Poor Oral Health & Oral Hygiene Practices

Good Oral Hygiene = Healthy Life

Although gum disease is terribly pervasive, it’s also preventable. Conservative estimates report that up to 80% of people unknowingly have some amount of chronic gum disease. What’s worse is that this disease is responsible for up to 70% of adult tooth loss. Part of the problem is that the early signs of gum disease are both silent and serious, requiring a dentist’s trained eye to detect, treat, and arrest the tell-tale gum inflammation and infection. However, once arrested, you can prevent gum disease from recurring simply by developing healthy hygiene habits.

Causes of Gum Disease & Poor Oral Health

Several factors contribute to periodontal disease: plaque build-up, heredity, and lifestyle choices. By far the most common and controllable factor is bacterial plaque– the sticky, colorless film produced by normal oral bacteria. Unhindered, they release toxins that break down the natural fibers holding your gums to your teeth, allowing even more bacteria and toxins to invade. Over time, this process can permanently damage or destroy the affected tooth, tooth root, and even the jawbone! Further, plaque deposits quickly harden into calculus or tartar– a rough, porous, gum-irritating substance that brushing will not remove.

Besides poor oral health habits, your poor lifestyle choices can affect your body’s ability to fight infection or increase irritation in the gum tissue area. Poor nutrition, poorly managed stress, leukemia, AIDS, and diabetes all reduce your body’s natural ability to ward off periodontal disease. Smoking and chewing tobacco greatly irritate the gum tissue, setting it up for disease. And finally, some people are simply born with a low resistance to gum disease. All of this explains why we carefully check for the warning signs at every visit: red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums, gums pulling away from teeth, loose or separating teeth, pus between the gum and tooth, persistent bad breath, bite changes, and/or a change in the fit of partial dentures. These symptoms are overlooked by most people, making regular dental exams even more important.

The Artisan Within

Being artists as well as clinicians, we each have the talent to not only create a smile but a life-changing experience. In order to do this with predictability, we must work with laboratory technicians of like minds; those who look past the routine dentition fabrication procedures and envision the complete smile enhancement that truly makes a diference in our guest’s life.

Our own interpretation of beauty is easy to discern, but listening to the guest and truly understanding their desires will ensure their satisfaction. We all tend to lead the guest in a particular direction but must be careful not to sway their decision. I had the pleasure of working with a guest who had very specific ideas of what she wanted in terms of her smile. The process of turning her wants into reality is the process I would like to share. Knowing the end results is only half the solution; the other half is the journey there.

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Dental Profiles – Dr. Joseph Barton

Why did you choose to become a dentist?
“I began as a laboratory technician during my undergrad after volunteering at the dental school and really enjoyed the artistic aspect of dentistry. I created maxillofacial prosthetics as well as restorative laboratory work, which allowed me to gain a greater insight into the field of dentistry.”

First job out of dental school
“I began as an associate with my personal dentist, Ronald Levin, DDS, in Jacksonville Florida. He gave me the opportunity to build my own practice, allowing me to go out on my own after a year. The time I spent working with him was a truly invaluable experience as to how to treat your team and guests.”

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Not Just Teeth – Total Health – A Way of Life

On the cover we feature Dr. Joe Barton from Jacksonville, FL. For those of you that have had the opportunity to meet Joe, you know what an incredible dentist and mentor he is. Joe is extremely caring, patient and thorough with his students and their patients at LVI. Joe is never complacent with what he accomplished today, he is always striving for further excellence in everything he does. We are extremely proud to have Joe as a clinical instructor.

Joe has completed the following courses at LVI: Advanced Anterior Aesthetics, Advanced Posterior Aesthetics, The Master Aesthetic Dentist, Full Mouth Reconstruction, Occlusion I, Occlusion II, Mastering Materials and The Blatchford Blueprint. Below is some insight into how Joe practices.

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Aesthetic Neuromuscular Full Mouth Restoration

Aesthetic full mouth reconstruction is one of the most difficult challenges in dentistry today. Several disciplines must be coordinated to insure comfortable aesthetic results. The restoration of the entire mouth to proper form and function must take into account occlusion, the muscles of mastication and the supporting hard soft tissue structures of the temporomandibular joints.

Technology has provided our profession with scientific instrumentation that allows us to document the neuromuscular component to this restoration process.

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Amazing Anteriors Aesthetics

The passion for dentistry that I feel continues to be fueled by the confidence and trust our patients—guests in our practice—have in my team and me. That trust is supported by the years of research and development that goes into the development of the materials we select when providing our patients with amazingly aesthetic restorations.

One such example is the lithium disilicate material (IPS EMAX, Ivoclar Vivadent, Amherst, NY) highlighted in the following case study. The manufacturer of this material, Ivoclar Vivadent, has continued to provide materials that not only provide form and function, but which can be used to create masterful works of art. As demonstrated in this case, the diversity of IPS EMAX becomes apparent in its natural tooth-supported and implant-supported restorations, as well as its ability to aesthetically match natural dentition.

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Total Health

As part of our total health approach to dentistry and in addition to our talent for creating beautiful smiles, we also address the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders and Sleep Apnea through Neuromuscular Aesthetic Dentistry techniques. It is our belief that only when your teeth are properly aligned and your jaw rests comfortably in its optimal position can you achieve a smile that is ideal for your unique facial structure and physical health. Whether you want to empower yourself with a beautiful smile, are seeking relief from the symptoms of TMJ disorder, or if you are sleep apnea sufferer seeking an alternative to the CPAP machine, my Team and I are prepared to help you find the best possible solution!

Oral Systemic Link

Dentistry is ever evolving. New medical research and studies are also ever evolving. The link between oral and overall health is undeniable. It is imperative for all of us to be aware of this connection and our own risk factors. One preventative measure we can all do is to take daily care of our teeth and gums by not only brushing, but also removing bacteria in between the teeth by proper flossing and using antiseptic mouthrinse. However, care shouldn’t stop there, nothing takes the place of regular dental cleanings and check ups with your hygienist. We look forward to providing you with our highest quality of individualized care!