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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.
(650)-345-5300
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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 

Pain

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. 

Common Dental Allergies and Their Importance

There are several dental allergies you may experience when you go for a dental procedure. These allergies are related to the dental materials and instruments your dentists may use, like latex. 

In this article, we look at some common dental allergies, their symptoms, and the significance of letting your Redwood City dentist know about them on time.

Common Dental Allergies 

Dental allergens mostly arise from metals (such as nickel or chromium), local anesthetics, latex, and other compounds present in dental materials like composites. 

Latex Allergy

Latex is extensively used in dental offices, especially in gloves and some dental instruments. However, some individuals are allergic to latex proteins. However, some people are allergic to latex proteins. Common latex allergy symptoms include 

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty breathing.

Redwood City dentists know about the allergic symptoms caused by latex and take proper measures, such as using latex-free gloves during procedures and treatments.

Anesthetic Allergies

To enjoy a pain-free experience during a dental procedure, local anesthetics are generally used. Unfortunately, some people may have allergic reactions to specific anesthetics products like lidocaine or novocaine. Some of the symptoms related to anesthetic allergies include: 

  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Itching 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anaphylaxis

Adhesive Allergies

The use of dental adhesives is common in dental settings. They add to the retention of the prosthetic. They also prevent the accumulation of food particles beneath the dentures. In other words, they boost the patient’s sense of satisfaction and security.

While it is rare to be allergic to adhesives, you may experience mild irritation. Some ingredients in adhesives, such as zinc, may cause allergic reactions. 

Other warning signs, though rare, include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Localized skin rashes in the mouth

Your best dentist in Redwood City can go for alternative adhesives or perform a patch test to establish the most appropriate material for your dental restorations.

Toothpaste 

The toothpaste itself may not cause allergic reactions; however, it contains various potential allergens

Some of these allergens include: 

  • Fluoride: Although fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste and helps prevent tooth decay, some individuals may be hypersensitive to it. Warning signs may include oral discomfort, skin rashes, or itching.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): SLS is a foaming agent in many toothpaste brands. It may lead to canker sores, irritation, or allergic reactions in some people.
  • Mint or other flavoring agents: Some people may be sensitive to the flavorings used in toothpaste, such as mint or cinnamon. They may experience symptoms like tongue swelling and mouth ulcers because of these flavorings.
  • Other additives: Toothpaste may contain additional ingredients like preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or dyes that can potentially trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

Importance of Addressing Dental Allergies

Comfort and Oral Health

Ignoring dental allergies can lead to discomfort, oral inflammation, and potential complications such as gum disease or implant failure. In severe cases, it may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing.  

By addressing these allergies promptly, patients can maintain oral health, prevent discomfort, and ensure successful dental treatments.

Safety during Dental Procedures

Dental allergies can pose challenges during routine dental procedures. For instance, patients with latex allergies may react to latex gloves or rubber dam isolation materials used during treatment. 

Allergies to local anesthetics can make it difficult to administer pain relief during dental surgeries or procedures. Furthermore, individuals with allergies to certain dental materials may experience adverse reactions when receiving fillings, crowns, bridges, or other restorative treatments. These complications can lead to delays in treatment and compromised oral health outcomes.

Informing your dentist about any allergies before dental procedures allows them to take necessary precautions and choose suitable materials or alternative treatments to avoid allergic reactions or complications during the treatment.

Psychological and Emotional Impact

The consequences of dental allergies extend beyond physical discomfort. Chronic oral discomfort or the fear of experiencing an allergic reaction during dental visits can lead to dental anxiety or phobia. 

Dental anxiety can prevent individuals from seeking regular dental care, ultimately affecting their oral health. Additionally, the impact of dental allergies on a person’s appearance, speech, and ability to eat comfortably may result in decreased self-esteem and social confidence.

Conclusion: Allergy Awareness and Prevention is Crucial

It is good to inform your dentist about any symptoms that arise after a dental visit, as they are often indicative of an allergic reaction. Notably, disclosing any known allergies will ensure the use of appropriate materials and prevent any adverse reactions. All said and done, don’t let allergies stop you from attending your routine visit to the best dental clinic in Redwood City

Top 5 Dental X-Ray Myths Busted With Scientifically Proven Facts

Dental X-rays offer important details about a patient’s oral health, including the condition of their teeth and gums. We can identify tooth issues early on thanks to X-rays, which will spare you time, pain, and money. Although diagnostic radiology is proven to be safe and effective, many patients still have anxiety when they hear the word “radiation.” Sadly, false information persists despite the wealth of evidence showing the safety of x-rays.

We’ll explore dental X-rays and dispel the most prevalent myths about them with scientific facts to prevent misinformation and bring you clarity and peace of mind.

What Are Dental X-Rays?

Dental x-rays are nothing but a form of energy that is passed through an object (the patient’s mouth in this case) to provide a complete image of your oral structures, including your upper and lower jaws, temporomandibular joints, teeth, sinus cavities, and nasal area. 

  • Cephalometric x-rays show us the entire side of your head so we can view the jaw and teeth in relation to your profile.
  • Panoramic x-rays show the entire mouth and oral tissues in one x-ray.

Digital dental x-rays are an improvement over conventional x-rays that have been used at dental offices for decades. In digital x-rays, we project a low dosage of ionizing radiation through you and onto the electronic sensor in both forms of x-rays. Your head is placed between a mechanical arm and an electronic sensor. The image appears on the screen shortly after the sensor is linked to a computer. This is a significant advantage over conventional x-rays that require developing film that takes a longer time to develop and exposes patients to much higher levels of radiation. 

Dentists who perform digital intraoral x-rays can now implant tiny electronic sensors in your mouth in place of the painful, drool-inducing bitewings.

For identifying specific issues with the mouth, teeth, and jaw bone region, dental X-rays are crucial. Even a comprehensive physical examination cannot find problems that an X-ray can.

Myths And Facts About Dental X-Rays

Without diagnostic radiography, commonly known as X-rays, your dentist may not be able to accurately diagnose your dental condition. Your dentist uses the panoramic or 3D images from your intra-oral basic radiography to help them decide on the right treatment for you.

However, some patients believe that dental x-rays are harmful because of some misconceptions. I’ll debunk the common myths and false beliefs about dental x-rays. 

 Myth 1: Dental X-Rays Are Unnecessary And An Excuse For Dentists To Charge More 

I come across patients who believe dental x-rays are unnecessary. Some even believe that it’s a ploy by dentists to charge more. But they do not know the importance of dental x-Rays.

Some people think dental x-rays are unnecessary because your teeth are visible in your mouth. However, they are crucial for viewing your jawbone and the roots of your teeth which are not visible to the naked eye. As a result, your dentist might not detect a potential dental problem without the use of x-rays.

Dental x-rays are essential for identifying bone abnormalities, tooth positions beneath the gum line, gum disease, and tooth decay. Besides identifying the position of the teeth beneath the gums, it also looks for dental decay, gum disease, and jawbone problems. 

Myth 2: Dental X-Rays Cause Brain Tumors 

Dental x-rays are an ultra-targeted form of x-ray that digitally captures a very small part of your body as opposed to a larger area such as a chest or stomach X-ray. Moreover, dental x-rays emit less radiation compared to other types of x-rays. While all types of x-rays are considered safe, dental x-rays would be among the safest. 

The American College of Radiation has an x-ray radiation comparison chart where you can see how the x-ray of your chest emits hundreds of times more radiation than dental x-rays using film. Digital x-rays are even safer than film x-rays with significantly lowered radiation exposure than traditional film.

Additionally, with the dental x-rays orthodontists take, the machine is in constant motion, so no one area of your head receives a steady, continuous, and concentrated stream. Any cancer risk associated with radiation is based on your cumulative exposure and not necessarily on what body part is being x-rayed.

There is no danger in dental x-rays being in close proximity to the brain. Dental x-rays can not harm the brain. It’s crucial to only get an x-ray when it’s really required and the dentist has advised you to.

Myth 3: Dental X-Rays Cause Cancer

Another misconception is that the radiation from dental x-rays might cause cancer.

This is just not true.

Dental x-rays emit so little radiation that their potential to cause cancer is virtually nonexistent. The danger of developing cancer from dental x-rays is minimal. As previously stated, excessive radiation exposure can cause cancer, but a brief flight exposes passengers to more radiation than a dental x-ray.

The only way dental x-rays might put you at risk is if you were exposed to them for hours at a time, which would never happen. No patient will be exposed for hours at a time to x-rays. X-rays are taken with 0.08-0.16 of a second! Additionally, dental offices adhere to the necessary regulations and safety protocols such as adhering to the ALARA principles and employing shielding.

Myth 4: Digital X-Rays Are Dangerous For Children, Pregnant Women, And Nursing Mothers

There are certain groups that are discouraged from receiving dental x-rays such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children. One of the numerous myths surrounding dental X-rays is that they can expose pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children to radiation. 

In reality, dental X-rays emit a negligible quantity of radiation, and the exposure duration for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children is minimal. 

Mammograms and X-rays are frequently used to determine the health of nursing moms, among other diagnostic procedures. Obtaining a dental X-ray at the dentist is not very different from these other procedures. 

However, you still need to inform your dentist if you’re a woman who’s pregnant or nursing and wait for their advice before taking a dental x-ray exam. 

Myth 5: Dental X-Rays Are Necessary Every Year

Most people need an exam every six months, but your dentist will recommend X-rays and visits based on your dental needs and hygiene. Dental checkups and exams find hidden problems early. Dental x-rays are the best way to catch any latent oral and health conditions early and treat them promptly.

If you have good dental health, you don’t need dental x-rays every year.

Conclusion

Dental X-rays are the best way to detect cavities, gum disease, and other conditions. Radiographs can detect cancers and infections early, letting your dentist provide the best therapy. Our Redwood City dentist community strives to provide you with safe and comfortable dental care. 

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

Webmd 

Healthline

Laser Dentistry

How The Flu Hurts Your Mouth And How You Can Care For It

Are you waking up with an itchy throat and feeling out of sorts even when it’s fabulous winter weather outside?

Well, flu season is upon us too. Getting a flu shot, washing your hands often, and avoiding ill people are common-sense precautions. But there’s one overlooked aspect of flu prevention and recovery: good oral health.

As if the cold and other symptoms of the flu weren’t bad enough, it can also affect your oral health.

Let’s explore the mysterious connection between the flu and your dental health. 

How Does The Flu Affect Your Dental Health?

Dental health isn’t a priority when you have the flu. Perhaps you’ll think:

What does the flu have to do with my teeth?

But it can affect your dental health. Your oral health can be a strong indication of your immune system.

Flu or influenza is a contagious respiratory virus that affects millions annually. If you have the flu, some symptoms that you might experience are fever, sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, aches, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Flu can be deadly for those with immature or compromised Immune systems. Flu can cause further complications such as pneumonia, brain, heart, and muscle inflammation, organ shutdown, and even a life-threatening emergency such as sepsis. Flu can cause death, but many are still unaware of its connection to the mouth. This disease causes havoc to the body and your mouth simultaneously.

With a healthy immune system, influenza can be cleared from your body in as little as two days. But for most, and those with weakened immune systems, the virus can remain for up to 14 days or two weeks.

Influenza is spread by the contamination of respiratory droplets that originate from your nasal passages. So, your mouth is the first carrier of the flu and any contact with it will spread the virus. 

Because the flu affects all body systems, here are some flu-related dental problems.

Dry Mouth 

Nasal congestion is a common flu symptom during the winter. The change in your voice or speech patterns makes it “sound like you have a pretty awful cold.” 

Congestion can affect oral health. First, nasal congestion can cause dry mouth, especially while sleeping. When blocked, you must breathe through your mouth. Congestion can block nasal passages, causing snoring. Snoring dries out the mouth, which promotes bacterial growth and cavities.

Also, the drier your mouth, the less saliva you have to help break down food and wash away particles that could cause cavities and gum disease. Second, decongestants and antihistamines can cause dry mouth according to the Mayo Clinic

So, dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. It also makes chewing and swallowing harder.

Sinusitis 

A cold virus increases the risk of sinusitis, an infection that can put pressure on your sinus cavities above your back teeth, making it seem like a tooth infection. If the symptoms persist, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Toothache

A toothache can be painful. What most people don’t realize is that a sinus virus may cause sudden, unexpected tooth pain. If it’s the flu, things get miserable fast.

Upper tooth pain, especially if it affects multiple teeth, and tenderness around your sinuses may be signs of the cold virus or bacterial infection. 

When you breathe through your mouth while you’re awake or asleep, you increase your risk of cavities. This is because saliva is crucial to control the bacteria in your mouth. Congestion can also cause post-nasal drip, allowing the mucus to drip down the back of your throat. This causes bacteria deposits in your throat, causing inflammation and pain. The nasal and sinus congestion cause swelling, which can put pressure on the nerves causing tooth or jaw pain.

Our Top Dental Health Tips For The Flu Season

Your oral health may not be on your mind during the cold and flu season. But the flu can affect your mouth adversely. Here are our simple but effective tips that can keep your teeth healthy while you’re sick with the flu.

  1. Brush And Floss Daily

The best flu prevention starts with your mouth. Good oral hygiene involves flossing after meals and brushing twice daily.

Leaving food in your mouth and under your gums allows harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Your body must fight this bacterium once it enters your bloodstream. This can tire the immune system and reduce its ability to fight off infections like the flu.

However, even if you’re weak and exhausted because of the flu, it’s crucial to brush and floss daily. This helps control mouth bacteria and reduces congestion-related bad breath and dry mouth.

People usually brush for 30 seconds. Brush your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes daily, including your tongue. 

  1. Discard Your Toothbrush

The flu virus lives in your mucus, so it contacts your mouth every day you’re infected. People with the flu don’t stop brushing their teeth if they’re vomiting frequently. 

Your toothbrush becomes a harbor of infection. The flu virus can live on toothbrushes for 48 hours, according to the CDC. If you’re sick, don’t share your toothbrush to avoid spreading the virus.

If you brush your teeth twice a day or more, the virus can live on your toothbrush and harm your health each time of used. After the flu or another illness, toss your old toothbrush immediately and replace it with a new toothbrush. Reinfection is possible, especially if your immune system is weak.

Here are some infection-fighting toothbrush tips for preventing the flu this winter:

  • After brushing, rinse the toothbrush and let it air-dry in an upright position.
  • Wash your hands before and after brushing and flossing to avoid bacteria from entering the mouth.
  • Never share toothbrushes with anyone. Keep all household members’ toothbrushes separate from one another to prevent cross-contamination and the spreading of germs.
  • Sterilize your toothbrush once a week by placing it in a few inches of water in a microwave-safe container and heating it for 2-3 minutes.
  • Don’t share toothbrushes with others in the household. Keep each member’s toothbrushes separate from each other to prevent cross-contamination and germ spread. 
  • The ADA suggests replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Toss any used toothbrush after an illness like the flu infection. Even after being rinsed, toothbrushes can harbor pathogens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In weakened immune systems, a flu strain can reinfect. This is more common with bacterial infections like strep throat. To avoid reinfection, discard a toothbrush used during illness. 
  1. Hydrate Your Body

When sick, your body needs extra fluid to fight infection. A dry mouth is common when breathing through the nose is difficult. A dry mouth can cause cavities and gum disease because saliva controls cavity-causing bacteria. 

We have always recommended hydration to those suffering from the cold and flu. Cold and flu medications can dry the mouth and throat. Plaque and cavity bacteria love dry mouths. Increasing your fluid intake helps your healing process while combating dry mouth. Drinking water, soup, and juice will help during flu infection.

Fever can cause dehydration, which worsens fatigue and aches, including tooth pain. Sip from a water bottle often throughout the day. This is especially important at night, so you can immediately rehydrate if you wake up with a dry mouth. Drinking water often helps keep your mouth moist while also hydrating your body.

  1. Do The Salt-Water Gargle And Rinse Your Mouth Often

Dissolve salt water in warm water and gargle. This helps reduce bad breath and plaque by reducing harmful bacteria in your mouth and throat. It can also reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Vomiting is a nasty flu side effect. Vomiting causes tooth decay as it exposes teeth to stomach acid, which erodes the enamel. Rinse and spit with water and baking soda to dilute the acids.

  1. Opt For Sugar-Free Medications

Many cold and flu medications are loaded with sugar to “help the medicine go down.” Sugar can cause tooth decay and gum damage, even with medication.

It’s worth it to find medication with alternative sweeteners or to brush and rinse afterward. 

Buy medications that are sugar-free or sweetened with xylitol or sucralose. If you can’t find sugar-free or low-sugar alternatives for your medications, brush or rinse after taking them. If your medicine is acidic, wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing to allow your enamel to harden.

Continue to take your medications. Sugar-free cough drops or vitamin lozenges help in salivation production. Nasal decongestants help keep airways open and reduce dry mouth symptoms because of medication. 

Good Oral Hygiene Can Prevent The Flu

Flu prevention starts with good oral hygiene. It should be part of a comprehensive health-preservation plan.

It’s empowering to know how oral hygiene can help or hinder your healing while fighting this illness.

You may want to lie in bed and rest during the flu season. But dental routines are important during this time. Don’t give the bacteria a chance to build up. Get your dental checkups and cleanings.

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

Webmd 

Healthline

Laser Dentistry

How Dental Visits Reduce Risks of Oral Cancer

How Dental Visits Reduce Risks of Oral Cancer_Redwood City Dentists

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection considerably increases long-term survival and underscores the importance of routine oral cancer screening. Every dental appointment is your chance to get screened.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be around 54,000 new cases and 11,230 deaths in 2022 because of oropharyngeal cancer and oral cavity.

Oral cancer includes cancers of the tongue, lips, throat, minor salivary glands, the floor of your mouth, and gums. Men are more prone to oral cancer than women, making it the 6th most prevalent cancer among men. If not detected and treated early, oral cancer can be life-threatening. That’s why many general dentists in Palo Alto take advantage of routine visits and dental appointments to check for signs of cancer.

 

Signs and symptoms of oral cancer 

Oral cancer often appears as a sore or growth that doesn’t go away. For instance, you may have recurring sores on your mouth, neck, or face that bleed easily and don’t heal as quickly as they are supposed to.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, other typical symptoms of oral cancer include:

 

  • Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
  • Bumps or lumps, rough spots/eroded areas in your gums, lips, or other parts inside your mouth
  • Speckled white-and-red patches in your mouth
  • Soreness or a strange feeling that something is stuck in the back of your throat
  • Unexplained numbness or pain in any area of your mouth, face, or neck.
  • Chronic sore throat, voice changes, or hoarseness
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, or moving your tongue or jaw
  • Changes in your bite
  • Ear pain
  • Dramatic weight loss

 

What happens during oral cancer screening? 

Oral cancer screening covers your oral cavity and related tissues, which can be in the sinuses, throat, pharynx, and larynx. Screening can reassure you that there are no abnormalities or trigger early treatment.

The phrase “oral cancer screening” and “mouth cancer screening” are used interchangeably, as you may hear from your Palo Alto dentist. Screening is divided into two parts – a visual exam and a physical exam. Let’s dive in!

Visual examination 

During a visual examination, your dentist will advise you to remove dentures or other removable dental devices you may have. This ensures your entire mouth is accessible. Your dentist will be looking for asymmetries, bumps, swellings, ulcerations, patches of color, or other abnormalities. They may also observe your face, lips, jaw, cheeks, neck, and inside of your nose.

Your top dentist Palo Alto will use a light and a mirror to examine the inside of your mouth. Additionally, they employ a tongue depressor to hold your tongue down and examine the back of your mouth. And, as you may recall from your childhood physical, your dentist will request you to stick your tongue out and say, “Ahh.” These reveals areas of your throat that would otherwise be difficult to see.

Physical examination 

Aside from a visual examination, your dentist will touch your face, neck, and mouth to feel for strange masses and nodules. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF), touch is necessary for dentists to detect any cancer-causing anomalies in your mouth. In other words, a tactile examination helps your dentist quickly locate any hard tissues and lumps in the mouth. Signs of oral cancer are usually painless in the early stages, hence more reasons for dentists to screen for it regularly.

If your dentist discovers an oral cancer-like symptom, they might recommend further testing to establish clearly what that symptom means. Remember, results that require further assessment are not necessarily an indication of a cancer diagnosis. However, if the tests confirm the presence of oral cancer, early treatment is highly advised.

Oral cancer screening is not only a visual or physical examination. It’s a golden chance for you to discuss your anxieties and concerns regarding oral cancer. Come prepared with questions and seek guidance on lifestyle adjustments. It’s not unusual to be edgy regarding the possibility of oral cancer but going regularly for this screening will help put your mind at ease.

 

How often should you go for oral cancer screening? 

Experts have different opinions on how frequently people should be screened for mouth cancer. However, dentists recommend that all adults be screened every six months.

Even people who maintain a healthy lifestyle may develop oral cancer. We advise patients not to brush aside the possibility of oral cancer and be diligent about scheduling careening.

Lastly, some people need more frequent screenings. If you have risk factors for cancer, it is advisable to get screened even more frequently than twice per year. Top risk factors, as explained by the American Cancer Society, include:

 

  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • A history of oral cancer

 

Other tips for preventing oral cancer, besides dental visits

 

  1. Maintain proper oral hygiene – Brush your teeth twice daily
  2. Quit tobacco products – Cease using cigars, cigarettes, or chewing any tobacco products.
  3. Eat a healthy and balanced diet – Whole, nutrient-dense foods ensure your body functions optimally.
  4. Prevent HPV – Get vaccinated for HPV and practice safe sex
  5. Limit sun exposure – Wear sunscreen to protect your face

 

Make an appointment with your dentist today

Do you think you might be exhibiting oral cancer-like symptoms? Or do you just want to learn more about how to prevent oral cancer? Schedule an appointment with your general dentist in Palo Alto today.

How does the food we eat affect your dental health?

How Does the Food We Eat Affect Your Dental Health_Redwood City Dentists

Having a proper diet is not only crucial to your general well-being but also your dental health.

The human body is an intricate machine that works best when provided with proper nutrition, and that includes your teeth and gums!

Did you know that certain minerals and vitamins can protect your teeth from gum disease and tooth decay while some foods may cause yellowing or discoloration of the teeth?

Keep reading to find out how diet influences oral health and what type of foods you should eat to maintain a healthy smile.

 

Starchy carbohydrates

One of the most prevalent oral health diseases caused by diet is tooth decay. According to Mayo Clinic, tooth decay occurs due to several reasons, including bacteria in your mouth, not cleaning your teeth well, frequent snacking, and eating processed and starchy food, such as white bread, crackers, and pasta.

Starchy carbs and sugars from food combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid erodes your tooth enamel, causing cavities or holes in your teeth. If left untreated, cavities can cause bad breath, tooth pain, tooth abscess, to mention a few.

Eating calcium and phosphorus-rich foods can help remineralize and maintain healthy tooth enamel. In addition, opt for whole grains instead of starchy carbs, as the former are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for your teeth.

 

Acidic and sugary foods

Acidic foods can cause cavities and other oral problems like canker sores. Foods high in acid include citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruit, and oranges. Though rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, they can erode the enamel of your teeth. So limit your teeth’s exposure to these foods.

In addition, foods that contain added sugar play a role in the development of cavities. Sugar interacts with the bacteria in the mouth to become acidic. Foods high in added sugar include cakes, sugary drinks, candy, and cookies.

Although raisins and other dried fruits are considered healthy, they can also contain high amounts of sugar. What’s more, dried fruits are sticky and might get stuck between your teeth and lead to build up of plaque.

Make sure you brush your teeth well and floss twice a day to keep your teeth clean and cavities away.

 

Snacking and dental health 

It is best to avoid frequent snacking in between meals. Snacking usually becomes an oral problem if you consume unhealthy snacks, such as sugary drinks, candy, and chips. These are foods that are rich in unnecessary sugar. As we know, bacteria in your mouth feeds on the sugars in your diet to make acids that wear down the enamel (the outermost layer of the teeth). Snacking often increases the chances of formation of acids that can wear down the enamel repeatedly.

So, if you must have snacks, go for the nutritious ones, especially the ones that are less starchy and with less added sugar.

 

Drinks and beverages 

The same rules apply to drinks and beverages as they do for solid foods. For example, lemonade, although a popular drink, is acidic and usually contains sugar. Another drink that is acidic and contains high amounts of sugar is soda.

So, what drinks can one classify as non-harmful? Always go for drinks that are low in added sugar and are non-acidic. Also, water with fluoride is highly recommended. Why? Water washes out food particles stuck between the teeth. Most importantly, it hydrates your mouth, producing saliva to neutralize bacteria and acids.

 

Foods for better dental health

Lean meats, nuts, cheese, and milk are all high in phosphorus and calcium, which are all essential for strong teeth and gums. People who cannot consume milk products due to lactose intolerance can opt for green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, also high in calcium.

Other foods good for your oral health include crunchy and firm fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, pears, and apples. Eating such foods helps to create more saliva in the mouth. This aids in washing away food particles from the crevices in your gums, teeth, and tongue.

Vegetables and fruits are also high in water content. Usually, water neutralizes any sugars that can turn into acid, which damages your teeth.

Lastly, be careful of drinks such as coffee, tea, balsamic vinegar, fruit juices, beetroot, soy sauce, dark cola, red wine, and tomato-based sauces as they can stain your teeth. They contain pigments known as chromogens. Chromogens usually attach to and stain the enamel.

 

Summary: Reducing the risk of oral diseases caused by an unhealthy diet 

 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day to remove food particles and sugars from your mouth
  • Keep added sugar in your meals to a minimum by making healthy food and beverage choices.
  • Limit between-meal snacking
  • Include dairy, water, and plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet – they all play a significant role in your dental health.

 

Eating a healthy diet and regularly seeing the best dentist in Palo Alto, is a recipe for success!

Everything you eat, including your favorites, affects your teeth, which is why it’s crucial to visit one of the top Palo Alto dentists near you on a regular basis. Dentists are the only medical professionals who have the knowledge to address your dental health care needs.

Following a comprehensive oral examination, your dentist can recommend dietary changes to address any concerns. Schedule an appointment with your Palo Alto dentist today, and see the difference.

Article resources:
Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/
https://www.healthline.com/
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/
https://www.webmd.com/
https://www.healthline.com/

 

 

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy for the Holidays

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy for the Holidays_Palo Alto Dentists

The holiday season is here. Twinkling Christmas lights light up the night sky. Seasonal songs greet us everywhere we go. Mailboxes are flooded with sales offers.

For most people, it provides an opportune time to meet families and friends and share gifts. We play games, laugh, maybe argue a bit, but there is always plenty of food to eat. Family buffets are brimming with sweets and casseroles and meats and treats.

When you see a blueberry cobbler or a fresh-baked apple pie, you are possibly thinking more about your taste buds rather than your oral health. However, it is prudent to think about your oral health during the holidays!

Below are some tips to keep your teeth healthier this holiday season.

 

Avoid gummy, chewy, sugary foods. 

Overindulgence is likely to happen during the holidays, but be selective. It’s easy to overdo certain snacks that can destroy our teeth.

Avoid or limit the following treats during this holiday season:

 

  • Candy canes and other sour or chewy foods
  • Crisps – these starchy treats can create acid in your mouth
  • Ice – Chewing ice can cause enamel to break down.
  • Carbonated drinks – Opt for a glass of water instead of Coca-Cola.
  • Dried fruit – This contains far more sugar than you may think

In other words, choose items that aren’t bad for your teeth, such as sprouts, vegetables, and fruits. Turkey is another fantastic holiday food option since it contains nutrients good for your teeth, such as phosphorus.

If you must eat biscuits this holiday season, try gingerbread, which contains less sugar than many other variations!

When it comes to beverages, opt for clear liquids. Red wine is known for discoloring your teeth and usually makes them feel sticky. Well, if you can’t avoid wine, try nibbling on cheese at the same time. The alkaline in the cheese usually balances your mouth’s PH level.

 

Up your dental health game 

Do you always forget to brush or floss your teeth after a long night out? This is not the time to relax your oral health standards. Take some floss and toothbrush out with you, if necessary. This way, you’ll remember to brush your teeth right after a heavy meal or drink session.

Note: You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes and floss twice daily. This will spare you from costly dental bills after the holiday season. And if that has not persuaded you enough, try to think of how many more years of great Christmas gatherings and delicious foods you’ll be able to enjoy if you keep your teeth in good shape!

 

Drink plenty of water daily

The daily amount of water nutritionists recommend to drink is 11.5 cups for women and 15.5 for men.

Instead of binging on alcohol and consuming large amounts of treats during the holidays, learn to drink water in between. This special liquid can make a significant difference to your oral health. Water, especially fluoridated water, prevents tooth decay and cavities.

It is highly advisable to drink water after eating. Usually, this helps get rid of bacteria left in the mouth. It also dilutes the acid from alcohol.

The last benefit of water is its unique ability to fill you up without adding calories. If you’re still hungry after dinner and considering having seconds, drink a glass of water instead. It’s beneficial to your waistline and teeth!

 

Don’t open gifts with your teeth.

This may seem obvious, but when an impatient kid hands you a toy, tightly sealed in teflon-strength wrapping, your instinct is to rip it open. Resist that temptation and grab a pair of scissors.

Teeth are handy in doing many things, such as chewing and enunciating. However, they do not make good cutting tools. Using your teeth to open packages and bottles erodes the enamel and weakens the edges of your teeth. This leads to tooth breakage and cracking and probably expensive cosmetic dental work.

 

Schedule your post-holiday dental check-up now

It is advisable to schedule a post-holiday dental cleaning and check-up before the holidays start. Note down your appointments somewhere, as this can easily slip your mind when juggling cooking, house cleaning, seeing family, and shopping.

Generally, there is an excessive demand for dental visits during the holidays and right after; thus, booking in advance ensures you reserve a convenient appointment time. The sooner you can go for a dental cleaning and check-up, the less time your holiday indulgences will negatively impact your oral teeth.

 

Holiday dental care is very important. 

When it comes to holiday dental care, prevention is definitely better than treatment. Developing a dental care routine is the most practical way to preserve your teeth this holiday season.

At Blue Turtle Dental, our team of dentists in Palo Alto offers the ultimate dental experience. You can relax with Netflix or connect to your preferred electronic device with our Bluetooth compatible headphones. Come in to experience the luxury and walk out with a smile only the best technology can give you!

Article resources:
Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/
https://www.cdc.gov/
https://www.healthline.com/

How Good Oral Health Can Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life

How Good Oral Health Can Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life_Palo Alto Dentists

World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is on March 20th, and it is time to “Be Proud of Your Mouth,” since good oral health can help you live a healthier, longer life.

Many people don’t appreciate just how vital their dental health is. However, it goes without saying, poor oral hygiene impacts more than just your teeth. It can impact the rest of your body, ultimately leading to life-threatening health issues.

“Show me your teeth, and I will tell you who you are,” said preeminent 18th -century scientist George Cuvier. Beyond doubt, the gentleman was onto something.

 

How is oral health connected? 

Our mouths are packed with millions of bacteria, most of them harmless. Daily flossing and brushing keep the bacteria levels under control. However, when proper hygiene is lacking, serious problems can arise.

The bacteria multiply and combine with sugar present in the food we take to create acids. These acids attack the teeth causing gum disease, periodontitis, tooth decay, and cavity, leading to infections that travel to other parts of the body via the respiratory system and digestive tract.

Essentially, that is how dental health impacts your general health. Whenever you have an oral health issue, there is a considerable risk that it will spread into your bloodstream and impact the rest of your body.

Let’s explore some health conditions caused or linked to poor dental health.

 

Respiratory infections 

The significance of oral health can be demonstrated in a study published in the Journal of Medicine and Life, which established a link between gum disease and pulmonary infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.

As we have mentioned above, if the bacteria buildup in the mouth is not controlled, it can travel via the respiratory tract and reach the lungs. These bacteria can eventually cause all forms of sinus infections or other respiratory diseases like pneumonia.

Note: This issue is mostly life-threatening for people with weak immune systems and the elderly.

 

Cardiovascular disease and stroke 

If your gums are crammed with bacteria-filled plaque, they’ll continually become inflamed and irritated, which leads to periodontal infections and other related oral problems. This irritation and inflammation can lead to clogging of the blood vessels, contributing to cardiovascular diseases like stroke, hypertension, and heart attack. Even worse, the heart’s inner lining may also get inflamed and infected, a condition known as endocarditis.

 

Diabetes 

Many people are aware that diabetic patients are highly likely to develop gum disease. However, studies such as one the EHWA Women’s University carried out have revealed that gum disease can directly contribute to the worsening of diabetes.

Additionally, gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis affect blood glucose control, which may contribute to the adverse effects felt by diabetic persons. What’s more, people with diabetes usually have a lower resistance to infections, including those brought about by gum disease.

As you might have guessed, an endless cycle of worsening diabetes and gum disease can concurrently form if the issue is not addressed. This is another simple way to demonstrate how dental health impacts overall health.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). 

The connection between oral diseases and RA is that both are aggregated by inflammation. Apparently, the bacteria from gingivitis can spread all over the body and cause joint inflammation in people who are vulnerable to arthritis and other inflammatory ailments. In fact, research shows that you are four times more likely to develop RA if you have gum disease.

 

Can cause pregnancy complication 

Everyone needs to practice good oral hygiene. However, proper dental care is exceedingly critical for expecting mothers. The reason being, hormonal imbalances that occur during pregnancy can leave an expectant mother more susceptible to oral infections.

According to a study by the  Society for General Microbiology, infectious bacteria from the mouth can travel in a mother’s blood and be passed on to her unborn child. Usually, this can increase the likelihood of low birth weights and preterm births. To top it off, the mother might also experience an early onset of contractions as a result.

 

Summing it up: Schedule regular checkups with Palo Alto dentists near you

As you can see, good oral health can directly impact your overall health and longevity. That is why you should take care of your mouth, especially if you suffer from health issues, such as immune disorders, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Fortunately, scheduling regular checkups with the best family dentist in Palo Alto can help prevent common dental health risks and keep your hygiene on track. Let’s join hands and celebrate this year’s World Oral Health Day in style!

 


(Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:

 

  1. http://mouthhealthy.org/
  2. https://www.cda.org/
  3. https://www.webmd.com

How to spot early signs of dental trouble and what to do about them

How to Spot Early Signs of Dental Trouble and What To Do About Them_Redwood City Dentists

Your oral health is an essential part of your overall health. Yet, about 100 million Americans don’t visit the dentist for annual check-ups as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). Regular dental hygiene like daily brushing, flossing, avoiding foods bad for your teeth, and regular dental check-ups are central to good oral hygiene. An advantage of regular check-ups is that your dentist can spot early symptoms of dental trouble for you, sometimes even before the symptoms appear. 

When patients come to our clinic for an emergency dental service in Palo Alto, usually the condition has been unrecognized or ignored for a while. Staying educated about dental problems is also a part of preventive dental care. 

We list below the top early signs of dental trouble to watch out for before the problem escalates into a more severe condition. 

  1. Toothache

A toothache is a common symptom caused by many conditions such as a cavity; broken, cracked, impacted, an abscessed tooth; and even gum disease. Before further damage occurs that may cause complete decay of your tooth, it’s best to consult your dentist who can spot the early trouble signs during regular dental checkups. 

  1. Jaw Pain

There are many reasons for jaw pain and the clicking or popping sound in the jaw, including arthritis, sinus, jaw problems such as TMJ. The dental reasons could vary from a toothache, gum disease, tooth injury, gingivitis, and teeth grinding. You will need to visit your dentist for a thorough exam to know the exact source of pain and treatment. 

  1. Cavities

Both children and adults are prone to teeth cavities. It occurs when plaque, sticky bacteria builds around your teeth and destroys its outer shell called enamel, creating small holes in it. Adults can develop cavities around their fillings and gum line. Preventive dental care such as regular brushing, flossing, eating teeth-friendly foods, and regular dental check-ups can prevent cavities. If you spot holes in your teeth or cavities, consult your doctor immediately for treatment.  

  1. Sensitive Teeth

Does your tooth hurt when you have a hot beverage like coffee or hot chocolate? Or perhaps when you have your favorite ice cream? It could be a sign of tooth sensitivity and an indicator of many other dental problems such as an abscess or bacterial infection, cavity or tooth decay, thinning of the enamel, fractured teeth, worn-out filling, gum diseases, or an exposed root because of gum recession. Only your dentist can pinpoint the exact cause for your tooth sensitivity, and the treatment options can range from desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride gels, strips, root canal treatment, gum treatment, or a filling. 

  1. Bleeding or Sore Gums

If you spot blood on your toothbrush or sink while brushing your teeth regularly, it could be merely a sign of aggressive brushing, starting a new flossing habit, or indicate bigger dental issues. Healthy gums should not bleed unless you are brushing your teeth too hard or flossing the wrong way. 

According to the ADA, bleeding, sore, or swollen gums can indicate gum disease, which affects half of all adults above 30 years. If you experience bleeding and tenderness in your gums or notice it being pulled away from your teeth, it could be gum disease because of plaque. Gum disease can be a major cause of bone and tooth loss. It can also cause chewing or speech problems. 

Consult your doctor right away if your gums bleed or are sore for a prolonged period.

  1. Mouth Sores

There are many types of mouth sores such as canker sores, leukoplakia (white areas), erythroplakia (red lesions), and candidiasis (fungal infection.) They could be a symptom of several conditions such as diabetes, oral cancer, irritation because of a broken tooth, filling, braces, or dentures. If you have mouth sores, patches, or lumps for more than a week or two, consult your dentist immediately. 

  1. Bad Breath

Bad breath or Halitosis is an embarrassing dental symptom that may or may not be related to poor oral hygiene. If you suffer from constant bad breath despite regular brushing of your teeth, flossing, using a mouthwash, not smoking or drinking alcohol, and not eating smelly foods such as garlic, then it could indicate more serious conditions such as cavities, gum disease, gingivitis, oral cancer, or bacteria on your tongue. It could also mean underlying medical conditions such as sinus, lung infection, diabetes, liver and kidney disease, and gastrointestinal problems. The best way to know the cause of your constant bad breath is to get examined by a professional dentist. 

  1. Dry Mouth

If you experience dry mouth, it could be a side effect of the medications you are currently using, a symptom of an underlying health condition, or tooth-related conditions. Your saliva prevents tooth decay by washing away the food particles in your mouth and helps neutralize the acids released by the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Your dentist can help find the best treatment to bring back the moisture in your mouth. 

  1. Oral Piercing Infection

While oral piercings can be trendy, it can create problems for your dental health as the mouth is home to all kinds of bacteria. If you notice signs of fever, pain, swelling, chills, shivering, or redness around the piercing, consult your dentist immediately to stop or prevent further infection. 

  1. Broken, Cracked, Chipped, Lost, or Impacted Tooth 

A broken, cracked, or chipped tooth can occur because of many reasons, from naturally brittle teeth, night grinding, tooth injury while playing sports, breaking open a lid with the mouth, or even munching foods like popcorn. Sometimes, the crack may be invisible to the naked eye. If you experience pain along with the broken tooth, it’s time to visit the dentist to save it. Your dentist can zero in on the right treatment plan, which could include root canal, crown, veneer, or bonding. 

Teeth that shift or fall out unexpectedly may be a sign of gum disease or osteoporosis, which is more common in senior adults. Consult your dentist to identify the exact cause and treatment. 

Any adult tooth that doesn’t come in the correct position is impacted. Wisdom teeth or third molars are prone to be impacted. Usually, they do not raise a serious cause for concern; but if you are experiencing discomfort, pain, or any other problem because of your impacted tooth, it’s time to consult your dentist. 

  1. Stained Teeth

Your teeth can get stained or discolored for several reasons, such as consumption of certain food and beverages, lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking, certain medications, injuries, aging, and genetics. Your dentist can prescribe the best whitening treatment plan based on the cause and severity of your teeth staining problem. 

Final Thoughts 

Most dental problems come with telltale signs and symptoms. Your dentist can identify a specific dental issue early on or refer you to the concerned healthcare professional in case of an underlying medical condition for further examination and treatment. 

The sooner you visit your dentist for an evaluation and diagnosis of your symptoms, the better it is for your oral health as waiting too long can lead to more serious health conditions. 

If you’re currently looking for a dentist, you can trust Blue Turtle Dental services in Palo Alto, CA, for expert dental care. Call us for any dental queries, concerns, or to schedule an appointment.

(Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:

 

 

Here Are the Top 10 Dental Procedures for a Brighter Smile in 2021

Here Are the Top 10 Dental Procedures for a Brighter Smile in 2021_Palo Alto Dentists

There’s more to looking good than what meets the eye. It takes a lot of discipline, mindfulness, and self-care to look and feel your optimal best. One of the instant ways to spread cheer is with a warm, big smile.

But how many of us pay attention to our teeth and give it the TLC that it deserves? Are your teeth yellow, chipped, uneven, or crooked? A smile can boost your confidence, and yet many people are self-conscious about their teeth, and more so, their smile.

Thankfully, there are affordable dental procedures that give you a smile makeover and help you create the best impression every time.

Dental Procedures For a Brighter Smile 

With technological advancements, dental procedures is not just for the rich and famous anymore. Cosmetic, restorative, and orthodontic procedures are more affordable and accessible to everyone today. Modern dentistry can transform your smile through one or more procedures in consultation with and under the supervision of our Top Dentists in Palo Alto at Blue Turtle Dental.

Modern dentistry is more than just cleanings, fillings, and whitening. There are many dental procedures that improve not only your smile but overall dental health. Let’s look at the various cosmetic, restorative, and orthodontic procedures for your teeth and discuss them.

Types of Modern Dental Procedures to Beautify Your Smile

We list the ten best dental procedures available for various dental conditions. Your Best Cosmetic & Orthodontic Dentists in Palo Alto can help determine the right procedures for you.

 

1. Dental Bonding

Considered the easiest and most inexpensive cosmetic procedure: dental bonding. Bonding is a versatile treatment to fix various conditions such as stained, chipped, cracked, broken teeth, bite alignment, bad breath, tooth decay, teeth gaps, and as an alternative to silver or amalgam fillings.

A tooth-colored resin, which is putty-like or flexible, is contoured, polished, and applied to the natural tooth and then hardened with ultraviolet or laser light. This quick and painless process is called bonding.

2. Veneers

Known as “Hollywood teeth,” veneers are a cosmetic procedure to correct stained, mottled, cracked, chipped, broken teeth and fill in tooth gaps.

Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made tooth-colored shells made of strong, durable, porcelain, resin, or ceramic glass which are cemented to the front surface of the teeth. They are used to reshape, resize, or change the color of the tooth. Veneers are an excellent option for stained or discolored teeth that cannot be treated with bleaching and usually used for the front teeth, visible during smiling and talking. Veneers are a more conservative option compared to crowns, but it’s a non-reversible process. They are non-porous, meaning they cannot be stained from foods and beverages, unlike natural teeth. However, they need to be regularly cleaned and maintained to avoid teeth decay and gum disease.

3. Crowns

When you have a damaged tooth that a filling or veneer cannot fix, crowns come to your rescue.

Crowns are caps for the whole tooth, unlike bonding, which is for a particular section of the tooth. Crowns are used to improve the appearance as well as to strengthen the tooth. They are made from metal, resin, ceramic, porcelain, or acrylic-fused-to-metal. Crowns can be used to treat many conditions like stained, cracked, broken, or missing teeth, bite alignment, and even bad breath. The tooth-shaped caps keep a weak or cracked tooth from breaking apart and strengthen it. It can also be part of a dental bridge and used to cover a dental implant.

Crowns are durable and last for several years but will have to be regularly maintained to prevent plaque buildup and decay.

4. Contouring/ Reshaping

If your teeth are in good condition, but there are minor issues such as uneven, overcrowded, or overlapped teeth, then enamel contouring or reshaping could be your solution. Small, discreet changes are done on the enamel, which yields big results to the overall look of your smile. It’s a fast, painless, and affordable option with immediate results and often combined with other procedures such as bleaching and bonding.

5. Orthodontics/ Braces

Orthodontics or braces can treat cosmetic issues such as buck teeth, crooked teeth, crowded teeth, irregular teeth spacing, bite issues, and chronic headaches that accompany teeth misalignment. Braces are not just for kids; technology has advanced to include orthodontic treatment for adults, too.

At Blue Turtle Dental, the Best Orthodontist In Palo Alto, CA, you can choose from three options:

Invisalign, which are removable, transparent plastic aligners to correct simple to complex teeth alignment issues.

The traditional metal braces used to correct bite and alignment issues are attached to your teeth for the entire treatment period. There are restrictions concerning food and drinks.

Clear braces are just like your traditional metal braces and function the same way. Except they are tooth-colored ceramic in nature; thus less visible and more aesthetic than the metal braces.

6. Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening or bleaching is an effective treatment option if you have yellow, stained, or discolored teeth. While there are many safe and effective over-the-counter whitening products, their results are not as quick, durable and effective as the professional treatment by dentists.

At Blue Turtle Dental, you can achieve teeth whitening results up to eight shades lighter, quickly. The teeth whitening procedure can be done in our dental office or at home with a custom-made mold and gels prescribed by our dentists.

7. Composite Fillings

Traditional silver metal fillings do not look good, even though they get the job done. It’s not just about the aesthetics, but also about the mercury content in silver amalgam fillings that make silver metal fillings less desirable. You have the option now to get your cavities filled with white fillings to prevent further decay and achieve a more natural look and safe result.

8. Dentures

Dentures are the perfect cosmetic procedure for many extracted, lost, or missing teeth. Dentures are custom-fit, removable, and look just like your natural teeth. There are complete dentures that replace all the teeth, and partial dentures, which are used to replace some of the missing teeth, alongside natural teeth.

9. Implants

Many people lose their complete tooth owing to decay, gum disease, injury, or trauma. Dental implants are tooth root replacements and usually made of titanium. Implants are fixed in the jawbone through minor surgery. They provide the foundation for permanent teeth, removable tooth or crowns, and attachments that support removable dentures.

Implants are a safe, comfortable, and durable option which can last for several decades with proper oral hygiene. If you are considering dental implants, consult our dentists who have extensive experience with a 98% success rate in choosing the right dental implants for you.

10. Bridges

Bridges are used to fill in the missing teeth so that the surrounding natural teeth do not move and shift from their original places and retain a natural, aesthetic look and smile.

There are two kinds of bridges: fixed or permanent bridge and cantilever bridge. The fixed bridge adheres crowns on the natural teeth on the two edges and attaches artificial teeth to fill in for the missing teeth in between. A cantilever bridge is used to replace missing teeth on only one side of the gap.

We Want To See You Smile!

Our dentists at Blue Turtle Dental, the best cosmetic dental services in Palo Alto, can help you find the right cosmetic dental procedure to improve your smile and overall oral health.

Contact the best cosmetic dentists in Palo Alto, CA, to schedule your initial consultation and get that dazzling smile you’ve always dreamed of.

 


(Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:

 

  1. https://www.webmd.com
  2. http://mouthhealthy.org/ )