What Is Black Hairy Tongue?

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted an interesting case of a rare medical condition called "black hairy tongue." Unsurprisingly, the condition basically makes you look like you’ve got a black hairy tongue - hence the name. But, what causes this bizarre condition, and are you at risk?

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Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Could Harm Teeth

A recent study on the effects of hydrogen peroxide on teeth has left a lot of people wondering how to safely keep their pearly whites whiter. Hydrogen peroxide is the active ingredient in most popular whitening agents, including those over-the-counter whitening strips. Unfortunately, according to the study, which was conducted at the University of Stockton in Stockton, New Jersey, that oh-so-effective active ingredient is actually potentially damaging to the collagen layer of the teeth in between the enamel and the dentin.

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What a Pain: Oral Shingles

An estimated one in three American adults will develop the excruciatingly painful condition known as shingles in their lifetime. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 90 percent of adults in the United States have already been exposed to shingles, also known as herpes zoster, and about 1 million new cases of shingles are reported each year. While shingles typically appears on the torso and face, it has been found in places such as the eyes and even the mouth, causing a whole host of unpleasant side effects. So, what is this debilitating illness, and what can you do if you get shingles in the mouth?

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X Marks the Spot

One of the hallmarks of most dental exams is the taking of X-ray images. But why does your dentist take X-rays? And are they safe? If you’ve ever wondered why and how we take these images, X marks the spot for all your X-ray questions!

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How Stress Harms Teeth

It’s no myth that stress can manifest itself into physical symptoms. From acne to hair loss to body tension, stress doesn’t just take its toll on us emotionally - it can take its toll on our bodies in ways we never imagined. But did you know that stress can also take a toll on another very specific area of the body: the mouth? According to Psychology Today, it’s true! Here’s how what’s stressing you could also be harming your oral health.

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Pregnancy and Oral Health

If you are pregnant, first of all, congratulations! Pregnancy obviously brings about some big changes – including to your oral health routine. That’s because pregnancy hormones can sometimes wreak havoc on the gums, making gingivitis and bleeding gums much more likely. Even if your teeth and gums are in perfect health, you still may experience the phenomenon known as pregnancy gingivitis. But never fear - there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of both pregnancy gingivitis and full-blown gingivitis while pregnant.

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What Are Overdentures?

If you are missing teeth and are not a good candidate for dental implants due to bone deterioration or loss, you may be considering getting dentures. But if dentures don’t seem like your cup of tea, there is another option that bridges the gap between dentures and dental implants: overdentures. Find out what these clever prosthetics are and who is a good candidate for them.

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April Is National Facial Protection Month

If you or a loved one are part of the 95 percent of Americans who engage in a sport, not only are you having fun, but you’re also doing something positive for your health. From increasing blood flow to lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and more, playing a sport can also help with weight management. Sports are even good for your mental health - and a great way to expand your social network. With so many different sports to choose from, some activities don’t have a whole lot in common with each other, but there’s one thing that all sports have in common: When playing a sport - any sport - you should always protect your teeth. Every single time, for every single sport.

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Addicted to Sugar?

With so many addictions making headlines across the country and around the world, some addictions are unfortunately overlooked and treated as less serious than others. One example is sugar addiction. Yes, you heard right - sugar addiction is real and can wreak havoc on your health, from your blood sugar to your weight to your oral health.

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Tips for Healthier Gums

When it comes to oral health, it’s no secret that a lot of emphasis is rightfully placed on caring for the teeth. But just caring for your teeth is not enough. There is another part of the mouth that often gets neglected – and it requires just as much care as your teeth. It’s your gums! Here’s why your gums are vital to not just your oral health, but also your oral health - and what you can do to keep them healthy.

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How to Care for Clear Aligners

Congratulations on your new aligners or clear retainer! You are one step closer to a beautiful, even smile. Before you begin wearing your aligners, there are a few important care tips you should be aware of. These tips will help you keep your aligners or retainers looking their best and lasting as long as possible.

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Social Media Causes Tooth-Loss Controversy

Social media has taken quite a place in our daily lives and captured our collective attention - from people considering cosmetic dentistry procedures to get a "selfie-ready" smile to an alarming new trend of children making tooth-removal videos. It all begs the question: Has social media gotten out of control?

While social media definitely has its strong points (there’s never a bad reason to want a healthier smile!), it definitely has its drawbacks, too. The latest drawback? Those tooth-removal videos.

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Developmental Disabilities and Oral Health

It is estimated that roughly 50 million Americans have some sort of developmental disability, whether it be autism, Down syndrome, stroke, Alzheimer’s – the list goes on. But while these conditions are wildly different, there is often one common denominator between them all: the struggle to care for their own teeth. Here’s what you should know about helping persons with developmental disabilities care for their oral health.

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Protect Your Lips this Winter

With the winter temperature changes drying out our skin, getting chapped lips this time of year isn’t surprising - but it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Chapped lips are more than just an uncomfortable nuisance; they can be extremely harmful to your oral health. Here’s why you should stop chapped lips before they even start.

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Coffee: Good or Bad for Teeth?

You’ve seen the memes, you’ve likely heard the one-liners. For many people, coffee is an important – even vital – part of waking up and starting the day, thanks to that warm jolt of caffeine. In fact, here in the United States, an estimated 64 percent of the population drinks at least one cup of joe a day, and, according to the National Coffee Association, that number is growing.

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What’s All the Chatter About Chattering Teeth?

Maybe not here in San Diego, but elsewhere in the country, winter means cold. But just because it's warm in Southern California doesn’t mean you won’t encounter a chill on spring break or your next vacation - and that chill can harm your body in ways you may not realize. That’s because when we get cold sometimes we experience the involuntary phenomenon of chattering teeth. So, what’s up with that? Why do our teeth chatter - and what does chattering teeth mean for your oral health?

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What Is Demineralization - and How Can It Be Fixed?

You may have seen them before – those telltale white spots on the teeth. They’re called demineralization spots, and they appear when the tooth’s enamel begins to dissolve. Though demineralization spots are bad news, the good news is they are a very early stage of tooth decay, meaning there’s still time to correct them before it’s too late. Here’s what you should do if you see demineralization spots on your teeth.

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Don’t Hide From the Sun This Winter

The winter is here, and with it the cooler weather. While it may not be as cold around here as it gets elsewhere in the country, there can still be a noticeable drop in temperatures - noticeable enough to make people stay indoors and hide. But before you start hibernating until the temperature rises, learn the facts about vitamin D and your oral health.

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New Bill Could Broaden Dental Care

When the 115th Congress introduced H.R2422 to the lexicon, they did it with the best of intentions: to expand dental care to seniors, children and the underserved. The bill was initially launched on February 26, 2017, but it is still not official yet. The bipartisan effort would be a game changer for some, focusing more on preventative health care before problems arise. It would expand the current oral health programs that are available with Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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Helpful Hacks from an Unexpected Source

No matter who you are, it’s natural to want to save a buck or two where you can. But sometimes we’ve got no choice but to buy a separate product to use once. That’s not exactly economical, or practical. But what if we told you that you could have the answer to your problem in your home already - and it could come from a very unexpected source?

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