General dental care

Holistic Dental Care: Oil Pulling

oil pulling and dentistryOil pulling is a popular holistic method to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. While the ADA does not currently recommended oil pulling as a supplementary oral hygiene practice, we think it’s worth considering in addition to standard oral hygiene regimen that includes twice-daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.

Used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is an oral detoxification procedure that is simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil (typically coconut oil, olive or sesame oil) in your mouth for 10-20 minutes.

It is belived that oil pulling works by cleaning (detoxifying) the oral cavity in a similar way that soap cleans dirty dishes. It literally sucks the dirt (toxins) out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that is needed to prevent cavities and disease.

Ayurvedic medicine, as practiced in India, is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world. Many Ayurvedic practices predate written records and were handed down by word of mouth.

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry will help ease your anxiety.Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Sedation dentistry may take away some of your anxiety and can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning.

What is Sedation Dentistry? Sedation dentistry medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The levels of sedation used include:
• Minimal sedation: you are awake but relaxed
• Moderate sedation: you may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
• Deep sedation – you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.

What Types of Sedation are Used in Dentistry?
• Inhaled minimal sedation : you breathe nitrous oxide (or laughing gas) through a mask placed over your nose.
• Oral sedation: Depends on dose, sedation can range from minimum to moderate. For minimal sedation you take a pill. During your consult, Dr. Jackson will determine and discuss appropriate medication and prescription.

Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you’ll also typically need a local anesthetic (numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working on the mouth) to relieve pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.

Emergency Dental Care

emergency dental careIt’s summer and with increased outdoor activities, accidents are bound to happen. We’ve outlined what to do (or not to do) when you’re faced with a tooth injury.

Broken or knocked out tooth
Consider: A permanent (adult) tooth can sometimes be put back in place (re-implanted). In most cases, only permanent teeth are re-implanted into the mouth. Baby teeth are not re-implanted.

First Aid: Save any tooth that has been knocked out. Bring it to your dentist as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less chance there is for your dentist to fix it. Hold the tooth only by the crown (chewing edge). Do not touch the root.

You can take the tooth to the dentist in 1 of these ways:
• Try to place the tooth back in your mouth where it fell out, so it is level with other teeth. Bite down gently on a gauze or a wet tea bag to help keep it in place. Be careful not to swallow the tooth.
• If you cannot do the above step, place the tooth in a container and cover it with a small amount of cow’s milk or saliva.
• You can also hold the tooth between your lower lip and gum or under your tongue.

Also follow these steps:
• Apply a cold compress on the outside of your mouth and gums to ease pain.
• Apply direct pressure using gauze to control bleeding.

If your tooth is badly broken, your nerve endings may be exposed. You will need dental help right away to avoid infection and pain. While you may not need an emergency visit for a simple chip or a broken tooth that is not causing you discomfort, you should still have the tooth fixed to avoid sharp edges that can cut your lips or tongue.

Things NOT to do if a tooth breaks or is knocked out:
• Do NOT handle the roots of the tooth. Handle only the chewing edge — the crown (top) portion of the tooth.
• Do NOT scrape or wipe the root of the tooth to remove dirt.
• Do NOT brush or clean the tooth with alcohol or peroxide.

When to Call the Doctor:
• Call your dentist right away when a tooth is broken or knocked out. If you can find the tooth, bring it with you to the dentist. Follow the steps in the First Aid section above.
• If you cannot close your upper and lower teeth together, your jaw may be broken. This requires medical help right away at a dentist’s office or hospital.

Prevention
Follow these guidelines to prevent broken or knocked out teeth:
• Wear a mouth guard when playing any contact sport.
• Avoid fights.
• Avoid hard foods, such as bones, stale bread, tough bagels and unpopped popcorn kernels.
• Always wear a seatbelt.

What You Need to Know About Antibiotics and Dentistry

antibiotics and denistryHas your doctor recommended that you take antibiotics prior to visiting the dentist? This is referred to as antibiotic prophylaxis. Since it can be a controversial topic in the dental community, we thought we would provide you with current information and options to help you prepare for your next dental visit.

In patients with a history of complications associated with joint replacement surgery who are undergoing dental procedures that include gingival manipulation or mucosal incision prophylactic antibiotics should only be considered after consultation with the patient and orthopedic surgeon.
The 2015 ASA clinical practice guideline states “In general, for patients with prosthetic joint implants, prophylactic antibiotics are NOT recommended prior to dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infections.”

Prophylactic antibiotics are recommended for patients undergoing dental procedures that involve manipulation of gingival tissue or the periapical region of the teeth or perforation of the oral mucosa and have the following conditions:

• “A prosthetic heart valve or who have had a heart valve repaired with prosthetic material.”
• A history of endocarditis
• A heart with abnormal heart valve function
• Congenital heart disease such as cyanotic congenital heart disease or a congenital heart defect.

Antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures is NOT recommended for patients with coronary artery stents.
Coronary bypass surgery is a surgical procedure that diverts the flow of blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in the heart by creating a new pathway to the heart.

Antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures is NOT needed in persons who have undergone a coronary bypass surgery. There is no evidence that coronary artery bypass graft surgery is associated with a long-term risk for infection.

Silver fillings or tooth-colored fillings

One question I frequently am asked is which is better, silver or tooth-colored fillings? As a dentist, my first and foremost concern is your dental care and the removal of any decay. Having said that, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages associated with each option. I’ve outlined some features of each material in hopes to provide you with education so you can make he best choice for your personal situation.

Silver (or amalgam which is made out of tin, copper, mercury, zinc and silver) particles:

Advantages

  • Cost effective
  • Lasts for a long time
  • Has been used for decades and have a solid long-term safety record

Disadvantages

  • Visible when you smile
  • Since material does not actually bond to teeth, the dentist may have remove more tooth beyond the cavity to form a ledge-like pocket.
  • Changes in temperature can cause the filling to expand or contract which can ultimately affect the life of the filling.
  • Some patients are concerned about the potential dangers of the mercury that is found in amalgam fillings
  • Amalgam is a metal which transmit thermal sensations much more readily than composite restorations.

 

Tooth-colored (made of composite resin containing glass particles and a type of plastic)

Advantages

  • Soft and malleable to allow for repairs from chips to filling cavities until hardened under a special light.
  • Not visible
  • Durable

Disadvantages

  • Resin costs more than amalgam, which can make the cost higher than for a comparable amalgam filling.
  • Composite fillings can stain over a period of time (from tea, coffee and tobacco use).
  • These fillings do not get whiter if you bleach your teeth.
  • Composite fillings are strong on back teeth, but not as strong as amalgam.
  • Composites are much more technique sensitive to successfully place

Most dental restorations placed these days are composite restorations, it is my opinion and the opinion of the majority of practicing dentist today that composite restorations are a superior restoration to amalgam. Ultimately, the choice of material that is used, is what is in the best interest of the tooth and patient.

Do Sport and Energy Drinks Damage Teeth?

Are sports and energy drinks bad for your teeth?Recent studies have identified a correlation between drinking sport or energy drinks and dental damage including an increase in cavities.

Sports drinks

During or after a game or workout, many children and adults reach for a sport drink to replenish their lost fluids. Unfortunately, the rising rate of dental problems in athletes (from pre-school to adults) supports the findings in a recent study by British Journal of Sports Medicine, that the cause of increased dental issues lies in consumption of sport drinks. In fact, sports drinks can cause 3 times more damage to teeth than soda. The study found that the most common dental problems among athletes who consumed sports drinks are: tooth decay, gum disease, enamel erosion, and infected wisdom teeth that are partially erupted.

We will get more into the science specifics in a future article but for now, just know that the sugar found in sport (and energy drink and gels) adhere to the teeth, more so than saliva. This in turn promotes acid production for the oral bacteria and puts you at a higher risk for decay. The enamel is then weakened and broken down by acids of a pH lower than 5.5. (Most sports drinks have a PH between 2.4-4.5).

According to study published in the journal  General Dentistry, these drinks contain so much acid that they start destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use.

Energy Drinks

Likewise, many people reach for an energy drink when they’re a little sleepy. The misconception is that drinking either an energy or a sports drink is better than soda. This is simply not the case. In fact, a study published in the journal General Dentistry completely disproved that. They found support that sport and energy drinks erode or thin out teeth enamel which will leave them even more vulnerable to decay.

To summarize, Dr. Jackson advises that water is the best way to go when you need to re-hydrate. Sports drinks make little sense for anyone except endurance athletes under intense training, such as marathon runners. As for energy drinks, even 1 energy drink per day is potentially harmful to teeth because of high acidity. If you must consume sports or energy drinks, you should dilute the acid content by rinsing with water after consumption. Do nut brush your teeth immediately after consumption of a sports or energy drink. Wait at least one hour to allow your saliva to bring the PH back to normal before brushing. Consider using products like mouthwash, or sugar-free gum following consumption of either sport or energy drinks as these stimulate the salivary flow.

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Brian Jackson Dental is Open for Business

Brian Jackson DentalWhen I made the decision to buy this practice, I couldn’t have expected how much I’d enjoy where I was headed. Surely no new endeavor is ever easy, however, aside from minor occasional blips… it’s been so worthwhile. None of this, I should add, could ever have been possible without the love and support from my beautiful wife, Bekki and my amazing son, Austin. I haven’t told them enough how much I appreciate their patience with me during the long days of starting the practice and throughout all the transitions so far. Thank you and I love you both more than you can ever imagine.

For my new patients and staff, I sincerely can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you and for you to get to know my family too. I feel like I stepped into a long-lost family in some ways. Everyone has embraced us and I’m beginning to feel more and more connected to the community every day.
As we move further along together on this journey, I want you to know that I’m always looking out for my patients and that to me, our relationship is about much more than your dental care. I sincerely want to make sure that you are comfortable with me as your dentist and in our office as you interact with our staff. I view our relationship as a partnership and that we work together to ensure your dental health is always taken care of.