Archive for the ‘Dentist’ Category

A Dentist Explains 6 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

Posted on: April 5th, 2019 by Sam Khammar

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues dentists treat. The early stages of decay can be difficult to detect, but it will eventually lead to some serious dental problems if left unaddressed.

Causes of tooth decay

Tooth decay is caused by acids that are present in your mouth. Some of these acids come from the things you eat like certain fruits and drinks. Oral bacteria create the rest of the acid. These organisms feast on food particles that are left on the teeth after meals, and they excrete acids after eating.

The enamel can withstand these acids, but when left exposed to them for prolonged periods, they can weaken a tooth's structure and its enamel. Once the enamel weakens, cavities begin to form on teeth surfaces. It always starts with a tiny dent, but the hole gradually expands as the decay continues. If left unchecked, the decay will eventually make its way to the pulp chambers which houses and protects the tooth's nerve and blood vessels.

Patients become susceptible to infections when the contents of the pulp chamber intermix with saliva, bacteria and acids in the mouth. Dentists can stop the early stages of tooth decay with dental fillings, but the later stages usually require a root canal. When a severe infection forms, a dentist may recommend an extraction.

Symptoms of tooth decay

Common symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Toothaches
  • Gum inflammation and redness
  • Cavities
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Infections

Preventing tooth decay

Preventing tooth decay is not particularly difficult. It is only a matter of making dental hygiene a top priority and avoiding certain foods. Here is how to keep tooth decay at bay:

1. Brush twice daily

Brushing twice a day will ensure the teeth are not exposed to things that can damage them for prolonged periods.

2. Floss daily

Flossing is just as important as brushing. It cleans the spaces between teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach. You should floss at least once each day.

3. Use a fluoride mouthwash

Using mouthwash that contains fluoride ensures that your teeth are properly mineralized. Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth enamel which protects them from decay.

4. Be careful with sugar

Sugar is not just bad for your health; it is just as bad for your teeth. Consuming too many sugary treats can lead to tooth decay. Sugar is acidic in nature, and it sticks on teeth surfaces. The bacteria that damage teeth love sugar as much as people do.

5. Drink lots of water

Water helps to clean the teeth and gums. It washes away acids and food particles that bacteria eat.

6. Visit a dentist twice a year

Regular visits to a dentist will help to prevent decay. A dental cleaning will remove tartar and plaque, and the dentist can also perform protective procedures like a fluoride treatment.

If you are particularly susceptible to tooth decay, it is a good idea to ask your dentist about other tips for preventing tooth decay since they are familiar with your dental history. Give us a call today for more information!

Request an appointment here: or call Sam Khammar DDS at (609) 242-3464 for an appointment in our Forked River office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Office.

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Visit Your Forked River Dentist for Your Next Dental Exam

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018 by Sam Khammar

Getting ready to choose a new Forked River dentist? When you are looking for a new dentist in your city, it will be much easier to get access to any and all dental services you may require. This is one of the main reasons more and more people are looking for a local dentist to take care of their dental needs.

While choosing a new dentist in your area is definitely convenient, it is still necessary for you to make sure you are choosing a dentist with whom you feel comfortable, as your goal is to have a long-term relationship with them.

Visiting a local dentist

Many dental offices encourage new potential patients to come by and meet the dental team before making a commitment. This is a great idea and definitely encouraged for all ages, with a dental meet-and-greet being especially beneficial for the younger ages. Visiting a dental office and the entire dental team allows one to get a good understanding of the dynamics of that particular dental office and whether that particular dental office is going to be right for them.

During the visit, any and all questions someone has should be asked at this time. Examples of questions can include: How long have you been in practice? Are there dental areas you specialize in? Are you current on all the latest dentistry methods? Do you offer emergency dental services?

Why are regular dental visits important?

A regular dental exam is essential, as it can detect any existing dental problems before they can become a real problem. When any dental problems are found in their initial stages, they will be much easier to treat.

A dental examination first requires X-rays. A dental professional will then perform a visual inspection of the mouth in order to check for oral cancer, cavities, plaque and tartar. If any treatments are necessary, a treatment plan will be made. The dental professional will then provide the patient with a dental cleaning, which helps keep the teeth super clean and healthy.

How long does a dental exam take?

Most of the time, a dental exam will take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour to complete. This is considered to be a short amount of time for checking up on one's dental health. Because so many people are busy nowadays, many dental offices are expanding their hours in order to accommodate those who find it difficult to make it to the dental office on a regular basis.

Ready to make your next dental exam?

Are you currently looking for a Forked River dentist? Once you find a dentist in your city who meets all your criteria and with whom you feel comfortable, you need to make sure to schedule regular dental exams. Since everyone is different, your new dentist may recommend that you come in for a dental exam every six months, 12 months or even every 18 months.

Request an appointment here: or call Sam Khammar DDS at (609) 242-3464 for an appointment in our Forked River office.

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Teeth Brushing Tips From Your Forked River Dentist

Posted on: March 15th, 2017 by Sam Khammar

DentistAs a local Forked River dentist, we practice preventative care so that our patients can stay in excellent oral health and avoid common problems like cavities and gum disease. We begin by having the individual practice good oral hygiene at home and following it up with regular trips to our dentist office. During the appointment, we will remove any bacteria and plaque that you are unable to reach during regular brushing and flossing. There are, however, ways that you can increase the effectiveness of your daily health care routine.

Here are teeth brushing tips to try:

Start with the brush

In order to get a good clean, one needs to start with a good toothbrush. We recommend that patients use a soft toothbrush because a hard one can irritate your gums and start to strip the enamel way from the teeth. This can lead to sensitivity and can even make one’s gums bleed.

Three months max

Do not use a toothbrush for more than three months. The toothbrush starts to become ineffective when one uses it for too long, causing the bristles break and fray. Upon noticing that the toothbrush looks like it is in good condition or has stains, make sure to replace it. Otherwise, use the three-month rule for buying a new one or replacing the head on an electronic toothbrush. As a Forked River dentist office, we also give out toothbrushes at teeth cleaning appointments.

Keep it dry

The toothbrush needs to stay dry and clean. If an individual goes to brush his or her teeth and it is wet, more bacteria may be lingering on the brush itself. Use a toothbrush holder so that the toothbrush can air out during the day.

Movement matters

An individual’s tooth brushing technique can make a large difference in how clean the teeth get. Move the brush around in circles and go from top to bottom on the upper teeth, while also going from bottom to top on the lower teeth. This way, food and bacteria are brushed away from the gums and roots.

Brush it all

Many people make the mistake of only brushing the teeth when they need to actually brush their gumline as well. People also need to brush their tongue and the roof of their mouth, since these areas can harbor bacteria as well.


Use toothpaste that has the American Dental Association seal. We also recommend using one with fluoride because it can help to strengthen teeth by placing minerals directly onto them.


Brush your teeth at least twice a day, more if possible. In the best case scenario, our patients would brush their teeth after every meal, floss daily, and use an antiseptic mouthwash. These habits will help to prevent both cavities and gum disease from forming.

We can help you to stay in good oral health by removing the bacteria and plaque that you were unable to get with at home care. Call (609) 242-3464 today to schedule your exam.

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When to Call the Dentist in an Emergency

Posted on: September 15th, 2016 by Sam Khammar

DentistAs a dentist in Forked River, we regularly get calls from patients wondering if they need to come in for an immediate appointment or if they can address the problem in a day or two. This is a good question, and while the answer changes based on the circumstances, there are certain signs you can watch for that are clear indicators it is time to visit our office right away. For example, if you have a tooth knocked out, you need to call us.

Whether it happened while wrestling with your kids or while playing basketball on your lunch break, we can possibly save a knocked out tooth if you come in right away. Another clear example is if you chip or crack your tooth. In these situations, call us and we will schedule you for the first available appointment. Otherwise, here are a few things to try when making this determination.

For a toothache …

Getting a toothache is incredibly common. Typically, this is a sign that you are suffering from tooth decay or an infection that requires treatment. We encourage you to call our office to schedule an appointment to do so. However, before you visit the dentist, there are certain things you can do to help yourself feel better.

#1 – Brush and floss your teeth

You may have a piece of food stuck between your teeth that may cause irritation. Teeth become more sensitive as you age because the enamel wears off. As it does, drinking a soda or eating a piece of candy could set your teeth on edge and even give you a toothache. Gently brushing your teeth and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash will help you feel better if that is the culprit. Otherwise, it is likely that you have a health problem and will benefit from calling us for the first available appointment.

#2 – Rinse your mouth.

If your gums start to bleed, we recommend that you rinse your mouth with warm water and spit. Pay attention to whether or not anything comes out in your spit. For example, if a full tooth or part of one comes out, you know that you have a problem and need to visit our office immediately. However, if you rinse your mouth out and still cannot tell what is wrong, look inside your mouth with a flashlight or better yet, call our office for an appointment.

#3 – Loose crown or filling.

If you had a dental restoration of any kind and that restoration becomes damaged or loose, you need to call for an urgent appointment. Before placing a veneer or dental crown, the tooth has to be permanently altered by having a portion of the enamel removed. As a result, you will always need a properly secured restoration on that tooth.

Visit Our Forked River Dentist Office in an Emergency

Regardless of what your dental emergency is, you are always welcome here. Call us and let us know what your question is, so we can answer it and make a recommendation as to what you should do next.


Dentist, Sam Khammar, Reviews a Recent Study by Boston University

Posted on: September 1st, 2014 by Sam Khammar
DentistAs a local dentist office, we help our patients to keep their teeth in the best possible oral health.  This starts with a good diet at home that includes green leafy vegetables, crunchy fruits and veggies, lean protein, nuts and dairy.  We also recommend that patients drink a lot of water in order to produce the saliva necessary to wash away bacteria and food particles throughout the day. Recently, we read a study that indicates another drink that can help teeth and gums to stay healthy.  The University of Boston conducted research to find out if coffee helped teeth and gums or hurt them.  In order to find out, they reviewed data collected by the Department of Veteran Affairs in Boston over the course of thirty years.  They observed over 1,100 men, collecting copies of their dental exams and food intake surveys over three decades in order to learn more about oral health.  The depth of information provided an excellent resource for the University of Boston researchers. They separated the men into a group that drank coffee every day and one that did not.  They then compared their dental exams and found that the men who drank coffee regularly had fewer teeth with bone loss than the ones who did not.  Given the duration of the VA’s study, the findings are significant because they give a long-term glimpse into how coffee can impact oral health.  As a dentist, we found that the results appeared to be conclusive but as always – additional studies will be helpful in expanding upon the information. The authors of the study concluded that drinking coffee is good for gum health.  They came to this conclusion because bone loss is a common sign of gum disease and if this group of men had less bone loss, than they must have experienced fewer cases of gum disease. Raul Garcia, D.M.D., was one of the lead authors and believes that the reduction in gum disease would have come from the caffeine found in coffee.  Since coffee has anti-inflammatory properties, it could be used to reduce or prevent swollen gums.  Since swelling is typically the first sign of gum disease, it is logical to conclude that drinking coffee could indeed reduce gum disease. As a dentist, the results of this study are interesting but we would like to see more research conducted on whether or not caffeine has a positive impact on the gum health of women.  It would also be good to know if tea has the same effects as coffee.  In the meantime, there may be distinct advantages to adding a cup of coffee to the morning routine. As a dentist, we do want to remind patients that coffee will stain teeth so those who drink it may need a teeth whitening procedure at a later date. Additionally, coffee can dehydrate you, so it is important to drink more water than normal.  Drinking coffee and eating a healthy diet will help to prevent cavities and gum disease but it is not replacement for brushing and flossing regularly along with visiting the dentist twice a year so make sure to continue those activities as well.

A Trip to the Dentist is Important for Your Oral and Heart Health

Posted on: August 7th, 2014 by Sam Khammar
DentistYou can keep your mouth and your heart healthier by visiting the dentist.  While the two are typically not thought of together, the American Academy of Periodontology reported that heart disease and gum disease are actually linked.  In fact, 91 percent of those suffering from heart disease also have unhealthy gums.  This is an important discovery given that heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States.  Millions of people are impacted by it and reducing your risk of heart attack is extremely important. Preventing gum disease is also important for reducing your risk of stroke.  Studies have found that more stroke victims had a current or recent oral infection prior to having their stroke.  Pregnant women are also impacted by the condition as gum disease is known to induce premature labor.  Although they are a small part of the body, healthy gums are important for protecting teeth and preventing additional health problems. Fortunately, Dr. Khammar can treat gum disease relatively easily by preventing gum disease from happening in the first place.  By practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting the dentist twice a year, you can reduce your risk of gum disease.  It typically forms due to a lack of oral health care and by allowing bacteria to grow and spread.  Bacteria on and underneath the gums is the leading cause of the condition so by having your teeth cleaned you can reduce the risk. During routine dental exams, Dr. Khammar will look for signs of gum disease.  In its initial stage, it is typically referred to as gingivitis and can be treated with a deep cleaning procedure where the bacteria are removed from underneath the gums.  This gives the body a chance to heal itself without having to fight bacteria on a daily basis.  Typically, the symptoms will be reduced or go away completely after the deep cleaning has been completed. If gum disease is not caught early it can become more severe and cause your gums to recede.  Teeth will appear longer as more of the tooth structure is exposed.  Additionally, pockets can develop in the gum tissue which can also expose the root system and make the entire tooth susceptible to infection.  This can lead to a dental abscess or the need for a root canal in addition to gum therapy.  During this stage, a gum graft may be necessary for treating the condition.  In this procedure, tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and secured to the gums so that they can protect the tooth structure again. This is an important procedure because if the pockets remain infections can develop and teeth can fall out. One way to protect your gums and teeth is also to practice good oral hygiene at home.  This involves brushing teeth twice a day and regularly flossing.  You can follow up with an antiseptic mouthwash in order to kill any lingering bacteria.  Combine this with regular trips to the dentist in order to stay in good oral health and prevent the complications that gum disease can create.

Visit Dentist Sam Khammar While Pregnant

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Sam Khammar
DentistWhile pregnant it is important to visit the dentist for regular teeth cleanings. As a pregnant woman, you have the unique ability to directly impact the health of your child both now and in the future.  Studies have found that when a pregnant mom has healthy teeth and gums her baby will too.  Not only will the baby be healthier when they are young but throughout their lifetime.  This is pretty amazing when you consider that nine months can have such a permanent impact. Dr. Khammar is an expert at providing state of the art dental care and does so gently.  Many women suffer from sensitive teeth while pregnant.  This is completely normal but leads many to skip their routine dental exams.  This is unwise because it can increase your risk of developing a cavity or gum disease which is not good for you or the baby.  By gently cleaning the teeth and gums, Dr. Khammar and his staff are able to keep patients in good oral health which actually prevents dental pain. During pregnancy, the baby needs a lot of calcium in order to develop strong bones and teeth.  As a local dentist, Dr. Khammar recommends that his pregnant patients increase their own calcium intake to meet the demands of the baby.  This can be done by drinking more milk, eating cheese and yogurt, taking a calcium supplement and even chewing Tums.  If you do not increase your intake, it will directly hurt your own teeth and bones because the body will take calcium from you to give to the baby.  The result for many women is disastrous as it makes them more likely to have broken or damaged teeth and bones later on in life. It is also important for pregnant women to increase the amount of water they drink in order to stay hydrated and produce the saliva necessary to wash bacteria and food particles naturally away.  Additionally, brushing after each meal and flossing daily will help to remove bacteria from your mouth and prevent both cavities and gingivitis. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to remove all of the bacteria and plaque at home.  That is why visiting the dentist is so important. We can conduct a professional teeth cleaning that removes bacteria from the hardest to reach places.  This is a preventative step that is extremely important in preventing the formation of cavities and gingivitis.  If we identify a cavity, we can treat it quickly before the infection can spread and create more pain.  Small cavities are only uncomfortable where large oral infections are painful.  Early detection and treatment can save you time and prevent pain in the future. Additionally, we monitor our pregnant patient’s gums for signs of gingivitis. Pregnancy restricts the flow of blood to the gums which can make them swollen, poofy, and even cause bleeding.  These are similar symptoms to that of gum disease and by removing bacteria from the gums we are able to help our patients stay healthy and comfortable.  To learn more schedule an appointment with Dr. Khammar today.

Our Dentist Will Look for Signs of Oral Cancer

Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by Sam Khammar
DentistDuring a visit to our dentist office we will examine your teeth and gums and also look for signs of oral cancer.  During a teeth cleaning we remove bacteria and plaque that can cause gum disease and tooth decay.  We identify cavities and anything else that is out of place.  This allows us to be a patients’ first line of defense in identifying oral cancer.  According to the American Cancer Society around 35,000 people within the United States are diagnosed with this disease on a yearly basis.  Men over fifty have the greatest risk, making early detection a key to obtaining a proper diagnosis and getting treatment. There are several risk factors for oral cancer that people need to be aware of.  These include:
  • Overexposure to the sun.  Most people would not think about getting oral cancer when they get a sunburn. The two typically are not associated but scientist have found a link between them, especially when the overexposure happens during a persons’ youth.  Protect yourself and your family by taking breaks in the shade and wearing a sun hat as needed.
  • Drinking excessively.  Alcoholics, or people that drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day, need to worry about oral cancer.  Excessive drinking has been shown to increase a persons’ risk by six times, making it as dangerous as smoking cigarettes for this particular type of cancer.  As a dentist, we recommend that people cut back on their drinking in order to stay healthy.
  • Smoking.  People that smoke cigarettes and cigars increase their risk of several health issues, among them oral cancer.  With an increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer, they also have a six times greater chance of getting oral cancer.
  • Smokeless tobacco products.  This is the largest culprit of oral cancer risk.  People that use chewing tobacco, snuff, and dip have a sixty times greater chance of being diagnosed with the disease.  These products are extremely dangerous for a persons’ oral health.
When people take good care of their health overall, they are less likely to be diagnosed with cancer or other forms of disease.  This also holds true for gum disease and tooth decay where simple, preventative measures greatly reduce the risk.  Unfortunately, sometimes people come down with diseases even when they haven’t done anything wrong.  As a dentist, our job is to help patients to stay healthy and when they have an oral health issue to identify it and treat it right away. Some of the signs that we look for during a dental examination you can also look for at home.  For example, excessive bleeding can be a sign of gum disease or oral cancer.  Rough patches along the inside of your mouth can be signs of cancer. Lumps and bumps can also be cancerous and will most likely need to be biopsied in a lab.  Difficulty swallowing and sores that don’t heal are also signs to watch for.  If you notice any of these symptoms, call our dentist office and schedule an examination so that we can inspect and diagnose any health problems.

Visiting the Dentist Can Help Diabetics to Stay in Good Oral Health

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Sam Khammar
DentistIt is important to visit the dentist at least twice a year if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. This disease can impact all areas of your body, including your oral health. When you have diabetes, the body is hindered in its ability to create white blood cells to fight off infection. Unfortunately, it is very easy to have bacteria enter the mouth and this bacteria, if left unchecked, will grow into an infection that can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing and flossing alone can’t kill all of the bacteria, making regular teeth cleanings extremely important. Diabetics don’t have to be at a greater risk of oral health issues. The key is keeping blood sugar under control. When blood sugar spikes it directly impacts the body’s ability to generate infection fighting white blood cells. Without these killer blood cells, infections can grow unchecked. This is why you must tell your dentist about any recent blood sugar problems or hypoglycemic episodes. Any non-emergency dental work should be postponed until your blood sugar is back to normal. Otherwise, you will be at risk for additional complications and a longer recovery time frame. As a local dentist, we believe that preventative care is important for all of our patients to stay healthy. By staying healthy at home, you can prevent emergency trips to the dentist office and the pain that comes from a tooth infection or gum disease. Taking preventative care steps requires adjusting your routine but it is worth it to avoid a major disruption in your life due to an infection. The most important preventative care step that a diabetic can take is to control their blood sugar through diet and medication. With this under control, you can focus on these health care steps. • Drink water. Staying hydrated is important for the overall health of your body. When you substitute sugary drinks with water, you are also preventing sugar and bacteria from settling on your teeth and gums. When you’re hydrated your body will produce more saliva which helps to wash the bacteria away. • Eat veggies and nuts. This will help your blood sugar to stay steady and will also help to remineralize your teeth. Over time, your teeth will lose some of the minerals that help to make it strong. Remineralization is important for maintaining strong and healthy teeth. • Use fluoride. Toothpaste containing fluoride will also help to remineralize and strengthen your teeth in order to prevent cavities. • Brush after meals. Diabetics need to brush their teeth more regularly in order to prevent bacteria from forming. Carry a soft toothbrush with you and use it after every meal or snack. • Mouthwash. If you can’t easily brush after meals use an antiseptic mouthwash instead. It will freshen your breath and kill lingering bacteria. • Floss your teeth. Use floss to remove food particles that have gotten stuck in between your teeth. Do this daily. • Quit smoking. If you are a smoker, you are at greater risk for all types of oral health issues. Don’t increase your risk factors by smoking with diabetes. Our dentist office can help you to stay in good oral health. Schedule an appointment today to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

A Dentist: The Changing Image

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by Sam Khammar
DentistAmong medical professionals, the dentist has rapidly grown to have a place of unique prominence due to the teeth’s connection to both to health and appearance. Dentistry has evolved greatly over the last several years to include things like cosmetic dentistry, as well as traditional tooth care and oral hygiene. More and more dentists find themselves offering the people the opportunity to improve their appearance as well taking care of the teeth. There is a lot of overlaps between cosmetic dentistry and medical dentistry. Here are some of the ways we are changing the appearance and functionality of our patient’s teeth.
  • Whitening, which is also called tooth bleaching. This process allows us to whiten your teeth by up to eight shades in a single sitting.
  • Tooth reshaping removes part of the enamel which can be used to correct the shape of a tooth, remove small chips, and can affect the shape and position of the teeth. This helps improve bite, reduces the potential of cavities due to food getting stuck between odd shaped teeth and overall improves appearance as well as dental hygiene. This process is also known as s also known as enameloplasty, odontoplasty, contouring, recontouring, slenderizing, stripping or sculpting.
  • Dental bridges or false teeth are among the most common work done by a dentist, especially for older folks. Pontics, which are fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in areas left by missing teeth. Two crowns hold it in place; these are attached to adjacent sides of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out in the same way that partial dentures can.
  • Bite reclamation is another area where a dentist can have an impact both on a patient’s health and their appearance. People often have excessive wear on their teeth due to grinding or acid reflux which can alter their teeth’s alignment. The effect of this can be to give people a shorter smile and make their face look smaller. By altering their bite, a qualified dentist can help them reclaim their vertical dimension and often can remove unwanted wrinkles in the process.
As with many medical sciences, dentistry has evolved greatly over the years. Procedures which were once considered extreme or unattainable are now common place and relatively easily approved, and deemed almost necessary. Dentists have access to a greater arsenal of tools at their disposal with which they strive to not only improve one appearance, but also improve the first step of the digestive process. Dentists today have learned to incorporate the fine art of making a person’s appearance more appealing while also improving their quality of teeth and gums. Few people have trouble going in for a six month cleaning at the dentist, or stopping by for an annual checkup. In a profession once relegated to scary chairs and the sound of drill bits, dentists today have become the friend of those who are seeking to improve their image by improving their smile. Cosmetic dentistry has had a lot to do with this switch and will continue to be increasing demand as the science continues to improve.