Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is Tooth Whitening Safe?

Most studies confirm that tooth whitening is safe and effective. Whitening gels that contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide (equivalent to 3.6 percent hydrogen peroxide) have not been shown to cause any damage to the enamel of the tooth. Higher concentrations of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide available from the dentist may weaken the enamel, but most of these formulas also contain fluoride offsetting this potential side-effect. People who use higher concentrations of whitening agents can also receive prescription fluoride gels from their dentist to help further protect their teeth.
If tooth sensitivity or gum irritation occur, it is best to start using the whitening product less frequently -- say, every other day instead of every day -- and reduce the amount of time spent whitening. Prescription fluoride is also used to treat sensitivity sometimes associated with tooth whitening. Irritation of the gums can occur from either the in-office, at-home or over-the-counter tooth whitening systems. Gum irritation is usually mild and reversible, but can be treated with over-the-counter products such as Orajel.
Article taken from: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/everyday-innovations/tooth-whitening4.htm

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Whitening Answers!

Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours. Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from daily oral hygiene and regular cleanings at your dentist’s office, but if you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your whitening options.
Start by speaking with your dentist. He or she can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. If you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth the whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. You may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

If you are a candidate for whitening there are several ways to whiten your smile:

  • In-office bleaching. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
  • At-home bleaching. Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. There are potential side effects, such as increased sensitivity or gum irritation. Speak with your dentist if you have any concerns.
  • Whitening toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.
Remember when selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance—your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.
Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening.aspx

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Healthy Mouth/ Healthy Heart

Most everyone knows that a daily flossing helps promote healthy teeth and gums, but that may be just the tip of the iceberg. Research suggests that there’s a link between flossing and heart disease, meaning that your daily flossing ritual may do a lot more than protect your pearly whites.

Let's Start with Your Smile

Without regular flossing, your whole mouth can really suffer. A soft, sticky bacterial film (plaque) begins to accumulate on neglected teeth, especially below the gum line. Eventually, the acids in this plaque begin to destroy the outer enamel of teeth. Gums may become irritated and bleed. Breath may start to smell bad. And after a while, the plaque hardens into crusty yellow or brown deposits -- called tartar -- that make it even easier for more plaque to build up. Eventually, lack of flossing can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth loss.
As if that weren't reason enough to floss, now research suggests that regular flossing may affect more than the health of your mouth.
  • Flossing may protect your heart. Research has shown a link between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. And although they’re not sure what is behind the connection between flossing and heart disease, it makes the simple task of flossing a no-brainer for optimal health. (Discover more ways to side-step heart disease and help prevent a heart attack down the road.)
  • Flossing may protect your arteries. Flossing and clogged arteries also may be related. Inflammation is a crucial link in the causal chain that leads to arterial plaque and obstruction. Researchers also speculate that bacteria from the mouth may enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation and artery clogging.
  • Flossing may reduce your risk of diabetes and its complications. If you already have certain health concerns, flossing may help protect you from any further health complications. For example, periodontal disease appears to make insulin resistance worse. When cells require more insulin to take up blood sugar from the bloodstream, blood insulin and, eventually, blood sugar levels will rise. Increases in blood insulin and blood sugar levels both have undesirable effects, such as the development of type 2 diabetes.

To the extent that good oral hygiene reduces plaque, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and the accompanying inflammatory processes, proper oral hygiene may in turn improve insulin sensitivity of liver and muscle cells and reduce blood sugar levels and the need for insulin.

Let the String Lead the Way

More and more research is pointing to ties between oral health and overall health. Even when taking into consideration other bad health habits, such as smoking or excessive drinking, studies have still shown a strong link between periodontal disease and other diseases. Short of a visit to the dentist, no other oral healthcare habit alone has the same ability to remove plaque between teeth and below your gum line. Being aware of the connection between flossing and heart disease, as well as diabetes, gives you one more opportunity to achieve premium wellness.
To help fight gum disease and heart disease in one fell swoop, use these tips to get the most out of that little white string:
  • Be sure to slide the floss under your gum line and to gently curl it around each tooth as you floss.
  • Floss gently, but don't quit because your gums bleed. Eventually, they will become stronger and bleed less with regular flossing.
  • Use fresh floss for each tooth juncture.
  • If you find it difficult to manipulate floss with your fingers, purchase dental-floss picks or holders that anchor sections of floss for you in a small, U-shaped plastic device.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Adding Mouthwash To Your Routine!

New research published in the January/February 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), indicates that the use of a germ-killing mouthrinse in addition to regular toothbrushing can significantly reduce plaque and gingivitis, more so than brushing alone.

"It's simple - mouthrinses can reach nearly 100 percent of the mouth's surfaces, while brushing focuses on the teeth, which make up only 25 percent of the mouth," says Christine A. Charles, RDH, BS, lead author of the study and director of Scientific and Professional Affairs, Global Consumer Healthcare Research and Development, Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Personal Products Worldwide. "Even with regular brushing and flossing, bacteria often are left behind."

The General Dentistry study found that using a germ-killing mouthrinse twice a day, in addition to regular brushing, can significantly reduce the occurrence of plaque, as well as gingivitis - the beginning stage of gum disease.

The six-month study included 139 adults with mild to moderate plaque and gingivitis who were separated into two groups. Members of the first group brushed their teeth and rinsed with a germ-killing mouthrinse twice daily; members of the second group brushed their teeth and rinsed with a placebo mouthrinse twice daily.

"Results show that the group using a germ-killing mouthrinse reduced its occurrence of plaque by up to 26.3 percent," says AGD Spokesperson Janice Pliszczak, DDS, MS, MBA, MAGD. "Furthermore, that same group showed a 20.4 percent reduction in gingivitis."

Additionally, following the six-month study, nearly 100 percent of participants using the germ-killing mouthrinse showed a reduction in gingivitis, while only 30 percent of the placebo group experienced similar results.

"The study demonstrates the oral health benefits of regular and consistent daily use of a germ-killing mouthrinse," says Ms. Charles.

"Most people brush their teeth for less than 1 minute, when, at the very least, they should be brushing for 2 minutes. Additionally, only 2 to 10 percent of people floss regularly and effectively," adds Dr. Pliszczak. "Adding a germ-killing mouthrinse twice a day to your daily routine is another way to attack the germs that can cause significant oral health problems."

Dr. Pliszczak notes that not all mouthrinses are formulated to kill germs - some are meant for anti-cavity or whitening purposes - so be sure to read product labels.
Article taken from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/256630.php

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do You Grind?

"Keep a stiff upper lip" or "get a grip!" That's often the advice we get—and give—on how to cope with stress. If you take it literally, the result could be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws. It's called bruxism, and often it happens as you sleep.
Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
  • dull headaches
  • jaw soreness
  • teeth that are painful or loose
  • fractured teeth
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.
Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.

Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:
  • irritation in the mouth
  • allergies
  • misaligned teeth
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask your child’s dentist about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions
Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding.aspx

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Clean Your Tongue!

How Tongue Scrapers Work

If you suffer from halitosis, or chronic bad breath, you’re probably looking for ways to help manage the problem. If so, consider a tongue scraper. They’re relatively inexpensive and available at most pharmacies. Tongue scrapers are often touted as the way to improve bad breath, but there is very little research to show that they are any more effective than simply brushing the tongue with your toothbrush as part of your toothbrushing routine.
Trying a tongue scraper can’t hurt, and they’re easy to use. Simply hold the scraper at the back of your tongue, and bring it forward, scraping gently but firmly along the tongue as you go.
Although tongue scrapers are harmless, you can probably prevent halitosis just as well by following a consistent oral care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. And keep these points in mind as part of your daily oral hygiene plan:
  • Keep your toothbrush fresh. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, even if you don’t have bad breath, but especially if you do.
  • Keep an extra brush at work. Keep a spare toothbrush and toothpaste at work so you can brush your teeth after lunch.
  • Drink plenty of water. Keeping your mouth moist helps minimize the amount of bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath.
Article taken from: http://www.oralb.com/topics/tongue-scrapers-for-halitosis.aspx

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Caring For Baby Teeth

Though you lose them early in life, your primary teeth, also called baby teeth, are essential in the development and placement of your permanent teeth. Primary teeth maintain the spaces where permanent teeth will erupt and help develop proper speech patterns that would otherwise be difficult; without maintenance of these spaces, crowding and misalignment can occur, resulting in more complicated treatment later. Baby teeth also are primers for teaching your child good oral care habits. It is important to take care of your child's primary teeth. Even though primary teeth last only a few years, decay, cavities and infection can take its toll and may require expensive treatment to repair.
 
When do baby teeth come in?
 
Your child's primary teeth generally make their appearance when he or she is 6 or 7 months old, though it can occur as early as birth. There are 20 primary teeth, followed by 32 permanent teeth that will eventually replace them. Your child should have all his or her primary teeth at age 3 and will keep them until age 5 or 6, when they begin to loosen and fall out. This process usually lasts until the child is 12 or 13. Primary teeth fall out because permanent teeth are pushing them, and by about age 14 children have 28 permanent teeth, plus four additional teeth, called wisdom teeth, that grow behind the permanent teeth in late adolescence.
 
What can relieve my child's discomfort during teething?
 
Between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, your child may experience sore gums and general oral discomfort as primary teeth erupt. While some lucky children experience no apparent discomfort during eruption, many others do. Signs that eruption is causing discomfort in your child include crankiness, lack of appetite, excessive drooling, restless behavior, pink or red cheeks, coughing, upset stomach and chewing or sucking of fingers and toys. There are ways you can bring your child relief. A cold, wet cloth for your baby to suck on can sooth gums. There are also teething accessories and toys your child can chew on to relieve discomfort. Thumb sucking also brings relief, however, dentists recommend this practice should cease upon the arrival of the first permanent teeth, so it does not interfere with the normal development of a child's oral cavity.
 
Should loose primary teeth be pulled?
 
Losing primary teeth before they are ready to fall out can affect the proper positioning of the permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early, other teeth may tip or fill in the vacant space, forcing permanent teeth to come in crooked. If a baby tooth is knocked out, see your dentist, who may recommend a space maintainer to reserve the gap until the permanent tooth comes in. In instances where a primary tooth is loose because of the emergence of a permanent tooth, have the child wiggle the tooth or eat something hard, such as an apple, to help it along. Once the shell of the tooth is disconnected from the root, the discomfort in extracting a loose primary tooth is minimal.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Gum Disease Linked To Obesity

Impacting approximately one-third of the U.S. population, obesity is a significant health concern for Americans. It's a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer, and now, according to an article published in the January/February 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), it also may be a risk factor for gum disease.

"We know that being overweight can affect many aspects of a person's health," says Charlene Krejci, DDS, MSD, lead author of the article. "Now researchers suspect a link exists between obesity and gum disease. Obese individuals' bodies relentlessly produce cytokines, proteins with inflammatory properties. These cytokines may directly injure the gum tissues or reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, thus promoting the development of gum disease."

Half of the U.S. population age 30 and older is affected by gum disease - a chronic inflammatory infection that impacts the surrounding and supporting structures of the teeth. Gum disease itself produces its own set of cytokines, which further increases the level of these inflammatory proteins in the body's bloodstream, helping to set off a chain reaction of other inflammatory diseases throughout the body.

Research on the relationship between obesity and gum disease is still ongoing.

"Whether one condition is a risk factor for another or whether one disease directly causes another has yet to be discovered," says AGD Spokesperson Samer G. Shamoon, DDS, MAGD. "What we do know is that it's important to visit a dentist at least twice a year so he or she can evaluate your risks for developing gum disease and offer preventive strategies."

The best way to minimize the risk of developing gum disease is to remove plaque through daily brushing, flossing, rinsing, and professional cleanings.

"A dentist can design a personalized program of home oral care to meet each patient's specific needs," says Dr. Shamoon.
Article taken from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/256021.php

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Importance of Tooth Replacement

Learn more about the importance for keeping your teeth by viewing the video below



Above video created by: InfoStarProductions

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200
Email: info@thecosmeticdentist.com

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cosmetic Dental Procedure – Dental Crowns

Learn more about dental crowns by viewing the video below


Above video created by: InfoStarProductions

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200
Email: info@thecosmeticdentist.com

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cosmetic Dental Procedure – Dental Veneers

Learn more about dental veneers by viewing the video below


Above video created by: InfoStarProductions

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200
Email: info@thecosmeticdentist.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in during young adulthood. As part of a dental visit, your dentist will examine you to determine if your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned.

Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:

  • pain
  • infection
  • cysts
  • tumors
  • damage to adjacent teeth
  • gum disease
  • tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)
Your dentist or specialist may also recommend removal to prevent problems or for others reasons, such as when removal is part of an orthodontic, restorative or periodontal treatment plan.
In addition, the condition of your mouth changes over time. Wisdom teeth that are not removed should continue to be monitored, because the potential for developing problems later on still exists. As with many other health conditions, as people age, they are at greater risk for health problems and that includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth. Regular dental visits are important so your dentist can evaluate not just your wisdom teeth but your overall oral health to help you prevent and manage dental disease and achieve optimal oral health.
Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/wisdom-teeth.aspx

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Importance of Regular Check Ups!

Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and your dentist recommend you come back every six months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you need additional help, your dentist may even suggest more frequent visits.

What Goes On During A Regular Visit

Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough dental examination. During your checkup appointment, your dentist (or dental hygienist) will likely evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination (to look for anything out of the ordinary) and examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Don’t be surprised if your dentist also examines your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Your dentist or dental hygienist will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene at home between visits.
Many dentists will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.
During your regularly scheduled dental appointments, your dentist will likely look at your gums, mouth, tongue and throat. There are several routine parts to a dental examination.

The Head And Neck Examination

Your dentist will start off by:
  • Examining your face
  • Examining your neck
  • Checking your lymph nodes
  • Checking your lower jaw joints (TMJs)

The Clinical Dental Examination

Next, your dentist assesses the state of your teeth and gums by:
  • Examining the gums
  • Looking for signs of gum disease
  • Checking for loose teeth
  • Looking at the tissues inside of your mouth
  • Examining your tongue
  • Checking your bite
  • Looking for visual evidence of tooth decay
  • Checking for broken teeth
  • Checking for damaged fillings
  • Looking for changes in the gums covering teeth
  • Evaluating any dental appliance you have
  • Checking the contact between your teeth
  • Taking X-rays

The Dental Cleaning

During the final part of the dental visit, your dental professional cleans your mouth using these methods:
  • Checking the cleanliness of your teeth and gums
  • Removing any plaque and tartar
  • Polishing your teeth
  • Flossing between your teeth
  • Reviewing recommended brushing and flossing techniques
Once your examination and cleaning have been performed, they’ll tell you about the health of your teeth and gums and then make any additional recommendations. It’s important that you see your dentist every six months and that they give you routine examination and cleaning. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Article taken from: http://www.oralb.com/topics/importance-of-regular-dental-visits.aspx

Monday, February 11, 2013

What is Angular Cheilitis?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Angular cheilitis
Classification and external resources

Affected area within the black oval
ICD-10K13.0
ICD-9528.5, 686.8
Angular cheilitis (also called perl├Ęche[1]:309, cheilosis or angular stomatitis) is an inflammatory lesion at the labial commissure, or corner of the mouth, and often occurs bilaterally. The condition manifests as deep cracks or splits. In severe cases, the splits can bleed when the mouth is opened and shallow ulcers or a crust may form.
Angular chelitis may be caused by nutritional deficiencies, fungal infections, or (less commonly) bacterial infections. Treatment for angular chelitis varies based on the cause of the condition.

Contents

 [hide

[edit] Signs and symptoms

Angular cheilitis causes red, wet, crusting and breakdown of the skin at the corner of the mouth.[2]

[edit] Causes

Photographic comparison of 1) a canker sore - inside the mouth, 2) herpes, 3) angular cheilitis and 4) chapped lips.[3]
Although the sores of angular cheilitis may become infected by the fungus Candida albicans (thrush), or other pathogens, studies have linked the initial onset of angular cheilitis with nutritional deficiencies, namely riboflavin (vitamin B2)[4][5] and iron deficiency anemia,[5] which in turn may be evidence of poor diets or malnutrition (e.g. celiac disease). Zinc deficiency has also been associated with angular cheilitis.[6] Angular cheilitis can also be a sign of anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia nervosa due both to malnutrition and as a side effect of constant vomiting.
Cheilosis may also be part of a group of symptoms (upper esophageal web, iron deficiency anemia, glossitis, and cheilosis) defining the condition called Plummer-Vinson syndrome (aka Paterson-Brown-Kelly syndrome).
Angular cheilitis occurs frequently in the elderly population who experience a loss of vertical dimension due to loss of teeth, thus allowing for over-closure of the mouth.
Less severe cases occur when it is quite cold (such as in the winter time), and is widely known as having chapped lips. Individuals may lick their lips in an attempt to provide a temporary moment of relief, only serving to worsen the condition.[7]
Angular cheilitis can be caused by bacteria, but is more commonly a fungal infection. It can also be caused by medications which dry the skin, including isotretinoin (Accutane), an analog of vitamin A. Less commonly, it is associated with primary hypervitaminosis A,[8] which can occur when large amounts of liver (including cod liver oil and other fish oils) are regularly consumed or as a result from an excess intake of vitamin A in the form of vitamin supplements.

[edit] Treatment

Treatment of angular cheilitis varies depending on the cause.
For minor cases caused by bacterial infection, applying a topical antibiotic to the area for several days is sufficient to treat the infection and heal the lesions. Minor cases caused by a fungal infection can be treated by over-the-counter antifungal creams (e.g. clotrimazole).[9]
Article taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angular_cheilitis

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

For Teens and Pre-Teens!

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. That’s why it’s so important to take care of it. Cavities aren’t just for little kids—you can get them at any age. When you consume sugary foods, soda, juice or energy drinks, you put yourself at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Be smart. Always brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day.

The bottom line for smiles that are healthy on the inside and out:

  • Always brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes
  • Floss between your teeth daily
  • Avoid sugary and starchy snacks
  • Wear a mouthguard when you’re active
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t pierce your lips or any part of your mouth
  • See your dentist. Regular dental visits will help set you up to be Mouth Healthy for Life.

To learn more, visit our other Preteens and Teens pages on MouthHealthy:

Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/preteens-and-teens/

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Check Need for Premedication for Joint Replacement

Before some dental treatments, patients with artificial joints are sometimes advised to take antibiotics. That’s because they could be at risk of developing an infection. Premedication (antibiotic prophylaxis) may reduce this risk. If you’ve had a total joint replacement, talk to your dentist and orthopedist before undergoing dental treatment.
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons are currently in the process of developing evidence-based clinical guidelines on the topic of antibiotic prophylaxis for patients with orthopedic implants undergoing dental procedures.
Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/j/joint-replacement.aspx