Thursday, July 30, 2020

Dental Hygiene For Men

Here are some of the risk factors for developing gum disease:


Being male: Men are more likely to suffer from gum disease than women.

Being African-American: Black men are more likely than white men to develop gum disease.

Lack of funds and insurance: People at the lowest socio-economic levels tend to have the most severe gum disease. This is largely because they don't have access to (or can't afford) regular dental care.

Age: As we get older, our gums gradually recede, exposing the roots of the teeth to plaque. We also produce less saliva, which plays an important role in rinsing plaque out of the mouth.

Genetics: If your parents lost teeth to gum disease, you are at greater risk.

Neglect: Not brushing and flossing regularly.

Poor diet: Sugary snacks and drinks encourage the growth of plaque, and crunchy snack foods can damage enamel and teeth.

Clenching, grinding teeth: Chronic teeth grinding can sometimes result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may also damage tooth enamel and wear teeth down. This kind of damage can lead to the need for a host of expensive dental work, including bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures.

Smoking: Recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of gum disease. In addition, following periodontal treatment or any type of oral surgery, the chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable.

Original post by btflbutterfly77 on November 5th, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Use Your Teeth As Utensils!

From the time we are babies, we put objects in our mouths.  Toys, rocks, keys, marbles, the dogs ear, the cats tail, however, we learn as we get older that the dog and the cat are off limits...(snicker)   Some of us never learn though, that our teeth were not meant to be used as tools! We open bottles, can tabs, plastic containers and bags that should be cut with scissors...we have oral jewelry implanted on our lips or tongue and fiddle with them all the time. We hold our keys in our mouths, our pens and pencils, sun glasses, hair clips and other things and never even think about the damage we could be causing to our teeth! Misusing our teeth in this way can cause serious chipping, cracking and misalignment, whether by accidental occurrence or over time. This adds up to $$$ spent for tooth repairs and it all could have been prevented if we had just used our common sense in the first place and avoided the impulse to chew on something that wasn't food!

The bottom line is this: Objects that are not meant for human consumption should never be put in our mouths!
Keep that in mind, and Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

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 face-down.

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, Caramel.
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.


*This is not intended as medical advice. With any dental problems always see your dentist as soon as possible.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Could Your Headaches Be Caused By Orthodontic Treatment?

If you are not prone to headaches already, the answer is usually no. In almost every other case, if there is a headache it is usually only for a day or two and usually right after an adjustment.

For some patients however, orthodontic treatment can cause unexpected problems that can lead to distortions because of excessive adjustment. This can cause undue strain on the temporomandibular joint which may lead to excessive strain and the eventual perception of generalized headaches and migraine pain.

The remedy for this is not a quick one. Attempts to correct it in one reconstructive treatment typically result in failure. T he best correction process for this problem is done over an extended time period. Adjustments are incremental, which allow the jaw structures to achieve healthier repositioning through a natural process.

Correcting a distortion of can be done through the use of different types of dental components ranging from new posterior crowns, gold onlays and porcelain onlays. For some patients, orthotic devices can be used.

In any case, if you are wearing braces and start getting headaches that last more than a day or two, you should consult your orthodontist right away.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Ways Your Bad Breath Could Mean Bad Health

Yuck, what is that smell? Could it be your breath? Checking your breath may not just save you from social moments, but it may save your life. Recurring bad breath could be a sign of underlying medical conditions.

  • Electric Nose Technology: Detects lung cancer from bad breath- This is a cheaper alternative than doing a biopsy to detect lung cancer. The "electronic nose" detects different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breaths. All you would need is a simple breath test.
  • Breath tests can detect heart failure- By taking a breath test, Researchers can use "mass spectrometry" technology to analyze the sample for molecular and chemical compound signs of heart failure.
  • Fish Breath: Kidney Failure: The fishy breath occurs when the kidney failure affects the respiratory system and makes it hard to breath. This is because the damaged kidneys can no longer filter waste products from the blood and turn it into urine.
  • Sleep Conditions may cause sour mouth- Saliva decreases during sleep, which causes a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Excess Weight- A poor diet and lack of water can play a major role in bad breath. Try drinking large amounts of water and eating lots of fruit and vegetables, this will help keep breath fresh.

If you notice your recurring bad breath please seek medical help!


To read more click here!

Dental Enamel Does Not Regenerate!

There are alot of "snake-oil" treatments out there that claim to be able to regenerate tooth enamel and heal cavities.  Don't fall for it!
Dental enamel, unlike bones, does not regenerate or "heal" once it is damaged. Dental enamel is formed during the original growth of the tooth underneath the gums. While there are many factors that can contribute to the loss of dental enamel, such as poor dental hygiene or certain hereditary conditions, there is good news. Researchers are actively seeking treatments and therapies that could change everything. Of course, proper hygiene and regular visits to your dentist are the best way to combat any kind of dental dilemma, but for dental enamel in particular, there are now certain treatments that can help slow the process of enamel degeneration that can be applied during your regular dental visits as part of your preventative maintenance regimen. 

For more information on such treatments, click HERE

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Teach Children How To Brush And Floss!

This is a fun but messy activity to teach your young children how to brush and floss correctly!


All you will need is:
  • Rubber glove
  • Peanut butter
  • Dental Floss
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
Have an adult put on the glove, have someone or yourself put some peanut butter between your fingers (make sure you get it all the way down). Tighten your fingers together (your fingers represent the teeth and the peanut butter is the food that gets trapped). With your fingers still tightly together and extended, have your child use the toothbrush and toothpaste to try and remove the peanut butter. Once they are finished brushing have them try and remove the peanut butter using the floss.

This will help your child understand that brushing simply can't reach all the places between your teeth and that dental floss does a much better job at removing food!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Who Should Extract My Wisdom Teeth, General Dentist or Specialist?

I recently had a member call and ask me if they were required to go to a specialist to get their wisdom teeth removed. As usual my first question to them was "have you seen your regular dentist and asked them about it?". They told me that they had not yet visited the regular dentist but wanted to save money on 2 visits if they were referred to a specialist.
To answer the base question, the answer is NO. Some general dentists can and will pull your wisdom teeth, if they are comfortable and equipped to do so. My advise was, and always has been, to let your general dentist make that call. Wisdom teeth are more tricky than wise. They can cause you problems or pain especially if they are coming in crooked. In some cases they grow in at an awkward angle and push on your back molars, causing pain and ultimately affecting the healthy growth of the other teeth. In most cases such as that, a specialist would likely be involved. However, if the wisdom teeth are growing in straight and with no issues, then it is possible that your general dentist, if equipped and comfortable with doing so, would be able to extract the wisdom teeth for you.
How the wisdom teeth are growing in can easily be identified through x-rays. If regular check-up and x-rays are taken then the chances of early diagnosis of how the growth pattern of the wisdom teeth is increased.
So in short, (and this applies to any procedure), always check with your general dentist first! Let them make the call to refer you to specialist or not. This, in the long run, can save you a lot of money, time and effort.
If you are a member of our dental plan, please make sure that the specialist that you are visiting is indeed in our network of specialists.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Question From Our Member

Questions From Our Members

R. Hammond of Denver, CO. asks: 

“I have developed a ringing in my ears and after several tests, my doctor told me to see my dentist and get check out.  Is there a dental condition that can cause this?”

Savon’s Answer

What you have is a condition known as ‘Tinnitus.’  It´s a condition that causes distracting tones when the person isn´t talking or listening to something.  Yes, this ringing can also be a symptom of a dental condition called, ‘TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder.’  Because afflictions of the jaw can affect hearing, TMJ can result in tinnitus for some people.

We strongly suggest that you follow your doctor´s advice and visit your dentist as soon as possible.

The original post is in our July 2020 Newsletter!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

By definition, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine,  Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of practice that focuses on the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, through the use of oral appliance therapy and/or upper airway surgery.

More and more dentists are entering into this field of treatment.  The way it works is this: A qualified physician diagnoses the condition through a series of studies done on the patient,  then the dentist provides treatment; ( i.e. usually a custom fitted oral device, worn during sleep and designed to keep the airway open by supporting the jaw and tongue.)

A loved one may notice heavy snoring or interrupted breathing patterns that can happen many times during the sleep cycle, however, if you live alone the following signs could be an indication that you may need to be checked out:

                  Mild to heavy daytime sleepiness
                  Morning headaches
                  Depression
                  Decreased libido
                  Inability to concentrate

Additionally, if you are overweight  you may have a higher risk for sleep apnea.  Essentially, through oxygen deprivation and lack of refreshing sleep, this disorder can wreak havoc on your body over time. It can put you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke and even heart attack, not to mention the risk of sudden death while sleeping due to the closing of the airway.

Many people have this disorder and are unaware of the danger it poses.  It is effectively a silent killer.  If you think you or a loved one may have this, contact your healthcare provider and arrange for a screening.  It could save your life!