Implants on molars typically have a large crown that sits on the implant/screw.  Because the implant is much narrower than the base of the original tooth roots, there is more space for food to catch.  Also, if the tooth has been missing for more than 6 months or so before the implant was placed, there is a good chance that some of the bone had atrophied which will also create more space for food to collect.  There are some tricks that can be done to help minimize this but it is a common issue with implants.

Many of us are taking medications like aspirin, plavix, coumadin, advil, tylenol, exanta, etc. to “thin the blood” and help prevent heart attacks and stroke.  These drugs cause the blood platelets to be less”sticky” and thus reduce the chance of a clot in the arteries.  The side effect is that they will increase the chance for bruising and prolonged bleeding.

If you are having a dental procedure in which bleeding is expected, i.e. tooth extraction, gum surgery, dental implants, then the prior school of thought say to discontinue these drugs prior to the procedure.

Recently, there has been reseach, specifically on plavix, which shows a rebound effect of the person who discontinues the drug for a few days prior to a procedure, then gets back on them.  The reseach showed a much higher risk of stroke, heart attack and embolism for 90days!!!  My guess is that this would hold true for many of the other drugs, although that has yet to be confirmed through research.

Bottom line:  DON’T STOP TAKING YOUR “BLOOD THINNERS” WITHOUT TALKING TO YOUR DENTIST AND PHYSICIAN FIRST.

One of the most exciting procedures and technologies to land in dentistry is Laser treatment for gum disease.  While there are many lasers on the market, only one (PerioLase by Millenium) has been shown to have the capacity to regenerate bone and definitively treatment gum disease.

The beauty of this treatment is that no longer do we have to make incisions, suture the gums or create long teeth as we did following traditional gum surgery.  As a result, it is almost painless.

We are proud to announce that we have recently adopted this technology and are doing away with the outdated and painful procedure most of us periodontists still employ.

Periodontal disease involves the loss of the bone that support the teeth.  Unfortunately, adding supplements such as Vitamin D, calcium, etc. will not make much of a difference, unless you are severely malnourished in those minerals or vitamins.  Keeping the bacterial load down (good oral home care and consistent dental cleanings) is the most effective way to minimize the bone loss.   And of course, don’t smoke.

The world of oral cancers has changed. HPV 16 is the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population, impacting a new demographic of young non-smokers. Because of this change in etiology, opportunistic screenings have never been more difficult or more important. The current trend line established in peer-reviewed journals between now and 2020 shows a shocking increase in impacted individuals. That current situation is now being an called an epidemic by those in the treatment and research communities.

If something in your mouth looks red, irritated or just looks off and has not gone away, get it checked out!

Addicted to soda? You may be shocked to learn that drinking large quantities of your favorite carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use. The consumption of illegal drugs and abusive intake of soda can cause similar damage to your mouth through the process of tooth erosion, according to a case study published in a recent issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel, which is the glossy, protective outside layer of the tooth. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored.

The General Dentistry case study compared the damage in three individuals’ mouths – an admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet soda drinker. Each participant admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion in each participant’s mouth.

“Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their ‘drug’ of choice – meth, crack, or soda,” says Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, lead author of the study.

“The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion,” says Dr. Bassiouny.

Similar to citric acid, the ingredients used in preparing methamphetamine can include extremely corrosive materials, such as battery acid, lantern fuel, and drain cleaner. Crack cocaine is highly acidic in nature, as well.

The individual who abused soda consumed 2 liters of diet soda daily for three to five years. Says Dr. Bassiouny, “The striking similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to consumers who think that soda – even diet soda – is not harmful to their oral health.”

AGD Spokesperson Eugene Antenucci, DDS, FAGD, recommends that his patients minimize their intake of soda and drink more water. Additionally, he advises them to either chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of soda. “Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal,” he says.