Posts for: December, 2019
To have a great smile and stable systemic health, take care of your gums. Dr. Vincent Grosso II in Kissimmee, FL, can evaluate for and treat periodontal disease. After all the CDC says gum problems are the number one cause of tooth loss in the US. Learn more about what periodontitis involves and what you can do about it.
What is periodontal disease?
Typically caused by neglected brushing and flossing and a lack of periodic check-ups with your Kissimmee dentist, periodontitis, and its milder form, gingivitis, is an infection of the gum tissue. Leading to inflammation and gum recession, periodontal disease harms both oral health and systemic well-being.
As such, Dr. Grosso and his team are vigilant about gum exams and care.
Signs you have periodontal disease
While mild gingivitis may exhibit no symptoms whatsoever, gum disease may show itself to you or your dentist by these signs:
- Changing dental bite
- Tenderness and pain
- Sores on the gums
- Gum pocket depth greater than three millimeters (as measured by your dentist or hygienist)
As gum disease progresses pocket between the soft tissue and tooth surface increases in depth, collecting more and more plaque and tartar. These biofilms, as dentists call them, contain the bacteria which lead to infection and inflammation. Left unchecked, bone recession and tooth may follow.
Treating gum disease
Your care plan depends on the extent of the problem. Dr. Grosso will aim at gum re-attachment and limiting both soft and hard tissue destruction. Your treatment could include one or more of the following:
- Tooth scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar, allowing the gums to re-attach
- Placement of antibiotics under the gums or orally as needed
- Gum and/or bone grafting with your own tissue or that of a donor (there are synthetic materials, too)
- Debridement of infected tissue (a painless, no-suture procedure)
Strengthen your oral health
Dealing with periodontal disease is so important. Dr. Vincent Grosso II and his dedicated team will give you the best treatment and help you maintain your gum health at home, too. For more information, or to arrange your six-month examination and hygienic cleaning, please call the office at (407) 350-5969.
Celebrities’ controversial actions and opinions frequently spark fiery debates on social media. But actress Dakota Johnson lit a match to online platforms in a seemingly innocent way—through orthodontics.
This summer she appeared at the premier of her film The Peanut Butter Falcon missing the trademark gap between her front teeth. Interestingly, it happened a little differently than you might think: Her orthodontist removed a permanent retainer attached to the back of her teeth, and the gap closed on its own.
Tooth gaps are otherwise routinely closed with braces or other forms of orthodontics. But, as the back and forth that ensued over Johnson’s new look shows, a number of people don’t think that’s a good idea: It’s not just a gap—it’s your gap, a part of your own uniqueness.
Someone who might be sympathetic to that viewpoint is Michael Strahan, a host on Good Morning America. Right after the former football star began his NFL career, he strongly considered closing the noticeable gap between his two front teeth. In the end, though, he opted to keep it, deciding it was a defining part of his appearance.
But consider another point of view: If it truly is your gap (or whatever other quirky smile “defect” you may have), you can do whatever you want with it—it really is your choice. And, on that score, you have options.
You can have a significant gap closed with orthodontics or, if it’s only a slight gap or other defect, you can improve your appearance with the help of porcelain veneers or crowns. You can also preserve a perceived flaw even while undergoing cosmetic enhancements or restorations. Implant-supported replacement teeth, for example, can be fashioned to retain unique features of your former smile like a tooth gap.
If you’re considering a “smile makeover,” we’ll blend your expectations and desires into the design plans for your future smile. In the case of something unique like a tooth gap, we’ll work closely with dental technicians to create restorations that either include or exclude the gap or other characteristics as you wish.
Regardless of the debate raging on social media, the final arbiter of what a smile should look like is the person wearing it. Our goal is to make sure your new smile reflects the real you.
If you would like more information about cosmetically enhancing your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Space Between Front Teeth” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
Could a tooth extraction improve your oral health? In some cases, removing a tooth is the best option for your dental problem. Your Kissimmee, FL, dentist, Dr. Vincent Grosso, helps you care for your smile with extractions and other dental services and procedures.
When might I need an extraction?
An extraction may be recommended if:
- You have extensive tooth decay: Fillings aren't an option if decay has destroyed most of your tooth. Extracting the tooth may be the only solution if you have widespread decay. Once the tooth is removed, it can be replaced with a dental crown or dental implant.
- It's time to get rid of your wisdom teeth: Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that typically appear during the late teen years. Unfortunately, many people don't have enough room in their mouths for these teeth. Your Kissimmee dentist may recommend removing your wisdom teeth if they're blocked by bone or tissue and can't erupt, or if they are unhealthy after erupting normally.
- You had an accident: A blow to the face during a basketball game, car accident or a fall can damage teeth. In many cases, it may be possible to treat damaged teeth with dental crowns, root canals and other treatments. Unfortunately, extraction is the only option if the damage extends to your tooth roots.
- You're getting braces soon: Your orthodontist may ask your Kissimmee dentist to remove a few teeth if you'll be starting orthodontic treatment in the near future. If your teeth are crowded, extracting several of them can improve the results of your orthodontic treatment.
- You have a dental abscess: An abscess occurs when a bacterial infection attacks the pulp in the center of your tooth. The infection can travel to other parts of your body via your bloodstream if you don't receive emergency treatment. Antibiotics and root canal treatment are often very effective in treating abscesses. Unfortunately, an extraction may be needed if the infection lingers even after you received treatment.
Do you need a tooth extraction? Call your Kissimmee, FL, dentist, Dr. Vincent Grosso, at (407) 350-5969 to schedule an appointment.
Although highly preventable, total tooth loss continues to affect millions of people worldwide, harming their nutrition, health and social standing. In the United States alone, a quarter of adults between 65 and 74 suffer from total tooth loss.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to restore lost teeth, including fixed bridgework and dental implants. These fixed solutions, though, can put a strain on finances; implants in particular require a minimum amount of bone in the jaw, which may not be present in people with extensive tooth loss. In these cases, removable dentures, time-tested and affordable, are a viable option.
While the technology is simple, adaptable and effective, creating custom-fitted dentures is a painstaking process. It begins with an impression mold of the patient’s jaw ridges that once supported the natural teeth. A dental lab technician uses the impression to fashion a life-like plastic resin base, making sure the final dimensions won’t interfere with the patient’s cheeks, lips, and jaw movement.
The prosthetic (artificial) teeth, each chosen to match the patient’s facial structure and past appearance, are then carefully positioned on the base. Teeth positioning on each denture arch must also balance with the opposing arch to assure a good bite. Once delivered, the dentist may make other adjustments to assure they fit comfortably within the patient’s mouth.
Dentures also require regular care and maintenance to ensure a continuing good fit and an overall healthy mouth. Your gums will still be susceptible to disease, so cleaning and maintaining both your dentures and the mouth’s soft tissues is an ongoing necessity.
The lack of natural teeth can also lead to more bone loss, which can cause the dentures to lose their accurate fit and make them uncomfortable to wear. To remedy this, we can add more resin material to the dentures to refit them or, in extreme cases of poor fit, create a new denture to match current gum contours. Alternatively, we can install a few dental implants that will support the denture instead of the gum ridges, which would inhibit further bone loss.
To learn whether dentures could be a good option for you, we’ll first need to conduct a thorough examination of your mouth. It could be this original tooth replacement system will bring back the teeth and smile you’ve lost.
If you would like more information on dentures, 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 “Removable Full Dentures.”
Dental amalgam—also known as “silver fillings”—has been used for nearly a hundred years to treat cavities. There are several reasons why this mixture of metals has been the go-to material among dentists: Malleable when first applied, dental amalgam sets up into a durable dental filling that can take years of biting forces. What’s more, it’s stable and compatible with living tissue.
But there’s been growing concern in recent years about the safety of dental amalgam, with even some wondering if they should have existing fillings replaced. The reason: liquid mercury.
Mercury makes up a good portion of dental amalgam’s base mixture, to which other metals like silver, tin or copper are added to it in powder form. This forms a putty that can be easily worked into a prepared cavity. And despite the heightened awareness of the metal’s toxicity to humans, it’s still used in dental amalgam.
The reason why is that there are various forms of mercury and not all are toxic. The form making headlines is known as methylmercury, a compound created when mercury from the environment fuses with organic molecules. The compound builds up in the living tissues of animals, particularly large ocean fish, which have accumulated high concentrations passed up through their food chain.
That’s not what’s used in dental amalgam. Dentists instead use a non-toxic, elemental form of mercury that when set up becomes locked within the amalgam and cannot leach out. Based on various studies, treating cavities with it poses no health risks to humans.
This also means there’s no medical reason for having an existing silver fillings removed. Doing so, though, could cause more harm than good because it could further weaken the remaining tooth structure.
The most viable reason for not getting a dental amalgam filling is cosmetic: The metallic appearance of amalgam could detract from your smile. There are newer, more life-like filling options available. Your dentist, though, may still recommend dental amalgam for its strength and compatibility, especially for back teeth. It’s entirely safe to accept this recommendation.