Posted in dental health, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know April is Oral Cancer Awareness month? About 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and nearly 10,860 people die annually. It is twice as common in men as women. Oral cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity. Which is the lip, tongue, mouth, and throat. Through visual inspection, your dentist can detect abnormalities at an early stage resulting in less extensive and more successful treatment.

5 Myths and The Actual Facts

  1. Oral Cancer is rare.

Fact: More people are diagnosed with oral cancer than stomach cancer.

  1. I’m too young to get oral cancer.

Fact: It’s now more common for our younger patients to develop oral cancer because of the link to human papillomavirus (HPV.)

  1. I don’t smoke so I can’t get oral cancer.

Fact: Smoking does increase your risk for oral cancer but it isn’t the only factor. Drinking alcohol, HPV, and genetics play a role in developing the disease.

  1. No pain, no problem.

Fact: Not all cancer spots can cause pain.

  1. I will know when I have oral cancer.

Fact: It’s not easy to identify, it can go undetected in your tonsils, lymph nodes, and the base of your tongue.

Causes

The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown, but here are some things that can put people more at risk.

  • Tobacco of any form – cigarettes/ e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco.
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive sun exposure on your lips
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Weakened immune system

Signs and Symptoms or Oral Cancer

  • Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing and moving the jaw and tongue
  • Jaw swelling
  • Lump in the neck
  • Constant bad breathcta.png

A lot of these signs and symptoms can be caused by other things, schedule an appointment if any of these conditions go on for more than two weeks.

Prevention

Stop using tobacco or don’t start. It exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. Drink alcohol in moderation. Excessive alcohol can aggravate cells and make them more susceptible to cancer.

Protect your lips from the sun! Constant exposure increases the risk of cancer. Be sure to use lip balm with SPF!

Last but not least, see your dentist regularly! It’s recommended to have an exam and cleaning every six months. Schedule yours today!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

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Posted in dental health, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Be A Breath Of Fresh Air This Holiday Season

It’s the season to get together! As it gets closer to time with family, we may do our best to impress those around us. This extends to our breath too. If you are worried, here are some tips to help.

Did you know that over 40 million people in the U.S have bad breath? Most of the time you aren’t able to smell your own breath! Because of the embarrassment, often times we don’t mention it when we smell others breath.

What is Bad Breath?

It’s your oral bacteria which are living, eating, and breeding organisms. You know how all living things need food and needs to dispose of it? That’s what is happening in your mouth! Use this as motivation to start a better dental routine!

Typically, we all wake up with bad breath because there is no constant saliva flow as we sleep. Saliva helps wash away bacteria growth. A reminder to why we brush and floss before we go to bed and when we wake up.

What Causes Bad Breath?Brush

  • Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
  • Poor Dental Hygiene
  • Dry Mouth
  • Diet

The worst cause is smoking because it reduces saliva flow. Dry mouth occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. It is your mouth’s natural defense and without it plaque and bacteria build up faster.

Certain drinks like alcohol and coffee dry out your mouth as well. Sugary foods and drinks are bacteria’s favorite, it helps them grow and multiply faster. It’s important to brush and floss to help prevent plaque build-up.

Keep a close eye on your tongue as well. Your tongue doesn’t have a smooth surface; food debris, bacteria, and dead cells can be trapped there. Over time, a coating forms across and as it gets thicker, the odor will become stronger.

If you are stuck on what to bring for your gathering try peppermint bark. It’s a nice breath refresher for anyone that needs it! Pro Tip: Use dark chocolate chips – it’s good for your teeth (in moderation)!

If you are questioning, “How in the world is dark chocolate good for my teeth?” The answer is dark chocolate contains polyphenols which helps fight the growth of bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay. It can also offset bad breath!

Have a great holiday season!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Is it Genetic or Environmental

The air is becoming crisper, leaves are changing colors and falling off their trees. It’s that time of year when it’s appropriate to add pumpkin spice to any food or drink and not be judged. #PumpkinSpiceEverything

_Pumpkin PieWhat’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving gatherings? Do you consider yourself to have a sweet tooth? Here’s something mind-blowing: a sweet tooth might be genetic. So, when you are going for seconds on that pumpkin pie, be sure to show extra gratitude to your parents.

Some people are born with a weakened sweet taste, which means they need more sugar to taste the same level of sweetness. Studies propose that genes might explain up to 30 percent of how much sugar you can taste.

But wait… there’s more! Is it possible bad teeth run in the family as well?

Tooth Decay

The bacteria in our mouth that cause cavities aren’t there at birth. It most likely comes from family members who kiss their child’s lips, share utensils, or even blow on their foods. Studies show that this bacteria isn’t associated with tooth decay. It also revealed that bacteria that can form cavities were environmental. For example, eating sugary foods and lack of oral care.

Tooth decay is preventable but some people are more at risk. Yes, it’s confusing, but really, what isn’t? Jokes aside, genes control how teeth develop. Often times, dentists look into family history because it might help them understand why a child’s teeth have more decay than someone with a similar diet. You don’t get a say about how your teeth develop, but you can control how often you brush, floss, and visit your dentist!

Size, Shape, and Alignment

Are your teeth crooked because of genetics or environmental factors? If you said both, you’re correct! The size of your jaw, teeth, and mouth are typically decided by DNA. Thumb sucking, accidents, or an unbalanced diet are reasons for crooked teeth that you can’t blame your parents for.

It’s never too late to get your teeth in line! Why should you get them straightened? Crooked or crowded teeth can cause tooth decay, difficulty maintaining your daily oral care, and improper chewing.

Gum Disease

_ParentsDid you know half of our population has gum disease? Genetics also play a role in how likely you are to develop periodontal disease. There are tests to run to show if you are affected. The best way to keep your mouth healthy is brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

Why Are My Teeth Yellow?

It’s a mixture of genes and environment. Typically, if you have thin enamel your teeth will most likely look more yellow. You have no control over the growth of your tooth, but should be aware of what foods and drinks will contribute to the yellowing of your teeth. Example of tooth staining food and drinks are coffee, fruit juices, berries, and tomato sauce.

When it comes to our body developing its natural functions, it usually relies on genes. In conclusion, unhealthy teeth are controlled by both genes and the environment. And ultimately you are in complete control of your daily dental routine.

One of the most important things about knowledge is being able to share it. While you are devouring seconds or thirds you can enlighten everyone else at the table. You can also bring a bag of floss picks to share!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Why Sort Your Kid’s Halloween Candy

When you think of October, what comes to mind? Fall, pumpkins, or Halloween… Did you know that its National Dental Hygiene Month? It was created to increase awareness of the importance of oral care to your mouth and body.

The Daily 4

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Rinsing
  • Chewing

Brushing

You’ve heard it before, brush twice a day. For best results, use a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush, and use a rotational stroke, pushing the gum onto the teeth (please look at the demo on my website – much easier to understand).  Do NOT do circles or scrubbing or lateral motions with the brush – this will damage the gum around your teeth or implants.

Flossing

How important is flossing? Brushing your teeth doesn’t completely clean your teeth. Flossing removes about 65% of plaque from your teeth, brushing about 35%.  Do both carefully, and you can remove 100%!  To be really effective, brush first, then floss, then brush again, always using correct technique.  Don’t do anything else when flossing or brushing – look in the mirror to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Again, I ask that you look at flossing and brushing videos on my website.

Rinsing

Do you use mouthwash? It is no replacement for actually removing plaque with floss and brushing, but rinsing with any fluid is always beneficial.  No OTC mouthwash is superior to simple salt water rinses, but it tends to taste better.  If you use a rinse, fluoride is good, but avoid the tartar control rinses (and toothpaste).

Chewing

Chewing? Yeah, you’re probably thinking “how does that help my teeth?” Chewing sugar-free gum after snacks or meals stimulates saliva glands that help clean your teeth.

Also, this month is for giving our hygienists a special shout out! Every day they work hard to make our smiles healthy. Share your healthy smile, tag us and use #DentalHygieneMonth

Trick or TreatWith Halloween around the corner, you might be spooked on how to maintain your healthy smile. Of course, by now you know that candy isn’t good for your teeth. That doesn’t mean don’t have any, remember moderation is key! What are the chances of people giving out sugar-free candies?  Unlikely due to tradition, and some would say that no candy takes the fun out of trick-or-treating. Dr. Rogge gives packages of dry-roasted nuts and balloons and puzzles to kids on Halloween, and has never received one complaint!  In fact, he has had children return to get more treats and has received compliments from parents.  Some sugary candies are worse than others. You can separate the candy into piles to limit sugar intake.

Gummy candy sticks to the teeth longer, and it increases the risk for developing a cavity.  Some examples are taffy, gummy bears, or gummy worms. Sour candies are a double shock to your teeth, they have a lot of sugar and are highly acidic.

The number one concern for hard candy is biting into it breaking or damaging your teeth. Candy in your mouth for a long time can also bring more sugar into your mouth. Enjoy the Halloween treats in “bursts”, then brush well afterward.  Try to limit the amount of time sugar is in your mouth – the longer sugar and acid are in your mouth, the more cavities can occur.

Surprisingly, dark chocolate is a better choice since it has less sugar and dissolves quickly. It also contains some calcium, a beneficial nutrient.  Also, powdery candy is not sticky and dissolves quickly giving bacteria less time to cling to teeth.

Dental Hygiene MonthEven though the Halloween season is coming to an end, taking proper care of your teeth is never ending! Go through your kid’s pile of candy and make sure they are eating in moderation.  Parents should avoid eating too much of the leftover candy as well – we all know how tempting candy can be!

Be sure to always brush twice a day, floss, rinse, and keep sugary snacks to a minimum. To celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month with us, schedule your dental checkups today!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Back to School Bling

Wow, can you believe the back-to-school season is already upon us? It feels as if summer started yesterday! Are you ready to send your kids back to school with a shining smile? Preventive dentistry is the best way to protect them.

These next couple of weeks will be busy as you begin to check things off your back to school checklist. Have you made one for your children’s dental hygiene? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Schedule their bi-annual dental hygiene visit
  • Create or improve their home oral hygiene routine
  • Replace their toothbrush every 6 months, and have lots of floss available
  • Shop for healthy foods and snacks
  • If your child plays sports- protect their teeth with a custom mouth-guard

_Check-listEditedRegular hygiene appointments can help reduce missed school days in the future.  Your dentist / hygiene team can carefully remove all the disease-causing bacteria in your child’s mouth and can prevent further dental issues. Having a set routine helps them develop good habits, and helps them understand the importance of maintaining their oral hygiene. It’s recommended to change your toothbrush every six months or earlier if the bristles are frayed. Healthy foods and snacks can strengthen teeth which may result in fewer cavities. When playing sports, it’s important for your child to wear a mouth-guard to shield their smile from unpredicted hits.  Trauma without a mouth guard can sometimes lead to chips, fractures, and extractions.

Are you up to date with the latest dental trends?

Trends come and go, and “tooth gems” have once again gained popularity. It is a small glass or non-precious stone glued onto the surface of your tooth.

Risks of Tooth Gems

  • Can cause discoloration on the tooth’s surface.
  • The jewels can wear away enamel, increasing the risk of decay and infection
  • Food can hide behind them promoting the growth of harmful bacteria

Tooth gems can be placed by a dentist or yourself and can last up to 6 months. It can be removed or replaced at any time. The longer it’s left on your teeth the more harm it will cause. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes, but the problems they can develop last forever.

With tooth gems coming back in style, we can’t help but think about what might be next? Do you remember dental grills? They are made from gold or silver-like metals that snap over one or more teeth. They often damage the surface of your teeth by removing enamel, causing teeth to shift and develop bite problems, and greatly increase the risk of decay.  While they are removable, they must be taken off to eat and to allow thorough brushing and flossing. Putting them on immediately after eating can increase plaque build-up.

Another trend to keep an eye out for is getting a tattoo on your teeth, which is also known as #tatooth.  The chemicals used to place these tattoos are not regulated and in some cases, are toxic. Some of these tattoo chemicals have been found to have inks and pigments used in toner and car paint. The FDA has not authorized any coloring for injection for cosmetic purposes.

_TrendsGetting permanent ink in your mouth is growing in popularity, as people are interested in getting inner lip tattoos. The most requested tattoo is a symbol or a short word. They are known to be one of the most painful areas to get a tattoo. If you want one, you have to hold your lower lip open while being completely still throughout the whole process. Touch-ups are needed frequently because of the high cell turnover in your mouth.

Dangers of Inner Lip Tattoos

  • High risk of infection because your mouth is filled with bacteria
  • Every touch-up increases risk for infection
  • Foods with high acid content can cause sensitivity.
  • An allergic reaction to the ink can cause painful lumps of scar tissue under the skin, which are difficult to remove.

Before getting any procedure done it’s important to understand how it will affect your health.  If you have any questions about the safety of a new procedure or device, please contact us! Be picky when it comes to trends, you don’t have to follow all of them. We hope you have a great school year!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Deep Cleaning or Root planing: What it means to you.

You’re a good person – you pay your taxes, pick up litter, and make it to the dentist every 6 months. Now you’re being told you may need a deep cleaning…but don’t you clean your teeth every day? And isn’t a deep cleaning what the dentist always does? Not quite, although we know it can sometimes feel that way.

A regular dental hygiene visit is what you are accustomed to receiving every 6 months. The intention of this visit to the dentist is to remove bacteria deposits that cause decay (caries) and gingivitis (gum inflammation/infection).  The bacteria in your mouth cannot be completely removed just by daily tooth brushing and flossing alone. If you are brushing and flossing every day, regular dental hygiene visits address disease-causing bacteria that you (and every other human) can’t totally eliminate.  Dental hygiene appointments are the perfect addition to your daily care that will keep your smile happy and healthy.

Deep cleaning/root planing: a necessity?

Screenshot (48)A deep cleaning, or root planing, on the other hand, becomes necessary when bacteria deposits are damaging the bone and gum around your teeth.  Permanent damage to supporting bone and gum is called gum disease, or ‘periodontitis’.  To put it in perspective, your gums are supposed to make a tight and healthy seal around your teeth, to protect them and keep them firmly in place. A standard part of your regular hygiene appointment is your doctor using a diagnostic tool called a ‘periodontal probe’ to ensure this is the case.  This probe is used to gently measure the depth of the space between your gums and teeth. Typically 1-3mm is considered normal, and there should be very little or no bleeding at all.  Probing depths over 4mm is a sign that you are developing ‘pocketing’, a space between the teeth and gums that becomes a prime breeding ground for bacteria and bone damage. Plaque that is not brushed and flossed away and left on the teeth for more than 24 hours can become tartar or calculus, which only your dentist can remove. Left unattended, these pockets can deepen and permanently damage the tooth and the surrounding bone structure. If the dentist uses the probe and measures 4mm or more, and/or there is significant bleeding and signs of inflammation, then a deep cleaning/root planing may be scheduled to help you get your smile back on track.

Deep cleaning/root planing is not a scary process.

Oftentimes, your dentist will break the root planing into two separate visits, to most effectively treat your mouth. This is especially important if your entire mouth needs attention so that you’ll be numbed in only smaller sections of your mouth each time, making for a completely comfortable process and quick recovery. The most common forms of treatment are ‘scaling’ and ‘root planing’. The process of scaling involves using a professional tool to remove plaque and tartar from both the surface of the teeth and the pocket area that has been created between your teeth and gums. A scaling instrument, on the other hand, removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the root of your teeth, which is below the gum line and not visible. These tools are the only thing that can remove built-up plaque, as even floss cannot reach far into deepened pockets. The good news is they do a wonderful job of cleaning up any tartar and bacteria that has built up beneath the visible surface.

Periodontitis is a progressive disease, and left unattended can turn into a much more serious problem. Fortunately, the treatment is typically straightforward.  As long as you follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions, the bacteria should be reduced to manageable levels and your gums should return to normal and lose any signs of redness. If you are feeling pain or sensitivity in your teeth, have red and/or puffy gums, or are experiencing bleeding during normal brushing and flossing – call us. The sooner periodontitis is identified, the easier it is to treat and the less expensive it is for you.  If you have any concerns about your oral health, just remember that a professional evaluation is never harmful, and may offer you some great information.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

 

Posted in dental health, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

How Green is Your Dental Routine?

Go green for Earth Day! In 1970, 20 million Americans rallied in streets, parks, and auditoriums for a sustainable environment. Later Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Senator, created Earth Day. After the first Earth Day, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created. Every April 22nd Earth Day is celebrated worldwide.

We’re focused on global warming and clean energy. Everything we do, from brushing our teeth to eating and driving all contributes to polluting the environment. Did you know that toothbrushes are plastic and nylon which can’t be recycled? When you throw your toothbrush away it sits in our landfill forever. Every year 50 million pounds of toothbrushes get added to our landfill and plastic doesn’t biodegrade because it’s not in nature’s food chain.

Small Changes, Big Differences_Landfill

A completely plastic-free dental routine might not be possible, but small changes can make a big difference. For instance, there are toothbrushes made of bamboo or wood. The wooden toothbrush bristles are made from pig hair which is recyclable and will reduce the amount of plastic in landfills. A shocking one billion toothbrushes get thrown away yearly in the US.

Change isn’t easy. If you aren’t ready to make the change to pig hair bristles then stick to your regular toothbrush. And when it’s time to get rid of it and get a new one, keep it and reuse it for household cleaning! Toothbrushes are great for cleaning bathroom tiles, toilets, computer keyboards, jewelry, and even shoes.

Bamboo and wood toothbrushes aren’t your only options for a healthy smile and environment. There are plastic toothbrushes made from recycled materials such as yogurt containers and the bristles are a new plant-based plastic . There are also compostable cornstarch toothbrushes that won’t clog landfills.

Floss is wax covered nylon and comes in a container that has metal. This means that floss and it’s container are not recyclable. Good news, there is plastic free and refillable floss! Refillable floss is sold in a glass container with a protective label which protects the container from dropping. The bundle of floss comes in a clear compostable bag and it also has a plastic-free spool. It is completely made from silk and coated with vegetable-based wax.

Toothbrush Tips

Show your gums some love! Don’t brush with all your strength, it’s not good for your gums or your toothbrush! Every time you brush your teeth it affects your toothbrush. The harder you brush your teeth the quicker you will need to replace your toothbrush. Protect your gums and the lifespan of your toothbrush!

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle _Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

These are the three R’s when protecting the environment. Do you leave the water running while brushing? If so try filling a small glass and set it in reaching distance to rinse after brushing. Another tip is don’t leave your electric toothbrush plugged in all day every day. The average toothbrush lasts up to several weeks. Unplug!

Ready, Set, Go Green!

Are you ready to make the change to help save our environment? We know this is a lot of information at once, and it’s okay to take small steps and make one change at a time. It’s as simple as sharing with your family and friends about the environment and how they can help sustain it too!

Remember to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss daily! We hope you have a Happy Earth Day!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444