Monday, September 29, 2008

How often do you think about your taste buds?

When your taking a bite of a big, juicy burger or sipping on a milkshake, you know one thing... It tastes good, right? Ever think about why that is?

Your tongue and the roof of your mouth are covered in thousands of these tiny little buds. When you eat, your saliva helps break down food. Your taste buds send little messages to your brain which tell you all kinds of information like wheather or not the food tastes good, if it's hot, cold, sweet, sour, etc.

Taste buds are most important because they are play the biggest part in enjoying different foods and flavors. As a child, you would have been more sensitive to different foods because your taste buds were not only on your tongue, but on the roof and the sides of your mouth. As an adult, you may notice certain foods you were unable to eat as a child, taste better. This is because your taste buds are more centered to your tongue area and are now less sensitive.

Here are some facts about your taste buds:

-Buds that taste bitterness are located at the back of the tongue. Sour taste buds are located on either side of the tongue, with salty/sweet buds on the tip. The center of the tongue does not have many taste buds.

-Taste is the weakest of the 5 senses

- Girls have more tastebuds than boys

-We have nearly 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths

Friday, September 26, 2008

Is This Going to Hurt?

"Is this going to hurt?", is one of the most common questions presented to dental professionals today. Long gone are the days of "cowboy dentistry" where a good shot of whiskey and white knuckling the dental chair were your only means of coping with dental procedures. Long gone are the days of foot pedaled and belt driven "drills" assaulting your senses with the incessant whine, the astrid smell of barbecued tooth and the oh so popular repetitive expectorating into the cuspidor. Yes, dentistry has indeed come a long way.

Painless dentistry is the new wave of the future! Dental anesthetics are by far more effective now, then ever. Patients are presented with a plethora of options to suit their comfort needs. Local anesthetics ( previously known as "Novocaine") are offered and at most times highly suggested with almost all dental procedures. They work faster and last longer to insure the maximum level of comfort for both patient and the dentist. Now, some exceptions do apply. In fact, there are quite a few dental procedures that are regularly done with no anesthetic because there is rarely an opportunity or occurrence for discomfort. (IE., bleaching, sealants, routine name a few.)

General anesthesia is becoming another common practice among specialists and some general dentists when performing more difficult and invasive procedures such as extractions, periodontal (gum) surgeries and implant placements. This allows the patient to comfortably "fall asleep" prior to the dental procedure and awaken after with very little memory of the experience. This can be done intravenously and sometimes orally.

For those dental phobics out there that can't seem to bring themselves to face the dentist because of their "horrific childhood experience", "needle phobias" and "level of pain intolerance", many dentists now offer oral sedatives and nitrous oxide to help calm those dental jitters and make your dental experience a pleasant one.

"How bout after the work is done?"

Lets face it, you are more likely to experience some sort of sensation after dental treatments. The intensity of the sensations you may feel will depend on the level of invasiveness of the procedure you are having done. For example:

Fillings: In most cases patients may experience mild soreness in the injection site more so than in the tooth. It is common, however, to experience mild to moderate sensitivity to cold for a short period of time after a filling is placed. Again, this sensitivity will depend on the type of filling placed, the depth of the cavity and its proximity to the nerve of the tooth. (IE., teeth with large deep fillings may feel more intense cold sensitivity for a longer duration than a small shallow filling.) Fillings that may feel "high" can also make the tooth and surrounding bone feel bruised because of the constant heavy contact during eating. This causes the ligament surrounding the tooth to become sore. With a simple adjustment by the dentist, this problem is usually remedied in a few days.

Extractions: Patients often say that the extraction site is mildly sore after the tooth is removed. This being one of the most invasive and non-reversible dental procedures, that shouldn't come as a surprise. A lot of healing takes place after a tooth is extracted and if you follow the post operative procedures given to you by your dentist, this healing should go off without a hitch. On the rare side, dry sockets and bone chips can cause discomfort, however, these are also easily treated by your dentist to help speed the healing along.

Root Canals: Oh the horror stories we have all heard! The fact here is, once the nerve is removed from a tooth, the tooth itself has no feeling. Patients will still feel sensations from biting pressure, but that's because the bone and tissue around the tooth still have feeling. One of the most common things I've heard after patients have had a root canal is, "the tooth doesn't hurt, but my jaw is sore." Well, again this makes sense. The tooth has no feeling, therefore it shouldn't hurt, and you've been propped open for over an hour during the root canal so your jaw muscles are fatigued and they become sore. In most cases, some basic over-the-counter pain relievers keep this discomfort in check. Again, on the rare side, sometimes teeth have little side canals or extra canals that can't be seen visually or on a radiograph and they don't get cleaned out. When this happens, it is common for the tooth to begin to ache and a subsequent visit to the dentist is necessary to retreat the tooth. Most dentists do prescribe mild pain relievers in conjunction with procedures like that to help keep your discomfort at bay.

Now these are just a few example of common reactions to the dental procedures listed above. Every mouth is different and every person's pain tolerance is as well. Don't be hesitant about asking your dentist what type of anesthesia and pain management would work best for you. By discussing your options and your tolerances, both you and your dentist should have a pain free experience!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fun & easy crafts to do pertaining to dental stuff…

Do you like doing crafts with your children? Get tired of the same old stuff to make?
Check out this web-site that has fun & easy crafts to make that have to do with dental.
Have fun! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dental Sealants..

Dental sealants are a plastic resin that a dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping to prevent the formation of tooth decay.
Sealants are normally placed on children once they are at an age they can cooperate with the dentist. So it may vary from child to child on what age is best to get them.
They are normally placed on the back teeth as it is harder to clean them. A sealant however, can be put on any tooth with deep grooves to help prevent decay.
To read more on sealants you can view this article here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What is your toothache telling YOU??

Most people who get a toothache get just that... A toothache. All they know is that it hurts really bad and the dentist will fix it (when and IF they even get around to going). But did you know that your toothache just might be telling you what kind of problems you may be in for?

Here's how to tell:

Sharp pain and tooth sensitivity (intermittent): Cold sensitivity is a symptom of gum recession, loss of enamel from over-brushing, age, and wear and tear, or a small cavity. Heat sensitivity could also be a small cavity, but could also very well be an abscess, a crack, or a sign of severe decay.

Chronic toothache (more than one tooth): Could be nerve damage from grinding your teeth, severe decay, or dental trauma from an accident or injury.

Throbbing toothache: This is a sign of infection. Swelling of the face may also accompany this type of toothache and is also a sign of an abscess.

Pain while eating: This could indicate tooth decay or a slight crack in your tooth.

Pain in the jaw (back): This could be impacted wisdom teeth, but could also be related to teeth grinding or even possibly TMJ.

Many people wait until they are in RAGING pain to see a dentist. The thing is, if you go to the dentist at the FIRST SIGN of a problem, you'll save yourself a whole lot of pain as well as a whole lot of money. It could mean the difference between a small, inexpensive filling and a painstaking, costly root canal. The bottom line here is DON'T IGNORE THE PAIN!!! If you can feel it, it's time to go to the dentist!
This information was gathered from a great website for dental research. Check them out HERE.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Overcoming Dental Phobia

To begin, I think it's important to note that dental phobia is a very common affliction, with over 80% of the population having at least some level of anxiety and fear over dental procedures. So, to the dental phobics out there, please know that you are not alone!! Conversely, a higher percentage of women have reported having dental phobia than men. (Ok, I'll admit that this statistic surprised me. Just a little.) Having worked in this industry for the past 16 years, it occurred to me to write on this topic because I have witnessed so many people who have been diagnosed as needing major restorative work all because they were afraid to see a dentist for preventative care. Some have avoided the dentist for 15 to 20 years! Anyway, I did a little hunting on the web and found some interesting ideas for overcoming dental phobias. Hope this is helpful!
  • The first and, I think, most important thing is to find a dentist that you can trust. The best method for this is word of mouth. Talk to a trusted friend or co-worker, or ask family member for a referral. Chances are if they've had a good experience, you will too.
  • Proceed with treatment at your own speed. (Except in the case of an emergency, of course.) Do not allow yourself to be rushed into treatment before you are ready. Mental preparation is important to your dental experience. Discuss all options with your dentist prior to the treatment. Knowing what to expect goes a long way toward relaxation.
  • Try to bring a spouse or trusted friend with you for treatment. Sometimes just knowing someone is there (even if they stay in the waiting room) can help to relax you and put your mind at ease. Also, sometimes talking about your fears with that person can help to alleviate and irradicate the jitters. You might even be surprised to learn that they have similar fears!
  • Predetermine a "stop signal" with your dentist. Most people will just raise a hand....that seems to be the most common signal, but the important thing is that he (the dentist) needs to know if you are experiencing discomfort at any level. Sometimes all that is required is to stop for a moment and let the feeling pass, or if you are in pain, to administer more anesthetic.
  • Bring an MP3 player or CD player with headphones to distract you. Music calms the soul, and consequently the mind and body. If you are in to motivational CD's or inspirational types of listening material, that is helpful as well. Many of the new state of the art dental facilities already have these things available.

These are just a few of the ideas that are available on the internet to help overcome your fear of the dentist. Here is a link for some information on the newest dental techniques and tools coming out on the market. Many of these are designed to aid or eliminate pain and anxiety.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't forget the sports mouth guard!

Do you like to play sports or have children who play? Did you know that it is normally a tooth to tooth contact that causes the tooth injuries? It is important to wear a mouth guard on the upper or lower teeth to cushion the teeth if you should take a blow to your mouth. You can even get custom mouth guards made so it is easier to talk and more comfortable. Here is a site with a little more info on the importance of them and the benefits it can provide.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You've heard of Swimmers Ear, but what about Swimmers Teeth?

Yes, it's true. Swimmers teeth is an actual condition also known as "swimmers calculus."

Mostly common in competitive swimmers, "swimmers teeth" refers to a dark yellow/brown coloring mainly on the front teeth. This is actually made of deposits quite like the tartar or plaque everyone gets, but is darker and more difficult to remove.

Swimmers teeth is actually caused by the amount of time spent in the pool. Pool water contains chemical additives that make the water have a higher pH than saliva. This causes the proteins in saliva to break down causing dark stains on the teeth. It is said that this condition is most common in people who spend more than six hours a week in the pool.

The good news is that this is not permanent, just unattractive. Regular brushing won't help, but your dentist can completely remove it. Proper oral hygiene and regular preventative treatments will help keep the problem under control.

This information was taken from an article found on

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dental Jokes!

A woman phoned her dentist when she received a huge bill. "I'm shocked!" she complained. "This is three times what you normally charge." "Yes, I know," said the dentist. "But you yelled so loud, you scared away two other patients."

Toothaches always start on Friday night right before the weekend when the Dental Office will be closed.

An elderly patient went to have her teeth checked. "Mrs. Hopgood, your teeth are good for the next 50 years." the dentist beamed. To which she replied, "What will they do without me?"

Dentists can be frustrating. You wait a month-and-a-half for an appointment, and they say, "I wish you'd come to me sooner."

To view more jokes click here! Enjoy. (:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A little bit about Labor Day:

  • Labor Day is always the first Monday of September
  • Is a creation of the labor movement
  • Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American Workers and is a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country
  • It remains unknown whether Peter McGuire or Matthew McGuire was the actual founder of Labor Day
  • The very first Labor Day was on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 and was celebrated in New York City
  • It wasn’t until 1884 that they switched it to Mondays
  • Oregon was the first state to recognize Labor Day by legislative enactment in February of 1887