Life is never predictable, no matter how much you plan. Sometimes, you are faced with a pleasant surprise such as a raise at work or a favorable report card. Sometimes, an unexpected dental or health issue arises, creating undue stress. If you are faced with a dental emergency, know that you can turn to your family dentist in San Luis Obispo. Dr. Ross and his staff offer compassionate care with a focus on getting you or your loved one out of pain as quickly as possible.
Preventing urgent dental problems
We often think of a dental emergency as some type of traumatic injury, such as a tooth getting knocked out. In reality, the most common issues for which urgent care is needed include damaged restorations and infection from an untreated cavity. There are several ways to minimize the risk of dental emergencies, including:
• Keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing them every day. If you drink sugary beverages or carbonated soda, which contains high acid content, rinse your mouth afterward. Water can dilute sugar and minimize the corrosive effects of acidic ingredients.
• See your dentist regularly. Home hygiene rarely removes the full extent of plaque that builds up on and in between teeth. Routine dental exams and cleanings are vital to lifelong oral health. In addition to catching problems in their earliest stages, routine care also minimize risk by removing plaque and tartar, which harbor bacteria.
• Avoid hard substances such as ice, fingernails, and bottle and pen caps. Teeth are for chewing, not for opening packages or holding objects. Biting down on a hard object may crack or break a tooth. This habit can also damage restorations such as crowns or veneers.
• Children and adults who play sports are encouraged to wear the appropriate gear. This means a custom-made mouth guard. Mouth guards that are purchased from the store lack the integrity to fully protect teeth and the jaw. Research shows that they also inhibit optimal oxygenation during physical exertion.
Get care when you need it
While we would like to help every one of our patients avoid dental emergencies, we know that this isn't always possible. As we said, life is unpredictable. Should the unexpected happen, you need not know exactly what to do as much as you need to know where to turn. Calling our San Luis Obispo office, you will be scheduled for care the same day if possible. If your situation occurs when the office is closed, we will provide assistance to improve comfort, and schedule you for care when we return.
Call (805) 601-8008 to schedule prompt care for your dental needs.
As dental professionals, we know that preventive care for teeth and gums can reduce a person’s likelihood of developing gum disease and tooth decay, including cavities. Our goal is to help our patients understand some of the causes, and to provide a pleasant restorative process, should this be required. Tooth decay can lead to formation of cavities.
Healthy teeth and gums are negatively impacted by plaque buildup. The acid from bacteria found in plaque goes to work on the surface of teeth and along the gum line to destroy healthy tooth structure. If this decay continues to penetrate an area, a hole can form in the enamel, called a cavity. If detected early, decay may be halted and even reversed to prevent cavity formation. This is one of the benefits of regular dental exams and cleanings. Professional cleaning, fluoride treatments, sealants, and good oral hygiene can all prove effective towards this outcome.
Anyone, from infant to senior, who has teeth can get a cavity; however, there are things that increase the risk of decay. Teeth or areas of teeth that are harder to clean are often magnets for tooth decay. The dentist can point out areas that should receive special attention in daily care to help discourage cavity formation. Once again, regular office visits will help to remove any plaque buildup before damage progresses too far. Choices in food and drink can cause a plethora of problems. Saliva works to wash harmful substances from the surface of teeth, but some things are stickier and cling to teeth, potentially causing damage. Cookies, cake, soda, candy – anything loaded with sugar – are best replaced with healthier choices, such as water and fresh vegetables. The more often teeth are exposed to sugary substances, the greater the likelihood that cavities will form. Infants and toddlers should not be allowed to take bottles to bed with them, not even milk or juice, as this exposes teeth to hours of damaging contact with acid and sugar. Saliva can keep teeth rinsed, but normal aging or side effects of medications can cause a person’s mouth to be too dry. Brushing, flossing, and mouthwash following closely behind eating and drinking will encourage better outcomes.
In general, good dental care and monitoring by your dentist on a regular basis are more likely to preserve oral health and catch problems early. These practices are going to impact patient comfort, as well as budget, when considering overall cost-benefit relationship. Once a cavity forms, the dentist can repair the damage with a dental filling and restore the health of the tooth to prevent further deterioration.
Dr. Ryan Ross and his entire staff provide gentle and efficient services in his San Luis Obispo office for preventative and restorative care. For compassionate assistance with oral health, as well as overall health, we encourage you to maintain regular visits to the comfortable office environment we provide for our valued patients.
The connection between the mouth and body is critical. When you understand the way the teeth and gums can affect your overall health, you may see why it is important to practice good oral hygiene habits. Dr. Ryan Ross is happy to highlight the reasons taking caring of your teeth and gums can help keep your smile and body healthy.
Consuming sugary foods and beverages can cause cavities, which are small holes in the enamel of the teeth. Left untreated, decay can lead to infection. When teeth are infected, the roots and nerves are affected. This can lead to toothaches and tooth sensitivity. Severely decayed teeth may need to be extracted when they cannot be saved with treatments such as root canals.
Gum disease has been linked to health conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and pancreatic cancer. Diabetes, stroke, and pregnancy complications can also stem from gum disease. The inflammation of the gums can worsen over time. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which is characterized by gums that bleed when you brush or floss. When gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, the gums separate from the teeth and the bone can be affected. As a result, teeth can become loose and eventually fall out. Fortunately, several treatments can reverse the symptoms of gingivitis and provide relief from gum disease.
There is no reason to be concerned about the aforementioned conditions. With good oral hygiene, you can prevent them. Although it may sound simple, if you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes you can keep your oral health in great condition. However, this habit must be coupled with flossing daily and biannual dental check-ups that include professional cleanings and examinations. It is also important to have x-rays taken once a year so we can detect any issues early.
Together, we can protect one of your most valuable assets – your smile. It is important to keep your smile healthy because studies show it can boost your mood and attract others. A beautiful smile may be just what you need to go after a job that you have always wanted. Our team would love to see you enjoy the many benefits of a healthy and gorgeous smile.
Each year, millions of Americans do not see the dentist, according to the American Dental Association. Regular dental check-ups are critical to oral health and can prevent most dental conditions and diseases. Oral health affects many aspects of our lives, but it is often taken for granted. Men and women in San Luis Obispo, CA can rest assured Dr. Ryan Ross is committed to helping them protect the health of their mouth, teeth, and gums. He also knows good oral health care can prevent other health issues such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and pancreatic cancer, which have been linked to gum disease.
The importance of dental check-ups
Scheduling regular dental examinations and maintaining good oral hygiene can protect your health as well as save you time and money. When there are oral health conditions such as tooth decay, treatments including dental fillings may be recommended. Left untreated, tooth decay can become so severe a crown is needed to protect the damaged tooth. Tooth decay or trauma can also lead to an infection that can cause a painful toothache. Infection usually needs to be treated with root canal therapy, a procedure that can save the tooth. However, when the tooth cannot be saved, it may need to be extracted. All of these treatments can be avoided by practicing good oral hygiene habits including brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly. However, if you suffer from an oral health condition, rest assured we would work within your budget to provide the care needed.
The American Dental Association recommends professional check-ups biannually and x-rays once a year. We utilize digital x-ray technology to identify any issues in their earliest stages. Teeth cleanings are critical because we utilize special equipment that can remove plaque from the teeth. As plaque builds up, cavities and gum disease can develop.
At your dental check-ups, you can count on us to take the time to address your concerns and answer any questions you may have. We can recommend the right toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash to ensure optimal health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. We are committed to keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.
Dental Implants are prevalent and most patients know about them and that they are the best way to replace missing teeth. However, I find that many people do not realize the many ways this replacement can be accomplished. When we say implants are flexible we are not referring to any of their physical properties because they are actually quite rigid, but they allow us so many options for teeth replacement and they are almost always the best way to go no matter how many teeth need replacing.
Missing a single tooth? Simple, have an implant placed and we can put a crown on it. Missing a few or more teeth in a row? Get a couple of implants and we can restore your smile with a bridge. Missing several teeth? Have a couple of implants placed and we can attach a partial denture to those implants making it feel and function far superior to a standard denture. Missing all of your teeth? With dental implants, there are many options for restoring your entire dentition. Implants are even used for orthodontics, acting as an anchor to increase treatment options and decrease treatment times.
If you are missing any teeth you should ask your dentist about the many possibilities with dental implants. Even if you have already replaced missing teeth with conventional bridgework or dentures, ask about the flexibility and many options available with dental implants.
It is a myth that you get old and lose your teeth. The truth is that if you floss, you can keep your teeth for your whole life.
Sounds like reason enough to me, but let’s talk about what flossing can do for your health. It decreases the amount of tooth decay and prevents inflammation in your gums or gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left unchecked can progress into periodontal disease which is an infection that results in bone loss around your teeth and is the number one reason teeth are lost.
Periodontal disease also affects your overall health. Research has shown that people with periodontal disease are at an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and other systemic health problems. As you can tell, you really do NEED to floss!
Missing teeth for a six year old are often described as cute, but for an adult not so much. The ways to replace missing teeth can sometimes be confusing and vary depending on the patient’s situation, but without a doubt the overall best method is a dental implant. A dental implant is a titanium post or “screw” that is surgically placed into the jaw bone and later used to support one or more false teeth.
There is a lot to consider when deciding how and if to replace missing teeth and dental implants are equal to or have the advantage over other options in all categories: function, esthetics, longevity, hygiene, and how the remaining teeth are affected. Other options, such as a removable prosthesis (denture) or fixed prosthesis (bridge) may seem more affordable, but from a long term perspective implants will usually cost less because dentures and bridgework need repair or replacement more often. Dentures and bridges rely on the remaining teeth for support sometimes compromising them, requiring even more dentistry or worse, shortening their lifespan. Implants are multifunctional, replacing one tooth, many teeth, or sometimes even the entire dentition. They can also be used to support a denture or bridge which improves fit, chewing ability, and comfort; therefore eliminating embarrassing moments with a loose denture.
A six year old will eventually get new teeth, but you will not and the worst option not yet mentioned is no replacement at all. This may cause your teeth to shift and eventually more may be lost because of it, so if you or someone you know is missing one or more teeth, you should ask your dentist about dental implants.
Are your teeth sensitive to cold? Do you have receding gums? You may be suffering from toothbrush abrasion, an erosive process caused by improper brushing. We all learn to brush at a very young age and unfortunately most of us learn to brush the wrong way and sometimes with the wrong kind of brush and paste. If you scrub your teeth back and forth then you are brushing incorrectly. You do not need to apply much pressure and should stroke up and down or in tiny circles. If your brush bristles are bent out, you are brushing too hard and need a new brush.
Only use a “soft” or “ultra soft” bristled brush, never “medium” or “hard” and get a new brush every few months. The improper scrub technique that most people use is a difficult habit to change, so an even better brush to use is an electric. An electric brush will do a better job of removing plaque and for most people will change the way they brush. With an electric brush you simply move from one area to another, no scrubbing needed.
You might also need to change the kind of toothpaste you use. Many of today’s pastes are too abrasive. Most “Whitening” and “Tartar Control” pastes simply contain more pumice making them more abrasive. A simple fluoride paste is best for most people. If you have sensitivity issues, try Sensodyne. It is less abrasive than most other kinds of paste and has the extra minerals your teeth need to reseal and insulate from cold.
If you think you have toothbrush abrasion ask your dentist what he or she recommends so you can eat and drink those refreshing cold treats this summer without having to worry.