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Hello Friends!

Today’s topic isn’t a glamorous one, but important nonetheless.  Your gums are the foundation and cornerstone to your overall oral health and it’s imperative that you care for them.  Gums protect and support your teeth and the tissue that holds them to the bone. When they aren’t healthy, you risk tooth loss and damage to your overall health.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “gum disease”, but what is it?  What does it mean if you’ve been diagnosed with it?  Is it really that big of a deal?  WebMD featured an informative article on the topic and we’ve included some of that information below.gingivitis-symptoms

How Gum Disease Happens

It “usually starts in areas that you’re not brushing or keeping clean,” says Mark Ryder, DMD, chair of periodontology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry. “Bacteria build up in a film on your teeth and you get a reaction to that bacteria — inflammation.”

Swelling of the gums (also known as gingivitis), can be one of the first signs of gum disease. Other symptoms include:

  • Gum redness
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Receding gum line
  • Loose teeth
  • Constant bad breath
  • Mouth sores

Pain isn’t one of the first symptoms of gingivitis.

“What’s unique about early gum disease is that it doesn’t cause much discomfort at all,” Ryder says. “So you really have to pay attention to these other symptoms.”

Gum problems can get worse if you don’t get gingivitis treated.

“Infection and inflammation will spread deeper into the tissues that support the tooth,” Ryder says. “When that happens, the inflammation becomes destructive.”

The gums begin to pull away from the teeth, which lets in more bacteria. At this stage, gum disease is called periodontitis.

That condition “causes the tissues and bone that support the teeth to break down,” Ryder says.

This creates pockets where bacteria can grow.

“As you lose bone, your teeth get looser and looser, and eventually, they fall out,” he says.

What’s more, oral health affects your whole body. People with gum disease are more likely to get heart disease and are less able to control their blood sugar, studies show.

The CDC found that 47% of adults older than 30 have periodontitis. After age 65, that number goes up to 70%.

Your odds of getting gum disease are higher if you:

  • Use tobacco products
  • Are pregnant
  • Have a family history of gum disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Have high stress
  • Grind or clench your teeth

Some birth control, antidepressants, and heart medicines may also raise your risk. Tell your dentist about any medications you take regularly.

“Stop smoking, manage diabetes correctly, and if you’re pregnant, think about visiting the dentist more often during your pregnancy,” Ryder says.

How to Treat Gum Disease

Your dentist will remove the root cause: plaque on your teeth.

“The dentist would clean around all the affected areas, and really go down to the bottom of the pocket of the tooth, because that’s where the most harmful bacteria is,” Ryder says. This deep-cleaning process is called scaling.

Other causes will also be explored, like loose fillings or crowns. Your dentist may take X-rays to check for bone loss. You might need surgery if the disease is severe or doesn’t get better with time. You might visit a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease.

Tips to Manage Gum Disease

To keep it at bay, you should:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Clean between the teeth, with floss or another cleaning tool.
  • Swish twice daily with antiseptic mouth rinse.
  • See your dentist regularly.

 

It seems like common sense, but so often people underestimate the importance of maintaining their teeth and gums.  Oral health is often overlooked, especially if there is no pain involved.  But as is so often the case a little prevention can prevent a lot of trouble later.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have any concerns about your oral health, contact your dental professional.

 

As always, if you have any questions or need more information, we would be happy to help.  Contact our office at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.

 

Yours in Good Dental Health:)

Brunner Prast Family Dental

 

***The above information is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any condition or disease.  If you have any concerns please contact a dental professional.

 

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Hello Friends!

It’s that time of year again!  And no, I’m not referring to the upcoming holiday season. I’m referring to the end of the dental benefit year.  WooHoo!  Exciting? Hardley.  But it is important.  Why?  For the vast majority of patients with dental insurance, the policies run on a calendar year.

There are exceptions, of course (some government or educational agencies come to mind as examples).  But for the most part, if you don’t use your dental benefits, you lose them.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, when you are given a dental insurance policy, either through your employer or one you purchase yourself, the plan typically covers a set dollar amount, a “maximum” amount you are allowed for the year.  Most plans do not roll over into the next year.  So the benefits you pay premiums for are lost.

Calling to schedule your dental appoinment sooner rather than later will ensure that you will receive the appointment time that works for you.  It will also allow time for the doctor to create a comprehensive treatment plan should you need one and allow time to schedule before the end of the year.  Holidays become very busy in a dental office.  Many people try to take advantage of having time off work or school to schedule, so it may become difficult to schedule.

The good news is that it’s still early enough to schedule.  The bad news is that we can’t help you if you don’t call.

Of course if you have any questions regarding insurance or anything else, we are always happy to help.  We look forward to hearning from you soon:)

Your Friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

734.878.3167

http://www.brunnerprastdental.com

 

*This blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.  If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

spring cleaning tooth

Hello Friends!

Happy Spring!  Though it’s technically been spring for a month now, it’s really starting to feel like it here in Michigan.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the temperature’s finally warming up.  That’s a pretty big deal for Michiganders.  The weather can be pretty fickle around these parts.  I think that’s why we get so excited once the calendar flips over to April and May.  We can finally throw the windows open, get outside and enjoy nature.

Many people get inspired to “spring clean” when the temperatures start to climb, but I think it’s also a really good time to take care of your health.  Re address your exercise goals.  Make your annual physical and schedule any routine tests.  Of course as a dental professionals we want to emphasize making your dental checkup appointment.  We understand that it’s easy to procrastinate or put it to the bottom of your priority list, but I’d argue that it’s a great time to visit your dentist.  You really want to make sure that your smile is in tip-top shape for the summer.  There are so many things your dentist can help with your oral health.  Are you interested in whitening or cosmetic treatment?  Your dentist will discuss your treatment options for optimizing your smile.  Do you or your children play sports?  A mouth guard is an important way to keep your teeth safe from trauma and a custom can be created in as little as two appointments.  And of course, a cleaning and a thorough oral exam are always a good idea not only to check for cavities but to screen for oral cancers and periodontal disease.

Whether you’re a patient on a regular 6 month  rotation or haven’t been to a dentist in a long time, spring is a great time to visit your dentist to either stay or get back on track.  As always, if you have any questions or need more information, we are happy to help.  Visit us at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.

Sincerely,

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

Hello Friends!

Have you ever wondered where to start when searching for a dentist?  Referrals from friends or co-workers are pretty common, as are insurance lists, but have you considered your local dental association?  The Michigan Dental Association website has a lot of useful information, including some great questions to ask during that initial phone call.

Questions to Ask a Dentist

Now that you’ve used the Find a Dentist search to locate a list of Michigan Dental Association dentists in your area, you need to narrow it down to the one dentist who is your family’s perfect match. Here’s a list of questions to help you make your decision.

  • Are the office hours convenient for your schedule?
  • Is the dental office close to your home or office?
  • Does the office appear to be clean, neat and well organized?
  • How are dental emergencies handled?
  • Does the office staff appear to be friendly and helpful?
  • What is the office policy for rescheduling an appointment?
  • What is the policy on fees and payment plans?
  • Does the dental office staff explain ways to help prevent dental problems?
  • Does the office have dental health education materials available?

Since a good relationship with your dentist is essential to good oral health care, take your time and choose one that you and your family feel comfortable with so you can arrive for each visit with a smile.

 

I would add that visiting the office for a tour prior to scheduling or arranging a visit to meet the doctor are great ideas.  A reputable office will usually be happy to schedule a brief, complimentary  consultation with the doctor to make sure you are comfortable with him or her and with the office in general.  You should be made to feel comfortable asking questions or expressing concerns.

Hope the above information helps:)

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Family Dental

 

 

*The above article was referenced from the following:

Hello Friends!

Happy New Year!  Hope 2016 finds you happy, healthy and ready for new adventures.  We decided to start off the new year with some suggestions for making your child’s visit to the dentist easier.  While some children are enthusiastic about visiting the dentist, others are more apprehensive.

  1.  Role Play.

Prior to their dental appointments, practice what will happen.  Explain in very basic terms about the visit.  Use child-friendly terminology; that the hygienist will “count teeth”, and use a “spin toothbrush” and a “Mr. Slurpee”.  Avoid using any reference to shots, fillings, drilling or tooth pulling.

2.   Discuss what to expect in the waiting room.

Discuss what to expect in the patient waiting room.  Especially if visiting a pediatric dentist, most lobbies have a section tailored to young children.  Toys, bright colors and child-friendly furnishings are common.  Prize boxes or “treasure chests” are also fun to look forward to after the appointment.

3.   Be prepared to reschedule

Don’t worry if your child isn’t ready to sit in the chair and complete their cleaning.  It’s OK!  Sometimes it takes a few visits to get comfortable with the surroundings and to build trust with the staff.  Especially with very young children, waiting a few months can make a huge difference in their maturity and the ability to sit still.  Unless there are serious dental concerns or issues, it may be ok to wait.  Don’t shame or threaten a child into staying if they are afraid.  The hygienist and/or doctor will be happy to give suggestions if necessary.

Remember – dental professionals are used to all types of behavior issues and work with patients of all ages.  If you have questions, concerns or feel your child may need special accommodations, please feel free to contact the office ahead of time.  Most offices will try to make the visit as pleasant as possible.

Hope these suggestions help:)  If you’d like more information please visit our website at http://www.brunnerprastdental.com.  We’re always willing to help.

Sincerely,

Your friends at

Brunner Prast Dental

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Friends!

“Why do I need x-rays? I brush my teeth”.

Sometimes we hear this question in our office, so I’d like to share some thoughts on the subject.

Dental x-rays are necessary for the following:

To check for decay between the teeth 

Often, decay isn’t visible to the naked eye, and exists in areas that dentists cannot see.

To check for bone loss associated with gum disease 

Gum disease can cause bone loss and an x-ray can determine how advanced it is.

To check for decay under current dental restorations

Sometimes, decay can occur under fillings and crowns and can only be seen with an x-ray.

To look for an infection at the tip of the root

Infections can occur at the very bottom of the tooth where the bone is (sometimes without causing any obvious symptoms) and an x-ray will show any abnormalities.

To examine an area prior to dental procedures

Dentists need a full view of the tooth and bone.

To check for abnormalities in the bone/sinus area

A dental x-ray can detect unusual masses or other areas of concern undetectable to the naked eye.

The most common concern expressed by a patient is the amount of radiation they are exposed to during a dental x-ray.  Any questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist or hygienist.  Another good source of information is the American Dental Association.  You can visit their website at http://www.ada.org for breakdowns and dental x-ray recommendations.

As always, if we can answer any questions or help in any way, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com.

Your friends at Brunner Family Dental

Hello Friends!

We often receive questions regarding dental x-rays; “Are they necessary?”, “Are they safe?”, and “Why do I need so many?” are typically the most common.  We found this great article from Delta Dental that had some great information from the ADA regarding dental x-rays.

All about x-rays

X-rays explained

Dental x-rays are a valuable part of dental treatment because they can detect damage to teeth and gums not visible during a routine checkup.

X-rays can show the condition of your teeth, their roots, your jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of gum disease, cavities, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted teeth and teeth that have not yet fully developed.

X-ray Q&A

Do all patients have x-rays taken every six months?

X-ray schedules are customized to fit your individual needs. If you are a new patient, your dentist will typically take x-rays to evaluate your oral health and track it during future visits, making sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. If you have changed dentists and recently had x-rays taken, you can ask to have them sent to the new dentist so he or she is up-to-date on your oral health.

What kind of x-rays does my dentist usually take?

The most common type of x-rays dentists take are known as bitewing x-rays. These require patients to hold or bite down on a piece of plastic with x-ray film in the center. Bitewing x-rays typically determine the presence of decay in between teeth – one of the most common areas where decay-causing bacteria reside.

Periapical x-rays are another common type of dental x-ray, which gives the dentist an image of the entire tooth, including the roots. With periapical x-rays, dentists evaluate a particular tooth’s root structure and bone level, and also can detect cysts and abscesses.

My dentist has ordered a “panoramic radiograph.” What is that?

A panoramic x-ray, also called radiograph, allows your dentist to see your whole mouth, including your upper and lower teeth and parts of your jaw, in a single image. This gives him or her a clear image of any issues that may be harder to see up close. It can help predict children’s tooth development and may show complications with a teenager’s wisdom teeth before they erupt.

Why might I need more than one type of x-ray?

Different types of x-rays give your dentist an overview of different parts of your mouth. Panoramic x-rays give your dentist a general comprehensive view of your entire mouth on a single film, while bitewing or periapical x-rays show a detailed image of a smaller area, revealing decay or cavities between teeth. If your dentist needs both these vantage points to assess a problem, he or she will likely conduct multiple x-rays.

Should I be concerned about exposure to radiation?

All health care providers are sensitive to patients’ concerns about radiation. Your dentist has been trained to prescribe x-rays only when they are appropriate, and to tailor their frequency to your individual needs. By using state-of-the-art technology and staying knowledgeable about recent advances, your dentist knows which techniques, procedures and x-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation.1

 

If you have any other questions or need more info, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com.  We’ll be happy to discuss your individual concerns.

Your friends at

Brunner Family Dental

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.

Hello Friends!
What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2015? Now that the calendar has officially turned to 2015, you may have already come up with a resolution – and hopefully you haven’t given up on it yet! If you haven’t come up with one yet, how about rededicating yourself to taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums? It’s a resolution that will pay dividends for your health and your smile for a lifetime.

While it’s not always easy to follow your resolution throughout the year, this year, resolve to achieve one of these easy, yet effective, oral health goals. Understanding the benefits of your particular resolutions can be motivating and rewarding. Whatever your goals might be, it is important to take small steps to achieve them. Remember: consistency is key with any resolution that you make!

Take the right steps!

Healthy resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and any of the following strategies will go a long way toward giving you a brighter, healthier smile in the coming year:

Ditch the Tobacco – this highly addictive substance is one of the worse vices you can have. Using a product filled with toxins and carcinogens (cigarettes) often causes bad breath, tooth-staining and will put you at an increased risk of developing conditions such as oral cancer, heart disease and dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Eat Right – eating well is important to maintaining your dental health. Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thus putting you at a great risk for many common oral disorders including gum disease.

Brush! Brush! Brush! – brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and most importantly, plaque. Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums, which may worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums (gingivitis) and, eventually gum disease.

Utilize Preventative Dentistry – receiving dental care prior to any dental problem arising is crucial in maintaining a bright, healthy smile. During your regular check-ups, we provide professional cleaning that removes harmful plaque and gingivitis before is develops into periodontal disease. Not only can preventative procedures stop issues from arising, it is also a great way to save money! In fact, studies have shown that for every $1 spent on preventative dental care, you’d spend $8 to $50 on restorative care.

Let’s have a great 2015!

Good oral health habits not only promote healthy teeth and a beautiful smile, it also contributes to your overall health. You owe a lot to your teeth and gums! Do them a favor this New Year by practicing excellent dental health habits and smile big in 2015!

If we can answer any questions or help in any way, visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Your Friends at Brunner Family Dental