When Wayward Teeth Take A Crooked Path

La Mesa orthodontics

Invisalign clear braces are an increasingly popular choice in orthodontics. They produce excellent results, but are so discreet that some people call them invisible. They are available from Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa.

Unlike traditional metal braces, Inviaslign clear braces have no wires, brackets or rubber bands. They are so discreet that people standing just a few feet away from you may not realize you’re wearing them.

They look a lot like an athlete’s mouth guard. The proper term for such braces is “aligner.” They are made of clear plastic and are worn over your upper teeth to gradually bring them into alignment.

One of the things that people like best about Invisalign clear braces is that they are removable. You can take them out at mealtime, and when you brush your teeth at night. You should wear them while you sleep, however. For the best results it’s recommended they be worn for at least twenty-two hours each day.

Invisalign clear braces are a great choice for adults who want to straighten their teeth, but don’t want to wear traditional braces at work. They are not, however, for everyone. They are not good for patients who, for example, have severely rotated teeth.

To find out if Invisalign clear braces are right for you, schedule a consultation with Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. We provide a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry. Make 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

 


Think You May Have A Cavity?

white dental fillings La Mesa

Teeth require a lot of tender, loving care. But even when we do our best to practice daily dental hygiene, bacteria still sneaks in to cause cavities – the common cold of oral health. At dentist Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, we have been filling cavities for years and are proud to offer our Soft Prep, no shot, no drilling filling machine.

Few individuals go their entire life without getting a cavity. Unfortunately for some children, a cavity is the first health problem they experience in childhood.

Cavities are caused when bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque.

Plaque then clings to your teeth and the acid in the plaque starts to dissolve the enamel. The result is a hole in your tooth which can also be accompanied by a pain.

Because of how quick and effective dental fillings are, they are one of the best options to fix a cavity. At Jeff Gray DDS our Soft Prep, no shot system can be used on small to medium sized cavities on the chewing surfaces of teeth, which is where cavities most often occur.

A filling isn’t a “set it and forget it” treatment. A tooth that has received a filling still needs to be properly cared for because dental caries can arise in the surrounding tooth structure if bacteria is allowed to flourish.

Checkups are a critical part of caring for your teeth and there’s no better place to receive checkups than at Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. We provide general dentistry in a comfortable, state-of-the-art office with a friendly, professional staff! Make 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

 


Think You Know How To Brush? Think Again.

La Mesa tooth brushing tips

You’ve got this dental hygiene thing down. After all, you’ve been brushing since you were five. You switch to auto pilot morning and night and get it done. But are you doing it right?

Actually, many people are making tooth brushing mistakes. You may need to tweak your routine to better benefit your oral health and protect your smile from tooth decay and gum disease.

Here are important tooth brushing tips:

1. Take your time.
It’s understandable. You want to finish and get to bed. Proper teeth cleaning takes time and careful attention. Time yourself the next time you brush—you might be surprised at how swiftly you finish. The process should take at least two to three minutes. It can also be useful to take a different route around your mouth every few days. By altering your pattern, you approach areas from a different, and possibly, better angle.

2. Don’t forget to floss.
No matter how agile you can be with your brush, it’s challenging to eliminate the plaque from all those narrow gaps between your teeth. That is where bacteria can easily propagate and start the decay process.

3. Use the right toothbrush.
It is ironic that some people hurt their enamel or gums because they brush too vigorously with an inflexible brush. We recommend using a soft brush. If you’ve had gum grafts, you may want to use an extra soft brush.

4. Don’t keep your tooth brush near the toilet.
This is awful to think about, but each time the toilet is flushed, bacteria is sent far into the air—even if you close the lid. Keep your toothbrush in a clean place and allow it to air dry.

5. Use fluoride toothpaste.
This may seem like a no-brainer but you may be surprised that some oral care products don’t contain fluoride. And you may think it’s only for babies. Not true. Your enamel is continually under assault from acidic foods and drinks and fluoride helps it remineralize.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, we offer our patients general and cosmetic dentistry, along with lots of useful tips. Make 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

 


Overcoming Anxiety With Gentle Dental

La Mesa sleep dentistry

Dental anxiety and dental phobia affect many people, including patients at Jeff Gray DDS  in La Mesa. Today’s post answers some questions asked about this vital topic.

What are the long-term consequences of dental anxiety and dental phobia?
The most harmful consequence is when a dental phobic patient delays dental care until a pain becomes excruciating. At this point, the trouble is usually extremely advanced and requires extensive treatment.

In addition, there are usually many other dental problems in varying stages of progression. Many oral conditions eventually cause malfunction in other vital systems risking general health and well-being.

There is also another anxiety at play, albeit a very ironic one. In addition to the emotional distress about dental treatment, the patient who avoids dental care starts panicking about the sorry condition of their teeth.

If I have dental phobia or anxiety, what should I do to guard my oral health?

Schedule an appointment with Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. There are several individual fears associated with dental anxiety and dental phobia. Fear of pain, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of control, and extreme embarrassment because of poor dental health are the most prevalent concerns. During your consultation, we will address each of your specific fears and discuss them.

What if I need more help to get through treatment?
The terms “sleep dentistry” and “oral conscious sedation” are both used, but they are not exactly the same thing. There are three main types of sedation used in dentistry.

Level 1: Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide, or, informally, “laughing gas” is safe and effective. Nitrous oxide has been used in La Mesa cosmetic dental offices for decades because in many ways it is the prime mild sedative. It goes to work at the first inhalation, relaxes the patient during the treatment without rendering them completely unconscious, and wears off quickly after the mask is removed. And no needles are required – a key feature for the needle-phobic.

Level 2: Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral sedatives don’t start working as rapidly as nitrous oxide, but they help most patients achieve a deeper level of relaxation. These medications, however, do not usually bring about complete unconsciousness. Thus, oral sedatives and nitrous oxide are used in “conscious” sedation. Two common sedatives used by La Mesa dentists to assuage patient’s fears are diazepam and triazolam.

Level 3: IV Sedation
IV sedation produces actual “sleep dentistry.” Most patients are completely oblivious to the dental procedures they are receiving. IV sedation is useful for root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, multi-procedure smile makeovers, and oral surgery.

To learn more about overcoming sedation dentistry, call Jeff Gray DDS. We also provide general and cosmetic dentistry.

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

 


5 Critical Things To Know About Periodontal Disease

gum disease exam La Mesa

Periodontal disease, frequently called gum disease, is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part, periodontal disease is preventable. This condition is so widespread in the US that it has been called a ‘health crisis’ by the ADA. Fortunately, periodontal disease can be treated at Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa.

Consider:

  1. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage such as tooth loss.
  2. Practicing proper dental hygiene and having 6-month dental exams are the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
  3. Periodontal disease can be present where there is no tooth decay.
  4. Almost half of all 30+ adults in the US have periodontal disease.
  5. In some cases, periodontal disease produces no noticeable symptoms.

Even if you don’t feel any pain in your mouth, it is important to see us at Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. We also provide clear braces from Invisalign. Make 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

 


Saliva And Dental Health

Saliva And La Mesa

Today we look at the importance of your saliva. Though most people may think it’s gross, your La Mesa dentist reminds you that saliva is vital for dental health as well as digestion.

Saliva is mostly water, but a small portion of it is made up of enzymes, antibacterial substances, mucus, and minerals. The optimal pH balance of the mouth is maintained by saliva, and pH balance is a key factor for preventing cavities.

The minerals in saliva help to maintain the enamel surface of the teeth. Immunoproteins in saliva suppress the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby protecting the gums from gingivitis.

Now that you know how vital saliva is to dental health, we’re sure you can see why ample salivary flow should concern you. For most individuals, everyday chewing is enough to stimulate salivary glands to release saliva. However, dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition that should be dealt with quickly before oral health problems take place.

At Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, we provide general and cosmetic dentistry. Make 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

 


Oral Cancer: Early Diagnosis Makes A Big Difference

oral cancer screening La Mesa

When it comes to oral cancer survival outcomes, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%.

40% of individuals who receive a late-stage diagnosis die within five years. However, the survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.

Oral Cavity and Oropharynx—Mouth and Throat

Cancers that start in the mouth (or oral cavity) are termed oral cancers. The oral cavity is comprised of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue underneath the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the front two-thirds of the tongue. “Why only two-thirds of the tongue?” you might ask. Because the back third of the tongue is considered part of the throat. Throat cancers, or oropharyngeal cancers, start in the oropharynx, the part of the mouth behind the parts considered part of the oral cavity. The oropharynx consists of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.

How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?

Some oral cancers produce symptoms which prompt the patient to see a doctor and others are caught by your La Mesa dentist or doctor during exams. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more individuals received regular screenings.

A visual oral cancer exam is relatively quick and convenient, especially as compared to other cancer screening tests such as colonoscopies and mammograms. If an abnormality is discovered during an exam, the patient is referred to an appropriate specialist for further testing and diagnosis.

Be proactive. Ask your dentist or doctor to complete an oral cancer screening during each examination or physical. If you have one or more risk factors, it’s essential to meet with your health care provider for counsel on oral cancer screenings and prevention.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

  • Tobacco use (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or snuff)
  • Heavy drinking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • HPV infection
  • Weak immune system
  • Frequent exposure to UV light (a risk factor for cancers of the lips)

To set up a dental oral cancer exam and general dentistry checkup, I invite you to call 619-717-8560.

Sources:
http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/todays-dental-news/item/1882-awareness-is-the-key-to-fighting-oral-cancer#sthash.HhX8jCtf.dpuf
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/about/what-is-oral-cavity-cancer.html

 

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


3 Reasons Not To Skip A Dental Checkup

cosmetic dental La Mesa

Life gets busy. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with everything you “gotta do”. At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand that. But we encourage you to think twice before you cancel or postpone a general dentistry checkup because you think it’s less important than the other twenty items on your to-do list.

Twice-yearly dental exams are indispensable for keeping your smile in ideal shape!

“But my teeth feel fine.”
We’ve heard this excuse. The fact is that no news isn’t necessarily good news. Dental troubles can be progressing without you being aware of it.

1. Your Gums May Be Receding
Gum recession doesn’t happen all at once. Gum tissue can move back almost imperceptibly until teeth and bone are at risk.

2. Decay May Be Lurking
When the acids in plaque start drilling into a tooth, we usually don’t feel it until it has passed through the enamel and dentin and hits the nerve. Ouch! By that time, there is a crater in the tooth. Regular cleanings remove plaque before it can do any damage.

3. Prevent Oral Cancer
About 50,000 men and women will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.1 Dr. Gray will screen for oral cancer during your exam. As with all types of cancer, early diagnosis is indispensable.

After your entire mouth has been examined, Dr. Gray will detail what is necessary moving forward. Whether that’s flossing more often or discussing major fixes such as invisible braces, we will be sure that you get all the information you need to ensure your smile is bright and beautiful! Scheduling twice-yearly exams with Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry will ensure you avoid extreme dental troubles.

1http://oralcancerfoundation.org/

 

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


Teen Teeth: Adolescent Oral Health

 adolescent dental issues

If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, today’s Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry post is for you. Today’s post discusses dental issues of special concern to adolescents. Dental risks for La Mesa teens include both developmental and lifestyle-related factors.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we see cavities and gum disease far too often in teens. Possible causes and complicating circumstances include insufficient dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, malocclusion (misaligned bite), smoking, hormonal changes, tooth grinding, mouth breathing, eating disorders, and side effects of medications.

As children become more independent, some get lax about brushing and flossing. Furthermore, some teens’ diets become worse when they have more freedom to choose what to eat. Few parents let their four year-old drink an energy drink, but they are consumed frequently by La Mesa teenagers – presumably without their parents’ knowledge.

Malocclusion can make proper brushing and flossing problematic, leaving even vigilant brushers with decay from food particles that are almost impossible to remove. Malocclusion can also trigger TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) issues. If you suspect that your teen’s bite is not aligned properly, or if your teen notices a clicking sound in the jaw joint, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at 619-717-8560 to schedule a general dentistry exam.

In spite of numerous California public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many adolescents take up the dangerous habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth as surely as it wrecks lungs.

La Mesa parents of teenagers are well aware that puberty has a significant impact on physical and emotional health. Puberty causes all sorts of changes in the body, and the mouth is no exception. Increased hormone levels (especially in females) can cause the body to react to a very small amount of plaque, triggering inflammation of gum tissue and increased risk of the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Your dentist can guide you if more frequent professional cleanings are required to preserve gum health.

If you visit any soccer field or basketball court in California, you will see that many young athletes fail to protect their teeth. If your adolescent participates in a contact sport, communicate with us about custom athletic mouthguards.

One of the teen dental issues that impacts most young men and women is wisdom teeth. It’s best to start monitoring your teen’s wisdom teeth early so they can be treated before they lead to troubles with the jaw or surrounding teeth. And you certainly don’t want to send your high-school grad to an out-of-state college without addressing his or her third molars. If problems appear, your youth won’t be near their regular dentist, will probably miss class, and will either need to come home or use an out-of-network dentist or oral surgeon. If you don’t have a family dentist, Dr. Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry can examine your teen and evaluate X-rays to guide you on the best course of action for his or her wisdom teeth.

This article is by no means exhaustive on the vital subject of adolescent oral health. Future posts will discuss orthodontia, oral piercings, eating disorders, and abnormal teeth growth.

If you are looking for a family dentist in the La Mesa area, I invite you to schedule an appointment at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry by calling 619-717-8560. We have been providing unmatched dental care to La Mesa families since 1986.  For more information about teen dental health or Invisalign, porcelain veneers, or teeth whitening, call 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


Healthy Habits To Keep You Smiling

tips for healthy teeth La Mesa

In today’s post, we will concentrate on vital behaviors that affect oral health. Of course, effective brushing and flossing are two critical habits for healthy teeth, but there are many more things we can do to preserve a healthy smile.

Diet Do’s

  • Do eat a nutritious diet with a variety of foods. This is necessary for overall physical health and a strong immune system.
  • Do enjoy 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 results in the production of dangerous cavity-causing acids that weaken enamel and lead to cavities.
  • Don’t snack throughout the day. This revs up plaque production and subjects the teeth to continual contact with acids.
  • Don’t chew on ice. (It really can break teeth.)
  • Don’t drink energy drinks. They have many substances that are detrimental to 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.
  • If you have children, communicate with Dr. Gray about water fluoridation. If your municipal water supply is not fluoridated, you may want to give your children fluoride supplements.
  • Don’t use a medium or hard bristle toothbrush. It can damage gums.
  • If you have an eating disorder – seek professional help immediately. Bulimia and anorexia are extremely damaging to teeth. (Not to mention the toll they take on the heart and other organs.)

We urge all of our patients to maintain a lifestyle that supports dental and physical health. At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we serve the La Mesa area with exceptional dental care, including general and cosmetic dentistry. Ask us about Invisalign, porcelain veneers, teeth whitening and laser dentistry.

 

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