How to Combat Dental Anxiety

Posted May 14, 2024 in Dental Anxiety
female in dental chair with dental anxiety

If you’ve always hated going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Over 30% of Americans suffer from dental anxiety, ranging from mild to severe. This blog discusses ways to combat dental anxiety, including the services Dr. Tomazin offers for patients who suffer from it.

5 Min Read:

What Is Dental Anxiety?

A smile communicates joy, love, and a host of other positive emotions worldwide, but what is needed to protect one’s smile can trigger the negative emotion of fear. Simply put, many people are afraid of going to the dentist. Dental anxiety, also known as dental fear or dental phobia, ranges in severity and affects as much as 36% of the population. This common anxiety can cause dental avoidance, which is when a person avoids going to the dentist and receiving dental care.

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

There are many reasons why people may develop a fear of the dentist. Some of these include:

Irrational Fear

Many fears and phobias can be associated with the dentist. A general fear of pain or the unknown, even without a specific reason, can be enough to cause a person to reschedule their dentist appointment. A patient may be averse to allowing another person access to their mouth because it feels like an invasion of their personal space. 

More severe causes, like previous trauma, can cause a person to avoid their local dental office. This trauma doesn’t have to be related to dental experiences. It can involve physical trauma to the head and neck or other forms of traumatic experiences. Generalized anxiety disorder, depression, or other conditions, such as agoraphobia (fear of being unable to escape a situation), can also contribute to dental anxiety.

Fight or Flight

Human biology can be responsible for your aversion to the dentist’s office. Our mouths are sensitive areas that are crucial for basic needs like breathing, eating, and drinking. Naturally, our brains want to protect such an important body part, so no matter how experienced a dental professional may be, we may still feel anxiety about allowing access to our teeth and mouth. The dental chair symbolizes a loss of control for some people, triggering emotions and sensations that may be difficult to ignore.

Bad Experiences in the Past

Some people experience dental anxiety because they remember pain or discomfort associated with past dental appointments. A past visit may have taken a long time, caused a lot of pain, or resulted in more damage. Understandably, an experience like this can make a person reluctant to return to any dentist. If a negative dental experience happens in childhood, it can be even more impactful on the development of dental anxiety. 

Thankfully, fear, medical and psychological conditions, human biology, and negative past experiences don’t have to stand in the way of your oral health. 

How Can You Get Over Dental Anxiety?

There are various methods you can use to deal with dental anxiety. Below are a few helpful examples.

Talk With Your Dentist

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to share your anxieties with your dentist. You are not alone, and dentists know that many patients are scared to come in for their dental appointments. A good dentist will be happy to discuss your fears so you can get the dental treatment you need.

Try Strategies For Staying Calm

There are many relaxation techniques for dental anxiety management. These techniques target the physiological anxiety response—such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and muscle tension—which can affect or be caused by an emotional response. Some tried and true strategies include:


Wear headphones and listen to music, an audiobook, or a podcast during dental procedures. Entertainment can be an effective distraction that can take your mind off the dentist while in the dental chair.

Tangible Comfort

Hold items for comfort, such as a stress ball you can squeeze or a small stuffed animal. This can help release tension and provide some relief for patients whose anxiety manifests as muscle stiffening.

Breathing Techniques

Techniques for breathing techniques and muscle relaxation are excellent ways to calm the nervous system and work relatively quickly. Progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense and release each body part from toes to head, can also provide some distraction.

Chair Adjustment

If you find the horizontal position intimidating, ask your dentist if the dental chair can be put into a more vertical position.

Ask About Sedation

In cases of extreme dental anxiety or dental phobia, sedation may be a good solution. There are different levels of sedation, including mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation, as well as general anesthesia. These provide relaxation and comfort so patients can receive the treatment they need.

Dr. Tomazin understands the importance of making the dental experience free of stress and anxiety. As a trained dental anesthesiologist, he offers safe, high-quality dental anesthesia and sedation in his office for patients with anxiety and medical conditions, as well as for children.

Good dental health is essential to a beautiful smile and a crucial part of overall health and quality of life. The dentist does not have to be a source of stress and anxiety for you or your loved ones. There are solutions out there to help you have a comfortable, positive experience so you can get the care you need.

Want to Learn More About Managing Dental Anxiety in Riverside, CA?

Dr. Tomazin is a dental specialist you can trust to care about your experience as a patient. His team is here to help you navigate any anxieties you or a loved one may have about dental treatment so you can receive the care you deserve. Fill out our online contact form, or give us a call at (951) 381-8872 to schedule an appointment at our office. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Tips For Avoiding Gum Disease

Posted April 30, 2024 in Gum Disease
Close up of young woman's lower face, as she uses her index finger to pull up her top lip and show off healthy gums.

Unlike other dental issues, gum disease can sneak up on you. It is often pain-free, so you don’t notice it until your dentist points it out. Millions of people have some form of gum disease, but that doesn’t mean it’s not preventable. This blog discusses some of the best ways to keep your gums healthy to avoid gum disease and its effects.

4 Min Read:

What Is Gum Disease?

Your smile is a calling card to the world, so potential tooth loss is a serious matter. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is the inflammation and infection of the tissues supporting the teeth, including the gums and bones. It’s a widespread issue, affecting almost half of all adults aged 30 and older in the United States. Gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss, making patient education crucial.

What Causes Gum Disease?

An accumulation of plaque is the primary trigger of gum disease. This sticky film of bacteria causes damage to the tooth’s surface, breaks down enamel, and irritates soft tissues. As time passes, the gums start to recede, forming pockets that trap more bacteria between the teeth and gums. This paves the way for infection and the progression of periodontitis.

Some people’s genetics predispose them to gum disease for various reasons, such as how their immune system responds to bacterial infection. 

Plaque buildup can harden into calculus or tartar—these materials are, by and large, the result of poor oral hygiene and lack of brushing and flossing habits. This means the overwhelming majority of periodontitis cases are preventable.

Is Gum Disease Contagious?

Gum disease bacteria can pass from person to person. Brief contact won’t put you at risk, but prolonged or repeated contact, such as through kissing or sharing food and drinks can increase your risk.  

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease can be tricky to spot because it occurs slowly over time. Some symptoms might be signs of periodontitis:

  • Swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that are reddish or purplish in color
  • Bleeding
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Pain when chewing
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

Gum disease can respond positively to treatment but cannot be cured in its late stages. Prevention is key. Here are some tips on how you can avoid gum disease.

Proper Oral Hygiene

To maintain proper oral hygiene, make sure you:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Talk to your dentist about proper brushing techniques, and consider using an electric toothbrush to supercharge plaque removal for a superior clean.
  • Floss thoroughly every day, scraping the tooth just below the surface of the gums. 
  • Visit the dentist regularly for check ups and professional cleanings.

Encourage Saliva Flow

Saliva washes away food particles and maintains the pH levels in your mouth. To encourage healthy saliva flow:

  • Stay hydrated—saliva is 99% water!
  • Consider chewing xylitol gum after meals. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can help balance the pH levels in the mouth and encourage remineralization of teeth.
  • Don’t smoke—in addition to increasing your risk of developing cancer, smoking has adverse effects on saliva production and quality as well as overall oral hygiene.
  • Bonus: Drinking plain green or black tea without added sugar can suppress bacteria formation in the mouth.

Avoid Sugary Foods

Sugar feeds harmful bacteria. The bacteria then produce acid, which can break down tooth enamel (hard outer layer). From here, gingivitis, cavities, and gum disease can start to develop. 

Liquid sugar, such as in juices or sodas, is hard to clean even with brushing, so try to eliminate this form of sugar from your diet. Non-liquid sugar leaves residue on the surface of teeth that is harder for saliva to wash away, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Starchy foods, like white bread, pasta, and potatoes (including potato chips!), basically turn into sugar when they enter the mouth, so limit these foods as well.

Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods

On the other hand, some foods are good for your teeth and gums. These include foods that are rich in calcium, as well as fibrous fruits and vegetables that stimulate saliva production and naturally clean the teeth’s surfaces, such as:

  • Yogurt and dairy products
  • Celery
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Apples
  • Carrots

Want to Learn More About Gum Disease in Riverside, CA?

Whether you are concerned that you or a loved one is suffering from gum disease or you simply want to be educated by an expert on how to prevent periodontitis, Dr. Tomazin and his team are here to help. Fill out our online contact form or call us at (951) 381-8872 today.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard?

Posted April 29, 2024 in Dentistry
A happy woman with a towel on her head holds a clear night guard for teeth.

Do you clench or grind your teeth at night? Many people do, and often without knowing it. Your dentist will know as soon as they examine your teeth and may recommend that you wear a night guard. This blog discusses the benefits of wearing a night guard and why you should get one that is custom-fitted by your dentist.

3 Min Read:

What Is a Night Guard?

Protecting your teeth is vital, especially from damage that happens when you aren’t aware of it. Approximately one in ten people suffer from bruxism, or involuntary teeth grinding and clenching. This often occurs when sleeping or napping, so many people don’t realize they do it until they experience recurring jaw pain or a chipped tooth. 

If you struggle with bruxism, your dentist can prescribe a night guard. A night guard is a dental device that acts as a barrier between your lower and upper teeth. It is designed to be worn every night while you sleep to protect your teeth.

How Do I Know if I Need a Night Guard?

There are some symptoms of bruxism that serve as clues to this involuntary behavior, including:

  • Tooth chipping or fracture
  • Facial or tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Excessive wear on the teeth or enamel loss
  • Lesions on the inner cheeks
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue

Your dentist can help determine if a night guard is right for you.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Night Guard?

As simple as this dental device may seem, using one is a smart decision with many benefits.

  1. Reduces Tooth Damage: Tooth grinding can cause damage to the enamel, tooth colored fillings, and crowns, or result in chipped or cracked teeth. Wearing a night guard prevents contact between the upper and lower rows of teeth and protects against damage.
  2. Prevents Pain: A night guard can fend off pain associated with clenching teeth, including headaches and jaw pain.
  3. Improves Sleep: Using a night guard can reduce snoring and alleviate jaw stress, improving sleep quality so you can get the restorative rest you need.
  4. Saves You Money: Damage caused by clenching and grinding teeth can require expensive dental work and harm the work you already have. A night guard is a wise investment in your physical and financial well-being.

If you’re waking up with pain and discomfort in your jaw, Dr. Tomazin and his caring team can help you find relief.

Are Custom Mouth Guards Better?

The short answer is yes. Over-the-counter night guards are often one-size-fits-all. This can irritate the gums, can be uncomfortable, and may lead to an unstable TMJ and bite imbalance. We recommend a custom-fitted night guard for the most comfortable fit and precise protection. 

During your appointment, an impression of your teeth will be taken. This impression will then be used to create a night guard that perfectly matches your unique bite and alignment.

How Long Does a Night Guard Last?

A night guard can last for years if you take good care of it. Caring for your night guard involves:

  • Rinse it with warm water as soon as you remove it from your mouth
  • Brush with a toothbrush (but no toothpaste) and a gentle soap
  • Allow your night guard to dry completely
  • Store it in a protective case, as steam from the bathroom can cause the night guard to warp
  • Keep out of reach of pets. (Pets love to chew on them, especially our dogs)

Taking care of your night guard is easy and ensures your custom-fitted device will protect your teeth for years. 

Interested in Learning More About Dental Night Guards and Teeth Grinding in Riverside, CA?

We’re here to help! Fill out our online contact form or call (951) 686-3666. We look forward to assisting you on your journey toward dental and holistic health.

What Are Hygiene and Ozone Periodontal Therapy Programs?

Posted April 16, 2024 in Ozone Therapy, Periodontal Disease
Female with healthy smile

Nearly 80% of people will have some form of gum disease in their life, ranging from mild to severe. But with the proper care and preventative treatments, you can prevent gum disease and its effect on your health. This blog explores the Hygiene and Ozone Periodontal Therapy Programs Dr. Tomazin offers to help keep your smile healthy.

4 Min Read:

Your smile can indicate not only your confidence and state of mind, but also your overall health. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly half of people aged 30 and over have some form of periodontal disease. That number increases to 70% in people ages 65 and older. Gum disease ranges from mild to severe, but you can prevent gum disease with the proper care and preventative treatments. Below, we discuss the Hygiene and Ozone Periodontal Therapy Programs Dr. Tomazin offers and the treatments available to keep your smile healthy.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis and gum disease, is a condition that affects your gums, bones, and eventually your teeth. It usually starts with plaque and harmful bacteria, which most people tend to have. Brushing twice daily and flossing regularly helps eliminate plaque, as do regular dental cleanings. However, if plaque is left on your teeth, it hardens into tartar, which can only be eliminated by professional dental cleanings. Plaque and tartar buildup cause gingivitis, which is the beginning of gum disease. 

Left untreated, the swelling in your gums caused by gingivitis can form pockets between your teeth and gums. These pockets become filled with plaque, tartar, and bacteria, which leads to further inflammation and infection. If your gum disease continues to go unaddressed, it worsens and results in more severe problems like tooth loss, infections, and even a compromised immune system. 

Dental Hygiene Programs In Riverside 

So, what can you do to stop gum disease before it starts? Besides following your daily dental hygiene routine at home and seeing your dentist at least twice yearly for checkups and cleanings, Dr. Tomazin offers specialized hygiene programs. Your dental hygiene program will be tailored to your specific needs, but some of the benefits include:

Gum and Periodontal Evaluation

Using bacterial DNA testing, your hygienist evaluates the types of bacteria found in your saliva and the amount of those bacteria. They will also assess your gums and the soft tissues in your mouth and use the information gathered to create a plan for achieving optimal dental hygiene. 

Gum measurements will also play a part in assessing the progress of periodontal disease. Your overall gum health will be assessed for pocket depth around teeth, as well as bacterial decay.

Once you’ve been evaluated, Dr. Tomazin and his team can tailor a dental hygiene program for you. This program may include periodontal deep cleaning, enamel treatments, or, in more severe cases of gum disease, ozone periodontal therapy programs.

What Is Ozone Periodontal Therapy?

When many people think of ozone, they probably think of the ozone layer that protects the Earth from the sun’s harmful UV rays. However, this molecule, made up of three oxygen atoms, has been discovered to have antibacterial and wound-healing abilities. 

Ozone disrupts the formation of harmful bacteria, especially those that collect around the gums. It is a gentle yet highly effective form of intervention that can, as part of a regular therapeutic treatment, halt the progression of periodontal disease. In addition, ozone assists the body’s natural defense to assist in the healing process when treatments irritate gums and cause bleeding or other minor oral injuries. 

When used to treat gum disease, ozone is typically applied to your gums in the form of a gas. The ozone absorbs into your gums, and the activated oxygen destroys the disease-causing bacteria by rupturing the cell walls. Ozone treatment for periodontal disease effectively disinfects your gums and helps prevent further infection. When used in an Ozone Periodontal Therapy program, ozone is applied over multiple visits and monitored regularly for effectiveness.

Want to Learn More About Hygiene and Ozone Periodontal Therapy Programs in Riverside?

Dr. Chad Tomazin and his staff of highly trained and experienced hygienists offer a wide range of dental care options, from biological dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, to ensure you have the healthiest teeth and the whitest smile. If you’re ready to explore the benefits of the Hygiene and Ozone Periodontal Therapy Programs offered by Dr. Tomazin, call us today at (951) 686-3666 or complete our online contact form

How to Create Your Unique Smile Makeover

Posted March 29, 2024 in Smile Makeover

Boost Your Confidence with a Great Smile

Feeling self-conscious about the look of your teeth can significantly affect your confidence and how you interact with others. Everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of–-and it is possible for you with a smile makeover.

Cropped image of a woman's lower face, focus on her teeth

4 Min Read:

What Is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is a dental procedure or combination of procedures that aim to fix cosmetic and functional problems of the teeth for a uniform, aesthetically pleasing smile. There are many different options and treatments that can work to create a smile that shines. 

The first step to creating a custom smile makeover is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Dr. Chad Tomazin is a master of curating unique smile makeovers to give his patients healthy, beautiful teeth to increase function and comfort. Dr. Tomazin will listen to your concerns and examine your teeth before providing options for your own custom smile makeover. 

What Options Do I Have for a Smile Makeover?

When considering a smile makeover, patients generally have three main concerns about their smiles: crooked, discolored, and/or missing teeth. Through varying treatments and procedures, these can all be addressed during the makeover, and some can be completed in one visit.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an excellent way to create a uniform, stunning smile. They restore the appearance of crooked, damaged, missing, or discolored teeth. Porcelain veneers are a permanent covering bonded to the natural tooth to restore function and appearance. Veneers are ideal for moderate corrections and can be applied to multiple teeth and the entire mouth.

Dental Bonding

Your dentist will use a composite resin material and bond it to your natural teeth to repair chips, cracks, or gaps. Dental bonding is ideal for minor imperfections and can be applied to one or multiple teeth for a seamless appearance. 

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth. This procedure is not only cosmetic but also essential to overall oral health. When a tooth is missing for too long, the underlying jawbone begins to resorb and decrease in size, which can result in a hollow or misshapen appearance to the face. A dental implant maintains the bone strength while mimicking the look and function of a natural tooth, making it the ideal solution for missing teeth. 

Placing a dental implant is a multi-step procedure. Your dentist will insert the implant through the gumline into the jawbone as a supportive anchor. Once the implant is healed in the bone, your dentist will place a crown on top that looks and feels like a natural tooth. Before the crown is set, your dentist can professionally whiten your natural teeth and match the crown to your new smile for a cohesive look.

Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is far superior to over-the-counter alternatives. The solution used is much stronger and more effective, and you will be in a safe environment as a professional administers it. White, shiny teeth are the perfect way to complete your smile makeover, and teeth whitening can be used in conjunction with other services, such as dental implants. 

How Can I Care for My Teeth After a Smile Makeover? 

Each of these treatments, including implants, veneers, and bonding, all support the structure and aesthetics of your natural teeth. Implants and crowns function like regular teeth, so your smile makeover does not mean you must follow any special maintenance. 

You must practice diligent oral care to maintain the results of your smile makeover. Brushing and flossing twice daily are crucial, and an oral mouthwash between meals can help keep your mouth clean. 

If you have had your teeth whitened, you may want to avoid food and drink that stain them. Beverages such as red wine, coffee, and tea can cause teeth to become dingy again.

Lastly, continue seeing your dentist for regular checkups to monitor your teeth’ overall health and keep your smile makeover looking radiant. 

Interested in a Smile Makeover in Riverside, CA?

Dr. Chad Tomazin offers a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services, including creating customized smile makeovers for his patients. With an eye for facial balance and a commitment to patient safety, Dr. Tomazin provides stunning results. Call us today at (951) 686-3666 to schedule a consultation for your smile makeover.