Junk Drink Alert: Diet Beverages Can Be Detrimental to Your Teeth | Alhambra Dentist

Junk drinks can be detrimental to your dental health. Certain segments of the population, primarily women who intake diet sodas and bottled iced tea, are exhibiting a rate of tooth decay that progresses much more quickly than the general population. This decay is seen around the margins of restorations (fillings) and crowns (caps) where the tooth and restorative material meet. The majority of people with this kind of dental breakdown are generally healthy, between the ages of 12-55, and are concerned with their weight.

It is possible that those who indulge in large amounts of mints, chewing gum and other forms of sticky, sweet condiments become susceptible to rampant dental caries. In the absence of this sort of diet, the prime suspect may be diet beverages – soda and artificially sweetened bottled iced tea.

Sugars in foods are converted into acidic by-products by bacteria found primarily in plaque. The acid breaks down the mineral in the tooth enamel. After sufficient exposure the enamel becomes demineralized and eventually cavities form. But it is not necessary that sugar be present for cavities to form. Acidic compounds present in diet beverages can act directly to produce demineralization of enamel in the absence of sugar. What restores balance to this acidification of the oral cavity is saliva, which neutralizes acids and replenishes minerals leached out by acids. Where there is a steady intake of acidic beverages and foods, saliva may not be able to restore tooth enamel quickly enough. Eventually cavities will form in this kind of acidic environment.

Understanding this casual chain of events should not lead you to completely eliminate diet beverages, nor to go back to regular soft drinks. Moderation is the answer. Rinse your mouth with water or drink water after you have ingested diet beverages. Try not to sip the drinks over a prolonged amount of time and allow your teeth to be exposed to acidic chemical reactions longer than necessary. Use fluoridated toothpaste and rinses. In severe cases your dentist may recommend “custom fluoride trays” by which you can apply fluoride to your own teeth on a daily basis. Fluoride acts to inhibit the demineralization of the enamel matrix. And in the earliest stages of decay, reverse cavity formation.

At your next dental visit, feel free to discuss with your dentist how weight loss may be accomplished without exposing your teeth to unnecessary risk of decay.

If you would like more information about the effects of diet drinks, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Receding Gums Awareness Month Declared for January | Alhambra Dentist

Because January has been declared Receding Gums Awareness Month, it is important that we spread the word of this revolutionary new procedure to patients that are in need of repairing their receding gums, Dr. Chao’s Pinhole Surgical Technique. If gums recession is left untreated, this condition will worsen and lead to more severe dental issues in the future, even tooth loss. In order to combat this issue, the Pinhole Surgical Technique can reverse the issue with little to no pain, making it the ideal option for patients suffering from receding gums.

In this video, Dr. Chris Bowman visits the set of Charlotte Today to discuss the procedure and educate their viewers on the benefits of having it done. Each one, teach one…

If you would like more information about Receding Gums Awareness Month, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Time to Celebrate Receding Gums | Alhambra Dentist

While it isn’t the most talked about subject around, receding gums is something that will likely happen to you as you begin to age. Because it is a natural fact of life, it is important that we all have the knowledge we need in order to obtain the proper treatment. If left untreated, gum recession will begin to cause more issues in the future. Thankfully, January is Receding Gums Awareness Month, so let’s celebrate by taking a deeper look at what you need to know…

What is Receding Gums Awareness Month?

Receding Gums Awareness Month promotes public awareness of the causes of receding gums and related health and aesthetic issues. Although many people perceive that receding gums, or gum recession is an “older” person’s issue, the fact is that receding gums affect people of all ages, even in their teens.

Why was this day created?

Receding Gums Awareness Month creates an opportunity for the public to learn about receding gums and how gum recession can affect a person’s smile and their overall health. With this information people can consult their dentists for advice on treatment options, including the minimally invasive treatment known as Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation®. A new website, www.AskYourDentistAboutPinhole.com provides information on receding gums and their treatment as well as a “find a dentist” service.

Receding gums may be caused by improper or overzealous brushing, gum disease or the natural aging process. A certain percentage of children and adults who undergo orthodontia may also develop gum recession as a side effect of the repositioning of teeth during the orthodontic process.

This month recognizes the new way to correct receding gums without conventional gum grafting surgery. Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation was invented and patented by dentist, educator and inventor John Chao, DDS who has personally trained over 3,000 doctors in the procedure, which is now available across the US as well as Europe, Asia and South America.

How should this day be celebrated or observed?

Receding Gums Awareness Month provides information to encourage the public to seek professional advice if they suspect that they have receding gums. Information is available at www.AskYourDentistAboutPinhole.com Dentists and periodontists may use Receding Gums Awareness Month to increase public awareness of gum recession in their communities and to encourage patients and the general public to schedule dental examinations and possible treatment.

If you would like more information about Receding Gums Awareness Month, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

A Mile a Day Keeps the Dentist Away | Alhambra Dentist

It is well accepted that regular physical exercise reduces the risk of getting heart disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension, high cholesterol, and a range of other disorders. Now Dentistry News has published a study by researchers from Case Western Reserve University showing that physical activity may also reduce the risk of getting periodontitis, an inflammatory gum condition that afflicts over one-third of the population in the U.S. and is considered to be the chief cause of adult tooth loss.

Data from 12,110 individuals found that individuals who exercised, had healthy eating habits and maintained a normal weight were 40 percent less likely to develop periodontitis. Another similar study reported in the Journal of Dentistry, showed that non-smokers who exercise regularly have 54% less risk of having periodontitis than those who smoke and don’t exercise.

The standard which the Case Western study used was that a healthy exercise regimen should include at least one of the following: walking a mile without stopping, jogging or running, bike riding, aerobic dancing or exercise, dancing, swimming, calisthenics, garden or yard work and weight lifting. If individuals reported five or more moderate physical activities or three intensive activity sessions a week, it was considered a healthy regimen.

Researchers concluded that such exercise programs offer such a wide range of benefits because, at least in part, it reduces C-reactive protein which is associated with inflammatory processes that lead to periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of the gums.

Regular brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist reduce the bacterial burden that spreads inflammation of the gums. Regular, healthy exercise apparently reduces the degree of inflammatory response in the gums in the presence of bacterial activity and thus reduces the risk of periodontitis.

The appropriate exercise for an individual should be determined in consultation with a health professional.

Walking a mile a day just might keep the dentist away, at least between regular check-ups.

If you would like more information about walking effects on your teeth, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Conquer Tooth Decay with Sugar? | Alhambra Dentist

Yes! A new kind of sugar, called xylitol, when incorporated into chewing gum, can not only prevent tooth decay, but may also help “re-mineralize” or heal small cavities that have not penetrated the enamel, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). This article states, “The evidence is strong enough to support the regular use of xylitol-sweetened gum as a way to prevent caries, and it can be promoted as a public-health preventive measure.”

To understand how xylitol can prevent tooth decay it is important to understand how cavities are formed. Sugar does not directly cause cavities. Rather, sugar introduced into the mouth is converted into acid by bacteria (e.g., Streptococcus mutans) in dental plaque. The increased acidity of the plaque causes “demineralization” of the enamel, which is the highly mineralized, hard covering layer of the crown of the tooth. The reason xylitol is effective in preventing cavities is that its chemical properties does not allow microorganisms to convert it into acid. Furthermore, unlike common sugars, xylitol does not decrease the pH (increase acidity) in dental plaque that would result in more acid formation. In fact, chewing xylitol gum has been shown in some studies to lower plaque formation. Other studies seem to indicate that regular use of xylitol gum can “re-mineralize” enamel undergoing the initial stages of chemical breakdown.

Xylitol tastes almost the same as sorbitol-sweetened gum (“sugar free gum”). Xylitol, according to the JADA article, is more beneficial “in terms of reducing caries risk than does sorbitol-sweetened gum.” Sorbitol-sweetened gum is a “low cariogenic sweetener” rather than a “non-cariogenic sweetener”, such as xylitol.

Xylitol contains only 2 grams of sugar in two sticks of gum. Substituting some xylitol products in the diet can significantly reduce caloric intake. Consider the fact that the average consumption of all sugar is 141.5 pounds per capita in the U.S. in 2003. Much of the sugar intake has come in the form of sodas and juices, both of which have replaced milk and formula in the diets of infants and young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has strongly opposed the practice of manufacturers of sodas and juices in contracting with school districts for the sole right to stock vending machines in the schools, known as “pouring rights.”

Another interesting discovery is that the regular use of xylitol may interrupt the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mother to child, according to a study from Finland. It was reported that there was a “significant reduction in the colonization of mutans streptococci” in the saliva of the infants in this study which involved 195 mother-infant pairs. The cavity rate of the children in the xylitol group was 70% lower than the other groups.

It is recommended by some dental experts that it is beneficial to have a regimen of chewing xylitol-sweetened gum three to five times a day for minimum of five minutes to inhibit plaque accumulation and chemical breakdown of enamel. In combination with regular home care and visits to the dentist, xylitol can be a beneficial adjunct to maintaining your smile for a lifetime. Check with your dentist as to whether xylitol may be right for you.

If you would like more information about the effects of xylitol, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Want Implants? Hopeless Teeth Can Be Saved | Alhambra Dentist

A combination of traditional techniques and latest technology can save teeth previously diagnosed as hopeless. This innovative approach can often save seemingly loose, hopeless front teeth and prevent tooth loss.

If a patient presents with teeth that have hardly any bone left due to “periodontitis” (gum disease), this new approach would offer the “stabilization” of the loose teeth with the traditional method of “splinting.” The latter calls for bonding (gluing) wiring on the back (lingual) side of the teeth and making them, in effect, one unit. This splinting process is like tying loose boards together to make them stronger. Once the teeth are not loose, but stable, they can be “deep cleaned” without having to do surgery, as it traditionally indicated. However, with the use of “endoscopy” dentists and hygienists can now remove “tartar” sticking to the roots of the teeth under the gums without surgery. Endoscopy calls for the use of a miniaturized cameras that is inserted under the gum to broadcast magnified images of the tartar on the roots. Using special ultrasonic instruments, the tartar is removed thoroughly. Thus the roots become infection-free.

With the teeth stabilized and source of infection removed, it has been found that gums will likely heal and be free of infection long term if the patient follows strict standard maintenance and special homecare instructions. In many cases even bone will grow back.

In some cases the bite has changed because of drifting of the teeth. Gapes open between front teeth. Some teeth my look longer. The good news is often the teeth can be brought together in the first visit and then “splinted” together. The original smile can be restored in one visit, in many cases. Sometimes spot adjustment of the longer teeth may need to be done to provide a more normal bite and a normal smile line.

Most patients must return for follow-up care every 3 months indefinitely. And they must follow strict home care instructions in between visits. So, if you want to explore conservative alternatives to extractions, followed by implants or bridge work, contact your dentist and discuss your options thoroughly.

If you would like more information about fixing your teeth, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

10 Latest “Impossible” Surprises in Dentistry | Alhambra Dentist

  1. Root canal treatment can be painless. Yes, it can be, if it is done in a caring, careful manner using the latest and best technology in anesthesia. By caring, it is meant that the dental environment, the staff and the doctor reflect the confident, sincere, caring attitude that can quickly relieve the patient’s anxieties and gain the patient’s complete trust. Then, by using the latest in painless techniques, the patient can experience an entirely new painless experience. Yes, even the injection can be invisible and painless. After the injection the patient will often say something like, “What was that?”, “Did you just give me a shot?”. By seeing your dentist regularly, hopefully you won’t need a root canal. But if you do, don’t worry and don’t postpone it. It won’t hurt.
  2. Fillings don’t have to be done with shots and drills. Small or medium size cavities can be cleaned with “air abrasion” technology. Under a surgical microscope, the cavity is located and painlessly air-brushed with a miniaturized nozzle emitting a fine stream of powder. This is painlessly done, and many cavities can be filled at the same time. This method is especially good when cavities are not deep. The cavities are filled with hard, durable composite fillings made of ceramic particles filled with resins. The fillings are tooth-colored and are practically invisible.
  3. You don’t have to undergo gum surgery to treat advanced gum disease. Adults lose teeth mostly because of advanced gum disease. Plaque deposits under the gum lead to infection and inflammation in susceptible patients (who have a genetic predisposition for this disease). Bone loss results and eventually the teeth loosen and are lost. Gum surgery allows the surgeon to “reflect” the gums away from the root so that plaque can be thoroughly removed. New technology, called dental endoscopy, allows the dentist to see under the gums with a miniaturized fibro-optic camera that directs the ultrasonic instruments to vibrate away the plaque. The removal of plaque in this manner averts surgery and produces the same results as surgery, but without the downsides, which is pain, bleeding and swelling and occasional complications such as post-operative infections.
  4. Even loose teeth can be saved. When teeth are visibly loose, teeth are often extracted and replaced with dentures, bridges or implants. Traditionally, there are methods to save loose and mobile teeth. These methods include splinting, which calls for tying the loose teeth to the normal teeth with hidden braces, and thorough non-surgical gum treatment (See above paragraph on endoscopy). So, you don’t have to lose your teeth, even if they are loose.
  5. You can get a crown done in one appointment without impressions. Before the advent of CAD-CAM technology, the only way a crown could be done is for the dentist to remove the decay by prepping the tooth, taking impressions of the teeth and sending the impression to the laboratory where technicians make the crown. The process generally took two to three weeks. In the meantime, the patient wears a temporary crown. On the return visit, the tooth is usually numbed up again and the crown is fitted and cemented onto the tooth, if everything goes well. If not, the crown is returned to the lab and the temporary crown is placed back onto the tooth until the next visit. With the new CAD-CAM computer, your doctor takes an optical 3-D image of your teeth a special camera, creates a tooth for you with the computer, and then directs the computer to mill out a new tooth out of a block of pure porcelain. There would be no human error and the fit is consistently precise and accurate. All this is done in one visit, and no more than two hours in most cases.
  6. You don’t have to wait for X-rays to be processed by a machine. Digital x-rays are instantly projected onto the computer monitor in front of where you are sitting. You no longer have to look at a tiny spot on a small dental film to see what the dentist is talking about. Now the image is 40 times the size of the film and you can see what the doctor sees. Besides, these images can be enhanced by color and texture so that you can see the “pathology” also.
  7. MRI-like 3-D imaging has come to dentistry. A select number of dental offices are using 3-D scans to image teeth, bone, gum, nerve, root formation, blood vessels and sinuses in appropriate situations, such as implant placement, root canal treatment and gum treatment. 3-D scan allows the dentist to see and measure accurately (up to .1 millimeter or 256th of an inch). This information can lead to better diagnosis and more alternatives in treatment. Additionally, complications are avoided through the use of this diagnostic advancement.
  8. Denture patients can have a virtual face-lift when they have new dentures that are anchored to mini-dental implants. Yes, mini-dental implants, which are miniaturized implants, can be placed in a short time without surgery and stitching. Then dentures can be constructed in a few hours that would lock on to these mini-implants. These dentures are so tightly secured onto the mini-implants that the patient will have a hard time removing them in the beginning. Because the dentures are locked onto implants, special cosmetic enhancements are now possible. The bite and the arrangement of the teeth can virtually duplicate that of the idealized originals. The effect is a virtual facelift…all done in one day.
  9. Test-Drive Veneers™ invented by this columnist, can be placed onto the front teeth in three minutes or less to give the patient a test-drive experience of what it would be like to have a new, great smile. Up until this innovation was configured by the author, you could only try out veneers if they are made up by a laboratory first. This entailed one appointment for impressions for the lab tech to fabricate temporary veneers, a second appointment would be needed to try out these temporaries. Test-Drive Veneers™ combine art and technology to adapt new, beautiful veneers to your teeth in a matter of 3 minutes or less. They look shiny and real to begin with. But they can be changed, moved or altered in color to suit the preferences of the patient. The patient can realistically anticipate the final result by seeing the virtual result. Most of the time, the final veneers are much more stunning than the temporaries. You have a lot to look forward to…, like having a great, magnetic smile for the rest of your life.
  10. If one tooth looks longer than the others because the gums have receded, gum repair can now be done in 30 minutes or less through a tiny “pinhole” without cutting or stitching. This instant, virtually painless procedure has been invented and patented by the author. The International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, a highly respected, peer-review dental journal, will publish this innovative method, called Pinhole Surgical Technique®, in its October 2012 issue. Prominent figures in the dental profession have described this new method as “a major breakthrough” in the field of gum regeneration. So, if you have a “long tooth” that shows in your smile, you can have that long-tooth look repaired in 30 minutes or less.

Dr. John Chao is well known as an authority on dentistry throughout Southern California. He is the host of Smile Talk, a popular radio talk show on KFWB 980 AM, airing 7-8 p.m. on Sundays. He is a lecturer and clinical instructor at the Ostrow of Dentistry of USC in the Community Dentistry Division, teaching on the subjects of pain and anxiety management, ethics and professionalism. For his work at USC, he has been named “Outstanding Part-time Faculty for 2012.” As the inventor of the “Pinhole Surgical Technique®”, he uses his office in Alhambra as an educational center for interested dentists from the US and other countries. For questions, comments or information, contact Dr. Chao at ChickensWelcome.com, or 626-308-9104.

 

90% of Cells in the Body Are Not Human | Alhambra Dentist

But You Need Them to Maintain Systemic and Dental Health

The vast majority (approximately 90%) of cells in the human body are not human at all, according to a 2006 article published in Cell, a highly respected peer-review research journal that covers a broad range of disciplines within life sciences. This profound discovery within the field of human biology is explained by the intriguing fact that many of these non-human cells play important roles in normal human physiology. These beneficial germs (microorganism) involved in the absorption of nutrients into the body, synthesis of vitamins and protection of human cells from infection. It may be said that survival of the human body (host) depends on the interaction between human and non-human cells. Therefore, it is not entirely correct to say that the human body remains healthy because it fights off bacterial invasion. Actually, it may be said that life is maintained by an interdependent, mutually beneficial coexistence between the human and non-human cells.

The human body contains “ecological niches”, such as the oral cavity, to acquire and retain beneficial microorganisms, according to a recent article published this year in Periodontology 2000, a highly respected journal in the field of dentistry. The latter article further stated that the oral cavity is a warm, wet and nutrient-rich environment that is ideal for supporting microbial growth. The benefit of having beneficial microorganisms is not without consequences. Undesirable microorganisms continually challenge the delicate biological balance between the human body (host) and beneficial non-human cells. The host deals with the microbial challenge through the release enzymes and immune factors in the saliva and the blood supply. Thus, in the healthy individual there exists a dynamic balance that arises out of numerous, complex host-microbial interactions. These interactions can be loosely called “inflammation”, a healing process. However, a substantial disruption of this balance over time can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation triggers the release of a cascade of self-destructive immune factors, such as white blood cells and enzymes, that may lead to adverse oral conditions, such as periodontitis (gum disease).

Furthermore, chronic inflammation and its associated toxic by-products may invariably be released into different parts of the body through the circulatory system. Recently research, widely disseminated through the news media, points to the close association between the oral inflammatory processes and systemic disorders, such as diabetes, arthrosclerosis, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain forms of cancer and even low-weight or pre-term babies.

How does the body facilitate and accommodate beneficial microbes in the oral cavity? Dynamic balance is, by and large, maintained in biofilms, which are initially formed by host cells. This microscopically thin cellular scaffold initially attracts beneficial aerobic microbes that would exist in communal harmony with the host cells.

How do gum disease and cavities develop? Unwelcome anaerobic microbes may invade the biofilms in large numbers under certain conditions, such as inadequate oral hygiene, dry mouth and high sugar intake. The affected biofilms then become dental plaque, which leads to cavity formation and periodontal disease. It is also known that internal (endogenous) factors such as stress, and external (exogenous) factors such as smoking, are associated higher risk of occurrence of gum disease and cavities.

The take-home lesson of understanding this interesting aspect of oral biology is that oral health stems from a dynamic balance of cells of the human body with oral bacteria and other microbes. Provided the body is generally healthy (not under unusual stress), this biological balance can be maintained at a healthy level throughout an entire lifetime if healthy habits are followed on a daily basis, with professional care at regular intervals. These healthy habits include proper brushing, flossing and use of dental aids such as mouthwashes and hydroelectric devices (“water-pik,” “hydrofloss,” etc.). Proper nutrition, stress control and low intake of sugar products are also important in safeguarding this dynamic balance in the mouth. However, the patient should understand that since so many factors must be in sync to maintain this dynamic balance, even with the best of home care, there is no guarantee that this dynamic balance would not change. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is therefore recommended that everyone see the dentist regularly for checkups.

An ancillary conclusion to be drawn from this up-to-date concept of biochemistry in the oral cavity is that antibiotics must not be taken indiscriminately. If antibiotics is prescribed, it is only for a particular condition, such as infection causing pain and swelling in the cheeks. Continual use of antibiotics to ameliorate recurrent acute conditions would tend to obliterate beneficial microbes, as well as those causing the infection. This results in difficulty to form a new dynamic balance that leads to more decay and gum infection. In fact, yeast and other opportunistic microorganisms may take over as a result. It is imperative that the offending tooth/teeth be treated or removed and replace. rather than depending on an antibiotic prescription when an infection recurs. Of course, it is better to prevent the problem in the first place by following good dental hygiene habits and seeing your dentist regularly for checkups and maintenance.

If you would like more information about systemic deseases, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

ALMOND ALERT! Almond Nuts Causing Epidemic of Broken Teeth | Alhambra Dentist

In the last few months, virtually every day, one or more patients have come in with cracked, broken or sensitive teeth. It’s an epidemic. The culprit is most often…ALMONDS. Recent publicity regarding the nutritional value of almonds has been abundant. These claims have basis in the numerous scientific studies dating as far back as the 1990’s. Most recently the International Society for Horticultural Science published the following statement: “Nuts have been shown to possess substances which significantly reduce risk of coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and several other diseases…” Hazelnuts and almonds, as well as other nuts, have been the subject of studies cited.

The nutritional value of almonds need not come at the expense of broken or cracked teeth. Almonds can be purchased in slivered form, albeit slightly costlier. Considering the cost of fillings and crowns, the cost of buying almonds in a “kinder” form is minimal. Another suggestion is to put almonds into a blender with milk or juices. Nutritional value is thus preserved without the risk of damaging teeth. While we are on the subject of foods damaging to teeth, be careful of the following:

Popcorn. Popcorn is a favorite vehicle for losing weight, if no butter is used. Popcorn is easily substituted for more caloric snacks. However, there is always a chance of a stray kernel that can crack or damage teeth. These little kernels are as hard as rocks.

The first thing that I do when I’m trying to lose weight is substitute something with low calories for my usual snacks. Popcorn is a great substitute for chips and other salty snacks, but a stray kernel (and there is always a stray kernel, isn’t there?) that hits your teeth right can fracture or break your teeth. Another thing to be on the lookout for with popcorn is the stray kernel shard. Sometimes those little pieces can get right under your gums against your tooth and be nearly impossible to get out since it is suctioned to the tooth.

Ice. While ice has more nutritional value than plain water, the pleasure of chewing on ice is again cracked teeth that may require costly dental restorations.

Hard candy. Hard candy may be delightful treats but may also expose teeth to higher risk of decay and breakage. Certain kinds of cough drops are also hard. Do not chew them. Let them melt in your mouth.

Foreign objects in food. Every now and then a patient reports having broken a tooth by biting on a tiny rock, sliver of metal or other kinds of foreign objects in his/her food. This could be food served at a restaurant or purchased from a supermarket. If this happens, you should notify the manager of the restaurant or market immediately. Preserve the foreign object and keep it in your possession. You may request reimbursement from the establishment for the expense of restoring the broken tooth.

If you have mouth odors, bad taste, bleeding/swollen gums or worn teeth, be sure to see your dentist for diagnosis and treatment. You should also contact your physician regarding the advisability of using nuts or any food supplement as a means of improving your health and lowering the risk of disease. But if you do experience a sharp pain in the tooth or jaw when you bite on something hard, go to your dentist right away before the nerve in the tooth gets damaged and needs root canal treatment.

If you would like more information about almonds, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.