My Blog

Posts for category: Oral Health

By Sikka Dental
May 27, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Hospital Dentistry  

We recognize that certain individuals might feel apprehensive or anxious when it comes to dental care. That’s why we here at Sikka Dental in San Jose, CA, work hard to ensure that each one of our patients has a positive and comfortable experience. This is also the reason why our Kaiser Hospital dentist, Dr. Nidhi Sikka, offers sedation dentistry to patients who need extra comfort and assistance during treatment.

Who Might Benefit from Hospital Dentistry?

Feeling anxious or frightened about obtaining dental care shouldn’t prevent anyone from having a healthy and beautiful smile. Although the majority of our patients here in our practice are fine with receiving dental treatments right here in our office, we’re well aware that different people have different needs and there may be times that hospital dentistry may be the most suitable option.

Hospital dentistry typically involves sedation and other special services. Working closely with your Kaiser Hospital dentist in San Jose, CA, will help you come up with a customized treatment strategy that will provide you proper dental care while making certain that you’ll remain comfortable for the duration of the treatment plan.

Generally speaking, people suffering from dental anxiety, and those who have extreme concerns or fears about the following, are typically great candidates for hospital dentistry:

  • Fear of injections or needles
  • Severe fear or dental anxiety regarding dental visits
  • Can’t handle the sounds and/or smells inside the dentist’s office
  • Need more complex and/or multiple dental procedures done
  • Have issues with anesthetic (e.g. overly sensitive mouth/ teeth or a stronger than normal gag reflex)

What About People with Underlying Conditions?

Because hospital dentistry involves sedation, it is also very practical for people who have Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, ADHD, autism, Down’s syndrome, or other conditions that complicate movement control. Hospital dentistry will help relax involuntary movements to ensure that they don’t interfere with the treatment.

Do You Feel You Can Benefit from Hospital Dentistry? Don’t hesitate to Contact Us

Call us at (408) 259-1280 to reach Sikka Dental here in San Jose, CA, and arrange a consultation with our Kaiser Hospital dentist, Dr. Nidhi Sikka, to tell us how we could better accommodate your specific needs.


Entering your “sunset” years doesn't mean you're washed up—you still have a lot to offer the world. That's why the theme for this May's Older Americans Month (sponsored by the Administration for Community Living) is “Make Your Mark.” And to really make that difference, you'll have to maintain your health—including protecting your teeth from loss.

Once upon a time, it was considered the norm for older adults to experience tooth loss and the resulting consequences on their overall well-being. Today, though, not only can advanced restorations lessen the impact of lost teeth, it's also more likely that you can keep your teeth intact for the rest of your life.

To give your teeth their best chance for survival in your later years, here are 3 things you can do to promote their continuing health.

Brush and floss every day. Ridding your teeth of disease-causing plaque on a daily basis is important at any age, but perhaps even more so as you get older. However, hand weakness caused by arthritis or another health condition can make it more difficult to brush and floss. It may help to use a larger-handled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, and a threading device may help with flossing. If manual flossing is still too difficult, you can try a water flosser that emits a water stream to loosen and flush plaque away.

Relieve chronic dry mouth. Older adults are more prone to chronic dry mouth because of increased use of medications, many of which interfere with saliva flow. It's more than an unpleasant feeling: Deprived of the protective properties of saliva, your mouth is at increased risk of dental disease. If dry mouth is a problem for you, speak with your doctor about alternatives to any saliva-inhibiting medications you're taking. Also, drink more water and use saliva boosters to promote better saliva flow.

Keep up dental visits. Regular dental visits become even more important as you age. Dental cleanings are especially necessary, particularly if you have dental work that can interfere with plaque removal during brushing and flossing. Disease monitoring and screening are more in-depth for older adults who are more prone to tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer. And if you wear dentures, you should have them checked regularly for fit and overall condition.

If you've already enjoyed decades of dedicated dental care, you need only stay the course. But even if you haven't, adopting new dental care habits now can boost your teeth's health and longevity. To get started, make an appointment with us: We'll assess your current dental health and offer a care strategy for keeping your teeth healthy through the next exciting season of your life.

If you would like more information about dental care for older adults, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Aging & Dental Health” and “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”


We all need a good night's sleep, both in quantity and quality. That's why the Better Sleep Council promotes Better Sleep Month every May with helpful tips on making sure you're not only getting enough sleep, but that it's also restful and therapeutic. The latter is crucial, especially if you have one problem that can diminish sleep quality: nocturnal teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding is the involuntary movement of the jaws outside of normal functioning like eating or speaking. You unconsciously grind teeth against teeth, increasing the pressure of biting forces beyond their normal range. It can occur while awake, but it is more common during sleep.

The habit is fairly widespread in children, thought to result from an immature chewing mechanism. Children normally outgrow the habit, and most healthcare providers don't consider it a major concern.

But teeth grinding can also carry over or arise in adulthood, fueled in large part by stress. It then becomes concerning: Chronic teeth grinding can accelerate normal age-related tooth wear and weaken or damage teeth or dental work. It may also contribute to jaw joint pain and dysfunction related to temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

If you notice frequent jaw tenderness or pain, or a family member says they've heard you grind your teeth at night, you should see us for a full examination. If you are diagnosed with teeth grinding, we can consider different means to bring it under control, depending on your case's severity and underlying causes.

Here are some things you can do:

Alter lifestyle habits. Alcohol and tobacco use have been associated with teeth grinding. To reduce episodes of nighttime teeth grinding, consider modifying (or, as with tobacco, stopping) your use of these and related substances. Altering your lifestyle in this way will likely also improve your overall health.

Manage stress. Teeth grinding can be a way the body “lets off steam” from the accumulated stress of difficult life situations. You may be able to reduce it through better stress management. Learn and practice stress reduction techniques like meditation or other forms of relaxation. You may also find counseling, biofeedback or group therapy beneficial.

Seek dental solutions. In severe cases, there are possible dental solutions to reducing the biting forces generated by teeth grinding. One way is to adjust the bite by removing some of the structure from teeth that may be more prominent than others. We may also be able to create a bite guard to wear at night that prevents teeth from making solid contact with each other.

These and other techniques can be used individually or together to create a customized treatment plan just for you. Minimizing teeth grinding will help ensure you're getting the most out of your sleep time, while protecting your dental health too.

If you would like more information about treatment for teeth grinding, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Grinding.”

By Sikka Dental
April 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouthguards  

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara had a rough Stanley Cup final against the St. Louis Blues this past June. Not only did the Bruins ultimately lose the championship, but Chara took a deflected puck shot to the face in Game Four that broke his jaw.

With the NHL season now over, the 42-year-old Bruins captain continues to mend from his injury that required extensive treatment. His experience highlights how jaw fractures and related dental damage are an unfortunate hazard in hockey—not only for pros like Chara, but also for an estimated half million U.S. amateurs, many in youth leagues.

Ice hockey isn't the only sport with this injury potential: Basketball, football (now gearing up with summer training) and even baseball players are also at risk. That's why appropriate protective gear like helmets and face shields are key to preventing injury.

For any contact sport, that protection should also include a mouthguard to absorb hard contact forces that could damage the mouth, teeth and gums. The best guards (and the most comfortable fit) are custom-made by a dentist based on impressions made of the individual's mouth.

But even with adequate protection, an injury can still happen. Here's what you should do if your child has an injury to their jaw, mouth or teeth.

Recognize signs of a broken jaw. A broken jaw can result in severe pain, swelling, difficulty speaking, numbness in the chin or lower lip or the teeth not seeming to fit together properly. You may also notice bleeding in the mouth, as well as bruising under the tongue or a cut in the ear canal resulting from jawbone movement during the fracture. Get immediate medical attention if you notice any of these signs.

Take quick action for a knocked-out tooth. A tooth knocked completely out of its socket is a severe dental injury. But you may be able to ultimately save the tooth by promptly taking the following steps: (1) find the tooth and pick it up without touching the root end, (2) rinse it off, (3) place it back in its socket with firm pressure, and (4) see a dentist as soon as possible.

Seek dental care. Besides the injuries already mentioned, you should also see a dentist for any moderate to severe trauma to the mouth, teeth and gums. Leading the list: any injury that results in tooth chipping, looseness or movement out of alignment.

Even a top athlete like Zdeno Chara isn't immune to injury. Take steps then to protect your amateur athlete from a dental or facial injury.

If you would like more information about dealing with sports-related dental injuries, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”

By Sikka Dental
March 24, 2020
Category: Oral Health

From hospital care to house calls, we unique ways to ensure that everyone gets dental care.

A dental emergency never waits for the opportune time. Perhaps you woke up in the middle of the night with a pounding toothache that won’t let you sleep. Or perhaps your child’s tooth was knocked loose during the middle of a game. These are all dental emergencies that require immediate care. Luckily, along with her own dental practice, our dentist Dr. Nidhi Sikka is also a dentist at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose, CA, where she provides hospital sedation treatment and emergency dentistry.

Yes, most of the time you can benefit from just coming into our San Jose, CA, office for dental care, but there may be times where turning to our Kaiser Hospital dentist is a better option. For example, if you or a loved one has certain health problems or severe dental anxiety then a hospital setting may be preferable, as Dr. Sikka can offer more sedation options than at her practice. Sedation dentistry isn’t just for those who fear the dentist, it can also be helpful for elderly patients, young children, patients with special needs or those who have,

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Chronic neck and back problems
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis

Patients who may require oral or maxillofacial surgery may also need to come into the hospital so that we can administer IV sedation. For more comprehensive and serious surgeries, IV sedation may be necessary; however, instead of having to seek a new dentist for surgery, Dr. Sikka makes it possible to get the dental care you need from a dentist you know and trust by also providing treatment in a hospital setting.

Did someone say house calls?

While house calls may now seem like a thing of the past, Dr. Sikka and her team are bringing this kind of individualized care back to dentistry by offering patients house calls. This isn’t something you find often, let alone in the San Jose, CA, area.

Just as hospital dentistry provides patients with health problems, severe dental problems and dental phobias with more accessible treatment options, house call dentistry also provides housebound patients with easier access to routine cleanings and dental checkups. Patients who could benefit from house call dentistry include patients who,

  • Are elderly
  • Have limited mobility or are wheelchair bound
  • Can’t leave their homes
  • Have severe anxiety
  • Have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

If you are looking for a Kaiser Hospital dentist in San Jose, CA, that can provide you with immediate care when a dental problem arises then call Sikka Dental right away at (408) 259-1280. Our team specializes in family dentistry, as well as hospital and sedation dentistry.