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Brushing and Flossing May Save Your Life!

April 9, 2018

Brushing and flossing – a lifestyle that may save your life!

Why do I say this?  In a study published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal by Bale, Doneen and Vigerust, in November 2016, they note evidence that pathogens (bacteria) found in periodontal disease are considered a contributing cause of arteriosclerotic vascular disease including heart attacks and strokes.  Wow!  So taking care of periodontal disease aids in getting rid of the bugs hanging out under diseased gums that travel to the bloodstream.

Periodontal Disease: All the signs of inflammation are here; bleeding, redness, and swelling. All treatable with the help of your dentist and hygienist and brushing and flossing!

Diseased and infected gum pockets as found in periodontal disease are likely to contain harmful bacteria that increase LDLs or Low Density Lipoproteins in the bloodstream.  These same bugs aid in marking your arteries more porous which allows even more LDLs to get into the blood.  LDLs can accumulate into plaques – a contributing cause of atherosclerosis.  If you have heart disease and periodontal disease it should be an easy decision to treat the periodontal disease with the help of a dentist, dental hygienist, and brushing and flossing.  The infection in periodontal disease causes bone loss which is usually permanent.  You may not even know that you have this infection!

What can you do?

  • Brush and Floss – we can show you ways to make this fun
  • Be aware of signs of infection: bleeding, redness, swelling, bad breath
  • See your dentist and dental hygienist, ask them questions!
  • Don’t neglect your overall health or your oral health

The reason that I am writing this blog is because sometimes it is difficult to think of ideas for blogs! And, because I believe that this statement is true!  And because, with the right attitude, brushing and flossing is fun!  And, it may save your life.   Know that gums are just skin and you wouldn’t neglect bleeding areas on your skin would you?  Especially if you didn’t know why your skin was bleeding!  Our office would be happy to help you take the very best care of your mouth, for you and for anyone close to you.  I recently went backpacking with my family.  We spent a wonderful week summiting mountain passes, and enjoying the outdoor splendor.  And brushing and flossing together.

Call our Grand Junction, Colorado office with any comments related to this blog or to schedule an appointment.  (970) 242-3635

 

Individualized Dental Care Should Be the Norm!

February 9, 2018

Individualized oral health care – Individualized dental care. 

The way it should be!

Our office believes in individualized dental care for optimal health. 

Dental care should be individualized to the patient.  What works for you is not necessarily what works for other patients.  Every patient deserved individualized oral health care. 

Take something as simple as the notion that every person needs to brush twice daily and floss once per day.  While this may be nice in terms of warding off bad breath, it does not really apply to all people when they want their teeth and gums to be as healthy as possible.   I see patients who really do brush and floss based on these guidelines and they still have issues with gum disease, tooth decay,  and periodontal disease!  So, there is more to this story.  Achieving oral health should be the goal of our oral hygiene procedures.  Well health and nice breath!

Treating people as individuals is not a new concept but it is one that I don’t think gets applied often enough.  This is, of course, true in medicine as well as dentistry.  Two patients with the same presenting symptoms and tests cannot necessarily be treated equally and achieve the same results.

Probably not the best way to have individualized oral health care!

 

My son in law, Jeremiah Joyce, wrote this piece recently published in the Mayo Clinic’s KER blog. It looks at the risks and benefits of adopting guideline-driven care.

This from Jeremiah, “Minimally disruptive medicine (MDM) is one of the aims of the KER unit (http://www.mayo.edu/research/labs/knowledge-evaluation-research-unit/overview) here at Mayo and they are doing some cool personalized medicine research dealing with not just disease but what individual patients themselves bring to the table.”

 

Is Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) the way to best treat patients?  Does this apply to dental patients?  I think it does!

Jeremiah is a third-year student at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine.  Mr. Joyce responded to a writing prompt meant to develop his thoughts about the role of a primary care physician. The prompt: “The ideas behind MDM or contextualized care ask us to respect the needs and circumstances of the patient before us as we construct our care plans. But that puts us in a weird spot, yes? Because just as MDM is this decade’s push, last decade’s push was evidence-based medicine: the idea that, through science, we can find a ‘best’ way to handle a problem, a ‘best’ treatment. It becomes our job to apply the evidence with less and less spin to it, if we dedicate ourselves to EBM purity.” 

With that in mind, what is your opinion of the Minnesota Community Measures’ “D5” criteria (http://mncm.org/reports-and-websites/the-d5/)? What are the risks and benefits of adopting guideline-driven care? Do the D5 measures reflect a friendly contextualization of care?” 

Mr. Joyce’s response follows:

The Mayo motto “the needs of the patient come first” uses the singular noun; the patient is an individual. In practicing evidence based medicine, however, I think we often make the mistake of using population-based recommendations for individuals. There is an interesting precedent for the idea that a “one size fits all” model fits no one perfectly. In his book The End of Average, Todd Rose describes a U.S. Air Force study of pilot average body measurements, designed to tailor a cockpit that fit the average pilot. Out of over 4,000 pilots measured to determine the perfect dimensions, not a single one was within the average range in all of the 10 primary dimensions (Rose, 2016). This article is a fascinating physical example of a truth that undoubtedly applies to medical recommendations as well. 

In practicing medicine, we should focus on tailoring the recommendations to fit the patient, rather than forcing the patient to fit the recommendation. We are all aware of the benefits of D5 recommendations on the long-term health of populations, but we also know some patients have ASA-induced asthma and others have statin-induced myositis. Still others haven’t been able to quit smoking despite their best intentions. We as future providers risk losing a therapeutic alliance with patients if we push too far or too hard. Someone with a recent diagnosis of diabetes may quickly be overwhelmed if we add on all the D5 as soon as their A1c is at 7.1%. As Rose describes in his book, the Air Force’s solution to their cockpit dilemma was increasing flexibility in the design, allowing pilots to adjust their planes. This approach resulted in a dramatic decrease in casualties. We may see the same effect when we work with patients to achieve the greatest benefit to their health. Across a panel of patients, we would be much more satisfied with a population of half-treated and gradually improving diabetics than we would be with losing many patients to follow-up due to frustration and disappointment with a rigid healthcare system.

(Rose, 2016) “When U.S. air force discovered the flaw of averages.” https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/01/16/when-us-air-force-discovered-the-flaw-of-averages.htmlhttps://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/01/16/when-us-air-force-discovered-the-flaw-of-averages.html 

Jess, Jeremiah and Tigris

I love the part in the title above that states, ‘the flaw of averages’!  This ties right in to the need for individualized dental care.

So what do dentists need to address if we want our patients to have optimal oral health?  In my practice, we do a complete oral health assessment for every patient and tailor our recommendations based on our findings.  If someone shows no signs of gingivitis, trauma, or periodontal disease then their current regimen of oral hygiene is adequate from an oral health standpoint.  If we see signs of disease then we determine what changes can be made to improve their oral health.  Then we continue to monitor for signs and symptoms of disease to see if modifications need to be made.

I know that I want to be treated as in individual and I believe our patients do too.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Caring For and Enhancing Your Smile

 

 

Should Dentists Care About Your Marijuana Use?

October 24, 2017

Should Dentists Care About Your Marijuana Use?

Peace ?

Drugs and dentistry, specifically marijuana use and dentistry is a topic seen more often in the literature.  Marijuana use has a connection with your oral health.  So, yes, your dentist should care about your Marijuana use! This blogs reviews current findings and explains some of the dental associations related to Marijuana use and concerns your dentist may have.

Should dentists care about your Marijuana Use?  Definitely!  The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) published some of these concerns from a variety of sources in the January 2016 AGD Impact.

 

Marijuana

Peace Baby!

Marijuana use is increasing and is now legal in many states including Colorado.  The appeal of Marijuana is the association with pleasure, relaxing, perceived enhanced taste, sight and hearing.  Along with increasing use, studies are showing negative health concerns.  Our office recommends letting your dentist know about your Marijuana use and discuss possible oral health problems they may be able to see in your mouth.

 

 

The main concerns are the following:

  • Impaired thought processes
  • Impaired judgement
  • Increased consumption of carbohydrates and sugars
  • A weakened immune system
  • Irritated airways
  • There is a strong association with periodontal disease
  • Increased exposure to carcinogens

Increased eating of sweets may lead to more tooth decay.  In our office we have seen terrible tooth decay when marijuana chewables are combines with a dry mouth and a susceptible patient.  We care about your dental health and want to provide the best care possible for you.  We will always try to stay up to date with current recommendations related to your dental care.  Thanks for reading our blog!  We look forward to seeing you.  In the meantime, please see more about what our office has to offer on our website at www.juliegillisdds.com or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc.  We would love to have you follow us on Facebook!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

 

Does Marijuana Affect Your Dental Health?

October 5, 2017

Filed under: Customer Service,Dental Health — Tags: , — Dr Gillis @ 4:45 am

Does Marijuana Affect Your Dental Health?

Peace ?

Some of this information is from the January 2016 issue of AGD Impact and from the July/August 2017 issue of Discover

Why should your dentist care whether you use Marijuana?  Because Marijuana can affect your dental health and your dental treatment!

As the use of Marijuana becomes more common, we will continue to see more of the possible side effects.  Thankfully, the legalization of this drug has made it easier for patients to report drug use.  Turns out marijuana can affect your dental health!

  • The rate of decay can increase. We have seen disastrous examples of this in patients using chewables especially when combined with a dry mouth from other drugs they are taking or diseases.
  • Marijuana use may make you more likely to consume sweet, salty, or foods containing a lot of refined carbohydrates and you may be less likely to maintain proper hygiene – a double whamy in terms of decay.
  • Marijuana use may leave a slimy dark stain in the tartar or calculus that forms on the teeth that may be difficult to remove. More slime, more tartar, more bacteria, more gum disease and periodontal disease, and more decay.
  • By using Marijuana, you may be at a higher risk of contracting HIV.
  • Marijuana abuse can lead to frequent vomiting which can severely harm the teeth by acid erosion. (there are some studies that THC can be helpful with nausea from chemo)
  • Long-term use can lead to panic disorders and psychosis. Repeated exposure can negatively affect the areas of your brain dealing with forming memories.  (remember to brush and floss correctly and eat healthy!)
  • And, yes, you can develop a dependence. If you are trying to kick the habit (Yea!) expect mood swings, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite.

Everyone may think they are immune to the risks.  The benefits must be compared with the risks.  Some risks can be minimized by proper oral hygiene (just a friendly tip).  So, what are the benefits?  I’ll have you ask your medical doctor for that one.   It is difficult to compare studies due to how the studies are fashioned and the doses and forms of cannabinoids used.

Marijuana

In the January 2016 issue of AGD Impact the following was noted:

Because Marijuana use can affect your dental health, it is important to be straightforward in informing your dentist about any drugs that you are taking as many can have oral side effects.  Even herbal, medicinal and recreational Marijuana.  Marijuana use has increased steadily over the last 10 years especially among adolescents, who may not really understand the risks.

Please keep this in mind if you are having a dental procedure completed, “Topical application or local injection of products containing epinephrine, which can dangerously prolong tachycardia, should be avoided . . . as they can lead to complications in the operatory (treatment room).”

What does this mean for you?

If you have recently used cannabis, and you are having any procedure that includes either topical anesthetic (a hygienist may use a solution or gel to make your cleaning more comfortable) or a shot and you need to inform the dental team.  Just tell your dentist or hygienist about your recent cannabis use and request that no epinephrine be used for your procedure.  Epinephrine could cause extended time with a high heart rate which can cause problems. Avoid marijuana for at least seven days before a scheduled dental appointment that includes anesthesia.

Not Marijuana

Your health history is confidential and the information you provide should help your dental team take the best care of you.  Let your dentist and dental team know the following:

  1. Recent use (smoking or ingesting)
  2. Type of use (edibles, smoking, both)
  3. How long have you done this?
  4. Purpose (for pain, recreation)?

More information will continue to surface about marijuana use and its affect on your dental health as the use continues and increases.  Our office will try to keep you posted.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

 

I’ve been told that I am tongue tied. What is that?

February 21, 2017

Filed under: Dental Health,Diode Laser — Tags: , , — Dr Gillis @ 7:00 am

I’ve been told that I am Tongue Tied.  What is that?

Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can't stick her tongue out at her brother!

Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can’t stick her tongue out at her brother!

See blog photos under tongue

Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!

Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!

What does it mean to be tongue tied?  And is this a condition that requires treatment?

When your dentist or physician says that you are tongue tied it is a descriptive term that means that the ligament that holds the tongue to the floor or bottom of your mouth is attached very close to the lower anterior teeth.  The more correct term for this is ankyloglossia.

Possible concerns of being tongue tied:

  • Difficulty nursing as an infant
  • Difficulties with speech especially the pronunciation of certain sounds that require the tongue to position in a way that is not possible due to the extra attachment
  • Difficulty licking something off your lips
  • It may be more difficult to lick an ice-cream cone
  • Difficulty sticking your tongue out at your brother when needed!

 

Being tongue tied is usually not a problem.  Sometimes babies that are tongue tied have difficulty nursing because their tongue does not have a lot of freedom of movement.  If this is a concern, a small surgery is performed to remove this attachment so the tongue can move more freely.  It is also possible to have speech difficulties depending on the location of the attachment.  You may have trouble with “S” “F” and “Th” sounds.

The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being 'tongue-tied' was comfortably treated with a diode laser.

The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being ‘tongue-tied’ was comfortably treated with a diode laser.

One way to tell if you are tongue tied is to open your mouth wide and, without closing, try to touch the top of your mouth or your palate with the tip of your tongue.  In our office, we often diagnose tongue tied in patients who never knew that their tongue moved any differently than anyone else’s.  If there is a concern, we might offer to complete a conservative surgery with a diode laser that will free this attachment and offer improve tongue mobility.  The surgery is completed with local anesthetic and the recovery is swift.  There is little to no bleeding involved – which is one of the many things we love about the diode laser.

 

Dr. Julie Gillis and her dental team in Grand Junction, Colorado provide the highest quality dental treatment in a clean, caring and comfortable environment.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

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