Answers to Five Commonly Asked Dental Questions

1.       Are dental X-rays safe?

Dental x-rays are very safe, and dentists are very conscientious about x-ray exposure.Digital x-rays are very low exposure.A full series of dental x-rays is about the amount of exposure you receive taking an airline flight across country.A full series of x-rays is an essential part of a complete examination and smaller series of x-rays are part of a periodic examination.Your frequency of x-rays should be determined in consultation with your dentist based on your history of cavities and other risk factors.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
What are my Options for Whitening my Teeth?

Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic procedures requested by patients in the dental office.  To achieve the desired outcome (how white) most economically and effectively, it is important to determine why the teeth are dark to begin with.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Dental Implants: What are They and are They the right choice?

Dental implants can be a great option to replace a missing or severely damaged tooth or teeth. They restore strength and esthetics and feel and function like a healthy tooth. Dental implants have been around for a long time but “tooth form” implants (shaped like a root of a tooth) made of titanium were introduced in the 1980’s.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
What is Sleep Hygiene and How Does it Impact My Health

Healthy sleep contributes to physical and mental well-being. It impacts our productivity, quality of life and longevity.  Healthy sleep is the result of several things, but one category not often discussed but is infringed upon regularly is sleep hygiene.  Sleep hygiene is a group of practices centered on the time and environment before and during sleep.  These practices prepare us for sleep and assist in keeping us asleep. 

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Comprehensive Dentistry

Comprehensive dental care is an approach that addresses the immediate and long-term treatment needs and includes prevention and early detection.  The aim of this approach is to establish a healthy oral environment and then maintain health.   When a patient presents to the dentist with multiple problem areas or a history of multiple problems this person requires a comprehensive approach rather than a limited-focus area approach (tooth by tooth dentistry). The comprehensive approach requires evaluation, diagnosis, and a treatment plan.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Bleeding Gums

Why gums bleed is a common question that patients ask their dentist and dental hygienist.  It is a fitting question because it correctly assumes that bleeding gums are not healthy.  Bleeding is a sign that the body is trying to fight off an infection and has responded by creating an inflammatory response.  Sometimes bleeding gums are not obvious to the patient but detected by the dentist or hygienist. 

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Tooth Replacement: What Are The Options?

Losing teeth is a traumatic event.  We do not take it lightly in the dental office.  When teeth are lost it is important to know where that person is in their understanding of the problem and the possible solutions.  There are four options: do nothing, make a removable denture, make a fixed bridge or place a dental implant(s) and crown(s).

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Children's Dental Health Month - Sleep Well for Health

A favorite bedtime story and the soothing voice of a parent can put a child to sleep and start a process of health and well-being that can be accomplished only through good sleep.  There is overwhelming evidence that shows how important good sleep is for children’s mental and physical health, growth and development. 

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Who Should Wear Athletic Mouthguards?

Athletes in all contact sports from football to basketball should wear a mouthguard.  It’s also advisable to wear a mouthguard when participating in any physical activity where there is a risk of jarring movement or injury to the face or jaw, like in skateboarding, skiing, or riding a scooter.  Mouthguards serve to protect teeth, tongue, lips, gums, jaw bones and reduce concussions rates and severity. 

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Preventative Dentistry - What can I do?

Preventive dentistry’s aim is to avoid opportunities for disease that cause tooth decay and other oral health problems.  Disease opportunities happen when the immune system and/or the balance of bacteria in our bodies change allowing for disease to start. The two main types of dental disease are decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease).  The way to avoid dental disease is through patient education, proper nutrition, excellent homecare and regular dental visits.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Healthcare from an Airway Perspective

You may have read some of my articles on sleep apnea, snoring, breathing, airway issues and nutrition.  These issues are interrelated.  Keep in mind that our most basic and most important nutrient is air.  We can live with other depleted nutrients but not without air.  It is the most essential nutrient.  In an abbreviated way let me explain how various healthcare providers can work together to address interrelated healthcare from an airway perspective.

Read More
How Often Should I See My Dentist?

More than 50 years ago there were no set standards for dental visits.  In general, people had poor oral health. To improve dental health and establish prevention of dental disease, dental and health organizations developed some guidelines.  Among those guidelines was the recommendation that people visit their dentist every six months for a check-up and thorough cleaning (hygiene). There was no research to support this guideline. In the last couple of decades studies conducted on frequency of dental visits and health care concluded visits should be customized to the patient. 

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Do My Dental Fillings Need to be Replaced?

Replacement of dental fillings is one of the most frequent dental procedures performed in the dental office.  Dental fillings are replaced for a variety of reasons, including:  new decay (cavity), a gap develops between the filling and tooth, broken or cracked filling, broken or cracked tooth, removal of amalgam (metal) and replacement of a filling that does not match the tooth.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Pregnancy and Breathing

Most women have difficulty breathing during the second and third trimesters as their baby grows.  Due to physiological changes during pregnancy, breathing for moms is not as easy as it was before pregnancy.  Weight gain during pregnancy (average 25-30 pounds) and the position of the baby can make breathing a struggle especially when sleeping. 

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
Health and Nutrition: What Should We Eat?

We have all heard that eating right is one of the keys to good overall health.  A poor diet is a lifestyle and often results in cavities, gum disease, type II diabetes, obesity and heart disease, to mention just a few.  The ultimate consequences of lifestyle diseases are poor health, chronic illness, early death, and escalating health care costs.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
How Can Parents Recognize Breathing Disorders in Children?

The scientific evidence on breathing disorders in children is very clear; breathing disorders can lead to chronic medical problems that lower the quality and quantity of life.  What does that mean?  Breathing disorders adversely affect the quality of life in many ways including our children’s ability to participate in sports, stay focused in school, resist colds, socialize, and physically and neurologically grow and development (G&D).

Read More
Dr. Gallegos
How Important is Your Regular Dental Hygiene Visit? Keeping Your Mouth Healthy Versus I Thought This Was Just a Buff and Shine Visit.

Most people visit their dental hygienist more frequently than they see their regular physician.  This gives the dental office the opportunity to weigh in on each patient’s health by reviewing their recent medial health, medications, hospitalizations, discuss blood pressure and heart rate and how they are feeling that day.

Read More
Dr. Gallegos