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Mouthwash Helps Provide a Total Clean

Mouthwash Helps Provide a Total Clean

Mouthwashes are a great addition to your oral hygiene ritual. There are two predominate kinds, one with fluoride, a chemical used to strengthen teeth and reduce decay; and there’s the kind with antiseptics, designed to attack the germs that can cause decay and gum disease. Both are effective in their promise and will deliver results to the user, but they’re no substitute for flossing and brushing, and should be treated as an accessory to use after your more thorough regime is complete.

I know most of my patient’s dislike flossing. Not without reason, it’s time consuming and awkward. For infrequent flossers, there can be some discomfort associated with picking at your gum-line. But, it is absolutely essential for your mouth health. I can see when my patients don’t floss correctly, or even at all. Plaque builds up along the bottom gum line and can cause discomfort if left untreated for too long. Bleeding gums and pain are all potential signs of peritonitis and can be avoided if one practices proper flossing habits. With so many options available, you can make it easy to find something that fits you. There’s personal flossers with handles, there’s the traditional dental string and there’s even dental tape. Differentiating thicknesses and wax application make the options endless and are aimed to find a solution to the discomfort many people experience during the process. The more you take flossing into your own hands, the less I have to scrape out during your visits to me.

Mouthwash is a great tool to use after flossing, and your mouth will be extra healthy with this winning combination. After food and plaque gets uprooted and loosened away from the teeth, rinsing with mouthwash neutralizes what was just brought out and kills the germs that surround the base of our teeth. Mouthwash can get in between the crevices of teeth and more easily remove buildup that’s been loosened with the proper care techniques. There are a few different kinds of mouthwash you can choose from, they’re all effective but if you have specialized concerns, a little research into what you’re swishing with can go a long way.

Mouthwashes with fluoride are used to help strengthen teeth while adding extra protection against tooth decay. Since fluoride is present in most toothpastes, and tap water – consuming excessive amounts can have some negative health side effects, so keep in mind an approximate amount that you’re actually consuming. Antiseptic mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine gluconate, a chemical that stops the growth of bacteria. This mouthwash is recommended for people who are battling an infection and stronger versions can be picked up over the counter with a prescription from your dentist. These mouthwashes break down plaque intensely in the short term, but can cause more bacteria to grow if overused, since it so harshly strips the mouth. Antiseptic mouthwash is also useful for anyone who suffers from halitosis. Fresh off the farm to table trend, natural mouthwashes are now more available than ever. They’re alcohol free and contain no fluoride, so they work similarly to conventional or cosmetic mouthwashes. If you’re going the au-natural route, a pinch of salt and warm water can ease inflammation and pain associated with dental problems, and this can also treat the mouth for infection and injury.
While mouthwashes are great for a lot of things, they won’t replace regular checkups with me. I love a lazy life hack as much as the next guy, but you’re still going to need to brush and floss twice a day, every day, even with the addition of a mouthwash. Be sure you’re following your oral hygiene routine normally to keep your teeth happy and healthy, and visit me regularly so I can remind you of what a great job you’re doing.

Saving Lives Through Dentistry

Saving Lives Through Dentistry

Your dentist may be the best line of defense when oral cancer is in question. Whether or not you’re aware of it, part of your routine examination at your dentist’s office is a cancer check. When your dentist asks you to say “AHHHH”, he is looking into your throat for any abnormalities. Additionally, when you move your tongue around your dentist is looking for cancerous abnormalities around, under and on the sides of the tongue. Same goes for that nice neck massage you receive with cold gloved hands: checking for lumps in the passageways that could be indicative of a much more serious health issue.

Oral cancer screening is a routine examination performed at your dentist’s or doctor’s office. Screening for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions at least yearly keeps you informed of your health. An early diagnosis could be the difference of life and death, and you, as a patient, are probably not even aware that a screening is happening. If abnormal looking cells are found, then your dentist might order more tests to be done. Some argue the necessity of a screening but most dentists perform them routinely for your own benefit. Consequently, if your dentist is aware of risk factors that may increase your chance of oral cancer, they might screen more in-depth or more frequently.

As with any cancer, engaging in risky health habits increase your likelihood of contracting oral cancer. Tobacco use of any kind, which includes: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, hookah, and many others – increase that risk exponentially. Heavy drinkers or alcohol abusers also suffer heightened risk of contracting cancer. Even a history of significant sun exposure plays a role in increasing the likelihood that you’ll contract lip or skin cancer which can migrate or show in other areas such as your mouth or throat.

A screening isn’t the best way to determine if you do or don’t have cancer but a second set of eyes from someone who cares about you might lead to finding abnormal cells. The findings of these abnormalities gives the patient leverage in their own health. If precancerous cells have been found, more tests are probably going to be the first thing recommended. As just a simple screening can’t detect all mouth cancers, anything that looks fishy will need to be reevaluated for clarity. There is no proof that routine examinations reduce the numbers of death caused by oral cancer. But if a diagnosis is made early enough then the patient has the option to start treatment earlier, where remission is most possible.

Some dentists use special tests in the addition to the oral exam to screen. Some of these practices include having the patient rinse their mouth with a special blue dye for an exam. Abnormal cells in your mouth may take up the dye and appear blue. Shining a bright light into your mouth during an exam is another practice. The light makes healthy tissues appear dark and makes abnormal tissues appear white. None of these procedures are uncomfortable in any way for the patient.

Since most of my patients are like extended family to me, I take the time to do cancer screens on each of them. Being privileged to look into the lives of the people I treat, sometimes I’m aware of habits they’ve picked up that pose a threat to their health. This is an area I’m passionate about and I love helping people dearly, so looking out for their best interest is in my best interest as well.

The Link between Diabetes and Dental Health

The Link between Diabetes and Dental Health

Research is continually highlighting the correlation between a patients’ dental problems and other medical conditions they may have. Our teeth are one of the more individually unique features to ourselves, and a patient’s dental health can play a major role in determining other kinds of illnesses or problems. If my patients have diabetes, for example, I can know simply from a few visits.

There’s an existing link between diabetes and Periodontal Disease. People who suffer from diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum and bone infections that hold the teeth in place. If allowed to advance, Periodontal disease can lead to painful chewing problems and even tooth loss, in rare cases, and like any infection, gum disease can make it even more difficult to keep your blood sugar under control.

If you do suffer from diabetes and are noticing the effects are shifting to your mouth, keep in mind that the more you control your diabetes, the less persistent infections become. Good diabetic control is the best protection against periodontal disease. Statistics show that people with good control of their condition have no more periodontal disease than a person without diabetes. Literally the only difference would be the predisposition when their care is neglected.
There are a few physiological reasons this correlation exists. Blood vessel changes caused by diabetes lead to a thickening in the vessel which makes carrying away the tissues’ waste products slower. This can weaken the resistance of gum and bone tissue and cause infection. Because bacteria thrives on sugars, the sugar linked to diabetes lead to exceptionally large glucose levels which helps germs grow inside the mouth. Consequently, if you already have shaky dental hygiene habits and diabetes, your preexisting exposure is running high for possibility of infection.

I try to drum this knowledge into my patients whom I know have diabetes and also suffer from frequent infections. Seeing them get to a place where they can thrive is a passion of mine and dentistry can be a close-up look into a person’s health and hygiene habits. I’ve been fortunate to say most of them heed my advice and have seen improvements in their overall wellbeing once they start taking control.

Why I Have the Best Job in the World

Why I Have the Best Job in the World

I love discussing my profession with my patients for the simple fact that: I love what I do. The latest reports from US News and World Report shows that most dental professions consistently rank top in satisfaction, and being a Dentist was actually voted the best profession. Ever changing and improving technology makes my field of work always interesting and also allows me the ability to better take care of my patients. I’m always presented with opportunities that allow me to grow as a doctor.
Dentistry consistently provides me with exciting new challenges and rewards me with a feeling of pride and achievement. I’m blessed to have the patients I do and I genuinely believe I have the best patients in Tucson. My favorite part of my profession is getting to know everyone personally. Some patients I’ve had since they were kids, and as they grow I’m blessed to learn about their life as it progresses.
Yes, this is the best job. I have been lucky to provide care to tens of thousands of patients in not only Tucson, but in and around the world. I have had patients from Canada, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South America, China, England and all over the United States. To learn that some of them travel to see me personally always leaves me feeling deeply grateful for their continued patronage.
I’ve been blessed in so many areas of my life, and I thought having the best wife and kids rendered me luckier than most, but I never expected the blessings my patients have bestowed on me as well. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

How Microscopic Dentistry Improves Results

How Microscopic Dentistry Improves Results

Using a microscope in dental procedures is a guaranteed way to achieve better and more accurate results. Cosmetic, root canals, crown procedures and fillings all serve to be improved by microscopic precision. This technique provides me with a feeling of thoroughness and professional enjoyment.
Most dental offices that do microsurgical endodontics use loupes that magnify at about 2.5-3 times the magnification. Our office uses a microscope that can magnify up to 16 times. This is to ensure the maximum possible accuracy when working on our patients.
Loupes are used to scrutinize and examine a patient’s oral cavity. In order to make improved diagnosis’s or allow for a better visualization of details, we can use a microscope. Looking at these details is important to many procedures. For example, I may want to determine how far a crack runs along the surface of a tooth. What is the risk of the tooth fracturing or having that crack extend into the nerve, thus needing a root canal. With a microscope a diagnosis can be made with a higher level of definiteness and the proper treatment can be provided or determined that no treatment is necessary
Studies have demonstrated a much higher success rate in procedures that utilize surgical operating microscopes. Even with all the positive attention garnered around using these tools, it still isn’t considered standard practice among dentists. These microscopes have a steep learning curve and require extensive practice and training to master. Yet, for me the ability to see at this higher level makes the daily grind much more enjoyable.

The Great Organic Debate

The Great Organic Debate

The focus of consumers is changing; more and more people are asking and looking for items labeled ‘organic’ or ‘natural’. Should your toothpaste choices be any different? On one hand you want to limit the amount of chemicals you intake on a daily basis for your own health, but on the other you’re probably wondering if they really clean as well as main stream brands. Natural toothpastes have developed a long way from their farm origins so fear not, you won’t be brushing with a dollop of clay if you do decide to switch over.

The reality is that we brush to clean our teeth. We want to remove the plaque that causes decay and gum problems. Toothpaste adds a nice flavor and can provide benefits that address our specific problems.

If you have a decay problem, use a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride hardens the teeth and helps prevent future decay.
If you have a gum problem, use a toothpaste that is designed to help control gum disease. Keeping the bone and gums healthy will prolong the life of your teeth and will reduce the risk of germs contributing to disease through out your body.

I realize, we are not necessarily addressing the organic issue, but it is my job to help my patients and reduce their risk of dental disease. The problem with organic toothpastes is that there are no scientific studies that verify the benefits and or risks of organic toothpastes.
If your teeth and gums are healthy, by all means feel free to use an organic toothpaste. I am no different than my patients. I look for organic alternatives in my life. Yet, I am also science oriented and I want to use the things that benefit my teeth and overall health.

Santa Brings Coal but Plaque can Bring Holes

Santa Brings Coal but Plaque can Bring Holes

The Holiday season is in full force and if you’re anything like us, resisting those winter treats is probably not going as well as you anticipated. Between all the Christmas cookies, Thanksgiving pies, and cozy comforting bakes and breads, the things we eat are often our favorite part of the Holidays. If you’re a parent, you might start telling your kids this season that all those treats will rot their teeth. Maintaining their sugar intake and your sanity is important and while we won’t give away your secrets, we will reassure you that your sweet tooth is not your enemy this season. Well, it is not your enemy if you keep your teeth clean.

Plaque is the culprit. Plaque is that sticky stuff that clings to your teeth. The plaque consists of mostly germs. When you brush your teeth you’re actively removing plaque, which starts building up after every meal. When plaque builds up and doesn’t get brushed away, it erodes the outer layer of enamel by producing acids. This leads to the formation of cavities – or those little holes we find in your teeth. Kids are more susceptible to cavities, given their brushing and eating habits, but since the introduction of fluoride (which hardens the teeth} in water systems, that statistic has gone down.

Adults are not risk free. The chance of decay can occur throughout our lives. Yet, adults can reduce their risk of decay by good oral hygiene, proper diet (less sugary foods) and regular dental checkups. I CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH THE NEED FOR REGULAR CHECKUPS FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. These checkups allow us to thoroughly remove the plaque, examine the teeth, and apply fluoride and to repair early decay before it causes major problems.

Top 5 Free Dental Apps for Your Smartphone

Top 5 Free Dental Apps for Your Smartphone

There’s an app for everything these days and if you’re both an app-dict and a tooth enthusiast, this is for you. We’ve compiled a selection of our 5 favorite and free apps for your smart phone to help hygiene feel fun. This is the start of a beautiful friendship between your teeth and your fingertips. Without it, these two body parts might not have ever even met. Enjoy all your fun together.

1. Brush D.J.
This app was created by a dentist and is raved about by hygienists and other dentists alike. It plays 2 minutes of music, taken at random or from a playlist from your library, and has a visual display indicating where to brush. It’s timed at what every dentist recommends to be the amount of time needed to properly clean your teeth. Award winning and fun, this app aims to entertain.

2. Dental Trauma First Aid
Lets face it, the last thing you think about in an emergency is your teeth – unless they’re yours or your kid’s. Most of us aren’t educated on how to take care of a dental-related accident and this app runs the gamut on what to do when something goes wrong. This app will show you what to do if a tooth is knocked out, or chipped, and how immediately necessary a dentist’s visit is. It’s a great medical guide informing the user of what actions to take.

3. Pediatric Dental Expert
This app is a parent’s guide to understanding the aspects of your child’s dental care. It covers all the important information you should know about your kids and their teeth. Advice is given on the best ways to minimize your little one’s fears and anxieties about going to the dentist and how to better care for their teeth at home. The extensive FAQ page entails advice and answered question from dental experts in their given field. This app will follow your kid through losing their teeth to the day they may or may not need braces or need their wisdom extracted.

4. Orasphere
Orasphere is an informative app that can be used for both patients and dentists alike. Dentists can use this app for instructional and educational videos for things like reducing liability or increasing patient case acceptance. Educating your patients is an easy way to calm their anxieties. Patients can use this app to figure out exactly what happens during a root canal, for example, and easily watch procedure explanations on their device.

5. Monster Mouth
This gaming app is geared mainly toward children, but we won’t judge you, it’s fun. They (or you) get to play as a dentist that takes on the dangerous task of fixing monster teeth. You’re challenged to perform a variety of dental feats within a time constraint. This game is an undeniably fun and funny app and also provides kids a graphically interesting way to grasp the real-life seriousness of plaque and cavities. It wasn’t initially invented to be geared toward teaching dental care, but inadvertently, it looks as though that’s exactly what it became.

Do You Need Dentures?

Do You Need Dentures?

Dentures- an interesting topic if you ask me. Tooth loss is scary, but potentially possible if you let your oral hygiene become neglected.  That being said, you should never be nervous seeing your dentist about these matters-that’s what we are here for!

So we are all clear, dentures are removable replacements for lost or missing teeth. Dentures are indeed false teeth, Think of them as fake hands; they may look like real hands but trying holding a pen to write your name. There is a learning process with dentures. Most people adapt to a top denture.  The lower denture is more difficult to accept. A moving tongue, poor bone support and difficult retention make the lower denture less stable.

There are many situations throughout life when you could need teeth replacements. Dentures are a more affordable option if you are missing all or some of your teeth. So how do you know if you need dentures? Its important firstly to know which type of dentures you need. Partial dentures are used when teeth still remain. The remaining teeth act as anchors to help keep the denture in place. Partial dentures are more secure and stable than full dentures, especially for lower teeth.

Tooth loss is something we all may face at some point if your teeth aren’t properly cared for. With regular check ups and the right care, anyone can keep their teeth all their life! If you think you may need partial or full dentures, the best advice would be to visit us.  Semi annual check ups (every six months) will ensure your teeth a longer and healthier chance of staying put.

The How To On Dental Hygiene From Dr. Jay

The How To On Dental Hygiene From Dr. Jay
 

  1. Maintaining your dental hygiene may seem like an easy task but it is an increasingly tough issue for all ages. As we age, remembering to complete simple dental routines tend to lapse. We’ve come up with these 8 tips to achieve healthy oral hygiene, and make it easier to maintain overall health. Lets start with the more well known habits we tend to forget.
  2. Brush twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride strengthens enamel and helps teeth resist acids that lead to cavities. We brush to decrease the amount of bacterial load in our mouths to prevent disease, get rid of bad breath, etc… You would be surprised to learn that it’s not necessarily the frequency, rather the efficiency in which you brush your pearly whites. Dentists most commonly re teach patients how to brush teeth properly for the maximum impact. Since people don’t usually know how to properly do this, we stick with the twice a day rule.
  3. Floss, floss, floss!! Not only does flossing remove plaque from between teeth where the brush can’t reach, it also helps prevent gingivitis which can become irreversible. If flossing causes bleeding, then this may already be onset of gum disease-but don’t worry! With consistency this can discontinue in about two weeks. If flossing is beyond uncomfortable for you, try an oral irrigator.*
    Break up with your habit of smoking. Smoking causes a myriad of issues, dentists claim to be nightmares if gone on for too long. Though smoke stains are surface and and can be polished off by your dentist, some can soak deep into your enamel and stay there permanently. It inhabits healthy gums and can cause teeth to appear larger and have dark spaces between them, making your smile an Austin Powers look-alike and that is not so “groovy baby”.
  4. Make water your best friend- or at least one of them. Water is the healthiest drink for your body. It flushes out bad bacteria and replenishes your system with healthy nutrients. It does the same thing for your mouth! It flushes your teeth clean and discourages tooth decay
  5. Limit coffee, tea and red intake to avoid unwanted staining. Don’t give up your Friday evening glass of wine or Monday morning cup of joe, but reducing overall consumption of these liquids will be beneficial to your health and mouth hygiene. Try drinking these beverages through a straw to limit the amount of stains on your teeth and to reduce dreaded morning coffee breath.
  6. Diet is actually a key factor in oral hygiene.sticky and sugary foods can produce acids that lead to unwanted outcomes like decay and gum disease. Healthy foods like fruits and veggies are awesome for your teeth due to the increase in cleansing salvia, which gives your mouth a fresh feel.
  7. Diet is actually a key factor in oral hygiene.sticky and sugary foods can produce acids that lead to unwanted outcomes like decay and gum disease. Healthy foods like fruits and veggies are awesome for your teeth due to the increase in cleansing salvia, which gives your mouth a fresh feel. Fun fact- raw onions have powerful antibacterial properties and studies have shown that onions have wiped out four strains of bacteria that can cause gum disease.
  8. See your dental hygienist the recommended amount per year, which is about once every six months. We’re here to help keep you and your mouth healthy! In addition to removing stains and tartar, dental hygienists can screen for health conditions like oral cancers and gingivitis. Many health conditions manifest themselves in your mouth, so your dentist can make your aware of systematic issues that you should then follow up about with your MD.
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