Our Blog

Edition 2 

December 26th, 2017

Section 1

What is Gum Disease? Is it Serious?

Almost half of American adults suffer from gum disease. The mildest form of which is gingivitis. This causes the gums to become red and swollen, and sometimes bleed. If intervention is sought in this early stage, gum disease can be reversed. However, if left untreated, it can progress to become periodontitis. Plaque will grow and spread below the gumline. The toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and cause an inflammatory response in the body which essentially causes it to turn on itself, breaking down the tissues and bones surrounding the teeth, creating pockets where infection will grow. As the disease progresses, the infection grows, and the tissues and bones are broken down further. It is a vicious cycle.

Gum disease can cause mild nuisances like bad breath, but it can also lead to dangerous, systemic health problems, such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes.

Receiving a periodontitis diagnosis can be scary, and sometimes discouraging.. However, advances in dental care have been made that make caring for your gum disease easier, and more hopeful. One of these advances is the Perio Protect treatment approach which uses a custom set of trays and special medications.

The prescription Perio Tray is customized for individual patients with an internal seal that helps place medication deep below the gums so that the medication can fight the infectious bacteria.  These trays go one step further for you, as brushing, rinsing, and even flossing won’t reach below the gumline to the bacteria causing the infection.

While scaling and root planing (the cleaning of root surfaces) will likely still be necessary, the use of Perio Trays and Perio Protect medication can help to make these appointments less frequent, and more bearable.  In most cases, your dentist will recommend that you wear the trays for only 10-15 minutes each day. That’s it!  10-15 minutes and you can reduce the number of visits to the dentist, and help to treat the gum disease ravaging your oral health.

Aside from treating gum disease, Perio Protect can be used to help treat bad breath as well, when brushing and flossing alone aren’t enough. Bad breath is often one of the first signs of the beginning of gum disease. So be proactive, and take your oral health into your own hands: ask your dentist about Perio Protect Trays and visit https://www.perioprotect.com/ for even more details.


Hear from one of our patients who uses Perio Protect regularly:


“I was a neglectful patient for years, only going to the Dentist yearly or so watching my oral health diminish. I finally decided to do something about it before I lost any more teeth. My hygienist, Natalie, suggested I start immediately with a new product, Perio Gel and Vibramycin, an antibiotic. I began as soon as I received my Perio Protect trays and followed her instructions...three times a day for 15 minutes. At my 3 month recall Natalie was very pleased to chart my improvement! I continued as directed for another 3 months, returned to another success story; I tapered off to Perio Gel only twice a day for several recalls. Now I have minimal bleeding and still use Perio Gel once daily and enjoy remarkable success. I thank Dr. Showalter and Natalie for getting me to this level of oral health and would strongly recommend this procedure to anyone with persistent bleeding gums.”

-Joe Tyson of Twin Lakes, WI

*Actual Patient of RRD for 10 years



Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010 P.I. Eke*, B.A. Dye, L. Wei, G.O. Thornton-Evans, R.J. Genco







Section 2

What's Happening at RRD:


On August 20th, Dr. Showalter was gracious enough to host a family staff cookout at her house.. We enjoyed delicious steak and chicken and a myriad of other amazing foods. Several team members brought their dogs to play and swim in the lake, the kids enjoyed the fishing boat and pier, and the adults had fun spending the day in the sun. It was a great day!


The second half of August brought us a new team member, Kali.  Kali has joined us as a dental assistant and as another helping hand at the reception desk.

She lives in Janesville with her boyfriend and their puppy, Ruger. Kali has been a dental assistant for 3 years and is continuing her education to become a dental hygienist. She's been a wonderful addition to the office. We love having her!



The beginning of September, our Marketing Director, Faith, had her baby boy! His name is Omri Jade Moon Jones; he was 7lbs 12oz. Faith took a 6 week leave and is now juggling motherhood and her career; so you may not see her around the office as much, but she is still with us!

In the middle of September, Rock River Dental participated in the Boys and Girls Club Duck Race fundraiser. We also submitted our entry into their duck beauty pageant and received 2nd Place with our Tooth Fairy duck! Thank you Natalie for making our duck beautiful!


Also in September, the team attended a continuing education seminar in Risk Management at Monona Terrace in Madison.

“Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.”




October is always a fun month. To many of us, it signifies the earliest beginning of the holiday season. The girls had fun dressing up for Halloween!

Got some good laughs from our patients!



Also in October, Dr. Showalter and her family welcomed a new member to their family, a kitten named Yeti. He is cute and spunky and a perfect addition!



In the beginning of November we had our Halloween Candy Buy Back where we bought back 100 pounds of candy from area kids. This candy was sent to our troops overseas via Operation Gratitude to help brighten their day and give them a little bit of the comforts of home. Thank you to everyone who brought in their candy!


Also in November, in celebration of Veteran’s Day, we held a Facebook contest for military veterans where we provided 100% of dental care to one Grand Prize Winner and $500 to three second place winners.  Well the contest was such a huge success, and our two lead entrants were only 11 votes apart, so we decided to award them BOTH with the Grand Prize. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you for your service to our country!

Grand Prize Winners:

-Dan Bethards

-Finn Bomgaars

Second Place Winners:

-Dan Nieuwenhuis

-Steve Leikness

This past November, the team attended another continuing education seminar in Stevens Point hosted by the Wisconsin Dental Association with a guru in dentistry, Dr. Gordon Christensen.  We learned about the new aspects of dentistry to help keep us up-to-date with the ever changing technology in the dental world and new techniques to help serve our patients better. After the day of education, we were treated to a New Orleans themed dinner and music before we headed back home. :)


Also in November, we collected coats for our annual coat drive to be donated to members of the community in need through St Vincent De Paul. 30 coats, and 5 pairs of snow pants were donated and given to members of our community to help them keep warm this winter. Thank you for your participation!


Dr. Showalter celebrated her birthday in Detroit attending a 2 day seminar in continuing education for Invisalign (And a nice birthday night out with her husband :). She is excited to be bringing the new techniques learned for faster and better results for our patients. So if you’re thinking about improving the alignment and function of your teeth...this is the place to be!  Most cases can now be treated in less than a year!  


Anniversaries & Birthdays

August 21st was Maritza's birthday!

On September 10th, we celebrated Natalie's birthday, and on October 15th we celebrated her 7th year with us. Congrats!

November 7th was Katie’s birthday!

November 22nd was Lu's birthday!

December 1st was Dr. Showalter’s birthday.

December 16th was Courtney’s birthday.

Happy Birthday to all!


Section 3

Featured Review

“I am not a big fan of going to the dentist. This dental office has changed all that. They are so kind, so gentle, and very welcoming. From the moment I walked in to the door, from the receptionist's desk, to the dental hygienist, to Doc Showalter herself, they really put me at ease. They made me feel important, and truly cared for. It was an awesome experience!”


-Dan Bethards 11/29/2017



Section 4


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 Faith, our Marketing Director.


Protein Energy Bites



-1 C. Old-Fashioned Oats

-⅓ C. Ground Flaxseed Meal

-1 C. Nut Butter (Almond, Peanut, Hazelnut, etc.)(I like to use crunchy peanut butter)

-¼ C. Honey (Agave Syrup)

-1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

-Pinch of Salt

    Add-Ins (Optional): Chocolate Chips, dried Fruit, Nuts, Chia, etc.



Mix all ingredients together very thoroughly.  Roll the mixture into two-bite balls. Refrigerate for 1 hour.


*Will keep for one week, in refrigerator.

*Can freeze to be eaten later


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!


We hope you enjoy our newsletter! Please let us know if there is anything additional you would like to hear about from us in our next edition! Email suggestions to rrdwimarketing@gmail.com


From our family to yours, Happy Holidays

and a Blessed New Year!!


Edition 1

August 16th, 2017

Section 1

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)



Section 2 


Continuing Education:


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!



Section 3

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!