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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Introduction to Dental Implants

If you are searching for missing teeth help, you are not alone. 69 percent of adults between ages 35 and 45 have lost at least one tooth due to gum disease, decay, or injury. This number only continues to rise as we age, and postponing treatment can jeopardize the health of your remaining teeth, so it is important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. Due to advances in dental implant technology, implants are now regarded as the preferred treatment for replacing missing teeth. Although dentures and fixed bridges are still commonly used, both present complications that make them less favorable long-term solutions. Dr. Valentina Obradovic of Adriatic Dental is well-equipped to provide you with the missing teeth help you need. The San Marcos dental practice specializes in implant dentistry and Dr. Obradovic can help you identify the best treatment for your individual needs.

San Marcos Dental Implants 101

Dental Implants are unique in their natural compatibility with the body. Because they are constructed from titanium, implants are capable of integrating with your jaw bone once they are surgically placed there. Dentures and bridges are made from incompatible materials like cast metal, plastic, and acrylic, which can aggravate the gum tissue. Since implants are surgically embedded in the gums, they also provide a level of stability that other replacement solutions cannot compare to.

Dental implant technology has continued to evolve over the last two decades, but even patients who received implants in the 1980s and 1990s still report optimal functionality. Not only do implants have a 97 percent success rate, they lack the complications that often accompany alternatives like bridges and Dentures.

Adriatic Dental, a San Marcos Dental practice, can provide you with missing teeth help through implant dentistry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

LANAP® Laser Treatment

The effects of gum disease can reach far beyond your mouth; Periodontal Disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and low birth weight babies in addition to increasing your risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as 64 percent. Gum disease affects millions, yet many people postpone treatment due to the invasiveness of traditional treatments. However, by harnessing advanced laser technology, Dr. Valentina Obradovic can now offer the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®), a ground-breaking gum disease treatment that is minimally invasive, highly effective, and can assist with tooth loss prevention.

Tooth Loss Prevention: Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease and how LANAP® can help!

Gum disease begins when tartar and bacteria trapped beneath the gum line lead to infection. Periodontal disease evolves over time, but can be reversed in the early stages with intervention. By gaining insight into this progression, patients may be able to recognize the signs and seek appropriate gum disease treatment to aide in tooth loss prevention.

1. Gingivitis. The mildest form of periodontal disease, a pocket is formed between the gum and tooth, and symptoms include inflamed gums that may bleed while brushing or flossing. At this first stage, gingivitis can usually be reversed with cleanings and stricter adherence to dental hygiene, so it is important to be on the lookout for these signs to increase the chances of tooth loss prevention.

2. Periodontitis. As Gum Disease progresses, infection and inflammation spread to the bone supporting the teeth. Gum recession may occur as ligaments break down. Pockets deepen and you may experience redness, swelling, and bleeding as bacteria multiplies and the infection starts destroying the bone.

3. Advanced Periodontitis. In the advanced stage, bone loss continues and teeth begin to loosen due to the loss of ligament and bone. The periodontal pockets deepen even further, often filling with pus. Your teeth may hurt when brush and feel sensitive to heat or cold. In some cases, removing teeth may be necessary to stop the infection from spreading, but choosing a gum disease treatment like LANAP® might allow you to keep your natural teeth.

Dr. Valentina Obradovic offers the LANAP® gum disease treatment at Adriatic Dental in San Marcos, CA. If you would like to learn more about gum disease treatment and tooth loss prevention, call to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Obradovic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tooth and Bone Loss

Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons. Anything from disease, injury, birth defect, to decay can result in teeth being lost or removed. However, many dental and health problems can result from tooth loss or removal.

Diet

Without properly aligned teeth, an individual might not be able to chew correctly, and diet could be affected. With missing teeth, or no teeth altogether, chewing becomes very difficult or impossible. The diet then becomes restricted to soft, easily chewed foods. This kind of diet might not meet the nutrition needs of the body which can cause constipation, weight loss, arthritis, indigestion, and rheumatism.

Teeth are important to meeting the nutritional needs of the body. Without them, the health of the body can be severely impacted.

Speech

Teeth play a major part in speech. Some letter sounds such as s, z, d, x, n, th, and sh are made with tongue-to-tooth contact. Without teeth, these sounds will not be able to be made easily and may result in a lisp. Lisping can be an embarrassing condition and may make it hard for you to be understood.

The tongue is also affected by lost teeth. With no teeth to keep it in place, the tongue will broaden out and fill in the newly open space. This thickened tongue makes it harder to control and may also result in difficult-to-understand speech.


Bone Loss in the Jaw

Teeth do more than just help us chew our food and speak. They actually serve to stimulate the bone in the jaw. Each time you chew, the teeth stimulate the bone. Without this natural stimulation, the alveolar bone--the portion of the jawbone that anchors teeth in the mouth--begins to break down and is re-absorbed into the body. Since there are no longer teeth there that “need” the jawbone, the bone deteriorates and disintegrates.

The rate of deterioration varies per person; however, it begins almost immediately after a tooth is lost or removed and continues throughout life. Once deterioration reaches a certain point, dental prosthetics--such as Dentures--will no longer be useful because there will not be enough bone to support them.

Misalignment

Misalignment occurs when teeth no longer have an opposing tooth structure. The tooth with no counterpart can become loose, and the bone supporting it may begin to deteriorate because of lack of stimulation. Losing even one tooth may cause the remaining teeth to shift their position, altering an individual's bite pattern and leading to pain in the head, neck, and jaw.

Facial Appearance

Teeth are also designed to hold the lips and cheeks in place. When teeth are missing, the lips and cheeks do not have their natural support system. When closed, the mouth will appear “sunken in” without the support of the teeth. This can age the appearance of the person greatly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Stroke

What is a Stroke?
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and the leading cause of death in older Americans. It is estimated that an American suffers from stroke every 45 seconds. With one in four men and one in five women over the age of 45 suffering from a stroke, reducing your risk of having one is very important.

Stroke occurs when the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen are damaged or compromised. Restricting the brain of oxygen, even briefly, can result in a stroke. Strokes are widely feared because of their debilitating aftermath. Even minor or mini-strokes can result in life-altering consequences, such as paralysis, weakness, aphasia (losing the ability to speak, write, or understand language), and mental health changes.

Stroke and Periodontal Disease

Recent studies have shown that people with moderate to advanced Periodontal Disease are at a greater risk for having a stoke. One study published by the American Stroke Association in 2004 showed that patients with severe periodontitis, or gum disease, had a 4.3 times higher risk of stroke than those with mild or no periodontal disease. The bottom line is: If you have an infection in your mouth 24 hours a day for 7 days per week, then it is going to spread to your entire body!

New studies are released every year linking periodontal disease and stroke. The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable and treatable and is an easy way to eliminate one risk factor you may have for stroke.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.; more than 30,000 Americans are expected to die from the disease this year. It is an extremely difficult cancer to treat, and little is known about what causes it. One established risk factor in pancreatic cancer is cigarette smoking; other links have been made to obesity, diabetes type 2, and insulin resistance. In a new study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that periodontal disease was associated with an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas. The study appeared in the January 17, 2007, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“Our study provides the first strong evidence that periodontal disease may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This finding is of significance as it may provide some new insights into the mechanism of this highly fatal disease,” said lead author Dominique Michaud, assistant professor of epidemiology at HSPH.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums that, over time, cause loss of bone supporting the teeth; tooth loss is a consequence of severe periodontal disease. Two previous studies had found a link between tooth loss or periodontitis and pancreatic cancer. One study consisted of all smokers, and the other did not control for smoking in the analysis; therefore, no firm conclusions could be drawn from these studies.

Data for the new study came from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which began in 1986, and included 51,529 U.S. men working in the health professions. Participants responded to questionnaires about their health every two years. After analyzing the data, the researchers confirmed 216 cases of pancreatic cancer between 1986 and 2002; of those, 67 reported periodontal disease.

The results showed that--after adjusting for age, smoking, diabetes, body mass index, and a number of other factors--men with periodontal disease had a 63% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to those reporting no periodontal disease. “Most convincing was our finding that never-smokers had a two-fold increase in risk of pancreatic cancer,” said Michaud.

One possible explanation for the results is that inflammation from periodontal disease may promote cancer of the pancreas. “Individuals with periodontal disease have elevated serum biomarkers of systemic inflammation, such as C-reactive protein, and these may somehow contribute to the promotion of cancer cells,” she said.

Another explanation, according to Michaud, is that periodontal disease could lead to increased pancreatic carcinogenesis because individuals with periodontal disease have higher levels of oral bacteria and higher levels of nitrosamines, which are carcinogens, in their oral cavity. Prior studies have shown that nitrosamines and gastric acidity may play a role in pancreatic cancer.

Michaud; senior author Charles Fuchs, a gastrointestinal oncologist at Dana-Farber; and their colleagues believe that further studies should be done to investigate the role of inflammation from periodontal disease in pancreatic cancer. However, Michaud notes that the underlying mechanisms for this association are speculative at this point. “More research is needed both to confirm this finding in other populations and also to explore the role of inflammation in this particular cancer,” she said.