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Posts for: April, 2020

By Dentistry at Camp Creek
April 27, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Disease  

Bacteria growth is normal in our mouths. The important thing is to keep it in check, otherwise, it will lead to oral health problems like periodontal or gum disease. This, in turn, results in tooth loss and the destruction of the tissues surrounding your teeth. Besides routine checkups and cleanings with your dentist here in Dentistry at Camp Creek in South Atlanta, GA, follow these tips to help keep dental disease away.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Dental disease normally starts with gingivitis or the inflammation of the gums. This progresses to periodontitis or advanced gum disease. Gingivitis does not always turn into periodontitis if the cause of the plaque buildup is addressed early on.

The buildup is responsible for the inflammation of the gums, which is commonly accompanied by bleeding when you brush. At this stage, the teeth are still firmly planted although the gums are irritated. Irreversible tissue or bone damage has not yet taken place so there is still a lot that can be done.

Plaque control is key in reversing gingivitis and preventing periodontitis. The American Dental Association suggests the following guidelines:

A Proper Oral Hygiene Routine

The whole routine consists of brushing, rinsing, and flossing daily. Brush after every meal for at least two minutes each time. You may floss once a day, either before or after brushing. Doing it before brushing loosens particles and bacteria making it easier to brush and rinse it away. An antibacterial mouthwash further reduces plaque-causing bacteria. Keeping up with this routine ensures that your mouth is not conducive to periodontal bacteria growth.

Scheduled Dental Visits

Getting your teeth cleaned professionally at least twice a year reduces the risk of developing periodontitis. Depending on your current oral health condition, you may need more frequent visits to your South Atlanta, GA, dentist. Combining this with your oral hygiene routine further brings down your risk factor for dental disease.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Proper oral hygiene combined with scheduled dental visits could become more effective if you observe some lifestyle changes to boost your health and immunity. These adjustments typically include:

  • Quitting Tobacco Use: This is one of the more significant contributors to periodontitis. The risk factor for smokers is seven times greater compared to non-smokers.
  • Lessening Stress: Being stressed out significantly drops the capability of the immune system to act against infections. Learn to relax no matter what.
  • Eating a Balanced Diet: One of the best ways to boost the immune system is by feeding the body the nutrition it needs. Vitamin E and Vitamin C, in particular, are excellent in repairing damaged tissue. Get more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
  • Drinking Plenty of Water: Drinking water after meals and throughout the day even if you are not thirsty helps to clean the teeth and prevents the mouth from drying up.
  • Avoiding Excessive Force: Grinding and clenching your teeth creates excessive force that increases the rate of destruction of the tissues. It also damages the structure of your teeth.
     

Need More Oral Health Advice? Contact Dr. Travon Holt

Dial (404) 629-9290 to schedule your appointment with our dentist, Dr. Travon Holt and his team at Dentistry at Camp Creek in South Atlanta, GA.


WisdomTeethCanStillbeaProblemfortheWorldsYoungestBillionaire

According to Forbes Magazine, Kylie Jenner is the world's youngest billionaire at age 22. Daughter of Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner and Kris Jenner, Kylie is the founder and owner of the highly successful Kylie Cosmetics, and a rising celebrity in her own right. But even this busy CEO couldn't avoid an experience many young people her age go through each year: having her wisdom teeth removed.

At around 10 million removals each year, wisdom teeth extraction is the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons. Also called the third molars, the wisdom teeth are in the back corners of the jaws, top and bottom. Most people have four of them, but some have more, some have fewer, and some never have any. They're typically the last permanent teeth to come in, usually between ages 17 and 25.

And therein lies the problem with wisdom teeth: Many times, they're coming in late on a jaw already crowded with teeth. Their eruption can cause these other teeth to move out of normal alignment, or the wisdom teeth themselves may not fully erupt and remain fully or partially within the gums (a condition called impaction). All of this can have a ripple effect, decreasing dental function and increasing disease risk.

As Kylie Jenner has just experienced, they're often removed when problems with bite or instances of diseases like tooth decay or gum disease begin to show. But not just when problems show: It's also been a common practice to remove them earlier in a kind of “preemptive strike” against dental dysfunction. But this practice of early wisdom teeth extraction has its critics. The main contention is that early extractions aren't really necessary from a medical or dental standpoint, and so patients are unduly exposed to surgical risks. Although negative outcomes are very rare, any surgical procedure carries some risk.

Over the last few years, a kind of middle ground consensus has developed among dentists on how to deal with wisdom teeth in younger patients. What has emerged is a “watch and wait” approach: Don't advise extraction unless there is clear evidence of developing problems. Instead, continue to monitor a young patient's dental development to see that it's progressing normally.

Taking this approach can lead to fewer early wisdom teeth extractions, which are postponed to a later time or even indefinitely. The key is to always do what's best for a patient's current development and future dental health.

Still, removing wisdom teeth remains a sound practice when necessary. Whether for a high school or college student or the CEO of a large company, wisdom teeth extraction can boost overall dental health and development.

If you would like more information about wisdom teeth and their impact on dental health, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth: To Be or Not to Be?


By Dentistry at Camp Creek
April 12, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: nerve pain  
FacialNervePainCanbeControlled

Every year 150,000 people, mostly women over age 50, find out they have a painful condition called trigeminal neuralgia. For many it begins as an occasional twinge along the face that steadily worsens until the simple act of chewing or speaking, or even a light touch, sets off excruciating pain.

The source of the pain is the pair of trigeminal nerves that course along each side of the face. Each nerve has three separate branches that provide sensation to the upper, middle and lower areas of the face and jaw.

The problem arises when areas of the myelin sheath, a fatty, insulating covering on nerves, becomes damaged, often because of an artery or vein pressing against it. As a result, the nerve can become hypersensitive to stimuli and transmit pain at even the slightest trigger. It may also fail to stop transmitting even after the stimulation that caused it is over.

Although the condition may not always be curable, there are various ways to effectively manage it. The most conservative way is with medications that block the nerve from transmitting pain signals to the brain, coupled with drugs that help stabilize the nerve and decrease abnormal firing.

If medication isn't enough to relieve symptoms, there may be some benefit from more invasive treatments. One technique is to insert a thin needle into the nerve to selectively damage nerve fibers to prevent them from firing. Another microsurgical procedure attempts to relocate the nerve away from a blood vessel that may be compressing it.

The latter procedure has some higher risks such as facial numbness or decreased hearing, and is often better suited for younger patients. Older patients may benefit more from the needle insertion procedure previously mentioned or a directed beam of high-dose radiation to alter the nerve.

To learn the best options for you, you should first undergo a neurological exam to verify you have trigeminal neuralgia and to rule out other causes. From there, you and your doctor can decide the best course of treatment for your age and individual condition.

Trigeminal neuralgia can be an unpleasant experience. But there are tried and true ways to minimize its effect on your life.

If you would like more information on trigeminal neuralgia, 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 “Trigeminal Neuralgia.”


EarlyOrthodonticTreatmentCouldLessenSeverityofCertainBiteProblems

You’ve been concerned for some time about your child’s bite, so you’ve visited an orthodontist for an evaluation. Even though your child is quite young and still with primary teeth, the orthodontist recommends they begin wearing a retainer device, with the possibility of braces in a few years.

That may at first sound like an overly extensive treatment plan. For certain bite problems, however, undergoing an early stage of orthodontic treatment could reduce or even eliminate the need for more advanced and costly treatment later.

An example of such a problem is a crossbite, also known as an underbite. With this type of malocclusion (bad bite) the lower front teeth bite in front of the upper front teeth rather than behind them as in a normal bite relationship. Because the teeth and jaws are still in development (including the primary teeth, which are preparing the path for the permanent teeth erupting later), wearing a retainer device could exert just enough pressure to influence the teeth toward a better alignment.

In essence, the goal of early orthodontic treatment is to intercept a bite problem ahead of time and prevent it from becoming a more serious one later. If early treatment isn’t undertaken or delayed until after the eruption of the permanent teeth, it will be much more difficult, if not impossible, to correct the malocclusion. Even if the initial treatment doesn’t correct the problem it could at least lessen its severity so that future treatment like braces or clear aligners can correct it with less difficulty and cost.

By getting an early start on bite problems, you’ll increase the chances your child will achieve an optimum bite when they reach adulthood. Not only will this enhance their appearance, it will greatly benefit their overall health and mouth function. In these cases, early orthodontic treatment could make all the difference in the world.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment for children, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Preventative & Cost Saving Orthodontics.”


















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