"What can I do about a toothache?"

Q: What can I do about a toothache?

A: If you have a toothache, whether it comes on and then doesn’t go away or if it keeps going away and coming back, you should make an appointment with your dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Until you see your dentist, there are various things you can do to try and relieve some of your pain.

* Floss your teeth, thoroughly but very carefully. This way, it’s possible you’ll remove some food particles that are stuck between your teeth or along the gumline. Don’t be too rough, or you risk aggravating your mouth even more.

* Rinse your mouth with warm water and spit it out. This may loosen up any food particles stuck in your mouth, and it may sooth irritated gums. Adding a pinch of salt can help to control infection, but be sure not to swallow the salty water.

*Use over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin, or use a topical gel containing benzocaine. But never put aspirin or other painkillers directly on the sore spot, or they’ll burn!

If you have a toothache, visit our office in Los Angeles and we’ll be happy to help you.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Q: What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

A: Oral cancer is a frightening and potentially deadly disease, but your chances of survival are greatly increased if you catch it early. Tobacco and alcohol are the two common pathways to devloping oral cancer, along with exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Watch for the following symptoms:

* Lumps, rough spots, crusts, eroded areas or thickenings in the mouth.
* Numbness, tenderness or pain in your lips or mouth.
* Trouble moving the jaw or tongue, chewing, swallowing or speaking.
* A color change in your oral tissues.
* A change in the way that your teeth are fitting together.
* Sores that don’t heal, or sores that bleed easily.

If you have any symptoms of oral cancer, consult your dentist or visit our office soon for a thorough evaluation.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Q: My baby is teething and is obviously in pain. What can I do to help?

A: Teething in a natural part of life for your growing baby, and typically begins when the baby is three to twelve months old. Most often, it begins between six to nine months. Common symptoms include fussiness, extra drooling, refusal to eat or drink, pulling on the ears, and swollen gums. A slight rise in body temperature is possible, but a baby should not be running a high fever during teething. Some babies don’t experience much or any pain when teething, but for many babies the process is uncomfortable. Fortunately you can help make teething less painful for your baby.

Some parents help their children during teething by using teething rings, or teethers. You can also let your baby gum a cold, wet washcloth, or try placing a cool spoon in the baby’s mouth for a while. (Note that the spoon should not be left in the mouth of an unattended baby, as it poses a choking risk.) To help your child sleep at night, you can give them Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Motrin for pain. Make sure that you’re giving your child the appropriate dose for their weight.

If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth, visit our office and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Q: What can I do about grinding my teeth at night?

A: Teeth grinding – properly known as bruxism – is a very common problem. Symptoms include waking up in the morning with a sore jaw and a jaw that clicks when you chew.

If you suffer from bruxism, it’s very important to treat it as soon as possible. Left untreated, bruxism can cause extreme mouth pain and cracked or lost teeth. Stress is one of the main causes of bruxism, but there are other potential causes, including a crooked bite. If you show symptoms of night grinding, talk to your dentist about it soon.

Your dentist will probably suggest a custom-fit, plastic guard that you wear in your mouth while you sleep. This guard will prevent your upper and lower teeth from being able to come together, so you won’t grind your teeth at night. Over-the-counter guards are available at many drugstores, but these guards don’t fit as comfortably and they’re not as effective as custom guards.

Your dentist may also prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications to help you stop grinding your teeth. If your grinding is caused by a problem with the shape of your teeth, this can be corrected by removing the high points of the grinding teeth, or using crowns, inlays or orthodontic treatment.

If you want to learn more about bruxism and what you can do to stop it, visit our office in West Los Angeles.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Will getting my tongue pierced harm my teeth?

Q: Will getting my tongue pierced harm my teeth?

A: Unfortunately tongue piercing can be very harmful to your teeth, gums and other parts of your body… including your brain!

A recent study reveals that some people with tongue piercings have actually developed gaps between their upper front teeth from repeatedly tapping their tongue studs against the back of their teeth. This unconscious habit causes the teeth to slowly move apart. More seriously, the hard jewelry can also chip or crack the teeth, and there have even been cases of infected tongue piercings leading to brain abscesses.

To quote professor Sawsan Tabbaa of the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, “The best way to protect your health, your teeth and your money is to avoid tongue piercing.”

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Q: Did George Washington really have false teeth made of wood?
A: While it is widely believed that George Washington had false teeth made of wood, this is just another one of the many myths associated with America’s first president. George Washington had at least six sets of false teeth throughout his life, and none of them were made of wood. But some of Washington’s teeth were made of things even stranger than wood!

According to John Adams, Washington loved nuts and he regularly shelled Brazil nuts with his teeth. This would’ve been very damaging to Washington’s teeth, and Washington began losing teeth when he was still a relatively young man. By the time he became president, Washington only had one natural tooth left.

Historians believe that Washington probably had the teeth of slaves transplanted into his mouth, a relatively common practice of the time. But these transplants wouldn’t have lasted long, so Washington eventually used sets of false teeth. Over the years these sets included hippo ivory, donkey teeth and even some of Washington’s own teeth, but they never fit quite right and they often made Washington ill. Some historians have conjectured that these false teeth were responsible for the unsmiling, somewhat puffy face seen in Washington’s portraits.

Fortunately dentistry has progressed quite a bit since Washington’s time. If Washington were alive today, he could keep his teeth throughout his life by brushing and flossing every day and visiting his dentist for regular check-ups. And if Washington’s own teeth couldn’t be saved for some reason, he would have access to false teeth made of acrylic and other modern materials, as well as permanent dental implants. And of course, he could save himself a whole lot of trouble by buying his nuts pre-shelled!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi
sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"I bit my tongue! What do I do?"

Q: I bit my tongue! What do I do?
A: If a bite is severe, you should definitely get it looked at by a doctor or dentist immediately. But if it’s relatively mild bite, you can give it time and it will probably get better on its own. Many injuries to the tongue heal quickly.

If you’re treating the tongue bite yourself, the first thing you should do is suck on an ice cube for a few minutes. Then you should press a clean gauze or warm washcloth on the bleeding area, until the bleeding stops. (If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, you should seek medical attention!) Now rinse with a glass of warm saltwater or a mix of one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water, then spit. If you are in pain, take an over the counter pain reliever.

While your tongue is healing, don’t eat acidic or crunchy foods, and chew carefully.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"How often should I floss my teeth?"

Q: How often should I floss my teeth?

A: Ideally you should floss after every meal, but at minimum you should floss once a day.

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining dental health, as it removes plaque and food debris from the spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. And flossing isn’t just good for your teeth. Studies have shown that flossing actually helps to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

Visit our office and we will be happy to give you a demonstration.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"How often should I change my toothbrush?"

Q: “How often should I change my toothbrush?”

A: Toothbrushes should be replaced at least once every 3 months. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, you need to change your toothbrush every 4-6 weeks. If you’ve been sick with a cold or flu, change your toothbrush as soon as you’re well.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"I bit my tongue! What do I do?"


Q: I bit my tongue! What do I do?

A: If a bite is severe, you should definitely get it looked at by a doctor or dentist immediately. But if it’s relatively mild bite, you can give it time and it will probably get better on its own. Many injuries to the tongue heal quickly.

If you’re treating the tongue bite yourself, the first thing you should do is suck on an ice cube for a few minutes. Then you should press a clean gauze or warm washcloth on the bleeding area, until the bleeding stops. (If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, you should seek medical attention!) Now rinse with a glass of warm saltwater or a mix of one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water, then spit. If you are in pain, take an over the counter pain reliever.

While your tongue is healing, don’t eat acidic or crunchy foods, and chew carefully.


Dr. X sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit
our website and give us a call at (310) 555-555 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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