George K. Markle, DDS

Teeth Discoloration

What color are your teeth? Of course, there is no “right” answer. Teeth come in endless shades and ranges. When we talk about tooth color in our office, we try to break it down into no fewer than 40 shades (light to dark) and ranges (color). Everyone’s teeth are unique, and the possibilities are endless.

You may be wondering, what makes a tooth the color it is now or will be in the future? We all know about coffee and tobacco as being major culprits of stained teeth, but what else goes into the making of a tooth color?

Things We Can’t Control:
• Genetics – Inheriting your tooth color is a high possibility for your current color as well. You can also inherit your tooth’s propensity for staining.
• Aging – As we age, our teeth inevitably turn more yellow.
• Medicine Use – some medicines, such as certain antibiotics, can cause your tooth color to change.
• Injury – Traumatic tooth injuries can cause intrinsic discoloration of the inner part of the tooth, the “dentin”, which is difficult to remedy. Have you ever seen a tooth that looks “dead”? That gray tone has most likely been brought on by a traumatic tooth injury.

Things We Can Control:
• Food and Drinks – Certain foods and drinks, such as berries, sauces, coffee, dark soda, black tea and red wine, cause staining over time. Limit these foods and practice good oral hygiene habits!
• Over-fluoridation – Too much fluoride in children, while teeth are still developing, can cause tooth discoloration. Be sure to follow guidelines for safe fluoride use. Don’t abandon the use of fluoride altogether though. Fluoride offers numerous benefits such as: preventing tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks and reversing early tooth decay. But we’ve all heard that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
• Tobacco Use – It is well known that cigarettes and other tobacco products turn teeth yellow and eventually brown. Don’t smoke or chew.

What can you do about stained teeth? We’re glad you asked! We offer professional teeth whitening options for the best and safest results. No matter what tooth shade you’ve inherited (or created), we can help make it whiter. Give us a call today to find out more!

Why You Should Whiten Your Teeth

whyyoushouldwhiten

Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have different teeth color. Some teeth are naturally more yellow than others, while some yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors like:

Using tobacco (smoked or chewed)
Drinking coffee, tea, or red wine
Eating pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries
Accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits
The natural aging process

Because of this people often choose to whiten their teeth. Whitening your teeth can help boost your confidence and self-esteem but can also help if you want to cosmetically achieve a more youthful appearance, brighten your smile for s special event, or just simply reverse years of staining and yellowing.

Teeth whitening works very simply! The teeth whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

A patient interested in whitening has a few different options including stain removal toothpastes, in-office bleaching, at-home custom bleaching, or over-the counter bleaching products. Talk to your dentist before starting and see what the best way is to put the shine back in your smile!

Once you’ve completed a whitening treatment, there are a few steps you can take to maintain your whiter smile:
Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and wine
Use a straw when drinking beverages to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth
Eliminating tobacco because tobacco can cause teeth to become discolored

Before beginning any whitening procedure, be sure to consult with your dentist. Only he or she can evaluate whether you’re a suitable candidate for a particular treatment! These are just a few of the options you should consider when getting a whitening treatment. For more information on how we can brighten your smile with a teeth whitening procedure, contact our practice today at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725 !

What the fluoride?

whattheflouride

Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725 !

3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy

3tipsforhappygums

Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.

Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!

It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Stay Regular
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!

These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!

The Dos and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dos and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene is important. Those who practice good oral habits reap the benefits, while the latter… not so much. Most of us have a great deal of control over whether or not we keep our teeth as we age. Those who don’t follow a proper routine, end up losing their teeth, thus requiring the need of tooth replacement (such as dentures, dental implants, etc.). If you want to achieve an optimal level of oral hygiene, all you have to do is follow these do’s and don’ts!

Do…
• Brush your teeth twice a day! Use a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride tooth paste and be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, even the hard to reach places.

• Floss your teeth every day! Floss removes food trapped between your teeth and the film of bacteria that forms before it turns into plaque.

• Visit your dentist every 6 months! Regular visits allow your dentist to discover early signs of cavities and gum disease.

• Eat a mouth healthy diet! Indulge yourself in foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and of course, water!

Don’t…

• Forget to replace your toothbrush! Tooth brushes should be replaced every 3 month—or after you recover from being sick. If you have an electric toothbrush, replace the head rather than purchasing a whole new one.

• Brush too soon after eating! Brushing immediately after eating acidic food can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. To be safe, wait at least 1 hour.

• Go overboard with bleaching! Over-bleaching your teeth can make them very sensitive to hot and cold foods, thus causing a variety of other problems.

• Ignore pain or abnormalities! Toothaches can be a sign of a more serious dental issue. See your dentist as soon as you discover changes in your dental health.

• Consume lots of soft drinks and sugary foods! These foods are highly acidic, which wears away your enamel overtime. Frequent consumption of sugary substances allow plaque to grow more rapidly—thus the likelihood of cavities will increase substantially.

When it comes to your dental hygiene—you have the option between keeping your teeth or not. By starting to practice these dental do’s and don’ts, you will be on the right track to a long-lasting smile. Give us a call today San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725!

5 mouth healthy snacks that are delicious too!

5 mouth healthy snacks that are delicious too

Not all foods are created equal. Some can be good for you and some can cause detrimental damage to your teeth (EEK)! Below are a few snack ideas that are not only tasty and easy to whip up, but healthy for your mouth too.

1. Apple Cinnamon oatmeal:

Due to the high fiber and crunchy consistency, apples naturally clean your teeth. They can also help fight plaque buildup and remove surface stains from teeth. By removing traces of bad plaque and residue from the back of the tongue, apples also fight bad breath.
Cinnamon contains a natural plant oil, known as cinnamic aldehyde, that has shown abilities to destroy bacteria in your mouth. Coupled with the apples, cinnamon takes fighting bad oral bacteria to the next level.
Now for the oatmeal. Whole grains have been linked to a higher quality of periodontal health. This is why we recommend to load up on the oats! Whole grain foods, such as oats, barley, bran and brown rice, may indirectly improve oral health by improving the body’s ability to process blood sugar.

2. Carrots and celery snack pack:

Celery is nature’s toothbrush! It acts almost like a toothbrush by scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Dip in some ranch or spread on some low-sugar nut butter for a satisfying snack!

Like apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a raw carrot at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A.

3.Yogurt parfait:

Studies have shown that yogurt reduces hydrogen sulfide, the chemical associated with bad breath! It also helps reduce plaque and gingivitis. Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on some yogurt!

4.Green garden salad:

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel, making them strong. They also contain folic acid, a type of Vitamin B that has numerous health benefits, such as helping the body produce and maintain new cells.

5. Trail mix with almonds, raisins, and dried fruit:

Crunchy almonds are high in calcium and low in sugar. They’ve been shown to lower blood sugar while simultaneously increasing the production of saliva. On the other hand, raisins contain powerful phytochemicals that fight off the bacteria that can cause gum disease and cavities. Dried fruit, like Cranberries or dried plums, have a similar impact, as long as you brush your teeth after eating them as they still have quite a bit of sugar. Put all these together and mix them all up for a healthy power snack!

It’s easy to eat mouth healthy snacks when they taste good too! If you have any questions about foods that are good for your teeth, give our office a call today! San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Veneers

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider VeneersYour smile is one of the first things that people notice about you, so why not make it perfect? Dental cosmetic procedures can take your smile to the next level. When it comes to veneers, you’re able to enhance your smile like never before. Believe it or not, veneers have the same strength and resilience as natural teeth, except you are able to customize them to your preference—such as the shape, size, and color. When considering a cosmetic treatment for your teeth, keep veneers in the back of your mind. Below are three reasons you should consider opting for veneers.

Increase Confidence: Getting veneers is like one big makeover for your smile. This cosmetic procedure will rid your smile from stains, gaps, damaged spots and any other imperfections they may have. The better you feel about your smile, the more you will share it with the rest of the world, leading to a more confident you!

No Special Maintenance: It’s best to treat veneers the same as you would your natural teeth. You can achieve this by maintaining a typical oral hygiene routine with brushing, flossing and mouthwash. However, try refraining from indulging in hard foods and chewing ice to ensure that your veneers will last as long as they’re meant to.

Time Efficient: There are a variety of procedures that can enhance your teeth, but they do come at a cost, and often with too many appointments that can waste a lot of your time. Dental work can range from a number of days to even months, depending on the procedure. With veneers, you can have them securely placed within just two appointments, giving you the satisfaction of perfect teeth without the hassle of spending too much time in the dental chair.

Interested in how veneers can completely transform your smile? Give us a call at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725 and we will give you all the information you need as to why veneers may be the best option for you!

6 Essential Oils for Healthy Gums and Teeth

6 Essential Oils for Healthy Gums and Teeth

Let’s face it; Essential oils are all the rage these days. Known for their unique healing and therapeutic benefits, essential oils have been used for centuries dating all the way back to 2000 BC. In recent years, the rise of essential oils has taken health care to an entirely new perspective, for uses like aromatherapy, ingestion and personal care. The following oils are the top essential oils for healthy, beautiful, gums and teeth!

#1: Clove is especially essential for oral health. Clinical research indicates that clove oil can relieve tooth pain and bad breath, as well as help reduce gum disease! Clove oil also has the natural ability to restrict the development of bacteria and can help fight mouth and throat infections.

#2: Thyme belongs to the mint family and therefore is often used in mouthwashes and elixirs to give flavor and freshness for oral health treatments. It contains natural chemicals that help defend from tooth decay, gingivitis and general oral infections.

#3: Oregano is a powerful antioxidant known to contain anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce bacterial and fungal infections. Oregano oil is also known to help boost the immune system and may be used in combination with coconut oil for oil pulling treatments!

#4: Tea Tree is a natural remedy for bad breath and contains ingredients that diminish plaque. This oil is a perfect ingredient for a DIY toothpaste or mouthwash because of its ability to kill off bacteria, diminish tooth decay and relieve bleeding gums! *Please note that tea tree should NOT be used for internal use other than for a mouthwash or tooth paste – you must spit it out after use and rinse with water.

#5: Peppermint is known for its cooling and numbing elements which can effectively soothe tooth and muscle aches. Research has found that peppermint oil is exceptionally powerful for fighting oral pathogens and killing common bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease.

#6: Cinnamon is antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic – which makes it an effective cleanser for every oral health care need, such as relief for a sore throat! Cinnamon oil also contains one of the greatest antimicrobial properties that protect against bacteria accountable for tooth decay.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, give us a call at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725 today!

How Botox Can Change Your Life!

how botox can change your life

BOTOX has a long history dating all the way back to the 1950’s, when it was first purified into a crystalline form for cosmetic purposes. In the years to come, doctors began researching the many uses and benefits of BOTOX—like reversing the effects of lazy eyes, facial spasms and the decrease of frown lines. In 2002, the FDA approved Botox for its use in the improvement of crow’s feet, glabellar lines, forehead wrinkles and so on.
Today, the FDA continues to approve the expansion of Botox to other parts of the body, treating both physical and mental impediments, and truly changing the lives of millions of people across the world. Thus, we’ve put together a list of different ways you can incorporate BOTOX into your life, that isn’t just for getting rid of wrinkles.

1. Migraine Headaches

Typically, BOTOX for migraines happen every three months and are injected into your neck, the back of your head, your upper back, your temples, your forehead and the bridge of your nose. Patients who received consecutive injection sessions reported less headaches, stress, nausea and hypersensitivity.

2. Excessive Underarm Sweating

Those who suffer from the embarrassment of excessive sweating can finally take control. When BOTOX is injected, the sweat glands essentially become paralyzed, making deodorant a thing of the past!

3. Overactive Bladder

BOTOX helps overactive bladders by relaxing the muscles that cause contractions which lead to those frequent trips to the bathroom. The benefits of this procedure can last up to a year!

4. Boost of Confidence

Let’s face it; our appearance and the perception that we have of ourselves matters to us. BOTOX is proven to give patients a newfound confidence and happiness. After all, when you look good, you feel good!

Interested in learning more about BOTOX or want to schedule an appointment? Give us a call at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725 to get started on your journey!

Winter Oral Health Tips

Winter Oral Health TipsWinter is here and with it, comes the drastic change of weather! The cold temperatures are fun in theory, but what about the toll it takes on your health? Often times cold weather brings on a variety of pesky problems, like dry skin and irritated throats. But, the problems don’t stop there. In fact, your oral health is also affected by the change of weather. That’s why this season, we put together the ultimate guide on how to keep your oral health in perfect condition this winter season!

Tip #1 – Tooth Sensitivity: Many find that they experience increased tooth sensitivity to cold temperatures. This can not only come from foods, but the chilly air outside too! If you find that you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are tons of tricks you can do to help avoid discomfort. These include using a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, or even rising out your mouth with salt water!

Tip #2 – Cold Sores: Cold sores can appear for a variety of reasons, including cold weather and a weakened immune system. To prevent a cold sore breakout, start by keeping your hands off of your mouth area! If you do feel a cold sore coming on, immediately apply a topical treatment to the area to stop the infection in its tracks.

Tip #3 – Chapped Lips: Chapped lips is one of the most common ailments of the winter season. To avoid painful cracked lips this season, invest in a good lip salve with SPF+ to keep them protected. In addition, it’s important to mention that your body moisturizes from the inside out, so remember to keep up with your daily water intake to help to keep your lips moisturized!

Tip #4 – Cavity Care: Let’s face it, the best part of the winter season is all the delicious foods! It’s fine to give into temptation and indulge in sweet treats, but just be sure to properly brush and floss afterwards to avoid cavities! In addition, always remember to drink plenty of water to help rinse away food particles and bacteria from your mouth! Incorporating dental friendly foods into your winter diet to help with cavity prevention will also benefit you! Foods such as crunchy fruits and vegetables, cheese and other foods high in calcium, are all perfect for keeping your teeth and gums healthy this winter!

Taking care of your oral health is important. That’s why we want to ensure that your oral health is in tip top shape this season! If you would like to schedule an appointment with our office, give us a call at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725! In the mean time, stay warm out there!