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Flossing, necessary or optional??

December 14, 2016

Filed under: Dental floss,Dental Hygiene,Oral Hygiene,Uncategorized — Dr Gillis @ 1:43 am

Flossing, necessary or optional??

People are still asking is it necessary to floss?  They read the recent news article that said in effect that no studies have proven that flossing is beneficial.   Many people were left questioning, ‘flossing, necessary or optional?’ It is amazing to me what a controversy a news article can cause.  The simple answer is YES we should floss!

Let me be more clear.  We should floss or do some activity to clean between our teeth that is as good as flossing every day!

Just a tip - do this to avoid strangling your fingers when you floss!

Just a tip – do this to avoid strangling your fingers when you floss!

This is in response to ‘an ADA News inquiry about why flossing was not included in federal dietary guidelines released in 2015.  The Associated Press noted the omission in an August news story that questioned the benefits of using dental floss’. (See ADA News August 8th, 2016 ‘National media focus on floss; government confirms importance’ for many comments in this blog)

Dental floss or the use of tools such as between the teeth cleaners really is important oral hygiene if you want to have healthy teeth, and gums.  Professional cleanings remove the hard deposits and stain that you cannot do at home.  Brushing your teeth and cleaning between the teeth has been shown to remove gooey plaque.  Plaque is the sticky film that contains bacteria and food that builds up constantly and must be removed daily to maintain or to obtain health.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agreed to this in a statement August 3rd, 2016 (also from the ADA News article August 8th, 2016).

Flossing, necessary or optional Wrap the floss gently around the tooth in a "C" shape to clean the side of the tooth.

Wrap the floss gently around the tooth in a “C” shape to clean the side of the tooth.

Flossing is beneficial starting at an early age - whenever there are teeth touching!

Flossing, necessary or optional? Flossing is beneficial starting at an early age – whenever there are teeth touching!

The ADA News asked the governmental agency why the guidelines did not mention flossing.  The U.S. Department of health and Human Services sent a statement that called flossing “an important oral hygiene practice” and said that by not mentioning flossing it did not imply otherwise.

 

The ADA News August 8th, 2016 article goes on to say that the ‘primary emphasis (of the guidelines) was on the nutrition-based recommendations to reduce added sugars’.

In our office, we routinely see the improved health changes that result from using dental floss.  Flossing is great especially when done well but there are alternatives out there for people that just don’t like to floss.

If you are one of the people that wants the benefits of floss without sticking your floss holing fingers in your mouth, try one of these:

  • soft picks or go betweens
  • floss holders
  • the air flosser
  • water pics
  • toothpicks (especially when used carefully in a toothpick holder that allows better access to the insides of the teeth)

Our office loves to help our patients improve their oral health and we will be glad to come up with a plan that works with your life to help you achieve and maintain ideal oral health!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

Can Tooth Decay Cause Bad Breath? Absolutely!

April 22, 2016

Filed under: Crowns,Decay,Dental Hygiene,Oral Hygiene — Tags: , , — Dr Gillis @ 11:28 pm

Can Tooth Decay Cause Bad Breath?

Tooth decay can and does cause bad breath!  So the answer is one of the following:

  • Yes
  • Absolutely
  • Are you kidding? Sure!
  • Heck yes!
  • Bad breath and more!

The reason for this is easy to understand if you think of tooth decay as an infectious process that causes tooth destruction and creates openings (holes, cavities) in the teeth where bacteria can and do live.  Think ‘decay’ = rotten! Bacteria take up residence in an area where there has been tooth decay and depending on where the decay is in your mouth, you may not be able to clean this area well so the grossness gets worse!

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

One place tooth decay occurs that is difficult for a patient (you!) to clean is below an existing crown.  Bacteria hang out at the edge of all crowns where the crown meets the tooth.  As decay begins, pores open up in the tooth structure and the decay may penetrate up under the crown and really spread there.  You can only brush, floss, or toothpick at the edges of your crowns to eliminate – at least for awhile – bacteria that are present there.  You cannot get to the areas of tooth decay up under a crown but bacteria and food can.  This is a recipe for bad breath!

The patient shown here had been experiencing an occasional bad odor from the lower right side of her mouth for a couple months.  She increased her efforts of brushing, flossing, and using antibacterial mouth rinses.  The odor did not improve so she came to our office.

When the crown was removed you could see a large void containing tails of the previous endodontic (root canal) filling material, severe decay, and the most awful odor!

When the crown was removed you could see tails of the previous endodontic (root canal) filling material coated in slime, severe decay, and the most awful odor!

Close up of the reason for the foul odor.

Close up of the reason for the foul odor.

The odor from this tooth was bad enough that you could smell bad breath as the patient described her symptoms.  Although her oral hygiene was excellent, there was no way she could eliminate the odor emanating from this tooth.  The decay was so extensive that the tooth could not be saved and an extraction was required.  When the crown was removed you could tails of the previous endodontic (root canal) filling material coated with debris, severe tooth decay, and the most awful odor!

We removed the bulk of the decay and the loose strands of root canal filling material and after copious rinsing the odor became much more bearable.  This will clear up once the tooth is removed. If we had seen this patient when she first noticed symptoms, we may have been able to save her tooth!

Close up after much of the decay and loose root canal felling material removed.

Close up after much of the decay and loose root canal felling material removed. Because the tooth is smoother, it is much easier to maintain!

 

Our office cares about you and your teeth and we try to never make you feel uncomfortable about the condition of your teeth or your mouth. There are two important messages here:

  1. Tooth decay is one of the many causes of bad breath.

  2. If you notice this, have your dentist evaluate your concerns ASAP!

Please call our Grand Junction, Colorado office at (970) 242-3635 if you have any questions or concerns.  Or visit our office’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Dr. Gillis Describes What Our Gums Would Like to Say to Us!

July 9, 2015

What Our Gums Would Like to Say to Us!

If only they could!

Hello!  This is your gums with a message for you.

Hello! This is your gums with a message for you.

 

Gums don’t complain much, even when we are infected!  Can you see the soft looking white stuff between the lower teeth.  That is a lot of bacteria and debris here.  Bacteria like to live between your teeth and under your gums.”

This continues to be your gums talking to YOU!  “Could you give me about five minutes of your time?  You shouldn’t neglect me even though I don’t protest.  When I bleed I don’t really hurt you, but it is not normal for me, your gums, to bleed!  I am really like skin but inside your mouth.  Do you want your skin to bleed?  Brushing and flossing help remove the debris that is accumulating all the time.  The bone below me, your gums, doesn’t talk much either.  But those darn bacteria ‘peeing’ below your gums actually cause bone destruction and open up even more places for bacteria to hide below your gums continuing the process.”

See tartar between teeth.  Periodontal disease and gum disease.

See tartar between teeth. Periodontal disease and gum disease.

“Back to the 5 minutes per day that I, your gums, am asking for:  What I would like is for you to show focused attention to brushing all areas of the teeth, mouth and gums at least twice per day and flossing or using an inter dental device (water pic, sulca brush, hydro floss or comparable) at least once per day!”

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment - bone loss remains but gums have healed.

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment – bone loss remains but gums have healed.

“This bone doesn’t complain much either, but once it is gone – it is probably gone for good. I, your gums, can actually heal given the right treatment.”

If you don’t know exactly what to do or how to take care of me, your gums, then please ask your dentist (our office!) or your dental hygienist who you should be seeing both regularly!  Our office would be happy to help you  become aware of the condition of your mouth -all the good, all the bad – and offer options to get you as healthy as possible.  Your gums and you will be happy you have taken the responsibility for this!

“Yours for better dental health,

Sincerely, your gums”

Because We Care About Your Oral Health!

June 18, 2015

Because We Care About Your Oral Health!

This letter is for you, my patients,

Do you have gum disease, gingivitis, or periodontal disease?  Do you know if there is any infection present in your mouth? Do you have oral cancer? Ninety percent (90%!) of people have some type of disease or infection in their mouths!  My guess is that far less than 90% are aware of this.  Once you take ownership of the condition of your mouth, you can make decisions that are appropriate for you to address these concerns. If you don’t know the answer to these questions, ask us! We are happy to provide you with the tools and information you need to achieve the level of health you would like.

Periodontal disease prior to treatment

Periodontal disease and gingivitis  prior to treatment

Periodontal disease after treatment

Periodontal disease and gingivitis after treatment

Only you can make the changes necessary to get your mouth healthy, so it is very important for you to OWN these diseases if present and own the responsibility for their treatment.  One of the most important things I can do for my patients is to let you know exactly what is going on in your mouth – good and bad – and offer you options to address any areas of concern.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie M Gillis DDS PC

“Caring For and Enhancing Your Smile”

(970) 242-3635 office

www.juliegillisdds.com

We would love to have you follow us on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

 

Tartar or Calculus on Teeth – Why Do I Get It?

February 5, 2015

Filed under: Dental Health,Dental Hygiene — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 6:57 pm

Tartar or Calculus on Teeth – Why Do I Get It?

This information about tartar brought to you by our wonderful treatment assistant, Julie

Why do I get Tartar ?

Moderate tartar deposits between lower front teeth - moderate gum inflammation

Moderate tartar deposits between lower front teeth – moderate gum inflammation

 

Even with proper tooth brushing at home, you still have bacteria in your mouth.  This bacteria mixed with proteins and food byproducts forms a sticky film on your teeth called plaque.  When plaque accumulates and is not removed from your teeth (brushing and flossing removes the soft plaque), it can harden into a mineral called tartar or calculus.  This mineral can be a dark brown or yellow, or even tooth colored.  The only way to remove tartar is to have it scrapped off by a dental professional.

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment - bone loss remains but gums have healed.

Periodontal disease and gum disease following treatment – bone loss remains but gums have healed.

See tartar between teeth.  Periodontal disease and gum disease.

See tartar between teeth. Periodontal disease and gum disease.

If tartar is left on your teeth, it is not possible to clean your teeth properly.  Bacteria remain in the rough surface of the tartar.  This can lead to tooth decay, and gum disease, and possible loss of your teeth.  To help prevent tarter buildup, brush your teeth at least twice a day (studies show you can remove more plaque by using an electric tooth brush) and floss once a day.  You can also use a tartar control toothpaste, to help reduce tarter buildup.  Some people get tartar that forms under the gums, and do not realize they have tartar, so it is a good idea to visit your dental office regularly (usually twice a year) for oral exams and cleanings.

Our office in Grand Junction, Colorado would be happy to answer and questions you have about this topic or any other dental concern.  You can call us at (970) 242-3635.

 

 

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com