Making Smiles Last

One of the most prevalent problems patient’s present with is gum disease. Gum disease is preventable and treatable. The rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once – bedtime is a good time. If you’re lacking confidence in your technique or noticing some bleeding during your home care routines, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for an exam and some assistance with improving your skills and selecting the type of toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste that is most suited for your needs.

 

The fact that we are living longer also increases the likelihood of encountering problems that challenge our one and only set of permanent adult teeth. In addition to gum disease and root cavities, these include chips, cracks, and fractures in addition to general wear and tear and staining.

 

Staining is normal and you can stay ahead of it by limiting food and beverages that you know are problematic like coffee, tea, juices, wine and cigarettes and with regular thorough professional cleaning in addition to your home care routines. You can also opt for home or professional whitening procedures that are both fast and cost effective.

 

A combination of today’s more active lifestyle combined with thinning enamel and ageing fillings and restorations also make your teeth very susceptible to chipping or cracking as you get older. Corrective options include crowns which can be used in numerous ways. The damaged tooth can be prepared to receive a new ceramic or porcelain restoration that looks, feels, and behaves like a real tooth, a bridge can be created by combining multiple crowns, and a crown can be attached to an artificial root or implant.

 

For restoring moderately damaged teeth, veneers can be created from the same enamel-coloured bonding material we use to create white fillings. Porcelain veneers are another option. These ultra-durable restorations can be adhered directly to existing teeth with minimal alteration to the original surface. Veneers are natural looking, colour-matched to existing teeth, and they can strengthen and brighten your smile by disguising stains for up to fifteen years with care.

 

Young or old, as you can see, maintaining a healthy mouth and a healthy body for your lifetime is really about paying attention – to home care, regular dental visits, and even something as simple as wearing a protective sports mouthguard.

 

And please remember that you can always feel free to ask us about preserving your smile. Your calls are always welcome!

 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and all your loved ones!

 

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Your Mouth Is Key … To Overall Body Health!

Every day there is more and more evidence that proves the important connection between your oral health and your overall body health. In our own career we have seen increasing collaboration between dentistry and medicine because inflammatory diseases are common to both health management groups. That is, there are many ways in which researchers are linking gum diseases with systemic diseases and other conditions that you may have or may eventually develop including cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases are not the only risk for those with poor oral health. People with diabetes, for example, are more likely to have gum disease than people who do not, and gum disease makes it more difficult for the diabetic to control blood-sugar levels. Some research has shown that when periodontal infections were treated, the management of diabetes markedly improved, and research continues in this promising area. As well, a number of studies have demonstrated that periodontal care significantly reduces the medical costs associated with diabetes, and New York University has sponsored a feasibility study to use gingival blood from periodontal patients as a means of diagnosing diabetes and identifying prediabetes.

There really isn’t enough time or space in one blog to address the mouth-body link in its entirety. Suffice to say that a comprehensive body of evidence from both long-term and short-term studies that are both credible and reliable has linked gum diseases with arthritis, cancers, osteoporosis, hearing loss, and complications of pregnancy in addition to the topics discussed here.

So what to do? Prevention is best, but treatment and monitoring run a close second. Gum disease begins at or below the gumline. Left untreated, these infections can lead to inflammation, which leads to bleeding. Your gums, previously an intact system, have become a wound, providing an open gateway for invading bacteria. Many scientists believe that harmful oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream through damaged gums and travel throughout your body. Your immune system can’t always fight the resulting infection.

Bottom line? Regardless of the mechanism, the link between gum disease and systemic diseases is clear. If you have poor oral hygiene, or tend to delay routine examinations, you might be putting more than your teeth in jeopardy. We encourage you to call our office, make and keep your appointments, and bring your questions with you.

Drummond Dental Group

© Patient News

Good Habits Start Early

Oral health education is vital if we want to prevent early childhood tooth decay and gum disease, both of which have been shown to affect general health for a lifetime. In fact, we encourage our patients to keep their children’s teeth healthy even before birth by looking after their own oral health. There are two reasons for this. The first is that expectant mothers with poor oral health may be at greater risk of developing toxemia or gestational diabetes, and their babies may be born prematurely and/or have a low birth weight. The second is that once babies arrive, parents can actually transmit oral bacteria to them simply by kissing, and later on by blowing on their food or sharing eating utensils.

Although a first dental visit won’t happen until about age one (approximately 6 months after the first tooth), it’s crucial to establish good home care early. While it may seem odd to clean your infant’s gums with a clean damp cloth after each feeding, it’s an excellent routine to get into. It is healthy for the gums and a clean mouth is less likely to create bacteria that could cause cavities even before first teeth come through. This is to avoid baby bottle tooth decay caused by milk, juice, or sweetened liquid at naptime or bedtime, and to avoid teeth and bite misalignment due to sucking. The same bite issues exist with pacifiers, fingers, and thumbs, common comforts which often continue after weaning.

As soon as the first teeth come in, we usually suggest brushing them with a small soft-bristled toothbrush and water. We don’t generally recommend toothpaste before age two, but during visits we can help with choosing the right time to start and the right toothpaste to use. Children can be sensitive to strong or spicy flavors like peppermint and cinnamon, so we always recommend a mild-tasting one and using only a pea-sized amount. Fluoridated pastes should be kept where kids can’t get at them without your help.

We think that one of life’s little pleasures is taking your child shopping for a fancy child-sized brush and letting them pick one out. It’s worth tossing in that extra buck for a cartoon character, just to see their faces! At home, set up a little stool so they can look in the mirror “eye to eye” and reach the faucet without stretching. What a milestone! Good brushing takes at least three minutes, which is a long time for a child to focus, so it’s okay to work up to it gradually, although you may have to follow up to ensure the job is thorough. This is especially important before sleep (naps and nighttime) when less saliva means greater risk of cavities.

Brushing can be fun! In our experience if you keep making it a high point in their day, they’ll do it with pleasure!
© Patient News

From Gum Disease …To a Healthy Smile

cartoon next appt.

We sometimes feel that we are harping about gum disease at the office, but we really do see it as the #1 dental problem for adults. While most of us will experience it to some degree at some time during our lives, credible estimates of the number of stricken adults run from 75-90%. That’s a lot of potential suffering.

There are certain conditions and times of life that can predispose you to gum disease:
• a poor diet that is lacking in vitamins, minerals, calcium, and antioxidants which can help you to fight disease and build healthy teeth and gums
• lack of effective home-care routines and dental visits to monitor your oral health
• systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
• stress, smoking, and alcohol consumption
• medications that can cause dry mouth or otherwise affect your gums
• times of hormonal fluctuations including pregnancy, menopause, and male andropause
• Outdated or ill-fitting restorations like dentures that rub your gums, or fillings, crowns, or bridges that interfere with your ability to keep your teeth clean, especially near the gumline.

Gum disease is preventable, treatable, and sometimes though not always, reversible. The truth is that for most people, gum disease worsens slowly, and there’s no way to determine its severity without coming in for a detailed examination. Let us help you be in your best health!

© Patient News