By Wang and Cortes Dental
August 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
StopGumDiseaseBeforeitThreatensYourDentalImplant

Teeth-replacing dental implants not only look life-like, they’re made to last. For one thing, the metals and dental materials used in them are impervious to bacterial infection.

But that doesn’t mean implants are impervious to failure. Implants depend on the bone and other natural mouth structures for support. If the bone becomes weakened due to disease, the implant could become unstable and ultimately fail.

Peri-implantitis, the condition that can lead to this kind of failure, is a major concern for implant longevity. It’s a type of periodontal (gum) disease triggered by plaque, a thin film of food particles that can build up quickly in the absence of adequate brushing and flossing. The gum tissues around the implant become infected and inflamed.

If the infection isn’t properly treated with renewed oral hygiene and clinical plaque removal, it could spread below the gum line and begin to damage the underlying gum tissues and bone. This could destroy the all-important connection between the titanium implant post and the bone. The implant could eventually loosen and become completely detached from the bone.

The key is early intervention before the bone becomes damaged. Besides plaque removal we may also need to apply antibiotics in some form to control the growth of disease-causing bacteria. If the disease has fairly advanced we may also need to consider surgical repair to strengthen the attachment between implant and bone.

You can help to avoid peri-implantitis altogether by practicing consistent daily brushing and flossing around all your teeth including the implant, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. And by all means see your dentist if you notice any signs of gum swelling, redness or bleeding. Staying on top of your gum health will help not only the natural tissues and remaining teeth in your mouth, it will help preserve your implants for decades to come.

If you would like more information on maintaining your dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Wang and Cortes Dental
July 24, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
JohnnysTeethArentRottenAnyMore

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?

By contactus@yoursouthtampadentist.com
July 18, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health, but it can also be detrimental to your oral health. I’m not just referring to having stained teeth, either; smoking can exacerbate a host of other dental problems that are directly linked to more severe health conditions such as heart disease. If you’re worried about being judged when you come in for an examination, don’t be. The following list of smoking-related dental problems is exactly why it’s so important for smokers to visit the dentist.

 

  1. Smoking increases your chances of tooth decay. Smoking slows the production of saliva, which is nature’s way of cleaning your teeth. When your salivary glands aren’t functioning normally, your teeth are left vulnerable to plaque and debris that can cause cavities.

  2. Smoking increases your risk of gum disease. Smokers produce more plaque than non-smokers, and when plaque builds up along the gumline, it irritates the gums. Smoking also results in reduced oxygen in the bloodstream, which means that irritated gums take longer to heal. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults, and according to a study conducted by Ohio State University, more than 40% of gum disease cases are the result of smoking.

  3. Smoking increases your risk of other health concerns. People with gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart disease, strokes, and diabetes among others. Because smoking prevents the immune system from functioning properly, smokers are unable to fight off infection effectively.

  4. Smoking increases your risk of cancer. Not just lung cancer, either. Smokers and smokeless tobacco users are more likely to get oral cancers than those who don’t smoke. This includes cancers affecting the throat, and cancer of the cheeks, gums, and tongue, as well.

 

If you or a loved one smoke and are not coming in for regular examinations, it’s time to make a change. We do so much more than just clean your teeth; we can catch gum disease before it happens and screen the inside of your mouth for signs of cancer, as well. Ultimately, I want you to quit smoking because I want you to be healthy, but when you come in for your appointment, know that you will not be judged. If you are visiting regularly, then you are taking a step in the right direction - toward improved oral and overall health.

 
By contactus@yoursouthtampadentist.com
July 18, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

 

 

It’s time for the kids to go back to school, and you know what that means: shopping for new clothes, hitting the office supply stores to pick up every last item on your child’s supply list, visiting the doctor for back-to-school physicals, and getting the little ones back on a schedule. I know it’s already a busy time, but I want you to add one more thing to your back-to-school routine: a dental checklist.

 

  • Schedule dental appointments for your child. Check the school’s academic calendar and testing schedule to make sure your little one won’t miss any critical lessons or standardized tests. Teacher inservice days are usually a good bet if you don’t want your child to miss school.

  • Get your kids back into healthy routines. When they’re staying up later and sleeping in, it’s easy to skip flossing every now and then. Since you’re getting back into a regular schedule, anyway, now is a great time to get back to brushing and flossing daily.

  • Plan lunches and snacks. Planning ahead will prevent you from grabbing convenience lunches like “Lunchables” and give you an opportunity to pack healthy snacks and meals that are good for your children’s teeth and overall health.

  • Prepare for fall sports. If you child is involved in a school sport or fitness class, make sure you invest in a good mouthguard to protect those little teeth. Make sure it fits properly, as if it is uncomfortable, your child will be less likely to use it.

 

It’s so important to start each school year off on the right foot, and a good way to start is by establishing routines. If you make your child’s dental health a priority, then strong, healthy teeth will be as routine as helping with homework. Contact our office today to schedule your child’s semi-annual appointments. I look forward to watching them grow and seeing them smile.

By Wang and Cortes Dental
July 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: fluoride  
3CommonSourcesofFluorideYouMightNotKnowAbout

In the early 1900s, a Colorado dentist noticed his patients had fewer cavities than the norm. He soon found the cause: naturally occurring fluoride in their drinking water. That discovery led to what is now heralded as one of the most important public health measures of the last century — the use of fluoride to prevent tooth decay.

While you're most likely familiar with fluoride toothpaste and other fluoridated hygiene products, there are other sources of this chemical you should know about — especially if you're trying to manage your family's fluoride intake. Here are 3 of these common sources for fluoride.

Fluoridated drinking water. Roughly three-quarters of U.S. water utilities add fluoride to their drinking water supply under regulations governed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal government currently recommends 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water as the optimum balance of maximum protection from tooth decay and minimal risk of a type of tooth staining called dental fluorosis. You can contact your local water service to find out if they add fluoride and how much.

Processed and natural foods. Many processed food manufacturers use fluoridated water in their processes. Although not always indicated on the packaging, there are often traces of fluoride in cereals, canned soups, fruit juices or soda. Many varieties of seafood naturally contain high levels of fluoride and infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water can exceed the level of fluoride in breast or cow's milk. Beer and wine drinkers may also consume significant levels of fluoride with their favorite adult beverage, particularly Zinfandel, Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Clinical prevention measures. As part of a child's regular dental treatment, dentists may apply topical fluoride to developing teeth, especially for children deemed at high risk for tooth decay. This additional fluoride can be applied in various forms including rinses, gels or varnishes. The additional fluoride helps strengthen a child's developing enamel and tooth roots.

How much fluoride your family ingests depends on a number of factors like your drinking water, food purchases and dental hygiene products and procedures. If you have any concerns about how much fluoride you're encountering in your daily life, please be sure and discuss them with your dentist.

If you would like more information on fluoride's benefits for dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Fluoride & Fluoridation in Dentistry.”





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