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.
Summer is our favorite time of the year! It is great for slowing down and relaxing with friends and family, school is out, camps and outdoor activities fill the calendar, and vacations are planned. But it is not the time to take a break from good oral health habits.
Here are some useful tips to help keep your teeth healthy this summer:
Choose water as your main source of hydration this summer and throughout all seasons. Water promotes saliva formation and helps rinse out bacteria that form in your mouth to prevent decay. Limit the number of sweet and alcoholic beverages you consume and opt for ice cold water or make your own fruit-infused water to stay hydrated.
Stock a Healthy Kitchen for Smart Snacking
Nutrition and healthy teeth go hand-in-hand. When you’re munching on snacks this summer, consider foods that can benefit your oral health. Fresh foods, especially those grown and/or purchased locally, are full of vitamins and minerals that are essential to building up bones, warding off cancers, and recovering from injuries. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium, an essential component for healthy teeth; and contain proteins like casein that is known to fortify your teeth’s surface, protecting it from decay. Snacking at home isn’t the only time to be tooth aware…many summertime activities involve time away from home, so be sure to pack healthy snacks for days on the go!
Stay Safe During Summer Activities
It wouldn’t be summer without lots of swimming, bike riding, volleyball and other playground activities. And while these are great fun, they can, unfortunately, result in a dental injury.
Make sure your kids follow the “pool rules.” According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose. Also, keep in mind that excessive exposure to chlorine can be harmful to teeth by weakening enamel and cause staining known as swimmers calculus. Swimmers calculus is a common cosmetic issue and can be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
Sports-related dental injuries are an unfortunately common issue, but many sports-related dental injuries are preventable by taking appropriate safety measures. Studies have shown that mouth guards provide the best protection against facial and dental injuries. Mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year. Using a mouth guard can prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work, as well as prevent mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage.
Establish a Summer Routine to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits
While summer schedules are typically a lot more flexible than usual, it’s important to still have a daily routine. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is as important in the summer as it is in any other season. To keep good oral hygiene habits in place, establish a summer routine. Add tooth brushing and flossing to a list of simple tasks, like making the bed and putting away laundry. Have a similar plan as part of a nighttime routine.
Keeping up with your dental health during the summer will help you stay healthy all year long. With a little planning, you can easily maintain healthy, strong teeth during your summer adventures.
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.
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.
- 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!
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.
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