Chaparral Village Dental & Orthodontics
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|Posted on August 24, 2020 at 12:26 AM||comments (2)|
Our office has been opened for about 3 months after the lockdown from March to May. We are fully aware of the current Covid-19 situation in our country and especially our local community so we are trying our best in our daily practice to create the safest environment for dental care.
I know many of you are still debating whether it is a good time to go to the dental office. The good news is there hasn't been a single reported covid case contracted in dental office in the country. Another good news is the positive covid cases and covid -related mortality in Temecula valley are relatively low, in comparison with the rest of Riverside county and California state, so we are actually in a better and safer position in our local community.
At the same time, we do witness an upswing of dental emergencies including toothache, wisdom tooth pain, dental abscess and worsened gum infection, due to delayed dental care. As a result, many people with systemic diseases including diabetes, hypertension, heart, lung and kidney problems are experiencing worsened medical conditions due to infection of teeth and gum, which is an integral part of human body. This, in turn, makes them more prone to Covid-19 infection. A newest study suggests a link between gum disease and Covid-19 (Reference 1). This study supports the previous finding by British researchers who found connection between poor oral hygiene and severity of Covid-19 (Reference 2).
Dentists have long been known as the infection control experts in all categories of health care providers, due to the unique nature and setting of dental care. Our office has long been proud for social distancing by prescheduling patients to avoid congregation, and limiting the size of team (only three team members including myself). In the era of Covid-19, we are implementing even more strict measures to safeguard our patients and our team. Below is an update of the current infection control measures in our office:
Please stay safe and healthy! We look forward to seeing your smiles again! Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions!
|Posted on October 23, 2019 at 12:57 PM||comments (3)|
If you're taking medications for certain health conditions, it may not have crossed your mind that they can also impact your oral health. After all, medications are supposed to bring equilibrium back to your system, not stir things up, right? Truth is a variety of prescribed medications can affect your teeth.
Antihistamines may cause dry mouth syndrome, which can lead to sore gums, making the mouth more prone to infection. Contraceptives and blood pressure medications may cause mouth sores, gum inflammation and discoloration. Blood thinners can interfere with your ability to form blood clots or cause heavy bleeding after a tooth extraction. Anti-seizure medications can cause an overgrowth of gum tissue (gingival hyperplasia) and make it difficult to practice good oral hygiene.
When you're taking medications and start taking other medications - whether prescribed, over-the-counter or illegal - it can change the effects of both the original and the new medications. Simply put, when certain drugs interact, they may increase or decrease the effects or produce another, unintended effect. This is why it's so important to keep your dentist informed about all the medications you take; any teeth medications you are prescribed will take this into consideration.
|Posted on September 8, 2019 at 1:44 AM||comments (0)|
The Impact of an Impacted Tooth
A tooth is considered impacted when it only partially grows through the gums. This can happen because another tooth blocks it, or it grows in crookedly. The third molar typically erupts from age 17 to 21 and is the last tooth to appear, which is why it's the most likely tooth to become impacted - there's usually no room left for it.
Although an impacted tooth does not always lead to pain or discomfort, the impaction can cause other problems. A partially erupted tooth can create an opening in the gum where food and other particles can accumulate, leading to gum infection. Impacted teeth can also develop tooth decay, and they can also push on adjacent teeth, causing all your teeth to shift.
For these reasons, it's usually recommended to have wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 21. The younger you are the better (and faster) the surrounding tissue and bone will heal. That doesn't mean you should ignore the symptoms if you're over 21, though.
No matter what age you are, if an impacted tooth is causing you pain, soreness, sensitivity or inflammation, come in for a visit. Better to get treatment than unnecessarily endure pain and discomfort!
Persistent pain or an infection usually means the tooth will need to be removed. Sometimes this can be done right in the office. Otherwise, we can give you a referral to a recommended oral surgeon.
|Posted on September 8, 2019 at 1:37 AM||comments (0)|
When you have tightness or tension in your jaw, it can be uncomfortable to say the least. You could be experiencing pain in your neck and throat as well as your jaw. You could also have trouble opening your mouth all the way, or it may even be impossible for you to do this. You may even have symptoms that don’t appear to have anything to do with your jaw, including headaches or ear infections. What does all this mean? Here are the top three things your jaw tightness and tension may be pointing to!
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
You’ve likely heard of TMJ disorders, where a misalignment, trauma, or incorrect bite could result in jaw pain and odd sounds. People often experience clicking or popping noises when opening and closing their mouth in addition to headaches, jaw tightness, and even teeth grinding as a result of these conditions.
These disorders can be very uncomfortable, but fortunately, your dentist may be able to help! Talk to your dentist about any jaw pain including any tension or tightness that you’re experiencing. He or she can perform a simple jaw exam to determine if your bite or your temporomandibular joint could be the problem.
Stress or Anxiety
Many people are taught to keep their emotions to themselves and deal with feelings such as anxiety or stress inwardly. This can lead to tension throughout the body, and you may experience this tension in your jaw muscles. When you’re under pressure or feeling stressed out, you may tighten your jaw in response to these stressors, leading to jaw tightness and tension.
There are other ways to handle stress and anxiety rather than placing the pressure on your jaw or your muscles. This type of tension could lead to dull headaches or even intense migraines and can worsen your existing stress. Talk to your doctor or your dentist about healthy habits for handling stress rather than taking that tension in your jaw!
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Do you know if you grind your teeth? Teeth grinding is a common habit that many people aren’t aware they have. Whether you grind your teeth in times of stress or even while sleeping, this could be the sneaky culprit behind your jaw tightness and tension. Bruxism is the technical name for teeth grinding, and bruxism can be extremely damaging to your teeth and put immense pressure on your jaw.
If you grind your teeth at night, you may wake up with jaw pain, a dull headache, or even sore teeth and gums. Since bruxism puts so much pressure on your teeth, this can lead to chips and fractures, enamel erosion, and inflammation, all of which can increase your risk for tooth loss over time. Talk to your dentist about bruxism—he or she can perform an exam and determine if you’re exhibiting signs of teeth grinding that can benefit from treatment.
You don’t have to live with jaw tightness and tension. These symptoms often point to a larger problem that can easily be addressed with your dentist. No one should have to live with pain, so talk to your dentist about your jaw aches and tension to see what’s causing it. There is treatment for bruxism, stress, and TMJ disorders!
|Posted on April 26, 2019 at 5:31 PM||comments (3)|
It's never fun to hear the words "root canal" coming out of your dentist's mouth. But if you've recently been diagnosed as needing a root canal treatment, it may be comforting to know that you're not alone. Like you, it's estimated that about half of the adult population in the U.S. will need a root canal treatment by the age of 50.The good news is if you don't smoke you can avoid increasing your chances of needing a root canal. If you do smoke, you may be surprised to learn about the recent dental health findings at Boston University's Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Studies there revealed that your gender, how much you smoke and how long you've been smoking can significantly multiply your need for root canal treatment.
Are Men More Vulnerable? Poets, musicians and humorists have long opined the differences between men and women. How the sexes are dissimilar will always be hotly debated, but one thing is certain: Men and women are distinctly different when it comes to dental health. A survey revealed that men of all ages are more likely than women to develop cavities, periodontal disease and oral cancer; smoking puts men at twice the risk over women. Smoking also doubles the need for root canals in men. " Our study has shown that men have almost twice the risk of having root canal treatments if they smoke cigarettes, compared to men who never smoke," said Elizabeth Krall Kaye, author of the Boston University study and professor in the department of health policy and health services. So does that mean women are in the clear? Not really, says Kaye. Historically, women haven't smoked as long or as much per day as men but Kaye believes that the risk associated with smoking and root canals still applies. Why smoking makes men and women more susceptible to dental problems that require root canal treatment is still somewhat of a mystery. Kaye and her associates think the answers lie in what smoking does to your overall health: It affects your ability to ward off infection, increases inflammation and damages your circulation system.
Why Time Matters. If you recently picked up the habit of smoking, you may be at lower risk for root canals -- but don't let that fool you into thinking you're safe. The likelihood that a "newbie" smoker will need a root canal is still 20 percent greater than a non-smoker. Smoking for 4-12 years doubles the risk. But the most vulnerable are long-time smokers or anyone who has smoked for 12 or more years; the chances of needing a root canal then jumps to a whopping 120 percent more than non-smokers! Fortunately, you can greatly reduce your need for root canals by quitting cigarette smoking and staying smoke-free. In fact, if you stay smoke-free for at least nine years, your chances of needing a root canal treatment can drop as low as a non-smoker's.
Rely on Your Dentist. It's important to remember that your dentist is the one person who can help you maintain good oral health even if you smoke. So don't shy away from your dentist if you're a smoker; dentists want to help you, not judge you. With regular dental visits and dental cleanings, your dentist can monitor your dental health and help alleviate some of the consequences of smoking. Even better, if you need help quitting, your dentist is a great person to turn to for advice. Your dentist will be able to provide smoking cessation products such as nicotine patches or can help refer you to effective smoking cessation programs or clinics.
|Posted on November 24, 2018 at 11:41 PM||comments (4)|
|Posted on November 11, 2018 at 12:37 AM||comments (0)|
If you're like most seniors, you know that some changes to your body are a normal part of the aging process and others aren't. The same applies to your dental health. That's right, the health of your teeth matters as you age, too! So it's easy to understand why you might be wondering what changes are normal and what might signal something more serious.
What to Expect The natural process of aging takes its toll on your teeth and mouth just as it does your body. Here are some common oral health changes seniors can anticipate:
Tooth Wear -- Chewing, cleaning and the normal processes of aging mean your teeth wear down over time. The wear is more advanced in seniors who suffer from bruxism.
Darker Tooth Color -- Aging dentin (the tooth's middle layer) holds stains easier than younger dentin, making your teeth appear slightly darker. Dental plaque, the sticky invisible film that accumulates on your teeth and traps stains, also builds up faster in seniors.
Gum Changes -- Aging gums naturally recede over time. As gum tissue moves up and away from teeth, the roots are exposed. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay and more sensitive to hot and cold.
Cavities -- Cavities around the root of the tooth are more common among seniors. Any tooth filling material you already have is also aging and can weaken or crack. Your tooth may also decay around the edges of the fillings, allowing bacteria to seep into your tooth and create new decay.
Cause for Concern Some changes to your teeth and gums aren't normal and shouldn't be overlooked. These symptoms could signal something more serious and are reason to talk to your dentist right away:
Tooth Loss -- Dental cavities and gum disease are the leading culprits of tooth loss in seniors, but neither is a normal part of aging. If your teeth and gums are healthy, there's no reason why your teeth should fall out. With good oral hygiene and regular professional care, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime.
Dry Mouth -- Many seniors experience a reduced flow of saliva, sometimes as a side effect of medical conditions, medications or medical treatment. The problem is that saliva is needed to lubricate the mouth, wash foods away and neutralize the acids produced by plaque. Left untreated, dry mouth can lead to tooth decay.
Bleeding Gums -- Experiencing bleeding gums when you brush is a sign of periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of tooth loss in seniors. But gum disease is not an inevitable result of aging; it's caused by the build up of plaque. Left untreated, gum disease is linked to other health concerns like arthritis and heart disease. If you think you have gingivitis or gum disease, see your dentist for gum disease treatment.
Mouth Pain -- Any lesion found on the tongue or anywhere in the mouth should be examined by a dentist. Such sores can signal gum disease or oral cancer. Seniors are at higher risk for oral cancer, especially smokers, heavy drinkers and those who've had a lot of exposure to ultraviolet light.
Regular dental visits can help detect and treat dental problems in the early stages and are just as important for seniors as for younger people. Simple self-help tips such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily are also important in combating the effects of aging. Talk to your dentist to find out how often you should come in for routine dental care.
|Posted on August 18, 2018 at 3:11 AM||comments (1)|
Regular tooth brushing and flossing are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The best way to insure that your child maintains good oral health through adulthood is to establish their oral hygiene routine early.
You can start teaching your child to floss when they are 2 or 3 years old. They will require supervision and assistance until they are about 8 years old, but establishing regular flossing habits will put them ahead of the dental health game as they grow up.
Flossing is important for removing the dental plaque trapped between teeth and along the gum line that a toothbrush cannot usually reach. Flossing should be performed at least once a day and should take about two minutes. Speak to your child's dentist for specific suggestions about how and when to begin teaching your child to floss.
Floss comes in many colors and flavors, so it is a good idea to let your child pick one that they like. By making flossing something exciting to look forward to, you will increase the chance that your child will maintain the habit.
Three Easy Steps to Help Your Child Floss
Step One. To begin flossing, have your child cut off a piece of floss approximately 18 inches long.
Step Two. Have them wrap the ends around their middle or index fingers on both hands.
Step Three. Next, have them gently guide the floss between their teeth, carefully moving the floss around the tooth and under the gum line. Make sure they floss between the gum line and the side of each tooth.
Your dentist may also suggest that you use a prethreaded flosser or floss holder to make it easier for your child to maneuver floss around teeth. If you have any questions about your child's dental care habits, talk to your dentist today.
|Posted on June 3, 2018 at 12:55 AM||comments (5)|
You may think that as an adult you don't have to worry about cavities anymore -- but dental cavities aren't just child's play!
As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were actually getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay.
Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems -- the wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.
Your grandparents could probably tell you that, in their youth, most senior citizens had missing teeth. Many lost their teeth to dental disease, and a tooth extraction was a common treatment for dental problems.
With current dental technology, we're relying less on old-fashioned dentistry and more on modern dental procedures to restore our smiles. That's great news to seniors, who are keeping their teeth longer. Now for the bad news -- anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.
The Risk Factors
Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities:
Lack of Fluoride -- Most of our nation's seniors didn't have the benefits of community water fluoridation while growing up. And with the popularity of bottled water today, seniors may still not be getting the fluoride they need. Fluoride strengthens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay.
Arthritis -- Those who suffer from arthritis, or other medical conditions, may have a hard time gripping a toothbrush or floss, making it difficult to practice daily oral hygiene.
Gum Disease -- Over 95% of seniors have receding gums, exposing the roots of teeth and making them vulnerable to the same dental diseases that affect the tooth's crown. Root decay is becoming much more common among seniors.
Dry Mouth -- Dry mouth is often a side effect of medications or health problems often associated with seniors. Saliva is needed to wash away food particles and neutralize the acid that promotes tooth decay. When our mouths are dry, our teeth become more susceptible to cavities.
Diet -- Aging may cause our diet to change. Seniors often lean towards softer foods, which don't always have the nutrients you need for healthy teeth. A diet heavy in carbohydrates and sugar also contributes to dental cavities.
Assisted Living -- Although assisted living centers are designed to help our loved ones get the care they need, oral hygiene may fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, a lack of individual attention may keep seniors from maintaining their smiles.
Finances -- When on a fixed income, oral health care may not be a priority. Some seniors can't afford to pay for dental products or professional dental care.
Look Grandma -- No Dental Cavities!
There are several ways seniors can improve their chances of staying dental cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. If you aren't getting enough fluoride, try using fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth.
For seniors with dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, you can even try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either -- floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine.
Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are necessary to maintain their oral health. Dentists use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including gum disease, root decay and oral cancer. If a senior you know is living in a nursing home, arrange for them to receive oral care and continue with their dental appointments. If transporting them to the dental office is impossible, try finding a dentist who can arrange in-house care at their facility.
Now that you have the chance to keep your teeth for a lifetime, you should take advantage of it. Taking the right steps to maintain your smile will help you remain cavity-free, so you can truly experience what your golden years have to offer!
|Posted on April 19, 2018 at 2:06 AM||comments (11)|