My Blog

Posts for: November, 2019

By P Steven Wainess DDS
November 20, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: antibiotics  

If you’ve had a total joint replacement or similar procedure, you will want your surgeon to decide if you need to take an antibiotic before you undergo dental work. This is a precaution to prevent a serious infection known as bacteremia.

Bacteremia occurs when bacteria become too prevalent in the bloodstream and cause infection in other parts of the body, especially in joints and bone with prosthetic (replacement) substances. It’s believed that during invasive dental procedures bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream through incisions and other soft tissue disruptions.

Joint infections are a serious matter and can require extensive therapy to bring it under control. Out of this concern, the use of antibiotics as a prophylactic (preventive measure) against bacteremia once included a wide range of patients for a variety of conditions and procedures. But after an in-depth study in 2007, the American Dental Association concluded that the risks for many of these patient groups for infection triggered by a dental procedure was extremely low and didn’t warrant the use of antibiotic premedication therapy.

As a result, recommendations for antibiotic therapy changed in 2009, eliminating many groups previously recommended for premedication. But because of the seriousness of joint infection, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons still recommends the therapy for joint replacement patients about to undergo any invasive procedure, including dental work. It’s especially needed for patients who also have some form of inflammatory arthritis, a weakened immune system, insulin-dependent diabetes, hemophilia, malnourishment or a previous infection in an artificial joint.

The guidelines for antibiotic premedication can be complex. It’s best, then, to speak with both your orthopedic surgeon and us about whether you should undergo antibiotic therapy before you undergo a dental procedure. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risks of any disease and to keep both your mouth and your body safe from infection.

If you would like more information on the use of antibiotics in dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Premedication for Dental Treatment.”

By P Steven Wainess DDS
November 10, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

It's a “change” moment when your child leaves home to attend college for the first time. For many, it's the first time to truly be on their own. While that new autonomy can be exhilarating, it does require self-responsibility to avoid some nasty pitfalls that might snare them.

So, before you bid them adieu at the dorm, be sure to give them some good, old-fashioned parental advice. And that includes teeth and gum care: While it may not seem as urgent as other potential issues, failing to maintain oral health could eventually affect the rest of their health.

The most important thing they can do mouth-wise is to brush and floss every day—and see a dentist at least twice a year. Daily oral hygiene keeps plaque, a thin bacterial film on teeth most responsible for dental disease, from accumulating.

There are other habits that foster good oral health—like eating a well-balanced diet. Encourage them to eat “real” food: less on processed items and more on fresh fruits and vegetables. That includes keeping added sugar to a minimum—not only for good overall health, but to also deprive disease-causing oral bacteria of a favorite food source. And tell them to go easy on the sodas, sports and energy drinks loaded with acid that can damage enamel.

Don't forget to mention lifestyle practices that are best avoided. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption can make the mouth more susceptible to diseases like tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. And even if oral piercings are all the rage on campus, any hardware worn in the mouth could cause chipped teeth and contribute to gum recession.

And if you've already had the “talk” with them, you should still review the facts of life one more time. There just happens to be a connection with this particular subject and their mouth—unsafe sexual practices could leave them vulnerable to the human papilloma virus (HPV16) that could increase their oral cancer risk.

College is both an exciting and challenging time. If your new student follows these timely oral care tips, they can avoid teeth and gum problems that could linger for years to come.

If you would like more information helping your college-bound student maintain good oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Health Tips for College Students.”

By P Steven Wainess DDS
November 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: sleep apnea  

What disorder could you have in common with 18 million other Americans? The National Sleep Foundation says it's Obstructive Sleep sleep apneaApnea (OSA), a disorder characterized by loud snoring and several nightly episodes of interrupted breathing. Here at our office in St. Clair Shores, MI, Dr. P. Steven Wainess helps many sleep apnea patients treat their condition in a non-invasive manner. Learn what interventions could help you sleep better.


What is sleep apnea?

Characterized by loud snoring, breathing cessation, daytime fatigue, depression, and more, sleep apnea happens consistently night after night to those who suffer from it. Most sleep apnea patients are males 60 and older. However, women, and young people, especially those who are overweight or obese, may also experience it.

Most cases of sleep apnea occur when the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax and cover the back of the throat, blocking the free flow of air. Experts call this Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. Other patients may have Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), which originates in the nervous system. Mixed Sleep Apnea combines features of CSA and OSA.

Regrettably, symptoms of sleep apnea impact more than how soundly you sleep.  This sleep disorder contributes to heart disease, hypertension, stroke, driving-related accidents, and more.

Treating sleep apnea

Commonly, CPAP therapy helps relieve symptoms. This bedside machine delivers air through a nasal mask worn at night. However, many people don't need, or cannot tolerate, CPAP. In these cases, oral appliance therapy may be a better choice.

What is oral appliance therapy? At our St. Clair Shores office, Dr. Wainess offers customized sleep apnea solutions: acrylic appliances that fit comfortably inside the mouth. This small device opens the airway and keeps it open as a patient sleeps, thus ensuring a peaceful night of rest and dramatically improving your sleep patterns.


Find out more

Dr. Wainess and his team will work with you and your physician to discover the best sleep apnea treatment. Call our St. Clair Shores office today for a consultation: (586) 293-1515.