Would You Floss For $8,000?

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Today’s topic is not pretty, but unless you have $8,000 earmarked for your friendly neighborhood periodontist, it could prevent a lot of pain – both dental and financial.

Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the gum tissue around the teeth, the fibers that hold the teeth in the jawbone and the bone itself.

Bacteria get caught between the teeth and also under the gum, forming a sticky substance called “plaque” that hardens to form tartar. This leads to infection know as gingivitis. As it spreads deeper into the bone, it begins to decay and pus forms, which causes swelling, redness and bleeding. If not treated, the teeth would become loose and fall out.

If you remove the soft plaque from the gum margin around the teeth, you will toughen the gum and prevent disease. Here’s how to do that:

-          Floss between the teeth and under the gums. This is the only way to remove plaque effectively from between the teeth.

-          Use a power brush such as an Oral-B Professional (everycheapskate.com/oralb) or Phillips Sonicare Flexcare (everydaycheapskate.com/sonicare) to effectively scrub and vibrate the soft plaque away.

-          Use a rubber tip stimulator (available at drug stores) to massage the gum between the teeth. This toughens the gum and makes it more impervious to bacterial infection.

-          Have a good professional cleaning at least annually.

Dental floss is cheap. You can get yards of it at any drug or grocery store for a buck or two. Most rechargeable, battery-powered toothbrush sell for $60 to $100.  A professional cleaning and exam varies across the country, but runs around $50 to $140.

If you absolutely cannot afford a powered brush, the best alternative is to brush with a soft-bristle, nylon toothbrush. The bristles should be pressed between the gum and the tooth surface at a 45 degree angle just as you would use a scrub brush to clean the angle between a floor and a wall. Brush horizontally, back and forth. Flossing and brushing is the only way to prevent periodontal disease.

In terms of the cost of failing to prevent gum disease, allow me to scare you to death.

If you have gum disease with no bone damage (called gingivitis), the cost of scaling and root planning with follow-up appointments may cost up to $1,600. If there is bone damage (called periodontitis), which needs surgical intervention, the surgical fee could tack on another $3,000 to $4,000. If bone needs to be re-grown by various bone regenerating methods, the cost may be an additional $300 to $400 per tooth.

If you are unfortunate enough to have untreatable, periodontal disease, extraction of hopelessly diseased teeth could cost $100 or more per tooth. And a full set of dentures will run up to $8,000.


Here’s a plan: Spend a little time and money now to prevent gum disease so you can spend that $8,000 on something else more enjoyable.

Periodontal Disease and Obesity

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Obesity is a systemic disease that predisposes to a variety of co-morbidities and complications that affect people’s overall health.  And it’s no surprise that obesity is on the rise in the United States, or that younger and younger people of society are becoming obese. Poor nutrition, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and the lack of health effects tributes to some of the classifications for being over-weight and obese, which pertain to more than 60 percent American adults. Not only does obesity increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, but also contributes to hypertension, arthritis, respiratory problems, and endometrial, prostate, breast, and or colon cancer.
Obesity has also been linked to increasing your risk for periodontal disease, which could head you straight down the path for cardiovascular disease. Fat cells have been thought of as having limited function energy storage. Fat cells produce many chemical signals and hormones. Many of these substances are thought to increase overall inflammation in the body. This could also lead to decreased immune status, which increases susceptibly to periodontal disease. The resulting inflammation could cause the blood flow to decrease and cause the disease to progress.

What Do You Know About Oral Cancer?

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          Oral cancer death rate is higher than that of cancers that everyone hears about on a daily basis like Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer of the testes, cancer in the endocrine system, cervical cancer, or laryngeal cancer. Close to 45,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year alone. Causing 8,650 deaths, that’s roughly one person every hour, 24 hours a day. Sadly of those 45,750 diagnosed with oral cancer only slightly more than half will be alive in five years, that’s about 57%.

         Where does cancer start? Cancer begins in cells, which are the building blocks that make up tissue, and tissues are what make up the organs of the body. When cells are healthy they grow and then divide to form new ones when the body needs them. When a healthy cells gets damaged or becomes old they die. After they die the body needs new cells to take their place. Sometimes this process doesn’t go as planned. If the body allows for new cells to form and they are not needed a growth or tumor is formed, making a mass of tissue.

          The mass of tissue (tumors) can form into two types, benign or malignant. Benign tumors can usually be removed easily, and majority of the time do not grow back and are rarely life threatening. They are usually contained to one area and do not affect any other tissues in the body. Malignant tumors however, can be life threatening, have a high possibility of growing back once removed, and will spread to other tissues throughout the body.

          Oral cancer cells begin to form in the flat cells of the mouth, tongue, and lips. It can spread by branching out from the base tumor and then enter into the lymph and or blood vessels, which lead straight to the other tissues of the body, causing damage to those tissues. Oral cancer is usually diagnosed into four stages. Stages one or two tend to be a smaller mass of tissue (smaller than a half dollar), with no cancer cells found in or around the lymph nodes or other tissues. Stages three or four tends to be a larger mass (more towards the size of a kiwi), these stages have already began to invade surrounding tissues, possibly spreading to other tissues in the body or lymph nodes.

          Most causes of oral cancer are from cigarettes, pipes, cigars or the use of chewing tobacco or snuff. Increased risks for oral cancer increase with the amount of tobacco used per day. People that also consume large amounts of alcohol or have prolonged exposure to the sun can develop oral cancer as well.

          There are signs or symptoms that can be looked for when examining for oral cancer, some symptoms may include:
• Noticing a lump or not in your neck
• A continuous earache
• Pain or hard time swallowing
• Loose teeth
• Sore on your lip that will not heal
• Numbness of your lower lip
• White, mixed red and white, or just red patches in your mouth
Early stages or oral cancer can usually be treated with surgery or radiation; advanced stages are usually treated with a variety of options. The recommended choice of treatment will depend on where the cancer is located, if it has affected other tissues, the overall health of the patient as well as the size of the tumor.

         Obviously, the best way to help prevent oral cancer is to avoid tobacco products and large, heavy amounts of alcohol. However, maintaining good oral health can help reduce the chances as well as help diagnose any changes that need to be addressed. Brushing daily, flossing and maintaining checkups with your family dentist are essential.

         If you are looking to establish a family dentist or have any questions or concerns that you would like to address concerning your oral health please visit our website at www.cleburnedentistry.com to schedule a visit or call our office at 817-641-2511 or if in the metro area 817-648-7770.

Did You Know??!!

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Did You Know??!!!


  • An elephants tooth is heavier than a jug of milk!

  • Minnows have teeth in their throat!

  • A mosquito has 47 teeth!

  • Certain cheese including aged cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack have been found to protect teeth from decay!

  • A crocodile replaces his teeth over 40 times in a lifetime!

  • On a daily basis, your mouth is home to over 100,000 micro-creatures who are swimming, feeding, reproducing, and depositing waist into your mouth?!!

  • 50% of people say that smiles are the first thing that they notice about someone!

  • 1950 heart throb James Dean had NO front teeth!! He wore a bridge to replace them!

  • Regular dental cleanings can help to prevent heart disease!

  • Adults have 32 teeth and children have 20 teeth!

  • A sneeze shoots out across the room over 600 mph!

  • Children begin to develop their primary teeth 6 weeks after conception, while still in their mother’s womb!

  • The average human produces 25,000 gallons of saliva in a lifetime, that’s enough to fill 2 swimming pools!!

  • In the middle ages, people believed that dogs’ teeth boiled in wine made an excellent mouth rinse for tooth decay prevention!

  • The enamel on the top surface of your teeth is the hardest part of your entire body!

  • Children should start seeing the dentist at age 1!

  • Jaw muscles contract with a force as great as 55 pounds of pressure on your front anterior teeth and 200 pounds of pressure on your back molar teeth!

  • Some common tooth remedies from ancient times are to boil and earthworm in oil and put the oil in your ear or to make loose teeth firm, tie a frog around your neck!

  • An average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over a life-time!

  • According to Time Magazine survey, 59% of Americans would rather sit in a dental chair then sit next to someone on the phone!

  • The mammal that has the most teeth is the long snouted spinner dolphin that has 252!!

  • Many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes!

  • If you don’t floss your teeth you will miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surface!

  • More than 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque!

  • The average woman smiles about 62 times a day, the average man smiles about 8 times a day!!

  • Kids laugh about 400 times a day, adults laugh about 15 times a day!

  • Giraffes only have bottom teeth!

  • The first toothbrushes were tree twigs!

  • A snail’s mouth is about the size of a pin head but can have over 25,000 teeth!!

  • Most Americans did not brush their teeth twice a day until after World War II. The military required soldiers to brush twice a day to keep their teeth healthy. Other reason to thank a Veteran!!

  • A dog has 42 teeth, a cat has 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth but an armadillo has 104 teeth!

  • The crocodile bird flies into the open mouth of the crocodile and cleans it’s teeth for it!



That “Just Had Your Teeth Cleaned Feel”!!

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            Who doesn’t love the feeling of your teeth right after you have visited your hygienist for a cleaning? We know we do!!

            If you are like us and our patients and would like that feeling every day you need to try Livionex! Not only will it replace the need to try ALL those other types of toothpastes out there but you will be able to say that your toothpaste is 2.5 times MORE effective at removing plaque! Helping you to have healthier gums, and a healthier smile! If you deal with bleeding gums while brushing Livionex can help control this within just days of starting!! Livionex also has the ability to remineralize your teeth faster without the use of any harsh abrasives.

            Because Livionex doesn’t use any detergents or antimicrobials it doesn’t foam like other leading brands of toothpaste, but don’t let that fool you. Livionex is doing its job getting the plaque and bacteria off your teeth! You don’t need a special toothbrush, any toothbrush will do, and it won’t affect any of your other normal hygiene routines that you may have!

            The best way to sum up Livionex, is exactly the way that the company says it... “Dental plaque is a bacteria biofilm and like glue or cement, and is hard to remove. Livionex uses activated edathamil to break up this biofilm, making it over 2.5 times more effective than the leading anti-plaque, anti-gingivitis toothpaste.”(You can visit our website www.cleburnedentistry.com, click on patient education and watch a short video on what biofilm is and how it effects the whole body.)

           Since our patients have been using Livionex we have seen a huge change in their tissues as well as the overall health of their mouths. They all report that their mouths feel so much cleaner during the day and that they really can actually tell the overall health of their mouths has improved.  Who doesn’t want to be able to say that about their smile!!


            If you think that you would like to try out this great product or just make the switch for good, please contact us by phone 817-641-2511 or even contact us through our website www.cleburnedentistry.com !

Should I Brush or Floss First

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            I’m sure everyone has heard the saying “which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” Well, have you ever given the same thought to “should I brush first or floss first?”

            On May 29, 2015 the New York Times featured ADA (America Dental Academy) spokesman and professor of restorative dentistry at UCLA, Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett to share a little knowledge to answer this question.

            Dr. Hewlett recommends “flossing first”, because that way you “get the unpleasant task out of the way, to avoid the temptations to NOT do it” as the New York Times put it. Dr. Hewlett says “gingivitis is the first step in losing your teeth, flossing is an important part of the cavity control and is a key component for maintaining proper gum health.”

            On June 1, 2015 the Today Show Online also segmented coverage on the same topic consulting another ADA member who also concluded that same basic information.

            So, to sum it all up, YES, you do still need to floss at least once a day to help maintain a healthy smile, it just doesn’t matter if you floss before or after you brush!! And although this highly asked question to brush or floss first can easily be answered, we still are left with the wonder of… which does come first the chicken or the egg!!?


                                                                        Keep your Smile!

                                                                                    Dr. Bob



Whoopi Speaks on Periodontal Disease

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