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2 Common Questions for a Periodontist

September 19th 2019

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth and the underlying jawbone which supports the teeth. A dentist must first graduate from an accredited dental school before undertaking an additional three years of study within periodontology residency training program, in order to qualify as a periodontist.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults age 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease. Gum disease comes with silent symptoms that often are easy to overlook.

Here are 2 common questions you may have for a Periodontist.

My gums bleed when I brush, what should I do?

The first stage of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue caused by bacteria wherein the gingival tissue becomes red, swollen and forms blood blisters inside the pockets of gum tissue surrounding your teeth (periodontal pockets). When these blood blisters are disturbed by either brushing or flossing they break open and blood rises to the top of the gingiva where you can see it.

There are many reasons gums bleed. However, almost all these problems involve plaque or bacteria that mixes with food and settles around the gum line. In most cases, bleeding gums (whether because of poor oral hygiene or tooth positioning) are exacerbated by plaque.

If your gums are bleeding when you brush, you need to see a dentist. If you're cleaning your teeth thoroughly, brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using a mouth rinse, then your cleaning technique might be causing the bleeding, or you could have hardened plaque (calculus) on your teeth that should be cleaned out. Dr. Wentz will advise you about regular cleaning appointments and even special root-planing appointments that might be necessary to eliminate your bleeding gums.

How often should I brush and floss?

You should floss everyday and brush your teeth at least twice a day, every morning and before you go to bed. Brushing and flossing help control plaque and bacteria that causes dental disease. Establishing a healthy oral hygiene routine will help ensure your smile is always healthy and looking great.

Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

 If you have any questions, or would like to set up a consultation, request an appointment here.

Take a Smile Analysis

August 21st 2019

A smile says a lot about you and hiding your smile is not a way to go through life. Your smile affects your self-image, and can greatly influence the quality of your interactions with your friends, neighbors and any other individual. Many people hold back from laughing or smiling because they are uncomfortable about their appearance when they do.

We have designed a “Smile Analysis,” that will help you appraise your smile. Take the full analysis here:

The Correct Way to Floss

July 17th 2019

We all have gone to the dentist fearing a particular question, deciding whether to be honest or fib. “Have you been flossing?” We all know the importance of flossing and the health benefits flossing has on our gums, teeth and overall health.

Flossing is one of the best defenders against gum disease. Gum disease comes with various symptoms that are silent and difficult to notice at first. Our personal oral hygiene routine plays an important role in achieving a healthy smile, starting with out gums.

By flossing daily, we ensure that our teeth are as clean as possible (between teeth and under our gumline). Flossing disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

1. Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.

2. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.

3. Curve the floss into a "C" shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss. Learn more on how to take your personal home care to the next level.

3 Questions You may Have for Periodontist

June 12th 2019

At Lubbock Periodontics, we want to ensure you have plenty of healthy reasons to smile. We believe a smile is a universal language and that your smile affects your self-image, and can greatly influence the quality of your interactions with others. Many people hold back from laughing or smiling because they are uncomfortable about their appearance when they do.

If you’re wondering about your smile, gum disease or even have a question for a periodontist, here are a few answers to our most common questions.

Can children be at risk for developing periodontal disease?

Chronic gingivitis is common in children. This can cause gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Aggressive periodontitis can affect older children such as teenagers, even young adults. Localized aggressive periodontitis can mainly affects the first molars. Children should still learn the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy to prevent periodontal disease in the future. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and learn how to floss properly- if children learn how to floss at an early age, they will be more likely to make it a lifetime habit. These two simple acts will help protect their teeth and gums from periodontal disease.

What are common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?

Because gum disease symptoms are silent and go unnoticed until an advanced stage, it can be difficult for people to notice. However, you should still be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms, which include:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or when eating certain foods
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
Learn about more other symptoms in our previous blog post above.

What can I do at home to prevent periodontal disease?

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to take good care of your teeth and gums at home. This includes brushing your teeth after every meal and before bedtime, flossing at least once each day, and seeing your dentist or periodontist for regular exams twice a year. Spending a few minutes a day on preventative measures may save you time and money of treating periodontal disease!

When Should I see a Periodontist?

May 15th 2019

You may have heard of gum disease, the importance of flossing and keeping your teeth healthy.
Gum disease (or periodontal disease) affects millions of people every year, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Seeing a periodontist and recognizing the symptoms of gum disease can help your smile healthy.

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the soft tissues of the mouth and the underlying jawbone which supports the teeth. A dentist must first graduate from an accredited dental school before undertaking an additional three years of study within periodontology residency training program, in order to qualify as a periodontist.

So if your wondering, when you see a periodontist and how a periodontist can help your smile, consider if you have or are experiencing one of the following symptoms.

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Because gum disease symptoms are silent and go unnoticed until an advanced stage, it can be difficult for people to notice. Millions of people don't know they have this serious infection that can lead to tooth loss if not treated. If you have any questions, or would like to set up a consultation, request an appointment here.

National Oral Cancer Month

April 17th 2019

April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month! This month, the goal is to raise awareness on the importance of performing monthly self-exams and recognizing the signs of oral cancer. “According to, the ADA’s consumer website, over 51,500 people are diagnosed with cancers of the mouth, throat, tonsils and tongue each year.”

Be sure you are checking for anything that looks and feels abnormal:

  • Any sore or ulceration that does not heal within 14 days.
  • Any abnormality that bleeds easily when touched.
  • A lump or hard spot in the tissue, usually border of the tongue.
  • A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, that does not heal.
  • A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth.

“Historically, those at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer have been heavy drinkers and smokers older than age 50.”  If you notice any unusual changes to your gums or mouth, contact us. 

Gum Disease and Kids

March 25th 2019

Did you know periodontal disease can also affect children? According to AAP, aggressive periodontitis and generalized aggressive periodontitis are types of gum disease in children.

Types of Periodontal Disease in Children: 

Chronic gingivitis is common in children. This can cause gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Aggressive periodontitis can affect older children such as teenagers, even young adults. Localized aggressive periodontitis can mainly affects the first molars.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. Symptoms include the  inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Overall puffiness in gums, bleeding and recession are all noticeable symptoms of gum disease. Some simple ways to avoid gum disease in children is to establish a oral hygiene routine that involves brushing and flossing every night. Schedule dental visits for periodontal check-ups, and regular cleanings. Checking your child's mouth, especially when they are young, can also help identify symptoms, before they get worse.

3 Things to Do if Your Gums are Bleeding

February 13th 2019

As your brushing your teeth you notice a bit of pink when you spit out toothpaste or while flossing. It may not seem like a big deal, however if your gums are bleeding constantly, do not ignore it. This can be a sign of periodontal disease.

Switching up your oral health routine can also contribute to slight bleeding. Here are three things you can do if your gums are bleeding.

  • Tools: You have begun flossing and brushing regularly, congratulations! However, if you are experiencing bleeding, take a second look at your tools such as your toothbrush. “Although it might seem that a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles cleans your teeth and gums more deeply or thoroughly, harder bristles usually just cause irritation – which can be why your gums are bleeding.”
  • Diet: “What you eat and when you eat it also plays a part in keeping your gums from bleeding. Foods that contain lots of sugar or simple carbohydrates increase your risk for tooth and gum problems, as sugar creates an ideal environment for plaque to form. Commit to a diet that is low in sugar and high in the necessary nutrients found in foods like vegetables.”
  • Mouthwash: Utilize mouthwash to wash away bacteria and plaque. There are various types of mouthwash, so be sure to use the appropriate one for your oral health needs. 

Healthy Tips for a New Year

January 4th 2019

It’s time for a new year, new habits and new resolutions. January is the perfect time to create new habits that are healthy and that your teeth will thank you for in the future.

1. Brush Enough: How long are we supposed to brush our teeth? The ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily. Need help discovering how long is 2 minutes? Try listening to short song, cue up a two-minute timer on your phone to give yourself the time you need to thoroughly clean your teeth.

2. Change Your Toothbrush: An easily avoidable habit we can change is to switch out our toothbrush every 3-4 months.

3. Floss! Floss! Floss! Flossing is obviously a huge health benefit most people overlook. Like brushing, flossing must be done properly so that, when you reach between teeth, you actually get to the germs that are stuck there. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward 'C' shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.

4. Stop Snacking: Ideally, you want to avoid snacking. If snacking is a big issue, be sure to brush your teeth after  because it can allow food particles and sugar to remain on your teeth for too long, providing fuel for bacteria that feeds on it.

    Smile Bright in 2019

    December 19th 2018

    At Lubbock Periodontics, we want to ensure you have plenty of healthy reasons to smile. We believe a smile is a universal language and that your smile affects your self-image, and can greatly influence the quality of your interactions with others. Many people hold back from laughing or smiling because they are uncomfortable about their appearance when they do.

    Take a Smile Analysis and determine how you want to smile in the new year. The Smile Analysis will ask you to answer questions such as:

    • Do any of your teeth appear too small, short, large or long?
    • Do you have any gaps or spaces between your teeth?
    • Do you have any crowns or bridges that appear dark at edge of gums?
    • Are the edges of any teeth worn down, chipped or uneven?

    2 Types of Mouthwash for Healthier Gums

    November 27th 2018

    Bad breath can result from the foods we eat, forgetting to brush our teeth or more often, a sign of periodontal disease. If bad breath persist, you may definitely want to set up an appointment to check on your gums and oral health. Seeing a periodontist is the best way for your smile to remain healthy and/or prevent any diseases.

    There are different types of mouthwash that one can buy, each with a different function that can help keep your smile healthy. Here are 2 types of mouthwash for healthier gums.

    1. Fluoride Mouthwash:
    You’ve heard how fluoride helps your teeth. Well fluoride in mouthwashes, does just that and helps protect your teeth from cavities and tooth decay. Healthy teeth affects your gums and roots, which help prevent periodontal disease.

    2. Antiseptic Mouthwash:
    The most common type of mouthwash is antiseptic mouthwash, found in most households. You may probably have some in your bathroom cabinet. This type of mouthwash contains alcohol and used to eliminate bad breath and fight infections in your mouth. Along with brushing your teeth and flossing, all three work together to fight bad breath and bacteria, keeping your smile healthy.

    Halloween Reminders

    October 24th 2018

    Halloween means fun times for every one at any age, dressing up and an endless amount of free candy. With all the free sugary treats at work or at home, your taste buds will surely love the sugar, your teeth and gums – not so much.

    Halloween can be a fantastic opportunity to remind your kids or grandkids of essential oral health routines. Be sure not to skip out on these essential routines:

    • Brush Your Teeth Together: Make brushing your teeth a routine every morning and every night. Stick to the routine and ensure that you and your family keep a specific time for brushing your teeth; this will build a great daily habit. 
    • Flossing is Key: Flossing every day is even more important when you have braces. If you’re having trouble flossing, just use a floss threader with regular floss, or buy special stiff-tipped floss made for braces wearers. 
    • Use Mouthwash: Using mouthwash is so important to fight bacteria in the mouth. Mouthwash can easily remove food debris from areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or floss. After brushing and flossing, you can swish it around your mouth for a minimum of 30 seconds. This will remove any lingering bacteria and will even help with inflammation of the gums.

    Cleanings and Prevention

    September 26th 2018

    At Wentz Periodontics, our goal is that you smile with confidence! We want to ensure you are living your best life, and showcasing the world your beautiful smile.

    We believe that the best way to continue to have a healthy beautiful smile before and after your visit with us is preventative care. Having a preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.

    Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.

    A good oral hygiene routine is simple to follow if you already know how to properly clean your teeth. A good effective oral hygiene routine involves, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash and flossing correctly. This also includes knowing when you should come into a dentist or periodontist office. Knowing when to aski questions regarding your health and scheduling a cleaning.

    Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.

    Oral Cancer Exam: Wentz Periodontics

    August 16th 2018

    According to research conducted by the American Cancer society, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year. More than 7,000 of these cases result in the death of the patient. The good news is that oral cancer can easily be diagnosed with an annual oral cancer exam, and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages.

    Oral cancer is a pathologic process which begins with an asymptomatic stage during which the usual cancer signs may not be readily noticeable. This makes the oral cancer examinations performed by the dentist critically important.

    This oral cancer type usually originates in lip and mouth tissues.

    There are many different places in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region in which oral cancers commonly occur, including:

    • Lips
    • Mouth
    • Tongue
    • Salivary Glands
    • Oropharyngeal Region (throat)
    • Gums
    • Face

    It is important to note that around 75 percent of oral cancers are linked with modifiable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. 

    When oral cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, treatment is generally very effective. Any noticeable abnormalities in the tongue, gums, mouth or surrounding area should be evaluated by a health professional as quickly as possible.

    The following signs will be investigated during a routine oral cancer exam: 

    Red patches and sores – Red patches on the floor of the mouth, the front and sides of the tongue, white or pink patches which fail to heal and slow healing sores that bleed easily can be indicative of pathologic (cancerous) changes. 

    Leukoplakia – This is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear anywhere inside the mouth. Leukoplakia can be cancerous, or may become cancerous if treatment is not sought. 

    Lumps – Soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathological problems.

    Learn more about Oral Cancer and its treatments. 

    Gum Recession: Wentz Periodontics

    July 30th 2018

    Gingival recession (receding gums) refers to the progressive loss of gum tissue, which can eventually result in tooth root exposure if left untreated. Gum recession is most common in adults over the age of 40, but the process can begin in the teenage years.

    Gum recession can be difficult to self-diagnose in its earlier stages because the changes often occur asymptomatically and gradually. Regular dental check-ups will help to prevent gum recession and assess risk factors.

    The following symptoms may be indicative of gum recession:

    Every case of gum recession is slightly different, and therefore many treatments are available. The nature of the problem which caused the recession to begin with needs to be addressed first.

    If you have any questions or concerns about periodontal disease, periodontal treatments, or gum recession, please ask your dentist or contact us for a scheduled appointment. 

    When to see a Periodontist

    June 29th 2018

    Gum disease (or periodontal disease) affects millions of people every year, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Seeing a periodontist and recognizing the symptoms of gum disease can help your smile healthy.

    Gum disease begins when bacteria gather along the gum line and between teeth, where it’s easy for them to hide. As these bacteria multiply, they emit toxins that cause the gums to pull away, or recede, from teeth, leaving more of the tooth exposed to plaque and tartar. Once the bacteria move below the gum line to the tooth root area, they can’t be removed with brushing and flossing alone. This is the advanced stage of gum disease when tooth loss can occur.

    Seeing a periodontist is the best way for your smile to remain healthy and/or prevent any diseases. As a practice, we are true believers that preventive care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. That's why we focus on thorough exams – checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams, and taking x-rays when necessary.

    Signs of Gum Disease

    May 10th 2018

    People always tend to focus more on tooth health, overlooking gum health. Gum disease is often painless and goes unnoticed until one discovers they have gum disease. Gum diseases lead to serious consequences, including a common consequence, tooth loss in adults. Fortunately, there are several signs you can be on the lookout for prevention and early detection.

    “The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that you may still have gum disease even if you don't display any of these symptoms. To give yourself the best chance at fighting the disease, be aware of these common signs and keep up with your regular dental checkups, which are essential for prevention and early detection”

    Preventing advanced stages of gum disease, is simple by regularly brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting a periodontist.

    Check our website for a list of services we offer, to ensure you smile with confidence.

    Can I Prevent Enamel Damage?

    April 24th 2018

    "I'm scared! Can I prevent enamel damage?"

    Are you concerned about damage to your tooth enamel? 

    Well put your worries aside because there are several things you can do to prevent enamel damage such as decaying or discoloring. Avoiding enamel decay can be as easy as cutting out or limiting high-acidic foods from your regular diet. High-acidic foods include items such as blueberries, sugar, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, cranberries, and more.  Another thing you can do is remove high sugar drinks from your diet in addition to acidic foods is also a good idea.

    Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent your enamel from discoloring or decaying. The easiest way to avoid decay is to steer clear of high-acidity foods. This may not always be possible, but eliminating sugary fruit juices and soda from your diet is a good start.

    Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing frequently also preserves your enamel. Another good idea is to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating to wash away high-acidity particles. Although enamel damage is common, it does not have to be an inevitable occurrence. 

    Knowing the foods that harm your teeth gives you the tools to prevent discoloration and decay. With some easy preventive measures, your teeth will stay strong and white for years to come! Give us a call at (806) 794-8365 to learn more!

    Which Type of Floss is Best?

    March 24th 2018

    If you’ve visited the dental care aisle recently, the sheer number of options available can be overwhelming. We often have patients ask us which floss is the “best” type of floss. In essence, all of the options on the market today do the same thing, and at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. We’ve listed a few of the options below.  

    Flossers: Flossers are small plastic instruments with a single floss strip and a pick on the opposite end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas in between your teeth and scraping off plaque. These flossers come in flavored varieties as well. They are a great “on the go” option.

    Gentle Dental Floss:
    Some people will find that regular dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason, several options are available that have soft coatings that are less abrasive on the gums. Typically, gentle floss is just as effective as regular floss and an ideal match for anyone looking for a more sensitive approach to flossing.

    Flavored Dental Floss: Flavored dental floss will freshen your breath while you floss! We suggest flavored dental floss if it prompts you to floss your teeth regularly.

    Of all of the options, it is difficult to choose the absolute best type of floss.  However, Dr. Wentz and our team feel that the type of floss that works best for you, giving you the greatest chance of succeeding at regular flossing, is the ultimately best choice. For more information on floss, or best practices when flossing, ask us at your next appointment. There are many ways to make it both easy AND effective.

    Delicious Big Game Snacks

    February 1st 2018

    If you're still searching for a few more snacks to add to your Super Bowl menu, we've got two that will be sure to score with your friends & family.

    Hot Ham & Cheese Party Rolls

    1 can refrigerated pizza crust
    1 lb. deli ham (thinly sliced, but not shaved)
    12 slices Swiss cheese

    1/2 cup butter
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon poppy seeds

    1.         Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
    2.         Unroll the pizza dough onto a cutting board. Press into an approximately 13x18-inch rectangle. Top with ham and cheese slices. Starting on the longer side of the rectangle, roll up the edge tightly. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face side down. Cut into 12 slices. Arrange in the prepared baking dish.
    3.         Next combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and glaze is smooth. Pour evenly over the top of the rolls.
    4.         Bake uncovered for 25 minutes until golden brown.
    Tip: Make these rolls a day ahead! Refrigerate rolls up to 24 hours before baking. Just make sure to warm up the glaze so you're able to pour it on top of the rolls!

    Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs

    1 bag frozen meatballs (any brand)

    1 jar chili sauce
    1 can jellied cranberry sauce

    1.         Add chili sauce and cranberry sauce to a medium mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix ingredients until semi-smooth.
    2.         Add half the bag of meatballs to your crockpot. Top with half of the sauce mixture. Repeat with remaining meatballs and sauce.
    3.         Cook on low until heated through, typically 3-4 hours.

    This crowd-pleasing favorite can easily be adapted for a larger group! Just double the recipe and increase your heating time to 5-6 hours. In a time crunch? Heat meatballs and sauce on your stovetop until warm. Transfer to your crockpot for a quick, delicious addition to your game day party!

    Regenerative Procedures - How Do They Work?

    January 29th 2018

    Procedures that regenerate lost bone and tissue supporting your teeth can actually aid in reversing some of the damage caused by periodontal disease.
    Dr. Wentz may recommend a regenerative procedure when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed due to periodontal disease. These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. 
    During this procedure, the doctor typically folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria. Then membranes, bone grafts, or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body's natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue. Our bodies are amazing in their ability to heal themselves!
    Eliminating any existing bacteria and beginning the process of regenerating bone and tissue helps to reduce pocket depth and repair damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease. With a combination of daily oral hygiene and guidance from our wonderful staff, you'll increase the chances of keeping your natural teeth – and decrease the chances of other health problems associated with periodontal disease.
    If you'd like to learn more about how we can help you restore your smile confidence, call us at (806) 794-8365 or click here to head to our website. 

    Simple & Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes

    November 16th 2017

    It seems like the month of November has really flown by! Thanksgiving is just a week away and we’re all looking forward to time with family and friends – not to mention all of the delicious food! 

    If you’re looking to add a new side dish or two to your Thanksgiving table this year, we’ve found two contenders that will not only look spectacular but might also become a new favorite for your family. Both of these would be perfect to bring to a potluck meal since they can both be assembled in advance and each takes less than 30 minutes to heat.  

    Maple Cranberry Sweet Potatoes
    • 4 lbs. sweet potatoes
    • 1 cup maple syrup
    • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
    • 3 tbsp. butter
    • 1 ½ tsp. salt

    Place whole sweet potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover and one teaspoon of salt. Heat to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 30 minutes or just until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
    Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat maple syrup to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in cranberries, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook just until cranberries pop, typically about 5 minutes.
    When ready to bake:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cooled sweet potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in shallow 3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish, overlapping slices if necessary. Spoon maple-cranberry syrup evenly over potatoes and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until hot.
    Green Bean Cheddar Casserole
    • 3 lbs. green beans
    • 2 cups stale bread
    • 3 tbsp. olive oil
    • 3 green onions, sliced
    • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
    • 2 ½ cups milk
    • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 cup cheddar cheese
    • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
    • Salt & Pepper to taste

    Bring a large saucepot of salted water to boil. Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
    In a food processor, pulse bread into coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil and sliced green onions. Toss to combine and set aside.
    In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk until all cornstarch is dissolved. Add nutmeg and a little salt and pepper. Heat slowly over medium heat, and slowly whisk in remaining 2 cups of milk. Allow sauce to boil for 2 minutes, keep whisking! Reduce heat to low, and add in cheeses one handful at a time, waiting until cheese melts before adding the next handful. Once all cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, remove from heat. Toss with green beans until well coated with sauce. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish until ready to bake.
    When ready to bake:
    Sprinkle reserved breadcrumb mixture over green beans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
    Recipe Swaps:
    ·         To save time, purchase fresh green beans in a microwaveable bag and skip the boiling all together!
    ·         Use your favorite store-bought breadcrumbs to save additional time in lieu of making them yourself. Panko breadcrumbs are also an excellent substitution, adding even more crunch to the topping of this dish.

    We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! All of us at Lubbock Periodontics are thankful for each and every patient we’ve had the pleasure of serving. Now, what are you going to make with all of the leftovers?

    Four Flavorful Fall Smoothies

    October 19th 2017
    With Fall in full swing and with it the hectic holidays just a step further down the road, we thought we’d put together a list of a few fall-themed smoothies that can serve as a great (and easy!) breakfast or snack.

    Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
    If you’re a pumpkin fan, this smoothie is for you! While pumpkin is a trendy item, especially this time of year, what you might not know is pumpkin has both fiber and protein which makes for a healthy and filling smoothie. Healthy indulgence!

    • 2 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin
    • 5 tablespoons milk
    • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 banana, frozen
    • ½ teaspoon honey
    • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
    • pinch of nutmeg
    • ¼ cup ice

    Helpful tip: If you’re finding that you have several over ripened bananas that you aren’t able to eat in time, toss them in a freezer bag! Frozen bananas are the perfect addition to smoothies and help make preparation even easier for those hectic weekday mornings. 

    Cranberry, Pear, & Orange Smoothie
    That’s quite a mouthful, and trust us, you’ll love this nutrient-packed smoothie!  It chocked full of filling fiber from the pear, Vitamin C from the orange, and antioxidants from the cranberries. If you’re using whole fresh cranberries for the first time, this smoothie might be a bit tart! Add a bit of extra honey to tone down the tart zing.

    • ¾ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 1 pear, core removed & chopped
    • 1 small orange
    • ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
    • 1 teaspoon honey

    Feeling adventurous? Add in any of the items below to give this smoothie even MORE flavor!

    • A handful of fresh spinach
    • A frozen or fresh banana
    • A few frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango, or pineapple
    • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (help keep yourself full until lunch!)

    Caramel Apple Smoothie
    This smoothie is a great alternative to the traditional sticky treat and delivers all of the delicious flavor! Smoothie staples Greek yogurt and almond milk add filling protein and frozen banana adds plenty of sweetness.

    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 1 frozen banana
    • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
    • ½ cup applesauce
    • ¼  tsp caramel extract
    • Caramel sauce & cinnamon for topping

    Recipe swap: This recipe is very adaptable - the trick is to use what you have! Experiment with different types of milk and yogurt. If you don’t have caramel extract on hand, add a bit of caramel sauce right to the blender! The options are endless, have some fun with it!

    Green Monster Smoothie
    When you are ready to move on from using spinach in your green smoothies, Swiss chard is a great next step. Swiss chard has a delicate flavor and softer leaves that blend well in most blenders. It is actually in the same family (amaranthaceae) as spinach and beets!

    • 2-3 cups Swiss chard, destemmed and roughly chopped 
    • 2-3 ripe bananas, fresh or frozen
    • 1 tart green apple, chopped
    • 1 medium whole grapefruit, peeled and chopped
    • 1 cup white cranberry juice or water
    • 2 cups ice

    This recipe makes plenty, so freeze individual portions for those extra hectic mornings!

    What does bone grafting treatment involve?

    August 23rd 2017

    Bone grafting is a fairly simple procedure which may be performed under local anesthetic; however if large amounts of bone area need to be grafted, general anesthetic may be required. 

    Initially, the grafting material needs to either be harvested or prepared for insertion. A small incision is made in the gum tissue and then gently separated from the bone. The bone grafting material is then placed at the affected site.

    The bone regeneration process may be aided by:

    Gum/bone tissue regeneration – A thin barrier (membrane) is placed below the gum line over the grafting material. This barrier creates enough space for healthy tissue to grow and separates the faster growing gum tissue from the slower growing fibers. This means that bone cells can migrate to the protected area and grow naturally.

    Tissue stimulating proteins – Enamel matrix proteins occur during natural tooth development. Emdogain is a matrix protein product which is usually placed on the affected site before the gum is sutured. It mediates the formation of accellular cementum on the tooth which provides a foundation to allow periodontal attachment to occur. Tissue stimulating proteins help to create lost support in areas affected by periodontal defects.

    Platelet-rich growth factors
    – A high platelet concentration liquid can be used to create a blood clot at the site of a wound. It has recently been discovered that PRGF also stimulates bone growth – meaning a denser graft in a shorter time period.

    The gum is sutured in place and a follow up appointment will need to be made within 10 days to assess progress. Bone grafting is a highly successful treatment and a good base for further periodontal restorations.

    Prevent Gum Recession

    July 13th 2017

    Your teeth may go through a lot throughout the years, but they are meant to last a lifetime and can look and function properly well into your senior years. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body making teeth resilient; along with the help of your gums. Your gums don't just provide an aesthetically pleasing smile, they protect the dentin and roots below the enamel covering too.

    With time, gums recede from their normal place due to a number of reasons. This does not only look unattractive, but it can expose your teeth to disease and cause sensitivity to biting pressure or temperature changes.

    Though there are causes for gum recession that are out of your control, there are also causes for this problem that you can control. Below are some things you can do to help prevent gum recession.
    • Avoid over-aggressive brushing
    • Daily brushing and flossing
    • Visit your dentist for cleanings and check-ups
    • Consider orthodontic treatment for malocclusion
    If you begin to see signs of gum problems such as swelling, bleeding or pain, schedule an appointment at Lubbock Periodontics for an examination and treatment. The first step to correcting gum issues is early detection of the problem and proper treatment. If you would like more information on the treatment and prevention of gum disease, please visit our website or give us a call at 806-794-8365.

    4013 84th Street, Lubbock, TX 79423
    (806) 794-7223
    (806) 794-8365

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    4013 84th Street
    Lubbock, TX 79423
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