Facts on Gum Disease (2)

How can I prevent Gum Disease?


You can be active in preventing gum disease. Brush your teeth well twice a day. This removes the film of bacteria from the teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing fluoride strengthen the teeth and help prevent decay.

Choose products that bear the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that they have met the ADA’s standards for safety and effectiveness. The ADA reviews all advertising claims for any product bearing the Seal. The Seal on a product is an assurance for consumers and dentists against misleading or untrue statements concerning a product’s safety and effectiveness.

Cleaning between your teeth with floss or interdentally cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach. Early gum disease can often be reversed by daily brushing and flossing.

Eat a balanced diet. Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Limit between-meal snacks.

Visit your dentist regularly. It is important to have regular dental checkups, and professional cleaning is essential to prevent periodontal diseases.

What are the signs of Gum Disease?


Here are some signs of gum disease. If you experience any of these signs of gum disease you should contact your dentist.

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have receded or shrunken away from your teeth
  • Pus between you teeth when you press your gums with your finger
  • Pain when chewing
  • Calculus or tartar buildup
  • Teeth that seem loose or that change position
  • Changes in your bite
  • Bad breath or a chronic bad taste in your mouth
  • Teeth that are overly sensitive to hot and cold.

If you have any or some of these symptoms of gum disease, please contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Teeth Whitening (2)

What method of Tooth Whitening do you use?


We offer our patients a variety of teeth whitening techniques. Here are the two forms we use most frequently:

Home Bleaching

A patient can choose to use a take-home teeth whitening kit. This allows the patient to whiten his/her teeth at home over a two to three week period. An impression is taken to make a specialized bleaching tray to hold the bleach against the teeth. The bleaching tray is used at night for about 3-4 hours until significant whitening occurs.

Zoom Tooth Whitening

A special light over the teeth gives patients the convenience of instant whitening (in about an hour). After this short procedure patients leave the dental office with the maximum whitening results possible. The Zoom procedure also comes with touch up trays to be worn in the future, when the patient experiences re-staining of the teeth.


In some cases bleaching is not the best method to whiten teeth. For severely stained teeth or congenital impairments, crowns or veneers may be more appropriate.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact our office in San Leandro, Ca.

What is the safer and best ways to whiter teeth?


Even though we all know the significance of dental hygiene, many of us still fall short when it comes to taking proper care of our teeth. Most of us tend to think of taking care of our teeth as a nuisance, and perhaps something we can avoid for a short time.

At the end of the day the last thing most of us want to think about is brushing our teeth, flossing and using mouthwash. Of course, when we get home we just want to relax and tend to forget to care for one of the most important things we use on a daily basis that can affect our enjoyment of life dramatically. If this sounds like you then your teeth could be in trouble and you wouldn’t even know it.

If you want to not have to worry about covering your mouth and enjoy a nice bright healthy smile, then dental hygiene is vital. Here are some useful tips on keeping your teeth clean and white and having a happy healthy smile for life.

Your teeth are an important part of your body. They need just as much care and consideration as you any other aspect of a healthy body and healthy life. A toothbrush, toothpaste and floss can make a real difference to your dental hygiene. However, only using these things to care for your teeth is not always enough to cleanse your mouth and give you a bright white smile.

What Causes Tooth Staining?

  • Age
  • Starting color
  • Eating habits
  • Smoking/Drugs

Best Ways to Care for Teeth?

  • Mouthwash
  • Electric Tooth Brushes
  • Prevent Gum Disease
  • Avoid Dry Mouth
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss

Three major teeth whitening options are available today. All three rely on varying concentrations of peroxide and varying application times to help you have whiter teeth.

  • In-Office Whitening
  • Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
  • Over-the-Counter Whitening

Why Teeth Whitening?

Teeth Whitening removes the stains and debris, but causes the enamel to crack open and be exposed. Several of the cracks are swiftly re-mineralized by saliva, but others can be filled up again with debris.

Which is Better Bleaching or Whitening?

The term “bleaching” is used when the teeth are whitened beyond their natural levels. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach, while the term “whitening,” refers to restoring a tooth’s own white color by removing dirt and debris. So any product that cleans like a toothpaste or mouth wash is considered a whitener. To get the most out of teeth whitening most people attain the services of a licensed dentist. This is the safest and most effective way to whiter teeth.

While this is general advice on teeth whitening, your needs are specific to you. Dr. James Russo is a licensed dentist in San Leandro, Ca. He will expertly consult with you about the safest and best way to whiten your teeth. Make an appointment to discuss the best way to brighten your smile today.

Dental Crowns (1)

Do I need a dental crown?


Where damage to a person’s teeth is extreme, and apparently beyond repair, we can use porcelain or porcelain “pasted on gold” crowns to make the smile appear “as new”. This is an extremely reliable technique for repairing the most severe of dental problems, even permanently replacing missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite.

We are proud of the quality of our work and we utilize the latest technology for procedures such as this. These treatments are used for a long-lasting correction of major dental problems and typically last up to 20 to 30 years.

Insurance (1)

Do you take my insurance?


If you have a benefit that allows you to choose your dentist, we can help you use it at our office. We have many patients with insurance, but we are not a discounted provider (HMO). Our Office Manager will assist in maximizing your insurance benefits.

Dental Care Options (2)

What additional types of dental patient care does Dr. Russo offer?


Mouth Guards – If you have an active lifestyle or grind your teeth, mouth guards can help prevent chipping and minimize the general wear and tear on your teeth.

Snoring – Snoring can be embarrassing and bothersome for you and your partner. It may also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious health condition. We can help you determine the causes of your snoring and identify a treatment plan to ensure restful sleep for you and those around you.

Bad Breath – Bad breath, known as halitosis, can be caused by a number of things such as your dietary habits, dental hygiene habits, and the natural bacteria found in your mouth.

Digital X-Rays –The digital x-ray system used at our office reduces the x-ray exposure by up to 80% compared to conventional film systems. In addition, they can be seen immediately and can be enlarged for greater detail and contrast, allowing faster, more accurate diagnosis.

Dr. Russo provides Pain-free Dentistry, but what is a sedation dentist?


What is a sedation dentist?

A sedation dentist is a traditional dentist who uses sedation techniques to make dental work a less stressful experience for individuals who are excessively apprehensive about dentists and dental procedures. A sedation dentist can sometimes go by other names, with sedation dentistry being called anxiety-free dentistry, conscious sedation dentistry, pain-free dentistry, relaxation dentistry or sleep dentistry.

A sedation dentist can use a variety of medications to help calm a patient during procedures. These medications include nitrous-oxide (laughing gas), intravenous tranquilizers and anti-anxiety medications, and most recently, non-injection medications that put the patient into a state so relaxed that they have little awareness of what is going on, and generally do not remember the procedure once it is over. It is important to note that most sedation dentist techniques are designed to relax the patient, and do not have a pain killing effect. Thus, once the sedation is accomplished and the patient is sufficiently comfortable, local anesthetic is given to block pain. In extreme situations, a sedation dentist can use general anesthesia in order to put the patient fully to sleep during a procedure, particularly during oral surgery and other very invasive procedures.

At a sedation dentist they use a certified dentist anesthesiologist, medical anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist in order to perform conscious or total sedation during dental procedures. Such specialists received special training and are board certified. A sedation dentist is often chosen by persons with high levels of anxiety over dental procedures. A sedation dentist can also be a good choice for children who are seriously uncooperative with a traditional dentist.

Dr. James Russo is a pain-free sedation dentist serving San Leandro, CA for over 27 years


Healthy Smiles (2)

What is the best way to brush my teeth?


We all know that brushing regularly is a key component to a healthy smile. It keeps bad breath at bay, keeps plaque build-up to a minimum, and encourages strong gums. More than that, brushing prevents cavities.

Proper brushing technique is vital to reaping the benefits of a healthy mouth. No matter the toothbrush brand or type you must brush your mouth thoroughly. A well brushed mouth feels refreshed and rejuvenated.

Dr. James Russo, a dentist in San Leandro, CA of twenty-seven years, recommends the following techniques for the best results:

  • Concentrate on holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line.
  • Brush slowly and deliberately for each tooth.
  • Time yourself while brushing to a full two minutes.
  • Floss and rinse after brushing.

Because retention is more effective through understanding than recitation let us discuss how the four points relate to our oral health.

Keeping the toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle along the gum line ensures brushing of the tooth and gums simultaneously. It allows the bristles to reach in between the tooth and gum where most often food is left behind. It also stimulates the gums thus strengthening them against bleeding when brushing and flossing.

Bushing slowly helps you to concentrate on each tooth. You must get the sides and the crowns of your teeth free from stuck-on food and plaque. This will keep your teeth free from acids that erode tooth enamel, and thus keep cavities in check.

Two minutes is the perfect amount of time to ensure a full brushing. Timing yourself is a good habit to develop. Some toothbrushes come with a built-in timer, but a stopwatch or an egg timer work just as well. Ask Dr. Russo about which timer brush he recommends.

Flossing and rinsing after brushing cleans the remainder of your mouth that a brush cannot reach. Flossing between each pair of teeth loosens plaque and food particles. Rinsing washes away these particles as well as kill a majority of bacteria hiding around the gums and the tongue.

Brushing in this manner after every meal is ideal. However, in our busy lives it is adequate enough to follow the four steps above before bed and after eating breakfast.

How important is flossing really?



As part of your daily oral hygiene routine flossing is by far one of the most important activities. Most of us think flossing stinks but neglecting to floss is worse and not just because it causes bad breath.

Brushing alone does not get rid of all the plaque in your mouth. A lot of it hides between teeth where toothbrushes cannot reach. The majority of cavities occur in these tight areas and leads to discomfort and costly restoration procedures.

Proper flossing technique benefits you in your overall oral health. It keeps cavities from forming between teeth. It strengthens gums to prevent gingivitis. When followed by a good mouth rinse it keeps odor causing bacteria from growing in your mouth.

When you begin a flossing regimen ease the string gently between your teeth. This will reduce initial discomfort and help decrease the likelihood of bleeding gums. If your gums do bleed a little, do not worry. This is normal, and they will feel better after rinsing with mouthwash. After a few times you will notice your gums have built up a resistance to the sensitivity you experienced in the beginning.

Begin flossing your hard to reach back teeth. This will put less stain on your jaw as you move forward to the front ones. Do the top teeth then the bottom two below them. Work your way forward going from top to bottom, top to bottom until you finish with the middle of the front two teeth. This helps to build momentum in your flossing action and makes quick work of a seemingly slow process.

This proper process of flossing should be done twice a day. Floss once before bed and after breakfast, because the majority of plaque and bacteria builds up during your sleep.

People can have barriers to flossing. Teeth can be too close together because of impacted teeth. These are caused by teeth coming in misaligned. The most common example is from wisdom teeth. You should discuss issues such as these with your local dentist like *Dr. James Russo in San Leandro, California. Along with giving advice about the best flossing technique for your mouth your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist to resolve tooth alignment problems.

Flossing may not be as popular as brushing and rinsing, but it is very, very important. Maybe if there were more TV commercials about it people would be more concerned. Nevertheless, whatever type of floss you use, proper technique is key to making it effective and comfortable. Water picks are gentler way to floss. Look for a future article on types of flossing tools.

*Dr. James Russo has been serving San Leandro, California for 27 years. He and his experienced staff know how to make dentistry comfortable to create healthy smiles. They would be happy to consult with you about your oral heath needs


  Copyright 2009 James P.Russo, DDS. All Rights Reserved.