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.

Reasons You Should Quit Smoking | Northridge Dentist

No_smoking_symbol_svgWe all know that smoking is bad. Lung cancer, heart disease, premature wrinkles are just a few of the results taking up smoking will do to someone. But how bad it is for your mouth? Turns out, pretty bad. In the beginning the effects are fairly minor. But bad breath & yellowing teeth are just the tip of the iceberg. Soon you will have a build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth, which can lead to gum disease and even tooth loss. From there it just sort of spirals down. Healing from tooth loss will take longer to heal. The dental implant used to replace the tooth have a lower success rate due to bone loss in the jaw. So, in actuality, smoking is a catalyst for a ton of dental issues, the most harmful being gum disease.

When you smoke, the smoke you inhale interferes with the normal function of your gum tissue. When infected, you are more susceptible to periodontal disease. The more your blood flow is impaired, the longer it takes to heal. As you lose more alveolar bone, or the bones that anchor your teeth in your mouth, the easier it is for them to fall out.

Now you may be thinking, “I smoke cigars so I don’t inhale. How bad can smoking be for me?” The truth is, it really doesn’t matter which version of tobacco you use. Cigars, pipes, even chewing tobacco are bad for your mouth in the same exact way cigarettes are. So if you are thinking about changing methods, it really isn’t going to help prevent dental issues from arising. No, the best thing you can do to prevent dental issues from arising is to quit smoking altogether.

But is it worth quitting your tobacco habit? After all, you’ve been smoking for years. It is. Quitting will benefit your health tremendously, no matter how long you’ve been smoking. Studies show that those who quit can eventually have the same odds of getting oral disease that nonsmokers do! A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association revealed that mouth lesion leukoplakia completely healed in 97.5% of patients just after 6 weeks of quitting. The American Cancer Society states smokers are 6 times more likely to contract cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat than those who do not. And say you do get one of these cancers, but you cure it. If you go back to smoking, you have a 37% chance of getting cancer again. If you stop, that stat drops to 6%. Doesn’t that make quitting so worth it? So grab yourself some nicotine gum, join a support group, or try acupuncture or hypnosis. There are lots of ways you can rid yourself of this bad habit and ensure you stay healthy for a long time to come.

If you’re a smoker 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.

Teeth Whitening | Northridge, Ca Dentist

459899307We’ve all seen the celebrities on TV or magazines with those perfect white smiles. Even with all your efforts of maintaining proper oral health yet your teeth still lack that certain sparkle. What does it take to achieve that level of brightness? Whitening is the obvious answer or even veneers but lets focus on whitening today. In todays modern dentistry there are several options, varying from toothpaste to professional treatments, depending on the level of whiteness you’d like to achieve.

Several brands of toothpaste claim to whiten teeth, and supply stores sell all varieties of teeth whitening products – trays, gels, strips, and rinses – over the counter. The over the counter products will, with regular use, get you some level of shade lighting and stain removal. Other over the counter whitening products typically contain a bleaching agent – such as hydrogen peroxide – to lighten the color of your teeth.

Dr. Lunt, however, can offer you whitening options that can get results same day. The first is take-home tray based, using chemicals stronger than over-the-counter trays, but working on the same basic principle. Often times dentist provided trays are custom-molded to the patients teeth, providing a smooth, comfortable fit suitable for wearing for multiple hours each day – often even overnight.  Beyond the trays, dentists can often perform whitening in the office, using light and heat activated bleaching chemicals, providing a significant whitening in as little as 60 minutes. Because the procedure is supervised by a dentist, much stronger chemicals can be used, and much more dramatic results can be seen almost immediately. Of course, the results of whitening are never really permanent. Our daily habits will eventually stain and discolor your teeth, so some level of maintenance will be required. It is  important to have all the facts about teeth whitening and maintenance prior to starting a whitening treatment.

If you want to give professional whitening a try contact Dr. Lunt, he is happy to guide you on the correct whitening method for the best individual results.

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.

Recognizing Periodontal Disease | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237Have you been experiencing persistent bad breath or perhaps notice a loose tooth? Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end — if not properly treated — with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth(Source: webmd.com).

Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease. Though, plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease.

Factors such as:

  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures

Even with all these symptoms and warning signs, periodontal disease often goes unnoticed. If you don’t notice any symptoms, you could still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars.

Keeping your gums healthy requires a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, using a mouthwash, flossing and maintaining a healthy diet. Of course, visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups bi-annually can head of potential larger oral health problems. Prevention is your key to oral health success!

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.

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.

Sedation Dentistry | Northridge, Ca Dentist

hygiene-granada-hillsMany people are afraid of the dentist – the noise of the drill, and memories of pain and discomfort make it a place that many people dread. However, modern dentists are very aware that many patients are anxious, and make a concerted effort to make patients as comfortable as possible.

One popular way of dealing with dental anxiety is sedation dentistry – using medication to allow patients to relax during the procedure. Often known as sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry can be of various types and strengths, depending on the level of anxiety of the patient and the length of the procedure.

For mild anxiety and short procedures, dentists are likely to use minimal sedation, where the patient will remain awake but will be relaxed. Examples of minimal sedation include inhaled nitrous oxide – “laughing gas” – which takes effect quickly, and wears off quickly, and will allow the patient to relax.

For longer procedures, or more anxious patients, dentists may use oral sedation using pills similar to Valium, or an IV applied sedative, leaving the patient conscious, but in a state where they are unlikely to remember the procedure. The patient will likely be awake and able to answer questions during the procedure, but will be groggy during and after the procedure, and may require assistance getting home.

For serious anxiety or very involved procedures, some dentists and oral surgeons will employ deep sedation or general anesthesia, where the patient will be entirely unconscious. In the case of general anesthesia, a third party anesthesiologist may be present to monitor the patient’s health during the procedure. With deep sedation and general anesthesia, the patient will likely not be permitted to leave alone – they may require a ride at the end of the procedure.

If you’re anxious about a dental visit, talk to your dentist about sedation options. Your dentist should be happy to work with you to ensure that you can endure the procedures you need without unnecessary anxiety, and that may involve some level of sedation.

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.

Sedation Dentistry | Northridge, Ca Dentist

Girl lying on the grassDoes the sound of a dental drill make you cringe? Does the mere thought of a filling make you imagine pain in your teeth? You’re not alone – dental phobias are quite common, but often the experience of going to a dentist isn’t nearly as unpleasant as many people imagine it to be. Modern dentists want you to visit often – frequent visits allows them to prevent or treat problems before they become serious – so they’re willing and able to help make your visits as pleasant as possible.

First, most dentists are very aware of pain, and will frequently ask you whether or not you’re comfortable. They’ll use a combination of topical local anesthetic (a quick numbing paste that will be swabbed onto your gums) and a quick injection of a similar local anesthetic, to numb deeper down. The combination of these will leave part of your mouth numb for a few hours, but you’ll feel virtually no pain during the procedure. Because pain is only one of your senses – and many people have equally strong reactions to the sound of the dental drill – dentists will often have music, earplugs, or TV to distract you from the sound of the drill. While it’s not perfect, it’s a significant improvement over dental visits of decades past.

If that’s not enough to encourage you to visit your dentist, speak to your dentist about other sedation options. Dentists have a number of options, from moderate sedation (laughing gas or valium style medication), to deep sedation (sleep dentistry), to full general anesthesia, the type you may receive if you were to undergo surgery in a hospital.

Even with moderate or deep sedation, dentists will use local anesthesia to help minimize pain in the hours following the procedure, so not only will you not see or hear the procedure, you’ll likely wake up to only minimal discomfort.

If you have a severe dental phobia and are interested in sedation dentistry options, speak to your dentist. It’s possible they may wish to perform more than a single procedure in a session, in order to get the most benefit for the increased cost and minimize the number of sedation sessions you must endure. While more advanced sedation requires more planning – you’ll often be asked not to eat prior to certain types of sedation, and you likely won’t be able to drive immediately after your procedure, dentists can accommodate even the most severe dental phobias.

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 is Dry Mouth? | Northridge, Ca Dentist

We’ve all felt that sticky gross feeling in our mouths before, it’s not pleasant!

Saliva plays an important role in your oral health. Saliva moistens and cleanses our mouth and helps digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. When we don’t produce enough saliva, our mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. This is known as dry mouth.

Dry mouth is a common problem. It can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.

Common symptoms include:

  • A sticky, dry mouth
  • Frequent thirst
  • Cracked lips, sores in the mouth, or split skin at the corners of the lips
  • A feeling of dryness in the throat
  • A dry, red, raw tongue
  • A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth, especially on the tongue
  • Problems speaking, chewing, or swallowing
  • Bad breath
  • Dry nasal passages

If you have dry mouth, Dr. Lunt can provide solutions. If left untreated, dry mouth can cause problems including, but aren’t limited to, increased risk of gingivitis, tooth decay, and mouth infections.

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.

How Are Dental Tools Cleaned? | Northridge, Ca Dentist

When a patient visits a dentist, chances are they’ll notice that the dentist uses a wide range of tools. It’s reasonable for a patient who sees tools going into their mouth to wonder how each tool is sterilized.

The American Dental Association, working with the Centers for Disease Control, sets guidelines for dental tool sterilization. Various tools are broken down into three distinct categories, each of which is treated differently based on risk.

The first category is critical tools – these are tools that may penetrate tissue or bone, such as scalpels, forceps, and scalers. Because they’re penetrating into sterile tissue, it’s absolutely crucial that these tools be sterilized regularly – after each and every use. The ADA requires that these tools be sterilized using steam under pressure, dry heat, or chemical heat.

For semi-critical tools that still come in contact with mucous membranes or non-intact skin – such as mirrors and dental trays for impressions – the ADA recommends that these, too, should be sterilized after every use. However, in some cases where sterilization isn’t practical, it’s permissible for these tools to be disinfected with an EPA certified high-level disinfectant.

Finally, non-critical tools that only come in contact skin, such as x-ray components and blood pressure cuffs, have a relatively low risk of transmitting infection. However, they are still cleaned between patients with a medium-level or low-level disinfectant, suitable for hospital use (in fact, the disinfectant is typically labeled ‘hospital disinfectant’).

Dentists are very aware of the risk that non-sterilized instruments pose to your oral health, and work diligently to keep a safe and sterile workspace, and that includes safe and sterile tools. Proper safety procedures greatly reduce patient risk, and your dentist happily complies with the most recent ADA guidelines for managing tools in a safe manner.

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.