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Reflecting on This Year's Special Olympics

July 26th, 2016

As you can likely tell from the new technologies always popping up in the office, the conferences I’m attending, and the publications I’m reading, I’m always striving to ensure that the care you receive when you come into AIP is better every time. I try to bring that same approach to the Healthy Athletes Program each year at the Vermont Special Olympics. As soon as the event comes to a close, I start contemplating how we can make it even more useful for the athletes next time around.

For example, in years past we performed oral hygiene techniques on puppets for the athletes, but Dr. Levi’s words popped into my head, "That that’s like trying to teach you how to play the piano by watching me do it, but never asking you come over to the bench and try it yourself." For one, you’re going to get tired of me playing Chopsticks and Heart & Soul pretty quickly, and further, it’s going to be a real challenge for you to do it well on your own at home without the tactical experience of hitting the keys yourself. For that reason, we implemented hands-on, one-on-one brushing and flossing trainings with volunteer professional hygienists and dental assistants. We observed as the athletes demonstrated their ability to brush and clean between their teeth, then we offered tips, tricks, and techniques for each athlete to try out. I look forward to seeing all the athletes again next summer and checking in on how the trainings impact their oral health this year.

I was thrilled to host the largest number of volunteers to date: 12 dental students from Tufts, 2 from the University of Buffalo, 10 dental assisting students from Essex TECH, 6 dental hygiene students from VTC, 10 volunteer dentists, 5 dental hygienists, and 15 additional volunteers. I'm extremely grateful to everyone for dedicating their time and talents. With their help, we were able to screen a record 157 athletes.

The Special Olympics is an event I look forward to every summer. And it's one that I not only get to share with my seasoned colleagues, dental students up-and-coming in the field, and the wonderful athletes themselves, but also with my daughters. Before Alexx left Vermont to do that “growing up” thing (what’s up with that?), she would join me every year. She said: “I have vivid memories of immediately forgetting how warm it was under the tent the moment the athletes started streaming in and the day flying by. I could always count on a fun exchange, a rush from being around people who’ve just achieved something big, and an immense sense of gratitude at the end of the day." Now, it’s an event I get to share with my 15 year old Meika, who shared, “It’s a fun thing to experience because helping out makes you feel good. Everyone is so nice and respectful and it’s always nice to make someone smile. I really look forward to it every year!"

Images by Diane Dumas.

Safety First

March 3rd, 2016

Years ago, as I watched the fire engulf my building, I remember finding comfort in knowing I had done the “right” thing by backing up all of my data to tape. Bummer--turned out my tape drive was no longer manufactured. No problem! I was diligent and as a secondary precaution had backed up everything to the Cloud. But my Cloud backup would take 5 days to get back to me. Too long. Finally, I tracked down my discontinued tape drive on EBAY and overnight had all my data fully restored. Never again. That night, I vowed to be up and running within one hour should another disaster strike.

I was reminded of all this after watching a segment on Good Morning America about the latest threat, Ransomware. In the spirit of transparency, and because I never want you to worry about a thing when it comes to AIP, I’d like to let you know how serious I am about protecting your personal information.

After the fire, I invested in DDS Rescue (the “high-tech spare tire for my server”), a state of the art backup system that encrypts and stores our server information  on both coasts. It also allows me access to all of my programs and files remotely, and within 10 minutes of any emergency. I have run simulations. It works.

We also use SendInc Encryption, a program that secures messages containing personal medical information by ensuring that data remains encrypted from the time it leaves AIP’s computer through the time you or your dentist receives it. You already knew we utilize cutting-edge technology in the office, but our advanced practices also extend beyond our walls to ensure that your information is safe all the way from our inbox to yours. If you haven’t already, you may receive email from us and note the SendInc logo. It will require a one time name and password registration to open.

In other words, your information is 100% safe and 100% backed up 100% of the time, giving us all peace-of-mind.

What Patients are Saying About AIP

March 26th, 2015

If you've ever taken a minute to read our vision statement, you might know: your smiles and your words of kindness are our greatest rewards.

When long-time patient ES sent a surprise fruit basket, I didn't think I could be any more grateful (I'm a huge fruit fan!). After a letter expressing my thanks, however, this sweet surprise was followed by one of the most rewarding notes the practice has ever received. I was ecstatic that ES granted permission to share it with all of you.

"I really wanted to say thank you for the great care that you and your staff provide. There is, of course, first and foremost, professional knowledge and expertise. But beyond that, at your office, there is an element of caring for helping people feel comfortable during procedures that aren't known for comfort. :-) You know (I hope) that I have appreciated, since our first meeting, the way that you practice and care for patients. I also want to send a shout-out to Kim, who does such a nice job of taking care of us, whether on the phone when we're scheduling (or concerned about a dental problem), or greeting us when we come in.

I experience your practice as the best of both worlds: the most modern equipment and care combined with the "old-fashioned" practice of having a community of patients who you remember are people. I'm not sure I'm articulating this well, but thank you."

ES -- you articulated it beautifully. Thank you for your kind words that remind us why we do what we do!

Brian

Happy New Year & Vermont Foodbank Donation

January 1st, 2015

Thank you for making our Sonicare sale better than we ever could've expected.

It not only warms my heart to know that so many of you will be starting 2015 with great oral health, but also that together, we've made an impressive contribution to the Vermont Foodbank!

The gift came at a great time -- the Foodbank was working non-stop to hit their yearly fundraising goal before the year's end.  I'm so glad we could help them and, in turn, our neighbors in the final moments of 2014.

And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for!  Can I get a drumroll, please?  Or perhaps a countdown? 5…4…3…2…1…

We sold 80 Sonicare toothbrushes (wow!!). The Foodbank has confirmed that our gift helped to provide 1,200 meals to our neighbors in need.

Many of you wanted to participate, but were unable to visit the office in the time allotted. But good news -- I am contacting Sonicare and I plan to continue the sale throughout the next quarter (January - March). The same terms apply: $60.75 (plus tax) for the toothbrush and my personal donation of $5 to the Vermont Foodbank for every sale. The goal this time around is 1,500 meals!

If your appointment is not within the next three months and you want to reserve a Sonicare, simply contact me at keepyourteeth@hotmail.com.  I will have Kim reserve one for you to pick up at your next appointment!

Here's to a happy & healthy 2015. Can't wait to see you in the new year!

Brian

Want to Give Back Even More this Holiday Season? You can with our Holiday Sonicare Sale!

December 10th, 2014

It’s that time of year again! Snow on the ground, Christmas trees in the living room, menorahs on the dining room table, Sonicare EasyClean electric toothbrushes on sale at Associates in Periodontics… wait, what? I’m excited to add to the list of holiday traditions by announcing our annual Sonicare sale! We have them for $60.75 (plux tax), which is about $30 off of retail price at Best Buy, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and other major retailers.

Sonicare uses unrivaled Sonic technology to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It makes 31,000 brush strokes per minute, compared with a manual toothbrush, which moves at around 300 brush strokes per minute. That means two minutes spent brushing with a Sonicare is equivalent to about a month spent using a manual toothbrush. It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out your time! Studies have even shown that Sonicare removes significantly more plaque than a manual brush, and that using a Sonicare can improve gum health in as short as two weeks.

If you’re not convinced: this is the toothbrush I use and I recommend – it’s straightforward and gets the job done right.

Not only is it a great deal, a great gift for the holidays, and a great way to maintain your oral health in the coming year, but it is also a great way to give back to our community. For each Sonicare sold, I will personally donate $5 to the Vermont Foodbank. I can’t wait to let you all know what the contribution ends up being.

Stop by the front desk at your next appointment to pick one up, or just swing by either of our offices (1775 Willston Road, South Burlington or 248 South Main Street, Barre) to take advantage of the offer. You can also email me at keepyourteeth@hotmail.com to reserve one (or two!) if you can’t make it in right away.

The offer is good through January 1st, 2015. Spread the word, tell your friends, and let’s make our donation an impressive one!

May the floss be with you this holiday season!

Brian

Dr. Shuman Receives Distinguished Service Award

September 26th, 2014

Harkening back to his days as an athlete, Dr. Shuman took to the stage with a group of cheering fans (his staff, family, friends, and colleagues) to accept the most prestigious award granted by the Vermont State Dental Society: the Distinguished Service Award.  The award was “in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the field of dentistry.  His volunteer positions on the Vermont State Dental Society Continuing Education Committee and the Annual Meeting Committee, as well as his co-chiefing of the Special Olympics Special Smiles program exemplify his exemplary commitment to the dental profession and oral health of Vermonters.”

Dr. Shuman was grateful and humble in a characteristically humorous acceptance speech.  Though his attempt to downplay the achievement was valiant, Vaughn Collins (Executive Director of the Vermont State Dental Society) took to the mic as Dr. Shuman tried to leave the stage, "I just want to say, he’s unbelievable.  I mean, he’s a committee of one for the [Continuing Education] Committee and he’s been on the Annual Meeting Committee forever.  He just does a tremendous amount of work for us, and we couldn’t do what we do without him.”

"You never expect anything like this," Dr. Shuman said in a quiet moment after the ceremony, "you do these things simply to do them, because it's what you believe is right.  You never expect to be honored."  Clearly still reveling in the surprise of being rewarded for how he has chosen to live his life, Dr. Shuman seemed (perhaps for the first time) speechless.

Congratulations, Dr. Shuman!

- The AIP Team

Can your practice data survive a disaster? Are you sure?

May 19th, 2014

By Brian Shuman, DMD

On the night of September 5, 2011, I watched my historic Vermont dental office building burn to the ground. A fire that started in the ceiling fan of the basement bathroom spread throughout the building, and seven hours later my office was gone. Although this loss was devastating, I comforted myself with the knowledge that my backup system would ensure I did not lose my practice data. But by the time I was able to reopen a new office four and a half months later, this assumption had been severely tested.

Plan A: The Tape

My backup system had consisted of a tape backup and a redundant daily backup on the cloud; however, the tape drive that could have read the data was destroyed in the fire. We soon found the drive was no longer in production.

Plan B: The Cloud

Once I realized this, I shifted to my plan B and attempted to recover my data from the cloud backup. Because of the quantity of the data, it could not be downloaded. We were informed that we would have to wait for CDs to be burned and shipped. When they finally arrived, we discovered our cloud program only backed up the data itself -- not the dental software or the imaging and accounting programs that could actually process the data. Of course, the original software discs had been lost in the fire. In the end, this fact was moot anyway because, after more delays and expense, we discovered that the cloud data was corrupt.

Our eventual salvation came via eBay, where I located a used tape drive that could restore all of our backed up data, as well as the programs to run it. Getting to this point had taken almost two weeks after the fire.

Discovering a Better Solution

This painful experience forced me to take a much more careful look at my backup system -- something I thought I had well covered before the fire. I eventually discovered a backup system specifically designed for dental practices that included an onsite failover server, cloud backup, and 24-hour system monitoring. This system, DDS Rescue (now available from Patterson Dental), duplicates programs and data and stores them in multiple encrypted facilities. This allows users to gain access via the web in minutes. With this system, every backup is verified so there are no worries about the kind of data corruption I experienced with my previous cloud backup.

After this experience, I am now certain that there are many other dentists who are in the same position I was in -- believing their data is backed up, while in reality they are only one disaster away from finding out their system has holes in it. I urge dentists to ensure their data is truly protected with an offsite backup that includes the practice's software programs, along with the monitoring and support so that all goes according to plan. I also strongly recommend a backup system that is specifically designed for dental practices.

Most dentists are simply not IT experts. I am comfortable admitting that I was certain we were backed up correctly. When the first backup system failed, I was shocked. But the feeling of security I have now with DDS Rescue is something that I wish all other dentists could have. And, they can, because data security is available that is affordable, airtight, and custom-built for dentists. We just have to take advantage of it.

Brian Shuman, DMD, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1982 and from the University of Pennsylvania School of Periodontology in 1985. After graduation, Dr. Shuman went into private practice in Vermont. Dr. Shuman can be reached at BShuman13@aol.com.

See Dr. Shuman's article featured in Dental Economics.

Taking the "Dread" Out of a Dental Visit

May 4th, 2011

Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington, Barre and surrounding areas, has been receiving some great patient reviews lately! Check out what our current patients are saying about our team!

Having been to numerous dental settings over my 64 years for dental care, I can say without hesitation or reservation that Dr Shuman and everyone on his staff are outstanding in all respects. The level of professionalism and compassion for the patient, gentle, confident techniques utilized, the attention to detail related to explanations and answering of questions, the precise attention to individual analgesia needs are exactly what each of us would hope to encounter.
Pam

I have been going to periodontists over the last 25 years in the Boston area. I did not expect that Associates in Periodontics located in Vermont would be better than those listed for "Best of Boston" in periodontics.
Nancy B

I was quite nervous. If this sounds familiar to you, look no further. The entire staff at Associates in Periodontics is fabulous. They take the "dread" out of going. I actually look forward to seeing everyone!!
Marie

These reviews were submitted from an online survey, and republished without being altered in any way onto this blog.

Patient Testimonials

April 29th, 2011

Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington, Barre and surrounding areas, has been receiving some great patient reviews lately! Check out what our current patients are saying about our team!

Simply the BEST
This is a wonderful group of people who treat you with respect and humor. Talented, caring and on top of their field.

I can attest to the quality of care at Associates in Periodontics: We are indeed fortunate to have this resource available in our community.
Molly R

For the first time in my life, I meet with a dentist who understood my dental problems and sought solutions with me. It is the best !!!!
Lois

These reviews were submitted from an online survey, and republished without being altered in any way onto this blog.

" Top Notch Periodontal Care"- Patient Reviews of Associates in Periodontics

January 20th, 2011

Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington, Barre, VT and surrounding areas, has been receiving some great patient reviews lately! Check out what our current patients are saying about our doctors and team!

Dr. Shuman is a skilled, compassionate periodontist. He explains your condition, options for treatment and performs the prescribed procedure in a very calming manner. I have complete confidence in Dr. Shuman.
~ By Heather H., Jan 16, 2011

I actually look forward to each visit.Everyone is courteous and extremely professional. I learn something new to improve my daily care procedures with each visit. I enjoy my conversations, everyone is a joy to see again. I love the offices,a lovely renovated home with private rooms for dental care. I am a lucky guy to have all this for such an important part of my health.I can only ask that this will continue in perpetuity.
By Leonard V., Jan 16, 2011

A professional staff dedicated to the gum health of its patients. The staff encourages patients to tend to their daily care of their gum health. Each and every staff member makes a personal effort to meet every challenge that gum health presents and makes helpful suggestions to achieve this end. I highly recommend Associates in Periodontics to anyone seeking help with their gum health. They are up front regarding fee insurance schedules and offer to indemnify any error that might occur.
By Charles M., Jan 15, 2011

An Interesting Article to Start Your Year Off

January 7th, 2011

Happy New Year everyone! We wanted to share with you a fascinating article we came across recently, which discusses a recent breakthrough by scientists, who discovered a way of partially reversing age-related degeneration in mice. You can check out the article on the Harvard Science website.

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

December 22nd, 2010


The 2010 holiday season is upon us, and our team at Associates in Periodontics would like to wish all our patients and their families the merriest of holidays and best wishes for the New Year.

We thought we’d ask: what was memorable about 2010 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2011? Do you have a new year's resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

Have a safe and happy New Year, from all of us at Associates in Periodontics!

Cold and Flu Season is Here - Replace Your Toothbrush!

December 10th, 2010


Fall is upon us, and with it comes the dreaded cold and flu season. After recovering from your cold, our doctors and team will tell you one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs are known to linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart - keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to call us at Associates in Periodontics if you have any questions or ask us on Facebook.

Another Reason to Stay in Shape - Healthy Teeth and Gums

December 3rd, 2010

As you know, there are many reasons to maintain a healthy smile by proper oral care and regular visits to our office, but a new study suggests that weight control and physical fitness can both have positive effects on oral health as well! Since heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers are more likely in overweight individuals, and since Periodontal disease has been linked to these health concerns, staying in shape is more important than ever before!

You can learn more about your risk for periodontal disease by visiting us, or check out the online resources of perio.org.

Staying connected with Associates in Periodontics

November 17th, 2010

At Associates in Periodontics, we embrace technology, whether it’s through the innovative treatments we offer, our high-tech web site or our Facebook fan page. As you can probably tell, we love connecting with our patients online, whether it’s by sharing news on our blog or communicating ideas on our fan page. For social media to work, we understand that conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social networks are hugely popular these days, we know they’re unpredictable and ever-changing.

While we take a little time to research how to best use social media, we thought we’d ask you, our loyal patients: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share on our blog? Please post your thoughts or give us a call!

Access your account—any day, any time

November 10th, 2010

Access to your account, 24/7. Sounds simple and convenient, doesn’t it?

Patients at our office enjoy access to their account 24 hours a day, seven days a week—all through our website. You can look up your appointments and all of your account details at your convenience, all from the comfort of your own home! You can even receive appointment reminders through email or text messages!

You, too, may sign up for this convenient service on our website by clicking on the "Patient Login" button on our homepage. Please give us a call if you have any questions about getting started!

At Associates in Periodontics, what puts you at ease?

November 4th, 2010

Our doctors and team understand not everyone may be thrilled to come in for an appointment. But we strive to bring you the best and most comforting experience at each visit. We’d like to know: What is it about Associates in Periodontics that makes you comfortable or puts you at ease? Is it something about our pleasant office environment? Our friendly staff or doctors?

Let us know by posting here or by giving us a call!

Halloween and Cavity Prevention

October 28th, 2010

For moms and dads worried about kids going overboard on candies, sugar and other sweets, Halloween is a dreaded annual event.

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats are known to damage teeth! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! Sour and fruity candy, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which can ruin enamel.

So what's a parent to do?

This Halloween season, try to limit the amount of these candies that your child eats, and when your child does eat them, either have him rinse his mouth with water afterward or have him drink some milk or eat a piece of cheese.

Hope this helps!

All of us at Associates in Periodontics wish you and your family a happy, safe Halloween!

Gum disease found to be significant public health concern

October 20th, 2010


We've posted about the important role gum health plays to oral health and overall bodily health, but a recent article from the American Academy of Periodontology finds gum disease to now be a significant public health concern. Check out the article below, and leave a comment here on what you think. Hope you find this article helpful!

CHICAGO, IL / NEW YORK, NY, USA: The prevalence of periodontal disease in the United States may be significantly higher than originally estimated. Research published in the Journal of Dental Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) suggests that the prevalence of periodontal disease may have been underestimated by as much as 50 per cent.
The implication is that more American adults may suffer from moderate to severe gum disease than previously thought.

In a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) pilot study, funded by the CDC’s Division of Oral Health, a full-mouth, comprehensive periodontal examination was conducted on over 450 adults over the age of 35.

Periodontal disease was classified according to definitions determined by the CDC in collaboration with the AAP. The prevalence rates were then compared against the results of previous NHANES studies, which used a partial-mouth periodontal examination.

Historically, NHANES has served as the main source for determining prevalence of periodontal disease in U.S. adults. The pilot study finds that the original partial-mouth study methodology may have underestimated true disease prevalence by up to 50 per cent.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and other structures supporting the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, and may also interfere with other systems of the body. Several research studies have associated gum disease with other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

“This study shows that periodontal disease is a bigger problem than we all thought. It is a call to action for anyone who cares about his or her oral health,” said Samuel Low, DDS, MS, associate dean and professor of periodontology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, and president of the American Academy of Periodontology.

“Given what we know about the relationship between gum disease and other diseases, taking care of your oral health isn’t just about a pretty smile. It has bigger implications for overall health, and is therefore a more significant public health problem,” Dr Low said.

Dr Low explained that the increased prevalence of periodontal disease makes it essential to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

“Not only should you take good care of your periodontal health with daily tooth brushing and flossing, you should expect to get a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year,” he advised.

A dental professional, such as a periodontist, a specialist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gum disease, will conduct the comprehensive exam to assess your periodontal disease status.

According to Paul Eke, MPH, PhD, epidemiologist at the CDC and lead author of the study, the findings have significant public health implications.

“The study suggests we have likely underestimated the prevalence of periodontal disease in the adult U.S. population,” Dr Eke said. “We are currently utilizing a full-mouth periodontal examination in the 2009/10 NHANES to better understand the full extent and characteristics of periodontal disease in our adult population.”

“Research suggests a connection between periodontal health and systemic health,” Dr Eke added. “In light of these findings, understanding the relationships between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases in the adult U.S population is more crucial than ever.”

(Edited by Fred Michmershuizen, DTA)

Sleep apnea: Risks and treatment options in Burlington and Barre, VT

October 8th, 2010

Sleep disorders are fairly common, with around 50 to 70 million Americans being affected by some type chronic sleep disorder, and some of these progressing to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which can cause loss of sleep among many other health problems. What ages get sleep apnea? Those under age four (large tonsils) and those between the ages of 55 to 59. Snoring is one of the most easily identified symptoms, and as it worsens it can lead to full airway blockage while you sleep, which can severely disrupt your sleep patterns.

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem that if left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. It can also take a toll on your overall energy level, as sleep apnea causes an ongoing state of fatigue.

There are several different approaches to sleep apnea treatment, including:

• Surgery to the jaws or airway tissue to open the airway. This is typically only used in the most severe cases.
• Continuous airway pressure therapy which involves a mask and machine (CPAP machine) to keep your throat muscles and tissue open while sleeping
• Oral appliance therapy, a less intrusive method involving a customized oral device that positions your jaw in a favorable position to keep your airway open while you sleep.

If you suspect that you may suffer from a sleep disorder or sleep apnea, give us a call and we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist. Depending on your situation, treatment may involve an oral device that we can custom-create for you.

Staying connected with Associates in Periodontics

September 23rd, 2010

At Associates in Periodontics, we embrace technology, whether it’s through the innovative treatments we offer, our high-tech web site or our Facebook fan page. As you can probably tell, we love connecting with our patients online, whether it’s by sharing news on our blog or communicating ideas on our fan page. For social media to work, we understand that conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social networks are hugely popular these days, we know they’re unpredictable and ever-changing.

While our doctors and staff take a little time to research how to best use social media, we thought we’d ask you, our loyal patients: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share on our blog? Please post your thoughts or give us a call!

Which toothbrush should my child use?

September 17th, 2010

We will tell you that brushing your teeth is one of the easiest methods of cavity prevention. But which type of toothbrush should your child use? When choosing a toothbrush, look for round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. Choose one that is specifically designed for children's smaller mouths and hands. Also, look for large handles that can help children control the toothbrush. Lastly, throw out a toothbrush after three months or sooner if the bristles are fraying. Frayed bristles can harm your gums, and are not as effective in cleaning teeth.

As far as which toothpaste is best? It doesn't matter as long as it has fluoride in it. However, for small children who tend to swallow toothpaste, do not use fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure to touch each tooth and every side of that tooth. Also, you do need to gently brush on your gums.

To learn more about choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your child, we encourage you to read this helpful article from Parenthood.com. Or, you may give us a call and we'll try to answer any question you may have about keeping your child's mouth as healthy as possible!

More Studies Connect Oral Diseases to other Systemic Disease

September 10th, 2010

As research continues to explore the relationship of oral disease to other systemic diseases, it is becoming clearer that oral health can help contribute in the prevention of various medical ailments, or reduce their severity.

The culprit it appears is chronic inflammation which can be caused by chronic periodontal disease or other chronic dental infections. Although some of the damage seen is localized to the periodontium by bacterial invasion, most of the other damage is seen by cytokines, a product of chronic inflammation, which can help cause destruction in distant places, contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premature births.

Recent studies show that 1/3 of people with Diabetes Mellitus have severe periodontal disease, and that by treating their periodontal disease their serum glucose levels were reduced by 50mg/dL.

One researcher found that if oral bacteria breach the placenta, the baby's risk of being prematurely born rises to 2.8 times that of a baby with no exposure.
Research at the University of Buffalo showed a link between periodontal disease and osteoporosis, especially in women over 70. In the NHANES study which included 10,000 Americans, between 18-74 , people with periodontal disease were much more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease.

Given the increased presence of periodontal disease in the medicaid population, the lack of adequate dental care will help contribute to their developing these various chronic diseases, and raise the costs of healthcare to treat these diseases.

Questions about oral health and periodontal disease? Give us a call or visit the Associates in Periodontics website!

Gum Disease Can Sneak Up On You

August 27th, 2010

It’s easy to tell when you have a cavity; but unfortunately, gum disease can exist in your mouth without you even knowing. In fact, you can have the beginning stages of gum disease without noticing any pain or discomfort. Since gum disease can be undetectable, it’s important to watch for warning signs in order to prevent the disease from worsening!

Signs to watch for:
• Gums that appear red or swollen
• Gums that feel tender
• Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
• Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
• Persistent halitosis, or bad breath
• Loose teeth
• Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position

If you or someone in your family is showing these signs, schedule an appointment right away by calling Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington and Barre, VT. We can diagnose the problem and begin treatment to save your teeth and give you back a healthy mouth!

Foods for Healthy Gums, Healthy Hearts

August 20th, 2010

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is far more common than you may think in Americans. Every year, new studies begin to link the effect gum disease can have on the heart, and we at Associates in Periodontics have been helping spread the word! One of the simplest steps to achieving healthier gums can be your diet. We recently found a great article outlining several options for healthier gums. Included among the suggestions were:

-Raisins
-Green Tea
-Whole Grains

In addition to these foods being gums-friendly, they are healthy foods in general, and a great option to begin integrating into your diet. Hope these tips help!

I Had No Idea Periodontal Disease Is Linked to…

August 13th, 2010

You may have seen stories in the news about the connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. However, those aren't the only health conditions that are related to periodontal disease. Research has shown that having periodontal disease can put you at risk for a few surprising conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, and even kidney disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Over 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints that can lead to long-term joint damage. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology uncovered yet another potential side effect of RA; researchers discovered that patients with RA are eight times more likely to have periodontal disease than those without RA. However, the research indicates that poor oral hygiene alone did not account for the connection between RA and gum disease, which means that other factors play a role as well. Both RA and gum disease are systemic inflammatory disorders which may explain the connection between the two.

Cancers
Men are especially at risk for developing certain cancers if they have periodontal disease. Research published in The Lancet Oncology found that men with a history of gum disease are 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums. In fact, researchers discovered that men with periodontal disease are 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers.

Kidney Disease
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that toothless adults may be more likely to have chronic kidney disease than adults with all of their teeth. Untreated periodontal disease can lead to bone loss around teeth, which can then cause teeth to loosen and fall out. Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. In the study, the lack of teeth was found to be significantly associated with chronic kidney disease. The two diseases may be connected by chronic inflammation, as both are considered inflammatory conditions.

Protect Yourself
To help protect yourself from these health conditions, including periodontal disease, make sure to brush your teeth twice each day, floss at least once each day, and see a dental professional for cleanings twice each year. If periodontal disease develops, a consultation with a dentist or periodontist may lead to effective treatment. The key to a healthy body may start with a healthy mouth!

Are you at risk for periodontal disease?
Your risk for periodontal disease may increase depending on Your age,Gender, Bleeding gums, Tobacco use, or family history of gum disease.

To find out if you may be at risk, take the American Academy of Periodontology’s risk assessment. The assessment will let you know if you are at low, moderate, or high risk for periodontal disease. We would be happy to discuss your results with you.

Associates in Periodontics supporting the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation

August 4th, 2010


We are pleased to be involved with the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation through one of our employees, whose husband is a F-16 pilot and was commander of the Green Mountain Boys for 3 years. She is on the board of this foundation, which works to deliver care packages to deployed members of the Vermont Army & Air National Guard serving around the world.

Dr. Shuman, as continuing education chair with the Vermont State Dental Society, has helped lead the campaign to support this project. He has urged other state dentists to support this cause through donation of dental items (toothbrushes, floss, etc). If you would like to help contribute to this program, please visit the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation web site, or join their Facebook community!

Welcome to our blog!

July 30th, 2010


Welcome to the official Associates in Periodontics blog! We've recently installed new ways to stay connected to our patients, including our Facebook page, YouTube channel and our very own blog, which we’ll be updating weekly! Visit us by clicking on any of the social network icons located on the left side of our page.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

-Drs. Levi, Shuman, Halliday, Kolesar and team

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