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Your curiosities, your concerns, your dental questions!! Ask me here! Helping you understand dentistry for you, personally, is what I love to do. Let me know what you’d like to know. Ask away!

Why Do 65 Million People Suffer From These?

Posted on by David in Blog, Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dental Care

The Mouth Sore Affliction

Sometimes patients develop toothaches or gum discomfort, but mouth pain comes in many other forms, too. Did you know your own body’s immune system can attack the lining of your mouth and create stinging sores? Chances are you or a loved one suffers from these frustrating ulcers.

Research shows that one simple, inexpensive supplement may dramatically reduce attacks.

You feel it coming on: A spot in your mouth starts to burn or tingle, and you know what’s about to happen. By tomorrow you’ll have a nagging sore cratered into the lining of your cheek. Aphthous ulcers afflict 20% of the population, recurring intermittently and often without a distinct pattern. After a week or two, the pain disappears and your mouth feels whole again.

Aphthous ulcers are sometimes confused with cold sores, but they’re only related by their discomfort and proximity to each other. Cold sores occur on the lips and surrounding skin as a result of the Herpes Simplex Virus. Aphthous ulcers don’t have such a clear cause. These lesions show up on movable tissue surfaces inside the mouth and may be difficult to pin to a single instigator. We understand that the body’s immune system sends inflammatory cells into an area and destroys its own tissue, but what triggers the assault?

Where Do They Come From?

Mouth sores may show up one at a time or in groups spread across multiple areas. Many patients feel frustrated by their inability to control these painful ulcers, but understanding possible causes may help you take steps to eliminate or reduce outbreaks. Here are a few triggers to consider:

  • Stress. If we started a list of all the maladies stress creates in our bodies, we’d need to buy a ream of paper to finish it. Aphthous ulcers often erupt when we’re experiencing a high level of stress.
  • Hormone Changes. Some women experience outbreaks before their period, while others are ulcer-free until after menopause.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies. Low levels of iron, vitamin B12, calcium, selenium, or folic acid are just a few nutrients linked to aphthous ulcers.
  • Genetics. A lot of health conditions run in the genes, and mouth ulcers seem to be one to add to the list.
  • Toothpaste. Most toothpastes contain a foaming agent called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This ingredient is linked to mouth ulcers in some patients. Sensitivity to mint flavoring may also lead to a similar problem.
  • Systemic Diseases. Crohn’s Disease, Coeliac Disease, Reactive Arthritis, and Behcet’s Disease are a few conditions that might also include mouth sores.
  • Medications. Some people find that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, lead to mouth sores. Beta-blockers, used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions, along with chemotherapy agents, are also culprits.
  • Foods. When a sore shows up, consider certain foods in your diet in the previous 24 hours. Chocolate, coffee, spicy foods, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, cheese, and wheat flour are known initiators.
woman-looking-at-plantMost episodes of aphthous ulcers clear up and move on within a couple of weeks. If you have a sore that doesn’t resolve within a month, it’s time to see the team at Kirkland Dentistry. In these cases, a closer analysis of the area should be done.

While identifying a cause may lead to a lifestyle adjustment that eliminates sores, many patients end up enduring the discomfort until they heal. Here are a few tips to minimize the disruption:

  • Be Gentle. Stay away from spicy or acidic foods during an outbreak. Use a soft toothbrush and consider an SLS-free toothpaste for awhile.
  • Numb It. Grab a tube of a numbing or coating agent like Oragel, Kanka, or zilactin-B. Carry it in your pocket and apply as needed to cut the pain.
  • Rinse. You might try mixing ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup water, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt to create a rinse that disinfects and neutralizes sore spots. This mix is particularly useful if you’re suffering from multiple ulcers. Rincinol PRN is a commercial rinse available at many retailers that draws strong reviews from users.
  • Try Tea. Some patients get relief by applying a damp tea bag to a mouth sore for a few minutes at a time. You may also find that sipping licorice tea helps.
  • Bump B-12. A well-designed research project showed that patients taking 1000 mg of sublingual B-12 experienced a significant reduction in mouth ulcers and pain levels. Regardless of initial B12 blood levels, 74% of patients were ulcer-free after six months compared to 32% in the control group. Definitely worth considering!
  • Chat With Us. If you’re dealing with mouth ulcers, talk to us the next time you’re in our office. We may be able to personalize our recommendations and offer other management suggestions.

At Kirkland Dentistry, we want to help you find answers to every question you have about your dental health. Aphthous ulcers frustrate many people, but sometimes just one tip contributes to reducing your pain.

We look forward to discussing all your concerns at your next visit!

Growing Teeth: A New Dental Frontier

Posted on by David in Blog, Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dental Care, Restorative Dentistry
Kids reach many milestones as they grow, including frequent visits from the tooth fairy. A series of developmental steps cause baby teeth to fall out and adult teeth to replace them. But sometimes adults lose permanent teeth from disease or trauma. Modern dentistry presents options for every unfortunate scenario, restoring full function and appearance. We enjoy techniques and materials today for tooth replacement not available in previous generations. Yet dental scientists continue their reach for new horizons and innovative possibilities.

Tufts School of Dental Medicine researchers are harvesting stem cells that grow new teeth and jaw bone. These “universal cells,” taken from inside healthy adult teeth, differentiate into tooth buds. But this intricate process of cellular differentiation only takes place under conditions that replicate an embryonic jaw. Growth hormones and nutrients must stimulate development at exactly the right times. As a result, new teeth won’t grow in a petri dish. They need a precise framework, one which the Tufts researchers continue to design.

Progress Continues

The Tuft’s team recently constructed a cellular matrix that allows successful implantation of a tooth bud into a pig’s jaw. Under their design, early adult-stage teeth develop within five months. But the transfer from pigs to humans requires significant advancements yet to come. Researchers project that humans won’t profit from these developments for another ten years. The exciting progress hints at options once believed to be impossible.

In the meantime, dental implants offer the closest alternative to growing new teeth. Titanium pieces placed into the jawbone mimic tooth roots that support life-like porcelain crowns. And research has brought major benefits to implant technology as well. Specialized coatings and modified designs help produce outstanding integration success, while 3D imaging technology allows precise planning of every case.

A Cavity Disappearing Act

Another intriguing frontier in dental research involves dental fillings that stimulate teeth to repair their own damage. Decayed parts of teeth usually are drilled out and restored with various materials. But researchers at Nottingham and Harvard University recently earned recognition from the Royal Society of Chemistry for their innovative approach.

These teams created a filling material that stimulates stem cells to grow dentin, the firm inner layer of every tooth. They’ve also demonstrated the ability to regenerate the internal nerve and blood vessel center of teeth, the pulp. This part of the tooth usually undergoes root canal treatment when it’s infected. Widespread regenerative procedures are a few years off. But these materials could revolutionize the treatment of some common dental problems.

We are excited about the promise of therapeutic biomaterials for bringing regenerative medicine to restorative dentistry.
– Kyle Vining. Fellow, Harvard University


Stay Tuned

Research keeps moving dentistry into fascinating new frontiers with solutions once considered impossible. Dental stem cells open doors to future procedures that will someday be commonplace. But you don’t have to wait for life-changing dentistry: Implants and bio-compatible restorative materials now offer modern options for full function and beauty. The Kirkland Dentistry team constantly monitors our profession for developments that enhance your experience.

We look forward to discussing the fascinating world of biomedical research in dentistry with you at future visits!

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4 Tried and True Tricks to Help Squash Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist

Posted on by admin in Blog

pediatric dentist

Taking your child to the dentist is vital for their oral health; however, it can be a struggle to get them to actually settle down in a family dentist’s chair. To help ease these visits for your child, yourself, and your pediatric dentist, follow these helpful tips that will make any child open up and say “Ahh!”

Start them young
The earlier you bring your child to a family dentist, the better. This way, they will be able to get used to the entire process at a young age instead of learning to be afraid of the dentist’s chair. Plus, this will help them establish a consistent oral health routine, which will prevent cavities and decay build up in the long run. Considering the fact that Americans spend about $1.4 billion on tooth whitening products and procedures annually, you’ll want to start them brushing now!

Keep it simple
When preparing for visiting the dentist, especially the first visit, it is best to keep it simple and not tell your child every detail of what is going on. Too much information can cause unnecessary anxiety, so just explain in simple terms that you are headed to the dentist for a routine checkup.

Choose a pediatric dentist
You will want to find a dentist that specialize in children and knows the tips and tricks necessary to keep your child calm in the chair. They will also most likely have a waiting room full of toys and books to entertain kids before they get called back. Plus, pediatric dentists will use modified vocabulary when checking your child’s mouth so they won’t get scared. After all, no child wants to hear words like shots, hurts, or pain when in the chair!

Play pretend
It can never hurt to play pretend with your child before their first visit! All you need to do is sit them down in a chair, grab a toothbrush, and count their teeth. Have them practice on you afterwards, and they may even look forward to their appointment!

Finding a fantastic pediatric dentist can be the one thing that makes the difference between a positive dental experience and a fit of hysterics.

Looking for a family dentist in Kirkland, Washington? Call Dr. Dave to schedule your child’s first appointment!


Teeth Whitening: A Quick Smile Fix

Posted on by David in Blog, Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dental Care


In 1992, author John Gray wrote a book declaring Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Selling 50 million copies, the publication spent 121 weeks on the bestseller list and became a key theme in American pop culture. Researchers have since shown that the catchy metaphor applies to smiles, too. When women see a nice smile, they’re inclined to believe it indicates a warm personality. Men look at the same smile and perceive success.

woman-smiling-in-parkRegardless of the measure or those measuring it, your smile matters.  A gorgeous smile connects with those around us and facilitates social and career success in our lives. But sometimes a pleasant smile starts to lose its shine.  Teeth begin to dull, yellowing slowly from exposure to intense food pigments called chromogens.  Commonly found in coffee, tea, and wine, chromogens attach to the white outer enamel of your teeth.
Tar and nicotine are two of the many chemicals found in tobacco that discolor teeth.  While tar is dark, colorless nicotine changes to a yellow stain once it mixes with oxygen.  A potent discoloring mix forms with other food and beverage compounds and embeds into the enamel.  Along with natural aging that thins out enamel or a history of exposure to certain medications, a smile may lose its influence for many reasons.

A Bright Return

But returning brilliance to a smile is simple, fast, and safe. Professional whitening methods may remove years of unpleasant color and release the many benefits of a terrific smile. In-office and take-home tray systems offer the most efficient ways to break down color compounds.  But choosing the right approach and proper formulation for your teeth should be determined with the teeth whitening experts at Kirkland Dentistry.  Guidance through a whitening program makes the all the difference in the outcome.

Various factors need a little consideration before starting a whitening program.  And you may be surprised to find some teeth respond to whitening and others prove more resistant. For example, porcelain teeth won’t respond to traditional whitening and should be evaluated to consider their role in your smile. That doesn’t mean we can’t find a solution that works for your teeth.  We specialize in bringing everyone’s smile to another level!

The Professional Advantage

woman-on-park-benchAlthough teeth whitening gels are based on one of two general formulas, you’ll find significant differences in quality and strength.  We only use professional gels from reputable manufacturers, designed to be safe and non-toxic.  In addition, all gels are extremely sensitive to temperature and must be transported and stored correctly. If mishandled, even the best products will deteriorate rapidly and lose their ability to whiten your teeth. If they do, you end up wasting time and money.  We only use products from established companies with proven quality control measures in place.

Teeth whitening lifts years of unpleasant stain from your teeth and brings out the best of your natural beauty.  Or maybe you’ll find an underlying brilliance that you never knew existed!  We’d love to chat with you about your options for bringing your smile to life. Give us a call at Kirkland Dentistry to discover the magic of professional teeth whitening.

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Say Ah! 4 Common Oral Health Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Posted on by admin in Blog, General Dental Care

dentistA person’s mouth can tell them many things about their overall health. From heart disease to a simple cavity, oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining your health. Our mouth can give us clues that we may have a health problem before any other symptoms show up. Here is a list of common oral symptoms you should not ignore.

Your tongue

A tongue can have many looks to it if it is infected. If you notice any of these funky colors or textures, head to your family dentist right away.

Strawberry red: This could mean you have a vitamin deficiency, as a glossy bright tongue signifies a lack in vitamins B12 or iron. These vitamins are crucial in developing the fuzzy papillae on your tongue, so when there’s not enough, the tongue will look very smooth.

Cottage cheese white bumps: These pesky bumps are signs that you have a yeast infection. It can easily be fixed by getting a prescription for antibiotics.

Small patches of white: If this is the case, something in your mouth is irritating your tongue. They are also caused by smoking and can lead to mouth cancer if not treated.

A burning sensation: If your tongue feels like it’s scalded but looks relatively the same in the mirror, hormonal changes such as menopause could be to blame. Or, you could be developing an allergy to your brand of toothpaste.

Consistent bad breath

If you are brushing and flossing regularly, your bad breath should subside. But if it doesn’t, this could be a sign of advanced gum disease. It’s important to talk to your dentist before the condition ruins your pearly whites.

A sour taste in your mouth

This is a symptom of GERD, which is also known as severe acid reflux. Other symptoms may include a sore throat, chest pain, and a raspy voice. When left untreated, this condition can eat away at the lining of your esophagus and cause dental decay.

Brown or white lines on a child’s teeth

This odd phenomena happens when a child is exposed to too much fluoride. Other signs of fluoride poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Keep the fluoride toothpaste away from your child, and contact a family dentist right away if these lines pop up.

It is important to take proper dental health precautions not only for your health but for your self confidence as well. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of all Americans believe a healthy smile is an important social asset, so it is crucial to start practicing proper habits now.

If you see any of these odd warning signs in your mouth, visit Dr. Dave today!


3 Reasons Why Childhood Oral Hygiene Is So Important

Posted on by admin in Blog, General Dental Care

dentistsGoing to a family dentist regularly is very important, especially for the children in your family. Oral and gum health has a huge effect on overall health, and getting started early can prevent the onset of dental problems and diseases later on.

Plus, having a healthy and bright smile can help your child build self-esteem and confidence, which in turn leads to improved social success, success in school, and eventually in the workplace. Remember: 75% of people believe that an unattractive smile can affect their career success. If you make an effort to maintain oral hygiene in your child’s early years, you’ll also find that good diet and exercise follow, since whatever is put into the body has some sort of effect on the mouth.

These are three specific reasons why childhood oral hygiene is more important than you would think:

Primary Dentition
The primary teeth start erupting in children at the age of six months, and are usually completed by about the two-and-a-half year mark. The enamel on these primary, or baby teeth, is less densely mineralized that that on permanent teeth. These teeth are also important for both chewing solid food and learning to speak. Indeed, a full set of teeth is almost essential to learning to speak and learning correct pronunciation. Primary teeth also have an effect on how the permanent teeth come in.

The Risk of Caries
Since the enamel on the primary teeth is less dense, there is a particular risk for caries, or cavities. Oral hygiene is one way to prevent cavities, and also decrease visits to the dentists office. Another way to prevent caries is to monitor sugar consumption and diet in general.

Habit Formation
The rituals and habits instilled in childhood are carried all throughout life: it is up to the parents to ensure that their children learn to take care of their teeth properly. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, as well as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise. Finding dentists for kids and making regular checkups a normal routine is another great way to establish a baseline and assumption of responsibility for oral health.

Make an appointment at a family dentistry practice today to keep your kid’s smiles healthy and bright. And if you’re looking for a new dentist in the Kirkland area, contact Kirkland Dentistry anytime!


What You Need to Know Before Getting Dentures

Posted on by admin in Blog

permanent dentures

There are many dental techniques that are available to treat discolored, chipped, misshapen, or missing teeth, and dentures will help you achieve the smile you crave for both self confidence and career success. After all, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, almost all Americans — 99.7% — believe a smile is an important social asset.

So are you thinking about getting dentures in the near future? Here is everything you must know before sitting down in your dentist’s chair.

What are permanent dentures?

Unlike a fake tooth, permanent dentures replace missing and misshapen teeth and come in the form of a prosthesis that can be removed from the mouth. There are two types of dentures, full sets and partials. Your dentist will choose the best method for you depending on how many teeth must be replaced.

How do dentures work?

In full dentures, there is a flesh colored acrylic base that fits over your gums to resemble an actual set of teeth. The base of the upper denture fits over your palate, and the bottom horseshoe shaped denture fits around your gums.

Generally, there are three main methods:

  1. Conventional Full Dentures: these are used once all your teeth have been removed and your gums have fully healed.
  2. Immediate Full Denture: these are placed in your mouth immediately after your teeth have been removed, but must be relined after a few months once your gums are healed.
  3. Partial Dentures: this method uses a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth to provide replacements for only a couple teeth.

How long will my dentures last?

Your new permanent dentures are made to last many years, but do require reshaping, relining, and adjustments once in a while to account for normal wear. At the very minimum, you should visit your dentist annually to have them check for adjustments.

How do I care for my dentures?

Dentures are made of porous material just like teeth, so they require thorough cleaning. Here are some tips to help you handle your dentures:

  • Always stand over a sink or a table while cleaning them as they can break easily if dropped.
  • Never let your dentures dry out, so keep them in denture cleaner or a room temperature tap water. Never use hot water as it can warp your set.
  • Brush both your dentures and your gums every day before you insert them into your mouth.

Interested in getting permanent dentures in the Kirkland area? Call Dr. Dave today with any questions.


Quick Facts About Tooth Decay That You Need to Know

Posted on by admin in Blog

dentist officeTeeth are the mighty warriors of our body. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to chew our food, we’d look odd when we smile, and we wouldn’t be able to visit our favorite family dentists! Dentists sometimes get bad reputations and cause many to fear their next appointment for a check up.

However, visiting the dentist office does not have to be painful if you properly take care of your teeth! Here are some quick facts about tooth decay that you should keep in mind so you don’t have to visit an emergency dentist!

  1. Tooth decay is the second most common disease worldwide. The first is the common cold.
  2. Tooth decay is caused by an acid-producing bacteria found in many of the foods we eat. The most common culprits are foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. This is why brushing your teeth regularly is important, as it removes any acid from eroding the enamel of your teeth.
  3. Fluoride protects teeth from decay as it absorbs into the tooth structure, and makes the enamel more resistant to an acid “attack.”
  4. If the tooth decay is not treated, it can lead to death in extreme cases. This happens when an infection in an upper back tooth enters the sinuses behind the eye, which then can enter the brain.
  5. The enamel on the outside of your tooth is the hardest bone in your body, but when it becomes infected, it gets to be incredibly fragile.
  6. Your set of teeth is as unique as your fingerprints! And because you only have one set of adult teeth, it is important to give them proper care.
  7. Oral health is linked to many other diseases including osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes.

If you suffer from misshapen, broken, or discolored teeth, there are many treatment options available to fix your smile including dental implants, dental veneers, and dentures. Considering that 99.7% of all Americans consider their smile to be an important social asset, it is no surprise that $1.4 billion dollars are spent every year on cosmetic dentistry. So if you would like your smile to gleam a little brighter, talk to your dentist today!

Visiting your dentist office is not the only way you can keep your smile bright. Your pearly whites are depending on you, so take diligent care to prevent tooth decay starting today!


Can My Child’s Baby Teeth Protect Them Down the Line?

Posted on by admin in Blog

dental technologies

With the many dental technologies available, there is always something new and exciting on the market. But now, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have discovered that baby teeth can be providers of life-saving stem cells.

For the past decade or so, the importance of cord blood has been ingrained in parent’s minds. Now, these researchers have found even more benefits from stem cells, discovering that they can regenerate tissue, cells, and even whole organs.

TEven though it may sound far-fetched, stem cells have regenerative powers because of their ability to grow and expand. Stem cells have been proven to be successful treatments in over 80 diseases including cancer and blood, immune, and metabolic disorders.

Didn’t harvest your child’s cord blood when they were born? Not to worry. Researchers have found that baby teeth are viable producers of stem cells. Once the tooth is removed from the mouth, stem cells are harvested and stored in liquid nitrogen to preserve the cells. The research team says that they will be stored until advanced dental technologies are developed, which they believe won’t be too far away.

As the tooth only has 48 hours to produce viable stem cells after the extraction, it is important to bring your child to a family dentist and have it professionally extracted. If your child has all their adult teeth, then wait until the wisdom teeth come in, as they hold stem cells as well.

Even though you should be conscious of your child’s teeth down the line, it is important to be active in proper dental health now. Virtually all Americans — 99.7% — believe their smile is an important social asset, and because 75% feel that an unattractive smile can potentially harm their chance for career success, it is important to start healthy habits at a young age!

It is important to have good dental hygiene habits yourself if you expect your child to follow your lead. If you are self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, contact a cosmetic dentist, as there are many techniques and options to treat discolored, chipped, misshapen, or missing teeth. Choose from dental implants, dental veneers, or dentures.

Have any questions? Feel free to call Dr. Dave today!


A Simple Beginner’s Guide to Teeth Whitening

Posted on by admin in Blog, Cosmetic Dentistry

cosmetic dentist

Your smile is the first thing others notice about you. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is important for socializing, and 75% of people feel that an unattractive smile could potentially harm them in their career. So, it comes to no surprise that Americans spent about $1.4 billion on tooth whitening procedures ever year. Looking to whiten your teeth? Here is a beginner’s guide to teeth whitening.

Why are your teeth discolored?
There are many different causes of discolored teeth. This includes drinking dark liquids, taking antibiotics, genetics, and not cleaning our teeth regularly.

Internally, our teeth become discolored because of changes in the enamel and the dentin. This happens when there is an exposure to high levels of fluoride, root canal issues, developmental disorders, tooth decay and their restorations, and certain cases of trauma.

What can my family dentist do to help me?
A popular option is tooth whitening gel, which dentists apply to the front eight teeth. This is a controlled, pain free method and you will see results that same day. It’s not only the fastest method, but the safest, too. You can eliminate discoloration caused by aging, eating certain foods, and smoking through this method.

Additionally, if you have serious discoloration issues, a cosmetic dentist can apply porcelain dental veneers. These are paper thin wafers that are bonded to the teeth, and can change the size, color and shape of teeth. Additionally, they are particularly helpful if you suffer from broken, chipped, misaligned, or uneven teeth.

This is a permanent procedure as your teeth are filed down, and requires local anesthesia if you so choose. They are also stain resistant, and the color can be chosen so that your teeth appear whiter. As they bond to your teeth, they help to strengthen weaker teeth.

Dr. Dave is a family dentist that offers cosmetic dentistry along with implant dentistry. If you are looking for a dentist, call up Dr. Dave and his office will help you with any dental concerns you may have!

Kirkland Dentistry | 11830 NE 128th Street, Suite 201, Kirkland, WA 98034
Phone: 425-823-6820 | Fax: 425-820-2427 | E-Mail:
Business Hours: Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. | Tuesday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.