Does Poor Oral Health Affect the Body?

Tips to Avoid the Consequences of Poor Oral Health

Would you share a toothbrush with a stranger? There’s a reason you’d say no.

Every day our mouths provide a habitat for bacteria, and while most of it is harmless, some can cause disease, especially if they enter your digestive and respiratory tracts. However, if you have good oral health habits, such as daily brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, you’ll keep the harmful bacteria under control. As a result, your teeth, gums, and oral cavity will be less susceptible to plaque, tartar buildup, and gingivitis—but the rest of your body will benefit as well.

However, if you have poor oral health habits, the number of bacteria residing in your mouth can contribute to infections, including tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. While many people think of dental health as separate from the health of the rest of their bodies, the two are closely interrelated.

Long-term poor oral health has consequences such as contributing to heart disease, respiratory difficulties, and even pregnancy complications. Additionally, recent studies have suggested that the bacteria that cause gum disease (periodontitis) play a role in diseases found throughout the body.

A man receiving a dental check-up

What are some poor oral health consequences?

Poor oral health might contribute to the following medical conditions:

Endocarditis and Cardiovascular Disease

Research suggests that inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria can contribute to heart disease, clogged or weakened arteries, and stroke.

Pneumonia 

Harmful oral cavity bacteria can migrate into the lungs, contributing to pneumonia and other respiratory complications.

Pregnancy and birth complications 

Gum disease and poor oral health has been linked to low birth weight and premature births. Women who are expecting should speak with their doctor and dentist about the best oral health habits for pregnant women.

How can I improve poor oral health habits?

Young child brushing teeth in a mirror.

Luckily, it’s never too late to start a new habit. The best way to have good oral hygiene is to take care of your teeth, gums, and mouth every day.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Floss every day.
  • Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
  • Limit sugary food and drinks, and avoid tobacco.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups and contact your dentist when a problem arises.

Remember, paying attention to your oral health helps to improve your overall health. When you have good oral health, you’ll enjoy smiling and laughing, eating various foods, and showing a range of facial expressions. You’ll also worry less about bad breath and feel less self-conscious about your appearance.

It’s Never Too Late to Undo Poor Oral Health Habits! Contact Alondra Dental Care Today.

If you’re experiencing the consequences of poor oral health habits, it’s essential that you speak with a qualified dentist. If you’re looking for a dental practice in southeastern Los Angeles County, make an appointment with Alondra Dental Care for a complete evaluation and dental cleaning. Explore our website to learn more about our friendly staff and get answers to frequent questions about insurance, what to expect during your visit, and our full menu of services. We look forward to seeing you and helping you achieve a smile you’ll love sharing!

Understanding Your Dental Crown Procedure

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crown Pros and Cons

If your dentist has informed you that you need a dental crown procedure, don’t worry! This is a very common treatment option for adults and children. A dental crown is a covering that encases the entire visible portion of a tooth up to the gum line.

Why is a Dental Crown Procedure Necessary?

A dentist may recommend a crown for one of several reasons.

  • To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold a cracked tooth together
  • To restore a fractured or worn-down tooth
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling
  • To hold a dental bridge in place or to cover a dental implant
  • To provide a cosmetic modification for misshapen or discolored teeth

A dental crown is generally a long-term, durable fix with a minimal risk of complications.

A dentist preparing to insert a crown

Dental Crown Pros and Cons

Dental crowns can lessen pain, prevent further tooth damage, and give patients a more confident smile. While crowns are meant to last a long time, they can crack or fall out, and some patients experience increased sensitivity in their gums. There are many different dental crown options to choose from, each with its own pros and cons.

1. Stainless steel crowns for adults are often temporarily placed on teeth while waiting for the permanent crown to be molded. For children, a stainless-steel crown covers the entire tooth, and when the primary (baby) tooth falls out, the crown comes out with it.

2. Gold crowns rarely break and are often selected for cosmetic reasons. However, the high price of gold is the main drawback.

3. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look like regular teeth. However, the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through at the gum line.

4. All-porcelain crowns provide the best color match of other crown types and may be ideal for people with metal allergies.

5. All-resin crowns are less expensive, but they are prone to fractures.

A child looks at her mother’s dental crowns with a magnifying glass.

Questions to Ask Before Your Dental Crown Procedure

While this is a common procedure, each patient has a unique set of circumstances and health needs. Before your dental crown procedure, be sure to speak with your dentist about the following topics.

How Long Will My Crown Last?

Generally, crowns can last up to 15 years. The lifespan depends on the material used, proper care, and how well the crown fits. The patient’s overall oral health can also be a factor.

Will My Crown Require Special Care?

Typically, crowns only require good oral hygiene practices such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing where the crown meets the gum line, and using an antibacterial mouthwash.

How Much Do Crowns Cost?

Costs vary depending on where you live and the type of crown you’ve selected. Often, a portion of the cost may be covered by insurance.

Questions About Your Dental Crown Procedure? Contact Alondra Dental Care Today.

The most important step in evaluating dental crown pros and cons is to speak with a qualified dentist. If you’re looking for a dental practice in Southeastern Los Angeles County, make an appointment with Alondra Dental Care. Please explore our website to learn more about our friendly staff and get answers to frequent questions about insurance, what to expect during your visit, and our full menu of services. We look forward to helping you achieve a smile you’ll love sharing!

How Do I Know If I Have a Cavity?

You admittedly have a sweet tooth that you like satiating now and then. But in between those moments of indulging in candies or cakes, you may wonder if you have developed a cavity. And if so, how can you tell that a cavity has formed?

Cavities remain a common dental health problem for both children and adults. If you understand cavity symptoms, you can spot this problem and treat it early with the help of your dentist. Otherwise, your cavity could spread, causing additional infections or damage.

Here is a rundown on the top cavity symptoms to be on the lookout for in between your routine dental appointments.

Cavity Symptoms Include an Achy Tooth

One of the biggest symptoms of a cavity is an aching tooth. You may feel pain upon biting or chewing, or in some cases, your tooth might hurt all day long. If your tooth decay ends up spreading and becoming more significant, you could easily feel your tooth throb every single day.

If flossing and brushing the area cure the issue, then the problem was likely plaque or food that was stuck between your teeth. However, if your tooth pain doesn’t subside, you likely have a cavity.

man suffering from tooth pain

Tooth Color Change

The top cavity symptoms also include a change in your tooth color from white to gray or black. This points to decay and perhaps even a major infection. In this situation, you should visit your dentist right away.  

Sensitivity in Your Tooth

Signs that you have a cavity additionally include tooth sensitivity. For instance, you might feel pain in your tooth when you consume foods or drinks that are too hot or too cold. You might also notice pain and discomfort when you eat something crunchy or a sweet item, like a dessert if you are suffering from a cavity.

A Sticky Sensation

Yet another indicator of a cavity is a sticky feeling on your tooth. That’s because when decay is present on a tooth, the affected part of your tooth will become sticky and soft. If your teeth feel like they stick together when you bite down, decay could be your problem.

A dental hygienist inspects a patient’s teeth.

Bad Breath

Perhaps you notice that your breath has been persistently bad lately, even after flossing and brushing. This may be a sign of a cavity as well, as dental decay can impact your mouth’s odor. However, dental infections and dry mouth can also contribute to mouth odor. A dentist can tell you if your bad breath problem is the result of an infection, dry mouth, or a cavity.

How We Can Help at Alondra Dental Care

At Alondra Dental Care, we take pride in delivering exceptional service by genuinely listening to our patients and helping them to maximize their health through our complete range of treatments. Our treatments range from dental fillings to inlays, onlays, dental bonding, teeth whitening, and even porcelain veneers.

Contact us to set up an appointment for your next exam, cleaning, or treatment today!

When Should Kids Start Going to the Dentist?

Your little one’s first tooth has just popped up, and it’s a huge family and social media moment. But in the back of your mind, you can’t help but wonder when you should begin to take her to the dentist. When is too soon, or too late?

The reality is your child will likely need to go to the dentist sooner than you think. That’s because the sooner you involve your dentist in your child’s oral health, the more likely you can prevent dental problems, like tooth decay, or catch these issues early.

Here’s a rundown on everything you need to know about when to start planning for children’s dental appointments and why seeing a dentist is important for kids.

When to Introduce Your Child to Children’s Dental Appointments

The moment you spot a tooth in your child’s mouth is the moment you should schedule your child for a dentist appointment for kids. This typically occurs at around 6 months of age. However, no matter when your child’s teeth begin to erupt, you should avoid waiting until after she turns 1 year old. In addition, make a dental appointment immediately if you begin to notice anything abnormal in her mouth, like bleeding, lesions, or white spots.

After you take your child to her first dental appointment, you should be prepared to take her to the dentist every six months thereafter.

baby smiling with teeth in black and white

What Do Children’s Dental Appointments Involve?

During your child’s dental appointments, a dental hygienist will carefully clean her gums and teeth at each appointment. Then, you will receive advice on the best way to take care of her mouth. 

Your child’s dentist will also examine her teeth, gums, jaw, and bite to check for, diagnose, and provide treatment for issues like oral injuries. The dentist might also address problems that may impact speech patterns, such as issues with the frenum—the thin line that runs from the gums to the lips. In addition, the dentist will monitor changes in your child’s mouth as she ages. All in all, the dental staff will take the necessary steps to ensure that your child’s smile remains healthy and beautiful for years to come. 

If your child is a little squirmy during her first appointment, you might be able to sit in the dental chair with your child on your lap. The goal is to make the experience comfortable and enjoyable each time she visits the dentist.

 baby girl brushing her teeth

Take Advantage of Child-Centered Children’s Dental Appointments at Alondra Dental Care

At Alondra Dental Care, we are committed to creating comfortable and personalized experiences during both our adult and our children’s dental appointments. In addition, when you choose us, you can expect comprehensive dental care in one location. That’s because we are qualified to handle all aspects of our patients’ care.

Give us a call at (562) 484-0650 today to start putting yourself and your child on the path to excellent oral health for life.

A Guide To Invisalign: Everything You Need To Know

You’re eager to transform your smile into a straighter stretch of pearly whites with your dentist’s help this year. But you’d prefer to do it without a mouth full of metal, a.k.a. traditional metal braces. 

Good news. You don’t have to.

With transparent Invisalign aligners, you can straighten your teeth and correct bite issues without using wires and metal brackets. The removable aligners gradually shift teeth and straighten your smile with light pressure, resulting in a beautiful Hollywood smile.

Here’s a rundown on everything you need to know about how Invisalign aligners work and how they can improve your smile and, in turn, your confidence long term.

How Do Invisalign Aligners Work?

Your Invisalign procedure will begin with a dental visit, as your dentist must first determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign. The dentist will examine both your bite and your teeth, then come up with a plan for straightening your teeth to your satisfaction. The computerized plan will show you exactly where your pearly whites will go as you wear your virtually invisible trays.

Once you have agreed upon your dentist’s plan, a lab will fabricate your first set of Invisalign aligners for you. You’ll then wear this first set for 1-2 weeks. This will be followed by more sets of aligners over a specified period until you have achieved the smile you desire.

two Invisalign aligners on a gloved hand

How Long Does the Invisalign Treatment Process Take?

Invisalign treatment typically takes 12-18 months, but you might begin to notice changes in your smile in just a handful of weeks.

During the treatment period, your Invisalign aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours daily. Remove the aligners only to floss, brush your teeth, eat, or drink. 

What Foods and Drinks Should You Avoid When Wearing Invisalign?

While you are undergoing Invisalign treatment, you should generally avoid consuming foods that might cause the teeth to become misaligned. These foods include, for example, sticky caramel and hard raw carrots. 

You may also want to avoid consuming wine, tea, and coffee, as these could stain your clear aligners. Drinking a hot beverage while wearing your aligners is also a no-no, as the hot liquid could distort the clear plastic tray.

Invisalign at Alondra Dental

Take Advantage of Invisalign at Alondra Dental Care Today

If you are interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign, we at Alondra Dental Care can get you started with the process. We’ll take a look at your teeth and tell you whether Invisalign is the solution you need to get the smile you desire.

When you choose us, you can rest assured that your experience in our office will always be enjoyable and satisfactory. That’s because we’ll always tailor your treatment plan to your unique needs. We also always clearly communicate next steps. Call us to schedule an appointment to discuss how Invisalign may help you today.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: What to Expect

Your dentist has just informed you that your wisdom teeth, also known as your third molars, need to come out. And if you’re honest, you’re not quite sure how you feel about it.

The reality is, wisdom teeth removal can be a comfortable process when performed by a reputable dentist. In addition, in your case, it may be necessary if your mouth lacks adequate space behind your second molars to accommodate third molars. Removing the third molars ahead of time will prevent the problem of partially erupted or impacted wisdom teeth, which may damage your adjacent teeth or your jawbone.

Here’s a look at what you can expect from the wisdom teeth removal process and what you can do to ensure a smooth process from start to finish.

What Does the Wisdom Tooth Procedure Involve?

During the wisdom tooth procedure, your dentist will give you local anesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. Additional levels of anesthesia (e.g., general or sedation anesthesia) may also be available to help you experience as comfortable a state as possible, especially if your wisdom tooth case is particularly complex.  

Next, the dentist will expose your wisdom tooth, if necessary, and remove any bone blocking access to your wisdom tooth’s root. Your dentist might need to break your wisdom tooth into several pieces to remove it efficiently. Once the wisdom tooth has been extracted, your dentist will clean your extraction site and may place stitches there to promote healing. Gauze will also be placed on the site to control bleeding.

dental extraction forceps holding molar tooth

What Happens After the Wisdom Tooth Procedure?

Following the procedure, you might experience some bruising, slight bleeding, swelling, and pain. Although everybody responds to wisdom teeth removal differently, you can increase your chances of experiencing a smooth recovery by doing the following:

  • Rest for 24-78 hours following the procedure.
  • Take the pain medication your dentist prescribes.
  • Avoid smoking, as this can disrupt the blood clot forming over your extraction site and, in turn, cause pain.
  • Keep gauze on the site until bleeding in this area stops.
  • Use heat and ice as prescribed.
  • Rinse and brush gently.
  • Eat foods that are soft (e.g., smoothies, pasta, avocado, pudding, soup, mashed potatoes, and ice cream).

As a general rule of thumb, you should be fully recovered from your procedure in 3-4 days. However, it could take one week if you’re recovering from an awkward wisdom tooth angle or an impacted wisdom tooth.

man with tooth pain holding his cheek

Experience High-Quality Dental Care at Alondra Dental Care Today!

At Alondra Dental Care, we have the highly trained staff and state-of-the-art equipment needed to facilitate efficient and effective wisdom teeth removal every time. We are passionate about creating comfortable experiences for our patients as we restore their smiles to health. In addition, we stand out for personalizing patient experiences to generate optimal results for each of our highly-valued patients.

Call us today to set up an appointment and experience the Alondra Dental Care difference for yourself today!