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Category: Dental Problems

3 Ways to Fix A Chipped Tooth

drawing of a chipped toothThe majority of people will chip a tooth at some point in their lifetime. Constant wear in a particular spot can weaken enamel until it breaks off. You might also bite down on hard food or be involved in an accident that chips and breaks your teeth. Whatever the cause, there are a few options Dr. Sands offers to repair chipped teeth so you can show off your smile with confidence.

Dental Bonding

Treatment for a chipped tooth will depend on the extent of the damage and whether the chip is visible when you smile. If only a small amount of the enamel is missing or if the chip is on the front teeth, dental bonding can repair the damage in just one office visit.

Also called a “filling,” since it fills the missing enamel with tooth-like composite resin, dental bonding is a quick and painless procedure that does not require numbing medication. The chipped area is etched so that the bonding material will adhere securely. An adhesive material is applied, then the composite resin is shaped on top of it to blend with the natural tooth and restore its shape. Once an ultraviolet light hardens the material, the procedure is complete.

Crowns

Larger chips, chipped teeth that have significant decay, or chips on the molar teeth may require a crown, which is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the tooth root. Crowns are made to be long lasting and are composed of metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic. Dr. Sands can help you determine the choice that best meets your needs with regard to cost, durability, and appearance.

Usually it takes two office visits to install a crown. If needed, a root canal will be performed at the first office visit to build up the structure of the root so it can support the crown. X-rays will be taken, and any excess tooth will be removed. Your dentist will take impressions of the tooth receiving the crown as well as the opposing tooth so that the crown will line up correctly. You will go home with a temporary crown while your permanent one is made. At the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent one is cemented into place. Your teeth should line up seamlessly and look and function just as well as they did before.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are another option for repairing chips on the front teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that cover the front of the teeth with a thick section that fills the chipped portion of the tooth. A single veneer can be used to repair a chip on one tooth, or the patient may choose to get veneers on all of their front teeth for a total smile restoration. In just two office visits, veneers will not only repair chipped teeth, but they can also disguise gaps, perfect crooked or stained teeth, and improve your bite.

During the first visit, the surface layer of your teeth is removed to make room for the veneer. Your teeth will be color-matched, and molds will be taken so the veneers can be made. Temporary veneers will be placed. At the second visit, the temporary veneers are removed, and the permanent ones are adhered with cement that is made permanent with ultraviolet light.

If you have broken or chipped teeth, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin Sands as soon as possible. He can quickly restore the function and beauty of your smile in as little as one office visit. Call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today for more information.

Dental Problems: Why It’s Important to Address Them Immediately

Dental ProblemsA chipped tooth, sore gums, sensitivity, or other types of oral pain and discomfort are no doubt an inconvenience to manage. In hopes of avoiding an extra trip to the dentist, you may think it’s just fine to wait until your next cleaning to get such problems assessed. However, procrastination often makes matters worse, costing you more time, money, pain, and stress in the future.

Here are some common complaints and the treatments that typically correspond. Many of these ailments will not get better on their own.

Common Dental Complaints and Treatments

When these issues are left undiagnosed and untreated, they can lead to worse problems, which can then lead to expensive dental repairs. For example, some people may have “room” for their wisdom teeth, but the area is difficult to clean and can lead to painful gums, irritation, and swelling. If you have any of those symptoms, it is important to have your dentist re-evaluate any advantages of keeping your wisdom teeth. Compared to the chronic or long-lasting infection, discomfort, cavities, gingivitis, and other problems it could cause, wisdom tooth removal will save you both time and money on repeated treatments.

A loose tooth is another important issue to immediately address. A loose tooth is often caused by gingivitis that has eaten away at the underlying bone. The surrounding gums can easily trap bacteria near the gumline, further encouraging bacterial growth and infection. Without treatment, the cycle will continue to repeat itself, further weakening the tooth and causing discomfort and deterioration to the jaw.

While it is important to practice regular dental hygiene and keep all your dental cleaning appointments to prevent problems, some of them are unavoidable. Only a dental professional will be able to pinpoint the seriousness of your pain and alleviate it while preventing future damage and treatment costs. Seeking an evaluation as soon as possible will give you peace of mind, pain relief, and an overall better quality of life with the knowledge that you are doing what is best for your long-term oral health.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands, please call 310.273.0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

How Does Emergency Dentistry Work?

shutterstock_37233616Picture this: It’s the first day of your summer vacation. The fresh ocean breeze and the sound of the waves find you completely relaxed in a hammock beneath a palm tree. Without a care in the world, you take a sip of the ice-cold beverage in your hand and suck in a piece of ice to munch on. You crunch away until suddenly you hear a loud CRUNCH and instantly experience excruciating pain. You are almost certain you’ve broken your tooth. What do you do?

When you have extreme pain, bleeding, a knocked-out tooth, or a tooth that has been displaced but is still in the gums, it is important to contact your dentist right away.

Most dentists keep time slots in their day open specifically for emergency patients. Just call your dentist, explain the situation, and you should be able to be seen. If your accident occurs at night, visit the emergency room.

What Is a Dental Emergency?

A chipped tooth may be an emergency to some people simply for aesthetic reasons, but if it is not causing you pain, there is no need to rush to the dentist. Your dentist will, of course, understand the urgency of getting your tooth fixed and should be able to schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible. When you call your dentist, the receptionist will ask you a series of questions that will help determine if the situation is truly an emergency and how quickly you need care.

Displaced Teeth

If your teeth are knocked in or are suddenly displaced within the gums, they must be put back into place as soon as possible. If the roots are exposed, the delicate cells on the tooth roots will dry out and die after a certain period of time, resulting in tooth death. To avoid this, push the tooth back into place by holding the crown — never the roots. Once the tooth is pushed back into place, gently bite onto a washcloth until you can see the dentist, which should be as soon as possible.

Knocked-Out Teeth

If you completely knock out a tooth, the solution is similar. If the tooth is clean, put the tooth back into place as soon as you can, being careful to handle only the crown. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in some cold water or milk. Scrubbing or disinfecting the tooth will damage the delicate cells on the root that allow it to reattach.

Extreme Pain

If you experience sudden, extreme pain, it can be a sign that something needs immediate attention. You may have exposed tooth roots or a crack that can become infected and lead to worse problems if it is not taken care of right away. MOTRIN® or ibuprofen can help manage your pain in the moments before your emergency dental appointment.

Bleeding

Bleeding of the gums or teeth may be cause for emergency care, especially if the bleeding is severe. If you have been cut on your gums or inside your mouth and no teeth are harmed, a visit to the emergency room is suitable. If your teeth have been affected, a dentist can help. If you are not sure, call your doctor or dentist and explain your condition. Gums that consistently bleed may be a sign of gingivitis and should be addressed as soon as possible by a dentist.

What if the Damage Has Been Done?

If your tooth dies and it is still in place, it can still function properly, but it will always appear a darker shade than the other teeth. However, you should not keep a dead tooth in your mouth because the lack of circulation can be a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Dr. Kevin Sands has options for tooth replacement (such as porcelain veneers and dental implants) that will restore your smile and significantly boost your confidence.

For more information or to schedule a consultation for a smile makeover, call 310.273.0111. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.

Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

shutterstock_215480725Do you find yourself taking a sip of hot coffee or eating ice cream and clenching your teeth in pain? Ouch! Why do some people have teeth that are more sensitive than others? Having sensitive teeth can make it difficult to eat and exercise normal hygiene habits.

The wearing down of teeth and tooth enamel can cause the teeth to be sensitive to hot or cold drinks and foods. Often, this can make brushing and flossing a painful chore and cause difficulties for those who suffer from sensitive teeth.

Problematic tooth pain could be preventing a person from practicing normal healthy habits. By not giving the teeth the attention they need, they will only get worse. Getting rid of the pain associated with sensitive teeth starts with finding the source of the problem. There can be many factors that cause sensitive teeth.

Reasons Why Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • A worn filling
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Gum disease
  • A fractured tooth
  • Worn tooth enamel  

Someone who has healthy teeth will have a layer of enamel that protects the crowns of their teeth. The crown is the exposed part of the tooth above the gum line.

Loss of tooth enamel can be due to:

  • A diet that includes:
    • Soda
    • Other sugary drinks
    • Acidic foods
  • Medication
  • Dry mouth
  • Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, etc.)
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Genetics

Loss and lack of tooth enamel allows hot, cold, acidic, or sticky foods to reach the nerve cells inside the tooth and cause pain. Often, the only way to correct this is with over-the-counter products or in-office dental treatments

Getting Rid of or Alleviating Tooth Pain:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: Contains compounds that help block transmission from the sensitive tooth to the nerve. Typically, sensitivity will be reduced after several applications.
  • Root canal: Treats the inside of the tooth for patients with severe or persistent sensitivity.
  • Dental bonding: Used to correct a flaw or chip in the tooth that causes sensitivity.
  • Fluoride gel: An in-office technique that involves the application of fluoride gel to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the transmission of sensations.
  • Surgical gum graft: This will protect the root in cases where gum tissue has been lost.

The key to preventing tooth pain and sensitivity is good oral hygiene:

  • Brush and floss twice daily
  • Watch what you eat or drink
  • Have regular dental check-ups

If you have tooth pain, addressing it immediately is important for preventing other medical issues from arising.

Do you have sensitive teeth and want the pain to go away? Dr. Sands can help you get rid of tooth pain. You can schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form.

Are Bad Teeth Hereditary?

Are Bad Teeth Genetic?“Brush your teeth” and “floss more often” are the two phrases that most people expect to hear when they sit in the dentist’s chair. Yet, while some people have poor oral hygiene habits and rarely get cavities, others take excellent care of their teeth and still get cavities and gum disease. Good oral hygiene care is still the most critical factor in having good teeth, but there is indeed a genetic element to having bad teeth.

Genetic Factors for Bad Teeth

Much like the color of your eyes, the makeup of your teeth and gums is inherited. Children who inherit their father’s large jaw but their mother’s small teeth will likely have large gaps between their teeth. Those who inherit a small jaw and large teeth will likely have overcrowded, crooked teeth. Simple genetic factors such as tooth shape, tooth size, and jaw size all affect how crooked or straight your teeth may be. Additionally, you may inherit teeth with softer enamel that are more vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria. Gum disease is yet another hereditary factor. Other genetic factors have a more indirect effect: a preference for sugary foods, heartburn or acid reflux, and behavioral tendencies can all be inherited and lead to poor oral hygiene habits that ultimately harm your teeth.

Oral Hygiene and Behavioral Factors for Bad Teeth

While there is a distinct genetic component to having bad teeth, oral hygiene is the far greater predictor of tooth health. Oral hygiene habits, diet, and behavioral factors established at a young age are key predictors of having either bad teeth or healthy teeth. Neglecting dental care for very young children well before permanent teeth come in (and even before all baby teeth have grown) can lead to tooth problems. During tooth development, a lack of calcium in the diet can lead to weak teeth that are more vulnerable to cavities. Bad habits such as sucking on pen caps, chewing on straws, prolonged thumb-sucking, or using your teeth to open packages can cause crooked teeth as well as tooth chips and cracks. Avoiding six-month or yearly dental appointments prevents your dentist from being able to catch warning signs early on, when the problems are easier to manage. Partaking of nicotine and tobacco products can cause gum disease, tissue damage, and tooth decay. Most of all, excess consumption of sugary or acidic foods and drinks can wear down tooth enamel.

Despite the hereditary factors, good oral hygiene habits remain the greatest predictor of having healthy teeth. Follow your dentist’s advice and remember to brush and floss regularly, use fluoride, avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks, avoid smoking, and take care of your teeth so that they can last you a lifetime.

To receive more expert dental advice and improve the health and appearance of your teeth, schedule your consultation with Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands. Call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment for a complimentary consultation today.

How Porcelain Veneers Can Dress Up Your Smile

How Porcelain Veneers Can Improve Your Teeth

Your smile speaks volumes about you. A wide, full smile usually How Porcelain Veneers Can Restore Your Teethtells others that you are open and friendly. A pursed, straight-line smile typically indicates that you are shy and closed off. Healthy, clean teeth are the mark of someone put together and organized. Have you stopped and taken a second to consider what your smile is saying about you? If it’s not very positive, chances are that your teeth are to blame.

Common Causes of Unsightly Teeth  

  • Discolorations
  • Stains
  • Chips
  • Gaps
  • Crookedness

Discolorations/Stains

Your morning coffee and that glass of wine at dinner, while making you extremely happy, are staining your teeth. Discolored teeth can age you and make you appear unattractive. It is important to maintain a regular cleaning routine to keep your pearly whites, well, white.

Chips/Broken Teeth

Only pro hockey players can pull off chipped or broken teeth, and that’s because they have the amazing story to explain it away. For the everyday person, chipped and broken teeth create an unbalanced smile. Tooth decay can cause your teeth to become weak and break easily. So, even if your tooth loss is due to an accident, people may take it as a sign that you don’t have the best oral hygiene. Talk about embarrassing.

Gapped/Crooked Teeth

Gapped and crooked teeth throw off the uniformity of a smile. In regards to beauty, balance and symmetry are very important for creating an appearance that is attractive to the eye. Gaps and crookedness that create an asymmetrical look can affect how appealing your smile is.

When Brushing Just Isn’t Cutting It

It can’t be stressed enough that a daily, thorough oral regimen will help by leaps and bounds in providing you with an attractive smile. Healthy teeth are the most important part of a smile. But even if your teeth are healthy, they may not be aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes it’s impossible to fight discoloration and the fact that you are sporting a huge front gap. Brushing certainly isn’t going to bring back a chipped tooth, and it can be embarrassing living with unattractive teeth. Luckily, you don’t have to. You can reclaim your beautiful smile with the help of porcelain veneers.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin, shell-like sheets that cover the outside of damaged teeth. They require little alteration of the existing tooth structure and become very strong once bonded. Veneers can last over 15 years with good detail care.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

  • Make teeth appear whiter
  • Obscure crooked and gapped teeth
  • Are customized to match existing tooth color and shape
  • Are non-porous and resistant to staining
  • Have minimal pain associated with the application procedure

 

If your teeth could use a little improvement to give you a gorgeous smile, see how porcelain veneers can help you. Set up your consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands to discuss your options today! Call 310.273.011 or fill out our online contact form here.

 

Is It Bad to Grit Your Teeth?

Mean looking man in business office gritting teethThe muscles we use for chewing and speaking are some of the strongest muscles in our body. Four muscles in particular make it possible to speak, close our mouth, chew, and move our mandible (lower jaw) from side to side. When our mouth isn’t practicing any of these normal functions, the upper and lower teeth should rest comfortably together for the majority of the time.

Sometimes, anxiety, anger, or sheer determination might cause us to clench our jaw or grit our teeth. While this is fine on occasion, habitual teeth clenching can lead to problems with the teeth, jaw, or overall health in the future.

What happens when I grit my teeth?

Most people who clench their teeth also grind their teeth. The term “bruxism” refers to both actions. While consistently clenching the jaw can cause some stress to the teeth, grinding the teeth together can lead to worse problems like cracks, chips, and loose teeth.

It is very common for people to experience bruxism while they are asleep, having no idea that they are damaging their smile. Dr. Sands can easily tell if bruxism has been occurring when he examines your mouth at a routine dental visit. If any damage has occurred, he may recommend dental bonding or a much stronger alternative like porcelain veneers to keep up with the consistent damage. He can also customize a mouthguard to be worn at night to help protect your teeth.

What other damage can teeth clenching cause?

Since one of the muscles responsible for bruxism, the temporal fossa, extends all the way into the skull, its overuse can be a cause of recurrent headaches and earaches. “Lockjaw” is also a side effect of bruxism because of the muscle spasms and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) inflammation it can cause.

How do I cure bruxism?

Reducing stress and avoiding food that can be hard to chew, such as toffee, caramel, or steak, will help to relax the overworked jaw muscles. You should also avoid chewing gum and opening your mouth very wide on a consistent basis. Dr. Sands can provide further recommendations for treatment for bruxism during your consultation.

If you are experiencing bruxism or its side effects, Dr. Kevin B. Sands can assess your mouth and provide his recommendation for treatment. To schedule an appointment, please call us today at (310) 27-0111 or fill out our online contact form.

What Causes Tooth Enamel Damage?

woman getting teeth inspected by denistTooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, built to withstand literal wear and tear on a daily basis as we bite, speak, clench, and chew. Each year, your enamel will wear down an average of eight micrometers from normal factors, but there are several factors that can accelerate its decline.

Acid

Acid will erode enamel over time. Acid occurs in your mouth naturally after you eat food that contains sugar and carbohydrates. Soda and fruit juices are among some of the most harmful to consume, especially when you sip on them throughout the day. The longer the sugar remains on your teeth, the longer the bacteria in your mouth have to feast on it and create the corrosive acid.

Acid can also occur in your mouth if you have a condition that causes frequent vomiting or if you have acid reflux disease. Since your saliva neutralizes these acids, dry mouth will cause these acids to linger even longer, causing even more damage.

As we mentioned in a previous post, you can avoid excessive acid in your mouth by avoiding certain foods and beverages.

Using Teeth as Tools

Tooth enamel damage is also caused when you use your teeth as tools. You should never open bottles, packages, or other containers with your teeth. Doing so can permanently chip or crack your enamel. Chewing fingernails, non-food items, or ice can have the same result.

Grinding Teeth

Many people grind their teeth and are not even aware that they do it. This will definitely accelerate enamel erosion and can even fracture the enamel. Your dentist will be able to tell if you have excessive wear on your enamel and may recommend wearing a mouthguard at night, when teeth-grinding is most likely to occur.

If you have chips, cracks, or any degree of enamel erosion, Dr. Sands can give you a treatment plan that will set you on the road to repair. To schedule a consultation, please call (310) 27-0111 today. You may also fill out our online contact form for more information.

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Gums

If you’re like most people, you trudge through the motions of your morning routine while your mind is busy reeling about the day’s agenda. Out of habit, you quickly brush your teeth, floss (maybe), and look forward to moving on to your next task. You many not even notice if you have puffy or bleeding gums, which are tell-tale signs of a trouble-causing disease: gingivitis.

man looking in mirror at gumsWhile gingivitis (also called gum disease) is extremely common, affecting over 64.7 million Americans annually, its repercussions should not be taken lightly. Aside from leading to decay or total tooth loss, several studies have linked gum disease to more serious health concerns, such as heart disease, diabetes, anemia, and osteoporosis. In fact, when these diseases are already present in the body, gingivitis can make them worse.

Between routine visits to the dentist, it is important to pay attention to certain changes in your gums that can indicate a serious infection like gingivitis. Here are a few signs to watch for as you brush your teeth each day:

Receding Gums

Gum disease, when it has progressed to its more serious state of periodontitis, can lead to receding gums. If your gums pull away from your teeth and make them appear longer than they once did, you likely have this condition. Pain or discomfort from receding gums may not be noticeable, but with daily attentiveness, you should be able to tell if your gums are receding or separating from your teeth.

Bleeding Gums

If your gums bleed while you brush, floss, or eat hard food, you could have gingivitis. Your gums may also appear puffy and red and feel soft to the touch. If you experience these symptoms, be sure to see your dentist right away. Your dentist may advise you to visit more often than the recommended twice a year for a cleaning if your teeth are particularly susceptible to infection.

Dark Gums

Dark or discolored gums can occur from smoking, drugs, inflammation, or hyperpigmentation, but they can also result from gum disease. Hardened plaque (called calculus or tartar) can collect beneath the gums and cause a blackened appearance. Laser gum disease treatment can effectively remove the build-up and, therefore, the unsightly dark color. When infection is not the cause of darkened gums, laser depigmentation is the best treatment to restore the gums to a more natural-looking color.

If you have symptoms of gingivitis, or if you would like to schedule a consultation for a cosmetic procedure by Dr. Kevin Sands, please call our dental office in Beverly Hills today at (310) 273-0111. You may also conveniently fill out our online contact form for more information.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Portrait of a man putting his hand to his cheek from pain from frozen popsicle in his hand, isolated white backgroundIt is important to protect the outer layers of your teeth and the surrounding tissue in order to prevent tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth are easily irritated and can be very painful when exposed to certain elements, such as heat and cold, that easily send nerve signals to the center of your teeth. The following conditions and materials that wear away the protective coverings of your teeth can cause sensitivity by exposing the dentin and roots.

Receding Gums

Gum tissue protects the roots of the teeth, but certain conditions, such as periodontal disease, can cause the gums to move away from the teeth. This leaves the roots susceptible to irritation, which can cause tooth pain and sensitivity.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Highly acidic foods and drinks (citrus fruits, lentils, olives, tomatoes, fruit juice, soda) can eat away at the enamel on the teeth and lead to sensitivity by exposing the dentin beneath it. There are microscopic holes in the dentin that allow the tooth nerves to be stimulated and cause pain. After consuming an acidic food or drink, neutralizing the acids by eating or drinking neutral substances like cheese or milk will help prevent the teeth from being affected by the acid.

Whitening Products

Some whiteners with peroxide-based bleaching solutions can contribute to tooth sensitivity. If you are interested in whitening your teeth, it is recommended that you speak with your dentist about the best product for you. Dr. Sands offers a variety of teeth whitening treatments and can help determine the ideal whitening procedure for you.

Too Frequent Use of Mouthwash

The acids found in most mouthwashes can make teeth sensitive or irritate teeth that are already sensitive. Although it may be nice to have minty fresh breath after each meal, stick to using mouthwash only once or twice per day to avoid tooth sensitivity.

If you are experiencing sensitive teeth or any dental pain, Illustration of a blue arrow going around a toothDr. Kevin B. Sands is available to diagnose and treat your condition. To schedule your consultation or find out more information about the dental procedures we offer, please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form.

 

Facts About Missing Teeth

Close up of a man's lower face and shoulders, smiling with a missing lower incisor on a white background Tooth loss can occur as a result of decay, gum disease, cancer, injury, or wear. Missing teeth can detract from the aesthetics of the face, cause bone loss in the jaw, and affect speech and chewing abilities. You may be surprised by the following facts about missing teeth and the importance of replacing them.

Statistics

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 35 million people in the United States do not have any teeth, and 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.

How to Correct Them

Missing teeth can be replaced with a dental bridge, dentures, or dental implants, depending on how much of the tooth is missing or how many teeth are missing.

Implants Get to the Root of the Problem

When an entire tooth is missing, the jawbone that once supported the tooth and its roots will begin to deteriorate from disuse. Dental implants replace the root of a missing tooth to prevent atrophy of the jawbone. For more information on this, check out my blog about how dental implants prevent bone loss.

If you would like to correct missing teeth or are interested in any other cosmetic dentistry procedure, Kevin B. Sands, DDS is here to help. He offers a wide range of dental treatments to help each and every one of his patients achieve the smile they desire. We encourage you to contact our practice by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form today.

How Damaging Is Acidic Food to Enamel?

Young woman with nice teeth biting into a lemonMost of us know that soda is bad for our teeth, but did you know some fruit can be just as damaging? Strawberries, blackberries, grapes, pomegranates, and fruit jellies and jams all have a high level of acidity. Acidic foods do not cause significant harm to the teeth, but they can temporarily weaken or soften the enamel if they are too consistent in your diet.

Signs of acid erosion

Acid erosion can become a problem as time passes, which is why it is important to visit your dentist regularly. When tooth enamel is softened, there is an increased risk for it to be brushed or worn away over time. Here are some of the most common signs of acid erosion:

  • A change in the shape, texture, or appearance of the teeth

  • Loss of brightness

  • Transparency

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Discoloration

  • Dents on the chewing surface

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to visit your dentist for treatment. The earlier acid erosion is detected, the better.

How to avoid acid erosion

Since your enamel will be softest right after consuming acidic foods and drinks, you should wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth, or consider brushing before you eat. You should also avoid swishing acidic drinks, like soda and lemonade, in your mouth. Since the way you drink has more of an effect on the teeth than the amount you drink, consider drinking these beverages through a straw. The goal is to have as little acidic contact with the teeth as possible.

Which foods are highly acidic?

When it comes to acidic foods, moderation is key. Pay attention to the way your teeth look and feel after eating or drinking something acidic. If sensitivity develops, take a break from highly acidic foods. Refer to the following list to learn which foods and drinks are more acidic than others.

Highly Acidic

Food: blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, grapefruit, limes, lemons, pineapples, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, lemon juice, pickles, salad dressings, vinegar

Drinks: apple cider, apple juice, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice

Medium Acidity

Food: apples, figs, apricots, nectarines, mangos, oranges, peaches, pears, tomatoes, green olives, pesto, raisins, honey

Drinks: Buttermilk, orange juice, red and white wine

No/Low Acidity

Food: rye, wheat, and white bread; cheddar and parmesan cheese; barley; beans; artichokes; asparagus; avocado; broccoli; cabbage; cauliflower; carrots; celery; corn; cucumber; eggplant; yams; zucchini; black olives; peanut butter

Drinks: milk, mineral water

If you are concerned about acid erosion on your teeth, please schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills dentist Dr. Kevin Sands. He can help determine a plan of action to restore your teeth to their best possible form and function. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

inside of bottom teeth with dental mirrorComplete oral health means more than just keeping your teeth clean. A common misconception that many people have is that if their teeth appear white, then their mouth is healthy.

A healthy smile consists of more than just a bright white set of teeth. In order to attain complete oral health, individuals need to make sure their gums are also in excellent condition. Unfortunately, about half of the U.S. population aged 30 years and older have periodontal (gum) disease according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). A common precursor to periodontal disease is bleeding gums, which can be caused by various factors.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth twice a day may seem sufficient to some, but there are other things that must be done regularly to ensure a healthy mouth that is free of bleeding gums. Flossing at least once a day should also be done along with brushing, and teeth cleanings are strongly recommended throughout the year by a dental professional.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a condition that occurs when the gums become inflamed due to plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth. Regular brushing can reduce the amount of plaque on the teeth, while tartar removal typically requires a visit to a dental professional.

Hormonal Changes

For some women, the gums are more sensitive when they are pregnant. Known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” a woman’s gums tend to bleed during the months of pregnancy because of drastic hormonal fluctuations, which affect the blood flow throughout the body.

Bleeding Disorders

Diseases such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) prevent blood from clotting, which often causes excessive bleeding and bruising. The gums are one of the first areas that are noticeably affected by ITP because it is easily visible.

The health of your gums is necessary not just to your smile, but also to your overall health. If you wish to reverse the effects of bleeding gums and improve the health of your mouth, please contact our Beverly Hills practice today. Our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands, is a member of The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the American Dental Association. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sands, call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today. We look forward to meeting you!

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive to Cold?

Woman holding a popsicle with a bite taken out of it, while holding her jaw and grimacingIf your teeth are suddenly sensitive to cold, you may be wondering if there is a serious problem developing. Tooth sensitivity can be temporary, and it can also be a result of the natural aging process.

Usually, if your teeth show no signs of decay, you’ve been practicing good oral hygiene, and you visit your dentist regularly, you have nothing to worry about. However, tooth sensitivity can also lead to more serious problems. You should always consult your dentist if sensitive teeth are becoming a concern.

Tooth sensitivity occurs when nerves in the pulp of the tooth become exposed due to:

– Tooth decay or cavities near the gum line – Caused by poor oral hygiene

– Gum disease – Caused by poor oral hygiene

– Cracked or broken teeth – Caused by trauma to the tooth

– Worn enamel – Caused by habitual teeth grinding or clenching, certain mouthwashes, or highly acidic foods

Tooth decay

Tiny holes (cavities) near the front or back of the tooth can occur due to lack of oral hygiene. Since these can be difficult for you to see, regular dental check-ups are necessary for early detection.

Gum disease

Also called gingivitis, gum disease occurs when the gums become inflamed or sore due to lack of proper oral care. Advanced gingivitis, or periodontal disease, involves the gums moving away from the teeth, which exposes the roots.

Cracked or broken teeth

A cracked or broken tooth can expose the tooth roots. Cracks in the teeth can also fill with plaque, causing inflammation and further sensitivity.

Worn Enamel

Habitual grinding or clenching your teeth wears down the enamel and can expose the underlying dentin. The acid in certain over-the-counter mouthwashes can also worsen tooth sensitivity if the dentin has been exposed. Highly acidic foods, such as citrus and tomatoes can weaken the enamel, which also causes further sensitivity.

How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth

Here are a few simple tips for preventing and treating sensitive teeth:

1. Continue to follow a good brushing and flossing routine and visit your dentist regularly.

2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. A soft-bristled toothbrush can help reduce the gum irritation that may make teeth sensitive.

3. Use a natural fluoride solution for mouthwash. Ask your dentist for a brand he or she recommends.

4. Try desensitizing toothpaste. With regular use, you should notice an improvement in the degree of sensitivity. You may need to try several different brands before you find the one that works best for you.

Other causes for tooth sensitivity may include a loose filling or crown, recent teeth whitening, or a recent dental procedure. If tooth sensitivity is a problem for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin B. Sands at his Beverly Hills cosmetic dentistry office. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

What to Do if a Tooth Gets Knocked Out

shutterstock_99960629Accidental tooth loss often results from contact sports, fights, biting on hard food, and car accidents. Since tooth loss can happen to virtually anyone, it is good to know what to do in case it happens to you.

Whether or not you have your tooth, the first things you should do after a tooth is knocked out (“avulsed”) are:

1. Control bleeding with gauze and apply pressure.

2. Contact your dentist. If the tooth is badly broken, your nerve endings may be exposed, and you will need immediate attention to avoid infection and pain.

3. Apply a cold compress to the mouth and gums to help with pain.

 

How to Preserve a Knocked Out Tooth

If the knocked out tooth still has its root, it can often be reimplanted. A tooth is more likely to be saved if it can be reinserted within 30 minutes after it was displaced. After this amount of time, the likelihood that it will survive drops significantly.

You can choose one of the following options to help preserve the tooth until it can be reimplanted:

Place the tooth back in its socket so it is level with the other teeth. Bite down on gauze or a wet tea bag to keep in in place.

If the tooth needs to be cleaned first, run it under a gentle stream of water only. Do not handle the roots of the tooth.

 Place the tooth in a container of milk. Milk has a neutral pH balance and is fortified with vitamins that will help preserve it.

– Place the tooth in a container of saliva, or keep it in your mouth between the lower lip and gum or beneath the tongue.

– Use a tooth-saving storage device. These can usually be found at drugstores and can preserve the tooth for a longer amount of time.

 

Broken or Chipped Teeth

You may not need an emergency dental visit if the tooth is just broken or chipped, but you should still have the tooth fixed to avoid sharp edges that can cut the tongue. If the tooth is chipped, it can easily be restored with dental bonding.

If the tooth has been broken above the gum line, a root canal can be performed to save the tooth structure, and then it can be restored with a crown. For a tooth that is broken below the gum line, it may be best to extract the remainder of the tooth and insert a dental implant, bridge, or removable dental prosthesis. Dental implants are usually the best option for younger patients because they will protect against bone loss that may occur over time.

If you are interested in a cosmetic dental procedure in Beverly Hills, please contact Dr. Sands’ office by calling (310) 273-0111, or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

Natural Teeth Whitening

White Teeth Smile

Whiter teeth complete a beautiful smile and help renew confidence.

Dull or yellow teeth are caused by a variety of elements in our daily lives. As the enamel of your teeth wears down from consuming sugary, starchy, and acidic foods and drinks, the yellow dentin beneath it becomes more apparent. Consistently drinking liquids such as tea, wine, coffee, and soda, as well as using tobacco products, contribute to a negative color change in our teeth.

In today’s culture, a magnificent smile is not complete without a set of bright, white teeth. Although there are countless whitening kits available to make even the most yellow teeth noticeably whiter, many people use natural teeth whitening methods to improve and maintain the color of their teeth. In some cases, people have found natural remedies with even better results than whitening kits, at a fraction of the cost!

 

Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda

This is one of the oldest methods for teeth whitening that is still used today. In fact, peroxide is the main ingredient in just about every professional whitening kit. After mixing these two products together to form a consistency similar to toothpaste, gently brush the mixture onto your teeth. Be careful to avoid your gums though, as the mixture could irritate them. Let the mixture sit on the teeth for about two minutes and then rinse. Follow this routine once a week for whiter teeth.

Strawberries

This one may seem a bit odd, but some people have seen an improvement in the whiteness of their teeth after a few weeks of simply rubbing strawberries on them. This is because strawberries contain malic acid, which is a natural whitening agent. However, it should be noted that rubbing fruits containing acids and sugars will eventually eat away at the enamel of your teeth, so it is very important to brush your teeth after whitening with strawberries.

Oil Pulling

This is another uncommon method, but according to many reviews it has a positive effect on oral health in general as well as the appearance of teeth. Swish one tablespoon of sesame oil or olive oil throughout your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes. The oil will turn white because it naturally pulls toxins from your teeth and mouth. After the time is up, spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with water.

Although natural whitening methods have shown results for some people, the most effective approach to teeth whitening is whitening dentistry, which involves a variety of options such as in-house bleaching or laser whitening. To brighten your teeth and enhance your smile, please feel free to call our Beverly Hills practice at (310) 273-0111 today. Dr. Sands looks forward to helping you attain the brilliant smile you desire.

 

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

If you wake up each morning with a headache or a sore jaw, it may be because you grind your teeth while you sleep. Teeth grinding, medically known as “bruxism,” is relatively common and only harmful when done on a regular basis. Since bruxism usually occurs during sleep, the symptoms are often not noticeable until the teeth have been significantly worn down. This can damage the teeth and cause other health complications. In some cases, bruxism can result in fractured teeth, loose teeth, or complete tooth loss, and it can also cause hearing loss and negatively affect your jaws.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Bruxism can be caused by stress and anxiety but is more often the result of missing teeth, crooked teeth, or an abnormal bite pattern.

How to Prevent Teeth Grinding

If teeth grinding is a chronic problem, your dentist can fit you for a mouth guard to wear while you sleep. If your teeth grinding is stress-related, look for ways to reduce stress, such as starting an exercise program, seeking stress counseling, practicing yoga, or getting a prescription for muscle relaxants.

Cutting back on foods and beverages that contain caffeine can also help prevent bruxism. Do not chew on non-food items, such as gum, during the day. Gum causes you to develop the habit of clenching your teeth. You can help relax your jaw muscles by putting your tongue between your teeth during the day and by holding a warm washcloth along your jawline at night. Dehydration is also linked to bruxism, so be sure to drink plenty of water each day.

Fixing the Damage Caused by Teeth Grinding

Depending on the resulting damage, there are several procedures available to repair teeth after grinding. When bruxism results in missing teeth, the gaps can be filled by inserting dental implants, bridges, dentures, or partial dentures. If the tooth becomes fractured, loose, or chipped, the solution is often crowns or dental bonding.

If you are concerned that you grind your teeth at night, schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, Dr. Sands. He can check for signs of bruxism, determine if the habit will cause damage in the future, and correct any damage it may have already caused. Please visit our contact page or call (310) 273-0111 today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

How to Treat ‘Dry Mouth’

Never getting proper credit for being a lifesaver, saliva is one of the most important elements in the body. We all need spit to keep our mouths moistened and cleansed, as well as to help digest our food. Our saliva also assists in preventing mouth infections and washes away harmful bacteria and fungus in the mouth. Sometimes, however, our mouths can stop producing enough saliva to keep our mouths moistened.

“Dry mouth” can be the result of certain medications’ side effects, diseases, infections, medical treatments, nerve damage, dehydration, smoking, and/or chewing tobacco. This often includes medications for depression, acne, epilepsy, psychotic disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. Serious medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and anemia, can also cause dryness of the mouth.

Some things you can do to relieve dry mouth is:

  1. Limit your caffeine intake and stay hydrated with water
  2. Make sure your mouthwash does not contain alcohol
  3. Practice breathing through your nose more than out your mouth
  4. Consider sleeping with a humidifier to increase moisture in the air

If you follow these tips and still feel like dry mouth is an issue, make sure to visit both your general doctor and dentist. Your doctor can evaluate your health and situate any necessary medication, and your dentist can help protect your oral health to avoid the potential issues dry mouth can have on your teeth.

Please call my Beverly Hills cosmetic dentistry practice to make an appointment. We look forward to your visit! Please call (310) 273-0111 to get started.

What Factors Might Prevent Me From Receiving Dental Implants?

Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular solution for replacing missing teeth. Although many individuals are ideal candidates for this procedure, there are some underlying factors that may prevent its effectiveness among some patients.

A main concern is when bone recovery or growth is inhibited. Without strong bones, the implant cannot fuse together correctly with the jaw and the procedure will render unsuccessful. This can occur in those who have uncontrollable diabetes because those with hemoglobin AC1 levels above nine percent are more prone to infection as well as limited bone recovery and growth. While it isn’t impossible for a patient with uncontrollable diabetes to successfully receive dental implants, findings have shown that the implant failure rate is usually higher in such patients. Those with hemoglobin levels stabilized below nine percent are usually not at risk for implant failure.

Some chemotherapy drugs can also affect dental implants as well as the bone-healing process. If you have ever had chemotherapy, it is best to consult with a practitioner for an assessment. If you have had a parathyroid disorder, you may have also suffered bone loss. Based on your health history, a dentist can help you determine if dental implants will work for you.

Complications with dental implants are typically rare, but if you do have problems with the implants or surrounding jaw and gum area it is best to contact your dentist as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis.

As I mentioned in my previous post, “Myths About Dental Implants,” weak bone structures can actually be reinforced prior to treatment in order to ensure proper integration. If you can relate to one or more of the above factors, dental implants may still be a good option for you.

Please contact my Beverly Hills office today to schedule an appointment: (310) 273-0111.

Don't Skip Your Dental Checkup Because You are Pregnant

Many women avoid the dentist when they are pregnant, even though maintaining good oral health during this time is very important. Pregnant women experience hormonal changes that can increase gum sensitivity and gum bleeding, which affect the way the gums respond to the irritants in plaque. When this inflammation of the gum occurs, it is commonly called “pregnancy gingivitis.” Although this is a non-destructive type of gum disease, it can lead to the more serious “periodontitis” if left untreated.

Symptoms of “Pregnancy Gingivitis”

The symptoms of gingivitis are usually undetected until they have reached the periodontitis stage. Symptoms for periodontitis include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender gums
  • Gums that are receding or separating from the teeth
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Sores or pus in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Painful chewing

Along with the myriad of problems caused by gum disease, it has also been linked to causing premature births and low birth weights. However, these problems can easily be prevented with regular visits to your dentist. Remember, you may be able to remove plaque from your teeth at home, but only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove the hard tartar buildup that can lead to gingivitis or gum disease.

The Importance of Maintaining Oral Health During Pregnancy

Studies have shown that brushing and flossing your teeth regularly during pregnancy can prevent poor oral health from being passed down to your child. If you already have “pregnancy gingivitis,” your daily oral hygiene regimen will be a key factor in determining whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or worsened before you visit your dentist for treatment.

If the pregnancy “gag reflex” is affecting your regular brushing schedule, here are a few solutions to help prevent this from happening:

– Try a different flavor of toothpaste
– Use a toothbrush with a smaller head
– Brush your teeth more slowly
– Concentrate on your breathing while brushing

You can also help prevent gingivitis and tooth decay by eating a balanced diet and by cutting back on extra sugary and fatty foods. A balanced diet is great for your teeth and gums, and will definitely help your body as it nurtures your growing baby.

Preventing Decay Caused by Morning Sickness

A routine dental checkup is also important for pregnant women who experience morning sickness. Vomiting on a regular basis increases the presence of acids in your mouth, which can erode tooth enamel. It is a good idea to rinse your mouth with plain water and then wait 20 to 30 minutes after vomiting before brushing. Since the stomach acid may soften your tooth enamel, the vigorous action of the toothbrush immediately after vomiting can further damage your teeth.

When to Schedule Your Dentist Appointment

When you schedule your appointment you should tell your dentist if you are pregnant, and discuss information about your stress levels, past miscarriages, and medications you are taking. It is best to schedule your appointment during your second trimester, when any necessary treatment won’t harm the baby in the most critical stages of development.

Precautions During Pregnancy

If you are concerned that dental treatments, X-rays, or other procedures can potentially be harmful to your baby, again, I recommend avoiding dental treatments during the first and third trimesters when the baby’s growth and development are in their peak stages. Women in their reproductive years should not have any cosmetic dental procedures such as dental implants or porcelain veneers if they are, or plan on, becoming pregnant.

At my Beverly Hills dental practice I take care to avoid using X-rays on a pregnant patient unless there is an emergency. However, X-rays are much safer today than in past decades, and we will take extra precautions when performing them if it becomes necessary. Dental anesthetics, pain medications, and antibiotics are usually not prescribed for patients who are in their first trimester.

It is my goal to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile in the safest possible way. If you would like more information about the procedures performed at my dental practice, please visit my website or schedule an appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111.

The Affect Smoking Will Have On Your Oral Health

Everyone knows that smoking will negatively affect a person’s physical health. But for some people, the damage that it does to their oral health is commonly overlooked. The inhalation of over 4,000 chemicals that are found in cigarettes not only make teeth look unattractive and discolored; it can also cause severe problems for an individual.

Oral Cancer

A malignant neoplasm on the lips or in the mouth can be caused by smoking. Of the 40,000 people diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States every year, about 8,000 die per year. It is said that only a little more than 50 percent of those diagnosed will be alive in the next five years.

Periodontal Disease

Studies have shown that smoking is one of the most significant factors in not only the development of, but advancement of, periodontal disease. Because smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells, people who smoke are more susceptible to periodontal disease. When smoke is inhaled into the mouth the blood vessels constrict, delaying blood flow to the gums and hindering wounds from healing. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it will only get worse; periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.

People who smoke are also more likely to have issues including:

  • Build up of plaque and tarter
  • Deep pockets between your teeth and gums
  • Loss of bone and tissue that support the teeth

If bacteria is not removed through routine and professional cleanings then bacteria remains below your gum line and can destroy the gum tissue, causing them to become inflamed. Once this happens, pockets form and fill with disease-causing bacteria. These bacteria can cause gingivitis and ultimately cause the teeth to fall out.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Anyone who smokes long enough will develop halitosis. Although mouthwash and gum may work short-term, in the long run they will fail. Many smokers may become used to the smell, but it is quite obvious to non-smokers. Halitosis can be cured and sometimes will go away if a person stops smoking.

Like halitosis, many of the problems brought on by smoking can be reversed or corrected if a person drops the habit.

By combining my extensive training with state-of-the-art equipment I can help patients improve not only the look of their teeth, but their overall oral health as well.

As an extensively experienced Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, I can help you attain the look you want through my dedication and use of state-of-the-art equipment. I welcome you to visit my website and to schedule a consultation at my Los Angeles office for all of your dental needs.

Do You Have Gingivitis?

Many people have gingivitis and don’t even know it. This means they aren’t taking the necessary precautions and actions to reduce or get rid of the inflammation, which can cause problems later, such as gum disease and tooth decay. So it is important to notice the signs now, so you can fix the problem immediately.

There are many tell-tale signs and symptoms of gingivitis that should motivate you to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Paying attention to the appearance and feeling of your gums is vital. Swollen, soft, puffy, or tender gums may indicate gingivitis. Signs that your gums are not healthy also include recession or darkening in color. Your gums should be a healthy, baby pink. If they are red or if they bleed when you brush or floss, it is important that you see your dentist. Bad breath is also a strong indicator of gingivitis.

Poor oral hygiene that causes plaque and tarter to form on teeth can result in gingivitis, which is why it is crucial to brush and floss daily. Other factors that increase your risk of developing gingivitis include aging, diabetes, smoking, hormonal changes, dry mouth, immune diseases, and medications. Because some factors are unavoidable, it is especially important to visit see your professional dentist regularly.

Treating gingivitis is a combination of at-home and in-office care. As a Beverly Hills dentist, I can evaluate your teeth and gums, remove built-up plaque and tarter, and fix dental fixtures that may prevent good oral hygiene. I can also provide you with the best at-home advice to take care of your teeth and gums daily, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Consistent cleaning and dental check-ups is key in achieving a healthy mouth and effectively treating gingivitis.

For those who feel like they may have gingivitis, or for those who want to prevent it, please schedule a consultation at my Beverly Hills office today.  My staff and I welcome your visit.

Using Dental Crowns to Protect Weakened Teeth

Sometimes covering up a problem isn’t going to solve it. With dental crowns, however, this isn’t the case. Crowns are used to protect, restore, and support broken or weakened teeth. For those who have severely discolored or sharp, malformed teeth, crowns can also be used to cover the teeth. They may be used to cover a bridge or large filling as well. Crowns are like protective hats that, in addition, help prevent further damage to the tooth. At my Beverly Hills practice, I offer state-of-the-art crown fixtures to help protect your teeth and get you back to looking and feeling your best.

Permanent crowns may be made of metal, porcelain, all-resin, or ceramic. Metals used in crowns include gold, palladium, or base-metals. With metal crowns, less tooth structure has to be removed when fitting. Also, in comparison to other crowns, metals usually last longer with normal wear and tear such as biting and chewing. However because they are metallic in color, many patients prefer porcelain for greater discretion; porcelain crowns are color-matched to the patient’s surrounding teeth, so it appears like a real tooth. The porcelain and ceramic fixtures are best for front teeth, due to appearing authentic, usually suiting patients who have metal allergies best. All-resin crowns are less expensive, but also more prone to chipping and fractures.

Placing a crown on the tooth is a delicate procedure. The tooth is first numbed to reduce any pain, and then filed down on top and the sides of the tooth in order to fit the crown. If the tooth is cracked or broken, I may build the broken areas with filling material. Once the tooth is reshaped, an impression paste will be placed on the tooth where the crown will be set. I will ensure that the crown fits well and doesn’t affect your bite. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab for the crown to be made. A temporary crown will generally be placed until your permanent is made.

It generally takes about two to three weeks for a crown to be manufactured. On your second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and your permanent crown will be fitted into place. If it fits right, I will numb your tooth with an anesthetic and permanently cement the crown into place.

If you are interested in learning more about dental crowns, which are commonly performed in conjunction with dental implants, please visit my Beverly Hills office. I will help you get the most dazzling, healthy-looking smile possible!

What Causes Oversensitive Teeth?

It’s not fun when all you want to do is enjoy your milkshake, but every time the cold touches your sensitive tooth, you wince with pain. So what causes your teeth to be sensitive to something as harmless as a dessert?

There are various factors that can cause oversensitive teeth. Brushing too hard can wear down the protective layers of your teeth and cause hole-like canals that hit your dental nerves. The best way to prevent this is to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles. Also, do not brush your teeth vigorously; rather you should do so gently in a circular motion. If you grind your teeth, it is important that you talk to your dentist. You may get fitted for a mouth guard that will protect your teeth from grinding off the enamel. Because toothpastes with substances such as tooth-whiteners can cause your teeth to become sensitive, consider switching to a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for those with tooth sensitivity.

Avoiding certain foods can also help prevent tooth pain. Acidic foods, such as lemons, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles, can hit your nerves through the hole-like canals. Hot, cold, sweet, and even sour foods can trigger pain in oversensitive teeth as well. Your dentist can determine what is causing your teeth to be sensitive, such as a broken tooth, gingivitis, plaque and tarter build-up, and so on. Once you can identify the problem, you and your dentist can work on a solution plan to fix and prevent the oversensitivity.

By taking care of your teeth, being cautious with how you brush and what you eat, and visiting your dentist regularly, you can be back to drinking your milkshakes pain-free!

If you are experiencing oversensitive teeth issues, please schedule a consultation at my Beverly Hills dental practice today. I am more than happy to help you regain a healthy set of teeth and a Hollywood smile!

414 N. CAMDEN DRIVE, SUITE 940
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210
Tel: (310) 273-0111

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Request an appointment for a complimentary consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands, or feel free to call our Los Angeles (north of Orange County) office at (310) 273-0111 for more information.