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

 

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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

 

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Pediatric Dental Excellence In La Mesa

pediatric dental La Mesa

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are proud of our reputation for excellence in pediatric dentistry. If you are researching pediatric dentists in La Mesa, we invite you to visit us at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102.

We Love Children!

We create a pleasant dental experience for our patients at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. We want to make sure they look forward to visits and never develop a fear of the dentist.

From Infancy Through Adolescence

We serve toddlers, young children, and teenagers. We focus on preventative dentistry and helping families establish healthy dental habits for life.

A Member of Your Child’s Healthcare Team

A pediatric dentist is an indispensable member of your family’s healthcare team. Regular dental visits starting no later than 12 months of age is just as critical as “well-child” check-ups with your pediatrician.

Proactive Preventative Dentistry

We are dedicated to the early detection and treatment of dental diseases. Plus we stay abreast of the latest in pediatric dentistry.

Because most children and adolescents have at least a few fillings, it may seem that decay is an unavoidable part of childhood. The truth is that during childhood (or any stage of life) tooth decay is 100% preventable.

There is much you can do to keep your child’s primary teeth and adult teeth healthy and cavity-free.

Setting a Good Example

When it comes to observing sensible oral health habits, we can all set a good example for our children and teenagers.

A Lifestyle For A Healthy Smile

Do they see us brush and floss carefully? Do they find water bottles in our car cup holders or empty soda cans? Do they see us limit sugary snacks? Do we schedule semiannual dental visits and cleanings for ourselves and our kids?

It’s Never Too Late To Improve

If you have teenagers with a lot of tooth decay, don’t give up. It’s never too late to improve oral health.

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

 

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Signs Of Oral Cancer: What Not To Ignore

oral cancer signs La Mesa

Today’s article focuses on a very serious issue—oral (oropharyngeal) cancers. The medical community categorizes oral cancers as a subset of head and neck cancers.

Oral cancers can arise in the following locations:

  • The tongue
  • The roof of the mouth and under the tongue
  • The inside of the cheeks
  • The oropharynx (the part behind the soft palate)
  • The salivary glands
  • The lips

Oral Cancers Are Particularly Deadly

Over 50,000 men and women annually are diagnosed with a type of oral cancer. They are more than twice as prevalent in men. There is no disparity when it comes to blacks or whites. Oral cancers claim over 10,000 victims per year.

The statistics reveal that only 57 percent of those diagnosed this year will be alive in five years. Talk about a grim outlook.

Let’s talk about the common—and the not-so-common—warning signs of oral cancer.

Any sore or lump in the mouth or throat should be taken seriously. Any white or red patch could also be a symptom.

Receiving an oral cancer screening is another reason to visit Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry twice a year for an exam. Healthcare providers who don’t have the specific training for early-onset oral cancer may confuse or fail to recognize early symptoms.

Here, at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr, Gray can tell you if you should be worried or not.

The Cold Sore Connection

Firstly, we know cold sores are not dinner-talk for most men and women. However, did you know that if you have a history of cold sores, you are at an increased risk for receiving oropharyngeal (oral) cancer?

Don’t Ignore These Signs!

You will want to get checked out if you:

  1. Have a lump or thickening in your throat
  2. Have white or red patches on your tongue, tonsils, or lining of your cheeks and gums
  3. Notice numbness of any oral feature
  4. Have any type of lesion, cut, or canker-type sore that doesn’t heal within 14 days

Less-common symptoms include tongue pain and loose teeth. A hoarse voice that doesn’t go away should be a concern. Unexplained tooth discoloration is rare but not unheard of.

It’s a misconception to think any of these signs can’t lead to problems.

Early Diagnosis Can Save Your Life

Getting checked for oral (or any) cancer regularly is essential for multiple reasons, but it is ultimately necessary because you want to catch it early. So you have the highest chance of survival. While it usually does not start to show symptoms until around age 40, it occurs in younger patients as well.

Smokeless Tobacco

It is also more common for those who use smokeless, (chewing or spit) tobacco to get oral cancer. Many people argue that these are safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. This may be true when it comes to lung cancer. But you need to look at the contracting other conditions like oral cancer(s), pancreatic cancer, and/or chronic infections that can result in heart issues later on.

Also, don’t assume vaping is less dangerous. Though there is less research on the health risks of vaping, it certainly hasn’t been proven to be risk-free.

Smoking + Alcohol = A Dangerous Combination

While we are highlighting tobacco and vaping, we also need to mention alcohol. For many folks, they go together. Those who both smoke and drink have a 15 times higher possibility of developing oral cancer than those who do neither.

Exposure to UV Rays Bolsters Risk of Lip Cancer

Lip cancer can be considered both oral cancer and skin cancer. Most of us have been warned that unprotected sun exposure is harmful. But many of us forget about the lips when applying sunscreen. Pick up some SPF balm when you shop for sunscreen. Don’t forget that eating, drinking and licking your lips can wipe it away. Reapply often. Wear wide-brim hats as protection. Be especially careful between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Sources:

https://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/about/key-statistics.htm

 

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

 

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7 Steps For A Healthy Smile In San Diego

The team at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry believes in healthy smiles. The best way to have a healthy smile is by prevention – both in healthy habits as well as visiting us twice a year. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Keeping your smile beautiful and healthy is done most effectively with preventive measures. 

1. Make a habit of brushing your teeth. Do it twice a day for 2 minutes. Be sure to use a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.

2. Don’t forget the floss! Flossing between your teeth daily will do wonders for your teeth and keep your gums healthy too.

3. Wear a protective mouthguard when participating in contact sports.

4. Don’t smoke, or chew tobacco.

5. Skip piercing your lips, tongue, cheek, or any other part of your mouth. Piercings put you at greater risk for chipped teeth, infection and nerve damage. It’s a risky fashion that you’ll want to avoid.

6. Avoid snacks that have a lot of sugar or starch.

7. Schedule regular dental visits twice a year.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry serves LaMesa, El Cajon and San Diego. We take pride in caring for our patients and we want them to have healthy, beautiful smiles. Our practice specializes in:

We hope to hear from you soon! Call us today for an appointment.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-785-3602

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

 


Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth

Three Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth by Jeff Gray DDS - Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry

Flossing is a bit of a chore. It takes a little extra time, and if you haven’t flossed in a while, it can even be painful. We have heard all of the excuses at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry serving LaMesa, El Cajon and San Diego. It’s no wonder our team is constantly reminding our patients to ‘brush and floss!’

Flossing is important. You’ll never hear one of us say ‘don’t worry about the flossing.’ It just isn’t going to happen, and for two reasons. Here they are:

1. Bad Breath

Bad breath is something we all worry about. It’s part of our appearance, and we are all aware of how that can impact our relationships. If you meet someone with bad breath – then that’s all you remember about them. No one wants that to be their first impression on someone.

Flossing is a great way to help you avoid bad breath. Flossing helps prevent plaque buildup between your teeth. It also helps flush out pockets of bacteria. Together, plaque and bacteria can create bad breath.

If you don’t want to be caught with bad breath, floss every day.

2. Cavities

When bacteria is allowed to concentrate on your teeth, tooth decay can occur. Plaque buildup is a concentration of bacteria. When plaque is allowed to remain between your teeth it gives bacteria a chance to destroy enamel and damage your teeth. Cavities are damage to your teeth caused by bacteria.

Flossing gets between your teeth where your brush can’t get and cleans away plaque buildup. It also loosens pockets of bacteria that can be removed with a quick rinse. Flossing will help you keep plaque and bacteria from developing between your teeth.

Our team recommends you floss your teeth every time you brush your teeth. At the very least, we encourage you to floss every day before you go to bed. Once a day is your minimum, and nighttime is a good time to floss.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We also specialize in dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces, and sedation dentistry. Call 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

 


Unexpected Stress? Don’t Forget Your Smile

Alpine cosmetic dental and tooth implants

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry serving LaMesa, El Cajon and San Diego provides full service dentistry. Today, we’d like to discuss the effects stress can have on your smile.

When you suddenly have to juggle extra balls, some are bound to get dropped. Perhaps you are going through a divorce or became the caregiver for an ailing parent. Perhaps you took on a second job or started night school to earn an advanced degree.

Not every stressor is negative. A new baby, marriage, career, or move can be exciting but overwhelming. It’s okay – and sometimes helpful – to drop some of the balls. You can probably let another parent take over room mother duties for a few weeks, forego a haircut, or skip poker night until things calm down.

When life hands you extra challenges it is easy to get lax about oral hygiene. Sometimes you feel too exhausted to brush or floss and skip regular check-ups and cleanings. Our team wants to remind you to look at the possible consequences of neglecting your smile.

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth and gum pain
  • Bad breath
  • Infection
  • Tooth loss

Your plate is already full – you don’t want to add poor oral health and the associated expense and inconvenience required to treat advanced issues.

Let the car go unwashed for a few weeks. Record your favorite show to watch later when things slow down. Postpone that kitchen remodel. But keep your smile healthy – it really will make your life easier, healthier, and happier.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We also specialize in dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces, and sedation dentistry. Call us today.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-550-4332

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942


5 Ways To Prevent A Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth can be painful, unattractive, and costly to repair, especially if you need emergency dental care. Today’s post in the Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry La Mesa dental blog contains an easy-to-follow list of tips to keep your teeth whole and strong.

  1. Don’t chew on hard things. People should steer clear of ice, hard candies, hard nuts, popcorn, and beef jerky. Watch out for stone fruits—that peach may be soft but if you bite hard into the stone, you could damage a tooth.
  2. Protect your teeth during physical activity where your mouth can be hit. If you enjoy pick-up basketball games, indoor soccer leagues, rec center flag football, and many other activities, you should be using a well-fitting mouth protector.
  3. Teeth are not tools. Use scissors to open a string cheese or rip the price tag off a new piece of clothing with your teeth. Use a nutcracker for nuts. A quality dental crown can cost hundreds of dollars.
  4. Don’t grind your teeth. Grinding your teeth can lead to a cracked tooth. If you know or suspect that you are a tooth grinder, speak with your dentist so you can address the problem with stress reduction techniques and/or a mouth guard. Frequent headaches or jaw pain can frequently be caused by nighttime teeth grinding.
  5. Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can alert you to conditions that might lead to cracked teeth, such as having an uneven chewing surface or brittle teeth. Your dentist may also discover tiny cracks you aren’t aware of. Take care of these cracks before the whole tooth is in danger.

If you already have a cracked tooth, never fear! Treatment is available for cracks small and large. Veneers, cosmetic dental bonding, inlays/onlays, fillings, and dental implants are all used to repair or replace damaged teeth.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We also specialize in dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces, and sedation dentistry. Call 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

 


Are You At Risk For Bone Recession?

dental bone grafting La Mesa

A healthy smile needs decay-free teeth and healthy gums, as well as a healthy jawbone. Our teeth need a strong firm foundation to remain healthy and beautiful. At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa, we’ve seen a variety of issues in our patients’ jaw health.

Today’s post looks at bone recession. Occasionally, a patient experiences bone recession in their jaw which can cause tooth loss and other problems. However, it is usually the other way around. The bone loss occurs as a result of a lost tooth because the blood supply and stimulus needed for maintaining healthy bone is taken away.

Let’s look at the most common causes of jaw bone recession:

Extracted Teeth

Bone is living tissue and needs stimulation to stay healthy and retain its size and density. Biting, chewing, talking and all the other normal mouth functions keep the portion of the bone surrounding the tooth root healthy. When a tooth is extracted, the bone that used to anchor the tooth root recedes as if it understands that it is no longer needed. A dental implant provides stimulation similar to the natural tooth and can prohibit bone recession.

If you would like to replace a missing tooth with an implant, but don’t have enough bone at the implant site, you might be a candidate for bone grafting. Bone grafting may sound like major oral surgery but it is really a routine procedure performed in a dental office.

Gum Infection

A gum infection can result when gum inflammation goes untreated and progresses to periodontitis, or periodontal disease. With periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth creating pockets which provide the perfect breeding ground for the dangerous infection.

Gum infections can advance undetected, though there are usually warning signs. Swollen, painful gums, loose teeth, and gums that bleed when brushed are symptoms of periodontitis. The infection dissolves bone as the gums pull away from the tooth. Inadequate oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease but other factors can compromise gum health. These include smoking (no surprise here), hormone levels, diseases that lower immune system effectiveness, medications that cause dry mouth, and genetic predisposition.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket of infection that occurs in the nerve and roots of a tooth. As the infection attacks the tooth and bone tissue it creates a space that fills with pus. There are several treatments for a tooth abscess including antibiotics to kill the infection, a root canal, or extraction, if needed.

HOW WE CAN HELP

If you have experienced bone recession due to gum disease, an abscess, an extracted tooth, or any other reason, let’s discuss your options. You may benefit from a dental implant, soft tissue grafts, or bone grafts. Dental implants can significantly improve your quality of life and prevent further recession.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, your dental health is important. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We also specialize in dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces, and sedation dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-567-5656

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 


Don’t Put Off Your Dental Exam

comprehensive dental deep cleanings La Mesa

No matter what age you are, dental exams are important for keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. The team at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in and around the greater San Diego and La Mesa areas is always happy when patients come in for their routine exams and cleanings.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we have an excellent office and friendly and professional team of professionals to make your exams something you’ll look forward to.

Knowledge is Power

People often delay dental exams because they view them as unnecessary. But exams are truly one of the best methods for preventative care. At each check up, our experienced and well trained hygienists will thoroughly clean your teeth. Once they are polished sparkling clean, your teeth will receive an intensive analysis. Our dentist will inspect your teeth for any decay, gum recession, excessive wear, or other risks. Catching these types of threats early is crucial so you can be sure that they don’t turn into larger problems.

Scheduling twice-yearly exams with Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry will ensure you avoid extreme dental troubles.

Innovative Dental Technology

Technology is moving swiftly, so it’s critical to find a dental office that has the latest instruments to ensure your check up is detailed and comprehensive. At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we have state-of-the-art technology that is used for your exams. With technology like our advanced dental x-rays, nothing will get past Dr. Gray. If we detect a problem, our team will design an individualized treatment plan.

Peace of Mind

Dr. Gray will detail what is necessary moving forward, after he has examined your mouth. Whether that’s flossing more often or discussing major fixes such as braces, we will make certain that you get all the information you need to ensure your smile is bright and beautiful!

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We also specialize in dental implants,  Invisalign invisible braces, and sedation dentistry. Schedule your next 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

 

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