Dental Xrays Are Essential

Published on May 13, 2019 by

Dental x-rays are essential in helping dentists identify hidden tooth decay, plaque and tartar buildup and potential root rot, among other things. Finding these issues as early as possible is essential in implementing an effective treatment plan that can get rid of them. Without dental x-rays, problems that are not immediately visible could go undiagnosed and could get progressively worse, leading to worse problems that are harder to treat and can be extremely threatening to your overall health.

Osteoporosis and Dental Health

Published on May 2, 2019 by

What do we know about osteoporosis? We may know that this disease makes the bones more brittle and vulnerable. We may know that osteoporosis is the cause of many a broken hip or curved spine as we age. We may even know that, for a number of reasons, women are far more likely to develop this disease. What we may not be aware of is the impact osteoporosis can have on our dental health.
“Osteoporosis” means “porous bones.” It is a disease that makes the bones more likely to fracture or break, as the body’s careful balance of absorbing old bone tissue and replacing it with new healthy bone tissue is disrupted. We lose bone tissue faster than we can create new, dense bone tissue. Why is this important for our dental health? Because the fitness of our teeth depends on the fitness of the bones surrounding and securing them in our jaws.
How does osteoporosis affect dental health?
• Osteoporosis reduces density in the bones and bone tissue that hold our teeth in place. Studies have shown that women with osteoporosis have significantly more tooth loss than women without the disease.
• Periodontitis, or gum disease, can also cause deterioration in the bone surrounding the teeth. This is a time to be proactive with gum health to avoid infections and further bone loss.
• Denture wearers may find that their dentures no longer fit properly due to changes in bone structure. Bone loss needs to be addressed promptly to avoid having to replace dentures.
• Rarely, bone-strengthening medications for osteoporosis can lead to serious jaw problems after dental procedures that involve the jawbone (such as extractions). Always tell us any medications you are taking before we schedule any dental treatment.
Unfortunately, osteoporosis often has no symptoms at all—until the first bone fracture. Checking our bone density is important as we age, and one way of discovering changes in bone density is through your regular dental checkups. We can pinpoint changes in your X-rays through the years and will recommend that you see your physician if there is any indication of bone loss. If you have already been diagnosed with the disease, we have ideas to help maintain the health of your teeth and bones.
Many factors can increase your chance of developing osteoporosis. Age, illness, personal habits, medications, diet, genetics—any number of conditions can affect our bone health.

Root Planing and Scaling- Deep Cleaning

Published on February 14, 2019 by

What is a deep teeth cleaning?

A dental deep cleaning, sometimes referred to as gum therapy, is a treatment that cleans between the gums and teeth down to the roots. Like a regular cleaning, the hygienist or dentist will clean the tooth, gum line and sides of the teeth. However in a deep teeth cleaning, they continue to remove tartar buildup down below the gum line to the root of the tooth. This process can also be referred to as a “root planing and scaling” and may require several visits in order to complete the treatment. It is more extensive than a standard cleaning and is designed to treat gum disease and to stop it from becoming worse.

What’s the difference between a deep teeth cleaning and a regular teeth cleaning?

Your mouth is full of bacteria and plaque, which is why a twice daily habit of brushing and flossing is recommended. Routine exams and cleanings help to remove the plaque that builds up on your teeth each and every day. Most of that plaque is found near the gum line, where most of us miss when brushing. Plaque hardens to tartar and that is what dental hygienists clean in a regular cleaning.

If a regular tooth brushing habit isn’t followed, or if you have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, your gums may show signs of gingivitis – red, swollen gums that bleed easily when touched. If left untreated, this can result in periodontal disease, an infection of the gum and bone that support your teeth which can lead to eventual tooth loss.


To determine if the infection exists, x-rays and pocket depth readings are taken into consideration. When there is evidence of this infection, the need for interceptive gum therapy is required with the goal to prevent disease progression. When you hear your hygienist call out 4, 5 or 6, it’s time to take action…yes, the deep teeth cleaning!

To compare a regular teeth cleaning with a deep teeth cleaning is almost like comparing apples and oranges because they are designed to do very different things. The goal of a regular cleaning is preventative maintenance and the goal of a deep teeth cleaning is to stop the progression of periodontal disease.

Do I really need a deep teeth cleaning?

Only your dentist or dental hygienist can tell you for sure. If your visit to the dentist reveals significant pockets- those 4mm or greater, then you are at risk for (or in the stages of), periodontal disease. This makes you a candidate for the therapy (a deep teeth cleaning) and it is highly recommended if you want to stop and prevent the progression of the disease. Without treatment, the bacteria that created the pockets in your gums will continue to create plaque, tartar, and bone loss.

If your dentist or hygienist says you need a deep teeth cleaning, you owe it to your overall health to take care of it.

Take their advice on the type of cleaning you need and save your teeth, and your health!

New Year’s Resolutions: Don’t Forget Oral Hygiene!

Published on January 2, 2019 by


Brush at Least Twice a Day and Floss at Least Once a Day

Brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and gum disease, which is caused by your teeth’s most persistent enemy, plaque – a sticky, colorless, invisible film of harmful bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day. Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health, only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begins.

Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums, which may worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums (gingivitis) and, eventually, gum disease. Because diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body, it is especially important to maintain good oral health.

By seeing your dentist at least twice a year, you can help prevent any dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and recommend a dental health regimen to address areas of concern.

For this new year, resolve to treat your mouth right by improving your oral hygiene habits – your teeth and your body will thank you for it!

What does it mean to have deep gum pockets?

Published on December 5, 2018 by

A gum pocket is the space or gap between our tooth and its surrounding gum. Your hygienist or dentist will use a tiny little ruler we call a probe to measure the space between your gum and tooth, the pocket. Healthy gums will fit snuggly around the tooth and the measurement will be between 1-3mm.

When there is plaque or tartar around or below the gum, it starts to pull away creating a deeper pocket due to inflammation and swelling from the bacteria. This is when the gum starts to have ‘pockets’ deeper than 3mm indicating some form of gum disease.

These deep pockets now allow for bacteria to travel down further below the gum and can start to affect and damage the bone around the teeth. The deeper the pocket is, usually the more severe the inflammation or disease is.

What is deep cleaning?

Generally, your hygienist or dentist will recommend a scale and clean every 6 months.

This will usually be a ‘regular’ hygiene clean appointment which involves a scale and polish and fluoride if required.

A deep cleaning also known as a root planing is different, it is prescribed for gum disease that has progressed or for pockets that are greater than 4mm.

It involves your hygienist or dental professional carefully using various scaling tools to work under the gum line to clean away the calculus, debris of food that is stuck and also bacteria.

A full mouth gum pocket measurement chart may also be required as a diagnostic tool to help monitor the progress of the gum disease.

Breastfeeding Babies

Published on February 2, 2018 by

Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Another benefit of exclusive breastfeeding, is a reduced risk of baby bottle tooth decay , the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. This type of tooth decay often occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle – even ones containing formula, milk or fruit juice. (Water is fine because the teeth won’t be bathed in sugary liquids for a prolonged time.) It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

Breastfed Babies Can Still Get Cavities

It’s one of the most common questions nursing mothers ask: Can breastfeeding cause cavities? Yes, it can. Although natural, breast milk, just like formula, contains sugar. That is why, breastfed or bottlefed, it’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. A few days after birth, begin wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth every day. Then, brush her teeth twice a day as soon as that first tooth emerges. Use fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

3 Most Common Dental Problems And How To Avoid Them

Published on December 1, 2017 by

What are some issues dentists see in their offices over and over again? Here are the most common (and very avoidable!) dental problems to know about:

1.) Cavities

When plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and eats away at enamel, it can form a hole in the tooth. Plaque is a sticky substance full of bacteria that feeds on sugar in the foods we eat. It produces acids that break down enamel, forming cavities. Once a cavity is formed, your dentist will have to fill it.

The best way to combat cavities is getting rid of plaque. You can do this by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and exam.

2.) Gum disease

Also know as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused when plaque attacks the gums. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, while the advanced stage is periodontitis. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and gums that bleed easily. If it advances to periodontitis, the gums will start to pull away from the teeth and form spaces that can become infected.

If not treated, this can lead to eventual tooth loose. Smoking, hormonal changes and diabetes can increase your chances of developing gum disease. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed with regular brushing and flossing.

3.) Enamel erosion

The enamel on your teeth can be worn down by the acids in foods and drinks, and by over-brushing. Signs of erosion include tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and cracks and chips. When your enamel erodes, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities, while tooth sensitivities may be severe and painful.

The best way to prevent enamel loss is to cut out highly acidic food and drinks, brush with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, and drink water throughout the day.

You may already be infected!

Published on October 14, 2017 by

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks your gums and bones and ligaments that support your teeth. It can damage your appearance and possibly your entire body.
Gum disease is sneaky…
1. It appears silently without symptoms and progresses slowly so you hardly notice until swollen and bleeding and bad breath seem normal.
2. Its severity can worsen due to inherited susceptibility, smoking, inconsistent home care, diet, and medications.
3. Gum disease has been linked to many systemic illnesses including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, cancers, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

We don’t want you to experience lost looks or lost health. We can help prevent and even reverse the earliest stages of gum disease. If you are like half of the population aged 30 or older and already have its more advanced form, we can help you with that too.

Published on July 31, 2017 by

Dry mouth—also called xerostomia—results from an inadequate flow of saliva. It is not a disease, but a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and many others.

Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection against microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

Some of the common problems associated with dry mouth include a constant sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages. In some cases, dry mouth can be an indicator of Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome. Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands, the tear-secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs.

Without saliva, extensive tooth decay can also occur. Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses.

Spring tips for a healthy mouth

Published on May 4, 2017 by

Doing some spring cleaning? While you’re busy beating rugs, cleaning curtains and organizing cabinets, don’t forget to check your bathroom counter! Add these four items to your checklist to include dental hygiene in your battle plan.

  1. Replace old or worn toothbrushes

Get in the habit of changing your toothbrush every three months. The ability of a toothbrush to reach small crevices decreases as its bristles wear down. Bacterial and viral infections are another reason to switch out an old toothbrush for a new one. Infectious agents can thrive among the bristles, with the potential to re infect you, so make sure to toss your toothbrush after every cold.

  1. Check the expiration date on your mouthwash

Most mouthwash has a shelf life that should be indicated on the bottle. Using mouthwash past the expiration date can affect not only its taste but also its effectiveness, so double check that yours is still good to go.

  1. Replenish your floss supply

The recommended length of floss is 18 inches per flossing session. With a daily flossing schedule, that adds up to roughly 45 feet of floss a month! Stock up to avoid running out.

  1. Schedule a dentist appointment

With cleanings recommended for every six months, regular visits to the dentist should already be a part of your schedule. If you’ve been skimping on these visits, or a new problem has popped up, call our office to set up an appointment. Seeing your dentist regularly is a good way to spot – and stop – problems before they become bigger, pricier and painful. Spring and fall are excellent times to book cleanings, as these seasons may be the least likely to conflict with potential vacation plans.