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Dr. Erick Gutierrez

Effective Habits to Prevent Halitosis

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

Halitosis, or bad breath, can be unpleasant and significantly reduce your confidence. The good news is halitosis is preventable, and there are measures you can take each day to prevent bad breath from affecting your life.

What is Halitosis?

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is characterized by a strong, unpleasant odor that a simple mint or mouthwash is unable to solve. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, over 80 million people suffer from chronic bad breath.

Halitosis is typically caused by the decay of food particles or other debris in your mouth, waste from bacteria, and poor oral hygiene. The decay of this debris, if not cleaned out through proper brushing and flossing, produces a sulfur compound which leads to the unpleasant odor. In most cases, the odor originates from the gums and tongue, but in serious cases, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Dental issues that can cause bad breath include cavities and gum disease, as these can give bacteria additional places to grow that are not easy to clean out while brushing or flossing. Sinus and throat infections that result in postnasal drip can also cause halitosis, as the bacteria in your body feeds on the mucus being produced by the infection.

Dry mouth is another major cause of bad breath and one that most people do not normally think of. Saliva is very important for breaking down bacteria and food in your mouth, and also serves to prevent cavities and infections. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, and even alcohol or tobacco use.

In addition to the multitude of negative effects caused by smoking and tobacco, it can also cause bad breath. Besides leaving their own unpleasant odor, they can dry out your mouth as well. In fact, smokers are more likely to develop gum disease and, as a result, suffer from halitosis.

Habits to Prevent Halitosis

Although halitosis can be difficult to get rid of, there are steps you can take on a daily basis to prevent the development of bad breath to begin with. The best way to do this is to build effective habits focused on good oral hygiene.

Good Dental Hygiene

Practicing good dental hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent halitosis. This includes brushing your teeth and flossing on a regular basis – with an added emphasis on flossing. Many people skip this part of their routine but flossing to remove the pieces of food and bacteria that your toothbrush cannot is essential in preventing bad breath. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash also effectively prevent cavities and gum disease, which are both causes of halitosis.

In addition to your daily dental hygiene routine, you should see a dentist and get a professional cleaning at least twice a year. This will get you an extra deep clean and give your dentist the opportunity to check for cavities and gum disease before they develop or worsen.

Preventing Dry Mouth

Another habit that can help prevent halitosis is proper eating and staying hydrated. There is less saliva produced when you have not been drinking enough water or eating on a regular basis, and as mentioned above, dry mouth is a leading cause of bad breath.

Similarly, your body produces less saliva when you sleep, so flossing and hydrating first thing in the morning is also imperative to keep away bad breath.

The same goes for alcohol consumption – if you’ve had a fun night out drinking, make sure to floss and drink some water when you get home so that you can prevent bad breath in the morning.

When is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

Whenever we think of a tooth extraction, most of us might think of wisdom teeth, but there are certain instances when a tooth extraction is necessary in cases of irreparable tooth damage.

At Manhattan Dental Care Studio we believe that it is the dentist’s job to be as conservative as possible, so a tooth extraction will only be an option we’ll consider when it presents the best possible solution for the patient’s long-term oral health plan.

Signs you might be in need of a tooth extraction procedure include:

• Moderate to Severe Tooth Pain
• Jaw Pain or Joint Stiffness
• Swollen Gums
• Gum Disease Affecting Surrounding Area

We might suggest a tooth extraction if a tooth has experienced severe decay, infection, to help clear a path for an impacted tooth, to prevent overcrowding, or as a method of treatment after an accident or trauma.

However, having a tooth extraction does not have to be a traumatic experience. We’re happy to provide options to patients needing tooth extractions in Los Angeles, CA.

What to Expect from a Tooth Extraction Procedure

We provide a comfortable ambience at Manhattan Dental Care Studio, where the focus is put on you.

We begin our tooth extraction procedure by applying an anesthetic, which will numb the mouth and minimize any discomfort. For patients who experience anxiety, we can provide additional sedation techniques geared toward making the procedure as comfortable for you as possible.

A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is perfectly normal and will resolve quickly. We’ll also provide all of the follow-up care you need to ensure the treatment is successful.

Same-Day Dental Extraction in Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach, CA

Contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today if you believe that you’re in need of a tooth extraction procedure in Los Angeles. Schedule your consultation and we’ll get you back on the footpath to oral health success.

Alzheimer’s and its Link to Gum Disease

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

Science Advances recently published a paper linking Alzheimer’s (AD) to periodontal disease (also known as gingivitis).

More on Alzheimer’s (AD)

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia — a general term for memory loss or mental deterioration that can sometimes occur to patients later in their lifespan (during middle or more advanced ages). Alzheimer’s accounts for over 60% of cases of dementia and is the most common cause of premature senility.

More on Gum Disease and its Link to AD

Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) spurs an increase in amyloid beta production, which is found in plaque that has been linked to Alzheimer’s — this was found in lab animals orally infected with Pg.

The bacteria is believed to travel from the mouth to the brain while coinciding with two proteins that have also been associated with AD, ubiquitin and tau.

Gum Disease and its Link to Other Age-Related Conditions

The fact that your oral health is inextricably linked to your overall health is nothing new. Gum disease also contributes to other health problems in addition to AD, conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and more. There is also a noted link between periodontal disease and overall mortality rates in advanced stages of life.

What You Can Do to Reduce Your Chance of Getting AD

Although there isn’t a study out there that says periodontal disease is the direct cause of Alzheimer’s, it’s worth mentioning that keeping a good oral health routine is your first line of defense against conditions that can really impede upon living a good quality of life down the road. Having healthy teeth and gums is an investment in your future, in more ways than one.

At Manhattan Dental Care Studio we believe in providing innovative oral health care, both general and preventive, that sets our patients up for a healthy, productive life.

By scheduling (and keeping) your biannual checkups and routine cleanings you’ll give yourself a much higher chance of advancing through the many stages of life with good health intact, which means you’ll save time, money, and hardship that comes along with living with a chronic condition.

Contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today to schedule your consultation. We provide modern care for healthy gums and we have a long track record of keeping our patients healthy and well through our comprehensive dental treatments, services, and procedures.

Woman with bright smile

5 Resolutions to Make for the Sake of Your Smile

By | General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene | No Comments

As the new year approaches many of us make resolutions and set new goals — usually these goals have something to do with our vocations, our fitness, our health, maybe even learning a new skill of some sort.

Even though taking special care of your teeth and gums might seem like it’s sort of low on the priority list for 2019, it’s more important than ever to have a nice, sparkling set of pearly whites. Not only will having a sparkling, healthy open new doors for you in many realms, it will also help you maintain your overall health.

It’s true. Study after study supports the idea that gum disease has been shown to be linked to all sorts of awful health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and more.

Read on for a few resolutions you can set that will help you stay on top of your oral health this year. You won’t regret it!

1.) Bring a Travel Brush with You

Whether you’re at work or at play, packing an extra travel brush will help you take care of your smile when it counts. When you’re out and about eating and drinking, you’re doing an inside job to your teeth that can create real problems down the road.

2.) Brush Properly

After eating any sort of sugary or acidic foods, make sure to wait 20-40 minutes before brushing, that way your mouth can neutralize the acids. Otherwise, you can do damage to your enamel. Brush and floss twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush. Mouthwash is optional. Stay on top of your oral health routine because it’s the cornerstone of a healthy smile.

3.) Keep Your Routine Check-Ups and Dental Exams

Keeping your check-ups and oral health examinations at Manhattan Dental Care Studio twice a year will help you stay on top of any problems before they become more serious issues. We can clean away plaque and harmful bacteria that might be lingering — even after your diligent brushing.

4.) Eat and Drink with Your Smile in Mind

This means staying away from sugary foods and candies. If you’re going to eat almonds, try to opt for chopped. Drink plenty of water and stay away from sodas and carbonated beverages. Limit snacking in between meals and, as mentioned above, packing a travel toothbrush is always clutch. Try to be the designated driver when you can — it’s the responsible choice and that old fashioned or Manhattan can really do a number on your teeth.

5.) Quit Using Tobacco Products

If you partake here and there, it happens. However, smoking or using chewing tobacco can stain your teeth and is harmful to your mouth in more ways than one. If your resolution in 2019 is to quit smoking for your health, you’d also be doing your oral health a huge service as well.

If you have any additional questions about how you can maintain your oral health year-round, contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today. We have a demonstrated history of improving smiles for patients of all ages.

What to Expect During Your Dental Exam

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

At Manhattan Dental Care we’re all about transparency, which means that we’re always willing to take our patients and prospective patients behind the curtain about our practice, as well as the technology and techniques we use to help build amazing smiles.

We provide dental exams that help you stay on top of your oral health. When you come in for a dental exam, here’s what you can expect…

1.) A Custom-Tailored Experience

We customize our treatments and procedures to meet the unique needs of each patient.

2.) We Search for Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a serious matter that we never take lightly, because it can lead to infection, illness, even loss of teeth. We like to deal with tooth decay in its minimal state to avoid further damage. However, we’re also equipped to deal with tooth decay in advanced stages as well.

3.) We Check for Gum Disease

Also called periodontal disease, gum disease causes more people to lose teeth than cavities do. We check for inflammation in the gums and treat any underlying problems. After all, gum disease can lead to heart disease.

4.) We Evaluate Your Fillings

Did you know that fillings can get old or damaged? Tooth decay can also hide underneath your fillings, so we always make sure to check this through thorough examination and x-rays when needed. We’ll suggest replacement whenever it’s necessary.

5.) Finally, We Clean Your Teeth!

Even though you might brush properly and floss regularly, nothing beats a professional cleaning. We have the tools and expertise to stay on top of your oral health. During our cleanings we set your teeth up for success year-round.

6.) We Boost Your Home Care Oral Health Routine

We always let our patients know that great oral health, like so many things, starts in the home. We’ll give you advice and guidance when it comes to best oral health home practices during your exam.

Take Advantage of Your Dental Insurance Before 2018 Ends!

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

When it comes to dental insurance, if you have it, use it!

Many dental insurance plans run on a traditional calendar year, and your benefits, unfortunately, do not roll over like minutes would with some cell phone plans.

If you take advantage of your remaining dental insurance benefits you can save yourself hundreds in spending.

Your dental benefits are going to reset at the beginning of 2019 anyways, so it’s important to take advantage now! If not, you’ll lose out on your unused benefits after 12/31/18. In short, this means that your dental dollars are going to disappear when your dental insurance plan renews at the beginning of the year.

Many Folks Aren’t Using their Insurance Benefits

In 2016 the ADA published a surprising study which found that almost 40% of individuals with dental insurance didn’t have a single claim within their respective year. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars being wasted each year on insurance.

Don’t wait for an emergency to use your insurance. You can use your insurance for check-ups and routine cleanings that will help you avoid costly procedures, like root canals.

There Might Be Fee Increases!

The fact that your monthly fee might increase is another reason to maximize what you get out of what you’ve spent this year. Many dentists raise their rate at the start of each year to make up for cost of operation, increases in cost of materials, as well as increase in cost of equipment. These fee increases can often make your copay higher, too. That’s why you should make it a point to see your dentist while your copay rates remain where they are.

There’s also the undeniable fact that when you delay treatment, you’re opening yourself up to damage that can cause costly problems down the road.

The solution? Contact Manhattan Dental Care today to schedule your consultation. We’ll make sure you get the most out of your insurance before the year’s end.

5 Reasons to Use Invisalign

By | Invisalign | No Comments

Braces have historically been given a negative connotation generally, mainly because of their imposing nature. Nobody loves the idea of having metal appliances attached to their teeth, sitting in their mouth for a year or more.

The Invisalign clear aligner system was designed for patients who want to fix their smile without the discomfort and embarrassment of traditional metal braces. The system uses a series of clear aligners that fit over your teeth to gently, but effectively, move your teeth into perfect alignment. Orthodontists have successfully treated patients crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, and gap teeth using the Invisalign system.

Here are five reasons to use Invisalign to fix your smile:

1. The Invisalign system straightens your teeth without the need for traditional metal braces

The Invisalign system uses crystal-clear custom aligners to mould your teeth into position. When the aligners are in your mouth, people will barely be able to tell you are wearing an orthodontic appliance! Adults who do not want to feel embarrassed by a mouth full of traditional metal braces will enjoy the low-profile of the Invisalign system.

2. The Invisalign straightening trays are removable and easy-to-clean

With Invisalign, there’s no need to worry about the hassle of keeping complicated orthodontic appliances clean. The trays simply pop out when it’s time to eat or brush your teeth. A quick rinse of the tray is sufficient for keeping them free of debris. For best results, be sure to wear your Invisalign clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day.

3. With Invisalign, you can continue to enjoy the foods you love

While undergoing Invisalign treatment, you can still eat your favorite foods. Traditional braces restrict the patient from eating anything that hard, chewy, or sticky which may damage the metal brackets and wires. But with Invisalign, you can easily remove the trays so that they don’t get damaged while eating.

4. Invisalign saves you time by delivering faster results with fewer appointments

With the traditional braces you have to visit the doctor every month to fix the braces according to your teeth alignment. But with the Invisalign system, you will receive a set of trays that are swapped out every few weeks, eliminating the need to make monthly trips to the orthodontist’s office.

5. The Invisalign system is much more comfortable for patients than traditional braces

Patients with traditional braces commonly complain of sores on the inside of their mouth caused by the metal brackets and discomfort following their monthly office visits to get their braces “tightened.” With the Invisalign system you are able to avoid both these common complaints and enjoy a more comfortable orthodontic experience.

To see if you are a candidate for treatment with Invisalign, contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio to request a consultation your consultation today.

Inlays and Onlays

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

At Manhattan Dental Care Studio we work hard to create lasting, beautiful smiles — which can open new doors for you no matter your age.

A part of what we do is provide reconstructive options that have experienced damage, trauma, or decay.

Onlays and Inlays

Dental inlays and onlays are two reconstructive options for teeth that have mild to moderate tooth decay. They are offered by some dentists as an alternative to crowns, which require manipulation of the natural tooth before being fitted in the mouth. Inlays and Onlays can also be used as an alternative to traditional fillings. In such instances, the inlay or onlays offers a stronger, longer-lasting solution for repairing tooth decay or similar damage.

Lab Manufactured to Fit YOU

Dental inlays and onlays are a type of premolded filling, manufactured in a lab to fit perfectly on or within your natural tooth. Restorations requiring the restoration material to be bonded within the points (cusps) of the tooth biting surface are called Inlays. Whereas restorations covering the one or more cusps of the biting surface is called an Outlay. These customized restorations can be made out of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic or resin. Once bonded to your natural tooth, your inlay or onlay not only restores the look of your natural tooth, but also provides structural reinforcement against daily wear and tear.

The Inlay and Onlay Process

The process of getting an inlay or onlay is very similar to the process for getting a dental crown. At your first appointment, your dentist will numb the area being treated and clean out the decayed area of the tooth, much the same way the tooth would be prepared for a filling. Ensuring that all decay is removed is essential for preventing further decay and possible infection after the inlay or onlay has been set. Once all the decay has been removed, your dentist will take an impression of the remaining tooth area. This impression will be used by the laboratory to create your inlay or onlay. A temporary filling will be installed by your dentist to last until your second and final appointment.

Once the laboratory has completed your inlay or onlay, you will return to the dentist’s office for your final appointment. During this visit, the dentist will numb the area, remove the temporary filling, and bond your permanent inlay or onlay to your natural tooth.

Inlays and onlays are strong, long-lasting, and require no additional care than any other tooth. With good daily brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings at the dental office, your inlay or onlay restoration can last for years.

Dental Exams and Cleanings Blog

The Importance of Keeping Your Dental Exams and Periodic Cleanings

By | General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene | No Comments

Many adults balk at the idea of visiting the dentist when they aren’t having any problems with their teeth. They assume that visiting the dentist just to receive a clean bill of health is just a waste of money.

But, in fact, keeping your regular dental check-ups and cleanings can actually save you money in the long-run by making sure small problems don’t turn into expensive ones.

Keeping Your Exams Saves Your Money in the Long Run

If you don’t keep up with your oral health cleanings and exams, costly dental problems might occur.

Maintaining good oral health is also an important part of keeping your whole body healthy. While daily brushing and flossing is essential for a healthy mouth, regular check-ups and cleanings are also very important. Good oral health is also linked to good overall health.

When to Get a Checkup

For most adults, it is recommended they get a dental checkup and cleaning every six months. However, depending on your individual needs and personal dental history, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.

What Happens During an Exam

During a typical dental exam, patients go through two important preventative treatment processes: cleaning and evaluation. Exams often begin with a deep clean performed by a dental hygienist. These are dental professionals who have been trained to use special equipment and techniques to remove the tartar and plaque that daily brushing and flossing might miss.

Once your teeth have been cleaned and polished, the dentist will come in to evaluate your neck, throat, tongue, teeth, and gums for any signs of damage, disease, or decay. X-rays may also be taken. If any troubled spots are found, your dentist will recommend a treatment plan and subsequent visits will be scheduled.

Even though the American Dental Association has invested millions of dollars in educating the public on the importance of maintaining good oral health, 50% of Americans do not visit their dentist regularly. This is a disturbing statistic considering that nearly the same percentage of adults have some level of gum disease and nearly three-quarters of adults are estimated to have at least one cavity.

By regularly monitoring your oral health and keeping up on necessary preventative care, dental disease and decay is less likely to occur. If a problem is found during your regular check-up, it is often easier to fix because it was spotted quickly. As a result, the need for expensive intervention and treatment is virtually eliminated, and any threat to your overall health has been removed. When it comes to keeping your dental exams and periodic cleanings, remember the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

If you haven’t been in the office in a while, we’d love to see you. Contact Manhattan Dental Care today to schedule your consultation.

More on Tooth Misalignment and Invisalign

By | Invisalign | No Comments

Teeth misalignment can happen genetically or be artificially induced. Some people have a smaller mouth that doesn’t allow for their teeth to align themselves correctly.

The upper jaw or the lower jaw might protrude forward causing an underbite or overbite. People who have dental alignment of this type inherit these traits from biological family members.

Restorative dentistry can be done in the wrong way, forcing the teeth to misalign. When a child loses a tooth at an early stage, which might cause misalignment as the other teeth continue to grow. Adults are also affected by teeth misalignment due to tooth loss.

When an adult loses a permanent tooth, a gap is left behind. Then other teeth crowd in to fill the gap. At times a dental restoration such as fillings and crowns can go wrong during the procedure and fail to fit correctly causing the adjacent teeth to shift.

Sometimes a person may have a dental illness such as gingivitis forcing the gums to weaken and not hold the teeth in place leading to misalignment.

Why correct tooth misalignment?

You might think why bother correcting it when it doesn’t hurt? Correcting misalignment will save you time and money.

Some reasons you should get your misaligned teeth corrected:

  • Enhances and Restores Self-Esteem
  • Functionality
  • Allows for Proper Cleaning
  • Reduces Chances of Disease
  • Reduces Strain

You Want to Correct Your Misalignment, Now What?

Choosing the right realignment method is vital since you want to correct the teeth misalignment and at the same time look good. Invisalign is the treatment of choice for the patient who is looking to correct their smile without being ostentatious about it.

Here are 5 reasons to choose Invisalign over metal braces.

1. Reduced Dental Visits

Once you have your Invisalign, you are not required to visit the dentist as often as you would with traditional metal braces. You’ll get a new aligner tray every two weeks and you’ll keep routine dental visits to check on progress.

2. No Diet Changes Necessary

You are allowed to eat everything you wish so long as you clean your teeth before putting the Invisalign tray back in your mouth. The old traditional braces would not let you eat sticky, or hard foods because they can cause damage to the hardware.

3. Invisible Smile Correction

Metal braces can be seen even with a person who is far away from you. But with Invisalign, nobody will know you even have it on your teeth!

4. Easy Cleaning

Metal braces have specialized flossing equipment which works in a certain way. It can be rigorous to follow through with such a rigorous routine. The design structure of Invisalign allows you to remove them and clean your teeth the usual way. You can also clean Invisalign trays easily and conveniently.

5. Enhanced Comfort

According to cases reported, the use of metal braces irritates the gums and cheeks. Invisalign comprises of flat plastic trays which can easily be installed and removed without any adverse reactions.

If you feel Invisalign might be right for you, we’d love to tell you more about it. If you’re looking for an experienced dentist who knows Invisalign inside and out, contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today for further guidance and assistance.