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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113 Hits

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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126 Hits

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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334 Hits

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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253 Hits

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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268 Hits

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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395 Hits

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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213 Hits

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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234 Hits

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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328 Hits

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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366 Hits

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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463 Hits

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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414 Hits

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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565 Hits

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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397 Hits

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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268 Hits

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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388 Hits

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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648 Hits

Oral Health and Blood Pressure

We’ve all heard it before, all the ways poor oral hygiene affects our mouths: bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease. But what you may not realize is that it affects a lot more than just the mouth. Poor oral health can affect the entire body, from increasing your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes to the newest discovery: its effect on your blood pressure.

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760 Hits

Poor Oral Health Can Worsen Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

An estimated 2.3 million people around the globe have the debilitating nervous system disease known as multiple sclerosis (MS). This disease affects the brain and central nervous system, causing the immune system to eat away at the myelin coating of the nerves, which stalls communication between the body and the brain. Additionally, over time this can cause severe nerve damage, which can be extremely painful and can make it difficult to do everyday things like driving, walking and even brushing your teeth.

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676 Hits

Think Twice About That Antibiotic!

Remember back in the day when getting a prescription for antibiotics for a cold was par for the course? Eventually, that practice slowed as bacteria became resistant to certain germs, rendering the antibiotics useless and paving the way for "superbugs" to thrive in those with weakened immune systems. Well, as it turns out, those antibiotics may do even more damage than initially thought. In addition to allowing the proliferation of superbugs, antibiotics have also been found to kill good bacteria - i.e., the bacteria we need in our mouths to help fight plaque and inflammation.

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783 Hits