Tooth Anatomy Explained

By | Cavities, General Dentistry

Dental problems can occur at any age. From the youngest children to the most senior adult, being educated about tooth issues is important. So what’s going on inside your teeth, and how does it affect other aspects of your health? Today, the Manhattan Beach dentist talks about the parts make up your teeth.

The Anatomy of Your Teeth

As you probably already know, your tooth is made up of several layers of material that work together to keep our teeth healthy. These are as follows:

Crown – This is the part of your tooth that is visible when you smile. The crown is composed of a strong material called enamel, the hardest substance found in the human body!
Dentin – Dentin is the layer right beneath the enamel. It’s not as hard as enamel, but it is comparable in strength to bone tissue.
Pulp – This is the innermost layer of your tooth, and keeps it healthy. It is also where nerves enter the tooth.
Root – This part of the tooth is embedded deep within your jawbone. It anchors the tooth allowing for support while chewing and eating.
Gingiva (Gum Tissue) – The gums surround your teeth and protect underlying bone. Improper oral hygiene can cause the gingiva to become red and puffy. This is your body’s natural defense mechanism against built-up plaque.
Bone – The bone holds the whole tooth in its place. The bone is constantly remodeling itself is in response to various forces it experiences in the mouth.

Please Call Our Office to Learn More

We believe that an educated patient is more likely to take the steps to protect their oral health. Yes, your teeth are quite strong, but they withstand constant wear and tear from a number of sources. If you are experiencing any tooth issues see the Manhattan Beach dentist as soon as possible to put your mind and dental health at ease.

Problems Associated with Dental Erosion

By | Cavities, Dental Erosion, General Dentistry

The problems resulting from cavities are well-documented. But today, dentists are placing more focus on the damage that can be caused by dental erosion. Our increased consumption of fruity drinks, soda and energy drinks causes an increase in the number of patients who are experiencing the negative results of this excess.

Since dental enamel is made of minerals, cavities result from a known as demineralization. When you consume these sweet drinks, waste products created by bacteria consume these sugars contain the acids that cause demineralization. When these acids remain on the teeth they start producing tooth decay within minutes.

Most of us have experienced cavities, but left untreated over a long period of time, a simple cavity can result in the complete destruction of the tooth structure. With the increased consumption of soda, fruit juices and energy drinks our Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist office is seeing an increase in the number of patients with dental erosion. While sugar is the most common cause of dental erosion, some other causes are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Consuming sour foods or candies
  • Dry mouth or low saliva volume
  • Acid reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn

If you experience sensitivity when eating hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks you may have dental erosion. Also, yellowing of the enamel indicates that it is thinning and exposing the yellow dentin beneath. Dental erosion can literally destroy your teeth over time if not addressed, and if it reaches this point, tooth extraction and costly dental prosthetics may be necessary.

Diligent oral hygiene habits and regular visits to your dentist are the best defense against the destruction caused by dental erosion. Your Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist is trained to detect signs of dental erosion and take the necessary steps to arrest and reverse its damage. If the enamel has sustained significant cosmetic damage, veneers, either porcelain or Lumineers, may be recommended to protect your teeth and restore your healthy smile.

Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

By | Cavities, Dental Emergency

At our Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist office we are committed to providing services that not only treat and correct problems, but also enhance the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings are one example of a procedure that does both.

Advances in dental technology have produced some really amazing materials and procedures that were unavailable just a few years ago. These improvements enable us to offer updated treatments like tooth-colored fillings that protect your oral health and leave you with a bright, beautiful smile.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

The composite material that is used for tooth-colored fillings is durable and resilient. From an aesthetic perspective, the great thing about this material is that it can be shaded to match the exact color of your natural teeth. Since they blend so perfectly with your natural teeth, the Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist can use tooth-colored fillings to address a number of dental concerns:

  • Repair broken or cracked teeth
  • Fill in minor chips
  • Alter the shape of irregular teeth
  • Fill in gaps between teeth
  • Replace darkened or deteriorating silver fillings

Preserving Healthy Tooth Structure

Another important advantage of using composite material for fillings is that we need to remove only the decayed portion of the tooth to place a filling that restores your oral health. It is our goal to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible to keep your smile whole and healthy for many years.

Contact Our Office for More Information

Please contact our dentist office to arrange an appointment for an exam and cleaning. At that time we will be happy to answer your questions and help you decide if tooth-colored fillings are the most appropriate solution for your specific problem.

Ways to Avoid Tooth Decay

By | Cavities, General Dentistry, Professional Teeth Cleaning

The basic cause of all tooth decay is plaque and tartar. A combination of bacteria, food particles, and saliva collect on teeth causing the formation of plaque, particularly at the gum line. If plaque is left for extended periods on the surface of the tooth, it will harden into a cement-like substance called tartar requiring removal by our Manhattan Beach Dentist Office. Bacteria that are found in plaque and tartar create acidic byproducts that lead to cavities by eating through healthy tooth enamel.

How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Diligent oral hygiene is the best way to slow the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. As you brush and floss you also remove a good percentage of plaque from your teeth, preventing the buildup of tartar. The bacteria that causes teeth to decay thrives on any sugar that lingers on the teeth, so obviously avoiding sugary foods will help reduce the buildup of plaque.

Regular visits to your dentist are vital to the successful management of plaque and tartar buildup. Your dental hygienist will provide a thorough dental cleaning designed to remove the plaque and tartar that routine brushing and flossing might leave behind. During the same visit, your dentist can also monitor changes to your teeth, using x-rays or digital imaging that will reveal decay in your teeth before it becomes a serious problem.

Treatment for Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Once you have a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, it can only be removed by your dentist. Our Manhattan Beach, California Dentist uses tools designed specifically for the removal of plaque and tartar. These dental tools are more effective than a toothbrush at removing stubborn buildups, and will also help prevent decay from developing.

Aside from tooth decay, a severe plaque buildup can lead to periodontal, or gum, disease. The Bacteria that remains under the gum line can lead to a more serious infection in the gums, gingivitis. Left untreated, severe infection can occur which will require antibiotics to restore your oral and general health.

Dr. Firshein Explains the Importance of Maintaining Excellent Oral Health

By | Cavities, General Dentistry, Professional Teeth Cleaning

Our mouths require as much care as the rest of our body. Many people focus on superficial needs of their mouth without understanding that their mouth is also a breeding ground for bacteria if not properly maintained. The most efficient way to maintain your oral health is to schedule routine examinations and professional dental cleanings twice a year with your Dentist Manhattan Beach, California.

It is essential to brush and floss regularly in order to keep bacteria at bay. It is imperative that you maintain your dental hygiene by meticulously brushing your teeth. Be certain to include this important oral hygiene task into your daily routine, especially if you drink beverages that stain the teeth like coffee and red wine. Drinking coffee, tea and red wine or using tobacco products increase your risk of stains that will require bleaching treatments to correct.

Plaque build-up can lead to tooth loss. When plaque builds up over time it will harden into a substance known as calculus. This cement-like deposit seeps into the gums and gives bacteria an entry point to sub gingival structures. Without proper tools to remove this substance bacteria will continue to multiply and the colonization will lead to periodontal problems.

If left untreated, an abscess could develop. Your immune system will naturally try to combat the foreign organisms, causing an inflammatory response. The patient will notice that the area around the tooth is swollen and the abscess is likely to cause great discomfort, especially when the specific tooth is used to chew.

If this is not resolved, the bacteria may travel to the nervous tissue, maxillary sinus and in severe cases, even the brain. Your oral cavity is made up of vital tissue, and although our immune system fights off infection, it may not be enough to prevent a serious infection from occurring and spreading. Practice diligent at-home oral hygiene and make regular appointments with your Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist to maintain good oral health.