Posted in Gum disease, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

6 Common Dental Habits

cta - appointment2Is it cliché to have a New Year’s Resolution? Probably, but there are a few habits you’d like to kick to the curb! It’s common for people to want to start living a healthy lifestyle. Why not be completely healthy and improve your dental health too? Poor oral health can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth

Nail biting can chip or crack teeth. It can even fracture the enamel on your teeth from chewing on hard surfaces. Also, it has an impact on your jaw and as a result, you can develop TMJ. Even though we wash our hands, it’s hard to keep them clean. Nail biting may also lead to gingivitis: there is a lot of dirt under our fingernails we aren’t aware of!

Are you grossed out yet? Need tips to stop the biting? Cut them short! If you prefer the longer nail look, paint it with bitter-tasting nail polish. If you don’t like color, you can always opt for a clear coat! Because nail biting is often stress-induced, get a tiny stress ball or something to fidget with to keep your hands busy.

Chewing on ice can break your tooth or filling. While your teeth are far stronger than ice, there are instances where ice can break your teeth. If your enamel is weakened by decay or injury (that you may not be aware of), you are even more likely to fracture teeth. Slow down the chewing, and try drinks without ice so you won’t be tempted. If you insist on ice, drink with a straw and a lid to keep the ice out of sight.

Teeth as tools may seem convenient at the time but are not good for your teeth. They aren’t supposed to open bags, rip tags off, hold things, or open bottles. They are strong, but using them as tools can result in cracks and fracture or even worse, oral and facial injuries. Biting or chewing metal can cause serious damage. We already have real tools made especially for different tasks, so you don’t have to use your teeth. Teeth are not bottle openers, scissors, or bags – teeth are for chewing and smiling!

soft bristlesHard brushing can cause damage to your gums. Soft bristles are the best for your gums. This can be tricky because it’s good to brush twice a day, but how do you know if you are brushing too hard?  One sign is a frayed or flattened toothbrush.  You should not need any more pressure than you can provide with two fingers.  If you also begin to notice your gums receding, soften up on the brushing, and get an evaluation! Don’t scrub or do circular movements with the bristles against your gums! Think about brushing as a gentle massage, and look at the brushing instruction video on my website!

Smoking and use of other tobacco products increase your risk of oral cancer, and turn your teeth yellow or brown. You are also at much greater risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bone damage, and tooth loss. Over time, smoking will make your gums weaker, and cause great destruction to your jaw bone.  Smoking is toxic and destroys your circulation and immune system.  Don’t start, but if you are already hooked, get help, and quit today!

Not visiting your dentist is a no-brainer! It’s important to see your dentist at least every 6 months to avoid issues. Regular dental hygiene visits prevent tartar from eroding your teeth and helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Besides having all bacteria removed from your teeth professionally, you should get regular dental examination for other abnormalities that could be a larger health issue.

Repeat this to yourself: New Year, New Me! Cross things off your list, spice up your oral routine, go crazy at the gym, and eat healthy trendy foods. And most importantly, share how important a solid oral health routine is. Smile at all camera opportunities, and show the benefits of a healthy smile.

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, 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 Gum disease, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Suns Out Gums Out!

What time is it? It’s summertime! It’s the season to enjoy sunny poolside days and warm nights under the stars. Summer is known for spontaneous adventures, relaxation, and most importantly, unconditional smiles that you want to capture forever! Along with showing your smile off! Another staple of summer is delicious foods, snacks, and drinks. Summer diets can make your taste buds happy but it may cause harm to your teeth.

We hear it all year long, soda is bad for us! But with the warmer weather and vacations, it may be your go-to drink. Have a look at the nutrition facts before quenching your thirst!

Drinks to be aware of:

  • Soda
  • Sport Drinks
  • Fruit Juices

Soda contains enamel-destroying acid and contains plenty of unwanted sugars. Because of the summer heat, you might want to grab a sports drink to replenish any lost minerals from sweating. It’s been proven that sports drinks contain high levels of sugars and acids which can lead to cavities. Fruits contain natural sugars and often times store bought juices have additional sugar added, resulting in damaged teeth.

The acid in these drinks exposes your teeth to more bacteria, which attracts the sugars in your favorite drinks! This bacteria sneaks into the cracks of your tooth enamel and causes tooth decay.

Foods to be aware of:

  • Popsicles
  • Ice Cream
  • Corn on the cob
  • Barbecue Sauce

_Food and DrinksWarm days call for cold cravings, but popsicles, freezes, and ice cream can actually harm your smile! They are loaded with sugars and are in constant contact with your teeth. Sugar sticks to your teeth and gums to create bacteria that attack your enamel. Did you know? A single cup of vanilla ice cream has five teaspoons of sugar!

Are you looking forward to enjoying a sweet corn on the cob? Eat it with caution, as they’re known to knock loose fillings and even chip teeth! Kernels can also get stuck in between your teeth and if not properly maintained causes plaque build-up.

Did you know barbecue sauce is high in sugar and acid? Just like it sticks to meat, it also clings to your teeth. The main ingredients are vinegar and ketchup, which are loaded with acid. Because barbecue sauce is a dark color, it can also stain your teeth.

This doesn’t mean to avoid these foods and drinks completely! Just keep in mind moderation is key!

Tips:

  • Sipping sugary drinks with a straw reduces the contact of the liquid with your teeth.
  • Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking a soft drink, can damage your enamel.
  • Make homemade fruit juices without adding additional sugar!
  • Cut your corn off the cob.
  • Don’t use your teeth open plastics or anything, they are for food only!
  • Water is the best source for staying hydrated.

Healthy Snacks for Your Smile

Are you wondering what snacks are good for your teeth? Instead of a bag of potato chips, go for the fruit platters! Apples, pears, peaches, or seedless watermelon for a refreshing choice! Veggie trays are also a good snack, raw broccoli, celery, and carrots. These can be seen as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing off any plaque build-up and stimulating saliva to clear your mouth of unwanted particles.

1, 2, 3 say cheese!

Dairy products contain low sugar and are rich in calcium and phosphorous which strengthens and protects your enamel. The more dairy you eat it can lower your chances of developing gum disease!

_SmileIf you are hosting any gatherings this summer, you can serve seedless buns and keep dental floss picks handy! You may also want to offer sugar-free gum rather than mints. Chewing gum gets your saliva flowing and fights acids from cavity-causing bacteria that eat away at teeth.

Because of the wide range of food and drinks you’ll be consuming this summer, maintaining proper care is important. You wouldn’t want anything to ruin your summer fun! Have a great summer, and keep smiling.

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

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

Know and Love Your Smile

Do you know where smiling comes from? We have not drifted far from where the smile first started; today we often received or give smiles to strangers in passing. Chimpanzees were known to have a “fear grin” that told others they were harmless. Many of our traits are quite similar to them including our smile. Smiles bring us comfort and make us happier.

1From a young age, we have been told, “smile for the camera.” How many times have you heard “say cheese” while posing for a picture? How often have you said it? Now think back to old historic pictures, have you ever wondered why nobody is smiling in the pictures? One reason is their horrible teeth or lack of. Oral health was not a part of their daily routine. Fortunately, we live in a time where dentistry is prominent. Technology has advanced and quality dental care is readily available. Take advantage of dentistry and love your smile!

Smiling more brings positive emotion to your life. It’s easier to smile than frown and it’s also the universal sign of happiness. Babies are born with the ability to smile, and the most recognizable facial expression that can be seen from up to 300 feet away.

2Your brain can tell immediately whether someone’s smile is genuine or not. It compares the geometry of a face to a standard smile. Our minds evaluate the situation and determine whether or not a smile is expected.  After our mind makes a conclusion about someone else’s smile then it automatically mimics their smile. Smiling is contagious!

Smiling not only brings comfort to others but also ourselves. Try smiling throughout the day and here’s why:

  • Even a fake smile is a mood booster
  • Helps to relieve stress
  • Smiling makes you more approachable
  • Smiling gets the creative and productive juices flowing

“Laughter is the best medicine” is a well-known phrase and for all the right reasons. There are short and long term benefits to smiling and laughing. Short term, it can stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles. In the long run in can improve your immune system, be a natural painkiller, boost your interpersonal skills, and help make you feel livelier.  Source: mayoclinic

3Would you rather approach someone who’s smiling at you or mugging you? Of course we choose the smiling person because we’re social creatures. We want acceptance and approval.  If we are in a funk and someone smiles at us, it can instantly change our mood turning our bad day into a good one.

The more you smile; your brain will create more positive patterns than negative ones. Our brains are naturally negative. Smiling more trains our brains to be positive. Creativity and productivity will increase and we can produce better work in our everyday lives. Source: fast company

How often do you smile? You can flash your lovely smile at someone, make their day, and yours too. Remember to love your smile! Treat your smile with the care it deserves, schedule your appointment today.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

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

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, gum lifts, Life Hacks, Office News, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

A History of Gum Disease

Perio-Title

Gum Disease is a condition that is not new to many of us; whether it’s gingivitis, or the later stages of advanced periodontitis, most people have experienced words of caution from their dentist and plans for either prevention or halting progression. Periodontal disease is related to bacteria and plaque/tartar buildup in the mouth, and none of these are recent developments. So if our ancestors did suffer from gum disease – how was it resolved prior to modern medicine? There are some geographical variations to be considered when you note that populations spread around the globe had no means (or motivation) to spread their medical discoveries with one another. We will use the examples of ancient Egypt and Japan to explore just a few ways periodontal disease was found and treated before modern medical discoveries.

In ancient Egypt, as an example, modern researchers have a lot of material they can analyze, due to their burial practices that aimed to preserve their remains. Chronic periodontal disease, as it happens, was similarly pervasive in ancient times as we find it today; however, the causes were both similar and different. While gum disease is ultimately caused by the same bacteria and buildup, in ancient Egypt the culprit for was likely nutritional deficiencies caused by periods of famine and drought, which are less prevalent today, though certainly not absent (Forshaw). Evidence suggests their medical knowledge to treat the ensuing diseases was limited, and primarily limited to topical preparations or mouthwash applied to the diseased tissues for short-term relief, rather than long-term treatment. It also appears treatment was targeted toward reducing tooth mobility, rather than addressing the root of the issue.

Turning our attention to another part of the world, there can be significant evidence found from remains in Japan, from a period cited as around 14,500 BC to 12,000 BC. In these ancient peoples there is a significant presence of bone resorption found in older individuals, indicating the presence of periodontal disease. However in this time period (nearly 16,000 years ago!) ‘older individuals’ could refer to some no older than the age of 15. More interestingly yet, 15 year olds could show the same signs of periodontal advancement that we would not see for 20-30 more years in modern populations; it is suggested that this is due to aging faster as a consequence of the physical stresses of their time that we are not accustomed to today (Fujita). Many times, these diseases went untreated due to the infeasibility of extractions or other corrective measures.

There are few conclusions to be drawn from this information, but it certainly is interesting to learn the ways we compare and differ to our predecessors! It is, however, safe to say that a great number of variables play into the prevalence rates of periodontal disease, as well as how that disease is treated. We can also safely acknowledge that we are fortunate to live in a world where we not only understand the causes and stages of gum disease, as well as how to provide efficient treatment to minimize damage and pain. Certainly a few things to think about the next time we are considering skipping the floss (:

Rod M. Rogge, DDS
762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
(757) 333-7444

Forshaw, R.J. "Dental Health and Disease in Ancient Egypt." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 25 Apr. 2009. Web.

Hisashi Fujita (2012). Periodontal Diseases in Anthropology, Periodontal Diseases - A Clinician's Guide, Dr. Jane Manakil (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-818-2, InTech. Web.