Posts for: December, 2017
After several treatment sessions your periodontal (gum) disease is under control. But, while we may have won this battle, the war rages on. To keep an infection from re-occurring we'll have to remain on guard.
Gum disease begins and thrives on a thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces called plaque. The infection usually begins as gingivitis, which causes the gums to become red and swollen (inflamed). Untreated it can develop into periodontitis, a more advanced form that progresses deeper into the gum tissues resulting in bone loss.
To treat the disease, we must remove all the plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) we can find no matter how deeply they've penetrated below the gum line. Since the deeper it extends the more likely surgical techniques may be necessary to consider, it's better to catch the disease in its earliest stages when plaque can be removed with hand instruments or ultrasonic equipment.
The appropriate treatment technique can effectively stop and even reverse gum disease's effects — but it won't change your susceptibility. Constant vigilance is the best way to significantly reduce your risk of another episode. In this case, our prevention goal is the same as in treatment: remove plaque.
It begins with you learning and applying effective brushing and flossing techniques, and being consistent with these habits every day. As your dentist, we play a role too: we may need to see you as often as every few weeks or quarter to perform meticulous cleaning above and below the gum line. We may also perform procedures on your gums to make it easier to maintain them and your teeth, including correcting root surface irregularities that can accumulate plaque.
Our aim is to reduce the chances of another infection as much as possible. "Fighting the good fight" calls for attention, diligence and effort — but the reward is continuing good health for your teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on continuing dental care after gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Cleanings.”
Have you ever felt a hot, burning sensation in your mouth—like it had been scalded—but you didn't eat or drink anything that could have caused it?
While you may think you’re hallucinating, there’s another possibility: Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS). This condition, which can last for years, produces sensations in the mouth of not only scalding or burning, but also tingling, numbness and a decline in your ability to taste. Patients may feel it throughout their mouth or only in localized areas like the lips, tongue or inside the cheeks.
The exact cause of BMS is also something of a mystery. It’s been theoretically linked to diabetes, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and psychological problems. Because it’s most common among women of menopausal age hormonal changes have been proposed as a factor, although hormone replacement therapy often doesn’t produce any symptomatic relief for BMS.
To complicate matters, other conditions often share the condition’s effects, which need to be ruled out first to arrive at a BMS diagnosis. A feeling of scalding could be the result of mouth dryness, caused by medications or systemic conditions that inhibit saliva flow. Some denture wearers may display some of the symptoms of BMS due to an allergic reaction to denture materials; others may have a similar reaction to the foaming agent sodium lauryl sulfate found in some toothpaste that can irritate the skin inside the mouth.
If these other possibilities can be ruled out, then you may have BMS. While unfortunately there’s no cure for the condition, there are ways to lessen its impact. There’s even the possibility that it will resolve itself over time.
Until then, keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water or using saliva-stimulating products, limiting alcohol, caffeinated drinks or spicy foods and refraining from smoking. If you’re taking medications that could cause dry mouth, speak with your physician about changing to an alternative. And try to reduce stress in your life through exercise, mindfulness practices or support groups.
While BMS isn’t considered harmful to your physical health it can make life less enjoyable. Careful symptom management may help improve your quality of life.
If you would like more information on Burning Mouth Syndrome, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Painful Puzzle.”
Find out how dental implants can replace missing teeth for life.
Having gaps in your smile is a rather unpleasant reminder of your tooth loss. While you may wish to just forget about it, it’s rather difficult when you feel self-conscious smiling or talking to those around you. Don’t you wish you could feel confident again in your smile? If so, our Sterling Heights, MI periodontist, Dr. Bassam Kinaia, has an amazing way to replace your missing teeth for the long run.
How do dental implants replace missing teeth?
Whether you need to replace a single permanent tooth or many, dental implants have you covered. Of course, a dental implant will be used to replace a single missing tooth (but several implants can be placed to support multiple teeth). This small metal screw will take over the responsibility of your missing tooth’s roots. How? By being surgically placed into the jawbone.
After all, your jawbone needs the stimulation from your tooth roots in order to thrive and stay healthy. By placing a dental implant, our Sterling Heights periodontist can also ensure that your jawbone remains strong and healthy, too.
It will take a few months for the implant to bond with the jawbone. Once this has occurred, the implant is durable enough to last the rest of your lifetime if you maintain good oral hygiene and properly care for your new restoration. Our periodontist will provide you with information on how to maintain a healthy implant.
Who is right for dental implants?
So, the million-dollar question is whether or not you are ideal for dental implants, right? If you are an adult who maintains good oral hygiene then you could very well be a good candidate for implants. We will have to examine your smile to determine if your oral health is ready to support this restoration. We will need to run X-rays to also check the density of the jawbone to make sure there is enough adequate, reliable structure to support your implant.
Do you have questions about dental implants? Want to find out if you are an ideal candidate? Then call Michigan Periodontics & Implants in Sterling Heights, MI today to schedule your consultation.