Category Archives: Dental Care

Is Fluoride In Toothpaste Bad By San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Fluoride toothpaste has been the standard-bearer of dental care for decades, but with so many “fluoride free” oral care products now on the market, you might be wondering if fluoride toothpaste is bad for you. The short answer is no—fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, and other products remain an excellent way to keep your teeth healthy and strong. As with any personal hygiene product, there are pros and cons of fluoride toothpaste, and fluoride-free toothpaste as well. Here’s what you need to know:

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical found in small amounts in soil, rocks, water, air, and even some plants. Fluoride is a common ingredient in oral health products like toothpaste and mouthwash, and it is also used in medical imaging scans, as a cleaning agent, and as an additive to steel and aluminum products. 

How does fluoride help teeth?

Fluoride prevents tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of tooth enamel, while also “remineralizing” enamel by bonding to decayed areas and attracting strengthening minerals like calcium to help repair tooth damage. The new, harder, stronger enamel that is produced—called fluorapatite—is more resistant to the acids that can cause cavities. Fluoride also features antibacterial properties that inhibit bacterial growth and prevent microbes from sticking to teeth.

Is fluoride safe?

Fluoride is safe for use in toothpaste and mouthwash, and most municipal water districts even add small amounts of fluoride to tap water. However, aside from the trace amounts in tap water, fluoride is not meant to be ingested. The amount present in oral health products can be poisonous if consumed in large quantities, which is why fluoride toothpaste is not typically recommended for children younger than six years old. Swallowing fluoride toothpaste can lead to fluorosis, which interferes with the development of tooth enamel and can result in white streaks on the teeth, and gastrointestinal problems if the amount is large enough. But as long as you spit and rinse normally after brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, you won’t have to worry about fluorosis.

Is fluoride-free toothpaste effective?

Fluoride-free toothpaste is relatively new to the oral health market. It uses natural ingredients like hydrated silica—a mild abrasive that gently cleans the teeth and helps remove stains—cranberry extract, and xylitol, which raises the pH of the mouth to limit bacterial growth. While fluoride-free toothpaste is effective at cleaning your teeth, it is not capable of strengthening the teeth and inhibiting bacterial growth the way toothpastes containing fluoride are.

Still undecided? San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can help

Using fluoride toothpaste for cavities is one of the best ways to maintain good oral health, but the decision on which dental products to use is best decided between you and your dentist. At San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we can help guide you through the abundance of dental product options available so you can make the best choice for your oral health. For more information about fluoride products, dental procedures, or other dental concerns, give us a call at (619) 543-0905.

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Dental Emergency During Coronavirus San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Strict social-distancing measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak mean only essential businesses are continuing to operate. So, what will happen to your upcoming dental appointment? Unfortunately, the American Dental Association has recommended dentists postpone regular appointments through April 30, but remain open to handle dental emergencies and urgent dental care.

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is defined as a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment. Examples of dental emergencies include:

  • Bleeding from an injury or recent dental procedure 
  • Soft tissue bacterial infection with swelling that could compromise your airway
  • Trauma or injury to the facial bones that could compromise your airway

What is an urgent dental condition?

Some dental issues are not life-threatening, but they still require immediate attention to alleviate pain, decrease the risk of infection, and prevent the condition from worsening. Urgent dental conditions that can be treated during the coronavirus outbreak include:

  • Inflammation of dental pulp
  • Gum infection
  • “Dry socket” after dental surgery
  • Abscesses or bacterial infections
  • Tooth fracture that results in soft tissue trauma or severe pain
  • Full or partial tooth displacement
  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue
  • Final crown or bridge restoration if temporary crown/bridge is lost or broken
  • Suture removal from previous dental surgery
  • Denture adjustment in conjunction with cancer treatment
  • Orthodontic adjustments to relieve pain, such as snipping wires on braces

What types of regular dental care can be postponed?

Regular checkups that include deep cleanings and X-rays can be postponed until social distancing guidelines are relaxed. But even if you don’t have a regular dental check-up or orthodontic adjustment that can be rescheduled, there are other types of dental care that can be postponed if they come up, including:

  • Removal of teeth that are not causing pain
  • Filling cavities that are not causing pain
  • Teeth whitening procedures
  • Restorative dental procedures such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants
  • Aesthetic dental procedures such as veneers, crowns, and dental implants

What should you do in the meantime?

While you wait for your postponed dental checkup, it’s important to continue your daily oral health routine of brushing and flossing to prevent the occurrence of minor dental issues that can’t be addressed immediately. It’s also a good idea to avoid, if possible, activities that might lead to dental injuries, such as certain sports and dangerous home projects.

How should you maintain good oral health when you’re sick with coronavirus or another illness?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (or suspect you have, in the absence of a test), or another severe illness like the flu, it’s important to maintain your daily oral health routine as much as you’re able. Other suggestions to follow if you’re sick include:

  • Buy sugar-free cough drops instead of drops that contain sugar or fructose, which can lead to cavities
  • Stay hydrated to avoid dry mouth, which increases the risk of cavities
  • Buy a new toothbrush to use after the sickness passes

Not sure if you need an emergency or urgent dental appointment?

If you have a moderate to severe dental issue and you’re not sure if it’s serious enough for a dental appointment, the easiest way to find out is to ask. At San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we are open to care for emergency and urgent dental conditions, and we can help you determine whether it’s necessary to make an appointment. For more information, give us a call at (619) 543-0905.

Does Charcoal Toothpaste Work and is It Safe

Health fads are nothing new, but oral health products tend to be immune from new trend hype, likely because good oral health is pretty simple: brush and floss daily, and get twice-yearly dental exams. However, charcoal’s recent hype as the newest big thing in wellness and cosmetics has infiltrated the world of dental care, with an explosion of charcoal-based products that claim to whiten teeth “naturally.” 

You’ll probably see several different brands of charcoal toothpaste in stores, with bold claims on the packages promising a brilliant white smile. Before trying any new health trend, it’s a good idea to research such claims. In the spirit of informed consumerism, here’s what you should know about charcoal toothpaste.

What is charcoal toothpaste?

Charcoal toothpaste looks exactly like you think it would—deep black and grainy. It’s made with activated charcoal, which is a fine grain powder comprised of wood bits, peat, coconut shells, and other carbon-based natural materials that are slowly oxidized under extreme heat. The process causes the material to become porous, and its ability to effectively absorb and trap toxic chemicals makes it a reasonable standard treatment for accidental poisonings. Charcoal toothpaste has activated charcoal incorporated into the paste.

Does charcoal toothpaste work?

Charcoal toothpaste boasts that charcoal’s extraordinary absorption powers can tackle stains, but the claim is only half true. Activated charcoal is mildly abrasive, which means it can remove and absorb some surface stains on your teeth. But for any tooth-whitening product to work effectively, it needs to work below the enamel as well, and there is no evidence that activated charcoal has any effect beyond surface stains.

Is charcoal toothpaste safe?

Activated charcoal is technically non-toxic, so it’s safe in a general sense, but it’s not entirely safe for the health of your teeth. Because charcoal toothpaste is abrasive, using it on a daily basis will wear down the enamel in your teeth, exposing dentin, the yellow-colored calcified tissue beneath, which negates the whole purpose of using a tooth-whitening product. Additionally, charcoal  toothpaste can even stain your teeth if charcoal particles accumulate in the cracks and crevices.

Is charcoal toothpaste bad for your teeth?

Used daily, charcoal toothpaste can damage your teeth, wearing down enamel and resulting in increased tooth sensitivity. Also, most charcoal toothpaste brands do not contain fluoride, which strengthens teeths and helps prevent cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Charcoal toothpaste can have a negative effect on dental restorations including crowns, bridges, veneers, and white fillings—as with the crevices of your teeth, charcoal particles can accumulate in and around restorations, leaving an unattractive black or gray outline.

Can you use charcoal toothpaste with braces?

The risks of using charcoal toothpaste are no different with or without braces, but you should be cautious about using any tooth whitening product with braces. The part of your teeth hidden by the metal brackets will be unaffected by the whitening product, leaving you with discolored squares once the brackets are removed. If you want your new straight smile to be brilliant and white, wait until after the braces come off to use whiteners. 

What are better options for teeth whitening?

Tried-and-true teeth whitening methods sustain popularity, despite the emergence of fads, for good reason: they actually work! Tooth whitening products that are ADA approved and contain blue covarine, hydrogen peroxide, and microbeads are the most effective according to many studies. Options include: 

  • Standard whitening toothpastes: great at removing surface stains without being dangerously abrasive
  • Whitening strips: tackle both surface and below-the-surface stains.
  • In-office whitening programs or dentist-supervised at-home whitening methods: the most effective whitening options with long-term results

The best whitening toothpastes include fluoride to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and some even feature gum-detoxifying ingredients that neutralize gingivitis and plaque around the gum line.

Healthy dental habits are important, too!

Your oral hygiene routine and the foods you eat can have a significant impact on the color of your teeth. Whether you hope to keep your teeth white naturally or you want to make the most of a recent teeth-whitening procedure, practicing healthy habits every day will go a long way toward keeping your pearly whites nice and bright. Be sure to:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes
  • Use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance
  • Clean between your teeth once a day
  • Limit foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
  • Avoid using tobacco including smoking and vaping
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings

Not only will these habits optimize the appearance of your smile, but they’ll also help prevent cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health complications. 

Keeping your teeth and gums bright and healthy at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

So does charcoal toothpaste whiten teeth? Sadly, the answer is not really, and it can do more harm than good. To keep your teeth bright and white, use ADA approved teeth whitening products, and to keep your whole mouth healthy, be sure to brush and floss daily and see your dentist regularly. It’s also important to seek out a dental specialist for advanced dental issues, so if you have any questions about periodontal services or implants, give San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry a call at (619) 543-0905.

 

Teeth Grinding Solution San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

If you wake up most mornings with a sore jaw and teeth, the discomfort is most likely the result of grinding your teeth while you sleep, which is medically known as bruxism. The rhythmic jaw clenching and teeth grinding that defines bruxism usually happens while you’re sleeping and unconscious, and if left ignored, it can cause serious damage to your teeth. Fortunately, treatment is available for bruxism, which is more common than you might think. In fact, many celebrities have been open with their struggles with teeth grinding and how they’ve coped.

Here’s everything you need to know about bruxism and how three celebrities treated their condition:

Symptoms of teeth grinding 

Clenching teeth all night long does more than leave you with a sore jaw when you wake up. Other symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, stiffness in the shoulders and neck, ear pain, inner cheek damage, and swollen facial muscles. Though pain and discomfort are unpleasant enough, but one of the worst side effects of bruxism is the abnormal wear and tear on your teeth, which can lead to fractures and tooth loss.

Causes of teeth grinding

Researchers don’t know exactly what causes bruxism, although it’s commonly thought that stress and anxiety can lead to nighttime teeth grinding. Other possible culprits include crooked or missing teeth, abnormal bite patterns, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Some research also suggests that bruxism could be related to genetics, as it’s more likely for someone to develop bruxism if a parent suffers from it as well. 

How to stop grinding teeth

Because the causes of bruxism vary among patients, treatment options will vary as well. Addressing sleep disorders or underlying anxiety could have a positive effect, but for most patients, confronting the bruxism directly is the best course of action, whether through a customized mouth guard for teeth grinding, or dental adjustments to fix an abnormal bite.

Celebrity’s choice: Mouth Guards

Custom-made, individually fitted mouth guards might not cure bruxism, but they provide excellent protection against painful symptoms by cushioning the lower and upper teeth.

1. Chrissy Teigen

TV personality and Twitter star Chrissy Teigen has been vocal about the customized mouth guard she wears every night, even modeling the device on social media.

2. Tara Lipinski

Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski has noted in interviews that she wears her mouth guard regularly, even when traveling.

3. Vivica Fox

Movie star Vivica Fox has also publicly discussed her night guard, adding that it offers double protection: for her teeth and her porcelain veneers, which are vulnerable to damage from grinding. 

Bite adjustment for teeth grinding

In many cases, people suffering from bruxism only need a minor adjustment to their bite to prevent their teeth from grinding. An occlusal adjustment is a dental procedure that removes tiny obstructions in the teeth to allow them to close with a better fit. These obstructions, also called interferences, can develop as teeth grow, after an injury, over time with normal wear, or due to dental treatments including crowns, fillings, and bridges. Once they are identified, the interferences will be filed down and smoothed until the teeth fit together properly. 

Teeth grinding treatment in San Diego, CA

If you’re tired of waking up every morning to jaw pain and discomfort, it’s time to address your chronic bruxism. Whether you need a mouth guard for teeth grinding or a bite adjustment, the specialists at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can help. After a positive diagnosis of bruxism, we will discuss all the options available and help you select the best treatment for your needs.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, fill out our contact form or give us a call at (619) 543-0905.

 

San Diego Airflow Therapy Dental Polishing Treatment

To keep your gums healthy, one of the most important things you can do is schedule regular professional dental cleanings. Traditionally, teeth cleaning removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline via careful scraping with handheld instruments or ultrasonic tools.

While this process is vital to your long-term oral health, it can also be uncomfortable and time-consuming. But with the revolutionary AIRFLOW therapy method of cleaning, you can reduce the amount of time you spend in the dentist’s chair – and enjoy healthier gums all year round.

Biofilm and Its Connection to Gum Disease

Your mouth contains naturally occurring bacteria which colonizes on your teeth and gum tissue in a substance known as biofilm. By brushing and flossing, you can curtail biofilm growth. However, poor oral hygiene can lead to biofilm buildup, also known as plaque, which contributes to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health concerns. Professional cleanings are an effective method of removing biofilm – and AIRFLOW therapy provides the most efficient biofilm management available.

AIRFLOW Therapy: The Best Choice for Removing Biofilm

AIRFLOW is an advanced air polishing treatment that uses a combination of air, water, and specially formulated powders to disperse and eliminate biofilm. Using a small handheld device, your dentist or periodontist will administer a controlled, pressurized stream of fluid to your teeth and gums. As the mixture is applied, it removes surface stains, plaque, tartar, and bacterial or food deposits stuck in, around, and between the teeth. It can also be sprayed beneath the gumline to eradicate disease-causing bacteria without harming the gingival tissue.

The Benefits of AIRFLOW Therapy

There are many advantages to AIRFLOW therapy over traditional methods of periodontal cleaning, including:

  • AIRFLOW is fast

On average, professional cleaning using traditional instrumentation takes between 30 and 60 seconds per tooth. With AIRFLOW, that time is reduced to 5 seconds. It can also help speed up other periodontal procedures. For example, when AIRFLOW is used prior to a scaling treatment, the entire procedure is completed an average of 8 to 12 minutes faster than without it. That means less time in the dentist’s chair for you.

  • AIRFLOW is comfortable

Older air polishing treatments have had a reputation for being messy, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. But patients report AIRFLOW therapy is a far more pleasant experience. A soft, warm stream of water gently hits your gums and tooth surfaces, providing maximum effectiveness with minimal discomfort.

  • AIRFLOW is versatile

It can often be difficult to efficiently clean hard-to-reach spots or delicate areas of the mouth. AIRFLOW, however, is safe and effective on virtually any oral surface. In addition to tooth enamel and gum tissue, AIRFLOW can be used on orthodontia, implants, and restorations.

  • AIRFLOW promotes periodontal health

The powders used in AIRFLOW treatments not only remove stains and biofilm, but they’re also specially formulated to inhibit bacterial growth in the future. Erythritol powder used in AIRFLOW therapy is minimally abrasive, meaning it is significantly less harmful to gum tissue than coarser powders such as sodium bicarbonate. In addition, erythritol inactivates bacteria to stop it from reproducing, which helps prevent the formation of gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry Offers Airflow Therapy

At San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we’re passionate about using the best care periodontal science has to offer. That’s why we provide cutting-edge AIRFLOW therapy as part of our comprehensive treatment services. Whether you’re struggling with active gum disease or you’re ready to establish a periodontal maintenance plan, Dr. Kwok can help get you on the road to good – and lasting – oral health.

To schedule an appointment, call our office at (619) 543-0905.

Periodontist Before Getting Braces San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

If your teeth are misaligned or overcrowded, braces can greatly improve the quality of your smile. But gum disease can render orthodontic treatment ineffective – and in some cases, where the supporting structures of the teeth are compromised, braces may actually cause more harm than good.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of all American adults aged 30 and over have some form of gum disease. While many of them experience symptoms such as red, swollen, or painful gums, it’s possible to have gum disease without any obvious signs.

That’s why one of the most important things to do before you get braces is to receive a thorough exam from a periodontist to ensure that your gums are healthy.

The Connection Between Periodontics and Braces Treatment

There is a reciprocal relationship between your gum health and the alignment of your teeth. Poor positioning, uneven spacing, and overcrowding can make it difficult to properly clean your teeth and gums, leading to bacterial overgrowth and eventual gum disease. Receiving orthodontic treatment to correct malocclusion or straighten your teeth can improve your long-term oral health.

However, getting braces when you’re suffering from active gingivitis or periodontitis can put your teeth at risk. Any kind of orthodontic treatment – including braces, Invisalign, or SmileDirectClub aligners – involves shifting the position of teeth in your mouth by applying continuous, directed pressure, and over time, changing the shape of your jaw to accommodate this new positioning. If your gums are inflamed or infected with bacteria while this process is underway, it could compromise the integrity of your teeth.

Getting Periodontal Clearance for Braces

Before getting braces, it’s important to check with your periodontist to make sure your mouth is healthy enough to sustain the treatment. During a periodontal exam, your periodontist will evaluate the state of your teeth, gums, bite, and bone structure, as well as assess risk factors, such as your age and general health status. They’ll look for inflammation, bleeding, redness, recession, and loose teeth, and if necessary, make recommendations for treatment to restore your gums to optimal health.

Periodontal Procedures Before Orthodontic Treatment

If your periodontist finds evidence of gum disease or gum recession, your treatment plan may involve any of the following procedures:

1. Scaling and root planing

This deep-cleaning treatment removes hardened plaque, tartar, and bacterial deposits from your teeth – both above and below the gumline – and smoothes the root surfaces to allow for thorough healing. Learn more about Perio Maintenance Vs Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning) Vs Prophy here.

2. Pocket reduction surgery

Also known as flap surgery, this procedure can be done alongside scaling and root planing. It entails folding back your gum tissue to remove bacteria and debris from “pockets” that have formed around your teeth, before securing them back into place. This helps to reduce inflammation and potentially saves your teeth from further damage.

3. Grafts

If your gums have receded, your periodontist may suggest a gum graft before, during, or after orthodontics to help build stronger gum tissue and to help prevent further recession. 

After you’ve been treated for periodontal disease, it’s crucial to keep your gums healthy by working closely with your periodontist to receive regular periodontal maintenance.

Prepare for Braces at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Before you begin orthodontic treatment, come see Dr. Kwok at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry for a thorough evaluation of your gums. After your checkup, he’ll let you know whether you’re ready for braces or aligners, and if you’re not, he’ll provide you with a detailed treatment plan to improve your periodontal health so you can safely take the next steps to enhance your smile. 

Call us today at (619) 543-0905 to schedule your appointment for a periodontal checkup before you get braces or aligners.

Prioritizing Dental Health San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Picture this: you just got a bonus at work. As you daydream about how you’ll spend your fortune, images of a beach vacation make it impossible to concentrate on anything else. That is, aside from the dull, aching pain in your tooth. Your dentist referred you to a periodontist, but finances and scheduling conflicts seem to keep getting in the way of making an appointment.

Would an impromptu trip to the Bahamas be fun? Absolutely. But, having tooth or health issues on vacation could ruin the entire experience. Not to mention, ignoring the issue will end up costing you more in the long-term. Taking care of your dental health now will give you peace of mind to enjoy the best of what life has to offer and save you money over time. Here are four reasons to prioritize dental care.

1. Prevent small issues from becoming big problems

As with most things in life, preventative care is always less expensive than emergency care. Prioritizing your dental health will allow your dentist to catch issues in the earliest stages, translating to simpler work and minimal discomfort. Plus, minor treatments are typically less expensive than major dental procedures. Even if you have insurance, this can save you money in the long run.

2. Keep more of your teeth

  • According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth.
  • According to a 2011 CDC survey, adults age 20-39 were twice as likely to have all their teeth compared (67%) with adults age 40-64 (34%).

Tooth loss commonly occurs as a result of tooth decay and gum disease, both of which are caused by poor oral hygiene. Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups will help prevent cavities, decay, and tooth loss and eliminate the need for dentures or dental implants.

3. Maintain good overall health

Many dental health issues occur when bacteria build up in the mouth and attacks the teeth and gums. This same bacteria can seep into the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, causing serious harm. Oral bacteria can put you at risk for heart attack and stroke and complicate diabetes, among other health problems. Prioritizing dental care will prevent bacteria from building up and help you maintain good overall health.

4. Your insurance could change

Whether you’re nearing retirement or your employer is changing its healthcare plan, your insurance situation could change at any time. Prioritizing your dental care will enable you to use your benefits while you still can, making both small and large dental procedures affordable. Purchasing good dental insurance on your own can be very expensive, so don’t put off that procedure you know you need.

Prioritize Your Dental Health at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

If you’re experiencing tooth pain or swollen or bleeding gums, prioritize your dental health now to prevent bigger problems down the road. At San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we specialize in preventative dental care and treat all stages of periodontal disease to help you achieve and maintain good oral health.

Patients often ask us if insurance will cover their dental procedures. We accept all PPO plans and are happy to work with your plan. Please review our financial policy for more information on insurance and payment guidelines or give us a call at (619) 543-0905 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kwok.

Planmeca Promax 3D Scanning San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry
Image Source

You’re probably familiar with standard dental x-rays. These images are great for evaluating tooth decay, bone loss, and other common issues, and they’re still the standard for routine dental checkups. But when it comes to diagnosing more complex conditions and planning complicated dental procedures, a dentist needs more information about a patient’s mouth than a 2D image can provide. That’s where cone beam imaging utilizing 3D imaging comes in.

Cone Beam Imaging X-Ray Machine

Cone beam is a special type of x-ray machine that generates three dimensional (3D) images of a patient’s soft tissue, dental structures, and nerve paths. At San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we use the Planmeca Promax 3D.

The Most Advanced CT Scans with less radiation

The detailed images that come out of this 3D imaging device give us not only the clarity we need for precise treatment planning but also uses less radiation than a traditional Panoramic 2D x-ray.

What is the Planmeca Promax 3D?

Before cone beam machines were available for dental offices, a doctor who needed 3D images would typically send a patient for a CAT scan. While helpful in diagnosing and treating complex conditions, these scans were inconvenient for patients and exposed them to high levels of radiation.

The advanced CT Scan allows us to get important diagnostic information right in our office in a manner that drastically reduces the amount of radiation patients are exposed to.

The 3D imaging device is a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) machine that has optimized imaging modes for the best image quality. Imaging protocol allows us to take cone beam images with an even lower dose of radiation than standard 2D panoramic imaging.

Its open design eliminates the “claustrophobic” feeling of other x-ray machines and makes for a more relaxed patient experience.

Why do we use this 3D imaging device?

Quite simply, it gives us an outstanding view into a patient’s oral anatomy. It allows us to see important nerves and blood vessels that can’t be detected with traditional x-rays. We can evaluate the jawbone, teeth, nerves, and their corresponding dimensions from multiple angles so we have extensive knowledge about where to place a dental implant, how dense the jawbone is, and other useful information.

What’s more, this 3D imaging device is the first machine to combine three different types of 3D data into one x-ray machine. We can take a cone beam photo, a 3D face photo, and a 3D model scan to create a virtual version of a patient’s facial and oral anatomy.

This 3D rendering gives us the ability and confidence to develop precise treatment plans for each individual patient.

San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry only uses the latest and greatest technology

Whether you need dental implants, removal of impacted teeth, or reconstructive surgery, your oral health is in excellent hands at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Dr. Kwok uses the latest and greatest technology to diagnose and treat complex conditions all while prioritizing his patients’ comfort and safety. Call us today at (619) 543-0905 to schedule a consultation.

Dental Care for the Elderly (San Diego)

Dental health is important for people of all ages, including seniors. As we age, maintaining oral hygiene becomes more challenging—medical conditions like arthritis make brushing and flossing difficult, and cognitive issues cause forgetfulness. Still, it’s crucial to prioritize oral health in older age, when dental problems begin to have a more direct impact on overall health. Here are some examples:

Heart disease

By age 65, about a quarter of adults in the US have severe gum disease, which occurs when the gum tissues become infected, usually after a buildup of plaque on the gums and teeth. People with gum disease are twice as likely to experience heart disease, and it can worsen existing heart disease and increase the risk of developing clogged arteries.

Respiratory disease

The bacteria that are present in gum disease can migrate to the lungs and wreak havoc on the respiratory system, causing existing lung conditions to worsen or leading to lung infections or severe pneumonia. In general, seniors have a much harder time recovering from respiratory diseases than younger people.

Diabetes

Advanced gum disease, called periodontitis, may hinder the body’s ability to utilize insulin, which is especially dangerous for people with diabetes. Additionally, high blood sugar levels can lead to gum infections, creating a vicious cycle of gum disease causing more gum disease.

Dry mouth

Older adults typically experience a reduction in saliva production, leading to dry mouth. A variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause similar conditions as well. Saliva is necessary to flush bacteria, viruses and fungi out of the mouth—without it, dry mouth can cause gum disease and significant tooth decay.

Acid erosion

A lifetime of exposure to acids present in food and beverages can cause gums to recede, leaving the roots exposed. And because roots don’t have enamel to protect them like teeth, they are more prone to decay.

Stomatitis

Stomatitis is a painful inflammation of the gum tissue beneath dentures, typically caused by ill-fitting dentures, poor oral hygiene, or the buildup of a fungus called Candida albicans. Regular gum health checkups with a dentist can help prevent the disease.

Shifting teeth

When seniors lose teeth and don’t have them replaced with implants, the jawbone starts to deteriorate and causes the surrounding teeth to shift into open spaces. This results in an uneven jawbone, potentially leading to severe bite issues and appearance concerns.

Preventive oral health for the elderly

Despite the serious health complications that can result from letting dental hygiene slide, maintaining a high level of oral health doesn’t have to be complicated for seniors. Here are some basic recommendations from the American Dental Association:

  • Brush twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Use an electric toothbrush if arthritis is an issue
  • Floss daily or use another inter-dental brushes to get areas that brushing misses
  • Consider using a Waterpik water flosser for plaque removal
  • Clean full and partial dentures daily and remove them at night
  • Drink fluoridated tap water
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of dairy and foods high in fiber
  • Reduce sugar intake, especially candy and soda
  • Quit smoking
  • Visit a dentist for regular cleaning and exams, even if you have dentures

Dental care for all ages

Whether you’re 1 or 100, maintaining proper dental hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health throughout your life. At San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we understand the unique challenges of senior dental care, so if you or an elderly loved one is in need of a check-up or consultation, fill out our contact form or call us at (619) 543-0905 today.