Thursday, December 1, 2022

Recipe for Homemade Toothpaste!

For those of you who prefer to stay away from artificial and (in some cases) potentially unsafe ingredients that are added to commercially marketed products, here is a recipe I found while searching online! 

Out of all the recipes that I looked at, I liked this one best.

  • Mix together:
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 3 tablespoons baking soda
    • 5 drops peppermint OR spearmint essential oil (your preference)
    • A pinch of stevia (sweetener)
These are all completely natural ingredients and tasty too!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Soaring Dental Prices Are Not For the Faint of Heart!

 I saw an article recently that makes a good argument for Dental Plans! Not directly, of course, but if one considers that dentistry is among the most expensive in terms of healthcare and that there is no regulatory agency that holds dental prices in check, a Dental Plan can be extremely beneficial. 

Senior Citizens! Don't be fooled by Dental Insurance Companie's promise to cover $2000, $3000, even $4000 of your dental costs! Dental insurance companies actually pay little to nothing and put a cap on your benefits.  It never works out in favor of the patient.  Never. 

Back to Dental Plans. Now, when I say Dental Plan, I don't mean the ever growing "in-house" type of plan that some dentists are trying to promote; those will save you very little money overall and if a problem arises...well, where are you going to go? The plan would not be accepted by another facility! No, I'm suggesting a bonafide, BBB accredited discount plan.
Dental plans go far beyond what insurance companies do in terms of savings.  More procedures are covered, there is no limit to benefits, coverage is immediate and there is no waiting 12 months for a large procedure...
Additionally,  any good dental plan can be used as a supplement to an insurance plan.  Once your insurance benefits are exhausted, you can switch over to the dental plan and still receive a benefit. 

Seriously, why would one NOT consider a dental plan? Do your homework, but at least check it out. You'll find that the savings and a small investment for a membership are well worth the effort, especially now, in an uncertain market.  Everyone needs dental work at some point.  Be prepared with a good dental plan.

Don't wait for a toothache!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Dehydration is a Serious Factor For Bad Breath

 Dehydration is a major cause of bad breath. When the body is dehydrated it doesn't produce enough saliva. Without enough saliva to clean away food particles, bacteria reproduces freely and causes the bad breathSaliva also neutralizes acids and prevents plaque from forming on the surface of your teeth. Consequently, adding plenty of water to your diet is a good start to having a healthy mouth. The current recommendation is to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, and remember that you can also get fluids through foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Teach Kids How To Brush And Floss!

This is a fun but messy activity to teach your young children how to brush and floss correctly!

All you will need is:
  • Rubber glove
  • Peanut butter
  • Dental Floss
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  1. Have an adult put on the glove, and have someone or yourself put some peanut butter between your fingers (make sure you get it all the way down). 
  2. Tighten your fingers together (your fingers represent the teeth and the peanut butter is the food that gets trapped). 
  3. With your fingers still tightly together and extended, have your child use the toothbrush and toothpaste to try and remove the peanut butter. 
  4. Once they are finished brushing have them try and remove the peanut butter using the floss.
This will help your child understand that brushing simply can't reach all the places between your teeth. Dental Floss does a much better job of removing food.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Is There An Appropriate Retirement Age For Dentists?

"I just realized my dentist is older than dirt! Shouldn't he retire?"  "Is it safe to see a dentist that is well past retirement age?'  

These are some of the questions I have been asked recently.  The answers are complicated.      

The average age in the U.S for a dentist to retire is 68 years, according to a study done in 2017.  That said, I have known dentists who have continued to work into their seventies.  

Following the recession in 2008, many dentists were actually forced out of retirement.  With the continued volatility of todays market in 2022, many have no choice but to work. However, many dentists simply love the work....and the income!  

There is no guideline for when a dentist should retire.  If he is able to practice at age 74, then bravo!  Many will continue to practice but at a diminished capacity, sticking to the simpler procedures.  

If you have doubts or are skeptical about getting treatment by an elderly dentist, you can always contact your local Board of Dental Examiners to see if there are any recent complaints or if his/her license is restricted.  Most often, though, they are able to perform just as well as they ever did.  Chalk that up to experience! 

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Clean Your Dentures With These Easy Remedies

 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, November 3, 2022

Avoid Tooth Decay After Halloween!

Halloween is over... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep an eye on how much of those yummy sugary treats your child consumes!  Eating too much candy may lead to tooth decay.

If you follow these simple steps it will help ease your mind, instead of worrying about your child's teeth.
  • Do moderate portions, don't let them have free access to the candy bucket.
  • Make sure your child brushes their teeth properly 2-3 times a day.
  • Have your child use a fluoride mouthwash.
  • Help your child floss their teeth.
  • Try to avoid sticky candy (caramel, taffy)
  • Give your kids sugar-free gum to chew
Hope you all had a great Halloween!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Eggnog Isn't So Good For Your Teeth...Wait, What?

I can not express my heartbreak when I found this out. Eggnog is one my of favorite holiday traditions and drinks. So when I read that with the amount of sugar that is in it,  I was quite surprised.

It kind of goes along with my misconception of what eggnog is. I assumed that it's more like milk, thus being better for dental health. I know milk is good for your teeth, I know eggs are good for your teeth. Knowing that both of them are in eggnog, one can only assume that eggnog, too, is good for your oral health. Logical assumption... right?

Well it turns out that all of the flavoring, add-ins and sugar that is used to make that unique holiday taste, is enough to offset the good that the milk and eggs provide!

Fear not though, my fellow eggnoggers! We can still savor the flavor and enjoy our favorite holiday drink. Just simply rinse out your mouth really good and/or brush your teeth after you drink and you will be good to go!

The Holiday season is almost upon us again, and with that in mind I thought this blog was worth a re-post.  Enjoy and Keep Smiling!  



 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Calcium And Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To TMD?

Do you suffer from lower levels of calcium or vitamin D? If so, you may want to talk with your dentist about temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

I came across the article "Common TMD may be linked to calcium, vitamin D" written by Melissa Busch, associate editor for Dr. Bicuspid. 

"October 27, 2022 -- Patients with a common type of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) had lower calcium and vitamin D levels, indicating that calcium metabolism may be linked to these jaw conditions. The results were published on October 21 in the Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Those with temporomandibular joint disk displacement with reduction (DDWR) had deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D compared to patients who didn't have TMDs, the authors wrote. Severe vitamin D deficiency may negatively affect calcium metabolism by causing a drop in calcium and magnesium levels and may pose a risk for TMDs, the authors wrote.

"These results revealed that vitamin D and calcium deficiency should be investigated and corrected in patients with TMD," wrote the authors, led by Dr. Ă–mer Ekici of Afyonkarahisar Health Sciences University in Turkey.

Worldwide, vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency affect more than 1 billion people. The vitamin affects cell proliferation and differentiation in skeletal muscle cells, and it moves calcium and phosphorus across the skeletal cell membranes. Additionally, vitamin D prevents muscle degeneration and reverses myalgia.

TMDs also are common, affecting between 5% and 12% of the population. However, the etiology and pathogenesis of TMDs are not completely understood, so treatments are not always successful. Therefore, a better understanding of the origin of TMDs would help identify and eliminate possible pathogenic factors.

To explore the relationship between the factors that affect calcium metabolism and TMDs, vitamin D levels, and related biochemical parameters in patients with these jaw joint disorders, a prospective observational study of 100 patients was conducted. Half of the patients had TMDs, and the other 50 did not.

TMD diagnostic criteria were used to diagnose DDWR. Then, patients' levels of alkaline phosphatase, vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus were compared. A p value of < 0.005 was considered a significant difference, they wrote.

Patients with DDWR had lower calcium levels (p < 0.005) than healthy controls. Additionally, severe vitamin D deficiency (< 10 ng) was significantly more common in the TMD group (n = 19) than in the control group (n = 8), the authors wrote.

The study's limitations included that there was no bone mineral density assessment information for patients. However, the authors noted that they wanted more accurate and reliable results by including only those with DDWR instead of a heterogeneous TMD group, which has been used in previous research.

Clinicians should consider evaluating patients with TMDs for deficiencies and suggest supplementation if appropriate. In the future, more randomized clinical trials should be conducted to better understand the possible connection TMDs and deficiencies, the authors wrote.

"Nevertheless, investigation of possible effects on TMD symptoms in response to vitamin D supplementation in individuals with low vitamin D levels is important to determine the precise role of vitamin D in TMD," Ekici et al wrote."

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Can Oral Bone Loss Indicate Osteoporosis?

 Your teeth have been cleaned, x-rayed and examined. You're ready to schedule your next 6-month check-up and be on your way. But instead, your dentist delivers some surprising news: you may have osteoporosis.

You may think your dentist is kidding, but that's probably not the case. Signs of osteoporosis can often be seen on dental x-rays and exams. Oral health and bone health can be directly related. Your dentist can find possible signs of osteoporosis by examining your jawbone, gums and teeth.

Although your dentist may suspect the disease, you can't tell for sure from an x-ray alone, but to diagnose osteoporosis, you will need to see a doctor for a bone density test.  

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

8 Dental Problems You Can Temporarily Fix Yourself!

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, and brush teeth a little softer than normal.

Lost Tooth:
Cause: Sports.
Treatment: Rinse the tooth 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 immediately. 

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 (TMJ).
Treatment: Try sleeping on your side or back with a supportive pillow.

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: Ease the pain by swishing peppermint tea around your mouth.

Remember, when dental problems appear, it's extremely important to contact your dentist.

*This is not intended as medical advice. *


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

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!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Prepping Children For The Dentist

Have a young child that needs to visit the dentist? Are you are worried about how they will handle the visit?

Preparation is the best method when it comes to going to the dentist.

Here are a few tips on preparing your child for their first trip:

  • Choose a dentist wisely - Seek out a dentist that will fit your child's needs. You may want to consider a periodontist (pediatric dentist). These dentists specialize in children's dentistry and usually, their offices are very inviting to children as they have games while waiting, a theme throughout the office. etc.
  • Let them observe - Take your child to one of your dental appointments and let them watch. The best observation is dental cleanings!
  • Sunglasses - This will help keep the brightness out of their eyes and allow them to keep their eyes open to reduce anxiety.
  • Trust the staff - This is not the first time they have worked with children, they will have tricks up their sleeves to help make the experience go smoothly. 
Always remember that the office staff wants you to have a great experience!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Managing Your Dental Care Without Insurance

For most people, a toothache that turns into an expensive procedure like a crown or 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 a large portion of our population has 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 cost...an 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 truth....do your homework carefully! A good dental plan is more effective at saving you money than an insurance company will ever be. 

Keep Smiling! 

Friday, October 7, 2022

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-threating 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, October 4, 2022

Food For Your Oral Health - The Good and the Bad

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


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

BEST FOODS

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

WORST FOODS

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

Eat the good stuff, and Keep Smiling!

Thursday, September 29, 2022

How To Pull A Loose Baby Tooth

We all know children are eager to pull out their loose baby teeth because they know the tooth fairy will come and leave money!

Parents and older siblings come up with all sorts of fun ways to pull baby teeth but the best way to pull a child's tooth is the normal old-fashioned way. 

Take some gauze and wiggle the tooth back and forth to determine if it's ready to come out. A tooth that is ready will be able to move freely. If it is resistant, leave it and try again in a few days.

If the tooth is ready, start by rubbing some Orajel on the region surrounding the tooth and give it a few minutes to numb the area. Next, take a new piece of gauze and gently pull the tooth. 

Once the tooth is pulled there may be some blood. Apply pressure with a clean piece of gauze to help stop the bleeding. After the bleeding has stopped check the gums for any tooth fragments. If you notice tooth fragments that are left behind, DO NOT remove those on your own. Make an appointment with the dentist because those fragments could get embedded into the gum which can lead to pain and other dental problems. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Dental Outsourcing - Would you Travel to Mexico for Dental Work?

 A recent call from a member of our Dental Plan brought this topic back to my mind and it warrants a re-post, as it is something we encounter frequently in Arizona as a border state.  She said that she traveled to Mexico years ago with her family to have their routine dental work done and now, 20 years later, is wondering if the risks are worth it since the world is not as safe a place anymore. Many people still choose to outsource their dental and medical care.  Many come through our state from other states to cross the border for dental care. There are mixed feelings on the topic.

The following excerpt was taken from a blog I published in February of 2008 in which I posed the question: "Why would anyone want to risk their health and safety by visiting a doctor or dentist in a country where sanitation standards are questionable and there is no way to determine whether a doctor is reputable; or even competent? There would be no legal recourse for a mistake, no refund, no malpractice insurance."

Well, with time, the economy over the last 10 years and many testimonials from people I've talked to while working in this industry, I must say that I have come to an understanding on this subject at least, if only marginally.  I still stand firm on the safety issues of traveling to Mexico for either  medical or dental treatment....sanitation remains a concern except that I now know many of the dental offices there are actually staffed with American Dentists, and in fairness, their American training and work ethics are at or above the standard.  Some of these dentists live there and work, some commute and the overall benefit to the traveling patient is that they can get the treatment they need from a qualified professional at a cost that is way below the standard fees charged in the US. The doctors are not bound to  [admittedly ridiculous] regulations, exorbitant insurance rates and high operating costs that are the norm in the US, thus allowing them to perform dentistry and pass the savings along to the patient. The drawbacks to these seemingly stellar benefits are the risks of complication, and to mention again, safety during travel.  When Mexico is hundreds of miles away and the patient needs further, immediate treatment, where do they go?  To a dentist in America who certainly will not fix the problem for free...and well, there you have it. 
All of that said, there are risks involved, which poses the question,  "does the money saved really outweigh the risk?"  Many think that it does.  I for one, always the skeptic, would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble and educated opinion a good Dental Plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's much safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling!


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Are Digital X-Rays Safer?

More and more dental centers are moving to the digital x-ray system in their office. In fact, more times than not a dental center that we visit has moved to this technology. There are major advantages to the dental office making the switch, but what about the patient?

Are digital x-rays safer? Is there less exposure to radiation?

The answers to these questions are YES and YES. Unlike older film-based x-rays, digital x-rays have a better range of coverage. This means that it takes fewer x-rays to get what the dental center needs. Also, the x-ray is completed faster. Unlike the film x-rays, the amount of time needed to obtain the picture is reduced.

"Re-shots" can be corrected faster as well. With the film x-ray, if the x-ray tech was a little off or if something with wrong in development, then they had to come back a re-take the x-ray. Knowing that they needed to do that could take 15-20 minutes. With the digital x-rays, the actual x-ray appears instantly and the tech is able to see if everything came out okay and adjust if it didn't.

Lastly, with the advancement in digital x-ray technology, you are exposed to 90% less radiation than with a film x-ray. Which makes them safer for you.

Original post from November 24, 2017

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

MS Patients Should Practice Good Dental Hygiene

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Tea Tree Oil For Dental Health?

If you follow your dentist's recommendations on cleaning and flossing your teeth then you should have healthy gums and strong teeth.

There are many ways to keep your mouth healthy but one natural remedy is using tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is taken from the leaves of a Melaleuca Alternifolia plant that is native to Australia. This plant is known for its natural disinfectant and has been used for many years in the medical and dental professions as an antiseptic.

Tea tree oil has many benefits for your dental health:
  • Helps prevent plaque - The oil fights off microorganisms that destroy tissues in the mouth which cause plaque, receding gums, and tartar deposits. 
  • Helps eliminate bad breath - Using tea tree oil as a mouthwash has anti-deodorant properties.
  • Helps prevent gum disease - 
    • Rub a small amount of tea tree oil on swollen/sore gums.
    • Add 3-5 drops of tea tree oil to a small glass of water and swish. Do this twice a day
    • Apply a few drops of tea tree oil directly onto your toothbrush and brush for at least two minutes. 
  • Helps relieve pain from toothaches - Rinse mouth with a tea tree oil mixture (listed above) and then apply a small amount of Aloe Vera to the infected tooth. 
  • Mouth sores - Rinse mouth with a tea tree oil mixture (listed above).
*Remember this is just a remedy to keep your mouth healthy and should not replace your dentist.

For more information click here!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Never Ignore Dental Pain - Even When it Involves Dentures or Bridgework!

 I recently heard about someone who went to the dentist with severe pain in the area of her bridge. This pain had been present for a couple years but only when she chewed, so she didn't think much of it. Eventually it got worse and worse until the pain was unbearable, she was sick, her face was swollen and she couldn't eat.

As it turned out, for 2 years the bridge was actually broken. There was decay in a tooth underneath it allowing for trapped food to get in, which led to a major infection. This made her really sick.
After almost 3 hours in the dentist chair and some oral surgery, they finally got her taken care of and had a new bridge on its way for her.

Just because a crown, implant or bridge is not "real" per-say, doesn't mean that it can be ignored! If something goes wrong, it should be treated and maintained just like a real tooth at all times.

If you have questions as to how to properly care for your bridge, be sure to consult with your dentist.

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, September 1, 2022

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 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 from December 2017

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Don't Let That Great Smile Go!

 For those of you that already have a great smile, I say this... Do whatever you need to do to keep it! With the cost of dentistry not going down and only increasing, the cost to get that smile back could be insurmountable.

Trust me when I tell you that the cost of toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and regular dental cleanings is a lot less expensive than the cost of restorative dental work. In today's market, you may literally need dental financing to cover it.

Here are some tips to keeping that smile great:

1. Brush at least 2x per day
2. Floss daily
3. Get regular cleanings and checkups from your dental provider
4. If you need any small dental work, don't wait.  Have it repaired as soon as possible, before it               becomes a bigger problem. 

As always, Keep Smiling! 


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Which Should Come First, Brushing Or Flossing?

Is there a correct order on how you keep your teeth clean? Is it brush then floss or floss then brush?

My observation is that most people brush their teeth first, then floss, but according to the Oral Health Foundation, flossing should come first. Flossing loosens bacteria and food debris between the teeth, making brushing more effective.

Dr. Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundations, states "Brushing alone only cleans three of the five surfaces of our teeth, so cleaning between them before we pick up our toothbrush is hugely beneficial. It helps to prevent gum disease by removing plaque from areas the toothbrush alone cannot reach."

So, when you're ready to clean your teeth, remember to floss first!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

RFID To Help Monitor Stress Level in Dental Patients

We don't really to talk too much about the stress of going to the dentist. Hence, the reason most people do not go unless they absolutely have to. Long waits in the waiting room, long waits in the oporatory and just the stress of not knowing what is going to happen and whether it will be painful or not.

Well, researchers at Columbia University are using new technology to help with that. They are designing a new dental center that is built to monitor and reduce patient stress as well as speed up the process of a dental visit.

It is designed around a bracelet that the patient is given when they check in. This bracelet is equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. Once activated, the center will be able to tell where in the office the patient is located, what procedure they are having done, any dental information on file, how long they have been waiting and measure the patients stress level by measuring heart rate and respirations. They will also be able to tell the real time stress level of the patient while the procedure is being performed.

This is one piece of technology that I personally am very interested in and, if proven to work, would love to see in every dental center across the nation. Especially if it speeds up the visit like they suggest.

Thoughts, anyone?

Monday, August 22, 2022

Bad Breath Could Mean You Have Underlying Medical Conditions

Yuck, what is that smell? Could it be your breath? 

Checking your breath may not just save you from embarrassing social moments, but it may save your life!

Recurring bad breath could be a sign of underlying medical conditions.:

  • Fish Breath: kidney failure- The fishy breath occurs when kidney failure affects the respiratory system and makes it hard to breathe. This is because the damaged kidneys can no longer filter waste products from the blood and turn it into the urine.
  • Sleep conditions may cause sour mouth- Saliva decreases during sleep, which causes a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Excess weight-  A poor diet and lack of water can play a major role in bad breath. Try drinking large amounts of water and eating lots of fruit and vegetables, this will help keep your breath fresh.
Below are some tests that are available to help detect specific medical conditions:
  • Electric Nose Technology: Detects lung cancer from bad breath. This is a cheaper alternative than doing a biopsy to detect lung cancer. The "electronic nose" detects different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breaths.
  • Breath tests: This can detect heart failure. By taking a breath test, researchers can use "mass spectrometry" technology to analyze the sample for molecular and chemical compound signs of heart failure.

If you notice your recurring bad breath please seek medical help!


To read more click here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Denture Glue to Repair a Turtle's Shell...Amazing!

This is a very old story from 2013 but a good one! It is always great to hear about modern "human" remedies being successfully used for animals.  In this case, a sea turtle was saved...with denture glue. 

Denture glue is something that you would think to only use for one thing.. dentures..right? Well a turtle rehab center in Florida turned to it in a last ditch effort to save the life of a sea turtle. The 40 pound turtle was brought into the center with a 10 inch crack on its shell from being struck by a boat. With a fractured shell, a turtle becomes vulnerable to infection on top of the danger of the cracked shell to begin with.

After unsuccessfully repairing turtle shells with various marine epoxies and dental glues in the past, the center turned to a local dentist to see if there was something new they could try.

After researching and brainstorming, they used a waterproof denture resin to repair the break in the shell and then fitted it with prosthetic pieces to replace the missing shell pieces.

At last check, the treatment is holding and the sea turtle is no longer in critical condition.

Another successful animal rescue story! I love it!  


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Natural Ways To Heal Canker Sores

We all know how uncomfortable and painful canker sores can be, right? I'm sure you have tried Orajel and canker x to help heal the pain but have you tried any natural remedies? I know, I haven't.

Below are some natural remedies to help heal those painful sores:
  • Alum Powder (kitchen spice) - Place a small amount of alum directly on the sore, allow it to sit for 1 minute then spit out. *Do not swallow*.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - Soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply it to the sore.
  • Vitamin E - Open a vitamin E casual and apply it directly to the sore.
  • Aloe Vera - Put some fresh aloe Vera juice on the sore 3-4 times a day.
Hopefully, with the help of these, you will get some relief from the pain and discomfort.

To help prevent Canker sores you should brush your teeth after every meal and floss twice a day to keep your mouth free of food particles that trigger these painful sores.

If you still end up with a canker sore, use a soft toothbrush such as a perio-toothbrush to prevent irritation while brushing, and avoid toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Myths About Cavities Explained

 Repost from August 2019, because we need to be reminded once in awhile! 

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, August 4, 2022

Good And Bad Food For Your Teeth

 Eating the right foods might be the key to long-lasting healthy teeth and gums!

Good Foods-
  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
  • Milk, yogurt, and dairy products
  • Green and black tea
  • Foods with fluoride
Bad Foods-
  • Sticky candy and sweets
  • Starchy foods
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Anything that will dry the mouth
Remember to keep up with your oral hygiene, brush and floss twice a day and see your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and exams!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Harmful Effects Bulimia Can Have on Oral Health

It is estimated that eating disorders affect at least 9% of the population worldwide. 9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.

It's likely that we have all known someone who suffers from an eating disorder.  Bulemia Nervosa is a psychiatric disorder that involves frequent purging of stomach contents in order to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight. It is one of many types of eating disorders but is particularly troubling because it primarily affects teen girls between the ages of 15 and 19, and young women into their early 20's.  What many people don't know is that the disease has a devastating effect on dental health.  

Click the link below to read a wonderful article about the effects of Bulimia on teeth and gums and what can be done to prevent and treat it

You will find the full article here.   

Keep Smiling! 


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Covid-19 Linked To Craniomandibular Disorder

 If you have been intubated for more than one week due to Covid-19, you need to check out this article "10% of COVID-19 survivors may develop craniomandibular disorders" written by Melissa Busch, DrBicuspid.com associate editor.

"July 19, 2022 -- Approximately 1 in 10 survivors of severe COVID-19 may develop craniomandibular disorders (CMDs) within six months following prolonged intubation, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Furthermore, bilateral molar loss, convex face, and higher levels of peak C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein found in the blood that indicates an increase in inflammation in the body, during intensive medical care were predictors of CMDs in these patients, the authors wrote.

"(Survivors of severe COVID-19 with these predictors) indicate CMD screening and/or referral to a CMD specialist, regardless of patients' age, gender, underlying CMDs, or previous dental checkups," wrote the authors, led by Dr. Poramate Pitak-Arnnop of the department of oral and craniomaxillofacial plastic surgery at the University of Giessen and Marburg in Germany (J Stomatol Oral Maxillofac Surg, July 7, 2022.)

Multiple predisposing or precipitating factors can lead to CMDs. These types of disorders may originate in the muscle tissue, or they may be related to a joint injury, occlusion, or comorbidities, such as autoimmune diseases.

Additionally, a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injury is a critical risk factor for CMDs. Left untreated, CMDs can cause chronic facial pain, headache, jaw malfunctions, and deformities.

When a patient must be intubated, a clinician uses temporomandibular rotation-translation maneuvers to reach a person's maximal mouth opening. Sometimes, when excessive force is used, a patient's TMJ can be injured during intubation. Prolonged intubation with the TMJ in a stressed position can worsen the damage, the authors wrote.

To identify the predictors of CMDs in survivors of severe COVID-19 after prolonged intubation greater than or equal to one week, the paper's authors conducted a retrospective study that included 176 patients. Of those patients, 21 had CMDs and 155 did not have these conditions.

In bivariate analyses, statistically significant associations were found between CMDs and bilateral molar loss in at least one jaw, skeletal class II/convex face, and serum CRP during intensive care that was greater than or equal to 40 mg/L, they wrote.

Compared to those with no or only unilateral molar loss, patients with bilateral molar loss had 12.6 greater odds (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.9 to 41.1) for developing CMDs. Additionally, convex face subjects were at a 2.6-fold higher risk (95% CI, 1.2 to 5.9) of developing a CMD compared to those with a normal or concave profile. Finally, patients with peak CRP levels greater than or equal to 40 mg/L were 3.5 times more likely to have CMDs (95% CI, 1 to 12.1) than those with lower CRP levels, the authors wrote.

Screening about two to four survivors of severe COVID-19 who underwent prolonged intubation and had at least one of the predictors may result in one CMD event during the first six months after being mechanically ventilated, they wrote.

There are limitations to the study, including that its retrospective nature makes it difficult to control for bias and confounders, the authors stated. Further research should be conducted in multi-institutional settings with a larger cohort, they wrote.

"The benefit-risk analysis favors post-PI (prolonged intubation) CMD screening," Pitak-Arnnop and colleagues wrote."

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Consider CBD Products for TMJ!

There are many causes of TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Pain) but it seems the most common occurrence is pain. Studies have shown that by treating the causes of TMJ, pain can be greatly reduced or even alleviated.  One of the chief causes of TMJ is bruxism, or teeth grinding.  This can happen as a result of whiplash, misalignment of teeth, stress, anxiety and a variety of other reasons. It can cause damage to the teeth, headache, tinnitus and pain, among other things, over time.  It has been suggested that CBD oil (Cannabinoids) can help relieve the painful symptoms of TMJ by reducing stress, anxiety and relaxing muscles; thereby relieving pain.

Click here to read an interesting article about TMJ and treatment with CBD oil for relief without side effects!

Keep Smiling!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Your Dentist Said They Take Your Dental Plan... But Are They Authorized To?

We run into this a lot here at Savon Dental Plan. A valued member will call in and talk to us about their dentist only to hear the bad news from us that the dentist that they are going to is not credentialed with our office. We get the same response each time... "Our dentist said that they accept your plan." That may be the case. Most dental offices will agree to honor the plan in order to retain you as a member, but still, that does not mean that they are a credentialed provider for the plan.

The reasons that you want to make sure that the dentist or specialist you are going to is credentialed with your coverage plan are:
  1. They will have the most up-to-date fee schedule.
  2. They will be familiar with the plan and know what discounts are supposed to be given.
  3. They will know what is covered and you will not be misinformed.
  4. They will be able to verify your coverage via roster or phone call.
  5. If you as a member has a problem with the pricing discount, the plan will be able to intervene and help you.
I can not stress this enough. Going to a dentist that is not credentialed with your plan puts you at financial risk! That dentist is under no obligation to give you the discounts or may be charging you off of an outdated fee schedule. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, make sure that whatever dentist you are seeing is authorized BY THE PLAN to take the plan that you have. 

To see a current list of Savon Dentists, Click Here!

Original post from December 22, 2014

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Nail Biting - A Nervous Disorder

 Are you a nail biter? Do you know someone who is? If so, this is something you may want to pay attention to!! Nail biting is actually considered by some psychologists and physicians to be a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD). Here are some fast facts about nail biting that you may not know:

  • It is estimated that as many as 40% of teens and 30% of adults may be compulsive nail biters.
  • It is considered to be a nervous disorder, and even an indication of anxiety and passive aggression.
  • It is (in some cases) also hereditary!
  • Thumb sucking and lip biting fall into the same catagory.
The effects of nail biting on the teeth and gums is a serious issue. Long term, it can weaken the structure of your teeth and cause them to loosen, chip or crack. It can also cause misalignment. Bacteria lives under your fingernails, and it is introduced into your mouth when you bite your nails, carrying the possibility of viruses like E-Coli, influenza, the common cold and other diseases that we can't even pronounce... Think about it...whatever you've touched recently may still be lurking around under your nails. Ugh! In addition to that, constant nail biting can cause permanent damage to your nails and nailbed. There are topical applications that have proven useful for kids who are nail biters, but it isn't really effective for teens and adults. Therapy is useful, but expensive. For most, it is a very hard habit to break but have faith....it can be done!
Ladies, you may benefit most from this remedy...switch to acrylic nails and manicures that include polish and artwork! I have personally known people who have successfully grown out their nails by doing this. It works!

As always, Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 7, 2022

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion is also known as a bad bite. It is a condition in which a person's teeth are out of alignment, crooked or crowded.

There are generally two types of malocclusion.

Dental malocclusion: This is when the teeth are not lined up properly; even the jaw may be aligned. Tooth crowding causes this type of occlusion.

Skeletal malocclusion: A skeletal malocclusion occurs when the upper and lower jaws don't line up correctly. This type of malocclusion can be classed as an overbite or an underbite.

Normally malocclusion starts to appear between the ages of six and twelve when permanent teeth are coming in. A bad bite can also be the result of many things such as:

Thumbsucking
Tongue thrusting (pushing your tongue against your teeth)
Fingernail biting
Mouth breathing: Breathing primarily through your mouth instead of your nose.

Original Post from btflbutterfly77 on 10/18/10

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Oral Thrush - Undesirable, But Treatable

 Adults and children of any age can be afflicted with thrush.  

Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the tongue, gums, inner cheeks or lips.  It looks like a white pasty coating on the tongue or patchy white sores on the inner cheeks or roof of the mouth.  
Babies, people with compromised immune systems and diabetic people are commonly prone to this type of infection.  It can be difficult to treat, but there are some things you can do at home to help.

1. Check your diet! Avoid sugar and starchy foods. Large amounts of sugar and white carbohydrates can bring on or worsen a bout of candida (Thrush).  Eat fresh raw vegetables and lean proteins or yogurt, or you can eat foods that contain vinegar, such as sauerkraut or pickles to actually ward off the infection.!
   
2. Try a natural remedy such as grapefruit seed extract (a few drops diluted in water,just wish a few times a day) coconut oil ( excellent to cook with in place of vegetable oils), plain, sugar free yogurt (yogurt contains healthy bacteria that helps to balance the ph in the body).  Adults with the infection can also take acidophilous capsules or liquid to help reduce the growth of bacteria.

3. Remember to clean your toothbrush and your tongue scraper with a bleach/water solution after each use to avoid reinfecting yourself when you brush your teeth. 

4.  For babies, always see your healthcare professional.  Their sensitive little mouths require a doctor's care.   

These are some of the ideas I came up with from around the web.

Enjoy, & keep smiling!

Friday, July 1, 2022

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, June 28, 2022

Having Dentures does NOT mean No More Dental Visits!

We hear this time and time again in our office, "I have dentures now so I no longer need your plan". As good as that may sound to you as a denture patient, the reality of it is quite the contrary.  You see, getting dentures is not an end game for going to the dentist.  The ADA recommends that you still have your check-ups every year and also be checked for oral cancer. Denture patients run a higher risk of it.

Having no dental coverage at all can lead to very costly dental bills, even if you have dentures. Broken, ill-fitting dentures or even if you are just going for that routine check-up, your dental bill can add up quickly.  Fact: most problems with dentures happen in the first 2 years. Those that have had dentures for 5 years or more are less likely to have any significant problems with them, however, those twice yearly check-ups are still highly suggested.

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Is Running Affecting Your Oral Health?

We all know that exercising is great for your health. One of the primary reasons for running is that it helps lose weight, fight heart disease, and relieve stress. However, running can also have hidden negative effects on one of the most important parts of your body...your teeth.

When you add all the carbs, sports drinks, and protein bars that are likely consumed during or after a workout, your mouth has the perfect environment for cavities. Sugar feeds decay-causing bacteria and our defenses against these bad bacteria that live in our saliva.

While most runners breathe through their mouth, the mouth is usually dry during the entire run which slows saliva rates and makes it harder for the mouth to clean itself. Therefore, when the mouth is dry, your teeth are at risk.

Here are a few things you can do to save your teeth during a workout!
  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Pop a sugar-free mint or a piece of gum after a workout (helps your saliva glands to start working again)
  3. Brush and floss regularly

Remember oral hygiene is very important!!


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Braces for...Your Pet?

 If you are a pet owner and, like me, your pet is your baby, it's likely you will spare no expense to ensure that they are healthy and happy.  Maintaining your pet's oral health is as important as making sure that they are vaccinated or that they are receiving regular veterinary care. (Goodness knows there are already twice as many vaccinations for dogs as opposed to humans, and medications can get pricey as well as just the simple costs of office visits for wellness check-ups.) Pets should have regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Animals are susceptible to many of the same physical ailments as humans, including dental issues! They can get cavities, periodontal disease, abscesses, broken teeth...just about anything a human can get, they can get, including crooked teeth! Of course they feel the pain of these ailments, just as we do. But did you know that your pet may actually be a candidate for braces?  Now, braces are not for every dog or cat...it will depend on their age, type of malocclusion and their ability to tolerate the discomfort of wearing braces, but there are a variety of specialists available out there who practice veterinary dentistry, including canine orthodontics. Expect to pay a lot of money!  Canine dentistry is not cheap.  It may even be more expensive than what we would pay for our own braces!  A good option may be to find a good pet insurance plan and find out if it covers dentistry and orthodontics. Check with your veterinarian.  He or she can probably recommend one.


Keep your pet smiling!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Your Oral Health and The Benefits of Green Tea

Did you know that green tea has many health benefits? If not, you're in luck! Green Tea is a natural antioxidant and it's great for your digestive system. Aside from that, it also has oral health benefits!

The following tips are just a few ways your mouth can benefit from drinking Green Tea:

1. It can help to prevent and reduce Periodontal Inflammation
2. Evidence has shown that it can prevent and destroy Oral Cancer Cells
3. Inhibits the Formation of Dental Plaque
4. Repels Odor-Causing Bacteria, giving you better breath! 

Just a couple of cups a day can make a difference. Additionally, there are dental products out there that have Green Tea as an ingredient.  Look for these products in your local health food stores.  

This is another great reason to enjoy your afternoon tea!
Keep Smiling! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

 By definition, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine,  Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of practice that focuses on the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, through the use of oral appliance therapy and/or upper airway surgery.

More and more dentists are entering into this field of treatment.  The way it works is this: A qualified physician diagnoses the condition through a series of studies done on the patient,  then the dentist provides treatment; ( i.e. usually a custom fitted oral device, worn during sleep and designed to keep the airway open by supporting the jaw and tongue.)

A loved one may notice heavy snoring or interrupted breathing patterns that can happen many times during the sleep cycle, however, if you live alone the following signs could be an indication that you may need to be checked out:

                  Mild to heavy daytime sleepiness
                  Morning headaches
                  Depression
                  Decreased libido
                  Inability to concentrate

Additionally, if you are overweight  you may have a higher risk for sleep apnea.  Essentially, through oxygen deprivation and lack of refreshing sleep, this disorder can wreak havoc on your body over time. It can put you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke and even heart attack, not to mention the risk of sudden death while sleeping due to the closing of the airway.

Many people have this disorder and are unaware of the danger it poses.  It is effectively a silent killer.  If you think you or a loved one may have this, contact your healthcare provider and arrange for a screening.  It could save your life!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Are Aging And Halitosis Linked?

Attention senior citizens... are you noticing that your breath is starting to smell more often? If so, check out this article "What factors contribute to halitosis in elderly patients?" Written by Alex Dagostino, DrBicuspid.com associate editor.

"May 31, 2022 -- Older adults are more susceptible to chronic oral health concerns, including caries, periodontal disease, and halitosis. Researchers evaluated the prevalence of halitosis and associated factors among older adults in a new study published May 25 in the Journal of Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research.

The aging population will be a challenge to health systems, including aspects related to oral health. One of those factors is bad breath, which affects millions of people worldwide. Although many oral hygiene products can improve bad breath or mask it, these resources do not address the root problem.

"Halitosis is considered a serious health problem, as alterations in breath odor may lead to a great social impact, causing personal discomfort and social embarrassment," wrote the authors, led by Laura Barreto Moreno of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil.

The two main causes of halitosis are tongue coating and periodontal diseases. Previous research has indicated that patients with gingivitis or periodontitis have a greater chance of having halitosis than those with good periodontal health. In addition, age can affect the ability of an individual to perform proper oral hygiene, including the removal of tongue coating.

Researchers evaluated the prevalence of self-reported halitosis and associated factors among older adults. Individuals over the age of 60 were included as participants. Sociodemographic factors, presence of other health problems, use of medication, smoking and alcohol exposure, access to dental care, toothbrush frequency, use of dental floss, number of present teeth, and the need for dental prostheses were considered.

About 570 participants were included in this study. Nearly 36% of participants self-reported halitosis, demonstrating the high prevalence of this condition among the elderly.

A total of 85% of participants reported health issues and the continuous use of medication. There was no significant association between self-reported halitosis and these variables. However, several medications can cause the reduction of saliva flow, which is often associated with halitosis.

It is important to highlight that halitosis was measured by self-perception within this study. However, self-perception is currently considered a true outcome, referred to as patient-reported outcome measurements.

Self-perception as a primary measurement is a potential limitation of this study, as self-perception may not reflect reality as measured clinically or by the perceptions of those who have close relationships with the person. Still, quality of life is often affected when the individual is aware of the issue, and the validity of this study is considerable.

Factors contributing to halitosis

Many factors may be associated with halitosis in older adults, including oral health conditions, the presence of other health issues, the use of medication, hyposalivation, and sociodemographic and behavioral factors. It can be hypothesized that physiological, behavioral, and health impairments of older adults make them more susceptible to developing halitosis.

Findings in the study indicated an association between higher levels of education and lower self-reported halitosis. Education level is one of the most important factors associated with oral health since it is associated with greater knowledge and better oral hygiene practices, the authors noted.

Similarly, those with no access to dental care were more likely to self-report halitosis. Individuals with higher levels of education tend to visit dentists more frequently; therefore, they have a lower prevalence of oral health concerns.

Another factor associated with halitosis was the number of teeth present. Since halitosis can have both oral and nonoral origins, it can be presumed that some causes are dependent upon the presence of teeth in the mouth. This study did not account for dental caries or periodontal diseases, which is a limitation.

The study authors concluded that older adults are more likely to self-report halitosis. This condition is associated with lower age and lower level of education, no access to dental care, and higher number of present teeth.

"The evaluation of halitosis is important due to the high prevalence of this condition, including its consequences, strong social restrictions, impact on quality of life, and possible association with systemic diseases," the study authors wrote. "


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Foods You Should'nt Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extractions

 Many people leave their doctors office following a surgical extraction with a list of generic "do's and don'ts, but a lot of people don't have a clear understanding of which types of foods to stay away from until the gums are healed. Below is a list of suggestions (straight from a dental assistant) to help with the decision making process.


Foods and Beverages to Avoid

Chips of any kind
Rice
Popcorn
Nuts
Crunchy cereal
Alcoholic beverages
Carbonated beverages (these can interfere with the natural clotting that occurs after the procedure. The clotting is important to protect the open socket.)
Piping hot beverages

In addition to these foods and drinks, smoking is an irritant and should be avoided following an extraction. Both smoking and drinking through a straw can be harmful as the sucking motion can cause the bleeding to begin again.
As with any surgical procedure, check with your doctor or dentist if you experience excessive pain, bleeding or anything out of the ordinary.

Remember: A good rule of thumb is if it's crunchy, don't eat it!

Keep smiling!

Friday, June 3, 2022

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean

We all brush and hopefully floss our teeth on a daily basis. But did you know that there are other important questions you should ask, so you can keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible?

When should I brush my teeth?

  1. You should brush your teeth at least two times a day, once in the morning before breakfast and once at night before you head to bed.
  2. Try to avoid brushing your teeth right after a meal because this could damage your teeth, especially if you just had anything containing acid. *This is because the acid softens the enamel on your teeth*

Should I use a manual or electric toothbrush?
This depends on what you feel comfortable using. (They both are equally good.)

What type of toothpaste should I use?
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. (Fluoride helps prevent and control cavities.)

How to brush your teeth?

  1. Your toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle, brush in small circular movements several times on all surfaces of the tooth.
  2. Brush the roof of your mouth
  3. Brush your tongue, this will freshen your breath.

How to Floss?

  1. Take a section of floss
  2. Slip the floss between your teeth
  3. Floss up and down about 10 times
  4. Floss at least once a day, the best time is right before bed.


You can use normal floss (waxed or unwaxed) or you can use the floss picks/gliders.

After brushing and flossing you should use mouthwash. Mouthwash helps get rid of any last bits of bacteria or leftover food that you may have missed while brushing and flossing.