The Perfect Road Map To Oral Health

  • By proadAccountId-364674
  • 08 Jul, 2016

Are you practicing preventative dental care? 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handy map you could use to chart your own dental health? With that in mind, here are a few mile markers you can use to stay on top of your health today, next year, and for years to come!

18-25 years old

This is a time where work, college, and sometimes marriage start to get in the way of our parental-guided dental care regimens. It’s also a time when even as college students, we tend to find money for the things we “want” instead of the things we “need.” Given that we’re generally healthy at this time in our lives, there isn’t too much we have to worry about when we visit the dentist. Yet here are a few conversations you might want to have with the doctor when you come in for your periodic cleaning:

  • Preventative dentistry:  Are your wisdom teeth fully grown or are they just starting to make their way out? Have your doctor provide a prognosis on how they will affect things. Depending on your individual situation, you may benefit from getting them removed to avoid future orthodontic problems.
  • Cosmetic dentistry:  Are there imperfections in your smile that you always wanted to correct as a teen? Now that your permanent teeth are fully grown and stable, you may want to talk to your doctor about cosmetic options like veneers, bonding and whitening procedures.
  • Injury Prevention : The ADA estimates 200,000 oral injuries a year can be prevented with mouthguards alone. If you’re active in any sort of sport (even the weekend variety), you owe it to yourself to consider a mouthguard.

26-39 years old

These are the years where decades of wear-and-tear start to catch up with you. They’re also bridge years for having kids, and you’ll feel as though life is pulling you in a million directions. Ignoring the dentist during this timeframe is risky. Here’s how you can stay ahead of the game:

  • Cosmetic dentistry:  Consult with your dentist about cosmetic services like teeth whitening, veneers, etc. And, don’t let the “cosmetic” banner scare you off. Something as simple as bonding can help seal-in worn away enamel and spaces between teeth – both which can lead to erosion and cavities. Best of all, these procedures can be done in a snap with the technology available in your dentist’s office.
  • Restorative dentistry:  If you have an old crown, root canal or filling, you might need to have tuned-up or replaced. Many practices offer same day restorations that will have you off and running in no time.
  • Start thinking about maintenance:  Sonic toothbrushes, oral irrigators, disclosing tablets, Xylitol gum are all items that can keep your teeth healthy year after year. Consider investing in a few of them and use them regularly as you move into your forties.

40-65 years old

With maintenance and repair top of mind, you’ll want to start to educate yourself on the sort of procedures that will help you keep your healthy teeth, and strengthen or replace those that are weak. Consider:

  • A wider array of restorative dentistry subjects:  implants, crowns, bridges, dental implants, mini-implants and even dentures. Ask your dentist for advice as to what’s best for you. Maybe you have perfect teeth and need none of these! Hooray!
  • Preventative Dentistry:  Consider an oral cancer screening with one of the advanced technologies on the market. These two-minute exams just might literally save your life. Here are some things to know about protecting yourself from this form of cancer that’s on the rise.

65+ years old

At this age, you’ll need to consider a multi-disciplined approach to your dental care. Aside from aging teeth, you may also have other health concerns that disrupt your typically healthy mouth. Some things to consider are:

  • More vigilant in-office routines:  You may need to increase the frequency of your cleaning visits – ask your doctor for their best advice.
  • Systemic Health Education:  There is a link between oral health and other health factors, so be sure to keep your dentist in the loop with regard to all medications you’re taking, and particularly keep them informed as to any heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions you may have. Most importantly, because your mouth is the “window” to the rest of your body, your dentist can sometimes discover these conditions in their early stages because of the effects they have on the mouth. So, please don’t neglect your visits at this age!

Staying on top of your oral health isn’t as hard as you think, and if you keep this schedule of events to watch out for handy, you’ll be ahead of most of your neighbors when it comes to a healthy mouth and body. Come to think of it … why not share it with them as well? They’ll thank you for the help!


-Dr. Wendy

Finger Lakes Dental Care of Victor Blog

By proadAccountId-364674 20 Nov, 2016

Progressive change can be difficult to notice, especially when it occurs to us and not someone else.  Changes that occur along our gum line certainly fall into this category, and given the measurement used to gauge erosion is measured in millimeters, it's no wonder it's easy to miss. So, how much erosion is normal, and what causes it? Let's take a look.

What's "Normal"?

Unfortunately to most, gum recession is considered to be a normal part of aging.  Even the expression "long in the tooth" stems from the age-old story that as we get older, our gum line tends to recede and expose more of the surface of our teeth. But there really is nothing "normal" about gum recession, and for most of us, it can actually be prevented. So, unless you're inclined to keep things as they are, and embrace gum recession as the well-paid price of wisdom, we can help.

First things first. There are a host of factors that contribute to the erosion of your gumline. The best part is, the VAST majority of these causes are preventable.  

The Biggest Offenders:
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Over-vigorous, or improper brushing
  • Aggressive flossing
  • Exposure to acids in sports and energy drinks
  • Tobacco use
  • The frequent use of whitening products
All of the above causes of gum loss can be prevented. All of them.  If you grind your teeth at night, you can wear a mouth guard. If you brush as though you're sanding down the statue of David, learn proper technique from your dentist, or from a video online. Bleeding a lot when flossing? You're not slicing cheese - go easy, there, friend!  If you smoke, drink too many energy drinks, or chew tobacco, cut back, or stop altogether. None of that stuff is good for you in any way imaginable. And lastly, if you're actually trying to look like Ross from the show "Friends" by abusing whitening strips, you can stop now, your teeth have got to be super-white already!


Be Proactive

What's next? How can you tell if your gums are receding faster than the Amazon rainforest? Well, the most proactive step you can take is to visit your dentist. In fact, if you're going regularly, your dentist has been monitoring your recession for some years now. If you've ever noticed your dentist poking around in your mouth with a metal object you can't see, all while reciting numbers to the hygienist, he's probably doing two things: measuring the recession of your gums, and the depths of your gum pockets. Both speak to the health of your gum line.

So, the next time you hear your dentist reading off what seem like lottery number choices, just ask how your gum-health is going … they'll be happy to keep you in the loop.

The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, so be on the lookout for this tell-tale sign. Reduce, or eliminate the above discussed habits, and ask your dentist how you're doing in terms of taking care of your gums. With a little bit of knowledge and proactive behavior, no one will be saying you're "long in the tooth" any time soon, and you'll still be able to maintain your sage status. And, that's a good thing.
By proadAccountId-364674 17 Oct, 2016

Do you know why root canal treatments hurt? Well, they don’t, actually. It’s a trick question. People think they’re painful because of all the pain leading up to the procedure. Obviously, not every bit of discomfort warrants a visit to the dentist, but if you’ve been feeling a constant tooth ache, you probably don't want to wait too long. So, when do you visit the dentist? Let’s take a look at what the American Association of Endodontists suggests.

Why a Root Canal is Sometimes Necessary  
Root canal treatment is required when the nerves within the tooth’s root have been damaged by trauma or decay. To repair this damage, the tooth would need to be treated in almost the exact same manner as a filling, except that treatment would extend to the tooth’s roots.    

Pay Attention to Pain

When your teeth bother you, this is a signal your body is giving you that something is not right in your mouth. Here are three of the most common symptoms one can experience that may necessitate root canal treatment:

  1. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
    If you’ve experienced a certain degree of gum erosion, you’ve likely also had to deal with sensitive teeth. Some degree of sensitivity is common and in a sense normal. This sort of pain is also transient – meaning the pain doesn’t stick around for more than a few moments. If it lasts for minutes at a time, or worse, days, you should see your dentist. Persistent discomfort can be an indicator of a loose filling, a small cavity, or the early stages of root trauma.
  2. Pressure Sensitivity
    This type of pain can often be an indicator of a cracked tooth, root trauma or (again) a small cavity. Pressure sensitivities are painful as all-get-out, and biting down on something as soft as a French fry could send you reeling. If you experience this sort of pain, you’ll want to definitely visit the dentist before the problem advances. It’s worth noting that some people experience this sort of sensitivity after dental work. It depends on the individual, but typically this pain goes away in 2-4 weeks IF you have just been to the dentist. In some individuals, it can take months. Don’t ever wait that long without consulting with your doctor, however. Lingering pain (even after an exam) should be brought to the attention of your doctor after a week has passed. They’ll then fill you in on what your next steps should be.
  3. Dull Aches, Pressure, and Constant Pain
    You’d think if the above three descriptors were a constant companion in one’s daily life, it would prompt a person to pick up the phone and call the dentist. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. And, this is the reason why people say a root canal is painful. Ignoring constant pain and pressure in one’s mouth is not good risk management. Such pain can be caused by an abscess, a serious infection that can spread to the bone. Infections of this nature can be fatal if not treated, so it’s always important that constant pain and pressure never be ignored.

Keep your health and your teeth, by minding your body’s signals. The vessel we call home is pretty darn good at letting us know when we need to confer with a professional – don’t ignore its pleadings!

By proadAccountId-364674 28 Aug, 2016

If you’re inclined to spend March through October indoors, do laundry more frequently than you wish, carry a bottle of nasal spray with you at all times, and start each day by quickly browsing pollen counts online, we’re going to help you confirm a hunch. First, a question: have you ever felt your mouth get itchy after enjoying certain types of fruits and vegetables? Or how about your ears? If you’re an allergy sufferer, and could always swear you experience an allergic reaction to certain fruits, nuts and vegetables, you’re probably right. You just might have what’s called “Oral Allergy Syndrome.” Read on.

What is Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS)?

OAS is a food-related allergy to certain proteins located in specific fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. It’s also known as both food-pollen allergy syndrome and fruit-pollen syndrome, and it affects about 25% of people with “common” allergies. The reason you experience a reaction to these foods is that there are food proteins in fruits, nuts and vegetables that closely resemble those contained in tree and weed pollen.
 
As a result, the immune system recognizes the proteins as an allergen and triggers the release of histamine. And we all know what happens after that! The all-too-familiar itchy, scratchy, burning sensation that tells us we’ve stumbled onto something our body doesn’t like very much. For most people with OAS, the effects are most often localized to the mouth, but can sometimes also be felt in the back of the throat, eyes, ears, nose and skin. Scientists refer to this response of the immune system to a related, but not identical allergen, as cross-reactivity.

A List of Common Offenders

  • If you’re allergic to alder pollen:  almonds, apples, celery, cherries, hazel nuts, peaches, pears, parsley, strawberry, and raspberry
  • Birch pollen:  almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, carrots, celery, cherries, chicory, coriander, fennel, fig, hazel nuts, kiwifruit, nectarines, parsley, parsnips, peaches, pears, peppers, plums, potatoes, prunes, soy, strawberries, wheat; Potential: walnuts
  • Grass pollen:  fig, melons, tomatoes, oranges
  • Mugwort pollen:  carrots, celery, coriander, fennel, parsley, peppers, and sunflower
  • Ragweed pollen:  banana, cantaloupe, cucumber, green pepper, paprika, sunflower seeds/oil, honeydew, watermelon, zucchini, Echinacea, artichoke, dandelions, honey (if bees pollinate from wild flowers), hibiscus or chamomile tea

Reducing the Symptoms

  1. Keep a food diary:  Make note of specific food triggers. You may find, for example, that different varieties of the same fruit trigger a lesser response than another of the same variety. For example, Granny Smith vs. Jonagold apples.
  2. Peel the fruit first:  For some this works, and if you’re concerned at all about pesticides, this helps decrease that threat as well.
  3. Purchase and eat fresh:  For some, the fresher, the better. Storage can increase the allergens in some fruits.
  4. Cook ‘em up:  Cooking changes the shapes of these offending proteins, keeping the immune response in check. So make pie instead of eating apples raw!
  5. Get the shot:  Occasionally, allergy shots can provide relief from OAS reactions, so ask your allergist if it’s right for you.
By proadAccountId-364674 08 Jul, 2016

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handy map you could use to chart your own dental health? With that in mind, here are a few mile markers you can use to stay on top of your health today, next year, and for years to come!

18-25 years old

This is a time where work, college, and sometimes marriage start to get in the way of our parental-guided dental care regimens. It’s also a time when even as college students, we tend to find money for the things we “want” instead of the things we “need.” Given that we’re generally healthy at this time in our lives, there isn’t too much we have to worry about when we visit the dentist. Yet here are a few conversations you might want to have with the doctor when you come in for your periodic cleaning:

  • Preventative dentistry:  Are your wisdom teeth fully grown or are they just starting to make their way out? Have your doctor provide a prognosis on how they will affect things. Depending on your individual situation, you may benefit from getting them removed to avoid future orthodontic problems.
  • Cosmetic dentistry:  Are there imperfections in your smile that you always wanted to correct as a teen? Now that your permanent teeth are fully grown and stable, you may want to talk to your doctor about cosmetic options like veneers, bonding and whitening procedures.
  • Injury Prevention : The ADA estimates 200,000 oral injuries a year can be prevented with mouthguards alone. If you’re active in any sort of sport (even the weekend variety), you owe it to yourself to consider a mouthguard.

26-39 years old

These are the years where decades of wear-and-tear start to catch up with you. They’re also bridge years for having kids, and you’ll feel as though life is pulling you in a million directions. Ignoring the dentist during this timeframe is risky. Here’s how you can stay ahead of the game:

  • Cosmetic dentistry:  Consult with your dentist about cosmetic services like teeth whitening, veneers, etc. And, don’t let the “cosmetic” banner scare you off. Something as simple as bonding can help seal-in worn away enamel and spaces between teeth – both which can lead to erosion and cavities. Best of all, these procedures can be done in a snap with the technology available in your dentist’s office.
  • Restorative dentistry:  If you have an old crown, root canal or filling, you might need to have tuned-up or replaced. Many practices offer same day restorations that will have you off and running in no time.
  • Start thinking about maintenance:  Sonic toothbrushes, oral irrigators, disclosing tablets, Xylitol gum are all items that can keep your teeth healthy year after year. Consider investing in a few of them and use them regularly as you move into your forties.

40-65 years old

With maintenance and repair top of mind, you’ll want to start to educate yourself on the sort of procedures that will help you keep your healthy teeth, and strengthen or replace those that are weak. Consider:

  • A wider array of restorative dentistry subjects:  implants, crowns, bridges, dental implants, mini-implants and even dentures. Ask your dentist for advice as to what’s best for you. Maybe you have perfect teeth and need none of these! Hooray!
  • Preventative Dentistry:  Consider an oral cancer screening with one of the advanced technologies on the market. These two-minute exams just might literally save your life. Here are some things to know about protecting yourself from this form of cancer that’s on the rise.

65+ years old

At this age, you’ll need to consider a multi-disciplined approach to your dental care. Aside from aging teeth, you may also have other health concerns that disrupt your typically healthy mouth. Some things to consider are:

  • More vigilant in-office routines:  You may need to increase the frequency of your cleaning visits – ask your doctor for their best advice.
  • Systemic Health Education:  There is a link between oral health and other health factors, so be sure to keep your dentist in the loop with regard to all medications you’re taking, and particularly keep them informed as to any heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions you may have. Most importantly, because your mouth is the “window” to the rest of your body, your dentist can sometimes discover these conditions in their early stages because of the effects they have on the mouth. So, please don’t neglect your visits at this age!

Staying on top of your oral health isn’t as hard as you think, and if you keep this schedule of events to watch out for handy, you’ll be ahead of most of your neighbors when it comes to a healthy mouth and body. Come to think of it … why not share it with them as well? They’ll thank you for the help!


-Dr. Wendy

By proadAccountId-364674 12 Jun, 2016

I have added a new feature to our website, which you can find by clicking on the Blog tab on our homepage! The new FLDC of Victor blog is an extension of our commitment to provide our patients with the latest happenings in the world of dentistry, and helping patients take an active role in caring for their teeth. We will periodically add articles, office updates, staff bios, and any other information we think you would be interested in learning about.

 

One quality that sets FLDC apart from other dentist offices is our culture of including patients in decisions. We steer clear of practicing dentistry like the “big box” dentist offices where the patient is treated as a widget shuffled through a machine. We would rather see you informed, interested, and our partners in dental decisions. This blog is one more step in sustaining our strong doctor-patient dynamic.

 

As I am starting out with this new blog, I would love to hear your thoughts and know what topics interest you.

 

-Dr. Wendy

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