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February 2, 2016

Did You Know – Dental Facts February 2016

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 5:58 pm

Did you know

….that Gardasil, the youth vaccine for cervical cancer also guards against oral cancer — HPV 16 & 18? Oral cancer has been greatly on the rise due to the human papilloma virus (HPV) over the last several years. It was fist thought to be sexually transmitted — which it certainly can be— but this virus can also be transmitted through other contact also. In the mouth it is most commonly found back in the throat area. If you notice any irregularity with your throat such as hoarseness, change in voice, pain with swallowing or a lump in the throat or neck that doesn’t resolve after two weeks it is best to have it evaluated. In the past oral cancer was found in the older population that smoked and drank alcohol their whole life. Now oral cancer due to the HPV is on a sharp rise especially in the teens to early 30’s with males leading the way more than 3:1.

… that blueberry extract may one day be used to treat periodontal (gum) disease? In a way to avoid antibiotic use natural sources have been researched to find an alternative way to treat periodontal disease. Studies are showing success with blueberry extract being placed in the deeper periodontal pockets killing one of the main bacteria that causes periodontal bone loss, F. Nuceatum.

…that many teeth needing crowns are from forces on the teeth vs. disease/decay? What would 975lbs of pressure do to your tooth? That is the highest recorded force measured during nighttime teeth grinding. Nighttime grinding forces are always much greater than we could ever manage during waking hours clenching our hardest. These forces create fracture lines deep in the enamel that cause cold and painful biting pressure sensitivity. Left untreated this could lead to needing a root canal in addition to a crown with the fracture deepening to the nerve of the tooth. Some signs and symptoms of extra forces on your teeth are a flattening and/or chipping on the biting surfaces of your teeth, headaches in the temporal area, and a jaw that tires easily with chewing firm foods such as a bagel.

…that enamel starts to decalcify at 5 to 5.5 pH and enamel fortified with fluoride does not start to decalcify until 4.5 pH and below. Fluoride treatments are all about prevention! If you have expensive dentistry, root exposure and/or are still actively getting decay you are a great candidate to benefit from fluoride treatments! A nice side bonus, it helps with tooth sensitivity too. …that rarely is a smile given without it being returned? Let the journey begin with yours!

LC&Z Dentistry in Altamonte Springs FL specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. If you want to learn more about gum disease and various treatments for it, please give us a call at 407.830.9800 or contact us online today!

January 11, 2016

Caring for the Oral Needs of Your Loved One with Dementia

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 2:46 pm

Let’s face it. We would all love to feel and function like we did when we were in our 40’s. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. As dental professionals we have seen many fully functioning adults slip into Dementia. Along with the memory issues, we see an inability to care for their mouth as they once did. A trouble free mouth for many decades can turn into quick forming cavities, gum disease, discomfort and expensive dentistry.

Oral-health

While there is no perfect fix for this situation the following tips may help:

1. Remind your loved one at each meal to swish with water vigorously a couple times after eating. Food tends to literally just lay on the gum line and in between the teeth for hours and sometimes days before being swallowed. A water pik would be a valuable tool if they are able to use one.

2. Switch to a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste (your dentist can dispense one). It will deliver almost 5 times more fluoride than an over the counter toothpaste. It is also a good idea to brush once a day with a dry brush, perhaps while they are sitting or watching a TV show so they do not rush. Prompt them along the way, “remember to massage the gums on your bottom molars inside”, “massage those gums on your smile teeth, top and bottom”, etc.

3. Increase the frequency of their dental hygiene appointments, typically every 3 months—although sometimes sooner is necessary. Make sure to have a professional fluoride treatment at each visit!

4. You are always welcome to come back during your loved one’s appointment, and the hygienist will be happy to review any oral hygiene concerns and give personal tips for oral home care.

At LC&Z Dentistry in Altamonte Springs, we understand what it takes to maintain healthy teeth and maintain good oral health.  If you have any questions about your oral health, please contact us online or call us at 407-830-9800

December 21, 2015

Gum Disease – The Domino Effect

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 2:37 pm

Many, many times Dentists and Dental Hygienists hear patients say, “My gums always bleed, that’s normal for me”. It may be something frequently occurring for some, but is it healthy? The journey of oral bacteria and how it affects our whole body is an amazing one. Oral bacteria, plaque, starts so innocently as a little fuzzy coating on our teeth. There are hundreds of different types of bacteria that can form in the mouth, most aiding in digestion and maintaining a healthy balance of the mouth. There are less than 30 bacteria types that are the real trouble makers. If you are thorough with removing the bacteria daily from ALL surfaces of your teeth (in between the teeth too!) the story ends here. Health is intact. For those bacteria left undisturbed/uncleansed you will be amazed to know what they are capable of. It’s far beyond the worries of bad breath!

First, the bacteria invades the top layers of the gums causing a gum infection, gingivitis. This can be visible as red puffy gums although, sometimes it is not visible and found hidden in between the teeth. If you were to put a thermometer under an inflamed gum line it would be running a fever. Infection has begun. As the bacterial infection deepens it enters the bloodstream through the weakened gums and can trigger a systemic (whole body) inflammation. The inflammation and bacteria challenge and triggers the liver to become active releasing proteins (C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and interleukin 6). This bacteria and inflammation reaction may be linked to atherosclerosis conditions such as stroke. This body wide awareness of the inflammation now starts to alter our body’s natural insulin process causing hyperglycemia. The domino effect continues as it leads to abnormalities in cholesterol and high blood pressure…. All from a little fuzzy surface on your tooth. Who would have thought!

If you notice bleeding of your gums, take action. Our arms and legs don’t bleed when we clean up, neither should our gums.

LC&Z Dentistry in Altamonte Springs FL specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. If you want to learn more about gum disease and various treatments for it, please give us a call at 407.830.9800 or contact us online today!

July 17, 2015

Dental Facts for Your Daily Use

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 2:16 pm

Did you knowDID YOU KNOW….

Many of you may have noticed an increased emphasis on the use of prescription fluoride for use here in the office and at home. Most people understand that fluoride, when used properly, has been dentistry’s greatest success in the prevention of tooth decay. A relatively new form of fluoride in the U.S. is fluoride varnish which has been used in Europe and Canada since 1964 for the desensitization of teeth and more recently for the prevention of decay. We are often recommending the use of this varnish (applied in the office twice a year) as well as a prescription strength gel, or tooth paste. Fluoride application for adults may have benefits for people who: experience dry mouth (xerostomia), have had an area of decay diagnosed in the last twelve months, have exposed tooth root surfaces, have crowns, bridges or partial dentures, wear orthodontic braces or appliances, experience Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), or have a significant history of decay. We would rather prevent a problem than have to fix one after-the-fact. Fluoride may be a part of the answer for you! Your Dental Hygienist or Dentist may engage you in a conversation regarding the safe use of fluoride tailored for your specific needs.

But It’s “Sugarless”!

Is sugarless safe for your teeth? In small doses, yes. Too much of a good thing is not always still a good thing though.

Research shows that “sugarless” cough drops (sugarless hard candies, mints, or gum can do the same thing) containing the sweetener “Isomalt”, which is a combination of manitol and sorbitol, can greatly increase your chances of getting cavities. Frequent ingestion of sorbitol can cause increased acid production in your mouth from your plaque, and sorbitol and manitol can increase the production of S/ mutans- the main decay producing bacteria. So where do you turn when you have to soothe that dry mouth or frequent cough? Look for products that have Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, as the first ingredient. This sweetener is very dental friendly. The cavity causing bacteria cannot use Xylitol as a food source. Xylitol will basically cause the bacteria to starve making them unable to produce acids and reducing their population in the mouth.

On a side note, “diet” sodas may be ok if you are trying to reduce sugar in your diet, but their acid level is most definitely not ok for your teeth. For reference, stomach acid has a pH of 1.5, regular soda 2.52 pH, diet soda 3.28 pH, and water is neutral at a pH of 7. Even without the sugar, diet soda’s acids are dematerializing your tooth surface.

It is unfortunate, but “sugarless” still needs to be monitored and reduction in frequency will be the most crucial factor unless it is sweetened with Xylitol. Then, “strive for 5” servings a day!

LC&Z Dentistry in Altamonte Springs FL specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. If you want to learn more about gum disease and various treatments for it, please give us a call at 407.830.9800 or contact us online today!

June 2, 2015

Oral Health for Kids

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 9:49 pm

What parent doesn’t love that toothless grin of their little one? Generally between the ages of 6 months to 1 year the pearly whites start making their appearance – then parents it’s time to be on your game! Here is some information to keep their smile trouble free.

teeth1Baby Bottle Syndrome– Never put your little one to bed with a bottle. Any feedings should be finished prior to bed. Having the bottle loosely in their mouth where they periodically suck on it while sleeping leaves a pool of milk on their teeth which will cause rapid decay. Once teeth emerge they should be brushed daily using water or non fluoride toothpaste.

 

teeth2Thumb Sucking– Many little ones find great comfort in sucking their thumb, but when should you become concerned? Most children will stop by the age of 4 on their own. Those that suck vigorously after their permanent teeth erupt are at greater risk of misshaping the growth of their mouth.

 

 

teeth3Sealants and Fluoride– Prevention is key! Most permanent molars come in with deep grooves that bacteria and sticky foods can get trapped in. Sealants will seal off the grooves to the offenders keeping these areas cavity free. Usually around age 6 most children understand how to spit out and not swallow. Once this has been learned, start using the over the counter fluoride rinses to help prevent decay in addition to dental office fluoride treatments. Reduce frequent snacks and drinks with sugar and carbohydrates. Visit the dentist twice a year. Should trouble arise, early intervention is key.

teeth4Mal Occlusion– Unfortunately not all teeth come in straight. Teeth that do not intermesh properly will run the risk of chipping, premature wearing and jaw joint dysfunction. Orthodontics may help to preserve teeth for a lifetime.

LC&Z Dentistry in Altamonte Springs specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. If you want to learn more about gum disease and various treatments for it, please give us a call or contact us online today!

April 15, 2015

The Main Culprits for Tooth Wear

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 1:55 pm

The mouth certainly is a complex environment. From the unusual forces we place upon it to the acid regulation that takes place, the teeth sure do take a beating! Below are some common causes of tooth structure being destroyed without decay being a factor.

happy_toothGrinding wear – While we can certainly grind our teeth in the daytime most of the damage is done while we are sleeping. Forces while sleeping can be greatly magnified above our daytime ability. Ever notice the flattening in teeth? This is the result of grinding. This wear usually starts with the canines (eye teeth). Once enough tooth structure is worn away the wear progresses on to the neighboring teeth. Coupled with clenching this will not only wear the teeth, it also is a main cause of teeth fracturing, requiring crowns.

Abrasion – Caused by heavy tooth brushing with a back and forth motion or too firm of a toothbrush. Many times this starts where you brush first with a heavier hand and fresh toothpaste. Common first offended site is the upper left side.

Abfraction – Caused from very heavy chronic forces microscopic flecks of enamel and root structure are forced from the tooth surface.

Erosion – There are many causes of acid erosion such as high frequency soda drinking, bulimia and acid reflux (GERD or silent GERD). Highly acidic oral environments will cause any/all of the wear conditions mentioned above to happen at an accelerated pace. Erosion can also increase your chances of having sensitive teeth.

All of these wear patterns are controllable and repairable, but best of all; future wear is preventable with intervention-the earlier the better! Your teeth can be protected from excessive forces simply by wearing a night guard. To battle the erosion it may be a diet change or treating acid reflux which will make your esophagus much happier too.

LC&Z Dentistry in Altamonte Springs specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. If you want to learn more about gum disease and various treatments for it, please give us a call or contact us online today!

March 11, 2015

Gingivitis and Alzheimer’s Disease: Is There a Connection?

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 2:32 pm

teeth-brush

After reviewing 20 years of data in an aging study comparing individuals at age 50 and again at age 70 researchers concluded that cognitive function using the “digit symbol test” was in the lower range for 70 year olds with gum disease. During these studies other factors such as smoking and obesity were also taken into account. Even so there was still a strong association of lower scores for those with gum inflammation. This study spurred several other studies. In the UK, researchers were able to get live brain samples from 10 Alzheimer’s patients and 10 from non-cognitive impaired patients. Analysis showed that all 10 Alzheimer samples had P. Gingivalis bacteria present. P. Gingivalis is usually associated with chronic gum disease. The non- impaired samples did not have any of this bacteria present. This then led to another study with the time in 2014 using mice.

Once gum disease became established in the test samples, the P. Gingivalis found its way to the brain in these mice. There is sufficient evidence that shows that some bacteria that cause gum disease are capable of motion. This means that they can hitch a ride on the red blood cells when the gums bleed while eating and/or cleaning your teeth. They have even been found to travel up the nerve endings from the tooth to the brain. Once in the brain, it is hypothesized using data from the brain chemicals released that the P. Gingivalis bacteria inadvertently damages the neurons that deal with memory.

The good news, gum disease is preventable! Thorough brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings will do far more than give you that pretty smile.

LC&Z Dentistry in Altamonte Springs specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. If you want to learn more about gum disease and various treatments for it, please give us a call or contact us online today!

February 3, 2015

Oil Pulling to Better Oral Health: Fact or Fiction?

Filed under: Oral Health — smtusa @ 8:52 pm

At LC&Z General and Cosmetic Dentistry, we receive questions from time to time, about alternative methods of oral health care. Recently, we have received a few questions asking if there are any oral benefits to this new craze of “oil pulling,” which is swishing with vegetable-based oil, such as coconut, sesame, or olive, in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. In order to answer your questions, our Altamonte Springs dental office did some extra research and will share what we have learned.

What Does Oil Pulling Do?

The first thing to note is this is not a new practice. Oil pulling has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, claiming better oral health and many other systemic healings. The idea is that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath by adhering to the lipid, or fatty membrane of the microorganisms inhabiting the mouth. These vegetable-based oils, known for their anti-microbial agents, then eliminate the unhealthy bacteria when the contents, after pulling, are discarded.

What Studies Show About Oil Pulling

The American Dental Association says that based on the fact that there are insufficient studies and lack of proof of effectiveness of this practice, they cannot recommend oil pulling.They specifically would not recommend this over other oral products that have gone through rigorous testing and have proven benefits.

A 2011 Asian study, which was published in the “Asia Journal of Public Health,” compares seven different oils in a laboratory setting “pulling” the oil with bacteria that causes cavities (S. mutans), a common oral fungus (C. albicans) and healthy oral bacteria (L. casei), all commonly found in the mouth. The study did show that out of all the oils, only coconut oil showed some reduction in the unhealthy bacteria and fungus and while not harming the healthy bacteria.

Should You Try It?

While there is a possibility that there could be some benefit to oil pulling, 20 minutes is a long time to spend on this routine. As an Altamonte Springs dentist, we would recommend spending 5 minutes doing what is tried and true! Give good attention to detail while brushing and flossing, as well as using any and all other recommended oral tools. As far as oil pulling goes, we don’t think any harm will come from this practice if you wanted to give it a try.

January 13, 2015

Why Do I Keep Getting Cavities

Filed under: Cavities — smtusa @ 4:21 pm

In a nut shell, cavities are a bacterial disease elevated by sugar intake. There are hundreds of bacteria that can form in our mouths. These bacteria join together in groups we then call “plaque”. Interestingly there are less than 10 bacteria varieties that are responsible for causing cavities. With so few bad bacterial types its amazing how much disease can take place! These bad bacteria for many can proliferate at higher rates than the good bacteria that work to maintain a healthy balance in the mouth. Just having bad bacteria in your mouth does not cause a cavity. In order for a cavity to form you need two components: bad bacteria and sugar. Any time a simple carbohydrate, which will break down into sugar, enters your mouth the bacteria feed on the sugars and produce 20-40 minutes of acid production that attacks and demineralizes your enamel.

Cartoon tooth with toothbrush

Does this mean that you can never have a treat again? No, although it is best to limit the treat food to mealtime and have a healthier between meals snack. Most important to remember is that each time you have a carbohydrate type snack or beverage with sugar or innocent hard candy, mint or sugar gum your acid clock restarts! For those of you that re frequent “snackers”, “sippers” and /or “candy, mint, gum poppers” your bacteria are at an all-day all you can eat buffet, keeping your acid clock running.

So, what should you do to stop the cavities from forming? A great start is excellent cleaning on a daily basis, suchas using a Sonicare toothbrush and flossing or any aid to clean between the teeth. While you may not be able to control the types of bacteria your mouth wants to make, you can certainly control the amount of bacteria that stays on our teeth. The more bacteria present as we consume sugars equates to a higher amount of acids attacking our enamel. Fluoride treatments are recommended for all ages and best to follow up at home with prescription strength toothpaste dispensed by your dentist. Remember to have regular visits to your dentist. It’s always easier to repair a small cavity that a large one!

To learn more about cavities or preventative dental care, please contact our Altamonte Springs office today at 407-830-9800.

December 20, 2013

Welcome to NLCZ Dentistry

Filed under: Uncategorized — nlcdentistry @ 8:12 pm

Welcome to NLCZ Dentistry’s first blog! For over 40 years, we have committed ourselves to providing the best dental care for all our patients with integrity, compassion and a patient first attitude. Dr. Timothy Lane, Dr. Charles Curley, and Dr. Brett Zak have extensive experience in the field of general and cosmetic dentistry including implant crowns, veneers, and teeth whitening.

Our doctors and hygiene team make it their priority to educate all our patients, young and old, on the importance of maintaining exceptional oral health through routine dental check-ups, home care education, and the meaning of healthy teeth for the rest of your life. As you browse our website, you will find extensive information regarding Drs. Lane, Curley, & Zak, their education, training and areas of expertise. We routinely utilize Intra-Oral Cameras and digital photography to highlight any dental concerns and recommendations. This will help you fully understand the course of your treatment.  Our team of seven hygienists have been part of our office for over 25 years, allowing you the security of knowing each visit will be a pleasant experience.

Each hygiene visit will consist of a thorough cleaning along with x-rays and exams when needed. You can learn more about your hygienists by visiting our website at www.nlcdentistry.com. We invite you to call or email our office with questions you may have regarding your dental care. A team member will gladly answer your questions and help you get started with the first step to ensuring your smile stays healthy for life!