Tooth Enamel

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Lora Cook, RDH

A closer look at tooth enamel.

Tooth enamel is one of the toughest structures of the human body, however it still needs protecting.  What exacting is tooth enamel?  It is the outer layer of your tooth and the hardest substance in your body.  Enamel is translucent and can stain from the food, drinks, smoking and chewing tobacco. Enamel cannot be regrown by our bodies.  Once it is chipped cracked or eroded or worn away it cannot be replaced naturally.

Signs of enamel problems.

Darkening:  As enamel wears away this can cause the tooth to become darker.

Sensitivity:  Your teeth may become hypersensitive to hot, cold, sweets or sour foods.

Notching:  There may be notching at the gum line

Cracks and chips:  Irregular or jagged tooth surfaces, also fracture lines can appear.

Protecting your enamel.

Custom night guard:

The power of our bite is incredible.  Out incisor can have 55 pounds of pressure or biting force, while our molars have 200 pounds of pressure.  Clenching and grinding your teeth during times of stress or at night while sleeping experts excess force and wear on your teeth. Over time you can literally grind away your enamel layer.  Ask your dentist about a custom night guard to protect your enamel for a lifetime.

MI Paste Plus:

This is not a tooth paste to brush your teeth with.  This is a paste to coat your teeth with in order to put minerals back into your enamel to help remineralize the enamel. MI Paste plus contains calcium, phosphate and 900ppm of fluoride.

“MI Paste and MI Paste Plus contain RECALDENT™ (CPP-ACP); Casein Phosphopeptide (CPP) are natural occurring molecules which are able to release calcium and phosphate ions and stabilize Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP)”

These minerals helps to strengthen and remineralize the enamel.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgateenamelhealth.com/enamel-101/what-is-tooth-enamel

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-enamel-erosion-restoration#1

http://www.mi-paste.com/about.php

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The Truth About Hookah

Lindsay Olsen, RDH

The Truth About Hookah

Myth: Hookah smoke is better for you than cigarette smoke and not addictive.

Reality: Hookah smoke of various fruity flavors, tastes and aromas can be even more harmful than cigarette tobacco smoke. Also, hookah smoke contains four times more nicotine (an addictive drug) than cigarette smoke. Some people can become addicted to nicotine after using any form of tobacco just a few times, this includes hookah.

Myth: Smoking hookah is less harmful than cigarettes because the smoke passes through water, which filters out the chemicals and other carcinogens.

Reality: When hookah passes through water at the base of a hookah pipe it cools the smoke, but does not filter any chemicals out of the smoke. This “cooling” process forces a hookah smoker to inhale twice as deeply as a cigarette smoker, which causes chemicals, cancer causing agents, and other harmful elements to penetrate deeper into the lungs. The charcoal that is uses in hookah pipes adds even more carbon monoxide to the higher levels that already exist in this type of tobacco.

Myth: Smoking hookah is fun, and I only do it socially with friends, its not like I do it every day.

Reality: The reality is 45-60 minutes of hookah smoking is the same as chain smoking 15 cigarettes. Even if you are only smoking hookah for an hour, twice a week, it can lead to nicotine addiction. Something also to consider, when you share the mouthpiece with others you are at risk of getting colds, viruses such as herpes simplex one (cold sores), oral bacterial infections and tuberculosis.

Need help quitting? Speak with your dental hygienist, dentist, or call

1-800-55-66-222, or visit http://www.ashline.org

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

Asotra, Kamlesh. Hooked on Hookah? What You Don’t Know Can Kill You. Burning Issues: Tobacco’s Hottest Topics. Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Newsletter 7, no 3 (2005) 1-10.

Why Do I Need “X-rays” Today?

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Why do I need “x-rays” today?

Many patients are concerned about radiograph frequencies, fearing they are receiving too much radiation.  While too much radiation is not good, I want to clarify what is too much and share some important facts about the purpose and benefits of radiographs.

Why do we need to take radiographs?

Radiographs can help dental professionals evaluate and diagnose many oral diseases and conditions.  Radiographs can be used to evaluate cavities, bone levels, calculus deposits, abscesses, root apices, wisdom teeth, cysts, sinuses, growths, foreign objects, jaw joints, and/or jaw fractures.  Much of what goes on in the mouth is not viewable without a radiograph.  In most cases, treating patients without radiographs would be performing below the standard of care.  Exceptions can be made in certain circumstances regarding pregnancy or patients who have undergone extensive radiation treatment for other reasons.

How often should radiographs be taken?

Radiograph frequencies are recommended by the American Dental Association.  A “full set” of radiographs is generally 18-20 images, depending on the office.  A full set is usually taken at a patient’s initial visit to the office and then every 3-5 years after.  Panoramic radiographs are helpful in assessing when/if wisdom teeth need to be removed and in viewing eruption of permanent teeth in children.  In these cases the dentist uses his/her clinical judgment to determine if a panoramic radiograph is necessary.  “Check-up” radiographs usually consist of bitewings and anterior peri-apical radiographs.  Frequency of these radiographs will vary from patient to patient but can be prescribed anywhere between 6 months and 36 months.  Radiograph frequency is prescribed by the dentist based on a patient’s risk of caries or history of caries.

Am I getting too much radiation?

On average, Americans receive a radiation dose of about 0.62 rem (620 millirem) each year.  We live in a radioactive world.  Radiation is part of the environment and some types can’t be avoided.  These include the air around us, cosmic rays, and the Earth itself.  About half of our radiation dose comes from these sources.  The other half of our yearly dose comes from man-made radiation sources that can include medical, commercial, and industrial sources.  Medical radiographic imaging causes more radiation than dental radiographs.  One dental intraoral radiograph has a radiation dose of about 0.005 rem.   Similarly, a full set of radiographs at a dental office has the same amount of radiation as flying roundtrip from L.A. to New York.  In this day and age many dental offices are using digital equipment to process radiographs.  Digital imaging emits even less radiation (as much as 80% less) while still producing diagnostic images.

Radiation Safety

As dental professionals we are aware that patient’s are exposed to radiation.  We take proper precautions and cover the neck, thyroid, and chest with a lead apron.  We also make sure our radiology equipment has regular checks to ensure it is functioning properly.  Radiographs are prescribed with the patient’s best interest at heart.   

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/Dental_Radiographic_Examinations_2012.ashx

http://www.dentistry.com/treatments/dental-exam/dental-xrays-and-digital-technology

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-x-rays

http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/around-us/doses-daily-lives.html

http://www.livescience.com/10266-radiation-exposure-cross-country-flight.html

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/?pg=sfty_xray

Oral Cancer Awareness

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Oral Cancer Awareness

  • Oral cancer is on the rise.
  • One person an hour dies from oral cancer.
  • The most common risk factors for oral cancer are HPV-16 (Human Papilloma Virus- Version 16), Tobacco, and alcohol.
  • In its early stages oral cancer can be painless and often go unnoticed to the patient. The good news is that your dentist can often see and feel changes in your tissue, or notice irregular patterns in the early stages of oral cancer.
  • If caught in its early stages, oral cancer has a survival rate of 80-90%.
  • The most common sites for oral cancer are the sides or base of the tongue, and the floor of the mouth.
  • There are several different types of oral cancer. The most common type of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Common symptoms of oral cancer can include:
    • A sore that does not heal
    • Pain in the mouth that does not go away
    • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
    • Numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
    • Swelling, lump, or mass in the neck or jaw

If you notice any of these symptoms that do not improve or go away within 10-14 days, please contact our office.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/

https://www.ahns.info/resources/education/patient_education/oralcavity/

http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/oral-cancer

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-rates.html