Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | The Benefits of Chewing Gum

We are often warned about the negative effects that sugary gums and candies can have on our teeth. Although it is true that sticky, sweet candies increase your risk of tooth decay, not all chewing gums are harmful to your teeth. Though gum is considered a type of candy, sugar free gums can actually help to prevent tooth decay and leave you with a healthy and beautiful smile. Here’s how:

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | The Benefits of Chewing Gum

How Does Chewing Gum Keep My Mouth Healthy?

Chewing gum increases saliva production which in turn aids in strengthening tooth enamel, as saliva contains calcium. Your teeth need the calcium that is produced by our saliva in order to remain strong enough to fight tooth decay. Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum for up to 20 minutes after each meal aids in both cleaning excess food particles from your teeth and in producing the saliva necessary to give your mouth a suitable self-cleaning.

How Chewing Gum Can Help My Gums

The extra saliva that chewing sugar-free gum produces can also help your gums. Neutralizing the plaque and acids that lead to gingivitis, gum can help protect you from gum disease. Gingivitis, when left untreated, may develop into periodontal disease. Increased saliva flow also may help to maintain tooth enamel mineralization, keeping your mouth healthy and happy.

What Kind of Gum Should I Chew?

When looking for chewing gum that will help to keep your mouth healthy, look for the ADA seal on the package. That seal will guarantee that you are chewing sugar-free gum.

The next time that you’re feeling guilty about your gum chewing habit, don’t! Know that your habit may actually be aiding in keeping your mouth and gums healthy. Just remember to look for the ADA seal.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy, or to schedule a visit to our office, contact our team today. We are here to help!

 

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | The Secret To Perfect Flossing, Every Time

Dentists often like to say that flossing is just as important as brushing. Believe it or not, we don’t say this to trick you. We say it because it’s true. When you forget, or worse, ignore, your flossing you are avoiding cleaning about 35% of your tooth surface. If you’re not flossing because you find it difficult, or because you think you simply don’t have the time, we have a few helpful hints that we’ve picked up over the years to help you floss perfectly every time you pick up a string of dental floss.

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | The Secret To Perfect Flossing, Every Time

The Thicker the Better:

When it comes to the type of dental floss you use, there are plenty of options. While everyone has different needs, a thicker, ribbon style of floss can help clean teeth more effectively due to its larger size. While thinner floss will work just as well, thicker varieties will make cleaning easier for those who find it difficult to spend much time flossing.

 

A Backstage Helper:

Another common complaint we receive about flossing is that it’s too difficult to reach the back of the mouth. We have a solution. Creatively called a “floss holder”, these plastic devices hold a small piece of floss in place, allowing you to reach the back of your mouth without needing room for your fingers. These disposable tools make flossing faster and easier for even the most “anti-flossing” people. They’re also relatively affordable.

 

The Proper Length:

18 inches. That’s the magic number for how much floss you should be using at one time. This gives you enough length to always use a clean section of floss and have control over the floss. Any shorter or longer, and you may have a difficult time holding the floss in place or ensuring that the section of floss your are using is clean.

 

Take Your Time:

Rushing your flossing can actually end up doing more harm than good. When people rush to get their flossing done, they can use too much pressure and cause damage to their gums, or miss important spots entirely. If you find yourself rushing when you floss, it’s important to remember that you don’t have time to floss improperly. Doing so can lead to periodontal disease and even tooth decay over time. Work slowly, but effectively and make sure flossing is a comfortable experience.

 

So there you have it. Now you’ll be able to take these tips with you the next time you floss for a cleaner, healthier smile. If you have any questions about your oral health, or need to schedule an appointment with your periodontist, contact our office today and we will be happy to assist you.

 

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | Is It Time To See a Periodontist?

According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50 percent of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. If you have concerns you may have gum disease, or have trouble keeping your gum disease under control, learning the symptoms of gum disease should be the next step in considering a visit to your Periodontist.

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | Is It Time To See a Periodontist?

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontists are experts in gum disease. They receive extensive training that includes 3 extra years of specialized education in addition to dental school. They take this time to study the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases. Periodontists handle a variety of treatments such as scaling and root planing or surface debridement. They can also treat severe gum problems with the use of  surgical procedures. With such a level of specialization related to gum disease, a periodontist can significantly better your dental health in many cases.

 

Should I see a Periodontist?

In some instances, your normal dentist is able to handle your periodontal needs. Your dentist can also help in determining if a periodontist is necessary. Some general signs to visit a periodontist can include painful, swollen, receding, or bleeding gums. Loose teeth or changes in your bite can be bigger signs of gum disease, and indicate that if you haven’t done so already, it is definitely time to give our office a call.

 

Scheduling an appointment with a periodontist preemptively can be very beneficial. Periodontal disease is usually painless and can remain undetected for some time without the proper assessment. Taking initiative when it comes to your oral health is very important.

 

Knowing the signs of gum disease is just as important as knowing when to visit a periodontist. Gum disease is very treatable and taking the steps quickly enough can make a big difference in your oral health. If you have any concerns or want to schedule an appointment, contact our office today for more information.

 

 

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | Why Your Pants Can Have Pockets, But Your Gums Shouldn’t

If you’re one of the nearly 50% of American adults who suffer from periodontal disease, it’s likely that your gums have already begun to recede away from your teeth, creating what are known as gum pockets. Normal healthy gums should fit snugly around your teeth, keeping them in place and protected from bacteria. As such, gum pockets are the exact opposite of what you want for your oral health.

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | Why Your Pants Can Have Pockets, But Your Gums Shouldn’t

As these pockets deepen over time, they expose your teeth and their vulnerable roots to all kinds of bacteria that can wreak havoc on your oral health. In fact, these pockets actually serve as a space for this harmful bacteria to collect, where it will eventually permeate under the gum and infect your teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.

If you don’t have gum pockets, awesome. You should maintain your oral healthcare routine to make sure it stays that way. If you do have them, not all hope is lost.

If your gums are in a bad state, your doctor can provide you with the treatment you need to restore your health. During the procedure, your gum tissue will be folded back, and thoroughly cleansed of all disease-causing bacteria before being secured back in place. This also allows your gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone and limit your chances of reinfection.

It’s important to get your periodontal pockets taken care of as soon as possible, as deeper pockets are more difficult to treat. Reducing depth and cleaning the bacteria are both critical to maintaining a healthy smile.

Because of the nature of gum disease, you will need to work with your doctor to make sure your oral care routine is strong, even after the procedure, as the disease can easily return. Together, you and our team’s professional care will increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth and steering clear or periodontal disease in the future.

If you are in the middle of your periodontal care, make sure you schedule your next appointment with our office to maintain your healthy, pocket free gums.

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | How to Recognize the Symptoms of Gum Disease

According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50 percent (47.2 to be exact) of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. Despite this high rate, gum disease is often overlooked and many may not even be aware that they have the disease. A main factor in the “silent” nature of gum disease is that the symptoms usually don’t appear until advanced stages. Here we’ll outline some of the symptoms you may be able to recognize in order to get the treatment you need before it’s too late.

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | How to Recognize the Symptoms of Gum Disease

Red, swollen, or tender gums can be one of the first and most easily recognizable signs of periodontitis. However, it is just as common for gum disease to induce little to no recognizable pain.  If this is the case, you may still be able to identify your early stages of gum disease in another way. If you find that your gums bleed while brushing, flossing, or even eating hard foods, this is another indicator that your gums may be swollen and sensitive. Healthy gums don’t bleed from regular maintenance. If yours do, you most likely are suffering from some form of gum disease.

Some of the other, more dramatic symptoms of gum disease include:

  • receding gums
  • loose teeth
  • Mouth sores
  • stubborn bad breath
  • changes in the way your teeth fit together

As the foundation of your smile, unhealthy or damaged gums can have serious consequences on your oral health. If left unattended, gum disease can even lead to tooth loss.

However, the disease is also very treatable, and the earlier treatment begins, the easier the recovery. If you begin to see even the faintest traces of any of these symptoms, or need an expert in periodontal care for any other reason, contact our office today and get started on healthier gums for tomorrow.

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | There Are Two Types of Gum Disease. Both Need Treatment.

Gingivitis and periodontitis: these diseases that affect the gums are both fairly common among Americans. But just because they are common does not mean that they should go untreated. If taken care of early, both can be stopped with effective care. Below, we’ll go over the signs and symptoms of each, and how you should go about beginning treatment.

Virginia Beach VA Periodontist | There Are Two Types of Gum Disease. Both Need Treatment.

Gingivitis:

The milder form of gum disease, gingivitis is characterized by red and irritated gums. While this may not seem like a serious issue, gingivitis leads to much worse problems if left untreated. It is estimated that roughly 50 percent of the U.S. population experiences some kind of gingivitis.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of gingivitis. Those at increased risk include minorities, substance abusers, older adults, and pregnant women, among others. The disease develops quickly as a build up of plaque causes gums to become infected.

 

Symptoms include tender and bleeding gums, swollen or shiny gums, mouth sores and bad breath. The best way to prevent the disease is to practice good oral hygiene. However, if treatment is required, a professional will remove all plaque and tartar in a process known as “scaling”. Your doctor will work with you to determine how many cleanings are needed, if other treatment is necessary, and how over-the-counter mouthwashes may help keep plaque levels minimized.

 

Periodontitis:

If left untreated, gingivitis may soon lead to a much more serious disease – Periodontitis. This nasty disease can destroy gums, mouth bones, tissue and teeth. It arises when plaque spreads below the gum line, creating toxins that cause tissues and bones to break down.

 

The American Academy of Periodontology characterizes several types of periodontitis, including chronic, aggressive, as a manifestation of systemic disease, and necrotizing.

 

Symptoms include many of the same signs as gingivitis, but more advanced. Patients with the disease can expect receding gums, new spaces between teeth, loose teeth, and pus around teeth and gums. There are both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, all of which you can discuss with your doctor, should the need arise.

 

Periodontal disease in any of its forms should be of serious concern to you. If you suspect you may be suffering from the disease, it is important to schedule a visit with our office right away to get the care you need quickly.

How Close is Too Close?

When it comes to staff….how close is too close?  Because I’m a dental spouse, you probably think that I’m referring to the slippery slope some male dentists find themselves in with their employees.  Of course that is a legitimate concern, but I’m talking about another issue.  My issue is this….I work in my husband’s practice and I am very close to all the members of our team.  Probably closer than I should be.  My husband sometimes feels that it clouds my judgement about certain issues.  I will admit that I have a very maternal instinct when it comes to most of them, even though I’m not that much older (just kidding).  I think it comes from the fact that I have been in their shoes.  I share the same background of working in a dental office, of being a single mother, of moving to a new area and having no family nearby for support and of working with my husband in all its glory and despair!  My problem is how to separate personal feelings from the needs of the practice.

The first place I started was to be honest with myself.  I had to realize that my close relationship with our team could have a significant impact on our practice.  I could not let my personal feelings determine how I handled staff issues.  I also couldn’t let any member of our team take advantage, either deliberately or by accident, of my deep regard for them.

The second thing I had to do was to be honest with my husband.  Because he knows me so well, he knows that my maternal instincts are very strong.  He also knows that I will go three blocks out of my way just to avoid confrontation.  He will also be quick to say that this instinct applies to everyone but him!  Knowing all this made the decision of who to be in charge of staff issues very easy.  He will, of course, ask my opinion about different issues but ultimately he will make the decisions when it comes to staff.  This arrangement works very well for us, especially because the staff is aware that he is in charge.  This reduces the possibility that a staff member could take advantage of our relationship.  It also allows the team to accept me as one of their own.  Having a personal relationship with each other makes our team bond so much stronger.

I have made a conscious choice to remain close with our team but I have done so with the knowledge that there are certain limits.  I don’t socialize with them out of the office unless it is a team event.  I also don’t offer advice about their personal lives unless the advice is requested.  Most importantly, all team members know that I will defer to my husband on staff related issues.  But they are also aware that I am their strongest advocate if the situation warrants my involvement.  I’ve realized over the years that close can be good!

 

Partnership or Competition?

One of the hardest parts of marriage is navigating the slippery slope of hierarchy.  Hierarchy is defined as “a system in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority”.  In other words….who’s the boss?  In an ideal world or marriage there would be no boss, but a true partnership with both parties having equal say.  Of course, that world just doesn’t exist.  So in marriage, the spouses either fight it out until a victor emerges or come to a compromise if they don’t agree on a subject.  Each person should have an opportunity to voice their opinion and to have it heard.  In some instances though, there may be one person who has a better understanding of the situation and should have more input.  Some examples are, if a spouse has a better understanding of the family schedule, they would obviously have more input on the timing of a family outing.  Or if one spouse is really interested in the stock market and does lots of research, they would be better qualified to make a decision on an investment.  It’s really a simple concept but sometimes the execution can be tricky.  It’s even more difficult when spouses share a business.  So the question becomes, how do you determine who is in charge when spouses work together?

The first step is to realize that your business is a partnership and not a competition.  In a partnership, both parties are working toward a common goal….success of your business.  Sometimes that will mean that one spouse will have a larger role in determining how the business will function.  This in no way diminishes the other partner, it just removes the opportunity for competition.  Healthy competition in sports is vital, but in a business partnership it can be catastrophic.  If the two main players in the business can’t agree…..how can the business be a success?

The second step is to determine the hierarchy of the business.  It’s never a good thing to appoint a supreme ruler in a partnership.  In fact, that would be the exact opposite of a partnership.  The most obvious way is to determine what role each person will assume in the business and what special skills they bring to that role.  Obviously, the partner who is the dentist would be the one to make all decisions in regard to patient care.  If the other partner is in charge of all things accounts payable, that partner would be the best one to make decisions regarding those issues.  The process of defining roles within the business can be difficult but it is crucial to determining the hierarchy of the business. Once you have roles determined and hierarchy established the relationship between spouses will feel more like a partnership and less like a competition.

The third step is to respect the partnership.  Each spouse needs to appreciate the contributions of the other and to adhere to the hierarchy of the business.  Equally important is that all members of your team are aware of the partnership hierarchy and respect the role of each partner.  Even if one partner has a very limited role in the day to day process of your business all team members need to realize that your business is a partnership.

Finally, navigating the journey of business ownership and working with your spouse can sometimes be a bumpy one.  That is why we are here to help you with some helpful tips and advice learned through years of experience and a willingness to share our stories.  Grace and I are an impartial third party who have “been there, done that” and have “seen that, fixed that”.  We would love to help you make your ideal partnership a reality.

 

 

By: Kim Cavallari

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.