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Periodontics & Implantology Blog

Latest news and info on what's happening at San Antonio Periodontics and Implants.

Reasons to Replace a Missing Tooth

Reasons to Replace a Missing Tooth

Many people don’t want to admit — and therefore refuse to deal with — that they have a missing tooth or missing teeth. There seems to be a level of shame associated with losing adult teeth, but this phenomenon is common and not shameful. The truth is, most adults have lost at least one tooth — 1/4 of people over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth, nearly 70 percent of people aged 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth, and tooth loss results from a number of factors ranging from injury to gum disease.

What we’re trying to say is that losing teeth is a reality for many adults, and the real problem isn’t the lost tooth itself, but not doing something to fix it. Still not convinced? We invite you to read on to learn why you really should replace your missing teeth.

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Dentures vs Dental Implants: Find Out the Pros and Cons of Both

Dentures vs Dental Implants: Find Out the Pros and Cons of Both

So, you’re missing some teeth. Despite the stigma surrounding this phenomenon, it is actually fairly common for adults to be missing some or all of their teeth. Don’t believe us? Well, nearly 70 percent of people aged 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth, and 1 in 4 people over 74 years of age are missing all of their teeth. The numbers don’t lie. It is important to recognize and address the issue of tooth loss, finding a solution that works for you and your needs. Tooth loss is nothing to be ashamed of, but neglecting to address the problem of missing teeth can have some very bad impacts on your oral and overall health.

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How Orthodontics Affect Dental Implants

How Orthodontics Affect Dental Implants

Many people are choosing to undergo orthodontic work as adults, and a natural byproduct is that they are being given the complicated task of figuring out how to navigate the relationship between orthodontics and dental implants. So, are implants compatible with orthodontic work? The answer is... sometimes. It’s all up to your unique situation. We here at San Antonio Periodontics and Dental Implants want to help guide you in all of your dental endeavors, so we’re giving you some general best practices when it comes to navigating complex task of mixing orthodontics and dental implants.

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How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health

How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health

There are a lot of reasons to be on top of your oral health — and especially your gum health. The obvious reason is that, as you get older, you become more and more vulnerable to periodontitis. This is an advanced gum disease that can cause bone and tissue deterioration and, if left untreated, tooth loss. You become more vulnerable to periodontitis with age; according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, an estimated 1 in 7 adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have some form of gum disease, and that amount rises to 1 in 4 adults by the time you reach the age of 65. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology has stated that 20 to 30 percent of adults have gum disease that puts them at risk of tooth loss. To sum it up: gum disease is no joke!

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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

This is a good question and one that you should investigate before making the sizable investment of dental implants.  Not everyone’s results are the same, so consulting with your dental professional and diagnosing your particular needs are necessary when making important decisions about your dental health.

Modern dental implants have been a successful option for over 30 years.  They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.

Paired with the proper dental implant surgery, performed by an experienced dental implant professional, and a daily regimen of adequate flossing and brushing, your implant can potentially last a lifetime. With normal wear and tear, a crown or replacement tooth may last for about 10-15 years.  Excellent dental hygiene could extend this beyond 15 years.

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Gum Recession? Did You Know They Don’t Grow Back? Tips to Avoid Gum Recession

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Gum Recession is a bigger problem than most people think. A startling 88% of people age 65 and older have receding gums, and left untreated, there can be severe consequences. Gum recession happens when your gums become infected and start to pull back from your teeth. Maybe this sounds like a minor issue at first, but eventually your gums will expose your tooth’s roots, which leaves you dangerously vulnerable to infection and can even lead to tooth loss. Even scarier, is in most cases when gum tissue has pulled back and receded from around teeth, gums do not grow back.  But it’s not all bad news; you can stop and gum recession, but to do that, you have to know what to look for. For that you’ll find a few tips below. For more advanced dental care needs you may need our professional help with a scaling and root planing procedure.

Gum recession has very subtle signs. In fact, the signs are so innocuous that they often go unnoticed, so it’s important to be vigilant; catching on early can mean the difference between successful or unsuccessful recovery.

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What is All-On-4?

Tooth loss is more common among adults than you might think; more than 35 million people in the United States are missing some or all of their teeth. Therefore, if, as an older American you are dealing with tooth loss, don’t feel alone or out of options.

“But wait,” you might be thinking. “I don’t want to be stuck with the hassle of dentures for the rest of my life!”It’s true that many people report that life with dentures is full of strain and discomfort, especially when dentures rely on the support of something as unstable, tender and movable as your gum tissue. Luckily for you, dentures are by no means your only option.

So, what if we told you that you can replace a whole arch of teeth with only four dental implants? And what if we told you that you could have a whole new smile in a mere day? No, it’s not too good to be true — all of this and more is possible with all-on-4 dental implants!

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How to Clean Your Dental Implants

A large number of Americans are getting dental implants and that number is only growing with each year. While implants offer many solutions to periodontal complications and tooth damage, they also present the possibility for further gum-health issues. That means that if you’re going to get implants, you cannot slack off on your dental hygiene; in fact, you must be even more diligent about keeping your mouth clean and bacteria free. 

You’re going to want to listen to us about this one — if you start to get lazy about your implant maintenance, you might leave yourself vulnerable to peri-implantitis. And yes, this infection is every bit as scary as its name makes it sound — it’s basically a big word for something that you never, ever want to happen to you. Peri-implantitis is an infection that causes inflammation in the gums around your dental implant and could lead to implant failure. If you’re thinking to yourself, “that could never happen to me,” you’re sadly mistaken. The truth is that this infection affects about 43% of those with implants. We know that you don’t want to be a part of that statistic, and you won’t be if you take the proper steps to keep your implants clean.

There is good news: cleaning your dental implants is not so different from cleaning your natural teeth. You’ve already had a life’s worth of practice — you brush your teeth every day! You’re already the expert at keeping your teeth clean, and it only takes a few extra steps to keep your implants clean. A small amount of extra effort toward your dental routine can go a long way toward ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your dental implants. 

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Gum Disease: Five Warning Signs That You Need to See a Periodontist

 

In today’s day and age of health and wellness, we tend to be more concerned about our mental and physical well-being, completely dismissing our dental health.  Did you know that both gingivitis and periodontitis have been shown to raise your risk of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer?  Understanding the symptoms and receiving proper treatment will help decrease those risks and result in overall better health.

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Connecting Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s

Is there a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s? Can taking care of your gums and teeth also help protect your brain?  Studies show that there is a modest connection, but researchers are being cautiously optimistic before making conclusive statements.

As Alzheimer’s afflicts millions of our loved ones - more than 3 million US cases per year, many of us try to understand why and how this happens.  New research has found a link between gum disease, dementia and the bacterium found in both infected gums and brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients.

A study published last year in the journal Science Advances, found that people with chronic gum disease for 10 years or more had a 70 percent higher risk of Alzheimer’s than those without gum disease.

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Halloween Treats Ranked from Spookiest to Healthiest for your Teeth

Halloween Treats Ranked from Spookiest to Healthiest for your Teeth

It’s almost Halloween, and you’re probably geared up for all sorts of spooky stuff, like witches, goblins, ghosts and ghouls. There’s one thing, however, that’s scarier than all the rest: Halloween candy. We know what you’re thinking, “Halloween candy isn’t scary, SA Perio!” Maybe it isn’t by itself, but once those sugary treats enter your mouth, they create a phenomenon that is spookier than the most daunting haunted house. We promise, this isn’t a trick to scare you out of enjoying Halloween treats. We still want you to have fun this October 31st, so we’re going to help you to indulge responsibly using our list of treats ranked from spookiest to healthiest for your teeth and gums.

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Why Should You Bother With Good Oral Hygiene?

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It seems like every day the public gets bombarded with tips and suggestions on how to be healthier. And sometimes, just when you’ve gotten into a new “healthier” regimen, the news comes out that new studies suggest that particular regimen isn’t so healthy after all! So, when your dental professional tells you that good oral hygiene is important to your health, you may be asking why.

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Start the School Year Off Right With Good Dental Habits

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Even though it seems like summer has just gotten started, the reality is that many children and teens will head back to school in a month or less. As you are probably aware, good oral hygiene habits need to be encouraged and started early in life to avoid serious dental problems down the road. But can you do anything besides policing the recommended twice daily brushing and flossing? Yes, as a parent or guardian, you sure can!

But First… When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), ideally you should take your child to the dentist when the first tooth appears or by their first birthday. Here’s a startling statistic – according to the AAPD, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease!  This is almost entirely preventable by early starting and maintaining of good oral habits.

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Are Scaling and Root Planing Necessary For Me?

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Many people believe that dental work is painful, but with today’s technology and knowledge, beneficial dental work will most likely cause only minor discomfort, in most cases. At San Antonio Periodontics & Implants, our staff is trained to be gentle and to make sure your experience with us is as comfortable as possible.

Scaling and root planing, while sounding a little scary, is actually a very beneficial procedure that can help you keep your teeth is the best of shape. Scaling and root planing is not a surgical procedure, but more of a deep cleaning that is necessary when harmful bacteria-caused plaque begins to threaten your healthy teeth and gums.

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Have a Happy, Healthy Smile With Good Diet

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Today’s typical American diet carries much of the blame for tooth decay. Back in the 1930s, a Cleveland dentist undertook a study to compare the diets of isolated Australian Aborigines, remote tribes in Africa, Canadian Indians and isolated groups of Eskimos and found they had no tooth decay. Once exposed to modern foods and food habits, there was a rapid loss of immunity to tooth decay. At San Antonio Periodontics & Implants, we want your teeth and oral health to be the best it can be.

We Are What We Eat

We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. First coined in 1826 in French, the term simply means that in order to be fit and healthy – and that includes oral health – you need to eat good food. It’s always possible to change your eating habits and become a healthier consumer. It’s better to start children at a young age on a path of lifetime healthy eating habits.

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When Periodontal Surgery is the Right Call

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Nobody really wants to hear that they need dental surgery. And when the surgery is associated with correcting things with scary-sounding names, like gingivitis and periodontitis, it can be even worse. 

At San Antonio Periodontics and Implants, we understand that the prospect of surgery can be scary. Our professional staff, Dr. Steven Maller and Dr. William Stalker, are experienced and caring. You’ll find that we can make your experience with dental surgery a less scary idea.

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Caring For Dental Implants

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What Are Dental Implants?

Before we get into how to care for dental implants, why don’t we start with the basics. You probably have a vague conception of dental implants and their function, but what are they really? 

Endosteal vs Subperiosteal

There are two types of dental implants: endosteal implants, which are implanted right into the jawbone, and subperiosteal implants, which include a metal frame that is attached and fitted to the jawbone, eventually becoming fixed to it. Like endosteal implants, artificial teeth are mounted to posts that are attached to the frame. We know this all sounds very technical and intimidating, but don’t worry. These false teeth are designed to appear and function just like natural teeth! 

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Guidelines to Help You Choose the Right Toothpaste

SAPerio_ToothpasteBlog

Did you know that people have been brushing their teeth since 3500-3000 BC? History actually confirms that Babylonians and Egyptians used a twig with a frayed end to “brush” their teeth. “Toothsticks” have been found alongside their owners in tombs. The Chinese also started “brushing” their teeth around 1600 BC, by using aromatic tree twigs to freshen their breath.

You might be interested to learn that the first “toothpastes” used were varied and included powdered ox hooves’ ashes, burnt eggshells, crushed bones, oyster shells, powdered charcoal and bark, ginseng, herbal mints and salt. Although today’s toothpastes don’t generally use those ingredients (whew), the reasons why ancient cultures brushed their teeth – and why it’s important for you to brush yours – contain some of the same reasons: keeping teeth and gums clean, whitening teeth and freshening breath.

These ancient peoples faced some pretty tough challenges, but they didn’t have to face the challenge of walking into the toothpaste aisle at the grocery store or drugstore and being faced down by a huge variety of toothpastes – all touting their reasons why you should pick them. So how do you choose a toothpaste for you and your family? There are some simple things to keep in mind as you decide. Remember, teeth should be brushed at a minimum twice a day for two minutes each time.

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The All-On-4 Procedure Explained

The All-On-4 Procedure Explained

Pro football player and now television celebrity Michael Strahan sports a huge gap between his front teeth that has become a trademark for him. And while Michael can carry this off, most normal people feel self-conscious when they have large gaps or missing teeth. Missing teeth can cause gaps in the remaining teeth. Not only can missing teeth realign remaining teeth in unattractive ways, they can also cause problems with chewing, leading some to nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, tooth loss commonly causes loss of bone density and gum tissue.

There are several options when missing teeth become a problem – and it’s not an uncommon problem. According to the American Dental Association, the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth. When addressing missing teeth, you and your periodontist may have several choices, depending on your situation.

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Flossing vs. Water Flossing

Flossing vs. Water Flossing

Flossing: the bane of human existence. We’ve all been there (aside from a few outliers who actually have their lives together), laid back in a dental chair, bright light shining in your face. Maybe you’re wearing awkward sunglasses, maybe you’re not, but you feel that stinging in your gums as your dentist pokes you with a metal tool. Then they’re looking down at you with that face, telling you that your gums wouldn’t be bleeding if you would just floss more! Maybe you floss every once in a while, maybe you do it every single day or maybe you don’t do it at all.  

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