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All Posts in Category: Los Angeles Dental Care

Smile-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions from Your Dentist

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Dr. Louie and his team encourage patients to adopt smile-friendly resolutions for the upcoming year. By developing a consistent routine and placing extra attention to your oral health, you can make the year ahead a great one for your smile.

Regular Check-Ups

Commit to regular dental check-ups at our Los Angeles and Larchmont office to catch and prevent potential issues before they escalate. Practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash consistently. 

Cosmetic Dentistry

Consider exploring cosmetic dentistry options to enhance your smile and boost your confidence. These include veneers, teeth whitening, bonding, Invisalign, and more.

Remember to stay hydrated, as water helps flush out bacteria and promotes a healthy mouth. Limit sugary and acidic foods to protect your teeth from decay. By incorporating these resolutions, you’ll be on the path to a healthier and more radiant smile in the new year.

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The Risks of Prolonged Missing Teeth

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The importance of addressing missing teeth goes beyond cosmetic concerns, especially for patients looking to maintain excellent oral health. Prolonged gaps in the dental arch can lead to various health concerns, and Dr. Louie emphasizes the significance of comprehensive dental care to mitigate these risks.

Changes in Bite Alignment

Missing teeth can cause neighboring teeth to shift, leading to changes in bite functionality. This shift can result in challenges in chewing, speaking, and may contribute to the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Bone Resorption

The roots of teeth play a crucial role in stimulating the underlying jawbone. When there is a missing tooth, the lack of stimulation can lead to bone resorption, causing a decrease in bone density and altering facial structure.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Gaps in the dental arch create spaces where bacteria can accumulate, which can heighten the risk of gum disease. Proper tooth alignment and spacing are essential for optimal oral hygiene.

Speech Impediments

Missing teeth, particularly in the front of the mouth, can impact speech patterns, leading to difficulties in pronunciation and articulation.

Dr. Shervin Louie and his team in Los Angeles emphasize the importance of addressing missing teeth promptly through various restorative options, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures. Their patient-centered approach focuses on restoring not only the aesthetics but also the functionality and overall health of the smile. By providing comprehensive solutions, we can ensure that patients can enjoy a complete and healthy smile for years to come.

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Reducing Teeth Sensitivity After Whitening

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A bright, white smile is often a goal for individuals seeking to enhance their overall appearance. Professional teeth whitening treatments with a Los Angeles dentist are among the most popular choices for achieving that aesthetic. A frequent common concern associated with teeth whitening is sensitivity. Dr. Louie and his team recognize the importance of minimizing discomfort during and after the whitening process.

Professional whitening treatments utilize high-quality, enamel-safe whitening agents. Despite the effectiveness of these treatments, some patients may experience increased tooth sensitivity, especially immediately after the procedure. To address this, here are some recommendations:

Pre-treatment Assessment

Prior to the whitening procedure, a comprehensive examination is conducted to identify any existing tooth sensitivity issues. This allows for a personalized approach, taking into consideration the unique needs of each patient.

Desensitizing Agents

Dentists incorporate desensitizing agents into the whitening process to minimize post-treatment sensitivity. These agents help to soothe the nerves in the teeth, providing a more comfortable experience for the patient.

Customized Treatment Plans

Not all patients have the same level of sensitivity or response to whitening agents. Dr. Louie and his team create customized treatment plans, adjusting the concentration and duration of the whitening process based on individual sensitivity levels.

Post-Whitening Care

Patients are provided with detailed post-whitening care instructions to manage sensitivity at home. This may include using desensitizing toothpaste, avoiding extreme temperatures, and temporarily refraining from certain foods and beverages.

By prioritizing patient comfort and employing these proactive measures, we ensure that patients can achieve the dazzling results of professional teeth whitening without enduring prolonged sensitivity.

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Dental Implant Recovery: What to be Aware of

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Dental implants have revolutionized the world of restorative dentistry, providing a long-lasting solution for those missing one or more teeth. If you’re considering dental implants or have recently undergone the procedure, understanding the recovery process is crucial. At Shervin Louie, DDS, your trusted Larchmont, Los Angeles dental practice, we want to ensure you have all the information you need to make your recovery as smooth as possible.

Immediate Post-Operative Care

After your dental implant surgery, it’s vital to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully. The initial recovery period is critical for the success of your implants. Here’s what you can expect:

Pain and Discomfort

You may experience some pain and discomfort, which is normal after surgery. Your dentist will prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter options to manage this.


Swelling around the surgical site is common and typically peaks within 48 hours. Applying ice packs to the area can help reduce swelling.


Some bleeding is normal during the first 24 hours. Gently biting on a sterile gauze pad can help control it.


Stick to a soft diet for the first few days to avoid putting too much pressure on your implants. Soups, smoothies, and mashed foods are excellent options.

Oral Hygiene

While you should avoid disturbing the surgical site, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Your dentist will provide instructions on how to do this without harming the implant.

Long-Term Recovery

Recovering from dental implant surgery is not just about the days immediately following the procedure. Successful recovery extends into the weeks and months ahead. Here’s what you should be aware of:


Dental implants rely on a process called osseointegration, where the implant fuses with the jawbone. This can take several months, during which you should avoid any strenuous activities that might stress the implant.

Follow-up Appointments

Regular follow-up appointments with your dentist are crucial to monitor the healing process and ensure everything is progressing as it should.

Oral Hygiene

Continue to maintain impeccable oral hygiene to prevent infection and promote healing. Use a soft toothbrush and follow your dentist’s instructions for cleaning around the implant.


Gradually reintroduce harder foods into your diet as your implant heals. Your dentist will guide you on when it’s safe to do so.

Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of complications. It’s best to avoid them during your recovery.

Protect Your Investment

Dental implants are a significant investment in your oral health and appearance. Ensure their long-term success by caring for them diligently and attending regular dental check-ups.

Dental implant recovery is a crucial phase in achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. By following your dentist’s guidance and being aware of what to expect during the recovery process, you can increase the likelihood of successful implant integration.

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Tips to Help with Plaque Prevention and Removal

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Inadequate brushing and flossing leaves particles of food and drink on the gums and teeth, which attract bacteria that turn into the sticky film called plaque. If that is not cleaned off within a few days it can harden into tartar, which has to be removed by a dental hygienist. Otherwise, this periodontal infection will eventually cause the gums to pull back their support for teeth, which will fall out or need to be removed. Plaque can also cause cavities that become so large that teeth have to be extracted.

The two top tips to prevent these things from happening:

First, if you have not had a recent physical dental exam by Dr. Louie, you should know that the American Dental Association recommends that this be done twice a year to catch oral problems in their early stages. If he suspects there may be cavities that are hidden or a periodontal infection that may have reached into the jawbone, you will need a digital x-ray (involving minimal radiation).

Professional Cleaning

Second, you should also receive a professional cleaning by your hygienist at least semi-annually, more often if she probes and discovers deep gum infections. She has the tools and techniques to do a much better job of cleaning hard-to-reach areas of your mouth than you can. She will also inject an antibacterial solution if needed to stop a serious infection. She can also note when even this is not enough and cleaning needs to be done below the gum line by Dr. Louie.

Brushing and Flossing

Of course, brushing and flossing correctly can prevent plaque formation, but few of us grew up understanding exactly how to do this. Brushing needs to be done twice a day for two minutes each time, ideally after breakfast (which will allow you to remove both the food particles from the meal, as well as the bacteria that collects in the mouth overnight) and then after your last snack at night, when you floss. If you are not sure exactly how to do this, ask your hygienist to show you.

There are other tools your dentist or hygienist can recommend for your plaque prevention and removal, such as an electric toothbrush, a water flosser, small bristle brushes that can clean tight spaces, a periodontal-grade toothpaste, and a dentist-approved mouthwash.

Diet Habits

Drinking more water and chewing gum with xylitol (a bacteria-fighting sweetener) will prevent your mouth from getting dry and not forming sufficient saliva, which also keeps periodontal bacteria in check. Ultimately, if you eat a healthy diet of proteins, good fats, and complex (not refined) carbohydrates, such as whole grains, seeds, nuts, peas, and vegetables, you are far less likely to create the conditions in your mouth for plaque to develop. 

But if your gums have already started to bleed, you have an advanced periodontal infection and need to call today to set up an appointment for an exam.

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How to Save a Damaged Tooth

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There are many ways that teeth can be damaged, including due to car or bike accidents, falling, sports, grinding teeth unconsciously, gnawing on pens, pulling clothes off with teeth, munching on ice, eating hard candy, chewing tough jerky, and the pits of fruits and vegetables. Or the harm to a beautiful smile could just be severe discoloration.

It is important to have Dr. Louie examine any damage ASAP to determine what needs to be done to repair or save the tooth.

A Chipped or Sensitive Tooth

If a tooth has been chipped and is painful or sensitive, Dr. Louie could create a customized veneer, a thin piece of dental porcelain, which is attached to the front to cover a minor crack and strengthen the tooth. Unlike most dental practices, we have a an iTero scanner that can produce this while you wait. He can also create an extremely thin veneer called a Lumineer, which requires less enamel to be shaved off the front compared with conventional veneers, which is done to keep a veneer from sticking out artificially.

Damaged Teeth from Grinding

If the damage has been due to grinding your teeth while you sleep, Dr. Louie can either manufacture a customized dental crown to cover the damage to each and protect them from further harm. He will also provide a personalized nightguard, a mouthguard worn while sleeping, which will stop the grinding (known as bruxism).

For some minor cases, such as small chipping, malformed teeth, gaps between them, or staining, these can be covered by a composite resin known as dental bonding. A shade is chosen and the bonding is applied, sculpted, and then hardened with a special curing light.

Infected Tooth Root

If severe pain is being caused by an infected tooth root, a root canal procedure can clean out the infected pulp, fill the canals with neutral material to prevent this from happening again, and restore the tooth. Contrary to the popular expression about painful experiences, “I’d rather have a root canal,” the procedure itself does not cause pain, it stops it. 

If you have a damaged tooth, call Dr. Louie to set an appointment for a full dental exam to determine what your best options are for restoring your full oral health.

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How Chronic Stress Affects Your Oral Health

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Life is full of stress of all kinds for everyone, from job and financial problems to accidents and family health crises. The three years of the pandemic have increased the stress by magnitudes, whether not because of not being able to socialize with friends or to buy things we thought would always be available.

Unless you have perfected your oral health care regimen, challenges like cavities, periodontal disease, and teeth that fall out may have added to normal stress. But what may not be fully appreciated is that chronic stress of all kinds, including mental health, can impact your dental health.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, two-third of people with clinical depression reported toothaches and half of those rated their oral health as fair to poor. The reasons for this range from unhealthy diets, lack of discipline to brush twice daily and floss once, and a tendency not to have a dental exam the recommended two times a year. Small cavities can become so serious even in six months that the entire tooth needs to be extracted.

Stress has Many Effects on the Body

Stress of all kinds has an effect  on the body, including dental health. It drives up the level of the hormone cortisol, which weakens the immune system, so periodontal bacteria can find a welcoming home. Some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can dry up saliva, which normally fights oral bacteria. Smoking also dries the mouth and often the habit gets worse under stress.

Stress often leads to unconsciously grinding teeth while you sleep, known as bruxism, which can damage the crowns of teeth. These need to be repaired and a personalized nightguard created by Dr. Louie to prevent this from happening again.

Increased Tension Affects TMJ

Stress can cause tension in your jaw and dislocation of the TMJ, the set of hinges on both sides of the mouth that connect the lower jaw to the skull. You can feel these by placing your fingers just in front of your lower earlobes and opening and closing your mouth. The symptoms can be difficulties in even doing that or a popping sound when you do. Many suffering from TMJ Disorder also have soreness around the face, neck, or shoulders.

Cold Sores

Canker sores are mouth ulcers that can be due to a deficiency of vitamin B complex and any kind of stress. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. This can be dormant until triggered by stress and these sores appear as lesions on the lips. Other oral infections can appear as red or white spots or white lines are usually due to stress, smoking, and too many acidic beverages (such as sodas) and foods (especially citrus).

If you have not had a full dental examination in the past year, contact our Los Angeles dentist and team today.

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‘Chippendales’ Actor, Kumail Nanjiani’s First Visit to the Dentist in 15 Years

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While on Jimmy Kimmel during his promotion for “Welcome to Chippendales”. Kumail talks about his health and dietary habits while preparing for his new show. In addition, he shares his experiences with sleep apnea, breaking a tooth, and his first dental visit in 15 years.

By the way, this is the picture our lovely dental team member ( Mina ) that Kumail was talking about that was on the wall while getting his teeth cleaned….

Woman with a bright smile

Click below to watch the video clip.

Hilarious story, we look forward to seeing Kumail again and appreciate the shoutout!

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What to Ask at Your Dental Implants Consultation

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As you probably know, the older one gets, the more likely we will have missing teeth, whether due to accidents or because poor brushing and flossing habits result in some falling out or needing to be extracted. You no doubt have questions about whether a dental implant is your best option.

Are there less expensive and quicker alternatives to implants?

Dentures are not an ideal solution because they do not stop the natural erosion of the jawbone that occurs when teeth are missing, which is why they need to be adjusted for fit about every five years. Dental bridges can slow this down by suspending a crown that looks like a tooth between the two teeth on either side of the gap, tricking the body into thinking no tooth is missing, but bridges typically only last 5-7 years. Dental implants can be a permanent solution with good oral care and so very cost-effective. The success rate for experts like Dr. Louie is about 95%.

How long does it take for each tooth to be replaced by an implant?

If a tooth is loose, it first needs to be extracted and the socket allowed to heal, which could take a couple of months. Otherwise, the first step will be for Dr. Louie to use his iTero intraoral scanner to take a 3D image of the area of the missing tooth and transmit the image to a top dental lab to create the biocompatible titanium implant. Because of this fast and highly-accurate digital process, you will quickly be able to have it ready to be screwed into the jawbone. Then you will need to wait a few months for the implant to integrate with the jawbone. The lab will have also made the dental crown, which will look exactly like your lost tooth (or teeth) and this will be attached to the top of the implant as soon as the implant has bonded. But multiple implants can be done in the same time frame.

When can I start eating normally after an implant?

In the first couple of weeks, it is important to rely on healthy soft foods like yogurt, eggs, smoothies, protein shakes, and soups. Drink lots of water, which will wash away food particles, buffer teeth from bacterial acids, and keep tissues hydrated. Avoid spicy, sour, and sweet foods, since they can irritate the surgical site while it is healing. Do not eat hard, crunchy, and sticky foods for a couple months, since they could dislodge the implant. But once the implant has become settled, it is a true treatment for missing teeth, then you can eat normally (and hopefully healthfully). 

Call today for a full exam and consultation to determine if dental implants are right for your case.

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Can a Chipped Tooth Heal on Its Own?

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The anxiety after realizing you’ve chipped a tooth can be overwhelming. Sometimes, the chip is just a filling that comes from wear and tear. But other times, it may be a large piece of your tooth broken off due to an injury, which can be a much more severe issue. 

Chips that are small and not causing any pain or sensitivity can sometimes be left alone and eventually smooth out on their own as you continue to use your teeth for biting and chewing. But if the chip is large, jagged, or causing you pain, it’s best to see a dentist right away.

Do Teeth Grow Back?

Teeth are like any other part of your body—if they’re injured, they need treatment. However, teeth don’t just heal on their own like other tissues in your body. When a bone is broken, for example, it will grow back together over time. But when a tooth is broken, it can’t grow back. 

A chipped tooth can sometimes be repaired with a filling, bonding, or veneers. If the chip is large, you may need a crown. If the tooth is severely damaged, it may need to be extracted. Let’s not forget that a chipped tooth can also be a sign of a more serious underlying dental issue, such as tooth decay or gum disease. So it’s essential to see a dentist in order to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

How Do Dentists Treat a Chipped Tooth?

The type of treatment you need will depend on the size and location of the chip, as well as the severity of the damage.

Small Chips

If the chip is small and not causing any pain or sensitivity, your dentist may just smooth it out with a file. This is called “fracture smoothing.” Fracture smoothing is often used for chips on the chewing surfaces of teeth that are not visible when you smile.

If the chip is on a front tooth and is visible when you smile, your dentist may use bonding to repair it. Bonding is a process where a tooth-colored resin is applied to the tooth and hardened with a light. Bonding can also be used to change the shape, color, or length of your teeth.

Large Chips

If the chip is large, your dentist may use bonding or veneers to repair it. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They can be used to change the shape, color, size, or length of your teeth.

If the chip is large and the tooth is severely damaged, you may need a crown. A crown is a “cap” that covers the entire tooth. It can be made from metal, porcelain, or a combination of both.

You may need a root canal if the chip is large and the tooth is severely damaged. A root canal is a procedure where the nerve and blood supply are removed from the tooth. The tooth is then filled with a rubber-like material and sealed.

If the chip is large and the tooth is severely damaged, you may need to have the tooth extracted and replaced with an artificial tooth.

A chipped tooth can “heal” on its own if it is a small chip and does not cause any pain or sensitivity. However, the tooth does not regrow or repair itself. It simply may smooth out over time as you continue to use your teeth for biting and chewing. If the chip is large, jagged, or causing pain, it is best to see a dentist right away for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

For cosmetic purposes, a chipped tooth can sometimes be repaired with a filling, bonding, or veneers. If the chip is large, you may need a crown. If the tooth is severely damaged, it may need to be extracted. Regardless of the issue, you can schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles dentist to determine which treatment option can work for you.

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