August 16th, 2017
What is "Malocclusion" and how does it affect my Health?
What is Malocclusion? 'Occlusion' refers to how the teeth come together; 'mal' means improper or wrong. Together, malocclusion, also know as occlusal disease, means the teeth come together improperly. In other words...a "bad bite".
Malocclusion can cause crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth, gum problems, temporomandibular joint dysfunctions, severe headaches and sleep disorders. It also can affect a person’s appearance, speech, and ability to eat. Furthermore, when teeth are poorly aligned, they receive extra stress and pressure when you bite and chew. This can lead to receding gums, indentations at the gum line, cold sensitivity, cracked teeth, and eventual tooth loss.
Malocclusion doesn’t just affect your mouth; it can be linked to other serious health issues. When teeth are improperly aligned, it can be difficult to clean them. This can lead to gum infections and the diseases known as gingivitis and periodontitis. Studies show that patients with periodontitis have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, complications related to diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even complications with pregnancy. For example, women with advanced gum disease may be more likely to give birth to an underweight or pre-term baby. Additionally, oral microbes can cross the placental barrier, exposing the fetus to infection.
There are 3 classications of occlusion.
Class 1: this is when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. In this class, the bite is normal, and the overlap is slight.
Class 2: this is a severe overbite. That means that the upper teeth and jaw significantly overlap the lower jaw and teeth.
Class 3: this is a severe underbite. That means the lower jaw protrudes forward, causing the lower teeth to overlap the upper teeth and jaw.
What causes Malocclusion? Malocclusion usually develops as a child transitions from baby teeth to adult teeth. Sometimes, the size of the teeth and the size of the child's jaw do not match when growing. This can lead to crowding, spacing or teeth placed in the wrong spot. If the body doesn't resolve this discrepancy, then malocclusion develops. Occasionally, malocclusion is noticeable as the first baby teeth come in, but intervention is not generally recommended until the child is older. Other factors can also contribute; these would include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and premature loss of teeth due to accident or disease. Additionally, malocclusion can present in such a way that a person cannot fully close their mouth. This can lead to mouth breathing throughout the day and into the night. Mouth breathing can then cause dry mouth, bad breath, and gum disease.
What can I do about my bad bite? Orthodontic treatment is the only answer. Using wire braces, clear aligners (such as Invisalign), surgical techniques, or a combination of those is likely what your dentist will recommend. Most malocclusion cases can be resolved with braces or clear aligners alone; surgery is usually reserved for severe cases. Talk to Dr. Showalter or Dr. Groskopf if you feel that you may have symptoms of a bad bite and she will be able to help you find the solution that works best for you.
International Journal of Adult Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery
Periodontitis: a future risk of acute coronary syndrome? A follow up study over 3 years., Ohlsson O., Pettersson T., Persson GR. Journal of Periodontology
Whiteman H. (2013, July 31) "Alzheimer's disease linked to poor dental health." Medical News Today. Retrieved August 2016 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264164.php.
Increased Prevalence of Cardiovascular and Auto-Immune Diseases in Periodontitis Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study. Willem Nesse, Pieter U. Dijkstra, Frank Abbas, Fred K. L. Spijkervet, Astrid Stijger, Jan A.H. Tromp, Johan L. van Dijk, Arjan Vissink. Journal of Periodontology (6/2010)
We always want to be on the up and up of any new technology in the dental world. It is our commitment to our patients to attend continuing education so we can be sure we are providing the absolute best care possible.
In March, Courtney attended a HIPAA compliance seminar to be sure that we are handling our patient documents with the utmost care and privacy.
In May, as a team, we all attended an Invisalign Seminar. This was a day in Milwaukee where we learned how to better diagnose malocclusion and how to offer the best options to our patients when it comes to Invisalign.
Later this year, we have 2 more seminars planned where we will continue our education even more!
What's Happening at Rock River Dental?
We have had a very busy year!
In February, as we have in years past, we participated in Give Kids a Smile Day. This is a day when the whole team volunteers their time to provide dental care to kids who might not otherwise receive it. It was a very fulfilling and rewarding day and we were able to help A LOT of kids!
In May, we were honored to host the quarterly Business After Hours with the Chamber of Commerce. It was a fun-filled night with drinks, great food, and good company. Several valuable relationships came out of that evening, and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Also in May, we were able to help sponsor Jefferson County Humane Society’s Furry Friends 5k. This was a fun event for our team of animal lovers! We were even able to give tennis balls to all the dogs who attended...they loved it!
In June, Dr. Showalter celebrated her staff with our annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon. Delicious food was catered in from BonTon in Jefferson, the decorations gave a bright summery feel, and work anniversaries were honored.
This year we celebrate the following anniversaries:
- Dr. Groskopf, our Associate Dentist, celebrated 1 year with our practice!
- Faith, our Marketing Director, also celebrated her first full year at the office.
- Connie and Jenna, 2 of our Dental Assistants, both celebrated 2 years with us.
- Courtney, our Scheduling Coordinator and the lovely face you see most often at the front desk, celebrated a milestone of 5 years with Rock River Dental!
- Katie, one of 2 Registered Dental Hygienists, has been here 6 years now.
- Natalie, our other Registered Dental Hygienist, has been here 8 years total.
- Kathy, our lead Dental Assistant, has been with us for 14 years.
- And finally, Lu our fantastic Financial Coordinator and insurance guru, is celebrating her 41st year in the dental biz and 17 years with Rock River Dental (since it's inception!) Wow!
Also in June, Maritza started with Rock River Dental working at the front desk. Maritza is bilingual in English and Spanish. She is always happy to help our patients needing translation assistance. Maritza will be a freshmen at UWW starting in the fall, but will continue to work with us on a part-time basis.
In July, we sponsored a hole at the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Golf Outing. Maybe you saw us at hole #15! We had a game for the golfers to play, along with some giveaways. In addition, Rock River Dental's team (Dr. Showalter, Kathy Dorn, Lu Stricker and Murphy Christian) won the Ladie's division! Way to go!
“At each visit I was asked what music I wanted to hear prior to treatment starting! No matter who was providing care, the dentist, dental assistant, and the hygienist all would give me a thorough explanation of what they were going to do ahead of time. During treatment, a brief description was always given as to the tool they were about to use, what it was for and what I would likely experience during its use. I never had to wonder, "what is that sound and what are they doing??" They took the time to get to know me and were extremely pleasant to talk with; and after the first visit they knew who I was when I walked through the door. I really appreciate that kind of patient dedication! At the end of each visit not only were options for treatment given, there was a detailed walk through of the costs of each and an accurate estimation of what my insurance would cover. I would highly recommend Rock River Dental.”
-Chris Kahila 05/18/2017
With each edition of our Newsletter, you’ll find a featured recipe, coming either from one of our team members, or submitted by a patient. Please enjoy this recipe from Courtney, our Scheduling Coordinator.
Stir Fried Green Beans with Shrimp and Garlic
-2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
-3 Garlic Cloves Minced
-½ lb. Shrimp - shelled, deveined, and cut into 1-inch pieces
(Can substitute Steak or Chicken)
-½ lb. Green Beans
-¼ Cup Chicken Stock, or Low Sodium Broth
-Freshly Ground Pepper
Heat a wok until very hot. Add the vegetable oil and heat until simmering. Add the garlic and stir fry for 10 seconds. Add the shrimp and a pinch of salt, and stir fry until the shrimp are beginning to turn pink, about 30 seconds. Add the green beans (I like to add mushrooms and onions too) and 2 tbsp of the stock, and stir fry until the beans soften slightly about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of stock along with a generous pinch of pepper and stir fry until the shrimp are cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Serve right away.
If you try this recipe at home, we would love to hear about it and see a picture! Please feel encouraged to post to our Facebook wall (@rockriverdentalwi) or tag us on Instagram: @rockriverdental with your best version of this recipe!