Wednesday, February 27, 2013

South Bay Dentist Advises: Get The Most Out Of Your Dental Visit

South Bay dentist, Dr. Bryan Baker, sees a lot of clients in his Manhattan Beach-based dental office. Many of his clients have been seeing him for years, and yet still aren't fully prepared for their office visit when they arrive. As such, Dr. Baker is posting this article from Web MD that details what you should be prepared for at your next dental check-up:
Dental visits aren't just for cavities and teeth cleaning anymore. During a check-up, your dental hygienist and dentist assess the overall health of your mouth and gums. "A dentist check-up is an essential part of preventive care," says Leslie Seldin, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Here are five ways to get more out of your next visit to the dentist. 
1. Make a Checklist of Questions or ConcernsBe prepared with questions you'd like to ask your dentist or hygienist. Be sure to mention any of the following problems:
  • Bleeding when you brush. Bleeding is a common symptom of gum disease. The earlier the disease is caught, the easier it is to treat.
  • Pain or sensitivity. Tooth pain or unusual sensitivity when biting down or eating hot or cold foods can be a sign of a cracked teeth, broken fillings, or cavities.
  • Sores inside your mouth that don't heal normally. Sores that don't heal may be an early warning sign of oral cancer. Early detection is crucial to find oral cancer when it’s more easily treated.
  • Problems with flossing or brushing. A jagged tooth or broken filling can make it difficult to floss. Arthritis or other medical conditions may make it hard to brush. Your dental team can help find the source of the problem and offer solutions.
  • Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. Many people clench their jaws or grind their teeth, especially at night. Over time, grinding and clenching can wear teeth down, damaging the enamel and making teeth more susceptible to decay. Talk to your dentist if you think you grind your teeth.  
To continue reading this article, Dr. Baker recommends heading over to Web MD:

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Manhattan Beach Dentist Says: The Ugly Truth About Your Toothbrush

Dr. Bryan Baker, a Manhattan Beach dentist, recently found this interesting article from Web MD about the health of your important tool for keeping your mouth clean: your toothbrush. You'd be surprised to know that the one instrument you have to better oral health may inadvertently be making your mouth a haven for more bacteria: 

Do you know what's lurking on your toothbrush? 
Your toothbrush is loaded with germs, say researchers at England's University of Manchester. They've found that one uncovered toothbrush can harbor more than 100 million bacteria, including E. coli bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, and staphylococci ("staph") bacteria that cause skin infections. 
But don't panic. Your mouth wasn't exactly sterile to begin with. 
Mouthful of Bacteria"The bottom line is, there [are] hundreds of microorganisms in our mouths every day," says Gayle McCombs, RDH, MS, associate professor and director of the Dental Hygiene Research Center at Old Dominion University. 
That's no big deal. Problems only start when there is an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the mouth. McCombs says. 
"It's important to remember that plaque -- the stuff you're removing from your teeth -- is bacteria," says dentist Kimberly Harms, DDS, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. "So you're putting bacteria on your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth." 
Could Your Toothbrush Be Making You Sick?Probably not. Regardless of how many bacteria live in your mouth, or have gotten in there via your toothbrush, your body's natural defenses make it highly unlikely that you're going to catch an infection simply from brushing your teeth. 
"Fortunately, the human body is usually able to defend itself from bacteria," Harms says. "So we aren't aware of any real evidence that sitting the toothbrush in your bathroom in the toothbrush holder is causing any real damage or harm. We don't know that the bacteria on there are translating into infections." 
Still, you should exercise some common sense about storing your toothbrush, including how close it is to the toilet.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

South Bay Dentist Recommends: 7 Secrets To A Healthier Smiles

A lot of people come to Dr. Baker, a South Bay dentist,  looking for ways to get a better looking smile. Fortunately, Dr. Baker provides the cosmetic services people are looking for, but for those looking for other options that don't include extensive dental work -- he recommends the following steps to getting a healthier smile:

When it comes to lighting up some of Hollywood's brightest smiles as well as tending to the pearly whites of the average Joe, New York City dentist Steven Roth, DMD, does it all. With more than 25 years of cosmetic and restorative dentistry experience, he created a technique that allows patients to "test drive" cosmetic dental procedures (such as temporary veneers) before taking the plunge. We chatted with Roth from his Manhattan office, SmilesNY, and asked him to share the seven things he always tells every patient. 
1. You probably aren't seeing the dentist enough.The standard twice-a-year visit (covered by most dental plans) is only half enough. Adults should see the dentist every 90 days. I know it sounds like a lot (and believe me, I get some resistance from reluctant patients), but, after just three months, the bacteria we clean out of your mouth during a check-up -- it's all recolonized! I know it can seem expensive, especially if you have to pay for the additional visits out of pocket, but it's well worth it from a health perspective. If you think about what you might spend on regularly cutting or coloring your hair, it's really not far off from that. 
2. If you're scared of the dentist because you think it's going to hurt, you're not seeing the right dentist.Today we can manage every single aspect of discomfort with the right medications to handle the annoyance of keeping your mouth open for a long period of time, or anesthesia for more extensive, invasive procedures like root canals. You name the issue, we can address it. 
3. If you wait until you feel pain, it's way too late.Know this: Most dental issues don't cause pain at first. Cavities, before they become deep, are painless. Gum disease -- also silent. But once you're wincing in pain, that means there's probably already an infection or the pockets of your gums have become riddled with bacteria. Bottom line: Make frequent check-up appointments to nip invisible-to-you problems in the bud, and put your dentist on speed-dial should you notice any problems. 
4. Nothing can replace good, old-fashioned dental floss.Sure, you can buy sharp little instruments at the drugstore for picking at your teeth or follow every meal with a toothpick, but until you get in between the teeth, where the surfaces abut one another, you're not attacking the location where some of the worst bacteria hide. The truth is, brushing only gets about 50% of the nasty stuff off of your teeth. Floss is the only thing that can attack the other half. No matter how fantastically high-tech your brush is or how thoroughly you go over each tooth, you still need to floss.

To continue reading the full article, Dr. Baker, your South Bay dentist, recommends visiting Web MD's website here:

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Manhattan Beach Dentist Advises: 8 Ways To Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Dr. Bryan Baker, a Manhattan Beach dentist, found this article to share on his blog about the importance of oral health. This article talk abouts 8 different ways you can maintain your oral health in effective ways:
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are the ABCs of oral health, but they're only the beginning. A marvelous mouth takes more than squeezing paste out of a tube -- think improving your toothbrushing technique, ditching the daily soda habit, and saying good-bye to cigarettes.
David Leader, DMD, an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, outlines eight oral care musts for a healthy mouth. 
  1. Pay a visit. If you're prone to ditching the dentist, you're among the roughly 50% of adults in the United States who don't see a dentist yearly because of dental phobia, finances, or just plain neglect. But spend some quality time with your dentist (twice a year, the American Dental Association advises), and you'll catch problems such as decay, gum disease, trauma, or cancer at an early stage when they're treatable, not to mention more affordable to take care of.  
Count the years. Toddlers and older adults tend to fly under the dental health radar, but they need mouth maintenance just like the rest of us. Children should see a dentist by the time they're 1, and until they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes they'll need help cleaning their teeth. Older folks have their own oral issues. Arthritis can make brushing and flossing challenging, and as people age, the amount of saliva they produce decreases, which means more tooth decay and also discomfort for those who wear dentures.
To continue reading the full article, Dr. Baker, your Manhattan Beach dentist recommends visiting Web MD's website:

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Monday, January 28, 2013

South Bay Dentist Says: 9 Things Your Can Do About Bad Breath

South Bay dentist, Dr. Bryan Baker, sees a lot of patients who are afraid they have bad breath, or halitosis to use the scientific term. Since bad breath is a condition many people are often times self-conscious about, Dr. Baker wants to share this article with his readers about what you can do to prevent yourself form suffering from bad breath:
Worried about bad breath? You're not alone. Forty million Americans suffer from bad breath, or halitosis, according to the American Dental Hygienists' Association. Bad breath can get in the way of your social life. It can make you self-conscious and embarrassed. Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to freshen your breath. 
1. Brush and floss more frequently.
One of the prime causes of bad breath is plaque, the sticky build-up on teeth that harbors bacteria. Food left between teeth adds to the problem. All of us should brush at least twice a day and floss daily. If you're worried about your breath, brush and floss a little more often.  But don't overdo it. Brushing too aggressively can erode enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. 
2. Scrape your tongue.
The coating that normally forms on the tongue can harbor foul-smelling bacteria. To eliminate them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. Some people find that toothbrushes are too big to comfortably reach the back of the tongue. In that case, try a tongue scraper. "Tongue scrapers are an essential tool in a proper oral health care routine," says Pamela L. Quinones, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists' Association. "They're designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area, removing bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t remove."   
3. Avoid foods that sour your breath.
Onions and garlic are the prime offenders. "Unfortunately, brushing after you eat onions or garlic doesn't help," says dentist Richard Price, DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "The volatile substances they contain make their way into your blood stream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out." The only way to avoid the problem is to avoid eating onions and garlic, especially before social or work occasions when you're concerned about your breath. 
4. Kick the habit.
Bad breath is just one of many reasons not to smoke. Smoking damages gum tissue and stains teeth. It also increases your risk of oral cancer. Over-the-counter nicotine patches can help tame the urge to smoke. If you need a little help, make an appointment to talk to your doctor about prescription medications or smoking cessation programs that can help you give up tobacco for good.

To continue reading this article, Dr. Baker, your South Bay dentist, recommends visiting Web MD:

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

15 Myths and Facts About Cavities

Check the myths and facts below to find out how cavities are caused, prevented, and treated.

1. Sugar Is the Prime Cause of Cavities

Myth, but it's almost a fact. 
The truth is, acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is the cause of cavities, says Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, an American Dental Association consumer advisor and former president of the Minnesota Dental Association. However, these bacteria are triggered to make acid when you eat anything with carbohydrates -- and sugar is a carb.  
Rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, and vegetables are also carbs.
Once the acid eats into your tooth, the bacteria “have a nice little hole to live in where your toothbrush and floss can’t reach,” says Harms. The bacteria continue to metabolize carbs and produce acids -- and your cavity just keeps getting bigger.
Here’s an important fact. It’s not the amount of carbs you eat that causes tooth decay, but the length of time your teeth are exposed. If you eat a lot of carbs for lunch, that’s one big exposure. But if you spend the day sipping sugary drinks, that’s continuous exposure -- and much more unhealthy for your teeth.
“We have a saying,” says Harms. “Sip all day and get decay.”

2. Exposure to Acidic Foods, Like Lemons, Causes Tooth Decay

Fact. Acidic foods such as lemons, citrus juices, or soft drinks don’t cause cavities, but they may be putting your enamel in danger.
"Acids can tear down your enamel and weaken your tooth," says Harms. “If you lose the enamel's protection and expose the underlying dentin, your tooth is now more prone to decay.”

3. Kids Are a Lot More Likely to Get Cavities Than Adults

Myth. With the help of sealants, fluoridated water, and preventive care, “we’ve actually cut decay in school-aged children by half in the last 20 years,” says Harms.
However, there’s been an increase in cavities in senior citizens “because they have some unique circumstances,” she says. Some medicines dry out the mouth, for example, reducing salvia. Saliva is vital in fighting tooth decay because it helps neutralize acids, has a disinfectant quality, washes away bacteria, and helps prevent food from sticking to your teeth.

4. Aspirin Placed Next to a Tooth Will Help a Toothache

Myth. Swallowing aspirin is what helps reduce toothache pain. Since aspirin is acidic, placing it beside the tooth can actually burn your gum tissue, causing an abscess. "So don’t do it," says Harms. "Always swallow the aspirin!"

5. All Fillings Eventually Need Replacing

Myth. An amalgam or composite filling needs to be replaced if it breaks down or a cavity forms around it, or if the tooth fractures, says Harms. If none of those problems occur, you can keep the same filling for life.
“Fillings do have a life expectancy,” says Harms, but it depends on things like tooth wear and oral hygiene habits. If you brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss and use a mouth rinse once a day, you’ll have less tooth decay and your fillings may last longer.

6. If You Have a Cavity, You'll Know It

Myth. “That’s a big, big, bad myth,” Harms says. Mild tooth decay doesn’t cause symptoms. The pain we associate with cavities comes when tooth decay is more advanced and causes damage to the nerve.
Allowing tooth decay to advance can “lead to much more expensive procedures, like root canals,” says Harms. That’s why regular dental checkups are so important. 
Also, once a cavity starts, it doesn’t repair itself. A cavity “will always grow once you get to a point where you can’t clean it out any longer.” Once decay gets into the dentin of the tooth -- below the enamel -- it just continues to grow.

7. Once a Tooth Is Treated, the Decaying Stops

Fact. “You can get decay later on in other areas of the tooth, but the particular decay that was taken out is gone.”
Once you get a cavity filled -- and if you maintain good brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits -- you typically won’t get decay in that spot again.
Harms adds one caveat: “Sometimes a filling gets old and the margins where it meets the tooth begin to break down or pull away, and because you can’t reach it to clean it out, bacteria can get in there and decay can begin again.”

8. Cavities Are More Likely Between Teeth

Fact. “Anywhere bacteria can hide that you can't, or aren't able to, reach with a toothbrush or floss is a likely place for decay,” says Harms. The deep grooves on the back of your front teeth are a good place for tooth decay, for example. “And yes, it can happen between teeth because the toothbrush won’t get in there and a lot of people have trouble flossing.” This is where using a mouth rinse with fluoride (also called an anti-cavity rinse) can give you extra protection.

9. Gaps in Teeth Encourage Cavities

Fact. If you have a small gap between your teeth and can’t clean it, you’re more likely to develop tooth decay there.
“Bigger gaps are easier to keep clean,” says Harms. So as long as they are free of bacteria, big gaps are less likely to develop tooth decay.

10. Chips and Cracks in Teeth Lead to Decay

Fact. If cracks and chips create a hiding place for bacteria, a spot where your toothbrush can't reach, those areas are more prone to tooth decay. Using a fluoride mouth rinse can reduce the risk of decay since it can flow into places your brush can’t reach.
“Lately we’re seeing more and more cracks in teeth because people are grinding,” Harms says. “Stress, worries about the economy, it makes some people grind their teeth more. ... Stress [management] can play an important role in tooth health.”

11. Sensitivity in Teeth Means You Have Decay

Myth. Tooth sensitivity could just mean you have hypersensitive teeth, or you have gum recession that's exposed some root.
You could also have a cracked or broken tooth or could need a root canal. “There are many things, including decay, that could lead to sensitive teeth,” Harms says.

12. Cavities Are the Only Reason for Root Canals

Myth. You need a root canal if the nerve inside a tooth is damaged. Untreated cavities may eventually lead to nerve damage, but there other causes, too.
“Cracks, fractures, or other types of trauma to the tooth can also cause nerve damage,” says Harms. In many cases “clenching and grinding can traumatize the tooth severely enough to need root canal therapy.”

13. Clenching and Grinding May Lead to Cavities

Fact. “Clenching and grinding is one of the most destructive things you can do to your teeth,” says Harms. With normal chewing, teeth touch for mere milliseconds, suffering very little stress. But clenching and grinding puts tremendous pressure on your teeth for extended periods.
That strain “can eventually cause damage and cracks and fractures of your teeth,” says Harms. If those fractures expose the weaker dentin, tooth decay can form at a faster rate. “Typically grinding and clenching lead to the need for crowns to restore the fractured tooth or root canal therapy to treat the traumatized nerve.”

14. You Don’t Need to Worry About Cavities in Baby Teeth

Myth. Baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth. “If cavities are left untreated in baby teeth, they can develop into serious pain and abscesses. Occasionally the infection can spread to other areas of the body, and in rare occasions can even result in death,” says Harms.

15. Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing Is the Best Way to Prevent Cavities

Fact. “Absolutely! Prevention is the key,” says Harms. You need to remove bacteria from teeth. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss and rinse daily. Antimicrobial rinses target bacteria, reducing plaque, bad breath, and the severity of gingivitis. Rinses with fluoride make teeth more resistant to decay. If bacteria are removed daily from every area of your tooth, “you won't get cavities,” says Harms.

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Focus On Healthy Teeth: The Full Story About Gingivitis

Do you have red, sore gums that occasionally bleed when you brush your teeth? If so, you may have gingivitis -- the mildest form of gum disease. Most people get gingivitis at some point in their lives, and mild symptoms make it easy to overlook. But that doesn't mean you can ignore sore gums. Keeping teeth and gums healthy can help prevent periodontitis, a severe type of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, you can easily reverse gingivitis with proper oral care.

What Causes Gingivitis?

When you forget to brush, floss, and use a mouth rinse, you leave deposits of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and food particles, around your teeth. Plaque releases acids that attack tooth enamel, causing decay. After 72 hours, plaque can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist. Tartar forms along the gum line, making it difficult to thoroughly clean teeth and gums. Eventually these plaque and tartar deposits irritate and inflame gums, causing gingivitis.

Can Gingivitis Lead to Severe Gum Disease?

Experts used to think that if not treated, gingivitis would eventually develop into periodontitis. But research has shown that's not necessarily the case. Whether a person develops severe gum disease partly depends on how that person's body responds to the buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Studies have shown that periodontitis may develop due to these factors:
  • Bacteria. Of more than 400 species of bacteria that live in our mouths, only about 15 can cause severe gum disease.
  • Genetics. About 30% of people may be genetically predisposed to developing gum disease.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk for gum disease, possibly because people with diabetes are more prone to infection. Gum disease also makes it harder to control diabetes.
  • Smoking. According to the American Dental Association, smoking may be the cause of almost 75% of periodontal diseases.
Because there's no way to know who might develop severe periodontal disease, it's important to see your dentist if you notice any sign of gum irritation.

What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?

Symptoms are often so mild that you can have gingivitis and not know it. Over time you may notice:
  • Red, swollen, or purplish gums. Healthy gums should appear pink and firm.
  • Bleeding gums; you may see blood on your toothbrush or when you spit out toothpaste
  • Sore gums that are tender to the touch
  • Mouth sores
If you think you may have gingivitis, start by looking at your oral health habits to figure out where you may have slacked off a little. For example, if you haven't been flossing every day, try putting a reminder note on the bathroom mirror. 
If you can never remember which kind of mouth rinse reduces gingivitis, ask a pharmacist for help. (It’s an antimicrobial one, which you may see labeled as anti-gingivitis, antibacterial, or antiseptic.)
If it's been 6 months since your last dental appointment, call your dentist to set up a cleaning and exam. During the exam, your dentist will use special instruments to remove tartar and plaque deposits and thoroughly clean your teeth. Also, ask your dentist about the proper way to brush your teeth -- brushing too hard or missing spots can lead to gingivitis. After a cleaning, gingivitis should improve within a week or so as long as you brush twice a day, and floss and rinse once a day.

How Can I Prevent Gingivitis?

For healthy teeth and gums, the American Dental Association recommends taking the following steps:
1. Brush your teeth 2 times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brushing once in the morning when you wake up and right before bed makes it easy to remember. Be sure to get a new toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles become frayed. Old, worn out toothbrushes won't clean teeth as thoroughly.
2. Floss every day -- not just when something gets stuck between your teeth. Daily flossing removes plaque buildup in places your toothbrush can't reach. If you don't like flossing, try interdental cleaners, which are picks or small brushes that fit in between teeth. It's a good idea to ask your dentist how to use them properly so you don't damage your gums.
3Get extra protection by rinsing. Using an antimicrobial rinse can reduce the severity of gingivitis. As a bonus, you’ll also fight bad breath and reduce plaque. Look for the ADA seal. It means the American Dental Association finds the rinse effective.
4. Visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and oral exam. Once tartar develops, only your dentist can remove it. Depending on your overall oral health and risk factors, you may need to see the dentist more often.
5. Eat healthy foods and limit sweets and junk food. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches from food, releasing acids that attack tooth enamel and cause decay. Junk food and candy have a lot of extra sugar and starch. Avoid them to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
6. If you smoke, quit. Not only is smoking bad for your heart and lungs, but it's also bad for your teeth and gums. Smoking or using smokeless tobacco increases the risk for severe gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
Gingivitis may come back anytime you forget to floss or brush consistently. So stick with good oral health habits for a lifetime of bright smiles. 

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Wears Down Your Teeth

Teeth are built tough. With regular care they can last a lifetime. Still, the daily grind of chewing, brushing, and grinding, along with accidental injuries, can take a toll. Here are three of the biggest threats, and what you can do to avoid them.

Chipped, Fractured, or Broken Teeth

Teeth can sometimes chip or fracture when you bite down on something hard, such as a popcorn kernel or stale bread. “But that kind of injury is actually quite uncommon,” says Steven E. Schonfeld, DDS, PhD, a dentist in private practice and spokesman for the American Dental Association.  
Teeth that have fillings or root canals are at highest risk, because they aren't as strong as intact teeth. “But even intact teeth can chip or fracture if you happen to bite down in just the wrong way on something hard,” Schonfeld says.
More often, teeth are damaged as a result of accidents or sports injuries. When researchers surveyed athletes competing in the Pan American World Games recently, they found that almost half showed signs of tooth fractures believed to have occurred over time during training or competing. In that study, sports most commonly associated with tooth injuries included wrestling, boxing, basketball, and karate. But even non-contact sports such as in-line skating or skiing can result in damage to teeth.
What you can do: If you have fillings in your back molars, it's wise to avoid biting down on hard foods such as bones, hard candies, and ice. Wear a mouth guard if you play sports that pose a risk of injury, and get them for your kids that play sports, too. A 2002 survey of college basketball players found that mouth guard wearers significantly reduced their risk of dental injuries. Simple mouth guards are available at most sporting goods stores. Your dentist can also make a custom-fitted mouth guard.
A dentist can repair chipped teeth. Fractures are harder to fix, especially if the crack extends below your gum line. If you have a badly fractured tooth, your dentist may remove it.

Bruxism: Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth are built to chew and grind food. But unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth, over time, can damage the chewing surfaces. “Chronic tooth grinding, called bruxism, can cause micro-cracks in the enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay, and even wear down the pointed surfaces of molars,” says Anthony M. Iacopino, DMD, PhD, dean of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry.
Tooth grinding can also cause headaches, muscle pain, and jaw injury. In many cases, people with bruxism don't realize they have a problem until a dentist notices tell-tale signs on their tooth surfaces. That's one more good reason to get checkup every six months, Iacopino says.
Researchers suspect that stress or anger may lead to tooth grinding. A 2010 study found that people with sleep bruxism were more likely than people who don't grind their teeth to report trouble at work, daily problems, and physical problems.
What you can do:  Stress management techniques may help. “I tell my patients who have signs of tooth grinding to find ways to relax,” Declan Devereux, DDS, says. “Take a walk. Learn to meditate. Avoid stressful or frustrating situations if possible.” For some patients, that may be enough to ease tooth grinding. If not, dentists may prescribe a mouth guard or splint, which fits over the upper or lower teeth, protecting them from becoming damaged.

Acid and Tooth Enamel Erosion

As tough as teeth are, they become vulnerable when acid levels in the mouth are too high. Acid erodes enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay. Acidic foods and drinks, and acid-producing bacteria in the mouth are prime culprits. Enamel erosion may also be due to other conditions such as bulimia, chronic gastritis related to alcoholism, or frequent vomiting related to pregnancy. Researchers have recently recognized another threat: gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD causes the highly acidic contents of the stomach to back up into the esophagus, sometimes even into the mouth, where it can erode teeth. Anyone who suffers GERD is at risk. In a study of 117 patients with GERD, 28 had dental erosion. Another study of 20 patients found evidence in about half of the patients.
What you can do:  Ask your doctor for support and referrals to treat bulimia or alcoholism. If you’re pregnant and vomiting a lot, it might be a good time for you to get a dental checkup (one is recommended during pregnancy).
If your dentist notices signs of enamel erosion and suspects that the problem may be GERD, she is likely to recommend you see your doctor. The only way to prevent further damage is to control your GERD. In addition to taking a prescription acid-blocker medicine, make some changes to what and when you eat to reduce the frequency of reflux. Start by avoiding foods that make GERD worse: chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Eating smaller meals helps prevent GERD. Also, don’t eat for at least two hours before bed so your stomach has time to partially empty before you lie down.

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth