Losing Weight May Result in Healthier Gums
Recent research from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine suggests that the loss of bodily fat cells results in healthier gums. In the pilot study, a group of obese patients had gastric bypass surgery while a second group of obese patients did not have the surgical procedure. Thoses who had the surgery responded to non-surgical periodontal therapy better than those who did not have the same gastric surgery. While we are not advocating this somewhat risky gastric bypass surgery, the pilot study suggests that losing weight may have a favorable effect on gingival health.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, recent research suggests that there is an association between periodontal disease and other more generalized health problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease. More current research also shows that smoking increases patient’s risk of periodontal disease and also causes existing periodontal disease to be more aggressive.
Clearly as time marches on we are reminded of how our general health really can be affected by periodontal disease, and that our general health can have an effect on periodontal disease. There is a connection. We very much place an emphasis in our practice on prevention. There is so much a dental practice can do to compassionately care for their valued patients more comprehensively. If you are looking for a dental practice with this genuine emphasis on prevention, we invite you to contact us by calling (972) 250-2580. We are located in far north Dallas on Preston Road.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Dietary Guidelines
07-08-2011: The United States Department of Agriculture on June 2, 2011, released their new dietary guidelines for healthy eating. Instead of the food pyramid which many of us have been very familiar with, the icon for the new dietary guidelines illustrates a colorful plate with the relative proportions of fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy. The purpose of this change is to improve the awareness and possibly the health of many Americans.
Some of the hallmarks of this new program include a commitment to eating an adequate amount of vegetables and fruits and to drink water instead of sugary drinks. Also included in the hallmarks are consuming the right amount of calories and being physically active.
I applaud this effort of the USDA! It is so easy for many of us not to be mindful of what we eat. With fast food restaurants on just about every corner, and with the very large portion sizes that many restaurants serve, it is so very easy to eat irresponsibly. Many of us have such busy lives that eating in a healthy manner can be difficult. I do have a personal recommendation for you if you are interested. I have found that the free apps for my Android phone MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper are very easy to use and effective. Recently I decided to commit to losing some weight myself. These apps are helping me a great deal. I have the shortcuts to these apps on the opening screen of my phone.
If you have any questions over this information feel free to ask me or to click over to the website of the USDA.
Xylitol, the Best Additive Since Fluoride
03-01-2011: Many of you may not be familiar with Xylitol, the sweetener that acts to prevent decay even when oral hygiene may be questionable in its effectiveness. Xylitol is found in many sugar-free gums like Trident, Stride, and Koolerz gum. It is also found in mints such as those found at your neighborhood’s Starbucks.
The reason why this sweetener is so sweet is because it acts to rid your mouth of the bacteria that causes decay. This is key. With the populations of bacteria in your mouth significantly decreased, the risk of decay goes down. Bacteria are needed to change the sugars in your foods to acids. It is these acids that etch away at the teeth to cause decay. Without the bacteria the acids cannot form.
By chewing or enjoying the mints containing Xylitol three times daily for at least five minutes each time, you can achieve the recommended dosage to prevent decay as much as possible. We do not advocate having poor oral hygiene; however, in those cases when hygiene is poor this Xylitol regimen may be able to significantly prevent problems.
If you have any questions about Xylitol feel free to contact us. If you are interested in becoming a patient in our dental office since we are so focused on prevention, we invite you to contact us as well.
We thank you for your interest in our website and we certainly welcome you to come back soon. We strive to continually keep this site up to date, fresh, newsworthy, and technologically current.
Icy Weather Closes Office for 3 Days
02-03-2011: The icy road conditions created the need for many of the larger area school districts to close for three days this week. As we normally do at our office, we follow the Plano Independent School District’s schedule for our morning appointments. The road conditions in the later morning determine our work schedule for those afternoons. Safety for our patients and my wonderful staff are my primary concern during these times. We do realize being closed presents some difficulties for many of us either now or in the coming weeks. However, in the big picture, I would rather help to keep everyone safe than to risk a serious mishap that could have been avoided.
I myself do still go to the office to work at my desk. It seems I can be locked in my office for over a week and I would still have plenty to do afterwards. The work of a business owner is never done. We must do our best to balance our work and our personal lives. Some of us are better at that than others. From my perspective balance is important. By living a more balanced life I can relate to my patients better. I realize there is more to this life than dentistry. I realize there is more pulling at a patient’s cash flow than their dental care. In my humble opinion that makes me a better dentist because I can help patients to prioritize their care so they can make decisions that work best for their financial situation.
This balance in life makes me a better dentist also because I realize I needn’t be pushing expensive cosmetic dental procedures that patients are not requesting. I realize patients exist who complain about how their previous dentist kept trying to “sell” them cosmetic dentistry. They perceived their dentist was most concerned about their own business. I assure you that my balanced life has allowed me to understand that if a patient wants cosmetic dental procedures then they will ask for it; if a patient does not ask for this then I certainly will not push them into considering it.
Thirdly, living a more balanced life allows me to be more refreshed and more rested to be able to give you my best. When my patients are here I am totally focused on them. I do quite well at being able to leave any other concerns “at the door”. My patients know me to be kind, joyful, attentive, concerned, focused, sympathetic, and empathetic. I know that my more balanced life has allowed me to express these strengths better.
I have wanted to be a dentist since I was four years old. To this day I still very much love being a dentist. Even after a nice vacation, I still very much value the work-life I have. A big part of the reason why I value my work-life so much is because we have wonderful patients. I also have a wonderful team of professionals here that share the same values as I have. As a result we all benefit from that.
However, even with this great love I have for my practice. I still have the capacity to value my family, my personal life, and my faith a great deal. In the end, that makes me a better person for everyone I encounter.
I sincerely hope the icey conditions did not adversely affect your safety or your ability to keep warm. I hope you too can find the benefits of a more balanced life if you feel you have not yet been able to achieve it. For those of you who have achieved a more balanced life, that is a job well done. I believe we have the responsibility to help others to achieve the same.
Now, how about some warmer weather up there?
In Over 20 years, What I Have Learned from My Valued Patients
07-06-2010: It’s hard to believe that I have been working within my practice since 1986. While in dental school I planned to help patients following car accidents and such. I was going to attend dental and medical schools to become an oral surgeon within a hospital setting. However, following 2 years of dental school, I felt a strong calling to become a general dentist. I found I enjoyed many aspects and areas of dentistry. I felt I needed to start my career sooner than my plans had in mind. I don’t know why my plans changed after two years of dental school; it just happened. Over my 20 years I have gained some wisdom as to why my calling changed. I have learned this from my patients.
First of all, I have learned that what I value most about my dental practice is my patients. While I do enjoy doing dentistry, and while I do enjoy seeing results quickly in the field of dentistry, it is my patients who provide the most joy for me. I have found that my relationships with the patients are tremendously valuable and rewarding. I have been privileged to experience the unfolding of my patients lives over the years. By far this is the greatest gift I have received from my patients.
Secondly, my patients have showed me that they value honesty and respect. While many of us can pass this off as easy to understand, my patients have made it very clear that this is so much more than lip service. In all phases of my practice, in all ways in which we care for our patients and their interactions with my practice, they expect this honesty and respect. For years we have attempted to make changes which aim to enhance this honesty and respect. I realize so very clearly that these values are sorely lacking in many interactions that we as people have with other people or businesses. I know that honesty and respect is clearly noticed when they are well-demonstrated. I thank my patients for making this realization even more understandable.
Moreover, my patients have taught me that they want the ability to be involved in planning their treatment. While in dental school I was trained in how to create a plan based on an examination. We were taught that we know best how to care for patients. However, I have learned that there is more than one way to create a plan of treatment for patients. Patients have their own set of values, they have their own inclinations, and they know what they are willing accept in their care. As a result, I have learned to take into account these things prior to making a plan of treatment. My patients have appreciated the honest information I have provided for them, and how I ask them for their input on the various options. They value knowing advantages and disadvantages of their options and they value being able to make decisions on their care.
I believe I can go on and on. Perhaps in a future post I can continue on this subject. I am very grateful for my patients and for how they have helped to shape my practice into what it has become based on what they have taught me. I honestly believe I have a dental practice composed of the best patients a dentist can ask for. And for that I am very blessed.