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CAMBRA is Here!
CAMBRA is an acronym for Caries Management By Risk Assessment – This is a preventative form of dentistry in which patients are categorized by their relative risk for developing dental caries, based on risk factors including diet, oral hygiene, fluoride regiment and past oral health history.
According to the CDC, dental caries (cavities) is an epidemic in the United States. Though it’s largely preventable, dental caries remains the most common chronic disease of children aged 5-17 years—4 times more common than asthma (42% versus 9.5%). In the United States, while children are largely affected by this disease, cavities do not discriminate against age. Adults are at risk as well.
- 28% of children aged 2-5 have already had cavities in their baby teeth
- 50% of children have had a cavity by the age of 11
- 68% (2/3rds) of 19-year-olds have had cavities in their permanent teeth
- 16% of children aged 6-19 years have untreated cavities
- 23% of adults aged 20-64 have untreated cavities
- 85% of all adults will have cavities in their lifetime
- More than 60% of adults will lose a permanent tooth to cavities
As a dental professional, these statistics don’t surprise me. They’re disappointing and upsetting, but not unbelievable. I see it first-hand every day. New patients and return patients, children and adults, good hygiene and poor hygiene – cavities may be present in each one.
Possibly the most frustrating scenario arises when I have a patient that has impeccable hygiene with no signs of gum disease, brushes 2-3 times per day and flosses daily, returns every 6 months for a professional cleaning, and I have to tell them they have new cavities. It’s heartbreaking, for both of us. How can a patient that does everything right still get cavities?
At Dental BLU, we pride ourselves on teaching excellent hygiene practices. We have conversations with all of our patients about proper hygiene techniques at each professional cleaning, as well as prescribe hygiene adjuncts that can address specific needs. And while we treat cavities daily, it is just as important to us to educate you on your individual cavity risk, and provide you with access to science-based resources and products to prevent cavities.
Sometimes, just knowing your level of risk is enough to help you avoid the risk. This is certainly a possibility with cavities. Knowing that you have a high risk of cavities can help you make better decisions about your oral care. Luckily, our understanding of what causes cavities and what risk factors seem to matter most in cavity formation has grown, giving us more and better information about avoiding cavities.
At Dental BLU, we can help you properly measure your risk of cavities and develop a preventive plan, but there are some simple questions you can answer at home to raise your cavity risk awareness.
So, are you at high risk for cavities?
Have you recently had a cavity filled?
Do you suffer from dry mouth?
Do you snack frequently or drink non-water beverages throughout the day?
Do you have white spots on your teeth?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you are likely at high risk for cavities. It’s time to schedule an appointment with the doctors or hygienists at Dental BLU for your personal risk assessment and to obtain your individual risk of cavities. We can help you not just repair your cavities, but we can now provide you with access to CariFree products that are only available through us, your dental professionals.
CariFree elevated-pH products are created from science-based research to prevent cavities at their source and eliminate the disease process so cavities are never able to form. Make your appointment at Dental BLU today to determine your individual risk for developing cavities and ask us how CariFree products can help you.
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
Be ProactiveWhat'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.
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
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!!
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.
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?
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.|