<![CDATA[I recently come across an interesting topic in the news about baseball and chewing tobacco. Starting this 2012 baseball season, baseball players, managers, and coaches can not carry tobacco tins or packages in their uniforms any time that patrons are in the ballpark. They also have been restricted from use of smokeless tobacco during any televised interviews or any events where they are in contact with fans. This includes team-sponsored events and autograph signings. This was accomplished by much lobbying by various senators and health groups. Although, they have not banned the use of chewing tobacco during games and events they have been able to make a step in the right direction by eliminating tins and packages. Smokeless tobacco can have many detrimental dental and overall health effects. Studies have found that between 60-78% of smokeless tobacco users have lesions in their mouths which may or may not be precancerous or cancerous. Besides the risk for oral cancer smokeless tobacco users often have an increased risk of cavities, receding gums and root surface exposure which can increase sensitivity to hot and cold. According to statistics provided by the organizations lobbying to remove chewing tobacco use in front of baseball fans, they found that “There has been a 36% increase in the use of smokeless tobacco by high school boys since 2003, with 15% of all high school boys using it. The major leaguers who use it during games “are providing a celebrity endorsement for these products” . By decreasing the exposure of our youths to smokeless tobacco, whether it be by the media or by their family and peers, we can help reduce their chances of beginning a harmful habit that can increase their risk for oral cancer. To learn more about this topic please follow this link]]>
In the dental field there are many types of dentists, they can range from extremely conservative to extremely aggressive. And depending on where your dentist falls in that range you may find that accompanying your routine dental exam your dentist will say, ‘ok lets watch that spot’, or ‘its a small cavity but I recommend filling it before it becomes something bigger’. So what exactly does that mean?Teeth have different layers to them, the outer enamel layer, the softer inner dentin layer and the innermost layer where the nerve and blood supply to the tooth resides, the pulp chamber. When diagnosing a cavity we look at what damage has been done to these layers and from there decided what procedure needs to be done. A microcavity or incipient decay, is a cavity that is in the enamel layer but has not passed into the dentin layer. The question is, what are the risks of filling it vs. not filling it? Recent studies have shown that filling microcavities may not help in preventing further decay or breakdown of the tooth. However, treating cavities at this stage has not shown any increase of decay or damage to the tooth either. It is our belief that when a microcavity is noted while we may not recommend placing a filling immediately, we do recommend treating the area by other means. Small cavities such as microcavities often times can be abated or avoided by maintaining a good home care regimen. This includes keeping the area clean as well creating a healthy oral environment to help stop the cavity from progressing. This can be done by stabilizing the pH in the mouth as well as using fluoride to help strengthen the enamel. To learn more about how to maintain great oral health follow this link. The way it stands there are many viewpoints on how aggressive to be with decay. You as a patient may not want any decay in your mouth no matter how small. Or vice versa you may not want to begin removing tooth structure for something that may be maintained for a number or years. The best option for every patient is to find a dentist that feels the same way you do, whether it be conservative or aggressive.
Early treatment of incipient carious lesions: A two-year clinical evaluation; JAMES C. HAMILTON, D.D.S., JOSEPH B. DENNISON, D.D.S., M.S., KENNETH W. STOFFERS, D.M.D., M.S., WILLIAM A. GREGORY, D.D.S., M.S. and KATHLEEN B. WELCH, M.P.H., M.S]]>
<![CDATA[Ever look on the back of the toothpaste box and wonder, what exactly is xanthan gum and why the heck is it in my toothpaste? Well wonder no more, as we go through how to decode the toothpaste label… On every drug facts label you find a listing of active ingredients and inactive ingredients, as well as what its used for, any warnings for the product and directions for uses. Active Ingredients: This is the part of the toothpaste that makes its use effective. In the case of most toothpastes the active ingredient is usually for anti-plaque, anti-cavity, anti-gingivitis as well as including ingredients to help prevent tooth sensitivity. So in this portion you will normally see your fluorides such as sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate. You may also see potassium nitrate, triclosan, pyrophosphates or zinc salts as well as a myriad of other ingredients. Inactive Ingredients: This portion includes the ingredients that make the toothpaste standup to being on the shelf as well as completing the nuts and bolts function of general toothpaste use. So these ingredients stop the paste from drying out, keep it at a good pH, stop microbial growth, make them thick enough for use and help them become foamy when used. They also include flavoring agents, abrasives and whitening agents. So in this section, which in my opinion is the most confusing you’ll see these types of ingredients:
- Propylene glycol, glycerol, and polyethylene glycol to help keep toothpaste moist
- Carageenan, cellulose and xanthan gum to thicken and hold all the ingredients together
- Sodium benzoate and methyl paraben to keep toothpaste from decaying and to prevent microbial growth
- Sodium lauryl sulphate and cocoadmidopropyl betaine to make toothpaste foam thereby helping loosening and removing plaque from the tooth surface.
- sodium saccharin, xylitol, sorbitol, sodium cyclamate to flavor the toothpaste.
- Buffering agents to make it a pH favorable for the oral environment.
- And, you may see silicas, dicalcium phosphate dihydrate or aluminum oxide which are abrasives which help remove plaque and bacteria as well.
<![CDATA[I'm sure you've heard of the dental procedure called a "root canal." Perhaps your dentist told you that you needed to have the procedure done or maybe you've just heard about it and were wondering what exactly a root canal is. A root canal is a routine dental procedure. Here is a summary of the root canal: what it is and what to expect with treatment:Once it has been determined that root canal therapy is needed, a dentist will anesthetize the tooth and place a protective barrier around it in order to keep it clean. Then the dentist will clean out the nerve tissue with specially shaped instruments and may place a medicament. When the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and shaped, a sealing material is placed in the canal and a temporary filling material is placed in the tooth until the next visit when the final restoration of the tooth will take place. Root canal therapy, depending on the amount of canals in the tooth, can take between 1-2 visits ranging from an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes per visit. Root canal therapy is painless if the tooth is sufficiently numb. If a tooth is infected or has been irritated for a long time, there is a possibility that getting numb may take longer than normal. After treatment is completed, it is not uncommon to have some soreness when biting, similar to a bruised feeling. This sensitivity is normal and can be addressed with an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen. It is important to note that the difficulty/ease of the procedure depends on various factors including severity of infection. Many of our patients report experiencing little or no pain at all. If fear of a root canal, or dental procedures in general, are preventing you from seeking dental treatment, speak to your dentist about conscious sedation.]]>
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