Tag Archives: preventative dentistry

Natural Ways to Prevent Gingivitis | Camp Hill Dentist

Keeping our mouth clean is important, not only as a physical appearance but because our mouths are the first line of defense to lots of overall health conditions. When we discover we have gingivitis, we always question just how it happened. Unfortunately, it is likely due to our daily dental routine, so we brush, floss and rinse every day, then visit the dentist to check on our progress.

But if you find that you have begun to develop gingivitis, don’t be alarmed – it can be cured. Not only are there lot of different over-the-counter products available on the market, there are also more natural options you can do at home to help reverse the effects of the beginning stages of gum disease.

Saltwater. We avoid drinking ocean water because it is so incredibly salty, but saltwater rinses are great at healing gum inflammation you may have developed. Salt is a natural disinfectant so not only does it soothe your sore gums but can remove bacteria and alleviate bad breath.

Mouthwash. While there are lots of mouthwash on the market today, they all have different purposes. Rinsing with mouthwashes that contain alcohol will dehydrate your mouth and saliva production is your natural defense against the bad bacteria that wreaks havoc in your mouth. Try using a more natural version. In fact, add a bit of lemongrass oil, aloe vera, tea tree oil, sage or guava leaves to some water and rinse for 30 seconds.

Oil pulling. Swish around a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil for 20-30 minutes. The lauric acid it contains significantly reduces plaque and gingivitis.

Topicals. If mouthwash isn’t working, try a topical instead. Clove creams and turmeric gels are a great alternative.

If you’d like to find out more about gingivitis prevention, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Tips for Painless Dental Visits | Camp Hill Dentist

Oral hygiene is extremely important to your overall health, and that includes your gums. Studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of American adults have some form of gum disease. So, if you have been told you have periodontal disease, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to prevent and slow the progression of gum disease. And to be honest, these tips aren’t that difficult. It’s all things we’ve been taught since we’ve been children, but with 50 percent of us having gum disease, we can all use a refresher. Whether you suffer from gum disease or not, these following tips are helpful in preventing and slowing gum disease:

Brush regularly. Brushing your teeth is very important for your oral health. Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes.

Flossing. Flossing your teeth on a regular basis is another extremely important step to take in your oral care – floss can reach places your toothbrush can’t.

Rinse with mouthwash. Using a mouthwash daily will get rid of leftover food debris and plaque that was loosened while brushing and flossing your teeth, just make sure it is ADA approved.

Lose the tobacco. Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco, as these types of products not only are bad for your overall health but may contribute to gum disease.

Get healthy. Keeping up a healthy diet will provide the nutrients that are necessary to help prevent gum disease from developing.

Visit the dentist. Visiting your dentist regularly for checkups, routine teeth cleanings, or other dental procedures needed to not only help keep your mouth healthy but reduce the odds for a painful visit.

If you’d like to find out more about dental health tips, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Why You May Need a Night Guard | Camphill Dentist

In order for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need to adhere to a few basic rules. Keep a healthy diet, stay away from smoking, keep active and get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from some type of sleep disorder. And if this is the case, you should have a sleep test done to diagnose the issue. Many times, you will find relief wearing a night guard while you sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, it is important that you see if you’ve developed a sleep disorder.

For those that don’t know, a night guard is a mouthpiece you wear while you sleep to help a myriad of dental problems and relieve the systems of TMJ or bruxism. But because it is a foreign object in your teeth, it takes a minute to get used to it. As you become used to your new night guard, follow the following instructions:

  • Ask your dentist to start out with a thin night guard that will be easier to get used to
  • Have your family dentist fabricate both an upper and lower night guard in order to see which one you find more comfortable
  • Put your night guard in right before you go to bed to lessen the chances that you’ll find it bothersome

Be aware that night guards are an aid for bruxism, but it doesn’t fix the dental problem. Find out why you are grinding or clenching your teeth and make changes to your lifestyle to quit the habit. Wearing a night guard won’t do anything but protect your teeth.

If you’d like to find out more about night guards, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Keep Your Smile Healthy this Halloween | Camphill Dentist

For most children, and even some adults, Halloween means overflowing bags of free candy and unlimited access to all sorts of sweets. Unfortunately, these sweet treats that are given out are not all teeth friendly and can have devastating effects on your oral health. When it comes to candy consumption, keep everything in moderation. Because not all candy is created equal.

If you get these candies, you’re on the right track…

  • Chocolate dissolves quickly, which decreases the amount of time the sugar stays in contact with teeth. Choose your favorite chocolate but avoid the fillings like nuts or caramel, as they can damage to teeth.
  • Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulating saliva production, which flushes away bad bacteria from your teeth, gums and tongues.
  • Sugar-free gum can help remove food particles and stimulates saliva production.

And now, for the worst candies in your pillowcase…

  • Sticky, chewy candies such as gummy candy, caramels and taffy get stuck to your teeth easily. A rule of thumb: the stickier the candy, the worse it is for teeth.
  • Hard candy stays in your mouth for a longer period of time, drenching your mouth in sugar.
  • Candy corn is full of sugar that produces acid that eats away tooth enamel.
  • Sour candy is high in acid levels, which can break down tooth enamel.
  • Jawbreakers are so hard they can chip a tooth.

Make sure to brush and floss your teeth after indulging in your Halloween treats. If you can’t brush right away, rinse with water to help loosen some of the residue left behind.

If you’d like to find out more about Halloween candy, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

DIY Gum Disease Prevention | Camphill Dentist

Oral hygiene is extremely important to your overall health, but also coincides with your gum health. Studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of American adults have had some type of gum (periodontal) disease, so if you have developed gum disease, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are lots of ways that you can prevent and slow the progression of gum disease at home. Whether you suffer from gum disease or not these following tips are helpful in preventing and slowing gum disease:

Brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth is very important for your oral health. Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes. If you prefer you can rinse with water after every meal to prevent food debris from getting trapped in between your teeth and gums.

Floss. Flossing your teeth on a regular basis is another extremely important step for your daily oral care routine because since floss can reach places your toothbrush can’t.

Rinse. Some believe mouthwash is only useful after brushing and flossing but using mouthwash beforehand can loosen leftover food and debris, making it easier to clean thoroughly.

Quit tobacco. Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Studies have shown these products may contribute to gum disease.

Healthy diet. We know sugary and starchy foods aren’t good for us, but they also increase the amount of plaque. Keeping a healthy diet will not only help keep you healthy overall but will also provide the nutrients that are necessary to prevent you from developing gum disease.

Dentist visits. Visiting your dentist regularly is important as only a dentist can treat gum disease. Make sure to make appointments at least twice a year for checkups, routine teeth cleanings, or to have dental problems corrected.

If you’d like to find out more about gum disease prevention, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

What is an Occlusal Adjustment? | Camphill Dentist

It sounds like something quite intimidating, but in actuality, an occlusal adjustment is somewhat painless. This procedure makes corrections to the bite by means of a dental drill using a fine stone, but not like the one for cavities.

The reason to receive an occlusal adjustment is to correct the alignment of the bite. A bite may be misaligned due to loosened, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. Once the adjustment is made the result will be an evenly distributed bite that eliminates irregular pressure on one side of the mouth and your teeth will meet properly. Signs you may justify an occlusal adjustment:

Loose or shifting teeth. One sign is increased spacing between the upper front teeth. Occasionally, you may feel that your teeth do not hit correctly.

Grinding or clenching of your teeth. This stress-related habit can cause an unevenly distributed and excessive biting force on several of your teeth and subsequently on the bone support which holds the teeth in your jaw.

Headache. Headaches accompany the grinding or clenching of your teeth and will occur in the temporal regions of your head.

Pain. Biting pain is usually caused by the eruption of a tooth beyond the normal plane of the bite, such that only one or two teeth contact prematurely.

Sensitivity to temperature. Again, this is due to the premature contact between one or more teeth. With the knowledge that one can bite with a force of up to 200 pounds per square inch, the nerve within the tooth gets irritated and hypersensitive.

New technology allows dentists to accurately identify the areas, which need adjustments. That data allows the dentist to make only the adjustments that are absolutely necessary.

If you’d like to find out more about occlusal adjustment, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Gum Disease Prevention Is Simple | Camphill Dentist

Because prevention is a key factor when it comes to any type of disease, it’s important to fully understand what it is and how it occurs. Once you gain a basic understanding of what periodontal (gum) disease is, you’ll learn how to prevent bleeding of the gums from progressing to a much more serious condition that can result in tooth loss or reversing it in its early stages.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and can be reversed. Although, you’ll have to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms before you can do anything. Some of the noticeable signs and symptoms include:

  • Swelling or bleeding of the gums
  • Bleeding gums whenever you brush or floss
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Large plaque buildup, resulting in tartar
  • Heightened tooth sensitivity

In order to reverse or prevent gum disease, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene. An ideal brushing regimen, which includes brushing your teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once a day. If your toothbrush is old or becomes frayed, be sure to replace it. Once the toothbrushes bristles start to wear, they won’t clean as effectively, especially in areas where bacteria is more likely to buildup, like the gum-line.

Saliva is a natural cleanser that helps wash away bacteria from both your teeth and gums. So, be sure to keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water or by chewing sugarless gum regularly. Doing so will help stimulate saliva production.

Research has shown that following a healthy diet containing nutrient rich foods can boost your immune system, slow the progression and increase your chances of reversing gum disease.

If you’d like to find out more about gum disease, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Future Health Risks Can Be Prevented | Camphill Dentist

The stages of periodontal diseaseYour gums are the barrier that actually help prevent inflammation that may damage your body. As a matter of fact, periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature births or low-birth weight in infants.

Heart disease. Several studies have shown that people with gum disease are very likely to have poor health, including heart attacks. It was recommended that cardiologists ask about any gum disease issues, and that periodontists ask patients about their heart health and if there is any family history of heart disease.

Diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease. Inflammation may be partly to blame. Also, those with diabetes are more likely to contract infections, one being gum disease, and if your diabetes isn’t under control, you’re at even higher risk to develop gum disease.

Premature births. Although studies are still ongoing, some research has found a link between premature birth and gum disease. A few researchers have found women that have had periodontal disease treated, helps them carry their baby to full term.

Dementia. Some studies have found that gum disease may raise the risk of dementia later on in life. Others research shows that periodontal problems may be associated with mild cognitive impairment, such as memory problems that can make daily life more difficult.

You’re oral health extremely important to your overall health. If you’re suffering from periodontal disease, be sure to keep plaque under control by brushing twice a day, flossing and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, visit your dentist for professional teeth cleanings on a regular basis.

If you’d like to find out more about gum disease, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Sinus Lifts: What You Need to Know | Camphill Dentist

Sinus lifts became more popular when the demand for dental implants started to grow. They are common procedures that are not expected to affect the sinuses, breathing ability or cause allergies. The sinus augmentation procedure is one of the most successful bone grafting procedures that can be performed for dental patients. A sinus lift can be your best option for a successful dental implant.

A sinus lift is surgery that is done to add bone to your upper jaw to support dental implants when there isn’t enough bone height in the upper back jaw, where your molars and premolars are, and your teeth need replacing.

Over time the sinuses have a tendency to grow, which can lead to insufficient bone height. Bone loss in that that area can also occur due to reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, in which case you may not have enough bone to place dental implants and will need a sinus lift.

The sinus augmentation procedure begins with an incision into the gum, after which the lateral wall of the sinus is exposed. The surgeon continues by cutting into the membrane covering the sinus and lifting that membrane to make room for the placement of the bone graft material. The bone graft can be taken from the patient (autogenous), from a tissue bank (allogenic) or it can be made from synthetic materials. However, before the adding the bone grafting material, your oral surgeon or periodontist has to make room for the bone by moving the sinus membrane upward or by “lifting” it, hence the name sinus lift.

Please note: there is 6 to 9-month healing period before you can have dental implants placed.

If you’d like to find out more about sinus lifts, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.

Keep Your Teeth Safe from the Scary Sweets | Camp Hill Dentist

It’s Halloween, the one night a week we can dress as our favorite character and wander the street looking for free candy. Could anything be better? Unfortunately, these sweet treats given out are not exactly what one would call teeth-friendly and if you don’t keep up with your daily dental hygiene steps, it could mean a scary trip to the dentist in the future. So, before you stick those delicious sweets in your mouth, take a look at the best and the worst options:

Best Candy for Teeth

Believe it or not, but chocolate dissolves quickly, which decreases the amount of time the sugar stays in contact with teeth. However, those with nuts or caramel can damage teeth.

Sugar-free gum and candies stimulating saliva production, which flushes away bad bacteria from your teeth, gums and tongues.

Worst Candy for Teeth

A good rule of thumb: The stickier the candy, the worse it is for your teeth.

Hard candy stays in your mouth for a longer period of time, drenching your mouth in sugar.

Candy corn is full of sugar that produces acid that eats away tooth enamel.

Sour candy is high in acid levels, which can break down tooth enamel, especially in children.

Jawbreakers are very hard and can actually chip a tooth.

Make sure to brush and floss your teeth after indulging in your Halloween treats. If you can’t brush right away, drink plenty of water to help loosen some of the residue left behind by Halloween candy. Brushing and flossing your teeth is a must, especially during Halloween.

If you’d like to find out more about Halloween candy, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.

Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.