Posts for category: Oral Health
It may shock you to learn that more than 178 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. Whether you lose a tooth from decay, injury, gum disease, or aging, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible, not only for aesthetic reasons but also to protect your health. Dr. David Salah is a dentist at Progressive Dental Group in Novi, MI. He can help you find the right solution for missing teeth. Call us today about dental implants Novi.
4 Common Tooth Replacement Methods
Novi residents can choose from the following tooth replacement methods:
- Dental Implants: Dental implants in Novi are the best solution for a missing tooth and most cost-effective in the long-term. Because they are secured into the jawbone with a titanium screw, they remain in place when eating and speaking. Their porcelain crowns look just like your natural teeth.
- Implant-supported dentures: If you are missing all your teeth, you can have a full upper arch fitted with six dental implants and a full lower arch fitted with four dental implants. This is an affordable option for full tooth replacement because it requires a minimum number of dental implants. Because the upper arch has no palate, it is more comfortable than removable dentures.
- Implant-supported bridge: This replacement method avoids replacing every tooth with a dental implant. Instead, a bridge is fixed in place using two or three implants. You can also use this option to replace a full arch of teeth.
- Removable dentures: Removable dentures are designed to replace one or more teeth that are missing from the same arch. The denture has an acrylic foundation and may also have a metal framework. Typically, it will be attached to your existing teeth with metal or nylon clasps. Removable dentures can also be made to replace full upper and lower arches.
If you’re looking for a dental implants Novi specialist, or you want to find out more about our practice, call Dr. David Salah of Progressive Dental Group at (248) 349-7560.
Periodontal (gum) disease often involves more than gum inflammation. The real danger is what this bacterial infection may be doing to tissues beneath the gum line—including tooth roots and supporting bone.
Gum disease can do extensive damage to the forked areas where the roots separate from the main tooth body. If one of these areas, known as a furcation, becomes infected, the associated bone may begin to diminish. And you may not even know it's happening.
Fortunately, we may be able to detect a furcation involvement using x-rays and tactile (touch) probing. The findings from our examination will not only verify a furcation involvement exists, but also how extensive it is according to a formal classification system that dentists use for planning further treatment.
A Class I involvement under this system signifies the beginning of bone loss, usually a slight groove in the bone. Class II signifies two or more millimeters of bone loss. Class III, also called a “through and through,” represents bone loss that extends from one side of the root to the other.
The class of involvement will guide how we treat it. Obviously, the lower the class, the less extensive that treatment will be. That's why regular dental checkups or appointments at the first sign of gum problems are a must.
The first-line treatment for furcation involvements is much the same as for gum disease in general: We manually remove bacterial plaque, the main source of infection, from the root surfaces using hand instruments and ultrasonic equipment. This is often followed by localized antibiotics to further disinfect the area and stymie the further growth of the furcation involvement.
We also want to foster the regrowth of lost tissue, if at all possible. Classes II and III involvements may present a challenge in this regard, ultimately requiring grafting surgery to stimulate tissue regeneration.
The best approach by far is to prevent gum disease, the ultimate cause for a furcation involvement. You can reduce your chances of gum disease by brushing and flossing daily to remove disease-causing plaque. Regular dental cleanings and checkups, at least every six months, help round out this prevention strategy.
A furcation involvement could ultimately endanger a tooth's survival. We can stop that from happening—but we'll have to act promptly to achieve the best results.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What are Furcations?”
Refined sugar is a prime food source for disease-causing oral bacteria. As bacteria consume sugar they produce high levels of acid that over time can erode enamel and leave a tooth vulnerable for decay.
The solution to stopping this vicious process is simple: cut back on eating refined sugar. The reality, though, is a bit more complicated. Many of us seem genetically hard-wired with a “sweet tooth,” perhaps a remnant of our early ancestors' sense that sweet foods were a safe means to obtain energy.
Food manufacturers likewise don't help with making this dietary change — the number of items with added sugar has ballooned over the last several decades. We can trace a lot of this back to the unintended consequences of past government guidelines that called for removing fat from processed foods. But this also removed flavor, so manufacturers began adding sugar (under a myriad of names) to compensate.
Sugar consumption is now a hot health topic for its suspected connection with inflammatory diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as dental health. We now have a love-hate relationship with sugar — we want to show it the door but we can't quite bring ourselves to let it go.
The situation has created a market for artificial sweeteners. The amount and types of sugar alternatives has exploded since saccharine first emerged in the early 1960s. With these increased choices, though, there have also been increased concerns over their health impact, including in the mouth.
This concern has prompted numerous research studies. The conclusion: artificial sweeteners don't adversely affect the health of most people. And, from a dental perspective, artificial sweeteners can have a positive impact on teeth and gum health because unlike refined sugar they don't promote oral bacterial growth.
In fact, one particular sweetener may be even more beneficial to your teeth: xylitol. This sweetener, which comes from a sugar alcohol that oral bacteria can't digest, is often found in chewing gums, hard candies or mints. Â In effect, xylitol “starves out” bacteria to help prevent tooth decay.
From a dental perspective, replacing sugar with an artificial sweetener (especially xylitol) can be advantageous. And less sugar could mean more good news after your next dental checkup.
If you would like more information on artificial sweeteners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artificial Sweeteners.”
What does it take to have healthy teeth and gums? There are many recommendations, but all of them would suggest practicing proper preventive care and maintaining oral care habits. Besides visits to your dentist here at Progressive Dental Group in Novi, MI, Dr. David Salah, here are some things you can do at home to have sound preventive oral care habits.
Regular Brushing and Flossing
The whole point of brushing your teeth is to clean your mouth of food debris and bacteria while maintaining its overall health. Brushing regularly in a relaxed manner would ensure that you do not damage the enamel of your teeth or even your gums. You should use smooth circular motions to cover all quadrants of your mouth.
The entire brushing process should not take less than two minutes. Floss afterward to remove the plaque and bacteria that may still be left between your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, a soft-bristle toothbrush would be ideal. Replace your toothbrush every quarter as well to maintain its efficiency.
Wash with Mouthwash
Although it is easier and cheaper to simply rinse with tap water, using mouthwash presents some unique oral health benefits:
- The antibacterial agent chlorhexidine
- Controls plaque buildup
- Prevents gingivitis
- Has essential oils
- Leaves fresher feeling in the mouth
- Helps with bad breath
Scheduled Dental Visits
It does not matter if you have natural teeth or just dentures. Regular, scheduled visits to your dentist in Novi, MI, is an essential part of preventive oral care. These visits usually entail a cleaning and general checkup for early detection of possible dental problems.
Recommended frequency varies, but ideally, it should not be less than twice a year. This is considered the optimum balance in terms of protection and risk reduction of dental caries. Your dentist can tailor-fit a schedule that would be best for your current dental health condition.
Wise and healthy eating benefits your oral and overall health. In terms of preventive care and oral care habits this means:
- Limiting sugary food and drinks
- Lowering your caffeine consumption
- Consuming more crunchy fruits and vegetables
- Drinking more water
- Limiting alcoholic drinks
The CDC also cites some factors that could likewise help improve oral health:
- Keep lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease under control
- Maintain a healthy blood sugar level
- Replace medication that causes dry mouth
- Avoid smoking, which impacts the immune system and leads to yellowish teeth and tongue
All of these could help you build preventive care and oral care habits. Remember to visit your dentist immediately if you experience unusual dental problems.
Need More Oral Health Advice? Call Us
Dial (248) 349-7560 to arrange an appointment with our dentist, Dr. David Salah, here at Progressive Dental Group in Novi, MI.
We all need a good night's sleep, both in quantity and quality. That's why the Better Sleep Council promotes Better Sleep Month every May with helpful tips on making sure you're not only getting enough sleep, but that it's also restful and therapeutic. The latter is crucial, especially if you have one problem that can diminish sleep quality: nocturnal teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding is the involuntary movement of the jaws outside of normal functioning like eating or speaking. You unconsciously grind teeth against teeth, increasing the pressure of biting forces beyond their normal range. It can occur while awake, but it is more common during sleep.
The habit is fairly widespread in children, thought to result from an immature chewing mechanism. Children normally outgrow the habit, and most healthcare providers don't consider it a major concern.
But teeth grinding can also carry over or arise in adulthood, fueled in large part by stress. It then becomes concerning: Chronic teeth grinding can accelerate normal age-related tooth wear and weaken or damage teeth or dental work. It may also contribute to jaw joint pain and dysfunction related to temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
If you notice frequent jaw tenderness or pain, or a family member says they've heard you grind your teeth at night, you should see us for a full examination. If you are diagnosed with teeth grinding, we can consider different means to bring it under control, depending on your case's severity and underlying causes.
Here are some things you can do:
Alter lifestyle habits. Alcohol and tobacco use have been associated with teeth grinding. To reduce episodes of nighttime teeth grinding, consider modifying (or, as with tobacco, stopping) your use of these and related substances. Altering your lifestyle in this way will likely also improve your overall health.
Manage stress. Teeth grinding can be a way the body “lets off steam” from the accumulated stress of difficult life situations. You may be able to reduce it through better stress management. Learn and practice stress reduction techniques like meditation or other forms of relaxation. You may also find counseling, biofeedback or group therapy beneficial.
Seek dental solutions. In severe cases, there are possible dental solutions to reducing the biting forces generated by teeth grinding. One way is to adjust the bite by removing some of the structure from teeth that may be more prominent than others. We may also be able to create a bite guard to wear at night that prevents teeth from making solid contact with each other.
These and other techniques can be used individually or together to create a customized treatment plan just for you. Minimizing teeth grinding will help ensure you're getting the most out of your sleep time, while protecting your dental health too.