Monday, November 17, 2008

Calcium Fortified Fruit Drinks Better for Your Teeth

I ran across an interesting study recently in the Journal of the American Dental Association. The authors found that fruit drinks with added calcium are better for your teeth. Just about everybody knows that calcium helps build strong teeth and bones, but in this study the benefits of the added calcium were quite intriguing. Many fruit drinks are quite acidic (orange, grape, grapefruit, etc). Many studies have shown that this acid can contribute to erosion of dental enamel, an actual washing away of your tooth structure. The author's of this study found that added calcium prevents this destructive erosion. When teeth erode they literally have their calcium washed away by acidic liquids. The calcium in the drinks appears to negate this problem. Bottom line: look for calcium fortified fruit drinks whenever possible.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Treat Decay with a Mouth Rinse

I have been dispensing the CariFree products in my office for a few years. They consist of a series of products designed to help reduce the level of harmful bacteria in your mouth. These products also raise the pH in your mouth (make it less acidic). Decay is caused by an infection of tooth structure by a bacteria strep mutans and a few other species. Bacteria digest the sugar in your diet into acids which literally dissolve away the calcium in your teeth.The CaiFree system is so effective because it is based on the latest research regarding the role of bacteria, acid, and dry mouth on tooth decay.
Fortunately the CariFree company has made their products available online and offer a discount when referred by CariFree dentist. I highly recommend visiting the CariFree Website and you can receive a discount each and every time you order by using the referral code POH5797.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dominican Project '08 :Another Great Trip

This year's Dominican Dental Project was a great success. Two dentists, eight dental students fom the University of Maryland, and three Dominican dentists provided extractions, fillings, and partial dentures for nearly 400 patients. The patients live in the rural mountain region of the Dominican Republic near the Hatian Border, the most poverty stricken part of the country.Everyone had a great time and the students enjoyed an unbeatable educational experience. For pictures of the trip click HERE.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No Bisphenol A in Dental Sealants

There has been much media buzz lately about the chemical in plastics known as Bisphenol-A. Found in a variety of household products it has been linked to infertility, cancer, behavioral disorders and the like. This evidence is tenuous at best but cause for concern is being raised by scientific, health, and government institutions. Unfortunately many media reports have indicated that Bisphenol A can be found in dental materials, most notably sealants. Unfortunately the media tends to be it's own source for things and such misinformation can be endlessly Googled and repeated by well meaning, albeit lazy journalists.
Current dental sealants do not contain Bisphenol-A and have not for many years. Below is a quote from a blog on Ultradent"s website (A popular and respected dental material company whose sealants and bonding agents I have used for years)

Results from testing for Bisphenol-A

Dear Colleagues
The media continues to address the health concerns over Bisphenol-A. As is often the case, they serve an important role in bringing public safety issues to light. To support you in communicating with your patients about these concerns, we want to provide you with additional third-party evidence that our own sealants are void of such contaminants.

After testing through a well-respected laboratory, we received tests results that indicate a 0.00000% presence of Bisphenol-A in our UltraSeal XT plus. This is the same type of test we conducted over 12 years ago – the results remain the same. Our sealant is alternatively composed of Bis-GMA, like many currently available dental sealants. Despite this, I encourage others to undergo the same testing to bring confidence back to clinicians and patients alike.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Is My Headache TMJ ?

The Temporalis Muscle is a Common Location of "TMJ Headache"
I have many patients present in my office with a history of headaches. Often these headaches are a manifestation of Temporomandibular Disorder, commonly called TMJ. Patients rarely make the connection between their mouth and this head pain. Unfortunately many physicians do not either and patients can go for years suffering from this pain which most of the time can be easily managed with an NTI Device (go to my website to find out how). Patients usually attribute their pain to "tension" headaches or sinus trouble. So how can you tell if your headaches are TMJ related? Most important is the location of the pain. Headaches with TMJ are mostly due to muscle fatigue and pain of the temporalis muscle, which can be seen in the picture above. This powerful muscle fans out the side of your skull from your temples to nearly the top of your head.This pain is simply from overuse of the muscle while asleep due to grinding or clenching of the teeth. Temporalis muscle pain with lesser TMJ pain in other structures often results when a patients clenches more than they grind. In my experience many patients with temporal (i.e. side of the head) headaches suffer from pain due to clenching and grinding.
Nighttime clenching can also aggravate migraine headaches and the NTI device is FDA approved as an adjunctive migraine treatment as well. 

UPDATE - We have now connected with the physical therapy team at St. Agnes Hospital who have experts in TMJ Disorder management. Physical therapy is an important part of TMJ treatment for many patients.
The NTI Device Reduces Nighttime Clenching

UPDATE - The popular and effective NTI devices are now being made by Keller Labs. They are made out of a durable and stain resistant material that should last for years. They even make a soft liner version that is ideal for patients with crowded teeth, crowns, or veneers.

Hi and welcome to my oral health blog. This blog is linked to my website  and is a place for the latest information all things dental. It may also include office updates and news of interest to our patients here in Linthicum, Maryland.