Tuesday, 24 June 2014

What are the Stages of Gum Disease?

What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed through daily brushing and flossing, plaque can build up and the bacteria infect not only your gums and teeth, but eventually the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. This can cause them to become loose, fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.
There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease, an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. If daily brushing and flossing do not remove the plaque, it produces toxins (poisons) that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. You may notice some bleeding during brushing and flossing. At this early stage in gum disease, damage can be reversed, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
  • Periodontitis: at this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gumline, which traps food and plaque. Proper dental treatment and improved home care can usually help prevent further damage.
  • Advanced Periodontitis: in this final stage of gum disease, the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. This can affect your bite and, if aggressive treatment can't save them, teeth may need to be removed.
Read the rest of the article at Colgate.com to learn more about how to know if you have gum disease and how gum disease is treated.


The above article is from: Colgate.com
Dentist - Six Month Smiles Dallas TX
Energy Square Dental
Bill Blandford, DDS, PC

(214) 369-99664849 
Greenville, Suite 173, Dallas, TX 75206

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sports Safety: Avoiding Tooth and Mouth Injuries

A few years ago, a dental newsletter published what seemed like an unusual story. A boy snagged his teeth on a basketball net while doing a slam-dunk.
A freakish accident? Not quite. After the article appeared, nearly 40 dentists wrote in with their own stories. They all told of would-be Michael Jordans who sacrificed their front teeth in pursuit of the perfect dunk.
In older children and adults, sports injuries are common. Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports.
About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.
Basic Protection
Even if a tooth has been knocked out, it often can be saved if you get to a dentist quickly enough. Minor chips and cracks can be repaired. Dentists use tooth-colored materials that are nearly as strong as the original tooth. However, even "minor" injuries can cause serious and costly damage. If you enjoy sports or other high-risk activities, protect yourself. The use of mouth guards among football players, for example, is believed to prevent about 200,000 mouth injuries a year.
Depending on the sport, two types of protection are available:

  • Helmets- A helmet is a must for activities that involve speed or impact. These include football, hockey, skating and bike riding. The helmet should fit correctly. It should also be appropriate for the sport you are playing.
  • Mouth guards - Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to prevent injury to your teeth, tongue and lips. A custom-fit mouth guard from your dentist is recommended. This type of mouth guard usually fits better than a ready-made one (found in sporting-goods stores). That means it may protect your teeth better.
If a custom-fit mouth guard isn't an option, try a "boil-and-bite" mouth guard. You can buy one in a sporting-goods store. You place the mouth guard in boiling water. Once the plastic is soft (but not too hot), you bite down on the mouth guard and mold the softened plastic around your teeth. If the mouth guard doesn't fit comfortably the first time, you can reheat it and do it again.

©2002-2013 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved.

The above article is from: Colgate.com

Dentist - Six Month Smiles Dallas TX
Energy Square Dental
Bill Blandford, DDS, PC

(214) 369-99664849 
Greenville, Suite 173, Dallas, TX 75206

Sleep's memory role discovered

Sleep's memory role discovered
By James Gallagher
Health and science reporter, BBC News


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tooth Anatomy

What Are the Different Parts of a Tooth?
  • Crown- the top part of the tooth, and the only part you can normally see. The shape of the crown determines the tooth's function. For example, front teeth are sharp and chisel-shaped for cutting, while molars have flat surfaces for grinding.
  • Gumline- where the tooth and the gums meet. Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up at the gumline, leading to gingivitis and gum disease.
  • Root- the part of the tooth that is embedded in bone. The root makes up about two-thirds of the tooth and holds the tooth in place.
  • Enamel- the outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body - yet it can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly.
  • Dentin- the layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay is able to progress its way through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin - where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.
  • Pulp- the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain.
What Are the Different Types of Teeth?
Every tooth has a specific job or function (use the dental arch in this section to locate and identify each type of tooth):
  • Incisors- the sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth (four upper, four lower) used for cutting food.
  • Canines- sometimes called cuspids, these teeth are shaped like points (cusps) and are used for tearing food.
  • Premolars- these teeth have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are sometimes referred to as bicuspids. The premolars are for crushing and tearing.
  • Molars- used for grinding, these teeth have several cusps on the biting surface

The above article is from: Colgate.com

Dentist - Six Month Smiles Dallas TX
Energy Square Dental
Bill Blandford, DDS, PC

(214) 369-99664849 
Greenville, Suite 173, Dallas, TX 75206

Monday, 2 June 2014

Oil Pulling Craze: What are the true dental benefits

The oil pulling craze: What are the true dental benefits?
By Becky Speer, RDH
Jameson Management Advisor
I recently visited a practice that is advised by Jameson Management, and the hygienists were asking me for my opinion on oil pulling. From social media to the dental chair, this interesting holistic remedy is quite the hot topic these days when it comes to natural oral care approaches. The question is – what’s the real benefit, if any, to this trend? After researching the topic, here are the main things to know when patients ask you questions.

What is it?
Oil pulling is a home remedy that involves putting about one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swishing with it for 20 minutes. Yes, I said 20 minutes! The name comes from the mechanical action of pushing and pulling the oil between your teeth as you swish. As you do so, the microbes are pulled free from your oral cavity. You are to continue to do this until the oil turns milky white. After about 20 minutes, the solution becomes filled with bacteria and microbes. You then expectorate and rinse your mouth with water.

How dental professionals can respond to 'oil pulling' patients
Coconut oil seems to be the oil of choice because it contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial actions. The studies using sesame oil show that bacteria in the oral cavity was reduced, however, it was less effective than chlorohexidine.

As dental professionals, should we recommend or discourage oil pulling?
We have hundreds of thousands of bacteria in our mouths, and if swishing with coconut oil for 20 minutes reduces that number, then why not? There are items on the market that are full of chemicals, such as alcohol-based mouth rinses, that our patients are using every day. If you can stand to rinse your mouth for 20 minutes with oil, no harm no foul.

The key factor that we as health-care providers need to emphasize to our patients who are curious about oil pulling is what the procedure’s place is in their overall oral care. It will be important that patients understand that this does not replace routine dental visits. This is an adjunct to oral health care. While in its own way it may support regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, oil pulling is NOT the end-all solution to the day-to-day issues in our patients’ mouths.

More research is needed to legitimize oil pulling. You need to discuss this with your fellow team members so that you all take a team approach to answering patients’ questions. If patients have not already asked you about oil pulling, it won’t be long.

Becky Speer, RDH, is a Management and Clinical Advisor for Jameson Management, an international management, marketing, and hygiene coaching firm. Becky brings almost 20 years of dental experience to the profession, as well as hands-on experience from working with the Jameson methods in a practice. For more information on Becky and Jameson’s coaching and marketing services, visit JamesonManagement.com or call 877-369-5558.