Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween: What's a dentist to do?

While dentists cringe at the thought of Halloween candy binges, they are practical.

Dentists agree the worst thing a kid can do is go to bed without brushing after gorging on the night's loot. But many are reluctant to throw a toothbrush into a goblin or witch's sack.
The staff at Portsmouth Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics has geared up for Halloween this year by decorating hallways and treatment rooms with caution tape, bats, sharks, ghosts, spider webs and spooky birds.

They have a contest to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin that sits in the entrance to their offices. The winner will have the "great pumpkin" delivered to his or her home. Young patients can also come by in costume Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week to have their photo snapped for a contest on the practice's Facebook page.

"We won't put their names, just a corresponding number with the photo," said Dr. Adam Bottrill.

Bottrill has three sons ages 9, 6 and 3, and he does give out candy on Halloween.

"At my house, we limit access to desserts," he said. "The kids know it's not an option to just eat their candy when they want. They can have some as a dessert — and then brush their teeth before bed."

He said he kind of likes the idea of "a night of splurging," that co-worker Dr. Deb Filocoma told him about.

"When I was in dental school, a professor told us that the Friday night after Halloween, he would pop a movie in the VCR and let his kids get their candy fix," Filocoma said. "They could eat as much as they wanted, get sick, whatever, but that was it. The rest of the candy was disposed of."

Filocoma said she gives out snack size bags of pretzels or popcorn. "The kids don't seem to mind," she said.

Geri Hunter, an orthodontist at Portsmouth Pediatric Dentistry said she gives out candy.

"My own kids are not big candy-eaters," she said.

Dentist Jon Wendell kidded and said he "takes the candy" for himself when his 8-year-old returns from trick-or-treating.

"And, I try and take the good stuff," he said.

Kidding aside, all agreed it's better to eat a lot of candy at once and then brush, rather than have prolonged exposure by eating a little here and there during the day.

"It's the sticky candy that's really bad for your teeth," said Dr. John Fitzsimons, a dentist with Families First Health and Support Center in Portsmouth.

"It's better to eat the candy after dinner, so you eat less," he said. "Frequent snacking on candy is particularly damaging."

Dental insurance company Northeast Delta Dental recently conducted a Tricky Treats survey of more than 250 dentists and found nearly one out of four said they do not hand out anything on Halloween, while 5 percent attack the holiday head on by handing out toothbrushes.

Still, 60 percent indicated they give out candy.

"We have some professional conflict with Halloween, but dentists know that holiday snacks are a fact of life," said Dr. Bill Kohn, Delta Dental's vice president for dental science and policy. "The emphasis on candy at Halloween makes it a particularly good time to also stress good oral health and how to limit the damage of sugary snacks."

Of the dentists who hand out candy, 79 percent choose chocolate, while just 13 percent hand out varieties like hard candy or lollipops. And for good reason. When it comes to teeth and sugar, it's really a matter of time. Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth and can be eaten easily, which decreases the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth.

Tooth decay occurs when candy and other sweets mix with bacteria in the sticky plaque that constantly forms on teeth to produce acid, which can wear away enamel.

Chewy, sticky treats are particularly damaging because not only are they high in sugar, but they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth and are more difficult for saliva to break down.

Hard candies are tough on teeth as well because kids tend to suck on them at a leisurely pace for an extended period of time.

And then, there's Dr. Louis Clarizio, an oral surgeon who has been practicing in Portsmouth for 27 years.

"I used to give out toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss," he said. "But I decided to embrace Halloween."

And that he does. His home on Middle Street is a destination for trick-or-treaters. Clarizio turns his garage into a haunted house and hands out movie-sized boxes of candy and candy bars. He has ordered 200 each of 10 different confections.

"I'll probably get about 2,000 kids," he said.

He has orange lights and bats on his business sign on Islington Street with "Happy Halloween" down both sides of the sign.

His costume this year is a baby carrier with a "baby" that turns its head around to reveal it is really a "zombie baby," with eyes that light up red and says things in a creepy voice like "feed the baby."

Clarizio is also handing out Styrofoam sticks that light up in different colors.

"It's my favorite holiday," Clarizio said as he strolled back through his packed waiting room dressed in scrubs with the zombie baby attached to his chest.

Article from: Suzanne Laurent, Seacoast Online

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kids Recognize That They Eat Too Much Candy During Halloween

As Halloween approaches, children's views and perceptions were measured by experts and revealed that kids agree that they eat too much candy and would actually prefer to receive a gift like a video game, instead.

A new questionnaire, conducted by the American Dental Association and PopCap Games, targeted trick-or-treating aged children (5 to 13 years) in the U.S., inquiring about their views on Halloween.

The researchers found that around 94 percent of all American children participate in trick-or-treating, and 65 percent of them think Halloween is the best holiday of the year. However, the survey also found that a vast majority of kids are ready for changes regarding the holiday.

Other top findings included: Two-thirds of kids questioned agreed that they eat too much candy during Halloween, while 89 percent reported that they would still like the holiday if it was not candy focused, but rather, aimed towards other types of fun. Ninety-three percent of children surveyed would prefer to receive a video game instead of candy while trick-or-treating.
Youths' Favorite Holiday

The most-liked Halloween activities are "trick-or treating" (75 percent), "Dressing up in a costume" (71 percent), and "Getting lots of candy"(66 percent).
Health-Conscious Kids

Over three quarters of children surveyed (78 percent) agreed with the statement "too much candy is bad for me", and two-thirds (67 percent) report they eat too much candy near Halloween. Out of the chidlren who were questioned, girls (82 percent) were slightly more likely to respond favorably than boys (74 percent) to the statement: "too much candy is bad for me".
Kids: Halloween could be centered around other types of Fun

Of the children surveyed, 89 percent reported they would still like Halloween if it was less about candy and more about other types of fun. Also, 93 percent of kids said they would rather receive a free video game over a piece of candy while trick-or-treating. In reference to obtaining cavities from eating too much candy around Halloween, 42 percent of children questioned said they worry about this.

An effort was announced earlier this month called the "Stop Zombie Mouth" campaign. It provides parents, dentists, and other adults with trading cards and coupons for a completely free copy of PopCap's family friendly video game, Plants vs. Zombies. This is encouraged to be handed out as a healthy alternative to candy during Halloween.

Thousands of ADA member dentists have ordered Stop Zombie Mouth kits to decorate their offices and provide free collectible trading cards and game vouchers for their patients to encourage a more nutritious Halloween.

Written by Kelly Fitzgerald, Medical News Today

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Osteoporosis and Oral Health

It’s important to let your dentist know about all the medications that you take. That’s because certain medications can influence dental treatment decisions.

In the case of antiresorptive agents—medicines that help strengthen bones—these medications have been associated with a rare but serious condition called osteonecrosis (OSS-tee-oh-ne-KRO-sis) of the jaw (ONJ) that can cause severe damage to the jawbone.

Some antiresorptive agents, such as Fosamax, Actonel, Atelvia, Didronel and Boniva, are taken orally to help prevent or treat osteoporosis (thinning of bone) and Paget's disease of the bone, a disorder that involves abnormal bone destruction and regrowth, which can result in deformity. Others antiresorptive agents, such as Boniva IV, Reclast or Prolia, are administered by injection. Higher and more frequent dosing of these agents is given as part of cancer therapy to reduce bone pain and hypercalcemia of malignancy (abnormally high calcium levels in the blood) associated with metastatic breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma.

How do these medications affect dental treatment plans?

While osteonecrosis of the jaw can occur spontaneously, it more commonly occurs after dental procedures that affect the bone or associated tissues (for example, pulling a tooth). Be sure to tell your dentist if you are taking antiresorptive agents so he or she can take that into account when developing your treatment plan.

It’s not possible to say who will develop osteonecrosis and who will not. Most people (more than 90 percent) diagnosed with ONJ associated with these medications are patients with cancer who are receiving or have received repeated high doses of antiresorptive agents through an infusion. The other 10 percent (of people with ONJ) were receiving much lower doses of these medications for treatment of osteoporosis. It may be beneficial for anyone who will be starting osteoporosis treatment with antiresorptive agents to see their dentist before beginning treatment or shortly after. This way, you and your dentist can ensure that you have good oral health going into treatment and develop a plan that will keep your mouth healthy during treatment.

Continue regular dental visits

If you are taking antiresorptive agents for the treatment of osteoporosis, you typically do not need to avoid or postpone dental treatment. The risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw is very low. By contrast, untreated dental disease can progress to become more serious, perhaps even involving the bone and associated tissues, increasing the chances that you might need more invasive treatment. People who are taking antiresorptive agents for cancer treatment should avoid invasive dental treatments, if possible. Ideally, these patients should have a dental examination before beginning therapy with antiresorptive agents so that any oral disease can be treated. Let your dentist know that you will be starting therapy with these drugs. Likewise, let your physician know if you recently have had dental treatment.

Talk to your physician before ending medications

It is not generally recommended that patients stop taking their osteoporosis medications. The risk of developing bone weakness and a possible fracture is higher than those of developing osteonecrosis.
Talk to your physician before you stop taking any medication.

Symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw include, but are not limited to:

pain, swelling, or infection of the gums or jaw
injured or recently treated gums that are not healing
loose teeth
numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw
exposed bone
Contact your dentist, general physician or oncologist right away if you develop any of these symptoms after dental treatment.

Call Omni Dental today to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

Burning Mouth Syndrone

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a complex, vexing condition in which a burning pain occurs that may involve your tongue, lips or widespread areas of your whole mouth, without any obvious reason.

The disorder has long been associated with a variety of other conditions — including menopause, psychological problems, nutritional deficiencies and disorders of the mouth, such as oral thrush and dry mouth (xerostomia). Some researchers have suggested dysfunctional or damaged nerves as a possible cause. But the exact cause of burning mouth syndrome is often difficult to pin down, and pain may continue for months or years.

Treatment of burning mouth syndrome is highly individualized and depends on your particular signs and symptoms and on the underlying cause or causes, if they can be identified. Most people with burning mouth syndrome can control their symptoms through tailored treatment plans.

Other names sometimes used for burning mouth syndrome include scalded mouth syndrome, burning tongue syndrome, burning lips syndrome, glossodynia and stomatodynia.
Signs and Symptoms

The main symptom of burning mouth syndrome is a burning sensation involving your tongue, lips, gums, palate, throat or widespread areas of your whole mouth. People with the syndrome may describe the sensation in the affected areas as hot or scalded, as if they had been burned with a hot liquid.

Other symptoms may include:

Dry mouth
Sore mouth
A tingling or numb sensation in your mouth or on the tip of your tongue
A bitter or metallic taste
Some people with burning mouth syndrome don't wake up with mouth pain, but find that the pain intensifies during the day and into the evening. Some have constant daily pain, while others feel pain on and off throughout the day and may even have periods in which they feel no pain at all.

Burning mouth syndrome affects women seven times as often as men. It generally occurs in middle-aged or older adults. But it may occur in younger people as well.


The possible causes of burning mouth syndrome are many and complex. Each of the following possible causes applies to only a small portion of all people who complain of a burning mouth. Many people have multiple causes. Identifying all of the causes is important so that your doctor can develop a treatment plan tailored for you. Possible causes include:

Dry mouth (xerostomia). This condition can be related to use of certain medications, including tricyclic antidepressants, central nervous system depressants, lithium, diuretics and medications used to treat high blood pressure. It can also occur with aging or Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes both dry mouth and dry eyes.

Other oral conditions. Oral yeast infection (thrush) is a common cause of a burning mouth that may also occur with other causes, such as diabetes, denture use and certain medications. Geographic tongue, a condition that causes a dry mouth and a sore, patchy tongue, also may be associated with burning mouth syndrome.

Psychological factors. Emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are often associated with burning mouth syndrome, as is an extreme fear of cancer. Although these problems can cause a burning mouth, they may also result from it.

Nutritional deficiencies. Being deficient in nutrients, such as iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12), may affect your oral tissues and cause a burning mouth. These deficiencies can also lead to vitamin deficiency anemia.
Irritating dentures. Dentures may place stress on some of the muscles and tissues of your mouth. The materials used in dentures also may irritate the tissues in your mouth.

Nerve disturbance or damage (neuropathy). Damage to nerves that control taste and pain in the tongue may also result in a burning mouth.

Allergies. The mouth burning may be due to allergies or reactions to foods, food flavorings, other food additives, fragrances, dyes or other substances.

Reflux of stomach acid (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The sour- or bitter-tasting fluid that enters your mouth from your upper gastrointestinal tract may cause irritation and pain.

Certain medications. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, used to treat high blood pressure, may cause side effects that include a burning mouth.

Oral habits. These include often-unconscious activities such as tongue thrusting and teeth grinding (bruxism), which can irritate your mouth.

Endocrine disorders. Your oral tissues may react to high blood sugar levels that occur with conditions such as diabetes and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

Hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with menopause. Burning mouth syndrome occurs most commonly among postmenopausal women, although it affects many other people as well. Changes in hormone levels may affect the composition of your saliva.

Excessive irritation. Irritation of the oral tissues may result from excessive brushing of your tongue, overuse of mouthwashes or consuming too many acidic drinks.

Often, more than one cause is present. Despite careful evaluation, doctors are sometimes unable to find the cause of burning mouth symptoms.

When to seek medical advice

If you have persistent pain or soreness in your tongue, lips, gums or other areas of your mouth, see your doctor. Your doctor can search for the possible cause or causes to guide treatment.

Screening and diagnosis

Your doctor will review your medical history, examine your mouth and ask you to describe your symptoms, your oral habits and your oral care routine. In addition, he or she will likely perform a general medical examination, looking for signs of any associated conditions.

As part of the diagnostic process, you may undergo some of the following tests:

Complete blood cell count (CBC). This common blood test provides a count of each type of blood cell in a given volume of your blood. The CBC measures the amount of hemoglobin, the percentage of blood that's composed of red blood cells (hematocrit), the number and kinds of white blood cells, and the number of platelets. This blood test may reveal a wide variety of conditions, including infections and anemia, which can indicate nutritional deficiencies.

Other blood tests. Because nutritional deficiencies are one cause of a burning mouth, your doctor may collect blood samples to check blood levels of iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12). Also, because diabetes may cause a burning mouth, your doctor may check your fasting blood sugar level.
Allergy tests. Your doctor may suggest allergy testing to see if you may be allergic to certain foods, additives or even substances in dentures.

Oral swab culture or biopsy. If your doctor suspects oral thrush, he or she may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) or an oral swab culture to be examined in the laboratory.

Because burning mouth syndrome is associated with such a wide variety of other medical conditions, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for screening and diagnosis and possibly treatment. Your health care team may include a dermatologist, dentist, psychiatrist, psychologist or a doctor who specializes in ear, nose and throat problems (otolaryngologist).


Treatment triggers improvement in symptoms for most people with burning mouth syndrome. But the type of treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Dry mouth (xerostomia). Treating the cause of your dry mouth — Sjogren's syndrome, use of medications or some other cause — may relieve burning mouth symptoms. In addition, drinking more fluids or taking a medication that promotes flow of saliva may help.

Other oral conditions. If the cause is oral thrush, treatment is with oral antifungal medications such as nystatin (Mycostatin) or fluconazole (Diflucan). If you wear dentures, your dentures may also need to be treated.
Psychological factors. For a burning mouth that may be caused by or associated with psychological factors such as anxiety and depression, your doctor may recommend antidepressant therapy or psychiatric therapy or both together. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Prozac, Zoloft, others) may cause less dry mouth than other antidepressant medications.

Nutritional deficiencies. You may be able to correct nutritional deficiencies by taking supplements of B vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron.

Irritating dentures. Your dentist may be able to adjust your dentures so they are less irritating to your mouth. If your dentures contain substances that irritate your oral tissues, you may need different dentures. You may also improve symptoms by practicing good denture care, such as removing dentures at night and cleaning them properly.

Nerve disturbance or damage (neuropathy). Your doctor may suggest medications that affect your nervous system and control pain, including benzodiazepines such as clonazepam (Klonopin), tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), or anticonvulsants such as gabapentin (Neurontin). For pain relief, your doctor may also suggest rinsing your mouth with water and capsaicin — the active ingredient in hot peppers, which also is called capsicum.

Allergies. Avoiding foods that contain allergens that may irritate the tissues of your mouth may help.

Certain medications. If a medication you're taking is causing a burning mouth, using a substitute medication, if possible, may help.

Oral habits. Tongue thrusting and teeth grinding (bruxism) can be helped with mouth guards, medications and relaxation techniques.

Endocrine disorders. If a burning mouth is associated with conditions such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, treating those conditions may improve your symptoms.

If doctors can't identify the cause of your symptoms, they may still recommend trying oral thrush medications, B vitamins or antidepressants. These medications have proved effective in treating burning mouth syndrome.

Coping skills

Burning mouth syndrome can be painful and frustrating. The good news is that it's a treatable condition. Although it may take time, with the help of a team of health professionals, you can usually find a treatment plan that's right for you.

In the short term, you may gain some relief by avoiding irritating substances, such as alcohol-based mouthwashes, cinnamon or mint products, and cigarette smoke. Chewing on ice chips or sugar-free gum also may help. So can keeping your dentures out all night and brushing your teeth with baking soda instead of toothpaste. Ask your doctor for other tips to manage your pain and discomfort.

Article from: Colgate Professional

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to Encourage Tooth Decay (humor)

A primer on how to get all the decayed teeth you want and deserve…

Decay starts on teeth in specific locations in a fashion that is almost entirely dependent on what you do. This primer will describe the different types of cavities and what YOU can do to ensure that you get all the rotten teeth you want.

1.                  Cavities can start on the biting surfaces of teeth. In order to get decay in these areas, do the following:
a.       Whether a child, teenager, or adult, do not get protective, painless sealants on your teeth.
b.      Daily and as often as possible, eat and drink foods that have high sugar content.
c.       Eat sticky candy as often as possible.
d.      DO NOT brush your teeth daily. DO NOT use a fluoride-containing mouthrinse.

2.                  Cavities can start between teeth. These are called nonflossing cavities. To get this specific type of decay:
a.   DO NOT floss your teeth properly every day. Rationalize and find excuses 
not to floss your teeth. If this proves difficult, only floss the teeth you want to keep. 
                        b.   DO NOT use a fluoride-containing mouthrinse on a daily basis.
3.                  Cavities can start along the gumline (where the tooth appears to exit the gum tissue). These are a special type of cavities. They can progress very quickly to the point where you might even need a root canal! To get quick and large cavities in these areas (especially back teeth):
a.   Be sure to suck on sugar-rich hard candies, cough drops, and breath mints. Do this often during the day.
b.         Do not brush your teeth properly. Make sure the toothbrush bristles do not come in contact with the tooth-gum junction. If you find this proves hard to do, let the dental hygienist show you how to do it properly and then do the opposite of what is said.
c.          DO NOT use a fluoride-containing mouthrinse.

4.                  If you are missing teeth:
a.     DO NOT get them replaced in a timely fashion. The remaining adjacent and opposing teeth will then be able to move to new areas that are difficult to clean and be more prone, not only to decay, but to gum and chewing problems as well.

5.                  DO NOT see the dentist and dental hygienist on a routine basis (2-4 times per year, depending on your individual situation) to have your teeth checked and cleaned. If you do go, the dental professionals may find and treat decayed teeth when the decay is minimal. They are not inclined to let the cavities grow properly. In fact, if we find the decay when it is really small, we may be able to treat and remineralize the incipient (beginning) decay without even using a drill or having to give an injection!

Under no circumstances use sugar-free gum or mints.  Some of these products have an additive (RECALDENT) in them that has been shown to make enamel stronger and more decay-resistant. The RECALDENT promotes enamel remineralization. This could slow down the decay process or even keep some cavities from forming.

If you adhere strictly to the above rules, you will ensure that you get the most and biggest cavities you possibly can. The responsibility for growing cavities is yours alone.

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Patient Anesthesia and Sedation

Several medications are available to help create more relaxed, comfortable dental visits. Some drugs control pain, some help you relax, and others put you into a deep sleep during dental treatment. You and your dentist can discuss a number of factors when deciding which drugs to use for your treatment. The type of procedure, your overall health, history of allergies and your anxiety level are considered when determining which approach is best for your particular case.

Your dentist might recommend that your child be administered anesthesia or sedation to relax them in order to safely complete some dental procedures. Click here to download questions to ask your dentist before your child undergoes any type of anesthesia.

Local anesthesia is a type of anesthetic used to prevent pain in a specific area of your mouth during treatment by blocking the nerves that sense or transmit pain, which numbs mouth tissues. Your dentist may apply a topical anesthetic to numb an area in preparation for administering an injectable local anesthetic. Topical anesthetics also may be used to soothe painful mouth sores. Injectable anesthetics may be used in such procedures as filling cavities, preparing teeth for crowns or treating gum disease.

Depending on the procedure, you may need a pain reliever after treatment. Analgesics are used to relieve pain and can be broken into two groups: non-narcotic and narcotic. Non-narcotic are the most commonly used drugs for relief of toothache or pain following dental treatment. They include aspirin, acetaminophen and non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Narcotic analgesics, such as opioids, act on the central nervous system to relieve pain. They are used for more severe pain.

Be sure to talk with your dentist about how to properly secure and dispose of any unused, unwanted or expired medications, especially if there are any children in the household. Also, take the time to talk with your children about the dangers of using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

For some dental visits, your dentist may use a sedative, which can induce moderate sedation. Sedatives can be administered before or during dental procedures. Sedation methods include inhalation (using nitrous oxide), oral (by taking a pill) and intravenous (by injection). More complex treatments may require drugs that can induce deep sedation, reducing consciousness in order to relieve both pain and anxiety. On occasion, general anesthesia can be used, in which drugs cause a temporary loss of consciousness.

Dentists use the pain and anxiety control techniques mentioned above to treat millions of patients safely every year. Even so, taking any medication involves a certain amount of risk. That's why the ADA urges you to take an active role in your oral health care. This means understanding the risks and benefits involved in dental treatment, so that you and your dentist can make the best decisions about the treatment that is right for you. Working together, you and your dentist can choose the appropriate steps to make your dental visit as safe and comfortable as possible, and to help you keep a healthy smile.

Article from:

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eating Disorders Cause Severe Dental Erosion

It is estimated that about 1.1 million men and women in the UK suffer from eating disorders, with the dark figure thought to be even higher, considering that many more keep their problem a secret. A study by the University of Bergen in Norway, showed that patients who suffer from eating disorders, such as Anorexia and Bulimia, experienced substantially more dental health problems. For example, sensitive teeth, severe dental erosion and facial pain compared to those without.

The study underlined that over one in three people (36%) suffering from eating disorders had 'severe dental erosion', compared with 11% in the control group. People with an eating disorder also self-reported that they frequently suffered facial pains and a dry mouth, as well as increased daily tooth sensitivity. The study also shows that even though vomiting is often linked to eating disorders, people's oral health also tends to suffer.

Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation explained the reasons for the apparent poor oral health, providing sufferers with some advice:

"When you vomit repeatedly, as with certain eating disorders, it can severely affect oral health. The high levels of acid in the vomit can cause damage to tooth enamel. Acid attacks of this sort on a frequent basis means the saliva in your mouth won't have the opportunity to naturally repair the damage done to your teeth by the contact with the acidic vomit, hence the increased severity of dental erosion witnessed in the study. People suffering with an eating disorder should look to, wherever possible, rinse their mouth as soon as possible after vomiting to help reduce acid effects.

Do not brush immediately after vomiting, as this may brush away softened enamel. The use of fluoride toothpaste will help to protect teeth over time, and by chewing on sugar free gum it will help to increase saliva flow and neutralize acids in the mouth. Your dentist can also prescribe high strength fluoride toothpaste, which will help to protect your teeth. We would highly recommend more frequent visits to the dentist to ensure the problem does not deteriorate further and to identify whether any treatment would be required. If the problem persists, don't be afraid to discuss your problems."

The Anorexia and Bulimia Care support groups are available for advice and support. The Foundation's own 'Tell Me About' leaflet on dental erosion also offers advice on how to maintain oral health.

Article from: Petra Rattue, Medical News Today

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Nature Vs. Nurture In Oral Health: Nurture Wins

Environment is shown to play a much more significant role in the mouth's microbial set up than genes.

The human mouth is a community bustling with microorganisms that live there. Little knowledge exists about what factors control which types that live there and which don't. In a new study published in Genome Research, investigators have discovered environment has a more controlling stance on determining oral microbiota, an extremely important finding in the field of oral health.

The oral microbiome starts forming as soon as a person is born. We see a plethora of bacteria brought into our mouth during childhood and as an adult, although little knowledge is known about whether nature (genes), or nurture (environment) has a more powerful influence.

Due to differences in the oral microbiome in health and diseases such as bacteremia and endicarditis, there is a need for a better understanding of the factors that effect oral microbiota communities, in order for more efficient prevention and treatment plans.

During this study, the researchers sequenced the microbial DNA found in saliva samples of a group of twins, and then paired the DNA sequences in a database to see which types of bacteria existed in each individual.

Comparing the salivary microbiomes of identical twins with the same genetic make-up and a common environment, the scientists found that their salivary microbiomes were not notably more similar than those of fraternal twins who only share half the genes. Surprisingly, this finding points to the idea that genetic relatedness is not such an important role.

"We were also intrigued to see that the microbiota of twin pairs becomes less similar once they moved apart from each other," added Simone Stahringer, first author of the study.

It was also seen from samples over time that the salivary microbiome changed the most during adolescence, suggesting behavioral changes or puberty may have a significant influence.

The researchers also uncovered another surprising find, that there is a fundamental community of bacteria that exists in all humans.

Ken Krauter, senior author of the study, explains:

"Though there are definitely differences among different people, there is a relatively high degree of sharing similar microbial species in all human mouths."

The authors believe that this study has provided a framework for future studies of the factors that control oral microbial communities. With this knowledge, people can now better understand how oral hygiene, environmental subjection to substances, methamphetamines, and even food can impact these microbes.

Article from: Kelly Fitzgerald, Medical News Today

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information. 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Blog of the Day: Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty Procedures

There are two reasons for gingivectomy and gingivoplasty procedures to be performed. One is to correct a periodontal pathology or abnormality and the other is to reshape the gum tissue around a tooth or teeth so that a restoration, usually a crown, can be made.

A gingivectomy is the removal of a portion of the periodontal (gum) tissue. Gingivoplasty is a
reshaping of the soft tissue. Although both obviously refer to some soft tissue removal, the gingivectomy involves more tissue reduction. In both cases, there is no alteration of the underlying bone support for the teeth. These procedures might be considered the simplest form of periodontal surgery.
The most frequent reason for a gingivectomy is that bleeding gum tissues still persist even after the teeth have been thoroughly cleaned and polished and oral self-care is excellent. There may be areas where it is impossible for the patient to clean effectively due to different situations. Therefore, the tissue never has a chance to heal and inflammation and infection remain. Removal of some soft tissue helps reposition the gums so the area can be properly cleaned on a regular basis. If the pocket is too deep, unwanted bacteria will colonize the area and cause periodontal infection to persist. Removing the extra soft tissue allows the patient better access for proper oral self-care at that location.

The tissue rarely grows back, unless other medical factors are present or oral self-care is neglected. These procedures can be done with either a laser or scalpel, depending on the extent of the therapy.

While time-consuming to perform, both of these procedures are technically simple to complete. Visibility and access to the surgical sites are usually very good, and results can be predicted with great reliability.

In brief, a local anesthetic is given, the specific soft tissue is removed, sutures (stitches) are placed, and a periodontal surgical dressing or medicated oral bandage may be used to cover the treated area. The dressing will be removed about 7 days later. Sometimes the dressing may be reapplied for another week. This depends on your healing progress. While the dressing is in place, it is helpful to rinse with an antibacterial mouthrinse and not eat on the side that is being treated. Hard, crunchy foods or chewing gum can displace the periodontal dressing, so beware.

If you are having this procedure done in order to make enough tooth structure available for a crown, final impression for the crown will be delayed for this 4- to 8-week healing period.

Postoperatively, there may be some discomfort. Anti-inflammatory or pain relief medication may be prescribed for you.

Periodontal tissue is really thin, pink skin. New periodontal tissue will mature and will become stronger and will reach its final healed position around the tooth during the next 4 to 8 weeks.

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog of the Day: Provisional Crowns

When a crown is being fabricated for you, the tooth or teeth treated will have an acrylic provisional (temporary) restoration that is retained by temporary cement. This is part of the treatment and does not warrant an additional fee.  However, there are several instances when provisional crowns need to be made as a separate and intermediate procedure. Because of extra time and work involved, beyond that needed for a crown or bridge, there is a separate fee for the procedure.

One situation where a provisional crown warrants a separate fee involves a tooth or teeth that are severely decayed or broken, where the vitality of the nerve or the periodontal (gum) health is in question. It may be necessary to rebuild the tooth as soon as possible so that the health of the nerve inside the tooth, and the periodontal tissue surrounding the tooth, can be evaluated over time before proceeding with the final crown. When multiple teeth need this treatment, it is customary to place the provisional crowns on each at the same time. If each tooth is taken to completion individually before beginning the next tooth, there is too much opportunity for the remaining damaged teeth to deteriorate further, thereby complicating treatment and adding to the total cost. Provisional crowns may be in place for several months before further treatment is started on the tooth,  after which time the tooth will need to have further preparation and a new provisional crown made.

When the nerve in the damaged tooth has a chance of dying, it is easier to save the tooth with root canal therapy if the final crown has not been placed. It often takes months for the health of the nerve to be determined. And, in fact, despite using a long-term provisional crown, the nerve may die years after the final crown is placed. When that happens, the access for the endodontic treatment is made through the crown. With respect to the periodontal tissues, if they are infected or in poor health, they must be healed before final impressions are made. Periodontal treatment coupled with a well-fitted provisional crown will promote proper healing. After the periodontal tissue is healthy, its position with respect to the crown margins will change, and the tooth will be re-prepared and a second provisional restoration will be made.

Another reason for long-term provisional crowns to be placed is to stabilize loose teeth and determine the necessary support for the final cast crowns. When a tooth involved in support for a bridge or splint has a questionable prognosis, it is a good idea to make a provisional bridge first and let the tooth (or teeth) function together for some time to see how well they respond. If the tooth turns out to be hopeless, it can be removed. If teeth are restored in quadrants at a time (three, four, five, or more), it may be necessary to do the opposing arch in long-term provisional crowns in order to establish the ideal occlusal (biting) relationships between the arches.

There are many and varied reasons why long-term provisional bridges might be needed. They might stay in place from months to years, especially in very complicated cases such as many teeth that are broken down and moderate to severe gum disease needing correction before the crowns are finally placed. In larger cases, financial limitations may dictate that treatment be phased over a longer time frame. Rather than let the teeth get worse during this time, long-term provisional crowns are made to hold things in place until the treatment can continue.

Call Omni Dental today at (512) 250-5012 to speak with one of our specialists about the latest ways of enhancing your smile and dental health. You can also go to our website: for more information.