December 07, 2012
Category: Health
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Eight Benefits of Tooth Brushing – That Have Nothing To Do With Your Teeth!!

We are all aware that brushing your teeth on a regular basis prevents cavities and keeps you smiling; however, there are many other surprising benefits, including these eight that don’t have to do with your teeth!

1.        According to a study published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, participants who did not brush on a regular basis had a 65 percent greater chance of developing dementia compared to those who did not brush.  So, don’t forget to brush!!

2.       A study in The American Journal of Medicine found that regular brushing decreases the chance of stroke!  (Wow – that is two very serious diseases can be curtailed with good oral hygiene. )

3.       As any dentist, hygienist, or physician can tell you, regular brushing (and flossing) helps to prevent gum disease.  But you may not know that along with causing stinky breath and unattractive smiles, gum disease is a major indicator of heart disease and the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.

4.       A study published in the Journal of Periodontology has shown that increased brushing decreases the risk of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and COPD.  Why?  Bacteria which form on the teeth make their way into the lungs and respiratory tract, wreaking havoc along the way.

5.       Dental researcher DR. Caitia Gazola has shown that having healthy teeth and gums increases the chances of having healthy babies, while dental disease can cause underweight pre-term babies.  And men – you aren’t off the hook!  We strongly suspect that not brushing your teeth can regularly can exclude you from the whole pregnancy process!

6.       Prevention magazine has reported that regular brushing can help you maintain a healthy weight!  Why?  Brushing your teeth indicates to the brain that mealtime is over.  Plus – food just doesn’t taste as good with squeaky clean teeth!

7.       Okay guys- here’s your turn.  Several studies have shown that men with poor oral hygiene are at greater risk for erectile dysfunction.  Scared yet???

8.       Have a heart – a healthy one that is!  The American Journal of Medicine has linked dental health with heart attack risk. 

So if clean teeth, fresh breath, a beautiful smile and fewer cavities aren’t enough, here are eight reasons why brushing your teeth on a regular basis can save your life!  Plus let’s face it – going around with a big piece of food stuck between your chompers is not the most attractive look in the world!

Don’t forget, just as important as brushing your teeth, is doing it correctly.  And if you are not getting regular dental cleanings, your efforts aren’t nearly as effective so make sure that you visit us here at Hudsonville Family Dentistry at least twice per year!  We will see you on your next visit☺

By Michigan Dental Association
June 08, 2012
Category: Health
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Healthy Bodies Start With Healthy Mouths  
(Michigan Dental Association)

Since the condition of the mouth mirrors the condition of the body as a whole, your dentist may be the first health care provider to see signs of a health problem. If something out of the ordinary is discovered, a follow-up with your physician may result in early detection and successful treatment of a more serious medical problem. So, if you know you are at risk for certain illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes, be sure to inform your dentist.

How can my dentist find illnesses like heart disease and diabetes? 
Your dentist doesn’t diagnose these illnesses, but may find oral symptoms that could relate to problems that might affect the rest of the body.

But shouldn’t I count on my physician to find any health problems?
Yes, but that’s only part of the strategy. Your oral health is an important part of your overall health and your dentist is a key member of your personal health care team. The lips, tongue, gums, salivary glands and oral tissue can all warn of trouble in your general health. What your dentist sees in your mouth may reveal the first signs of systemic disease, or a disease that affects the entire body, rather than a single organ or body part.

If my dentist says my oral health is good, should I still see my physician?
Absolutely. Regular dental exams, just like an annual physical, are an important part of your overall health care. Dental visits should never replace the care of your physician in any way.

So, what can my MDA-member dentist do? 
A regular oral exam allows your dentist to keep your mouth in first-class shape and watch for any changes in your oral health or signs that may indicate problems elsewhere in the body. A dental exam also picks up on poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems and improper jaw alignment.

By scheduling regular dental visits and talking with your dentist, you can help keep your mouth…and body…healthy throughout your life.

Medical Conditions and their Oral Symptoms

Oral Cancer
Your dentist can screen for precancerous changes in the oral tissues. This early detection of oral cancer can result in successful treatment. Even better, oral cancer can be prevented if found and treated at the precancerous stage. About 25 percent of people diagnosed with oral cancer — the sixth most common cancer in the U.S. — have none of the traditional risk factors associated with the disease, such as the use of tobacco products or drinking alcohol.

Dentists can now use a new tool to detect oral cancer in its earliest stages. The brush biopsy allows the dentist to scrape cells from the tissue and send them to the lab for analysis. This simple screening device represents a breakthrough in the fight against cancer. It is expected to aid in the early diagnosis of the disease, and improve the survival rates for those who develop oral cancer.

Pregnancy Complications
Infants born prematurely in the U. S. account for six to nine percent of all births, but 70 percent of all prenatal deaths. The National Institutes of Health reports that as many as 18 percent of the 250,000 premature low-weight infants born in this country each year may be the result of inflammatory gum disease. Surprisingly, this is about the same as the percentage explained by cigarette smoking.

Studies show that pregnant women with severe gum disease have seven times the risk of delivering a low-birthweight baby. These pregnancy complications may be partially preventable through improved oral health during pregnancy. It only makes sense to safeguard your oral health, and your baby’s, through proper oral health care.

Heart Disease
Studies have shown that people with severe periodontal disease, an inflammation of the gums that affects an estimated 200 million Americans, are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without gum infection.

A study released in February 2005 shows that older adults who have higher proportions of four periodontal-disease-causing bacteria in their mouths also tend to have thicker carotid arteries, a strong predictor of stroke and heart attack. The study was published in the journal Circulation, and is supported by four agencies of the National Institutes of Health.

The report is the first to draw a direct connection between cardiovascular disease and bacteria involved in periodontal disease.

Research has also shown that other predictors of heart disease are inflammation of the gums around the teeth due to improper hygiene, cavities and missing teeth.

Many people who have diabetes may not know they have it. Your dentist can play an important role in discovering the oral symptoms of diabetes and helping to manage its oral effects. Diabetics tend to get periodontal disease at a rate three to four times higher than people without diabetes.

Other oral problems that diabetes can cause are dry mouth, a burning of the mouth or tongue, a fungal infection called thrush that causes painful white patches in your mouth, or a distinct breath odor. Diabetics who are not diagnosed are at a greater risk for infections following dental procedures such as extractions and root canals.

Want a Healthy Body? Start with a Health Mouth! See your Michigan Dental Association dentist every six months. And smile on!

This article was taken directly from the Michigan Dental Association website.

By Susan
May 09, 2012
Category: Oral Cancer
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Oral Cancer Screening.......Advanced Technology for You.

When it comes to oral cancer detection, it's what you can't see that can be most troubling.  For this reason, Hudsonville Family Dentistry has recently purchased two of the new VELscope Vx systems for the practice.  The VELscope Vx is the latest generation of fluorescence-based detection devices.  It provides enhanced vision when it comes to detecting abnormal areas that might not be visible to the naked eye, including oral cancer and premalignant dysplasia.  When it comes to oral cancer, the difference between early and late detection can mean the difference between life and death.  In addition to the detection of oral cancer and pre-cancerous lesions, it also aides in the discovery of other mucosal abnormalities such as viral, fungal, and bacterial infections.  The VELscope screening is available for only $10 and it is recommended annually for patients who are 18 and older and semi-annually for those who are high-risk.  This new technology is just a part of Hudsonville Family Dentistry's ongoing quest to maintain and improve our patient's health.  

Please take a moment and read the Oral Cancer Facts listed below - this information was taken directly from the Oral Cancer Foundation's Website.

Rates of occurrence in the United States  

Close to 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 40,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). If you expand the definition of oral cancers to include cancer of the larynx, for which the risk factors are the same, the numbers of diagnosed cases grow to approximately 54,000 individuals, and 13,500 deaths per year in the US alone. Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 640,000 new cases being found each year. Statistics on worldwide occurrence Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers commonly referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category. Brain cancer is a cancer category unto itself, and is not included in the head and neck cancer group.

Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Today, (2012) that statement is still true, as there is not a comprehensive program in the US to opportunistically screen for the disease, and without that; late stage discovery is more common. Another obstacle to early discovery (and resulting better outcomes) is the advent of a virus, HPV16, contributing more to the incidence rate of oral cancers, particularly in the posterior part of the mouth (the oropharynx, the tonsils, the base of tongue areas) which many times does not produce visible lesions or discolorations that have historically been the early warning signs of the disease process.

Often oral cancer is only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localized intra oral area. Besides the metastasis, at these later stages, the primary tumor has had time to invade deep into local structures. Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize, and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors. This means that patients who survive a first encounter with the disease, have up to a 20 times higher risk of developing a second cancer. This heightened risk factor can last for 5 to 10 years after the first occurrence. There are several types of oral cancers, but around 90% are squamous cell carcinomas. It is estimated that approximately $3.2 billion is spent in the United States each year on treatment of head and neck cancers. (2010 numbers)

By Susan - Office Coordinator
April 03, 2012
Category: Invisalign
Tags: Untagged

Our entire team just attended a training to certify the office in Invisalign.  Invisalign is the virtually invisible way to straighten teeth using nearly undetectable aligners.  So whether your teeth are too crowded, too far apart, or have shifted since wearing braces, you'll have a new reason to smile with Invisalign.  Call us today to set up your free Invisalign consultation.

By Susan-Office Coordinator
March 13, 2012
Category: Fun Facts
Tags: Untagged

The standard advice to "see your dentist twice a year" was actually invented by an ad agency for Pepsodent toothpaste!  Your dental professional should recommend the correct schedule for your regular dental visits based upon your individual dental and overall health.  Some individuals might be fine to come every 6 months or once per year, but some individuals need to come every three or four months to maintain optimal dental and overall health. 

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