Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Dangers of Abscessed Teeth - Don't Take a Chance

Of all of the dental problems one can have, abscesses are among the most dangerous and unpredictable. Often times, people will let tooth pain go for a lengthy period of time and will not see a dentist until their pain is severe and an abscess has developed. Other times, an abscess can develop seemingly overnight. In rarer instances, an abscess can be growing under a tooth without the patient suffering severe pain and the only symptoms may be too subtle to notice by the untrained eye.... The danger in letting an abscess go untreated is that serious complications can arise. The following list should make someone sit up and pay attention!

If left untreated, abscesses can cause:

1. Loss of the tooth
2. Fever, chills
3. Spread of infection to jawbone (serious infection can cause disfigurement)
4. Spread of infection to brain, heart or lungs (extremely dangerous, can cause death!)
5. Excessive swelling leading to blockage of airway or inability to eat or drink

You cannot be too careful with a toothache, or even a can lead to an abscess.
If you or anyone you know has a toothache, don't let it progress to an abscess! If dental care is not immediately available, go to an urgent care center or the ER for treatment! Abscesses can become life threatening!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dental Emergency

Don't let panic take over your dental emergency. 

Here is your guide to coping with tooth troubles:

  • Toothache -
    • First Aid: 
      • Rinse with salt water.
      • Apply a cold compress.
    • Follow up care: See your dentist if you experience persistent pain.
  • Lost filling - 
    •  First Aid: Patch the gap with sugarless gum or OTC dental cement.
    • Follow up care: See dentist right way for filling replacement.
  • Fully dislodged tooth - 
    • First aid:
      •  Rinse the tooth and try to place it back in the socket.
      •  Alternatively store the tooth in a glass of milk.
      • See Dentist immediately.
    • Follow up care: 
      • After the tooth is reattached follow your dentists after care instructions. 
      • Explore replacement options, if needed.
      • Always were a mouth guard while playing sports. 
  • Partially dislodged tooth -  
    • First aid:
      • Apply a cold compress for pain relief.
      • See dentist immediately.
    • Follow up care: 
      • Follow dentist after care instructions.
      • Use OTC pain medication if needed.
  •  Abscess - 
    • First aid: Rinse with warm salt water multiple times a day.
    • Follow up care: Take prescribed antibiotics.

The above health material is provided as an information service.  It should not be used for diagnostic purposes nor is it intended to take the place of the important relationship between you and your dentist.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Coconut Oil As Toothpaste For Dogs?

Yes, Coconut oil is effective and safe your your dog. Although brushing your dogs teeth with the coconut oil  would be the best method, but your dog will still get some oral health benefits just from licking a small amount of the oil.

Below are some reasons to use coconut oil as a toothpaste for your pet and yourself:

  • No harmful chemicals -  Conventional toothpastes have an antibacterial chemical called Triclosan, which has been linked to endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruption can cause major health issues such as cancers, preterm/low birth weight in babies.
  • Effective against cavity causing bacteria - Massaging coconut oil into the gums daily significantly helps reduce decay causing bacteria as well as plaque.
  • Inexpensive - Unlike conventional toothpaste that can be expensive, one jar of coconut oil will last months because you only use a small amount.
Other health benefits your dog receives from coconut oil:
  • Improves skin and coat - When you are brushing your dogs teeth or letting them lick the coconut oil you are improving the look and feel of your dogs coat.
  • Provides energy and helps dogs lose weight - Coconut oil promotes a healthy metabolism, while increasing a dog's energy and promoting healthy joints.
  • Aids in digestion - Coconut oil may help with soothing your dogs digestive system while increasing nutrient absorption.
Many vets are starting to recommend using coconut oil on a regular bases since its an excellent source of nutrients, which keeps your dog in good health!

The recommended dose of coconut oil is 1 teaspoon per 10 - 30 pounds. When starting use 1/4 the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over 3-4 weeks. If hurried right away you may notice flu-like symptoms.

Monday, August 10, 2015

2 Dentists - 2 Different Treatment Plans. Which one is right?

This is a question that is fielded a lot here at the Savon headquarters. A member will call in after going to dentist, getting a treatment plan of what that dentist would like to do, then going to to another dentist for a second opinion and getting another treatment plan of what that dentist would like to do. The 2 dentist's treatment plan do not match, so they ask us "Which one is right"?

Here is my answer: BOTH OF THEM! Before you start hyperventilating, hear me out.

First and foremost, at Savon Dental Plan, we are not dentists and we do not have access to your dental charts, x-rays, records and or treatment plans. (unless you provide them to us). So therefore we are in no position at all to tell you if a dentist is right or wrong and we are not in any position to be able to tell the dentist what to do or not to do as it pertains to your treatment.

What I can tell you is this. When a dentist, (DMD or DDS) issues a diagnosis and prepares a treatment plan, they are doing so based on what they saw during your examination and from reviewing your x-rays. This diagnosis is based on their professional opinion and the treatment plan is laid out based on how they feel is the best way to handle your dental issue. It is also partially based on their level of comfortability in performing such procedures and the long term durability of the treatment. Believe it or not, the last thing any dentist wants is to have to work on the same tooth for the same issue over and over again.

The key word here is "professional opinion". Which is why when you go for a "second opinion" it is, in most cases, different from the one that you had before. Every dentist sees things differently. Every dentist has a different treatment preference. Some dentists are more aggressive in their diagnosis others are more conservative in their diagnosis. This in no way makes either dentist right or wrong. This in no way makes one dentist a "rip-off" and the other one a "cheap-skate". This in no way means that one dentist is "over-diagnosing" and the other is "under diagnosing". It simply means that both dentists made a diagnosis based on the professional dental opinion that is backed up by their years of schooling and experience.

So that leads us to a 2nd Question, "How do I know which one to go with"?.  

My answer: It is up to you!  If you have obtained a treatment plan from more than one dentist, then you should sit down with them side by side and compare them. Try to refrain from looking just solely at the cost, (although I fully understand that cost is big factor). However, more importantly, look at what each dentist would like to do, talk to the dental center if you have any questions, and them make the decision that you feel is best for you. The more educated you are about what each dentist wants to do, the better prepared you are to make a comfortable decision. Ultimately it is your mouth, your teeth, your smile and you are the one that is effected by the outcome of the treatment. So take the time to compare and make good educated decision.

Remember: "Be True To Your Teeth, Or They Will Be False To You" -Soupy Sales (Comedian)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mastic Gum - A Natural Remedy For Oral Health

Mastic has been used in Greek medicine going as far back as 2500 years ago! This very versatile plant has an abundance of uses in medicine, but for the purpose of this article we'll focus on its benefits in oral health.

Mastic is a chewy, gum resin that comes from the bark of the Mastic Tree. It is evergreen in nature.  It has a somewhat bitter (at first) taste with a hint of Cedar or Pine, and when chewed, it has a wealth of antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can benefit the gums and teeth.

We all know of the benefits of chewing plain (sugar free) helps to remove food particles between teeth, increases salivation and freshens breath, but chewing Mastic Gum, specifically, has been said to reduce the formation of plaque, relieves inflammation (gingivitis) around the gums, kills bad bacteria, freshens the breath, whitens teeth and as an added benefit, it's firm, chewy consistency actually exercises the jaw muscles!  It has even been known to be effective against the Herpes Simplex virus that causes cold sores and mouth sores.

You can buy Mastic Gum in Health Food Stores.  It is marketed online as well, and comes in supplement (capsule) form as well as the chewing gum.  It is a bit pricey, but by the reviews I've read, it may be well worth the price!

The qualities of Mastic Gum go so much further than just for use in oral hygiene.  For more information on its amazing qualities, just search for "Mastic Gum" on the web.  It's an interesting topic!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Apple A Day Won't Keep The Dentist Away

We all know the saying "An apple a day will keep the doctor away".

But your dentist might disagree - its been reveled that apples are bad for your teeth just like sweets and sugary drinks.

Truth, apples are a healthy choice when it comes to nutrients for your body. However, when it comes to your teeth, the amount of acid in an apple can give carbonated beverages a run for its money.

So why are apples becoming unhealthy for your teeth? According to a study, cross-breeding apples to come up with newer, more delicious apples has lead to a raised sugar content of 50%. The average apple contains roughly 4 teaspoons of sugar. So between the high sugar content and the natural acid in apples your teeth are getting a double dose of enamel erosion which can lead to tooth decay.

Maintaining a healthy mouth is very important, see your dentist every 6 mouths for regular check ups and cleanings.

Information found here.