips though is their high starch content, which when trapped between our teeth and gums eventually breaks down into sugar. This sugar is consumed by the bacteria present in plaque, and the combination eats away at teeth.

Carbonated Drinks

Soda pop, even “diet” varieties, is loaded with sugar and acids that not only accelerate cavities and tooth decay, but also can stain and discolor teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

Our family dentist serving Santa Monica uses state-of-the-art dental tools and decades of collective experience to keep your mouth healthy. Make an appointment and visit us for all of your dentistry needs, from cleanings and whitening to veneers and bonding.

06Nov

 

Are your gums tender and inflamed? Do they bleed when you brush?

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a common problem that affects nearly half of adults over the age of 30. It is a bacterial infection that attacks gum tissue and supporting structures of your teeth.

Severe gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss. As serious as that is, patients of our Santa Monica laser periodontal dentist are surprised to learn that there are other serious physical complications associated with the disease.

While periodontal disease, heart disease, and stroke may seem to be completely unrelated, numerous studies show that people suffering from gum disease are at twice the risk for coronary heart disease. Researchers have also found that oral infection is a risk factor for stroke.

Heart Disease and Stroke

We know now that the presence of periodontal disease can aggravate existing heart conditions. Several theories explain the link between heart disease, stroke, and periodontal disease:

  • Oral bacteria affect the heart– There are many strains of periodontal bacteria. Some of these enter the bloodstream and attach to the fatty plaques in the coronary arteries. This buildup contributes to clot formation, putting you at higher risk for gum disease.
  • Immune System– Individuals who have high levels of oral bacteria may also have weaker immune systems. This may set off a chain of events that have been shown to contribute to the onset of specific forms of heart disease.

Seeking Treatment for Gum Disease

Since periodontal disease appears to be a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, it is essential to seek immediate treatment.

The good news is that with semi-annual exams and cleanings, Santa Monica laser periodontal dentist Dr. Diane Hourigan and conscientious oral hygiene, you may never have to worry about developing gum disease. If it’s time for your routine appointment, please call our office

 

Wide research and studies today are devoted to the connection between your oral health and your general health. This helpful article explores the relationship.