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Showing posts from 2017

Facts About Gum That Won’t Burst Your Bubble!!

Who doesn’t fondly remember chewing gum as part of your childhood?  When I was younger, it was a bribe well- earned when my parents found themselves in a “sticky” situation and needed us kids on our best behavior.  Other times it was about killing time with my best friend on summer days, competing to blow the biggest bubble, blowing a bubble within a bubble (I can still do that!), and strategically cutting the bubble out of our hair when the wind blew at just the wrong moment, making the “bubble inflation event” go awry.  Still, even with all the fun that gum provided, it was also known to be the cause of cavities, a risk widely accepted if one was going to chew. 
Wrigley, Bazooka, and Dentyne were just a few of the more popular brands of the 60’ and 70’s.  Beemans, Black Jack, and Clove were not as well known to me growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I know many of you can recall your parents and grandparents sharing these hallmark names in chewing gum.  What they all have i…

I Need a Crown, Does That Make Me Royalty?

Though you won’t become a member of some centuries-old monarchy, this coronation will help protect some of your most faithful servants…that is your teeth! A dental crown is most often recommended to restore the shape, health, and strength of a tooth. And in many cases, a crown may be the only option available to reestablish function. So before proceeding with this adornment, let’s explore what is behind your “crowning achievement”.  A dental crown or “cap” is placed over the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. Most crowns today are made of porcelain and designed to match the shape and color of the existing permanent teeth.

There are several reasons why your dentist may diagnose the need for a crown. They are recommended to protect a weak tooth from further damage and cracking. Visible fracture lines in the enamel are an indication of a tooth that is at a greater risk of breaking, and a crown will help hold these pieces together. Teeth with large fillings and thin en…

HPV and Oral Cancer

HPV or the Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection today. The CDC reports that “80% of Americans will have HPV infections in their lifetime with 99% of the infections clearing without consequence.”  With over 100+ strains of the virus identified, approximately 40 types have been most identified with genital infections and two, HPV16 andHPV18, more known to be responsible for causing cancer, more specifically of the cervix, mouth, and throat.

Most types of HPV infections are fought by the body’s immune system, and most people do not know they have been infected. There is no cure for HPV, but generally, the virus runs its course and is out of the immune system within two years (oralcancerfoundation.org). Some strains, however, are suspected of lying dormant in the body and then spread to other partner’s years later, unbeknown to the carrier. HPV is spread through skin to skin contact. There is no pain or symptoms associated with the infection, but it can …

Cold Sores: A Hot Topic

Anyone who has suffered from a cold sore knows the first sign of onset is as deflating and disappointing as your favorite team losing the Super Bowl or as embarrassing as being turned down for a first date. In fact, anyone who has suffered knows that a first date will likely cause an eruption in the first place!  It is certain that for nearly the next two weeks you will be uncomfortable and frustrated by what you feel is an unsightly growth that will capture the attention of everyone for whom you meet.  For some, this occurs a few times a year but for others, it can be a monthly eruption that brings anxiety, self-consciousness, pain and an altered lifestyle until the sore heals.

A cold sore or fever blister is a viral infection caused the herpes simplex virus (HSV 1) and is, therefore, an incurable viral infection that can only be managed during outbreaks.  The herpes virus, once contracted, lays dormant in nerve bundles called ganglions until an outbreak occurs. The virus is contagi…

Pretty in Pink: The Sign of Healthy Gums

I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that gum health is the foundation to one’s overall oral health. Gum tissues act as the tattletales, if you will, of all homecare activities, or the lack there of. Without good gum health, bone loss can occur, followed by tooth loss, or in other words periodontal disease.  Unfortunately, nearly 50% of the population suffers from some level of gum disease, which is a decrease of the estimated 80-90% infected when I began my career as a dental hygienist in the early 80’s. I’m dating myself with this admission, but so is the title of this blog so I might as well own it! (Oh how I loved Andrew McCarthy in the 80’s) Well, this brings us to the incredibly important topic of home care habits and keeping our gum tissue in the PINK!

Pink tissue that is tightly wrapped around the tooth is the description of healthy gums that are void of inflammation or infection. Gum tissue that is brighter pink, red, or bluish-purple in color, puffy in appearan…