Keeping Up with Your Periodontal Health

Group of friendsPeriodontal disease affects the majority of Americans over 35, but it is not inevitable. Keeping up with your periodontal health can help you keep your gums healthy and avoid this common dental problem. Our North Hollywood dentist can help you design a preventive periodontal strategy to protect your gums and your smile.

1. Use the right tools.
Many people use a toothbrush that is too rough. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal because bristles that are hard or stiff can injure your gums and leave them vulnerable to infection.

2. Brush properly each time you brush.
Technique matters as much as frequency. Clean your teeth using small tooth-length strokes with your brush at a 45-degree angle towards your gums, and spend about two minutes at a time brushing.

3. Clean between your teeth.
The toothbrush cannot reach between each set of teeth, so you do need to use a special tool to clean in this area. Floss is perhaps the most common tool of choice, but you can also use floss picks, dental flossers or interdental cleaners to clean between your teeth. Whatever you choose, just remember to clean between your teeth at least once a day.

4. Eat a healthy diet.
What you eat matters, too. Brushing and flossing perfectly is not going to help your teeth very much if you eat a starchy, processed diet low in nutrients. You have to feed your teeth and gums plenty of healthy foods to keep them strong.

5. Visit us.
Regular dental cleanings and checkups on a recommended schedule will always be important because they help us monitor your teeth and gums for early signs of problems and give you important advice on how to improve your dental routine.

Call our periodontist in North Hollywood to schedule your next appointment.

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How to Know if You Have Gum Disease

Closeup portrait of a successful business team laughing togetherThere are several warning signs that may point to gum disease. For many patients, bleeding gums trigger a wave of concern. Our dentists in North Hollywood are experts in detecting signs of gum disease and combating symptoms before they progress.

There are numerous factors that can contribute to the development of gum disease. For example, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and menstruation are known to increase gum sensitivity, allowing for gingivitis to develop. Patients with illnesses such as cancer, HPV, and diabetes are at higher risk of developing gum disease. Any of these factors paired with poor oral hygiene, smoking, or a family history of gum disease are cause for concern. If gingivitis occurs and is left untreated, it can develop into gum disease. Several periodontal treatments are available to those suffering from gingivitis, and should be sought out promptly at the sign of infection. In order to prevent and reverse gingivitis, one should practice plaque control through daily brushing and flossing. However, this is not enough. Patients must receive a professional cleaning every six months to ensure their gums are healthy. Another step would be to maintain a well-balanced diet to promote a strong immune system. Vitamins E and C are incredibly effective in repairing damaged body tissue.

When is a Dental Bridge Recommended?

Smart businesswoman

Bridges are a slightly more conservative restoration than implants, which not all patients qualify for anyway—implants require lots of healthy bone, for example. As an alternative to implants, bridges also cost a lot less. Our expert in dental bridges in North Hollywood recommends dental bridges for anyone looking to save both money and time, while maintaining a high standard of replacement.

There are three kinds of bridges. First, there’s the standard bridge that uses crowns and a pontic. The crowns are for the supporting teeth, to either side of the lost tooth, and require the supporting teeth to be modified slightly. The pontic connects to the crowns and is inserted where the natural tooth was.

Second, there’s a cantilever bridge. You need this kind of bridge if your lost tooth was on an edge and so has only one abutment tooth. The abutment tooth will still need to be modified and crowned.

Third, there’s a Maryland bridge. This is considered the most conservative bridge, and involves bonding the pontic to the abutment teeth with resin or metal clips. This eliminates the need for tooth modification, but is obviously less secure.

For more about dental bridges, contact our North Hollywood dentist.

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.

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Health

The snoring

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. It affects not just your sleep, but also many other aspects of your life and health. If our dentists determine that you have sleep apnea, treatment is essential for relieving your symptoms and restoring your health.

Consequences of sleep apnea can include:

  • Daytime fatigue as a result of repeated awakenings that prevent healthy restorative sleep
  • Moodiness, depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating due to sleep deprivation
  • High blood pressure due to repeated and sudden drops in blood oxygen levels
  • An increased risk of atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and stroke as a result of cardiovascular strain
  • An increased risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes

Sleep apnea can also affect partners and loved ones who do not suffer from the condition due to the loud, chronic snoring preventing them from getting the sleep they need, too.

Proper treatment, which may include lifestyle changes, the use of a sleep apnea oral appliance, or the use of a positive airway pressure machine, can improve your health and your quality of sleep. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule an evaluation with our sleep apnea dentist in North Hollywood.

What is Done in Preventive Dentistry?

Happy patient

Preventive dentistry is designed to prevent dental problems. Dental diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease are the leading causes of tooth loss, but they are both highly preventable with the right dental care. Our North Hollywood dentist offers treatments and preventive strategies that can help you keep your smile healthy and happy.

Good dental hygiene forms the basis of any good preventive strategy. We provide our patients with information about the best techniques and tools to eliminate plaque and bacteria from their teeth. Brushing and flossing alone are not enough to eliminate the risk of dental disease. You also need regular dental checkups.

Preventive exams are used to examine your mouth for any signs of dental disease, including early symptoms that can be easy to miss at home. We will clean and polish your teeth, and recommend specific treatments as needed.

Other preventive treatments include fluoride treatments and dental sealants. Both of these are designed to reduce the risk of decay. Sealants protect the biting surfaces of your teeth from the attacks of oral bacteria, while fluoride helps harden the enamel to make it more resilient against bacterial acids. Orthodontics can also be used in preventive dentistry, used to treat malocclusions that could increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ disorders, and other common dental problems.

Call our office today to learn more about preventive treatments, or to schedule an appointment with our expert in preventive dentistry.

What are the Benefits of Smile Makeovers?

Pure beauty

Our smile is our most important feature, and we all want to look our best. It is no wonder, then, that smile makeovers are so popular.

When more than one dental procedure is needed to improve your smile, the overall process is generally referred to as a smile makeover. Procedures utilized in a smile makeover can be restorative or purely cosmetic, with the overall goal being to improve the appearance of your smile. They can range from simple treatments like teeth whitening to complex procedures such as dental implants. There are a number of benefits to getting a smile makeover.

Corrects Many Dental Issues

Are your teeth stained? Do you have visible chips or unsightly gaps? Do your teeth look crooked or oddly shaped? No matter your issues, a smile makeover can fix it.

Variety of Procedures

With dental implants, bridges, porcelain crowns and veneers, bonding, teeth whitening, orthodontics and many other treatments at our disposal, a smile makeover can be created to match the budget, time parameters and personal needs of any patient.

Confidence Boost

No longer any need to hide your smile out of embarrassment. Hold your head high and proud with your beautiful new smile. A smile makeover will increase your confidence and improve your life.

To learn what a smile makeover can do for you, contact our North Hollywood cosmetic dentist today.