PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS

PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS
It is strongly suggested that pregnant women schedule a prenatal visit with the dentist since hormonal changes related to pregnancy make women particularly prone to gum disease (gingivitis). Women who already have gingivitis will likely find that their gums will become increasingly more inflamed, especially if they do not receive treatment. It should also be pointed out that research shows that changes in estrogen and progesterone levels associated with pregnancy affect the nature of the body’s response to the bacteria responsible for causing periodontal (gum) infections. These infections may pose a threat to the placenta and fetus, increasing the likelihood of preterm delivery. This potential complication alone should prompt pregnant women to schedule regular dental visits. You may not even be aware that you have gum disease because often there is no pain.
P.S. About 40% of women develop gingivitis at some point in their pregnancies.

BUCKING UP

BUCKING UP
The industrious beaver may have stained, buck teeth that no human would want, but the beaver’s teeth are much stronger than ours. Although beavers neither brush their teeth nor drink fluoridated water, their tooth enamel is more resistant to acid than ours is. To find out why, researchers took a look at the beaver’s brown tooth enamel at the nanoscale and came up with an important finding. While human teeth have small amounts of magnesium in their structure to resist aced, beaver teeth contain iron. Not only does this mineral give the rodent’s teeth its characteristic orange-brown color, but it makes them harder. This finding may lead to new ways to prevent tooth decay in humans.
P.S. Tooth decay is caused by acid produced by bacteria on tooth surfaces that feed on sugar.

WORD OF MOUTH

WORD OF MOUTH
For patients with missing teeth, dental implants present the most natural replacement option. Dental implants look, feel, and function so naturally because the titanium implant provides a stable foundation to which substitute teeh can be attached. When it was first discovered that pure titanium could fuse with bone under the right conditions, its application as an artificial root became clearly evident. The first step in evaluationg if dental implants are right for you is for the dentist to record a thorough medical and dental history. Diagnostic procedures such as study casts, x-rays, tissue examinations, and CAT scans need to be evaluated. If there is insufficient bone to support the implant, it will limit the overall success and cosmetic results. We can provide you with implants, dentures, bridges and crowns, as well as general dental treatment for the entire family. For a happy, healthy, and good-looking smile, we urge you th have a checkup soon.
P.S. In addition to adequate bone in the jaw to support the implant, the ideal candidate for a dental implant has healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

PLAYING THE GUARD POSITION

PLAYING THE GUARD POSITION
Whether NBA players and their fans think that professional basketball players should serve as role models or not, one aspect of NBA players’ behavior is making a big impression. While relatively few players wore mouth guards to protect their teeth from errant elbows a decade ago, the protective devices have currently become far more commonplace. Fans can hardly watch a game without seeing players inserting the safety devices into their mouths as they enter the game. Aside from helping ensure that a player’s teeth will not be loosened or knocked out, mouth guards may also help the jaw loosen up. As a result, muscle tension may be reduced throughout the body, allowing players to play a more relaxed game.
P.S. The most effective sports mouth guards are the custom-made models that the dentist fabricates from an impression of a patient’s teeth and bite.
Remember “Smiles are contagious and best when shared”

SCALING BACK

SCALING BACK
The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, begins with bacteria in plaque accumulations on tooth surfaces (above and below the gum line) releasing toxins that inflame the gums. As the inflamation continues and bacteria grow below the gum line, connective tissue surrounding the teeth is destroyed and the gums begin to retract. Pockets then form between teeth and gums, allowing bacteria further access to ligaments that anchor teeth and underlying bone. To stop the progression of gingivitis, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from teeth with a scaler. When this is not sufficient, the dentist will plane the surfaces of tooth roots with elongated instruments (curettes) until they are smooth enough to encourage gum reattachment and pocket shrinkage.
This informative column about gingivitis has been brought to you in the interest of better dental health. Teeth are meant to last for a lifetime.
P.S. While scaling basically involves the removal of dental tartar from tooth surfaces, root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure.

TOOTHPASTE FACTS

TOOTHPASTE FACTS
Before the invention of toothpaste in its modern form, the ancients formulated their own versions from ingredients such as crushed egg-shells and powdered pumice.  It was not until the 1890’s that Colgate introduced the first tube of toothpaste.  By the 1950’s, enamel-strengthening fluoride was added to toothpaste as an effective decay-preventing element.  Today, whitening toothpastes are slightly more abrasive than regular toothpastes, which, along with ingredients like peroxide, help them more effectively remove stains.  In any case, the primary purpose behind tooth-brushing is to remove plaque, which coats teeth on a daily basis.  Unless this pale yellow biofilm is removed, it will continue to build up and harden, and acid produced by the colonized bacteria will attack tooth enamel.
P.S. The wavy layer of toothpaste that sits atop toothbrush bristles is known as a “nurdle.”

Academy of Sports Dentistry Annual Symposium

Dr. McNew attended the Academy for Sports Dentistry 33rd Annual Symposium at the InterContinental Hotel Magnificent Mile in Chicago Illinois.  This three day symposium was sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry.

The presentations at the symposium were designed to inform the participants of updates for the prevention and treatment of oral-facial injuries resulting from athletic activities or other traumatic incidents.

Approximately 175 dental professionals from across the U.S. and Canada attended the symposium.

Sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, an international organization, this continuing education activity is held to ensure that members are aware of current issues in prevention and treatment of dental trauma.

TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS

TOOTH-COLORED FILLINGS
While dental amalgam has proven itself to be an effective and relatively inexpensive material for filling cavities caused by tooth decay over the past 150 years, it is not the most pleasing aesthetic choice.  Amalgam’s silver color stands in stark contrast to natural tooth color when placed in visible tooth surfaces.  For this reason, patients are likely to prefer composite-resin tooth colored fillings, which can so closely approximate their natural tooth color as to be virtually unnoticeable.  Composite resins may be somewhat less durable than amalgam fillings, and they may cost more, but patients’ concerns over cosmetics have made them an increasingly popular choice.  As far as dentists are concerned, the best filling is no dental filling.  Prevention is preferred.
P.S. Composite resin material, which is composed of a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture, can be used to reshape disfigured teeth.

SECOND THOUGHTS

SECOND THOUGHTS
Dental patients have many reasons to prevent periodontal (gum) disease before it exerts far-ranging adverse effects.  Aside from the more immediate potential consequences of gum disease, which include inflammation and possible tooth loss, research links gum disease with heart disease, diabetes, lung problems, and premature and low-weight babies.  Fortunately, early stages of gum disease can be reversed with professional cleanings and at-home brushing and flossing.  In more severe cases that involve buildups of hardened tartar, professional “scaling” and “root planning” may remove unwanted deposits above and below the gumline.  However, only patients have it in their power to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, which research now shows increases the likelihood of developing severe gum disease by 30%-60%.
At MCNEW DENTAL, we can give you tips on the proper way to brush and floss.  Brushing and flossing correctly helps keep your teeth white and healthy.  We’ll also recommend a personalized oral home care program to meet your specific needs.
P.S. Both smokers and non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke may come in contact with toxins in the smoke that increase inflammation and oxidative stress.

Just Scratching the Surface

When it comes to repairing or enhancing the visible surfaces of front teeth, porcelain is the material of choice for veneers.  While no other material so closely approximates the look of tooth enamel and is so durable, budgetary considerations may lead to contemplation of alternative  types of restoration.  If so, “bonding and contouring” is recommended as the most cost-effective choice for covering chips and discoloration, improving shape, and restoring lost enamel.  The single-visit process begins with augmenting affected teeth with tooth-colored resin that takes minutes to apply and cure.  Once chips and cracks are filled, the dentist artfully shapes and sculpts the resin to create a natural-looking tooth.

It’s obvious that our smiles (or more specifically, our teeth) are important to us in many ways.  Whether you need bonding procedures or veneers, with the proper esthetics treatment, patients receive the benefits of a beautiful smile.

P.S. While porcelain veneers most closely approximate the translucence and subtle color gradation of natural teeth, bonding creates an appearance that is more solid and consistent in color.