Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Our Office Locations
Garden Grove

12777 Valley View St. #282
Garden Grove, CA 92845
Phone: (714) 898-8757

Diamond Bar

620 N Diamond Bar Blvd
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
Phone: (909) 861-3043

Articles from American Academy of Periodontology


The American Academy of Periodontology Patient Page

is a public service of the AAP and should not be used as a substitute for the care and advice of your personal periodontist. There may be variations in treatment that your periodontist will recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Call 1-800 FLOSS-EM for a free brochure on periodontal disease.


Link to American Academy of Periodontology



Don’t be a yuck mouth, tame that beastly breath...


With all the bacteria proliferating in the human mouth, it is no wonder that about one in four people believe they have halitosis. Bad breath originates from certain oral bacteria producing an abundance of volatile sulfur compounds. Bad breath can be caused by several things, including certain foods, periodontal disease, dry mouth, tobacco use or a medical disorder. Here are some breath freshening tips:

  • First, determine if you have bad breath. One method is to take a piece of un-waxed, unflavored dental floss and floss between your upper and lower back molars. Or, use a dry cloth and wipe it across the back part of your tongue for about five seconds. Wait about a half a minute and then smell it. Asking a friend or family member works too.

  • Mouthwashes, breath sprays and mints mask the problem temporarily. In fact, mouthwashes with alcohol may further the problem as, over time, they can dry out the mouth. If you have chronic bad breath, you will want to get to the source of the problem.

  • Be aware of foods that trigger bad breath such as garlic, onions and coffee. And, brush your teeth after consuming milk products, fish and meat.

  • Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of fluids, chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugarless candy.

  • Floss, and brush your teeth, gums and tongue daily. Do not forget to clean behind the back teeth in each row.

  • Denture wearers need to avoid plaque buildup under the dentures. Thoroughly clean dentures daily and remove dentures at night to avoid bacteria growth. Denture wearers should continue to see a dental professional regularly.

  • Talk with your dentist or periodontist about oral problems that may be the cause. Your dental professional can also tell you about the latest techniques to treat bad breath.

  • If you determine that chronic bad breath is not from an oral source, see your physician.


AAP Patient Page, May/June 2001, Vol. 2, No. 3



Bacteria is the culprit in periodontal disease...


Imagine you’re in a jungle. It’s warm and moist and there is plenty to feed on. It is also crawling with hundreds of diverse species of living beings. Many are harmless and some are even beneficial to the environment. However, one group can be described as predators, attacking their immediate environment and wreaking havoc far and wide. To stop the wild beasts, you need weapons. What should you grab? A toothbrush and floss. Okay, we’re not talking about the Amazon Rain Forest, we’re talking about your mouth, but it really is a jungle in there.

More than 500 species of microorganisms have been identified in the mouth. Approximately 15 of these bacterial species have been implicated for playing a role in periodontal disease. Whether or not you get periodontal disease depends on a complex interplay between these bacteria, your response mechanism and environmental factors, such as smoking. Your saliva includes proteins and antifungal agents, which help get rid of oral bacteria.

The bacteria in plaque cause the gums to become red and swollen and to bleed easily. Eventually, gums separate from the teeth forming pockets. The pockets fill with even more plaque and infection and eventually deepen. Over time, tissue and bone are destroyed and the teeth loosen.

To stop this process, it is necessary to eliminate the infection-causing bacteria that accumulate below the gumline; dental professionals often use simple procedures such as scaling and root planing. These are non-surgical procedures to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Tooth root surfaces are cleaned and smoothed as the rough surfaces of tartar make it easier for bacteria to get a foothold.

In addition, your periodontist may recommend antibiotic treatments to enhance traditional therapies. These are designed to kill a wide variety of oral bacteria.

Someday, researchers may discover a vaccine to eliminate harmful bacteria from the mouth. Until then, arm yourself with a toothbrush, floss and regular dental visits.


AAP Patient Page, May/June 2001, Vol. 2, No. 3




An ounce of floss is worth a pound of prevention...


Now that you’re committed to keeping your teeth and protecting your health, you’ll want to be sure to floss correctly.


Choosing a floss: The dental aisle of your local drugstore offers an array of choices.  Look for dental floss that has ADA acceptance. Other than that, choosing one is mostly a matter of personal preference. Studies have found no difference between waxed and unwaxed, tape and cord and nylon and polymer floss as far as cleaning capacity.  However, for people with tight spaces between teeth, polymer floss may work best.  And, if flavored floss makes flossing more enjoyable, choose that.


Floss first?  There is not a clear cut answer on whether it is better to floss.  However, flossing first may loosen plaque, which can then be brushed away with your toothbrush.


Step-by-step:  Use a piece of floss about 18 inches long.  Wind most of the floss around a middle finger of one hand and most of the rest around a middle finger on the opposite hand.  Gently insert the floss between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion, guiding the floss with your forefingers.  Guide the floss to the gum line and curve the floss into a C-shape.  Slide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel light resistance.  Repeat this process between every tooth and don’t forget the back sides of your back teeth.


If you don’t see food particles, don’t be disappointed.  The primary function of dental floss is actually to remove the invisible film of bacteria that constantly form between the teeth causing plaque.


Flossing option:  For people with dexterity problems, power flossers or floss holders may be useful.  Otherwise, regular floss works just as well and makes it easier to make the C-shape around your teeth.

AAP Patient Page, January/February 2002, Vol. 3, No. 1

 Dental care may ward off gingival overgrowth...


If you use a calcium channel blocker, you can add another important reason to go to the dentist to the list.  These drugs commonly cause gingival overgrowth.  And, nifedepine a commonly prescribed medication for high blood pressure is the calcium channel blocker most frequently associated with this condition.


However, a recent study in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that frequent dental visits following initial periodontal treatment may significantly reduce gingival overgrowth in patients taking nifedipine.  This is good news for the 20 to 40 percent of patients taking nifedipine who experience discomfort from recurring gingival overgrowth and rely on nifedipine to control their high blood pressure.  Swollen gums can be painful, unsightly and interfere with speech, eating and everyday brushing and flossing.


The study found that gingival overgrowth recurrence was eliminated in more than half of patients with a combination of initial periodontal therapy, including surgical and non-surgical treatments, followed by more frequent dental visits (every three months).  This regimen appeared to affect recurrence more than previously known risk factors, such as gender, drug type, and duration of drug therapy.

Overgrown gums make it easier for bacteria to accumulate and attack supporting structures of the teeth, which can lead to severe periodontal infection.


These study findings are a significant advancement to earlier research, which concluded that the development and recurrence of gingival overgrowth could be minimized, but not prevented, with periodontal therapy and frequent dental visits.


Some people also may be able to substitute the calcium channel blocker they take with a different type if it is causing oral problems.  Talk with your physician and periodontist.


AAP Patient Page, July/August 2001, Vol. 2, No. 4




That pill might be making your mouth ill...



Your medicine cabinet may hold the answer to some of your oral health problems.  Drugs that improve the health of one part of your body may have a detrimental affect on your mouth.


For example, over 400 medications produce dry mouth or xerostomia, which can be damaging to the gum tissue.  Other drugs may cause gingival enlargement, which means the gums become swollen and “grow over” the teeth.  Medications with sugar as a main ingredient, such as over-the-counter cough drops and syrups, may increase plaque as well as enhance the ability of plaque to be more adherent to your teeth.  In addition, medications which have a depressant effect may make people negligent with their oral hygiene habits.


Drugs that induce dry mouth include those for high blood pressure, spastic bladder syndrome, pain relief, anxiety and allergies.  People with dry mouth have a tendency to accumulate more plaque and experience changes in their gum tissue that can make them more susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay.  Your dental professional can recommend various methods to restore moisture, including sugarless gum, oral rinses or artificial saliva products.


A number of medications also may cause gingival enlargement or overgrowth, such as calcium cannel blockers, phenytoin used for seizure prevention and cyclosporine, which is widely used following organ transplants to control refection.  Gingivitis may act as a predisposing factor to this condition, so meticulous oral care and routine dental visits are very important for people who use these medications.


Many liquid or chewable medications, especially children’s medications, are made palatable by the addition of sucrose, glucose or fructose as sweeteners.  These may significantly alter plaque and increase the risk of cavities and possibly periodontal disease.  When purchasing lozenges, chewable tablets and syrups, look for those that are sugar-free.

Just as you tell your physician about the drugs your taking, be sure to tell your periodontist about all the medications that you are taking, including herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications.  Your dental professional can talk to you about what effects, if any, these may be having on your periodontal health.  Your dental professionals can work with you and your physician to minimize negative effects.


AAP Patient Page, July/August 2001, Vol. 2, No. 4


Detecting oral cancer early could save your life...

More than 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer each year. Oral cancer can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, cheek lining, tongue and the hard or soft palate. Despite treatment advances, approximately half of the people who get oral cancer die within five years.

Like most cancers, early detection can dramatically improve a person's odds of survival. Therefore, any mouth sore that persists for more than a week should be examined by your dental professional. Other signs of oral cancer that you should watch for include:

■ a sore that bleeds easily

■ numbness or pain in the mouth or lips or difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

■ a color change of the oral tissue

■ a lump, thickening rough spot, crust or small eroded area in the mouth

■ a change in the way teeth fit together or loosening of the teeth.

The risk of oral cancer increases for people who use tobacco products and consume alcohol heavily. Smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancer. Smokeless tobacco increases the risk of cancers of the cheek, gums and the lining of the lips by about 50 times.

Age and sex also seem to play a role as most people who get oral cancer are males over age 40. Men are about twice as likely to get oral cancer as women.

You may be able to reduce the potential for oral cancer with a nutritious diet. Some research suggests that those who consume lots of fruits and vegetables have less oral cancer.

Regular visits to your dental professional can increase the chance that oral cancer will be detected in the early stages and treated effectively.



AAP Patient Page, November/December 2001, Vol. 2, No. 6


Cancer treatments can cause oral side affects...

If you are diagnosed with cancer, making your dentist and periodontist part of your cancer team can make you feel better and save your teeth as well as help make your cancer treatment as effective as possible. According to the National Institutes of Health, of the 1.2 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, about 400,000 will develop oral complications from their treatments. These complications may be quite painful and may affect compliance and even continuance of cancer treatment.

Common side effects of chemotherapy, radiation to the head and neck and bone marrow transplantation include inflamed gums, mouth ulcers, infection, extensive cavities and dry mouth. Seeing a dentist or periodontist prior to cancer therapy is important so that oral problems that may complicate treatment can be identified and corrected.

Before, during and after cancer therapy, good oral hygiene is essential for improving comfort and reducing the risk if infection.


The following are tips to help keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

■ Check your mouth daily for sores or other changes and discuss anything you find with your dental professional.

■ Gently brush your teeth with an extra soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day unless your dental professional recommends otherwise. Soften bristles in warm water if brushing hurts.

■ Keep your mouth moist by sipping water often and using sugarless gum or candy to help stimulate saliva flow. Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol that can further dry the mouth. Ask your dental professional about a subscription saliva stimulant.

■ Floss gently every day,

temporarily avoiding areas that are sore or bleeding.

■ For a sore mouth, rinse a few times a day with one cup of warm water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Follow with a plain water rinse.

■ Avoid toothpicks (so you don't cut your mouth), tobacco products and alcohol.

■ For more information, visit



AAP Patient Page,November/December, 2001, Vol. 2, No. 6




For the teeth and health: Super floss to the rescue


What’s 18 inches long, costs only $7 a year, is strong enough to have freed prisoners from their cell, yet submissive enough to wrap around your little finger?


Give up?  The dental floss you should be using every day.  However, according to a survey by the American Dental Association (ADA), only about 49% of the U.S. population reports using this white wound wonder as often as they should.


There are plenty of good reasons to be a flossing fanatic:  keeping your teeth, promoting fresh breath and avoiding possible repercussions of periodontal disease such as increased risk of heart disease or stroke.  Yet, people come up with plenty of excuses to skip this simple 2-3 minute task.  In hopes of encouraging flossing mania to sweep your home, following is more information than you probably ever wanted to know about dental floss.  Next time you try to overlook the floss in your medicine cabinet, maybe some of these flossing factoids will give you pause:


  • If you don’t floss you miss cleaning about 30 percent of your teeth’s surface. Often, periodontal disease begins between teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.

  • Americans purchased more than 2.7 million miles of dental floss in 1996.  However, if all Americans were flossing every day, more like 27 million miles of floss should have been used.  (Hmm, maybe some of the respondents to the ADA survey fibbed about their flossing frequency.)

  • There have been reports of prisoners who escaped after using dental floss to gradually saw through cell bars.

  • Bleeding during flossing is not normal and not okay.  If your hands bled when you washed them, would you overlook it?  Bleeding is a sign of periodontal disease.  If your gums bleed for more than a week after you begin flossing, improve your dental hygiene regimen and talk with your dentist of periodontist.

  • Dental floss was first manufactured in 1882 and was made of silk.

  • You’re never too young to floss.   It’s most important to start flossing your kids’ teeth when the gaps between them close, but starting even before this helps establish the habit.

  • Don’t flush the floss!  Dental floss has been known to block sewers because it does not disintegrate and can wrap around roots. Pumps and other obstructions.


AAP Patient Page, January/February 2002, Vol. 3, No. 1

The wise old owl gives a hoot about his teeth...


Most seniors have become smarter about their oral hygiene and are more likely to keep their teeth throughout their lifetime than they were a decade ago.

The Centers for Disease Control reports about 70 percent of adults 65 years old and older have their natural teeth. However, oral health is often an overlooked component of many seniors’ general health and well-being.

Studies indicate that seniors have the highest rates of periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection that can damage the gums and bone supporting the teeth. But don’t think gum disease is an automatic condition of aging. Research suggests these higher rates may be related to risk factors other than age.

Periodontal diseases may be aggravated by medical conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Memory problems and depression, which often leads to less attention to oral hygiene, and arthritis, which can make brushing and flossing more difficult, may also contribute to the disease.

Most importantly, recent research has found that periodontal diseases are linked to a number of major health conditions such as heart and respiratory diseases, diabetes, and stroke (some of the major illnesses among senior citizens).

What does all this mean? As you get older, it’s more important than ever to seek regular dental care. Routine oral hygiene will decrease your risk for periodontal disease, which in turn, allows you to keep your natural teeth a lifetime as well as possibly lower your risk of a heart attack.

So give a hoot about your teeth, and discuss your oral health with your dentist or periodontist today.

For more information visit


AAP Patient Page, May/June 2002, Vol. 3, No. 3



Oral Hygiene Tips for the Young At Heart...


Even if you’ve managed to avoid periodontal diseases until now, it is especially important to practice a meticulous oral care routine as you get older.

Follow these tips to help ensure your teeth will last a lifetime.

Brush and floss at least two times a day. Removing plaque from your teeth and gums every day can help prevent periodontal disease.

Clean removable partial dentures daily and remove them at night to avoid bacteria growth.

Visit your dentist or periodontist at least twice a year to remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss cannot reach. These visits also provide the opportunity for early detection of periodontal disease and pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions.

Notify your dentist or periodontist of sudden changes in taste and smell. These should not be considered sighs of aging and could be causes of serious medical problems.

Limit alcohol intake. Extreme alcohol consumption is a risk factor for oral and throat cancers.

Avoid or limit tobacco use. In addition to the general health risks posed by tobacco use, smokers have seven times the risk of developing gum disease compared to non-smokers.

Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth against dental decay.

Eat a balanced diet. Some seniors prefer soft, easily chewed food, which can take a toll on nutrition.


AAP Patient Page, May/June 2002, Vol. 3 No. 3