Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


Why Your Gums are Bleeding


There you are, sitting in front of your bathroom mirror giving your teeth gums their monthly flossing. Why just monthly? Well – you’re trying to get better about that right?  Our dentists in Garden Grove see this a lot. Don’t worry – in most cases, it’s not a dental emergency.

So what do you do if your gums start bleeding? First. Don’t panic. Periodontal problems are some of the most prevalent disorders around the world. There’s a very real chance that you could be experiencing the very earliest stage of periodontitis (especially if you have swollen, red, and tender gums). You could also be experiencing a bit of random inflammation – perhaps from some stuck food.  Or, in many cases – it’s simply a matter of your gums not being used to the attention.

Ever get a compliment when you weren’t ready for one and have all the blood rush to your face? Think about sporadic flossing and your gums in the same way! Your gums are a sensitive and very important piece of “equipment” in your mouth. So the bleeding that almost always seems to happen after you haven’t flossed in a long time doesn’t always have to mean that your gums are infected. More simply, they’re just not used to the stress. When your gums are never touched by floss and seldom touched by your toothbrush – they, tend to get a little soft and sensitive.

So if your gums protest with blood when you finally get around to giving them a thorough cleaning with floss – don’t take it as a reason to stop. Instead, use it as an excuse to floss more regularly, to give your gums the support they need and to toughen them up against bacteria, plaque, decay, and gum disease.



The Best Way to Get a Cavity

If you were to try your hardest to take a tooth from healthy, strong, and clean to plaque covered and cavity ridden you could accomplish that feat in a number of ways.

You could eat a nice, sweet ice-cream sundae before bed and go to sleep without brushing or even rinsing your mouth out. Or, you could eat candy and sweets all day, staying hydrated with a steady stream of sugar-rich soda and ignore brushing for a couple days.

These are really easy ways to cultivate your very own cavity. And you might be surprised by how quickly it would show up when proper care and dental maintenance are completely ignored. But even with the presence of an oral hygiene routine, it only takes a few short months for a cavity to begin forming.

The Lifecycle of a Cavity

Step 1: Spot Lesions (White or Brown)

First, the earliest form of a cavity arises as a white or brown spot “lesion”. This occurs when the minerals in the tooth surface have been sapped away at a cellular level. However, a white or brown spot may very well be the only symptom you spot. At this stage in the process, early intervention can often stop the cavity in its track. Treatments can often include topical fluoride products and specialized dental products designed to re-mineralize your tooth.

Step 2: Dentine Caries

If you don’t stop the first white or brown spot lesions in your mouth, the bacteria that causes a cavity will continue to borrow its way into your tooth until it reaches the inner dentin.  This layer of your tooth also has a direct route to the nerves of your teeth – which can often give patients their first obvious sign that something is amiss, this can come in the form of pain or sensitivity — but not always.  At this point, there’s no going back. Re-mineralization is not an option, and your dentist will be adding material instead.

Step 3: Root and Pulp Problems

If you leave a toothache alone for too long, the cavity will eventually make its way into the pulp chamber of your teeth – which contains bundles of nerves and fleshy material that bacteria just loves. If the cavity is allowed to kill the nerve and affect blood supply to the tooth – you could need root canal treatment or even tooth replacement. The symptoms for this stage of the process generally include throbbing, dull-pain that gets worse when you apply pressure or temperature change. But still – there’s also a chance you’ll see no symptoms at all!.

Think you might have a cavity? Don’t wait. The sooner you treat a cavity, the easier and less-expensive it is. Our emergency dentists in Garden Grove have treated countless cavities at every stage of their life cycle. We are positive we can help you with yours.

Our Dentists in Garden Grove Suggest: How to Handle a Lost Filling

Dental fillings are incredibly common.  In fact, most people tend to need at least one or two fillings at some point in their life. Typically, that’s when they’re used to repair a cavity. But other times, fillings can also be used to fix a cracked or broken teeth – or give new shape to a tooth that’s been worn down over time.

But what can you do if you lose a filling? It can happen. Fortunately, our dentists in Garden Grove are here to advise you on the right move to make. A loose or missing filling can often seem painful – but this can generally be attributed to sensitivity. While this can be jarring at first – it’s generally not too serious.


The first thing you need to do if you’ve lost a filling is to take a breath – it’s not the end of the world. All you have to do is call your dentist.  There are a few reasons why your filling can come out – but a filling doesn’t just fall out. Read on to learn how and why your filing might have “Fallen” out.

Some of the “Hows” Behind Failed Fillings

  • Fillings won’t just fall out – there may be a cavity underneath the filling that doesn’t allow it to rest on a solid surface, or it could have been placed in a situation where your dentist knew it might not last (for example: if a crown would have worked better – but was too expensive)
  • You can’t floss a filling out: If a filling comes out while flossing, it was going to fail at some point anyway.
  • Mouths are rough places: Your teeth go through thousands of chewing cycles that can gradually wear away at dental restorations (like fillings). Add in drastic temperature shifts from hot and cold beverages and the poor decision that some patients make by using their teeth as tools  – and it can actually be pretty easy to “pop” a filling out.

Think you might have lost a filling? Our dentists in Garden Grove can help. Every year, we help countless patients get their teeth back into tip-top shape by replacing fillings that have fallen out. It’s good to remember the filling was placed for a reason, so even if the missing filling doesn’t hurt or contribute to sensitivity – you shouldn’t wait too long to have it replaced.



Our Dentist In Garden Grove Suggests: How to Handle a Dental Emergency

Nobody wants to deal with a dental emergency, but more often than not – when something unexpected happens to one of your teeth, the first thought is to wonder what constitutes a dental emergency in the first place?

There are plenty of conditions that could land you in the dentist’s chair. Fortunately, only a small number of them tend to happen suddenly. In most cases, the need for dental care comes about after something like a cavity has months to dig deep and establish a foothold in your mouth. So what are some of the conditions that can lead to emergency dental care.

Some of the most common dental emergencies include:

  • Tooth fractures (broken teeth)
  • Tooth avulsion (knocked out tooth)
  • Tooth luxation (loose tooth)

Are cavities a dental emergency?

Generally, a cavity doesn’t mean that you need emergency treatment right away. In most cases (if the pain is minor) you should notify your dentist and expect to be told to get it handled as soon as possible. However, if you’re feeling a few specific symptoms – it might require emergency treatment.

  • The pain is extreme and gets worth when you add pressure, or when it’s exposed to hot or cold
  • You’re experiencing swelling in your face, neck, cheek or chin area
  • Your gums around the affected tooth are swollen
  • You have a fever


So, if you’re experiencing a dental emergency. What exactly should you do? Our dentists in Garden Grove suggest first taking a deep breath. Dental emergencies are much easier to resolve when the patient has taken a few key steps. First, if you’ve knocked out a tooth – try to replace it. If it’s too painful, store it in a jar of saliva or milk in order to preserve it.

To reduce the swelling, hold an ice-pack in the affected area. If it’s bleeding, rinse your mouth out as good as possible. You can also try dissolving a teaspoon of salt in warm water. This solution can be used to rinse the area, stop bleeding, and reduce inflammation.

Our Dentist in Garden Grove Suggests: Flossing Tips to Improve Your Oral Health

It’s the one thing that dental patients always try to explain away: a poor flossing routine.

If you have bad breath, or your gums have started to become sore or inflamed. It might be because you’re either not flossing or not flossing properly. One of the most effective ways to solve problems like that, is to make sure you’re properly flossing.

You might not realize it, but flossing accomplishes around 40% of the work needed to remove sticky bits of bacteria and plaque. When plaque clings to your teeth, damage happens when it generates acid to dig deeper, multiply, and thrive.

When it comes to flossing – our dentists in Garden Grove often remind patients that your tooth is more than just surface. It’s actually 5. The large surfaces facing in and out, and the remaining small edges of your teeth. With floss, you make sure you work away the bacteria, plaque, and debris on the surfaces you don’t normally see.  To make the most of it, follow these simply tips.

The more effectively floss and protect your teeth for the long term.

  • Start with an 18″ or 20″ length of floss. First, wind most of it around your two middle fingers and then the remaining bit on the same fingers on your opposite hand.
  • Hold the floss firmly and tightly, so that there’s a couple inches of floss between your fingers.
  • When you work your floss up to the gum-line, you will begin to feel some resistance. At this point, gently curve the floss into a “C” shape against your tooth.
  • Gently scrape the side of your tooth, while consistently moving the floss away from the gum. Repeat this on all of your teeth, being careful not to forget the teeth in the back.

One more tip: If you’re not used to flossing very regularly, your newly focused flossing routine could make your jaws sore. They might even bleed. After a few days, this should return to normal. If not, get in touch with your dentist!

Our dentists in Garden Grove frequently help patients solve problems that could have been prevented with a better dental hygiene regimen – including flossing. If you think you might need to see a dentist – don’t wait! Get in touch with our dental team today.



Our Dentist in Garden Grove Suggests: Dental Friendly Travel

Sometimes, when our teeth don’t get the special attention they deserve – we run into problems. Sometimes, our dentists in Garden Grove see patients who have been traveling or on vacation. Unfortunately,  it’s also one of the more common excuses we hear from patients who have teeth that need some TLC.

But travel doesn’t have to be a danger for your teeth. With a bit of planning and discipline, your dental routine will support your dental health anywhere.

Be Prepared: Whether you’re heading off on a long road trip or you’re flying around the world – the most important thing to know is that a little planning is your best friend.  If you’re driving, stash some floss, a tooth brush, and a small tube of toothpaste in your glove box.  If you’re flying, travel size items work in a pinch. Keep some in your carry-on! Think about how often you eat and drink a little more decadently when you’re on vacation. That means more sugar, more sweets, and more acids sitting on your teeth throughout the day.

Always bring a carry-on: If you’re getting on a plane, you can always bring a carry-on. It’s smart to use some of that space for a small tube of toothpaste, floss, and your toothbrush. If you get stranded you don’t want to skip brushing – and you also don’t want to have to buy an overpriced toothbrush at the airport!

Don’t worry about a travel case: The thing about travel cases is that they enclose your toothbrush. You probably think that a travel case does a good job of keeping dirty surfaces from touching your toothbrush’s bristles. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. The moist environment createdinside a travel case can actually promote bacterial growth. Instead, just let your toothbrush air dry before packing it away. Or – choose one of the travel cases that only encloses the head of your toothbrush.

Get problems checked out before you go. 

If you’re traveling for an extended period or you think there already might be a problem with one of your teeth – remember: it can be dangerous and expensive to travel with a toothache. You never want to have to deal with a dental emergency while away from home. So make the smart call and get in touch with your dentist. Our emergency dentists in Garden Grove have helped travelers fix their teeth and still make their flight.

For one final tip, remember this:  It’s NEVER good to skip brushing or flossing. Even for a couple of days. The more time bacteria and plaque have to flourish and thrive on your teeth – the more damage they can do.

Is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth? Our Dentists in Garden Grove Weigh In


As more and more dental patients around the world are embracing healthier lives in general, the number of smokers has continued to consistently drop. One of the most popular smoking cessation techniques for many patients has been a relatively new invention: vaporizers. 

Vaporizers are considered a more healthy alternative to smoking, because instead of combusting they use water vapor and an electronic current to heat the liquid and atomize it into an inhalable vapor that contains a drastically reduced amount of nicotine. On top of that, the flavors taste good – and the smoke isn’t offensive to nonsmokers. By slowly reducing the amount of nicotine used in the vaporizer, smokers can successfully eliminate their dependence on the substance. However, do be warned: the jury is still out when it comes to if “vaping” is completely safe for you — and the FDA is actively researching the effects of this new technology.

That said, many patients who express an interest in quitting smoking with “E-cigarettes” often wonder if the product is safe for teeth.  And that’s where you should pay attention.

No matter where it’s coming from – nicotine is what we call a vasoconstrictor. What this means is that it will stimulate the contraction of blood vessels. Ultimately this means that blood flow is reduced. When this happens for an extended period of time, what can happen to your mouth is well documented. By limiting the nutrients sent to your gums, you’re placed at a higher

By limiting blood flow to your gums, you’re also limiting the flow of nutrients to your gums. This can ultimately lead to a greatly increased risk for periodontal disease. Unfortunately, reducing bloodflow also reduces your mouth’s ability to reliably fight bacteria, clean the mouth, and grow new cells.

So, while our dentists in Garden Grove always recommend you quit smoking. The best move for your teeth is to gradually eliminate nicotine from your “diet”. Until it is, your teeth will never be 100% prepared to fight the neverending battle against plaque, bacteria, and periodontal disease.