Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Importance of Good Hygiene With MS Patients

 The effects of MS are widespread over the body but one thing many don't consider is how it can affect your oral health, both directly and indirectly.


As the disease progresses, motor function becomes impaired, pain can be intense, the immune system is suppressed.  Brushing and flossing can be difficult for these patients as motor function and dexterity are essential to be able to exercise proper hygiene.

In addition to motor function, medications can cause dry mouth, which creates a perfect place for bacteria to grow and leads to cavities and gum disease.  The use of steroids can weaken the immune system which in turn allows infections to flourish.

Depression is another factor in oral health management.  Depressed individuals may tend to push aside personal hygiene including brushing and flossing, so keeping a watchful eye on your loved one is important as they may need a gentle nudge here and there to get them back on track.

It is so very important that MS patients keep good oral hygiene.  To do that, they may need assistance.  In the event that it isn't possible, here are some suggestions that may help to make brushing a little easier for them.


  • Buy a thick handled toothbrush or wrap some type of gripping material around the handle to make it easier to hold.
  • Invest in an electric toothbrush.  It's easier to hold and doesn't require a lot of movement.  
  • Another good investment might be a Waterpik! Again, it requires less dexterity and movement. 
  • Ask a caregiver or a family member for help.
  • Schedule additional cleanings at the dentist.  Instead of the usual 2 per year, schedule 4 instead.  This helps keep ahead of gum disease.               
Keep Smiling!                                                                                                                                                                       

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Get Shades Whiter!

 What is the Zoom Whiting all about?
Zoom Whiting is a bleaching process that lightens the discoloration of enamel.

What is the process for the procedure?
First, you will begin with a short preparation to cover your gums and lips leaving only your teeth exposed. Next, the assistant will apply a whitening gel all over your teeth, then they will apply the light. Now is the time to sit back and relax.

How long is the procedure?
This procedure will last a total of 45 min. Three 15 min. sessions. Between each session, the assistant will reapply the whiting gel.

Are there any side effects?
Some people may experience sensitivity. On rare occasions, tingling may occur after the treatment. You can ask your dentist to prescribe an anti-sensitivity toothpaste before treatment.

This is a fast way to achieve a brighter smile but in my opinion, it's not worth the pain afterward. I have had this procedure twice. The first time, I had no idea what to expect. The second time, I was told the gel was reformulated for people who have sensitive teeth...Well, all I can say is, I will never have this done again!


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Effect of Vaping On Oral Health

The nicotine in vapor can cause periodontal disease and cause your gums to recede. However, it does not have the same effect as a normal cigarette.  That is not to say that it's healthier for you!

Although vaporizers with zero percent of nicotine can be easily found on the market, most of them still contain a certain percent (the amount varies from 0 to 35 mg/ml)

Nicotine is harmful in so many ways and when it comes to teeth it causes the following:

• Gum recession
 – by reducing the blood flow through the blood vessels, nicotine deprives the 
gums from oxygen and all other vital substances.

• Periodontitis (gum infection) – inflammation around the tooth which damages the soft tissue around the teeth and the bone that supports it

•Gingivitis – inflammation around the teeth usually caused by bacteria. Nicotine promotes the gum’s susceptibility for this condition.

So, consider that the younger you are, the earlier you may begin to see symptoms of gum disease. Although it is better than cigarette, the risk is still there.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cracked Tongue?

 Have you ever experienced a cracked tongue? Me neither. 

Cracked tongue is where a person's tongue has one or more groves alongside the surface of the tongue. These cracks can be very minimal or very deep. Although this may seem extremely painful, people have mentioned that they usually only feel a burning sensation after they have eaten acidic food or drinks. 

As of right now, there is no rhyme or reason for cracked tongue syndrome but there has been some research that has found a few links connecting the two. These include:

  • B12 Deficiency
  • Low Zinc levels
  • Low Iron levels
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications
If you are experiencing cracked tongue syndrome, it's important to step up your oral health routine. Make sure you remove any food particles that may become trapped in the groves. If you do not remove these you are putting yourself at a higher risk of different bacterial infections. 


Image found on google.



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Can Obesity and Gum Disease be Related?

 Researchers have been working to verify the suspicion, but as it appears now, people who suffer from obesity could be at a higher risk of developing gum disease than everyone else.


The reason obesity raises the risk?

Obesity causes the body to release proteins containing flammatory properties called cytokines.  These cytokines could potentially damage or injure the gum tissue, which could likely lead to gum disease.   However, half of the US population over 30 suffer from gum disease.  Gum disease itself also releases cytokines, which if you're obese, could lead to other dangerous inflammatory diseases throughout the body.  

To get the latest information on this study, check out the original article HERE.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Could Your Mouth Be Causing IBD?

As you may know, oral health can affect more than just the inside of a mouth. Poor oral hygiene can cause other serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes but could it also be causing Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Nobuhiko Kamada, Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine in the division of gastroenterology at U-M Medical School has been collecting and researching the different types of bacterias found in a person's gut. During his research, Dr. Kamada has found that the overgrown bacteria found within the gut of a person who suffers from IBD is also linked to bacteria that is normally found inside the mouth. 

Dr. Kamada contacted the dental school and asked them "does oral diseases affect the severity of gastrointestinal diseases?"

After further research, a study was published in Celi, which shows that oral bacteria found in the gut can worsen inflammation. 

If you would like to read more about the study click here!


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Are Mail Order Braces For Everyone?

 Clear braces are the current rave...and many young adults and teens are hoping to escape those "ugly metal braces".  But are they right for you?  Maybe not!


Clear braces may sound like a more attractive deal than they really are.  There are many mail order types available, ranging from $79 kits to $1895 packages that allow you to take your own impressions, mail them in and then wait for the aligners to come in the mail.  What many people don't understand is that there are  certain dental maladies that clear braces cannot fix, such as a tooth that has not fully erupted or grown in, or a twisted tooth, or even a misaligned jaw.  Those things require metal braces. While companies like Invisalign have come a long way in recent years, i.e. treating more severe cases of malocclusion, there are still advantages to wearing metal braces. Additionally, you may be required to wear clear braces for a longer period of time than you might with metal braces.  

Clear braces are expensive.  Although some insurance companies now cover Invisalign, be sure to see a certified Invisalign provider to make sure it is the right fit for you!  

Keep Smiling!  

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Are Virtual Dental Visits A Feasible Option?

 In our September 2020 Newsletter, a Savon member asked: "Are virtual dental visits a feasible option?"

Savon's response was: "If you are using a virtual visit to replace a visit for a dental problem then I don´t think it´s a feasible option.

Virtual dental visits have been in use since 2012 in areas where dental care is inadequate and dentists are limited.  In most of these cases a dentist works virtually with a hygienist to assess the needs of the patient and schedule appointments as required.

While this system works for undeserved areas you are always better off actually seeing a dentist in person if possible."

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Food For Your Oral Health - The Good and the Bad

 Have you ever wondered what you've eaten that causes dental caries (cavities)? Or, on the flip side, have you ever wondered what foods have contributed to your good dental health?


The following is a list of the five best foods for your teeth, followed by the five worst.  

BEST FOODS

1. Milk
2. Yogurt
3. Strawberries
4. Green Tea
5. Sugar Free Gum

WORST FOODS

1. Raisins
2. Lemons
3. Soda
4. White Bread
5. Gummy Candy and Hard Candy

Eat the good stuff, and Keep Smiling!