The most common condition we see in our office (that isn’t a cavity) is undoubtedly periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, occurs when bacteria get underneath the gumline, multiplying and infecting the sensitive tissue. The bacteria encourages the gum tissue to lift away from the teeth. Without the gums stabilizing and protecting the teeth, the chances of losing a tooth (or teeth) skyrocket. This is why we take periodontal disease so seriously in our office. What begins as a little blood on your toothbrush can lead to eventual tooth loss.
So, how do you know if you have periodontal disease? According to the CDC, 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. Considering how easy it is to keep gum disease at bay, that number is staggering.
If you think you may have gum disease, chances are you do have some early stage of it. Here are a few of the symptoms that you may be experiencing:
The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Its symptoms are mild which is why people frequently ignore them. One of the best ways to self-diagnose gingivitis is by closely inspecting your gums. Are they red and “puffy” looking? Can you see a ridge of plaque building up near the gum line? If you answered “yes” to those questions, there’s a high chance you have gingivitis. Red gums that bleed when brushed are the number one symptom of early periodontal disease.
If you’re experiencing red, inflamed gums, schedule a dental cleaning immediately. If your gingivitis is more severe, they may recommend scheduling you for scaling. This is where a hygienist cleans underneath the gum tissue instead of just around it. Scaling is the most efficient way of removing built-up bacteria that lurks beneath the gums but, even after a scaling treatment, you have to keep up with your oral hygiene routine at home. Brushing twice a day with gum detoxifying toothpaste and flossing once a day will keep your gums healthy and pink.
When left untreated, gingivitis turns into periodontal disease. This may be when you begin to experience some gum recession. Gum recession is when the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, making the teeth appear “longer.” That’s actually where the expression “long in the tooth” comes from. Older people tend to have more gum recession than younger people because periodontal disease typically takes a while to develop — especially if you keep it from becoming too severe.
Adults with good oral hygiene may experience mild gum recession as they get older but, in those cases, there shouldn’t be a serious risk of tooth loss. Gum recession caused by long-term untreated periodontal disease is where tooth loss becomes a real problem. The longer the periodontal disease goes untreated, the worse the recession gets. If the gums shrink away so dramatically that there isn’t really anything holding the tooth/teeth in place, tooth loss is inevitable.
The best way to keep your mouth and teeth healthy is to follow two simple rules:
That’s it! If you stick to those two things, you’ll never have to worry about periodontal disease. If you’re already struggling with periodontal disease or gingivitis, here are a few things you should do:
That last one might be a little surprising but when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums clean, water is incredibly important. Water washes away bacteria and built-up food and can help prevent plaque build-up. Switching from sugary sodas and energy drinks to water is a great way to improve your oral health.
Live in the Cary-Raleigh area? We’d love to have you come in! We offer an array of services from pediatric dentistry and orthodontics to oral surgery and cosmetics. Call (919) 460-9665 to set up an appointment today.
We know no one enjoys filling out paperwork, but in any medical environment, all those questions about your medications and medical history are incredibly important. Most people acknowledge that they need to fill out paperwork at places like their GP or orthopedic, but at dental offices, paperwork is often left ignored and unfinished. Because people typically come to the dentist twice a year, it can feel more routine than going to other medical offices. This translates to people not feeling the need to mention things like new medications or recent surgeries. Your teeth don’t have much to do with the rest of your body, right? In reality, your overall health has a strong impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Even small changes to your medical history can impact how we approach your dental treatment options.
Almost all medications — even over-the-counter drugs — come with long lists of side effects. Most decongestants and many antihistamines can severely reduce saliva production. Saliva helps keep your teeth “clean” in-between brushing by washing away harmful bacteria. If we know that you’re on a medication that affects saliva production, we can take some proactive measures to ensure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible.
Some other medications that may affect your saliva production include painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants. If you’re taking any kind of medication regularly, make sure your dentist knows — even if you don’t think it’s affecting your teeth or mouth directly. With anything medical, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Your mouth is a gateway for harmful bacteria, allowing them to easily move from your teeth and gums to affect the rest of your body. Poor oral health can exacerbate, and even cause, certain conditions, including endocarditis and cardiovascular disease. Letting your dentist know about your health conditions — including your family’s health history — is vital. If endocarditis runs in your family, your dentist may recommend coming in for three or four cleanings a year instead of two, just to make sure there are no bacteria that can wind up near your heart.
Your oral health can also impact pregnancy. Recent studies link periodontal disease to low birth weights and premature births. We typically recommend that pregnant women come in for cleanings every three months instead of every six months if they’re struggling with their gum health.
Other conditions that relate to your oral health include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis. These illnesses can make the mouth more susceptible to gum disease, mucosal lesions, and tooth loss respectively. The best way to keep yourself healthy is to tell your dentist exactly what sort of conditions you have so they can create a treatment plan that works for you.
Surgeries and injuries — on any part of the body — can affect oral surgeries and treatments. At our office, we approach every case with individual, personalized care. If we don’t know your medical history, we could make a mistake. Keep us in the loop on any and all changes by filling out all requested paperwork and talking to your dentist while you’re in the office. We want every visit to our office to be beneficial and worthwhile to you but for that to be possible, we need your help.
There are only a few months left in 2020 which means there’s a limited amount of time to use up all of your dental insurance benefits. The money you pay into your dental insurance plan does not roll over to the next year so if you neglect to use your benefits before January, you’re essentially throwing away your money. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what your dental insurance company wants you to do. If you don’t take advantage of your semi-annual cleanings, they get to pocket the money they would have given us to cover the cleaning. That’s money you already paid, lining the pockets of an insurance company instead of going towards keeping your teeth healthy.
Most dental insurance plans give you two cleanings a year (though a few only include one). The best way to get the “most bang for your buck” is to schedule and come in for both of those cleanings if you have them available. They’re quick, easy appointments and they’re the best way to keep your mouth healthy and prevent future dental problems.
Depending on your plan, you may have some other benefits available as well. There are plans that cover a certain number of cavities, root canals, and, in certain cases, even dental implants. Give us a call if you’re confused about your dental insurance coverage. We’ll give you a free assessment to see what sort of benefits you have left this year. Once you know, you’ll be able to get started on the treatment you need (before 2021!)
We’ve made scheduling your six-month hygiene visits easier than ever. You can now choose the date and time of your cleaning without having to pick up the phone. Just click this link to head over to our secure scheduling portal.
Every year, Cary Magazine recognizes some of the top businesses in the Triangle area with the prestigious Maggy Awards. The awards honor all kinds of businesses and business owners with categories like “Best Real-Estate Agent,” “Best Bakery,” and, of course, “Best Dentist.” Dr. Bobbi Stanley has won Best Dentist numerous years in a row and we hope to grab that esteemed title again in 2021! To do so, we need your help.
To vote for Dr. Bobbi Stanley, just click on this link, go to the third page of nominations, and go down to “Best Dentist.” It’s that simple! Make sure to write in nominations for some of your other favorite Triangle businesses. Voting for awards and writing Google reviews are great and easy ways to help small businesses. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but a few awards and five-star reviews can make a huge difference for an office like ours.
At Stanley Dentistry, we pride ourselves on being one of the oldest family-owned dental offices in the Triangle. Dr. Bobbi Stanley opened the practice back in 1995 so we’ve been operating for twenty-five years. During those twenty-five years, Dr. Bobbi’s husband, Dr. Robert Stanley, decided to go to dental school as well and joined the practice as our surgeon and dental implantologist. Today, we also have Dr. David Baronowski along with two hygienists, a talented lineup of dental assistants, front desk staff, and a marketing team.
We’ve overcome everything from the 2008 recession to this year’s catastrophic COVID-19 shutdown and we always come back stronger than before. How do we do that? It’s all about our team and our patients. Everyone who works in our office, from the assistants to the doctors, is incredibly passionate about helping as many people as possible obtain healthy, beautiful smiles. We truly love helping people find their “smile confidence”. When you have that sort of pure passion, people tend to notice, which is how we’ve managed to create such an amazing patient base. Many of our patients have been with us since 1995 because they know the care we provide is unparalleled.
A lot of businesses use the saying “When you’re here, you’re family,” but at Stanley Dentistry, it’s more than just a saying. Our office is a solidified part of a Cary community. For us, this is home and the patients who come into our office every six months are our family. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to stay here and serve the Triangle for over two decades and we hope to continue to serve for as long as our team is able. Help our small business stick around by voting for Dr. Bobbi Stanley in the Maggy Awards! Just one vote goes a long way.
“Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.”
Your head hurts, you have a fever, and, weirdly enough, you have a toothache. You might think those three things are unrelated but, chances are, you’re probably suffering from a sinus infection. Sinus infections occur when a virus or bacteria wreak havoc on the sinuses, causing painful congestion and inflammation.
The most common symptom of a sinus infection is congestion and pain in the sinuses. Sinuses are located in a few different areas including behind the eyebrows and right below the eyes, in the upper cheek region. Sometimes, if inflammation in the sinuses becomes severe enough, tooth pain can occur. The pain is usually centered around the upper molars since they’re located near a sinus cavity. The tooth pain can be severe enough to cause people to become confused about its origin.
The best way to figure out if your tooth pain is coming from a sinus infection is to look at your other symptoms. Are you running a fever? Do you have nasal congestion or a headache? Are you having difficulties smelling or tasting? If you answered “yes” to those, your tooth pain is most likely related to sinus inflammation.
If you are not suffering from any of those symptoms, your tooth pain is related to decay or damage. Get to a dentist as soon as possible so they can do an exam of the tooth. You may need a filling, a root canal, or an extraction.
Viruses, not bacteria, are frequently the culprit when it comes to sinus infections. This is both a good and bad thing. It can be good because, in most cases, viruses only last a week. It can also be not so good because viruses are not easily treatable. You can treat the symptoms (stuffy nose, fever, inflammation, etc.) but you cannot rid your body of the virus. You have to wait for it to work through your system, which is typically a fairly quick process.
If the sinus infection is bacteria-based, you may have to get antibiotics from a doctor. You should resort to antibiotics only after experiencing symptoms for over ten days. Antibiotics can become ineffective after excessive use.
If the tooth pain from your sinus infection is unbearable, go to the doctor immediately. If it’s uncomfortable, here are a few ways to help keep that pain at bay:
“Pregnancy gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that comes from a surge in hormones. It can be many different hormones but progesterone is the number one cause of it. It [progesterone] causes red, swollen, irritated gums. That’s called pregnancy gingivitis. It can turn into something even more serious called periodontal disease. That’s not just from pregnancy. Periodontal disease is a more serious condition where bacteria actually creep below the gum line and causes an infection in the bone. It can end up causing you to lose your teeth down the road if you were not to treat it along with other health issues. Pregnancy gingivitis can be the precursor to periodontal issues so you want to make sure it doesn’t cross into that dangerous stage.
Periodontal disease can complicate the immune system and it can hurt your overall health. That’s true for men and women — but with women, it can cause preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Preterm birth can cause all types of issues for kids. They can have learning disabilities down the road, hearing and vision loss, and/or chronic health problems like asthma infections. You really want to do everything you can to make sure that the baby goes full-term.
Believe it or not, 40% of pregnant women have some form of periodontal disease. Come in and see your hygienist and your dentist and let them do an overall exam check of your periodontal health. They’ll make sure you’re healthy and that way, if you do have any issues going on, they can either give you some home care instructions or possibly treat any periodontal issues you might have. For gingivitis, that just means a really food cleaning and follow-up home care. Sometimes you’ll need some medicines and mouthwashes — things like that could help you get through it.
And then, if you have periodontal disease, there is treatment. We do periodontal therapy where we clean below the gemlike to clean some things out. You’d want to make sure that you schedule regular visits. Here at Stanley Dentistry, we like to see our pregnant patients at least every three to four months to make sure that, if there are any bacterial infections going on, you can get those taken care of before they become an issue.
I make sure I floss every day once, if not twice. Before, I was just a once-a-day flosser. I brush two to three times a day and I do get my cleanings more often while I’m pregnant.”
“I’m a big wuss. So, I need somebody that’s going to take care of my teeth on the painless dentistry side. I was looking for somebody who practices that. I heard about Dr. Stanley — the dentist to the stars. So, I came in and, once again, I never looked back. It’s an easy experience. I don’t mind coming to the dentist anymore.
Each and every time I’ve gotten more comfortable coming here. I’ve never been sedated — but I did get needles in the gums, which is fine. Both Stanleys, the docs, they’re great. I tell everybody — come on down.
They’re very professional at all times. Very friendly and easy-going. [They] explain to you everything that’s going on. They make sure that you’re comfortable with it. It’s just a great overall experience every time you come in the chair. Never an issue. They’re there for you the whole time — even afterward. Whatever work you have done — you can call them, they’ll call you. You’re going away, they’ll give you someone to talk to when you’re going away — if god forbid something should happen. They’re great people.
Absolutely. You gotta come down and see the Stanleys. Both of them. I got two screws [dental implants] in my mouth so I’ll say I got screwed by Drs. Stanley. Everything was good. It was awesome. That’s about it. I can’t say enough. Great job, guys!”
At Stanley Dentistry, we know getting dental work done (and sometimes, just entering a dental office) can be difficult for some people. Dental anxiety is a very real phenomenon for many of our patients which is why we take it so seriously. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we will do everything we can to make your dental visits as stress and pain-free as possible. Our hygienists, dental assistants, and doctors are experts on minimizing discomfort during dental procedures (even ones as simple as routine cleanings). When you’re here, we want you to be as comfortable as possible so if there’s ever anything that makes you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, please let us know. We’re here to help improve your health — not progress your anxiety.
If you’re ready to get started on your dental treatment, feel free to set up a complimentary consultation with one of our doctors. They’ll go over your different options and how they can help improve the health and function of your teeth. We’ll see you soon!
We always tell our patients to brush their teeth twice a day — or, even better, after every meal. While brushing your teeth isn’t a difficult task, it does take time away from your daily schedule so we understand why frequent brushing may be a little annoying. However, the tried-and-true rule of brushing right after waking up and right before bed is non-negotiable if you want to keep tooth decay and periodontal disease at bay. Here’s why:
Brushing your teeth after waking up in the morning doesn’t just knock out morning breath — it also disturbs any plaque that managed to begin growing overnight. Plaque is a sticky white film that forms over your teeth. It’s made out of harmful bacteria that, when left alone for long enough, can produce acid that can then break down tooth enamel, causing cavities. During the day, drinking water and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like cucumbers, lettuce, and spinach) can somewhat slow the growth of plaque. At night, plaque is able to grow uninhibited for an extended period of time. This is why skipping a morning brush can be dangerous. If you don’t get rid of that plaque in the morning, after the bacteria had the chance to multiply, you increase your risk of the plaque becoming strong enough to break down your tooth enamel.
Do you have trouble remembering to brush in the morning? As with a lot of things, brushing your teeth has to become a habit. If you wake up and take a shower first thing in the morning, try brushing your teeth first, right before hopping in the shower. Make sure your toothbrush and toothpaste are sitting out on the counter, ready to go. You can also try writing a little sticky-note and putting it on your mirror as a daily reminder. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you’re brushing in the morning. It could very well mean the difference between needing a filling at your next appointment and not.
So, if you brush your teeth in the morning (and do a good job), why do you have to brush again before you go to sleep for the night? If you don’t brush your teeth after every meal, brushing your teeth before bed is necessary to remove any leftover food particles that can encourage the growth of bacteria (and thus plaque). Neglecting to brush your teeth at night is just like if you went for a run, came back to your house all sweaty, and didn’t take a shower. Your teeth need to be cleaned after encountering sugary and acidic foods and drinks throughout the day.
If you’re having trouble remembering to brush at night, remember that it needs to become part of your routine. If you put on face lotion before bed, brush your teeth first. Get into the habit of brushing before bed and before you know it, you’ll be doing it on autopilot.
If you are prone to cavities or you want to take your oral and dental health to the next level, try brushing your teeth after every meal with a soft bristle brush. This will remove any dangerous sugars or acids from your teeth’s many jagged surfaces before they have the chance to become plaque. If you eat or drink something acidic, drink some water and wait at least half an hour before brushing. Immediately brushing after ingesting acids can actually hurt your dental enamel instead of helping it.
We encourage you to use a soft bristle brush because excess use of a harder bristle brush can wear down enamel over time. Brushing too often and too vigorously can be just as bad for your teeth as rarely brushing.
Drinking water is good for your whole body — your teeth included. We recommend that all of our patients drink about two liters (or eight 8-ounce glasses) of water every day in order to keep their teeth in tip-top shape. So, how does water affect teeth? And why does your dentist recommend the tried-and-true 8×8 rule? It all has to do (as gross as it sounds) with saliva.
Tooth decay and periodontal disease occur where there’s a build-up of dangerous bacteria in the mouth. If you don’t manage to remove that bacteria through brushing or flossing, it can eat away at your teeth and gums. While at-home oral care (brushing, mouthwash, flossing, etc.), is the real key to ridding your mouth of that bacteria, your saliva also plays a very important part. Saliva is constantly working to remove bacteria and prevent infection and decay. It’s your mouth’s natural way to clean and protect your teeth.
When you drink water, you supplement your saliva and give your teeth a cleansing “shower” that washes away some of that harmful bacteria. Drinking water throughout the day allows your body to create the necessary amount of saliva so, even when you aren’t actively drinking water, your mouth can still stay as clean as possible. If you don’t have a toothbrush nearby after eating, try taking a few sips of water to remove any leftover food particles. It’s an easy and useful way to inhibit the growth of food-borne bacteria and keep your pearly whites as pearly as possible.
Struggle with remembering to drink water throughout the day? You’re not alone. A large percentage of the population drinks less than the recommended two liters a day. Luckily, drinking water is a habit so once you begin drinking more water, it will become a natural part of your routine. Here are a few ways to get into the habit of drinking water: