Leading General Dentistry in Laguna Niguel, CA
It is crucial for you and your loved ones to visit your general dentist on a regular basis. When you visit your dentist for routine examinations and cleanings, he and his staff can catch early signs of decay or even prevent decay from ever occurring. When small oral health issues like tooth decay go too long without being treated, they can become more serious problems like gum disease. You can protect your health and the health of your family by visiting your family dentist regularly.
What’s that pain you’ve been having in your jaw, your ear, your face, your head? It very likely might be bruxism, grinding your teeth often in your sleep when you are not aware of it. At the office of Dr. O’Braitis, we can address this problem and resolve the discomfort and pain it causes you.
We are trained in treating bruxism.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the act of consciously or unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth either during the day or while you sleep. Bruxism is considered both a medical and a dental problem. This is because it affects both the teeth and all of the structure near it, including the head.
Effects of Bruxism
Teeth grinding, although it is not a major health issue, can bring about problems like mouth, jaw, and face problems, broken dentures, missing teeth, and many others. It is very important for adults to consult a dentist so that their teeth grinding habit is addressed before any further problems develop.
People grind their teeth for a variety of reasons. Doctors believe that it is because of stress. Dentists say that it happens because one’s teeth are not properly aligned with each other. Whatever the cause, treatment should not be delayed.
Indications of Bruxism
- Intense clenching of teeth enough to wake up somebody
- Flattened, worn down, and chipped teeth
- Worn teeth enamel
- Sensitive teeth (extensive pain in their gums when their teeth are subjected to something very cold or very hot)
- Pain and tightness in the jaws and its muscles
- Instances of earaches (when the jaws move constantly and involuntarily the muscle that connects to the ear suffers as well)
- Facial pain
- Damaged cheek tissue
Treatment for Bruxism
Dr. Richard O’Braitis uses an NTI device to prevent you from grinding and clenching your teeth. These night mouth guards are bite pads that are worn at night as you sleep. These guards are made of high-grade plastic and should fit the teeth or mouth perfectly. This device keeps the upper teeth from grinding with the lower teeth, offering an instant solution to teeth clenching problems. If you have experienced Bruxism for a long period of time without treatment, you may be a candidate for Full Mouth Rehabilitation, which is a long-term process of completely rehabilitating your dental health.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing problems with teeth grinding.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Dental emergencies are quite frightening and often painful. Prompt treatment is almost always required to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible chance of survival.
You have a dental emergency and need to see a dentist, not a doctor if you have:
- A toothache
- A swollen face
- A broken tooth
- Lost a filling or a crown
- Bleeding after having a tooth pulled
If you feel that you need to see a dentist immediately, call our office. We specialize in emergency treatment and pain relief.
If you’re in pain and can’t wait for relief, we’ll try to schedule an appointment immediately.
During normal business hours, call our office for the same day appointment.
For fastest response outside normal business hours, follow the instructions on the dental office voicemail system.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss any aspect of your dental health – we don’t charge for giving advice!
When patients experience extreme sensitivity, pain from a broken tooth, or are suffering from advanced periodontal disease, your dentist could recommend that you have a tooth extracted. During a simple extraction, the dentist can safely remove the affected tooth without the need for major surgery.
There are numerous situations in which a simple extraction is needed. Extractions are typically performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay, infection, as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future, or to prepare your for another cosmetic or restorative procedure.
Common reasons for tooth extractions include:
- Advanced periodontal disease that has loosened the roots of your tooth
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that impede adult teeth
- Preparing a patient for orthodontic treatment
- Removing a fractured or malformed tooth
- Severe tooth decay which cannot be remedied with root canal therapy
- Removal of Wisdom Teeth
You know you should have spent more time brushing and flossing but what now? Every time you brush your gums bleed. They look red, swollen and are a bit painful as well. You are on your way to Gum Disease, a potentially serious condition. Periodontic treatment is crucial and we can help.
What are Gingivitis and Periodontitis?
Gum disease is manifested in two forms:
- Gingivitis The earliest stage of gum disease, causing an inflammation and some bleeding of the gums caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. Gingivitis causes gum inflammation but no bone loss.
- Periodontitis The second stage where the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are damaged causing bone damage and loss.
The Progression of Gum Disease
Periodontitis is a common complaint affecting approximately 50% of U.S. adults over the age of 30 years. It occurs in people who have preexisting gingivitis which is itself caused by the accumulation of bacteria at the gum line (dental plaque). Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gumline, which traps food and plaque. If left untreated, plaque calcifies to form dental calculus. Dental calculus must be removed completely by the dentist in order to treat gingivitis and periodontitis. Proper dental treatment and improved home care can usually help prevent further damage. If left untreated, bone supporting your teeth can be destroyed, causing your teeth to shift or loosen.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Our office uses the following services and technologies to treat gum disease:
- COMPUTERIZED CHARTING Our computer software allows us to measure the depth of the periodontally infected areas as well as the healthy areas. We can compare your readings from one appointment to the next and provide you with a graphic printout so you can see how you are doing and where you can help yourself with better home care. This also allows us to tailor our treatment, specifically for you.
- CAVITRON ULTRASONIC INSTRUMENTATION We use the most modern ultrasonic equipment available to remove plaque buildup quickly and comfortably.
- SOFT TISSUE THERAPY Our periodontal therapists have been trained to thoroughly remove the bacteria ridden plaque and tartar deposits that colonize the roots. This is the key to eliminating periodontal disease.
- PERIO PROTECT® is a comprehensive method that is customized for individual patients to help manage biofilms – communities of bacteria, growing in the spaces or pockets between teeth and gum tissue. The overall goal of the Perio Protect Method™ is to manage oral biofilm (bacteria) with minimally invasive dentistry for lasting oral health.
- CAVI-JET In addition to the traditional polishing or buffing that you are accustomed to, we also utilize an air polishing system (like a mini pressure washer) to remove stains from your teeth.
Prevention of Gum Disease
Daily oral hygiene is vital in preventing the onset and growth of gum disease. Brushing and flossing keep teeth free from plaque-generating bacteria. In addition, it is important to visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and examinations. For more specific information about Periodontal Disease, check out this article.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our office to examine the health of your mouth.
Both nightguards and sport guards are a type of mouthgaurd. A mouthguard is an appliance fabricated from acrylic to cover the biting surfaces of the teeth. Although nightguards can be soft or hard, and cover either the upper or lower teeth, their function is to prevent the biting surfaces of the teeth from coming into contact; and, thereby, prevent grinding or breaking of dental restorations and teeth. Nightguards are prescribed to prevent further destruction of teeth for people who are grinding their teeth and are also used in many cases after a large number of crowns or other restorations have been placed on the teeth to prevent the destruction of the newly fabricated restorations. Although a nightguard is usually worn during sleeping hours, your dentist may also prescribe it to be worn during the day, depending on your specific situation.
A sportsguard is a comfortable piece of athletic gear that fits over your teeth and can help protect your smile as well as your lips, tongue, face, and jaw during sports. New research indicates that sportsguards can even reduce the severity of concussions.