How to Keep a Healthy Tongue | 96706 Dentist

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When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips shared by our Ewa Beach dentist

Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene 

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath. 

Maintain a Healthy Diet 

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar. 

Visit our Dental Office 

By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine dental cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs. 

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact our dental office in Ewa Beach, HI today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment.

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Ewa Beach HI Dentist

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It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth. 

Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile: 

Tooth Bonding 

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.  

Dental Crown 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.  

Porcelain Veneers 

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.  

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation with our Ewa Beach HI dentist, contact Tokunaga Family Dentistry today. 

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

How Long Does a Temporary Crown Last? | Ewa Beach HI Dentist

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If you have recently seen the dentist in Ewa Beach HI for root canal therapy, you likely have a temporary crown placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is molded and created for your unique mouth. While some patients are eager to get through the entire process, some patients may be less eager to return for additional, necessary dental work and wondering how long they can get away with wearing the temporary crown.  

So, how long can you wear the temporary crown? Well, the answer is, “It depends.” The permanent crown is typically placed within a few weeks to a month after dental procedures. The tooth and soft tissue are given time to heal, and the lab needs time to manufacture the one-of-a-kind crown. Placing the final crown may be delayed if our Ewa Beach HI dentist has recommended other dental procedures. Ideally, the permanent crown should be placed as soon as possible. 

What Happens if the Temporary Crown Has Been in Longer than a Few Weeks? 

The longer the temporary crown is in your mouth, the more likely the crown is to significantly wear. This can cause a shift in tooth position and the occlusion. Our Ewa Beach HI dentist will advise you on how long your temporary crown can last based on placement and your oral habits. 

Remember, even if you can get away with leaving a temporary crown longer than the recommended time frame, it doesn’t mean you should. Contact Tokunaga Family Dentistry if you have a question about your crown, or to schedule an appointment with our Ewa Beach dentist for your root canal therapy. 

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Endodontist: Your Dental Health Partner | Dentist in Ewa Beach

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As a patient, you likely think of your general dentist or hygienist as your partner in your dental health. These are people you see frequently, who monitor your oral health during each visit and talk with you regarding any progress or potential issues that they find. While both of these dental professionals are vital, your endodontist can be a valuable partner in ensuring your oral health, as well.

It is likely that you were originally referred to our office by your general dentist because you needed root canal treatment. Endodontists specialize in performing root canal therapy to help save an infected tooth from extraction. However, this is not our only area of expertise. As an endodontist, our doctor’s specialty training also focused heavily on providing effective treatment for dental trauma.

Damage or trauma to the teeth, mouth, or jaws can range from very mild to extreme. Our office is available for expert consultation, evaluation, and treatment of dental trauma, often extending beyond normal business hours. If you or your child experience dental trauma, contact our office and your general dentist in 96706 immediately, so you can be seen and treated as soon as possible.

Dental trauma includes:

  • Chipped tooth
  • Cracked or fractured tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Soft tissue injury to gums, lips, cheek, or tongue
  • Jaw bone injury
  • Damage to dental restoration
  • And more

As one of your partners in dental health, our team is happy to provide you with any information you need regarding the services we offer. Whether you need a quick appointment for dental trauma treatment, root canal therapy to stop the pain from an infected tooth, or a second opinion on whether a tooth needs to be extracted, we are here to help.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our Ewa Beach, HI dental office.

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Root Canal Therapy for Children | Family Dentist Ewa Beach HI

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Primary (or baby) teeth play a vital role in the proper growth and development of your child’s permanent teeth. This is the reason why we may recommend root canal therapy for your child, rather than simply extracting a severely decayed baby tooth. Please review the information below to learn more about what symptoms may indicate the need for root canal treatment and how to prevent tooth decay in baby teeth.

In early stages, your child may not experience pain or discomfort from tooth decay. However, if your child suddenly develops sensitivity to hold, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks, this could be a sign of decay. Other signs your child could need root canal therapy can include pain or throbbing in a tooth, which may indicate pulp damage or infection. This is most common when a tooth has been previously chipped or cracked and exposed the pulp within. Our dentist in 96706 may recommend diagnostic x-rays to determine the extent of the damage or infection before advising treatment.

Root canal treatment for children proceeds in similar fashion to the adult experience. Local anesthetic medication is generally used to ensure comfort throughout. In most cases, your child’s root canal therapy will be a pulpotomy – removal of infected pulp only. Since less structure is affected by this treatment, it usually requires less time and discomfort to complete and to heal.

After your child’s root canal therapy, a dental crown will be fabricated and placed on the tooth to protect the remaining tooth structure from further damage. This crown will be strong and designed to perfectly fit within your child’s mouth. When the baby tooth falls out, the crown will go with it, allowing the permanent tooth to move into place normally.

There are actions you can take to help protect your child from tooth decay requiring root canal therapy. Some of these include:

  • Start twice yearly dental visits by age 1
  • Brush your child’s teeth until they are old enough to take over
  • Teach your child how to brush and floss correctly
  • Practice healthy nutrition in your home
  • Talk to your child about the value of healthy teeth and gums

For more information about childhood root canal therapy, contact our dental office in Ewa Beach, HI.

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Root Canal Treatment Common Myths Busted | Ewa Beach HI Dentist

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According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are three major misconceptions many people have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Take a look at these myths and truths behind this important treatment option shared by our dentist in 96706.

Myth 1: Root canal treatment causes pain.

This commonly held perception predates modern dentistry. Patients who have actually experienced root canal therapy are 6 times more likely to describe the procedure as painless than those who have never had the treatment.

Truth 1: Root canal treatment relieves pain.

In reality, the only pain that is generally associated with root canal therapy is caused by the underlying reason for the treatment – tooth decay or infected or diseased tissue. The root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, relieving the pain in the process.

Myth 2: Root canal treatment causes further illness or infection in the body.

This unfortunate belief stems from a long-discredited report from nearly 100 years ago that still turns up during internet searches. This report by Dr. Weston Price was highly criticized in its own time for the sub-standard research methods he used, and his conclusions were being debunked as early as the 1930s.

Truth 2: There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that suggests root canal treatment may cause other illness or infection in the body.

In fact, root canal therapy has been proven to have a much lower incidence of bacteria entering the blood stream than tooth extraction and causes much less trauma to the patient. Recent research has also found that patients who have had multiple root canal treatments have a 45% lower risk of cancer than patients who have not.

Myth 3: Tooth extraction is always a better option than root canal treatment.

There is no perfect replacement for a natural tooth. Even the best tooth replacement options may leave you needing to avoid certain foods. Additionally, missing teeth can lead to jaw bone resorption over time, adding further complication to oral health care.

Truth 3: Saving natural teeth, when possible, is the best option for overall health.

By saving the natural tooth, patients avoid the need for further, more costly restoration treatment. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and can often allow the natural tooth to last a lifetime.

Whenever possible, your doctor should make every effort to preserve your natural teeth. If you are advised to have an extraction, ask if root canal treatment is an option. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral to an endodontist if you want a second opinion. Endodontists have at least 2 years of specialized training in tooth preservation, in addition to their dental degree.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Ewa Beach, HI dental office.

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Advantages of Root Canal Therapy | Dentist in 96706

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According to a 2014 report by the American Association of Endodontists, 54 percent of people surveyed said, “root canals make them apprehensive.” Our 96706 dentist understands that many patients feel nervous prior to treatment. However, root canal treatment can greatly improve your oral health and comfort. Here are some of the advantages to undergoing root canal therapy.

The toothache will go away

Have you been suffering with a toothache due to infected roots? Root canal therapy can help eliminate discomfort and pain. Root canal therapy will allow you to live your life comfortably without the need for painkilling medication.

Therapy can save a tooth

Root canal therapy can save a tooth that is badly damaged from infection that would otherwise need to be extracted. It can also improve the appearance of your smile because a crown is placed on top of the tooth, offering a healthy and attractive appearance. Our team may be able to help you retain your natural teeth through root canal therapy.

Prevent the spread of infection 

During treatment, the entire area surrounding the infected tooth is cleaned. This can prevent the spread of the infection. Ignoring an infection can cause bacteria to spread to healthy teeth and your gums. By limiting the spread of infection, you will save yourself time and money from having to deal with additional and costly dental work.

Our team is experienced

Root canal therapy is a similar experience to having a filling placed. Our team is experienced in performing root canals and have undergone specialized training to do so. Your comfort and safety always come first in our office.

Root canal therapy can improve the quality of your life by limiting the spread of infection, saving your natural teeth, and reducing recurring toothaches. Prior to treatment, our team will answer any questions you might have about the procedure.

Contact us today to schedule a visit to our dental office in Ewa Beach, HI.

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

 Decrease Your Odds of Hypertension | Ewa Beach Dentist

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Our 96706 dentist understands how you may be unaware of how your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health.  The warning signs of systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can often be found by during a routine examination at our dental office.  You may be surprised to find out that hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be linked to your oral health habits.

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a link between oral hygiene and high blood pressure, based on the results of almost 20,000 adults surveyed in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).  It was found that individuals with poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing of teeth, were more likely to suffer from hypertension.  Individuals that brushed their teeth more than once daily and also utilized other oral health products such as floss or mouthwash were less likely to suffer from hypertension.  The study concluded that maintaining good oral hygiene habits may help prevent or control high blood pressure.

Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy life and regular dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health.  Contact our dental office in Ewa Beach, HI to schedule your appointment for an examination and cleaning.

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

Unexpected Ways to Use Toothpaste | 96706 Dentist

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Toothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get rid of stains and pungent smells. Read these tricks shared by our dentist in 96706 on how toothpaste can do much more than leave your smile looking bright.

Relieve irritation from bee stings and insect bites. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the sting/bite to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. The toothpaste dries up the wound and helps it heal faster.

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove the paint off the walls.

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on the mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time during your morning routine by not waiting for the mirror to clear up.

Remove scuffs from dirty shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require additional toothpaste or multiple applications to remove completely.

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them using a toothbrush, toothpaste and water.

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This technique works well on only shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc, rub gently and rinse clean. Repeat the process if there are many scratches.

Decrease the size of a pimple. Apply toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed and wash it off in the morning. Toothpaste will dry out the area and speed up the healing process.

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water.

Fill in small nail holes in walls. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife to remove excess toothpaste. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also touch up the paint.

At your next dental appointment at our dental office in Ewa Beach, HI, be sure to tell our dentist how you decided to use toothpaste other than for your teeth!

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

What is Periodontal Disease? | Family Dentist Ewa Beach HI

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Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and dental cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gum line. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove the tartar from teeth.

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build unchecked. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance to gingivitis. In this stage, gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, and difficulty or pain with chewing. At this point, professional periodontal treatment from our dentist in 96706 is needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis.

When gingivitis is not treated in time, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gum line. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis.

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women. Some medications can cause gum tissue to grow abnormally, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

Many recent studies have found that untreated periodontal disease may negatively impact other aspects of your overall health, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight or premature birth.

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our dental office in Ewa Beach, HI to schedule a consultation.

Tokunaga Family Dentistry
Phone: (808) 689-7964
91-902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, HI 96706

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“I love Dr. Tokunaga and all of the staff! My family and I been seeing Dr. Tokunaga for over 20 years, pretty much my whole life. She makes me feel comfortable and in return I trust her with my teeth. I’ve never had a cavity and she helps me keep close eyes on ways of preventing it as well. I look forward to sharing more family and friends to see Tokunaga Family Dentistry very soon!” – Dezsanna

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Dentist in Ewa Beach
91- 902 Fort Weaver Road, Suite 208
Ewa Beach, Hawaii 96706

(808) 689-7964 |  

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8:30am - 5:00pm

Saturday:
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