Think you know everything you need to know about teeth? Test your knowledge with this 7- question quiz. Which dental specialty performs root canals? Periodontist Pedodontist Endodontist Prosthodontist A child should be taken to the dentist by what age? By the age of 1 By the age of 2 By the age of 3 Before [...]
Think you’ve got dental problems? Otzi, the 5,000 year old Neolithic mummy, discovered frozen and well-preserved in the Italian Alps over twenty years ago, recently underwent his first real dental exam. The results were not good. His teeth were loose from the bone loss associated with periodontitis (gum disease) and many of his teeth were [...]
Think you’ve got dental problems? Otzi, the 5,000 year old Neolithic mummy, discovered frozen and well-preserved in the Italian Alps over twenty years ago, recently underwent his first real dental exam. The results were not good. His teeth were loose from the bone loss associated with periodontitis (gum disease) and many of his teeth were either severely decayed or chipped. Researchers from the University of Zurich used computer tomography to evaluate his dental conditions and determined that Otzi’s carbohydrate-rich diet of processed foods seemed to be the major culprit.
Though Otzi has been studied extensively since his body was first discovered in 1991, this was the first time that his teeth received such careful attention. Researchers had already concluded that his death at about the age of 45, was most likely the result of internal bleeding from an arrow which had pierced his shoulder. Examination of Otzi’s teeth showed that the diet of Neolithic man was no longer restricted to meat and berries. Because grain crops were grown in the area, Otzi’s diet offered greater variety than that of the earlier “hunter-gatherers”. Unfortunately, the addition of carbohydrates and starches to the diet also contributed to the breakdown of his teeth and the supporting bone.
Chances are, Otzi liked to sit down to a heaping bowl of porridge every morning, in much the same way we might enjoy a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal. Sadly, his dental exam indicates that eating anything hot or cold would most likely have been quite uncomfortable for him, due to the decay in his back teeth. Otzi probably didn’t do much to keep his teeth clean, and the resulting gum disease meant that his breath was anything but fresh.
From time to time, Otzi probably bit down on a small stone or hard kernel hidden in his cereal or baked into his bread, and chipped a back tooth. The cereal grains he ate were so abrasive that over time they wore away the outer layer of enamel on most of his teeth. One of Otzi’s two front teeth was chipped and discolored, probably the result of some sort of traumatic accident. It’s doubtful, though, that he spent too much time worrying about the effect of that injury on the esthetics of his smile.
Judging from the results of Otzi’s first dental exam, we can conclude that he suffered from many of the same dental issues which are common in modern man – gum disease, bone loss, dental decay, and chipped and broken teeth. And much as it does today, diet seemed to play a significant role in the development and progression of dental disease. The big difference is that the solution to the dental problems plaguing poor Otzi and causing him so much discomfort and pain, can now be found by simply calling our office to schedule your next dental visit.
I never developed much of a taste for coffee. In fact, I don’t really like coffee-flavored anything. However, the delightful aroma of my husband’s French roast coffee brewing every morning seems to go perfectly with the icy cold Diet Coke I sip each day with breakfast. Now plastered all over the internet are the results [...]
I never developed much of a taste for coffee. In fact, I don’t really like coffee-flavored anything. However, the delightful aroma of my husband’s French roast coffee brewing every morning seems to go perfectly with the icy cold Diet Coke I sip each day with breakfast. Now plastered all over the internet are the results of a recent study which proclaim that drinking large amounts of sugar-free beverages produces similar tooth erosion effects as regular use of cocaine or methamphetamine. Whoa! Suddenly, I feel the need to cover my drinking “habit” with a brown paper bag and slip off to some seedy back alley before taking a swig.
Tooth erosion is different from tooth decay. Enamel, the outer protective covering of teeth, has no living cells, so it can’t grow back if it’s damaged. Regular consumption of acidic foods or drinks can cause enamel to be worn away over time. Once enamel becomes damaged or lost, the tooth becomes much more susceptible to decay and usually much more sensitive to sweets, as well as to hot and cold temperatures. Thinning enamel allows more of the underlying yellow dentin to show through – making teeth appear less white. In severe cases, the biting surfaces of the back teeth can begin to show evidence of “cupping” where the cusp tips become hollowed out from acid damage.
Many people mistakenly believe that brushing your teeth immediately after consuming a soft drink is the answer. In fact, acids in the soft drink actually soften the enamel surface and make it more vulnerable to damage from brushing. This is especially likely if an abrasive toothbrush and a heavy-handed brushing technique are used. The best approach is to chew a piece of sugar-free gum. This promotes remineralization of the enamel by increasing the flow of saliva, which neutralizes the mouth acidity. Calcium from your saliva and fluoride from your toothpaste work together to repair damaged tooth enamel.
Should we be concerned about this latest study? Yes and no. In this case, researchers devoted most of their attention to a woman with poor oral hygiene who drank 2 liters of diet drinks each day for years. Here are a few simple ways to minimize the risk of enamel erosion:
Limit your intake of diet drinks. Try to drink water instead. Don’t add a twist of lemon or lime to your drink, which can increase acidity.
Drink your soda through a straw to limit contact of the liquid with your teeth.
Eat a piece of cheese to neutralize acids from soft drinks.
Don’t brush immediately after drinking a diet drink. Chew a piece of sugar-free gum and wait an hour before using a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste to gently clean your teeth.
If your teeth exhibit sensitivity, ask your dentist to recommend a desensitizing toothpaste.
We are just in awe that Father’s Day is around the corner! Time is really flying and we have broken down some must haves for your dad this year! For the techy Dad: Wireless Dolphin Mouse: This wireless, battery-operated mouse cruises across his desktop with a receiver, which resembles a dolphin tail, that connects into [...]
American Sterrhide iPad Case: This case is 100% Tennessee tanned steerhide leather that has been dry milled for a soft, yet durable feel! Perfect for any techy dad!
For the Drinker:
Make Your Own Whiskey: Does your dad love whiskey? Not problem because with this kit he can make his own! White Dog un-aged whiskey, an aging barrel, a pouring funnel, two tasting glasses–for distilling a spirit of his own!
There are variety of reasons what causes gingivitis and its important for you to know these causes to keep your oral health in check. Gingivitis is the inflammation or infection that affects the tissue around your teeth or gums. If you do not treat gingivitis it can result to more serious problems like can affect [...]
There are variety of reasons what causes gingivitis and its important for you to know these causes to keep your oral health in check. Gingivitis is the inflammation or infection that affects the tissue around your teeth or gums. If you do not treat gingivitis it can result to more serious problems like can affect not only your gums, but even the bones that support your teeth.
Gingivitis can occur in even occur in those who take extremely good care of their teeth. Ironically, thousands suffer from this disease and it’s more common than many believe. If you have a lot of plaque build up then this can lead to gingivitis as well. This build up can make your gums irritated and make your gums inflamed.
Here are some great ways to prevent gingivitis:
Brush your teeth everyday
Make sure you floss and use mouthwash because it will reach in areas your toothbrush cannot
Try to eat foods that help keep your immune system strong. Try to increase your intake of Vitamin C by eating more oranges, red/green chilis, guava, bell peppers, herbs, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and strawberries!
If gingivitis is common in your family then make sure you stay on top of your oral health. Look for the signs of gingivitis since your risk is higher.
Make sure you see your dentist twice a year so you can monitor your oral health.
If you are noticing any irregularities in your gums or oral health thn please see your dentist immediately.
Do you know someone with Down Syndrome? Today children with Down Syndrome, a common genetic disorder, are much more likely to benefit from improved educational and work opportunities. Though there is a range of severity, most have only mild intellectual disability. The fact that they are finding success in the mainstream community means that they [...]
Do you know someone with Down Syndrome? Today children with Down Syndrome, a common genetic disorder, are much more likely to benefit from improved educational and work opportunities. Though there is a range of severity, most have only mild intellectual disability. The fact that they are finding success in the mainstream community means that they are also more likely to receive their dental treatment in a regular general dentistry practice with only minimal adaptations for treatment. Check out these facts and tips for helping your special needs child maintain healthy teeth and gums.
1) Kids with Down Syndrome are not immune to dental caries. At one time it was incorrectly reported that the teeth of children with Down Syndrome didn’t decay. Though the teeth do appear to decay at a much lower rate than that of the general population, they are certainly not immune to the disease. The slower eruption sequence and the larger spaces between teeth could play a part in this finding.
Medications your child takes can dry his mouth and actually make his teeth more susceptible to decay. Avoid offering sugary candies or drinks to counteract this issue. Instead, have your child drink plenty of water. Mouth breathing can cause lips to crack and become chapped. Keep them moist with a lip balm. Talk to your dentist about fluoride treatments and sealants.
2) Teach your child how to care for his own teeth. Most children with Down Syndrome can learn to care for their own teeth, but as with all children, it will require a great deal of repetition and practice. Children with Down Syndrome have a very strong gag reflex which is activated if the toothbrush is placed at the back of the mouth. Never share your toothbrush, a cup or utensils with your child – as this can spread decay-causing bacteria.
3) Keep track of tooth eruption. Teeth may erupt in an unusual order or not at all. Teeth are often small and sometimes conical in shape. Missing teeth can affect your child’s diet and the types of food your child can comfortably eat.
4) Reduced muscle tone can cause problems with chewing, mouth breathing, drooling and speaking. Over time, an open bite can occur. Weak mouth muscles, along with a smaller mouth cavity can also contribute to tongue protrusion. 1A recent study has shown that the tongues of children with Down Syndrome are not larger than normal, as was once thought; rather, the size of the oral cavity is typically smaller, and the palate often has a very high vault. Orthodontic treatment may help resolve some of these issues.
5) Fight gum disease. Gum disease is very prevalent and progresses rapidly in children with Down Syndrome. Schedule regular cleaning appointments according to your dentist or hygienist’s recommendations, based on your child’s level of dental hygiene. Since the bacteria associated with gum disease can be harmful to your child’s overall health, it’s especially critical that her teeth be cleaned professionally.
6) Call our office to schedule your child’s appointment. Try to schedule the appointment first thing in the morning, when the wait time is minimal. Read age-appropriate books and talk positively about visiting the dentist. In the unlikely event that our office is unable to meet your child’s needs, we will gladly recommend an excellent pediatric dentist. We look forward to providing quality dental care for your entire family, including your child with Down Syndrome.
1Pediatr. Radiol. 2008 Oct;38(10):1062-7. doi: 10.1007/s00247-008-0941-7. Epub 2008 Aug 7. Relative rather than absolute macroglossia in patients with Down syndrome: implications for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Guimaraes CV, Donnelly LF, Shott SR, Amin RS, Kalra M. Department of Radiology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave., MLC 5031, Cincinnati OH 45229-3039, USA.
Do you need another reason to floss your teeth more than once a day? Did you know flossing helps improve your oral health, but it can help eliminate bad breath! Flossing removes all the bacteria in your mouth and remaining food particles. Therefore, flossing is the easiest way to prevent bad breath since it can [...]
Do you need another reason to floss your teeth more than once a day? Did you know flossing helps improve your oral health, but it can help eliminate bad breath! Flossing removes all the bacteria in your mouth and remaining food particles. Therefore, flossing is the easiest way to prevent bad breath since it can reach in places that your toothbrush cannot! Bad breath is more common than people realize. It’s important to be aware of your oral health because bad breath can be an extremely embarrassing problem.
It can even be the beginning signs of an underlying disease or illness. Also, there are more times during the day you will produce more saliva and saliva helps reduce bad breath. It can also help remove plaque from your mouth as well. Therefore, make sure you stay hydrated because it will produce more saliva and prevent dry mouth. Here are some tips to help prevent bad breath:
The reason why you have bad breath in the morning is because your flow of saliva stops when you sleep. Therefore, it’s really important to floss in the morning.
If you are going to drink an alcoholic beverage then make sure you floss before you go to bed because it can cause dry mouth.
Stay hydrated because it will produce more saliva which helps remove bacteria build up.
Summer is the easiest time for everyone’s routine to become a little chaotic. Kids will be sleeping in later and going to bed later. Depending on how much you planning on traveling it can even disrupt their oral health routine. Having a couple of missed nights of brushing their teeth and flossing is fine, but if [...]
Summer is the easiest time for everyone’s routine to become a little chaotic. Kids will be sleeping in later and going to bed later. Depending on how much you planning on traveling it can even disrupt their oral health routine. Having a couple of missed nights of brushing their teeth and flossing is fine, but if this leads to multiple weeks can become extremely dangerous to their oral health. Whether it’s going to be the morning or night be sure to adjust your child’s tooth brushing and flossing accordingly.
Remember, plaque develops just 20 minutes after a meal. Therefore, it’s good practice brush after every meal, but if you know it will not happen because they are at a friends house then have them brush in the morning before they leave! Make sure to pack their toothbrush and toothpaste in their bags. Finally, you can set an alarm on their phone to remind them when to brush so they can never forget! Also, try to have them use mouthwash because it will reach in places their toothbrush and flossing cannot!
Do not forget to read one of our former posts on how to get the kiddos to brush their teeth!
If you’re facing the prospect of losing a tooth, or have a space where a tooth has been previously lost, you are not alone. It is estimated that nearly 70% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one tooth to decay, trauma, gum disease, or a congenital defect. In [...]
If you’re facing the prospect of losing a tooth, or have a space where a tooth has been previously lost, you are not alone. It is estimated that nearly 70% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one tooth to decay, trauma, gum disease, or a congenital defect. In fact, the average 50 year old American is missing twelve teeth!
In the past, there was no effective technique for replacing missing teeth which truly mimicked a patient’s natural bite and esthetics. Either nothing was done or the missing tooth or teeth were replaced with a removable appliance or a cemented bridge. Function could be restored with either method, but both solutions usually fell short of acting and feeling like the natural dentition.
The last twenty years have seen a dramatic improvement in the materials and techniques for implant placement. Consequently, there has been a huge increase in the number of people whose smiles don’t give away the fact that at some time in their lives, they were missing teeth.
What are the steps involved in getting a dental implant?
1)Surgical placement of the implant. The dentist will evaluate the bone surrounding the implant site. If the tooth has been missing for a while, the bone level may need to be augmented. The implant surgery is done in the dental office and is generally considered to be less invasive than tooth extraction. Usually, ibuprofen or acetaminophen are sufficient to control any post-operative discomfort. The dentist will usually wait 3-4 months before continuing treatment so that the implant can fully integrate with the bone.
2)Attachment of the abutment. The dentist will attach an extension (called an abutment) to the implant. It is to this abutment that the crown will be permanently cemented at the next appointment. An impression will then be taken and sent to the laboratory so that the crown can be made.
3)Permanent cementation of the crown. A few weeks later, the dentist will cement the crown onto the implant abutment. The finished crown should look and feel like your natural tooth.
Dental implants are not inexpensive. And, though they have an excellent track record, implants face more challenges to success if you smoke or are a heavy drinker. However, for those of you who are seeking a tooth replacement solution which looks and feels like the real deal, a dental implant could be just the answer! Your once missing tooth will be a secret nobody but your dentist will ever know!
Picture yourself on vacation in a tropical paradise complete with pristine aquamarine waters, gentle ocean breezes and a chaise lounge strategically positioned under a bright blue umbrella. Perfect. Now imagine that beautiful scene ruined by the sudden discovery that your child’s orthodontic wire has become detached or that your lower left molar has begun to [...]
Picture yourself on vacation in a tropical paradise complete with pristine aquamarine waters, gentle ocean breezes and a chaise lounge strategically positioned under a bright blue umbrella. Perfect. Now imagine that beautiful scene ruined by the sudden discovery that your child’s orthodontic wire has become detached or that your lower left molar has begun to ache. What should you do and who should you call? Did the C+ you got in high school Spanish prepare you to make an appointment and explain your dental emergency to a non-English speaking dentist? How can you even find a dental office that places the same high value on infection control and quality care that you’ve come to expect? Since most insurance plans do not cover foreign dental care, exactly how much will this emergency treatment set you back?
These are questions that you don’t want to be asking once you are outside the United States. Gain some peace of mind by following these 3 tips:
1) Have a thorough dental exam before you leave the country. Complete any planned root canal treatment before you board the plane since changes in cabin pressure can aggravate a sick or dying tooth. Will you be engaging in high impact activities? Ask your dentist about the need for a mouthguard. Have broken or decayed teeth restored before you leave. Partially exposed lower wisdom teeth are a potential source of infection and should be removed prior to the trip. Schedule a thorough cleaning, especially if you have periodontal problems. Take your dentist’s name, address and telephone number with you, in the event you need to contact the office.
2) Try to locate a dentist ahead of time. Ask your dentist if he or she can help you locate a US or Canadian trained dentist in your vacation spot. If that’s not possible, check on travel websites such as TripAdvisor® or LonelyPlanet® for dental office recommendations from American expats or military living in the area. If you can’t find a dentist ahead of time, ask your hotel concierge for help or contact the American Consulate or American Embassy in the country you are visiting. A dental school in a foreign country may also be an option.
3) Ask questions. When your tooth is hurting, you probably won’t feel like investigating multiple dental offices. However, OSAP (Organization for Safety, Asepsis & Prevention) recommends that before making a dental appointment in a foreign country, you should ask a few specific questions: Are new gloves and needles used for each patient? Is an autoclave (steam sterilizer) used? Are handpieces (drills) sterilized, and if not, are they disinfected? In areas with unsafe drinking water, is sterile water used for all dental procedures? Once at the office, check to see if the staff washes their hands between patients. Are gloves worn and changed between patients? Are surfaces wiped down or covered with protective barriers?
With a little advance planning, your limited foreign language skills can be used quite effectively to order “una cerveza más” – instead of being wasted in a dental office!