Dental Blog

Common Medications and their Effect on Oral Health

Common Medications and their Effect on Oral Health

Medication is used for a variety of reasons, but mainly to decrease symptoms for a diagnosed problem. The problem with medication is that often times there are side effects. In other words, you may fix one problem, but then inherit another. Some medications are known for directly interfering with oral health and we’ll list them for you.

Medications that Interfere with Oral Health

Antihistamines – if you have allergies, then you’re probably aware of what an antihistamine is. They are used to effectively treat and control your body’s response to seasonal allergies from changes in pollen, etc. Unfortunately, they dry the body out, including the saliva in our mouth. Saliva is important for combating the bacteria in our mouth.

Aspirin
– many of us use aspirin to treat mild pain such as toothaches, headaches, and muscle aches. The act of chewing or crushing the aspirin with your teeth could have an effect on your teeth’s enamel, eroding it over time.

Decongestants
– often used during sickness and as a way to treat pressure issues with the ears, decongestants are another commonly used medication that results in reduced saliva flow.

High blood pressure – high blood pressure is a common condition where many take prescription medication. However, medication used to treat high blood pressure may sometimes results in unwanted sores or inflammation inside the mouth.

Acne medication
– a specific type of acne medication, Tetracycline, is known to cause permanent staining on the teeth in developing teeth. Younger adults have developing teeth and are also the ones who are usually treated with acne medication.

Should I Stop Using Medication?

You may be wondering whether or not you should continue the use of medication if you develop an oral health issue. The answer is simple: it depends. Sometimes the fix is to change the brand or types of medication used and then monitor results. However, questions regarding usage of medication should always be discussed with your doctor and dentist.

Whether you take medication or not – but especially if you do – you should always put an emphasis on staying diligent with brushing and flossing.

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Do You Suffer from Dental Anxiety?

Anxiety is an issue that comes in many different forms. It also happens to be a large part of dentistry, often keeping people from obtaining optimal oral health. The issue is known as dental anxiety.

dental anxiety

What Research Has Shown

Estimates conclude that roughly 10-15% of Americans avoid the dentist strictly out of fear. To put this into perspective, 10-15% of Americans equates to about 30-40 million people. That’s a lot! A British survey was conducted on this topic and 36% of the respondents mentioned that the reason they did not visit the dentist was simply because of fear.

What Are People Afraid Of?

Dentists want to know this answer because it helps them create an environment that allows someone to feel relaxed and comfortable, in other words not anxious.

Common fear triggers include:

  • Pain
  • Loss of control
  • Embarrassed to reveal mouth
  • Traumatic experiences in the past

It is no surprise that people with dental anxiety, or dental phobia as it’s often referred to, have poorer oral health. They may suffer from periodontal disease or discolored teeth that impact their own self-esteem.

How To Overcome Dental Anxiety

Communicating your fears and concerns to your dentist. By being open and honest with your dentist, they can work to help alleviate your fears. If the issue is pain related, there are plenty of sedation dentistry options to consider. Perhaps the issue stems from embarrassment? Your dentist can assist with these concerns and work towards improving your oral health – which is the primary reason you’re at the dentist.

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Emergency Dental Care in Lancaster

emergency dental care in Lancaster

Do you need an emergency dentist in Lancaster? Dr. Jeffrey Stein offers emergency dental care to all patients with dental emergencies in Lancaster and Palmdale CA.

A dental emergency can cause pain and discomfort especially if it is a broken, chipped or cracked tooth. And if it is a loosened or knocked-out tooth, a broken jaw or bitten tongue, the situation can be severe requiring urgent dental care and treatment.

Emergency dental care aims at providing care for patients with dental emergencies by applying approaches that suit their specific situations. Dr. Jeffrey Stein focuses on providing patients with dedicated dental care that includes advising patients and prioritizing dental emergencies to ensure your dental needs and oral health.

Dr. Stein offers top notch emergency dental care for all dental emergencies such as:

  • Toothache
  • Chipped or broken tooth repair
  • Root canal therapy
  • Dental implants
  • Oral surgery
  • Cosmetic dental care
  • Dislodged teeth (loose teeth)
  • Common extractions
  • Periodontal scaling (gum cleaning)
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Dentures
  • Cavity fillings
  • Swollen jaws
  • Partials
  • Dental infections like abscess
  • Why Choose Dr. Jeffrey Stein Emergency Dentist?

    Top-notch dental care

    Dr. Stein and his highly trained medical team provide a dedicated exceptional urgent dental care that is second to none in the region. We use simple patient-focused techniques that ensure prioritize on your comfort and specific dental care needs.

    Flexible appointments available

    Just walk into our medical facility and make a flexible appointment for your dental emergency. You can also make an appointment for a more personalized emergency dental care in Lancaster by contacting us online or calling our office (661)-949-1894.

    Accepts most major insurance carriers

    We accept flexible payment options as well as insurance from most major insurance providers. We accept debit cards and credit card payments from major credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. If you don’t have a dental insurance we’re happy to refer you to the right people to enroll you for a low-cost health insurance plan.

    Modern, well-equipped medical facility

    Our state of the art medical facility in Lancaster is modern and well-equipped with latest medical equipment to enhance dental care and overall patient’s experience. In addition, we use the latest technology in performing emergency dental care and other dentistry services to ensure best results and comfort.

    Make an Appointment Today

    Our office working hours are Monday- Thursday 8:00- 5:00. Contact us for your any dental emergency in Lancaster and Palmdale to make an appointment today.

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    Popular Root Canal Myths

    Root Canal MythsRoot canals are a procedure designed to save your tooth when decay has reached a point where tooth extraction is considered. Unfortunately, a few root canal myths have gained popularity over the years, undermining what could be a great alternative in keeping most of your tooth intact. The popular root canal myths are:

    Root Canals are Time-Consuming

    Because people believe root canals are too long a procedure, they may decide to forgo the event altogether, which could cause harm to your oral health. Your Lancaster family dentist can perform the whole root canal procedure in about 1-2 hours, with no additional appointments to complete. Your dentist will of course schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure everything is as planned as well as to discuss the possibility of a dental crown to complete the natural look of your tooth.

    Root Canals are Painful

    Maybe back in the old days when anesthesia wasn’t made readily available as it is today did root canals hurt. Nowadays, anesthesia is used carefully in order to ensure every patient undergo a procedure with minimal to no pain involved. Sedation dentistry is always a possibility when you’re the type of person who is anxious about dental visits.

    Root Canal or Extraction

    Some dentists may recommend a tooth extraction under certain scenarios, but you should always consider a root canal if applicable. The reason being: because you still have a portion of your real tooth still intact, which is better than having a tooth extracted and then receiving an artificial dental implant.

    Root Canal and Illness

    Speculation looms around the topic of root canal and illness/disease. Theories have been proposed, but no scientific evidence suggests any correlation between root canal and illness. The main goal of a root canal is to prevent illness by restoring and repairing the damage that has been done to the tooth through a long period of decay.

    Root canals are not a procedure anyone looks forward to, but it sure is better than living with a lifetime of severe pain, which left untreated, could pose serious health risks. Don’t let root canal myths steer you away. When in doubt, ask your family dentist in Lancaster for advice for the best scenarios. They have performed the necessary research to help make informed decisions.

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    Why Some People Are More Prone to Cavities Than Others

    Why Some People Are More Prone to Cavities Than OthersA cavity starts with the buildup of bacteria and plaque that causes damage to the surface layer of one or more teeth. This damage assumes the form of a small hole in the tooth that, if left untreated, spreads much deeper into the tooth, resulting in cavities.

    Are you more likely to get cavities?

    Anyone with teeth can get cavities, and most people have multiple cases of dental caries at different times in their lives. Researchers claim that senior citizens have higher chances of getting cavities, probably because of their medications that cause dry mouth. The risk for dental caries among children and adults, on the other hand, is not as bad, probably due to the emphasis on the importance of using fluoride toothpastes from an early age, as well as the fluoridation of public water.

    That said, a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that the prevalence of dental caries among different ethnic groups varies. For instance, African-Americans have the highest incidence of tooth decay at 46 percent, followed by Hispanics at 36 percent, and Caucasians at 22 percent. The prevalence rate for Asians is 17 percent.

    According to researchers, there are three key factors that contribute to one’s oral health: behavior, social conditions, and biology.

    Biology

    In regard to biology, researchers argue that some people are born with genes that give them superior dental health, like bacteria-fighting saliva, extra-hard tooth enamel (greater ability to re-mineralize), and a robust immune system. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) also agrees that certain clusters of the population are more susceptible to oral diseases due to their genes.

    For instance, one study revealed that a small proportion of African Americans lack a certain variant form of salivary protein that helps to ward off cavity-causing bacteria.

    Social Conditions

    The American Dental Association (ADA) claims that lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to have higher levels of untreated cavities, due to their limited access to health care. In many states, Medicaid coverage does not include dental benefits, and in others, it only caters for emergency care. Disadvantaged households may also not have access to education about proper dental care.

    Additionally, even those patients with decent coverage may not have access to transportation to reach the dentist’s office.

    Lifestyle

    Researchers have found that smoking significantly increases the risk of gum disease and tooth loss, while consume foods/drinks high in sugar create the ideal breeding ground for decay-causing bacteria.

    Ideally, stellar dental care can help anyone overcome a less-than-ideal genetic disposition, though some oral hygiene devotees may suffer from persistent cavities, while others who barely do the minimum maintain a perfect smile. Indeed, people who are better able to absorb calcium and fluoride, while doing the bare minimum, are less likely to suffer from decay, compared to the diligent ones who consume too much acidic and sweet things, clench/grind their teeth, or drink non-fluoridated water.

    Still, regular dental check-ups at your Lancaster dentist should help you detect any concerns early before they become serious and costly issues.

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    Worst Foods You Could Possibly Eat for Your Teeth

    worst foods for your teethBefore we dive in to the worst foods you could possibly eat for your teeth (and overall health in general), we want to preface this article by saying we will only list foods here, not drinks. Stay tuned for an article dedicated to the worst drinks you could possibly eat for your teeth. Without further ado…

    Top 3 Absolute Worst Foods We Could Possibly Eat

    1. Chewing Ice

    Ice is simply just water and water isn’t harmless, right? Because it doesn’t contain additives or sugar? Well, it’s only harmless until you chip off the front of your tooth because you weren’t careful gnawing on that piece of ice that was left in your glass as you finished the glass. May people fall victim to mindlessly chewing on ice, only to have an accident occur. Be careful of ice & make a habit to either suck on it or let it fully dissolve into water.

    2. Sticky Candy

    We’re still trying to name at least one benefit that sticky candy offers other than satisfying our sweet tooth. So far, we cannot think of any real benefits. Sticky candy is horrible for your oral health because not only is it made purely from sugar, which bacteria in our mouth love, but it also sticks to our teeth and becomes a gold mine for these bacteria! If you eat any sticky candies absolutely be sure to brush & floss your teeth the same day at least once. Our vote for absolute worst goes to caramel.

    Pro tip: replace with ADA approved chewing gum instead to satisfy your chewing desires.

    3. Canned Fruit

    Fruit by itself contains more than enough sugar than the bacteria in our mouth need. However, with canned fruits… manufacturers love to add even more sugar into in the can for a sweet, flavorful taste (and because it aids in the preservation process). Definitely make an effort to avoid canned fruit with added sugar at all costs. If you have to buy canned fruit, then purchase the ones that only contain their own juices.

    Pro tip: stick to frozen fruits instead and use them in a blender or juicer to create a host of different combinations. The process is always fun, too!

    Final Note

    To put all of this into perspective, we’d like to say that dentists themselves would not even touch these 3 foods because they are fully aware of the dangers they pose to oral health. Most dentists, that is. Sometimes the urge to resist temptation is too strong. However, the key isn’t so much as to avoid these foods, but rather to consciously make an effort to limit them. This attitude combined with excellent oral hygiene habits at home will prevent you from a lifetime of oral trouble.

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    Periodontal Disease & Gum Disease

    What are some warning signs for Periodontal Disease and what are some causes?

    Periodontal Disease & Gum DiseaseIt is possible to have gum disease/periodontal disease without knowing it. These are some warning signs for perio disease:

    • Bleeding Gums
    • Red colored (darker than usual), swollen, & sensitive gums
    • Gums pulling away from teeth
    • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
    • loose or separating teeth
    • If your teeth fit together differently when you bite

    Leading Cause for Tooth Loss Among Adults

    One of the main causes of tooth loss for adults is Periodontal Disease. If you have red and sensitive gums the will bleed while brushing or flossing – you may have periodontal disease.

    A prominent cause for gum disease is the increase of plaque, which is a colorless layer of bacteria surrounding your teeth and invading your surrounding teeth as well as, the bone which supports your tooth.

    Gingivitis

    Another important factor is Gingivitis, often a preliminary sign of gum disease. The discomfort level is minimal however the gums will bleed easily and swollen. If you neglect your oral hygiene and do not practice home care dental procedures as well as timely dental visits, you can suffer from gingivitis.

    Gingivitis that goes untreated will transfer into the periodontitis phase. Dental patients that allow bacteria and plaque to spread under the gum line & charge tissues and supporting bones will experience the separation of gums from teeth which will lead to increased bacteria and plaque in pockets. Leaving this untreated can lead to gum disease due to destroyed tissue and bone.

    Schedule a Periodontal Exam

    If you think you may have periodontitis or periodontal disease you should see your dentist immediately for a periodontal exam.

    Dr. Jeffrey H. Stein offers periodontal exams, call (661) 949-1894 to schedule one.

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    Why It’s Time to Start Flossing

    flossing tips 101From early in life, many people are taught to care for their teeth through proper brushing twice a day. As a result, brushing your teeth becomes a part of your daily routine that you cannot forego without much discomfort. However, the consequences of forgetting to floss are not as apparent. So it is not unusual for those who are hard-pressed for time to use dental floss occasionally rather than regularly.

    Importance of Flossing

    It is unfortunate that non-flossers don’t realize the critical role of flossing at least once a day for their oral health. Dental floss helps to remove biofilm and dental plaque from the surface of your teeth in tight spaces that toothbrush bristles cannot reach: between two teeth and between the base of your teeth and the gums.

    The problem with antimicrobial mouth rinse is that while it kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth that form plaque, it does not remove the food debris and stubborn tartar that lodges in these tight spaces.

    Studies show that proper dental care, which includes regular brushing and flossing, is important to maintain a healthy and bright smile. A healthy oral environment in turn helps to prevent a range of oral conditions, including bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay, as well as the associated health issues that can be life threatening, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

    How to Start Flossing – by Dr. Jeffrey Stein of Lancaster, CA

    Flossing involves the use a dental floss – a thin, nylon or plastic thread – that you run between two adjacent teeth to remove food fragments and plaque from areas that a toothbrush typically misses. A good alternative for dental floss is dental tape, which is slightly thicker than thread.

    On your next dental visit with Dr. Jeffrey Stein, ask him to give you some dental floss or tape and advise you on how to use it properly, how often you should floss, and other useful tips to improve your oral health. Lancaster dentist, Dr. Stein is more than willing to provide a demonstration of proper flossing.

    If you choose to start flossing immediately, it is recommended that you use a manageable length of floss (about 18 inches or 45 cm). Pull the floss tightly as you insert it between two adjacent teeth and then scrape all accessible surfaces of each tooth, moving away from the gums to avoid injury.

    Final Note

    Flossing is obviously more tasking than brushing, which is why most people don’t do it. However, flossing everyday can help remove food debris stuck between your teeth and prevent plaque buildup, giving you an overall healthy mouth.

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    Welcome to the Blog of Jeffrey H. Stein, DDS!

    lancaster dentist

    I wanted to personally thank you for visiting my blog here at Dr. Jeffrey Stein’s office located in Lancaster, CA.

    Your Source for Dentistry in Lancaster, CA!

    We encourage you to check-in with us from time to time for interesting articles that contain dental information you may not be aware of. This will also be our hub for posting any exciting event information, as well as sharing important updates and advances in the wonderful world of dentistry.

    As a gentle, family dentist in Lancaster CA, nothing feels better than having my very own patients thank me for a job well done after providing them a unique, professional & quality-driven dental experience in my office. I make an effort to give every patient the time they deserve and to be seen on time. I wholly value building one-on-one relationships for a more personalized approach to your oral care needs & so that you are COMFORTABLE every step of the way.

    Dr. Jeffrey Stein’s Lancaster dentistry office is a full service dentistry that offers gentle, family dentistry, pediatric dentistry for children, cosmetic dentistry, quality-made dental implant restorations, same-day crowns using CEREC, prosthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, teeth whitening & much more. We proudly serve residents from neighboring areas of Lancaster including Palmdale, Quartz Hill, Del Sur, Antelope Acres & surrounding areas.

    View our complete list of services.

    We have updated our website to a more, modern refreshing look that also happens to be more user-friendly, for your convenience. You can also find us on social media for brief snippets of information that may brighten your day!

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    Please check back soon for more updates!

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