Ever heard the phrase, “you’ve gotta be cruel to be kind?” It has never been truer than when referring to gum disease treatments. Periodontal disease affects as much as 80% of US adults, but the way dental practitioners handle periodontal treatments may be part of the problem. Patients avoid periodontal treatment due to lack of treatment urgency, not fully understanding necessary treatments, and money. Many dentists hesitate to fully explain and recommend periodontal therapy because they fear patients will simply cancel appointments due to the added cost. Instead, dentists tend to try the “nice” approach – recommending periodontal appointments every three months but billing them as regular dental cleanings during six month checkups. However, by changing the focus of periodontal disease treatment to communicating clearly, emphasizing assessment and prevention, and working with patients to maximize insurance benefits, dentists can better equip patients to receive the dental care they need.
Continue reading Do Nice Dentists Finish Last? – Do Dentists Have to be Cruel to be Kind?
2014 is rapidly coming to a close, and New Year’s Day is just around the corner. People from all around the world are coming up with ideas for their New Year’s resolutions, hoping to make this the year they make great strides toward self-improvement and better health. As we all prepare to welcome 2015 in style, we’d like to take a few moments to suggest one resolution that is not only easy to keep but incredibly rewarding as well.
Dental Checkups for the Whole Family
Biannual checkups and cleanings are critical components of any oral hygiene regimen. They present you with the perfect opportunity to ask your dentist any questions you may have about your teeth and gums, as well as any other concerns you may have at the time. These simple visits also include a thorough exam and cleaning, two things your teeth desperately need to stay healthy for life.
Unfortunately, many people still believe that it’s fine to skip out on their routine checkups because they haven’t noticed any problems that warrant a dental visit. The problem with that line of thinking is that not every oral health concern presents with noticeable symptoms. The early stages of gum disease, for example, may be virtually undetectable. Small cavities – particularly those that form between the teeth – may be difficult to see or feel until they have progressed to a more advanced stage of decay. Even a root canal infection may slip under your radar without the practiced eyes of a dentist to spot the signs with a detailed x-ray.
The great news about dental checkups is that they are covered by most dental insurance plans; you may not have to pay a single penny to get your teeth cleaned by a dedicated professional!
Make the Smart Resolution Today!
While vowing to eat healthily, save money, and get in shape are all viable and popular resolutions, we suggest placing more emphasis on your oral health this year as well. Your mouth serves as a portal to the rest of your body, and the status of your teeth and gums can potentially affect your overall health. This New Year’s Eve, make the decision to treat your smile well with routine preventive visits at your local dental office. You’ll be glad you did.
Most people know that gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) can cause major problems like bleeding gums, tenderness, and even eventual tooth loss. The more serious complications associated with this common disease, however, are not as readily recognizable. Keeping your gums free of infection can actually help you avoid a variety of other health problems now and in the future.
Oral Health and Your Future
When your gums are infected, the bacteria that flourish there can easily travel through your body to other tissues and organs. Because this process takes time, you may not even realize that you are at risk until more pressing symptoms arise. Medical problems that have been linked to untreated gum disease include the following:
- Complications in pregnant women, including pre-mature birth and low birth weight infants
- Dementia in older patients
- Pancreatic cancer
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other bone/joint problems
- Complications in the treatment of diabetes
Treating periodontal disease now is one of the first lines of defense against these and other medical conditions. Your dentist can discuss with you the periodontal therapy process, providing you with all the information you need to make a decision regarding your oral health and your systemic well-being.
Healthy Gums, Healthy Body
If you have noticed the tell-tale signs of gum disease (including bleeding gums, sensitivity, redness, and a receding gum line), it is imperative that you make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment of gum disease helps ensure a faster recovery, thereby reducing your risk of developing diseases and health conditions like those listed above. Call your local dentist today and take the first step toward a healthier body and a happier smile with periodontal therapy.
The months before you welcome a new member to your family will be some of the most exciting months in your life. But those nine months also come with changes, and not just the most obvious one.
For instance, studies have shown that pregnant women are more vulnerable to gum disease than women who aren’t pregnant. Studies have also shown that there’s a link between gum disease and certain complications, like preterm birth or low-birth weight.
All of which means that if you’re currently pregnant, you need to make your oral health a priority.
It’s common for pregnant women to experience the swollen, bleeding gums associated with mild gum disease. Why? Because of the increased amount of hormones in the body. As your hormones increase, your gums become more prone to irritation from plaque, potentially leading to gingivitis.
So what steps can you take to protect your smile? Here are three to consider:
- Pay special attention to your gumline when you brush
- Avoid starchy or sugary foods and instead stick to a diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Talk to your dentist about extra appointments or home care tips
As a mom-to-be, you want to give your little one the best possible start in life. Making your oral health a priority during the nine months of your pregnancy are one way you can do that. If you haven’t visited your local dentist recently, call them today to reserve an appointment. Working side-by-side with your dentist, a healthy smile during pregnancy is possible.
Statistics show that women are more likely to visit a dentist then men—but does this mean women have better oral health? Not necessarily. Women have specific oral health needs, and hormonal fluctuations throughout their lifetime can make them more susceptible to periodontal disease. Here are a few frequently asked questions concerning women’s oral health at various stages of life. Continue reading FAQs: Women and Oral Health
The link between gum disease and diabetes has been debated for some time. Researchers agree that the link exists, but the relationship is unclear. Are patients with diabetes more susceptible to gum disease, or is it the other way around? In recognition of National Diabetes Month, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has released some new guidelines on oral health for people with diabetes.
According to recent studies, a two-way relationship exists between oral health and diabetes. Gum disease, an infection of the soft tissues that support the teeth, increases blood sugar levels, which elevates the risk of diabetic complications. Patients who already have diabetes are more susceptible to infection, and therefore, more likely to contract the disease. The bottom line? Everyone, especially diabetics, needs to pay close attention to his or her oral health. Continue reading Important News for Patients with Diabetes