Laser Dentistry Repairs “Gummy Smile” With Ease

When someone smiles and shows too much gum above the upper teeth, this is referred to as a “gummy smile.” For many with this trait, they often ‘hold back’ rather than smile fully or even cover their mouths when smiling or laughing.

Repairing a gummy smile is through gum recontouring called a gingivectomy. This procedure removes excess gum tissue around the teeth.

Because we use a dental laser to repair and recontour gum tissue, we can correct a gummy smile quickly and without sutures (stitches) needed. The laser also seals the tissue as it works, so bleeding is either eliminated or minimal. Recovery time is typically a week or less.

Once the tissue has been removed, most people want to enhance the appearance of their teeth with porcelain veneers or crowns. This completes their new smile with a beautiful line, shade and shape of teeth.

If you know someone with a gummy smile, suggest they call us at (586) 739-2155 for a no-cost consultation. We’ll be happy to answer their questions and discuss the specifics of treatment during that time.

Dental Tips For Arthritis Sufferers!

If you are an arthritis sufferer, you are twice as likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease. Findings published by the Journal of Periodontology found patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) had an average tooth loss of 11.6 teeth compared to 6.7 of others. Because RA causes physical limitations, the following tips can make oral hygiene at home easier to maintain.

• Use water irrigators to remove food particles and plaque between teeth.

• Electric toothbrushes and floss holders can reduce the effort required by hands.

• Wrap toothbrush handles with a sponge hair roller for a more comfortable, thicker grip.

• Replace knob-type faucets with levers, which are easier to turn on and off.

• Insufficient saliva increases the risk of bacterial growth. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist. If you take medications that are drying, oral rinses can help maintain oral moisture. Minimize caffeine, alcohol and smoking, all which are drying to oral tissues.

With a good oral care commitment, RA sufferers should be able to keep their smile healthy and prevent tooth loss.

Men Have Greater Risk For Oral Problems

Sorry, guys, but according to studies, men generally tend to their oral health less than women. Men are also less likely to have regular check-ups and cleanings and often neglect their oral health, seeing a dentist only when there is a problem.

Statistics show that the average man brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth by age 72. For those who smoke, they’ll lose 12 teeth by age 72, on average. Not surprisingly, men are more likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease.

For men who wear a partial denture, you can add even higher bacteria growth to their challenges. The surface material that holds the tooth portions, mimicking gum tissue, is porous. Bacteria, which are living and therefore, eating and waste-producing creatures, thrive in these tiny ‘homes’ in your partial. Soaking overnight may reduce the number of bacteria, but your mouth is an ideal warm, moist and dark place for their continual breeding.

For men with exposed tooth roots, there is yet another risk for cavities. Aging, brushing too rigorously, or having a misaligned bite can cause gums to pull away from teeth, exposing tooth roots. While this distracts from the appearance of your smile, it also increases your risk for decay.

And, regardless of gender, for adults who are on medications that cause dry mouth, salivary flow is often insufficient, increasing the risk for cavities. Saliva helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in the mouth.

Then again, some are merely more susceptible to cavities. While all people have bacteria in their bodies, two kinds (abbreviated as SM and LB) are especially harmful to teeth. Those who have higher levels are naturally at greater risk for tooth decay.

We advise brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily, flossing daily and twice a year cleanings to avoid problems. However, some people need more frequent visits to help keep their mouths worry-free! We’ll recommend a sequence that fits your unique situation and also suggest a home-care regimen for you. Our goal is to help you avoid problems!

Smokers – Reality Is Taking Whole New Look

Oral health and appearance got a powerful advocate recently through the Food & Drug Administration.

Smoking is a horrible habit, and once addicted, horribly difficult to kick. With the unveiling of new graphic cigarette warning labels by the Food & Drug Administration, the agency is hoping to impact smokers with “frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking ,” according to President Obama, who supported the effort.

Cigarette packages will feature vivid color images and warnings that cover the upper portion of the pack on both sides. This is the first change to packages in 25 years. For smokers, it’s a visible reminder that smoking can harm them, harm people around them, including children.

The color images include lips and teeth of an oral cancer victim. Warnings are direct, such as “Cigarettes are addictive”; “Tobacco smoke can harm your children”; “Cigarettes cause cancer”; “Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease”; “Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby”; and “Smoking can kill you.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 443,000 people in the U.S. die from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke each year. With this move, the United States will be the 40th country to have picture warnings on cigarette packs. Countries such as Canada, Brazil and Australia have long been leaders in tobacco control with graphic art on their packaging for years.

Smoking dries out gum tissues, so it creates havoc of all types in the mouth. When we perform any type of procedure where gum tissue is involved, the healing time of a smoker is far lengthier than that of a non-smoker. Let’s hope these changes to cigarette packages will help some to take the steps needed to kick the habit, for good!

Even Costco’s Magazine Promotes Regular Dental Visits!

If you’re a member of Costco warehouse and read their monthly magazine, The Costco Connection, you may have noticed the June 2011 issue urging readers to maintain good oral health as a cost-effective measure for preventing larger, life-threatening illnesses.

The article, “When Little Things Turn Big,” gave examples of a diabetic wound, a hip fracture, and finally, “Don’t Brush It Off.” While Ludwig’s Angina was mentioned in the oral health segment (brought on by poor oral health, which can cause a person’s airway to swell shut), it goes on to point out how gum disease has been linked to “adverse pregnancy outcomes and a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.”

The solution given is to brush, floss and see your dentist on a regular basis. These are simple steps that can save you hundreds (even thousands!) of dollars in treatment fees. And, based on what research shows us today, commitment to a good oral health regimen could even save your life!

All-On-4 Could Be The Answer!

In the past, some of the obstacles with dental implant treatment were cost, having sufficient jaw bone mass to support the implants, and the dread of having to wait between placement and having the teeth attached, which could take from 4 to 6 months. With the All-On-4 system, those issues have been overcome!

Because All-On-4 uses only 4 strategically-angled implants to adequately bear the load of a full arch, it is a more affordable option than traditional types since fees are largely based on the number of implants placed. Additionally, the unique angles of the implants can be placed in patients who’ve even experienced severe bone loss. This means that costly bone rebuilding procedures are not necessary prior to treatment, saving these patients time and money. Making All-On-4 even more appealing is the fact that replacement teeth can be attached as soon as the implants are placed. Imagine leaving our office and meeting a friend for lunch!

If you’ve avoided dental implants due to the obstacles mentioned above, call our office at (586) 739-2155 and ask for a no-cost consultation with Dr. Barbat to discuss the All-On-4 dental implant system.

Beware Toxic Ingredients In Denture Creams

Denture wearers beware: one of the ingredients in denture creams is zinc. When overuse of denture creams put too much zinc in the body, it depletes the body’s natural balance of copper. Since copper regulates neurological activity, such an imbalance can lead to nerve damage or even neuropathy, a painful nerve disorder for which there is no cure.

The problem arises based on the amount of denture cream an individual uses on a regular basis. Although manufacturers estimate that one tube of denture cream will last between 1-2 months, some users admit to using a great deal more. When an excessive amount of denture cream is used, it is often to secure an ill-fitting denture or partial. Why would people do this?

When dentures are first made, they are shaped to conform to the gum ridge for which they are designed to adhere. Denture creams help to keep the denture in place, however, as the ridge declines in height and width, there is less and less of a foundation to hold the denture. Reapplying denture cream several times a day may help for brief amounts of time, but no cream or adhesive can overcome the loose fit for very long.

Poor fitting dentures often cause adults to eat soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. These tend to lack a healthy balance of protein rich meats, hearty grains, and fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals. Not having dentures that fit securely also prevents some from being socially active. Because of the potential for embarrassing slips, many adults will shy away from gatherings rather than risk the worst.

When dentures need an excessive amount of cream or paste for stability, there is a more serious fix needed than denture cream or paste. Today’s dentistry offers many options for every situation. Start by asking for a no cost consultation appointment and let’s discuss the options that are best for your needs. No one need suffer with an ill-fitting denture when the choices are so terrific!