Monthly Archives: October 2014

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

preventive dentistry

In our last article we discussed the three-fold nature of dental disease, so I want to follow-up with a few specific recommendations for addressing each of these three factors.

FIRST, Focusing on the enamel tissue, there are things that we can do to in regards to preventative dentistry other than removing the teeth. We recommend a diet or supplements that contain healthy minerals that will help naturally replenish the saliva minerals which strengthen the enamel. Fluoride is another mineral which when topically applied to the tooth in the form of a paste or rinse can change the crystal structure of the enamel to be more acid-resistant. Also, there are non-fluoride mineral crèmes that we have available that can serve the same purpose of strengthening the enamel. Be sure to ask your hygienist or dentist about them.

SECOND, removing all bacteria from the mouth is nearly impossible and no bacteria is arguably unhealthy. The key is to disrupt the bacterial growth before it matures to the point of causing disease, and to have a good balance of healthy bacteria in the mouth. The first part is done by a regular twice daily routine of proper brushing and flossing to manually remove the bugs. By sweeping them away and off the tooth surface or gumline we don’t allow them to do the damage that they potentially could. There’s a right way to do this, so ask our office about the “control program” where at no cost you can be taught the techniques you need to be using at home every day. Also, a daily dose of probiotics in the form of a lozenge can re-establish a healthy bacterial balance in the mouth. There are specific dental probiotics that are dispensed by your dentist for this purpose. The best time to start this regimen would be following a dental cleaning.

THIRD, reducing the amount of simple sugars in the diet will have a significant effect on the amount and type of bacteria that take up residence in your mouth. Less sweets and more fibrous veggies! In addition to this, XYLITOL, a sweetener that is used in a lot of natural foods has been shown to reduce dental problems. It works by “fooling” the bacteria in the mouth into trying to metabolize it, and with time actually starves out the bacteria. Research in Europe has shown that 5 exposures to xylitol per day can significantly reduce formation of tooth decay! So chew some xylitol gum, sprinkle some on your oatmeal, use a xylitol mouthrinse.

In this article we’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do to prevent dental disease. There are many other alternative therapies and techniques that could be added to the list. These include OZONE therapy, instruction in our control program, and others. Consult with Dr. Montes or Dr. Thompson about what specific needs you may have and to develop a targeted approach to having a healthy and beautiful smile for life.

Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/29/2014) Seth Lemmons (Flickr)

An Ounce Of Prevention

preventive dentistry

So last month we had the privilege of hosting an open house and educational seminar in our dental practice. In addition to inviting folks from the community in to see our beautiful facility, we wanted to provide some information on what is unique about what we do here at Prescott Dentistry. Part of what we focused on was the idea of preventative treatments in Dentistry. Everybody understands the role that exercise and good diet play in staying physically healthy ad avoiding doctor visits, well, in the same way there are preventative things that we can incorporate into our routine in order to not get too familiar with your dentist.

In order to effectively talk about preventive dentistry, we have to understand the following diagram:

There are three components to dental disease, and all three have to be present in order for disease to be present. FIRST, there has to be some tissue or body part involved. For dental purposes this tissue is either our tooth enamel or our gum tissue. Think of it this way, if we didn’t have any teeth, we would never get any cavities! SECOND, there have to be bacteria present. Remember, almost all dental disease is a bacterial infection. The bacteria produce the acids that dissolve our teeth and cause decay, or produce the toxins as by-products that cause inflammation and breakdown of the gums. If we effectively eliminate the presence of bacteria in the mouth, we can eliminate most all dental disease. THIRD, there has to be some energy source for the bacteria to thrive on. The favorite diet of oral bacteria is simple carbohydrates or sugars which they can reduce to acid which breaks down enamel. What this tells us is that changes in our diet can disrupt the bacterial colonies in our mouth. If we can disrupt or remove any of these three contributing factors in our mouth, we can effectively reduce or eliminate dental disease.

So now that we know what factors contribute to disease, we can understand why the dentist may make certain recommendations or modifications to our routine.

In our next installment, Dr. Montes will discuss some specific recommendations to address each of these three factors.

Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/29/2014) Worldizen (Flickr)

Biomimetic Dentistry Video

More insights on our ground-breaking Biomimetic dentistry techniques are always helpful in educating our current and potential new patients. New organizations and studies are popping up all the time to help advance this more naturalistic and advanced approach to dentistry. The following is a great video put together by the doctors at Biomimetic Dentistry CE, to help inform patients and fellow dentists on the merits of Biomimetic Dentistry.

Some excellent key points from the video:

  • Biomimetic Dentistry preserves tooth vitality and prevents unneeded root canals
  • Conserves as much tooth structure as possible
  • Increases the bond strength of restorations by 400%
  • Restores teeth which would traditionally require extraction
  • Eliminates sensitivity
  • Minimizes shrinkage stress on the teeth
  • Creates long-lasting restorations and prevents complications experienced with traditional approaches

Check out our previous articles on Biomimetic dentistry, or contact the physicians at Prescott Dentistry for more information on Biomimetic Dentistry.

Poor Dental Hygiene’s Disastrous Effects

Dental Services in Prescott, AZ

Dental Services in Prescott, AZ

It is common knowledge that neglecting one’s oral health can lead to tooth decay, pain, and gum disease. However, as detrimental these consequences may be, there are emerging studies that link much more serious illnesses with poor dental hygiene. If you don’t think your teeth are a top priority, a few titles might make you pause or change your tune: Alzheimer’s disease, Pancreatic cancer, and heart disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease

A 2010 study from New York University has shown a link between Alzheimer’s disease and gum inflammation. The study was based on 20 years of data, and 152 subjects enrolled in the Glostrop Aging Study – examining medical psychological, and oral health in Danish people. The team saw that gum disease in 70-year-olds had a strong association with poor scores for cognitive function.

The participants with gum inflammation were 9 times more likely to score in the lower range of the cognitive test.

The link may be based on the fact that there is significant evidence showing that 2 of 3 bacteria responsible for gum disease are capable of motion and can travel to the brain via nerves or blood circulation system.

Pancreatic cancer

Another study from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA in 2007 reported a strong link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer. Periodontitis, which can cause bone loss around the base of teeth, was the type of gum disease associated with pancreatic cancer.

This study which involved over 51,000 men dating back to 1986, showed men with gum disease were 64% more likely to suffer from pancreatic cancer.

However, another study in 2012 could not definitively say whether the cancer was the cause of periodontitis or the other way around.

Heart Disease

The most commonly known and accepted link is between Heart disease and dental hygiene. Researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin found that people with bleeding gums enable bacteria to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, forming blood clots, which can result in interrupted blood flow and heart attacks.

Interested in avoiding finding out for yourself whether there is truth to these studies? Check out our previous articles on dental services in Prescott, AZ, or contact the physicians at Prescott Dentistry for more information.

Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/10/2014) bark (Flickr)