Teeth Whitening and Sore Teeth

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Teeth have several layers. The hard outer layer is called enamel, and the softer layer inside is called dentin. Inside the dentin are channels called root canals, which contain the nerve, blood vessels and other soft tissues. When your teeth are whitened, the whitening solution penetrates the pores of the teeth and can aggravate the nerve. This can result in sensitive or sore teeth. This is a temporary situation, and it is both treatable and preventable. If you are prone to sore teeth after whitening, our Beverly Hills teeth whitening dentist can help.

1. Be proactive.
If you have sensitive teeth, start using a toothpaste made especially for sensitive teeth before your whitening treatment. These toothpastes are made to block painful sensations and prevent sensitivity, but they do need to be used for a few weeks to achieve maximum effectiveness.

2. Treat promptly.
Some patients will benefit from an immediate fluoride treatment after whitening. Fluoride hardens enamel and can prevent pain.

3. Use NSAIDs as needed.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can be taken before a whitening session to combat any discomfort you might experience.

We can provide you with more options for combatting discomfort, sensitivity and soreness due to whitening at your consultation. Call our dental office today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.

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When is Surgery Required for Gum Disease?

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Gum disease is a common problem, and while it can be reversed in its earliest stages, it can also be quite aggressive. Without treatment, it can destroy the structures that surround and protect the teeth, leading to tooth and bone loss. For this reason, our periodontists in LA may recommend surgery to treat gum disease for some patients.

Bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm that consists of bacteria and food debris, is the primary cause of gum disease. Plaque is constantly forming in your mouth, and good dental hygiene is required to remove it. If it builds up, the toxins released by the bacteria irritate the gums, which respond by becoming inflamed. The inflammatory response is defensive and helps destroy the bacteria, but it also destroys the gum and bone tissue.

You may benefit from surgery for gum disease if you have:

• Deep periodontal pockets that cannot be easily cleaned
• Exposed tooth roots due to gum recession
• Lost bone tissue around the teeth

A variety of restorative and regenerative procedures can be used to tighten periodontal pockets and regrow lost tissues. They will typically be performed in conjunction with more conservative therapies. Call our gum surgeon in Los Angeles to learn more or to schedule your consultation.

Best Preventive Dentistry Treatments

Woman at the dentistry

In the past, dentists and patients would simply address dental problems as they arise. Today, we are better at preventing issues before they start. This is called preventive dentistry. There are a few different treatments our Torrance cosmetic dentist offers to patients looking to lower the risk of dental problems.

Fluoride treatments are very useful for many patients. Aggressive brushing and acidic foods or drinks can scrub away at our dental enamel. This leaves the teeth unprotected, meaning the nerves can be affected through small tubes in the dentin. Many patients experience severe tooth sensitivity due to this issue. Fluoride helps to remineralize the teeth, and build the enamel back up.

Dental sealants are also a helpful preventive dental treatment. This uses a material similar to plastic, which is placed on the cusps of the molars. These cusps are very textured, and difficult to clean of plaque. Applying a dental sealant protects these areas and keeps the teeth clean for as long as seven years.

There is one preventive measure that you can do at home. If you know or have been told that you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, our preventive dentist recommends wearing a mouth guard at night. This keeps the teeth from damaging one another, preventing chips, cracks, and wear.

What Could be the Cause of Gum Pain?

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Gums can become swollen, inflamed, tender, or even painful for several reasons. Our periodontists in Los Angeles work to find the underlying cause of any gum discomfort. With the right treatment, your gum health and comfort can be restored.

Common causes of gum pain include:

  1. Aggressive dental hygiene

Brushing and flossing are among the most basic dental care needs, but brushing too hard and flossing too roughly can injure your gums. To protect your gum tissue, use a soft-bristled brush, and be gentle when you clean your teeth.

  1. Gum disease

About half of adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque, which infect the gum tissue and cause an inflammatory response. Treatments can range from professional deep cleaning and improved at-home cleaning regimens, to antimicrobial therapy and surgery.

  1. Ill-fitting dentures

If you wear dentures, they may need to be adjusted or relined periodically. If your dentures do not fit well, they can rub and irritate your gums, causing sores and pain.

If you are suffering from gum inflammation, tenderness, or pain, call our expert in gum pain treatment in Los Angeles to schedule your consultation with our team.

When is Extracting a Tooth Necessary?

Terrible tooth ache.

Despite the range of preventive and restorative medicines in modern dentistry, it’s not always possible to save a tooth. Injury or illness can undermine a tooth’s health immediately or over time. In the latter case if you don’t take care of it the tooth could be damaged irrevocably.

In severe cases of periodontitis, bone integrity can deteriorate and lead to active tooth loss. Teeth may be preemptively pulled in this event. Less severely, when preparing the mouth for orthodontics like braces, certain teeth may be pulled to eliminate crowding.

If you have a broken tooth, there’s a good chance the break extends below the gum line making a filling or crown impossible. And even the smallest fracture can destabilize the root.

Extreme infection, such as an abscess, can leave a tooth too badly damaged for root canal therapy. Our expert in dental extraction in North Hollywood also extracts teeth as a precursor to dental implants. The extraction site can be prepared for implantology as soon as the procedure is finished, in most cases.

Once it’s determined you need an extraction, there are two kinds—simple and surgical. A simple extraction removes the tooth with forceps. A surgical extraction may be necessary if access is restricted and bone or soft tissue must be cut through first.

Contact our dental office in North Hollywood for more information.

Teeth Whitening Trays and Their Effectiveness

Smart businesswomanYou have probably heard about teeth-whitening trays and may have even considered using them to help create a more brilliant smile. Before you go out and spend your money on a product, you should consider if this type of product would be appropriate for your needs. All whitening trays are not created equal.

The ingredients used generally create a strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide that can effectively bleach stains from the surfaces of the teeth and beneath. Make sure that the product you choose has a high enough concentration to be effective without causing irritation to the gums. You should also be aware that the stronger the concentration of whitening agent, the higher the risk you have of tooth sensitivity for a time following the procedure.

In order for the product to work, the tray must hold the solution up against the surfaces of the teeth for the required time period. If the tray does not fit properly, you can have gaps where the whitening agent does not remain in contact with the tooth surface. If you get your teeth whitening tray from an expert in tooth whitening in LA, the tray should fit to your needs much better tha an over-the-counter option.

Periodontal Treatments

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Periodontists are dentists that specialize in the gums. Many patients can do an acceptable job taking care of their teeth, but completely ignore their gum health. This leads to varying levels of gum disease.

A mild level of gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms include excessive tenderness, redness, and bleeding. At this stage, increased dental care and oral hygiene may be enough to reverse the process. This includes improved brushing and flossing, as well as more frequent visits to our cosmetic dentist in San Francisco.

If the condition has become more progressed, our periodontist can perform a scaling and root planing, or SRP. This involves using a special tool to remove the plaque and tartar from just above and just below the gum line. If this is not successful, a gum flap surgery is typically attempted next, wherein incisions are made in the gums in order to better access and clean the tooth roots.

Other periodontal treatments include gum tissue and bone grafting. Failure to seek treatment for gum disease can lead to deep decay, abscessed teeth, and even tooth loss. If you have recognized any of the above symptoms in your gums, schedule an appointment with our dentist today.