New Year’s Resolutions for Better Oral Health

young boy brushing his teethSomething interesting happens around this time every year. People start reflecting on the last twelve months and start thinking about some things they can change in order to make the next twelve even better. These changes, or resolutions, are usually quickly lost within the first few weeks of the new year. But this year, our dental office in Lewisburg wants to help you make some solid, easy-to-keep resolutions to improve your oral health in 2019.  

Brush & Floss. One of the easiest resolutions you can make for better oral health is to brush and floss your teeth regularly. This means brushing twice a day, every day, and flossing once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently (emphasis on gently) scrub away bacteria and plaque buildup. But brushing alone doesn’t reach all surfaces of your teeth. This is where flossing comes into play. Flossing between each and every tooth daily removes the things that brushing alone can miss. Following this at-home oral health routine is one of the best ways you can improve your oral health.

Drink Water. Drinking water is a simple thing that can make a big difference in your health. Being hydrated allows our bodies to function properly and efficiently. It’s also great for oral health; water rinses away bacteria and neutralizes acid which, if not removed, will cause decay and cavities. Water can also keep breath fresh by fighting off dry mouth. This year, commit to drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day and drinking other beverages in moderation.

Visit Your Dentist in Lewisburg. We recommend dental visits at least every six months, sometimes more if appropriate. These dental checkups are important for several reasons including:

  • Deep cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup
  • Diagnosing any problems early before they cause bigger problems
  • Monitoring oral health for signs of potential disease, whether oral or systemic

Many systemic, whole-body problems such as heart disease and diabetes can actually first show signs and symptoms in the mouth. When caught early at your regular dental appointments, treatment can be easier and more successful. Signs of more oral-specific problems such as gum disease and oral cancer can also show signs early, making the chances of solving these serious problems more likely.

The best way to follow through with New Year’s resolutions is to write them down, make a plan, and stick with it. When it comes to resolutions involving your oral health, the team at our Lewisburg dental office is here to help. Call us to schedule an appointment today and let’s get started on the best year your smile has ever seen.

Welcoming new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby areas.

Quit Smoking for Better Oral Health

man smoking

The American Cancer Society sponsors an event every November to raise awareness for all the health problems associated with smoking and provide tips and tools on how to quit the habit. This year, the Great American Smokeout will fall on November 15, and our dental office in Lewisburg wants to do our part to help our neighbors put down the cigarettes once and for all. So this month we’re covering some of the top reasons to quit smoking.

Oral Cancer

One of the main reasons to quit smoking is to reduce your risk of cancer. Even though there are several types of cancer associated with tobacco use, oral cancer is one that your dentist in Lewisburg can help you diagnose and fight. When caught early, oral cancer treatments can be incredibly successful, but quitting smoking is one way to greatly reduce your risk of developing it in the first place. In fact, smokers are six times more likely to get oral cancer than non-smokers.

Yellow Teeth & Bad Breath

The ingredients found in tobacco products aren’t only dangerous to overall health, some of the most harmful ones can directly affect your mouth. Tar and nicotine, for example, can stick to plaque build-up on teeth, gums, and even the tongue making them difficult to remove. When these ingredients linger around too long or are introduced into the mouth repeatedly, they can cause tooth discoloration and chronic bad breath.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious oral health problem that can lead to other issues throughout the body including increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Research has shown that smokers are 50% more likely to get gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease may lead to tooth loss.

Dry Mouth

Smoking reduces saliva production in the mouth and leaves your teeth exposed to plaque, bacteria, and acid that can damage teeth. Without saliva around to help neutralize acids and wash away damaging bacteria, teeth are at an increased risk for cavities, decay, and the need for advanced dental treatment.

Make 2018 the year you finally become smoke-free. Our Lewisburg dental office is here to help you in any way we can. Talk to us about quitting and we can work together to find the tools and program best suited for you.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and surrounding communities.

Thinking About Skipping a Brushing Session? Think Again.

young woman brushing teethAt our dental office in Lewisburg, we always recommend that our patients brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes. Following this routine daily isn’t just good for your oral health, but can benefit your overall health, too. However, if you skip a brushing session altogether or don’t brush thoroughly, your body may be at risk for all sorts of scary problems…

Why Two Minutes?

We aren’t alone in our two minute rule. In fact, the American Dental Association also supports brushing for two minutes every day for good oral and overall health. There’s even plenty of research to back up the claim. According to one study in The Journal of Dental Hygiene, patients who brushed for only 30 seconds removed 55% less plaque than those who committed to the full two minutes. Just imagine what would be left lingering around if you skipped brushing altogether?

What Happens if You Don’t Brush for Two Minutes?

Besides plaque buildup, there are other things in your mouth that can stick around and cause problems if not removed regularly through a proper brushing. For instance, food particles that are left behind can feed bacteria found in the mouth. As this bacteria feeds on these tiny pieces of leftover food, they release acid. Acid will then begin to attack tooth enamel and leave teeth at an increased risk for decay. An overabundance of bacteria can also affect gum health. If not treated, it may cause gum disease.

Why is Gum Disease a Concern?

Gum disease is a serious infection caused by an excess of bacteria. Gum disease affects nearly half of all Americans and can eventually lead to tooth loss. But that’s not all. If gum disease isn’t treated by your dentist in Lewisburg, it can start to put other parts of the body in danger.

  • Heart Health

Numerous studies have found a positive correlation between gum disease and heart disease. In fact, researchers estimate that those who have gum disease are twice as likely to also have heart disease.  

  • Diabetes

People who have diabetes and gum disease are in a unique and dangerous position. Advanced gum disease may cause blood sugar levels to increase, causing diabetic complications.

  • Respiratory Problems

Bronchitis and pneumonia are caused by bacteria that may come from the mouth. So if there’s enough bacteria hanging around to cause gum disease, it can also move throughout the body, into the lungs, and make you sick.

Brushing twice a day for two minutes can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and minimize your risk for gum disease and the whole-body concerns that can go with it. In addition to those four minutes of brushing a day, make sure you also visit our Lewisburg dental office twice a year for an even more thorough cleaning that will not only protect your teeth, but also your overall health.

We’re welcoming new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby neighborhoods.

The Connection Between Gum Disease & Heart Disease

heart health monthDuring this American Heart Health Month, our dental office in Lewisburg wants to do our part and raise awareness of how gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease. While these two areas of the body seem to be unrelated, there’s a clear connection between gum disease and heart health that you need to know about.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious infection that requires a proper diagnosis and early intervention to treat. It’s typically caused by a buildup of plaque that’s not removed through proper brushing and flossing at home. When left on the teeth too long, this plaque builds and transforms into hard tartar. This tartar is impossible to remove on your own and requires a professional dental cleaning. However, if the tartar is not removed, the bacteria within it can move into the gum tissue and cause an infection. This infection can easily progress into gingivitis or periodontitis and may cause tooth loss. But the worries don’t stop in your mouth. In fact, research shows that gum disease has been linked to heart disease.

Heart Disease

Untreated gum disease leaves the infection free to do whatever it wants, including traveling into other areas such as the bloodstream. If this happens, your body responds by producing too much C-reactive protein (CRP). Higher than normal levels of CRP can lead to serious conditions such as:

  • Inflamed arteries
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes  

Recognize the Signs of Gum Disease

Diagnosing gum disease and beginning treatment is key to protecting your mouth and your overall health. To do that, you need to be able to recognize the common signs of gum disease including:

If you notice any of the signs of gum disease, call your dentist in Lewisburg to schedule an appointment.

Besides brushing and flossing every day at home, the best way you can avoid gum disease and protect your heart is to maintain regular dental visits at least twice a year. These appointments can go a long way in keeping you healthy. If it’s time for your bi-annual dental cleaning, give our Lewisburg dental office a call today.

Welcoming new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby communities.

Your Dental Cleaning is Much More Than Simply a Cleaning

man receiving dental cleaningTwice a year (at least) you come to our dental office in Lewisburg for your dental hygiene visit. During this appointment, we’re certainly focused on removing plaque, flossing diligently, and polishing your pearly whites. But what our patients may not know is that your bi-annual cleaning has a much bigger focus than simply getting your teeth clean.

Dental X-Rays Tell a More Detailed Story

Usually at one of your two appointments a year your dental team will take low-radiation, digital x-rays. These images help both your hygienist and dentist in Lewisburg get a much closer and detailed look into your oral health. Dental x-rays help catch any cavities that are not yet large enough for the naked eye to see. This is also when they’re the easiest to treat. The images even allow your dentist to see what’s going on below the gum line and into the jaw bone. X-rays can help diagnose an abscess or the beginning stages of bone deterioration that may affect dental health in the future.  

We Don’t Only Look at Teeth

As hygienists perform their examinations and remove plaque buildup from teeth, they’re also looking for any decay or cavities that should be treated sooner rather than later. But that’s not all. Hygienists and dentists are trained to look for signs of a larger problem that may affect the whole body.

There is a strong correlation between oral health and several systemic diseases such as heart disease, oral cancer, and diabetes. Oftentimes these diseases will first show signs in the mouth. At your bi-annual dental cleaning, your team is looking closely for any signs that may indicate the possibility of any of those problems. Like most health issues, the sooner these are diagnosed properly, the sooner treatment can begin and the more successful it tends to be.

It’s Ok to Ask Questions

We believe in educating our patients, so questions at your appointments are always welcome. Besides, the more knowledgeable you are, the healthier your mouth tends to be. These visits are also an ideal time to talk about any changes you’ve noticed in your oral health, any concerns you may have, or perhaps about cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry that you’ve been considering for awhile.  

At our Lewisburg dental office, we recommend that our patients see us at least twice a year for their dental cleanings to prevent any oral health problems from becoming more difficult to treat if left alone, and ideally to keep them from happening to begin with.

If it’s been more than six months since your last dental appointment, we encourage you to schedule an appointment today.

Welcoming new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport and beyond. 

What is Gum Charting?

young woman in dentist chairGum, or periodontal, charting is when your Lewisburg dentist measures the pockets around each tooth to help evaluate oral health. It’s an important step in diagnosing gum disease and determining how advanced it may be. Periodontal charting can also assist your dental team in recommending an appropriate treatment plan.

How is Periodontal Charting Done?

The process is pretty simple and usually pretty painless, too. The team at our Lewisburg dental office will gently poke the six areas around each tooth to measure the pockets between the gum and tooth. You’ll hear us call out and record numbers, anywhere from 1 to 7, or sometimes more. The numbers are the pocket depth in millimeters.

What Do the Measurements Mean?

You want to hear lower numbers during your periodontal charting. Measurements between 1 and 3 are a sign that your gums are in good health. But, it’s worth noting that even if your pockets are between these ideal depths, if you bleed, it may be a sign of early gum disease. Pockets deeper than 3 millimeters could indicate a stronger likelihood of gum disease, or an advanced stage of it. Anymore than 3 millimeters could mean more serious issues. Check out the ranges and associated concerns below.

  • 3 mm – 5 mm: Gum pockets with measurements that fall within this range is usually a strong indicator of moderate gum disease.
  • 5 mm – 7 mm: Depths between 5 and 7 is almost a guarantee of gum disease. There’s also a risk of bone loss.
  • 7 mm+: Any gum pockets that are 7 millimeters or more is a strong sign of advanced gum disease. Periodontal surgery may be recommended.

Signs of Gum Disease

Periodontal charting is an extremely reliable way to diagnose gum disease, but there are things you can keep an eye out for in between visits.

Gum disease is a serious problem that can lead to tooth loss and, in turn, even more oral health issues. Not only that, gum disease can affect the whole body as well. Recent research shows a link between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It’s not something to be taken lightly, so if you become aware of any potential signs of gum disease, we welcome you to call our dental office in Lewisburg to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to help.

Accepting new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport and beyond.