3904 South Lynn Court
Independence, MO 64055
Call Us Today: (816) 252-0055

September 15, 2016

Men and Womens Oral Health Differences

Men and Women’s oral health can be described in one word, different. One would assume because a man and woman’s mouth look exactly the same, lips, tongue, cheeks, teeth and gums, that oral health would be the same, but there are some differences. Just like means and women’s bodies differ, so do men and women’s mouths.

Dr. David Schaefer explains that noth men and women are susceptible to oral cancer, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath; however, the biggest men and women’s oral health differences lie in the female anatomy.

Unlike men, women go through life changes. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause affect all women and have a profound effect on oral health, and although men are less likely to look after their teeth and gums, research indicates that men don’t floss, as often, they don’t have to be concerned about women’s life changes and oral health.

Women need to brush at least twice each day. Floss daily or more if you need to. Make sure you use a good oral rinse and schedule regular checkups with your dentist. If you notice anything suspicious, get to the office as soon as you can. Research shows that oral cancer has a higher cure rate if detected early. During your regular checkups, ask your dentist to do an oral cancer screening.

Puberty

Puberty brings on the sex hormones and in girls and that means swollen gums. If you or someone you know is going through puberty watch for red and bleeding gums.

Menstruation

Some women suffer from Menstruation Gingivitis. This condition causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums a week before a period begins and usually stops after it starts.

Pregnancy

The only thing that changes in a man when his partner is pregnant is his stress levels. He may gain some weight and, “Pretend,” that he is expecting, but he won’t experience the gingivitis that occurs in a high percentage of pregnant women. If you are pregnant, pay close attention to your teeth and gums and if you notice any swelling or bleeding call your dentist. If left untreated, gingivitis and periodontal disease can cause premature and low weight births.

Post menopause

Women deal with serious hormonal fluctuations during post menopause including dry mouth, burning sensations and a change in taste. When women are in post menopause it can affect oral health. Schedule frequent dental appointments if you are affected by post menopause.

Both men and women need to take good care of their teeth and gums. Call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

July 15, 2016

Professional Tooth Whitening for Dramatic Results

Professional tooth whitening is the most popular and affordable cosmetic dental procedure, and if you have always thought your smile could use a boost, call and schedule an appointment with Schaefer Dental who can determine if you are a good candidate for tooth whitening.

Your local pharmacy is filled with dozens of over the counter tooth whitening products, but those gels, pastes, strips, and mouth rinses will never do as good a job as professional tooth whitening will.

According to the American Dental Association, over the counter whitening bleaches do not have the same amount of hydrogen peroxide as professional tooth whitening products and will not give you the same results.

If your dentist has given you the okay for professional tooth whitening, if you have tooth decay or gum disease that will need to be taken care of first, you will be fitted for a custom set of thin plastic bleaching trays and bleaching solution. The custom fitted trays allow the gel to penetrate deep into the tooth helping to get rid of stains while strengthening your teeth. Your dentist recommends whitening each day for about 2 weeks to achieve the desired result.

Tooth whitening works great on yellow or stained teeth, but will not work on dental restorations such as cosmetic veneers, dental crowns, dental bonding, or dental implants.

After you have completed your tooth whitening procedure, your dentist may want to combine other cosmetic dental procedures such as porcelain veneers, braces, or crown and bridge therapy. Your dentist may even suggest dental implants if you have one or more missing teeth.

Having a beautiful smile boosts your self-confidence while improving your self-esteem. People who like to show off a healthy grin are more inclined to be outgoing and happy with the way they look and feel.

If you would like more information regarding tooth whitening or any other cosmetic dental procedure, call or click and schedule an appointment with Schaefer Dental today.

June 15, 2016

What You May Not Know about your Teeth

When it comes to teeth and gums, most people are aware that practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice, flossing once each day, a good healthy diet and regular checkups with your dentist are imperative, but according to Colgate there are a few things that you may not know about your teeth and gums.

  • Kid’s teeth are soft until around the age of 10.
  • A tooth that already has a crown can still have a cavity.
  • Your gum tissue is just as important as teeth.
  • Some prescription and over the counter drugs can increase the risk of cavities.
  • Some water filters that are used at home or the office will remove fluoride.
  • Most bottled water does not contain fluoride.
  • More than 19 percent of children between 2 and 19 have untreated cavities.
  • Allergies can cause tooth clenching or grinding.
  • Dried fruit and sticky candy are just as bad for your teeth.
  • Tooth enamel will not repair itself, although the cementum and dentin, the substances that surround your teeth might.
  • Your mouth harbors 300 different types of bacteria.
  • Chewing sugarless gum after you eat can help you remove food particles. Of course, you still need to brush, but if you can’t do so right away after a meal, sugarless gum will help keep your teeth clean.
  • Cavities don’t always cause pain until they have hit the nerve and the root in your tooth. Schedule regular checkups to prevent dental caries or detect them early enough to prevent large fillings or root canals.
  • Bone recession can cause tooth loss even without any decay present.
  • A recent study at Harvard University stimulated tooth growth in rats and human dental tissue using low-powered lasers to activate stem cells.

If you would like more information regarding your teeth and gums, or would like to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a checkup,

September 15, 2015

Dental Checkups are Important

If you haven’t been to the dentist in quite some time, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist who can determine if you still have a healthy smile.

According to Oral B, you should have your teeth examined every six months. Even more so if you have a disease such as diabetes that could cause gum disease or excessive dental caries.

Regular professional teeth cleaning and thorough checkups will make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy.

Recent research has indicated that there could be a relationship between gingivitis or periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes and other systemic diseases. Your dentist explains that it may have something to do with bacteria leaving your gums and flowing into your blood stream.

Health issues aside, regular checkups with your dentist will help you keep your teeth. If you have issues with chips in your teeth or leaking fillings, something more evil could be lurking below those seemingly innocent cracks. Most people have no idea that fillings can be hiding more tooth decay.

When you schedule an appointment with your dentist, he or she will also give you an oral cancer screening. During your oral cancer screening, your tongue, the roof of your mouth and your neck will be checked for signs of anything abnormal. If your dentist detects something that is just not right, you may be referred to a specialist for further investigation. If your dentist has discovered a lump or spot, a biopsy may be necessary.

Don’t wait until you have a toothache, bleeding gums or a lost filling before you schedule an appointment as being proactive about your oral health is imperative if you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Call and schedule an appointment with your dentist today for a thorough dental exam, and don’t forget to ask about an oral cancer screening during your check up as well. Call or click today.

June 15, 2015

Pulp Disease is More Serious than You Think

Pulp Disease is a serious condition that needs to be taken care of by your dentist as soon as possible. If you suffer from poor oral health, it could lead to pulp disease that may require a root canal or even tooth removal.

Web MD explains that poor oral hygiene is the number one contributor to tooth pain, tooth decay and other tooth and gum conditions. Without good oral hygiene, habits that include brushing twice and flossing once each day, plaque, that sticky film that comes from food particles and other debris, could begin to develop. Plaque will cause dental caries and gum disease.

If cavities are left untreated, the tooth decay can affect the pulp, or center of your tooth. Tooth pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and tissue and if infected will eventually result in pulp disease. If you do not schedule an appointment with your dentist for pulp disease, you could eventually suffer from tooth loss.

According to your dentist you may be suffering from pulp disease if you have any of the symptoms below, which could vary in intensity, however, if the nerves inside your tooth have already died, you may not have any symptoms at all. Symptoms include,

  • Tooth or teeth pain when eating or drinking something cold, hot, or sweet
  • Intense and sudden mouth pain
  • Mouth infections

If you have not seen your dentist for quite some time, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist who can give you a clean bill of health when it comes to pulp disease.

There are several types of pulp disease,

  • Reversible Pulpitis
  • Irreversible Pulp Disease
  • Dental Pulp Calcification
  • Dental Pulp Exposure

A mild inflammation, also known as reversible pulpitis can be offset with good oral hygiene; however, a filling may be necessary.

Severe inflammation is a sign of irreversible pulpitis and usually needs a root canal. If a root canal is unsuccessful, tooth removal may be necessary.

Dental nerve compression causes dental pulp calcification. Also called dental pulp stones, root canals are usually the only treatment for this type of pulp disease.

If you have damaged the external covering of your tooth because of a crack or cavity, the pulp may be exposed to bacteria and food particles. A trip to the dentist is imperative to avoid a serious infection.

Although some pulp disease is caused by trauma or injury because of a broken tooth, the majority of pulp disease is normally caused by poor oral hygiene. If you see your dentist regularly, eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and veggies and brush and floss regularly, you may be able to avoid pulp disease all together.

May 15, 2015

Kick the Habit for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Kicking the habit is not just good for your body, but good for your teeth and gums as well.

According to your dentist, smoking and using tobacco products will cause bad breathe and tooth discoloration. If you are a heavy smoker and have nicotine stained fingers, you can only imagine what smoking is doing to your teeth.

Tobacco products can inflame the salivary glands on the roof of your mouth, and increase plaque and tartar buildup. Continued use of tobacco products can also cause jawbone loss. If you smoke cigars, cigarettes, pipes, hookah pipes or chew tobacco, you are increasing the risk of white patches, or leukoplakia inside of your mouth. Tobacco use can also delay the healing process if you are having any type of oral surgery including tooth extractions, periodontal treatment, or dental implants. In fact, the success rate of dental implants is considerably lower for people who smoke or chew tobacco. Not only does tobacco increase your risk for oral cancer, but can also cause gum disease, which if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.

Tobacco can cause gum disease as it affects the soft tissue and bone attachment to your teeth. The American Dental Association explains that smoking affects the normal functions of your gum tissue cells. This interference makes tobacco users more susceptible to periodontal disease and other infections. Because smoking and chewing tobacco impairs the flow of blood to your gums, it can also slow the healing process.

Just like cigarettes, pipes, cigars and hookah pipes will eventually lead to all sorts of oral health problems. A 23-year study showed tooth and bone loss in cigar and pipe smokers that was equivalent to cigarette smokers. Although cigar smokers do not inhale, they are still subject to other oral health problems including gum disease, stained teeth, bad breath, and oral cancer.

If you thought you were safe with smokeless tobacco products, think again. Because snuff and chewing tobacco contain over 28 chemicals they will increase your risk of throat and oral cancer. It’s a fact that chewing tobacco has more nicotine than cigarettes making it difficult to kick the chewing habit. One pinch will deliver more dangerous nicotine than 60 cigarettes.

Chewing tobacco irritates your gum tissue causing recession. Once the roots of your teeth are exposed, you are increasing the risk of dental caries. Exposed roots will also cause tooth sensitivity. If that isn’t bad enough, sugar is sometime added to enhance the flavor of chewing tobacco that can also put you at risk for tooth decay.

The best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is to stop smoking and practice good oral hygiene that includes brushing twice and flossing once each day and enjoying a good health diet that is full of fruits and vegetables. Of course, regular checkups with your dentist should also be included in your oral health regime.

For more information regarding tobacco use and your oral health, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

February 15, 2015

Root Planing and Scaling For Healthy Gums

Gum disease is reversible as long as you take care of it immediately. If your gums are red and swollen and bleed when you brush, floss, or take a bite out of an apple, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a professional cleaning.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can be nipped in the bud with a professional cleaning from your dentist, but if it has progressed to the more serious periodontal disease, Root Planing and Scaling may be recommended to help your gums heal.

According to Web MD, a stubborn case of gum disease can be reversed with Root Planing and Scaling. This procedure will remove the tartar and plaque from your teeth to help your gums become pink and firm.

During the Scaling portion of the procedure, your dentist may or may not numb your gums and the roots of your teeth using a local anesthetic. Although the procedure is not painful, it can be uncomfortable.

After your gums are numb, your dentist will use tools to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from your teeth both below and above your gum line. This is called Root Scaling. Some dentists may use an ultrasonic tool or a combination of the two.

Once the Root Scaling has been completed, your dentist will begin Root Planing. This involves smoothing out the rough spots on your teeth and the roots in order to prevent the bacteria and plaque from adhering to your teeth.

Although Root Planing and Scaling can usually be taken care of in a single visit, your dentist may prefer to do a quarter, or quadrant, or half of your month during each dental appointment.

Root Planing and Scaling is a simple procedure, but it is important that you let your dentist know your health history as the treatment can introduce certain bacteria into your bloodstream. This is especially true if you have liver disease, a systemic illness, heart problems, or an immune system that has been compromised.

For more information regarding gum disease and Root Planing and Scaling, schedule an appointment with your dentist who can determine if your teeth and gums are healthy.

January 15, 2015

Tips for a More Appealing Smile

An attractive smile not only boosts your self-confidence but can also make you more appealing to others. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 96 percent of those who responded felt that an attractive smile made the person more appealing.

Of course, your dentist explains that good oral health goes beyond your smile. Your mouth is literally the gateway to your entire body meaning that the condition of your teeth and gums will affect your overall health.

Brushing regularly is the first step when it comes to good oral health as it helps remove the bacteria loving food particles, freshens breath, and cleans your teeth. Use a fluoride toothpaste recommended by the American Dental Association and be sure to brush at least two minutes twice each day. If you have a tough time, consider purchasing an electric toothbrush with a built in timer.

Flossing once a day helps to remove the bacteria that your toothbrush can’t get to. Flossing helps prevent gum disease and when you floss before bedtime, you are helping your mouth become less vulnerable to bacteria. When you sleep, your mouth produces less saliva making you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

Only your dentist can spot gum disease in its earliest stages. Schedule twice-yearly cleanings and checkups with your dentist. If you are more prone to cavities and gingivitis or periodontal disease, consider seeing your dentist quarterly. In addition, if you have diabetes, cancer or other immune disorders, ask your dentist how often you should schedule appointments.

Examine your mouth regularly checking for any irregularities. If you have a sore that just won’t heal, bleeding or sensitive gums schedule an appointment with your dentist as quickly as possible.

Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin C can help boost your immune system. Because your teeth are mostly made up of calcium, dairy foods and other calcium rich foods such as kale and sardines can keep your tooth enamel strong. In addition, vitamin C can help prevent gingivitis as it helps keep your gums healthy.

Avoid sticky and sugary foods and keep starchy foods to a minimum as they can stick to the crevices in your teeth. Bacteria will feed off the sugars while releasing cavity-causing acids. If you must indulge, rinse or brush as soon as you can.

Kick the habit and you are less likely to be diagnosed with gum disease. Your teeth will be noticeable whiter and your breath won’t scare others away if you give up tobacco products.

Your dentist also recommends tooth whitening, dental veneers, and other cosmetic restoration procedures for a healthier and more attractive smile.

For more information regarding cosmetic dental restorations or a total mouth makeover, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

3904 South Lynn Court, Independence, MO 64055 USA
David A. Schaefer, DDS Independence MO dentist (816) 252-0055