Sports-Related Injuries to the Mouth

Sports are a great way to stay fit and healthy, but did you know that around 35% of injuries that happen to the mouth are caused by them? This can be as minor as a chipped tooth or as severe as total tooth loss, but fortunately, teeth that have been knocked out by a sports related injury can be saved if the patient is able to get to the dentist in a timely manner. However, not everyone can afford to keep going to the dentist for restorative procedures as they can be quite expensive depending on your insurance and where you go. Therefore, dental professionals recommend the following items to reduce or eliminate sports related injuries to the oral cavity.

Helmets: Most team sports require players to wear a helmet as part of their uniform, but for recreational sports such as skateboarding and biking, always make sure to wear a helmet. Helmets provide a barrier between the head and the ground, making the resulting possible oral injury less than if the individual was not wearing one.

Mouth Guards: The most safe and effective method of preventing sports related injuries is the use of a mouth guard. Mouth guards are also given to individuals who suffer from grinding their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism, but they can also be used to cover your teeth and provide a protective layer to prevent chipping and breaking. Mouth guards are most commonly used in high contact sports such as football, and even hockey and soccer.

In regards to mouth guards, custom fitted ones are the most effective, but general ones that can be picked up at most drugstore work just as well.

If you already have a sports related injury affecting your teeth, please book an appointment through our website or by calling us directly.

Teeth Whitening in Burbank, California

Although teeth are not made to be naturally pure white, toothpaste brands have pushed a certain image into the media, making it appear as though that is the norm. While some pursue teeth whitening in order to reach this image, others seek it out because of staining that has occurred on their teeth due to foods or products like wine and tobacco, the natural process of aging, or through dental procedures such as root canals and fillings. No matter the cause of the staining, or what has led the individual to inquire about teeth whitening, the one thing that is important to know is that teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure and therefore not covered under any form of insurance. However, there are alternative methods available for those who are unable to afford teeth whitening at the dentist’s office. Let’s take a look at all the options available.

Dental Bleaching

Beginning with the treatment that can be done by your dentist, dental bleaching is by far the most expensive out of the options, but arguably the fastest and most effective method for those who want near-immediate results. There are two forms of dental bleaching available, vital and non-vital. The one that will be chosen for use depends on a few factors and the patients dental history.

The most common type of bleaching treatment, called vital bleaching, is done on teeth that are “alive”, or otherwise known as teeth that have not undergone another dental procedure such as a bridge, veneer, or have been capped with a crown. Vital bleaching is chosen for the patient who has stains due to coffee, wine, tobacco, or aging as it works on the surface of the tooth. 

The second method of bleaching is called non-vital bleaching which are done on teeth that need the bleaching to work from the inside out. Stains caused by root canals and other procedures on not considered to be surface stains, and therefore a stronger bleach is needed in order to remove the discolouration.

Surface Whiteners

As mentioned above, dental bleaching can be expensive and is not the best option for everyone. However, there is an alternative over-the-counter method in the form of surface whiteners. Surface whiteners are great for individuals who have only minor staining, as from the title of the product, they only work on the surface of the tooth. While it takes longer to achieve the level of white that one may desire, it certainly is the most affordable option. You can find a variety of surface whiteners in a grocery or drug store, displayed alongside the toothpastes and toothbrushes. At first, you may feel overwhelmed and confused with all of the choices presented, but rest assured that any one will work as they all generally use the same ingredients and are applied the same way–through the use of strips that cover your teeth.

If you are unsure if the product is right for you and your situation, consult with your dentist first.

If you are interested in teeth whitening services, please give us a call to book a consultation to discuss your options.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

“Do I have to get my wisdom teeth removed?” Well, it all depends. Each dentist has their own own opinion on the matter, but it also depends on your situation as well. If they’re not causing any harm and people don’t want to shell out the money to get them removed, there’s no harm in letting them stay in. But others like to get them removed before they cause any problems. Before you make a decision on your own, let’s take a closer look at wisdom teeth as a whole. 

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that humans get at the very back of their mouth. They usually make an appearance after the rest of your adult teeth have already come in, around the 18-20 years old range. Some people, however, never develop wisdom teeth, and therefore do not have to debate what to do with them. Impacted wisdom teeth that need to be removed will start showing up and causing pain that feels similar to a very intense toothache around the same timeframe. Wisdom teeth that have not broken through the surface of the gum can be seen through an x-ray, so your dentist will be able to tell you their condition.

Why do we have Wisdom Teeth? 

It’s widely acknowledged that wisdom teeth once served a purpose to our ancestors who needed the extra set in order to break down food materials. Having no access to modern machinery that cooks our food and makes it easier to eat, they needed the extra teeth in order to be able to survive. However, much like the appendix, they have no further use for humans during modern times, and therefore are not needed. 

What is the Extraction Process?

For those that choose to have their wisdom teeth removed, or for those who absolutely need it done to save their other teeth, the extraction process is quite simple and will take only a couple hours out of your day to do, depending on the number of wisdom teeth being extracted. A dental surgeon will perform the task right in their office and you’ll be able to go home the very same day. Just be sure to bring someone with you as your mouth may be in pain once the numbing wears off, affecting your ability to drive. Patients who opt for getting a sedative during the procedure, MUST bring someone with them as it is unsafe to leave alone after just waking up. 

What is the Healing time?

 Again, it all depends on the number of wisdom teeth being extracted, but generally, you can expect full healing to happen between a couple weeks to a full month. The first week is especially important in the healing process, so please take care and only eat foods that are soft and don’t require a lot of chewing. Avoid using straws of any material as well as the suction caused by drinking through them has the potential to tear the stitches and cause bleeding. A complete list of the do’s and don’ts will be provided to you from the dental surgeon once the procedure has been completed.

Any further questions about wisdom teeth can be directed at your dentist at your next visit. If you feel like your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, or you’d like to inquire about the extraction process, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How Can I Change the Shape of my Gum?

Some people are told that they have a “gummy” smile which means that a lot of the gum can be seen when they smile, and while this is a totally normal thing, most people are self-conscious about it and want it to be modified. People with short gums, caused by gum recession, certain medications, and even genetics, are also after the same result. That’s where gum contouring comes in.

It’s important to note that not all dentists are trained in gum contouring, so it’s important to do research and find someone that is experienced in the procedure. Scalpels and lasers are most commonly used to remedy the gum shape and can be done right at the dentist’s office with a little bit of localized anesthesia.

While the procedure itself is fairly simple when done by the right person, it can take quite a while for the patient to recover from the ordeal–up to several weeks. While your dentist will give you a detailed aftercare plan before you leave the office, there are some tips that you can do in order to ensure your recovery is as smooth as possible.

  • Over the counter pain medication such as Tylonel and Advil. Aspirin is not recommended as it also acts as a blood thinner and can complicate the healing process by causing bleeding. Stronger pain management medication may also be prescribed.
  • Opt for cooler, softer foods and stay away from spicy food and anything hot like coffee for the first several days.
  • Do not floss. Instead, use safe brushing methods that your dentist will recommend.
  • Rest. One of the most important things that you can do is to let your body recover at its own pace. Over exertion can cause bleeding and swelling, so take it easy until your body has had time to heal.

For more information on gum contouring, or to set up a consultation, contact us today by using the “Book an Appointment” section on our website.

Cosmetic Dentistry