August 25th, 2015
In the American Academy of Periodontology's recent national survey, more than a third of Americans admitted they would rather sit in traffic or even clean a toilet before committing to flossing daily. In an ideal world, toilets would clean themselves, sitting bumper to bumper at the dreaded 5-Corners in Essex would be a thing of the past, and we could all maintain good oral hygiene without having to use floss.
While the first two are likely to remain pipe dreams for the foreseeable future, the 2014 XI European Workshop on Periodontology recently came to a surprising consensus on flossing that will change the way you clean between your teeth forever.
Leading researchers reviewed the literature and found that flossing is not the most effective prevention method when it comes to fighting periodontal diseases. In fact, the experts determined that there’s a new Periodontal Disease Prevention Sheriff in town: the interdental brush (also known as the proxy, spiral, or interproximal brush)!
Evidence shows that by using the correctly sized interdental brush, you’ll see greater plaque reduction and improved disease prevention than by using floss alone. As if that’s not motivation enough for you, interdental brushes are easier to use than their somewhat unwieldy counterpart! Coming in many shapes and sizes, this prevention method lets you say “so long!” to floss for any site that can fit an interdental brush instead.
Many of you have already integrated this highly effective tool into your oral health routines, and we here at AIP have already seen the stellar results. For those of you who haven’t given the interdental brush a try yet, be sure to ask me, the staff, Dr. Levi, or Dr. Gruwell about the benefits at your next appointment!
August 19th, 2014
I read a great article in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine that I wanted to share. It's a study where researchers found that treating gum disease may reduce heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
The study showed that within four years of periodontal treatment, patients had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations compared to people who hadn't received treatment: "People with cardiovascular disease and diabetes who had gum disease treatment had health-care costs that were between 20% and 40% lower".
The article continued to say that the link between gum disease and chronic health conditions is inflammation and can worsen. The health of your gums ARE important to your over all health!
You can read the whole article on The Conversation.
June 23rd, 2014
"This was one of our most successful years ever," says Dr. Brian Shuman, Co-Chair of the Vermont Special Smiles dental program. We were able to screen 190 athletes. The volunteers included, 8 students from the Essex Tech dental assisting program, 8 students from the VTC's Dental Hygiene Program, all three dental Residents from Fletcher Allen plus eighteen 3rd and 4th year students from Tufts University School of Dentistry and local VSDS dentists. The dental hygienists and assistants taught personalized oral hygiene instruction to the athletes, while the dentists supervised the dental students.
As a testimony to the popularity of this project, the leader of the dental students advised us that she had to turn away 25 other students who also wanted to come help with the event. "Participating in this Vermont event is our most sought after volunteer opportunity at Tufts. Everyone is so nice and make us feel so comfortable here. We feel like we are truly making a difference."
The event exposed 18 potential Vermont dentists to our area many of who are now considering applying for the Dental Residency program at Fletcher Allen.
Dr. Shuman believes that "The Special Olympics and Vermont dentistry has morphed into something way beyond our expectations but consistent with our vision for the program. It provides a wonderful service for the athletes and for the students.This will surely bring back many of the students to Vermont for the Residency program and perhaps get them to consider settling and practicing in Vermont."
June 9th, 2014
All of us at Associates in Periodontics understand the diagnosis of periodontal disease can be scary and confusing. But the good news in most cases is that it is treatable and manageable with a little work from you and a little help from us.
Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the gum tissue, bone, and supporting structures for the teeth. In the past it was known as pyorrhea. Diagnosis is commonly made through a combination of dental X-rays, periodontal readings (called probing depths), and visual clinical findings.
The mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body and can provide clues to your overall health. In fact, the first signs of some chronic diseases appear in the oral cavity; they can be a hint for the dentist to refer the patient to a medical doctor for a thorough exam.
If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to premature tooth loss, sensitivity, and chronic or acute mouth pain. If you have diabetes, you are more prone to periodontal disease and can experience greater difficulty controlling your blood glucose levels. The body ends up spending so much energy fighting the infection in the mouth that it cannot achieve balance elsewhere. Studies have shown that once periodontal disease is treated, the glucose levels become more responsive to control.
Standard treatments basically involve cleaning out the infection and allowing your body to heal. There are many tools and techniques to clean out the infection including scaling and root planning, laser therapy, antibiotic therapy and surgery
We always give you an accurate diagnosis and a range of treatment options. Periodontal disease is “silent,” which means you will not always experience pain as a signal of infection. When caught early and subjected to proper oral hygiene care on a daily basis, treatments are generally very successful.
Brian Shuman DMD