The Silent Threat: Oral Infections | Bell Dentist

Oral health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it often takes a back seat in our daily healthcare routine. One of the most underestimated risks to our oral health is the threat of oral infections. These infections can silently wreak havoc, causing discomfort, pain, and even long-term damage if left untreated.

The Hidden Dangers

Oral infections encompass a range of conditions, from common gum diseases like gingivitis to more severe issues like abscesses. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can find a home in our mouths, thriving in warm and moist environments. Poor oral hygiene, a diet high in sugars, and a weakened immune system can create a breeding ground for these microorganisms.

Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, is often characterized by swollen and bleeding gums. If neglected, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Oral abscesses, pockets of pus that form within the teeth or gums, are another serious consequence of untreated infections. Not only do they cause intense pain, but they can also spread infection to other parts of the body if not addressed promptly.

Prevention is Key

The good news is that oral infections are largely preventable with proper oral hygiene practices. Regular brushing and flossing, coupled with routine dental check-ups, play a crucial role in keeping these infections at bay. Avoiding excessive sugar consumption and adopting a balanced diet can also contribute to overall oral health.

Early Detection and Intervention

Being vigilant about the signs of oral infections is equally important. Persistent bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, and pain are red flags that should not be ignored. Seeking prompt dental care at the first sign of trouble can prevent the escalation of the infection and minimize potential damage.

Oral infections are a silent threat that can compromise not only our oral health but also our overall well-being. By prioritizing preventive measures and staying attuned to the early signs of infection, we can safeguard our smiles and enjoy a lifetime of good oral health. Don’t let the silent threat of oral infections catch you off guard—take proactive steps to protect your teeth and gums today.

If you want to learn more, contact Dr. Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalandimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

The Difference Between Commercial and Private Dental Practices | Bell Dentist

When it comes to oral health, the choice between a commercial dental practice and a private dental practice is a decision that many individuals face. Each type of practice has its unique set of characteristics, catering to diverse preferences and needs.

Commercial dental practices, often part of larger corporate chains, are characterized by their accessibility and widespread availability. These practices are typically found in bustling commercial areas, making them convenient for individuals seeking dental care amid their busy lives. With extended hours and walk-in appointments, commercial practices prioritize accessibility, aiming to accommodate a broad spectrum of patients.

On the other hand, private dental practices are smaller, independently owned clinics that often foster a more personalized atmosphere. These practices are commonly run by a single dentist or a small group of practitioners, emphasizing continuity of care and a deeper patient-dentist relationship. Private practices are known for their patient-centered approach, where individuals can expect more individualized attention and a familiar face during each visit.

One of the defining differences between commercial and private practices is the approach to treatment plans and procedures. Commercial practices may employ a more standardized approach, driven by corporate guidelines, whereas private practices often have the flexibility to tailor treatment plans to the specific needs and preferences of their patients. This personalized touch can create a more comfortable and reassuring experience for individuals seeking dental care.

Cost considerations also play a significant role in the decision-making process. Commercial practices may offer competitive pricing and package deals, appealing to those on a budget. Private practices, while potentially perceived as more expensive, often provide a transparent breakdown of costs and may work with patients to explore financing options. The emphasis on quality and personalized care in private practices can be a worthwhile investment for those who prioritize a comprehensive and individualized dental experience.

In conclusion, the choice between a commercial and private dental practice ultimately boils down to individual preferences, priorities, and the level of care one seeks. Whether it’s the convenience and accessibility of commercial practices or the personalized touch of private clinics, both options contribute to the diverse landscape of dental care, ensuring that individuals can find a provider that aligns with their unique needs and expectations.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

What To Know About Wisdom Tooth Removal | Bell Dentist

Wisdom tooth removal is a very common procedure performed on a majority of young adults and is nothing to be afraid of. Wisdom teeth are located behind our molars and don’t typically break beyond the gemlike until our late teens to early twenties, if at all. Yet, if they do break, they can crowd valuable gum space and can cause third molars to grow improperly and teeth to overlap one another; for individuals with small mouths and jaws, this is especially detrimental.

If your wisdom teeth do break through, and begin to cause problems, here is the process you can expect to go through with your dentist, and what recovery will look like when you get home.

Consultation. If you are feeling the growing pains of new teeth coming in at the back of your jaw, it may be a sign your wisdom teeth are coming in. It is common for this set of teeth to erupt in young adults between one’s late teenage years to their early twenties.

Removal. The removal process will look a little different for everyone depending on the circumstances of tooth positioning, jaw size and angle at which wisdom teeth come in. For some, this set of molars does not impact their jaw or existing teeth and they can safely retain them. Most people however do require removal and have two options:

         IV Sedation. For those with dental anxiety or who are generally concerned about their procedure, IV sedation is a great option. Upon arrival, you are allowed a few minutes to breathe and relax as an IV drip slowly puts you to sleep. When the procedure is over, you will wake up and may experience a somewhat dazed feeling until the solution fades.

         Nitrous Oxide. Commonly known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide allows one to remain awake during the procedure and is administered as a means of relaxing an individual into their procedure. It’s important to note that nitrous oxide does not work for everyone and that increased amounts do not necessarily mean a more effective result.

Recovery. Initial recovery from the effects of sedation or nitrous oxide after surgery typically only lasts a few hours. Healing time for the gums can take up to two weeks and the reintroduction of certain foods follow this period so as not to further disturb your gums. Your dentist will speak with you about proper cleaning methods for the gums to ensure a safe and effective healing process.

Wisdom tooth removal can be viewed as either a rite of passage into adulthood or terrifying for someone to go through. Either way, the removal of our wisdom teeth for those who attain them is important.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Cavities: What They Are and How They Happen | Bell Dentist

Cavities are something a majority of us can expect to encounter at least once in our lifetimes. It’s important to understand the behaviors that can increase the likelihood you will get a cavity and the different ways dentists go about treating simple and serious decay. Here are some things we think you should know about cavities so you can stop them before you need to treat them.

How They Happen


Acidic Foods– Citric acid contained in lemons, limes, and oranges also pops up as an ingredient in processed foods. Citric acid and others weaken teeth and put enamel in danger of erosion which in turn creates crevices for bacteria to stick and become a cavity. It would be difficult to avoid citric acid, so the best thing you can do is consume water throughout the day and keep the intake of acidic foods to a minimum.

Sugar– While sugar doesn’t cause cavities, like citric acid, it contributes to the likelihood you may develop one. Sugar is a harmful bacteria’s favorite food, so the longer sugar lingers on your teeth, the more likely that bacteria will begin to eat it. This weakens your enamel and creates opportunities for that harmful bacteria to hang around and cause a cavity.

Believe it or not, children are not more prone to develop cavities than adults, but there are factors that may put children and elderly individuals at more risk for tooth decay. Children tend to crave and eat sugary foods while doing a poor job brushing their teeth. The elderly tend to take medication that reduces the amount of saliva they produce thus reducing the neutralization properties of saliva. Drinking water throughout the day and regular dental visits can help both children and their grandparents to reduce the chances harmful bacteria may cause a cavity.

Treatment Options

If you wake up to a toothache or notice black spots on a tooth, you may have a cavity. Cavities are a common occurrence and dentists have several means of treating them. Treatment options vary depending on how advanced the tooth decay has become.

Simple Decay- Fluoride treatments and fillings are viable treatment options if the cavity is in its early stages. Your dentist will apply a solution to the decaying tooth to kill harmful bacteria and place a filling where the cavity was to seal the area to prevent further decay. This is a fairly simple and painless method for cavity removal, as well as the most common treatment option.

Serious Decay- If the cavity has progressed beyond the ability of fluoride treatment to remove the bacteria, crowns, root canals and tooth extraction are a dentist’s next line of defense. Crowns are custom coverings for decaying teeth; typically made from porcelain, they work to strengthen your affected tooth once the bacteria has been removed. If the decay reaches the inner tooth or pulp, your dentist will remove the pulp, medicate it to clear any infection, and add a filling. Tooth extraction is a last resort option when the decayed tooth is beyond restoration. Your dentist may recommend a bridge or implant for the gap.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

What You Should Know About Flouride | Bell Dentist

There is a lot to be said about the use and consumption of fluoride; it has historically split public opinion Proponents of fluoride tout its ability to aid in the fight against cavities and tooth decay. Opponents say fluoride is a harmful neurotoxin that has been pumped into our community’s water without express permission by the people.

While trace amounts of fluoride have been added to public water for decades, it has yet to cause widespread neurological issues. According to smiledentalcenterct.com, “research has shown that by adding fluoride to public water supplies, tooth decay-related conditions decline by 25 percent among adults and children.” The addition of fluoride is meant to be a public health benefit, rather than a source of controversy.

As with anything, there is such thing as too much fluoride; two dental visits a year and drinking community water, however, isn’t likely to cause harm. Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis that changes the color of tooth enamel and is likely to impact children ages eight and younger as their teeth grow in. As a result, it is not recommended to give children fluoride toothpaste- especially as they develop the motor skills to properly brush and not swallow the paste.

A dentist may dissuade a patient from using fluoride toothpaste if they experience an allergic reaction, or if the individual feels strongly about the amount of fluoride in their daily lives. Fluoride-free formulas offer the same cleaning power and are recommended over not using toothpaste; the difference is that on average, fluoride formulas reduce the number of cavities and occurrence of tooth decay one may experience over their lifetime.

In general, trace amounts of fluoride in drinking water work to improve the oral health of our communities and the use of fluoride toothpaste is safe for adults. The decision to use fluoride toothpaste lies with the individual, but he or she may need to take extra steps such as mouthwash and flossing to ensure they receive the cavity-fighting benefits normally provided by fluoride formulas.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures | Bell Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry can transform the appearance of your teeth while retaining or enhancing your oral health. Cosmetic dentists may employ the use of anesthesia for surgical improvement, but most cosmetic procedures are non-invasive. If you are interested in improving the look of your smile with cosmetic dentistry, we’ve compiled some of the most common procedures you may consider.

Veneer Application – you can think of a veneer as a thin shell that fits over the surface of your existing teeth to improve the color, shape, size, or length of teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain or a resin composite and permanently bonded to the teeth.

Gum Reshaping – when your gums appear more pronounced than your teeth, or your gemlike is uneven, a cosmetic dentist may recommend gum reshaping. Essentially, a small amount of gum or bone tissue is removed or contoured to even out the appearance of your gum line or tooth ratio.

Crowns – similar to a veneer, dental crowns are a porcelain or ceramic tooth look-alike that fits over a weak or damaged tooth. Crowns are made to fully encase the tooth and can last between five to 15 years depending on how well they are cared for.

Braces – these are within the realm of cosmetic dentistry because braces shift the teeth into optimal positions for your bite and mouth size. Braces are one of the most common procedures a cosmetic dentist may perform, as tooth alignment is just as much about oral health as it is aesthetics.

Teeth Whitening – a common procedure for cosmetic dentists is teeth whitening. Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, predisposition, and many other things can contribute to a less-than-white smile. If over-the-counter methods haven’t quite worked to bring back your pearly whites, you may consider speaking with a cosmetic dentist for a more intense treatment.

Dental Bonding– for chipped, cracked, or gapped teeth, your dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin to the chipped area. They will layer resin, utilizing a UV light to harden it as they go, in order to build back the original look of the chipped tooth or teeth.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Understanding Dental Specialties | Bell Dentist

Believe it or not, not all dentists are the same. In fact, there is a variety of specialties within this field that allow individuals to specialize in different aspects of oral care. Here is a list of dental specialties, and the areas of focus they attend to.

A Prosthodontist repairs deficient teeth and replaces missing ones. As their name suggests, they work with prosthetics and custom-fit dentures and crowns as permanent replacements for missing teeth. 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons treat diseases, injuries, and defects of hard and soft oral tissues. They may work with patients whose cases require work on the jaw, face, and mouth with issues ranging from misalignment to tumors and cysts within this region.

Endodontists diagnose, treat, and prevent infections and injuries to the pulp or nerves of teeth. You may seek the opinion of an endodontist if you experience acute pain in your tooth, injure a tooth or notice swelling around the teeth and gums. They perform root canals, treat traumatic dental injuries and apply dental implants.

An orthodontist specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of misaligned bites, and the neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of orofacial structures. You may visit an orthodontist to evaluate jaw alignment, straighten teeth, close gaps or improve speech. If you are referred to an orthodontist by your dentist, it is important to make a visit to better understand how you may improve your oral alignment as misalignment can lead to serious health concerns later on.

Periodontists are experts on gum health. Your dentist will recommend a periodontist if you show signs of gingivitis (gum disease), have a complex case of gingivitis or are at risk of tooth loss. Periodontists will aid in the prevention of gum disease, and support your natural or manmade teeth as they monitor your soft oral tissues.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Dry Mouth Causes and Symptoms: A Guide | Bell Dentist

Dry mouth can be caused by a natural inability of your glands to produce sufficient saliva, medication, aging issues, or as a result of radiation therapy. Dry mouth is a condition in which one’s salivary glands produce an insufficient amount of saliva to keep your mouth wet.

Saliva is important because it naturally prevents tooth decay by neutralizing acids, limiting bacterial growth, and washing away food particles throughout the day. It also makes food consumption easier as enzymes in the saliva aid in the breakdown of food. While dry mouth is an inconvenience, it can also have a notable impact on your general and oral health.

Dry Mouth Habits:

  – Consumption of caffeine and alcohol

– The use of tobacco, antihistamines, and decongestants

– Consumption of sugary, acidic, spicy, or salty foods 

Common Symptoms:

– Dryness or sticky mouth feel

– Bad breath

– Dry or grooved tongue

– Difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing

Complications:

– Increased plaque

– Mouth sores

– Tooth decay

– Gum disease

– Sores or split skin around the mouth

Due to the variety of causes for dry mouth, it’s important to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your dentist however may be a good resource for suggestions about protecting your teeth.

At-home remedies:

– Sip water or chew ice chips during the day and during meals

– Chew sugar-free gum

– Over-the-counter saliva substitutes

– Breathe through your nose

– Utilize a humidifier

Contact Dr. Ahmadi today at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalandimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Effective Communication With Your Dentist Matters | Bell Dentist

Discussing your concerns with your dentist is paramount to making the most of your visits with them. You are responsible for the daily maintenance of your oral care, and while your dentist is there to prevent or treat major issues, they can’t know everything going on at home. It’s important to share anything that may be of concern for your ability to either maintain a proper routine and any complications you may be experiencing.

Warning Signs:

It’s important to remember that your dentist is on your team; they are open to answering your questions with knowledge and experience. If you have any concerns about your teeth, gums, jaw, or are experiencing any pain it is important to share that with your dentist. It’s easy to turn to the internet for answers to these concerns, but lifestyle habits among other things are factors your dentist can consider with you. If any of the following apply to you, it is important to discuss them with your dentist before they potentially get worse:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sores in the mouth that do not heal
  • Sensitivity or pain
  • Clenching your jaws
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Problems with brushing or flossing

Health and Lifestyle Changes:

If you make changes to your lifestyle, such as reducing or increasing medications or the consumption of coffee or nicotine, it’s important to let your dentist know. These seemingly nominal changes can greatly impact your oral health over time. The acid in coffee may weaken your enamel over time, whereas reducing consumption may allow it to remain intact. The potential impact of nicotine from cigarettes or chewing tobacco on oral health is another important thing to share so your dentist can look for signs of change.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Are You Having A Dental Emergency? | Bell Dentist

Dental emergencies happen and can occur at any time, anywhere. As with any emergency, it’s going to throw us into fight or flight mode, raising our cortisol levels and potentially even causing us to freeze in our tracks wondering what the best plan of action may be. If a dental emergency does happen, do your best not to panic, and keep the following information about what to do during a dental emergency in mind.

What is an emergency?

Dental emergencies refer to events that occur in which you need to immediately save a tooth, need to attend to a bleed or begin experiencing acute tooth or mouth pain. A cracked or lost tooth following a traumatic incident are a good example.

Common emergencies

Tooth Loss –  For children who still have their baby teeth, the loss of a tooth, be it the tooth’s “turn” or due to trauma, isn’t as much a cause for concern as the loss of an adult tooth. If your child suffers the unintentional loss of a tooth due to trauma, contact their dentist right away to ensure pieces of bone are not lingering in the socket, and do not attempt to place the tooth back in their socket. An adult who has lost a tooth should attempt to place the tooth in the socket without touching the root. If that is not possible, the tooth can be stored between your cheek and gum, in milk, or an ADA-approved preservation solution. It’s important to keep the tooth wet until you can have the situation, and lost tooth, evaluated by your dentist.

Cracked Tooth – If you crack your tooth, it’s important to rinse your mouth to clear it of immediate debris that may embed itself in the crack. Then, place an ice pack on the site to reduce the pain and swelling. Wrap the tooth in wet gauze or a piece of cloth, and call your dentist to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Toothache – Simply rinse your mouth with warm water, gently floss to remove food debris, and note any facial swelling that may occur. Swelling may signal an infection, and if the swelling does occur, place an ice pack on the site to reduce it and ease the pain. Call your dentist right away so he or she may evaluate the situation and advise you on how to proceed.

Preventing emergencies

Here are a few common ways patients increase their risk of a dental emergency. It’s best to avoid these common mistakes, as it’s easier to avoid an emergency than to recover from one.

  • Don’t use your teeth when scissors can do the job
  • Wear a mouthguard when engaging in contact or high-impact sports
  • Wear a helmet whenever engaging in activities such as biking and rock climbing
  • Avoid chewing on hard candies and ice
  • Help your child keep toys, trinkets, and hard items out of their mouth

Dental emergencies happen, and if they do, try to remain calm, and contact your dentist immediately.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.