Mercury: Going, Going...Almost Gone

 Mercury amalgam has been used in dental restorations in Europe for almost 200 years. A decision by the European Parliament has changed that, however. The European Parliament made the decision to phase out the use of mercury in dental fillings by 2030. Legislators made the decision to eliminate mercury in an effort to prevent mercury poisoning and pollution.

Continue reading

Is Your Mouth on Fire? You May Have Burning Mouth Syndrome

 
Tingling, numbness or a constant feeling of burning in the mouth or tongue may indicate a health condition known as burning mouth syndrome. Other symptoms include extreme dry mouth, as well as a sandy or gritty feeling on the tongue and gums that never goes away, and many patients report feeling as if they drank a cup of too hot coffee. While burning mouth syndrome affects only a small percentage of Americans, for some individuals, it could be a sign of a more serious health situation.


According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, only about 2 percent of Americans are affected by this disorder. Although a direct cause of burning mouth syndrome has not been discovered, researchers believe that it develops when the taste and sensory nerves of the mouth and tongue stop working properly, and quit sending impulses to the brain. Without this information, the brain cannot turn off the mouth’s pain receptors. This leaves a painful, constant burning feeling in the mouth.

Another theory on how burning mouth syndrome develops links the disorder to diabetes. Diabetes causes inflammation in tissues throughout the body, including the mouth. Many diabetic patients with diabetes often suffer from gum inflammation.

Some burning mouth syndrome patients experience the condition while using certain medications, especially those medications prescribed to control high blood pressure. Some individuals develop burning mouth syndrome from over use of some vitamins or nutritional supplements, like zinc. Too little zinc may also cause the condition, along with a lack of iron or vitamin B-12.

Candida fungus, also known as oral thrush, leaves the mouth feeling like it is burning and dry. Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, also frequently experience feelings of burning in the mouth and tongue caused by stomach acid eruptions.

While the cause of burning mouth syndrome may be a mystery, patients should still relay their symptoms to their dentists as part of their total health review. Dr. Steven P. Rogers, D.M.D, P.C., is a Grant’s Pass, Oregon, dentist who makes a point to review his patients’ total health history as part of their regular dental checkups.

...
Continue reading

Airplane Structures May Soon Be Modeled After Your Teeth

Tooth enamel is known for its strength and flexibility- which is why researchers at the University of Michigan are using it as a model to build more resilient airplane flight computers. When in flight, airplanes are exposed to various vibrations caused by atmospheric pressure changes. These vibrations impact the solid structures of the airplane, and over time cause cracks and damage. Softer airplane structures have more flexibility to absorb the changes in pressure exerted on the plane, and do not suffer the same wear and tear as their more rigid counterparts.

Continue reading

How Does DNA Affect Your Dental Health?

Bacteria and poor dental hygiene practices are often listed as causes for cavities and tooth decay. While this is true in many individuals, some people find that despite their best efforts at brushing and no matter how frequently they floss, they still are left with cavities. Researchers at the University of Zurich have found a possible explanation for this, and it starts in the DNA.

Specifically, Swiss scientists at the Centre of Dental Medicine and the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences have found that it starts in the DNA gene complex that is the foundation for the formation of tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard, bony white substance that covers the tooth. It is the hardest substance in the body, and it serves to protect the sensitive, living parts of the tooth from bacteria and food debris during chewing.

Continue reading

Taking Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy Benefits Mom and Baby

Doctors advise women to take care of their bodies during pregnancy. Women are cautioned to eat a healthy diet, stay active and to take prenatal vitamins to contribute to the good health of their impending arrival. Another important part of a healthy pregnancy is practicing good oral hygiene.

Pregnant women should also make time to ensure they take care of their teeth and gums. This is because the hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy lead to tooth decay and gingivitis, and it is estimated that 50 percent of pregnant women have a form of periodontal disease. If these conditions go untreated, they lead to tooth and gum loss, as well as serious health complications that impact both mother and child.

Continue reading

The Anatomy of a Root Canal

Root canals have been a long standing treatment at many dental offices across the United States. The procedure is used to alleviate pain and remove diseased tooth pulp, typically after a tooth infection or severe tooth decay. While the procedure does alleviate pain and gets patients back to chewing, the procedure can fail. Root canal failures result in more pain and unavoidable tooth extraction. There is an alternative to the traditional root canals that can treat tooth decay without risking the loss of the tooth. This alternative is found in biomimetic dentistry.

For many patients, the root canal or pulpectomy procedure happens as a result of tooth decay. But it can happen two ways, directly as a result of severe, untreated tooth decay, or as a result of a failed dental filling treatment to treat the tooth decay. When tooth decay is left untreated, the enamel is compromised and begins to disintegrate away, leaving the pulp portion of the tooth exposed. The dental pulp is the living tissue of the tooth, the functions of the pulp include keeping the enamel and other hard tissue alive by supplying nutrients, production of hard dentin tissue that helps to form the tooth during development, and senses changes in temperature, pressure, and pain.

Continue reading

Save Your Blood Pressure and Stop Sleep Apnea Through a Visit to Your Dentist

Researchers at the University of British Colombia have concluded that a single occurrence of sleep apnea can negatively impact the ability of the body to regulate its blood pressure. This can put a serious strain on the patient’s heart, putting them at risk of heart attack or stroke. Sleep apnea is a common condition, impacting over 25 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine; many of which go untreated. There is a simple treatment available for sleep apnea that can help prevent negative impacts on blood pressure and total health. But the treatment is not available at the doctor – it’s available at the dentist.

Sleep apnea occurs when a patient stops and starts breathing repeatedly during sleep. There are several types of the condition, but the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the muscles of the throat and tongue become so relaxed during sleep that they collapse, cutting of the patient's airway. When this obstruction occurs, the patient experiences a decrease in their oxygen level. For some patients, breathing interruption can occur 30 or more times in an hour of sleep.

...
Continue reading

Diabetic? Don't Skip Your Dental Check Up!

Diabetics know their condition affects more than just their pancreas. Heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, stroke and even blindness are just some of the related medical complications that diabetics face. Another health complication that diabetics experience as a result of their disease is poor dental health, and experience gum disease and periodontal infections at a higher rate that puts them at a greater risk for tooth loss.

This is especially true for patients who have diabetes and go undiagnosed. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and the American Diabetes Association estimate that 8.1 million Americans go undiagnosed each year.

Continue reading

Stop and Read If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth are very common, according to the American Dental Association. The ADA estimates that over 40 percent of adults suffer from tooth sensitivity, and experience pain when eating hot or cold foods, or foods that are too sweet. Many patients that suffer from tooth sensitivity manage their symptoms by avoiding foods that trigger pain or use over the counter toothpaste and rinses designed to help reduce sensitive teeth. Dentists treat tooth sensitivity, and patients with the condition should report their symptoms to their provider for further investigation – as their symptoms could be evidence of a more serious condition.

When the dentin of the teeth becomes exposed as a result of injury or tooth decay, the nerve endings of the tooth are also uncovered. This causes the teeth to become extremely sensitive to temperature and textures.

...
Continue reading

Dentists Make a Point to Check out the Other Structures of the Mouth, Too.

It probably goes without saying that dentists are naturally inclined to be concerned about the teeth and gums. But they are not the only thing dentists that check out during a checkup. Dentists make a point to look beyond the pearly whites at the rest of the structures that make up the mouth in order to make sure patients are in good health.

 

...
Continue reading

Are You Experiencing Enamel Loss? Find Out Why You Need to Know.

According to the National Institute of Health, over half of American adults have experienced some degree of loss in tooth enamel, and approximately 33 percent of children also have shown evidence of enamel loss. The loss of tooth enamel is a serious thing, is often very painful and for many patients leads to significant dental problems.

The protection of tooth enamel is very important to the health of the teeth, and a patient’s overall oral health. Enamel is the dense, white, bone-like material that covers the tooth, and serves much like armor to protect the inner sensitive parts of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest substance found in the body, and despite it being only just a few millimeters thick is very strong. It keeps out keeps out dangerous foreign particles that can cause infection and tooth decay, protects the tooth from injury and plays a very important role in the ability to chew.

...
Continue reading

Don't Like Your Smile? You're Not Alone - But You Can Do Something About it with a Smile Makeover.

Some people just love their smiles and have no problem flashing their pearly whites during selfies or photo ops. Other people feel completely opposite, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. A poll conducted by the AACD found that only half of individuals they surveyed were satisfied with their smiles. Individuals who are unhappy with their smile’s appearance often take care to smile without showing their teeth, and may even take extreme measures to avoid having their picture taken. The same poll found that patients between the ages of 31 and 50 are the group that is the most unhappy with their smiles, and equate a good smile to making a positive first impression and being successful. People that do not love their smile may even also lack confidence in social situations, the workplace and personal relationships. Patients no longer have to simply live with their smiles if they’re unhappy with their look. There are many cosmetic dental options to improve a patient’s smile aesthetic, as well as boost their confidence and improve their self-esteem.

Many factors impact the look of a smile. These factors include the health of the mouth and teeth, alignment and spacing of teeth, facial characteristics and smile aesthetics. Many times, patients looking for cosmetic dental improvements have issues in each category that need to be corrected in order to give the patient the smile of their dreams. Dr. Steven P. Rogers, D.M.D., P.C., performs smile makeovers at his Grants Pass, Oregon, dental practice. "The first assessment of a patient’s smile includes a checkup to review the health of their teeth and gums," says Rogers. Once reviewed, Rogers plans restorative and reconstructive treatments, like dental implants and crowns, in order to address tooth decay, and missing or damaged teeth.

...
Continue reading

Why Aren't More People Opting to Have Oral Cancer Screenings?

The American Dental Association estimates that 60% of Americans see their dentist at least once each year for regular cleanings and preventative treatments. There is another important procedure being performed in dental offices each year. The procedure is performed quickly, is painless and non-invasive and may just save your life. The procedure is the oral cancer screening. Over 48,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and over 7,000 of that number will die as a result of their diagnosis within five years, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

With almost two-thirds of the population visiting the dentist each year, there are thousands of opportunities to diagnose oral cancer in its early stages. Despite this high rate of patient to dentist contact, only 15 to 25 percent of patients choose to have an oral cancer screening performed as part of their regular checkup.

...
Continue reading

An Ounce of Prevention Really is Worth a Pound of Cure When it Comes to Oral Health

The process of aging impacts the entire body - hair turns gray and becomes thinner, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear on the face and health can begin to diminish. Aging also impacts dental health, too. Older patients often experience tooth loss, painful gum disease and tooth sensitivity and diminished or dull smiles. While all of these conditions can be treated after they occur, dentists agree that is better to take preventative measures sooner rather than later to preserve pearly whites, improve tooth retention and stay healthy.

Tooth loss is a common problem among senior patients that can be prevented by practicing proper hygiene and taking the time for regular trips to the dentist. Dr. Steven P. Rogers, D.M.D., P.C., a Grant’s Pass, Oregon, dentist, agrees. "If a patient practices regular and routine hygiene techniques throughout their life, the chances of losing a tooth later in life can be diminished," says Rogers.

...
Continue reading

What are Dental Sealants and Why Does My Child Need Them?

Dental sealants help reduce dental complications and adverse health outcomes in adults and children who are at risk of developing cavities and tooth decay. They are especially valuable for patients who have a higher risk of decay as a result of a lack of access to dental care, a genetic or medical history that precludes them to cavities or merely because they do not practice good dental hygiene habits. Dental sealants are a popular cavity prevention treatment used by many dentists to protect the teeth of their patients.

Dental sealants are covers that are placed in the pits and grooves of the teeth. Pits and grooves occur naturally as part of the tooth’s construction. Although sealants have been made out of a variety of materials over the years, modern dental sealants are made out of plastic resin or ceramic. The reason behind the use of these particular materials is that they can bond easily to the tooth enamel.

...
Continue reading

Flossing to Save Your Teeth...and Your Heart?

Dentists are always reminding their patients to floss - but how many people take their advice? Most people do not associate their heart health with their oral health, but the connection exists. Dentists recommend their patients to floss their teeth to not only protect their gums but their hearts, too.

Regular flossing helps to prevent gum disease. This gum disease leads to inflammation of the gum tissue. Gum disease begins with the buildup of bacteria in a sticky film called plaque. This film is caused by tiny bits of food left behind from improper brushing, or from food stuck between the teeth that are missed when patients do not floss.

...
Continue reading

Overcoming Fear of the Dentist with Light Touch Dentistry

Nearly 30 percent of Americans suffer from fear or anxiety during a trip to the dentist according to the Dental Fears Clinic at the University of Washington. Fear about going to the dentist prevents many people from seeking treatment for problems or necessary preventative care. Many would-be dental patients suffer gum disease, tooth loss, pain and even experience negative overall health impacts as a result. More dentists are moving to biomimetic, or light touch dentistry to help ease fears and encourage patients to seek the care they need.

Research has shown that patients' fears regarding the dentist are usually a result of a previous bad experience. Others are embarrassed or fear being judged by the state of their dental health, lifestyle choices such as drug abuse or eating habits or have sensory issues with the sights, sounds and the smell of the dentist's office.

...
Continue reading

Biomimetic dentistry offers a pain free treatment for tooth decay.

Australian researchers at the University of Sydney have found that tooth decay can be reversed when patients focus on proper hygiene techniques. The study published in the journal, Community Dentistry, and Oral Epidemiology, reports the need for dental fillings was reduced up to 50 percent when participants practiced regular hygiene and saw professionals for routine preventative treatment. The study observed patients with a high risk of tooth decay over a period of seven years. They tracked the success rates of using high concentration fluoride applied directly to sites of decay, improving toothbrushing procedure and dental hygiene practices, limiting sugary snacks and beverages and monitoring patients with additional risks like genetic history or illness than can increase the rate of tooth decay.

Results of the study showed that the speed of decay is not as fast as dental professionals once thought. "It can take several years for a spot decay to become an actual cavity," says Dr. Steven Rogers, D.M.D, P.C. Rogers cautions, "However, even though deterioration takes longer in some individuals, tooth decay should be evaluated and monitored through regular and routine dental checkups. Decay should be treated."

...
Continue reading

Created and designed by Dog Star Media