Everything You Need to Know About Gingivitis | Northridge Dentist

The stages of periodontal disease

Many people suffer from some form of gum disease, or gingivitis. Its most common cause is straightforward: poor oral hygiene. Unlike periodontal disease, which impacts the bone within the gums, gingivitis is inflammation within the gum tissue itself. While oral hygiene deficiencies are the culprit, there are many factors that can increase your risk of developing gingivitis, including:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco make it more difficult for damaged tissue to heal
  • Crooked teeth allow plaque and tartar to accumulate
  • Stress lowers your body’s immune response to the bacteria
  • Mouth breathing allows your gums to dry out, causing inflammation and irritation

Besides red, swollen, bleeding gums, one of the other likely signs of gum disease is chronic bad breath. As the infection within the gums spreads, the bacteria release an odor that is noticeable to others. Beyond traditional oral hygiene, there are a few other things you can do to treat and help prevent gum disease:

  • Drink tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
  • Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash. It kills bacteria in your mouth.
  • Warm saltwater rinses. A combination of the two, this rinse can both reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, but should not be used every day.
  • Baking soda. Baking soda neutralizes acid within your mouth that can contribute to gum disease

If you have, or believe you have, gum disease, be sure to attend your regular dentist appointments. Treating it early, before the bacteria spread to the bone beneath the teeth, greatly improves your chance of recovery without tooth loss or surgery.

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

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

When to Speak to Your Dentist About a Toothache | Northridge Dentist

When we get a toothache, our first reaction is to ignore the pain. Because chances are, having pain in a tooth means a painful trip to the dentist. The best defense is prevention, but once the damage is done, nothing will cure your aches like a dental visit. But what exactly are the signs to look for?

Tooth sensitivity. One of the first signals we are developing an issue is some pain when we chew or put any pressure on the sensitive tooth. Another time we have some tooth sensitivity is when we consume anything hot or cold. If you find you have a tooth that gives you some trouble, it’s time to make a visit to the dental chair.

Discoloration. When our tooth begins to decay, there may be a noticeable discoloration on a particular tooth. It maybe natural staining that can be taken care of with a whitening procedure, but only a dental professional will be able to tell you for sure.

Recurring gum blemish. We will get sores on our gums from time to time, but a recurring issue is something that needs to be addressed.

Disrupted sleep. It’s one thing to have to deal with pain during the day, when meds are readily available, but when it disrupts our sleep, it leads to more than just a toothache. Sleep is vital to our overall health, so if your toothache is keeping you up at night, it’s time to have it looked at.

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

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know About Family Dental Care | Northridge Dentist

Instilling good habits really is a family affair. And your oral health is important – keeping your teeth and gums healthy is something everyone in your family should be involved in. Taking proper care of your teeth and gums now prevents problems in the future. Here is a general routine that each member of the family should follow:

Babies and Children

  • Clean each new tooth gently with a clean wet washcloth. As your baby grows you can switch to a child’s toothbrush.
  • If younger than two years old, do not use toothpaste.
  • Do not let little ones fall asleep with a bottle to prevent what is called “baby bottle tooth decay.”
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly after their first birthday.

Teenagers

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • If your teenager plays sports be sure they wear a protective mouth guard.
  • Make sure they see the dentist for all regular checkups.

Mom and Dad

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Check with your doctor to ensure medications you are taking won’t damage teeth.
  • Check your mouth regularly for sores, red swollen gums or anything out of the ordinary.
  • See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.

Family dental care is a priority. Make dental appointments for your family to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy. Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Which Should I Choose – Manual or Electric? | Northridge Dentist

ToothbrushWhat we know as the modern toothbrush is just one of those life necessities that is constantly evolving. But are these developments actually necessary? Do they negate the old-fashioned versions we have all gotten used to?

The purpose of the toothbrush is to clean your teeth – to remove plaque and other stimuli in our mouths that perpetuate the development of gum disease and tooth decay. Good news? Both the “old timey” manual and the “fancy schmancy” electric versions do that.

Things don’t get more basic than the design of the manual toothbrush. It’s light and stores easily so it’s definitely travel-friendly. And while the head of the brush now has variations in shapes and features, you still have to manually brush your teeth in a circular motion at a 45° angle. This may be an easy task for most of us, but there are some with dexterity issues that find it somewhat difficult. Conversely, the electronic toothbrush has much more weight to it because of the battery included. The downside to this is the fact that batteries die and need to be replaced. As for cost effectiveness, both will need to be replaced every few months, but replacing manual toothbrushes will easily fall within your budget.

When it all comes down to it, YOU are what decides how your oral health ends up. Brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes daily, making sure every tooth gets some attention and keeping up your regular dental checkups will always be key to ensuring a lovely smile, whichever version of toothbrush you decide.

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

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

December 30th Is National Baking Soda Day | Northridge Dentist

480320367Sure. It seems like a silly thing to celebrate in general, much less give it a yearly celebratory day. But if you really think about it, baking soda has so many everyday uses, maybe we’ve been a bit too harsh deciding that it’s unworthy for a holiday. From cooking to cleaning to removing more stains than your typical stain cleaners, we have been using baking soda in our kitchens, baths and laundry rooms for ages. But there are also dental purposes for baking soda. And because of its whitening qualities, there are many uses for baking soda in our dental routines.

There are ways to stave off cravings while you’re watching your weight. And during this time of year, who isn’t? If you crave sweets, rinse your mouth with one-teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a glass of warm water. Don’t swallow the mixture; spit it out. Your craving should disappear instantly.

And of course, there is baking soda toothpaste. Toothpaste containing sodium bicarbonate has in several studies been shown to have a better whitening and plaque removal effect than toothpastes without it. Not only sold over-the-counter, baking soda toothpaste can be made at home by simply mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with some water until it turns into a paste. Apply it to your toothbrush and brush as usual. You will slowly notice that your teeth will become whiter as you continue to work it into your dental routines. Sodium bicarbonate is also used as an ingredient in some mouthwashes. It has anticaries and abrasive properties that work as a mechanical cleanser on the teeth and gums, neutralizing the production of acid in the mouth, and also acts as an antiseptic to help prevent infections.

But that’s not all. Soak toothbrushes in baking soda and warm water overnight to clean bristles. That’s right. We all know we need to change out our toothbrushes every few months, but it is really nice to know that our mouths can always have a clean brush if we just soak it while we sleep.

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

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

The Holidays and Your Teeth | Northridge Dentist

sb10066697t-001With all of the holiday parties and festivities comes all those goodies and sweets! Although it can be hard to limit ourselves to ‘just a few’, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re protecting your teeth. If your overall dental health is good and you practice good oral hygiene, you can probably safely indulge in some holiday treats as long as you do so in moderation. We did some research so you can enjoy the holiday season, treat yourself, but still keep that beautiful smile. Below are a few things to keep in mind…

  • Don’t eat constantly throughout the day. Waiting a couple hours between eating will allow saliva to neutralize acid and repair tooth enamel.
  • Try to avoid sticky treats (taffy), extremely hard (peanut brittle),  or chewy (caramel). These types of treats can break your teeth, pull out fillings and interfere with crowns.
  • If available, stick to soft treats, ones that melt in your mouth (peanut butter cups, chocolate kisses, thinly sliced fruit, etc.), and brush and floss after eating them.  A teeth-whitening toothpaste wouldn’t hurt if you’re indulging in lots of caffeinated beverages.
  • If you can, sip with a straw, it can help minimize the acids direct contact with your teeth.
  • Once you finish your holiday cocktail, keep yourself from chewing on the ice, it can damage the tooth enamel (as well as braces).
  • Don’t always ‘rush to brush’…brushing your teeth immediately after eating highly acidic foods can accelerate acid wear. Wait an hour or so before brushing to let some of the acid wear off. You may also want to consider a specially formulated, low-abrasion toothpaste that helps re-harden enamel.
  • Try chewing sugar-free gum following a meal, it can activate saliva and help wash away debris.
  • Swish water around in your mouth for 15-20 seconds after eating anything acidic. You can stop the acid attack on your teeth and stimulate the production of saliva, nature’s original neutralizer, works better than mouthwash because it won’t dry out your mouth.

We know the holiday season can be a crazy and stressful time. Make sure that you’re eating healthy, exercising and taking care of yourself…it’s amazing what stress can do to your body. Also, make sure to keep up on your 6 month cleanings. Your teeth, and your mouth, will thank you.

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

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Back to School and Dental Health | Northridge Dentist

It’s back to school time, the time of year we not only prepare our children to expand their minds, but it’s also time to find out the results of all that summer fun on their teeth. Sugary sweets were running rampant and its target is your child’s teeth. So how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this time of year? It takes some time and motivation, but it can be done.

Before they start the school year, it’s a great idea to take some time to visit your dental professional to make sure everything is kosher as they start a new school  year. No matter the time of year, they will always ask for sweets. Do your best to keep it to a minimum, like during a meal so they have to finish it in one sitting. If they can’t carry it around with them, sugary bacteria won’t have time to cling on to their teeth to cause cavities. Chewing also produces saliva, which is your mouth’s natural superhero against cavity-causing bacteria, so meals is actually a great time to indulge in a sweet treat. Instead of juice or soda, flavor up the water by adding different fruit combinations. Not only will the water taste better, but it may also get everyone into the habit of drinking it more often.

When it comes to the sweet snacks in their lunch, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. They don’t need a bag of candy or other sweets filling their lunchboxes. But if you insist, opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a fun-size candy bar. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria. The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. They may not love them the most, but fruits and veggies with high water content, like pears and celery sticks, are also great at keeping their little mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food, at least for a moment. They are still kids!

When you break it down, it all comes down to balance. You don’t want to deprive yourself and your family of the magical food delights, but you also don’t want to deal with a ton of dental bills. So start the school year off right by making sure you are trading some healthy options into your family’s lunchboxes. There is too much of a good thing, so take the time and read the labels. Make sure what you’re giving your child isn’t the world’s worst option. Moderation. Back to school time is always a kid’s least favorite time of year…make it as painless as you possibly can.

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

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Why Should I Get My Teeth Professionally Cleaned? | Northridge Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669You know the drill when it comes to your teeth. You brush, floss and rinse your mouth twice a day at home, the same way you have been for as long as you can remember. So what is stopping you from going the extra mile for regular teeth cleanings, the same way you did as a kid? Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. They can get into smallest of crevices a normal toothbrush and floss just can’t. But more than a shiny set of pearly whites, dental cleanings also help to prevent many other health problems. Still not convinced? Here are just a handful of reasons you should really reconsider and that decision:

Gum disease is an infection in your gums that breaks down the bone and soft tissue in your mouth that leads to tooth loss. But it doesn’t only affect your smile. In fact, gum disease has been proved to cause heart disease, stroke and even a low birth rate. Keeping a bi-yearly dental checkup and cleaning will help to prevent all of these health issues.

When it comes to the detection of oral cancers, you can never be too proactive. And when you get your teeth cleaned, you are screened for oral cancer. Like any health issue, early detection is extremely important and getting your teeth cleaned is an easy way to kill two birds with one dental stone. No matter how often you do it, visiting your dentist regularly helps them keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had in the past or are currently experiencing.

When your teeth are healthy and clean and white and you have a beautiful smile, you are more confident and happy. Confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities. It’s important that you see your dentist every six months and that they give you routine examination and cleaning. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Don’t skip those teeth cleanings, 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 is a Comprehensive Exam?

ThinkstockPhotos-185147513Proper oral care includes more than just brushing and flossing teeth, as well as rinsing with mouthwash. For a more complete and thorough protection, it’s important that you visit the dentist regularly every six months for dental checkups and professional cleaning.

Dental checkups, for one, are important as they are the most effective preventative measure against oral complications, such as gum disease, cavities and even oral cancer.

These checkups, though, come in two forms – one that’s a bit more quick and simple, and another that’s a bit more thorough, or otherwise known as a comprehensive exam.

A comprehensive exam includes much more than just simply checking teeth for complications.

Typically, a comprehensive dental exam includes:

  • The thorough checking of the mouth, teeth and gums for any signs or indications of oral diseases.
  • Additional measures of checking are implemented, including X-rays and other diagnostic tests.
  • The safe and effective administration of anesthetics is ensured.
  • Monitoring the growth and development of the teeth and jaws.
  • Creating an effective treatment plan based on the initial results.

It is important to take note that the dentist’s area of care is not limited to their patient’s teeth and gums. It also includes their head muscles, as well as the muscles in their neck and jaw, and the tongue, salivary glands and even the nervous system of the head and neck.

During the comprehensive exam, dentists don’t just examine the teeth and gums. They also make it a point to check out other possible symptoms and abnormalities, including but not limited to, lumps, swellings, discolorations and ulcerations.

Why Are Comprehensive Exams Important?

While dentists usually vary in how they conduct comprehensive exams, it usually typically includes them taking their patient’s medical history, their usual diet and the completing of a risk factor form that tells them what certain diseases their patient is at risk for.

The importance of these comprehensive exams then could easily be summed by saying that it’s the perfect example of the common phrase “prevention is better than cure”. 

When we’re talking about gum diseases, or any other disease in particular, subtle signs and symptoms often show way before they’re evident. In fact, pain is usually a sign that the disease has been allowed to develop much further than necessary, often due to the negligence and lack of education regarding how pain isn’t always present in the early stages of gum disease.

With comprehensive exams, gum disease in its earliest stages can be diagnosed and therefore, prevented, which also includes pain, discomfort and other complications of gum disease in its later stages.

A common concern with comprehensive exams is that they take much longer, which may be a problem for those with dental anxiety or phobia. However, dentists are more than happy to help patients with such problems and will likely do anything they can to put such patients at ease.

Another concern is the costs, as comprehensive exams are generally much more expensive. However, it is important to take note that the prevention of gum disease and other oral complications is much cheaper than treating them.

Should you want your teeth to receive nothing but the utmost care and protection, it’s important that you demand to your dentist that a comprehensive exam be done regularly.

If you feel that you may be in need of a comprehensive exam, contact Dr. David Lunt DDS at 818-885-7230 to schedule an appointment or visit www.davidluntdds.com to learn more.