22Feb
Knowing you have periodontal disease is the first step. The next step toward health is to determine if the disease is impacting your systemic health. There are two simple "finger stick" tests done at the Dental Wellness Center which will help you determine your systemic health risk. The tests are: High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (CRP). C-Reactive Protein is a protein produced in the liver that circulates in the blood. CRP levels increase when the body is fighting off an infection or when inflammation is present. Blockages in blood vessels called plaque are collections of products contained in cells, including CRP. Elevated levels of CRP may predict risk of heart attack up tp eight years in advance, can also increase the risk of a heart attack by seven fold, and are also an indication of cancerous activity. While most people over the age of 40 have annual cholesterol testing, CRP testing is new. Since 50% of people who have heart attackes or stroke have normal cholesterol levels, adding CRP testing can increase the predictability of heart attack or stroke. If you have High CRP because of inflammation, removing the inflammation can lower the CRP and may reduce the risk of future coronary events.
10Feb

FULL DENTURE CARE

Full denture care is as different from other types of dentistry as night and day.  Replacing 28 teeth in an empty mouth in a manner that will allow for proper chewing, comfort and natural appearance requires a proper execution of many factors.  When a person has no teeth, there are no exact guidelines as to where to place the new ones, whereas with a fixed or removable bridge, the surrounding teeth offer a positional template for replacement of the missing one(s).  When bridge teeth replacements are placed, if the color match is good and the fit and "bite" are right, it is the end of treatment.  On the other hand, with Full Denture Care, the day of placement is actually the beginning of treatment. 

The success I have with my full denture patients is the result of time allotted in the beginning to review the patient’s medical and dental histories, and a careful and thorough oral examination.   People vary considerably in their mouth architecture (size and shape of the remaining ridges - gum and supporting bone), general health, oral dexterity, attitude and expectations.  Dentures have hard, unyielding undersides that are placed over thin gum tissue, which covers the bone, therefore treatment time and methods can vary, depending on the relative quality of hard and soft tissue of the ridges. 

This is why, prior to starting actual treatment, time is taken to collect all the above data so that an estimate can be made for the patient as to what to expect of new dentures, projected treatment time, and fee.  When dentures are fabricated in a proper manner, there should be virtually no restrictions in handling a healthy diet.  

It is an interesting fact that the materials used in the making of dentures cost essentially the same no matter what the treatment philosophy is of the dentist, or the age of the patient. Treatment results are based on the passion, skill, care and experience rendered by the dentist woven within his/her philosophy of care, not so much the materials. Also important is the commitment of both the dentist and patient to the prescribed care – a real partnership.  A tenet of The Academy of Prosthodontic Research in which I have participated for many years, is a realization by its members that full denture service is one of the more difficult, unique and specialized aspects of dentistry.  Each member realizes that we offer a complex service, its goal being the resolution of our patient's problems rather than "selling teeth."

03Feb

Pregnancy and Oral Health
How does pregnancy affect my oral health?
It's a myth that calcium is lost from the mother's teeth and "one tooth is lost with every pregnancy." But you may experience some changes in your oral health during pregnancy. The primary change is it surge in hormones - particularly an increase in estrogen and progesterone -which is linked to an increase in the amount of plaque on your teeth.

How does a build-up of plaque affect me? If the plaque isn't removed, it can cause gingivitis-red, swollen, tender gums that are more likely to bleed. So-called "pregnancy gingivitis" affects most pregnant women to some degree, and generally begins to surface in the second trimester. If you already have gingivitis, the condition is likely to worsen during pregnancy. If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, a more serious form of gum disease.

Pregnant women are also at risk for developing pregnancy tumors, inflammatory, benign growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Normally, the tumors are left alone and will usually shrink on their own, but if a tumor is very uncomfortable and interferes with chewing, brushing or other oral hygiene procedures, the dentist may decide to remove it.

How can I prevent these problems? You can prevent gingivitis by keeping your teeth clean, especially near the gumline. You should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal when possible. You should also floss thoroughly each day. If tooth brushing causes morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or with anti-plaque and fluoride mouthwashes. Good nutrition-Particularly plenty of vitamin C and B12-help keep the oral cavity healthy and strong. More frequent cleanings from the dentist will help control plaque and prevent gingivitis. Controlling plaque also will reduce gum irritation and decrease the likelihood of pregnancy tumors.