Sunday, August 20, 2017

DYI Dental Dog Treats

Dental health is not only important for humans, its also important for our fur babies!

Are you tired of paying for those expensive dental treats from the store? Why not make your own?

Dental Treats for Dogs:

  • 3/12 Cups Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 tbls Food grade activated charcoal
  • 1/2 Cup of packed chopped parsley (or 1/4 cup dried)
  • 1/2 Cup packed chopped mint leaves (or 1/4 cup dried)
  • 1 Cup of chicken broth or water
  • 4 tbls coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Liquid Chlorophyll
  • 1 Egg
If you cannot find activated charcoal and liquid chlorophyll, or if you do not feel comfortable feeding these to your dog, you can omit these from the recipe without any issue.
Directions:Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl mix together brown rice flour and activated charcoal and set aside.  Using a food processor, mix together the parsley, mint leaves, chicken broth, coconut oil and liquid chlorophyll.  This does not need to be super fine, so a few spins will do the trick.
Now, add the egg to the dry mixture, and then slowly add the wet ingredients to the mixture while stirring slowly.  Mix the dough until it starts to ball up.  Your dough should be fairly dry to the touch, and not sticky when it's done.
Flour your work surface and kneed the dough a bit.  Then roll it out into 3/8 inch thickness (you can go thinner if you like).  Cut out your shapes and place them onto your cookie sheet.
Bake these treats 30 minutes, then flip them and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  After that, turn you oven off and let the treats sit inside.  This will help completely dry them out and give them that extra crunch we are looking for.  Once your oven is cooled, you can pull out the treats!
*There are many different  recipes online, I just selected one!
Dental Treats for Cats:
Unfortunately I unable to find any homemade recipes for cat dental treats but according to Veterinary Oral Health Council the best cat treats for dental are: Feline Greenies - Feline Dental Treats and Purina Pro Plan Dental Crunch Cat Snacks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Is Your Dentist Prepared for a Chairside Emergency?

It isn't a common occurrence, necessarily.  But it does happen.  Medical emergencies in the dental chair can't always be prevented but the risks can be drastically reduced if the patient and the doctor are completely transparent and open with each other about illnesses, medication and health history. All dentists have at least some training for medical emergency treatment, however in addition he/she should have at least one staff member trained in CPR, and have an emergency plan in place which includes emergency phone numbers, a defibrillator, medications on hand and procedures to stop bleeding, etc. He should take your blood pressure reading and heart rate prior to treatment, and again after treatment. If administering general anesthesia, he should be anesthesia certified. Some states issue separate licenses for anesthesia. Always make sure he is certified, or that he has a certified anesthesiologist on staff!
That said, here are some helpful suggestions for the patient to remember when having a procedure done:

  • Disclose all medications that you take daily, even if it is just an aspirin or something over the counter. 
  • If you have ever had high blood pressure, let the dentist know!
  • If you suffer from acute anxiety, say so!  Many dentists cater to the anxious patient. Things can be done to help you with that. 
  • If you are pregnant, let him know!
  • If you have allergies to medications, let him know! 
  • If you have taken anything prior to your visit for relaxation....a sedative, an alcoholic beverage, marijuana....seriously, he needs this information. Many people will do this before a visit and not disclose it thinking it won't pose a problem. The dentist isn't going to judge you, but he is going to treat you and there is a serious liability factor involved, especially when it comes to anesthesia, so don't hold anything back!  

The medical history of the patient is the single most helpful thing for a dentist to have before treatment begins.  Your honesty is imperative.  He cannot effectively manage your treatment plan without this knowledge!

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dental Life Hacks!

  • Use inexpensive foam hair rollers to help improve your grip on small your toothbrush!
  • Use clothes pins to prevent your toothbrush from touching dirty counters while travelling!
  • Need a toothbrush squeezer?  Use a large binder clip or a bobby pin!
  • Use a utensil holder to organize toothbrushes in a drawer!
  • Remove crayon from a wall using toothpaste!
  • Use a new toothbrush to remove the cornsilk from a ear of corn!
  • Toothpaste can be used to remove odors from hands, dishes, baby bottles and other items!
  • Use dental floss to cut cakes, cheese and other soft solid foods!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Make Your Dental Health a Priority!

If keeping up with your dental needs is a priority for you, or even if it is a new personal goal, stick with it!! In case you haven't noticed, even as the economy is improving,  the price of dentistry isn't getting any cheaper. If you have dental insurance or a dental plan, keep it! If you don't, now is the time to get it. It can help keep the rising cost of dental care down. It's more important than ever to have some type of coverage. Note: Dental plans are generally less expensive than insurance and tend to discount more procedures and products than traditional insurance. Below is a link to Savon Dental Plan. Let the facts speak for themselves! It's a very informative site and it doesn't cost you anything to learn!

How Can A Dentist Tell If You Have Health Problems?

Have you heard the saying the mouth is the window into ones overall health? That's right, your mouth is a tattletale ;)

When you get your dental examination the dentist isn't only looking at your teeth and gums. During dental examinations, dentists have been known to find evidence of many other problems such as heart or liver disease, diabetes, arthritis, HIV and many more.

So how can a dentist tell if you have underlying health problems?

  • Inflamed Gums and Loose Teeth - This can be a sign of heart disease. If you suffer from periodontists (gum disease) the bacteria in the gums can travel to the heart and contribute to coronary artery disease.  The bacteria could also increase the formation of clots from further plaques build up in the arteries that interferes with blood flow to the heart. 
  • Gum Disease, Bleeding Gums and Loose Teeth - These are all signs of diabetes. Diabetics have a slower time healing so any infection to the gums can contribute to heart disease or a stroke. 
  • Bleeding Gums, Dry mouth and Tooth Erosion - Dentist can spot a eating disorder with just one look at the mouth. The stomach acid from vomiting wears away the tooth enamel making teeth super sensitive. 
  • Rampant Caries, Dry Mouth and Lesions - These are signs of HIV. If not treated this can lead to infection of the soft tissue inside of the tooth (pulp) and the formation of an abscess.
Whether or not you have natural teeth or dentures, its very important to maintain good dental hygiene!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sugar is No Worse For My Teeth Than Other Foods, Right? Wrong!!!

Here's the skinny on your teeth and the sugar you eat.  I just used the word skinny while referring to sugar, oh my....
All of our lives we've been told to cut back on sugar, watch our intake of sugary foods, brush right away and never eat sugary foods at night before bed.  Turns out there's actually something to that advice that clearly many of us ignore, myself included.
When it comes to your teeth, remember this:  Sugar is sugar. Sucrose, fructose, lactose, etc. it is all sugar.  Whether it comes in the form of a candy bar or fruit, one is just as bad as the other with respect to your teeth.  Raisins, particularly, have a high level of sugar. Soda is the worst culprit of all.  You see, sugar feeds bacteria.  Sugars hide out in small nooks and crannies in your mouth and between your teeth and reek havoc on your tooth enamel over time.  Bacteria in turn causes acid in your mouth that eats away at the enamel. Most of us don't brush right after eating something sweet.  This allows time for all that bacteria to multiply and cause damage without our knowing it, until.... the dreaded cavity, or worse....a toothache strikes.

Always brush after a sweet snack or soda.  After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water first to wash away as much as you can, then brush.  You'll be glad you made the effort in the long run!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dentistry IS a science. It is also artistry. But, does this justify the high cost?

So often we will have someone call our office and they are absolutely shell shocked at the cost of a dental procedure or a treatment plan.  Let me start by saying that dentistry is rarely simple anymore. It is a science, yes, but it is also a fine art, and in many cases you get what you pay for. Cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is among the most costly. If you've ever seen a full mouth reconstruction done, you'll have great respect for the dentist/artist.  This is a craft that requires at least 8 years of schooling, constant continuing education and even further instruction and practice to be able to perfect these restorations and perform oral miracles.  Not to mention the high cost of the technical machines and tools needed.  If you understand that, you understand why the cost is so high.  But, if you are one of those people who visits the dentist every 10 or 20 years, there is no avoiding the shell shock factor, which is why I've linked this blog to an informative page.
I recently found a site that gives the average consumer an idea of what restorative dentistry costs.  It is broken down by procedure and it's probably the most informative, simple breakdown I have seen to date.  If you are considering cosmetic restoration or have many dental issues and are in need of a full-mouth makeover, look HERE  first.  I think you'll be glad you did.
The moral of the story here is to visit the dentist regularly for cleanings (for prevention, if nothing else) and stay informed. Don't become a shell shock victim!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Is The Amabrush?

While scrolling on social media last week, I saw a sponsored ad showing a new toothbrush called the Amabrush. My first initial reaction was "that's gross" and I kept on scrolling not paying any further attention to it.

Yesterday I came across an article about the Amabrush (the same toothbrush I saw on the ad last week) so I decided I would see what its all about!

The Amabrush is a newly developed toothbrush that can clean your teeth in 10 seconds. CRAZY!! Its whole purpose is to save its users time by cleaning all tooth surfaces simultaneously.

The device consists of a handpiece, single toothpaste capsule (comes in three varieties), a antibacterial silicone mouthpiece and charger. According to Kickstarter the whole set costs $91.31.

Like a regular toothbrush the silicone mouthpiece needs to be replaced every three months, at a cost of  $6.93 each. The toothpaste capsule lasts about one month, the replacement cost is $3.47 each.

The first adult version of the Amabrush is expected to be released in December 2017 and the company plans on making a smaller version for kids age 6+.

What are your thoughts on this new toothbrush? Would you try it?

Image result for amabrush

*Please note the Amabrush doesn't replace flossing or visiting your dentist for regular check ups!

For the full article click here!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dental Coupons Are Not Dental Coverage

Dental centers are offering specials everyday. There are many sites out there that offer coupons and other promotions to get drive patients into the dental office. However, I would caution you to using that as your primary dental coverage. I say that, because there are people out there that do. Every time they go to the dentist, they are looking for that coupon or promotion that will save them the most amount money possible. Sounds reasonable right? Well, again I caution you about doing that and here's why.

1.  A coupon or promotion is just that! It is not an open ended offer. It is a limited time special to drive you into that dentist office, who in turn is trying to retain you as a patient. The offer will end! Most of them are new patient special and you will only see that price on your first visit. So if you do return and you don't have coverage, you will be charged full price.

2. If you have exhausted the promotion at one dental office and you go to another one to use their special, you are starting over with as a new patient. Which means, new x-rays, new exam, new treatment plan, new diagnostics.

Ideally, you should think of your dentist as another general practitioner, although most people don't. When you go to your regular doctor for treatment, you usually stick with that doctor through the course of your treatment. It should be the same way with your dentist. The longer you stay with the your dentist the better your dental health would be.

Now back to the coverage. Regardless, YOU NEED DENTAL COVERAGE.. PERIOD.. The cost of dental care is high and is still increasing. You will wind up paying a lot of money out of pocket for your dental work.

So, although the specials and promos are nice, they are not adequate enough to cover you for the optimal dental health that you should have.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dentistry in Mexico-It's Your Decision

Given the current scenario regarding the safety of travel from the U.S. to Mexico, I thought I'd repost this blog from 2015.  I think it bears repeating.

"A recent article I read online started me thinking about this topic. Why would anyone want to risk their health and safety by visiting a doctor or dentist in a country where sanitation standards are questionable and there is no way to determine whether a doctor is reputable; or even competent? There would be no legal recourse for a mistake, no refund, no malpractice insurance."
The above excerpt was taken from a blog I published in February of 2008. With time, the economy over the last 10 years and many testimonials from people I've talked to while working in this industry, I must say that I have come to an understanding on this subject at least, if only marginally  I still stand firm on the safety issues of traveling to Mexico for either  medical or dental treatment....sanitation remains a concern except that I now know many of the dental offices there are actually staffed with American Dentists, and in fairness, their american training and work ethic are at or above the standard.  Some of these dentists live there and work, some commute and the overall benefit to the traveling patient is that they can get the treatment they need from a qualified professional at a cost that is way below the standard fees charged in the US. the doctors are not bound to the (sometimes ridiculous) regulations, exorbitant insurance rates and high operating costs that are the norm in the US, thus allowing them to perform dentistry and pass the savings along to the patient.

Now, that said, there are still risks involved, which poses the question,  "does the money saved really outweigh the risk?"  Many think that it does.  I for one, always the skeptic, will no longer slam the door on the possibility, but would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble opinion a good dental plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Savon Dental Plan, A Company 25 Years In The Making

I was 14 years old when my dad (Clay Parker) and my uncle (Gordon Parker) announced their idea for a new crazy business venture. They were going to start a dental coverage plan. For my uncle, this was a new opportunity in a field that was he was already working in as he was currently a sales representative for dental plan that had some really shady business practices. For my dad and our immediate family, it was a big change in lifestyle. All my life, (to that point), was spent with my dad and mom both working in the flooring industry; which was the trade industry for the Parker family that went a few generations back. To know that my days of picking up carpet scraps, laying pad and vinyl and prepping floors with my dad was coming to end was unfathomable at my young age. However, the career change was welcomed and my dad and uncle took it head on. Little did I know that 25 years later, this crazy business venture, now known as Savon Dental Plan, would be an integral part of life and something that I am more passionate about than anything else.

Growing up in the company, I have seen many people come and go. I have witnessed every up side and down side that we experienced. I got a front row to seat to the movement for "person to person" sales to more of the "digital and phone" sales. I have had the privilege of watching this company grow from the City of Phoenix, to the 23 States that we are in today. I have seen ideas succeed and and ideas fail.

As I look back on the last 25 years I can't help but smile as I go over the "remember whens". I guess that's the purpose of this blog, to let you see a side of Savon that most people never knew about, most of which no longer exists. What a better way to do that than to give you some fun facts about Savon from over the last 25 years:

Fun Facts About Savon:
1. We used to have a call center that was called the "Dog Pound"
2. We used to generate leads via computerized phone calls.
3. Most of the Parker family has worked at Savon at some point in time.
4. We used to have sales reps that signed people up at home.
5. Gordon Parker (our Late President) used to use the alias Tom Peters when signing someone up, so that they didn't know that it was the President of the company signing them up.
6. Gordon made everyone study a city map and gave us all tests before we were allowed to be an outside rep. (he didn't want us to get lost or be late because we couldn't find the place) **This was before GPS was available.
7. We used to have "member files" that took up a whole wall in our office. Anytime we talked to customer, we would have to pull their file. (now it is all computerized)
8. We used to have a scheduled "file audit" one a year, but usually it happened more when Clay couldn't find a file he needed.
9. Corilee Parker, our Director of Provider Relations, is the longest tenured employee at 25 years of service. (She was here from day 1 and is still here).
10. I designed our first website at age 17. (Our current website is designed and maintained by my Dad)

So there are some things that you never knew about the "behind the senses" of SDP. There is so many that I could add, but this blog would be never ending. Throughout the month, I may post more as they come to mind. 

We have said goodbye to some key people who helped make Savon Dental Plan what it is today. Gordon Parker, Que Jeter and Dan Gopen, just to name a few, have all since passes away over the years. Some others that have passed also contributed in many ways and all are are surely missed. May they continue to rest in peace. We think about them everyday and will never forget what they have done for this company.

Most importantly, this anniversary would never happen if it wasn't for our members. In a world to where the average customer stays with a company for 5-8 years and then moves on, we have a lot of members that have been with us for 10+, 15+, 20+ and yes, even ALL 25 YEARS! We appreciate everyone of you. Whether you were a member for 1 year, or have been a member for 25 years you are all important us and we thank you for your loyalty. Every once in while I get the privilege to talk to one of you and take the time to thank you for your membership.

As we start the next 25 years, I can't help but ponder the potential that we have for growth. I also can't help but worry about what the future brings. Even after 25 years, the dental plan industry is still the considered by some to be the "bad step child" of the dental coverage industry. When in essence we are anything but that. Our plan WILL save people more money that insurance or any other plan out there and I will not stop shouting it from the mountain tops until everybody knows it. Although our company has gone through many changes over the years, the foundation to which we were built on has not changed. Our mission has not changed. Our goal has not changed. We will continue to provide great dental coverage at an affordable price. We will continue to be there for our members to help them out however we can. Lastly, you will never have press 1 for english and 2 for customer service when calling in.

Thank you everyone for the last 25 years. I look forward to spending another 25 with all of you!

-Clayton Parker III
  Vice President
  Savon Dental Plan

Toothpaste Guide

For all the extras you'll find on a toothpaste label (foamers, binders, flavors) there are really only a few essential ingredients, says Daniel Mindiola, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Follow these steps to figure 'em out:

Step 1.) Find a cavity fighter - Fluoride is the only ingredient approved to fight cavities. You'll see it listed as sodium fluoride or stannous fluoride, and it helps enamel patch itself up before decay can lead to a cavity.

Step 2.) Ask yourself: Do I have sensitive teeth? If you do, you'll need a desensitizer too. Arginine bicarbonate plugs the exposed pores in your teeth for immediate relief.

Step 3.) Now ask: Am I happy with the color? If not, add a brighter to your fluoride. Common ingredients include stain removers such as sodium tripolyphosphate or hexametaphosphate and hydrate silica. Often bleach or hydrogen peroxided is listed.

If you want it all some whitening toothpastes are formulated for sensitive teeth and will splashed across the packaging and if you check the label, you should find some combination of the ingredients listed above!

Article from the July/August 2017 Red Book magazine

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Question from Our Member - What is Crown Lengthening And Why Do I Need It?

Questions From Our Members

T. Drakeman of San Diego, California asks: 

“My dentist informed me that I needed a crown lengthening.  What is it and why do it need it?  Why don't they just make the crown longer to start with?”

Savon’s Answer

The dental terminology for the procedure is “Clinical Crown Lengthening”.  This is a common surgical procedure and is usually performed by a periodontal surgeon who removes gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of a tooth.

Clinical Crown lengthening is done when a tooth needs to be repaired with either a filling or a crown and not enough of the tooth sticks out above the gum to support either. This can happen if a tooth breaks off at the gum line or when a crown or filling falls out of a tooth and there is decay underneath.  To place a filling or crown they need to expose more of the tooth.  This is done by removing some gum tissue or bone.

If the tooth needs a crown, the dentist may put on a temporary crown, (this is where the patient may think that the crown was made too short). The temporary crown protects the tooth and makes surgery easier because the periodontist will be able to see how much soft tissue or bone to remove.

The area should heal in about three months. After it is healed, your dentist will prepare the tooth again and make the final crown.

Originally Posted on our July 2017 Newsletter!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

8 Dental Problems You Can Fix Yourself

Here are a few ways to treat some dental problems from home, until you can visit your dentist.

Sensitive Teeth:
Cause~ Exposed nerve root.
Treatment~ Lay off whiting treatments, brush teeth a little softer than normal.

Lost Tooth: 

Cause~ Sports.
treatment~ Rinse it with milk and push it back in right away, then bite down gently on a soft cloth or moistened tea bag to hold it in place. Then visit your dentist.

Burned Palate:

Cause~ Hot food.
Treatment~ Try using Kenalog in Orabase, an over-the-counter corticosteroid paste that creates a protective coating on the burn and speeds healing.

Burned Tongue:

Cause~ Hot drink or food.
Treatment~ Rinse your mouth with a solution of 1 teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water.

Jaw Soreness:

Cause~ Temporomandibular joint disorder.
Treatment~Try sleeping on your side or back with a supportive pillow, instead of facedown.

Canker Sore:

Cause~ Sugary foods/Citrus.
Treatment~ Apply vegetable oil to a cotton ball and hold it against the sore three or four times a day.

Lost Filling:
Cause~Popcorn, Peanuts, Carmel.
Treatment~You can use sugarless chewing gum (chew it first) or soft wax to caulk the hole and reduce the sensitivity until you can visit your dentist.

Gum Pain:

Cause~Gingivitis (gum disease), tobacco use.
Treatment~ You can ease the pain by swishing peppermint tea around your mouth.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vitamin D is Essential To Healthy Teeth

Vitamin D controls almost every cell in the human body, and is a very potent stimulator of the immune system as a whole. It is the only vitamin that is also a hormone! Vitamin D is essential to the absorption of Calcium, as well as many other nutrients. When the body cannot absorb these nutrients, it can impact your overall health and, just as importantly, the health of your teeth and gums. Many people are not aware that they have a deficiency...Vitamin D deficiency is easily detected, but rarely tested for on a routine basis.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency can include bone loss, (which can lead to periodontal disease), also fatigue, depression, stroke, heart disease (which has also been linked to periodontal disease) and even weight loss!

Good sources of Vitamin D are: Fish (Salmon and Tuna) Milk (fortified) Eggs, (yolk contains the vitamin) and Sunlight! 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight per day is recommended.

If you are over the age of 50, discuss the possibility of routine testing for Vitamin D deficiency with your doctor. It is estimated that 10,000,000 Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Temporomandibular Joint Problem?

In talking to a friend today that has TMJ problems, I remembered this blog that Dr. C did back in 2008. Some great information in it so I though I would re-blog it for everyone to see!

Could your aches and pains be a Temporomandibular Joint Problem? Let's review some of the symptoms of TMJ problems.
1. A malocclusion which is an imbalance in the way your teeth come together.
2. A 'clicking' or 'grinding' sound when you open or close your mouth.
3. A ringing or aching in and around the ear.
4. A pain or tenderness of the hard or soft tissue in and around the jaw area.
5. A facial pain.
6. A pain or ache when chewing or swallowing.
7. A headache.
8. A 'locking' jaw joint.
9. A shoulder and/or neck ache.
Although any of these signs and symptoms could be a Temporomandibular Joint Problem, it takes a health care professional that is trained in Temporomandibular Joint Problems to diagnose a TMJ problem.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Finance Options For Dental Care

Ok, so you've just been to the dentist and found out that you need thousands of dollars of restorative work. You have what we commonly refer to as "sticker shock". You know that you don't have that kind of money just laying around......
Whether you are in need of restorative work or cosmetic dentistry, there are a variety of creative financing plans available to help. Dentistry is among the most expensive in healthcare, with costs rising even as the economy is failing. Here are some suggestions for those who are in need of major restorative work, but who cannot afford the out of pocket expense. 
First of all, make sure you have good dental coverage (a good dental plan used in conjunction with your credit plan will go a long way toward lowering the costs, thereby making your money go farther.) 
Here are some credit organizations to consider:
  • Care Credit Healthcare Plan is a financing company that is offered by GE Money Company. It offers financing for personal healthcare, i.e. dental, (cosmetic or restorative) vision care, surgical procedures, (and just FYI) there is financing available for pet care as well! This option does require that you qualify for a loan. Click here to read more....
  • Citi Health Card is a program that offers dental financing with a variety of flexible payment options. The have some no interest payment options, options that are for certain periods of time and a revolving card option with no minimum expense. According to their website, they have a quick approval process! If you have a need for an immediate procedure and are low on funds, this one may be the one to try.

    Unfortunately, there are many who may not qualify for financing. Don't give up! Many dental providers are now offering in-house financing options for people with no insurance, or who might need a little help with funding for an expensive treatment plan. Additionally, dental school clinics are a consideration, as they can perform most procedures at discounted fees and all work is done under supervised conditions.
Believe it or not, there is something out there for everyone in the way of affordable dental care! Don't be discouraged! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bad Breath-Is it Perio related or....NOT?

Generally, when we encounter someone with bad breath, we think of gum disease or poor oral hygiene habits. The first thought that comes to mind (after trying to escape the close proximity) is that they probably don't brush their teeth regularly. Judgmental lot, we humans! But there may be a much more sinister malady at play.  Think tongue plaque.  Yep, that gross, slimy coating on your tongue that builds up over time and wrecks havoc on the bacteria count in your mouth...  Epiphany! Oh, so this is why the dentist includes a tongue scraper in that little hygiene goody bag you get when you have your teeth cleaned!  Turns out it is an important part (or it should be) of your daily oral routine. Why?  Because that bacteria can cause gingivitis.  That's right, gum disease, aka  periodontal disease, infection, bad breath and extreme embarrassment.  Or, to mention the extreme, loss of teeth.
So why take a chance?   Brush, floss and then scrape your tongue for goodness sake!

Keep Smiling!

Did You Know Eating Disorders Can Effect Your Oral Health?

Many Americans are affected by eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. It is often the pain and discomfort related to dental complications that first causes patients to consult with a health professional. Dentists are often the first health professionals to observe signs and symptoms of eating disorders.

Anorexia-Involves an extreme fear of weight gain or a dread of becoming “fat” even though these individuals are markedly underweight.

Bulimia-Discrete periods of overeating (binge eating) which may occur several times a week or at its most severe, several times a day. This leads to self-vomiting.

Binge Eating-Binge eating may involve rapid consumption of large amounts of food with a sense of loss of control. Feelings of guilt and shame may lead to repeated episodes of binge eating.

Eating disorders that may include frequent vomiting and may result in nutritional deficiencies can also affect oral health. Salivary glands may become enlarged. Lips are often red, dry and cracked. Lesions may appear on oral soft tissues which may also bleed easily. There may be changes in the color, shape and length of teeth. Teeth may become sensitive to hot and cold foods.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oral Cancer- The Forgotten Killer?

So many people just don't take this deadly disease seriously...  

There are approximately 30,000+ new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. Out of these cases as many as 8,000 people will die from the disease. This works out to be about 22 deaths per day, each and every day, from oral cancer in the United States. On top of this staggering statistic, the 5 year survival rate is only 50%. Although survival rates for most cancers are increasing in the United States, the rate of survival from oral cancer has not improved in decades. 
What people don't realize about oral cancer is that regular screening can help to detect it in it's early stages, when it is easiest to treat and cure.  Make sure you have an oral cancer screening at your next visit to the dentist.  It could save your life!  Early detection is the key to curing this deadly form of cancer. Don't put it off and risk becoming a statistic! Ask your dental provider about your risk today.

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Antacids Weakening Your Teeth?

We all have taken antacids such as Tums, Alka-Seltzer or Prilosec at some point in our lives to quickly relieve heartburn, indigestion or an upset stomach.

Although antacids neutralize the acid in our stomach it can cause major damage to your smile.

Below are some ways antacids have effects on the teeth:

Weakening the teeth: Antacids can inhibit the absorption of calcium and protein which are the vital components for having strong teeth and a strong jaw.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease:

  • Antacids can cause dry mouth - Without normal saliva production its hard to wash food debris from the teeth and neutralize acid produced plaque. Leaving your more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Antacids are full of sugar - Chewable antacids can get stuck in between the teeth witch can cause cavities.

If you have to take an antacid please follow these recommendations so you can avoid negative effects on your smile in the long run:

  • Use "sugar free" antacids
  • Rinse mouth with water after taking chewable antacids and brush your teeth after 30 minutes. 
  • Baking soda can help clean your teeth and neutralize stomach acid. 

Remember to stick to a proper oral health routine and visit your dentist on a regular basis!  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Over-diagnosing in Dentistry

You can't avoid the shell-shock reflex....imagine you've just been to the dentist and he said you need, what?  A half dozen crowns.. or maybe it was veneers....or even a full mouth restoration? $5000, $10,000....or eeek!  $35,000? Your head is spinning. You can't even think! Surely he was kidding, right? What now?

This is a growing problem in truly has become an art and as such, well, artists can command their price, right?  It is unfortunate but in today's market it is a reality.  One can visit 5 dentists and get 5 separate and varying opinions at various levels of expense. Why is that, you ask?  It's a legitimate question.  Let's touch on the obvious, although I hate to bring more negativity, but greed is a factor.  Then we can move to the less obvious, the things that most wouldn't think of;  The Dental Schools.  Frankly, some dental schools teach a more conservative curriculum than others and where he went to school makes a difference as to the quality and ummm..[ambition] of a dentists practice. Geographical location is yet another stands to reason that if you are in a more affluent area you will pay more for just about everything, right down to the cost of an ordinary hamburger.  Other factoring points are high overhead costs such as equipment, payroll and malpractice insurance. The thing is, however, all of that aside; it isn't like dentists are starving here...their median income is probably right around $120,000 per year. Now, I'm talking about general dentists.  I'm not even going to venture into the financial world of the specialists. That's another topic for another day.

So, the question here is:  What can you do if you suspect you've been over-diagnosed or upsold? The first thing is to not panic!  As long as you haven't signed a contract then your treatment plan is exactly that...a plan.  You can opt in or opt out, but before you make any decision you should get a second opinion.  Maybe even a third, just to find medium ground. Solicit your friends and family members for the name of their trusted dentist.  Get a good, solid recommendation. Talk it over with a professional consultant or someone whose opinion you trust. You can never research too much.

This is the best advice I can offer!  Forewarned is forearmed.

Keep smiling!

The Advantages Of Digital Dental X-Rays

The advancement in x-ray technology is nothing short of amazing. The old days of having to hand develop the images, use lighting boards and wait a while are long past us.

The digital x-rays today are quicker, clearer, readily available at any time and more accurate than ever before. Almost every dental center is now using them. The feedback that I have received from the dentist on them have been great. It really makes their job easier and making tracking the treatment progress easier as well.

For the patient it is less intrusive, the process is quicker and they have the peace of mind that their dentist is getting the best image possible of their teeth and mouth. Not to mention that the dental office now has the ability to save multiple x-rays digitally and they are not placed in a file and need to be located every visit.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How To Suppress Gag Reflex

Whether your brushing your back molars, tongue or  having dental x-rays you may have experienced gagging.

Gag reflex is also known as laryngeal spasms which is a contraction of the back of the throat evoked by touching the roof of the mouth, back of the tongue and the area around the tonsils and uvula.

If you're in a situation where something is setting off your gag reflex try these short term suppression tips:
  • Squeeze your thumb - Form a fist with your left hand. Position your thumb under your finger and squeeze. * This method commonly used in dental offices. 
  • Immediate Remedies - This method helps numb the soft palate. Use a over the counter throat numbing spray or your can apply a topical numbing medication like orajel. .
  • Salt on the tongue - Moisten the tip of your finger, dip it into salt, touch the salt to the tongue. The salt in this method activates the taste buds and temporarily suppresses the gag reflex. 
"Curing" your gag reflex will help make brushing your teeth, tongue and visits to the dental office much more enjoyable. Follow these desensitizing techniques:
  • Find where your gag reflex starts by using your toothbrush. The point nearest to the front of your tongue that makes you gag is where you want to concentrate. 
  • Brush your tongue right where the gag begins. Spend about 10 seconds brushing that area.
  • Repeat the process daily while gradually increasing the brushing time and moving the brushing behind the initial gag starting point. Eventually you will hit the soft palate.
  • Be patient this process can take about a month to complete!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

To Protect Your Teeth, Keep These Bad Habits at Bay!

Many people have bad habits that, when accidents strike, can be devastating to your oral health!  The following is a list of things one should never do!  Take heed!  Dentistry is very expensive!  

~Never, ever chew ice.  Ice chips your teeth and causes minute cracks in the enamel, which weakens the structure of your teeth.  

~Never open can tabs or bottles with your front teeth.  It will cause chips in your teeth.

~Beware of biting into fruit that has pits in it.  More broken teeth and dentures are caused by cherry pits than any other fruit!  

~Try to avoid biting your nails.  It just isn't a good practice all the way around.  You can chip your teeth and your mouth contains bacteria that you can deposit near your nail bed and cause infection. 

In addition to these things, you should also avoid putting small objects (choking hazards) into your mouth such as:

Paper Clips

These things can all pose a threat to your teeth.  No one wants to visit the dentist because of a silly accident!   

Be careful and Keep Smiling!  

Question From Our Member - I Had A Root Canal Done 6 Months Ago, Why Am I Still In Pain?

Questions From Our Members

M. Luedke of Surprise, Arizona asks: 

“I had a root canal performed on one of my molars in November of 2016. They covered the tooth with a porcelain crown. 6 months later I am still experiencing extreme sensitivity to pressure and constant pain.  I've been back to my general dentist and the endodontist and still can't get any relief.  What could be causing this pain?”

Savon’s Answer

Before I start with the answer, it is imperative to know that we are not dentists!  With that being said I did some research on the website "“RealSelf” and here are some suggestions from other dentists.

Dr. Scott Young of Houston TX states:  “Though it is rare, there are times when a tooth that has had a root canal can produce discomfort. One of several things could be happening.
  1. The tooth has an accessory (extra) nerve that is small and perhaps was not found.
  2. The tooth has a crack that is usually between the roots.
  3. The existing crown may not be fitting as well as it could.
I would have your dentist do an evaluation and take an X-ray. He/she can then give you possible causes of the pain and solutions to correct it.”

Dr. Murray Bruckel of Norwalk CT. states:  “It sounds like one of the nerve canals was overlooked, or incomplete removal of found nerves.  Have your dentist take an xray for signs of infection and have the rootcanal redone right through the crown.”

Dr. Soheyla Marzvaan of Orange County CA states:  “When a tooth hurts after root canal, Several factors may be involved.  If temperature sensitivity or pain exists, its either another tooth next to the tooth in question, or an accessory or main nerve still exits in the tooth and the root canal needs to be retreated.  If temperature does not cause any throbbing pain then a crack in the tooth, and a in ill fitting crown could cause it.”

The one thing that these dentists agree on is you should not be in pain.  Get in touch with the dentist(s) that treated the tooth and push the issue!

Originally posted to our June 2017 Newsletter!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Do You Breath Through Your Mouth?

Mouth breathing happens all the time in adults and children. It usual happens when the nasal passage is obstructed due to a cold, deviated septum do to trauma or even a congenital condition but it can also happen due to taking certain medications.

Although mouth breathing may not seem like a big deal, it can actually cause many health risks including your dental health.

Here are they ways mouth breathing can affect your dental health:

Dry Mouth - Salivary glands don't make enough saliva to keep the mouth moist.

Skeletal deformities in children - Mouth breathing promotes the growth of the upper jaw, rather than the lower jaw causing a large overbite and "gummy" smile.

Red/inflamed gums - Mouth breathing causes the soft gum tissues to dry out. causing bleeding and possible cavities.

Bad breath - The lack of saliva produced isn't rinsing out the bacteria as well as it should.

If you start to notice yourself or your child breathing through their mouth  on a regular basis its time to visit a ENT (ears, nose and throat doctor) to see if there is a nasal obstruction.  Also visit your dentist for a exam to make sure there is no damage to your teeth and you have a healthy mouth!

What Is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is also known as a bad bite. It is a condition in which a persons teeth are out of alignment, crooked or crowded.

There are generally two types of malocclusion. 

Dental malocclusion: This is when the teeth are not lined up properly; even the jaw may be aligned. Tooth crowding causes this type of occlusion.

Skeletal malocclusion: A skeletal malocclusion occurs when the upper and lower jaws don't line up correctly. This type of malocclusion can be classed as an overbite or an underbite.

Normally malocclusion starts to appear between the ages of six and twelve when permanent teeth are coming in. A bad bite can also be the result of many things such as: 

Tongue thrusting (pushing your tongue against your teeth) 
Fingernail biting 
Mouth breathing: Breathing primarily through your mouth instead of your nose.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Can Grape Seed Extract Extend The Life Of Your Fillings?

Grapes are a healthy snack but the seeds found inside of the grape is actually the healthiest part. Grape seeds contain antioxidants and a natural plant compound called " Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complex (OPCs)".
OPCs helps prevent premature aging and certain chronic diseases.

Studies have shown that grape seed extract reduces edema (swelling), lowering blood pressure and heart rate, helps with eye diseases related to diabetes.

According to the National Center For Complementary and Integrative Health, their is a preliminary research on grade seed extract and Alzheimer disease and hereditary Hemochromatosis (when body's iron is too high).

If grape seed extract can help all of these things I have listed above can the natural compound found in the grape seed extract strengthen dentin (the tissue beneath a tooth's enamel)?

If you have a filling you probably already know it wont last forever, you may get 5-7 years out of it before it needs replaced but in the Journal Of Dental Research, Ana Bedran - Russo, associate professor of restorative dentistry, explains how grape seed extract can make fillings stronger.

Ana said the "extract can increase the strength of the dentin, which comprises the majority of the calcified extracellular tissue of the teeth, forming the layer just beneath the hard external enamel."

An extra bonus of using grape seed extract is helps stop or reverse early tooth decay!

So what is the suggested dosage of grape seed extract? state a standard dosage of grape seed extract consists of 50 - 300 milligrams daily.
The University of Maryland Medical Center notes the following: 25-150 milligrams daily for general antioxidant support and 150-300 milligrams daily for chronic insufficiency's.
*Consult your primary physician first before anything new*

Click here for the full article on grape seed extract extending the life of fillings!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Would You Consider Braces For Your Pet?

 If you are a pet owner and, like me, your pet is your baby, it's likely you will spare no expense to ensure that they are healthy and happy.  Maintaining your pet's oral health is as important as making sure that they are vaccinated or that they are receiving regular veterinary care. (Goodness knows there are already twice as many vaccinations for dogs as opposed to humans, and medications can get pricey as well as just the simple costs of office visits for wellness check-ups.) Pets should have regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Animals are susceptible to many of the same physical ailments as humans, including dental issues! They can get cavities, periodontal disease, abscesses, broken teeth...just about anything a human can get, they can get, including crooked teeth! Of course they feel the pain of these ailments, just as we do. But did you know that your pet may actually be a candidate for braces?  Now, braces are not for every dog or will depend on their age, type of malocclusion and their ability to tolerate the discomfort of wearing braces, but there are a variety of specialists available out there who practice veterinary dentistry, including canine orthodontics. Expect to pay a lot of money!  Canine dentistry is not cheap.  It may even be more expensive than what we would pay for our own braces!  A good option may be to find a good pet insurance plan and find out if it covers dentistry and orthodontics. Check with your veterinarian.  He or she can probably recommend one.

Keep your pet smiling!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Having Dentures Doesn't Mean You Don't Need Dental Coverage

We hear this time and time again in our office, "I have dentures now so I no longer need your plan". As good as that may sounds to you as a denture patient, the reality of it is quite the contrary. In fact, now that you are wearing dentures is all more the reason to have a dental plan. You see, getting dentures is not an end game for going to dentist. It is a new start of a different type of dental visits. The ADA recommends that you still get your check-up every year and also be checked for oral cancer. Denture patients run a higher risk of it.

Having no dental coverage at all will lead to very costly dental bills, even if you have dentures. If the break, do not fit properly or you need that check-up, the bill can add up quickly and I assure you the dental insurance will not be the answer you are looking for. Dental insurance is a costly waste of money for general dental patients and even more so for denture wearers. The waiting period alone to have anything done with your dentures is bad enough, but they tag it on with very limited and minimal coverage on them. For example, in general, Insurance companies will make you wait 5 years to be eligible for coverage on having your dentures replaced or repaired. The fact is, most problem with dentures happen in the first 2 years. Those that have had dentures for 5 years or more are less likely to have any significant problems with them.

So that's where the dental plan becomes more valuable to a denture patient. Knowing the cost of a repair, re-alignment or replacement, allows for them to make the decision of what to do next. With the immediate coverage, coverage on all pre-existing conditions and significant savings, you will have the peace of mind that you are always covered.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Green Tea can be Great for your Teeth & Gums!

Isn't it great when you find out that a product you use regularly and have come to love has added health benefits?  It's a commonly known fact that green tea has many health benefits for the human body.  It's a natural antioxidant and it's great for your digestive system. But I just recently found out that it provides many oral health benefits as well! 

Green Tea Facts:

  •  It Reduces Periodontal Inflammation
  •   It Kills Oral Cancer Cells
  •  It Inhibits the Formation of Dental Plaque
  •  It Repels Odor-Causing Bacteria

Studies have shown that just one cup of brewed green tea per day can reduce or slow down the process of gum recession, inhibit bacterial growth and can stop the recurrence of bleeding gums. Sounds promising and the added benefit is that green tea is refreshing and tastes great!  Now, remember not to drink the canned or bottled kind or sweetened tea as these have added ingredients and sugar.  The great benefits I've just outlined come from fresh brewed green tea.  

Enjoy, and Keep Smiling! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Question From Our Member - How Can I Be Sure That The Dental Instruments Are Sterile?

Questions From Our Members

J. Ochoa of Los Angeles, California asks: 

“My dentist office has an open floor plan (very low walls between operatories).  I noticed they don't have a lot of hand pieces (picks, explorers, mirrors, etc;).  They have a girl that takes the dirty ones out of the operatory and in just a few minutes comes back with the same tools (colored bands lead me to believe this) in a sterile bag.  How can I be sure that they are in fact sterile.”

Savon’s Answer

In the past I would have been very worried about that.  Most dental offices use an autoclave or chemiclave, the two leading methods of heat sterilization.  These methods can take as little as 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

If your dental office can turn equipment around that fast, chances are the have a Statim.  This is one of the newer types of sterilization equipment.  Statim sterilizes handpieces and instruments for immediate use in as little as 8 minutes, reducing the number required as instruments can be processed ‘just in time’ or between patients.

You may want to ask your dental office what they use to sterilize their equipment.  As long as it's an autoclave (the newer ones can actually sterilize pretty fast) or a Statim, you have very little to worry about.

Originally posted to our May 2017 Newsletter!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Broken Dental Bridge.. Get It Fixed Sooner Than Later

I had a friend who recently went to the dentist with severe pain the area of her bridge. This pain has been present for a couple years but only when she chewed so she didn't think much of it. Eventually it got worse and worse to where the pain was unbearable, she was sick, her face was swollen and she couldn't eat.

Well, it turns out that for 2 years the bridge was actually broken. There was decay in the one tooth underneath her bridge and small pieces for trapped food which lead to a major infection. This made her really sick.
After almost 3 hours in the dentist chair and some oral surgery, they finally got her taken care of and have a new bridge on its way for her.

Just because a crown, implant or bridge is not "real" per-say doesn't mean that it can be ignored if something goes wrong with it. It should be treated and maintained just like a real tooth at all times.

If you have questions as to how to properly care for them, be sure to consult with your dentist.

Do We Really Need To Use a Tongue Scraper?

A "tongue scraper" is exactly what it sounds like.  A tool used to literally scrape bacteria off of the tongue surface, it's supposed to remove the gunk that collects on your tongue and help to keep your breath fresh.  They come in many styles, shapes and sizes and you can get them anywhere you can buy a tooth brush.  If you've never used one though, apparently you're not missing much.  I am personally a fan of the tongue scraper.  I like the extra clean feeling I get after using one, so this news came as a little bummer to me...

According to a study published in an issue of General Dentistry (a peer-reviewed dental journal), tongue scrapers only slightly reduce bad breath.  The most common reason for bad breath is post-nasal drip.  It coats the back of your tongue causing what is called " oral malodor."  Tongue scrapers remove this mucous layer quite well, however the results are only temporary.  But according to this study, using a toothbrush can get you the same temporary results, making the ever elusive "tongue scraper" seem not-so-special. 

That being said, one isn't better than the other, it really comes down to personal preference.  I, for instance, will be continuing to love my tongue scraper..  But for those of you who'd rather save the extra few bucks and use a toothbrush, you're in the clear.

Keep Smiling!   :)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Can Lipstick Help Brighten A Smile?

Who doesn't want to have a beautiful, sparkling smile?

The truth is, some people no matter how many times they brush their teeth or use whitening strips are prone to natural pale yellow teeth. Luckily for us ladies we have the power of lipstick!

I came across an article explaining how the different shades of lipstick can affect how your teeth look!

Below are the shades you will want to use to make your teeth seem pearly white:
  • Rich reds and berry hues -  These colors in enhance the smile and are perfect for a job interview, first date and a night out on the town!
  • Blue and Violet undertones - Lip colors with blue undertones will counteract with yellow teeth, making your smile appear instantly white. 
  • Nude shiny glosses - This color gives you a nice friendly/approachable look and helps create the illusion teeth are shinier they they actually are.
Lip color fails:
  • Coral/orange - This shade has the tendency to wash you out.
  • Pale pink - This shade accentuated stains. 
Who knew you could fake a whiter smile with a simple beauty product!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Digital Dentistry-Advanced Technology At Its Best

Dentistry has never been an exact science, but it's getting closer! With the introduction of digital equipment and qualified personnel to manage it, both doctor and patient are reaping the benefits.  Intra-oral cameras, 3D imagery, and virtual restoration software makes for more precise diagnoses and treatment, meaning less pain and trauma for the patient.
With these advancements it is now possible for the dentist to produce same-day crowns from a 3D digital model of your tooth, using a small square ceramic block.  The computer can match the dimensions exactly. He can create digital dentures. Although these generally cannot be done in a day, the process is definitely more precise.  He can take a digital x-ray or scan of your face and jaw and virtually rebuild your mouth with implants, allowing you to see the finished product on a screen before treatment even begins!  All of this technology comes at a hefty cost, however.  It can cost upwards of $150,000 to $200,000 to equip a dental office with this type of software and machinery. Of course, the cost is passed on to the patient in different ways, but, wouldn't you rather have a well fitting set of dentures as opposed to a loose pair that you can't wear?  Or a crown that fits like the permanent tooth you once had? Or implants that function and feel like a brand new set of natural teeth?  Worth the cost, in my opinion.  Feel free to weigh in! I welcome your opinion.

As Always, Keep Smiling!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Never Let an Abscessed Tooth Go Untreated!

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, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Dental Humor!

What do dentists call their x-rays?

What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A Gummy Bear

When is the best time to go to the dentist?
Tooth Hurty

What does the dentist of the year get?
A little plaque

What did the judge sat to the dentist?
Do you swear to pull the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Hope you have a great Tuesday and remember to smile while you still have teeth;)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tooth Sensitivity

A study conducted back in 2014 showed that roughly 1 in 8 adults suffer from some type of tooth sensitivity.

I have tooth sensitivity but it only occurs with extremely cold things such as biting into a ice cream cone or drinking something that is ice cold. 

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by worn down tooth enamel from brushing to hard, tooth erosion do to acidic foods and beverages, and gum erosion that leaves the root exposed. 

I'm guilty of the fist two, I  brush my teeth way to hard and I drink way to much soda. 

If you suffer from sensitive teeth you know the pain it causes so here are some tips for easing the pain:

  • Check your brushing technique - Brushing to hard is almost as bad for your teeth and gums as not brushing at all. Brushing to hard can contribute to receding gums leaving the root exposed...OUCH. If you are a hard brusher like myself you should change to a soft bristled brush also known as the periodontal toothbrush. 
  • Minimize acidic foods and drinks - Reducing the amount of acidic foods and drinks is important not only for your oral health but also for your overall health. If don't want to reduce your intake you should always rinse with water afterwards or in between drinks.
  • Change toothpaste - I know everyone is set on their favorite brand of toothpaste but sometimes you have to make a change, if you are using a whitening toothpaste you can be making your sensitivity worse because the whitening toothpastes are abrasive. I personal love the Sensodyne pronamel toothpaste and over the years I have noticed a change. 

If you are experiencing any type tooth sensitivity its important to see you dentist, its better to get treated early then have many problems later down the road.