Posts for: February, 2015
Periodontal (gum) disease is mainly caused by bacterial plaque built up on tooth surfaces due to ineffective oral hygiene. For most cases, treatment that includes plaque and calculus (tartar or calcified plaque) removal and renewed daily hygiene is highly effective in stopping the disease and restoring health to affected gum tissues.
However, you might have additional health factors that may make it more difficult to bring the disease under control. If your case is extreme, even the most in-depth treatment may only buy time before some or all of your teeth are eventually lost.
Genetics. Because of your genetic makeup, you could have a low resistance to gum disease and are more susceptible to it than other people. Additionally, if you have thin gum tissues, also an inherited trait, you could be more prone to receding gums as a result of gum disease.
Certain bacteria. Our mouths are home to millions of bacteria derived from hundreds of strains, of which only a few are responsible for gum disease. It’s possible your body’s immune system may find it difficult to control a particular disease-causing strain, regardless of your diligence in oral care.
Stress. Chronic stress, brought on by difficult life situations or experiences, can have a harmful effect on your body’s immune system and cause you to be more susceptible to gum disease. Studies have shown that as stress levels increase the breakdown of gum tissues (along with their detachment from teeth) may also increase.
Disease advancement. Gum disease can be an aggressive infection that can gain a foothold well before diagnosis. It’s possible, then, that by the time we begin intervention the disease has already caused a great deal of damage. While we may be able to repair much of it, it’s possible some teeth may not be salvageable.
While you can’t change genetic makeup or bacterial sensitivity, you can slow the disease progression and extend the life of your teeth with consistent daily hygiene, regular cleanings and checkups, and watching for bleeding, swollen gums and other signs of disease. Although these additional risk factors may make it difficult to save your teeth in the long-run, you may be able to gain enough time to prepare emotionally and financially for dental implants or a similar restoration.
If you would like more information on the treatment of gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal (Gum) Treatment & Expectations.”
Find out how dental implants could replace your missing teeth for life.
If you are trying to decide the best way to treat your tooth loss, find out how getting dental implants in Prior Lake might be the best choice.
What is the purpose of dental implants?
Dental implants are a long-term solution to replacing one or more missing permanent teeth. The implant acts similarly to a tooth root, providing a strong foundation from which to hold an artificial tooth. Dental implants can even hold dental bridges and dentures to replace an entire smile.
What should I expect when I get dental implants?
While getting dental implants takes several months and up to a year to complete, you will be left with a long-lasting replacement tooth. The first phase of treatment requires us to drill a small hole into the jawbone where your missing tooth once was. Then we will place the implant, which looks like a tiny metal post, into the drilled hole in the bone. Then we will stitch up the gums and allow several weeks to heal.
During the healing process a phenomenon known as osseointegration takes place. This is when the surrounding tissue and bone begin to fuse with the metal implant, which makes the implant a permanent structure without the mouth. Once this is complete, we will uncover the implant and place a metal abutment on top of it. This abutment serves to connect the implant and the artificial tooth.
Lastly, a dental crown is fabricated to match the rest of your smile and then permanently cemented to the abutment to replace your missing tooth.
What are the benefits of getting dental implants?
Dental implants restore smiles and boost both appearance and self-esteem. Furthermore, implants are resilient and durable and won’t move around like dentures or bridges will.
Implants also preserve facial structure and jawbone density, which other tooth replacement options can’t offer. In fact, dental implants actually stimulate the growth of new, healthy bone cells.
How should I care for my dental implant?
While dental implants don’t require special care it’s vital that you still brush twice a day and floss daily. This will ensure that cavities and gum disease do not form. Also, you should not smoke if you have dental implants, as this increases the likelihood that your implant might fail.
If you want to replace your missing tooth or teeth with implants, then start now. Schedule a consultation with your Prior Lake dentist at Babcock & Morgan Family Dental today.
Did you know that severe tooth decay is America's #1 chronic childhood disease? Actress Brady Reiter didn't know either — until she became the star of the movie Tooth Fairy 2, and then joined forces with the National Children's Oral Health Foundation: America's ToothFairy®.
“Before, I didn't even realize what can happen to kids if they don't take care of their teeth,” 11-year-old Brady recently told Dear Doctor magazine, after viewing photos of children suffering from severe tooth decay. “There are kids in America who don't know that it's important, or they just don't have the resources to be able to take care of their teeth or to go to the dentist.”
This young Tooth Fairy knows just how magical — and vital to a child's self-esteem — a beautiful smile can be.
“When you feel bad about opening up your mouth and smiling, a kid's confidence just goes down the drain,” she said.
NCOHF recently tapped 11-year-old Brady to head the America's ToothFairy Kids Club, which offers kids personalized letters from the Tooth Fairy along with lots of encouraging oral health tips and fun activities — free!
“I'm really excited to be part of it,” Brady told Dear Doctor. “Kids learn how to take care of their of smile by joining this club. By supporting America's ToothFairy, we can help kids in need get dental care and have a healthy smile too. It's really amazing!”
While lots of kids get an occasional cavity, millions of children have tooth decay so severe that it interferes with their ability to eat, sleep, and concentrate in school. The good news is that tooth decay, a bacteria-induced infection, is preventable.
“When kids join the club, they learn how to prevent tooth decay. When families support this great cause, we can help kids in need. And that's what feels great — that we really can make kids' futures better.”
If you would like to enroll your child in the club — it's free! — please visit www.AmericasToothFairyKids.org. And to make sure your child's teeth and your own are decay-free and as healthy as possible, please contact us today to schedule your next appointment.