How to Know if You Have TMJ

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Do you know where the temporomandibular joints are? They are the ones that connect the lower jaw to the skull. Under some circumstances, one of these joints can become damaged and/or inflamed. This condition is referred to as TMJ disorder. If you are concerned about this disorder, here are the signs and symptoms to look out for.

The main symptom of TMJ disorder is pain in the affected jaw joint, as well as in the neck, shoulders, face, teeth, and head. It can be difficult to diagnose, because pain in these areas can be a sign of many different health issues. You might also be experiencing difficulty chewing and speaking, and the joint does not move as well as it used to. This can progress into regular cases of lock jaw, where the mouth is stuck open or closed.

A common sign of TMJ is a change in the bite. You might begin to notice a shift in your teeth and an altered way of speaking. Though tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can occur unprompted at times, it is a common sign of TMJ.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with our TMJ doctor as soon as possible.

Teeth Whitening: Before and After

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Are your teeth as white as they should be? Or have they become darkened or yellowed, seemingly without you noticing? Fortunately, there is a way to get your teeth back to bright and white. Our dentist office offers teeth whitening to patients with otherwise healthy smiles.

 

Before your treatment

The teeth are covered in a protective layer called enamel. This layer can be worn away, leaving the dentin exposed. The dentin is very porous, meaning that highly pigmented foods can leave their mark. This is what makes the teeth change color.

Our LA teeth whitening dentist will recommend the type of treatment that will likely best for you. We often use Zoom whitening, which can brighten the smile up to six shades.

 

After your treatment

You will likely notice a difference in your smile right away. To keep this improvement, it is best to avoid foods and drinks that will stain. These include berries, hard candies, pasta sauce, black tea, coffee, and energy drinks. Certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking, should also be avoided. Repeated whitening treatments can be unhealthy for the teeth, but if needed, you can return for another treatment after a few months at your dentist’s approval.

Benefits of Dental X-Rays

Dentist Examining XrayWhen you go to appointments for professional dental care, you may wonder why you need to get x-rays as a part of your examination. Even if you take good care of your teeth and gums at home every day, there could be small issues developing that cannot be seen with the naked eye. That’s where these dental x-rays come in.

X-rays are used to detect dental problems very early on. The earlier a potential issue is found, the better the chances that your local dentist will be able to treat the problem more effectively and with the least-invasive treatment possible.

X-rays of your teeth and gums can help your dental care provider to see if there is any decay forming between your teeth. With x-rays, your dentist can also see if any decay is developing beneath any existing dental fillings. When caught early, the dentist may be able to give you a new filling and reduce the risk of further damage to the teeth.

X-rays can also be used to detect issues with your gums and underlying bone structures. Infections, abscesses, and abnormalities can be detected through x-rays, allowing your dentist to address issues more promptly.

Who Can Get Porcelain Veneers?

Two beautiful women laughing over a cofeePorcelain veneers are the toughest veneers and are built to last. Of course, like real teeth, veneers do sustain wear over time and eventually must be replaced. Here is a look at how long you can expect your porcelain veneers to last.

Here is How Long Porcelain Veneers Last

Generally, porcelain veneers will last for more than a decade, and they can even last for more than 20 years. This does depend on how well you care for them in terms of your lifestyle and oral hygiene.

Reasons for Damaged Porcelain Veneers

Some causes of damaged veneers are more common than others. One type of damage, discoloration, often occurs because of coffee, wine, tea and tobacco. Broken veneers are frequently due to pen and pencil chewing, teeth grinding and hard food consumption.

What Happens When Damage Occurs?

When stains develop, professional polishing by our dentist may restore the natural shine of the veneers. Other repairs may be possible if a veneer becomes cracked or chipped.

The longevity of veneers depends on the individual, but one to two decades or more is common. With eventual replacement of veneers, you can ensure that your new smile lasts forever. You can contact our porcelain veneers dentist to find out more about how long veneers last.

Teeth Whitening with Baking Soda

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If you are like many people, you probably have a box of baking soda in your cabinet or refrigerator. This common household product is used in many types of cleaning products, and it is increasingly making an appearance in dental products. Baking soda works as an abrasive by scrubbing surface stains from teeth.

When you mix baking soda with water, it becomes a thick paste that polishes the stains from your enamel. However, it will not address the stains deeper inside the structure of the teeth. If you have deeper, older stains inside the tooth, you will need to use a product specifically designed for whitening teeth. Additionally, if you plan to use baking soda regularly, you should know that it is highly abrasive and will damage your enamel over time. If you have braces, the baking soda will weaken the bone between the brackets and your teeth.

Although baking soda may sound like an easy and affordable fix to the nearly universal problem of stained teeth, it can have unwanted consequences. For a whiter smile without compromising your dental health, schedule a teeth whitening consultation with our Los Angeles teeth whitening dentist. We will explain your options and help you choose the best whitening treatment for your smile.

How to Ensure Safety of Dental Implants

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Dental implants are one of the safest and most effective procedures in modern dentistry. With a 15-year success rate of greater than 95 percent, most patients can be confident of a healthy, happy smile for many years to come. Our expert in implant in Los Angeles can help you decide if implants are the best choice for your smile.

As with any surgery, the dental implants procedure can have some risks. These can include infection at the implant site, nerve damage, sinus problems and injury or damage to nearby structures, such as teeth or blood vessels. These are rare, however, and when they do occur, they tend to be minor and easily treated.

If you are a candidate for dental implants, their safety can be improved with good planning and aftercare. During the planning stage, our dentist will take detailed X-rays and images for precise placement. After the procedure, we will provide you with aftercare instructions to help you take care of the treatment site and promote healing. Most people will heal without complications or problems, and once the bone has fused with the implant, the implant procedure can be completed with the addition of a restoration. Call our office today to learn more about dental implants safety or to schedule an appointment with our team.

Porcelain Veneers Advantages

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Candidates for porcelain veneers should have healthy teeth and gums for the best results. These thin tooth-shaped shells are made to be bonded over your natural teeth and can cover virtually any cosmetic flaws. To have your porcelain veneers placed, our Beverly Hills porcelain veneers dentist will need to alter your natural teeth slightly. The procedure is not typically reversible, but it offers many benefits, including:

  • The ability to cover nearly any imperfection, including gaps, stains, chips and worn enamel
  • A stain-resistant and scratch-resistant finish that allows you to eat and drink just about anything with confidence
  • Durable, long-lasting results that can keep your teeth looking their best for years
  • A natural, lifelike appearance

Several steps are involved in placing veneers. Before they can be applied, you will need to have a complete dental evaluation and create a treatment plan. Next, your teeth will need to be prepared so that the veneers will fit comfortably in your mouth. Finally, the veneers will be attached to your teeth using a special bonding cement. Are you ready to transform your smile? Call our dental office today to learn more about how porcelain veneers can help or to schedule your initial consultation.

Dental Restoration Options

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When a tooth is decayed or damaged, a restoration will be used to restore the tooth’s strength, shape, size, and appearance. Our dentists in Torrance will choose a restoration based on the extent of the damage and your needs.

Several types of restorations are available, including:

1. Dental bonding
Dental bonding is typically used for cosmetic restorations, such as discolorations or small chips. This is a fast, affordable restoration that can typically be performed without anesthesia, and offers aesthetically pleasing results.

2. Dental filling
A filling is usually needed when a tooth has a cavity or small area of damage. The filling is placed to strengthen the tooth, restore the lost structure, and protect from additional damage.

3. Inlay and onlay
An inlay or onlay is used when the tooth is too damaged for a filling. These restorations are made in a dental lab much like a crown but require less preparation, which means they are a more conservative option.

4. Dental crown
A crown is used when a tooth has been badly damaged and must be fully covered. This can happen when a tooth is broken near the gum line, cracked, or has had a large filling or root canal treatment.

Call our dental office today to learn more about the best dental restoration for your smile or to schedule an appointment with our team.

Can Anyone Get Invisalign?

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Any circumstance that disqualifies you from Invisalign is probably out of your control, and you can always seek another treatment. Invisalign is highly desirable, but it cannot accommodate every case. For instance, the aligners must fit so snugly that if your teeth are smaller than average, you may not qualify. The same goes for teeth that are too severely pegged or tipped.

Otherwise, any patient in good dental standing can receive Invisalign treatment. Patients on the younger end of the orthodontic spectrum are not ideal candidates, as their facial bones are still in flux. Older teens benefit immensely from Invisalign Teen, a program that especially accounts for the busy lifestyles of teens and adolescents.

While it is not an orthodontic treatment, Invisalign can bring teeth up to speed by pushing them, week by week, into predetermined positions. All the patient has to do is replace the aligners at the doctor’s desired regularity—typically every two weeks. You should also be ready to wear your aligners 22 hours every day, taking them out only for meals.

Invisalign gets high marks from both providers and patients. It is still the fastest sub-orthodontic therapy for crooked, gapped, or spaced teeth. Contact your Invisalign provider in Beverly Hills today.

How Tooth Grinding Affects Your Dental Health

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Bruxism, commonly known as tooth grinding, is a common habit that can have serious consequences for dental health. Unfortunately, patients often do not realize that they grind their teeth. Here is what bruxism can cause and how you can tell if you grind your teeth.

Effects of Bruxism on Oral Health

Over time, bruxism can damage teeth and the tissues that hold them in place. As enamel is worn away, the teeth may become sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, and sour foods. Without full enamel coverage, the teeth are also more prone to cavities. Damaged periodontal ligaments can allow teeth to loosen and fall out.

Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism is commonly tied to stress. While some patients grind their teeth while they are awake, most do it while they are asleep, preventing them from stopping it. Patients may awaken with sore jaw joints due to the strain. Eventually, patients may also have sensitive teeth and higher dental costs as their tooth enamel is worn away.

Our dentist may recommend custom mouth guards, medications, and restorative care depending on the cause and extent of bruxism and the damage it has caused. Patients can visit our dentist in Houston to have their teeth examined for signs of teeth grinding.