Posts for: January, 2015

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
January 29, 2015
Category: Oral Health

You’ve been doing “all the right things” — brushing, flossing, and keeping up regular office cleanings and checkups. But you’re still struggling with gum disease — in fact, you’ve recently noticed loose teeth and other signs of infection.

While the primary cause of gum disease is dental plaque and calculus not adequately removed by regular oral hygiene and cleanings, you may also be among a small group of individuals with other risk factors that can worsen the effects of the disease. One of the most common of these factors isn’t something you can do much about — the physical characteristics you inherited from your parents. In reality, some people are more genetically prone to disease than others because their body doesn’t respond effectively to certain bacteria.

Chronic stress may also play a role in your body’s resistance level: it can both increase your risk for the disease and magnify its effects. In addition, the type of bacteria causing the disease could be a factor — our mouths contain thousands of strains, with some bacteria more difficult to control than others.

If your gum disease persists regardless of all our best efforts, we may be able to test for whether any of these other factors are involved. Determining the presence of any of these underlying factors can help us fine-tune our treatment approach.

You should know, however, that it might not be possible to effectively address every factor involved. If that’s the case, at some point it may be necessary to consider a tooth replacement option. The best choice by far are dental implants — not only are they functional and life-like in appearance, with proper care they could foster a healthier environment in your mouth by being stronger and more durable than the diseased teeth they’ve replaced.

Our ultimate goal as dentists is to alleviate gum disease and restore health and function to your teeth and gums. If that isn’t completely possible due to uncontrollable factors, we then adopt a strategy to control the disease as much as possible to preserve your teeth for as long as is prudent. This can give you time, then, to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and financially for future teeth replacement and restoration.

If you would like more information on periodontal disease, 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 “Periodontal (Gum) Treatment and Expectations.”

By Pasadena Dental Implants
January 19, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: TMD  

In addition to standard dental services like periodontal treatment and dental implants, Dr. Peter G. Cooper, DDS also consults patients that experience temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMD or TMJ disorder. TMD is an issue that can be resolved with a number of different solutions, up to and including oral surgery. Here are a few common frequently asked questions about TMD and its treatment.

What Causes TMD?
The temporomandibular joint is the place where the jawbone connects to the rest of the human skull. It’s located near the ear, which is why many people realize that they have a problem because of what they hear. The joint becomes stretched or strained, causing discomfort. Though there’s no conclusive evidence of what exactly causes TMD, doctors believe that it usually begins to appear after a head injury, whiplash after a car accident or clenching your teeth too often. It could also be caused by opening your mouth too widely, which sometimes happens when you let out a big laugh.

How Do You Know You Have TMD?
One clear sign of TMJ is a clicking or popping sound when you open and close your mouth. It’s usually most prevalent when you’re eating. Again, because the joint is near the ear, the sound is loud and difficult to ignore. Patients of Dr. Cooper often report pain or a tender feeling in the sides of their faces. Some also experience “locked jaw,” where they have to maneuver to close or open their mouth. TMD also causes headaches, toothaches and ear ringing in some people.

How Does a Dentist Fix TMD?
Your dentist can provide you with a device to reduce the pain and symptoms of TMD. You might just need a custom mouthpiece to stop you from clenching or biting in the wrong place. Some dentists also prescribe NSAID medications to relieve the pain. In some cases, oral surgery is needed to repair the joint.

Talk to Doctor Cooper
Get relief from your TMD pain and symptoms by talking to Dr. Peter G. Cooper, DDS in Pasadena. He and his staff provide expert care and oral surgery for patients who suffer from bite and jaw problems. You have two options: call his office at (626) 796-1241 or visit to suggest an appointment time from your web browser.

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
January 14, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: celebrity smiles   diabetes   sealants  

As the youngest person ever to host Entertainment Tonight, Maria Menounos, an independent filmmaker, actress, and co-host of daily entertainment news program Extra, has made a huge splash in the world of entertainment journalism. However, she is also an avid ambassador for the American Diabetes Association, a cause that is very dear to her heart because her father is a diabetic.

Her father's illness taught Menounos and her family about the importance of maintaining good general and dental health. This included a diet packed with fruits and vegetables, many of which they raised themselves. According to Menounos, they also ate little-to-no junk food. These habits still help keep the busy celebrity journalist fit and smiling with beautiful, healthy teeth.

Speaking of her smile, Menounos openly discusses her oral health in her interview with Dear Doctor magazine. She has had no major dental enhancements — not even braces — but does occasionally brighten her smile with tooth whitening. She also feels that her teeth are healthy due to the sealants she had as a child.

We could not agree more with Maria! Sealants for the tiny grooves in teeth known as “pits and fissures” are something that every parent or caregiver should consider for their children. The enamel of newly erupted teeth is more permeable, meaning that the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth can damage these teeth more easily, making them more susceptible and less resistant to decay. The good news is that dental sealants help protect teeth until the enamel has matured. Because of sealants — along with fluoride, good hygiene, and better nutrition (including less sugar consumption), tooth decay has been dramatically reduced.

If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants, contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination. During this private consultation, we will also discuss any questions you have as well as what treatment options will be best for you or your children. However, to learn more about dental sealants now, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sealants for Children.” And to read the entire interview with Maria Menounos, please see the Dear Doctor magazine article “Maria Menounos.”

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