Loading
Testimonials Survey Blog Patient Forms
Dropdown button
Welcome to our blog

El Portal Dental Blog

rss

For the latest news about Dr. Nguyen and El Portal Dental Group, read our newsletter below. You’ll learn about:


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!


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.


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.


Five Foods that Rot Teeth
Five Foods that Rot Teeth

When it comes to preventing decay, the foods you eat play as much a role as do brushing and flossing. There are certain foods that are great for your teeth – foods like celery and apples that are loaded with natural abrasives and juices that gently slough away plaque and residue – and then there are foods that serve as catalysts for decay. For those wanting to have the perfect, healthy smile, you might want to reconsider eating certain foods. Here are five foods that are known to rot your teeth, and how even the best brushers should think twice before indulging in any foods that can do more harm than good.

Chewy/Sticky Candies and Sweets

Sweets like caramels, toffees, gummy bears have lots of sugar that serve as food for acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. Not only that, some candies are sticky enough to cling or get stuck between teeth, allowing plaque to build up. It is always a good practice to rinse first, then brush and floss your teeth after eating sweets.

Dried fruits/Canned fruits

Dried fruits like raisins, apricots, prunes, and dates have no liquid content; that means that the sugars that remain after the fruit is dried are concentrated. Even though dried fruits are full of fiber and quite filling, this excessive amount of sugar can cause plaque and decay. On the other hand, fruits that are canned in heavy syrup contain sugars and sweeteners that feed the bacteria-producing acid that can erode the enamel. Fresh fruits are still your best option for a cavity-free mouth.

Bread, Crackers, Chips, Pasta

Starchy foods like breads and pastas convert into simple sugars in the body. Aside from being sugar producers, these foods easily attach and linger for a longer time in the mouth for non-stop acid production. Plus, many breads and pastas are made from refined flour, meaning their nutritional value is minimal. If you want to incorporate breads and pasta in your diet, opt for a whole grain or vegetable-based noodle alternative.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes supply the body with much-needed Vitamin C and other nutrients that help fight infection, but the notable amount of acids they contain may harm your teeth. Best to rinse with water after eating them, then brush as normal.

Sweetened Drinks

Energy drinks, fruit juices, frappes and carbonated soft drinks are loaded with sugars and syrups that can harm your teeth. Even sugar-free diet sodas and non-carbonated sports drinks that may seem like healthy options are still acidic and sweet. Minimize or reduce the effects by rinsing with water right after consuming sweet drinks; better yet, opt for water or seltzer water with a splash of cucumber or mint for a refreshing, healthy treat for your bones and teeth.

Achieving Your Best Smile in Merced

Dental plaque is a clear, sticky films that coats your teeth and traps food debris. When acid-producing bacteria act on these films, the result can be damaging to your teeth. The good news is that maintaining a healthy mouth can be as easy as eating the right foods, brushing and flossing, and seeing a dentist who cares about you and your family. In Merced, that dentist is El Portal Dental Group, where our expert team of dentists and hygienists make it their mission to keep a healthy smile on your face. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the dentist, why not make it a healthy habit and call El Portal Dental Group today at (209) 385-1479 or fill out our online appointment request form.


Top 5 Dental Myths Debunked
Top 5 Dental Myths Debunked

When it comes to maintaining good oral health and a gleaming smile, having the right information is important. Surprisingly, though, certain myths about dental hygiene still persist that could lead to unnecessary problems with your teeth if they are believed and followed.

Here are five common dental myths that should be put to rest:

Myth #1: Brushing and flossing twice a day isn’t as important as dentists have you believe.

In our busy modern world, it’s easy to become lax about dental hygiene. Nevertheless, there is a very good reason why brushing and flossing at least twice a day makes sense. 

Most people have three meals a day, not including snacks here and there. Every time we eat, small food particles get left behind in our gums and between our teeth. Those food particles breed bacteria and, if not removed, eventually become plaque and then tartar.  However, if you brush in the morning and again at night, it helps reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and keeps your tooth surfaces smooth so that bacteria can’t cling as easily. 

However, brushing only covers two sides of your teeth. It hardly affects the spaces between your teeth. That’s why flossing is also important. It removes food particles trapped between your teeth and should be done each time you brush. If flossing daily is a chore, however, at least floss every other day to keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

Myth #2: Brushing your teeth more than once a day can erode tooth enamel.

It’s not the frequency of brushing that can wear down tooth enamel; it’s mostly other factors such as the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth, acid reflux, grinding teeth, and nail-biting. However, a hard-bristled toothbrush can also affect the wear and tear of your tooth enamel. That’s why most dentists recommend that you use a soft toothbrush to avoid damage to your teeth and gums.

Also, it’s a matter of brushing your teeth properly. It should only take about two minutes. Brush gently, in short strokes at a 45-degree angle from the gum line, and use up-and-down strokes brushing the back of your teeth. Hold your toothbrush with your fingertips as opposed to in the palm of your hand to avoid brushing too hard. Rule of thumb, you’re brushing too hard if the bristles bend.

Myth #3: If you eat sugary foods, it’ll destroy your teeth.

Having a sweet tooth doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to have tooth decay. There’s a simple way to have your cake – and candy and other sweets – and beat tooth decay, too.

What happens is that the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and other carbohydrates and produces an acid that deteriorates the enamel of your teeth. And the longer the sugar lingers in your mouth, the more likely the bacteria will feed off it and produce the acid.

So, the problem isn’t how much sugar you’re eating, but how long the sugar remains on your teeth. The obvious solution is to brush your teeth and rinse out your mouth right after eating, especially if you also sip sugary drinks.

Myth #4: Teeth whitening will ruin your enamel.

Teeth whitening gel (or bleach) does not damage tooth enamel. The hydrogen peroxide is soaked up by the inner tissue of your teeth (dentin), which becomes lighter, and the whiter color is reflected out through the enamel. The process can cause temporary tooth sensitivity, but no erosion of the enamel.

New advances in dental technology have made teeth whitening safer and more effective – for both cosmetic dental procedure and in-office and over-the-counter products.

Myth #5: Dental visits are painful.

This is a common excuse for avoiding dental visits, no doubt fostered by scenes of dentists drilling cavities and prodding sensitive teeth in movies and television shows. Some patients might even have had a bad experience at a dental office that makes them dread seeing any dentist. 

However, dentistry has evolved over the years to the point where a patient’s physical and emotional comfort has become a top priority. One option that eliminates the pain and fear is sedation dentistry. Conscious sedation is administered in the form of a pill that allows you to be awake throughout your dental appointment, yet relaxed throughout a procedure.

Getting the facts straight is an important part of proper dental care. Before skipping a routine visit or trying an unproven treatment, visit a trusted dental practice. For more information about maintaining your dental health, contact El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California at (209) 385-1479. Our dental health experts are here to help you keep your mouth and your smile healthy and bright all year long.

 


Food Choices and Their Effect on Your Oral Health
Food Choices and Their Effect on Your Oral Health

Food and drink fuels your day. Basic health aside, what and how you eat are also vital factors in your oral health. A healthy diet packed with nutrients can go a long way in helping you maintain good oral health.

 

On the other hand, a bad diet can hurt the health of your teeth and gums. Your smile may be the first to suffer! Unhealthy diets can stain or dim tooth enamel, which can be clearly visible on your front teeth where you eat and drink.

 

An unhealthy diet can also promote tooth decay and cause gum disease, so taking the time to be mindful of what you eat and drink can go a long way towards healthy teeth and gums.

 

Here are a few common things that can hurt your oral health.

 

 

·       Sugar loading

We all have a “sweet tooth” every now and then, but sugary foods and drink can create an unhealthy oral environment. The bacteria present in your mouth loves the sweet stuff and it reacts by releasing acids that promote tooth decay and other problems. The average American consumes up to 15 pounds of sugar a year! We love the stuff, but it doesn’t love us back.

 

 

·       Drinking too much of certain beverages:

Drinking too many soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks can impact your oral health. And you probably know that daily coffee and tea drinking can stain your tooth enamel. Regular cleanings can help if you can’t do without your morning coffee and evening tea. Finally, limit the amount of alcohol you drink; moderation is the key!

 

·       Snacking:

With our hectic, work-centered schedules, we may rely on snacks between meals to keep us going. But, chewy or sticky snacks, and even chewing gum may promote dental decay.

 

There’s another hazard with snacking: We are also unlikely to brush our teeth after an on-the-run snack. This further adds to potential problems down the road when we allow bacteria to collect between our teeth. A good piece of advice is to avoid sugary snacks and try to at least rinse out your mouth with water after snacking.

 

 

Are you more at risk?

 

Certain conditions and medications make keeping oral health more of a challenge:

 

·       Conditions such as diabetes and acid reflux may make keeping your oral health top-notch more of a challenge. Consult your dentist or physician to find out if any of your chronic conditions may also affect your oral health.

 

·       Medications

Ingredients in some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can make you more vulnerable to oral health problems. For example, antihistamines may dry your mouth, which can make you more likely to have oral health problems.

 

Remember, your meds are important! Just keep your dentist up to date about what you take.

 

What you can do:

 

·       Maintain a balanced, healthy diet and eat regular meals. Keep added sugars to a minimum, and avoid processed foods. Instead, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Replace soft drinks with water.

 

·       Brush and clean often! Don’t let hours elapse between a meal and brushing your teeth.

 

·       Keep your dentist up to date with any changes in your health or meds, and most important, go in for your regular dental check-ups.

 

 

Sticking to good dental habits that include regular brushing and flossing, and regular check-ups, can help prepare you for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. For more information about maintaining your dental health, contact El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California at (209) 385-1479. Our dental health experts are here to help you keep your mouth and you’re your smile healthy and bright all year long.

 


The Unexpected Benefits of Dental Implants
The Unexpected Benefits of Dental Implants

One of the first things that your dentist or specialist will do when you walk into their office will be to conduct what is called, a comprehensive oral evaluation. This evaluation gives your dentist a complete picture of your oral health. Due to the unique connection between the mouth and the rest of your body, it also gives dental providers a glimpse of what is happening with your overall health.  Ideally, if you are a new patient, you should receive this evaluation. However, if you have been a patient in the office for years but you’ve not had any active treatment in three or more years, you are due for a comprehensive exam.

 

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth were usually pulled. But today, a tooth can often be saved by a variety of cosmetic, restorative, and general dental procedures. Each tooth has at least one nerve that runs through the tooth and connect to the gum. The nerve is the life source of the tooth. If the nerve becomes infected or exposed (due to decay or structural damage), it can be very painful.

 

To understand better, we need to learn the anatomy of a tooth. The crown is the part of the tooth that is normally visible in the mouth, located above the gum line. The root of a tooth is the part embedded in the jaw. It anchors the tooth in its bony socket and is normally not visible, and is located below the gum line.

 

It’s no secret that a healthy, radiant smile can improve your appearance, self-esteem, and relationships, both personal and professional. Therefore, if you have tooth decay or missing teeth, that can lower your confidence and self-esteem. You would give just about anything to have your teeth back, to restore your beautiful smile. This is where dental implants can help.

 

What is a dental implant?

 

Dental implants are an artificial titanium replica of your tooth’s root, which are screwed into an implant. In other words, dental implants are prosthetic roots that serve to function the same way a natural tooth root does. These implants are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line to support a dental crown, bridge, or even a full arch of teeth. Dental implants are secure and are not removable, like dentures. If you have healthy gums and bone, you might be a candidate for dental implants. A dental implant has three parts, the implant, which is a screw that acts as a tooth root, and permanently attaches to the jaw, the abutment, which is a permanent connector that supports your set of teeth, and lastly, the crown, which are the prosthetic teeth that is on the dental implant.

 

As technology and dental procedures keep evolving, today, dentists offer people many different treatment options to rebuild and restore the health and beauty of your smile. In other words, thanks to advanced technology, today's dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth, where before they maybe didn’t look as natural and aesthetically pleasing. Patients have said, that today’s version of dental implants are comfortable and natural-looking, people won’t even notice that you have had any dental work done.

 

Depending on your situation, Dr. Nguyen of El Portal Dental Group can use implant dentistry to do the following:

 

·         Replace one or more teeth without affecting the other teeth

·         Support a bridge and eliminate the need for dentures

·         Provide support for dentures, making it more secure and comfortable

·         Restore function and balance to your bite

·         Give you a naturally beautiful smile

 

However, besides these general uses of dental implants, there are unexpected benefits of these implants that people may want to know about. These include:

 

1.      Dental implants are the next best thing, besides your normal teeth: Dental implants today are strong and stable, restoring missing and decayed teeth, but in a natural way, so it feels, functions, and fits like your normal teeth. Other possible options such as dentures or bridges can lead the bone to deteriorate, and may interfere with everyday actions such as eating, smiling, and speaking. Dental implants have long-term successful outcomes, and give people a natural and beautiful smile, helping them regain their confidence again.

 

2.      Dental Implants protect your jawbone and your other healthy natural teeth: Losing one or more teeth can lead to large gaps and spaces in your mouth that don’t look aesthetically pleasing, and can cause additional oral health issues such as gum disease, infection, and the loss and deterioration of some of your jawbone. When it is not being used to support your natural teeth, the bone in your jaw starts to deteriorate, causing it to lose strength and firmness. As a restorative dental procedure, dental implants are one of the only options that help preserve and stimulate natural bone growth, and protect your mouth from bone loss, avoiding jaw pain, and other major complications.

 

3.      Dental implants keep your teeth in place, so you don’t have to worry about your teeth: Dental implants unlike dentures are fixed to your jawbone, making it comfortable and easy for you to carry on with daily occurrences, such as eating, talking, and avoiding jaw clicking due to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction. A face without teeth can make your face look unappealing, sad, and different. Dental implants help retain your face’s natural shape, or restore your appearance, and your face’s natural shape, along with restoring your smile, which is the ultimate goal.

 

 

4.      No cavities with dental implants: Dental implants unlike your natural teeth, are not prone to cavities. However, to protect your oral hygiene, it is imperative that you still brush and floss regularly, and get dental cleanings when need be.

 

To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, call our implant dentistry office in Merced, California at (209) 385-1479 or use our online form to request an appointment with Dr. Khang Nguyen.