Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

714-537-5700

3 More Conditions Your Teeth Can’t Hide from Your Dentist

health-dental-symptoms

A few days ago, we blogged about how dentists (like ours here in the Anaheim area) are trained to understand your teeth. So naturally, it’s rather simple to understand a great deal about a patient by looking at their teeth. In fact, as we discussed, your teeth can provide important signals to conditions as serious as kidney failure or diabetes.

But that’s not all. You might actually be surprised by the sheer number of “conditions” your teeth can shed light into. Read on and let our Anaheim area dentists explain.

Pregnancy

If you’re already pregnant, be sure to take extra good care of your teeth  – because almost 40% of pregnant women develop some form of gum disease during pregnancy due to increases in hormones that facilitate the growth of new bacteria. Unfortunately, this also can trigger gingivitis.

It should be mentioned however, that most women will generally be further along in the pregnancy before their gums are affected enough to start bleeding. That said, it’s likely your dentist won’t be breaking the news to you that you’re pregnant. But – it’s worth knowing that pregnant women should be extra careful when it comes to their dental hygiene.

Vitamin Deficiency

A lack of proper vitamins and minerals can make itself known in a number of rays – many of them in your mouth. They range from increased infections, bleeding gums, delayed healing, and ‘burning tongue syndrome’. Sometimes, iron sores can cause patients to get some pretty significant sores in their mouths – but every patient is different. Fortunately, your dentist can help you spot and correct any issues you may have.

Eating Disorders

Sometimes, patients are surprised when their dentist of all people is the first to delicately ask them if they have a strained relationship with food. What some might not realize is that conditions like bulimia create a very specific wear pattern on teeth – which makes some eating disorders easy to identify. If you do suffer from conditions like these, you can be at risk for increased cavities due to enamel erosion from acid.

 

What Happens to Your Teeth as They Age

photo-1441886367417-1c946b32a980

As you get older, your body happens to change quite a bit. Fortunately, many of those changes are good. You get older, wiser – better able to handle everything that time throws at you. Unfortunately, your teeth don’t always get better with age.

As you age, the risk you have for certain conditions goes up. In your mouth, these can vary from gum problems – like recession and gum disease – to cavities and tooth loss. In many cases, aging can have a factor when it comes to the gradual changing of your teeth. However, our dentists in the Anaheim area remind patients that we can’t blame everything on age. In many cases, external factors (and decisions) can be making an even greater impact on the teeth than age.

So, what does age do to your teeth? And could it one-day mean you may need to talk to our denture specialists in Anaheim? Maybe, maybe not. Read on to learn more.

How Age Affects Your Teeth

They can wear down

Your teeth are incredibly strong, but they can still gradually be worn down. After years of chewing, grinding, biting, tearing, and living the hard outer shell of your teeth – otherwise known as enamel – begins to wear down. Your teeth will also begin to slowly change shape.

It is very hard to maintain perfect teeth for your entire life – unless of course you only eat soft foods and never leave the house. Just about any healthy mouth will need some form of dental restoration at some point – and you’d be smart to be ready for it, because delay will only make it worse.

But it’s not just time that wears down your teeth. Enamel can be chipped and teeth can be broken by eating hard foods or chewing on things like ice – or your fingernails. A poor bite and/or grinding can also lead to accelerated wear – which can often be corrected by an orthodontist or a mouthguard

 

Keep your Mouth Moist

As you age, your mouth can often get drier. This can also increase your likelihood of decay and cavities – since it’s your saliva that helps fight against food, debris, and bacteria all day. This can often happen due to medication – which frequently causes dry mouth.

The easiest solution here is to just drink more water. Always have a water bottle on hand! Better yet -hold the water in your mouth for just a little bit longer before you swallow to help take some of the work off of your spit. It could use a break.

Get help when you need it.

The fact is, just like your muscles aren’t as resilient as they used to be – your teeth aren’t as tough either. If you suspect a problem with your teeth and you live in the Garden Grove area. Contact us today. 714-537-5700

 

What Your Dentist Can Tell About You Right When You Open Your Mouth

You would be surprised by what our dentists here in Garden Grove could tell you about your life and your body by taking a look at your teeth.

It’s true – after only being in the dentist’s chair for a few minutes, you can give your dentist a pretty great snapshot of what your life is like and what your life has been like.

It’s no surprise that archaeologists and detectives alike use teeth to learn more about the historical figure or criminal at hand. So, of course, there’s too much to cover in a single blog post – but we’ll start with something familiar: you, sitting in the dentist’s chair. That’s right…

1. Your dentist can tell you flossed with before your appointment

If you’re someone that doesn’t always floss your teeth, you might be wondering – does my dentist know that I just flossed for the first time in a while before my cleaning appointment? Yup. We definitely do.

Even flossing the night before your appointment won’t convince anyone but a blind dentist that you floss daily – or even every other day. And you don’t want a blind dentist. If you only floss every once in a while your gums will look damaged, inflamed.

Gums that are healthy are tight, supple, and pink. But more often than not, patients that don’t floss all that often frequently exhibit tiny little “slices” where they really went after their teeth too hard to make up for lost time.

2. Your dentist can tell you’re a nailbiter

Your dentist doesn’t even really have to look at your fingers to understand that you’re a nailbiter. This often manifests as general wear and tear on your teeth – or even chips and cracks. The constant stress on your teeth can even lead to jaw pain and discomfort.

3. Bad Breath Could be the Sign of Something More

Within moments, your dentist may even be able to understand even more about what’s going on inside your mouth by the smell of your breath. If you have bad breath – clinically known as halitosis – it could come from a number of courses.  Your dentist has received training on identifying what certain smells “mean” with fruity smelling breath – for instance, meaning a problem like unchecked diabetes, or fishy smelling breath potentially being a signal of a kidney problem. Fouler smells could be from infections. And of course – bad breath could just mean that you need to step up your “sink game”.

Have questions about your teeth? Our dentists in the Anaheim area are here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn about new patient specials. 

 

Do I need dental sealants?

kids-invisalign

Do you worry about cavities? Or maybe you worry about your children getting cavities? It’s understandable. They’re like the unexpected flat tire of the dental world – frequently a surprise, and always an annoyance for the patient. But fortunately, the dental world has provided a great solution that’s quite simple  and painless for our dentists near Anaheim to apply to give your teeth an extra leg-up against decay and cavities.

That solution is dental sealants.

Dental sealants are a very thin – essentially invisible – piece of plastic coating that your dentist can paint onto the chewing surface of your teeth, giving your enamel a special shield that helps prevent tooth-decay while also smoothing out any crevices or grooves in your teeth.

Sealants are an incredible solution to help make sure you prevent the unexpected hassle and expense of cavities – especially for children, when they’re between the cavity-prone ages of 6 to 13 or 14. Sealants are frequently recommended for children when their permanent molars come in. This can be helpful because they tend to be the hardest teeth for children to brush.

But sealants aren’t just for kids. If you’re an adult who’s prone to decay – sealants could be a very effective solution. They’ll generally protect the teeth for many years – but they should be inspected by your dentist during regular appointments.

How well do they work?

The ADA reports that dental sealants have demonstrated an ability to reduce the risk of dental decay by up to 80% in molars and premolars. As the CDC reported in 2016, sealants can be especially important for children, because children without dental sealants often have a much greater likelihood of cavities (up to 3 times!)

Are you frequently worrying about cavities? Or are your children prone to cavities? Dental sealants are a great way to prevent them. Get in touch with our friendly dentists in Garden Grove to learn how we can help.

Don’t Let Fear of Dental X-Rays Keep You From the Dentist

xray

More often than not, when patients of our dental office near Anaheim are worried about going to the dentist, it’s either because they’re nervous about how much work they’ll need or they’re worried about how much it will cost.

But sometimes, patients are also wary of the dentist’s office because they’re not entirely sure how safe X-rays are. Are we getting dangerous levels of radiation? Today, we’re here to put your worries to rest.

We all get exposed to radiation from sources everywhere – ranging from the sun and appliances at home to minerals in the soil and the phones in our pockets. Too much radiation can damage the cells in your body, potentially causing cancer. But there’s good news – the dose of radiation you’re exposed to throughout the day and the dose of radiation you’re exposed to in the dental chair aren’t enough to pose a problem.

On top of this, numerous advances in the dentistry field have enabled dentists and the scientists behind the equipment we use to consistently lower radiation levels and make X-rays safer and safer.

These advancements range from the ability to significantly minimize where the x-ray is targeting, while also shortening the amount of time the x-ray needs to be used in order to get a picture — all effective methods to minimize how much radiation you get.

So why does the dentist or hygienist leave the room? 

Since the dental profession puts dentists and hygienists in contact with x-ray machines every day, we have to be a bit more careful about how often we’re exposed. Otherwise, the amount of radiation we see would be much higher than the average person. So when you’re the one alone in the dentist’s chair under a heavy, shielding garment – don’t be nervous! It’s never enough radiation to harm you.

On top of all of that – you’re also protected by federal law, which stipulates very strictly how often X-ray machines need to be inspected for safety and accuracy.

Are you over-due for a dental visit? Our dental office in Garden Grove, CA is accepting new patients. Contact us today to learn more!

How Mouthwash Can Be Bad for Your Teeth and Mouth

inlays-onlays-restoration

Yesterday, we blogged about mouthwash and how it can be a secret weapon for all sorts of tasks in your mouth like fighting cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. But is there such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to mouthwash – maybe.

While mouthwash is definitely good for your teeth and mouth (as we discussed), this isn’t always the case. Let our Anaheim area dentists explain….

There actually are some downsides to using mouthwash

Some mouthwashes have shown a link to oral cancer: This one is a bit dicey – because the studies are still relatively new. But there’s good news, the problematic mouthwashes are only the ones with alcohol in them. So just use a mouthwash without alcohol, there are plenty available.

It also kills beneficial bacteria: Think about it this way. There’s a war going on in your mouth and it’s being waged by bacteria. Some of it is good bacteria, however. But it’s still bacteria – and when you use a weapon of mass destruction like antiseptic mouthwash, there will be no survivors. Your mouth starts clean – for a little while at least. A Harvard study even said that these good bacterias could even be those that help prevent conditions like diabetes and obesity.

They can undermine your toothpaste: Sometimes, with certain products, there can be an interaction between what’s in the mouthwash and what’s in your toothpaste where they essentially just cancel each other out. This isn’t that problematic – just a bit of a waste, especially if you’re springing for the fancier toothpaste. Just wait a little bit before you rinse.

So when should you use mouthwash?

Firstly – if your dentist recommends it. Our dentists in Garden Grove recommend mouthwash to patients for a number of symptoms ranging from bad breath and gum disease to tooth decay and cavities.

 

 

How Mouthwash Can Help Your Teeth and Mouth

If you’ve ever shopped in the pharmacy or even the pharmacy aisle at the grocery store, you’re at least somewhat familiar with mouthwash. But what does it really do for your teeth? And for that matter, what do other forms of rinsing do as well?

Today, our dentists in Garden Grove are here with the answers.

For many of our dental patients – their morning routine goes a little something like this: shower, brush, floss, rinse, DONE. For a lot of them, it just wouldn’t feel right to not start the day with that fresh wintergreen mint taste. Fortunately, there are a great many reasons to use mouthwash. Learn about a few of them below, and if you don’t use mouthwash – consider trying. It can give you a great leg up when it comes to your oral hygiene routine.

Good reasons to use mouthwash

Help fight gingivitis: mouthwash can help you fight back against bacteria and food debris that can get stuck in your teeth and gums. By rinsing, you take one additional step to help prevent inflammation and infection.

Help prevent cavities: fluoride rinses and mouthwashes that contain flouride help remineralize the enamel of your teeth – which actively helps prevent cavities (it’s actually the exact opposite of getting a cavity)

Get fresher breath:  Far too many adults live with bad-breath every day. Fortunately, mouthwash can kill many of the bacteria that lead to bad breath while also giving your mouth a nice smell.

Help relieve canker sores: The antiseptic qualities of mouthwash cut back on the bacteria around the sensitive tissue, which can significantly cut down on how much canker sores hurt. If you don’t have mouthwash handy, a warm saltwater rinse can work just as well (some even say better).

Have a question about your teeth? Our dentists near Anaheim have seen it all. To learn more or to get in touch about new patient specials – please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re here to help!

Should You Brush Your Teeth at Work?

mac-459196_640

Would you feel weird brushing your teeth at work? First of all – you shouldn’t. If it’s smart to wash your hands, why would it be strange to wash your teeth? Even still, some of our dental patients in the Anaheim area ask our dentists in Garden Grove if it’s really necessary to brush your teeth at work.

The short answer, it definitely can’t hurt. Especially if you have a tendency for cavities.

Brushing at your work or in the office can be a very easy habit to create, and if you think about how bacteria and cavities work – you’ll know that it can easily give your mouth a leg-up in the constant battle going on in your mouth.

On top of this, brushing your teeth at work is also a good way to improve your breath. If you run on coffee and have to speak to customers, clients, and coworkers all day – a short break to give your teeth and tongue a quick freshening up goes a long way.

How to start the habit:

  • Store a toothbrush in your desk (store it in a covered travel container and make sure it’s dry)
  • Post a sticky note somewhere you’ll see it, all it needs to say is “Brush” – you’ll remember the rest.
  • Do you go for a walk, clean your desk, or tidy up your workspace at some point during the day? Add brushing to that routine!

One important tip: wait 30 minutes before brushing

It’s important to wait 30 minutes after a meal before you brush. Brushing right away can contribute to erosion and decay – especially if you’ve recently eaten acidic food, which essentially is getting brushed into your teeth.

 

Are You Remembering These 4 Important Brushing Tips?

looseteeth

Our dentists near Anaheim tell patients all the time – “brush better!” Why? Because it really could save your teeth. If you already read our recent post “Are you brushing your teeth right?” you already have a head start. But if there’s one thing our dentists and hygienists believe:the more tools you have the better. If we provide one hundred dental tips for our patients and they only remember 5, 10, or even 20 – we’ve succeeded!

So without further ado, some more brushing tips that could help you save more on your dental bill while brushing your way to healthier teeth.

Make sure you’re brushing at a 45 Degree Angle

Dentists recommend a specific angle to brush your teeth at – 45 degrees – to help make sure that you get the intended result from brushing – including preventing gum disease and removing plaque.

Don’t forget the “inside” of your teeth

The side of your teeth facing the back of your mouth still get attacked by plaque and bacteria. Don’t forget to brush them. And don’t spend less time on them! better yet, if you find that you get lazy and stop brushing before thoroughly getting the back side of each tooth – START there instead so you don’t have the chance to forget.

While you’re at it – don’t forget to brush your tongue too. It also holds bacteria that can contribute not just to decay,  but to bad breath as well.

 

Don’t get rough

One tip that many patients need to hear is that they need to brush a little softer. Brushing too hard can lead to problems like receding gums and sensitive teeth. Gentler brushing gives your gums and teeth what they need without causing irritation (which can in turn make your teeth and gums too tender to properly brush)

Don’t forget your gums

Your gums are just as important as your teeth. And you wouldn’t have any teeth if you didn’t have any gums. With this in mind, angle the bristles of your toothbrush towards your gumline whenever you brush. Make sure you’re massaging your gums AND cleaning your teeth.

 

 

 

 

And finally: Think about what you’re doing. Take a little more time. And be thorough. Your teeth will think you.

Is it true there are side effects to root canals?

cavities-dental-garden-grove

If you’re in the position where you either have a tooth that’s severely damaged or already completely beyond saving – there’s a good chance that you might need a root canal.

A root canal is typically recommended when a patient has an infection that’s reached deep into the tooth (or even beyond). This can occur due to an injury or due to a bad cavity that never got treated.

You can learn more about root canal therapy, why you might need it, and how it’s actually completed in some of our previous blog posts. But today, we’re focusing on a specific question: can root canals cause any side effects?

Every week, our dentists in Garden Grove help patients from the Anaheim area and beyond with a wide variety of dental problems. Sometimes, this requires root canal treatment. What some patients often wonder is if root canals can lead to any side effects.

There are some complications that can come up when it comes to root canal treatment, which is part of what makes root canal treatment a tedious process that requires careful attention.

More than one root could be causing problems: if a root that’s become infected is missed, bacteria gets left behind which can lead to problems in the future.

Undetected cracks: Sometimes, a barely noticeable crack in the root of your tooth can become a safe haven for bacteria. Much like the above example where more than one root could be impacted, an undetected crack can cause the same type of damage.

Weakening of the tooth: Root canal treatment can slightly weaken the structure of the tooth. With this being said, it’s important to note that the tooth may not have 100% of its original strength and could post a higher risk for cracking or fracture in the future. For this reason, a dental crown is always recommended when getting root canal treatment. Some extra caution with what you eat doesn’t hurt either.

Do you have a problem tooth that’s been hurting? The quickest way to relief could be root canal treatment. If you’re a patient in the Anaheim area, our Garden Grove dentists can help, contact us today to learn about new patient specials.