Want To Keep Your Enamel Healthy? Avoid Doing These 11 Things

cosmetic dentistry La Mesa

1. Chewing on hard foods

We’re looking at you Beef jerky and hard or stale bread.

2. Chewing on hard items

This includes fingernails, pencils, pen caps, and ice.

3. Grinding your teeth

If you grind your teeth, talk about it with your dentist. An appliance can safeguard your smile.

4. Eating too much sticky food

Gummy candy, dried fruit, and even protein bars can crack teeth.

5. Drinking anything besides water frequently

If your teeth are bathed in soda (sugared or diet), juice, coffee, or sports drinks consistently, you are asking for dental problems.

6. Playing sports without a mouthguard

Sports pose a major risk of tooth damage. Most children are required to wear a protective mouthguard on the playing field. But fewer adults wear mouthguards for recreational activities like mountain biking and skiing. Stock types are ready-made and rarely fit well. Custom-fitted mouthguards from your dentist are more comfortable than the cheap boil-and-bite type.

7. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush

A hard-bristled toothbrush can damage teeth and cause gums to pull away. Clean away food bits and plaque with a soft (or extra-soft) toothbrush.

8. Ignoring dry mouth

Saliva is important. This helps to rinse food particles from your mouth as well as neutralize the acids that cause plaque. It also helps clean the teeth of leftover food bits, helping to prevent plaque buildup. Constant dry mouth, or xerostomia, can lead to tooth decay. Talk to your dentist if you have a dry mouth frequently.

9. Using teeth as tools

Locate a pair of scissors to open a package or pry the lid of a medicine bottle. Use a nutcracker if you are eating unshelled nuts. A quality dental crown can cost over eight hundred dollars.

10. Ignoring bad breath

Bad breath is often associated with bacteria build-up in the mouth. It might be a symptom of accelerating tooth decay. Discuss it with your dentist. (Don’t be embarrassed. We treat bad breath all the time.)

11. Ignoring jaw pain

If you experience frequent jaw pain or notice a clicking sound, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately! These symptoms can be signs of a serious condition called temporomandibular disorder or TMD.

Is it too late? Have you already broken or chipped a tooth? We can repair it at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. There are a number of restorative and cosmetic dental treatments for chipped or cracked teeth.

 

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 8124

The 411 on TMJ

TMJ dentist La Mesa

Do you have unexplained pain or clicking sounds in your jaw? They can be signs of serious oral issues.

Some ailments with the jaw and the muscles that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But it’s also frequently called TMJ, because that’s the acronym for the name of the joint. Technically, that’s not correct.

“Temp-or-o-man-di-what?!

Let’s talk about what this means. The word temporomandibular (pronounced ‘temp-ur-o-man-di-bye-ler) is defined as ‘of, relating to, being, or affecting the joint that connects the temporal bone and the mandible.’

(We are not betting people, but if we were, we would bet that you did not foresee an anatomy lesson from your dentist.) The temporal bones are found at the sides and base of your skull and incorporate five parts, the squama, the petrous, mastoid, tympanic parts, and styloid process. The mandible is the lower jaw, and, anatomically speaking, holds your whole face together.

What are the signs of TMD?

If you have jaw problems, either due to a collision, arthritis, misalignment of teeth or jaw, teeth grinding and clenching, poor posture, or chewing gum, you may experience:

  • tooth grinding or clicking
  • jaw pain
  • earaches
  • popping sounds in your ears
  • headaches
  • stiff or sore jaw muscles
  • locking of the jaw joint
  • pain in the temple area

Quite often, TMJ symptoms will go away on their own. Some individuals who experience TMD notice flare-ups when they are under a lot of stress.

TMD is an often misdiagnosed condition because facial pain can result from a variety of problems, not just damage to the temporomandibular joints. Sinus infections, tooth decay, and facial injuries can cause jaw pain. A correct diagnosis is the first step in treating TMD.

If your TMD symptoms don’t go away on their own, seek professional help. Chronic TMD can be debilitating and your dentist can help. Dentists that treat TMD work hand-in-hand with a network of specialists including ENT specialists, neurologists, and physical therapists. Talk to a healthcare professional.

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 8334

Schedule Your Coronation

dentist crowns La Mesa

We treat all of our patients royally here at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, but some of them receive actual crowns. We’re not talking about crowns a king or queen wears, but crowns for your teeth! If you live near San Diego, Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry is the best place to get your teeth looking better than ever. And putting a crown on a tooth with problems could be just what you need to obtain a beautiful smile.

Crowns are therapy for a plethora of problems:

  • To protect a weak tooth from decay, breaking, or to hold together a cracked tooth.
  • To cover and provide strength to a tooth with a large filling and little tooth structure remaining.
  • To restore a broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
  • To improve a tooth that is too small or misshapen.
  • To cover a tooth with extreme discoloration.
  • To add strength to a tooth following a root canal procedure.

If you feel like you have a need for a crown, don’t look any further than Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. Our dentists and lab techs have the experience, training, and proficiency to make sure your crowns are created and placed accurately. There are many different kinds of crowns that serve different purposes. We complete an intensive examination to ensure the crown you get is perfect for you and your smile.

We then prepare your tooth so that the dental crown will fit the way that it should. Once the tooth is prepared and ready, we use state-of-the-art tools to fit the crown on your tooth. When done properly, crowns can last many years. Crowns are a marvelous way to protect and improve your smile. Schedule a coronation today!

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 7214

Dental Implants Prevent Physical and Psychological Problems

dental implants La Mesa

Do you have missing teeth? Then you are not alone. Even though the U.S. is one of the most advanced countries in the world, tooth loss is commonplace. In middle age, it tends to become more common.

According to Harvard Medical School, the average adult has lost 12 permanent teeth by the age of 50. Tooth loss transpires due to a number of issues including, wear, tooth decay, gum disease, cancer, and injury. Missing teeth can influence our self-esteem, oral health, and function.

Let’s talk about two ways missing teeth impact your life. One is a psychological issue and the other is a physical issue.

Reduced Self Esteem

If you have a missing tooth or teeth you may believe it creates an unattractive appearance or at least an unattractive smile. When you look in the mirror, you may feel you look older and perhaps less attractive. The way you look affects the way you feel. You may smile less because you are self-conscious. You may avoid social activities that can impact your mental health. Dentures don’t prevent bone recession. And they can irritate the soft tissues of the mouth.

Aside from appearance concerns, there are health matters that arise if you don’t replace missing teeth.

Bone Loss

Your jawbone’s health and strength is preserved through the stimulus of chewing. It’s important to understand that missing teeth can cause bone loss, also called bone resorption. It happens when the tooth is missing and the natural roots are not longer in the jawbone. Over time, the jawbone can deteriorate due to bone resorption.

Implants Provide a Variety of Solutions

A tooth implant is an ideal solution for a missing tooth.

Dental implants are strong, functional, and naturally-looking restorations with roots permanently anchored into the jawbone.

Dental implants have been used for many years to replace one or two missing teeth. They can also be used to provide a structure for bridges and anchored dentures!

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, nothing gives us more joy than helping people dramatically improve their quality of life. With a new smile, they feel better about themselves. They feel more comfortable in public and socialize more often.

If you are embarrassed by missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures, don’t wait any longer. Call us today at 619-337-7700 to begin restoring your smile.

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 8321

3 Ways Mouthguards Prevent Kids’ Sports Injuries

Sports mouthguards San Diego

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we treat dental emergencies caused by sports injuries. These include knocked-out teeth, broken teeth, and mouth lacerations.

Many of these injuries could have been prevented (or rendered less severe) with the proper protective gear.

All athletes who participate in contact sports are in jeopardy of injuries to their mouths and teeth. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional athlete or a 6-year-old playing youth soccer.

When it comes to protecting your mouth, a custom-fitted mouthguard is an integral piece of athletic gear that should be used from an early age.

What age group has the most injuries?

8- to 12-year-old kids who participate in basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, rugby, football, and lacrosse are typically most affected by lost or damaged teeth. But even those that participate in non-contact sports like skateboarding, mountain biking, or climbing can benefit from wearing a custom mouthguard.

Mouthguards are made of strong, flexible materials that are designed to protect your teeth, gum, and jaw in case of an impact. A mouthguard forms a protective layer between your teeth and the point of impact. The following are three important ways a mouthguard can protect you while playing sports.

Absorb Force

Any bump to the face or jaw involves force or energy. A mouthguard absorbs some of the energy, ensuring that the potential harm caused by the impact is limited. The cushioning effect of a mouthguard can prevent your teeth from being slammed together. By absorbing force, mouthguards can also help prevent jaw fractures and neck trauma.

Prevent Broken Teeth

Another benefit of using a mouthguard is that it disperses the energy directed at the teeth. For example, if you are hit in the mouth with a hockey stick, the mouthguard spreads out the energy that accompanies the impact. This can prevent broken teeth by minimizing the chance that a single tooth will take the whole brunt of the force.

Avoid Lip and Tongue Injuries

Mouthguards cover the upper teeth entirely. This creates a functional barrier between your teeth and the rest of your mouth. This decreases the chance of lip and tongue injuries by making it harder for your teeth to cut your lip or your tongue.

With a tailor-made mouthguard, you will make sure you get an effective and comfortable fit. It makes playing sports safer for your smile.

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 8325

Is Your Smile In A World Of Hurt?

full mouth reconstruction San Diego

Do you have extreme tooth damage, bone loss, or few or no teeth still intact? This post is for San Diego area residents whose mouths are in a world of hurt.

First off, we feel for you. We understand how severe dental issues impact you every day of your life.

Whatever the cause of the condition – chemotherapy, recreational drug use, eating disorder, extreme mouth injury, disability, inadequate oral hygiene, or simply poor overall health – there is hope.

Full mouth reconstruction can restore your previously healthy, attractive smile or give you the stunning smile you never had. Patients who undergo full mouth reconstruction regain their confidence to smile, eat, and speak normally. How would that impact your life?

Replacing missing teeth and adding bone through grafting restores underlying facial structure, improving or preventing that “sunk-in” look that develops when teeth are gone and the jawbone recedes.

Full mouth reconstruction (sometimes called full mouth restoration) is a term that refers to a combination of dental procedures that restore a smile for people with several damaged or missing teeth. Treatment may include any combination of the following procedures: crowns, inlays/onlays, dental bonding, white filling replacement, tooth implants, porcelain veneers, implant-anchored dentures, gum contouring, soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, and tooth whitening.

Dental implants are often the best tooth replacement for Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry patients with missing teeth. A dental implant consists of a titanium post surgically inserted into the jaw bone to replace the root of the missing tooth. If there is not enough bone to anchor an implant, bone grafting may be carried out to augment existing bone. The post integrates with the bone to provide a secure foundation for the abutment and beautiful crown. Dental implants are indistinguishable from original teeth in both form and function.

If you currently have dentures, communicate with us about implant-anchored full or partial dentures. Significant improvements can be made even if you only get two or three tooth implants.

Crowns (sometimes called caps) are used when there is enough viable tooth structure that the tooth doesn’t need to be extracted. A crown adds strength to a tooth that has a large filling or has been injured. A crown can correct a bite misalignment and is usually required after a root canal. In a dental implant procedure, attaching the crown to the abutment is the final step.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a full menu of cosmetic dental care including total mouth reconstruction. Cosmetic dentistry may be more affordable than you think. Talk to us about financing or a multi-procedure treatment schedule that allows you to pay as you go. Restoring a healthy smile may be the best investment you ever make.

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 7017

Urgent Care Dentists Replace Broken Dental Crowns

cost of dental crowns San Diego

If your dental crown breaks, do you need to replace it?

Yes. Here’s why:

  1. The tooth is compromised and could sustain additional damage
  2. The tooth is vulnerable to tooth decay
  3. It could damage the opposing tooth
  4. It could cause problems with your bite

La Mesa endodontists, cosmetic dentists, and urgent care dentists use dental crowns (sometimes called caps) in many restorative treatments.

Dental crowns serve many purposes:

  1. A crown adds durability to a tooth that has a large filling or has been injured
  2. A crown can fix bite misalignments in some situations.
  3. A crown is usually required after a root canal
  4. Attaching the crown to the abutment is the final step for
  5. Crowns used to improve the look of teeth: yellow teeth, stained teeth, too-small teeth, and teeth that are misshapen

What are dental crowns made of?

Dental crowns are constructed from a variety of materials that vary in appearance and strength:

  • All ceramic (porcelain-based)
  • Porcelain fused to metal
  • Gold alloys
  • Base metal alloys

Your dentist can help you identify which type is right for you. Factors to consider are the location of the crown in the mouth, your budget, and any allergies to metal. When many La Mesa dentists provide a crown restoration, they use a process that requires two office visits. On the first visit, the dentist will prepare the tooth and take an impression for the dental lab. Then, they will provide a temporary crown for the patient to use until the permanent crown is ready.

Some dentists have CEREC technology that allows them to fabricate and place crowns in one visit.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Dental crowns can last for many years but are not designed to last indefinitely. Even with proper care, dental patients should not expect crowns to be trouble-free for decades. A 2009 study found that more than 90% of dental crowns do not require treatment within five years of placement. The study also found that 50% to 80% last from 15 to 20 years. (Source)

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa, we replace broken dental crowns and treat other urgent dental issues.

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 8242

Patient-Centered Dental Care

La Mesa affordable family dentist

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to providing patient-focused dental care of the highest standard.

We are here to help you. You could be our next success story!

What is patient-focused care?

A check-up with no cavities? A dazzling smile? A dental crown that looks as natural as the surrounding teeth?

It could mean all those things and many more.

For a child, dental success could be defined as a childhood free of cavities. Learning proper oral hygiene. Plus gaining an understanding of why it’s important.

What about a local La Mesa adolescent who is hesitant to smile because of crooked teeth? The solution is a successful course of orthodontic treatment. The result is a beautiful smile that boosts self-assurance.

What about the La Mesa man who suffered dental trauma in an accident? Patient-focused care could be dental implants that restore oral health and tooth function.

For a woman with tetracycline stains but otherwise healthy teeth, patient-centered care may be as simple as quick in-office same-day tooth whitening.

Consider someone with several missing teeth who can only eat soft foods. Patient-focused care could mean natural-looking implant-anchored dentures that allow the patient to eat steak for the first time in years.

We serve your specific dental needs

What are your goals for your smile? What is the current state of your oral health? Schedule a consultation with Jeff Gray.

 

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 8205

What’s the Difference Between Silver Fillings and White Fillings?

white fillings La Mesa

In today’s post, we discuss fillings.

What is a composite filling?

Composite fillings are fabricated with a mixture of glass or quartz and resin which results in a natural tooth-colored material. They are extremely durable when bonded to the tooth with adhesive.

What is an amalgam filling?

Amalgam fillings are also called “silver fillings” though they aren’t 100% silver. Dental amalgam is about 50% mercury with some silver, tin, and copper. Mercury creates a durable compound with the other metals. This type of filling has been used to fill cavities in teeth since 1895.

Are amalgam fillings dangerous?

Some people claim that mercury fillings are linked to chronic disease. In fact, some dentists (known as “holistic” or “mercury-free”) have founded practices around replacing amalgam fillings with composite fillings. However, many respected medical and scientific associations have long indicated that amalgam fillings are safe. This includes the American Dental Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Mayo Clinic, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This is from the International Journal of Dentistry:

1) Mercury released from dental amalgam restorations does not contribute to systemic disease or systemic toxicological effects

2) Allergic reactions to mercury from dental amalgam restorations have been demonstrated, but these are extremely rare

3) Available scientific data do not justify the discontinuation of dental amalgam use from clinical practice or the replacement with other single-tooth restorative dental materials

(Source: Uçar Y, Brantley WA. Section 5. Conclusions:  Biocompatibility of Dental Amalgams. Int J Dent 2011;2011:981595. doi:10.1155/2011/981595. Accessed April 5, 2016.)

Do you have a youngster with amalgam fillings and are concerned about safety? Schedule a consultation with Dr, Gray to discuss your worries.

Is a composite filling the same as a white filling?

Yes, informally. The term “white filling” has become a descriptive term. Composite fillings are made to match perfectly with the patient’s tooth color. Compared to amalgam fillings–which don’t match the color of teeth–they are whitish, white with a slight yellow tint, or white with a slight gray tint depending on the color of the tooth.

What’s the difference between composite fillings and amalgam fillings?

As discussed previously, these fillings are fabricated using different materials. Composite fillings have the characteristic of blending seamlessly with the tooth. In some settings–such as a large cavity in a molar–an amalgam filling may be considered. Keep in mind that a composite filling has proved to be a solid restoration.

Are amalgam fillings still used?

Despite the popularity of tooth-colored fillings, some San Diego dentists still find amalgam fillings most appropriate for some situations. Unfortunately, some dental insurance providers and state Medicaid plans don’t cover composite fillings.

Do you have more questions about fillings?

Call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at the number below!

 

 

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 8293

CEREC Same-Day Restorations For Dental Emergencies

emergency dental office La Mesa

CEREC “Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics” crowns are fast and convenient. They make “same-day” dentistry possible. If your dental practice performs CEREC, your dentist can fabricate strong, natural-looking crowns in one visit.

Because of this, CEREC has many merits for cosmetic dental patients.

CEREC For Dental Emergencies

CEREC technology also plays a key role in emergency dentistry.

A dental emergency is, by definition, inconvenient. (You can’t get more inconvenient than an event that transpires with no warning whatsoever.)

Reduce The Impact To Your Schedule

The dental injury and visit to an urgent care practice are disruptive enough. If your dental emergency involves ongoing dental appointments, it further complicates your life.

  • You may have to take time off from work
  • You may have to get child care
  • You may have to cancel flight reservations for a vacation or business trip
  • You may have to reschedule other appointments

Same-day restorations don’t require ongoing treatment after an initial emergency visit.

CEREC Crowns are High Quality

Worried that CEREC same-day restorations are inferior to traditional restorations?

Let’s put your mind at ease.

CEREC crowns are constructed with durable, high-quality materials.

A CEREC crown is shaped with CAD/CAM scanning technology which is just as accurate as a traditional impression. (Some dentists believe a CEREC crown is even more precise than a crown developed from a traditional impression.)

CEREC crowns:

  1. Are indistinguishable from your remaining teeth
  2. Function like a conventional crown
  3. Don’t require a messy impression
  4. Don’t require a temporary crown that may come loose or fall off—leaving your damaged tooth in danger of further injury
  5. Can last ten years or longer
  6. Are performed in one dental visit

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry offers CEREC same-day crowns. This is one way we ease the trauma when you have a dental emergency. Save our phone number to your contacts. In the unfortunate event that you experience a dental emergency, call us ASAP. If someone else is driving, call us on your way to our office. We have extended hours to serve you.

 

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 8219