Let’s Talk Gum Disease – For National Gum Care Month

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround the tooth. There are two terms you are likely to hear when discussing gum disease with your dentist or hygienist. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that can cause discomfort, but usually not irreversible tissue damage.  However, if left untreated, it can become a precursor to periodontal disease, or periodontitis.  When a person develops periodontitis, the gums pull away from the tooth, leaving an open space. Debris collects in these open “pockets, ” and they can become infected. Toxins from the bacteria in the pockets break down and destroy the bone and tissues that are surrounding them.  This is a serious condition that requires gum disease treatment and can result in permanent periodontal tissue and bone loss if not treated aggressively.

What are warning signs of gum disease?

  • Red or purple colored gums
  • Gums that are swollen, tender or shiny
  • Gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums, or gums pulling away from the tooth to make it appear longer than it used to
  • Mouth Sores
  • Loose Teeth
  • A change in how your teeth fit when you bite together

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What are some factors that put you at higher risk for gum disease?

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy)
  • Family history of periodontal disease
  • Some medications
  • Stress
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Tobacco use
  • Poor nutrition

Gum disease can usually be prevented by regular brushing and flossing, good nutrition and regularly scheduled cleaning visits and check-ups with your dentist. If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of gum disease, talk to your dentist. He/she will discuss with you appropriate approaches to treatment that may be as simple changing your oral hygiene habits, r that could include a deep cleaning- called a scaling and root planning- or other options.

Quick Tips

Following these simple guidelines recommended by the American Dental Assoc
iation could greatly
improve your oral health:
  • Brush for two minutes, twice a day: 98% of dental disease can be prevented by just following this common practice. Studies show that people who think they are brushing for two minutes are actually brushing for less than one!
  • Don’t brush too hard: Plaque is soft and sticky. Scrubbing might feel like it’s doing a better job, but it may actually be causing more damage than good. Lightly brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush is all you need. Any calculus (hard deposits) that still remain should be removed professionally by your hygienist.
  • Angle your brush at 45 degrees: When brushing manually, make tiny circles at the correct angle and you should be able to feel the bristles gently sweep under the gum line.
  • Change your toothbrush regularly: This is not just for cleanliness. Over time, the bristles of your toothbrush may become bent or splayed which will no longer clean properly. We recommend getting a new brush every 3 months.
  • Get in between your teeth: Brushing only gets 70% of the debris off of your teeth. Whether it’s using dental floss, a water flosser, or even just a toothpick, something is better than nothing. Most cavities start in those hard-to-reach areas and grow from there.

If you have questions about your oral health, call our office in Boise, Idaho today!
(208) 402-1040. 

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Your Dental Checklist for Back To School

Scheduling Your Child’s Checkupshutterstock_girl magnify mouth

The first day of school is just around the corner! Don’t miss out on this ideal time to get procedures done without working around missed tests and schoolwork. Slots fill up quickly for dental cleanings and checkups this time of year so don’t delay!

Could your child benefit from sealants?

Most children can benefit from having sealants placed, usually on the premolars and molars to make their teeth less susceptible to decay.  Molars have pits and grooves in the chewing surfaces, making them hard to keep clean.  Some fissures are so deep it is virtually impossible to remove all the food particles with a toothbrush.  These trouble areas are remedied with a filling material, similar to filling a cavity.  Sealants can protect a tooth for many years, but good oral hygiene is still required.

Does your child need their wisdom teeth removed?

Third molars or wisdom teeth often lack enough room to come in properly. When this happens they can cause tooth crowding or damage nearby teeth. They are also prone to gum disease because of their hard to reach location. Removing wisdom teeth during the teenage years is usually a much easier process because the roots are still forming. Summer is a great time to schedule your teen for this procedure to allow adequate time to recover. Most activities may resume after the first day, but they should take it easy from strenuous activity for 3-5 days and contact sports for a good week.

Is your child ready for orthodontics?

Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists actually recommends kids be seen by age 7 to detect early problems and allow treatment to begin at the most ideal time. This “interceptive treatment” may provide a chance to make room for crowded, erupting teeth, focus on bite problems early, reduce the need for tooth removal and the overall time in braces. Send your child back to school in style with the latest colors and designs.

Now is the time to get your child in before school starts!
Call our office today in Boise, Idaho today!  (208) 402-1040

Is A Dental Implant a MAJOR Surgery?

iStock_Teeth Implant_Small.jpgDental implant surgery takes education and skill on the part of your dentist and his instruments are technologically precise.  However, because of that education, skill, and technology the procedure itself is simple. In most cases, having an implant placed is less traumatic than the extraction of a tooth and the sensation is similar to having a filling placed.

 

 

After a local anesthetic is given the implant procedure is just 3 simple steps:

  • A small hole is drilled into the jaw bone.
  • The site is prepared until the exact size and length are achieved for the implant.
  • A titanium root replacement is placed in the prepared location.

Most implant surgeries take less than an hour and a half and most patients experience only mild discomfort during the healing process.

Who Can Get A Dental Implant?

Dental implants are not always suitable for every patient. Prior to implant surgery, a comprehensive dental exam, which may include x-rays or CT scan is necessary to determine if you would be a good candidate. Your dental and medical history will also be reviewed by your dentist to consider factors such as bone loss and diabetes. Once your dentist has determined you will be a good candidate, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to integrate with the jawbone for up to six months.

What Can Implants Be Used For?

  • One or More Missing Teeth: For implants used for one to a few missing teeth, a post may be placed to extend the implant above the gum line. An impression will be taken of your mouth and a final restoration such as a single tooth crown or a dental bridge with several teeth permanently connected to multiple implants.
  • All Missing Teeth: Removeable and permanent options are available.
    • Removeable: Implants for dentures can be used for stability to create a removable denture that “snaps” into place. A post it placed that will stick above the gum line while the female end of the snap is placed in the denture. This appliance is removable and will eventually need the seal pieces replaced every few years.
    • Permanent: Similar to a dental bridge that is connected to implants on both sides, implants can be placed all the way around an arch of the mouth and a single appliance made to replace all the missing teeth. This piece is the placed permanently in the mouth and is not removable by the patient.

Dental implants are very unique from case to case and can be used for many different tooth replacement options. Is the implant process precise? YES. Is it a major surgery? NO.

At Victory Dental, we offer a free consultation. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, call our office today to schedule a time to talk with Dr. David Ripplinger in Boise, Idaho. (208) 402-1040

Improving Your Smile

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Father’s Day is just around the corner and that means trying to figure out the perfect for him! What about a bright, new smile? Have Dad fill out this checklist to see if a Smile Makeover is right for him.

Smile Checklist

Do you try to hide your smile when you meet new people?

Are you unhappy with the color of your teeth?

Do you have gaps between your teeth?

Do you have any crooked teeth?

Do you feel your teeth are too short or too long?

Do you feel your teeth aren’t quite the right shape?

Are any of your teeth chipped or damaged?

Are you missing any teeth?

If he answered yes to any of these questions, we can help! Here are some options to help improve Dad’s confidence in his smile again.

  • Teeth Whitening – May be the best solution for you if your natural teeth are stained or yellowed. Whiter teeth can make you look years younger! We offer in-office teeth whitening and home teeth whitening systems.
  • Veneers – May be the best solution for you if you have chipped, broken, misaligned or badly stained teeth where whitening will not be effective.  A veneer is a tooth colored shell that is bonded to the front of teeth and the result is a beautiful smile.
  • Tooth Contouring and Dental Bonding – May be the best solution for you if your natural teeth are poorly shaped or have minor imperfections. Tooth contouring is often a quick way to shape your teeth to achieve that perfect smile.  It is sometimes combined with dental bonding, in which composite resin material is added to the tooth to achieve that perfect smile!

Smiles are important and even life-changing sometimes. If you think the gift a Smile Makeover is just what Dad needs, call our office today for a FREE Cosmetic Consultation with Dr. David Ripplinger in Boise, Idaho. (208) 402-1040

 

 

 

 

Are baby teeth really that important?

iStock_000006684208MediumWe recently celebrated how wonderful moms are. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is! Most moms would say they would do everything in their power to keep their kids healthy. We all have questions about how to do this. Oral health might not be the first thing on our minds; questions might come up such as this one. We thought it would be helpful to give some insight from a dental perspective.

So, as a mother, you make ask questions like these, “Are baby teeth really that important?”, “Should I have a baby tooth with decay fixed when it is just going to fall out in a year or two?”, “Is it really worth fighting a daily battle with a toddler to get a toothbrush in their mouth?” These questions come up all the time in the dental office. While we hear and understand those concerns, we must set this one straight. Baby teeth are extremely important and worth fighting for!

Healthy baby teeth

  • Aid in proper nutrition
  • Help with speech development
  • Hold room in the jaw needed for development of permanent adult teeth
  • Can have a big part in building self-esteem
  • Allow a child to focus in school without the distraction of tooth pain
  • Set the child on a path of good oral health habits for life

What Happens If I Don’t Treat Tooth Decay?

Unless the baby tooth is already loose and on its way out, your dentist will most likely tell you that the tooth needs to be repaired. Primary tooth decay is serious! It can spread quickly and lead to infection or an abscess. An abscess occurs when a cavity reaches the nerve of the tooth. Once the infection reaches the end of the root, a pocket of pus begins to form called an abscess. Sometimes that pus cannot drain and can cause throbbing pain, swelling and may be accompanied by a fever.  An abscessed tooth needs to be taken care of by a dental professional right away and might require antibiotics to fight the infection. If not treated, the infection could spread to other parts of the child’s body. The dentist will either try to save the tooth with a baby root canal or by simply removing the tooth. If the tooth is removed the dentist will often put in a “space maintainer” to hold a place in waiting for the permanent tooth to erupt.

Start With A Check-up!

Regular checkups are important for young children who don’t always let on that there may be a problem until it is too late. Helping children develop the habit of caring for their teeth has payoffs throughout their life. Healthy teeth also mean easier dental visits, which is a plus for both parents and children. Call to schedule a checkup and cleaning for your little one, today!

Side note: Tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children ages 5-17 with 59% affected. More than 51 million hours of school are lost each year by children due to dental-related illnesses.

If you think your child may have a cavity, call our dental office today in Boise, Idaho to schedule a check-up!  (208) 402-1040

 

 

 

 

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

oral-cancer-screening.pngA very important part to regular dental visits is an oral cancer screening which is included in all 6 month dental check-ups in our office in Boise, Idaho.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 49,750 people in the US will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year – 132 every day. One person every hour a day will die from it.

Detecting Oral Cancer

As with many cancers, early detection is crucial and can result in an 80-90 percent recovery rate. Keeping up with your preventative care schedule (most dentists recommend a professional cleaning every six months to one year) allows for consistent screenings by your dentist.

The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes. During the screening, Dr. Dave will check the inside of your mouth for sores, red or white patches or changing tissues. He will use  gloved hands to check for lumps or other irregularities in the tissues. If an abnormality is found, further tests such as a biopsy, dye test or light test may be performed.

The two major risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol use. Anyone who has ever had a prior diagnosis of any oral cancer is also considered high risk. Oral cancer is most likely to be detected by your dentist and early detection and proper diagnosing are imperative to successfully fighting this disease.

If you have concerns about lumps or discolorations in your mouth, contact your dentist. Call today to schedule your next check-up and oral cancer screening in our office. (208) 402-1040

How to Eat Healthier

We all say that on January 1st of every new year that we will make it our New Year’siStock_Mouth Biting Apple_ExtraSmall Resolution to eat healthier and lose weight, but not many of us make it much farther than Valentine’s when we fall off the wagon by eating a huge heart shaped box full of chocolates. Whoops! Let’s get real. March is National Nutrition Month so in honor of that, we thought we’d go a little beyond just teeth and talk about overall health for a minute. As we know, they can very much be connected after all, especially when considering the correlation between diabetes or heart disease with oral health.

Keeping that in mind, here are some realistic and simple ways to simply eat healthier.

  1. Check Labels: It’s not only for dieting or counting your calories, reading labels for the first time may be surprising. It’s always good to know what you are putting in your body. You may switch it up on your next grocery list.
  2. More Fruits & Veggies: Not to beat a dead horse, but we all need more! Try to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies and the other half with grains and lean proteins. The recommended portion size for meats is 3oz.
  3. Cook Your Own Meals: Stay away from boxed foods and eating out. Fresh fruits, veggies, and good ol’ fashion home-cooked meals are the way to go. Boxed and processed foods contain large amounts of sodium that are much higher than the recommended daily amount. Other things to keep in mind when buying premade meals are additives like MSG, artificial sweeteners, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans Fat, and much more.

Life can be busy. Throwing in a pizza in the oven on soccer night once in a while is understandable. Just knowing these very basic tips help make a big difference in your health.  Keep these fundamentals in mind and you are well on your way to eating healthier! And while your on a health kick in the month of March, it’s a good time to make sure you are on schedule with your 6 month dental check-ups as well!

If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, be sure you contact your dentist. Dr. Dave in Boise, Idaho is happy to help you with your oral health needs.
Contact our office today, (208) 402-1040!