Blueberry Pie Is Delicious | Northridge Dentist

missing teethApril 28th is National Blueberry Pie Day. If we know anything, it’s that a good slice of blueberry pie is always a fantastic treat during this time of year. The problem lies within the fact that this popular treat staining your teeth. Too much of a good thing is an actual saying and there are lots of foods in our diets that can eventually contribute to your teeth becoming dingy. But no reason to stop eating a slice. We just need to make sure we can slow down the process with proper dental hygiene.

The process of teeth whitening can be a long a strenuous one if you can’t find the time to do it. We understand that sometimes coming in to the dentist for a whitening session can be a little out of the way especially if you have a busy schedule. While we encourage our patients to make time for such procedures if there is a serious interest in whiter teeth, we know that most individuals can’t. With that said, here are some at home remedies that may be able to help you temporarily whiten your teeth!

Everyday household products. Mix together toothpaste, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and half a teaspoon of water and you have just created your very own whitening toothpaste.

Banana peels. Applying a banana peel to your teeth twice a day for about two minutes should help your teeth look healthier and whiter.

Strawberry and baking soda. The acids found in a strawberry work to polish and whiten your teeth.

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.

Did George Washington Have Wooden Teeth? | Northridge Dentist

As soon as we begin to learn some American history in school, we hear this myth. Not only do we believe it, but we revel in the fact that it even happened. But this little factoid does, in fact, do a disservice to our nation’s first president (and his dentists), who, plagued with a variety of tooth ailments early in life, actually sought out the most advanced dental practices of his time. The fun trivia? George Washington had wooden teeth

Washington began losing teeth in his twenties. In 1783, at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, he enlisted the expertise of Jean Pierre Le Moyer, a French naval surgeon who gained a reputation for his pioneering work in tooth implantation. Records show Washington purchased nine teeth from his own slaves in 1784, and documentation strongly suggests the teeth were meant for implantation or to be used in his own dental prosthetics.

Why real human teeth? The 18th century saw a rise in the use of real teeth to replace rotting ones, and with good reason. While ivory and bone were prized for their ability to duplicate human teeth, the solution would be a temporary one. Saliva will eventually break down false teeth made from bone, leaving the wearer with a rotten taste in his mouth and a serious case of halitosis.

By the time Washington became president in 1789, he possessed only a single tooth and needed new dental prosthetics. John Greenwood, considered by many to be the father of modern dentistry, made several sets for him during this time using gold, metal, and hippopotamus ivory—which has a thick enamel coating—to create upper and lower mouth plates connected by gold-wire springs. In one version, both human and cow teeth were secured into the plates using brass screws.

Although they were not wood, Washington’s false teeth sound like they were torture to wear. Springs designed to keep the plates in place pushed Washington’s mouth open, requiring him to remain vigilant just to keep it closed. Washington found them so irritating he often kept his speaking engagements to a minimum. His second inaugural address was the shortest in history at only 135 words.

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 You Can’t Hide Anything from Your Dentist | Northridge Dentist

494183909While cavities and plaque build-up may be what’s on your mind before a teeth cleaning, your dentist is looking for a whole lot more. One might say the mouth is the window to the body! Often, diseases like cancer, anemia and diabetes will first be identified by the dentist in a regular examination, and this can save lives. It’s not just diseases—dentists can discover everything from your bad habits to your favorite beverages simply by asking you to say, “Ahh!”. So before you try to think that you can pull a fast one on your dentist, think again…

You flossed right before your appointment—and that’s the only time. Sorry, but you can’t fool your dentist into thinking you floss daily by doing so the night before or morning of your visit.

You’re pregnant. Nearly 40% of women will develop gingivitis during their pregnancy. This is caused by increased progesterone, which facilitates the growth of bacteria, causing gingivitis. Some women will develop a deep red lump on their gums called a pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma. This type of tumor is completely benign and will go away after the pregnancy is over. Most women are typically pretty far along before their gums start bleeding, so it’s not as though a dentist will “discover” that a patient is pregnant.

You sucked your thumb as a child. Most children that suck their thumbs or a finger have no long-term effects from the habit. Those who did so past the age of seven or eight may show significant changes to their bite or the position of their teeth. Much of that can be corrected through orthodontic treatment, but some telltale signs can remain.

Your bad breath may mean something. General bad breath is categorized as halitosis. But dentists are also trained to identify “fruity” smells and “fishy” smells, which can mean numerous things. ‘Fruity’ breath could indicate uncontrolled diabetes or a dietary fast that has gone too far, while ‘fishy’ breath could be a sign of kidney or liver failure. If the smell is very foul it could be anything from gastroesophageal reflux to other underlying problems.

You may have an eating disorder. Many patients are surprised that their dentist is the first one to ask about eating disorders. Bulimia exhibits a very distinct pattern of tooth wear that your dentist can easily identify. Other possibilities include acid reflux and the use of antidepressants or mood-elevating drugs, both of which reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth, thereby upping the odds of acid damage.

You have oral cancer. The first signs of oral cancer can be seen from the following: unexplained bleeding in the mouth, white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth, a change in the way your teeth fit together, swellings, thickenings, lumps or bumps or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth. An oral surgeon should be consulted for a biopsy of any suspicious tissue.

You love soda & energy drinks. You may know why you chipped your tooth and even though the cause may be apparent, there could be underlying factors that weakened the tooth and made it susceptible to being chipped in the first place. He explains that teeth can be softened by sodas and other sugary beverages over time, which may make a tooth more susceptible to chipping. Energy drinks, which tend to be even more acidic than soft drinks, may cause even more damage to tooth enamel.

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 Effects of Soda on Your Teeth | Northridge Dentist

177406608They’re fizzy, refreshing and delicious. They are ruining your teeth. I’m talking about those bubbly carbonated beverages we all know and love. Soda, pop, cola, whatever you call it, we Americans love it. In fact, half the people in America consume soda every day. In moderation it poses very little threat, but a steady consumption of soft drinks is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. It’s no secret there exists a strong link between soda consumption and tooth decay. Heavy soda consumption has also been linked to other health complications including diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
The term ‘Sip All Day, Get Decay!’ is very true. Bacteria feeds off sugar, which is exactly what is in that drink. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, so you may be saving calories, but you’re still damaging your teeth. Sipping on soda allows the sugar and acidity sit on your teeth, eating away at your enamel, staining your teeth, and setting off bacteria bombs. Each attack lasts about 20 minutes and starts over with every sip of soda you take. These ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel. Kids and teens are most susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed. (Source: WDA.org).
The idea isn’t to cut yourself off completely, but be mindful of your intake. Tooth decay is no laughing matter. Prevention is easy. Drink more water. Water is tooth decay’s worst enemy. Drink more dairy. The calcium will help reinforce your teeth’s strength the soda is breaking down. You can avoid tooth decay and other health problems that arise from drinking too many carbonated beverages, sports drinks, iced and sweet teas and other sweetened liquids (like fruit juices). So when you do drink them, drink them quickly and use a straw. The less time or ability bacteria has to rest on your teeth, the easier it is to create decay. After you drink soda, give your mouth a quick rinse with water to flush away the sugar on your mouth from attacking your teeth.
We all know brushing your teeth is the best way to prevent decay, but wait 30 to 60 minutes after drinking soda before you do so. Your teeth are sensitive at the moment from all of the soda’s acidity. Brushing will actually do more harm than good, but just in this instance. Brushing, flossing and rinsing twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly reduces your risk of tooth decay and maintains your oral health.

If you’re considering a vacation and would like to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230 or visit www.davidluntdds.com for additional information regarding dental care while on vacation.

David P. Lunt proudly serves Northridge, Granada Hills, Reseda, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Winnetka and all surrounding areas.

Replacing Old Fillings | Northridge, Ca Dentist

459899307Are your old, unattractive, silver fillings making you feel self-conscious about your smile? Modern dentistry is now using more tooth-like materials (composite resins and porcelains) that are both safe and predictable. The most important feature, for many people, is that they look like real, natural teeth. In the past, teeth were filled with a mixture—or amalgam—of different metals. Today that is changing as more natural-looking and metal-free fillings are becoming the preferred approach.

Many patients are suffering from the same dilemma and feel like there is nothing they can do, however, thanks to the advanced technology utilized by Dr. Lunt you can achieve your dream smile with tooth colored fillings.

Dr. Lunt explains the advantages:

• Tooth colored fillings eliminate unnatural, metal fillings
• Tooth colored fillings diminish discoloration caused by metal fillings
• Tooth colored fillings prevent tooth decay and gum diseases
• Tooth colored fillings strengthen your teeth
• Tooth colored fillings are undetectable and match the exact shade of your teeth

Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

When it comes to selecting the best material for you and your particular teeth, consultation with your dentist is key. Strength, esthetics, cost and longevity of dental filling materials may vary greatly in different situations and for different patients. Some of the considerations your dentist takes into account when recommending a particular filling material for your teeth are the current condition of the teeth, the size of the area to be restored, the location of the teeth involved and the forces (chewing, shearing, grinding, etc.) being placed on the teeth during chewing and other normal movements of your jaw.

Talk to Dr. Lunt today about restoring your smile with tooth colored fillings!

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.

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

The Benefits of an Oral Rinse | Northridge, Ca Dentist

Did you know that rinsing daily with certain mouthwashes can improve your oral health? We’re talking whitening your teeth, helping to prevent gum disease and fighting plaque! Of course mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing and should be used in conjunction with good oral health habits.

Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Research shows that adding a rinse with mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay.

What are the benefits of rinsing daily with an oral rinse?

1)     Freshens breath – First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

2)     Prevents Plaque build-up – Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth. Although it prevents the build up of plague, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth. So remember to always brush and floss before plaque becomes a problem.

3)     Removes particles – Most people use mouthwash only after brushing. This is a perfectly fine practice, but used before before brushing to rinse out loose particles in your mouth will make the brushing and flossing more effective.

4)     Stop cavities from forming – Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Remember, not all mouthwashes contain fluoride. Be sure to check the label on your mouthwash before purchasing(Source: webmd.com).

Mouthwash can do more than just give your breath a boost. Mouthwash can help keep your gums and teeth healthy—but only if you use them properly. The benefits from using a mouthwash depend largely on the type of product used. Mouthwash can be classified as cosmetic or therapeutic. Rinsing with a cosmetic mouthwash will loosen bits of food from your teeth, lessen bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. But these products can’t make any greater claim than that.

We all love that minty fresh feeling you get after rinsing with mouthwash! Remember mouthwash is considered an add-on, not a replacement for brushing and flossing. It only takes a moment to rinse but the positive impact on your oral health is much greater. With rinsing daily you can successfully navigate around dental problems.

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.

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

Inlays & Onlays | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237If you have a tooth or teeth damaged from decay, inlays and onlays may be a viable dental solution for you!

Inlays and onlays are the ideal dental restorations needed to repair damaged teeth, not only improving your oral hygiene, but enhancing the look of your smile.  Dental inlays and onlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth. Both will rejuvenate your smile! Dr. Middleton can also use inlays and onlays to replace dark, old dental restorations that can look unappealing.

Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin or ceramics. They can last for 10 years or longer. How long they last depends on:

  • The material used
  • The teeth involved
  • The forces of chewing
  • How well you maintain them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist

How it’s done:  

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office. They are placed in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory. Two visits are needed to place them. The type your dentist will use depends on how much of the tooth is left.

Watch this informative video on Inlays and Onlays:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Wu8_MCnJs (Source: YouTube)

Indirect Inlays and Onlays

Dental decay will be removed. Then your dentist will make an impression of the prepared tooth and neighboring teeth. The tooth will get a temporary filling. The impression will be sent to a laboratory, which will make the inlay or onlay.

At your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary filling and clean and dry the tooth. He or she will then cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth. Then it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together. A dental inlay or onlay is bigger than a filling and smaller than a crown. It is bonded or cemented into place.

An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is larger than an inlay. It replaces one or more decayed cusps.

Direct Inlays and Onlays

Your dentist will remove the decay and shape the tooth. He or she will put a soft material called composite resin on the tooth. The composite resin is molded to fit the tooth. The inlay is removed and hardened in a special oven. Then, your dentist will cement the hardened inlay to your tooth. After the inlay is cemented, it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together.

Dr. Lunt will be able to determine whether or not inlays and onlays will be right for your situation.

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.

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

What are Inlays? | Northridge, Ca Dentist

459899307When a dentist removes decay, the void left by drilling must be filled with something to provide a proper bite surface and a pleasing aesthetic appearance. When patients have cavities on teeth with large bite surfaces, they’re often offered a choice in the way the cavity is treated. While composite fillings are very common, occasionally dentists will recommend inlays or onlays – knowing the difference can be helpful in knowing which to choose.

Composite fillings are synthetic resins that are bonded onto teeth in the cavity left by the decay. The composite resin is similar in color to natural teeth and can be shaped to fit into the natural curves of the teeth. However, it is softer than natural tooth material, and may not last as long as other solutions.

Inlays serve a similar purpose as composite fillings, but do so in a different way. Where a composite filling is bonded onto the tooth, an inlay is a restoration that is created – typically in a lab – and then cemented into place. The inlays are made of a much stronger material, and are molded to perfectly match the natural tooth curves. However, dentists will need to remove much more tooth material to get an inlay in place. The larger the decay, the more likely it is the dentist will recommend an inlay, as the inlay will be able to provide more strength for the weakened tooth than the softer composite resin.

If your dentist recommends inlays, rest assured that they’re typically a great way to add strength to a tooth that has been weakened by decay. While inlays aren’t as strong as a procedure such as a dental crown, they’re significantly stronger than composite fillings and provide a great visual match with natural teeth. If you have questions about the procedure, call your dentist – they’ll be happy to explain the pros and cons, and what you can expect during the process.

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.

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

The Damaging Effects of Soda | Northridge, Ca Dentist

They’re fizzy, bubbly, they’re refreshing, they’re delicious…they’re ruining your teeth! Soda, pop, cola, whatever you call it, we Americans love it. In fact, half the people in the United States consume soda on any given day. Of course, in moderation it poses very little threat, but a steady consumption of soft drinks is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. It’s no secret there exists a strong link between soda consumption and tooth decay. Heavy soda consumption has also been linked to other health complications including diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

The term, ‘Sip All Day, Get Decay!’,  may sound naggy but it’s also very true! Bacteria feed off sugar, which is plentiful in a can of soda. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. When sipping on soda all day the sugar and the acidity is sitting on your teeth, eating away at your enamel, staining your teeth, and setting off bacteria bombs.

There are of course measures can be taken to prevent and reduce tooth decay.

  • Drink water – Water is beneficial in more ways than one in this instance
  • Restricting other sugared beverages to occasional use
  • Consuming two or more servings of dairy foods

Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. Each attack lasts about 20 minutes and starts over with every sip of soda you take. These ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel. Kids and teens are most susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed(Source: WDA.org).

Watch this entertaining and informative video on soda being a detriment to your oral health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-nPxBF24wM

You can avoid tooth decay and other health problems that arise from drinking too many soft drinks, other carbonated beverages, sports drinks, iced and sweet teas and other sweetened liquids (like fruit juices).

Of course, brushing, flossing and rinsing twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly will reduce your risk of tooth decay improve and/or maintain your oral health.

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.

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

Bone Grafts for Successful Dental Implants | Northridge, Ca Dentist

skd284147sdcDental implants are a wildly successful evolution in dentistry. They are restoratives that last a lifetime. But for the implant to last a lifetime, sometimes you need to start with ideal bone health.

It’s not unusual for a patient to be told that they require a bone graft in order to secure the outcome of dental implant surgery.

Don’t let the term bone grafting scare you. Bone grafting in the oral cavity today is a routine, painless procedure, with a predictable outcome.

If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting before you can have dental implant surgery. That’s because the powerful chewing action of your mouth exerts great pressure on your bone, and if it can’t support the implant, the surgery likely would fail. A bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant.

Bone loss can occur in the upper and lower jaws for several reasons.  Localized bone loss often occurs around diseased teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease, fractured teeth, traumatic injuries and dental infections. In addition, over a period of time the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies (bone resorption/shrinks). This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone, unsuitable for placement of dental implants. In the past, patients with significant bone loss were not candidates for placement of dental implants.

With current bone graft techniques, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. Augmentation bone grafts can be accomplished virtually anywhere on the upper and lower jaws. This enables us to offer dental implants as a replacement for missing teeth to almost all patients, even if substantial bone loss has occurred. More commonly used bone graft materials include autogenous bone (your own bone), cadaver bone (bank bone), bovine bone and synthetic bone(Source: http://www.cmsllc.com).

Bone grafting can be extensive but it plays a very important role in making your new tooth/implant possible. The science behind implant dentistry has brought us these highly specialized and successful techniques. Bone graft surgery is only a moment in time but being able to eat, laugh, talk and smile lasts a lifetime!

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.

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