Posts for: February, 2015

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
February 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: toothache  

You have a toothache… or do you? That's not a facetious question — sometimes it's difficult to determine if it's your tooth that hurts, your gums or both. It's even difficult at times to pinpoint which tooth may be hurting.

This is because the pain can originate from a variety of causes. Determining the cause is the first step to not only alleviating the pain, but also treating the underlying condition. Those causes generally follow one of two paths: either the problem originates within a tooth and spreads to the gums and other tissue, or it begins with infected gum tissues and can spread to the teeth.

We refer to the first path as endodontic, meaning it originates from within a tooth. Most likely the tooth has decayed (also referred to as a cavity), which if untreated can progress, allowing bacteria to infect the tooth pulp (living tissue inside the tooth that contains nerve fibers). Pain results as the nerves become inflamed and sensitive, though often varying in quality (sharp or dull) or frequency (constant or intermittent); outside stimuli, like temperature or pressure, may also trigger pain.

Although likely originating with one tooth, it may be difficult to pinpoint which one is actually causing it; you might even feel pain in your sinus cavity radiating upward from the tooth. An untreated infection will continue to spread to surrounding soft tissue, or result in a painful abscess, an infected pocket of bacteria between the tooth and gums.

The other path is periodontal, meaning the infection originates in the gum tissues. A thin layer of dental plaque known as biofilm develops and sticks to teeth at the gum line, which can lead to infection of the gum tissue, which then becomes inflamed and painfully sensitive. The untreated infection can then progress along the tooth and invade the pulp through the accessory root canals.

Knowing the source of an ache will determine the best course of treatment, whether a root canal, root planing, or a combination of these or other procedures. It's also the best, most efficient way to relieve you of that unpleasant mouth pain.

If you would like more information on the various causes of tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Confusing Tooth Pain.”

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
February 19, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Oral surgery is sometimes required to improve your health and appearance. This article outlines a few of the situations in which oral surgery is essential.

Learning that you need surgery doesn't usually evoke excitement, but patients generally feel a sense of relief after the procedure is Dental Implantsdone, knowing that their problem has been corrected. This is especially true for oral surgery, which Dr. Peter Cooper performs every day. These surgeries are typically brief, performed in one or two sessions, and most people find that they experience only minor discomfort afterward and very little downtime. In fact, the main purpose of oral surgery is to alleviate debilitating pain caused by infection or injury to the teeth or jaws.


Tooth extractions are a common surgical procedure performed at your Los Angeles county dentist's office. Sometimes teeth are pulled if the patient's mouth is overcrowded and space needs to be made for straightening purposes. If decay has progressed to the point where a tooth is too weak for restorations such a filling or root canal, it may need to be removed. The area around the tooth is fully numbed and Dr. Cooper will use specialized tools to dislodge the tooth. Dissolvable stitches are then used to promote healing of the removal site.


After an extraction, it is often recommended that an implant is placed in the empty space to restore stability. This is another type of dental surgery that is often performed at your Pasadena dentist's office. The implant's post replaces the tooth's root; it is made of a strong metal that seamlessly integrates into your jawbone. Because there is no open wound in this particular procedure, the healing time is usually quicker than that of an extraction.

Periodontal disease

Sometimes gum disease, also called periodontitis, also warrants a surgical treatment to halt the process of tissue deterioration and prevent tooth or bone loss. Although the first line of defense is non-surgical treatment, routine surgery is a common recourse for advanced periodontal disease. This may involve placing tissue from another area in the mouth over the receding gumline, or a deep-cleaning procedure to remove the pockets of inflammation.

There are other conditions that may require oral surgery as well. Dr. Peter Cooper would be glad to give you a thorough evaluation and plan a course of treatment with your comfort and health in mind.

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
February 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: celebrity smiles  

Design expert and television celebrity Nate Berkus has definite ideas about how to live. In a recent interview, he explained his ideas on design. He also talked about health, and how he keeps his teeth and mouth healthy.

From an initial design makeover that he did eight years ago on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Berkus has gone on to do 127 such makeovers. He was such a success that he now hosts his own daily talk show. He has also developed a line of home products for the Home Shopping Network and has his own design firm, Nate Berkus Associates. His clients include well-known restaurants and hotels as well as private homes. He has written articles for O Magazine and authored a book on the subject of transforming your home into a place you love.

“I realized many years ago that I wasn't going on Oprah to pick sofa colors and paint chips. I was there to lift people up through the way they live,” he says. His secret to design success is to “go with what you love.” He says, “Don't worry about mixing metals, eras or styles. If you love each item, you'll find a way to make it work.”

His common sense practical attitude continues when it comes to dental health. Berkus is blessed with a healthy mouth and teeth. He doesn't feel anxious when visiting the dentist because he usually has a good report. He has not needed orthodontics or cosmetic dentistry. He thanks his childhood dentist for giving him fluoride treatments and sealants, and for teaching him healthy dental hygiene habits.

Berkus brushes his teeth twice or even three times a day, with a manual or electric toothbrush — depending on whether he is at home or traveling. He also follows his dentist's advice about flossing: “Floss the ones you want to keep!” He says that he tried tooth whitening once, but he felt that the whiteness was “too white.” Now he simply works to maintain his natural tooth color and smile.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about maintaining healthy teeth. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nate Berkus, Helping Others Love the Way They Live.”

Pasadena, CA Dentist
Pasadena Dental Implants
175 S. El Molino, Suite 4
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 796-1241
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