12Feb

It’s no secret that your body undergoes significant changes when you are pregnant. But the Santa Monica family dentist wants you to know that these hormonal changes can have an impact on your oral health too.

Increased dental problems during pregnancy are very common. You may have heard the old saying, “A tooth lost for every child.” This isn’t to say that a rite of passage of pregnancy is tooth loss, but your body is going through significant hormonal changes that also affect your teeth and gums.

Pregnancy and Gum Health

Pregnancy gingivitis affects about half of all women who become pregnant. This condition can cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. Advanced gum disease, called periodontitis can even affect the health of your baby.

Pre-Term or Low Birth-Weight Babies

Studies indicate that a possible relationship exists between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth weight babies. While more research needs to be conducted in this area, there is sufficient reason to believe that pregnant women with untreated periodontal disease have the potential to have a baby born too early and too small.

We believe that visiting your family dentist and maintaining periodontal health during pregnancy is a wise precaution in any event.

Avoiding Gum Disease during Pregnancy

Obviously, a lifelong routine of proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams and cleanings with the Santa Monica family dentist are the best prevention for gum disease whether you plan to become pregnant or not.

Once you do become pregnant, however, be sure to advise your dental professional immediately and make an appointment for a dental cleaning early in your pregnancy. This allows us to monitor your oral health for any adverse changes. It is also wise to plan this visit early on as sitting in a dentist’s chair can become uncomfortable later in pregnancy.

For more information on protecting your oral health during pregnancy, please call us to arrange a convenient appointment for an exam and cleaning.


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.

14Aug

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. All of us suffer from bad breath from time to time, especially in the morning. Some common reasons for bad breath include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Tobacco Use
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical conditions

Your Santa Monica family dentist wants you to be informed about the reasons for bad breath and how to eliminate it. While there may be a medical reason for chronic bad breath, there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to minimize the risk.

Don’t smoke: While there is a multitude of reasons to quit the bad habit of smoking, one of the more obvious ones is to devoid yourself of the smell externally (clothes and body) and internally (your mouth).

Don’t eat foods with strong odors: Avoid onions and garlic, especially before or during an important business meeting or another event where you need to interact with others. Onions and garlic leave a strong odor because they contain elements that make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs until you finally breathe them out.

Do floss: Flossing isn’t only necessary for your oral health to prevent cavities, but it dislodges food particles that would be otherwise stuck between your teeth, trapping bacteria and causing a distinctive odor.

Do chew sugarless gum: If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating, try rinsing out your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum about 20 minutes after mealtime. Chewing stimulates saliva production, which combats bacteria and cavities that lead to bad breath.

Chronic breath is not only unpleasant, but it may also be an indication of a more serious problem like periodontal disease. Please call your  Santa Monica family dentist to arrange an appointment. You may be surprised that’s all that’s needed is a thorough dental cleaning to refresh your smile.