"Can heart medication cause gum problems?"

Q: I take medications for heart disease, and I’ve heard they can cause gum problems. Is this true?

A: Yes, medications for heart disease can lead to problems with your gums.

Some medications can cause dry mouth, and chronic dry mouth can cause many problems with your teeth and gums. If you suffer from dry mouth, it’s important to drink plenty of water every day – at least eight full glasses. You can also stimulate the flow of saliva by chewing sugar-free gum containing xlitol. Avoid tobacco, caffeine and alcohol. If you’re using mouthwash, be sure to use one without alcohol. Saliva replacement gels are also available at many drug stores.

Another problem that heart medications can sometimes cause is gum overgrowth. Gums can swell to the point where they actually grow over the tooth.

If you are experiencing gum problems, you should definitely bring it to the attention of your doctor. It’s possible you need to adjust your dosage, or switch to a new medication.

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 order will my baby’s teeth grow in?"

Q: Our baby is six months old and she just got her first tooth, in the front on her lower jaw. Is there a way to tell which teeth will arrive next? Do baby teeth arrive in a particular order, or is it random?

A: Baby teeth (AKA primary teeth) do generally arrive in a predictable order, and the position and timing of your baby’s first tooth is just as it should be. One of the central incisors erupts on the lower jaw when the baby is six months to a year old, typically followed soon after by a central incisor on the upper jaw. The chart below, provided by the American Dental Association, shows you when and where you can expect the rest of your baby’s primary teeth to arrive. If your baby’s teeth arrive in a different order it’s probably nothing to be concerned about, but you should bring it to the attention of your child’s dentist.

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 to help get my kids through the holidays without a fresh batch of cavities?

A: This time of year, many kids are eating sweets constantly. First there’s all the candy at Halloween, then there are all of those tasty desserts at Thanksgiving, and then there are all of the cookies and other treats in December.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help get your kids through the holidays with healthy teeth. Discourage your kids from having little snacks of candy or other refined carbs here and there throughout the day, and encourage them to save up these treats and eat a bunch at once. Eating carbs makes the mouth more acidic, and every time a piece of candy is eaten it takes an hour for the acid inside the mouth to dissipate. So it’s actually better for your teeth to eat a bunch of carbs at once, and get it over with.

Save cookies, cakes or holiday pies for desserts after a meal, and don’t let kids eat them as treats at other times of the day. Eating a meal first will encourage saliva production, and that saliva will help wash away the acids in the mouth.

Also, have your kids rinse well with water after they enjoy treats, and encourage them to be extra diligent about brushing and flossing during the holiday season.

Finally, speak to your dentist. We have special products like sealants and fluoride varnishes that can help keep their teeth strong. Also, we can motivate your children to work on their oral hygiene more diligently.

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 is the best toothpaste?

It’s not about what kind of toothpaste you choose to use. It’s about mechanically removing food and plaque off the surfaces of your teeth. So it’s really about brushing technique and time spent brushing your teeth. Most toothpastes are made of the same common ingredients. On average they contain about 75% water and humectant, 20% abrasive particles, and 5% other things like foaming agents, flavoring agents, and fluoride.

The brand of toothpaste might be of concern for people that have allergies or tooth sensitivity. Herbal toothpastes can be a good choice for you if you are allergic to mint of sodium laurel sulfate, a foaming agent in many commerical toothpaste brands. Toothpastes, like Sensodyne, have special ingredients to help reduce tooth sensitivity. Check with your dentist if these are the right option for you.

Remember, only brush and floss the teeth you want to keep!

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 canker sores?

Cankers sores, aka Aphthous ulcers, are painful sores in the mouth. They are white or yellow and surrounded by a bright red area.

The cause of a canker sore can not always be identified. It is often triggered by emotional stress, dietary deficiencies (especially iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12), menstrual periods, hormonal change, food allergies, viral infections.

You can get canker sores on any loose (soft) non-keratinized skin tissues of the mouth These places are:

-The floor of the mouth
-The inside of the lips and cheeks
-The tip or under the tongue
-The tonsils
-The soft palate

Canker sores are not cancer. However, there are types of cancer that may first appear as a mouth ulcer that does not heal. If you are concerned, visit a dentist or physician.

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.

A couple of days ago, we reported that during a game NY Knicks forward Wilson Chandler lost several teeth when he collided with Warriors forward David Lee. You can see the accident in the clip above. More news has come out since then, and it turns out that Chandler had one tooth knocked out and another was broken into four pieces. A search team was dispatched onto the court to find Chandler’s missing tooth, and eventually a part of the tooth was found embedded in Lee’s elbow! Lee was able to finish the game, but he told reporters that he couldn’t remember experiencing so much pain. He had to sit out a game the following night.

The accident resulted in a lot of pain and expense for both players, all of which could have been avoided if Chandler had been wearing a mouthguard. If you play basketball or other sports, even if just an occasional game with your friends, never forget to wear your mouthguard!


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.


You probably already knew that smoking is a dangerous, highly addictive habit that’s responsible for the deaths of far too many smokers (and secondhand smokers) every year. But just to make the message really clear, the FDA has proposed a new rule. Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements would require all cigarette companies to display graphic images depicting the tragic consequences of smoking.

If the rule passes, cigarette packages will soon depict cancer victims, corpses and other grim images, along with text warnings. There are 36 proposed images, and the FDA is asking citizens to vote on which ones will be used. You can see all 36 here, but be warned that the image shown here is actually one of the least graphic images in the set.

If you smoke, speak to your physician or dentist about quitting. They can help.

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 causes tooth decay?"


Q: What causes tooth decay?

A: Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is an infectious disease that leads to the breaking down of tooth structure. Left untreated, this can result in pain, infection, and tooth loss.

There are 4 things needed for dental caries.

1) a susceptible tooth

2) bacteria responsible for caries (primarily Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus)

3) fermentable carbohydrates (such as glucose, lactose, and sucrose)

4) Time

People with dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, and high sugar intake are at an increased risk of having cavities. Also, there are some genetic risk factors such as the natural anatomy of the tooth and Amelogenesis imperfecta that lead to teeth that are more susceptible to tooth decay.

The best was to prevent tooth decay is to follow proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist at least every 6 months.

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.

NorthJersey.com has a good article about your child’s first trip to the dentist. It walks you through some of the things you should do to prepare, and some of the things to expect when you’re there.

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.

Spongebob Squarepants in "Cavity Crisis"


Here’s a fun videogame starring kid show favorite Spongebob Squarepants. Move your toothbrush quickly, or Spongebob’s teeth will turn yellow and fall out. (As you can see from this picture, Spongebob needs all the help with brushing that he can get!)

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.

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