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Poulsbo, WA 98370-8773
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A Few Other Random, Dental-Related Tidbits from your friends at
- The first chewing gum was “chicle”—sap from Sapodilla trees. Chicle dates back to Aztec times when people boiled and cut it into blocks for chewing.
- You may have once heard that George Washington’s false teeth were made of wood. They weren’t. They were made of ivory, lead, and hippopotamus teeth.
- The average person produces 100,000 gallons of saliva during their lifetime—enough to fill 200 bathtubs!
- Before toothbrushes, people used shredded twigs to clean their teeth.
- An average person exerts 30-40 pounds of pressure per square inch with their jaw muscles.
- One in 2,000 babies is born with some teeth already grown in. Usually, these extra teeth can be pulled and the child will still grow a full set of baby teeth.
- During the Middle Ages, some people believed that kissing a donkey would relieve a toothache, and that stealing someone’s tooth could help them grow a new one of their own. Silly folks.
- Rabbit’s and squirrel’s teeth never stop growing. They continuously wear them down by gnawing on whatever is handy.
What is a dental implant?
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The root is usually made of titanium (the same ingredient in many replacement hips and knees), a metal that is well suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.
How common are dental implants?
Dental patients are opting for implants more frequently than ever. According to the most recent survey by the American Dental Association, the average number of implants increased 49 percent to 56.2 implants placed annually per dentist in 1999, compared with an average of 37.7 in 1995.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
In order to consider implants, you must have good oral health, a sufficient amount of bone in your jaw, and healthy gums.
How many teeth can be replaced with dental implants?
As many as you need! If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
How do implants compare with traditional bridges or dentures?
Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don't rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don't compromise the health of your natural teeth.
How do I take care of implants and replacement teeth after treatment?
Consider your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same sort of regular brushing and flossing, and the same amount of check-ups at our office. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.
Give us a call to schedule an appointment today! 360-779-3958
7 is the magic number for an Orthodontic evaluation
Many parents assume they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth, only to find that treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Some orthodontic problems are easier to correct while the jaw is still growing. Consequently, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven.
What’s so great about age seven? Enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to make a determination about whether any problems are present. The first molars have come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or “bad bite.” Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.
Orthodontic evaluation at an early age provides one of two positive outcomes: For some, early identification or problems will lead to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. For others, a healthy prognosis will provide immediate peace of mind.
Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and detrimental to good oral hygiene.
Give us a call to schedule your child’s cleaning and exam appointment today! 360-779-3958
Nearly 250 million people across the globe are affected by diabetes, and that number is growing by 7 million per year. As diabetes becomes more commonplace, it’s important to be aware of the health complications involved. While it’s well-known that diabetes is linked with heart disease, stroke and other ailments, many people don’t understand that oral health is compromised in people with uncontrolled diabetes. Following are some FAQs to help acquaint you with the issues:
What types of oral health problems are common in people with diabetes?
Uncontrolled diabetes results in a higher risk for tooth decay, taste impairment, gum disease, fungal infections such as thrush, dry mouth (a condition of reduced saliva), and slow or poor recovery of gum tissues after dental procedures. Smoking exacerbates these risks; please talk to us if you are having trouble quitting – we can offer resources to help you.
If my diabetes is well controlled, am I still at risk?
Those whose diabetes is well controlled are at the same risk level as people who don’t have diabetes. Thus taking control of your diabetes is a key factor in maintaining good oral health.
What do I need to let your office know about my diabetes?
As with any overall health concern, let us know about the situation so we may take it into consideration as we plan your dental care. If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, let us know. We need to be aware of how you are controlling the disease, what medications you are taking, and the contact information for your diabetes doctor. Depending on the state of your oral health and what treatments we are planning, we may need more detailed information about your diabetes.
What do I need to let my diabetes doctor know about my oral health?
If you have any type of dental treatment planned, talk to your diabetes doctor about it. In some cases, your doctor may instruct you to delay any non-emergency dental work until your diabetes is better controlled. If you need oral surgery, check with your doctor about the need for medications or adjusting your eating and insulin schedule.
Does diabetes affect the occurrence and severity of gum disease?
Diabetes increases the risk of infection throughout the body. Periodontal disease – more commonly known as gum disease – is an infection of the gums and bones that anchor your teeth. People whose glucose levels are poorly controlled are at a higher risk for gum disease than those whose levels are well controlled. They also experience more severe cases of gum disease, because the healing process happens more slowly due to the diabetes.
Can gum disease affect blood sugar levels?
Recent research points to a two-way relationship between diabetes and gum disease. In other words, while diabetes increases the risk of gum disease, gum disease may affect the ability to control blood sugar levels and thus advance the development of diabetes. Also, gum disease can result in loose or missing teeth, which makes it difficult to maintain a balanced diet.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Watch for red, sore, swollen or bleeding gums, loose teeth or dentures, sensitive teeth or gums, bad breath, and receding gums. It’s possible to have gum disease without all the symptoms, so if you suspect there may be a problem, call us immediately.
What can I do to ensure healthy teeth and gums?
Be sure to control your blood glucose levels and maintain a balanced diet. Brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. If you are a smoker, quit the habit. (We can help you with this.) If you wear dentures, remove and clean them every day. And be sure to have a professional cleaning and check-up twice a year. Depending on the state of your oral health and any treatments you may need, we may suggest more frequent visits.
Good Dental Hygiene Impacts Overall General Health
There are many ways in which your oral health has an impact on your overall general health. There are naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth. Some of those bacteria, including strep and staph, are harmful, while other bacteria are essential for the balance of intestinal flora. The healthier your mouth is, the less likely it is the harmful bacteria will travel to other parts of your body to infect it and make you sick. There is much more to good dental hygiene than brushing and flossing.
Today's Biggest Dental Hygiene Challenge
In the past, tooth decay was more of an issue because there was no routine dental care, and problems that are routinely treated today went untreated. Thanks to fluoridated water, and toothpastes containing fluoride, tooth decay is far less problematic than it was a century or more ago. Gum disease has replaced tooth decay as the most serious dental problem facing people today. According to the American Dental Association, a staggering 80 percent of Americans over age 65 suffer from some form of periodontal disease.
Ironically, if that infection attacked any other part of your body, especially in a place where it was clearly visible, you would head to your doctor for treatment immediately. People tend to ignore gum tenderness and bleeding. When the tenderness and bleeding aren't treated, the inflammation can turn into periodontitis. The longer you allow the inflammation to go untreated, the greater the likelihood that it will affect other body parts. Make sure to visit our practice regularly to be proactive about dental health!
Researchers are now discovering that untreated inflammation in the mouth acts as a driving force for multiple chronic illnesses, including clogged arteries, heart attacks, arthritis, and even cancer. This inflammation is one of many hypotheses that may explain how chronic infections can trigger systemic diseases and even intensify existing ones. Bacterial overgrowth in the inflamed gum tissue can enter the bloodstream through the food you eat, and from daily brushing.
Caring for your mouth at home influences your health as much as your twice-a-year dental exams and professional teeth cleanings do !!...