DentalBLU Blog

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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.
By Dr. Depp
October 07, 2013
Category: Fun Facts!
Tags: Untagged

Do it Yourself or Go Pro

Are you debating on at home whiteners versus in office whitening options?

There are many options to choose from and can sometimes become overwhelming. 

If you plan on doing at home whitening here are a few tricks to make the most of your bleaching kit. 

Have your teeth cleaned before you bleach you want to whiten the enamel, not the plaque. You should brush before using strips or trays, and rinse really well, since the fluoride in toothpaste can prevent teeth from absorbing the bleach.

Maintain your new smile by rinsing your mouth with water after meals and with a whitening mouthwash twice a day. Mouthwashes work better than whitening toothpastes for this purpose

Going Pro

At home whitening is not designed for everyone. If you've got gray teeth, sensitive teeth, or "my wedding is tomorrow" teeth in office whitening may be the best option. If you have to take ice out of your drinks, you shouldn't do bleaching at home. Sensitivity to cold means you'll probably be even more sensitive- if not in real pain-after bleaching. A dentist or technician can apply a protective coat to sensitive areas-fillings, receding gums, and teeth that have been ground down so patients experience less pain.

Whitening at home isn't an option if you have an event to go to like, tonight. But thanks to presciption strength peroxide (35-40%) a dentist can whiten teeth in 45 minutes

Veneers and ceramic replacements aren't affected by bleach, and bonded teeth can only be restored to their original color. But all of them can be polished to appear brighter. 

There are many products to choose from which can become overwhelming.  If  you have questions about different options JUST ASK!!

By contactus@drdepp.com
September 10, 2013
Category: Did You Know??
Tags: Untagged

A recent article from the Harvard Medical School found that most people sexually exposed to HPV never develop symptoms or health problems, and most HPV infections go away by themselves within two years. But the infection can persist and cause long-term problems. These include cervical cancer in women, penis cancer in men, and in both sexes some cancers of anus and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer in the back of throat, including base of the tongue and tonsils).

In the past, oropharylgeal cancers were mostly linked to smoking or alcohol abuse. Today, oropharyngeal cancers related to smoking and alcohol are on the decline while those caused by HPV are rising dramatically. Some experts predict that HPV-caused mouth and throat cancers will become more common that cervical cancer by 2020.

PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

Sexual contact, including oral sex and deep kissing, can transmit HPV from one person to another. The likelihood of contacting oral HPV is directly associated with the number of sexual partners a person has had.

There are a few ways the prevent HPV-related oral cancer, depending on your age.

Pre-Teens, teens, and young adults of both sexes can get vaccinated against HPV, The Centers for Disease Control recommends that young women get vaccinated against the virus to prevent cervical cancer. The CDC also recommends the vaccination for young men for two reasons: to help prevent its transmission to women, and to help prevent some of the 7,000 HPV-related cancers that occur in men each year. Two available vaccines provide excellent protection against sexually transmitted HPV.

Vaccination won't help older people (those beyond their early 20's) or the millions of people already infected with HPV. The use of condoms can prevent the spread of the virus.

If you've been infected with the virus, diagnosing an HPV-related oral cancer as early as possible greatly improves the chance of cure. See your doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms for more than two to three weeks:

  • A sore in your mouth or on your tongue that doesn't heal
  • Presistant pain with swallowing or sore throat
  • A lump in your neck that presists.

 

By Dr. Depp
July 16, 2013
Category: Fun Facts!
Tags: Untagged

 

 

 

Give it to me Straight! Treatment Options for Straight Teeth

Orthodontic treatments offer many different options to help patients develop the perfect smile. Common treatments include braces, veneers and bonding, and the cost of treatment varies widely. The length of treatment can range anywhere from a year to 3 years. Cost varies as well. According to an American Dental Association survey of total dental fees in 2011-whether out of pocket or covered by insurance- comprehensive adult orthodontic treatment ranges from $4,725 to $6,940; and $4,500 to $6,360 for adolescents. Insurance may cover some cost depending on the plan.

What are my options?

ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT DESCRIPTION DURATION COST
Metal Braces

Usually made of high-grade stainless steel, metal brackets and wires are used to straighten teeth. They're also highly visable and make cleaning difficult.

Treatment usually takes between 18 months to two years Expect to pay about $4500
Invisalign Braces Uses invisable aligners to straigten teeth. Treatment lasts for about 12 to 15 months Ranges from $3,500 to $8,000
Self- Ligating Braces Uses, metal, ceramic or clear brackets and don't require elastics Treatment usually take less than 23 months.     Costs between $4,500 and $5,000
Veneers Made of either porcelain or composite materials, are bonded to the front of teeth to improve appearance. Require two or three appointments over two-to-four weeks. Costs $925 to $2,500 per tooth.
Bonding Uses a plastic resin to repair chipped or cracked teeth, change the shape of teeth or close gaps between them. Can be done in one appointment. Procedure can cost between $750 to $1,200
Dental Implants Replaces lost tooth roots and provides a foundation for permanent or removable teeth, and requires surgery. A multi-step process, implants can take up to about eight months. Between surgery and tooth replacement, expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,500.

 

 

 

By Dr. Depp
July 09, 2013
Category: Fun Facts
Tags: Untagged

Toothpaste: it whitens, brightens, deodorizes, removes stains, and restores and protects enamel. But toothpaste’s cleaning capabilities work wonders on many things besides our teeth. The same ingredients that help polish our pearly whites can also soothe some common ailments, make household items sparkle, and even get rid of stains and pungent smells. Try out these fifteen tricks with a white, non-gel toothpaste (unless otherwise noted), and watch that cavity-fighting, breath-freshening tube of wonder work its magic.

1. Relieve irritation from bug bites, sores, and blisters. These skin irritations all tend to weep and, in the case of bug bites, often itch. Apply a drop of toothpaste to a bug bite or insect sting to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. When applied to sores or blisters, it dries them up, thus allowing the wound to heal faster. It’s best when used overnight.

2. Soothe a stinging burn. For minor burns that don’t involve an open wound, toothpaste can deliver temporary cooling relief. Apply it delicately to the affected area immediately after a burn develops; it temporarily relieves the sting and prevents the wound from weeping or opening.

3. Decrease the size of a facial blemish. Want to speed up the healing of a zit? Apply a tiny dot of toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed. Wash it off in the morning.

4. Clean up your fingernails. Our teeth are made of enamel, and toothpaste is good for them, so it stands to reason that toothpaste would also be good for our fingernails. For cleaner, shinier, and stronger nails, simply scrub the underneath and tops of fingernails with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

5. Keep hair in place. Gel toothpastes contain the same water-soluble polymers that many hair gels are made of. If you’re looking to style and hold an extreme hair creation, try gel toothpaste as your go-to product if you’re out of regular hair gel. (This is also a great trick for making baby barrettes stay in place.)

6. Scrub away stinky smells. Garlic, fish, onion, and other pungent foods can permeate the skin cells on our hands. Scrubbing hands and fingertips briefly with toothpaste removes all traces of smelly odors

7. Remove stains. Toothpaste can make tough stains on both clothing and carpets disappear. For clothes, apply toothpaste directly to the stain and rub briskly until the spot is gone, then wash as usual. (Note that using a whitening toothpaste on colors can sometimes bleach the fabric.) For carpet stains, apply toothpaste to the stain and scrub it with an abrasive brush, then rinse immediately.

8. Spruce up dirty shoes. This tactic works great on running shoes or scuffed-up leather shoes. As with carpet stains, apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean.

9. Remove crayon stains on painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the Crayola marks disappear.

10. Make silver jewelry and other silver pieces sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. Make diamonds shine by giving them a gentle scrub using a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a little water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of toothpaste. Do not use this method on pearls, as it will damage their finish.

11. Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This remedy has been used with mixed success rates, but it seems to work fairly well on shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc and rub gently, then rinse clean.

12. Tidy up piano keys before tickling them. Piano keys retain oil from the skin, which then attracts dust and dirt. Clean away grime gently with a damp, lint-free cloth and toothpaste; after rubbing in the toothpaste, wipe the keys clean with a second lint-free cloth.

13. Deodorize baby bottles. If baby bottles develop a sour-milk smell, a good cleaning with some toothpaste and a bottle scrubber will clean away residue and deodorize. Always make sure to rinse well.

14. Remove the burned crust on irons. For those of you who still use an iron, you may find that after time, the plate of the iron develops a burned crust. The silica in toothpaste gently grinds away this rusty-looking layer.

15. Defog goggles. Scuba divers, swimmers, and triathletes may already know about this handy little trick: Rub a small spot of toothpaste into each lens of your goggles, then rinse thoroughly, and voila! There’ll be no need to ever buy expensive defogger gels again. Avoid rubbing too vigorously, though, as the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste could scratch the lenses.