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How our Teeth Come Together.

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2016 at 10:21 pm.

The contact between the upper and lower teeth, in dental terms, is called occlusion. More specifically it’s the relationship of how the top and bottom teeth approach each other in order to chew or rest.

In dentistry there are many branches or relationships of occlusion as it relates to the teeth, jaw, and movements. The functions of chewing, swallowing, and speaking are largely dependent on the way the upper and lower teeth come together.

Malocclusion is simply known as a “bad bite”. It is the misalignment of teeth and jaws and can cause a number of health and dental problems.

Malocclusion is the result of the body trying to function effectively in a an environment that is not optimal. It can be associated with a number of problems, including crooked teeth, gum problems, TMJ disease, and jaw muscles. Teeth, fillings, and crowns may wear, break, or loosen changing the way the teeth come together and with this they can become tender and painful. Crowns and fillings may not contact properly which can result malocclusion. A faulty bite can cause receding gums as the bone as well as tender teeth and gums. Jaw muscles may have to work harder, which can lead to fatigue and or muscle spasms if they are not in the right position. Many of these associations can lead to difficulty chewing and functioning properly, headaches or migraines, eye or sinus pain, and pain in the neck, shoulder, or even back. Malocclusion can be a contributing factor to sleep disordered breathing which may include snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and / or sleep apnea. Stress, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or crooked or missing teeth may cause teeth grinding or clenching. This habit can not only cause aching muscles, but can wear down your teeth and damage dental work. Untreated malocclusion can lead to trauma and damage the teeth.

Some of the treatments for different occlusal problems include braces, tooth adjustments, replacement of teeth, medication (usually temporary), a diet of softer foods, techniques to relax tensed muscles, relaxation therapy for stress-related clenching or protecting the teeth with dental splints/night guard to prevent the teeth from touching while you sleep.
If you think you might have malocclusion, schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. May and her staff about your symptoms and concerns. Please call the office at 661-505-2926. Our address is 25385 Wayne Mills Pl. Valencia, Ca. 91355 in the plaza on the corner of Magic Mountain Pkwy and Tourney Rd. We’ll help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you. As always, we look forward to providing you with outstanding dental care!

Don’t ruin my smile, Mary Jane

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2016 at 10:17 pm.

While Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, won’t have as dramatic, serious effects on your teeth as a drug like methamphetamines, it can still mean bad news for your oral health. Marijuana’s harmful effects on the mouth include bad breath, dry mouth, decay, and the risk of mouth cancer. It contains the main psychoactive constituent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis is most commonly smoked, however it can be added to foods. THC from cannabis enters the bloodstream and exerts its effects on the almost every system of the body, chiefly the cardiovascular, respiratory and immune systems.

Marijuana usually is smoked through a cigarette rolled with thin papers or through a pipe. The immediate effects include dry mouth and throat. Continued dry mouth increases the likelihood of gum disease. Proper saliva flow is important particularly to lubricate, cleanse, diminish bacteria build up and buffer the mouth. Gum disease has been linked to medical problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Habitual marijuana users are also more likely become lax on personal care and proper oral hygiene and consume large quantities of sugary or fatty foods. Also, the smoke from marijuana causes bad breath. All this can lead to cavities and periodontal/gum disease.

THC interferes with the transfer of calcium through the body, a vital ingredient to healthy teeth and bones. Since it interferes with the process of calcium absorption, continued use of marijuana can lead to tooth decay and potential tooth loss.

Research have shown that Cannabis smoke acts as a carcinogen and is associated with abnormal changes and lesions within the oral environment. Users are also prone to oral infections, possibly due to associations related to decreased immune system from long term use.

Dental treatment on patients intoxicated on cannabis can result in the patient experiencing anxiety, intense emotional and mental discomfort and psychotic-like paranoiac thoughts. A dose of marijuana causes the heart rate to rise initially and the use of local anesthetic containing epinephrine may seriously prolong the increased heart rate.

The risks on your health are simply not worth the temporary high. It’s encouraged to seek help and discuss use with your medical, dental, and related experienced professionals. Your overall health and well being is highly important to us. Repairing the damage done to your teeth is also an important component of your recovery. Coming in for regular dental checkups help to catch early signs of erosion, decay and other oral symptoms from drug use or history of drug use. Early diagnosis and repair along with recovery is important to prevent larger, long-term oral damage. For more info, please call the office at 661-505-2926. Our address is 25385 Wayne Mills Pl. Valencia, Ca. 91355 in the plaza on the corner of Magic Mountain Pkwy and Tourney Rd. As always, we look forward to providing you with outstanding health and dental care!

Sensitive Teeth: Do hot, cold, sweets and chewing bother you?

Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 at 10:10 pm.

Many people suffer from sensitive teeth. This periodic feeling is common and affects people when they eat, drink or touch their teeth. Fortunately, dentistry can offer several simple and effective treatments for this uncomfortable condition.

Tooth sensitivity is caused by the gradual exposure of the tooth dentin. Dentin is the softer part and second layer of your tooth that lies under the tooth enamel. Dentin contain nerve endings that can react in response to hot, cold, or sweet triggering a twinge of discomfort or sharp pain.

Sensitive teeth can be treated and managed with a few simple steps:

The first thing we need to do is rule out other possible dental problems. It’s important to treat cavities, cracked restorations or cracked teeth as soon as possible if that is the main cause of sensitivity. Routine check ups from your Dentist are keys to preventing these other dental issues. When dentin loses its protective covering due to cavities, broken fillings and crowns, or cracked teeth, the canals within the dentin are exposed to hot, cold, sticky or acidic foods. This stimulates the nerves inside the tooth and cause hypersensitivity or discomfort. If left untreated , it can lead to a root canal or even loss of the tooth.

Proper oral hygiene is important to prevent decay and gum recession that can lead to causing sensitive-tooth pain. Periodontal disease can cause the gums to recede exposing the tooth’s dentin. Brushing too vigorously or with a hard bristled tooth brush can injure gums causing recession

Depending on the cause, a desensitizing paste, gel or varnish may be recommended which contain compounds that block sensation travelling from the tooth surface to the nerve. Take home products may be prescribed to help reduce sensitivity further.

Braces are an option to correct the position on teeth so that proper forces are placed on them. Poorly positioned teeth can cause undue forces on teeth causing recession.

A night guard may also be recommended for grinders and clenchers to prevent continued wear of their natural teeth which can expose the dentin leading to sensitivity.

If you have sensitive teeth, please give our office a call to discuss your options and put an end to this annoying problem.

For more information, to schedule an appointment and meet Dr. May and her staff, please call the office at 661-505-2926 or visit our website www.maycontedds.com. We are located at 25385 Wayne Mills Pl, Valencia Ca. 91355

Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual

Posted on Sunday, August 21st, 2016 at 10:08 pm.

The world of toothbrushes are many. But if you’re looking for the best and easiest way to take care of your teeth, it’s not that hard to decide between electric and manual. Unlike a manual brush, an electric brush does the work for you. Here are some reasons why they can help prevent gum disease and a healthier,happier mouth.

  1. Electric toothbrushes have more cleaning power. Some can deliver up to 48,800 movements per minute, while a regular manual toothbrush can only deliver 300 to 600 movements per minute. They can remove plaque up to 10 times more than a manual toothbrush.
  2. They have technology that help break down and remove plaque easier and more efficiently. They have superior oscillating-rotating-pulsating technology. The round brush head pulsates to loosen plaque and then oscillates and rotates to sweep the plaque away. They also have several modes and intensities to improve gum health and get a thorough clean such as polish clean, gum care, sensitive and tongue cleanliness.
  3. Many have built in timers. Most everyone underestimates the amount of time they should brush. With a manual toothbrush, it’s easy to lose track of time. Dental professionals recommend brushing twice daily for two minutes. That means each quadrant of your mouth gets 30 seconds of brush time. Electric Toothbrushes include two-minute timers that take you through this routine, ensuring you get a complete clean every time you brush.
  4. Many have audio and/or visual pressure sensors built-in to alert you if too much force is applied while brushing. This can help prevent recession of gums.
  5. You can use different sized detachable heads so that you can use smaller heads to clean those hard to reach areas.

So if you’re looking for a more efficient clean, an electric toothbrush is your best bet. We want you to have a healthy and happy mouth that you can keep for your lifetime! Keep it clean and keep it forever.

Come by, say hi and smile with us. New patients always welcome. We are located at 25385 Wayne Mills Pl. Valencia Ca. 91355. (661)505-2926. Www.maycontedds.com

Gum Disease and Your Lungs

Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2016 at 10:15 pm.

Periodontal disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can impact overall health. Research has shown there are links between gum/periodontal disease to upper respiratory diseases, including pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Gum disease starts with Plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless deposit composed of about a thousand species of bacteria that take part in the complex ecosystems of the mouth that forms daily on the tooth surface. Saliva, food and fluids combine to produce these deposits that collect where the teeth and gums meet. When the body is in balance, plaque, actually protect and support your body’s ability to live. However, when disturbed and unbalanced, plaque produces bad bacteria that lead to gum disease. Gingivitis is an infection of the gum tissue by bacterial plaque. The bacteria attacks your gums which can cause infected pockets. These infected pockets provide access to the bloodstream allowing bacteria to travel throughout your body.

In Respiratory disease, research has found that bad bacteria from the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs and cause respiratory disease such as pneumonia. Bad bacteria, large plaque accumulation, periodontal pockets, the inflammatory response diminishes our body’s defenses subjecting us to respiratory risks.

Great home care is vital not only for clean teeth but reduce risks to other parts of the body such as your lungs. It’s very important to practice good oral hygiene by meticulously brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day to prevent plaque from accumulating and causing problems. Be sure to brush your tongue and rinse with an ADA approved mouth rinse to remove bacteria and improve bad breath. Eating a balanced diet, low in processed foods and sugars also help reduce bad bacteria.

Avoid and prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease by continuing your regular dental cleaning and checkups with your Dentist. During a dental examination, a thorough examination and review of your oral health and overall health history, including an oral cancer screening and necessary dental x-rays are performed along with a careful evaluation of your current dental status and concerns.

A clean mouth and healthier habits can last a lifetime and we are always here to help you achieve that. For more information, give us a call at 661-505-2926. We are located at 25385 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia Ca. 91355