Although dental sealants are often associated with pediatric dentistry, they can be a beneficial option for adults as well. A dental sealant is a protective, plastic film that helps prevent tooth decay.
Even with at home oral health care, there are areas of the mouth that can be difficult to reach, making it tough to properly clean. Our dentist can determine whether dental sealants are a viable option in helping give you extra protection from tooth decay.
Our goal is to make every one of your dental visits as comfortable as possible. Applying dental sealants is a quick procedure, which offers substantial benefits. According to the American Dental Association, adult sealants are an effective solution to cavity prevention and in preventing the progression of an early non-cavitated tooth lesion.
With proper at home care and regular professional cleanings, dental sealants can last up to 10 years while effectively preventing tooth decay.
Contact our office for more information about dental sealants and to schedule a cleaning with our dentist.
Your gum health may have an impact on your cognitive function. One recent study found a correlation between gum disease and increased cognitive decline for people living with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While more studies are needed to make a definitive connection, this study illustrates the importance of continuing the conversation about oral health and its impact on your entire body.
Details of the Study
The study was administered by King’s College London and the University of Southampton. It observed 59 patients with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Blood tests were utilized to examine inflammatory markers present in the bloodstream, while patients’ dental health was examined by dental hygienists.
What it Found
The study found that patients with gum disease experienced cognitive decline at a rate 6 times faster than those without gum disease. The study suggested that the body’s reaction to inflammation may be responsible for causing the rapid decrease in brain function.
Importance of Healthy Gums
Previous studies have determined that gum disease can increase your risk of developing complications such as heart disease and stroke. Maintaining healthy gums is essential to staying healthy overall. You can keep your gums healthy by following good daily oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice each day for two minutes, as well as flossing regularly.
For those living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is imperative to maintain good oral health. If you are a caregiver of someone with the disease, make sure they are following an effective daily oral hygiene routine, as well as visiting our office for regular examinations. Keeping your gums healthy may be one key to keeping your body and brain healthy throughout your lifetime.
For more information about gum health, or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.
We use our tongues every day to talk, taste, and swallow, yet we rarely take time to think about this flexible organ. Here are 9 things you may not know about the tongue:
1. The longest recorded tongue was more than 3.8 inches from back to tip; the widest measured over 3” across.
2. The human tongue contains 8 separate muscles intertwined.
3. A blue whale tongue weighs about 5,400 pounds and is roughly the size of an adult elephant!
4. Tongues come in many shapes and have varying numbers of taste buds. This makes a human tongue imprint as unique as a fingerprint.
5. The average person has about 10,000 taste buds in their mouth.
6. A single taste bud contains between 50 and 100 taste cells, which may have sensors for multiple tastes.
7. No individual taste cell can identify both bitter and sweet flavors.
8. 1 milliliter of saliva contains about 1,000,000 bacteria.
9. Using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue is proven to help prevent osteoporosis, pneumonia, heart attacks, premature births, diabetes, and male infertility.
Health issues involving the tongue are most commonly caused by bacteria or tobacco use. Proper cleaning of the tongue can help prevent these conditions from developing. However, if you notice sores, discoloration, or other symptoms, contact our office.
Some tongue-affecting illnesses include:
· Leukoplakia – excessive cell growth characterized by white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. It is not dangerous, but can be a precursor to oral cancer.
· Oral thrush – an oral yeast infection common after antibiotic use, often characterized by cottage-cheese like white patches on the surface of the tongue and mouth.
· Red tongue – may be caused by a deficiency of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12.
· Hairy tongue – black and/or hairy-feeling tongue can be caused by build-up of bacteria.
· Canker sores – small ulcerous sores on the tongue, often associated with stress. These sores are not the same as cold sores and are not contagious.
· Oral cancer – most sore tongue issues are not serious. However, if you have a sore or lump on your tongue that does not heal within a week or two, schedule a screening.
Oral cancer does not discriminate. It affects those of all ages, genders and races. Smokers do develop oral cancers at higher rates than non-smokers. However, this does not absolve the rest of the population from being at risk, as well.
It’s incredibly important to keep to your recommended schedule of oral health examinations. By visiting your general dentist at least twice per year, it is much more likely that our dental team will be able to identify potentially cancerous lesions in early stages. As you may know, the key to survival of most forms of cancer is early detection. Oral cancers are treatable, especially if caught before displaying obvious signs. The best results occur when oral cancer is identified and treated during early stages.
If your general dentist identifies a lesion that appears to be irregular, he or she may refer you to our team. We’ll recommend the next steps. Once pathology has been identified, we can proceed with treatment if necessary.
We will complete a biopsy to confirm whether a lesion is cancerous. It is not possible to confirm an oral cancer diagnosis without a biopsy. For this reason, try to refrain from making assumptions until we have confirmed your diagnosis. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last appointment or if you have noticed a lesion, bump or irregular patch of skin that doesn’t heal within a few days, consider an oral cancer screening by your general dentist. Know that your dentist will provide you with advice and may refer you to our team for a closer look.
If you have considered skipping the recommended dental visits that provide your first line of defense against oral cancers, please reconsider. It could save your life.
Are you a diligent brusher who grabs the toothbrush as soon as you finish each snack or meal? While there are significant benefits to regular brushing, hurrying your hygiene might be doing more harm than good. The key lies in understanding the effects different types of food and drinks have on your teeth.
The Dangers of Acidic Foods
Food and drinks that contain acids are particularly harmful to your teeth. Acid can wear away at the enamel on your teeth. As your enamel weakens, your risk for developing decay increases.
What Foods Should I Look Out For?
Fruits such as oranges, pineapples, and grapefruit contain problematic acids that can cause damage to your enamel. Diet sodas and wines can be just as damaging, as can fruit juices such as orange juice. Tomato products and foods such as pizza, salsa, soups, and sauces also contain acids.
But Brushing My Teeth Helps, Right?
Not necessarily. The acids in these foods weaken the enamel on your teeth. After eating or drinking a highly acidic product, your teeth are in a particularly vulnerable state. Enamel protects your teeth, and it is the strongest mineral in your entire body. However, the layers of your teeth beneath the enamel are not as strong and resilient. If you brush your teeth immediately after consuming something acidic, you can drive the acid further into your teeth. This speeds up the process of breaking down your enamel.
When Should I Brush?
Wait about 20 minutes after consuming acidic foods or drinks before brushing your teeth. While waiting, your mouth will produce saliva which helps to neutralize acids and wash away bacteria. Drinking water, rinsing your mouth, or chewing sugarless gum can help neutralize acids more quickly.
Should I Always Wait to Brush My Teeth?
While you should not rush to brush after eating acidic foods, you should not wait long after eating foods that are extremely sticky and sugary. If you are eating candy, taffy, or another sticky treat, waiting is not the best option. The sooner you can clean these sugary substances off your teeth, the better.
Should I Just Stop Eating Acidic Foods?
Acidic foods such as fruits contain vitamins and nutrients that are an essential component to your diet. While you don’t have to avoid these foods altogether, you should be mindful of how they impact your teeth. Maintain a daily oral hygiene schedule that includes regular flossing and at least two rounds of brushing for two minutes.
For more dental health tips, or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.
Did you know your oral health can impact your overall health?
We’ve compiled a list of 5 tidbits about your teeth and oral health.
Cheese has been found to promote dental health by helping prevent
tooth decay. The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese help neutralizes acid
in the mouth. Acid can create dental erosion, which can cause decay that may require
filling. Cheese creates a protective film around teeth and helps remineralize
Your smile can make a difference. Studies have found that 50% of
people consider a smile the first facial feature they notice. One study found
that 88% of us remember people with beautiful smiles whenever we meet new
people. This means attractive smiles are key to being more noticeable and
Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush at least once every
three months. You should get a new toothbrush after recovering from any sort of
viral infection, flu, or cold. You are more likely to be re-infected if these
bacteria implant themselves on the bristles.
In your lifetime, you only get two sets of teeth— baby teeth and
permanent teeth. It is important to take proper care of your permanent teeth. Did
you know that no two people have precisely the same set of teeth? Your teeth
are as unique as a fingerprint. This is the reason teeth are used by
investigators for identification. Your tongue also has a unique print, though
it is not commonly recorded.
F.Y.I on Floss
Floss is a lot more useful than you may think. If you skip out
on your daily flossing, you can miss cleaning up to 40% of your tooth surfaces.
Flossing can also help prevent gum disease by removing plaque near the gum
line. Floss has other alternative creative uses. The next time you are looking
for a fun holiday project, grab some dental floss and a handful of cereal to
string for the tree. Floss works well for repairing a bead necklace too!
Bonus Fact: Health
professionals are rated among the most trusted people in the U.S so make sure
to call our dentist and make an appointment today!
An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive
experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries are a very real risk.
Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and
harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth while you
Why Wear a
Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes, injuries to
the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Additionally,
your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside
cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing
sports. Mouthguards help defend your mouth and teeth against such injuries.
Do All Athletes Need
Yes. High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling,
football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. However, all
athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one
to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players
should protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with
another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your
athletic gear, no matter which sport you play.
Which Mouthguard Is
the Most Effective?
Our team can help you during your next visit to our office.
There are many options available, ranging from store-bought to custom-fitted
mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is
best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly.
If you are currently receiving orthodontic treatment, we may
recommend a special type of mouthguard. Braces
can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will
help you find a solution that works.
Prevention is the best solution to oral sports injuries. Contact
our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.
Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.
A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.
Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.
Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.
Minimizing Bad Breath
Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.
The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body.
Contact our team for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit today.
10920 SE 208th St. Kent, WA 98031
Conveniently located just off the benson and 212th St., just across the street from Safeway in the Panther Lake professional building.
Do you feel self-conscious about your appearance because of
your jaw? If you have an underbite, where the lower jaw protrudes beyond the
upper jaw, or an open bite, where the top and bottom teeth do not properly
meet, orthognathic surgery may be a solution. Orthognathic surgery can improve
your appearance and your quality of life. Here is what you need to know about
What to Expect
Orthognathic surgery, sometimes referred to as corrective
jaw surgery, is usually performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. In many
cases, orthodontic treatment is often necessary before and after surgery. Your
orthodontist and dentist will work closely with our team to ensure your
treatments are appropriately timed in preparation for your surgery.
Who Will Benefit?
If your jaw causes difficulty eating, chewing, or
swallowing, you may be an ideal candidate for orthognathic surgery.
Additionally, those suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may
also benefit from corrective jaw surgery. This may bring relief to those who
suffer from chronic headaches related to jaw irregularities. Corrective jaw
surgery can also help those who have suffered a facial injury or were born with
a birth defect impacting the jaw. Depending on your exact needs, our team will
help you decide if orthognathic surgery is right for you.
In most cases, you will need to follow an all-liquid diet
after the surgery is completed. Our team will advise you when you can begin to
add soft foods back to your diet. Swelling may occur in the first few weeks
following surgery. Pain-relievers may be taken after surgery, particularly
during the first week of recovery. We will set up a series of follow-up visits
to ensure the recovery process is on track and advise you on the next steps.
Orthognathic surgery can vastly improve the quality of your
life if you have difficulty eating, speaking, or breathing. The procedure can
also improve your appearance by correcting visible jaw irregularities.
Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Almost 65
million Americans have periodontal disease. Recent studies have suggested that
there is a two-way connection between diabetes and periodontal (gum) disease.
Patients with gum disease have increased risk of other diabetic complications
and patients with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease.
Gum disease causes inflammation in the body, which can make
controlling blood sugar more difficult for diabetic patients. Severe
periodontal disease has even been shown to increase blood sugar, making it more
difficult to maintain or regain good blood sugar control. In addition, when
blood sugar is elevated, patients experience increased risks of additional
Patients with diabetes are more prone to infections in
general. This is especially true for patients whose diabetes is not well
controlled. Diabetic patients with poor blood sugar control are more likely to
develop gum disease than patients whose diabetes is well controlled. Less
controlled diabetic patients will generally have a more severe case of gum
disease and are likely to lose more teeth from gum disease, as well.
Besides blood sugar control, diabetes includes a number of
other health complications. Diabetic patients are more prone to other oral
health issues, such as dry mouth or thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth).
Reduced saliva production or infection in the mouth can increase risks of
developing periodontal disease as well.
Smoking can escalate these risks even further. Studies have
shown that smokers are 5 times more likely than non-smokers to develop gum
disease, overall. Diabetic smokers age 45 or older have been found to be 20
times more likely to develop severe gum disease.
Fortunately, when diabetes and blood sugar are
well-controlled, the risks of periodontal disease and other oral health
complications are no different than for patients without diabetes. If you are
diabetic, it is important to work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar
under control as much as possible to avoid these added health complications.
Be sure to let us know if you have diabetes and how
well-controlled it is. We may need to discuss your medication schedule when
planning treatments or to postpone a treatment if your blood sugar is not
controlled. Keep in mind that healing from treatment can take longer for
diabetic patients, even when blood sugar is well-controlled.
Although dental sealants are often associated with pediatric dentistry, they can be a beneficial option for adults as well. A dental sealant is a protective, plastic film that helps prevent tooth decay. Even with at home oral health care, there are areas of the...
Your gum health may have an impact on your cognitive function. One recent study found a correlation between gum disease and increased cognitive decline for people living with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While more studies are needed to make a definitive...
98031 Dentist We use our tongues every day to talk, taste, and swallow, yet we rarely take time to think about this flexible organ. Here are 9 things you may not know about the tongue: 1. The longest recorded tongue...