Blog June 2017


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Blog- What's up with that poking?

Posted On: June 27, 2017


Have you ever wondered why your hygienist starts rattling off a series of numbers in the beginning of your recare visit? 2,2,3,4,5,7!  What's going on there?  What your hygienist is doing is checking the depth of gum tissue pockets that surround your tooth.  It's a proactive way to identify your risk for gum disease, and when done, regularly , can help catch it early. Dental probing is pretty interesting exercise in dentistry, can save you from surgery and extractions, and her's why.


One reason to visit the dentist regularly is to identify problems in your mouth that you are completely oblivious to.  Subtle changes in the health of our gums tissue can be missed by the naked eye, and some people-even those who visit a dentist regularly-can be prone to an excess buildup of plaque and tartar that can result in gingivitis and periodontal disease.  Thankfully, your dental team can catch these changes early through the use of X-rays and the practice of dental probing.  We do an annual probing on all adult patients.  This is done on the initial visit and once a year on your recare appointment.  

The reason for probing is straightforward.  As periodontal disease progresses, the visible markers of the disease (plaque and tartar) migrate down along the side of the tooth into the natural "pocket" between the ridge of the gum line and the tooth's enamel.  This inflames the gum tissue and widens this naturally slim gap between the tooth and gum.  As this gap becomes wider, even more bacteria are allowed access to the sensitive tissue fibers along the root's outer surface, casing more damage.  

One part of your treatment might be placing Arestin® , an antibiotic made especially for use in the gum pocket.  When placed in a periodontal pocket, Arestin®  maintains a high-level of antibiotic right at the gum disease site without exposing the rest of the body to antibiotics.  This allows treatment using one-hundredth the usual pill-form dose.  It directly fights the gum disease infection for 14 days

If not addressed, it may result in further bone loss, and the need to extract a tooth.  This is why probing is so important.


Summer check list.

Posted On: June 01, 2017


Summer is about to burst onto the scene.  And with it, your "free time" will turn to "busy time" as you plan, plan, plan for your relaxing summer vacation.  So while your're thinking about where you'll go, where you'll eat, and what you'll see along the way, don't forget to plan a visit to your dentist as well.  Doing so can save you from the misery of a dental emergency that will surely spoil even the best planned getaway.

The Best Plan of Action

Now, we're sure visiting the dentist is the last thing you want to do before a relaxing vacation.  Yet we're also certain discovering a painful cavity mid-trip isn't on the agenda either - especially if you're going overseas.  Can you imagine having to look for emergency dental care in some remote part of the world?  Ouch.  Truth is, a quick checkup can catch a future crisis before it ever materializes, and this is one of the beautiful things about dentistry.  Imagine, for example, if you had a bone in your leg that was weak for one reason or another, and a strong impact upon that leg could cause it to break.  Nine time out of ten, you would never even know you had this issue until your leg broke and you were lying in emergency room.  With dentistry, however, oral exams, x-rays and other tools allow your dentist to ferret out problems before they present themselves and that's why visiting prior to vacation can help. Just looking at this tooth in the mouth does not show the abscess without taking a x-ray to diagnosis and avoid a painful vacation.

If you are not current on your annual recare exam visit, we recommend about a month prior to departure - or at least two weeks before you go - schedule a visit.  Your dentist will explore your mouth for any loose crowns or teeth that could cause a problem and identify any cavities that are close enough to the nerve to cause an abscess or pain.  If your're traveling by plane, air pressure in the cabin can cause a recently drilled tooth to be overly sensitive, so you'll want to be certain to plan your visit at least a month ahead of time if your're flying.  If you do take a trip with an unresolved issue, we can make sure you leave with the necessary medication or recommended over the counter medicine.  

Of course, any surgery such as the removal of a tooth, or a root canal should be scheduled in significant advance, and if you wear braces, you'll want to visit your orthodontist as well.  Definitely don't travel with pain if it can be avoided.  We've had many a patient go on trips with a sore mouth only to have it get worse while at their destination. We recommend you plan ahead and be prepared for possible dental issues.

Visiting your dentist prior to vacation might be one of the easiest things to plan this summer.  You'll depart with a fresh clean mouth, and the confidence that a sneaking dental emergency won't be appearing in your vacation scrapbook this year.  So, give us a call at 352-307-3006, we'll be happy to send you off on the right foot!