This probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but kids with bad teeth are often bullied. A study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics found that teeth were the number one targeted facial feature!

The study was conducted among 6th grade students in Amman, Jordan and found that a significant amount of bullying in school was due to children’s dental or facial appearance. Other physical features that were targets for bullies were strength and weight. Of the 920 students in the study, about half had been bullied, with more boys reporting it than girls. Students who were bullied were more likely to play hooky from school and to dislike going to school.

About half of the bullying victims knew that they were singled out because of their teeth. Missing teeth, large spaces, “buck” teeth and the color of the teeth were all targeted by bullies. A panel of  American orthodontists agreed with the findings of this study, saying that the experiences of the children in Jordan can easily translate to American 6th graders.

Dealing with bullies is difficult and complex. However, dealing with crooked teeth in an adolescent is something that can be resolved. Some parents avoid orthodontics for their children because they think that braces are only for making a smile look prettier. Yes, dental braces can give someone a more beautiful smile, but they also help preserve healthy teeth and gums. Teeth that are crooked or overlapping are difficult to keep clean which leads to more tooth decay and early onset of gum disease. Orthodontic treatment for your child gives them the gift of a lifetime of better dental health – and less worry about bullying.

Find out more about your options for orthodontic treatment, including clear braces like Invisalign, by contacting Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994.

We are living in the digital age and digital dentistry is here to stay.

Most state-of-the-art dental practices now use digital x-rays, also called radiographs, instead of the old fashioned x-ray films. Digital x-rays give sharp, beautiful images instantly. No dark room with chemicals and waiting for the film to develop and the digital technology has reduced the radiation to incredibly low levels. Flying across the country actually exposes you to more radiation than a full set of digital dental x-rays. The fact that the images are instant

Digital technology has also come to a part of the dental visit that many patients dread – the impression. No more hard trays filled with goop that makes you gag. Digital technology allows dentists to scan the inside of the mouth, providing a cleaner and more accurate impression of the teeth. This digital impression can be used in-office, along with CEREC, to create a dental crown, inlay or onlay, in just one visit. CEREC utilizes CAD/CAM technology to create accurate and aesthetically beautiful restorations.

Digital technology in the dental office includes keeping those digital x-rays and digital impressions in digital patient files. This is truly an exciting time to be a dentist and each of these digital enhancements has only made dental visits more comfortable for the patient.

Find out more about our digital dental office and how high tech dentistry can make your visit more pleasant. Please contact Rothfus Family Dental today at 541-858-7994 to schedule your appointment.

Periodontal disease has been linked to many severe health conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Researchers in Germany appear to have found a correlation between periodontal disease and a type of oral cancer.

Recently published in the journal Head and Face Medicine, the study found that the monitoring and treatment of chronic periodontitis might help reduce a potential cause of oral squamous cell carcinoma. “Our findings underline the necessity of implementing a periodontal regime in the dental office,” said study author, Dr. Maximillian Moergel.

Chronic gum disease, periodontitis, is one of the most prevalent infections worldwide and Dr. Moergel sees patients that have oral cancers but do not have the usual history of drinking and smoking. He stated, “Thus we were interested in a possible relationship of chronic periodontitis and the development of cancer.”

This study found a link between periodontal disease and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Importantly, the study also found that treating periodontal disease could perhaps reduce the incidence of the oral cancer.

An oral cancer screening is an important part of every oral examination. Patients at higher risk for oral cancer include: older men, people who smoke, people who drink alcohol and people who have an oral HPV infection. Patients with chronic gum disease should also seek regular screenings and should treat their gum disease  to reduce risk.

Please contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994 to schedule your next visit.

Many people take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol and new research has shown that the drugs also reduce the inflammation associated with gum disease. Gum disease affects about half of the US adult population and causes chronic inflammation.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, adds to the links previously found between heart health and gum disease. The study suggests that actions taken to treat gum disease may also reduce inflammation in the arteries and vice versa.

Dr. Ahmed Tawkol, co-author of the study, said “Periodontitis (gum disease) and atherosclerosis are both primarily driven by inflammation. These inflammatory conditions tend to co-exist within individuals and their biologies may be intertwined.”

The study was a randomized trial that had patients with heart disease or a high risk of heart disease take either an 80 mg statin or a 10 mg statin daily for 12 weeks. Patients showed a significant reduction in gum inflammation after as few as four weeks on the higher dose statin. “Statins have beneficial effect beyond their lipid lowering properties,” said Dr. Tawakol. “Physicians should take this into consideration when discussing treatment options with their patients.”

Statin drugs are useful but, like any drug, come with side effects. Talk to your physician about all of your health conditions, including gum disease and take appropriate steps to treat your gum disease. Healthy gums are linked to better overall health.

Please contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994 today to find out more about your options for preventing or treating gum disease.

Can brushing and flossing regularly help you with the battle for weight loss? Surprisingly, a clean mouth may help shed a few pounds and here’s why:

  1. When you brush and floss regularly, you’ll cut down significantly on the amount of bacteria living in your mouth. Excessive oral bacteria leads to gum disease which causes inflammation. This body wide inflammatory response has been linked to stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and even death. Any of these health complications can make it more difficult for you to work out and lose weight. If you don’t have poor dental hygiene and thus have a decreased risk for these health complications, you’ll have more endurance and be able to work out more often in order to lose weight.
  2. Part of maintaining good oral health is keeping away from sugary snacks and drinks – fewer calories taken in, healthier teeth – and maybe even a few pounds lost.
  3. Brushing after meals helps you feel full. Really, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full, but usually we just keep eating. Get up after that meal, brush your teeth, and give your brain a chance to catch up with your stomach.

Any weight loss plan involves watching your diet and increasing your activity levels. Brushing and flossing alone won’t win the battle of the bulge but they can be one more tool in your weight loss toolbox.

Contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994 to schedule your next dental hygiene visit.

Medical researchers have investigated links between oral health and heart health for several years. Now researchers at UC San Francisco are investigating possible links between oral health and kidney disease. According to Dr. Vanessa Grubbs, “This is a very new and emerging area, and there have only been a few studies.” She continued “If we at least start to show that treating periodontal disease can slow the progression of kidney disease, the long-term ramifications for dental policy and how we manage patients with chronic kidney disease are huge.”

Dr. Grubbs is a kidney specialist researching this subject as part of her commitment to preventing the chronic health problems associated with kidney disease. She notes that both kidney disease and gum disease affect lower income individuals more often and hopes that routine dental care could become a priority as a way to prevent kidney disease. She feels that the cost savings could be significant, “It’s certainly cheaper to pay for preventative dental care than dialysis.”

This research is just getting started and it will be some time before the results of this pilot study are known. In the meantime, anyone who suffers from red, puffy or swollen gums is most likely suffering from gum disease and needs to seek treatment. Many patients ignore their gum disease because they cannot see the infection inside their mouths and because the early stages are usually painless. Untreated gum disease eventually leads to tooth loss and the bacteria from gum disease can travel throughout the body.

Treating gum disease today is much easier than in the past. Using topical antibiotics or laser periodontal treatment makes treatment comfortable and effective. Find out more information about treating gum disease today by contacting Medford, OR family dentist Rothfus Family Dental today at 541-858-7994.

Most people don’t think of tooth decay as a “disease” but a recent study called the Global Burden of Disease 2010 founded that untreated tooth decay – also known as dental caries – was the most common of 291 major diseases and injuries. They estimate that cavities affect close to 4 billion people and the resulting toothache and pain prevent them from eating and sleeping properly.  Professor Wagner Marcenes said “This total does not even include small cavities or mild gum diseases, so we are facing serious problems in the population’s oral health.”

Here in America we have been seeing an increase in tooth decay, especially among children. The reasons most likely include: constant snacking on high carbohydrate foods, drinking soda, energy and other sugary/acidic drinks, and drinking less fluoridated water.

The good news is we can prevent many cavities from forming by forming good dental hygiene habits and visiting the dentist regularly will let us catch small problems before they become big ones.

If you do need to have a cavity filled we are long past the days of mercury-filled amalgam fillings which left ugly black shadows on your smile. Today dentist use tooth colored composite material that are free of metal and mercury. These dental fillings match the color of your teeth so your smile looks just as beautiful after your filling as before!

When a cavity is extremely large or if an old, large filling has failed and decay has formed below it you may need to have a dental crown. Very large fillings leave a tooth vulnerable to cracking and breaking — even using modern dental materials. The solution is the dental crown. This enables us to save the tooth and ensure that a long lasting, strong restoration is in place that will last for years.

Find out more about preventing cavities and your options for treatment if you do have cavities by contacting Medford, OR cosmetic dentists Rothfus Family Dental  at 541-858-7994 today.

Which is worse – meth mouth or soda mouth? Drinking large quantities of diet soda can harm teeth and be just as damaging as abusing the illegal drugs, meth or crack cocaine according to a new study. The case study was published in the journal General Dentistry and found that the use of illegal drugs and the intake or large amounts of soda cause very similar types of damage to the mouth because of tooth erosion.

Tooth erosion is the wearing away of tooth enamel which leads to tooth sensitivity, decay and eventual tooth loss.

This case study compared the damage that had been done to the teeth of three people. One was an admitted user of methamphetamine, one was a long-time user of cocaine and the third drank excessive amounts of diet soda. The soda drinker averaged 2 liters of diet soda per day for three years! All of the three had poor oral hygiene and had not visited the dentist on a regular basis. Researchers found the same type of severe damage from tooth erosion in each persons mouth.

“Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels in their ‘drug’ of choice — meth, crack or soda,” explained Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny. He continued, “The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion.”

If you drink lots of soda (diet or regular), fruit juices, energy drinks or sports drinks you could be destroying your enamel. All of these beverages contain high levels of acid which are harmful to dental enamel. The first sign is usually sensitivity to hot or cold.

Find out about your options for treating sensitive teeth and prevent future cavities  by contacting the preventive dentists at Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994.

Smoking has long been associated with losing teeth but women who are past the age of menopause tend to experience more tooth loss than men of the same age. A new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association looked for reasons why this occurs.

Postmenopausal women who have smoked are at higher risk of tooth loss due to periodontal disease than women who have never smoked. Researchers at the University of Buffalo performed the first comprehensive look at smoking histories and tooth loss.”Regardless of having better oral health practices, such as brushing and flossing, and visiting the dentist more frequently, postmenopausal women in general tend to experience more tooth loss than men of the same age,” said Xiaodan Mai, a doctoral student at the University. He continued “We were interested in smoking as a variable that might be important.”

In this study the heavy smokers were nearly twice as likely to report tooth loss from all reasons and six times more likely to report tooth loss from periodontal disease than those women who had never smoked. Tooth loss is associated with poor long term health outcomes including increased risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

While tooth loss due to gum disease increased in smokers, tooth loss due to dental decay did not. This is important because gum disease is a condition that causes inflammation throughout the body and may be related to the development of other diseases.

If you have experienced tooth loss you should know that there are options for replacing missing teeth. Depending upon your overall oral health your dentist may suggest either a dental bridge or dental implants. Dental implants offer several advantages including feeling more like a “real” tooth. Dental implants also help to preserve bone surrounding the missing tooth. Implants can be used to replace just one tooth, several teeth or even to anchor full sets of dentures.

Find out more about your options for replacing missing teeth by contacting Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 547-858-7994.

Rheumatoid arthritis and oral health do have a link. For patients with arthritis it is especially important you see the dentist regularly to help prevent gum disease. Research shows a strong connection between gum disease and arthritis. A German study published in the Journal of Periodontology showed that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has more gum disease than people without RA. The researchers found that RA patients were eight times more likely to develop gum disease than people without RA.

The key to the link between these two conditions seems to be inflammation. Inflammation is what happens when our immune system responds to viruses and bacteria. Gum disease is caused by bacteria and triggers this inflammatory process. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly triggers inflammation even though there are no viruses or bacteria to fight. Researcher Dr. Scott Zashin suggests that it may be possible that the immune system is stimulated by the mouth infection and inflammation “setting off a cascade of events where inflammation develops at the site of joints or arthritis.”

The Journal of Periodontology published additional research that showed that when people with severe RA cleared up their gum disease, their pain and other symptoms improved.  This research from Case Western Reserve University showed that patients who received both standard RA treatment AND treatment for their gum disease reported significant improvements in their symptoms compared to the control group who had only received the RA treatment.

Next – some tips for RA patients to make their home oral health care a little easier.

Please contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994 to schedule your next dental hygiene appointment. We can help keep your gums in tip top shape.