Posts for category: Oral Health

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
February 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health
TestingYourKnowledgeWhatDoYouKnowAboutBadBreath

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis (“halitus” – breath; “osis” – disorder) is an unpleasant condition that can negatively impact your personal and business relationships. It's more than just embarrassing! In fact, one recent survey found that three out of five people would rather work with someone who talks too loudly than with someone who has bad breath! Gum, mints and mouth rinses can temporarily remedy the situation, but not cure it permanently. So how much do you know about the underlying causes of bad breath?

The following true/false quiz will help you discover, while learning more about bad breath.

Questions

  1. The most common orally related sites associated with bad breath are the tongue and gums.
  2. Systemic (general body) medical conditions can't cause bad breath.
  3. Bad breath is always worse in the morning.
  4. Effective treatment depends on the underlying cause of the disease.
  5. Dentists can do very little to diagnose the cause of bad breath.

Answers

  1. True. The back of the tongue and diseased gums can become repositories for bacteria. In the case of the tongue they are from left over food deposits and even post-nasal drip. Bad breath that emanates from the tongue has a “rotten egg” odor caused by volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
  2. False. Medical conditions can cause bad breath including lung infections, liver disease, diabetes, kidney infections and cancer.
  3. True. Saliva flow decreases during the night making the mouth feel dry, and giving you that typical “morning breath” taste and odor upon wakening.
  4. True. As with any medical condition, uncovering the origin will dictate appropriate treatment. For example, tongue scraping or brushing can help eliminate odor that originate from the tongue. If the cause is disease related, the disease will need to be treated to control associated bad breath.
  5. False. There are several things dentists can do starting with a thorough medical history and oral examination. For example, decayed or abscessed teeth, diseased gums, coated tongue or infected tonsils are all common oral causes. We can also conduct breath tests to determine if the odor is emanating from the mouth or lungs, and test to determine the level of VSCs in the mouth.

Learn More

Worried about bad breath? Are you ready to trade your breath mints for a more permanent solution? Call our office today to schedule an oral examination. For more information about the causes of bad breath, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More Than Just Embarrassing.”

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
January 29, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Medicad  

Get your child the preventive dental care he or she needs to live a healthy, cavity-free life.

Did you know that the most common chronic illness in children is actually tooth decay? This might be rather shocking, but because Children-futureover 17 million children in America go without the proper dental care it’s not surprising that pediatric dental decay is so common. However, your Westland, MI dentist doesn’t like to see children go without the dental care they need. Therefore, we recommend that families who don’t have health insurance and are going through financial struggles look into the Medicaid Healthy Kids Program.

What is the Medicaid Healthy Kids Program?

Run by the Michigan Department of Community Health, this program ensures that children under the age of 19 receive the health care coverage they deserve, including dental care.

What benefits will my child receive under this program?

This program covers most necessary medical care including mental health, medications, hospital care, immunizations, ambulatory services, vision and dental. This means your child can receive the proper six-month cleanings and dental exams, as well as X-rays to ensure that your child’s smile is developing as it should and is free of cavities and gum disease. Only through preventive care can we guarantee that your child continues to have a healthy smile.

This program will also help you and your child find the proper transportation to get to and from our dental office in Westland, MI.

How do I find out more about the Medicaid Healthy Kids Program?

You can find out more about the program, or enroll your child in the program by visiting the Michigan Department of Community Health website or by calling (888) 988-6300. When you apply for the Medicaid Healthy Kids Program you will need to declare your monthly or annual income, have proof of Michigan residence and tell them whether you already have medical insurance. Every case is different, so the best way to find out whether your child qualifies is by calling the toll-free number.

If your child is eligible and receives health benefits through Medicaid we would be happy to schedule his or her next preventive dental appointment. Through X-rays and cleanings your Westland, MI dentist can protect your child against gum disease and dental cavity. Nothing is more important than your child’s health, and we are here to make their smiles a priority.

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
January 14, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: x-rays   CAT scans  
HighTechDentistryHowDoWeUseaCATScan

The CAT scan is a relatively recent technique in dentistry, used to get an image of what’s happening deep within your jaws. You may be wondering what a CAT scan tells us that a conventional x-ray picture does not, and whether it is worth the extra expense to get one. And how does a CAT scan compare with a conventional x-ray in terms of radiation exposure?

CAT stands for “computer assisted tomography.” Often it’s just called a CT scan, for “computerized tomography.” The word “tomography” comes from roots meaning “slice” and “write.” Tomographic techniques take repeated two dimensional pictures, similar to repeatedly slicing through an object, and then assembles them with a computer to produce a three dimensional (3-D) image.

The latest type of CT scan used in dentistry is called CBCT, or Cone Beam Computed Tomography. The Cone Beam refers to a spiral beam of x-rays, which is used to create a series of two dimensional images from which a computer creates a 3-D image. Such an image is of great value in assessing problems and planning treatment.

Here are just a few examples of how a CBCT scan can be used. Orthodontists can see skeletal structures and developing teeth that are still inside the jawbone while planning strategies for directing the teeth in order to arrive at a better bite. Oral surgeons can find impacted or missing teeth, see their locations, and view their proximity to nerves and sinuses, assisting them in planning surgeries. These scans are particularly useful for root canal specialists because they show root canals that are less than a millimeter wide and even reveal accessory canals that may not be visible on conventional x-rays. In cases of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, a CBCT during sleep can be used to view a person’s airway and how it may be blocked by the tongue and other soft tissues in a person’s throat during sleep.

Compared to background radiation, the amount of radiation delivered in dental x-rays is minimal. A CBCT delivers a dose of radiation that is less than a typical full mouth x-ray series but more than a typical two dimensional panoramic radiograph. Generally CBCT scanners deliver lower doses than medical CT scanners.

With one low-dose CBCT scan, we can get an accurate idea of the internal structure of your bones and teeth and how they are situated in relation to each other. Prior to the availability of such images, many of these relationships had to be discovered in the course of a surgery or other treatment. Thus such a scan can aid greatly in the quality of treatment you will receive.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about 3-D scans in dentistry. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor article, “CAT Scans in Dentistry.”

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
December 19, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   medications  
DoYouNeedAntibioticsBeforeHavingaDentalProcedure

Many people have questions about the proper use of antibiotics — especially today, as the overuse of these medications has become a concern. It isn’t necessary for most people to take antibiotics before having a dental procedure. But for a few — notably, those with particular heart conditions and, in some cases, joint replacements — pre-medication is advisable. The question may be even more confusing now, because the standard recommendations have recently changed — so let’s try and sort things out.

First, why would anyone need antibiotics before dental treatment? Essentially, it’s because of the chance that an open wound could allow bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream. For people in good health, the body is capable of quickly containing and neutralizing the bacterial exposure. But people with some types of heart disease, heart transplants, and/or total joint replacements have a greater likelihood of developing a bacterial infection, which can be dangerous — or even life-threatening. The same may be true of people whose immune systems are compromised.

At one time, people with a broad range of heart problems and artificial joints were advised to pre-medicate; today, new research indicates that fewer people need to take this step. Antibiotics are currently recommended before dental procedures if you have:

  • An artificial heart valve, or a heart valve repaired with artificial material
  • A history of endocarditis
  • A heart transplant with abnormal heart valve function
  • Cyanotic congenital heart disease (a birth defect where blood oxygen levels are lower than normal) that hasn’t been fully repaired — including children with surgical shunts and conduits
  • A congenital heart defect that has been completely repaired with artificial material or with a device — but only for the first six months after the repair procedure
  • Repaired congenital heart disease with residual defects, such as leakage or abnormal flow

In addition, not everyone who has an artificial joint needs antibiotic premedication. Instead, your health care providers will rely on your individual medical history to determine whether this step is required in your situation. However, having a compromised immune system (due to diabetes, cancer, arthritis, chemotherapy and other factors) is still an indication that antibiotics may be needed.

The question of whether or not to pre-medicate is an important one — so it’s vital that you share all relevant medical information with your doctors and dentists, and make sure everyone is in the loop. That way, the best decisions can be made regarding your treatment.

If you have questions about premedication before dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
December 10, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Visits  

Don’t you want to know more about the trusty dentists who take care of your dental needs?

Nothing is more important than your health or the health of your loved ones. You want to ensure that everyone in your family stays healthy and happy as long as possible. This means instilling good hygienic habits in your children, making sure they eat a healthy, balanced diet and helping them protect their teeth while playing sports. And we’re positive you also do what you can to make sure your smile is a priority, as well. However, it’s just as valuable to find a dentist that will do the same. That’s why we offer a variety of dental options to fit our patient’s ever-changing needs.

Our dental practice offers an array of services that include,

  • General dentistry (e.g. cleaning, X-rays, and examinations)
  • Cosmetic dentistry (e.g. teeth whitening, dental veneers, cosmetic fillings)
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Periodontal exams (to check for gum problems and disease)
  • Preventive care

Of course you want to make sure your dentist has the skills and knowledge to give you and your family those healthy smiles, but you also want a dentist with which you can establish rapport. Our staff understands this all too well. After all, you are putting your health and the health of your children in our hands. We want to make sure they are cared for. So, you might be wondering more about those Westland dentists sporting the white coats. That’s great! We can’t wait to share more about our staff.

Did you know?

  • After graduating from the University of Michigan, Dr. Dennis Aylward spent one year working specifically with children in Honolulu, Hawaii? We all know the dentist isn’t high on your kid’s list, but we still know how important it is to have a caring, gentle touch. We want your kids to like coming to our office!
  • When Dr. Brent Carey isn’t practicing dentistry, he enjoys traveling, photography and music, which he shares with his wife and three children. Dr. Aylward, on the other hand, enjoys golf, gardening and cooking with his wife and family of three. If any of these hobbies are favorites of yours as well, we would love to hear more about it the next time we see you in the office.

We also pride ourselves on participating in continuing education. Schooling doesn’t just end after graduation, and in order to continue providing our patients with the best treatments, we also need to keep abreast of the growing technology and advancements in dentistry. You can rest assured that our office employs only the latest treatments.

If it’s high time you made an appointment to see your Westland, MI dentist, then what are you waiting for? All it takes is one call. Our receptionist Dawn is ready to set you up with your next visit.