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Root Canal Blog

3 Signs You Need a Root Canal

Identifying that you might need a root canal isn’t the easiest task. In many cases, in the early stages of tooth infection and tooth decay, there might not be many (or any) nagging symptoms to tip you off.

The sad reality is that Physical symptoms don’t usually start to reveal themselves until infection is in its more advanced stages.

That’s why it’s important to have a good relationship with your dentist. That’s what Smiles In LA is all about — creating amazing relationships with our patients by providing comprehensive oral health services.

Root Canal Blog

Read on for a few tell-tale signs that you might need a root canal.

1.) Chipped or Cracked Teeth

Eating hard foods, engaging in physical activities (sports like basketball, martial arts, and more), and not staying up on your oral health can all result in chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth.

When you crack or chip a tooth, this means that the nerves that lie beneath the tooth’s surface are vulnerable when it comes to infection. An untreated infection will certainly lead to the necessity of a root canal procedure.

2.) Sensitivity

If your tooth hurts when you chew, this could be a sign you need a root canal. The same is true if you experience an increased sensitivity to hot or cold beverages. What starts as a dull ache might end up progressing into a sharp pain.

3.) Swollen or Tender Gums Surrounding the Tooth in Question

Swollen gums are a sign of problems beneath the surface. If your gums are painful and swollen or have a raised bump on them, your dentist will examine the swollen gums to see if inflammation is to blame.

In some cases, a root canal is needed to solve the problem of inflamed gums if they don’t improve.

There are additional signs that you might need a root canal. If you experience additional swelling around the face and/or neck area, or if you have an abscess or lesion that has formed on the area of gums surrounding the tooth tooth in question (this might be similar to a small pimple or blister), then you should see an oral health professional immediately.

One more tell-tale sign is the darkening or discoloration of the tooth in question.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, please contact Smile in LA today. We specialize in both cosmetic and general dentistry.

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5 Hazardous Activities for Your Oral Health

At Smile in LA we specialize in helping our patients get to that A-List smile that seems so elusive to everyone but top-notch celebrities. Achieving the smile you’ve always wanted is not as impossible as it seems, no matter what your circumstances are to begin with.

We provide general and cosmetic dental procedures that help bring out the best in you, while at the same time laying the foundation for a bright future full of good oral health.

Oral Health Blog

However, there are some activities (whether they be extracurricular or everyday activities) that might be jeopardizing your smile.

Read on for a few activities that put your oral health at risk that you should try to avoid.

1.) Combat Sports

Combat sports can be hazardous to your smile, but not as much as other activities we’ll discuss below. The reason is that, when people box, do MMA, or participate in any of the other combat sports out there, they tend to wear mouthguards and safety gear. But just know that every time you step in the ring or the octagon, you’re putting your smile at risk.

2.) Hockey

If you asked 10 hockey players to flash you their grill, you’ll likely find that more than one of them have a compromised smile — some might even be missing multiple teeth. It’s quite common considering the elbows that get thrown around, the cross-checking involved with the sport, not to mention the fact that the referees (in professional hockey, anyway) still let the players fight each other.

3.) A Hard Night of Drinking

We’ll take it away from sports for a moment and talk about the damage you can do to your smile after a night of drinking. Whether you’re drinking wine, liquor, or beer, whatever you partake in is either laced with sugar or harmful acids that eat away at your enamel and can cause cavities. A big problem is many people go out on the town for hours on end and imbibe adult beverages that mount an assault on our oral health. More than a few weekend warriors out there might also skip their oral health routine at the end of the night and head straight for the pillow. Also, one last thing — no opening bottles with your teeth!

4.) Brushing Improperly

One big mistake many patients make is that they don’t know how to brush properly. A common misstep is brushing immediately after you eat. When we consume food and beverages and brush shortly after, we end up working harmful acids into our teeth that erode the enamel. Instead, wait 20-40 minutes for your mouth to neutralize the acids in your mouth, then go ahead and brush.

5.) Basketball

Even though the sport keeps gaining in popularity, it’s important to be aware that playing hoops can put your oral health at risk. One reason is that people generally shortchange basketball when it comes to physicality. In reality, basketball is one of the most physical sports out there.

Even with rules that some might say soften the game, there’s still an amazing amount of pushing around that goes on in the paint. Players even throw the occasional elbow while jockeying for position for a rebound. Another big problem is that many players eschew the idea of wearing a mouthguard. Luckily, more and more high profile players are wearing mouthguards. It’s the smart thing to do — many of these players spend tens of thousands on their teeth. It’s a good idea to protect the investment!

If you engage in any of the activities mentioned above on a regular basis, it’s important you keep a close relationship with an oral health professional.

Smile in LA is in the business of keeping our patients in the best of oral health. Give us a call today and we can help you make an amazing transformation, or give your smile the routine maintenance it needs to last for the long haul.

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Laser Teeth Surgery – A New Hope?

We all love a good fad, especially when it involves a technological breakthrough, and laser teeth whitening looks like just the thing for instant pearly whites. This will result in your immediate promotion, a great deal on a new car and getting the girl! Won’t it?

It does look good, but bear in mind that it is a procedure reserved solely for implementation by medical professionals. Simply put, don’t do this at home! It would do you well to have a little look into the procedure and what it actually does.

Bam! Pow! Ka Chow!

The common misconception of laser teeth whitening is actually regarding the laser. Most people have visions of lasers deftly slicing away the yellow and leaving bright white. Star Wars in your mouth – how exciting!
In reality, the laser is the catalyst for the bleach to do its job. Get the right wavelength and it speeds up the process considerably. It’s a get white quick scheme.
If the lasers are the lightsabers, then the teeth are kitted out like stormtroopers. Rubber shields are placed over all the gums, cheek retractors are worn and fluoride is applied to desensitize teeth. They are going into battle.

The bleach is painted on to your teeth, everyone steps back and the laser is activated.
Temperatures go up and the bleach starts to oxygenate the enamel of your teeth, making them up to six shades lighter.

What are the claims?

● In actual fact, the process is under-researched by authoritative bodies. There is little regulation on how it is done and so wavelengths vary, concentrations of bleach vary, session times vary. Generally speaking, it would be wise to do your own research. Find a reputable dentist and speak to them first. The right one will be happy to go through all of this with you and explain how they do it. Here’s what is generally claimed:
It’s the fastest way to white teeth.

● Probably true. But it is also inconvenient – you can’t take the laser home and turn it on whilst you watch TV. You have to have repeat bookings of up to an hour each.
It gets teeth whiter than any other method.

● Again, probably true. Those who have had it done certainly think so, claiming up to six shades whiter, which is definitely more than you can expect from traditional methods.
Reports are also in that you can see the difference after just one session!
It’s perfectly safe.

● This is a hard one to answer. However, the side effects do seem to be minimal. Whilst the scientist argue the (debatable) detrimental effects on enamel and tooth pulp, the only proven side effect is increased sensitivity to temperature, usually only for a reduced time period.

What are the cons?

The main point against it is the cost. As with any cosmetic process, it’s not cheap. But it does seem to be worth it. It looks like it does the job, faster, stronger, better. A veritable tooth Jedi.

As with the path to the Jedi, there is much work to be done. Any dentist will tell you that dental and oral hygiene, good eating and regular checkups are the way to white teeth. Laser teeth surgery can take you to new beginnings, but you still have to put in the work to maintain the standard.

As we age, our enamel gets weaker and needs more attention. You may be prepared to go into the battle and win the whiteness, but you will need to use the force afterward. The dark side beckons all day in the form of wine, raspberries, rogan josh and balsamic vinegar on your healthy salads. You need to be strong, maintain your dental health routine and if you have to eat tooth staining foods, take protective measures.

Laser teeth surgery is not for everyone. You need to consult with your dentist, who will show you your best options. But it is a great concept with potentially high rewards. Think about it.


Colgate – https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/is-laser-
The Oral Health Foundation – https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/cosmetic-
National Health Service UK – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/teeth-whitening/

National Center for Biotechnology Information – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4385673/

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Foods To Avoid That Stain Teeth

It may be surprising that in this day and age, yellowing, stained teeth are still such a problem. Not only in the older generation, either. It is getting more prevalent in adolescents and children. Why? We are in a world full of bright white smiles beaming down on us from adverts and out of our screens. How can we still be tapping our teeth in desperation, looking in the mirror and contemplating expensive toothpastes or cosmetic procedures? And what’s more, how can we stop it?

The Three Stooges of Staining

Firstly, let’s have a look at what causes tooth staining. The three staining agents, as it were, are:

● Chromogens – these little guys are compounds in your food and drink that cause the deep pigmentation. They stick to your tooth enamel.

● Tannins – these plant-based substances found in many drinks also stick to teeth, and what’s more, they help the chromogens stick harder.

● Acids – Anything acidic will wear away at the protective surfaces of your teeth, thus paving the way for the tannins and the chromogens to do their damage.

You could say that the acids strip the walls of their pristine white paint, the tannins prime the stripped surface and the chromogens come along with their tin of yellow paint and have a field day.

Where do they hide out?

Mostly, if it stains the tablecloth, it will stain your teeth. The main foods and drinks that cause staining are:

● Deep colored, tomato-based cooking sauces, and curry sauces full of spices. From bologna to balti, any rich colored sauces are full of chromogens and a fair amount of acid. All in a convenient liquid form to cover your teeth completely. To combat the effect, pair these sauces with dark green, iron-rich vegetables like spinach. These form a protective layer on your teeth. Add a crunchy side salad to your curry dish, with apples or celery. Or switch to lighter, cream based sauces.

● You would think salads are safe, but not totally. Balsamic vinegar and soy sauce are deeply pigmented and sticky, too. All those chromogens sticking to your teeth can be somewhat mitigated by all the crunchy bits in the salad, like lettuce and carrots, but the best thing is to switch to lighter dressing. But not lemon juice! The citric acid in lemons, grapefruit, and oranges will eat away at your enamel.

● Not only the dressing, but some fruits and berries are repeat offenders in the staining game. Any dark berries, like blackberries and cranberries, are full of chromogens and sugar that eat your enamel too. Beetroot is a big stainer, as
anyone that’s spilled the juice knows! Sprinkle your salad with nuts – they are crunchy and contain protein to protect and strengthen teeth. If you just can’t resist a bowl of raspberries – and I know I can’t – then try to keep them away from your teeth. Keep them in your mouth for as little time as possible.

● There are many drinks out there that cause staining. The usual suspects are tea, coffee, red – and white! – wine, cola and energy drinks. And of course, dark fruit drinks concentrate all that fruity color and sugar into a one size stains all
package. It’s the tannins in the tea, even though it’s not as dark as coffee. And white wine is even worse than red, as it is more acidic. When you drink wine, eat cheese. A terrible penance, I know. Cheese contains calcium, phosphorates and protein, which will help protect against the acid.

Prevention is the best cure

So now you know which foods to avoid. Or at least, how to mitigate their effects somewhat. Any dentist will tell you that a great oral hygiene routine will keep your protective layers strong. Rinsing and brushing regularly, especially after meals, will wash as much as possible away.

Today’s society is one of immediacy and ease. Fruit comes in handy juice packages, coffee is on every street corner. Every chef has his brand of pasta sauces for a quick meal. Vigilance is key. Restrict your child’s brightly colored candy. Keep your coffee intake down. Use a reusable straw. Make wise food choices. Your enamel will only get
weaker as you get older, and those stooges will get through the cracks. Keeping your teeth in tip-top shape as soon as they grow is the best protection against staining.

WebMD – https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/foods-stain-teeth-feature#1
Kids Dental Online – http://www.kidsdentalonline.com/foods-stain-teeth/
Bupa – https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/teeth-staining-foods

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age and dental health los angeles dentists

Age and Dental Health

Today’s population demographic is getting older. As improvements are made and new understandings of the human body are achieved as we age, we are pushing our lifespan further and further.

But how does this affect our oral health? Teeth are well known for not being replaced by the body when they are lost – can our teeth stand the test of time? The short answer is yes – with care, our teeth can take us all the way. But as you get older, there are changes in the way your body works that mean you need to stay right on top of your oral health care routine.

Cosmetic Contouring Los Angeles

What to Watch Out For

  • Xerostomia – It sounds scary, but xerostomia is simply the drying out of the mouth. Having said that, xerostomia itself can be uncomfortable and leads to worse problems if not treated.
  • Periodontal disease – This refers to infections of the structures around the teeth. Most common is gingivitis or infected gums. There is strong evidence that periodontal disease is linked to other age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
  • Edentulism – Simply put, losing teeth. Losing teeth is inconvenient and effects more than your mouth. There is a loss of social confidence. Edentulism can also lead to malnutrition. We need a certain amount of masticating ‘pairs’ of teeth to chew properly. If we can’t chew, we choose softer foods and start missing out on certain nutrients.
  • Mouth cancer – There are a few different types of mouth cancer, and they are more common as we get older. Often, they are painless until well developed. Regular checks are the only way to catch it in time.


Further Reaching Effects

As we age, we get more susceptible to other health issues. Side effects from drugs prescribed for various medical conditions include xerostomia, for example. Our mobility may become impaired, leading to an inability to handle a toothbrush properly. A reduction in cognitive facilities (such as becoming forgetful) leads to interruptions in our oral healthcare routine.

Illness can make us shun foods such as fruit and vegetables because of the effects they have on us, or because they are hard to chew. This, in turn, leads to malnutrition. Malnutrition is a deficiency in essential nutrients, such as fluoride, which will lead to further damage to teeth. We inadvertently fall into a vicious cycle.

We lose nerve sensitivity with age. A lifetime of chewing, talking, maybe smoking, and grinding our teeth means our teeth have probably got less enamel protecting them. They are more susceptible to breakage and caries. Add that to a loss of sensitivity and the problem gets ignored, as it’s not felt, to then exacerbate into greater problems.


Get the Best Out Of Your Teeth

No one can stem the flow of years. As we get older, we face new challenges in all aspects of our lives. But our oral health does not need to be a challenge. The key is prevention. Healthy teeth and a healthy diet will go a long way towards warding off many of the issues discussed here. Some key points to remember are:Age and Dental Health

  • Use dental floss and mouthwash. Get all the bits out of the hard to reach places and rinse well. Mouthwash will also help with xerostomia and keep your enamel stronger.
  • Brush well. Twice a day. If you find it hard to use a toothbrush, consider using an electric one, or a velcro ‘harness’ to help you grip. A dentist will be happy to help you find a solution that works for you.
  • Eat well. Missing out on essential nutrients is going to affect not just your teeth, but your whole body. Dental problems leading to poor food choices, or poor food choices, either directly or indirectly, leading to dental problems. It can be avoided if you keep control of your diet.
  • Drink tap water. It has fluoride in. Every time you slake that thirst, you are giving your teeth a mini spa.


And Finally… Be Social!

Visit your dentist, get their advice, let them check you out. They can see potential problems before you can feel them.

Get family and friends over. If you are getting on the forgetful side, or maybe you are bedridden, you need your friends around you. They will help you to remember to floss and bring you the bowl to spit in.

Go out! If you are able, get fresh air, see the sights. Staying indoors can lead to loneliness, loss of self-esteem and depression. Meet new people, try new food (chewing properly, of course). Make the most of your smile and it will reward you.

If you have questions or concerns about Sedation Dentistry in Los Angeles, please contact your dentist at Smile In LA at +1 (323) 461-9353.

Age and Dental Health

Resource links:

American Dental Association – https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/aging-and-dental-health


The National Centre for Biotechnology Information – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334280/

Harvard Medical School – https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-aging-mouth-and-how-to-keep-it-younger



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Preventing Tooth Decay 101

Preventing Tooth Decay: The Best Methods Available

Preventing Tooth Decay The Best Methods Available dentist in los angeles dr. shervin louieTooth decay is one of the most ancient and most commons of all tooth-related diseases. In fact, it is one of the most common ailments in the world, after the common cold. Understandably, such a high number of effect leaves a majority of us prone to this dental problem. However, thanks to the modern medical science there are now numerous methods with which a person can completely avoid getting caught in the spectra of tooth decay and risk disfiguring their smile. In this article, the famous dentist in Los Angeles Dr. Shervin Louie will tell us about some effective preventive strategies against tooth decay. Let’s read and learn these methods so that we may avoid suffering from tooth decay and risk losing our teeth altogether.

Preventing Tooth Decay With Some Of These Methods -:

An effective prevention of tooth decay does not only involve regular brushing, flossing, or avoid eating sweet things. In fact, the set of regulations you will have to impose on yourself to successfully prevent this dental ailment is much more sophisticated and covers a wide range of your habits. According to Dr. Shervin Louie, a renowned dentist of Los Angeles, one of the best ways to begin is to have an assessment of tooth decay risk by a professional dentist. Such an assessment will tell you on which scale rests your risk of tooth decay. After the examination, and according to the stage of your tooth decay risk, the dentist will recommend products, prevention tips, or treatment in order to lessen your chances of catching tooth decay. But for the general part, let us see what are some of the most effective prevention methods for tooth decay.

Eliminating Habits That Promotes Acid-Producing Germs:

Acid-generating bacteria’s are the key inflictors of tooth decay. The best way to examine whether they exist or not in your mouth is to go to your dentist and have an assessment. If in case they are found to exist, a dentist can recommend you protective products for your teeth which may well adjust or remove them for good. The key player here is the antibacterial mouth rinse. Mouth rinses can successfully prevent the development and resistance of acid-producing bacteria’s which may cause your teeth to decompose and worn out.

Using Fluoride Toothpaste:

Low quantity of fluoride works best to eradicate tooth decay-causing elements on your teeth. When fluoride is applied to the surface of your tooth, it creates a protective layer on the tooth surface hence safeguarding it from decaying agents. Fluoride can be obtained by using a fluoride toothpaste, which is abundantly available in the market today.


Dr. Louie - Dentist Los Angeles

It’s Mostly About The Diet:

Perhaps the most effective and totally cost-free way of preventing tooth decay is to curb your dietary and other habits related to your mouth. For the diet aspect, avoiding sugar or other carbohydrates which promote acid-producing germs in your mouth can eliminate the chances of tooth decay significantly. Sugars found in raw fruits and vegetables are much better than those in beverages, sweets, or chemical juices.  As for curbing your other habits, such as taking unnecessary snacks between mealtimes, can also contribute to acidic mouth environment. “If you have a tendency to eat snacks between mealtimes, it is better to go for non-carbohydrates and non-sugar ones because they do not produce acidic elements in your mouth,” says the renowned dentist in Los Angeles Dr. Shervin Louie. These can be vegetables like carrots or fresh fruits of other sorts. In an overall aspect, adjusting your dietary habits significantly promotes oral health and decreases your chances of having tooth decay.

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What is Fluoride Treatment and How Can it Help Your Teeth?

Fluoride Treatment is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay.  It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies.  The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations.

Fluoride Treatment works in two ways:

Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay.  We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride-containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels.  Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums.  We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies.  It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician.  Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years.  It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests.  If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.

Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay.  Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:

  • Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
  • Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
  • Inadequate exposure to fluorides.
  • Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications.
  • A recent history of dental decay.

Remember, fluoride treatment alone will not prevent tooth decay!  It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.


If you have any questions or concerns about receiving fluoride treatments, please contact Dr. Shervin M. Louie, DDS at Smile in LA at +1 (323) 461-9353.


Dr. Louie - Dentist Los Angeles


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Best Winter Dental Tips For Your Teeth

Best Winter Dental Tips For Your Teeth

los angeles Dr. shervin louieWe have entered 2018 and it is extremely cold and chilly winter these days. Well, as enjoyable as this season sounds for some outdoor activities and specific foods, you should also be concerned about your dental well-being. People who especially have the complain of sensitivity, winter can be a season quite disturbing. The combination of things that are too hot and cold can disrupt your peace if you have sensitivity issues. Other than that, the winter season can automatically be problematic for your teeth because of the blistering cold effect. To avoid pain and frustration and to care for your teeth throughout the winter season, here are some compact dental health tips for winter provided by Dr. Shervin Louie, the famous dentist in Los Angeles.

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What Your Dentist Should Know Before Oral Sedation?

What Your Dentist Should Know Before Oral Sedation?

Dentist Should Know Before Oral Sedation dentist in los angeles dr. shervin louieOral sedation is a way of providing dental services in which you will easily overcome your phobias concerning dental treatments and dentists as a whole. However, despite being a helpful thing, oral sedation is also something about which both the patient and dentist must need to be 100% clear on a certain thing before proceeding. Because oral sedation requires the use of anesthesia, some points about your health history must need to be fully clarified so that your dentist may feel confident to proceed with the treatment. What are those point and what you need to discuss with your dentist before having an oral sedation? Learn everything here in this article from the expert advice by the famous dentist in Los Angeles Dr. Shervin Louie. Let’s begin!

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