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What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus – and How to Protect Yourself and Those You Love
What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus – and How to Protect Yourself and Those You Love

The Civil War, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 … America has faced many adversities in its history and has managed to emerge stronger in the aftermath.

But how do you fight and defeat an invisible medical enemy – especially one as seemingly challenging as the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic?

The first step to overcoming any crisis of this magnitude is to separate the fact from the fiction, understand what you’re up against, and know what needs to be done to protect yourself, your loved ones, and fellow citizens.

Let’s start with the basics …

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is one of a large family of viruses known as coronaviruses, named for their crown shape. Some of these viruses cause respiratory illnesses in people, and the symptoms range from sneezing and coughing to fever and trouble breathing.

There have been other widespread coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, but COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus – meaning it is a new strain of the virus which has not been previously identified in humans. It is also highly contagious, spreading easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, close contact with someone who has the virus, or contact with surfaces that have been recently touched by someone who has the coronavirus.

In some ways, COVID-19 and influenza (the flu virus) are similar. For example, both are spread via small droplets from the nose and mouth – but not through the air over long distances and times – and both cause respiratory disease.

However, there are key differences between the two in that:

  • There is currently no specific vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 causes more severe disease in a greater percentage of cases than does the seasonal flu, with an average of 1-2 deaths per 100 people infected with COVID-19 compared to about 1 in every 1,000 infected with seasonal influenza.
  • COVID-19 doesn’t appear to transmit as efficiently as the flu. When those with COVID-19 symptoms are isolated, it is possible to control the spread of the disease to others.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 coronavirus causes symptoms that are similar to those for the flu and other respiratory illnesses, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue (occasionally)

As such, most people – approximately 80% – who are infected with this virus do recover from the disease without the need for special treatment. However, among the elderly and those who have pre-existing medical issues that can cause vulnerability (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, or diabetes), the COVID-19 coronavirus can cause severe illness such as pneumonia and organ failure – increasing the risk of death.

Scope of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Since it was first detected in China in recent months, COVID-19 has spread rapidly, person-to-person. It is now detected in more than 100 locations internationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) declared the COVID-19 coronavirus a public health emergency. On March 11, the World Health Organization designated the disease as a global pandemic, prompting the president of the United States to declare the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency two days later.

As of March 17, 2020, there were nearly 200,000 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus reported worldwide, with approximately 106,000 active cases and nearly 8,000 deaths. Of the active cases, 94% are considered mild, and 6% are considered serious or critical. Of the nearly 89,000 cases which have already had an outcome, 91% have recovered and 9% have died.

Of course, these numbers are constantly changing and are expected to increase sharply until the number of new cases levels off, and the virus is fully contained and/or a vaccine is available.

How to Protect Yourself from the COVID-19 Coronavirus

Although there is no current vaccine for COVID-19, you and your loved ones can avoid becoming one of these statistics by following some simple precautions:

  • Monitor yourself closely (even if you have no symptoms) if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or if you are in close contact with older adults who are medically vulnerable. That means regularly checking for symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing.
  • Limit going out, avoid crowded areas (10 or more people), and increase your personal space from others (six to 10 feet) – also known as social distancing. This is especially important in helping to prevent the massive spread of the COVID-19 virus and over-taxing the healthcare system.
  • Practice proper hygiene to reduce the risk of infection or spreading the disease. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time, and always wash your hands when you use the bathroom or when preparing food. If soap and water aren’t available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to cleanse your hands.
  • When coughing or sneezing, do so into a tissue or into your bending arm. Dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands. If you do cough or sneeze into your hands, wash them immediately with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer.
  • Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially with an unwashed hand.
  • If you have been traveling outside of the country, self-isolate for 14 days upon your return.
  • Clean the surfaces of frequently used areas such as door handles, phones, TV remotes, bedside tables, toilets, and toys, using regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (one-part bleach to nine-parts water).
  • If you suffer from any chronic health conditions or are older than 60, stay home as much as possible.
  • If you have the option, work from home.

What to Do if You Have COVID-19

If you have – or believe you have – the COVID-19 coronavirus, reduce your contact with others. Stay at home and self-isolate.

If you have the virus but you must leave home, wear a mask or otherwise cover your mouth and nose, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. Avoid having visitors to your home, and avoid visiting individuals in hospitals or long-term-care facilities – especially older adults with chronic conditions. If you need supplies, have them delivered to your home instead of going out to run errands.

If you have the symptoms – such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing – but are not seriously ill, stay home and contact your doctor. Do not go to your doctor’s office, healthcare facility, or a lab without consulting your physician first.

As the number of documented cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to rise so that the doctor can postpone your appointment. If you have a fever of 100.4 or higher, or if you have been in contact with someone with a fever over the last 14 days, call your doctor to alert them of your possible vulnerability so they will be ready for you once tests are available.

When an appointment is scheduled for your test, do not bring any guests with you to your visit. If you require assistance or if a support person is needed, call your doctor’s office to make appropriate arrangements. Also, please arrive to any doctor’s visit right before the appointment time to avoid crowding the waiting room. Also, please arrive to any doctor’s visit right before the appointment time to avoid crowding the waiting room.

If you are seriously ill with these symptoms and are in need of immediate medical attention, call 911 and let them know you may have the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Getting Through This Together

COVID-19 is not the first global pandemic, nor is it likely to be the last. However, it is a serious threat to the health and well-being of millions of people worldwide, which is a fact that none of us can ignore.

The good news is that the impact of this disease can be mitigated – saving countless lives in the process – by being diligent and following relatively simple precautions. Working together, we can bring an end to the current COVID-19 coronavirus crisis sooner rather than later, and get back to enjoying our lives.

For more information about the coronavirus, visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov.


Treatments for Oral Cancer
Treatments for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is cancer that begins in the mouth or the throat. The American Cancer Society reports that more than 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cavity cancer or oropharyngeal cancer every year, and almost 11,000 will die of the disease. 

However, there is a silver lining – oral cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. It is also among the most treatable of cancers, especially if found early. Your dentist is key in the prevention and early detection of mouth cancer. 

Your dentist checks for signs of oral cancer during every regular checkup, which is just one of the many important reasons why regular visits to your dentist are recommended. If you have a family history of oral cancer or if you smoke, you are considered a high-risk patient and will do well to see your dentist regularly. 

If you are diagnosed with mouth cancer, there are effective treatments for the disease. Let’s talk about some of the early signs and the treatments that are available for oral cancer.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer? 

Oral cancer symptoms include: 

  • Mouth sores
  • Lumps in or around the mouth
  • Red and white patches in the mouth and throat
  • Oral pain or bleeding
  • A feeling of something stuck in the throat
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Pain in your ear
  • Trouble chewing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Lump or swelling in your neck
  • Change in your voice
  • Unexplained weight loss

Any of these typical symptoms of oral cancer may actually be due to other health conditions, which is why having them examined by an experienced dentist is important for an accurate diagnosis. A diagnosis is the first step of treatment for oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Treatment Methods

Treating oral cancer requires a multidisciplinary approach. This involves the participation of your dentist along with other specialists, such as otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors), dental surgeons, and oncologists (cancer doctors).

The treatment plan will depend on the type and stage of the cancer. It will likely either involve a combination of surgery and radiation, surgery and chemotherapy, or minimally invasive treatments.

If the cancer is localized in one spot (rather than systemic, which means it has spread to other parts of the body), the medical team will work to destroy the cancer cells and prevent the spread to other areas. If the cancer is advanced and has spread (metastasized) to other areas, surgery and chemotherapy is often the recommended treatment.

The goal of oral cancer treatment is to control the cancer and to relieve its symptoms. Discuss any concerns you may have, such as side effects associated with your cancer treatment, with your medical specialist. It’s important to understand how each treatment method works and how your body might respond.

Preventing Oral Cancer in Merced, CA 

Early detection of oral cancer can save your life, which is why the dental team here at El Portal Dental Group recommends regular dental visits and checkups to our patients. We care about your oral health and how it impacts your overall health.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our staff today by calling us at (209) 385-1479 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you here!


Benefits of Getting Dental Crowns
Benefits of Getting Dental Crowns

We all want to have a perfect set of pearly whites. But it is estimated that 26% of American adults have untreated tooth decay, while 92% of adults have had cavities in one or more of their permanent teeth.

With the prevalence of tooth decay and tooth loss, it is no wonder that there’s an increase in Americans who have opted to have dental crowns to fill in the gaps. A dental crown restores a damaged tooth by either giving the natural tooth a new top, or “crown,” or by replacing a missing tooth with a perfect prosthetic crown atop a dental implant. 

How Can Dental Crowns Help Me? 

The crown, which is also called a “cap,” mimics the original tooth’s normal shape, size, and function. It can make the tooth and gums stronger and can help maintain proper chewing. If the jaws are forced to chew awkwardly and off-centered due to missing teeth, this can cause problems with the jawbone and the facial muscles, including TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder); therefore, having dental crowns can foster proper chewing and alignment of the upper and lower jaws and teeth. 

Dental crowns are a popular dental restoration solution that can help in protecting damaged and cracked teeth while restoring the tooth’s functionality. There are various reasons why you may need a dental crown, but some of the reasons might include:

  • A cavity is too large for a dental filling.
  • A cracked and damaged tooth is already weak and worn down.
  • You had a root canal and now need a dental crown to help protect the restored tooth.
  • You had an implant that now needs a crown in order to make it in the shape of a real tooth. 

How Does It Work? 

In placing dental crowns, it usually requires at least two dental visits to complete the treatment. When a dental crown is placed over a natural tooth, there are several steps involved:

  1. Your dentist needs to prepare the tooth by removing the damaged portion so that a dental cap can fit.
  2. The dentist takes an impression of the tooth so the cap can be made to fit atop the tooth.
  3. A temporary cap is placed.
  4. When the new crown is ready, your dentist installs it on top of the tooth while making any necessary adjustments.

Dental crowns are durable and can last for 5 to 15 years, which makes it an excellent option because it is cost-efficient. To help maintain the crown, it is best to see your dentist regularly for checkups and maintenance. Of course, this will also benefit your oral health and your overall health in the process.

Expert Dentist in Merced 

If you are looking for an experienced dentist who truly cares about people, choose El Portal Dental Group right here in Merced, California. Our dental team can provide state-of-the-art dental care for you and your whole family. We offer general dentistry, implant dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry services to both adults and children.

To schedule an appointment, call us today at (209) 385-1479 or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to partnering with you for excellent oral health and an amazing smile!


What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?
What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Accidents happen. You can take precautions to avoid some, but not all of them. Sometimes accidents affect the teeth and gums, and sometimes sudden pain develops in the mouth due to an infection. Any of these events are considered a dental emergency.

There are measures you can take to prevent some dental problems from happening; they are not always inevitable. Some of them you can deal with at home, some you cannot. The question is: Which is which?

Types of Dental Emergencies 

A dental emergency is a situation concerning your teeth and mouth that requires quick dental treatment. This treatment may be necessary in order to avoid a permanent loss of a tooth, to ease pain, or to treat an oral infection. If an oral infection is ignored, dental emergencies can lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease. 

Note: If bleeding is excessive and is not stopping, or if there is oral trauma, go to an emergency room. The emergency personnel will provide immediate treatment and will notify your dentist.

The following conditions require a prompt visit to the dentist’s office:

Fractured Tooth

A fractured tooth is a typical dental emergency, especially in athletes. When it happens, follow these steps:

  • Save any pieces of the tooth that you can salvage, and keep them in milk to help maintain their integrity.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply a cold compress on the outside of the mouth near the fractured tooth to keep the swelling down.
  • Seek immediate care from a dentist.

Luxated Tooth (Loose Tooth) 

A luxated tooth occurs when the tooth is loose but not completely knocked out. It can be pushed forward, backward, or sideways. However, you should not move it to avoid completely pulling it out. If your tooth is loose, contact your dentist for treatment as soon as possible.

Avulsed Tooth (Tooth Knocked Out) 

This injury happens when the tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth. If this happens:

  • Do not touch the root of the tooth.
  • Only hold the tooth by its crown, which is the exposed part in the mouth.
  • If the tooth has any dirt or debris, gently rinse it with warm water.
  • Put the tooth into a small container of milk. If you don’t have milk, put it in warm water with a pinch of table salt.
  • Call your dentist’s office and tell their emergency contact what has happened. 

Your tooth has a higher chance of being saved, and successfully re-placed back into your mouth, if you see a dentist within an hour after it is knocked out.

Mouth Bleeding 

Bleeding in your mouth can be due to injuries to the soft tissues: cheeks, gums, tongue, and lips. Here are the first-aid steps to do if your mouth is bleeding: 

  • Immediately rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution.
  • Using moist gauze or a tea bag, apply gentle pressure to the bleeding area.
  • Using your other hand, apply a cold compress on your cheek near the affected area to control the bleeding and relieve pain.
  • If the bleeding does not subside within a few minutes, seek immediate medical care.
  • Continue applying pressure on the bleeding area until you are seen and treated by your dentist or another medical professional.

Other dental emergencies that require quick dental care (within 24 hours) are a lost filling, lost crown, broken braces wires, and loose brackets. Should something lodge between your teeth, try to remove it with dental floss, not a pin or another sharp object; if you cannot remove it safely, seek dental care right away.

Dental Emergency Care In Merced, California

Our caring and experienced dentists at El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California, are trained to perform treatments on all types of dental emergencies. Contact us right now if you have an urgent dental issue.


Different Types of Teeth Covering
Different Types of Teeth Covering

A lot of people are uncomfortable with the way their smiles look, and it can be a huge confidence killer. Genetics, poor dental care habits, living an unhealthy lifestyle, and other factors impact the way your teeth look. If you have discolored, chipped, or damaged teeth that make you feel embarrassed, it’s time to find a solution.

One of the most popular dental procedures for dental imperfections is the application of veneers. Using veneers, dentists can restore your smile to look healthy and beautiful. 

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells made to cover the front surface of damaged, discolored, or chipped teeth. They are customized to match your natural teeth in color, size, shape, and length. Veneers allow you to enjoy beautiful and healthy looking smiles without the need of full tooth replacements, dentures, or implants. Veneers are made to look as similar to your natural teeth as possible. The goal is to make all your teeth look uniform so that your smile appears natural as well as aesthetically pleasing.

There are different types of veneers, but the two most widely used ones are made of composite or porcelain materials. The type of teeth covering or veneer your dentist will recommend will depend on your unique situation, preference, and budget.

Composite Veneers

Veneers are custom-made to address your unique cosmetic needs. One of the benefits of composite veneers is that they are polished to look very similar to natural teeth. Once installed, it will be difficult to tell them apart from your teeth, giving you a natural and beautiful smile. Composite veneers are also cheaper and can last you many years. However, composite veneers are more prone to chipping and staining, which means they require more care and attention. Fortunately, composite veneers are bonded which makes them easier to replace after wear and tear.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are also known as traditional veneers and have been improving smiles since the 1930s. Porcelain veneers are thin ceramic shells that are bonded with your teeth. They can last more than a decade with proper care. Porcelain veneers require a couple of appointments, however, because the dentist needs to get an impression of your teeth and order the porcelain veneers to be custom made. Porcelain veneers are tougher than composite veneers and are more resistant to staining and chips.

Veneers in Merced, California

At El Portal Dental Group, we offer the latest in cosmetic dental treatments, including veneers. Our other specialties include general dentistry, dental implants, and orthodontics. What sets us apart from other dental clinics is the personalized treatment we give each of our patients. We are a family clinic and look forward to serving your entire family’s dental care needs.

When walking out of our hygienic, relaxing, and comfortable dental clinic, you will leave with a bright, beautiful, and healthy smile. 

To make an appointment with one of the experienced and caring dentists at El Portal Dental Group, please call (209) 385-1479 or request an appointment now. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you!


Fun Facts About Saliva
Fun Facts About Saliva

When we talk about spit or drool, gross things come to mind. However, the saliva in our mouths is a healthy bodily fluid which promotes good oral health – and, therefore, good overall health as well. 

Here are some fun facts about saliva that you may not have known before:

Saliva Promotes Natural Oral Hygiene

Saliva is key to oral health and hygiene because of its antibacterial and lubricating properties. It serves as the first line of defense against tooth decay, washing away remnants of food and cavity-causing bacteria. 

It also helps balance the acid levels in the mouth. Some dentists promote gum-chewing because it stimulates the flow of saliva and keeps your teeth and mouth healthy.

Saliva and Food Go Together 

Without saliva, people would not enjoy the delicious food they eat. It acts as a solvent, bringing out the flavor of food to the taste receptors. Saliva also keeps these taste receptors healthy by preventing them from drying out and protecting them from bacteria.

Saliva Is Mostly Water 

Saliva is made up of about 99% water. The rest is composed of electrolytes, digestive enzymes, mucus, and other beneficial properties.

We Require a Lot of Saliva Every Day 

An average person’s saliva production is the equivalent of up to six cups each day, and this statistic excludes stimulated activities such as eating. One person can therefore produce enough saliva to fill two bathtubs every year!

Only Babies Use Bibs

Babies do not yet know how to control the muscles in their mouths, so saliva comes in a continuous flow. Only at around the age of two do they learn how to manage these mouth muscles fully.

Salivary Glands Have a Circadian Rhythm

The body usually produces the most saliva in the late afternoon. Saliva production is an unconscious process controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

Saliva Can Identify Conditions in the Body

Testing saliva can be used to identify a person’s susceptibility to certain diseases, such as heart failure, cancer, and diabetes. It can also indicate cavities and periodontal disease. Researchers are continually studying the various ways in which saliva can be used to test a person for various conditions rather than a blood test, which is invasive.

Saliva Exchanges Bacteria

This next tidbit might give you second thoughts about kissing anybody. While saliva can help protect your mouth from bacteria, it can also transfer millions of bacteria when kissing.

Saliva Tells Secrets 

Saliva production decreases when we feel stressed or nervous. Indeed, when people suddenly feel nervous, their mouth gets dry. This also happens when people feel guilty.

Trusted Dentist in Merced, California 

Saliva plays a vital role in our everyday functions. If our body’s ability to produce saliva fails, there would be major consequences to our health.

To keep your oral hygiene in check, book an appointment with El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California. Our dentists and dental professionals are here to help you maintain optimum oral health.

Call us today at (209) 385-1479, or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you here and helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime.


Why does your tongue change when something is wrong?
Why does your tongue change when something is wrong?

One part of the body that often goes overlooked when it comes to your health is the tongue. Did you know your tongue could give you clues on health issues you may be having? Symptoms associated with your tongue can provide important insight that can help you address health issues elsewhere in your body. Let’s look at what various tongue changes can mean.

Color

Bright pink – If your tongue is bright pink in color, it could be a sign of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. The most common ones responsible for turning the tongue bright pink are iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12 deficiencies. Another possible cause is an allergic reaction to gluten.

White – A white tongue can be caused by a variety of lifestyle choices, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or poor oral hygiene.

Texture

Furry – A furry or hairy tongue can be caused by a variety of things, including lifestyle choices (smoking, drinking coffee, etc.) or treatments and medications you are taking (antibiotics and radiation treatment).

Other Symptoms

Swelling – A swollen tongue can be caused by a variety of health issues, including Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, strep throat, hyperthyroidism, and anemia. 

Sores – If you have sores on the tongue, it could be caused by nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, or irritating ingredients in your toothpaste or mouthwash.

Burning – A burning sensation in the tongue is more common among women who are postmenopausal and individuals who smoke.

Pain – There are a variety of reasons why you may feel pain in the tongue. Some are harmless issues, such as irritation from toothpaste, mouthwash, or a canker sore. Other causes may be more serious, such as diabetes, cancer, oral herpes, and neuralgia. 

Why is There a Connection?

A lot of issues that affect your health are connected to the tongue. For example, if you have a vitamin deficiency, it can affect your gastroenterological track, respiratory system, and dental health. The tongue is connected to all these systems. Some tongue changes such as furriness, pain, and sores are connected to the foods you eat and how well you clean the mouth. These directly impact the tongue because of its location in your mouth. Finally, the tongue is directly exposed when you drink alcohol, smoke, eat unhealthily, and have poor hygiene. Because of this, you are likely to see changes in the tongue.

Oral Care in Merced, California 

At El Portal Dental Group, our team of dental professionals provides a wide range of dental services that range from general dentistry to emergency dentistry. We even have a dentist on-call 24 hour a day, just in case you need dental care immediately. 

We regularly assess and diagnose conditions based on changes to the tongue. Our goal is to rule out serious health conditions and put you on the right track to better oral and overall health.

We welcome you to our relaxing and comfortable clinic in Merced, California. Our caring and compassionate staff speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Hmong. For your convenience, we accept same-day appointments and are open on weekends. To schedule an appointment, please call (209) 385-1479 or use our secure online form.


Teeth Grinding and Stress
Teeth Grinding and Stress

Research has shown a direct correlation between stress and grinding your teeth. In the short term, teeth grinding – also known as bruxism – most often results in restless sleep – for both you and your partner. But over time, bruxism cam lead to facial and jaw pain, tooth aches and sensitivity, headaches, damage from chewing the inside of your cheek and worn-down or broken teeth. One of the primary causes of teeth grinding is as a response to stress. The good news? If you can manage your stress levels, you may be able to nip bruxism in the bud. Here’s more about teeth grinding and stress.

Causes of Bruxism

Teeth grinding can be the result of many factors, to include teeth misalignment, “muscle memory” from an active mouth (as an example, frequent gum chewing), epilepsy, gastroesophageal reflux and even ADHD. More commonly, people grind their teeth during high levels of stress; as such, they are prone to other sleep-related disorders to include apnea.

Ways to Avoid Stress-related Teeth Grinding

It’s nearly impossible to eliminate all the stressors in our busy, hectic lives. But there are ways to manage stress and sleep routines to decrease the chances of grinding away at your teeth while sleeping. If you grind your teeth, consider the following –

·      Power down all your devices.  This means TV, cellphone, tablets, and streaming your favorite shows. Consider instead turning into soothing music or a wave or white noise machine; whatever soothes and calms your mind may also help prevent grinding your teeth.

·      Try a warm bath before bed. A soothing warm bath can help you relax tense muscles and relieve stress. Try adding lavender or eucalyptus to your bath for some well-deserved aromatherapy.

·      Create a cave. Many sleepless nights are triggered by blinking lights on your DVR or the light emitted from a computer screen. Try working with natural light – turn off all manmade lights and work with natural light which will help you regulate your sleep cycles for a better night’s sleep.

·      Clear your nasal passages. A warm cup of decaffeinated tea or that warm bath mentioned earlier can help clear your nasal passages, making it easier to breath through you nose, helping you sleep better.

When to see your dentist

If these home remedies are unsuccessful at relieving the stress that causes bruxism, it may be time to consult with your dentist. Your dentist can create a quality mouth guard to prevent grinding at night. If your teeth are out of alignment, he may recommend orthodontic procedures to align your teeth. If your grinding is a result of missing or broken teeth, your dentist may recommend implants to restore missing or damaged teeth.

Bidding Farewell to Bruxism in Merced

Working with a dentist who understand how to treat bruxism is a good first step to achieving the good night’s sleep – and dental health– you deserve. If you live in Merced and think that you might be grinding your teeth at night, or you are simply seeking the area’s best dental care, you need to reach out to El Portal Dental Group. Our expert and caring staff are committed to your dental health, providing general and cosmetic dentistry for the entire family. Be sure to ask about Solea Dental Laser System, a pain-free alternative to traditional dental drilling. Don’t let another sleepless night go by. Call El Porto Dental Group today at (209) 385-1479 or request an appointment online.

 


Coconut Oil Pulling
Coconut Oil Pulling

The National Institutes of Health defines oil pulling or oil swishing as “a traditional procedure in which the practitioners rinse or swish oil in their mouths.” Some people also refer to oil pulling as gargling. While this practice may sound a little strange, it can definitely improve your oral health. The practice can be traced back to homeopathic and traditional medicine in the sub-continent of India. 

One of the best oils to use for oil pulling is coconut oil. Coconut oil has a lot of health benefits including: medicinal properties, ability to kill microorganisms and bacteria, and anti-inflammatory qualities. 

Benefits of Coconut Oil Pulling

To understand why coconut oil pulling is a beneficial technique that you should add to your oral care routine, let’s take a look at the different benefits it offers: 

  • Killing Bacteria – Studies have shown that oil pulling can significantly reduce the number of bacteria that live in your mouth. While oil pulling cannot replace the benefits of brushing or flossing your teeth, it is a great complementary treatment that will make your oral care regimen stronger and healthier.
  • Preventing Cavities – Because oil pulling reduces the number of bacteria that live in your mouth, it reduces the chances of cavities, as a result. The less bacteria in your mouth, the less chance of cavities and tooth decay development. This method will help keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.
  • Reducing Bad Breath – Oil pulling can also help control bad breath. This is because of its ability to reduce the number of microorganisms that are responsible for bad breath. These microorganisms generally coat the teeth, gums, and surfaces of the mouth and can be difficult to control. Oil pulling can help bolster your oral care routine so you can enjoy fresh breath.
  • Reducing Inflammation in Gums – Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help calm down inflamed and red gums. Additionally, because of its ability to eliminate bacteria, it helps reduce plaque buildup which is the culprit that causes gum disease.
  • Affordable, Easily Accessible, and Easy to Use – Coconut oil is very affordable and is available in almost every supermarket. Additionally, it does not require any special instructions, can be transported easily, and is very easy to use.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits coconut oil pulling has to offer, talk to a dentist. Before beginning any new oral health care technique, always discuss with your dentist if it’s the right option for you. Additionally, oil pulling does not replace the benefits of regularly brushing your teeth, using floss, and dental checkups. Make sure to continue to do these crucial activities to ensure you have a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come.

If you are looking for a high-quality and patient-focused dentist for your dental needs, consider the experts at El Portal Dental Group.  We would be happy to discuss techniques to help your oral health, including coconut oil pulling. To make an appointment, call (209) 385-1479 or request an appointment online.


The Best Kind of Toothbrush
The Best Kind of Toothbrush

Every day your mouth is at war, fighting off harmful bacteria and dangerous invaders like plaque. Believe it or not, your best line of defense in this war against decay is your toothbrush. Weaponized with a fluoridated toothpaste, your toothbrush can ensure victory every time you visit your dentist. But what’s the best kind of toothbrush? Next time you arm yourself with a plaque-busting toothbrush, be sure it meets these criteria.  

Softer is better

The harder the bristle the better the brush, right? That may be true if you are scrubbing your charcoal grill but the opposite is true when it comes to toothbrushes. In fact, dentists recommend extra soft bristles to gently slough away plaque and other foreign objects stuck in the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Soft brushes will not wear the enamel on your teeth, nor will they harm gums; on the contrary, a soft brush actually massages the gums to both clean and strengthen them. A soft brush also feels pleasant when brushing the tongue.

Choose a small head

Even as an adult, opt for a smaller, more compact head on your toothbrush – they are easy to maneuver into hard-to-reach places of your mouth where plaque can build up quickly. They also allow for better navigation in the mouth.

Find your fit

Brushing your teeth should be a pleasant experience; that said be sure to choose a toothbrush that feels good in your hand and fits nicely in your mouth. The angle of the brush should work for you and it should not leave your inner cheeks or gums feeling scraped up or compromised.

Electronic toothbrushes

If you do not feel disposable toothbrushes are doing their job, it may be time to consider an electric or battery-powered toothbrush. Some have settings to help brushing along; others may be combined with a hydroflossers for an enhanced and total brushing experience.

Make your own

Brushing your teeth should not feel like a chore. Get the toothbrush that you actually will enjoy using. Choose your favorite color; encourage your child to select his favorite super hero or cartoon character. Experiment to find the one that works best for you and your family. Whatever you choose, you should look forward to brushing every day.

El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California

In the war on dental disease, it’s good to have an ally.  In Merced, California, look no further than El Portal Dental Group, where our expert staff of dentists and hygienists look forward to working with you to achieve life-long dental health for you and your family. Call us today at (209) 385-1479 or schedule an appointment online now. We look forward to working with you!