December 7th, 2016
Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent health issues in America, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting it affects approximately 65 million people, or roughly 47 percent of the population. People with periodontal disease have bacteria beneath the surface of the gums, which are responsible for tissue inflammation that can lead to pain, bleeding, gum recession, and even permanent tooth loss. Unfortunately, the chances of developing gingivitis and periodontitis only increase with age, with 70 percent of adults over age 65 having at least some degree of gum disease. However, a lot can be done to prevent periodontal disease and keep teeth and gums healthy.
The process you take each day to clean your teeth and gums goes a long way towards preventing periodontal disease. Since gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by plaque build-up, the most important steps you can take to prevent them involve cleaning your teeth each morning, night, and after meals. Start by brushing your teeth and tongue, and follow up with mouthwash to kill any lingering bacteria. At least once per day, take time to floss thoroughly along the gum line to prevent gum infection from occurring in between teeth.
In addition to caring for your teeth and gums at home, it is also important to see Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong for comprehensive exams. We can detect gingivitis in its earliest stages and treat it before it has a chance to progress. Everyone needs occasional periodontal exams, though people with certain risk factors may require them more often. Examples include individuals who smoke or have a personal or family history of gum disease.
Treating Periodontal Disease
See Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong right away if you suspect that you may be experiencing the warning signs of periodontal disease. Symptoms may include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, gum recession, pockets that have formed between the teeth and the gums, and even tooth loss. If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, treatments are available to help restore your oral health depending on how advanced your gum disease has become. For example, gingivitis may require only a thorough cleaning and topical antibiotic. Periodontal disease that has been allowed to progress may require scaling and root planing, and in some cases, surgery to prevent tooth, bone, and gum loss.
Contact our San Francisco, CA office to schedule an appointment and learn about the ways we can help prevent and treat periodontal disease.
November 30th, 2016
Stress symptoms—which include high blood pressure, severe aches, and insomnia—may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is the culprit when in fact stress may actually be the reason. While stress can be good for us sometimes, Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our team know stress can be physically harmful. But what is often overlooked is that stress can also take a toll on your mouth. Here’s how:
It’s not uncommon for people dealing with stress to develop teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. People who grind their teeth at night may do so unconsciously, but the condition requires treatment to prevent the development of headaches, TMJ, and tooth damage. If you’re a night-grinder, talk to Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong. We may recommend a night guard.
Research suggests stress and depression harm your immune system, making it easier for infections to develop and stick around. That can mean canker sores or a cold sore outbreak. If mouth sores are a recurring problem for you, give us a call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong.
Stress can lead to bad oral health habits such as smoking, drinking, and neglecting your daily brushing and flossing routine. If you’ve been feeling under pressure lately, try to keep up with your oral health routine—it will serve you well when your stress levels return to normal.
Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our team at McFaul:Wong know there’s not always an easy way to reduce your stress levels, but eating healthy, exercising regularly, and spending time with friends and family are all good places to start.
November 23rd, 2016
At McFaul:Wong, we see a lot of patients who are concerned about their bad breath, also known as halitosis. So today we thought we would educate our patients about what you can do to keep your pearly whites clean and your breath minty fresh!
Naturally, good oral hygiene on your part is the first step. With proper brushing and flossing you can keep halitosis in check. Even though you may have done an excellent job of brushing and flossing your teeth, if you fail to brush your tongue, you may still have bad breath. Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in your mouth. Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease can cause bad breath.
Besides proper brushing and flossing, bad breath can be prevented if you:
Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products: Ask Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our team for tips on kicking the habit.
Keep your mouth hydrated: Because a dry mouth typically leads to bad breath, drinking water or eating oranges or celery may help.
Visit our San Francisco, CA office for regular dental checkups: By visiting McFaul:Wong at least twice a year, you will keep bad breath at bay. Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong will conduct an oral exam and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
November 16th, 2016
Molars are made up of canyons, caves, pits, and seemingly endless caverns that are a breeding ground for decay. The protective solution is a sealant. When done correctly, a sealant from Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong of McFaul:Wong can be most effective in preventing cavities.
A sealant is made up of composite (a plastic-like) material that contains bonding agents to seal to the edge of the tooth. Sealants placed on the chewing surfaces of back teeth block food from being trapped. The process in which a sealant is placed is quite precise and painless.
First the tooth is cleaned with a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) spray. Then an acid etch is applied to “roughen up” the surface. No saliva is to touch the tooth. This will re-mineralize the area, then a repeat etching is needed. An alcohol-based liquid then dries out the area and it must remain completely dry. The sealant is placed and guided through all the caverns, pits, fissures, and grooves. It is then cured with a special light, which makes it a hard, plastic-like material.
Sealants can last for several years. It is wise to have them examined on a semi-annual basis. If there is a break in the sealant, a high risk for decay is common. If a sealant is damaged, repair is simple, painless, and quick to complete.
Who can benefit from sealants? Anyone! Children often receive sealants as routine preventive care. Adults with deep canyons with stained grooves on their teeth can also benefit from a sealant. The process is quick, painless, and does not require any anesthesia. It is an effective way to lower dental restorative costs.
An investment in dental sealants can reap great benefits as properly cared for teeth will remain cavity free. Our San Francisco, CA location is available to answer your questions so give us a call today!