Health Habits To Keep You Smiling

habits to keep teeth healthy La MesaIn this post from Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa we focus on behaviors that influence dental health. Of course, regular brushing and flossing are two important habits for healthy teeth, but there are many more things we can do to keep a healthy smile.

Diet Do’s

  • Do eat a nutritious diet with a variety of foods. This is needed for overall physical health and a strong immune system.
  • Do consume calcium-rich dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt to neutralize acids that are detrimental to enamel.

Diet Don’ts

  • Don’t eat sugary foods. Sugar triggers the production of detrimental cavity-causing acids that weaken enamel and lead to cavities.
  • Don’t snack throughout the day. This accelerates plaque production and subjects the teeth to continual contact with acids.
  • Don’t chew on ice (it really can crack teeth.)
  • Don’t drink energy drinks. They have many substances that are bad for teeth.

Other Important Tips

  • Don’t use your teeth as tools. It is better to cut that knotted shoelace than to gnaw at it to try to untangle it.
  • Don’t get piercings in or around your mouth.
  • Don’t ignore tooth pain or sensitivity.
  • Don’t use a medium or hard bristle toothbrush. It can damage gums.

At Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa we encourage all of our patients to maintain a lifestyle that promotes dental health as well as overall physical health. Patients from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee come to our practice for general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8164

Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

cosmetic dentistry La Mesa

Everyone wants nice, pearly white teeth. It makes sense, then, to brush our teeth more often to get them – right? Well, no. As we explain in this post from Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa, brushing too aggressively can result in receding gums.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It creates a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?
A common misconception is the idea that if you want to lighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get white teeth is to brush longer, not harder. The key, though, is to use a very light touch. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

Why?
When you brush your teeth too quickly, you may not remove all the food particles. You don’t want this debris turning into plaque.

If you truly want whiter teeth, brush in a slow, circular motion for about five minutes. Methodically go over each tooth surface.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. The fluoride helps your enamel re-harden.

Let’s Review
Brushing too aggressively can lead to gum recession. Gum recession can (and most likely will) cause a space to form between your teeth and gum line. This pocket collects bacteria. Bacteria causes cavities. Plus, if the gums continue to recede, the tooth can become loose.

The best approach is to brush longer, and with a light gentle touch. Don’t forget to floss!

If you’re gums have already begun to recede, don’t despair! It’s a treatable condition. At Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa we offer a full range of general dentistry procedures. People from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee also come to our office for dental implants, and much more. Call to schedule an appointment today!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8128

Trouble Getting Numb For Dental Treatment?

gentle dentist La Mesa

For most of us, getting a cavity filled may not be the highlight of the day. But thanks to modern anesthesia, like what we use at Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa, it’s more an inconvenience than anything else.

Some people, though, are resistant to local anesthesia like lidocaine. That makes something that is usually simple, like filling a cavity, a real challenge: the tooth needs to be fixed, but the level of pain can go off the charts.

The patient may be filled with local anesthesia – but for them, it’s like it’s not even there. A slow response to lidocaine is fairly common, and a second injection usually takes care of it. But sometimes it just doesn’t work.

There has been research into this but no conclusive findings. Some theorize that the tissue in certain people doesn’t absorb anesthesia the way it does in most. Another possibility is that some of us have nerves in slightly different places than in most. But no one knows for sure.

All of this is cold comfort to anyone who who has trouble getting numb for dental work. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please let us know at Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa. We will find a solution. People from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee come to us for general and restorative dentistry, and much more. Call today!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8085

Afraid of the Dentist?

dental anxiety treatment La Mesa

If you tense up just thinking about going to the dentist, you may benefit from sedation dentistry offered by Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa.

Millions of Americans stress out when they have to see the dentist. It is referred to as dental anxiety. There is a more severe form, too, called dental phobia. In both, some people would rather skip the dentist altogether than sit down for a checkup. The problem with that, of course, is it puts their dental health at risk.

There are lots of reasons why people develop anxiety or phobia over dental care. It often stems from a bad experience they had with a dentist as a kid. Fear of pain may be involved, as well as a fear of anesthesics and possible side effects.

Whatever the cause, sedation dentistry has helped millions of people get through their appointments.

We offer three types:

  • Nitrous Oxide. You also know this as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide has been used in dentistry for more than a century and is highly effective.
  • Oral conscious sedation. You take a sedative an hour or so before the appointment. You won’t sleep, but will be in a deeply relaxed state. When the appointment is over, someone will have to drive you home.
  • IV Sedation. As the name suggests, this is a sedative that is administered intravenously. It is our strongest option and there is an extra fee involved. You’ll need an escort for a ride here and back.

Sedation dentistry from Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental in La Mesa may be just what you need. People from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee come to our practice for complete general dentistry, and much more. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8533

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

Are La Mesa Dental Implants Worth It?

Dental implants have been hailed as one of the greatest advances in dentistry, but that doesn’t mean deciding to get one is easy. There is much to consider, but at Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental, we believe they are worth it.

One of the things that makes a lot of people think twice about implants is the cost. There’s no way around that; even the best dental insurance policies only cover implants up to a point.

It’s important to remember that implants are made the same materials used in surgeries like hip replacement. Bone grafting may be required, if the patient doesn’t have enough healthy bone mass.

Issues like that must be weighed against the purely pragmatic. Can you place a value on the ability to eat and chew food normally? Because they are physically attached to the jaw bone, dental implants function like natural teeth. That’s true whether it’s a single tooth replacement, or whether the implants are anchoring a dental arch.

And then there is your smile, of course. Teeth are one of the first things we notice about other people. No one wants to go around hiding their smile.

A full set of teeth is priceless, and with dental implants from Jeff Gray DDS | Espire Dental, you can have one. Patients from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee have benefitted from them, as well as from our general dentistry. Call for an appointment 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

 


Save Your Breath

bad breath treatments La Mesa

This post from Jeff Gray DDS Espire Dental in La Mesa focuses on a problem experienced by many people, bad breath.

Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most common is poor oral hygiene. Halitosis often happens in the middle of the day, due to an inability to brush between meals. Small food pieces on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. This in turn creates a sulfur compound, which emits the unpleasant odor.

While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause, other circumstances can contribute to or worsen the problem. The best remedy is regular brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be needed.

For example, a salivary gland problem or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using over-the-counter saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.

Remember, the best defense against bad breath is a good dental care routine – daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to the dentist.

If you struggle with bad breath in spite of vigilant oral hygiene, talk to us at Jeff Gray DDS Espire Dental in La Mesa. People from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee come to us for complete general dentistry, and improve their smiles with our cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us 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 7100

A Proud Dental Practice

La Mesa best family dentist

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa we are proud to provide our community with the best dental care possible. It’s a lot of work running a dental office, but it’s an important function. We are commmitted to excellence in what we do.

It is by now well-established that your dental health is linked your overall health. We want all our patients to have the best dental health possible. On any given day we will remove a patient’s tooth decay and fill the cavity. We’ll diagnose and treat other problems with teeth and gums, repair fractured teeth, and promote good dental health.

We have a team of committed professionals. The dentist is the most conspicuous team member, and is responsible for diagnosing any dental problems and developing treatment plans.

But no one works alone, of course. Other team members include our dental hygienists, licensed professionals who are responsible for the preventative part of treatments. This includes screening for signs of gum disease and oral cancer, and reviewing a patient’s oral hygiene.

Our dental assistants help the dentist during procedures. They also have a role in preventative education, and can perform tasks such as removing sutures.

Finally, there are our team members in the reception area. They schedule and manage appointments, greet you when you come in, and help our practice run as efficiently as it does.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa we are committed to the dental health of all our patients, and it’s a team effort. People from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee come to us for dental implants, complete general dentistry, and much more. Call to schedule your next cleaning and checkup 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 6712

5 Reasons To See Dr. Gray

top dentist San Diego

In this message from Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa we look at the big picture.

Developing a relationship with an experienced dentist is vital for maintaining healthy smiles for every member of the family. Here are five reasons to make us your partner in dental health.

  1. Visit Us For the Truth. Healthy habits are formed over time; it’s best to break any bad ones ASAP. Regular visits can correct a course that may eventually lead to pain, gum disease, damaged teeth, or complete tooth loss. Potential problems are best discovered sooner than later.
  2. Visit Us For the Atmosphere. We make it a point to determine your needs. Whether you have urgent concerns or just need a routine check up on the state of your oral health, we would like to be your first choice. We keep the atmosphere upbeat.
  3. Visit Us For the Discussion. We deliver valuable assessment and discussion about all aspects of dentistry with fresh, clear details about your treatment.
  4. Visit Us For the Answers. What are the pros and cons of dental implants or the advantages and disadvantages of braces, and at what age are each appropriate? Who is a candidate for family dentistry?
  5. Visit Us For Your Health! Dental health is maintained through regular check-ups, maintenance, and preventative measures. Enjoy continued health and vibrancy as a result of superior dental care, vigilant dental hygiene, and healthy habits.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa we maintain the dental health of each patient with comprehensive general dentistry. People from San Diego, Alpine, El Cajon, and Santee also come to our practice for dental implants, and much more. Call to schedule a checkup 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 6707

Want To Keep Your Enamel Healthy? Avoid Doing These 11 Things

cosmetic dentistry La Mesa

1. Chewing on hard foods

We’re looking at you Beef jerky and hard or stale bread.

2. Chewing on hard items

This includes fingernails, pencils, pen caps, and ice.

3. Grinding your teeth

If you grind your teeth, talk about it with your dentist. An appliance can safeguard your smile.

4. Eating too much sticky food

Gummy candy, dried fruit, and even protein bars can crack teeth.

5. Drinking anything besides water frequently

If your teeth are bathed in soda (sugared or diet), juice, coffee, or sports drinks consistently, you are asking for dental problems.

6. Playing sports without a mouthguard

Sports pose a major risk of tooth damage. Most children are required to wear a protective mouthguard on the playing field. But fewer adults wear mouthguards for recreational activities like mountain biking and skiing. Stock types are ready-made and rarely fit well. Custom-fitted mouthguards from your dentist are more comfortable than the cheap boil-and-bite type.

7. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush

A hard-bristled toothbrush can damage teeth and cause gums to pull away. Clean away food bits and plaque with a soft (or extra-soft) toothbrush.

8. Ignoring dry mouth

Saliva is important. This helps to rinse food particles from your mouth as well as neutralize the acids that cause plaque. It also helps clean the teeth of leftover food bits, helping to prevent plaque buildup. Constant dry mouth, or xerostomia, can lead to tooth decay. Talk to your dentist if you have a dry mouth frequently.

9. Using teeth as tools

Locate a pair of scissors to open a package or pry the lid of a medicine bottle. Use a nutcracker if you are eating unshelled nuts. A quality dental crown can cost over eight hundred dollars.

10. Ignoring bad breath

Bad breath is often associated with bacteria build-up in the mouth. It might be a symptom of accelerating tooth decay. Discuss it with your dentist. (Don’t be embarrassed. We treat bad breath all the time.)

11. Ignoring jaw pain

If you experience frequent jaw pain or notice a clicking sound, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately! These symptoms can be signs of a serious condition called temporomandibular disorder or TMD.

Is it too late? Have you already broken or chipped a tooth? We can repair it at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. There are a number of restorative and cosmetic dental treatments for chipped or cracked teeth.

 

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 8124

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