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

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 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

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

 

ArticleID 8147

Urgent Care Dentist vs. Cosmetic Dentist

replace broken dental crown La Mesa

Today’s article is for anyone who has a broken dental crown. First off, you REALLY need to have it replaced. That said, you may be wondering which variety of dentists should replace it.

We advise that you contact the dentist who placed the crown. If you have moved or don’t remember where you got it, we invite you to consider Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry.

Why an urgent care dentist instead of a cosmetic dentist?

Urgent care dentists treat dental emergencies. But a dental emergency rarely requires only one procedure. Most necessitate a cosmetic restoration once the initial problem is addressed. For example, a knocked-out tooth, a broken tooth, a chipped tooth, and most root canals all require restoration as the final step.

An urgent care specialist is the dental “jack-of-all-trades”.

Urgent care dentists provide restorative, general, and cosmetic dentistry. In other words, an urgent care dentist has extensive experience with cosmetic procedures. Some even perform tooth implants.

What do you do when your dental crown breaks or comes off?

Don’t swallow it! Carefully take it out of your mouth. If you accidentally swallow it, you will have some extra problems we won’t discuss in this article.

Call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. We will schedule you an appointment ASAP and counsel you on whether you should use temporary cement to re-attach the crown. Your tooth is weakened, so abstain from substances that are chewy, sticky, or crunchy.

The dental professionals at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry have been replacing crowns since 1986. If you have a broken crown, 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 8297

9 Things To Know About CEREC Crowns

dental tooth crowns La Mesa

CEREC stands for “Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.” The “chairside” refers to the dentist’s chair.

What is CEREC?

  • Dental practices with CEREC technology have a state-of-the-art milling machine that fabricates tooth restorations
  • CEREC dentists use CAD/CAM software to create custom crowns that fit perfectly
  • CEREC crowns are designed, manufactured, and placed in the same day
  • CEREC crowns don’t require messy impressions
  • CEREC crowns are as strong and durable as crowns made the traditional way

Advanced cosmetic and urgent care dentists use CEREC. CEREC restorations provide numerous benefits for patients.

9 Important Things to Know About CEREC Dental Crowns

  1. CEREC emergency restorations don’t require additional treatment after the first emergency visit
  2. CEREC crowns are constructed using durable, high-quality materials
  3. They look exactly like your natural teeth
  4. They work as a standard restoration
  5. You don’t need to insert a tray with messy goo into your mouth to take the impression
  6. They don’t require a temporary crown that may come loose
  7. They can last ten years or longer
  8. Are finished in one dental visit
  9. Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry offers CEREC same-day crowns

We hope you never experience a dental emergency. But just in case, save our Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry phone number to your phone contacts.

When a tooth is injured, immediate treatment can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth.

 

 

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 8231

The Five Stages of a Cavity

Five stages of a cavity La Mesa

You may have heard that once tooth enamel is eroded, it’s gone forever. This is partially true, but in the earliest stage of enamel erosion, a cavity can be reversed.

Reverse a cavity before it needs a filling

If you can prevent cavities in young children, there’s a better chance that their teeth can stay healthy through adolescence and into adulthood.

This is because the rate of tooth decay declines as youngsters grow.

Let’s consider the five stages of a cavity.

Stage 1: Attack of the Little White Spots

The tooth begins to show signs of weakening. White spots appear. They are under the surface of the enamel, but you can see them from the outside.

Demineralization will result in these spots. When they occur in children’s molars, it can be easy for parents to miss them. That’s why daily dental hygiene and regular dental exams are vital.

It this stage, it’s possible to halt a cavity before it needs a filling. Dental hygiene can stop erosion. Fluoride can remineralize the enamel.

Can Stage 1 be reversed? Yes!

Stage 2: Enamel Decay

Did you know that decay begins under the surface of the enamel?

The visible enamel is intact for the first part of Stage 2. Then the hole busts through the surface.

Can Stage 2 be reversed? No…but the tooth can probably be saved.

Stage 3: Going Deeper Into the Dentin

The decay drills through the enamel and hits the soft dentin layer that lies below. This is a serious cavity.

The good news?

The decay hasn’t yet reached the pulp. It will, however, start to cause pain.

Can Stage 3 be reversed? No…but maybe the tooth won’t need a root canal.

Stage 4: Ouch! The Decay Hits the Pulp

Hopefully, your son or daughter will never experience stage 4. This is very painful. The infection has reached the pulp where the nerves are located. Unfortunately, a root canal is the only treatment option. Unless, of course, the tooth is extracted.

Remember, childhood cavities are completely preventable.

Can Stage 4 be reversed? No…and it must be treated with a root canal.

Stage 5: Abscess Distress

The decay (and infection) has traveled through the pulp and out the end. In the final stage, it drills through the tip. Now the infection is in the tissue and bone surrounding the tooth root. The area swells up and it’s exceptionally painful.

It’s also dangerous for anyone’s health. This is a serious infection that can spread to other parts of the body. Abscesses originating in a tooth can be fatal.

Can Stage 5 be reversed? No…and it’s life-threatening.

Protect your child from decay so they can have a healthy smile for life.

If you see little white dots, schedule an exam and dental cleaning 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 8247

How is an Oral Surgeon Different Than a General Dentist?

tooth implants La Mesa

Let’s discuss the similarities and differences between a general dentist and an oral surgeon.

Undergraduate Studies

To start, you need a four-year undergraduate degree. Few dental schools require a specific discipline, but many aspiring dentists major in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, or anatomy.

How Do You Get Into Dental School?

To get into dental school, you must take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). Then you start applying to dental schools. Being accepted into a dental program is no small achievement. You need a high college GPA and a good score on the DAT.

Dental school usually takes four years. To graduate, a student must pass a series of exams at the national and state level before earning a dental degree.

Depending on the state, a dental school graduate may need to pass an additional clinical exam.

DDS or DMD

When a dentist graduates, they either earn a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of (Medicine in Dentistry).

You Need Even MORE School to Earn a Specialty

When a dentist graduates from dental school, they can pursue a specialty degree.

The American Dental Association (ADA) certifies the following specialties:

  • Oral surgeon
  • Pediatric dentist
  • Endodontist
  • Orthodontist
  • Oral radiologist
  • Oral pathologist
  • Prosthodontist
  • Public health dentist

What is an Oral Surgery Residency?

Dental specialty programs run from two years to six years. This type of training is called a “residency”. While a DDS or DMD is undergoing specialty training he/she can practice general dentistry.

Some six-year oral surgery residency programs provide a medical degree as well as an oral and maxillofacial certification.

Oral surgery residencies are offered through teaching hospitals. The training occurs in a hospital setting. This is a critical difference between dental school and a specialty residency. Dental school instruction does not occur in dental practice.

Let’s Do The Math

When an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is finished with schooling, he/she has from 8 to 10 years of post-college instruction!

Some General Dentists Provide Surgical Procedures

Many general dentists provide surgical procedures such as tooth extractions. However, many will refer a patient to an oral surgeon if the extraction involves an impacted wisdom tooth or another complication.

Some general dentists, cosmetic dentists, and periodontists provide implant services.

However, an oral surgeon has the most training and experience in dental implants and all other types of oral surgery.

The American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to recognize and treat a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. They are also trained to administer anesthesia and provide care in an office setting. The American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

 

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 8238

Toothache? Broken Braces? Knocked-Out Tooth?

Emergency Dental Treatment San Diego

Let’s consider three dental issues that may require immediate treatment.

Toothache

Most of us experience a toothache at some point in our lives. Even one day with oral pain can seem like an eternity.

A toothache could be a symptom of an abscess. If an abscess progresses, it can destroy the root of the tooth. It can even destroy the surrounding bone.

Possible causes of a toothache are tooth decay, an injury to the tooth, a broken crown, an infection, and TMD (temporomandibular disorder).

Let Dr, Gray take care of you. You will quickly be back to pain-free eating, speaking, and sleeping. What a relief!

Call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry if you have a toothache.

Broken Braces

What if one of the wires on your braces comes loose? It can damage your teeth or gums. If this happens and you cut the inside of your mouth, rinse with a solution of salt and water.

Call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry if a wire on your braces breaks. We have extended hours for when an oral problem can’t wait.

Knocked-Out Tooth

We hope this never happens to you. But we are here in the unfortunate event that it does. And it’s not the end of the world.

If a tooth is knocked out, it may be successfully re-implanted if done quickly. Make sure you hold the tooth only by the crown. Never touch the root!

If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently with water. Be wary not to brush off any tissue attached. If you can, reinsert the tooth into its socket. (This may not be possible with younger children.)

These are just a few of the urgent-care issues we treat at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. But we are also a full-service dental office.

We perform:

  • Root canals
  • Tooth extractions
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • CEREC same-day crowns
  • Same-day teeth whitening

Save our number in your contacts on your phone. If you have a dental emergency, you can call without delay.

 

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 8218

Small Dental Annoyance Or Serious Problem?

mouth sores Alpine

Today in the La Mesa dental blog we are going to talk about stomatitis. Stomatitis is dental-speak for something very common: non-specific irritations found in the mouth. Stomatitis is commonly caused by cold sores, gum disease, or even from biting the inside of the mouth (ouch!). Any time the membranes in the mouth become inflamed, they are referred to as stomatitis.

Most people have probably suffered from stomatitis and don’t think it’s a big deal. The good news is that these patients are usually right because the majority of these irritations clear up on their own in less than two weeks. While they might affect the ability to speak or eat or fall asleep, they are often just a temporary inconvenience.

However, there are cases where a bacterial or a viral infection can occur in these areas of inflammation.

Because of this possibility, your San Diego area dentist should be aware of these issues. Even if you are fortunate and there is no infection present, your dentist can always help you treat the symptoms of stomatitis.

Hi, my name is Dr, Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa. I provide the highest quality preventative, restorative and cosmetic dentistry for my La Mesa area patients.

Source:
“Stomatitis”, WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/stomatitis-causes-treatment, accessed September 5, 2015

 

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 6639