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

September 15, 2018

Teeth and Gums and Life and Death

Your teeth and gums play a huge roll in overall health. In fact, your oral health could mean the difference between life and death.

Teeth and Gums and Overall Health

According to Dr. David Schaefer, gum disease, especially the more serious periodontitis, can cause heart disease and heart failure.

Like the rest of your body, your mouth is loaded with bacteria, and while most is harmless, the bad bacteria could take over resulting in tooth decay and gum disease. Without proper oral hygiene, it’s impossible to keep those bacteria levels under control.

Bacteria and Periodontal Disease

Studies indicate that inflammation caused by oral bacteria could play a role in HIV/AIDS, and diabetes as gum disease lowers the body’s defenses against infection. This makes oral health issues more severe.

Some of the Conditions Linked to Teeth and Gums Include:

Endocarditis-This infection of the lining of your heart, or the endocardium, occurs when bacteria is spread to other parts of your body. Mouth bacteria enter your bloodstream through pockets caused by gum disease. Plaque and tartar will erode the gum line making it easy to spread dangerous bacteria.

Cardiovascular Disease-Some studies indicate that clogged arteries, stroke, and heart disease could be linked to infection and inflammation.

Pregnancy and Healthy Teeth and Gums-Periodontal disease has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth.

Other Conditions that Could Affect Oral Health Include:

  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Neck Cancer
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Head Cancer
  • Sjorgren’s Syndrome

According to your Dentist in Missouri, you can protect your oral health by:

  • Brushing Twice Each Day
  • Flossing Once Each Day
  • Eating Healthy
  • Avoiding Tobacco Products
  • Scheduling Regular Dental Checkups

Your teeth and gums really do play a part in overall health. Contact Dr. Schaefer, if you haven’t seen a dentist in some time.

If you are suffering from tooth decay or gum disease, your health could at risk. Call for a dental checkup today.

August 15, 2017

Dental Checkups for Kids and Teens

If your kids have started school, or about to, and you neglected, or just plain forgot about dental checkups for your kids, call Dr. David Schaefer and schedule a dental exam for your children and your teens. Regular dental checkups, Dr. Schaefer recommends twice a year for healthy children and teens will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Scheduling regular checkups can also help Dr. Schaefer keep any eye on your kids and teens bite. If a problem is detected, your kids or teens may be referred to an orthodontist for a further evaluation.

According to the American Dental Association, regular dental checkups for kids and teens can also detect any other oral abnormities. If you follow the Schaefer Dental Blog, you will know that oral cancer can be caught and even cured if detected early on.During the checkup, your kids and teens teeth and gums will be checked for tooth decay and gum disease. If gum disease is present, Schaefer Dental may recommend root planing and scaling. If cavities are present, a simple filling may be all that is needed, however, if the cavity is too deep and has damaged the pulp root canal therapy may be necessary. Scheduling twice-yearly dental appointments with Schaefer Dental can help prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and the more serious periodontal disease.

If your child or teen has been complaining about oral pain, but is cavity and gum disease free, it may have something to do with his or her bite. Dr. Schaefer and his team will be able to determine if your children or teens require orthodontic treatment.

Scheduling regular dental appointments with Schaefer Dental is a necessary part of life, and if you haven’t made your checkups, call or click. Schaefer Dental can determine if your kids and teens have dental problems and get them back on the road to healthy teeth and gums.

Call or click now.

June 15, 2017

Oral Hygiene More than Brushing and Flossing

Oral hygiene is imperative if you want to maintain your overall health. According to the Dr. David Schaefer from Schaefer Dental, practicing good oral hygiene can actually keep your heart healthy.

Although the jury is still out, researchers are beginning to see a link between gum disease and other health problems including stroke, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s.

Brushing twice and flossing once each day is just part of good oral hygiene, however, good oral hygiene is much more than brushing and flossing.

What is Plaque?

Your dentist explains that bacteria cause tooth decay and gingivitis and lives in your mouth. Plaque, that layer of film that everyone has on their teeth, will eventually eat away at the enamel on your teeth causing cavities and gum disease.

What causes Plaque?

Your mouth is loaded with bacteria, both good and bad. The foods you eat will cause bacteria buildup in your mouth producing acids. Sugary and starchy foods are notorious for plaque accumulation. The substances that are produced by plaque will irritate your gums. If left untreated, plaque accumulation will cause gum recession forming pockets in between your teeth and gums. If you do not see a dentist for gum disease, the bone that surrounds your teeth could be destroyed, which will cause tooth loss.

How to Remove Plaque

The best way to get rid of your plaque is to brush and floss every day. Use a soft bristled brush and a good fluoride antimicrobial toothpaste that has been recommended by the American Dental Association, this will help with tooth decay. Floss first and brush second to remove all of the debris. Watch your diet as certain foods can cause plaque accumulation. Use a mouth rinse and schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings.

Oral hygiene is an important part of overall health, and if you cannot remember the last time that you saw your dentist, call or click and schedule an appointment with Dr. David Schaefer from Schaefer Dental today today.

May 15, 2017

Root Canal Therapy is it Necessary?

Root canal therapy may be necessary if you have been ignoring that small toothache. Unfortunately, tooth decay will not go away, and if you have cavities, you could be asking for problems.

According to Dr. David Schaefer, root canal therapy removes the dead nerves and tissue. Called, pulp, those nerves and tissue are what tells you that you have tooth decay. However, not all cavities will present themselves, making it nearly impossible to detect the need for root canal therapy. Only a dentist can determine if therapy is necessary.

Endodontic treatment is necessary if the pulp in your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. There are a variety of issues that could cause the problem, including chips or cracks in a tooth or teeth, repeated dental procedures, large cavities, and teeth that are deeply decayed.

Avoiding root canal treatment could cause infection and even an abscess. If left untreated an abscess could cause serious problems and even death.

The Treatment

If Dr. Schaefer recommends root canal therapy, the infected nerves and tissue will be removed using special instruments to thoroughly clean the area. After the inside has been cleaned, the tooth roots will be disinfected and cleaned before filling and sealing. In some cases, a dental crown may be recommended to strengthen the damaged tooth.

Front teeth have one root canal while your back teeth have multiple root canals. Root canal therapy usually requires between one and three visits dependent on which tooth requires the treatment. If you have curved roots or more canals, you may need additional dental appointments to complete your root canal therapy.

A healthy mouth starts with regular dental checkups, and if you have been skipping your dental visits because of a nagging toothache, it is time to call or click and schedule an appointment with Dr. David Schaefer.

Don’t risk infection or a dangerous abscess, call or click and schedule a comprehensive dental examination with Dr. Schaefer today.

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.

August 15, 2016

Gum Disease Can Remain Silent

Gum disease affects the tissues that support and surround your teeth and is one of the main causes of adult tooth loss, and because it is usually painless, you may not even know that you have it.

A film of bacteria, also known as plaque, causes gingivitis, and the more serious periodontal disease. Brushing your teeth twice and flossing once each day along with regular dental checkups can help prevent gum disease.

Gum Disease Warning Signs

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that are starting to pull away from your teeth
  • Loose adult teeth
  • Bite changes
  • Denture fit changes
  • Pain when chewing

Although poor oral hygiene is one of the main causes of gum disease, some other factors can increase the risk. According to your dentist, those factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
  • Diabetes
  • Medications including cancer therapy drugs, steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, oral contraceptives and calcium channel blockers

Early Gum Disease

Colgate explains that gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If you have it, your gums may bleed easy, become swollen or red. During this stage, your gum disease is reversible and can usually be eliminated with a professional dental cleaning or a root planing and scaling procedure.

Advanced Gum Disease

Periodontal disease affects nearly 50 percent of people over the age of 30 in the U.S. If left untreated it will lead to tissue and bone loss. The more severe the disease the more chance you have of losing your teeth. Although it slowly gets worse, there could be times when it progresses rapidly.

Aggressive periodontal disease is highly destructive and can occur in people who have good overall health. Common features of advanced periodontitis include a rapid loss of bone and tissue that could occur in the entire mouth.

The Mouth and Body Connection

Although studies are ongoing, recent research is indicating a connection between periodontal disease and systemic diseases. While there is no conclusive link, severe periodontitis could be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

You may have gum disease, especially if you can’t remember the last time you saw your dentist. Regular dental appointments can catch gingivitis before it advances to periodontal disease.

Don’t wait until it gets worse. Call or click and schedule a thorough dental examination with your dentist today.

May 15, 2016

Five Bad Oral Health Habits

Healthy oral health habits including brushing twice and flossing once each day, however, your dentist explains that there are a few oral health habits that you should avoid.

Cough Drops

Just like hard candies, cough drops are loaded with sugar. Sucking on the hard lozenges will coat your teeth and react with the plaque and bacteria. The sugar will convert to acid and eat away the enamel on your teeth. If you must suck on a cough drop, make sure you brush and rinse well afterwards.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as an Opener

Using your teeth to open packaging, an envelope, or even worse, a bottle, may seem like a convenient thing to do, but this bad habit will make your dentist cringe. Using a tooth or teeth as a tool could cause chips and cracks. If you open a bottle with your teeth, you could even break a tooth. Keep a pair of scissors and a bottle opener handy instead of using your teeth.

Snacking

If you are one of those people who enjoy snacking all day, you could be damaging your teeth. Your dentist explains that snacking will produce less saliva than an entire meal. Snacking leaves bits of food in your teeth unless you rinse right away. If you snack all of the time, you could be setting yourself up for tooth decay. If you must snack, avoid starchy and sugary treats and go for celery or carrot sticks.

Oral Piercings

It may seem cool to have your tongue or lip pierced, but those studs and hoops can cause damage to your teeth. If you accidentally bite down on a stud in your mouth, you could chip or crack a tooth. If you play with the jewelry your gums may also become irritated, which could lead to gum disease.

Tobacco

Everyone knows the dangers of tobacco use, however, smoking and chewing tobacco can also cause stains, and chronic bad breathe and tooth loss. People who use tobacco products, yes, even a hookah pipe are also three times more likely to get oral cancer.

You were meant to have your teeth for life and can if you practice good oral health habits including brushing twice, flossing once each day and regular appointments with your dentist you may be one of the lucky ones. Call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

April 15, 2016

Custom Made Mouthguards for the Family

April is National Mouth Protection Month and if you and your kids play any kind of sports, whether recreational, amateur or professional, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist who can fit you with a custom made mouthguard.

Although mouth protectors are mandatory in some sporting activities, the groups behind National Mouth Protection Month, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons believe that mouthguards should be mandatory in all sports whether group or individual sports. Surfers, people who play racquetball or people who enjoy skateboarding and mountain biking should all wear stock, boil and bite or custom made mouth protectors.

Your dentist explains that one of the most important reasons that you and your kids should wear a mouthguard is that it keeps your teeth safe. Not only does a custom-made mouth protector keep your teeth from breaking or fracturing, but a mouth protector can also help protect your teeth against tooth displacement or a knockout. Mouthguards are essential if you want to protect yourself and your family against soft tissue damage.

There are three types of mouth protectors, stock, boil and bite and custom made.

Stock-Although a stock mouthguard will provide you with some protection stock mouth protectors can be uncomfortable making it difficult to talk and sometimes breathe because you constantly have to bite down on a stock mouth protector.

Boil and Bite-Boil and Bite mouthguards are better than stock as you place them in boiling water to mold to your teeth and gums, however, these types of mouth protectors can also be bulky and uncomfortable.

A custom-made mouthguard is the best defense against a blow to the head as custom-made mouthguards are made from an impression taken of your own teeth and gums. Once made your mouth protector will fit perfectly giving you the protection you need.

Take care of your family’s mouth this spring and schedule an appointment with your dentist for custom-made mouthguards for everyone.

February 15, 2016

Laser Dentistry for Restorative and Cosmetic Procedures

If the sound of the dentist drill is keeping you out of the office, call and schedule an appointment with Schaefer Dental. Schaefer Dental are the experts when it comes to Laser Dentistry and can help you overcome your fear of the dentist.

According to Colgate, millions of people all over the world suffer from some sort of dental fear ranging from mild anxiety to dental phobia.

Many people avoid the dentist because of past experiences or a loss of control in the dentist chair. Lying prone with someone standing over you can make you feel uncomfortable, even more so if you suffer from dental phobia. Some patients say that they fear the dentist because of the horror stories told by parents or other family members while others may avoid the dentist because of an indirect experience or a movie they saw.

Up to 75 percent of Americans admit to having some sort of nervousness before seeing the dentist with as many as 15 percent suffering from a genuine dental phobia.

Unfortunately, dental problems do not go away on their own and will only get worse. However, Laser dentistry can change the way you feel about the dentist helping you overcome your fear.

Laser Dentistry can be used for a variety of restorative and cosmetic dental procedures.

The advanced dental lasers used by Dr. Schaefer and his team can actually penetrate the enamel in order to clear out the decay and the bacteria. With laser dentistry, you can skip the painful drilling once and for all.

Laser dentistry can also be used for gum disease therapy as the beam cuts away the diseased gum tissue eliminating the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that resides in the pockets between your teeth and gums.

Dr. Schaefer often uses laser dentistry for cosmetic dentistry procedures including gum reshaping. Laser dentistry for gummy smiles also cuts down on the recovery time.

If you have been neglecting much needed dental care or have avoided cosmetic dental procedures out of fear, call or click and schedule an appointment with Dr. Schaefer who can determine if you are a good candidate for Laser Dentistry.

Don’t make matters worse, call or click and schedule a laser dentistry consultation today.

December 15, 2015

Christmas Facts that You Probably Don’t Know

It’s not uncommon to forget about the dentist during the holidays. However, if you neglect toothaches and bleeding gums, you could be spending the entire month of January at the dentist’s office. Start 2016 off on the right foot and schedule an appointment with your dentist for your annual checkup, and in the meantime, Schaefer Dental would like to share some interesting little known Christmas facts with you.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer didn’t start off as the star of a song or a kid’s television series. In fact, Rudolph was the brainchild of copywriter Robert L. May who was hired by Montgomery Ward to write a story about Christmas hoping to entice customers during the holiday season. Written in 1939, the story was such a hit with May’s brother in law, radio producer, and songwriter Johnny May that he wrote a song about it that was recorded by Burl Ives in 1949.

Because of the various time zones around the world, Santa Claus has just 31 hours to get his presents delivered. Santa must have fast Reindeer as that means he has to visit 823 houses every second.

If you think that the post office is hurting for business, take into consideration the fact that the United States Postal Service is responsible for delivering over 20 million packages and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

You may be proud of your Nutcracker collection, but it probably does not rival the world’s largest nutcracker collection. The Löschner Family from Neuhausen, Germany is said to own the largest nutcracker collection on the planet with 4,334 nutcrackers to date.

Everyone loves a good gingerbread man, however, the humble cookies that you make for the family pale in comparison to the world’s largest gingerbread man. Weighing a bit more than 466 pounds, the gingerbread man was baked in Rochester Minnesota by the Gingerbread House on February 21, 2006.

This holiday season stay safe and don’t forget to schedule your dental appointment for the New Year with Schaefer Dental.

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