Gentle Dentistry 173 Terrace Street, Haworth, NJ 07641 (201) 384-1611

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Posts for: March, 2016

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
March 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: smoking  

Using tobacco products not only increases your risk of developing heart disease and other health issues but can also affect your oral smokinghealth. Bergen County, NJ, dentists Andrew Spector, DMD, FAGD, FICOI; Michael Migdal, DMD, FAGD, FICOI; Jennifer Hade, DMD; and Adam Brisman, DMD; at Gentle Dentistry, P.A., explain how smoking can damage your teeth and gums.

Smoking can increase your risk of cavities

Smoking can increase the amount of tartar you have on your teeth. Tartar, a hard deposit, builds up on your teeth if plaque isn't removed promptly and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Tartar is so hard that it can only be removed by your dentist.

Gum disease is more likely if you smoke or use tobacco

Gum disease is not only painful, but can also lead to tooth loss if it isn't successfully treated. Smokers are at increased risk for developing this disease and may experience more serious symptoms than non-smokers. Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection that causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, forming spaces called pockets. If gum loss is severe, bone loss can occur. Unfortunately, bone loss tends to be more likely if you smoke. Smoking also slows healing, which can make gum disease difficult for your Bergen County, NJ dentists to treat.

Smoking can affect the success of dental implants

Dental implants offer an innovative, permanent way to replace missing teeth. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime, but implant failure can be an issue if you smoke. Smokers are more likely to develop peri-implantitis, an infection that can threaten the health of your implants.

Smoking and tobacco use increases your cancer risk

Smoking or chewing tobacco increases your risk of developing cancerous tumors in your mouth, larynx or the back of your throat. Your risk is greater if you have been using tobacco for many years.

Regular dental exams and cleanings are particularly important if you smoke. Call your Bergen County, NJ, dentists at Gentle Dentistry, P.C., at (201) 384-1611 to schedule an appointment today.


By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
March 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  
DwightHowardABrightNBAStarWithaSmiletoMatch

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”


SurgicallyAccessingSinusescanHelpGrowNewBoneforImplants

Dental implants are by far the best way to replace missing teeth. But they do more than improve your smile: they can restore your ability to eat, chew and talk properly, especially if the teeth replaced are in the back of your mouth. What’s more, they can improve the entire look of your face by restoring facial height and cheek support lost because of the missing teeth.

There is, however, one obstacle to overcome before receiving dental implants — a lack of sufficient bone at the implant site. Bone loss usually occurs when teeth have been missing for some time. This is because when we chew the forces generated by the teeth stimulate continual bone growth to make up for older bone that has dissolved (resorbed). This stimulation doesn’t occur after teeth are lost, which slows the rate of bone growth. Over time the amount of healthy bone diminishes.

Without enough bone for support, implants can’t be placed properly. Fortunately, some of the bone can be regenerated through techniques that place bone grafting material at the site to stimulate and serve as a scaffold for new bone.  The new bone will eventually replace the graft.

For missing upper back teeth with bone loss, we can take advantage of facial anatomy to grow the bone needed for implants. This area of the face is where the maxillary sinuses, air spaces lined with a tissue membrane, are located on either side just above the upper jaw. After determining their exact size and location through detailed x-ray imaging, we can surgically access the area inside the mouth just above the missing teeth.

The sinus cavity is an area where bone growth can occur by placing a bone graft between the floor of the sinus and the sinus membrane. Sometimes bone growth enhancers are used to stimulate and speed up regeneration. The procedure can usually be performed with local anesthesia (much like a routine tooth filling), with only mild discomfort afterward for a few days managed by an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen and a decongestant for sinus swelling.

After six to seven months, we re-evaluate the area to see if sufficient bone has returned for implant surgery. If so, you will be well on your way to achieving a new look and better function through dental implants.

If you would like more information on building new bone through sinus surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sinus Surgery.”