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.
With upwards of 10 percent of Americans suffering from odontophobia, or fear of the dentist, getting patients into the dental chair can be like, well, pulling teeth. But for every excuse there is about why a dental-phobic person can’t go to the dentist, there are many, much more valid reasons they should. If you’re thinking about backing out of your next exam, remember these important facts about why going to your regular exam is so important.
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.
Here’s a riddle: Name someone or something who will never leave you, is right there hanging on every word you say, and who knows your taste 100 percent. Give up? It sounds like your best bud, right? Well if that’s your answer you’re close: It’s your taste buds!
With fall here on an ever-so-brief stopover on our way to winter, even here in San Diego temperatures are dropping a bit - and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to winterize your oral health routine. Here’s how:
Play-doh. Microwaves. Penicillin - and now ferumoxytol. What do these four things have in common? Well, with the exception of the latter (for now), they’re all household names. But they also all hold the distinct honor of being products with uses that were discovered entirely by accident.
Whether you’re starting at a new dentist (welcome!) or a longtime patient, it's vitally important as a patient that you know your rights. That’s why organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and, yes, even the American Dental Association have their own "Patient’s Bill of Rights" to show patients what they can – and should – expect when being treated by a clinician.
A question we hear a lot around here is, "Should I be oil pulling?" Well, the answer to that may come as a surprise to some.
Before we get into the good and bad of oil pulling, let's discuss what exactly it is. Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic practice that has been done for centuries to draw toxins from the body. Recently, it has become popular in mainstream culture as a way to whiten teeth and clean the mouth. The idea is you put coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes a day, and voila - instantly whiter smile! But does it work?
As the summer starts to wind down and our focus starts to shift from beach days to backpacks and binders, it’s also a valuable time to remember our kids’ oral health. Whether you’re sending your student off to college or just starting his journey in kindergarten, incorporating a dental exam into your child’s back-to-school preparation is essential. Here’s your back-to-school oral health checklist.
It’s no secret that orthodontic treatment can be a major investment. Even if your insurance plan covers them partially, there is often a lifetime max that may or may not allow you to treat other members of the family later. Suffice it to say, when you get braces, it’s in your own best interest to take care of your teeth. After all, you wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and then never change the oil, right? What’s the point of investing all that money in your teeth only to neglect caring for them while they’re being treated?
That being said, caring for teeth with braces can be extremely difficult. All those wires and brackets, expanders, rubber bands - even clear aligners have their own set of challenges. So how do you care for your teeth with all these obstacles in the way? Sure, there are tried-and-true methods, but they take time and can be difficult - and that’s just for adults. If you have teens or children with braces, you can pretty much guarantee they’re not taking care of their braces as carefully as they should be. If you’re doing the braces-cleaning labor for your kids, that’s great - but even guardians can use a helping hand, right?
Thankfully, there are some hacks that simplify care for your orthodontics. Try these methods for a faster - but no less effective - orthodontic cleaning experience.
You may never have known about it, but across America, there’s a controversy that’s been brewing for years involving a very popular cosmetic filler. That’s because, depending on where you live, your dentist may be able to inject you with the cosmetic filler Botox - and not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
Here in California, dentists cannot inject patients with Botox for cosmetic purposes. Many other states have the same law. This was done to protect patients from practitioners who may not have the skills and training to administer Botox. However, dentists arguably know the muscles and nerves around the mouth and face better than any other type of doctor, including plastic surgeons.
The good news is that your dentist can inject you with Botox for medical purposes! In fact, you may never have realized it, but Botox can be used to help alleviate the pain from some very common dental issues.