Flossing may not be part of your daily routine, but it should be. Regular flossing is a huge component to oral health and can help ward off bad breath, bleeding gums and periodontal disease. People who don’t floss regularly are practically inviting gingivitis, halitosis and eventual tooth decay. So why don’t more Americans floss their teeth?
Here’s a roundup of the five worst excuses given to dentists.
Even the fanciest of toothbrushes, water picks and oral hygiene products are no match for dental floss. Ultrasonic toothbrushes may work wonders, but they are unable to free the trapped food that gets lodged between teeth. If left behind for long periods, this contributes to plaque and calculus build-up leading to really awful breath!
This is perhaps the lamest excuse in the book and one that really frustrates dentists! If you have time to brush your teeth, wash your face and get dressed, you have a couple of spare minutes to floss. That’s really all the time it takes. Plan on flossing at least once per day (twice if you can!). If you run out of time in the morning, dental floss is light and travels well. Carry some with you to work so you can floss after lunch, or floss on the couch while watching your favorite program.
There are more than a dozen reputable brands of dental floss on the market today. Some varieties have thicker twine and wax coatings that make it difficult to slide between tight spaces. If you have crowded teeth or tend to get floss stuck in your teeth, try out a few brands until you find one that is thin and won’t shred easily. Both Oral B and Colgate offer wax-free ribbon-type flosses that are especially designed for close teeth.
Bleeding gums are a sure sign that you’re not flossing enough! If you haven’t flossed in several days or weeks, you can definitely expect some minor bleeding. Don’t get discouraged though as this is a temporary side effect that will pass as soon as you incorporate flossing into your daily routine. With regular flossing, the bleeding should stop completely within a few days.
On the long list of things we do to maintain our health, flossing is rarely nearly the top. Maybe you think that because you see your dentist twice a year, brush religiously and use a strong mouthwash, flossing is a waste of time. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. According to the CDC, nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. This startling statistic could easily be lowered if more people would take two minutes each day to floss the yuck from between their teeth.
The beautiful part about flossing is that it’s an easy habit to pick up. If it’s been a while and you’re feeling rusty, its worthwhile asking your dentist or hygienist at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry to show you the proper technique. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be on your way to a healthy, beautiful smile.
Contact our Suffolk County cosmetic dentistry office to schedule a free consultation today!
Gum recession, also known as gingival recession, is a progressive condition in which the gums pull back, exposing sensitive tooth roots. This unsightly and sometimes painful problem can lead to tooth loss if not addressed early on. If started promptly, treatment can stop gum recession and simple lifestyle changes can help prevent recurrence.
It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of people aged 65 and older suffer from receding gums in at least one tooth. Before discussing the treatment options for receding gums, it’s important to look at the main causes of this common oral health problem.
There are many factors that can cause gum recession, which leaves teeth more susceptible to decay. According to research, periodontal disease is the number one cause of receding gums. Other causes include:
Since gum recession is a slow process that occurs over many months and years, the symptoms may be subtle at first. Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is one of the first signs of receding gums. As the gingival tissue draws back farther, the tooth or teeth may appear longer than normal, and the gum tissue can also be swollen, pink and tender to the touch. Other possible symptoms of receding gums include bleeding after flossing and brushing and/or discomfort at the gum line.
Because gum recession can diminish your smile and increase the risk of advanced periodontal disease and tooth loss, it’s important to see a dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups. Depending on the nature and severity of the gum recession, your dentist may recommend one of the following options:
While gum recession treatments enjoy a high success rate, it’s worth noting that gum tissue will never spontaneously regenerate. There are, however, a few easy steps that can help prevent further recession.
If you have signs of receding gums, Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry can help you start a treatment plan today! Call our Suffolk County cosmetic dentistry practice at (631) 296-0588 to schedule a free consultation.
With advanced age come a variety of senior health challenges, including problems that can negatively impact oral health. While there are many benefits to getting older, it’s important to be cognizant of dental problems that can be caused by or exacerbated by prescription medications, lifestyle changes and other age-related factors that are common to seniors.
The following are three dental problems common in older adults, and ways you can prevent and treat them.
Dry mouth is characterized by a reduction in saliva production that leaves teeth more susceptible to harmful bacteria. However, contrary to popular belief, this problem is not a natural side effect of getting older. In many cases, the culprit is prescription medication, including those for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, Parkinson’s and other conditions that are prevalent in seniors. Even an over-the-counter decongestant can cause dry mouth, which – if left untreated – can lead to gingivitis, decay and tooth loss. You can help ward off excessive dry mouth by chewing sugar-free gum, reducing your intake of carbonated sodas, caffeine and alcohol. You can also increase your daily intake of water (at least 10 8 oz. glasses per day) and put a humidifier in your bedroom at night. Most important of all are regular dental check-ups, so your dentist can remove plaque build-up and apply a fluoride treatment to help prevent cavities.
Arthritis that affects the hands or fingers can make it painful to maintain proper oral hygiene. When brushing and flossing isn’t routinely performed, you are more susceptible to periodontal disease, which typically presents with very red, bleeding or swollen gums. Caused by bacteria and a buildup of plaque, gum disease can progress rapidly if left unchecked, leaving patients with recessed gums, exposed tooth roots and a high risk of tooth loss. The best way to prevent this dental problem is by maintaining regular oral hygiene practices and visiting your dentist for periodic cleanings (and root scalings if needed). Some seniors find that electric or ultrasonic toothbrushes and water picks make brushing easier and less painful to perform. If you are wearing dentures or a bridge, ask your dentist to ensure the fit is correct, as this can also contribute to gum inflammation.
Tooth decay goes hand-in-hand with dry mouth and a lack of routine cleaning. While you may associate cavities with young children, adults over the age of 65 are at increased risk for this problem, particularly if they suffer from chronic dry mouth. In addition, many seniors don’t see the dentist as often as they should (at least once every 6 months), which means small cavities can worsen dramatically, requiring more invasive restorations. Oral hygiene should be an important part of your health regimen, along with a balanced diet and regular dental visits. An antiseptic (alcohol free) mouth rinse can be helpful in removing bacteria that cause tooth decay.
It’s never too late to start good dental hygiene practices, and here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re here to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot have a wealth of experience treating seniors, and offer the best in restorative and cosmetic dentistry solutions, including gum disease treatment, dentures, and dental implants.
To schedule a free consultation, please call our Rocky Point office today!
Pregnancy is an extraordinary time in a woman’s life, but surging hormones – especially progesterone and estrogen – can induce a type of prenatal-gingivitis that causes soreness, bleeding and swelling in the gums. According to WebMD, an estimated 40% of women develop gingivitis at some point during their pregnancy, which is why professional dental cleanings are essential during these nine months.
Expecting a child comes with many responsibilities, and maintaining good oral hygiene is no exception. It’s important to understand that routine dental checkups are completely safe during pregnancy, as long as you communicate any special medical considerations or medications with your dentist. In fact, your dentist may suggest repeated cleanings at shorter intervals to help prevent and control pregnancy-gingivitis.
The hormone progesterone spikes dramatically during pregnancy, which enables gingivitis-causing bacteria to multiply more easily. Pregnant women may notice that their gum tissue is more sensitive than normal, and that even the smallest amount of plaque build-up can make the gingival tissue red and inflamed. Women who already have some degree of minor gum disease before becoming pregnant may find that their symptoms worsen quickly as progesterone levels rise.
Some of the common signs include:
Pregnancy hormone changes hamper the body’s normal ability to fight off bacteria, which leaves moms-to-be more prone to periodontal infections. In most cases, pregnancy-related gingivitis becomes evident by the second trimester. If left unchecked, gum disease may progress rapidly into a condition known as periodontitis, which may increase the chance of delivering a preterm baby.
However, with proper oral hygiene, regular flossing and routine dental cleanings, expecting moms should have little to worry about.
Because some research has shown a link between pregnancy gingivitis and pre-term, low birth weight babies, it’s vital to keep your gums and teeth healthy and free of excess bacteria which can travel through the bloodstream and into the uterus.
Here are some tips to prevent gingivitis while pregnant:
A lot of women may be concerned about getting X-rays while pregnant. Rest assured that dental X-rays can be safely performed during pregnancy. X-rays are much safer today than in previous decades, and protective shields are placed over the abdomen to prevent unnecessary exposure to the developing baby.
While emergency dental treatments and routine cleanings are encouraged, pregnant women should reserve elective cosmetic dental procedures, such as porcelain veneers, laser tooth whitening or gum contouring, until after the delivery.
To learn more about oral health during pregnancy, we invite you to schedule a free consultation at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliott, who specialize in general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry, have a long track record of satisfied patients throughout Suffolk County.
Call us today at 631-296-0609 to request a consultation.
Bothered by a “gummy smile”? You’re not alone. An estimated 15 percent of women and 7 percent of men are treated for excessive gum tissue or small teeth that can lead to a less than perfect smile. According to the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, 569,160 gingivectomies were performed in 2006 – a procedure that reduces extra gum tissue. For many patients, this cosmetic laser treatment has offered a quick and easy solution to feelings of embarrassment and self-consciousness stemming from a gummy smile.
Two to three millimeters of gum tissue above the tooth line is considered “normal” and the most aesthetically pleasing to the untrained eye. Individuals who have more than three or four millimeters of exposed gum tissue have what most cosmetic dentists would consider a gummy smile. Having a disproportionate tooth-to-gum ratio is not uncommon. In fact, it’s a normal anatomical variation that can result from several factors.
A gummy smile can be caused by:
If you dislike your gummy smile and are ready for a change, there are several treatment options available: laser gingivectomy, crown lengthening and Botox injections. Here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot will suggest a treatment modality that is most appropriate for your particular case. This will take into account the amount of excess gum tissue that is present when smiling, the movement of your upper lip, as well as your jaw bone anatomy.
In our practice, a gingivectomy is one of the most effective ways to fix a gummy smile. It’s a relatively simple procedure that uses a dental laser to gently contour gum tissue around the teeth. The treatment is virtually painless, requires no anesthesia and patients are fully healed within 14 days.
More severe gummy smiles may call for crown lengthening surgery, where the gingival tissue is lifted off the bone (which is slightly modified). After contouring, the gum tissue is then repositioned over the bone in such a manner that the teeth appear more prominent.
Lastly, some practitioners are using Botox injections in the upper lip’s elevator muscles to help prevent gummy smiles. This off-label use, according to studies, is relatively safe and effective, but the results only last four to five months.
Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot have been using laser dentistry in Suffolk County for nearly 20 years, achieving excellent, natural-looking results for patients who suffer from a gummy smile. To learn more about our innovative solutions for smile makeovers, we invite you to schedule a free consultation by dialing (631) 296-0602.
Smoking is one of the hardest habits to break, but increasing numbers of Americans are finding some success with e-cigarettes, which deliver a vapor cloud of nicotine-laced liquid. Inhaling e-cigarettes, more commonly known as vaping, has become hugely popular as a “safer alternative” to smoking – it has even caught on with non-smokers too! While e-cigs have considerably lower nicotine levels than their tobacco counterparts, there has been much debate about how safe vaping is for your oral and dental health.
Since vaping is still relatively new, there is little in the way of evidence about its long-term health effects. We already know that the ash and tar from tobacco cigarettes leave a tell-tale residue that stains tooth enamel, and that smokers are more prone to gum infections, halitosis and tooth loss — not to mention oral and lung cancers.
It’s reasonable to venture that vaping is probably safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. However, the underlying culprit in both pastimes is nicotine, which is known to be a hazardous and highly addictive chemical. Statistically speaking, nicotine is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States.
And while nicotine levels in e-cigarettes are lower, vapers are still putting themselves at risk for the same types of dental problems faced by smokers, including:
These unpleasant dental side effects are mostly attributed to the vaso-constricting actions of nicotine. In other words, nicotine restricts normal blood circulation in your mouth, which means that less oxygen reaches your gums making them more susceptible to infection.
Vapers who have been diagnosed with gum disease often complain of irritated and swollen gums that bleed easily – symptoms which are only exacerbated by using e-cigarettes.
Some health experts say that smokers who are trying to quit may be better off with nicotine gum or a nicotine patch, which have been on the market for years and have a solid safety profile.
New regulations currently in the works at the FDA may soon ban e-cigarette manufacturers from touting their products as a safe substitute to smoking without submitting data that backs up such claims.
Over the past years, the FDA has logged the following adverse events in connection with vaping:
In terms of protecting your dental and general health, the best option is to kick the nicotine habit once and for all.
To learn more about solutions for periodontal disease, tooth loss and gum recession caused by smoking or vaping, please contact Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Elliot or Dr. Nick.
Request an appointment today by calling (631) 319-9509.
A beautiful smile can turn back the clock by a decade or more, say Long Island cosmetic dentists in Suffolk County. A survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that more than half of Americans over age 50 say that a person’s smile is the one physical attribute that they find most attractive in other older people.
At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliott help seniors achieve and maintain their pearly whites through regular cleanings and advanced aesthetic procedures.
Our cosmetic dentists are skilled at treating the most common concerns of the over-50 crowd, including:
There is no set age for dental decline. Regular cleanings and exams every six months are the best way to stay on top of your oral health. Seniors tend to have more issues due to dry mouth from medications, limited dexterity, and mechanical wear over time.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to significantly change the appearance of one’s mouth is to bleach the teeth – which is a quick and non-invasive procedure that yields consistently impressive results. Another popular choice is to repair minor chips, discoloration and wear with tooth bonding, or porcelain veneers fit over existing teeth to restore a more youthful appearance. Replacing dentures with implants has become increasingly popular in recent years as the technology improves, making this a quicker, more efficient and affordable option than ever before.
Contact Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry by phone at (631) 296-0549 to schedule a consultation at our Rocky Point, NY office.
We all know about the negative effects of smoking on our health, but few people may realize its impact on the teeth and gums. Besides deeply stained, yellow teeth, smokers are also more prone to periodontal disease and eventual tooth loss.
Kicking the habit is the most effective way to ensure better oral health, but for those who can’t, Suffolk County cosmetic dentists Dr. Nick & Dr. Elliot offer a few tips to help avoid more serious complications.
Since smoking weakens the body’s immune system, it becomes harder to fight off infections, even in their early stages. Gum disease doesn’t develop overnight, and can be thwarted with regular dental check-ups and cleanings, which are recommended at least once every six months. If these visits are skipped too often, built up plaque and tartar lead to gum inflammation as bacteria begins to infiltrate the soft tissues. Over time, this can lead to advanced gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. In fact, one study discovered that males who smoked a pack a day lost an average of 2.9 teeth after ten years, compared to non-smokers who lost an average of 1.3 teeth after a decade.
It is thought that smoking restricts normal blood flow to the gum tissues and bones, thus impairing wound healing and creating an unhealthy environment.
Smoking is associated with a slew of cosmetic and dental health issues, including:
The American Cancer Society offers some sobering statistics about tobacco use and oral cancer. Roughly 90 percent of individuals with cancer of the tongue, lips, throat and mouth are smokers or use other tobacco products. In fact, the organization cautions that smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who don’t smoke.
Recovering from oral surgeries and procedures such as tooth extractions, treatments for periodontal disease and dental implants is much harder for smokers – yet another reason to see the dentist at least twice a year, to ensure problems are caught early.
The team at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry offers a number of treatments for fixing stained and missing teeth caused by smoking, and can remedy the damaging effects of periodontal disease. Laser tooth whitening is an excellent option for mild discoloration, while porcelain veneers may be more appropriate for those with severely stained or misshapen teeth.
Depending on the health of your jaw and gum tissues, you may also be a candidate for dental implants, which give an instant smile makeover and can be performed in one day here in our Rocky Point office.
To find out more about how we can help you, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick by calling 631.296.0602.
Receding gums affect nearly 15 percent of American adults. If left untreated for many years, patients may experience adverse effects such as increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as heightened risk of tooth decay. Luckily, there are several effective treatments for receding gums that can be performed in just one visit to the dentist.
At Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer gum reconstruction and grafting procedures using state-of-the-art equipment. Suffolk County cosmetic dentists Dr. Elliott and Dr. Nick are experts in periodontal surgery and have extensive training in soft tissue management for receding gums. If you’re tired of looking at a “toothy smile,” or are worried about your oral health and increasing intolerance for hot foods or cold drinks, gum recession treatment may be just the solution.
Receding gums are one of the most noticeable effects of periodontal disease in its early stages. As the gum line recedes up the tooth root, delicate nerves are exposed. Recession can occur along one tooth or several teeth, causing tissue inflammation, root exposure and sensitivity, and eventual cavities. Since gum tissue is the first defense against bacteria and tooth decay, its recession can result in both gum disease and bone deterioration. Eventually, tooth loss may even occur.
Gum grafts and reconstruction are a common periodontal procedure here in our Suffolk County office. Though the treatment might sound fear-provoking, it offers excellent results with little discomfort.
There are three common types of receding gums treatment we offer:
After gum grafting treatment, our patients report a number of positive effects:
Connective tissue grafts require only local anesthetics, which means very little downtime after the procedure. Most folks can resume their normal routine immediately, being careful to stick with soft foods (Jello, pasta, yogurt) during the first 7-14 days.
Here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, our primary mission is to help our patients have confident, healthy smiles. Our entire staff is committed to providing all patients with compassionate, personalized care to ensure your experience is as pleasant and stress-free as possible.
To learn more about receding gum treatment on Long Island, or other types of periodontal procedures, please give us a call at (631) 319-9509 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Elliot or Dr. Nick.
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