My Blog

Posts for: February, 2016

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
February 26, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.

“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.

Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.

“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.

Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?

Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.

Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a third to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.

Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”

Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.

If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
February 19, 2016
Tags: Juvederm  

What Can Juvederm Do for Me?

You may have heard about Juvederm, but did you know you don’t have to go to a dermatologist to get it? Now, your dentist, Dr. Mehr Tucker in Rockville, MD, can improve your smile and your face with Juvederm. If you are just starting to Jevedermget those fine lines around your mouth, and you can feel age creeping up on you and changing how you look, Dr. Tucker can help.

Juvederm is an injectable, gel filler material that is used to “plump” skin. That means it can fill in wrinkles and lines, smoothing out your face and making you look young again.

Juvederm was approved by the FDA in 2006 for uses in plastic surgery, dermatology, cosmetics, and now dentistry. Dr. Tucker wants you to know Juvederm can help to:

  • Restore the volume and roundness in your face lost to aging; Juvederm can help give you back the youthful contours of your face.
  • Remove lines from your nose to your lips, called “smile lines”; these lines are called nasolabial folds and are caused by muscle contractions when you smile.
  • Plump up aging lips to their youthful fullness; Juvederm improves your smile and gives you back your young look.

Your Rockville dentist will inject small amounts of Juvederm into your skin. The number of injections you need will depend on the area she treats. The injections are easily tolerated, however she can use a numbing spray or cream beforehand.

Juvederm is eventually absorbed by your body, and effects typically last six to nine months depending on the amount of Juvederm used, your lifestyle and daily routine. You will need to repeat your Juvederm treatment when you first see your smile lines returning.

If you would like to discover how Juvederm can improve your smile and your looks, stop in and visit Dr. Mehr Tucker in Rockville, MD. You don’t have to look your age! Call Dr. Mehr Tucker today and have a younger smile tomorrow!

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
February 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

We often associate orthodontics with moving several teeth on the upper or lower arches (or both) with braces or clear aligners. But not all patients require a major endeavor — sometimes only one or a few teeth need to be moved, and not very far.

A slight gap between the two upper front teeth is one type of situation that only requires minor tooth movement: just a few teeth need to be moved and usually just a millimeter or two. The appliances needed to achieve this are also relatively simple in design: removable retainers or small scale fixed braces with small springs or elastics that place pressure against the teeth. The process may also only take a few months rather than two years as with major tooth movement.

Preparing for the procedure, though, must be undertaken with great care. We need to first determine if moving the teeth even slightly could affect the bite with the opposite teeth. We must also ensure the roots of the teeth intended for movement are in good position for allowing the space to be closed.

We must then consider the other supporting structures for the teeth. It’s important for gums and bone to be healthy — if not, treating any found disease may be necessary first before beginning orthodontics. And, if the gap between the two upper teeth was created by an abnormally large frenum, the small strip of tissue connecting the lip to the upper gum, it may be necessary to remove it before tooth movement can begin to ensure the closed gap stays closed.

Like any other orthodontic treatment, minor tooth movement first requires a thorough examination with x-ray imaging to determine the exact tooth position, bite issues and the surrounding gum and bone health. We can then be reasonably certain if this straightforward procedure is right for you, and could help you obtain a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on different orthodontic treatment choices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”