Types of Teeth

We believe in improving patient education at Dr. Jia Y. Lee’s Rancho Cucamonga dental office, which is why we’re using this week’s blog post to provide information about different kinds of teeth. Understanding their function helps to understand different procedures associated with them.
Normally, each jaw grows sixteen adult teeth. The incisors are the four flat teeth at the front of each. They shear food and are the most important teeth for speaking with. The upper (maxillary) ones are also the most likely to have a gap. On each side of the incisors are the cuspids, which are also called canines and eye teeth. They pierce food and the maxillary ones sometimes are prevented from erupting completely. In teenagers, this is a common reason for orthodontic treatment.
The premolars and molars are the teeth used for chewing and grinding. The thick ligaments supporting them give them the stability they need to withstand bite pressure, but their enamel can be worn down by nighttime tooth grindi…

Acid Reflux and Tooth Sensitivity

If you’ve been experiencing teeth sensitivity and don’t know why, come to the Rancho Cucamonga dental office of Dr. Jia Y. Lee. While the small infections called caries are the most common reason for loss of enamel, patients also need to be on the look-out for acid reflux. This disease has consequences for oral health but is preventable through lifestyle changes.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more accurate term for what is commonly called heartburn. When the sphincter separating the stomach from the esophagus fails to close, stomach acid escapes upwards and burns tissues as it goes. When it reaches the mouth, it dissolves tooth enamel. The top back teeth are the first to be affected because of their position. They become discolored as they erode, acquiring a glazed look before small pits develop.
GERD also puts patients at risk of developing esophageal cancer, providing one more reason to prevent it. Quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol as well as caffeine, fatty f…

Flossing Your Teeth

Dr. Jia Y. Lee encourages patients to maintain a great oral health routine at home, and the staff here likes to see patients set themselves up for a lifetime of good oral health.  Regular flossing is essential to maintaining oral health and you should floss once a day, either before or after brushing. Remember these tips to help you floss effectively:

·A strand of dental floss about 18 inches long allows you to wrap the ends of the floss around a finger on each hand. This gives you excellent control over the portion of floss you are using.
·The proper technique to flossing is sliding the floss between the teeth and rubbing the floss back and forth up until you reach your gums.
·Pushing at your gums too hard with floss can damage your gum line and isn’t necessary to floss properly. Think of a small swooping motion as you rub the floss up to one gum, then down and back up towards the other.
·As you move on to the next tooth, adjust the floss to expose an unused portion. Repeat this rubbi…

Losing the First Tooth

If you have a kid at home that’s growing into a big kid, losing the first baby tooth is on the horizon.  It’s an exciting sign of growing up, but many kids still feel anxious or uncomfortable dealing with the unfamiliar sensation of a loose tooth.  Dr. Jia Y. Lee wants kids and parents to be prepared and understand why this pain occurs so your child can still have a positive tooth loss experience!
Before a baby tooth is lost, it begins to break free of its nerve endings.  This is the natural process that makes the tooth feel loose and wobbly at the gums, and the area will become swollen and red.  It can be painful, and for kids a great way to soothe tooth pain is applying a cold compress to the outside of the mouth in the affected area.  Children may complain that they find it hard to bite or chew with loose or missing teeth.  It’s still important to keep eating healthy while they grow new teeth so encourage soup, pureed fruits, and cooked vegetables.  A few tales of the tooth fairy ca…

Wisdom Teeth

Everyone has a set of wisdom teeth but this set of ‘final molars’ often stays impacted.  Some patients experience these teeth beginning to erupt, usually between the ages of 17 and 24.  Even when that happens, there is not enough space in the mouth for these wisdom teeth to grow, which is why Dr. Jia Y. Lee typically recommends extraction. 
Keeping wisdom teeth too long can cause oral discomfort, headaches, damage the surrounding teeth and put a patient at risk for infection. If you experience swollen or tender gums around the wisdom teeth, jaw pain, or facial swelling, give us a call. Dr. Jia Y. Lee can determine if you need your wisdom teeth removed, and discuss sedation options and procedure with you.  The procedure will include stitches and some down time, but following instructions, a patient’s recovery shouldn’t take more than a week.
To learn more about wisdom teeth extraction and all the services provided at the practice, visit for more information. …

Regular Cleanings

It is recommended by the Academy of General Dentistry you have a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every six months.  Dr. Jia Y. Lee encourages patients to maintain a great oral health routine at home, but it is still important to come into the office for regular professional cleanings.  However much you brush and floss, some harmful bacteria grow in your mouth that cause gum disease and can only be removed by a dental professional.
It’s important to see a professional regularly to locate and monitor areas in the mouth that may need special attention, and a dentist can tell you if you may be missing a spot or skipping an important step in your regular oral care routine.  During a teeth cleaning, a hygienist thoroughly clean the area above and below the gum line with scaling tools to rid them of plaque and tartar. After the surfaces of the teeth are cleaned, the hygienist flosses between every one of your teeth and may apply fluoride if recommended by the dentist.
To learn m…

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, comes in a variety of stages that Dr. Jia Y. Lee, DDS would like you to avoid at all costs. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and if you spit a little bit of blood in the sink when you brush and floss, this simply means that you aren’t brushing enough, or you aren’t doing it right. Gingivitis is reversible, and you may notice less blood by flossing at least twice a day for one week straight. However, when you reach periodontitis, treatment becomes a little more complex.
Gingivitis is reversible and is a mild form of periodontal disease that results in gum inflammation and gum sensitivity. When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis which will require a deep cleaning of the gums to treat. Periodontitis can lead to tooth decay and eventual tooth loss if not properly addressed, but remember that you can avoid periodontal disease at all costs by visiting us twice a year for professional cleanings.
If you have…