Tooth Preservation: Connective Tissue Grafting

If you want to retain your teeth as you age, you must address your gum recession.. Your gums are no different than the skin on your leg. If you have a an open wound on your leg that never heals, your leg and all the the structures below the skin (muscle, ligaments, bone, etc.) will become infected.   Your  gums and teeth are no different…
Address your gum recession and save your teeth….

Tooth Resorption: Be Proactive rather than Reactive

Dentists and patients alike are typically procrastinating doing anything until the tooth snaps of to remedy this dental challenge. Unfortunately, most are unaware of how contaminated and “polluted” the jaw bone becomes when dealing with a resorbing tooth. My advice as a practicing Periodontist is to extract the tooth as soon as possible once it has been determined that the tooth is resorbing.

Being proactive will save not only money and time, but the neighboring teeth as well.
Dr. B

Diabetes and your Periodontal Health: Ask

Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.

People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those people who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.

Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.

See your Periodontist/Dentist today and ask them how your periodontal health is doing… You just might catch them off guard.

Pregnancy and Your Teeth

Pregnancy and Your Teeth
Posted on February 26, 2013
Pregnancy and Your Teeth
We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that warns a woman to expect a lost tooth for each pregnancy. This is false! Pregnancy does not automatically have to damage your teeth; however, your teeth and gums CAN be affected by the hormonal changes taking place in your body so it’s smart to have your dentist monitor your oral hygiene closely for the health of you and your unborn child.
Periodontal Disease Links to Premature Births
How can poor dental hygiene negatively affect your pregnancy? Research has found a link between periodontal disease and premature births with low birth weights. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums. This is concerning because babies who are born prematurely may risk a range of health conditions including cerebral palsy and problems with eyesight and hearing. Estimates suggest about 18 of every 100 premature births may have been triggered by periodontal disease – thus they could have been prevented. Appropriate dental care for pregnant women can reduce the risk of premature births by as much as 80%!
A study by the University of Alabama shows that getting teeth cleaned during the second trimester of pregnancy can make a difference in healthy births and pregnancies. One of the theories is that the bacteria associated with periodontal disease produces a hormone that is thought to begin contractions. It is perfectly safe and healthy for pregnant women to have dental routine dental care. Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant and he and his assistants can take the necessary precautions for treatment.
Health and Dental Care During Pregnancy
Besides being a faithful dental cleaning patient there are also other things you can do as an expectant mother to help your baby.
 Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of foods rich in protein, calcium and vitamins to not only help support the baby’s health but also the health of your teeth.
 Brush regularly. You should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least two times a day, making sure you brush for at least two minutes each time.
 Don’t forget to floss. Flossing at least one time every day can help prevent or minimize periodontal disease during your pregnancy.
 Use mouthwash. Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash can help control the bacteria that could contribute to periodontal disease.
 Maximize your insurance benefits. If you have dental insurance be up-to-date on your plan coverage. A lot of dental insurances are beginning to increase their yearly allowed dental cleanings from two to three for pregnant women.
Understanding the importance of proper dental hygiene during pregnancy can help assure that periodontal disease will not translate into health issues for your baby. We are always more than happy to check on insurance benefits for you or schedule your appointments – let us help you stay happy and healthy during pregnancy!

Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits Before Year End

Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits Before Year End

The year 2012 is almost gone and with it may be the opportunity to save some of your hard earned money. For those of you with dental insurance, there are benefits to getting dental work done before the end of the year. Most dental insurances run on a calendar year, meaning the benefits apply from January 1 – December 31. I encourage you to read on and if any of these situations apply to you, make that appointment and save some money!

Annual Dental Insurance Deductibles Will Be Reset

With the new year comes new plan obligations. Most insurances that have deductibles require that they be met once per year. If you have already had dental work done in 2012, this means you have met your deductible already. Getting more work done this year will save you having to shell out money to meet your deductible next year.

Annual Maximums Do Not Roll Over

Most insurance companies have a limit on the amount of money they will pay per person per year. This money is there for you to use and unfortunately, does not roll over into the next year. If you don’t use it, you can say goodbye to that allowance! Take advantage of the money your insurance has allotted for you to use.

Use Up Your FSA Contributions for 2012

The same “use it or lose it” policy applies to FSA or flex spending accounts. You elect each year how much you would like withheld for medical/dental expenses. If you do not use these funds in full, you will not see them again. By coming in before the end of the year, you can make the most out of those FSA benefits still available to you.

Coverages Are Subject To Change

Will you have the same dental insurance benefits in 2013 as you do now? You may want to contact your insurance and verify what plan benefits, in any, will change with the new year. If coverage becomes more limited, you will definitely want to schedule before the end of the year while you still can!

Bottom line, always check with your dental insurance what benefits you have left to use for this year and try to take advantage of what they are offering. Depending on what kind of dental work you need, you can save a lot of money by assessing your dental situation and getting scheduled now. For those of you without dental insurance, Utah Valley Periodontics is offering great discounts until the end of the year. Don’t wait! Call now!

Truths and Misconceptions about Periodontal Disease

Let’s talk about periodontal disease, the truth and the misconceptions.

Here’s a misconception. You or your dentist missed something, so as a result, you now have a disease. Could that be true? Only if you believe that people get heart attacks because their doctors miss something or people get cancer because their doctors miss something, or asthma or Alzheimer’s, etc.

The fact is periodontal disease falls into a class of diseases known as chronic degenerative disease. Chronic means that it’s continuing. Degenerative means that it’s breaking down something. And that’s what’s happening. The critical attachment fibers between your teeth and your bone are breaking down.

Here are some of the factors that cause periodontal disease.

Bacterial plaque: That’s the soft bacteria that grows on teeth. It’s there whether we eat or not.  Its your job to remove the plaque and the better you do your job, the better the control of this factor of the disease.

Calculus: That’s hardened plaque that migrates below the gum line. It’s rough and accumulates more plaque, causing more loss of bone support. Why? The bone (a living tissue) doesn’t want to be anywhere near the plaque and calculus.

Genetics: People are genetically predisposed to certain diseases. But genetic predisposition does not mean genetic expression. If you do good things for yourself, you likely won’t get the disease.

Smoking: Yes, we do see that more smokers have periodontal disease than nonsmokers by a wide margin.  A recent study shows that the most periodontally damaging bacteria flourish in the mouth of a smoker.

So you see, it isn’t just one factor that causes periodontal disease and therefore the best treatment for the disease addresses all of the above factors.

With the right combination of diagnosis, coaching and professional care, you can save your teeth. The earlier you do it, the better the opportunity.

Hygiene Seminar

It was great to spend the evening with such a group of highly educated dental hygienists! Most people do not realize the expertise and knowledge that their Hygienist has regarding their TOTAL dental care. Trust your Hygienist as he or she has your best interest in heart.

Life with A Denture??

The longer I practice dentistry, the more often I wonder how people who wear dentures, complete or partial do it? I cannot imagine having to be cautious about speaking, laughing, smiling, let alone eating without the worry of my teeth falling out, or food getting caught underneath my denture creating me discomfort. To me having a denture would be like having a rock in my shoe and never stopping to take my shoe off and dumping out the rock….
I am convinced that denture patients simply do not know what their options are. They have been lead to believe that there are no other options because they no longer have natural teeth. Nothing could be further from the truth! Denture patients have at least three options to improve their “quality of life”. First, the most economical way to enhance the retention and stability of a denture is to place two dental implant to allow the denture to “snap into” the implants. The second option is the placement of four implants, which allows for complete stabilization and retention of the denture. These patients are now able to chew anything food item they desire without worry of slippage or denture dislodgement. The final option is the placement of six implants to allow for fixed bridges. This option results in teeth that are permanent, never to come out and never decay!
Contact your dentist today and ask him what your options are to rid yourself of your unwanted denture!

No Coasting

Last night I presented an update on Dental Implants and Cone Beam 3D Imaging to the “Ride and Learn” group at Sundance, Utah. Gary Takacs, the founder and CEO of Ride and Learn shared a story from the football legend Terry Bradshaw. After winning four superbowls in the 1970′s, Terry’s Motto for life is no coasting. If we are going to reach our potential there is simply no room for coasting. Make today the best it can better and then do it again tomorrow!

The Importance of Gum Tissue

The longer I practice the more I realize just how important it is that we have healthy gums. While this statement may seem trite and perhaps a bit generalized, it certainly is true. What I mean by healthy gums is more than just are they “pink and firm”. In order for your gums to be healthy, you must have enough gum tissue protecting our teeth from the constant insult from the oral bacteria. If your gums are receeding, you are going to be in trouble. Gum recession is alot like cancer. You often dont realize you have it until its too late!

Ask your dentist/hygienist how your gum and bone are doing at your next visit. If they dont know or they seem unsure get a second opinion.