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by Dr. Gary Sigafoos

Healthy Eating for Good Oral Health

7/22/2013


Healthy Eating for Good Oral Health



What you eat affects your oral health destiny. You can dramatically impact your dental health by eating a well-balanced, healthful diet. Research has shown that poor nutrition jeopardizes our oral health which puts you at risk for a number of serious dental problems.

The Food Factor

Our food choices can make a big difference in two of the most common diseases today: tooth decay and gum disease. Certain foods, especially those containing sugar, are directly linked to increased levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Tooth decay results when acids from the bacteria attack the teeth forming cavities. While diet doesn't directly cause gum disease, a condition affecting the supporting tissues of the teeth, researchers believe the disease is more rapid and severe when poor nutrition is a factor. Gum disease is a serious problem, since it can lead to tooth loss if untreated.

Diet and Dental Health

The American Dietetic Association and the National Institutes of Health recommend eating a well-balanced diet including plenty of fruits, vegetables, a good variety of breads and cereals, dairy products, fish, chicken, dried beans and peas, and meat. Enjoying a variety of foods is the best way to get all the important nutrients needed for keeping healthy. Beware of fad diets that exclude entire food groups. This can cause nutritional deficiencies.

Snack Smart

Snacking is a favorite pastime, but certain snack choices promote tooth decay such as soft, sweet, sticky foods. Select nutritious snacks better for your teeth and general good oral health, especially colorful, juicy fresh fruits and crisp, crunchy vegetables. Choose your snacks based on any other dietary concerns, such as low cholesterol, low-fat, or low sodium diets.

If you snack on crackers, cookies, or chips, it's better if you eat them in combination with other foods, such as cheese with crackers, rather than alone. This is because these foods when eaten alone tend to produce more bacteria in the mouth leading to tooth decay. Remember, each time you snack, oral bacteria is activated. Drink plenty of water to rinse away some of the disease-causing bacteria. If possible, brush your teeth after snacking.

Select from the wide variety of foods for healthful eating -- that are good for you and your oral health.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Four Ways To Be Understood By Your Dentist

7/19/2013


Four Ways To Be Understood By Your Dentist



What do you want from your relationship with your dentist? Oftentimes, this question is answered when there is a dental problem or emergency requiring immediate attention. There is a different approach to your relationship with your dentist that relates to your own needs and dental health. This approach is designed to help you create the kind of experiences you want with your dentist.

You have a choice about this relationship and how it can support and assist you in your life. It begins with the simple question stated at the beginning of this article: What do you want from your relationship with your dentist?

The answer to this question can take many forms. For some people it may mean having a lot of information about their dental health and future. They seek facts to know they are making good, informed decisions. Others may want a friendly relationship in which openness and communication are valued. They want information but, more importantly, they want to know they are important to the dentist and the dental team. Some individuals want minimal information and discussion -- just the facts and the solutions to take care of any problem.

We all have different wants in our relationships with health professionals such as dentists. Here are four tips to assist you in deciding what you want in your relationship with your dentist:

  • Do you want a lot of detailed information about actual problems or potential problems or do you prefer a quick summary of data with recommendations about what to do?
  • Do you like to make quick decisions or do you prefer to think about things before you act?
  • Do you like to talk about what is happening or do you prefer to have your dentist just tell you what is going on?
  • Do you want the dentist to describe a problem situation and solution with pictures so you can see what it happening or do you prefer to go on gut feeling?
Each person looks for different things in their relationships. It is your responsibility to determine what you want and look for that in the relationship with your dentist. The answers to the questions above will tell you something about this.

The next step is communicating what you want so that you are understood. Only you know when someone else understands you. Here are four tips to assist you in this communication process:

  • Tell your dentist that you have some ideas about how he or she can assist you with your dental health.
  • Ask when it would be a good time to discuss your needs and desires for your dental care and relationship with your dentist.
  • Communicate what you want and how that will help you.
  • If you had a negative experience in the past with another dental professional, always discuss what happened. Past hurts or disappointments have a way of negatively influencing present situations that are similar in nature.
Communicating what you want is important to your dentist for it is the best way for him or her to plan for the optimal dental health for you.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Dental Costs

7/18/2013


Dental Costs



Most everyone is feeling the economic pinch in some way or another. We can't pretend the picture is particularly rosy.

On the other hand, we've all heard the term "false economy." In difficult financial times, some people put off the dental care they need and wait for things to "get better." When it comes to dentistry, that's false economy.

We know budgets go through ups and downs. We also believe that catching small dental problems before they grow will, in the long run, save dental costs. A lot of expensive damage can happen over time.

Say you miss a regular cleaning. You're inviting gum problems, which multiply painlessly, to set in. Old fillings can crack or leak - decay may invade the tooth beneath the filling. Inattention to broken restorations eventually means a crown, certainly the more costly alternative to early repair.

Don't put off dentistry. Don't sacrifice your family's health for economy's sake. When it comes to your mouth, in most cases, a small problem only gets bigger - and more expensive. Preventive care is money in the bank.

Your dentist would like you to share your concerns with his or her financial coordinator. They'll do their part by helping you keep healthy with dental financing. For patients who qualify, they probably can arrange a personal dental loan plan for your care. They're there with options. And they believe good dentistry is good economy.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Tooth Whitening Basics - Why Are My Teeth Discolored?

7/17/2013


Tooth Whitening Basics - Why Are My Teeth Discolored?



If you're embarrassed by your discolored teeth, you're not alone. There's a reason cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening, is a multibillion dollar industry. We all want brighter, whiter teeth. While it would be nice to get the smile you'd love naturally, that just isn't an option. So, who's to blame? Why are you struggling with tooth discoloration to begin with? Good news - it may not be your fault!

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

There are a number of causes of potential tooth discoloration, and some are completely unavoidable on your part. While the precise cause of your tooth discoloration may be difficult to peg down, chances are one or more of the following causes are to blame.

  • Food and Drinks. You may have heard that coffee, tea and soda can stain your teeth, but did you know certain veggies, like potatoes and apples, can stain them as well?
  • Tobacco. This is a given. Smoking and chewing will not only discolor your teeth, but can also cause gum disease or contribute to oral cancer (among other health conditions).
  • Poor Dental Hygiene. If you don't want to give up your morning coffee or kick your smoking habit, then you're going to have to try to compensate with excellent dental care. Regular brushing and flossing can reduce the odds that you will stain your teeth. Regular check ups and cleanings are critical, too.
  • Disease. Ahh… finally, we're discussing possible causes for tooth discoloration that aren't your fault. Several diseases that affect tooth enamel and dentin can lead to tooth discoloration. What's more, treatments for certain conditions, such as chemotherapy to fight cancer, can discolor your teeth. If you're pregnant while suffering from one of these ailments or undergoing one of these treatments, the teeth of your developing child may be affected as well.
  • Medications. Certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline and doxycycline, can discolor your teeth, particularly if used before the age of 8. Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth, while antihistamines (like Benadryl), antipsychotic drugs and antihypertensive medications also cause discoloration.
  • Genetics. When all else fails, blame mom and dad.
  • Age. Nothing escapes the affects of age - not even your teeth.
  • Environment. Excessive fluoride from environmental sources, such as naturally high fluoride levels in the water, can contribute to discolored teeth.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

What To Expect in Dental Implant Cost and Treatment Issues from Your Implant Dentist

7/16/2013


What To Expect in Dental Implant Cost and Treatment Issues from Your Implant Dentist



If dental implants are what you need to best replace your missing teeth, you should select a implant dentist with in-depth knowledge of and prior experience with all aspects of the treatment. It is important to know that dental implant treatment consists of two components: a surgical phase and a restorative phase.

Traditionally, a dental surgeon, like an oral surgeon or a periodontist, performs the surgical component. A general dentist, or prosthodontist and laboratory technician, performs the restorative component.

As implant dentistry has become more sophisticated, the restorative dentist, at times, also has become the one that places the dental implant. However, each clinician involved in implant treatment must be aware that the type of final restoration a patient wants dictates the position, size, and number of the implants within the jaws.

What Types of Dental Implant Restorations Are There?

For each unique missing tooth situation, there is an equally unique way to use implants to replace teeth. However, all of the treatments can be placed in two categories: removable or fixed prostheses.

Implant dentist use removable implant dentures when a patient is missing all of his or her teeth. Fewer dental implants are necessary when used in conjunction with a removable denture.

Conversely, more implants are necessary when used in conjunction with a fixed bridge. Fixed bridges feel most like your natural teeth and are usually more desirable than removable dentures.

Mastering new surgical and restorative techniques as they are developed is the mark of an excellent implant dentist as well as overall dental implant dentistry. A implant dentist's meticulous attention to fine detail conveys a feeling of confidence to the patient. The implant dentist should be committed to restoring full function to the missing teeth as well as recreating natural-looking teeth. These are the qualities a patient should look for in a implant dentist to place and restore their implants.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

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LaJolla Periodontics
9850 Genesee Ave, Suite 620
La Jolla, CA 92037
General Info: (858) 568-8941
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