Legacy Periodontics & Implant Center

Oral Health: Get Your Oral Cancer Screening

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Did you know that mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide? The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. Now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer.

Remember—early detection saves lives! It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.

What are the risks?
Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:
• Smoking and using tobacco products are a known long-term historic cause of oral cancer.
• Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
• The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms?
The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:
• Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
• The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
• Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
• A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth
• Dramatic weight loss
• Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
• Unexplained bleeding in the mouth

Don’t wait any longer. Be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!

After Care: Dental Implants

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Are you considering dental implants but are worried about the recovery time?
Don’t worry, we’re here to give you the facts!

The recovery time following dental implant surgery tends to vary but is usually based on the amount of teeth being implanted, whether or not a bone graft was needed and how well the individual manages his or her recovery. The science and technology behind dental implants have improved drastically over the last few years, improving post-surgery pain and comfort for patients.

Recovery Time
Typically, you will have the fastest recovery time if you had a standard, single dental implant placed with no bone grafting. With a simple procedure like this one, there is very little discomfort or pain after the surgery. Mild bruising and soreness can occur, but this can typically be managed with over the counter pain relievers. In more severe implant cases, such as those where multiple teeth are implanted or severe bone grafts are needed in order to accomplish the implant, the recovery time tends to be longer and the discomfort can be more intense.

Post-Op
It is important to keep your mouth clean after surgery, which can be done by rinsing your mouth gently with saltwater beginning the day after surgery. You may begin brushing your teeth the night after the surgery, but make sure to be extremely gentle around the surgery area as to not disrupt the healing process. Remember that in the week following your surgery, there should be no smoking and no sucking through a straw, as this can seriously inhibit your healing process. Stick to a diet primarily consisting of soft foods for the first 7-10 days following your surgery before beginning to return to your normal diet.

As you can see, the recovery process after receiving a dental implant is fairly predictable and comfortable. It is important to follow the instructions that we give you, and always remember that if you have any questions or concerns regarding a procedure or following your surgery, you can always give us a call.

Oral Health: All About Gums

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Why should teeth get all the fame? Since the beginning of time, teeth have taken center stage in the oral health arena, while their close cousins, the gums, have occupied more of a back-seat role. So, we have decided to dedicate this article to gums! What makes them healthy, what makes them sick, and why they are so important for whole-body health?

Gingiva, or “gums”, are the mucosal tissue that cover the jaw and hold the teeth in place. When they are healthy and properly intact, they offer a protective barrier for the jaw and tooth roots against food and bacteria.

Healthy Gums:
Healthy gums typically are coral pink in color, and not recessed far above the tooth. They show a scalloped appearance over each tooth, are firm and resist movement. They take brushing and flossing well, usually with no reaction whatsoever.

Unhealthy Gums:
By contrast, unhealthy gums may exhibit red, white and even blue hues, have a puffy or orange peel texture and may bleed when brushed or flossed. Untreated periodontal disease can affect the whole body, as it is related to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Also, it can result in lost teeth and poor nutrition down the road.

Prevention is Key:
The good news is that most cases of periodontal disease are preventable. While we don’t know exactly what role genetics play in terms of periodontal health, we do know that practicing good oral health is the first step to preventing periodontal disease. Habits such as brushing twice and flossing once per day and regular exams and cleanings can help many people prevent or slow the progression of gum disease.

We hope you have learned something new about your gums!

If you have any questions about your gums, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Teeth Discoloration

Teeth-Discoloration

What color are your teeth? Of course, there is no “right” answer. Teeth come in endless shades and ranges. When we talk about tooth color in our office, we try to break it down into no fewer than 40 shades (light to dark) and ranges (color). Everyone’s teeth are unique, and the possibilities are endless.

You may be wondering, what makes a tooth the color it is now or will be in the future? We all know about coffee and tobacco as being major culprits of stained teeth, but what else goes into the making of a tooth color?

Things We Can’t Control:
• Genetics – Inheriting your tooth color is a high possibility for your current color as well. You can also inherit your tooth’s propensity for staining.
• Aging – As we age, our teeth inevitably turn more yellow.
• Medicine Use – some medicines, such as certain antibiotics, can cause your tooth color to change.
• Injury – Traumatic tooth injuries can cause intrinsic discoloration of the inner part of the tooth, the “dentin”, which is difficult to remedy. Have you ever seen a tooth that looks “dead”? That gray tone has most likely been brought on by a traumatic tooth injury.

Things We Can Control:
• Food and Drinks – Certain foods and drinks, such as berries, sauces, coffee, dark soda, black tea and red wine, cause staining over time. Limit these foods and practice good oral hygiene habits!
• Over-fluoridation – Too much fluoride in children, while teeth are still developing, can cause tooth discoloration. Be sure to follow guidelines for safe fluoride use. Don’t abandon the use of fluoride altogether though. Fluoride offers numerous benefits such as: preventing tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks and reversing early tooth decay. But we’ve all heard that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
• Tobacco Use – It is well known that cigarettes and other tobacco products turn teeth yellow and eventually brown. Don’t smoke or chew.

What can you do about stained teeth? We’re glad you asked! We offer professional teeth whitening options for the best and safest results. No matter what tooth shade you’ve inherited (or created), we can help make it whiter. Give us a call today to find out more!

How to Take Care of Your Dental Implant

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Cleaning and taking care of your implant is just as important as cleaning your natural teeth. Here are some things you should know about caring for your implant.

Your implant and your natural teeth are similar because they both rely on healthy tissue for support! Just like with real teeth, plaque buildup can be harmful. It’s important to remove that plaque because it can develop into an infection. If the infection isn’t properly treated, it can result in a loss of bone around the implant which could progress to the loss of the implant itself.

It’s important to get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis so your dental hygienist can get biofilm off your teeth and keep your teeth infection-free. As always, you should be brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day.

Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real and natural teeth. They don’t require any special products or treatment, just a simple brush and floss will do the job! If they are properly cared for, they can last a lifetime, avoiding any further dental work down the road.

With a dental implant, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods. It will not loosen or fall out if you are chewing something hard.

Overall, dental implants are meant to make life better and easier! You don’t have to go out of your way to take care of them – a simple brush and floss will ensure that they improve your overall quality of life for many years to come.

If you think a dental implant may be right for you, call Legacy Periodontics & Implants at Legacy Periodontics & Implants Phone Number 248-380-8020 to schedule a consultation!

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

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Yes, you still have to floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today.

What the fluoride?

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Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at Legacy Periodontics & Implants Phone Number 248-380-8020 !

Stay Happier with Healthier Gums

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Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays happy and healthy too! To ensure this, what are some ways to make sure your gums stay healthy and keep your smile shining bright for years to come!?

Floss, Floss, Floss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can take to fight against gum disease. Keep your gums healthy by flossing once a day to clean those areas in between your teeth which may be hard for your toothbrush to reach.

Brush and Rinse
Brushing twice a day is the most common method of keeping your mouth fresh and clean. It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day too! It is a great way to make an extra step in protecting your gums.

Use the Right Toothpaste
Choosing the right toothpaste is important for keeping your gums healthy. Make sure to grab a toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to get the best results when brushing. Fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverse signs of tooth decay. Want to make sure you could get even better results? Grab a toothpaste backed by experts at the ADA!

Regular Dentist Checkups
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in ensuring that your teeth remain healthy and clean! Your dentist will be able to see early symptoms of gum disease, and will be able to get rid of tartar and plaque that may be stuck to your teeth. These bi-annual Check-ups will ensure that your teeth are in tip-top shape.

These four steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of gum disease. If you have any more questions about how to keep your gums healthy, or how to prevent gum disease, give Legacy Periodontics & Implants a call at Legacy Periodontics & Implants Phone Number 248-380-8020 today!

3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy

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Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.

Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!

It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Stay Regular
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!

These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!

Daily Habits That’ll Save Your Natural Teeth

Daily Habits That'll Save Your Natural Teeth

Oral health is not just about how your smile looks, but how you take care of it! You may often overlook the importance of your oral health, but it is essential for a healthy lifestyle, as well as preventing any future dental related problems. By taking small, but significant, steps to care for the health of your teeth now, you can also prevent the price of costly visits to the dentist later. Take a moment to read up on our suggestions for excellent habits that will save your natural teeth:

1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth!

Brushing at night is essential to ridding your teeth of the germs and plaque that have accumulated during the day. If brushing is neglected, then the damaging bacteria will have a higher chance of causing tooth decay. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day to keep that bacteria at bay.

2. Tongues out!

Believe it or not, plaque also builds up on your tongue. Therefore, you should always remember to brush that as well. This plaque could cause potential problems, in addition to creating a foul mouth odor, better known as bad breath. This odor can lead to insecurities that can easily be brushed away.

3. Floss, floss, floss

Brushing is essential, but flossing is crucial in ridding your mouth of that pesky bacteria. Flossing should be done once a day (typically at night) to remove the leftover particles of food and bacteria that are permeated between the teeth. Flossing not only gets rid of waste, but it also stimulates your gums and helps reduce inflammation.

4. Use a therapeutic mouthwash

According to the ADA, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis, and reduce the speed that tarter develops. An added bonus of incorporating a mouthwash into your daily routine is that it helps remove food particles from your mouth. However, this is NOT a substitute for flossing or brushing.

5. Healthy you, healthy smile

Ready-to-eat foods are convenient and tasty, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth and oral hygiene. Eating fresh, crunchy produce that contains healthy fiber, such as apples and celery, is a better choice when it comes to snacking.

Be sure to incorporate these 5 healthy habits into your daily routine to ensure optimal oral health! Give us a call at Legacy Periodontics & Implants Phone Number 248-380-8020 to learn more about how you can improve your oral hygiene and the benefits that come with it.