Posts for: January, 2018
Losing teeth to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease is never easy. But with implant-supported bridgework, you can regain lost function and appearance with a restoration that could last for many years.
Don’t think, though, that dental disease woes are a thing of the past with your new implants. Although your restoration itself can’t be infected, the supporting gums and underlying bone can, often through bacterial plaque accumulating around the implants. The bone that supports the implants could deteriorate, dramatically increasing your chances of losing your restoration.
It’s essential, then, that you keep the area between the bridge and gums clean of plaque through daily hygiene. This definitely includes flossing around the implants.
Flossing with an implant-supported bridge will be different than with natural teeth: instead of flossing between teeth you’ll need to thread the floss between the bridge and gums. Although this is a bit more difficult, it can be done with the help of a floss threader, a device with a loop on one end and a long, thin plastic point on the other—similar to a sewing needle.
To use it, thread about 18” of floss through the loop and then pass the threader’s thin end first through the space between the bridge and gums toward the tongue until the floss threader pulls through. You can then take hold of one end of the floss and then pull the threader completely out from beneath the bridge. Then, you wrap the ends around your fingers as you would normally and thoroughly floss the implant surfaces you’re accessing. You then release one end of the floss, pull out the remainder, rethread it in the threader and repeat the process in the next space between implants.
You also have other hygiene tool options: prefabricated floss with stiffened ends that thread through the bridge-gum space that you can use very easily; or you can purchase an interproximal brush that resembles a pipe cleaner with thin plastic bristles to access the space and brush around the implants.
Some patients also find an oral irrigator, a handheld device that sprays a pressurized stream of water to loosen and flush away plaque, to be an effective way of keeping this important area clean. But that said, oral irrigators generally aren’t as effective removing dental plaque as are floss or interproximal brushes.
Whatever flossing method you choose, the important thing is to choose one and practice it every day. By keeping bacterial plaque from building up around your implants, you’ll help ensure you won’t lose your restoration to disease, so it can continue to serve you for many years to come.
You promptly get the cancer screenings your physician advises. You eat a healthy diet, and you exercise. All that is great, but consider this: have you had your annual oral cancer screening? Drs. Richard and Maria Linden, your Naples, FL, dentists, assess their adult patients for signs of oral cancer with every semi-annual check-up and cleaning at Linden Dental. Screenings ensure early diagnosis of this potentially deadly cancer.
The details on oral cancer
The Cancer Centers of America state that oral cancer develops in the soft tissues of the mouth, back of the throat and gums. Unfortunately, this cancer strikes more than 47,000 people annually in the United States, says the Oral Cancer Foundation.
What are the signs? There are many, including:
- Persistent hoarseness
- A sore or patch which does not heal
- Unexplained lumps or swelling in the mouth, at the sides of the neck or under the chin
- Mouth pain
- Loss of appetite
- Mobile teeth
- A change in the fit of a denture or in how teeth bite together
- A continual sore throat
- Persistent bad breath
Many of these symptoms are common to other ailments. So without routine screening by your dentist in Naples, oral cancers may be missed altogether until they are far advanced. Cancers that have well developed before diagnosis have a poor five-year survival rate.
Additionally, everyone should know their risk factors. As an example, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancers as women are. Also, age plays a part, with more cases appearing in the over 40 population. Other predisposing factors include:
- Exposure to HPV, the Human Papillomavirus which is sexually transmitted
- Excessive sun exposure
- Alcohol abuse
- Smoking and smokeless tobacco usage
- Consuming a diet low in fruits and vegetables
What you can do
First of all, don't be scared. It's what you don't know that can hurt you. Second, keep your routine appointments at Linden Dental. Dr. Linden will visually inspect your mouth with every cleaning and check-up. He or she also will feel the sides of your neck and under your chin, looking for any lumps or swellings.
Basically, that's it. Oral cancer screening is a quick and painless way to give yourself much deserved peace of mind regarding your oral health.
Please contact the friendly team at Linden Dental in Naples, FL, for your semi-annual exam. Be sure to ask your dentist about your oral cancer screening. Call today for an appointment: (239) 593-0777.
For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.
After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.
As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.
Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.
Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.
What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.
To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.
If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”