Some Oral Health Percentages

Recent statistics on adults who floss on a daily basis are just slightly more than 50%. With only half of Americans flossing daily, it nearly parallels the averaged percentage of men and women who brush their teeth twice a day. Only 57% of women brush twice daily with only 49% of men brushing twice daily.

Tooth brushing should last for two minutes and done twice each day. Daily flossing takes around a minute once you are in the habit and comfortable with the technique. These measures help you to avoid cavities and the development of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that nearly 53% of American adults over age 20 have gingivitis.

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. This begins when bacteria multiply and create a sticky film on oral surfaces, which hardens into plaque if not removed on a daily basis. Signs of gingivitis include gums that bleed when brushing, are sore and become red in color. If allowed to progress, gingivitis develops into periodontal disease, which is the nation’s leading cause of tooth loss.

Sadly, 24% of adult males in America between the ages of 65 – 74 have had all their natural teeth extracted with females slightly higher, at 27%. These are sad statistics in a country where dental care is plentiful. Yet, as statistics show, it’s not a priority for far too many.

If you suspect any form of periodontal disease, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles. Gum disease will only worsen without treatment and require more time and expense to treat.

Fearful Patients Can Avoid A Mouthful Of Problems

Over the years, I’ve sat in a number of new patient Consultations hearing ‘horror stories’ of dental experiences with a rough or impatient dentist. The experience stays with some people for many years and prevents some from even being able to walk into a dental office.

Even though I’ve helped hundreds of patients overcome their dental fears, I know it begins with slow steps that fit comfortably for each individual. Some begin by viewing our web site and watching the video tour of our office. I narrate a walk-through of our practice and include a portion on our Total Relaxation Room, which is specially designed for the comfort of fearful patients.

Often, what happens is the fearful individual ends up with a dental emergency, such as an abscessed tooth. This means that dental care can no longer be avoided. It is  preferred to have fearful patients go through a process that helps them avoid emergencies. However, even those who are diligent about oral hygiene at home have a number of cavities, periodontal disease, and worn teeth from years of avoiding professional dental care.

In our office, we offer both Oral and I.V. Sedation. Oral Sedation is in pill form and taken prior to your arrival, so you’re relaxed by the time your companion escorts you in. I.V. Sedation puts people in a ‘twilight sleep,’ that is a deeper level of sedation. Both sedations erase most, if not all, of the patient’s memory of the procedure. Numbing medications are administered after the patient is fully sedated and they are monitored throughout to ensure safety and comfort.

Don’t wait until an emergency arises. Begin now to overcome your dental fears and enjoy a healthy mouth and flattering smile. Call 1-866-9-Smiles for a no-cost consultation. I’ll sit with you in our Consultation room, which is a ‘living room style’ setting and removed from the clinical side of the practice. We can just chat. From there, you can decide how you wish to proceed.

A healthy mouth enhances your overall health. Don’t let an uncaring former dentist put your smile at risk. Begin with web site’s video tour or a friendly phone call.


Oral Bacteria As Destructive As Termites

It is unlawful to knowingly sell a home that has termites. That’s how destructive these little creatures are to the structure of a home. When a homeowner learns they have termites, immediate measures are taken to combat these demons and repair the damage they’ve caused thus far.

Oral bacteria, which are living and breeding ‘bugs,’ are no less destructive than termites. They reproduce rapidly and spend their lives feeding on the structure in your mouth. Oral bacteria begin by eating away at gum tissue and tooth surfaces. As they continue to multiply, they destroy bone structure below the gum line.

And, their destruction can get even worse. When oral bacteria enters the blood stream through diseased gum tissues, an inflammatory reaction can be triggered elsewhere in the body. Research has linked oral bacteria to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, preterm babies, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and impotency.

Unlike the home in which you reside, your body is the most valuable structure you’ll ever possess. When you think of oral bacteria as they truly are – like termites in the mouth – your oral health will have a more prominent part in your overall health commitment.

If you have signs of gum disease, oral bacteria is already well underway. Symptoms include gums that bleed when brushing, persistent bad breath and tender or receded gums. Delaying treatment only allows these oral ‘bugs’ to multiply and cause further damage. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation so we can discuss your stage of gum disease and treatment needed.

Repairing A Gap Between Front Teeth

The dental term for gapped front teeth is ‘diastema.’ Although, by today’s beauty standards, having a gap between front teeth is not seen as a desirable characteristic, it has given unique appeal to certain famous names. These include Lauren Hutton, Madonna, football/talk show host Michael Strahan, and country music star Charley Pride. In the middle ages, a gap between front teeth was often associated with lustful characteristics. In Australia, gapped teeth in children predicted a life of future wealth and in Ghana and Nigeria, a diastema is a sign of fertility.

However, most Americans feel a gap between their front teeth detracts from their smile’s appearance. Fortunately, a diastema is easy to fix when the gap is not too wide. In these cases, we fill the gap with tooth bonding. In this, the tooth surface is mildly roughened and a carefully matched shade of material is applied, shaped and polished. The procedure is quick and provides a natural look and feel.

A wider gap requires more extensive treatment. To keep the front teeth at a natural width, the teeth on each side of the front teeth are typically included in treatment. Using porcelain veneers, the two front teeth can be reshaped with the adjacent two slightly widened to give a more balanced smile. Although more expensive, porcelain veneers give a natural look and feel that blends beautifully with other teeth.

Some gaps are only part of the challenge in one’s mouth. Bite alignment is vital to the longterm well-being of teeth. Misalignment can lead to pain in jaw joints, facial muscles, chipped teeth, clenching, headaches and migraines. When teeth are misaligned, we recommend Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear mold that can be removed for eating and cleaning teeth. The molds are provided in stages. Although faster than conventional braces, Invisalign is slightly more expensive. Yet, many teens and adults feel the added expense is worth it in terms of comfort and appearance with a shorter treatment time.

Regardless of which option we recommend, your result will give you a smile you’ll love to share. It often causes people to smile more with a bigger smile that projects a confident, happy individual.

Don’t let a gap between teeth cause you to ‘hold back’ when the solution may be simpler than you realize. Call us at 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation.

Root Canals – Causes Of The Need For The Procedure

Root canal therapy can be required due to a number of reasons. A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or clenching and grinding your teeth at night.

A ‘root canal’ is the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. Inside this cavity lies the pulp. The pulp chamber holds the tooth’s nerve. When a tooth’s nerve and pulp become irritated, inflamed, or infected, an endodontic procedure (root canal therapy) is necessary. Without this, the tissues around the tooth can become infected and form abscesses.

Once the tooth is fully emerged through the gum tissues, a tooth’s nerve is actually not necessary to the health of a tooth. Quite frankly, the nerve mainly serves in a sensory function to hot, cold or pain. Removing this nerve does not affect the strength or function of the tooth.

A root canal is performed to repair and save a tooth. Once you are fully numbed, we reach the tooth’s pulp chamber through a small hole in the top of the tooth. Once the nerve and pulp are removed, we clean the inside of the tooth and seal it.

Today’s root canal therapy is no more involved than filling a tooth. When I hear jokes that refer to root canals, I remind myself that these people are unaware of modern techniques and technology. Today’s root canals are performed in a process that requires minimal time and with optimal comfort.

Remember, a tooth ache signifies something is wrong. Delay in treatment could mean that more extensive procedures could be needed later. Call 1-866-9-Smiles and let’s determine precisely what is causing the ache. If a root canal is necessary, you now know it is nothing to dread!

Headaches? Jaw Pain? Night-time Clencher? We Can Help!

It’s not unusual to see a new patient who complains of having jaw pain, some for many years. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located in front of the ear on each side of your head, connecting the lower jaw to the skull. The jaw joint is one of the most actively used joints in your body.

Very few of us enter adulthood with a perfectly-aligned bite. However, bite misalignment is the most common cause of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Because muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues surround the joint, TMD can lead to many problems. These include headaches, migraines, ear ringing and neck pain as well as teeth clenching and grinding teeth during sleep.

Jaw pain can range from a dull ache to being so painful that it hurts to open your mouth to eat. In addition to bite misalignment, jaw pain can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and neuralgia. Jaw pain is also considered to be a warning sign of heart attack.

When pain is experienced on one or both sides of your head in front of your ears, it’s likely TMD. In addition to bite misalignment, this disorder can be brought on by age-related wear and tear on the joints, jaw fracture, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, or even an impacted or abscessed tooth.

When jaw pain persists for more than a week, you should assume it is not going away without treatment. We begin by determining the source of your painful jaws, headaches, etc. Often, simple measures, such as minor reshaping of selected teeth or a small, comfortable mouth appliance worn at night can resolve the issue.

Call for a free consultation so we can discuss the modern methods we use to help you overcome this problem, once and for all! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Yes, We Make Dentures For Patients Who Prefer Them

With our aging population, about 10% of American adults wear dentures. Although I am a proponent of Dental Implants for their tooth replacement superiority, I am not resistant to creating dentures or partials for people who prefer them.

Some people are accepting of the feel and function of dentures. More commonly, however, patients come to us seeking an alternative. For some, we are able to create dentures that give a more secure fit with a natural appearance. Yet, far more people are weary of the frustrations that are typical with wearing dentures and desire the stability of Dental Implants or an implant-secured denture.

Common complaints of new patients who are denture wearers include:
   • My dentures are uncomfortable.
   • It took a long time to get used to something foreign in my mouth.
   • I had to relearn saying certain words and to chew differently.
   • I don’t feel they look natural.
   • My denture causes me to have bad breath.
   • My dentures have embarrassed me by slipping.
   • I have a fear my dentures will shoot out when I sneeze in public.
   • I feel I look older now that I wear dentures.
   • I have sore gums a lot.
   • I’ve had to give up many things I loved to eat.
   • I can’t taste as well now.
   • Denture creams melt when I drink hot coffee and ruins the taste.
   • Adhesives help some but are expensive.
   • I laugh less with friends to avoid embarassment.
   • I turn down invitations when there is a meal involved.

Yet, even with these issues, we have patients who request dentures. For them, we create a high-quality, secure fit that restores a natural look. For some, we can place several Dental Implants to which their new denture attaches. This enables them to remove their denture for cleaning and sleeping.

Regardless of the tooth replacement option you select, our goal is to provide you with the highest quality and best function possible. Today’s dentistry offers many choices and I invite you to discuss these with me personally. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles and ask for a Free Consultation. During this time, I’ll go over options best for your situation and answer your questions in a relaxed, comfortable setting.

Simple Way To Improve Your Smile AND More!

The World Health Organization wants you to cut down on the amount of sugar you’re consuming. Of particular concern, WHO said, is the role sugar plays in causing dental diseases. The challenge, however, is that sugar can be so addictive, it has been compared to opium.

From 1950 to 2000, the USDA says American consumption of sugar increased 39%. On average, Americans consume about three pounds of sugar every week.

However, some of our sugar addiction may have developed without our knowledge. This occurred, in some cases, because consumers demanded foods that were lower in fat. Therefore, manufacturers lowered the fat while substituting sugar to preserve the taste.

Some manufacturers add sugars in forms other than high fructose corn sugars to sweeten foods and beverages. These include honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates; still sugar in these forms. The American population also unknowingly consumes sugars that are ‘hidden’ in processed foods. For example, you’ll find sugar in frozen pizza, yogurt, mayonnaise, catsup, bread and many soups.

Recommended daily intake is actually six teaspoons a day, or about the amount in a can of regular soda. So, how do you wean yourself off of sugar? Begin by reading labels, of everything! For every sugar gram, multiply by four to get the sugar calories per serving.

Then, begin lowering your amount of sugar on a daily basis. Drink plain water with meals rather than a can of soda. Each month, adjust your diet so you are moving away from sugar in any form.

Sugar creates the worst onset on oral bacteria of anything you can consume. Protect your smile and your overall health by making simple changes on a gradual basis. You’ll find it’s easier than you may think!

Chosing Between A Bridge, Partial Or Dental Implants

As a dentist, I’ve been trained to do everything possible to help people keep their natural teeth. In some situations, however, a natural tooth cannot be saved. Or, an individual may already be missing two or more teeth in one area. For many years, their only choices for replacing teeth would have been a partial or crown-&-bridge combination.

Fortunately, Dental Implants have been developed and perfected as “the next best thing to your natural teeth.” I’ve completed extensive training in the diagnosis and placement of Dental Implants and am pleased that they are becoming the adult tooth replacement method of choice.

Although Dental Implants cost more upfront, they are a far better investment for several reasons. Dental Implants do not require the support of existing, natural teeth. Additionally, they recreate the presence of tooth roots in the jaw bone. This helps prevent bone loss that occurs when natural teeth are missing.

In some cases, the added pressure of anchoring a bridge or partial can fracture a crowned supporting tooth. When this occurs, a new crown is needed or removal of yet another natural tooth. And, this means more expense and time in treatment.

Dental Implants are designed to last a lifetime. They help to preserve jaw bone mass and do not require adjacent teeth for support. They also restore biting and chewing stability.

I am very proud of the many patients we have who opted for this “one and done” version of tooth replacement. Smile your best, for a lifetime! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation.