Posts for: November, 2015
Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.
“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.
Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.
“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.
Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?
Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.
Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a thirdÂ to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.
Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”
Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.
If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”
For people suffering from sleep apnea, the basic and fundamental act of going to sleep can become a painful chore. Sometimes unaware that they are suffering from the condition, many people go to bed at night for what they think will be a good night’s sleep, only to wake up feeling groggy, disoriented, and totally exhausted nonetheless.
The sleep disorder results from irregular breathing patterns, where breathing repeatedly stops and starts again throughout a person’s sleep cycle. It is a fairly common condition that affects millions of Americans each year, and many well known celebrities like Randy Jackson, Quincy Jones, Roseanne Barr, Regis Philbin, William Shatner, Rosie O’Donnell, and Shaquille O’Neal.
There are a few forms of sleep apnea:
Obstructive - the most common form, which causes blockage or collapse of the airway during sleep, resulting in paused or shallow breathing.
Central - less common, this type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send signals to the muscles that control breathing
Complex sleep apnea syndrome (also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea) - combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea
Central and obstructive sleep apnea share many of the same symptoms:
- Loud snoring (typically more common with obstructive sleep apnea)
- Visible periods of breathing cessation during sleep
- Waking up abruptly with shortness of breath (typically more common with central sleep apnea)
- Waking up with dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headache
- Hypersomnia (extreme daytime sleepiness and fatigue)
- Difficulty focusing and paying attention
Dental Sleep Medicine in Lexington
Sleep apnea is a chronic (long term) condition that requires professional treatment in order to help improve the quality of sleep, as well as to prevent potential health risks that are associated with the condition. The most common forms of treatment include:
- Dental mouthpieces for sleep apnea
- Breathing devices like the oral sleep appliance (available at Corporate Center Dental Care in Lexington)
Potential Sleep Apnea Associated Health Risks
When left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious, potentially life threatening consequences, such as:
- high blood pressure
- heart attack
- heart failure
- arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
- increased risk of traffic and work related accidents
- hormone disruption
Are you or a loved one suffering from sleep apnea? Contact Corporate Center Dental Care in Lexington at 859-756-4411 to schedule a consultation today!
The chances of contracting an infectious disease from a dental visit are extremely low, thanks to the stringent safety standards practiced by over 170,000 dental care providers across the U.S. Without these standards, you and your family would be at risk for diseases like hepatitis from even a routine office visit.
The main prevention focus centers on blood-borne diseases in which blood from an infected person is introduced into the body of another through a cut, incision or injection site. While HIV/AIDS (autoimmune deficiency syndrome) is perhaps the most well known of blood-borne diseases, a more common and thus a more threatening disease is hepatitis. Caused by a pair of viruses known as HBV and HCV, hepatitis damages the liver, which disrupts normal bodily function and can even cause death.
The spread of hepatitis and similar diseases is a major concern for blood transfusion and surgical centers that commonly use invasive procedures and intravenous (IV) equipment. It’s also a concern in dental offices where even a hygienic cleaning may result in some bleeding. To reduce the risk of disease, the dental profession has several layers of both mandatory and recommended standards for protection against viral or microbial transmission.
The Center for Disease Control, for example, publishes and regularly updates recommended procedures for equipment sterilization and disinfection. State level dental licensing boards also mandate safety procedures and require continuing education for infection control as a requirement for re-licensing, as often as two years. Professional organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA) also encourage safety protocols among its members.
The vast majority of dentists place infection control among their highest priorities. These care providers institute and practice daily protocols and procedures for hand washing, use of masks, gloves and other biohazard protection, and disinfection. Through effective infection control you and your family can receive the dental care you need without endangering your general health.
If you would like more information on health safety in the dental office, 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 “Infection Control in the Dental Office.”