Sunday, December 1, 2013

What You Eat Over the Holidays Could Affect Your Teeth and Gums

The holidays can be tempting, especially if you are watching your figure, but some of those foods that you are enjoying because you believe they are better for your waistline, could actually cause serious problems for your teeth and gums.

Your San Diego Dentist, Dr. David Kitchen, will tell you that dried fruit platter you got from your co-worker at your annual company Christmas party is a poorer choice than the box of dark chocolates that your great Aunt Zelma sent you from Austria. In fact, recent research as shown that dark chocolate is much better for your teeth and gums than chewy or hard candy, and that dried fruit basket. If you must indulge, remember to rinse your mouth as soon as possible. Dried apricots, prunes, figs and pineapple are loaded with sugar and are incredibly sticky getting caught in-between your teeth and the crevices in your molars.  

Eating sugary foods and drinking sodas and other beverages that are loaded with sugar, like fruit juice, causes the bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth to turn to acid, and turn your regular check up with your Dentist in La Jolla into a cavity filling session. These by-products can wear down the enamel making your teeth weak and susceptible to cavities. Worse yet, these same acids can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Sometimes snacking on sweets at holiday parties is hard to resist, and now that you understand how bad it is for your waistline and your teeth and gums, maybe you can resist the temptation and snack on healthier foods like celery, carrots, apples and other fresh fruits and veggies. Celery is one of the best snacks to enjoy as it actually acts like a dental floss of sorts getting rid of debris and food particles while you chew.

Of course, if you must indulge in your sweet tooth, your 92037 Dentist advises you to remember good oral hygiene. If you can, carry a toothbrush and some floss with you and head to the restroom every time you snack on something that could hurt the enamel on your teeth.

Other tips provided by your Dentist in LaJolla include rinsing your mouth after drinking wine or eating highly acidic foods before you brush your teeth as the acids will begin to erode the enamel on your teeth.

When it comes to the holidays everyone wants to enjoy themselves, but not at the cost of a healthy body or a healthy smile. This year, watch what you eat and drink, and do not forget to schedule a checkup with your La Jolla Dentist, Dr. David Kitchen. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Crown Lengthening Could Be What You Need

According to your La Jolla Dentist, Dr. David Kitchen, Crown Lengthening is a dental procedure that is used to expose more tooth structure. Crown Lengthening can actually restore the tooth prosthetically by surgically incising the tissue that surrounds the tooth. Your Dentist in San Diego will temporarily displace your soft tissue and continue the treatment by removing some of the height of the bone from the tooth or teeth that your La Jolla Dentist is working on.

Your 92037 Dentist will usually perform Crown Lengthening for one or two reasons being either restorative or cosmetic. By lengthening the crown your smile can be dramatically improved as it eliminates that less than attractive gummy look that you may experience when you smile. When you schedule an appointment with your dentist, he will determine if indeed you need Crown Lengthening for restoration, which is usually performed if you have a broken tooth near your gum line, or if tooth decay has occurred on the surface of the root of your tooth. Unfortunately, bridges and crowns will not attach near the bone, and that is where crown lengthening comes in. Exposing the gum line with Crown Lengthening allows your Dr. Kitchen to expose more of your tooth or teeth so that he can restore them back to their original luster.  

When Dr. Kitchen performs his Crown Lengthening procedure, he reshapes the bone and gum around the area that needs to be treated allowing more of the natural tooth to be exposed. If Crown Lengthening is being used for cosmetic dentistry your San Diego Dentist may treat one tooth to give your smile an even appearance, or he may choose to give you an entire new smile line.

If your La Jolla Dentist determines that the only way to save your tooth is with Crown Lengthening he will restore the area around the defected tooth or teeth that needs to be treated.

Schedule an appointment today with your dentist if you want to get rid of your gummy smile, or if you have recently broken a tooth down to the bone. Dr. Kitchen will be able to give you a thorough examination in order to determine if you are a good candidate for Crown Lengthening.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ask Your La Jolla Dentist about Invisalign®

When you walk into a room, your smile is almost always the first thing that is noticed, but if you are one of the millions of people across the globe who does not have the confidence to flash your pearly whites, you are not alone. Unfortunately, a huge percentage of men, women, and teenagers do not have what it takes to flash even a friend or family member an open mouthed smile.

Whether you are dealing with yellow or stained teeth, or are ashamed because of a chipped or broken tooth there are services offered by your La Jolla Dentist. Dr. David Kitchen can fix your broken or chipped teeth with veneers and give you a whiter and brighter smile with an in-office bleaching system, but if crooked teeth are the reason that you never smile there is something that you can do about it thanks to the best Dentist in San Diego.

Even 10 years ago, men and women whose parents couldn’t afford braces when they were kids would still not even consider seeing an orthodontist even if their budget allowed it. Having to deal with headgear while sleeping and traditional metal brackets while at work was enough to make any adult run for the hills, but not anymore. Those days of uncomfortable and unattractive braces are long gone thanks to your 92037 Dentist.

According to Dr. David Kitchen anyone can be fitted with braces as long as the bone support is there. Your San Diego Dentist will also factor in root length and your personal oral health. In the 21st century men, women and teens can wear clear wire braces with clear brackets instead of heavy metal appliances, but an even better alternative, according to your La Jolla Dentist, is a breakthrough in teeth straightening called Invisalign®.

These comfortable and removable aligners are nearly invisible meaning the only folks who will know that you are wearing Invisaligh are you, Dr. Kitchen and his dental assistants.  

The best alternative to old school braces, Invisalign® is perfect for everyone including teens and adults. Invisalign® is the only way to staighten crooked teeth without resorting to uncomfortable braces.

Your Dentist in the 92037 area prefers Invisalign® as the clear aligners are easy to remove without requiring annoying brackets and wires. After two weeks, where you only remove your Invisaligh for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing, you will visit Dr. David Kitchen for your next Invisalign® fitting in the series. During the treatment, your teeth will continue moving and become straighter eventually moving right where you and your dentist want them. After the first two appointments, you will schedule visits with Dr. Kitchen every six weeks making sure that your Invisalign® treatment series is on the right track. Your Invisalign® treatments with your 92037 Dentist take from nine to 15 months. On average, you will visit with Dr. Kitchen 18 to 30 times during your Invisalign® series of treatments.

For more information regarding Invisalign®, make an appointment with Dr. David Kitchen. Your Dentist in La Jolla will be able to examine your teeth and gums in order to determine whether or not the Invisalign® teeth straightening system is the right fit for you. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bleeding Gums Means Something Is Not Right

Even if you listen to your dentist and brush twice and floss once a day, you could still be on your way to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Even a couple of drops of blood after flossing is not normal.

According to your Dentist in La Jolla, bleeding gums, even after you have had your teeth professionally cleaned by a 92037 Dentist, are a sure sign that something is not right. Lisa Marie Samaha who is the director and founder of the Perio Arts Institute is quoted as saying, “Imagine your scalp bleeding when you brush your hair.” Strictly speaking, if your gums are bleeding after you brush or floss your teeth; it is time to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Kitchen.  

Gum disease can eventually cause tooth loss, as it will erode your jawbone. The best San Diego Dentist will tell you that gum disease is the main reason that people lose their teeth.

Gingivitis and Periodontal disease is not any better for the rest of your body. According to Dr. Kitchen, the plaque that builds up on your teeth is bacteria, which will irritate your gums. Once your body starts to react to the wounding, it will begin to swell. Put the two together and you have bleeding and inflamed gums. The longer you put off scheduling an appointment for a deep cleaning with your dentist the more chance you have of contracting a systemic disease. Recent studies have shown a direct link between Alzheimer’s and periodontal disease.

Gum disease is more common than you think. The American Academy of Periodontology will tell you that over 80 percent of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease whether it is gingivitis or the much more serious periodontal disease. Most of Dr. Kitchen’s patients are not even aware that they have it until their gums begin to bleed, which is one of the later stages of gum disease.

However, there is some good news. By changing the way you take care of your teeth and gums you can reduce your risk of gum disease. Better still, if you schedule an appointment with the Best Dentist in La Jolla you can even reverse your gum disease with a preventative, or recare,program.

Oral health is vital, especially if you have been considering cosmetic dentistry. Call your Dentist in San Diego today and get your gums back on the road to recovery.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Put Your Fears Aside With the Pain Free Dentist in La Jolla

Not all Dentists in the San Diego area are the same, and if you have become dissatisfied with your La Jolla Dentist, it could be time to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Kitchen. With over 25 years of practicing experience in the San Diego area, the best 92037 Dentist will provide you with individualized attention using the highest quality dental products and the latest techniques in dentistry. Not one to rest on his laurels, Dr. Kitchen is continually keeping up with the most advanced technologies by continuing his dental education.

Your La Jolla Dentist understands that over fifty percent of Americans are afraid to visit the dentist. Dr. Kitchen and his La Jolla Dental Staff go beyond the call of duty providing you with amenities such as cozy neck pillows, scented hand lotions, warm body blankets, and aromatherapy. Your Dentist in San Diego can even offer you relaxation gas, fresh brewed coffee and stereo headphones. Other amenities include soothing lip balm, bottled water, an iPod, a changing station, and valet parking.

Overcoming your fear of the dentist is easy when you visit the best 92037 Dentist. If you still cannot quite overcome your stress, your La Jolla Dentist can offer you sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is especially helpful if you have sensitive gums and teeth and a real fear of going to the dentist.

Unfortunately, some people are immune to traditional anesthetics and numbing techniques, and that is where your San Diego Dentist comes in. 

Before your appointment, Dr. Kitchen will write you a prescription and ask that you take a pill one hour before your scheduled appointment. Make sure that you have a driver to take you to and from your dentists office in San Diego.

Once you sit in the dentists chair, you will be under just enough to be unaware of what is going on in your mouth. It is almost as if you are asleep. During the appointment, your Dentist in LaJolla can perform numerous dental procedures in one visit.

After your treatment under conscious sedation with your San Diego Dentist you will feel very relaxed and have little if any memory of the dental procedures performed by Dr. Kitchen

If you have a fear and loathing of your La Jolla Dentist schedule an appointment with Dr. David Kitchen today. There really is no reason to put it off any longer thanks to La Jolla Teeth.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Your La Jolla Dentist may recommend a Crown

LaJolla Dentist Dr. David Kitchen will tell you that a crown covers a tooth in order to restore it back to its original shape and size. Your San Diego Dentist will strengthen and improve the appearance of your tooth with caps or crowns, which are also referred to as restorations.

When you schedule an appointment with a Dentist in the 92037 area, Dr. David Kitchen will give you a thorough examination in order to determine if a crown or crowns are necessary. If your teeth are not able to hold a filling and a tooth is broken down, you may need to have your teeth prepared for crowns.

According to Web MD, crowns are generally used when you do not have enough teeth to support a larger filling. Crowns can also be used to protect a weak tooth from fracturing or if your Dentist in La Jolla is unable to attach a bridge. You may also need crowns to restore fractured, discolored, or badly shaped teeth.

When your Dentist in La Jolla prepares your tooth, he will reduce it in order to fit the crown over the top. Dr. Kitchen will make an impression of your gums and teeth so that he can send it to the lab for a crown fabrication. In some cases, your 92037 Dentist may provide you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready to be fitted. During your next visit to your La Jolla Dentist, Dr. Kitchen will take out the temporary crown before cementing your permanent crown onto your tooth.

Because crowns require more removal of your tooth, they are generally used for teeth that have significant loss or used to replace missing teeth. Your dentist can use crowns over dental implants and natural teeth.

Your La Jolla Dentist will be able to fit you with a crown that looks natural. Dr. Kitchen will take into consideration the color, shape, bite, and length of the natural tooth. Because Dr. Kitchen specializes in cosmetic dentistry in La Jolla, he will be able to make your teeth stronger and more attractive. 

Crowns can usually last up to eight years, but with the right oral hygiene, your crowns in San Diego could last much longer. 

To prevent crown damage your 92037 Dentist recommends that you avoid chewing on hard objects, food, and ice. Make sure that you visit your dentist on a regular basis, brush twice and floss once a day.

If you think you may need a crown, schedule an appointment with the best Dentist in La Jolla today, Dr. David Kitchen.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Painless Procedure for a Better Smile from the Best La Jolla Dentist

If you have been walking around with a closed mouth smile, it is time to make an appointment with the best La Jolla Dentist, Dr. David Kitchen. For more than 25 years, Dr. Kitchen has been providing patients with exceptional service, and is the only San Diego area Dentist that you need to see.

Get an instant bright and white smile with LUMINEERS® from your 92037 Dentist. LUMINEERS® will permanently straighten and whiten your teeth giving you the beautiful smile that you have always wanted. Unlike other dentists in the area, your La Jolla Dentist, Dr. David Kitchen will provide you with LUMINEERS® that are minimally invasive. 

Traditional veneers are quite thick and require a much more aggressive approach. Other La Jolla Dentists use the traditional method, which can cause irreversible damage to healthy teeth. Traditional veneers also require anesthesia to minimize pain and sensitivity.

LUMINEERS® are painless and applied without drilling or shots. LUMINEERS® are as thin as a contact lense and custom designed by your dentist just for you. With a limited lifetime warranty, LUMINEERS® really are the answer to a white a bright smile.

Your La Jolla Dentist has the ability to place your LUMINEERS® all at once. This eliminates the need to sit in the dentist chair for hours. With LUMITray, you can start showing off your new smile in as little as two visits.  

When you schedule an appointment with the best Dentist in San Diego for LUMINEERS® a precision mold will be taken during your first visit. The right shade for your smile will be chosen that will permanently whiten your stained, discolored, and crooked teeth.

Your second LUMINEERS® visit will consist of custom designing. Dr. Kitchen will make sure that your LUMINEERS® are checked for fit and color. Once the preparations have been made for placement, your new LUMINEERS® will be painlessly placed for a beautiful smile that will last for years, and years, and years. Once your LUMINEERS® have been placed, your La Jolla Dentist will check your bite to avoid chipping. 

For chipped, stained, broken, yellowed, or crooked teeth, you cannot go past the advanced technology of LUMINEERS®. Call the professional team from the best Dentist in San Diego for a beautiful smile and a new you that you will be proud to show off.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

San Diego Dentist Discusses Invisalign

If you have decided that now is the time to get something done to correct your crooked smile, you should really consider Invisalign. Listed below are some helpful facts to get you on your way to a beautiful new smile.

How do I start the process?
Your first step is to select an experienced Invisalign Provider like Dr. Kitchen of Cosmetic Dentistry of San Diego. Not all dentists are certified to properly use Invisalign, so you should be aware of this fact when choosing your dentist. You want to find a dentist who is thoroughly trained to use Invisalign so your treatment is done properly.

Preliminary Consultation

Your consultation is an important part of the process in determining what the best course of treatment is for you since Invisalign can effectively treat different types of alignment issues from simple to more complex problems.

Customized Treatment Plan
A customized treatment plan begins with x-rays and impressions of your teeth. These will then be used to create a digital 3-D image. Both steps assist your dentist in developing a treatment plan that is specific to your case, including the exact movement of your teeth. You will even be able to see a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment.

Your Invisalign Aligners
Based on your treatment plan, a series of clear aligners are created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable BPA-free plastic that will not irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces. Wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. Since they're virtually invisible, most people won't even notice that you are wearing them.

Every two weeks or so, you will move to the next set of aligners that continue to gently move your teeth into the correct position. You will be able to see the results of Invisalign each time you step up to the next set of aligners. Dr. Kitchen of Cosmetic Dentistry for San Diego will schedule appointments at regular intervals to check on your progress. The total straightening process usually takes about a year for adults. For teens, the length of time required for proper alignment is comparable to that of traditional braces. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

San Diego Dentist Discusses: When Hot and Cold Temperatures Really Hurt

Have you ever taken a sip of a cold beverage, expecting refreshment, only to wince in sharp pain? Has a warm cup of tea been the source of unrelenting toothache? If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms when dealing with temperature, it is likely that you suffer from sensitive teeth. Dr. Kitchen, a San Diego dentist, wants to help you understand why your mouth is reacting to environmental temperature shifts.

There are numerous reasons why people experience sensitivity in this way. More specifically, and usually the most likely culprit, is that the root is exposed at the base of the tooth. It is there that millions of tiny tubes (called dentin), which are connected to nerve endings, are exposed to the elements. Gum recession, teeth grinding, aggressive brushing techniques, and acidic drinks all contribute to exposed gums and ultimately sensitive teeth.

Dr. Kitchen say thats some people don’t realize they’re brushing too hard, thus affecting tooth sensitivity through enamel erosion and gum wear. Your most loved beverage -- coffee, tea, juice, wine, and popular energy drinks -- are also putting the condition of the tooth’s enamel and the dentin in a vulnerable position.

If you’re experiencing severe sensitivity, talk to Dr. Kitechen about bonding the problematic areas. This is essentially a very fine varnish your dentist applies to the tooth. It's not a permanent fix, though. In the meantime, consider brushing gently, reduce your acidic beverage intake, and be aware of any tooth grinding you may be experiencing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

La Jolla Dentist: Energy Drinks Are Bad For Teeth

Many people believe energy drinks are useful consumable items that get them through the day. However, studies are suggesting that although energy drinks give people a short burst of productivity, they actually contribute to declining oral health.  Many people believe that an energy drink is a healthier alternative to soda and other sugary drinks. Specifically, the study shows that ingredients contained in sports drinks can damage tooth enamel which leads to increased risk of developing cavities.

The ABA led the research team, where 13 “sports” drinks (like gatorade) and 9 “energy” drinks (like Red Bull) were tested for their acidity. They tested six drinks for their effects on tooth enamel and found both types caused damage. Energy drinks, however, were twice as bad. Damaged tooth enamel cannot be fixed.  This study was published in the journal, General Dentistry.

The samples of enamel were immersed in the  test drinks for 15 minutes. The samples were then  to artificial saliva for two hours. This process was repeated four times a day for five days. The beverages were replaced with fresh ones every day. This process was developed in order to simulate real life, since people tend to consume these drinks throughout the day. The research shows that enamel loss was evident after five days of exposure!
If you’re an avid energy drink/sports drink user, then it would be wise to dilute the liquid with water in order to minimize the harmful effects to your teeth. Dr. Kitchen, a La Jolla dentist, suggests discontinuing use of  these beverages as a source of energy and instead, make healthy changes to your sleeping and dietary habits. You’d be surprised to find out that little steps will make you feel healthier, refreshed, and less dependent on stimulants.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

San Diego Dentist Discusses Flossing Excuses

Believe it or not, a recent survey has found that only 49% of Americans floss daily and 10% of Americans don’t floss at all. These rough estimates are quite unfortunate, given howimportant flossing is to your oral hygiene routine. In fact, dentists agree that flossing is more important than brushing in the fight against periodontal disease, which could ultimately lead to tooth loss. People joke about how the only time they floss is when they’re due for their annual check-up. San Diego dentist, Dr. David Kitchen, wants his patients to know that he can tell if you’ve been a long-term flosser or not.

And, he wants you to put an end to your excuses for not flossing regularly. The main “culprit” people cite for not flossing is that they don’t have time. Although effective flossing does require a bit of time (about 3 to 5 minutes), Dr. Kitchen says that even 60 seconds of flossing is better than zero seconds of flossing. The key here is to make flossing a daily habit.

Other excuses vary from not knowing how to floss, not having enough dexterity to floss, or having dental work that makes flossing impossible, or that food doesn’t get stuck in your teeth. If it’s lack of knowledge that is keeping you from flossing your teeth, take a look at this video that clearly illustrates how to properly floss. Also, if you have dexterity constraints, consider a floss holder. These disposable plastic Y-shaped devices (some equipped with a spool of floss) hold a span of floss between two prongs to allow one-handed use. Furthermore, flossing doesn’t rid your mouth of food detritus, it gets rid of dental plaque, the very thing that causes gum disease.

Another oft-used excuse is that flossing can be painful for some. Bleeding while brushing and flossing is the precise condition flossing aims to prevent. The good news is that once you regularly floss and brush, these symptoms subside. If they persist, it is wise to contact Dr. Kitchen at his La Jolla, CA office to figure out what is going on with your oral health. Remember, brushing and flossing regularly is how you prevent periodontal disease!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

San Diego Dentist Discusses Electronic Toothbrushes

When electronic toothbrushes first arrived in the dental healthcare market, there was only one brand offering automatic oral health care. These days, however, there are many different electronic toothbrushes available to consumers with different options — like re-chargeable batteries, smaller designs, and superb cleaning options. Because of this, it can be daunting when trying to figure out which electronic toothbrush is right for you. Fortunately, Dr. Kitchen, a dentist in La Jolla, CA, wants to help guide you through the maze of modern electronic toothbrushes.
First, let’s discuss the main difference between the two major electronic tooth brushes.


Electronic toothbrushes are designed to mimic the motion of your hand when you brush your teeth with a regular toothbrush, except you get 3,000 to 7,500 rotations per minute. These toothbrushes do most of the work for you. Sonic toothbrushes dwarf regular electronic toothbrushes with 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute. The sonic toothbrushes rapid movements go a long way to remove plaque and ultimately, lead to an easy next check-up at Dr. Kitchens’s La Jolla office.


Recent studies have shown that electronic and Sonic toothbrushes help alleviate plaque and gingivitis — reducing your risk of future gum disease as a result of gingivitis and eventually, periodontitis. Additionally, if you have any dexterity issues, having a toothbrush do the work for you, while also getting better than average results is another bonus. It might even influence users to brush more often, since there is less manual labor involved. The only drawback associated with power toothbrushes is that they may be too expensive for some — ranging in price from $15 to $100. Some even break the $100 dollar price point.


Since buying a power toothbrush can be a commitment of $100, Dr. Kitchen knows how important it is to get the best one. As such, he advises his patients to ask their dental hygienist for their opinion on which electronic toothbrush is right for them during their next visit to our La Jolla, CA dental office.

Friday, April 19, 2013

La Jolla Dentist Discusses Cosmetic Dentistry

Are you embarrassed about your teeth? Do crooked or chipped teeth keep you from smiling the way you would like to?

Tooth discoloration, asymmetry, overcrowding, or chipped teeth can dictate whether or not someone feels their smile is adequate enough to show to the world. Even though these imperfections are normal and completely human, often times they prevent people from achieving their personal and professional goals.

That's why La Jolla dentist, Dr. David Kitchen, would like to discuss the many ways in which people can make a difference in their smile. The first step, and possibly the easiest one to take is that of whitening -- the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure on the market. Optimal whitening is achieved in the office with your dentist, but at-home remedies have been shown to help improve the appearance of teeth as well. However, a dentist whitened smile will last for years when used properly (that includes using professional gels and trays once a month).

If you have broken or chipped teeth, you have a few options. The first would be to implement bonding, a process where chips and gaps are filled in with a hardened, tooth colored substance. Crowns, or porcelain "caps," are more durable, as they cover the entire damaged tooth. Veneers are another option, but only cover a section of the tooth. Your dentist may also suggest gum reshaping (gingivectomy), if you feel your smile is too "gummy."

To save time and money, combine these procedures with orthodontics first -- if your teeth are especially misaligned. Once teeth are straightened out, you La Jolla dentist will cosmetically correct the teeth orthodontics couldn't touch.

Friday, April 12, 2013

San Diego Dentist Discusses Tooth Wear

There are three major threats that lead to wearing down or injuring teeth: chewing, brushing, and grinding, along with accidental injuries. Today, San Diego dentist Dr. David Kitchen, discusses how you can avoid the daily wear your teeth encounter. 

Accidental Injury

Biting down on a hard surface is how people normally imagine they'll chip a tooth, or think they'll chip a tooth. The reality is that chipping or breaking a tooth in this manner is actually quite uncommon. It is more likely that chipped teeth arise from those with root canals and fillings if you bite down on something hard. 

Additionally, it is more likely that a chipped and/or broken teeth are a result of playing sports. Studies have found that wrestling, boxing, basketball, and karate are the biggest culprits of tooth injuries. If you play sports, be sure to protect your teeth by utilizing a mouthguard. 

Unconscious Grinding: Bruxism

If you find yourself unconsciously grinding your teeth when you're not chewing food, then you might be suffering from bruxism, and endangering the surface of your teeth. Not only does teeth grinding wear down the pointed shape of molars, but also create micro cracks on the enamel surface, making you more susceptible to tooth decay. As any with bruxism knows, grinding your teeth also creates headaches, muscle pain, and jaw injury. 

Your San Diego dentist, Dr. David Kitchen, can usually spot the tell-tale signs of bruxism during an exam. You may not even know you suffer from teeth grinding until you go to your dental check-up. That's another reason why it is important to see your oral health professionals twice a year. 

Enamel Erosion and Acids

Teeth are built tough, but when the level of acid becomes imbalance in your mouth, the structural strength of teeth become compromised and susceptible to decay. Acidic foods and beverages and stomach acids (brought into the mouth by bulimia, morning sickness, or GERD) contribute to continued erosion of enamel.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

La Jolla Dentist Discusses Gum Disease

Gum disease poses a risk to your oral health and you may not even be aware of it -- say La Jolla dentist Dr. David Kitchen. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious tooth loss and other health complications. Before gum disease escalates to that point, it is possible to reverse the progression of the effects of gum disease.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

You've probably heard of gingivitis, but have you heard of periodontitis? Gingivitis occurs when bacteria gets stuck in areas of the gum line, inflaming gums. Symptoms of gingivitis usually come in the form of continual bad breath and bleeding gums while brushing. Once gingivitis goes untreated, the disease transforms into periodontitis -- reaching connective tissue and even the bone.

How Your Check-Up With Your La Jolla Dentist Helps

By the time patients even begin to notice the signs of gum disease, it's usually too late. That's why it's important to see your dentist bi-annually, to ensure you're not suffering from a severe case of gum disease. Dentists can spot problem areas along the gum line and any erosion around the root of the tooth. When you visit the dentist regularly, you begin to build up a history that allows the dentist to compare previous visits and x-rays, monitoring the progress or added erosion.

Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

Maintaining recommended dental hygiene habits is the first step in preventing gum disease. Most of us know the basics (brushing and flossing twice a day), but there are additional steps you can take:
  • Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash after brushing to wash away any "left-over" bacteria
  • Quit Smoking. Smoking damages gums, providing a habitable environment in which bacteria flourishes
  • Dr. Kitchen can scrape away plaque at the gumline

What To Do About Periodontitis

If gum disease has infected the bone, then more specialized care at home and the dentist's office is required:
  • The first step is for a dentist to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. You may need a local anesthetic so you don’t feel pain.
  • Next, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. Some people, may need periodontal surgery to fold back gum tissue. Periodontal surgery can also treat deeper pockets of infection.
  • Your dentist or periodontist may need to do a procedure called grafting. For that, he takes tissue from one part of your mouth (such as the roof) to replace gum tissue that has eroded, exposing the roots of your teeth.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sensitive Subject From Your San Diego Dentist: Sensitive Teeth

Dr. Kitchen is a dentist in San Diego who sees a lot of patients with different issues. One of the most common complaints Dr. Kitchen hears about is sensitive teeth. Since this is one of the most common oral health problems people face, Dr. Kitchen found an informative article from Web MD that he'd like to share in this blog post:

One zing to the nerve of a tooth after a sip or bite of food is enough to send even the hungriest bear running from the kitchen. Sensitive teeth can seriously limit the enjoyment of your favorite fare.

So if ice cream meeting your tooth has you seeing stars, the layer beneath the surface of your tooth (called dentin) has become exposed, says Eric Sung, DDS, professor at UCLA's School of Dentistry. This happens when the hard outer covering of a tooth --  enamel above the gum line and cementum on the root -- wears away, exposing microscopic tubules in the dentin that lead to the nerve of the tooth. After that, biting into foods that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic (like tomatoes, oranges, or lemons, whose acids can eat away at enamel and cementum) can cause searing pain.

What's at the Root of Sensitive Teeth?How does all this happen? A number of factors are to blame, Sung says.Gum recession, when gums pull away from the tooth and expose the root surface, is common with periodontal disease, which happens when plaque accumulates along the gum line. "As plaque builds, the bacteria release toxins that cause the gums to get infected and then recede," Sung explains.

"Grinding causes teeth to flex and crack, creating a notch that exposes dentin at the gum line, called an abfraction," Sung says. If you grind, try wearing a mouth guard while you sleep to protect your teeth.

Brushing with too much force, with a stiff toothbrush, or even with an old toothbrush can cause abfractions as well. Be sure to brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush that you replace every three months whether or not it looks worn.

Also, teeth whiteners give new meaning to the phrase "beauty is pain." They are notorious for causing tooth sensitivity. "It's usually transient, but can be long-term where it lasts for days, if not weeks," Sung says.

How sensitive is too sensitive? Sung offers up a few rules of thumb: "If pain lasts for only a few seconds, it's not really an issue." However, if your teeth are sensitive to hot foods and beverages (usually a sign of nerve problems), or if the pain lasts more than a minute or is spontaneous, you've earned yourself a trip to the dentist.

To Continue reading the full article, Dr. Kitchen, your San Diego dentist, recommends heading over to WEb MD, here 

David L. Kitchen, DDS
9850 Genesee Avenue
Suite 540
La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone: 858.558.1946

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Your San Diego Dentist Says: No More Excuses!

Dentists see it all the time. Patients come in for their regular dental check-up, thinking they've outsmarted the pros by vigorously brushing and flossing the day of or night before their scheduled appointment. However, this desperate attempt to trick your dentist won't work -- we can tell just by looking at your teeth that you haven't been flossing regularly like you're supposed to.

But, don't feel bad about your situation. A lot of people forget to floss or have excuses about why they don't floss. The good thing is that you can fix this problem with flossing in a few easy steps. And, to encourage healthy habits Dr. Kitchen, who is  a San Diego dentist, found these 8 excuses people use to not floss, with a counter argument:

Do you floss? Or, like many people, do you always seem to find a reason not to?A 2008 survey found that only 49% of Americans floss daily, and 10% never floss. That’s most unfortunate, dentists say, because flossing is even more important than brushing when it comes to preventing periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss. 

"If you were stuck on a desert island and a boat could bring only one thing, you’d want it to bring floss,” says Samuel B. Low, DDS, professor of periodontology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry in Gainesville, and president of the American Academy of Periodontology. “But I’m convinced that the only time some of my patients floss is an hour before showing up in my office.”

Dentists say they hear all sorts of excuses for not flossing. Yet they insist that simple workarounds exist for just about all:

Excuse #1: Food doesn’t get caught between my teeth, so I don’t need to floss.Flossing isn’t so much about removing food debris as it is about removing dental plaque, the complex bacterial ecosystem that forms on tooth surfaces between cleanings. Plaque is what causes tooth decay, inflamed gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss. Flossing or using an interdental cleaner is the only effective way to remove plaque between teeth.

Excuse #2: I don’t know how to floss.Flossing isn’t easy.  Low calls it “the most difficult personal grooming activity there is.” But practice makes perfect.

Here’s how the American Dental Association describes the process:
  • Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.
  • Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down.
  • Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, “unspooling” fresh sections of floss as you go along.
Don’t forget to floss the backs of your last molars. “By far, most gum disease and most decay occurs in the back teeth,” Low says.
To continue reading this article, Dr. Kitench recommends heading over to Web MD, here

David L. Kitchen, DDS
9850 Genesee Avenue
Suite 540
La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone: 858.558.1946

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

San Diego Dentist Asks: Electric Toothbrushes -- Are They For You?

Recently, a patient asked San Diego dentist, Dr. Kitchen, if it would be a good idea in the name of oral health to get an electronic toothbrush instead of the regular toothbrush we're all acquainted with. Dr. Kitchen's response was something like this -- an article from Web MD discussing the merits of electronic toothbrushes and the technique we should be using to keep our teeth clean:

Elizabeth Turkenkopf has been using an electric toothbrush for more than seven years, and has been impressed with the results -- cleaner teeth and minimal plaque build-up, which translates into less scraping at her regular dental check-ups.

She hasn’t had a cavity since she made the switch from a hand-powered toothbrush, and her gums are in good shape. Although she can’t say for sure her pristine oral health is the result of her electric toothbrush, she’s not messing with success.

It’s your technique -- not the toothbrush -- that makes the difference. It’s really a matter of preference. And, of course, no matter what brush you use, you still need to floss properly, use a mouth rinse each day, and see your dentist every 6 months. 

“Power toothbrushes have come a long way,” says Terrence Griffin, DMD, an associate professor and chair of the department of periodontology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.

Your personality, your teeth, or your affinity with technologies may make one type more appealing to you.

Power Toothbrushes: Electric and Sonic

Electric toothbrushes were first introduced in the U.S. in 1960 by a company called Squibb, and marketed under the name Broxodent. Today, there are dozens of different brands available, with a myriad of features, including re-chargeable batteries, compact designs, and bristles built for optimal cleaning.

The two main types of power toothbrushes are electric and sonic -- the difference between the two really comes down to numbers.

Electric Toothbrushes: With 3,000 to 7,500 rotating motions a minute, electric toothbrushes are powered to replicate the motion of your hand -- doing the muscle work for you. The bristles on these toothbrushes either rotate or move back and forth to help remove plaque and reduce gingivitis.

Sonic Toothbrushes: Offering 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute, sonic toothbrushes rotate in a back and forth vibrating motion. The rapid motion is the sonic toothbrushes' claim to fame. But ultimately, it also aims to remove plaque and keep teeth and gums healthy and clean.

For a little bit of perspective, the old-fashioned way of brushing your teeth rings in about 300 strokes per minute -- if you brush properly. So over the two-minute recommended brushing time, your teeth are hit with 600 strokes … a far cry form the thousands you might get with the high-tech variety.

To continue reading this article, Dr. Kitchen, your San Diego dentist, recommends heaing over to Web MD, here.

David L. Kitchen, DDS
9850 Genesee Avenue
Suite 540
La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone: 858.558.1946

Friday, February 1, 2013

San Diego, CA Dentist Says: 9 Things You Can Do About Bad Breath

Dr. Kitchen, a San Diego, CA dentist sees a lot of patients in his La Jolla office. one of their main concerns, is whether or not they have bad breath. The topic of halitosis (bad breath's scientific name) can be a touchy one for folks, so that's why Dr. Kitchen is posting this article about 9 Things You Can Do About Bad Breath:

Worried about bad breath? You're not alone. Forty million Americans suffer from bad breath, or halitosis, according to the American Dental Hygienists' Association. Bad breath can get in the way of your social life. It can make you self-conscious and embarrassed. Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to freshen your breath.

1. Brush and floss more frequently.
One of the prime causes of bad breath is plaque, the sticky build-up on teeth that harbors bacteria. Food left between teeth adds to the problem. All of us should brush at least twice a day and floss daily. If you're worried about your breath, brush and floss a little more often.  But don't overdo it. Brushing too aggressively can erode enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.
San Diego, CA dentist
San Diego, CA dentist
2. Scrape your tongue.
The coating that normally forms on the tongue can harbor foul-smelling bacteria. To eliminate them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. Some people find that toothbrushes are too big to comfortably reach the back of the tongue. In that case, try a tongue scraper. "Tongue scrapers are an essential tool in a proper oral health care routine," says Pamela L. Quinones, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists' Association. "They're designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area, removing bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t remove."  

3. Avoid foods that sour your breath.
Onions and garlic are the prime offenders. "Unfortunately, brushing after you eat onions or garlic doesn't help," says dentist Richard Price, DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "The volatile substances they contain make their way into your blood stream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out." The only way to avoid the problem is to avoid eating onions and garlic, especially before social or work occasions when you're concerned about your breath.
San Diego, CA Dentist
San Diego, CA Dentist

To continue reading the entire article, Dr. Kitchen, your San Diego, CA dentist, recommends heading over to Web MD, here

David L. Kitchen, DDS
9850 Genesee Avenue
Suite 540
La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone: 858.558.1946