What to do to keep gums healthy

 

Practicing good oral hygiene is the most important action that a person can take to prevent and treat gum disease. Most people tend to overlook their gums when it comes to oral health and focus on getting a bright, white smile instead. However, healthy teeth require healthy gums.

Here are tips from Medical News Today on how to keep your gums healthy! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, a person can take many steps to prevent and even reverse gum disease. These include:

  • brushing the teeth properly
  • choosing the right toothpaste
  • flossing daily
  • taking care when rinsing out the mouth
  • using mouthwash
  • having regular dental checkups
  • stopping smoking

This article examines how these step can help keep the gums healthy. We also provide diet tips for healthy gums and explain how to spot the signs of gum disease.

7 ways to keep the gums healthy

Adopting the following habits will help a person care for their teeth and gums properly, which, in turn, will help prevent gum disease.

1. Brush the teeth properly

Brushing the teeth properly is key to having a healthy mouth and gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that people follow the guidelines below:

  • Brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles begin to fray.
  • Brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Move the toothbrush in short strokes.
  • Press gently.
  • Clean the insides of the front teeth by turning the brush vertically and making several short strokes along each tooth.

2. Choose the right toothpaste

The toothpaste aisle in most stores will contain many varieties of toothpaste, from whitening products to formulas containing baking soda.

When choosing toothpaste, a person should ensure that it contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of approval on the packaging.

3. Floss daily

Many people neglect daily flossing, but the ADA recognize this habit as an important part of oral care.

Flossing removes food and plaque from between the teeth and gums. If the food and plaque remain in these areas, this can lead to tartar, which is a hard buildup of bacteria that only a dentist can remove. Tartar can lead to gum disease.

4. Rinse your mouth out with care

Many people rinse their mouth out after brushing their teeth. However, oral hygiene practices should complement the effectiveness of fluoride products, such as toothpaste.

When a person washes their mouth out with water after brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, they wash away the fluoride.

Conversely, when a person rinses their mouth out after eating, they may rinse away food and bacteria that can lead to plaque and tartar.

5. Use mouthwash

According to the ADA, there are two types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Both are available over the counter.

A therapeutic mouthwash can help:

  • prevent gum disease
  • reduce the speed at which tartar builds up
  • reduce the amount of plaque on the teeth
  • remove food particles from the mouth

However, people should not use mouthwash as a replacement for brushing and flossing.

A person should look for the ADA seal. This seal indicates that the manufacturer has demonstrated enough evidence to support the product’s safety and effectiveness.

The ADA state that children under the age of 6 years should not use mouthwash.

6. Get regular dental checkups

Dental checkups typically include a professional cleaning of the mouth. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar from the teeth. Professional cleaning can also help eliminate the plaque that a person may have missed when brushing their teeth.

With regular visits, a dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease and gingivitis, a condition in which the gums become inflamed. Early detection can help prevent more severe problems from occurring.

7. Stop smoking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking makes a person more susceptible to gum disease because it weakens the immune system.

The CDC recommend quitting smoking immediately to help reduce the risk of developing gum disease. The use of other tobacco products can also increase a person’s risk.

Diet tips

What a person eats can directly affect the health of their teeth and gums. Different foods can have a positive or negative impact on gum health.

Some of the foods that people should incorporate into their diet include:

  • high-fiber fruits and vegetables, as these can help clean out the mouth
  • black and green teas, which help reduce bacteria
  • dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as these foods help increase saliva production
  • foods that contain fluoride, which include water and some poultry and seafood products
  • sugar-free gum, as chewing it will increase saliva production

It is best to avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • carbonated soft drinks that contain phosphoric and citric acids as well as sugar
  • alcohol, as it can dry out the mouth
  • sticky candies and sweets that stay in the mouth for a while
  • starchy foods that can become stuck in the teeth

Signs and symptoms of unhealthy gums

People should be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Most gum disease starts with mild symptoms, but it can progress over time.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. People with gingivitis may have red, swollen gums that bleed easily. They may also have chronic bad breath.

Most people with gingivitis do not experience any pain or tooth loosening. A person can treat and reverse gingivitis with good oral hygiene and dental care.

Over time, untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when plaque and tartar spread below the gumline.

The bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums and trigger an inflammatory response, causing the body to destroy the tissues and bone that support the teeth

As periodontitis progresses, this damage worsens, leading to deepening pockets of space between the teeth and the connective tissues.

Periodontitis does not always cause symptoms initially. However, people may notice the following symptoms as the disease progresses:

  • receding gums, which can make the teeth appear longer
  • loose teeth
  • pus between the teeth or at the gumline
  • chronic bad breath
  • bleeding gums
  • red, puffy gums

Risk factors to avoid

Several risk factors can increase a person’s chances of getting gum disease. Some of these, such as aging, a person cannot control or avoid.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the following are some of the most common risk factors for developing gum disease:

Some diseases that affect the body’s inflammatory system can also increase the risk of gum disease. These diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

When to see a dentist

A person should see their dentist if they experience bleeding or pain in their gums that lasts for longer than a week. Swollen and red gums that bleed easily are a symptom of gum disease.

Some other signs and symptoms to look for include:

  • gums that pull back from the teeth
  • gums that bleed easily
  • swollen, red gums
  • sensitive teeth
  • teeth that feel loose in the mouth
  • pain while chewing
  • dentures no longer fitting correctly

Summary

Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. However, most people can prevent gum disease by adopting proper oral hygiene practices.

Steps to take include brushing the teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and taking care when rinsing out the mouth. ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste is available to purchase online.

Simple at-home oral care and dental checkups can help prevent and reverse gum disease. If a person begins to show any of the signs of gum disease, such as pain in the gums that lasts for longer than a week, they should see their dentist.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323534.php

What causes a bump on the roof of the mouth?

By: Elaine K. Luo, MD, Medical News Today

 

A bump on the roof of the mouth can be worrisome, especially if it does not go away quickly. Most causes of a bump on this part of the body are easily treatable, but it may also indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Can it be the reason to see our dentist now? More insights via Medical News Today! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

In this article, learn what can cause a bump on the roof of the mouth, including possible additional symptoms and when to see a doctor.

1. Canker sores

Canker sores can appear on the roof of the mouth.

Canker sores are round, open sores in the mouth. They may be white, yellow, or pale pink and are very sensitive.

Canker sores are most common in the cheeks and gums, but they can also appear in unusual places, such as the roof of the mouth.

There are various causes of canker sores, including biting the cheek while chewing and scratching the roof of the mouth.

These sores usually resolve within a couple of weeks. They are not contagious, but they can be painful or uncomfortable and may make eating difficult.

Some over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription oral creams may numb the pain.

2. Burns

Hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, or foods that have just finished cooking can burn the inside of the mouth, including the roof. If the burn is severe enough, a bump or blister can form.

Minor burns usually heal without treatment, as long as the person takes care to avoid irritating the sensitive skin.

3. Trauma or injury

The inside of the mouth is a sensitive area. Injury to the tissue on the roof of the mouth can lead to a bump forming.

This type of bump may result from:

  • puncture wounds
  • cuts
  • damage to the mouth from tobacco use
  • accidents from dental work
  • irritation from dentures

An injury may cause scar tissue to form in the mouth, which might be lumpy and raised. The sore may be painful or sensitive but will usually heal on its own.

Regularly rinsing the mouth with warm salt water may help promote healing.

4. Cold sores

Cold sores occur when a person has a herpes simplex virus outbreak. The virus produces blisters on the lips and in the mouth. They may also form on the roof of the mouth.

The signs and symptoms of cold sores may include:

  • a tingling sensation before the blisters appear
  • blisters that form in patches or clusters
  • oozing or open blisters that do not rupture
  • blisters that do rupture and crust over before healing

Unlike canker sores, cold sores are very contagious. The outbreak usually clears up without treatment, but it is important to avoid coming into close contact with anyone during that time to prevent spreading the virus.

A doctor may prescribe some medications to speed up the healing process if necessary.

5. Mucoceles

Mucoceles are oral mucous cysts that form due to an irritated or inflamed salivary gland. Mucus builds up in the gland, leading to a round, fluid-filled bump or growth.

Mucoceles are not usually a cause for concern and will heal without treatment, although this may take several weeks.

6. Torus palatinus

A very hard lump on the roof of the mouth may be a sign of torus palatinus. Torus palatinus is an extra bone growth that is benign and not indicative of an underlying condition.

The growth can appear at any age, and it may continue to grow throughout a person’s life. It will not usually require treatment unless it affects a person’s ability to eat, drink, or talk.

7. Candidiasis

Oral candidiasis can cause white bumps in the mouth.

Oral candidiasis is a form of yeast infection that may cause red or white bumps in the mouth.

It is vital to see a doctor or dentist for a proper diagnosis of oral candidiasis, as the symptoms may mimic those of other conditions.

A doctor is likely to recommend oral antifungal medication to treat the issue. They will also provide advice on how to prevent the infection in the future.

8. Hand, foot, and mouth disease

Coxsackievirus is the name of the virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). The virus infects the mouth, causing painful blisters and red bumps.

As the name suggests, the symptoms may also appear on the hands and feet. Other symptoms include fever and body aches.

HFMD is more common in young children, but it can affect anyone. Doctors may prescribe medicated mouthwash to help relieve symptoms while they treat the virus.

9. Epstein pearls

Parents who notice lumps in a baby’s mouth may be seeing Epstein pearls. These are cysts that commonly appear in newborns.

Epstein pearls are white or yellow and will go away a few weeks after the birth without causing any additional problems.

10. Hyperdontia

Although rare, a bump in the top of the mouth may be an extra tooth. People with hyperdontia grow too many teeth.

In the upper jaw, these extra teeth usually pop up just behind other teeth, but sometimes they can appear further back toward the roof of the mouth.

A person with hyperdontia may experience pain in the area where the extra tooth is growing as well as jaw pain and headaches.

Hyperdontia is treatable, and dentists can usually remove any extra teeth without complications.

11. Squamous papilloma

The human papillomavirus may also cause bumps to develop in the mouth. These growths are noncancerous, painless, and may have a bumpy, cauliflower-like texture.

Although they can be distracting, squamous papillomas often go away without treatment.

12. Oral cancer

Signs of oral cancer can include a sore that does not heal and an oddly shaped patch of tissue.

In rare cases, sores or bumps on the roof of the mouth may be cancerous. Bumps that occur due to oral cancer may be white, gray, or bright red, depending on the underlying cause. They may feel smooth or velvety.

Possible signs of oral cancer include:

  • a lump or sore that does not heal
  • a rapidly growing lump
  • an oddly shaped patch of tissue
  • open, bleeding sores

However, oral cancer is not the most likely cause of a bump on the roof of the mouth. Many people may confuse signs of oral cancer with other issues in the mouth.

It is crucial to give the sores time to heal. If a bump shows no signs of healing after 2 weeks, it is essential to speak to a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

When to see a doctor

While many bumps on the roof of the mouth will resolve without treatment, some may require medical intervention. A person should see a doctor for:

  • very discolored patches in the mouth
  • pain lasting more than a couple of days
  • a foul smell in the mouth
  • pain when chewing or swallowing
  • severe burns
  • dentures, retainers, or other dental devices that no longer fit properly
  • trouble breathing
  • a fast-growing bump
  • a bump that changes shape
  • a bump that does not go away after 2 weeks
  • a bump that interferes with daily life

Anyone who is concerned about a bump on the roof of their mouth should speak to a doctor, who can help determine the underlying cause and recommend treatment if necessary.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323063.php

Why is the roof of my mouth swollen?

By: Jenna Fletcher, Medical News Today

 

Many conditions may cause a swollen roof of the mouth, including sores, dehydration, and mucus buildups. In this article via Medical News Today, learn about six causes of a swollen roof of the mouth, and possible treatment or home remedies. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

The roof of the mouth consists of a bony plate at the front and a non-bone, soft section at the back. Together, these serve as a barrier between the oral and nasal cavities. From time to time, the roof of the mouth may become swollen.

Swelling on the roof of the mouth may be due to several potential causes, most of which will resolve with minimal treatment. In less common cases, the swelling may be due to a more serious condition.

Other symptoms may accompany the swelling, including:

  • blisters or other sores
  • dry mouth
  • muscle spasms
  • pain or discomfort

Read on to learn about the possible causes of swelling on the roof of the mouth.

Causes

A range of conditions can cause a swollen roof of the mouth, including:

1. Sores in the mouth

Most common mouth sores, such as canker sores and cold sores, will appear on the gums, cheeks, or lips. In some cases, they may appear on the roof of the mouth.

Sores can cause pain, blisters, and swelling. Some people may notice pain or swelling before the sore appears.

2. Injury or trauma

One of the most common causes of swelling on the roof of the mouth is an injury or trauma. Some of the most common causes of trauma include:

  • eating a hard food that may impact the roof of the mouth
  • eating or drinking an extremely hot item
  • a scratch from a sharp piece of food

3. Dehydration

Dehydration can cause swelling on the roof of the mouth. Dehydration can cause a dry mouth, which can result in swelling if a person does not take steps to relieve the condition.

Some common causes of dehydration and dry mouth include:

  • excessive alcohol intake
  • certain medications
  • not drinking enough water
  • excessive sweating, particularly on hot days or while exercising
  • illness

A person with dehydration that causes an electrolyte imbalance may also feel especially weak or experience muscle spasms.

 

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323028.php

 

 

What Anglo Saxon teeth can tell us about modern health

By: University of Bradford, Science Daily

Evidence from the teeth of Anglo Saxon children could help identify modern children most at risk from conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Learn more about these critical findings via ScienceDaily. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Researchers from the University of Bradford found that analysis of milk teeth of children’s skeletons from a 10th Century site in Northamptonshire, England, gave a more reliable indicator of the effects of diet and health than bone.

The study, published today, 6 September 2018, in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, shows that by analysing dentine from the milk teeth of the Anglo Saxon children, a picture emerges of the development of these children from the third trimester of pregnancy onwards, and is a proxy indicator of the health of the mothers. This is the first time that secure in utero data has been measured.

The skeletons analysed at the University of Bradford come from a settlement at Raunds Furnells and are from a group known to have been under nourished. The effect of this under nourishment, or stress, is to limit the growth of bones. This can limit the evidence available from analysis of bones alone, such as age.

Researchers were also able to look at children of different ages to see whether those who survived the first 1,000 days from conception, during which factors such as height are set, had different biomarkers for stress than those who died during this high-risk period.

Teeth, unlike bone, continue to grow under such stress and, unlike bone, record high nitrogen values. This evidence gives a clearer picture of what is happening to the child from before birth. The teeth are, in effect, acting as an archive of diet and health of both the child and mother.

Dr Julia Beaumont, of the University of Bradford’s School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, said: “This is the first time that we have been able to measure with confidence the in utero nitrogen values of dentine. We find that when bone and teeth form at the same time, bone doesn’t record high nitrogen values that occur during stress. Our hypothesis is that bone isn’t growing but teeth are. So archaeology can’t rely on the evidence from bones alone because bone is not forming and recording during high stress and we can’t be sure, for example, of the age of a skeleton. Teeth are more reliable as they continue to grow even when a child is starving.”

As well as the archaeological significance of this method of analysis, Dr Beaumont believes it has a direct application to modern medicine.

She said: “There is a growing consensus that factors such as low birthweight have a significant impact on our likelihood of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity and that the first 1,000 days from conception onwards set our ‘template’. By analysing the milk teeth of modern children in the same way as the Anglo Saxon skeletons, we can measure the same values and see the risk factors they are likely to face in later life, enabling measures to be taken to mitigate such risks.”

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180906123403.htm

Does teething cause a baby to vomit?

 

By: Karen Gill, MD, Medical News Today

 

Vomiting and fever may sometimes accompany teething. Teething is a normal part of a child’s development that may cause some discomfort. However, it is unlikely that teething is a direct cause of vomiting. The Medical News Today shares other possible causes of vomiting and discusses how to relieve the symptoms of teething. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

Teething is a natural process that every infant goes through. It can be an uncomfortable experience, and it can be concerning for parents and caregivers to see the infant experiencing pain and discomfort.

The symptoms of teething vary from one infant to another. Some babies do not have any symptoms at all when their teeth come in. Others may become mildly irritable, begin to drool, lose their appetite, or cry more than usual. In some cases, vomiting and fever can accompany teething.

Many people believe that vomiting while teething is normal. However, most experts now agree that teething does not cause generalized symptoms, such as vomiting, fever, rash, and diarrhea.

The caregivers of infants who experience vomiting when teething should visit a doctor or pediatrician to determine the underlying cause of this symptom.

What is teething?

Teething occurs when an infant’s teeth first begin to break through the gums. This typically takes place between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

The two front teeth on the lower jaw usually appear first, with the other front teeth following. Molars are next to break through in most cases, with the canines arriving last.

By the age of 3 years, children usually have their full set of 20 baby teeth.

As it takes place over such a broad timespan, parents and caregivers often attribute many symptoms to teething. However, it is more likely that another condition, such as an infection, is causing these additional symptoms.

It can be helpful to understand which symptoms are normal and which are not when it comes to teething.

Typical symptoms of teething include:

  • chewing on objects
  • crying more than usual
  • mild difficulty sleeping
  • drooling more than usual
  • fussiness
  • loss of appetite
  • red, sore, tender, or swollen gums
  • a slight rise in body temperature (not over 101°F)

Research suggests that the symptoms of teething peak as the front teeth appear, which tends to occur between 6 and 16 months of age. As children get older, they are likely to experience fewer and milder symptoms when new teeth come through.

Teething does not typically cause the following symptoms:

  • congestion
  • a cough
  • diarrhea
  • high fever
  • increased number of stools
  • rash
  • refusal of liquids
  • vomiting

Why might vomiting happen during teething?

A bacterial or viral infection is often the cause of vomiting.

Vomiting can occur at the same time as symptoms of teething.

Parents and caregivers often attribute vomiting to the teething, but the symptoms are not usually related.

An analysis of research from eight countries reports that teething may make infants feel uncomfortable, but it is unlikely to make them vomit. By assuming that teething causes vomiting or fever, doctors or caregivers may be overlooking the real cause of the sickness.

A paper published in Pediatrics in Review emphasizes that an infant will be teething at the same point in their life that they begin to get exposure to many childhood illnesses. Also, the passive immunity that the mother passed on to them in the womb decreases at this time.

As a result, it is likely that vomiting during this time is due to a bacterial or viral infection. Several illnesses may cause an infant to vomit, including:

  • common cold or flu
  • ear infection
  • gastroenteritis or another stomach infection
  • urine infection

Sometimes, a food allergy or intolerance may cause vomiting. A doctor can help diagnose food sensitivities so that children can begin to avoid any foods that make them unwell.

Vomiting is not usually a cause for concern, and this symptom will generally pass quickly. However, people can aid recovery by:

  • keeping the child hydrated
  • letting them rest
  • resuming their typical diet once 12–24 hours have passed since they last vomited

It is essential to call a doctor if any of the following symptoms accompany vomiting:

  • fever
  • a persistent rash
  • refusal of liquids
  • severe irritability
  • shortness of breath
  • signs of dehydration, including dry mouth, lack of tears, and fewer wet nappies than usual
  • sleeping more than usual
  • a swollen stomach

People should also take a child to see the doctor if vomiting persists for more than 12 hours or if the child is vomiting with great force.

Managing the symptoms of teething

Using a clean cloth to remove excess drool from the chin may reduce skin irritation.

If an infant is experiencing the typical symptoms of teething, it is possible to treat them at home. Treatments include:

  • Drying off drool: Excessive drool can cause skin irritation. Use a clean cloth to remove excess drool from the chin and mouth area gently. Applying a fragrance-free cream or ointment may also soothe irritated skin.
  • Massage: Gently rub the gums with a clean finger or moistened gauze pad to alleviate pain, discomfort, and tenderness.
  • Cool temperatures: Apply a cold compress, chilled spoon, or teething ring to the gums. Never give an infant a frozen teething ring as this may cause more harm than good.
  • Hard foods: Infants who are on solid foods may get relief from chewing on a piece of chilled cucumber or carrot. Monitor them carefully while they are eating as small pieces of food are a choking hazard.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medication: Children who are particularly irritable may benefit from an OTC pain reliever. Options include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Children’s Motrin). Do not use pain relievers for more than a day or two without a doctor’s advice.

It is advisable to avoid using topical pain relievers as these wash off the gums too quickly. Also steer clear of products containing belladonna, lidocaine, or benzocaine. These products can be harmful if the child swallows them.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not recommend any drugs, herbs, or homeopathic medications for teething due to their potential side effects.

If a child does have one of these products, seek immediate medical care if they experience:

  • agitation
  • breathing difficulties
  • constipation
  • difficulty urinating
  • excessive fatigue
  • lethargy
  • muscle weakness
  • seizures

Takeaway and when to see a doctor

Parents and caregivers can usually treat teething at home using simple remedies, such as cold compresses and massage. A dentist, doctor, or pediatrician can provide further advice on how to alleviate symptoms.

It is vital to visit a doctor if the child has a high fever, is particularly distressed, or displays other symptoms that are not typical of teething.

It is also important to seek medical attention for vomiting that persists for more than 12 hours or is particularly forceful. In these cases, there is likely to be another underlying cause, such as an infection or food allergy.

 

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322987.php

Advanced dental technology: Don’t get left behind

 

By: Dental Economics

 

😄 The advancement of dental technology can lead to high-quality care to dental patients. Along with this upgrade, we ensure to provide efficient practice for your comfort and benefit. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

If you’ve been keeping up with developments in oral health care over the past decade, you’re aware of the explosive growth in advanced dental technology. The global technology revolution may still be in its infancy, but many dental care practitioners have already experienced significant changes in the way they practice.

Some of the most impressive recent developments include noninvasive laser techniques, nonsurgical periodontal therapies, digital radiography, and operatory software. Not since the advent of intraoral cameras has there been so much excitement in the field of dentistry.

Yet many practice owners still hesitate to invest in new technology. They may be waiting for equipment and procedures to be perfected, or to achieve a certain level of cash flow before taking the plunge. Or, they may simply be so comfortable with the success of their current practices and procedures that they’re not eager to “upset the apple cart.”

Nevertheless, waiting to take advantage of these new technological developments can be risky business. You may wake up one day to find that you’re so far behind your competitors in providing the quality care and increased efficiencies available with today’s technology that it’s nearly impossible to catch up. You may notice that you’re losing your best employees to high-tech competitors, and you’re not attracting the same quality patient base that you once did.

Of course, transitioning your practice to a high-tech business is a considerable undertaking, both financially and logistically. So before making an investment, be sure you understand the answers to these important questions:

 

  • Will advanced technology really help me provide better and more comfortable patient care?
  • How will transitioning to high-tech equipment impact my practice?
  • How much will my productivity increase?
  • Will I get a return on my investment?

    The promise of higher-quality care

    Much of the new technology developed for dental practices is focused on delivering better patient care. We can, in fact, see the positive results of high-tech dentistry when we compare the oral health of U.S. citizens to those from less-advanced countries. In the U.S., natural teeth are lasting longer, gums are healthier, and oral diseases are detected much earlier, thanks to advances in dental technology.

    The advantages for patients are not only more effective oral care, but less invasive procedures. With laser equipment now available for early detection of caries, treatment of caries, treatment of periodontal diseases, and teeth cleaning, patients can experience a significantly increased level of comfort for most dental procedures. In addition, advanced technology is providing greater convenience for patients, making it easier to maintain their oral health as less chair time and fewer repeat visits are required.

    Most patients recognize the enhanced value they receive with advanced equipment and technology, and they are willing to pay higher fees for these procedures. In fact, technology developments and the resulting fee increases have contributed to the continuing growth of the industry. According to the ADA, dental care spending is expected to be in excess of $90 billion in 2006, and is slated to top $100 billion in 2007.

    In general, it’s safe to say that the technology available today significantly increases patient comfort and convenience, while providing better overall preventive, restorative, and cosmetic care.

    Building efficiency into your practice

    Today’s advanced communications and equipment technologies have demonstrated their ability to improve the efficiencies of the average dental practice. Productivity increases significantly with integrated computer systems that link to your insurance companies, allow immediate access to patient charts and billing data, connect operatories with the front desk, provide patient education, and deliver patient e-mails. Moreover, new laser equipment and digital radiography save valuable time at the chair.

    Of course, there’s no “rule of thumb” for exactly how much your productivity will increase when you integrate new technology because no two practices are identical, but you can get a good sense of potential improvements in practice efficiencies by speaking with colleagues who have migrated to advanced technology.

    You also can set meaningful goals for productivity improvements to offset your technology investment. For instance, track how long it currently takes for each practice function ­- from billing and sending out appointment reminders, to hygiene appointments and specialty procedures. If you are able to attain a 10 percent to 20 percent increase in productivity through the integration of new technology, how much extra time will that leave your practice for additional appointments, procedures, or marketing activities?

    Creating a rewarding work environment

    Many doctors have claimed to enjoy their practice considerably more since migrating to high-technology systems. Learning the new systems enhances teamwork and clearly makes dental care easier for patients, but also for the doctor and staff. Staff members tend to feel proud of the high level of services the practice provides, contributing to a sense of enthusiasm in learning and practicing new techniques and in overall increased employee morale.

    My friend, Dr. Kevin Barrett, a practicing dentist in Los Angeles, says, “I have been practicing dentistry since 1978 and have never been so excited about going to the office. I now own five lasers and use them every day. I am presently waiting for a new CAD/CAM system – actually, my whole office is waiting and excited.”

    Perhaps because of the high level of satisfaction in working with today’s advanced equipment, investment in new dental technology by U.S. dental practices has gone up significantly in the past decade. The cost to open a new high-tech practice now runs from $350,000 to $500,000, due in large measure to the cost of advanced dental technology.

    Ensuring a positive ROI

    Of course, providing higher quality of care, improving practice efficiencies, and increasing staff morale are all worthy outcomes of your technology investment that will ultimately produce increased cash flow. However, keep in mind that there is a cost associated with these new benefits. To ensure a quicker return on your investment, you will need to reassess your fee schedule and determine how much to increase patient fees for advanced procedures.

    Unfortunately, there is no simple formula for determining how much to charge for advanced procedures and their added benefits. Your management consultant and CPA can help you determine the appropriate fees for your practice. Patients understand the value of advanced services and appreciate the need to pay for them. In fact, if given a choice, most patients will happily pay extra for a shorter, more comfortable dental appointment!

    According to Dr. Barrett, “There are many advantages to becoming a high-tech dentist – most of all, patients respect and appreciate the fact that you have kept up with advancements in dentistry.” In general, dentists who have invested in high-tech equipment have not only recouped their costs in the short term, but recognized a significant profit as well.

    Knowing when to upgrade

    One of the more difficult decisions you will make concerns upgrading or buying new equipment. If you ask yourself: “Should I make the leap into advanced technology now, or wait for the next generation of upgrades?” The answer is that the future is now. Don’t wait – make the leap now, if at all possible – and keep upgrading as your practice grows.

    Dental technology is advancing at a tremendous rate, with new composite materials, equipment, and computer software introduced continually. So purchasing advanced technology is not an occasional investment; to stay at the forefront of the industry, you will want to develop a technology upgrade program that allows for investment in a new technology purchase every year or so.

    The amount you invest depends on the type of dentistry you perform. For example, cosmetic dentistry typically requires a greater investment in equipment and materials than restorative dentistry. Your CPA and practice-management consultant can help you outline a comfortable technology investment program that keeps your practice current and competitive. To help ensure a smooth implementation of your program, you might consider working with a lender that specializes in dental-practice financing and understands your particular business needs.

    As you develop your investment program, keep in mind that you’ll ultimately want to spread your technology investment across all areas of your practice functions – patient-care equipment, front office systems, and operatory systems – because they’re highly interdependent.

    For example, an updated front office will increase patient confidence in your practice and help attract new patients. But for a consistent experience and follow-through, your patients need to enjoy the high-quality care and comfort available with the latest advancements in dental equipment.

    Keeping up with the competition

    Integrating today’s advanced technology into your dental practice is truly a key aspect of keeping up with the competition. First impressions can make all the difference in attracting and retaining patients, and investing in advanced technology creates an immediate positive impression for your practice. It communicates to your patients that you take their oral health care seriously, that you are up-to-date with current techniques, and that you have solutions for their individual dental needs. In fact, it’s difficult to compete with other practices if you’re still relying on more traditional methods that are less convenient for your patients.

    Therefore, if it’s at all feasible for your practice, start investing in some of today’s advanced technology as soon as possible – because if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind! Don’t fall behind when it comes to providing better quality dental care, creating a better experience for your patients, increasing morale for your entire staff, and increasing your competitive advantage in a rapidly growing industry.

 

 

Source: https://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-96/issue-9/columns/advanced-dental-technology-donrsquot-get-left-behind.html

Nature vs. Nurture: Dental Problems Parents Pass Down To Children

 

Parents, in particular, want to know: does DNA predetermine dental health? The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

It’s the classic nature vs. nurture question that dentists get asked often, but the answer doesn’t simply boil down to one or the other. The scary truth is that many dental problems are indeed “inherited”–but not from genetics alone! Harmful habits that run in the family can also play a huge role in the health of your child’s smile. Find out which oral issues you could be passing down, and what you can do about them.

DNA-Driven Dental Issues

Even before birth, the stage has already been set for certain aspects of your child’s oral health. Ultimately, your child’s genes dictate the likelihood for common issues such as:

    • Jaw-related Disorders: The size and position of one’s jaws, as well as overall facial structure, are hereditary traits that can cause a number of bite complications (or “malocclusions”). Overbites or underbites caused by uneven jaws can lead to chewing and speech difficulties, and result in chronic pain and/or Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder (“TMJ”) if left untreated.
    • Tooth Misalignments: Spacing problems, either due to missing or overcrowded teeth, are oral issues that have been hardwired in a person even before the emergence of teeth. Cases where people lack some (“Anodontia”) or all (“Hypodontia”) permanent teeth can threaten gum and jaw health, as can instances of “supernumerary” teeth, in which extra teeth erupt.
    • Weak Tooth Enamel: Though rare, it is possible for tooth enamel to be defective, or develop abnormally. Dentin, which makes up the protective enamel covering of teeth, may not be produced or mineralize at normal levels, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay, sensitivity and damage.
  • Predisposition To Oral Cancer: Genetic mutations and the presence of oncogenes, a type of gene that transforms healthy cells into cancerous ones, can increase the risk for cancer by interfering with the body’s ability to metabolize certain carcinogens.

From serious conditions such as a cleft palate, to occasional aggravations like canker sores, many other oral issues may be linked to genetics. Keeping track and sharing the family’s health history with your child’s dentist can help detect and treat inherited conditions as early as possible.

Behavioral Risks

DNA may deal your child some unavoidable complications, but when it comes to tooth decay and gum disease, learned habits and tendencies shoulder much more of the blame, including:

    • “Oversharing”: Harmful oral bacteria from a loved one can easily colonize and overtake your little one’s mouth from something as simple as sharing food, utensils, or kissing. The inadvertent swapping of saliva can put your child at increased risk for cavities and gingivitis.
    • Diet Choices: Satisfying that sweet tooth with sugary, refined treats, or turning to soda and juice for refreshment can create an unhealthy addiction that’s as dangerous to the mouth as it is to the waist. Sugar and acid can eat away at the tooth enamel, causing cavities and tooth sensitivity. Exposure to certain chemicals and ingredients can also cause discoloration.
  • Bad Hygiene: Last, but certainly not least, lacking a good dental routine can wreak havoc on teeth and gums. Failing to follow through on brushing and flossing twice a day (or as recommended by the dentist) can create a haven for cavities and periodontitis, not to mention halitosis.

Leading by example is an easy, effective way to teach your child the importance of oral health while benefitting the whole family.

Stay One Step Ahead

Every parent wants the best for his or her child–including a healthy smile. With so many potential problems that can be passed down, protecting your child’s oral health is not easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Seek the help of your child’s dentist for optimal professional and at-home dental care. Treating existing issues early on and teaching your child to make dental-friendly decisions can provide lifelong benefits to his or her health.

 

Source: http://newsletter.lh360.com/article-content/943ba85d-4e54-46f5-a7a8-764c3abc9991.html

After the Removal of Multiple Teeth

 

By: Orlando Oral Facial Surgery

 

🙂 From the primary operation to its effect, the removal of multiple teeth is quite different from the extraction of just one tooth. Check out these guidelines on what to do after the teeth extraction to prevent any complications from occurring. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR AFTER MULTIPLE TOOTH REMOVALS

A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the operation. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the black tea helps to form a clot by contracting blood vessels. If bleeding occurs, avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate the head. If bleeding persists, call our office immediately. Do not remove the immediate denture unless the bleeding is severe. Expect some oozing around the side of the denture.

Use ice packs (externally) on the cheek near the surgical site. Apply ice for the first 36 hours only. Apply ice continuously while you are awake.

For mild discomfort use aspirin, Tylenol, or any similar medication; two tablets every 3-4 hours. Two to three tablets of Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can be taken every 3-4 hours.

For severe pain, use the prescription given to you. If the pain does not begin to subside after 2 days, or increases after 2 days, please call our office. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, make sure to finish your prescription unless you have an allergic reaction..

Drink plenty of fluids. If many teeth have been extracted, the blood lost at this time needs to be replaced. Drink at least six glasses of liquid the first day.

Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt water rinse every 4 hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. (One teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water). After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out the denture and rinse 3 to 4 times a day.

Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods that are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to resume your normal diet.

The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different from the extraction of just one or two teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:

  • The area operated on will swell, reaching a maximum in two days. Swelling and discoloration around the eyes may occur. The application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as is tolerable, beginning 36 hours after surgery. (Remember: ice packs are used for the first 36 hours only).
  • A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days.
  • If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If your temperature continues to rise, notify our office.

 

Source: https://www.oofs.net/patient-information/surgical-instructions/multiple-extractions/

Mystery Solved: The Story on Canker Sores

 

Anyone who’s ever had mouth sores can attest to the fact that they are just as embarrassing as they are painful, but simply suffering through them does you no good. Get the facts on this common problem to take control of the situation before another outbreak. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

Canker sores are quite literally a sensitive issue, but someone has to talk about it! What are canker sores (or “stomatitis”), why do they appear, and what can be done about them? Anyone who’s ever had mouth sores can attest to the fact that they are just as embarrassing as they are painful, but simply suffering through them does you no good. Get the facts on this common problem to take control of the situation before another outbreak.

How to Tell If It’s a Canker Sore

Because they are similar in name and can appear within fairly close proximity of each other, canker sores are often confused with cold sores. An easy way to tell the difference right off the bat is by checking to see if it’s on the inside or outside of your mouth. Cold sores, which are viral and highly contagious in nature, will appear outside of the mouth, on or close to the lip area. Canker sores, on the other hand, are not contagious and emerge along the insides of your cheeks, gums and the roof of your mouth. If you spot an inflammation with a white center and red border inside your mouth, and it causes sensitivity or soreness when talking or eating, it’s most likely a canker sore.

What Causes Canker Sores

Considering that stomatitis is often chronic, those who experience canker sores due to an injury, or eating something overly acidic, might actually consider themselves lucky. Otherwise, recurring flare-ups can be expected, especially if your case is connected to underlying conditions such as:

  • Stress
  • Menstruation
  • HIV & Other Blood Disorders
  • Food Allergies
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • Genetics
  • Immune Disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Orthodontic Treatment
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Chemotherapy

It is also worth noting that canker sores tend to be more common in teens, young adults, and women.

Ways to Ease the Pain

On average, canker sores usually last between 7 and 10 days. While there is no way to rid yourself of a canker sore once it emerges, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate the discomfort until it heals, such as:

  • Try an over-the-counter gel or painkiller for immediate relief
  • Steer clear of spicy, acidic and/or hot foods to avoid aggravating open sores
  • Rinse with water or mouthwash regularly to keep the sores free of food particles
  • Brush and floss with extra care to prevent unnecessary contact and/or added trauma

Understanding what caused the outbreak can also help you take preventative measures to minimize the chance of future flare-ups. If sores are food or allergy related, for example, simply steering clear of triggers can keep stomatitis at bay.

When Professional Care is Necessary

If painful sores persist past the ten-day period, are over a half-inch wide, and/or are accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, joint pain, rashes or fever, see a dentist as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your situation, he or she may prescribe medication, surgery, or recommend diagnostic tests. Even if your symptoms are mild, a dental exam can help rule out serious health concerns that could be causing the problem, and give you peace of mind.

 

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/canker-sore/basics/causes/con-20021262

https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/canker-sores.html

How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?

 

By: 123Dentist

 

🙂 As long as dental x-rays are used properly together with necessary safety precautions, its effect is extremely safe. Discuss the use of this device with your dentist so he can evaluate the factors if you need one. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

 

Dental x-rays are a common diagnostic procedure that is considered extremely safe. Digital dental x-rays have very low doses of radiation, producing just a fraction of what you are exposed to in other imaging procedures. If you’re worried about whether you need dental x-rays, or wondering if you should forego this procedure due to other medical conditions, it’s helpful to dive a little deeper into what dental x-rays involve, why they’re performed, and how they’re best handled.

When these x-rays are performed properly with adequate safety precautions in place, there’s very little cause for concern. A routine examination with four bitewing x-rays exposes you to roughly the same amount of radiation you will experience during one to two hours on an airplane.

Who Needs Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays are used diagnostically to help dentists see issues that are otherwise nearly invisible to the naked eye. Adults receive dental x-rays so dentists can better identify and treat various issues. Using these x-rays, your healthcare provider can see:

  • Areas of decay, including those in between teeth or under a filling
  • Bone loss associated with gum disease
  • Abscesses, which are infections at the root of the tooth or between the tooth and gum
  • Tumors
  • Changes in the root canal

Without an x-ray, many of these problems could go undiagnosed. With an x-ray as a reference, dentists are also better equipped to prepare tooth implants, dentures, braces, and other similar treatments.

Dental X-Rays and Children

Many parents are concerned about the impact of dental x-rays on children. Children are more sensitive to radiation. However, the amount of radiation in a dental x-ray is still considered safe for a child. As children’s jaws and teeth are continuously changing, it’s important to keep an eye on their development. These x-rays perform many important purposes for young patients. They help dentists to:

  • Make sure the mouth is large enough to accommodate incoming teeth
  • Monitor the development of wisdom teeth
  • Determine whether primary teeth are loosening properly to accommodate new permanent teeth
  • Identify decay and gum disease early

It’s important for children to visit the dentist regularly, and to get x-rays as recommended by the dentist. The exact schedule for these x-rays will vary depending on the child’s individual needs.

Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid dental x-rays. Though the radiation is minimal, it’s best to avoid all exposure when possible for the health of the developing fetus. For this reason, it’s important to tell your dentist if you are or may be pregnant.

However, there are some instances where pregnant women should still have dental x-rays performed. If you have a dental emergency or are in the middle of a dental treatment plan, you may still need x-rays during your pregnancy. Discuss the issue with your dentist to determine the best way to proceed. It’s crucial that you balance both your dental and prenatal health. Women with periodontal disease are at a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, so you shouldn’t neglect your teeth during pregnancy.

Your dentist can take greater precautions, such as using a leaded apron and thyroid collar, for all x-rays taken during your pregnancy if the procedure is deemed necessary. Keeping your dentist informed at all times is the best way to proceed.

Safety Precautions with Dental X-Rays

There are many things that your dentist can do to minimize the radiation from x-rays. Taking a single image rather than multiple images decreases exposure significantly. You can also speak to your dentist about using the lowest radiation setting possible, particularly for children. Leaded coverings can protect certain parts of your body from radiation.

Determining Whether X-Rays are Necessary

The best way to minimize radiation exposure from dental x-rays is to make sure these are only done when necessary. There is no set schedule for dental x-rays. Rather, it’s left to the healthcare provider to make an informed decision as to whether the patient needs x-rays with their examination. Factors that your dentist will consider include:

  • Age
  • Stage of dental development
  • History of oral health
  • Risk factors for various conditions
  • Presenting symptoms

One study revealed that performing a careful clinical evaluation of the patient can reduce the need for x-rays as much as 43 percent without any increase in the rate of undiagnosed diseases. So, if you’re concerned about exposure, ask your dentist to perform a visual examination before ordering x-rays. But keep in mind that there are several issues that there are many conditions that would likely only be diagnosed through x-rays.

To further minimize your need for x-rays, if you have x-rays from a previous dentist, make sure to transfer these to any new provider to eliminate the need for repeat procedures.

Dental x-rays are considered extremely safe. However, it’s important to understand the purpose of any procedure that will expose you to radiation. Don’t hesitate to discuss the need for dental x-rays with your dentist to better understand how he or she can help protect and improve your oral health.

Source: https://www.123dentist.com/how-safe-are-dental-x-rays/