Santa Cruz Family Dentists | Smile With Confidence in Santa Cruz

Opening Hours : Mon 7AM-5PM; Tu/We/Th 7AM-6PM; Fri 8AM-5PM
  Contact : (831) 316-1580

All Posts Tagged: dental health

Stick out your tongue

Stick out your tongue.

How does it look?  Pretty and pink?  Yellow, milky white and coated?  Your mouth is teeming with bacteria that determine whether your teeth fall out or remain pearly white.

600 different species of bacteria in your mouth

Did you know that every drop of saliva contains millions of bacteria and your tongue is like a sponge hanging on to them? Most bacteria live symbiotically in your mouth producing enzymes to break down carbohydrates that aid in digestion and metabolism.  Your mouth is a veritable hot-house for bacterial breeding.  Just think, it’s warm, wet and cozy with an unlimited supply of food and shelter.  That’s great for good bacteria, however it keeps the bad kinds breeding just the same.  Certain bacterium get overgrown when not managed regularly which cover the tongue like a coat.

The truth about the coat

The coating on your tongue can not only look yucky, but it can make you sick.  The bacteria on your tongue contribute to tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.

Keep the count down

To keep the bacteria at bay, it is important to pay special attention to the strongest muscle in your body.  Make sure not to forget your tongue when brushing.  At many drugstores you can purchase a tongue scraper that will aid in removing some of that build up, however, a kitchen spoon works just as well.   Some patients say they gag too much to even attempt cleaning the tongue, for that Wikihow offers some tips:  http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Gagging-While-Brushing-Your-Tongue.

 

Oral B Tongue Cleaner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some gadgets that some patients find helpful.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

Read More

Are you a mad snacker?

Are you a mad snacker?   Because I am.  Nothing makes my late afternoon days fly by like a little pick-me-up from the Chocolate Fairy.   Some people reach for an apple, maybe some nuts.  Some like the salty, some like the sweet.  I’ll take the sweet and I am not afraid to admit it.  For me it’s  a tie between the Hot Tamales and the See’s Candy.   It’s no secret that between meal snacks and beverages high in sugar and starch can promote tooth decay.  Yet, as a self admitted mad snacker I cannot condemn my fellow cohorts.  As a dentist, I feel a bit compelled to let you in on my secret.   Xylitol gum.

Not only does it have fewer calories and less effect on blood sugar than sucrose, but xylitol gum has the added benefit of inhibiting the creation of acid in the mouth. Products sweetened with xylitol create an unwelcome environment for bacteria; they simply cannot stick to teeth in a xylitol-rich environment.  This minimizes the damage done to your teeth, as well as allowing your teeth to heal at a faster rate. It allows the teeth to re-mineralize the calcium ions in enamel before dental caries form.

So what’s that all mean?  Chew a piece of xylitol gum after every meal or snack for maximum benefit to your teeth as it may reduce the risk of tooth decay and snack on!


I like the Spearmint Spry, but it comes in other flavors like cinnamon, peppermint, fruit and even green tea.  New Leaf, Staff of Life and Whole Foods all have a version of it, so pick up a pack next time you are in.  They are also putting xylitol in some Tridents now!

If only they could make it taste like chocolate…

To your health,

Dr. Bob

Read More

It’s not “just a cleaning”

So you have been a patient here for years, or maybe you are a new member of the family, either way, do you know really what happens at your teeth cleaning?

If you’re like most people,  the only thing you hear is “cavity” or no cavity.  However, so much more than just the evaluation of tooth decay is going on during those cleanings.  Besides polishing of the tooth’s surface, here’s what’s really going on while your mouth is open…

A review of medical health history

Gums and oral tissues can be greatly affected by changes in your medications or health and  can cause pocketing, dry mouth, or tooth and bone loss.

Blood pressure screening

High blood pressure has been labeled “the silent killer.”  People with elevated blood pressure often don’t know until they have suffered a heart attack or stroke.  Your health and safety is of the utmost importance to us.

American Cancer Society Oral Cancer Exam, Soft Tissue and Hard tissue Exam

Who looks in your mouth more than us?  Regular cancer screenings check for abnormalities or changes in cheeks, gums, tongue, tonsil, and lining of the mouth.  Early detection is the key.  In the United States 3 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every hour, that’s 30,000 Americans every year.

Periodontal exam

Periodontal disease is the #1 leading cause of tooth loss in Americans.  Periodontal disease is an infection of gum tissues.  We take measurements of 6 sites around the teeth to determine the health of the gum tissue and severity of infection.  Early treatment can not only prevent tooth and bone loss, but also save money (and teeth!) in the long run.

TMJ exam

Some say that 20% of the population if affected Tempromandibular Disorder (TMD) which affects the tempromandibular joint.  Early detection can help alleviate major jaw issues in the future including muscle stiffness, locking of the jaw, and changes in the way your teeth fit together.

Occlusal exam

Occlusion is the manner in which the upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is closed.  Often referred to at the “bite.”  This is super important for not only chewing, but the health of the jaw joint.    A healthy bite means a healthy jaw.

It’s not “just a cleaning”

Every time you open your mouth here at out office rest assured we are looking out for you even when you aren’t entirely aware of it.  Early detection of of high blood pressure can prevent a heart attack.  Early detection of a cavity can prevent a crown.  Early detection of periodontal disease can prevent tooth loss and cardiovascular disease.  Coming to your regularly scheduled cleanings and exams can  spare you unnecessary pain, tooth loss and money with early detection.  Do something good for you, let us keep you healthy.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

Read More

“Mission Possible”

The Matiasevich Team with trainers Pat and Roz

“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.”
–Rick Pitino Coach for the Louisville Cardinals

We believe we are only as good as what we can do for our patients and what services we offer.   It is important for us to be able to offer our patients a variety of solutions for every dental situation.  Our mission is to keep you with your teeth for a lifetime. And it is one we have accepted whole heartedly.

Mission Possible Training

Last month we were fortunate enough to have onsite training with 2 fantastic women who specialize in non-surgical periodontal therapies that can save teeth and bone! We learned the ins and outs of Periodontal Disease, as well as new techniques of infection control. There was not only classroom training, but lucky us, chair-side too!  With three days of intensive instruction, we are pumped and ready to bring you the best treatment available!

#1 cause of tooth loss

Periodontal Disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss. “According to the 1996 American Dental Association/Colgate survey, U.S. dentists say gum disease is a more pressing oral health concern than tooth decay by a 2-to-1 margin.”  Research has shown, and experts agree, that there is an association between Periodontal Disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions, as well as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Health doesn’t stop at your mouth. We understand that there is a person attached to your teeth and we want the very best for your health.

It’s not your fault

Here are just some of the factors that contribute to Periodontal Disease:

  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • OTC Drugs
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Hormones
  • Smoking
  • Disease
  • Dry Mouth
  • Grinding

The list goes on and on.  No wonder brushing and flossing alone can’t combat the bacteria!  It’s not your fault.  Bacteria are excellent breeders and can reproduce at an exponential rate when conditions are right.  Excessive bacteria causes infection in the gums.

Imagine a 3″ wound on your arm that is not only tender to the touch, but bleeds and oozes puss. It is constantly irritating and just won’t heal.  It could give you a fever.  It could make you feel run down and affect your blood pressure. That is what an infection in your mouth can be like.  Left undisturbed, the infection will lead to not only bone loss, but also tooth loss.

We can help

Never fear, the Matiasevich Team is here!  We can get that health deteriorating infection under control with amazing new techniques.  It is possible.  Active infection will be a thing of the past.  A future of healthy pink gums  and strong teeth are waiting for you.  Your mission, and we hope you accept it, is to let us take care of you.  This is what we do.  And we love it.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

Read More

Dangerous Denture Cream

Denture cream.  A phrase many people don’t even like to say, let alone admit they use.  However, if you are one of the millions of people using denture creams, you’re already aware they taste bad, smell bad and are generally messy.  I have never had a patient tell me they like to use denture cream.  Those reasons alone are more than enough for many patients to say “I’ve had it!” and to get their dental implant treatment done using my unique methods of dentistry.

Now, you can add one more reason to say goodbye to denture cream and gain secure, comfortable, beautiful teeth that help preserve your facial bone using dental implants.

Toxic denture cream…..

A recent scientific report in a medical journal (Neurology June 2008) found several patients in which zinc poisoning was a result of their denture cream.  Neurology is the study of the body’s electrical system (the nervous system).  While it’s technically pretty complicated and there is more research to be done on this topic.

As these patients found, even minor changes in the amount of electrical particles (ions) that operate the human electrical system can have disastrous results.

What were the symptoms?

Some of the symptoms in the studied patients wearing denture cream included:

  • Numbness and weakness in the arms and legs resulting in wheelchair dependence.
  • Urinary tract infection (bladder infection)
  • Mental cognitive decline
  • Hand weakness and numbness
  • Poor balance
  • Progressive numbness
  • Loss of sense of vibration
  • Poor muscular coordination

It should be noted these were patients in their 40’s and not long- term adhesive wearers!

If you’ve been putting off getting rid of the denture cream, this truly is one of the most profound reasons to find a way to make your implants happen.  If you have questions or want solutions to this messy problem don’t hesitate to call the office and set up a consultation.

I’d love to be the first person to shake your hand (or even give you a hug!) when we finish your care.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

Read More