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Dental Health and Oral Hygiene

Basics on Caring for Dental Implants

Basics on Caring for Dental Implants

If you’ve recently received dental implants or are planning to do so, you’ve made a good decision. Implants can be very important for helping correct smile and tooth function issues, and can bode well for your oral health for the rest of your life.

At the offices of John D. Stark, DDS, we provide only high-quality dental implants to all our patients who require them. We also provide important expertise when it comes to the care and maintenance of your implants after they’ve been installed. There are several important areas to consider here – let’s take a look at some of the most vital.

Basic Hygiene

The first and simplest care task for your dental implants are to make sure your dental hygiene habits remain – or become – high-quality. We recommend brushing with nonabrasive bristles for at least the first few months after getting implants, and many of our patients find they enjoy these more anyway – they keep the mouth healthy without being too harsh on your implant or any of your natural teeth.

In addition, make sure you’re flossing daily. Dr. Stark will always be able to recommend a specific type or brand of floss based on the kind of implant you have, and he can even recommend a floss threader that will be right for you. He can’t make you use these items, however – whatever motivation tactics you need here, put them into place and create a daily flossing schedule. In addition, if mouthwash isn’t part of your normal routine, make it one.

Things to Avoid

There are a couple items or groupings we recommend you avoid, certainly for the first few months and ideally whenever possible after getting implants:

  • Picks: If you use solid devices to pick at your teeth, we highly recommend avoiding plastic or metal materials here. These can scratch the surface of your implant, which weakens it and promotes bacteria development. If you do require a pick, we can recommend a water pick instead.
  • Foods: You should take caution with foods that may damage the implant or other nearby teeth, including popcorn, apples, nuts, rice and other items that can get between teeth or cause damage from biting too hard. Instead, prioritize softer foods, especially directly after your surgery.
  • Temperatures: Most commonly found in beverages, extremely cold or hot temperatures should be avoided in the mouth following dental implant surgery. Ice, in particular, can be damaging to implants. You should wait at least a few weeks, and possibly longer, to eat or drink anything with extreme temperatures.

Possible Symptoms Requiring Attention

If you have any of the following complications after your dental implant surgery, call our offices immediately:

  • Oozing blood from the surgery site that is not helped by medications
  • Significant, unexpected pain or swelling
  • Post-operative nausea

For more on how to care for your mouth after dental implant surgery, or to learn about any of our family dental services, speak to the staff at the offices of John D. Stark, DDS today.

What Your Bleeding Gums Are Telling You

What Your Bleeding Gums Are Telling You

As one of the most common dental issues out there, bleeding gums can be concerning for those who haven’t experienced them before. Bleeding gums can be caused by a number of different factors, from basic brushing habits to significant health or nutrition concerns, and it’s hard to know at first glance what the underlying reason for your bleeding is.

At the dental offices of John D. Stark, DDS, our general dentistry services include helping you assess the causes of your bleeding gums and work on solutions. During this process, it’s important to note some of the root explanations for your bleeding, as these may signal changes you need to make in your dental routine or even your overall health. Here are some of the common causes of bleeding gums.

Plaque Buildup

Medically termed gingivitis, plaque buildup due to bacteria forming around the gums can cause bleeding in the gyms through an inflammatory response produced by the body’s immune system. Over time, if this plaque isn’t properly removed, it will harden and become tartar, which can cause bleeding even more easily.

Periodontitis

Another common oral condition is periodontitis, which is more severe than gingivitis. Periodontitis is a jawbone disease where bacteria progresses up the gum line, then actually destroys parts of the jawbone itself. Periodontitis can lead to significant risks of tooth decay and tooth loss if not addressed.

Routine Changes

The teeth and gums are very sensitive areas of the body, and if you make big changes to the way you care for them, some bleeding could be a temporary result. Some people see small amounts of blood when brushing with a new toothbrush, for instance, based on new bristles that are rougher on the gums. In these limited cases, bleeding is a temporary concern that you won’t have to worry much about. If it persists for a longer period, call your dentist.

Medications

Certain new medications might lead to increasing gum bleeding, blood thinners chief among them. This may also happen with anticonvulsants, blood pressure meds, and even certain immune-suppressants you might take.

In certain cases, lowered saliva quantity can cause gum bleeding – and this can also be brought on by certain medications. Antihistamines, sedatives, anti-psychotics and anti-depressants all may have this effect on some people.

Nutritional Concerns

If your diet is too short on vitamins C or K, this can lead to bleeding gums. A general practitioner can test blood levels for these vitamins. If you’re low on vitamin C, add more citrus fruits to the diet. For a vitamin K deficiency, look to leafy green vegetables more often.

Hormones

Pregnant women may be more susceptible to bleeding gums due to hormone fluctuations during this period. Within a couple months of giving birth, these issues have usually subsided.

Health Issues

In rare cases, bleeding gums may be a sign of a more significant health issue in the body. Leukemia, for instance, causes excessive bleeding in several areas of the body. Another blood clotting condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura may also be possible.

For more on what your bleeding gums are telling you, or to learn about any of the services we provide at our dental clinic, speak to the staff at the offices of John D. Stark, DDS today.

Why Replacing Missing Teeth is Vital

Why Replacing Missing Teeth is Vital

At the offices of John D. Stark, DDS, we understand that certain parts of the dental world can sometimes be tough to grasp for our clients. Some may not understand the exact purpose or procedure of a root canal, for instance, or maybe you’ve never quite understood what dental X-rays are for – our staff is happy to explain any and all procedures to you.

One area that some patients often ask about is dental implants. In particular, some of our patients often wonder why they need these in the first place – if a missing tooth isn’t causing any direct discomfort and the person dealing with it doesn’t mind, what’s so important about getting a replacement implant?

As it turns out, though, there are several reasons why this is vital. Not immediately replacing a missing tooth can lead to the following issues:

Tooth Shifting

As you develop from childhood into adulthood, your jaw grows in a manner specifically meant to hold and properly operate 28 teeth. These teeth function symbiotically – if one of them is removed or falls out, the others begin to shift into that space to ensure everything is covered.

This can quickly throw all your teeth out of alignment. It can lead to bite issues due to the upper and lower jaws not meeting properly, and can also damage the joint in the jaw over time. It may also lead to tooth eruptions and major sensitivity to temperature or sweet items.

Tooth Decay

Another issue with tooth shifting is the way it can make certain teeth in the mouth harder to reach during brushing or flossing, which leads to increased bacteria formation and resulting tooth decay. In addition, that open space where your tooth is missing will serve as a breeding ground for bacteria to grow and spread around.

Digestive Issues

We may not always think of it this way, but the mouth and teeth are part of the digestive system – in fact, they’re the part of the system that kicks everything off. Missing teeth can change the effectiveness of your chewing which can in turn affect the way you digest food. Many people with missing teeth that aren’t replaced develop acid reflux or other digestive issues.

Speech Problems

If the missing tooth is in the wrong area of your mouth, it could cause immediate speech issues. You may begin to slur or lisp certain words or sounds as your tongue becomes confused about forming speech patterns that involvecontact with the teeth. You may also find yourself spitting far more often.

Facial Appearance

Finally, a missing tooth can even affect the way you look. The roots of your teeth are vital for bone development – every chew you make with your jaw stimulates the root structure and bone. But if you lose a tooth, that bone begins to deteriorate, often leading to major issues of a sunken appearance on the face. In addition to this, you may notice decreasing jaw function.

For more on why missing teeth need to be replaced, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the pros at the offices of John D. Stark, DDS today.

Diet and Cavity prevention

The American Dental Association’s recommendations for healthy teeth are to brush twice a day and floss once a day. These are standard habits for most people and help protect against cavities. However, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey published by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in 2004 shows that 92% of adults in the United States have cavities in their permanent teeth. With this in mind, there is more that affects dental health than how often we are brushing.

The phrase you are what you eat is a statement that hits close to home here. What we eat directly affectsdental health. According to the Yale School of Medicine, the cells in our mouths can be negatively affected by sugary foods, just like the rest of the body. Eating acidic foods damages enamel and reduces the ability of your teeth to fight decay and infection. An overall unhealthy diet impedes the body’s ability to fight off infection, including in your mouth. The acids produced after eating sugary or acidic food will remain in the mouth for up to 20 many minutes after consumption, working against your teeth the whole time.

Another helpful tip is that after you do eat something sugary or otherwise unhealthy, do not brush immediately afterwards. A specialist from New York University College of Dentistry, Dr. Miriam Robbins, says this is because the acid produced by eating such food remains in your mouth for 20 many minutes afterwards and is breaking down enamel during that time. Brushing your teeth could further damage the enamel that is being attacked. Waiting for about 40 minutes for the acid to reduce will make a brushing much more effective.

There are a few common foods that can fight off cavities. A professor at New York University College of Dentistry recommends cheese and dairy products because they help build strong teeth and actually contain acid neutralizers. Vegetables are also a safe route to go, because there are limited sugars and many of them will naturally clean the teeth and cause an increase in saliva production, which is the body’s way of cleaning the teeth on its own.

Choosing the right color for your porcelain veneers

Nobody trying to improve their smile wants to end up feeling like their smile looks worse after the dental visit than before. Dr. Stark, a dentist in South Jordan, Utah understands that this is especially important when it comes to cosmetic procedures like porcelain veneers.

There are a number of reasons to get porcelain veneers: cracked teeth, crooked teeth, discolored teeth, to name a few. The bottom line is that our smiles are an important part of who we are, so veneers have the potential to help us feel better about ourselves.

Veneers are thin pieces of tooth-mimicking material that are firmly attached to the front of discolored, crooked or chipped teeth. It’s a way to have a new, brighter smile!

But that doesn’t mean that you should get veneers that are white. Teeth aren’t white, but a generally a shade of off-white, which means a mouth full of really white teeth would probably just look strange. Your friends and family would probably wonder why in the world you did that to your smile.

In addition, teeth are semi-transparent, or see-through, so it is important that veneers mimic that. The whole goal isn’t to give you a fake smile, but a real one, and one that matches your appearance and skin tone. Consult with Dr. Stark to learn more about the best ways to pick the right veneers color. Remember that he is very experienced with veneers, and can give you excellent advice.

Also remember that teeth naturally darken over time, and that darkening is often sped up through habits like coffee drinking, smoking, and through other drinks and foods. Older people will look more natural with a darker shade of teeth.

Remember that veneers are meant to be permanent, so decide carefully about the shade you really want. It is good to want a new a look, and you can get it, but also be conservative, so that you don’t leave the dental office with any regrets.

Why Dental Checkups

We don’t usually think about going to the dentist or the doctor until there’s a problem. We don’t think about the doctor until we get really sick and we don’t think about the dentist until we have a toothache. When it comes to dental health, that’s a problem. The old saying goes, “prevention is the best cure” and it’s never truer than when you’re talking about dental health. Getting to the dentist for your regular cleanings is the best way to prevent common dental diseases like cavities, gingivitis and more.

During a checkup, dentists are looking for a few specific signs that indicate the level of a patient’s dental health. Depending on how things look, a dentist can take preventative measure or intervene to stop a problem from getting any worse.

Examining your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough checkup with Dr. Stark. During your appointment, he will most likely gauge the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination, and check your mouth for any indications of diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or oral cancer. It is not uncommon for your dentist to also examine your face, bite, saliva and the movement of your lower jaw joints.

Your South Jordan dentist or dental hygienist will use your appointment to clean your teeth and advise you in the areas where your dental hygiene might be lacking.

When we don’t keep to our dental hygiene the way we should, which includes brushing and flossing daily, we leave plaque deposits on our teeth. After 72 hours, plaque can harden and turn into tartar that can only a dentist can remove. Failing to remove plaque and tartar buildup, which produces acid that weakens our teeth, makes us more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.

If it’s been six months or more since your last visit to the dentist, make an appointment as soon as possible to schedule a dental cleaning and an exam. Call us or contact us to schedule an appointment today.

What is the purpose of a Filling

We fight a constant battle against the bacteria is our mouths, and sometimes we lose. Cavities. We all dread hearing that word from our dentist. The solution is often a filling, but why do we need fillings?

Bacteria in the mouth produce an acid that eats away at your teeth. As this decay occurs, pain can begin to show up, and the structure of your tooth can be compromised. Cavities often show up in hard-to-reach places, like between the teeth, or back in the molars, where it can be hard to brush, especially for children.

If it weren’t for fillings, some people might just have to get rid of their decayed teeth, or at least have to have a much more serious dental procedure.

A cavity isn’t just on the surface of the tooth. The decay continues to go into the tooth. For this reason, Dr. Stark will need to remove a portion of the tooth (the decayed part), resulting in a hole. That hole must be filled to maintain the integrity of the tooth, so you can keep using it effectively.

It is important to remember that most cavities don’t hurt until it’s too late, and then a root canal is required. This is why regular dental check-ups are so important.

Modern dentistry has provided a number of different materials for this filling (you are literally filling a hole in the mouth, after all!). Some dentists use silver alloy. Other materials are white, to match the teeth. Consult with Dr. Stark to see which type of filling is best for you. Ask him about amalgam, composite and silver fillings. There are various pros and cons of each:

There will probably be a little discomfort when Dr. Stark performs the procedure, but anesthetic is great at taking away any serious pain. There will be some numbness.

A high speed drill is used to remove the decay. This instrument also uses water, which is why an assistant will be there to suction the water out. After the decay is removed, the location on the tooth needs to be prepared to receive the filling. Then the hole is filled, and the patient is sent on his or her way!

Dental IMplants

Dental implants are a highly effective and very popular procedure for replacing missing or damaged teeth. Dr. John Stark is experienced with dental implants, with the expertise to give you the natural smile you want.

Dental implants require multiple steps. This is because the implant actually needs to integrate with the jawbone and the rest of the mouth, which requires stages of healing.

The first step is to replace the root of the tooth with an implant. This can require removal of an existing tooth that is damaged or diseased. Dr. Stark places a metal implant into the bone underlying the gums. This part of the implant isn’t seen. Sometimes there isn’t enough bone to allow for a safe implant. Different procedures are used to modify the bone so that it can take an implant.

After this new root is planted, some healing must occur, which requires time. Dentists have various options for temporary replacements to fill gaps in the teeth while the implant is healing.

After healing is complete, Dr. Stark will carefully examine the implant, to make sure that the implant has successfully integrated with the bone. If things have gone well, then he will add an abutment onto the top of the implant, which the false tooth will rest on. Then the gum needs to heal around this new portion of the implant.

The new prosthetic tooth or teeth are created to fit perfectly with the other teeth in your mouth.

There are many different options when it comes to replacing teeth, but implants are probably the best option, in both appearance and functionality. Other options, such as dentures or bridges, don’t replicate the natural structure of teeth as well. Changes in the gums and changes of aging can make dentures uncomfortable and bothersome, whereas implants quickly become a secure part of the mouth.

a Guide to Children’s dental health

Tooth decay is more and more prevalent in our world today. Despite all the advances in medical and dental technology, our diet and modern lifestyle is still fighting to keep up with tooth decay. Both adults and children suffer from record amounts of tooth decay, due to inadequate oral hygiene and too many and too frequent consumption of carbohydrates. Despite the fact that tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, it is the most common chronic disease in children.

Tooth decay in children can have negative effects that go beyond the appearance of their smile. Pediatric dental disease can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, distracting toothaches and more. Every year, children in the US miss thousands of hours of school due to preventable tooth decay and poor dental hygiene.

Establishing healthy diet and dental hygiene habits at an early age is crucial for the long term health of children, yet more and more children are experiencing gum disease and tooth decay at an earlier age because of short-comings in their diet. With a few simple changes in diet and regular maintenance such as brushing and flossing, we can get the jump on tooth decay and keep our teeth, and our children’s teeth, healthy and strong.

Vitamins A & D are very important to the development of healthy bones in children and many studies suggest that vitamin D can help prevent cavities. Without these crucial vitamins, children are more susceptible to conditions like rickets, tooth decay and poor bone development.

Children can often be picky eaters, making it difficult to ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals their growing bodies need. This is why pediatricians recommend giving children vitamin D fortified dairy as well a daily multi vitamin. Also, using natural products and replacing highly processed foods with whole grains, fruits and vegetables is a great way to get children those critical nutrients their bodies need.

Diets including fish and provide omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient for brain development and function, and a rich source of fat-soluble vitamin D. Yellow butter, which comes from grass fed cows, is an important source of a substance called “Activator X” which plays a key role in our bodies’ utilization of vitamins D & A.

Making changes to a family’s diet may sometimes seem overwhelming and costly, but it doesn’t have to be. Changes in diet can be simple and the family’s eating habits don’t have to change drastically. Sometimes the simple choices can make a big difference. The simple choices you make today can make all the difference in the health of your family.

Dr. Stark Partners with the Utah Food Bank.

During December for all new patents we donate 10% of your X-rays, Exam, and Cleaning to the Utah Food Bank. If you don’t have insurance the cost is $99 for a full check up. For most patients with insurance these procedures are 100% covered, but what is free to you could significantly affect the life of hungry child. One in five Utah kids don’t know where there next meal will come from. A normal adult checkup will provide over 50 meals for a hungry child and a family of 5 will generate over 200 meals for the Utah Food Bank.

Best of all we will donate 10% of all of your future checkups to the Utah Food Bank if you come twice a year for check ups and post our Food Bank promotion on Facebook or Instagram. You must mention this promotion when you call to schedule.