Friday, January 26, 2018

Saliva: Oral Health’s MVP

                                       
SALIVA IS SUCH an ordinary thing that you probably haven’t given it much thought, but it’s actually as important to the healthy function of our mouths as oil is to a working car engine. Saliva is an essential component of our ability to eat, taste our favorite foods, and speak, it’s crucial to a healthy immune system, and it’s our first line of defense against many oral health problems.

Saliva Production And Stages

In a healthy mouth, saliva is produced continuously by the salivary glands, which are located under our tongues and in our cheeks. These glands produce between two and six cups of saliva every day! Saliva is 98-99 percent water, and the rest consists of proteins, digestive enzymes, antimicrobial factors, and electrolytes.
Depending on where food is in the digestive process, saliva goes through a few different stages: cephalic, buccal, oesophageal, gastric, and intestinal. When you smell something delicious and your mouth waters, that’s the cephalic stage! Actually eating moves it to the buccal stage, which helps us swallow food. The oesophageal stage helps move swallowed food down the esophagus.
The last two stages are less pleasant, but still important. If you’re about to throw up, your salivary glands work overtime in the gastric stage so that the stomach acid won’t do as much damage when it comes up and out with the partially digested food. The intestinal stage is similar, activating when the body doesn’t agree with food that reaches the upper intestine.

Saliva And Oral Health

There are many reasons we have saliva, but the most important role it plays for your teeth is keeping your mouth’s pH balancedand flushing away remnants of food to keep everything clean. Eating food tends to make our mouths more acidic, and even though the enamel on our teeth is the hardest substance in our bodies, it only takes a pH of 5.5 to start dissolving it. Many of the foods we eat are far more acidic than that, which makes saliva critical in protecting our teeth.
The antimicrobial factors in saliva also fight bacteria, protecting us against gum disease and bad breath. Growth factors in saliva are why injuries in your mouth (like a burned tongue or a bitten cheek) heal faster than injuries elsewhere on the body. And those are just the benefits to oral health, but saliva does much more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYudf5iSJ_M


When The Spit Runs Dry…

All of these benefits are why dry mouth is such a serious problem. It can happen for a number of reasons. Our mouths tend to go dry in stressful situations. We also tend to produce less saliva in old age. Drug use, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all cause dry mouth as well. Unfortunately, many prescription medications cause dry mouth as a side effect.

Let’s Get That Mouth Watering!

If you’ve been experiencing dry mouth for any reason, schedule an appointment with us. We can discover the cause and get that saliva flowing again so that you won’t miss out on any of its great health benefits!

Thank you for trusting in our practice!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dental Sealants Have Our Seal Of Approval

                               

AS PARENTS,
 our children’s well-being is always our top priority, and their dental health is a big part of that. It’s important to take good care of their baby teeth, of course, but what can we do to ensure that their permanent teeth get off to a good start?

A Child’s Risk Of Tooth Decay

Did you know that 40 percent of children will develop cavities by the time they reach kindergarten? Poor oral hygiene habits and sugary snacks can result in severe tooth decay in baby teeth, and genetics sometimes contribute to the problem as well.
https://youtu.be/r3KLG7WQHE0
As important as baby teeth are, it’s even more crucial to protect incoming adult teeth from decay, because those are the final set of teeth your child will have, and you want them to stay healthy and strong for a lifetime. One way of ensuring that a child has a lower risk for tooth decay is applying dental sealants to the permanent molars.

Dental Sealants Protect Hard-to-Reach Areas

Most of us have deep valleys and crevices between the peaks of our molars. Those can be very difficult spots to keep clean, and decay-causing bacteria thrive there. That’s where a dental sealant material comes in. Dental sealants serve as a barrier against bacteria and food particles in those deep molar crevices. It doesn’t make up for slacking off in the brushing and flossing department, but it does make adult teeth far more resilient against decay.
The ideal time for your child to get dental sealants is shortly after their adult molars erupt, which usually begins around age six. The sooner the sealants are in place, the less of an opportunity bacteria have of setting up shop in those hard-to-brush crevices.

Sealant Application Is Simple

Applying the sealant to teeth is simple, quick, noninvasive, and painless. First, the teeth are carefully brushed and cleaned. Then they are blown dry before being painted with special gel. The clear plastic coating is applied to the deeper grooves of the biting surface of the molars next. In order to cure or harden this coating, we use a special light. Sealants can last from five to ten years, and we make sure to keep an eye on them whenever your child comes in for a dental check-up.

Sealants Are Only One Part Of The Equation

Never forget that sealants are only part of the dental health equation for any child. It’s also crucial to encourage good daily brushing and flossing habits. A healthy diet–specifically, one in which sugary treats, sodas, and fruit juices are rare–will make it harder for tooth decay to encroach as well. And, of course, bringing your child in for regular dental appointments will enable us to spot problems early on and make sure everything is on track.

We’re in the business of protecting your child’s smile!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Bare Bones of Gum Recession

NO ONE LOOKS FORWARD to getting “long in the tooth” because of gum recession.
 Gum recession is simply such a gradual process that it can take decades before the effects are noticeable.

Not All Gum Recession Is Avoidable

There are many contributing factors to gum recession, and some unfortunately include genetics. Some people simply have fragile gums or don’t have enough jaw bone covering the front of the roots of their teeth to support gums up to the crowns. The good news is that many of the other contributing factors can be controlled, and even if you’re predisposed to gum recession, there are ways to minimize it.

Bruxism Versus Your Gums

Chronic teeth-grinding, or bruxism, causes a whole host of problems for your oral health, and one of them is increasing your risk for gum recession. All that grinding puts too much pressure on the gums, so they begin to retreat. Bruxism can be a difficult habit to break, especially if you’re doing it in your sleep, but you can minimize the damage to the jaw bones, gums, and teeth by using a mouth guard.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWYDBl29qxo

Overbrushing Damages Gum Tissue

It might sound counterintuitive, but you can actually brush your teeth too much. Or, at least, too hard. Brushing teeth isn’t like scrubbing the grime out of tile grout; gums are not built to withstand the abrasive assault of hard-bristled brushes (and neither is the enamel on our teeth). Soft bristles are actually ideal for scrubbing away plaque and massaging the gums without damaging them. The same principle applies to flossing; you should definitely floss once a day, but go easy on those gums.

Tartar Buildup And Gum Disease

When plaque isn’t removed by brushing and flossing, it will eventually harden into tartar, which can only be removed by dental professionals. This means that the longer you go without a routine dental cleaning, the more tartar builds up along your gum lines, which puts you at risk for gum disease. Speaking of which…
In the early stages of gum disease, also called gingivitis, the health of your jaw bones is not yet at risk, which is good for avoiding gum recession. If your gums are tender, swollen, and bleed easily, it’s likely gingivitis. You can combat it with healthy brushing and flossing habits, but it’s also wise to bring the problem to us.
If untreated, gingivitis advances to become periodontitis. This is when gums start pulling away from the teeth and the integrity of the jaw bones is compromised. There are many risk factors for gum disease, including smoking, hormonal changes (like during pregnancy), diabetes, and dry mouth as a side effect of medications. At this point, better oral hygiene habits aren’t enough and professional treatment is absolutely necessary.

Help Us Help You Keep Those Gums Healthy!

If you’re worried about the structure and health of your gums, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us! We can help you get your gum health back on track and discuss treatment options.

We’re rooting for you!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

To be an effective and long-lasting solution to missing teeth, dental implants are recommended to patients who meet certain criteria. The good news is that many patients qualify for this procedure, whether immediately or after pre-treatment from our team.

While our dentists determine if you are well suited for the procedure at your consultation, we have created this guide to help patients understand what contributes to predictable treatment and how they can become eligible for this procedure with our help.

Best Bodily Health Supports Implant Success

The following are highly important for dental implant placement and successful restoration of implants with prosthetics:

• Healthy gums
• Sufficient bone density
• Overall physical health

During your evaluation, our dentists collect information about medical health and current dental conditions to decide if you are ready for implants.  Patients who are heavy smokers should commit to quitting and those with medical conditions, like diabetes, should ensure they are managing their health to see best results with implants.

Dental health and whole-body wellness are closely connected, which is why patients who are mindful of their varying medical needs see the best possible outcomes with these permanent teeth replacements.

How to Become a Good Candidate for Implant Treatment

If our dentists determine that soft tissue health and bone density require improvements before dental placement surgery, pre-treatments can be provided to bolster your health.  In cases of periodontitis, gum disease procedures are performed to create the necessary support and aesthetic for a restored smile.

If bone resorption has affected your jaw, bone grafting may be necessary to ensure jaw structure will allow the implant to bond with surrounding tissue. Dental implants placed into an area with dense, healthy bone are highly likely to successfully integrate and remain stable for a lifetime. 
These pretreatments are common and help our dentists create the most predictable results possible for patients with missing or failing teeth.

Ask our Implant Dentists if You Qualify!

There are plenty of ways to ensure you get the treatment you need with implants. Our dentists work side-by-side with patients to improve their oral health standing and promote lasting results with implant dentistry. Contact Twelve Bridges Dental to learn more about what makes an excellent candidate for implants and how you can improve your dental health to qualify for this procedure.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Preventive Dental Health


Oral Health Review!

Use the quiz below to test your family’s knowledge of oral hygiene best practices. Instilling the importance of routine brushing and flossing not only helps young patients keep their teeth strong, but reduces risk of issues adults typically experience, such as periodontitis.

How Healthy is Your Smile?

Adults typically have all 32 teeth in place by the time they are in their teens.  However, sometimes wisdom teeth are still coming through in the early twenties.  A healthy mouth consists of:

• 8 incisors
• 4 canines      
• 8 premolars
• 8 molars (not including the 4 wisdom teeth)

A healthy smile also includes vital soft tissue and comfortable dental function. Gum inflammation, persistent bad breath, or tooth aches are symptoms of infection and should be addressed promptly.

Dental Health Best Practices

Brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle in a circular motion for two minutes, twice a day is the most effective way to prevent cavities. It’s recommended that adult patients use a fluoride toothpaste and floss at bedtime. Your diet choices also play into enjoying a healthy smile. Avoid excessive sugary sweets and sodas – even diet soda causes cavities, as it is highly acidic.

Even with excellent preventive habits, damage to teeth can still occur by accident. In the event of dental emergency, where a tooth is accidentally knocked out or broken, find and gently rinse the tooth or pieces. Avoid touching the root of the tooth, as important tissues may be attached. Try to reinsert the tooth in its socket, making sure it is facing the correct way. If that is not possible, put the tooth or broken pieces in milk or else in water with a pinch of salt. Call our office and we will do our best to see you as soon as possible.

Test Your Knowledge!

Ask yourself the basic questions below, or quiz members of your family to see determine your dental IQ. If you miss any or have questions about the best way to care for your smile, call our office to schedule your next routine cleaning.

1. In what direction or with what motion should you brush your teeth?
2. How many teeth does a typical adult have?
3. What are the different types of teeth?
4. How many of each type do we have?
5. At what angle should the toothbrush be held?
6. Do diet sodas cause cavities?
7. How often should people brush and floss?
8. How long should people brush?
9. What should you do if your tooth is accidentally knocked out?
10. After proper hygiene, what is the most important thing to do to keep your mouth and teeth healthy?

Answers:

1. It’s best to brush in a circular motion.
2. 32
3. Incisors, canines, premolars, and molars
4. 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars (including 4 wisdom teeth)
5. You should hold your brush at a 45-degree angle.
6. Yes the acidic nature of any soda causes extensive tooth damage.
7. Brush twice a day at morning and night.  Floss once a day, preferably at bedtime.
8. Teeth should be brushed for at least two minutes
9. Put the tooth or broken piece in milk (or water with a pinch of salt) and call Dr. Phony immediately!
10. See us twice a year for regular exams and cleanings

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

4 Ways to Prevent Dental Emergencies


It’s hard to predict when an emergency dental concern will occur, but there are some emergency oral health problems that can be avoided with proper care. Check out our list of preventive care tips that will help you avoid discomfort associated with emergency oral health issues:

1.) Wear a mouth guard while playing sports – In any environment where you wear protective gear to save your body from injury, your oral health should be considered as well. You can prevent cracked, chipped, and even knocked-out teeth by wearing a mouth guard. Drs. Raj and Insiya Zanzi can provide patients with custom-made mouth guards that are designed to fit the unique shape of your smile. These guards are instrumental in saving your teeth during high-impact sports. 

2.) Practice good oral hygiene – Sudden tooth aches and discomfort related to damaged teeth can be avoided by taking care of your teeth at home. It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. You should also floss regularly to clean debris and harmful bacteria from between teeth, an area where your toothbrush alone has a hard time reaching. 

3.) Stick to after-treatment instructions following dental care – If you have recently visited a dentist and received treatment, it’s important to follow any after-care instructions you are given. In general, you’ll need to keep the treatment site clean and avoid disturbing the area as much as possible. In most cases, certain foods – such as anything hard or sticky – should be avoided in order to ensure that teeth and tissues are allowed to properly heal, and that your dental work is not damaged.

4.) Keep up regular dental appointments – The best way to avoid dental problems is to keep a schedule of dental visits for regular cleanings. This way, your dentist can spot problem areas before they turn into serious oral health issues.

For more information on routine preventive dental care for protecting your oral health, schedule an appointment at our office. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, it’s important to seek treatment immediately to avoid complications. Contact Twelve Bridges Dental for emergency dentistry in Roseville, CA. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 Myths About Invisalign®


                                                       

If you’re looking into straightening your teeth with orthodontic treatment, you might find that clear aligner therapy is the preferred choice for many teens and adults. But you’ll likely also find some myths about clear aligner therapy for treating crooked or gapped teeth.  We bust some of the most popular myths about Invisalign® below:

1.) Clear Braces Stain – Clear braces is a general term that can encompass clear aligner therapy, or more traditional braces that use tooth-colored brackets and wires to reduce visibility. Because brackets are bonded to your teeth, these clear braces are exposed to highly-pigmented food and drink and can therefore stain. Invisalign®, however, does not use brackets and wires and is removable. Invisalign® should be taken out during meal times and therefore has a significantly reduced chance of staining. Your clear aligner trays are also swapped out every two weeks, so you periodically receive a fresh aligner throughout the course of treatment, and do not have to worry about discoloration. Your aligners can also be brushed and rinsed to avoid any negative effects from food and drink.

2.) Invisalign® is Expensive - The national average cost of braces is the same as the cost of Invisalign®. While only your dentist and your insurance provider can give you final numbers for cost and coverage, Invisalign® is comparable to the cost of traditional metal braces.

3.) I Have Extensive Orthodontic Issues and Invisalign® Won’t Work for Me – Invisalign® can be used to treat the same variety of dental issues as regular braces. With help from a skilled dentist, Invisalign® can treat both complex and minor instances of crowding, gapping, and bite problems. Drs. Zanzi have over 10 years of experiencing caring for dental patients and can map out an effective treatment plan for addressing oral health issues with Invisalign®

4.) Clear Braces are Just for Teens – The benefit of getting dental treatment that is subtle and convenient is perfect for anyone who is worried about standing out for the wrong reasons. No matter what your age, Invisalign® can work for you.

5.) Treatment with Invisalign® is Faster / Slower than Braces – Moving teeth with gentle pressure takes the same amount of time, no matter what orthodontic treatment you choose. The average length of treatment with Invisalign® is 12-14 months. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the severity of your oral health concerns will affect the length of your treatment plan.

To learn more about getting a straighter smile with Invisalign®, contact Drs. Raj and Insiya Zanzi at Twelve Bridges Dental Group.