Posts for: December, 2017
We’ve come a long way since the early 1980s when we first identified the HIV virus. Although approximately 35 million people worldwide (including a million Americans) now have the virus, many are living relatively long and normal lives thanks to advanced antiretroviral drugs.
Still, HIV patients must remain vigilant about their health, especially their oral health. In fact, problems with the teeth, gums and other oral structures could be a sign the virus has or is moving into the full disease stage, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). That’s why you or a loved one with the virus should maintain regular dental checkups or see your dentist when you notice any oral abnormalities.
One of the most common conditions among HIV-positive patients is a fungal infection called candidiasis (or “thrush”). It may appear first as deep cracks at the corners of the mouth and then appear on the tongue and roof of the mouth as red lesions. The infection may also cause creamy, white patches that leave a reddened or bleeding surface when wiped.
HIV-positive patients may also suffer from reduced salivary flow. Because saliva helps neutralize excess mouth acid after we eat as well as limit bacterial growth, its absence significantly increases the risk of dental disease. One of the most prominent for HIV-positive patients is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection normally caused by dental plaque.
While gum disease is prevalent among people in general, one particular form is of grave concern to HIV-positive patients. Necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis (NUP) is characterized by spontaneous gum bleeding, ulcerations and a foul odor. The disease itself can cause loosening and eventually loss of teeth, but it’s also notable as a sign of a patient’s deteriorating immune system. The patient should not only undergo dental treatment (including antibiotics), but also see their primary care physician for updates in treating and managing their overall symptoms.
Above all, HIV-positive patients must be extra diligent about oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing. Your dentist may also recommend other measures like saliva stimulators or chlorhexidine mouthrinses to reduce the growth of disease-causing bacteria. Together, you should be able to reduce the effects of HIV-induced teeth and gum problems for a healthier mouth and better quality of life.
If you would like more information on oral care for HIV-AIDS patients, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “HIV-AIDS & Oral Health.”
Looking into tooth replacement options? Well, consider these facts: conventional dentures and fixed bridgework require enamel reduction of adjacent teeth. Plus, these traditional artificial teeth last only about a decade. These disadvantages and more make a great case for restoring your smile with dental implants from Kissimmee dentist, Dr. Vincent Grosso. He offers single-tooth implants and multiple implants to support bridges and dentures, and the results are amazing.
Just what is a dental implant?
Basically, it's an artificial tooth which includes a root and crown. In other words, it's a whole new tooth. Dr. Grosso places titanium implant posts directly into the jaw bone, allows them to heal, or osseointegrate, and then restores them with lifelike porcelain crowns.
The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness praises dental implants in Kissimmee for their stability and longevity.That impacts a patient's oral function, personal schedule, and wallet, too.
How is a dental implant placed?
If you have an existing smile gap or anticipate an extraction, contact Dr. Grosso for an implant consultation. He will visually inspect your teeth and gums and also take digital X-rays and other imaging to evaluate the size and density of your jaw bone. Jawbone strength is as critical to successful dental implant placement and retention as good overall health and diligent oral hygiene habits.
If he determines you are healthy enough to receive an implant, your dentist will numb the area and incise your gums. He will create a small hole in the jaw and carefully insert the titanium implant.
You'll return home to allow the site to heal. During these several weeks, the implant and your jaw bone will bond together through osseointegration. This natural process avoids the gum and bone deterioration that occurs after tooth loss. During a subsequent visit, Dr. Grosso will re-open the site, attach an extension post, and bond a porcelain crown in place.
With your new implant, expect natural-looking facial appearance, efficient biting and chewing and stability for the new tooth and surrounding natural teeth, too. You simply brush and floss as you usually do to keep ahead of harmful plaque and tartar, and continue to see your Kissimmee, FL dentist and serving Hunters Creek, FL for semi-annual examinations and hygienic cleanings.For more information or to set-up an implant consultation with Vincent Grosso DMD, call his office at (407) 350-5969.
Brushing and flossing every day are important for preventing dental disease. The object is to remove as much bacterial plaque, the thin biofilm most responsible for disease, from your teeth and gums as possible.
But how do you know your hygiene efforts are that effective? You can of course do the “tongue test” â?? feel your teeth with your tongue after brushing and flossing and see if they feel smooth and “squeaky” clean. We can also give you a “report card” at your regular cleaning appointment. There is, however, a more precise way you can find out at home by using a plaque disclosing agent.
A plaque disclosing agent is a formulation that when applied to the teeth will temporarily dye any bacterial plaque present a distinct color. While dental hygienists occasionally apply them, they’re also available over the counter for use at home. They’re usually found in a solution, tablet or swab form in various flavors.
To use the product you first brush and floss, then swish the disclosing liquid around in your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out (or chew the tablet or apply the swab as directed). The agent will react with any remaining plaque and dye it a bright color. There are even two-tone agents available that can differentiate between old and new plaque and dye them different colors.
Examining your teeth in a mirror will give you a good idea where you need to concentrate your attention when brushing and flossing. If, for example, you see dyed plaque more along the gum line and less in other places, then that’s where you should focus your hygiene efforts.
While the dye will eventually wear off on its own, you should take the opportunity to brush and floss again to remove any remaining dyed plaque. Not only does this provide a more thorough cleaning at that moment, you’ll also get a better sense of how “thoroughness” feels for future brushing and flossing.
It’s always good to know how well you’re doing with your dental hygiene efforts. A plaque disclosing agent can give you just the right feedback to help you improve.
If you would like more information on proper oral hygiene habits, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”
When searching dentist Kissimmee, dentist Hunter’s Creek, or even dentist Orlando, it is quite possible that you may be directed to a dental office or clinic that does not follow Florida Law as to what duties a dental assistant or hygienist may perform. Many times high volume practices with multiple assistants are guilty of allowing dental assistants and hygienists to perform tasks that must be performed only by the dentist. The tasks that can be performed by the dental assistant and hygienists are called remediable tasks. In Florida Chapter 64B5-16, the remediable tasks delegable to dental hygienists and dental assistants are clearly listed. The law is written in a way that lists what tasks the assistant or hygienist can do, and does not state what they can’t do.
Under Florida Law, dental assistants are never allowed to use a high speed handpiece in the patient’s mouth. Although they may be allowed to fabricate temporary crowns or bridges, they are not allowed to adjust the bite or occlusion of that temporary device. Dental assistants and hygienists are not permitted to adjust partial dentures or full dentures. Final impressions to fabricate a crown, bridge, partial, or full denture must be done by the dentist. Recording of a patients bite to fabricate a denture, partial, bridge or crown must be done by the dentist. Scanning a tooth preparation and bite using CEREC technology are not remediable and delegable tasks allowed under Florida law. Dental assistants and hygienists may cement a temporary crown or bridge with temporary cement. They are never allowed to cement a permanent crown or bridge with any type of cement. The dental assistant or hygienist is not permitted to fit and adjust a permanent crown bridge or denture. Only the licensed dentist can do that. When it comes to implant dentistry, only the dentist can legally place and remove implant fixtures using wrenches and screwdrivers. The dental assistant or hygienist should not be using any type of implant tools in the patient’s mouth. Several years ago in Winter Park, Florida a dentist lost his license to practice because he allowed his dental assistant to place and remove implant fixtures in the patient’s mouth. If you have received dental treatment in the past, and noticed that the dental assistant or hygienist has performed any of the above described tasks, a red flag should go up, and you should question your dentist why he or she is allowing his employees to practice dentistry without a license.
At the office of Dr. Vincent Grosso you can be sure that the dentistry is being done only by the licensed dentist, and that his dental assistants and hygienists are only performing remediable tasks allowed by Florida law.