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How Does Dental Care Affect My Whole Body?

Posted on 09/13/2019

brushing teethWe’ve been taught all of our lives that dental care is important. Just as our eyes are the windows to our souls, the mouth has been compared to the window of our health. The condition that your teeth are in can actually tell you a lot about the condition of your body.

However, many of us don’t know exactly how brushing and flossing every day affects our bodies outside of the appearance and cleanliness of our mouths. Believe it or not, dental care impacts your entire body in a lot of beneficial ways. By brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, along with limiting sugar as part of a healthy, whole foods diet, you can prevent tooth decay and even disease throughout your body.

How Does Dental Care Affect My Brain?

When you have poor dental hygiene, it leaves your entire body susceptible to disease, many of which are otherwise preventable. Because your mouth has such a rich blood supply, an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth can make its way into the bloodstream. Although not proven as a cause, this has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life. One of the biggest causes of dental-related dementia is gingivitis. Gingivitis is a type of gum disease that is caused by poor dental hygiene and leads to gum inflammation. This, if left untreated, can expose you to even more risks outside of dementia, such as tooth decay and sepsis – a blood infection.

How Does Dental Care Affect My Heart?

On the other hand, if the bacteria within your bloodstream decides to head south, it leaves you at risk for an abundance of other problems. Heart disease is one of the main concerns. Bacteria within the bloodstream can act like plaque, and if it builds up enough without intervention, it can lead to a heart attack. Scientists have found a direct correlation between poor dental hygiene and cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death.

How Does Dental Care Affect My Lungs?

If the bacteria doesn’t manage to enter your bloodstream through your mouth, while eating or simply breathing, it can be inhaled into your lungs. Your lungs are one of the few places, like your bloodstream and bladder, that should be sterile, or free of bacteria at all times. However, by having an excessive amount of bacteria in your mouth due to poor dental hygiene, you risk exposing your lungs to it.. Once this bacteria has entered your lungs, it can leave you at risk of a variety of life-threatening respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.  This is one of many reasons why breathing through your nose is so important.

And, due to the fact that your lungs supply oxygen to your blood, once the bacteria is in your lungs, you also risk exposing your blood to it. This can then threaten your entire body, including your brain, heart, and even the reproductive tract.

dental healthHow Does Dental Care Affect the Rest of My Body?

Poor dental care can affect your reproductive system as well, especially in men. It has been proven that men with periodontal disease are more prone to developing a condition called prostatitis, an infection of the prostate. With this condition, your prostate becomes severely inflamed and irritated, leading to painful and urgent irritation and even pain in the perineum.

Increased oral bacteria (along with undiagnosed sleep apnea) can also increase your chances of developing erectile dysfunction. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and, like with your heart, clog up the arteries and veins. This can lead to inflammation that blocks blood flow. 

In women, poor dental hygiene has even been linked to pregnancy and birth complications. Periodontitis, an infection of the gums that can cause deterioration of the jawbone, has been shown to increase your chances of having a premature birth or a baby with low birth weight. 

While periodontitis, which affects an estimated three million people each year, is very common, it is also preventable so long as you take the time to practice proper dental hygiene by brushing and flossing every single day.  Since there is a genetic component to periodontitis, it is very important to see your dental team regularly to be sure that it does not develop, and if it does, to treat it right away. The good news is that if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is often very manageable with proper care.

How Can I Improve My Overall Health?

One of the best places to start with improving your health and wellness is with your mouth. As seen above, by practicing good dental hygiene, you can prevent a variety of diseases throughout your body. It can also reduce your risk of tooth decay and needed dentures or dental implants in the future.

Make sure to brush, floss, and use mouthwash at least twice a day. You can also try adding beneficial foods into your diet and even chewing sugar-free gum throughout the day to add an extra cleaning time. Most of all, make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup. Contact our practice today or give us a call at (614) 344-9147 to set up an appointment and start your journey to a healthy smile and body. 

Important Facts About Dental Implants

Posted on 08/13/2019

Your teeth go through a lot. Starting at around 12 years old we have all of our adult teeth, not counting wisdom teeth which we get around age 18. From then on, those same teeth are chewing food and taking the brunt of everything we put in our mouths. Even though we may follow all the rules and take care of our teeth, sometimes external factors such as disease or genetics can cause us to lose our teeth. Dental implants are a great option for people who may be suffering from this.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an option for people who have lost their teeth to injury, age, or disease. You can imagine them like a prosthetic for your teeth. Implants are metal screws that are placed within your jaw and then used to attach a prosthetic tooth. There are many options for dental implants.

Who Are Dental Implants Good For?

While it may seem that anyone with missing teeth is a good candidate, dental implants require a relatively healthy mouth and jaw to work properly. First, it’s important to make sure you have a strong, healthy jaw with adequate height. Due to the fact that the dental implant will be placed directly within your jaw, it must be able to support the prosthetic. Next, you’ll have to make sure that you are free of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This can cause harmful complications, as well as result in the dental implant being rejected. 

What Is the Implant Process?

Depending on how many teeth you are looking to replace, the dental implant process is different for everyone. If you’re only looking to replace a single tooth, then the process is relatively simple. Dr. Imm will go in and place the implant and possibly a crown. However, if you’re looking to replace multiple teeth, you can expect the process to be slightly more complicated. Dr. Imm will still place implants and crowns if necessary, but more planning may be necessary to ensure the longevity of your new implant restorations. Sometimes, it’s necessary to include our outstanding team of specialists. Either way, Dr. Imm will be there to coordinate your care every step of the way. If you would like to learn more about dental implants, you can contact our practice today!

How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?

The aftercare for dental implants is just as important as both the preparation and procedure itself. The main thing to remember is to not smoke. Smoking after dental implant surgery is one of the biggest mistakes that dental patients make. In order to make sure that your dental implants work efficiently and that your jawbone doesn’t reject them, it’s important to not smoke a least a week before your procedure and then two to three months afterward. 

It’s also necessary that you follow all of your dentist’s instructions and stay hydrated, take any prescribed medicine, and practice good oral hygiene. 

dental implantsWhat Are the Cons?

There are a lot of great things about dental implants, but, like with any medical procedure, they do come with risks. Rest assured, Dr. Imm will review all of the risks of implant surgery prior to any treatment. 

What Are the Benefits?

Despite these risks, though, dental implants offer an abundance of benefits that have drastically changed patients’ lives for the better. The most obvious benefit is the fact that any gap that was left after a tooth was lost will be filled. A gap within your mouth can lead to infections, but the thing to worry about most is your jawbone collapsing. While a bridge may prevent the teeth from shifting, it doesn’t do anything to preserve the bone left behind by losing the tooth. Dental implants do preserve the bone, while also providing an aesthetic solution that mimics a natural tooth.

Dental implants are an especially good choice for patients who have lost a front tooth. This can cause a lot of insecurity, and, by using a dental implant to fill the gap, you will be able to live your life with a confident smile and a healthy life. 

Contact us at 5Points Advanced Dentistry today at 614-344-9147 to schedule your routine check-up, or if you have any questions or concerns about proper dental care. 

Common Mistakes Dental Patients Make

Posted on 07/16/2019

Dental care is one of the most important parts of your general health and wellbeing. The condition of your teeth can say a lot about your health, which is why it is so important that you brush, floss, and see a dentist regularly. However, even if you do follow these steps, you may find that your teeth still aren’t up to par. While it is possible that an underlying condition is causing your dental problems, more often than not, it’s because of simple mistakes that nearly everyone makes. 

Most of the common mistakes dental patients make are, thankfully, easy to fix with just a few lifestyle changes. The top three most common mistakes are incorrect flossing, a lack of regular check-ups, and even smoking during the dental implant process. 

Flossing

Flossing is one of those parts of dental care that almost everybody forgets, even though it is so important. Every dentist recommends flossing due to its abundance of benefits. 

Why Should I Floss?

It’s easy to think that just brushing and using mouth wash is enough to keep your mouth clean, but flossing does more than just make your teeth shine and prevent bad breath.  Regular flossing removes plaque and prevents tartar build up. In doing so, you reduce your risk for periodontal – or gum – disease, and it’s even theorized that it can reduce your risk of heart disease. 

How Do I Floss Correctly?

Flossing incorrectly most definitely earned its place as one of the most common dental mistakes. While you should floss at least once a day, most people who do follow this rule don’t know how to floss correctly.

First, cut a large piece of floss, around 18 inches, and wrap each end around your middle finger. Next, hold it between your forefingers and thumb tightly; this is what you will use to floss. Guide the floss between your teeth and, using a C-shape, rub. Repeat for every tooth.

The most important thing to remember is to be gentle. While bleeding is common, especially in people who don’t floss regularly, you shouldn’t injure yourself.

Regular Check-Ups

Much like with any other doctor, it’s important to visit the dentist regularly. Your teeth may look okay, but only a trained professional will know what to look for when it comes to dental health and disease. 

Why Should I Have Regular Check-Ups?

Regular check-ups will help keep your mouth and teeth healthy. Not only does this give you the opportunity for a regular cleaning that will help reduce plaque and tartar build-up, but it will allow your dentist to stay updated on your dental health and to catch any issues before they become complications that are costly and risky to fix. Regular check-ups can improve your overall dental health, which, like with flossing, will improve your general health and lower your risk of disease in the future. 

How Often Should I Have a Check-Up?

While it varies for each person, and your dentist may require more appointments during the year if you have specific issues, the average person should visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year – every six months. 

If you happen to miss an appointment, then you may find that your dentist will have to do more work in order to catch up. This can include extra X-rays, more appointments, and even dental procedures to teeth that have decayed or been damaged since your last visit. 

What Should I Expect?

During a general check-up, your dentist may renew X-rays, perform a cleaning, and, if needed, schedule you for more procedures such as fillings, root canals, and even dental implants. 

Dental Procedures Aftercare

After dental procedures, it is important to follow the instructions for aftercare carefully to prevent any complications. You can contact our practice to learn more about our dental procedures.

What Should I Avoid After Dental Procedures?

The main thing to remember after any dental procedure is to avoid disturbing the wound. This includes everything from rinsing your mouth to spitting and even to smoking. 

Why Should Smoking be Avoided?

Smoking during the healing process of dental implants is one of the biggest mistakes that patients make. Often times, though, it can be hard for a patient to avoid smoking. Smoking during the healing process can cause an abundance of complications, including an increased failure rate. 

How Long Should I Wait to Resume Smoking?

The longer you can wait the better, but to allow enough time for the implants to settle – a process known as osseointegration – you should wait at least two to three months. You should also try to stop smoking at least a week before your procedure. 

Contact us at 5 Points Advanced Dentistry today at 614-344-9147 to schedule your routine check-up, or if you have any questions or concerns about proper dental care. 

When Should I Take my Child to the Dentist for the First Time?

Posted on 09/27/2018

Have you ever wondered when you should take your child to the dentist for the first time? As a parent, you’ve probably heard contradictory pieces of advice on this topic. Should you wait until 2 or 3 years old? When the first baby tooth appears? Or maybe when all of their baby teeth have grown in? Your trusted dentist in Upper Arlington has the answers.

You may be surprised that The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that a child’s first visit should be when their first tooth grows in. For some babies that first tooth comes very early in life. Others may not start getting teeth until closer to the first birthday. All children should see a dentist by age 2. Introducing children to regular visits and proper dental care at an early age will start them on the road to a healthy smile that will last them a lifetime.

What to ExpectChild Smiling at Dentist

The first dental visit should be an adventure; one for the baby book. The purpose is to introduce a child to the office in a non-threatening way. Taking a ride in the chair and being allowed to explore and touch some of the instruments may be what most of the visit is dedicated to. Once your child is comfortable with the hygienist, Dr. Imm will take a quick peek in their mouth to check for gum health and any other problems that may affect their teeth, speech, or airway.

Dental Care for Growing Children

Dental care needs change with each stage of development.

2 to 3 Years

  • Toddlers should have a dental visit every 6 months beginning at 2 years old.
  • They should begin flossing between teeth when the two front teeth are touching each other.
  • The should be brushing teeth every day to prevent cavities. Research has shown that children who get cavities in baby teeth are more likely to get cavities in their permanent teeth.
  • The ADA recommends children three years of age and younger use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice for brushing in the morning and evening. Children 3 years old should use a pea-sized dot of toothpaste.

4 to 6 Years
Most children will have the first set of dental X-rays taken around 5 or 6 years old when the permanent teeth begin to come in. There is no set age or recommendation. If there are specific conditions or concerns, such as cleft palate or if a child drinks out of a lot of sippy cups or bottles they may have X-rays taken at an earlier age.

  • Monitor brushing time to make sure the toothpaste is going down the drain and not down the throat. You may increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste used when your little one masters the art of spitting in the sink. Until then keep the amount to a minimum in case it is swallowed.
  • The newest research shows that this is the best time to start thinking about orthodontics. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends orthodontic intervention as soon as a skeletal problem is identified if it is not likely to self-correct. Most kids wait until their early teen years to get braces, but by then it may be too late for your child to keep all of his or her teeth.

6 to 12 Years
The baby teeth start falling out around the age of 6. This is the age of prevention and the time to really start encouraging good oral hygiene.

  • Sealants to protect teeth, especially the molars, from decay are usually recommended between the ages of 7 and 9, and again when the 12-year molars erupt.
  • If needed, an orthodontic evaluation will definitely be recommended by 7 years old, at the latest.

Nutrition Matters

Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining dental health at all ages. It is especially important for children. What, when and how you feed your children is important to their overall physical growth and oral health. Diets that are good for the body are also good for the teeth.

  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar.
  • Discourage frequent snacking which leads to increased food residue and bacteria in the mouth.
  • Provide a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Use vitamin supplements as recommended by your pediatrician.
  • Serve plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Offer unsweetened, non-caffeinated beverages. Water is always a good choice.
  • Chewy and crunchy foods, such as nuts and steak, can aid in the development of the facial bones and encourage correct swallowing patterns. Introduce these foods as early as your child is able to chew them.
  • The Right Tools for the Job

If you have walked down any dental care aisle in any supermarket or drugstore you know how overwhelming and confusing it can be to choose the best product for your needs. For oral care in kids, it pays to make the right choice. Little things like choosing the right size toothbrush or the best toothpaste can make a difference in preventing cavities and maintaining oral health. The best advice anyone can give you is to avoid playing guessing games and just ask a professional.

Snoring and Your ChildMom and Daughter Brushing Their Teeth

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that every child who snores be evaluated by a Sleep Physician? That’s right. Early snoring can be a sign of an obstructed airway, which can lead to several health problems and will ultimately affect how your child’s face grows and develops. Dr. Imm is very passionate about your and your child’s airway health, so don’t be surprised if he asks you about our child’s sleep, and maybe even refers you to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist (ENT).

You want to make the right pediatric dental choices for your family. To do that you need to be informed. Ask questions and do research. Use the right products at the right age. Get the best care for your kids that you can. 5Points Advanced Dentistry is one of your most valuable resources. We are here to help children stay healthy and to teach them how to properly care for their teeth.

What is a Smile Makeover?

Posted on 03/23/2018

If you have cracked or dull teeth, you may suffer from low self-esteem. If this is the case, and you no longer want to be embarrassed by your teeth, a smile makeover may be a worthwhile consideration. A smile makeover begins with a dentist looking at your entire mouth, discussing your concerns, and choosing procedures that will improve your smile. Afterward, you will want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.

What are the Benefits of a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover will restore both function and aesthetics to your mouth. For example, if you have a misaligned bite, we can correct the problem so you can chew properly and smile without being self-conscious. Damaged or crooked teeth can also be repaired, and missing teeth can be permanently replaced. After a complete smile makeover, you will enjoy a beautiful smile, enhanced tooth structure, better jaw health, and improved self-confidence.

What Procedures are Involved in a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover usually consists of numerous cosmetic procedures.  For example, a patient may receive dental implants, veneers, Invisalign, or whitening treatments. Before forming a plan of action, a dentist will examine your gums, teeth color, and the overall condition of your mouth. smile makeover

Color. If your teeth are stained, or you have amalgam fillings that bring a damaged look to your teeth, the color can be improved with white fillings or a whitening procedure. Thanks to today’s technology, it is possible to perfectly match the color of your existing teeth. A professional whitening treatment provides faster and better results than an OTC product or kit. In-office procedures include the application of high-dose hydrogen peroxide. When performed correctly, it is possible to whiten teeth a few shades after one visit. Also, veneers may be placed over teeth to improve their shape and color.

Alignment and Spaces. If your teeth are crooked, or your mouth has visible gaps, we can correct this as well. Invisalign is a set of clear molded braces that straighten teeth without the use of traditional metal brackets. Clear trays are custom fit and work to correct misalignments.  It is possible to wear them without people noticing, and remove them for cleaning. Also, veneers may be applied to teeth that are chipped, leaning, or imperfect in other ways.

Missing Teeth. One of the most common ways that a smile makeover improves a person’s appearance is by replacing missing teeth. If you have spaces in your mouth, it may be impossible to eat or speak correctly. Dental implants are permanent solutions that look and function like real teeth. They are implanted into the jaw, which means that they are not removable like dentures. Dental crowns are placed over the implants to make them look just like your natural teeth. These may also be used as part of a bridge. Both bridges and crowns are cemented on top of existing teeth to repair them. Bridges are used to fill spaces where more than one tooth is missing.  By filling in these gaps, your jaw and facial shape can be preserved. Crowns offer strength to damaged teeth as well.

Bone Reshaping.  If you have lost one or more of your teeth, there will be a hole left behind in your jawbone. Your gums will eventually heal, but the bone will encounter various highs and lows. These can cause dentures or similar restorations to rub and cause soreness. In time, bone will become lost. To smooth the bone, a reshaping surgery, or alveoplasty, may be necessary.

Targeting Teeth in a Smile Makeover

A smile makeover targets your teeth so that they look aesthetically pleasing. It is important to pay attention to the smile line. This goes along the upper teeth and should follow the curve of your lips during a smile. It is essential to adjust tooth length and proportion as well. When a person is young, his or her teeth are longer. With time, teeth begin to wear down and become shorter. Veneers can restore length. Also, it is possible to modify the gums. Gum tissue reshaping helps people who have uneven, obtrusive, or receding gums.

Besides leaving a smile looking better, it also helps to prevent periodontal disease. When gums are receding, teeth are left exposed, and pockets commonly develop. These pockets accumulate bacteria that can cause severe problems.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Smile Makeover?

Anyone looking to improve their oral and overall health may take advantage of a smile makeover. If you are unhappy with the look of your teeth, Dr. Imm, who specialize in cosmetic dentistry, can help. He can meet with you to do a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth and discuss exactly what results you are looking for in the smile makeover.

How to Maintain Results of a Smile Makeover

After undergoing a smile makeover, a patient must change his or her oral hygiene routine in order to maintain positive results. It is essential to brush with a non-abrasive toothpaste and to floss each day. Removing debris from between teeth will elongate the lifespan of any cosmetic procedure and keep tooth decay from starting.

If you receive composite fillings or crowns, it is best to avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. This is known to have negative effects. Also, we will advise you to avoid foods that are packed with sugar and items that are known to cause staining (coffee, cigarettes, etc.).

Finally, please avoid biting or chewing hard objects (such as ice). Even though cosmetic restorations are sturdy, the best way to ensure a long life for your new smile is to act with care. Your dentist will be able to provide more advice when you meet, so that you can easily maintain the results of your smile makeover.

Before you decide to pursue a smile makeover, it is vital to understand what can realistically be accomplished. At 5 Points Advanced Dentistry, we offer all patients previews of expected results. We use state-of-the-art imaging technology and various mock-ups so that it is possible to see all of the improvements that a smile makeover will bring. We provide customized plans for all of our patients so that individual needs are targeted. For more information, call our office today.

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