How Did I Develop TMJ Disorder? | Bell Dentist

Have you noticed you’ve been experiencing jaw pain when you wake up lately? If nothing has happened to you physically, but you still have jaw pain and headaches, you may begin to consider taking a trip to the dentist. Unfortunately, you may be developing TMJ disorder.

But what is TMJ disorder? It isn’t a term many of us are familiar with. TMJ disorders are problems with the jaw joint. A problem with the muscles or joints in your jaw can lead to headaches, ear pain, bite problems, jaw pain and much more. There are several conditions that can end up causing TMJ:

Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. Sufferers of bruxism often wake up with jaw or ear pain. This is due to wear on the cartilage lining of the temporomandibular joint.

Gum chewing or nail biting. Using your teeth as tools is going to eventually damage your teeth, but when it begins to affect your TMJ, it may be time to break this terrible habit.

Malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth. Some people find it hard to chew on a certain side of their teeth due to misalignment, so they habitually chew on the other side causing excess stress on that side of the jaw.

Previous jaw fractures or injury. Some of the symptoms of TMJ are headache, ear pain, dizziness and ringing in the ear. If you have any of these symptoms and feel you may have a TMJ disorder, contact your dental professional for a consultation. They may be able to evaluate your symptoms in order to help alleviate your pain and get you feeling your best.

If you would like to find out more about TMJ disorder, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Deciding Between Bonding and Veneers | Bell Dentist

We all want a great smile, but there aren’t many of us that can naturally pull it off. When we decide it’s time to get the smile we’ve always wanted, it’s time to pay a visit to our dental professional. Together you will design a dental treatment plan you both can agree upon and the process begins. But with all these options, it can become a bit overwhelming, especially when treatment options are very similar. For the sake of clarifying any questions, let’s take a moment to break down two – dental bonding and porcelain veneers.

Dental bonding uses a smooth, tooth-colored solution which is applied to teeth. It covers stains and fills in small chips and gaps. After the dental bonding solution has been applied and shaped a specialized dental light is used to harden the bonding material. When the process is complete the tooth is then polished. Bonding is great for patients who need one or two teeth corrected.

Porcelain veneers are fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. They fit over the front and underside of your tooth covering the entire surface of visible tooth. Veneers can be fitted to lengthen or widen teeth to close gaps or fill in chips. Porcelain veneers are generally used for patients who have several cosmetic problems or want their entire set of front-facing teeth made over. While veneers and bonding are cosmetic procedures used to treat similar problems, veneers may be a better alternative in cases where the patient wants to adjust the size or shape of the tooth.

If you would like to find out more about dental bonding and veneers, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Why Does My Breath Smell Bad? | Bell Dentist

It’s quite possibly one of the more embarrassing issues someone could point out to you. So much so, we go to various lengths to prevent it from happening. It’s common and natural, but still a bit shocking to realize. Yes, it’s time to talk about halitosis, or what is commonly called bad breath.

Because there are so many ways one can develop bad breath, so let’s break down the options:

Bacteria. When your mouth isn’t moist enough to produce saliva, bacteria will breed inside your mouth. The longer that bacteria are stagnate, the more chance they have to multiply and give off toxins and stinky odors.

Tonsils. The deep holes in your tonsils, called crypts, are a common cause of halitosis. If your tonsils are too wide and pitted, a cheese-like smelly substance collects in these holes, causing bad breath.

Foods. There are definitely plenty of delicious foods in our diet that can cause our breath to smell. Onion, garlic, and fish are just a few examples of foul-smelling breath culprits.

Stomach issues. Sometimes gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD or an ulcer, can cause bad breath when burping. If you are on a low-carb diet, like keto, which causes a fat-burning state in the body that produces dragon breath.

Bad habits. One of the obvious bad habits we have is with tobacco. Any type of smoking (cigarettes, cigars & pipes), and especially chewing tobacco can leave you with a really nasty taste – and smell – in your mouth. 

Medications. Lastly, there are some medications that can cause dry mouth, leading to a case of halitosis. If this is an issue for you, talk to your dental professional for prevention tips.

If you would like to find out more about bad breath, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Is It Possible to Get Rid of Plaque? | Bell Dentist

We all want our smile to be the best it can possibly be, but in order to keep it that way, we take some time every day to brush, floss and rinse our teeth. Taking this moment will not only you’re your smile clean and bright but will also prevent future dental issues from arising. Unfortunately, if we aren’t diligent, the result will develop into plaque.

The formation of plaque is caused by the lack of thorough brushing and flossing within our daily dental routine. Plaque poses as a huge threat to your teeth because once the plaque hardens, the end result is tartar. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed with brushing or flossing, but can be removed through professional teeth cleanings, which means another dental appointment in your future.

During this dental appointment, you can expect to receive a full scheduled hour with a registered dental hygienist, who will use the latest technology to thoroughly clean the surfaces of your teeth in order to prevent a variety of problems including tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, you will not only diminish any plaque buildup in your mouth but will be able to maintain ideal oral health. Along with a professional teeth cleaning, your dental hygienist will take the time to check periodontal measurements, check oral pathology, and perform fluoride treatments.

It is necessary to emphasize the importance of professional teeth cleanings because brushing and flossing alone will not completely prevent dental problems. As much as you may try to avoid it, visiting the dentist on a regular basis is a must. Only they can truly ensure you’re keeping your smile the healthiest it can be.

If you would like to find out more about plaque, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

What to Do When You Crack a Tooth

Ouch!
Chomp on something your tooth didn’t like? Or get hit in the mouth with a hockey puck?

If you think you may have a cracked tooth, or if you’re holding a piece of your tooth in your hand, follow these steps!

  1. Give us a call to schedule an appointment 323 312-0500. Let us know about your emergency and we will make our best effort to see you right away or you can also make an online appointment!
  2. If there are tooth fragments that have fallen out, preserve them in a clean container with a moist solution (cold milk, water, saliva), and bring them in to your appointment.
  3. Apply a cold pack to your jaw to lessen any pain and swelling.
  4. If bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad until bleeding stops. It is possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it.

If you have any pain when biting down, or when eating something hot or cold, it’s best to get it checked out.

In order to prevent further damage to the tooth or an infection, it’s very important to correct a cracked tooth immediately.

How Apples are Good for Your Teeth

People have been asserting that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” since the 19th century. While it may not necessarily be true that those who eat apples never have to see a doctor, apples certainly have great health benefits for our bodies! Did you know they can even be good for our teeth? Let’s take a look at what the research says …

It’s widely thought that chewing a crisp, fresh apple can help brush away plaque on our teeth. We’re not too sure on this one, as some studies show a higher plaque content on teeth after eating an apple. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them.

You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind.

As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay!

Reasons You May Have A Dry Mouth

We all know drinking enough water is good for our health. And when you’re feeling parched, there’s nothing better than a tall drink of ice-cold water to dampen that dry mouth of yours. But what do you do when you find yourself constantly needing to wet your whistle? There are numerous reasons you could be suffering from dry mouth.

Below are the top five.

Physiologic

Sometimes having a dry mouth is just a normal part of life. Temporary anxiety, open-mouthed breathing, mild dehydration, menopause, pregnancy, and decreased saliva due to sleep are all normal causes of dry mouth.

Prescription medication

Sixty-three percent of the top 200 most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. are known to cause dry mouth. And the higher the number of medications a person takes, the higher the chance of dry mouth. That’s why as we age, we tend to experience more instances of dry mouth. It’s not necessarily age-related, but our consumption of medication may cause this side effect.

Habitual use of alcohol and tobacco

Use of any of these products will dry out the oral cavity.

Please drink in moderation, and make sure to up your water intake when you imbibe. As for tobacco, we always recommend quitting as soon as possible.

Chronic Disease

Diabetes, Sjogren’s disease, Sarcoidosis, Hepatitic C can all cause dry mouth.

Psychogenic or Idiopathic

When symptoms are present without an identifiable cause (idiopathic), or because of psychological causes (psychogenic), they can be difficult to diagnose. If you find yourself with a persistent, unidentifiable case of dry mouth, you should make an appointment with our office.

Figuring out which one is causing your dry mouth is so important because a dry mouth has a big effect on your dental health. Saliva is so important for swishing away bacteria.

The dryer the mouth, the more prone you are to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. We recommend visiting us or your doctor for a consultation on why you may be experiencing a dry mouth.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Ever look at a photo of yourself from only a few years ago and ask yourself, “Huh, were my teeth looked a bit brighter back then?” We definitely do.

Coffee and red wine usually get the blame for teeth discoloration, but several other causes may be the culprit.

Common Reasons for Tooth Discoloration

• Spotty Dental Routine We’re definitely a little biased at Dental and Implant Care Center. But if you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque can harden into tartar, leaving a yellow-brown color along your gums.

• Diet Some of the foods we hold dearest to our heart, at least at Dental and Implant Care Center — like coffee on a Monday morning or an apple on a crisp, cool day — can stain our teeth. Besides coffee and red wine, a few of the top offenders include tea, berries, grapes, tomato and soy sauces, soda, dark juices, and white wine.

• Tobacco Use Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause a slew of health issues, the least worrisome of which is yellow teeth. That said, it’s one of the most common aesthetic complaints among tobacco users. • Too Much Fluoride Fluoride is a good thing, but like all good things, too much of it isn’t recommended. Consuming too much of it, like in tap water or through dental care products (like mouthwash), can leave streaks across or a brown outline on your teeth.

• Enamel Decay Enamel is that hard shell that protects the inside of your tooth. But if it decays or doesn’t fully develop, you may see a variety of stains and changes, including pits, white spots, or yellow-brown streaks. If you suspect decay, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.

What Helps Prevent Stains Pardon our sounding like a broken record, but generally, the one great way to prevent teeth discoloration is to take exquisite care of your teeth and your health. Here are some of our favorite measures you can take right away to keep your teeth bright:

• Brush after eating or drinking

• Floss daily

• Pass on the sugary foods and drinks

• Add calcium to your diet

• Nix any tobacco use

We Can Help! If you need some help adding more sparkle to your smile, we’re here for you. We offer a number of whitening services. Give us a call to learn more or to schedule your appointment!

What You Need To Know About Crossbites

Typically, when a parent brings a young child to the dentist, the last discussion they’re expecting to have is one centered on braces and orthodontic appliances. Yet, even at ages three and four, a talk about braces, sagittal expanders, and retainers can indeed be front and center when a child is diagnosed with a crossbite. The question then is what to do about it, how soon should intervention take place, and what the complications are that can arise if nothing is done at all. Let’s get some answers.

What Exactly Is a Crossbite?

Imagine for a moment you’re sitting in front of a nice soup bowl with a wide flat brim, and inside that bowl is hearty chowder you’d like to keep warm until you’re ready to devour it. So, you grab another bowl designed exactly like the first, and hover it upside-down over the bowl containing the soup. As you slowly lower it, you try to line up the brims so when they rest together they form a nice even seal. Unfortunately, given the soup is hot, you don’t quite get the brims to line up perfectly, and the edge of the top bowl ends up resting just slightly to the left of the lip on the bottom bowl. The way these two bowls now rest unevenly atop one another is exactly what you would see in a person with a crossbite. A crossbite can affect several teeth, or a single tooth, and can occur on either one side of the mouth or both. Simply put, if any one tooth (or several teeth) lies nearer the tongue or cheek instead of coming together evenly, you’re likely dealing with a crossbite.

So, What To Do About It And When?

The dental community is split on when to initiate treatment for a crossbite, with some suggesting treatment should begin as soon as it is noticed (sometimes as early as age three), while others suggest parents should wait until a child’s sixth year molars have arrived. Despite the difference of opinion as to when treatment should begin, dentists and orthodontist are in agreement that the condition cannot be left untreated. Doing so presents a host of complications for the child later in life including gum and tooth wear, uneven jaw development that can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and facial asymmetry – something no parent or child wants. What Does Crossbite Treatment Look Like? Crossbite treatment generally involves adjusting the spread of a child’s teeth with dental appliances so the bite pattern matches evenly on all sides. Depending on the type of crossbite a child has, this can be done with dental expanders that resemble orthodontic retainers, and include a screw that is tightened nightly to “spread” a child’s bite to the prescribed width. Additionally, dental facemasks, braces and clear aligners may be used – particularly when a single tooth is out of alignment. Crossbites are generally regarded as genetic in nature, and they’re not overly common. It is, however, a condition that needs to be treated before permanent damage to a child’s facial and oral development occurs. So, if you find yourself at the other end of a discussion about having your little one wear a dental expander, be sure you listen and get however many opinions regarding that advice as you require. Your child, and your wallet, will thank you long into the future.

Understanding the Five Stages of Tooth Decay

Did you know there are five distinct stages of tooth decay? And, that in the first stage of decay, you can actually take steps to reverse the progression of the disease? Indeed, it’s true. In the first stage of decay, whether you’re a child or an adult, the application of fluoride via fluoride treatments, your toothpaste and even the local water supply can stop a cavity from penetrating through the enamel and reaching its second stage. Even the saliva in your mouth and the foods you eat help to re-mineralize a tooth in jeopardy. But that’s just the first stage! What about the rest? Understanding how a cavity progresses can assist you in preventing each successive stage from occurring in your children. There’s always a lot going on in that little mouth!

Stage One: White Spots

In stage one, the tooth begins to show signs of strain from the attack of sugars and acids, and white spots will begin to materialize just below the surface of the enamel. These white spots are representative of the demineralization of the tooth and can be easy to miss because they’re likely to occur on your child’s molars. A dental exam, of course, is designed to catch such cavities! Can you see why regular visits to the dentist are recommended? As mentioned previously, at this stage, the cavity can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth.

Stage Two: Enamel Decay

Stage two marks the beginning of the end for the surface enamel that is being attacked. Initially, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, so the outer enamel will still be intact for the first half of this second stage. Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, there is no turning back, and your child will need to have the cavity corrected with a filling.

Stage Three: Dentin Decay

If a cavity in your child’s mouth were to progress beyond stage two without you knowing, you’d tend become aware of it when it started to hit stage three because it would probably start to cause some pain. At this level, the cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel: the dentin. A filling can still be used to stop the onslaught of bacteria assaulting the tooth in order to prevent the cavity from reaching the tooth’s most critical component: the pulp.

Stage Four: Involvement of The Pulp

Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it’s going to hurt. A lot. So if you’ve unfortunately missed all the signs to this point, a screaming child or moaning teenager will certainly let you know there is a big problem. Stage four is serious, and a root canal is the only option of treatment at this stage, save for a complete extraction.

Stage Five: Abscess Formation

In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection has reached the tip of the root and exited the tip of the tooth’s structure. This in turn infects the surrounding tissues and possibly the bone structure. Swelling would be commonplace and pain severe. In children (as well as adults) an abscess can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. Root canal or extraction would be the order of the day should decay reach this stage.  Need to see us? Give a call at (323) 312-0500 or make a online appointment here!

As you can see, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stall and reverse the progression of these dastardly little devils, so it really does pay to visit the dentist at pre-selected intervals. You can keep your kids far from stage five their whole lives, and if a little bit of prodding to get them to the dentist accomplishes that, you can rest easy despite the griping.