Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brushing and Enamel Erosion

So I'm going to tell you something that you may not have ever heard coming from a dentist before: It's possible to brush your teeth too often! Yes, you read that right. We see patients in our office who are overly zealous about brushing their teeth and have actually started to erode their enamel.

Enamel erosion can contribute to gum disease when plaque buildup at the base of the tooth causes the tooth to move away from the gumline. This creates and environment that is prime for the development of gingivitis.

So back to brushing your teeth. I'm not going to tell you it's not important and crucial to your overall dental health. It is! But brushing immediately after a meal, as most of us have been taught since childhood, can damage enamel because saliva produces an acidic substance to help you begin the digestive process when you eat. Ideally, you should brush your teeth about 30 minutes after meals so that the acid has had a chance to neutralize. We encourage our patients to brush thoroughly but gently with soft-bristle brushes or electric toothbrushes instead of scrubbing away with hard bristles - also a practice that can contribute to enamel erosion. Brushing your teeth six or seven times a day can also lead to potential problems down the road. If you think you're brushing too much, talk to your dentist. Practicing good oral hygiene today can prevent costly visits to the gum doctors tomorrow!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A New Perspective on Anxiety

You'd be amazed at how many of our new patients tell us they experience some form of anxiety or fear about visiting the dentist - particularly a practice like ours that specializes in implants and other more "invasive" procedures like bone regeneration and restoration. We get it. We understand that going to the dentist is not something most people look forward to. And we know that dental anxiety is real. But we want to help alleviate that anxiety so our patients can get the treatment that they need without extra stress and tension.

There are a variety of widely accepted coping mechanisms to assist with dental anxiety. These tips and techniques are derived from an understanding of some of the root causes of anxiety and can be implemented at our office at any time. You should never be afraid to speak up and tell your dentist or periodontist that you are uncomfortable or nervous about the procedure so steps can be taken to ensure you have a positive experience.

We understand dental anxiety and fear - and we have a large percentage of patients who experience some degree of nervousness about their appointments and treatments. It's a very common phenomenon and we encourage you to notify us of any concerns when you make your appointment. It's nothing we haven't heard before - and our first priority is you, the patient, and our commitment to making sure you have healthy teeth and gums for years to come!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Periodontal Health and Diabetes

In western culture, most people practice good oral hygiene. We are raised learning to brush our teeth after meals, told to visit our dentists twice per year for cleanings and checkups and learn how to floss at an early age. There are a variety of products on the market (with more surfacing all the time) to improve our oral health and reverse the risk of periodontal disease.

There are a lot of good reasons to practice good oral hygiene and one of the most important is the link between periodontal health and other serious diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These connections are becoming more and more accepted within not only the dental community but the medical community at large with an increasing number of physicians adding questions about dental health and check ups to their new patient paperwork.

At Periodontal Associates, we spend a significant amount of time educating our patients on how gum health can impact overall health and wellness. We encourage you to peruse our website to learn more about gum disease and steps you can take to prevent and correct it. It is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain good health!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Wellness Hour: Dental Implants

Most people don't think about periodontists as being TV stars, but we've found that one of the most effective ways for us to educate the public about gum disease and periodontal procedures is through our Dental Videos. These videos are short, simple, to the point and very informative about how our practice operates. We are very fortunate to be featured on The Wellness Hour to discuss our procedures and what periodontics involves. We invite you to watch these informative videos to learn more about Periodontal Associates! You might even be inspired to create your own video to talk about your new implants like Dr. Heller's patients, Bob and Mary Jean!