Posts for: April, 2015

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
April 24, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   TMD   tmj  

When treating Temporomandibular (jaw joint) Disorder (formerly known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, TMJ), we feel we have two equally important challenges facing us. First, we must start your treatment by relieving the symptoms of pain and discomfort. We typically accomplish this with heat, mild pain medications, a diet of soft foods, and some simple jaw exercises. Once we have begun to relieve your pain, our second critical objective is to identify and remedy what is causing the pain. It could be the result of an injury or trauma to the jaws and/or teeth or it could be due to a bite issue or a filling or crown that is too high and thus causing a misaligned bite. There are many other reasons, so it is first necessary to obtain a thorough medical history and conduct a comprehensive evaluation so that we can properly diagnose and treat the TMD condition and what is causing it.

Next to stress resulting in clenching and grinding habits, the four most common causes leading to TMD include:

  • Underlying dental conditions that are triggering muscle pain
  • Internal joint derangement (displaced or improperly positioned jaw joint)
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
  • Synovitis — the painful inflammation of a synovial joint-lining membrane that is characterized by swelling, due to effusion (fluid collection)

If you or another family member suffer from chronic jaw pain, please let us know so that we can properly address your concerns and conduct a thorough examination. Or if you are in constant or severe pain, contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. You can learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for TMD by reading “TMD — Understanding The Great Imposter.”

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
April 14, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Gum Grafting  

Growing "long in the tooth" is usually used as a term that's reserved for people who are growing older. But did you know that literally growing "long in the tooth" can signify gum recession that can damage the appearance of your smile and your overall periodontal Gum Graftinghealth?

At Pasadena Dental Implants, patients with receding gums and lengthening teeth can find relief with gingival (gum) grafting, the leading periodontal solution for patients with this issue. While under the care of Peter G. Cooper, DDS, patients undergoing gum grafts will have a small piece of new tissue placed where a lack of gum tissue currently resides. This procedure will make their smile look more esthetically appealing while simultaneously improving their periodontal outlook going forward.

Most of the time during this procedure, palate tissue is what's used for a successful gum graft; attaching it to its new permanent location in your mouth is done with careful hands, stitches, and local anesthesia so you won't feel a thing.

Other Examples Of Gingival Grafting

If your gums are in the beginning stage of recession you will typically have more options at your disposal for a successful gum graft. One of these options involves migrating gum tissue from another area in your mouth over to the area where the gum recession is more pronounced, helping to even out the appearance of your smile.

Known as a free gingival graft, this procedure tends to take less than an hour to complete and is further backed by an extremely high success rate. Gum grafts not only improve the look of your smile, but also reduce tooth sensitivity while rendering gum recession a thing of the past!

Once you've received a gum graft, your body should naturally begin to create new blood vessels within the grafted tissue to nourish it and assimilate it with your natural surrounding oral tissues.

Keeping Your Gums Healthy Post-Graft

After you've had a gum graft, remember to brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste at least twice each day to avoid future progressive gum recession. Also, floss daily and attend regular check-ups with your dentist and periodontist.

For more information about why gum grafting can bring your smile lasting solutions, give Dr. Cooper a call today at(626) 796-1241 for periodontal relief in Pasadena, CA!

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
April 09, 2015
Category: Oral Health

When Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi wanted to help her kids develop good oral health habits, the gold-medal-winner made good use of a family connection: Her father Jim Yamaguchi is a practicing dentist in the San Francisco Bay area who treats her entire brood. As she said in a recent interview, when she suspects the kids may be spending a little less effort on oral hygiene than they should, she playfully admonishes them: “You've got to brush your teeth better than that. Papa-san is going to know!”

Not all kids are lucky enough to have a grandpa who's a dentist — but every child can learn how to help take care of his or her oral health with age-appropriate techniques, plus plenty of parental guidance and encouragement. What's the best way to help your kids develop good oral hygiene routines? We're glad you asked!

Through babyhood and the toddler years, parents have the main responsibility for keeping kids' teeth clean. But as they begin to put away pacifiers and cease sucking thumbs — around ages 2 to 4 — children can also begin to help with their own oral hygiene routine. By then, kids will probably be used to the feel of gentle brushing, and may be eager to try it themselves.

A soft-bristled brush with a pea-sized dab of toothpaste is all they need to get started… along with a good dose of parental patience. Show them how to wiggle the brush back and forth from the gum line, and all around the upper and lower teeth, both in front and in back. At first, they will probably need plenty of help. But after the age of 6 or so, as their manual dexterity increases, so will their ability to get the job done.

You'll still have to check their work periodically — but you can also teach them how to do it on their own: Have your child run his or her tongue over the tooth surfaces. If they feel smooth and silky, they're probably clean too. If not… try, try again. This test is a good guideline to brushing effectiveness — but if you want to know for sure, use a temporary dye called a disclosing tablet (available at many drugstores) to reveal unseen buildups of plaque bacteria.

What else can you do to give your children the best chance at keeping a healthy mouth and sparkly teeth? Set a positive example! Make sure you (and your kids) eat a healthy diet, get moderate exercise, limit between-meal treats — and visit the dentist regularly. The encouragement you'll get after having a good dental checkup will make you feel like a gold medalist — even if the praise isn't coming from grandpa.

If you would like more information on how to help your child develop good oral health habits, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dentistry & Oral Health For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”

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