Tag Archives: dental care

Keep Calm and Floss On

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On August 2nd, this New York Times article was published and caused quite a bit of controversy in both the dental community and with the general public. While it is not conclusive in its findings, the overarching claim is that flossing may not be as beneficial as once thought. As dental professionals, we take very seriously the responsibility we have ensuring our patients receive the best possible education and care regarding the health of their smiles. For this reason, we feel compelled to express our disagreement with the suggestion that flossing may be overrated, and why that’s a harmful position to propagate.

Let’s first look at the article, which uses a lot of language such as:

  • “…flossing may be
  • “…most of the current evidence fell short…”
  • “That flossing has the same benefit is a hunch that has never been proved.”
  • “…there is some mediocre evidence that flossing does reduce bloody gums and inflammation known asgingivitis.”

There is a stark difference between something ‘not having been proved’ and something being ‘disproved’. Please know that there is no evidence remotely close to suggesting the latter. In fact whether the evidence is “mediocre” or not, the only evidence the article does mention (quoted above) is in favor of flossing. A lack of ability to prove something is not cause to discourage an entire population from participating in a highly beneficial component of their health care. This is particularly true because evidence is acquired by conducting large-scale studies, which are extremely costly. It would hardly be economical to spend the research funding to prove something we already have no doubt offers a variety of benefit for your oral and overall health.

We do not agree with the article’s brash call to action, or more accurately, call to inaction, and we fear how this may increase the number of people inflicted with preventable damage to their smile. Looking again at the line “…there is some mediocre evidence that flossing does reduce bloody gums and inflammation known as gingivitis.” Gingivitis is the first stage in periodontal disease – the very condition flossing aims to combat. To reduce gingivitis is to reduce your chances of progressing into advanced gum disease, a condition more than half of Americans already suffer from (CDC).

It is unfortunate the scale of damage this article has the potential to incite; too many readers will take this “lack of evidence” as being evidence to the contrary, and feel it gives them permission to neglect a very essential part of their oral health care.

We can only do our best to keep our patients like you educated and on the path to a lifelong happy and healthy smile – a path that certainly includes consistent flossing.

CDC: “Periodontal Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Mar. 2015. Web.

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

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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

What Causes Gum Pain in Someone with False Teeth?

photo_17145_20100531How Old are the Dentures?

If root tips were left in the bone when the dentures were made, they could cause some pain. It could also be a sore spot from the denture rubbing. How old are the dentures? If they are more than 5 yrs. old, you need new teeth. That is the life of a denture. Your mouth is always changing and the teeth wear down. They do not last a lifetime. Your original teeth were supposed to do that.

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

How Long After a Tooth Extraction Do Your Teeth Start to Shift?

PhotoSpin Emotions © 2002 PhotoSpin. All rights reserved. www.photospin.comThe Same Day

Your teeth begin to shift as soon as there is a change in the bite. You may not see it right away, but the process begins immediately. Regular oral exams and after care are necessary.

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

Is it Legal for Dentists to Prescribe Medications That Are not Within the Scope of Their Practice?

shutterstock_112002140Depends

The DEA license every doctor has to have from the Federal gov. has classes of drugs. Each Dr. applies for the type of drugs they need to be able to prescribe. Each state has its own laws regarding these classes of drugs as well. Check with the state you are in to know for sure.

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

Is It Okay to Get an Orthodontal Headgear Wet?

It’s Okay

photo_24159_20101210The fabric of the band will air dry and would even benefit from hand washing to keep it clean. The metal or plastic parts are designed to tolerate moisture. Contact your local dentist office for more information.

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