Posts for: February, 2016
Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.
“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.
Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.
“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.
Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?
Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.
Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a thirdÂ to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.
Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”
Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.
If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”
Interested in teeth whitening but want to know if it’s really safe for your smile? Find out now.
Who doesn’t want a brighter smile? Almost everyone will agree that a radiant, white smile is beautiful and attractive. But if years of eating and drinking certain foods or smoking cigarettes have left you with stained teeth, then it’s time to talked to your Ringwood dentists Dr. David Kahn and Dr. John Pergolizzi about professional teeth whitening. Find out how teeth whitening works and whether it’s safe for your smile.
Is professional teeth whitening safe?
You’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief when we tell you that no major dental issues have been linked to teeth whitening products when they have been used properly. Of course, tooth sensitivity can occur in some patients when using whitening products. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to consider getting professional whitening from your Ringwood cosmetic dentist, as we can monitor your sensitivity and alter your treatment to reduce your chances of experiencing sensitivity (this is something that is almost impossible to do with at-home whitening treatments).
Sure, a whitening gel is strong enough to remove stains from the surface of your teeth but it will not damage healthy tooth enamel when used correctly. When you come in for a consultation we can examine your smile to determine if whitening treatment is really the best and safest option for you.
How does teeth whitening work?
Even though all whitening treatments are different, most contain one of these active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Since carbamide peroxide is often slower acting than hydrogen peroxide it tends to be more commonly found in the at-home whitening systems provided by your general dentist in Ringwood, NJ. Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, is used to remove surface stains and deep-set discolorations in teeth and tends to offer faster results for professional in-office teeth whitening.
Whether you have questions about our whitening treatment or you are ready to schedule your first whitening appointment our Ringwood, NJ dental office is here to serve you. Turn to Dr. David Kahn, DMD & Dr. John Pergolizzi, DMD to get the smile you want.
Last year, over 1.5 million people heard the words no one wants to hear: “You have cancer.” While only a small portion of those — about three percent — were diagnosed with oral cancer, their survival rate isn’t as good as with other types of cancers: 58% five years after diagnosis.
Here, then, are some things you should know about this deadly disease.
Oral cancer is an “equal opportunity” disease. People from all walks and stations of life experience oral cancer. The disease has caused the untimely deaths of Ulysses S. Grant, Babe Ruth and George Harrison, one of the original Beatles. However, you don’t have to be prominent or famous to acquire oral cancer: it can strike anyone at any age, especially people 40 years and older.
Oral cancer is difficult to detect early. Oral cancer usually appears as a small, scaly-shaped sore known as a squamous cell carcinoma. Appearing in the lining of the mouth, lips, tongue or back of the throat, the early stages often resemble other benign conditions such as cold or canker sores, so they’re easily overlooked in the early stages. To increase your chances of an early diagnosis, you should see your dentist about any mouth sore that doesn’t heal in two to three weeks; it’s also advisable to undergo a specific oral cancer screening during your regular dental checkups.
Tobacco and heavy alcohol use are strongly linked to oral cancer. Tobacco smokers are five to nine times more likely to develop oral cancer while snuff or chewing tobacco users are roughly four times more likely than non-tobacco users. People who are moderate to heavy drinkers are three to nine times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-drinkers.
You can reduce your risk for oral cancer. Besides quitting tobacco use and moderating your alcohol consumption, there are other things you can do to reduce cancer risk: a nutritious diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables; limited sun exposure with adequate sunscreen protection and clothing; and safe sexual practices to avoid contracting Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16), strongly linked to oral cancer. And above all, practice effective, daily oral hygiene with regular dental cleanings and checkups.
If you would like more information on prevention and treatment of oral cancer, 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 “Oral Cancer.”