POP, POP, POP! Monday, Feb 18 2013 

Pop, fizz, pour down an icy cold soda! How many do you drink in a day? It might be a habit you want to break.
Soft drinks, regular and diet are tied to numerous health issues. According to recent studies drinking soda leads to increased weight gain. Regular soda drinkers experience an increase in harmful hidden fats including liver and skeletal fats. Oddly enough studies have shown that individuals drinking diet sodas have a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference.
Several studies have linked soda to heart disease, diabetes as well as kidney trouble. Harvard researchers have found that even 2 diet sodas a day could lead to a 30 percent drop in the measure of kidney functions. A study by the University Of Minnesota School Of Public health found that drinking as little as 2 soft drinks a week may double your risk of pancreatic cancer. Another study has confirmed that drinking diet sodas increases your chance of developing diabetes.
It’s bad for your teeth! Of course the sugars have a negative effect on the teeth but the big culprit is the high acid content in sodas. The acid actually strips the enamel from the teeth. Citrus flavored drinks are the worst as they dissolve the enamel up to five times faster.
The same acid that is bad for your teeth pulls the calcium out of your bones making you a candidate for osteoporosis.
Some popular sodas contain brominated vegetable oil which is a toxic flame retardant. Recently, Gatorade has removed this ingredient from their product after coming under pressure from the public. BVO can cause skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders.
Overall sodas may taste good but replacing them with H2O will always be your best bet for improved health.

Mercury Free or Mercury Safe Friday, Dec 7 2012 

Today many dentist are mercury-free (amalgam-free) but are they mercury-safe?  Strictly speaking, the term “mercury-free” refers to dentists who do not put amalgam fillings in their patients’ teeth.  This term was first used over 40 years ago by dentists who wanted to distinguish themselves from dentists who felt that amalgams were safe and continued to use them.

However, the term mercury-free wasn’t a truly accurate description because even dentists who didn’t put in amalgam fillings still had to remove them – and the removal process releases excessive and unnecessary amounts of toxic mercury vapor.

Over time, dentists who were mercury-free developed protocols and equipment that allowed them to dramatically minimize a patient’s exposure to mercury during the removal process.  In effect, using these protocols meant that their practices were also mercury-safe.

Today it is no longer enough for a dentist who is both mercury-free and mercury-safe to just promote his or her practice as mercury-free.  Why?  Recently a survey showed that 52% of general dentists no longer use amalgam and call themselves mercury-free.  But, and this is important for every dental patient to know, not because they were concerned about safely removing them, but because they no longer felt amalgam was a good filling material when compared to the newer composite fillings

This has created a problem for patients who believe that dentists who said they were mercury-free also meant they used protocols to safely remove amalgam fillings.  But there is a solution.  Patients who are looking for a dentist who will safely remove their amalgam fillings must ask the question: “Are you both mercury-free and mercury-safe?”  Bottom line… you can’t assume that a dentist who advertises his or her practice as being mercury-free, is also mercury-safe – unless you ask!

Unsafe removal of amalgam fillings can generate huge amounts of toxic mercury vapor, easily up to a 100 times more than the maximum levels of mercury vapor allowed by all government regulatory agencies.  What really separates mercury-safe dentists from those who are only mercury-free, is their understanding that:

  • When unsafely removed, amalgam fillings release huge amounts of poisonous mercury vapor.
  • The mercury released from amalgam fillings negatively affects patients health.
  • Patients, the dentist and his assistant need to be protected from exposure to toxic mercury vapor during the amalgam removal process.

Mercury-safe dentists also have the specialized equipment, training, experience, and skills necessary to minimize their patients’ exposure to mercury during amalgam removal.  If you want to protect yourself from excessive and unnecessary occupational exposure to mercury vapor at the dental office make sure your dentist is not just mercury-free – but also mercury-safe!

How to Protect Your Childs Teeth from Sports Injury Monday, Oct 29 2012 

Unfortunately, kids plus sports occasional equals injuries.  Whether on the ball field, basketball court, skateboarding or biking, each year thousands of youth get injured while participating in sports.  The last thing your child thinks about when stepping out to play is protecting their teeth. Blows and accidents to the face can result in injured teeth, lips, cheeks or tongue.

A properly fitted mouth guard should be part of your child’s uniform so as to protect their teeth and smile. There are 3 types of mouth guards:  A stock, ready-made guard, a “boil and bite” mouth guard or a dentist can make custom a guard. They all provide some protection but vary in comfort, cost and amount of protection.

An effective mouth guard should be durable and easy to clean.  It should fit comfortably and not inhibit breathing in any way. Usually a mouth guard covers only the upper teeth but the dentist may suggest also using a lower guard.

Here are some points for taking care of a mouth guard.

1)    Before and after use, rinse it with cold water or a mouth rinse. It can also be cleaned it with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

2)    When not in use store the mouth guard in a container that permits air to circulate and prevents the mouth guard from being damaged or eaten by the dog or cat.

3)    Avoid leaving it in high temperatures because the heat can distort the mouth guard so that it doesn’t fit properly.

4)    Bring the mouth guard to your regular check-up with the dentist so he/she can make sure it is still in good condition and fitting properly.

Ensure that your child keeps that beautiful smile for their lifetime…get them a sports mouth guard!

Using Ozone in Dentistry Wednesday, Sep 19 2012 

Ozone can be used in many ways to help with dental conditions.
Bacterial infection
Any bacterial infection can be treated effectively with ozone.  Rinsing and gargling with ozonated water can handle sore throats, abscesses and periodontal problems.  In our dental office ozonated water and gas is used to irrigate perio pockets, root canals, abscesses and in the routine preparation of teeth thus minimizing the chance for sensitivity after fillings.
 
Root Canals
When a root canal is performed O3 is highly beneficial in eliminating the toxins that are in the tooth.  Teeth are made up of millions of tubules.  When the tooth becomes infected requiring a root canal the potent toxins can remain in those tubules potentially causing health problems.  We use ozone in the canals after cleaning out the infection  further disinfecting the tooth.
Dental Surgery
Irrigation of the surgical site with ozone water will help speed the healing as well as remineralize the bone.
TMJ
Research has shown that a number of TMJ problems are associated with bacteria, fungi and viruses.  These cause an inflammatory reaction resulting in the TMJ pain.  Ozone injections can be very therapeutic for this condition. The gas not only kills the organisms but also reduces the inflammation and stimulates new cartilage growth.
Cavitations
Cavitations (holes in the bones) occur at the site of previous extractions. Cavitations may have systemic effects.  Ozone greatly increases the odds of healing the bone.  The O3 kills the bugs, enhances the immune system and promotes remineralization of bone. Ozone gas injected directly into the cavitation site has remarkable effects.
 
Sinus Infections
People with chronic sinus infections can benefit from breathing O3 filtered through olive oil.
Mouth Lesions
Ozonated olive oil has many uses as a salve for the gums, oral ulcers or lesions

The Nutrients of Life in Dentistry Wednesday, Aug 15 2012 

The two primary nutrients of life are oxygen and water. Without these two elements there would be no life. With this in mind, we now have the capability for effective, safe non-toxic therapies using Ozone (O3) either as a gas or infused in water. Ozone naturally, effectively kills bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Thus ozone is a wonderful addition to our arsenal of treatments.

Ozone is a form of oxygen that occurs naturally as a result of ultraviolet energy or electrical stimulation causing a temporary recombination of the oxygen atoms into groups of three.  It was first discovered in 1840 and by 1870 it was used in medical applications.  Ozone gives us a way to treat infections and inflammation with a naturally occurring substance that has no toxicity or side-effects.

Ozone has many applications in the dental field. Any bacterial infection can be treated with ozone.  A sore throat, mouth ulcerations, abscesses and periodontal disease can all be treated with ozone. It serves as an excellent rinse prior to restoring teeth.  If there has been a pulp nerve exposure, sometimes treatment with ozone gas will prevent the nerve from dying thus avoiding the necessity of a root canal.

The major objection, today, regarding root canals is that often some infection is left in the many tubules that make up a root causing ongoing chronic health problems.  With the use of ozone rinse and gas in and around the canal the dentist can be assured that the tooth has been disinfected. Irrigation with ozone during a surgical procedure will speed the healing making it a valuable tool for extractions, cavitation surgery and implants.

Injecting Ozone gas into the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint can often be very effective in handling chronic long term TMJ problems.  Research is now showing that TMJ pain can be associated with bacteria, virus and fungi infection.  The ozone kills the organisms, reduces inflammation and stimulates the growth of new cartilage.

The multiple applications of Ozone make it an exciting new tool in a dentist hands.  Situations that have caused dentist to be baffled over the years can now be addressed and handled by Ozone—the Nutrients of Life.

 

By: Dr. Paul Rodeghero

Caring for Your Child’s Health Friday, Jul 6 2012 

Parents are faced with many choices while raising their children regarding their overall health.  You many wonder when it is best to start your child on routine dental exams as well as what is the best strategy to ensure proper preventative actions.

Children today are faced with a wide array of food choices from fresh produce to sugar-laden processed meals and snacks. A story published in the March 6th issue of The New York Times stated that many preschoolers are now experiencing at least “6-10 cavities” with severe decay.  The cost to parents to restore their child’s teeth can range from $500- $5000 or more. Obviously, early prevention is the key, but when to start?

As soon as your infant starts cutting teeth it is ideal to rub their teeth and gums after eating with a soft cloth.  Once they are old enough, begin using a child’s tooth brush with a mild tooth paste at least twice a day (children find many adult tooth paste to be “too spicy”).  Don’t leave it to your child, brush their teeth yourself. This will start early habits that will last a lifetime. 

Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed with meals as saliva production increases during meals and will help to neutralize acid production.  Offer your child nutritious snacks but if they have sweets insure that they clean their teeth following the sugary treats. 

Monitor the consumption of soft drinks, sports drinks and juices.  Do not get in the habit of putting these in a bottle as it can cause “bottle mouth syndrome” where all of the front teeth of the child become severely decayed. Water is always a better choice.

If your child does have to have a baby tooth extracted due to decay it is imperative that a space maintainer be placed. This is a wire bracket that is attached to the adjacent teeth and is designed to hold the space for the permanent teeth to come in.  If this is not done the existing teeth will shift and there will not be room for the adult teeth to come in properly. The only way to correct such a situation is orthodontics.

You should start introducing your child to a dentist as young as 2-3 years old.  This should be a fun visit so that the child is not frightened.  Many adults have horror stories from their youth, which then causes them to avoid much needed dental treatment in their adult years.  Find a family dental practice or pediodontitis that establishes a good relationship with your child from the start.  Above all never imply to your child that the dental cleaning will “hurt.”

If your child complains of a tooth ache or you notice tooth discoloration, get them to a dentist as soon as possible. With these early preventative measures and frequent visits to a “kid friendly” dentist your child should enter their adult years with a healthy smile.

A Hidden Hazard Wednesday, Apr 18 2012 

Open wide and take a look.  Do you see any mercury silver fillings in there?  More than likely, if you are over 40 and have fillings or crowns in your mouth then they were made with the mercury amalgam which had been the material of choice since 1850. These mercury silver fillings are generally expected to last 5-20 years in a tooth. Why would mercury fillings be an issue of concern?

Silver mercury amalgam fillings leak and corrode in the same way that freezing water expands and breaks rocks.  Once a silver filling begins to leak, decay sets up under the restoration and the patient is often unaware of the change until they have a tooth ache or the tooth cracks.

In addition to the fact that silver mercury fillings are so unstable, mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive metal in the environment. It has been clinically proven with the use of an atomic absorption spectrometer that dental amalgams release mercury vapor into the mouth when the surfaces of the filling are stimulated.  Chewing, drinking hot beverages or acidic drinks can cause the release of additional mercury vapor from your silver amalgam fillings.

The amount of mercury released is dependent upon the number of amalgam fillings you have as well as the size of the restorations.  Research done has shown as few as three silver fillings release more mercury vapor than the US EPA sets for unacceptable occupational health risk.

Dr. Paul Rodeghero at Clearwater Family Dental is one of only 800 dentist country wide that follows the protocol for safe mercury amalgam removal as outlined by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. Dr. Paul employs the use of a specialized mercury filtration device that sucks the toxic aerosol from the room as the old mercury fillings are being removed. Intra-oral devices are used to keep the mercury from entering the patient’s body through the oral tissues. The patient is made to rinse their mouth before and after the procedure with Oral Detox Pro, a mix that binds with any residual mercury in the patient’s mouth. Additionally, supplements advised by the patient’s medical doctor can assistant in detoxing the body of any mercury toxins.

After carefully removing the old silver mercury amalgam fillings Dr. Paul will replace them with white resin composites.  Besides being safer, the tooth colored fillings bond to the tooth structure and are more natural looking than those big silver fillings you may have now. Give us a call and we will be happy to answer your questions and give you a more natural set of “pearly whites”.

A Reason to Smile Friday, Apr 6 2012 

            Replacing missing teeth can improve your quality of life and overall health.  Dentures will improve the way you look, eat and speak no matter what your age.  They can even improve your self-confidence.

A denture is a custom-made removable replacement for missing teeth.  Dentures are made of an acrylic resin, sometimes with a combination of different metals. A full denture is used when all of the patient’s teeth are missing.  A partial denture fills in the spaces created when a few teeth are missing.  This prevents other teeth from changing positions.

People may loose their teeth or be missing teeth for various reasons. Gum disease is the most prevalent cause of tooth lose. Cavities and dental defects can be caused by severe malnutrition, genetic defects, trauma, poor oral hygiene or drug use.

Dentures can help you in a number of ways. Improved ability to chew your food will provide you with better overall nutrition. The presence of teeth will provide you with a more natural facial appearance.  By replacing missing teeth your speech will be improved helping you to correctly pronounce the sounds. And overall you will feel better about yourself when you have an improved smile.

Once you have dentures it is important to have regular checkups so the dentist can examine your oral tissue for signs of disease or cancer. As you age your mouth will change, to maintain proper fit it may be necessary to adjust your denture.  A well-made set of dentures can last 10-20 years with occasional relines as your gums change with age.

Oral Cancer, Are You at Risk? Monday, Mar 26 2012 

With Michael Douglas’s diagnosis of stage IV oral cancer it has become widely known that cancer of the throat and tongue is now a serious concern.  This type of cancer has traditionally been found only in those who smoked or drank heavily.  However, today there are increased incidences of throat and tongue cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Up to 50% of the 34,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year are caused by HPV.

You may wonder how Michael Douglas’s cancer progressed so far without being detected. When a tumor is located far down the throat it is very difficult to be seen with the naked eye. Fortunately, HPV positive throat cancer has a higher survival rate and now with the new OraRisk Testˢͫͫ the infection can now be detected long before physical symptoms occur.  According to the New England Journal of Medicine HPV- squamous cell carcinomas respond more favorably to traditional chemo and radiation treatment.

Your dentist is the first line of defense in early detection of HPV positive throat cancer. They now have available to them a noninvasive, easy-to-use screening tool for identifying the various levels and types of oral HPV infection.  If you are concerned that you may be at risk do a quick assessment of the following:

Do you smoke or chew tobacco?

Do you frequently drink alcohol?

Do have an occasional cough, sore throat or earache?

Are you sexually active?

Do you have a family history of oral cancer?

If you answered yes to some of these questions then you may be a candidate for the OraRisk salivary test developed by Oral DNA lab. If the test comes back positive but there are no visible lesions then it would be monitored over the next six months. Very often the HPV infection can be eliminated by the patient’s immune system. If the test is positive and there are lesions present the dentist would refer you to an ENT Medical specialist.

If you have reason for concern talk to your dentist or you can find out more about this simple test by visiting www.OralDNA.com or http://www.myclearwaterfamilydental.com.

An Ounce of Prevention Thursday, Mar 15 2012 

   February is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.  You may wonder why all the concern.  The startling statistics is that oral cancer kills one person every hour of every day.  The reason is because the signs and symptoms are often missed by the naked eye, causing the disease to not be detected until late in its development.  However, if the oral cancer is found early patients have nearly a 90% survival rate.
            Once associated with only heavy smokers or drinkers, oral cancer is now being found in frightening rates in non-smokers and non-drinkers. Exposure to HPV, the human papilloma virus is the fastest growing risk factor for oral cancer.  HPV is responsible for a 5 times increase of oral cancer for those under the age of 40.
            The dentist is the front line to detection of this disease. During your exam the dentist may notice tiny white or red spots in your mouth or on the tongue.  These tiny spots do not usually contain unhealthy cells but the dentist has several screening techniques available to him that will determine if there is any dysplasia (unhealthy cells). It usually takes years for those cells to penetrate deep enough to cause any harm, so if detected early the spot can be removed long before cancer can start.
            The dentist may perform a “brush test” by which a tiny brush collects a sample of the cells for analysis. Or your dentist may have an Identafi 3000 or Velscope which are revolutionary new instruments that use different light spectrums.  The special light waves illuminate possible areas of change that may signal the occurrence or early beginnings of cancer.
            The prevention of oral cancer is simple.  The next time you see your dentist for your regular cleaning be sure you have a complete cancer screening which only takes minutes.  Remember the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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