Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010

Posts for: April, 2014

Whether you suffer paralyzing fear of the dentist or experience just a little apprehension, here are a few suggestions that can help make your next dental visit a positive experience.

1. Ask friends and family.
If you don’t already have a dentist, ask people you trust about their own dentist and if they are happy with their provider. Word of mouth is a great way to find a good dentist.

2. Search for a dentist online.
Many dental offices have web sites where you can learn about their practices, the type of services they offer, meet the staff and learn what values and goals the practice wants to achieve with patients. If you have found a few dental practices that look promising, ask friends and neighbors if they are patients or if they know anything about them.

3. Talk about your feelings.
Once you choose a dentist, make sure you communicate with the dentist and staff. Don’t be shy! You are not the first patient who ever felt nervous or anxious. Convey your concerns and fears before a procedure or if you experience any discomfort during your visit. It is very important to have clear and open communication with your dental professional. Talking will make your dental experience more relaxed and pleasant.

4. Ask questions.
Ask your dental team to inform you about the type of dental treatment they recommend based upon your unique oral health needs. Once a treatment plan has been developed, ask your dentist to explain the procedures in detail. Knowing what to expect before it happens can help put your mind at ease.

5. Relax.
If you are uptight or nervous prior to a procedure, talk to the dentist about ways to make the experience easier. Nitrous oxide or other medications to help you relax can be prescribed depending on the level of your anxiety. The dentist and staff should make every effort to make your visit comforting and stress-free. 


April 17, 2014
Category: Dental News
Tags: Nutrition  

What is Proper Nutrition?
Proper nutrition means eating a balanced diet so your body can get the nutrients needed for good health. Every day, your body renews itself, building new muscle, bone, skin and blood. The foods you eat provide the building blocks for these new tissues. If your diet is low in the nutrients your body needs, your mouth may have a more difficult time resisting infection.

If children do not eat a balanced diet, their teeth may not develop properly. In order for them to develop strong, decay-resistant teeth, children need a balanced diet with emphasis on calcium, phosphorous and proper levels of fluoride.

What are the Different Types of Nutrients?
A balanced diet consists of the following nutrients:

  • Some carbohydrates
  • The essential fatty acids (found in fats)
  • The essential amino acids (found in proteins)
  • 15 vitamins
  • Approximately twenty-five minerals
  • Water

Since our bodies are not able to manufacture all the nutrients we need, especially certain vitamins, we must get them from food or supplements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises eating the following each day for the general population:

  • 6 to 11 servings of bread and cereals
  • 3 to 5 servings of vegetables
  • 2 to 4 servings of fruit
  • 2 to 3 servings of dairy products
  • 2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans or nuts

Why is it Important to Eat Right?
A poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches greatly contribute to the production of  plaque acids that attack tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids can cause tooth enamel to break down, forming a cavity.

If you must eat foods high in sugar or starch, try to eat them during meals rather than between meals, and avoid any foods that stick to your teeth as these can produce more plaque. Most meals already contain acid-producing ingredients, so the less you expose your teeth to these ingredients, the less plaque acids attack your tooth enamel. Also, saliva production rises during meals, helping rinse food from the mouth. 


What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?
With so many shapes, sizes and styles of toothbrushes on the market, deciding which kind to buy can be confusing. Here's what you should look for:

  • Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth
  • When it comes to the type of handle (such as non-slip grip or flexible neck), shape of the head (tapered or rectangular) and style of bristles (such as rippled, flat or trimmed to a dome shape), pick whatever is most comfortable for you. The best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and allows you to reach all teeth easily
  • For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you've had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.

 

 

 


April 02, 2014
Tags: Bad Breath  

Bad Breath and Its Relationship to Oral and Systemic Diseases

“About 75 percent of bad breath or “halitosis” is caused by the mouth itself.  Other causes include gastric problems, sinus infections or severe gum disease,” says Mark Wolff, DDS, Ph.D., director of operative dentistry at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

One of the key successes in treating bad breath is determining the cause. Once your dental professional determines what the cause is then treatment for it can then begin1.

Bad breath can be caused by the following:

  • External factors – foods such as onions and garlic, beverages like coffee and alcohol, and smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene – where plaque and food debris is left on the teeth
  • Oral disease – gingivitis and periodontal disease
  • Dentures – plaque and food debris can form on dentures, which need to be cleaned daily
  • Tonsils – cryptic areas (crevices) in the tonsils can allow food debris to become lodged in the tonsil area
  • Respiratory tract infections – throat, sinus and lung infections
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – can be caused by salivary gland problems, medication, mouth breathing, radiation therapy and chemotherapy
  • Systemic diseases – diabetes, liver, kidney, lung, sinus diseases and gastrointestinal disorders

How does Oral Disease Relate to Systemic Disease?
Recent research suggests a relationship between oral disease and systemic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory infections and Alzheimer disease) and other medical conditions. When the gum tissue becomes inflamed causing gingivitis to occur, inflammatory mediators called cytokines that are in the gum tissue can enter your saliva and can also become aspirated into the lungs. Bacteria that are responsible for periodontal disease can also enter the circulatory system around the teeth and travel to other parts of the body. Oral bacteria may cause secondary infections or inflammation of other tissues or organ systems in the body (2).

Who Should You See If You Have Bad Breath?
If you believe your diet is causing bad breath, then consult with a dietician or nutritionist who can work with you to modify your diet. If you have poor oral hygiene and are suffering from gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue in your mouth) or have periodontal disease (bone loss around the teeth sometimes referred to as “pyorrhea”), consult your dentist and periodontist and work with your dental hygienist to improve gingivitis and thorough oral hygiene instruction at home. The tonsils and respiratory infections will need to be followed by your physician or a specialist such as an ear, nose and throat physician or pulmonologist. A large majority of people in the United States are suffering from dry mouth due to medications they may be taking, salivary gland dysfunction and those who may be going through radiation and chemotherapy treatment for cancer therapy. Please consult your oral maxillofacial
surgeon, your physician or oncologist for their professional recommendations for prescription or over-the-counter products that can alleviate dry mouth symptoms. Those patients who are diabetics, have liver or kidney conditions, and gastrointestinal disorders should see their physician, urologist or gastroenterologist for their insights on how bad breath can be reduced regarding these systemic diseases. Contact your dentist office for a recommendation of which dental or medical professional you should see for your bad breath condition.

References:
1. Ooh, That Smell: What to Do if It’s Coming From You – Dentists Discuss Treatments for Bad Breath. Reviewed information at hhttp://www.webmd.com/news/20010809/ooh-that-smell-what-to-do-if-its-coming-from-you.
2. The oral cavity plays an important role in the overall health of the body. Reviewed information at www.oralsystemicconnection.com. 




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