Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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I haven’t been to the dentist in years, but everything feels fine. Do I still need to go?

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“I haven’t been to the dentist in 7 or 8 years, and I’m a bit nervous. But everything in my mouth feels fine. Do I really still need to go?”  – A young, male patient from Anaheim, California.

Today, we’re going to get right to it. Read the question above, and take about 30 seconds to think about what your answer would be.

Times up!

So, if you considered the question posed to our Garden Grove dentist office by one young patient, you might come to a couple conclusions. However, there’s one conclusion that’s particularly problematic. That is…

 

Well, if nothing seems to be wrong. There must be nothing wrong, right?

Wrong. Even if you don’t feel like anything’s wrong with your teeth- if you haven’t been to the dentist in years you really should schedule an appointment.  The underlying causes that lead to problems like cavities, misalignment, decay, gum disease and many other potential dental issues are things that your dentist can identify long before they manifest as obvious problems and result in pain, sensitivity, or other symptoms.

More often than not, the underlying “problems” with teeth go completely unnoticed by patients. This is why it’s essential that you actually see a dental professional.

So there you have it. If there’s one lesson to pull from the answer to this particular question it’s that you shouldn’t take anything for granted when it comes to your teeth. If they seem to be healthy and “okay” but you haven’t been to the dentist in years, you may have no idea that there’s an expensive dental problem just lurking around the corner. It could be because you grind your teeth at night without knowing it. Or there could be years of calculus (covered in a previous blog post) building up on your molars. These are things that have very real consequences, but can often take quite a while to become a problem.

So, if you have a question, worry, or concern about going to the dentist – let our friendly team of dentists in Garden Grove help solve it. Get the care your teeth need now , so you don’t need much more later.

 

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. 

 

How One Small Change to Your Teeth Brushing Habit Could Improve Your Dental Visits

how to take care of dental bridges

Learn how to take care of dental bridges.

At our dental practice in Garden Grove, there are a few bits of advice we tend to give all of our patients. Sometimes, patients don’t need this advice. Other times, they don’t necessarily want it. But everyone needs to hear it – because our teeth are far more important than some people think (Which is something we covered our last post “3 Health Problems Your Dentist Can Spot“).

One piece of advice you’ll often hear from your dentist is to brush your teeth consciously and carefully (and for the correct amount of time).

So, how often do you brush your teeth?

If you’re one of those patients that has to frequently get cavities filled, the simple fact might just be that you need to mix up your brushing routine. If you’re not sure how decay and cavities work – think about it for a second.

When you eat and you go throughout your day, substances called glycoproteins adhere to your teeth. This provides bacteria with a perfect surface to cling to with the ultimate purpose of fueling its own lifecycle. This creates acid as a biproduct, which gradually works away at your teeth – moving deeper and deeper to continually provide sustenance for the bacteria. This leads to damage. But brushing your teeth helps clear your mouth of this bacteria – slowing down its proliferation and ultimately preventing cavities.

If you get cavities frequently, the bacteria in your mouth might be getting too many opportunities to get cozy. This just means you need to clear it out more frequently. Our tip: Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste to work. By minimizing the amount of time your teeth are exposed to this bacteria and acid, you reduce your risk of cavities.

Bonus Tip: Whatch when you eat. When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth is essentially restored, and the acid production begins again in earnest. If you find yourself snacking throughout the day – try to stop! Or at the very least, double down on your brushing habits. On top of this, watch what you drink. It’s still okay to drink acidic drinks like soda and coffee – but realize they’re acidic and try to drink them around mealtimes when you’re already filling your mouth full of decay and cavity fuel. Between meals, try to opt for water.

 

 

 

What does a Toothache Mean?

Answering questions is perhaps one of the most important functions your dentist has. Our dentists in Garden Grove take this very seriously. For any patient, communication is key – and when it comes to your teeth, communicating a toothache is especially key.

Some of the most common questions in the dental world revolve around toothaches. What do they mean? and does it always mean you have a cavity? Today, we’ll do our best to answer those questions so we can help you make sure your toothaches are few and far between while avoiding the need for a root canal dentist.

Sharp tooth pain that comes and goes, especially when you eat: If your tooth pain is sharp and painful, especially when you eat – there’s a good chance you could be dealing with some decay – or even a fracture.

Pain that comes in goes when exposed to hot or cold food and beverages: this sort of pain is often a signal that your gums are experiencing some recession – opening you up to a higher degree of sensitivity. Many times, this can be handled by simply using a different toothbrush and a gentler brushing technique. Other times, it could be a sign that you have a small dental cavity. Conventional wisdom applies here, if the pain is something new and notable – get in touch with your nearby dentist to make sure it isn’t a more serious problem. Because the longer you put it off, the more serious it will become.

A persistent toothache: otherwise known as a “chronic” toothache, this is the type of constant pain you really have a hard time ignoring. Unfortunately, it almost always means severe tooth decay, dental trauma, or a long history of grinding. In some cases, this might require you to see one of our root canal dentists in Garden Grove – other times, it might simply mean you need to change the way you take care of your teeth.

Experiencing a toothache? The longer you wait, the worse it will be! Treat it the easy way by treating it sooner. If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove or Fountain Valley area – we can help! 

 

 

 

What a Dental Bridge Will Fix and Why You Might Need One

For most patients that don’t generally think about their dental health in terms of goals, their ultimate goal more or less remains the same: “keep all my teeth”. So when a problem arises that could threaten one or more teeth – it’s only natural to wonder what solutions are available.

One such solution remains dental bridges – a solution that dentists have put to test and consistently improved over the years. Dental bridges, from the very beginning, were designed to accomplish a fairly simple goal: bridge the gap between a missing tooth and the next healthy tooth.

Our dentists in Garden Grove frequently recommend bridges as a strong, functional solution that can correct your dental problem for years to come. In most patients, a dental bridge can be expected to last about 6 or 7 years. But it’s not unheard of for a dental bridge to last even longer when cared for well.

But when is a dental bridge actually needed? In most cases, it’s when a tooth is missing or when a tooth is so severely decayed that it is no longer healthy enough to function. The most successful bridges typically only span one gap, with the option of two or even three gaps remaining possible. However, larger gaps require a much more cautious approach, and can often require the need for plates or other options to ensure the bridge is as stable as possible.

In the most cases, a dental bridge consists of two or more crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth are known as the abutment teeth and they are the teeth that your dental bridge uses to anchor it in place.

In between these two abutment teeth, your dentist places the false teeth – which are custom designed and colored to look exactly like your natural teeth. Generally, these teeth are made of a few different materials that are chosen for their combination of performance and price. Materials often include gold, porcelain, alloys, or even a combination of materials.

On the occasion that an anchor tooth isn’t strong enough to support a bridge even with a crown, an implant can sometimes be used to support it instead.

Are you a dental patient in the Garden Grove area? If you have more questions about dental bridges – we’re here for you! Get in touch with our knowledgeable dental team and find the answers you’re looking for.

Sleep Apnea: What it Is, and How Your Dentist Can Help

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Ever heard of sleep apnea?

It’s actually a pretty problematic condition, and fairly serious. The worst part is that many people don’t even know that sleeping restlessly and feeling sluggish all day are generally signs of sleep apnea.

But what is sleep apnea? Put simply, sleep apnea is when your breathing gets interrupted during sleep – multiple times throughout the night. But there are two kinds – obstructed sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea occurs in your brain. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea – which interrupts breathing because of an actual blockage in your airway, central sleep apnea involves no blockage (other than the “blockage” preventing your brain from sending a proper signal to your respiratory center).

Unfortunately, if you have central sleep apnea, you might need the help of your family doctor. On the bright side obstructive sleep apnea is much more common. Even better – your dentist can help.

Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or you think you might be experiencing the symptoms –  get in touch with our dentists in Garden Grove if you’re in the area – we can help.

With oral appliance therapy, you might be able to treat your sleep apnea – giving you better sleep, better overall health, and even better teeth and gums. Appliance therapy uses a small device, custom designed to slip over your upper and lower teeth. The appliance will either reposition your jaw – or prevent your tongue from sagging into your airway. Fortunately – it only has to be worn when you’re sleeping.

Have questions? Sleeping poorly? Our dentists in Garden Grove might be able to help.

How Poor Sleep Can Affect Your Oral Health

Have you ever heard that bad sleep affects your health? It’s true. Of course – poor sleep will make you sluggish and slow at work, but it can also lead to serious problems like heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.

But our dentists in Garden Grove want to remind our patients that poor sleep can go even further than your general health. It can also affect your oral health. Did you know that a chronic lack of sleep can also increase your risk of gum disease? Or – on top of that, gum disease can also

Did you know that a chronic lack of sleep can also increase your risk of gum disease? Or, if you already have gum disease that you don’t already know about – it can get much worse.

According to one study by the Journal of Periodontology  – lack of sleep can actually be more damaging to your gums than stress and alcohol use – and is second only to smoking. What studies say, is that this risk increases if you get less than 6 hours of sleep (on average).

In addition to lack of sleep, poor sleep can also lead to problems in your mouth – such as bruxism, or nocturnal grinding. Grinding your teeth at night can have a profound impact on your teeth and your gums. From the shape of your teeth to gum recession that can contribute to sensitivity and other problems.

Are you concerned that lack of sleep is impacting your oral health? Don’t let your concerns ride for too long. The longer you put off your dental care, the worse problems become. When it comes to your teeth – time is usually not a curative.

Are you experiencing problems with your teeth and not sleeping well? One could be tied to the other. Don’t wait too long. If you’re in the area, contact our dentists in Garden Grove today.

Why Your Teeth Turn Yellow, from our Dentists in Garden Grove

Did you grow up with teeth so white they reflected the brilliance of the California sun? Were your pearly whites the envy of everyone?

What about now? if you’re just now starting to notice that your teeth are beginning to lose their shine, or that other – over the counter teeth whitening products just don’t seem to be cutting it anymore, our dentists in Garden Grove have some advice about tooth discoloration.

The best way to slow down the discoloration of your teeth is to understand why it’s happening in the first place. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the root causes of tooth discoloration – which should help you and your dentist choose the right solution.

 Reasons Your Teeth Are Becoming Discolored

  1. Your Enamel is Thin: When teeth start to look yellow, it’s often a sign that your enamel is getting thin. Dentin, the hard substance underneath your teeth is actually a brown or yellowish material inside your teeth. Unfortunately, when your enamel grows thin enough it can sometimes show through.
  2. Your Genes: Some people are just born with whiter teeth. Remember, this doesn’t mean they’re teeth are any healthier. If this is the case, whitening might be something you consider.
  3. Your Diet: Your diet is perhaps one of the most important factors when it comes to keeping your teeth the color you want. If that means you want your teeth a nice even shade of yellow or brown – continue enjoying the darkest, most staining foods without brushing afterwards. Good foods to turn to for this outcome include wine, chocolate, tea, and other dark foods.
  4. Tobacco Use: Using tobacco products, especially cigarettes and cigars, can make your teeth chance color faster than you might think. Of course, this is on top of smoking being incredibly bad for you.
  5. Damage: It might not be obvious at first, but damaging your teeth is one way to contribute to discoloration. Whether you’re causing physical trauma that undermines the interior of the teeth (due to bleeding, which requires your dentist’s attention) or damaging your teeth over time through disorders such as bruxism (or grinding), yellowing can often result.

Are you concerned about the color of your teeth? Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reverse discoloration and prevent it in the future. Contact our dentists in Garden Grove today to learn what we would recommend to help you get the white teeth you’ve always wanted.

A Simple Dental Tip You Might be Surprised By

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If you’ve been reading our blog for any amount of time you understand that there’s a constant battle being waged inside of your mouth. It may sound dramatic at first, but it’s entirely true! Like most living things, the sole motivation for bacteria in-life (whether it knows it or not) is to stay alive, thrive, and multiply. Unfortunately, the way that happens for bacteria in your mouth is for it to slowly work its way into your teeth where it can really settle in.

To do that, bacteria relies on debris, acids, and other junk that get left behind in your mouth by a number of sources. In large part, brushing, flossing and rinsing play a major role when it comes to reducing these decay causing stowaways in your mouth.

But you can always do better.

If you’re one of those people with a flawless dental hygiene routine. You have to wonder, what could you be missing? You brush your teeth after meals – but not so soon that it furthers damage from acid. You floss, rinse, and brush daily. You get your bi-annual dental checkups. To all our dentists in Garden Grove, your routine is pretty much perfect.

But where’s your secret weapon? Could it be chewing gum?

“Wait a second.” You may be wondering. “Chewing gum? Candy?! How is that good for my teeth?” 

Of course, it may be surprising but it shouldn’t be a secret that many chewing gums are sugar-free. Combined with the stickiness of gum, this makes gum the perfect vehicle to clear your teeth of stubborn debris that can contribute to decay and cavities.

Can chewing gum replace your toothbrush and floss? Definitely not. But by helping those classic tools do the job while also helping you keep your breath fresh there’s no reason a pack of sugar-free gum shouldn’t be within reach at all time – the perfect tool for healthier teeth in-between brushings.

Could your teeth use a helping hand? Our dentists in the Anaheim area have all the tips and tools to help.

How Your New Gym Routine Could Hurt Your Teeth

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Every New Year, thousands upon thousands of individuals endeavor to get healthier, lose weight, and become more fit.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – more often than not, people don’t make New Year’s resolutions about their oral hygiene (unless of course they work at a certain dental clinic in Anaheim).

However, it is worth mentioning that athletes should be careful when it comes to their teeth. Because while exercise and fitness generally show a positive correlation with oral hygiene, there are some downsides.

Dry Mouth

When you exercise intensely, you tend to breathe more heavily through your open. Unlike nasal breathing, this tends to dry out your mouth much quicker, which cuts down on saliva – which can give bacteria a new opportunity to thrive.

It’s also been shown that open mouth breathing and the dryness it encourages can also contribute to tooth decay and cavities due to the lack of protection from saliva.

Sports Drinks

Energy drinks and sports drinks are often one of the first thirst quenchers athletes turn to when it comes to replacing electrolytes and re-charging. While this can often be helpful for sports performance, it’s the exact opposite for your teeth. Because of the high amount of acid (and sometimes sugar) in these drinks, they’re a great way to make your teeth even more vulnerable. When combined with a lack of saliva from open mouth breathing during intense exercise – your teeth are at a significantly more vulnerable state.

Are you an athlete worried about your teeth? Our dentists in the Anaheim area can help prevent damage and reverse damage. To learn more, get in touch with our friendly team today!