Posts for: March, 2017
For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.
After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.
As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.
Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.
Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.
What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.
To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.
If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
Learn some good oral hygiene tips from your Madisonville dentists.
Bacteria in your mouth can form into plaque if it's not removed by regular brushing and flossing, leading to gingivitis (early stage of gum disease) or cavities. To keep the mouth clean, a regular good oral hygiene routine is necessary. Your dentists in Madisonville, KY, Dr. Ben Baldwin and Dr. Stuart Baldwin at Baldwin Dental Group, offer helpful tips for hygiene and help keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
Establishing Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Certain food cause bacteria in the mouth to produce acids that eat away at our enamel and irritate our gums. This plaque accumulates on the teeth and where toothbrushes can’t reach, making flossing important. The best way to remove plaque is by brushing and cleaning between the teeth regularly. Brushing helps to remove plaque from the surface of the teeth. Brush twice daily with a soft brush. Floss between the teeth at least once a day with floss or cleaners to remove plaque. Be sure to do this before brushing. Ultimately, flossing is necessary for gum disease prevention.
The American Dental Association recommends moving the brush back and forth gently in short strokes for optimal brushing. Use the tip of the toothbrush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth in a gentle up and down stroke. Brush the tongue last to remove bacteria and to help freshen breath.
In terms of flossing, they recommended guiding the floss between the teeth in a gentle motion. Curve it in a C shape against one tooth while sliding it into the space between the gum and that particular tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth and rub the side of the tooth while moving the floss away from the gums in an up and down motion. Repeat this process for all of the teeth.
Ultimately, your family dentists in Madisonville, KY, Dr. Ben Baldwin and Dr. Stuart Baldwin at Baldwin Dental Group, can examine your teeth and offer information regarding your particular gum and tooth health. Regular dental examinations and dental cleanings are imperative for optimal healthy teeth and gums. To schedule an appointment with them today, call (270) 245-1547.
Is there a link between periodontal (gum) disease and cardiovascular disease? Medical researchers are endeavoring to answer this intriguing question, but early findings seem to say yes. If it bears true, the findings could advance treatment for both diseases.
There is one thing that can be said for certain: inflammation is a factor in both diseases’ progression. Gum disease begins as an infection caused by bacteria growing in plaque, which is made up of bacteria and a thin film of food remnant that adheres to tooth surfaces. The body responds to this infection through tissue inflammation, an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading. Likewise, inflammation appears to be a similar response to changes in blood vessels afflicted by cardiovascular disease.
While inflammation is part of the body’s mechanism to heal traumatized tissue, if it becomes chronic it can actually have a damaging effect on the tissues intended to benefit. For patients with gum disease, chronic inflammation causes connective tissues to detach from teeth, leading eventually to tooth and bone loss. Similarly, inflammation damages the linings of blood vessels in cardiovascular disease patients.
Researchers want to know what role bacteria may also play in the progression of cardiovascular disease. Initial studies seem to indicate that proactively treating the gum disease by removing all plaque from oral surfaces in patients with both conditions does appear to improve the health of diseased blood vessel linings. Whether this could ultimately reduce the occurrence of heart attack or stroke still needs to be ascertained.
As we learn more about the possible connections between these two diseases, there’s hope it will lead to new advancements that could improve health outcomes for both. It may prove to be the case, then, that maintaining a healthy mouth promotes a healthy heart, and vice-versa.
If you would like more information on the connection between gum disease and heart disease, 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 “Periodontal Inflammation and Heart Disease.”