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(dentist xenia ohio opioid addiction opioid crisis) TIME TO GET SERIOUS

by Lee Anne Austria on September 18, 2017 , Comments Off on (dentist xenia ohio opioid addiction opioid crisis) TIME TO GET SERIOUS

(dentist xenia ohio opioid addiction opioid crisis)

Substance abuse isn’t a new problem and neither are opioids.  Just to remind you, opioids are a class of drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain.  Some – such as oxycodone and hydrocodone – can be legally prescribed to help control pain after medical and dental procedures and surgeries.  Heroin would be an illegal version.   All have been in the news a lot lately.

Why are they a problem?  Because they are extremely addictive and thus can be easily abused.

Why are they so addictive?  The official reason is because the medications in drugs bind to the areas of the brain that control pain and emotions, driving up levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine in the brain’s reward areas producing an intense feeling of euphoria.  (www.cnn.com/2016/09/23/health/heroin-opiod-drug-overdose-deaths)  In other words, they can be described as the ultimate “chill-pill.”  As the brain becomes used to these feelings it can take more and more of the drug to produce the same levels of pain relief and well-being, leading to dependence, and later, possibly, addiction.

Here are some scary statistics:

  • 3 out 4 new heroin users start by abusing prescription drugs.
  • Deaths from synthetic opioids (like fentanyl) jumped 72% from 2014 to 2015.
  • Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have more than quadrupled since 1999.

Unfortunately, this epidemic has disproportionally hit small towns and rural America (mainly Appalachia and the Southwest), far away from the spotlight of the national media. The reason why is a subject for another blog post.  However, it has been getting more attention lately.

So what does all of this have to do with dentistry?  Well, when we think about drug abuse, usually the first thing that comes to mind is damage to the brain (Remember the fried egg analogy?  “This is your brain…this is your brain on drugs”), as well as the heart and lungs.  But these powerful drugs can also destroy oral health in general; specifically the teeth and gums.  Drug addicts have more cavities and gum disease than the general population.  Most likely because good oral health is not at the top of their priority list.  Here are some specific ways that opioid addiction is detrimental to oral health:

  • Opioids can cause users to grind and clench their teeth.  Grinding can crack teeth and weaken the jawbone that supports teeth.
  • Opioids reduce pain, which can lead to the user ignoring or missing painful warning signals caused by cavities or gum disease.
  • Injecting opioids can cause oral fungus or viral infections that harm the mouth.
  • Addicts often neglect oral hygiene because the fixation on getting the next high will often replace brushing their teeth for days on end.
  • Cravings for high sugar food and beverages combined with bad oral hygiene habits decay teeth.
  • The condition of the teeth and gums can suffer due to nutritional deficiencies from not eating right.

Dentists often prescribe low-level opioid painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone after oral surgery (think wisdom teeth extractions.) These drugs are believed to have played some role in contributing to the current crisis.  As a result, the American Dental Association has issued guidelines for opioid prescriptions to help advise dentists before prescribing them to patients.  Additionally, in our offices we require parents and legal guardians to read and sign a consent form before prescribing opioids to minors.

For more information on this serious subject, here are some helpful websites:

http://starttalking.ohio.gov/

National Institute on Drug Abuse

American Public Health Association

Additional Sources:  http://www.dentaltown.com/blog/post/7912/how-opioid-abuse-affects-oral-health

dentist xenia ohio opioid addiction opioid crisis

 

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THIS NEVER HAPPENS (post-solar eclipse 2017 letdown edition) affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental

by Lee Anne Austria on August 24, 2017 , Comments Off on THIS NEVER HAPPENS (post-solar eclipse 2017 letdown edition) affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental

affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental
                                    For those of you not lucky enough to travel to Madras, Oregon (Courtesy Aubrey Gemignani/NASA)

Do you need some straightening out?  As in your smile?  Then we have good news!  For a limited time we are offering a $300 discount off of Invisalign Express 5.  Invisalign Express is a shorter-duration orthodontic treatment that works in the same way as traditional Invisalign aligners.  It is a perfect treatment option for people with minor crowding or spacing issues.  Traditional Invisalign usually requires a minimum of 1 to 1 1/2 years to complete treatment whereas Invisalign Express is specifically designed for people whose crowding or spacing problems can be corrected in 6 months or less.

Here’s how it works:  After consultation with the doctor, pictures and impressions of the teeth are taken and digitalized.  Then, 3D technology is used to map tooth movements from the beginning to the end of treatment, forming the basis for creating the customized aligners.  On average, the treatment takes about six months.  The near-invisible Express aligners are custom-designed based on your treatment plan to perfectly fit your teeth. They must be worn every day for 20 to 22 hours, except when eating, drinking hot liquids, brushing, flossing, playing sports or attending special occasions.  The aligners are exchanged for a new set every two weeks and work continuously to straighten the teeth.  It’s a great alternative to traditional wire braces because you can keep up an active lifestyle and not be worried about smiling during social activities (like solar eclipse-themed parties.) And, because the aligners are easy to remove, they promote better oral hygiene, as well as a pain-free experience with less irritation to the gums and mouth.

Specials on Invisalign treatments are almost as rare as total solar eclipses, so if you want to take advantage don’t wait!  Call us and schedule an appointment for a free consultation to see if you are a candidate for Invisalign Express.  And don’t forget to visit our blogFacebook page, and Pinterest page – we are VERY social!

Until next time…

Information for this email was provided by http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/invisalign-express/.  Visit this page for more information.

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IT’S COMPLICATED… (Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist)

by Lee Anne Austria on July 27, 2017 , Comments Off on IT’S COMPLICATED… (Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist)

Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist

Basic versus major versus preventive versus diagnostic…if you spend any time at all in a dental office, you may have heard these terms…but what does it all mean and why is it so darn confusing?  Do you think some procedures are considered “Major” just so the dentist can charge more?  If so, we forgive you for your cynicism.  Here, we will sift through the layers of confusion and explain the differences between diagnostic, basic, and major dental procedures.

Diagnostic/Preventive Care

All dental procedures have specific codes. Like x-rays and exams. These are diagnostic procedures designed to evaluate your teeth and determine if they are in good working condition.  Now…probing around to see what’s wrong is obviously less complicated (and less expensive) than correcting the issue. Asking a dentist to tell you why your tooth hurts without an exam and x-rays is like asking the mechanic to tell you why your car isn’t running without looking under the hood. Likewise, having your teeth cleaned regularly is similar to having regular oil changes on the car.  Preventive dental procedures and preventive car maintenance are both less expensive than a root canal or having a new transmission installed.  Other examples of preventive and diagnostic care include teeth cleaning (prophy), polishing, fluoride treatment, and gum disease and tooth decay screening.  So…whether it’s teeth or the check engine light, practicing preventive behavior helps guard against small problems becoming big problems.  Big problems cost more to fix and that’s why many insurance plans cover most preventive care twice a year…and typical of insurance plans, they don’t want to pay for the major procedures if they don’t have to.

Basic Care

Basic procedures are routine and do not require surgery…for example fillings, simple extractions, and repairs to crowns and dentures.  Some dental plans cover basic procedures immediately upon the plan’s effective date.  Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and indemnity plans most often require a 6-month waiting period and also require meeting an annual deductible before they will pay for most basic procedures.  It’s always a good idea to read the fine print in your insurance plan so you’re not hit with surprises later on.

Major Care

Major procedures involve dental surgery (which could involve sedation) and creating dental appliances among other things.  Examples of major treatments include extractions of impacted wisdom teeth, root canals, crowns, gum surgery (Periodontal), dentures, bridges and implants, and TMJ treatment.  Again some dental plans will cover these procedures starting on the effective date and others require a waiting period and meeting a yearly deductible.  Why do these procedures cost more?  For the same reason a gourmet meal from a fancy French restaurant costs more than a Skyline 3-Way…because of the time, training, and expertise involved.

Remember, unlike the oil, tires, or brakes on your vehicle, tooth enamel is irreplaceable. Once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back.  So don’t put off those twice-yearly preventive care visits.  And one more thing…if all of this talk of insurance is making your head spin, ask us about the Smile Card – our in-house discount plan for those of you who don’t have dental insurance and still want to save money…a win-win situation!

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow us on the web at draustria.comFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

Until next time…

Dr. Greg Austria/Xenia Dentist/Bellbrook Dentist

(This article inspired by an article found in Dental Town – Agent Straight Talk, Unlocking the Mysteries of Dental Fees, June, 2016)

 

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I LOVE YELLOW TEETH…said no one ever (affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental)

by Lee Anne Austria on July 10, 2017 , Comments Off on I LOVE YELLOW TEETH…said no one ever (affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental)

affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental

For a limited time only:  KoR Whitening for only $299!! (Normally priced at $499) So…..here are The Top Ten Reasons to Whiten Your Teeth:

10.  It’s inexpensive…relatively.  Meaning if you compare it to other cosmetic procedures like face-lifts and liposuction it’s downright cheap!  Let’s face it – most of us don’t mind looking younger and fitter than we actually are.  A nice white smile is associated with youth!

9.  40 is the new 30…(In my case 50 is the new 25…I wish.)  You should include both your skin and your teeth when going for that more youthful look…there is no point having fresh-looking dewy skin only to have yellowish teeth.

8.  There is no surgery involved with having whiter teeth!  (See #10.)  Teeth whitening options are simple and risk-free.

7.  Whitening will remove those pesky red wine stains.

6.  Better oral hygiene.  This just makes us here at the dental office happy.  If you invest in a whiter smile, it makes sense that you will take better care of it by being dedicated about flossing and brushing consistently.  And visiting us regularly!  This leads to you being healthier overall.  And that will make YOU happy!

5.  Need a confidence booster?  Let’s face it, yellow teeth can be embarrassing.  There’s nothing wrong with giving the ‘ole self esteem a jump-start with a bright beautiful smile.

4.  Looking to change it up on the career front?  A white smile on your Linked-In profile pic will make an excellent first impression!

3.  Special occasions.  YOU can be the envy of your former high school classmates at your reunion with a pearly white smile.

2.  Are you a smoker and want to quit?  Here’s a thought:  Getting your teeth whitened could help you reach that goal.  Avoiding spoiling your new white teeth with cigarette stains could work as a great incentive.

And the #1 reason to get your teeth whitened:

1.  Nothing can stop time from passing.  Sometimes the aging process can cause teeth to yellow and make them look old and unhealthy…totally not your fault!  But it can lead us to feel old and unhealthy!  Teeth whitening is a fantastic, simple, and inexpensive way to help improve the way we see ourselves.  And that projects a confident you to the rest of the world!

Call us today!

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I’M JUST SO TIRED…(bellbrook dentist/spring valley dentist/xenia dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on June 26, 2017 , Comments Off on I’M JUST SO TIRED…(bellbrook dentist/spring valley dentist/xenia dentist

bellbrook dentist/spring valley dentist/xenia dentist

Dental insurance…navigating deductibles, co-pays, maximums, PPO vs. Premier Plans…just the thought can inspire a poor soul to throw in the towel and run away… and that’s just our Insurance Coordinator.  Are you tired of trying to figure it all out?  Is it worth that salary deduction?  Or are you in a panic because you lost your dental insurance? Fear not, we can help.

It’s called the Smile Card.  And it’s awesome.  Why is it awesome?  Because it is NOT dental insurance.  “Wait”, you may ask… “How can it save me money if it’s not dental insurance?”  Here’s how it works:

  • You (the patient) pay one fee upfront.  You can choose an individual, individual and spouse, or family plan (for up to 4 family members.)
  • This fee covers 2 exams, 2 cleanings, x-rays, and periodontal charting.  The plan is good for one year from the date you sign up.
  • You receive 10% off all other treatments – this includes the high-ticket procedures like Invisalign, implants, even Kor Whitening!

“But there has to be a catch…” you may think to yourself.  “A waiting period, a maximum, a missing tooth clause…something!!”  Nope…the Smile Card has no annual maximums and no limit to how often it can be used for treatment within the one-year period.  Think of it like a warranty with unlimited mileage!  Oh and did I mention that with this plan there is no paperwork because the fee and reduced rates are paid directly to us?

Imagine that…a discount dental plan that is designed to actually get you the care you need without fine print, paperwork, or glazed-over eyes.  It’s NOT to good to be true.  It’s real. And it’s available for you here at Brilliant Smiles.

Questions?  Call us or click here.  And thanks for reading.  For more vignettes, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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STEP AWAY FROM THE SCALE… (xenia dentist/xenia cosmetic dentistry)

by Lee Anne Austria on June 5, 2017 , Comments Off on STEP AWAY FROM THE SCALE… (xenia dentist/xenia cosmetic dentistry)

scale

xenia dentist/xenia cosmetic dentistry

There are plenty of reasons to keep your waistline trim…now here’s another one:  A new study published in the journal Oral Diseases found that overweight  people had worse oral health than their normal-weight peers, with obese people having a nearly six-fold higher risk of severe periodontal (gum) disease.  Overweight or obese means weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height.  Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a screening method to determine whether an individual is overweight or obese.

BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters.  If this sounds complicated (it does to me), here is a cheat sheet you can use to determine your BMI.  A high BMI can be considered an indicator of a high level of body fat.

  • A BMI of less than 18.5 is considered in the underweight range.
  • A BMI of 18.5 to <25 is considered in the normal range.
  • A BMI of 25.0 to <30 is considered in the overweight range.
  • A BMI of 30.0 or higher is considered to fall in the obese range.

What is periodontal disease again?

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the tissues surrounding and the bone supporting the teeth.  Here are the warning signs.  Not only is periodontal disease a major cause of tooth loss, it is also linked to other diseases.  Increased risks of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, and even premature births have been linked to periodontal disease.

So how does obesity affect periodontal disease?

For a long time overweight and obese adults have been considered to be at high risk for many chronic inflammatory diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.  A recent study showed that overweight individuals had double the incidence of gum disease while obese individuals had triple the incidence.  It is now known that fat cells produce many chemical signals and hormones and that many of these substances are thought to increase overall inflammation in the body.  This may lead to a lowering of immunities which increases the susceptibility to gum disease.  The inflammation may also decrease blood flow to the gums and cause the disease to get worse.

That sounds complicated!  What’s the bottom line?

Brilliant Smiles is a Complete Health Dentistry practice.  That means we focus on overall health as well as dental health.  Obesity and gum disease significantly affect overall health and understanding this relationship is important.  With the increasing rate of child and adolescent obesity, increased occurrence of periodontal disease is likely to follow.

Remind me what I can do to prevent periodontal disease.

  • Take care of your mouth.  That means regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.
  •  Maintain good overall health.  Focus on a healthy balanced diet:  Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and plenty of water.  Try to avoid sticky, sugary snacks.  Regular exercise never hurt anybody!  And…We can’t repeat it enough…STOP SMOKING!
  • Stay on track with your visits to the dental office.  Your hygienist and dentist can catch the early signs of periodontal disease before it turns into a major issue.
  • Visit your doctor.  Gum disease occurs in the mouth but there are many medications that can increase your risk of getting it.  And some medical conditions can increase that risk.  So talk to your doc about non-dental risk factors.

It’s important to mention that the study could not show a direct “cause-and-effect’ relationship between gum disease and obesity.  However, it should sound the alarm about another potential drawback of packing on those extra pounds (besides fitting into that summer bathing suit.)

Until next time!

Information for this article came from the following sources:

http://www.health.com/obesity/obesity-periodontal-disease-inflammation

http://www.obesityaction.org/wp-content/uploads/Obesity-and-Periodontal-Disease.pdf

http://blog.biolase.com/waterlase/bid/315972/How-to-Prevent-Gum-Disease

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html

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THE ABC’S OF DENTISTRY (Dr. Jenna Shevlin/Dentist Xenia)

by Lee Anne Austria on May 25, 2017 , Comments Off on THE ABC’S OF DENTISTRY (Dr. Jenna Shevlin/Dentist Xenia)

Dr. Jenna Shevlin/Dentist Xenia

Below is a list of terms commonly used in our dental office.  Not to worry, there will be no pop quiz, but you CAN impress your friends with your new-found knowledge.  Read on to become smarter..

abc

  • Abscess – A painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum.  Usually forms because of infection.
  • Abutment – A tooth or tooth structure which is responsible for the anchorage of a bridge or denture.
  • Amalgam – A silver filling material.
  • Anterior – The front position.
  • Apex – The end of the root.
  • Bitewing – A kind of dental x-ray which is taken with the teeth biting together.  Done as a means to detect cavities in between teeth and at the height of bone support.
  • Bridge – A prosthesis which is fixed inside the mouth to replace missing teeth.
  • Bruxism – Teeth grinding.
  • Canine – The third tooth from the middle of the jaw.  There are 4 of them.  They are the longest teeth in humans.
  • Caries – Tooth decay.
  • Cavity – A hole on the tooth.
  • Cast – A model of teeth.
  • Chlorhexidine – An anti-microbial agent.  It is available in many forms such as gels and rinses.  It is an effective agent in controlling gum disease.
  • Composite – A white filling material.
  • Crown – A crown is like a “cap” on a tooth.  It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and outlook.
  • Decay – The disintegrating part of the tooth.
  • Denture – An artificial prosthesis to replace missing teeth and their neighbooring structures.
  • Distal – A direction indication in the mouth.  It indicates the direction away from the middle of the jaw.
  • Filling – A restoration placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance.
  • Flipper – A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period for long term treatment.
  • Fluoride Treatment – Teeth treatment with fluoride agents like gel or rinse.
  • Gingivitis – The mildest form of gum disease:  inflammation of the gum.  The earliest sign is bleeding gums.
  • Impaction – A condition where a tooth is not able to come in normally or is stuck underneath another tooth or bone.
  • Implant – A device put in the jaw bone to support a false tooth, a denture or a bridge.
  • Impression – A mold taken with some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.
  • Incisal – The cutting edge of a front tooth.
  • Incisor – The four upper and lower front teeth.
  • Lingual – The side of the tooth towards the tongue.
  • Mesial – The side of the tooth toward the middle of the jaw.
  • Molar – The last three upper and lower teeth on both sides of the mouth.
  • Mouthguard – A device to be worn in the mouth.  Depending on the design of it, it prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sports events.
  • Occlusal – The biting surface of the back teeth.
  • Occlusion – The way the upper and lower teeth close together.
  • Overbite – The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together.
  • Palate – The roof of the mouth.
  • Panoramic Radiograph (Pano) – An x-ray film to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.
  • Polish – A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy.
  • Pontic – The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth.
  • Post – A pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon.  Its function usually is to support a big buildup on a tooth.
  • Posterior – Located at the back.
  • Prophylaxis/Prophy – The procedure of teeth polishing.  It also means the prevention of diseases.
  • Pulp – The innermost part of a tooth.  It contains nerves and blood vessels inside a tooth.
  • Recall – The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment.
  • Restoration – An item a dentist uses to restore the normal function of a tooth or an area in the mouth.  It can be a filling, crown, bridge or implant.
  • Retainer – A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontic treatment.
  • Root – The bottom part of the tooth.  It anchors the tooth to its supporting units.
  • Root Canal – The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth.  It contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth.
  • Root Planing – The action of cleaning the root area of the teeth.
  • Scaling – The action of cleaning teeth below the gumline.
  • Sealant – A thin layer of plastic-like material covering the grooves and pits on a tooth to prevent a cavity.
  • Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ) – The joint that links the jaw to the skull.
  • Veneer – A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) that attaches to the front of the tooth.  It is usually used to improve the appearance of the tooth.
  • Wisdom Tooth – The eighth (and last) tooth from the middle of the jaw.

Dr. Jenna Shevlin/Dentist Xenia

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SCARED YET? dentist xenia/affordable dentist xenia/ emergency dental

by Lee Anne Austria on March 30, 2017 , Comments Off on SCARED YET? dentist xenia/affordable dentist xenia/ emergency dental

 

mouth-cancer-awareness--smoke

dentist xenia/affordable dentist xenia/ emergency dental

It’s early to start thinking about Halloween (Even though the new trailer for Stephen King’s IT gave me a jumpstart – yikes!)  However, oral cancer is something that is scary at any time of the year.  April is oral cancer awareness month and your chances of beating it depend on how soon you find it.

In 2017 about 49,670 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.  An estimated 9700 will die of these cancers.  Oral cancer can strike in the mouth and throat with most of these cancers beginning in the flat cells – squamous cells – that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue, and lips.  Some of the risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), sun exposure, diet, betel nut use, and personal history of oral cancer.

Symptoms to watch for include patches inside the mouth or on the lips, a sore on the mouth or lips that doesn’t heal, bleeding in the mouth, loose teeth, pain or difficulty swallowing, lump in the neck, numbness of lower lip and chin, difficulty wearing dentures, and a persistent earache.

You need to get to your dentist or physician ASAP if you have any of these symptoms.

So are you scared?  Be scared.  Embrace it.  Get that screening!

(You’ve been warned about the movie…if you still want to watch the trailer click here.)

draustria.com

(Reprinted in part from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/cancer/article/ada-04-take-heed-april-is-oral-cancer-awareness-month)

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TALK ABOUT MADNESS… (xenia affordable dentist)

by Lee Anne Austria on March 23, 2017 , Comments Off on TALK ABOUT MADNESS… (xenia affordable dentist)

xenia affordable dentist
Eskimo Joe - "honey, you'd better get out here."

(Here’s a disclaimer:  This article is reprinted in part from blog written by Implant Seminars – Implant Dentistry Education.  As I usually do, I’ve changed a few things to make it more interesting reading (hopefully) for the average person but the gist is the same.  The article mentions climate change.  Since this is a controversial subject, we here at Brilliant Smiles are not expressing an opinion on whether climate change is valid science or not…only that it is controversial.  If you want to debate the subject go to Facebook.  Or click here.  To read the original article click here.)

Sometimes you have to marvel at our species’ collective progress.  Almost every day breakthroughs in science and technology are transforming how we live and interact with the world around us.  In medicine alone, new theories of disease, new vaccines, and new treatment methods promise to vastly extend human life.  It has been reported that sometime in the not-too-distant future, many of us could be living to around 120!

But just when you think nothing could stifle such optimism, we receive a dose of reality: Tooth decay remains a pressing problem for more than 2.4 billion people.  That’s about one-third of the entire human race.  And to make matters worse, some 190 million new cases are estimated every year.

In an age where miracles like a heart transplant can occur from a cadaver, bionic eyes are developed for the blind, and an artificial skull transplant was completed using a 3D-printer – all achived in 2014 alone…how can this be??

There are several factors at work here.  First, tooth decay often exhibits threshold event or “tipping point” tendencies.  In science, thresholds are moments where after periods of coninual stimulus, a sudden new state is achieved.  The term is used frequently in climate studies and posed as a question.  How much additional carbon dioxide emissions from industry will push the Earth’s climate into a new state?

  • When Your Mouth Runs Amok.  ​Like climate change, tooth decay is a slow and deceptively sneaky process.  The time it takes a microcavity to grow into a damaging and painful abscess can be measured in months and years.  And during that long interlude, few symptoms may manifest.  And if they do emerge, (things like hyper sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages) they can be easily ignored.  But eventually that threshold is crossed.  Perhaps the patient bites down and their tooth shatters.  Or perhaps easily dismissed discomfort becomes excrutiating.  Long before the threshold is crossed, significant damage has been done.  Economics and diet also play a significant role.  Even in wealthier countries like the U.S. and the U.K., there remains great disparity rates between the rich and the poor.  A recent study found that dental health was worse among the poorest 20% of British society.  By the time these individuals reach 70, they have on average 8 fewer teeth than their richest counterparts.  In terms of diet our overly processed, high-sugar products are assaulting our teeth like never before.
  • Give Tooth Decay the Time-out it Deserves.  Tooth decay may not grab the evening headlines like the threat of terrorism or March Madness basketball scores.  But when tooth decay impacts a third of the human population, you can bet it’s on the mind of the worlds dentists.  If left unchecked, tooth decay can negatively impact a patient’s life in a variety of ways, ranging from malnutrition and articulation troubles, to social anxiety and barriers to employment.

This spring, as we embrace the warmer months ahead and yes, perform a little spring cleaning, let’s remind ourselves that now would be a great time to make a dental appointment.  If humans really are going to live to 120 on a regular basis, let’s do what we can to make those years as pleasant and pain-free as possible.

While you’re at it, check out OUR Facebook page!  Not as controversial as climate change but still entertaining nonetheless!

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