Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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Why You Should Never Skip Brushing If You Can Help It

Have you ever crawled into bed after a long day only to realize with heartbreaking sadness that you had to peel yourself away from the pillow, and the warm embrace of your sheets to go brush your teeth?

Chances are, you probably entertained the voices in your head that said, “It’ll be okay! Put it off! Just go to sleep, your teeth will be there in the morning!” Of course, your teeth will be there in the morning, but what you might not realize is that putting off brushing and especially developing the habit where you think putting off brushing is O.K. is not good.

Time and time again, our dentists in Orange County encounter patients who think that putting off brushing is no big deal. Unfortunately, that’s where they’re wrong.

After you eat any meal, the sticky-bacteria filled substance known as plaque begins to envelope your teeth. While it doesn’t do a ton of damage if you don’t take care of it for a few hours, if given some time – plaque can get into the nooks and crannies of your teeth and establish a foothold that allows it to harden into tartar – which puts you at further risk for gum disease and cavities. And of course – as you’re surely aware – if you don’t take care of gum disease and cavities it can very well lead to the need for more extensive treatments like extraction, dental bridges, dentures, and more.

How Missing a Night of Brushing Hurts You

While it might not seem like it, missing even a single night of proper brushing and flossing – while not terrible for your teeth – surely isn’t good. It means that all of the plaque that’s had a chance to work its way into your mouth after every meal is left alone to dig in and find a good home on your teeth and around your gums. What’s worse is that it has a greater opportunity to harden and become tartar.

Too Tired to Brush and Floss?

While it’s really unlikely that you’re truly too tired to brush, if you can’t get yourself up to get it done. Think about that plaque doing its damage to your teeth, drink a cold glass of water to wake up, and remind yourself: a few minutes a day can save a few hundred dollars at the dentist.

 

How Tartar Attacks Your Teeth (and what you can do about it)

When it comes to the sticky, cruddy, bacteria-filled substances that can do a number on your teeth, tartar is plaques tougher brother that gets into much more trouble. If plaque is the kind of guy who thinks nothing of tossing his trash out on the expressway, tartar is the kind of guy who burns it all in a fire and dumps the remains in a nature preserve.

You might hear tartar referred to as plaque’s worse older brother because tartar essentially is plaque. When plaque’s allowed to accumulate without being cleaned off the teeth, it can quickly harden into tartar and appear above and below your gumline.

When you eat, bacteria in your mouth creates acids that actively weaken your tooth enamel and create cavities. However, if you remove plaque, you significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay and other dental problems that can lead to a need for emergency dental repair, extraction, dental bridges, and other repair/replacement procedures.  If you don’t successfully remove plaque from your teeth it will soon turn into tartar, which is like supercharged plaque. It can contribute to bad breath and cause yellowing (and even browning) of your teeth, but that’s not all. Beyond cosmetics, it can also contribute to gum diseases like periodontitis.

Unfortunately, because tartar is a hardened form of plaque that stubbornly clings to your teeth – you really need to see a dentist to get it removed. This is why our dentists in Orange County tries to see all of our patients – on average – twice a year.

 

Have you started to notice bad breatoh and yellow spots, especially near the gumline? Or, if you’ve started to notice the early warning signs of gum diease

If you’ve started to notice your breath isn’t smelling as fresh as it used to, or your seeing yellow spots on your teeth (especially near the gumline). It might be time for a cleaning. Or, if you’re experiencing the early signs of gum trouble like bright, red gums, teeth that are loose, and gums that are noticeably receding and/or tender — excess plaque and tartar could be contributing.

 

 

 

What to Expect if You Have Periodontal Disease

 When it comes to your teeth, taking care of your gums is incredibly important and can prevent you from requiring potentially expensive dental procedures ranging from deep cleaning and scaling to tooth extraction, dental bridges, or even dentures.

It’s important to understand one key fact about your gums: they are as important to your teeth. If you don’t take care of your gums, say goodbye to your teeth.

So, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with periodontal disease or you suspect you might be: here’s what to expect.

Prepare for some criticism of your daily routine: how often do you floss. Be honest.

One of the first things you can expect from your dentist when it comes to getting treated for gum disease is some constructive criticism about your hygiene.

Dental plaque is one of the leading causers of periodontal disease. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you’re removing it daily. If you’re not effectively brushing and flossing, this is impossible and you will have problems with your gums.

In addition to better brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits – your dentist might also encourage you to make other lifestyle changes as well – such as stopping smoking and cutting out sweets.

Removal of Tartar: While good self-care is a large part of reversing periodontal disease, you can’t do it all. Cleaning isn’t all up to you. Plaque that becomes “calcified” turns into a hard, sticky substance called tartar – which works its way into root surfaces and poses a problem for both your teeth and your gums. To eliminate it, your dentist or hygienist will typically perform scaling and/or root planing. Scaling usually involves no pain or discomfort, but root planing might sometimes require anesthesia .

Careful Evaluation: Once your dentist has successfully helped you  improve your oral hygiene habits and removed tartar from your teeth and root surfaces, you will generally be asked to return after a month or so to evaluate how well your gums are responding. Sometimes (in less serious cases) your gums might bounce back strong and fast – eliminating the need for future treatment, as long as you keep it up with good oral hygiene. In our dental practice in orange county – we have seen many patients bounce back from periodontal disease in this way.

Surgery for Periodontal Disease: If you have more advanced periodontal disease that doesn’t respond to changes in your oral hygiene or repeated scaling or root planing by your dental team, special surgical treatment may be required to repair your gums and protect your smile.

In most cases, gum surgery can include a number of different procedures that focus on repairing and regenerating lost or damaged soft-tissue.  When your gums are suffering from periodontal disease, they tend to form small pockets where food, debris, and bacteria gather to continue their assault. In most cases, gum surgery is used to help get rid of these, and return your gums to their proper function, feel, and look.

 

Dental Implants: The Why, the What, and the How

If you’ve ever had a reason to be concerned about your teeth, the thought of a tooth falling out or being damaged beyond repair can be incredibly worrisome. So, what happens if you actually do lose a tooth?

Fortunately, when it comes to losing teeth you have a number of available options. We’ve spoken at length about options like dental bridges and dentures in previous entries, including:

But today, we’ll be talking about dental implants. A dental implant is a procedure where one of our experience oral surgeons or periodontists surgically implants specially designed titanium posts into your jawbone. This is part of the reason why so many patients choose implants, because these posts make them sturdier, stronger, and virtually as strong as your natural teeth. However, even better is the fact that these special titanium posts are also biocompatible. Biocompatibility means that the titanium posts will eventually fuse and become one with your jawbone. This prevents one of the few disadvantages with other tooth replacement techniques by maintaining the jawbone and preventing it from degrading due to lack of activity. This is because, when teeth are extracted or replaced, the root is also taken out. Because of this, your jawbone essentially becomes “inactive”. As we all know – inactivity eventually leads to a gradual wasting away. By replacing the root of your tooth, the biocompatible titanium post engages your jaw, prevents deterioration, and maintains your youthful facial structure.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Appearance: Implants are often seen as a cosmetically superior solution to dentures and bridges for the way they stay put and look and feel like natural teeth.

Saving other, healthy teeth: Unlike bridges, implants don’t rely on nearby teeth. This means healthy teeth don’t need to support your artificial teeth – minimizing any negative impact on your teeth.

Confidence: With greater stability and security, many patients report that they feel more confident due to the fact that they never worry about their implants falling out or becoming loose.

Interested in learning more about replacing problematic or missing teeth? Our experienced dentists in Garden Grove have the answers you’re looking for!

 

 

“Can Gums Regenerate?”: When Gum Recession’s a Problem – This is the Answer You’re Looking For

Like any “structure” needs a strong foundation, so do your teeth. Your gums act as an incredibly important supporting structure and nourishment source for your teeth, which is why they are just as important as your teeth themselves. Without healthy gums, you wouldn’t have healthy teeth – and would likely need to rely on dental bridgework or even dentures if they were to reach a point where they weren’t healthy enough to support your teeth naturally.

If your gums are beginning to show the early signs of pain, irritation, and inflammation, or you’re beginning to experience sensitivity due to recession yourself – you might wonder – “Can my gums regenerate?”

Fortunately, the answer is a resounding YES.  If you’re experiencing rather minor gum recession and have caught it early, a renewed focus on oral care and some specialized products can help a great deal. Sometimes, this can also help your sensitivity go away.  But, there is unfortunately a catch. For more advanced recession, you will require more advanced treatment – which can include root scaling, pocket reduction, or even a skin graft for your gums.  So, while seriously impacted gums won’t be able to regenerate completely, there is hope.

But before any “regeneration” happens, you first have to understand why recession is becoming a problem in the first place. Possible sources of gingival recession include:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Grinding
  • Your genes
  • Changing hormones from life changes like puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Nail biting

Could your gums use some T.L.C.? Our dental practice in Garden Grove has helped numerous patients re-store the incredibly important foundation of their teeth, for years of healthy smiles. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help. 

Could a Dental Implant be a Better Choice?

At some point, everyone comes to a point where they have to make some tricky medical decisions. Unless you have some sort of superhero gene, your body (just like everyone else’s) will gradually become susceptible to wear and tear, damage, signs of age, and the impact of sickness and disease.  But it’s nothing to be too upset about, because decisions are decisions. Instead of being afraid to make one, we can rise above the decision by becoming informed and making the best choice possible. When it comes to decisions about your teeth, this is no different.

For that reason, it’s important to consider the whole picture when it comes to choosing between tooth replacement with something like a dental implant or a dental bridge. At our dental practice in Garden Grove, dental bridges and implants have become one of our specialties.

While dentures can be effective for many patients, one of the primary concerns we remind our patients of is the potential for extraction to lead to bone loss, as well as the potential for implants to stop bone loss.

When you get a dental implant, bio-compatible titanium posts are installed into your jaw-bone. These posts serve as anchors to support artificial teeth or an implant supported denture. But that’s not all. One of the most popular reasons dentists recommend dental implants is for their ability to support and maintain the health of the jaw bone.

Your jaw (and your entire skeletal structure – for that matter) requires stimulation. Because a dental implant engages the jaw bone and a denture or dental bridge doesn’t, patients at risk for future bone loss often decide to choose an implant supported solution. This helps maintain the structure of your face as well as your ability to chew and eat long into the future. On top of this, a healthy jaw structure ensures that any dental appliance continues to fit well.

Have questions about the future of your teeth? Over the years, we’ve helped restore smiles of every shape and size. What’s right for one patient, might not be right for you – and every patient deserves a custom diagnosis. If you’re curious about how we might fix your teeth and you’re a patient in the Orange County area, dentists in our office can help!

Simple Symptoms Soon: Why Early Prevention is Key

simple-symptoms-soon-early-prevention

If you’ve ever owned a car, you can attest to the fact that if you leave one problem for too long, it becomes a BIGGER problem. Who knows if this relationship has an “official” name or terminology, but we’ll call it the “snowball effect” , and the snowball effect is very much a factor when we begin to talk about problems that can occur in your mouth.

By preventing plaque and tarter  from getting out of control and getting prompt treatment for injuries and toothaches, you can see significant savings by treating the simple symptoms SOON.

Remember that mantra: “Simple symptoms SOON”.

So what CAN happen if some of these conditions are allowed to go a little crazy? Well, let’s take a look.

When Plaque Goes to Far

Plaque is a sticky film that clings to your teeth. But that’s not all. It’s also full of millions of tiny bacteria.

After you eat, plaques bacteria uses sugars in food as fuel to produce acids that gradually eat away at the enamel of your teeth – which protects their surface. After repeated assault by this acid, the enamel breaks down — causing cavities in the surface of your teeth. Many times, this will be when you begin to feel a toothache. If left untreated, it could lead to a visit with your closest root canal doctor.

Tartar: a Whole New Level of Plaque

If you aren’t good about removing plaque by brushing, flossing, and occasionally seeing your dentist – you can sometimes develop tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque, which continues to harbor bacteria but is much harder to get rid of with toothbrush and floss alone. When tartar is present, gingivitis isn’t far away.

Injuries Stick Around If You Don’t Fix Them

When your teeth are seriously injured, it’s incredibly important to get treatment as quick as possible. If the insides of your teeth are invaded by bacteria, it can quickly lead to infection that can sometimes be expensive to treat – with possible solutions ranging from bonding or filling to extraction and dental bridgework.

Are you experiencing a tooth ache or dental injury that needs immediate treatment? We can help! Our dental team in Garden Grove is backed by experts with years providing emergency dental care, cosmetic dentistry, and a comprehensive range of family dental services for patients of all ages. 

Do You Need a Crown or a Veneer?

At our family dental practice here in Orange County, cosmetic dentistry is one of our specialties. But when it comes to dental veneers – many times patients think a dental veneer would be the perfect solution when something else might be a better idea.

Did you know? Dental veneers don’t bond as readily to dentin as they do to enamel.

Enamel covers every single one of your teeth, to protect them from bacteria and damage. In most cases, when your dentist tells you about decay – it’s because the enamel of your teeth is gradually wearing away.

Underneath the enamel, we have dentin – which is equally important to the long-term health of your teeth. Dentin is comprised of multiple layers of tissue and tiny microscopic “tubes” that lead to the nerves of your teeth.

For a number of reasons ranging from old age to gum recession, the enamel of your teeth can gradually wear away. When this happens, sometimes you’ll begin to find that your teeth are more sensitive than they used to be, and foods like hot soup and cold water will give you a sensation that isn’t altogether pleasant (but not painful).

 

But this isn’t the only symptom of exposed dentin. If you have your heart set on a cosmetic “boost” with porcelain veneers, exposed dentin can sometimes pose a problem. But that’s not the end of the story! The success of a dental veneer relies on a strong bond to your tooth. Because the smooth surface of your enamel is better suited to this bonding process than the dentin, a dental crown or even (in cases of series damage) a crown and a dental bridge could be a much better, and longer lasting solution.

Our cosmetic dentists in Orange County have consulted countless patients when it comes to veneers, crowns, and all manner of cosmetic dentistry. No matter what your teeth need to look their best, they know how to help.

The Bottom Line on Flossing: Have You Read the News

Weeks ago, headlines were filled with the glorious news that so many dental patients have been waiting to hear for years -that flossing isn’t necessary!

Of course, when you read the headlines the first time – you got very happy. Then, there’s (hopefully) a good chance that you realized that it might be too good to be true. Despite the fact that some studies show that the benefits of flossing are inconclusive, the American Dental Association still maintains that flossing still can help.

We’re not entirely surprised. For many years, our team of family dentists in Garden Grove have extolled the virtues of flossing and their ability to improve oral hygiene and prevent dental emergencies in the future, which makes us wonder – what’s in a study, after all?

Cochrane is an organization dedicated to gathering high-quality information to help patients make better healthcare decisions. The Cochrane Review says that there still remains some evidence that flossing can help reduce the earliest stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. This bears repeating – flossing can help combat gingivitis, which is also known to be a leading precursor of late-stage gum disease. Keep this in mind when anyone tells you that “flossing doesn’t work”. Because if it can do anything to prevent gum disease, it’s doing a lot in terms of helping to ensure you live with your natural teeth for as long as possible.

So, despite the fact that flossing might not help with reduction of plaque or prevention of tooth decay, it can still protect your gums – which remain a vital and incredibly important foundation for your teeth.

You might be thinking: why should I keep flossing if a scientific study clearly shows it’s ineffective? And the answer is simple: flaw.

The Cochrane review has found that even the best flossing studies have issues. From poor controls and the difficulty of properly studying and measuring subjects, to study periods that are far too short – a number of flaws weaken flossing studies and leave scientists with rather inconclusive results.

But why? Not only are studies expensive and difficult, but studies about flossing also don’t bear the promise of other, more ground-breaking research. There’s no glory in researching flossing!

With all of this in mind, ask yourself – would you change your entire oral hygiene routine because of a simple study, with a simple premise, in a field of study that’s woefully under-studied? No!

Whether you’re having a dental emergency in Garden Grove, or you’re just looking for a good family dentist that’s nearby Orange County – our dentists have the experience and technology to help give families great smiles for years to come.

What are the Best Dentures for You?

If you’ve just started encountering the possibility that you might need to replace some or all of your teeth, there’s a good chance you might be worried, and even a little overwhelmed. But don’t worry! The first thing to remember is that modern denture technology has come a very long way. Whether you’re replacing  a few teeth or many teeth, there’s most likely an affordable denture option available to you.

But did you know that there are many different kinds of dentures available to ensure you get the best fit and function for your specific dental scenario? Read on to learn more about the different kinds of dentures available to you.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are a great solution when you only need to replace some teeth. Because you still have healthy teeth, those teeth help increase the stability of the denture. On top of this, the denture replacing your missing teeth helps keep your existing teeth healthy by preventing them from shifting – which would happen if you didn’t replace the missing teeth.

Fixed Bridges

A fixed bridge (also known as a fixed partial denture) makes use of crowns on teeth to either side of a gap to replace one or more teeth. While not quite a denture, the low cost of dental bridges combined with their longevity make them a great solution when you only need to replace one or a few teeth.

Complete Dentures

On the other hand, if you’re missing all of your teeth – there’s a good chance you’re looking for a denture dentist that can provide a full conventional denture.

When it comes to complete dentures there are two types: immediate and conventional dentures. An immediate denture is typically placed immediately after your teeth are extracted to both help your gums heal and prevent you from having to live without teeth for the two or three months it will take for your mouth to be fully healed and ready to be fitted for a “permanent” set of dentures. That permanent set of dentures is known as the “conventional denture” which is fitted to your specific anatomy.

Implant Supported Dentures

Removable dentures remain both incredibly popular and affordable. However, when it comes to replacing teeth – implanted supported dentures have become a favorite method.

 

A dental implant is, essentially, an artificial tooth root that’s been permanently installed in your jaw. One of these “roots” can support from one tooth to a single row of teeth – making them perfect for supporting a denture. The best part about a dental implant is it can last a life-time, unlike dentures – which will often need to be replaced due to a changing fit over time.

 

 

Do you have questions about dentures and the solutions available for you? We have answers! If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove or Orange County area and you need dentures, rely on our expert denture dentists for the support and answers you need. 

 

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