If You Only Brush Once a Day

Post by: Gerarda on 05 Jul 2022

Maintaining good oral hygiene takes among other things, regularly brushing your teeth. Tell me something I don´t know, you may say.

Dental associations around the world recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. That means brush after breakfast for two minutes and again at night for another two minutes. That is a whopping four minutes out of your day and yet not everyone follows this recommendation. More people than you might think actually go through the day only brushing once. While that is better than not brushing at all which is essentially 2% of the population, it actually increases your chances of incurring costly dental treatment later on.

Brushing your teeth twice a day as is suggested by dental professionals has a few advantages, it saves the embarrassment of having bad breath and stained teeth.

By brushing only once a day:

1. Cavities are almost a certainty and that increases your risk by 33%. When you brush your teeth, it helps to remove food particles and the sticky substance containing bacteria that forms on your teeth called plaque. This bacteria-containing plaque produces acid which attack tooth enamel and if not removed causes cavities.

2. Increases your chance of getting gum disease – only brushing once every 24 hours creates a feast for the existing bacteria in your mouth. The plaque that isn’t removed hardens and becomes tartar which makes it harder to keep the teeth clean. Tartar build-up on your gums leads to inflammation and bleeding gums that causes gum disease. This is also known as periodontal disease.

3. Can lead to more dental treatment. Needing a one-off filling is one thing and can happen to the best of us, but brushing only once a day almost guarantees more fillings and bigger fillings. Sometimes the tooth is decayed to the point of needing root canal treatment or a crown. Those costs can be avoided by adding another two minutes a day to your brushing routine.

One of the best ways to care for your teeth and gums is simple. Regular brushing. And that means twice a day. After meals.

Adding flossing to your routine is also beneficial, but that is for another day.

 

Three Types of Dental Imaging

Post by: Gerarda on 27 Jun 2022

The most common x-ray is the periapical or intraoral used in all aspects of dental care. It provides a lot of detail about individual teeth and allows the dentist to diagnose cavities and impacted teeth, check the health of the root of a tooth and the bone surrounding the tooth. The dentist can also see the status of emerging teeth and monitor the overall health of teeth and the jawbone. This is the type of x-ray your dentist will use during a dental examination or if you have a dental emergency.

A panoramic x-ray (OPG) is a 2-D dental x-ray that as the name implies is a single image that captures both the upper and lower jaws. It provides a wide view of the teeth, jaws and surrounding structures and tissues. It correspondingly gives valuable information about the maxillary sinuses, tooth position, tumours and degenerative joint disease. This type of x-ray is needed for planning implants, if there are any bone abnormalities, to assess the need for orthodontic treatment or for full or partial dentures. Panoramic x-rays are not good for detecting small cavities.

Cephalometric x-rays show a complete profile (side view) of your head, showing teeth, jaw, and surrounding structures. This type of x-ray helps a dental professional diagnose and plan treatment.

Cephalometric x-rays may be used to assess:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Broken teeth or jaws
  • Position of the jaw
  • Some cancers & tumours
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Sleep apnea

 

Where Art Meets Science

Post by: Gerarda on 30 May 2022

Where Art Meets Science

Dentistry, much like art, requires fingerspitzengefühl, a term taken from German, literally meaning “finger tips feeling” or intuitive flair or instinct. In today´s world of cosmetic dentistry it is the combination of fingerspitzengefühl along with skill, precision, intuition, architecture, engineering, medical science and artistry all working together in harmony to create not just a beautiful smile, but a functional smile.

Dentists learn the importance of the foundation of a healthy smile organically and through the advancement of imaging techniques such as periapical (also known as intraoral), panoramic, and cephalometric x-rays, a dentist can digitally capture images of your teeth and gums to evaluate your overall oral health to develop treatment plans for patients. There is however, much more that goes into a healthy, beautiful smile than a series of x-rays.

As dentists know the biology and physiology of the oral cavity and surrounding structure, it is not just through imaging, but also through observation and the clinical judgement of the dentist to make a diagnosis and plan of treatment. Photography and effective communication with patients to determine their expectations and what is actually possible also plays a vital role.

While science has propelled dentistry forward in the last 30 years it is that fingerspitzengefühl, that keen eye for detail, that eye for beauty, that instinct for the shape of teeth that corresponds with the age, skin colour, shape of lips, the proportion of teeth that show and the overall shape of the face of a patient that help determine the final result of any restoration, especially a smile make-over.

Having state of the art materials and equipment in the hands of a passionate dentist, with the right eye and fingerspitzengefühl, can only be a formula for success to achieve optimal balance between fit, appearance and function.

To Floss or Not To Floss

Post by: Gerarda on 23 Feb 2022

A common question we hear at Stockholm Dental is, “Do I really need to floss, or is brushing enough?” Unlike many things in life, flossing isn’t a mere suggestion; it’s actually an integral part of good oral hygiene, therefore, an indispensable part of your daily routine.

The purpose of flossing is to remove plaque and food particles from tight spaces between your teeth and hard to reach places. Flossing helps to keep your gums protected from bacteria which can cause periodontal disease. Flossing also keeps your teeth free of decay and your smile white.

The purpose of daily flossing is not only to promote healthy teeth, it further contributes to your health in other ways. There is increasing evidence linking periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease and an increase of inflammatory substances in the blood. (See blog post Jan 11, 2022)

Teeth brushing alone may not protect you from gum disease and subsequent tooth loss in extreme cases; however, adding flossing to your daily routine helps improve the health of your gums which in turn prevents gums from bleeding and feeding bacteria which causes tooth decay.

The American Dental Association has recommended flossing since 1908 and that recommendation hasn’t changed. Make the most of your oral care routine.

Don’t skip the flossing.

Link Between Gum Disease and Systemic Conditions

Post by: Gerarda on 11 Jan 2022

Many of the patients who sit in our chair suffer from some form of gum disease. Some of those patients may also have an increased risk for developing, or may already have a systemic condition. A systemic condition is one that affects the entire body and not just a particular organ or body part. For example, systemic conditions can be high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, kidney disease, anemia or bleeding disorders to name a few. Most likely patients are unaware that there is a link between gum disease and systemic conditions and this article will address this.

Gum disease is prevalent among many adult patients. The World Health Organization Europe (WHO) has found that severe periodontal (gum) disease can be found in 5–20% of middle-aged (35–44 years) adults and up to 40% of older individuals (65–74 years). Gum disease is also a major contributor to the loss of natural teeth. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the U.S. approx. 47% of adults over 30 years old have gum disease, as well as 70% of adults over the age of 65. It is not just a European phenomenon.

For more than 20 years, the U.S. Surgeon General has recognized the link between periodontal disease and other systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes; additionally, it found an increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Research conducted by The American Dental Association (ADA) likewise found a link between gum disease and serious systemic health conditions. They say their data is clear and suggests two possible explanations1:

  1. Chronic inflammation in the oral cavity could increase bloodstream inflammatory markers that affect the patient’s immune response or increase the patient’s burden of inflammation.
  2. The oral cavity collects pathogenic bacteria that infiltrate the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body or systemic pathologies.

The American Dental Association (ADA) also suggests that gum disease and other conditions share common factors such as poor diet and smoking that increase the risk for disease. To date though no research has provided a direct link to the cause between gum disease and systemic health conditions. Neither have they proven that if a person receives treatment for gum disease that it will avert any health condition or prevent any progression of systemic conditions.2

The importance of good oral hygiene at home cannot be understated, but in conjunction with ending your smoking habit, exercising on a daily basis along with a balanced diet. This will not only keep your teeth healthy, but could have a major impact on your body as a whole.

 

References

  1. Eke PI, Dye BA, Wei L, Thornton-Evans GO, Genco RJ. Prevalence of periodontitis in adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J Dent Res. 2012;91(10):914 -920. doi:10.1177/00220345124573732.
  2. Oral-systemic health. American Dental Association. September 23, 2019. Accessed January 3, 2022. https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/oral-systemic-health