Gum Recession Causes Several Problems

Gum recession occurs when gum tissues that frame the teeth wear or pull away. This exposes dark areas of the tooth’s root, which tend to be sensitive to hot, cold or brushing. Gum recession also causes “long” teeth, which detracts from one’s smile.

Receded gums are also a sign of gum disease. This occurs from the formation of “pockets” of pus or bacterial buildup between the teeth and gum line. If untreated, the tissues and bone that support the teeth can be damaged and eventually result in tooth loss.

In most cases, gum recession occurs gradually. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity or teeth that seem longer. Although gum disease is the leading cause of recession, there are other factors that can lead to gum recession as well, including:

Being too rigorous in tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth with too much pressure or “scrubbing” teeth with a hard bristle tooth brush can cause the enamel on teeth to wear away and the gums to recede.

Poor dental hygiene: When your brushing and flossing regimen is insufficient, bacterial accumulation results in plaque, which turns into calculus. Plaque (also known as tartar) is a cement-like substance that can only be removed from teeth by a professional.

Smoking: The chemicals in tobacco are drying to oral tissues. This increases your likelihood for the formation of plaque on teeth, which can lead to gum recession.

Grinding and clenching teeth: When you clench or grind your teeth at night, the force this places on teeth can cause the gums to recede.

Female hormonal fluctuations: When hormonal levels change, such as occurs in puberty, pregnancy and menopause, the gums can be more sensitive and more susceptible to gum recession.

Crooked teeth or bite misalignment: When teeth are not in proper alignment, there is added force placed on the gums and supporting bone. This often leads to gum recession.

Exposed areas of teeth can cause sensitivity as well as make you more susceptible to decay or gum disease. It can also detract from a smile’s appearance. Repairing these areas can be performed in our office comfortably and quickly.

The best time to treat gum recession is as soon as it is noticed. Don’t wait until the gums have experienced such recession that requires involved grafting. When caught early, your time and expense in treatment will be minimal. Call 1-866-9-Smiles for more information or to arrange a free consultation.

Your Choices In Dental Fillings

Occasionally, a patient with old ‘silver’ fillings expresses concern about their safety, namely due to the mercury content. While the American Dental Association has not actually advised removal based on risk, some people feel better having them replaced with composite fillings. Composites have a number of advantages, in addition to being tooth-colored, including a natural appearance and giving peace of mind.

Tooth-colored composite fillings are metal-free. For people who have metal sensitivity or allergies, composite fillings are a logical choice. Silver fillings also have the potential to expand over time. This expansion, although minimal, can create fracture lines in teeth, which can lead to cracked or broken teeth. When a tooth breaks below the gum line, the tooth must be removed. Composite fillings provide exceptional durability and do not expand. Therefore, they are a better option.

Another advantage of composites is how they bond to a tooth’s structure and actually help to hold weak sections of a tooth together. Also, composite fillings often require less removal of tooth structure than silver fillings.

The optimal method for repairing large cavities or replacing multi fillings in teeth is through porcelain crowns, inlays or onlays. These provide the most natural look, feel and durability available in modern dentistry. Although more expensive than silver or composite fillings, they are a superb choice in many instances.

The mouth has been deemed “the window to the body.” Repairing teeth and saving natural teeth from loss or further damage is beneficial to your overall well being. Protect your smile and care for teeth with regular dental check-ups and a thorough oral hygiene commitment at home.

To discuss removal of ‘silver’ fillings, call our office at 1-866-9-Smiles.

Implant-Supported Dentures Restore Stability & Comfort

Denture wearers often endure embarrassing slips, difficulty chewing and sore gums. While dentures do “replace” the appearance of teeth, their ability to restore stable chewing and security when speaking or laughing is inadequate for many.

Because Dental Implants can be more costly than wearing a denture, denture wearers often feel they cannot afford them. However, in many cases, we are able to attach a full denture to several strategically-placed Dental Implants. Since implant fees are based on the number of implants placed, this typically provides a significant savings. Plus, depending on the condition of the patient’s existing denture, we can occasionally use it, providing a further savings.

When dentures are supported by Dental Implants, biting and chewing stability is restored. This is because implants are anchored in the jaw bone, providing the same foundation as your natural teeth once had. They eliminate embarrassing slips or having to forgo the foods you love.

Another benefit of Dental Implants is their ability to halt bone resorption. Once natural tooth roots are no longer present in the jaw bone, the bone begins to shrink, or ‘resorb.’ The pressure of dentures on the boney ridge beneath the gums adds to this resorption. For those who sleep in their denture, this rate of bone resorption occurs on a 24/7 basis. Dental Implants help to halt bone resorption while restoring a more natural look, feel and function.

To discuss implant-supported dentures, call 1-866-9-Smiles for a no-cost Consultation appointment. We provide all phases of implant treatment in our office with your comfort always a priority. We hope to have you eating crisp apples and chewing thick steak again soon!

Kick The Habit & Save Your Teeth!

The U.S. Surgeon General has said, “Smoking cessation [stopping smoking] represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”

If you smoke, you already know your risk for heart and lung disease is much greater than for adults who don’t smoke. You may be surprised, however, to learn that you also have a greater risk for developing gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S.

Current smokers are 4 times more likely to have periodontal (gum) disease than those who have never smoked. Ex-smokers who have not smoked in over a decade also have no increased risk, according to the findings published in the Journal of Periodontology. Overall, nearly 53% of gum disease of those in a recent study was attributed to current and former smoking.

The findings of this study found:
• Fifty-five percent of the study’s participants with gum disease were current smokers and nearly 22% were former smokers.
• Current smokers of more than 1-1/2 packs per day were nearly 6 times more likely to have gum disease than non-smokers.
• Those who smoked less than half a pack daily were nearly 3 times more likely to have gum disease.

Tobacco tends to suppress the body’s immune system, reducing its ability to fight infection. Smoking also inhibits the development of blood vessels, slowing the healing of damaged gum tissue.

Smoking is not an easy habit to kick because it becomes an addiction. However, many people quit, successfully, every day. For helpful tips to quit, go to: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index

Replacing Back Teeth With Crown-&-Bridge

If you lose a back tooth, why replace it since the tooth isn’t visible?

The arrangement of your teeth is a balanced support system that provides proper support and stability. Losing a tooth can start a vicious cycle of ongoing oral problems. Typical problems include drifting, shifting, and an increased risk of gum disease and decay.

In a normal, healthy mouth, there is a natural balance of teeth. Each tooth has three or four companion teeth. These include the adjacent teeth on either side as well as upper or lower teeth that meet them. Upper and lower teeth work together to provide comfortable chewing function.

When a tooth is lost, statistics show that the companion tooth will be lost next. Then, the tooth next in line is subjected to the same conditions. With each tooth lost, the problems are magnified and the cycle of tooth loss continues.

A fixed bridge restores your smile’s appearance and chewing function while also stabilizing surrounding teeth. The placement process involves the attachment of the bridge to adjacent teeth. The existing teeth are prepared with crowns or inlays. The bridge of the replacement tooth (or teeth) is then attached to the crowns or inlays and secured in place. The result is an appealing and natural look and feel.

The best time to replace missing teeth is immediately after the tooth is lost. Call for a free Consultation to learn recommendations that will help you accomplish a confident, healthy smile. During this discussion, your questions will be answered and all options of tooth replacement explained so you can determine what is best for you. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Sex Life Affected By Sleep Apnea

It’s not unusual for couples to be too tired for sex some nights. However, for more than 12 million Americans who suffer with Sleep Apnea, disrupted sleep creates a much more complicated obstacle to being up for sex.

Feeling tired and sleepy throughout the day are typical symptoms of Sleep Apnea, and can lead to weight gain and depression. Yet, a sex hormone is boosted with sound REM sleep but drops when insufficient sleep occurs.

A recent study compared 80 women with Sleep Apnea to 240 women (all under 65 years old) without Sleep Apnea. The findings showed that Sleep Apnea sufferers had dramatically higher rates of sexual dysfunction.

An earlier study included over 400 men who sought treatment for suspected sleep apnea. Of those who were diagnosed with the condition, nearly 70% had erectile dysfunction compared with 34% for men without Sleep Apnea.

The good news? Patients who undergo surgery to correct facial abnormalities that contribute to apnea see improvements in intimacy and those who start CPAP therapy also reported an increase in sexual relationships. The not-so-great news? Only about 22% of those who are prescribed with CPAP are consistent users.

Many CPAP patients complain about discomfort, feeling encumbered and are bothered by the noise (as are many mates). The solution for those with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea may be an FDA approved, comfortable oral appliance worn during sleep. This small device slightly adjusts the position of the lower jaw so your airway is less constricted. Through this therapy, many can forego the need for CPAP therapy and enjoy restored sound sleep.

Begin by arranging a free phone consultation to have your questions answered. Call 1-866-9-Smiles.

Surprising Medications That Contribute To Dental Problems

For new patients, we ask them to complete a medical/dental history form PLUS a list of all medications they are currently taking. Although this may seem ‘busy work,’ it is vital information for your care in our office.

Some medications contribute to dry mouth, a side effect of more than 400 of them. Without a sufficient flow of saliva, oral bacteria can accumulate, which results in plaque. This makes you more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay. If your physician cannot prescribe an alternative medication that is less drying to the mouth, drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. We can also recommend oral rinses to help replenish saliva.

However, many medications can contribute to oral problems, some of which may surprise you. In fact, adults taking antidepressants and high blood pressure medications were found to have elevated levels of plaque and signs of gingivitis. Many cough drops, medications in syrup form and antacids contain sugars that often leave a sticky residue on teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. Certain antibiotics and ibuprofen can cause lesions or ulcers in the mouth.

Gingival enlargement, a condition that causes the gums to swell and grow over teeth, can lead to severe periodontal infection. In particular, calcium channel blockers used to control high blood pressure can contribute to this gum tissue overgrowth.

Oral contraceptives and blood pressure medications have been linked to mouth sores and inflammation. Tetracycline, typically used for treating acne, can discolor teeth as well as supporting bone.

While you may assume that herbal supplements don’t apply, they can actually have serious side effects for some dental patients. For example, Ginkgo Biloba and Vitamin E can act as blood thinners. When combined with aspirin, the combination may cause difficulties in blood clotting. For patients undergoing surgical procedures, this can be a serious problem.

Taking high dosages of vitamins before undergoing anesthesia can also put you at risk. For instance, high doses of Vitamin C can weaken the efficiency of anesthesia. On the flip side, supplements such as Kava Kava or St. John’s Wort can accentuate anesthesia’s effectiveness.

It is important that we know all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take. This way, we can help you avoid issues that can be risky or leave you vulnerable to problems. Keep us informed of any new medications you are taking as well as those that have been eliminated from the list we have in your file.

While not all side effects create great risk, we want to ensure each visit provides you with an optimal outcome. Working together, we can achieve this! If you have questions about any medications, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles or bring a current medication list (including dosage) to your next visit.

What Attracts Men To Women The Most!

No one would dispute the overwhelming force of chemistry as the leader in what draws one to another. Chemistry is the unknown aura that creates that ‘spark’ almost immediately in matching two people together.

But, after chemistry, what makes or breaks this attraction? A survey of nearly 20,000 men was conducted to discover just what they noticed about a female. To no surprise, following chemistry, was “Smile.”

Men can determine a lot about a female’s smile. Of course, it is a significant facial feature that can enhance one’s appearance. A terrific smile also sends a message of a person who is fun and enjoys life and has a positive, upbeat personality.

A smile can also reveal one’s overall commitment to health. Women who have yellowed or stained teeth, missing or chipped teeth or signs of poor dental hygiene can create a poor impression of their overall hygiene commitment. It certainly lowers them on a ‘kissable’ scale.

The top ten list, in order of most noticed, is:
1. Chemistry
2. Smile
3. Kind nature
4. Sense of humor
5. Body type
6. Eyes
7. Intelligence
8. Communication skills
9. Mouth (lips and teeth)
10. Hair

Rather than worry about your hair or having a flat tummy, remember that it’s your smile he’ll notice first. As a matter of fact, before the chemistry can occur, he needs to approach you. What better way than to share a smile and give him something to compliment — a great opener to any conversation!

To discuss improving your smile, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation. Let’s get you noticed!

Persistent Bad Breath Is A Sign There Is A Bigger Problem

If you’re not familiar with the signs of early periodontal (gum) disease, they include persistent bad breath, gums that bleed while brushing or flossing, gum tissue that has pulled away from teeth (receded gums) and gums that are tender and sore.

Gum disease begins when oral bacteria is not removed on a regular basis from the mouth. As it accumulates, it forms a sticky film that eventually hardens on teeth, called plaque. Once plaque forms, it can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist with special tools.

Plaque buildup will continue if not removed and attack tooth enamel and gum tissues. Eventually, this onslaught of bacterial mass will work its way down into tooth roots and the bone that supports them.

Although there are several causes of bad breath not related to gum disease, persistent bad breath is typically associated with it. This is a breath odor that exists even after brushing, chewing gum or swishing with mouth rinses.

If untreated, eventual tooth loss can occur and oral bacteria can create inflammation elsewhere in the body. The bacteria of gum disease had been associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and preterm babies.

If you know someone with this problem or feel you have persistent bad breath, early treatment will be the best way to save time and costs to restore your mouth to a healthy state. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a free consultation as soon as possible.