Tag Archives: Gum Disease

Clearwater Periodontist Shares What You Need to Know About Dry Mouth

Have you ever noticed bad breath due to dry mouth?

Do you experience pain or discomfort from dry mouth?

Have you had changes in your oral health – like sudden decay or worsened gum disease?

Do you get sores in your mouth or on your tongue frequently?

Does your dry mouth interfere with your sleep?

Do you avoid certain foods because they are too difficult to eat with dry mouth?

Do you have trouble swallowing due to thick mucus?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, be sure to ask your dentist about dry mouth.  Chronic dry mouth is a condition that can be painful, or even unnoticed by a patient sometimes because they have gotten used to living with the discomfort or incovenience of choronic dry mouth.  It can occur due to medicine, medical conditions, or even lifestyle choices.  It can lead to significant oral health issues like cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, or problems eating or wearing dentures.

We have also found in our practice that different remedies help different patients combat chronic dry mouth. Here are some possible suggestions and options for patients with dry mouth:

 

1. Some patients find comfort from carrying water with them throughout the day and taking small sips.  Cold water may help soothe and calm fiery red tissues. For those without high blood pressure or an adversion to sodium, you can mix a pinch of baking soda in their water and swish and spit this mixture out throughout the day. Baking soda is alkalizing and can protect from decay.

 

2. A combination of over the counter Biotene products (gels, rinses, sprays, lozenges) used 5 times a day (A combination and routine of these products can usually be recommended by your dental health professional).  Many patients find Biotene Gel to be extremely comforting to their dry oral tissues, especially before bed time.  Patients using C-Pap appliances should use an oral gel as these devices often blow air which aggravates this condition greatly.

 

3. There is a product available via prescription called Neutrasal. Neutrasal works like saliva to help restore a healthy mouth. A powder pack is mixed and dissolved in one ounce of water, and swished for 1 minute before spitting.  It can be used 2 to 10 times a day, depending on what your dental health care provider recommends, and you should avoid eating or drinking for at least 15 minutes after use.

 

4. PerioSciences’ Anti-Oxidant Gel can also be helpful for our patients suffering from dry mouth.

 

5. Many patients with dry mouth should be on a strict caries prevention program, which can include prescription toothpaste, rinse, gel, trays, or in-office treatments.  Calcium and phosphate are often included in some of these products, which are minerals that help rebuild weakened enamel.

 

For more information, call us today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at www.brittenperio.com

 

Dr. Britten, your dentist, or dental hygienist will review the cause of dry mouth, as well as your risks for periodontal disease or tooth decay.

 

Talk to your dentist about your dry mouth symptoms to see which dry mouth treatment is best for you!

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Clearwater FL Periodontist Shares: Why Do I have to take Antibiotics to See the Dentist?

What is antibiotic prophylaxis or “premedication” for a dental procedure? How do I know if it applies to me?

Antibiotic prophylaxis, or premedication, refers to giving a patient a loading dose of antibiotics in preparation for a dental surgical procedure, dental hygiene visit or other dental treatment dealing with the teeth or gums. During some dental treatments, bacteria your mouth can enter your bloodstream. In most people, the immune system kills these bacteria. But in some patients, bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause an infection somewhere else in the body. Antibiotic prophylaxis, or dental premedication may offer these patients extra protection. Patients that normally require antibiotic prophylaxis have fallen under 2 categories: those with joint replacements or certain heart conditions. Some other health issues such as breast implants, brittle diabetics or organ transplant patients may require dental premedication, based on a physician’s recommendations.

Up until 2012, antibiotics were recommended for two years after joint replacement surgery or for a lifetime. Since that time, physicians and dentists have become more concerned about the potential harm of antibiotics including risk for anaphylaxis (allergic reaction), antibiotic resistance, and opportunistic infections such as Clostridium difficile (C-diff) were included in creating the new recommendation.

The 2015 American Dental Association stated that “In general, for patients with prosthetic joint implants, prophylactic antibiotics are NOT recommended prior to dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infection.” However, many orthopedic surgeons are still recommended premedication with antibiotics for their patients for 2 years or a lifetime.  In patients with a history of complications associated with their joint replacement surgery, prophylactic antibiotics or premedication with antibiotics should be considered after consultation with the patient and orthopedic surgeon.

If you have a joint replacement and are unsure whether you should premedicate for your dental appointments or not, it is best to contact your orthopedic surgeon to determine what is best for you.

In patients with certain heart conditions, dental premedication is recommended to avoid infective endocarditis.  Infective endocarditis (IE), also called bacterial endocarditis (BE), is defined as an inflammation of the endocardial surface of the heart. Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of the body enter and spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart. If left untreated, endocarditis can damage or destroy the heart valves and can lead to life-threatening complications.

The American Heart Association says that premedication for dental procedures is required for the following conditions:

  • “A prosthetic heart valve or who have had a heart valve repaired with prosthetic material.
  • A history of endocarditis.
  • A heart transplant with abnormal heart valve function.
  • Certain congenital heart defects including:
    • Cyanotic congenital heart disease (birth defects with oxygen levels lower than normal) that has not been fully repaired, including children who have had a surgical shunt and conduits.
    • A congenital heart defect that’s been completely repaired with prosthetic material or a device for the first six months after the repair procedure.
    • Repaired congenital heart disease with residual defects, such as persisting leaks or abnormal flow at or adjacent to a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device.”

Patients that have had stents placed in their hearts or a history of coronary artery bypass surgery no longer require to premedicate with antibiotics prior to dental procedures under the American Heart Association’s guidelines. Numerous scientific evidence concluded that the risk of adverse reactions to antibiotics generally outweighs the benefits of prophylaxis for many patients who would have been considered eligible for prophylaxis in previous guidelines. Concern about the development of drug-resistant bacteria also was a factor for the simplified guidelines.

The 2014 American Dental Association & American College of Cardiology guidelines add that optimal oral health is maintained through regular professional dental care and the use of appropriate dental products, such as manual, powered, and ultrasonic toothbrushes; dental floss; and other plaque-removal devices.

Antibiotic dosage and schedule

  • 1 hour before the procedure to allows the antibiotic to reach adequate blood levels. However, if the dosage of antibiotic is inadvertently not administered before the procedure, the dosage may be administered up to 2 hours after the procedure.
  • Patients not allergic to penicillin: oral amoxicillin 2g (50 mg/kg for children)
  • Patients allergic to penicillin or ampicillin: oral cephalexin 2g (50 mg/kg for children) or clindamycin 600 mg (20 mg/kg for children)

If you have questions about whether you need to premedicate for your dental procedures, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. It is best to carefully consider this matter with both you and your physician or surgeon and we are always happy to communicate with both.  Contact us today 727-586-2681 with any questions or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com.

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten Shares: What happens when a baby tooth does not erupt properly?

Most people have heard of wisdom teeth that become impacted, however the upper canines, or eye teeth are the second most common impacted adult teeth. If a canine tooth does not erupt spontaneously, your orthodontist and periodontist or oral surgeon will work together to get these unerupted canine to erupt. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis but treatment will usually involve a combined effort. The most common scenario will call for the orthodontist to place braces on the teeth (at least the upper arch). A space will be opened to provide room for the impacted tooth to be moved into its proper position in the dental arch. If the baby canine has not fallen out already, it is usually left in place until the space for the adult canine is ready. Once the space is ready, the orthodontist will refer the patient to the oral surgeon to have the impacted canine exposed and bracketed.

In a simple surgical procedure performed in the surgeon’s office, the gum on top of the impacted tooth will be lifted up to expose the hidden tooth underneath. If there is a baby tooth present, it will be removed at the same time. Once the tooth is exposed, your oral surgeon or periodontist will bond an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth. The bracket will have a miniature gold chain attached to it. The surgeon will guide the chain back to the orthodontic arch wire where it will be temporarily attached. Sometimes the surgeon will leave the exposed impacted tooth completely uncovered by suturing the gum up high above the tooth or making a window in the gum covering the tooth (on selected cases located on the roof of the mouth). Most of the time, the gum will be returned to its original location and sutured back with only the chain remaining visible as it exits a small hole in the gum.

Shortly after surgery (1-14 days) the patient will return to the orthodontist. A rubber band will be attached to the chain to put a light eruptive pulling force on the impacted tooth. This will begin the process of moving the tooth into its proper place in the dental arch. This is a carefully controlled, slow process that may take up to a full year to complete. Remember, the goal is to erupt the impacted tooth and not to extract it! Once the tooth is moved into the arch in its final position, the gum around it will be evaluated to make sure it is sufficiently strong and healthy to last for a lifetime of chewing and tooth brushing. In some circumstances, especially those where the tooth had to be moved a long distance, there may be some minor gum surgery required to add bulk to the gum tissue over the relocated tooth so it remains healthy during normal function. Your dentist or orthodontist will explain this situation to you if it applies to your specific situation.

 

Dr. Britten works with excellent pediatric dentists, general dentists and orthodontists in our area to surgically intervene in case of an impacted tooth.  Call us today if you have any questions!  727-586-2681 or visit our website at http://www.brittenperio.com

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten, Offers Laser Dental Surgery As a Successful Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Dr. Todd Britten is offering patients at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry surgical treatment utilizing the PerioLase and LANAP® protocol for treatment of periodontal disease. LANAP, or the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is an alternative to traditional periodontal surgery for the treatment of gum disease. Dr. Britten also offers LAPIP®, the Laser Assisted Peri-Implantitis Procedure, to treat infected and/or save failing dental implants.

Dr. Todd Britten, DMD, M.S. , a board-certified periodontist, provides LANAP therapy as an option to traditional surgery for patients who suffer from gum or periodontal disease. Dr. Britten received special training on the procedure, which uses the PerioLase MVP-7 laser for periodontal disease treatment. This procedure kills harmful bacteria and removes unhealthy gum tissue without harming bone or healthy tissue.

At Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Dr. Todd Britten and his staff care about their patients’ total oral and systemic health and are concerned that nearly half of American adults have some form of gum disease and many don’t even know it.  Gum disease can cause serious oral health problems, and has been connected to a number of other major health issues, such as heart disease and Diabetes. The uses a laser instead of scalpel, so it is minimally invasive. Patients who have undergone this periodontal disease treatment have reported little, if any, discomfort or pain and a shorter recovery period.

The laser dental surgery procedure begins with Dr. Britten using a periodontal probe to determine the depth of the pockets between the teeth and gums that contain bacteria.  He then uses the PerioLase laser to eliminate those harmful bacteria, tartar and diseased gum tissue in the pockets.   The healthy tissue is compressed and stimulated to attach to the tooth and bone regeneration may also stimulated by the laser.

The LANAP procedure is fully cleared by the FDA for periodontal disease treatment and has been shown to be quite effective. Patients who suffer from gum disease can now be evaluated to determine whether they are candidates for this new treatment procedure. For additional information on the LANAP procedure, visit http://www.clearwaterperiodontist.com or www.brittenperio.com

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County.  He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association

Dr. Todd Britten is now offering this FDA-cleared laser procedure for gum disease and periodontal treatment. To learn more about Dr. Britten and his dental services visit his website at:http://www.clearwaterperiodontist.com or www.brittenperio.com or call (727) 586-2681.
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