My Blog

Posts for: June, 2017

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
June 26, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Dental visits that include teeth cleaning are important for maintaining good oral health and preventing such problems as cavities and professional dental cleaninggum disease. Additionally, regular teeth cleanings can potentially help reduce the risk of other health conditions like heart disease, which has been linked to gum disease. Clean teeth and a clean mouth can improve overall health by preventing harmful bacteria from lingering in the mouth and traveling to the rest of the body. At Kirkland Smiles Dental Care, Dr. Bernard Pak is your Kirkland, WA, dentist for professional teeth cleanings.

Better Oral Health

Regular dental checkups with professional teeth cleanings are an important part of a good oral healthcare routine. Professional teeth cleanings from your Kirkland dentist provide a substantially more thorough cleaning than daily brushing and flossing at home. There are some things that brushing cannot accomplish, such as removing tartar buildup. Only a teeth cleaning done at the dentist’s office can remove tartar buildup, which is important for preventing gum disease from developing and spreading.

Early Detection of Other Diseases

Professional teeth cleanings are clearly important for maintaining a healthy mouth, but can also help with early detection of other diseases. When you visit the dentist regularly to have your teeth professionally cleaned, the dentist can inspect the health of your entire mouth. Dentists can often detect the early warning signs of other health problems in the body based on the condition of the mouth. For instance, an early sign of osteoporosis is loss of bone in the jaw area. Detection of such warning signs gives you the chance to see a doctor for treatment.

Regular dental checkups with professional teeth cleanings are an excellent way to maintain a healthy mouth and prevent oral health problems. Regular teeth cleanings that prevent gum disease can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease, which has been linked to poor oral health. Early detection of other diseases within the body is also possible when you visit the dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. To schedule your next dental checkup and teeth cleaning with Dr. Pak, your Kirkland, WA, dentist, call Kirkland Smiles Dental Care at (425) 893-9500.


By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
June 24, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
ChronicBitingHabitsCanLeadtoLooseTeeth

Periodontal (gum) disease is the most likely cause of a loose, permanent tooth. This progressive infection causes damage to the gums and bone tissues that hold teeth in place, leading to looseness and ultimately tooth loss.

Gum disease, however, isn’t the only cause: although not as common, excessive biting forces over time may also lead to loose teeth. The excessive force stretches the periodontal ligaments that hold teeth in place, causing the teeth to become loose.

This condition is called occlusal trauma. In its primary form, the patient habitually grinds or clenches their teeth, or bites or chews on hard objects like pencils or nails. Generating 20-30 times the normal biting force, these habits can cause considerable damage. It can also be a factor when gum disease is present — supporting bone becomes so weakened by the disease, even normal biting forces can cause mobility.

If you recognize the early signs of grinding or clenching, particularly jaw soreness in the morning (since many instances of teeth grinding occur while we sleep), it’s important to seek treatment before teeth become loose. The symptoms are usually treated directly with muscle relaxants, an occlusal guard worn to soften the force when teeth bite down, or stress management, a major trigger for teeth grinding. The sooner you address the habit, the more likely you’ll avoid its consequences.

If, however, you’re already noticing a loose tooth, treatment must then focus on preserving the tooth. Initially, the tooth may need to be splinted, physically joined to adjacent teeth to hold it in place while damaged tissues heal. In some cases, minute amounts of enamel may need to be removed from the tooth’s biting surfaces to help the tooth better absorb biting forces. Other treatments, including orthodontics and gum disease treatment, may also be included in your treatment plan.

If you notice a loose tooth, it’s critical you contact us as soon as possible for an evaluation — if you delay you increase the chances of eventually losing it. The earlier you address it, the better your chances of preserving your tooth.

If you would like more information on loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Teeth.”


By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
June 09, 2017
Category: Oral Health
NoahGallowaysDentallyDangerousDancing

For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.

Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.

If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.

When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.

When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment. Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.

And as for Noah Galloway:  In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!

If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”