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Gettysburg Dentist discusses Gum disease and diabetes

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 @ 18:04 PM

 

Gum disease and diabetes

On their own, gum disease and diabetes are pretty serious conditions. When they go hand in hand, they're even worse. But what is the connection? How does one relate to the other?

Gingival disease is considered a potential complication of diabetes. If your blood sugar is not controlled, you are at a greater risk for gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. In turn, tooth loss causes the jaw bone to shrink. This can throw your whole bite off, called malocclusion, and that can open up a whole host of problems ranging from the merely uncomfortable to the downright painful.

Diabetes can cause a thickening of the blood vessels. This hampers the body's ability to get the necessary nutrients to the right places. It also restricts the flushing out of natural waste material in the blood, which greatly reduces your gums' ability to fight off infection.

Sugar is a great attractant for bacteria. Glucose in particular is a big breeding ground for bacteria. As a diabetic, your body is a haven as the bacteria will be attracted to the glucose in your body. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria builds up on your teeth and gums and look for any way in. A weakened defense system will let them in quite handily.

Finally, if you have diabetes and you smoke, you're hitting your poor gums with a double-whammy. As well as the weakening of the gums from diabetes-related complications, smoking further weakens the body's defense systems. The accelerated build-up of tartar combines with the destruction of gum tissue and leaves your mouth open to bacteria and other infections.

The best way to mitigate this damage is to follow your doctor's instructions about your diabetes and your dentist's instructions on your oral care. Though you may not think about your gums much, any compromising of your gums' health can lead to worse conditions that could include heart disease. To maintain healthy gums, brush and floss twice daily and see your dentist regularly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Topics: Dental Hygiene, Periodontal Disease, Dentist Gettysburg

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

Gettysburg Dentist Discusses the History of Toothpaste

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 17:02 PM

 

Gettysburg Dentist


 

Way before there were dentists or dental hygienists, people found a need to keep their teeth clean. Dental hygiene may have been crude, but not without some degree of ingenuity. As always, the focus on preventive dental hygiene remains paramount. The history of toothpaste revealed some interesting developments as mankind searched for the ultimate toothpaste to banish stain, toothaches and bad breath.

The oldest record of toothpaste was found written on a piece of dusty papyrus in a Viennese museum, dating as  far back as 300-500 B.C. An ancient Egyptian scribe recorded the formula for a “powder for white and perfect teeth.” The list of ingredients included rock salt, mint, dried iris flower and pepper, all crushed together for that magic effect. Other accounts detailed the use of less savory ingredients such as oxen hooves, egg shells, pumice and myrrh (thrown in to offset the smell, for sure).

Separate records dating back to more than 6,000 years ago reveal interesting development in the quest for better oral health in various cultures. In China, they utilized an assortment of twigs and bones, mashed and then mixed with water, salt and flower petals to form a thick paste. They used the sharp edge of bamboo leaf to apply paste to the teeth.

In India, they drew upon their strong Ayurvedic background and came out with a clever way of sprucing up their dental health—they used special twigs filled with sweet nectar. They figured that by chewing on these “tasty” twigs, the abrasive nature of the twigs would clean the teeth and dislodge any unwelcome food particles.

In Greece and Rome, they also found the need for abrasive ingredients, using crushed bones and oyster shells. They also used various flavorings to freshen up breath such as charcoal and bark.

As ingenious as these powders and pastes were, they remained crude and the abrasive ingredients may not be very friendly to tooth enamel and gums. In the 1800’s, soap was used to try to mitigate some of the abrasive nature of these pastes.  An actual paste sold in jar became commercially available and, in 1873, Colgate decided to mass produce the toothpaste, as we know today.

Over the years, with research and experimentation, toothpaste has become less abrasive. More synthetic ingredients were added such as sodium lauryl sulfate as a foaming agent and sweeteners to make tooth brushing a more pleasant experience. The 1950’s and 1960’s saw the addition of fluoride for better dental health and from then on, toothpaste took on more sophistication with the use of additives such as gels and whitening agents. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth, toothpaste to whiten and brighten teeth, and toothpaste to strengthen enamel, the choices are as varied as the needs of the populace.

Toothpaste will continue to evolve, with more emphasis on preventing dental decline. To keep your dental health in optimal condition, it is important to get regular checkups and professional cleaning. Contact us today for all your dental needs. 

 

Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, dentist, Dental Hygiene, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg dentist discusses mercury free fillings

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 @ 15:02 PM

 

Gettysburg mercury free fillings

 

 

Modern dental fillings are usually made of mercury free, composite or ceramic materials first created in scientific laboratories. A wide range of white colorings are available to mimic the shade of a patient’s natural teeth. These modern fillings look and feel similar to the rest of the tooth and can be molded and bonded to fit perfectly. They have no heavy metals or metals which could cause allergic sensitivity. Modern advances in dental treatment make fillings nearly undetectable. Examining the history of dentistry provide some interesting facts about dental fillings.

• One of the earliest materials used is still with us today: gold. Teeth with gold filling have been dated as far back as the Roman Empire. Gold was an obvious choice because of its relative softness when compared to other metals.  It is still one of the best materials to use on back molars where the gold can be made very thin, yet still last and perform as a chewing surface about as well as natural enamel.  It is very biocompatible and virtually non-allergenic.

• Archeologists have found evidence from the Middle Ages that show cork and small stones were used to fill teeth. Cork’s malleability made it a viable option but, being a wood it is porous, and it almost certainly worked to trap liquid which would lead to further tooth decay.

• Around the time of the Renaissance European dentists developed a procedure to fill teeth with various metals. They soaked the metal in acid to dissolve it and poured it into a hole in the tooth they made with tiny metal picks. The metal would then solidify but not before causing burns to the patients mouth and further damage to the tooth.

In the mid 1800s dental amalgam (a mixture of mercury and silver) became widely used. Amalgam can be easily shaped to fill cavities and even rebuild an entire tooth.  Although not very esthetic, it is still widely used today.

• The 20th century saw the birth of electricity and modern dentistry. The first electric drills made removal of decay much faster and more precise. Around the same time came the first silicon based fillings. These fillings were the first esthetic materials in that they could be made in various tooth shades.  Unfortunately they were not very strong or durable and could only be used on front teeth.

Today our composite materials look and feel like real teeth.  They have no mercury or metals, are very durable, and have an advantage in that they can be bonded to teeth.  We can use composites to veneer teeth to improve a smile or to fix cavities in front teeth or molars.  Unfortunately, many insurance companies will still only pay for amalgam (silver-mercury) in back teeth.

Topics: mercury free dentistry, Gettysburg mercury free, Gettysburg holistic dentist, holistic dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Gum Disease and Diabetes

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 @ 14:02 PM

Gettysburg Dentist Gum Disease

 


 

Various population studies indicate a strong relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. These two chronic and highly prevalent diseases work like a tandem bicycle, one affects the other and vice versa. People with periodontal disease have a harder time controlling their blood glucose level and, conversely, patients with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, which can further complicate periodontal disease. In recent years, researchers and dentists have been able to understand a little more of the complicated puzzle to better treat periodontal disease. Recent development may shed more light on how to manage periodontal disease and in so doing, keep diabetes in check.

Nonsurgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease (due to unchecked oral bacteria) that works to destroy the tissues and bones that support the teeth. If left unattended, the disease can inflict eventual tooth loss. In the early stages of periodontal disease, nonsurgical treatments are used for damage control and to prevent progression. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, basic nonsurgical procedures did not improve the glycemic control of patients with type-2 diabetes. However, there is evidence that more proactive intensive periodontal treatment may be effective in glycemic control.

In the above research, 500 patients were divided into two groups. One group had basic periodontal treatments done such as scaling, root planing and an oral rinse, followed by further periodontal treatment after three and six months. The other group received no treatment at all. After six months, the group receiving treatment showed improvement in the gum disease, but no visible improvement in their blood-sugar control.

In the light of recent developments, one thing remains constant: prevention is better than cure. The perennial, old fashioned method of diligent oral care remains your best defense against periodontal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommend daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and quitting tobacco use.Patients with diabetes should also receive annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (includes thorough assessment of periodontal health and any other risk factors).

Do your body a favor.  Keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Call us today for a visit with a Gettysburg hygienist.

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

Denture Treatment through the Ages

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

 

 

Dentures

 

Dentures can be used successfully to replace missing teeth. Whether it’s a partial or complete set of dentures, they’re designed to fit nicely in the mouth to facilitate eating, talking and smiling. But this hasn’t always been the case. Dentures have evolved from crude contraptions to durable, look-like-real teeth. The history of dentistry gives us an interesting look at dentures and how they’ve changed over the years:

  • As early as 2500 BC, ancient tribes in Mexico used animal teeth, reportedly from wolves to act as replacement teeth. They were simply placed in the socket, previously holding the lost teeth.
  • On the other side of the globe, the Etruscans of Italy fabricated gold wire or bands to hold human and animal teeth to act as replacement teeth (circa 700 BC).
  • Archaeology revealed that Egyptian mummies also had teeth replacements held in place by gold and silver wire at around 300 BC.
  • Fast forward to 1500s, the Japanese designed the first recorded set of wooden dentures. Made from Japanese Box, it was supposedly used by priestess Nakaoka Tei. It bore a strong resemblance to modern dentures and they were held in place by suction. The Japanese continued to use wooden dentures until the Meiji era of the late 19th century.
  • At the end of the Renaissance period, in the 1700s, the trend shifted to using human teeth, animal teeth and carved ivory. They didn’t fit well. George Washington used a variety of these dentures and according to history, he wasn’t particularly pleased with these innovations.
  • The Waterloo teeth came into the scene during this time frame. After the battle of Waterloo, many soldiers fell and since teeth were badly needed, scavengers went around removing teeth from the dead and shipping them to Europe to be used for dentures for profit.
  • Real advancements were made when British physician, Alex Duchateau, created the first set of porcelain dentures in 1770. It was far from perfect due to the tendency to shrink during the firing process. Dubois De Chemant, a prominent French dentist of that time overcame the problem and King Louis XVI duly granted him an inventor's patent. He later fled to England and in some accounts, was Duchateau's assistant.
  • In the early 1800s, porcelain teeth became readily available and quite the norm in replacing teeth. However, the denture bases remained ill-fitting until the invention of vulcanite (hardened rubber) in the 1850s.
  • As technology advances, dentures become more durable and functional. In the early 20th century, acrylic resin became the standard material used.

In the last 70 years, dentistry made huge strikes in helping people cope with missing teeth. While dentures remain an option to replace missing teeth, there are now other options such as dental implants and root canal treatments. Modern dentistry stresses prevention as the first line of defense.

Looking for the most modern, denture treatments available?  Give us a call! 717-334-0555

Topics: History of Dentistry, dentures in Gettysburg, Gettysburg Dentures, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist

Do You Know How to Take Care of Your Dentures?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:01 PM

Gettysburg Dentures

 


 

You’ve finally had your dentures made. Whether you need them to fill up missing teeth or to replace all your teeth, dentures give you a boost of self-esteem by completing your smile and enabling you to eat properly. You want them to last, to look good for a long time and stay clean and healthy. Here are some effective tips to keep your dentures in better shape than ever. 

Handle With Care 

Although dentures are made with hardy materials such as acrylic resin or durable plastic, they still need tender loving care. Rough handling may chip, break or scratch the polished surface. When handling dentures, stand over a towel or a sink full of water.

Daily Care

Treat dentures like natural teeth. Brush faithfully, at least twice a day to prevent build up of food particles and plaque. Dentists advise using a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent abrasive effect on dentures. It’s a good habit to remember to rinse dentures in between meals.  One of the very best denture cleaners is antibacterial hand soap!

Denture Cleaner

Even with careful brushing, sometimes, stain, bacteria and plaque may still build up in between teeth. To remove these undesirable elements, a number of denture cleaner (or cleanser) is available. It ranges from chemical formulas in the form of cream, liquid, powder or tablet to mechanical cleaners such as denture brushes or ultrasonic denture cleaner that uses sound waves to dislodge deposits. If in doubt as to what cleaner to use, look for one with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. Your dentist will be the best person to advise you on what to use to effectively clean your denture.

When Not in Use

You see it on television, how dentures are placed in a glass of water by the night stand when not in use. As antiquated (perhaps the black and white movie is to be blamed) as that seems, that’s the idea. Dentures should be kept moist when not in use. They should be soaked in a denture cleaning solution or water.

With proper care, your denture will stay in optimal shape and condition and will serve you well. Proper care will also maintain oral hygiene and reduce denture odor.

If you’ve further questions about taking care of dentures, feel free to contact us. We’ll be glad to help you with your dental needs.

 

Topics: dentures in Gettysburg, Gettysburg Dentures, dentures Gettysburg, Dentist in Gettysburg, Dentist Gettysburg

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