Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010

Posts for: January, 2012

By contactus
January 26, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Fight Rotten teeth  

Rotten teeth affect millions of men, women and children the world over. People become susceptible to the factors causing rotting teeth virtually the moment that their first baby teeth appear. And while the primary cause of rotting teeth is as complex as it is pervasive, one thing is clear: left untreated, a rotting tooth is destined to become a dead tooth.

Rotten teeth are the result of the demineralization of tooth enamel by the acid-producing bacteria that normally grow the human mouth. The erosive power of this chemical process is why cavities and rotting teeth appear discolored and translucent. In so-called "best-case" scenarios, the acid responsible for rotting teeth will create a small dental cavity. In worst-case scenarios, the acid will eat through the enamel and dentin into the pulp of the tooth producing first a toothache and then a dead tooth.

The Sugar Connection

Research shows the consumption of sugar and starchy foods creates the perfect environment for the growth of the acid-producing bacteria responsible for rotting teeth. This partially explains the alarming number of children who experience decayed or rotten teeth. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 6 out of 10 children in the U.S. will have a least one cavity filled by age 5. Studies link this alarming statistic to three things: 1) the omnipresence of sugary snacks; 2) giving little ones pacifying bottles of juice, milk, or formula to drink during the day or overnight; and 3) inconsistent oral hygiene.

Preventing rotten teeth takes a little common sense and a lot of dedication. The key to avoiding rotting teeth is reducing the amount of cavity-causing bacteria and dental plaque in your mouth. This requires a real commitment to good oral hygiene, including

·        Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day

·        Using tartar-control toothpaste with fluoride 

·        Flossing daily

·        Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash

·        Cutting back on starchy and sugary foods

·        Increasing saliva flow by chewing xylitol gum

·        Regular dental cleanings by a dentist DDS, DMD or dental hygienist

  


By contactus
January 19, 2012
Category: Dental News

  People of ancient times believed that the stabbing pain of a toothache was caused by a toothworm, which either had appeared spontaneously or had bored its way into the tooth. If the tooth pain was severe, it meant that the worm was thrashing about, but if the aching stopped, then the worm was resting. Cultures all over the world, many of whom had no contact with each other, held stubbornly to this myth. The folklore of the toothworm persisted from ancient times to the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Folk Cures

 Bee: Honey, a product of bees, was used to coat an infected tooth in the Middle Ages. People smeared their aching teeth with honey and waited all night with tweezers in hand, ready to pluck out the toothworm.

 Donkey: In ancient Greece, donkey’s milk was used as a mouthwash to strengthen the gums and teeth.

 Frog: Besides spitting in a frog’s mouth for toothache relief, these web-footed creatures were applied to a person’s cheek or to the head on the side of the ailing tooth.

 Onion: In the Middle Ages a slice of onion was applied to the ear on the side of the aching tooth.

Reprinted with permission from "Toothworms and Spider Juice: An Illustrated History of Dentistry" – Loretta Frances Ichord, Millerbrook Press. 

By contactus
January 12, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Sinusitis  

During the winter months and at other times when the air is very dry, it is important to keep our nasal passages moist. An easy way to do this is to sniff salt solution into both sides of the nose 2-4 times a day. To prepare a solution of proper strength, add 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water, and stir it until all the salt has dissolved. Sniff some from a spoon or other small container into each nostril. Alternatively, you can buy ready-prepared nasal saline products, such as Ocean, Simply Saline or generic equivalents from drug stores. Such solutions can be used to wash away mucus from the membranous lining of the nasal passages. They also help by shrinking any parts of it that are swollen. If this is not done, mucus and the swollen membranes around these openings may block openings of the sinuses into the nasal passages. Sinusitis will then occur if nasal bacteria infect the mucus, which can no longer drain from the blocked sinus. Treatment of sinusitis (rather than its prevention) often requires the use of antibiotics.

Some doctors are not enthusiastic about nasal saline irrigation since researchers found that it does not significantly reduce the incidence of colds. However, do not confuse colds with sinusitis. Viruses cause colds, while sinusitis is a bacterial-induced complication for some colds. Irrigation of the nasal passages with saline cannot kill viruses or bacteria, but it does help to reduce the incidence of sinusitis in people with a tendency to develop this common complication of colds.

Sources: American Family Physician (70:1685 & 1697, "04) & Wall Street Journal (Dec.7"04, page D6).




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