Avoid Being A Tooth Loss Statistic

The latest (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that adult tooth loss in the U.S. has decreased from the early 1970s. Yet, percentages remain high and vary according to age range, race and sex.

For example, adults between ages 20 – 64 have an average of 24.92 remaining teeth rather than 32 in a normal adult mouth. Nearly 4% of adults in this same age group have no remaining teeth. For adults ages 65 – 74, both male and female averaged approximately 19 remaining teeth.

Older adults, Black and Hispanic adults, current smokers, and those with lower incomes were shown to have higher percentages for being totally edentulous (no remaining teeth).

Males showed slightly higher averages in tooth loss than females while current smokers averaged having only 23.47 teeth. Non-smokers (never smoked) had nearly 26 remaining teeth. Nearly half of smokers ages 65 – 74 had lost all teeth versus about 22% of the same age group who had never smoked.

Your teeth are much more than mere components of a smile. While teeth can be replaced with dentures, partials, crown-&-bridge combinations and Dental Implants, there is nothing as dependable as healthy, natural teeth. Your teeth affect your appearance, self-confidence and self-esteem. They are also an important part of the digestive process and help to maintain a healthy jaw bone mass.

Renew your commitment to have a healthy smile and keep your teeth for a lifetime. Arrange for a thorough examination to determine areas at risk and have necessary repairs made to protect teeth at risk. Brush and floss twice daily and be diligent about keeping your 6-month check-ups.

If you’ve avoided dental care due to fear or other concerns, call to arrange a free Consultation. We are experienced at helping fearful patients overcome dental fears and are a ‘lecture-free’ practice. You’ll be warmly welcomed and respected by each member of our team.

Don’t be one of the statistics of tooth loss. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a consultation soon!

Sleep Apnea May Stem From TMJ (Jaw Joint) Disorder

Sleep Apnea has become more familiar to the American population as the reason for daytime sleepiness, being more accident prone, weight gain and having a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, depression and high blood pressure. However, few people associate the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ or jaw joint) with breathing problems during sleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the airway is restricted or blocked. Apnea, the Greek word for ‘without breath,’ is when a sleeping individual stops breathing, some for up to one minute. This can occur hundreds of times per night.

When the jaw joint is not working properly, during sleep the tongue can collapse and block or reduce a natural intake of oxygen. Heavy snoring, which is often a precursor to Sleep Apnea, can occur for this same reason.

The lack of adequate air during sleep forces the body to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Thus, Sleep Apnea sufferers fail to reach the deep sleep stage necessary for the body to rejuvenate itself. The common fatigue and lack of energy that adults with Sleep Apnea have can also be accompanied by headaches, migraines, clenching, grinding and worn teeth, all warning signs of TMJ Disorder.

If you have – or suspect – Sleep Apnea, a thorough jaw joint examination may reveal an important component to resolving this sometimes deadly problem. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free Consultation. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and discuss the diagnostic steps involved.

Your Best Bargain For Dental Implants Is In The U.S Of A.!

In a recent issue of AARP’s monthly magazine, there is an article on cost comparisons of various medical and dental procedures that have lured Americans abroad for ‘bargains.’

Although there was a significant savings in procedures like heart bypass and hip replacement, Dental Implants in the U.S. are rather competitive and even less expensive than averages in many countries.

For example, the average Dental Implant cost in the U.S. is approximately $1200 (depending on type and location of placement). In Costa Rica, they average $900, $950 in Mexico and $1100 in India. However, implants are a whopping $2636 in Malaysia, $1600 in the U.K. and $1500 in Singapore. The lowest price was in Hungary at an average of $650.

After you factor in air fare, hotel costs, ground transportation and travel insurance, you must also calculate the potential risks. For example, once back in the States, an infection or unusual pain indicates a problem, which typically requires immediate attention. Unless you’re willing to repeat the trip (and travel costs), a local doctor will need to be seen.

All in all, Dental Implants in the U.S. are a bargain. The training and safety standards for dentists in America are very high and our sterilization measures are essentially unsurpassed.

Your best ‘deal’ when it comes to Dental Implants is having placement done right the first time. If complications do arise, which are rare, they can be dealt with promptly and effectively without a major travel ordeal required.

Why take a risk? Having Dental Implants placed in America gives you convenience, safety and a tremendous bargain. Let’s discuss your individual needs and options in a Free Consultation. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule.

Sleeping In Dentures? Read On…

A recent study has found that elderly patients who wear dentures while they sleep have a higher risk of developing pneumonia. The study included over 450 denture wearers and tracked their oral health and hygiene as well as medical status. Nearly 41% of the participants reported that they slept in their dentures.

The three-year study found that those who wore their dentures while sleeping had a higher risk for pneumonia than those who slept without their dentures. Additionally, this group was more likely to have gum inflammation, plaque build-up on the tongue and denture and be more prone to other oral health issues.

When dentures are worn 24/7, oral bacteria reproduce on a continual basis. In addition to an increased risk of pneumonia, this can lead to other problems, including:

Halitosis – Bad breath is a common problem for denture wearers. The material that forms the gum portion of dentures is porous and provides a dark, warm and moist breeding ground for bacteria. Oral bacteria growth leads to the formation of plaque and frequent bad breath.

Bone Loss – Wearing dentures places pressure on the upper and lower jaw (the gum ridge that supports your denture), which causes the bone to shrink. Wearing dentures all day and all night creates continual pressure, which accelerates the rate of bone loss.

Mouth Irritation – Loose dentures can move while eating and create sore spots on tender gum tissue.

Burning Mouth Syndrome – Dentures can place stress on facial muscles and oral tissues. This can lead to pain and soreness in the mouth that tends to worsen throughout the day. It also causes an increase in thirst and loss of taste.

Oral Thrush – The fungus Candida albicans can overgrow in the mouth, creating lesions on the tongue and cheeks.

Although many people are committed to wearing dentures or partials, we in the dental field typically recommend Dental Implants to give their patients many health advantages. If your denture is uncomfortable or you are concerned about associated health risks, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation to discuss your potential for Dental Implants.

Flossing Too Difficult? Try A Water Flosser.

Dental floss has been around for almost 200 years. With nearly two centuries of pleading dentists to excuse-laden patients, no wonder water flossers were invented.

The goal, whether using dental floss or a water flosser, is to remove food debris caught between teeth and scrape away the bacterial film formed during the day. This film is the beginning of plaque and, when not removed daily, hardens into calculus. Calculus is the cement-like substance that adheres to teeth. It consists of reproducing oral bacteria that feed on tooth enamel and gum tissue. Once formed, calculus cannot be brushed or flossed away. Only a dental professional can remove it using special tools.

When water flossers first emerged, the debate was whether they were as effective as dental floss. However, as water flossers have been fine-tuned over the years, they have proven to be more effective than standard flossing.

Although the companies who developed these water flossers provided early research showing the benefits of their product versus dental floss, dental researchers wanted their own proof. One study found that a water flosser combined with tooth brushing was nearly 93% more effective than using floss with brushing. It also showed that adults can have up to 52% better results at reducing gingivitis, which is the early stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Additionally, international research showed that combining a water flosser with brushing provided twice the effectiveness at reducing gingival bleeding than using brushing and dental floss.

Especially for adults who have arthritis or large hands, water flossers are an excellent alternative. When combined with thorough twice-daily brushing, today’s water flossers can do a better job at removing oral bacteria, food particles and preventing the sticky film that forms plaque.

However, it is the commitment of the individual that makes the most difference. A thorough, committed oral hygiene regimen at home and your twice a year cleanings is the best way to prevent oral bacteria buildup and the problems that result. In addition to cavities and gum disease, research has shown that oral bacteria can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, preterm babies and impotency.

Adequate brushing and flossing (whether standard floss or a water flosser) can help you avoid cavities, gum disease, tooth loss and the heightened risk of health problems elsewhere in the body. Rather than plead with patients to floss daily, I’d much rather recommend an easy-to-hold device that has proven safe, effective, and promotes more compliance than that of string floss.

If you have delayed dental check-ups and cleanings, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule an appointment.

Straight Teeth Prevent Many Problems In The Future

We recently introduced Dr. Jerry Wesley, an Orthodontist, who has joined our team. Dr. Wesley is the perfect fit for our commitment to creating a correct bite for optimal oral health.

Straight, properly-aligned teeth do far more than create an appealing smile. When teeth are in proper alignment, there is less potential for developing problems such a grinding or clenching teeth during sleep. This disrupts your sleep quality and can result in worn, chipped or broken teeth. Straight teeth also help you avoid tooth fractures and gum recession.

The tight nooks that crooked teeth provide are an ideal gathering place for oral bacteria. This means you’re more likely to develop plaque in these areas, the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease – Gingivitis. These are also ideal spots for the formation of cavities.

Without a correct bite, the jaw joints can become stressed. This can lead to TMJ Disorder, which can cause headaches, migraines, sore jaw joints, ear ringing and pain in facial, neck and shoulder muscles.

So, when you straighten your teeth, a beautiful smile isn’t the only benefit you’ll receive. A proper bite alignment can save you a tremendous amount of time and money for future dental repairs and treatment .

For a free consultation, call 1-866-9-Smiles so we can discuss braces, Invisalign or bite realignment through an oral appliance.

Bleeding Gums NOT A Good Sign!

Unfortunately, many Americans perceive that seeing blood while brushing is a good sign, assuming it shows they’re doing a great job. The fact is – healthy gums do not bleed while brushing! Bleeding gums indicate a problem that needs to be addressed while treatment can be minimal. Delay only allows the problem to worsen, resulting in more time and expense in the future.

Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common cause (and an early warning sign) for gums that bleed while brushing. It is also the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S.  Gum disease begins with gingivitis, which occurs from a bacterial build-up of plaque. This irritates the gums, causing them to bleed and become swollen and tender.

Other contributors that cause gum tissue to bleed easily include:

• Overzealous brushing, brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush or using an abrasive substance, such as baking soda. These do more harm than good to teeth and gum tissues.
• Drugs can contribute to gums that bleed easily, including antidepressants, nasal sprays and oral contraceptives.
• Smoking has a drying effect on gum tissue. Smokers typically have more calculus than non-smokers from the irritation of chemicals in cigarettes.
• Vitamin K deficiency interferes with the body’s process of blood clotting. This can also result in gums that bleed.
• Certain changes in hormonal levels can cause temporary redness, tenderness and swollen areas on gums.

When bleeding gums are dealt with in early stages, a thorough dental cleaning and committed oral care regimen at home can often halt the progression of gingivitis, which leads to gum disease.

Act now by arranging an appointment so we can determine an appropriate treatment to restore your smile to a healthy state. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more.

Your Smile – What Does It Say To Others?

When you smile, what impression does it make?

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) conducted an independent study and found that people with straight teeth are perceived as more successful, healthy and even more intelligent!

Through another study, the AACD determined that:
• Over 99% of Americans feel a smile’s appearance is a social asset
• 99% of adults feel an appealing smile makes a person more attractive
• 74% of adults feel an unattractive smile can have a negative effect on career success

Today’s Cosmetic Dentistry can create a beautiful, flattering smile that has a highly-natural appearance with exceptional longevity. Many treatments are completed in just one or two visits.

If your smile is not reflecting you as you wish, call 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation to discuss the many options in today’s Cosmetic Dentistry.

The Many Challenges Of Dentures

Dentures, as we know them today, have been around for many years. The earliest dentures were carved from bone or made from human teeth. By 1775, porcelain dentures, which were more durable and attractive, were being made. However, early dentures were basically worn to replace the appearance of teeth rather than restore function and often removed before eating.

The challenge with dentures is how they eventually lead to a number of problems even today. The most common problem for denture wearers is an unstable fit. Even dentures that felt secure when first placed eventually loosen and slip while chewing. This occurs due to the declining foundation of jaw bone mass, which causes the gum ridge to flatten out.

Bone loss occurs without the stimulation of tooth roots in the jaw bone. Once it begins, the process of bone loss, or ‘resorption,’ is ongoing. The pressure from wearing dentures actually speeds up this process. For denture wearers who sleep in their dentures, this rate of bone loss is even more rapid from the constant pressure on the jaw bone. As the bone continues to resorb, even relines won’t help much.

Bone loss is also why you’ll see long-time denture wearers develop a “granny look.” The face takes on a collapsed look and the chin becomes more pointed. Jowls form as facial muscles detach from shrinking jaw bones. The entire face takes on an aged appearance far beyond one’s actual years.

Difficulty eating a healthy diet with dentures leads to another set of problems. When dentures do not fit securely, the rubbing and discomfort often leads to a soft diet of foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. These foods often lack protein and fiber. Your overall health requires a diet of vitamin rich fruits and vegetables along with protein-rich meats. Since digestion begins in the mouth, dentures that rub sore spots on tender gum tissue causes many to swallow before sufficient chewing is done. It is no surprise that denture wearers have more gastrointestinal problems than non-denture wearers and take more medications.

In our society, food is often the centerpiece of social occasions. Being socially active is an important part of our happiness level and overall well-being. People who are not comfortable eating or speaking because of unstable dentures often find themselves declining invitations because of the fear of embarrassment.

No matter how many advancements are made in the development of dentures, they will never be a good substitute for teeth. They never were. On the market today, there is no denture adhesive or paste that can make dentures a good substitute for teeth considering they only add to the rate of bone loss.

Dental Implants provide a dependable, reliable means of tooth replacement. They recreate the stimulation of natural tooth roots in the jaw bone, halting bone loss and restoring dependable chewing stability.

Considering all the long-term problems created by dentures, the one-time cost of Dental Implants makes them a far better value. Too, restoring your ability to eat comfortably and laugh confidently without the fear of embarrassment is priceless. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more or request a free Consultation.

It’s Apple Season! Why Your Smile Loves Them.

We’ve all heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are loaded with antioxidants and are a good source of fiber, making them a good snack or dessert for your overall health, including your smile.

Munching a crisp, fresh apple requires chewing action that activates an increase in saliva. In addition to having more saliva to help cleanse your mouth, the texture of the apple gives teeth a mini-cleaning and the gums healthy stimulation for increased blood flow.

Just be sure to purchase organic apples only. An average commercially-grown apple has more pesticide residue than all other fruits and vegetables. According to USDA data, pesticides have been found in 98% of even washed apples and can contain up to 48 types of pesticides. This is definitely one food worth the added expense of buying organic!

If you’ve had to give up foods like apples because of undependable dentures, ask for a free consultation appointment to discuss Dental Implants. Implants can secure a denture, enabling you to eat all the foods you love again – including apples! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.