DentalBLU Blog

Can your mouth tell if you're at risk for heart disease?  It just may!  Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease.  A recent analysis shows that the potential heart disease risk for patients with periodontal disease may even be greater than for those with high cholesterol.  For too many Americans, this reality hits close to home in that more than 85 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, while more than 200 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease.

Scientists suspect the link between the two diseases is due to the same bacteria.  In this scenario, bacteria found in infected gum tissue around teeth break down the barrier between the gums and the underlying connective tissue, causing inflammation.  During normal chewing or brushing, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and move to other parts of the circulatory system, contributing to the formation of cardiovascular disease.

Inflammation, or swelling, is the body's natural response to infection.  It is possible that as oral bacteria travel through the body it triggers a similar response, which then leads to the formation of arterial plaque.  Oral bacteria have been found in the fatty deposits of people with atherosclerosis.  These deposits can narrow arteries or break loose and clog them entirely, leading to heart attack or stroke.

While scientists are still researching whether inflammation is at the root of the problem, one thing is for sure:  It is firmly established that a link exists between periodontal disease and heart disease.

Given the link between these two systemic diseases, the dental profession can be considered a key assessor of not just oral health, but also heart health.   The first step is getting scheduled with your dental team for a dental hygiene checkup.  The hygiene team should be actively looking for the disease by doing a thorough periodontal exam and charting.  In this exam they will be looking for:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums or other pain in the mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between the gums and teeth
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way the teeth fit together when one bites down
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Some of these initial symptoms of periodontal disease are often silent or you don't notice any symptoms until later stages.  This is where your dental team will help identify symptoms at an early stage so you can get the proper treatment to maintain a healthy smile and heart.

If periodontal disease is detected, then a treatment plan will be recommended to repair the damage caused by the disease by getting rid of the infection and close up the pockets.  Today, many general dentists and periodontists offer a patient-friendly protocol to help treat your disease.  You should also be educated by your dental team to help you identify early symptoms and how to maintain the treatment that was performed to keep you in good oral health.

For more information on periodontal disease and how our office can help, please visit our website at www.Dentalblu.com or give our office a call to set up your dental hygiene checkup.

By Dr. Depp
October 10, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: invisalign   Orthodontics  

Invisalign is the most advanced clear aligner system in the world and takes a modern approach to straightening your teeth through a series of custom-made aligners created just for you.  Invisalign is comfortable to wear and properly aligns your teeth to help improve your overall dental health.  Invisalign can help you achieve that confident smile in a short period of time.

Benfits of Invisalign:

  • It's removable for good hygiene - You can brush and floss normally, which can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Healthier Gums - Properly positioned teeth are easier to brush and floss than teeth that are crowded, crooked or spaced too far apart.  Research has shown that periodontal tissue health may improve after Invisalign treatment reducing the risk of periodontitis and gingivitis.
  • Cleanings are quicker and eaiser than with traditional orthodontics - There are no brackets or wires to clean around as wiht traditional orthodontics.
  • You can still eat when you want - Because the aligners are removable and should be removed when you eat, you don't have to worry about what you eat.

 

Treatment Process:

  • Consultation - During the consultation, you and your doctor will discuss your case in detail to determine if you're a good candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign now addresses many cases, from simple to more complex. Your doctor will determine if Invisalign is right for you.  This will also be your opportunity to ask any questions about Invisalign, costs, dental/orthodontic insurance, or any other concerns.
  • Customized Treatment Plan - Your doctor will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3-D image of them. From these images your doctor will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth, and tell you the approximate length of treatment. Using the same technology your doctor will be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment.  While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes approximately a year for adults. For teens the length of treatments is comparable to that of braces.
  • Receive Your Custom Aligners - Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners is then created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won't irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. Simply wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. And because they're virtually invisible, most people won't even notice you're wearing them.
  • Wearing Aligners - Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with your doctor, usually only every six weeks or so. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile that reflects the real you.
  • Keeping Your New Smile Looking Great -

    Congratulations! This is the time when you celebrate. You have reached the end of treatment and you will be smiling more than ever.  Once your treatment is complete, protect the beautiful new smile you have invested in. Ask your doctor if you will need retainers to keep your teeth in their new position. Vivera® retainers are custom made using the same state-of-the-art technology as Invisalign. Vivera retainers lock in your beautiful smile.

So if you have been considering braces you should set up a consultation to see if you are a candidate.  This is a great treatment for any member of the family and often outside financing is avaliable to give you an affordable payment plan option.  Call Dental Blu to get started today!

By Dr. Depp
August 02, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Untagged

Are My Gums Receding? And Why?

Progressive change can be difficult to notice, especially when it occurs to us and not someone else.  Changes that occur along our gum line certainly fall into this category, and given the measurement used to gauge erosion is measured in millimeters, it's no wonder it's easy to miss. So, how much erosion is normal, and what causes it? Let's take a look.

 

What's "Normal"?

Unfortunately to most, gum recession is considered to be a normal part of aging.  Even the expression "long in the tooth" stems from the age-old story that as we get older, our gum line tends to recede and expose more of the surface of our teeth. But there really is nothing "normal" about gum recession, and for most of us, it can actually be prevented. So, unless you're inclined to keep things as they are, and embrace gum recession as the well-paid price of wisdom, we can help. 

First things first. There are a host of factors that contribute to the erosion of your gumline. The best part is, the VAST majority of these causes are preventable.  

The Biggest Offenders:
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Over-vigorous, or improper brushing
  • Aggressive flossing
  • Exposure to acids in sports and energy drinks
  • Tobacco use
  • The frequent use of whitening products
All of the above causes of gum loss can be prevented. All of them.  If you grind your teeth at night, you can wear a mouth guard. If you brush as though you're sanding down the statue of David, learn proper technique from your dentist, or from a video online. Bleeding a lot when flossing? You're not slicing cheese - go easy, there, friend!  If you smoke, drink too many energy drinks, or chew tobacco, cut back, or stop altogether. None of that stuff is good for you in any way imaginable. And lastly, if you're actually trying to look like Ross from the show "Friends" by abusing whitening strips, you can stop now, your teeth have got to be super-white already!

 

Be Proactive

What's next? How can you tell if your gums are receding faster than the Amazon rainforest? Well, the most proactive step you can take is to visit your dentist. In fact, if you're going regularly, your dentist has been monitoring your recession for some years now. If you've ever noticed your dentist poking around in your mouth with a metal object you can't see, all while reciting numbers to the hygienist, he's probably doing two things: measuring the recession of your gums, and the depths of your gum pockets. Both speak to the health of your gum line.

So, the next time you hear your dentist reading off what seem like lottery number choices, just ask how your gum-health is going … they'll be happy to keep you in the loop.

The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, so be on the lookout for this tell-tale sign. Reduce, or eliminate the above discussed habits, and ask your dentist how you're doing in terms of taking care of your gums. With a little bit of knowledge and proactive behavior, no one will be saying you're "long in the tooth" any time soon.
January 28, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Mini Implants  

Find out whether this type of dental implant is right for your smile needs.

Dental implants are a great and long-term solution for those looking to replace a missing tooth. Implants tout a multitude of benefits that dental bridges and dentures just can’t. While your Northern Kentucky cosmetic dentist often uses traditional dental implants, there are situations that warrant the use of mini dental implants to give you a better smile. Find out more about mini dental implants, when they are most often used and whether they are right for you.

What are mini implants?

Just like traditional dental implants, mini implants are made from titanium and look like small posts that act like a tooth’s roots. The top part of the implant is ball-shaped, to help hold your dentures firmly in place. A fixture will also be placed on the bottom of your dentures to act like a socket to the ball-shaped implant. The dentures are then securely placed onto the implants.

What should I expect during my mini implant treatments?

Mini dental implants can be placed in your Northern Kentucky cosmetic dentist’s office using only local anesthesia or sedation. We use a special surgical technique that allows us to easily place your implants into the jawbone. The top portion of the implants will be exposed to help securely hold your dentures in place. It’s only takes one procedure to get your mini implants and it doesn’t require stitches or months of healing and multiple surgeries like it would with traditional dental implants.

What are the benefits of mini implants?

The more obvious benefits include making it significantly easier to eat or speak without worrying about dentures moving around in your mouth. Plus, these implants are also the only tooth loss replacement treatment that preserves the integrity of your jawbone and facial structure.

Furthermore, unlike with traditional dental implants, you don’t have to worry about multiple, invasive surgeries. The treatment is fast, simple and only minimally invasive. Plus you don’t have to wait months to get your implants. Your Northern Kentucky cosmetic dentist can place them in only one visit, so you could be enjoying a healthy new set of teeth the same night.

Are mini implants right for me?

These are some questions to ask yourself to see if mini dental implants are right for you:

  • Are you missing one or more teeth?
  • Do you currently wear dentures?
  • Are you tired of your dentures moving around and making noise whenever you eat or speak?
  • Do you want to feel more confident in your smile?
  • Do you want to enjoy your favorite meals or talking to friends without worrying about your dentures?

If you said “yes” to most of the questions above, then mini dental implants could be an ideal fit for your smile. However, the only way to truly know whether this procedure is right for you is to examine your teeth. Schedule a consultation with your Northern Kentucky dentists, Ansley H. Depp, D.M.D., F.A.G.D. or Angela J. Arlinghaus, D.M.D. at Dental Blu today to start yourself on the road to a healthier smile.

December 17, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Bonding  

Find out how dental bonding could fix your minor dental flaws and repair your smile.

If you are dealing with only minor dental problems than you probably can’t reap the benefits of certain procedures like dental veneers; however, the good news is if you are dealing with minor chips or cracks, or gaps between teeth these problems can easily be fixed with non-invasive and painless cosmetic dentistry in Northern Kentucky.

What is dental bonding?

This non-invasive cosmetic procedure uses a tooth-colored resin to cover over minor dental flaws to improve the appearance of your Dental Bondingsmile.

What can dental bonding be used for?

There are a variety of ways your Northern Kentucky cosmetic dentist uses dental bonding:

  • To fill cavities
  • To repair chips or cracks in teeth
  • To hide discolorations
  • To fill the spaces between teeth
  • To change the shape of the tooth

What is the tooth bonding process like?

There is little preparation needed since anesthesia is not required (unless you are having a cavity filled first). The first thing your cosmetic dentist will do is match the resin color to the rest of your teeth to make sure you have a uniformed smile.

Then we will roughen the surface of the tooth and apply a liquid that will help the resin stick to the tooth. Then the resin is applied. The resin is very much like putty, as it can be molded and shaped to cover over problem areas. Once we have the look we want, we will shine a laser over the tooth to harden the resin permanently. The whole process takes about 30 to 60 minutes a tooth.

What makes dental bonding beneficial?

You can fix minor dental problems through one easy, inexpensive and non-invasive treatment. Other treatments like dental veneers require a little more preparation and more extensive changes. Plus, dental bonding can be performed in only one visit. Also, for those who are scared of needles, dental bonding is a great choice because it’s painless and doesn’t require anesthesia.

To find out more about dental bonding and whether it’s a good option for your smile, call your Northern Kentucky dentist today to schedule a consultation.





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