Category: Uncategorized


Gingivitis vs Periodontitis – What is the Difference?

By Clete Campbell,

Gingivitis and Periodontitis, two words you do not want coming out of your dentist’s mouth at your next checkup. We’ll pause to let everyone take a deep breath here.

Their unpleasant names alone are enough to scare anyone hoping to emerge from their next dental exam with a clean bill of oral health into brushing and flossing more thoroughly and regularly. But what is the difference [ . . . ]  read more

Beware Whitening Promise Of Charcoal Toothpastes

By Clete Campbell,

Girl brushing her teeth with charcoal toothpaste

ADA Cautions Popular Brightening Fad Can Be Dangerous To Teeth’s Health

Charcoal isn’t just for grilling anymore.

Today, the popular cooking mainstay of America’s backyard grills is being used as an ingredient for everything from drinks to skin care to hair care. Believe it or not, people coast to coast are turning to “natural” charcoal toothpastes to whiten their teeth. A brushing method first practiced by the ancient [ . . . ]  read more

Teeth’s Lesser-Known History Facts & Truths

By Clete Campbell,

Close up of teeth

A Quick History Lesson

  • 3,000 B.C.: Hesi-Re, the world’s earliest known dentist, sets up shop in Egypt. He hands out crude toothbrushes made from twigs and leaves.
  • 500 B.C.: Ancient Greeks develop one of the world’s first toothpastes, creating a mixture that contained iron rush and coral powder to clean their teeth. In China, early dentists mix soot, honey, crushed egg shells and ground ox’s hooves to deliver Asia’s first tooth cleaning paste.
  • 1,000 A.D.: A majority of people believe tooth pain is caused by tiny tooth worms instead of cavities.
  • 1498: Chinese dentists develop the world’s first bristle toothbrush by attaching coarse boar hairs to handles made of bamboo or bone.
  • 1945: A majority of Americans begin brushing their teeth daily.

Dental care and knowledge has come a long, long way over the last 5,000 years. Today, Americans are spending on average 38.5 total days of their lives brushing their teeth, a time investment that can lead to a lifetime of strong oral health. Nearly all Americans know the immense benefits of teeth brushing, but do you know these lesser known facts about teeth?

Facts About Teeth You Might Not Know

Knowledge is power, and these facts [ . . . ]  read more

There Really Is Such A Thing As Too Much Toothpaste

By Clete Campbell,

CDC Study Finds Almost 40% of America’s Kids Using Too Much Toothpaste

By Clete Campbell

Too much toothpaste can be dangerous to kids’ oral health.

Say what, Doc?

Parents may do a double take at the news, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Preventions reports America’s children are brushing their teeth with so much toothpaste that it’s unhealthy.

A CDC study released February 1 found nearly 40 percent of kids ages 3 to 6 use more toothpaste [ . . . ]  read more

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

By Clete Campbell,

National Dental Hygiene Month

No Better Time Than Now to Focus on Dental Hygiene

Toothbrushing is one of those routine daily exercises most of us don’t give a second thought to. To be honest, I’m often on autopilot while brushing my teeth.

But just going through the motions while brushing our teeth is a prime missed opportunity to protect our teeth from cavities and plaque, but also to improve our general overall oral health. Sleepy toothbrushing leads to missed plaque, overlooked trouble spots, and, sadly, preventable cavities. And we all know the potential painful nightmares poor dental hygiene can create.

“Diseases such as gum disease, oral cancer and terrifyingly horrible breath (which is often an indication of other oral problems) can invade your mouth and make your life a living hell,” Sam Cohen of the Huffington Post stresses.

That’s why it’s good to check in regularly with America’s dental hygiene experts. Dental hygienists, those friendly, hard-working soldiers who man the front lines working to help their patients properly care for their teeth, could write an entire series of books on the importance of good oral health. There’s no better time than October, National Dental Hygiene Month, to focus on the tips dental hygienists say, can make our own toothbrushing and dental hygiene great again.

As Colgate.com notes, there are five essential elements to the proper toothbrushing technique:

  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  2. Gently move the brush back and fourth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  3. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  4. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  5. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

All of these toothbrushing practices should be observed every time we brush, along with the Golden Rule of Toothbrushing: Brush twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush.

But remember, toothbrushing is not the be-all and end-all of comprehensive dental hygiene care.

“Brushing can clean the surface of the teeth, but it cannot do the same for the spaces in between teeth,” Cohen notes.

 [ . . . ]  read more

National Study Shows Regular Dental Visits Essential to Improving Country’s Oral Health

By Clete Campbell,

Tooth be told, America is fighting a relentless battle against cavities and oral diseases. The good news is Iowans boast some of the country’s brightest, whitest and healthiest smiles.

Toothbrush.org ranks the Hawkeye State as having the 13th best dental health among the USA’s 50 states. Iowa scored 64.57 out of 100 possible points in the study. Iowans’ dental habits and care ranked 10th, while our oral health ranked 16th. Minnesota boasts the best teeth in America, ranking No. 1 in the study with a point total of 79.13.

The American Dental Association won’t rest until all 50 states and territories in the union are posting winning scores and strong overall oral health.

“We work diligently to help improve oral health, but as long as there are people who are not in good oral health, that challenge remains,” new ADA president Dr. Jeffrey Cole said.

An Uninsured Health Issue

Alas, for many Americans, the greatest obstacle to developing strong oral health, has nothing to do with brushing, flossing and healthy eating.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Controls reports 36 percent of the U.S. Isn’t receiving preventive care, which leads to poor oral health, significant health risks such as heart disease, and a lower quality of life. One in four Americans does not have dental insurance and dental insurance is widely perceived as the least affordable health care service, according to Toothbrush.org. Two-thirds of people who haven’t been to the dentist in a year site expensive dental costs as the reason why. The National Association of Dental Plans reports 74 million Americans didn’t have dental coverage at the end of 2016.

Toothbrush.org’s national oral health study found 77 percent of adults planning on visiting the dentist in the next year. Unfortunately, only one-third will follow through. The ADA’s new president is driven to change those statistics and the state of the smiles of the country’s poorest oral health states. In Toothbrush.org’s study, Arkansas has the U.S.’s worst teeth, followed by Louisiana, Montana, Mississippi and West Virginia.

“The ADA’s challenge is there are people who aren’t in good oral health, and we need to change that,” Cole said.

An Insurance Access Epidemic

A major hurdle to getting America’s older citizens insured is the lack of coverage in Medicare. Most state programs lack coverage for dental care. As of January 2018, only 17 state Medicaid programs offered comprehensive adult dental benefits.

That sobering fact keeps many seniors from seeing the dentist, and keeps America’s overall oral health in a state of crisis. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of a larger problem. Dentists regularly prevent and detect issues through regular cleanings that can lead to even more serious health problems.

“I’ve seen it in my own practice,” Dr. Sidney Whitman, a dentist who treats Medicaid patients in New Jersey, told the New York Times. “Without adequate oral health care, patients are far more likely to have medical issues down the road.”

Help Is Available

The ADA urges all Americans to research their companies’ health insurance policies for affordable dental care and stresses there are affordable dental insurance options available for Americans of all financial standings. The key is knowing where and how to find them:

  • =&0=&Dental clinics give both dental students hands-on experience and give patients their services at a reduced price.
  • =&1=&Local community

 [ . . . ]  read more

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Allows for 3D View of Patients

By admin_family,

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) machine

 

We are extremely excited to announce the arrival of our new Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) machine here at the Family Dental Center. This allows our doctors to view our patients 3 dimensionally. As always using the best technology gives our patients the best care possible.

Flossing An Invaluable Weapon In Fight Against Gum Disease

By Clete Campbell,

William Shakespeare would call the dilemma “To floss or not to floss?” For the work weary, child-raising, exhausted parent, the answer is usually, “Not me.”

They are not alone. Most Americans neglect flossing, and few realize its value in the fight against gum disease. A new Delta Dental Survey found only 40 percent of Americans (4 in 10) floss daily, and 1 in 5 Americans (20 percent) never floss. Those are hardly flosstastic statistics for America’s overall oral health.

The biggest bummer is most Americans are ignoring an immensely valuable tool to good oral health. Done properly, flossing removes food particles that stick to teeth creating colonies of bacteria (AKA, plaque) that promote inflammation and gum disease. Plaque hardens into tarter over time and wears away and gums and bone, eventually causing tooth loss. Flossing stops plaque clean in its tracks.

Yet many Americans don’t recognize flossing’s immense benefit, but see it as yet another time-consuming daily chore.

“Something as simple as flossing is, to a lot of people, a bane,” Duong T. Nguyen of the U.S. Centers and Disease Controls and an author of an extensive study of Americans’ flossing habits, told U.S. News and World Report. “They don’t want to do it. Yet, in the long run it can be so beneficial – it can prevent tooth loss and everything that comes with it.”

Avoid the Wacky Substitute Flosses

Even more puzzling is how some Americans resort to all sorts of unusual tools to remove food stuck in their teeth rather than floss, the Cadillac of food removal from teeth.

An entertaining, eye-opening 2017 survey by Waterpik and the American Dental Association of 1,005 adults found 61 percent of Americans have used their fingernails to remove food from their teeth. Other popular and unusual food extractors Americans report using in the survey include folder paper or cards (used by 40 percent of Americans), cutlery (21 percent), safety pins (14 percent), and, a method even MacGyver wouldn’t recommend, strands of hair (7 percent). We haven’t even mentioned some of America’s favorite unsanitary and unsafe food removal methods like twigs, paper clips, toenails, matchbooks, loose electrical wires, screwdrivers and pocket knives.

Ironically, 63 percent of people polled in the study admitted knowing their methods of food removal were far inferior to floss, dental picks, interdental brushes and water flossing tools.

“It’s really easy to use clean and safe items on-the-go and at home – like string floss, dental picks and water flossers,” said Dr. Brittany Seymour, an ADA spokesperson and assistant professor at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. “The key is finding what works best for you and stick with it every day. If you’re not sure, start by looking for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

“That way, you know it’s safe for your teeth and will get the job done, removing germs rather than introducing them.”

Gum Disease’s No. 1 Enemy

Not only is flossing a much more comfortable and convenient means of removing food debris, it’s an invaluable weapon in the fight against gum disease, which inflicts a full 50 percent of Americans. Brushing alone can’t fully clean teeth, according to Alla Wheeler, RDH, MPA, an associate professor of the Dental Hygiene Program at the New York University School of Dentistry.

“Each tooth has five surfaces,” Wheeler told WebMD.com. “If you don’t floss, you are leaving at least two of the surfaces unclean. Floss is the only thing that can really get into that space between the teeth and remove bacteria.”

Flossing is quick, easy and always at the ready to help prevent gum disease. While 55 percent of non-flossing Americans in the Waterpik/ADA survey reported it takes too long, good, thorough flossing requires just two minutes per day and can go a long way to keeping your teeth and gums clean, healthy and smiling bright.

Here are 3 easy steps to mastering flossing:

  1. =&2=& Like anything, repetition is the key. A full daily flossing routine should include cleaning below the gum line, where dental plaque can go unseen and unreached by toothbrushes.
  2. =&3=&

 [ . . . ]  read more

Periodontitis Gum Disease A Troubling U.S. Health Epidemic

By Clete Campbell,

gum disease vs healthy gums

Half Of America’s Population Fighting Periodontitis, Most Without Knowing It

If you don’t have periodontitis, statistics say your spouse does. If your mom doesn’t have periodontitis, chances are 50-50 your dad does.

The cold hard statistics of this U.S. health epidemic are half of Americans age 30 or older have periodonitis, the advanced form of gum disease, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control statistics. That equals 64.7 million Americans feeling major pain in their gums. Gum disease’s most dangerous statistic: Most Americans don’t even know they have it.

In two words, periodontitis is bad news for gums. This inflammatory disease affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. Gum disease starts as gingivitis, where gums become swollen and red due to inflammation – the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria.

When gingivitis worsens to periodontitis, the gums pull away from the tooth and supporting gum tissue is destroyed. Bone can be lost, and teeth may loosen and ultimately fall out.

Periodontitis’ worst case scenario is chronic periodontitis, which worsens in adulthood and advances due to risk factors including diet, health history and medication. The hurt doesn’t stop with bleeding gums. Dentists warn gum disease can have a devastating impact on patients’ general health and well-being.

A 2018 study by the University of Bristol’s Bristol Dental School found an alarming 10 percent of the global population – 743 million people – are affected by severe gum disease. Chronic periodontitis leads to increased mortality rates, increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and related complications.

“Any type of chronic inflammation in the body triggers immune system responses, which can cause heart diseases, cancer, intestinal issues, low birth-weight babies (and more),” Dr. Mark Wilson told Preventing Gum Disease.com, a non-profit public awareness website on the warning signs and dangers of gum disease. “It seems like every few months a new association between gum disease and other illnesses comes up. It affects probably everything in the body.”

An especially troubling case in point to back up Dr. Wilson’s point: Untreated gum disease may be linked to oral cancer, according to new research by Fighting Gum Disease.com.

“The burden of these diseases is high and is increasing as the population ages,” Professor Nicola West, who compiled the Bristol Dental School’s study’s findings, told Medical Press. “Both tooth decay and gum disease can lead to nutritional compromise and negative impact on self esteem and quality of life.

“These findings help underline to dental professionals and the public the importance of oral health and that it is often an indicator of general health issues.”

The biggest factor leading to the worsening of this American health epidemic? Unawareness. Most people assume if their gums aren’t hurting, they’re fine.

“Unfortunately, only about 3 percent of those with moderate to severe gum disease,” Dr. Robert Gregg Jr., told FGD.

How can you know if you are the 1 in 2 Americans battling gum disease, and how you can reduce your risk of developing chronic periodontitis?

Recognize The Signs

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing and flossing
  • Pus or drainage from gums
  • Receding gums, causing the teeth to look longer or become more sensitive
  • Loose teeth or increased spacing

 [ . . . ]  read more