Santa Cruz Family Dentists | Smile With Confidence in Santa Cruz

Opening Hours : Mon 7AM-5PM; Tu/We/Th 7AM-6PM; Fri 8AM-5PM
  Contact : (831) 316-1580

All Posts Tagged: Bone loss

It’s not “just a cleaning”

So you have been a patient here for years, or maybe you are a new member of the family, either way, do you know really what happens at your teeth cleaning?

If you’re like most people,  the only thing you hear is “cavity” or no cavity.  However, so much more than just the evaluation of tooth decay is going on during those cleanings.  Besides polishing of the tooth’s surface, here’s what’s really going on while your mouth is open…

A review of medical health history

Gums and oral tissues can be greatly affected by changes in your medications or health and  can cause pocketing, dry mouth, or tooth and bone loss.

Blood pressure screening

High blood pressure has been labeled “the silent killer.”  People with elevated blood pressure often don’t know until they have suffered a heart attack or stroke.  Your health and safety is of the utmost importance to us.

American Cancer Society Oral Cancer Exam, Soft Tissue and Hard tissue Exam

Who looks in your mouth more than us?  Regular cancer screenings check for abnormalities or changes in cheeks, gums, tongue, tonsil, and lining of the mouth.  Early detection is the key.  In the United States 3 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every hour, that’s 30,000 Americans every year.

Periodontal exam

Periodontal disease is the #1 leading cause of tooth loss in Americans.  Periodontal disease is an infection of gum tissues.  We take measurements of 6 sites around the teeth to determine the health of the gum tissue and severity of infection.  Early treatment can not only prevent tooth and bone loss, but also save money (and teeth!) in the long run.

TMJ exam

Some say that 20% of the population if affected Tempromandibular Disorder (TMD) which affects the tempromandibular joint.  Early detection can help alleviate major jaw issues in the future including muscle stiffness, locking of the jaw, and changes in the way your teeth fit together.

Occlusal exam

Occlusion is the manner in which the upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is closed.  Often referred to at the “bite.”  This is super important for not only chewing, but the health of the jaw joint.    A healthy bite means a healthy jaw.

It’s not “just a cleaning”

Every time you open your mouth here at out office rest assured we are looking out for you even when you aren’t entirely aware of it.  Early detection of of high blood pressure can prevent a heart attack.  Early detection of a cavity can prevent a crown.  Early detection of periodontal disease can prevent tooth loss and cardiovascular disease.  Coming to your regularly scheduled cleanings and exams can  spare you unnecessary pain, tooth loss and money with early detection.  Do something good for you, let us keep you healthy.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

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“Mission Possible”

The Matiasevich Team with trainers Pat and Roz

“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.”
–Rick Pitino Coach for the Louisville Cardinals

We believe we are only as good as what we can do for our patients and what services we offer.   It is important for us to be able to offer our patients a variety of solutions for every dental situation.  Our mission is to keep you with your teeth for a lifetime. And it is one we have accepted whole heartedly.

Mission Possible Training

Last month we were fortunate enough to have onsite training with 2 fantastic women who specialize in non-surgical periodontal therapies that can save teeth and bone! We learned the ins and outs of Periodontal Disease, as well as new techniques of infection control. There was not only classroom training, but lucky us, chair-side too!  With three days of intensive instruction, we are pumped and ready to bring you the best treatment available!

#1 cause of tooth loss

Periodontal Disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss. “According to the 1996 American Dental Association/Colgate survey, U.S. dentists say gum disease is a more pressing oral health concern than tooth decay by a 2-to-1 margin.”  Research has shown, and experts agree, that there is an association between Periodontal Disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions, as well as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Health doesn’t stop at your mouth. We understand that there is a person attached to your teeth and we want the very best for your health.

It’s not your fault

Here are just some of the factors that contribute to Periodontal Disease:

  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • OTC Drugs
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Hormones
  • Smoking
  • Disease
  • Dry Mouth
  • Grinding

The list goes on and on.  No wonder brushing and flossing alone can’t combat the bacteria!  It’s not your fault.  Bacteria are excellent breeders and can reproduce at an exponential rate when conditions are right.  Excessive bacteria causes infection in the gums.

Imagine a 3″ wound on your arm that is not only tender to the touch, but bleeds and oozes puss. It is constantly irritating and just won’t heal.  It could give you a fever.  It could make you feel run down and affect your blood pressure. That is what an infection in your mouth can be like.  Left undisturbed, the infection will lead to not only bone loss, but also tooth loss.

We can help

Never fear, the Matiasevich Team is here!  We can get that health deteriorating infection under control with amazing new techniques.  It is possible.  Active infection will be a thing of the past.  A future of healthy pink gums  and strong teeth are waiting for you.  Your mission, and we hope you accept it, is to let us take care of you.  This is what we do.  And we love it.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

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What’s that smell?

Chronic bad breath is not normal

Did you just pop a breath mint?  Are you a person who constantly has a stock pile of gum and mouth rinse, but find that they don’t really work?  Most mouth rinses and mints are designed as a cosmetic fix and might help if its is something you ate, however, chronic bad breath can be the sign of something more complex than what you had for lunch.

Obviously, certain foods such as garlic and onions can make ones breath a bit questionable.  After eating, these foods are absorbed in the blood stream and transfered to the lungs.  Exhalation allows the residual smell to escape the body.   Brushing, flossing and mouth rinse will serve as a cosmetic fix, but the smell will last until those onions make it all the way through the digestive tract.

I didn’t eat anything smelly

Another cause of bad breath can be xerostomia, or dry mouth.  Lack of moisture in the mouth causes bacteria and food that would normally be sent down your throat with excess saliva to build up and smell bad.  Dry mouth can be caused by numerous medications, salivary gland problems and mouth breathing.  Often times,  a prescription for artificial saliva can help with these conditions.

Lack of brushing and flossing can lead to excess food and bacteria building up in the gum tissues.  The food collects around the teeth and rots releasing an unpleasant odor.  This can lead to Periodontal Disease.  Deep pockets, left uncleaned, come complete with a supply of rotting food for bacteria to proliferate.  Uncontrolled Periodontal Disease can lead to bone and tooth loss.

Bad breath can also be a sign of other health concerns including respiratory infection, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorder or kidney ailment.  In this case a referral to a medical doctor for additional treatment might be necessary.

What can I do?

Keys to great smelling breath include regular visits to your dentist.  Regular cleanings will keep your mouth cleaned up and can head-off potential problems.    In-between visits, make sure to brush your teeth and tongue.  Floss regularly and if you sense your breath might be less than par, don’t hesitate to schedule a quick visit at the office.   For those of you with dentures, make sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly.  Remember, a visit here could put those mints to rest.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

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