Posted in oral health, St Louis Park Periodontist

10 Ghoulish Disorders That Will Have You Flying to the Dentist

While most of us love a good horror story, in the world of dentistry, sometimes the truth is more frightening than any Hollywood flick! Curl up and dig in to 10 of the creepiest dental ailments you have ever heard of:

  1. Amelogenesis Imperfecta: Tooth Enamel Disease

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Amelogenesis Imperfecta is a congenital disease. Causing small teeth with very thin tooth enamel, a discolored smile is the tip of the iceberg here. These tiny chompers often suffer from painful sensitivity and lots of breakage. Diagnosed by your dentist, treatments are available for every level of severity.

Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

  1. Hyperdontia: Extra Teeth

This rare condition affects a very small percentage of children. Sometimes tied to a genetic disorder, but can also occur for unknown reasons, a child develops extra teeth hidden in their gums. With extraction often the best course of action, left unattended these extra teeth can prevent or delay the eruption of permanent teeth and wreak havoc on the child’s bite. Yes, even those suffering from hyperdontia should still brush and floss twice a day!

Source: Colgate

  1. Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome (PLS): Premature Tooth Loss

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By the age of five, kids with PLS usually have many loose primary teeth. This can become a severe issue without regular dental care. But what’s the cause? The root of the problem stems from a missing enzyme causing a connective tissue issue. As skin infections are also common with PLS, routine care requires a team of specialists; usually including pediatricians, surgeons, dermatologists, among of course, dentists, periodontist and prosthodontists.

What’s even more frightening is the possibility of losing all permanent teeth… as a teenager! Such is so, as teens often choose to have any remaining teeth removed and wear dentures.

Source: National Organization for Rare Disorders

  1. Talon Cusps: Claw-Like Teeth

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Just as it sounds, these abnormal tooth sprouts look like the shape of an eagle’s talon at the back of a child’s tooth.  If left to fester, potential problems include crowding, gum irritation, bad bite, and of course the accumulation of plaque.

Dare not scrape these off! Talon cusps require common treatment from your dentist, such as grinding down or a root canal.

Source: Journal of the Canadian Dental Association

  1. Geminated Teeth: Mega Tooth

This is as if the tooth root has had twins. This anomaly manifests itself when two teeth develop from a single tooth bud. Turning into an oversized and disfigured tooth, your dentist will be on the lookout for the trouble it’s causing to nearby teeth.

Your dentist will be on the lookout for a bad bite, tooth decay in the area and overcrowding of neighboring teeth. Depending on size, it’s possible the tooth could cause little impact. However, most cases need extraction or other procedures to bring it down to normal size. Beware! These teeth aren’t easily flossed so using anti-bacterial mouthwash is advised.

Source: National Institute of Health

  1. Tonsilloliths: Tonsil Debris

Ever heard of tonsil stones? When this buildup of bacteria and debris gets trapped in and around your tonsils it’s no joke. Especially considering they range in size from a grain of rice to that of a large grape!

What causes this troublesome throat rubble? Chronic tonsillitis and poor dental hygiene are the usual culprits.  While not always visible, if they’re lurking you’ll likely smell it first! Bad breath, sore throat, and trouble swallowing as the most reported symptoms. Tonsils are delicate, and removing the stones requires the expert hand of a true professional.

Source:  Live Scicence

  1. Black Hairy Tongue: Like. It. Sounds…

Harmless as it may be, this fearsome condition will attract unwanted attention. If not from looks, the radiating smell will turn heads… and your stomach with a metallic taste. Caused by the building up of dead skin cells, this creepy accumulation does offer some relief in how it’s treated. Oral hygiene. Brush your tongue or using a tongue scraper daily should clear things up. If it persists, visit your dentist as reoccurrence risk runs high.

Source: WebMD

  1. Salivary Gland Stones: Clogged Salivary Glands

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Think kidney stones in your mouth. They’re painful and can cause neck swelling. As saliva is full of calcium, these startling stones store up in salivary ducts. The remedy is as easy as sucking on sour candy to get the saliva juices flowing again. Caution! Stones can grow large enough for surgical removal.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information

  1. The Disgusting Truth About Your Toothbrush: dun dun dun!

Your toothbrush is a bacteria magnet. The dirty little secret it hides is really more like 10 million bacteria— including E. coli and Staph. Truly a terrifying thought! Here are some empowering tips to keeping your brush as clean as possible:

  • Replace your toothbrush after 3 months. Sooner if the bristles become frayed and always after the flu or a cold.
  • Not all toothpaste is created equal. Look for ones with triclosan or copolymer to help kill mouth bacteria.
  • Rinse the bristles after every use. Soaking in antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide also helps.
  • In this case, sharing is not caring. Each brush is factory built for one mouth. Remember, 10 million bacteria…
  • Air dry between uses and don’t let toothbrush heads touch. Remember, 10 million bacteria…
  • Flush with the toilet seat down. We smell molecules of whatever it is giving off the stench. Remember E. coli…

Source: Huffington Post

  1. Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease: Virus

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Imagine having sores in your mouth, on your hands, feet, and even your legs. A very unpleasant condition, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is easily spread through coughing and sneezing. So, halt the spread with frequent hand washing, and while infected, keep the kisses under wraps.

This nasty virus is most common among children under 10 but adults can contract it as well. With symptoms lasting about a week, see a physician if the sore mouth and throat prevent drinking.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Spook ‘Em in Style!

When was your last dental exam? Call today to schedule your next appointment! (952) 920-9209

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

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Posted in Oral Surgery, Sedation

Don’t Let Dental Anxiety Stop You.

We’ve all been nervous at some point in our life. Some fears are irrational while others are well earned from negative experiences. We understand what it’s like to feel uneasy and anxious. That’s why your comfort is always at the top of our mind! With sedation, you can have a more relaxing visit while taking care of your oral health needs.

Types of Sedation

Nitrous Oxide Sedation – Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is most often used for patients who are mildly or moderately anxious. It’s administered by placing a small mask over the patient’s nose. As the gas begins to work, the patient becomes calm, but is still awake and can communicate. When the gas is turned off, the effects of sedation wear off almost immediately.

Oral Sedation –Patients who are more anxious may require something stronger than nitrous oxide. With oral sedation, the patient may be sleepy but can also be aroused if necessary and can respond to simple commands.  Minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur with some medications. You may need assistance to get home after sedation, and patients may need to stay for a short observation after dental treatment has been completed.

Body ImageIV Conscious Sedation – IV conscious sedation is usually used to help patients relax during surgery or more advanced dental procedures that take a longer to complete. During this form of conscious sedation an IV is placed in the patient’s vein in order to give the sedative medication. A patient is still able to respond to verbal commands and is aware of what is going on but the patient will not remember much of what happened during their procedure. This helps when dealing with a long procedure or patients that have a great deal of anxiety about surgery or their specific procedure.

General Anesthesia (IV Sedation) – General anesthesia puts a patient into a deep sleep. He or she is unable to feel pain or to move around. General anesthesia may be recommended if the patient:

  • Can’t relax or calm down enough for treatment to be performed safely, even with conscious sedation and other behavior management techniques
  • Needs oral surgery or other dental treatment that would be difficult for the patient to tolerate while awake
  • Needs a lot of dental work that can best be done in one long appointment rather than many shorter visits
  • Has a medical, physical or emotional disability that limits his or her ability to understand directions and be treated safely as an outpatient

We have many years of experience, and will use the safest and most effective medications appropriate for you. So, if you’re ready to relax in the chair with sleep dentistry, give us a call and schedule today.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in gum disease

4 Tasty Foods to Avoid with Gum Disease

Gum Disease can be painful at any stage. If you have Stage 2 or Stage 3 periodontitis dietary changes will be bittersweet. You may already be finding yourself naturally gravitating to softer foods in effort to avoid discomfort. It’s important to mention foods themselves don’t really contribute to gum disease, but are troublesome for the exposed root surfaces from a dental caries (cavity) perspective. Here are a few surprises that could aggravate your condition.

  1. Pickles and Relish

PicklingWhile not typically considered something to avoid for oral health, vinegar is the prime suspect here.  As you may know, it’s highly acidic, and acid is notorious for quickly wearing down tooth enamel. So, it’s important to keep this in mind when eating anything pickled while your tooth roots are exposed.

  1. Peanut Butter

You either love it or hate it. You may even be particular in how you eat it, straight from the jar or only in a sandwich… Have you ever tried it with pickles? This easy to digest, childhood staple can be a healthy snack when opting for the “no added sugar” variety. While it may take some getting used to, it’s the sugar that helps peanut butter better stick to your teeth and tooth roots.

  1. Dried Fruit

Dried FruitLoaded with sugar, the stickiness in dried fruit may or may not be something you’re still able to enjoy. Even in small doses, there’s a high chance of this sweet treat getting stuck deep in your teeth and gums. Once lodged, it feeds the bacteria and can further dental erosion.

  1. Crackers

There’s crackers for every occasion, and this appetizer favorite is not typically associated with dental problems. However, consuming an abundant amount of refined carbohydrates is a known cause of inflammation. Avoid exacerbating your situation by limiting carbs.

Having a perio treatment plan with a dedicated hygiene routine will keep your smile on a healthy track. Periodontitis is treatable. Avoiding sticky, sugary and pickled foods is best for patients suffering from gum disease. If you have any questions about what dietary changes are necessary for your oral health, speak with your periodontist directly. We have the best understanding of your unique situation.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in gum disease, oral health

4 Risk Factors of Gum Disease

Have you ever had something caught in your teeth for days? It’s likely because it was lodged deep between a tooth and your gums. That gum tissue is what keeps our chompers in place. There are three stages of gum disease. They’re all are treatable and it starts with an infection of bacteria under the gum line.

gingivitis_2The mild form of gum disease is Gingivitis. This is where plaque and other byproducts irritate the gums. It makes them swollen, tender, and more likely to bleed. Periodontitis is stage two. The gum tissue starts deteriorating as it detaches from the teeth forming pockets around the roots. These pockets can have a depth up to 7 millimeters. Finally, Advanced Periodontitis can set in. Tooth pockets get deeper as the severe gum recession leads to bone loss impacting your total well-being. Depending on how quickly and destructive your case is determines if surgical or non-surgical treatment is the best option for you.

Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Genetics – it’s hereditary and some of us are just unlucky! While you may be more susceptible to periodontitis, having a good oral hygiene routine with regular dental visits can help your smile stay healthy. Talk to us about finding the right balance for your needs.
  • Health – underlying medical conditions like diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as well as lowered immunity from illnesses and treatments often affect gum tissue. Medications, hormonal changes and obesity are also culprits and should be discussed.
  • Bad Habits – chewing on ice, not brushing or flossing daily and using tobacco are the most common behavior changes we encourage you to ditch. However, substance abuse and a diet lacking in vitamin C will also impact your smile.
  • Stress – it’s inevitable. But keep an eye on exactly how much it’s weighing you down. High levels or chronic stress can lead to poor hygiene habits. Anxiety can also lower your immune system from effectively fighting off bacteria that causes gingivitis (stage 1).

When to Seek Help

Common red flags of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Gums look bright red
  • Teeth wiggle

There’s no home remedy to cure gum disease. If not stopped quickly, serious damage to your gum and supporting bone will require much more aggressive treatment to save your teeth. Only professional treatment can help, so call today for a consultation (952) 920-9209.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in Frenectomy, Periodontal

Who Needs a Frenectomy?

Before the “who”, let’s start with the “what”— what’s a frenectomy? The short answer: a frenectomy is a minor dental procedure where excessive gum tissue is removed. Specifically gum tissue around the gum line. A frenectomy can be performed on one of two areas in the mouth: the lingual frenum or the labial frenum. Both are common and highly effective.

Lingual Frenectomy

The lingual frenum is beneath the tongue. Depending on growth, you’re likely just fine or may be a bit tongue tied. This is when the lingual frenum is tight enough to impede speech, and is really most common in children. In cases like these, having a lingual frenectomy will loosen your tongue to a greater range of motion allowing for clearer speaking. In some cases, it will also improve appetite if the excessive tissue was hindrance when eating.

Labial Frenectomy

The second type of frenectomy is on the labial frenum. It is much more visible as it’s the skin that’s attached to the middle of your upper gums. If there’s excess, it will pull your gums away from the bone. This often causes a gap between the two front teeth along with gum recession. If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may be recommended to have a frenectomy to help close gaps in your smile zone. While denture patients may consider the procedure to have a more secure fit, as the frenum may rub against the prosthetic causing discomfort.

Am I A Candidate for a Frenectomy?Frenectomy - image

A frenectomy is a quick procedure that can take as little as 15-minutes to fix a life-long problem. As with any dental treatment, we can only be sure you’re a candidate based on your unique case. If you’re tongue tied, feel like your tongue has limited range of motion, getting ready for orthodontic treatment, or if you have dentures, call for a consultation.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in dental implants, Oral Surgery, Periodontal

Sinus Lift: what is it and do you need one?

A sinus lift is recommended when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or not enough room between sinuses for dental implants to be placed. The surgery adds necessary bone to the jaw and the sinuses on either side of your nose to build a stronger foundation in preparation for dental implants. The sinus membrane is lifted by a dental specialist (oral surgeon, endodontist or periodontist) to make room for the bone transplant.

Do I Need a Sinus Lift? Maybe…

shutterstock_133240190You may be a candidate for a sinus lift if you have bone loss due to periodontitis or resorption of bone after a prolonged period of having missing teeth (sunken jaw). It’s often necessary in these circumstances to augment the existing bone in the jaw in preparation for dental implants. The donor bone may come from your own body or other medically appropriate substitute. If the bone comes from your own body, it is most often taken from your hip or tibia. You will have x-rays taken to determine the anatomy of your jaw and sinuses, as well as a CT scan to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone.

How’s a Sinus Lift Done?

The actual sinus lift procedure starts with your dental specialist creating an incision in the back of your mouth to reveal the bone, raising the sinus membrane up and away from your jaw. Then a small, circular shaped hole in the bone is opened. Granules of the bone graft are packed into this hole, and the tissue will then be closed with stitches.

Aftercare Instructions for Sinus Lift

don't sneezeAfter the procedure it is important to avoid blowing your nose or sneezing forcefully. These place you at risk for loosening the graft and stitches. You’ll have a saline wash to keep the inner lining of your nose wet, as well as an antimicrobial mouthwash that helps prevent infection at the incision site. Pain meds will be prescribed as will antibiotics. Be sure to complete the full round of antibiotics.

After a sinus lift, contact us if swelling or pain gets worse over time. Should bleeding not stop after two days or if the blood is bright red and continuous, your bone graft may have become dislodged, call us immediately. Also let us know if you develop a fever as this could be a sign of infection. The healing process generally takes between four to nine months. This allows the bone graft to mesh with your bone, and after it’s healed, you will be ready for your dental implants.

If you are interested in dental implants or have questions about the sinus lift procedure, call us today at (952) 920-92

 

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-9209

Posted in gum disease, oral health, Periodontal

Periodontics and Untreated Cavities in the US

shutterstock_14313997With the vast advancements in the dental field this last decade, it may be surprising to learn that untreated cavities stemming from gum disease are still a prevalent and persistent issue for many people in the United States. More than one in five Americans has untreated cavities and periodontitis, according to Dr. Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “It appears that we haven’t been able to make any significant strides during the last decade to reduce untreated cavities” (Dye.) 

How do cavities relate to periodontal health?

shutterstock_125978177Bacterial plaque continually accumulates on your teeth at the gum line. The same bacterial acids that destroy tooth enamel can cause an infection of your gum tissue and the bone surrounding your teeth. When the plaque is not fully removed, it hardens in to tartar – giving the bacteria a place to thrive, in turn leading to cavities and gum disease that gradually breaks down tooth and bone.

Mother Daughter BrushingYou can reduce your odds of developing gum disease and cavities through engaging in healthy lifestyle choices. Practicing good dental hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing is essential.   Limiting sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks that feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and periodontitis is another controllable element in cavity and gum disease prevention.  Regular periodontal cleanings are also paramount. When problems are identified and treated early, it prevents the necessity for further costly and invasive procedures.  If you are experiencing sensitivity or pain, schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Thomas Hoover, Dr. Neil Covin, and Dr. Satya Molleti
3401 Wooddale Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 920-92