Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Does Your Dentist’s Title Mean?

You have likely noticed the string of letters after you dentist’s name, but do you know what they mean? Well, we are here to clarify what that list of letters actually means.

First of all, that string of consonants indicates that your dentist graduated from an accredited dental school. This means that your dentist is trained and certified as a dentist and have had the proper training to treat you. If you ever run into a dentist who lacks these letters, then you’ll want to think twice before scheduling an appointment.

D.D.S. means Doctor of Dental Surgery, and D.M.D. means Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine. Whether your dentist has a D.D.S. or a D.M.D., it means that they have the same education and have met the same requirements as other dentists, but they simply have a different title.

To become a dentist, you must have completed an applicable undergraduate degree, and then you must attend four years of dental school to become a general dentist. A lot goes into your dentist’s training, so you can trust them to know what’s best for your oral health.

November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month, a time where America focuses directly on the disease that affects over 29 million Americans. According to the American Diabetes Association, that’s about 9.3% of the entire population.

Diabetes, in its simplest form, is a disease that affects your body’s ability to process sugar. No, not the sugar you find next to the flour and salt in the kitchen. This is the sugar that our body uses for energy, also known as glucose. Right about now, you should be having flashbacks to 10th grade Biology. Don’t worry— we’re not going to test you on this.

For type one diabetes, the body’s pancreas produces little to no insulin, the hormone that turns sugar into energy. This type is temporarily treated by insulin injections two to three times a day. Since sugar intake is affected by so many factors (food, stress, emotions, etc.) the challenge with type one diabetes is knowing precisely how much insulin to take. Too much insulin can cause your body to burn too much glucose, resulting in your blood sugar dropping to a dangerously low level. Too little, and you won’t have enough energy, causing your sugar levels to skyrocket.

For type two diabetes, your body stops responding to insulin completely. Insulin is a key that opens blood cells, allowing energy to enter. With type two, the insulin is unable to open the blood cells, access completely denied. This type is most commonly associated with a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Typically type two develops after the age of 35, but according to the Diabetes Research Institute, an alarming number of young people are developing this disease, with cases as early as three years old.

However, one of the biggest concerns for patients with diabetes is periodontal disease. An astounding 22% of people with living with diabetes also have periodontal disease. If left untreated, this ruthless disease can destroy your gums, the tissues inside your mouth, and eventually find its way to your teeth. Since diabetics struggle with sugar control, their gums start to deteriorate, leaving them susceptible to long-term infections.

So, what can you do? The ADA recommends five practices you can do to avoid periodontal disease.

  • To your best ability, try to control your sugar levels; we know it’s easier said than done. A healthy blood sugar is the key to your body’s immune system.
  • Avoid smoking, and all other tobacco products. We’re looking at you Vapes and chewing tobacco.
  • If you’re wearing dentures, be sure to clean them thoroughly each day.
  • Brush twice a day and don’t forget to floss!
  • Finally, see your dentists for regular check-ups. By visiting the dentist every six months you can kick infection and the possibility of infection in the butt.

With 1 in 5 cases of tooth loss linked to diabetes, this disease is not something to be taken lightly. November might be for turkey, mashed potatoes, and eating as much as you can, but make sure you leave room for diabetes awareness.

Relief for Tooth Sensitivity

For those who suffer from sensitive teeth, some of the more mundane things (e.g. sipping from a cold beverage or eating a bite of their favorite food) can be an agonizing endeavor.

Not only is tooth sensitivity painful, but it can also lead to serious oral health problems. Tooth sensitivity is caused when enamel is worn down, creating small, porous tubes in the enamel which exposes nerve endings to extreme temperatures.

Luckily, researchers have created a paste based on the natural makeup of teeth that promises longterm relief. Tests have shown that the paste will actually begin to close up these tubes in the enamel, where previous treatments were much less effective.

If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, contact our office today to discuss treatment options!

Source

The Reason Why Cheese is Good for Your Teeth

Did you know that eating cheese could help you fight cavities?

While it may come as a surprise, a 2014 study in the Academy of General Dentistry clinical journal points to the fact that cheese is good for your teeth. That’s right, that slice of sharp cheddar is looking better and better.

The reason? It all has to do with pH levels. If the pH level in your mouth is below 5.5 (too acidic) you are at risk for tooth decay and erosion, or the wearing away of the enamel. Without this glossy, protective outside layer, your teeth lose their main line of defense against cavities and other oral health problems.

After eating cheese, there was a rapid increase of saliva production in those participating in the study. As their saliva levels increased, the participants’ oral pH levels increased as well. This discovery led doctors to believe that cheese may help ward off cavities. So go ahead and add cheese to the list of foods to eat for a healthy mouth.

Next time you bring a salad for lunch, you have an excuse to crumble up some feta for an added health benefit for your teeth!

Source

If You Found Something Weird in Your Mouth, It Could Be This!

Human nature usually leads us to jump to conclusions. We get really nervous when we find a new lump, bump, or mole on our body, because we know it doesn’t belong and it wasn’t there before. However, if you’ve found a soft swelling in the mouth, it could simply be a mucocele, which is a harmless cyst.

A mucocele is found on a small salivary gland and often swells into a cyst when one of the saliva ducts in your mouth is damaged or blocked. Everything, from biting your cheek to sucking on your lower lip, can cause damage to the ducts that makes a cyst form.

Mucoceles can usually be found on the inside of your lower lips, your gums, or the roof of your mouth. They are moveable, painless, soft, round, dome-shapes, and are usually clear or bluish in color. While mucoceles are harmless and usually go away on their own, you should go see your dentist if one does stick around and become enlarged. Dealing with it on your own is not a good idea; only your dentist or doctor will know the right way to treat a mucocele.

Source

Do You Know What a Prosthodontist Does? And How They Could Change Your Life?

When meeting someone, the most prominent feature is your smile. According to a recent survey cited by USA Today, 47% of people notice the smile on first impression, while only 31% notice the eyes.

For centuries, artists and architects have recognized the importance of symmetry and proportion in concepts of beauty, and have implemented them into all aspects of their work. Yet, perhaps the most stunning displays of such artistry are evident in the human body. For example, the relationship between the length of your nose, the position of your eyes, and the length of your chin is an important variable in the mathematical equation of beauty. But how your smile matches the rest of the face is just as important, which raises the question—what makes a smile beautiful?

“Every person has a unique smile that fits their facial structure,” says Dr. Ryan Blissett, a Harvard-trained prosthodontist. “The secret is in knowing how to create a smile that best complements the rest of their facial features.”

There are basic guidelines to which prosthodontists adhere. For example, the “Golden Proportion,” also known as the “Magic Ratio,” is based on a very specific formula derived from mathematics and nature. In dentistry, the “Golden Propor- tion” is a method used to determine the ideal size and shape relationships for teeth. But the end result is as subjective as it is mathematical. An eye for facial esthetics that goes above and beyond what is taught in dental school is the craft of great cosmetic dentists.

Prosthodontic dental specialists have extensive training in esthetic and recon- structive dentistry and are considered true cosmetic dentists. They take the pro- portions of the face, age, ethnicity, and even personality into consideration in the restoration of their patient’s teeth and self-confidence.

For example, canted eyes are beautifully paired with teeth that are also oriented along an angle; teeth that are completely straight across would look out of place. Age is also a factor. “Lengthening” teeth, which is accomplished by removing gum tissue, can make teeth look thinner and younger. Ethnicity influences the shape and size of teeth as well. Your facial midline, existing teeth, and shape of your lips also play a role in smile design.

A lot goes into the design of your smile, so if you are interested in crafting the perfect smile for you, then visit a prosthodontist today or ask your dentist about how a smile makeover could benefit you.

The Rise of Oral Vaccines

Throughout history, vaccines have been a hot topic, especially lately. While vaccination is an efficient way to prevent infectious diseases, the rise of oral vaccines proves to be an even more efficient and cost-effective way to prevent infectious diseases.

Oral vaccinations, until now, have focused on preventing diseases that enter the body through mucosal surfaces such as the nostrils, lips, mouth, eyelids, and other areas with a mucous membrane. This means that most oral vaccinations are used to prevent intestinal, respiratory, and genital tract infections.

Research is being done to see if oral vaccines would be as effective with diseases that are not spread through mucosal surfaces. Until then, vaccines, such as the polio vaccine can be taken orally. The poliovirus typically multiples in the intestines, so an oral vaccine is appropriate for this infectious disease.

A benefit of oral vaccines is that they remove the need for a needle. Needle disposal and proper use has been a great concern for many administering vaccinations. By removing the need for a needle, vaccinations become safer and easier. Taking the vaccine by mouth means that many people can administer it, rather than just a doctor. Oral vaccines make vaccinations more accessible to patients.

If you are interested in oral vaccines, talk to your healthcare provider to learn more.

Source 1, Source 2

Four Side Effects to Not Brushing Your Teeth

Dentists around the world encourage brushing at least twice a day, every day. But why? Aside from the cosmetic perks of brushing your teeth, there are many additional health benefits to keep your pearly whites… well… pearly white!

Halitosis
Most obviously, brushing your teeth daily wards off halitosis (popularly known as bad breath)! Brushing helps remove the food left in your mouth after a meal. When leftover food particles aren’t dislodged by regular brushing the enzymes in your saliva begin to break them down. An odorous, sulfurous compound is produced while your saliva cleans up your leftovers, creating an overall bad smell in your mouth. Brushing twice a day helps to disrupt this process and keeps your breath fresh and clean!

Bacteria
When you don’t take the time to brush your teeth before bed or after breakfast, you’re allowing bacteria to thrive in your mouth. Not only is this a distasteful prospect, but it results in plaque buildup along your gums and between your teeth. Regular brushing is a daily battle with bacteria and continually disrupts the build-up of plaque. If plaque is left unchecked for too long, it turns into tartar. Tartar is a tough, thick, yellow staining that causes bleeding and inflammation to your gums. Tartar is resistant to usual brushing habits and complete tartar removal usually involves a visit to your dentist. Aside from being unsightly and difficult to remove, tartar is the typically the first step towards major oral health problems.

Tooth Decay
Unbridled tartar can create serious problems in your overall oral health. Plaque and tartar work together to eat away at your teeth and gums, allowing other, nastier bacteria deeper access to your gums. Teeth that continually make contact with tartar will weaken and decay over time, potentially leading to cavities and tooth loss.

Disease
Bacteria and Tartar with prolonged access to the gums can infiltrate the bloodstream and cause serious health problems – and not just in your mouth! Not only is poor dental hygiene a direct cause for periodontal disease, but it’s also linked with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), heart attacks, pneumonia, dementia, and respiratory infections.

Brushing your teeth twice daily is an important step in disrupting the slippery slope of tartar and plaque build-up. Leaving the bacteria in your mouth unchecked could lead to severe health consequences down the road.

Source 1

Source 2

Top 5 Teething Tips for Parents

The eruption of your baby’s first tooth is an exciting milestone that parents often look forward to. However, it can also be a confusing, stressful time if you aren’t sure what to expect from the teething process. Whether you’re a veteran parent looking to improve your next child’s teething experience, or a new or expecting parent just looking for some guidance, look no further than this handy guide.

Tip #1: Know the Signs
The most important way to help your baby teethe is to properly identify signs of teething! If your baby is drooling more than usual, acting crankier or more irritable than usual, or biting everything in sight, those first couple of teeth may be on their way.

Tip #2: Stock Up

As soon as you’re certain that your child is teething, you’re going to want to have a few things on hand. Teething rings are commonly given to babies to gnaw on; the pressure can be soothing to them. Alternatively, you can freeze small pieces of soft fruit like banana or mango to cool and numb baby’s mouth while also serving as a nutritious snack. Clean, chilled washcloths can also be helpful to chomp on, as they mold more easily to the shape of the child’s mouth, and can get toward the back teeth more easily than a plastic ring can.

Tip #3: Keep It Clean!

Make sure you’re consistently wiping drool away from your baby’s chin. If drool is left to run and dry, it can cause painful skin irritation on the face. Additionally, as soon as any teeth are visible, give them a gentle brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny swipe of toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice.

Tip #4: Don’t Confuse the Symptoms

Many parents believe that fever and diarrhea are simply side effects of teething, but this isn’t the case. If your child is feverish or otherwise sick during the teething process, take them to the doctor!

Tip #5: Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Now that your child is growing their first set of teeth, it’s time to start caring for them! The American Dental Association recommends that children begin regular dental checkups six months after the eruption of their first tooth. If your child is teething now, it’s time to give your dentist a call and begin forming healthy dental habits that will last a lifetime!

Source

Missing Teeth & Cardiovascular Health

Since you’ve been visiting the dentist as a child, you’ve been aware that oral health is important; but recent studies have been linking good hygiene to more than just nice teeth. A study done by the University of Helsinki found an association between tooth loss and cardiovascular events, diabetes, and even death.

The study, which encompassed 8,446 subjects, ages 25-75, produced two major finds:

“More than five missing teeth increased the risk for coronary heart disease events and myocardial infarctions as much as 140 %.”

“More than nine missing teeth indicated an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (51%), diabetes (31%) and death (37%).”

The research has shows a link between tooth loss and cardiovascular health. Tooth loss is most commonly caused by periodontitis. When the gum recedes, the tooth becomes loose and can fall out.

It turns out that taking care of your oral health could help keep your overall health in check. Haven’t had your second checkup this year? Schedule a visit with our office today!

Source