Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Once Again, Studies Have Shown The Link b/n Good Oral Health & Heart Health

Not so good about heading to the dentist for that twice-a-year cleaning? Now, there's more incentive: those cleanings and scrapings could help you ward off heart attacks and strokes.
Randy Dazell knows the importance of a good teeth cleaning.
"I come in twice a year," Dazell says.
It might seem routine, but for Dazell, keeping up with his oral hygiene could be life-saving. Eighteen years ago, he had open-heart surgery where doctors replaced his aortic valve.
That puts him in a special group of patients that must take antibiotics before heading to the dentist.
"The idea is that bacteria in our mouths can get into those valves and stick to them," says Fort Myers dentist Dr.
According to a recent study out of Taiwan, getting your teeth cleaned and scraped can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, bacteria that could cause inflammation that can lead to heart disease or stroke.
"Long standing infection, inflammation, the release of bacteria into the blood, and the release of your body's own inflammatory mediator can cause platelets to be more aggressive," says cardiologist Dr. Michael Corebellini. "This can increase your chance of having a vascular event such as a heart attack."
According to the study, participants who got their regular dental cleanings were 24-percent less likely to have a heart attack, and 13-percent less likely to have a stroke.
The link has been studied for years, but this was one of the first studies that focused primarily on teeth cleanings and scrapings.
 Michael Sheffield. "And you can get an infection of the heart."
But it's not just people with specific cardiac needs that should take care of their teeth—it's good for everyone, in some potentially life-saving ways.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Say It Isn't So, Even The Tooth Fairy Is Feeling Economic Crunch!

The average gift from the Tooth Fairy dropped to $2.10 last year, but she’s still visiting nearly 90 percent of homes throughout the United States, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® sponsored by Delta Dental.1 That average gift is down 42 cents from $2.52 in 2010. The 17 percent drop in value is one of the larger declines since Delta Dental began conducting the Original Tooth Fairy Poll® in 1998.
“Like many Americans, the Tooth Fairy needed to tighten her belt in 2011, but she’s hopeful for a recovery this year,” said Chris Pyle, spokesperson for the Delta Dental Plans Association. “More importantly, Delta Dental is encouraged that parents are still making visits to the dentist a priority for their children.” In fact, 90 percent of those surveyed say they take their children to the dentist every six months.
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, which surveyed 1,355 parents across the country, yielded these additional findings:
  • The most common amount left under the pillow by the Tooth Fairy is $1.
  • Most children find more money under the pillow for their first lost baby tooth.
  • Thirty-five percent of those surveyed allow their children 3-4 sugary drinks a day. Dentists say that’s too many.
  • Seventy-one percent of those surveyed first take their child to the dentist between 2-3 years old. Dental professionals recommend that parents take their children to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Very Cute!

Very Cute!

Wow! 400,000 yrs old.

A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said teeth found in the cave are about 400,000 years old and resemble those of other remains of modern man, known scientifically as Homo sapiens, found in Israel.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sweetest way for healthy teeth: Xylitol

Feb 16, 2012

By Lisa Stillman RDH, BS

“Hey Kids, Xylitol five times a day keeps cavities away!”

Wouldn’t that be a miracle? And it is! Xylitol is the miracle natural sweetener with the capacity to help rid those nasty bugs that cause caries and sticky plaque when used five times a day! And the best part is that is tastes great … just like sugar!

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that comes from the fibers in plants such as fruits, vegetables and corn cobs. We consume about 8-10 grams daily in our diet and humans naturally formulate xylitol in the liver and it is essential in the conversion of food to energy.

The beauty of Xylitol is that it consists of a 5 carbon chain. Bacteria cannot digest a 5 carbon chain. Xylitol tricks the bacteria into thinking it is a food source and ingests the sweetener but cannot digest it, therefore it cannot produce sticky polysaccharides that allow bacteria to stick to one another, the teeth or tissues. The affected bacteria break away from the existing biofilm reducing the plaque and harmful Strep Mutans.

Studies show that Xylitol:

• When used by mothers, prohibits the transmission of Strep Mutans from mother to child
• Strengthens newly erupted teeth as well as those exposed to dry mouth or high acidic food
• When discontinued, has lasting caries reduction effects for 2-3 years.
• Increases saliva, raises PH, and enhances remineralization
• Reduces damage to teeth while wearing fixed orthodontics
• Gum chewing reduces the occurrence of otitis media by 40%

Instead of viewing ages 5-12 as the cavity prone years, we can now see this time period as the best opportunity to offer xylitol to strengthen teeth for life!

The recommended exposure protocol for xylitol is 5-8 times a day with a total of 8-10 grams per day … Strive for Five! Xylitol products vary and reading labels is important. For example, if the label on the product lists other sweeteners such as sorbitol, which is a 6 carbon chain, then xylitol will be less effective. Make sure that xylitol is the first ingredient and that there are no other sweeteners on the label.

An easy way of incorporating xylitol products into the regular routine of a child would be to:

1) Use xylitol toothpaste and mouth rinse for use in the morning and at bedtime

2) Offer 100% sweetened xylitol gum between meals 3 times a day for 5 minutes of chewing for proper exposure time

3) For variety: offer xylitol candy, mints or xylitol crystals sprinkled over fruit and cereal

An easy way for infants and toddlers to get the required amount of xylitol is to use xylitol ingestible tooth gel applied 4-5 times a day by rubbing it on the gums, putting it on a toddler toothbrush, or inside a medicinal delivery pacifier. This works to reduce the Strep Mutans from being readily available when the primary teeth erupt.

The Pacifier method also helps to reduce ear infections by exposing xylitol to the back of the throat where the openings for the Eustachian tubes reside. One of the concerns parents have about introducing xylitol to babies is that they will enjoy the taste and encourage sweets at an early age. Studies show that the taste for sweets is innate and not learned.

Xylitol testing has found this natural miracle sweetener to be completely safe for all ages. It is well tolerated by children up to 40 grams per day. Exceeding that amount may cause a laxative effect until the body adjusts. It is important to note that dogs and ferrets cannot tolerate Xylitol and it is harmful to their metabolic system. Keep all xylitol away from pets.

Quality Xylitol products can be found more readily in health food stores and pharmacies but it is starting to appear in regular grocery stores.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Unfortunate Consequence of Smokeless Tobacco

SAN DIEGO -- Tony Gwynn, the Hall of Fame outfielder who 18 months ago blamed smokeless tobacco for a malignant growth inside his right cheek, was in his 13th hour of surgery Tuesday evening to remove a new cancerous tumor in the same spot.
According to Gwynn's wife, Alicia, doctors do not believe the cancer has spread outside of Gwynn's salivary gland. But she expects to know more after Tuesday's intricate surgery, in which she said five doctors would likely perform a nerve graft to preserve Gwynn's facial functions. The operation began at approximately 9:15 a.m. PT, and, as of 11 p.m. PT, the 51-year-old Gwynn was still in the operating room.
Tony told them to take [the malignant tumor] all out,'' Alicia Gwynn said Tuesday morning. "They said they may need to remove the facial nerve -- they might have to go a lot deeper. But he just told them to take it out. And if they do remove the facial nerve, they'll replace it with a nerve from his shoulder or his leg.

"Hopefully, his face will work fine; hopefully he'll be able to blink his eye. They said they will make his face as normal as they can -- and that it might be better than it was."
During the operation, which is being performed at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California San Diego, doctors will conduct further biopsies of Gywnn's parotid gland, Alicia Gwynn said. She said if the cancer is localized, Gwynn should be able to return as San Diego State's baseball coach in about a month.
"Tony's very nervous,'' she said. "But once he's back on the field, he'll be fine.''
Tony Gwynn said he dipped smokeless tobacco inside his right cheek during his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres, and for another decade following that.
"I'm addicted," he has previously said of the habit.
Twice during his career, doctors found benign growths on the right side of his mouth, but Gwynn still kept dipping. Then, in August of 2010, a biopsy showed a malignant growth inside his mouth, and on Aug. 31, 2010, Gwynn had surgery to have most of it removed.

During that operation, doctors had peeled back the right side of his face and discovered that the malignant tumor was wrapped around one of his nerves.
That particular nerve controls the right side of his face, from his forehead to his eye to his mouth to his cheek. If doctors had removed the tumor entirely, the nerve would have been irreparably harmed and that side of his face would have been permanently paralyzed. He would never have been able to close his eye or eat without drooling.
Instead, the surgeons salvaged the nerve by leaving remnants of the tumor, hoping chemotherapy and radiation would clear the rest of the growth.

At the time, Gwynn's oncologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital, Dr. Prabhakar Tripuraneni, claimed there was no known link between smokeless tobacco and cancer of the parotid, the largest of the salivary glands. But the doctor acknowledged there had not been sufficient studies done to prove it one way or another.
At the time, Gwynn said "Of course it caused it ... I always dipped on my right side."
Since the 2010 operation, Gwynn has not used smokeless tobacco, instead opting for a safer, doctor-approved synthetic dip that he said "tasted awful." But in January, the cancer returned.
"He was upset," Alicia Gwynn said. "That's why he wants them to take it all this time."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Health Benefits of Straighter Teeth- Invisalign

Properly aligned teeth extend far beyond a confident smile, straightening your teeth can actually give you healthier teeth and gums, easier cleaning and overall health. What do you think are the biggest benefits of a straight smile?
Having properly aligned teeth can help improve your overall dental health. Invisalign gently and gradually moves teeth into proper position. Invisalign aligners are removable which makes teeth cleaning easier compared to cleaning teeth with wired braces.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI

Super Bowl Sunday ! Who will prevail?  Giants or Patriots?  It's a great day to spend w/ friends & family. Enjoy the game.  Personally, I am looking forward to the commercials!!