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Archive for the ‘Dental Care’ Category

Delaying Dental Care Due to Cost…Why it Doesn’t Make Cents

In Dental Care on January 17, 2012 at 4:30 AM

According to a recent survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, cost is the number one reason, amongst readers polled, for delaying dental care.

The complete report is available to subscribers in the February issue of Consumer Reports.

One of the most interesting conclusions revealed by the Consumer Reports study was how most people were satisfied with their dental care.

Take it from the stalwart consumer community defender, not us:

Going to the dentist is no one’s idea of a good time, but the 51,768 Consumer Reports subscribers who told us about their oral health were nevertheless overwhelmingly satisfied with their dental care.

In fact, they rated it higher than most other services and on a par with the care they got from their doctors.

What’s more, few readers reported experiencing anything beyond mild pain—even for the infamous root canal.
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No Pain for a Root Canal?

We had to check our hearing for that one…you mean to tell us that for something as necessarily off-putting as a root canal, we can actually feel no pain?

Techmology is wonderful isn’t it?!?

But it’s ultimately our trusted local dentists that deserve the kudos, so let’s all do ourselves a favor and not ignore them like we ignore our own optimal oral health from time to time.

Just as Consumer Reports defends and informs their subscribers, our local dental enforcement teams diligently protect the teeth and gums of their surrounding communities from the incessant invasion of ever present cavity creeps.

Ignoring our dentist is bad for our bank account, and bad for our overall health.

These are indisputable facts we will be happy to debate with any anti-dentite out there.

It’s simple; we go to the dentist and yes, it costs us money – sometimes above and beyond what our insurance or employers cover.

Alternatives to High Cost Dental Care?

Is there really no  room in our budget for oral health…maybe we need to think about that next time we’re lining up for a $5 cup of coffee, or paying $100 each month for an all-encompassing super terrific smartphone plan.

Here’s the choice…we as Americans love choices right?

1.       Go to the dentist and practice preventative maintenance.

2.       Ignore the dentist; brush, floss, and hope…a wish in one hand…

Door number one reveals optimal oral health and relatively manageable dental healthcare costs.

Choose number two your own peril, and then be prepared to pay out the nose when the plaque really hits the fan!

And don’t worry…your dentist will revel in the “I told you so” rhetoric as you endure that painless root canal from the comfort of their dental chaise.

What Types of Dreams Make Us Grind Our Teeth?

In Dental Care on December 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Nobody wants to wake up ready for a brand new day with a headache this big…

If you all too often wake up with a headache or jaw soreness, teeth grinding at night could be the cause. Whatever dental dreams may come throughout the night, be it bad or good, sometimes our vivid dreams cause us to clench and grind our teeth.

Teeth grinding or bruxism, is not some phase only kids go through, and neither bad nor good dreams are the probable primary culprit when it comes to grinding our teeth at night.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress may be the trigger in many people.

Some people probably clench their teeth and never feel symptoms.

Whether or not bruxism causes pain and other problems may be a complicated mix of factors: Get Clear Savings on Vision Care

  • How much stress you are under
  • How long and tightly you clench and grind
  • Whether your teeth are misaligned
  • Your posture
  • Your ability to relax
  • Your diet
  • Your sleeping habits

Everyone is different and treatments vary depending on risk factors, severity, even environmental concerns.

Our best bet it to of course do the internet research we’ve all grown accustomed to, and put way to much stock into…but also talk to our dentists. An actual face to face conversation, we still have them right?

Self-Treatment Options – courtesy of U.S. National Library of Medicine:

  • Apply ice or wet heat to sore jaw muscles – either can have a beneficial effect.
  • Avoid eating hard foods like nuts, candies, steak.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Learn physical therapy stretching exercises to help restore a normal balance to the action of the muscles and joints on each side of the head.
  • Massage the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and face. Search carefully for small, painful nodules called trigger points that can cause pain throughout the head and face.
  • Relax your face and jaw muscles throughout the day. The goal is to make facial relaxation a habit.
  • Try to reduce your daily stress and learn relaxation techniques.

If we’re feeling the pressure in the morning – beyond normal make the kids breakfast, get them to school, go about life pressure – our best bet is to talk to our doctors and dentists about headaches or jaw pain.

TMJ disorder or TMD is no picnic, but with the help of dentists and sleep medicine professionals, we don’t have to suffer or only treat the pain apsects.

Other Treatment Options – courtesy of

  • Massage Therapy
  • Stress Management
  • Splints & Mouthguards (not the sports ones…see dentist!)
  • Correcting Misaligned Teeth
  • Surgery (usually last resort)
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Yes…even Botox®

For even more treatment options and better yet – insights on what to ask your dentist, check out this video:

And let us know what types of dreams you think make us grind our teeth…

How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

In Dental Care, Gum Disease on November 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Keeping our regularly scheduled dental appointments should no longer be an issue of convenience. If maintaining optimal oral health isn’t a primary concern, when words like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke get thrown around; taking care of our teeth might just ratchet up a few notches on our personal priority list. How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

But what if taking proper care of our teeth and gums, and keeping our regularly scheduled dental appointments can also help prevent other health problems now, and later on in life?

Then we’d have no problem keeping those dental appointments and taking that extra 2 minutes to run some floss through the chompers.

New research from the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011 held this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, suggests people who visit the dentist regularly to have their teeth cleaned may lower their risk for heart attack or stroke.(1)

This isn’t just Tuesday morning fluff news to give us something to read while we waste time puttering through Facebook or teetering through Twitter.

This research suggests that getting our teeth professionally cleaned and scraped or “scaled,” just once a year, may help reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.

If this isn’t social dental-centric circle share-worthy info, we don’t know what is! How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

(Click one of the social links at the bottom of this article and share this story with a loved one)

We should actually make a habit of going to see our favorite dentists once every six months; more often for smokers, diabetics, people with gum disease already (2)…and rabid coffee hounds.

Now this doesn’t mean we all get our teeth cleaned at least once per year, and ipso facto…no heart disease or stroke.

Dentists would be even more popular if that were true!

In this ABCNews article, Dr. Daniel Meyer, the American Dental Association’s (ADA) senior vice president of science and professional affairs, agreed that it is too early to make that assumption, but stressed,

“Regular dental visits are important to diagnose and treat dental disease. Some conditions in the mouth may indicate disease elsewhere in the body, so by maintaining a schedule of regular dental visits, the dentist can certainly refer patients to physicians or other health care providers for evaluation for a potential systemic disease.”(3)

How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart DiseaseHow gum disease may be linked to heart disease is still unclear, but continuing research can only help us learn more.

Oral Systemic Dentistry

Although some holes can be poked in the findings of the Taiwan-based research, particularly the type of patients examined and other supporting risk factors such as smoking, exercise habits, and genetics; holes can be poked in any research – and that’s what science is all about.

The indisputable facts remain, going to the dentist is good for us…beyond our teeth and gums!

Our oral health has a direct impact on our overall health.

It has been reported that 3 out of every 4 Americans have signs of mild periodontal disease or gingivitis, and almost 30% show signs of the more severe disease, chronic periodontitis.(4)

We now have a building knowledgebase of research that shows us, the health of our teeth and gums may have a significant effect on the overall health of our body.

This recent scientific literature (and more) suggests a strong relationship between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions.

Oral systemic dentistry is a growing area of study that is only gaining more popularity with dental health professionals.

The ability to share patient health information between primary care physicians and dentists, is allowing that beneficial communication to make a difference in diagnosis, patient care, and treatments available.

According to, the most significant areas identified to-date to have a suspected oral systemic connection are:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Fetal Development
  • Diabetes
  • Orthopedic Implant Failure
  • Kidney Disease

In all of the above mentioned medical conditions, oral bacteria and periodontal disease are suspected contributing factors.

How significant remains to be seen as we continue to learn more.

We need to educate ourselves, ask questions at the doctor or dentist office, and SHARE THE INFO!

If we can share a stupid (albeit hysterical) FWD email, political rant, or video link of this week’s cute puppy, we should certainly be willing to share cutting-edge beneficial health care information.