Baby Boomers — Protect Overall Health By Watching Oral Symptoms!

A survey commissioned by the Academy of General Dentistry revealed 63% of ages 45 to 65 with an oral symptom found it was linked to a more serious health condition. It seems key symptoms in the mouth were warning signs of adult onset diseases.

For instance, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease increases with age. Researchers believe that these diseases often manifest themselves in the mouth.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the majority of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes, which usually begins after age 45. Initial indicators of this disease are bad breath and bleeding gums. However, only 29% of the baby boomers surveyed were aware of this connection.

After the age of 45, the risk for developing heart disease triples. Although heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, a sore and painful jaw is often overlooked as a warning signal. As a matter of fact, 60% of those surveyed were unaware these symptoms could be signs of a potential heart attack.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 44 million American adults have risk for osteoporosis, with a greater risk for menopausal and post-menopausal women. Yet, women who are on oral osteoporosis medications often fail to share this with their dentist. In rare instances, jaw bone ‘death’ has occurred from side effects of these medications after certain dental procedures.

Research continually reveals links between oral and overall health. While the health and appearance of your smile is our emphasis, your overall well-being is also important. Please discuss any unusual symptoms you are experiencing or any change in your medical status. It is our goal to ensure your smile is a positive part of your health, in all aspects.

Select Weekend Beverages Wisely

With the coming Memorial Day weekend, many Americans will be honoring those who bravely served to protect our freedom with gatherings that include food and beverages. Before you pop that top, here’s some “food for thought!”

Studies have shown that diet colas can cause just as much harm to teeth as those sweetened with sugar. Tooth decay occurs from acid attacks, not just sugar. Acidic flavor additives in both versions of colas attack enamel. Highly acidic beverages such as Sprite and Mountain Dew have been deemed the most harmful while root beer seems to be less harmful than most.

Love your colas and just can’t give them up? Drink them with food rather than between meals. This helps to decrease the amount of acid attacks your teeth endure during the day. And, between meals, opt for the healthiest liquid refreshment of all — pure water!

This weekend, eat and drink in a healthy manner, play safely, wear your mouth guard during sports activities, include our service men and women in your mealtime blessing, and SMILE often!  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Yet Another Reason To Replace A Denture Or Partial With Dental Implants

These days, Americans are more aware of keeping bacteria at bay by regular hand-washing and proper food handling. Yet, little publicity has been devoted to the harmful bacterial presence in dentures and partials.

The material that holds the replacement teeth of dentures and partials is porous, meaning that bacteria can become embedded in it. Not only do bacteria reproduce at a rapid rate, these organisms eat, and therefore create waste, continually in your mouth. Bacterial buildup can result in painful inflammation, cracking at the corners of the mouth, redness and soreness. But, once established, disease-causing microorganisms (like Candida albicans, for example) won’t go away on their own. Ridding them may require powerful antifungal medications.

Full and partial denture-wearers should rinse their appliances after every meal and soak them in disinfectant solutions nightly. Not only is this process burdensome, many people sleep in their dentures and partials. The warm, moist, dark environment this provides is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Periodontal infection can create periodontitis, a form of gum disease that can result in painful and serious problems, such as increased inflammation in the body.

Research has shown that the bacteria of gum disease can become bloodborne throughout the body via tears in gum tissue. These bacteria can spark (or increase) inflammation that research has shown to contribute to such serious problems as coronary artery disease, diabetes, preterm babies, stroke, and even impotency. Obviously, oral bacteria can cause devastating damage to one’s overall health far beyond one’s mouth.

Because dental implants are held by the jaw bone, they restore chewing comfort and biting stability. Dental implants allow you to eat the foods you love and laugh without worry. Dental implants help to preserve the jaw bone by recreating the stimulation once provided by natural tooth roots. They are safe and, when properly selected, placed and maintained, should last all your life.

We offer all phases of treatment in our office while you relax comfortably with I.V. or Oral Sedation. For a free consultation to discuss replacing your denture or partial, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Pregnant? Give Oral Health Added Attention!

While many pregnant women become more health conscious during pregnancy, moms-to-be should also be extra attentive to their oral health. Research has shown that oral decay and the bacteria of periodontal disease can lead to pre-term labor.  Additionally, many OB/Gyn doctors now caution their pregnant patients that poor oral health during pregnancy can even put an unborn child at risk of infections or low birth weight.

When pregnant, women often eat more frequently. The reaction in your mouth is an acid attack whenever you eat or drink. Be sure to swish or brush afterwards and floss daily. Use a tongue scraper, which helps to remove oral bacteria embedded in the tongue.

For those who experience morning sickness, use a rinse of warm water and baking soda. Most importantly, however, have a thorough oral examination early in your pregnancy to ensure you and your baby can both enjoy optimal health!

To schedule an oral examination, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Oral Health Tips For Arthritis Suffers

If you are an arthritis sufferer, you are twice as likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease is the country’s number one cause of tooth loss and has been linked to serious health problems. These include coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and memory loss. Findings published by the Journal of Periodontology stated that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had an average tooth loss of 11.6 teeth compared to 6.7 teeth of other participants in the study.

RA is the nation’s leading cause of disability and limits the daily activities of over 7 million Americans. Because we understand the physical limitations RA can cause, the following tips are provided to make your oral hygiene at home easier.

• Water irrigators can remove food particles and plaque between teeth.

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

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

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

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

With a good oral care commitment, RA sufferers can maintain a healthy smile and prevent tooth loss. If you suffer with arthritis, overcoming the physical limitations to protect your smile will result in a constant reminder that YOU are in charge of your health!

Repairing A Gummy Smile In A Single Visit

If someone special in your life has a ‘gummy smile,’ you probably have noticed they tend to hold back on a really full smile. They may put their hand in front of their mouth when smiling or look down when laughing. In photos, they tend to resist a full smile.

This is a shame for so many people who are precious to us. Perhaps it is a mother or wife. Maybe it is a bride who knows all eyes (and photographs) will be on her. Maybe it’s a child preparing for college and feels uneasy about making new friends.

Repairing a gummy smile is, quite frankly, a fairly simple procedure. Often, excess gum tissue is removed in a single procedure. The gum line is evened out so the smile has a more balanced and appealing appearance. We use a laser for most procedures for a precision contour and rapid healing time. Patients are very comfortable throughout the procedure with either oral or I.V. sedation, if desired.

If you have, or know someone who has, a gummy smile and would like to feel more confident smiling, laughing and enjoying social gatherings, begin with a free consultation to discuss the procedure. Your smile should reflect YOU at your very best! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more.

Why More Adults Opt For Dental Implants

In my dental practice, an ever-increasing number of adults opt for a dental implant or implants over other tooth replacement options. Although some patients are familiar with the advantages of an implant vs. other options, I always present all their choices and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.

While the one and only ‘disadvantage’ of an implant is the initial cost, which is typically higher than other options in tooth replacement, the long-term benefits of an implant greatly outweigh the additional upfront expense. Over time, the health advantages alone make implants a better investment. Also, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. No crown-&-bridge combination, partial or denture can outdo the longevity of an implant.

From a dentist’s point of view, implants are especially superior in how they function BELOW the gums. Although you cannot see how implants are held in the bone, this foundation gives implants the same stability as that of natural tooth roots. Additionally, the presence of an implant keeps the bone from ‘resorbing,’ or shrinking. When tooth roots are no longer present in the bone, implants recreate the stimulation needed to maintain its mass.

Another bonus is the ability of an implant to hold one, two or more teeth without needing the support of adjacent teeth. Unlike a crown-&-bridge combination or some partials, a dental implant supports teeth on its own. With dental implants, there is no need to crown neighboring, otherwise healthy teeth merely to support replacement teeth.

Here, we provide all phases of dental implant treatment. With everything done in one office, patients save time and expense versus treatment between two offices with several visits to each.

We offer a free consultation for those who are interested in any type of tooth enhancement or replacement. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a time to discuss your needs and have your questions answered.

The Beauty of a Smile – Both Inside & Out!

Here are just a few of the comments we’ve heard after patients have had smile enhancements:

“I feel so much better about how I look now!”

“This is the best thing I’ve ever done! It’s taken years off my appearance!”

“I never knew what a boost in confidence this would give me. Why I didn’t do this years ago, I’ll never know!”

“I like my new smile so much that I’ve lost 12 pounds and got a new hairstyle. I feel like a new person!”

“I feel more social now and say ‘Yes’ more often to get-togethers. I feel like I’m having more fun now!”

“My husband wants to have his smile redone now, too! I think he’s jealous!”

While we’re thrilled to hear such positive feedback from our cosmetic dentistry patients, they get one more bonus they don’t always remember. As a Neuromuscular Dentist, I provide them with unique skills that is blended into their treatment. These skills ensure their smile enhancements fit in a balanced and harmonious way with head and neck muscles, facial bones and jaw joints.

This neuromuscular approach results in a smile that does not make them susceptible to headaches, migraines, facial pain, broken teeth, chips or uneven wear down the road. The advanced training I received in neuromuscular dentistry gives our patients optimal longevity, function and comfort along with the fabulous appearance of an enhanced smile.

Often, just 6 porcelain crowns or veneers create an entirely new look for one’s smile. For those who want a whiter, brighter smile, we have our patients whiten their teeth prior to placing their crowns or veneers. This way, all teeth – both natural and the ones we restore – have the same shade.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, a beautiful change may be just a consultation away. Call us toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to discuss your smile!