Showing posts from September, 2018

Replacing Your Toothbrush After Illness

Cold and flu season is upon us, therefore if you’ve been unlucky enough to catch a bug you may want to be safe and replace your toothbrush. Once you’ve been infected with a particular strain of a virus, germs can hide in toothbrush bristles and lead to reinfection. Dr. Vijay Munagala of Redwood Dental Smiles hopes you stay healthy this season, and here are a couple of ways to prevent your toothbrush from making you sick.
We advise that you keep your toothbrush away from others because airborne bacteria can be shared between toothbrushes stored near each other in warm, moist environments like the bathroom. Let’s say you have family members and all of their toothbrushes sit in the same holder. Even if you don’t put their toothbrushes in your mouth, the infected item might contaminate yours. When toothbrushes are stored in the same cup, their bristles can come into contact with one another, spreading germs in the process. To completely sterilize your toothbrush if you don’t want to replac…


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 …


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…