Posts for: December, 2017
The human body’s immune system has amazing defensive capabilities. Without it a common cold or small wound could turn deadly.
One of the more important processes of the immune system is inflammation, the body’s ability to isolate diseased or injured tissue from unaffected tissue. Ironically, though, this vital component of the healing process could actually cause harm if it becomes chronic.
This often happens with periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gums caused by bacterial plaque built up on teeth due to inadequate hygiene, which in turn triggers inflammation. The infection is often fueled by plaque, however, and can become difficult for the body to overcome on its own. A kind of trench warfare sets in between the body and the infection, resulting in continuing inflammation that can damage gum tissues. Untreated, the damage may eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.
In treating gum disease, our main goal is to stop the infection (and hence the inflammation) by aggressively removing plaque and calculus (tartar). Without plaque the infection diminishes, the inflammation subsides and the gums can begin to heal. This reduces the danger to teeth and bone and hopefully averts their loss.
But there’s another benefit of this treatment that could impact other inflammatory conditions in the body. Because all the body’s organic systems are interrelated, what occurs in one part affects another especially if it involves inflammation.
It’s now theorized that reducing gum inflammation could lessen inflammation in other parts of the body. Likewise, treating other conditions like high blood pressure and other risk factors for inflammatory diseases could lower your risk of gum disease and boost the effectiveness of treatment.
The real key is to improve and maintain your overall health, including your teeth and gums. Practice daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque, and visit your dentist regularly for more thorough cleanings. And see your dentist at the first sign of possible gum problems like bleeding, redness or swelling. You’ll not only be helping your mouth you could also be helping the rest of your body enjoy better health.
If you would like more information on the relationship between gum disease and other systemic conditions, 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 “The Link between Heart & Gum Diseases.”
How your family dentist in Hampton, New Hampshire can help you and your family
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simplify your life? Imagine being able to combine all of your family’s needs and take care of everything at once. Fortunately, there is one part of your family’s healthcare needs that you can simplify, by having one dentist for your whole family! Dr. Harbpinder Shevchenko at Smiles By The Sea Family Dentistry in Hampton, New Hampshire wants to share how a family dentist can help you and your family.
Dental emergencies can happen at any time, to any member of your family. If your child plays sports, having an injury to the face or jaws can happen, resulting in dental pain or tooth damage. When you have one dentist for your whole family, you don’t have to go searching around for a dentist you’ve never seen before in surroundings that are unfamiliar. With a family dentist, you will know who to call and where to go to receive care right when you and your family need it.
Receiving care from someone you know is only one of the many benefits of having one dentist for your whole family. When you have a family dentist, you will experience:
Time savings, because you will be able to schedule multiple family members on the same day, saving time and lost days from work
Money savings, because your family dentist will monitor your family’s dental needs and treat small dental problems before they can become larger, more expensive conditions requiring more extensive treatment
Your family’s dental treatment needs will change as you and your family get older, but don’t worry. Your family dentist can handle it all! Whether you need a first time visit for your young child, preventive sealants for older children, orthodontics for your teenager, or restorative and cosmetic dental services for you, Dr. Shevchenko can keep you and your family smiling.
Choosing one dentist for your whole family is one of the most important decisions you can make that can have a major impact on simplifying your life. To find out more about family dental care services call Dr. Harbpinder Shevchenko at Smiles By The Sea Family Dentistry in Hampton, New Hampshire today!
Soon after the primary (baby) teeth begin to give way, the teeth a child will have the rest of their lives start erupting into the mouth. But while they’re permanent, they’re not as strong and developed as they will be in adulthood.
That’s why we treat young permanent teeth differently from older adult teeth. For example, a decayed adult tooth may need a root canal treatment; but this standard treatment would often be the wrong choice for a child’s tooth.
The reason why involves the pulp, the innermost layer of a tooth, which plays a critical role in early development. Young permanent teeth continue to grow in sync with the jaws and facial structure. Most of this growth is in the dentin, the layer between the enamel and pulp, which increases proportionally to the other layers as the tooth matures. The pulp generates this new dentin.
A root canal treatment completely removes the diseased tissue of the pulp. This isn’t a major issue for a mature tooth because it no longer needs to generate more dentin. But it can have long-term consequences for an immature tooth whose growth may become stunted and the roots not fully formed. The tooth may thus become brittle and darkened, and might eventually require removal.
Because of these potential consequences, a root canal treatment is a last resort for a young permanent tooth. But there are modified alternatives, depending on the degree of pulp exposure or infection. For example, if the pulp is intact, we may be able to remove as much soft decayed dentin as we can, place an antibacterial agent and then fill the tooth to seal it without disturbing the pulp. If the pulp is partially affected, we can remove that part and place substances that encourage dentin growth and repair.
Our main goal is to treat a young tooth with as little contact with the pulp as possible, so as not to diminish its capacity to generate new dentin. Avoiding a full root canal treatment if at all possible by using these and other techniques will help ensure the tooth continues to develop to full maturity.
If you would like more information on dental care for children, 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 “Saving New Permanent Teeth after Injury.”