10 Fun Tooth Facts

Delta Dental has a great informational website called cavitiesgetaround.com, we recently came across these fun tooth facts on their site! We hope you enjoy them!

1. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body. It covers the outside of your teeth and protects them from decay. It might be incredibly strong but sugary drinks like juice and soda can eat away the enamel causing cavities to form.

2. Your mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva throughout your life! You could fill 2 swimming pools with all that! Be thankful, saliva helps repair early tooth decay!

3. Brushing your teeth daily reduces tooth decay by 25%. It’s a very important part of your day! Make sure you are brushing correctly for the best results.

4. You can only see two-thirds of your teeth. Where is the other third hiding? Underneath your gums! This is why you must floss your teeth daily to clean the parts of your tooth you can’t see!

5. Teeth are as unique as fingerprints. No two people have the same set of teeth. Smile and be proud of yours, they are one of a kind!

6. You have only 2 sets of teeth during your lifetime. That might seem like plenty, but sharks get 40 sets. After your baby teeth fall out, the permanent teeth have to last the rest of your life so take good care of them!

7. Tooth brushes have existed for thousands of years! (Sort of) There is evidence of people using twigs to clean their teeth thousands of years ago and it seemed to be effective!

8. Everyone has the same number of teeth. Human mouths are designed to hold 32 teeth. That might seem like a lot but snails have 25,600!

9. Your teeth are forming before you are born. Teeth start to form when you are in the womb, but do not come out until you are between six and twelve months old.

10. Baby teeth matter. They guide adult teeth so they come in straight. Also, cavities can spread from baby teeth to adult teeth. Healthy baby teeth = healthy adult teeth!

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September is National Gum Care Month!

We know that gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, can be difficult to recognize. Many people don’t realize that bleeding and swollen gums are a precursor to gum disease. This month, a national campaign is under way to raise awareness about gum health and periodontal disease, and we wanted to help do our part to spread the word.

Dr. Glass and Cindie will tell you early recognition and action are the most important steps to healthy gums, and ultimately a healthy body! Studies are published every year linking oral health to the overall health of your body. Studies have directly linked heart disease and diabetes to oral health. One of the most important steps to improving the care of your gums is recognizing the warning signs for gum disease. These include:
– Gums that appear red or swollen
– Gums that feel tender
– Gums that bleed easily (while brushing or flossing)
– Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
– Persistent halitosis (bad breath)
– Loose teeth
– Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position

If you happen to notice any of these signs with you or your child, or if it has been longer than 6 months since your last cleaning please call today to schedule an appointment. It is important to take proactive steps to prevent gingivitis and gum disease.

Sleep Deprivation Shown to Have Negative Oral Health Effects

Could inadequate sleep be a risk factor for periodontal disease? Over a third of US adults are chronically deprived of a full night’s sleep and new evidence suggests that it may be affecting oral health. Sleep is critical to physical and mental well-being, and evidence suggests that a combination of screen use, dietary habits and the prevalence of shift work may be interfering with access to a full night of restful sleep.

During sleep, the entire body experiences significant physiological changes that help re-organize and re-set for the next day. Core body temperature drops, metabolism drops by five to ten percent, and metabolic waste products are eliminated from the brain. Furthermore, sleep is critical in modulating the immune system. During sleep, the body works to reduce reactive oxygen species, downregulate inflammation and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

In particular, signals (such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha) regulated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis have been found to promote inflammation body-wide, playing a role in the development of periodontitis along with poor oral hygiene. In a preliminary study of 60 healthy subjects between 25 and 50 years of age, researchers found that when all other variables were controlled for, incidence of periodontitis and gingivitis rose as hours of restful sleep declined.

These findings may help explain in part the rising epidemic of periodontal disease, which is tied to a slew of unhealthy behaviors that are only becoming more widespread as time goes on. One of the best methods to address this broad-spectrum caries risk is to educate high-caries-risk patients on an “anti-inflammatory lifestyle,” that prioritizes adequate sleep along with diets rich in vegetables and low in refined carbohydrates. These actions have been proven to lessen the effects of other inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, IBS, and heart disease, and may be effective in reducing periodontal disease along with good oral hygiene.

Understanding of the role habit- and environment-derived systemic inflammation plays in various health problems continues to grow, and we can expect more unique approaches to treating diseases like periodontitis through comprehensive, whole-patient approaches.

Sources:

CDC Press Releases. (2017). CDC. Retrieved 24 May 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

Grover, V., Malhotra, R., & Kaur, H. (2017). Exploring association between sleep deprivation and chronic periodontitis: A pilot study. Retrieved 24 May 2017, from PubMed Central

Study Estimates Nearly Half of American Adults Have Periodontal Disease. (2017). Ada.org. Retrieved 24 May 2017, from http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/science-in-the-news/study-estimates-nearly-half-of-american-adults-have-periodontal-disease

Re-blogged with permission from DOCS Education

Insurance Predeterminations – Not The Crystal Ball You Think They Are

Insurance companies are often thought of as a necessary evil. When patients need dental care, they will often ask for a predetermination to find out how much their plan will cover. What patients might miss is the fact that often times the insurance company can be a burden, an opponent that we may have to lock horns with, and the predetermination is a great example of how this can play out.

A predetermination is often confused with a pre-authorization. The pre-authorization was done many years ago, and was replaced with a predetermination in the mid 80’s. A pre-authorization was in most cases a guarantee of payment. Patients often believe that a predetermination is a guarantee of how much the insurance will cover (although it isn’t) — that’s why they are willing to wait for it. Insurance companies see this as an opportunity.

Insurance companies begin with the goal of taking in more money in premiums that they are paying out in dental fees. Their goal is to limit dental treatment and pay for as little as possible, which means they are often working against the needs of both the dentist, and their patients.

The Potential Pitfalls of Pre-determinations:

It takes time.

This is often intentional, as it helps the insurance company make money. Patients often won’t commit to an appointment until they receive a predetermination, and in that time, patients slip through the cracks.

A patient may be in need of a crown that could stave off a root canal or tooth loss, but if it isn’t bringing them any pain, they may just forego treatment altogether, losing their sense of urgency after leaving your office. Insurance companies often want this to happen, as that is now a procedure they aren’t paying for.

It takes the dentist out of the decision making process.

In an ideal world, treatment will be between the dentist and the patient. If we decide to go the route of pre-determination, now a third party — with their own priorities — is rocking the boat. The insurance company usually isn’t in the business of looking out for the best interests of your patient.

If you seek a predetermination, the patient will usually base their decision on that information. The biggest problem with your patients basing their decisions on pre-determinations is…

Pre-determinations aren’t binding.

The biggest flaw with pre-determinations is that they don’t mean anything. Patients are forestalling treatment plans recommended by their providers to get a ballpark estimate of what the insurance company might decide to pay for.

Some plans might say they require pre-determinations, they can’t refuse treatment because of the absence of a predetermination. It is important for the patient to understand what they are (and how little they matter), in order to set realistic expectations.

Blog copied with permission from Sunrise Dental Solutions
written by: Linda O’Grady

Goodbye Impressions!

It has always been our mission to help you have a bright and healthy smile. Dr. Glass takes great pride in providing his patients with the highest quality dental care and is always looking for the latest technology to make your dental visit a great experience. That’s why we are so excited to introduce you to our newest upgrade!

The truth is we hear over and over again how everyone dreads impressions. Many dental procedures require we fill your mouth with those goopy trays to make cast models. It’s messy. It’s a mouthful. For those who have a gag reflex, it can be very unpleasant. Many patients say the impressions were the worst part of their dental treatment.

We want your experience in our office to be pleasant and anxiety free. To solve the issue of the dreaded impressions, Dr. Glass is one of a handful of dentists in the Denver metro area to upgrade to the latest technology in the industry. We’d like to introduce to you digital dental impressions using the Carestream 3600.

Our new Carestream digital scanner will replace impressions. (Good riddance!) The small camera takes high precision scans of your teeth. This will create a digital model within our computer software. These digital models are electronically sent to our lab where they are printed on a 3D printer. This makes the quality of treatment we provide, even better and much more precise.

If you have been putting off dental treatment… fear no more. All treatment plans are now eligible for scans. If you would like to see for yourself what a difference digital impressions can make, call our office today and schedule your appointment! 303-979-4981

Side Effects of Dry Mouth

Are you wondering why you are starting to get cavities when you haven’t had them in years? As we get older, we enter a second round of cavity prone years. One common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. It is, however, a side effect of more than 500 medications including those used for asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain and anxiety.
Dry mouth is more than just an uncomfortable inconvenience. Saliva plays a big role in protecting your teeth from cavities. Saliva not only helps wash away food and plaque from your teeth it also contains substances found to help counter the acid produced by bacteria and can even help repair early tooth decay.
This is just one reason why it is important to tell your dentist about all medications that you are taking. Dr. Glass and Cindie can make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and protect your teeth from cavities.

Here are some common recommendations:

• Use over the counter oral moisturizing gel or rinse such as Biotene
• Consult with your physician on whether to change your medication or dosage
• Drink more water. Carry a bottle with you and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
• Use sugar free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production. Products containing xylitol have an added protective element
• Get a humidifier to use at night to keep your mouth and airway moist
• Avoid food and beverages that irritate or further dry the mouth. Coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices are all culprits
• Dr. Glass may recommend a prescription fluoride toothpaste or the application of a fluoride varnish in our office to protect your teeth from decay.

Chemicals in your Toothpaste

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned several key chemicals in hand soap, one of them being triclosan, an antibacterial and anti fungal agent found in many consumer products including toothpaste. The decision by the F.D.A. to ban triclosan in soaps came after experts pushed the agency to regulate antimicrobial chemicals, warning that they risk altering hormones in children and promote drug-resistant infections.

The New York Times reported that Colgate Total toothpaste still contains this ingredient. Colgate defends their use of the product stating that the FDA allows the use of triclosan in toothpaste because studies have demonstrated it to be effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis. However, according to a study put out by Cochrane Oral Health Group after 7 months of use of a triclosan toothpaste there was a roughly 22% reduction in inflammation caused by gingivitis (an early form of gum disease) More importantly, after 36 months there was no evidence of reduction in the development of periodontitis (a more severe form of gum disease resulting in bone and tooth loss). For the truly dedicated, two to three years of using triclosan toothpaste showed only a 5 percent drop in cavities compared with brushing with fluoride paste alone. Colgate Total is the only toothpaste in the United States that contains triclosan.

The American Dental Association and the FDA consider triclosan-based toothpaste safe because the product contains small amounts of the chemical. Most people will likely have no adverse effects, but the question is, would you want it in your mouth if you’re concerned about it being in your soap? The answer is probably not.

Dr. Glass’ recommendation is to choose a toothpaste with stannous fluoride instead. There has been a stir in recent media regarding fluoride as well, but the addition of fluoride in water, is there to help children build stronger teeth for the rest of their lives. The fluoride in toothpaste — as well as the topical fluoride varnish that a dentist applies to your pearly whites during a routine visit — is present to prevent tooth decay. There is no evidence that the small amount of fluoride in toothpaste has any adverse health effects. Unfortunately, most of our food is very acidic, many of the beverages we’re consuming are about as acidic as stomach acid. Fluoride becomes a really necessary component and the benefits far outweigh any negatives.

To see the full Cochrane report follow this link:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010514.pub2/abstract;jsessionid=217E52E32B%2087ADA7C2AD66C3244DF