24Sep

Do you have dry mouth? Aside from being annoying and uncomfortable, chronic dry mouth can also impact your oral health. 

If you experience dry mouth, one of the first things you should do is consult your Santa Monica family dentist. Having sufficient saliva in your mouth is essential because it acts like a natural cleansing rinse because it contains compounds that kill bacteria in the mouth. Saliva is beneficial because it washes away these bacteria as well as food and other debris on which the bacteria feed.

Reasons for Dry Mouth

  • Medications: Record numbers of people now take prescription medications regularly for conditions like hypertension, depression, anxiety, allergies, pain and more. A common side effect of these medications is dry mouth.
  • Medical conditions: Dry mouth can also be related to certain medical conditions including HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia and hypertension.
  • Dehydration: Another common cause of dry mouth is, not surprisingly, dehydration. You might suffer from dehydration if you have the flu, a high fever, or if you exercise and sweat profusely.

Treating Dry Mouth

How your dentist treats dry mouth depends on the cause. Obviously, if your dry mouth is due to dehydration, drinking plenty of water quickly rehydrates the body, including your mouth. Since many cases of dry mouth are related to prescription medications, your doctor might adjust the dose of the medication you're taking. They may also prescribe a medicine that encourages saliva production.

A diligent routine of proper oral hygiene is essential to help remove bacteria that builds up as a result of dry mouth and results in decay. These bacteria are also a breeding ground for infection and periodontal disease.

Please Call the Santa Monica Family Dentist

Dry mouth should be addressed sooner rather than later, so please call our office to arrange an exam and cleaning appointment. We will provide you with the tools you need to keep your smile healthy and free of disease.

 

17Sep

Gum contouring is becoming more popular among patients who have an uneven gum line or gummy smile. The procedure allows dentists to reshape the gum line to produce a more pleasing aesthetic.

Today, the Santa Monica cosmetic dentist performs an increasing number of gum contouring treatments. The use of laser technology has made it easier to contour gum tissue with reduced risks and fewer side effects. In this blog we’ll explain how laser gum contouring can be performed to improve the appearance of the smile.

What does the procedure involve?

Laser gum contouring involves the removal of a small amount of soft gum tissue to produce a uniform gum line or minimize the amount of gum tissue that shows when a patient smiles. To start the procedure, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to numb the gum tissue and prevent any discomfort during the treatment process.

Once you’re completely numb, the Santa Monica cosmetic dentist uses a dental laser to sculpt the gum line and create an attractive contour; this may involve the removal of gum tissue across the entire upper gum line, or the removal of excess gum tissue from specific teeth. The entire process takes less than an hour. Once the gums have been reshaped to the desired aesthetic, the patient can return home.

How long does it take to recover?

The laser gum contouring procedure results in minimal side effects. Still, you may experience minor discomfort during the healing period. To reduce any pain, avoid spicy foods, foods and drinks that are heated or cooled to extreme temperatures, and foods that contain small seeds. An over-the-counter pain reliever can be used to treat any discomfort.

You should continue to brush and floss their teeth in the days after treatment. However, during the first few days after treatment, it is important to be as gentle as possible. But laser dentistry offers many benefits, including a minimal recovery time and few side effects.

If you’re thinking about a laser gum contouring procedure, contact our dentist office to arrange a convenient consultation.