Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Question From Our Member

E. Callaway of Boston, MA.asks:
“Can you explain the difference between fixed and removable prosthetics?”

Savon’s Answer:
The difference is one is made to be taken out and cleaned by you while the other is intended to be removed only by your dentist.

The removable prosthetic is called a denture. There are 2 basic types of dentures;
  • Complete denture, meaning that it replaces all of your upper or lower teeth.

  • Partial denture, this replaces only certain teeth and in most cases anchors to your existing solid teeth.
The fixed prosthetic is called a Bridge.  A bridge does exactly what the name says, it bridges the gap between teeth caused by the loss of 1 or more teeth.

The size of the bridge depends on how many teeth it is replacing.  In most cases the bridge requires 2 abutments and 1 or more pontics (an artificial (false) tooth that replaces a missing tooth) depending on how many teeth are being replaced.

The abutments are actually crowns that go over sound natural teeth on each side of the void being bridged.  To bridge a single void requires a 3 unit bridge (abutment, pontic, abutment).

As far as the cost, a removable prosthetic is almost always less expensive than a fixed prosthetic.


Original post from our June 2018 Newsletter!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tips For A Bright Smile And Clean Teeth

We all brush and hopefully floss our teeth on a daily basis. But did you know that there are other important questions you should ask, so you can keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible?

When should I brush my teeth?
  1. You should brush your teeth at least two times a day, once in the morning before breakfast and once at night before you head to bed.
  2. Try to avoid brushing teeth right after a meal because this could damage your teeth, especially if you just had anything containing acid. *This is because the acid softens the enamel on your teeth*
Should I use a manual or electric toothbrush?
This depends on what you feel comfortable using. (They both are equally good.)

What type of toothpaste should I use?
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. (Fluoride helps prevent and control cavities.)

How to brush your teeth?
  1. Your toothbrush should be at a 45 degree angle, brush in small circular movements several times on all surfaces of the tooth.
  2. Brush the roof of your mouth
  3. Brush your tongue, this will freshen your breath.
How to Floss?
  1. Take a section of floss
  2. Slip the floss between your teeth
  3. Floss up and down about 10 times
  4. Floss at least once a day, best time is right before bed.

You can use normal floss (waxed or unwaxed) or you can use the floss picks/gliders.

After brushing and flossing you should use a mouthwash. Mouthwash helps get rid of any last bits of bacteria or leftover food that you may have missed while brushing and flossing.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Obesity and Gum Disease - Is There A Link?

Researchers have been working to verify the suspicion, but as it appears now, people who suffer from obesity could be at a higher risk of developing gum disease than everyone else.

The reason obesity raises the risk?

Obesity causes the body to release proteins containing flammatory properties called cytokines.  These cytokines could potentially damage or injure the gum tissue, which could likely lead to gum disease.   However, half of the US population over 30 suffer from gum disease.  Gum disease itself also releases cytokines, which if you're obese, could lead to other dangerous inflammatory diseases throughout the body.  

To get the latest information on this study, check out the original article HERE.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tips...How To Treat White Spots On Teeth

There are a few different reasons why people have white spots on their teeth. If they have been there since the person was a child most likely they had a disruption in the enamel formation and can be caused by to much fluoride. Another reason could be from plaque formation. Plaque forms near the gumline and can cause the teeth to look discolored. Finally, the beginning stages of tooth decay or cavities can cause white spots.

There are several treatments yo can try to help eliminate the white spots:
  • Enamel Microbrasion - During this procedure the dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to reduce the appearance of the white spots. 
  • Teeth whitening/bleaching: This can help reduce the appearance of the spots and other stains. There are over the counter whitening kits but its best to have them professional done!
  • Veneers - Veneers are a thin, protective covering that attaches to the front surface of the tooth. This hides any spots or blemishes you may dislike!
  • Using the right amount of toothpaste - Using the right amount can help reduce fluoride exposure. For children under three years old use the amount of a grain of rice and for children over three years old use a pea size amount.
  • Reducing sugary/acidic foods and drinks - Tooth enamel can be damaged and become at rick for tooth decay if a person eats and drinks sugary/acid stuff.
White spots on the teeth are not desirable and they usually are not a cause of concern. However, it is important to see your dentist to just make sure your not at risk for dental damage or decay!


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reason Why Dental Centers Have Long Waits

Having that long dreaded wait in the dental office waiting room can be annoying. When you have a 1pm appointment and you sit there for 45 minutes just waiting to be called back into the room, the frustration kicks in. Which leads to a lot of questions like:

1. If my appointment was at 1 and I am not being seen until 1:45, then why not schedule me at 1:45?
2. Why does the dentist over book their schedule?
3. I am on time, why can't they be on time.

So let me try to answer these question from the perspective of the dental center,

1. When you set your appointment, the office did not plan on being behind schedule. They planned on seeing you at 1pm. Since they are behind schedule, if your appointment was a 1:45 then you still would have to wait.

2. The dental center did not over book the schedule. Everything is scheduled according to the procedure that is needed. If a procedure takes an hour and half, the next appointment is scheduled for an hour and half after that appointment. However, sometimes some unforseen things come up and it causes that procedure to take longer.

3. They want to be on time. However, there a various factors that cause them to fall behind on the schedule. Believe it or not, most of the time it is not the fault of the dentist office.

Here are some things that cause a dental center to fall behind.

1. Patients being late to an appointment. This is one of the biggest causes of the delays. Especially if you are on of the first few patients of the day. If those first few patients are late, it could throw the whole office behind schedule all day long.

2. Unforseen things with another patient. If someone is scheduled for a filling and it turns out they now need a root canal, then the dentist is no longer tied up for the 20 minutes he is scheduled for, he is now tied up for an hour or so. This causes him to fall behind.

These are just some of things and I know that there are more.

Just try to be patient, they are working as fast as they can.

Diabetes and Gum Disease: Some Important Facts

Many people don't know there is even a relation between diabetes and gum disease.  The truth is, diabetes has an effect on the entire body, including the teeth and gums and conversely, serious gum disease (inflammation) can make diabetes difficult to control.  It's a vicious cycle.   Uncontrolled blood sugar can make a diabetic more susceptible to gingivitis. Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis, which is more serious and can affect the soft tissue of the gums and cause bone loss.  Any inflammation in the body can make diabetes difficult to control and anyone who is diabetic knows that inflammation is hard to cure if your blood sugar is high, which is why it is important to take steps aimed at prevention, including oral health!

See your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. Let him know if you have any signs of gum disease such as swelling or bleeding of the gums, and that you are diabetic. Did you know that if you are perio involved, having intensive periodontal cleanings may help to lower your A1C? Don't put off that exam! Always brush and floss at least twice per day.  Using antibacterial oral products such as toothpaste and mouthwash may also be beneficial.

Remember, prevention is always the best plan.

Keep smiling!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What Causes The Tongue To Bleed?

There are many reasons the tongue might start bleeding, some obvious causes can include:

  • Biting the tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • Injuries from mouth appliances (dentures or braces)
  • Eating sharp foods
  • Radiation treatment for cancer
Other causes of a bleeding tongue that may not be as obvious can include:
  • Infections
  • Ulcers or blisters
  • Ruptured blood vessels in the tongue caused by piercings
  • Allergic reactions
  • Medication reactions
  • Thermal burns
Bleeding in the mouth can be dangerous if its not stopped because the blood can build up in the throat and make it hard to breathe. Try these tip to provide the temporary relief until you can seek dental attention:

  • Place ice cubes in gauze or a napkin and apply to the affected area.
  • Gargle with an antiseptic mouthwash or warm salt water.
  • Rinse mouth out with warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Avoid sharp or spicy foods and try to avoid chewing on the affected side.
  • Take over the counter pain killers to reduce pain and swelling