Primary Dental Care Blog

Questions about Dentistry

What Happens When You Don’t Treat a Cavity

Have you ever experienced a cavity? Everyone who ever has knows that cavities are no walk in the park. Sure, a whole lot worse can happen to your mouth. But that’s what happens if you don’t take care of a cavity in the first place. For any cavity – the rule of thumb should be to get it treated.

In far too many cases, our dentists in Garden Grove meet patients who have waited for far too long to get their cavities treated. When this happens, bad things happen in your mouth.

More Decay

The first thing that happens when you don’t get your cavities treated is more decay. After all – why would it stop?  When a cavity forms a hole, it doesn’t mean the damage is done. It just goes deeper. When you ignore a cavity, it will only grow bigger – and the depth of the decay will only get worse.

Next Stop: Your Nerves

The next stop for your untreated cavity is for the decay to reach your nerves. When this happens, you can expect greater sensitivity and greater pain. When this happens, our dentists generally need to perform either root canal treatment or (if the damage is too bad) extraction.

 

Infection

Whenever possible, you want to avoid infection. Infection in your mouth and jaw is one of the biggest problems that can happen in your mouth – it will lead to increased pain, greater swelling, and a variety of other health concerns.

While it might seem impossible at first, the infection from a cavity can get so bad that it can even lead to serious illness or death, when the infection reaches its way deeper into your system.

A dangerous Snowball

Cavities, while common can get uncommonly dangerous when left alone. So don’t! Our dentists in Garden Grove have years of experience helping patients bounce back from cavities. Don’t wait! Get yours taken care of today, before the damage gets bad.

 

How Vitamins Can Help Your Teeth: Know Your ABCs

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If you want healthy teeth and gums, starting with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing is a smart start. Adopting a strong oral hygiene routine means that your teeth are constantly being freed from the debris and bacteria that they’re constantly accosted by.

But what else can you do to help your teeth out? Our dentists in Garden Grove, California have some tips. Outside of things like wearing a mouthguard or trying not to bite your nails, there are a few extra things you can do to give your teeth a leg up on life – some of those happen to be vitamins, which make them an incredibly easy tool to add to your oral health routine.

Vitamin A

Typically, vitamin A is more frequently associated with nice, clear skin, good eyesight, and a healthy immune system. But on top of this, Vitamin A also helps keep your mucous membranes happy and productive – meaning that salivary flow is maintained so that your mouth continues to clear itself of debris and bacteria. The best places to find vitamin A is in foods that are either orange or yellow – like carrots, sweet potatoes, and mangos. However, Vitamin A can also be found in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale.

Vitamin B

In addition to Vitamin A, Vitamin B is also important for its role in supporting your oral health. However, it does so from a different angle. Through foods like poultry, beans, meat, and green vegetables – Vitamin B reduces inflammation and can effectively prevent problems like canker sores.

 

Vitamin C

Just about everyone knows that vitamin C can do a lot of good in our bodies. But far too often, Vitamin C just gets credit for helping out with colds. On top of helping out with your immune system, Vitamin C also repairs and supports the connective tissue in your mouth – which helps prevent inflammation of your gums.

If you are deficient in vitamin C, there’s a good chance that you’re more likely to have a hard time maintaining healthy gums – which can contribute to serious problems with your gums.

Have questions, our dentists in Garden Grove can help. 

 

How Summer Can Damage Your Teeth

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Everyone looks forward to the coming of summer – children love it because they don’t have to go to school. Parents love it because there’s plenty of opportunities to relax, and bacteria loves it because the summer offers plenty of chances for it to take hold in your mouth.

It’s true. Our dentists in Garden Grove want to remind patients in the area and around the world about some of the threats that arise for teeth in the summer – you might be surprised by how often your teeth are assaulted.

Swimming: While swimming is great for your cardiovascular health, doing laps in the pool can be a bit of a problem for your teeth. Too much time in the pool can lead to a yellow – or even brown – tint to your teeth, that may require cleaning to get rid of. This comes from the high ph your teeth encounter in the pool. To avoid it, you can try brushing with an electronic toothbrush to make sure your teeth get a thorough cleaning. On top of this, if your teeth are weakened – you may need a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Dehydration: Hydration is key for more than just feeling alert and staying alive! It also plays a pivotal role in your dental health as well. Saliva flow is incredibly important when it comes to protecting your teeth. It washes away potentially harmful substances and helps prevent tooth decay. But when you’re dehydrated – saliva flow is inhibited. This happens a lot in the summer – so be extra sure to drink plenty of water – your teeth will thank you.

 

 

 

Wedding Season’s the Season for Whitening

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At our dental practice in Garden Grove, in-office dental whitening is something we do for our customers all of the time. But there’s one time of the year when more and more patients decide to get their teeth whitened – and that’s during wedding season.

 

Typically, the busiest months in the year for weddings are June, August, September, and October. And as most married couples understand, the process to get to the altar can be a stressful one. From finding a venue and lining up the attire to figuring out food, cake, and table placements that won’t rustle anyone’s feathers – a lot goes into the classic wedding. But one thing that patients frequently say after getting their teeth whitened is that they felt more confident in their smile – and what better way to feel when you’re in front of your family – smiling without worrying about a minor imperfection.

Fortunately, getting whiter teeth isn’t hard. And if you’re approaching a big day, you want to be sure that the result is the one you’re looking for. More often than not – that happens under the watchful eye of your dentist. While at-home products are often quite good, and easy to use, it is harder to guarantee a consistent result.

How it Works

There’s plenty of options available for someone when they want whiter teeth. There are even a number of options that you can try at home. But the nice thing about in-office dental whitening is that you don’t have to do anything and you can rest assured that the results you get will be customized to your teeth, your needs, and your dental sensitivity.

With in-office teeth whitening, you can be sure that the result you get is the result you need – and the product that’s used on your teeth won’t overdo it. Typically, whitening by your dentist happens in a couple of ways. One of the more advanced methods is with light-activated whitening product that’s applied by your dentist and done. It’s fast and easy. The other method is a mouthpiece, worn in the dentist’s office for about 15 or 20 minutes (depending on how stained your teeth are).

Of course, if you don’t change habits that tend to stain your teeth – like smoking, or drinking coffee, tea, and wine – your teeth will gradually become stained again. At some point, you might want to get your teeth whitened again.

Is your big day coming up? Our dentists in Garden Grove, CA frequently provide whitening services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to learn more. It’s fast and easy. 

Can Carbonated Drinks Hurt My Teeth?

In recent years, carbonated drinks have been having a bit of a revival. Fortunately, it’s not sugary sodas and teas that are becoming more and more popular. It’s actually carbonated drinks like La Croix and Perrier that are experiencing a heyday with plenty of news coverage and more new flavors than you can shake a stick at.

But this new attention doesn’t come without some questions, like – can carbonated drinks hurt your teeth?

What you might be surprised to learn is that they can. But fortunately, it’s not all bad news.  While fizzy water contains carbonic acid to give it its “fizziness” and the acidity can gradually begin to wear away at the enamel protecting your teeth, the good news is that the acid level isn’t too high. This is especially true when you compare these fizzy concoctions to their troublesome cousins, soda.

What you’ll want to watch out for, however, are flavored seltzers that are flavored with citric and other acids on top of carbonic acid. For comparison purposes, the acidity of the natural water in your tap is usually about 7 (completely neutral on the acid scale) while the acidity of a La Croix and other seltzers tends to sit somewhere around 4 or 5, and the acidity of a soda can be as low as 2 or 3.

But before you empty out your pantry, our dentists in Garden Grove want to remind our patients of one important thing: acidic drinks in moderation are generally okay. But over time – repeatedly drinking substances with acid can have an effect. So if you’re drinking a case of lemon flavored seltzers a day – make sure you’re staying on top of your teeth. To minimize damage, make sure you’re not just drinking seltzer and that you’re “enjoying” some regular water too – especially between meals, and try to refrain from brushing immediately after you’ve consumed something acidic. The acids can actually linger on your teeth and use the abrasive nature of toothpaste to work their way in deeper to do extra damage.

Have a question? Our dentists are here to help. To learn more or (if you’re in the LA area) looking for a great dentist in Garden Grove, contact us today!

 

 

How to Drink Flavored Water Without Hurting Your Teeth

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One of the great things that our dentists in Garden Grove are starting to notice is that many patients are drinking much more water than they used to. Some chalk it up to the increasing popularity of seltzers, others simply say that it’s the result of a society that’s slowly grown more and more health conscious. Either way – it’s all good news. Except for teeth.

Unfortunately, what’s many times perfectly healthy for one part of your body isn’t the best for other parts of it. One example is with your teeth. But first – don’t get us wrong. Drinking water is great for your teeth and your oral hygiene – but that’s only if it’s plain water.  While most seltzers won’t do too much damage to your teeth (despite still containing some acids), what patients should really be careful about is lemon-flavored water.

One of the easiest and most flavorful ways to drink more water is to add something to it – like lemon. And actually, there are plenty of benefits when it comes to drinking water with lemon. From hel[ping with digestion and providing some vital nutrients (like Vitamin C and potassium), to providing a boost to your immune system, helping out with your skin, supporting your liver, freshening your breath, and helping to reduce inflammation –  it’s undeniable that a bit of lemon water can be a good thing. But what about your teeth?

It’s true that while lemons can help with so many things, the acid within them can and will erode the enamel on your teeth – which can make them much more prone to cavities. This is because lemon juice is some of the most acidic juice around. But if you’ve taken to enjoying lemon-water with every meal – follow a few simple steps to minimize damage to your teeth.

  • Limit the amount of lemon juice you drink
  • Dilute the lemon juice as much as you can
  • Use a straw to bypass as much of your teeth as possible
  • After drinking your lemon water – give your mouth a quick rinse with regular water to return your saliva back to normal and wash away any lingering acids.
  • Wait to brush your teeth: After drinking any acidid beverage, you should really wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing so as not to do unintended damage to your enamel while it’s in a weakened state.

Have questions about your teeth? Our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help. If you’re a patient in the area contact us today to learn more. 

Sleep Apnea: What it Is, and How Your Dentist Can Help

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Ever heard of sleep apnea?

It’s actually a pretty problematic condition, and fairly serious. The worst part is that many people don’t even know that sleeping restlessly and feeling sluggish all day are generally signs of sleep apnea.

But what is sleep apnea? Put simply, sleep apnea is when your breathing gets interrupted during sleep – multiple times throughout the night. But there are two kinds – obstructed sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea occurs in your brain. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea – which interrupts breathing because of an actual blockage in your airway, central sleep apnea involves no blockage (other than the “blockage” preventing your brain from sending a proper signal to your respiratory center).

Unfortunately, if you have central sleep apnea, you might need the help of your family doctor. On the bright side obstructive sleep apnea is much more common. Even better – your dentist can help.

Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or you think you might be experiencing the symptoms –  get in touch with our dentists in Garden Grove if you’re in the area – we can help.

With oral appliance therapy, you might be able to treat your sleep apnea – giving you better sleep, better overall health, and even better teeth and gums. Appliance therapy uses a small device, custom designed to slip over your upper and lower teeth. The appliance will either reposition your jaw – or prevent your tongue from sagging into your airway. Fortunately – it only has to be worn when you’re sleeping.

Have questions? Sleeping poorly? Our dentists in Garden Grove might be able to help.

How Poor Sleep Can Affect Your Oral Health

Have you ever heard that bad sleep affects your health? It’s true. Of course – poor sleep will make you sluggish and slow at work, but it can also lead to serious problems like heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.

But our dentists in Garden Grove want to remind our patients that poor sleep can go even further than your general health. It can also affect your oral health. Did you know that a chronic lack of sleep can also increase your risk of gum disease? Or – on top of that, gum disease can also

Did you know that a chronic lack of sleep can also increase your risk of gum disease? Or, if you already have gum disease that you don’t already know about – it can get much worse.

According to one study by the Journal of Periodontology  – lack of sleep can actually be more damaging to your gums than stress and alcohol use – and is second only to smoking. What studies say, is that this risk increases if you get less than 6 hours of sleep (on average).

In addition to lack of sleep, poor sleep can also lead to problems in your mouth – such as bruxism, or nocturnal grinding. Grinding your teeth at night can have a profound impact on your teeth and your gums. From the shape of your teeth to gum recession that can contribute to sensitivity and other problems.

Are you concerned that lack of sleep is impacting your oral health? Don’t let your concerns ride for too long. The longer you put off your dental care, the worse problems become. When it comes to your teeth – time is usually not a curative.

Are you experiencing problems with your teeth and not sleeping well? One could be tied to the other. Don’t wait too long. If you’re in the area, contact our dentists in Garden Grove today.

The Worst Fruits for Your Teeth a Dental Tip from Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove

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If there’s anything you could learn from reading our blog – it’s that acids are one of the most common threats faced by your teeth. From sugary candies that feed acid particularly well to starches that break down into sugars, and then feed the acid attacking your teeth – acid is acid, all the same.

So when you’re considering your dental health alongside your diet, it’s important to consider the acid content in your diet as well. Many times, that can come from the fruits you eat and the juices you drink. So our dentists in Garden Grove want to remind you about some of the fruits you should be careful of, in terms of how acidic they are.

The list, naturally, starts with lemons, limes, and cranberries – but it gets kind of surprising after the top 3.

The Most Acidic Fruits

  • Lemon Juice
  • Limes
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Blue Plums
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Grapefruits
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapples
  • Apples

You might find some surprises. For example, Don’t they say “An apple a day keeps the dentist away? They don’tAs the saying really goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” (which actually evolved from “an apple a day, no doctor to pay”).  And while it’s true that apples are high in vitamins and fibers, they’re not the best for your teeth. But remember, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bad for your teeth. Because while an apple does have more acid than an orange or a peach – a good apple can also help freshen up your teeth and knock some debris loose. Just be sure to rinse your mouth out after every meal.

 

 

5 Habits That Could Be Hurting Your Teeth

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Just like any part of your body – your teeth take much more of a beating than you may realize. From what you eat and drink, to the ways you use your teeth that you probably shouldn’t be, everything from the enamel protecting your teeth to the actual shape of your teeth can be impacted by your habits.

With that in mind, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re doing to your teeth – so that you can be more aware of how you can protect them. So our dental team in Garden Grove has come together to put together a list of the 3 habits you might not realize could be seriously hurting your teeth.

Too Much Snacking

Eating too many snacks isn’t just a problem for the size of your jeans. When you eat snacks, it allows food debris, sugars, and all manner of junk to hang out in your mouth for much longer than you probably intend. This is especially true when you aren’t drinking water to rinse everything down. Too much snacking can lead to sugar lingering far longer than you want it to, which can produce more acids than you would if you were simply eating your standard 3 meals a day. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t snack – it just means you should be more aware of what you’re putting into your mouth so that you can either brush, rinse, or simply drink more water throughout the day.

Chewing Ice

For some people, chewing ice is simply a fact of life. Part nervous habit, part “comfort food” chewing ice is a daily thing for people everywhere. Unfortunately, the hardness of ice can contribute to tiny cracks on your teeth – which can then grow into much larger, more problematic cracks.

Teeth Grinding

Do you ever wake up with a headache? If so, it probably means you’re grinding your teeth at night – which can be caused by a number of factors ranging from genetics and what you eat or drink before bed – to anxiety. If you’re noticing headaches or jaw pain in the morning do speak to your dentist about the best available options for you. Why? Because grinding can slowly file away your teeth, contribute to sensitivity, and cause even more serious problems like cracks and fractures.

Have a question about your teeth? We’re here to answer your concerns. If you’re a dental patient in the Orange County or Garden Grove area, our friendly team of dentists, hygienists, and oral surgeons can help make sure your teeth are healthy for years to come.