Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
Think going to the dentist is expensive these days? After tightening their budgets over the past few years and avoiding the dentist, many dental patients are dismayed to discover that the cost of NOT going for regular dental visits is turning out to be much higher than regular checkups would have been.
The problem with tooth decay and other dental issues is that they don’t heal themselves. A small cavity in a tooth can be treated with a small filling, at a relatively small cost. However, ignoring that same cavity will only lead to a larger problem, with a more uncomfortable, complicated – and therefore more expensive – solution.
If you think of dental checkups as similar to vehicle maintenance, you can appreciate how regular oil changes and seasonal tune-ups can allow your car to run smoother – and more cost-efficient – for years longer than if you had ignored the little squeaks and clunking noises that would eventually cumulate in a major mechanical overhaul.
Even if you don’t think you have any existing decay, the price of regular dental hygiene is a fraction of what you’d have to pay if you continued to put-off regular checkups and professional cleanings. Remember, a regular checkup is about more than just teeth. Your continuing care examinations include a thorough mouth examination: a check for any deterioration in fillings, crowns or other restorations, new decay, signs of periodontal (gum) disease, root cavities (decay in the roots of teeth exposed by receding gums) and impacted wisdom teeth. We also check for unusual sores or changes in your tissues that may indicate, or lead to, oral cancer. To ensure that bacteria are removed from around and below the gum line, we will include scaling and polishing procedures to remove plaque, calculus and stains from teeth.
Because it has been proven that your oral health and your overall health are undeniably intertwined, it stands to reason that the healthier your mouth is, the smaller the chance is of an oral infection making its way into the body to start secondary infections. What most people don’t realize is that gum disease – which is a common, but easily preventable condition – is a bacterial infection and one that can easily enter the blood stream and travel to major organs to begin new infections. If you already have heart or lung disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and low bone mass, thinking of becoming pregnant, or if you have a family member with periodontal disease, you need to be extra vigilant with your oral care.
While we know that for most people dental appointments don’t usually make the top 10 list of favorite activities, it is vital to maintain regular dental appointments, even if you have no symptoms or feel that you have no cause for concern.
Please call us at 734-425-4530 to confirm your next appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon!
You've probably heard us talk about the "mouth-body connection" and how periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, in addition to pregnant women's chances of giving birth to pre-term, low-weight babies. Did you know, however, about the correlation between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, and even certain cancers?
While rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gum disease are both systemic inflammatory diseases, it is interesting to note that patients with RA are eight times more likely to suffer from gum disease than those without RA.
Also important is the correlation between gum disease and kidney disease. We know that gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults, so it's noteworthy to learn that toothless adults are more likely to have chronic kidney disease than adults with all their teeth.
Men with tooth loss and a history of gum disease are reported to have an increased risk of developing certain cancers. While more research continues to be conducted, associations have been noted between gum disease and kidney, pancreatic and haematologial cancers, although gum disease may just be a marker of a susceptible immune system. Severe gum disease has also been documented as a risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Let's talk about your periodontal health, and we'll work to ensure your healthy body starts with a healthy mouth!
While medications are designed to make us feel better, in some cases their side effects can instigate a second, completely different, problem. That's why dentists encourage patients to "open up," in more ways than one!
If you have medical conditions, or if you are taking any medications, please make sure we're aware of them at the start of your dental visit.
Both daily prescription-strength medications and occasional over-the-counter drugs can have temporary, or even permanent, effects on your oral health. For example, hundreds of common medications, including antihistamines and high blood pressure treatments, can cause side effects that affect your oral health. There may be noticeable changes to your soft tissues, or gum overgrowth, and you may even experience changes to your sense of taste.
Dry mouth is another common side effect of certain medications, including asthma medications and antidepressants. The condition, which leaves the mouth without enough saliva to wash away food from your teeth, may leave you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease, and can cause sore throats, problems with speaking, and difficulty swallowing, in addition to fungal infections and bad breath. Some coping mechanisms to deal with dry mouth include sipping water regularly, chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy, breathing through your nose and not your mouth, and, of course, brushing your teeth at least twice a day and seeing your dentist regularly. Ask us for information on moisturizing mouth spray and other dry mouth coping mechanisms, too.
People with certain medical conditions may require special consideration in the dental chair. For example, patients with low blood pressure may require a more upright positioning in the dental chair. Did you know that a high consumption of herbal teas could cause low blood pressure? Low blood pressure puts people at risk of fainting in the dental chair, so in addition to updating us on the drugs you are taking, make sure you keep us advised of any herbal remedies or alternative medicines you may be taking, too, as most people don't realize that multivitamins, ginseng tablets and herbal teas can also be considered drugs.
If you've had heart surgery or joint replacement, or are immunosupressed due to illness, radiation treatment or a drug you are taking, please let us know. Sometimes we need to prescribe antibiotics before we even start dental work, in order to avoid possible infection or complications in the event you bleed during your dental procedure.
As you know, our office keeps a file on your dental history. In that file is also any background information you've shared with us about any medical conditions you have or any medications you may be taking. Some drugs can interact with medications that we may need to prescribe for your dental work, so it's important that we know which drugs you are taking and in what doses.
Please also remember to share your oral health history with your physician as, while you may not link your gum disease to your overall health, research has shown that gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that may put you at a higher risk for other diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. Be sure to let your dentist or periodontist know if you have any of these medical conditions, or if you have a family history of disease.
Please keep us updated on any changes to your medical status, in order for us to treat your dental needs safely and appropriately.
The super-sized meal has given birth to the super-sized consumer, which doesn't bode well from many perspectives, including dentistry.
The most obvious first step toward controlling obesity stands at the point of entry — the mouth. Even before the damage of poor food choices enter the digestive system, we can see how the ill effects of excess sugar and carbohydrates make their mark on the teeth.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are a serious concern these days, and serving sizes compound the problem. In the 1950s, a family-sized bottle of soda was 26 ounces. Today, fast food restaurants offer 42-ounce servings of soda — for just one person! So, it's easy to see how the effects of the super-sized soda can be linked to tooth decay, weight gain and the increased risk of illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes. Diabetics are more susceptible to serious gum disease, and as such require a more vigilant dental care regime.
Sizeable beverages are but an accompaniment to the abundant, carbohydrate-dense fast food options available today. The enzymes and bacteria in the mouth break down foods containing sugars and starches, producing acid, which attacks tooth enamel. While saliva provides a natural repair process, when carbohydrates are consumed too frequently, the repair process is overwhelmed, and the risk of tooth decay increases.
Also notable, sleep disorders can be linked to obesity. For example, some snorers have a potentially dangerous condition known as sleep apnea, in which they experience pauses in breathing during sleep. One cause of sleep apnea is that the extra weight in the neck surrounding the airway can obstruct breathing, by compressing the airway when the throat muscles are relaxed during sleep.
Please let us know if you suffer from any sleep disorder and ask Dr. Joboulian about dental appliances that may help.
We'd love to share information on the effects of diet, and the mouth-body connection.