Changes in Women’s Hormones Have Impact on Their Oral Health

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During National Women’s Health Week, it’s important to talk about how women have special oral health needs throughout different phases of their lives.  Changes in female hormone levels during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause have an impact on how gums react to plaque in the mouth, making them more susceptible to gingivitis.  The gums may become red and swollen causing them to bleed a lot.  Gingivitis, or gum disease, has been linked to a wide variety of health issues.  Because gum disease is a bacterial infection and can enter the bloodstream research shows that it may have in impact on: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory problems and pregnancy outcomes.

Gingivitis is a common oral condition associated with pregnancy.  It occurs in over 60 percent of all women who are pregnant.  As with puberty and menstruation, the increase in hormones magnifies the gum tissue’s response to bacterial plaque.  Make sure to see your dentist early in your pregnancy, as untreated gum disease and tooth decay can put you and your baby at risk for infection.  When left untreated, gum disease can lead to advanced periodontal disease which has been linked to a higher rate of low birth weight babies as well as premature births.

Menopause can also bring about different oral health changes including pain, a burning sensation in the oral tissue, changes in taste and dry mouth.  Saliva naturally cleanses the teeth, rinsing off cavity causing bacteria.  With dry mouth, saliva flow decreases and the risk for developing cavities goes up.  If you experience dry mouth, talk with your dentist about different remedies available to you.

During menopause women experience a reduction of estrogen which can bring an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, reducing bone mass and strength, and potentially leading to losing bone in your jaw.  This can cause an increased chance of tooth loss.  Your dentist or doctor might recommend getting the right amount of Vitamin D and calcium, not smoking and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.

During these times of hormonal changes, it is very important that women maintain extremely good oral hygiene habits, eat a well balanced diet, keep up a good level of physical activity, do not smoke, and see their dentist and hygienist on a regular basis.

 

Dr. Simpson Returns from Mission Trip to Guyana

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Dr. Simpson providing dentistry to the community of Georgetown, Guyana with volunteer Aaron Golmitz lending a helping hand.

 

Jackson Creek Dental Group dentist, Dr. Dwight Simpson, recently returned from a mission trip to Guyana, South America where the team ministered to children, as well as serving the medical and dental needs of the community.  Dr. Simpson, along with local dentist Dr. Anugerah, treated over 285 people doing general dentistry, fillings, extractions and cleanings.  They spent three days in Georgetown, and then were flown to two remote interior gold mining villages where the people had not received dental care in five years.  “In Baramita, we delivered toothbrushes to a local school where the children had never seen or used a toothbrush,” stated Simpson.  “In Port Kaituma, the community ate a very western diet, but they had no dental education so they weren’t taking proper care of their teeth and had a lot of tooth decay.”

The mission team also included a medical team consisting of an ENT, OB and physician’s assistant, who performed cleft palate surgeries, removal of a goiter and attended to other medical needs.  In addition to the dental and medical teams, about 40 adults and children from the Placerville area started building a much needed school, the first new school in 40 years.  They were only able to complete the foundation and other mission groups will come in behind them to complete the building in May and June.

While they were there, Guyana was celebrating 130 years of Adventistism.  Children from the Davis Tribe walked 6 miles, took a paddleboat 6 hours and then flew to Georgetown to participate in the celebration.  Hundreds of Pathfinders, a worldwide organization of young people sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, marched through town with bands playing music, performing drills and singing for the crowds.

  “The Davis Tribe has an interesting story,” says Simpson.  “An Elder, O.E. Davis was a missionary living and working in Georgetown, Guyana.  It is told that the chief of the Indian tribe, Auka, asked the Big Spirit for help to make things better for his people and be a better ruler.  He then began having visions where an angel told him a white man carrying a black book would come to teach them more about God’s ways and the tribe was to follow him and do whatever he said.  That man was Davis, hence the name the Davis Tribe.”

The mission team worked through an organization called Maranatha.  The impact of Maranatha’s mission work is twofold as they provide desperately needed buildings and offer opportunities for people to make service a part of their lives. They, along with their volunteers, have impacted more than 80 countries and countless lives as a result of their work.

 The dentists at Jackson Creek Dental Group have been on many mission trips providing free dentistry in some of the poorest areas of the world.  These include trips to Armenia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Costa Rica, Africa and native, impoverished regions of Kauai.

Kids Get a FREE Fluoride Varnish at Celebrate Our Children Tomorrow

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We will be at Celebrate Our Children again this year doing FREE fluoride varnish for the kids. The event is tomorrow, April 22 from 11:00am – 2:00pm at Argonaut High School. Lots of food, fun and entertainment. Stop by and see us!

April is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that over 49,600 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.  Oral cancer screenings are a routine part of every dental examination we perform here at Jackson Creek Dental Group and are an essential element of early detection.

Oral cancers may develop on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks and the roof and floor of the mouth.  It often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or a sore.  While the following signs and symptoms may not mean you have cancer, they are the most common signs and symptoms of oral cancer:

  • A sore that does not heal within about two weeks, or that bleeds easily.
  • A lump, thickening, or a rough or crusty spot on the skin or lining of your mouth.
  • A tiny white or reddish patch anywhere inside of your mouth.
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in your mouth or on your lips.
  • A color change of the oral tissues.
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together.

So what can you do to help prevent getting oral cancer?

  • Quit using (or don’t start using) tobacco including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others.
  • Avoid alcohol use, especially when combined with tobacco use. The dehydrating effect of alcohol on cell walls enhances the ability of tobacco carcinogens to permeate mouth tissues.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips.
  • Protect yourself from the sexually transmitted virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), responsible for the majority of cervical cancers in women and a possible risk factor for oral cancer.
  • Do self-exams of the inside of your mouth at home using a flashlight and mirror.  Make sure to check your tongue and all of its surfaces.
  • Have regular dental check-ups combined with oral cancer screenings.

If you have a sore or discolored area of your mouth which does not heal within 14 days, see a dental professional immediately.   We care about your health and well-being!

Dr. Simpson Doing Kindergarten Oral Health Screenings at Plymouth Elementary Today

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Dr. Simpson will be at Plymouth Elementary School today, Wednesday, April 12th, from 2:00 to 5:00pm doing free oral health screenings for children registering for kindergarten this coming year. Parents, you can register and get your child’s oral health screening form signed in the same visit. Stop by and see us!

Dr. Kinzer Doing Kindergarten Oral Screenings at Pine Grove Elementary Today

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Dr. Kinzer will be at Pine Grove Elementary School today from 2:30 to 5:30pm doing free oral health screenings for children registering for kindergarten this coming year. Parents, you can register and get your child’s oral health screening form signed in the same visit. Stop by and see us!

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

 

 

Diabetes affects over 29 million Americans and can cause complications to our feet, eyes, kidneys and heart.  If you have diabetes, did you know that it can also cause complications in your mouth?  High glucose levels in saliva may cause bacteria in the mouth to thrive and cause many complications including:  tooth decay, fungal infections, salivary dysfunction and dry mouth, periodontal (gum) disease and delayed healing.    The first defense against oral complications is to diligently brush and floss every day and see your dental team regularly.  If you have bleeding gums, a sore mouth, burning tongue or ulcers, you need to see your dentist for treatment…the earlier the better.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue around the teeth, which can lead to loss of bone and teeth if left untreated.  Remember, diabetes reduces the body’s ability to resist infections and to heal, and infections in the mouth can in turn change your blood glucose levels.  You should regularly check your teeth and gums, and immediately schedule an appointment with your dentist if you notice any changes.

So what can you do?  Make sure to have regular check-ups and professional cleanings.  If you show signs of early gum disease, make sure to follow you dental team’s recommendations.  If you wear dentures, remove and clean them daily.  Also report any changes you have in medications or blood glucose control, and know your glucose levels at the beginning of your dental appointment to help avoid an emergency situation while you are being treated.  Let your dentist know if you wear an insulin pump prior to having x-rays.  Also, discuss any oral problems you may be having, including dry mouth.  People with diabetes have special needs, and your dentist and hygienist are equipped to meet those needs – with your help.

Living with diabetes can be challenging, so taking an active part in your oral health care will help you to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile for years to come.  Make your dental team part of your diabetes care team.

Dr. Simpson Doing Mission Trip to Guyana South America

Dr Simpson

Dr. Simpson, along with 40 church youth and volunteers, will be traveling to Guyana, South America to help build the first new school in 40 years. They will also be ministering to children, as well as serving the medical and dental needs of the community. Dr. Simpson will be flying in by small plane to two remote mining villages where they have not had dental care in nearly five years. “Prayers would be appreciated, that God’s love for his children would shine through our service to them,” stated Dr. Simpson. We hope he has a safe, productive and rewarding journey!

35 Local Children Treated at Smiles for Kids 2017

Pictured above are Jerhet Ask, DDS and Samantha Curtin, RDH with one of our Smiles for Kids patients.

Pictured above are Jerhet Ask, DDS and Samantha Curtin, RDH with one of our Smiles for Kids patients.

Big smiles were plentiful after children received free dental care as part of Smiles for Kids 2017.  The day was all about helping children in Amador County who do not yet have dental insurance and qualified for the program.  These kids were able to receive dental exams, x-rays, teeth cleaning, sealants, fluoride treatments, and emergency dental work at no charge.  The dentists at Jackson Creek Dental Group, their staff and people from the community volunteered their time to treat 35 local Amador County children.  Pro-bono services were provided totaling over $15,000.

Fourteen of these children will be seen locally for follow-up treatment as part of the Smiles for Kids program.  Six will be seen by specialists in Sacramento as part of the Sacramento District Dental Society Adopt-a-Child Orthodontic and Specialty Referral Care programs.

“We were happy to see so many parents bringing their children in to be seen during Smile for Kids.  As part of these visits we like to educate the families about good oral hygiene and the prevention of dental disease.  We know that dental disease can affect the entire body as well as have an impact on how the child performs at school, so early prevention and education is key to having a healthy smile and body,” stated Craig Kinzer, DDS at Jackson Creek Dental Group.

The Smiles for Kids program, a project of the Sacramento District Dental Society and Foundation, is run in support of the American Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile” campaign.  Participants are member doctors, their staffs, vendors and community volunteers.

For more information contact us at (209) 223-2712.

February is American Heart Month

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February is American Heart Month, and though the link between dental health and heart health is not totally clear, it is important to take care of both. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums. If not removed, the bacteria and their by- products may spread throughout the body through the bloodstream and cause adverse effects on other parts of the body. Make sure you are seeing your hygienist and dentist on a regular basis, and if you have periodontal disease, get appropriate treatment.

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