Why the Danger of Tobacco Outweighs the Pleasure

quit-smoking

Smoking cigarettes provides smokers with a pleasing experience. Smoking is also addictive and can have harsh consequences on one’s oral health.

This post is not meant to make those who smoke feel judged for their habits. However, it is important that if you or a loved one smokes, you understand the risks associated.

As stated in our older post, Tobacco & Your Teeth, the CDC has found that a smoker is twice as likely to develop gum disease than someone who does not smoke. This infection of the gums can lead to tooth loss and bone damage. 

If you are a smoker, here is what you can do to protect your teeth:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily, as well as visiting your dentist every 6 months.
  • Stop smoking. This is likely the hardest advice to take, but your mouth – and the rest of your body – will be all the healthier if you stop smoking. If you are having trouble quitting or don’t know where to start, smokefree.gov has resources that can help.
  • Be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Early signs of gum disease are red, swollen gums that bleed.
  • If you suspect that you may have gum disease, talk to your dentist. You may need to be referred to a periodontist for treatment.

No matter how old you are, it is never too early or too late to quit smoking.

Take care of your smile!

 

Why Your Oral Health Matters

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Most of us have heard, “brush twice daily, floss once daily.” Some of us follow these directions, and some of us don’t. Those who don’t may be wondering why it matters how often we brush our teeth, besides the obvious reduction of bad breath, plaque, and cavities. The truth is, our oral health really does matter, and what’s going on in our mouths can affect our overall health.

Here are 3 reasons why the state of your teeth matters:

  1. When you don’t take care of your teeth, you’re likely to lose them, which can make daily functions more difficult. Without teeth, it can be hard to talk and eat solid foods.
  2. Failing to brush and floss can lead to the development of gum disease, which has been linked to other health issues. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer,54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.”
  3. People pay attention to your smile. One survey indicates that”52 percent of adults older than 50 and 45 percent of the 18-49 demographic are most likely to remember a smile after they’re introduced to someone for the first time.”

So, what can you do to take care of your teeth and gums? You guessed it…brush and floss. While these tasks aren’t complicated, you do want to make sure that you are brushing and flossing correctly. So, next time you pick up your toothbrush or a strand of floss, keep these tips in mind:

  • Brush correctly. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth.
  • Don’t forget your tongue. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
    (Note: Do not swallow any toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing.)
  • Brush at specific times each day. The best times to brush are
    • In the morning after breakfast
    • After lunch or right after school
    • After dinner
    • At bedtime
  • Use your middle fingers to floss. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque.
  • Switch to clean sections of floss as you go. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish.
  • Don’t forget the teeth in the back! Floss behind all of your back teeth.
  • Pay attention to your teeth when you floss. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first few times flossing, let a staff member know at your next appointment.

We hope that the information in this article have encouraged you to take your oral health seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit our website or call our office to schedule an appointment – (919) 468-6410.

Take care of your smile!

 

 

Removing the Stigma Surrounding Gum Disease

Everyone needs to be informed about periodontal (gum) disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of American adults are believed to have the disease. That’s 64.7 million people! Despite these surprising statistics, many people are relunctant to discuss  the subject – and that needs to change.

Concerns About Gum Disease

So, if so many people are affected by gum disease, why don’t people talk about it more? While there are several answers to this question, here are a few common concerns involving gum disease:

  • People don’t like to floss. Flossing is one of the main ways you can prevent gum disease. Yet, many people do not floss because they do not enjoy it. If you struggle with flossing, read our post Making Flossing a Priority.
  • Embarrassment. Admitting that you have swollen, bleeding gums and tooth loss might make you feel embarrassed. However, the truth is that there are millions of other people who are facing the same problem. If you believe that you have gum disease, don’t feel ashamed – talk to your dentist or periodontist at your next visit.
  • Fear of painful treatments. While receiving gum treatments may sound painful, dental technology has improved the way that gum disease is treated. One treatment, the LANAP Procedure, limits post-procedure discomfort and has  a faster rate of healing and gum re-growth.

The “Love the Gums You’re With” Campaign

The American Academy of Periodontology is making the discussion about gum disease more engaging. A few weeks ago, they received a Public Relations Society of America Skyline Award of Excellence for their campaign titled Love the Gums You’re With. The campaign uses clever sayings such as “To have and to hold – your teeth in your mouth-,” “Get to know your perio. And get closer to your gums,” and “Floss like your smile depends on it. Because it does” to talk about the importance of gum care. All joking aside, the campaign makes a valid point. Neglecting your gums can cause serious problems. In fact, gum disease has been linked to tooth loss, heart disease, and diabetes.

To learn more, visit the American Academy of Periodontolgy’s website or the campaign’s blog.

Even if you don’t have gum disease, please share this information with your family and friends. It just might save their smile.

If you have any questions, or are looking for a periodontist, please contact our office.

Take care of your smile!

Don’t Fear the Dentist

Everyone thinks of something different when they hear the word dentist. The dentist’s chair. A toothbrush. A surgeon’s mask. For many, the word evokes a feeling of fear. While there may be a widespread dislike of paying a visit to a dental office, there is no need to be afraid.

Where Does the Fear Come From?

Adults and children alike often have a fear of the dentist. The reason for this is usually attributed to patients feeling a lack of control over the situation or worrying that they will be harmed by intimidating-looking tools. The portrayal of dentists in the media sometimes adds to the negative stigma surrounding dentists. Take this scene from Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo, for example:

In the scene, viewers see a patient screaming as a dentist works on his mouth with loud electric tools. This makes a trip to the dentist’s office seem less than inviting. Audiences are most likely able to identify with this scene because of the common fear of the dentist, but modern dentist’s offices aren’t as scary as they may seem.

The Truth About the Dentist

While going to the dentist may have been uncomfortable in the past, advancements in technology have allowed dental professionals to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Ways that we work to make the experience the best it can be here at Kazmer Periodontics include:

  • Using the Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) to treat gum disease
  • Offering local anesthesia for certain procedures
  • Offering sedation dentistry

If you have any questions about the treatments and procedures of our office or what we can do to best accommodate you during your visit, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Take care of your smile!

Periodontal Disease

When people think of oral health, the most common problem that comes to mind is often cavities. However, your gums deserve just as much attention as your teeth. Periodontal (Gum) disease can begin in quite a short amount of time when gums are not properly cared for.

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Floss once a day to keep your gums healthy. (Photo source: https://goo.gl/fAujl4)

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to the bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth.

There are three types of Gum disease: Gingivitis, Aggressive periodontitis, and Chronic periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, causing the gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. There is no or very little discomfort associated with this stage of the disease. With a good oral hygiene regimen, the results of gingivitis can be reversed.
  • Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients.
  • Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of gum disease and is frequently seen in adults. The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

While gum disease may sound scary, the good news is that it can be treated. As a Periodontist, Dr. Kazmer specializes in treating gum disease. Non-surgical options such as professional cleanings are available, as well as surgical options for when non-surgical treatments are not enough.

Surgical treatments for periodontal disease offered by Dr. Kazmer include:

  • Pocket reduction
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Bone regeneration

Dental implants may also be suggested to replace teeth that have been lost to gum disease.

The next time you go to brush your teeth and consider skipping flossing, consider this: “half of American adults suffer from gum disease.” The best way to protect yourself from gum disease is to brush and floss everyday and visit the dentist regularly.

Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Take care of your smile!

Common Procedures & Treatments – a Series

In the last blog post, just a few of the treatments that Kazmer Periodontics offers were mentioned. However, Dr. Kazmer evaluates patients for several different dental situations. Follow our blog over the coming weeks, as we will be explaining the most common procedures and treatments offered at the practice in more detail.

The topics that will be explained are:Kazmer Periodontics logo

The topics listed above are those that Dr. Kazmer mainly deals with as a Periodontist. We hope to give you a better understanding of these topics through our blog posts. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Check back next Thursday for the first post in this series discussing Periodontal Disease. To have all of our articles delivered straight to your email inbox, click the blue “Follow” button in the bottom right corner of the screen to subscribe!

Take care of your smile!

What is a Periodontist?

Dr. Kazmer is a specialist in periodontics and implant dentistry, otherwise known as a periodontist.

What exactly is a periodontist?

The American Academy of Periodontology describes a periodontist as “a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants.”

In order to become a periodontist, Dr. Kazmer went through several years of schooling. He is a graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA, where he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. In addition, Dr. Kazmer is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his Master’s degree in Periodontics and Dental Implantology. 

UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry logo
Dr. Kazmer is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go Tarheels!

Why might I need to see a periodontist?

Patients are typically referred to a periodontist after being diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease (gum disease). Patients who need to have an implant placed or repaired may also see a periodontist.

Treatments that Dr. Kazmer offers include:

  • The Placement of Dental Implants – Dental implants are sturdy, durable artificial tooth replacements. Learn more
  • Bone Grafting and Augmentation Bone grafting is used to restore a large amount of bone tissue that has deteriorated, whereas bone augmentation is used to replace a small amount of bone tissue. Learn more
  • Root Scaling and PlaningEven when periodontal disease is in a fairly advanced stage, it is possible to improve or even reverse the condition with non-surgical procedures. Depending on the type of disease and its severity, one of these approaches may be suggested. Learn more
  • Crown LengtheningCrown lengthening is a long-lasting restorative process utilized to help patients regain a beautiful smile and eat and speak with comfort and confidence. Learn more
  • The LANAP Procedure – LANAP, or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is a procedure that treats periodontal (gum) disease with the use of a highly specialized Nd:YAG laser. Learn more

Feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns that you may have, or to make an appointment.

Take care of your smile!