From toothpaste and mouthwash commercials on TV, to instructions we take home from the dentist, we hear a lot about fighting and preventing gum disease. But what exactly is it that we’re fighting against? Gum disease can be a threat to your oral and overall health, but it’s hard to fight it if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.

Gum disease takes two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis, otherwise known as gum inflammation, is typically a precursor to periodontitis, or gum disease. Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque-forming bacteria along the gumline. This causes the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed when brushing or flossing. While gums may clearly be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets with no irreparable bone or other tissue damage.

While gingivitis may have a temporary negative impact on your oral comfort, it’s possible to reverse. As long as you schedule a dentist visit at the first sight of swelling or discomfort, you could be back on your way to a healthy mouth with just a professional cleaning and a few changes to your oral hygiene routine.

If you notice signs and symptoms of gingivitis but let it go untreated, you could be facing a longer term problem in the form of periodontitis, or advanced gum disease. Warning signs to look out for include red, swollen, and bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, severe gum recession, bone loss around the teeth, and loose teeth. When left untreated, periodontitis can even lead to tooth loss.

Not only would missing teeth impact your appearance, but it would mean that the infection could easily spread to your bloodstream and the rest of your body. Once the bacteria begins to spread, it could contribute to cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, respiratory infections, and preterm birth.

While most cases of gum disease are caused by plaque buildup, there are a few other factors that could contribute. Firstly, hormonal changes (like those that accompany pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation) make gums more sensitive, and thus more susceptible to gingivitis. Certain illnesses, like cancer or HIV, interfere with the immune system and change the body’s ability to fight back. Diabetes also affects the body’s ability to fight bacteria, putting those patients at higher risk of developing oral infections and cavities.

Secondly, if you take medication that causes dry mouth, you should hydrate more than usual in order to wash plaque-causing bacteria off of the teeth and gums. And finally, family history of dental disease could be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis, no matter how diligent you are about your oral hygiene routine.

Just like gingivitis, periodontitis is treatable. The pathway to treatment depends on the severity of the case: some cases may be treatable through dental cleaning procedures, while others may only be treatable through surgery. The best way to treat both types of gum disease, however, is to prevent them.

Gum health starts with regular visits to the dentist, and a consistent oral hygiene routine complete with preventive measures. Those measures include gently brushing your teeth twice a day (gently enough to avoid gum recession, but thoroughly enough to eliminate harmful bacteria), flossing daily, limiting your sugar intake to minimize the possibility of plaque buildup, and professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year.

Wondering if your gums might be swollen? Due for one of those twice-a-year cleanings? Give us a call and we’ll get you on your way to a gum-disease-free future.

If you’ve ever been told that your teeth are beautifully brushed—but you need to floss more—you are not alone. Lots of patients brush their teeth at least twice a day just like they’re told, but sometimes skip the floss.

Whether it’s because it takes too long, it’s tricky, or hurts too much (which you should let us know about right away), flossing sometimes gets overlooked. But it shouldn’t. Neglecting to take full care of your smile and gums is a first step in experiencing bacteria buildup, which can cause cavities, tooth loss, gum disease, and even worse.

These harmful bacteria often build up around food particles that get left behind, even after brushing. A toothbrush’s failure to clean out food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between teeth is where interdental cleaning comes in.

Interdental cleaning is another name for cleaning between the teeth, which is what dental floss and Waterpik water flossers were made for. Both accomplish the same results, but one method may be a better choice for you or your loved ones.

Speaking of loved ones, if you’re looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer, something to put under the tree, or a gift for any occasion, consider helping your loved ones stock up on floss, flossers, or a Waterpik. To help you decide what’s best, let’s look at the pros and cons.



Dental floss has stood the test of time: in 1819, Dr. Levi Spear Parmly recommended it in his book, A Practical Guide to the Management of the Teeth. In 1874, dental floss was officially patented by Asahel M. Shurtleff, who created the plastic holder and small cutter like the floss dispensers we have today.

In addition to its longevity, floss is easy to control—especially if you use the pre-cut flossers in plastic holders. Floss and flossers do a great job of removing bacteria, plaque, and food particles from between teeth, just as it was intended.

Because your hands are the guide, you can take as much time as you need to treat each surface of each tooth individually.


While being able to control the floss with your hands is helpful, some areas of your teeth can still be unreachable. Either because your teeth are very close together, it’s hard to fit your hands in your mouth, or it’s hard to maneuver the plastic flosser.

Flossing can also be painful. It causes some gums to bleed because of the force used to push it between your teeth, or because you don’t do it frequently enough and your gums are sensitive.

Get Flossing

If you’re wondering whether you should floss before or after you brush, wonder no more. You can do either. Some patients like to floss before, so their toothbrush will wash the loosened particles away, and some prefer to floss after, to clean up anything their toothbrush missed.



Waterpiks have also been around for decades. The first oral irrigator was created in 1962 by a Colorado dentist with help from a patient, who happened to be a hydraulic engineer.

Water flossers are just that—water. So, they aren’t threatening when used correctly. The flosser creates a pressurized stream of water to clean away particles, bacteria, and plaque between teeth and under the gumline, just like traditional floss.

Because water is permeable, it can go some places where floss can’t. Waterpiks may be the best option for people who wear braces, or have bridges, crowns, or dental implants. They can also provide relief for people who may have trouble using their hands, because the pressure is created electronically.


The fact that the power comes from something permeable (water) can also be a disadvantage. Water may not have the power to forcefully remove all of the lingering plaque between teeth and along the gumline.

The water is forceful enough to stream out of your mouth, so it’s important to keep it contained to avoid making a mess on the bathroom counter, the mirror, or your clothes. Waterpiks can also be costly compared to the relative inexpensiveness of traditional dental floss.

Start Streaming

When you’re starting out place the Waterpik in your mouth before you turn it on to avoid accidental spraying. Once it’s on, guide the tip slowly and gently along the gumline. We recommend starting with the back teeth and working toward the front, and continue until the inside and outside of both the upper and lower teeth are clean.

Pik Your Tool

When it comes time to decide between floss or a Waterpik, choose the one that you’re most comfortable with. If you’re comfortable, you’re more likely to add it to your routine without fail.

If you love the control of flossing, stick with it. If you like the deep-clean feeling of refreshment from a Waterpik, that’s the way to go. Research has shown that they do an equally good job at removing plaque when used properly, and that’s what’s most important.

If you have any concerns or questions, we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

When considering electric versus manual toothbrushes, there are pros and cons for each style. It ultimately comes down to what will keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy.

Both electric and manual toothbrushes remove harmful plaque that can cause decay and disease. But which brush is right for you? Let’s take a look at the benefits and negatives of both electric and manual toothbrushes.

Let’s start with the good.

One of the best things about electric toothbrushes is that they do most of the work for you. The motor powers the bristles to remove plaque buildup from your teeth and gums through slight vibrations and rotations. The tiny movements made by the vibration are gentle but effective—they will clean your teeth and gums without irritating the gum line or causing recession.

This is especially helpful to anyone suffering from:

  • Carpal tunnel
  • Arthritis
  • Developmental disabilities


The motor may also make an electric toothbrush seem like a fun toy for kids! And if it’s fun, they’re more likely to do it.


Another way electric toothbrushes help us make sure we do a good job is with their built-in timer. Many dentists find that while a patient might brush twice a day, every day, they do not brush for long enough each time. Instead of relying on counting into the hundreds, or singing “Happy Birthday” twice, you can let the toothbrush count down to zero.


In addition to the personal benefits of electric toothbrushes, they can also help the Earth by limiting plastic waste. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush at least every three to four months. If you use an electric toothbrush, all you have to replace is the head.


Manual toothbrushes are a tried and true way of preventing gingivitis that have their own set of benefits. Primarily, they are easily accessible and equally affordable. You can find manual toothbrushes at grocery stores, gas stations, dollar stores, pharmacies, and more.


When it comes to taking good care of your teeth, there really aren’t any negatives. But if you are wondering which brush to use, here are some factors you can keep in mind.

Electric toothbrushes are expensive, with prices up to just under $300. In addition to the brush, you will need to purchase replacement brush heads (which range from $10-$45) and potentially batteries, unless your brush comes with a charging port. The need for a charger can also be inconvenient if you are a frequent traveler.


Manual toothbrushes are harder to control. If you are heavy-handed, the hard bristles of a manual brush can hurt your gums and cause them to recede. Because the head is also typically larger, you may not get every nook and cranny where particles can hide. It’s also harder to keep track of how long you’ve been brushing without the help of a built-in timer.


Both types of toothbrushes do an effective job of cleaning your teeth as long as you use them properly and regularly. One of the first lessons in dental hygiene that you learn is the importance of brushing your teeth. At-home dental hygiene is critical to your overall mouth health. Maintaining good oral care and preventing plaque and tartar build up will keep your mouth healthy in the long run.


Schedule an appointment with Dr. Rezvan to find the right toothbrush for you.


No matter which brush you choose, it all comes down to keeping your teeth and mouth clean, healthy, and bacteria free. To make sure you do that successfully, here are some tips to follow:

  • Don’t use a toothbrush that’s too big or too small
  • Try to stick with soft-bristle toothbrushes
  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle
  • Spend at least two minutes brushing to reach every tooth surface
  • Between brushings, keep your toothbrush dry
  • Floss once a day before or after brushing

Everyone knows that Vitamin D is good for you, and we typically think of the sun as the greatest source for it. But did you know that the Vitamin D in certain foods also helps maintain strong teeth and improves your overall oral health?

It’s true! Vitamin D plays an important and meaningful role in healthy teeth, strong bones, and the condition of your entire body. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can come to the rescue if your gums are inflamed due to gum disease (also known as gingivitis). Along with Vitamin D in healthy foods, brushing and flossing are the simplest ways to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.

A nutritious diet that’s high in Vitamin D helps your teeth, jawbone, and all of the bones in your body to mineralize. Mineralization is a process that reinforces your teeth and bones to keep them strong and impermeable. If your teeth don’t get the Vitamin D they need to mineralize, cavities can form and there may be a loss of tooth enamel. Making sure you get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D is an effective way to reduce your risk of cavities in the short term, and reduce your risk of periodontal disease in the long term.

The most common way that we absorb Vitamin D is through the skin, when ultraviolet B rays shine on its surface. The rays move beyond the skin to interact with the pre-existing calcium in your body which creates a powerful interaction. This interaction turns sunlight into a catalyst for that calcium to not only exist in the body, but to be absorbed by your teeth and bones. Without the jumpstart that the Vitamin D provides, calcium is not easily absorbed and your bones and teeth may be left without the boost of calcium they need to stay strong. To keep your mouth and bones healthy, get outside! Your body will work in amazing ways to initiate the process of calcium absorption.

Depending on the season, getting those precious rays can be easier said than done. If you’re on the hunt for Vitamin D but the sun isn’t shining, look no further than some of your favorite healthy foods. Consuming enough of the right foods and staying away from sugary or starchy foods will help keep your mouth healthy in the same way that brushing and flossing does.

A nutritious diet that includes Vitamin-D rich foods is essential to your overall health. Looking for ideas? At breakfast, we recommend milk, soy milk, and egg yolks. At lunch, try a tuna sandwich, salmon, or cheese. When you’re planning your dinner, try incorporating mushrooms, sardines, and beef liver into your menu.

Everything that you consume—whether it be rays of sunlight or food—plays a role in your oral health, and in turn, your overall health. Studies show increasingly clear connections between the health of your mouth and the function of your circulatory system, immune system, your heart, and your other vital organs. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums can also help alleviate the symptoms and severity of chronic conditions like diabetes.

If bacteria exist in your mouth due to infections in a diseased tooth or inflamed gums, it can easily spread to other areas of the body and put them at risk for harm. For these reasons and others, it’s vital that you maintain healthy teeth and gums at home by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and eating a diet full of Vitamin D.

On top of your at-home hygiene routine, it’s essential to visit your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups. Schedule an appointment with us today to keep your teeth, mouth, and whole body healthy and happy.

We’ve all been in situations when we’re desperate for a mint or a toothbrush. Maybe you had onions in your lunch or an extra cup of coffee, and you’re left self-conscious about your breath for the rest of the day. While bad breath is often caused by harmless (but unfortunate) food choices, it can also be a sign of something more serious.

Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath—also known as halitosis—at some point in their lives, and this not-so-fresh feeling can be caused by a number of factors. One of those factors is bacteria, which naturally lives inside your mouth. There are hundreds of bad-breath-causing bacteria growing in your mouth right now, thanks to your mouth’s warm, wet nature. When you eat, these bacteria feed off of the food particles that are left in your mouth after the meal, which leaves a spoiled-smelling waste product behind.

Another cause of bad breath could be a lack of, or limited saliva production. Saliva is responsible for washing out your mouth, and it does so automatically, especially when your digestive system is ignited. If your digestive system is activated but your saliva production doesn’t keep up, your mouth won’t be cleaned the way that it should be after each bite. Dry mouth can be caused by breathing through your mouth, or something less controllable like medications or salivary gland problems.

If you notice no change in your saliva production but bad breath persists, it may be because of advanced gum disease. This is typically caused by plaque, a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria, finding its way between your teeth and your gum line and should be addressed immediately. Gum disease can also be caused by smoking, and because tobacco use limits your ability to taste, a smoker may not even know that they have bad breath. There are a number of ways to treat and prevent gum disease, but only when taken care of quickly and properly. Bad breath could just be the beginning of more serious symptoms including decay and tooth loss.

If you brush and floss as directed every day, and you’ve asked Dr. Rezvan about your bad breath but our office is unable to identify any infection, it could be the result of a problem that can’t be identified by studying the mouth. Conditions including a sinus condition, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or gastric reflux can impact your breath negatively. If this is your situation, it’s best to see your primary care physician to take a closer look.

To keep bad breath at bay, make sure that you’re brushing twice a day (dentures too!), flossing at least once, and using mouthwash. These methods will remove any food particles that are leaving their odor behind and affecting your breath and your confidence. And don’t forget about your tongue! Bad breath odors can make themselves at home on your tongue, so it’s especially important to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to cleanse your palate.

As always, make sure to keep up with your regular visits to Dr. Rezvan. He’ll be able to identify any sources of dry mouth or bad breath early on and work with you to prevent escalation.

Your smile is powerful. It’s usually the first thing we notice about other people, and probably what other people notice about you. Some say that a smile is a window to the soul and can speak volumes about its wearer’s health and happiness. Not only does wearing a smile keep your spirits up and self-confidence high, it can also improve people’s perceptions of you.

The perks of your pearly whites don’t stop with the impression that your smile makes—smiling also offers physical and psychological health benefits. Recent studies show that flashing your sparkly smile may help you appear more youthful, boost your mood, feel more joyful, maintain healthier relationships, and more.

When you feel down in the dumps, especially for reasons you can’t control, flashing a smile has a “magical” way of immediately boosting your mood. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, making your best effort can trick your senses into feeling happier and will likely send you on an upswing. It seems like magic, but it’s actually medically proven that emotions are felt and affected throughout the whole body—not just the brain. Because of this, “faking it until you make it” can actually work wonders even when you’re feeling low.

When a study looked at patients who were physically unable to frown because they recently received BOTOX, it found that they felt consistently happier. Their inability to frown impacted their emotions in a way that made them feel less anxious. Unlike BOTOX, the benefits of smiling often are lasting. Further proving the observation from an earlier study which showed that people with bigger smiles in their high school yearbook tended to be happier later in life.

Speaking of BOTOX, smiling is a way to look younger naturally. With all of the anti-aging creams and remedies on the market, we prefer to go the free route by using the smile on your face. Wearing a happy expression makes people appear more youthful and full of life. While a neutral face can look dull and tired, a beaming smile can add the special sparkle that’s naturally abundant in younger groups.

You never know who’s looking at your smile, so it’s best to keep it on as much as possible. You may run into someone that you’ll eventually work with or meet in an interview. If their first impression of you is positive, that impression will last and will end up playing out in your favor. According to research published in the journal Neuropsychologia, it’s possible that our brains are programmed to pay attention to smiling faces. When participants in a study were shown pictures of people smiling and people with neutral expressions, their brains showed a stronger response to the happy faces.

That positive first impression can also make a huge impact in your personal relationships. From a first date into marriage, smiling leads to high spirits, and high spirits lead to hope and a willingness to compromise and maximize your time together. While a happy relationship and a great job might give you more reason to smile, studies have shown that happiness often precedes success. A happy demeanor can pave the way to achieving your goals and finding success in every aspect of your life.

When it comes to relationships, attraction is key, and often a huge part of first impressions. If you see a stranger across the room with a beautiful smile, you’re likely to be drawn to them and remember their face. If someone smiles in your direction, it’ll cause excitement, and make that other person seem especially attractive. While studies have shown that a smiling woman is especially appealing to men, smiling men don’t tend to have the same effect on women. Females tend to be attracted to more serious faces initially, and a later-discovered beautiful smile is an added bonus.

While smiles are generally positive, they’re also a lot like a cold. But only in the good ways. Just like the common cold and chickenpox, smiles are contagious. You can spread them far and wide to spread happiness to everyone around you. Sometimes all it takes is to catch a grin from a passerby to immediately boost your mood. When we pass strangers on the street, we’re subconsciously trained to smile at them, with the expectation that they will smile back. Passing that smile from person to person is a powerful way of spreading good without saying a word.

In the same way that smiling at strangers can build a sense of community in your city, smiling at work will make people more inclined to work alongside you in a business setting. If you’re working in a collaborative environment that requires teamwork, your colleagues are much more likely to be excited about working with someone who appears cheerful and ready to cooperate. This will ultimately lead to more productivity and greater success.

Forcing yourself to smile may sound simple, but sometimes life throws obstacles your way that are hard to smile through. If you simply can’t muster a grin on your own, you can hold a pen horizontally in your mouth so that it forces the sides of your mouth upwards, and hopefully your emotions will follow suit.

If you already smile every chance you get, it may be because you’re consistently complimented on your grin, which will make you want to show it off. Those compliments are probably earned by taking great care of your teeth and mouth. Great smiles don’t happen overnight: it takes years of dedicated and continued dental hygiene to keep it sparkling and healthy. If you want to reap the benefits of a lifetime of smiles, make sure to maintain your good dental habits and never skip an appointment with your dentist. That’ll keep them smiling too!

Taking proper care of your teeth is a lifelong job, with benefits that last just as long. The need for diligent oral hygiene doesn’t stem from a bad visit to the dentist’s office or a string of cavities. It’s something that even the most beautiful mouths should make an essential part of their daily routine.

From professional attention to the must-have products, we rounded up the top ten habits for healthy mouths:

  1. See your dentist twice a year.
    Getting your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year is the most thorough way to make sure your mouth is clean as a whistle without any sneaky plaque or tartar build up. These biannual visits are also the perfect time for your dentist to check your mouth, teeth, and gums for infection, decay, or any signs of trouble down the road. In between visits, it’s your responsibility as a patient to do what you can every day to keep your teeth exactly how your dentist leaves them by brushing and flossing.
  2. Always brush your teeth before bed.
    While the dentist will give your teeth a top notch cleaning, it’s up to you to maintain your oral health and cleanliness between visits. That starts with brushing your teeth every night before bed. Everyone has had moments when they’re just so tired they can’t stand the thought of delaying bedtime any longer. In an effort to get under the covers faster, tooth brushing might get skipped, and that’s one of the worst things you can do to your mouth. Letting the germs and food particles collected during the day sit on your teeth all night is a recipe for cavities, infection, and maybe worse. For these reasons and more, getting in the habit of brushing your teeth before bed every single night is key for oral health.
  3. Brush slow and steady.
    Brushing your teeth every night is awesome. Brushing your teeth correctly every night is even better. Brushing your teeth poorly or without attention to detail is almost as bad as letting them go unbrushed. If the proper care and movements aren’t employed when brushing, damaging plaque and bacteria can be missed. By moving the brush in gentle, circular motions, you’re making sure the bristles reach every nook and cranny of your mouth. This helps prevent plaque from hardening and causing calculus build up and gingivitis.
  4. Remember your tongue.
    It helps us chew, talk, swallow, and more, making the tongue an essential part of overall oral health. While plaque is best known for building up on the surface of your teeth, it can also build up on your tongue. Plaque buildup on the tongue can lead to bad breath, infection, and other health problems, so it’s important to get rid of it. Simply brush your tongue—like your teeth—each time your brush your teeth to keep bacteria and plaque out of sight.
  5. Try a toothpaste with fluoride.
    Though the benefits of fluoride have come into question regarding its impact on other areas of health, it’s a crucial element in an effective toothpaste. Fluoride leads the charge against tooth decay, which makes it much more important than whitening factors and flavor options. Fluoride fights germs that can lead to decay and provides a protective barrier for your teeth.
  6. Treat flossing as important as brushing.
    Brushed? Check! Time for floss. Floss should be treated with as much importance as brushing. Not only does it lift tiny food particles from between your teeth, but it also stimulates the gums. Stimulating the gums helps to reduce plaque and lower inflammation between each tooth when floss is used. Though it can be difficult, don’t let the inconvenience stop you from flossing once a day. Small, or tiny, hands may have a hard time navigating string floss through the mouth, which is where flossers and flossing tools can step in to make all the difference.
  7. Wash it all with mouthwash.
    Brushed? Check! Flossed? Check! Now rinse it out. Mouthwash is used for much more than just a burst of minty freshness when you don’t have time to brush your teeth after lunch. Mouthwash reduces acid in the mouth, cleans areas around the gums that are hard to brush, and re-mineralizes the teeth in a way nothing else can. There are a lot of mouthwash options out there, so it’s best to ask your dentist for recommendations that will best fit your needs.
  8. Utilize nature’s mouthwash.
    Free of sugar, flavor, carbonation, or any unnatural element, water is the best beverage for your overall health and your oral health. Drinking water with and/or after every meal helps wash out sticky and acidic food and beverage remnants that could end up being harmful to your teeth and mouth. It’s also a low-lift way to clean the surfaces in your mouth in between brushes.
  9. The crunchier the better.
    Crunchy fruits and vegetables are good for you and for your teeth. They contain healthy fiber and are hard to chew, which causes your mouth to produce more saliva. That saliva acts like a naturally occurring mouthwash, tasked with washing away particles and bacteria that have been left behind.
  10. Say no to sugar.
    The opposite of water, food and beverages that contain sugar leave a sugary film in your mouth that eventually converts into acid. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. That acid, if left untouched, can erode the enamel of your teeth, creating a perfect pathway for cavities and decay.


If you stick to these 10 habits, you’ll have a sparkling, healthy smile that lasts throughout the year—and your dentist will be very proud.