Got a Cold Sore? Here’s How to Treat It Quickly | Bell Dentist

Ugh. A cold sore appears a couple days before a party where you’ll be photographed as much as the Royal Couple. That smile that we’ve been working on together just went from hero to zero, right?

Not necessarily. Finding which cold sore treatment works best for you can help speed along its healing. And that’s why we’re here.

Maybe it isn’t a cold sore, right? Let’s clear the air about what a cold sore is and isn’t.

Cold sores are contagious blisters that usually appear on your lips or around your mouth. Caused by a virus, cold sores usually start with a tingling sensation, evolve into numerous tiny, painful blisters, and later crust over.

Canker sores, on the other hand, aren’t contagious, but they still sting. Unlike cold sores, they usually appear as white oval lesions inside your mouth, especially near or on your gums.

Remedies for Cold Sores

The key to treating a cold sore is acting fast. As soon as the first symptom appears, consider these steps to move the healing process along quickly:

  • Apply ice to the cold sore. At the first sign, grab an ice cube, wrap it in a paper towel, place it where you feel the cold sore coming on, and let it melt. Back-to-back applications can reduce the pain.
  • Switch to a cold sore-fighting diet. You can boost your immune system’s fight against this viral nuisance with the right foods. Fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, and avoid foods with arginine, a cold-sore-triggering amino acid found in nuts, chocolate, and oats.
  • Dial down the stress. One of the most common causes of cold sores is, surprise, surprise, stress. Minimizing stress these days can get so complicated that it causes more stress, right? But try giving yourself some time for the restorative, restful activities that drop your heart rate and raise your smile.
  • Reach for aloe vera or even an over-the-counter cream. Both natural and medicinal creams have shown promise as cold sore remedies. Some studies suggest that aloe vera can help the fever blister heal, and over-the-counter creams, like docosanol, also tout their ability to knock the sore out of cold sores. Prefer the medicinal route? Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using it.
  • Relieve pain with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Some cold sores can get really painful. For those intense ones, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may provide well-needed relief. Just be sure that your healthcare provider’s on-board with that type of over-the-counter med.

There you have it. You’re on the fast track to treating that cold sore quickly and living your best life at the party. Don’t forget to smile!

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

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

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies | Bell Dentist

Let’s say you sprained an ankle. What are your first steps? Most of us probably would say something along the lines of plop down on the nearest couch, ice the ankle, elevate it, add some compression, and see a doctor if it’s a bad sprain.

But what about a dental emergency, like a broken tooth? What’s your first step? Don’t be surprised if you don’t know. Most of us aren’t that familiar with the recommendations. But after this post, you’ll be the go-to source if it happens.

So, what exactly is a dental emergency? A dental emergency is any event that warrants immediate care to save a tooth, stop bleeding from the mouth, or relieve tooth or mouth pain. Some of the most common examples we see at Dental & Implant Care Center include a cracked or knocked-out tooth or a toothache.

Tips for Treating Common Dental Emergencies

We see our fair share of dental emergencies here in Bell and we’re equipped to handle them all. If you or a family member experience any of these, call us as soon as possible, and we’ll let you know if you’ll need to see one of our dentists.

Knocked-out tooth. For adults, place the tooth in the socket without touching the root; if that’s not possible, place the tooth between your check and gums, in milk, or in ADA-approved tooth-preservation solution. It’s crucial to keep the tooth wet. For children with baby teeth, come to our office as soon as possible; do not try to place the tooth in the socket.

Cracked tooth. Rinse your mouth and place an ice pack on your face to reduce the swelling. Wrap the tooth up in wet gauze or a towel and bring it to the office.

Toothache. Use warm water to rinse your mouth, and gently floss to remove any food. If you note any facial swelling (which may signal infection), come to our office or your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Bitten tongue or lip. Clean the area with a cloth or rinse your mouth with water. Apply an ice pack to the area. If the bleeding doesn’t slow, come to our office or go to the ER.

Tips for Preventing Emergencies

Taking the right measures can keep your teeth safe. Here are a few easy precautions you and your family can take each day:

  • Use scissors or a tool, rather than your teeth, to open or cut items
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing high-impact sports, like football, basketball, and soccer
  • Wear a helmet when using a bike, scooter, or skateboard
  • Never chew hard foods, like ice and hard candy
  • Help young children keep toys and small items out of their mouths

Need more information? Give us a call or send us an email. Everyone at Dental & Implant Care Center is happy to answer any questions you have!

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

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

Why a Dental Crown Could Change Your Life | Bell Dentist

If your tooth is in danger of breaking a dental crown procedure may be the right solution for you. A breaking or damaged tooth indicates that there is a significant amount of decay that causes the tooth to become frail. In order to restore your tooth to its natural strength, a dental crown will be used to improve the longevity and durability of your tooth, as well as any discoloration. This dental crown will not only improve your oral health but give you a confident and radiant smile. Below are just a few of the benefits:

  • Undergoing a cosmetic dental crown procedure can improve the look of broken or cracked teeth. If you are suffering from a loss of teeth, dental crowns are the solution to replace any missing teeth.
  • Dental crowns look extremely natural because the porcelain and composite resin crowns match the exact shade of your natural teeth. With dental crowns, you will not be able to tell the difference from your crowns and natural teeth.
  • Dental crowns are stain resistant. This is because dental crowns are made from porcelain, a material that is not prone to discoloration.
  • With durable materials used for your dental crowns, dental crowns can last up to 15 years. With dental crowns, patients can go about their daily routines without constantly worrying about their dental crowns falling out of place.
  • Dental crowns are restorative and preventive measures that improve missing or damaged teeth. Dental crowns also drastically decrease the amount of bacteria build-up that can lead to the loss of more teeth.

If you are embarrassed of your missing or damaged teeth, dental crowns are the perfect solution to build your confidence. It may be time to make that dental appointment…

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

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

It’s Time to Extract Your Tooth | Bell Dentist

There is nothing more nerve-wracking than needed a tooth extracted. We expect to have our teeth for a lifetime, so when we need to have one removed, it’s for something that we’ve done. Some common reasons that extraction is necessary include severe tooth decay or infection, gum disease (where the supporting bone is compromised), fractured teeth, treating impacted wisdom teeth, even cosmetic removal.

While there are many different reasons for extraction, virtually all extractions fall into one of two classes: simple and surgical. Simple extractions typically involve local anesthetic, and instruments are used to gain leverage and physically loosen and pull the tooth from the patient’s mouth. Surgical extractions, as their name implies, is typically conducted by an oral surgeon under anesthesia, and may involve teeth that are fully beneath the gum tissue, or teeth that require cutting tissue or bone for other reasons.

Both surgical and simple extractions require healing – your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to minimize the chance of infection and will pack the socket with gauze to eliminate the chance of food particles becoming embedded in the opening formerly occupied by the removed tooth.

If your dentist recommends extraction, you should ask whether the extraction will be a simple extraction or if it will require surgery, and you should discuss the need for antibiotics and expected healing time. While extraction is fairly common and well understood, there are some potential complications (including infection, bleeding, swelling, and nerve injury). Address any concerns with your dentist so you fully understand the risks and alternatives before consenting to the procedure.

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

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

Get Straight Teeth without Traditional Braces | Bell Dentist

We’re all familiar with braces – metal fastened to teeth in our adolescent years to straighten our crooked permanent teeth. It was a source of ridicule that made growing up torture. But if you didn’t get braces as a kid, you now need to balance a desire for a corrected smile against the desire not to have visible metal braces. The American Association of Orthodontics indicates that approximately 25% of people wearing braces are adults, which means a lot of patients are currently being treated. But you don’t see them that often, so how? Clear braces known as Invisalign.

Invisalign is a series of treatments where customized, clear plastic aligners are worn for a specific period of time, slowly and slightly correcting the patient’s bite as the patient completes the specified time with each aligner. There are no brackets or wires, reducing all of the extra care that comes with traditional braces.

The aligners should be worn 20-22 hours each day. They can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth, but are generally worn while awake and asleep. Because the aligners are removed while you eat, you’re free to eat virtually anything you’d normally eat – there are no concerns about getting food stuck in the wires of traditional braces.

Nearly all bite issues can be corrected with Invisalign, though some dentists will recommend against Invisalign in certain cases where Invisalign may be significantly more costly and difficult than traditional orthodontic treatments. To determine if you’re an Invisalign candidate, schedule an appointment soon for a full evaluation.

If you would like to find out more about Invisalign, contact Dr. Mike 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.

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.

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.