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All Posts in Category: Los Angeles Dental Care

Advantages of Getting Invisalign

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Los angeles ca dentist

The advantages of using the Invisalign system are greater than simply achieving a beautiful smile. With Invisalign’s clear, comfortable, and removable devices, you can expect to see significant and lasting results as well as a variety of oral health benefits.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a highly effective teeth alignment program that provides a welcomed alternative to traditional wire braces—in less time. Invisalign corrects any tooth abnormality, including over-bites, under-bites, cross-bites, overcrowded, gapped and protruding teeth. But that’s not all. Here are some of the added benefits of using Invisalign:

Overall health

In addition to fixing crooked, crowded and gapped teeth, Invisalign also corrects abnormal bite functions: for example, when the upper and lower jaws fail to align properly when your mouth is closed. If bite issues are left unmanaged, they can lead to further oral health problems, like cavities, tooth loss, gum infections, erosion of tooth enamel and difficulty speaking and/or eating.

Gum disease is a major factor in mouths where teeth are too widely spaced or crowded. Once your teeth are properly aligned, gums fit around them more snugly, providing a stronger defense against infections. The straighter your teeth, the healthier your mouth.

Comfort

Invisalign aligners gradually and gently move teeth into their proper positions, without the unsightly metal brackets that come with traditional braces. Invisalign appliances are made from medical-grade polyurethane resin; their smooth, soft edges provide greater control throughout the teeth-straightening process, shifting your teeth slightly, vertically and horizontally. They are virtually indestructible, invisible and best of all, comfortable—and, also unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing you to brush and floss your teeth as normal while maintaining a greater level of oral hygiene.

Convenience

Another benefit to choosing Invisalign is that you get to spend more time doing what you love, and less time in a dentist’s chair. Unlike conventional fixed braces, typical Invisalign treatment plans last about 12 months, with the aligners worn roughly 22 hours per day. That means fewer in-person check-ups!

Invisalign also grants you the freedom to continue enjoying the foods you love. Simply remove your aligner and tuck into corn on the cob, whole apples, and other previously tricky solids that wreaked havoc on wire braces and allowed for trapped debris, thus leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Boost in confidence

Invisalign can drastically boost your self-confidence by allowing you to show off your beautiful smile—with the added knowledge that your oral health is in top condition.

Teens and young adults

Protruding, crooked or even missing teeth can have a detrimental effect on the self-esteem of teenagers and young adults, resulting in feelings of unattractiveness. Teens who experience low levels of self-confidence during their formative years are vulnerable to negative influences and are more likely to become depressed. Fortunately, teens are now opting for the Invisalign treatment over conventional braces due to the former’s discreet and unnoticeable fit.

If you still have questions about Invisalign, our experts at Shervin M. Louie, DDS are always available to help. Call today!

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3 Things You Should Know About Tooth Contouring

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Tooth Contouring

Tooth contouring, a procedure also called enameloplasty) is a way to alter the shape of a patient’s tooth, not to mention the surface, which can start to become stained and experience plaque and tartar buildup over time.

Pits and bumps can also start to develop in the tooth which can lead to bacterial growth and cavities.

The benefits of a tooth contouring and reshaping procedure at Shervin M. Louie, DDS extend beyond simple aesthetics and reach into functional and preventive as well.

Below are a few things you should know about the tooth contouring procedure.

1.) Tooth Contouring is Painless!

Many dental procedures involve the use of novocaine or some other type of numbing agent. But not the tooth contouring procedure. Tooth contouring is simple, fast, and relatively pain-free.

2.) You Have to Have a Sufficient Amount of Enamel

The best candidates for the tooth contouring procedure already have a fair amount of tooth enamel to work with. For those of our patients who are in need of more major dental restoration work or lack the necessary amount of enamel for the procedure will want to consider other options like dental veneers.

3.) Tooth Contouring is an Easy Way to Boost Self-Confidence

A great smile will open new doors you didn’t know existed before. Having a smooth, contoured set of pearly whites will help you stand out in a crowd and leave you with a smile more often — on a daily basis!

If you have any questions about the tooth contouring procedure, please contact Shervin M. Louie, DDS to schedule your consultation today. We have a long track record of giving our patients the celebrity treatment, whether they’re a celebrity or not! Don’t wait another day to achieve the smile of your dreams.

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Going Overboard on Bleaching?

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Woman with nice white teeth

Teeth Whitening and Bleachorexia

Teeth whitening products have given people the opportunity to smile brightly after years of staining their teeth with coffee, tobacco, tea, and other products that aren’t good for dental health and tooth color.

However, they’ve also given rise to a new issue that dentists have begun calling bleachorexia. Bleachorexia describes the act of over-bleaching one’s teeth to make them as white as possible. Not only do overtly white teeth look unnatural, but the act of over bleaching them can actually destroy them.

Therefore, it’s important to know the effects of bleachorexia and how to prevent them.

What Does Bleachorexia Cause?

Bleachorexia can cause several effects that range from simply uncomfortable to downright painful. The intensity of these effects depends on how often a bleaching product is abused, the starting condition of the user’s teeth, and the particular product being used.

Hypersensitivity
A bleaching agent works by using peroxide to lessen the effects of stains that have built up by drinking coffee, tea, smoking, using chewing tobacco, and other habits that aren’t good for the coloring and health of teeth.

This peroxide is fairly strong and it causes teeth to become very sensitive to varying temperatures. However, it’s usually not a permanent problem if the user stops using the bleaching product. The sensitivity will typically cease soon after the bleaching agent is removed from the user’s teeth cleaning regimen.

Irritation
Another common effect of bleaching is irritation in the gums and throat. This is another symptom that’s caused by the peroxide used to whiten the teeth. The gums and throat simply aren’t good at resisting corrosive chemicals such as peroxide.

It’s not a very serious side-effect of bleachorexia, but it is an annoyance and it’s avoidable by using ADA-approved products, or by having a licensed dentist perform the whitening.

Erosion
The most serious side-effect of over-bleaching is tooth erosion. If teeth are exposed to bleaching agents too often and for too long, the enamel that protects teeth is destroyed. This causes a number of long-lasting oral health issues and quite a bit of pain.

After an individual bleaches the enamel off of their teeth, professional help is a necessity. It’s best to simply have a professional do the bleaching properly to avoid the effects of improper bleaching.

Dr. Shervin M. Louie, DDS: An Expert in Preventing Bleachorexia

Dr. Louie is a cosmetic dentist in Los Angeles. He recommends using only ADA-approved products for teeth whitening. It’s also recommended to use them under the watchful eye of a licensed dental expert.

However, Dr. Louie also provides his patients with ADA-approved kits that they can use at home. That removes the guesswork involved in finding an effective product. If you’re looking for professional teeth whitening services, you’ll find some of the best at Smile in LA.

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Dental Myths: Fact or Fiction?

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Woman flossing teeth

There are lots of myths surrounding dental care and treatment. Inaccurate information may make you feel confused and anxious, wondering if some daily habit is destroying your teeth. In times like this, it’s good to seek out expert knowledge. Los Angeles cosmetic dentist Dr. Shervin Louie is here to put an end to these dental misconceptions and misinformation.

Myth #1: Sensitive Teeth are Signs of Dental Decay

FICTION. When you experience tooth sensitivity, it does not necessarily mean that you have a decaying tooth. Tooth sensitivity can have multiple causes, such as gum recession that exposes the tooth’s roots. You may just have naturally sensitive teeth. If you do, then it is advisable that you visit a professional dentist like Dr. Louie who will perform an examination and establish the exact cause of your tooth sensitivity. In the case of a gum recession, a filling can be done to cover the exposed root.

Myth #2: Bleeding Gums are Normal and should not be Brushed

FICTION. If you have not established a flossing habit, then your first time flossing may make your gums bleed. This is normal and your gums will build up a tolerance if you continue. But in any other case, bleeding gums are not normal. They may be a sign of gingivitis. The good news is that this condition can be treated.

mouth

There is also a misconception that bleeding gums should not be brushed and should be allowed time to heal before they can be cleaned again. But the bleeding is itself a result of not brushing. Gums that have not been brushed enough tend to develop bacteria around and beneath them that irritates the gum and makes it bleed. Regular brushing will help get rid of all the bacteria.

Myth #3: More Sugar Means More Cavities

FICTION. Whereas it is true that cavities are a result of bacteria breaking down sugary substances into harmful acids that corrode your teeth, it is not true that more sugary foods will necessarily result in tooth decay. The important factor is the amount of time that sugary substances stay on your teeth. The longer they stay, the more the chance of cavities and decay. For example, if you drink soda through a straw, the liquid bypasses your teeth and does not contribute to decay. But if you eat a bar of chocolate and allow the sticky reside to coat your teeth, cavity formation is greatly accelerated. It is always advisable to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after every meal and especially after eating sugary foods.

Myth #4: Dental Problems Lead to Bad Breath

FACT. While many factors contribute to bad breath, from the last food you ate to even what time of day it is (“morning breath” is a real phenomenon), bad teeth do lead to bad breath. Many people with bad breath resort to using breath fresheners and mouthwashes, which is treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the problem. Daily brushing and flossing will significantly reduce bad breath. But if it persists, you should visit a professional like Dr. Louie to see if you have any serious dental issues.

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Bruxism: The Seemingly Harmless Habit That Could Literally Make Your Teeth Fall Out!

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Bruxism: The Seemingly Harmless Habit That Could Literally Make Your Teeth Fall Out!


Do you sometimes find yourself waking up some mornings with a headache you can’t seem to explain? Have you experienced slight muscle pains in your face? If you answered “Yes” to these questions, you may be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is more commonly referred to as “teeth grinding” or “jaw clenching”. This nasty habit seems harmless, but should not be ignored. The truth is, bruxism wears your teeth down and sets you up for cavities and makes you vulnerable to tooth fractures. If not addressed, worst case scenario is that bruxism will contribute to tooth loss. Below are ways to better understand bruxism and how you can address the issue to save your smile.


What Causes Bruxism?

Here at Smile in LA, we’ve understand that many factors can combine to create a bruxism habit. It is believed that anxiety and stress are the leading causes of bruxism. A misaligned bite, having missing teeth, or sleep abnormalities can also contribute to bruxism. There have also been some medications known to trigger episodes. Even neurological or musculature illnesses have been linked to the development of bruxism. If you’re are currently experiencing facial pain or discomfort due to bruxism, give us a call at (323) 461-9353 and schedule an immediate appointment.


Isn’t it Common for People to Grind Their Teeth?

Teeth grinding may be a common issue amongst the population,  but that does not mean this action is necessarily “normal”. Due to the fact that the stresses of bruxism affect your entire jaw, this pressure has been known to create cracks and chips in teeth. Over time, this can lead to jawbone loss which will result in a shortening of lower face height. For this reason, signs of bruxism should not be ignored! Los Angeles Dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA is pretty sure that is not a look you’re are looking to capture!


How Do I Know I Have a Bruxism Problem?  

In a majority of cases, we are able to see evidence of bruxism in your X-rays, an also from examining for signs of bruxism on the surface of your teeth.  We will alert you about any bruxism issues we see long before you exhibit a single symptom, especially if you sleep alone (which makes bruxism harder to notice). However, you might notice that you may occasionally begin to clench and grind your teeth between visits and start to notice bruxism symptoms on your own. If this explains your current situation, and you find that you frequently awake with a sore jaw, a headache that goes away shortly after rising, or if a loved one tells you your teeth are making odd “clicking and clanking” noises all night, be sure to mention it the next time you’re visiting our Los Angeles dental practice.


What Treatments Are Available?

Due to the varied cases of bruxism, treatments options vary as well. For example, should we determine stress as the primary cause of your bruxism, we will recommend you abstain from excessive caffeine as well as alcohol, while including some form of daily relaxation. Even something as simple as taking time to soak in a warm bath before sleeping can work ease your body and mind working to stop your bruxism habit.

Now, if your bruxism is a bit more serious, and your bite is of concern or if Dr. Louie suspects your bruxism links to a TMJ disorder, he will use his expertise to assist you with the root cause. In either case, we still like to start out with recommending an occlusal mouth guard to protect your teeth and jawbone from further damage. Protective devices like a sleeping mouth guard are easy to wear, and best of all – will not disrupt your ability to get a peaceful night’s sleep. As a matter of fact, sleeping guards tend to improve your quality of your sleep resulting in you waking up more refreshed and feeling well rested. Patients using sleeping guards have reported to snore less or stopped snoring, as well as awake with less facial pain.


So, the next time you’re sitting in for your dental visit at Smile In LA, ask if some sort of sleeping guard may help with your bruxism. It is common for many people go years without ever being aware of the fact that they are clenching and grinding their teeth since it takes some time for symptoms to show and be recognized. Getting a mouthguard once you are aware you have this habit will help you find relief from related headaches and muscle pain. Call us at (323) 461-9353 or visit our website for more information on how we can help you.

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How Visiting the Dentist Can Help Improve Your Overall Health

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How Visiting the Dentist Can Help Improve Your Overall Health


3D CBCT ScanYou may think twice about avoiding the dentist once you realize how a simple dental visit can lead to an early diagnosis to other issues in your body. Advances in medical technology has really made some huge leaps in the last few years. These marvelous advances in the dental radiography world has made it possible for you to get a more detailed diagnosis from dental x-rays next time you visit the dentist!

Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie has always taken pride in keeping his practice up-to-date with the latest dental technology. He is able to provide his patients with more than just dental care. With the help of his 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography Scanner he is able to detect other health issues to improve the overall wellness of each and every one of his patients.

Below you can discover how Dr. Louie utilizes his 3D CBCT Scanner to get very detailed three dimensional x-rays of your head to better assist you with your overall health in 3 major ways:


TMJ Disorder

This 3D CBCT Scanner is able to get clear images of your temporomandibular joints. These joints are a vital location to your face and jaw. When your temporomandibular joint dysfunctions, it can cause a range of symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches, the sensation of overloaded neck muscles, limited ability to open your mouth, clicking while moving the jaw, or jaw clenching. Visiting Los Angeles dentistry Smile in LA will allow Dr. Louie to scan your jawline with the latest dental technology allowing you to get much more detailed treatment compared to other dentist who still use 2D scanning methods.


Sleep Apnea, Snoring, Restless Breathing

3D x-rays can also allow your favorite Los Angeles dentist to capture a vivid visual along your airway passages to help diagnose sleep apnea, snoring issues, and restless breathing. The scanner is able to let your Los Angeles dentist know the size of your airway passages, see the nasal complex, and your pharynx (which is the membrane-lined cavity behind your nose and mouth connecting to your esophagus). Visiting Los Angeles dentistry Smile in LA might just be the solution you needed to helping resolve restless nights due to sleep apnea or snoring.


Sinus Issues

Due to the fact that a 3D CBCT scanner can scan your entire head and get multifaceted images of your nasal passages, it can allow your dentist to discover if a sinus issue is due to a problematic tooth. This diagnosis is possible since your dentist can turn and motion your x-ray to see any angle of your entire head. This shows Dr. Shervin Louie problematic areas that can not be seen in the typical 2D x-rays.


To experience modern dentistry at its finest, visit everyone’s favorite Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie over at Smile in LA. Call his friendly staff to schedule your next dental appointment today or visit www.smileinla.com for more information.

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The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth

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The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth


Woman flossing teeth smiling using dental flush. Happy girl with perfect teeth and toothy smile. Dental care portrait of beautiful multiracial Asian Caucasian female isolated on white background, 20s.

You probably already know about traditional string floss. But do you know if you are using it correctly? People have been flossing for years. But Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA says many patients are surprised to hear that they have been flossing the wrong way the entire time. There really is a wrong and right way to floss your teeth. Also, there are more tools for flossing available to you than you may think.

In addition to string floss, floss picks, water flosser, and interdental floss brushes are available to you in your local store! Each tool has it’s advantages and when used together can really optimize your oral health.

Below Dr. Louie provides you with ultimate guide to flossing. You can learn about proper flossing techniques as well as discover what tools are best to use in your oral care routine.


String Floss

String flossing is the most traditional tried-and-true technique to flossing that most individuals practice at home. If you notice light traces of blood on your floss or notice a bit of blood after flossing while brushing your teeth, you may be flossing to hard. Do your best to avoid forcing floss in between teeth. It can snap through all the way up to your gums and cause slight tissue damage. This tissue damage will cause gum sensitivity as well as cause light gum bleeding.

Use the visual below to see the proper technique that should be used while flossing with traditional string floss:

PicsArt_04-19-03.37.06

Floss Picks

Floss picks are essentially toothpicks with a strand of floss at the opposite end. They are used to floss in between teeth as well as pick food out that may get stuck behind wire braces. Since you can’t wrap your finger around the floss on a floss pick, you want to pay attention to how you floss. Do your best to avoid forcing the floss through your teeth. The best technique to use to gentle glide the floss upward back and forth until the floss is able to fit between your teeth comfortably. Guide the floss to rub up along the curvature of teeth along the top all the way until you pull it out repeating the process with each tooth.


Water Flosser

There is a long list of benefits that a water flosser can provide you. Water flossers are able to clean deeper into gum pockets than traditional floss reducing your chances of developing periodontal (gum) disease or gingivitis. This makes it especially beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes who are at greater risk for gum disease and gingival inflammation. Those who floss too hard and as a result suffer from light gum bleeding can also greatly benefit from using a water flosser. A water flosser can also greatly assist those with orthodontic appliances! Especially those with braces who struggle flossing around their wire framing. The way a water flosser works is that it utilizes water pressure to essentially blast away plaque and stuck on food.


Interdental Brushes

Many people have implemented flossing into their oral health routine, but not enough people have integrated interproximal plaque removal as a part of their oral hygiene habits. Interdental brushes remove plaque that builds in between larger gaps of teeth. Gaps that are too wide for thin traditional floss to clean. Interdental brushes really do combine the best of both worlds – flossing and brushing! To use an interdental brush, you want to first figure out what size brush you need. Do your best to avoid forcing larger interdental brushes into tight places. Never force the interdental brush into your gums. It will cause damage and possible bleeding of gums. The bigger the gap you are trying to clean, then the wider or thicker the interdental brush needed will be. Once you have figured out what size you need, you then simply place the interdental brush in between the gap and slide it back and forth to in a sense brush the sides of the tooth clean removing plaque as you move along. Los Angeles dentist Dr. Louie also advises to invest in an interdental brush that can bend at a 90 degree angle to reach those tough bicuspids and molars.


Utilizing these techniques while flossing every morning and night can greatly benefit your oral hygiene. Be sure to maintain a healthy smile by scheduling your next routine dental visit with Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA. Don’t forget to share this blog post with friends and family to ensure everyone’s oral health is in good standing.

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Benefits of Warm Salt Water and Vitamin C for Gum Health

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Gum Health Los Angeles

For those of you wishing to avoid antibiotics for gum disease, natural remedies may offer relief, depending on the severity of the infection. According to Dr. Shervin Louie, your Los Angeles dentist infections in the gums can form from various reasons ranging from injury to the tissue, and more commonly, to the presence of periodontal gum disease. Because natural remedies may not fully remove a gum infection, a dentist should be consulted if pain, swelling, bleeding or redness persists.


Warm Salt Water

For the early stages of gum infections or irritation, rinsing the mouth with warm salt water may be helpful in preventing the infection from fully forming. According to Dr. Louie, your Los Angeles dentist a graduate and past faculty member of USC, you should dissolve one teaspoon of salt into a 8oz cup of warm water. The water should be as warm as you can stand it. Allow the salt to fully dissolve and rinse the mouth for 2 minutes, twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime.

 

 


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for overall health of the body, and especially for the gums and teeth. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that fight infection and help to build strong, healthy gums. Vitamin C powder can be topically applied to gums that are irritated or infected. This should be done several times a day and repeated until the infection is gone, according to Dr. Louie.

In addition, grapefruit seed extract, which is high in vitamin C, can be used to treat a gum infection. This product is high in antioxidants and possesses antibiotic properties as well, helping to fight oral disease. A drop or two can be added to the toothbrush when brushing once or twice a day. Alternatively, make a swish with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract in a cup of water and rinse the mouth until the infection is gone.

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Oscillating Power Toothbrush Hollywood

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power toothbrushOscillating Power Toothbrush Hollywood brushes–those that rotate in one direction and then the other–removed up to 11% more plaque and reduced bleeding of the gums by up to 17% more than manual or other power toothbrushes, according to results compiled by the Manchester, England-based Cochrane Oral Health Group, which analyzed data from clinical trials conducted over 37 years.

The Cochrane study extracted data from reports on 29 clinical trials involving 2,547 participants in North America, Europe and Israel. Some of the trials dated back to 1964, while others contained data from as recently as 2001.

The trials compared the effectiveness of all forms of manual and six types of power toothbrushes with mechanically moving heads used over one-month and three-month periods.

According to the findings for Evidence-Based Dentistry, only the rotational oscillation toothbrushes proved more effective than manual toothbrushes in reducing plaque and gingivitis. The results did not explain why the rotational oscillation toothbrushes were more effective than power toothbrushes with only circular or side-to-side motion.

While the study does not deal with long-term benefits to dental health, Dr. Shervin Louie your Los Angeles dentist believe that it’s a preventive step. It reduce bacterial plaque that causes disease he said of the rotating oscillating brushes. The motion of power toothbrushes is up to 100 times that of manual brushing.

That still doesn’t mean that every man, woman and child should abandon the toothbrush that they’re currently using.

Someone using the simplest manual toothbrush with good knowledge of how to brush and conscientious brushing can do just as well as somebody using a power toothbrush regardless of the design.

What this review is telling you is that an average person putting in an average effort is going to see a better effect than using other brushes. If you can afford a rotational oscillating power toothbrush and it feels good to you, it offers modest improvement in ability to clean your teeth, then buy one.

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Preparing for a Dental Emergency

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blog pictNo matter how impeccable your oral hygiene is, dental emergencies may happen. This is especially true during the summer months when it is warm outside and you spend a lot of time participating in activities like bike riding, playing football or other outdoor sports. While these activities are fun, they put us at risk of damaging our teeth due to things like falling or getting hit in the face with a ball. Fortunately, when dental emergencies arise, a cosmetic dentist can often save your teeth. It is best to try to avoid dental accidents if at all possible, but when a dental emergency does arise, knowing what to do can make all the difference at being able to save your tooth. Here is what you need to know.

A Tooth that’s Been Knocked Out or Damaged In Some Way

If your face suffers from some kind of impact, you can lose a tooth. This impact can be caused from things like tripping and falling down or a hard hit during a recreational sport. No matter what causes your tooth to be knocked out, you need to take action immediately. Your first step should be to take the tooth that’s been dislodged and rinse it off with water. Put the tooth back into place and contact your Los Angeles dentist. If you aren’t able to put the tooth back into the socket, put it in either a cup of salt water or milk. This will help save your tooth.

When the Soft Tissue Has Been Injured

In addition to your teeth being knocked out or damaged, other areas of your mouth can be injured as well. These areas include your gums, lips, cheeks and tongue. You will notice that these areas are injured if you experience any sort of pain, bleeding or swelling. If any of these symptoms do occur, you need to put warm water in a cup and rinse out your mouth with it. For bleeding, use moistened gauze and apply direct pressure to the area. If you don’t have any gauze on hand you can use a tea bag as well. Bleeding should stop in 30 minutes or less. If it doesn’t, or it tends to get worse, this is a dental emergency. For swelling, you can use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth or cheek.

In conclusion, if your mouth hurts, it’s considered a dental emergency. You should not delay visiting your Los Angeles dentist as the problem can often get worse. The sooner you get into your cosmetic dentist to be seen, the greater chance you have of a better outcome.

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