XYLITOL: CAN A SUGAR BE GOOD FOR YOUR TEETH?

Apr 3rd, 2019
Easton Dentists May 3rd, 2019

It is a safe bet that most people have never heard of xylitol.  Since it is a sugar alcohol, it has a low glycemic index, diabetics can consume it safely. 
Through its use as a nasal spray to clear the sinuses of bacteria, its oral benefits were discovered by accident .

When bacteria consume its five-carbon sugar, it kills the bacterium in the process.  In the last several years, its use in dentistry has increased due to its ability to decrease the presence of cavity-causing, acid-releasing Strep mutans and other harmful bacteria.

With the simple action of putting xylitol in your mouth and swishing it around a bit cuts plaque (which is made up of bacteria) levels by 50%.  And there are many ways to utilize xylitol for your teeth:

  1. Mints/gum/candy
    1. 100% xylitol spry is effective.  Can be found at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Fresh Thyme, online, or at your favorite your favorite dental office.  It is great tasting with no unpleasant aftertaste.

Your kids will love it.

  1. Toothpaste/gel/rinse
    1. Carifree is a product that has revolutionized our ability to alter the tough, sticky “biofilm” of bacteria that lives permanently on the teeth.  Carifree has xylitol, as well as a pH neutralizer, fluoride, and calcium nanophosphate to remineralize teeth.  Studies have shown a significant reduction in decay with Carifree products.  However, for a more natural product xylitol can be used alone.
    2. Spry toothpastes and rinses are great tasting – especially the wintergreen! – and pastes come with or without fluoride.  Their kids’ gel is great, very few ingredients, no fluoride, xylitol, and safe to use until your kiddo can spit all their toothpaste out and rinse well to avoid any swallowing of fluoride.
  2. Granulated xylitol
    1. This is the most economical way to buy xylitol – around $7 or so per pound.  It has a cooling sensation on your tongue, and no aftertaste.  My husband has used it daily in his coffee for five years, and I bake banana bread and cookies with it regularly.   In its granulated form, you can just place a half teaspoonful or so on your tongue and use your tongue to rub it on all of your tooth surfaces, then spit it out.

“Strive for five” is the catchy phrase we use to note that we get a cariogenic or decay-reducing effect from xylitol when it is used at least three, but optimally five times per day.  Xylitol is a game-changer 

Why Are Implants Becoming More Popular?

Feb 25th, 2019
Easton Dentists Feb 27th, 2019

Almost everyday now you encounter advertising for dental implants. Why has implants taken the world of dentistry by storm?

Since their introduction into the market over thirty years ago, implants have zoomed ahead of more conventional tooth replacements to become the top choice among both implant dentists and patients. What makes these modern dental devices so popular?

Resemblance to natural teeth. Dental implants can more accurately emulate both the appearance and function of natural teeth. Just as teeth have two main components—the roots beneath the gum surface and the visible crown, implants have a similar in design. Implants have a root replacement by utilizing a titanium metal post that is embedded in the jawbone. Then a life-like porcelain crown or even another form of restoration is permanently attached.

Durability. Due to implant materials and unique designs, a long-term success rate are achieved after the ten year span in the 95-plus percentile. This longevity is primarily achieved due to the use of titanium as the primary metal in the implant post. Since bone has an affinity for titanium, it will successfully grow and adhere to the post over time, creating well-anchored hold. With proper maintenance and care implants, it is reasonable to expect them to last for decades, making them a wise, cost-effective decision on the consumers part.

Added stability for other restorations. While a good many people think of implants as a single tooth replacements, technological advancements have created a much broader reach. For instance, with a few strategically-placed implants a removable denture can be supported, giving this traditional restoration much more security and stability. Better yet, bone loss can be stopped, one of the main drawbacks of conventional dentures. Also, implants can support a fixed bridge, getting rid of the need to permanently alter adjacent teeth that are often used to support a conventional bridge.

With continuing dental advancements, implants are becoming increasingly useful restorative dental work. Depending on your individual tooth-loss case, you can ask your Easton cosmetic dentist if implants would be the smartest choice to put the form and function back in your smile for many years to come.

Steps To Take To Preserve Your Implants

Feb 4th, 2019
Easton Dentists Mar 4th, 2019

There are many reasons as to why dental implants are more popular than ever. One of the most important, though, is their how long they last in the human mouth.  If taken care of properly, your implants can last for decades. But believe it or not, they are not indestructible—certain conditions inside of your mouth could put them in jeopardy. But if you address these situations early, you may be able to prevent implant failure.

Your implants may be eventually compromised, as an example, if you have a teeth grinding or clenching problem. This can happen when a person involuntarily and repeatedly bites down on their teeth for no productive reason. Triggered by high stress, teeth grinding can incur damage to both natural teeth and implants to greater than normal levels of force. Eventually, this can inflict bone loss around an implant and weaken their support. It could possibly cause a direct break in an implant.

But there are several ways to stop or reduce the harm of grinding the teeth. One proven to be successful method is a custom-made bite guard that can be worn while you sleep. Constructed of hard plastic, the teeth guard prevents the solid contact with each other, thus reducing the amount of force applied.

A more common problem is periodontal disease, a bacterial infection that is the end product of built-up dental plaque on tooth surfaces. This can trigger inflammation, a normal defensive response that when the gums are stressed for an extended period of time,  damaging tissues and supporting bone. This can lead to a specific form of gum disease related to implants known as peri-implantitis, where the tissues that support an implant become infected and weaken, eventually leading to possible implant failure.

As to the prevention for a good many dental issues, brushing and flossing daily is a productive step in prevent gum disease, as well as seeing your implant dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups. Should you notice anything such as reddened, swollen or bleeding gums, see your dental professional immediately. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your implants will function as well as maintaining your overall health.

Dental implants can provide years of great service and can prove very cost effective. But you’ll need to stay vigilant against gum disease and other mouth conditions that could endanger as time passes.

Is It True That Gum Disease Can Cause Heart Attacks?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect more than just oral health. There are many studies showing that people with gum disease also have significantly high rates of developing cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke. While scientists continue to research the theory, it has been recognized that there is a strong relationship between gum disease and heart attacks.

Heart attacks are considered the most common medical condition in the general population. It is also known that heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States. On the other hand, many researchers have found that gum disease affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 30. Because the two conditions similarly affect the population, the idea that gum disease links to heart attacks is prevalent. During a study that was conducted in 2012, known as PAROKRANK, researchers evaluated a group of dental patients to back up the theory. The results showed that 43% of heart attack patients also suffered from gum disease. They also found that people with gum disease had a 50% higher chance of a heart attack than those without.

When it comes to the link between gum disease and heart attacks, inflammation caused by bacteria may be the culprit. It is understood that the common factor between gum disease and heart attacks include the same type of bacterial infection. The bacteria found in gum disease produces inflammation in other areas of the mouth when left untreated. By continuing to live with this condition, the bacteria can eventually spread to other parts of the body. Infection caused by gum disease can easily enter the bloodstream through everyday activities, such as brushing, flossing, and chewing food. As the bacteria spreads throughout the body, it can eventually reach the circulatory system, causing blood vessels to swell and increasing the risk of blood clots and heart attack. Because inflammation is the body’s instant response mechanism, the inflammation can cause the formation of plaque. It is known that the existence of excess plaque can cause the clogging of arteries, similar to how it causes tooth decay.

With the proper care and consistent follow-up with your dentists, the possible health risks of gum disease can be avoided. Everyday care is essential to keeping the signs of gum disease at bay. Continuing to correctly brush and floss each day as well as avoiding alcohol and tobacco can prevent gum disease from forming. Regular cleanings and dental visits can also help with early diagnosis of gum disease. During dental appointments, your dentist can evaluate and measure the gums for inflammation, build-up, and possible bone loss.

The bottom line is that prevention and treatment of gum disease can ultimately save our bodies from further health conditions, such as heart attacks. That is why it’s important to contact your dentist if you suffer from any of the related symptoms:

* Red, swollen, tender gums

* Bleeding gums after brushing, flossing, or eating

* Receding gums

* Loose or separating teeth

* Pus surrounding the gums

* Mouth sores

* Bad bread

* A change in bite

Gum disease has been debated as a possible cause of heart attacks for many years. While research continues to be conducted on the direct link, it’s best to take the proactive steps to beat the possibility

How Late In Life Can One Get Braces?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Childhood is frequently viewed as the prime time to get braces. However, more adults of all ages are choosing orthodontic treatment to fix many of their oral health problems and opting for braces. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, one in five people who seek the treatment of braces is over age 18.

While the appearance of a beautiful, straight smile is a common motive for adults to get braces, there are many other reasons why someone might be interested in their later years of life. Whether it is the natural effects of aging, misalignment, or underlying health conditions, it is never too late to seek orthodontic care. In fact, proper teeth alignment becomes even more crucial as people grow older.

 

Braces are more than just creating attractive smiles.

Braces help correct improperly positioned teeth, which will also prevent common oral health issues. Crowding pressure, tooth decay, and the deterioration of enamel can cause a substantial amount of pain and discomfort without the proper treatment. Getting braces to fix the positioning of your teeth can end up saving a lot of distress and money in the long run, no matter the age.

Aging can cause the teeth to shift. As we age, it is not uncommon for our teeth to start moving. As the jawbone changes, the midline shifts from it’s ideal positioning. This can happen even if our teeth have been straight throughout our whole life. The continuous, yet slow shift of the midline can ultimately result in crowding and overlapping of the teeth. Braces can undoubtedly straighten age-related crooked teeth at any age.

Some health conditions contribute to misalignment. While aging is a large factor, sometimes health conditions and injuries can influence our teeth to move in an undesirable way. Periodontal disease, a condition caused by bacteria living under gum tissue, can also lead to the spreading of teeth. Stress is another common factor when it comes to teeth shifting and misalignment. Grinding, clenching, nail biting and tongue thrusting are all examples of unconscious habits that cause wear and tare on your teeth. If an adult is noticing that their teeth are changing their shape and size, they might seek the advice of an Orthodontist to see if braces are right for them.

Problems that were left untreated as a child can get worse with time. Common oral issues, such as a misaligned jaw or bite, can lead to further health complications that might urge a person to be interested in braces. Headaches, TMJ, and gum disease name a few conditions that a person might run into when misalignment is left untreated. As an adult, the getting braces can help correct these issues and improve your overall health and wellness.

Neglecting the use of retainers. Sometimes, adults who have had braces when they were younger may need to go through a second or third course of treatment. This is usually due to not wearing retainers as instructed by their orthodontist. The proper use of retainers long after wearing braces can prevent the teeth from shifting back to its original state. When a previous orthodontic patient neglects that responsibility, the chances are high that their teeth might become crooked again. It is not uncommon to see an adult get braces multiple times throughout their life.

Modern braces make a difference. Sometimes, children and adolescents choose not to wear braces for aesthetic reasons. Now, with more reliable options such as clear brackets and Invisalign, braces are more socially acceptable, even for adults. That is not to mention that braces today are more affordable than they have been in the past. Adults might decide on orthodontic treatment later in life due to financial reasons. Today, most orthodontic offices accept dental insurance and create reasonable payment plans for all patients.

With the right treatment, braces can be beneficial at any age. Braces used to be a type of dental care that was more commonly seen on children and teenagers. Now, statistics show that more than 20% of orthodontic patients are adults, including those in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It’s never too late to make improvements to our health and wellbeing, which is why more adults are getting braces to straighten their smiles.

How Apples are Good for Your Teeth

Oct 5th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 5th, 2018

Good for my teeth

People have been asserting that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” since the 19 th century. While it may not necessarily be true that those who eat apples never have to see a doctor, apples certainly have great health benefits for our bodies! Did you know they can even be good for our teeth? Let’s take a look at what the research says …

It’s widely thought that chewing a crisp, fresh apple can help brush away plaque on our teeth. We’re not too sure on this one, as some studies show a higher plaque content on teeth after eating an apple. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them.

You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind. As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay! Schedule an appointment today!

Are Dental Procedure Costs on the Rise? 

Sep 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 30th, 2018

Over the last several years, the cost of dental care has been increasing at a faster rate than most healthcare services. With such rapid developments made to dental procedures, technology, and education, the average American cannot afford many of the treatments that are often recommended by dentists. Although most Americans are insured with some form of healthcare, the expense of a dentist visit often outweighs those benefits, especially during the more demanding procedures, such as root canals and tooth extractions. As a result of this abrupt increase in the cost of dental care, research has shown that only 36% of Americans actually go to the dentist on an annual basis. Unfortunately, when cost is the only thing standing in the way of proper dental care, we are either forced to pay the expenses out of pocket or skip the recommended treatment overall. This in turn, can lead to further health complications down the road. 

With such an increase in dental bills, many of us find ourselves wondering why a trip to the dentist is so expensive. Professional dentistry requires extensive knowledge and advanced technology in order to deliver the highest quality of treatment. Studies show that 80% of what a patient pays after their dental procedure goes toward the expense of running an up-to-date dental practice. Considering the cost of office space, payroll of certified staff, health and business insurance, taxes, supplies, and updated technology, it’s no wonder why dental visits are costly. The quality of products that are manufactured in dental labs are also on the rise, resulting in a much higher demand in order to afford reliable crowns, dentures, and other dental products that are being placed inside patients’ mouths.  

Dental Fillings 

Dental fillings have come an extremely long way over the last 150 years. Dental filling advancements that might affect the higher treatment costs, include the variety of updated bonding techniques. Now, we have the option of treating our cavities with dental fillings that blend with the actual color of the tooth, making it more aesthetically pleasing to the patient. Tooth composites are also being produced to be a stronger, more translucent material. While a traditional, silver amalgam filling can cost as little as $50, there are some porcelain fillings that can cost almost $4,500. With so many options to choose from, the price of treating tooth decay will most likely continue to increase. 

Tooth Extractions 

Sometimes, dental procedures require surgical and non-surgical extractions to fix the issues that can’t be treated. While the cost of tooth extractions depend on the difficulty and length of the treatment, the actual procedure usually involves administering anesthesia. Furthermore, the latest anesthesia technology is expensive, and even the most basic forms can get pricey. Depending on the severity, the average tooth removal can cost anywhere from $75 to $700 per tooth. 

Root Canals and Crowns 

Dental procedures, such as crown placements, normally follow a root canal, turning the treatment into a couple weeks worth of dental visits. The cost of a crown is usually tied to the type of material that it’s made of. Dental labs are making the material more durable so that there are less chances of the crown cracking later down the road. The improvements made in the material of dental crowns make the overall costs range from $300-$700. That’s not to mention that the root canal procedure can cost a couple hundred dollars as well. 

Running a Dental Office 

With the rise in modernized dental procedures and technology, running a dental office as a professional can cost a small fortune. A small dental office serving roughly 1500 patients per year can cost several hundred thousand dollars per year to operate.  

Studies have recently shown that more and more people continue to skip the dentist office all together because of the unpleasant bill that comes along with the visit. However, it’s important to remember that the high costs are associated with giving the patient the best quality of care and satisfaction. Dental care is an essential part of living a healthy life, thus why such extensive measures have been taken to make all dental procedures as reliable as possible. 

 

The Dental Care Gap

Aug 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Sep 11th, 2017

When they find themselves in severe pain, uninsured individuals tend to wind up in local emergency rooms. If their pain is caused by a broken bone or a ruptured appendix, they’ll receive the care they need immediately. On the other hand, if their pain is the result of rotting teeth and dental abscesses, they’ll receive little care. They may be given a pill for the pain or an antibiotic to fight the infection, but that’s it.

These individuals will then be sent home and forced to seek out their own dental care. Often, this means painstakingly saving money for months, taking loans they won’t be able to pay back, or waiting for an annual free clinic to come to town. As they postpone the care they cannot afford, these individuals are forced to live in agony for weeks, and even months, at a time. In addition, this wait can allow dental problems to worsen and can pose serious health risks.

Many people out there believe it is immoral to allow the poor to live in agony simply because they cannot afford dental procedures. Dental insurance should be provided for everyone who cannot realistically afford it on their own.

At The Dental Center, we’re committed to supporting increases in affordable dental insurance, but are still waiting for members of the government to step up to the plate. Instead, we’re taking action everyday to help uninsured individuals get the dental care they need. Through his work with the Dental OPTIONS program, Dr. Gilmer is actively improving the lives of the neediest members of his community.

 

 

5 Basic Mouth Maintenance Tips To Remember

Jun 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Jul 11th, 2017

You maintain your car, but do you maintain your mouth? Here are five basic mouth maintenance tips to remember.

Brushing and Flossing

Regular brushing and flossing does more than just eliminate bad breath and keep your teeth gleaming. This is according to a 2006 study commissioned by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The study revealed some surprising benefits of regular brushing. For instance, regular brushing and flossing can prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), promote weight loss, boost memory among senior citizens and prevent pregnancy gingivitis. Moreover, a 2011 British study established a link between gum disease and erectile dysfunction (ED), which means regular brushing and flossing could prevent ED.

Eating Healthy

The America Dental Association (ADA) says that high-sugar foods are bad for your oral health because they promote plaque buildup in the mouth, which eventually causes tooth decay. Examples of such foods include and sugary snacks and junk food. Additionally, such foods typically lack certain nutrients that promote oral health by fighting dental infections. For these reasons, your diet should consist of foods from each of the five major food groups. Examples of foods that promote good oral health include celery, apples, yogurt, almonds, carrots, leafy greens and cheese.

Avoid Sugary Drinks

Sweetened beverages are among the leading dietary causes of tooth decay, according to Colgate. Specifically, these drinks provide the harmful bacteria in the mouth with sugar. The bacteria use the sugar to produce energy and in the process release acid as a byproduct. The acid ultimately causes myriad dental problems including plaque buildup, enamel erosion, dental cavities and halitosis. For these reasons, you should avoid sweetened and carbonated beverages, including “sugar-free” soda.

Dental Sealants

Made of plastic materials, dental sealants cover the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of permanent molars and premolars, which appear at age six or thereabout. In essence, they protect the back teeth from dental problems including dental caries and tooth decay.

Fluoridated Toothpaste

Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it less susceptible to tooth decay. For this reason, you should brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste. Equally important, ensure you use the right amount of toothpaste — a pea-sized amount should be sufficient.

Conclusion

Dental sealants, fluoridated toothpaste and eating healthy promote good oral hygiene. Additionally, you should brush/floss regularly and avoid sweetened drinks.

Teeth Whitening Resolution?

Jan 31st, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

New Year and resolutions go hand in hand. These resolutions are promises people make to themselves to get rid of a particular bad habit or develop a specific good habit. However, most resolutions don’t stand the test of time as they’re unreasonable or difficult to start with. Therefore, it’s important to take up a resolution that adds value and is also easy to implement. Teeth whitening can be one such New Year resolution. If you believe a fresh, white smile is what you need, the following teeth whitening treatments shall help you.

1. Tray and Gel

A tray-and-gel setup is a potent teeth whitening method that you need to work on with a dentist. The gel contains 10 to 15 percent hydrogen peroxide, which is the primary constituent of every teeth whitening product on the market. The dentist will custom fit the mold with your mouth and give you the whitening gel and tray for use at home. The tray makes sure the gel is applied evenly, ensuring some extremely impressive results.

2. Whitening Treatment Course

Another popular teeth whitening treatment option dentists provide is a series of treatments that last 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll require multiple sessions before you could notice results. This treatment is more expensive and more effective than the previous method as the hydrogen peroxide content here is 35 percent.

Foods to Avoid

There is a negative correlation between certain foods and whiter teeth. Some foods cause the teeth to lose their pearly white hue and are called “staining foods”. They are dark soups, dark chocolate, beets, dark marinades, tomato and soy sauces, blueberries, and dark beverages (coffee, wine, colored juices, etc.). Generally, Indian and Spanish cuisine could darken teeth thanks to their higher use of curry and tomato sauces.

It’s hard to imagine not eating these aforementioned food items forever, but you can certainly keep the consumption and frequency as low as possible. Also, these foods are strictly not recommended right after a teeth whitening session.

Conclusion

You may try at-home teeth whitening remedies, but remember they won’t be as effective or safe as in-office teeth whitening treatments since some foods are acidic and may cause tooth sensitivity issues. Needless to say, it’s not wise to experiment with your already vulnerable teeth.

Should you like to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening at The Dental Center please call 614-414-0111.