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.