Which Toothpaste Do I Recommend?

Actually I don’t recommend toothpaste for most of my patients. If a patient has dry mouth from a disease or medicine I will prescribe a fluoride tooth paste. Dry Mouth has devastating effects on the teeth because the saliva has a protective action on the teeth.
For most patients, that do not have an issue with cavities, I just recommend a dry soft bristle brush. Brush only your teeth gently with a dry bristle brush. You can get more plaque removed quickly with a dry tooth brush. Toothpaste typically contains abrasives which are harsh on the teeth and cause excessive wear. Some toothpaste contain harmful chemicals. Even some “organic” toothpaste contain tea tree oil which should not be used internally because of tea tree oils harmful effect on your thyroid.

That’s the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Choosing A Dentist For Your Braces

In my previous post, we talked about when braces are recommended. Choosing the dentist to treat you is just as important. I am a general dentist. I am trained in all areas of dentistry, including treating minor orthodontic problems.

An orthodontist is a dentist that receives advanced training in orthodontics after dental school. This training is usually two years after 4 years of college and 4 years of dental school. There are some general dentists that treat patients with simple and complicated orthodontic issues. sometimes you may save a little money by having a general dentist place braces. As a general dentist, I have chosen not to treat patients who need orthodontic treatment. My patients well being is always my main goal and having a specialist with advanced training is the best choice for you. The general dentist can place braces and treat your issues, but I feel that a specialist with advance training and focus is the best choice for most patients.

The Benefits of Braces

In a previous posts, I talked about the problems with braces or orthodontic treatment. As a side note, the word”orthodontic” the word means “to change the teeth”. The orthodontist is a dentist with advanced training and specializes in treating patients who need braces.

Back to the original topic of braces, there are many other reasons besides esthetics to have orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the reasons your dentist will recommend orthodontic treatment.
1) Poor occlusion: Occlusion refers to how your teeth fit together when you bite. If your bite is incorrect or you do not evenly bite on all your teeth, you can cause serious damage to your teeth and the gums.
2) Crooked or misaligned teeth can cause damage to your gums, because food can become packed between your teeth causing damage to your gums and making it easier to get cavities.
3) Sometimes the bones in your face that hold the teeth are misaligned and can prevent you from sleeping with your mouth opened. Sleeping with your mouth open can cause serious damage and gum disease. Sleeping with an open mouth increases your risk for other serious health issues. I will talk about this in another blog.
4) Sometimes braces are recommended only for esthetic issues, crooked or misaligned teeth may not be your thing. For a perfect smile, you may want braces. And remember you’re never too old.
5) Sometimes it is medically necessary to have braces. Some patients cannot close their mouths or chew their food properly. When you cannot chew you food properly, you may become seriously malnourished.

Are Silver Fillings Bad

There is a lot of buzz about the mercury in silver fillings. However the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that for the mercury levels to be toxic , you would need about 300 fillings to have enough silver fillings to reach levels considered toxic. Now since most of us have only 28-32 teeth, some people have less, you would need to grow another 270 teeth and have all of them filled.

Singing Can Stop Snoring

Researcher at the University of Exeter England discovered that 30 minutes of singing can strengthen weak throat muscles. In some patients weak throat muscles caused the throat to collaspe the airway and cause or increase snoring. Researchers found a significant reduction in subjects who made their throat muscle stronger simply by singing each day for 30 minutes. Further research is being done in a larger study.

Too Old for Braces?

Are you ever too old for braces? Not really. I am 53 years old, a dentist and have had fairly straight teeth. Recently, I chipped a lower front tooth from a problem I have with a bite that is not perfect. I have gotten along with my “malocclusion” until I chipped my tooth. I was also causing excessive wear on my lower front teeth. So after my tooth chipped, I decided it was time to straighten out my bite.

To be very honest with you, I hate them more than I could ever have imagined. My teeth hurt, I can’t chew or bite on my front teeth. My teeth ache for weeks ever time a new wire is replaced. I can’t brush or floss my teeth very well. The soft tissue inside my mouth feels like a piece of shredded leather. Other than these minor problems, the braces are fine.

The alternative was a slow process of destroying my teeth. I will recommend braces to children and adults when I know that ignoring the problem will cause damage to the teeth,gums and general health.

In my next posts, I will discuss some of the other benefits of orthodontic treatment including the harms of mouth breathing and how braces can sometimes help.

I will always tell you the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Butter Is Better

Your grandma was right, butter not only tastes better, but it is better for you.Butter is better for because is raises your “good cholseterol” and good for your teeth. There is evidence that butter may have a healing or protective effect on preventing or repairing cavities. I like eating butter plain, letting it mely in my mouth. And yes it has no effect on my cholesterol except it raises my HDL, the good stuff.

What about margarine? Well, it tastes like crap and margarine has the unique ability to lower you HDL ( good cholesterol) and raise the LDL ( bad cholesterol). Nice! So if you want to plug up your arteries, eat margarine.

Now if you can get some raw butter, that is even better. Raw butter has a substance that helps stiff joints heal and feel better.

Why Do My Teeth Hurt After A Filling?

It is not unusual for teeth to hurt after a filling or crown. If the filling is deep or near the nerve or pulp, the filling may ache or be sensitive for several days or weeks. When the cavity is close to the nerve, the body will build a layer of dentin over time to insulate itself from the pain transmitted to the nerve form the filling. Here are some usual reasons fillings will hurt after a tooth is filled:
1) Normal response to the trauma, this pain should subside in several days or weeks.
2) If the tooth hurts only when you bite, the filling may be too high, especialy if this in the first or only tooth you hit when you bite.
3) If the tooth hurts when you eat sweetss, this usually means the filling is leaking or there may be another cavity near this tooth.
4) If the tooth aches or throbs for no reason, or it wakes you up at night, then the nerve may be dying and the tooth may need a root canal treatment.
5) If the tooth hurts after cold foods or drinks but then subside, this is called a hyperemic pulp. This is a good sign. Although, this is annoying, when a tooth aches to cold but the pain quickly subsides, then there is a good chance the tooth will heal over time.
6) If the tooth hurts with hot fooda or drinks, and cold makes it feels better, this is not good and the tooth usually needs a root canal treatment. Pain to hot foods indicates the nerve is dying and will eventually need a root canal treatment.

The above symptoms apply also to teeth that have not been filled. Use the above symptoms to determine if your tooth needs treatment. The above symptoms, 3-6 are late symptoms. You should have your cavities fixed before these symptoms occur. The best time to get a cavity fixed is beofre the tooth hurts.

Why Do We Have Sinuses?

As a dentist, we are well aware of the anatomy of the sinuses located behind your face. The sinuses communicate with your airways and with your upper teeth. A sinus infection can cause painful toothaches. There are also sinuses located in your forehead.

But, why did God give us sinuses? There are several reasons. One may be to make the head lighter, a hollow structure is lighter and actually stronger than a solid structure. Maybe the hollow cavity is used for making nosie or sounds when speaking. Nut I think the ‘coolest” reason is for cooling purposes. Because the brain is like a computer, it operates better in a cool environment. The sinuses are like act as an air colled radiator system keeping the brain cool.
Yawning may be a way to cool the brain down. When you yawn you are using air to cool off the brain. Pretty cool!

Toothache or Sinus Infection

Many times we see patients with “toothache” pain who actualy have a sinus infection or sinus issue. How can you tell the difference? One of the first things I learned in dental school was that the patient will always tell you what is wrong with them. What does that really mean? It means that by listening to the patients symptoms and complaints, they will tell you what is wrong with them.
Sometimes a toothache can actully be a sinus infection and not a toothache. Here’s how to tell. If it is a sinus infection:
1) Patient has a history of sinusitis
2) Several teeth hurt, not just on tooth
3) The teeth affected are upper teeth
4) Several teeth on the top are sensitive to percussion ( tapping on the teeth is painful)
5) Both sides of the upper teeth hurt, upper right and upper left teeth hurt or are sensitive to percussion.
6) There are no obvious reasons that the teeth should hurt, no cavities or tooth infections

When the dentist can rule out odontogenic (tooth) origin of pain and other causes of pain, then a possible reasom may be sinus infection. An antibiotic for sinus infection ( Z-Pack) can be given. If symptoms subside, then on can conclude that the pain is not a toothache, but a sinus infection.