Friday, December 7, 2018

Ending The Year With A Smile: The Dental Connection!

Although people have been ushering in the New Year for centuries, it did not become an official holiday until 1582 by Pope George XIII.  At midnight, people were instructed to yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so that the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity.  Nearly 500 years later, the New Year is still greeted by whooping and hollering but in a celebratory manner instead!

No manner what your New Year's plans may be, remember to be safe as you end the end with a smile!

God Bless,

Friday, November 2, 2018

Postmenopause: The Dental Connection!

A new study suggests that postmenopausal women are not only at a high risk for broken bones, but are also at an increased risk for gum disease.

The research included almost 200 women, aged 51 to 80.  They had all gone through menopause within the last 10 years, did not smoke and had not taken any hormone replacement therapy, bone loss prevention drugs or diabetes medications for at least five years.

The women's gums were examined and their fracture risk was assessed on a Fracture Assessment Risk Tool (FRAX), which takes into account factors such as weight, height, previous fractures, arthritis, smoking and diabetes.

The researchers noted that many of those factors are also associated with gum disease!

Women with high fracture risk scores also showed the strongest signs of gum disease, a finding that suggests that fracture risk could be a reliable indicator of gum disease, according to the study published in the journal Menopause.

While more investigations are needed, the FRAX tool score can potentially be used as a way to find women at risk for gum disease. Although health insurance does not cover dental procedures, researchers are now suggesting that there should be coverage for gum disease because of its link to a woman's overall health.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, October 5, 2018

Tannic Acid: The Dental Connection!

Although Coffee and Tea are two of the most common drinks in the world, most people do not realize that they can be very tough on your teeth.  Tannic acid, the substance that makes these popular drinks dark, etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel. This is how coffee and tea can transform your teeth from white to tan and in may areas, black!

So, if you can't give up that morning cup o'joe, check out the following tips to reduce their impact on your teeth.

  • Rinse with a glass of water after every cup
  • Drink iced coffee or tea with a straw

Even if you are not a big coffee or tea drinker, swishing you mouth out with plain water after every meal can help to neutralize the cavity causing acids that are left in your mouth.  If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, August 27, 2018

Smoking: The Dental Connection!

Although everyone is likely to know that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and emphysema, most people may not realize that cigarettes can have an impact on your smile! Chronic smokers suffer from increased dental problems that can make their smiles unsightly.  Understanding how smoking affects your oral health may provide the momentum that you need to kick the habit for good.

Cosmetic Changes Associated With Smoking

Cigarettes contain more than 600 ingredients that, when lit, create in excess of 4,000 chemicals.  Of these, many are known to be carcinogens while others have been shown to have serious negative effects on health.  The nicotine and tar in all tobacco products are absorbed by the enamel of your teeth.  The result is yellowed teeth that look unsightly; with heavy smoking, your teeth may eventually turn nearly brown in color.  Smoking is also associated with a build-up of tartar and plaque on the surface of your teeth.  Over time, this increases your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems.  Furthermore, pursing your lips while smoking, leads to wrinkles around your mouth, which detracts from your smile.

Electronic Cigarettes or "Vaping"

The verdict is still out on whether the newest craze of electronic cigarettes is a "safe" alternative to smoking.  Early studies are suggesting that the heating elements used to aerosolize the glycol into a vapor, deposit metals into the vapor, that when inhaled, are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.  Also, the water vapor that is being expressed from the process has been shown to be absorbed as "second-hand" smoke into the by-standers that are not using the product.  If the electronic cigarettes are utilizing a nicotine cartridge, then that means that the non-vaping individuals inhaling the vapors can be exposed to the drug nicotine.  Early studies have shown significant amounts of nicotine in their bloodstreams as well.  Finally, many of the flavored vapors may have added sweeteners that can contribute to tooth decay.  Since all of these e-cigarettes are NOT regulated by the FDA, more research studies are required and patients need to be very cautious.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, August 3, 2018

Sealants: The Dental Connection!

School will be starting soon and keeping your child's teeth in their best possible condition will help them maintain optimum oral health for the rest of their lives.  When brushing and flossing isn't enough, we may suggest placing a dental sealant on your child's teeth. Children who have dental sealants can decrease their chance of tooth decay by 60%!  Sealants are a safe, painless, and effective way to ensure your child's dental health for years to come.

Dental sealants work by providing a protective shield over the tiny grooves and depressions that are found on the chewing surfaces of teeth.  While brushing and flossing are still essential even if a tooth has received a dental sealant, this coating will help the vulnerable areas be less likely to develop decay by "sealing out" plaque and food debris.

If we think that a sealant would be a good option for your child, a simple office visit is all that it takes.  One of our friendly clinical staff members will thoroughly clean your child's teeth before applying the white liquid-plastic material to the tooth's surface.  While sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to ten years, they will be checked for chipping or wear at each regular dental check-up at Thomas Family Dentistry!

If you have any questions or need an appointment, call us at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, July 20, 2018

Wisdom Teeth: The Dental Connection!

No one ever seems to wake up one day and decide that there's nothing else better to do than to have their wisdom teeth removed! However, since wisdom teeth generally begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, many patients may need to consider their removal for many reasons, including pain, infection, or growth issues. Check out the list below that reviews the most common issues associated with wisdom teeth.

  • Overcrowding
    • Many patients have smaller mouths and jaws, which do not allow room for the third molars (wisdom teeth) to grow in properly. If these teeth do erupt, overcrowding can occur.  Your teeth can begin to shift or overlap each other.   Wisdom teeth that erupt after orthodontic care is completed can cause the teeth to shift and negate the work performed.
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth
    • When wisdom teeth are impacted, they are trapped below your gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very painful and may be prone to abscess and infection.  The impaction can also lead to decay and resorption of healthy teeth.
  • Decay
    • Even if wisdom teeth grow in properly, their location makes it very hard to care for.  Statistically, there is an increased risk for decay and gum disease the closer any tooth is to your throat due to access for home care as well an increase also occurs the older one becomes.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, June 29, 2018

July 4th, 2018!

Once again it's the season when Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of our country and its independence on the Fourth of July! There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends.  For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while others it is all about the beach and barbecues.  However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area. Furthermore, no matter how or where you celebrate this year, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our great country!

God Bless,

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Smile Protection: The Dental Connection!

If you participate in sports or other physical activities, it is wise to consider getting a mouthguard.  Also known as mouth protectors, mouthguards are a device worn over the teeth to lessen the impact of a blow to the face.

This reduces the chance that you might lose teeth or sustain other serious oral injuries.  It is recommended that all patients involved in a contact sport such as wrestling, football, basketball, or hockey wear a mouthguard because of the high risk of such injuries.

However, anyone involved in a physically demanding sport or activity should wear a mouthguard as well.  Can you imagine what it would be like to lose a few of your front teeth?  The way that you talk, eat, and smile would all change.  Potential injuries when you don't wear a mouthguard include chipped and broken teeth, fractured jaws, root damage, damage to crowns and bridgework, concussions, and/or injury to the lips, cheeks, or gums.

There are different kinds of mouthguards - typically made of a soft plastic material or laminate.   You can decide which works best for you in terms of budget, fit, and comfort.

STOCK MOUTHGUARDS are fabricated to a standard size.  They offer adequate protection, but you need to make sure that you find one that fits properly and comfortably.  Stock mouthguards are readily available at department stores, sporting goods stores, and online.

BOIL-AND-BITE MOUTHGUARDS are placed in boiling water to soften them, then into the mouth so they can conform to the shape of the teeth.  Boil-and-bite mouthguards are more expensive, but offer a more customized fit than stock ones.  You can find these in department stores, pharmacies, sporting good stores, and online.

CUSTOM-MADE MOUTHGUARDS are created and are a custom fit for your mouth and teeth. These offer the best fit and comfort of all of the options, but since they are usually the most expensive, we have decided to reduce the usual fee associated with the custom guards because the importance of guard in providing safety for your teeth truly outweighs the cost of the appliance.

The American Dental Association says a good mouthguard should be easy to clean, fit properly, be comfortable, and resist tearing or damage.  It should also not restrict speech or breathing.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 20, 2018

FIVE: The Dental Connection!

Most people know when they have a cavity because they can see it visually or by the sensation of discomfort! But there are certain things that many patients don't know about cavities that could save them from a trip for another dental restoration! Check out these FIVE things that can be associated with an elevated risk for cavities.

    • It is quite well known that eating dietary sugars in excess along with poor dental hygiene leads to dental decay such as cavities.  This is due to the fact that the bacteria in your mouth feed on these sugars and excrete acids as a byproduct of that process, which causes decay.  But xylitol, a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn, actually prevents bacteria from converting sugar into acids.
    • Xylitol is available in the form of gum, mints, toothpaste, and even in a granulated form much like cane sugar.  You might consider trying some xylitol products between meals to keep your mouth clean and fresh.
    • Are you a grazer, always snacking between meals?  It is now known that this kind of eating can contribute to cavities and other oral health problems.
    • Every time you eat anything with carbohydrates in it, you are feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn produce acids.  Constantly eating or sipping on sugar laden beverages does not allow your saliva time to bring the pH of your mouth back into a more alkaline, neutral state.  It takes about 20 minutes to neutralize the acids in your mouth after eating.
    • Although most patients are aware of the need to brush their teeth to prevent dental decay, many people view flossing as a technique that solely prevents gum disease.  While flossing does decrease the incidence of gum disease, it is also one of the easiest and best ways to remove food debris that remains between your teeth, which the bacteria convert to acid.  Brushing alone, does NOT remove any bacteria where the teeth contact.
    • The saliva is the best defense against tooth decay!  Saliva has a neutralizing effect on the acids that the bacteria produce.  So, if you have a dry mouth from either medications, medical conditions, or simple aging, it is best to sip on plain water.  Xylitol mints, gum or products like Biotene can also help with salivary production and lubrication.  Unfortunately, a dry mouth can quickly lead to non-restorable root decay!
    • Brushing like a construction worker with a jackhammer can cause more harm than good!  Brushing too hard can actually thin your teeth's enamel over time, which can leave them more susceptible to decay.   While it is now believed that it takes a full two minutes of correct brushing to remove the sticky bacterial film coating that forms daily on your teeth, most people brush for 30-45 seconds once daily.  The key is to brush longer, NOT harder for a full two minutes twice daily! 

If you have any questions or are in need a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 6, 2018

Implants: Now & Later: The Dental Connection!

Implants are a common replacement option utilized in modern dentistry these days. However, the dental profession is strongly based on the notion that prevention is the best remedy! For instance, flossing daily helps reduce the risks for gum disease and cavities between the teeth.  And, brushing two minutes twice daily, decreases the overall bacterial count in the mouth, which also reduces the risks for tooth decay. With Prevention as the key...


If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Your Heart: The Dental Connection!

To celebrate American Heart Month this February, we pause and look at the recent studies that have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, which underscores the importance of good oral health.

Cardiovascular disease remains American's leading killer, claiming more lives than all other major causes of death, according to the American Heart Association.  Not surprisingly, an estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.

Studies suggest that people with gum disease are believed to have an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke.  Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, regular dental visits can help detect early warning signs of heart issues, prevent gum disease, or at the very least catch it at its early stage.

Know your numbers:

Blood pressure: less than 120/80
Cholesterol: less than 200
BMI: less than 25
Healthy Periodontal Pocket Range: 1-4MM

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Periodontal Prevention: The Dental Connection!

Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent health issues in America, with the Center for Disease Control reporting that it affects approximately 65 million people, or roughly 47 percent of the population. People with periodontal disease have bacteria beneath the surface of the gums, which are responsible for tissue inflammation that can lead to pain, bleeding, gum recession, and even permanent tooth loss.  Unfortunately, the chances of developing gingivitis and periodontitis only increase with age, with 70 percent of adults over the age of 65 having at least some degree of gum disease.  However, a lot can be done to prevent periodontal disease and keep teeth and gums healthy.

Daily Hygiene.  The process you take each day to clean your teeth and gums goes a long way towards preventing periodontal disease.  Since gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by plaque build-up, the most important steps you can take to prevent them involve cleaning your teeth each morning, night and 20 minutes after meals.  Start by brushing your teeth and tongue, and follow up with mouthwash to kill any lingering bacteria.  At least once per day, take time to floss throughly along the gum line to prevent gum infections from occurring in between the teeth.

Periodontal Exams.  In addition to caring for your teeth and gums at home, it is also important to have comprehensive dental exams.  Our dental team can detect gingivitis in its earliest stages and treat it before it has a chance to progress.  Although everyone needs periodic periodontal exams, some people with certain risk factors may required them more often.  Examples include individuals who smoke or have a personal family history of gum disease.

Treatment.  If you suspect that you may be experiencing the warning signs of periodontal disease, it is important that you have an assessment as soon as possible.  Symptoms may include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, gum recession, pockets that have formed between the teeth and the gums, and even tooth loss.  If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, treatments are available to help restore your oral health depending on how advanced the gum disease may have progressed.  For example, gingivitis may require only a thorough cleaning and topical antibiotic.  On the other hand, periodontal disease that has been allowed to progress may require scaling and root planing, and in some cases, surgery to prevent tooth, bone, and gum loss.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, January 26, 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Dental Connection!

Researchers have new evidence that suggests that microorganisms responsible for chronic inflammatory gingival infections may also trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  The latest research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore has implications for prevention and treatment of RA.  The findings point to a certain oral bacteria as causing a cascade of inflammatory events, which links the periodontal infection to the autoimmunity in RA.

Periodontal disease and RA may be closely associated, as researchers feel that common factors may link the conditions.  The John Hopkins team discovered that a process found in the joints of patients with RA was also noted in the gingiva of patients with periodontitis.  Furthermore, the oral bacteria in periodontitis that is responsible for the inflammatory cascade, is the only pathogen that could trigger the process that attacks tissues.

Prevention of all forms of gum disease is the key.  Regular cleanings and early treatment of periodontitis can reduce the abundance of the destructive pathogens that have been linked to RA. If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, January 12, 2018

X-ray Safety: The Dental Connection!

It is not uncommon to be concerned about your safety when you have dental x-rays performed.  Putting on a heavy lead vest may make you apprehensive.  The benefits of dental X-rays far out weigh the risks when safety procedures are followed and the number of X-rays is limited to the required number.

Intra-oral X-rays are the most common pictures of the teeth used in dentistry. These allow for the detection of cavities as well as to check the health of the bone and root structure.  Extra-oral X-rays provide the information that is needed to monitor your jaw and TMJ, as well as look for impacted teeth and tooth development.

Guidelines from the American Dental Association have been established in order to achieve the most detection for disease in the safest manner.  Digital radiography (X-rays), which is utilized by our office, is one of the most important new advances that the dental profession has seen in quite some time.  The capability to even further reduce the exposure to radiation to the patient while increasing the diagnostic proficiency has been astounding.  Digital radiography has reduced radiation exposure to patients by up to 80 percent as compared to conventional methods.  The reduction in the need for harsh chemicals and other waste materials associated with traditional radiography is also an added benefit to our environment that digital X-rays provide.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Top Five: The Dental Connection!

Some foods like cookies and candy bars are obviously considered to be enemy number 1 for promoting tooth decay! However, there are certain foods that are beneficial to your oral health! Check out the Top Five foods that can increase the health of your teeth and gums.

  • Crispy, low-acid fruits and vegetables:  Fruits like apples and vegetables such as carrots and celery act like "natural toothbrushes," helping to clear plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath.
  • Kiwis:  These little green superstars are packed with Vitamin C, which is essential for gum health.  The collagen in your gums is strengthened when you consume foods that are high in Vitamin C, like kiwis, thus helping to prevent periodontal problems.
  • Raw onions: Onions have long been studied for their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.  Proliferation of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and cavities. By including raw onions in your diet, you will be doing your part to wipe out those little microbes before they can multiply!
  • Shiitake Mushrooms: A specific compound in shiitake mushrooms called lentinan has been shown to have antibacterial properties that target the microbes that cause cavities while leaving other beneficial bacteria alone.  It may also help to prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.
  • Green Tea: Often praised for its antioxidant content and many health benefits, it turns out that green tea also benefits your oral health!  A Japanese study found that men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower occurrence of periodontal disease compared to men who drank green tea infrequently.  It is believed that this is due to catechins in green tea, a type of flavonoid that may protect you from free radical damage, but more research is needed.  Either way, drink up for your overall health, as well as your teeth!

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 New Year Tips: The Dental Connection!

As we begin yet another year, we at Thomas Family Dentistry thought that we would like to remind our patients to practice good oral hygiene to keep your smile looking its best!  Of course, this includes brushing and flossing on a regular basis, brushing after consuming foods that can stain your teeth and visiting our office every six months or as recommended.

The American Dental Association also recommends the following for ideal oral hygiene:
  • Brush two minutes twice daily with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Clean between your teeth with floss in areas where bristles don't reach.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Visit our office on a regular basis for professional cleanings and exams.

Finally, a great reason to smile is this: recent studies have shown that smiling can actually help you live longer!  If you need an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,