Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Love the Gums You’re With” Campaign

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Smile! A little extra gums-love and affection can leave you with a smile you’ll
be proud to flash. Check out Perio.org to see how you can Love The Gums You’re With.
#LoveYourGums

http://www.perio.org/sites/loveyourgums/

Periodontal Health in Children and Adolescents

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Article Published by Perio.org / January 2013 : Periodontal Disease in Children and Adolescents

Periodontitis is thought of as an adult problem as the result of aging. But, did you know that gingivitis, a mild form of periodontitis, is often found in both children and adolescents? Additionally, research shows that more advanced, harmful forms of periodontal disease can occur in these younger age groups. The good news a few easy steps can help prevent periodontal diseases.

There are three types of periodontal diseases found in children and adolescents.

1. Chronic gingivitis causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Left untreated, chronic gingivitis can eventually lead to more serious forms of periodontal disease.

2. Aggressive periodontitis affects the first molars and incisors. It can include bone loss and patients may form very little dental plaque.

3. Generalized aggressive periodontitis involves the entire mouth. Patients have heavy accumulations of plaque, calculus and inflammation of the gums.

Eventually, periodontitis can cause the teeth to become loose and possibly to fall out.

For your teen, hormonal changes due to puberty can put them at risk for periodontal disease. During puberty, an increased level of hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may increase the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.

 

As your teen gets older, the tendency for the gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, during puberty, it is very important to follow a good dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental visits. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend periodontal therapy to help prevent damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

 

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. Therefore, it is important that children and teens receive a comprehensive periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits.

The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child. There are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health:

 Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth. When the gaps between your child’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing.

 Set an example. Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.

 Make time. Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings bi-annually.

 Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease. Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

 Early diagnosis ensures the greatest change for successful treatment. It is important that children receive a periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits

 

Once a periodontal patient, Always a periodontal patient!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

If you have gum disease and have had scaling and root planing and/ or periodontal surgery, the regular cleanings that will be recommended to you after those treatments are called periodontal maintenance therapy visits. “Once a Periodontal Patient, Always a Periodontal Patient!” After the disease is brought under control, it is critical that periodontal maintenance be performed regularly. You will need more frequent visits than other patients since the gum pockets, plaque and calculus level make it more difficult fr you to keep the teeth clean below the gum line. Dr. Alford may recommend treatment every three to four months as needed. As you progress towards a healthy and stable gum condition, the frequency may change. It is imperative to have optimum home care with proper tooth brushing, flossing, inter-dental brushes, and use of other aids and rinses we recommend.

Imagine how difficult it would be to chew with missing teeth and the cost to replace missing teeth exceeds preventive treatment. We would like to prevent recurrence and further expense. Our goal is for you to keep your teeth for a lifetime of healthy smiles and not lose any teeth due to decay and periodontal disease!

Half of American Adults suffer from Gum Disease

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Periodontal Disease Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Periodontal Disease Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

 

Adairsville, GA – August 7, 2012 – A scientific statement recently published by the American Heart Association (AHA) concludes that observational studies support an association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, independent of shared risk factors. However, some media reports surrounding the statement’s publication have inaccurately classified the relationship as insignificant and suggested that there is no scientific evidence to support a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease.

 

While current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases, scientists have identified certain factors, such as chronic inflammation, that independently link periodontal disease to the development or progression of cardiovascular disease in some patients.

 

The lack of causal evidence should not diminish concern about the impact of periodontal status on cardiovascular health. According to Leroy B. Alford DDS, “As the AHA statement points out, the association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease is real and independent of shared risk factors. Patients and healthcare providers should not ignore the increased risk of heart disease associated with gum disease just because we do not have all the answers yet.”

 

Dr. Alford encourages physicians and dentists to communicate the association between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease to patients. “Patients should be aware that by maintaining periodontal health, they are helping to reduce harmful inflammation in the body, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

 

Patients should expect to receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation from their dental professional at least once a year, adds Dr. Alford. This includes a detailed examination of the teeth and gums, and an assessment of risk factors such as smoking, age, and overall health status. In addition, patients diagnosed with periodontal disease should be sure to inform their general health care provider and/or cardiologist to encourage better integration of their care.

 

For more information about periodontal disease, visit perio.org.

Medication Induced Dry Mouth

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Did you know that more than 500 medications can contribute to a dry mouth, including antihistamines, blood pressure medications, decongestants, pain medications, diuretics and antidepressants? In its most severe forms, dry mouth can lead to extensive tooth decay, mouth sores and oral infections, particularly among the elderly. Because older adults frequently use one or more of these medications they are considered at significantly higher risk of experiencing dry mouth (xerostomia).

Saliva is necessary for maintaining oral health by providing a mineral rich solution which helps keep your teeth strong and resistant to decay. It also helps with the passage of food through the oral cavity. Important enzymes in saliva indicate the breakdown of food to begin the digestive process after mastication (chewing).

Dry Mouth becomes a problem where symptoms occur all or most of the time. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth and causes inflammation and infection.

Radiation of the head and neck causes salivary gland shrinkage (atresia).

Increasing fluid intake, chewing sugarless gum, taking frequent sips of water or sucking on ice chips helps to reduce dry mouth. Avoid intake of caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks. Saliva substitutes, such as Salogon (synthetic saliva), can be taken before meals helps to keep your mouth wet.

You dentist can help you manage this bothersome condition.

Local Periodontist Says You Should Make Every Effort to Save Your Natural Teeth

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Local Periodontist Says You Should Make Every Effort to Save Your Natural Teeth

Adairsville, GA – 10/6/2011 – Despite the increasing popularity and incidence of dental implants, Leroy B Alford DDS, a practicing periodontist and Life Member and Diplomate of the the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) says when faced with tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease, every effort should be made to save your natural teeth.

Dr. Alford stresses the importance of considering all periodontal treatment options, especially when it comes to invasive procedures such as tooth extraction and dental implant placement.

“There is a widespread misconception that extraction along with implant placement is quicker and more convenient than undergoing routine periodontal therapy that can actually save a patient’s natural teeth,” explains Dr. Alford.

Traditional periodontal treatment, including non-surgical and surgical techniques, has high success rates. It has also been shown that periodontal procedures such as implant placement, when not followed by good professional and at-home care, will often fail.

“Implants are not a no-maintenance alternative to natural teeth,” says Dr. Alford. “Many people don’t realize that dental implants, like natural teeth, require regular oral hygiene like tooth brushing, flossing and routine check-ups to prevent implant failure.”

Natural tooth preservation is now more attainable than in the past. For example, recent scientific advances in regeneration have made restoring lost gum and bone tissue more predictable.

However, if a natural tooth cannot be saved, dental implants do provide a useful solution. “Dental implants are able to restore the function and aesthetics lost when a tooth is deemed hopeless,” says Dr. Alford. “With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.”

Dr. Alford encourages patients to discuss all treatment options with his or her dental professional. “When a tooth may be lost due to periodontal disease, it is crucial that a clinically-proven approach is taken. Your dentist or periodontist should work with you to determine the best possible course of treatment for your particular case.”

For more information on dental implants or tips on how to prevent gum disease, visit www.perio.org.


About the AAP:

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is the professional organization for periodontists—specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also dentistry’s experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. They receive three additional years of specialized training following dental school, and periodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. The AAP has 8,400 members worldwide.

 

 

 

We now offer MDI Mini Implants

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Mini Dental Implant

It is estimated that 30 million people in the US have no teeth. This year the first of the Baby Boomers turn 65. Ninety percent of the denture patients are unhappy with the fit of their dentures due to continuous bone loss from wearing dentures.

We are pleased now to be able to offer patients a minimally invasive implant system to secure loose dentures.

The typical patient has a loose denture due to bone loss and is embarrassed to eat or laugh in public. They have too little money, time and bone for traditional implants. They also only see their dentist when the denture becomes too loose to tolerate.

The benefit of a Mini Dental Implant retained denture is the immediate improved quality of life. You can talk, laugh and eat foods you love in public without worry of embarrassment. Many patients tell us that this is the best thing they ever did!

MDI implants are implants with smaller diameter (less than 3.0 mm). They are a one piece design and are indicated for long term use in full denture stabilization and partial denture stabilization.

There is a minimally invasive surgical protocol with an overall 94% success rate.

Patient satisfaction greatly improved after placement of Mini Dental Implants!

On a scale of 1-10, 30 patients rated life before and after MDI implants.

(As per ASPECT)

Before MDI Implant After MDI Implant
Retention 1.7 9.6
Comfort 2.2 9.4
Chewing Ability 2.3 9.3

We have had wonderful success with traditional implants supporting dentures in the lower jaw. No one should ever wear a lower denture without implant attachment and support. We are now pleased to add MDI Implants to our treatment options.

 

Mini Dental Implants

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Mini implants are a smaller version of a full-sized dental implant. They are 2mm toothpin thin titanium parts.  Most frequently mini implants are used to stabilize the lower denture helping to eliminate the discomfort of a moving denture.

There are advantages and limitations.

Advantages of Mini Implants:

•       Less expensive than full size implants

•       Minimally invasive surgery

•       Short surgery experience

•       Patients can eat after the surgery

•       Sometimes a patient can have mini implants when the larger implants

          can’t be placed successfully

•       They may not require sutures or long recovery periods.

Disadvantages of Mini Implants:

 

•       Mini implants are not a long-term solution

•       Non-removable fixed dentures are not an option with mini implants

•       They are less stable than regular implants

•       They can only be used on the lower area

The best long-term option is two full 4-5 mm dental implants, however

the cost is higher.

Bruxism and Nightguard Therapy

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

8-10% of the adult population have a secret disease called Sleep Bruxism, repeated grinding and clenching of their teeth. Some people do it unconsciously even when awake. Stress usually has something to do with it. It can cause mobility and loss of teeth if not treated. Bruxism in addition to gum disease is a serious health problem. This combination causes fast tooth loss due to the accelerated bone loss. During sleep, Bruxism can cause the teeth to contact as much as 40 minutes/hour with 250 pounds of force. Although the condition might be treated with medication, the most effective method is a dental Nightguard. An impression is made of the teeth, a bite registry, and sent to the lab. We use  Gildewell Laboratories. The hard, polished, acrylic Nightguard is delivered, and I adjust to have as many teeth contacts as possible. Its success is due to keeping the muscles of mastication stretched and relaxed as well as not allowing individual teeth to be contacted. Force distribution is even and teeth are splinted for protection. This is very important part of periodontal disease treatment as well as prevention of occlusal disorder.