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:

619-717-8560

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:

619-717-8560

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:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 7260

What Does Your Saliva Reveal?

This post from Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa concerns saliva, your dental health, and your overall health.

A mouth examination can reveal problems in other parts of the patient’s body. Because many diseases manifest in soft tissues of the mouth or cause pain in the jaw, dentists often refer patients to their medical doctor for further diagnosis when they encounter issues such as inflammation, chronic bad breath, bleeding gums, or jaw pain.

Healthcare providers may soon have another oral diagnostic tool for discovering systemic diseases—a test that assesses the molecules in saliva.

“UCLA researchers are working on a test that could have the ability to diagnose diseases like diabetes and cancer. It’s conceivable that dentists will soon be able to take saliva samples that can be tested for numerous diseases. And if that happens, disease diagnosis will be much simpler for all parties.”1

At Jeff Gray DDS, we understand how the state of your dental health impacts the rest of your body. You can think of us as a key member of your healthcare team, and dedicated to your overall health and well-being.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

1Saliva Test May Uncover Deadly Diseases, Dentistry Today (citing an article in Clinical Chemistry, clinchem.org), November 6, 2014, http://dentistrytoday.com/todays-dental-news/10711-saliva-test-may-uncover-deadly-diseases, accessed on December 19, 2014

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6797

Replace A Missing Tooth With A Durable Dental Implant

La Mesa dental implants

Dentists are always reminding their patients to brush and floss their teeth. It’s the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums. But we know that in spite of everyone’s best efforts, some of our patients are going to lose a tooth. When that happens, Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa recommends dental implants as the best solution.

In the past, if a patient in La Mesa had a missing tooth or a severely damaged tooth, dentists would suggest dental bridges or dentures, because they were the best options at the time. These days, state-of-the art dental implants have proven to be superior. They can also replace dentures or anchor dentures for some patients.

Advantages

A dental implant provides many advantages over a dental bridge or dentures:

  • Longevity – Dental implants are tough and permanent, meaning with proper care they can last ten years or more.
  • Seamless – Fabricated to have the same shape, size and color of the original tooth, the implant will blend seamlessly with all the other teeth. If the original tooth had aesthetic problems, these can generally be fixed with the implant crown.
  • Function – A dental implant functions like a natural tooth allowing for normal eating and speaking.
  • Convenience – Unlike dentures, no adhesives, rinsing, or removal is needed.
  • Independent – Like the missing tooth, the dental implant is treated individually. No damaging of adjacent teeth is required, as with dental bridges. This independence allows nearby teeth to remain intact. Cleaning is easier than with most dental bridges which can require the threading of floss under and around the artificial tooth.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, we offer dental implants and a wide range of general dentistry procedures. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 7044

Gum Disease Linked To Alzheimer’s: Keep Those Gums Healthy!

gum disease treatment La Mesa

As if you needed another reason to keep your gums as healthy as possible.

Scientists have found a connection between a bacteria that causes periodontitis (advanced gum disease) and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Porphyomonas gingivalis is a bacteria that often leads to chronic periodontitis. The bacteria was discovered in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Inflammation from gingivitis can lead to tooth loss, and studies have shown that people with fewer teeth are more likely to have dementia.

In lab research, the Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria that can cause gum disease was given to mice. The mice developed the protein tangles and neural damage typically seen in Alzheimer’s patients.

The research study, “Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors,” can be found at Science Advances.

The researchers concluded:

“Chronic periodontitis and infection with Porphyomonas gingivalis have been identified as significant risk factors for developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part, periodontal disease is preventable.

Risk factors for periodontal disease include tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, genetics, teeth grinding, inflammatory conditions, and poor nutrition.

This study should dispel the misconception that oral health is somehow separate from physical health.

Clinical trials are now underway testing a drug that blocks the main toxins of P. gingivalis, with the hope that it will stop and even reverse Alzheimer’s disease. As always, research scientists are proceeding with caution, since Alzheimer’s disease was previously thought to be inherited.

Whether or not gingivitis leads to Alzheimer’s, the good news is that gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene at home and regular cleanings by dental professionals. This is one more thing to think about as you floss your teeth daily.

It is important to see your dentist regularly to keep your gums healthy (as well as your teeth). To schedule a periodontal disease exam, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in the La Mesa, CA area today at 619-717-8560 or visit our website.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 


How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

As you stand over your bathroom sink and think about the frayed bristles of your favorite toothbrush, you may wonder whether the time has come to replace it. It’s a good question. Fortunately, we at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa, CA have the answer!

We all brush our teeth on a daily basis. 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 which is critical for the prevention of gum disease.

The angle of the bristles on your toothbrush are an important 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 efficient and can even cause you to work harder. Pressing harder on your teeth can cause damage.

So how often should you change your toothbrush? Anyone who has worried about changing the oil in their car has learned this basic rule of thumb; change your oil every three months. It’s the same with your toothbrush.

Most dental professionals recommend a new toothbrush every three months and our team at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry we agree. The American Dental Association suggests replacing your toothbrush “every three to four months” due to worn bristles and bacteria. Worn bristles just simply are less effective. Bacteria can also built up in the small gaps of your toothbrush and may contribute to decay and bad breath.

Also make sure you keep your toothbrush in a sanitary location. 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 give it up. Otherwise, change your toothbrush at the start of every new weather season to keep it fresh and effective.

For more information about oral health in La Mesa, contact us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa, CA. We provide comprehensive general, restorative, sedation, or cosmetic dentistry. Please call today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Gray has been serving the La Mesa area since 1986.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 


Oral Health In Childhood Has A Lifelong Impact

kids dentist La Mesa

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in the La Mesa, CA area, we believe that keeping your child’s teeth healthy is critical while they are young. We would be honored to be your choice for our specialized general dentistry services.

Tooth decay and gum disease can hamper speech development. It can also make it more difficult for the child to eat healthy food. Unhealthy teeth reduce a child’s self-confidence. This, in turn, puts mental health at risk. Mouth pain can also impact school performance. The bottom line is that maintaining a healthy mouth in childhood is essential for a healthy life. And once your youngster moves into adulthood, oral health should remain a priority.

You may be surprised to learn that inadequate oral hygiene may increase the risk of multiple diseases, including:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Blood Cancers
  • Lung Cancer

The truth is that lifelong oral health is a process that starts early. Young children should see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth erupts, which is much earlier than many moms and dads often realize. So parents, please put dental appointments on your “to-do” list, along with well-child check-ups and immunizations.

You might think you know the basics of daily oral hygiene for children, but it is wise to get a refresher course from one of our expert, child-friendly hygienists. We can also review sealants, bite issues, fluoride supplements, thumb sucking, and orthodontia.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in the La Mesa, CA area, we would be honored to be your choice for our specialized general dentistry services. We can help your children and adolescents maintain healthy teeth and gums. We can also detect problems in the early stages when they are easier (and yes, less expensive) to correct.  Call us today to schedule an appointment or consultation. We look forward to meeting you and your child.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in the La Mesa, CA

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942