Mythbusters: Dentures Edition | Northridge Dentist

When our smiles start to head south, our first inclination is to find out if it’s possible to be fixed. So, we take a trip to the dentist to find out a plan of attack. Depending on your particular case, one of the options you may be faced with is getting dentures. I know it sounds scary but don’t worry – it isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be. Today’s dentures are comfortable, natural-looking, and can vastly improve your life. Still hesitant? Let’s clear up any misconceptions:

Myth: Once I receive my new dentures, I’m set for life.

Fact: According to the American Dental Association, dentures should be replaced every 5-7 years due to wear and tear and natural changes in your mouth. Swapping them out every so often will keep your smile bright and intact.

Myth: I don’t have to go to the dentist once I receive my new dentures.

Fact: You will need to see your dentist at least once a year so that any corrective measures with the fit of your dentures may be taken and serious problems avoided.

Myth: Apples and corn on the cob are a thing of the past once I get my dentures.

Fact: Eating with dentures takes adjustment but over time you will likely be able to enjoy all the foods you weren’t too sure about.

Myth: It will take forever for me to adjust to my new dentures.

Fact: It will take a little adjusting for your facial muscles and oral tissue, but they will adapt to the dentures in a very short time and you should soon feel quite comfortable with them.

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.

Dental Hygiene Through the Years | Northridge Dentist

Parents usually provide oral hygiene care until their child is old enough to take responsibility for their daily dental health routine of brushing and flossing. And believe it or not, it is important from the day your child is born. Their teeth have yet to break through their gums, so make sure to begin dental hygiene as soon as possible. Here is a quick reference guide to take you through the first five years:

Baby faces. Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.

After the first tooth. As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water. If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.

Once they turn one. To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at nap time or bedtime.

Toddler time. One thing to keep in mind is that little humans love to do things on their own. Because bedtime leaves your child’s mouth with a lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities, brushing before bed is important. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then just follow-up with the basics until they are flying solo. In fact, the best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example, so make dental routines a family affair.

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.

Keep Your Smile from Yellowing | Northridge Dentist

When you are trying to make a good first impression, your smile will play a big part in how you present yourself. If you smile isn’t feeling up to par, it may be cause for concern. After all, you have a great dental hygiene routine that you perform daily. So why are your teeth yellowing? The discoloration of teeth can actually be caused by a number of factors, ranging from natural aging to staining due to your diet.

While aging is something we can’t prevent, the staining of our teeth from outside sources we can. Over the years the enamel on your teeth begins to wear, exposing your tooth’s dentin. When residue from food, drinks or even smoke are left to sit on your teeth till your next brushing, it can cause the dentin to darken. But there are a variety of reasons to having stained teeth, including:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Drinks such as soda, tea, coffee, or wine
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride at a young age
  • Taking tetracycline and doxycycline-based antibiotics before age 8 years old
  • Health conditions
  • Natural aging can cause enamel to break down

Having a mouth full of sparkling pearly whites can be definitely be an advantage, and one quick cosmetic procedure to get rid of your stained teeth is a professional tooth whitening. But in between whitening procedures, follow these simple rules to stop the yellowing process:

  • Visit your dentist for regular teeth cleanings
  • Rinse your mouth out with water throughout the day
  • Use toothpastes or mouthwashes with whitening agents

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.

Do I Have Gum Disease? | Northridge Dentist

The stages of periodontal disease

Have 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. If left untreated, could lead to tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. 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:

  • 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

While it seems like gum disease is obviously noticed, it isn’t as easy as one may think. Periodontal disease often goes unnoticed, regardless of the laundry list of signs and symptoms. 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 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.

Inlays: When You Need to Fix a Cavity | Northridge Dentist

When 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 synthetic resins bonded onto teeth, or inlays.

Inlays serve a similar purpose to composite fillings, but do so in a different way. Where a composite filling is bonded onto the tooth, an inlay is a lab-created restoration 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 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.

Let Your Dentist Clean Your Teeth | Northridge Dentist

Oral HealthTeeth 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. Here are just a handful of reasons you should really reconsider neglecting your professional teeth cleaning:

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 gum disease has also 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.

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.

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.

Bone Grafting Isn’t as Scary as You Think | Northridge Dentist

Dental 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. And to be honest, 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. Sounds scary, right? 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.

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. 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.

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.

Bone grafting 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 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.

Tooth Abscesses: Not a Laughing Matter | Northridge Dentist

When we develop pain in our mouths, it is something that can turn a nuisance into incredible pain relatively easily. One of the main causes of this is an abscessed tooth. Thankfully, it is something that is completely preventable by following simple oral health steps.

Firstly, an abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth or between gums caused by decay, trauma to the tooth, gingivitis or other gum diseases. It begins when bacteria infect the core of a tooth, through a cavity or cracked tooth, and progressing until pockets of pus begin to form at the root.  Symptoms include toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, a bitter taste in mouth, bad breath, swollen glands at the neck or jaw and painful chewing, the severity depending on the patient. Some patients feel excruciating pain right away, while others do not know they have an abscessed tooth until they go in for a routine dental exam.

An abscessed tooth can become very dangerous if left untreated. It can spread infections to other areas of the mouth that may cause loss of teeth, facial disfigurement due to rotting facial bones, while putting your immune system at risk of developing other health problems. If an abscess isn’t treated, it will continue to grow and spread through tissue, causing outward facial swelling called cellulitis, and in rare cases, death.

In order to prevent a tooth abscess, it is important that you follow a daily dental routine to ensure that your mouth remains healthy and your smile bright and clean. If you feel an abscess may be forming, see your dental professional immediately.

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.

If You Love Coffee, There’s Something You Should Know | Northridge Dentist

There is always a line at your favorite coffee shop, so you know aren’t the only one that needs their cup of joe in the morning. But if this is your caffeine form of choice, you need to be extra careful. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can also contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, while accelerating the progression of periodontal disease.

Firstly, you should know the two forms of periodontal disease. Gingivitis, or an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis, a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. When caught in the beginning gingivitis stage, it can be treated and, hopefully preventable in the future. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and, due to the gap between the teeth and gums, may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now, coffee affects your mouth in two ways: it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums, and reduces the blood flow to your gums. This does not allow your gums to get all of the necessary oxygen they need to continue functioning properly.

When it comes to gum disease, saliva plays a major role in prevention. It contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease.

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.