Tag Archives: dental appointment

How can Oral Bacteria impact your Pretty Smile?

Healthy teeth are about more than just a pretty smile. Your oral health has a major effect on the overall health of your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe.

Oral Bacteria and Health

Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay – by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume – they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm known as dental plaque.

Our mouths have lots of bacteria that is usually harmless. (Did you know that the bacteria in our body aids with digestion and other biological tasks?) However, if you do not brush or floss regularly, bacteria can reach dangerously high levels. When this happens, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

Related Article: Tooth Decay Dangers: Can It Kill You?

Health Risks Throughout the Body

There is evidence that the oral bacteria and high level of inflammation associated with the serious gum disease known as periodontitis can play a role in diseases in other parts of the body.

The following health issues and diseases are linked with poor gum health:

  • Infections from Abscesses: In some rare instances, severe tooth decay can lead to an abscess. The infection can travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, causing severe illness or even death.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: There are researchers who suggest that heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries are linked to the inflammation and infections caused by too much oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications: Severe gum infection has been linked to premature births and low birth weight.
  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. This can occur when bacteria from other parts of your body, such as your mouth, move through your bloodstream and become attached to damaged areas in the heart.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Did you know that 85% of Americans suffer from gum disease, yet only 60% of those infected know they have gum disease? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, the impact can extend beyond your mouth.

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can significantly affect your general health.

Research shows that there is a connection between gum disease and other serious conditions such as:

  • osteoporosis
  • oral and pancreatic cancer
  • brain stroke
  • heart disease
  • gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia from oral bacteria that spread through the blood stream
  • gum disease also impacts those with diabetes by making it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels

If you have one of these systemic conditions, it is important to talk to your dentist about your risk for gum disease and the best treatment options.

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Gum Disease Causes:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Sugar and acid
  • Tooth abnormalities
  • Poor dental work
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tooth grinding

Gum Disease Symptoms Can Range from:

  • chronic bad breath
  • red, swollen gums
  • bleeding when you brush
  • painful chewing
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • sensitive or receding gums

Sometimes there are no signs of gum disease, which is why it’s essential to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup.

Related Article: How to Stop Bad Breath: A Stinky Situation

Gum Disease is Treatable

The three goals of treatment involve:

  1. reducing inflammation
  2. decreasing pocket depth (the space between your tooth and gum)
  3. stopping bone loss

Initial treatment options can include Laser Pocket Disinfection or scaling and root planning (also known as deep cleaning). There are surgery options for advanced gum disease.

Protecting Your Oral Health

By protecting the health of your teeth and gums, you can keep yourself healthier too. Practice good oral hygiene daily to prevent overgrowth of bacteria.

This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth
  • Avoid tobacco use, as this can cause irritation in your gums
  • Limit sugary snacks, which can feed bacteria and increase their growth
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months

Related Articles:

Poor Oral Health is Risky Business

Sugar Hurts Teeth: Do You Sip and Snack All Day?

You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you notice a problem with your teeth or gums, call for an appointment right away. The sooner these are handled, the sooner you will be back to full health. Charles R. Kimes, DDS provides general and family dentistry in the Overland Park, Kansas area to keep his patients healthy – including healthy teeth, healthy gums, and a healthy body. Time for your checkup? Call to schedule today.

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Dr. Kimes Welcomes Back Patients for Routine Dental Appointments

May 11, 2020

Dear Overland Park Dentistry Family,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines, including routine dental appointments.

While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office for dental appointments. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable.

We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our
practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the:

We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next routine dental appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff.

For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you before your dental appointments to ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We ask that you call us from our parking lot, once you’ve arrived at our office for your appointment, so we can check you in. We will let you know when we’re ready for you and look forward to greeting you at the door, as this will help us with social distancing.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Dental appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

To make an appointment, please call our office at 913-647-8700 or visit our website.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Charles R. Kimes, DDS

The Daily Dentist: Oral Hygiene is a Big Deal

The Little Things

As busy people and productive members of society, most of us have a daily routine that we follow to keep our lives on track. While we often do these things without thinking, its important to do them correctly and not completely overlook them as so called “little things”. Sometimes they’re much more important then they seem.

Like many people, it’s probably somewhere between a morning shower and hustling off to work that you took the time to brush your teeth, or did you? Much like other seemingly small aspects of our daily routine, we may find ourselves brushing our teeth without giving it much consideration; however, its it important to remember oral hygiene is much more important than it may appear.

Oral Hygiene: More Important than it Appears

So maybe you were running late and forgot to brush your teeth, or maybe you did remember to brush but you didn’t take the time to make sure you were getting all your teeth.

Oral Hygiene is No Big Deal… Right?!?!

Wrong!!!

Oral hygiene is very important, and while your smile may be able to withstand a minor oversight or two, it’s a slippery slope. As it can be extremely easy to get into the habit of providing your teeth with inadequate care and setting yourself up for inevitable oral health issues.

Sadly, this has been the case for many people in the past, as progressive diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease typically manifest slowly over several years, and rarely display any obvious symptoms until their latter stages.

Unfortunately, if such conditions have progressed to an advanced stage, the damage at that point may be irreversible and could in fact, stir up a hornet’s nest of additional health problems as well! Whether it be gum disease, tooth decay, or other related complications, the consequences of improper or inadequate oral hygiene are never pretty!

Poor Dental Hygiene: The Consequences

Tooth Decay

As you may already know, tooth decay is a condition in which harmful acidic particles build up in a person’s mouth over a prolonged period, slowly eroding the tooth’s protective outer layer and rendering it vulnerable to outside agents. Unprotected, bacteria descend upon the tooth causing it to rapidly decay. Once a tooth has fallen into a state of decay, you are likely to experience increased tooth sensitivity, as well as the appearance of cavities and eventual breakage.

Related Article: Tooth Decay: A Sticky, Sweet Dilemma

Gum Disease

Although gum disease is a relatively familiar term to many people, the condition is often misunderstood and simply written off as little more than a minor nuisance. However, the truth is that gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue caused by excess plaque/bacteria build up around the teeth and gumline. When the gum tissue has become infected, inflammation of tissue surrounding the teeth will occur. Your gums may bleed while eating or brushing, this is often a tell-tale sign of gingivitis, or an early stage of gum disease.

Once gingivitis has been detected, we highly recommend that you visit your dentist (if you haven’t already) and begin taking a proactive role in treating the condition before it can spread any further. If the infection is allowed to progress further, it will continue to spread throughout the mouth, eventually affecting the teeth and jawbone. This is what’s known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, which is a later stage of gum disease, and unquestionably when the disease is at its worst.

Periodontal disease causes irreversible damage to the mouth and may destroy the entire jaw of its host if severe enough. Perhaps most troubling of all is periodontal disease’s uncanny tendency to spread to other regions of the body or interact with other preexisting conditions, which could pose serious problems!

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Complications

While tooth decay and gum disease may not sound all that scary at first, the complications of either condition can truly be a nightmare! As alluded to earlier, if the bacteria produced by either condition enters the bloodstream it may likely travel to other areas of the body, spreading and worsening the infection.

If the infectious bacteria reach the heart of its host, it will inflame the heart’s vessels, resulting in the formation of numerous blood clots. These blood clots will slowly begin to cut off the flow of blood, thereby choking the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less and less efficiently.

As a result of this, individuals suffering from severe tooth decay or periodontal disease, (or both) have a three times higher likelihood of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular-based complications. Additionally, tooth decay and more particularly gum disease, can also lead to the worsening of other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, or various types of cancer, which is likely to have serious if not fatal results.

Prevention: The Daily Dentist

When it comes to issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, prevention is always the best route, therefore Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry are more than happy to provide you with the best guidance and treatment to address all your oral hygienic concerns or needs.

However, despite the various quality services that are available, it’s important to remember that the determining factor between good oral health and poor oral health always comes back basic oral hygiene. By taking the time to make sure you are correctly brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth on a daily basis you are taking a crucial step in preventing such oral health issues before they occur.

Remember consistency is key! By taking a few extra minutes each day to ensure you’re practicing proper oral hygiene and incorporating this into your daily routine until it becomes a habit, in sense you are acting as your own daily dentist! However, while daily hygienic consistency is in your hands, you should still make a point to schedule a routine dental checkup twice a year to make sure that your hygiene efforts are paying off and your teeth are strong and healthy.

Related Article: Schedule Your Summer Dental Appointment

Remember, although taking a few minutes each day to correctly care for your teeth may just seem like a little thing, sometimes the little things can make a very big difference!


Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Schedule Your Summer Dental Appointment

dental-appointment

Schools Out for the Summer!

Summer is here, and we know what that means! Long sunny days, warm summer nights, poolside lounging, bar-b-que dinners, and of course kids, kids, and more kids! Yes, the summertime is that time that all kids love, and while this season of warmth and nostalgia is a welcome time for most, it can also be a time to get caught up on things too!  With a well-deserved break in the hectic school schedule, much can be accomplished, and few are as important as scheduling a routine dental appointment for yourself or your kiddo.

Dental Appointment: The Six-Month Rule

Like any routine service, annual dental checkups are a mandatory requirement in maintaining proper dental hygiene and health. To achieve this, Dr. Kimes and other professional dentists generally believe in following what is known as the “six-month rule”.  This of course, calls for two appointments per year, with a six-month period between each dental appointment.  While this may seem a bit excessive to some, it is highly recommended that patients of all ages adhere to this rule as prevention is always the key to good oral health.

Dental Appointment: Benefits Of Summer Appointments

As certainly many parents can attest to, the school year can be very hectic at times, especially for parents who must balance this with a full-time work schedule. Therefore, the benefits of scheduling a summertime dental appointment are staggering to say the least.

  1. Prevention:

    As mentioned earlier, preventative dental treatment is paramount to maintain long term oral health. This is particularly true with busy students during the school semester. Nothing can disrupt someone’s daily activities like a nagging toothache! By receiving the recommended summertime dental appointment, you might be sparing your kids from any future tooth problems or potential distractions.

  2. Less Scheduling Conflict:

    Interruptions in your work schedule and your children’s school schedules are sometimes unavoidable; however, there’s certainly no reason for anymore inconvenience than necessary.

  3. Health Requirements:

    While this is not always the case, certain school districts may require students to receive a standard oral exam prior to enrollment, or by a selected date within the fall semester. Although this is likely to vary somewhat depending on the specific school, its always better to play it safe and get the standard check ups out of the way before the semester starts.

Dental Appointment: Don’t Procrastinate! 

With time to spare and schedules open, the time to make those mandatory appointments is now! Remember although summer appointments are always a great idea, with the busy fall semester on the horizon, remaining dental appointment spots won’t last for very long!

So save yourself and your kids the hassle, and make your family’s dental appointment today!

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment or consultation with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Oral Cancer Screening: Schedule Your Dental Appointment Today

oral-cancer-screening

The Numbers Don’t Lie!

In 2015, the global burden of disease study determined through various case studies, that an estimated 90.5 people worldwide suffered from cancer, thereby putting the estimated global spending on cancer research and treatment at approximately 1.16 trillion dollars annually! What does an oral cancer screening have to do with this? Please continue …

While such statistics are certainly staggering, they do allow us to put into perspective what a threat cancer truly poses on an international scale, and thus leaving little doubt as to why cancer is among the deadliest and most feared diseases in the world today. As you probably know, cancer can come in numerous forms and variations such as:  breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, leukemia, and many others. However, one particularly hazardous but somewhat lesser know type of cancer has emerged as perhaps one of the more dangerous and particularly deceptive forms of the illness. It claims the lives of as many as 7,500 U.S. citizens per year. This type of cancer as you may guess, is none other than oral cancer.

Oral Cancer: A Deceptive Foe

With sinister trickery and life-threatening consequences, oral cancer is certainly not an illness to take lightly! However, despite its nasty reputation, oral cancer may seem relatively harmless at first. Initially you may notice a slight hoarseness or gravelly tone to your voice, and perhaps the appearance of ulcers or swelling around the mouth and neck region.

While such minor nuisances may not exactly seem as a serious cause for alarm, they can in fact be more than they appear. As mentioned previously, deception is a key factor in oral cancer’s modus operandi. When a patient first begins developing oral cancer, the symptoms are typically minor and thereby left unchecked or dismissed. However, the patient may actually be in the early stages of developing oral cancer, without being aware of it!

Unfortunately (like so many before them) the patient, unaware of their affliction does not seek treatment right away, thus allowing the cancer to continue to progress. It may only be when the persistent symptoms start to worsen, that the patient finally seeks out the necessary medical care. Tragically this required treatment may only come when the disease has already progressed into its latter stages, in which the cancer has proceeded to ravage the patient’s overall health, causing irreversible and often fatal damage.

This scenario, (grim as it may be) is an important one to hear and learn from, as it illustrates the trap that many oral cancer patients have fallen victim to in the past. However, with the advent of oral cancer awareness month, (which goes from November 1st through the 31st) and the continued advancements in dental technology, the time to rise and fight back against oral cancer has never been better!

Related Article: What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer Screening: Fighting the Good Fight!

With so many lives lost and so many still in jeopardy, dentists everywhere have taken on the enormous task of going toe to toe with oral cancer, with the high hopes of putting the vial illness down for the count! While oral cancer is clearly not an enemy that will go quietly, professional dentistry may have found the Achilles heel of this vicious disease.

So how exactly might the dental industry hope to tackle such a titanic-sized international issue like oral cancer? To put it simply, by stopping it before it starts! Although oral cancer can be quite debilitating if left untreated until its later stages, if detected within its early stages oral cancer can in fact be quite responsive to treatment, thereby increasing the chances of sending the disease into remission or eradicating it completely.

To achieve this type of prevention, dentists are required to provide an oral cancer screening on all their patients, on a regular basis.

While the term oral cancer screening might sound relatively new, but in reality, oral cancer screenings have been stopping the illness in its tracks for a number of years now, and continues to become increasingly more effective and accurate as the years go by. While this might come as a something of a surprise, what may likely surprise you even more is the fact that you yourself have more than likely received an oral cancer screenings without even knowing it and probably multiple screenings!

The oral cancer screening may in fact be the dental profession’s best kept secret, as many patients are unaware that they are receiving the screening even as it happens. An oral cancer screening is a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Charles R. Kimes at Overland Park Dentistry preforms as part of your standard dental exam. Therefore, when you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer.

By identifying and receiving the necessary treatment for oral cancer early on, you have struck a major blow in the battle against the disease, and may very well be on the road to recovery.

Related Article: Dental Appointment: Why Twice a Year?

Oral Cancer Screening: The Change Starts With You

While Dr. Kimes will undoubtedly be a powerful ally in the battle against oral cancer, to truly receive the best results possible, you must be willing to make some changes in yourself.

It should presumably come at little surprise that a person’s lifestyle often plays a significant role in the development and recovery process of oral cancer. While typically occurring in individuals 40 years and older, the development of oral cancer is often directly linked to heavy alcohol and tobacco consumption, as regular users of such products have an almost ten times greater chance in developing the disease, and those that continue to use them will have limited chance of recovery.

While much of the information provided above may not exactly present the bright and cheerful message that you may be accustomed to this time of year, please remember that the purpose of this article is to remind you that there’s still time to change this! Therefore, if you do have any concerns or anxiety over your chances of developing oral cancer, taking the time to schedule a routine dental checkup/oral cancer screening, is unquestionably the right decision.

Although far too many people have been dealt the cruel hand of oral cancer in the past, and have tragically had to face the consequences, YOU have the power to change this for yourself!

Please don’t become another statistic, let’s take a stand against oral cancer together!

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment / oral cancer screening, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Back to School? Schedule a Dental Appointment for Your Kiddo!

dental-appointment

Dental Appointment: It’s that time of year again!

As the summer draws to an end and the school season approaches, we enter this transitional and sometimes frenzied time of year.  Students from preschool through college prepare to reenter the world of academia. While unpopular among the majority of kids, these first few weeks in August can come as relief to parents. As some parents may be struggling to balance a busy work schedule along with the rigors of being a full-time parent. Despite hustle and bustle of the back to school month, this might be the opportune time to schedule that recommended dental appointment for your kiddo!

Dental Appointment: The sooner the better

In this busy time of year, certain resources and services tend to become scarce; such as stores carrying school supplies, or availability for doctor or haircut appointments. As you can imagine, dental services are certainly no exception. Before the school semester begins, we typically see a significant spike in the number of dental appointments scheduled at Overland Park Dentistry. Parents and college students scramble to book appointments during this time.

Related Article: Back to School Dental Appointments – Don’t Procrastinate!

This influx of dental appointments often continues well into the early part of the school semester, and there are several reasons why:

  1. Health care requirements: While the exact health requirements may vary slightly from one school district to another, typically many school districts recommend that the students receive a standard dental exam prior to or early within the fall semester. This is done not only to ensure the student’s overall oral health, but also to check for any underlying heath concerns that dentists are specially trained to look for.
  2. Easier for the kids: If you were to think back to your time as a student, you might remember that the academic curriculum often starts with lighter more introductory activities. Then it proceeds to cover more advanced content as the semester progresses, often leading up to midterm and final exams. This early part of the semester is sometimes called the “academic grace period” and often proves itself to be the ideal time to get those routine dental appointment checkups out of the way, before the students become enthralled in preparing for any major exams.
  3. Catching issues early: While this might seem obvious, taking the time to catch or prevent any future issues or complications is always a good idea. This is especially true with busy students during the school semester. Nothing can disrupt someone’s daily activities like a nagging toothache! By receiving the recommended early dental appointment, you might be sparing your kids from any future tooth problems or potential distractions.

Of course, it’s important to schedule bi-annual dental appointments for you and your family. Click here for the reasons why.

Related Article: Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park

Dental Appointment: Come see us

As the school year approaches and those long summer days come to an end, obviously there is much to do for students and parents. However despite this few weeks being a busy and often hectic time, you should still try to find time to schedule that coveted early dental appointment for your kids while you still can! Remember when it comes to school, it’s never good to procrastinate, so schedule your dental appointment today!

We look forward to having the opportunity to help you and your family during your bi-annual dental appointments or with any preventative, restorative or cosmetic needs you may have. To schedule a dental appointment, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.