For one-on-one dental care customized to your liking, visit RiverLake Family Dental in Sacramento, California.
An experienced dentist since 1977, you can trust Calvin L. Garland, DDS for all of your family’s dental needs, including general dental care such as preventative exams and cleanings and nonsurgical gum care. Specializing in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Garland uses leading-edge dental equipment and techniques to gently create beautiful smiles. Procedures such as teeth whitening, crowns and bridges, dental implants, and full mouth restoration can help you achieve the smile of your dreams. RiverLake Family Dental also offers traditional orthodontics as well as Invisalign® braces. Dr. Garland and his professional staff will take the time to get to know you, listen to your concerns, soothe your fears, explain our procedures, and answer all of your questions in easy-to-understand terms before starting your treatment plan. We always take the time to make sure that you are comfortable, and we offer sedation dentistry to help soothe your nerves and put you at ease. For your convenience, we offer early morning, lunchtime, and evening appointments to fit your schedule, as well as Wi-Fi in our office. We will do everything possible to ensure your satisfaction and make your visit as enjoyable as possible.
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How to Brush Teeth
By now, brushing your teeth is second nature. And that's a good thing because one of the best ways to avoid a host of dental diseases and complications is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. But for tooth brushing to be truly effective, you have to know how to brush properly.
Most of us were just kids when we were first taught how to brush our teeth. Our parents may have done a great job teaching us, but it's always a good idea to brush up on your brushing techniques.
Tooth Brushing Made Easy
For truly clean teeth, dentists recommend that you brush for at least two minutes -- not 15 or 30 seconds -- two whole minutes. An easy way to make sure you're brushing long enough is to buy an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. There are also children's toothbrushes that light up when it's time for your child to stop brushing. However you time it, don't skimp on the length of time you brush -- the two minutes are vital!
Tips on how to brush properly:
- Use short, back-and-forth and up-and-down strokes.
- Pay special attention to your gum line, back teeth and areas around any tooth filling or restoration you might have.
- Clean the inner and outer surfaces of your upper teeth first, and then clean your lower teeth.
- Brush or scrape your tongue to help prevent bad breath.
Don't forget to floss! Brushing and flossing is like peanut butter and jelly -- when you think of one you can't help but think of the other. It may seem tedious, but flossing every day is one of the best things you can do for your oral health.
Dentistry for Mature Mouths: Advice for All Seniors
The number of aging patients at dental offices has been steadily increasing in recent years. At the same time, seniors are keeping their natural teeth longer and fewer patients are wearing dentures. Because the senior population will continue to swell as baby boomers reach the age of retirement, dental professionals are adapting their practices to meet the needs of older patients.
Dentists must take into account the reduced mobility and dexterity of some seniors, which may make routine oral hygiene practices difficult. Your existing medical conditions and treatments are also an important factor in determining dental care.
You may be unfamiliar with current dental practices and choose not to seek dental care for dental problems like toothache remedies, bleeding gums and improperly fitted dentures, but it's important that you do. There are many dental technologies now available to help make dental treatment of common problems more comfortable and less time-consuming.
Your oral health is an important component of your overall health, so it's even more important for you to visit the dentist regularly and maintain good dental health as you age. Because tooth decay is more likely to occur in older adults, it is important to brush and floss regularly to remove dental plaque that could cause periodontal disease, thus reducing the possibility of needing costly gum disease treatment.
Using fluoride is one of the most effective ways to strengthen teeth and prevent harmful acids from causing tooth decay: It promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into the tooth enamel, which helps to repairs weak spots. Most towns and cities have fluoridated tap water, which provides an adequate source of fluoride. If your tap water is not fluoridated, speak with your dentist about other sources of fluoride.
Women Account for 90% of TMJ Sufferers
You've never heard of it, but your dentist says the frequent headaches, muscle pain and popping sound you hear when you open and close your mouth is called TMJ disorder. The good news is you're not alone. Over 10 million people in the U.S. experience TMJ disorder, and the majority of that number is women; in fact, women in their childbearing years account for 90% of all TMJ sufferers. Although doctors aren't sure why more women seek dental treatment for this disorder than men, there is research to help us understand it.
What to Look for
First of all, TMJ disorder is a complex condition that affects the joint connecting your lower jaw to your skull. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, contains the joint socket and muscles used for chewing and speaking. Also referred to as TMJ syndrome or TMD, TMJ disorder happens when these joints become compromised, often as a result of trauma caused by an accident, teeth grinding, known as bruxism, or teeth clenching.
As a woman, you should be aware of the factors that can cause TMJ so you can take measures to avoid it. You may be more prone to developing TMJ disorder for several reasons:
Stress -- Teeth grinding or clenching is often the result of stress. Not that women necessarily have more stress than men, but it is a significant contributing factor to TMJ syndrome.
Medical Conditions -- Arthritis is also one of the causes of TMJ. As arthritis is more common in women, it would make sense that they would make up a larger percentage of TMJ cases related to arthritis. Women who suffer from fibromyalgia also often have TMJ pain.
Hormones -- Research suggests a link between estrogen, pain and jaw joints. Scientists have found estrogen receptors in the temporomandibular joints of baboons, while none were found in males. Studies have also shown that women who undergo hormone replacement therapy or take oral contraceptives are more likely to report jaw pain.
Joint Structure -- Some believe the collagen that holds the disk in place between the joint's ball and socket in women is different from men. This may cause more women to have dislocated disks, which can trigger TMJ.
Vitamin Deficiencies -- Several conditions linked to magnesium deficiencies have been found to be more common among women, including TMJ syndrome. There is a possibility that me********on contributes to some vitamin deficiencies, which may explain why TMJ affects women in their childbearing years.
Taking Time to Help Yourself
Whether women are more affected by TMJ disorder or if they're just more likely to seek help for it, they're taking the right route by looking into it. A dentist who's familiar with TMJ can diagnose the condition and rule out other jaw problems. If you're a woman with jaw joint discomfort, be sure to speak with your dentist if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Problems chewing or popping sounds in the jaw
- Headaches, dizziness or ringing in the ears
- Pain in jaw joints, face, neck or shoulders
- Muscle spasms
- Trouble opening or closing the jaw or lockjaw
- Swelling on the side of your face
Your dentist can perform several exams to determine if you have TMJ syndrome. Once diagnosed, you can wait for TMJ to go away on its own or try home therapies for temporary relief. Jaw exercises and warm compresses will help you relax the jaw, and you should also take measures to reduce stress. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a prescription to control TMJ pain, and you should avoid hard and sticky foods to help the joint heal.
For more extreme cases, your dentist may give you a splint or bite plate, which is a plastic guard worn to reduce clenching and teeth grinding. Your doctor may also inject a cleaning solution into the joint to wash away fluid or cortisone to relieve pain. As a last resort, surgery may be used to correct the situation.
A Joint Effort
Scientists are still trying to understand TMJ disorder. But as scientific research progresses, we'll have more information as to why women tend to be more affected. In the meantime, you can take steps to prevent the disease. Reducing stress, eating well and exercising can lessen your chances of getting TMJ syndrome, along with many other ailments. Besides, with all you have to do, shouldn't you take time to relax anyway?
Heavy Drinking Linked to Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in men worldwide and almost two-thirds of cases are in advanced stages by the time they are detected. A number of risk factors have long been associated with oral cancer including smoking, human papilloma virus (HPV), gender and age. Recently, heavy drinking has also been linked to oral cancers, especially when occurring in conjunction with other risk factors.
The term "oral cancer" refers to cancers of the lip, tongue, floor of mouth, tonsils and soft palate. If you notice any sores, swelling or discolorations that do not heal on their own after two weeks it is important that you consult your dentist. Early detection can greatly increase your chances of a full and speedy recovery.
The vast majority of oral cancer cases are linked to to***co use, and the greater frequency and duration of use of to***co products is directly proportional to increase in risk of oral cancer. Heavy drinking can also increase your risk of oral cancer, but it is the combination of to***co use and heavy drinking which really causes your risk to skyrocket. It has been estimated that this combination can cause up to a 100-fold increase in your risk of oral cancer.
Men are about twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer and the average age at the time of diagnosis is 62 years. It has been estimated that HPV -- which is usually associated with cervical cancer - is responsible for 20 to 30 percent of oral cancers.
If you develop oral cancer, you dentist may suggest a number of dental treatment options, including surgically removing the affected cells, radiation or chemotherapy.
Remember, early detection is indispensible in fighting oral cancer so consult your dentist immediately if you notice any irregularities that do not disappear within two weeks. Your dentist can provide an oral cancer exam at each of your regular dental visits.
Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder in which the sufferer binges and purges their food. Unlike anorexia, where starvation is used to lose weight, bulimia entails consuming a large amount of food, only to expel it soon afterwards by inducing vomiting, using laxatives or exercising excessively. Those who suffer from bulimia are referred to as bulimics, and it most often affects teenage girls and young women.
Considered a mental disorder as well, bulimia makes those who suffer from it feel a loss of control. Stemming from a negative body image, bulimia can wreak havoc on both the body and mind. Bulimics often feel they are "fat," no matter what the scale says. They may feel depressed or guilty that they can't stop the disease on their own. And many bulimics display an overachieving behavior and an obsession with weight loss.
A Negative Effect
Although bulimia nervosa is characterized by binging and purging at least twice a week, bulimics often have more frequent episodes. Many force themselves to throw up daily, which is an extremely unhealthy way to lose weight. Stomach bloating, cramping, constipation, dehydration and exhaustion are common side effects from the constant vomiting and lack of nutrition. Bulimics may also notice swelling in the hands, lower legs, feet or salivary glands.
Not only does it do damage to your body, but bulimia nervosa has a devastating effect on teeth! As acid from the stomach enters the mouth, it erodes tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay and tooth discoloration. It not only looks bad, but bulimics often suffer from toothaches, multiple cavities, dry mouth, oral lesions and bleeding gums. For those who have silver dental fillings, the amalgam will appear "raised" due to the reduction of tooth enamel. And having dental braces won't help -- dental restorations and appliances can also become loose and dislodge from the jaw.
Figuring It Out
Bulimics often try to hide their disease from their loved ones. If you believe a friend or family member may be suffering from bulimia effects, there are several signs to help you determine the problem:
- Frequent vomiting
- Tooth decay
- Tooth discoloration
- Obsession with weight or low self-esteem
- Abnormal eating habits: fasting followed by eating a large amount of food, bizarre food rituals or a poor diet
- Hiding or stealing food
- Repeated tooth brushing or use of mouthwash
- Excessive use of laxatives
- Recurrent stomach ailments
- Tiredness or diziness
Diagnosis and Treatment
For those who suffer from bulimia effects, there is help! If you or someone you know has bulimia, contact a physician for a medical evaluation. Individual therapy and support groups are most helpful in treating the psychological aspects of the disease. Dentists also play a key role in bulimia treatment. Dentists are often able to suspect when a patient is bulimic, due to the specific side effects that repeated vomiting has on teeth.
Once the bulimic has decided to seek help, dental care will become a significant part of their bulimia treatment. As long as the bulimic continues to binge and purge, they will probably suffer from frequent cavities and bleeding gums. Restorative dentistry options may include tooth filling and gum disease treatment, but ongoing bulimia treatment may be needed until the bulimia is cured. In the meantime, fluoride treatments will help reduce sensitivity. A cap or dental crown is often needed to repair extremely damaged teeth, but is usually recommended only after the bulimic can control vomiting.
Take Care of Yourself
There are ways to better care for your teeth at home while you seek help. Be sure not to brush your teeth after vomiting, as most bulimics feel compelled to do. The abrasive materials in toothpaste will further damage tooth enamel made sensitive by stomach acid. Eating or drinking anything acidic will have the same effect. Instead, wash your mouth out with water to neutralize the acid, and wait a few hours before you eat, drink or brush your teeth.
Practicing excellent oral hygiene will also help slow the process of tooth erosion. It's extremely important to receive ongoing professional dental care. Although you may feel embarrassed by the condition of your teeth, visiting a caring dentist will relieve pain and restore your smile. As untreated bulimia effects can lead to large cavities, expensive dental treatment or even tooth loss, treatment should be sought as early as possible. Getting help early will not only strengthen your dental health, but will increase your chances of recovery and improve your self-esteem!
How to Pick a Toothbrush
Picking a toothbrush sounds easy, right? But if you've ever walked down the toothbrush aisle of your local drug store, you know how easy it is to get confused by all the choices. Some toothbrushes promise fresh breath, deep cleaning and even teeth whitening. Others are specially designed for orthodontics or dentures. While these special features are enticing, it's best to ask your dentist if they're right for you or if you need them at all. There are, however, some toothbrush basics that you need to know -- these tips should make your search for a toothbrush a whole lot easier!
What to Look for in a Toothbrush
The right toothbrush can help turn bad oral hygiene habits into good oral hygiene habits. Without daily brushing and flossing, your teeth and gums may become especially vulnerable to tooth decay, dental plaque, dental tartar, even gum disease. Don't let that happen -- use these guidelines to help you pick a toothbrush; the more you like your toothbrush, the more likely you are to brush.
Remember: the Softer the better. It might seem like a toothbrush with stiff bristles is the right choice -- after all, many of your household brushes probably have rigid bristles, making cleaning faster and easier. But the opposite is true when it comes to picking a toothbrush. And the reason why is simple: Softer bristles are easier on your gums. When you brush, you want to clean your teeth, not make your gums bleed. A toothbrush with stiff bristles is more likely to cause bleeding gums. However, don't pick a toothbrush that's labeled "soft" unless your dentist recommends it; choose a "medium" one instead.
Go nylon, not natural. There's a whole slew of natural dental products available that are environmentally friendly. You may have even heard about something called a "Natural Toothbrush" with bristles made from the root of an Araak tree. Other types of natural toothbrushes have brown bristles that are reportedly softer than nylon bristles. While you may be curious to try a natural toothbrush, keep in mind that there has been little research done in the U.S. on their effectiveness (or harmfulness). Natural toothbrushes may also cost more and wear out faster than standard toothbrushes. Until there's more information about natural toothbrushes, it's probably best to stick to an ADA-recommended toothbrush with medium-soft, nylon bristles.
Get a heads up. When it comes to a toothbrush head, you might think that bigger is better. That's not always the case. If you have a small mouth, a toothbrush with a big head might make it difficult to angle your toothbrush to brush hard-to-reach areas. Go for something that complements the size of your mouth.
Choose a handle with care. The handles of toothbrushes are usually colorful, sometimes translucent or even glittery. But don't be fooled into thinking that "bright and shiny" is all you need. What you should really look for is a toothbrush handle that feels comfortable in your hand and is easy to maneuver. Also look for a non-slip surface, especially if you have arthritis.
Don't forget: After daily use, your toothbrush can lose its effectiveness and even become a breeding ground for germs, fungus and bacteria. Who wants that? To get the most out of your toothbrush, replace it frequently -- at least every 1-3 months. And if you recently had a cold or infection, you may have transferred germs to your toothbrush so be sure to use a new toothbrush.
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