Patient Education

Our goal at Mission Peak Dental Care is to keep you smiling! Any kind of tooth damage—broken dentures, lost crowns or fillings, or a broken tooth—should be taken care of immediately, but here are some tips and preventative measures to keep your teeth healthy.

Common Problems

Tooth Decay

Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, soft drinks, and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. This forms plaque that damages the mineral structure of teeth, resulting in tooth decay.

Sensitive Teeth

Hot and cold food or beverages can cause pain or irritation for people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede, or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings.

Gum Disease

Gum disease (or periodontal) can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or require extraction by a dentist.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.

Oral Hygiene

Brushing

Brush the lower and upper teeth on the surface and underneath, as well as your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Brush twice daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque: in the morning after breakfast, and again at bedtime.

Flossing

Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth, in areas that a toothbrush can’t reach. It is important to floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque.

Sealants

The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food, which eventually break down tooth enamel, causing cavities. Tooth sealant is a resin material applied to areas prone to cavities.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly less cavities.

Emergency Tips

Tooth Ache

Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. Under no circumstances should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. Please contact us for an appointment if the pain persists more than a day.

Broken Braces andWires

Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. Do not remove any wire caught in the gums, cheek or tongue, and see a dentist immediately.

Broken Tooth

Seek immediate dental attention, but first rinse the area with warm water and put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. For a knocked-out tooth, make sure to hold the tooth by the crown (top) and not the root. Rinse and reinsert the tooth in the socket, holding it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water and request an emergency appointment.

Possible Broken Jaw

In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.

For a periodontal evaluation, please contact our office at (510) 790-0590!