Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Do Periodontal Pocket Measurements Mean?

Patients often hear numbers – like 2, 3, or 4 – being said aloud during their dental cleanings.
These numbers are real measurements of the depth of the gum pocket around each tooth – and they are important in determining the condition of your periodontal health.

Periodontal Pockets
The top of gum tissue does not attach directly to teeth. There is a space of pocket between the gum and the tooth before it attaches. This space or pocket gets deeper when there is gum disease. To monitor and evaluate gum health, the pocket depth must be measured, recorded, and monitored.

In a healthy mouth, a pocket can be anywhere from 1-3 millimeters deep. To measure a pocket, dental hygienists use a periodontal probe. The probe allows the hygienists to measure in millimeters from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket. The bottom of the pocket is the area where the tissue is connected through ligaments to the root. This measurement is taken very gently and causes no damage to the delicate gum tissue.

When a tooth has periodontal disease, the tissue becomes detached past 3mm deep. Under 3mm deep a pocket is considered healthy, while 4mm or deeper it is considered unhealthy.

Periodontal pocket measurements are taken once or twice a year, or more often in patients with active or previous periodontal disease – and are recorded on your chart. This procedure is just one of many we carry out to ensure your teeth and mouth stay healthy. 

Routine home care with brushing and flossing adds years to good periodontal health says Dr Cherukuri from her Dental Practice in Chino, California.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Handy tips for Implant Care

Dental implant surgery is a popular option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures that rest on the gum line, dental implants are surgically implanted into the jaw. These implanted, artificial teeth look like real teeth and have the same functionality as well. They are a more permanent solution to ordinary dentures and bridgework.

 Tooth implants have been used successfully for many years. Good oral hygiene is critical in caring for your implant. It takes special effort to maximize plaque bacteria removal every day. This means along with regular dental visits, you need to brush properly, floss regularly, and clean the space between your teeth (called inter dental spaces) with an inter dental brush. Using an antibacterial toothpaste will help maximize plaque bacteria reduction by continuing to kill plaque bacteria after brushing.

Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to the loss of implants. If oral hygiene is inadequate, bacteria multiply on the surface of the implant to harmful levels. This will result in inflammation of the gums, which is called mucositis. If left untreated, bone loss around the implant may result, leading to peri-implantitis.

Peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant with loss of bone) can be compared to periodontitis. The two diseases are caused by similar bacteria. This is why untreated periodontitis can increase the risk of failure of an implant. Like periodontitis, peri-implantitis leads to a breakdown of the jawbone. This causes the implant to loose its anchorage and become loose. Peri-implantitis is actually the most common cause of loss of implants.

Caring for Your Implant-

Smoking:  This is one of the greatest risks for implant-related complications. You should therefore try to quit smoking.
Oral Hygiene:  Thoroughly cleaning and caring for the implant during all steps of the treatment is extremely important. Careful attention to your oral hygiene every day is important for the survival of your implant.
Maintenance:  Visiting your dental practice for regular check-ups (recalls), is just as important. The dentist recommends the frequency of the recare visits based health and oral condition, but they are usually at intervals of three to six months. At these visits, your implants, teeth and gums are checked and professionally cleaned. Especially areas which you cannot reach at home are cleaned. Professional cleaning of implants is more complex than cleaning teeth, which means that it takes longer and may require special instruments.

Mucositis and peri-implantitis can develop without any obvious symptoms. This is another reason why regular check-ups with your dentist are so important. Mucositis and peri-implantitis do not usually cause pain, so that patients often fail to notice the development of these diseases says Dr Cherukuri from her Chino California dental practice.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Can You Be Too White?

Overall esthetics and beauty perception are important issues in modern society affecting social interactions and professional advancement.

Smile attractiveness is a key element of facial attractiveness.

A person's smile is their first point of communication. In addition to the shape of teeth, one of the key esthetic components in a smile is the tooth color.  Tooth whitening has become the Number1dental cosmetic procedure in recent years.

Tooth discoloration is of two types- 

Extrinsic stains  are those that form a film on top of the tooth enamel which can be cleaned away through dental hygiene procedures, brushing and whitening toothpastes.

Intrinsic stains, however; are within the tooth structure and the process of whitening is more involved.  Aging is the primary cause although long term use of stain causing foods and medications do contribute significantly to this form of staining. The only way to eliminate these stains is through bleaching/whitening.

Bleaching is a chemical process in which color is eliminated by oxidation of the stain molecules.  Depth and degree of whitening is determined by the concentration of the oxidizing agent used.

How white is white has a subjective response. Tooth color perception is highly prone to individual variation.

As much as "Hollywood smiles" are very popular, it is important to bear in mind that injudicious use of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can be detrimental to the vitality of the teeth and the health of the gingival tissues advises Dr. Cherukuri, from her Chino, California dental practice. One hour/same day whitening procedures are best done under the direct supervision of a dentist , she adds.

Ever consider teeth whitening for everyone in the wedding party? A cool
 "feel and do good "celebration.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Getting the most from your Dentures

Dentures enhance your oral and overall health and life.  They help you speak, chew and even support your facial structure.

Whether you wear full or partial dentures, it is important  to know how to take care of them, and when to repair or replace.  With age, the mouth naturally changes, which affect the fit of the dentures. The bone can recede and shrink, creating a space under the denture for food to become trapped, A partial with clasps may become loose or the supporting natural tooth may be subject to decay or periodontal disease. Regular oral examinations by the dentist are necessary even after natural teeth have been lost to assess and stabilize the fit of dentures and partials.

Ill fitting dentures are not only uncomfortable, they can impair overall health. When  there is a "maintenance problem" with a denture, take the problem directly to the dentist without detouring to the local drug store. Over the counter, do-it -yourself self- repair kits are often ineffective and even harmful. Denture breaks, cracks, fractures or separated denture teeth are simple repairs that can be processed within the same day

With currently available technologies, there is no need to put up with dentures that click, slip, feel loose or inhibit chewing, smiling and laughing says Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino, California practice.  Implants and posts (small diameter implants) have revolutionized the field of prosthetics enhancing the comfort and esthetics of denture wearers.

Call today for a complimentary consultation or visit www.chinosmiles.com for more information.