Thursday, July 27, 2023

Are Kids Drinking Too Much Sugar?

Children who drink sugary drinks such as soda, juice, and flavored waters may develop obesity, cavities, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other health risks.

Yes, I mentioned flavored water. The majority of people think they are doing a great job by having their child drink "water" but unfortunately, those added flavors usually contain high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, or agave syrup.  The best way to flavor water is by using natural fresh fruits!

According to WebMD, it is recommended that children should consume less than 6 tablespoons of sugar (25 grams) daily. Just to put that into perspective, one 12-oz can of soda contains 39 grams of sugar.

Below are some healthy alternative drinks for your child:
  1. Regular water
  2. Natural fresh fruit-infused water
  3. Coconut water
  4.  Smoothies -
    1. Kale and pineapple
    2. Spinach and blueberries
    3. Peach and cauliflower
    4. Strawberries and beets 
      1. Blended with un-sweetened non-dairy or dairy milk
      2. It can include add-ins like hemp seeds, cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut, avocados, etc.
  5. Regular cow milk
  6. Unsweetened plant-based milk (coconut, hemp, almond, soy, etc.)
  7. Herbal teas (check with your primary care physician first)

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Amalgam Fillings - Harmless or Harmful?

To be sure, many dentists currently do not use amalgam fillings.  But why?

This is an excellent question. I thought it might be interesting to stir the debate a little....after all, so much controversy surrounds the issue. In this day and age when everyone (medical professionals and the average patient alike) is so much more aware of the harmful toxins in the air we breathe and ingredients in our food and's nice to be able to have a choice about what goes into our body.
Here is a link to a very good article that has an interesting twist...a link to a youtube video that actually shows mercury vapor coming out of an extracted tooth that had an amalgam filling. This will knock your socks off! Watch and decide for yourself. It might just help you to make that ever-important decision...Amalgam or Composite?

Always remember to keep smiling!


Thursday, July 20, 2023

Caring For Rabbit Teeth

Animal teeth are just as important as ours!

I came across an article about dental care on rabbits and I thought I would share this information with you!

When I was younger, I used to have rabbits and this information would have been beneficial.

Listed below are some dental tips for rabbits:
  1. Give them tough-fibrous foods -  like hay, vegetables, and fruits to help keep teeth properly worn because all of their teeth are constantly growing (about 1-5 mm per week).
  2. Dental disease -  is common in rabbits if they are not on a proper diet and are older.  Symptoms include:
    1. Not eating (weight loss)
    2. Facial discharge
    3. Tooth elongation
  3. Teeth trimming - This requires visiting the veterinarian because they are professionals with training and they will use special equipment. You should have your rabbit's teeth looked at on a regular base to see if they need to be trimmed. As I mentioned above the tough-fibrous foods they eat will naturally wear down the teeth but sometimes they will need some extra assistance.
  4. Molar spurs or points - Sharp edges that cut the tongue or cheeks causing painful sores. These spurs will need to be surgically removed and the points can be shaved down. 
I found this information here and here!

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Ludwig's Angina

Have you ever heard of Ludwig's Angina? Good, neither have I!

According to Medical News Today, "Ludwig's angina is a rare, serious skin infection that develops on the floor of the mouth and the neck. It results from bacteria that are present due to other issues, such as a tooth abscess or a mouth injury".

Ludwig is a form of cellulitis that causes severe swelling in the tissue under the tongue and around the neck. Luckily, antibiotics help people recover but if it's not treated right away it can be deadly because the swelling can cut off airways. 

Along with severe swelling, you can also experience other symptoms such as:
  • Fever and chills
  • Drooling
  • Earache
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should seek medical attention right away!

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Chairside Emergencies Happen - Is Your Dentist Prepared?

It isn't a common occurrence, necessarily.  But it does happen.  Medical emergencies in the dental chair can't always be prevented but the risks can be drastically reduced if the patient and the doctor are completely transparent and open with each other about illnesses, medication and health history. All dentists have at least some training for medical emergency treatment, however in addition he/she should have at least one staff member trained in CPR, and have an emergency plan in place which includes emergency phone numbers, a defibrillator, medications on hand and procedures to stop bleeding, etc. He should take your blood pressure reading and heart rate prior to treatment, and again after treatment. If administering general anesthesia, he should be anesthesia certified. Some states issue separate licenses for anesthesia. Always make sure he is certified, or that he has a certified anesthesiologist on staff!
That said, here are some helpful suggestions for the patient to remember when having a procedure done:

  • Disclose all medications that you take daily, even if it is just an aspirin or something over the counter. 
  • If you have ever had high blood pressure, let the dentist know!
  • If you suffer from acute anxiety, say so!  Many dentists cater to the anxious patient. Things can be done to help you with that. 
  • If you are pregnant, let him know!
  • If you have allergies to medications, let him know! 
  • If you have taken anything prior to your visit for relaxation....a sedative, an alcoholic beverage, marijuana....seriously, he needs this information. Many people will do this before a visit and not disclose it thinking it won't pose a problem. The dentist isn't going to judge you, but he is going to treat you and there is a serious liability factor involved, especially when it comes to anesthesia, so don't hold anything back!  

The medical history of the patient is the single most helpful thing for a dentist to have before treatment begins.  Your honesty is imperative.  He cannot effectively manage your treatment plan without this knowledge!

Keep Smiling!

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Flossing Isn't Just For Teeth! It Can Lead to a Healthier Body!

You've all been to the dentists office and seen the funny quips and quotes that are hanging around in various locations; (The personal choice of my own dentist is the ceiling.  That's right, he doesn't want us to miss a thing.).  The one that sticks in my mind the most is a poster that says: "You don't have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!"  Funny, but oh, so accurate.  I'm about to point out a list of some health problems that you may never have thought could be linked to gum disease.  Some of these surprised even me, and I'm well versed in the dental industry, as I have worked in it for 24 years.

The first, and probably most surprising to me, is the apparent link they have found to gum disease/loss of teeth to Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.  Who knew? Studies have proven that there is a correlation between loss of teeth and loss of memory.  Well, gum disease left untreated leads to loss of teeth.  It makes perfect sense, but still, that's a hard one to wrap your brain around.  This would be #1 on my "reason to floss everyday" list.

Next up would be lung disease. How is that possible, you ask?  Well, there are approximately 700 strains of bacteria found in the mouth that can cause gum disease, which leads to inflammation in other parts of the body.  It's a safe bet that those bacteria will not all stay put in the mouth....that is, we inhale and we swallow and well, there you have it.  It's interesting to note that people who need to be on ventilators for extended periods can contract a specific type of pneumonia from those types of bacteria.

Next, young mothers, take care of your teeth!  Gingivitis and tooth decay can lead to miscarriage and premature birth.  Not trying to scare you....but at least brush and floss 2 or 3 times per day and visit your dentist early on in your pregnancy. There is an old wives tale that foretells that a woman will lose a tooth for every child she bears.  Well, I can't speak to the validity of that, but why take a risk?

Lastly, most of us know that heart disease, stroke and blood clots have been linked to bad teeth and gum disease.  Inflammation of the gums can travel through the bloodstream!  That has been a well proven fact for years and years.

So often, people just don't realize the danger of untreated gum disease. They don't consider that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body. Many aren't aware that they even have gum disease.  It's estimated that  anywhere between 50 to 90% of the adult population (the higher percentage being in certain geographical areas) have some level of it.  Here is a parting statement: Brushing alone does not remove plaque build-up between teeth and under the gum line.  Only flossing will do that!  

Keep Flossing, and Keep Smiling!