Posts

Peri-Implantitis

If you have a dental implant and your gums bleed, that’s a sign there’s something wrong. Peri-implantitis is the inflammation of gum tissue surrounding an implant. We provide high-quality implants at Redwood Dental Smiles in Castro Valley, allowing patients to regain their bite function, the stability of their jaw, and the beauty of their smile. But patients should be aware of the importance of taking care of their new teeth, which is why peri-implantitis is the subject of this week’s blog post.
Gingivitis literally means “gum inflammation.” It is usually the immune system’s response to an infection in the pocket surrounding the lower part of a tooth. Gum pockets are a good place for bacteria to evade brushing and flossing. As the bacteria feed, they produce acid, which sticks to the tooth and causes erosion. If the infection is allowed to persist, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease, which causes the loss of gum and jaw bone tissue.
When people first get implants, there is …

Sleeptember

Do you know about the connection between sleep apnea and teeth grinding? At Redwood Dental Smiles in Castro Valley, we want all of our patients to know how to avoid jaw pain and cracked teeth. This month the American Sleep Apnea Association runs its Sleeptember campaign, and part of raising awareness of sleep apnea includes understanding oral health.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition in which a person’s throat tissue disrupts their airflow while lying down. As a result, they are pulled out of deep sleep throughout the night, leaving them fatigued when they wake up. Sometimes, the body attempts to keep the airways open by moving the jaw during sleep, resulting in teeth grinding (also called bruxism). Teeth grinding can lead to misaligned teeth, jaw pain, and in the most severe cases, broken crowns.
One of the most important points of the Sleeptember campaign is that OSA is common but severely underdiagnosed, and consequently, undertreated. People can get tested for OSA at a sl…

Preventing Dry Sockets

We want our patients at Redwood Dental Smiles to feel fully included in their care decisions. Patients tend to have better compliance when they understand their dentist’s reasons for making certain requests of them, which is why we want people to know why they should take seriously their post-operative instructions after undergoing tooth extractions.
Dry sockets are an uncommon reaction, but a serious one. After a tooth is extracted, the jaw bone at the end of the empty socket is briefly exposed, but a blood clot usually forms and seals it off. In cases of simple extractions, the socket will close within a few days. However, if a patient is in severe pain for longer than two days after the extraction, they should make an emergency appointment.
We can disinfect a dry socket, remoisturize it, and keep a closer eye on the patient while they recover. However, this is usually avoidable if the patient does not dislodge the blood clot by sipping through straws or eating sticky foods. Smoking i…

Tooth Aches in Children

Nobody should resign themselves to a tooth ache, and that includes children. We’re a family practice at Redwood Dental Smiles, and we want our patients to know they can count on us to help their children with tooth sensitivity.
Children are the age demographic most likely to get cavities or caries. These dental infections are the result of acid-producing bacteria feeding on food debris. They can be prevented with better brushing, but sealants provide additional protection. Conversely, it is possible to brush too hard and damage the gum tissue. Only soft-bristled toothbrushes should be used on teeth, and everybody should understand that bleeding gums are a sign of a problem.
Sometimes adult teeth are sensitive during their first few days exposed to air. This problem usually goes away on its own, although we can provide mild painkillers. A more serious problem is if the adult teeth are having difficulty erupting, which may require an extraction. People who engage in nighttime tooth grindi…

Veneers For A Smile Makeover

Patients of Redwood Dental Smiles are always asking Dr. Vijay Munagala about the latest cosmetic solutions for their teeth.  Some fixes are recommended just to repair damage or just to whiten, but veneers are the best way to give your smile a total makeover. Veneers are thin ceramic shells that bond directly to the surface of your teeth.  This gives you the opportunity to completely change the appearance of your smile and still look natural. 
Patients with cosmetic issues like staining, cracked or chipped teeth, and even crooked teeth and small gaps can achieve a dazzling smile with veneers. We can make this happen in two to three visits!  First, your dentist will discuss the shape and look you want for your new smile.  Then an impression of your teeth is taken in order to custom-fit the final product to the surfaces of your teeth.  The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where your custom veneers will be fabricated, which may take up to two weeks.  On your final visit, the venee…

Pediatric Dentistry

Redwood Dental Smiles is proud to serve the families from our community, and we want them to know it’s just as important for children to have regular dental visits.  A child’s first dental visit should be scheduled when the first baby tooth appears, or around the child’s first birthday.  Baby teeth eventually come out, but their growth and development is important for overall oral health for the child and the development of their adult teeth.
Baby teeth should be brushed and cared for like adult teeth, and it’s important to monitor their growth and development.  Missing any tooth for too long can change the development of surrounding teeth and compromise the structure of the jaw bone, but regular checkups can keep a child’s tooth development right on track.  Our dentists are skilled and experienced in administering dental care to children.  If your child has seems nervous about seeing a dentist for the first time, we recommend going through a brushing routine with them at home, and tal…

Bridges

Among the many means by which we can restore teeth at Redwood Dental Smiles, one of the oldest is the dental bridge. This prosthetic is used when there are several teeth in a row that need new crowns or are missing entirely.
A single implant supports an artificial crown for just one tooth, but a bridge is several crowns linked together. Typically, the crowns at the end would be supported and the crown in the middle would be suspended between them. The supported crowns may be attached to fixed implants or they may be removable in the form of a partial denture. It is also possible to have the crowns supported by reshaped natural teeth. Because natural teeth tend to have fewer problems, dentists would not usually want to reshape natural crowns to have bridges put over them unless they were already decayed. However, there may be an advantage to having a patient retain the natural roots of their supporting teeth, particularly if their jawbones may not be able to support implants.
Modern brid…