351 Santa Fe Dr, Suite 110, Encinitas, CA 92024 760.334.0128

4 Easy Ways to Stop Dental Issues Before They Start

Some people say that laughter is the best medicine, but when it comes to your dental health, prevention is truly the best medicine that money can buy. There are many quick and simple steps you can take to stop cavities, gum disease, and other serious issues before they ever develop.

With the right Preventative action and Preventative Dentist, you can enjoy the beauty and confidence of a bright white smile for the rest of your life.

Cleaning and Exams

Visiting your dentist in Encinitas every six months is an essential element of preventative care. Each appointment gives your dentist the opportunity to evaluate your gums, teeth, tongue, and throat. Most importantly, it gives your dentist the chance to take note of any changes since your last appointment. Even subtle changes can indicate a potential problem or concern.

Preventative oral care isn’t just about finding cavities; your dentist needs to assess the condition of your entire oral system. If you skip Dentist appointments or only see your preventative dentist every few years, it becomes much harder to identify and treat problems like decay and disease before they cause widespread damage.

You can expect your preventative dentist in Encinitas, CA to perform the following steps in every cleaning and exam:

  • Assess lymph nodes and lower jaw joints
  • Check for signs of gum disease, loose or broken teeth, and decay
  • Identify any change in the way your gums cover your teeth
  • Consider the cleanliness and condition of your teeth and gums

Of course, every dental exam also involves a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing often miss. Topical fluoride is added as a simple yet powerful way to protect teeth from cavities.

Oral Cancer Screenings

We all know somebody who has fought cancer. It’s a devastating disease, and some cancers are easier to prevent than others. Oral cancer is an especially severe type of cancer that forms inside the mouth and often develops without any obvious signs or symptoms.

If you smoke, you’re automatically at higher risk for oral cancer than a non-smoker. More than 70 of the 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known carcinogens! A few other lifestyle choices and medical conditions may increase your risk for oral cancer as well:

  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Long-term unprotected sun exposure to your lips
  • Pre-existing immune deficiency
  • An STD called human papillomavirus (HPV)

Since it’s possible for mouth cancer to develop unnoticed on the lips, gums, tongue, roof or floor of mouth, and inner lining of the cheeks, it’s critical to undergo regular oral cancer screenings. Only a medical screening can identify signs you may not notice or consider threatening:

  • Loose and wiggling teeth
  • A growth inside your mouth
  • Mouth and ear pain
  • Non-healing lip or mouth sore
  • Colored patches inside of your mouth

Oral cancer screenings are quick, simple, and non-invasive. Your dentist will examine your entire oral cavity, including your jaw, tongue, gumline, and throat. Though oral cancer affects nearly 50,000 Americans every year and kills almost 10,000 adults annually, it’s highly treatable with radiation therapy when detected early through an oral cancer screening!

Isn’t a 10-minute exam a small price to pay to save your life?

X-Rays

An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation known for its use in producing images of internal body structures like bones and teeth. This is why digital x-ray imaging is such a valuable tool in dentistry.

Your dentist uses digital x-rays to produce detailed images of your teeth, gums, and bone. These x-rays offer insight into the condition of your mouth that may not otherwise be evident. Make sure you visit the dentist regularly to receive timely x-rays and give your dentist the opportunity to detect, diagnose, and treat existing conditions and diseases.

Healthy Eating Habits

The food you eat also significantly influences your overall oral health. By choosing tooth-friendly foods, you can brighten your smile and make your brushing routine more powerful. When it comes to improving your oral health, no technique is easier than simply eating delicious food!

Swap Soda for Water
Soda lacks all redeeming qualities- its empty calories are bad for the body and its sugar and acid cause serious harm to your teeth. Fruit juice is just as bad. If you really want to do your body and mouth a favor, swap your daily soda and juice for water.

In addition to keeping your body hydrated, drinking water during and between meals helps wash food debris, acid, and bacteria off your teeth. It’s like a simple, natural mouthwash that removes sugar before it has a chance to cause damage.

Of course, water also reduces dry mouth and keeps your breath fresh. Drinking cool H20 instead of other high-sugar drinks is an effortless way to protect your mouth from unnecessary damage. You might be surprised by how much better it makes you feel!

Enjoy Dairy
As long as you’re not intolerant to dairy, cheese and yogurt are excellent and healthy food choices– as long as you select unprocessed yogurt and cheese options that are low in sugar. The protein and calcium found in dairy strengthen your teeth by remineralizing and rebuilding enamel that’s been compromised by acids and sugars.

Get Crunchy
Apples and almonds are two of the best crunchy foods for your teeth. They stimulate saliva production, which is an essential natural response to wash bacteria and stray food particles out of your mouth. As an added bonus, the crunch and texture of these foods may be satisfying enough to resist temptation from less healthy choices like sticky candies and potato chips.

Go Green
Green veggies and green tea are both powerful sources of vitamins and antioxidants that combat dangerous inflammation and support the production of red blood cells. Stock up on spinach, kale, and green tea to improve your gum health and reap the benefits of a healthy smile.

Find a Preventative Dentistry Expert

At Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, CA, Preventative Dentist Dr. Cortadi and her team are committed to the practice of effective and personalized preventative dentistry. They believe in the power of prevention to protect your teeth, enhance your smile, and improve your overall health.

Call (760) 334-0128 to book an appointment today and give your mouth the TLC it deserves.

Learning About Teeth: Tooth Names & Functions

Learning About Teeth: Names of Teeth in Mouth & Functions

The sooner we can understand the function of teeth, teeth numbers, and names the sooner we’ll realize how important it is to look after our pearly whites on a regular basis. Once we’ve inherited our complete set of adult teeth, it’s our responsibility to learn about how to keep our teeth healthy and understand what is the function of teeth.

Anatomy of a Tooth

There is much more than meets the eye when it comes to our teeth, and dental professionals may need to probe beyond the surface to pinpoint the root of a dental issue.

As you may already know, teeth are the strongest part of the human body. Each tooth is constructed from dense minerals which make them exceptionally durable and long-lasting.

However, our teeth consist of other components which are only visible by looking at an X-ray.

Parts of a Tooth

Enamel

The enamel is the outermost layer of each tooth. It is made up of tightly-bonded mineral deposits which protect us from erosion caused by certain foods and drinks, i.e. carbonated beverages, sugar, coffee, etc. Since our enamel cannot be regenerated, it must be preserved through proper and regular brushing techniques.

Crown

The crown is the top surface of the tooth which is visible to the naked eye. Our crowns are both protective and functional, helping to mash food for digestion. The way the crown is shaped dictates its tooth type. Some major dental procedures will require a crown replacement if it is necessary to drill through the enamel.

Dentin

Dentin is the layer found beneath our enamel and surrounding our pulp. Our dentin houses millions of tiny tubes that travel to the core of each tooth to supply nutrients to the blood vessels contained in the pulp.

Gumline

Our gumline is where our teeth meet our gums. The gumline must be cleaned through daily flossing and brushing. Food can get trapped in the fine ridges around the teeth, which can lead to plaque or gingivitis.

Pulp

Our pulp is found at the center of each tooth. Pulp contains millions of nerve endings and blood vessels, which makes it highly sensitive. Localized tooth pain is likely caused by a cavity that has drilled through the enamel and dentin into the pulp.

Root

The root makes up more than half of each tooth and is embedded underneath a thick layer of bone. Thanks to our roots, our teeth can remain securely in place without moving around our mouths while we eat or chew our food.

Types of Human Teeth and Names of Teeth in your Mouth

After our primary “baby” teeth fall out, adults grow a second set of 32 permanent teeth. Our permanent teeth can be broken down into four categories:

Molars1

Adult humans have 12 molars which are located at the back of the mouth (6 on the top and 6 on the bottom). Our molars are wider and flatter than our other teeth, which makes them ideal for the function of molars of breaking down foods before swallowing.

Molar Tooth Numbers

Top Teeth

#1, #2, #3, #14, #15, #16

Bottom Teeth

#17, #18, #19, #30, #31, #32

Bicuspids1

Also known as premolars, adults grow a total of 8 bicuspid teeth (4 on the top and 4 on the bottom). Bicuspids have a flat surface and function similarly to molars to help with mechanical digestion of food.

Bicuspid Tooth Numbers

Top Teeth

#4, #5, #12, #13

Bottom Teeth

#20, #21, #28, #29

Incisors1

Our 8 frontmost teeth (4 on the top and 4 on the bottom) are called incisors. These teeth are responsible for biting off chunks of food to be further processed down by the molars and bicuspids.

Incisors Tooth Numbers

Top Teeth

#7, #8, #9, #10

Bottom Teeth

#23, #24, #25, #26

Canines1

Adults possess 4 canine teeth on either side of our incisor teeth (2 on the top and 2 on the bottom). Canine teeth are much more sharp and precise than our other teeth. Canine teeth function is to help us tear apart dense foods like meats and fibrous vegetables.

Canine Tooth Numbers

Top Teeth

#6, #11

Bottom Teeth

#22, #27

5 Ways to Improve Dental Health

Certain practices like eating junk food or getting mouth piercings can actually damage the individual components of our teeth. Now that we know the fundamentals about our teeth, we can explore a number of different ways to improve our overall dental hygiene:

Adopt a whole foods lifestyle.

By limiting our consumption of sugar, fast food, and carbonated beverages, we are better able to maintain the integrity of our enamel. Strong enamels are vital in the prevention of cavities.

Remove oral piercings.

Metal jewelry around the lips, on the tongue, or anywhere close to our teeth can quickly lead to painful chips and breaks. While our teeth are impeccably strong, a chipped tooth can cause profuse bleeding and bacterial infection. For cosmetic reasons, a chipped tooth will require a crown replacement or veneer.

Exercise regularly.

Emerging studies show a link between obesity and periodontal disease, which affects our gums. By combining regular exercise with a healthy eating regimen, it becomes much easier to prevent oral decay and disease.

Quit smoking.

Cigarette smoke is extremely corrosive to our enamels. Since it is a gaseous substance, cigarette smoke can perforate our gumline and corrupt our enamels much more easily than food or drink. People who quit smoking will notice an immediate improvement in their oral health.

Brush and floss.

This one goes without saying, but daily flossing and proper brushing is the best way to prevent oral decay and achieve a beautiful smile. Flossing is necessary to keep gingivitis at bay, while brushing must be performed at least twice daily to remove potentially harmful plaque and bacteria.

How Can Ablantis Help?

Our experienced dental professionals here in Encinitas can tell you everything you need to know about your teeth. We understand that every mouth is different, and our goal is to provide individualized dental care to each of our patients. Ablantis offers a long list of dental services, including:

  • Teeth Whitening
  • X-Rays
  • Root Canals
  • Custom Inlays
  • Periodontal Screening
  • And much more.

Send a text to (760) 790-4754, or call (760) 334-0128 to book an appointment. You’re one conversation closer to healthier teeth!

1. “Study Links Obesity to Higher Risk for Periodontal Disease.” Oral Health and Dental Care, www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/ada-05-study-links-obesity.

2. “Enamel Erosion: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/health/enamel-erosion.

3. “Human Teeth Dental Charts – Bradford Family Dentistry.” Bradford Family Dentistry www.bradfordfamilydentist.ca/human-teeth-dental-charts.

Why You Need to Visit Our Dental Office Every Six Months

Here Are Six Reasons Why You Need To Visit Our Dental Office Every Six Months…

Visiting our dental office every six months is important in maintaining good oral health. Regular check-ups help keep your teeth and gums clean and prevent diseases from occurring. And everyone loves leaving the dentist with clean, shiny teeth.

1. Dental Cleaning

Even if you brush your teeth several times a day and floss regularly there are areas in the mouth that can be missed. Leftover food particles and normal mouth bacteria mix to form plaque. Plaque coats your teeth gets under the gum line and sticks to fillings. If you remove plaque regularly you can prevent this from happening. When plaque builds up it hardens and turns into tartar.

Bi-annual visits to our dental office for regular dental cleanings will help eliminate tartar and plaque build-up before it develops into cavities or gum disease. Prevention is an important part of your oral care.

2. Cavities

Cavities are damaged areas to the tooth, caused by bacteria, that result in small holes. At the beginning stages, these holes can go unnoticed. If left untreated they will grow deeper into the tooth. This may cause unbearable toothache, infection and could result in tooth loss.

It’s important to visit our dental office for regular check-ups, in order to identify cavities and to obtain necessary treatments, like fillings, so that further complications are prevented.

3. Flossing & Brushing Habits

You may be a diligent brusher and flosser but are you doing it correctly? Flossing helps remove plaque and food that your toothbrush may not reach. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. Flossing helps prevent plaque from hardening into tartar.

Your visit to our dental office will allow hygienists the opportunity to discuss how to properly floss your teeth. It’s important to ensure that you aren’t damaging your gums, you’re reaching all of your teeth and food particles are being picked up.

Brushing after every meal is ideal but brushing in the morning and before going to bed is an excellent step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Proper brushing removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth.

A visit to our dental office will ensure you’re using the proper technique to brush your teeth. Protecting your gums while cleaning the surface of each tooth is important as well as the brushing pattern and the type of toothbrush used.

4. Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common problems in oral health. It can develop slowly without causing discomfort, which means you may not notice symptoms until the disease is serious. Disease begins when tartar causes infection at the point where the gum meets the tooth. Tiny pockets of infection form and the gum tissue breaks down potentially leading to bone breakdown and loose teeth.

Gum disease is preventable and can be treated. With regular visits to our dental office, early stages can be identified and treated before the disease progresses. At your dental office visit, the dentist will look for signs of gum disease and provide the necessary treatment while teaching you how to check for signs of the disease.

5. X-rays

An important reason for visiting our dental office every six months is to get mouth x-rays. These images help identify cavities, check how healthy the teeth and roots are as well as the bones surrounding the teeth, check developing teeth and monitor the general health of your teeth and jawbone.

Jawbone damage, bone decay, swelling, cysts, and tumors can be identified with an x-ray. Regular x-rays and bi-annual check-ups are imperative in showing diseases that don’t show symptoms.

6. Lifestyle & Your Teeth

It’s important to be aware of how your lifestyle may impact your dental health. Smoking, eating lemons, chewing ice, teeth grinding, brushing too hard, flossing too hard, drinking red wine and drinking coffee can all have negative impacts on your teeth and gums.

Regular dental check-ups at our dental office allow your dental practitioner to check for damage caused by these types of habits. You will learn about lifestyle choices and the effects on your oral health. Visiting the dentist will help prevent further damage and assist in maintaining good habits.

Trips To Our Dental Office Keep Your Teeth Healthy & Happy!

Visiting our local dental office Ablantis Dental Office In Encinitas every six months will help ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. At Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, California, Dr. Claudia Cortadi and her team are here to give you the personalized care you need to maintain a bright, healthy smile. Call 760.334.0128 or book an appointment to learn more now. We want to identify any dental health issues before they become serious.  And we want to teach you how to care for your teeth so that you stay healthy and happy.