In Case of a Dental Emergency, Read This Blog

dental emergencyThe last thing anyone ever wants to deal with is a dental emergency. Dental emergencies, like any type of unexpected issue, can be scary, painful, and even confusing as to how to handle them. At our dental office in Sacramento, we want to help our patients and neighbors understand different types of dental emergencies and what to do if any happen to them.

Common Dental Emergencies & What to Do

Before we talk about what you can do at home in case of a dental emergency, there’s one thing you should always do first. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call your dentist in Sacramento as soon as you can.

If you can’t get in to see your dentist immediately, try some of the tips to relieve some of the most common dental emergencies:

  • Knocked Out Tooth – A knocked out tooth has a higher chance of being saved if it’s put back into the socket within an hour, so it’s important to act as quickly as you can. After you find the tooth, only touch the crown (the white part). Contact with the roots can cause even more damage. Try putting it back into the socket without using too much force. If you can’t, put the tooth in milk or store it under your tongue with some spit and get to a dentist.
  • Lost Filling – Losing a filling can be painful and the best thing you can do is get something into the hole. Head to a drugstore to buy over-the-counter dental cement and pack the area where the filling used to be. If you can’t find dental cement, sugarless gum is another temporary option. Whatever you do, don’t use anything with sugar, it’ll make the pain worse.
  • Chipped or Broken Tooth – Find any piece of the tooth that you can and rinse them with water. You should also give your mouth a good rinse as well. Stop any bleeding by applying pressure with a piece of gauze and use a cold compress to reduce pain.

Avoid a Problem

The best way to avoid a problem is to prevent a problem. How? We’re glad you asked! First, make sure you’re maintaining regular visits with your dentist in Sacramento at least twice a year. Regular appointments can help catch any problems before they become an annoying, and possibly painful, emergency. Next, be aware of things that may lead to an issue. For example, popcorn, sticky foods, and hard, crunchy snacks are notorious culprits of dental emergencies. Avoiding them can reduce your risk of a dental problem.

 
If you’re looking for a new dentist, are experiencing a dental emergency, or are new to the area, we welcome you to make an appointment at our Sacramento dental office. We’re here to keep smiles healthy and help those experiencing an emergency get relief.

 

“What Do I Have to Do to Be a Dentist?”

become a dentistConsidering a career as a dentist? We may be biased, but the team at our dental office in Sacramento thinks it’s the best job you could have. Dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists are an important part of a total healthcare team, and are crucial to keeping patients healthy. Not only that, but they can also be responsible for transforming smiles and giving people a confidence boost which affects their lives as a whole. If you’d like to experience the rewarding feeling we get each and every day, dentistry may be right for you.

Will You Enjoy Being a Dentist?

Before we go into the specific steps on how someone becomes a dentist, it’s important to discuss the qualities and interests one should possess in order to be happy in this field. First, an interest and excellence in the sciences is recommended. Dentistry and the courses required to become a dentist are highly science focused, so it’s crucial to have an organic attraction to science. Second, dentistry is also incredibly artistic, so you should be good with your hands and be incredibly dexterous. Lastly, you should have a desire to help people — both in terms of health and beauty.

The Steps to Become a Dentist

After you’re able to identify that the basic, underlying characteristics of being a dentist interest you, you can start to outline the steps you need to take to become a dentist.

  • Complete Your Bachelor’s Degree. While you can get your Bachelor’s in anything, you’ll be one step ahead if you focus on biology, chemistry, physiology, and other sciences.
  • Score Well on the DAT. Following undergraduate school, you’ll need to take the Dental Acceptance Test and score well to be considered for dental school.
  • Go to Dental School. Typically, dental school lasts four years and includes a combination of classes and clinical work.
  • Take Your Board Exams. Before you can practice dentistry, you’ll need to pass the National Board Dental Examinations as well as any other requirements necessary for the state you wish to practice in.

“Will I Be Able to Find a Job?”

While the job hunt is always a daunting task no matter which industry you decide to enter, there’s some good news about the rising need of dentists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job availability is projected to grow at 18% through 2024, more than double the average growth for other careers.

If you’re seriously considering a career as a dentist, our Sacramento dental office recommends that you perform research on what dentists do and what your job environment could look like to see if it’s something that will make you happy.

Top 7 Ways to Show Your Smile Some Love

love smileAt our dental office in Sacramento, we love helping our patients get a smile they’re proud of. But visits to our office twice a year are only part of what you can do to make sure you’re showing your smile the love it needs to stay healthy. If you want to get and maintain a smile you’re happy with, check out the top 7 ways to care for your smile.

 

  • Brush, brush, brush. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we have to say it. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mouth free of decay causing bacteria.  

 

  • Floss everyday. We get asked often if flossing is really that important. The short answer: Yes! If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35% of each tooth. Food particles and bacteria love to hide in between teeth, and you don’t floss, it’s left there and can lead to cavities.  

 

  • Kick the tobacco habit. About 80% of those with oral cancer use tobacco. Whether it’s chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes, if you want to keep your mouth healthy, you should try to quit.

 

  • Ease up on dark-colored drinks. We’re talking about drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine. These colorful beverages can stain teeth. Usually a professional whitening can reverse that, but other times, the staining seeps into the enamel requiring a more advanced cosmetic dentistry treatment to mask it.

 

  • Drink more water. If we could have our patients drink only one thing, it’d be water. Not only is it free of sugars and coloring, it helps neutralize acid that contributes to cavities.

 

  • Resolve dental problems early and quickly. If you suspect a dental problem, don’t let it go, especially if you’re in pain. Early resolution of many dental concerns can reduce the likelihood that you’ll need more advanced treatment or that a more serious issue will arise.

 

  • See your dentist in Sacramento twice a year. Ok we already covered the importance of this one, but it’s worth repeating. Getting a dental cleaning and checkup every six months is the best way to ensure no serious problems are creeping up and to remove plaque build up.

 

If you’re looking for a dentist, have a dental concern, or you’d like to talk about other ways to get a smile you love, schedule an appointment at our Sacramento dental office today.

The Oral Health and Heart Health Connection

heart healthOur Sacramento dental office’s philosophy of patient care revolves around keeping our patients healthy, and not just in their mouths. Many whole-body concerns are associated with oral health problems, including heart disease. This February, in celebration of Heart Health Month, we’d like to educate our patients on the oral health and heart health connection and how keeping your mouth healthy can protect your entire wellbeing.

Gum Disease and Its Link to Heart Disease

One of the main areas we’re going to explore is how gum disease can affect someone’s heart health. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection in your gums caused by a buildup of plaque on your teeth. When there’s an infection in your mouth, it can very easily be transferred into your bloodstream. If this occurs, your body produces more C-reactive protein (CRP), which is one of the known indicators of cardiovascular disease. Elevated levels of CRP can lead to some serious health issues including:

  • inflamed arteries
  • blood clots
  • heart attacks
  • strokes

Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is treatable, and treatment is easier and more successful if it’s caught early. If you notice any of the signs below, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Sacramento as soon as you can.

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Puffy, tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that feel loose

Keep Your Mouth Healthy

There are things you can do to keep your mouth and gums free of disease. We recommended maintaining appointments at our dental office in Sacramento at least twice a year. But that’s not all. It’s also important for you to follow a proper at-home oral health care routine at home. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, everyday.  

If you notice any signs of gum disease, or if you’re looking for a new dentist, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today. After all, your dentist is an important member of your health care team and can protect your body from serious diseases, like heart disease.

“What’s Making My Breath Smell?”

bad breathAt our dental office in Sacramento, we’re here to help all of our patients reach their smile and oral health goals, no matter what they are. One of the more common concerns we hear is how to combat bad breath. We’re more than happy to help get breath kissably fresh, but we’d also like to educate our neighbors on what may be causing the bad breath in the first place.

Bad Breath Isn’t Just a Mouth Problem

First thing’s first: bad breath isn’t something that only affects your oral health. In fact, bad breath is linked to several serious whole-body health concerns including, gum disease, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, and respiratory tract problems. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, call your dentist in Sacramento as soon as possible.

What’s Causing the Bad Breath?

Food

When bad breath isn’t a constant thing, it may be nothing to worry about. This is usually the case when you eat something particularly pungent like garlic or onions. While the smell can linger even after brushing, once the food leaves your system, the bad breath disappears.

Inadequate Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day can do wonders for a healthy mouth and fresh breath. Proper at-home oral hygiene helps rid the mouth of any food particles that may be wedged in between teeth and kills odor causing bacteria. Without a proper hygiene routine, bad breath is almost a sure thing.

Tobacco Use

Both smoking and chewing tobacco have a host of health risks on their own — oral cancer, tooth loss, heart disease, and stroke, to list a few. Bad breath happens to be a side effect as well. If you currently use tobacco, talk with your doctor or dental team for help on how to quit.

Dry Mouth

A number of things such as medications or mouth breathing may lead to dry mouth. While this may seem like it’s no big deal, a dry mouth is an unhealthy mouth… and often a stinky one too. A mouth becomes dry when there’s not enough saliva production. Saliva normally helps wash away bacteria and neutralize acid. Without it, teeth are left exposed to decay and bacteria that cause bad breath.

You don’t have to live with the embarrassment of bad breath. Call our Sacramento dental office today to schedule an appointment. We’ll review your oral health, habits, and conduct a thorough exam to get to the root of the problem. Then together, we’ll find a solution that’s best for you.

Top 3 Explanations to Nighttime Tongue Biting

biting tongueMany people bite their tongue while talking, chewing, or sneezing. It’s an incredibly common occurrence, although very painful. But did you know that people can bite their tongue in their sleep and not even know it until the next day? At our Sacramento dental office, we want our patients to know that nighttime tongue biting is quite common, and it may actually be a sign of something serious.

Seizures at Night

The symptoms of seizures include tensing of muscles, uncontrollable twitching, and yes, tongue biting. However, seizures aren’t necessarily only experienced during the day. In fact, someone can have no symptoms of seizures while awake and only get them while sleeping. These are called nocturnal seizures, and may be a reason of nighttime tongue biting. Treatment of nocturnal seizures usually requires medication.

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

Rhythmic movement disorder is used to describe the action of head banging and body rocking in children. These movements are typically noticed before naptime or bedtime. Due to the sudden jerks in the head and neck area, it’s common for tongue biting to come along with rhythmic movement disorder. Many times children will outgrow the disorder, but medication may be recommended.

Grinding Your Teeth

Bruxism, the technical term for teeth grinding, can be a major problem. People who grind their teeth have a habit, although sometimes subconsciously, of clenching their jaw or fiercing rubbing their top teeth against their bottom teeth. When this happens at night, the tongue can get in the way. Bruxism can also be detrimental to overall dental health and increases the chance of broken or chipped teeth. To treat it, your dentist in Sacramento will probably recommend a night guard.  

You shouldn’t have to live with the pain and nuisance of nighttime tongue biting. We welcome you to schedule an appointment at our dental office in Sacramento. We’ll work with you to see if teeth grinding may be causing your problem. If it’s not, we strongly recommend seeing your physician.

3 Things You Should Know About Whitening Your Teeth with Baking Soda

baking sodaBaking soda is a common item found in many households and has a variety of uses besides its obvious purpose — baking food. People use it to keep smells in the fridge at bay, to minimize pet odor, and even to clean carpets and clothes. For many years, baking soda has also been used to whiten teeth. But does it actually work, is it safe, and should you do it? Our dental office in Sacramento has the answers.

Does it Work?

Let’s start with the question everyone wants to know the answer to: does baking soda actually whiten teeth? Good news, it does! Baking soda has a natural, mild abrasive texture that can scrub away surface stains and allow teeth to become a purer white. Mix equal parts baking soda with water, apply to a toothbrush, brush normally and voila!, you have a brighter, whiter smile.

Does it Always Work?

While baking soda can help remove minor discoloration and staining, it’s not incredibly effective at erasing deeper stains. Some people who try to get a whiter smile through the use of baking soda are unhappy with the results. If this happens, there are several alternatives available. In-office professional whitening treatments can whiten your smile by several shades, and at-home kits provide a convenient option. If neither one of those options work, veneers or other forms of cosmetic dentistry may be the answer. Talk with your dentist in Sacramento to determine which solution is best for you.

There Are Disadvantages

Baking soda may be an attractive tooth whitening treatment to many — it’s cheap, it’s natural, and it’s easy. But there are some precautions you should take into consideration before jumping into a baking soda tooth whitening routine. First and foremost, brushing with baking soda can cause damage to the tooth enamel if you brush too hard. This could result in increased sensitivity and a greater risk for decay. Additionally, if used with braces or on teeth that have dental restorations, there is a chance the baking soda can weaken the adhesive. Due to its abrasive nature, baking soda users often complain of gum discomfort as well.

If you’re looking to get a whiter smile and want to explore your options, give our Sacramento dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll review the type of staining you have, what shade of white you’d like to achieve, the best way to get you a bright, white smile that you’ll be proud to show off.

Your Smile May Be Aging You

agingWhen we hit a certain age, we tend to place more focus on our appearance and take preventive measures to keep up a youthful look. We exercise, eat right, protect our skin with sunscreen, and visit the salon to dye our hair or undergo cosmetic procedures. But what about your smile?

At our dental office in Sacramento, we want all of our patients to be confident with their appearance at every age. And we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to help with that. While we can’t help with hair or exercise, we help with one really important feature — your smile.

When it comes to your smile, there are some things that can make you look older than you really are (and who wants that?). But thankfully there are several options available to combat any trouble you may be having. Here are some common concerns we hear, and their solutions.

Discoloration of Teeth

Whether you enjoy a cup of coffee every morning, or a glass of red wine each night, everyday foods and drinks, or even dated dental work, can cause your teeth to become less than your ideal shade of white. This can make others subconsciously tack years onto your age. Consider professional tooth whitening for an extra boost of brightness, or replace old, metal fillings and crowns with tooth-colored restorations.

Gum Recession

When gums recede, more of the tooth becomes visible, making it look longer. Unfortunately, longer teeth are also associated with a higher age, hence the phrase ‘long in the tooth.’ Gum recession is usually caused by rough brushing, grinding, gum disease, or even genetics. But don’t worry, there are several ways to fix it. If caught early, a simple change in your brushing technique may be enough. If it’s more progressed, a deeper cleaning known as scaling and root planing, or gum grafting may be appropriate. Your dentist in Sacramento will discuss the best option for you.

Facial Collapse

When teeth are missing, they may be replaced with a denture or partial. Both are great options to get your smile functioning again. But sometimes, an ill-fitting denture or a long time spent without one, can cause your facial muscles to droop or sag. When your jaw bone isn’t stimulated through forces like chewing, it can actually begin to deteriorate, causing facial muscles like the chin to sink and your face to appear older. Make sure your denture is giving your bone enough stimulation or consider permanent dental implants as a replacement.

If you’re concerned about your smile’s appearance, our Sacramento dental office can help. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We’ll discuss your smile goals and determine the best way to reach them.