Category Archives: Preventative Dentistry

Deep Cleaning: What it means to you

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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 cleaning is what you are accustomed to receiving every 6 months. The intention of this visit to the dentist is to maintain your healthy gums and give your teeth a little extra attention. Plaque and tartar can be difficult to completely remove with a toothbrush and floss alone. If you are brushing and flossing every day and taking any other steps recommended by your dentist, a regular dental cleaning is the perfect addition to your regular oral care that will keep your smile happy and healthy.

Deep cleaning, a necessity?

A deep cleaning, on the other hand, is what becomes necessary when the health of your teeth and gums become jeopardized by gum disease (or ‘periodontitis’). Perhaps you try to floss daily but somehow it averages to once a week ( and that is on a good week). Then there was the time that you had to cancel your dental cleaning and never got around to making another appointment. Now it’s been three years since your last check up and you noticed your gums are sore and bleeding a little in the back. This is the start of periodontal disease.

To put it in perspective, your gums are supposed to be tight and provide a healthy seals around your teeth. A standard part of your regular cleaning includes your doctor or dental hygienist checking this tissue. A measuring tool is used to measure the depth of the space between your gums and teeth. Typically 1-­3mm of depth is considered normal and there should be very little or no bleeding at all. Depths of 4 mm or more is a sign that you are losing the bone around your teeth. Bleeding gums is evidence that there is “gunk” (plaque and tartar) below the gumline causing inflammation and infection around your teeth. The ‘pockets’ becomes a prime breeding ground for bacteria and tartar buildup. Plaque that is not brushed and flossed away and left on the teeth for more than 24 hours will harden and become tartar. Once the plaque hardens only your dental professional can remove it. Left unattended, the bacteria grows and the bone around the teeth disappears. When the pockets deepen they compromise the tooth. A deep cleaning to remove these bacterial deposits is needed to help you get your smile back on track. Suggestions for additional homecare protocol will also be discussed to keep periodontal disease under control.

Deep cleaning is not a scary process.

Oftentimes we will break the cleaning into two separate visits to most effectively treat your mouth. This is especially important if your entire mouth needs attention. We can use anesthetic and treat smaller sections of your mouth 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 ultrasonic instrument removes plaque and tartar from the deeper root surface of your teeth. This is below the gum line and not visible but very important in treating the cause of the gum infection. Without getting to the bottom of the pocket, periodontal disease progresses and tooth loss is inevitable. The good news is they do a wonderful job of cleaning up any tartar 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 and the bacteria should be reduced to manageable levels. Your gums will heal and lose any signs of redness of bleeding. 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 Stumpf Dental at 262-­970-­0111. The sooner periodontitis is identified the easier it is to treat and the less expensive it is for you.  We would be happy to evaluate your oral health and get you back on. Remember that preventive dentistry is far less expensive than dental neglect. Take care of your teeth or they will be FALSE to you.

Dr. Janelle Stumpf
Stumpf Dental
N28 W23000 Roundy Drive
Pewaukee, WI 53072
Phone: (262) 955-8970

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The Costly Side Effects of Old Silver Fillings

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There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t see a patient with old silver fillings in their teeth.  Some of these old restorations have weathered the test of time well, while others have not.  It is the old silver filling that doesn’t hurt that concerns me the most.  As you can see in the photo to the left, this tooth has some caries and structural issues.  The patient reported that it never bothered her, yet the cracks are obvious.

As We Age Our Teeth Become Less Sensitive

The nerves become smaller and less responsive to any stimulation. It is Mother Nature’s way of protecting us from toothaches.  Unfortunately this is often misinterpreted by many that if it doesn’t hurt, it is not a problem. After all, “how bad can it be if I don’t feel it?” The truth is that things ARE happening to their teeth, but they are not getting any warning of a developing problem. When the tooth both fractures and requires a root canal to restore, the patient is surprised. “I was eating a piece of toast and my tooth broke!” or “I must have soft teeth. They keep breaking”, is commonly heard.

When I removed the old filling from the tooth above, I took this second photo.  Now the decay and cracks are more evident (see image below).  Fortunately, I was able to restore this tooth.  The decay was removed, the tooth was disinfected to prevent further decay under the restoration and the nerve was protected with a medication in the deepest parts. A crown was placed to keep the tooth from cracking further.  The patient was able to save her tooth and save $1,500.00 by avoiding a root canal as well.  This is preventative dentistry at its best.

Technology Allows Us to Examine Your Teeth Better Than Ever

Dental radiographs do not tell the whole story.  I would be happy to use today’s technology of cameras and spectra analysis to identify problems you may have in your own mouth.  My staff will help you set up an appointment time that is convenient for you. You can call 262-970-0111 or visit my website, BestCareInTheChair.com for more information. Don’t assume things are fine until you have had a complete dental exam.  Together, we will help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

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Call and schedule your dental exam in Pewaukee today! (262) 955-8970

dr_stumpfJanelle Ferber-Stumpf D.D.S.

Making smiles beautiful since 1983

N28 W23000 Roundy Drive

Pewaukee, Wi   53072

262-970-0111

BestCareInTheChair.com

Damage Control for Halloween Candy

This is about what we all consume in spite of what we know to be a healthy lifestyle

Let’s face reality.  We all love candy! We all eat candy.  I know that most of the candy given to kids for trick or treat is consumed by the adults that have the control over that loot. That being said, I want to explore an option on how to consume the stuff without major damage to those pearly whites.

How Do Dental Cavities Form?

shutterstock_128574920A basic knowledge of how a cavity develops is needed.  There are four components to any cavity:  Sugar, bacteria (plaque), time, and of course a tooth. Bacteria turns sugar to acid and it is that acid that will eventually eat away the tooth. Take away any one of those necessary components and you are safe.  For the sake of this discussion, we will keep the tooth and the sugar in the picture and look at damage control by changing the other two components, time and bacteria.

The Bacteria in Your Mouth is Interesting

Let’s start with bacteria.  It is everywhere. Even after brushing, your mouth has more bacteria than a public toilet.  Damage control is focused at lowering that bacteria count where it matters.  Just where is that?  We all know we need to brush our teeth to remove the plaque, but concentrate on the hard to reach areas where plaque likes to hang out.  Gum line areas are commonly missed by the best of tooth brushes.  Bristles will jump right over the base of the tooth if you don’t concentrate on where you are brushing.  Don’t forget to clean the tooth surfaces between teeth.  Thirty-five percent of the tooth’s surface can’t be reached by a brush no matter how hard or long you scrub.  Get something to clean between the teeth.  You know floss is one of those things, but there are other options if you find that difficult. Try an Air Flosser, a Waterpik, or little brushes made for cleaning between teeth.  If you don’t want a cavity between your teeth then clean the gunk off of the entire tooth surface- simple deduction.

Acid Overload

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Now the last variable in damage control is time.  How long is the sugar on the tooth?  Do you eat a piece of candy here and there throughout the day  in an attempt to keep the amount under control?  Perhaps you dole out the sugar to the kids the same way to avoid having your kids hanging from the chandelier from the sugar rush.  It takes your mouth 15-20 minutes to clear the sugar each time you take a bite (or a sip of soda or juice!).  That is a long time and bacteria are very good at using that time to produce that dreaded acid which in turn eats away at your beautiful smile.

Damage control is focused on lowering the amount of time the teeth are exposed to the sugar (acid).  So gather the kids and the candy and let’s EAT!  Consume as much as you want in ten minutes.  Wash it down with a gallon of juice or the poison of Mountain Dew. Your mouth is already an acid dump so why not go crazy.  When ten minutes are up, you are done.  Get some water and rinse your mouth. Set a timer for fifteen minutes and let your mouth begin to come back to normal. Research has shown that immediately brushing your teeth after an acid overload can do more damage to your enamel, so it is important to wait a SHORT while.  Just don’t forget to BRUSH your teeth to get the residual junk out of there.

Remember, this is damage control for your teeth.  Your blood sugar and other body functions are not considered here.  This is about what we all consume in spite of what we know to be a healthy lifestyle.

LET’S EAT RESPONSIBLY.

 
dr_stumpfJanelle Ferber-Stumpf D.D.S.
Making smiles beautiful since 1983
N28 W23000 Roundy Drive
Pewaukee, Wi   53072
262-970-0111
BestCareInTheChair.com

Is Your Child Really Brushing Their Teeth?

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Five Clues Your Child is Not Brushing

If your skeptical about your child  brushing their teeth then here are five clues your child is not brushing their teeth:

1. The toothbrush is dry.

It’s tough to keep the toothbrush dry if you’re actually brushing! Make sure to check your child’s toothbrush every day (and night) – before it has time to dry.

2. You can still see food particles.

After your child has brushed, ask for a smile. If you can still see bits of food on or in between your child’s teeth, send your child back to the bathroom for a do-over.

3. Teeth don’t pass the “squeak test.”

Have your child wet his or her finger and rub it quickly across the outside and inside of his or her teeth. If the teeth are clean, you will hear a squeaking sound.

4. Breath is everything but fresh.

If your child is brushing and flossing regularly, his or her breath should be fresh. The foul odor associated with bad breath is most often caused by food particles — either food left in between teeth or food trapped in the grooves on the tongue.

5. Your child has a toothache.

Even if you can’t tell if your child is brushing well, a toothache is a red flag. Make sure your child sees the dentist right away – a filling or other treatment may be in order.

Include Regular Visits to Dr.Stumpf as part of  a Regular Oral Health Regimen

Remember, brushing is just one part of your child’s total oral health regimen. In order to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup and prevent other dental problems, regular exams and cleanings are a must. Plus, your Pewaukee dentist can help reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene with your child.

Stumpf Dental
(262) 970-0111 | www.bestcareinthechair.com
N28 W23000 Roundy Drive
Pewaukee, WI 53072

What’s Your Excuse?

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Here are some of the Most Common Excuses to Not Visiting the Dentist

At Stumpf Dental, we cannot even tell you how many times we’ve heard people say things like…“I’ve been meaning to make an appointment but I just haven’t gotten around to it.”

With that in mind, here are some of the most frequent excuses people have for not visiting the dentist.

  • Going to the dentist is too expensive!

Actually, the opposite is true! While quality health care certainly can be costly, the investment in preventive dental procedures such as cleanings, exams and necessary x-rays can save thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in more extensive treatment later. The sooner you go, the less it will cost!

  • Dental appointments are uncomfortable

While a dental visit may not be as much fun as a night at the movies, it’s not as difficult as it was decades ago. Modern anesthetics and dental techniques have made a trip to the dentist more pleasant than ever before. Express your concerns to your dentist and chances are she or he will have a solution. If you don’t think your dental team is doing all they can for your comfort, it may be time to find one who does!

  • I’m not in any pain so I don’t need to go!

Even if you take fantastic care of your teeth and gums, waiting until you have pain means you waited too long! Early cavities and gum disease are painless. Waiting for symptoms can lead to complicated expensive treatment and even tooth loss!

Stumpf  Dental Values Quality Dental Care

At Stumpf Dental, we value the importance of regular dental examinations and preventive cleanings. Our goal is to make your dental treatment as comfortable and cost-efficient as possible, and to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to make an appointment, please give us a call at 1-262-970-0111. We’re here for you!

And If you aren’t making any excuses, please feel free to forward this to someone who is. You’ll be doing them a huge favor!!

Stumpf Dental
(262) 970-0111 | www.bestcareinthechair.com
N28 W23000 Roundy Drive
Pewaukee, WI 53072

Smile Safety for Active Kids

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Active kids Need Teeth Protection

Active kids call for active safety. And while helmets, goggles and knee pads protect your kids’ bodies, it’s also important to protect their teeth. A mouthguard is an easy, reliable way to safeguard your child’s teeth during sports and play.

Mouthguards a Must for Contact Sports

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Mouthguards are especially crucial during contact sports such as football, hockey or boxing, where blows to the body and face are regular occurrences. But even non-contact sports, such as gymnastics, and recreational pastimes, such as skating or biking, pose a risk to the teeth.

In addition to cushioning your child’s teeth, using a mouthguard can prevent injury to the tongue, lips, face and jaw. Kids who wear dental braces should be especially careful to protect their mouths during physical activity.

We Can Help You Decide on a Mouthguard

A trip to the dentist can help you choose a mouthguard that’s right for your child. In general, there are three types of mouthguards to choose from:

Stock Mouthguards. These pre-made protectors can usually be bought wherever sporting equipment is sold. Most dentists do not recommend their use because they cannot be adjusted to your mouth and provide only limited protection.

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards. Boil-and-Bite guards are softened with hot water and then molded over your child’s teeth. This somewhat custom fit leads to better protection and greater ease in talking and breathing. These are also available at most sporting goods stores.

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Custom Mouthguards. Your dentist can create a custom mouthguard designed specifically for your child’s teeth. These offer the best fit, comfort and protection, but may be more costly than store-bought varieties.

Stumpf Dental
(262) 970-0111 | www.bestcareinthechair.com
N28 W23000 Roundy Drive
Pewaukee, WI 53072