Friday, March 29, 2013

Self-Care Toothbrush Tips for Special Needs


Self-Care Toothbrush Tips for Special Needs



Maintaining good oral hygiene can be a challenge, especially if you have developed a health condition that makes brushing and flossing more difficult, or have been in an accident that created new limitations. Dental professionals want to help all dental patients keep their mouths healthy, and they offer these suggestions about oral hygiene.

Dental Brushing Tips

Problems in hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders can hinder a person's ability to brush and floss. While each situation is different, there are some suggestions that have been effective in making dental care easier:
  • Use a wide elastic band to attach the toothbrush to your hand for extra gripping power.
  • Attach a small rubber ball, a sponge, or a rubber grip to the toothbrush handle with strong tape. This enhances gripping power and is often useful when hand or arm movement is weakened or limited.
  • Use a longer wooden dowel, a ruler, or plastic rod to lengthen the toothbrush handle, wrapping it securely with strong tape. This longer length may help in more easily reaching your mouth.
  • Use an electric or sonic toothbrush.
Dental Flossing Tips

If limitations make brushing and oral hygiene harder, flossing may be an even bigger challenge. Depending on your limitations, try these techniques:
  • Use a piece of floss, about 18" long, and wind one end of floss around each finger instead of holding it. This will increase your grip and prevent the floss from dropping out of your fingers with each tooth you floss.
  • Hold the floss tightly and seesaw it back and forth between the teeth, instead of pushing the floss right through.
  • Tie the floss into a long circle instead of using one long piece, which may make it easier to hold and less likely to drop from your hands.
  • Try using a floss holder, available wherever oral hygiene products are sold.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who To See When Thinking About Getting Dental Implants


Who To See When Thinking About Getting Dental Implants



If dental implants are what you need to replace your missing teeth, you should select an implant dentist with in-depth knowledge of, and prior experience with all aspects of the treatment. It is important to know that treatment with tooth implants consists of two components: a surgical phase and a restorative phase.

Traditionally, a dental surgeon, like an oral surgeon or a periodontist, performs the surgical component. A general dentist, or prosthodontist and laboratory technician, performs the restorative component.

As dental implant dentistry has become more sophisticated, the restorative dentist, at times, also has become the one that places the dental implants. However, each clinician involved in implant treatment must be aware that the type of final restoration a patient wants dictates the position, size, and number of the tooth implants within the jaws.

What Types of Dental Implants Are There?

For each unique missing tooth situation, there is an equally unique way to use dental implants for tooth replacement. However, all of the treatments can be placed in two categories: removable or fixed prostheses.

Implant dentists use removable implant dentures when a patient is missing all of their teeth. Fewer tooth implants are necessary when used in conjunction with a removable denture.

Conversely, more dental implants are necessary when used in conjunction with a fixed bridge. Fixed bridges feel most like your natural teeth and are usually more desirable than removable dentures.

Mastering new surgical and restorative techniques as they are developed is the mark of an excellent tooth implant dentist as well as overall implant dentistry. An implant dentist's meticulous attention to fine detail conveys a feeling of confidence to the patient. The dentist should be committed to restoring full function to the missing teeth as well as recreating natural-looking teeth. These are the qualities a patient should look for in an implant dentist.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Simple Description of a Dental Implant Procedure


A Simple Description of a Dental Implant Procedure



Permanent replacements that feel like original teeth.

If you have a missing tooth or have lost teeth, you're far from alone. In fact, you're one of over 100 million North Americans with a similar problem. Some lack but a single tooth; others are completely edentulous (without teeth).

Dentures are generally the first thing considered in connection with tooth loss. However, over time a jawbone lacking natural teeth will shrink. Dentures begin to slide, irritating gums. After a while, patients either cannot or will not continue wearing dentures. Their quality of life diminishes as they go on to become "oral invalids."

For many patients, dental implants can be almost the same as having their natural teeth back again. That's because instead of being a removable device inside the mouth, teeth implants are bridges that are permanently anchored into the jaw itself. The dental implant procedure is surgical, yes, but usually performed under local anesthesia.

The key to a successful tooth replacement is something we call osseo-integration, or the meshing together of implant and bone. Good candidates for tooth implants need jawbone ridges that are in good shape and healthy oral tissues. Then, when the implant device is inserted, a chemical and mechanical bond is formed. The jawbone actually grows into the tooth implant.

That's a highly simplified discussion of an extremely complex and technical procedure. For more details on dental implantology, contact your dental implant dentist. Or use our search form above to find one.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dental Anxiety Is Real!


Dental Anxiety Is Real!




Franklin D. Roosevelt was right: the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself.

Many times, the most worst part of a procedure is the anxiety a patient endures before even climbing into the chair. However, this anxiety is treatable, and your dentist would like to help you with that right now.

If you (or someone you care about) has an appointment that's beginning to darken your thoughts, try this: First focus on the specifics of your dental fear. Is it the procedure in general, or a particular piece of equipment, or a vague sense of invasion of the privacy of your mouth? Once you've got it pinned down, talk with your dentist about it. If it's general dental anxiety, your dentist can help you feel better. If it's concern over a specific instrument or technique, often your dentist can change the way he does things.

You can help the "pre-op jitters" by avoiding stimulants (coffee, cocoa, sugar) six hours before your visit. And concentrate on breathing naturally; denying yourself oxygen increases anxiety.

Finally, there's a matter of trust. When your dentist describes a procedure, ask him to be honest. Ask him to tell you if it will be painful or stressful, if he tells you it won't be, believe him. And spare yourself the unnecessary burden of dental phobia.



DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Common Beliefs About Bad Breath... That Are All Completely Untrue!


5 Common Beliefs About Bad Breath... That Are All Completely Untrue!


By: Tomas Caomhanach

Myth 1: Bad breath is caused by poor hygiene.

Depending on whose figures you accept, bad breath is a problem that affects as much as 90% of the population, to some extent. However, despite common beliefs, in most cases, it is not caused by poor oral hygiene. A very small percentage of cases may be, but the overwhelming majority aren't.

It's the most common myth out there about the problem. However, most people who suffer from bad breath actually have excellent hygiene practices because, based on that misunderstanding, the worse their problem gets, the more they brush and scrub and gargle and floss to try to get rid of it. It's a futile effort though (and, in some cases, can actually make the problem worse, as many toothpastes and mouthwashes have ingredients that actually make bad breath worse in the long term!).

Myth 2: Treating bad breath requires expensive products.

While most of them will only cover up and mask the problem, there are a number of extremely effective products on the market that really do tackle the fundamental causes of bad breath. However, they are extremely expensive. Some of them cost as much as $100.00 a month... forever! If you can afford that, great, but most of them contain the same (or similar) ingredients as the highly-effective home remedy described in The The Bad Breath Report (and those same ingredients are available in your local supermarket or drug store for pennies!)

Myth 3: Bad breath can't be cured - only masked.

Temporarily masking your bad breath with mints and sprays can significantly worsen your problem. Their ingredients create a hospitable environment for bacteria to thrive in your mouth, which is the exact opposite of what you must do to really solve the problem. By using products like these to deal with the symptoms of bad breath, you'll only make things worse. You need to address the causes of bad breath instead.

Myth 4: Bad Breath originates in the stomach.

Years ago, there was much hype about pills that claimed to cure bad breath in your stomach. However, the makers of those pills were practically obliterated by legal action by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for making false claims. In short, it's completely untrue: While there are some relatively rare medical conditions that do produce bad odors from the stomach, the cause of most cases of bad breath (90%+) is something completely different.

Myth 5: There is a one-time cure for bad breath.

It takes quite a long time to develop a bad breath problem. It doesn't happen overnight. There are a number of factors that gradually combine to cause it. In the same way, while you can rapidly eliminate the odor in just a few days, it will also take time to undo the damage, and to change the environment in your mouth from one that the microorganisms which cause most cases of bad breath love and thrive in to one that they hate and can't survive in.

By following the recommendations of The Bad Breath Report, most people will get rid of their problem very rapidly. However, if they then stop, and fall back into their old patterns and old ways of doing things, it should come as no surprise that the "old problem" (i.e. bad breath) will gradually begin to reemerge.



The Bad Breath Report
Scientifically-Proven Method To
Cure Bad Breath At Home
www.TheBadBreathReport.com

 

DR. GARY SIGAFOOS

Friday, March 22, 2013

Make Your Dental Health a Priority


Make Your Dental Health a Priority


What's the best thing that's happened to you over the past year? A special vacation you'd been promising yourself? Or purchasing that new car you've had your eye on for a long while?

All of us look forward to pleasure purchases. They add luster to life. And if you think about it, the things we seem to find easiest to afford are the things that make us feel good about ourselves.

Yet, for most of us, number one on the list for a good life is good health. Today we know that good oral health is just as important as your overall physical wellness. After all, you only have one body and one set of adult teeth. How they serve you depends on the priority you assign them.

Make feeling good about yourself a priority. One component may be that dream vacation. But certainly another component is keeping yourself physically healthy enough to enjoy the experience. And that means paying attention to your oral hygiene and practicing preventive dentistry.

You don't need to be told that the actual cash you spend to keep yourself dentally fit is only a tiny fraction of what you spend to feel good about yourself. After all, it's no fun being able to afford a gourmet meal if it's painful to chew and swallow it.

Your dental hygienist will welcome your visit and looks forward to helping you help yourself to dental health with a good dental cleaning.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Learn How Plaque And Gum Disease Relate To Older Adults


Learn How Plaque And Gum Disease Relate To Older Adults



The proverbial way of referring to older people as being "long on the tooth" suggests that it is predetermined that as we get older our teeth get "longer" or "no longer." This is not true.

Periodontal disease, plaque and loss of teeth is not an inevitable aspect of aging. Loss of attachment or bone support around a tooth is the result of a bacterial infection. What is true is that as we get older, we have more exposures to these infectious organisms, and more probability of being infected and developing periodontal disease. Half of the people over 55 have periodontal disease.

Risk factors that make older adults more susceptible to periodontal disease include:

Systemic diseases: Certain systemic diseases such as diabetes may decrease the body's ability to fight infection and can result in more severe periodontal disease. Osteoporosis also can increase the amount and rate of bone loss around teeth. Systemic illnesses will affect periodontal disease if it is a pre-existing condition. To reduce the effects of systemic diseases on the oral cavity, maintain meticulous plaque control and visit your dental care provider routinely for examinations and professional cleanings.

Medications: Heart medications can have a direct effect on the gums by creating an exaggerated response to plaque and resulting in gum overgrowth. Antidepressants may create dry mouth and reduce the saliva's ability to neutralize plaque.

Immunosuppressants and other disease-fighting medications may reduce the body's ability to combat infection, increasing the risk for periodontal disease. The dental care provider needs to be aware of any medications you may be taking and you need to maintain meticulous plaque control and visit your dental care provider routinely for examinations and professional cleanings.

Dry mouth: Lack of saliva can result from the use of certain medications or as a result of illness. If there is not enough saliva available to neutralize plaque it can result in more cavities and periodontal disease.

Also, dry mouth, or xerostomia, can make dentures more difficult to wear and may also complicate eating, speaking, or swallowing of food. Oral rinses or artificial saliva can be very helpful with these problems.

Frequent sips of water or eating candy may be helpful as long as it doesn't contain sugar. Fluoride rinses and gels are helpful in reducing or preventing the cavities that can be caused by having a dry mouth.

Dexterity problems: Physical disabilities can reduce dexterity and the ability to remove plaque on a daily basis. Poor oral hygiene can increase the risk for cavities and periodontal disease.

Electric toothbrushes and floss holders are helpful in improving plaque control. Frequent professional cleanings combined with oral anti-microbial or fluoride rinses also may be helpful in reducing the incidence of cavities and periodontal disease.

Estrogen deficiency: Older women may have some special concerns in relation to periodontal disease. Scientific studies have suggested that the estrogen deficiency that occurs after menopause may increase the risk for severe periodontal disease and tooth loss. Estrogen replacement therapy may reverse these effects.

It is important to keep teeth as we age because every tooth has an important function in chewing and speaking. They affect our appearance and self esteem.

Having dentures or loose or missing teeth can restrict our diets, resulting in poor nutrition and systemic complications. With the advances in modern dentistry and with current prevention and treatment techniques, we must count on keeping our teeth for a lifetime -- no matter how "long" that may be!


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dental Implants - Common Questions Answered By Implant Dentist

Dental Implants - Common Questions Answered By Implant Dentist


If you have lost a tooth, it is likely that one of your options is to replace it with a dental implant. Before you decide a course of action, you should consider asking your implant dentist some simple questions:

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium metal replacement for a root of a tooth that is surgically implanted in the jawbone by a specially trained implant dentist or oral surgeon. As the body heals for approximately two to six months after the surgery, the bone around the implant fuses to the implant through a process called osseointegration. After the healing phase is complete, the implants are used to anchor crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants are the most natural replacement for a missing tooth.

What does the implant dentist do?

The process should begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient's medical and dental history, and a full clinical examination of the entire mouth and missing tooth area by your dentist. The clinical exam should also include specific X-rays. After assessing the patient, a comprehensive treatment plan can be devised. From that point, implants are surgically placed in the jawbone under local anesthesia. The length of the healing time is based on the quality and quantity of bone, as well as the type of implant placed. After adequate healing is allowed to occur, the implant can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture.

What happens if the dental implant fails to fuse to the jawbone?

If an implant fails to bond to bone, another implant can immediately be put in its place, usually of a slightly larger diameter. In situations where another implant cannot be immediately placed, the area is allowed to heal for a few months and then another one can be put in the same place.

How many implants should be placed?

This is a question that should be determined during the treatment plan. A good rule-of-thumb is to place one implant for each tooth replaced. Other decisive factors for the number of implants needed for success is the quality and quantity of the patient's bone. Equally as important are the existing anatomy of the bone and the financial resources of the patient.

Placing enough implants to restore teeth is vitally important to the long-term success of the restoration. Simply stated, the most costly mistake is to have an implant fail because not enough implants are placed to support the teeth. If the number of implants is limited due to financial constraints of the patient, then the implant treatment should be avoided or the type of restoration must be altered.

When you are more knowledgeable about your implant treatment, you will be able to have more input to give your dentist and better your chances of a successful treatment outcome.



DR. GARY SIGAFOOS

LaJolla Periodontics


Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Preventive Dentistry


Preventive Dentistry

One of the simplest dental hygiene exercises you can do for yourself is something you've heard before and it bears repeating: floss.


Every 24 hours, bacteria contribute to a new batch of plaque. Brushing, no matter how well done, will not get all the "bugs," especially between teeth and where tooth meets gum tissue. Flossing before or after brushing should be a part of everyone's oral health care program. The kind of floss, waxed, unwaxed, tape, doesn't matter. Just choose the product you're comfortable with, and use it.

Maybe you never quite got the hang of flossing, or are a little out of practice. Here's a quick refresher course.

  • Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your fingers; give yourself about five to six taut inches to work with. If the floss frays or builds up with debris, re-loop the floss and keep at it.
  • Try starting on the upper molars, way in the back; they're most difficult to reach. Follow the curve of enamel on every surface you can, three to four passes each.
  • Where teeth meet, you may have to gently pull the floss to the gumline. Avoid sawing motions as that may damage soft tissue.
  • Proceed from the back teeth to the center front. Then repeat the process on the other side.
  • Rinse, and there you are.

If you find all this tedious or feel you're "all thumbs," a floss threader can help. Your dental hygienist can show you how to handle one. Just ask for help.

And remember, any amount of time you spend on plaque removal is time well spent for better dental health. The more time the better. If you have more questions or for more information, just call your dentist.



DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Bizarre Psychophysical Effects of Bad Breath: Why It Can Make People Think You Are Literally Going To Kill Them!


The Bizarre Psychophysical Effects of Bad Breath: Why It Can Make People Think You Are Literally Going To Kill Them!

According to researchers, the smell of bad breath activates an ancient brain system that actually makes people subconsciously think you're trying to kill them! It even happens to people who may love you dearly, but they can't help it - once they get a whiff of your breath, their brain freaks out, and literally forces them to recoil, and feel sickened and disgusted by you.

By Tomas Caomhanach


British soul singer Joss Stone has been widely quoted in newspapers and online media as saying that bad breath is her biggest turn-off in a man. 

That's not surprising. In fact, it is a perfectly natural way to feel. And she's not alone either: An extensive survey carried out by the British Dental Association in London some years back found that bad breath was rated the #1 turn-off for everybody, no matter what their age or gender. It was even rated as being worse than stale body odor!

Stone, 24, said: "There is nothing worse than bad breath. I have kissed people with bad breath... and it made me feel sick." And, in all probability, that was not a figure of speech - it really did make her feel physically sick.

That's because of disgust, which is one of the 6 primary human emotions. Normally, we think of emotions as being a purely 'mental' thing but, according to researchers, disgust is quite different: it is often purely physical, involving a sequence of involuntary movements that originally evolved as a way to protect us from sources of disease or infection.

Because the nose is so close to (and well connected with) the brain, the sense of smell is the primary driver of disgust. The chemical compounds given off by things that can cause disease or infection often have a very distinctive smell, which the human brain recognizes instantly. When it does so, it switches to survival mode right away, and literally forces your body to isolate itself from the source of possible infection.

It does that by making you recoil (which moves you away), scrunching up your nose (which constricts your nasal passages, and stops you breathing in any more noxious smells), and by making you gag (which stops you swallowing anything through your mouth). If you do inhale or swallow too much of those chemicals, you then feel nauseated, and may even vomit (to eject everything you have swallowed from your body).

As it happens, bad breath contains a number of specific chemical compounds that happen to be the SAME as those given off by rotting food, feces, and, believe it or not, dead bodies - all sources of possible infection, and all causes of (sometimes extreme) disgust in every single human being on the planet. If you have bad breath, THAT'S why people recoil, turn away, and step back when you are near them.

That's why it's so sickening. It doesn't matter if the people around you like you - they may even be you own loved ones - their brain still thinks you could literally kill them, and is trying to protect them by making them feel sick and disgusted by you.

And that's why Stone is right: There really is nothing worse than bad breath.



The Bad Breath Report
Scientifically-Proven Method To
Cure Bad Breath At Home
www.TheBadBreathReport.com

 

DR. GARY SIGAFOOS

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Laser Dentistry


Laser Dentistry


I'm proud to offer you laser dentistry for the treatment of many types of cavities. The laser works by emitting a specialized light that targets and destroys dental decay.

Drills are very powerful, and the vibration and the large hole produced can cause discomfort, making some type of anesthesia almost always necessary. With a laser, the light works to destroy and remove decay with no uncomfortable tooth vibration and resulting discomfort. Because the laser is so precise, the decayed part of the tooth often can be selectively removed, leaving a more healthy part of the tooth. Rather than that loud drilling sound, you hear only a gentle tapping.

More Benefits of Laser Dentistry:
  • Clinical studies show that 96% of all patients-both adults and children-required no anesthesia when the laser was used to remove dental decay.
  • No time is spent waiting for Novocaine to take effect or wear off.
  • Multiple teeth and sections of your mouth can be worked on in ONE sitting instead of having to return multiple times to have a cavity filled.
Laser treatment has proven to be appropriate and safe in over tens of thousands of applications throughout the world, and works well for young children as well as adults. Laser of technology allows us to take the fear out of going to the dentist and gets the patient actively involved in their own dental care.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The New Dentistry and Medicine - A Partnership for Your Oral Health


The New Dentistry and Medicine - A Partnership for Your Oral Health



A world of opportunities for dental health awaits us in the new dentistry. Using the old dentistry, dentalcare professionals did their best to provide a high quality of service given the state of knowledge and technology at that time.

Through advancements in treatment, research, and the desire of the dental care profession to do more and do it better, the new dentistry has emerged giving you a better smile. It is based on a foundation with specific characteristics that are of great benefit to us as consumers.

Efficiency: Your time and your resources are valuable to you, and your dentist recognizes this. New dentistry treatment techniques and methods have considerably reduced the amount of time that the dental care now takes. The return on your investment in dental health is excellent.

Comfort: Not only are the dental chairs and the dentistry office environment more comfortable and pleasant, improvements in the use of local anesthetics and new equipment provide more comfort than ever before.

Collaboration: The dental relationship is now based on the value that you can derive from your dentistry team and what you want for your dental future rather than just on the techniques and procedures your dentist can do. Through dental continuing education, your dentist has the skills and knowledge to help you make decisions for your dental health in a positive and informed way.

Predictability: New materials and advances in treatment provide you with opportunities to maintain your dental health throughout your life. With the innovative cosmetic and specialized dentistry approaches to reclaiming teeth that formally would be lost, your dentistry professional can help create and maintain teeth and gums. Predictable treatment, effective prevention methods, and the longevity of treatment are now part of any treatment plan.

Thoroughness: Advances in assessment and diagnosis now enable dentists to make thorough evaluations of your overall dental and oral health. The outcome is a plan for your health that will give you peace of mind, knowing you can have a well-informed dentistry plan in place.

Prevention: This characteristic of the new dentistry has received much publicity in recent years. It has been proven over and over again that there are several measures that you can take as a consumer of dental care to create and maintain your dental health in collaboration with your dental team. It bears repeating again -- flossing and brushing combined with regular dental hygiene checks are your greatest allies in maintaining your teeth and a bright smile.

Precision: The new dentistry utilizes instruments and technologies that are far advanced from what was available even 15 years ago. Both general dentists and specialists have access to technologies that provide precision in diagnosis and treatment. The value for you is higher quality care.

The dental profession has established a strong foundation for a pleasant smile and a healthy dental future for all of us. Dentistry improvements are continuously being made to this foundation. You can choose to avail yourself of these improvements by asking your dentist, "What can help me to maintain my dental health?" They have the knowledge and the desire to help you.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Seniors -- Age Brings Changes In Dental Care Treatment


Seniors -- Age Brings Changes In Dental Care Treatment


It's an indisputable fact - our bodies change as we get older and so does our need for dentistry. These changes take different forms in different people, depending on our inherited physical traits, our lifestyle and nutritional habits, and our medical conditions.

Age brings changes in oral health and your need for dental care, too. There are some specific areas where seniors need to pay close attention to protect and extend their oral health.

Tooth Color: Plaque is an invisible layer of bacteria that forms on our teeth, and can trap stains at any age. But as we get older, plaque builds up more quickly and is harder to remove. At the same time, the tissue that lies underneath the tooth enamel, called "dentin," is changing, and those changes can make teeth appear darker. Finally, decades of consuming coffee, tea, or tobacco leave stains that build up over time.

Daily brushing and flossing are important, particularly first thing in the morning and just before bed, to combat the plaque that builds up overnight. You may also want to consult your dentist about using commercial rinses that remove plaque.

Dry Mouth: Many seniors experience a reduced flow of saliva, sometimes as a side effect of medications such as painkillers or decongestants. For some, the lack of moisture inside the mouth can lead to sore throats, a burning sensation, hoarseness, or difficulty swallowing. In addition, if you leave dry mouth unattended, it can damage teeth, since saliva's natural rinsing keeps bacteria washed away from teeth and gums. Sugar-free chewing gum and hard candy will stimulate natural saliva, and artificial saliva and oral rinses will provide much-needed relief. Ask your dentist which commercial products are the best for you.

Cavities: If your gums begin to recede, the portion of the tooth that used to be below the gum line is now exposed. Roots are softer than tooth surfaces and are susceptible to decay; they are also likely to be sensitive to hot and cold beverages and food. Most people over age 50 suffer from some form of dental care disease. Make sure you take good care of teeth and gums with daily brushing and flossing. A word of caution: your gums may be starting to thin. Brush thoroughly but gently to keep from tearing your gums.

Fillings: Your fillings are getting older, too. They can weaken or crack, or your tooth may decay around the edges of the filling. As a result, bacteria can seep into your tooth, causing more decay. Regular check-ups will give your dentist the chance to keep an eye on your existing fillings.

Gum Disease: Daily cleaning and good nutrition are critical for healthy gums. When gums become infected and diseased, they set off a chain reaction that can result in losing teeth or weakening the jawbone. Either condition creates more problems for your health and increases your medical costs. Contact your dentist if your gums become red or begin to bleed.

Good Nutrition: What you put into your mouth has a direct impact on the health of your mouth -- and the health of the rest of your body. As you age and your lifestyle changes, keep your nutritional goals in mind. Balanced meals are one the best ways you can contribute to your own good health.

Regular Exams: The dentist will check your mouth, teeth, and jaw for any problems. You should also mention any sores, swelling, or pain you might be experiencing. Regular checkups enable the dentist to spot problems early. Early resolution of problems will help you keep your natural teeth.

Good dental care, regular check-ups, and good nutrition are the keys to really keep you smiling in your golden years!


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dental Patient Financing

Dental Patient Financing


Your dentist's biggest concern is your dental health. Teeth are a priceless possession. Maintaining them should never have to take a back seat to details like dental costs or insurance coverage.

Your dentist's patient financing policy is probably pretty basic: somehow, they'll find a way that lets them perform the work you need now, rather than put it off for money reasons. Simply put, they're there to help.

As a patient, you should receive a proposed treatment plan that's right for you. You should also receive a complete description of what's needed and a dental fees estimate - so you know what, when, and how much - right from the start.

If you're covered by dental insurance, your dentist's staff will work to obtain the maximum benefit your plan allows. They may even elect to spread your treatment over two "insurance years" to expand your coverage. Every plan and patient, of course, is different.

If you're not covered by insurance your dentist can still find a way to get you the dental work you need done. Credit cards, a dental loan, and monthly payments are all options you can explore in tailoring a program that fits your dental needs.

Your dentist realizes that dental costs will always play a part in the decisions you make together. But cost alone should never prevent you from seeking the help you need early on, before the problem gets worse - and more expensive.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Most Unlikely (But Scientifically-Proven) Weapon Against Tooth Decay: SUGAR!


A Most Unlikely (But Scientifically-Proven) Weapon Against Tooth Decay: SUGAR!

By Tomas Caomhanach



It's a most unlikely weapon in the battle against tooth decay: Tests have shown that a fruit-flavored sugary syrup - made from a natural sweetener called Xylitol - can protect teeth against corrosion.

Xylitol comes from the silver birch tree and is used in many products such as chewing-gum. Studies have shown it reduces levels of a harmful bacteria called streptococcus mutans.

Researchers at the University of Washington have studied the effects of the syrup on children in the Pacific Marshall Islands, which has one of the highest rates of tooth decay in the world, as a result of a sugary diet.

Presented at the International Association for Dental Research conference in Toronto, the results have shown that 76% of those given the syrup were free of tooth decay, compared with 48% of those who did not get it.



The Bad Breath Report
Scientifically-Proven Method To
Cure Bad Breath At Home
www.TheBadBreathReport.com

 

DR. GARY SIGAFOOS

Friday, March 8, 2013

Managed Dental Plans


Managed Dental Plans


"Managed" dental care is a great idea.

However, many dentists strongly feel that it should be "managed" by their patients, for their benefit - instead of by a dental insurance company for its benefit.

If you are covered by a dental insurance plan, and if your employer offers you a range of different programs, the time you spend investigating benefits will be time well spent. Doing so puts your family in control of the quality of dental care you can demand and receive from your dental plans.

Words can have very different meanings, depending on an individual's point of view. Some low cost dental insurance plans restrict patients to "preferred providers" of dental care. That sounds impressive until you recognize that providers are "preferred" by the insurer, not necessarily by you. And in many cases they're preferred, frankly, because they agree to sell their services at a discounted rate.

Review your own insurance options carefully: some dental plans allow participants to continue receiving optimum care from their current physicians and dentists. Some don't. It's your choice.

The idea of solving dental health problems "at no (or minimal) cost to you" is understandably appealing. But recognize the tradeoff. Simply put, it's "little cost and less choice."


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Your Dental Visit


Your Dental Visit


When you first visit a new dentist, part of your initial exam is an assessment of your "bite" - the way teeth meet as the jaws close. Later, after a filling or placement of a dental crown, your bite will be tested again to be sure the tooth restoration fits well with other teeth. Nearly all dental patients have "been there." And there's good reason for this attention to bite.

Chewing, tooth wear and joint function all depend on the balanced opposition of teeth in each jaw. Any disruption of a good bite, either by broken, loose, or lost teeth, is trouble in need of repair. In the worst-case scenario - the jaws themselves present skeletal problems - orthodontic treatment is considered. However, most malocclusions ("bad bites") are treatable right in your dentist's office.

Your dentist will first locate ill-fitting teeth by routine bite analysis. You will bite down on a sheet of special paper that marks teeth with uneven wear. If this doesn't tell your dentist enough, he or she may take impressions, from which study models are built. This gives your dentist a very visual demonstration of what's wrong.

High points in enamel that interfere with normal contact may be filed away. Eroded fillings call for replacements. Lost teeth need a bridge or dental implants to prevent opposing teeth from overgrowth. There are any number of solutions to a bad bite, all important to your dental health.

Anytime you notice a change in your chewing habits, or feel more pressure than usual on a solitary tooth, bring it to your dentist's attention. You'll notice the abnormality, maybe before your dentist detects it. Since you'll be working together, tell your dentist your suspicions and, if it's broken, it can be fixed.


DR. GARY SIGAFOOS
LaJolla Periodontics

Follow @GarySigafoos on Twitter and do a “Like” at LajollaGumDiseaseCare Fanpage. If you're looking for an experienced periodontist to care for gingivitis and periodontial disease in La Jolla, contact Dr. Sigafoos,(858) 568-8941.