Posts for: April, 2020
Preventative dentistry is the key to keeping good oral hygiene. After all. it's all about the habits you choose to adopt with the help of your family dentist, Dr. Rosanne Palermo, of Erie, PA.
Preventing Dental Disease
Preventative dentistry isn't just at your dentist's office—you also play a very important role in protecting your oral health. Make sure you maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. Brushing and flossing daily will go a long way, as they remove dental plaque responsible for dental disease, tooth loss, and gum disease. Brush twice a day, at least, and floss once before bed, minimum. Drink plenty of water to wash away food debris and avoid sugary foods and beverages that replenish bacteria.
Preventive Dentistry Procedures at our Office
Professional Dental Cleanings: This is when your dentist removes disease-causing dental plaque and calculus (tartar) from teeth.
Oral Cancer Screenings: The best way to prevent oral cancer is through early detection during regular dental exams.
X-Rays: This is part of a regular dental exam helps your Erie family dentist discover diseases not visible to the naked eye like hard-to-see tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental Sealants: This transparent plastic coating fills tiny grooves in teeth to prevent bacterial growth and cavity production.
Fluoride: This mineral already exists in teeth, and it makes them stronger, more decay-resistant, can even reverse cavity formation. Fluoride is found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and drinking water.
Laser Decay Diagnosis: This procedure is used for early detection to prevent full-blown cavities from forming.
Mouthguards: These mouthguards absorb and distribute forces of impact and minimize trauma on hard and soft tissues of the mouth.
Would You Like to Learn More About Preventative Dentistry Procedures?
If you'd like to speak with your family dentist, Dr. Rosanne M. Palermo, in Erie, PA, make sure you contact her at (814) 833-3001 to learn more.
Celebrities’ controversial actions and opinions frequently spark fiery debates on social media. But actress Dakota Johnson lit a match to online platforms in a seemingly innocent way—through orthodontics.
This summer she appeared at the premier of her film The Peanut Butter Falcon missing the trademark gap between her front teeth. Interestingly, it happened a little differently than you might think: Her orthodontist removed a permanent retainer attached to the back of her teeth, and the gap closed on its own.
Tooth gaps are otherwise routinely closed with braces or other forms of orthodontics. But, as the back and forth that ensued over Johnson’s new look shows, a number of people don’t think that’s a good idea: It’s not just a gap—it’s your gap, a part of your own uniqueness.
Someone who might be sympathetic to that viewpoint is Michael Strahan, a host on Good Morning America. Right after the former football star began his NFL career, he strongly considered closing the noticeable gap between his two front teeth. In the end, though, he opted to keep it, deciding it was a defining part of his appearance.
But consider another point of view: If it truly is your gap (or whatever other quirky smile “defect” you may have), you can do whatever you want with it—it really is your choice. And, on that score, you have options.
You can have a significant gap closed with orthodontics or, if it’s only a slight gap or other defect, you can improve your appearance with the help of porcelain veneers or crowns. You can also preserve a perceived flaw even while undergoing cosmetic enhancements or restorations. Implant-supported replacement teeth, for example, can be fashioned to retain unique features of your former smile like a tooth gap.
If you’re considering a “smile makeover,” we’ll blend your expectations and desires into the design plans for your future smile. In the case of something unique like a tooth gap, we’ll work closely with dental technicians to create restorations that either include or exclude the gap or other characteristics as you wish.
Regardless of the debate raging on social media, the final arbiter of what a smile should look like is the person wearing it. Our goal is to make sure your new smile reflects the real you.
If you would like more information about cosmetically enhancing your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Space Between Front Teeth” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
Do you have missing teeth? You're not alone. Millions of Americans are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. Tooth loss isn't just a cosmetic problem. but can also cause a few other issues. Fortunately, your Erie, PA, dentist, Dr. Roseanne Palermo, can help you restore missing teeth and improve your appearance with dental implants.
How tooth loss affects you
Losing one or more teeth can cause these issues:
- Decreased Confidence: Without a full smile, you may no longer feel that you look your best. Concerns about your appearance may prompt you to turn down social invitations or try new things. In some cases, missing teeth may even affect your job prospects.
- Shifting Teeth: When you lose one or more teeth, your remaining teeth may drift in an attempt to fill the gap in your smile. Shifting teeth not only affect your appearance but may also change your bite, the way your upper and lower teeth fit together.
- More Cavities: If your teeth begin to overlap due to shifting, you may find it difficult to remove plaque from the overlapping areas.
- Trouble Chewing: Tooth loss makes chewing and biting challenging, even if you've only lost one tooth. When you've lost several teeth, you may not able to chew food completely before swallowing, which may cause an upset stomach. Although eating a soft diet may seem like a good compromise, you may not get the nutrients you need to stay healthy if your diet isn't well-rounded.
- Difficulty Speaking Clearly: Your teeth, tongue and lips work together when you make sounds. When several teeth are missing, it may be difficult to correctly pronounce words and sounds.
- Jawbone Resorption: Jawbone resorption, or shrinking, can occur after tooth loss. The condition can eventually cause teeth to loosen and may contribute to facial sagging.
Dental implants offer a long-lasting restoration option
Dental implants rebuild your lost teeth from top to bottom. Implants are small posts added to your jawbone during minor oral surgery in Erie. The posts serve as replacement roots and are made of titanium, a metal that bonds to bones.
Connecting dental crowns to the tops of implants restore your lost teeth and improve your appearance and biting ability. Since dental implants are firmly attached to your jawbone just like natural roots, you won't experience any decrease in biting power. Implants also prevent shifting teeth and jawbone resorption and help you avoid speech difficulties.
No matter how many teeth you've lost, dental implants offer an effective way to complete your smile.
Are you ready to restore your smile with dental implants? Call your dentist in Erie, PA, Dr. Palermo, at (814) 833-3001 to learn more.
If you're over 30 your chances for developing periodontal (gum) disease are better than half. And it's not a minor matter—untreated gum disease can lead not only to tooth loss, but to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory conditions.
Fortunately, we have effective ways to treat gum disease, even in advanced stages. But the best approach by far in avoiding a devastating outcome for your teeth is to prevent gum disease from developing in the first place.
It helps first to know how gum disease begins. The most common cause is dental plaque, a thin biofilm of food particles on tooth surfaces that harbors the bacteria that triggers the disease. If you keep your teeth clean of built-up plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings, you'll minimize the growth of disease-causing bacteria.
If you don't practice effective oral hygiene, however, within a few days you could develop an initial infection called gingivitis. This form affects the outermost layers of the gums and triggers a defensive response from the body known as inflammation. Ordinarily, inflammation helps protect surrounding tissues from infection spread, but it can damage your gums if it becomes chronic. Your weakened gums may begin to detach from the teeth, forming voids filled with inflammation known as periodontal pockets. Eventually, the infection can spread to the supporting bone and lead to tooth loss.
In addition to a dedicated oral hygiene and dental care program, you should also be on the lookout for early signs of gingivitis. Infected gums can become red, swollen and tender to the touch. You may notice they bleed easily while brushing and flossing, or a foul taste or breath that won't go away even after brushing. And if some of your teeth feel loose or don't seem to bite together as they used to, this is a sign of advanced gum disease that deserves your dentist's immediate attention.
Practicing preventive hygiene is the best way to stop gum disease before it starts. But if gum disease does happen, catching it early can be a game-changer, both for your teeth and your smile.
If you would like more information on preventing and treating gum disease, 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 “How Gum Disease Gets Started.”
Fluoride has been proven to strengthen tooth enamel against decay. That’s why it’s not only added to toothpaste and other dental products, but also to drinking water — in nearly three-quarters of U.S. water systems.
While research has eased most serious health questions about fluoride, there remains one moderate concern. Too much fluoride over time, especially in infants and young children, could lead to “enamel fluorosis,” an excess of fluoride in the tooth structure that can cause spotting or streaking in the enamel. While often barely noticeable, some cases of fluorosis can produce dark staining and a pitted appearance. Although not a symptom of disease, fluorosis can create a long-term cosmetic concern for the person.
To minimize its occurrence, children under the age of 9 shouldn’t regularly ingest fluoride above of the recommended level of 0.70 ppm (parts per million). In practical terms, you as a parent should monitor two primary sources of fluoride intake: toothpaste and drinking water.
Young children tend to swallow toothpaste rather than spit it out after brushing, which could result in too much fluoride ingestion if the amount is too great. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry therefore recommends a small “smear” of toothpaste for children under two, and a pea-sized amount for children up to age six. Brushing should also be limited to no more than two times a day.
Your child or infant could also take in too much fluoride through fluoridated drinking water, especially if you’re using it to mix infant formula. You should first find out the fluoride levels in your local water system by contacting the utility or the health department. If your system is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “My Water’s Fluoride” program, you may be able to access that information on line at //apps.nccd.cdc.gov/MWF/Index.asp.
If the risk for developing fluorosis in your area is high, you can minimize your infant’s intake with a few recommendations: breastfeed rather than use formula; use “ready-to-feed” formula that doesn’t need mixing and contains lower fluoride levels; and use bottled water specifically labeled “de-ionized,” “purified,” “de-mineralized,” or “distilled.”
Fluoride can be a wonderful adjunct to dental care in reducing risk for tooth decay. Keeping an eye on how much fluoride your child takes in can also minimize the chance of future appearance problems.
If you would like more information on the possible effects of fluoride on young children, 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 “Tooth Development and Infant Formula.”