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Palo Alto, CA
2290 Birch St, Ste A, Palo Alto, CA 94306.
(650) 503-6777
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Redwood City, CA
81 Birch Street, Redwood City, CA 94062.
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Santa Clara, CA
1394 Franklin St, Santa Clara, CA 95050.
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Signs and Symptoms You Need your Wisdom Teeth Removed

The dental development journey is marked by milestones that evoke excitement for many, such as the shedding of baby teeth to make way for the emergence of adult ones. However, for teenagers and young adults, the narrative takes a different turn as they encounter the phenomenon of wisdom teeth

Unlike the joy of earlier dental transitions, the emergence of these third molars often brings challenges. Overcrowding and misaligned growth angles frequently lead to discomfort and potential dental complications. This predicament has driven many individuals to undergo wisdom tooth extraction in Redwood City each year.  

What are Wisdom Teeth? 

Wisdom teeth, scientifically known as third molars, are an additional set of large grinding teeth that emerge at the back of the mouth, both on the upper and lower jaw. This typically occurs during a person’s late teenage years or early twenties (15 – 20 years), a phase that coincides with a greater level of maturity – hence the term “wisdom teeth.” 

These teeth have garnered attention due to the potential oral health issues they can introduce. Given their location at the back of the mouth and the relatively limited space available, they often struggle to emerge fully and properly align with the existing teeth. This misalignment can lead to problems such as overcrowding, impaction (when a tooth doesn’t fully emerge), and even pain. As a result, many dentists in Redwood City advocate for their removal during the early stages of adulthood.

Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Needs Removal 


If you find yourself grappling with discomfort in the back of your mouth, the cause could be your wisdom teeth. Occasionally, this discomfort arises from the gradual eruption of your wisdom tooth. The pain might be intermittent, waxing and waning until the tooth is fully exposed above the gumline.

Additionally, wisdom teeth often present a notable challenge when it comes to maintenance. Positioned at the back of the mouth, they are considerably more difficult to clean, rendering them vulnerable to potential infection and the development of cavities. 

Bleeding and Inflammation 

The eruption of wisdom teeth can also lead to inflammation and mild bleeding. You might observe that your gums take on a slightly redder tone and exhibit a hint of swelling, potentially causing discomfort during brushing or eating. Should you notice a faintly pinkish tint to your saliva, this often serves as an indicator of minor bleeding, and you should see a top dentist in Redwood City immediately. 

Jaw Issues 

Due to their location near the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth can also trigger discomfort beyond the oral cavity. It’s relatively common to experience headaches, earaches, and sensations of stiffness or discomfort in the jaw, particularly while speaking or chewing. If you encounter these symptoms, schedule a dental appointment with your dentist. The root cause could be your wisdom teeth exerting excessive pressure on your jaw, warranting timely attention.

Tooth Alignment Issues

An often observed sign of the emergence of wisdom teeth is overcrowding. Even if there isn’t sufficient space within the mouth for wisdom teeth to surface, they persist in attempting to break through the jaw. This determination can lead to adjacent teeth being pushed closer together, ultimately causing alignment issues.

Obviously, some discomfort will arise as your teeth try to adjust and accommodate the incoming wisdom teeth. The most effective solution to prevent this misalignment is removing troublesome wisdom teeth.

In certain scenarios, your Redwood City dentist can predict potential alignment problems even before the wisdom teeth start emerging and can extract them as a preventative measure. 

Unexplained Sinus Problems

While it might seem odd, the connection between your teeth and sinus function is noteworthy. When wisdom teeth develop in the upper jaw, they can cause irritation to the sinuses. This occurs when the upper wisdom teeth exert pressure and friction against the sensitive sinus areas, giving rise to recurrent sinus issues.

Common symptoms include sinus headaches, sinus congestion, and a sensation of sinus pressure. If sinus issues persist, get your mouth examined by your Redwood City dentist. 

Oral Cysts

The concept of cysts might be puzzling. Essentially, they are small sacs containing fluid that can develop on the jawbone or along the gum line. When wisdom teeth emerge, their impaction can trigger the formation of oral cysts surrounding them.

Pain along the jaw or gum line is a telltale indicator of these cysts. They might not be easily detectable or visible, often growing beneath the skin or occasionally becoming visible at the back of the mouth.

Timely attention to any form of mouth discomfort is crucial, as an untreated oral cyst can potentially escalate into an infection affecting the jawbone or gum line.

Halitosis Concerns

Irrespective of your perfect oral hygiene practices, the emergence of wisdom teeth can give rise to episodes of bad breath. The reason behind this phenomenon lies in the challenging-to-reach locations at the back of the mouth where these teeth grow. As a consequence, bacteria tend to accumulate and thrive in these regions, leading to the onset of bad breath.

While your efforts to thoroughly clean the back of your mouth are commendable, eliminating all bacteria that accumulate when wisdom teeth come in is often impractical.

Need Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Redwood City?

Should you recognize any of the above signs, it might be time to consider wisdom tooth extraction. Reach out to your dentist in Redwood City at your earliest convenience. They will assess whether you need wisdom teeth removal and gladly address any questions or concerns you might have. Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure conducted under local anesthesia, and patients usually recover within a few days. 

Five Oral Health Care Tips you Should Keep in Mind during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time for expecting mothers, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is dental care, which is often overlooked. However, as your Palo Alto dentist will tell you, dental care during pregnancy is crucial for you and the baby. In this article, we will discuss five dental care tips that you should keep in mind when expecting.

1. Brush and floss daily 

Pregnancy can increase your risk of developing dental health issues like gingivitis (a form of gum disease). Actually, almost 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis. Usually, this condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis. 

With this condition, the germs that attack your gums might enter your bloodstream and put the pregnancy at risk. Some of the early warning signs of gingivitis include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sensitive gums and teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Redness and swelling
  • Loose teeth

What can you do to prevent gingivitis? Regular brushing and flossing are always encouraged for good oral health; however, it is even more crucial when pregnant. 

Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day gets rid of the food particles and germs between your teeth and prevents them from turning into plaque – a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth.

If you suspect you have gingivitis, visit the best oral dentist in Palo Alto sooner rather than later. If left unattended, this gum disease can turn into periodontitis, a more serious issue that damages the soft tissue around your teeth. 

2. Pay Attention to Your Diet

What you eat when expecting can affect your oral health as well. A balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Also, increase your daily intake of calcium. Adequate calcium intake minimizes your risk of osteoporosis, ensures your teeth remain healthy, and helps your baby grow strong teeth and bones too. 

It is also essential to stay hydrated during pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mouth moist and prevent dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral health problems.

On the other hand, foods high in sugar and starch can cause tooth decay and should be limited or avoided. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugars and produce acids that can damage the enamel. Over time, this can lead to cavities and other oral health problems. It’s important to remember that sugar is not just found in sweets and desserts. It’s also present in many processed foods like sodas, sports drinks, and even some types of bread.

3. Protect your Teeth from Morning Sickness. 

A lot of women go through morning sickness in the first trimester of their pregnancy, and in some cases, it can persist into the second trimester as well, albeit less commonly. Morning sickness results from significant hormonal changes and often causes frequent vomiting. The acid in vomit can harm teeth and lead to tooth decay if not dealt with promptly. To counteract this, rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda a couple of times daily. This will neutralize the acid and protect your teeth from damage. Moreover, baking soda can also eliminate the sour taste that often accompanies vomiting.

4. Honor Dentist Appointments

There is no better way to maintain oral health than visiting the best family dentist in Palo Alto. Your dentist can detect problems early and recommend the best treatment. So never hesitate to visit a dental clinic just because you are expecting. In fact, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it is completely safe to get dental check-ups and treatment when pregnant. 

That said, it is advisable to inform your dentist about your pregnancy before any procedures are performed. If possible, it is best to schedule any elective dental procedures during the second trimester when the risk of pregnancy complications is low.

5. Avoid Smoking 

Smoking can have a negative effect on your dental health, and it is especially harmful during pregnancy. Smoking can increase the risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.

If you smoke, it is essential to quit during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider for guidance and support on this.


By following these five tips, you are sure to have healthy teeth and gums and prevent any potential complications during pregnancy. But the most important advice you can take during this time is this – always honor your dental appointments. Preventive care appointments are more crucial now than ever.

What is Lateral Periodontal Cyst, and How to get rid of it?

When talking about teeth-related issues or diseases, people usually lament about tooth sensitivity, cavities, gum disease, and cracked teeth. However, there are a lot of other problems a person can encounter when it comes to oral health. 

One of those rare or “obscure” conditions is Lateral Periodontal Cyst (LPC). In this post, we explore what an LPC is, its causes, and how to get rid of it. 

What is Lateral Periodontal Cyst? 

LPCs are non-inflammatory and non-keratinized cysts of developmental origin found lateral to the root of a vital tooth. Usually, it is asymptomatic and might be spotted on a routine radiographic examination. 

Standish and Shafer reported the first case of Lateral Periodontal Cyst in 1958, and later in the same years, Holder and Kunkel followed suit. Since then, there have been hundreds of well-documented LPC cases in the dental literature. 

Causes of LPC

So why do they arise? The exact cause of the lateral periodontal cyst is still unknown. However, some theories suggest that it may develop as a result of an inflammatory process or an odontogenic epithelial rest that is present in the periodontal ligament.

Here are some other possible causes or factors that may contribute to the development of LPC:

  • Trauma: Trauma to the affected area may cause a focal inflammatory response that could lead to the development of the cyst.
  • Infection: An infection in the periodontal ligament may also trigger the formation of an LPC.
  • Developmental defect: LPCs may also result from a developmental defect in the dental tissues. LPC can occur accidentally as a tooth erupts due to flaws in tooth formation.
  • Accumulation of pus: LPC can also develop due to the buildup of pus in the gums. 
  • Genetic factors: Some genetic factors may make some people more susceptible to developing LPCs.
  • Age: LPCs tend to occur more frequently in adults over the age of 52.

Signs and symptoms of LPC

LPCs are usually painless but can cause tenderness and swelling in the affected area. 

Observable clinical signs of a lateral periodontal cyst include soft-tissue swelling within or just below the interdental papilla

On radiographs, the LPC comes out as a well-defined oval, round, or somewhat tear-drop shape. In rare instances, possible implications include loss of lamina dura, loss of enamel and dentine of bordering teeth, and enlargement of the periodontal ligament space. 

Under the microscope, the Lateral Periodontal Cyst appears as a cystic activity with an extremely thin layer of epithelium around its margin and supported by connective tissue. Mostly, no inflammatory cells are present; however, in some rare cases, the fibrous capsule may exhibit slight inflammation. Lastly, numerous transparent cells rich in glycogen might be present in plaques or the epithelium layers. 

Diagnosis of LPC

The diagnosis of an LPC is necessary when the cyst location is confined to the anterior maxillary tooth roots, the periodontal segment of the tooth, or around mandibular premolar roots. 

The diagnosis is predominantly based on radiographic findings. Histopathological studies and analysis are employed to differentiate between LPC and other cysts resulting from inflammatory causes or potential keratocystic odontogenic tumours. Once a confirmed diagnosis is established, treatment is carefully planned and administered to prevent the recurrence of the lesion.

Treatment: Getting rid of it

Fortunately, in most cases, LPC is relatively harmless. However, if the cyst grows to the extent that it makes life uncomfortable for you or begins threatening the adjacent tissues, then treatment is necessary. 

This is where oral surgeons in Palo Alto come in handy as the cyst is removed surgically.

The surgical removal of a lateral periodontal cyst (LPC) involves the following steps:

  1. Anesthesia: The first step is to administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the cyst and the affected tooth. 
  2. Incision: Once the area is numb, your oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue overlying the cyst. The size and shape of the incision will depend on the size and location of the cyst.
  3. Accessing the cyst: The surgeon will then use a small surgical instrument to carefully separate the surrounding gum tissue from the cyst to gain access. 
  4. Removal of the cyst: Your surgeon will use a surgical instrument to remove the entire LPC and any associated inflamed tissue. The cyst will be sent for histopathological examination to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any malignancy.
  5. Closure: Once the cyst has been removed, the surgeon will carefully clean the area and close the incision using sutures. Sometimes, a small drain may be placed to allow any excess fluid to drain from the surgical site.
  6. Post-operative care: You will be given instructions on how to care for the surgical site, including how to keep the area clean and avoid irritating the incision. Antibiotics and pain medication may also be prescribed as needed.

Follow-up: Lastly, you will be scheduled for follow-up appointments to monitor healing and ensure that the cyst does not recur. The follow-up frequency may vary depending on the individual case.

Prevention of LPC

Observing oral hygiene and seeing the best periodontists in Palo Alto at least bi-annually are significant steps in preventing LPC and other common dental diseases. Teeth that remain healthy rarely ever have cysts developing near or around them. 

Top 5 Ways To Practice Good Dental Hygiene For Life

Everyone loves a clean mouth. At Blue Turtle Dental, we are all about promoting healthy mouths. In our article, we discuss how you can have dental hygiene and keep it squeaky clean.

Why Is Dental Hygiene Important For Your Health? 

Your oral health is the window to your overall health

Poor dental hygiene can lead to inflamed and infected gums and eventually tooth decay and loss. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), around 75% of Americans have periodontal disease, which is linked to more serious illnesses.

Without proper dental hygiene, you are at risk of developing several oral and health conditions such as heart diseases, pregnancy complications, pneumonia, etc. On the reverse side, some health conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis can cause dental problems, which makes practicing dental hygiene even more crucial to reduce the risks. 

Dental Hygiene Tips For A Healthy Mouth  

Practicing oral hygiene and keeping it on track helps keep harmful bacteria at bay. At Blue Turtle Dental, we advocate a simple oral hygiene routine that you can include easily in your busy lifestyle. 

We only ask you to stay committed and consistent with our suggested dental hygiene regimen. It should take only a few minutes of your time each day. 

Here are our simple and effective dental hygiene tips. 

  1. Brush Twice Daily For Two Minutes 

Brushing your teeth is the most important prevention method for cavities, plaque, and gingivitis. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes, each using a soft-bristled toothbrush. 

Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for adults as well as for babies and toddlers by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.

If you’re using a manual toothbrush, tilt it at a 45-degree angle and brush gently to avoid damage to your enamel. Brush in soft circles inside, outside, top, bottom, and in between your teeth to remove bacteria and plaque. Also, brush your tongue to remove the harmful bacteria that can live there and cause bad breath. 

Electric brushes are better than manual brushes, as studies have proven. Electric brushes have indicators to help you know if you’re brushing too hard and for how long.

  1. Floss Daily 

Flossing is ideal to clean the ‘hard to reach’ places in your mouth, like in-between your teeth and up under your gum line. It removes the food particles and plaque buildup in those areas and prevents tooth decay, gum disease and formation of tartar

If you’re new to flossing or not regular with it, then you might notice that your gums may bleed. People think that it’s because they hurt themselves with flossing. This is a wrong assumption, as the bleeding results from inflammation and early gum disease. Continue to floss daily carefully and the bleeding should stop as your gum becomes less inflamed with time. But first, inform your dentist about your teeth bleeding after flossing for their advice to rule out the possibility of an underlying condition. 

The order of brushing and flossing doesn’t matter. The advantage of flossing first is that it allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to get in between your teeth better and keeps the enamel strong and free from decay. 

  1. Use A Mouthwash

Most people think using mouthwash is optional. But if you’re serious about your dental hygiene, then mouthwash is a must. 

Brushing and flossing help clean less than half of your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with an effective mouthwash can help eliminate harmful germs, plaque, and prevent gum disease. 

However, not all mouthwashes are the same. There are two distinct types

  • Cosmetic mouthwash:  This helps control bad breath but only temporarily. See a dentist for a permanent solution to bad breath.
  • Therapeutic mouthwash: This controls a variety of dental issues, such as bad breath, infection, decay, plaque, and gingivitis. This has a more lasting effect, compared to cosmetic mouthwash.

Depending on your condition, you can opt for any of the two kinds of mouthwash. We suggest using any good antimicrobial, non-alcohol-based mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

  1. Chew Sugar-free Gum 

Brushing more than twice a day can hurt your delicate enamel. To keep your teeth clean all day, a good idea is to chew sugar-free gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance for around 20 minutes, preferably after a meal. 

Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates the secretion of more saliva that helps rinse away bacteria from your mouth. It also spreads disease-fighting substances in your mouth.

However, be cautious, as excessive gum chewing can strain and damage your teeth and jaw. Those with alignment issues can be prone to muscular tension and pain.

  1. Get A Professional Dental Cleaning Done 

Using the above four hygiene steps daily can help keep your mouth healthy. But that isn’t enough.

Professional dental cleanup is a step up from your home dental hygiene regimen. There will still be areas in your mouth that are not effectively cleaned with brushing and flossing. 

A regular dental checkup starts with an examination that can detect an underlying dental issue. Regular checkups can lead to early diagnosis and treatment for any dental issue. It’s also an opportunity for you to discuss and clear any queries about your dental hygiene and any other underlying condition. Based on your responses, your dentist can help you with the right care for your teeth and gums. 

Visiting your oral dentist in Palo Alto is a mandatory step in your dental hygiene regimen.

Keep It Clean, Keep It Healthy

We need to take dental care and hygiene seriously by taking action daily. It doesn’t take much of your time daily. Also, it’s just 2 dental checkups in 365 days. 

That’s the least we can do for our health. If you’re due for your dental checkup, call us now to schedule an appointment.

Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article may be drawn up from multiple public health sources, including:

American Dental Association’s MouthHealthy.org

California Dental Association

American Dental Association’s Action for Dental Health

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention



Laser Dentistry

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis: What You Need to Know about Gum Health

You have probably heard the terms “Periodontitis” and “Gingivitis” before. They both refer to dental problems, but what precisely do they mean? In simple terms, they are stages of the same condition: gum disease. This post highlights the differences between gingivitis and periodontitis, their key symptoms, and how a Redwood City dentist can help address these oral conditions. 

Gingivitis: The first stage of gum disease

Gum disease is highly prevalent in the US. According to the CDC, 50% of adults age 30+ suffer from some level of gum disease. Most of these people likely have gingivitis, a typical and mild form of gum disease that leads to gum irritation, redness, and swelling. 

Gingivitis symptoms can be so subtle that many people are unaware they have them. But just because the symptoms you are experiencing are mild, it doesn’t mean you are safe. If not addressed early, gingivitis can turn out to be a serious form of oral disease.

The most prevalent cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Taking steps to keep your gums and teeth clean is the best prevention there is. Plaque can build up fast if you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, as advised by your dentist. In simple terms, plaque is usually a buildup of bacteria, food particles, and mucus on your teeth. When left unchecked for long, it will turn into tartar. Tartar is virtually impossible to remove without professional teeth cleaning and might cause tooth decay when left untreated.  

Besides poor oral health, several other things can lead to gingivitis. Medications, diabetes, tobacco use, poor nutrition, and hormonal changes are among the prevalent causes. 

Periodontitis: Advanced gum disease

Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that harms the soft tissue and may even tear down the bone that anchors your teeth. Periodontitis can easily cause tooth loss and has been associated with an increased risk of stroke or heart attack.  

Fortunately, periodontitis is preventable. Like gingivitis, it is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene. Thus, brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the best dentist in Redwood City bi-annually can help you avert the onset of periodontitis.

Symptoms of periodontitis may include loose teeth, bad breath, gums that pull away from your teeth, pus between teeth and gums, and swollen teeth. If you discern any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is advisable to see your Redwood City dentist immediately. There are measures that your dentist can take to prevent the spread of the disease. Therefore, the sooner you act, the better. 

The causes and risk factors of periodontitis are akin to those of gingivitis. But the results can be more serious. As we mentioned, asthma, poorly controlled diabetes, stroke, cancer, tooth loss, and other illnesses have been linked to periodontitis. Research has shown that the bacteria that cause periodontitis can enter your bloodstream, affecting the heart, lungs, and other body parts. 

Obviously, neither form of gum disease is better, but periodontitis is, without a doubt, worse than gingivitis. Prevention is encouraged when it comes to gum disease, and proper oral hygiene is the best bet. 

Treatment for gingivitis

You must pay attention to your oral care routine if gingivitis is detected. At least brush your teeth twice a day with a dentist-recommended toothpaste and floss at least once a day to get rid of debris and plaque from your teeth’s surfaces.

Also, avoid using tobacco, which can not only lead to gum disease but aggravate its symptoms. Compared to non-smokers, smokers have a twofold increased risk of developing gum disease. Lastly, the importance of a professional cleaning conducted by the best dentist in Redwood City cannot go unmentioned. 

Treatment for periodontitis

Treating periodontitis usually takes more time and expertise. For instance, you will want to consult a periodontist as they are better positioned to offer treatments linked to periodontitis. Some of the common treatments for periodontitis include: 

  • Scaling and root planing – A type of deep cleaning that gets rid of plaque and tartar developing above and below the gum line
  • Antibiotic therapy – Non-surgical procedure for healing oral infections following a deep cleaning
  • Gum grafting – Surgical procedure that entails replacing dead tissue via donated material.

The sooner your gum disease symptoms are addressed, the better!

Gum disease doesn’t just fade away with time, particularly in the case of periodontitis. Note that even a mild case of gingivitis must be carefully monitored by the dentist to stop it from aggravating into a severe issue. As for periodontitis, advanced dental care is necessary, as permanent damage can occur if the infection isn’t controlled on time. 

Remember, if you notice anything unusual with your teeth or gums, that’s enough reason to give your family dentist in Redwood City a call. 

Are You at Risk?

We’re all committed to excellent preventative oral care, and usually, that’s all it takes to keep patients smiling and healthy. But despite daily hygiene at home and regular visits to your Palo Alto dentist, outside factors in our lives can places us at special risk.

Because dental health has impacts on other aspects of our health, knowing if you’re at risk for dental disease is critical. Do any of the following risk factors apply to you?


It is extremely common for people to take medications, and many of them are completely safe in terms of dental side effects, but other side effects pose a real problem: dry mouth.

Dry mouth hurts oral health because saliva plays many important roles: it has antimicrobial effects, washes the mouth free of food debris and bacteria, and carries ions for remineralizing damaged enamel. When medications limit saliva, your mouth is very vulnerable to cavities and gum disease.

Dry mouth is often a side effect of medications used to treat:

  • depression and anxiety
  • cold medications like decongestants
  • allergy medications (antihistamines)
  • acne
  • high blood pressure
  • asthma
  • muscle relaxants
  • sedatives

This is by no means a complete list! If you take a medication, it is critical to know its side effects. If dry mouth is one of them, be sure to tell your Palo Alto dental clinic at your next visit.

Medical conditions

As if it isn’t bad enough that your medications that help medical conditions can cause dry mouth, sometimes those medical conditions themselves can create dry mouth conditions, thereby placing you at higher risk for dental disease.

Medical conditions with links to oral health problems include:

  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Furthermore, new studies are finding that the incidence of periodontitis, or gum disease, may lead to a higher likelihood of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s, kidney diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.

Medical treatments like chemotherapy or radiation can also cause dry mouth. Ask your doctor about side effects if you are undergoing these treatments.

Are you a man? That places you at higher risk, too!

Experts on oral health report that simply being a man is actually a risk factor for dental health problems. The good news is– it’s completely avoidable.

Health experts are saying that men as a whole are less involved with their own health and– as a group– are less likely to make time for health care. This includes all aspects of preventative health care, from diet to flossing, and the reasons for it are the subject of multiple theses spanning hundreds of pages in length– it’s a huge topic!

Whether it is because our society places less emphasis on men’s health in general, doesn’t teach little boys that health is important, or whether there’s just something about the y chromosome that dislikes flossing– we believe this strange phenomenon is one that can easily be overcome.

Take stock of your daily activities in caring for your teeth. Do you brush twice? Floss at least once? Have you visited your Palo Alto dental clinic for preventative oral care every 6 months? Use a timer to make sure you’re brushing for at least 2 minutes, and set reminders to make that regular dental appointment.

Knowing the risks

Being aware of any risks you have to your dental health is empowering. It allows you to take your health care into your own hands by using special precautions, and it also allows us to help you make sure your dental health is in great shape.

Let us know about any dental health risks you may have at your next appointment!

Photo Credit: torbakhopper via Compfight cc

Know the Facts on Impaction

Blue Turtle Dental has the best family dentist Palo Alto has for many reasons. One aspect of our clinic that patients really value is our commitment to being there to help when an oral health problem arises that is causing discomfort– and preventing those situations in the first place!

Wisdom teeth impaction is less common with the ready removal of up to 85% of wisdom teeth, but it can still take place, so it’s something important to be aware of.

The low-down on wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are third molars. They are considered vestigial structures because, while they probably arrived as an evolutionary response to a diet filled with tough, coarse, and fibrous foods– we no longer live in the stone-age. We have utensils and blenders and ovens, and those third molars are no longer helpful.

More than that, when they arrive between the ages of 17 and 25, wisdom teeth can cause crowding of the existing teeth because our jaw size has become smaller than it was in prehistoric times. Because of this, around 85% of wisdom teeth in the USA are extracted.

What is an impacted tooth?

A wisdom tooth becomes impacted when it cannot erupt because it is blocked by another tooth. This happens when the tooth is turned sideways, at an angle, or pretty much pointing anywhere but up. It the jaw is already too full, a wisdom tooth can become impacted that way as well.

A description of impaction

Sometimes a patient doesn’t even realize a wisdom tooth is impacted; it may be completely painless. Imaging by dental professionals will inform your dentist that the wisdom teeth are impacted, and they can be extracted with no other problems than mild discomfort following a dental procedure of that nature.

When an impacted tooth erupts, or tries to erupt, it can cause gum swelling and pain that you might notice in your jaw, teeth, gums, or even the ear on that side of your head! This can be extremely uncomfortable and calls for a dental visit ASAP.

Another complication can occur if an impacted tooth partially erupts and then becomes stuck. This awkward in-between stage can not only be uncomfortable, but it can lead to infection. The tooth is difficult to clean and can be a repository for the flotsam and jetsam of the mouth; if this lingers too long an infection called pericoronitis can occur. This must be treated immediately to prevent the spreading of the infection to other nearby areas of the body.

In addition, impacted teeth can also decay where they are, or lead to cysts and, rarely, a benign tumor of the jaw– all of which can cause bone destruction. In short, prompt attention to an impacted wisdom tooth is a must!


At Blue Turtle Dental, we monitor our patients’ eruption schedules closely during regular appointments. However, it can be helpful for anyone who has erupted or unerupted wisdom teeth to be aware of the symptoms caused by third molar infection or inflammation.

Be on the look-out for:

  • Pain or difficulty moving the jaw
  • Swelling in gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • An unpleasant taste
  • Pain with biting, chewing, or opening mouth

If you experience these or other painful oral health condition, please contact our office immediately!

Problems with wisdom teeth are rare, but it’s important to be informed. If you have any further questions about your wisdom teeth or how their eruption can affect your oral health, do not hesitate to ask at your next appointment!

Photo Credit: Ricky Romero via Compfight cc