January 29, 2013

Dental Disease And Poor Academic Performance Linked

Poor oral health may affect academic performance, according to a study published in the September issue of American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers from the Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles performed clinical dental examinations in 1,495 socioeconomically disadvantaged elementary and high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.  They then matched the children’s oral health status to academic achievement and attendance records.

Children who reported experiencing recent tooth pain were almost four times more likely than those without tooth pain to have a grade point average lower than the median grade point average of 2.8, the authors wrote.

In addition, the investigators found that elementary school students missed, on average, six days of school per year, and high school students missed 2.6 days.  For elementary students, 2.1 days of missed school were due to dental problems, and high school  students missed 2.3 days due to dental issues.  This shows that oral health problems are a very significant factor in school absences.

Accessibility of dental care was one factor in determining whether children missed school as a result of dental health problems, the authors wrote.  They found that 11% of children who had limited access to dental care – owing to lack of insurance, lack of transportation, or other barriers – missed school because of poor oral health.  In contrast, only 4% of children who had easier access to dental care missed school, the authors wrote.

For information about other dental topics visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com

January 22, 2013

Good Dental Health May Be Associated With Lower Dementia Risk

Elderly people who brush their teeth at least once a day may be at a lower risk of developing dementia, according to a study published online August 2 in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers at the University of California in Irvine and Los Angeles conducted a study and followed up more than 5,000 residents of a retirement community from 1992 to 2010.   Participants’ ages ranged from 52 to 105 years at the start of the study, and their average age was 81 years.

At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had dementia, the authors wrote.   Eighteen years later, they used interviews, medical records and death certificates to determine that 1,145 participants had been diagnosed with dementia.

Of the 78 women who reported that they brushed their teeth less than once a day in 1992, 21 had dementia in 2010, or about one per 3.7 women, the authors wrote.  Among women who brushed at least once per day, about one in every 4.5 had developed dementia.  This translates to a 65% greater chance of developing dementia among those who reported brushing less than once a day, the authors wrote.

According to the researchers, the results for men were less pronounced.  Those who reported brushing less than once per day were only 22% more likely to have dementia in 2010 than were  men who reported brushing at least once a day.  This small effect could have been due to chance, the researchers pointed out.

For information about other dental topics visit www.DrTav.com

January 15, 2013

How to Prevent Dental Problems Early

If you are tempted to skip dental appointments because you don’t feel pain and can’t see anything wrong, think again.  What you can’t see or feel can cause the most trouble!  These dental problems can be treated, and often reversed, if spotted early.

Here’s What We Can See That You Can’t

  • A dental examination can detect deterioration of fillings, crowns, and restorations.
  • We may spot root cavities (decay on the roots of your teeth) which are exposed by receding gums.
  • Close inspection can reveal periodontal pockets caused by gum disease, and we may even identify the early warning signs of oral cancer.
  • We may find new decay under the gumline or hidden under existing fillings – two places you just can’t see!
  • Your teeth may have hairline fractures or signs of enamel erosion.
  • We can diagnose an impacted wisdom tooth that is ready to make its presence known … although you may not feel it yet.
  • We can see if the position of an impacted wisdom tooth can threaten the healthy tooth in front of it.
  • The onset of gum disease, called gingivitis in its early phase, often goes undetected by patients.  We can check for any tell-tale signs so that you can take action to prevent its progression toward periodontitis (which is the phase where bone loss begins and can ultimately result in tooth loss).
For information about other dental topics visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com

January 8, 2013

Take Years Off! Rejuvenate Your Smile

Make no mistake – crowns do rejuvenate smiles.  Although the primary purpose of a dental crown is to protect and strengthen teeth, you’ll love your improved great looks, too!

Crowns are an attractive option for teeth that have been severely damaged or weakened by trauma, root canal treatment, or too much filling.  They can also support bridges that fill gaps and be attached to dental implants to rebuild and enhance your smile.

Crowns have come such a long way from all-metal originals, through porcelain fused to metal, and finally to all-ceramic or porcelain.  Today, replacing outdated crowns is a surefire way to take years off your appearance.

There are benefits to all three crown types.  The benefits of all-metal crowns which are usually made of gold, are crowns that are strong and long-lasting and will not wear down opposing teeth.  They can also be made of less expensive metals or a mix of gold and alloy.

In porcelain fused to metal crowns, porcelain creates a natural look that all-metal crowns of course cannot.  Although the metal limits translucency, it adds strength, which is particularly useful and important at the back of the mouth.  In the front of the mouth the issue of translucency can be handled with the artistry of a talented ceramist.  Such artistry in porcelain results in the illusion of translucency.

The benefits of all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns is that translucent porcelain with opalescence looks the closest to natural enamel, and there are no tell-tale dark metal margins at the gumline as sometimes occurs with porcelain fused to metal.  These crowns are strong, long-lasting, and youthful looking.

For information about other dental topics visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com