Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Vitamin D is Essential To Your Best Oral Health

 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.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Sharing Toothbrushes, Toothpaste and Containers Could Spread Covid-19

 As gross as it sounds, many people share toothbrushes.  However, I would have never thought sharing toothpaste could cause any harm.

A new study, investigated hundreds of families over a 15 day period and the results are eye opening. The results showed:

  • 55% of Covid-19 positive people who shared a toothbrush passed the virus to other members of the household. 
  • 66% of people who tested positive for Covid-19 and who share a toothbrush container with family members, passed the virus on. **This has always been always been a bad idea**
  • If you share toothpaste among the family, there is a 30% chance you may spread the virus due to cross-contamination.

Important remembers:

  • Change your toothbrush ever three months!
  • If you have recovered from Covid-19 it's important to toss your toothbrush no matter how new it is.
  • Disinfect your toothbrush with antibacterial mouthwash after brushing can help kill bacteria growth.
  • Brush and scrape your tongue. This is the best place for growth of bacteria. 

Continue to stay safe!

Information found here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Dentistry In Mexico - It's Your Decision, But Choose Wisely.

Given our current national situation and with people grasping at straws to get things done, I thought it appropriate to repost this blog.  It is still relevant after all these years. 

The following excerpt was taken from a blog I published way back in February of 2008: "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."

With time, the economy over the last 10-15 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  [admittedly 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. The drawbacks to these seemingly stellar benefits are the risks of complication, and to mention again, safety during travel.  When Mexico is hundreds of miles away and the patient needs further, immediate treatment, where do they go?  They go to a dentist in America who certainly will not fix the problem for free...and well, there you have it.

All that said, there are 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, would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble and educated opinion a good Dental Plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's much safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling! 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Lumineers Vs. Veneers: What's The Difference?

Veneers/lumineers are a type of cosmetic dentistry. They are both made out of thin porcelain, and both:

-Cover only the visible portions of the teeth
-Repair minor tooth imperfections
-straighten and lengthen teeth
-conceal stained or discolored fillings
-are stain proof

The difference?

Veneers: are thin shells that bond to teeth. They are permanent, custom made, and require removal of a portion of the tooth to fit the veneer. Pro- they feel more natural. Con- they can't be removed.

Lumineers: are thinner than the veneers (about the thickness of a contact lens). Your natural tooth does not need to be altered in any way to fit a lumineer. Pro- they can be removed. Con- may feel bulkier than the regular veneers.

Information can be found here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Causes of Chronic Dry Mouth

You might be surprised by how many people suffer daily from a condition known as Xeristomia or Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can be brought on by any number of medical maladies and various prescription drugs. 

Some causes include: 
  • Medications such as antihistamines, sedatives and diuretics,  
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dehydration
  • Diabetes
  • Poor hygiene and tooth decay
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's disease, MS and Lupus
  • Dry, arid climate
Most sufferers can find little relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching their thirst.
New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweeteners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. Xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth sealing in moisture and stimulates saliva flow.
A plethora of amazing over-the-counter products are endorsed by dentists for treating dry mouth. Some products worth checking out are Biotene, Oasis and Sensodyne for Dry Mouth.
Be sure to check with your doctor if you have the symptoms of dry mouth.  Make sure you find the cause before you use any OTC treatments! 

As always, Keep Smiling!  

Thursday, November 5, 2020

I Have A Ringing In My Ears...How Could This Be Related To My Teeth?

Questions From Our Members

B. Bradbury of Houston, Texas asks: 

“I have a constant ringing in my ears and my PCP suggested that I get examined by a dentist.  What could my teeth have to do with this ringing?”

Savon’s Answer

Although we are not dentists, we did do some research and here´s some of what we found.

The constant ringing in the ear is known as tinnitus.

It has been reported that tooth abscesses or impacted wisdom teeth can cause tinnitus.  In such cases dental treatment may cure the condition.  Other times the tinnitus will gradually fade over time.  One way this can occur is by aggravation of existing Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction.  Infection in the tooth or impacted wisdom teeth can cause inflammation that affects the TM joint.

TMJ dysfunction can be treated by dentists who specialize in the condition.  They begin by fitting a mouth guard that aligns the lower jaw with the skull.  When needed, more advanced, non–invasive therapies are developed to relax the muscle tissues.

There have been isolated cases of bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus that occurs following dental surgery to remove impacted wisdom teeth.

Another way that tinnitus can be caused is by the prolonged neck bending that occurs during dental surgery.  This is referred to as somatic tinnitus and happens when bodily signals due to muscle strain can influence normal auditory pathways.

Unconsciously clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth is known as bruxism.  This is one of the primary causes of TMJ dysfunction and often leads to tinnitus.  It is a habit, which can be broken, not a reflex chewing activity.  It can originally be caused by a number of conditions including allergy, trauma or high stress.  Once bruxism becomes a habit, the original stimulus can be removed and the bruxism will continue.

Bruxism can also be treated with mouth guards, much like TMJ therapy.  Further treatments may involve biofeedback or hypnotherapy to promote relaxation.

Original post from our November 2020 newsletter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Is It Okay To Disagree With My Dental Treatment Plan?

 Quite often we field phone calls from members who would like to change their dentist because they disagree with a diagnosis. Often times, the perception is that the dentist is "over-diagnosing" on the treatment plan to make more money. Now I can assure you that 98% of the time that is not the case.

 Know that every dentist is different. One dentist may identify something that one did not. Another one may have training or access to new technology that the other one doesn't. Different training, different perspectives...it doesn't mean that one or the other is wrong.  This usually goes way beyond wrong or right. 

How a dentist diagnoses is often dependent on how/where they were trained. Some dental colleges have a more aggressive diagnostic curriculum as others have a more conservative diagnostic curriculum. Depending on which curriculum the school that your dentist went to had, depends on which type of diagnosis you may get.

Although an aggressive diagnostic treatment plan may be overwhelming to patient, it is not always a bad thing. It focuses on the long term solution to your dental problems with more of a restorative style of treatment..
A conservative diagnostic treatment plan is not a bad thing either. It focuses on trying more to save the original teeth that you have, rather than replace it with a crown or something else, until that is really needed. It should be discussed with you and your dentist and it really comes down to what is right for you at the time. 

As I said, it is not that either one of the dentists is wrong or right, or that one is a better dentist than the other. It simply comes down to how they were taught to diagnose your treatment. It does not mean that aggressive diagnostic dentist is trying to rip you off by over diagnosing (which is the common misconception by patients). It does not mean that the conservative dentist is under diagnosing and missing things that need to be done (which is another common misconception by patients)
In fact, an aggressive treatment may cost you more money now, but can save you a lot of money in the future. However, on the flip side of things, the conservative diagnosis treatment will save you money now, but could cost you more in the future.

We commonly recommend and encourage patients to obtain a 2nd opinion when concerned about the particular diagnosis that they are given, prior to just changing to another dentist based solely on a diagnostic result.

Keep Smiling!