I. Stephen Brown, DDS
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The Perio Group Blog

Causes and Effects of Dry Mouth

April 30th, 2020 by sbrown

 

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be an uncomfortable condition. It is something that you may want to seek assistance for if you experience it, something that Dr. I. Stephen Brown can treat you for. But first, you may want to know more about dry mouth, including the causes and effects. Let’s take a look.

What Is Dry Mouth?

As you may know, we all need saliva. It’s important to keep the mouth hydrated and to help with the digestion of food. Another of its functions is to control bacteria in the mouth. However, when your body isn’t making enough saliva, it can be uncomfortable. So it’s important to identify what’s going on and seek dry mouth treatment from an experienced periodontist such as Dr. I. Stephen Brown.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

When you suspect that you have dry mouth, you may also be interested in what could have caused it. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a side effect from some of the medication that you’re taking, such as muscle relaxants, anxiety medication, and antihistamines, among others.

Dry mouth can also be a side effect of some diseases or infections, like HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and stroke, among others. And finally, you may find that it can be caused by medical treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy damaging the saliva glands.

The Effects Of Dry Mouth

It’s knowing that dry mouth can affect your thirst levels, but that’s not all. You’ll find that you have a dry, tight feeling to the mouth and it can make your lips sore and cracked. It can also be uncomfortable to talk and swallow. As food isn’t being washed away by the saliva, you may find that you get bad breath easily. And if you’re wearing lipstick, it can stick to your teeth with no saliva to wash that away either.

Treatment Options

It’s important to speak to a periodontist such as Dr I. Stephen Brown for treatment if you suspect that you have dry mouth. If you suspect it is due to the medication you’re taking, you will want to consult your doctor. You may also be prescribed an oral rinse that will help you to bring back moisture into the mouth.

However, an important part of dry mouth treatment is for you to drink lots of water to keep the mouth hydrated, breath through your nose as much as you can, and to brush and rinse your teeth regularly.

Ways To Relieve It

If you want to be able to relieve dry mouth there are things you can do to help. Sucking on a sugar-free candy or gum can hydrate the mouth and circulate more salvia, particularly those with xylitol. Caffeine and tobacco can make the problem worse so avoid them as much as you can.

If you are concerned about dry mouth, please contact us for treatment today.

Dr. Brown Awarded Philadelphia Magazine Top Dentists 2020

March 30th, 2020 by sbrown

At The Perio Group, we are proud to provide some of the most acclaimed and respected dental practitioners in the country. There are so many things people need to think about when they are choosing a periodontist, and we understand the need to feel comfortable with the choices you make. This is one of the key reasons why you should certainly be checking us out, and Dr. I. Stephen Brown is the leading reason you should be looking to get in touch with us today.

Dr. Brown is a leading periodontist who has the distinction of being awarded Philadelphia Magazine Top Dentist for 11 years in a row! This goes to show how talented and well-respected the man is, and will help you to feel at ease about choosing The Perio Group as a way of taking care of your dental health. Let’s look a little closer at this prestigious award and the man who continues to win it.

Top Dentist Award

Every year Philadelphia Magazine compiles a list of the leading dentists and dental professionals in the area. Those who have made an outstanding contribution to the community, and have proven to offer a reliable, dependable, and professional service to their patients. Dr. Brown was named by the magazine as being Top Dentist in the Field of Periodontics, claiming the award for a staggering 11th year running! This prestigious accolade is used to determine excellence in the field and is a great reference to use when looking to find the right dental practice for you.

What Makes Dr. Brown Stand Out?

These are not the sorts of awards that are won by just anybody, and it is important to make sure you understand what it takes to secure an award like this. So, what is it that makes Dr. Brown stand out and receive this acclaimed accolade on such a frequent basis? Well, one of the key things is his skill set, combined with his status as a leading educator in the dental field. This is what has led to him being nominated by his fellow dentists so many times. His contributions to the field, including sponsorship of several educational programs, have elevated his status, and he is held in high regard by so many in and out of the dental field.

The Team Behind the Man

Behind every great dentist, there is a wonderful team of friendly, knowledgeable, helpful professionals on hand to help make patients feel at home. At The Perio Group, we pride ourselves on having a strong and talented team backing up and supporting Dr. Brown. We believe that every patient is entitled to receive the absolute best dental care they possibly can. And our dedicated team can work with you to determine exactly what you want to achieve, as well as focusing on the best ways for Dr. Brown to help treat you.

There are a lot of factors that play a role in winning such an award which shows what a talented periodontist Dr. Brown is. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Common Causes of Bad Breath

January 30th, 2020 by sbrown

Bad breath is an exceedingly common problem, however that does not make it any less embarrassing or upsetting.

Have you noticed that people tend to turn away from you when you’re talking or place their hand near to their nose? This could be a sign that your breath isn’t as ‘fresh’ as it could be. Or perhaps someone has mentioned that your breath sometimes has a ‘smell’ to it. If you – or someone you know – suffers from chronic bad breath, then you might be wondering what causes it.

Diet can cause bad breath

It is a well-known fact that certain foods cause bad breath, such as coffee, onions and garlic, for instance. However, it’s not just strong smelling foods that can lead to bad breath, because bad breath tends to consist of Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC’s). These are generated by bacteria in your mouth and particularly on the posterior boarder of the tongue. These bacteria are also associated with periodontal (gum) disease.

For instance, eating a cheeseburger could cause bad breath to occur. Anything that offers protein that oral bacteria can use allowing this to be converted into sulfur gas can cause bad breath. It is for this reason that people on high protein diets, such as Keto, often suffer from bad breath.

Smoking and tobacco products

Anyone who smokes or chews tobacco is at risk of developing bad breath. It is a well accepted fact that tobacco products have a direct effect on oral health, and in particular, gum disease. The bacteria which are associated with gingivitis, bleeding gums and other oral diseases are directly related to breath malodor and halitosis.

It’s also worth noting that using tobacco products can also cause damage to the soft tissues within your mouth, which in turn creates an environment that is ideal for bacterial growth, increasing the likelihood of bad breath.

Poor dental hygiene

If you fail to take dental care seriously and brush, floss and use mouthwash on a daily basis, you will end up with bacterial overgrowth, signs of gum problems which, in turn produce the gasses that are directly associated with breath malodor.

By simply practicing good levels of oral hygiene and regular dental care can minimize your chances of halitosis. Eliminate the bacteria, eliminate the gases they produce, clean the tongue (especially in the back towards the throat) and you will greatly reduce the gases that cause bad breath.

Dental problems

When teeth become damaged or decayed it is most often associated with bacteria. These same bacteria produce VSC’s (gases) which are directly responsible for unpleasant mouth odor. That is why it is so important, that you see a periodontist as soon as possible, address the problem directly and minimize the potential for bad breath.

Bad breath can be upsetting and embarrassing, however it can usually be easily identified and successfully treated. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a breath malodor assessment and effective treatment today.

Link Between Periodontitis and Chronic Inflammation

December 30th, 2019 by sbrown

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is essential if you want to strengthen your oral hygiene. So, when you spot inflammation and other warning signs, it’s crucial to understand how they affect your well-being. To do this, we recommend reading the information below that relates to gum disease treatments and how you can maintain your oral length in the long-term.

What Is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an industry term that a periodontist uses to describe patients that suffer from gum disease. We see lots of signs, but the main one is inflammation, as it’s the body’s instinctive reaction to fight off the problem. If you suffer from inflammation, it is essential to speak to a professional such as Dr. I. Stephen Brown at The Perio Group as the disease impacts the gums and jaw bone.

How Does Inflammation Occur?

It starts when you miss areas of your mouth during brushing. Leaving plaque untouched will result in the bacteria from the plaque wearing away at the inside of your tooth or teeth. Unfortunately for lots of patients, they can’t tell when there is a build-up as it’s a colorless film.

The great news is that our team is trained in spotting plaque build-ups and will advise you on how to ensure it doesn’t cause inflammation and other gum disease-related issues in the future.

What Are The Other Symptoms?

Inflammation isn’t the only symptom. You should also be wary of:

  • Swollen, bleeding gums
  • Recession around the gum line
  • Loss of the bone around the jawline
  • Infection

What Is The Link Between Periodontitis and Chronic Inflammation?

Although all the warning signs are essential factors, inflammation is the main one for periodontists as it’s the link between periodontitis and the other symptoms. Researchers believe that, as the body’s natural response to fighting off infections and shielding against injury, inflammation occurs organically.

And, it’s not only the fact that the inflammation process leads to swollen or receding gums. Because inflammation happens with other non-oral-related diseases, it’s believed that an infection could be a sign of further disorders. For example, the majority of the problems associated with periodontitis are linked with heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

Therefore, you might be at risk of other diseases if you have to deal with gum disease regularly.

What Can You Do To Help?

The great news is that we offer some of the best treatment solutions on the market. Our patients can benefit from everything from laser gum treatment to the pinhole surgical technique. With Dr. Brown in charge, there is no need to worry about your oral hygiene or overall well-being as he’s committed to dental excellence.

Of course, you might want peace of mind if you’ve been suffering from inflammation. In that case, you can contact our dedicated team and request an appointment.

 

The Importance of Maintaining Proper Oral Health

November 30th, 2019 by sbrown

A good oral hygiene regimen will maintain healthy teeth and gums, but it can also have an impact on your overall health. Studies have shown that poor oral health is associated with other conditions, including pneumonia and endocarditis. Due to this, it’s vital to establish a comprehensive oral hygiene routine.

What conditions are associated with poor oral health?

There are a variety of health problems that are associated with oral hygiene, many of which are serious and even life-threatening. Some of the conditions which may arise as a result of limited oral hygiene may include:

Cardiovascular disease

It is believed that the infections and inflammation caused by bacteria in the mouth can contribute to clogged arteries, stroke, and heart disease. By regularly brushing your teeth, flossing, and having regular dental cleanings every 6 months, you can minimize the number of bacteria present and, therefore, potentially reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Pneumonia

If the bacteria in your mouth makes its way to your lungs, it can cause a range of respiratory problems. Pneumonia is a serious infection, which can be life-threatening in many cases. An excess of bacteria, usually associated with poor oral health, may increase the risk of developing this type of illness.

Endocarditis

When the valves or inner lining of the chambers of your heart become infected, it is known as endocarditis. Any infection this close to your heart is deemed to be a serious health issue and could cause a number of complications. One of the ways endocarditis can occur is if bacteria from your mouth enters the bloodstream and attaches to the endocardium.

Pregnancy

Also known as gum disease, periodontitis has been linked to low birth weights and premature births. Due to this, it’s essential that our patients who become pregnant come in for a visit with Dr. I. Stephen Brown at the beginning of their pregnancy. In addition, new mothers should continue to consult with him on a regular basis as they may continue to be at high risk of developing periodontitis following labor.

While your oral health can contribute to other conditions, seemingly unrelated health problems can also have an impact on your teeth and gums.

What health conditions can affect your teeth and gums?

Although your oral health can impact your overall health, there are a number of conditions that can have an effect on your oral health too. Diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and HIV/AIDS have all been linked to reduced oral health, for example, so patients who have been diagnosed with these conditions will need to take extra care to protect their teeth and gums.

Protecting your health

Visiting us on a regular basis will help to ensure good oral health but it could ensure your entire body stays healthy too. While regular cleanings will minimize the number of bacteria present, routine check-ups will also identify potential oral health issues before they become more serious.

To find out more about the link between oral health and other medical conditions or to arrange a periodontal appointment now, contact us today.

What is Periodontal Disease?

October 30th, 2019 by sbrown

(Video of bacteria found in gum disease)

Periodontitis is a collective term for a family of severe bacterial gum infections. Periodontal literally means ‘around the tooth,’ and diseases here manifest in a variety of ways, including:

  • Swollen or red gums
  • Gums coming away from teeth
  • Bleeding while brushing
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss

Given that unchecked periodontal disease has an outcome of tooth loss, individuals should take action if they notice any of the above symptoms. If you’re uncertain whether you should be worried about potential periodontal disease, keep reading to fully understand the issue and its risks.

The different stages of periodontal disease

While we use periodontal disease as an umbrella term, there are many different stages to this problem, and each requires different treatments and approaches. The different stages your dentist may mention during a check-up include the following.

Gingivitis

This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease, which manifests in gum swelling and bleeding. By tackling problems at this stage, patients should be able to reverse damage with dental oversight and impeccable oral hygiene at home.

Periodontal disease

  • Chronic periodontitis
    This most common form of periodontal disease manifests in deterioration caused by plaque build-up. Symptoms include the destruction of gums and bone, and eventual loss of teeth.
  • Aggressive periodontitis
    A relatively rare issue that begins in childhood and early adolescence who are otherwise clinically healthy. Typically running in families, this disease involves rapid gum attachment loss and bone destruction leading to tooth loss.
  • Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases
    This issue can be found in patients with heart or respiratory disease, diabetes, and more.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease
    An infection generally found in individuals with suppressed immune systems, this condition involves the death of gum tissue, ligaments, and supporting bone.

The oral-systemic connection

Underlying health conditions can contribute to the progression of periodontal disease, but it’s also vital to note that this connection works both ways. While health impacts gum condition, the oral-systemic connection means that the condition of your gums can also impact overall health. Effective treatment of gum disease and continued dental hygiene has been proven to help prevent everything from memory loss to heart disease. As such, proper oral hygiene is vital for ongoing health across the board, and addressing periodontal disease the moment you spot the signs is an absolute must.

Periodontal disease treatment

With the risks and broader implications of periodontal disease in mind, patients must seek professional attention the moment they begin to experience symptoms of these issues. Treatments typically involve regular cleaning of plaque around the gums and developing an understanding of improved dental hygiene. In extreme cases, further treatments are necessary, including:

Each can improve gum health in even extreme cases of periodontal disease, and our resident periodontist Dr. I. Stephen Brown has experience in each of these treatments. If you’re worried about your gums or suspect that you might be experiencing problems, then don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.

Why Choose Dr. Brown for Dental Implants?

September 30th, 2019 by sbrown

If you have lost a single tooth, or several teeth, due to physical trauma, decay, or a health condition, dental implants are often the best solution to replace them. Dental implants can restore your winning smile while keeping the jawbone in perfect health, restoring any lost function while chewing or speaking. When they are cared for in the right manner, dental implants can last for at least a decade too.

To help you decide whether dental implants are right for you, Dr. I. Stephen Brown is the right expert to come to with all your questions and concerns. He will conduct an exam, help determine if you are a good candidate for implants, and consult with you about the best options for you. He will make sure you understand the treatment, answer and discuss your concerns, and will provide the best possible care before, during, and after.

Dental Implants Supported By The Latest Technologies

If you are planning to have dental implants, it’s imperative that you find the best possible solution. You need any prosthetic teeth to provide a natural look and function. Crucially, you need a solution that will last. This is one of the best incentives for choosing Dr. Brown.

The Perio Group utilizes the latest dental technology and techniques throughout every stage of the process. From taking impressions of your mouth to using the best titanium rods and porcelain crowns, Dr. Brown’s work will give you many reasons to smile once more.

All Treatments Handled Under One Roof

Dr. Brown can complete every aspect of your treatment to the highest professional standards, here in his own office.

Your treatment will cover dental consultations, prerequisite procedures that prepare the mouth for treatment, implant placement, checkups on healing, impressions for crowns, and crown placement. In other cases, patients are referred to other locations for some of this work, but you’ll be visiting Dr. Brown for every step.

Perhaps most importantly, dental implants that are handled by the same doctor at all times will ensure that you receive a consistent treatment that is built to produce the very best outcomes. That’s the least you deserve, and you will find that the results Dr. Brown is able to achieve will meet your needs.

Treatments Built On Transparency

While the quality of the results is the most important aspect of dental implant treatment, it’s not the only key feature. Dr. Brown doesn’t only understand teeth; he also appreciates your fears and will endeavor to put your mind at ease throughout the process.

The Perio Group is built on core values of providing transparent communication so that you know what to expect and, more importantly, can make the right choice of prosthetic teeth. Moreover, Dr. Brown will go the extra mile to offer advice regarding ongoing dental care and future visits.

Undergoing dental treatments can be scary, but removing the sense of unfamiliarity ahead of the procedures will make a big impact. When combined with the professional service, this comforting approach is vital.

To find out more, call Dr. Brown of The Perio Group today.

Signs That You Need to See a Periodontist

August 30th, 2019 by sbrown

Gum disease is one of the main dental health issues that adults face, and it’s the leading cause of tooth loss when untreated. Many people don’t know the early signs of gum disease and it isn’t until they are in pain or their teeth are loose that they realize they need specialist care. When regular visits to the dentist isn’t a priority, developing gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease is at a high probability.

How Does Gum Disease Happen?

When you brush and floss your teeth, you scrub away bacteria that develops between the gum line and the teeth. With food and drinks throughout the day, bacteria builds up, and this can cause them to multiply and emit toxins. Not much happens in this early stage of gum disease, but as time moves forward, and the condition goes unchecked by a dentist, the gums will begin to recede, which leaves the tooth exposed to plaque and tartar. This then opens the space for the bacteria to move below the gum line into the root of the tooth, which is when periodontal disease is fully developed, and often leads to tooth loss.

Do I Need To See A Periodontist?

There are plenty of treatments for gum disease, but as the disease advances, the procedures are more extensive and far more costly. When you catch the disease early, it’s less expensive to treat. The best thing to do is to see an experienced periodontist like Dr. I. Stephen Brown, and let him diagnose and treat gum disease if you have it. There are a good few signs and symptoms that you can look out for if you are concerned that you have gum disease, and these are:

  • You experience bleeding when brushing and flossing, even a little can be concerning
  • Swollen gums are a very common sign that your gums have bacteria affecting them
  • Sour and unpleasant tastes in your mouth during the day
  • Bad breath caused by a bacterial buildup
  • You’ve noticed some gum recession
  • There are deep pockets between the gums and the teeth
  • You’ve noticed loose teeth
  • Your teeth are moving out of their correct alignment
  • The bite pattern of your teeth has changed
  • There is a pain when you eat
  • You notice increased sensitivity to cold and hot
  • Family history of gum disease
  • You are a smoker, or you used to smoke
  • You suffer from diabetes

At The Perio Group, we can offer you the best possible care to look after your gums. If you recognize any of the above signs and symptoms, then it’s time to get an evaluation with Dr. Brown. Take the time to take care of your gums so that you can keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright and happy. The kinder you are to your gums right now, the better your long term periodontal and dental health. Please contact us today.

Gum Recession FAQS

July 30th, 2019 by sbrown

If you want to look after your teeth properly, then you’ll need to be aware of the possibility of gum recession. This common dental problem occurs gradually and can worsen if left untreated. Many patients do not know the details, causes and initial symptoms to watch out for, so let’s consider some frequently asked questions.

What is gum recession?

Gum recession is a when the gum tissue around the teeth begins to wear away. This process results in more of the tooth or even the root becoming exposed. Gaps form between the gum line and the teeth so that it’s easy for bacteria to grow here. Gum recession can result from periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.

What causes it?

Gum recession can occur due to a variety of causes. If you develop periodontal disease, this can irritate your gums and cause recession. Poor oral hygiene can be another factor in contributing to periodontal disease, yet it is still possible to have receding gums due to other issues. If you brush your teeth aggressively, this can cause the gums to recede. Oral piercings or misaligned teeth can also contribute to problems with receding gums. Simple factors such as aging can also cause minor gum recession to become more prominent.

What are the symptoms?

One of the earliest symptoms of receding gums is that your teeth are more sensitive than usual, particularly to cold or sugary food or drinks. You will also notice that your gums become inflamed and red. You may notice some bleeding when brushing your teeth. If you notice that your teeth appear discolored, or start to look longer, these are further signs that your gums may be receding. Finding a small notch in your mouth where your gums meet your teeth is another sign to look out for.

What are the treatments?

In the early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis and results in bad breath and red or bleeding gums. At this stage, you can use an antibacterial toothpaste and make sure that you brush and floss regularly. You could also have your teeth professionally cleaned; the dentist will be able to remove the plaque build-up which contributes to gingivitis. If symptoms become more severe and persist, there are a few treatments available. The newest procedure is the Pinhole Surgical Technique. This procedure relies upon a careful repositioning of the gums to cover the teeth and roots that have become too exposed. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a less invasive method compared to more traditional gum grafting procedures.

Why is treatment important?

The gaps between your teeth and gums mean that you are more prone to bacterial infections. Cosmetically speaking, you may dislike how gum receding alters the appearance of your teeth and mouth. You may also find it more difficult to eat certain kinds of foods due to sensitivity. In the most severe cases, gum recession can result in tooth loss or root damage. If you notice that gum recession has begun, it’s vital to schedule an appointment and get some advice. We at The Perio Group will be able to discuss prevention or gum recession treatment if necessary.

Laser Gum Treatment FAQs

June 30th, 2019 by sbrown

There are many common questions that people might have when it comes to laser gum treatment for periodontal disease. This might be because a patient is nervous about the treatment (or about going to the dentist), because of monetary concerns or because they want to know what the process entails.

Questions range from how many appointments you need for the treatment to who can have the treatment, whether or not it’s safe, if it’s painful and what the recovery process is like. Philadelphia Periodontist Dr. I. Stephen Brown will answer all of your concerns that you have with the treatment, whether or not you need it and how extensive the issue that you have is.

Firstly, when a patient wonders how many appointments they need in order to receive laser gum treatment, it’s generally thought that only two treatment visits are needed – alongside a few ongoing appointments. It’s also a quicker process than the traditional and more conventional periodontal treatment. As it is fewer appointments than the conventional procedure, this makes it more appealing for those wanting a swift procedure, allowing them to get back to work and their social life quicker.

Another concern and question that people might have, is whether or not laser therapy is safe. The answer to this is yes – when it is conducted by a dental professional that adheres to the guidelines for power levels, wavelengths, etc. Dr. Brown puts these guidelines and your safety as the utmost priority when conducting laser gum treatment. Conducted correctly (for example – having the patient wearing UV goggles), it will be a safe procedure that has a fast recovery time.

Thirdly, another common question about laser gum treatment is whether or not it’s painful. We do everything that we can to ensure that it is not painful. In comparison to more traditional methods, as it is quicker and less invasive (only removing the damaged tissue), it won’t be as painful. If you are concerned about this, however, it’s important to get into contact with Dr. Brown to discuss the treatment.

Many patients also wonder what the recovery is like. Most patients are able to return to work after the procedure or the next day. Dr. Brown will ensure that if you are feeling any soreness after the procedure, you will be prescribed with antibiotics, as well as scheduling future checkups to see how your gums are healing.

Why you should contact Dr Brown for treatment

An award-winning periodontist, Dr. I. Stephen Brown has years of experience in the dental field. Committed to dental excellence, Dr. Brown and his team at The Perio Group will ensure that each patient is aware of the treatment, the post-operative process and everything that surrounds it. Want to find out more about laser gum treatment and what it can do for you? Contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment!