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David J. Campbell DDS
7110 Highland Road
White Lake, MI 48383
(248) 887-8387
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Posts for: November, 2015


In the early Eighties, dentists began noticing symptoms among a few patients that indicated something far more serious. They were, in fact, among the first healthcare providers to recognize what we now know as HIV-AIDS.

Today, about 1.2 million Americans have contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It’s a retrovirus, somewhat different than other viruses: it can invade immune system cells and hijack their replication mechanism to reproduce itself. Untreated it eventually destroys these cells to give rise to the more serious, life-threatening disease Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Thanks to antiretroviral drugs, most HIV positive patients live somewhat normal lives and avoid the more serious Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). But while antiretroviral therapy effectively inhibits the action of the virus, it isn’t a cure — the virus is a permanent resident of the body and can still affect health, especially in the mouth.

In this regard, one of the more common conditions associated with HIV is Candidiasis, a fungal infection also known as thrush, which causes cracking of the mouth corners and lesions or white patches on the surface of the tongue or roof of the mouth. HIV patients may also experience limited saliva flow that causes dry mouth (xerostomia) with effects that range from bad breath to a higher risk of tooth decay.

The most serious effect, though, of HIV on oral health is the body’s lower resistance to fight periodontal (gum) disease. HIV patients are especially susceptible to a severe form known as Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis (NUP), a sign as well of immune system deterioration and the beginning of AIDS. This painful condition causes gum ulcerations, extensive bleeding, and the rapid deterioration of gum attachment to teeth.

If you or a family member is HIV positive, you’ll need to pay close attention to oral health. Besides diligent brushing and flossing, you or they should also regularly visit the dentist. These visits not only provide diagnosis and treatment of dental problems, they’re also an important monitoring point for gauging the extent of the HIV infection.

Taking care of dental problems will also ease some of the discomfort associated with HIV. Thanks to proper oral care, you or someone you love can experience a higher quality of life.

If you would like more information on oral and dental health for patients with HIV, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By David J. Campbell DDS
November 10, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

Dental veneers improve the appearance of your teeth and are a simple solution to hide gaps and discolored and crooked teeth. Because veneers are wafer thin, they can detach from the front of your teeth in certain circumstances. West Lake Dentist David J. Campbell DDS explains what you should do if you lose a veneer.Veneers

Save the veneer

Put the veneer in a safe place, if you still have it. Wrap it loosely in cotton or tissue, and put it in a hard plastic container. If it's in one piece, your dentist may be able to reattach it. Whether the veneer can be reattached will depend upon the reason it detached. If your dentist doesn't think he can successfully rebond the veneer, you will need a replacement.

Call your dentist

Although losing a veneer isn't a dental emergency, tell your dentist as soon as possible. He may want to look at your tooth before making a decision about the next steps. During your appointment, he can also remove any veneer fragments that remain on the tooth. If you need a new veneer, the sooner you inform your dentist, the sooner you'll have a replacement. It usually takes one to two weeks for the dental laboratory to make a new veneer.

Possible issues

You won't have any difficulty chewing or eating after you lose a veneer, although your tooth may be sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks. Because a small amount of enamel was removed to prepare the tooth for the enamel, the front of your tooth may feel rough. Buy dental wax and place it over the surface of the tooth if the rough surface irritates your mouth or you're bothered by sensitivity,

Avoiding future problems

Veneers can break or fall off for a variety of reasons, such as biting a hard object, biting your fingernails or clenching your teeth. Obviously, if your veneer fell off after you tried to open a package with your teeth, you'll probably decide that it's a better idea to use a pair of scissors next time. If clenching or grinding is a problem, your dentist may suggest that you wear a nightguard to protect your veneers.

Curious about veneers? David J. Campbell, DDS, your West Lake dentist, will answer all of your questions and let you know if veneers are the right option for you. Call him today at (248) 887-8387

By David J. Campbell DDS
November 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”