April 19th, 2018
Guilt is a powerful feeling. It can keep you from doing many things, including going to the dentist. The good news is that our office is a judgement-free zone, and coming back (even after an extended period of being MIA) can be easier than you think. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible during your first appointment back with us — so here’s a little overview of what you can expect.
We’ll start with a series of dental X-rays, which are usually taken every three to five years. The set of X-rays will depend on your individual needs and it will help us get a more thorough look at what’s going on with your dental structure and keep an eye out for any prominent dental issues.
Next up will be your hygiene appointment. That appointment will consist of a review of your medical history and be followed by a thorough cleaning of your teeth. This is the perfect time to share concerns you may have about your oral health and ask us questions.
You’ll finish up with a comprehensive exam, which will review everything you covered with the hygienist. Dr. Fred Buettner will go over your medical history with you and address any dental concerns that might remain. If any special treatment is needed for such issues as cavities or broken fillings, we will discuss that with you as well.
Once all that is done, you’ll head over to the front desk to talk about payment and scheduling your next appointment. And that’s it! Your first visit back is an important step toward continuing to look out for your dental health.
Just because you slacked for a little while or life got in the way, this doesn’t mean things have to stay that way! We’re happy to help you get you back on track, so schedule an appointment at our Lindsay, CA office today!
April 12th, 2018
Sometimes food that’s good for your body isn’t necessarily the best for your teeth. Dr. Fred Buettner and our team want you to know which healthy foods can harm your teeth and gums, and what steps you can take to continue enjoying these foods, even when you’re dieting.
When you begin to substitute empty calories with whole foods, make sure you also remember to focus on your dental health. The majority of people tend to switch out sugary foods in favor of fruits and vegetables when they diet.
It’s worth knowing that most fruits are highly acidic and composed of natural sugars. Some of the highly acidic fruits to watch out for include apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapples, blueberries, oranges, and grapefruit. Moderation is key here, as with all other things. Fruits can be a great source of energy to help you through your day, but try not to overdo them.
Often, people also incorporate more leafy greens into their diets, which mean plenty of salads. Salad dressing is another item you’ll want to watch out for. Many dressings are filled with vinegars and sweeteners that include harmful acids, which change the pH of your mouth. When your mouth shifts from alkaline to acidic, your smile also turns to a higher risk for erosion and decay.
Rather than get rid of these foods altogether, simply change what you do after you eat them. Rinse your mouth out with water, brush your teeth, or eat alkalizing foods after consuming these acidic foods. Healthy alkalizing foods include dairy products such as eggs and yogurt, or any type of vegetable.
If you have questions regarding your current diet and its effect on your oral health, please contact our Lindsay, CA office and speak with a member of our staff. If you’ve begun to make changes in your diet toward a healthier lifestyle, we hope these tips can help your make positive changes to your oral health. Our team at our office wants a healthy lifestyle to be a top priority in your life.
April 5th, 2018
Happy Oral Cancer Awareness Month! We know oral cancer can be kind of a scary topic, but it’s worth using this opportunity to learn about the disease and spread knowledge so everyone becomes more aware. The more we know, the better we can work to prevent it!
Oral cancer is exactly what it sounds like: cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth. It could occur on the tongue, the lips, the gums, the tongue, inside the cheek, or in the roof or floor of the mouth. Every year, more than 8,000 people die from oral cancer. It’s a truly deadly disease.
The reason oral cancer scores a higher death rate than other common cancers such as testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, thyroid cancer, cervical cancer, or even skin cancer, is because it often goes undetected until it’s become too advanced and has spread to another part of the body.
So what causes this devastating disease? There is no clear answer, but some potential causes have been identified. By being aware of these, we can be alert and promote prevention of this illness:
- Age: Most patients who develop oral cancer are above the age of 40. If you’re over 40, make sure your doctor checks for signs of oral cancer and that you stay on your dental hygiene regimen.
- Tobacco: Excessive tobacco use, whether in the form of cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing, can be a substantial contributor and cause of oral cancer. So that’s another reason, among many, you should avoid tobacco.
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can put you at risk because alcohol converts into a chemical called acetaldehyde, which damages the body’s DNA and blocks cells from repairing the damage. When paired with tobacco, the dehydrating effects of alcohol make it even easier for tobacco to infiltrate mouth tissue.
- Sun exposure: Your lips need SPF, too! Repeated sun exposure increases your risk of contracting cancer on your lips, especially the lower lip.
- Diet: Not getting all the nutrients you need, from vegetables and fruits for instance, can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to the disease.
Obviously, many of these causes relate to lifestyle choices, which we have control over. It’s all about balance, being aware, and making small tweaks to our habits if we need to.
If you’re concerned that you may be at risk for oral cancer, give us a call to talk about a screening. And if you’ve been putting off a visit to our Lindsay, CA office, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to the dentist can be the first line of defense against oral cancer!
March 29th, 2018
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, an estimated three out of four Americans suffer from gum disease. In milder cases, the disease is called gingivitis. More severe cases are called periodontitis. Despite the prevalence of periodontal disease (and it is very common), only three percent of people who suffer from periodontal disease get treatment for it. Gum disease has been linked to other serious diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Periodontal Disease Is Common Among Americans
The Journal of Dental Research published the findings of a joint study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). The study compared the full periodontal exam that participants received for this study against partial periodontal exams participants received for an older study.
The results show the rate of periodontal disease today could be as much as 50 percent higher than earlier estimated. Shockingly, this means that about twice as many Americans as previously believed suffer from gum disease – either moderate or severe.
The Link between Chronic Illness and Periodontal Disease
Many people who have chronic medical problems don’t have dental insurance, or the money to spend on dental care. Not surprisingly, this and a lack of understanding about proper oral hygiene leads to situations in which an initially minor problem turns into something far more severe, and probably preventable.
Gum diseases and cavities are caused by infections. When you get a cavity, the infection develops in the tooth itself. You may never feel anything, so unless you get regular, twice-a-year dental exams, you might not know there is a problem.
With gum disease, the infection occurs in the bones and tissues that form the gums and support the teeth. The tissues that surround teeth, and the bones that lie below the gums, are necessary to hold your teeth in. When those aren’t strong enough to support your teeth, you lose them.
Tooth loss has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and an increased risk for kidney disease. Gum disease and severe infections in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body faster than people realize. A healthy mouth is alkaline. It’s vital for you to maintain an alkaline pH to keep harmful bacteria away.
When people eat, their pH changes, and the environment inside the mouth becomes more acidic. Since the typical American diet is very acidic, harmful bacteria thrive in the mouth. Typical foods include breads, grains, starches, and sweets – the foods people love the most. Since it isn’t always possible for people to brush after every meal, the mouth pH remains acidic, and the acid contributes to faster tooth erosion.
What does all this mean for you? The health of your mouth is more important than you realize. Get those regular dental exams, and make sure that you and your family keep to a regular routine of brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene can help prevent periodontal disease, and that will lower your risk of tooth loss.