How Air Flow Therapy Can Save Your Smile…And Your Dental Implants

How Air Flow Therapy Can Save Your Smile

At North Raleigh Periodontics, we recently implemented Air Flow Therapy into our repertoire of periodontal services provided to our patients at no additional charge. Air Flow Therapy is the natural solution to polishing the tooth surface both above and below the gums. Using a combination of water, air, and either glycine or erythritol powder (both naturally derived), the cell wall of the bacteria is destroyed, thus killing the bacteria cell. Whereas the older method of polishing teeth with prophy paste and a rubber cup simply removed bacteria from the crown of the tooth, Air Flow Therapy can remove the harmful bacteria that cause periodontal disease from both the crown of the tooth and the root surface.

This is especially good news for our patients with dental implants. Dental implants function like normal teeth as they are integrated into the bone. These implants are coated with titanium, and bone heals around that titanium implant surface. However, when the titanium is manipulated or scratched by hygiene instruments, it can harm the surface of the implant, releasing titanium oxide and potentially causing a foreign body reaction or peri-implantitis. Foreign body reactions include swelling, bleeding, and pain around the implant surface, which could potentiate the loss of an implant.
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Gingival Recession Causes and Cures

Gingival recession occurs when the gum line wears away or recedes from the teeth, leaving the tooth roots exposed. This exposure can lead to decay and tooth loss if left untreated, since bacteria can more easily accumulate in the “pockets” or increased space between the tooth and the gums. The exposed roots also make eating uncomfortable and even painful by increasing sensitivity to hot, cold, and acidic foods. But what causes recession and how can it be treated?

It may come as a surprise to learn that recession commonly occurs as a result of such trauma as aggressive tooth brushing. Gum loss occurs because individuals think they are keeping their teeth and gums squeaky clean, when in reality they are wearing down their gum tissue through aggressive and traumatic cleaning habits. Individuals can avoid this type of recession by brushing with a soft-bristle brush and avoiding forceful brushing habits.
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Is Fluoride Therapy Right for You?

Fluoride treatment is just for kids, right? Wrong! Many of our patients battle increased oral sensitivity, receding gums and weakening enamel. Because of this progressive deterioration, it is easier for the acid produced by plaque to wear away the tooth surface and cause dental caries, more commonly known as cavities. Cavities can be effectively diminished or eradicated by fluoride, a natural mineral that prevents cavities by restoring minerals to the tooth enamel and stopping harmful bacteria from accumulating from the mouth. Unfortunately, most adults are not receiving fluoride in levels adequate enough to stave off caries prevention in the long-term.

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What Makes a Person a Good Implant Candidate?

Put simply, an implant is a post inserted into the jawbone onto which a crown can be placed to replace a missing tooth. But some may not know that not everyone is a viable candidate for an implant. There are, in fact, a number of criteria that must be met for an individual to be considered an excellent implant patient. Some factors that comprise a promising candidate include the ability to heal well, no smoking, and good volume of bone. Finally, the long-term prognosis of an implant depends upon a plethora of factors, including the ability of the patient to maintain the implant site and the patient’s susceptibility to gum disease and trauma from occlusion. Continue reading “What Makes a Person a Good Implant Candidate?”

The K.I.S Principle of Periodontal Disease

When people hear the phrase “periodontal disease,” they envision a vague, sinister monster of an ailment that is next to impossible to treat. However, treatment of periodontal disease is simple. In fact, I subscribe to the K.I.S. principle when treating periodontal disease: Keep It Simple. Gum disease stems from the simple failure to periodically remove plaque from the mouth. Conversely, gum disease is treated by ridding the mouth of plaque. But if it is so simple, how does one go about effectively eradicating disease-causing bacteria? Continue reading “The K.I.S Principle of Periodontal Disease”

Introducing State-of-the-Art Teeth Cleaning with Air-Flow Therapy

North Raleigh Periodontics is proud to introduce a state-of-the-art, new method of teeth cleaning to the practice. Air-flow Therapy quickly and painlessly targets and eradicates oral biofilm, bacteria that adheres to the surrounding surfaces of teeth above and below the gumline. Glycine, the naturally occurring amino acid used in Air-flow Therapy, inactivates bacteria and prevents it from reproducing.

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Labial Frenectomies

Labial FrenumAt North Raleigh Periodontics, frenectomies, also known as frenulectomies or frenotomies, are one of the many procedures I perform. There are two main types: labial and lingual. The labial frenum is the strip of tissue that connects the upper or lower lip to the midline of the maxillary and mandibular gingiva. The technical definition of a frenectomy is the removal or release of mucosal and muscle elements of a labial or lingual frenum that is associated with a pathological condition, or interferes with proper oral development or treatment. But what does all that mean, and what exactly does a frenectomy procedure involve? Continue reading “Labial Frenectomies”

Who Needs a Night Guard?

The short answer is individuals who clench or grind their teeth in their sleep. In fact, around 10% of the population grinds their teeth while sleeping, resulting in temporomandibular pain, facial muscle discomfort, and headaches. For many people, night guard devices provide integral protection by preventing the painful symptoms that often accompany teeth clenching, grinding, or bruxism. Moreover, night guards lessen the wearing down of the teeth by inhibiting such grinding.

Effects of Teeth GrindingFurthermore, post-orthodontic patients or even individuals in general find night guards useful in preventing teeth from shifting over time as well as inhibiting the ability to clench and grind the teeth while sleeping. By keeping the teeth in place and alleviating facial muscular and joint pain, night guards force users to bite evenly. Facilitating an aligned bite helps to evenly distribute concentrated muscle stress and tension that people often endure. In addition, keeping the teeth in place disperses the pressure from chewing and biting instead of allowing a few teeth to absorb the impact. In inflamed gum tissue, individual tooth or teeth taking more pressure than normal (trauma from occlusion) can accelerate bone loss. Night guards help prevent such bone loss by lessening trauma from occlusion. Continue reading “Who Needs a Night Guard?”

Differences Between Standard Dentures and Overdentures

Since the time I founded my practice, North Raleigh Periodontics, I have been performing dental implants on my patients. However, some people may not know that I place numerous types of dental implants including single tooth implants, implant-supported bridges to replace multiple missing teeth, and implant-supported dentures.Overdentures

One type of implant-supported denture that I place is called an “overdenture.” This type of dental implant forms a gum-supported base onto which a removable denture can be placed; overdenture implants are typically performed on the bottom teeth. But what are the fundamental differences between a standard denture and an overdenture, and why would someone choose an implant overdenture as opposed to a full or partial traditional denture? Continue reading “Differences Between Standard Dentures and Overdentures”

Food for Healthy Gums

Food for Healthy GumsWhile most people realize that flossing, brushing, and visiting their oral health professional are integral components of maintaining oral health, many do not know that the very foods they choose to eat have a direct impact upon their periodontal well-being. That’s right- your diet uniquely affects your gum’s ability to clear away plaque and calculus, freshen your breath, and strengthen and regenerate gum tissue.

Crunchy foods are great at scraping away bacteria and calculus that accumulate along the gumline. Fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, cucumbers, celery, and carrots not only scrape at bacteria, but they also help eliminate food particles between the teeth and keep the breath fresh between tooth brushing. Moreover, crunchy, fibrous foods take longer to chew, generating more saliva which in turn helps flush the mouth of bacteria near the gum line. Adding fresh, fibrous, crunchy fruits and vegetables to your diet will help rid your mouth of food particles, freshen your breath, and clear away plaque that accumulates around the gums. Continue reading “Food for Healthy Gums”