Thursday, December 30, 2021

Top Ten Reasons To Remove Your Wisdom Teeth

 5. Gum disease and inflammation associated with wisdom teeth may lead to receding gum tissues, deterioration of the jawbone, and tooth loss.

4. Wisdom teeth may contribute to the crowding of nearby teeth.

3. ~ Even wisdom teeth that seem to be problem-free- (asymptomatic) remain a breeding ground for oral infection and inflammation. Research supports the concept that such inflammation may enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development and/or progression of a variety of diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
2. ~ Once it has been determined that a wisdom tooth will not successfully erupt into your mouth and be maintained in a healthy state, early removal of wisdom teeth is associated with a faster and easier recovery.
1. ~ The number one reason for removing your wisdom teeth is "Peace of Mind"

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Wide Spectrum of the Dental Arts

 Technology is rapidly advancing, particularly in the dental industry. So, it is no surprise that dentists are branching out into other fields. Simple dental caries, bruxism, orthodontic malocclusion and misalignment of the jaw have long been treated by the dentist, while treatments for varying ailments such as sleep apnea, migraine headaches, ringing in the ears and even Tourette’s syndrome have always fallen into the purview of an MD or a medical specialist.  However, by advancement of technology, dentists are now able to integrate dental treatments for things like TMJ or structural Maxillofacial problems with the jaw into treatments for these ailments, among other things. 

Devices such as TMD splints, night orthotics and post-orthodontic appliances are proving to be useful for a variety of ailments.  It seems that misalignment of the jaw can contribute to a myriad of ailments...including sleep apnea, digestive issues, poor body posture, muscle spasms, decreased strength overall along with muscle aches and pains, to name just a few. 
If you suffer from any of these ailments, you might consider consulting with your dentist as well as your healthcare provider.  There may be a simple solution out there for you!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Top Ten Reasons To Remove Your Wisdom Teeth!

Here are reasons 10-6:

10.) Because there is limited space for wisdom teeth to erupt and because surrounding gums are difficult to keep clean, infection and inflammation are common even when there are no apparent symptoms. Research shows that once inflammation takes hold, it is impossible to eliminate and may spread to other teeth.

9.) Research suggests that oral inflammation associated with wisdom teeth may contribute to preterm or low birth weight infants.

8.) Even when wisdom teeth erupt through the gum tissues, they rarely provide any meaningful function and are always difficult to keep clean.

7.) In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth develop associated cysts and/or tumors. Removal of such lesions may require extensive procedures to repair and restore jaw functions and appearance.

6.) With age, the chance for complications related to the removal of wisdom teeth increases.

Come back next week for the rest!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

MS Can Affect Your Oral Health!

 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!                                                                                                                                                                     

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Charcoal Toothpaste - A Disaster in the Making?

I recently blogged about a Tik Tok trend involving Magic Eraser sponges for whitening your teeth.  This blog about charcoal toothpaste falls into the same category! 

Fads are exactly that...fads.  While it may seem like a good thing, the opposite is often true. In the case of charcoal toothpaste, the results are in.  Not a good thing!!!  

Charcoal toothpaste can actually cause the damage to your teeth that it purports to prevent, according to a study published in the British Dental Journal.  It is an abrasive product.  It can actually wear away the enamel on your teeth making them more susceptible to decay, and can damage your gums.  There are a few charcoal toothpaste products that have fluoride, but with the abrasive properties of the toothpaste it does little to protect the enamel of the teeth.  
So, the jury is in, and charcoal toothpaste has been touted as a "marketing gimmick".  
Buyer beware!
If in doubt, the link to the article can be found here.  Don't be afraid to ask your dentist about it.  No doubt he/she will tell you the same thing.  

Keep Smiling! 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Are You Thinking About Using Aspen Dental? If So, Read This!

Direct Copy from Dr.

DSO Aspen Dental hit with deceptive advertising lawsuit
By Melissa Busch, associate editor

"December 13, 2021 -- Massachusetts filed a lawsuit on December 9 against dental service organization (DSO) Aspen Dental Management for allegedly running a series of bait-and-switch advertisements that resulted in unexpected costs for thousands of patients.

The lawsuit was filed in Suffolk County Superior Court and accuses Aspen Dental of violating the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Law, as well as a settlement the DSO signed in 2014 with the state related to similar conduct, according to a press release issued by the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

"Aspen Dental took advantage of vulnerable consumers in need of dental care and used misleading advertising to lure them into their offices under false pretenses," Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a release.

In a statement to, an Aspen Dental spokesperson said the lawsuit lacked merit and was designed to grab headlines. The company intends to fight the case, which it claims relies on old information.

"Sadly, the Massachusetts Attorney General has brought a lawsuit based on overblown rhetoric that's inconsistent with its own actions," the spokesperson said.

Claims of false advertising

Between 2014 and 2021, Aspen Dental Management, recently rebranded as TAG - The Aspen Group, advertised consistently that its offices offer free x-rays and dental exams to new patients who were not covered with insurance. However, the company purportedly routinely charged patients for these services, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit accuses the company of not honoring "guarantees" and engaging in other deceptive practices in its interactions with consumers. It further claims that the company's misconduct began by luring consumers to its offices with the false promises of free services, which sent many consumers into debt collection.

Also, Aspen Dental is accused of taking advantage of patients who were experiencing pain and seeking emergency treatment. The dental service organization allegedly told callers that their initial appointments were free. However, customers were billed after they received exams for their emergencies, according to the suit.

Though Aspen Dental fraudulently advertised "no hidden fees," the state alleges that the company's scheduling center representatives were "not permitted to advise" prospective patients of certain fees that typically are associated with emergency appointments.

Prior legal actions in Mass.

The claims outlined in the lawsuit mirror prior accusations against Aspen Dental in the state. In a 2014 settlement, Aspen Dental agreed to pay $990,000 to settle allegations of deceptive advertising and marketing practices and for failing to refund patients for services not provided in Massachusetts. At the time, Aspen Dental and Aspen Dental Associates of New England reportedly ran misleading advertisements, unlawfully charged consumers before they received treatments, and failed to refund patients.

In filing this new suit, Massachusetts aims to prevent Aspen Dental from using these unlawful practices. The state also seeks for the company to pay restitution for victims as well as civil penalties and costs to the state.

Though Aspen Dental denied the allegations, the DSO agreed to pay at least $770,000 in restitution to first-time customers who allegedly were forced to pay for exams and x-rays that the company said would be free. Also, Aspen Dental agreed to contact patients who were eligible for refunds and pay $220,000 to Massachusetts. Furthermore, the DSO specifically agreed not to advertise free services without disclosing all limitations or misrepresent credit card, loan, and refund policies.

Aspen Dental response

When asked to comment on the story, the Aspen Dental spokesperson submitted the following statement to

"We have been cooperating with the AG's [attorney general's] office since the beginning. We've not only responded to their massive demands, but most, if not all of the concerns raised by the AG's office that we've known about were addressed long ago, whether we agreed with them or not. In fact, a judge observed on the record that we acted in good faith during the AG's multi-year investigation and declined to order sanctions against us that the AG sought.

"Aspen Dental was founded with a mission of breaking down barriers to care. The company has worked for years in Massachusetts to lower the barriers to quality dental care in the neighborhoods that needed it most. ... We’re proud of the services we provide to support the independent practice owners in Massachusetts, enabling them to provide care for more than 200,000 patient visits each year in the state – the vast majority who are repeat customers."

In Massachusetts, Aspen Dental has more than 25 dental offices. These offices collected more than $389 million in net patient revenue from December 2014 to January 2019, according to the release."

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Can Baby Teeth Identify Possible Mental Disorders?

Did you know your baby teeth can reveal many clues about your childhood? If your answer is no, then you are in for a treat! Baby teeth can expose physical stress such as poor nutrition or disease. The enamel on the tooth is affected causing growth lines inside the tooth. Similar to the rings found inside of a tree! An interesting fact is that the thicker the growth rings, the more stress the individual has faced in their short life.

Eric C. Dunn, ScD, MPH created a hypothesis to see if the thickness of the neonatal line (NNL) had any effect on whether the infant's mother had higher levels of physiological stress during pregnancy. 

Mr. Dunn and two people from the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopment Genetics Unit conducted a study. This study consisted of mothers filling out a survey. Some of the questions asked were about stressful events during the prenatal period, maternal history of psychological problems, neighborhood quality, and level of social support.

After the mothers completed the survey Mr. Dunn and his team measured and analyzed the NNL on each tooth. 

Interesting findings immerged from this study!

Children that had mothers with depression, psychological problems, and/or anxiety during their pregnancy had thicker NNL's.

With this new information, Mr. Dunn believes "that the NNL and other tooth growth marks could be used in the future to identify children who have been exposed to early life adversity. Then we can connect those kids to interventions. So we can prevent the onset of mental health disorders and do that as early on in the lifespan as we possibly can."

Click here for the full article!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Risky Tik Tok Trend Brings Warnings From Dentists

Dentists are condemning a viral TikTok video that suggests people rub a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on their teeth to whiten them, according to a July 13, 2021 news story on Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a melamine foam sponge used for household cleaning purposes.

Although Magic Eraser packaging states that the sponge should not be used on skin or other body parts, one woman claims on TikTok she has used it for the last two years to whiten her teeth.

Her teeth may appear whiter, but Texas dentist Dr. Benjamin Winters explained in a rebuttal video that what the woman has done is scrub the enamel off her teeth.

The sponge should not be used on teeth because it becomes abrasive when melamine foam is mixed with water and other chemicals, according to the news article.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers already carry a warning advising against their use on the skin or body parts. A safety advisory has also been added to the TikTok video, according to the news story.

Until next time; brush, floss and keep smiling!

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Gum Chewing

The majority of us chew gum every day, but have you ever wondered if it is causing any short or long-term effects? Well, I came across an article called "Gum chewing: Short & Long Term Effects" from one of our Savon providers: Imagine Dental in Phoenix, Arizona. 

"Gum chewing is a daily habit that many, if not all of us, partake in. What are the short-term and long-term effects of gum chewing? In this article, we will explore the science behind why it’s bad for your teeth, as well as some potential solutions to avoid these side effects.

Chewing sugarless gum has been shown to help reduce dental plaque formation by stimulating saliva production; however, there can be consequences from constantly chewing on sugary gums (e.g., bubble & diet). Let’s start with an overview: The threat posed by salivary amylase isn’t news – dentists have known about its ability to break down tooth enamel since at least 1916. It’s the same enzyme that helps us digest starch. If you’re chewing on sugarless gum, however, your salivary amylase isn’t breaking down any starches because there aren’t any in the gum, to begin with. Instead, it attacks tooth enamel. It also erodes enamel at a faster rate. In addition to salivary amylase, sugary gums contain other ingredients. They can be detrimental to your teeth. Sugar-free gum may not have the same effects as sugar-sweetened varieties regarding tooth decay and cavities. In 2010 researchers found another reason for concern: artificial sweeteners such as xylitol and Sorbitol. When these chemicals come in contact with saliva, they ferment into acids that attack tooth enamel.

Problems Associated With Gum Chewing

Decreased Saliva Production & Dry Mouth
An hour after consuming sugar, the saliva flow rate in healthy adults is approximately 30% less than before eating. One can imagine that if you’re chewing gum all day long (and not swallowing when doing so), your mouth may never get a chance to recover. Chewing gums with artificial sweeteners also causes dry mouth. They act like dietary sugars and suppress our natural ability to generate saliva; the results of study after study confirm this effect.

The best way to keep yourself from going into ‘chew-mode’ at any given moment is don’t have it around – throw away those packs of gum sitting on your desk or in your car’s cup holder.

Doing that will prevent increased tooth decay & acid wear on the teeth from sugarless gums containing Xylitol or Sorbitol. : “Sorbitol is a sugar substitute that causes an increased incidence of dental caries (cavities) as well as gastrointestinal disturbance with prolonged use. Xylitol is also considered harmful, especially for children younger than age six.”

Xylitol can be found in many products, including candy, gum, baked goods, and toothpaste.
Solutions: We must learn how to brush our teeth with fluoride-containing products properly, floss daily, limit snacking between meals if necessary, drink water throughout the day, & stay away from sugary gums. Also, make sure you are receiving proper oral hygiene care. If your dentist recommends sealing your molars due to excessive wear on those surfaces, it would be best to avoid chewing gum.

Dental Trauma & Jaw Problems
Chewing gum makes your jaw stronger, right? Not necessarily. There’s sub evidence that chewing gum can lead to an increase in the number of headaches you experience over time.

And once again, we see a potential link between excessive gum-chewing and TMJ. When you chew on something for extended periods (especially when stressed), it forces your jaw muscles into positions they aren’t used to, which could cause pain or discomfort. Solutions: make sure you are receiving proper oral hygiene care. If your dentist recommends sealing your molars due to excessive wear on those surfaces, it would be best to avoid chewing gum. Also, keep yourself from going into ‘chew mode’ at any given moment if possible.

Increased Risk of Diabetes
Gum chewing may also provide a pathway to type II diabetes. Researchers have found that sweeteners such as those in sugarless gum can increase the body’s insulin response, one factor for developing diabetes. Gum chewing increases the risk of diabetes by sending signals to your brain that you’re eating something sweet, resulting in insulin release. Over time this can lead to metabolic changes and increased risk for prediabetes or type II diabetes. If you need a sugar substitute while chewing gum, I would recommend using xylitol. Xylitol has been shown not to cause an increase in blood glucose levels like other artificial sugars & make sure you are receiving proper oral hygiene care.

Increased Risk of Head, Neck & Colon Cancer
One study found that people who chewed gum after every meal had a 35 percent higher incidence rate of leukemia than those who didn’t chew at all. Gum-chewers were also 50 percent more likely to develop multiple myeloma, a form of bone-marrow cancer. The condition occurs due to the effect of chewing gum on the flow of saliva, which can compromise your ability to swallow. Chewing gums that contain Xylitol or Sorbitol are especially harmful because they act like dietary sugars and suppress our natural ability to generate saliva. This effect was arrived at by the results of the study from different scholars.

Increased Risk of Heart Attack
One study found that people who chewed gum after every meal had a 35 percent higher incidence rate of leukemia than those who didn’t chew at all. Gum-chewers were also 50 percent more likely to develop multiple myeloma, a form of bone-marrow cancer. The gum increases your risk of heart attack by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure, which can be a factor in triggering a heart attack or stroke. Solutions:

Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
One study found that people who chewed gum after every meal had a 35 percent higher incidence rate of leukemia than those who didn’t chew at all. Gum-chewers were also 50 percent more likely to develop multiple myeloma, a form of bone-marrow cancer.

Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
One study found that people who chewed gum after every meal had a 35 percent higher incidence rate of leukemia than those who didn’t chew at all. Gum-chewers were also 50 percent more likely to develop multiple myeloma, a form of bone-marrow cancer. It is due to the artificial sweeteners it contains.

Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
One study found that people who chewed gum after every meal had a 35 percent higher incidence rate of leukemia than those who didn’t chew at all. Gum-chewers were also 50 percent more likely to develop multiple myeloma, a form of bone-marrow cancer.

Another study found that gum chewing increased cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels. Why is this bad? Stress hormones, specifically the catecholamines, adrenaline (epinephrine), and noradrenaline (norepinephrine), are associated with memory deficits in elderly individuals. In addition, the artificial sweeteners in gum are known to induce insulin response which could play a role in Alzheimer’s because it is associated with diabetes, obesity, and impaired cognitive function.
Gum chewing is a habit you should reduce or stop if you want to maintain good oral health.

The best way to avoid gum-related health risks is by not chewing it at all. But if you must chew, make sure the gum doesn’t contain any of these ingredients and that it’s sugarless or contains xylitol only.

The best way to enjoy your favorite piece of bubblegum safely is by choosing a brand with natural sweeteners such as stevia extract instead of artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda), which has been linked to increased insulin levels in mice. Sucralose also raises glucose levels in diabetic patients. Other great alternatives are Bubble Yum Gum & Sun Drops Organic Chewing Gum, brimming with flavors but free from dangerous chemical additives. I recommend you stick to these brands and avoid chewing gum altogether to maintain a healthy balance of various bacteria in your oral cavity.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

I Disagree With My Dentist's Diagnosis. What Now?

 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 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!  

Friday, November 26, 2021

Smoking And Drinking Can Cause Fillings To Fail

Yes, this is true. The Pittsburgh Dental School did some research and found that people who drink and/or smoke have a greater number of filling that fail.

It turns out that the chemicals in alcohol and a cigarette can actually degrade the bond used by dentists to put a filling in. It will actually cause the bond between the filling and the tooth's surface to fail and cause the filling to fall out.

The interesting thing is that a filling failure could also be a genetic condition in most people. A difference in the gene for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2), an enzyme found in teeth, was linked to increased filling failure. Those that have that difference could be at a higher risk for filling failure, and drinking and smoking can amplify it in them quicker than a person without it who smokes and drinks.

Original post on December 29, 2017

Friday, November 19, 2021

Could Antibiotics Worsen Oral Infections?

Usually, when you have an infected tooth, your dentist gives you antibiotics before any procedure, right?

Well, new research from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has found that antibiotics kill the "good" bacteria which helps keep the infection and inflammation at bay and can do more harm than good.

 Pushpa Panduyan stated "Of course, antibiotics are still needed for life threatening infections. No question about that. Our bodies have many natural defenses that we shouldn't meddle with," she said. However, needless overuse of antibiotics is not helpful."

"Also, we know there is a definite link between oral health and overall health," she added.

 For the research and results click here!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Stem Cell Implant Technology

 Could traditional implants and dentures be a thing of the past?

Imagine going to the dentist, having a tooth extracted and finding out that you can simply grow another in it's place; with a little help from science, that is.  It may be the way of the near may even be cheaper than implants (and we all know that the full process for an implant can take up to 6 months, right?)  Apparently this new process of growing a new tooth can be done in only 9 weeks.  Unbelievable!

Here is a link to an article that explains the science behind it, and the process.  Amazing.

Now if they could only come up with a way to do an extraction that is non-invasive...well, one can dream, right?

Keep Smiling!  

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sedation For Children

Does your little one have a dental procedure coming up? Will it require sedation? Well, you're in luck! I came across this article "Sedation Dentistry Options For Children" published on 123 Dentist, we'll make you smile. This should help you make an informed decision on which sedation is best for your child.

"Children can often be apprehensive about dental treatment, but keeping oral health in good condition is important, especially at a young age. In certain situations, your dentist might recommend using a type of sedation during your child's treatment. This can be a worrying concept, but the right information will help to put your mind at rest.

Types of Sedation

There are several levels of sedation your dentist may choose to use depending on your child and the procedure to be undertaken.

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is the lowest level of sedation. It is blended with oxygen and administered through a small breathing mask. It is non-invasive, and once your child stops breathing nitrous oxide then the drug will quickly leave their system, and they will return to normal. Nitrous oxide won’t put your child to sleep, but it will help them to relax.

Mild sedation is usually induced using orally administered drugs. Your child will remain awake and usually be able to respond normally to verbal communication, but their movement and coordination may be affected. Respiratory and cardiovascular reflexes and functions are not affected at all, so there is no need for any additional monitoring equipment or oxygen.

Moderate sedation will make your child drowsy, and although they will usually respond to verbal communication they may not be able to speak coherently. They are likely to remain a little sleepy after the procedure, and most children cannot remember all or any of the procedure. This type of sedation can be reversed easily and breathing and cardiovascular function are generally unaffected.

Deep sedation is induced using intravenous drugs and will mean that your child is fully asleep. They may move a little and make sounds in response to repeated stimulation or any pain, but they will be in a deep sleep. Recovery from this type of sedation takes a little longer, and it is highly unlikely that your child will remember anything that happened. Sometimes respiratory or cardiovascular function can be impaired using these types of drugs, so there will be an extra qualified person present to monitor your child throughout the procedure.

The deepest option is a general anaesthetic, also induced using intravenous drugs. During a general anaesthetic, your child will be completely asleep and unable to respond to any stimulation, including pain. Your child will not remember any of the procedure, and should remain drowsy for some time afterwards. During this type of sedation, your child would be monitored by an anaesthetist who is trained in taking care of people under general anaesthetic. Recovery time is a little longer after a general anaesthetic than the other sedation types, and your child may need assistance with breathing during the procedure.

When Is Sedation Required?

There are a few reasons why sedation might be necessary for your child during a dental procedure. First of all, the procedure may be painful, so sedation would be appropriate to avoid unnecessary discomfort. Depending on the type and length of the procedure required, any of the above types of sedation might be appropriate.

If your child is at all anxious about visiting the dentist, it is important to make their experience as smooth as possible to avoid worsening the problem. The level of sedation required will depend on the level of anxiety and the procedure. For mild anxiety, nitrous oxide or mild sedation would help your child relax. If your child is very young, then a higher level might be appropriate to prevent them from moving during the procedure. In more extreme cases of anxiety or phobia, higher sedation levels may be required.

Sedation is sometimes required for children with behavioural disorders or other special needs. It can be difficult, or impossible, to explain to these children why dental care is required. The whole experience can therefore be very frightening for them, so an appropriate level of sedation may be used to help them remain calm and still for the procedure.

Concerns and Contraindications

Sedation has been used in dentistry for a long time, and the drugs and methods used are constantly reviewed. Anyone recommending or administering sedation is specially trained to do so safely, and during deep sedation and general anaesthetic your child is monitored by a trained professional in the room solely for that purpose.

Sometimes sedation can result in side effects such as nausea, vomiting, prolonged drowsiness, and imbalance. These effects usually wear off by themselves. After a deep sedation or general anaesthetic your child should be closely supervised to prevent falling, choking if they vomit, or airway obstruction.

Sedation of children for dental procedures is a common and safe practice. It may be worrying when your dentist first suggests it, but it is important not to increase your child’s anxiety so that they can maintain excellent dental care throughout their lives."

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Yes, Vaping Can Affect Your 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, November 4, 2021

Question From Our Member - What Is A Removable Bridge?

Questions From Our Members

J. Hugo of Queens, New York asks: 

“Can you please explain what a removable bridge is?  My dentist has suggested that I consider one.”

Savon’s Answer

As its name describes, a removable bridge (also called a partial denture) can be taken out of the mouth for cleaning.  Although removable bridges generally are less expensive, fixed bridges may feel more stable and comfortable.

Depending on your situation, however, a partial denture may be for you.  Working with your dentist, you should be able to determine which type (fixed or removable) is right for you.

Original post from our November 2021 Newsletter!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Lose a Tooth? Don't Worry - Someday You May be Able to Just...Grow Another?

 Wow. Isn't technology awesome? Imagine going to the dentist, having a tooth extracted and finding out that you can simply grow another in its place; with a little help from science, that is.  It may be the way of the near may even be cheaper than implants (and we all know that the full process for an implant can take up to 6 months, right?)  Apparently this new process of growing a new tooth can be done in only 9 weeks and it involves stem cell technology.  Unbelievable!

Here is a link to an article that explains the science behind it, and the process.  Amazing.

Now if they could only come up with a way to do an extraction that is non-invasive...well, one can dream, right?

Keep Smiling!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Soft Bristle vs Medium Bristle Toothbrush

When you go to the store to buy a new toothbrush, the dilemma begins. What kind of brush do you buy? Soft bristle, Medium Bristle, Extra Soft? So many choices!! Well, the answer is quite simple. First off, just know that the hard bristle brushes that could almost double as bbq grill cleaner are few and far between and harder to find anymore. For most people, the soft brush is a good fit, but let's compare them so you can decide for yourself.

Soft Bristle: This is what the majority of people will use. The bristles are firm enough to effectively clean your teeth and loosen anything that is stuck in your teeth as well. The soft bristles are designed to be easy on your gum line and will reduce the chance of getting cuts.

Medium Bristle: The need for a medium brush is rare. First, if you have sensitivity in your gum you will want to stay away from it so you can avoid irritation. This is a good fit for someone who is a "soft brusher". This means if the pressure you put on your brush is really light, then the medium bristles will counteract that.

Extra-Soft: This brush is key for people that have sensitive teeth and gums. The bristles are soft enough to avoid irritation.

Make sure that you consult with your dentist on which brush they recommended for you!

Original Post: Nov. 10, 2016

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Effects of Vaping on Your Oral Health

 The simple answer is yes. The nicotine in vapor can cause periodontal disease and get cause your gum to recede. However, it does not have the same effect as a normal cigarette.

Although vaporizers with zero percent of nicotine can be easily found on the market, most of them do 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:

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

• Gums 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, although it is better than cigarette, the risk is still there.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Top 15 Halloween Candies Your Dentist Wishes You Won't Eat!

With Halloween just around the corner, every year dentist offices across the country encounter a rush of patients experiencing Halloween candy-related dental emergencies!! No joke!! It's very common for patients to present themselves to the dental staff with crowns or bridges that have been pulled off, fillings that have been pulled out, teeth that have been chipped or cracked all by these innocent sweeties we consume every year!! I've compiled a list of the most common offenders that can be found in your candy bowl!

Top 5 Worst Culprits
(these are known to extricate crowns, bridges, and fillings with ease)
  1. Sugar Daddy
  2. Milk Duds
  3. Dots
  4. Bit-O-Honey
  5. Good n' Plenty

Top 10 Accomplices
  1. Jolly Rancher
  2. Laffy Taffy
  3. Caramel
  4. Gummy Bears
  5. Toffee
  6. Tootsie Rolls
  7. Sugar Babies
  8. Now & Laters
  9. Super Bubble Gum/ Dubble Bubble Gum
  10. Slowpokes
There ya have it! For those of you who have any type of dental work done, watch out for these sneaky little candies...or you may find yourself in the dental chair bashfully blaming your missing filling on one of these sweet little criminals!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Original post by Dawn_DA  October 2009

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Trench Mouth - Could You Be Susceptible?

It's a common term that we don't hear very frequently anymore, but many people do not know that it's a real disease that most commonly affects the younger crowd, ages 25 and under. Less commonly, it has been known to affect people older than that.

It is a bacterial infection of the gums, characterized by painful sores of the mouth and surrounding mucous membranes, bleeding, foul breath, increased salivation and difficulty in swallowing and talking. Some causes are poor oral hygiene, stress, poor nutrition, smoking and immune deficiency. It can be treated effectively by your dentist with antibiotics and oxygenating rinses.
Proper hygiene is one of the best preventive strategies!

Here's an interesting fun fact:
The term "Trench mouth" actually came from epidemics that began among soldiers in the field during World War II where proper hygiene was not always possible, and conditions were unsanitary.

Keep Smiling Ya'll!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Question From Our Member: What Is Papillon–Lefevre Syndrome?

 Questions From Our Members

M. Bosman of Seattle, Washington asks: 

“I’m 22 years old and my dentist has diagnosed me with Papillon–Lefevre Syndrome.  He said that it is a rare genetic disorder that I most likely inherited.  Other than that, he was kind of vague.  Can you shed any light on this and does Savon cover treatment for this?”

Savon’s Answer

Keeping in mind that we are not doctors, we did some research and this is what we found out about Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome (PLS).

PLS is a genetic disorder.  PLS is a severe deficiency in an enzyme necessary to keep the connective tissues that support and connect the teeth healthy.

Without this enzyme, a person with PLS will slowly lose his/her teeth.  This starts with baby teeth by age four and adult teeth by early teens.

Treatment with antibiotics has been known to slow the process. But, typically, those with PLS will opt to have any remaining teeth removed in their teens and be fitted for dentures.

With newer dental options, implants may be a consideration but this course of treatment will depend on the remaining bone structure after extractions.

Of course, the treatment for this disorder is typically performed by a specialist and if you utilize a network specialist, you will receive a 25% discount.

Original Post in our October 2021 Newsletter!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Gum Injuries And How To Treat Them!

Have you ever experienced a gum injury? Did you know how to properly take care of it? Well, Check out this article from Glendale Aesthetic Dentistry, located in Glendale, Arizona. 

"When dental emergencies and pain occur, our attention is often focused on diseases and injuries related to the teeth. However, it's important to remember that the soft tissues of the mouth — the gums, tongue, lips, and cheek lining — may also be affected. While they are tough enough to stand up to the oral environment, these tissues can be damaged by accidental bites, falls, sports injuries, and scalding liquids. They may also suffer injury from foreign bodies that become lodged below the gum line, and they can develop painful and potentially serious abscesses.

First Aid for Soft Tissues

Soft tissue injuries in the mouth don't usually bleed excessively — although blood mixing with saliva may make any bleeding appear worse than it actually is. To assist someone with this type of injury, you should first try to rinse the mouth with a dilute saltwater solution. If a wound is visible, it can be cleaned with mild soap and water; if that isn't possible, try to remove any foreign material by hand, and rinse again.

Bleeding can usually be controlled by pressing damp gauze (or, if unavailable, another clean material) directly to the site of the injury, and keeping it there for 10-15 minutes. If the bleeding doesn't stop, immediate medical attention will be needed. Try to see a dentist within 6 hours of the injury for evaluation and treatment. This usually involves determining the extent of the damage, performing initial restorative procedures, and occasionally suturing (stitching) the wound. An antibiotic and/or tetanus shot may also be given.

Foreign Bodies

Occasionally, foreign objects may become lodged in the space between teeth and gums, causing irritation and the potential for infection. There are a few foods (such as popcorn husks) that seem especially prone to doing this, but other items placed in the mouth — like wood splinters from toothpicks or bits of fingernail, for example — can cause this problem as well.

If you feel something stuck under the gum, you can try using dental floss to remove it: Gently work the floss up and down below the gum line to try and dislodge the object. Light pressure from a toothpick may also help work it free — but avoid pressing too hard or pushing the object in deeper. If that doesn't work, see a dentist as soon as possible. Special tools may be needed to find and remove the object, and you may be given medication to prevent infection

Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses

Sometimes called a gum boil, a periodontal abscess is a pus-filled sac that may form between teeth and gums. It is caused by an infection, which may have come from food or other objects trapped beneath the gum line, or from uncontrolled periodontal disease. Because pressure builds up quickly inside them, abscesses are generally quite painful. Symptoms may include a throbbing toothache which comes on suddenly, tenderness and swelling of the gums or face, and sometimes fever. Occasionally, pus draining into the mouth through an opening in the sac relieves the pressure and pain but may cause a strange taste."

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Malnutrition May Be Underlying Cause of Dental Problems in Seniors

Malnutrition is a growing problem in society these days.  Believe it or not, it is more common among senior citizens than with any other age group. One of the reasons for this could be because of poor dental health. Affordability factors in to this issue in a big way.  

Seniors that have severe dental issues are more likely to skip meals or eat soft, non-nutritional foods, which leads to malnutrition. They may have sore teeth and gums, missing teeth, a denture that does not fit well, a broken denture or even a poor quality denture that would make it uncomfortable for them to eat and chew properly. Nutrients are best dispersed into the body when the food is chewed properly. 

It is important to note that senior citizens have different nutritional needs than younger crowds. It is essential that they eat regular balanced meals for optimal health. 

Signs of malnutrition include:
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Memory issues
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Anemia
If you suspect that someone you love could be suffering from malnutrition, be sure to talk to them about their dental health. Find out if they are having trouble eating due to dental issues. If so, have them checked by a dentist as soon as possible.

There are many programs, treatments, supplements and plans available to help people who suffer from this problem.  Don't let them suffer in silence!  

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Oral Cancer Screening At Home

 Six easy steps to check for oral cancer at home!

  1. Tongue - Extend your tongue as far as it can go, examine the sides and underside for white and red patches and feel your tongue for lumps.
  2. Lip and Cheek - Feel for any lumps or bumps while looking for white and red patches.
  3. Double-Digit Probe - Examine the floor of your mouth from the top to bottom simultaneously for lumps, red and white patches.
  4. Palate Tickle - Check the roof of your mouth for lumps and areas of softness on the hard palate, looking for white and red patches.
  5. Neck Caress - Palpate your neck for enlarged lymph nodes.
  6. Tonsils - Depress the tongue and check for enlarged tonsils and any white or red patches.
Remember this does not take place of seeing your dentist, this is just a cautionary screening. If you notice any unusual patches or unexplained soreness contact your dentist immediately.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Dry Mouth? There is Help For That!

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. Most sufferers have found little to no relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching it.
New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweetners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. The 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, September 23, 2021

Can Sharing Oral Hygiene Products Spread Covid-19?

 As Covid-19 and the new Delta variant continue to spread across the world, it's important that we all stay safe. One way to prevent yourself from catching these viruses is by not sharing any oral hygiene products. 

Sharing toothpaste, toothbrushes, or even toothbrush holders/containers probably never even crossed your mind, right? 

  • By sharing a toothbrush you could be passing the viruses to another family member.
  • Sharing a toothbrush holder/container can also pass the viruses from one toothbrush to the other. *Sharing a toothbrush holder/container has always been looked down upon*
  • If toothbrushes touch a shared toothpaste bottle, you could possibly be spreading the virus to anyone who uses that toothpaste.
Important reminders:
  • Change your toothbrush every three months.
  • If you have recovered from one of the viruses, toss your toothbrush no matter how new it is.
  • Disinfect your toothbrush with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing. This will help kill any bacteria.
  • Keep toothbrushes away from others.
  • Have everyone use separate toothpaste.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

What You Never Knew About Cavities!

 Cavities are no fun at all. No joke about that! However, there are a lot of myths out there about cavities. Let's see if we can play myth busters on a few of them.

MYTH: Only Sugar Can Cause Cavities:
FALSE:  Sorry mothers, I hate to take away your reason for your kid to have that candy car. Yes, sugar does cause cavities, but that is not the only culprit. If you want your kiddo to stay cavity free then you should steer them clear of bread and pasta, too. They contain starch, which is another cavity culprit.

MYTH: Extra Brushing Will Heal or Slow Down The Progression Of A Cavity
FALSE: Tooth enamel does not grow back. When you have a cavity, you need to get it filled. If you don't, you will eventually need a root canal and/or a crown. Brushing will not heal it or slow it down. Now, on the positive side, brushing will reduce the risk of obtaining more cavities and it will also keep the cavity clean and reduce the risk of infection.

MYTH: If I Have A Cavity, I Would Feel It
FALSE: Well, mostly false. If you feel the cavity and are experiencing pain, then you are probably dealing with a serious cavity that is much more advanced. When a cavity is starting chances are really good that you will not be able to feel it. Which is all the more the reason why regular dental checkups are so important.

So, it appears we have busted a few of the myths! I am sure there are many more. Do you have any that you would like to know about? Comment on this blog and we will try to find out if it is Myth or Fact!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Botox And Dental?

What are your thoughts on Botox? Would you get Botox treatment if it meant it could help with specific dental problems?

Check out this article by Perfect Teeth:

"When you think about Botox chances are good you think about a Gen-Xer having it done to maintain their youthful appearance. You wouldn’t be wrong – Botox is by far the most popular cosmetic procedure out there with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting over 7.4 million injections given in 2018.

And now dentists are getting in on the action. Have you heard about this trend of Botox in dentistry? It just might be the next big thing!

What is Botox?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. While it’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism, its use as an injectable paralytic has been FDA approved for cosmetic procedures and more. In fact, it’s now commonly used in small doses to treat a variety of health problems including excessive sweating, excessive blinking, overactive bladder and even migraines.

Botox works by blocking nerve signals that control muscle movement, which makes them unable to contract, temporarily softening the skin around the area that was injected. It typically takes a few hours for results to be seen and they usually last about three months.

Botox in Dentistry

For most people who hear the word “Botox”, they think of wrinkle reducing injections used in cosmetic procedures. While it is true Botox was approved by the FDA for such, it is now expanding in its application due to the nerve blocking benefits it offers. In fact, a trip to your dental office could include your dentist offering Botox.

While some dentists do use Botox for cosmetic procedures, there are many other uses for Botox in dentistry.

  • Treatment of Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)  
  • Treatment of bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Reducing a “gummy smile” without surgical intervention
  • Adjustment of lips before or after denture placement or oral surgeries.

Should a Dentist Do Botox?

Botox as a purely cosmetic procedure will likely never be part of a dentist’s repertoire – as their first and primary goal is oral health care. But, because dentists have extensive training on oral and facial anatomy, health and function, some say there is no one better qualified to administer Botox than a dentist.

In fact, some proponents of the use of Botox in dentistry claim dentists are the most qualified, and offer a better experience because they administer oral and facial injections on a regular basis. This makes the injections quick and less painful, because they are done with a skilled hand.

While the use of Botox in dentistry is controversial to some, it seems there may be a place for Botox in dentistry, to help both medically and cosmetically. According to the American Academy of Facial Aesthetics about 10% of dentists are currently trained to administer Botox with more seeking training every day. The American Dental Association even offers Botox training for its members!

Is Botox in dentistry the next big thing? We don’t have a crystal ball, but it’s a trend we envision increasing especially as demand grows and more and more state dental boards support the practice."