Not Your Mother’s Jewelry: 5 Reasons Tongue Piercings Are Dangerous

lip piercings La Mesa

Let’s get right to it; while tongue, cheek, and lip piercings are “so in” right now, here’s five reasons to keep piercings where they belong—in your ears:

  1. Excessive drooling—YIKES!
  2. Chipped teeth
  3. Infection (some even in places you wouldn’t think can get infected)
  4. Hypersensitivity to metal
  5. Nerve damage


Lip and tongue piercings may make you look cool and edgy. They may express your personality and creativity. But they can cause repeated drooling. That may not be the look you’re going for.

Broken Teeth

Another important reason to keep piercings away from your mouth, lips, and tongue, is because having any metal in your mouth can chip your teeth. This can happen while eating, drinking, or sleeping. Or even while playing with said piercing.

Do you already have a tooth that’s broken? Repair these cracks early before more damage ensues.

Small cracks in a tooth can be filled or crowned. But often patients with piercings come in with more serious issues. These may require a root canal or tooth extraction.


Beware of infection. When it comes to oral piercings, you have to really watch the pierced area. Your mouth is a bacterial zoo, so to speak. Upon piercing anything in your mouth, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream. Neglecting correct brushing habits can lead to infection. As well as touching the piercing with dirty hands.

Hypersensitivity or Allergic Reaction to Metal

Many people love body jewelry. But too much of a good thing (like metal) can be bad. Having metal piercings can lead to hypersensitivity to any metal in your mouth, such as silverware. This is problematic for most people. (Stock up on plastic utensils!)

There is also the risk of an allergic reaction at the piercing site. If you have a sensitivity to certain metals, you can get your piercing in a metal you aren’t allergic to. But you are still in danger of the other risks discussed here.

Nerve Damage

Finally, there’s the risk of permanent nerve damage. If the previous dangers don’t dissuade you, this one should. Experiencing a numb tongue is usually temporary. But in extreme cases, like if you can’t stop playing with the piercing, it can become permanent.


Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California


ArticleID 8156

Same-Day Tooth Pain Relief

walk-in dental practice La Mesa

When you have a toothache, that’s all you can think about. It makes it challenging to handle your everyday tasks.

If the tooth starts hurting after business hours or on the weekend, you may resign yourself to waiting until a traditional dental practice opens.

When others are closed, Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry is here for you. We treat walk-in dental emergencies. That means you don’t need to make an appointment.

We will determine the cause of the tooth pain and take care of you.

Is A Toothache A Dental Emergency?

Yes. Here’s why. Tooth pain may be a symptom of an urgent ailment. We are equipped to treat many causes of tooth pain. Your tooth pain may be caused by one of the following:


Eventually, cavities can reach the tooth nerve. Ouch! The earlier the issue is addressed, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

Gum disease

Gum disease (or the more serious periodontitis) may cause pain. It should be treated immediately before teeth loosen. At that point, you risk losing them.

Damaged Tooth Pulp

When the inner nerves down in the root of the tooth become infected, an emergency root canal can allow you to save the tooth. Plus it ends the pain!

Maybe It’s Not Your Tooth

Everything’s connected, right? Problems with surrounding systems can cause tooth pain along with a plethora of other symptoms. Your tooth pain may be caused by an ear or sinus infection.

Whether it’s a condition with your tooth, or something else, let’s get it taken care of.


Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California


ArticleID 8117

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:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California


How Dental Implants Are Changing Dentures in La Mesa

How Dental Implants are Changing Dentures in La Mesa If you are one of the many patients wearing dentures in La Mesa, you know that they are not the ideal solution for missing teeth. The problems with dentures include slipping, gum irritation, trouble eating and talking, bone loss, and inability to taste food due to a covered palate. Clearly, dentures do not feel and function like natural teeth. Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups can help you avoid the need for dentures later in your life, but other factors can make dental replacements an inevitability.

Modern Restorative Dentistry

The good news is that modern dental implant technology offers a better tooth restoration solution for those with dentures in La Mesa. If you currently wear traditional dentures and are not happy with them, implant anchored dentures in La Mesa may dramatically change your life. Your chewing ability will be similar to that of natural teeth and you will be able to eat hard foods again. Implant dentures can also prevent bone recession that occurs after having missing teeth, meaning that implant dentures in La Mesa also improve overall dental health.

What Are You Waiting For?

How about a thick T-bone at your favorite La Mesa steakhouse? In addition to being able to enjoy your favorite meal, you will avoid the embarrassment of having your dentures rattle around in your mouth or slip out in public. Before you pay for another denture reline, ask your La Mesa dentist about the possibility of dental implants. There is life after dentures with tooth implants! Come see us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa, 91942 for more information about dental implants and implant-dentures. We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

Don’t Let Fear of The Dentist Compromise Your Oral Health in La Mesa

sleep dental La Mesa Oral Health in La Mesa

If you have claustrophobia, you skip out when your friends decide to go exploring a cave. If you have acrophobia, you avoid sky diving. In either case, you can live a fulfilling life without joining in these activities. But what if you have dentophobia? This is different than the phobias mentioned previously. Since dental visits are crucial for oral health in La Mesa, it’s not smart to simply avoid dental treatment altogether, yet many individuals try to do just that. That is, until they have a problem that gets so painful they are pushed to white knuckle it through a dental visit. At that point, the process may be an extraction that could have been prevented with earlier intervention or preventative treatments.

If you suffer from severe anxiety when undergoing dental treatment, oral sedation is for you. With advancements in procedures, sedation dentistry has proven to be safe and effective. With oral conscious sedation, dentistry patients can relax or even sleep through dental treatment. The patient always elects the degree of sedation required for the procedure, so you remain in control. Different levels include:

  • Mild sedation: relaxes you while you remain conscious.
  • Moderate sedation: provides a deeper level of relaxation with partial consciousness.
  • Deep sedation: you are almost entirely unconscious but can be awakened.
  • General anesthesia: this puts you in an unconscious state from which you awake after it’s over with no memory of the procedure.

For more information on oral sedation dentistry, contact us at 619-717-8560. If you’re worried about your oral health in La Mesa, then it’s time you schedule an appointment with a professional dentist. At Jeff Gray DDS, we will provide you with a safe environment so that you can seek the treatment you need without any worries.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

Let Us Ease Your Dental Anxiety in La Mesa

La Mesa teeth bleaching best price Dental Anxiety in La Mesa

Are you worried about seeing the dentist? Are you worried about discussing your smile with a professional? Do you experience severe dental anxiety in La Mesa? That’s alright because we understand and we’re here to help. Settling into the reality of what you are prepared to discuss with your dentist is the first step to dental relief.

1. Talk To Us:
Whether you want to move forward with teeth whitening or have dentures implanted, call now to schedule an informative and pressure-free consultation. If you’re nervous about Invisalign or in denial about the need for laser dentistry or porcelain veneers, the reality is that Dr. Jeff Gray has been meeting with patients since 1986 in La Mesa, California. Our practice, Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, has been here and will continue to be here for you when you’re ready to meet with us.

2. Choose a Dentist:

The next step is making a choice. As you sift through the choices and choose the right dentist in La Mesa, California keep in mind that Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry offers competitive pricing and affordable options. We see patients throughout the Santee, Alpine, Jamul areas with pleasure and look forward to treating your dental concerns with accuracy, gentleness, and expert care.

3. Go Forward with Confidence:
The final step to relief is just smiling. Don’t let dental anxiety in La Mesa prevent you from feeling confident in your own smile. We’d like to tell you more about dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, and overcoming dental anxiety in La Mesa. Our team is convinced that you’ll walk out the door with a confident smile. Schedule an appointment with us today!

We Bring Smiles To Life 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

6 Ways To Remedy an Imperfect Tooth

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In a perfect world, each of your priceless teeth would stay healthy, strong, and brilliantly white throughout your life. The truth is, however, that most men and women will need to restore a tooth at some point.

A tooth can be compromised by dental caries, enamel erosion, a chip or crack, gum disease, or injury. Sometimes old restorations break and need to be replaced or root canals performed decades ago develop an abscess. Here are 6 different options for repairing a damaged tooth:

Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin tooth-shaped fronts that are permanently bonded to your natural teeth. They are used when the underlying tooth is structurally sound and free of tooth decay. A beautiful veneer can cover a chip or crack or fix the alignment of a tooth that appears slightly off.

Modern white fillings are strong and inconspicuous. A minimally invasive filling at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry leaves you with more of nature’s ideal dental material — your own enamel and dentin. We can also replace old amalgam fillings with white fillings. This makes your teeth look a lot better every time you open your mouth. Get rid of all that metal!

Inlays and Onlays
A traditional filling is shaped and molded after it is applied to the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental lab, they are usually called indirect fillings. A less invasive inlay or onlay may be used instead of a traditional filling or, in some cases, a crown. Inlays are applied to just the center of the biting surface of a tooth (not to a cusp or point) and are often smaller than onlays. An onlay restores one or more cusps of a tooth.

A dental crown replaces the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring appearance, stability, and function. A crown is frequently necessary for a tooth that has had a root canal, a tooth with acute decay, or as the replacement tooth in a dental bridge. Attaching a crown to the abutment is the final step of a tooth implant procedure. Crowns can be made of all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all ceramic, or all resin.

Soft Tissue Grafts
Gum recession puts teeth and underlying bone at risk. Soft tissue grafting can cover the exposed root of a tooth to prohibit further damage. Gum surgery is also performed for cosmetic reasons such reshaping a gum line to eliminate a “gummy” smile.

Dental Implants
What if a tooth has to be extracted because it is beyond saving? For many Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry patients, a dental implant in La Mesa anchored into the bone is the ideal solution. A tooth implant consists of a strong metal post, abutment , and beautiful crown. A dental implant in La Mesa had many advantages over a dental bridge. They are stronger, provide virtually natural function, prevent bone recession, and do not affect the surrounding teeth. For patients with several missing teeth, custom implant-anchored dentures can be developed in any configuration required.

For more details about procedures such as a dental implant in La Mesa, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at 619-717-8560. Thanks for visiting the Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry blog. We appreciate your interest in our La Mesa dental practice. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

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:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

General Dentistry in La Mesa: Protect Your Teeth from Enamel Erosion

enamel erosion treatment La Mesa

Our teeth work hard, and are constantly under attack. It’s no wonder that nature encases them in enamel—the hardest substance in the body. Unfortunately, enamel erosion is common. But with general dentistry and your at-home regimen, you can protect it in La Mesa.

Enamel’s chief enemies are acidic foods and beverages. Others include certain medications, teeth grinding, acid reflux, gastrointestinal problems, chewing ice or other hard substances, and eating disorders.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we educate our patients about how to keep their enamel strong and keep erosion at bay.

Here are some quick facts about enamel:

  • Enamel is unlike many other tissues in the body. Once it has worn away, it cannot be regenerated.
  • According to the National Institute of Health, 41% of adolescents already have enamel erosion.
  • Brushing too hard can hurt enamel. We recommend a soft-bristle brush and a gentle hand.
  • Diet sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks are just as dangerous as sugared sodas.
  • Dry mouth can weaken enamel because it results in less saliva which helps keep enamel healthy and strong.

If you have already experienced enamel erosion, it’s vital to take action. There are several dental procedures that can protect teeth that have been compromised. Call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry today.

We also provide cosmetic and restorative dentistry, and use state-of-the-art dental technology.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California


Losing Your Adult Teeth In La Mesa, California?

dental implant cost Alpine

It was one thing to lose that set of baby teeth but, unfortunately, these don’t grow back. (And you don’t look adorable with a gap-toothed smile.) If you feel like you are losing your adult teeth to staining, decay, chipping or brittle aging then it’s time to visit with Dr. Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS. Since 1986, Dr. Gray has built a practice teeming with experience, filled with kindness, flowing with a gentle touch, and carrying all the wisdom of smart, capable professionals.

When it comes to the prospect of losing your adult teeth, the preference is always to save your natural teeth. If this is not possible, we can look at other ways to maintain your ability to eat, drink, speak, laugh and smile in selfies.

Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is used where a tooth is missing. It “bridges” a gap between teeth. There is a false tooth (or teeth) attached to the surrounding teeth. Dental bridges have been used with success for generations of dental patients who have lost teeth for various reasons.

Dental Implant
A dental implant is a more extensive replacement for a missing tooth. An implant consists of an artificial tooth PLUS an artificial root (usually biocompatible titanium). With local anesthesia, the artificial root is actually inserted into the jaw bone where it integrates with the bone tissue. There are three parts to a dental implant: the artificial root, the connecting abutment, and the final crown or denture. An implant offers beauty, strength, natural function and protection from bone recession that often occurs at the site of a missing tooth.

Most La Mesa residents have heard of dentures: a plate holding artificial teeth that can be removed by the patient. These are custom made and can contain varying numbers of teeth. Sometimes the entire set of upper and lower teeth have to be pulled and a denture created for chewing and speaking. Modern dentistry offers a myriad of custom dental implant-denture combinations to restore missing teeth.

Dental Veneers
If you still have your teeth, but are not happy with them, these might be your answer. Stunning porcelain veneers offer an affordable approach to cosmetic adjustments – uneven color, size or shape. These are very thin shells bonded to the front of the teeth. They beautify unsightly, but structually sound teeth.

Don’t worry about losing your grip on the adult teeth you’ve been enjoying all these years. We have experience and training in many services to meet your dental needs including teeth whitening, Invisalign, laser dentistry, and porcelain veneers.

Schedule your initial consultation at 619-717-8560 to visit us at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa, California. We are perfectly situated for our neighbors throughout the Santee, Alpine, and Jamul areas.

Your consultation will include a customized treatment plan for restoring teeth, the cost of dental procedures and a schedule for completing the dental plan created specifically for you. Come with questions and leave with answers.