Avoiding Periodontal Disease

gum-diseasePeriodontal disease is one of the most widespread health conditions affecting United States citizens today, with over 47% of all adults having some form of the disease. Unfortunately, most people overlook the symptoms of gum disease until they have started to lose teeth or suffer from system-wide problems, which is why Dr. Guzman wants all of his patients to be familiar with the warning signs and how to avoid the disease.

Gum and Periodontal Disease Warning Signs

Inflamed Gums

When bacteria is allowed to accumulate on the teeth and in the mouth, it can trigger an inflammatory reaction in the gum tissue, making the gums swollen, reddened, warmer than usual, and tender.

Bad Breath

Persistent bad breath or a foul taste in the mouth can signal early gum disease.  

Bleeding While Flossing

Gum inflammation can also make the gums more prone to bleeding, especially while flossing.

Loose or Missing Teeth

Oral bacteria can also target healthy bone and connective tissue, making the teeth loose in their sockets. Eventually teeth can fall out altogether, and the remaining teeth will spread to fill the space.

Gum Recession

Bacteria can also cause gum recession, which can in turn cause problems like extreme dental sensitivity or an unsightly smile.

Gingival Pockets

Over time, the bacteria can move deeper and deeper underneath gum tissue, leading to deep pockets between the teeth and the gum tissue. Gingival pockets are between 1-2 millimeters deep in healthy teeth, but can grow as deep as 7-8 millimeters deep after periodontal disease has set in.

How To Avoid Periodontal Disease

Fortunately, you can avoid gum disease and periodontal disease by taking good care of your teeth and gums. Here are a few easy ways to prevent periodontal disease.

Focus On Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing twice a day for two to three minutes is crucial for helping you to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your mouth. Especially makes sure that you floss thoroughly, as this helps remove plaque just below the gumline. Focus on careful oral hygiene, and talk with your periodontist in Boston for tips on making your dental routine more effective.

Get A Comprehensive Periodontal Exam Once A Year

The American Academy of Periodontology recommends receiving a CPE, or comprehensive periodontal exam, once a year in order to spot gum disease early and treat it proactively.

Maintain a Healthy Diet and Exercise Regimen

Taking care of your body is essential to warding off periodontal disease. Focus on daily exercise and a healthy diet in order to reduce inflammation. Also, drink plenty of water to dilute oral bacterial acids and to wash away food particles.

If you have questions about periodontal disease, or are worried you may have it, contact Dental Partners of Boston, your dentist in Boston, MA. All of the stages of gum disease are treatable, and with the right dental care, your smile can become healthy and beautiful again.

The Best Way to Brush

It might seem too obvious to even mention that dental health relies on your oral hygiene routine. You’ve probably been brushing since before you can remember, which is why it might surprise you to find that you’re doing it wrong. Everyone should make it a point to update their brushing technique regularly, to make sure that mistakes and inattention don’t blossom into tooth decay. At Dental Partners of Boston, we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your brushing. Read on for tips to make your oral hygiene more effective.

Choose the Right Toothbrush

Proper tooth brushing starts with choosing the right toothbrush. The American Dental Association only recommends soft-bristled toothbrushes, as medium or hard bristled toothbrushes can damage your gum tissue. Your toothbrush should also be small enough to fit in your mouth easily without making you feel like you are straining. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months, as they can harbor bacteria and develop worn bristles over time.

Choose the Right Toothpaste

Always use a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance. Fluoride helps to keep the teeth healthy because it makes the molecular structure of dental enamel stronger and more resistant to acid corrosion. Fluoride also makes it harder for the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid, which can help to keep your smile cavity-free.

Check Your Technique

To brush the front of your teeth, you should hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle pointed towards your gum line. Using small circular motions and light pressure, move the toothbrush back and forth to whisk away plaque and food buildup. Brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the chewing surfaces. To brush behind the front bottom teeth, turn your toothbrush vertically with the bristles pointing towards the teeth. Use short strokes to brush behind teeth effectively. Last but not least, make sure to brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath. After brushing, make sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water, and to floss your teeth once a day.

How Much and How Often

You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night before you go to bed. Experts recommend thinking of your teeth as quadrants, and then dedicating 30 seconds for each section.

Tips for Success

  • If you have mobility problems, power toothbrushes can make brushing easier since the head moves on its own.
  • Set a timer so that you make sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Some dental professionals even recommend watching television or listening to the radio during brushing to pass the time.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for an in-person tutorial from one of our clinicians during your next visit. Your dentists in Boston would be more than happy to watch you brush and offer pointers to make sure you are getting the most out of your oral hygiene routine. Contact your dentist in Boston MA for more information about at-home dental care.

Tooth Colored Fillings

white-fillingsIf you have developed a cavity recently, know that you aren’t alone. 92% of adults over the age of 20 have had cavities in their permanent teeth, making fillings one of the most common and necessary dental restorations available. However, when you make an appointment to get that cavity removed, you will be faced with an interesting question: tooth-colored or silver? Although your wallet might sway you to side with those economical silver amalgam fillings, there are some very compelling reasons to consider modern composite resin fillings.

The Downside of Amalgam Fillings

Take a good look at any cavity and you will instantly understand why it needs to be addressed. That unsightly, gaping hole can let bacteria and food particles into your tooth, where it can spark a painful infection. However, those amalgam fillings might leave you wondering if the repair has actually been made. Amalgam fillings can look silver at first and then slowly get darker as the area oxidizes, leaving you with a smile that looks peppered with untreated cavities. Amalgam fillings are even more of a problem with a patient presents with cavities in the highly visible portions of their teeth, such as on the surface of front incisors. Fortunately, tooth-colored, composite resin fillings can make that cavity look like it never existed.

Overview

Tooth colored fillings are made up of a manmade composite resin. This material is a mix of ground bits of porcelain combined with a durable binder that is engineered to stand up to bite forces. Before the dentist applies the resin, the material can be dyed carefully to match the patient’s existing teeth, so that the repair is invisible. Composite resin also mimics the natural transparency and shine of teeth, so your teeth will look completely beautiful and natural.

What To Expect

Before your tooth-colored filling can be placed, the decay needs to be removed, just like repairing any other cavity. After your Boston dentist gently numbs the section of your mouth that will be worked on, we’ll remove the decay and clean the tooth. Next, the composite is dyed slightly to match the tooth, and then it is piped into place, smoothed, and hardened with a small UV light. After the material is hard, the dentist will polish the surface of the tooth, leaving behind a dental surface that looks untouched and immaculate.

There is a reason that the Dental Partners of Boston are known as some of the best dentists in Boston. If you suspect that you have a cavity, make an appointment with one of our professionals today for a consultation.

A New Smile for a New You

Your teeth are strong and healthy; when you visit your dentist, everything checks out. But something is lacking when you see your smile in pictures or in the mirror. Your teeth are functional, but you’re not proud of them.

If this sounds like you, you should look into cosmetic dentistry. At Dental Partners of Boston, not only are we known for our outstanding care for overall dental health, but we also offer an array of cosmetic options to help brighten and beautify your smile. From simple procedures such as basic teeth whitening, to complete smile makeovers, there is something here for every smile and every budget.

Why Cosmetic Dentistry?

Improving the appearance of your smile has more benefits than you might realize. Beautiful teeth can boost your confidence, giving you poise and assurance. Your improved self-image can help to improve your self-esteem, your relationships with others, and even your presence in the work place. Many people find that when they feel more presentable, they become more outgoing and successful in their daily endeavors, as well as their biggest ambitions. An attractive smile can make you seem more inviting, more personable and more alluring to those around you.

A Range of Options

It might surprise you how many different way there are to improve the look of your teeth. If any of your teeth are chipped or oddly shaped, we offer dental veneers, dental bonding, or Lumineers to help complete them. We can change out old metal fillings and crowns for tooth-colored restorations so that they blend in better. We can straighten out your misaligned teeth with discrete Invisalign braces. For those with missing or severely damaged teeth, we offer natural-looking dental implants. For those with stains and discoloration, we provide custom teeth whitening services, so you can choose the brightness of your teeth. Choose one or two options, or get it all with our Complete Smile Makeover!

Your Boston dentist at Dental Partners of Boston truly cares about your health. Not just your dental health, but your mental and emotional health as well. Let us show you how making your smile beautiful can open doors of opportunity and bring out the confidence and happiness in you! Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

The 7 Best Foods for Your Teeth

While many foods and drinks can be harmful to your oral health, did you know that there are foods that can help improve the strength of your teeth and gums? Take a look at these seven foods that will help your teeth to be as strong and bright as they can be.

  1. Carrots

    Crunchy carrots give teeth a great workout. Your jawbone is strengthened by exercise, and chewing crunchy foods does just that. Carrots are also high in calcium and phosphorus (two of the main components of teeth), as well as vitamin A, which aids in the production of saliva. When the mouth becomes dry, there is a higher risk of damage to the gum tissue and other mucous membranes, so keeping your mouth moist is a great way to maintain its health. Chewing carrots also helps clean plaque from the teeth.

  2. Cucumbers

    Like carrots, cucumbers give us many of the benefits of eating crunchy foods. As a water-based vegetable, it helps to dilute some of the acids in the mouth.

  3. Apples

    Although apples are high in natural sugars, they also contain calcium, phosphorus and plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C is integral in building and maintaining strong connective tissues, such as those found within the gums. Strong, healthy gums play a critical role in the health of the teeth.

  4. Fish

    All kinds of fish contain high levels of vitamin D. Although calcium is what we normally think of when it comes to bone health, vitamin D is its best friend. Vitamin D enables the absorption of calcium, allowing our bodies to make the most of this valuable mineral.

  5. Cranberries

    High in polyphenols, these berries discourage the buildup of plaque. It has been found that people who get enough polyphenols in their diets develop plaque that is thinner and less resistant to brushing and flossing.

  6. Raisins

    These dried fruits are rich in phytochemicals, which are a naturally-occurring antibacterial agent. When enough phytochemicals are present, the populations of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities are reduced, leaving your teeth strong and protected.

  7. Milk

    As one of the most basic foods on the pH scale, milk can help to balance out the acidity in your mouth, helping to prevent the breakdown of the teeth, gums and soft tissues.

As your dentist in Boston, we are always interested in your dental health. We at Dental Partners of Boston love to learn about what helps your teeth to be strong and beautiful, and to pass the benefits on to you at your dental appointments. So grab a carrot and a glass of milk, and enjoy your healthy teeth for many years to come!

The History of Dental Implants

implants-historyToday, dental implants are recognized as one of the best and most effective solutions for tooth loss and dental cosmetic issues. Modern implants are long-lasting, fully functional, and almost impossible to distinguish from natural teeth. But how long have dental implants been around? And how did they get their start?

It might surprise you to know that the Mayans actually made attempts at using dental implants over 1400 years ago. Archaeologists have found ancient skulls fitted with replacement teeth made of materials like jade and even seashells. Some of these were actually fused to the jawbone.

The advent of modern implants came about in the 1950s, when one surgeon noticed that a titanium cylinder he had placed in a bone to study the way a bone healed could not be removed. He coined the term “osseointegration” to describe the ability of bone to fuse with titanium. This discovery is the foundation of modern implant technology. Just like today’s implants, the first modern implants were secured to the jaw by titanium posts that integrate with the bone over time.

Implants were first offered for people who had lost all their teeth and couldn’t use dentures because they had lost so much bone mass in the jaw. First placed in 1965, early implants were made in just one width, but could come in various lengths. Implants were polished to mimic the shininess of natural teeth.

Since those early models in the middle of the century, scientific advancements have consistently improved upon early implants. Implants are now made in many shapes and sizes so that they match the function of the specific teeth they are replacing and so that they fit the recipient’s mouth perfectly. Also, the surfaces of dental implants are now roughened by sandblasting and acid etching, which has been shown to help these replacement teeth osseointegrate by increasing the surface area to which the bone can attach. Though there are now many different styles and sizes of titanium screws used to place implants in different patients, the titanium in these posts is still universally accepted as the strongest and longest-lasting material. In fact, the very first man to receive dental implants in 1965 died over forty years later with his original implants still intact!

Today, Boston dental implants have a success rate of about 98 percent. Their impressive history, effectiveness, and cosmetic appeal have made dental implants one of Boston’s most popular dental treatment options. Want to find out if you’re a candidate for implants in Boston? Schedule a consultation today with Dr. Guzman of Dental Partners of Boston.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is one of the most popular options for cosmetic dentistry in Boston. It’s quick, inexpensive, and it can treat a wide range of dental problems. Want to find out what if can do for you? Read on to learn the basics of bonding.

What is dental bonding?

Dental bonding involves applying a durable, tooth-colored resin which quickly hardens and bonds to the tooth. This resin can be used to cover up or correct a number of dental problems, including:

  • Tooth decay
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Too-small teeth or misshapen teeth
  • Roots left exposed after gums recede

How does dental bonding work?

Dental bonding is a relatively quick and simple process. There isn’t much preparation required, and anesthesia isn’t usually needed unless bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. All we need to do before beginning the bonding process is choose the shade of resin that will match your tooth precisely.

To perform the actual bonding, we first roughen the surface of the tooth, which helps it to bond better with the resin, and then apply a conditioning liquid. The resin, which has the texture of putty before it hardens, is applied and molded to the tooth. An ultraviolet light is used to harden the resin in just a few minutes. After it hardens, we use specialized tools to shape the material and polish it to match the existing tooth. The process usually takes less than an hour from start to finish.

What are the benefits and risks of bonding?

One of the most attractive features of dental bonding is that it is so quick and inexpensive. Compared with veneers and crowns, bonding takes much less time, and it removes less of your existing enamel. Bonded teeth don’t require any special care or upkeep—just brush and floss them as you would your regular teeth, and continue to visit our office regularly so that we can monitor the condition of your bonded teeth.

However, bonded teeth don’t last forever—they last up to ten years, so they don’t offer a permanent solution. Bonding resin also can become stained over time, especially if it is often exposed to staining materials like coffee, tea, and tobacco.

With proper care, however, you can help preserve the look and functionality of your bonded teeth. Dental bonding has been an effective solution for many patients with damaged teeth or aesthetic complaints about their smile. To discuss whether you might benefit from dental bonding, contact us today.

Why Go to a Dentist for Botox?

At Dental Partners of Boston, we provide a wide range of cosmetic dental services. Whether you need teeth whitening or dental implants, our specialists are qualified to perform any treatment you might need to look your best. But there’s one popular cosmetic procedure you might not think of seeing us for: Botox.

Botox treatments and dermal fillers can help adjust your lip shape, sculpt your smile, and smooth wrinkles around your mouth. To complete cosmetic adjustments to your smile, you might consider adding these increasingly popular procedures to your treatment plan.

Botox is the common name for botulinum toxin, a protein that can be injected into the facial muscles. Botox doesn’t affect the muscles themselves—it blocks the transmitters between the nerves that move the muscles so that the muscles can’t contract. This stops the motion that causes wrinkles. Three to ten days after the treatment, the skin that surrounds these muscles smooths itself out.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are injections that can replace the fat and collagen in the skin that naturally diminish as we age, leading to deep wrinkles around the mouth and thinning lips. Dermal fillers can complement cosmetic dentistry procedures to create a truly stunning and youthful smile.

Besides its aesthetic effects, Botox has been shown to help patients with TMJ, bruxism, and facial pain. It can also help retrain facial muscles for patients with dentures or patients adjusting to certain kinds of orthodontic treatment. In these cases, it only makes sense to receive Botox injections from a trained dentist who understands both the cosmetic and the dental aspects of the procedure.

There are a number of reasons to consider going to a dentist for Botox treatment. While you might assume that a plastic surgeon or dermatologist would be the most qualified, the reality is that in most offices, it is the nurses or physicians’ assistants who administer Botox injections. While these people do have medical training, a dentist spends years studying facial anatomy and spends his or her career injecting anesthetics in many of the same areas treated with Botox and dermal fillers. Many patients who receive cosmetic treatments report that injections performed by dentists are quicker and less painful than injections performed by other healthcare professionals.

As knowledge about the dental applications of Botox expands, more and more states are allowing dentists to administer Botox. For safe and effective Botox treatment, dermal fillers, and cosmetic dentistry in Boston, schedule an appointment today with the professionals at Dental Partners of Boston.

The 6 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

foods-avoidSince we were kids we’ve heard the same guidelines for a healthy mouth over and over again: brush twice a day, floss often, go to the dentist, drink your milk, rinse with mouthwash, etc. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that something as small as jellybean or as simple as a cracker could be standing in between you and the beautiful smile you desire. Here at Dental Partners of Boston, we have compiled a list of the 6 worst food and drinks for your teeth and provided some simple switches to keep your smile clean, healthy, and attractive.

Soda– On average, soda contains more than 35g of sugar ready to surround your teeth and break down your enamel. Even diet sodas, because of their acidity, can cause some serious tooth erosion. Rather than slurping down a can full of cavities, try switching to water flavored with fresh fruit and on occasion, juices with no added sugar.

Sticky Candy– Lollipops, gummy bears, caramels, and the list goes on. Sugary, chewy candies hit your teeth with a double-punch as the sugar eats away at your teeth’s enamel and then stays hidden until you brush and floss, doing even more damage. If you have a serious sweet tooth that won’t go away, chocolate is one of the better options because it tends to rinse away easily with saliva and water.

High-Sugar Breads and Crackers– Oftentimes people forget that breads and crackers are carbohydrates and still contain sugar. What’s worse is that when you chew these starches, the sugars condense into those sticky, sugary lumps that can hide in your teeth and wear away at your enamel. When choosing breads, make sure you look for options with low-sugar and pair your sandwich or snack with a tall glass of water to wash away crumbs.

Alcohol– We all know that large doses of alcohol aren’t good for our overall health, but have you ever considered the impact alcohol has on your teeth? Alcohol, just like prescription drugs, can dry out your mouth. When your mouth isn’t able to create saliva, bacteria and food are able to stay in your teeth longer, potentially leading to gingivitis. If you do drink alcohol, make sure you are pairing it with lots of water to prevent staining and dry mouth.

Dried Fruit– Fruit is healthy though, right? Yes, for the most part, but when you dry and condense all of that sugar into a sticky treat, it is almost as bad as candy. Sugar from chewy fruit snacks can hide between your teeth and stay there. When you are looking for a sweet snack, opt for fresh fruit rather than the dried stuff.

Coffee and Tea– So good, yet so bad for your teeth. Not only do coffee and tea stain your teeth significantly, but the acidity can also damage your enamel. When drinking the two beverages, try adding milk or cream to lessen staining and pair with water to continually rinse out your mouth.

Although these foods can cause some serious damage to your teeth, it is important to remember that they are okay in moderation. Don’t deny yourself the foods you love, just make sure to brush well, drink lots of water, and limit the amount you consume. For more information about our boston dentist’s office and cosmetic dentistry in Boston, visit our website today!

The Dental Implant Process

implant-processDental implants in Boston are far and away the most popular option to replace missing teeth because they have huge advantages over dentures. Implants don’t require the high maintenance dentures do (like creams, regular fittings, and special cleaning requirements), they last as long as you do, and they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. So how do you get dental implants? Let’s take a look at the process.

Initial examination

When you first come to Dental Partners of Boston, we’ll look at the sites of your missing teeth and examine them to ensure that your gums, surrounding teeth, and jaw bone are healthy enough to receive implants. You’ll usually need an x-ray so we can see the shape and density of the jawbone in the area. These scans also help us place the implant in the right spot to ensure a proper bite.

Preparation

If we have concerns about the odds of implant success, you might need to go through a period of preparation before an implant is placed. This may mean bone grafts to strengthen the jaw or periodontal treatment to reduce the chance of infection or implant rejection.

Surgery

Once you have the green light, you’ll schedule time to have the implant placed. The implant itself is made of a titanium screw topped with an abutment and crown. Your implant will be inserted into your jawbone, which will be encouraged to grow around it and fix it in place. The screw is inserted first, then the abutment is added, and then the crown tops off the implant to make it look just like a real tooth.

Post-surgery

After surgery, there’s a healing period of a few days during which you’ll notice some swelling and pain at the implant site. Depending on your pain tolerance and the advice of your doctor, you may receive pain medication. The osseointegration process will continue for the next few months; once it’s finished, your implant is ready to stay with you for life.

The implant process can be long, but after it’s finished we promise you’ll be happy with the way your new tooth looks. The best part about an implant is the fact that no one, aside from a dentist, can tell that it’s not real. And as long as you brush and floss regularly, your implant will last as long as you do.

If you have any more questions about the process, please contact Dental Partners of Boston today. We’re more than happy to answer your questions about the most advanced modern tooth replacement option in the world.