HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why it’s so important to see us every six months? From oral health maintenance to serious disease prevention, there are a lot of reasons to keep your semi-annual visits on your calendar.
Open Wide And Say “Aahhh”
So what do we look for when we examine your pearly whites? During typical checkups we examine the overall health of your teeth and gums, looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and checking up on the condition of existing dental work. X-rays may also be taken to ensure the health of the roots of your teeth, and to reveal things we cannot see.
Once we examine your mouth and teeth, it’s cleaning time. We do so by:
- Doing an overall cleanliness check
- Removing plaque and tartar
- Polishing your teeth
- Flossing between your teeth
After your teeth are cleaned, we’ll talk about recommendations for keeping your teeth and gums healthy until your next regular visit.
Thinking Outside The Mouth
While a clean and vibrant smile is a definite confidence booster, it can also promote sound overall health. Bacteria from untreated gum disease can spread to other parts of the body and increase the risk of heart disease and other serious conditions.
We can also spot warning signs of other conditions. Things such as vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis and even diabetes can present symptoms in our mouths.
The Best Offense Is A Good Defense
Regular dental visits not only keep our teeth and gums clean but they can help prevent against more serious issues. Here’s a few tips to keep your smile healthy between checkups:
We Care About Your Whole Body Health
Our practice is focused on the latest treatments to create healthy and resilient smiles. In addition to helping your smile look and feel its best, we’re committed to your overall health. We want to make sure you’re as healthy as possible when you visit us!
Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!
Top image by Flickr user Seth Lemmons used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU taken a close look at dentistry’s emblem? Probably never, right?! Well, we love the things it represents.
The Symbol’s Basic Elements
The frame of the symbol may look like a triangle and circle intertwined, but those are actually the Greek letters “delta” and “omicron.” These letters stand for “dental,” and “odont” (or “tooth”).
In the middle of the symbol, you’ll notice a couple of fanned branches. There’s a total of 32 leaves, representing 32 permanent teeth. The branches also have 20 berries, representing 20 primary teeth.
The Difference Between Two Snakes And One
The main focus of dentistry’s official emblem is the staff of Asclepius, a serpent twined around a rod. This is often confused with the caduceus, a winged baton with two twined serpents. The caduceus, a common medical symbol, refers to the messenger god Mercury, since he was also patron god of alchemy, magic, and chemists.
However, the staff of Asclepius stands for something different.
Asclepius is the Greek god of healing. It’s said that early in his life, he helped heal a snake (an ancient symbol of renewal and wisdom), and in return, that snake gave him knowledge about healing.
The staff of Asclepius is about more than mystical fixes. It’s symbolic of wellness, and wisdom in leading a healthy, full life. In fact, Asclepius’ daughter is the goddess Hygeia, of cleanliness and hygiene.
Dentistry Is Focused On Preventive Care And Lifelong Health
While dentistry is able to bring about some astonishing fixes that seem like magic, our focus is always on prevention and wellness. We believe in fixing problems before they even start, and protecting your teeth for a lifetime.
A healthy mouth is important for more than just your teeth. Infections in the gums can travel throughout the body and contribute to problems like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, RA, and diabetes. Your regular dental visits are essential for a lifetime of full-body health.
We appreciate the opportunity to be your dental family and your healthcare partners for life. We treasure our relationship with you. If you ever have questions about your oral health, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!
INJURIES ALWAYS SEEM TO HAPPEN when we least expect them. Picture yourself at an outdoor gathering, having fun, when suddenly a crying child runs up to you, knocked-out tooth in hand. Would you know what to do?
Dental First Aid Saves Teeth
Knocking out or fracturing a tooth is especially distressing—just thinking about it can make you uncomfortable! But knowing what to do within the first hour after dental damage occurs can save the tooth. Here’s your plan of action:
1. Carefully recover the tooth.
Pick up the tooth by the crown, do not touch the root. If necessary, gently rinse the tooth in water or milk, but do not scrub or brush the root.
2. Don’t let the tooth dry out.
If possible, put the tooth back in the socket and hold it in place with fingers or by gently biting on gauze. If you can’t reimplant the tooth, keep it in milk (not water) or inside the cheek until you can find help.
3. Seek professional dental care immediately.
You’ll have the best chance of saving the tooth if you get to a dentist or emergency room within an hour.
Prevent Injuries Before They Happen
Accidents happen, but there are many steps you can take to prevent dental damage! These include:
- wearing a mouthguard for sports
- not chewing ice and other extremely hard foods
- using scissors to open packages, not your teeth
Teeth are strong, but they can only last a lifetime if you do your part to keep them safe and healthy!
No Matter What Happens, We’re Here For You
Part of what makes dental injury so traumatic is the thought that the damage could be permanent. We’re here to assure you that even if a tooth cannot be saved, we have the knowledge and tools to restore your smile! Should a dental emergency ever occur, see us as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading! We treasure the trust you place in our team as your lifelong dental health partners. Remember to protect your teeth!
Top image by Flickr user Melissa Wiese used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
THE BACTERIA IN OUR BODIES vastly outnumber our human cells! And no matter how much we brush, floss, or rinse, our mouths will always be home to billions of microbes. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Different types of bacteria keep others in check, and most aren’t anything to worry about. But maintaining this balance requires some effort on your part—to support the good bacteria and limit the growth of the bad.
Our Oral Ecosystems
Recent studies estimate that there are about 1000 species of oral bacteria, with 100 to 200 in any given individual. Microbes live off nutrients found in saliva, and on our gums, teeth and tongues. In a healthy mouth, beneficial bacteria fight disease-causing germs and fungi. They’re actually our immune system’s first responders! The constant flow of saliva also helps keep acid-producing bacteria from getting established. But even with all these defenses, harmful microbes can still upset the balance.
Bad Bacteria Causes Bad Breath
Poor oral hygiene and other conditions like dry mouth create an environment in which harmful bacteria thrive. An excess of sugar residue from candy, soda and other foods speeds up the already explosive microbe growth. The bacterial imbalance can result in chronic bad breath, canker sores, higher risk of illness, tooth decay and other problems.
5 Steps For A Healthy Oral Environment
By following a good oral care routine, you can make sure the scale is always tipped in favor of the good bacteria! Create an oral environment that promotes beneficial microbes with these five steps:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss daily, and scrape your tongue daily
- Limit consumption of foods high in sugars, and rinse with water after eating
- Avoid dry mouth by chewing sugar-free gum
- Don’t share toothbrushes or other items that touch the mouth
Since every oral environment is different, there may be other factors that are influencing your personal flora and fauna. As you come in for regular dental checkups, we can keep tabs on your unique oral profile. Together, we’ll determine a personalized plan if anything needs to be changed to keep your mouth at its healthiest.
We’re honored to be your partner in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Thank you for being our valued patient!
Top image by Flickr user Ekke used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
OUR NIGHTLY BRUSHING ROUTINE wouldn’t be complete without that minty-fresh toothpaste tingle, right? But toothpaste hasn’t always been soft and minty. Years ago, it was less pleasant to use.
Toothpaste Existed As Early As 5000 B.C.
The oldest form of toothpaste known was created by the Egyptians. The powder formula included crushed rock salt, mint, pepper, and dried iris flowers. Sometimes, other abrasive materials like ox-hoof ashes, burnt eggshells, or oyster shells were added.
Would You Recognize Toothpastes From The Past?
Around 1780, burnt toast was made into powder and used as a tooth-cleaning agent. That probably wasn’t the best idea. Around 1800 soap was added to tooth powders for “cleanliness”. Not long after that, a smooth paste—the texture we’re used to today—was created for the first time.
In 1873 the first commercially produced toothpaste was sold in jars. It wasn’t until 20 years later that toothpaste was sold in a collapsible tube, similar to those we use today. After the discovery of fluoride’s decay prevention qualities, it was added to toothpaste in 1914.
Modern Toothpaste Has A Few Standard Elements
Each major ingredient in modern toothpaste makes brushing teeth easy, comfortable, effective and tasty. Here are the basic components you’ll find:
- Fluoride fights off decay by strengthening tooth enamel.
- Abrasives scrub the surface of the tooth without scratching or damaging enamel.
- Flavors come from sweetening agents such as saccharin or sorbitol. (The ADA won’t give its seal of acceptance to toothpastes with decay-causing sugar.)
- Humectants like sorbitol and glycerol trap water in the toothpaste so that when you squeeze the tube, you get a smooth substance.
- Detergents give us the foaming effect we love in our toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the one you’ll most often see.
Get The Most From Your At-Home Dental Care
The important thing to remember about toothpaste is that our toothbrushing habits and technique matter much more than the toothpaste brand we use. However, while shopping for toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. This confirms that a product has met the criteria for effectiveness and safety.
If you have any other questions about your personal oral hygiene routine, talk with us about it! We love to hear from you.
Thanks for your trust in our practice!
Top image by Flickr user Eli Duke used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
OUR DIETS AFFECT EVERY PART of our bodies. Oral health can improve or deteriorate drastically based on the things we eat!
First, Cut Down On Sugar
Sugar has become far too big a part of our modern diets. In addition to making us sick and fat, it erodes our teeth! Avoid frequent snacking on sugary foods, especially things that are sticky or slow dissolving (like most candies). The constant presence of sugar turbocharges acid-producing bacteria, eating away at our tooth enamel.
The biggest offenders are soda, sports drinks and energy drinks. What makes them especially dangerous is that we tend to sip them, coating teeth in sugar over and over again for long periods of time.
Second, A Nutrient-Rich Diet Supports Oral Health
Our mouths require many different nutrients. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Calcium: remineralizes teeth - found in yogurt, fish and leafy greens
- Iron: promotes tongue health and prevents sores - found in red meat, grains and nuts
- Vitamin C: essential for gum health - found in citrus, sweet potatoes and peppers
- Vitamin A: accelerates mouth healing - found in milk, leafy greens and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): promotes good breath and reduces swelling - found in poultry, peanuts and potatoes
Of course this isn’t a complete list, but it may give you an idea of the kind of balanced diet you need for good oral health. Be conscious of how you fuel your body and mouth!
Third, Drink More Water
Overhauling our entire diets can be a significant undertaking. But here’s one easy thing we can all start doing today: drink more water! Drinking water helps wash away plaque-forming films and keeps saliva flowing.
Fourth, Oral Health Is Closely Linked To Overall Health
You might expect us to just say “stay away from candy,” but we believe our mission extends beyond that. Oral care is an integral part of overall health, and we’re here to support you in your pursuit of total wellbeing.
Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!
Top image by Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
WHAT DO OSTEOPOROSIS and gum disease have in common? Bone loss! For anyone with gum disease, osteoporosis, or both… it’s important to know about the correlation between these two conditions.
How Does Gum Disease Cause Bone Loss?
Are you surprised to hear that gum disease can contribute to bone loss? The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, rarely affects bone structure. But if it progresses to advanced periodontitis, then the infection spreads beneath the teeth to destroy connective gum tissue AND supportive structure in your jaw.
Those With Osteoporosis May Have 85% Greater Periodontitis Risk
A recent study showed an alarmingly high correlation between low bone density and gum disease risk. Bone density was measured using a FRAX score (fracture risk assessment tool). Even disregarding common risk factors like age, smoking, or diabetes, it was shown that patients with osteoporosis have an 85% greater likelihood of periodontal disease.
More research is needed to find the reason for this correlation. However, one factor is important to note: advanced gum disease degrades bone mass in the jaw. For those with already-low bone mass, thanks to osteoporosis, the risk is even greater. Gum disease can very quickly cause a lot of damage.
We’re Looking Out For Your Whole-Body Health
So, if you have gum disease, along with other possible risk factors for osteoporosis, don’t be surprised if we ask you the last time you had a checkup with your doctor. After looking at a dental x-ray, we may recommend that you have your bone health assessed.
In the meantime, take good care of your teeth. Gum disease can be worrying, but it’s preventable with good personal care habits and frequent visits with our team.
The relationship between osteoporosis and gum disease is just one example of the mouth-body health connection. The more we learn, the more we see that what happens in your mouth doesn’t just stay in your mouth. Dental health has an effect on your entire body.
Let us know if you have any questions about your dental health. We’re honored to be your partners in oral health care.
Top image by Flickr user Erin Borrini used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
HAVE A TOOTHACHE? Wear these fish bones around your neck, repeat a chant, and drop a few pears into the river!
Sounds ridiculous, right? But those are toothache remedies you’d hear during the Middle Ages! You can imagine how frustrating it must have been for our ancestors with tooth pain—they were willing to try anything for relief! Modern dentistry has swept away many bizarre superstitions—however, some people still believe dangerous myths about toothaches and how to cure them.
Different “Cures” From Different Cultures
There are a lot of unusual methods for relieving toothaches we’ve gathered from various cultures (both ancient and modern) around the world. One common belief was that dental pain was caused by a “tooth worm” that had burrowed its way inside a tooth. To coax the worm out, people would inhale smoke, smear their teeth with honey, and swish with all kinds of disgusting rinses. Others include:
- Putting both stockings on one foot.
- Driving a horseshoe nail into your house’s front door lintel.
- Spitting out bread by an anthill, and as the ants carry it away the pain will leave.
- Complaining to a pear tree about your toothache.
- Vowing to never comb your hair on a Friday or shave on a Sunday.
Though these may seem absurd, let’s not be too quick to judge—there are still plenty of false beliefs about toothaches today!
Modern Toothache Myths
There are several causes of dental pain including cavities, gum disease, infection, and chipping. These three tips will help debunk some common myths that could stop you from getting the treatment you need:
- Do not put aspirin on your tooth. Aspirin does nothing to relieve pain when applied topically, and could result in a nasty acid burn on your cheek and gums.
- A toothache DOES NOT mean you will lose the tooth. There are treatments that can save even badly infected teeth.
- If pain is off-and-on, you still need a checkup. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. It shouldn’t be ignored.
Don't Wait To Visit Us If You Have Pain
Trust Our Practice For Solutions
Nobody should have to live with dental pain. Our practice is focused on the latest treatments to not only relieve toothaches, but to create healthy and resilient smiles, so you can get back to living your life. Don’t let one more day of dental discomfort go by without contacting us.
We cherish our relationship with you as our valued patients and friends!
Top image by Flickr user Edward Webb used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
HERE AT ROBISON DENTAL GROUP WE LOVE THE FOURTH OF JULY!
Independence Day is coming up, and it’s a great time to reflect on—and express gratitude for—all of the precious freedoms we enjoy every day.
It’s also a great holiday for enjoying time with friends and family, and to get involved with the awesome celebrations the community puts on.
What are YOUR plans? Do you have suggestions for all of us? We look forward to hearing from YOU!
From all of us here we wish you a wonderful holiday. Be safe, and we'll see you the time you visit us.
Thanks for being our valued patients and friends.
PEOPLE WITH DIABETES are mindful of their bodies’ feedback. Effective diabetes management requires frequent blood sugar checks, careful dietary planning, and close monitoring of other symptoms.
But with all the things diabetics have to consider, they often miss warning signs from another crucial area—the mouth.
Why are oral care and diabetes so intertwined? Recent studies have revealed more on the relationship between gum disease and diabetic symptoms.
It’s About Bacteria
People with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the body and cause infection. When harmful bacteria are allowed to build up in the mouth, gums become swollen and sensitive. In addition to weakening the structures holding teeth in place, inflamed, bleeding gums are an easy access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Once inside, these bacteria can aggravate diabetic complications and make it harder to manage blood sugar.
Diabetes makes gums more susceptible to infection—and infected gums, in turn, worsen diabetic conditions. It’s a vicious cycle!
3 Keys To Managing Oral Health And Diabetes
- Stay in touch with your doctor AND with us. Follow your doctor’s diabetes management plan, and relay any changes in your condition. Make sure your doctor has our contact information and keeps us informed as appropriate. Keep your regular dental checkup appointments.
- Control your blood glucose level. Monitor your blood sugar level and use medications as recommended. The better you manage your blood sugar, the less likely you will be to develop gum infections.
- Establish good oral care habits. Brush twice a day, gently massaging and cleaning gums. Floss at least once daily. If you smoke, quit. Please talk with us if you have any questions about brushing or flossing techniques!
Let Us Help You Manage Diabetes
We understand that living with diabetes presents a host of extra things to think about every day. We want to ease that burden by providing personalized care to our diabetic patients. If you know someone with diabetes, share this information with them!
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of your health-conscious lifestyle.