July 17, 2017
July is when we get to celebrate our country’s independence, and our team at Lapalco Family Dental is giving you another reason to celebrate!
We want you to finally free yourself from the fear and anxiety that’s been keeping you out of the dentist’s chair for too long. Millions of Americans suffer from dental anxiety to the extent that it compromises their oral and overall health. With all the advances in dentistry over the last few decades, there just isn’t a good reason to let that fear hold your health hostage anymore.
That’s why today’s blog is dedicated to answering a couple of the most common questions patients have about dental anxiety and how you can overcome it.
Question #1: If I’m not in pain, why does it matter if I skip routine dental checkups?
This is perfectly reasonable question and one that we hear quite a bit. One of the reasons you should never skip dental cleanings and exams is that not every dental problem comes with noticeable symptoms like pain and discomfort.
A great example of this is gum disease. This is an insidious infection that can sneak up on you. There are three main stages of gum disease, the earliest of which is gingivitis. It can take many years for the disease to advance to its most serious stage, and by then, you’re at serious risk for overall health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, not to mention tooth loss.
Gum disease can come with various symptoms like red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. But unfortunately, there are some cases where a person with gum disease won’t show any symptoms at all. That’s why you need to have your teeth and gums thoroughly cleaned and examined by a professional on a regular basis.
With prevention and early detection, you can ultimately save your teeth, save your smile, and save your life.
Question #2: How can I get over my intense fear of the dentist?
Once you understand the importance of regular dental checkups, your next question almost always centers around how you can go about making that first step toward conquering your fears.
It’s actually so much easier than most people realize. Dentistry has come so far thanks to modern technology. Many procedures that were painful in the past simply aren’t painful anymore. The tools and techniques Dr. Landry uses here in our Marrero dental office allow us to provide a far more comfortable experience in the dentist’s chair than you’ve probably had in years past.
But it’s not just the technology that’s changed the face of dentistry. Now, you can rely on sedation options to help you feel calm and relaxed while you receive treatment. Although we do offer nitrous oxide, which has been a widely popular method for many years, our options in oral sedation have been incredibly effective in helping patients conquer their dental anxiety.
With oral sedation, you can take a pill prior to your procedure that will allow you to get and stay comfortable throughout your treatment. Even though you’re awake and aware of what’s happening, the medicine takes the edge off and helps you feel completely relaxed. Sedation gives you the courage to get the dental care you need to keep your teeth, gums, and smile as healthy and beautiful as possible.
Now it’s our turn to ask the questions! Are you ready to break free from your dental anxiety so you can get and stay healthy? With our technology, our gentle, patient-centered approach, and our sedation options, you have absolutely no reason to fear our team of caring professionals!
January 10, 2017
It seems like everytime I flipped through a dental journal I read about another study showing us the dangerous overall health effects of gum disease, often called periodontal disease. Several years ago, we dentists discovered that gum disease was linked to heart disease and diabetes. Then it was alzheimer’s. The list went on and on.
Most recently, researchers have been looking at a link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The study found that patients with gum disease had high amounts of citrullinated proteins in their saliva. Those with rheumatoid arthritis have an immune response citrullinated proteins. There is no cause-and-effect relationship between these two diseases, at least not that we’ve found yet. But it’s interesting to see how widespread gum disease is.
Today I want to cover some of the problems you can face when you struggle with gum disease. We’ll also review a few ways you can resolve the problem before it balloons into something extremely serious.
Gum Disease is More About Red, Swollen Tissue
Gum disease is a widespread oral health issue that will affect more than 50 percent of Americans. That’s a huge number, and no one is immuned from gum disease, so you need to arm yourself with information.
The first signs of gum disease are swollen or bleeding gums, but it’s possible to have gum disease and show no physical signs. There are different levels of gum disease, with gingivitis being the most common. In its later stages, gum disease will become full-blown periodontics. Unfortunately, gingivitis is the only form of gum disease that is curable. If you have periodontitis, you’ll need dental care for the rest of your life. We recommend that patients with periodontal disease visit our office about once every three to four months for checkups.
Perhaps one of the scariest facts about gum disease is that is the leading cause of tooth loss. Most people assume that tooth decay is the leading cause of tooth loss, but it’s not. Gum disease can spread throughout the mouth quickly and with little warning. If left untreated, gum disease will destroy the gums and the bone surrounding the tooth’s socket. When the bone around the tooth is compromised, it’s highly possible that the tooth will begin to fail.
You Are Your Best Defense Against Gum Disease
Regular cleanings are a great time to check the state of your teeth and gums. We don’t just look at the health of the teeth; we also check your gums for signs of gum disease. Outside of the office, you can maintain great gum health by flossing regularly. Some people think that flossing is optional, but you cannot consider your mouth clean when you skip flossing.
Consider this ratio: About 35 to 40 percent of the tooth is beneath the gums. A toothbrush cannot reach those areas effectively. The only way to properly clean beneath the gums is with floss. Flossing will take maybe 30 seconds, but look at what you gain. You greatly reduce your risk of gum disease and the harmful overall health illnesses that rub elbows with gum disease.
We can help you monitor your teeth and gums. Call our office today at 504-264-6461 to visit our office.
September 25, 2016
A nice smile needs one extremely important feature — teeth.
If you are missing one or more teeth, people will notice, and that will not improve the appearance of your smile in pictures or in person.
Most people realize that taking care of their teeth will help prevent tooth decay and cavities. However, many people don’t realize there is another oral health issue that is more likely to cause tooth loss.
Believe it or not, gum disease causes more lost teeth than anything else in the United States.
At Lapalco Dental Center, our dentist and the rest of our staff want all our patients in and around Marrero, LA, to keep as many of their teeth for as long as possible. This is why we promote preventive care and periodontal treatment in our practice.
Taking Care Of Your Gums
You should be proactive if you want to keep your gums and smile as healthy as possible.
This starts with your dental hygiene. Following the recommendations of the American Dental Association will go a long way toward keeping your mouth free from tooth decay and gum disease.
The bacteria that cause those problems live inside your mouth, and they multiply every day. A good oral hygiene routine helps to keep them under control.
Brushing twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste is an effective way to remove bacteria. You should be brushing for two minutes every time, and you should be sure to scrub your teeth on all sides.
The ADA also recommends using an interdental cleaner at least once per day. Dental flosser, flossers, and water flossers are three examples of interdental cleaners.
When used correctly, these will remove food particles and plaque from the spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach, namely between your teeth and below your gumline.
If you have questions about any interdental cleaner, please contact our Louisiana dental center or ask when you visit us for your next cleaning and examination.
Professional cleanings are important for maintaining your oral health. During these cleanings, a member of our staff will remove any plaque or tartar that may have formed in your mouth, and then we will polish your teeth for good measure.
As part of your visit, we will check for any periodontal problems, and we will let you know what you should do to address them if we find anything.
What To Watch For
As important as preventive care is in preserving your periodontal health, it’s equally important to know the symptoms of gum disease.
In the early stages (known as gingivitis), you may notice bleeding when you brush or floss. This is often a sign that you may not be brushing or flossing frequently enough or that you may not be brushing or flossing correctly.
Red, swollen gums are another sign of gingivitis. Following the ADA guidelines for your daily oral care can reverse those symptoms in many cases.
If your gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, you may notice these symptoms as well:
▸ Receding gums
▸ Sore and tender gums
▸ Bad breath (halitosis) or a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
▸ Pus leaking from your gums
▸ Teeth that feel loose in their sockets
Below the surface of your gumline, you may have pockets forming inside your gums where bacteria can hide from your toothbrush and dental floss. As plaque and tartar build in those pockets, the infection can start to eat away at that bone that holds your teeth in place and may cause your gums to pull away from your teeth.
Our hope is that you will make an appointment for a periodontal treatment at the earliest signs of gum disease. This is when treatment is the least invasive and the most effective.
Scaling and root planing is a common first step to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar formations from the roots of your teeth. We also use dental lasers to remove the infected gum tissue without surgery.
Our lasers effectively evaporate the infected tissue and seal the remaining healthy tissue at the same time. This is more precise that gum surgery, and it decreases the time you need to heal from your treatment.
Stay Alert, Be Proactive
Keeping your mouth as healthy as possible requires keeping your gums healthy, too. Take the steps needed to prevent periodontal disease, and be aware of any changes that could indicate a problem.
Remember to visit Lapalco Dental Care for routine cleanings and to seek treatment as soon as possible at our dentist office in Marrero, LA, if you think you may have gum disease.
September 17, 2016
Here at Lapalco Family Dental, we want to make sure our patients have all of the information they need to maintain healthy, beautiful smiles. That means arming them with the facts! Check out our infographic below for tooth loss statistics. Give us a call at 504-264-6461 with any questions or concerns. We would also be happy to help you schedule an appointment.
March 22, 2016
Spring has arrived.
This means a lot of things, but for many families, it’s time for spring cleaning. This is a good time of year to go through our homes and garages to figure out what to keep and what to let go.
Many people also use this as a time to remove the accumulated dirt from the past year (or more) on the outside of their homes.
So, why not take a similar approach to your oral care? (We are assuming that you want to keep your teeth.)
If you haven’t already scheduled your next cleaning and examination at Lapalco Family Dental, call our dentist office in Marrero, LA, today. When you do, why not take your cleaning one step further and have your teeth whitened at the same time?
Start With The Basics
Dental hygiene is essential for your oral health.
You need to brush your teeth twice per day every day, and you need to brush for two minutes every time you brush. You should floss your teeth every day, too, to remove as many bacteria and as much plaque as possible.
You should also make plans to visit our office at least twice a year for cleanings and examinations.
No matter how well you brush and floss, it’s always a good idea to have professional cleanings, too. We will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that you may have missed.
We also will take X-rays of your teeth to check for any changes in your alignment and to identify places where cavities may be forming.
Keep in mind that your visits are about fixing problems when they are small and preventing them whenever possible. This is why we offer fluoride treatments as well.
Fluoride helps to keep your teeth healthy. It strengthens the enamel on the outside of your teeth, and it can repair enamel that has received minor damage.
Take Your Smile To The Next Level
Even if your teeth are perfectly healthy they may not be perfectly white.
As we get older, our teeth naturally will become less bright and less white. Every cup of coffee, every glass of tea, every meal that you eat has a small effect on your teeth.
Those stains can build slowly and gradually for decades until you realize your pearly white aren’t so white anymore.
To help your teeth look as healthy as they can, we offer professional teeth whitening in our office. You can schedule your whitening while you are already visiting us for your next cleaning.
We use Boost whitening products in our office.
If you told us today that your teeth needed to be whiter for an event tomorrow, than Boost in-office treatments would be the way to go. You will notice a significant improvement to your smile in a single visit to our office.
To take your whitening to the next level, we can provide you with one of Boost’s take-home products. These include a bleaching agent and trays that you can wear overnight.
That’s right. You can whiten your teeth while you sleep.
What About Commercial Whitening?
Can commercial products work? Some work better than others, but none of them work as well as professional whitening products.
The difference is sort of like the difference between a fire hose and your garden hose. Both of them use water, but one gets a lot more power out of it.
Professional and commercial whitening products often use the same active ingredients, but professional products have a much higher concentration of that ingredient. This is why they are available through dentists and not at the grocery store.
There’s another way to look at the difference between professional and commercial whitening products. Imagine each product is a long distance runner.
In a little over two hours, a world-class runner can complete the entire marathon. Recreational runners may only cover half, one-third, or even less of that distance in that same amount of time.
That’s sort of the same way professional whitening products, like Boost, can give you better results in the same amount of time (and often in less time) when compared to commercial products.
Do Something For Your Teeth
You can’t deny that your teeth have been an important part of your life. As long as you have had them, they have helped you bite into and chew up the foods that you eat.
Your teeth are the main attraction in your smile, so why not include them in this year’s spring cleaning.
Call 504-264-6461 or fill out our online form to schedule a professional cleaning and professional teeth whitening at Lapalco Family Dental in Marrero, LA.