Five Terrific Reasons to Consider Orthodontic Treatment

Invisalign San Diego

When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? If the answer is “No” because your teeth aren’t straight or your bite is misaligned, we have another question for you.

Why haven’t you explored orthodontic treatment?

Let’s discuss five compelling reasons to consider getting braces.

1. A little can go a long way.

If you have a tooth that is turned or only slightly crooked teeth, a short course of orthodontic treatment can have a dramatic impact on the attractiveness of your smile.

2. It may be more affordable than you think.

Schedule a consultation at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. You may be surprised at the prices of braces (in a good way!).

3. Braces are more comfortable than ever.

Many men and women worry that wearing braces is painful. Braces have come a long way in the past few years. And there are more options than ever. For example, self-ligating braces move teeth more incrementally and more gently as compared to conventional braces. Clear aligners may be a good option as well. Many people find them more comfortable to wear.

4. You will look and feel younger!

A perfect smile is the ultimate anti-aging treatment. And it’s arguably safer and than cosmetic surgery.

5. Regardless of your tooth issues, chances are, Gray can help you.

Some men and women believe they have to live with crooked teeth or a bite abnormality. Today’s orthodontists have the tools and procedures to fix these dental problems.

If you are in the La Mesa area and are looking for an experienced, friendly orthodontist who is taking new patients of all ages, we invite you to consider Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. We have been serving our valued patients since 1986.

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 8313

Poor Quality Sleep Has Dangerous Health Consequences

health risks of poor sleep La Mesa

Is restless sleep affecting your health?

There is a direct connection between health and quality of sleep.

A study conducted by the University of Chicago School of Medicine revealed a link between low quality sleep and type 2 diabetes.

“Insufficient sleep–a highly prevalent condition in modern society–may disrupt fat metabolism and reduce the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars. It suggests that something as simple as getting enough sleep could help counteract the current epidemics of diabetes and obesity.”–Esra Tasali, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago.

The Danger of High Blood Suger

Even if you don’t have diabetes, you should care about your blood sugar levels. Spikes in blood sugar are detrimental in a myriad of ways.

High blood sugar can damage blood vessels that bring oxygen to your organs. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, nerve malfunction, and vision problems.

Difficulty sleeping may be caused by sleep apnea

What is sleep apnea?

It’s a serious health condition in which your breathing periodically stops while you sleep.

How do you know if you have sleep apnea? Read through these common symptoms.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Excessive Snoring
  • Episodes of Not Breathing
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Dry Mouth/Throat
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Irritability

Don’t misunderstand, having one of these symptoms is typically fine. But if you have more than one, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Three Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where your throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to control your breathing. The final type is called complex sleep apnea syndrome. This form is present when a patient has both of the other two types.

If you are diagnosed as having Obstructive Sleep Apnea, make sure you research all treatment options. Oral appliances can treat some forms of sleep apnea. Treatment can ease your symptoms and help prevent the health issues discussed previously.

Sleep Better, Be Happier

Improved sleep can trigger a chain reaction of positive benefits. When you sleep better, you feel happier during the day. You are more in control. Better able to deal constructively with life’s challenges. It helps you be proactive instead of reactive. When you make better decisions, you have more success in your business and personal pursuits.

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 8276

Think It’s Not Necessary To Replace Missing Back Teeth?

dental implants La Mesa

Some individuals who lose a posterior tooth question whether to replace it. After all, it doesn’t show when you smile and there are other teeth to take over the chewing functions. Why not avoid the expense to replace it and save some money? Actually, there are several vital reasons to replace a back tooth with a permanent tooth implant if possible:

1. The adjacent tooth (or teeth) may start shifting.

If the tooth tips, moves, or rotates, it can affect the bite. The unopposed tooth can also move, though it generally moves outward from the bone (over-eruption). Teeth that are displaced can become more vulnerable to gum disease, decay, or TMJ pain.

2. The underlying bone will eventually loosen.

Without the tooth root, the jaw bone shrinks. This changes the contours of the face and gives it a sunk-in look due to a decline in supporting bone. The vertical shortening progresses and becomes more pronounced as you get older.

3. There will be increased stress on the teeth that take over the chewing functions.

This can result in excessive wear, fracture, or pain.

If you have a missing posterior tooth and want to learn about dental implants, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at 619-337-7700 to schedule an appointment.

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 7768

Is Your Smile In A World Of Hurt?

full mouth reconstruction San Diego

Do you have extreme tooth damage, bone loss, or few or no teeth still intact? This post is for San Diego area residents whose mouths are in a world of hurt.

First off, we feel for you. We understand how severe dental issues impact you every day of your life.

Whatever the cause of the condition – chemotherapy, recreational drug use, eating disorder, extreme mouth injury, disability, inadequate oral hygiene, or simply poor overall health – there is hope.

Full mouth reconstruction can restore your previously healthy, attractive smile or give you the stunning smile you never had. Patients who undergo full mouth reconstruction regain their confidence to smile, eat, and speak normally. How would that impact your life?

Replacing missing teeth and adding bone through grafting restores underlying facial structure, improving or preventing that “sunk-in” look that develops when teeth are gone and the jawbone recedes.

Full mouth reconstruction (sometimes called full mouth restoration) is a term that refers to a combination of dental procedures that restore a smile for people with several damaged or missing teeth. Treatment may include any combination of the following procedures: crowns, inlays/onlays, dental bonding, white filling replacement, tooth implants, porcelain veneers, implant-anchored dentures, gum contouring, soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, and tooth whitening.

Dental implants are often the best tooth replacement for Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry patients with missing teeth. A dental implant consists of a titanium post surgically inserted into the jaw bone to replace the root of the missing tooth. If there is not enough bone to anchor an implant, bone grafting may be carried out to augment existing bone. The post integrates with the bone to provide a secure foundation for the abutment and beautiful crown. Dental implants are indistinguishable from original teeth in both form and function.

If you currently have dentures, communicate with us about implant-anchored full or partial dentures. Significant improvements can be made even if you only get two or three tooth implants.

Crowns (sometimes called caps) are used when there is enough viable tooth structure that the tooth doesn’t need to be extracted. A crown adds strength to a tooth that has a large filling or has been injured. A crown can correct a bite misalignment and is usually required after a root canal. In a dental implant procedure, attaching the crown to the abutment is the final step.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a full menu of cosmetic dental care including total mouth reconstruction. Cosmetic dentistry may be more affordable than you think. Talk to us about financing or a multi-procedure treatment schedule that allows you to pay as you go. Restoring a healthy smile may be the best investment you ever make.

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 7017

Tell Your Dentist Which Prescription Meds You Are Taking

dental emergency walk-in clinic La Mesa

It’s standard practice for healthcare providers to find out which medications their patients are taking. Our patients sometimes wonder why we ask them about prescription medications before their dental procedure.

 

Here’s why:

Some medications—prescription or over-the-counter—can influence oral health or dental treatment.

 

Bleeding Issues

 

Heparin/warfarin and other anticoagulants can lead to abnormal bleeding because they affect your ability to clot. If you undergo oral surgery, it’s important for your dentist to know if you are taking these drugs.

Metallic Taste

Some cardiovascular agents, central nervous system stimulants, respiratory inhalants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, and smoke deterrent drugs have been known to a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth. This doesn’t necessarily affect dental treatment, but overdoing sugary breath mints increases your risk of decay.

 

Abnormal Gums

 

Do you feel as though your gums are significantly bigger in proportion to your teeth?

 

Enlarged gum tissue (in dental speak ‘gingival hyperplasia’) is an overgrowth of the gum tissue around your teeth. Gingival hyperplasia can make your gums appear more prominent than your teeth. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene or drugs. These include antiseizure drugs, calcium channel blockers (nifedipine, verapamil, and diltiazem), or immunosuppressants. If you are taking these drugs, be certain you are paying close attention to your teeth and gum care.

Dry Mouth

 

Over 400 drugs can trigger or aggravate dry mouth. This long list includes, but is not limited to; antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medicines, and muscle relaxers. 

 

Chronic dry mouth can boost the risk of tooth decay. Saliva contains minerals that help enamel stay strong. Saliva also plays a role in controlling plaque.

When you come into Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry for your dental procedure, be prepared to let us know which prescription meds you are taking along with the dosage. This helps us provide the trusted dental care you deserve.

 

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 8143

Unexplained Pain and Swelling in Your Mouth?

swollen gums treatment La Mesa

Some dental issues need immediate attention–a knocked-out tooth, for example. Other times, it’s not exactly clear if the condition is a dental emergency.

Is unexplained pain or swelling a dental emergency?

Such is the case with painful swelling in the gums. Should you ignore it? Will it go away?

Let’s describe the possible causes of swollen gums.

It might be due to gingivitis.

Gingivitis can result in swollen gums. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. If your swollen gums are caused by gingivitis, they may bleed easily. If this oral condition is not addressed it can lead to periodontitis. With this condition, your gums become loose and separate from the teeth. If plaque multiplies in the pockets around the teeth, the gum will start pulling away. It eventually becomes infected. The infection can spread to the bone supporting the tooth.

If you let gum disease go untreated, you can lose teeth that are cavity-free!

The progression of gingivitis to tooth loss goes like this:

  1. Plaque build-up irritates gums
  2. Irritated gums pull back from the tooth
  3. Bacteria multiply in the spaces between the gum and tooth
  4. The bone holding the tooth is eaten by the bacteria
  5. Say goodbye to the tooth

What if the swelling is not due to gingivitis?

Allergies, infections, and the common cold can irritate gums. When sinus tissues become inflamed and infected, it can influence the teeth and gums.

Is a mouth sore causing the swelling?

A mouth sore can cause swelling and pain. Mouth sores have various causes including an infection or virus. White patches in the mouth can indicate thrush (an oral yeast infection). All of these conditions can be treated—but you need to see your dentist. An urgent care dentist is a great choice for a painful mouth sore because they have extended hours. Some offer weekend appointments.

It could be an abscess.

Swollen gums can also be caused by an abscess. An abscess is an infected pocket of pus in a tooth and/or the surrounding bone and tissue. The most frequent type of oral abscess begins in the pulp of the tooth and is generally caused by tooth decay. If ignored, this can destroy the bone and eventually cause a lot of pain.

Are these problems considered dental emergencies?

Early-stage gingivitis is not a dental emergency. A mouth sore may or may not be a dental emergency. A tooth abscess most definitely is a dental emergency.

Regardless of the issue, at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we can treat all of these conditions at your convenience. Give us a call.

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 8335

How Long Can You Use a Toothbrush?

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

As you stand over your sink and contemplate the frayed bristles of your best-loved toothbrush, you may speculate whether you should replace it.

Hopefully, we are all brushing our teeth on a daily basis. And we hope parents are helping their children brush daily.

Like a good pair of jeans, it seems the more we use a toothbrush, the more comfortable it gets.

As it turns out, that’s not a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth.

Angling for clean teeth

The angle of the bristles on your toothbrush is an essential part of cleaning. Straight bristles scrub your teeth and flex your gums. A light circular motion is enough to clean your teeth without causing damage.

Flat or frayed bristles are less successful and can even cause you to work harder. Pressing harder on your teeth can hurt your gums and lead to gum recession.

So how often should you change your toothbrush?

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests you replace it “every three to four months.” At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we agree with the ADA’s guidance. However, if you or your child has a cold or flu, replace your toothbrush when the illness is over even if it hasn’t been three months.

The reasons to replace your toothbrush include worn bristles and bacteria. Worn bristles, as we have discussed, are less effective.

Bacteria can also be built up in the small gaps of your toothbrush and may contribute to tooth decay and bad breath.

Let your toothbrush air dry

keep your toothbrush in a sanitary location. (Right next to the toilet isn’t a good place.) Allow for good drying to help extend its life.

Regardless of how long it’s been, if the bristles on your toothbrush look like they’re trying to get away from each other, it’s time to switch it out. Otherwise, change your toothbrush at the start of every new season to keep it fresh and effective.

Are you looking for a friendly, experienced pediatric dentist? Dr, Jeff Gray has been serving La Mesa area families since 1986.

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 8300

Why Fluoride Is Essential For Your Child’s Oral Health

pediatric dentist La Mesa CA

Fluoride is a mineral that helps your teeth stay strong. It is found in some foods and water and makes toothpastes more capable at fighting cavities.

Fluoride plays an essential role in your son or daughter’s oral health. Your youngster should start using fluoride toothpaste when they are old enough to spit while brushing. Start with a tiny pea-sized dab, gradually increasing the amount as they grow.

Periodic kids’ fluoride treatments help teeth by making them stronger and more resistant to the detrimental acid formed by bacteria.

Fluoride Treatments at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide fluoride treatments during routine check-ups. The fluoride is applied directly to your child’s teeth.

The fluoride used in in-office treatments comes in either a gel or foam and is available in several flavors.

Fluoride treatments are a straightforward and painless way to fortify your child’s teeth and help them keep a healthy smile.

Does Your Child Need Fluoride Supplements?

If you wonder if your child is getting enough fluoride, meet with Dr, Gray about fluoride supplements. Dr, Gray will let you know if they are required and identify the precise dosage.

Too Much Fluoride Can Be Dangerous

Don’t give your child fluoride supplements without our guidance. Too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis which discolors teeth and, ironically, can make teeth more susceptible to tooth decay.

Fluoride-Adjusted Municipal Water

A factor that impacts the amount of fluoride your youngster is receiving is where you get your drinking water. Your youngster may not need fluoride supplements if they drink tap water from a fluoridated California municipal water supply.

Warning About Bottled Water

If your family only drinks bottled water without fluoride, you may want to think about supplementation. Keep in mind that the FDA does not require bottled water companies to list the fluoride content on the bottle label. Many brands sold in La Mesa do not contain fluoride.

Talk to Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry about your child’s fluoride needs.

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 8176

Urgent Care Dentists Replace Broken Dental Crowns

cost of dental crowns San Diego

If your dental crown breaks, do you need to replace it?

Yes. Here’s why:

  1. The tooth is compromised and could sustain additional damage
  2. The tooth is vulnerable to tooth decay
  3. It could damage the opposing tooth
  4. It could cause problems with your bite

La Mesa endodontists, cosmetic dentists, and urgent care dentists use dental crowns (sometimes called caps) in many restorative treatments.

Dental crowns serve many purposes:

  1. A crown adds durability to a tooth that has a large filling or has been injured
  2. A crown can fix bite misalignments in some situations.
  3. A crown is usually required after a root canal
  4. Attaching the crown to the abutment is the final step for
  5. Crowns used to improve the look of teeth: yellow teeth, stained teeth, too-small teeth, and teeth that are misshapen

What are dental crowns made of?

Dental crowns are constructed from a variety of materials that vary in appearance and strength:

  • All ceramic (porcelain-based)
  • Porcelain fused to metal
  • Gold alloys
  • Base metal alloys

Your dentist can help you identify which type is right for you. Factors to consider are the location of the crown in the mouth, your budget, and any allergies to metal. When many La Mesa dentists provide a crown restoration, they use a process that requires two office visits. On the first visit, the dentist will prepare the tooth and take an impression for the dental lab. Then, they will provide a temporary crown for the patient to use until the permanent crown is ready.

Some dentists have CEREC technology that allows them to fabricate and place crowns in one visit.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Dental crowns can last for many years but are not designed to last indefinitely. Even with proper care, dental patients should not expect crowns to be trouble-free for decades. A 2009 study found that more than 90% of dental crowns do not require treatment within five years of placement. The study also found that 50% to 80% last from 15 to 20 years. (Source)

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa, we replace broken dental crowns and treat other urgent dental issues.

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 8242

What If My California Dental Insurance Doesn’t Cover Braces?

braces financing La Mesa

Some dental insurance providers don’t cover orthodontics. This doesn’t make sense to orthodontists. Straightening teeth can prevent expensive dental problems. These include tooth decay, treatment for bite problems, and periodontitis (advanced gum disease).

We all know that dental insurers rarely make coverage decisions based on what is best for the patient.

However, you shouldn’t give up on braces if your dental insurance provider doesn’t cover them. You may be able to get coverage for part of the procedure. Or your medical insurance may cover part of the course of action.

What to do if your dental insurance company doesn’t cover braces.

  • Have your orthodontist provide a detailed implant treatment plan in writing
  • Armed with your treatment plan, talk to both your dental insurer and your medical insurance provider
  • If misaligned teeth have medical complications like a TMJ disorder, your health insurance provider might cover some elements of the treatment
  • Consider switching dental insurers–if your employer offers more than one dental option, contact the other provider(s) to find out if they cover braces
  • Pay for braces instead of premiums: consider not renewing your dental insurance and use the money saved toward the cost of braces
  • Look into orthodontic-specific insurance–some businesses are filling a need in the industry by offering dental insurance developed specifically for braces and related treatments
  • Ask Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry about financing and payment options
  • If your employer offers a health savings account (HSA), consider allocating money previously spent on dental insurance to your HSA and receive potential tax benefits

Braces are a wise investment in your health and quality of life. If you need braces but your insurance doesn’t cover them, talk with us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry.

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 8343