Five Cavity Basics

San Diego Cosmetic Dentist

Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children, teenagers and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants.

If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth.The desire to prohibit cavities is one of the main reasons people visit us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in and around the greater San Diego and La Mesa areas.

Cavities, both treated and untreated, in all adults age 20 to 64 declined from the early 1970s until the most recent (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The decrease was significant in all population subgroups. In spite of this decline, significant disparities are still found in some population groups.

Today we are going to highlight 5 things you need to know about cavities.

1. Cavities are also called caries or tooth decay. When a tooth is permanently damaged in the hard surface, tiny openings emerge. These little holes are cavities.

2. Factors that contribute to dental caries are:

  • Frequent eating
  • Consuming sugary beverages
  • Oral bacteria
  • Poor dental hygiene

3. Cavities may get so bad that you will see pits or holes in your teeth, but symptoms may be more subtle, such as sensitivity, pain when biting, or a toothache. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call your dentist today to schedule an appointment.

4. Cavities are more common among young children, but that doesn’t mean adults don’t have to take precautions.

5. Avoiding cavities is simple. Be sure to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat right, forego frequent snacking, and have regular visits with your dentist.

If you are in the market for quality dental care in the La Mesa area, consider us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. We have been providing sedation and cosmetic dentistry in and around San Diego since 1986. Please give us a 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

 


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

 


Super Smiles Have Strong Enamel in Santee

La Mesa dental financing Enamel in Santee

Did you know that enamel is the hardest substance in the human body? It’s true! This substance, found on the outer surface of your teeth, truly should last a lifetime. But just because it’s super substantial doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to take care of it. Here are some useful tips for keeping strong enamel in Santee healthy.

First, pick the right foods for enamel health. It’s no secret that soft drinks damage your teeth, and don’t think that diet sodas are harmless – the artificial sweeteners can also erode enamel over time. There are also other culinary culprits that can do a lot of harm. Sticky, chewy candies should be avoided. Chewing ice is a no-no. And don’t use your teeth as tools. Take a minute to grab some scissors before you rip open that package with your incisors. On the flip side, foods with calcium can neutralize acid in your mouth and guard your enamel. So, enjoy your dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt!

You should also avoid vigorous brushing and use a soft brush. It’s best to brush about an hour after eating, because foods, especially acidic ones, can soften the enamel, thus making it more prone to damage from brushing. If your teeth are discolored or yellowish, you may feel you need to brush harder. Instead, think about teeth whitening and speak with your dentist.

Furthermore, you should try to keep stomach acids in check. If you have a problem with severe heartburn, the stomach acid could be traveling up your esophagus and into your mouth. This acid can erode enamel, so it is vital to talk to your La Mesa doctor about treatment.

At Jeff Gray, DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we want our patients to have the best oral health possible, and having strong enamel in Santee is an important component. We also love helping our patients achieve the dazzling smile they want with cosmetic dentistry procedures such as dental bonding, veneers, invisible braces, tooth colored fillings, and dental implants. Our practice is currently accepting new patients. Give us a call at 619-717-8560 to make an appointment!

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


General Dentistry in La Mesa: Prevent Cavities Instead of Filling Them

how to prevent cavities La Mesa General Dentistry in La Mesa

In 1986, Dr. Jeff Gray established Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa. Dr. Gray is a well-respected dental professional enthusiastic about preventative and general dentistry in La Mesa.

The goal of preventative dentistry is to maintain oral health so that no restorative dental work ever becomes necessary. In other words, preventing cavities, gum disease, and enamel wear. Brushing your teeth and flossing is a good beginning to preventative dentistry. It is also imperative that you get bi-annual exams and dental cleanings.

With little ones, dental sealants might be a good option. Dental sealants are a thin plastic covering, commonly used on the very back teeth. These teeth are especially susceptible to trapped food particles, and at the same time tend to be the hardest ones to brush. The goal of a sealant is to guard a tooth against decay, which is always preferable to filling a cavity.

Despite efforts to keep children’s teeth healthy with general dentistry in La Mesa, many kids still develop several cavities during their childhood years. Since the rate of tooth decay typically declines with age, if teeth remain intact during childhood, there is a better chance that these teeth can stay healthy for decades.

Fillings, inlays/onlays and crowns do a great job at saving teeth from extraction, but they don’t last forever. When a 10-year-old gets a cavity in a brand-new permanent tooth, that tooth will probably need periodic attention throughout his life, even if no additional decay develops. Once the enamel has been eaten away by acids, the tooth is forever weakened. Brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings help ensure that teeth are strong and will last a lifetime. Changing your toothbrush every few months and using a toothpaste with fluoride are also essential components of proper oral care.

If your teeth and gums are healthy, but you don’t like your smile because of cosmetic issues, call 619-717-8560 to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation. Dr. Gray offers general dentistry in La Mesa, along with Invisalign and porcelain veneers. Come learn about revolutionary cosmetic dentistry available at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & 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


Inlays/Onlays: Less Invasive Than Complete Crowns in La Mesa

cosmetic dental Crowns in La Mesa

Restorative dentistry has advanced significantly over the years and there are now several effective ways to correct decayed teeth. In today’s post, we are going to concentrate on two similar types of restorations: dental inlays and onlays. Where possible, an inlay or an onlay can be a less-invasive substitute for a complete crown in and either one is usually more affordable than a porcelain crown in La Mesa.

Better Than a Crown in La Mesa

Inlays/onlays are “indirect fillings,” meaning that they are fabricated in a lab and placed whole on the tooth. A traditional “direct filling” is applied to the tooth while the material is malleable and then shaped by the dentist. An inlay is used to repair the surface of a damaged tooth, frequently to fill a small cavity or a natural pit that is at risk for decay.

Typically porcelain or composite resin are used for inlays; these materials are heavy-duty and look very natural because the color can be matched accurately to the surrounding teeth. An inlay is accurately fitted to your tooth and looks, feels, and functions like the former tooth.

An onlay covers a larger part of the tooth. Because they cover such a large area of the tooth, they are often referred to as partial crowns in La Mesa. Onlays are usually applied to the biting surface of the tooth. Just like inlays, they are exactly fitted to the damaged part of the tooth. Composite resin and porcelain are also the main materials used to create an onlay. As mentioned before, inlays and onlays serve a critical role in restorative and cosmetic dentistry.

Schedule an Appointment

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide unmatched dental care including inlays and onlays. If you have one or more teeth that have a cavity, crack, or excessive wear, call 619-717-8560 to make an appointment 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

 


Dental Health in La Mesa: Make Brushing Your Teeth a Habit

How To Make Brushing Your Teeth A Habit Dental Health in La Mesa

Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for your dental health in La Mesa. Healthy teeth make a beautiful smile. Brushing can also help with gum health and even keep your breath smelling sweet.

For some of us, brushing can be a loathsome chore that gets in the way of a good time. Hopefully, you don’t think of brushing in such dire terms. The best way to establish brushing into your routine is to make it a habit. A habit is an automated practice that becomes hard to give up. Some habits can be bad, of course, but brushing can be a good habit.  If you can make brushing your teeth a habit, you’ll be one step closer to a life filled with successful dental checkups. Here are some tips for creating a good habit that you can teach your kids. These tips will also work on teens and adults too:

Keep It Simple

One of the best ways to create a habit is to keep the requirements simple. Brushing teeth is already a simple task, but we can focus on the simplicity to help it stick as a habit. Don’t complicate the instructions for your kids. Keep it as simple as possible at the start. A small amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush, brush for about two minutes, rinse with clear water. Simple.

Regular Timing

One of the cornerstones of a habit is routine. Routine is rooted in consistent timing. Choose at least two, or three regular times to brush your teeth. Set a timer if you have to, but it’s best to create a habit around other regular activities. First thing in the morning or after breakfast are good times. After dinner or just before getting into bed are also good times. Regardless of when you choose, make sure it is a daily activity, and that it is tied to another routine or habit as a reminder. In this way, you are actually appending an existing habit or routine, and that makes it easier.

Stick To It

Research indicates it takes about two weeks to create a habit. You have to do a task for at least two weeks in a row before your brain will turn it over to auto-pilot and make it into a habit. Your brain tries to do this with routine things so you don’t have to keep the task in your short-term memory. If you can stick with a task for two weeks, you’ll be well on your way to creating a good habit for your dental health in La Mesa. If you can hold on for 30 days, you’ll imprint your new habit as a reflexive routine. You may never have to think about it again!

Improve Dental Health in La Mesa

Finally, any good habit needs constant improving. You can improve your habit of brushing your teeth by working on proper form, or by adding a little bit of time. Work toward the two-minute mark; any longer and it may start to cause damage. You can also make sure you are using a soft or medium brush, and that you are using fluoride toothpaste to improve your dental health in La Mesa.

Start Today

There’s no time like right now to get started on creating healthy habits for your teeth. If you are having trouble with brushing, make a commitment to work on it starting now. If you are caring for a child or working with a teenager, help reinforce good habits with reminders, positive support, and a leading example. Once you have created a healthy habit around brushing your teeth, you’ll have plenty of reason to smile. Remember that our practice offers a wide variety of dental services such as cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and teeth whitening. If you’d like to hear more, just give us a call.

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


Sports Injuries: Avoid a Cracked Tooth in La Mesa

cracked tooth in la mesa

It is estimated that over 5 million teeth are knocked out yearly and a significant portion of these dental traumas occur on the playing field or court. Each dislodged tooth requires several trips to the dentist and hundreds of dollars in restoration expenses. Not to mention the pain of a cracked tooth in La Mesa.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we want to raise awareness of the importance of athletic mouth protection. We advise our patients to think of mouth guards as a vital part of their protective gear. Most La Mesa parents require their children to wear helmets when biking and shin guards while playing soccer. We strongly encourage parents to emphasize the importance of mouth protection to avoid a cracked tooth in La Mesa.

You are probably aware of the main types of mouth guards: ready-to-wear, boil and bite, and custom-fitted. The stock mouth protectors are pre-formed but are definitely not one-size-fits all and probably provide the least amount of protection. Though they are better than nothing, so if you don’t have any other options, you should use them. You can find boil and bite mouth protectors at La Mesa sporting goods stores. They are to be softened in water and then formed to the mouth following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Some La Mesa dentists offer custom sports mouth guards that provide the highest level of protection and comfort. Ask your dentist about custom mouth guards to prevent a sport related injury such as a cracked tooth in La Mesa. Mouth protection is extremely vital for La Mesa patients with braces or fixed bridge work. Some La Mesa orthodontists recommend mouth protectors for lower teeth as well.

If you or your child has a sports-related dental emergency, call my La Mesa office immediately at 619-717-8560. We will do everything in our power to save the tooth. Every second counts, so make sure to schedule an appointment immediately and to save all pieces of the tooth and bring them with you. We also

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


Celebrating The Past And Looking To The Future At Jeff Gray DDS

dentist in La Mesa Celebrating The Past And Looking To The Future At Jeff Gray DDS - Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry

It has now been over 150 years since the first dental license was issued to Sir John Tomes. California dental patients should be grateful for the advances made in dentistry during the past century and a half.

There was a time when San Diego blacksmiths and wig makers would also extract teeth with forceps to make a little extra money. Anyone could call themselves a dentist. Often these untrained people broke the jaws of the person they were trying to help. Ouch!

Your Preferred Dentist in La Mesa

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we celebrate with the San Diego dental community and marvel at the many advances made in the history of dentistry, particularly cosmetic dentistry. One of the modern treatments that have helped countless La Mesa patients is invisible braces. This innovative orthodontic therapy is custom made for each patient. They are transparent and removable and will help you achieve your desired smile in about 3 to 18 months.

At Jeff Gray, DDS Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re still improving our techniques and treatments for our patients. As a cutting-edge dentist in La Mesa, Dr. Gray continually seeks training to expertly perform the latest procedures. In addition, our practice uses the most advanced dental materials available.

Visit a Dentist in La Mesa

If you are one of the many La Mesa residents who has dreamed of an aesthetic improvement to your smile, we invite you to make an appointment with Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry to discuss a smile makeover. Complete smile transformations are performed as quickly and professionally as possible – sometimes in just one visit! One of our most sought-after treatments at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry is cosmetic dentistry and many La Mesa patients are enjoying a brighter smile because of sedation dentistry. At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry we have been serving the residents of La Mesa since 1986 and would love to provide you and your family with professional, friendly dental care.

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