3 Changes to Expect with Your Teeth as You Age

Getting older means a new way of looking at taking care of your health, and oral health should be included. If you have spent your life taking good care of your smile, you may still have a few issues to watch for as you age. Take a look at some of the changes you can expect to your teeth as you age.

Lack of Sensitivity in Your Teeth

It is not uncommon to lose some of the sensitivity in your teeth as you age. This may sound like a good thing, but it is actually not. If you do not have sensitivity in your teeth, you may not feel it if a tooth has a problem. For example, if you have a cavity forming, you may not feel it, which will mean you may not notice a cavity until it has gotten large enough to see.

Changes to Tooth Coloration

The interior of the teeth is called the pulp, and this softer tissue can start to deteriorate as you get older. When it does, you may see a tooth change colors because the exterior enamel is somewhat translucent. Even though this deterioration is natural and you can’t stop it, cosmetic procedures can be done to make the problem less visible.

Bone Density Changes

Bone density changes can affect all of the bones in your body, including the jawbones that support your teeth. When this starts to occur, your teeth may start to move or shift from their normal place in your mouth. For instance, you may develop a gap between two teeth that were not present before. These issues are hard to stop, but there are measures that can be taken to slow the progression.

Dental Care for Seniors in Mountain View, CA

You do not have to face the loss of your teeth or your self-confidence just because you are getting older. Measures can be taken to protect your teeth from deterioration, and even some changes can be cosmetically mended. Contact us at Cassara Dental in Mountain View, CA to find out more about how we can help or schedule an appointment for a checkup.


Should Your Child Get Dental Sealants?

As a parent, your child’s dental health is of paramount importance. The very idea of your child having to get a filling because of a cavity is probably enough to make you think of ways to protect your child’s health. Of course, keeping your child’s diet as wholesome as possible is the best defense against cavities. But there is one more step that can be taken, and that is dental sealants. If you haven’t yet heard, dental sealants are a new treatment that your dentist offers that can protect your child’s teeth.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants consist of a type of liquid resin that is applied to the surface of the teeth. Dental sealants are most often used on molars and certain other teeth that are susceptible to cavities.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied

Dental sealants are applied using a non-invasive, pain-free technique. Basically, your dentist will thoroughly clean and dry the teeth that are to receive dental sealants. Then the dentist will “paint” on the dental sealants, and allow it to dry on the teeth. That’s it! After that, the dental sealants are in place and ready to protect the teeth.

Are Dental Sealants Appropriate For Children?

Dental sealants are appropriate for children. In fact, they are most appropriate for children and teenagers. That’s because dental sealants help protect teeth from cavities long before they become victims of cavities. In the vast majority of cases, this means that dental sealants help children and teenagers more than adults.

Should Children Get Dental Sealants?

Of course, whether or not your child should get dental sealants is up to you. However, chances are that if your child or teenager is virtually cavity-free and doesn’t have any serious oral health problems, they would be a good candidate for dental sealants.

Talk to your dentist to learn more about whether or not your child is a suitable candidate for dental sealants. Remember that dental sealants are a long-lasting solution against oral health issues. If you want to do the most you can for your child’s dental health, you deserve to at least consider dental sealants for your child.


4 Common Causes of Toothache

Toothache is a painful condition that can be a minor inconvenience or a major setback. Almost everyone experiences a toothache at least once in their lives. The question is how to avoid future toothaches. In order to do that it’s necessary to understand the common causes of toothaches.

1. Teeth Sensitivity

You’ve probably seen commercials for products designed for sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold. For most people, taking a sip of hot coffee or iced tea isn’t a problem. For a person with teeth sensitivity, this can cause a toothache. Teeth sensitivity is caused by thin enamel. The dentin of the teeth is protected by enamel. When that enamel layer is thin, the dentin is exposed, which makes teeth more sensitive and frequently leads to toothache.

2. Cavity

If you have a cavity or hole in a tooth, the nerve ending can be exposed. This is a very painful condition that is recognized as a toothache. Cavities are easily fixed at the dentist’s office. As soon as the cavity is filled, the toothache goes away instantly.

3. Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is one that is heavily infected below the gum line. An abscessed tooth can occur for a variety of reasons, but the underlying reason is tooth neglect. Abscessed teeth doesn’t happen overnight. They build up over time. Routine visits to the dentist would prevent abscessed teeth from ever occurring. If you have an abscessed tooth with toothache, a visit to the dentist is necessary. As soon as the dentist treats the tooth, the pain will dissipate.

4. Chipped Tooth

People chip their teeth every day. It can happen by eating a crusty piece of bread or fried chicken, chewing on ice or chomping down on a hard piece of candy. A chipped tooth might expose a nerve ending, in which case a toothache will almost always ensue. A swift visit to the dentist’s office will take care of the chipped tooth and the toothache.

There’s no reason to suffer from a toothache. As soon as you notice toothache pain developing, make an emergency appointment with your dentist. After that, make you visit the dentist on a regular basis to avoid future pain from toothaches.

3 Ways You Can Help Prevent Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies always happen when you least expect them. They also happen at the most inconvenient times. Almost everyone is familiar with dental emergencies all of a sudden coming on during holiday weekends, at night after the dentist’s office is closed or when you are on vacation. No one wants to have their everyday life interrupted by a dental emergency. In fact, there are many things you can do to help prevent dental emergencies from happening in the first place.

1. See Your Dentist On A Regular Basis

One of the reasons that your dentist is always encouraging you to make regular dentist appointments is so that they can keep an eye on the health of your teeth and gums. When you see your dentist on a regular basis, there’s very little likelihood that some problem is going to occur out of the blue. Instead, your dentist may indicate to you that they see something happening in your mouth that needs to be treated. This is one of the most reliable ways to prevent dental emergencies.

2. Wear A Mouth Guard

Sometimes dental emergencies occur through no fault of your own. They may happen due to trauma to your mouth or impact on your teeth. This often happens during sports. If you engage for fun or on a professional level in any sports, you should make it a habit to wear a mouth guard at all times. A mouthguard is very inexpensive and can be very comfortable when you fit it properly to your teeth and gums. It can prevent all kinds of dental emergencies from happening in the event of a sports impact.

3. Take Care of Problems Right Away

Another common reason for dental emergencies is that the person puts off going to the dentist to have some kind of problem treated. If you are experiencing any kind of symptoms that may indicate a problem happening with your teeth or gums, go ahead and make an appointment to see a dentist about it right away. The longer you wait to see the dentist about a problem, the higher the chances that the problem will escalate and become a serious problem when you least expect it.

These are three of the easiest ways that you can help prevent dental emergencies from ever happening again. For more information please contact us.

What Are Your Cavity Filling Options?

When it comes time to get your cavities filled, you should know that you have a choice as to what cavity filling material you want. In the past, your dentist—and you—had only one option. Today, your dentist may offer you several different options. So that you don’t have to make a spur-of-the-moment choice, it makes sense to learn a little bit about the options available ahead of time. Following are some of the choices your dentist may give you for your cavity filling.


Amalgam is one of the most well-known types of cavity filling materials. Amalgam is most commonly a mix—or an amalgam—of mercury, silver tin, and copper. It is considered by many to be a potentially dangerous and outdated option because of the mercury. People who have this filling may be susceptible to health problems if the mercury vapors get released from the filling after many years. However, many people feel that amalgam fillings are perfectly safe. In fact, amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting.

Pro: Lasts long and is strong

Con: Has mercury and other metals that may pose health risks

Composite Resin

Composite resin is a mix of plastic and glass powder. This mixture is a shade of white in color, which makes it blend in with the rest of your teeth. For this reason and others, the composite resin is sometimes used to make aesthetic artificial teeth. In addition, the composite resin is considered to be perfectly safe. Lastly, composite resin fillings are easier and faster to use compared to amalgam fillings.

Pro: Blends in well with your real tooth

Con: Isn’t as strong as amalgam

Glass Ionomer

Finally, there are is an option called glass ionomer cement. This is basically a mixture of glass and acrylic called glass ionomer cement. The biggest advantage to this cavity filling material is that it doesn’t need any binding agents and it typically reacts more naturally with the teeth and gums. It’s most often used for cavities below the gum line.

Pro: Easier to install; less painful, considered to be very safe

Con: Not as strong as some other options

Depending on your personal preferences and budget, one of these cavity filling material options will be right for you. Talk to your dentist about your dental health goals.

3 Teeth Issues That Are a Good Fit for Dental Bonding Procedures

Usually done in one office visit and to thank for changing the lives of many patients, dental bonding is one of the most trusted cosmetic dental treatments there is. Bonding can be used to cover damage to the teeth, but it can also be used to fix issues that make you apprehensive about showing off your pearly whites.

Slight Gaps Between the Teeth

Having a small gap between your teeth is not just a cosmetic issue, it can also change how you sound when you speak, make you feel self-conscious when you smile, and change how your teeth come together when you bite down. Dental bonding can help bring a slight gap closer together so it is not as noticeable. By building out the width of both of the teeth just slightly, it can drastically reduce the overall width of the gap without making the teeth look too large.

Discolored Spots on the Teeth

Bonding material can be used to cover spots of discoloration that are not lightening when you clean or whiten your teeth. For example, if you have a spot on one of your front teeth that is much darker than the rest of the enamel, the bonding material may be a viable solution to cover the unsightly discoloration.

Teeth That Are Too Small

Some people are simply dissatisfied with the size of their teeth. Teeth that are too small can make your gums look larger if you have several teeth that don’t seem to fit in with your smile. If you only have one tooth that is smaller than the rest, it can really throw off the alignment of your smile. Bonding material can be used to cover the too-small teeth and make them either longer or wider so they fit in better as part of your smile.

Dental bonding material has been proven as an excellent procedure to rectify a full list of cosmetic dental issues. It is amazing how much one small change can make in your smile confidence, and it is even more amazing how simple dental bonding procedures can be. Reach out to the office of Dr. Joseph M. Cassara for more information about our dental bonding procedures.


Easy Tips to Help You Handle Dental Anxiety When in the Dentist’s Chair

As many as 15 percent of people claim they avoid the dentist because of anxiety or fear, but this can definitely affect your oral health. If a racing heart, rattled nerves, and fear accompany you to your dental appointments, there may be a few things you can do to help yourself feel more at ease when you visit a Mountain View, CA dentist.

Open Up to Your Dentist About the Problem

If you have dental anxiety, one of the worst things you can do is keep quiet about what you’re feeling. It is always best to inform the dentist that you struggle with dental anxiety. By knowing this, your dentist can:

  • Take more time to explain what they are doing
  • Take steps to help you relax
  • Establish a hand signal with you so they know if you are getting extremely uncomfortable

Sometimes, anxiety can stem from something as simple as seeing or hearing what is taking place around you. Even this is something the dentist can help you solve by providing shielded glasses or allowing you to listen to music with your earphones.

Practice Relaxation Methods During Treatment

Learning how to mindfully relax during dental treatments can sometimes help thwart anxiety and induce a sense of calm so you can get through the treatment. Techniques like focused breathing, alternate thoughts, and patterned muscle tensing can help take your mind off of what is taking place. Harvard Health offers a nice list of relaxation techniques you could use while in the dentist’s chair.

Consider Sedation Dentistry If Anxiety Is Too Severe

If you have anxiety so severe when getting dental treatment that it could cause you to go into panic mode and little will relieve your symptoms, you may want to consider sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can be done with medications given before treatments to help you relax, and the sedation can range from mild with oral medications or nitrous oxide gas to moderate with IV anesthesia.

Even though dental treatment can be scary, it is a necessary part of your overall health. Reach out to us at Cassara Dental if you have dental treatment phobias you would like to discuss.

Dental Health with Checkups

Why Getting Regular Dental Checkups is Important

If you’re like most people, dental appointments aren’t high on your list of pleasurable activities.  However, a significant amount of oral health issues can be circumvented have their progression slowed down by taking preventive measures — and this all starts with scheduling dental checkups on a regular basis. The following are just five of the many reasons to see your dentist for a checkup on a regular basis.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is probably the most common culprit when it comes to dental issues. It’s responsible for cavities, tooth enamel loss, and even tooth loss if its progression is allowed to continue unchecked. Your dentist will be able to detect early signs of tooth decay and devise a course of treatment designed to minimize the damage it may cause.

Oral Cancer

Your dentist may also provide you with a thorough screening for oral cancer. This consists of looking inside your mouth and on the lips for precancerous lesions and checking your lymph nodes for swelling and other signs of abnormality.  Lifestyle risks of developing oral cancer include tobacco and heavy alcohol use.


X-rays may be given in order to check for cavities between the teeth and other possible issues that cannot be detected through a normal visual inspection. X-rays are also used to detect possible issues in the root structures of your teeth as well as the gum tissue.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive condition that can result in serious health issues if it’s left undiagnosed. Fortunately, if it’s caught early enough, your dentist can prescribe a course of treatment that will help keep it from getting worse.

Routine Cleaning

One of the most important parts of the dental checkup is having your teeth professionally cleaned. This helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, and the dentist will follow up by polishing your teeth.

Unless your dentist tells you otherwise due to specific circumstances or health conditions, you should plan on having a dental checkup once every six months. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup.