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."

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 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! 

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.  


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


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

Eat the good stuff, and Keep Smiling!