Posts for: July, 2021
Most of what goes on inside our mouths—good or bad—is fairly predictable. But every now and then, people encounter something out of the ordinary. A good example is lichen planus.
Lichen planus are rare skin lesions that can occur on various parts of the skin, including inside the mouth. The name comes from their lacy appearance, which resembles a fungus that grows on rocks or trees called lichen.
Being similar in appearance, though, is all that lichen planus has in common with its fungal namesake. It's believed that the sores are caused by a reaction of the immune system mistaking some of the body's cells as foreign.
But don't let the exotic sounding name alarm you—true lichen planus is considered a benign mouth sore. You may not even realize you have it until your dentist notices and points it out. But the lesions can sometimes cause mild pain or burning, especially if they occur near the gums or if you indulge in spicy or acidic foods.
As we said, these lesions aren't considered dangerous. But in a small number of cases, oral cancer was found to develop later. It's unclear whether the lesions were related to the cancer, or if what were diagnosed as lichen planus lesions were actually pre-cancerous cells mimicking the appearance of the benign sore.
In any event, your dentist will probably continue to monitor the lesions and possibly conduct regular oral cancer screenings to be on the safe side. You may also want to stop using tobacco or alcohol products to further decrease your risk of oral cancer.
As to managing lichen planus, it starts with a daily habit of brushing and flossing. You'll also want to avoid spicy or acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers or caffeinated drinks, especially during flareups. If the lesions are causing discomfort, your dentist may also prescribe a topical steroid to apply to them.
Since it's quite possible you won't know if you have lichen planus (as well as other types of mouth sores) unless your dentist observes them, you should keep up regular dental visits. Having your dentist check your entire mouth, not just your teeth and gums, will help both of you stay on top of your oral health.
If you would like more information on mouth sores, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Lichen Planus.”
At Comprehensive Dental Group, your dentists in Stamford, CT, help patients get to their best smiles with porcelain veneers. Dr. Irina Pogosian and Dr. Thomas Ohlson can transform any smile. If you are living with a smile you are unhappy with, keep reading to find out what porcelain veneers can do for you.
Correct cosmetic issues
Veneers are made from thin, porcelain shells that fit around each tooth to change its appearance. This way you can correct almost any cosmetic issue. Stained teeth, crooked teeth, and even small gaps in teeth can all be remedied with veneers. If anything has made you hide your smile in the past, discuss it with your dentist and see how veneers can improve your smile.
When you get veneers from your dentist in Stamford, CT, you can have a completely new smile without undergoing a single surgery. Your teeth may need to be prepared for veneers, and in that case, some minor filing of the teeth is performed in-office to make room for the veneers around your teeth.
After your teeth are prepared, molds are taken of them. These molds are used to ensure a perfect fit when your custom veneers are fabricated. When your veneers are ready, you have another appointment and each veneer is bonded into place. In just a few appointments and without any surgery you can have a beautiful smile!
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and everyone likes to make a great impression with a nice smile. Veneers can give you that boost of confidence to show off your beautiful smile to others. Porcelain also resists staining and reflects light. These properties mean your smile will stay bright and sparkling!
If you want to improve your smile, Comprehensive Dental Group offers porcelain veneers to make any smile stunning. Your dentists in Stamford, CT, Dr. Irina Pogosian and Dr. Thomas Ohlson, can transform any smile with veneers. Contact us for an appointment at (203) 359-3296.
July is Park and Recreation Month, a great time to pack up the tent, bed roll and camp stove and head for your nearest state or national park. Just don't take the concept of "getting away from it all" too literally. It's not a good idea to leave all of civilization behind, particularly your daily oral hygiene and dental care habits.
You might think, What's the harm going a few days without brushing and flossing? Actually, there's plenty of harm—even a brief period of neglected oral hygiene is sufficient to give oral bacteria a chance to trigger a case of tooth decay or gum disease.
It's true that you're limited on what you can take with you into the great outdoors (that's kind of the point). But with a little forethought and wise packing, you can take care of your dental care needs and still tread lightly into the woods. Here then, are a few tips for taking care of your teeth and gums while camping.
Bring your toothbrush. There are some things in your personal toiletry you may not need in the wild (looking at you, razor). But you do need your toothbrush, toothpaste and a bit of dental floss or floss picks. We're really not talking about a lot of room, particularly if you go with travel sizes. Just be sure everyone has their own brush packed separately from each other to discourage bacterial spread.
Dry and seal hygiene items. Bacteria love moist environments—so be sure you thoroughly dry your toothbrush after use before you pack it away. You should also stow toothpaste in sealable bags so that its scent won't attract critters (bears seem partial to mint). And, be sure to clean up any toothpaste waste or used floss and dispose of items properly.
Be sure you have clean water. Brushing and flossing with clean water is something you might take for granted at home—but not in camp. Even the clearest stream water may not be as clean as it may look, so be sure you have a way to disinfect it. Alternatively, bottled water is a handy option for use while brushing and flossing your teeth.
Easy on the trail mix. Although seeds and nuts make up most popular snacking mixes for hiking or camping, they may also contain items like raisins or candy bits with high sugar content. Since sugar feeds the bacteria that cause dental disease, keep your snacking on these kinds of trail mixes to a minimum or opt for snacks without these sweetened items.
Camping can be a great adventure. Just be sure you're not setting yourself up for a different kind of adventure in dental treatment by taking care of your teeth and gums on your next big outing.
If you would like more information about taking care of your teeth no matter the season, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Daily Oral Hygiene.”
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs wrapped up the NFL regular season in January, setting single-season records in both catches and receiving yards. The Bills handily beat the Miami Dolphins, earning themselves the second seed in the AFC playoffs, and Diggs certainly did his part, making 7 catches for 76 yards. But what set the internet ablaze was not Diggs' accomplishments on the field but rather what the camera caught him doing on the sidelines—flossing his teeth!
The Twitterverse erupted with Bills fans poking fun at Diggs. But Diggs is not ashamed of his good oral hygiene habits, and CBS play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan expressed his support with “Dental hygiene is something to take note of, kids! There's never a bad place to floss” and “When you lead the NFL in catches and yards, you can floss anytime you want.”
We like to think so. There's an old joke among dentists:
Q. Which teeth do you need to floss?
A. Only the ones you want to keep.
Although this sounds humorous, it is borne out in research. Of note, a 2017 study showed that people who floss have a lower risk of tooth loss over periods of 5 years and 10 years, and a 2020 study found that older adults who flossed lost an average of 1 tooth in 5 years, while those who don't lost around 4 teeth in the same time period.
We in the dental profession stress the importance of flossing as a daily habit—and Stefon Diggs would likely agree—yet fewer than 1 in 3 Americans floss every day. The 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, revealed that only 30% of Americans floss every day, while 37% floss less than every day and 32% never floss.
The biggest enemy on the football field may be the opposing team, but the biggest enemy to your oral health is plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and food debris that builds up on tooth surfaces. Plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. Flossing is necessary to remove plaque from between teeth and around the gums where a toothbrush can't reach. If not removed, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by the specialized tools used in the dental office. Regular professional dental cleanings are also needed to get at those hard-to-reach spots you may have missed.
If Diggs can find time to floss during a major NFL game, the rest of us can certainly find a couple minutes a day to do it. While we might not recommend Diggs' technique of flossing from one side of the mouth to the other, we commend his enthusiasm and commitment to keeping his teeth and gums healthy. Along with good dental hygiene at home—or on the sidelines if you are Stefon Diggs—regular professional dental cleanings and checkups play a key role in maintaining a healthy smile for life.
Comprehensive Dental Group can transform any smile with porcelain veneers. Dr. Irina Pogosian and Dr. Thomas Ohlson apply veneers to fix cosmetic issues in teeth and can give anyone a beautiful smile. Read more about porcelain veneers and come see us in Stamford, CT, to get the perfect smile you've always dreamed of.
Veneers are a way to completely redesign your smile without undergoing a single surgery. Veneers are each made from a thin ceramic shell, and porcelain is the highest quality material for veneers. Each shell fits around an individual tooth to change its appearance.
When you come to our Stamford, CT, office to get veneers, your dentist will consult with you about the exact shade of smile and shape of your new teeth. You can redesign every aspect of your smile and in just two or three appointments you can have a smile that will have you beaming with confidence!
Your dentist may need to file some teeth to make room for the veneers around them. After your teeth are prepared, molds need to be taken of your mouth to ensure a perfect fit for your custom veneers when they are fabricated. At a final appointment, each veneer is cemented to your tooth and you leave the office with a completely new smile!
Caring for veneers
When you have veneers, it's important to keep up a great oral hygiene routine at home and schedule regular dental appointments. For great oral care at home, your dentist will recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day. To make sure your veneers stay in great condition, schedule biannual teeth cleaning appointments with your dentist.
Any bad habit chewing like on your fingernails or pens, is bad for veneers so be mindful if you have this habit. If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist will recommend a nightguard to protect your new smile from damage.
At Comprehensive Dental Group, Dr. Irina Pogosian and Dr. Thomas Ohlson give patients their dream smiles with porcelain veneers. Contact us for an appointment in Stamford, CT, at (203) 359-3296.