Posts for: April, 2018

By Smart Family Dental Care
April 24, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: bone loss  

There’s more to teeth than meets the eye. Hidden beneath the visible crown are the tooth’s roots set within the jawbone, secured and protected by the gums from bacteria and infection. But if the gums shrink back (recede), the roots become exposed and susceptible to disease, especially at the points where multiple roots branch from each other, areas called furcations.

It all begins with periodontal (gum) disease caused by built-up bacterial plaque from insufficient brushing and flossing. The infection triggers inflammation that over time weakens gum tissues. They begin to detach from the teeth, which can eventually lead to gum recession and root exposure.

This also causes bone loss, especially at the furcations. We can detect any loss (known as a furcation invasion) and how far along it may be with x-ray imaging or by manually probing with an instrument called a periodontal probe.

There are three general classes measuring furcation invasions. In the earliest, Class I, we can feel the invasion as a slight groove; in Class II, it increases to two or more millimeters across. In Class III the bone loss extends from one side of the root all the way to the other (a “through and through”).

At this stage a patient is in danger of losing the tooth, so we’ll have to act promptly. This means first removing accumulated dental plaque and calculus (tartar) to stop the infection and allow the gums to heal. With severe damage, we may need to assist healing with bone and gum tissue grafting, in which we place donor grafts to serve as scaffolding for the appropriate tissue to grow upon.

You can help prevent this situation by practicing effective daily hygiene and visiting your dentist for thorough cleanings at least twice a year (or more if recommended). And at the first signs of a gum infection—swollen, reddened or bleeding gums—make an appointment as soon as possible to have it checked. The sooner we can detect and treat gum disease, the less likely a furcation invasion or worse will be in your future.

If you would like more information on gum disease diagnosis and treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Smart Family Dental Care
April 23, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

What your dentist in Norcross wants you to knoworal hygiene

Have you ever thought about the importance of keeping good oral hygiene habits? The truth is good oral hygiene is the foundation to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for life. Dr. Orson Baek at Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross, GA wants to share why and how to keep good oral hygiene habits.

Good oral hygiene reduces and eliminates plaque. That’s important because plaque contains millions of bad bacteria that can produce toxins. These toxins are strong enough to eat through tough tooth enamel, causing a cavity. They are also strong enough to infect soft tissue, causing gum and periodontal disease, and bone, resulting in bone loss and loose teeth.

When you develop good oral hygiene habits, you need to include:

Brushing after each meal and before bed; always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste containing fluoride. It’s helpful to only buy products with the American Dental Association seal of approval on the packaging. That means the products have been rigorously tested and approved for safety and effectiveness. When you brush, use a gentle, circular motion to clean all tooth surfaces and along the gumline.

Flossing daily; use waxed or unwaxed floss depending on your preference. Flossing cleans deep down in between teeth, in places where your toothbrush can’t reach. In fact, cavities and gum and periodontal disease often begin in between teeth; that’s why flossing is critical to saving your smile. When you floss, make sure you wrap around the bulky part of the tooth as you go down in between your teeth. This helps the floss to adhere to the tooth surface.

Every good oral hygiene program includes regular visits to the dentist and the dental hygienist. You should plan on visiting Dr. Baek at least once each year for x-rays and a dental exam. You should also visit your dental hygienist twice each year for professional cleanings.

A beautiful smile is a beautiful thing. Keep your smile beautiful by keeping good oral hygiene habits. For more information about preventive care and other dental services, call Dr. Baek at Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross, GA. Call today and take care of your smile!

By Smart Family Dental Care
April 14, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Is having good oral hygiene important to kissing? Who's better to answer that question than Vivica A. Fox? Among her other achievements, the versatile actress won the “Best Kiss” honor at the MTV Movie Awards, for a memorable scene with Will Smith in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. When Dear Doctor magazine asked her, Ms. Fox said that proper oral hygiene was indeed essential. Actually, she said:

"Ooooh, yes, yes, yes, Honey, 'cause Baby, if you kiss somebody with a dragon mouth, my God, it's the worst experience ever as an actor to try to act like you enjoy it!"

And even if you're not on stage, it's no fun to kiss someone whose oral hygiene isn't what it should be. So what's the best way to step up your game? Here's how Vivica does it:

“I visit my dentist every three months and get my teeth cleaned, I floss, I brush, I just spent two hundred bucks on an electronic toothbrush — I'm into dental hygiene for sure.”

Well, we might add that you don't need to spend tons of money on a toothbrush — after all, it's not the brush that keeps your mouth healthy, but the hand that holds it. And not everyone needs to come in as often every three months. But her tips are generally right on.

For proper at-home oral care, nothing beats brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing once a day. Brushing removes the sticky, bacteria-laden plaque that clings to your teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease — not to mention malodorous breath. Don't forget to brush your tongue as well — it can also harbor those bad-breath bacteria.

While brushing is effective, it can't reach the tiny spaces in between teeth and under gums where plaque bacteria can hide. But floss can: That's what makes it so important to getting your mouth really clean.

Finally, regular professional checkups and cleanings are an essential part of good oral hygiene. Why? Because even the most dutiful brushing and flossing can't remove the hardened coating called tartar that eventually forms on tooth surfaces. Only a trained health care provider with the right dental tools can! And when you come in for a routine office visit, you'll also get a thorough checkup that can detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other threats to your oral health.

Bad breath isn't just a turn-off for kissing — It can indicate a possible problem in your mouth. So listen to what award-winning kisser Vivica Fox says: Paying attention to your oral hygiene can really pay off! For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read the entire interview with Vivica A. Fox in Dear Doctor's latest issue.