Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sjogren's Syndrome-Dry Mouth Affects Your Oral Health

Many people have never heard of this disorder....for some it is a simple inconvenience, but to the more severely affected, it is debilitating.  

What is Sjögren's Syndrome?

Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Today, as many as 4 million Americans are living with this disease.
  • Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s also causes serious complications throughout the entire body...
  • It can a primary disease (all by itself) or a secondary disease, on the heals of other autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and others.
  • It is a progressive disorder
  • Having chronic dry mouth can cause a variety of oral problems: higher incidence of cavities, mouth sores, burning tongue, swollen salivary glands, thrush and oral infections.
  The important thing for people with Sjogren's to remember is to stay hydrated and manage the symptoms, rather than letting them continue without treatment.  If you have Sjogren's or if you think you may have it, contact your healthcare provider and make sure you see a dentist regularly.
 Often, your doctor and your dentist can work together to help you manage your symptoms.
Coconut water is an excellent source to hydrate the body and is reported by some to have a profound effect on combating the annoying symptoms of Sjogren's.
Dry Mouth Survival Tips
·       Eat soft, moist foods if you have trouble swallowing or with your teeth chipping and breaking.
·       Sjögren’s patients should eat smaller, more frequent meals to stimulate saliva flow.
·       Avoid salty, acidic or spicy foods and carbonated drinks that may be painful on your dry mouth or interfere with digestion in Sjögren’s.
·       Help prevent dental decay by using oral products containing the sweetener xylitol.
·       For dry mouth, increase your intake of liquids during the day. Remember that small sips of water work best.
·       Sjögren’s patients should avoid mouthwashes and rinses that contain alcohol or witch hazel. These ingredients can aggravate oral dryness and burning. 
·       Chew sugar-free gum or suck on hard diabetic or sugar- free candies to help increase saliva .

Apply vitamin E oil or moisturizing gels to dry or sore parts of the mouth or tongue for long-lasting relief. Use the liquid oil or punch holes in vitamin capsules.


Coconut water is an excellent source to hydrate the body and is reported by some to have a profound effect on combating the annoying symptoms of Sjogren's.



*For more information about  Sjogren's :


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Baskin Robbins of Toothpaste!

This company offers a very unique approach to oral health, offering products that are not only fun to use, but are better for you!
Ever heard of holistic toothpaste? BREATH PALETTE offers 18 different flavors of toothpaste that all have:
-No Sugar
-No Alcohol
-Low effervescence
-Less abrasive particles
-No synthetic surface-active agents

***The Breath Palette toothpaste sets include a wide variety of flavors from Strawberry to Lavender to Cola, but they still make your mouth fresh and clean your teeth! Use a different one each day, as there are dozens of unique flavors to start and end your days. Choose from FOUR different packs of 7 toothpastes.

The Breath Palette features:

• Pack of 7 toothpastes in choice of FOUR versions
• Pack 1: Tropical Pine, Monkey Banana, Grapefruit, Blueberry, Kiwi, California Orange, Strawberry
• Pack 2: Lightly Salted, Green Tea, Tsugaru Apple, Kyoto Matcha, White Peach, Kishu Plum, Grape
• Pack 3: Green Tea, Rose, Vanilla, California Orange, Cola, Lavender, Grapefruit
• Pack 4: Fresh Yoghurt, Honey, Cola, Vanilla, Caramel, Pumpkin Pudding, Dark Chocolate

• Cleans teeth with ultra-fine microbeads
• Prevents plaque with xylitol
• Less foaming
• Small and portable

Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate, Water, Glycerin, Cellulose Gum, Menthol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Honeysuckle Extract, Butylene Glycol, Scutellaria Baicalensis Rooth Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Sapindus Mukurossi Peel (Soapberry) Extract, Xylitol, Glycyrrhiza Galaba (Licorice) Extract, Fragrance

 Labels: in Japanese

They also offer mouthwash in different flavors

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What To Expect On Your First Visit To The Visit

A first trip into a new dentist office can seem overwhelming especially if you don't know what to expect. Usually as soon as you walk in you are bombarded with paperwork.
What to expect:
1. Paperwork: When you get there, you will be asked to fill out the new patient packet. This includes medical history and contact information, HIPPA Policy, Consent for treatment and some other inner office papers that they are required to have on file
2. Full Mouth X-Rays: Depending on your dentist, this will be done as FMX or Panoramic. This is a necessary step that they must take because it gives the dentist a view of the condition of your dental health at that time as well as reveals some of the work that has previously been done by another dentist.
3. Comprehensive Exam: This is the point that the dentist is actually looking at your teeth and examining their health status. Depending on the the dentist's finding, a Perodontical Evaluation may follow.
4. Suggestion Plan Of Care: (Treatment Plan): This is the where you find out what the dentist saw during your examination, what he/she suggests as course of treatment, and what the cost for it is.

TIPS For Making The Process Easier:

1. Prepare for the paperwork: Prior to going to your first dental visit, gather all of the pertinent information that will need, such as Insurance or Coverage Plan information, medical history and a list of any and all medications that you are currently taking.
2. Do the paperwork ahead of time (if applicable): Some dental centers have their new patient information packets available for downloading on their websites. Prior to your first visit, check out their website and see if they have them available. If so, download them, fill them out and take them with you. This alone can save an extra 15 minutes in the office as well as give you more time to gather the essential information.
3. Be Early, Be On Time: For your first visit, you always want to be there approx 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. This will allow the time for you to fill out paper and for them to ask any questions that they have.
4. Don't Freak Out Over The Treatment Plan: The treatment PLAN is just that.. A PLAN. It is not written in stone. Remember that dentist is not making this stuff up. What is on your treatment plan is a diagnosis from the doctor and plan of action that they would like to take. A treatment plan is developed with the goal of bring you to optimal dental health. However, again it is a plan. You have the choice as the patient to decide if you would like to proceed with the whole treatment plan, do 1/2 of it or none at all. What is done is your call.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

4 Supplements That Dental Professionals Need To Discuss With Periodontal Patients

folic acid dental nutritional counseling
“Immune Response” might easily be defined as the immune system attacking microorganisms that cause disease in our bodies. As we age, the body is less able to assimilate the nutrients required for optimal health, so we need diets high in fruit, fiber, vegetables, and the right supplements. This is where antioxidants play a role. Antioxidants prevent cell oxidation and lower the occurrence of disease, aging, and cancer. It is a fact that periodontal disease is more prevalent in 60 year olds than 20 year olds — even though seniors are more dental savvy and brush better — and it’s likely due to the body’s inability to fight off bacteria and chemicals as easily as when you are young.
Loma Linda University researchers3 ran a study a few years ago showing that a nutritional supplement alone, without any other dental treatment, significantly combatted the effects of periodontal disease, with less bleeding and smaller pocketing present. The nutritional supplements used in the study were grape seed extract, CoQ10, folic acid, and echinacea.
Here are some of the documented effects1,2 that these supplements had on periodontal disease:
  • Grape seed extract: Is a powerful antioxidant with 20 to 50 times the potency of vitamins C and E. Naturopaths have been using it for years to help treat arthritis, skin problems, and other inflammatory conditions. For periodontal disease in particular, it prevents the bacteria from colonizing. This is an important fact because it’s the colonization of bacteria that has made us look at plaque now as a biofilm, which also helps give it credence and its link to many systemic diseases. Biofilms are aggravated colonies of bacteria in their pure form. Biofilms are highly resistant to antibiotic treatment and are responsible for otitis media in kids, bacterial endocarditis, Legionnaires’ disease, and cystic fibrosis. They are also responsible for infections that hospital patients can get from catheters, implants, etc.
  • CoQ10: Improves healing. It’s vital to the production of cellular energy and immune system function, and has been used in medicine for congestive heart failure, Parkinson’s and cancer. A woman naturally will produce 50% more during pregnancy to aid in development of the placenta. One of the significant things about statins and CoQ10 is that statins (like Lipitor) can lower CoQ10 levels, so it is important to take supplements to keep CoQ10 levels even.
  • Echinacea: Inhibits enzymes that break down tissue.
  • Folic acid: Ensures development of normal gum tissue. It binds to endotoxins (byproducts of bacteria) and renders them neutral. It can prevent periodontal disease, and it can help in healing if taken during periodontal treatment. It can even prevent re-occurrence if taken after periodontal treatment.
All of these supplements must still be taken with a diet high in fruits and vegetables to ensure proper immune function. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to talk to your patients about this and help them understand the links and how important supplements are as we age?
Many companies now support the need for change toward treatment of total health of the patient. One such company is Pharmaden,4 which deals with nutraceuticals (vitamins and supplements to improve dental as well as physical health). Other companies such as Oragenics and Xlear exist as well and can help dentists and physicians educate and treat their patients about improving their overall health.
The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health is at the forefront of bridging the gap between medicine and dentistry to help educate and improve the lives of patients. AAOSH is about helping medicine and dentistry better understand the groundswell of science happening around them, as well as how to integrate it into their practices for better patient care. Through their annual scientific sessions, AAOSH brings together companies like Pharmaden, Xlear, Oragenics, and others that help dental and medical professionals learn new technologies and clinical research to treat patient’s total health. It is only through more knowledge and advanced skills that we can empower each other and ultimately our patients. We could just go with the status quo and not change a thing, but why would we, when medical costs are soaring, and diabetes, periodontal disease and other inflammatory disease are rampant, yet easily curable? It only takes a click to begin, so do it
Bobbie DelSasso, RDH, BS, graduated from Marquette University College of Dentistry, Dental Hygiene Department in 1979. She was a coordinator for a Seattle Study Club for 15 years, event planning, and is a practicing hygienist for the director of that study club for 25 years. Bobbie is the executive director with AAOSH (American Academy for Oral Systemic Health), and she can be reached at
  1. Neiva RF, Steigenga J, Al-Shammari K, Wang H-L. Effects of specific nutrients on periodontal disease onset, progression, and treatment. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2003; 30:579-588.
  2. Brock GR, Butterworth CJ, Matthews JB, Chapple ILC. Local and systemic total antioxidant capacity in periodontitis and health. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2004; 31:515-521.
  3. Harpenau L, Cheema A, Zingale J, Chambers D, Lundergan W. Effects of nutritional supplementation on periodontal parameters and c-reactive protein. Abstract submitted for publication. University of the Pacific.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The History of The Toothpick

There is evidence that the toothpick has been around in various forms since 1600 BC and that our modern day toothbrushes actually evolved from them! In early times, things like porcupine quills and chicken bones and wood splinters were used to clean teeth.

"The skulls of Neanderthals, as well as Homo sapiens, have shown clear signs of having teeth that were either flossed with blades of grass or picked with rudimentary toothpick tools. Similar markings have been found in the fossilized teeth of both American Indians and Australian Aborigines."
Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Here is another interesting  fact...
"At one time, you could tell a person's status by what they used to pick their teeth. Kings, queens, and lords picked their teeth with designer toothpicks made from gold, silver, or ivory. Often, they were inlaid with precious stones. Twigs and porcupine quills were most often used by the "lower classes." By the 17th century, the toothpick was the latest fad for the educated classes in Europe they were even included in traveling sets together with a knife and spoon."

Here's a closing fact just for fun:
Did you know?
"One cord of wood (logs 8' in length, stacked 4' high, and 4' wide) can be turned into 7.5 million toothpicks." Source:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Periodontal (Gum) Disease & Your Overall Health

Many people are not aware of the connection between good oral health and the body's immune system. Fact: GUM DISEASE DOES NOT LIMIT ITSELF TO JUST YOUR TEETH AND GUMS! Did you know that infections of the gums and underlying bone are among the toughest infections for the body to fight? Periodontal disease, left untreated over a period of time, will cause the body's immune system to eventually weaken, leaving the body vulnerable to other diseases and infections that can be difficult to treat. Gum infections are dangerous because the toxic bacteria in an infected mouth can easily access the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, such as the heart and lungs.
Some health problems that have been associated with periodontal disease are:
*Coronary Artery disease


*Respiratory Diseases


 Remember, your good OVERALL health begins with good
ORAL health!