What Are Teeth? | Northridge, Ca Dentist

multiple smilesWe all know the proper care for our teeth, but what IS a tooth? Most of us have 32 teeth – hard, calcified white objects we use to chew, cut, crush, and swallow food.

The visible surface of the tooth is known as enamel. A hard, mineral surface, the enamel is typically light yellow to white in color, but is semi translucent, so the actual color of your tooth is determined by both the enamel and the underlying dentin. Made of a crystalized calcium phosphate known as hydroxyapatite, the enamel is both incredibly strong and incredibly brittle.

While enamel covers to outside of the tooth above the gum line, below the gum line the surface of the tooth is covered in a substance known as cementum. A yellowish substance, it contains less than half of the mineral content as enamel, making it much softer. The primary purpose of cementum is to provide a surface to allow the periodontal ligaments in the gums to hold onto the tooth.

Below the enamel and cementum lies the dentin. Dentin is a combination of mineralized hydroxyapatite, organic material and water, and is both much softer than enamel and much less brittle. However, it’s also more prone to decay, and severe cavities can cause significant dental problems if not treated rapidly.

Finally, within the dentin lies the tooth pulp. The pulp is soft tissue, filled with blood vessels and nerves that provide the tooth with oxygen, nutrients, and also the ability to transmit ‘senses’ such as temperature, pain, and pressure. The pulp also helps to form and repair dentin from within the tooth.

While most people will only see the enamel surface of their teeth, proper dental care will focus on maintaining each layer healthy. By protecting the enamel with proper brushing, and treating cavities formed by decay before they damage the dentin or pulp, dental care will focus on providing a patient with healthy teeth – from pulp to enamel – well into old age.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Accepting patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Benefits of a Warm Salt Water Rinse | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237Why should you rinse your mouth with a warm salt water rinse? There are many benefits to the method. The inherent preserving and antibacterial properties in salt when applied to foods is well known, but it has tremendous effects on microbes, too, when diluted and dissolved in water. The reason why salt water is effective as a mouth rinse is because it is more than just a disinfectant; it also helps in removing swelling of oral tissues. Therefore, using salt water for weeks, post tooth extraction, or in case of mouth ulcer or infection, works very well as a treatment, for short-term.

So, how does a salt water mouth rinse work to reduce dental bacteria? It temporarily increases the pH balance of your mouth, creating an alkaline environment in which bacteria struggle to survive. Because they – along with most other natural species – generally prefer an acidic environment, using the rinse often enough can make it difficult for bacteria to breed.

Conditions That Benefit From Salt Water Mouth Rinse:

  • Halitosis: Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. It is an uncomfortable condition that happens to people for some underlying reasons. While poor oral hygiene is a cause, despite washing your mouth for several times you may still fail to beat halitosis. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can prevent bacterial growth and infection, which often causes halitosis.
  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is a typical condition characterized by swelling, inflammation and bleeding gums caused due to growth of bacteria that coats teeth naturally. Bacteria proliferation forms a sticky and whitish film, called plaque. Rinsing the mouth with salt water solution daily can help in soothing inflamed gums and wipes out bacteria.
  • Toothache: Toothache can happen to anyone; it is a common complication caused by several reasons. While bacteria is one of the main cause, sometimes, weak roots or open nerve endings can also lead to sensitivity and throbbing in teeth. Gargling regularly with salt water can offer some relief.
  • Sore Throat: Sore throat causing cough and pain is common and a seasonal condition. Salt water gargle can help in relieving soreness.

Salt water has been used by multiple cultures over countless generations to clean wounds and rinse out mouths. Salt has antibacterial and preserving properties when applied in abundance to foods, but its affect on microbes when dissolved and diluted in water is less clear. At the very least, salt water is soothing to the mucous membranes of your mouth, but it should not be swallowed in quantity. Talk to your dentist about the benefits of washing your mouth with salt water.

Don’t skip your regular dental visit, your health depends on it! Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Accepting patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

What Does Your bad Breath Mean? Northridge, Ca Dentist

479931319No one likes to hear it, but it’s worse not to know it: You have bad breath. A quick breath check can save you from more than just an awkward social situation — it could tell you if you’ve got an underlying dental problem. While poor dental hygiene accounts for most cases of halitosis, bad breath can sometimes signal another underlying medical condition. If you are experiencing bad breath start with a visit to your dentist. If you are only suffering from bad breath from either an internal or oral problem fortunately for you this problem is often easy to fix. What helps: Good oral hygiene, regular visits to your dentist, and ruling out any underlying conditions or other factors (such as some medications, diets, and foods) that could make your breath less than pleasant.

When the enamel on your teeth erodes, food particles can get deposited in those holes, called dental caries. Because brushing your teeth can’t remove these food deposits, they can eventually grow bacteria, which produces a bad smell. Gingivitis is another medical condition that may cause bad breath. When the gum becomes inflamed with bacteria, it can result in severe pain and foul smelling discharge.

Studies show that about 80% of bad breath comes from an oral source. For instance, cavities or gum disease can lead to bad breath, as can tonsils that have trapped food particles; cracked fillings, and less-than-clean dentures.

Several internal medical conditions also can cause your breath to go downhill fast. They include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. Again you’ll want to see your doctor to rule out things like acid reflux, postnasal drip, and other causes of chronic dry mouth.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is important in keeping bad breath away. Make sure you keep up your oral hygiene routine by brushing your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes, followed, by a thorough flossing session, and then a rinse with some mouth wash to seal in the cleanliness and fresh breath!

Don’t skip your regular dental visit, your health depends on it! Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Accepting patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.