10/5/2017 3:40:00 PM | ProSites, Inc. SMM

Halloween is just around the corner carrying with it a common tradition to eat your weight in sugary sweets. While trick-or-treating in your neighborhood with your children dressed as your favorite ghoul or ghost can be one exciting night out of the year to indulge in fun, eating too much candy can cause a lifetime of dental problems. One day out of the year shouldn’t ruin all the hard work of maintaining good dental hygiene, so here are five tips to be aware of this Holiday season.

How does sugar cause cavities?
Before getting into these tips, we need to understand what causes dental caries, more commonly known as cavities. Contrary to popular belief, sugar doesn’t directly cause cavities. However, the bacteria living in the mouth sharing your leftover sweets produces an acid byproduct that causes plaque, in turn developing tooth decay as the acid eats away at the enamel creating the cavity.

Top 5 Tips to Prevent Cavities
#1: Remember to Brush and Floss
A good hygiene routines is essential to prevent the development of cavities, so it’s necessary to teach children at an early age how to care for their teeth. Brushing and flossing removes bacteria that potentially will harm teeth if left to form plaque. Practicing good dental hygiene this Halloween is your best bet for preventing a lifetime of dental ailments. It’s especially important to brush before bed as plaque can easily develop while you sleep.

#2: Rinse with Mouthwash
Some would say mouthwash can be overkill when a person already brushes and flosses, but cavity fighting rinse can help. Mouthwash cleans behind all the hard-to-reach areas a toothbrush or floss couldn’t reach, killing hidden germs that create plaque and tartar. Mouthwash that contains fluoride will also help to strengthen enamel to protect your teeth and gums.

#3:  Eat in Moderation
While it can be tempting to eat all the sugary treasure you’ve collected from your neighbors, if there’s any time to start practicing moderation, Halloween is the perfect night. Nibbling on candy throughout the day gives the bacteria a thriving environment. Portion the treats to give your teeth a break and make sure that if you cannot brush right after, that you at least rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum to help remove dangerous bacteria.

#4: Share
You don’t need to eat all that chocolate and candy. As a society addicted to sugar, we need finding ways to get rid of the excess sweets without eating or wasting them. Not only will your friends and family appreciate your consideration, your teeth will be thanking you over and over with a beautiful smile.

#5: Stay Hydrated
Dry mouth causes an increased production of bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, drinking water causes the bacteria and excess sugar residue to wash into the stomach, an area of the body that can easily break down and digest the material that would otherwise damage teeth’s enamel.

While it can be scary to think of all the cavities developed on Halloween, taking the proper precautions will help you prepare for the sugar overload and still allow you to enjoy the holiday. With these five tips to keep your mouth safe from bacteria, you can bravely go into Halloween properly equipped with your trusty toothbrush and anti-cavity dental floss.

6/9/2017 8:30:00 AM | ProSites, Inc. SMM

Knocking out a permanent tooth is a true dental emergency. Don’t be afraid to contact your dentist right away. If you knock out a permanent tooth, here is what to do. 1. Hold the tooth by the crown and not the root so as not to spread bacteria unto the root. 2. Rinse dirt or any debris off with room temperature water but be gentle with the root. 3. Try to reinsert the tooth until you get to the dentist and hold it into place. 4. If reinserting is not an option, keep it moist by covering it with milk or water. 5. For optimal outcome, try to get to a dentist within 30 minutes.

3/3/2017 11:30:00 AM | Alan Gurman

Brushing everyday is one of the best ways to take care of your teeth. However, it's not just that simple. For optimal dental care, follow these six tips.

1. Pick the right brush - Not all brushes are the same, and you need to choose one that fits your mouth.

2. Brush the right way - You should hold your brush at a 45-F-degree angle to your gums and use an up-and-down motion with short strokes.

3. Take your time - While brushing twice a day is recommended, three times is probably best. Also, whenever you brush, make sure you do it for at least two minutes.

4. Don't overdo it - Conversely, don't brush too much or for too long, as this can wear down enamel and hurt your gums.

5. Keep it clean - Always rinse your brush, as germs can linger on it.

6. Let it go - Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or if the bristles are becoming frayed or broken.

12/21/2016 11:30:00 AM | Alan Gurman

Wine lovers everywhere, rejoice! Already known for its health benefits, research shows red wine protects against cavities, too! A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explores the effect a selection of red wines and grape-seed extract has on communities of disease-causing bacteria, called biofilms. Biofilms erode the teeth causing gum disease. Gum disease is a result of the build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, and in the soft tissue of the gums – pockets of infection cause inflammation and discomfort and pain. But some treatments can be abrasive, and side effects of some mouthwashes include discoloration of the gums, and altering taste.

In order to understand how effective red wine is in preventing the growth of biofilm, researchers developed a biofilm model of plaque that combined five types of bacteria most commonly found in gum disease and tooth decay. The biofilm cultures were then dipped in numerous varieties of wine – with and without alcohol – for a couple of minutes. The results showed that all red wine and red wine containing grape seed extract were more likely to get rid of the bacteria. Of course, the study wasn't designed with excessive drinking in mind; everything in moderation! Rather, as the researchers said, "these findings contribute to existing knowledge about the beneficial effect of red wines (one of the most important products of agriculture and food industries) on human health." We'll drink to that – cheers!

12/21/2016 11:28:00 AM | Alan Gurman

Often, a family trip to the dentist will feature the use of an x-ray camera. The dental hygienists will cover you or your children with a heavy apron and make you chomp on some bitewings, while the camera moves and clicks around you. Of course, the images produced by the x-rays have a purpose: cavities, jawbone degradation, and other oral health issues are made easily visible, allowing the dentist to address these issues directly. However, x-rays are a form of radiation, and some people are concerned with that exposing someone to dental x-rays will cause cancer. These concerns are especially strong for parents taking their children to the dentist.

X-rays are a type of ionizing radiation, and ionizing radiation has been shown to cause cancer. Ionizing radiation, upon passing through the body, strip electrons from the atoms this energy passes. The resulting protons, known as free radicals, then can damage the cells of the body. While these cells return to normal most of the time, on rare occasions the cells will heal with some abnormalities. These abnormal cells, consequently, can grow into cancer. From this alone, people believe that dental x-rays will cause cancer.

However, you’re always exposed to ionizing radiation. On average, your body is exposed to 3.1 millisieverts (mSv) of natural radiation alone per year. At .005 mSv, the radiation you receive from the aforementioned dental x-ray is less than 1.6% of your daily background radiation exposure. You are exposed to the same level of radiation just from sunlight each day. Additionally, each x-ray is an individual dose rather than constant exposure, which is another factor in the cancer risks of radiation exposure. X-rays only increase the odds of dying of cancer by 1 in 2,000; compare this to the natural 1 in 5 chance you have of dying of cancer.

Moreover, there are precautions in place for younger patients to help minimize their exposure. Technically, children do have a higher risk of developing cancer from radiation than adults, so dentists make up for it with stricter safety measures. Lead aprons are almost ubiquitous, but many doctors will also reduce the amount of radiation emitted by the camera when taking x-ray images of pediatric patients. The same precautions can be given to pregnant women, as fetuses are assumed to be just as vulnerable as children. Your children could be receiving special considerations regarding radiation exposure risks already.

Ultimately, the benefits of detecting an oral health issue as early as possible far outweighs the negligible cancer risk. Not only are healthy teeth and gums alone something worth keeping, but many recent studies have shown connections between oral health and overall bodily health as well. Being able to detect and address these issues is paramount to your health and your children’s health. So, the next time your dentist readies the bitewings and camera, don’t be afraid. The benefits are high, the risk is low, and the dentist is likely being extra careful with your children anyways.

6/3/2016 12:27:00 PM | Alan Gurman

We've all heard the expression "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." But perhaps that should be changed to dentist. In addition to being good for your health, apples are also quite good for your teeth. In fact, if you find yourself without a toothbrush, an apple can fill in nicely.

Apples actually act like toothbrushes because of their fiber-rich flesh. This works like a scrub on not only your teeth, but your tongue and gums as well. An apple can also help remove food particles that are hiding out between your teeth and sticking to your gums.

As well as cleaning your teeth, because they are mildly acidic and slightly astringent, apples can also help get rid of plaque and stains. On top of that, apples can freshen breath. Is there nothing this super fruit can't do? The next time you have an after lunch meeting and forgot your toothbrush, head down to the cafeteria and grab an apple instead.

4/7/2016 4:08:00 PM | Alan Gurman

The American Dentistry Association seal of approval is awarded to consumer oral hygiene products that meet ADA-defined standards. The seal is intended to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use.

Products that are ADA-approved have undergone extensive testing for safety and efficacy, to ensure that any claims made about them are factually correct. Companies that submit products for assessment have to submit ingredient lists and data from laboratory studies and clinical trials that support the product claims, and show that the product is being made using good manufacturing practices. Each product is assessed by around 100 consultants, from a variety of scientific disciplines relevant to oral health and hygiene. Once a product has been approved, the packaging is required to display the ADA seal.

So is it okay to use products that are not ADA-approved? If a product hasn't been approved, that doesn't automatically mean it's unsafe or ineffective—but using ADA-approved products takes the guesswork out of choosing and using effective products. For example, if an ADA-approved toothpaste claims to be effective at preventing tooth decay, the presence of the seal means you can be sure it's a valid claim. Many Crest, Aim, Listerine and Tom products are ADA approved, just to name a few.

12/16/2015 7:36:00 PM | Alan Gurman

When you hear jingles in the stores and see decorations on your neighbor’s house, you know that the holiday season has arrived. Among other traditions, you can also expect food to play a big part during the holiday, whether it’s snacks for a party or a family dinner. Unfortunately, a lot of traditional holiday foods can be harmful to your teeth, from sticky candy canes to alcoholic eggnog. Thankfully, there are also lots of seasonal dishes and treats that can keep your smile as healthy as ever.

You probably already have a sizable list of foods you know to be bad for your teeth: soda, coffee, and candy. However, what about the crackers you set out as hors d’oeuvres? Even without extra-sweet ingredients added in, bread and related snacks are full of carbohydrates – that is, sugar – and their crumbly, dissolvable nature means that these bacteria-feeding carbs get stuck to your teeth. Alcohol, not counting the sugar it is often made of or mixed with, will dry out your mouth; dry mouths are the perfect environment for bacteria. Even the cough drops you take for colds and the flu not only have sugar in them, but also expose you to that sugar over a long period of time. Cough syrup, despite having similar amounts of sugar in it, is quickly swallowed and doesn’t expose the teeth to that sugar too long. Simply put, too many holiday edibles encourage the decay of your teeth.

Not to worry! Lots of holiday foods diminish, if not reverse, the damage other foods can do. Two common party snacks, for example, are meat and cheese. The calcium and proteins provided by meat and cheese can actually strengthen your teeth and gums. Nuts, like meat, also provide your mouth with a burst of protein and saliva production that help defend your teeth from bacterial build-up. Instead of sweetened cranberry sauce in your dishes, try using fresh cranberries; they can interrupt the bonding process of the decadent bacteria. Though dried fruit is a bad idea, crunchy fruit and raw vegetables can help scrub plaque off of your teeth.

The holidays and their traditions are fast approaching. If you eat too much of the wrong kinds of traditional foods, or you find yourself chewing on that food for a long period of time, your teeth can suffer. However, holiday tradition have also given us a lot of food to protect and strengthen our teeth as well. So, when planning out the next holiday party or dinner, keep these foods in mind. They may just save your smile.

10/28/2015 2:00:00 PM | Alan Gurman

What are the Advantages of Implant-Supported Dentures?
If you have suffered total tooth loss, through injury or other dental condition, it can negatively impact your appearance, health, and feeling of wellness. Implant-supported dentures change smiles and attitudes for many by providing the following benefits:
A primary concern for many who require dentures is the appearance of their restoration. Will the teeth look real? What will it do to your smile? Implant-supported dentures use the latest technology in aesthetic and restorative dentistry to replace lost teeth and restore facial balance for a remarkable smile makeover.
Improved Functionality

Implant-supported dentures are superior in design and implementation. Implant-supported dentures remain firmly rooted in bone, offering greater functionality in everything from chewing to speaking; your teeth are held in their optimal position at all times. In general, implant-supported dentures offer greater stability to the wearer.
Better Oral Health

Most individuals with dentures acquired them because of past oral health issues that caused tooth loss. Traditional dentures are supported by your gums and, over time, can wear down these soft tissues, contributing to further oral health issues. Implant-supported dentures rely on implants to provide structure, so there is no stress or pressure placed on gums. Implants also provide steady stimulation to the jawbone, helping combat future bone loss and therefore tooth loss. Implant-supported dentures improve your oral health by providing bone stimulation that was lost when organic teeth were lost.
Long-Term Maintenance

Long-term maintenance with implant dentures is a breeze compared to traditional dentures. Depending on your recommended treatment, implant dentures may be removed each day for cleaning or fixed to be removed by your dentist during routine oral health appointments. No more messy denture paste or soaks. You can treat your implant teeth more like your own, real teeth.
If you have more questions about implant-supported dentures, please don't hesitate to contact Alpine Dental Center for more information about how this restorative procedure can help improve your oral health.

10/14/2015 12:00:00 PM | Alan Gurman

If you have teeth that have been damaged cosmetically and structurally by moderate to severe decay, traditional treatments offered could either be aesthetically appealing or strong and long-lasting. However, these two qualities were often mutually exclusive, preventing patients from getting the best of both worlds. However, in the last decade or so, materials used in dental restorations – such as blends of porcelain, ceramic, and leucite – have made getting restorations that are both beautiful and strong a reality.

At Alpine Dental Center, we help you achieve the smile you want, as well as lasting oral function, with all-porcelain restorations. All-porcelain cosmetic dentistry provides:

Improved Strength and Durability – While porcelain fused to metal prosthetics were once the standard for strong, long-lasting restorations, upgrades in materials and bonding processes for all-porcelain crowns and bridges have made these cosmetically appealing treatments much more durable. Modern, all-porcelain restorations now stand up better to the daily oral function of biting and chewing, and can even be utilized for patients who grind their teeth. Patients who choose the aesthetic benefits of all-porcelain treatments can expect their restorations to last much longer, and look more natural than metal-based crowns and bridges.

Natural-Looking Finished Results – Prosthetics with a metal base don’t age as beautifully as all-porcelain restorations. As gum tissue may recede slightly as you age, metal restorations reveal a silver or dark edge, making your restored teeth look less natural and causing embarrassing aesthetic issues. All-ceramic crowns and bridges will more like your own teeth for as long as they’re a part of your smile

Conservative Application Processes -  Crowning a damaged tooth with a metal-based dental crown requires the preparation or removal of much of your natural tooth structure. While this is not an issue for patients with significantly damaged teeth, it may not always be the best choice for those whose teeth are only moderately affected by decay. Placing an all-porcelain crown does not require the removal of the same amount of tooth enamel, and particularly saves structure along the outer side walls of teeth. As keeping as much of your own natural tooth structure as possible is essential for preserving teeth, the conservative treatment processes for applying all-porcelain crowns helps patients maintain better oral health.

If you’re seeking cosmetic dental treatment to correct flaws and damage to your teeth, your treatment should be as long-lasting and beneficial to your oral health as it is cosmetically appealing. For more information about all-porcelain crowns, contact our Thornton CO cosmetic dental office for your consultation.

10/1/2015 12:00:00 PM | Alan Gurman

If you chip or crack a tooth, it seems obvious that seeking care as soon as possible is important for restoring and repairing your teeth. But there are other emergency dental scenarios, such as bleeding gums or painful teeth that can create serious problems for your overall wellness if not treated immediately. If you suspect that something may be wrong with your smile, it’s essential to call our Thornton dental office as soon as possible.

By getting emergency dental care as soon as possible, you can prevent a number of dental problems, including:

Discomfort – Depending on what the emergency is, oral health trauma can put patients in a fair amount of pain. Knocked-out teeth, chipped teeth, tooth infections, and other damage leaves oral structures irritated and sore. The best way to get relief from pain is to apply an ice pack and see a dentist immediately.

Limitation of Oral Function – Beyond being uncomfortable, many dental emergencies make it hard to eat, drink, chew, and speak. Accidents that result in damaged dental work, like a broken denture or crown, limit your ability to carry out daily routines such as eating meals and speaking without a lisp. Repairing dental appliances and replacing avulsed teeth is the best way to regain strength and function.

Further Damage – Left untreated, oral health problems arising from emergency dental concerns only cause more issues. Tooth infections spread and malfunctioning or broken dental appliances can damage nearby teeth and irritate soft tissue. It’s important to not give these urgent situations the opportunity to compromise the wellbeing of otherwise healthy teeth and structures.

Infection – Something that starts off as a small problem, like bleeding gums, can turn into a big issue before you know it. While many people may not think of early signs of gum disease as a dental emergency, patients that ignore their symptoms and neglect treatment for far too long can develop serious periodontitis, abscesses, and tooth loss. If you are showing any signs of soft tissue problems, seek care as soon as possible to avoid serious infection.

Our dental office has the tools and technology to effectively treat your emergency dental problem. For immediate care in the event of an emergency, contact Dr. Gurman and his team. We are proud to provide caring emergency dental treatment in Thornton, Colorado.

9/10/2015 1:02:00 PM | Alan Gurman

What it is 
Periodontal disease, known as gum disease or periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. In the United States, it is estimated that half of Americans aged 30 or older have advanced gum disease. While highly prevalent, this dental condition is preventable with a good oral health regimen. 

Periodontal disease symptoms become apparent as bacteria and debris accumulate around teeth and below the gum line and hardens into tartar. If not removed by a professional, tartar and bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums and weakening of teeth. There are variables that can increase your risk of periodontitis that range from genetic predisposition and underlying health conditions, to certain lifestyle habits. Diet, taking certain medications, decreased immunity, and hormonal changes can also increase your chances of developing gum disease. 

Periodontitis begins with the onset of gingivitis. In this early stage, bacteria builds up, irritating the surrounding gums. As bacteria accumulate and plaque builds and hardens into tartar, there is a weakening of bone and connective tissue that keeps teeth in their sockets. As bacteria spreads, pockets that trap further bacteria begin to form around teeth and under soft tissue. In patients with advanced periodontal disease, teeth become loose and fall out. 

One of the most difficult aspects of spotting periodontal disease without help from a dentist is that the condition can progress slowly in patients and may not always produce obvious signs. Patients may notice:
  • Gum tenderness
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth or a change in teeth alignment
Diagnosis of gum disease typically involves visiting a dentist for a visual examination of your oral condition, as well as charting pocket depths and using X-Rays to check bone loss in areas with deeper periodontal pockets. 

Early diagnosis gives patients the greatest chance of reversing damage with nonsurgical treatments. These procedures include root scaling and planing, which removes tartar and bacteria from surfaces of teeth and beneath the gums and smooths root surfaces,. Antibiotics that are either taken orally or topically as a rinse, can also be used to reduce bacteria and inflammation. For patients with advanced periodontitis, dental surgery may be the most effective option to reduce pocket size and restore the healthy appearance and supportive structure of soft tissue. 

Periodontal disease is preventable by practicing consistent and good oral hygiene. As a rule of thumb, you should be taking between 3-5 minutes twice day to care for your teeth and gums by flossing first to loosen any food particles and bacteria, and brushing to clean all surfaces of teeth. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for thorough teeth cleanings. Patients displaying early signs of gum disease may require more frequent dental visits throughout the year. If are exhibiting signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you can receive treatment, the more likely you will be able to reverse any damage caused by periodontal disease.

8/11/2015 3:13:00 PM | Alan Gurman

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Alpine Dental Center blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Alpine Dental Center, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!