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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Alzheimer's and Gum Disease

We frequently see the effect gum disease has on dental stability at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group. Weakened gum tissue makes it easier for teeth to fall out and implants to fail. But teeth aren’t the only things imperiled by gum disease. New research has shown a link between Alzheimer’s disease and oral bacteria, drawing new attention to how closely tied oral health is to the rest of the body.


Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the bacteria species that causes gum disease, defends itself against white blood cells by secreting toxic enzymes called gingipains. Although gingipains are common, scientists found them at elevated levels in the brains and spinal fluid of people who displayed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Further research determined that gingipains trigger the creation of neural plaque, which disrupts brain function and leads to Alzheimer’s.


In the past few months, new research was published on the movement of P. gingivalis in living humans. Scientists found evidence that P. gingivalis can travel from the mouth to the brain and that it likely speeds the development of Alzheimer’s. Although they do not believe the gum disease is the sole cause of neural plaque formation, it does seem to be a significant contributor. People with Alzheimer’s are also less able to care for their gum health, creating a vicious circle. We encourage all our patients to maintain regular dental appointments so they can get deep cleanings and to carefully monitor themselves for signs of gingivitis. Their teeth aren’t all that’s on the line.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.


 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Prosthodontics and Cleft Palate

Not everybody who gets an artificial tooth is replacing one that fell out; some people are getting teeth where there hadn’t been any previously. At the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Austin, we work closely with other doctors to care for children with facial deformities such as cleft palates. These patients will need several procedures over the course of their development to be able to enjoy the full use of their jaws.


When a part of the upper palate was missing at birth, the teeth may come in misaligned even after initial corrective surgery. They may be difficult to speak or eat with or to keep clean. Orthodontic therapy is often required to move them out of the way in preparation for an implant. Once orthodontic therapy is complete, the patient may need a larger bone graft to fill in the gap in their jaw bone and create something for an implant to anchor to. The new bone material may be taken from another part of the patient’s mouth or be made of material taken from a donor or synthesized in a laboratory. The process of integrating new tissue will take some months, during which a patient may wear a temporary denture.


Once the new bone tissue is integrated, an implant post may be placed. For a single tooth, this process could also take a few months, after which an artificial crown may be loaded onto it. Another option is to make a permanent partial denture or bridge, which may be desirable if more than one tooth needs to be restored. Having a full set of teeth will greatly improve a patient’s oral health, as well as their self-confidence and quality of life.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.


 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

White Spot Lesions

Do you ever notice your teeth looking milky and discolored? That’s a sign that enamel is under attack. We’ve seen a lot of tooth decay at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Austin, but we’ve also seen a lot of people who were able to protect themselves by catching it in time. This week’s blog post is dedicated to the teeth’s early warning system: white spot lesions.


When acid erodes enamel, the teeth will be demineralized of calcium and phosphate before large chunks of material dissolve. Demineralization can be recognized by white discoloration. It is commonly seen around orthodontic brackets and on the upper back molars of people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Ordinarily, saliva neutralizes acid, but when a person is dehydrated or their saliva glands have been damaged, white spots are likelier to form. If the incipient lesion is not stopped, it may develop into a cavity.


Ordinary brushing and flossing is usually enough to stop the spread of an infection. But scarring is possible, and it only takes about thirty days for caries to develop. We can help a patient to determine whether a white spot represents an active infection. (Staining from excess fluoride can look similar.) Remineralization therapy is available to combat dental scars. White spots only develop on natural teeth, so patients also have to be attentive to brushing dentures and artificial crowns.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.


 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Digital X-Ray's

Many practices are moving to digital radiography to take x-rays instead of traditional photographic film. Digital x-rays are more efficient by bypassing chemical processing and it allows us to transfer and view the photos of your mouth faster. Digital radiography uses 80% less radiation than traditional films. With the health of patients being the most important thing, digital radiography is taking over the medical field.


Digital x-rays help dentists to identify any dental problems you may be having. They allow us to detect bone loss, tumors, infections in the tooth nerve, tooth decay, and other abnormalities.


Digital radiography provides you with the best care possible by being convenient, safer, and faster. With the ability to enhance image quality, we able to fix your dental issues better and more efficiently. With digital radiography becoming the go to way to take photos for dentists, it leaves patients safer without losing any picture quality.


To learn more about all of the services we provide at our practice, visit www.fredrickshawdds.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

New Patient Information

Before your first visit with us at Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group, we are going to need some more information about you. During your first visit, it is important that we get all of your medical history, background information, and for our staff to make a personal connection with you and get to know you better.


On our website you can find out all of the things you need to know for what you need to bring, our hours, address, and the payment and insurance policies. Our website also has forms that you can print and fill out prior to your visit to save time when you come in.


As a practice, our mission is to work together to realize a shared vision of uncompromising excellence in dentistry.


All of the information we need from you is important to helping us give you the best care possible. Our staff looks forward to meeting you and giving you a great dental experience.


To learn more about all of the services we provide at our practice, visit www.fredrickshawdds.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where your breathing stops and starts repeatedly. This can be a potentially serious disorder that can cause your brail to fail to breathe for a short period of time in more serious cases.


Some symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, gasping for air during your sleep, dry mouth, morning headaches, and tiredness even after sleeping, and difficulty staying asleep.


The cause of sleep apnea is when the muscles in the back of your throat relax and your airway closes as you breathe in, preventing air from allowing you to breathe. For patients with sleep apnea you may wake up 5 to 30 times a night gasping or choking.


Sleep apnea is treated with oral surgery in which our doctors at Dr. Frederick Shaw, DDS remove the excess tissue in your throat that is blocking the upper air passages.


If there are signs that you have sleep apnea please schedule an appointment with us.


To learn more about all of the services we provide at our practice, visit www.fredrickshawdds.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Sealants for Children

Sealants are a plastic coating on the chewing surfaces of the molar to prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children. Sealants have shown to reduce the risk of tooth decay by nearly 80% in molars, making them a great investment for your children’s oral health going forward. At Dr. Frederick Shaw, DDS we know it can be hard to clean between every nook and cranny of your teeth which is why we advise our younger patients to get sealants.


To apply the sealants to your molars, an adhesive is applied with a liquid that is painted right on your tooth. The liquid than hardens and creates barrier between your tooth and any plaque or bacteria that can be damaging to your teeth.


Sealants can last for up to 10 years and are replaceable when then they need to be. Sealants aren’t a substitute for brushing and flossing but it is a great addition to keeping your molar’s healthy and clean.


To learn more about all of the services we provide at our practice, visit www.fredrickshawdds.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.