Posts for category: Oral Health
You want to keep a healthy smile. How often should you visit Dr. Joseph DuRoss, your dentist in Long Beach, CA? He and his dedicated team of professionals partner with you in maintaining good oral health. Read on to learn the whys, hows and how often of preventive dentistry.
The American Dental Association (ADA) promotes a simple rule: brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, and floss around them daily. These oral hygiene habits eliminate bad breath, remove dental stains and reduce plaque and tartar. Because of their indwelling bacteria, plaque and tartar cause tooth decay and gum disease, both major causes of tooth loss. So regular at-home care is key to preventing oral health issues.
Both the ADA and Dr. DuRoss agree that most patients (toddlers through adults of senior age) should visit the dentist twice a year. A semi-annual hygienic cleaning removes the plaque and tartar that brushing alone cannot. The hygienist looks for any signs of gum disease, decay and oral cancer, and takes X-rays as scheduled.
Then, your Long Beach dentist performs his examination. Complete check-ups uncover signs of decay, gum disease and oral cancer early before they become complex and harder to treat.
Here are the assessments Dr. DuRoss performs with every six-month examination:
- A check for tooth decay and signs of gum disease
- An assessment of existing restorations such as crowns, fillings, dental implants and veneers
- A check of dental bite (how teeth come together) and jaw joint function
- Visual inspection of gums, tongue, lips, the back of the throat and more for signs of oral cancer
Dr. DuRoss will share his findings with you and explain what preventive, restorative and cosmetic care you need to have bright, healthy teeth and gums going forward.
A note on emergency care
If you or a loved one suffer a cracked tooth, throbbing toothache or other dental emergencies, call Dr. DuRoss right away for first aid advice and an appointment if necessary. Urgent dental matters are always a reason to see your family dentist.
Find out more
Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Visiting Dr. DuRoss semi-annually (or as often as he advises) protects your smile for life. To arrange your regular cleaning and examination. please call the office at (562) 424-8537.
Don’t let sore, achy jaws be the norm. Find out what’s going on and what you can do to treat it.
You know that the minute you bite down into that big juicy hamburger that your jaws are going to protest; however, you really just want to enjoy that meal. If you are someone who deals with jaw pain rather regularly then you may be wondering what’s really going on. Our Long Beach, CA, dentist Dr. Joseph DuRoss can help you determine if TMJ disorder is causing your discomfort.
What is TMJ disorder?
Every time you open your mouth to speak or to chew, the jaw joints (also known as the temporomandibular joints), which connect your jaws to your skull, do all the work. Of course, if one or both of the jaw joints doesn’t function properly then you may be dealing with TMJ disorder.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
One of the telltale signs that you are dealing with TMJ disorder is jaw pain. The jaws may feel tender or sore. You may feel a pain around one or both of the joints. The pain may even radiate all the way to the ears. As a result of this pain (and sometimes swelling) you may have difficulty chewing, particularly foods in which you have to open your mouth wide.
Sometimes you may feel as if the jaw joint has locked up on you, which can make it difficult to open your mouth. When you do open your mouth you may hear a popping or clicking sound.
What else could be causing my jaw pain?
It’s important to keep in mind that while TMJ disorder is often the most common cause of jaw pain, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only reason. This is why it’s important that you visit our Long Beach, CA, general dentist if you are experiencing jaw pain or other symptoms. Sometimes this problem arises from bad habits such as teeth grinding or jaw clenching.
If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis then this could also cause jaw joint problems. An abscessed tooth and even gum disease can manifest into jaw pain. In order to treat the issue properly we will need to figure out the source of your symptoms.
If jaw pain is becoming a regular issue for you and you haven’t been able to get your symptoms under control then it’s time you called our Long Beach, CA, dental office to find out what’s going on. Call our office today.
In order to ensure that your dentures last, be sure to follow these important care instructions.
With the proper care, dentures can last you upwards of 10 to 15 years. Will at some point you will need to have your dentures replaced, this doesn’t mean that you can neglect caring for them. After all, you paid for them so you want to make sure they last a while. Follow these helpful hints from your Long Beach cosmetic dentist if you want to maintain healthy, undamaged dentures.
Put down a towel
Whenever you remove your dentures, make sure to either place a towel down on the countertop or fill the sink with water before handing your dentures. Therefore, if you happen to drop your appliance it will be less likely to break.
Don’t let it dry out
One of the most important things to remember about your dentures is that they should never dry out. They must stay moist at all times to maintain their ideal shape. So whenever you aren’t wearing your dentures, place them in a cleaning solution or cool water.
Don’t expose to heat
This might seem a bit odd, but if you happen to leave your dentures in the car during a warm summer day or near the fireplace or heat source during the winter months, you’ll end up with a warped set of dentures. Therefore, whenever you aren’t wearing them it’s best to make a habit of putting them in solution or water rather than just leaving them out.
Clean them daily
Even if they aren’t real teeth, they still need the same steadfast oral care you would give natural teeth. After all, you still eat and drink with them so you want to remove debris and food from your dentures so they don’t cause issues for your gums.
Opt for soft-bristled toothbrushes and cleaning solutions that are safe on dentures. Most commercial toothpastes are too abrasive for your dental appliance, so it’s best to look for denture-friendly products. Talk to your Long Beach dentist about the best products to use.
Of course, accidents happen. If your dentures become damaged then you need to see your Long Beach cosmetic dentist right away to have them repaired or replaced. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns about your dentures or your oral health, feel free to call our office anytime.
If you or your family has an active sports lifestyle, you probably already know the importance of food and liquids for energy and hydration. But what you eat and drink (and how often) could unintentionally increase your teeth’s susceptibility to tooth decay. With that in mind, you should plan your nutrition and hydration intake for strenuous exercise to maximize energy and reduce the risk of tooth decay.
On the general health side, carbohydrates are your main source of energy for sports or exercise activity. You should eat a substantial carbohydrate-based meal (such as pasta, cereal or sandwiches) a few hours before a planned event. An hour before, you can snack on something easily digestible (avoiding anything fatty) to prevent hunger and as additional energy fuel.
It’s also important to increase your liquid intake before strenuous activity to avoid dehydration, usually a couple of hours before so that your body has time to eliminate excess fluid. During the activity, you should drink three to six ounces of water or sports drink every ten to twenty minutes to replace fluid lost from perspiration.
While water is your best hydration source, sports drinks can be helpful — they’re designed to replace electrolytes (sodium) lost during strenuous, non-stop activity lasting more than 60 to 90 minutes. They should only be consumed in those situations; your body gains enough from a regular nutritional diet to replace lost nutrients during normal activity.
In relation to your oral health, over-consumption of carbohydrates (like sugar) can increase your risk of tooth decay. The acid in most sports drinks also poses a danger: your teeth’s enamel dissolves (de-mineralizes) in too acidic an environment. For these reasons, you should restrict your intake of these substances — both what you eat and drink and how often you consume them. You should also practice regular oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, waiting an hour after eating or drinking to brush giving your saliva time to wash away food particles and neutralize the acid level in your mouth.
Knowing what and when to eat or drink is essential to optimum performance and gain in your physical activities. Along with good oral hygiene, it can also protect your oral health.
If you would like more information on the best sports-related diet for both general and oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nutrition for Sports.”
It might seem that adults who play aggressive, high-contact professional sports (ice hockey, for example) have the highest chance of sustaining dental injuries. But for many — like NHL hall-of-famer Mike Bossy — their first injured teeth came long before they hit the big time.
“The earliest [dental injury] I remember is when I was around 12,” the former New York Islanders forward recently told an interviewer with the Huffington Post. That came from a stick to Bossy's mouth, and resulted in a chipped front tooth. “Unfortunately, money was not abundant back in those days, and I believe I finally had it repaired when I was 16.” he said.
You may also think there's a greater chance of sustaining dental trauma from “collision sports” like football and hockey — but statistics tell a different story. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), you (or your children) are more likely to have teeth damaged while playing soccer than football — and basketball players have a risk that's 15 times higher than football players.
So — whether the game is hockey, basketball or something else — should you let the chance of dental injury stop you or your children from playing the sports they love? We think not... but you should be aware of the things you can do to prevent injury, and the treatment options that are available if it happens.
Probably the single most effective means of preventing sports-related dental injuries is to get a good, custom-made mouth guard — and wear it. The AGD says mouthguards prevent some 200,000 such injuries every year. And the American Dental Association says that athletes who don't wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain harm to the teeth than those who do.
Many studies have shown that having a custom-fitted mouthguard prepared in a dental office offers far greater protection then an off-the-shelf “small-medium-large” type, or even the so-called “boil and bite” variety. Using an exact model of your teeth, we can fabricate a mouthguard just for you, made of the highest-quality material. We will ensure that it fits correctly and feels comfortable in your mouth — because if you don't wear it, it can't help!
But even if you do have an injury, don't panic: Modern dentistry offers plenty of ways to repair it! The most common sports-related dental injuries typically involve chipped or cracked teeth. In many cases, these can be repaired by bonding with tooth-colored composite resins. For mild to moderate injury, this method of restoration can produce a restoration that's practically invisible. It's also a relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive procedure, which makes it ideal for growing kids, who may elect to have a more permanent restoration done later.
If you have questions about mouthguards or sports-related dental injuries, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards,” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”