Five Myths about Gum Disease Busted: The Truth Behind Healthy Teeth and Gums

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates that more than half of American adults suffer from some form of gum disease – from mild cases of gingivitis, to the more severe form known as periodontitis, also known as gum disease. However, despite this prevalence, approximately only three percent of those patients seek treatment for their gum disease. With increasingly more research indicating that gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer, maintaining healthy teeth and gums has become more important than ever. In order to help distinguish fact from fiction regarding periodontal disease, the AAP has identified and addressed some common misconceptions about oral health.

Myth #1: Bleeding gums are not that big of a deal.

Red, swollen and bleeding gums are an important sign of periodontal disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing, or when eating certain foods, you should schedule a visit with your dental professional to be evaluated for periodontal disease. Studies have shown that in addition to tooth loss, gum disease may contribute to the progression of other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, so it is important that you begin treating periodontal disease as soon as possible.

Myth #2: You don’t need to floss every day.

Routine oral care, which includes brushing after every meal and before bedtime, and flossing at least once a day, is the best way to prevent gum disease. However, a recent survey estimates that only 13.5 percent of Americans floss each day. It is vital that you keep up with your daily oral care, and see a dental professional for a thorough check-up twice a year. If gum disease is diagnosed, a consultation with a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating periodontal disease, may be beneficial.

Myth #3: A visit to the periodontist will be scary.

Periodontists are gum disease experts. They have received three or more years of specialized training following dental school centered on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of periodontal disease. Periodontists are equipped with the latest treatments and technologies, using innovative tools such as digital radiography, ultrasound technology, biomarker measurement and laser therapy. These newer methods of periodontal treatment are far less invasive and have speedy recovery times making your visit and recovery much more comfortable compared to traditional treatment methods.

Myth #4: A tooth lost to gum disease is a tooth lost forever.

Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, in addition to treating gum disease, periodontists are also experts in placing dental implants – a convenient and comfortable way to permanently replace missing teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth. Studies have shown that dental implants have a 98 percent success rate, and with proper care, allow you to speak, eat and smile with confidence. In fact, a survey conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology found that over 70 percent of respondents reported being “pleased” or “extremely satisfied” with the results of their dental implants.

Myth #5: Poor oral hygiene is the only way to develop gum disease.

Forgoing good oral hygiene can certainly contribute to the progression of gum disease, but there are a variety of other factors that can also impact your risk. For instance, tobacco use has been shown to greatly increase your chance of developing gum disease. Stress, poor diet, and even genetics, can also play a role in the health of your gums. To determine your risk of developing gum disease, the AAP offers a free online risk assessment test, found on Now that you are armed with the facts about gum disease, make sure you discuss any concerns about your oral health with your dental professional. Also let them know of any chronic health issues such as respiratory disease, osteoporosis, even some types of cancer since those and several other diseases have been linked to gum disease. As with any disease, early detection and treatment is always best.

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Burgess Center Reviewed!!

Reviewed on Smilereminder

As always, everyone was very friendly and welcoming

“As always, everyone was very friendly and welcoming. Dr Burgess and his assistants make me feel comfortable every time, and I enjoy the conversations, even when I’m just the listener while I’m being treated. I’m never thrilled to have to go to the dentist, but this office makes it as pleasant as it can possibly be!”

-Catherine H.


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Limit Sweets!

Limit sweets intake to keep cavities in check. Try a healthy alternative. Remember that sweets should be a treat and not part of everyday eating. Every sugar dose equals about 20 minutes of a plaque attack so remember to brush or drink plenty of water after eating sugary treats.
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Six Month Braces

Six month braces?! Who knew? Using the latest technology combined with time tested orthodontic techniques, Six-Month Braces move your teeth quickly and safely.


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Ceramic or Porcelain Veneers

In recent years, the use of thin ceramic or porcelain veneer layer bonded to your existing tooth has become a popular cosmetic treatment. Veneers allow a skilled cosmetic dentist to reshape the appearance of your front teeth (upper and lower) using a thin shell to effectively cover stains, hide gaps and straighten misaligned teeth.



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How Cotton Candy Was Popularized By… A Dentist

Cotton candy’s earliest origins date back to 15th century Italy. Here, in specialty bakeries off cobblestoned streets, sugar syrup would be boiled in a pan and “flicked out” with forks to create decorative, wispy strands. Due to the laborious process and the high price of its only ingredient, this “spun sugar” was only produced in small quantities, exclusively for the uber-wealthy.

For 300 years, the confection stayed in fashion—but only among elite circles. Ornately-spun Easter eggs and “webs of gold and silver” were rare delicacies for high society Europeans. Italians were particularly skilled at sugar spinning; as one historian describes, Venetians “moulded it into a fantastic tableaux of animals, mythic figures, buildings, birds, and pastoral scenes.” When Henri III of France visited Venice in the late 1500s, he was treated to a fanciful banquet at which 1,286 items —including the tablecloth —were spun of sugar. For the average citizen though, the treat remained widely inaccessible.

Centuries later, in 1897, a 37-year-old dentist from Tennessee decided the sugary goods should be enjoyed by everyone.

Born in Nashville in 1860, James Morrison’s passions were strangely conflicting. He excelled in dentistry school (by 1894, he was named President of the Tennessee State Dental Association), but was also a confection enthusiast with a penchant for culinary advancement. By the mid-1890s, he patented several devices — one which extracted oils from cottonseed and converted them to lard, and another which chemically purified Nashville’s drinking water.

But Morrison’s biggest breakthrough came in 1897, when he paired with John C. Wharton, an old pal and fellow confectioner. Together, the two designed and co-patented what they called the “electric candy machine.” Utilizing centrifugal force, the device rapidly spun and melted sugar through through small holes until it was fluffy and nearly 70% air. They called the new treat “fairy floss,” formed the “Electric Candy Company,” and spent several years perfecting the process before debuting it to the public.

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Teeth Whitening

As we age, our teeth naturally lose whiteness as the underlying dentin in our teeth yellows. Add to that the stains acquired from lifestyle issues, like drinking coffee or tea and smoking tobacco products, and your pearly whites may not be so white any more. Tooth bleaching using a peroxide-based agent is one of the most common treatments for cosmetic dentistry and we offer an in-the-office One-Hour Teeth Whitening or an in-the-home Two-Week Teeth Bleaching option.
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Therapy Dogs a Growing Trend in Dentistry

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Whether it’s the sound of the drill or the thought of an extraction, a lot of people fear going to the dentist, but now there’s a growing trend allowing appointments to be more of a warm and fuzzy experience.

Buster! Hi, baby! How are you doing today?” says Jody Miller as she enters James River Family Dentistry. Buster is the resident therapy dog at the Bon Air dental practice.

“The holistic happy pill that he is,” Dr. Marci Guthrie describes her French Bulldog who has been on the job a little over six years. She says he has been the best medicine for nervous children and adults who come in for routine visits and more.

“Fillings and cavities getting drilled out and then cleaning,” patient Nichole Hurst lists all of the treatments she has actually enjoyed since meeting Buster. “He’s always so nice. He’s really chill.”

“Buster is a natural at just reducing anxieties and putting smiles on patients’ faces and helping to reduce their fears of just walking in the door which is half the battle,” says Dr. Guthrie. One study found as many as 20% of Americans do not go to the dentist because of a fear of the unknown, the equipment or another phobia.

Jody Miller understands all too well. “My first anxiety attack ever was in a dental chair, and I have not had one since I’ve been here.”

“The calm comes over their body, the smiles on their faces,” says Sarah Babcock, a therapy dog evaluator with the Richmond SPCA Paws for Health program. She is not surprised that dental practices are catching on to this valuable therapy widely used in other areas of medicine. “They’ve done a lot of research that suggests blood pressure goes down and there’s lots of good physical things that happen to them, people when they’re visiting with therapy dogs, but it’s very obvious when you’re watching the joy that they bring.”

“He’s just so sweet and loving,” Sandra Jones says, holding Buster in her lap in the James River Family Practice waiting room, where he immediately soothes patient fears. Years ago Jones passed out when she saw a Novocaine needle at another practice, but now she calls Buster her tranquilizer. “You walk in here, maybe you’re anxious and Buster comes over and greets you and just calms you down.”

There is a link between a lack of dental care and Diabetes, Heart Disease, Osteoporosis and other conditions. Now for some patients, dogs like Buster are the gateway to better health.

“It is a wonderful experience to see these patients’ faces light up simply at the sight of him,” says Dr. Guthrie. “Some even come by to visit, just to say hi to him when they don’t even have appointments.”

Dr. Guthrie says she has seen all patients benefit, including those with special needs. Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Autism and Down Syndrome are just a few of her patients’ conditions. Buster also recently went to the Mission of Mercy dental clinic for the Special Olympics to help ease patients.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

Source: ABC News 8

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Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist right away?

Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for up to two hours, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic.


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Check Out This Awesome New Review

Reviewed on Google

I have been a patient at Burgess Center for many years and have never considered changing because they have friendly office receptionists (everyone is very professional and kind), state of the art digital equipment, one visit caps (made in-house) and for relaxing, built-in t.v. & headphones! Less important, but adding to the relaxed ambience, is the beautiful reception area. Dr. Burgess also offers a full range of dental cosmetic services.”

-Pam G.


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