We are happy to announce that we are now the exclusive dentist for the Bedford VA Hospital staff and families.
We are happy to announce that we are now the exclusive dentist for the Bedford VA Hospital staff and families.
We hope this letter finds you well and enjoying a pleasant fall.
As the end of the year is quickly approaching, we want to remind you to utilize any unused insurance benefits before they expire. Many of you also participate in Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Plans with your employer. In most cases, any benefits left in these accounts do not roll over each calendar year.
Depending on your individual needs, careful calendar planing will allow you to maximize your time and unused benefits. Our team can assist you in preparing for your dental care by discussing your treatment needs and reserving convenient appointments. Additionally, we offer many payment options with a monthly payment that fits into your budget.
Your health is important to us and we want to make sure you get the care you deserve. If you or a family member needs an appointment or has any questions, please call us today so we may discuss your needs. We look forward to seeing you at your next visit!
With best wishes for continued good health,
Dr Gabriel Schweier
Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.
Key ingredients in preventing tooth decay and maintaining a healthy mouth are:
Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease, is an inflammatory disease that destroys the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth.
Periodontitis (gum disease) is not to be confused with gingivitis (gum inflammation). Gingivitis usually precedes periodontitis. However, it is important to know that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.
In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque build up, causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during tooth brushing. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. No irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.
Toxins or poisons — produced by the bacteria in plaque as well as the body’s “good” enzymes involved in fighting infections — start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Plaque accumulation due to poor oral care is the primary cause of periodontal disease. Other factors which can contribute to the disease are certain medical illnesses (diabetes and HIV infection), medications (dilantin and certain blood pressure medications), smoking, chewing tobacco and genetics (family history of oral disease).
What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?
Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs.. Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, there are some warning signs to be aware of:
What is the treatment for periodontal disease?
For patients who present with the signs and symptoms of early periodontal disease, our dentists may recommend a “deep cleaning.” This procedure is called scaling, root planing and curettage. Scaling is the removal of tartar above the gum line. Root planing is a root surface debridement. Curettage is the removal of diseased soft tissue that abuts the root surface. The goal of scaling, root planing and curettage is pocket elimination. Most early cases respond to this treatment. In more advanced cases surgery may be indicated. Please refer to our patient education page for more information.
Need another reason to floss your teeth at least once a day? Flossing daily helps improve bad breath by effectively removing the food particles and bacteria that contribute to it. That makes flossing one of the easiest ways to prevent and banish bad breath.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is more common than many people realize. You may joke about bad breath, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, but it’s an important oral health issue. Bad breath can be more than an embarrassing social problem—it can be a sign of disease or illness.
Saliva is Your Friend
Less saliva means that your mouth is more susceptible to plaque buildup, which can create an unpleasant smell on your breath. Pay extra attention to any of the following circumstances that can reduce the saliva in your mouth and promote bad breath:
If you’re dieting and eating less frequently, a mint floss can not only help bad breath by removing bacteria, it may help you with your diet by providing a fresh taste in your mouth that makes you less tempted to snack. People who are following extremely low carbohydrate diets also sometimes report bad breath, but these reports are anecdotal. If you’re on a low-carb diet, or any restrictive diet, you may be promoting bad breath. If you must restrict your food intake and eat infrequently, drink plenty of water to help maintain the level of saliva in your mouth to help prevent bad breath in addition to following a good oral care routine.
If you experience chronic bad breath that doesn’t seem to improve despite a consistent oral hygiene routine, talk to your dentist and doctor for further evaluation to identify or prevent serious health problems.
Sometimes bad breath can be a sign of a more serious issue. Some serious oral health conditions associated with bad breath include:
In addition, bad breath can be a symptom of a variety of serious non-oral health problems including liver disease, diabetes, HIV, digestive system ailments such as reflux and even lung infections or lung disease.
The Importance of Habit
Research supports a link between lack of flossing (among other poor oral hygiene behaviors) and bad breath. In a study of more than 1,000 adults conducted in Kuwait, never using dental floss was significantly associated with reports of bad breath, as was infrequent tooth brushing, being or having been a smoker.
Your oral care routine to help prevent bad breath should include not only daily flossing, but also brushing the teeth, tongue, gums and roof of your mouth twice each day. Using a mouthwash can provide short-term relief for bad breath, but use it as an addition to (not a substitute for) brushing and flossing.
Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, boosting the risk of cavities, according to a new study.
“The big misconception is that energy drinks and sports drinks are healthier than soda for oral health,” says researcher Poonam Jain, BDS, MPH, associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. “This study completely disproves that, because they erode or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity.”
Jain and her team tested 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. They tested six drinks for their effects on tooth enamel and found both types caused damage. Energy drinks, however, were twice as bad. Damaged tooth enamel cannot be fixed.
The study is published in the journal General Dentistry.
Sports Drinks, Energy Drinks, and Teeth: Study Details
The drinks are especially popular among teens and young adults. Up to half of U.S. teens and young adults drink energy drinks, and more than half have at least one sports drink a day, according to the researchers.
They tested the acidity levels of all 22 drinks. They found the levels of acidity in the drinks vary between brands and between flavors of the same brands.
Gatorade Blue had the highest acidity among sports drinks. Next was Hydr8. Among the energy drinks with the highest acidity:
MDX had the lowest acidity of the energy drinks.
Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks, and Tooth Enamel
Jain’s team immersed enamel samples from extracted human teeth into three sports drinks and three energy drinks. The sports drinks tested were:
The energy drinks tested were:
The enamel samples were immersed in the drinks for 15 minutes. The researchers transferred the enamel to artificial saliva for two hours. This cycle was repeated four times a day for five days. The beverages were replaced with fresh ones every day. The cycle was meant to simulate real life, Jain says, as some teens and young adults drink the beverages every few hours.
Enamel loss was evident after five days of exposure, Jain says.
The average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5%, while the average loss with energy drinks was more than 3%. Jain says she cannot pinpoint what percent of enamel loss would cause problems.
Susceptibility to dental problems depends on personal hygiene, lifestyle, total diet, and genetic makeup, according to the ABA. ABA member companies agree not to offer energy drinks for sale in grades K through 12, and to offer calorie-capped sports drinks in containers of 12 ounces or less only to high schools.
Advice for Sports, Energy Drink Fans
Even one drink a day is potentially harmful, Jain says. “If the consumer is absolutely unable to give them up, the best advice is to minimize [their use] and rinse with water afterwards,” she says. “Dilute them,” she says. Do not brush immediately after drinking them, she says, as this could spread around the acid. “The mouth takes about 30 minutes to bring the pH back to normal.”
Wait an hour after drinking the sports or energy drink, to be safe, then brush, Jain says.
And of course make sure to see your dentist for regular cleanings!
A study observed more than 100,000 people, none of whom had a history of heart attack or stroke at the beginning of the study, over a period of seven years in Taiwan. The study suggested that those people who got their teeth professionally cleaned at least twice or more in two years had significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like heart attack or a stroke.
The findings which were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011 stated that people who got their teethed scaled by a dentist had 13 percent less chance of stroke and ran as much as 24 percent lower risk of heart attack, compared to people who never had had a dental cleaning done by a certified dental hygienist or dentist.
The study had included more than 51,000 adults who had undergone teeth scaling partially or fully, at least once a year. The study also included an equal number of adults who had never got their teeth cleaned professionally. The study did not make any adjustments for cardiovascular disease risk factors such as smoking, ethnicity/ race or weight factors.
As per Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, M.D., cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, “Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling at least once a year. Professional tooth scaling appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth that can lead to heart disease or stroke.”
Another study conducted on approximately 8,000 participants by Dr. Holmlund, dentist researcher at the Centre for Research and Development of the County Council of Gävleborg, Sweden, showed that the type of periodontal (gum) disease is a good predictor of the degree of risk one has of heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke.
The study went on to give very specific numbers of periodontal bad spots and the probability attached to the numbers, such as:
Periodontitis often causes dysbiosis, which is a two-fold manipulation of the human immune system that diminishes the immune system’s effectiveness.
The information appears in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. The periodontal bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis impacts two pathways while eliminating immune cells and maintaining their ability to produce inflammation. This saves the neutral gum bacteria from immune system clearance.
But it also makes way for dysbiosis, producing bone loss and inflammation. The broken down products feed into dysbiosis. The resulting cycle, which is buoyed by the combination of inflammation and dysbiosis, worsens periodontitis.
This bacterium, known as a keystone pathogen, could play a role in irritable bowel disease, colon cancer or other inflammatory diseases. The issue with this bacterium is that it can’t cause the disease by itself. It needs other, nonpathogenic bacteria to produce the inflammation.
The goal of this study was to determine why molecules involved in P. gingivalis resulted in disease. Their research concluded that there could be new targets for periodontitis treatment and that a bacterial strategy may be in the mix for other diseases that involve dysbiosis.