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Posts for: February, 2016

By Silvestri & Deniger Dentistry
February 23, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.

By Silvestri & Deniger Dentistry
February 19, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: sealants  

No matter how diligently you brush and floss, it's almost impossible to thoroughly clean all the little nooks and crannies in your molars. Sealants offer a layer of protection that helps keep cavities from ever developing. Susan Silvestri, DDS, and Ronnie Deniger, DDS, of sealantsSilvestri & Deniger Dentistry, your dentists in Slidell, LA, explain how sealants work.

Sealants prevent tooth decay

Cavity-causing plaque eats at away at tooth enamel if it isn't promptly removed. Because your molars contain pits and grooves that toothbrush bristles can't reach, cavities can occur no matter how often you brush. Sealants fill in those hard-to-reach areas and very effectively prevent cavities. Sealants are made from a plastic resin, a strong, safe substance that hardens soon after it's applied to teeth. Although sealants are typically recommended for children, they can also prevent cavities in adults.

Sealants protect new teeth

When your child's permanent molars first appear, they aren't as strong as yours. Over time, they'll eventually become more resistant to tooth decay, but until they do, sealants will provide much-needed extra protection.

A simple, pain-free process

After the molars are cleaned and dried, your dentist applies an etching solution to the teeth. The solution helps the sealants adhere better to the back teeth. Sealants are applied with a small brush and then hardened with a blue light. The process is quick and only takes about five minutes per tooth.

Sealants offer long-lasting results

Your new sealants will provide protection from tooth decay for up to 10 years. If you grind your teeth, you may need a new application sooner. Your dentist will check the condition of the sealants during every visit and reapply them as needed if they notices worn areas.

Don't let cavities ruin your smile. Call your Slidell, LA, dentists, Drs. Silvestri and Deniger of Silvestri & Deniger, LLC, at (985) 641-7200 and schedule an appointment for dental sealants today. Protect your teeth with this simple treatment!

By Silvestri & Deniger Dentistry
February 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   nutrition  

Sports drinks have been widely touted as an ideal way to replenish carbohydrates, electrolytes and, of course, fluids after a strenuous event or workout. But the mixtures of many popular brands often contain acid and added sugar, similar to other types of soft drinks. This can create an acidic environment in the mouth that can be damaging to tooth enamel.

Of course, the best way to replenish fluids after most strenuous activities is nature’s hydrator, water. If, however, you or a family member does drink the occasional sports beverage, you can help reduce the acid impact and help protect tooth enamel by following these 3 tips.

Avoid sipping a sports drink over long periods. Sipping on a drink constantly for hours interferes with saliva, the bodily fluid responsible for neutralizing mouth acid. But because the process can take thirty minutes to an hour to bring the mouth to a normal pH, saliva may not be able to complete neutralization because of the constant presence of acid caused by sipping. It’s best then to limit sports drinks to set periods or preferably during mealtimes.

Rinse your mouth out with water after drinking.  Enamel damage occurs after extended periods of exposure to acid. Rinsing your mouth out immediately after consuming a sports drink will wash away a good amount of any remaining acid and help normalize your mouth’s pH level. And since water has a neutral pH, it won’t add to the acid levels.

Wait an hour to brush after eating. As mentioned before, saliva takes time to neutralize mouth acid. Even in that short period of time, though, acid can soften some of the mineral content in enamel. If you brush during this “soft” period, you may inadvertently brush away some of the minerals. By waiting an hour, you give saliva time not only to neutralize acid but also restore mineral strength to the enamel.

If you would like more information on sports and energy drinks and their effect on dental health, 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 “Think Before you Drink.”

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