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What is gum disease?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 15:05 PM

 

 

 

Gum disease

 

 

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal an alarming truth: By the time you’re 30, you stand a 50 percent chance of developing periodontal disease. The risk increases with age; in adults 65 or older, the rate rises to almost 70 percent. If you crunch the numbers, you’ll realize that periodontal disease is dangerously prevalent. Periodontal disease will eventually destroy the connective tissue, bone and gums in the mouth, leading to the loss of teeth. What can you do to stop periodontal disease in its track? Get rid of habits that promote periodontal disease. Here are five habits that can put you at risks or aggravate the condition.

Does smoking cause gum disease?

If you smoke, you’re more likely to develop periodontal disease. Tobacco impairs blood supply to gums and reduces inflammatory and immune responses to toxins generated by periodontal disease. Result? Bacteria multiply and speed up the progress of periodontal disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, smoking increases pocket formation (a symptom of periodontal disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth) and promotes attachment loss. So what type of smoking is detrimental to periodontal disease? Cigar, pipe, water-pipe and cannabis smoking have similar effects on periodontal disease as cigarette smoking. To make matters worse, smoking also interferes with non-surgical and surgical treatments of periodontal disease. To improve your odds of preventing periodontal disease, it’s imperative to quit smoking.

How does sugar hurt my teeth?

Have a sweet tooth? If you enjoy eating foods high in sugar content, you may be doing your teeth a disservice. Much has been said about sugar and dental caries, but a sweet mouth environment may fuel bacteria activity linked to periodontal disease. Bacteria feast off the sugar and multiply. They interact with the mucus in the mouth to create plaque. When plaque is not brushed away, it hardens into tartar and tartar is known for destroying the connective tissue in the mouth. The ensuing scenario is not pretty—once the connective tissue is destroyed, tooth loss may result.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If there’s one overriding habit that encourages periodontal disease, it is poor oral hygiene. Oral neglect over time can negatively impact dental health. Bacteria flourish, plaque forms, tartar builds up and these factors work to destroy the gums and connective tissue. To fight periodontal disease on the frontline, brush and floss twice daily and rinse your mouth after meals to flush out any sugary residue. Dentists also recommend regular professional cleaning and routine checkups.

What diseases affect gums?

While the studies are still inconclusive, there is some evidence that certain diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular health can increase the risks of periodontal disease and vice versa. While the cause and effect are hard to pinpoint, one thing is certain—it’s crucial to maintain good general health to increase your chance of fighting periodontal disease.

These are just a few habits that can increase risk of periodontal disease. For more information on how you can prevent periodontal disease, contact us.

Topics: Dental Hygiene, Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease

Ever wonder how the toothbrush started in dentistry?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, May 15, 2014 @ 19:05 PM

 

 


 toothbrush history

People have been using implements to clean their teeth since the dawn of civilization, according to a page about the history of the toothbrush by the Colgate Company. Both the Babylonians and the Egyptians made a form of tooth brush by fraying the ends of twigs. Egyptians seem to have also used toothpicks and the Chinese chewed a tree based gum that cleaned teeth and sweetened breath.

The first tooth brush that had bristles were developed in China around the 15th Century, using the hair from pigs’ necks attached to a handle made of bone or bamboo. The technology was gradually introduced to Europe where horses’ hair and sometimes even feathers were used.

The first modern looking toothbrush was developed by a man named William Addis in England around 1780. The Addis toothbrush still had the pigs’ hair attached to a handle carved from a cow bone. The familiar three rows of bristles came into being in 1844.

Natural bristles were used until the invention of nylon in 1938. Since nylon bristles were softer and thus more popular they became the standard feature for tooth brushes by the 1950s. Electric toothbrushes, first made in 1939, were introduced to the American market in 1960.

Modern toothbrushes are made with plastic handles and nylon bristles. Modern ergonomic design has allowed the production of toothbrushes in a variety of shapes and sizes with a view of making the grip and use easier. Thus has the art of teeth brushing advanced during the past five thousand years of human history.

At our Gettysburg family dentist office we don't use hair from pigs or horses but we do provide cutting edge cosmetic, restorative and implant treatment to make great smiles!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Dental Implants

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, May 8, 2014 @ 15:05 PM

 

dental implants

Unfortunately, missing teeth are a reality for many Americans, regardless of how carefully they have tried to practice good oral care.  One of the best treatments today to replace missing teeth is the use of dental implants.

Dental implants have become an extremely popular option for a long-term solution to missing teeth.  They have an overall success rate of about 95%, and are replacing more traditional solutions like fixed bridges or removable dentures.  Losing a tooth or teeth usually results in the destruction of the supporting bone which once held the teeth in place. The jaws shrink causing changes to appearance and often making the wearing of a conventional denture impossible.  Dental implants do not contribute to bone loss.  In fact, they are the only tooth replacement technique that actually serves to preserve the jaw bone.

Another big advantage of tooth replacement with implants is that the adjacent, neighboring teeth do not need to be touched.  Fixed bridge work and removable, partial dentures depend on other teeth for anchorage and sometimes cause  trauma to these teeth. Eventually a one tooth problem can become a three tooth problem when a bridge attached to neighboring teeth fails.

It is estimated in dental research that about 69% of American adults between ages 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth.  Additionally, one quarter of all adults over the age of 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.  While several treatment options can be used to replace missing teeth, only dental implants can provide the full capability and functionality of a missing tooth.  It's almost like growing back your real tooth!

Since dental implants cannot develop cavities or decay, they are considered to be the leading long-term solution to missing teeth. Post-implant care is still important.  Patients should brush, floss and have regular dental visits to ensure the health of the gums surrounding implants and natural teeth.

Contemporary dental implants have proven to be safe and effective options for patients suffering from missing teeth.  Unlike dentures, dental implants do not impede speaking, eating or smiling normally, and can return the face to its natural shape.  More and more dentists are turning to implants as the best thing next to natural, healthy teeth.  They're a long-term solution, and with proper care, they can last a lifetime.  Unlike bridges which often have to be replaced every seven to ten years, dental implants can truly stand the test of time.  While they may require occasional adjustments and revisions of the crowns on top of the implants, they can be a permanent solution to missing teeth as long as they are cared for properly.

Since dental implants do require surgery, it is advisable to seek a trusted, well trained dental professional who can advise you of the risks and the benefits involved, and guide you towards healthy and safe treatment options in a safe and positive environment. Sedation anesthesia is available to make this a comfortable experience.

Topics: Gettysburg dental implants, Gettysburg implant dentist

Which Cosmetic Dentistry Option will Improve Your Smile?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, May 5, 2014 @ 17:05 PM

 


gettysburg cosmetic dentistry


 

Would you be less self conscious about smiling if your teeth were a little whiter or straighter? Do you hide your smile because you have chipped or worn teeth?  Do you have missing teeth that affect your ability to chew and speak?  If you answered yes to any of these questions you should consider cosmetic dentistry!  Increase your confidence and improve your self-esteem with your new stunning smile!

Determining which cosmetic dentistry option is right for you depends on what you are trying to correct.  The summaries below should help guide you in the right direction.  

Invisalign to Straighten Teeth

With the revolutionary Invisalign system clear plastic aligners are used to straighten your teeth.  Multiple sets of aligners are used in sequence to achieve ideal correction.  Aligners are typically changed every 2 weeks allowing your teeth to become straighter step by step.  Invisalign patients enjoy that their teeth are being straightened without the use of obvious braces.  The aligners can be removed allowing you to eat and brush like normal.  Patients also describe Invisalign as comfortable to wear with fantastic results! 

Teeth Whitening

If the color of your teeth prevents you from feeling good about your smile then you should consider an in-office power whitening system.  This bleaching process takes about an hour and will lighten darkened  enamel.  The improvement is often several shades and you will be able to maintain that improvement by following simple post-whitening care instructions. Patients feel younger and are pleasantly surprised at how quick and pain-free this cosmetic dentistry method is.

Veneers

Lumineers or Porcelian Veneers are used to correct minor flaws such as chipped or worn teeth. In addition veneers can close spaces, increase length, improve whiteness and even straighten teeth.  Veneers are durable and can be placed  painlessly in as short as 2 visits.   

Dental Implants or Dentures 

If you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth dental implants or a full set of dentures may be the best option for you.  Dental implants provide excellent support and stability by creating artificial roots in your jaw bone.  The teeth attached to the implant are durable and look natural.  Dentures are custom-made for you, easy to maintain and can restore the look of your smile.  Both dentures and dental implants will help you restore chewing and speech and allow you to smile confidently. 

To find out if cosmetic dentistry is right for you schedule your consultation and start on the path to a new smile that will change your life!  If you have a fear of dental procedures consider sedation dentistry  which can allow us to fix years of problems often in one, comfortable, relaxing
visit. 

Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, Gettysburg cosmetic dentist

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