Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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How to Protect Your Teeth Overseas

 

Ever feel like you leave your health to chance while on vacation? Indulge the smart way with some simple dental travel tips

Our dentists in Garden Grove  hear all the excuses when patients don’t have the best approach to oral health – but one of the funniest excuses you might be able to come up with for poor oral health is “I was on vacation.”

If you’re getting ready to travel and you’re worried about your dental hygiene or you’re already on the road and you’re looking for ways to be better about your teeth – here’s some tips:

Pack a dental emergency kit

Okay, so toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, and floss are essential. That’s just a starting point. But if you’re traveling abroad – especially for an extended period of time, you might want a few extra things in your kit, including:

  • An extra toothbrush: cheap is fine, just make sure you have a backup – because it’s easy to leave your main toothbrush behind, and you never know how far away the next pharmacy is.
  • Some dental wax: this could be in a tiny container in your travel kit, but the small amount of space and weight it requires could save you money and discomfort in the event of a chip or crack. On top of this, if you experience a loose filling or crown – dental wax can be used to keep it in place until you can find a proper solution.
  • Dental cement: if you know you have an issue with a crown or filling, it also can’t hurt to have some dental cement on hand as well.

Know what to do in an emergency

Traveling anywhere requires you to change your perspective and adapt in a different way. It’s part of the challenge, and it can be an incredibly rewarding experience – even if you run into trouble, such as with your teeth.

The best, first step is knowing what needs to be done in general.  What would you do back home? – now just adapt that to wherever you might be.

Start with the basics by understanding what a dental emergency truly is, and what might be able to wait until you get home:

Think You Need an Emergency Dentist After Hours? Here’s When to Call

The Dental Emergency You Shouldn’t Ignore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A tooth just fell out, out of nowhere: why?”

Imagine you’re sitting at your kitchen table one day, must leisurely eating a bright and juicy red-delicious apple, only to feel a little extra crunch and see a tooth stuck in your snack…

“What just happened?” you might wonder. Well, hopefully our dentists in Garden Grove can help answer that question.

Losing your tooth is often considered an almost magical occurrence for children. But as an adult, even the slightest wiggle can make you feel anxious. While children dream about the tooth fairy leaving something under their pillow – losing a tooth for an adult is more like a complete nightmare.

So, why can your adult teeth fall out? (especially without warning?)

Oral Cancer

We’re not trying to alarm you, but you should be aware that one of the most common causes of sudden dental loss can be oral cancer, and the American Cancer Society tells us that men are almost twice as likely to encounter this affliction. Oral cancer often manifests as a sore or growth in your mouth that doesn’t go away. It’s often related to smoking, and can certainly contribute to early tooth loss.

Gum Disease

This is actually the most common reason for an adult to lose a tooth – and it all comes down to poor dental care. One thing that our dentists near Anaheim frequently hear is that patients are surprised that a tooth doesn’t have to hurt to be infected. When bacteria gets beneath your gumline, it acts a lot like rust. It can separate the tooth from your gums, which essentially separates your tooth from its foundation. This makes the tooth unstable, and can very realistically lead to it falling out.

Tooth Decay

You don’t always feel tooth decay, and sometimes – you get so used to it that you don’t remember that decay doesn’t stop. Once you feel some pain, if it’s happening because of bacteria that bacteria isn’t going anywhere until you get it taken care of. Tooth decay spreads like a virus, unless you stop it.

Are you experiencing a dental emergency in Garden Grove? Our dentists can help. Contact us immediately if you’re experiencing a dental emergency.

Read more: Tips for Handling a Dental Emergency

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do about a chipped tooth: Cosmetic Dentistry Explained

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You’d be incredibly surprised to know how often patients of all ages experience the most common boo boo that teeth often see- a chip. The American Dental Association reports that chipped teeth usually account for a vast majority of dental injuries – and our dentists in Garden Grove aren’t surprised. Because the sheer number of ways a tooth can become chipped is incredibly vast – ranging from sudden impact and temperature stress – to sheer bad luck.

No matter how it happens, the thing about a chipped tooth is that it always seems impossible to not rub it with your tongue. Which can become hard to ignore. And if the chip is particularly bad, it could be noticeable to the naked eye. Fortunately, a chipped tooth is almost always able to be treated successfully.

Treating Small Chips

Many times, when dental chips are at the very edge of your teeth, they can be fixed with a single sitting in the dentist’s chair. With a little polishing, the rough edges can be carefully shaped and polished with a special bonding material to restore the surface. This is both fast, effective, and economical for most fixes.

Are there any downsides? 

Over time, the bonding material used to correct a chipped tooth can become stained (or chipped) over time. This might sometimes require that the bonding material be replaced. Another option that isn’t as prone to this problem is porcelain veneers. While more expensive, a porcelain veneer covers the problem and reinforces the tooth in a much more permanent capacity.

Dealing With Larger Chips

If the chip is considerably large (big enough to find the piece that chipped off), you should do your best to collect the pieces and preserve them if possible. There’s a chance that your dentist might be able to re-attach the piece with the same bonding material that would otherwise be used for polishing a small chip.

If the chewing surface of your tooth (The cusp) is broken, but the roots are still intact our cosmetic dentists in Southern California can often use an onlay to replace part of your tooth’s surface. On the other hand, if the damage to your tooth goes as far as the root – there’s a good chance your tooth needs even more attention. In order to prevent discomfort, pain, or infection further down the road, a root canal could be the smart option. If this is the case, your tooth will be cleaned out filled with a special material, and covered with a dental crown to completely restore the tooth to its original appearance.

 

 

 

An Automatic Toothbrush? Welcome to 2017 – But Should You Use It? Our Dentists in Garden Grove Weigh In

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Have you heard of this new automated toothbrush yet?

That’s right – as Geek.com so helpfully explains – it’s an all-new toothbrush that does all the work for you.

The concept behind the contraption is pretty simple (and quite ingenious) – just think of one of those automated vacuum cleaners that dutifully cleans up every corner of your home without you even lifting a finger.

However, when it comes to an automated robot cleaning up your carpets and floors – the concept is just a little bit different. Because if you miss a spot of dirt or debris here or there on your floors, it won’t get any bigger or more dangerous for your home. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for your teeth. When bacteria and decay aren’t properly handled – they spread and get worse. That’s something you don’t want happening.

What the company behind this “automatic” toothbrush claims is that you can save up to 22 hours a year by tossing aside your “analog” toothbrush and adopting this new, high-tech toothbrush of the future.

But you should remember – our dentists in Garden Grove (and probably dentists around the world) are taking this with a grain of salt. Unlike an invention that would eliminate cavities forever or prevent sugar from contributing to dental decay – a toothbrush that does the work for you might not help you as much as you think. How do you know what spots it’s missing? How thorough is it? Do you trust it to do as good a job as you can do yourself? And finally – are you really not going to waste those 22 yearly hours on something else?

Here’s a word to the wise – when it comes to brushing your teeth don’t jump on the latest technology until it’s absolutely proven. And never buy a dental product that hasn’t been tested and approved by the ADA.

Have questions about your teeth? We have answers! If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area – get in touch today to learn about new patient specials, our 24 hour emergency dental clinic, and more. 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoid Dental Emergencies This Winter With 3 Simple Tips

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Even though we might live with some of the best weather in the world – it doesn’t mean that “winter” doesn’t still hold its own unique hazards for your dental health. So today, our dentists in Garden Grove are coming to you with some easy tips to protect your teeth when “winter” sports do find a way into your life.

If you didn’t realize it. It’s possible for Californians to go skiing (or snowboarding) and surfing in a single day. Few other parts of the country can boast this (unless you don’t mind a thick wetsuit).

Whether you run into a tree at Mammoth Mountain, take a spill at the ice-skating rink, or smack a tooth on your surfboard in Winter’s large swells, it’s no secret that sports can lead to injuries. But no matter what you do for fun in the winter-time, it’s important to remember that it’s not hard to injure your teeth. But it’s even easier to take some precautions.

Wear proper protection: No matter what your sport is – proper protection is key when it comes to avoiding the need for emergency dental treatment. If you’re participating in a sport like skating, that means a mouthguard. If you’re skiing, that means a helmet. But even if the protection designed for the sport doesn’t exactly protect your teeth – take every precaution you can. And for the sports with no real “dental” protection – read on.

Participate responsibly. Some sports take on a very social nature – which can sometimes include alcohol consumption. So in addition to being aware of the acid your teeth are exposed to (like a superstar dental patient), you should be aware of how substances like alcohol or medication can affect your performance. Do what you can to understand the sport. Know what you’re doing, or take a lesson. The best way to avoid an injury is to be prepared.

Treat injuries quickly. Sometimes, it’s impossible to prevent an injury. In these cases, the best course of action is to quickly and calmly handle the situation.  For tips on how – follow one of our many blog posts on handling a dental emergency .

Have questions about your teeth? Or are you experiencing a dental emergency? Call our dentists in Garden Grove today – now offering same day emergency dental support for patients in Orange County. 

 

Do Cavities Get Worse? (Short Answer: You bet they do)

Every day, as dentists serving the Garden Grove area – we hear all kinds of questions from patients who have concerns about their teeth. This is a good thing, because if there’s one thing our dentists can appreciate – it’s communication.

Communication is perhaps one of the most important tools in a family’s arsenal when it comes to dental health. It’s true! Whether you’re communicating with your kids about good oral hygiene or communicating with your dentist about what’s going on inside your mouth — it’s all good. So no matter how simple the question might seem, we want to answer it.

Today, we start with an answer to a pretty simple question:

“Do Cavities Get Worse?”

If you’ve been following our blog for any amount of time, you might already know the answer to this question. Yes. Cavities will continue to get worse if you don’t get them taken care of.

The thing is, tooth decay usually tends to take quite a bit longer to work its way through the extremely hard outer layer of your teeth (Enamel). However, once it gets through that – it can move with relative ease through the softer, inner layer (Dentin). Once this happens, it will move much faster and can quickly cause problems much more troublesome than pain, such as an infection. If this happens, and it gets too close to the nerve – there’s a good chance you could need a root canal.

For this reason, it’s important that you get even small cavities filled as soon as you can. While they aren’t always a dental emergency – they are a reason you need to call your dentist, tell them whats up, and schedule an appointment.

Are you experiencing pain or sensitivity? It could be a cavity. Don’t delay treatment, fix it as soon as possible to save time, money, and pain. 

3 Types of Dental Pain and How You Should Approach Them

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Yesterday, we started to scratch the surface about your teeth and the types of dental pain that you might experience throughout your life. We covered sensitivity, dull aching pain (the most common kind), and sudden stabbing pain that can often provide a signal that you could have a cracked tooth or a dental abscess – all issues that require immediate attention.

Today, we’re discussing some additional varieties of dental pain. Especially those that patients in our Garden Grove dental practice often report occurring suddenly and without warning.

Extreme pain that throbs

If you’re having pain that seems extremely painful, and hard to bear – it could be a good sign that you need to call the number for the nearest emergency dentist. If you live in Garden Grove, California, our emergency dentist can help. If you’re also experiencing swelling in your face – it could be a sign that a cavity or crack has lead to an abscess or infection. If the tooth is too damaged, you could need a root canal procedure in order to save the tooth.  If left untreated, this can lead to more serious health problems throughout your body.

Pain at the Back of Your Jaw

Pain in your jaw tends to be a pretty specific pain – especially if you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed. Pain at the back portion of your jaw (on either side), can often signal that you have an impacted wisdom tooth. Unfortunately, if you don’t get a wisdom tooth treated – it will lead to more pain and discomfort until you do.

Pain When You Eat

If you ever experience a toothache when you’re eating food (of any kind) it could be a good indicator that you’re experiencing either a dental fracture or a cavity. While this doesn’t require a call to your emergency dentist, it does require a call. Tell your dentist what’s going on, and there’s a good chance they’ll find a spot for you in the schedule. In the meantime – take some over-the-counter pain medication, and carefully eat softer foods.

If you’re a patient from Garden Grove experiencing a toothache, don’t delay! The sooner you treat the root cause of a toothache, the better. 

 

Can Dental Pain Ever Wait? Learn More about the Kinds of Dental Pain

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Dental pain is one of the most common and important signs that there’s a problem going on with your teeth. In just about every case, dental pain needs to be addressed quickly, because the longer unchecked dental pain goes untreated – the more dangerous and expensive it can be to fix.

With this in mind, it’s important to remember to not delay when it comes to dental pain. Our dentists in Garden Grove frequently remind patients to take care of problems like this as quickly as possible – before it gets harder to treat.

Read on to learn about some of the types of dental pain you might be experiencing, and how to approach the problem in the smartest way possible.

Sudden, intermittent pains

If you’re experiencing sharp, jabbing pains that less of an ache and more of a “Stab” – there’s a good chance that the pain is occurring due to a specific stimulus like applying pressure, chewing, eating something cold, and more. In most cases, this type of pain comes about due to a crack, abscess, or cavity.

A Dull Ache

The most common type of dental pain is often the dull, nagging toothache that isn’t so bad that it’s debilitating, but there’s definitely the sign that there’s something wrong. While a toothache like this can often be dulled with over the counter pain-killers, it’s important not to simply hide the symptoms of this problem. It could be deep tooth-decay, and the important part is that you treat it quickly to prevent unnecessary damage.

Sudden and sharp sensitivity

Like the sudden pain from a crack or cavity, sharp tooth sensitivity can often feel much similar. The difference here is that the sensitivity generally isn’t triggered until your teeth experience a sudden change in temperature – such as when you’re eating ice cream or drinking a hot beverage. Many times, this can be tied to dental sensitivity caused by recession or over-brushing. Other times, it could have something to do with an abscess, cavity, or other dental injury.

Are your teeth experiencing a strange sensation? Ignoring it could possibly be the worst way to approach the “problem”. To avoid dental emergencies in the future, contact your dentist in the present to get an answer about the pain you’re experiencing. It could save you a lot of time, money, and hassle. 

 

 

 

Our Guide: Dentistry Tips for Patients Without Dental Insurance (Part 1)

saving-money-dental

A dental emergency is never fun. Trust us. Our dentists in Garden Grove see our fair share of dental emergencies that happen at the most inconvenient times.

However, one of the reasons a dental emergency can be so shocking for some families isn’t because of the pain, or the blood, or the worry (but of course, those are still important). But because of the fact that a lack of dental insurance can make dental emergencies particularly troublesome.

With this in mind, we’ll be focusing on how you can save money, have good oral health, and avoid costly dental emergencies.

Step 1: Practice GREAT Hygiene 

If you’re not brushing carefully, cautiously, and thoughtfully – you’re not brushing right. When you don’t have dental insurance, you have to practice incredibly good hygiene. This means brushing gently at least twice a day, for two minutes — with fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss at least once a day using a gentle up and down motion. Don’t saw at your teeth, just guide the floss up and then down.

Think about it this way. A couple packs of floss, 2-3 tubes of ADA accepted toothpaste, and 2-3 toothbrushes are really all you need — and all it takes is 10 to 15 dollars at most grocery stores.

Step 2: See Your Dentist Twice a Year.

We know the drill. Schedule a dentist appointment and then reschedule, reschedule, reschedule. Sure – going to the dentist isn’t always fun, but the only thing worse than going to the dentist (for many) is not going to the dentist. Because not going to the dentist is how you end up with problems that multiply in severity…like cavities that become infections, cracks that become fractures, and toothaches that become future root canal procedures.

While you might sometimes change the recommended number of cleanings a year to 1 instead of 2 because you don’t have dental insurance, the fact is that a lack of dental insurance makes these appointments much more important.

Preventative care and early treatment are always less expensive than the big bills that come with big fixes that were put off for too long. Think about it this way: A regular cleaning might cost between $100 and $200 dollars (depending on things like X-rays).  Even a small filling for a tiny cavity won’t be much different.

When compared to the cost of fixes like crowns, root canals, or dental implants – we imagine you’d choose the hundreds of early care and preventative maintenance every time.

Live Near Garden Grove, looking for a dentist, and burning with questions about your teeth? We’ve got answers. Get in touch with our team today. 

 

Are Jaw Problems a Dental Emergency?

Think about how many ways you can move your jaw. Left to right, right to left, around in a circle, up and down, diagonally and every other way you could possibly imagine. It’s nature’s all-axis chewing machine, and – to be honest – it’s pretty amazing, and very complex.

That complexity is one reason many patients at our dental practice in Garden Grove complain of either chronic (long lasting) or acute (sudden) jaw trouble. This joint – the Temporomandibular Joint is responsible for quite a bit. From helping you eat to helping you talk. Unfortunately, sometimes things can go wrong.

Some of the symptoms patients might experience when dealing with jaw pain can include: 

  • Jaw pain
  • Trouble speaking or eating
  • Facial pain
  • Stiff Neck
  • A suddenly misaligned bite
  • A feeling of fullness in your ears (because the muscles and nerves in your joint are so close to your ears)

But how does it happen? Many patients have what dentists and doctors call TMD – which stands for Temporomandibular Disorders. These occur when there’s a repeated problem with your jaw, and for many – the reason isn’t exactly obvious.

Other times, you can experience many of the above symptoms from simply overusing your jaw. Whether you chewed an entire case of gum or practiced with a woodwind instrument for hours on end – overusing the jaw muscle can and will throw it out of whack (for up to a few weeks).

Have you ever made the resolution to go back to the gym and get in shape?  But instead of slowly and carefully starting a new routine, you did something else. You went to the sweat palace for the first time in months, worked out too hard, and woke up hardly able to move your arms and legs for days. It happens. And it can happen to your jaw too. So just like you would baby a complex joint like your shoulder or ankle – do the same to your jaw!

Treatments

If you do run into trouble with your jaw. Don’t panic. It can take a few weeks to heal – but in many cases, you’ll be just fine. In the meantime NSAIDS like ibuprofen, a soft diet, and alternating hot and cold on the affected muscle can do wonders. Additionally, gently massaging the joint can also help.

 

If you or a family member has been experiencing jaw pain for more than a week or two – it’s smart to call your dentist. It could very well be a simple, one-time thing. But the sooner you intervene the better. Contact our dentists in Garden Grove for the help you need.