Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


The Good Side of Gum: Study Says, Gum is a Go for Healthy Teeth


A recent report by the American Dental Association has reminded the public that, while chewing gum can make for messy conversation and a sticky mess, it has a far more desirable effect on oral health.

The study outlines some of the early trials conducted as researchers set out to evaluate the effectiveness of gum at removing bacteria from the oral cavity.

But the bigger picture is simple:  chewing gum is actually good for you, and that’s something patients at our family dental clinic in Garden Grove are happy to learn.

The earliest studies made clear that the bacteria removal capabilities of gum remain unknown, but went they did go so far as to identify three key ingredients for tooth-friendly sugar free gum:

The data presented suggests that the two evaluated chewing gums, both of which were described as being ‘commercially available spearmint gum’ with sorbitol, gum base and glycerin listed as the first three ingredients, trapped bacteria when chewed

While the study hasn’t accounted for whether or not chewing sugar-free gum simply trapped or “changed the balance” of bacteria in the month, research is ongoing and the available evidence seems to say that chewing sugar-free gum can make a difference for your oral health by cutting down on bacteria and even contributing to plaque and buildup removal.

To support this, you can take the ADA’s recognition of gum as an actual oral healthcare tool as final proof that chewing sugar-free gum is GOOD for your teeth. That same recognition lead the ADA to create the following list of sugar-free chewing gums, with full ADA approval (look for the seal ).

It’s Not Too Good to Be True

Any gum (as long as it’s sugar-free) can help clean your teeth

There’s no need to go out and buy a box of sugar-free gum that’s been advertised as a cavity fighting, energy boosting, protein supplement, that will help you sprout wings and solve complex arithmetic without using your fingers. Nothing fancy is required. Any sugar free gum will help prevent cavities in precisely the way you’d think it would, by actually picking up bits of food and debris. On top of this, chewing gum also simulates saliva production, which goes even further to help rinse away food.

Look for Xylitol

Many sugar free chewing gums use a sugar alternative called Xylitol to give the gum it’s sweet flavor that can surprisingly last for quite some time. The best part, however, is the studies that show how Xylitol can reduce bacteria in your mouth.

And When in Doubt, Ask Your Dentist


Your First Root Canal: Some Common Questions and What to Expect



The big, bad root canal. This is the one they were talking about right? The whole reason so many people hate coming to the dentist? It’s the word that conjures up fear and pain.

However, in many cases all of that is all a bit overblown. Sure, getting a root canal isn’t like going to the spa, but we’ve come a long way when it comes to minimizing pain for even the most notorious procedures.

First, what is a root canal?

When a tooth becomes particularly decayed or infected, the soft tissue inside your tooth (otherwise known as “pulp”) is also affected. Gone un-treated, your tooth could get progressively worse until it either falls out, or needs to be removed. To save and restore your tooth, your dentist uses precise tools to remove your tooth’s nerve and diseased pulp while cleaning and sealing the root canal.

Your dentist removes your tooth’s infected pulp because if gone untreated the bacteria within it will continually multiply within the tooth’s pulp chamber. If this happens, the infection becomes an abscessed tooth — which occurs when a pus-pocket forms at the end of your tooth’s roots. In addition to pain and discomfort, this can lead to swelling and even drainage problems as the pus-filled tooth attempts to drain anywhere it can — including into your skin. B


How do I know if I need a root canal?

There are a few tell-tale signs that you might need a root canal. Do any of the following symptoms seem familiar?

  • Severe pain when chewing
  • The gums around your tooth are swollen
  • There is a recurring “zit” on your gums (this is a peridontal abscess, and is usually caused by an infection)
  • Your tooth is the wrong color
  • Prolonged pain or sensitivity to cold or heat

If so, you’re probably wondering, “How painful is it?” Fortunately, dental science has come a long way. While root canal procedures are notorious for being this “terrible” experience, they’ve actually come a long way. Don’t all jump at once, but due to advanced anesthesia and modern equipment,  most patients typically report that the root canal isn’t more painful than having a filling placed.

What to Expect During Your Root Canal

Access hole, cleaning, filling, crown

To begin the root canal process, your dentist will always begin by drilling an access cavity. The tooth is then cleaned with an “endodontic file, filled with a dental filling and topped with a dental crown.

What about Afterwards? 

You may feel some sensitivity for a few days. This is due to the natural oral inflammation that will subside. Fortunately, sensitivity from your procedure can be addressed with naproxen or ibuprofen. In most cases, you should feel well-enough to continue with your normal activities as soon as the next day.

If you have questions about a root canal or your dental health in general, please don’t wait. The sooner you get the treatment you need, the easier it is!


Ouch! Emergency Dental Care Steps!

Ouch!!! Your Guide to Emergency Dental Care


There are few things worse than tooth pain. It is an intense sensation that occurs when the nerves inside the “pulp” of the tooth are irritated or exposed to air. Every year, almost a million Americans are treated for emergency dental problems. This issues are often drastic and need to be taken care of as soon as possible. When this happens, it is important to find an emergency dentist that is qualified and well reviewed. You can often find dentist reviews online. These will help you get a feel for their reputation and fees.


Common Dental Emergencies


It is very common for people to crack their teeth on a piece of hard candy, or nut. This can cause severe dental trauma. These are often described in medical terms as: tooth fractures, extrusive/lateral luxation ( loosening of teeth), avulsion (total displacement of a tooth from its socket), or intrusion (displacement of a tooth vertically into bone). All of these problems require that you check with a dentist immediately.


When a patient suffers dental trauma, the dentist will generally take an x-ray to determine the amount of damage. Depending on the case, they may then reattach any pieces of broken teeth. Some injuries will require a dental implant or dental crown. Other procedures will involve a root canal or dental extraction.


If you ever find yourself in a dental emergency, here are some easy tips that could end up proving crucial to your future oral health.


  1. If you have an adult tooth that has somehow been dislodged from your mouth, you must do your best to keep it moist! Here, time is of the utmost importance!  If the tooth has fallen on the ground or is dirty, handle it gently and wash off with cool water. Avoid damaging the root. *NEVER USE SOAP!* If possible, place it back into the socket. Otherwise, make sure that you put the tooth into cool milk. This will keep it moist and make sure that none of the living cells die. Get to the dentist as soon as possible!
  2. Sometimes an object will become lodged in your mouth. Try to gently remove it. Often times, floss will the best tool to help clear out any obstruction. Do not add any further damage to your gums or the roof of your mouth.
  3. When a tooth gets cracked, rinse out your mouth with lukewarm water. If your face has  begun to swell, put a cold compress onto the swollen area.
  4. If you have a severe toothache, try and clean the painful area out. Do a visual inspection of the area and call your dentist. Make note of any discolorations or problem areas.</p>


When it comes to emergency dental care there are 3 P’s that you always need to remember. The first P, is Prevention. This involved wearing mouth guards during sporting events, keeping your teeth clean, and seeing your dentist for regular check ups and teeth cleanings. The second is Preservation. If a tooth gets dislodged or damage, you need to do everything to insure that you preserve the living cells and avoid any sort of further damage. The last is Promptness. If a dental emergency occurs, it is vital you see a dentist IMMEDIATELY! A few hours could be the difference between losing your tooth or not.


We live in an uncertain world, and emergencies can occur at any time. To keep your oral health in tip top shape, it is good to remember the three P’s and have the number of an emergency dentist located in orange county written down or on speed dial. That way, if something does happen, you will be prepared.


If you would like more information on how emergency dental care in California, you would like to make an appointment, contact Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, California at 714-537-5700.


A Million Dollar Smile

A Million Dollar Smile


You only get one first impression, and feeling confident about your smile can make a world of difference! A positive grin signals an upbeat attitude and a zest for life.No matter what your teeth look like now, cosmetic dentistry has made it not only possible, but fairly straightforward, to achieve the sort of look and feel you can be satisfied with. With a few visits to a dental office, a qualified dental professional will be able to diagnose and determine the best solutions for a brilliant smile.


What causes discolored teeth?


Feel like your smile isn’t nearly as white as it could be? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Several studies report that over seven out of ten people wish they had a whiter smile. So what are some of the main causes of tooth discoloration? One of the biggest factors is simply the diet that we eat. Many common meal choices are filled with artificial preservatives and dyes that have a negative impact upon oral health. Sugary beverages like soda, sports drinks and coffee are some of the largest contributors to teeth yellowing. Even something as mundane as tea can have disastrous effects on your smile.


Tobacco products are also a leading cause of unhealthy and stained teeth. Whether it’s smoking, chewing or even hooka, this substance has a long track record of leading to yellow or brown discoloration. Factors like medication, heredity, and chemical damage are also key to damaging your smile. Aging also plays a role. As you get older, the layers of enamel wear down, often allowing the dentin to show through.


What causes misalignment?


Dentist refer to teeth that are not properly aligned as having malocclusion. This term generally refers to either: underbite, overbite, crossbite, open bite, and crowded teeth, Such problems can cause speech issues, cheek biting, and sometimes force patients to breathe through their nose. In addition, people with severe misalignment are also often sensitive about their smile.


So what are some common things that lead to malocclusion? A leading cause is simply genetic. We all inherit things from our parents, and one of the most common is crooked teeth. Injuries are another frequent factor that leads to misalignment. Other components that may lead to malocclusion include but are not limited to: cleft palate, tumors, thumb sucking, or misplaced dental crowns.


Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures and Solutions


Thankfully, a certified dentist will be able to easily treat both discolored and crooked teeth. Staining can be treated by several different methods. A cosmetic dentist will sometimes recommend a bleaching tray. To begin, the dental professional will perform a teeth cleaning to make sure your teeth and gums are looking their healthiest. After that, they will make an impression of your mouth. Generally a hydrogen peroxide mix  is then applied which will dramatically whiten your teeth. A very common whitening tool is Zoom Whitening.These sessions can run as short as thirty minutes. It may take more than one appointment to achieve the desired results, but many people see results immediately.


Misalignment can be treated several ways. The most common method is braces. Another process is invisalign. Braces often work quicker than invisalign, but invisalign is generally far less noticeable. Both treatments are effective and can take from several months to several years depending on the condition of the mouth in question.


Steps to Great Smile


The easiest way to improve your smile is to simply take a trip to a local dentist office. When you find a dentist, they will be able to evaluate your oral health and prescribe a course of action. A great smile can often be achieved with minimal visits! A million dollar smile, doesn’t have to be expensive!


If you would like more information on how changing your smile can change your life, or you would like to make an appointment, contact Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, California at 714-537-5700.


Information on Dental Bridges from Primary Dental Care

What are Dental Bridges?


Dental bridges are one of a few ways that Primal Dental Care specialists can fill the gaps created by missing teeth. A custom-made dental bridge can literally bridge the gap created  in a smile by one or more missing teeth. A permanent bridge is created between the two teeth surrounding the gap, and can be anchored to either natural or implanted teeth. There are three commonly used types of dental bridges: traditional bridges, cantilever bridges and Maryland bonded bridges. Each of the three types has its own place and purpose. Primary Dental Care specializes in all three and is open to consultations to help decide which bridge is the best solution on a case-by-case basis.


How are Dental Bridges fitted


The procedure involved in getting a custom-made bridge can vary from patient to patient. The first consultation is used to determine what type of bridge and what material is best for making the bridge. Bridges can be created with metal, porcelain or a combination of the two. Following this, a custom mold must be made of the area so that a proper fitting, custom bridge can be designed. Depending on the type of bridge that is being designed, the teeth surrounding the gap, abutment teeth, may need to be fitted with a crown so that they can support the bridge properly. The crown must be in place prior to the impression being taken to ensure the accuracy of the dental mold.


Once the mold is completed, Primary Dental Care sends it off to a dental appliance manufacturer, where the custom-made dental bridge will be constructed. In this interim period, Primary Dental Care can provide a temporary dental bridge to help patients acclimatize themselves to the dental bridge and explore the fit while their final bridge is being made. When the custom bridge is complete, the temporary bridge is removed and replaced. Primary Dental Care staff are experts in dental bridge installation and aim for a perfect fit from the first installation, however, it is not uncommon that additional visits might be needed to adjust and check the fit of a new dental bridge. When the fit is confirmed, the bridge will be cemented into place to securely keep it there.


Taking Care of Dental Bridges


Immediately following the installation of a final or temporary dental brace, Primary Dental Care recommends eating soft food and taking it easy on the area where the dental bridge has been installed. It can take a while to get used to the bridge, however, there should be little to no pain caused during the process.


With good oral hygiene and proper care a dental bridge can last for over ten years. The average expectancy ranges between five and fifteen, depending on the level of maintenance care that the patient chooses to provide. Primary Dental Care recommends regular oral hygiene, brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and mouthwash to help to maintain the quality of the dental bridge and continued good oral health. Coming in for checkups and cleaning can also help to maintain and proactively spot any potential damage or problems to a dental bridge .

For more information concerning how custom-made, permanent dental bridges are fitted and cared for, or whether or not they might benefit you and your situation, please contact Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, California at 714-537-5700.