Identifying and Treating Periodontal Disease

Plaque builds naturally in your mouth and, if not cleaned, hardens into tartar. If you don’t visit one of our Boston dentists to remove the tartar, it will continue to build and cause a myriad of problems in your mouth, including gingivitis. And when gingivitis is not treated quickly, it progresses through several stages from simple gum inflammation to serious periodontitis. If gum disease is left untreated and allowed to progress, your teeth can be permanently damaged. When periodontitis is not treated, it deteriorates the bone and tissue around your teeth until they eventually fall out.

 

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is a swelling and irritation of the gums due to the persistent presence of bacteria. It causes your gums to pull away from the tooth, further exposing your roots to infections that could ruin your teeth and cause them to fall out. It’s important to catch gingivitis and other gum problems before they escalate and cause periodontitis, which is why you should keep an eye out for the signs. These include persistent bad breath; gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleeding; sensitive teeth; loose teeth; receding gums; or pain when chewing. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact the Dental Partners of Boston immediately for an exam and cleaning.

 

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

There are many ways to treat periodontal disease. If the disease is still in an early stage, a deep cleaning to remove plaque, tartar and other bacteria should do the trick to get you back to healthy gums. Special medicated mouthwashes, antibiotic gel, chewable tablets and other medications may also be prescribed to ensure that the bacteria that causes mouth diseases is kept at bay. However, if the periodontal disease has been allowed to progress and becomes severe, surgery may be needed to clean out the gum tissue. Bone and tissue grafts may also be necessary to repair whatever damage has been done.

 

If you think you have the beginnings of periodontal disease, contact Dental Partners of Boston, for an exam and a cleaning. We strive to be some of the best dentists in Boston, and are ready and willing to keep your mouth healthy and those pearly whites shining bright.

Why We Love Lumineers

Lumineers

If you’re looking to improve your smile, but the thought of veneers scares you, Lumineers might be the perfect solution for you. Unlike thick traditional veneers that can damage teeth, Lumineers are ultra-thin alternatives made of translucent porcelain. Lumineers allow you to reshape and whiten your teeth, while still giving you a natural look, because Lumineers mimic the look of enamel. Even though they are about as thin as a contact lens, they are extremely durable, and generally last for 20 years. It’s no surprise that at Dental Partners of Boston, your provider for cosmetic dentistry in Boston, we frequently suggest Lumineers to patients who want to beautify their pearly whites. Keep reading for just a couple of the many reasons we love Lumineers.

A Simple Way to a Hollywood Smile

One of the greatest advantages of Lumineers is their simplicity. The process consists of only two visits to our office. During the first visit, one of our clinicians will take a mold of your teeth, which will be sent to a Lumineers laboratory. We will also send pictures and other relevant information so that the technician making your Lumineers can create the best fit for your mouth. Two or three weeks after your initial appointment, you will visit our office again, and we will fit the Lumineers to your teeth. Before the Lumineers are bonded to your real teeth, you’ll have the opportunity to feel how they fit in your mouth to ensure that they are comfortable. After you’ve confirmed that they fit correctly, we will bond the Lumineers to your natural teeth and send you on your way. Lumineers are a comfortable and easy way to get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

A Noninvasive Way to Improve Your Pearly Whites

Unlike traditional veneers, Lumineers require very little or no removal of the natural tooth underneath, leaving your original smile strong and healthy. Because we don’t have to file down the original tooth, Lumineers don’t leave your teeth sensitive, and they are a comfortable fit right away. Not having to alter your natural teeth also means that if you decide you want your Lumineers removed in later years, you can do that.

Our Boston cosmetic dentists are anxious to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of with Lumineers. If you want a painless, simple, noninvasive way to straighten, whiten, brighten, or reshape your teeth, contact Dental Partners of Boston to learn more about how Lumineers could be a perfect fit for you.

Sugar and Your Health

Sugar and your health.

When the holidays approach, most people focus on family get-togethers and cozy evenings making treats for neighbors, and forget all about their health. Unfortunately, sugar is exceptionally prevalent in the American diet. Most US citizens consuming a staggering 22 teaspoons a day of the sweet stuff—and at no time is that more true than during a major holiday.

Although harmless to the teeth on its own, sugar is the main food source of oral bacteria that produces acid as it multiplies. Over time, this acid erodes patches of your enamel, exposing the sensitive, innermost portions of your tooth to decay and extreme sensitivity. And the damage doesn’t stop there. Here are three other ways that sugar affects your health, and what you can do to avoid sugar-related issues.

 

1. Interferes With Feelings of Fullness

When you eat sugar, your body responds by releasing insulin, which helps the cells of your body to turn that sugar into energy. Unfortunately, if you eat too much sugar, the body can become overrun with insulin, which can actually block a hormone called “leptin” that tells your brain that you’re full. Eating too much sugar on a regular basis could cause you to overeat every day, leading to weight gain and obesity.

 

2. Accelerates Aging

Most people don’t realize it, but enjoying a few extra sugary sweets every day could make you look a lot older. When you flood your body with extra sugar, some of those sugar molecules attach themselves to protein, which causes those proteins to become less elastic. This contributes to sagging skin and tenser blood vessels.

 

3. Adds to Stress

When you eat more sugar, it increases the hormones in the body that make you feel stressed. Blood sugar spikes can also cause your body to feel naturally stressed, since your tissues and organs try to maintain constant sugar levels.

 

Curbing Your Sugar Addiction

Because research has shown that people can become dependent on sugar, curbing your sugar addiction can be difficult at first. To ward off sugar cravings, start slowly by eliminating the obvious offenders like soda, candy, and sweets. Next, move on to avoiding foods with loads of added sugar, like barbecue sauces, sugary cereals, and even flavored yogurts. Before you know it, you will be consuming a fraction of the amount of sugar you used to, enjoying a healthier body, and preventing serious medical ailments.

 

The Dental Partners of Boston are known as some of the best dentists in Boston because of our approach to dental health and preventive care. For more information on keeping your body and teeth healthy, contact your Boston dentist today.

Choosing a Boston Dentist

Choosing the best dentistFinding a new dentist can be difficult, especially when you move to a big city where you are spoiled for choice. Fortunately, finding an excellent Boston dentist is easy if you know what to look for. Here are a few factors you should consider as you search for the best dentist Boston, MA has to offer.

Use the Web

One of the best resources available to prospective patients is the detailed information often available online. here, you can learn about different dentists, their practices, and which services they offer. Using your favorite search engine, look for dentists in your area who specialize in the kind of dental treatment you need. A well-developed website is an excellent sign. Look for a site that offers helpful information, such as new patient paperwork, a list of accepted insurance providers, and detailed explanations of what to expect during different procedures. While there, take the time to read the dentist’s biography page to learn more about their education, their specialty, and their practice philosophy.

Professional Memberships

Check to see if the dentist belongs to the American Dental Association, a nationwide organization dedicated to improving oral health and dental practices. Dentists should also belong to state and local dental associations, which work to keep dental practices safe and up-to-date. See if they have been certified by organizations relevant to their specialty, or otherwise recognized by peers.

Referrals

Talk with family and friends in the area about who they use for dental care. Try to get a feel for what they like and don’t like about the practice, and whether or not they are generally happy with their dental work. Once you have narrowed down your search, look on the dentist’s website to see whether or not they have a patient reviews page. Reading reviews from actual patients can give you valuable insights that might be hard to detect otherwise.

Practices With Multiple Dentists

As you search for the right practice, try to find a dental office that employs more than one dentist or specialist. Practices with multiple dentists tend to offer a greater variety of services and appointment times. For example, if you find a practice with a general dentist, an orthodontist, and a board certified periodontist, you could go to the same practice to have your early gingivitis treated and to have your teenager’s braces adjusted.

Your First Impression

To learn more about your prospective dental offices, visit different practices in person. Try to gauge how you are treated by the staff, and talk with them about what makes their practice great. First impressions count, and the right dental practice will work hard to earn your business.

By doing your research and knowing what factors to consider, you can find the best dentist in Boston to serve your family. We hope that you’ll give Dental Partners of Boston your consideration. For more information about our practice, check out our services or contact us today.

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.