When It’s Better Not To Brush

enamel erosion San Diego

Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the important job of preserving teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also guards tooth nerves against hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity.

Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly extraordinary. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

The team at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry encourages our patients to safeguard their tooth enamel for a lifetime of dental health.

This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is useful, however, because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.

Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva safeguards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left exposed. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the solution for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water frequently can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.

Additionally, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many La Mesa residents who grind their teeth at night, it’s critical to get a mouthguard right away. People who grind their teeth are at high risk for enamel erosion and tooth decay that can follow. Athletes should also safeguard their teeth on the playing field with a mouthguard. For more specifics, talk to Dr, Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry about custom mouthguards.

If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already taken place. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it.

Using teeth as tools can damage enamel, as well. Take a moment to fetch scissors before tearing a package or ripping duct tape with your teeth. Do you really want to take a chance on chipping a tooth just to open a package of lunchmeat?

Chewing ice and hard candy can also damage enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on your teeth for a long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can lead to cavities that erode enamel just as effectively as chipping it with hard candy. Many of the old-school hard candies we enjoyed as kids now come in soft versions. Enjoy them sparingly because constant sugar is bad for teeth. Period.

If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental issues, Dr, Jeff Gray can help you guard what is left. To schedule an extensive examination, contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa at 619-337-7700!

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 6920

Why Immune System Support is Critical

strongest immune supplement

As strong immune system is necessary for excellent health and well-being. With the coronavirus global health crisis, its never been more critical.

What is the immune system?

Our body has a vigorous natural defense mechanism. Our immune system keeps us alive. But in some cases, it is ill-prepared to deal with new substances swirling in our 21st-century environment.

What attacks the immune system?

In every communicable ailment such as colds, fever, and sore throat, there are germs involved. There are four major types of germs: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.

As you know, there are germs right here in La Mesa California, as well as around the world. No matter how often you wash your hands and how many times you take a bath, you cannot completely get rid of them. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa can invade plants, animals, and men and women. And sometimes they make us sick.

But not all germs are dangerous. In fact, some germs can keep you healthy. That is why it is critical that you know which ones are physically useful and which ones can pose danger to your health.

Germs can be found in the air we breathe, the foods and beverages we consume, on unclean surfaces, and on some infected animals. They can also be found in the soil, on plants, and inside your own body. They are found on every surface that you can think of.

They range in size from the microscopic virus to single-celled bacteria to parasitic worms that can grow to several feet in length.

From now on in this white paper, we will concentrate on immunity as it relates to viruses.

What is a virus?

Viruses are much tinier than bacteria. Scientists couldn’t see them until the invention of the electron microscope. A virus is a very straightforward structure. It doesn’t have a cell wall or cell membrane. It is comprised of a protein coat that holds the string of nucleic acid.

What is a genome?

A genome is an organism’s entire set of DNA, including all of its genes. Each genome contains all of the hereditary details needed to build and maintain that organism. In the human body, a blueprint of the complete genome (more than 3 billion DNA base pairs) is contained in all cells that have a nucleus.

A genome is dynamic. It not only represents the organism’s genetic blueprint at one point in time, but the genome also affects how it grows and develops. Each cell with a nucleus in the organism contains a copy of the genome.  Like other organisms, a virus has a genome.

What is a viral mutation?

It sounds like science fiction, but it’s very real. The reason there is currently no cure for the coronavirus is that it has mutated. The new ( or novel) coronavirus, like all other viruses, mutates. This means it undergoes small changes in its genome.

Although your immune system can protect you from legions of infectious microbes, there are some bacteria and viruses that prove to be menacing, formidable opponents due to their ability to mutate constantly. This consequently breaks down the immune system

The fact that disease-causing viruses can mutate quickly is alarming.

The extremely high mutation rates of viruses are not matched by any other organism in the kingdom of life. The high mutation rates of viruses, coupled with short generation times and large population sizes, allow viruses to rapidly evolve and adapt to the host environment. This has important implications for the pathogenesis of viral infections. Science Direct

Is a sleep disorder weakening your immune system?

It’s critical to strengthen your immune system to guard against viruses. You can strengthen the immune system by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a vitamin- and antioxidant-rich diet, getting restorative sleep, and exercising regularly.

If you can’t get quality, restorative sleep, it may be due to a sleep disorder like snoring or sleep apnea. Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help you get better sleep.

Contact the sleep specialists at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry for a sleep consultation. There’s never been a better time to seek treatment for a sleep disorder. If you start sleeping better, it can bolster your immune system and help protect your health.

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 8262

Poor Quality Sleep Has Dangerous Health Consequences

health risks of poor sleep La Mesa

Is restless sleep affecting your health?

There is a direct connection between health and quality of sleep.

A study conducted by the University of Chicago School of Medicine revealed a link between low quality sleep and type 2 diabetes.

“Insufficient sleep–a highly prevalent condition in modern society–may disrupt fat metabolism and reduce the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars. It suggests that something as simple as getting enough sleep could help counteract the current epidemics of diabetes and obesity.”–Esra Tasali, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago.

The Danger of High Blood Suger

Even if you don’t have diabetes, you should care about your blood sugar levels. Spikes in blood sugar are detrimental in a myriad of ways.

High blood sugar can damage blood vessels that bring oxygen to your organs. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, nerve malfunction, and vision problems.

Difficulty sleeping may be caused by sleep apnea

What is sleep apnea?

It’s a serious health condition in which your breathing periodically stops while you sleep.

How do you know if you have sleep apnea? Read through these common symptoms.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Excessive Snoring
  • Episodes of Not Breathing
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Dry Mouth/Throat
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Irritability

Don’t misunderstand, having one of these symptoms is typically fine. But if you have more than one, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Three Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where your throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to control your breathing. The final type is called complex sleep apnea syndrome. This form is present when a patient has both of the other two types.

If you are diagnosed as having Obstructive Sleep Apnea, make sure you research all treatment options. Oral appliances can treat some forms of sleep apnea. Treatment can ease your symptoms and help prevent the health issues discussed previously.

Sleep Better, Be Happier

Improved sleep can trigger a chain reaction of positive benefits. When you sleep better, you feel happier during the day. You are more in control. Better able to deal constructively with life’s challenges. It helps you be proactive instead of reactive. When you make better decisions, you have more success in your business and personal pursuits.

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 8276

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