77-6443 Kuakini Hwy Kailua Kona, HI 96740(808) 329-0889

Dentist Blog

Posts for: March, 2015


As the co-host of one of America's most beloved television game shows, Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White is recognized for her beautiful gowns and her dazzling smile. However, during an exclusive interview with Dear Doctor magazine, she shared her experiences with cosmetic dentistry. “I had a bridge put in probably 30 years ago where I had a tooth pulled and there was a space,” Vanna said.

Prior to having a permanent tooth pulled, most people are concerned with what can be done to replace it. It's important to follow through and do exactly that. This is especially true with back teeth. Just because you can't see them, it doesn't mean you won't face problems if they are not replaced.

For example, did you know that missing posterior (back) teeth can lead to a wide array or problems with the remaining teeth, muscles, ligaments, joints and jaw bones? This includes:

  • A decrease in chewing efficiency that in turn can impact your diet, nutrition and overall health
  • Excessive erosion or wear of remaining teeth
  • Tipping, migration, rotation and even loss of adjacent remaining teeth
  • Painful jaw problems such as Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD)

One treatment option is to follow in Vanna's footsteps and consider a fixed bridge. This is an excellent option when dental implants won't work. And through our artistry, we can easily blend them in color and appearance with your surrounding teeth.

When implants are possible, they represent the best option. They are easily maintained and are a durable, long-lasting solution that can increase bite support.

To learn more about this topic, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Replacing Back Teeth.” Or if you are already missing a permanent tooth, you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination. We will also address any questions you have as well as your treatment options. And if you want to read the entire feature article on Vanna White, continue reading “Vanna White.”


If you’re taking medication to regulate your blood pressure, you may be familiar with some of the general side effects, like nausea, drowsiness or dizziness. But some blood pressure drugs might also cause complications with your oral health.

This is true of one class of drugs in particular used for blood pressure regulation. Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are used to regulate blood pressure by dilating (relaxing) blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood. They’re often prescribed to patients who can’t tolerate beta blockers, another common blood pressure drug.

Besides other general side effects, CCBs can also cause gingival hyperplasia (gum overgrowth) and mouth dryness. The former condition occurs when the gum tissues grow and extend beyond their normal size over the teeth. Besides pain and discomfort, hyperplasia creates an abnormal appearance which can be embarrassing. Research findings also indicate that hyperplasia development from CCB use is also linked to poor hygiene habits, which give rise to periodontal (gum) disease.

Mouth dryness is defined as less than normal saliva flow. Besides discomfort, the condition may increase your risk of dental disease: saliva is a key part in keeping bacterial levels low and maintaining the mineral content of enamel. Inadequate saliva flow can’t maintain this balance, which increases the bacterial population in the mouth and the risk of infection leading to gum disease or tooth decay.

To avoid both of these side effects, it’s important first to let us know if you’re taking blood pressure medication and what kind. You may also need more frequent dental visits, especially if you’re displaying symptoms of dental disease. Studies have found that frequent dental visits to remove bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) may significantly reduce gum overgrowth in patients taking a CCB. You should also maintain a recommended daily regimen of oral hygiene (brushing and flossing).

Because of possible effects on your dental health from a number of drugs, it’s always important to let us know the medications you’re regularly taking. As with CCBs, we can incorporate that knowledge into your dental treatment to assure your safety and optimal oral health.

If you would like more information on managing your oral care while on medication, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Blood Pressure Medications.”

By Sweet Tooth Dental
March 05, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Have years of soda, tobacco or poor dental hygiene habits caused your teeth to become dingy and discolored? You aren't alone. Many Kailua Kona, HI residents visit local dentist Garrett B.K. Oka, DDS for teeth whitening treatments every year, and it's not hard to see why.

A dingy or discolored smile may not be particularly dangerous to your health, but it can cause more harm than you know. Not only Teeth Whiteningcan a discolored smile cause you to lose your self-confidence and much of your self-esteem, but it can even prevent you from smiling, making friends, and engaging in social events as much as you would otherwise.

Thankfully, the solution to a dingy or discolored smile is quick and easy. A simple visit your favorite Kailua Kona, HI dentist, Dr. Oka, for teeth whitening can make a world of difference.

While over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments may claim to give you amazing teeth whitening results, the truth is that they can never compare to a professional teeth whitening treatment performed by your Kailua Kona, HI dentist. Over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments can only lighten your teeth a few shades, and some don't even do that. Plus, some even damage your teeth and make them more likely to stain in the future.

This is why - if you want a beautiful, white smile you can be proud to show off--you need to visit a Kailua Kona, HI dentist for professional teeth whitening treatment. Not only will you achieve real, remarkable results, but you won't need to commit too much time as it is generally completed in one office visit. Plus, when you visit Dr. Oka, you know that your whitening will be safe. You won't have to worry about damaging your teeth or accidentally whitening them unevenly.

If your teeth are dingy or discolored, what are you waiting for? Visit your favorite Kailua Kona, HI dentist, Dr. Oka, for teeth whitening and get beautiful teeth that look brand new once again.