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Gettysburg Dentist discusses the History of Dental Floss

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 13:03 PM

 

Dental floss


 

Walk into any drugstore and you’ll find an array of dental floss from unwaxed to waxed to dental tape to floss that uses high-tech Gore-Tex fabric. The varied and interesting choices cater to different dental needs. Dental floss has become sophisticated and a viable tool to maintain oral health. It has come a long way. A look at the history of dental floss  will give us more appreciation for this humble string of sorts.

Archaeological records show that as early as prehistoric days, men had found the need to dislodge food particles from their teeth. Their teeth contained grooves consistent with those who used dental tools. In most likelihood, horse hair was used as floss and twigs as toothpicks. A recent research on Cova Foradà Neanderthal fossil shows toothpicks were used to mitigate pain caused by periodontal disease. 

However, it wasn’t until 1815 that an American dentist from New Orleans, Dr. Levi Spear Parmly (lovingly nicknamed the Apostle of oral hygiene), saw the importance of flossing teeth and introduced the idea of using waxed silken thread. In his book, A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth, he emphasized the importance of brushing and flossing the teeth daily. With that, the modern-day dental floss was born.

In 1882, some sixty-seven years later, Codman and Shurtleft Company, saw potential and mass produced dental floss using unwaxed silk.

Carrying yards of dental floss around can be cumbersome and in the 1870s, Asahel Shurtleff developed the first portable dental floss dispenser using a spool of thread with a U-shaped prong sticking out of its side.

In 1898, Johnson and Johnson secured the first patent for dental floss made with the same material used in silk stitches.

Silk dental floss tends to shred easily and with the dwindling supply of silk during the Second World War (1940s), Dr. Charles Bass, a medical doctor and researcher (aka Father of Preventive Dentistry) developed a dental floss made of nylon with higher resistance to shredding. In the same decade, waxed floss and dental tape appeared on the scene.

The 1980s saw the invention of interdental brush as an alternative to dental flossing.

As time goes by and technology becomes more advanced, dental floss has undergone many changes to make flossing a more pleasant experience. Flossing continues to be one of the key elements of good oral health and the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day.

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups are essential to maintain good oral health. Call us today for your dental needs.

 

Topics: Flossing, Gettysburg dentist

Sleep Apnea Solutions from Gettysburg Dentist, Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 @ 14:03 PM

 

 

sleep apnea appliance

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.  Many patients are instructed to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.  However, there are many undesirable side effects of CPAP machines. Some people simply cannot get used to CPAP.

Adverse CPAP Side Effects

  1. Mask allergies and skin irritations--Depending on the type of plastic, you may find that the mask causes itching or a rash.  Some people find the mask so annoying that they frequently wake up without it on, thereby not getting the help they need.
  2. Dry Mouth
  3. Congestion, Runny nose, nose bleeds, and sneezing
  4. Stomach bloating and intestinal discomfort
  5. Noise--The constant sounds emanating from a CPAP machine can be annoying for you as well as your roommate or spouse.

Dental Solutions for Sleep Apnea

If you are not using your CPAP machine it's doing you no good at all!  There are other solutions for sleep apnea which your dentist can provide.  In fact, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine is a group of dentists who work to control snoring and obstructive sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy (OAT).   Oral appliance therapy is a simple solution for obstructive sleep apnea as well as an effective alternative to CPAP machines without the adverse side effects.  

The plastic oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard used for sports or an orthodontic retainer.  Most dental sleep apnea appliances or snore appliances are called mandibular Repositioning Appliances--These appliances reposition the jaw so that it protrudes slightly during sleep.  They also indirectly pull the tongue forward and stabilize the jaw so the mouth does not open. If you have been trained in CPR you know that repositioning the jaw forward will open the airway.

At your first visit, your sleep apnea dentist will do a custom fitting for your oral appliance.  After the appliance has been made, the dentist will ensure that the fit is just right at your next visit.  Normally, you will feel comfortable sleeping with your device within a few short weeks.   An oral appliance is convenient to travel with.  It doesn't require any sort of power source like a CPAP machine does making it much more practical.

If you desire a reversible, unobtrusive, and convenient solution for your sleep apnea, please contact Samuels Dental Arts.  Often these appliances are covered by medical insurance.  

 

For more information please don't hesitate to contact us at 717-334-0555

Topics: gettysburg sleep apnea

Sleep Dentistry in Gettysburg

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 @ 16:03 PM

Gettysburg sedation dentist

 

According to Peter Milgrom, DDS, director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle, about 20% of Americans experience fear of dentistry to the extent that they avoid dental visits altogether. Of this group, between 5% and 8% are considered to have a severe dental phobia. The difference is this: a fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat that causes mild to moderate anxiety. A phobia is a condition in which the fear is so strong it interferes with a person’s quality of life or their ability to function.

For the purposes of this article, however, the word “phobia” is used to denote whatever level of anxiety prevents a person from receiving regular dental care.

Most people who have a fear of dentistry have had a frightening or painful dental experience in the past, and this is especially common among persons over forty who received dental treatment when the technologies used were not as advanced as those in use today.

So what are the options for treatment of dental phobia?

The possibilities vary depending on the extent of the phobia. Norman Corah's Dental Questionnaire is an assessment tool used to measure dental fear. The highest possible score on the questionnaire is 20; a score of 15 or higher indicates the type of severe anxiety that is termed dental phobia, while a score of 13-14 denotes a very high level of anxiety.

A score higher than 9 on the 20 point assessment is said to signify moderate anxiety; a level which can be treated by managing specific stressors. For example, some people are afraid of the sound and/or vibration of the drill, while others are intensely troubled by the sound of scraping during teeth cleaning. Others’ anxiety is triggered by the antiseptic smells in the dentist’s office.

These types of stressors can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a technique in which negative patterns of thought are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns. Learning and practicing relaxation techniques can also be effective. Sometimes a dentist will prescribe anti-anxiety medications for you to take just prior to your appointment (in this case you will not be able to drive yourself to the appointment).

For more severe anxiety, or for people who lack the time and/or money to pursue a therapeutic intervention, sedation dentistry is the treatment of choice. The process used for sedation dentistry is the same one used for a colonoscopy, and is also known as conscious sedation. In this procedure medications are administered by a medical anesthesiologist and leave you semi-conscious: you will be able to answer questions and respond to conversation, but you will be very relaxed and time will seem to go by very fast.  Many people say it felt like they were in the chair for just five minutes and they were done!

Sedation dentistry is an affordable, safe and effective procedure which can be your path to healthy teeth and gums, along with a beautiful smile.  If you’ve been putting off getting your teeth fixed and your mouth healthy, give us a call!

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, gettysburg sleep dentist, sleep dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Periodontal Disease and your heart

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 @ 16:03 PM

 

 

describe the image

 

Can your mouth tell on you? An eye doctor can effectively look inside the eye and tell what health conditions you have. Can your Gettysburg dentist look inside your mouth and warn you of certain health risks? Recent studies suggest that common problems such as cavities, missing teeth and periodontal disease may be linked to heart disease. The American Academy of Periodontology warned that people with periodontal disease may be twice as likely to have heart disease complications.

If you crunch some numbers--heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women, claiming as many as one million lives annually-- this piece of enlightenment may have far-reaching implications. Can periodontal disease increase risks of heart disease and will preventing or treating periodontal disease help to reduce risks of heart disease? While the answer is not as simple as stating it in an equation, here are some information to consider.

Oral Bacteria May Cause Narrowing of arteries

Periodontal disease results from unchecked bacterial activity in the mouth. Neglect or poor oral hygiene cause plaque (a sticky clear residue of bacteria, acid and food particles) to build up around the gums surrounding the teeth, causing inflammation and eventually destroying the structure that holds up the teeth. The bacteria don't just stay in the mouth, they may enter the blood stream through the gums. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria may deposit themselves on the fatty plaque already in the bloodstream, narrowing and hardening the blood vessels. This buildup will eventually block the flow of blood, increasing risks of heart attack or stroke.

Oral Bacteria May Trigger Inflammation

Inflammation has been blamed for a number of diseases, including heart disease, arthritis and periodontal disease. When the body fights against invading bacteria, inflammation (together with swelling) often results. Applies this logic to oral bacteria traveling through the body—they trigger inflammation, causing the blood cells to swell and clog the arteries. Narrowing of the arteries increases cardiovascular risks.

Although the exact dynamics of the connection need more investigation, the correlation is still important in the overall health picture. Since the symptoms of heart disease don’t necessarily show up in the early stages, such as the hardening and narrowing of arteries, any other telltale signs help. For instance, it's easier to spot bleeding gums and check for other related health risks, including heart disease.

If keeping your mouth healthy may reduce risks of heart disease, contact us at Samuels Dental Arts P.C.
 
for a comprehensive oral exam to determine the state of your oral health.

Topics: Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg, holistic dentist Gettysburg

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