Important Notice to TRDP (TRICARE) Members

Effective with the open enrollment beginning November 2018, the federal government is terminating their exclusive arrangement with Delta Dental of California. This is a great development for you as you will have the option to enter the FEDVIP program and gain freedom of choice in your plan option at a reduced cost to you. WE would encourage you to consider the following [plans as we are participating providers. These plans have a significant lower cost and grater benefits than Delta Dental of California. GEHA-Connection Dental provides the most favorable benefits.
1. GEHA-Connection Dental
2. Aetna
If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free the call our office.

Dry Mouth

* Is your mouth feeling increasingly dry?
* Do you regularly find yourself doing things to keep your mouth moist?
* Are you using mints, altiods, cough drops etc.?
With the modern advancements in medicine, the majority of people are being treated for health conditions with medications. Many prescription and non prescription drugs share a common side effect….dry mouth.
Dry mouth is a problem. It raises your risk of tooth decay, mouth infections (thrush), and gum disease.
There are many chronic medical diseases that can be suggested by the condition of your mouth. The dentist does a medication review at each visit. There are over 400 medications that can cause dry mouth. Here are examples of some:

-Beta Blockers (High Blood Pressure)
-Gastric Medications
-Pain Medications

How important are my teeth?

Have you ever considered how important your teeth are for your long term health? Why should I try to save my teeth when they can always be replaced?
These are important questions that anyone should consider before removing a tooth that can be saved. Your mouth is the gateway to your body. Without teeth, you will have a difficult time getting proper nutrition which can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight gain or loss, etc. Your mouth is part of your body, it does not function alone. Just as if your knees do not function correctly, over time, using a poorly functional knee will lead to breakdown same as removing a tooth will cause your oral structures to function incorrectly and lead to breakdown over time.
There are many options to replace teeth, such as dentures, bridges, and implants; however, dentures are uncomfortable and offer only 30% of the chewing ability of natural teeth, and implants can be a costly alternative. Replacing a tooth with an implant can be three times the cost of saving a tooth. Make sure you talk to your dentist about all your alternatives and the long term ramifications before removing a tooth or teeth.

Athletic Mouthguards

Thousands of teeth are injured or avulsed (knocked out of the mouth) each year due to the lack of wearing a mouthguard or wearing an improperly fitted mouthguard.

Dental athletic mouthguards

Dental injuries are the most frequently incurred orofacial injury from sports. Not only can these injuries cause the death of a tooth requiring it to undergo root canal therapy, but they can also completely avulse a tooth. Studies have also confirmed that a properly fitted mouthguard can reduce the incidence of dental and jaw injuries and the incidence of concussions.

Research has shown that an upward blow to the chin can drive the mandible (lower jaw) into the base of the skull resulting in a concussion. It has been reported in the literature that a mouth guard can absorb some of the forces driving the jaw into the base of the skull resulting in a better outcome. A mouthguard and also disperse some of the shock energy applied to the front teeth during a frontal blow helping them survive this trauma.

Mouthguards have many functions:

  1. Helps prevent cuts and bruises to the lips.
  2. Prevents tooth fracture or dislocation.
  3. Protects opposing teeth from contacting each other.
  4. Acts as a shock absorber between the upper and lower jaw.
  5. Helps to protect against concussions when the lower jaw is driven into the base of the skull.

The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety has shown:

  1. An athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer damage when not wearing a mouthguard.
  2. The cost of replacing a tooth and follow up care is approximately $5,000. These individuals may face a lifetime dental cost of $15,000 to $20,000 per tooth.
  3. Each athlete in a contact sport has about a 10% chance per season of an orofacial injury, or a 35% to 56% chance during his or her athletic career.
  4. The total cost to replace an avulsed tooth can be 20 times more than a custom fit mouthguard.

There are three types of mouthguards:

  1. Stock: These are sold at sporting goods and department stores and are the least preferred type. These are the least expensive, least effective, and are only available in a limited number of sizes. They are often modified by the athlete to make them more comfortable which negates their usefulness. The International Academy of Sports Dentistry does not consider them a properly fitted mouth guard.
  2. Boil and Bite: These are the most used; however, they do not provide the proper thickness, comfort or critical protection needed for the posterior teeth.
  3. Custom Made: These are designed by a dentist and can provide comfort, correct thickness, and maximum protection for all teeth in the mouth. These can be made as either a single layer for non-contact sports or multilayered thickness constructed by pressure lamination for more contact sports. These guards provide the best protection against orofacial damage and concussion due to upward trauma to the lower jaw.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our office. Our previous blogs have attempted to impart the knowledge of how important teeth are to the quality and longevity of life. Our office strives to do all we can to keep your teeth for you. Thank you for allowing us to serve your dental needs!

Monsters in your Mouth

Recent data released from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) shows that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, followed by cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. Except for accidents, each of these causes of death can be linked to proteins, enzymes, and bacteria that can be found in the oral cavity. Thus, six of the seven leading causes of death in the US are chronic diseases that have been associated with conditions in the oral cavity.

Heart Disease

Inflammation in the mouth may be correlated to inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that patients with periodontal disease are up to 35% more likely to develop coronary artery disease than patients with healthy gums. Inflammation in the body changes the elasticity of arteries and will increase plaque accumulation in these arteries causing them to narrow.


Researchers at San Diego State University found that patients with pancreatic cancer have significantly higher levels of two types of bacteria in the mouth than patients without pancreatic cancer. It has also been noted that men with periodontal disease are 30% more likely to develop cancer of the blood than patients with normal gum tissue and also have an increased risk for prostate cancer.

Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease

Bacteria in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lower airways causing lung infections which can lead to pneumonia. If a patient has COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), a lung infection can greatly worsen their condition and lead to severe circumstances.


Those with severe periodontal disease are 4.5 times more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke than those with normal gums. Strokes can also be a result of obstructive sleep apnea. It has been found that 92% of everyone with a stroke has sleep apnea. A dental exam and history can give the dentist an indication if sleep apnea is present and can refer you for proper diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s Disease

A case study in Japan found that the loss of more than half of adult teeth by age 50 to 60 may correlate with a 2.6 fold increase in Alzheimer’s disease. Another study of 144 participants having few or no teeth showed that the risk of dementia increased 4.3 fold.


Studies have shown that diabetic patients with severe periodontal disease are at a 3.2 fold increased risk of diabetic neuropathy and ischemic heart disease. Periodontal treatment can reduce health complications for patients with type II diabetes, which can reduce annual health care costs by approximately 40%.

In the past, most of the evidence supporting the oral-systemic link was based on retrospective studies. Over the past two years, studies have emerged to provide evidence to the link. The connection between the mouth and body is undeniable. If you would like to have more information about the oral-systemic link , or if you have any concerns bout your own health, we would be glad to discuss your oral condition with you.

References will be supplied by request.

Deep Bites (Overbite) and Tooth Problems

Since practicing here for the last six and a half years, I have made some observations concerning the oral health of patients, in particular deep bites, and would like to pass on these following important facts about the mouth. We want you to be healthy and happy and maintain your teeth in good health!

The way your teeth are aligned and fit together is called your occlusion or bite. Teeth that don’t fit together properly are in malocclusion. One of the most harmful malocclusions is a deep bite. Unfortunately, many people with a deep bite have straight teeth and are under the assumption that their teeth are fine. This is a common misconception.

Deep bites cause numerous problems which usually take years to develop. The majority of people with deep bites suffer some TMD (TMJ) symptoms. These are usually headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and sore throat on one side. The headaches are usually over the sinus areas, fanning out over the side of the face, or in the back of the head at the base of the skull. A lot of times people call these sinus or tension headaches.

Also, deep bites put tremendous pressure on the molars causing these teeth to suffer fractures (cracks). The majority of people with deep bites have large fillings in the molars, or have crowns, or are missing the molars due to breakage.

Treating a deep bite can actually save you money and may increase your quality of life by reducing or eliminating headaches. Proper occlusion is important for proper function. If the bones in your body were not aligned properly, your body would eventually have problems. Well, your teeth are a part of your body, and like bones, need to be aligned properly or problems will arise. Research has shown that a healthy mouth is necessary for a healthy body.

Artificial Sweeteners

Researchers at the University of Texas Science Center in San Antonio studied the relationship between artificial sweeteners (AS) and weight gain and obesity.  Their research showed that AS may be causing weight gain rather than fighting it.  Your body needs calories to feel satisfied and it likes the calories from sweet things.  Since AS have no calories and are 200 to thousands of times sweeter than sugar, your body will crave more high caloric foods to feel satisfied so you will eat more than you need.  All of these excess calories are stored in your body as fat.

Another study of 9,500 people showed that those who drank one can of diet soda a day had a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome (risk factors that can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes) than those who didn’t drink diet sodas.  The authors have called for more research on this relationship.

This is good food for thought if you are worried about weight issues, and I hope it leads you to further research the issue.  My next blog will be about energy drinks, sodas, and tooth decay.

St. Patrick’s Day

We hope you all have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!  We do want to pass on one word of caution however.  Dental emergency visits increase 64% the day after St. Patrick’s Day with these emergencies usually involving the front teeth.  Partying too much can cause falls and fights, so please be careful in your celebrating so we do not have to see you the next day.