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?
Drugs.com 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 cat...it 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.

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!