• Posted on November 13, 2019 5:05 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments

    There have always been conflicting opinions about wisdom teeth. While dentists suggest having to take them out, there are some people who believe that it really isn’t necessary. After all, they don’t cause you harm! Unfortunately, dental pain is something we all dread. A very common reason to visit the dentist is to treat the “Wisdom Teeth” and the pain and fear of dealing with the wisdom teeth. Let's remember that even with the best of dental hygiene, wisdom tooth problems such as swelling and infection are unavoidable. To define what wisdom teeth are, here is a simple explanation: “The "wisdom teeth", or third molars, are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt furthest back in each quadrant of the mouth. This tends to occur at the age of 18-25 years ways the teeth. By the time wisdom teeth erupt, there may not be enough space in the jaw for this process to occur normally. The result is impaction, where the tooth emerges at an abnormal angle. “ Here is what needs to be understood Just because your wisdom teeth cause no pain or harm doesn’t mean they are fine. Your teeth could be stuck or impacted.  Impacted wisdom teeth could mean your mouth is too small to make room for them to grow or the teeth could be growing at an angle obstructing and thus damaging other teeth. The other serious complications that could arise out of this are extensive tooth decay, infection, gum disease and more. This is when removal is needed. When should I get them out? An X-ray will show when the extra molars are causing damage to surrounding teeth, eventually leading to pain. Sometimes, the X-Ray can show other conditions as a result of wisdom teeth. Some of them are listed here:  Cysts around the new teeth. This could lead to a damaged jaw and damaged nerves Untreated problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain Sometimes, tissue around the area can swell leading to inflamed gums Cavities caused due to bacteria growing in the teeth spaces Impacted wisdom teeth usually happen with crowding of other teeth  Regular dental check-ups are essential for complete dental hygiene. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth do not show any signs of damage or infection, thus regular check-ups ensure these problems are tackled at the earliest.  While some people do not experience any symptoms, some do experience mild to severe pain. So if you're experiencing any pain in your jaw, talk to your dentist. They will be able to assess your wisdom teeth. In most cases, an X-ray will help them understand the problem, rule out major concerns or maybe refer you to a specialist if needed.  For impacted wisdom teeth, the dentist will look at the shape of your mouth and the position of your teeth to make a decision. The age of the patient plays a role too. What are the risks? As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with the procedure. Some minor swelling, bruising, bleeding, and pain is to be expected, and this usually lasts no more than one week. They are just wisdom teeth, so should you have them removed? Sometimes, people simply dread any surgical procedure. So, if you are still not ready to part with your molars, the best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with an expert in the field. An open conversation about your dental health with the dentist is a great way to address concerns and fears.  You can ask your dentist to explain what he sees with your teeth. Also, if the requirement for wisdom teeth removal isn’t immediate, you can wait several months to see if things change before making your decision. But if you have pain or notice swelling or a bad odour near your back teeth, it may be time for a second look. To conclude, remember, dental hygiene plays an important role in the quality of life. Seek professional help and contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. “Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.” A visit to the dentist at least twice a year is crucial to your overall oral health, for cleanings and check-ups and general treatment. If you’re experiencing any dental issues, make an appointment with your dentist. They can look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems. A professional dental care expert will clean your teeth and do a thorough examination. They may use dental instruments to check for sensitivity, and they might also order an X-ray on your teeth to rule out concerns such as impacted wisdom teeth or cavities. A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.   If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about impacted wisdom teeth and the problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/  

    Dental care, oral health
  • Posted on October 9, 2019 11:28 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments

    Regular care and maintenance of oral hygiene goes a long way for the quality of life… Maintaining oral hygiene isn’t only about having a beautiful smile. Healthy dental habits go a long way in ensuring the overall health and well-being of a person. It gives people social confidence and is also a great indicator of one’s general health. Please must remember that bacteria from the mouth can cause infection in other parts of the body. Dental disease is highly preventable and the risks of ignoring dental health are many. Some of them are cardiovascular diseases, stroke, periodontal disease and other bacterial and inflammatory conditions. While experts say that these conditions are completely avoidable, one must take proper care to ensure healthy oral hygiene. This means one must try and follow what is mentioned in the list below: Completely eliminating tobacco smoking/chewing is essential to dental health, which also prevents oral and other cancers Minimize or limit alcohol consumption as the risk factors associated with this are far and many. They include oral and other cancers, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis and trauma Improper hygiene causes bad breath and bacterial infections Stress and trauma are other factors one needs to keep under control for a healthy dental life Diet – A well-balanced diet is essential to maintaining good dental health. Sodas, sugar, highly fatty foods are not advised, but daily intake of fresh vegetables, fruits, greens and calcium-rich products is essential Good dental hygiene such as daily brushing and flossing keeps bacteria under control Did you know that bacteria from the mouth can actually affect the digestive and respiratory tracts leading to disease and infection?  Oral health is an indicator of overall health. Poor dental health may lead to the following health conditions: Endocarditis: A condition when bacteria from the mouth lines the heart chambers  Cardiovascular disease: Research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause. Pregnancy and birth complications as a result of Periodontitis is another cause for concern Pneumonia is yet another life-threatening condition that is caused by bacteria in the mouth spreading into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases While improper dental care can lead to a host of problems, it is also important to note that there are few underlying conditions that impact dental health. Conditions that affect oral health: Diabetes: Diabetics are at an increased risk for gum infections as blood sugar levels directly impact gum health. Also, since the resistance is considerably low, there are higher chances of infection. However, regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control. HIV/AIDS: Mucosal lesions are most common amongst people who have HIV/AIDS. Osteoporosis: This bone-weakening disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw. Alzheimer's disease: Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer's disease progresses. How can I protect my oral health? To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste Floss daily Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner —  if bristles are splayed or worn Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings Avoid the use of tobacco and tobacco products. Remember, dental hygiene plays an important role in the quality of life. Seek professional help and contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. “Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.” A visit to the dentist at least twice a year is crucial to your overall oral health, for cleanings, check-ups and general treatment. If you’re experiencing any dental issues, make an appointment with your dentist. They can look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems. A professional dental care expert will clean your teeth and do a thorough examination. They may use dental instruments to check for sensitivity, and they might also order an X-ray on your teeth to rule out causes like cavities. A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.  If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about enamel wear and sensitivity problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website: https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

    Dental care
  • Posted on September 9, 2019 5:27 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments

    The stinging pain or discomfort one experiences after having something really cold or a hot drink is probably a sign of tooth sensitivity. While it is not uncommon among people, there are very few who recognize this and take proper measures. To define and understand tooth sensitivity better, here is a simple gist “Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of people. Basically, tooth sensitivity involves experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks or ice cream. It also causes discomfort from brushing and flossing.” Sensitive teeth can be extremely painful, as teeth respond to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures. There are a number of reasons why some people experience this discomfort but most cases of tooth sensitivity are a result of poor dental hygiene. Let us have a quick look at some of the symptoms of sensitive teeth In most cases, people with sensitive teeth experience pain as a response to certain triggers. While the symptoms may seem temporary, they could be mild or intense pain at any given point. More so, the effect of the pain is felt in the roots of the affected teeth. Here are some triggers or external stimuli that may cause pain: Pain while having hot foods, hot drinks and/or cold foods and beverages Exposure to chilled air Discomfort while consuming sweet foods and drinks Highly acidic content foods and beverages When cold water is used to rinse the mouth Pain during brushing or flossing teeth Sensitivity while using alcohol-based mouth rinses Tooth sensitivity localized to one tooth Pain when biting down or chewing What causes sensitive teeth? Sometimes, people with sensitive teeth have thinner enamel than others, making their teeth awfully sensitive to extreme temperatures. When the enamel, which is the protective outer layer, is worn out or thinned this could put the individual through the discomfort. The enamel wears out due to the following reasons: When one brushes their teeth too hard The use of a hard toothbrush Grinding your teeth at night Regular intake of acidic foods and beverages Another condition that leads to tooth sensitivity is Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), wherein acid from the stomach and esophagus comes up causing the wear down of teeth and enamel overtime Gum recession is yet another cause that can leave sections of the tooth exposed and unprotected Tooth decay, broken teeth, chipped teeth can most likely end up with sensitivity in a specific tooth or region in the mouth instead of most of the teeth Dental work like fillings, crowns, or teeth bleaching may also lead to temporary tooth sensitivity How is tooth sensitivity treated? For mild sensitivity, over-the-counter dental treatments include using toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth. Using an alcohol-free mouth rinse, softer toothbrushes and brushing more gently can also help. Furthermore, maintaining good oral hygiene can to a very large extent help in reducing or preventing tooth cavities, sensitivity and other oral health problems. Few simple ways to maintain good oral hygiene: Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months Brush twice a day and floss daily Rinse after meals Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco Maintain a healthy diet of grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products Another very important tip is using the right technique while brushing - Brush with a soft-bristled brush for 2 minutes, twice a day. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and move back and forth in short strokes. Don’t brush too hard or too frequently—you can cause gum recession and experience sensitivity.” Remember, tooth sensitivity is not just painful but could affect oral health in the long run. If none of the over the counter remedies work it is best to seek professional help. A visit to the dentist at least twice a year is crucial to your overall oral health, for cleanings and checkups and general treatment. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist. They can look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems like cavities, loose fillings, or recessed gums causing the sensitivity. A professional dental care expert will clean your teeth and do a thorough examination. They may use dental instruments to check for sensitivity, and they might also order an X-ray on your teeth to rule out causes like cavities. A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions. Doing so is especially helpful if you have a history of dental issues, such as teeth sensitivity or frequent cavities. If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about enamel wear and sensitivity problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

    Uncategorized
  • Posted on August 6, 2019 9:58 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Understanding the basics of good dental hygiene Taking good care of your teeth isn’t very complicated. You take care of them daily; follow the right dental hygiene, nutrition and regular oral health practices. However, good dental health goes beyond correct brushing and flossing. A well-maintained diet that includes all the nutrition required for overall wellness is the cornerstone for a healthy mouth. The food choices we make an impact on how strong and how decay-resistant our teeth are. Here's what you need to do to keep your teeth healthy The simplest way to assess the health of your teeth, gums and mouth as summed up by most dentists as, "Healthy gums are firm and light pink in colour. Swollen, bleeding and soft gums, bad breath, and loose teeth are common symptoms of oral disease." Clean and strong teeth, healthy gums and a bright smile ensure we are saved from many dreaded dental issues such as cavities, the sensitivity of the teeth, bleeding gums, bad breath and more. A few pointers that must be followed by adults and children alike: Brush your teeth twice a day  Floss your teeth every day and rinse your mouth after every meal Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste Rinsing with a good mouth rinse after consulting your dentist is a great way to maintain dental health. Opt for “oral prophylaxis, a teeth cleaning procedure that should be done routinely. Get regular oral and dental check-ups done, limit your sugar intake and maintain a well-balanced nutritional diet to prevent tooth decay and premature tooth loss.” Take care of your teeth Achieving healthy teeth takes a lifetime of care. Cosmetically having a set of fine, white teeth is great but it’s crucial to make informed choices when it comes to diet, cleanups and regular oral care to prevent problems of the teeth and gums. This means getting the right oral care products, as well as being mindful of your daily habits. Brushing properly, taking time to do it by moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Also, focus on the tongue that can build up plaque. So, every time you brush your teeth, clean the tongue too.  Floss well. Flossing cleans between teeth very well along with stimulating the gums, reducing plaque. It also helps in lowering inflammation in the area. What are the foods to include? Cheese and yoghurt are high in calcium and the probiotics found in yoghurt actually aid in strengthening your teeth. Make sure these are included in your diet. Green leafy vegetables are great for general health and do wonders for your dental health. They are packed with essential minerals and vitamins, making them a must-have in your diet. Apples are high in fibre and water making it a fruit that most dentists suggest. Surely, an apple a day keeps the dentist away! Carrots improve saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Celery is packed with antioxidants that give you a shot of good health. Almonds are rich in calcium and protein making it on the list of power foods for dental health. Sometimes, the simplest of things offer the best benefits. When looking for a drink, water is always the best pick, especially when compared to juice or soda.  Now, here is what you shouldn’t be having.  Prevention is better than cure. And the best way is to avoid certain foods or practices that are damaging to oral hygiene. Your diet makes a big difference when it comes to a healthy smile. Avoid junk and refined foods and increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit sugary and acidic foods, the sugar turns into acid in the mouth, thereby eroding the enamel of your teeth, which in turn leads to cavities. Say no to this vicious cycle of harm. Similarly, acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. It is better to avoid or minimize the intake of these foods. Oral cancer is caused primarily due to use of tobacco and alcohol. For healthy teeth and mouth limit or better still, avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption. Also, please remember any growth in the oral cavity must be assessed by professionals as soon as possible. A visit to the dentist for cleanings and checkups, at least twice a year, is crucial to your overall oral health. A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions. Doing so is especially helpful if you have a history of dental issues, such as gingivitis or frequent cavities. If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking about getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about enamel wear and sensitivity problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

    Uncategorized
  • Posted on July 4, 2019 7:11 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments
    Common Dental Problems

    Oral health is aptly said to be the mirror of general health. The condition of your oral cavity reflects your overall health. For this reason, it is necessary to know the problems related to your oral cavity and it is crucial to know when to seek oral care or visit your dentist. Here are the 10 most common dental problems you should be aware of: Tooth decay It is the most common of tooth problems. Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, occurs when bacteria in plaque is given the chance to settle on teeth. It produces an acid that slowly eats away at tooth enamel and forms holes. This bacteria is particularly prevalent after eating sugars and starches, so limit exposure by eating a healthy diet. The likelihood of developing a cavity depends largely on your oral hygiene maintenance. The better your oral health routine, the fewer chances you will have of suffering tooth decay. However, older people and children are slightly more at risk, because their enamel is more vulnerable. If a child develops cavities within baby teeth, they will be repaired as soon as the adult teeth emerge, but this does not mean that dental attention isn't important. The best possible approach to dealing with plaque is prevention. Once you have cavities, there is no real way to reverse them (though new technologies may make this a reality soon). The only option is to fill and repair them, so protect your enamel while you still can. Brush and floss regularly, attend routine dental exams and avoid eating too many sugary foods. Gum Disease (Periodontitis) This is a bacterial infection brought about by the accumulation of plaque in the mouth. Gingivitis is the infection of gums. Periodontitis is a more advanced form of infection affecting the gums, ligament and the surrounding bones. The bacteria invade and destroy the gum tissue and ligaments that hold the teeth in place. During the early phases of gingivitis and mild periodontitis, the symptoms can still be reversed with a good dental care routine and immediate treatment for any underlying infections. Once the disease moves on to advanced stages, it becomes much harder to treat, so give yourself the best possible chance and respond early. Risk factors for gum disease are poor dental hygiene, faulty brushing or flossing techniques, and other serious health problems like diabetes are more prone to developing persistent gum infections. Be sure to stay ahead of gum disease with good dental hygiene and care! Tooth fractures Fractured teeth are often common among young children. School-going children that are actively involved in sports are at higher risk of tooth fractures. During an impact, single or multiple teeth can be affected. The treatment for fractured teeth will depend on the severity and the level of the fracture. In most cases, the natural tooth can be saved. If the tooth has come out completely, then you should carry it to the dentist in a container with milk or distilled water. In the case of fall or impact, you should immediately visit your dentist. Tooth Infection  This happens when the root of a tooth becomes infected and fills up with bacteria. If left untreated, it will damage the nerves and the pulp tissue inside the tooth itself. So, get to the dentist right away if you think that you might have this condition. Deep cracks, fractures, or cavities can all lead to an infection. The most severe root infections cause patients to develop painful abscesses. These appear in the form of very sore facial swellings. However, abscesses usually only occur once a root infection has progressed to a more serious state. If you deal with a painful or cracked tooth quickly, this should not happen. Enamel erosion  This is a very common problem and is characterised by round and noticeably discoloured enamel surfaces. It occurs as a result of exposure to corrosive materials like fizzy drinks and sugary snacks. The acid in these ingredients wears down the enamel and gives it a stained and unhealthy look. In some cases, overzealous brushing may also be a factor. The one thing that will lead to enamel degradation faster than anything else is sipping on fizzy and sugary drinks all day, every day. This includes sports drinks, carbonated soft drinks (diet ones too), and most forms of wine. In fact, this is considered to be an occupational hazard for professional wine tasters and reviewers. Like cavities, there is only so much that can be done once a certain amount of enamel has been worn away. You cannot get back material that has been eroded. This means that prevention is always the best cure for enamel degradation. Where possible, swap out soft drinks for water. If you enjoy drinking fruit juices, make sure that you clean your teeth regularly and restrict these drinks to mealtimes. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) This condition is sometimes called xerostomia, but it is most easily recognized with the simple term ‘dry mouth.’ Unsurprisingly, it is caused by a lack of saliva in the mouth. This can occur for a number of different reasons, but it is a well-known side effect of taking prescription medications. If you are on any kind of medication, ask your doctor whether this could be an issue. Saliva has mild antibacterial properties and it is used to wash away residual plaque from teeth. It also gives your gums and teeth essential moisture, lubrication, and cleansing. Thus, individuals with xerostomia are more prone to infections. The most at risk groups are patients on prescription medications and people over the age of fifty. As the mouth ages, saliva production naturally slows and the friction against teeth increases. Over time, if left untreated, this lack of saliva will contribute to the development of decay and cavities. Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) The long winded condition, TMJ disorders involves a dysfunction of the similarly named joint. It is found a little below the ears, but above the jawbone. The condition usually leads to the grinding or clenching of teeth while asleep. It is more common in women than men and is most likely to appear during the childbearing years. It can also be caused due to psychological factors like stress. Oral Cancers Clearly, this is one of the most serious dental problems that you can develop, so it is vital that you recognize the signs as soon as they appear, if they ever do. Most oral cancers begin as a small, pale, pinkish lump or growth inside the mouth. It is almost always painless. If you have a growth like this or you are worried about a change in your mouth, consult a dentist now. A specialist will be able to gently examine your mouth, head, and neck for signs of trouble. For smokers, this kind of check-up is very important, because smoking significantly increases the chances of developing mouth cancer. It is also more common in people who drink excessively, so keep an eye on your alcohol consumption. Sores Mouth sores are another condition that can often occur. They can be painful and cause a burning sensation while eating spicy foods. Mouth sores could be a sign of infection or vitamin deficiency. It’s best to get this checked by a dentist who can assess it and prescribe an ointment or medication. Tooth sensitivity Seven out of ten people suffer from tooth sensitivity. Each tooth has an outermost covering of enamel. When this wears off, the sensitive dentin is exposed. The dentin has nerve endings and on exposure, makes the tooth sensitive to sweet and cold foods. Your dentist will assess the case and suggest a suitable treatment If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about enamel wear and sensitivity problems, consult Dr. Ron Lo at (253)-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com  You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

    Dental care, Dental Implants