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1. Of course, brushing in the morning protects your teeth against the bacteria that active all night while you were asleep! Your coworkers and friends will appreciate it! Brushing at night removes the plaque that has accumulated all day long so that bacteria cannot play on your teeth at night when your saliva decreases, causing less damage and decay.

2. The primary cause of gum disease is plaque accumulation at the gumline. Brushing before and after sleep will remove this plaque, avoiding the potential for swollen and bleeding gums.

3. Brushing twice a day reduces bad breath considerably. Try brushing tonight if you haven’t been. The next morning you will notice an improvement in any bad breath you have been experiencing.

4. The fluoride in toothpaste helps form a protective layer on your teeth to prevent them from the process of destruction. So, a 12 hour protection is always better than 24 hour.

5. Preventing dental problems decreases the extent of dental work you will need. Brush twice a day and save money.

6. Set an example for your kids! They are watching! If you do not brush yourselves your child will never ever brush twice a day.

Oh, and don’t forget about your daily interdental (in between the teeth) care!

The human mouth is filled with bacteria.  These bacteria, along with mucous and other particles form a sticky film called plaque is constantly forming and which adheres to the teeth.  This plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing.  When the plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth, the bacteria involved become more harmful, and more difficult to remove, creating an environment that is more toxic to the tissue.  The plaque itself can harden creating a cement like substance (calculus) that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone.

This leads to inflammation and gum disease.

The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis.  It is an inflammation of the gingiva or gums and  is characterized by red, tender, swollen gums, and halitosis or bad breath.  It  is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist, healthy nutrition and the cessation of smoking.  This form of gum disease does not involve any loss of bone and tissue that hold the teeth in place.  Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.

 Periodontitis

The next stage of periodontal disease is  periodontitis. It causes irreversible  damage to  the bone  and connective tissue that support the teeth in the mouth. As it  progresses the pockets deepen and the body’s immune system initiates an inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself and the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are broken down and destroyed. If not treated the teeth may eventually become loose and need to be removed.

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association.  To learn more about Dr. Britten call (727) 586-2681.

 

Our staff had a wonderful time volunteering at a home building project for the Habitat for Humanity last week! What a rewarding and educational experience. We spent the day with Mike and Bill, some of the handiest and most patient site supervisors ever! We caulked, cut and hung shelving units and cut and installed baseboards. The family will be moving in at the end of the month!

The Pinellas branch is #14 out of 1,400 branches worldwide as far as home building and services to the community. For every home they build in Pinellas they also donate $4,600 to Malawi and Guatemala to build homes there. Habitat Pinellas has been creating opportunities for homeownership for low income people and families in our community and internationally since 1985. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity or how to get involved check out their website:

www.habitatpinellas.org

Thank you Habitat of Pinellas it was an honor to volunteer with you!

#brittenperio#habitatpinellas#lovetogive#learnedsomehandyskills

 

 

Dentists are becoming more and more aware of the importance of screening patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  

From the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine:

“Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.

Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.”

The AADSM (The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine) recommends dentists evaluate patients for the following conditions as possible indicators of Sleep Apnea:

• A thick neck (greater than 16 inches in a woman or 17 inches in a man)

• A short neck

• Lower-face abnormalities, which may include:

        * A large tongue

• A crowded posterior airway (such as caused by an enlarged, floppy uvula or enlarged tonsils)

• An enlarged soft palate that rests on the base of the tongue

• Obesity

• Complaints of being overly tired during the day, low on energy, depressed, or moody

• Falling asleep in dental chair

• Trouble opening mouth wide during dental examination


The most successful treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a CPA appliance, however, 60% to 83% percent of users cannot tolerate this device.

With the high rejection rate of the CPAP, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine designated dental sleep oral appliances as the No. 1 nonsurgical alternative for the CPAP intolerant. Numerous sleep appliances are available to the public and distributed through dentists.

Your dental professional can help you identify if a sleep appliance may help you. If you have any questions about OSA or dental sleep medicine, contact our office today at 727-586-2681 or visit our website at www.brittenperio.com

 

 

Dental implants today are not only considered the gold standard of care for tooth replacement, but they are usually now considered to be the superior or ideal treatment option for damaged or lost teeth.  We are excited about the many advancements in implant planning, placement and technology.

A major advancement has come in the form of improved imaging and planning of dental implants.  ConeBeam CT scans give an efficient, ultra-low radiation image that allows the surgeon excellent information about the surgical site.  This is often combined with computer software to plan the exact location of the dental implants, which is then used to make a surgical guide.  “This amazing technology takes virtually all human error out of the process.  We can practice planning the dental implants on the computer model before the patient comes in.  We can even plan for the location and shape of the final tooth,” says Dr. Todd Britten.

Implant sizes, materials and systems continue to improve. The titanium ally used in dental implants now allows for more compact and biocompatible implants while still providing the needed strength to resist the strong bite forces of the mouth. Implant-supported dentures have also come a long way, and many times four implants can be used to retain a complete upper or lower denture.

Materials to provide bone support are also continuously improving.  After the loss of one or more teeth, the jawbone will deteriorate or lose support where the tooth or teeth used to be.  Ridge augmentation uses bone and tissue-grafting procedures to fill in the area where jaw bone has been lost, leaving more bone and better support for dental implant placement.

Guided bone regeneration for ridge augmentation has been found to be very predictable. Synthetic growth factors have used for this procedure have improved and we can also use our patient’s own blood to produce materials rich in growth factors, such as L-PRF.

In summary, the advances in implant dentistry allowing us to plan our implant placements better, regenerate lost bone more predictably, and place implants with more accuracy and into more sites than ever before. It is exciting to think of what is coming in the future of dental implant placement, all with less patient discomfort and risk.

As an implant specialist, Dr. Britten is highly trained and experienced in the most advanced and current technologies used for long-term implant health and success. He believes in using the best diagnostic tools as well as the highest quality implants in his practice. Dr. Britten works closely with the best restorative dentists in the Tampa Bay area to obtain the best possible outcome for his patients’ implants. For more information, contact us at 727-586-2681.  

 

 

On Friday, November 11th, 2016 the team of Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Clearwater, FL gathered together to provide compassionate, comprehensive dental care to deserving veterans. “There was something really special about coming into work today. It was just so rewarding knowing that the office is filled with veterans and we are doing something great for them,” one dental hygienist stated. Dr. Britten reflected that one of the patients who made a lasting impression on him was a young lady that served in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. This veteran’s armored transport unit had been hit with an explosive that left her with a traumatic brain injury. “She was so proud of her Marine’s tattoo and showed me a photo of herself in action before the accident. I could tell she was a Marine for life, right down to the bone. It made me proud that we have men and women serving us that are so dedicated.”

This is the 2nd annual Free Dental Day Dr. Todd M. Britten has organized in his Clearwater, Florida periodontal practice. A little over two years ago, Britten and his team were brainstorming ways to give back to the community. Britten stated, “Our veterans and their families have made so many sacrifices for our freedoms and I wanted to find a way that we could give something back. Offering a day of dental work is the least we could do.”

“Dr. Britten and his staff were amazing. They put compassion over cost when it came to helping us out. I am so grateful.”

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After Dr. Britten and his team decided to plan the event, it was full steam ahead. One member of the Britten Periodontics staff, Ellen Byrd, helped find patients in need and organized the event. Byrd, a dental hygienist, reached out to local dentists and organizations such as the Community Dental Clinic to find patients in need of periodontal care. Dr. Britten stated, “Ellen really stepped up. She got the word out about what we were doing and was able to find an incredible group of vets both last year and this year that were in need of periodontal treatment. We wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing without all of her hard work.”

Dr. Britten’s dental specialty, periodontics, often involves managing and treating advanced gum disease. A periodontist is often able to help a patient in danger of losing teeth or with active oral infection to turn their health around. The staff at Britten Periodontics expressed that if they could find Veterans in need of periodontal care they could improve their quality of life. “Most of the time, periodontal disease is not painful until it gets to be very advanced. Some of the veterans had been dealing with painful teeth for a long time,” Dr. Britten expressed his concern. “Even though we had to remove some teeth I felt better knowing these veterans do not have to be in discomfort anymore.”

The majority of the surgical and non-surgical dental procedures were performed on November 11th, however there was significant pre-operative work involved. This included new patient exams, dental x-rays, medical history reviews, even post-operative care. Dr. Britten performed the same comprehensive exam that he would for anyone under his care. He wanted it to be a very personal compassionate experience for these veterans. Dr. Britten stated, “It was a priority to make sure they were comfortable with us. Many of our veteran patients have dental phobias and are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder so we needed to take the time, go the extra mile and treat them with the utmost respect.”

Veteran Chuck Pankow, one of the veterans referred by a local dentist said, “From the moment I walked in I have been treated so well. This has been a really great experience.” Another Veteran, Chris Bode, referred by the Community Dental Clinic in Clearwater, was also pleased with his care, “Dr. Britten and his staff were amazing. They put compassion over cost when it came to helping us out. I am so grateful.”

Britten Periodontics & Implant dentistry has provided over $25,000 worth of dental treatment these past two years. One of the best parts about this event is that it has already started to gain more participation in just its second year. The team members and dentists (Dr. Matthew Burton, Dr. Nolan Allen, Dr. James Hayslett, and Dr. Keith Kiskaddon) of Clearwater Dental Associates were happy to partner with Britten Periodontics to provide general dentistry for as many veterans as they could. Dr. Britten stated he and his staff were honored to hear that Clearwater Dental wanted to join in this cause. Their hope is that with each year this event will grow and be able to help more veterans. Nearly 95% of veterans are without dental coverage, making this a serious need in our community.

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association.

To learn more about Dr. Britten and his dental services call (727) 586-2681.

As a gum specialist, we often see and help treat changes in patient’s gum tissues related to certain medications they are taking.  One of the main issues we come across is gingival overgrowth, or hyperplasia. 

Gingival hyperplasia is an overgrowth of the gum tissue around your teeth.  In our practice, we sometimes see that certain medications our patients are taking contribute to gingival hyperplasia.  Other factors can include orthodontic treatment or certain medical issues, such as hormonal imbalances, leukemia, a genetic condition or the growth can sometimes be due to a benign or malignant lesion.  Inflammation of the gums and poor plaque control are often a main contributor for gum overgrowth.  Poor oral hygiene also can increase inflammation which may also play a role.

Medications associated with gum enlargement fall into three main categories:

  1. Anti-seizure medications
  2. Immunosuppressant medications (used in transplant patients),
  3. Calcium channel blockers used to treat certain heart conditions, most commonly high blood pressure.

It is important to notify your dentist or dental hygienist if you take any of these medications so they can watch for changes in your gum tissues.  Many of our patients are on some form of calcium channel blocker such as Amlodopine (Norvasc) or Diltiazem for high blood pressure. 

A more severe case of gingival overgrowth could effect a person’s appearance when they smile or talk.  Enlarged gum tissue will complicate and sometimes completely prevent patients from being able to remove harmful plaque bacteria at and below the gum line and in between their teeth.  The tissues become enlarged, grow over the surface of the teeth and can become fibrotic, or tough.  Once overgrowth has started, it becomes more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene.  This will lead to retaining more damaging periodontal bacteria under the gum line, which can in turn worsen the gingival hyperplasia. 

If a big factor of the gum overgrowth is a medication, your physician may need to be consulted. Stopping or changing the medication can help limit the overgrowth, but do NOT stop the medication on your own.  Your dentist or periodontist can communicate with your medical doctor to see if your medication can be altered.  In some cases, a person’s medical professional will advise against altering a medication, most often in seizure disorders, immunosuppressed patients, and certain heart conditions or difficult to manage blood pressure.  If this is the case, we have to handle the gingival overgrowth as best we can.  Options include increased oral hygiene, non-surgical, or surgical periodontal therapy. 

Even if the medication causing this condition can be altered or discontinued, this will not necessarily reverse the overgrowth.  Additional treatment is sometimes required and often includes:

AT-HOME CARE Good oral hygiene, especially the effective removal of plaque between the teeth and at the gum line, can alleviate the condition in early or very mild cases.

NON-SURGICAL THERAPY

In a mild to slightly moderate condition, a series of scaling and root planing procedures (commonly known as a “deep cleaning”) can be performed, often by a dental hygienist using local anesthesia.

Your dentist or periodontist may have you return every three months for dental hygiene visits to limit the effects of inflammation on the soft tissues.

SURGICAL REMOVAL

In severe cases, the enlarged or hyperplastic gum tissue may need to be removed surgically. In the case of drug-induced overgrowths, if patients are not able to discontinue the medication, surgical removal may be the only effective treatment. This can be done with a scalpel or laser.

If you think you have an area of overgrowth, visit your dentist for an evaluation of your condition. If you are now taking medications that can cause gingival overgrowth, consult with your dental professional and physician.  If you have questions about gingival hyperplasia you can contact us at 727-586-2681 or http://www.brittenperio.com

A moderate case of gingival hyperplasia
A moderate case of gingival hyperplasia

 

A mild case of gingival hyperplasia
A mild case of gingival hyperplasia
Localized hyperplasia of the lower front teeth
Localized hyperplasia of the lower front teeth
Severe gingival hyperplasia
Severe gingival hyperplasia

 

 

 

About 30 million people suffer from Type 1 or 2 diabetes in the United States. You may have a friend, family member or even you may be affected yourself by this condition. Most people are familiar with the basics of diabetes: your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or responds to insulin improperly, leading to high amounts of sugar in the blood (known as high blood glucose). Diabetes effects all parts of the body: the heart, muscles, limbs and even the mouth.

Diabetes also has a significant effect on the health of the gums and bones. Poorly controlled diabetes has a particularly negative effect on your teeth and gums. Periodontal disease is typically worse in patients with diabetes. Additionally, all types of dental surgeries (tissue grafts, implants, sinus lifts, etc.) may take longer to heal and have a higher chance of failure in diabetic patients. The high concentration of blood glucose decreases your body’s ability to heal, and may even interfere with a procedure’s success, particularly in poorly controlled Diabetes.

Controlling periodontal disease has a positive effect on managing blood glucose in diabetics. By removing and controlling chronic inflammation and active infection in the gum tissues, your body may likely better regulate its response to insulin. This will have a positive effect on the management of diabetes due to the connection between the health of your mouth and your overall health. Some health insurance companies are beginning to offer coverage for a yearly hygiene visit to their patients with diabetes, due to better gum health results in better diabetes control and lower medical costs.

Of course, diabetes is only one of many conditions that can affect your oral health. Many health conditions, medications, habits, and even stress can effect your oral health and how your body responds to dental treatment. Therefore, please keep us updated on all aspects of your health history- even the parts that may seem irrelevant.

If you would like to know more about the importance of oral health to overall health, please contact our office today at 727-586-2681.

 

 

Clearwater Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten is using Platelet Concentrates (L-PRF, or Leukocyte-Platelet Rich Fibrin) to promote healing in dental procedures in his Clearwater, FL periodontal practice.

Concentrated blood has been used in hospitals for a long time to accelerate healing.  Leukocyte Rich Platelet Rich Fibrin (L- PRF) is a by-products of a patient’s own blood that can help healing after dental procedures such as a tooth extraction, as well as promote healing around bone or tissue grafts and dental implants.

L-PRF™ is a 3-D autogenous combination of Platelet Rich Fibrin derived from a patient’s blood.  First, it is determined if patient is a candidate for L-PRF treatment.  If so, blood is then drawn in Dr. Britten’s office from a patient’s arm. The blood is then immediately placed into a centrifuge to separate the blood into layers.  This thin, compressed layer of platelet rich fibrin is strong, pliable and even suitable for suturing. This natural fibrin network is rich in platelets, growth factors (PDGF, BMP, VEGF)  and cytokines derived from the blood platelets and white blood cells called leukocytes. These proteins promote rapid healing, especially during the critical first seven days after they are placed.

Growth factors are triggered and released and clot formation is stimulated by blood platelets, fibrin and growth factors to help heal wounds.  Growth factors stimulate stem cells to produce new host tissue quickly, making L-PRF effective in the healing process.

Advantages of using L-PRF also include lower infection risk after surgical dental procedures by sealing a treatment wound from bacteria after treatment.  Saturation of the surgical area, bone graft material and/or dental implant helps increase tissue formation due to its growth factors such as BMP, VEGF and PDGF, and this, in turn, results in faster gum and bone regeneration. Speedier healing decreases the risk of later infections, complications, and discomfort.  “The use of this technology has been shown to lower the chance of dry sockets after extraction, which can be very painful.” Dr. Britten said.

L-PRF treatments are often used for greater success for necessary procedures for dental implant placement,  including socket bone grafts, sinus lifts, ridge augmentation, correcting peri-implantitis, block bone grafts and extraction sites prior to implant placement.

Dr. Britten explained,  “L-PRF technology is used to quicken the healing process and is completely safe. Disease transmission is not a factor since blood is drawn from a patient’s own body.  Most patients report a greater degree of comfort during healing even immediately after their procedure. The amount of blood needed is minimal and can be collected easily.”

If you have any questions about treatment with platelet rich fibrin/plasma or would like to find out if you are a candidate and can benefit from this treatment, you can contact Dr. Todd Britten in his Clearwater, Florida periodontal practice at 727-586-2681. 

Clearwater FL Periodontist Dr. Todd Britten, Offers Laser Dental Surgery As a Successful Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Dr. Todd Britten is offering patients at Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry surgical treatment utilizing the PerioLase and LANAP® protocol for treatment of periodontal disease. LANAP, or the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is an alternative to traditional periodontal surgery for the treatment of gum disease. Dr. Britten also offers LAPIP®, the Laser Assisted Peri-Implantitis Procedure, to treat infected and/or save failing dental implants.Dr. Todd Britten, DMD, M.S., a board-certified periodontist, provides LANAP therapy as an option to traditional surgery for patients who suffer from gum or periodontal disease. Dr. Britten received special training on the procedure, which uses the PerioLase MVP-7 laser for periodontal disease treatment. This procedure kills harmful bacteria and removes unhealthy gum tissue without harming bone or healthy tissue.

At Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Dr. Todd Britten and his staff care about their patients’ total oral and systemic health and are concerned that nearly half of American adults have some form of gum disease and many don’t even know it. Gum disease can cause serious oral health problems, and has been connected to a number of other major health issues, such as heart disease and Diabetes. The uses a laser instead of scalpel, so it is minimally invasive. Patients who have undergone this periodontal disease treatment have reported little, if any, discomfort or pain and a shorter recovery period.

The laser dental surgery procedure begins with Dr. Britten using a periodontal probe to determine the depth of the pockets between the teeth and gums that contain bacteria. He then uses the PerioLase laser to eliminate those harmful bacteria, tartar and diseased gum tissue in the pockets. The healthy tissue is compressed and stimulated to attach to the tooth and bone regeneration may also stimulated by the laser.

The LANAP procedure is fully cleared by the FDA for periodontal disease treatment and has been shown to be quite effective. Patients who suffer from gum disease can now be evaluated to determine whether they are candidates for this new treatment procedure.

Britten Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in implant dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science & Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry; and completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. He is one of the only board-certified periodontists in Pinellas County. He is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Research Association and Florida West Coast Dental Association

Dr. Todd Britten is now offering this FDA-cleared laser procedure for gum disease and periodontal treatment. To learn more about Dr. Britten and his dental services visit call (727) 586-2681.

Your dentist and/or dental hygienist routinely perform an examination of your gum tissue health which includes periodontal probing, or measuring of the depth of your gums.

Unhealthy gums pull away from the teeth and form “pockets” that are infected. The body’s immune system fights bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s own enzymes fighting the infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and connective tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Periodontal disease – and the harmful affects to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth – can be controlled and treated. Improvement to our patients’ overall health is also often dramatically improved.

The health improvement is easy to appreciate when you consider living with an active bacterial infection, easily exposed to one’s bloodstream, can have a detrimental affect beyond the harm to the tooth and gums.

If you have symptoms of gum disease, contact us immediately. Gum disease addressed early can be reversed – and gum disease addressed later can be controlled. For more information, please contact our office at 727-586-2681