How Will I know If I Have A Cavity?

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How Will I Know If I Have A Cavity?

    This may sound surprising to most people, but the large majority of cavities are completely painless.  This is because the outer enamel has no nerves.  It is only when the cavity enters the underlying dentin that the cavity may begin to feel sensitive.  The most common cavity symptoms are an increased sensation to cold, sweet foods or beverages.  A cavity is often responsible for a broken filling or a tooth cusp, and can easily cause a fracture when biting down.

      Patients are sometimes taken off guard when they learn that they have a few cavities, but they don’t have any symptoms.  It is far better to treat a small cavity than to wait until they have symptoms; such as pain.  By the time there are symptoms, the cavity may have spread to infect the dental pulp, necessitating a root canal procedure or tooth extraction to eliminate the infection.  Always remember that most dental problems are insidious – that is, they sneak up on you.  Regular dental exams, at least twice a year will greatly reduce the likelihood that a dental cavity will go undetected and spread, causing toothache pain and infecting the dental pulp.

      Your general dentist can detect cavities with a combination of an oral exam and x-rays.  Once a cavity is detected it must be cleaned and filled properly. It will not disappear on it’s own!

      The process of cleaning a cavity begins with removing the infected and decayed enamel and dentin.  The remaining defect in the tooth is then sterilized and filled with a material that is bonded to the tooth.  The filling material is designed to imitate the natural tooth, so that it can hold-up to the forces of chewing and occludes properly (making sure your teeth make contact correctly).  But remember, no matter how good the latest technology is (white composite fillings) we can never mimic the natural tooth 100%.  That is why it is so important to prevent cavities from occurring in the first place.

      If you are already a member of our dental family or are new to our practice, we look forward to seeing you soon!  We have “Holiday Specials” available right now.  We are offering $600 off full-case Invisalign Orthodontics, and “Teeth Whitening Specials” for only $89.00!  (No interest and very low down payments are available!). 

    Let us help you keep your Smile Bright Thru the Holiday Season!


Your Gentle Dentists


Dr. Simmons (661) 947-3163

Oral Bacteria Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

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Oral bacteria linked to pancreatic cancer

      Growing evidence shows that the presence of certain bacteria in the mouth may reveal increased risk for pancreatic cancer, and earlier, more precise treatment.  Pancreatic cancer patients are known to be susceptible to gum disease, cavities, and poor oral health in general, say the study authors. That vulnerability led the research team to search for direct links between the makeup of bacteria driving oral disease and subsequent development of pancreatic cancer.  A disease that is difficult to detect, and kills most patients within six months of diagnosis.  Pancreatic cancer is responsible for 40,000 deaths a year in the U.S.

      According to a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, men with a history of gum (periodontal) disease could be at increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.  The purpose of the study was to determine if gum disease or tooth loss may be related to pancreatic cancer. After adjusting for age, smoking history, diabetes, obesity, diet and other potential contributors to pancreatic cancer, the reviewers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer than men without a history of gum disease.

     Nobody knows why gum disease may be linked to pancreatic cancer. Although the study showed an association between gum disease and pancreatic cancer, a definite cause and effect relationship was not established. Researchers speculate that chronic infection in the gums triggers inflammation throughout the body, which can potentially promote the growth of cancer.

    Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth.  It attacks just below the gum line, where it causes the attachment of the tooth and it’s supporting tissues to break down.  Periodontal risk factors include tobacco smoking or chewing, diseases such as diabetes, some medications, dental work that no longer fits properly, defective fillings, pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives.

     Except in most cases, the risk of periodontal disease can be controlled with good dental habits:  brushing and flossing your teeth, and regular visits to your dentist.  So, don’t delay, call your dentist today and schedule an appointment for a check-up!  

     Let us help keep your smile and your health at it’s best!


Your Gentle Dentists,


Dr. Simmons

Dental Trauma Among Our Children

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Dental Trauma Among Our Children


     Tooth injuries can be very upsetting to both the parent and the child.  It is estimated that 30% of all children experience some type of dental trauma during their childhood years.  Trauma is often due to a mishaps, sporting injuries, or vehicle accidents.

     Injuries to the mouth often include knocking out a tooth, breaking a tooth (teeth), pushing a tooth up into the gum or out of position, and loosening a tooth.

     The highest incidence of tooth trauma occurs when the toddler becomes mobile, but has not gained coordination - between the ages of 18 months to 4 years old.

      What should you do when your child has a tooth injury?

  First find out if your child lost consciousness – if so do not wait.  Take him or her immediately to the emergency room.  If your child did not lose consciousness apply a cold pack to the area to restrict any facial swelling (or give them a popsicle to suck on).  If there is bleeding, apply pressure to the area using a wet gauze.  It should stop bleeding soon.  If an adult tooth is knocked out either store it in milk and get to the dentist as soon as you can or push the tooth back into its socket yourself without touching the root.  If there is pain, children’s Tylenol or Advil will help.

  Fortunately children heal very fast and recover quickly.  Although parents don't want to rush to the dentist every time their child bumps their tooth, they also don't want to overlook an injury that may not be obvious.  We suggest you contact your dentist when any of the following occurs:

 ** There is pain or sensitivity to hot or cold in a tooth

**  If there is bleeding that does not stop in a reasonable period of time

**  If there is a broken, missing or loose tooth after the event

**  If there is significant swelling in or around the mouth

**  If there is an object stuck in the mouth or if there is contamination to any area of the mouth -       

     Do not remove the object yourself.

**  If there is a significant cut in or around the mouth

**  If the throat area is damaged in any way

**  If the child has a fever after the trauma

**  If there are any signs of infection

**  If unsure - be cautious and call the dentist.

 If your child plays sports, it is worthwhile getting them a mouth guard to prevent dental injuries.


Your Gentle Dentists,



Dr. Simmons

(661) 947-3163




Fear of the Dentist

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“Fear of the Dentist”

     If you are afraid of visiting the dentist, you are not alone.  It is estimated that 145,000,000 Americans avoid going to a dentist, mostly out of fear or Odontophobia as it is called. We, at Simmons Dental, understand that not everyone is comfortable visiting the dentist.  Unfortunately, avoiding seeing a dentist is much more than just an inconvenience.  It prevents you from getting the care you need!  And with the latest evidence linking dental disease to diabetes, heart attacks and stroke, avoiding the dentist could damage your health.

      To help our anxious patients cope with this condition, we offer sedation dentistry.  It is a safe, effective way to allow dental phobic people to receive dental care.  Sedation relaxes you and puts you in a calm and easy state.  You become less aware of what's going on around you.  Because of this, complex dental procedures that would normally require multiple appointments can often be performed in fewer visits.

       Oral Sedation is the most popular form of sedation in the United States and Canada because of its ease of use and avoidance of needles.  Administration by a licensed, experienced dentist is both safe and effective. This sedation does not put you completely asleep; patients still breathe on their own (unlike general anesthesia)  and respond to verbal commands.  A local anesthetic is still used to prevent pain, but it is easily accepted once sedated.  And things that would normally hurt don't. 

      Oral sedation is a combination of oral medication and laughing gas.  The medication is usually taken the night before your appointment and then 1 hour before your dental appointment.  An appointed driver must bring you to the appointment and drive you home.

      We are currently offering an “Oral Sedation” special starting Nov. 1, 2015:- "50% off your first sedation”. 

     Our Doctors  are experienced and licensed to perform oral sedation, and have been doing so for many years. 

      Please call us to set up an appointment or if you have any questions.  We are  here to help make your dental visits as comfortable as possible.  We look forward to hearing from you (661) 947-3163.


      Your Gentle Dentists - Dr. Simmons