A Beautiful Smile

Receding gums are a condition that many dental patients face, and has been correlated with the accumulation of bacteria linked to a variety of larger health issues like diabetes, hypertension, and vulnerability to strokes.  Dr. Martin Abelar believes that understanding the causes of receding gums can help patients stop the problem at its source.

Sometimes gum recession is the result of overly aggressive brushing.  While the ADA recommends that all patients brush and floss at least twice a day, and ideally after every meal, brushing too hard or with a brush that’s bristles are too firm can cause irritation to the gums.

Gum recession can also be an early sign that a tooth is abnormally shaped or positioned, inhibiting the gums from growing to their normal position.  In such cases, Dr. Abelar recommends having a visual examination including dental x-rays to determine where the teeth are improperly aligned stunting the growth of the gum tissue, so that spacers or braces can be used to create room for the teeth and gums to grow in naturally.

Teeth grinding can be another cause of receding gums.  Signs that teeth grinding could be the cause of your receding gums include frequent migraines, head, neck or jaw pain upon waking up, and stiffness in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint.  A variety of treatment options are available to treat TMJ disorders.

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Don’t Do it On the Cheap and Pay Later

In today’s socioeconomic climate, everyone wants things immediately, cheaply, and perfectly, but in many cases, only two out of three of these criteria can be met. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, trying to get procedures done too quickly or too inexpensively can lead to bad dental decisions that leave patients paying dearly in the end. As a specialist in Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, Dr. Martin Abelar sees many patients who have had botched dental work by making these two mistakes.

A quick Google search of the words “botched dental work,” will yield hundreds of stories of patients who tried to get dental work done on the cheap and regretted it later.  One such story is a patient in New York who saw an oral surgeon and was quoted $35,000 to get eight dental implants, but decided to get the work done by a cut-rate surgeon who offered to do ten implants and restoration of two fixed bridges for $22,500.  He ended up with a hole in his sinuses where the surgeon had drilled the implant screw all the way through the sinus membrane leaving a hole, and implant screws placed too close together for the caps to fit.  All of this work would have to be undone through a whole new financial and physical trauma, and it remains unknown if there will be enough bone left in the patient’s jaw to start over again.

Another less dramatic, but more common botched procedure is the creation and placement of veneers. When done correctly, the process of getting veneers takes place over a few weeks to a few months, and teeth are drilled down to make space for the veneers to be fit over the real teeth. Impressions are taken and veneers are custom crafted to fit the remaining tooth and achieve the desired size and shape.  The dentist should place them over the real teeth to check for fit before cementing them in place. The cement is permanent, so if the veneer does not fit properly it can be cracked or permanently placed incorrectly.

Dr. Abelar recommends that prior to any major dental procedure, you have a consultation and make sure that the details of the procedure, its price, timeline and any other things you should know are outlined before the work begins.  In the event that the work does not fit within your current budget, there may be financing options that can help you afford the right work at the right price.  To schedule your consultation, call our office at 858-866-9692.

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When a Tooth is Chipped

Soft drinks and other sugary energy drinks account for a large percentage of cavities and tooth decay plaguing Americans, and yet most of us continue to consume them regularly.  Dr. Martin Abelar has the scoop on what makes these drinks bad for your teeth and which drinks are some of the worst offenders.

For tooth decay to occur, there are four key ingredients that contribute to the process:  sugar, acid, oral bacteria, and time.  Soft drinks and energy drinks provide the sugar and the acid; poor dental hygiene habits contribute the oral bacteria.  To minimize the damage caused by your favorite drinks, Dr. Abelar recommends being extra vigilant about brushing and flossing, and upping your game to making sure that you brush after every drink.  This way you eliminate the time element.

Additionally, many dentists recommend reducing the time these drinks are working on your teeth by using a straw, and gulping the drink down fast instead of slowly sipping over time. The sugars and acids in the drink work on your teeth in a chemical process that lasts about 20 minutes, and each new sip restarts the process. The worst drinks for your teeth are low in acid and high in sugar. 

Here is a list of some of the worst offenders:

·         Mountain Dew

·         Coca-Cola

·         Full Throttle

·         Sunkist Orange Soda

·         Dr. Pepper

·         Vault

·         Red Bull

·         Sprite

·         Sierra Mist

·         SoBe Energy Citrus

·         Minute Maid Orange Juice

 

If you just can’t sacrifice these drinks and don’t have the opportunity to brush afterward, there is one last thing you can do to mitigate the damage.  Chewing a Xylitol based gum immediately after you drink can help restore the proper acidic balance in your mouth and help produce saliva to carry the sugar away.

Additionally, don’t forget to keep up with your twice yearly professional cleanings, and make sure to brush and floss at least twice daily.  To schedule a professional cleaning with Dr. Abelar, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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Why didn’t I do this sooner?

There are so many reasons it’s important to have a good night’s sleep that May has been declared Good Sleep month. Dr. Martin Abelar helps many patients achieve a better night’s sleep through oral appliance therapy (OAT) as an alternative to CPAP for sleep apnea. In honor of Good Sleep month, here are some of the reasons to make sure you are catching all of your ZZZs.

People who get their full eight hours of sleep are less likely to gain weight. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain over produces cortisol, a stress hormone that decreases metabolism and can increase cravings for fatty foods.

In addition to causing the body to store reserves of fat, cortisol increases blood pressure, which in turn makes you more vulnerable to these two health problems. It’s thought that the increase in blood pressure brought on by stress hormones serves a biological function to make oxygen available to your brain and muscles to prepare you for fight or flight. However, when excess cortisol is constantly present due to lack of proper sleep, the results can be disastrous. People who don’t get a good night’s sleep are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

People who get enough sleep are less likely to have inflammation in their bodies. This is caused by another hormone influenced by sleep quality, known as Creatinine. Increased creatinine levels are present in a number of inflammatory autoimmune conditions such as lupus and Crohn’s disease.

To learn more about sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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Rehab that Gets You Looking Fab

When a building isn’t properly maintained and goes into distress (the state at which it’s not legally habitable), engineers and construction crews work together to rehabilitate them for stability and aesthetics so they can return to normal functionality.  The same is possible for the human mouth.  Dr. Martin Abelar specializes in full mouth rehabilitation for people who haven’t been able to keep their smile in the condition they would like.

No matter what the functional or aesthetic problem a patient is facing, modern dentistry has the ability to solve it.  Dr. Abelar starts with a consultation to understand the patient’s desired outcome, and performs a dental cleaning, examination and takes impressions of the patient’s teeth as they are in their current state.

From the impressions, a 3D plaster mold of the current mouth state that will be used along with x-rays and discussion with the patient to generate a model of the mouth in its future state.  Any inlays, onlays, veneers and implants necessary to achieve the goal state will be hand crafted in a lab by a master craftsman and shipped to our office for the completion of the work.

Based on the type and amount of work needed to complete the full mouth rehabilitation, Dr. Abelar will discuss priorities for completion and our office will schedule appointments based on the time frame that will deliver the most optimal results.  To learn more about full mouth rehabilitation, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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Top 4 Things You Shouldn’t Go Cheap On

Recent headlines about the Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling has sparked the American Dental Association (ADA) to begin researching the validity of practitioners’ claims that daily oil pulling can eliminate bacteria in the mouth and whiten teeth. Dr. Martin Abelar encourages patients not to ditch traditional brushing and flossing to take on this new craze.

Oil pulling proponents believe that swigging approximately a tablespoon of coconut oil, olive oil, spearmint oil, or some combination of these oils for approximately five minutes a day can remove toxins and bacteria from the mouth. The theory is that during the swishing or “pulling,” the oil absorbs the bacteria into the oil, which the practitioner then spits out once the pulling is complete. 

Homeopathic healers have identified coconut oil as having anti-inflammatory properties as well as antibacterial qualities. The same is believed of other oils that are formulated and distributed for this purpose.

At this point in time, the official stance of the ADA regarding oil pulling is that the practice is not harmful, but more research is needed to sufficiently ascertain whether it is actually helpful. The ADA recommends choosing dental products that have been marked with the official ADA seal of approval, and encourages patients to continue brushing and flossing at least twice a day. If you ever have any questions don't hesitate to contact us at (858) 866-9692.

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The Gift of a Smile

Traditional dentistry deals specifically with oral problems affecting the teeth and gums, but there is a different school of thought in dentistry that the mouth is part of a musculoskeletal system, whose mechanics are impacted by the form and function of the jaw. Neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Martin Abelar undergo extensive training to understand the dynamics between the jaw and the rest of the musculoskeletal system and help patients with problems like migraine, head and neck pain, and spinal alignment.

Improper alignment of the temporomandibular joint can cause a domino effect of misaligned vertebrae from the back of the head all the way down the spine. A neuromuscular dentist approaches these problems by offering dental restorations to the jawline such as crowns and dental implants to restore the height of teeth, and orthodontic devices that can relieve pain caused by the improper alignment of the TMJ.

Neuromuscular dentists can help patients with a range of problems from sleep apnea to migraines, poor posture, back pain and more. To determine if neuromuscular dentistry could solve your health problems, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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Comprehensive Care from an Early Age

On February 29, the United States Supreme Court officially declined to hear an appeal brought against the state of Connecticut regarding the constitutionality of state regulators prohibiting the sale of teeth whitening services by non-dentists.  The suit was filed by a teeth whitening clinic called Sensational Smiles LLC when the owners were advised to discontinue offering services or face up to five years in prison or $25,000 in fines per individual customer.  Dr. Martin Abelar weighs in on why it is important that whitening to be done by a dental professional.

There are two ways that teeth can be whitened:  Abrasion of the tooth service to remove stains that are discoloring the teeth, and alternatively by bleaching the surface of the teeth to make them appear whiter.  Often these techniques are combined, and a common procedure performed by Dr. Abelar is a one hour laser teeth whitening treatment.  Following a professional teeth cleaning, a bleaching gel is painted onto the teeth, and then an intense light is applied to activate a chemical practice that bonds the bleaching agent with the surface of the teeth.

One of the perils of whitening at home or using a whitening service that is not provided by a trained dental professional is the possibility of over-abrasion of the teeth’s surface, which exposes the dentin and makes them more vulnerable to decay.  Improper abrasives can leave particles trapped in pockets at the gum line and leave microscopic holes on the tooth surface where bacteria can build up that cannot be removed through regular brushing and flossing.

For those trying to save money, Dr. Abelar recommends using a whitening kit prescribed by your dentist, or at the very least, choose a whitening product stamped with the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.  To ask about in-office one hour laser whitening services, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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Childhood Dental Care

Between bondings, white fillings, veneers, braces and crowns there are so many different options available to deal with chipped and cracked or gap teeth.  It can be daunting to decide which is the best option for you.  This month, Dr. Martin Abelar is sharing the top 10 reasons to choose porcelain veneers:

10.          Veneers can address a variety of problems with the shape of teeth.  Whether a tooth has been damaged, stained or chipped, veneers can cosmetically provide a straight, perfectly shaped tooth or teeth that look straight, white and aesthetically pleasing.

9.            Once in place, porcelain veneers are semi-permanent.  The porcelain veneer is cemented to the tooth and provides the same strength and bite force as a normal healthy tooth.  The average porcelain veneer lasts at least 10 years but actually closer to 20 years before it needs to be replaced.

8.            Like crowns, porcelain veneers require no different care than regular teeth.  People who get porcelain veneers can brush, floss and rinse exactly the same as prior to their placement.

7.            Unlike bondings, the porcelain material used to make veneers is resistant to discoloration and staining.  As such, it is important to make sure that any whitening treatments you wish to do are completed prior to the preparation of your veneers.  Dr. Abelar will have the porcelain veneer colored to match your natural teeth, and once placed the color cannot be changed through bleaching or other whitening treatment.

6.            Veneers can be a convenient option to fill small gaps between teeth without the commitment of braces and aligners.

5.            Veneers do not require drilling into the jawbone or tooth root structure for placement.

4.            When working on multiple teeth, veneers are a less expensive option per tooth than crowns.

3.            Veneers can be measured, fitted and cemented in just three office visits.

2.            Veneers can serve the same function as fillings in preventing the spread of tooth decay.

1.            Veneers can provide the smooth, flawless, symmetrical shape resistant to wear and tear.

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The 3 Types of Teeth Discoloration

Teeth whitening is by far the most popular cosmetic dental treatment sought out by people looking to improve their smiles.  Dr. Martin Abelar offers in-office laser whitening treatments as well as at home bleaching kits with custom bleaching trays.

To best protect their investment in teeth whitening, it is important for patients to understand the three kinds of teeth discoloration so that they can change their habits to stave off further discoloration.

Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration is the most well-known type of discoloration.  Extrinsic tooth discoloration is when the outer layer of the teeth gets stained by repeated exposure to cigarette smoking, red wine, coffee, tea, and dark colored soda.  Minimizing consumption of these substances and brushing immediately after drinking or smoking can help slow or prevent this kind of staining.

Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration occurs when the inner layer of the teeth (the dentin) takes on a yellowish tone.  This can be the result to too much fluoride exposure at a young age, internal bleeding of the tooth or birth defects.  The dental patient has less control over these variables, but knowing if you have this type of tooth discoloration can be indicative of what kind of results can be achieved through teeth whitening efforts.

Age-related Tooth Discoloration is the result of both extrinsic and intrinsic tooth discoloration over time.  With age the teeth enamel gets thinner and yellower naturally causing the yellow dentin to show through.

Teeth whitening is a process that bleaches the outer layer of the teeth, and results will vary depending upon the type and severity of discoloration the patient has.  To schedule a consultation with Dr. Abelar, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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Laser Treatment for Gum Disease

In the past, deep tissue infection of the gums required painful cutting away of gum tissue from the infected area so that a deep cleaning of damaged tissue and bacterial debris built up on the root of the tooth could be scaled and cleaned to prevent further damage to the teeth and gums.  Since it was approved by the FDA in 1994, the LANAP procedure has offered patients a less invasive approach to periodontal surgery.  Dr. Martin Abelar offers LANAP as one of the many periodontal procedures at our office.

LANAP stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure.  Instead of cutting away infected gum tissue and resectioning, the LANAP procedure uses a tiny laser no larger than the width of three hairs, and inserts it into the gum pocket for debridement of the diseased tissue.

The pulsating laser dissects the diseased area opening it up so that the practitioner can see any plaque or other bacterial buildup on the root of the tooth.  An ultrasonic scaler is used to remove the debris from the tooth roots.  The laser then finishes debridement of the pocket and the pocket is closed.

The LANAP procedure is typically performed in 30 minute increments, and for most patients the whole mouth is complete in two sessions.  If you are experiencing inflammation of your gums and would like to discuss the LANAP procedure as an option for your periodontal treatment, call our office at (858) 866-9692.

 

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For Many, a White Christmas Starts in Their Mouth

Harvard Psychologist Amy Cuddy recently released a book titled Presence, that discusses the notion that first impressions typically revolve around assessing two criteria critical to human interaction:  (1) Can I trust this person?  And (2) Can I respect this person?  Much of this initial assessment is based on physical appearances, and may feel beyond our control.  Dr. Martin Abelar offers cosmetic dentistry services to help patients take control of the impression they make when they smile.

 A warm, authentic smile can go a long way toward achieving those criteria of trust and respect.  A healthy smile with healthy gums and clean white teeth shows a commitment to personal hygiene and good health, both of which can be telling of a person’s capability to be reliable.  But far too many people are self-conscious about flaws in their smile, whether it be due to staining of their teeth from drinking coffee and dark colored beverages, to missing teeth and noticeable fillings.

 Many of these issues can easily be remedied with regular visits to a dental hygienist, a simple tooth whitening, or composite resin fillings to replace amalgam fillings, and bonding of cracked or chipped teeth.  If there is extensive space between teeth or damage to tooth shape, veneers can be a great option.

 By taking care of these smile inhibitors, you can feel confident flashing your pearly whites and making a great first impression.  Call our office at (858) 866-9692 to find out what cosmetic dental options might be right for you.

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7 Causes of Tooth Loss

Last week researchers at Columbia University released information from a study in which they found a link between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and cardiovascular disease.  Dr. Martin Abelar D.D.S sees this as one more reason that it is important for OSA patients to seek treatment to maintain their cardiovascular health.

Researchers comparing blood samples from patients who had OSA and patients who did not identified cellular differences in a protein that protects the cells linking blood vessels from autoimmune attacks.  In patients with OSA, the protein that is normally on the outside of the cells protecting it from being attacked by the body’s own immune system was instead absorbed inside the cells leaving them vulnerable to these attacks.  This is the beginning of cardiovascular disease.

Many patients find that the standard of medical care, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy hard to tolerate and discontinue treatment, thinking that surgery is their only other option.  However, Dr. Abelar can help with a dental option to position your teeth and jaw to prevent airway obstruction from happening.  It’s called Oral Appliance Therapy or OAT.  To learn more about Oral Appliance Therapy or schedule a consultation, contact our office at (858) 866-9692.

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The Value of Your Smile

Most people are not highly aware of how common Temporal Mandibular Jaw Dysfunction (TMD) can be, but a number of celebrities have popped out of the woodwork noting TMD as the source of their head, neck and jaw pains.  According to the National Institute for Health, up to 30% of adults have experienced orofacial pain lasting longer than one month.  Dr. Martin Abelar has had the distinction of teaching on the subject of TMD at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies when he is not practicing here at our office in San Diego.

Orofacial pain (in English, pain in the face and mouth) is most commonly caused by an improper alignment of the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ), which can also influence ear pain, neck and shoulder pain, and overall posture.  Poor alignment of the TMJ creates a domino effect of joints that touch each other all the way down the spine and upwards into the sinus cavities and back of the head.

If you are experiencing TMJ pain, you are in the company of such outspoken celebrities as Burt Reynolds, Iggy Azalea, LeAnn Rimes, Rebecca Russo, among others.  The good news is that we can help.

Using Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy, we can relax and loosen the muscles in the face, neck and throat to provide temporary relief, and employ 3D computer modeling to determine the ideal bite position to alleviate these problems in their entirety.  After administering TENS therapy to relax and position the muscles appropriately, we can place a customized orthotic to train the jaw to stay in its ideal position.

For more information about TMD or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (858) 866-9692.

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Why Cosmetic Dentistry

As you weigh your options for replacing lost teeth, price can be a discriminating factor.  In the short term, dentures are a flexible, low cost solution, but over the long term the benefits and cost savings diminish.  At Dr. Martin Abelar’s office, we believe that the benefits of getting dental implants at a slightly greater price up front will pay off over time.

 

Longevity.  Dentures are a flexible molded piece of plastic designed to give the image of real teeth and gums that is fitted over the remaining gum and jawline and in some cases affixed with a clasp.  They are removable and require daily cleaning.  With wear and tear over time, or changes to the remaining jawline, the dentures will need to be replaced. 

 

Alternatively, dental implants are synthetic teeth placed into the actual jawbone with screws that provide a semi-permanent solution.   They can be replaced if broken or otherwise damaged, but for most cases, this is rarely necessary.  The dental implants become a part of the natural teeth and gums, and are cared for with normal tooth brushing and flossing.

 

Changes Over Time.  With dentures, there is a large difference in the amount of biteforce between the denture, which can offer 50 lbs. of pressure, and the regular teeth and gums that offer 200-250 lbs. of pressure, which means that there is a large difference in chewing capability that can impact the wearer’s diet and overall health.  When natural teeth remain, chewing pressure is largely redistributed to those teeth, causing greater wear and tear, and lack of stimulation of the jawbone underneath the dentures can lead to resorption and shrinkage of the jawline that can lead to a variety of health problems.  Wear and tear to the existing teeth and shrinkage of the jawline also leads to the need for dentures to be remade or refitted.

 

Unlike dentures, dental implants fitted into the jawbone help it retain its structure and shape as well as maintaining the full 200-250 lbs. of bite force delivered by the original teeth, enabling better chewing capability and preventing the redistribution of wear and tear to the remaining natural teeth.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (858) 866-9692.

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Columbia Research Scientists Discover Cell Activity Link Between Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Disease

Sometimes an experience at the dentist as a child can lead to a fear of the dentist as an adult.   In other cases, other basic fears can be projected onto the experience of a dental visit.  This “dentalphobia,” or fear of the dentist, can have a profound affect on a person’s health.

The greatest impact of dentalphobia is its affect on preventive care.  Preventive care includes professional cleanings, screenings, x-rays and hygiene checkups.  These treatments are non-invasive, routine and diagnostic.  They are not painful.  Yet, people with dentalphobia skip such appointments because of their fear.  And, when someone lets their preventive care lapse, any break or infection in the teeth and gums can cause a more serious problem such as abscesses, gum disease or painful cavities and infections.  This is where fillings, root canals and more invasive procedures are necessary just to restore normal health.

So, the result of dentalphobia often is a procedure the fearful patient was hoping to avoid in the first place.  This is why my practice offers sedation dentistry.  We all need regular dental visits for preventive care.  We all want to avoid the need for invasive procedures.  So, we want our patients to know that it is ok to come in nervous.  We can help with mild sedatives or, if necessary IV sedation if it helps a patient get the dental care he or she needs.

Do you have dentalphobia?  If so, why not ask us about options for sedation dentistry?  Maintaining your preventive care is best thing you can do to avoid what you fear if you have dentalphobia.

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Laser Treatment for Gum Disease

Despite the fact that sleep apnea is a major stressor of the body and is linked to diseases such as depression, diabetes and high blood pressure, it’s the snoring that gets people into our office for diagnosis and treatment.  Nobody likes to listen to snoring in the middle of the night and it’s that irritation that gets people motivated.  But once a person starts to learn about the dangers of sleep apnea, they quickly become motivated to treat it.

When the airway becomes obstructed, the only way to get air is to struggle with snoring. A snorer’s sleep is not restful, which takes its toll on the body. This shows up in many ways.  Sleep apnea sufferers spend most of their days with low energy, which affects their performance at work. The effects of being unrested contribute to hypertension and other systemic problems. 

We treat sleep apnea because it is an airway issue. As a dentist, I am right there working in a patient’s mouth. I see the airway and can be the first to help. When patient identifies himself or herself as a snorer, we recommend a sleep test to start. A sleep test determines if the patient has sleep apnea and the type of sleep apnea. With this information and diagnosis in hand, we can determine the best way to treat the sleep apnea. 

Treatments may include the CPAP machine that many sleep apnea suffers struggle to use with comfort.  In my treatment, I create an orthotic that the patient can put in their mouth while sleeping. This orthotic helps maintain the airway, leading to clear breathing and restful sleep. Sometimes the orthotic and the CPAP are both required to fully treat the sleep apnea but many of my patients just need the orthotic to get back to restful nights sleep… and quiet ones.

Do you have more questions about sleep apnea that I didn't address in this blog? Please don't hesitate to reach out at: 858-866-9692

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Overcome Fear with Sedation Dentistry

In recent years, medical and dental professionals have placed more concern on connections between inflammation in the mouth and certain life-threatening conditions. Inflammation and bleeding are not just a warning sign. When it gets to that point, an infection is already occurring. One strain of mouth bacteria has been found in the blood clots of heart attack and stroke patients. Infection in the mouth has also been connected with Alzheimer's, diabetes, accelerated obesity and more. 

Dental cleanings have multiple purposes, including taking a measurement of your gum recession depth. Healthy gum tissue is 3mm. Anything above that is cause for concern. The reason being, these pockets signify bone loss that you can never get back naturally. These sinking groves create space for bacteria to move into the bloodstream and if untreated ultimately cause tooth loss. 

Patients can often avoid gum recession through good homecare and biyearly cleanings. Others require more frequent cleanings due to sensitive gums passed through genetics. Catching problems early is the best way to avoid issues down the road. I take pride in creating a comfortable experience for my patients because I never want fear of the dentist to stand in the way of their health. 

Do you have more questions about gum recession? We would love to hear from you. Give us a call at: 858-866-9692

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Importance of Brushing Your Gums

There are many ways in which the mouth and body are connected, one being the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). While small, this particular joint plays a very important role in the overall homeostasis of an individual. TMJ dysfunction can result in symptoms that hinder daily activities and change peoples' lives completely due to their pain. Because of the variety of possible symptoms that don't seem to directly relate to the jaw, TMJ often goes undiagnosed and patients learn to live with their symptoms. It's not uncommon for TMJ sufferers to take medication for headaches and never undercover the true source of the problem.  

The practice of Neuromuscular Dentistry allows us to examine patients' posture and muscle function. We can then begin to work toward a jaw position that is most comfortable for the patient. We will often create a short-term solution for patients while working toward a long-term goal for TMJ treatment. Our TMJ treatment is focused on non-invasive (surgery free) methods that help to realign the jaw to its proper position. 

Possible TMJ symptoms rage from jaw pain and clicking to pain in the neck, ears, back and shoulders. One of the most common symptoms is frequent headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms that cannot be explained by something else, it's a good idea to have a neuromuscular exam. 

Do you have questions about TMJ dysfunction that I didn't cover in this blog? You can reach me at 858-866-9692 to find out more or schedule a consultation.  

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Types of Sleep Apnea

There are several options for patients with missing teeth. Each case is different, but I often recommend dental implants because of the long-term benefits they provide that are unmatched by any other solution. On top of basic function, implants are permanent protection from bone loss in the jaw that occurs when teeth are lost. 

Overtime, the lack of tooth root creates deterioration of the jaw bone. This is because without that stimulation, the body cannot produce vital tissue. As a result of a broken down jaw, the face begins to appear sunken and hollow. Implants actually replace the root of the tooth, furnishing the stimulation to keep the jaw healthy.

Dental implants are custom designed to fit in with your smile. After the process is complete, patients regain the ability to eat virtually anything and there is no removal or special cleaning process. You will not be able to see, feel or notice a difference between the implants and your natural teeth. An implant case can often turns into a cosmetic dentistry procedure where were perform a full mouth reconstruction or, "smile makeover." This gives patients the opportunity to design the smile they've always wanted. 

Do you have questions about missing teeth or dental implants? Please don't hesitate to contact me: 858-866-9692  

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