Laguna Vista Dental Kyrstle Fenton of Laguna Vista Dental is a top rated dentist in Elk Grove, CA. Laguna Vista Dental offers the best in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and oral surgery. Our specialties include dental implants and same day crowns with CEREC technology. We also offer pediatric and preventive dentistry. Stop by our dentist office today!
(916) 684-3105
Krystle Fenton, DDS


5 Benefits Of Invisalign

Posted by on September 1, 2017 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on 5 Benefits Of Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are clear orthodontic devices used to correct malocclusions by realigning misaligned teeth. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are transparent hence hard to see from a distance. The aligners are mostly made of a thin, transparent plastic strong enough to adjust the patient’s teeth progressively until they are properly aligned. Although the newest orthodontic device in the industry, Invisalign has gained lots of popularity with many people preferring it to other treatment options. Studies on the same reveal that Invisalign is far more beneficial than metal or porcelain braces. Some of the benefits of Invisalign over traditional braces are outlined below.


  1. Comfort

Invisalign braces are considerably more comfortable to wear than brackets and wires. The material used to make these braces is smooth hence doesn’t cause skin or gum irritation. In addition to this, the thin clear braces take up very little space in the mouth thus hardly press against your cheeks or gums.


  1. Efficient in repositioning teeth

According to research, patients that use Invisalign see results much faster than those that use traditional braces. This is because most people keep Invisalign braces on much longer than they do with metal or porcelain braces.  Ease of use and comfortability of Invisalign are some of the attributes that increase its efficiency in repositioning teeth. Most patients get to have a beautiful smile and perfectly arranged teeth in just under 1 year. Those using traditional methods have to wait a lot longer to see similar results.


  1. Easy to clean

The thin and smooth nature of Invisalign makes it almost impossible for foot particles to be trapped in between teeth. This is unlike other types of braces that often trap food particles. Cleaning these aligners is relatively easy too. All you need to do is remove the aligners clean them up, brush your teeth, then put them back on.  The cleaning process takes less than 5 minutes, another reason why many people love them.  In addition to this, you never have to abandon your favorite bites just because you have braces on. Invisalign aligners allow you to enjoy all the foods you love with ease. Since they are easy to remove, you can take the braces out, munch on your favorite pizza, popcorn, or veggies, brush your teeth, then pop them back on.


  1. Improves your confidence

Although the main idea of putting on braces is to have a perfect smile, Invisalign aligners help restore a person’s confidence since you never have to be shy of your smile. This is particularly beneficial for those who worry about having metal braces that protrude on teeth hence hard to hide. With Invisalign aligners, you can go on with your duties or chat with people without them noticing you have braces on. This therefore helps restore your confidence in front of friends and acquaintances.


  1. Corrects imperfections in your smile

Invisalign can be used to address various orthodontic issues such as gapped teeth, crookedness, misaligned bite, and crowding. Anyone looking for an efficient yet discreet way to correct these problems can, therefore, take advantage of Invisalign.
If you are tired of walking around with metal braces every time, you should then consider switching to the more discreet and efficient Invisalign treatment. All you need to do is talk to your dentist/orthodontist about it. Learn more about Calgary orthodontists in Alberta.

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Things To Do In Elk Grove, CA

Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Elk Grove | Comments Off on Things To Do In Elk Grove, CA

Situated towards the south of Sacramento and founded in the year, 1850, Elk Grove, CA truly has something to offer for everyone. The city was previously famous for its farming practices. However, the city has undergone a massive transformation in modern times. In the year, 2004-2005, it was declared as one of the fastest growing cities in America. In the same year, the city also received the ¨Award for Excellence¨ in the Planning and Environmental Quality bracket. So, if you are new to the place, you need not worry about being bored as the place does have all the facilities one would expect in a modern city. Here is a list on some of the things you can do in Elk Grove, CA. Doing the things mentioned below will give you a break from your otherwise monotonous routine.

Check out these activities in Elk Grove, CA:


Farmers Market In Elk Grove CA

Farmers Market In Elk Grove CA

Visit the farmer’s market

This one is really a no-brainer. The city of Elk Grove was previously known for its farming practices and you need to visit the Elk Grove Farmer’s market to understand just why. A visit to the farmer’s market will ensure that you are never in short supply of fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, honey, and spices etc. You will also gain invaluable knowledge about the farming practices implemented by the locals. View Map





 Twins Family Winery Elk Grove CA

Twins Family Winery Elk Grove CA

Drop by a vineyard

We are pretty certain that no one in their right mind would miss the opportunity to drop by a vineyard. There is a famous Lange Twins Family Winery and Vineyard located in the city. So, what can you experience there? Well, you get to taste the different wines and cheese on offer, get a private tour of the property and be given the opportunity to become a member of the wine club, which would, undoubtedly, open the doors to more privileges. So, what do you have to lose? View Map

More things to checkout in Elk Grove:



Emerald Lakes Golf Course

Emerald Lakes Golf Course

Visit the Emerald Lakes Golf Course

Golfing is a good way to pass time, isn’t it? If you answered the aforementioned question positively, you should consider visiting the Emerald Lakes Golf Course. Beginners needn’t worry about being humiliated on the course as there are lessons conducted regularly to assist in the improvement of technique. And, for the more experienced golfers, you will still find the course challenging largely because of the three lakes that are located in the course. The best part about the Emerald Lakes Golf Course is the fact that it is open throughout the week. View Map




Elk Grove Historical Museum

Elk Grove Historical Museum

Pay a visit to the Elk Grove Historical Museum

Paying a visit to the Elk Grove Historical Museum will help you tremendously if you are new to the city. Visiting the museum will help you understand the development progress of the city and educate you on important facts about the city. Visiting a museum in the contemporary world is not as boring as you think. Museums have dedicated employees that host games, crafts and hold demonstrations for your entertainment.  The best part about the museum is the fact that it open throughout the year. Therefore, you can easily visit the place when it is convenient for you. View Map


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The Best Restaurants in Elk Grove, CA

Posted by on June 28, 2017 in Elk Grove | Comments Off on The Best Restaurants in Elk Grove, CA

So, you have recently moved to Elk Grove, CA and are on the lookout for good restaurants. Whatever your reasons are for searching the best restaurants in Elk Grove, CA, the restaurants we have mentioned below will undoubtedly satisfy your hunger and leave you hungry for more. These restaurants are fighting tooth and nail to provide their guests with healthy and delicious food and they deserve recognition for their endeavors. Without further ado, here are the best restaurants in Elk Grove, CA.

Check out these amazing resturants in Elk Grove:


Boulevard Bistro In Elk Grove CA

Boulevard Bistro In Elk Grove CA

Boulevard Bistro

The fine dining area, Boulevard Bistro, excels in serving American, Contemporary French, and Californian Cuisine. At the same time, it is also known for its fine collection of Foothill Wines. The restaurant largely benefits from its close proximity to the lakes and rivers of Northern California, getting all of their seafood from those cold waters. The restaurant is operated by the chef and owner, Bret Bohlmann. Some of the dishes that are popular amongst regular customers include the filet mignon and wedge salad. For its services, the restaurant has even been bestowed upon with Sacramento Magazine´s Best of Sacramento Award and the Opentable´s Award for top 100 restaurants in the nation. View Map



Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Not only is the Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar renowned for the food it serves, the restaurant is also popular for its fresh décor. The interior of the restaurant manages to bring out the ¨east meets west¨ ambience. You also have the option of choosing from a wide variety of dishes. Whether it is tempura or teriyaki, tuna sliders or salmon, you will not be disappointed by the menu. This restaurant is an ideal setting for all occasions whether it be for a family dinner, a romantic dinner, or a business lunch. View Map



BJ´s Restaurant & Brewhouse Elk Grove

BJ´s Restaurant & Brewhouse Elk Grove

BJ´s Restaurant & Brewhouse

BJ´s Restaurant & Brewhouse is a famous restaurant chain located all over America. Luckily, there is one on Elk Grove, CA too and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the BJ in Elk Grove has been in operation for over a decade, managing to serve close to 6.5 million guests along the way. You can have whatever that strikes your fancy in this restaurant whether it be burgers, pizza, pasta or ribs etc. The menu of the restaurant also changes every now and then to keep things refreshing, making this place well worth the visit. Some of the popular dishes on offer in this restaurant are the New Orleans Jambalaya and Baby Back Pork Ribs. View Map

You may want to dine at these great places in Elk Grove, CA:



Thai Chili Elk Grove CA

Thai Chili Elk Grove CA

Thai Chili

If you are looking for an authentic Thai restaurant, you should look no further than Thai Chili. The food in this restaurant is cooked and seasoned to perfection at all times and the portions don’t disappoint. Although Thai cuisine is normally an expensive option, the food in Thai Chili is moderately priced.  We will recommend you to try all the noodle dishes in this restaurant. And, if you are a vegetarian, you need not worry about being overlooked as the restaurant covers numerous vegetarian preparations. View Map


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The Best Parks In Elk Grove, CA

Posted by on June 27, 2017 in Elk Grove | Comments Off on The Best Parks In Elk Grove, CA

If you are looking for a park in Elk Grove, CA to let your hair loose, and form wonderful memories with the family, you have come to the right place. While selecting a park, you should ensure that the park has something for everyone. It will need to have facilities to keep your children entertained and must also boast of amenities to keep the adults busy. We have carefully selected some of the best parks in Elk Grove, CA.  Have a look! We can assure you that the parks are well worth your visit.

Fine more Elk Grove Parks here:


Elk Grove Regional Park

Elk Grove Regional Park


Elk Grove Regional Park

The Elk Grove Regional Park was first opened to the public in 1970. Since then, we are certain that many families have been able to forge wonderful memories in the park. Spread over an area of 122 acres, there are many amenities in the park including a picturesque lake, playground, softball fields, youth center, barbeque locations, aquatic center, bike park etc.; the list simply doesn´t end! If you are looking for a perfect location to take your family out for a wonderful time, the Elk Grove Regional Park will serve you well as there is an abundance of shaded areas to host your picnic gatherings. View Map


Morse Park Elk Grove CA

Morse Park Elk Grove CA

Morse Park

Morse Park has been operational since 2008 and it boasts of all the facilities and amenities one would expect in a wonderful park. Morse Park covers an area of 30 acres and has two playgrounds for both little children and the big kids.  Some of the facilities Morse Park boasts of include a dog park, trail access, picnic areas, playgrounds, skate elements, barbecue locations, basketball courts, and adult fitness etc.; the park truly has something for everyone. In addition to the aforementioned areas, Morse Park is also renowned for its water park area. You also need not worry about the parking space when visiting this park. View Map


Bartholomew Sports Park

Bartholomew Sports Park

Bartholomew Sports Park

The Bartholomew Sports Park delivers on its promise; it offers the visitors the opportunity to indulge in all kinds of sports activities. Since its inception in 2010, the Bartholomew Sports Park has grown to become one of the most popular destinations in Elk Grove, Ca.  So, what does the sports park offer? Well, it offers tennis courts, football grounds, baseball fields, and shaded areas reserved for picnic goers. There is also a playground located within the premises; the playground area is well suitable for both the little toddlers and the big kids. If you are looking for the ideal location to keep your children entertained, the Bartholomew Sports Park is a safe bet. View Map

The best rated parks in Elk Grove:


Stephenson Family Park Elk Grove CA

Stephenson Family Park Elk Grove CA

Stephenson Family Park

Unlike other parks in Elk Grove, the Stephenson Family Park is truly unique largely owing to its Egyptian theme. The park features numerous playground equipment that are interesting, to say the least; the park boasts of a snake-featured sprayground! Fortunately, the spray ground has been carefully constructed to ensure that it safe for both the little toddlers and the bigger children. Hence, the park is truly suitable for children of all ages. There are also enough shaded areas in the park to host your picnic activities. View Map


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Places To Fish In Elk Grove, CA

Posted by on June 26, 2017 in Elk Grove | Comments Off on Places To Fish In Elk Grove, CA

So, you want to form a hobby of catching fishes? Let us assure you that catching fishes is not as easy as a walk in the park. There will be a requirement for you to have several important fishing accessories. In addition to that, you will also need to be well-informed about the fishing hotspots to ensure that your fishing experience is smooth. If you are looking for places to fish in Elk Grove, CA, you have come to the right place. Here are some of the hotspot fishing places in Elk Grove, CA.  Do keep in mind that there is a limit to how many fishes and what type of fishes you can catch. Hence, it is imperative for you to know about the rules and regulations.


Deer Creek Fishing

There is a stream located around 4 miles from Elk Grove known as Deer Creek. The fishing area features a wide range of fish species including smallmouth bass and hickory shad. There are many fishing hot spots around the area; you can try your luck in Antelope Creek that is located a few meters away from the Sunset Bridge. You can also visit Lake Amador to increase your chances of catching a large trout. View Map

To learn more about fishing near Elk Grove, CA, click here:


Badger Creek Fishing

The Badger Creek stream is only 6 miles away from Elk Grove. Some of the fishes you can find in this stream include brown trout, bluegill, catfish and bream. Therefore, there is plenty of variety to satisfy your fishing hunger. And, if you are planning to catch sturgeon and fair striped bass, we would recommend you to visit the Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel around the area. View Map


Cosumnes River Fishing

The Cosumnes River is basically a stream that is 7.6 miles away from Galt, Sacramento. If you are looking for a fishing area to provide you with  a variety of fishing options, the Cosumnes River Fishing area will not disappoint as it boasts of a wide range of fishes including carp, striped bass, sucker, sturgeon, steelhead trout, largemouth bass and redear sunfish etc. There are various ways and methods to fish and whether it is through baitcasting, spinning, or fly fishing, you will be able to have a fun experience fishing in the Cosumnes River fishing area. View Map


Elk Grove Community Park

If you are looking for a fishing area that is nearby, you can try your luck at the fishing area in the Elk Grove Community Park. The stream in the community park is frequently stocked by The California Department of Fish and Game with catfish in the summers and trout in the winter. And, if you are a newbie at fishing, you can rely on the free instruction clinics provided by the Department of Fish and Game. If you sign up for the clinics, you are given the license to fish for a day. You are also provided with bait, tackle, and fishing rods if you don’t have the necessary fishing equipment.


Check out our blog post Historical Places To Visit In And Near Elk Grove, CA



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Historical Places To Visit In And Near Elk Grove, CA

Posted by on June 25, 2017 in Elk Grove | Comments Off on Historical Places To Visit In And Near Elk Grove, CA

There are several benefits to be gained from visiting historical places. Visiting a historical site can be a wonderful learning experience. Upon your visit to a historical site, you will count your blessings for being born in this day and age where you have comfort and access to plenty of effective, functional machines. You will be more aware of how your ancestors lived and survived. Historical places are simply a treasure cove of information. Therefore, when you visit such places, you will explore and discover new interests etc. Elk Grove, CA is home to plenty of historical places and some of them are:



Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento is located along the Sacramento River and it was once a prosperous city. Regrettably, floods played an atrocious role in hampering the progress of the city. Unable to continue developmental works in the city, the responsible authorities then set their eyes somewhere else, leaving the city to ruins. The city then functioned as a red light district area for several years before development projects were conducted again in the 1960s. Today, what we see in Old Sacramento is largely because of the redevelopment projects in the 60s. Old Sacramento is now home to over 53 historic buildings. In addition to that, there are also restaurants, shops, hotels, and museum in the area. View Map



Old Town Elk Grove

Old Town Elk Grove

Old Town Elk Grove

The Old Town Elk Grove stretches from Elk Grove – Florin Road to Waterman and this place is where it all began. The foundation of Elk Grove can be traced back to Old Town Elk Grove. Many establishments and businesses were first initiated in this part of the city. From the water service to the fire department, almost all major establishments were erected in this area. Were you aware of the fact that the first union free high school and first free county library branch in the state of California were established in Old Town Elk Grove? Therefore, you must seriously consider visiting this historical site. View Map

Check out these city landmarks in Elk Grove, CA:



Elk Grove Park District

Elk Grove Park District

Elk Grove Historical Museum

If you are new to the city, you should definitely consider paying a visit to Elk Grove Historical Museum. Visiting the museum will help you understand how the development progress in the city took place and it will also help educate you on important facts about the city. Visiting a museum in the contemporary world is not as boring as you think. Museums have dedicated employees that host games, crafts and hold demonstrations for your entertainment and the Elk Grove Historical Museum is no exception.  The best part about the museum is the fact that it open throughout the year. Therefore, you can easily visit the place at your convenience. View Map

9 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do near Elk Grove, CA:



Governor´s Mansion Near Elk Grove CA

Governor´s Mansion Near Elk Grove CA

Governor´s Mansion

The Governor´s Mansion is also well worth a visit. The splendid Victorian Villa was constructed in 1878 and since then, over 13 Californian Governors have resided here, with the most famous being Ronald Reagan. Situated within the compound of the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, the Governor’s Mansion boasts of wonderful décor and features that were introduced by the designer from various parts of Europe. View Map


Check out our blog post Things To Do In Elk Grove, CA





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Helping Your Kids Develop Good Brushing Habits for Life

Posted by on February 10, 2017 in General Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry | Comments Off on Helping Your Kids Develop Good Brushing Habits for Life

Teaching your young kids how to properly brush their teeth can be quite the struggle. After all, they are still pretty uncoordinated with their fine motor skills, and they may get bored of brushing and not do an adequate job each night.

One way to help your kids get a good start with their oral hygiene is to get help from a dentist. Although you may just stop in for yearly check-ups, your dentist can use a jaw model to help kids improve their brushing. In fact,  Tony Edwards–editor in chief of–presented a study recently that showed the benefits of educating children with a jaw model:

Teaching toothbrushing: Is a video or jaw model better?

Teaching children with a jaw model was more effective in improving plaque index score than having them watch a video on a tablet computer, the authors concluded. They also noted that both methods of toothbrushing instruction were fully accepted by all children.


Each participant in the study used a new toothbrush, which may have contributed to plaque reduction more than using an already-used toothbrush, according to the authors. The children also brushed for two minutes, which is likely longer than they are brushing at home. Future studies should consider multiple viewings over time of the demonstration video to determine any effects, the group wrote.


“Within the limitations of this study, it is concluded that a single-time toothbrushing instruction for teaching children by using a jaw model was more effective in improving plaque index score than using video on a tablet,” the authors concluded.

Along with proper education, children should have get a new toothbrush every six months. These toothbrushes should be appealing and exciting to your child–they could even help you pick one out at the grocery store.

If your child doesn’t do a good job with a regular toothbrush, you may want to consider an electric one. Hygienist Colleen Olson outlines some of her favorite toothbrushes and their benefits–like a timer that will tell your child when to stop brushing:

Hygiene Message in a Bottle Mailbag: Electric toothbrush recommendations

My current favorite electric toothbrushes to recommend are the Oral-B rotation-oscillation power toothbrushes and the Philips Sonicare sonic electric toothbrushes. Each of these brands has many different models at a variety of price points. I personally use a Sonicare FlexCare Plus, but my husband loves his Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries.


Other than the differences in the way each toothbrush brand operates, there are a couple of differences and similarities worth noting. Both brands now have Bluetooth-connected toothbrush options that communicate with smartphone apps, and both brands have rechargeable versions available for kids.


The Oral-B line includes a wider selection of brush heads, including specialty options, such as those for orthodontics and for sensitivity. However, the Sonicare brush heads are smaller and look more like standard manual toothbrush heads.


My favorite feature of both brushes is the timer. Unless they are making a concerted effort to time themselves, most patients who brush with a manual toothbrush probably don’t actually brush for the recommended two minutes twice a day. With both the Oral-B and Sonicare brushes, there’s no excuse not to know how long you’ve been brushing. Both brushes buzz in 30-second intervals to remind patients to move to another quadrant of the mouth. Furthermore, at least one model in each toothbrush line has a pressure sensor, which comes in handy for patients who brush too aggressively.


When I’m recommending an electric toothbrush to patients, I usually recommend both brands and tell them that the best toothbrush for them is the one they will use the most consistently!

For more information about proper toothbrushing technique or tools, contact your dentist and take a look at

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Nail-Biting Facts About Nail Biting: Why It’s So Bad for Your Dental Health

Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Periodontal Disease Treatment, Preventive Dentistry | Comments Off on Nail-Biting Facts About Nail Biting: Why It’s So Bad for Your Dental Health says that nail biting is the most common nervous tic that we develop when we’re young, as well as the most common one that can follow us to our adult years. Compared to other vices, nail biting isn’t that big of a deal, right? The main issues seem to be unsightly nails, hangnails, and possible bleeding. While these are common culprits, an article by Dr. Pooria Shahin says that nail biting can be extremely detrimental to oral health since it exposes us to bacteria and breaks down our gums:

How can you help patients who bite their nails?

Onychophagia, as we know it, may provide temporary comfort to patients when they feel stressed, nervous, or bored, but the habit does a lot more damage than they know. As their dentists, we need to help them stop biting their nails. Here are a few instances of nail biting gone bad that we can share with our patients to convince them to stop.

Exposure to bacteria

Pooria Shahin, DDS.

We have to help our patients understand that anytime they use their hands, they risk being exposed to different kinds of bacteria. Even when they wash with soap, some of those germs will remain underneath the fingernails. Biting their nails inevitably passes the germs from their hands to their teeth, tongue, and gums, leading to the spread of bacteria in the mouth.

A study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (May 2013, Vol. 17:2, pp. 163-168) found that individuals with nail-biting habits had a higher carriage of Enterobacteriaceae than those who didn’t bit their nails. The findings tell us that nail biting paves the way for the growth of bacteria, which can affect patients’ teeth. In addition, nail biting also promotes digestive problems when people ingest bits of their fingernails and the bacteria thriving on them.

Nail biting can damage gums

Nail biting typically produces nails with sharper and more-jagged edges. With the removal of the soft, rounded edge that usually forms after nails are properly trimmed, people with onychophagia have a greater chance of accidentally scratching their gums. And with an open wound exposed to countless thriving bacteria, having an infection is no longer a surprise.

The European Journal of Dentistry (April 2009, Vol. 3:2, pp. 150-154) published a case of gingival injury in a 14-year-old girl caused by her fingernail scratching habit. The girl was admitted to a periodontology clinic where she received surgical periodontal treatment as well as oral hygiene instruction and psychological support. With a one-year follow-up, the case study showed the possibility of treating gingival injury in a person with a destructive nail-biting habit. Maintaining periodontal health is highly achievable through regular follow-up teamed with patient compliance and psychological support . . .

Read full article here . . .

The fact that nail biting not only puts bacteria into our mouths, but that it can create easy bacterial access to the bloodstream should be cause for concern. Due to numerous studies, we know that bacteria in the gingiva is linked to a whole host of issues, like heart disease. As the study previously mentioned, a 14-year-old girl had to have periodontal treatment–these kinds of treatments aren’t typically seen in one so young.

If you or someone in your family has this problem, your first instinct may be to run through a battery of antibiotics. However, Dentistry IQ says that antibiotics aren’t great for the immune system or your gum flora. By using them too often, you could actually be destroying good bacteria as well. The solution is to look into both prebiotics and probiotics:

Probiotics aid oral health: When the goal is to reduce antibiotics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention es­timate that up to 50% of antibiotics are unnecessary or inappropriately prescribed.(3) From 1996 to 2013, dental prescribing increased by 62.2%, and its proportionate contribution increased from 6.7% to 11.3% of all antibiotic prescriptions. The rate of prescribing increased most for dental patients aged 60 years or older, in regard to:

  • Unnecessary prescriptions for periapical abscesses and irreversible pulpitis
  • Increased prescribing associated with dental implants and their complications
  • Slow adoption of guidelines calling for less perioperative antibiotic coverage for patients with valvular heart disease and prosthetic joints
  • Emphasis on cosmetic practices reducing the surgical skill set of average dentists
  • Underinsured practices driving antibiotics to be a substitute for surgery
  • The aging population
  • The fact that there are now more dental providers per capita(4)

It is advisable that antibiotic prescribing should be reviewed regularly to make sure that they are compliant with the most recent evidenced-based guidelines.

In addition, with all antibiotics, it is important to take probiotics along with them in order to replenish the good bacteria that may have been killed off during the treatment with antibiotics . . .

Researchers have discovered that probiotics create a film in the mouth that acts as a protective sheath for oral tissues and prevent diseases connected with gums and teeth. The space used by bad bacteria is occupied by probiotics, which thus restricts the multiplication of these bacteria. Consequently, the bad bacteria are replaced by good bacteria, which prevent contributions to oral health problems.

From cavities to bad breath and periodontitis, all of your oral problems have their roots with undesirable bacteria building up in your oral cavity. By introducing good bacteria in the mouth through probiotic supplements, the amount of harmful bacteria is significantly reduced, which improves the health of the mouth environment.(8)

Probiotic products are considered an element of healthy life. Oral administration of probiotics is a safe and effective and may reduce the need for antibiotics. There’s no recommended daily dose of probiotics, but research suggests aiming for 1 billion to 10 billion live bacteria cultures (measured in Colony Forming Units, or CFUs). Since bacteria counts are rarely found on food labels, focus instead on eating a serving of a probiotic-rich food every day . . .

Read full article here . . .

If you want to prevent a bacterial infection from this habit or your nails have already damaged your gums, be sure to take a look at for more information.

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Exercise Can Improve Dental Health & Your Dentist’s Skills

Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Preventive Dentistry | Comments Off on Exercise Can Improve Dental Health & Your Dentist’s Skills

Everyone knows that physical activity has innumerable benefits, such as improving your muscle mass, reducing your risk of heart disease, strengthening your bone density, etc. But when people think of physical exercise improving their bodies, they aren’t typically thinking of it improving their oral health.

However, one article that was published last spring says that exercise can reduce gum disease and reduce the link to other secondary illnesses that affect the oral cavity:

Positive Impact of Exercise on dental health

Regular Exercise Prevents Gum Disease
A study published in the Journal of Dentistry in 2005 found that regular exercise can help lower the risk of contracting periodontitis, or gum disease. After studying the relationship between gum disease and physical activity, the report concluded that exercising regularly is associated with lower risk of developing gum disease. In fact, the people who regularly worked out and had never smoked were 54% less likely to have periodontitis compared to those who reported no regular physical activity. A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey also found that even partially active people (exercising 3 times or less per week) were 33% less likely to have periodontitis than those who do not exercise.

Correlation between BMI and Oral Health
Maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index) is actually very beneficial for your oral health. Health issues associated with obesity like hypertension and diabetes are known for contributing to poor oral health. In fact, a study in The Journal of Periodontology from the University of Florida conducted a study to find the affect that weight has on dental health. Researchers looked at BMI, body fat percentage, and oxygen consumption to assess how healthy each participant was. According to the study “Individuals who maintained normal weight, engaged in the recommended level of exercise, and had a high-quality diet were 40% less likely to have periodontitis compared to individuals who maintained none of these health-enhancing behaviors.”

Since the aim of dentistry is to focus on preventative methods before resorting to restorative options, it’s in your best interest to add exercise to other good habits like daily brushing and flossing. For other preventative treatments that can help, check out

Not only is exercise beneficial to patients’ oral health, but it is beneficial to dentists and their practices. Dental student Jeffrey Asano says that dentists should make exercise a priority since it can help you relieve the stresses of the profession while in school and at your future practice. Furthermore, he says that some of his exercises have actually improved his skill set:

Outdoor Hobbies Might Just Improve Your Dentistry

For me, backpacking is a great avenue to escape the stresses of dental school. It offers a moment of peace to reflect in nature, which can significantly improve your mental health as well as provide a means for physical exercise. Since nearly everyone can walk, backpacking is an accessible activity for many people. Hiking trails for beginners are as short as one mile and those seeking a challenge can tackle trails as long as 20 miles. No matter the length of the trail, backpackers from all physical fitness levels are welcome to move at their own pace. The best part of backpacking is that it offers so many ways to feel accomplished. For some, enjoying the journey is more satisfying than reaching the destination.  However, my favorite aspect is finding hidden gems along the trail, such as a waterfall or a famous bouldering location.

While backpacking hiking trails is my way of relaxing, bouldering is my way to improve strength.  Bouldering is a great alternative to those who find going to the gym too repetitive. Plus, building your grip strength through climbing has benefits that can be applied to practicing dentistry. Improving finger strength can help steady your hands for deep cleanings, applying rubber dams, holding a handpiece or even torquing implants. For those who enjoy the social aspect of hobbies, bouldering has a close-knit community that encourages camaraderie and mutual support for other climbers . . .

Although these kinds of exercise benefits may seem minute in comparison to others, they can really add up in the long run. Dental practitioners will be better equipped to deal with the stresses and physical activity required at work, and patients will have better chances of only needing preventative services.

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Dealing with Chipped Teeth is More Difficult Than You Might Think

Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Fillings, Emergency Dental Care, Inlays and Onlays, Veneers | Comments Off on Dealing with Chipped Teeth is More Difficult Than You Might Think

Trying to figure out a dental emergency can be a bit tricky–if you’re in pain, then you obviously would want to get in ASAP, right? However, the best course of action is to call your dentist first so they can figure out just how bad the situation is. For instance, if your pain can be soothed with oral analgesics, then you most likely can wait. Teeth, crowns, inlays, onlays, and other restorations that have been knocked out often warrant a visit.

But what about a chipped a tooth? Is the problem just cosmetic or is there functional damage as well? While you may think that figuring out the severity of a chipped tooth is difficult, believe it or not, it can be difficult for practitioners as well!

The Daily Grind reiterates how important it is to call dentists first to assess the situation, since the term “chipped tooth” can cover a wide range of issues:



Deciphering the Meaning of ‘I Chipped a Tooth’

I know this is something you hear all the time: “I chipped a tooth.” This can mean so many things, especially if it is coming from a nondentist.


“I chipped a tooth” in the posterior can be a chip off the marginal ridge next to a class II restoration that you did five years ago. And if you saw this, you might just say, “It is fine,” or you might just smooth it off. Or a broken tooth in the posterior could mean the ling cusp of tooth No. 12 just broke to the gumline and below.

The question that usually comes up at our office is: How do we schedule patients who call and say, “I chipped a tooth.”


I am a doctor who does not like to schedule a “come in and we will see” visit. I know how difficult it can be for people to take time off of work or get a babysitter just so I can tell them, “Yep, you have a chipped tooth, and we can see you in three weeks to take care of this.”


Sometimes I schedule 50 minutes for a chip on the anterior that you couldn’t see with a microscope, or I might schedule 20 minutes for a “chip” when, actually, a child fell off his bike and “chipped” the heck out of teeth Nos. 8 and 9, to the point where the nerves were hanging out.


Because I refuse to do a “look-and-see” appointment, about a year ago, we bought a smartphone for the office. First, we bought it to be able to send text messages to people to confirm their appointments. We all know that calling someone at home and leaving a message on their voicemail is about as effective as sending a smoke signal (but we tried for 10 years). And nearly everyone has a smartphone these days, and everyone sends text messages (except for Grandma Nel, who we still just call). Now that we have this designated smartphone, we just ask people to send us a photo of the tooth via text message.

Hopefully more and more dentists implement this smartphone picture idea. Although a poorly lit picture off your phone isn’t the most ideal diagnosis tool, it is a start and can weed out non-emergencies.

When you do get to see your dentist for a chipped tooth, you may want to ask him or her about visiting a radiologist. According to one Chinese study, it may be beneficial to visit a radiologist as well as your dentist, since their imaging equipment may be more thorough when checking for potential chips and cracks that aren’t immediately apparent:

Which imaging system is better for diagnosing tooth cracks?

When it comes to examining images of a tooth and identifying a crack, should you use periapical radiography or cone-beam CT (CBCT)? Also, who is better trained to identify these cracks on images, an endodontist or a radiologist?

Researchers from China noted that cracks in teeth present practitioners with a challenge in designing a treatment plan. Using both periapical radiography (PR) and CBCT, they investigated the best imaging method to identify these cracks while also comparing the performance of different practitioners (PLOS One, January 4, 2017).


“In clinical practice, it is a huge challenge for endodontists to know the depth of a crack in a cracked tooth,” the authors wrote . . .Early enamel cracks have no obvious symptoms and may not be visible on examination. Yet they can lead to patients coming to your office because of pulpitis, periapical periodontitis, or even root fracture. As creating an appropriate treatment plan and assessing the long-term prognosis for these teeth can be difficult, there’s a need to understand the best way to diagnose this condition . . .


“Within the limitations of this study, on an artificial simulation model of cracked teeth for early diagnosis, we recommend that it would be better for a cracked tooth to be diagnosed by a radiologist with CBCT than PR,” the authors concluded.

If you aren’t sure what constitutes an emergency or how to take care of a chipped tooth, you can find more information at

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Helping Children Early On Means They May Not Need Sedation Dentistry in the Future

Posted by on January 26, 2017 in Pediatric Dentistry | Comments Off on Helping Children Early On Means They May Not Need Sedation Dentistry in the Future

The fear of heights, public speaking, and spiders are all pretty common. And how about the fear of the dentist? says that as much as 15% of U.S. patients suffer from this type of anxiety–to put that in perspective, that’s well over 20 million people!

Thankfully dentists do understand this problem and that’s why sedation dentistry has really helped many people. A recent blog post goes over what sedation is and how it can help?

Sedation dentistry is very safe for children, but like with any procedure, there are potential side effects. You understandably may not want to consider this option for your child, so what can you do?

First off, if you have a fear of the dentist yourself, it’s best not to talk about it in front of your son or daughter so they don’t pick up the fear themselves. You can also decrease their anxiety by reading children’s books about dentists. Instead of just telling them to not be afraid, these books will have illustrations and a story showing how positive this experience can be. Also, you may want to go in with your son or daughter during the appointment and sit by them if they are very afraid. editor Lori Roniger posted a study that showed that dentists who said reassuring phrases also were able to improve dental anxiety and seem more empathetic to caregivers:

What Can You Say to Reassure Pediatric Patients?

Practitioners who provide more positive reinforcement and reassurance when speaking with pediatric patients were perceived by caregivers to be more patient-centered and empathetic, according to a new study conducted in Hong Kong.


In addition, the inclusion of caregivers in conversation, such as the clinician mentioning the parent or caregiver present, was a key factor in producing a quality clinical experience, the study authors reported in PLOS One (January 3, 2017).


“Unlike the conversations focusing on the treatment procedures, those offering positive reinforcement and reassurance appeared to the caregivers that the clinicians were providing more patient-centered care and showing more concern to the patients, thereby creating more clinician-patient interaction,” wrote Hai Ming Wong, PhD, DDS, and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong. “Engaging patient-centered care can help clinicians build stronger clinician-patient relationships for productive engagement in preventive care.”


Dr. Wong is a clinical associate professor of pediatric dentistry at the university. Researchers from disciplines such as dental public health, psychology, and education at the university participated in the study.

Saying ‘mommy’ is helpful

The authors noted that good communication has been found to result in improved patient cooperation, self-care skills, and treatment plan adherence, as well as better treatment outcomes and a lower likelihood of dental anxiety. However, good communication may not be sufficient to achieve these results, with other active ingredients likely embedded within good communication underpinning those effects, they explained.

Read full article here . . .

If you want to learn more about pediatric dentistry and how to help your child get over their fears, take a look at

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Students Interested in Pursuing a Dentistry Job Should Look at Dental Therapy

Posted by on January 25, 2017 in General Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry | Comments Off on Students Interested in Pursuing a Dentistry Job Should Look at Dental Therapy

Dentists take No. 1 spot in 2017 best jobs list

For the third year in a row, dental professionals topped the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list ranking the best jobs of the year, according to ADA News.


Dentists, which ranked No. 2 in 2016’s list, took the No. 1 spot in 2017. It last held the top spot in 2015. Orthodontists, which ranked No. 1 last year, is this year’s fifth best occupation; oral and maxillofacial surgeons rounded up the top 10 with a tie for No. 9.


Occupations are ranked based on U.S. News’ calculated overall score, which combines several components into a single weighted average score between zero and 10. These components are: 10-year growth volume; 10-year growth percentage; median salary; job prospects; employment rate; stress level; and work-life balance.


Dentists scored an overall score of 8.2; orthodontists, 8.1; and oral and maxillofacial surgeon, 7.7.


“The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, with 23,300 new openings,” according to the U.S. News & World Report. “A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to a top position on our list of best jobs.”


The magazine also reports that orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are expected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, with about 1,500 new job openings for orthodontists and 1,200 new jobs for oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Not only are thousands of job opportunities opening up, but says that of all the health professionals Americans want to see more of, dentists–once again–come out on top.

On the flip-side, dental school is very competitive, and along with finishing your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and complete four or more years of schooling before you can start practicing.

Could you go to school for something else? You may want to look into dental therapy according to

Survey: 80% of U.S. voters support dental therapists

>Americans overwhelmingly support the concept of dental therapists, according to the results of a recent phone survey. Interviewers asked thousands of registered U.S. voters if they would like a new type of midlevel provider similar to a nurse practitioner, and 80% of respondents said yes . . .


Critics are concerned that dental therapists will not provide the same standard of care as a dentist. They also tend to be skeptical that therapists can increase access to dental care or reduce costs.


Meanwhile, proponents of midlevel providers point to evidence that dental therapists effectively reduce untreated caries, not only in the few U.S. states that have approved their use but also abroad. In addition, support for midlevel providers appears to be gaining momentum.

Although there is some natural skepticism about the roles of dental therapists, these professionals are trained to clean teeth, apply sealants, and administer anesthetic. Many of these therapists perform pediatric dental treatments under the supervision of a dentist, while others have a dual license as a hygienist/therapist.

This career option is flexible, less competitive, and helpful in areas where low-income children need affordable dental care. If you aren’t sure which career path you should take, you’ll want to learn more about the education requirements different dental specialties, like pediatric dentistry. You can learn more at


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Mouthwash: The Good & The Bad

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Dental Exams & Cleaning, Preventive Dentistry, Teeth Whitening | Comments Off on Mouthwash: The Good & The Bad

Discover Magazine released an intriguing article a few years back about the great benefits of mouth wash. According to researchers, Streptococcus mutans is the bacterial culprit when it comes to our cavities. But during a small clinical study, they found that mouthwash was able to pretty much wipe this bacteria away so that healthy bacteria could take its place and thrive. This study was very small, so 0f course, further research will be needed before we know exactly how long these kinds of results last.

But mouthwash’s benefits don’t seem to stop there. According to a recent article at, there have actually been studies testing the effect of mouthwash on sexually-transmitted infections:

Can Listerine prevent STIs? Researchers want to find out

Rinsing with the antiseptic mouthwash Listerine for one minute can significantly reduce the prevalence of gonorrhea-causing bacteria, according to a new study. Now, researchers want to know whether Listerine can also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


“If Listerine has an inhibitory effect against N. gonorrhoeae in the pharynx, it could be a cheap, easy to use, and potentially effective intervention for gonorrhea prevention and control,” wrote the authors, led by Eric Chow, MPH, PhD. Chow is a senior research fellow at the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic . . .


In addition to their clinical trial, the researchers performed an in vitro study in which they tested the effect of Cool Mint Listerine and Total Care Listerine on N. gonorrhoeaecolonies. They also found that both types of Listerine significantly slowed bacterial growth after just one minute.


“The two studies presented here are the first to demonstrate Listerine can inhibit the growth of N. gonorrhoeae in vitro and in a clinical study and raise the potential that it may be useful as a control measure,” Chow and colleagues wrote.

While people may use mouthwash for small things–like bad breath or whitening–it’s pretty cool that an inexpensive over-the-counter product has the possibility of reducing cavity- and STI-causing bacteria.

Despite these benefits, you may be surprised to hear that there are detractors. In fact, one of these opponents is actually a dentist (Dr. Alvin Danenberg):

Yes, I tell them antibacterial mouthwash kills bacteria. Yes, bacteria can cause gum disease. Yes, you should want healthy gums.


But you know that bacteria serve many purposes in the mouth, when the good bacteria balance out the bad kinds. Healthy gums are dependent on a healthy balance of bacteria. One underrated bacterial benefit is to allow a specific pathway of digestion to occur that is critical for health.

Mouth bacteria

When bacteria are killed indiscriminately, both harmful and good bacteria are killed, and the mouth’s delicate balance of bacteria goes awry. This means that tooth decay and gum disease may be more likely to occur.


To address their concerns, I talk with my patients about the benefits of mouth bacteria and the unique role they play in the chemical pathway of certain foods. Specifically, the chemical pathway of “nitrate-to-nitrite-to-nitric oxide” is dependent on specific anaerobic bacteria in the mouth . . .


So I tell my patients, if you kill the bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue with antiseptic mouthwash, salivary nitrates wouldn’t be converted into nitrites. With less nitrites in your system, you would produce less beneficial nitric oxide.

While mouthwash does have benefits, Dr. Danenberg does make some sound points. After all, whenever you take an antibiotic, your doctor will usually tell you to take a probiotic so your gut flora isn’t unbalanced. If mouthwash is able to kill good bacteria, what’s stopping bad bacteria from thriving again?

If you aren’t sure how often you should use mouthwash, it’s just best to ask your dentist at your next dental cleaning. He or she may say it’s okay, or you may be offered alternatives. Take a look at

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Many Seniors Will Experience GERD — How a Dentist Can Help

Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Featured, Fluoride, Preventive Dentistry | Comments Off on Many Seniors Will Experience GERD — How a Dentist Can Help


Sixty percent of the adult population in the U.S. will have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms that could last a year (some adults will experience GERD on a weekly basis). What does GERD do exactly? You probably are already familiar with the common symptoms of heartburn and nausea, but GERD can also cause excess stomach acids to rise back up in the esophagus and mouth, which can cause tooth decay.

While just about anyone can experience GERD, seniors are at a higher risk–especially seniors over the age of 65 who are taking medications with side effects that affect the GI tract.

If a senior is having difficulty with GERD, then he or she should take the previous tips to heart. After all, if someone already has erosion from stomach acids, adding acidic beverages and foods isn’t a great idea.

While some people may be lax about their oral health care, it can be a great boon to those GERD. For instance, fluoride treatments can strengthen enamel and prevent it from softening from stomach acids. You can learn more about these kinds of treatments at

Besides fluoride treatment, dental expert John Flucke says that oral discs can greatly help:

Study Shows OraCoat® XyliMelts® Oral Adhering Discs Effectively Treat Acid Reflux

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, describes a chronic digestive condition in which an accumulation of stomach acid in the esophagus creates symptoms. Acid reflux affects about 30 percent of the population on a weekly basis and is known to contribute to or cause a number of medical and dental problems including heartburn, sore throat, laryngitis, cough, halitosis, and tooth decay. The condition is also associated with sleep disturbance and can have a negative effect on nighttime comfort and overall quality of life.


The study aimed to prove if XyliMelts, recently rated by a Clinicians Report® survey as the most effective remedy for alleviating dry mouth could produce similar results in treating patients suffering from acid reflux, which is often managed by prescribed and over-the-counter medications that prevent excessive acid production . . .


XyliMelts are formulated from all-natural ingredients commonly used in foods. As tests prove that salivary stimulants can decrease the perception of nighttime dry mouth, tests also suggest increased saliva can diminish nighttime reflux . . . Test results displayed that both the disc and gel reduced the taste of reflux, heartburn sensation, morning hoarseness, perceived reflux severity, and the number of antacids taken during the night.

Read full blog post here . . .

And since these XyliMelts are made from all-natural ingredients used in food, that makes it more likely that they won’t have any reactions with medications that seniors may be taking already. You can talk with your dentist for more information about these kinds of remedies.

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Why is Preventive Dental Care So Important for Seniors?

Posted by on January 13, 2017 in Featured, Oral Cancer, Preventive Dentistry | Comments Off on Why is Preventive Dental Care So Important for Seniors?

One of the wonderful perks of getting older is increased risk for many health issues. For instance, as you age, certain kinds of cancer are more common–especially oral cancer:

Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know

Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, accounting for 30,000 newly diagnosed cases each year – and 8,000 deaths. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, facial and oral disfigurement and even death.

Who gets oral cancer?

Anyone can get oral cancer. Heavy drinkers and people who smoke or use other tobacco products are at higher risk. Though it is most common in people over age 50, new research indicates that younger people may be developing oral cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV).

Early detection can save

The good news? The earlier oral cancer is detected and treated, the better the survival rate – which is just one of the many reasons you should visit your dentist regularly. Twice-yearly dental checkups are typically covered with no or a low deductible under most Delta Dental plans.

As part of the exam, your dentist will check for oral cancer indicators, including feeling for lumps or irregular tissue in your mouth, head and neck. A biopsy will be recommended if anything seems concerning or out of the ordinary.

If it isn’t treated this cancer can cause pain, the loss of salivary function, and the need for tissue removal, which can cause disfigurement. But Delta Dental says that if patients get checked often for early signs by their dentists, then oral cancer can be stopped in its tracks.

So what’s the issue? Not enough seniors actually have dental care that would help them discover and stop cancer:

Infographic: U.S. Seniors Lack Dental Care

A new study published in the December edition of Health Affairs analyzed access to dental care for Medicare beneficiaries, and the findings don’t look good. Only about 10% of older U.S. adults have dental insurance, and, of those who do, they still pay half of all their dental costs out of pocket.

The researchers looked at Medicare data to see how seniors with different income levels and types of insurance access dental care. They attributed the overall lack of coverage and high percentage of out-of-pocket spending to larger policy trends, including the exclusion of dental care in Medicare and the changing of insurance benefits for retirees.

“Despite the wealth of evidence that oral health is related to physical health, Medicare explicitly excludes dental care from coverage, leaving beneficiaries at risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease and exposed to high out-of-pocket spending,”

“Until dental care is appropriately considered to be part of one’s medical care, and financially covered as such, poor oral health will continue to be the ‘silent epidemic’ that impedes improving the quality of life for older adults.”

Clearly there needs to be a change in the general attitude concerning the need for care. Everyone can do their part to make dental care more viable for seniors.

If seniors cannot afford a plan, they need to do everything in their power to still get adequate care, such as looking at payment plans, seeking out low-cost care at dental schools, applying for government aid, maintaining good oral care at home, and so on. If you are senior, you should make oral cancer check-ups a natural part of your to-do list. You can find more information about oral cancer screenings at

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Worried About Amalgam Fillings? Don’t Be–You’ve Got Options

Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Dental Fillings, Featured, General Dentistry | Comments Off on Worried About Amalgam Fillings? Don’t Be–You’ve Got Options

Even though the Food & Drug Administration has given their blessing to dental amalgam, their site still warns the general public about elemental mercury and the damage it can do to the body. They say that mercury vapor can possibly bioaccumlate, or slowly build-up in your kidneys or brain–although no studies have shown any negative effects so far.

But even though amalgam fillings have been used for over a century in the dentistry profession, the possible downsides of mercury should be food for thought. One dentist, a Dr. Tom Colpitts from Tulsa, even says that he’s changed his mind over the years about their usage:

Because mercury is a neurotoxin and since you can’t just dispose of it easily into water supplies, Dr. Colpitts says that it’s worth patients time to weigh the pros and cons.

The good news is that many offices, like Laguna Vista Dental, just offers composite dental fillings, which you can learn more about here:

The great thing about composite fillings is that they are very aesthetically pleasing as well as safe. The only downside of composite fillings is their tendency to wear down more quickly compared to other fillings. However, released an article recently that outlines some of the most common causes for wear:

Reasons for Composite Failure Have Changed

Since resin composites were introduced, there has been an ongoing challenge to improve their clinical performance, particularly for use in posterior teeth,” the authors wrote. “This has seen the introduction of hybrid, packable, nanofilled, low-shrinkage, and bulk-fill composites, but still the clinical effectiveness of posterior composite is questioned by many.”

Dr. Alvanforoush is a doctoral student from the Melbourne Dental School at the University of Melbourne.

Reasons for failure

Direct resin composite restorations are becoming more popular, as patients prefer tooth-colored restorations because they offer a superior aesthetic appearance, and patients want to avoid the placement of new amalgam in their mouths. The study authors noted that substantial advancements and changes in composite materials and adhesive systems have taken place over the last 20 years, but no systemic literature review has assessed the clinical performance of posterior composite restoration . . .

The authors concluded that comparing the reasons for failure over the last two decades had revealed an important shift as secondary caries, postoperative sensitivity, and wear were reduced as failure factors in contrast with the increased role of tooth fracture, restoration fracture, and endodontic treatment as reasons for failure.

“The greater level of fracture may relate to the increase in size of restorations now being placed; however, more detailed data are needed,” they wrote. Read the full article here . . .

Again, the top reasons for failure included things like tooth fracturing and the presence of secondary caries. While fracturing can sometimes occur due to traumatic accidents, it can also occur in minute amounts due to bruxism (teeth grinding). And since bruxism and secondary caries are both preventable (mouth guards and good oral hygiene), you can make composite fillings more viable with a little extra care.

And perhaps, one day patients won’t even need fillings. According to another study presented at, researchers believe they can restore tiny caries with a drug+collagen sponge that can regenerate dentine:

Study Offers New Treatment for Larger Caries

January 9, 2017 — Soon you might be treating your patient’s caries with a collagen sponge filled with a drug — first tested to treat Alzheimer’s patients — that stimulates the natural ability of teeth to restore dentine.

A study published January 9 in Scientific Reports by researchers in the U.K. documented a new method of stimulating the renewal of living stem cells in tooth pulp. While still needing human clinical trials, this approach may allow large cavities to be repaired without the use of cement or fillings.

“The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine,” stated lead study author Paul Sharpe, PhD, in a press release. “In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”

Sharpe is the head of the craniofacial development and stem cell biology division at the King’s College London Dental Institute . . .

After removing caries decay, a tooth’s soft inner pulp is exposed, and a natural dentine repair process begins. This process uses a form of stem cells in the patient’s mouth that becomes new cells. These cells release a form of reparative dentine, according to the study authors. Read the full here . . .


Although this kind of restoration still has many kinks to work out, the fact that the study authors are eager to get this kind of treatment into clinics ASAP is exciting.

In the meantime, if patients focus on preventative dentistry measures, they can have long-lasting composite fillings and avoid amalgam altogether.

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Shut Your Mouth: The Negative Chain Reaction of Chronic Mouth Breathing

Posted by on January 6, 2017 in General Dentistry, Orthodontics | Comments Off on Shut Your Mouth: The Negative Chain Reaction of Chronic Mouth Breathing

If you’ve had headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, and fatigue lately, you may want to get checked out by your dentist. According to Delta Dental, about 15% of U.S. adults suffer from a TMJ/TMD issue. Dr. Alvin Danenberg says that he believes that that number is significantly higher due to his years of experience. And if you aren’t sure what’s causing your pain, Dr. Danenberg has some ideas:

8 possible causes of your patient’s jaw pain

As a periodontist, I frequently treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). Many of the causes of this type of jaw pain also can damage the jawbone around the roots of teeth.


In my experience, between 60% and 70% of adults have experienced some symptoms of TMD. Their most frequent complaint is pain either in the jaw joint or the jaw muscles. Patients often experience discomfort when opening their jaw, along with popping and cracking sounds in the jaw joints when opening and closing. Some patients also experience buzzing or ringing sounds in their ears.


TMDs are multifactorial, and their sources may be difficult to identify. I initially focus on the following eight related causes for TMDs:

  • Trauma (such as a car accident) involving the jaw joint, which could damage the joint structures
  • Clenching and grinding the teeth
  • Teeth that have been improperly restored or are out of alignment
  • Poor nutrition and unhealthy digestion, which could cause chronic inflammation and affect all joints in the body, such as in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Emotional stress, such as illustrated by a study by Lei and colleagues in Cranio (April 28, 2016).
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive estrogen, although studies vary
  • Infection in the joint

Many factors affect jaw pain. The more obvious causes should be explored first. If grinding habits or bite problems exist, these must be corrected. Stress reduction, restorative sleep, and good nutrition to provide proper hormone balance must be implemented to reduce TMD symptoms. If symptoms persist, other treatment options should be considered to make the patient comfortable. Read full article here . . .

Although this article points out many possible explanations for your jaw pain–some of which you may have even suspected, it does forget one: mouth breathing. That may surprise you, since such a habit seems rather innocuous.

However, chronic mouth breathing can start all the way back to when you were a child. obviously the correct way to breathe is through your nose, but if you have enlarged tonsils, allergies, or other issues that make it difficult to breathe through your nose, then mouth breathing will naturally occur.

For mouth breathers, the the lower jaw comes down, as well as the tongue. During normal breathing, the tongue rests on the soft palate and balances the pressure of the cheek muscles. But when the tongue is always lowered, there is nothing to counterbalance the cheeks, which can press in and make the maxilla narrower.

Since the jaws change, this often causes a chain reaction where the lower jaw is pushed back and TMJ is the result. You can see a clear explanation of this phenomenon in the following video:

So if you think that mouth breathing is the cause of your issues, you may be wondering what you can do to fix it. First, you will want to get set up with either day-time appliances (for severe cases) or a night-time appliance–similar to a mouth guard, that will relieve some of the pressure.

Just being aware of your mouth breathing may help, since you will be able to self-correct and breathe through your nose. If this is too difficult, you may need surgery (to remove adenoids or tonsils), or you may need to visit a doctor to fix a deviated septum.

Besides reducing your symptoms, are there any oral appliances that could re-align the jaw? Dr. Donald Tanenbaum says the jury is still out:

Can Mouth Guards Cure TMJ?

How about oral appliances to re-align the jaw? This concept of jaw re-alignment to address a TMJ problem remains controversial. To date there is no science to support the concept that a poor bite or mal-aligned jaw is responsible for the emergence of TMJ symptoms. At most a bad bite or mal-aligned jaw may be a risk factor but with no more weight than other risk factors such as; female gender, gum chewing, clenching, night grinding, or stress. As long as there remain millions of people with bad bites and asymmetric jaws without symptoms this concept has to be viewed with skepticism. In addition, if an appliance were to be made to re-align the jaw, it would require the patient to bite or rest on it when in the mouth to hold the jaw in the ‘better’ position. This action of course would violate the principle that the jaws should hang at rest during the day. Clearly this option must be chosen with great care. Read more here . . .

However, if your upper jaw has been narrowed over time due to this issue, you may be wanted to fix it anyway with orthodontic treatment. An expander can be used to widen the jaw, and braces can be used to correct overbites that are commonly seen in mouth breathers.

Even though realigning the jaw to correct the problem is looked at with some skepticism, it can help you in your efforts to correct mouth breathing, fix both cosmetic and functional issues, and possibly reduce TMJ due to disc slipping.

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What Can Parents Do to Protect Their Children’s Teeth?

Posted by on January 5, 2017 in General Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry | Comments Off on What Can Parents Do to Protect Their Children’s Teeth?

Trying to get your young children to have good oral hygiene may be a losing battle. After all, many young kids are picky eaters, and would rather have dessert than the nutritious meal you labored over. And in an attempt to avoid fluorosis–or tooth discoloration–parents may be unsure of how much toothpaste is appropriate to help keep their kids’ teeth clean.

A recent article by Lori Roniger explores these oral health challenges with kids from Utah. Although the recommendations in the article were for Utah families, they’re very applicable to any parent:

Utah Kids Score Poorly on Oral Healthcare

We know oral health diseases are largely preventable, yet we are moving in the wrong direction,” noted Shaheen Hossain, PhD, the primary author of the report, in a statement. “Along with increasing the access to needed services, we still need to educate parents on the importance of oral hygiene, nutritious diets with fewer sugary beverages, and getting routine dental care . . .


They recommended several strategies to improve the oral health of children in Utah:

  • Increasing access to dental insurance and care
  • Enhancing the public’s understanding of the importance of oral health and its benefits to overall health and quality of life
  • Improving coverage by educating families about Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, and other dental insurance
  • Expanding access to community water fluoridation
  • Expanding school-based caries prevention activities, such as fluoride varnish and sealant programs in elementary schools
  • Providing better incentives and reimbursements to dental practitioners who see low-income people
  • Focus on closing the dental care access gap by increasing awareness of existing community resources

As you can see, one of the recommendations is a school-based sealant program. But even if your child doesn’t have this kind of program, you can still look into it since it is a common pediatric dentistry service. If you’ve never heard of sealants before, they are plastic coatings that the dentist paints on to the grooves of the enamel. They can be applied in under a half an hour, and they create a barrier that can help your child stave off cavities.

Delta Dental goes into more details as to why sealants are a great idea:

3 Reasons to Consider Sealants for Your Child

Cavities are the most common chronic disease among children and that untreated decay affects 19.5% of 2- to 5-year-olds and 22.9% of 6- to 19-year-olds.


Luckily there are sealants, which can reduce childhood tooth decay by more than 70%. A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that prevents food and bacteria from getting stuck in the grooves and pits of molars and premolars.


It’s recommended children get sealants once they get their permanent teeth. Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Extra Protection

Children are just learning about dental hygiene and may not be properly removing food and plaque from every nook and cranny. Sealants will provide extra protection during these cavity-prone years.


2. Easy and Painless

If your child gets nervous at the dentist, rest assured that sealants are a painless and quick procedure. There are no needles and no drills, and the whole process takes 15 minutes on average.


3. Long Lasting

Sealants can last for up to 10 years! Make sure to periodically check in with your dentist to ensure that your child’s sealants are still intact and don’t have any chips or cracks.

No parent wants to spend money on extraneous procedures, but this truly is a needed one since cavities are so prevalent in children and since it can reduce decay by more than 70%! While fillings can certainly be used to repair cavities, they aren’t as strong as the original enamel structures.

Plus, fillings and other restorative dentistry isn’t as ideal as preventative dentistry options like sealants. So be sure to talk with your dentist about this option and how to make it work within your family’s budget.

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The U.S.’s Heightened Interest in Water Safety: How Does it Affect Oral Health?

Posted by on December 30, 2016 in Fluoride, Preventive Dentistry | Comments Off on The U.S.’s Heightened Interest in Water Safety: How Does it Affect Oral Health?

It’s no wonder that Americans have been highly concerned about water safety for the past few years. After the debacle in Flint, Michigan, people are understandably fearful about what goes into their water. Because the city of Flint didn’t take care, many residents were exposed to serious issues because of lead poisoning, such as mental impairments.

Besides lead poisoning, there are many other problems that people should be aware of, such as

  • Sanitary sewer overflows: This happens when sewage leaks out of the system before getting to a treatment center
  • Contaminated groundwater from the agricultural sector (e.g. pesticides)

Researchers are still uncertain of all the ramifications of farming contaminants. In fact, Medline Plus shared an article recently about how the pesticides used in farming were actually altering oral bacteria:

Pesticide Exposures May Alter Mouth Bacteria

Pesticide exposure may change the makeup of bacteria in the mouths of farm workers, a new study finds.
Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed swabs taken from the mouths of 65 adult farm workers and 52 adults who didn’t work on farms. All lived in Washington’s Yakima Valley.


The farm workers had higher blood levels of pesticides, and greater changes in their mouth bacteria than non-farm workers, the study found.


The most significant finding was in farm workers who had the organophosphate pesticide Azinphos-methyl in their blood.


In this group, researchers found significantly reduced quantities of seven common groups of oral bacteria. Among those was Streptococcus, which first author Ian Stanaway called “one of the most common normal microbiota in the mouth.” He’s a doctoral candidate in environmental toxicology.


Stanaway noted that previous studies have found that “changes in species and strains of Streptococcus have been associated with changes in oral health.”


The changes noted in this new study persisted into the winter, long after the growing season when pesticide use is highest, the researchers said.


The study doesn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship, however.


The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.


With this discovery, “the challenge becomes, what does this mean? We don’t know,” principal investigator Elaine Faustman said in a journal news release. Faustman is a professor in the university’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.


“We depend on the microbiome for many metabolic processes,” she said . . .

Now you are probably thinking, wait, Streptococcus is associated with illness, right? So shouldn’t reduced strains be a good thing? It’s true that streptococcal pharyngitis–commonly known as strep throat–and other strains are responsible for infections, but there are streptococcal species that aren’t harmful and are actually a normal part of the oral cavity. These are a part of the microbiota, or the microorganisms that share body space according to biologist Joshua Lederberg.

So if chemicals in the water can cause changes in the oral cavity, what else are people worried about? Believe it or not, the answer is fluoride! This is surprising since water fluoridation has been given the okay by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the American Dental Association (ADA), and the like.

In fact, some people are so worried that Drbiscupidcom. says a Fluoridation Society has cropped up to combat fears:

New Fluoridation Society Provides Help to Fight Myths

Johnny Johnson Jr., DMD, president of the newly formed American Fluoridation Society (AFS) got into the fluoridation fight when local officials in his community of Pinellas County, FL, voted in 2011 to discontinue water fluoridation, citing concern that residents might be ingesting too much fluoride . . .


“I thought she was kidding, but she was serious,” he recounted. “I explained there’s been no literature that found any connection whatsoever between water fluoridation and cancer, and I sent her information. She was blown away by the research and said she had definitely been misled.”


In another incident, a public health student told him there was “lots of debate about toxins and arsenic in fluoride.” Dr. Johnson replied: “There’s no debate; the science is crystal clear.”


. . . The main thing that healthcare professionals can do is be aware of what’s going on in their communities regarding water fluoridation, Dr. Johnson advised. Letters to newspapers and noticing what people are saying about the issue are tip-off’s about efforts against community water fluoridation.

According to the CDC, the only issue that excess fluoride has caused over the years is fluorosis, or cosmetic issue where teeth become discolored. And if you look at different clinical studies, communities that add fluoride often see less cavities in their residents.

If you are worried about fluoride, you can talk to your dentist about the issue. Some people actually opt out of fluoridated water, but still glean the benefits of topical fluoride since it isn’t ingested.

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Inflammatory Diseases–Like Gum Disease–Can Cause a World of Trouble

Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Periodontal Disease Treatment | Comments Off on Inflammatory Diseases–Like Gum Disease–Can Cause a World of Trouble

What’s your dentist’s mantra whenever you come in? Oh, that’s right: you should floss more! According to a US News article, more than 30% of Americans rarely floss, and more than 30% say they never floss. Flossing is a major key to the prevention of periodontal disease, or gum disease.
You’ve probably heard all about gum disease and its symptoms (e.g. toothaches, bad breath, tender gums, etc.). Although the main concern for those at risk for gum disease is losing teeth, the fact that it is an inflammatory disease should also be worrisome. says that inflammation isn’t always bad; after all, it’s the way your body defends itself from illnesses. But if you have chronic inflammation, then your immune system is constantly bombarded with hormones and cells that can damage the body. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to conditions like Chrohn’s and arthritis.
So how does gum disease tie in? Again, it’s inflammatory disease, and so researchers believe that it can spur on the risk of other diseases. For instance, one study showed that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have arthritis:

Could a Germ Link Gum Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis linked to an overactive immune system. It can affect a variety of body systems, not just the joints. The disease affects roughly 1.5 million U.S. adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


For more than a century, scientists have noticed that people with this inflammatory disease are more likely than others to suffer from gum disease, Andrade noted.


Researchers began to suspect a common factor was triggering both diseases.


In recent years, investigators have found signs that rheumatoid arthritis patients with fewer teeth — possibly as a result of gum disease — have more severe cases. Researchers have also reported that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have rheumatoid arthritis, the study authors said.


But the explanation for the connection wasn’t clear.


For the new study, Andrade’s team examined almost 200 samples from the gums of people with rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers looked for evidence of a type of bacteria, called A. actinomycetemcomitans, that’s linked to gum disease.


Signs of infection were detected in almost half of the rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to just 11 percent of another group of people without gum disease or rheumatoid arthritis.


This finding raises the possibility that the germ could cause both gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, the study authors suggested.


According to Andrade, the bacterium may afflict the gums and then cause swelling in the joints as a kind of side effect.


Researchers have also wondered about the reverse — whether gum disease could be a side effect of rheumatoid arthritis. A study published in Current Oral Health Reports raised the question of whether the gums might be, in effect, another affected “joint.” Read full article here . . .

Of course, many of these studies already know that gum disease can be tied with other illnesses. The main question now is which came first: the chicken or the egg? Does gum disease cause these diseases, or do other illnesses make people prone to gum disease?

Some studies have already made claims that the gum disease comes first and is the main contributor to the development of other diseases. For instance, the Dental Tribune says that many researchers believe that treating periodontal disease can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Again, according to, the correlation is obviously present for many diseases–like heart disease–but scientists are still trying to figure out just how they affect one another. But chronic inflammation seems to be the main problem:

Is gum disease a key risk factor for heart disease?

December 13, 2016 — Research has demonstrated a connection between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease (CHD), but the nature of the relationship remains to be determined. To help under this association, researchers have developed a model to illustrate the possible links between periodontal disease and the pathogenesis, hallmarks, and biomarkers of CHD.


While a correlation between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease is well-documented, and there is evidence that periodontal disease is associated with a higher risk of CHD, it remains unclear whether this correlation is due to a causal relationship or a shared underlying disorder, such as inflammation. The researchers sought to deepen understanding about this connection and determine the likely method of action for a possible causal relationship between them. This is important since 30% of the U.S. population has moderate periodontitis, the authors wrote. Read full article here . . .

So back to flossing . . . that’s probably the easiest way to start preventing inflammation from gum disease. Since gum disease is tied to heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and so on, patients may want to take their dentist’s recommendations more seriously.

Lastly, along with flossing, an anti-inflammatory diet (full of veggies, fruits, fiber) can also help to delay the effects of gum disease. With the new year just around the corner, perhaps improving gum health can be added to any health-related resolutions.

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