Thursday, March 4, 2021

Question From Our Member - Why Did My Dentist Prescribe Sinus Medication?

 Questions From Our Members

R. Blackwood of Topeka, Kansas asks: 

“I went to the dentist for a toothache.  They took some x–rays and prescribed me some sinus medication.  Can a sinus infection really cause a toothache?”

Savon’s Answer

Yes, a sinus infection (sinusitis) or inflammation can cause a toothache — specifically in the upper rear teeth, which are close to the sinuses.  In fact, pain in the upper teeth is a fairly common symptom with sinus conditions.  Since you went to your dentist with a toothache, we suggest that you follow your dentist´s advice.

Original post is in our March 2021 Newsletter!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Easy Home Remedies for Stained Dentures

 Many products made for cleaning dentures can be expensive and harsh.  If your dentures have metal parts, some commercial denture cleaners can cause them to corrode over time.  Here is a short list of inexpensive, reliable (old time, tried and true) products that you can use to clean, disinfect and even help remove tartar from your false teeth! (Yes, even false teeth can get a buildup of tartar over time, cultivating an unhealthy array of germs and bacteria.)

Here goes!:

1. BAKING SODA.  Make a paste with a little bit of the soda and water and use your denture brush to clean your dentures.  It will freshen, too.

2. VINEGAR.  Use equal parts of vinegar and water and soak your dentures for 20-30 minutes. This will also help to remove tartar buildup.

3. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.  This is especially useful for disinfecting.  Soak in a 3% or 6% solution (the usual strength sold in stores) for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Now, there were a couple of other suggestions that I found online that I didn't think were particularly useful; that is, they were not things that I would personally try for cleaning something that you would put in your mouth! Someone on another website suggested a bleach/water solution for disinfecting and a teaspoon of Calgon water softener added for removing tartar. Of course you would need to rinse your dentures especially well so as not to get the bleach solution in your mouth. Hmmm...I don't know...  To me, that falls into the same catagory as fixing your dentures with super glue.  What do you think?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bleeding Gums? Maybe You Need To Start Taking Vitamin C

 When you brush or floss your teeth, do your gums bleed? If you answered yes, you could possible have gingivitis which is a disease that causes inflammation of the gums. 

If you gums continue to bleed, it's time to see a dentist and they can provide you with the best treatment option. However, according to a new study from the University of Washington recommends getting a blood test done to check your vitamin C levels.

The study was conducted by Philippe Hujoel, a participating dentist and professor of oral health sciences in the UW School of Dentistry. Below is a synopsis of the study...

"Hujoel's study, published Feb. 1 in Nutrition Reviews, analyzed published studies of 15 clinical trials in six countries, involving 1,140 predominantly healthy participants, and data from 8,210 U.S. residents surveyed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The results showed that bleeding of the gums on gentle probing, or gingival bleeding tendency, and also bleeding in the eye, or retinal hemorrhaging, were associated with low vitamin C levels in the bloodstream. And, the researchers found that increasing daily intake of vitamin C in those people with low vitamin C plasma levels helped to reverse these bleeding issues."

"The study does not imply that successful reversing of an increased gingival bleeding tendency with vitamin C will prevent strokes or other serious health outcomes, Hujoel stresses. However, the results do suggest that vitamin C recommendations designed primarily to protect against scurvy -- a deadly disease caused by extremely low vitamin C levels -- are too low, and that such a low vitamin C intake can lead to a bleeding tendency, which should not be treated with dental floss."

It is also mentioned that if you partake in a specialized diet like paleo or low carb, it's vital to take vitamin C.

If you would like to read more about this study you can find the article here!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Temporary Home Remedies For Common Dental Problems

 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 facedown.

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, Carmel.
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.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

My Teeth Could Use Some Brightening- What Actually Works?

 We all know that coffee, tea, wine, dark snacks and condiments will stain our teeth. This does not mean you have to swear them off Though!

The dietitian says:
 Just rinse your mouth with water right after eating, or stash some sugar free chewing gum. Consider adding foods and drinks that work towards whiter teeth into your diet, such as cheese, fruit and veggies.

-Lisa Young, PH.D

The dentist says:
Use at home teeth whiting kits such as Crest 3D whiting strips for lighter stains. For darker stains or instant result you will need professional whitening.

-Marc Lowenberg, D.D.S.

The makeup artist says:.
Cool-toned lip colors create an optical illusion. Fair skin should wear pinks, medium/olive toned skin should wear reds, while darker skin tones should stick to plums. Another trick is to dust some bronzer. Tanned skin makes teeth stand out!

-Matthew VanLeeuwen, Celebrity makeup artist

 Information was found in the redbook magazine. October 2013

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Strange Toothpaste....Dirt?

 Dirt.  That's right, dirt.  A refined, flavor added, clay type of mineral toothpaste known as Dirty Mouth toothpaste.  The very idea makes no sense, but then it really does, if one considers the minerals found in dirt and clay. And,  you can get it in peppermint, orange, spearmint and cinnamon flavors!

It is said to cleanse, polish, detoxify and re-mineralize your teeth. 
I am all about trying new things. Well, once anyway.... What do you think? 

Link here

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Managing Your Dental Costs With No Insurance

 For most people, a toothache that turns into an expensive procedure such as a crown or an implant can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. Even routine check-ups with x-rays and a cleaning can add up to hundreds of dollars. It has been estimated that over one third of Americans have not visited a dentist in the last 12 months.

Given the nature of insurance companies and the cost of premiums vs. the actual procedures covered, relief from dental bills is not likely to come soon. That leaves it up to consumers to find smart ways to reduce their dental care costs without sacrificing their oral health. So, we did some research on ways to cut back on dental related costs. 
  • Consider a good dental plan.  Better than insurance, some dental plans offer discounted fees with low premiums and no limit or "cap", no waiting periods on procedures, no exclusions and immediate coverage. 
  • Try having your dental care done at a Dental School Clinic.  Teaching facilities have amazingly skilled dentists and in most cases the cost is cheaper than a private practice facility. Not to mention they use the most state of the art equipment so that your experience is more comfortable.
  • Space out your treatments.  If you have extensive work to be done, most dentists will work according to a treatment plan, and a "pay as you go" strategy can go a long way toward helping the patient so those out of pocket expenses don't have to break the bank all at once! 
  • Disclosure-No Surprise Fees!   Make sure to always, ALWAYS get the cost for the treatment plan or procedure before you agree to have it done, or sign anything.  Many patients agree to procedures while they are in the chair and don't fully understand that there may be an additional exorbitant additional cost.  Keep yourself from sticker shock by asking first and discuss other options if you cannot afford the procedure.  
  • Prevention, Prevention, Prevention!  The key to saving on dental costs (just like having your car worked on) is to fix small problems before they become big ones.  Have your teeth cleaned twice a year and don't skip that oral exam. 
Here is a parting thought for those of you in the market for dental coverage.  PLEASE check the benefits carefully when considering dental insurance.  The premiums will always be more than the pay out...coverage is always limited and there will almost always be a waiting period for expensive procedures. They want to make sure they have your premiums firmly in hand before the payouts begin. It's the your homework carefully! A good dental plan is more effective at saving you money than an insurance company will ever be. 

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Could Using Mouthwash And Nasal Spray Prevent The Transmission Of Covid-19?

 I came across an article published by Melisa Busch, Associate Editor from called "Mouthwash plus nasal spray may cut SARS-CoV-2 transmission".

I thought it was an interesting read, and wanted to share it with all of you!

"Mouthwash plus nasal spray may cut SARS-CoV-2 transmission

By Melissa Busch, associate editor

February 4, 2021 -- Gargling with a mouthwash and using a nasal spray containing povidone iodine may significantly reduce viral load in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, according to a research letter published on February 4 in JAMA Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Reducing the nasopharyngeal viral loads of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 can help limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, according to the authors.

"Nasopharyngeal decolonization may reduce the carriage of infectious SARS-CoV-2 in adults with mild to moderate COVID-19," wrote the group, led by Dr. Jeremy Guenezan from the emergency department at the University Hospital of Poitiers in France.

SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted primarily through the aerosolization of droplets containing contaminated nasopharyngeal secretions. In vitro studies have shown that povidone-iodine solutions at concentrations as low as 0.5% rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 with contact times as short as 15 seconds.

Dental teams have encouraged patients to gargle with a variety of different rinses, including povidone-iodine products and chlorhexidine mouthwash, prior to procedures to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The new study included 24 patients who tested highly positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) via nasopharyngeal swabs within the previous 48 hours. Half of the subjects served as a control group. The others were asked to rinse four times in a row with mouthwashes and gargles containing 25 mL of 1% liquid povidone-iodine solution, followed by one 2.5-mL nasal spray of the same solution into each nostril using an intranasal mucosal atomization device connected to a 5-mL syringe.

Then, one application of 10% povidone-iodine ointment was dabbed on each nasal mucosa and massaged into the area. The patients were told to perform this regimen four times a day for five days. Follow-up was completed on day 1 and then every two days until day 7 to assess the efficacy and safety of the viral decolonization method. A linear mixed model for repeated measures was used to compare the samples, according to the authors.

Guenezan and colleagues measured the mean relative difference in viral titers, representing the burden of virus in a fluid volume. Those who used the povidone-iodine rinses and nasal sprays saw a 75% difference in viral load between baseline and day 1, compared with a 32% difference in the control group.

Despite the results, the study had limitations, including the small sample size and the single-center design. Study strengths included assessing the viral titer in patients to determine whether the virus was viable and, therefore, possibly transmissible, the authors wrote.

A larger clinical study should be completed in the future to "confirm the benefit of [povidone iodine] in limiting the excretion and resulting human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2," they added."

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

There Could Be Dental Advantages to Drinking Red Wine!

According to the results of a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Red Wine is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are loaded with antioxidants and it was found that they can help to fend off the effects of bacteria in the mouth that can cause cavities and plaque. Who knew?!

Now, I wouldn't go off and drink more red wine just yet. This was only one study.  It's likely there will be another one to disprove it down the road.  But it is an interesting concept, isn't it?

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Mask Mouth...Yuck!

Before the pandemic, hopefully, a close friend or family member would nicely inform you that your breath was bad. Now we are almost to the one year mark where masks have been mandated and I'm sure at one point you have smelt your own breath and thought... gross, does it always smell like this? The answer no.

 Unfortunately, at this time, most of us are experiencing "mask mouth".

On a regular basis, we naturally breathe through our nose, however, wearing a mask makes us feel like we are suffocating, so we tend to breathe through our mouth more. This is where "mask mouth" comes into play. 

By breathing in through our mouth, it's causing it to dry out. When our saliva dries out, bacteria begin to form causing bad breath and cavities. 

The mask also forces us to breathe in recycled air which makes the bacteria to keep building.

Below are a few ways to help combat "mask mouth":

  • Stay Hydrated
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Avoid smelly foods (onions, eggs, brussel sprouts)
  • Wear a new mask every day or change it halfway through the day.
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene
  • Use mouthwash after every meal

If you notice your breath becoming worse or hasn't subsided, you should contact your dental office and schedule a routine exam and cleaning!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Essential Tips to Make Sure Your Child Will Have Strong Teeth

Have you ever heard the old wives’ tale that women should expect to lose a tooth with each child?  Well as it turns out, long ago that belief was well rooted in reality! Now, however, this is a proven modern-day myth. Your baby actually gets the calcium he needs from your diet and if your diet does not contain enough calcium, the body will access the mineral from the supply in your bones, not from your teeth. But today, with careful management, most of us should be able to avoid losing our teeth. So what steps can you take to ensure that you keep your teeth in top condition, and what can you do for your child after he is born to keep his teeth healthy?
The following are some important points to remember for you and your child to ensure healthy teeth: 

While you are pregnant:

Eat a healthy diet rich in calcium to keep the stores in your body at a healthy level. Dairy products and green leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium.

Brush and floss daily. It is important to keep plaque and tartar at bay. A healthy mouth will lead to a healthier baby! 

Ages 0 To 10

STUDIES have shown that if we have tooth decay as babies, then we are more likely to get decay in our permanent teeth. Dental hygiene can and should begin with newborns. Bacteria can be removed by wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger and gently wiping the baby’s gum pads.

Apart from their food-processing function, baby teeth are important as space maintainers so that permanent teeth have a space to grow into. If these teeth are lost early through decay, the space may not be saved, so permanent teeth can drift - a problem more likely to lead to a need for braces later. Consequently, a baby’s sugar intake should be monitored, bearing in mind that even health foods such as milk and fruit contain sugars.

Baby toothbrushes with soft heads should be introduced as soon as teeth come through, along with specially formulated children’s toothpaste. These contain the optimal dose fluoride for youngsters.

Have their teeth cleaned regularly from the age of  2 years.  Regular dental screenings can prevent loss of teeth in early years, and helps get your child in the habit of practicing good dental hygiene. 

Nursing Bottle Syndrome - a condition which causes rampant decay in a baby’s teeth - can occur from six months, and constant sweetened drinks are often blamed. Studies have shown that 50% of five and six year old children may have erosion of their front milk teeth - a condition that can cause pain and sensitivity. At around the age of six, the first molar teeth start to appear. These can be sealed with a plastic coating, known as fissure sealant, to prevent decay.

Overall, good hygiene for both mother and baby is essential to healthy teeth. The better their teeth when they are young, the longer they will keep them as adults!! In my line of work, I encounter people almost daily in their 90's who still have their own teeth. In part because of a healthy lifestyle and partly because of amazing technology and advancement in dentistry. 

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Your Toothache Could Be Telling You Something!

Most people who get a toothache get just that... A toothache. All they know is that it hurts really bad and the dentist will fix it (when and IF they even get around to going). But did you know that your toothache just might be telling you what kind of problems you may be in for?

Here's how to tell:

Sharp pain and tooth sensitivity (intermittent): Cold sensitivity is a symptom of gum recession, loss of enamel from over-brushing, age, and wear and tear, or a small cavity. Heat sensitivity could also be a small cavity, but could also very well be an abscess, a crack, or a sign of severe decay.

Chronic toothache (more than one tooth): Could be nerve damage from grinding your teeth, severe decay, or dental trauma from an accident or injury.

Throbbing toothache: This is a sign of infection. Swelling of the face may also accompany this type of toothache and is also a sign of an abscess.

Pain while eating: This could indicate tooth decay or a slight crack in your tooth.

Pain in the jaw (back): This could be impacted wisdom teeth, but could also be related to teeth grinding or even possibly TMJ.

Many people wait until they are in RAGING pain to see a dentist. The thing is, if you go to the dentist at the first sign of a problem, you'll save yourself a whole lot of pain as well as a whole lot of money. It could mean the difference between a small, inexpensive filling and a painstaking, costly root canal. 

The bottom line here is DON'T IGNORE THE PAIN!!! If you can feel it, it's time to go to the dentist!

This information was gathered from a great website for dental research. Check them out here!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Conscious Sedation for Dentistry - A Good Option?

 If you are dental phobic, anxious because you have a long complex procedure ahead of you or are having oral surgery, conscious sedation may just be right for you! What if you could have your dental procedures done while "consciously asleep" and wake up with no memory or trauma whatsoever? It sounds too good to be true but it is becoming a safe and efficient way for a dentist to treat severely anxious or phobic patients.

Conscious sedation allows you to relax in the chair while allowing the dentist to complete long or complex procedures without further distressing you. Now, please don't confuse this with general anesthesia, because it isn't! You will still be able to respond to questions and follow instructions. You will typically still be given local anesthesia such as lidocaine, but won't remember the shot. While you are not actually physically asleep through the procedure, you may think that you were because of the mind-erasing effect.
The process is rather simple. A small pill, such as triazolam, is given approximately an hour before the procedure. More medication may be given depending on the patients response to the first pill. Everyone is different. It is advised to ask someone to drive you to and from the appointment.
Now, keep in mind that not every doctor is able to use this form of sedation. It requires special training and certification.  This includes Cardiac Life Support training to help ensure the safety of the patient in an emergency.
It is becoming a more popular way to treat anxious and fearful patients, but as always, do your homework first. Check the doctors credentials and make sure he/she has had the proper training, or has a qualified, licensed anesthetist on staff.

Now this is something to smile about! So, Keep Smiling!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

How To Nurse A Weekend Toothache

So it's the weekend and everyone is busy.. And where are you? At home with a toothache, wishing Monday would hurry up and arrive so you can get to a dentist. Here's a few tips on how to make it throughout that painful weekend with out suffering completely:

- Try rinsing your mouth out first. Take a mouthful of room-temperature water and rinse vigorously. Many times, a painful toothache can caused simply by trapped food.

-If that doesn't work, try flossing GENTLY. This should get rid of the problem, unless your problem is something other than just stuck food.

-Numb the pain- Take a shot of whiskey (do not swallow it), and hold it in your mouth right over the painful tooth. Your gums will absorb the alcohol and it will numb the pain.

-Rinse with salt water- Make sure the water is room temperature. This is very soothing and cleansing and will help keep it from getting any worse.

-Massage your hand- No, I'm not kidding. Rubbing an ice-cube in the V-shape between your index finger and your thumb for 5-7 minutes can reduce the pain by 50%.

-Put a little clove oil on it- You can purchase this over the counter. Simply drop a little right on the tooth.

-Try not to bite- This is a no-brainer. Obviously, if you have a toothache, try not to bite on that side whatsoever.

-Try icing it up- This may not work if you have sensitivity to cold. If you don't, you might try sucking on an ice cube- on or near that tooth. If sucking on an ice-cube isn't going to work, try puting an icepack on your cheek in 15 minute intervals.

-Shut your mouth- If you are having sensitivity to cold, breathing through your mouth can cause even more pain. Try breathing through your nose.

-Take Aspirin- And no, don't put it directly on your tooth or gum, this can cause damage. Actually take and swallow an aspirin every 4-6 hours.

-Keep it cool- Try to avoid getting to warm or hot. And definitely avoid placing heat on the area. Heat draws infection to the surface, making it worse and more painful.

This information is not intended to replace regular, professional dental care. Do-it-yourself dentistry is never a good idea. These tips are to GET YOU BY until you can see a dental professional. This information was gathered from various online sources.

Repost by MoobiDoo April 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Milk - The Surprising Protection For Your Teeth!

 If you are an avid milk drinker like me, then this is a blog you definitely want to read. I go through 2 gallons of milk a week, and I mean I GO through it. I personally drink at least 2 gallons of milk per week. What can I say, I love milk! So I had to ask to the question, is it good for your teeth? Well, great news my fellow milk drinkers! IT IS!

It has been proven that dairy products such as milk and cheese actually reduce tooth decay. Milk contains proteins called caseins which will join together with the calcium and phosphorus to create a protective later on the surface of your teeth. (aka enamel). This helps prevent tooth decay by reducing the bacterial acids. Furthermore, the calcium and phosphorus also help strengthen and even repair the enamel on your teeth.

So, drink up my fellow milkaholics. It will help keep our smiles bright!

Oh yeah on a side note: The ADA has recommended not to have milk and cookies because as we all know they sugary items such as cookies are bad for your teeth. However... there is still hope for us on that, too. It is recommended that you have the cookies THEN the milk. That will eliminate the sugar acids that attack your teeth.

As great as that sounds, milk and cookies always sounds better than cookies then milk or milk after cookies, and we all it know it tastes better too!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Keto Breath? What Is It?

 You most likely have heard of the Keto Diet. If you haven't, this is a low card, no sugar, and high-fat diet. 

If you are on this diet/lifestyle, your dentist is probably praising you. This is because the less sugar that is eaten, means healthier teeth and gums. 

On the other hand, it can cause halitosis (bad breath). Luckily this is usually temporary. Since the body is not used to using the extra ketones your body is producing. Once your body has adjusted, the halitosis should subside. 

There are a few remedies that you can try to help reduce the keto breath:

  • Stay hydrated with water
  • Eat less protein
  • Brush and floss regularly
  • Keep breath mints on hand
  • Slightly increase carb intake
Most importantly, be patient, it should subside shortly!

If after a month and no relief of keto breath, you should contact your dentist for an exam. There could be something else going on.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Key Differences Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis

 Nearly 47% of people in the U.S. have gum disease in the form of gingivitis. Gingivitis is treatable and reversible. It can contribute to tooth decay. It does not cause bone loss, but left untreated over time it can progress to Periodontitis. 

Periodontitis by definition is the inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth.  It can be reduced with treatment but cannot be reversed.  It can lead to bone loss and loss of teeth.  It can also be a contributor of poor health.

The main message in this is to get regular cleanings and practice good dental hygiene at home! 

Prevention is the best defense.

Keep Smiling!