Dental Bridge Your Way Through Life

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. These two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and a false tooth/teeth in between.

These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.

With us you can ask for anything you want to make your grin gleam.

Be Mindful About What is Going on Inside Your Mouth

It’s allergy season here in Tucson and people all over are sneezing and wheezing. Pollen count is high with springtime blooms in the air. While you may have noticed your allergies with a runny nose and eyes, have you thought about how they affect the inside of your mouth?

Here are four occurrences that could happen that you might not know, but should:
1. Swollen cheeks that you keep biting. “Ouch!”
The inside of your cheeks are very sensitive. An allergic reaction can cause them to swell, and when you crunch down on a radish or mixed nuts you consistently keep biting the skin. Try cleaning your mouth out with warm salt water every hour. Pay attention to what you are eating, drinking and breathing to try and discover the culprit of the pain.
2. That good old cottonmouth is your traveling companion everywhere you go. Allergies can cause dry mouth in two ways. First, you’re more likely to breathe through your mouth when your nose is stuffy. Second, many antihistamines include dry mouth as a side effect. This condition isn’t just uncomfortable — it also increases your chances of developing cavities, gum disease and bad breath. Make sure you are staying hydrated. Try drinking the recommended eight glasses of water per day.
3. A bad tooth has made a visit. The maxillary sinuses, the largest sinuses in your face, are located above your mouth. When pressure builds in these sinuses, it can push down on the roots of your upper molars. Try antihistamines to see if you can get any relief. If your toothache goes away after taking antihistamines, the tooth is likely allergy-related.
4. Lip and tongue swelling are quite apparent. When you constantly breath in and out during allergy season, you are inviting foreign spores into your system. Of course, this will cause swelling…you’re having an allergic reaction. Again, try gargling warm salt water multiple times a day to reduce this interaction.

We cannot stress enough to make sure you notice these conditions. After all your mouth is one of the most important parts of your body. It’s what allows you to eat and communicate. Take a moment each day and be respectful to the inside of it. Oral care is extremely important, no matter what season. So throughout the rest of the year, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye or a mouthful on these symptoms.

Contact us today, if your mouth allergies seem to be getting worse and worse. Infections can occur easily, and it’s best to catch anything before they happen.

One in Six Parents Put Off Their Child’s First Dental Checkup, Consumer Affairs Reports

One in Six Parents Put Off Their Child’s First Dental Checkup, Consumer Affairs Reports

A recent poll, taken by 760 parents, showed that only 16% believe children should visit a dentist before the age of four. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends regular dental appointments starting at around age one after baby teeth have erupted.

Parents apparently claim they don’t receive proper professional guidance from their main healthcare provider or doctors, and are therefore less likely to take their children to the dentist at an early age. We want to share a few reasons why it is detrimentally important to have your little one’s teeth checked…even their baby teeth.

Taking kids to the dentist early on in life helps set them up for healthy oral hygiene as they grow.

Early visits provide important information to both parents and children about correct brushing techniques, the importance of limiting sugary drinks, and why putting children to bed with a bottle isn’t recommended.

Early dentist visits can help spot common oral problems that can follow toddlers and children as they get older, possibly leading to major dental procedures down the line.

Early dentist visits can also be beneficial to children with healthy teeth. In addition to educating kids on healthy oral hygiene habits, dentists can apply fluoride varnish to help prevent future decay.

Visiting the dentist at an early age is an essential part of children’s health care. These visits are important for the detection and treatment of early childhood tooth decay and also a valuable opportunity to educate parents on key aspects of oral health.

Four Resolutions for Healthy Teeth

Four Resolutions for Healthy Teeth

We all make new year’s resolutions and most of us end up giving them up by spring. If you’ve made the same resolutions year after year and still haven’t made it made it through completing them, time for a new list. How about making it a simple one and focus on keeping your pearly whites in good shape for 2018? These four tips should be easy to hit your goals and leave you smiling.

Schedule a dental appointment. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, you’re not alone. Booking an appointment is one of the most important things you can do when looking after your teeth. By seeing your dentist at least twice a year, you can help prevent any dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. According to research, some conditions — such as sensitivity in the teeth or bleeding gums — are sure signs that it’s time to see a dentist. Even if your teeth look and feel fine, schedule an appointment.

Commit to flossing. Brushing your teeth twice a day isn’t enough to keep plaque from building up on your teeth, or to completely remove bits of food from your mouth. To take the best care of your teeth, you need to floss too. If you’re not in the habit of flossing, the new year is a great time to start.

Cut out the sugar. Studies prove that there is a direct link between the amount of sugar a person eats and the amount of decay he or she has. Cutting back on sugar can cut your risk for tooth decay considerably. The most convenient way to do this is to reduce the number of sugary treats you buy. Simple swaps will help you cut back as well: Drink sugar-free seltzer water instead of soda, or chew a piece of sugar-free gum when you have a craving for something sweet.

Eat more mouth-healthy foods. Resolve to add more orally healthy foods to your diet to solidify your benefit to your teeth. Dairy products, which are high in calcium, are great for your teeth, as are fibrous foods that call up saliva and scrub away plaque and other food bits.

Tips to Keeping Teeth Healthy Over the Holidays

Tips to Keeping Teeth Healthy Over the Holidays

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. Dinner tables all over the nation will be covered in rich, robust meals and decadent desserts. Don’t forget the sugary drinks that add the splash to gourmet delights. We hate to break the happiness of it all by saying celebration meals could wreck havoc on your teeth and oral health, but it’s the truth.

We do wish all of our patients the most joyful of times with their friends and families. Here’s a few ideas for you to stew upon, as you pull together your holiday medley of recipes.

1. Nuts are a favorite this time of year, just don’t crack them with your teeth! Protein found in almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and pecans are quite good for bones and strength. So if you do feast upon a bowl of mixed nuts, make sure a nutcracker is near.

2. Avoid chewing on hard candy or ice cubes. This can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, and nobody wants to experience that during such jubilant times. Whether you are enjoying a sweet, or finishing off the cubes in your beverage, let everything dissolve.

3. Brush and floss, repeat as many times as needed. Chances are you do not have a cleaning scheduled over your festivities. That doesn’t mean you should skip your periodontal health routine. Brushing and/or flossing after each meal, and drinking a lot of water to help savory foods go down helps you avoid gifting yourself a cavity.

4. Try adding sugar-free options to your menus, or make them as hostess gifts if you are going to a party. There is an abundance of recipes that are easily doable and you can count out grams of sugar this way. This means the bacteria that lives in your mouth doesn’t stand a chance of creating tooth decay.

5. Fancy dark chocolate over other sweets. Diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure – these aren’t just the enemies of your heart. Studies have shown an association between these diseases, their treatments and dental health, too. That’s why if you are a chocoholic, it’s best to opt for dark chocolate because it’s packed with flavonoids, or compounds that help to protect your heart.

We would like to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season. From now until New Year’s Eve, don’t forget your oral health. Keep smiling and enjoy!

Time to Break the Barrier: Dentistry Falls Under a Medical Practice

Time to Break the Barrier: Dentistry Falls Under a Medical Practice

The first dental school was founded in the United States in 1840. Can you believe that? Since then, however, dentistry and medicine have been taught as — and viewed as — two separate professions. That artificial division is bad for the public’s health. It’s time to bring the mouth back into the body.*

Let’s get together in one linguistic tongue and realize a Doctor earns his or her title for a reason. When you go to see your primary care physician, you refer to them as Dr. {insert name here}, when go to the dentist, you also refer to them as Dr. {dentist’s name here}. So why is there a divide to who knows what, and who treats your overall health.

Dentistry used to only be able to focus on extracting decayed teeth and plugging cavities. Now, in modern times, dentists use methods for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. We implant teeth, pinpoint oral cancers, use 3-D imaging to reshape a jaw, and can treat some dental decay medically, without a drill.

Local dentists, far and wide, have discovered the innate connection between oral health and overall health. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, has been linked to the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Pregnant women with periodontitis are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia, a potentially serious complication of pregnancy, and deliver low-birth-weight babies.

For ages and ages, people have known that a lot of health issues start in the mouth. Here’s what an integrated dental health/primary care visit might look like to a patient: When you go for a routine teeth cleaning, you would be cared for by a team of physicians, dentists, nurses, and physician and dental assistants. One or more of them would take your blood pressure, check your weight, update your medications, see if you are due for any preventive screenings or treatments, and clean your teeth. If you have an artificial heart valve or have previously had a heart infection, or you are taking a blood thinner, your clinicians will manage these conditions without multiple calls to referring doctors.

Poor oral health is more than a “tooth problem.” We use our mouth to eat, to breathe, and to speak. Oral pain results in lost time from school and work and lowered self-esteem. Inflammation in the gums and mouth may help set the stage for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions.

Bottom line is listen to your dentist. Great oral care means great health.


Brush Up on Dental Hygiene

Brush Up on Dental Hygiene

Bad oral care leads to bad breath and not-so-good-looking teeth. Admit it, the first thing you do in the morning, or even the second, is brush your teeth. But, have you ever thought you might be doing it all wrong? You’ve probably been brushing your teeth since you could hold a toothbrush, and bad habits are hard to break. It is worth every effort, though, to try and win each time you put your toothbrush inside your mouth.

The next time you practice your tooth-care technique, make sure you do not commit these brushing crimes, and keep your teeth in tip-top shape.

Using the same toothbrush for far too long.
The average life of a toothbrush is about 2 months or 200 uses. Meaning, the bristles of the brush start to wear out and don’t clean your teeth properly. Keep changing your brush on a regular basis before the bristles wear out. Too many uses of an old brush simply aren’t as effective against plaque, gingivitis or other mouth-altering thoughts.

Not giving your tongue tender, loving care. It may feel odd to brush your tongue, but it’s an important step of oral health. When you’re done brushing your teeth, drag your toothbrush across your tongue to remove bacteria, or purchase a tongue scraper. Nowadays they are available almost anywhere.

Avoiding proper technique. Easily fixable. Dedicate minutes of your precious morning and pre-bedtime routines and try putting the toothbrush in your non-dominant hand. Then place the toothbrush over your teeth and wiggle it back and forth a little bit, making sure the bristles cover each tooth and work their way around the sides of the tooth. What you are doing is letting the bristles of the toothbrush to find their way into the spaces between your teeth. This ensures all of the food particles and plaque are removed. Stop your hacksaw moves of aggressive back-and-forth motions. Take your time and improvements will follow.

Not brushing long enough. Yes, we are all in a rush in the morning and tend to rush through brushing our teeth as well which leaves the teeth in a bad state. Two minutes is the minimum time you need to spend on brushing your teeth and nothing less than that.

Your toothbrush lives on the counter. We are aware that most people go out and buy a toothbrush holder for the decor of their restroom. As experts, we warn to not EVER leave your toothbrush out. Every time the toilet flushes, you might not see it, but it openly spreads human feces in the air, which could be settling on your toothbrush..

Oral care is one of the most important parts of life. Major organs can be hurt, or fail on you, from mouth complications. For example, according to Delta Dental, “the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.” Plus, digestion begins in the mouth, and problems that start there could lead to irritable bowel syndrome, or even intestinal failure. Absolutely no one wants to take part in any of that.

Is painful cavity treatment a thing of the past?

Is painful cavity treatment a thing of the past?

We love new technology, especially when it helps our patients feel comfortable at our office. It looks like there might be some exciting changes on the horizon regarding the way we treat cavities! There is a new product called Silver Diamine Fluoride that might help patients avoid the drill in the unfortunate event that they get a cavity.

Silver Diamine Fluoride is an antimicrobial liquid that can be brushed onto teeth directly over a cavity. This is a painless treatment that shows evidence of stopping tooth decay. In all honestly, this is not a recent discovery, in fact Silver Diamine Fluoride has been used as a method for treating oral health issues in other parts of the world for many years. For example, in Japan there are records of cavity treatment using this technology for several decades.

While we may feel a little envious knowing that SDF has been used in other countries for many years, we are thankful that the method has been thoroughly vetted before entering the United States market for use in dentist offices across the nation.

The first step in making Silver Diamine Fluoride available all across the nation was having it cleared for use by the Food and Drug administration. Though it has not been made fully available, it is making progress. For example, it is now permitted for use in people over the age of 21 to aid in teeth desensitization. Evidently it is very effective for this use in addition to healing cavities in all ages. It is our hope that in the near future, Silver Diamine Fluoride will be free for use on all ages for cavity prevention and for halting the progression of preexisting cavities.

The main benefit of using Silver Diamine Fluoride as an alternative to traditional methods of treating cavities is that it is completely pain free! We may be able to say goodbye to using the drill and injections for such common oral health issue as cavities. This will certainly make the visit to our office a lot more fun!

The one downside of SDF, is the fact that it is not always the most aesthetically pleasing alternative. When the SDF touches the cavity decay of the tooth, it turns the brown decay into a blackish color. Of course, if a cavity is small and not on the front of a tooth, this isn’t a large deterrent to treatment.

Overall, this could alter the dentistry industry in significant ways by making treatment more efficient, painless, faster, and less expensive. That is what we call a win-win.

Ouch! The best foods to eat when…

Ouch! The best foods to eat when…

Most of us love eating. We love sugary food, fatty food, crunchy, spicy, and salty foods. But are these the best things for us to eat when we are having oral health complications? We’ve compiled a guide full of yummy and appropriate foods for you to eat based on the oral health issue you currently face.


Braces are often a rite of passage for young people. Though the results are stunning the process can be daunting. Often they result in months and even years of a throbbing mouth. Each visit to the orthodontist is typically followed by several days of achiness.

Soft foods are your friend here. We suggest eating foods that are not easily stuck in your braces and pose the risk of breaking them. Food included in this list are bananas, mashed potatoes, yogurt, soups, and pasta.

Foods to avoid include crunchy foods like popcorn and tortilla chips. These can get wedged in the wires and cause bad bacteria to grow over time. Additionally, don’t snack on nuts or raw vegetables as these foods can damage and break your braces. We understand that the last thing you want is an emergency trip to the dentist because your wires snap!

Wisdom Teeth and other Oral Surgery

Many people have their wisdom Teeth removed at some point in their life. It is a relatively easy surgery with a relatively short recovery. However, it is still important to follow your doctor’s orders after the surgery. Eating things you shouldn’t can cause major oral health problems!

When you have your wisdom teeth removed you may experience soreness for 7 – 14 days. That means you may feel more comfortable eating soft and cold foods like smoothies. Since using a straw during your recovery period is prohibited, we recommend you stick to soup, applesauce, yogurt, and other things that can be eaten with a spoon.

Canker Sores

Even though you may love spicy or sour food, they aren’t your friend when you’ve got a canker sore. It is best to buckle up and opt in for bland options when you have a canker sore. Your body forms canker sores when you are short on nutrients like folic acid, vitamin B12, and zinc. Due to this deficiency you can reduce and even eliminate canker sores by eating foods that are rich in these resources. For example, you can eat salmon, which is rich in B12, leafy green vegetables to make up folic acid deficiency, and yogurt to replenish your bodies’ Zinc supplies.

If you suffer from canker sores often you should watch out for sneaky foods that are generally regarded as healthy but may contain too much salt or spice. Foods to avoid include coffee, tomatoes, and prepackaged snack nuts.

Dry Mouth

It may seem obvious that when you suffer from dry mouth it is best to increase your water and liquid intake; however there is more to the solution that simply adding moisture to your diet. We suggest filling your diet with high protein foods that aren’t too hard or crunchy. A good example of high protein food with plenty of moisture is fresh red meat. Foods that are dry and salty like bread or crackers can exacerbate the complications that come along with dry mouth. Soup, stew, and yogurt are also great additions to your ‘dry mouth diet’. Additionally, if you can avoid citrus and substitute in other fresh fruit you may be able to reduce dry mouth symptoms.

In general, there are several things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth and avoid complications. We suggest that throughout your lifetime you eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, water, and protein. You should also avoid sugar as often as you can. Sugar is known to be a large contributor to tooth decay and bad health in general.

Are e-cigarettes bad for oral health?

Are e-cigarettes bad for oral health?

It is a commonly known fact that smoking cigarettes is bad for your oral health. Smoking causes tooth decay, tooth staining, gum disease, and in some cases even mouth cancer. Though traditional cigarettes are said to be worse for your mouth than smoking the new electronic cigarettes, new research shows that may not be the case.

If you smoke electronic cigarettes you may notice that you often struggle with bad breath. This is because electronic cigarettes contain the highly addictive and dangerous chemical called nicotine. Nicotine causes the mouth’s natural production of saliva to slow down, which often causes dry mouth, plaque build up, and even tooth decay.

Fortunately, e-cigarettes don’t contain many of the teeth staining chemicals that traditional ones do. For example, they don’t produce the smoke or contain tar which both stain teeth yellow. However, when e-cigarettes contain high nicotine level, the liquid does eventually begin to yellow and has some of the same staining effects.

The vapor created by burning the liquid in e-cigarettes was originally thought to be harmless to consumers but as more research is conducted it is becoming increasingly evident that this is not the case. In fact, “when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases”(Irfan Rahman, Ph.D.). This causes growing uncertainty regarding the safety of this wildly popular cigarette alternative. Little information regarding the ingredients in e-cigarettes is disclosed to the consumer. Most users have almost no information regarding the content of the product they are consuming on a daily basis, and many “e-juices” are produced overseas with little to no regulation.

Additionally, the Journal of Cellular Physiology published an article that stated over a period of three days the vapor created by e-cigarettes killed 53% of mouth cells. The deterioration of healthy mouth cells can lead to infection and a whole host of other oral health issues.

Overall, the extent to which e-cigarettes are detrimental to oral health is unclear. However, based on current research it is difficult to deny they cause damage if used regularly. We would recommend that our patients discontinue or severely reduce using e-cigarette products.