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From the American Academy of Periodontology
Beyond the Brush: Five Ways to Promote Healthy Teeth & Gums

According to the AAP, the following tips may help sustain healthy teeth and gums while also helping you live an overall healthy lifestyle:
•  Eat and drink up. It is well known that eating a balanced diet leads to proper nutrition and helps keep the body running efficiently. Studies published in the Journal of Periodontology (JOP) have also shown that certain foods can promote teeth and gum health. Foods containing omega-3, calcium, vitamin D and even honey have all been shown to reduce the incidence or severity of periodontal disease.
•  Hit the gym. Frequent exercise is a recognized way to avoid being overweight, and it may ultimately reduce your risk of periodontal disease. In a study published in the Journal of Periodontology, researchers found that subjects who maintained a healthy weight and had high levels of physical fitness had a lower incidence of severe periodontitis than those that did not exercise.
•  Stress less. Stress can lead to a variety of health complications, including periodontal disease. Research published in the JOP showed a relationship between stress and periodontal disease. Increased levels of cortisol, which the body releases when experiencing stress, can intensify the destruction of the gums and bone due to periodontal disease. In addition, another JOP study indicated that people experiencing stress are more likely to neglect their oral hygiene.

For the full article from the American Academy of Periodontology Newsroom, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Patient Forms

We do not have our medical history forms online to comply with HIPAA regulations. Please come to your first appointment 15 – 20 minutes early to fill out the forms on our iPad. Please bring a list of the medications you take and any removable appliances such as retainers or bite guards to your first visit.

Will periodontal surgery hurt?

Only local anesthetic ("novocaine") is necessary to perform periodontal surgeries. During the visit you should feel nothing once the area has been numbed. When the "novocaine" wears off, there will be mild to moderate discomfort. Medication will be prescribed to control any discomfort you might experience.

Antibiotics or antibacterial rinses also may be prescribed. If you take your medicine as directed and follow your periodontist's instructions, you probably will experience only minor discomfort. Most patients resume their normal routines a few days after surgery.

Nervous or fearful patients could benefit from use of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) or from oral sedation using Valium or Halcion. We want you to be as comfortable as possible throughout your treatment.

Will I be able to speak and eat normally after surgery?

You should be able to speak normally after the anesthetic has worn off. It is important to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet after surgery. You will need to avoid chewing in the surgical area for at least one week. Following some types of periodontal surgery, the teeth may be more sensitive to hot and cold. This will diminish considerably during the first few weeks after surgery, and may be treated with a simple in-office procedure, and home-use products.

When will I need to return to my periodontist?

Usually patients return in one week to remove any stitches and to cleanse the surgical area. Additional follow-up appointments will be required to evaluate your healing response and to review proper oral hygiene procedures.

Will I ever need surgery again?

Proper oral hygiene procedures at home and regular professional care are key factors in achieving a successful long-term result. Periodontal diseases are chronic diseases that require constant and careful attention.

Helpful Oral Hygiene Tips

Select a brush with soft, end-rounded or polished bristles. It is important to replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles become worn.

The Oral-B Braun and the Sonicare are excellent electric brushes. Dr. Layport can assist you in selecting a brush.

When choosing a toothpaste or gel, look for a product containing fluoride. Fluoride helps reduce tooth decay in adults and children. If you have sensitive teeth, then sensitive formula toothpaste may help. Anti-tartar toothpastes can increase sensitivity to cold in some patients.

Oral irrigators, such as the Water Pik, are meant to enhance, not replace, regular brushing and flossing.

Mouthwashes are primarily used to freshen breath. If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist. Bad breath can be a sign of poor oral health. Children under six years of age should not use mouthwashes.

When flossing, establish a regular pattern. Do the top half on one side, then the other. Move to the bottom half on one side, then the other. This way you're less likely to miss any teeth. As the floss becomes frayed or soiled, a turn from one middle finger to the other will bring up a fresh section.

You may experience sore or bleeding gums for the first five or six days that you floss. This should stop once the plaque is broken up and the bacteria removed. If bleeding does not stop, call your dentist. Improper flossing may harm your gums.

Persons who have trouble handling floss may wish to try a floss holder or an interdental cleaning aid. The Proxa-brush or Stim-U-Dents are good tools for many patients. Dr. Layport will recommend a home-care regimen individually tailored to your needs.

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