Posts for: December, 2016

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
December 23, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.

“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.

Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.

“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.

Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?

Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.

Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a third to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.

Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”

Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.

If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”

Considering dental implants? In the last ten years, implants have become widely used in mainstream dentistry. Dr. Jeffrey Mason is a dental implants

world-class dentist in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ who offers state-of-the-art dental implants to his patients. Here's everything you've ever wanted to know about dental implants.

What is a Dental Implant?

Usually made of titanium, dental implants replace the roots of the missing teeth. Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone underneath your gums. Once in place, the dental implants allow your Hasbrouck Heights dentist to mount artificial teeth onto them.

What Are the Benefits of Implants?

Dental implants function, feel and look like natural teeth. They will give you the ability to eat and smile with confidence. Dental implants do not move or slip. This eliminates some of the key problems of dentures, including gum irritation and poor fit. Dental implants will also enhance your appearance and improve the quality of your life. 

How Painful Are Dental Implants?

Most individuals who have had dental implant surgery say that there's little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during dental implant surgery. Most individuals report that dental implants involve less discomfort than a dental extraction. After the procedure, discomfort or soreness can be treated with pain medications.

Are You a Candidate for Implants?

In most cases, anyone who is healthy enough to undergo oral surgery or a dental extraction can be considered for dental implants. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the dental implant. Individuals suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders and heavy smokers need to be evaluated on an individual basis.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

In general, dental implants have a success rate of about 98 percent, according to WebMD. The success rate of implants varies, depending on where in the jaw they are placed. While your new dental implants may need adjustments from time to time, they can last a lifetime when properly cared for.

How Do I Care for Dental Implants?

Good dental hygiene must take place after placement of dental implants to ensure the health of the implants. Your new dental implants will require the same care as your real teeth, including brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups and cleanings, and rinsing with mouthwash.
Are you ready for a brand new smile? Call Dr. Mason in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ at 201-288-4447 right now to schedule your dental implant consultation. Don't you owe it to yourself to get your smile back?

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
December 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

There's more to your dental visit than preventing or treating teeth or gum problems. We're also on the lookout for a number of potential soft tissue problems that could occur in or around your mouth.

Here are 4 examples of such problems we can detect and help you manage.

Lumps. Whenever you accidentally bite the inside of your mouth, the wound you create forms a protective layer of hard collagen. Unfortunately, the “callous” can rise higher than the surrounding cheek surface and easily get in the way of your teeth again. With successive bites and more scar tissue you'll soon notice a prominent lump. Although not a health danger, it becomes annoying with each successive bite. We can surgically remove the lump and flatten out the mouth surface.

Canker sores. Known as aphthous ulcers, these round sores with a yellow-gray center and a red “halo” can break out on the inside cheeks, tongue or back of the throat. Unless they don't heal within a couple of weeks or seem to be increasing in frequency, they're nothing to worry about. They can, however, cause a burning or stinging sensation. We can reduce this discomfort and speed healing with over-the-counter ointments or prescription options like topical or injected steroids.

Cracked mouth corners. Also known as perleche (from the French lecher, meaning “to lick”), your mouth corners can become dry and irritated and you may begin licking them to soothe the discomfort. Accumulated saliva can trigger a yeast infection, which can spread to other parts of your mouth. We can usually prevent this by prescribing antifungal ointments, and a steroid ointment to control inflammation.

Mouth rash. Peri-oral dermatitis is a red, scaly rash that appears around the outside of the mouth. Because it's often mistaken for acne or other conditions, it's often treated with topical steroids. This actually suppresses the skin's normal healing effects and can actually make the rash worse. The best way to treat it is to stop using any kind of ointment or cream and use only mild soap to wash the area. We can also prescribe antibiotics to help speed the healing process.

If you would like more information on these and other soft tissue problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Common Lumps and Bumps in the Mouth,” “Mouth Sores,” and “Cracked Corners of the Mouth.”