Monthly Archives: May 2013

Crack, Meth and Diet Soda?

Drinking diet soda for years takes a toll on the teeth that’s comparable to years of smoking crystal meth or crack cocaine, according to a new case report from a dentistry journal.

diet-soda1

The report, published in General Dentistry on May 28, shows an addiction to soda may do as much major damage to your smile as a drug habit, and sugar isn’t even the culprit.

Teeth are eroded when acid wears away tooth enamel, the glossy, protective layer of the tooth. Without this shield, teeth are more likely to develop cavities, become sensitive, develop cracks or become discolored.

The case study looked at the damage in three people’s mouths. One subject was a 29-year-old admitted meth user, and the other person was a 51-year-old who abused cocaine for 18 years. The third patient drank an excessive amount of diet soda, about two liters a day for three to five years. All three had poor oral hygiene and did not visit the dentist on a regular basis.

Despite three different substance habits, the subjects appeared to have the same types and severity of damage from tooth erosion.

“Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their ‘drug’ of choice – -meth, crack, or soda,” lead report author Dr. Mohamed A. Bassiouny, a dentist in Oreland, Pa., said in a press release.

The American Beverage Association, however, called the study unfair because the diet soda addict had extremely poor dental hygiene.

Bassiouny said the real problem is all three substances were highly acidic. Citric acid is found in both regular and diet soda. The ingredients used to make methamphetamine are highly corrosive, and crack cocaine is highly acidic as well.

“The striking similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to consumers who think that soda — even diet soda — is not harmful to their oral health,” Bassiouny stated.

Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Dr. Eugene Antenucci added that the frequency of diet soda drinking is also detrimental.

“People think that it’s innocuous,” Antenucci, who was not involved in the study, explained to CBSNews.com. “People think that there’s no harm in it. It’s not going to make me fat. We’ve been fooled to think that diet is good. We’ve been misunderstanding — decay isn’t caused by sugar, but by the acids.”

Antenucci understands that people want to drink soda, and he doesn’t support an outright ban. He just wants to remind people to drink in moderation.

If you are going to drink soda, he suggested rinsing your mouth with water after drinking or chewing some sugar-free gum with xylitol, which stimulates saliva.

“Saliva is almost like drinking a glass of water,” Antenucci pointed out. “It can wash away acid.”

For any oral health concerns Contact Glasscock Dental

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262

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Why Orange Juice Tastes Horrible After You Brush Your Teeth

The American Chemical Society has a video series called Bytesize Science, and their latest episode provides an answer to one of life’s essential mysteries: Why does orange juice taste so bad after you brush your teeth?

orange juice

According to the video, the “most widely accepted explanation,” is because the sodium lauryl sulfate that helps the toothpaste create suds in your mouth also messes with your taste receptors.

Check out the video here

For any oral health concerns Contact Glasscock Dental

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262

The Harder You Chew the Better?

Give your pearly whites a workout to avoid the dentist. Food that’s tough to chomp on could strengthen your teeth, according to a new German study.

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In fact, a lack of tooth wear (caused by eating soft foods too often) could actually deteriorate your teeth’s enamel, the researchers say.

According to the scientists, when you munch on foods that require a bit more work, you’re actually minimizing the load on your teeth. Tougher grub works like sandpaper, smoothing out the ridges of each tooth. The reason: Worn surfaces are flatter, so the chewing force is distributed more evenly, meaning it doesn’t directly irritate the cusps, says lead study author Stefano Benazzi, Ph.D.

But not every tough-textured food is good for your teeth. Here’s a guide of what’s worth chewing—and where to be careful.

RAW VEGETABLES
The verdict: Go for it.
Eating carrots, celery, and even lettuce gives your teeth a chance to grind without the danger of splitting a molar. Unlike harder nuts, chewing on these fibrous textures provides resistance, but in a gentler way, says George C. Williams, D.D.S., associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.


STEAK
The verdict: Go for it.
According to the American Dental Association, the phosphorus in red meat helps protect tooth enamel and bone. Unless you channel a hungry caveman at the dinner table, each slice of your sirloin deserves a good chew. “When you’re opening and closing your mouth, your teeth and gums are getting exercise,” says Dr. Williams. “If you don’t eat challenging foods your mouth won’t be strong.”

DRIED FRUIT
The verdict: Chew with caution. This relatively healthy snack can be devastating to enamel because you’re subjecting your teeth to sticky sugar. Plus, the bacteria responsible for breaking down the sugar emit an acidic byproduct that causes decay. “Post-snack, try to rinse with Listerine to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth,” Dr. Williams says. “At the very least, swish with water.”

NUTS
The verdict: Chew with caution. Enamel may be the hardest substance in the body, but ironically it’s quite brittle. Coincidentally, your tooth enamel has similar structure to an ice cube. When you drop the ice on the floor, it might not crack, but it will acquire micro fractures. “Chewing something very hard, such as an almond, can eventually turn these fissures into problems that can lead to a root canal,” adds Williams.

For any oral health concerns Contact Glasscock Dental

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262

 

http://news.menshealth.com

The Tooth Fairy Provides Opportunity for Parents to Reinforce Good Oral Health Habits

Delta Dental of Virginia recently learned that kids received a record high payment for lost baby teeth in 2012. The average gift from the Tooth Fairy was $2.42 last year, up 32 cents from $2.10 in 2011, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll(R) sponsored by Delta Dental.1 The most common amount left under the pillow was $1 (51 percent).

tooth fairy

According to the poll, the Tooth Fairy was even more generous with kids who lost their first tooth, leaving more money for the first tooth in 46 percent of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $3.49.

“Leaving gifts from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to help make losing teeth less scary and enjoyable for kids,” said Dr. George Koumaras, dental director, Delta Dental of Virginia. “Delta Dental encourages parents to use the Tooth Fairy as an opportunity to talk about good oral health even before a child loses the first tooth. Caring for baby teeth is important, as they help children chew and speak properly and hold space for permanent teeth.”

In 2012, the Tooth Fairy visited nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth. Delta Dental suggests the following ways parents can use the Tooth Fairy as a teachable moment:

  • Introduce the Tooth Fairy early on. Kids will start losing baby teeth around age 6. Before this age, parents can teach kids about the Tooth Fairy and let them know that good oral health habits and healthy teeth make her happy. Use this as an opportunity to brush up on a child’s everyday dental routine. Kids not wanting to brush and floss? Remind them the Tooth Fairy is more generous for healthy baby teeth, not teeth with cavities. This will help get kids excited about taking care of their teeth.
  •  Leave a note reinforcing good habits. A personalized note from the Tooth Fairy could be nearly as exciting for kids as the gift itself. Parents should include tips for important oral health habits that the Tooth Fairy wants kids to practice, such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist twice a year. And, of course, parents should give the Tooth Fairy a special name. After all, Flossie or Twinkle is a bit more exciting than just Tooth Fairy.
  • Give oral health gifts. Although the Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of homes she visited, two percent of children received toys, candy, gum or other gifts. Consider forgoing cash and providing oral health gifts instead, like a new toothbrush or fun-flavored toothpaste. For readers, there are numerous children’s books about Tooth Fairy adventures in bookstores or online. The days of jamming a tiny tooth underneath a huge pillow and making the Tooth Fairy blindly grope around under a heavy sleeping head are gone. Special pillows with tiny, tooth-sized pockets attached are now available online, with themes ranging from princesses to ninjas and beyond. Some of the pillows can even be customized with your little gap-toothed child’s name. Or if parent, er, ahem, the Tooth Fairy, is feeling generous, kids could receive both cash and a new toothbrush.

“It’s hard for young kids to fully comprehend the importance of oral health” adds Dr. Koumaras, “but tapping into a child’s imagination can make taking care of teeth more compelling.”

For more information, visit http://www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com. The Tooth Fairy has come a long way in the past years. To get a sense of the taste and style choices of the Tooth Fairy and for some fun ideas, parents can follow her on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/origtoothfairy.

For any oral health concerns Contact Glasscock Dental

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262
Read more http://online.wsj.com

Tips For Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Removal

What Does Recovery Involve After Wisdom Teeth Are Pulled?

After having your wisdom teeth removed, the speed of your recovery depends on the degree of difficulty of the extraction (a simple extraction of a fully erupted tooth versus a tooth impacted into the jawbone). In general, here’s what to expect.

wisdom tooth pain

During the first 24 hours

  • Bleeding may occur for several hours after tooth extraction. To control it, position a piece of clean moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly. Apply constant pressure for about 45 minutes. A moistened tea bag is an effective alternative. The tannic acid in tea helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to scab over an open wound). Repeat this process if a small degree of bleeding continues; if heavy bleeding continues to occur, contact your dentist or oral surgeon. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after tooth extraction, avoid “sucking” actions (for example, don’t drink beverages through straws or smoke) and avoid hot liquids (such as coffee or soup). These activities can dislodge the clot, causing a dry socket to develop.
  • Facial swelling in the area where the tooth was extracted typically occurs. To minimize swelling, place a piece of ice, wrapped in a cloth, on that area of your face on a schedule of 10 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off. Repeat as necessary during this first 24-hour period.
  • Pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), can be taken for minor pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe more potent pain relievers, if necessary.
  • Antibiotics that may have been prescribed prior to tooth extraction (to treat any active infection around the wisdom tooth to be extracted) should continue to be taken until the full prescription is gone.
  • Foods should be restricted to a liquid diet until all the numbness from anesthesia has worn off. Eat soft foods for a few days. Also avoid alcohol if you’re also taking narcotic pain medication.
  • Continue to brush your teeth, but avoid the teeth directly neighboring the extracted tooth during the first 24 hours. On day two, resume the gentle brushing of your teeth. Do not use commercial mouth rinses — these can irritate the extraction site.

After 24 hours

  • Facial swelling in the area of the tooth extraction should be treated with heat after the first 24 hours of ice. Apply a moist warm towel to the area on a 20-minute on, 20-minute off schedule. Repeat as necessary.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed. Do not use commercial mouth rinses.
  • Stitches, if used and if not of the self-dissolving type, need to be removed by your oral health care provider in about 1 week. If you do require stitches, ask what type you have been given.
  • Watch for signs of dry socket. Dry socket is a common complication that occurs when either a blood clot has failed to form in the extracted tooth socket or else the blood clot that did form has been dislodged. Without clot formation, healing will be delayed. When it happens, dry socket typically occurs 3 or 4 days following the extraction and is accompanied by pain (ranging from “dull” to moderate to severe) and a foul mouth odor. Your dentist or oral surgeon will treat the dry socket by placing medication in the socket.
  • Complete healing doesn’t occur for a few weeks to a few months following the extraction. However, usually within the first week or two, enough healing has taken place for use of your mouth to be reasonably comfortable in the area of the extraction. Your dentist will explain what to expect in your specific case.

For any oral health concerns Contact Glasscock Dental

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262

 

http://www.webmd.com