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Posts for: March, 2018

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
March 30, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: missing teeth   bone loss  

Losing teeth will certainly disrupt your otherwise beautiful smile. It could also potentially affect your food choices and whether or not you receive proper nutrition.

But something else just as consequential could be happening beneath the surface of your gums—you could be losing bone. Significant bone loss in the jaw could adversely affect remaining teeth and facial structure, as well as limit your future restoration choices.

To understand why this occurs we must first consider what bone is: living, cellular tissue. Like the body's other cells, bone has a life cycle: cells form, live and eventually dissolve (or resorb), and are then replaced by new cells. Stimulation from forces generated during chewing traveling up through the tooth roots to the jawbone keep this cycle going at a healthy pace.

But when a tooth is missing, so is this stimulation. This could slow the replacement rate and cause bone volume to gradually decrease. The jawbone width could decrease by as much as 25% the first year alone and several millimeters in height after just a few years.

Although dentures (a popular and affordable choice) can restore lost function and appearance, they can't duplicate this needed stimulation. They even accelerate bone loss by irritating and creating compressive forces on the bony ridges and the gums they rest upon.

One restoration, however, can actually help stop bone loss and may even reverse it: dental implants. This happens because an implant's metal titanium post imbedded in the jawbone attracts bone cells to grow and adhere to its surface. This could actually increase bone density at the site.

To gain this advantage, it's best to obtain implants as soon as possible after tooth loss. If you allow bone loss to occur by waiting too long, there may not be enough to properly support an implant. Even then it might be possible to build up the diminished bone through grafting. But if that's not possible, we'll have to consider a different restoration.

To determine the condition of your bone after losing teeth, visit us for a complete examination. Afterward, we'll be able to discuss with you the best way to address both your overall dental health and your smile.

If you would like more information on treating missing teeth, 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 Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
March 26, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Are you doing everything you can to keep your smile healthy? Poor dental hygiene can lead to a variety of oral health problems. Regular professional teeth cleaningsdental cleanings help to prevent these problems. Dr. Curt Posey in Fresno, CA offers a complete range of dental services. Here are four ways professional cleanings help your oral health.

#1- Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the structures around the teeth. The disease is caused by dental plaque, a soft, sticky biofilm of bacteria that forms constantly on teeth. If severe, it can lead to the loss of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Regular visits to your Fresno dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings and proper flossing and brushing go a long way toward keeping gum disease at bay.

#2-Prevent Dental Cavities

The acid in dental plaque attacks the enamel of your teeth and can lead to dental cavities. Dental cavities are pitted holes on the surface of the teeth and they will never go away on their own. When left untreated, dental cavities can turn into even bigger problems. Dental plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing regularly and getting professional cleanings.

#3- Prevent Tooth Loss

When gum disease is left untreated, it can worsen over time and impact the integrity of your gums in a serious way. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. As the disease advances, it can destroy the bone tissue, causing your teeth to loosen and fall out. You can prevent tooth loss by practicing good oral hygiene every day and getting regular cleanings.

#4- Prevent Oral Infections

A dental abscess is an infection of the tip of the tooth’s root. It's a common consequence of untreated tooth decay. A dental abscess can be treated with an extraction or root canal. Left untreated, a dental tooth abscess can eventually kill. Dental abscesses can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene and getting regular dental cleanings.

Want to live your best life? Start with your smile. Call Dr. Posey at 559-227-6755 today to schedule a dental appointment in Fresno, CA. Regular dental visits and professional cleanings will get you on the road to good oral health.

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
March 15, 2018
Category: Oral Health

If you’re facing cancer treatment, we wish you the best outcome possible. Treating this disease has advanced tremendously in recent decades, but the available options are still often challenging to endure. It will be your primary focus for the foreseeable future.

As a dental provider we also want you to be aware how the two main treatments, chemotherapy and radiation, could adversely affect your teeth and gums, especially if you’re receiving radiation therapy near the head and neck. The aim of cancer treatment is to attack and destroy cancer cells to prevent their growth. Unfortunately, it can also destroy neighboring healthy cells and lead to harmful consequences in different parts of the body, including the mouth.

Salivary glands, for example, are especially vulnerable to damage during cancer treatment. This could create a situation where the mouth no longer produces adequate saliva flow, leading to a condition called xerostomia or dry mouth. Besides a lot of discomfort, restricted saliva flow can also increase your risk of tooth decay and other dental diseases. This is because saliva is the body’s acid neutralizer (acid can erode tooth enamel) and its first line of defense against microbial infection.

To guard against this, it’s important to support salivary flow as much as possible if you experience dry mouth symptoms during treatment (as well as beyond—it’s possible the damage to these glands could be permanent). Since some medications also contribute to dry mouth, you should speak with your physician about the prescriptions you’re taking: if any have dry mouth side effects ask if there’s an alternative drug without these side effects. You should also drink more water during the day and especially when taking medications. And consider substances like xylitol gum that can help boost saliva flow.

Unfortunately, it may not be possible to fully avoid the effects of these treatments on your teeth and gums. So, be sure you keep up daily brushing and flossing and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. If necessary, there are a number of restoration options to restore your smile after you’ve completed your treatment.

If you would like more information on dental care during cancer treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Fresno, CA Dentist
Curt P. Posey, DDS, INC.
7078 N. Maple Ave. Ste #105
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 227-6755
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