July 26, 2011

Why Is Flossing Important?

 Many patients ask us why flossing is so important. That’s a good question. Flossing is so important because when you brush your teeth you are only cleaning about 20% of the teeth surfaces. So without flossing, 80% of your teeth are not being cleaned and that can mean big dental health and overall health problems.

 Flossing daily removes plaque and food particles between and below the gumline. Plaque is a sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that is constantly forming on teeth. Saliva, food, and fluids combine to produce these deposits that collect on teeth where teeth and gums meet. Plaque buildup is the primary factor causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is a chronic infectious disease and is the reason most people lose their teeth. If plaque isn’t removed daily, there is a slow progression of the infection from the gums into the bone. Eventually the bone that holds the teeth in the jaw is destroyed and teeth are lost.

As if the concern of losing teeth to gum disease isn’t enough, there is a greater danger to your overall health when gum disease is present. Much research has revealed that there definitely is a connection between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, kidney disease, and the list goes on. Basically if you don’t completely remove plaque with daily flossing, you are at risk of the inflammation and infection of gum disease being spread throughout your body by your blood stream. 

Doesn’t that sound like a good reason to floss?

For more information about other dental topics, please visit DrTav.com

July 20, 2011

Does Your Partner's Snoring Keep You Awake?

     Recently magazines have been carrying advertisements for gimmicks that are supposed to treat snoring.  If your partner keeps you up half the night with snoring, you may be tempted to try anything.

     There is a professional way to put an end to snoring by treating the cause instead of the symptom.  We use the TheraSnore appliance to help our patients who have a problem with snoring and sleep apnea.  This appliance uses a scientific approach and was developed by Dr. Thomas E. Meade.

     The TheraSnore has been tested by universities, sleep laboratories and other professional groups.  These tests show that the adjustable TheraSnore really does work more than 93% of the time.

     Almost everyone snores occasionally, in fact one-third of the world’s population snores regularly.  Of that one-third 90% snore because, while sleeping your tongue and the tissue around the soft palate relax and falls back, blocking the airway.  Due to this lack of air, your body panics and increases the speed of the air inhaled.  This increased speed causes the tissues at the back of the throat to vibrate and cause the snoring noise.

     Besides making life more unpleasant for significant others, snoring may be an indicator of sleep apnea, a serious, deadly health hazard.

     A recent study by Harvard University and Boston’s Brigham and Woman’s Hospital found that simple snoring increases the chance of cardiovascular disease by 33% in women.  Previous studies of men with sleep apnea revealed serious health consequences, such as stroke.

     It takes us around 30 minutes or less to fit a TheraSnore appliance.  It will take you approximately 4 to 7 nights to adjust to wearing it.  By the end of the week, you should  be sleeping comfortably and soundlessly and with a happy partner by your side.

     We think we’ve saved a lot of marriages with this device.
     For more information on other dental topics, please visit DrTav.com


July 11, 2011

Differences Between Dental Plans

     I have been talking lately about dental insurance to shed some light on this confusing subject.  Recently I was asked about dental plans that can be purchased by individuals at very low cost.  I was asked, “What’s the difference?”  That’s a good question.  You need to know if the plan you are looking at is in fact a plan that covers a certain amount per year and certain percentages based on the dental procedures, or, if the “plan” is a discount program.  A discount program has a fee schedule that it establishes for each dental procedure and this reduced fee you pay to a dentist that participates in their plan.  The fees are drastically reduced, so practices that participate rely on a high volume of patients to offset their losses.  An office that is committed to excellence and personal service would have a higher overhead and would most likely be unable to participate in such a program.

     Dental discount programs don't pay any of your health care costs.  They require you to pay a fee for a list of dentists who are willing to offer disounts to members of the program.

     Do the math. Try to calculate what your total payment for a discount plan will be for a given amount of time. You could be responsible for paying a substantial amount up front, in addition to monthly fees and other costs. The costs of the program may total more than the savings you anticipate.
     A discount program also deprives you of freedom of choice because you will get no benefit from the program if you choose a dentist that isn’t on the discount list.  Even if you have conventional dental insurance, make sure your plan gives you the freedom to choose your own dentist and still receive your benefit.

    For more information on other dental topics, please visit DrTav.com