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

Implants Prevent Denture-Related Health Problems

tooth implants La Mesa

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25% of adults over 65 have no remaining teeth. Many individuals with missing teeth or no teeth at all choose dentures. This is understandable. It’s challenging to eat and speak with no teeth in the mouth. And a toothless mouth is not an attractive look for anyone.

13 Problems With Dentures

1. Dentures usually fit properly at first, but the mouth changes as you age. Normal wear and tear take their toll. Eventually, the dentures will need to be relined or replaced. But even quality dentures that fit properly cause issues, both physical and mental.

2. The human body is designed to have teeth that are anchored in the jaw. But dentures move around in the mouth.

3. Ill-fitting dentures can aggravate gums and cause inflammation. Inflammation contributes to additional health problems.

4. Dentures can change a person’s bite which impacts the temporomandibular (jaw) joint. This, in turn, can bring about pain in the face, neck, and head.

5. Dentures trap particles of food. This can result in gum disease. Partial dentures can increase the risk of decay in remaining teeth.

6. Dentures can make food taste different or mask the taste entirely. This can result in insufficient nutrition.

7. Some individuals with dentures start eating smaller meals which can lead to weight loss.

8. Dentures can take the pleasure out of eating. This can influence emotional health. (Enjoying a meal is often the best part of the day, don’t you agree?)

9. Inadequate calorie consumption lowers energy levels. This influences the ability to work, travel, and participate in hobbies and recreational activities.

If you are retired, you should be able to enjoy your golden years to the fullest. If you are working, you should be able to enjoy your career to the fullest.

10. Dentures handicap chewing capacity. Many denture wearers stop eating nuts, high-fiber foods, and raw vegetables. All of these are part of a healthy diet.

11. Reduced chewing power can cause the denture wearer to swallow bigger chunks of food. This often causes digestive problems. It also increases the risk of choking.

12. Dentures can interfere with speaking. When speaking ability is diminished, some individuals avoid social situations and are at a greater risk for depression.

13. Missing teeth eventually lead to bone loss. When the jaw no longer has tooth roots, it shrinks and recedes.

We can explain these problems in detail if you come in for a no-pressure consultation.

Dental Implants Prevent (All Of!) These Problems

Since this is the blog for the best tooth implant in La Mesa, you know where this article is going. It may sound far-fetched, but dental implants can enable you to avert each one of these health conditions. The wonders of modern dentistry!

Why Are Dental Implants Better Than Dentures?

Can you place a value on physical and mental well-being?

Dental implants may be the best investment you make when it comes to health and happiness. Schedule a consultation with Dr, Gray.

 

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 8088

What is an Orthodontic Pacifier?

what is the best kind of pacifier La Mesa

Infants are born with a natural sucking reflex, and it is common for this reflex to evolve into a comforting behavior. Pacifiers can soothe a crying infant. However, parents often worry that a pacifier is harmful to a baby’s teeth. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents that pacifiers are generally safe for babies under two years of age.

After age three, pacifiers can cause or complicate an overbite, open bite, or crossbite. These conditions can affect chewing, speech, and appearance. If that’s the case, orthodontics may be necessary.

Pacifier use in younger babies can have a plus side, as they may decrease the chance of cavities by keeping the baby from using the bottle or breast for non-nutritive sucking. Using a bottle while sleeping can cause “baby bottle cavities”.

The baby supply aisles in La Mesa stores can be overwhelming for parents choosing a pacifier.

There are numerous styles and shapes. Some are no-nonsense and others are more elaborate and even look like a toy. Your baby can sport a bushy mustache or duck lips.

Pacifiers are typically fabricated with either latex or silicone.

The two main categories of pacifiers are orthodontic and traditional. Orthodontic pacifiers are specifically designed to prevent the misalignment of teeth.

What is the advantage of an orthodontic shaped pacifier?

From a dental point of view, the best-shaped pacifier is flat and exerts minimal pressure on the baby’s mouth. Orthodontic pacifiers have a rounded top and a flat bottom. They are designed to avoid tooth troubles later in a baby’s life. They do this by supporting the shape of a baby’s developing palate and jaw. Studies have shown that orthodontic pacifiers cause less open bite or overbite issues than traditional round pacifiers.

The characteristics of an orthodontic pacifier

An extra flat shaft cuts down on pressure on the teeth and jaw. An integrated dental step reduces the distance between the upper and lower front teeth. An orthodontic pacifier creates extra space for the natural movement of the tongue. The specific design of an orthodontic pacifier may safeguard against dental dilemmas later in a baby’s life.

Keep in mind that an orthodontic pacifier isn’t guaranteed to eliminate dental problems. Seek the ongoing guidance of a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is an essential member of your baby’s healthcare team.

When your youngster needs to be comforted and feeding or rocking doesn’t seem to do the trick, a pacifier can be a lifesaver. Just remember to pick one that is best for your baby’s developing teeth. And wean your infant from the pacifier around the age of two.

A pediatric dentist is an essential member of your child’s healthcare team

Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry directs parents on pediatric dental issues from birth through adolescence. Make sure you bring your baby in for their first exam around one year and schedule visits at least twice a year.

 

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 8317

Are All Clear Aligners Alike?

Invisalign La Mesa

If you are researching orthodontics, you have probably heard about clear aligners. They offer several advantages over traditional metal braces. The most popular benefit is the fact that they are nearly invisible.

Millions of men and women have straightened their teeth with aligners in the past twenty years since they were introduced.

We’re here to help with your research. Note that your orthodontist may not offer all types of clear aligners. This post is for informational purposes only.

Invisalign

Invisalign pioneered clear aligner orthodontics. Established in 1997, Invisalign has shaped more than 6 million smiles throughout the world.

Invisalign (as with the other types) uses virtual modeling software to create custom aligners formed specifically for your teeth.

First, you’ll start with a consultation where an orthodontist will inspect your teeth. They will work with you to determine which Invisalign treatment plan will work best for your teeth, lifestyle, and dental goals. Then, they will set you up with aligners that are individually-constructed for you.

It’s vital to note that you will never be left on your own to figure out what step is next. Your orthodontist will be with you every step of the way. Finally, you just live your life, while sticking to the guidelines set out for you by your doctor.

ClearCorrect

This is how the company describes their product: Clear. Simple. Friendly. Made of polyurethane, these aligners can straighten your smile discreetly and effortlessly.

ClearCorrect is run by a team of highly trained professionals. They have added many innovations to the diagnostic and treatment process. Many orthodontists believe it’s the most convenient system for both patients and doctors.

Over 10,000 doctors use ClearCorrect. Many ClearCorrect providers offer flexible payment plans.

SmileDirectClub (And Other At-Home Systems)

Though we don’t suggest this system, let’s talk about the “mail-order orthodontics” products. We are including an explanation of SmileDirectClub and other at-home systems so you’ll be aware of their potential problems and limitations.

SmileDirectClub provides custom clear aligners without regular office visits. They advertise an average cost savings of 60% of orthodontist-administered Invisalign and similar systems. They report that the average length of treatment is 6 months.

All aligner systems require a 3D image of your teeth. With Invisalign and ClearCorrect, your orthodontist creates the scan in their office.

With SmileDirect, you can visit one of their “SmileShops” for a scan. There are SmileShops in every U.S. state but you may have to make a long trip. They also offer you the option of taking your own impression using their at-home kit.

Your treatment is supposedly supervised by a dentist or orthodontist—but you don’t visit them in person. Your dentist doesn’t take X-rays or examine your progress.

Because of this, we don’t recommend these types of systems. Your smile is too important to use a DIY approach. Your teeth could end up worse than before! The problems could be expensive to correct. In a worst-case scenario, you could experience irreversible damage.

The American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists have published warnings against at-home orthodontics.

Schedule a consultation at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry to determine which system is best for you.

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 8199

Why It’s Crucial To Replace Missing Back Teeth

dental implants La Mesa

Some people 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 avert the expense to replace it and save some money? Actually, there are several important reasons to replace a back tooth with a tooth implant if possible:

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

If a 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 pull back.

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

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

This can bring about 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 619-754-9144 to schedule an appointment.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

 619-754-9144

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 7455