Coming Clean About Toxins From Root Canals

Toxins trapped inside the body, swirling around inside your body, attacking your immune system and potentially triggering an immune response or inflammation, ultimately wreaking havoc on organs and tissues, compromising an otherwise healthy body. These are the facts of getting a root canal. Most of us would be opposed to having a necrotic cesspool of decay and disease trapped inside our body, essentially, it’s poisonous, also it’s gross.

Trapping dead, and dying tissues and bacterial colonies locked inside the body is exactly what happens when a patient gets a root canal. A root canal is a procedure originally designed to save a tooth with too much nerve and tissue damage to remain alive, or viable. In other words due to infection, trauma, or decay the nerve, blood supply and pulp inside the tooth have been compromised and the tooth is dying or no longer alive. Without some kind of intervention (sometimes a root canal) the tooth may abscess, continue to decay–potentially affecting surrounding teeth or it may fall out, leading to additional problems.

Root Canals are performed by removing all of the soft insides of a tooth: the blood vessel that nourishes the tooth, the nerve, and pulp. Harsh chemicals are irrigated into the “canal” that is made after grinding out the inside of the tooth. The chemicals used to irrigate the new canal into the root of the tooth are intended to sterilize as much of the canal, or hole, as possible and to kill any remaining, viable or nonviable tissue. This equates to essentially embalming what remains of the tooth.

We know after decades of research, and thousands of patients, that removing 100% of the rotting tissue is not possible. In every case there is always necrotic (dead, diseased) tissue left behind, 100% of the time. The bacterial colonies and the infection eventually permeate surrounding tissue and bones, ultimately weakening and damaging local areas, but those same toxins and bacteria can also have a systemic effect on the rest of the body.

As toxins, from a root canal, infiltrate the blood stream and collect in organ tissues chronic health issues can become compounded and new health issues develop. Immune systems that are already under attack or otherwise compromised stand to sustain the most damage. As the medical news around this potential hazard continues to develop, many dentist are adopting new solutions to addressing a dead, dying or abscessed tooth.

If you have already had a root canal, or have had a root canal recommended come see our team and have an expert give you all of your options. Our team can give you healthy attractive alternatives that maintain and support your body’s overall health and immunity.

Mercury Amalgam Fillings: New EPA Proposal

Toxic Mercury. one of the metal components of traditional silver fillings

Toxic Mercury. one of the metal components of traditional silver fillings

Mercury Amalgam Fillings

A lot of controversy surrounds the dental industry regarding the use of amalgam (silver)  fillings for teeth. There are proponents that maintain the mercury inside the amalgam is bound to other materials and rendered harmless, or that the exposure to any mercury is too infinitely miniscule to cause health issues. Then there is the other side of the coin with patients and data collected over decades validating the very real cause for concern, even alarm.

Meanwhile the government entities who have been enacted to protect the public have done little to intercede or change the status quo. The MSD (Material Safety Data)  on mercury, as reported by the FDA, clearly states that there are no safe levels of mercury exposure. Despite that the FDA has followed recommendations provided by the American Dental Association, regarding the safety of mercury amalgam dental fillings.

The International Treaty on Mercury

Internationally in 2013 the Minamata Convention was held and a global treated enacted to protect both human health and environmental health from the harmful, adverse effects of mercury. The highlights of this treaty were to include a ban on new mercury sources, phasing out old ones and control measures for emissions. Still the EPA and FDA remained silent, when the alarm should have gone out, the EPA and FDA maintained quiet indifference.

New EPA Proposal

At last, over a year later, the EPA has proposed new changes that validate that mercury in dental fillings is a problem. The proposed changes will not be finalized until fall of 2015 and are yet up for debate. Additionally the EPA is namely addressing the mercury emissions from waste water coming from dental offices and facilities.

Below you will find the press release announcing the new restrictions.

U.S. EPA proposes to eliminate mercury pollution from dentist offices nationwide

Release Date: 09/25/2014

Contact Information: Suzanne Skadowski, 415-972-3165, skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a proposal to eliminate mercury pollution from dental offices nationwide. These new Clean Water Act standards would cut discharges of dental amalgam – a mixture of mercury and other metals that dentists use to fill cavities. Under this proposal, dentists must use devices to remove mercury and other toxic metals before they go down the drain.

“This proposed rule would cut mercury and toxic metal discharges to public wastewater systems by at least 8.8 tons a year nationwide,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Bay Area communities already require dentists to use amalgam capture devices and have seen their mercury pollution levels drop nearly 75 percent. Now the rest of California and the nation will see these same benefits.”

About half the mercury that enters public water treatment systems comes from dental offices that do not use amalgam separators. When mercury from amalgam is discharged into water bodies, it can be transformed into methylmercury, a highly toxic form of mercury that builds up in fish, shellfish and fish-eating animals. People can be harmed by methylmercury when they eat contaminated fish and shellfish. Methylmercury is a neurotoxin which impairs brain and nervous system development and function.

Many states and local wastewater districts have started mercury pollution control programs that require amalgam separators in dentist offices. Amalgam separators remove 90 to 95 percent of mercury and other metal waste. Under the San Francisco Bay Regional Watershed Mercury control program, virtually all Bay Area cities and public water systems have successful mandatory dental amalgam separator programs, but this is not the case in most other communities and states.

EPA estimates that up to 120,000 dental offices in the U.S. use or dispose of amalgam fillings that contain mercury. Almost all of these offices discharge to sanitary sewers that flow to wastewater treatment plants. While most offices use some practices to reduce amalgam discharges to the sewers, they are not nearly as effective as amalgam separators. Because 40 to 50 percent of dentists across the country already use amalgam separators thanks to state and local programs, the new rule may result in installation of separators in up to 60,000 dental offices nationwide.

EPA estimates put the total annual cost of the proposed rule at $44 to $49 million and a new streamlining proposal will cut state and local oversight costs by a similar amount. This action is one way the U.S. is meeting the goals of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, an international environmental agreement that addresses human activities contributing to widespread mercury pollution.

EPA will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register and expects to finalize the rule in September 2015.

More information: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/dental/

Mercury Amalgam fillings often found in molars and less conspicuous teeth.

Mercury Amalgam fillings often found in molars and less conspicuous teeth.

Clearly stated, this one proposed act is expected to cut mercury discharges to public water by 8.8 tons a year. *8.8 Tons Per Year. FDA: no safe level of mercury exposure.


For the health and safety of all of our patients our office uses only mercury free options for dental fillings. When mercury amalgam fillings are already present we safely, remove mercury amalgam fillings with procedures that ensure the lowest risk to the patient and the environment. It has always been our practice to put the patients health first and will continue to be our primary endeavor.

 Call Today For an Appointment

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057

Phone: (713) 785-7767

Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

Bruxism: Teeth Grinding

Bruxism: The chronic clenching (tightly holding top and bottom teeth together) and or grinding (sliding–while clenched–back and forth) of teeth.

Doing these things occasionally or from time to time can be a normal, uneventful thing for most of people. Done on a regular or chronic, consistent, basis grinding and clenching the teeth eventually can be damaging to teeth, oral health and overall health.

Why do people grind their teeth

The most common reasons for chronic grinding of teeth is an improper or abnormal tooth alignment, and missing or crooked teeth. In some instances Bruxism, particularly the clenching of teeth–often and long enough to cause damage–is caused by anxiety or stress.

How you know if you’re grinding your teeth

Typically individuals who grind their teeth are unaware of the habit because most teeth grinding occurs at night while they are asleep. Generally people learn that they grind their teeth because a family member, house-mate or loved one hears the grinding and informs them. A constant dull headache, tender jaw muscles, or sore jaw and neck muscles can be telltale of bruxism. Your dentist can help determine if you suspect bruxism by carefully inspecting the surfaces of molars and teeth for signs of scraping and excessive wear.

How is teeth grinding or bruxism harmful

Bruxism is a serious condition that, in addition to posing serious risks to the teeth and oral cavity, can also lead to other health conditions like TMJ, TMD even hearing loss.

The worst cases of teeth grinding, if left untreated, can loosen teeth, fracture teeth and even cause the loss of teeth. After long term grinding teeth can be worn down significantly, requiring  some people to need tooth replacement or dentures. When such extensive damage occurs the jaw bone can be effected, even the contours of the face and general appearance of a person can change.

Bruxism, or teeth grinding can lead to chronic pain and headaches along with damage to teeth and surrounding tissue

Bruxism, or teeth grinding can lead to chronic pain and headaches along with damage to teeth and surrounding tissue

How to stop grinding your teeth

Many people who need to stop grinding their teeth seek their dentist for a specially made mouth guard to protect teeth, at night,from grinding.

When it has been determined that stress may be an underlying cause of bruxism, a physician may help determine options for reducing stress. Counseling, various types of therapy, and a reliable, consistent exercise program are some of the most effective an common aids in stress reduction. When needed, a patient may also employ various medications that can help with relaxing muscles and aiding in sleep.

The easiest and most common adjustments to eliminate bruxism can be done at home without anything but a few easy changes:

  • Training yourself to relax your jaw muscle during the day. Even holding the tip of your tongue between your teeth helps to re-train jaw muscles to “unclench”.
  • Avoid chewing gum, chewing on pens or pencils or anything except food. Those habits can train jaw muscles to stay clenched and make it more likely to grind your teeth later.
  • Cut back on caffeine, things like cola, coffee, tea and chocolate.
  • Eliminate alcohol. Consuming alcohol tends to intensify teeth grinding.

Children may grind their teeth too

While there is no clear reason why children can sometimes grind their teeth, it is somewhat common. Generally children grind their teeth at night, with increasing frequency during illnesses, or other medical conditions, everything from nutritional deficiencies and parasites to allergies have been cited). Often the underlying cause may be irregular contact between upper and lower teeth or shifting teeth as new teeth come in or baby teeth get loose.

Baby teeth don’t typically suffer the regular problems from grinding, however children can still have jaw pain and headaches associated with bruxism. Ultimately if you suspect your child may be grinding their teeth it is definitely something to discuss with their dentist and potentially their pediatrician to evaluate any potential issues and eliminate the problem all together.

 

Total Tooth Restoration Questions

Do you need to have a total tooth restoration?

If this is your first big dental procedure it can be a big first step to schedule the appointment or do you need more than one tooth restored? It may seem like a lot of information to break down. The good news is that a healthy adult has very little to worry about when planning and scheduling appointments for a total tooth restoration.

White Zirconia Dental Implant

Ceramic Tooth Restoration “before/during/after”

 

Clients may come in for a routine check-up and cleaning then find themselves overwhelmed with a list of recommended dental procedures. There may be a myriad of concerns that the average patient is considering prior to embarking on a plan for a ceramic tooth restoration. Ceramic restorations do require a certain amount of expertise and a dental practice with a fully trained,  knowledgeable team to manage your procedure and your post procedure care.

 

 

Lets clear as much of the rhetoric as possible.  When you have a great dental team, a team that listens, and has exceptional staff and expertise the list of concerns is shorter:

  • Communicate concerns with your team.
    • Tell them your fears and apprehensions. Be open to letting them reassure you.
    • They know what they are doing and want you to know they do this because they are passionate about best medicine, your quality of care and helping people.
  • Remember, your surgery is being carried out by an expert, with expert assistants.
    • They are trained, use special instruments and tools, to carefully, and expertly, ensure that you get the best procedure and recovery possible.
  • Your Dentist is an expert.
    • Ceramic implants require precision and special training, they also require a real desire to offer the best possible medicine for you.
  • The longer you put off this treatment the more you compromise your best possible, overall health.
    • It can take years to regenerate healthy bone and soft tissue, if at all. The longer you wait the more loss.
  • Consider all the positives from following through on this option.
  • Ceramic implants can last your entire life with no extra care than what your natural teeth need.
  • Ceramic tooth restorations are completely bio-compatible and support healthy bone and soft tissue growth.
    • Ceramic implants help maintain jawbone density.
  • Alternatives to implants compromise the teeth next to the affected tooth and can (and do) lead to more dental procedures.
  • Ceramics do not corrode and are not absorbed into tissues or the blood steam.
  • Tooth restorations made from ceramics do not conduct hot or cold
  • You’re new teeth are going to look and feel great.
    • Entirely ceramic tooth restorations are the closest thing to the look and feel of a real tooth.
      • No silver base, or dark discoloring
      • No retraction of gums or soft tissue
  • Take a deep breath. There are amazing options for everything now in dentistry. Everything from nerve blocks to oral medication and all the stops in between.

These days expect your dentist to know all about the options, be versed in pain management and be considerate of what works for you.

We are here to help. Our entire staff is selected based on their enthusiasm for doing a good job and for helping people. You won’t wake up and feel differently just because you let another day go by.  Let us take care of you. Give us a call.

 

 

Ceramic Implants are the Gold Standard in Restoration

According to recent statistics, the average American will lose 3 adult teeth in their lifetime, not including wisdom teeth that many adults have removed, rather than lose due to injury or decay. That number may seem staggering to some but is drastically lower than statics dating back in the 1970s when losing 6 to 8 teeth or more in a lifetime was the norm. If you have ever been faced with tooth restoration due to loss or infection you know that the choices can be overwhelming. Once you know that you are going to need to replace a natural tooth with an artificial one you begin weighing all the optionsCeramic implants are considered the gold standard of restoration but the choices can still seem convoluted, considering dentist have so many procedures available to patients. For a multitude of reasons, cost and time being two big factors, patients occasionally find themselves considering getting a bridge, just for now, until they are ready to take that big step into oral surgery and getting a permanent ceramic implant.

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If you are struggling with this conflict lets sort it now.

Getting a bridge will have a permanent and detrimental effect on the teeth nearest the tooth that needs replacing:

  • To get a proper fit and bonding to the bridge your healthy teeth will need to be filed down, stripped of their outside protective cover, made small enough to allow for the substantial bridgework to fit and be secure
  • Should those nearby teeth not be in the greatest shape, then you may have to sacrifice additional teeth, further away, to bond the bridge to.
  • Bridges have a finite life span.
  • Ten years is about the max but even that is not guaranteed.
      • Bridges can be pulled off from eating sticky foods.
      • Cracked or broken bridges can result from a variety of foods consumed also.
  • Bridges can discolor or the areas around the bond yellow or fade.
  • Since the nearby teeth must be compromised in order to secure the bridge, those sacrificial teeth are more prone to disease, infection or rot.
  • Eventually the healthy gum tissues will recede, shrink and pull away from the bridge. This can leave an unsightly and noticeable gap between the bridge and the gum line. (Besides leaving a noticeable gap it also becomes a trap for particles of food and debris that feed pockets of stinky bacteria)
  • Additionally, since there is not a tooth in the jawbone the bone mass in that area will diminish over time. This can affect the surrounding teeth, especially if you have multiple teeth replaced, it can also affect your jaw line and the contours of your face.
  • Outcome: a bridge means you will need additional dental work just to maintain and support a tooth replacement that will still, no matter how well you take care of it, need replacing.

White Zirconia Dental Implant

Would you believe me if I said that getting a ceramic implant would allow you to skip all that? Yes, there are a couple of visits to get the implant placed and set. There is a visit to ensure the procedure went well and that you have healed all the way. After that? After that you are set. Smile away and be confident that you have the closest thing to your natural teeth possible.  Feel good that you  are supporting the rest of your teeth and even your overall health.

 Call our qualified team of experts to get your consultation today.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057 Phone: (713) 785-7767 Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

Fluoride and the Risks Associated with Overexposure

Alzheimer’s and Other Risks Posed From Fluoride Exposure

With an aging population, advancements in medicine, and increased life expectancies, an estimated 450,000 new cases of alzheimer’s are expected to be diagnosed in the United States by the end of 2014. In a recent study published by The Alzheimer’s Association every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops alzheimer’s. Its scary and interesting to note that by 2050 the incidence is expected to increase from one new patient every 67 seconds to one new patient each 33 seconds. While research and studies cannot conclusively determine all the likely culprits that are potential causes for the onset of alzheimer’s there are strong indicators of several things that contribute to the disease onset.  We know, for example, that several environmental factors can contribute to the development of alzheimer’s in various lab and clinical studies. (By now you may be wondering how any of this can be related to dentistry. This is a biological dentistry article after all.) The fact is that there are a number of environmental contributors that are linked to alzheimer’s and are, in fact, closely related to traditional dentistry, namely mercury, fluoride and even aluminum exposure.

Fluoride Exposure Isn’t Just About Toothpaste

Dental Hygiene

Early in the 1930’s researchers began to notice that communities with naturally occurring fluoride in their water supplies had up to a third less cavity incidence. By the 1940’s communities without naturally occurring fluoridated water began introducing fluoride to their municipal water supply in an effort to reduce cavities and improve overall health. For the next 8 decades hundreds of thousands of towns and cities across the United States would introduce fluoridated water without so much as a second thought. Eighty years ago virtually nothing had fluoride added to it and so the introduction of fluoride to water systems in general seemed innocuous, if not helpful. Today however virtually everything can be laced with fluoride, anything made commercially (all sodas and processed beverages, even preserved food commercially canned in or with water)  carries the potential to be made with water already fluoridated, additionally toothpastes, mouthwashes, gels and rinses all have added fluoride on top of the fluoride found in municipal water supplies and commercially prepared foods. Another thing largely not available eighty years ago? Studies on the effects of long term exposure to fluoride.

Fluoride Linked to a Number of Diseases

Today there are fists full of documented, scientific studies that link excessive fluoride exposure to everything from breast and bone cancer, autoimmune diseases and bone deformities, even joint pain, abdominal pain, digestive disorders, neurologic birth defects, behaviour problems, tooth malformities and alzheimer’s. That’s not all. The effects that fluoride can have on an individual is clinically compounded when the fluoride exposure is combined with exposure to aluminum.  Like a synergistic catapult, aluminum seems to make the body even more susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride. Its hard to not be exposed to soluble aluminum these days. So much of our lives comes out of a can or a tube, usually made from aluminum or an alloy containing aluminum, thereby virtually ensuring that our bodies are acting as a chemistry experiment with two toxic chemicals, with the most vulnerable being the very young and the very old.

Minimizing Your Risk From Fluoride and the Risk to Your Family.

The risks from fluoride exposure can be mitigated by using distilled water, eliminating toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride, checking prepared products to ensure they are made with distilled water and avoiding plants that are naturally high in fluoride.

Call our office today to discuss how a biological dentist can help you determine what kinds of health risks you may be able to eliminate from your life.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057 Phone: (713) 785-7767 Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

 

Removing Mercury Amalgam Fillings

Toxic Red Grunge Round Stamp On White Background

Many people still have and get “silver” (mercury amalgam)  fillings and repairs or restorations in their teeth, even today. Dentist have increasingly diverse options but amalgam remains cheap, readily available and familiar. This persistence of continuing to use a mercury based compound in the mouth’s of patients, despite the potential risk of mercury exposure, accounts for the widespread lack of knowledge regarding the safe and proper way to remove amalgam mercury fillings since many dentists still assume the mercury amalgam fillings are ‘safe enough’.

Amalgam Filling

Since it’s introduction in the early nineteenth century dental amalgam fillings have been controversial. In that day and age the general population had a keen understanding that mercury was poisonous.  Over time the inexpensiveness and availability won out over the option of tooth extraction or further, painful, decay and infection.

Today, though, science has accrued a long list of dirty laundry on mercury amalgam fillings, evidence that shows that detectable levels of mercury can and do leach into the surrounding tissues, the body, blood and even into developing fetuses of pregnant women. As more and more patients have their mercury amalgam fillings removed and replaced, with safer options, a consensus is being reached. There is no safe level of mercury exposure.

In 1920 a professor at Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Germany, Alfred E. Stock, recorded the effects on his own health from mercury exposure in a lab setting, thus prompting him to question the alleged safety of dental mercury. His research and subsequent articles, which were published in various scholarly journals, started a firestorm of controversy and debate but were eventually overshadowed, in the turmoil of the Great Depression and finally fading away with the outbreak of WWII.

Though the level exposure varies widely from one patient to the next and there are many variables to consider the EPA and FDA do not have a level of mercury exposure that they consider safe for people.  As the science has demonstrated, some individuals are especially sensitive to the adverse effects of mercury. With so many diverse and safe, long lasting and inexpensive options it stands to reason that personal risk of exposure and subsequent negative effects can be greatly reduced by avoiding mercury amalgam fillings all together or safely replacing them if you’ve already acquired one or more.

Specific protocols have been developed to reduce the likelihood of mercury exposure to the patient and to ensure the safest handling of the toxic material. These protocols keep the mercury released into air vapors, from extraction, to a minimum and guarantee the lowest additional exposure possible through skin and saliva contact as well.

Dr. Marilyn K Jones and her staff are trained and equipped to safely remove and restore your mercury amalgam fillings Call Today.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057 Phone: (713) 785-7767 Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

 

Can You Reverse a Cavity to a Non-Cavity?

If You Haven’t Had Confirmation Yet–How Can You Tell If You Have a Cavity

Unless you are a dentist it may be hard to confirm whether or not the suspected tooth has a cavity. Cavities are spots of decay on teeth that can look anywhere from chalky-white to deep black. Sometimes staining in the crevices of molars looks like a cavity but is only staining.

A cavity can’t always been seen with just a visual inspection, some cavities develop below the gum line and some develop between teeth. Ultimately you need to have your dentist give you a full and thorough exam to determine where in your mouth you may have spots of decay (a cavity forming).

You Have Confirmation–You Have a Cavity

You’ve seen a dentist and definitely have a cavity. What course of action can you take at this point?

To identify the severity of a cavity your dentist will need to do x-rays. The X-Ray will reveal the severity of the cavity and help you decide what actions you can take and if you still have time to reverse your cavity.  First your doctor will evaluate your x-rays and determine any and all places that show decay (cavities) Only your dentist can tell if your cavity have managed to make a hole deep enough to go all the way through the hard enamel and into the dentin. If the cavity has made it to the sensitive nerve and pulp in the center of your tooth, you probably already know you have a cavity and have been experiencing some discomfort or pain. If your cavity is not yet through the enamel, there is still time for you to reverse this cavity before it eats an even bigger hole, giving you few choices but to have a filling placed.

What Can You Do

To help give your tooth the best odds of repairing the decay (cavity) you will want to focus of creating the healthiest environment for your teeth possible. Paying close attention to your diet, water consumption, brushing habits, even sleep. It’s imperative to discontinue use of tobacco and significantly reduce or eliminate alcohol if you intend for this process to be viable.

Stop Eating

Stop eating sugar immediately. Eliminating sugar will increase your chances of curing your cavity, you want a sweet smile, not a sweet tooth. Along with cutting out sugar cut back on foods that both quickly convert to sugar and easily stick to the teeth. Consider these foods in particular: breads, crackers, chips and other highly processed carbs, plus fruit leather, fruit juices, and most dried fruits. In general this group of food items are going to give you the most problems, leaving behind more than ample fuel for already forming cavities.

Start Eating

Do load up on foods that will help you remineralize your existing enamel. That hard, shiny protective layer on the outside of your teeth can’t be replaced but you can give it better odds by eating foods that will redeposit usable minerals into the pores of your enamel. The foods most laden with the right nutrients tend to be high in calcium, phosphorus and other mineral dense foods densely. Notably nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, wild salmon, cheese (though firm and hard cheeses are your best options) vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, and a myriad of other foods we’ve discussed in previous post.

You will need to have a dentist monitor your mouth and recheck areas of concern.  There are no guarantees that your tooth will remain filling free indefinitely, some careful attention to your overall health and your consistency will go along way toward increasing those odds.

For more ideas see also my other articles for reversing gum disease, toothpaste, supplements and more to get your teeth their most resilient.

If you think you may have a cavity there may still be time to remedy the problem. Call us for an appointment and an opportunity for us to help you reverse any potential cavities naturally.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (713) 785-7767
Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

 

Youthful Smiles vs Gum Recession

Your Healthiest Smile

It’s a myth that gum recession is just something that happens as we get older.  Gum recession is never normal.  There are ways to prevent, stop, even restore gum recession, some of the things that make the biggest impact were discussed in a previous article I shared are your first line of defense.  Receding gums are unsightly and can age our smiles unnecessarily, additionally, if left alone it will lead to more gum recession and potential tooth and bone loss.  Inflammation and then resorption of the periodontal ligament causes recession, be it from disease, aggressive brushing, or potentially orthodontia work for example. There are always reasons for receding gums,  you are required to endure or just “put up with” an shrinking gum line, it is treatable and often preventable.

Anatomy of a Healthy Tooth

Healthy Tooth

Healthy Tooth

Periodontal Ligament and Gum Recession

Did you know your teeth had ligaments too? Pretty much everything that needs to be connected to the bones in our body has a ligament, connective tissue that anchors one to the other. The periodontal ligament forms a sheath that fits around the tooth, below the gum line, anchoring each tooth to the jawbone for added stability.  That fibrous sheath connects both healthy gum tissue and the bone in our jaw to the tooth itself. When your gums are not healthy that inflammation puts the health of ligament cells in peril.  Inflammation from aggressive brushing, from hormonal changes in our bodies, orthodontic work  and from plaque or bacteria are the primary offenders, however other systemic diseases are also thought to play a part in periodontal disease.

Gingival Pockets

Normally we have small pockets around teeth where the gums back up to the neck of the tooth. Your dentist will measure these at each checkup and cleaning procedure. Healthy pockets should be between 2mm and 4mm.  deeper pockets can mean there are factors that may be compromising your gums and teeth, and their optimal health.  It can be frustrating when clients have not had their dentist ever discuss with them their gum tissue and relative health or explained why they may have pockets over 4mm.

In general as the pockets get deeper the gum tissue at the neck of the tooth will gradually recede, when it’s gone it becomes a much more complicated procedure to restore.  Too frequently we assume that this is just something to endure with age and not preventable. That is absolutely not the truth. Keep your teeth healthy and your smile youthful. Ask us about your receding gum line and the individual options that might apply to you.

Give our office a call today at (713) 785-7767 and discover the difference a biological dentist can make in your life and your smile.

Best Foods to Eat for Your Smile

Everybody wants to look and feel their best. We search high and low for sure-fire methods and diets to achieve those ends, and it stands to reason that you’d want your smile to be its best, too. What if I told you that not only can you eat to improve your body’s health but you can eat to improve the health of your teeth, guaranteeing that dazzling smile will stay dazzling? Eating the right foods, on a regular basis, has the benefit of helping to protect your teeth and mouth from gingivitis, plaque, periodontal disease, even help whiten and keep your gums healthy, thereby ensuring stronger healthier teeth.

As we go through these healthy foods keep in mind there are some easy ways to determine the best choices for your teeth and mouth. There are foods that have already demonstrated protective properties and/or provide nutrients that remineralize your teeth in a natural way. Also, there are foods high in water content, as in the case of fruits and vegetables. Water tends to dilute the sugars and the acidic properties of certain foods helping to stop or slow the decay process.

Here is a list of some simple things you can start eating right now, quite possibly these items are already in your fridge or pantry.

Foods that aid in remineralizing teeth naturally

Cheese, salmon, eggs, meat, almonds, and leafy greens all provide nutrients like calcium or phosphorus that strengthen and keep tooth enamel healthy and strong. Calcium and phosphorus are naturally occurring minerals that replenish the enamel on your teeth after eating or drinking. Imagine that the minerals from these healthy foods are actually filling in microscopic holes and scratches left behind from the normal wear and tear teeth are exposed to.

When we eat, the food in our mouth may have high sugar or even high acid levels as in the case of citrus, tomatoes, wine, cider, and blueberries. Foods high in acid leave microscopic abrasions on our teeth as we eat. Those tiny scratches become more and more vulnerable to decay over time. Besides having mineral properties to strengthen enamel, cheese has the added benefit of being able to lower pH levels in the mouth after acidic food has been consumed.

Not only can eating foods, like cheese, help lower the pH in your mouth from acidic foods, but they can also help replace minerals leached from the enamel.

Many types of fish, particularly ocean fish, offer a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D found in salmon and other fish is critical for your body to be able to utilize calcium properly. Natural sources of Vitamin D are found in some types of fish like salmon and mackerel, and in dark green leafy vegetables like kale, chard and the tops of beets. These sources of vitamin D are just as natural and beneficial as getting your vitamin D from the sun.

Lots of other foods offer vitamins, like vitamin A for example, and those vitamins are also needed in healthy tooth enamel. The short list includes; carrot, butternut squash, kale, cantaloupe, mango, red sweet pepper, sweet potatoes, and tuna (just be careful of mercury levels). Eating a regular diet full of foods like these create a synergistic effect making the most of your teeth’s ability to maintain enamel and stay strong

Foods that whiten and protect teeth

The good news keeps getting better: not only are there foods that aid in maintaining the protective enamel of your chompers but there are foods that help to whiten your smile as well. Just about any fruit or vegetable that crunches while you chew is a great choice for your teeth. Apples and Pears, in particular, are high in water content, the natural sugars in them stimulate saliva production the combination ensures that while you’re chewing the abrasiveness of the crunchy fruit and all that juicy goodness will scrub and rinse away stains along with pockets of bacteria.

That same benefit — and a better option — can also be had from not so sweet crunchy foods: carrots, celery, raw broccoli, and raw cauliflower are great examples. While these foods may not stimulate healthy saliva production the same way a juicy apple does, some of them, like broccoli and cauliflower, boast unique characteristics for protecting your teeth. They still do all that whitening scrubbing action that other crunchy stuff does but they leave behind a slippery coating on teeth that forms a barrier for sticky plaque causing bacteria.

A few other foods have the ability to create something of a protective shield on your teeth: sesame seeds, shitaki mushrooms, and onions are among them. Sounds funny but these last three should be considered secret weapons in the quest for a brighter, whiter smile. Sesame seeds can be sprinkled on just about any salad, stir fry, or baked goods and actually have enzymes that soften and dissolve plaque in addition to the calcium they have that replenishes the enamel of your teeth. Shitaki mushrooms tout an enzyme that acts like a seek-and-destroy missile to eradicate specific bacteria in the mouth responsible for cavities.

While raw onions probably won’t make the cut on date night, they actually have antibacterial properties proven to eradicate six specific types of bacteria in the mouth that cause decay and gingivitis. So slice up some onions for your sandwich (and brush your teeth when your done).

Don’t forget…

Water. Its the single easiest thing you can do, after brushing and flossing, to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Drinking a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water and adding water to compensate for hot days, caffeine intake, and activities like exercise that leave you perspiring. Adequate water consumption ensures your mouth stays moist and rinses away bacteria after eating, reducing the acid and decreasing the chance for decay. Saliva is the best thing for your teeth, it dilutes down acids, washes away food particles, fights germs, and carries nutrients to the enamel.