Author Archive

Geriatric Dental Issues – Newton, Wellesley, MA

There’s a commonly understood recipe for living a healthy life as we get older, and it goes something like this: Exercise, eat healthy food in moderation, don’t smoke, get plenty of sleep, maintain a good social network and engage in mentally challenging activities.

Yet, according to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist  and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “there’s another, largely overlooked, ingredient: oral health care”. Because our bodies become more vulnerable as we age, decay, infections and bacteria that occur in teeth, gums and mouth can grow into serious problems that impact overall health. Plus, there are issues seniors have that exacerbate problems and inhibit a senior’s ability to brush, floss or visit the dentist. Medications can create dry mouth. Arthritis limits dexterity and creates transportation and mobility issues. And a lack of dental insurance can halt regular dentist visits.

“Many of older adults are getting used to living in pain,” says Johnson. “They have active infections that have been going on for five, 10, 15 years. Poor oral hygiene is particularly harmful to seniors”.

Poor oral hygiene can increase risks for diabetes, pneumonia, infections elsewhere in the body and strokes, he says. Also, mouth cancers — which can be discovered through regular dental checkups — can go undetected. Many seniors wish they had access to better dental care. But often, after retirement, they lose dental insurance and can’t afford new coverage. Medicare, for instance, doesn’t cover most dental work. In 2012, a survey indicated that being able to afford dental care was the No. 1 health issue for seniors, even more than general medical care (38 percent to 30 percent).

Among the primary oral-health issues older men and women face are:

Dry mouth: Having a drier mouth can be part of the aging & geriatric  process. But older people tend to be on more medications, and hundreds of those medications inhibit production of saliva, which protects against tooth decay and controls bacteria. “That creates an environment that is very acidic, because the saliva is not there anymore,” says Johnson, “That leads to more tooth decay, gum disease and an increase in bacteria”. Some studies have shown gum disease can lead to heart disease. And an increase in bacteria has been linked to a higher risk of pneumonia (with bacteria breathed into the lungs) and diabetes. It’s important for seniors to drink more water to battle dry mouth. Also, seniors should provide their dentist a list of medications they are taking.

Oral cancer: Rates increase with age, so if seniors skip regular dental checkups, they run the risk of cancers going undetected early. And even seniors who have no natural teeth and use a full set of dentures should continue regular checkups for mouth cancer.

Caregivers: it’s important for the people who care for seniors to help them with brushing and flossing, and to make certain they see a dentist regularly.  “Very often, I have a family member telling me, ‘My mom or dad was scrupulous with their health and took excellent care of their teeth, and now they’re in horrible condition,’” says Johson. “A lot of decay, a lot of periodontal illness because they just lost the capacity to take care of themselves. It takes some active intervention on the part of their families or others.”

"The importance of education can’t be overstated. The baby boomers’ tsunami wave is coming,” says Johnson. “This is a problem that is upon us, whether we want it or not. We have to continue improving the educational process to avoid potential problems.”

The Centers for Disease Control offers a checklist for seniors to maintain good oral health that includes: • Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste to protect against tooth decay. • Brush and floss regularly to reduce dental plaque and prevent periodontal disease. • See your dentist regularly, even if you wear dentures and have no natural teeth. • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol to lower risk of oral and throat cancers. • Caregivers should provide daily oral hygiene for seniors unable to take care of themselves. • If medications produce a dry mouth, ask your doctor if there are alternate medications that can be substituted. If not, drink plenty of water or chew sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist.

For additional information on this topic visit the American Dental Association: www.mouthhealthy.org/en/adults-over-60.  For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson or to contact the office, visit: www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com

Original article: San Diego Union-Tribune Artwork: yourdentalpartners.com

Continue Reading

Dental Implants (Knock Offs & Their Risk) – Wellesley, Newton, MA

Squeezed between billboards promoting “Free Donuts” and “855-Car-Hit-U”,  I recently spotted an ad for $400 dental implants.  Radio also has numerous promotions for “teeth-in-a-day”. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “This makes for a market that creates confusion for the public. There really is a huge difference between quality and cheap”!

There are dozens of dental implant companies that sell implants in the USA. However many of these companies are copies or “clones” of other successful implants.  Since these smaller companies do very little research or development, they are usually 1-2 generations of implant design behind the major companies.  In the many implant complication cases referred to us, we have seen a higher rate of problems in the “clone” implants…even though they look very similar to the major implant brands.

An additional concern is that as smaller implant companies come and go there is a risk of not being able to get parts compatible with these numerous implants to make the crowns or bridges that attach to them.  I would not put a clone implant into a family member’s mouth (not even my mother-in-law!). Innovative companies that approach implant dentistry responsibly with research and education provide quality and service are doing very well, while implant companies that compete only on price are not a good fit for any practice.

Would you want a discounted hip or knee implant? How would you feel if your dentist was charging you the regular price and giving you a cheap implant knockoff?  Do you even ask or know? The consumer needs to know that all implants are not created equal, and they should ask what brand is being used at a particular office.

Here are some implant companies that Dr. Johnson has worked with over his 29 years of clinical practice and have a good track record and lots of data: Biomet 3i, Zimmer Dental, Straumann, Keystone,  Astratech and Nobel Biocare.

  For more information on Dr. Johnson, click here To arrange a consultation or contact the office, click here For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson, click here

Original publication by Dr. Mitchell Josephs on LinkedIn Artwork: www.oralanswers.com

Continue Reading

Dentistry: A Healthy Lifestyle – Newton, Wellesley, MA

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing director of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners wants his patients to lead a healthy lifestyle and have outstanding oral health.  A recent article in Bicycling Magazine outlined the top ways to stay healthy and a regular visit to your dentist is critical.  According to Dr. Johnson, “A visit to the dentist can make your pearly whites shine—and keep your ticker on track, as well”.  In a recent Taiwanese study people who had their teeth cleaned at least twice a year for 2 years had a 24% lower risk of heart attack and a 13% lower risk of stroke compared with people who never went to the dentist. Professional teeth cleaning appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth, which can lead to dangerous inflammation, say the study authors.

Here’s the list: 

1.    Eat Calcium Rich Foods 2.    Fill up on Anti-oxidants 3.    Go to the Dentist 4.    Cook with Herbs and Spices 5.    Load up on Potassium 6.    Take Blood Pressure Medicine at Night 7.    Treat High Blood Pressure 8.    Stay Active 9.    Run a Mile 10.   Eat Walnuts 11.    Feast on Fish 12.    Sprinkle Flax Seed on your Cereal 13.    Eat Dark Chocolate…in Moderation 14.    Start your Day with Oatmeal 15.    Snack on Nuts 16.    Switch to a Better Cooking Oil

For more blogs by Dr. Johnson, click here To contact the office or Dr. Johnson directly, click here

Artwork: adobe stock photos

Continue Reading

Dental Problems Related to Scuba Diving – Newton, Wellesley, MA

A new survey of recreational scuba divers finds that 41 percent report dental problems related to diving. Most of the problems had to do with pain from the increased pressure underwater or from clutching the air regulator too tightly in their mouths, but a few people experienced loosened crowns or cracked fillings.  ryneDr. Ryne Johnson,  prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners reports that, “over my 30 years in clinical practice, I have seen numerous patient who presented with broken or shifted teeth induced by long-time use of a regulator”.  He further recommends, “The survey was limited, but suggests that people should make sure their teeth are in good shape before they go deep.  An unhealthy tooth underwater would be much more obvious than on the surface.  One hundred feet underwater is the last place you want to be with a fractured tooth."

Underwater toothache

Barodontalgia is a toothache caused by the increase in pressure felt underwater (it can also happen at high altitudes because of low pressure). The condition, which occurs while the person is in the high- or low-pressure environment, is most common in people who have some sort of underlying dental condition, like a cavity or poorly completed filling.  project1

Forty-one percent of respondents of a recent study said they'd experienced dental symptoms while diving. Of those, 42 percent said they'd had barodontalgia. The second-most common symptom was pain from holding the air regulator too tightly (24 percent of those who'd had a dental symptom), and the third-most common problem was jaw pain (22 percent of those who'd had a dental symptom).

Protecting your teeth

Several people reported that a dental crown — a cap that fits over a broken or damaged tooth — had loosened during a dive. One person reported a broken filling.  The dry air and awkward position of the jaw while clenching down on the regulator is an interesting mix. Dive instructors reported more pain and problems than casual divers.  Instructors spend more time at shallower diving depths, where the changes in pressure are most abrupt.

Divers are required to meet a standard of medical fitness before certification, but there are no dental health prerequisites," according to Dr. Johnson.  In the meantime, divers can protect themselves by visiting the dentist before scuba diving to check for decay and other problems.

For more blogs by Dr. Johnson, Click Here To contact Dr. Johnson or the office, Click Here

Original article: http://www.livescience.com Artwork: www.scubadiving.com

Continue Reading

Teeth Grinding & Stress – Newton, Wellesley, MA

Research has found a link between stress and teeth grinding, which 70 percent have reported. Known as bruxism, teeth grinding can go undetected as the most common symptom is a headache, usually concentrated at the temples of the head. Other symptoms include sleep disorders, ear ache, and stiff muscles in the jaw, shoulders and neck. The teeth will also show signs of wear, cracks and tooth loss can result.

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners has been treating teeth grindinryneg and TMJ therapy for over thirty years.  “Many people grind their teeth at night and we used custom-made, hard appliances (with a softer, resilient liner) to lessen the impact of this significant force” says Johnson.  “The night guard is designed to absorb the impact and spread the force out over all the teeth instead of allowing it to wear away the enamel”.

What the doctor says:  'If you suspect that you are suffering from Bruxism, it is important to see your dentist who can provide a proper diagnosis”.

“Grinding your teeth can be triggered by several factors project1including an underlying sleep disorder, stress and anxiety or a result of dietary intakes such as alcohol and caffeine”.

“Your dentist will recommend a guard specially made for your teeth to create a protective barrier from friction to prevent increased tooth wear and reduce discomfort of the jaw muscles.”

For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson, Click Here

To contact the office or Dr. Johnson, Click Here original article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

artwork: http://www.arizonafamilydental.com/

Continue Reading

NEWTON WELLESLEYOrthopedic Associates iconDENTAL PARTNERS
    • Location

      Newton Office:
      447 Centre Street
      Newton, MA - 02458
      Tel : (617) 965-1225

      Wellesley Office:
      332 Washington Street - Suite 240
      Wellesley, MA 02481
      Tel. 781.235.6300

      info@newtonwellesleydentalpartners.org

      Follow us

    • Contact us