Posts for: October, 2017
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) jolted our collective consciousness in the 1980s. The deadly disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had no known cure and, at the time, no effective treatment.
HIV is a retrovirus, a virus with a genetic makeup and reproduction system differing from other kinds. After taking up permanent residency in the body, HIV begins “hijacking” the replication process of cells in the body's immune system and replacing it with a copy of its own. This destroys the cells' ability to protect the body from hostile organisms. As the virus affects more and more cells, the patient's condition ultimately develops into AIDS.
An estimated 35 million people worldwide (1.2 million in the U.S.) are currently infected with the virus. Thanks to new antiretroviral drugs, though, HIV can be kept from accelerating into AIDS. While their condition remains serious, many HIV positive patients can now live long and relatively normal lives. Even so, having the virus requires them to pay close attention to their health, including their mouth.
Even while stalled from becoming AIDS, HIV can still cause oral problems for 30 to 80% of patients. The fungal infection candidiasis (also known as thrush) is the most common of these problems, which appears as lesions, cracking skin or creamy white patches on the tongue or palate that easily bleed. Patients also have higher risks for dry mouth, oral cancer and periodontal (gum) disease.
HIV positive patients must practice diligent daily oral care and see their dentist for checkups regularly. Prevention, early diagnosis and treatment can keep gum disease and other damaging conditions under control. Monitoring oral health is also important because certain mouth conditions could be an early sign the infection is entering a new advanced stage in the body that requires additional attention.
Keeping vigilant in all aspects of health is a way of life for someone with HIV. Such vigilance, though, can help them maintain a healthy mouth and even prolong their life.
Your gums not only support and protect your teeth they also help present them in a visually attractive way. But some people’s gums seem to stand out too much — what’s commonly called a gummy smile — which diminishes their smile appeal. There’s no precise definition, but as a rule of thumb we consider a smile too gummy if four or more millimeters (about an eighth of an inch) of the gums show.
Fortunately, there are some techniques to improve a gummy smile. Which technique is best for you, though, will depend on why the gums are prominent — and causes vary. For example, you could have a gummy smile because your teeth appear too short compared to your gums.
Permanent teeth normally erupt to about 10 mm of visible length. But less than that, say 8 mm, could skew the visible proportion of gums to teeth too much toward the gums. Teeth can also appear shorter due to accelerated wear caused by grinding habits. Another cause could be the amount of upper lip rise when you smile. The lip may rise too high in a condition called hypermobility. This could reveal too much of the gums when you smile.
It’s important then to match the treatment to the cause. For example, we can enhance the appearance of shorter teeth through a surgical procedure known as crown lengthening.Â During this procedure a surgeon reshapes the gum tissues and underlying bone to expose more of the tooth’s length.
For upper lip hypermobility, we can restrict movement with Botox, a drug that paralyzes tiny parts of the involved muscles. This approach, though, will wear off in a few months — a more permanent solution is surgery to reposition the muscle attachments so as to prevent excessive movement.
If you’re concerned about a gummy smile, see us for a full examination and consultation. Once we know the reason why, we can offer a solution that will make your smile more attractive.
If you would like more information on enhancing the appearance of your gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gummy Smiles.”
Learn about dental crowns from your Clifton dentist.
Damaged tooth? A dental crown will give your damaged tooth a second chance. A dental crown is a "cap" that replaces the exterior portion of a tooth to re-establish its original shape and function. Dr. Toan Bui at Transcendental in Clifton, NJ, offers a complete range of dental services, including crowns. Here are some reasons not to delay getting a crown.
1. Restore Your Tooth
Dental crowns are used to restore broken, chipped, cracked, decayed, and damaged teeth. A tooth that has been damaged can be saved by covering it with a dental crown. When a tooth is severely damaged, the tooth become weaker. This leaves it prone to further damage unless your dentist does something to preserve it.
2. Improve Your Smile
Dental crowns can improve the appearance of your teeth and create a natural appearance. They can instantly correct tooth discoloration. Porcelain dental crowns are beautiful and provide the best natural color of all the crowns. Nothing gives the same translucency, depth, and luster like porcelain crowns.
3. Strengthen Your Tooth
If your tooth has been severely damaged by decay, a filling can't replace enough of the tooth or make the tooth strong enough. A dental crown will make the damaged tooth stronger. All-metal crowns are made using gold or silver-colored dental alloys. Because this type of dental crown is made of metal, it will not break. Porcelain crowns and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are also very strong and can produce pleasing aesthetics.
4. Improve Oral Function
A tooth with decay or a broken tooth can make eating painful, interfering with oral function. A dental crown can restore the structure of the tooth so you can eat in comfort and with confidence. With a dental crown, you will experience a dramatic improvement in chewing ability and comfort.
5. Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem. Possible causes of tooth sensitivity include tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn tooth enamel, gum disease, worn fillings, and exposed tooth roots. Placing a dental crown can relieve uncomfortable symptoms of tooth damage, such as a sensitivity, toothache, and inflammation.
If you need a dental crown, why wait? We can help you today! Call Transcendental at 973-458-9899 right now to schedule an appointment in Clifton, NJ. With dental crowns, you can have a smile that's both strong and beautiful.