What is Endodontic Retreatment? | Dentist in Wahiawa

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Endodontic, or root canal, treatment is a safe, effective solution for treating an infection in the tooth root or surrounding tissues. In most cases, this preserves the natural tooth, allowing it to remain healthy for many more years. While it is rare, there are occasions when an infection can return months or even years after treatment. When this occurs, an endodontic retreatment may be recommended by our 96786 dentist.

When is endodontic retreatment recommended?

Though it is rare for retreatment to be needed, it may be recommended to preserve a previously-treated tooth in certain cases. The most common reason for needing retreatment is infection, which can be caused by:

  • New tooth decay
  • Loose, cracked, or broken crown
  • Delayed placement of the crown following initial treatment
  • Fractured tooth

How is endodontic retreatment performed?

Retreatment is completed in the same manner as the initial root canal treatment. The doctor will remove the crown and filling materials, remove the infection, and clean the canals before refilling them to prevent recurrence of infection.  Once healed, a new crown will be placed.

If you are experiencing discomfort in a tooth that has previously had root canal treatment, contact our Wahiawa, HI dental office for an evaluation. It could save your tooth.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Daily Flossing | Wahiawa Dentist

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We’ve all been told at least once in our life that flossing daily is crucial. Here are four reasons shared by our dentist in 96786 on why flossing may be beneficial for your oral health routine:

  1. Preventative care. Food and bacteria buildup between your teeth is unavoidable. Over time, these bacterial colonies lead to tooth decay and the destruction of your dental health. Flossing helps remove food and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.
  2. Helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs attention. Many people take care of their teeth but ignore their gums. Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry explain that the people who floss regularly experience much lower instances of periodontal pathogens, gum bleeding, and decay-causing bacteria in contrast with people who do not floss.
  3. Protects your smile. Flossing does more than just prevent cavities—it also preserves the bones that support your teeth. By preserving the height of that bony structure as well as a healthy smile, you’re maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance that will benefit you for years to come.
  4. Gives you better overall health. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth and jaw. It has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory diseases. Flossing daily is more than just an optimal habit—it can help keep you healthy as you age.

We are pleased to offer a variety of oral health solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment with our dental team at our dental office in Wahiawa, HI today.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

6 Harmful Habits That Affect Your Teeth | Dentist in 96786

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Nearly everyone has at least one habit that they wish they could break. Did you know that some of them can affect your oral health? Here are a few common habits and tips for how to break them.

  • Nail Biting

Why it’s harmful: Your dental health may suffer from nail biting by possibly chipping your teeth or impacting your tooth. You place pressure on your jaw when you leave it in a protruding position for long periods of time. You could also tear or damage your gums.

The solution: Some patients find it helpful to wear a mouthguard to deter form nail biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using therapy techniques, reducing stress, or applying bitter tasting nail polish.

  • Brushing Too Hard

Why it’s harmful: It’s best to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure to not brush too hard since this can lead to damage to the teeth and gum irritation. When you brush too hard, you risk gum recession and not cleaning your teeth efficiently.

The solution: Instead of brushing hard, use a soft toothbrush and apply a proper pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums at a 45 degree angle and reduce the force of your brush on your gums.

  • Grinding and Clenching

Why it’s harmful: This can chip or crack your teeth as well as cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You may also experience a painful sensation when chewing or inability to open your mouth wide.

The solution: Stay aware of your teeth grinding and clenching and use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A mouthguard can also help protect you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. This will reduce any tooth pain, or muscle soreness and give you a better sleep. Our Wahiawa Dentist can provide recommendations for how to combat teeth grinding.

  • Chewing Ice Cubes

Why it’s harmful: Tooth enamel and ice are both crystals. When you push two crystals against each other, it can cause one to break. This may be the ice and sometimes it may be the tooth.

The solution: Try drinking beverages without ice or use a straw instead.

  • Constant Snacking

Why it’s harmful: If your diet consists heavily of sugary foods and drinks, you are at a higher risk of forming cavities. The cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food and produces acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals so that you can feel fuller, longer. You should avoid sugary foods when snacking. If you are tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, just make sure to drink a glass of water after to wash away the leftover food.

  • Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Why it’s harmful: Using your teeth as a tool to hold items, open bottles, cut through thread, or other functions can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries.

The solution: Your teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut things when you don’t have scissors at your disposal. Look for your scissors or find someone that can give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you for it and you’ll be saving yourself from potentially costly and painful dental complications.

Contact our Dentist in Wahiawa, HI office to schedule your next dental appointment.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
Url: https://www.wahiawadental.com/
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Apicoectomy – What is it and Why is it Needed? | Dentist Wahiawa

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If you have ever needed root canal therapy, you may know that an Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treatment of the tooth root. However, there are some cases where traditional root canal therapy will not be possible or will not yield the best solution for your infection. In these cases, your dentist may refer you to our office for an apicoectomy. Here’s what our dentist in 96786 needs you to know:

What it is

An apicoectomy is a minor treatment that involves removing the infected tip of a tooth root, then sealing the interior of the tooth to prevent further infection. 

Why It Is Done

In most cases, when pulp in the root of a tooth becomes infected, root canal therapy is performed. This removes the infection and prevents it from spreading further. In traditional root canal therapy, the full pulp is removed from the tooth, along with any infected tissue. When this is not possible or previous root canal therapy has failed, an apicoectomy is recommended.

An apicoectomy is generally performed by a certified Endodontist, like our doctor. You will receive local anesthetic to ensure your comfort throughout your treatment. We will make a small incision in the gum tissue. The inflamed root tip is then removed and sealed to prevent the infection from spreading. You should expect this treatment to take 30 to 90 minutes. In most cases, an apicoectomy on a front tooth takes less time than one on a lower molar. 

What to expect afterwards

Like any oral surgery, some discomfort can occur for the first few days following the procedure. When brushing your teeth, you will want to be gentle around the area. Any further discomfort can usually be mitigated with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. We may prescribe medicine, if needed, to alleviate any discomfort that cannot be managed by over-the-counter medications. Please use medications only as directed by our doctor.

Unlike traditional root canal therapy, you may not need to have a dental crown placed following an apicoectomy.

Acting on root issues as soon as they are detected is your best defense against infection and tooth loss. For more tips on keeping teeth healthy or for questions about apicoectomies, contact our Wahiawa, HI dental office.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Kill the Pain, Save the Tooth | Wahiawa HI Dentist

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Root canal, or endodontic, therapy treats inflammation or infection within the pulp of a tooth. If you are awaiting your first root canal treatment, you may feel anxious or uncertain. It can be difficult to separate myth from fact when trying to learn what to expect. Here is some useful information shared by our dentist in 96786 about root canal therapy and some common misperceptions you may encounter.

Despite common belief, root canal therapy does not cause pain. Instead, it relieves the pain you are already experiencing by treating the underlying cause of the infection or inflammation. Some common reasons for tooth pulp inflammation or infection include:

  • Deep tooth decay
  • Chip or crack in tooth structure
  • Tooth root fracture
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Repeated treatment on a single tooth

Once inflammation begins, the pulp experiences swelling and pressure that cause pain. If left untreated, permanent damage to the pulp can occur, including pulp tissue death. When this happens, you may experience temporary relief of pain, but it may lead to painful infection and tooth loss.

Root canal therapy is the removal of diseased or dead pulp tissue from the inside of a tooth. We use specially designed instruments that clean out the pulp chamber and root canals. Next, we disinfect the canals with special medications and clean them once more. Finally, we seal the canals to prevent re-infection. You may experience minor discomfort for a few days, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications.

After your root canal treatment, your tooth will need a permanent restoration to replace the lost tooth structure and protect the remaining tooth. This may be a filling or crown, depending on your need. We will discuss your restoration plan with you prior to your root canal therapy.

Whenever possible, saving your natural tooth is our goal. Root canal therapy can help to preserve your tooth. To learn more about root canal therapy or to schedule an appointment, contact our dental office in Wahiawa, HI.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Are Your Medications Damaging Your Oral Health? | Dentist in 96786

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans are currently taking prescription medications and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements. Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health. Always let us know if you are taking any medicines or supplements and if those have changed since your last visit.

Here are some common side effects of medications that can impact your oral health:

Abnormal Bleeding

Blood thinning and reduced clotting accompany the use of some medications. This can cause problems with excessive bleeding during treatments for periodontal disease or oral surgery. Your Wahiawa dentist needs to know if you are taking any medications or supplements before scheduling any treatment that may involve bleeding.

Dry Mouth

Many medications can cause reduced saliva production. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems.

Fungal Infection

Oral Candidiasis is an oral fungal infection that can affect those who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler.

Gum Tissue Enlargement

Overgrowth or enlargement of gum tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. Patients with this condition need to give special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation or decay.

Soft Tissue Reactions

Inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of soft tissues can occur as a side effect of some medications. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen that can alleviate your discomfort.

Tooth Decay

While tooth decay is not directly a side effect of medication, several types of medicines use sugar to improve the flavor, especially those in liquid, chewable, and lozenge forms. When these are taken over a period of time, the sugars left on the teeth can make the patient more likely to develop tooth decay. When possible, select sugar-free versions of medications, take with meals, or rinse your mouth after taking a sugared medicine.

Severe tooth decay can lead to the need for Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, and can even lead to tooth loss. If you have concerns about your medications, contact our Wahiawa, HI dental office immediately.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much? | 96786 Dentist

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Brushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?

The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.

Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.

Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy. 

Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:

  • All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
  • Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).
  • The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.

Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist in 96786 will keep your mouth healthy. 

Contact our dental office in Wahiawa, HI today to schedule a cleaning and comprehensive exam with our dentist.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth | Dentist in Wahiawa

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No time to brush or floss your teeth? When brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can still keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, our dentist in 96786 recommends to try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy. 

Cheese provides several benefits for your teeth, such as preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps to produce saliva, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Tea contains polyphenols, which slows the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It prevents the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that cause tooth decay. Also, chewing on naturally abrasive foods removes stuck food particles, massages gums and cleans between teeth.

Vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into these lesions.

Sugarless gum contains xylitol that helps to prevent plaque and aids in producing saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh.

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease.

Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay.

It is important to have a balanced diet for your oral and overall health. While these foods help to combat plaque buildup and tooth decay, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointments at our dental office in Wahiawa, HI.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Root Canals Without Fear | Wahiawa HI Dentist

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According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are popular misconceptions people may have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Below are some common myths shared by our 96787 dentist that you may have heard about root canal treatment.

Myth 1: Root canal treatment is painful.

In reality, the only pain that is generally associated with root canal therapy is caused by the underlying reason for the treatment – tooth decay or infected or diseased tissue. The root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, relieving the pain in the process.

Myth 2: Root canal treatment can spread infection.

In fact, root canal therapy has been proven to have a much lower incidence of bacteria entering the blood stream than tooth extraction and causes much less discomfort for the patient. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has also found that patients who have had multiple endodontic treatments have a 45% lower risk of cancer than patients who have not.

Myth 3: It’s better to just extract problem teeth.

By saving the natural tooth whenever possible, doctors and patients avoid the need for further, more costly treatment. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and can often allow the natural tooth to last a lifetime.

If you still experience anxiety about the prospect of root canal treatment, there is another option you may consider. Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry is pleased to offer sedation dentistry. Whether you have sensitive teeth that make treatment difficult, prohibitive anxiety that keeps you out of the dental chair, or multiple treatments that need to be done in one sitting, sedation dentistry can remove the worry from dental care.

Don’t let dental anxiety prevent you from receiving the quality care you deserve. Our qualified team is fully certified to offer sedation dentistry. Turn a potentially stressful trip to the dentist into a relaxing experience while receiving the care you need. To learn more about our sedation offerings, contact our dental office in Wahiawa, HI today!

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

Changing Your Spots: White Areas on Teeth | Wahiawa Dentist

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White spots on your teeth can be irritating and affect how you feel about your smile. The good news, however, is that they are preventable and rarely cause for concern. Here are things our dentist in 96786 wants you to know about what causes white spots, how to prevent them, and what options are available should you already have them.

What causes white spots on teeth?

1.       Dental Fluorosis This can happen when a child consumes or is exposed to too much fluoride during the development of their teeth. While undesirable, this is harmless and can happen before teeth even emerge. The most common cause of fluorosis in the US is the use or ingestion of too much toothpaste.

2.       Poor Dental HygieneForgetting to brush regularly can cause white spots to develop.

3.       Braces – Wearing braces for an extended time can affect the coloration of your teeth and create white spots.

4.       Acidic or Sugary Foods – These foods can damage your teeth as well as change the color of their enamel. Rinsing your mouth after you consuming acidic or sugary items can help negate these effects.

How can I prevent them from appearing?

Following a proper oral hygiene regimen is the best way to prevent white spots on teeth. Ensure your child uses the correct amount of toothpaste – children under 3 should use a smear the size of a rice grain, and children over 3 should not use more than a pea-sized amount. It is common for children to accidentally swallow or fail to spit out toothpaste, so be sure to supervise your child as they are learning.

What are options for treatment?

If you are already dealing with white spots, you have options. Whitening or bleaching can make the coloration of your teeth more uniform. Dental veneers can restore the entire appearance of your teeth, solving not just the problem of white spots. In some cases, topical fluoride or enamel microabrasion upon the white spots themselves can do the trick.

Our doctor will recommend the optimal solution for treating white spots on your teeth. Contact our dental office in Wahiawa, HI for a consultation today.

Wahiawa Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 622-5570
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, HI 96786

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Dentist in Wahiawa
612 Kilani Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786

(808) 622-5570 |  

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