My Blog

Posts for: March, 2018

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
March 29, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  
GingivitisCouldBecomeaMoreSeriousFormofGumDisease

People with poor hygiene habits can develop a chronic form of periodontal (gum) disease known as gingivitis. Characterized by inflamed and bleeding gums, gingivitis is caused by an infection triggered by bacterial plaque, a thin film of food remnant built up on tooth surfaces.

This chronic form of gingivitis, though, can quickly escalate into more serious forms of gum disease that may lead to tooth and bone loss. One such condition is Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), also known as “trench mouth.” ANUG is a painful condition that can appear suddenly and result in extensive tissue damage and ulcerations, particularly in the papillae, the small, triangular bits of tissue between teeth. Persons with ANUG may also develop a foul breath and taste.

Gingivitis often develops into ANUG when certain mouth conditions exist: poor diet, smoking, which can dry the mouth and disrupt healthy bacterial flora, and increased stress or anxiety. If caught early, though, ANUG is highly treatable and reversible.

After determining you have ANUG and not another condition, our first step is to relieve the symptoms with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to manage pain and reduce swelling. We also prescribe a regimen of antibiotics like Amoxicillin (a proven antibiotic against the specific bacteria that cause ANUG). This should decrease the symptoms within 24 to 48 hours.

As the inflammation subsides we want to continue treatment by removing any plaque or calculus (hardened plaque deposits), especially in hard to reach places. This involves a technique known as scaling in which we used specialized hand tools or ultrasonic equipment to manually remove and flush away plaque and calculus.

The final step depends on you. To prevent reoccurrence, it’s important for you to consistently practice effective oral hygiene to remove plaque — brushing twice and flossing once each day, and visiting us at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Quitting tobacco and improving your diet will also reduce your risk for ANUG.

ANUG and any other form of gum disease can cause a lot of damage. But taking steps to care for your teeth will help keep this acute form of gingivitis from arising in the first place.

If you would like more information on gingivitis and other forms of gum disease, 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 “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”


By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
March 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Braces are a powerful dental tool which can give your smile a straighter, more beautiful appearance while at the same time correcting thebraces jaw’s bite issues to improve the teeth’s functionality. However, biting the bullet and committing to orthodontic care can seem like a big decision to make. Luckily, your orthodontist is an expert in diagnosing bite problems and administering orthodontic care to ensure that you have a healthy smile you feel proud to show off. Find out more about braces and the signs you may need them with Dr. Ronald Schoepflin at Schoepflin Dental Excellence in Port Orchard, WA.

Do I need braces? 
If you have ever wished for a straighter smile, you may benefit from orthodontic care. In some cases, other, less invasive procedures like bonding or veneers may be able to correct minor misalignments. Crowded teeth or gapped teeth can also benefit from orthodontic care. However, braces do more than correct misaligned teeth. They also focus on bite issues like overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite. Braces make it easier to clean the teeth by eliminating the small spaces between crowded or overlapped teeth, helping to decrease the chances of teeth decay and gum disease.

What are my orthodontic options? 
Traditional metal braces are the most common kind of orthodontic care. This method uses permanently attached metal brackets and wires to move the teeth into their final positions. However, other types of braces are gaining popularity. Lingual braces attach to the back of the teeth to fully hide from view. Clear aligner trays also allow patients to straighten their teeth discreetly, using a series of trays worn one after another to move the teeth. Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces but use tooth-colored brackets and wires.

Orthodontic Care in Port Orchard, WA
For more information on braces in the Port Orchard, WA area, please contact Dr. Schoepflin at Schoepflin Dental Excellence. Your journey to a new smile can start today with a simple phone call. Call (360) 871-2959 to schedule your consultation for braces today!


By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
March 14, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   oral health  
4ThingsYouShouldbeDoingNowforYourBabysLong-TermDentalHealth

Your baby will grow into an adult so rapidly it will seem like they're changing right before your eyes. And some of the biggest changes will happen with their teeth, gums and jaw structure.

Unfortunately, disease or a traumatic accident could short-circuit this natural process and potentially create future dental problems. Here are 4 things you should be doing now to protect your baby's long-term dental health.

Start oral hygiene now. Even if your baby has no visible teeth, there may still be something else in their mouth—bacteria, which could trigger future tooth decay. To reduce bacteria clean their gums with a clean, wet cloth after each feeding. When teeth begin to appear switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste on the brush to minimize what they swallow.

Make your baby's first dental appointment. Beginning dental visits around your baby's first birthday will not only give us a head start on preventing or treating tooth decay, but could also give us a better chance of detecting other developing issues like a poor bite (malocclusion). Early dental visits also help get your child used to them as routine and increase the likelihood they'll continue the habit as adults.

Watch their sugar. Bacteria love sugar. So much so, they'll multiply—and more bacteria mean an increase in one of their by-products, mouth acid. Increased mouth acid can erode tooth enamel and open the way for decay. So, limit sugary snacks to only meal time and don't give them sugary drinks (including juices, breast milk or formula) in a bottle immediately before or while they sleep.

Childproof your home. A number of studies have shown that half of all accidents to teeth in children younger than 7 happen from falling on home furniture. So, take precautions by covering sharp edges or hard surfaces on chairs, tables or sofas, or situate your child's play areas away from furniture. And when they get older and wish to participate in sports activities purchase a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth from hard knocks—an investment well worth the cost.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”