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

5 Tips for Creating Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

Lead by Example

Family BrushingKids look to their parents to set standards in all things, including oral hygiene. How you behave is how they will act. Since the best way to teach children is by example, it is important that your child sees you brushing twice a day and flossing. Include your child in the process. Do it together, allowing them to help by putting toothpaste on your brush. Your demeanor in the dentist office will also influence how your little one behaves during their own visit. Remaining calm demonstrates that going to the dentist isn’t scary, and they’ll be much more cooperative during their own chair time.

Make Brushing Fun

Making brushing and flossing a game rather than a chore can be a great way to engage with your kids and get them excited about maintaining their oral health. Pretending the tooth brush is a hiker exploring a cave (their mouth) and the floss is a rope is one idea. Older kids can benefit from a reward system. Every time they brush their teeth they receive a gold star to add to a sticker chart. Once they get a certain number they’re rewarded with something like staying up an extra half hour past bedtime or an extra 15-minutes of electronics time.

Make a Visual Statement

plaqueDisclosingFind plaque disclosing products. These usually come in tablet form or mouthwash that turns plaque buildup bright colors. This is a great visual to help kids understand that even though they don’t see the plaque, it’s certainly there!

Teach Responsibility

Older kids get excited about the idea of having more responsibility. Provide them with the necessary tools to structure their oral hygiene routine. Have them set an alarm to alert them when it’s time to brush for bed and in the morning. They can even keep a brushing and flossing log to track the times and duration of their sessions.

Start Dental Visits Early

Finger-Family-No-BackgroundTeaching kids proper dental practices wouldn’t be complete without bi-annual exams. By visiting your dentist regularly, you instill the importance of consistent exams.  Your dentist loves working with children, and they work hard to make the experience stress free and fun for the whole family.

 

 

 

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, Gum disease, Periodontics

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_125978177 Bacterial 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.

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

Do You Have a Dental Disorder?

The range of possible dental disorders is wide and some are more easily recognized than others. It could be a bit perplexing to consider you may have a dental disorder without realizing it, but it’s actually more common than you might think. Some disorders have obvious symptoms that may have you running to our office. Others can be more subtle. Do you feel tired, easily irritable, or have difficulty focusing? Do you have facial soreness or pain? Surprisingly, these may be the result of a dental disorder. Our goal is to educate our patients on common and uncommon symptoms that may be a sign to visit our office and receive the required care to remedy these conditions.

shutterstock_115032628-VECTOR

A dental disorder is a disruption of your body’s natural process relating to your oral health. Despite its origins, it is important to understand symptoms may be experienced elsewhere in the body. For this reason, many suffer from ailments they don’t consider relevant to tell their dentist. However, as we are a medical provider we encourage you to share things that may not seem related – you never know! Here are a few to keep on the lookout, so you can better identify signs should something be amiss.

Redness and swelling of the gums may indicate the presence of gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease. Left untreated, it can progress into full blown periodontitis that can threaten your smile and even cause tooth loss. Bleeding from the gums, tooth mobility, and soreness are all signs of periodontitis and should be checked.

Simple bad breath, or halitosis, is very common among adults and teens. While it usually isn’t cause for too much concern, we understand it can weigh on your self-esteem. We care about your health and happiness, and would love to work with you to address the root of the issue. Restoring healthy smiles is what we do; restoring confidence is a happy side effect.

Additionally, a dry mouth may not seem like a dire situation. However, if your mouth constantly feels dry it can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. Saliva plays an important role in ridding your mouth of bacteria, it also aids in digestion meaning it can evolve into issues that transcend the health of your smile.

Dentist Looking Glass Teeth

While scary to confront, oral growths are a condition that can emerge as serious. It is possible for oral growths to be completely benign and harmless, but in other cases they can be the beginning stages of cancer. For this reason it’s important a medical professional diagnose and treat the growths accordingly. Even if you are certain it’s harmless (for example, perhaps you suffered trauma to the face that injured your mouth), it’s still worth an appointment to ensure you’re not at an increased risk for infection or other potential issues.

We understand some conditions may seem complex. Rest assured we are here to work with you to find a solution to your unique needs. If you feel one or more of these conditions may apply to you or a family member, call our office to begin seeking relief today. We are here for you.­­

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

Posted in Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Dental X-Rays and Your Health

X-rays, otherwise known as dental radiographs, are a staple of quality dental care. While x-rays bring undeniable advantages when it comes to identifying and diagnosing potential health issues, some may harbor reservations regarding the risks of exposure to radiation.  Fortunately we can ease those concerns and serve as a resource for understanding radiography, so you can feel confident receiving excellent care.

Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays

X-rays are an essential tool in the dental community (and medical community at large) as they provide valuable insights that we would not otherwise be able to access with visual inspection alone. Our team, with the help of x-rays, is able to see between, inside, and under your teeth. In doing so, we have the ability to check a variety of important health factors. This includes the presence of cavities, the health of your tooth roots, the bone structure surrounding the tooth, the status of developing teeth, the health of your jaw bone, and many more conditions that we would not otherwise be able to monitor. X-rays are instrumental when there is a known issue; with them, we are better able to understand the full scope of the situation and design an appropriate treatment plan for the beauty and health of your smile.

Radiation Exposure from X-Rays

Radiography technology has come a long way, and your exposure to radiation is negligible amounts in terms of risk – in fact, the risk you assume by forgoing x-rays can create long-term damage that could otherwise have been identified and treated. We understand some patients have concerns about radiation exposure, and it’s important to understand we are all consistently exposed to radiation each and every day. It’s high levels of exposure that are the true cause for concern. Our x-ray machines operate on a micro-scale that simply don’t compare. We assure you receiving x-rays is one of the single most beneficial processes capable of saving your health by identifying small problems before they progress into serious conditions.

If you have any unaddressed concerns, in regards to x-rays or other dental procedures, our knowledgeable staff is happy to share answers with you. We want you to feel relaxed in our office, and confident that you are receiving the best care possible!

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

Posted in Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Endodontically Treated Teeth Do Not Feel Pain

While feeling pain is never pleasant, it does serve a purpose. Pain tells us when something is wrong and where the problem is. Also when it goes away, we can be reasonably sure the issue is resolved. However, things can get complicated when those systems suffer a disconnect. This is the case with endodontically treated teeth, which oftentimes do not feel pain.

No pain?

Well, that’s not entirely true. If a tooth splits, or bacteria gains access to the underlying bone, then you will feel pain in your tooth even if it has been endodontically treated. Outside of extreme circumstances, the story is a little different. When teeth undergo root canal therapy, the inner living tissues and nerves are replaced with a filling. Lacking nerves, the tooth loses its power to let us know when bacteria, decay, and other forms of injury occur. Without pain, it’s difficult to signal your brain that your tooth needs medical help. Over long periods of time, ignoring a tooth that requires care can lead to tooth and bone loss, as well as extensive treatment.

Our priority is always to save your natural tooth, however, if due to additional damage we find the tooth is unsalvageable then our next best strategy may be an extraction and tooth replacement.

Long-Term Aftercare for Root Canal

As long as you’re caring for it properly, visiting your dentist regularly, and see no other signs indicating damage – no! Look for swelling, redness of the gums, or anything that looks out of the ordinary. The most important point of consideration is that, outside of physical injury, extreme damage doesn’t occur in an instant. If you do see any of these symptoms, or have been seeing them for long periods of time, we may need to discuss alternative plans for the failed treatment.

Proper care greatly minimizes the opportunity for bacteria to cause additional damage, and it protects the health of your smile. We love making our patients smile, and we are always happy to restore their confidence by way of a dental implant or other replacement option. However, before turning to a replacement option, we want to ensure our patients receive the necessary information to keep their natural smile brightly intact. If you have any concerns about the health of your smile, call us! We are always here to help.

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

Posted in Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Tooth Extractions Due to Dental Decay

In even the healthiest of mouths, there is a constant battle between good and evil – well, a constant battle between your teeth and harmful bacteria, which is virtually the same. Every time you eat, particles and bacteria are introduced into your oral ecosystem. The bacteria are fueled by sugars and other substances, which then produce acids that attack the enamel of your teeth. Fortunately, proper dental care combined with your mouth’s natural defenses can stave off the majority of would-be damage. However, we regularly see cases where the damage progresses irreversibly – usually due to poor oral care – and a tooth extraction becomes necessary.

Tooth Anatomy

Decay is treatable at any stage, but neglected for long enough may result in a tooth (or teeth) that cannot be saved. At this point treatment usually involves removal. It’s important to note that a lack of pain doesn’t mean a lack of damage. Once you’re in pain, you’ve already passed several thresholds of treatable damage. Additionally, the first layer destroyed by decay is the outer enamel. Enamel is not living and very hard – you won’t feel any pain until it reaches the inner layers. However, being that the inner layer of dentin is softer, decay will spread faster through it than the enamel. Ultimately, the decay will reach the living tissues inside your tooth; at this point, you may be able to undergo root canal therapy, or you may require an extraction.

Having a Tooth Pulled

The process of an extraction isn’t scary – we will ensure you’re comfortable with the treatment plan, and work with you from start to finish. In fact, the purpose of the extraction is to relieve pain – once the decayed tooth is gone, your gum tissue will return to a healthy, uninfected state – as long as proper oral care is consistently practiced.

Extractions are important when they become necessary because dental decay is the presence of bacteria and infection inside a tooth. This can severely compromise your health, as untreated oral infections can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. In rare cases the infection can reach vital organs and become life-threatening. Our goal is to keep all of our patients healthy, from preventative care to restorative dental treatment. We may be doctors of teeth, but being healthy all over is a pretty good reason to smile, and we can help you with that.

 

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

Posted in Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Why A Hard/Soft Tissue Graft?

When it comes to the health and beauty of smiles, some patients may be candidates for tissue grafting procedures. This form of treatment is used to replace the hard or soft tissues of the mouth that have been damaged or reduced. There are both medical and cosmetic motivations for a patient to receive a tissue grafting procedure. Our goal is to educate patients on the difference between hard and soft tissue grafts, as well as the reasons they may become necessary. If you find yourself in a position where you require a tissue graft, we will communicate with you each step of the way to ensure your comfort throughout the process.

Soft Tissue Graft

Soft tissue grafts are both medical and cosmetic procedures. Medically speaking, a soft tissue graft is very effective method to repair damage done by gum recession. Gum recession can be caused a variety of ways, but most often it is the result of incorrect tooth brushing. Gum recession is a gradual process, making it difficult for the patient to notice; however, when the roots of your teeth become more exposed, they become sensitive to extreme temperatures. The increased exposure also increases your likelihood of disease or infection. Left untreated, recession can lead to loose teeth or even permanent tooth loss. From a cosmetic point of view, some individuals desire a more even or full gum line to enhance the aesthetics of their smile.

In either case, the tissue grafting procedures remain consistent. The doctor will take soft tissue from elsewhere in the mouth, most commonly the palate, and then secure it to the recipient site. There are several methods by which this can be achieved, and you will be able to talk with us about which is most suitable for your needs. When it comes to healing, your ability to drive after the procedure will depend on whether or not sedatives are administered. You will receive special instructions for your post-operative dental care, and must adhere to a specific diet in order to promote healing. The discomfort you feel post-operatively will depend on how much tissue was grafted, and how it was done. Fortunately, the gums heal relatively quickly and pain medications keep everything very manageable.

Hard Tissue Graft

A hard tissue graft is commonly known as a bone graft. Although it can sound intimidating, a bone graft can offer you very beautiful and natural results if your smile has been damaged. Bone grafts are often recommended for those who have lost teeth and are seeking to restore their smile back to full form and function with dental implants. When a tooth is lost, it starts a process of bone recession in the vacant space created. The longer a tooth replacement is not implemented, the more severe the recession. When a restorative dental implant is to be placed, it is vital that there is enough supporting bone for the artificial root. If there is not, that is when we first graft additional bone into the area.

The amount of bone grafted depends on the preexisting condition of the area; if the tooth is only recently lost, it may only be a minor amount. If it’s been allowed to deteriorate, it may require more attention. As with soft tissue grafting, the doctor will provide instructions to promote healthy healing after your procedure. With proper care and a watchful eye, you will be healed up in no time, and have an absolutely beautiful smile to show for it!

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