Foaming At The Mouth: Are You Brushing Right?

La Mesa affordable family dentist

In today’s post, let’s look at some information about brushing. One key to activating the value of toothpaste is creating foam when normally brushing.

Working up a good foam is accomplished by pre-wetting the toothbrush, then attacking at a 45 rather than a 90-degree angle. The foaming aids in dislodging food debris from nooks and crannies in the mouth. Go ahead and swish it around at the completion of brushing to pick up any stragglers. The abrasives in toothpaste are designed to polish the teeth without damaging the enamel.

Because of the abrasives, soft toothbrushes are ideal for proper brushing. Harder bristles can put the enamel and gum line at risk. When the gum line recedes from aggressive brushing (or any other cause) a patient may notice tooth pain, increased build-up and decay, tooth structure weakening, and in extreme cases, tooth loss.

The fluoride in the toothpaste promotes remineralization when the paste has been rubbed around on all surfaces of all teeth in the entire mouth. This takes time so be sure you brush for at least 2-3 minutes.

Additionally, remember that flossing is critical and rounds out the 5 minutes each day to give you healthy, pain-free chewing for years and years to come.

To recap:

  • Wet a soft bristle toothbrush
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste
  • Brush at a 45-degree angle
  • Brush gently for 2-3 minutes
  • Cover every surface of every tooth
  • Swish around in the mouth before spitting out
  • Floss gently around each tooth and don’t overlook the back surface of the rear molars
  • Rinse out debris

This article is brought to you by Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, outstanding dental practice in La Mesa. We are committed to dental education and confident smiles for all.

Dr, Jeff Gray has been serving La Mesa area families since 1986. We are located at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa. Contact us at 619-337-7700.

Ask us about our dental payment options, accepted insurance companies, and the general and cosmetic procedures we offer. And brush well until we see you, it will be worth every foamy second!

We Bring Smiles To Life

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6935

The 411 on TMJ

TMJ dentist La Mesa

Do you have unexplained pain or clicking sounds in your jaw? They can be signs of serious oral issues.

Some ailments with the jaw and the muscles that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But it’s also frequently called TMJ, because that’s the acronym for the name of the joint. Technically, that’s not correct.

“Temp-or-o-man-di-what?!

Let’s talk about what this means. The word temporomandibular (pronounced ‘temp-ur-o-man-di-bye-ler) is defined as ‘of, relating to, being, or affecting the joint that connects the temporal bone and the mandible.’

(We are not betting people, but if we were, we would bet that you did not foresee an anatomy lesson from your dentist.) The temporal bones are found at the sides and base of your skull and incorporate five parts, the squama, the petrous, mastoid, tympanic parts, and styloid process. The mandible is the lower jaw, and, anatomically speaking, holds your whole face together.

What are the signs of TMD?

If you have jaw problems, either due to a collision, arthritis, misalignment of teeth or jaw, teeth grinding and clenching, poor posture, or chewing gum, you may experience:

  • tooth grinding or clicking
  • jaw pain
  • earaches
  • popping sounds in your ears
  • headaches
  • stiff or sore jaw muscles
  • locking of the jaw joint
  • pain in the temple area

Quite often, TMJ symptoms will go away on their own. Some individuals who experience TMD notice flare-ups when they are under a lot of stress.

TMD is an often misdiagnosed condition because facial pain can result from a variety of problems, not just damage to the temporomandibular joints. Sinus infections, tooth decay, and facial injuries can cause jaw pain. A correct diagnosis is the first step in treating TMD.

If your TMD symptoms don’t go away on their own, seek professional help. Chronic TMD can be debilitating and your dentist can help. Dentists that treat TMD work hand-in-hand with a network of specialists including ENT specialists, neurologists, and physical therapists. Talk to a healthcare professional.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8334

How Tooth Grinding Can Damage Your Smile

tooth grinding treatment La Mesa

What is Tooth Grinding?

Tooth grinding (or bruxism in doctor-speak) is a common behavior among individuals of all ages. It is when a person involuntarily clenches their jaw or rubs their teeth together. Tooth grinding can take place during the day or night and can affect children and adults. Some individuals grind their teeth intermittently when they are going through periods of unusual stress. For other individuals, it becomes a habit over a period of time.

Regardless of the cause, tooth grinding can be painful and damaging to your smile. It can also have a long-term influence on physical and mental health.

The Dangers of Teeth Grinding

  • It can bring about loose teeth
  • It can cause physical pain in the teeth or face
    • Headaches
    • Jaw pain
    • Ear pain
    • Tooth pain
  • It can chip teeth
  • It can wear down enamel
  • It can cause problems with the alignment of the bite

Tips/Ways to Help Stop Grinding Your Teeth

  • Wear a mouthguard to bed
  • Botox (injections of Botox into the jaw muscles can prevent the muscles from contracting in some patients)
  • Biofeedback
  • Physical therapy
  • Stress relief exercises
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol

Resources to Help Stop Grinding Your Teeth

  • Consult with Dr,Gray  about a custom night guard or splint
  • Talk to your primary care physician about possible underlying medical factors
  • Talk to a sleep medicine specialist
  • Speak with a medical professional who is experienced in using Botox to treat medical conditions–these include dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, TMD specialists, and some dentists

If you grind your teeth, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr, Gray. We can discuss creating a custom night guard to help protect your teeth. We can also refer you to other specialists that can help you overcome the underlying reason for the .

Do You Already Have Tooth Damage from Bruxism?

If you have already damaged your teeth, let’s discuss options for correcting the problems. These might include porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or full crowns to guard against further damage.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8365

Two Hints For When You’re Too Tired To Brush

Alpine gentle dentist

Too tired to touch a toothbrush. We’ve all been there.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa and Dr, Jeff Gray are committed to helping patients throughout the Santee, Alpine, and El Cajon neighborhoods to maintain balanced hygiene and to correct imperfections that can lead to inhibited confidence and self-assurance.

On our blog today we are offering two fabulously smart ideas for overcoming exhaustion in favor of brushing and flossing late at night.

Idea #1 Drag Your Tongue Along Your Teeth
After a long thankless day as you are lying there in bed and realize you forgot to brush, drag your tongue over your teeth a few times while mentally reviewing how plaque and tartar form. Within 48 hours they can start the dirty work of eating away at the teeth. Then jump up and give your mouth just 2 minutes of a gentle, thorough cleaning. It’s that easy.

Idea #2 Scrutinize the Food You Eat
Another convenient and uncomplicated approach is to pay attention to what’s going into your mouth throughout the day. The higher the sugar content the sooner the teeth will need a brushing to avoid harm. Swish with water after coffee, tea, or soda if brushing isn’t going to happen soon. Chewing sticky candy leaves debris all over the mouth as do bread and crackers. Keep this in mind and commit to taking care of the particles as soon as possible.

Shredded meat can remain lodged between teeth for days if you don’t pull it out with floss. Plan to floss or brush after eating if possible. With each particular type of food, learn to assess the effect it could have on your smile. Make the decision to brush before you are tired. By simply visualizing and committing, you reduce the likelihood of hemming and hawing later when you’re yawning and fading and have to choose between settling into bed and spending 2 minutes cleaning your teeth.

We know a long day of work or play can yield a worn-out body. Likewise, we know consistent brushing will reduce buildup and help prevent decay and gum disease. And we know that sometimes cavities need filling, chipped teeth need fixing, crooked teeth need straightening, and wisdom teeth need extraction.

Some smile problems can be prevented and some just can’t. We are happy to help with sedation dentistry, implants, gum disease treatment, TMJ treatment, or Invisalign. Come see our comfortable office at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa, California 91942 and we’ll help with any dental issues we can.

Cosmetic dentistry enhances a smile in several ways – straightness, coloration, conformity, and natural feel. Cosmetic dentistry helps our valued patients talk clearly, smile freely, and eat comfortably. A consultation with Dr, Gray can open your eyes to the unique possibilities for your beautiful smile. Contact us at 619-337-7700 for an appointment or visit our website https://www.dentalimplants-sandiego.com.

If we each do our part to keep your smile healthy and beautiful, then all of us can sleep at night.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6830

Schedule Your Coronation

dentist crowns La Mesa

We treat all of our patients royally here at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, but some of them receive actual crowns. We’re not talking about crowns a king or queen wears, but crowns for your teeth! If you live near San Diego, Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry is the best place to get your teeth looking better than ever. And putting a crown on a tooth with problems could be just what you need to obtain a beautiful smile.

Crowns are therapy for a plethora of problems:

  • To protect a weak tooth from decay, breaking, or to hold together a cracked tooth.
  • To cover and provide strength to a tooth with a large filling and little tooth structure remaining.
  • To restore a broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
  • To improve a tooth that is too small or misshapen.
  • To cover a tooth with extreme discoloration.
  • To add strength to a tooth following a root canal procedure.

If you feel like you have a need for a crown, don’t look any further than Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. Our dentists and lab techs have the experience, training, and proficiency to make sure your crowns are created and placed accurately. There are many different kinds of crowns that serve different purposes. We complete an intensive examination to ensure the crown you get is perfect for you and your smile.

We then prepare your tooth so that the dental crown will fit the way that it should. Once the tooth is prepared and ready, we use state-of-the-art tools to fit the crown on your tooth. When done properly, crowns can last many years. Crowns are a marvelous way to protect and improve your smile. Schedule a coronation today!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 7214

New Parents: Educate Yourselves About Children’s Oral Health

Today’s article is for new parents or couples planning for children sometime in the future.

An Epidemic of Tooth Decay in Young Children

The statistics on early childhood tooth decay are sobering. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 42% of U.S. children between 2 and 11 years old have in their primary teeth. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/dental-caries/children

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to helping today’s youngsters avoid the widespread tooth decay that has plagued previous generations. If young children are protected from birth, they are more likely to maintain good oral health throughout the rest of their childhood. But this is only possible if parents make it a priority. We urge new parents to be proactive about their child’s dental health from the moment they leave the hospital.

You do your best to safeguard your children from illness and infection. It’s essential to understand that tooth decay is an infectious disease with serious long-term consequences.

Anticipatory Guidance (ADA-Speak For Preventative Dentistry For Kids)

Here is what we at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry (and the American Dental Association) recommend regarding a toddler’s first dental visit:

It is advantageous for the first visit to occur within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age, and receiving oral health education based on the child’s developmental needs (also known as anticipatory guidance). https://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-positions-policies-and-statements/statement-on-early-childhood-caries

Educate yourselves on how to prevent early childhood dental decay before teeth erupt. Then you will avoid developing habits that put teeth in danger.

Are You Up To Speed On Best Practices?

For example, you are probably aware that putting a baby to bed with a bottle creates an ideal environment for decay. But did you know that at-will breastfeeding throughout the night is also harmful to a baby’s teeth?

Other common behaviors like frequent juice consumption and toddlers drinking from bottles all have dental consequences. Talk to us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry for critical guidance about children’s oral care needs.

We know that sleep-deprived new moms and dads have a lot to worry about and it’s impossible to act on every well-meaning intention. Just make sure your child’s dental health isn’t put on the back burner while you figure out how to make everything work. After all, you wouldn’t put off using a car seat or scheduling well-child pediatrician visits.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 7793

What If My Dental Crown Cracks, Comes Loose, or Comes Off?

what to do if dental crown comes off La Mesa

Quite often, people get upset if their dental crown moves or comes off completely.

This is understandable.

It may have shifted or come off while brushing, flossing, or even simply eating.

If this has happened to you, don’t stress! Here is what to do if your crown comes off.

There are three steps:

1. First things first, find your crown if it has come off completely. If you think you may have unintentionally swallowed it, it’s not the end of the world. This is fairly common. You will need to have a new one made. Whereas the original may be reattached if you find it in your mouth. As long as it’s not weakened.

2. The second thing you need to do is call your dentist. If you’re still going to the same dental practice that originally put it in, they might put it back free of charge. Especially if you got the crown recently.

If you have moved, or don’t currently have a dentist, give us a call. We’ll reattach it for a reasonable rate.

Remember these two important things:

  • Even if we didn’t provide the crown service, we can re-attach it for you.
  • If the crown is broken, we can construct a replacement crown in one visit.

3. What if your crown comes off after business hours or on the weekend?

You can glue it back on while waiting for an appointment. This will guard the exposed tooth. Remember, the tooth is not as strong as an uncrowned tooth.

To reattach it, we recommend using denture adhesive. You can find it at a drugstore.

Follow the directions on the adhesive. To be sure it sets, softly bite down on the crown while the adhesive is still wet. Be extra wary while waiting for your appointment. Eat soft foods so you don’t damage the tooth.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8154

When It’s Better Not To Brush

enamel erosion San Diego

Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the important job of preserving teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also guards tooth nerves against hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity.

Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly extraordinary. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

The team at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry encourages our patients to safeguard their tooth enamel for a lifetime of dental health.

This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is useful, however, because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.

Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva safeguards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left exposed. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the solution for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water frequently can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.

Additionally, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many La Mesa residents who grind their teeth at night, it’s critical to get a mouthguard right away. People who grind their teeth are at high risk for enamel erosion and tooth decay that can follow. Athletes should also safeguard their teeth on the playing field with a mouthguard. For more specifics, talk to Dr, Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry about custom mouthguards.

If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already taken place. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it.

Using teeth as tools can damage enamel, as well. Take a moment to fetch scissors before tearing a package or ripping duct tape with your teeth. Do you really want to take a chance on chipping a tooth just to open a package of lunchmeat?

Chewing ice and hard candy can also damage enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on your teeth for a long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can lead to cavities that erode enamel just as effectively as chipping it with hard candy. Many of the old-school hard candies we enjoyed as kids now come in soft versions. Enjoy them sparingly because constant sugar is bad for teeth. Period.

If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental issues, Dr, Jeff Gray can help you guard what is left. To schedule an extensive examination, contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa at 619-337-7700!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6920

Dental Implants Prevent Physical and Psychological Problems

dental implants La Mesa

Do you have missing teeth? Then you are not alone. Even though the U.S. is one of the most advanced countries in the world, tooth loss is commonplace. In middle age, it tends to become more common.

According to Harvard Medical School, the average adult has lost 12 permanent teeth by the age of 50. Tooth loss transpires due to a number of issues including, wear, tooth decay, gum disease, cancer, and injury. Missing teeth can influence our self-esteem, oral health, and function.

Let’s talk about two ways missing teeth impact your life. One is a psychological issue and the other is a physical issue.

Reduced Self Esteem

If you have a missing tooth or teeth you may believe it creates an unattractive appearance or at least an unattractive smile. When you look in the mirror, you may feel you look older and perhaps less attractive. The way you look affects the way you feel. You may smile less because you are self-conscious. You may avoid social activities that can impact your mental health. Dentures don’t prevent bone recession. And they can irritate the soft tissues of the mouth.

Aside from appearance concerns, there are health matters that arise if you don’t replace missing teeth.

Bone Loss

Your jawbone’s health and strength is preserved through the stimulus of chewing. It’s important to understand that missing teeth can cause bone loss, also called bone resorption. It happens when the tooth is missing and the natural roots are not longer in the jawbone. Over time, the jawbone can deteriorate due to bone resorption.

Implants Provide a Variety of Solutions

A tooth implant is an ideal solution for a missing tooth.

Dental implants are strong, functional, and naturally-looking restorations with roots permanently anchored into the jawbone.

Dental implants have been used for many years to replace one or two missing teeth. They can also be used to provide a structure for bridges and anchored dentures!

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, nothing gives us more joy than helping people dramatically improve their quality of life. With a new smile, they feel better about themselves. They feel more comfortable in public and socialize more often.

If you are embarrassed by missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures, don’t wait any longer. Call us today at 619-337-7700 to begin restoring your smile.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8321

How Can I Help My Teen Prepare For Braces?

orthodontist La Mesa

Orthodontic treatment using conventional metal braces, invisible braces, or clear aligners is a process that can take up to two years to complete. It is important that your teen prepares for a lengthy and sometimes uncomfortable process if they opt for braces. Choosing the right form of orthodontic treatment is an important initial process that you can help your teen with.

Of course, a healthy smile and straight, beautiful teeth are worth it in the end!

However, whichever type of braces your teen chooses, it will require a period of adjustment.

If your teenager is looking for orthodontic treatment to straighten or align their teeth, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in  La Mesa for a consultation to discuss orthodontic treatment options.

It is fairly common for teens, parents, and their dentists to choose traditional metal braces. They are often the least expensive option and can correct severe problems that some other systems can’t.

There are a number of things to consider. Diet is a biggie. Your adolescent will need to learn to avoid the following:

  • Gum
  • Popcorn
  • Sticky or hard candies
  • Hard foods
  • Whole apples or other hard fruits or vegetables
    • Apples and other hard or raw foods are okay to eat if they are sliced or cut up into smaller pieces

Getting used to the tools

More often than not, teens with standard metal braces will have to use rubber bands at some point to adjust and align the jaw properly. It is a good idea to stock up on rubber bands when your adolescent is told to use them.

  • Stock up on wax
  • Look into purchasing smaller cleaning tools for your teen’s braces
  • Learning to pack and keep a to-go bag with your tools

It is helpful to keep a small bag or kit with the needed tools for correct tooth care. Some items that should be kept in such a kit are:

  • Floss
  • A toothbrush
  • Rubber bands (if your dentist or orthodontist prescribes them)
  • Dental wax to cover any metal pieces of the braces that are sticking out or irritating the gums

Remember to remain positive and be patient with the process. It can be uncomfortable for your child at times. It takes time and effort to treat the teeth properly and with the best care while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8396