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Phone: 203-281-1233 • Fax: 203-407-0060

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Quick Word About Adult Fluoride Treatment

We have had patients ask us why we do fluoride treatments on adults, since “adults don’t get cavities.” This of course is not an accurate statement. Adults are extremely prone to new decay, recurrent decay and root decay. New decay is when cavity occurs on an unfilled surface of your tooth and between the teeth if one doesn’t floss. Recurrent decay is decay under or around existing dental restorations such as fillings and crowns. This is prevalent in older adults after the gums have receded. The root is softer and decay can spread faster. It is a known fact that fluoride helps strengthen one’s teeth. Therefore we recommend an adult fluoride treatment at each cleaning to protect your teeth, smile and investment. The fluoride treatment is two staged. It is one minute fluoride treatment given with the use of trays by the dental hygienist or dental assistant. The second Stage is the home fluoride gel/rinse given to each patient to continue using at home prior to going to bed. The home fluoride gel/rinse is a prescription strength fluoridated toothpaste/rinse to help provide extra protection between your dental visits. As mentioned this is a prescription dose of fluoride and should be kept away from children as any medication should. The recommended regimen is as follows: • Brush in the AM with a fluoridated regular toothpaste. • Brush after lunch (if possible). • Brush and floss prior to bed then apply home fluoride gel or rinse. • Visit our office regularly for your recare appointment. If you require more information, please do not hesitate to ask any of our qualified clinical staff.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Are dental x-rays dangerous?

Some people do not want diagnostic (check-up) x-rays because they have heard that the radiation from dental x-rays is dangerous. In fact, they pose very little danger. There are currently two methods of measuring exposure to radiation. The first and oldest unit of measure is called a rem. A rem is a large unit, so exposure to medical radiation is generally measured in millirems (mrem). (It takes a thousand millirems to make a rem.) Dental x-rays on the slowest speed film (very old technology) deliver about 4 mrem. Many dental offices today use faster film which reduce radiation by a factor of 2-4x. So, the average dose across the board is about 2 mrem per intraoral film. Thus, using the slowest speed film, a full mouth series of dental x rays (18 intraoral films) delivers about 72 mrem. A panorex film delivers about 8 mrem. By comparison, according to the National council on radiation protection and measurements, the average person in the US is exposed to about 360 mrem per year just from background sources. By this measure, it would take approximately 5 full series of dental radiographs on the slowest speed film to equal the background radiation that the average citizen is exposed to on a yearly basis. Note, that we take a new full series or Panorex every three to five years on average. We will update bite-wing or other individual x-rays on an individual basis. So, in summary, many offices use faster film (which is still older technology), reducing the dose of radiation per film by about half. Offices using digital radiography, like ours, which is the newest technology, reduce the radiation by much, much more. If you have any questions about this, please visit us at our office for an explanation. We have a chart that shows level of radiation exposure from dental x-rays and many other things we are exposed to on a daily basis. You would be happy to see that dental x-rays are in fact not what should worry us when it comes to radiation exposure.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Attention: Researchers find Gum disease and heart disease are related

This topic is appearing more often in the news today, and must not be ignored. Research has found that gum disease sufferers are nearly twice as likely to also suffer from coronary heart disease. Your risk of a stroke is higher as a result of having gum disease, and not treating it. Periodontal disease is a chronic condition in which the gum tissue surrounding the teeth is infected by the growth of bacteria. If it is left untreated, deep pockets form between the gums and the teeth and underlying jawbone is also destroyed, and cannot grow back. This is a process which is visible on the dental x-rays taken by your dentist. Researchers shows that some of these strains of bacteria enter the bloodstream and attach to the walls in the heart blood vessels. The bacteria then contribute to blood clot formation creating greater risk of a cardiac event to the patient. Periodontal disease causes severe inflammation in the gum tissue that elevates the white blood cell count and also the high sensitivity C-reactive protein levels. Studies have shown that elevated levels of C-reactive proteins have been linked to heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Individuals who experience particularly high levels of oral bacteria might have weaker immune systems, and therefore cannot fight the disease itself as well as those who do not, and so are more susceptible to disease. Since periodontal disease appears to be a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, it is extremely important to seek immediate treatment. Dentists and hygienists are able to conduct treatments to remove hardened calculus (tartar) deposits from the gum pockets. An antibiotic may be prescribed, and/or placed in the site of the infection to ensure that the bacterium is completely destroyed and the periodontal infection does not spread. In most cases, periodontal disease can be managed with regular follow-up cleanings and proper home care. Based on the severity of your disease, you may need to see your dentist more than twice a year to manage your condition. Source: E.A. Isola, DDS

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September, Self-Improvement Month….the Connection between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

Medical and dental research has proven that people with untreated gum disease are at significantly higher risk for developing heart disease and diabetes. Also, current patients who already have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, making the need for effective gum disease treatment a clear medical priority. Gum disease is proven to be connected with both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The ability to eliminate periodontal infection is one way of improving overall health, and guarding against other serious medical conditions as mentioned. DIABETES The connection between diabetes and periodontal disease is such where part of the body’s natural response to infection in the gums results in an increase in the blood sugar level. This happens as the bacteria from the gums travels through the bloodstream. For people who already have diabetes, this can make managing the disease far more difficult. Unmanaged diabetes opens patients up to the chance of kidney and eye damage, stroke or heart attack. For people without diabetes, a sustained increase in blood sugar levels makes contracting Type 2 diabetes far more likely than with normal blood sugar levels. Additionally, diabetics have a higher risk of gum disease because their bodies are less able to fight off infections than people without diabetes. HEART DISEASE The effects of periodontal disease extend to patients’ cardiovascular (heart) health as well. All people, whether or not they have diabetes, face far higher chances of having heart attacks if they have gum disease than do their counterparts with healthy gums. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans and as many as one-third of people with heart disease die due to their conditions. Talk to you dentist at your visits about gum disease, and whether you are at risk. A full periodontal assessment should be part of your visit. Dentists can help with persistent periodontal infection, as well as prevention, with many different treatment modalities, not just surgical intervention. (PRWEB), Dr. Tiger

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How Acidic Is Your Diet?

Experts believe that consuming as few as four acidic foods or drinks a day increases the risk of acid erosion of your teeth. This can weaken and even cause you to loose the protective layer of enamel off your teeth. This may cause you to be more susceptible to cavities and tooth pain. It also may increase sensitivity risk and even prevent you from being able to whiten your teeth. Whitening, in the presence of erosion, may cause damage. Are you at risk? Here is a sample list of acidity of certain foods (called pH). The lower the number, the higher the acidity, and therefore the higher risk of acid erosion. Even healthy foods and drinks like fruit and juices can have harmful levels of acidity. Studies show that tooth enamel (top tooth layer) begins to dissolve at a pH below 5.5 and dentin (second layer of a tooth) below 6.7. Lemon Juice 2.0-2.6 Wine 2.3-3.8 Sports Drinks 2.3-4.4 Tonic Water 2.5 Oranges 2.8-4.0 Apples 3.5-3.9 Orange Juice 3.7 Tomato Ketchup 3.9 Beer 4.0-5.0 Eggs 6.6 Whole Milk 6.7 Water 7.3 Be sure to speak to your dentist or hygienist about your diet and acid erosion. ****Source GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

Thursday, July 10, 2014

You Should See A Dentist Early, But How Early?

As a general dentist, I see patients that range in age from 1-100 years old. Patients are assessed and screened for different things based on their age. The earlier we see a patient the better. It is quite common to have bite discrepancies, jaw growth discrepancies, as well as missing permanent teeth. There can be habits that have changed the growth of the jaw, as well as problems with the TMJ (jaw joint). There can also be medication induced damage. As an example, a past history of something as simple as a high fever, can affect your teeth and their overall strength. If these items are found and diagnosed early, proper plans can be put in place to make the treatment palatable and predictable. The longer you wait to be seen, the more involved it may be to correct or repair the issue. In some cases we will not have a solution if it has been too long. Another example is a child can be diagnosed with missing permanent teeth very early in their life. A plan can be put together to properly maintain the primary (baby) teeth for many years. The assumption is that all patients will lose these teeth, but that is not so. A dentist can monitor their growth and the teeth around them to assure the patient does not lose them. Primary teeth can remain for a lifetime if the patient is seen early and monitored closely. This will save time and treatment for the patient, and significant cost savings can be realized. So, be seen early in life by the dentist, and at least twice a year. It will save you time and money, and ultimately your teeth for a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gum disease: 5 risk factors and how Things have Changed

Risk factors for gum disease include: 1. Age. Some studies show that older adults have the highest rates of periodontal disease. More than 70 percent of people in the U.S. who are 65 and older have periodontitis. 2. Tobacco use and/or smoking. In addition to being linked to cancer, lung disease, heart disease and other health issues, those who use tobacco may have an increased risk of periodontal disease. Studies have indicated that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors when it comes to developing and speeding the progression of periodontal disease. 3. Genetics. Some people may be genetically prone to having gum disease. Even if they brush, floss and see their dentist regularly, those with genetic dispositions may still be diagnosed with periodontal disease. Identifying these types of people with a genetic test before they show symptoms can lead to early intervention that could help them keep their teeth for life. 4. Grinding or clenching teeth. These actions can create extra force on the tissue that supports the teeth and could speed up the time it takes for periodontal tissue to be destroyed. There is an easy solution for this. 5. Obesity and poor diet. Diets lacking vital nutrients can impact the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight infection. Periodontal disease begins as an infection, so lack of nutrition can wreak havoc on the gums. Research also shows that obesity could increase the chances of getting periodontal disease. A gum disease (periodontitis or periodontal disease) diagnosis today is not as dire as it was years ago. If caught early at your screening appointments, it can be comfortably treated and reversed or slowed significantly. Also, with all the updated medical testing for osteopenia and osteoporosis, these diagnoses are coming earlier in life. The medications used to treat the condition must be taken in the presence of a healthy mouth. If you have gum disease, the physician may not allow you to take the medication if the gum disease is not treated. If the gum disease is too progressed, it could be too late. Joint replacement is also very common today. Without the replacement, your quality of life may be significantly affected. If you have periodontal disease, your surgeon may cancel the surgery. Patients need to be cleared by their dentist prior to having surgery. See your dentist regularly, and be consistently screened for periodontal disease. Have the necessary diagnostic information collected at your dentist, and you can be properly monitored. Your mouth is linked to total body health, and keeping it healthy will ultimately improve the quality of your life. Source: American Academy of Periodontology; Centers for Disease Control