Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sunflower Seeds and the All Star Game

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It’s All Star Game Time!

The All Star Game will bring out some of the best baseball players to the mound, and I bet you will see lots chewing on sunflower seeds- that can’t be bad right? Wrong! the seed itself is not bad for your choppers—it’s the hull that’s the problem.  With a hard outer shell you are biting through this shell to get to the small hull and that’s where the damage can happen. You can crack a tooth on these shells so best to opt for the hulled seeds to keep yourself from needing any emergency dental work while the all star game is going on!

Sparkling Water Not So Sparkling For Your Teeth!

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We are seeing an increase in adults with cavities forming over a short period of time and many are drinking more sparkling water.  Sparkling water is made by adding carbon dioxide gas to flat water.  This process produces carbonic acid, which is the same stuff found in soda, minus the sugar.  When your teeth are exposed to high amounts of acid, it eats away at enamel and cavities begin to form.  Add more citric flavoring and this adds another layer to the problem.  If you drink these sparkling waters frequently, we suggest rinsing with water after drinking and brushing as well.  If you are concerned about this and have more questions please ask us at your next visit! Now accepting new patients, call now for your appointment. 703-548-8584

Is your highschooler Juuling?

Juul

 

Believe me it is hard to keep up with all the things our kids face on a daily basis!  The other day I was reading one of my dental journals and they were discussing “Juuling”- I had no idea what this was and was surprised to learn it is a new form of vaping.  The problem with “Juuling” is that it typically has twice the amount of nicotine than similar devices.

  • Studies indicate that nicotine does cause recession of the gums. Because it reduces that blood flow that passes through the veins, nicotine helps to deprive the gums of crucial nutrients and oxygen necessary for optimal health. Over time, that can cause gum tissue to wither and die.
  • There is also evidence that nicotine can be a contributing factor in conditions like periodontitis and gingivitis..
  • Dentists have also complained that nicotine delivery via vaping may be masking many of the symptoms that they would otherwise use to identify the presence of gum disease in their patients. That’s due to that reduced flow of blood and the fact that gum disease’s most obvious symptom is the increased presence of blood in the gums. By suppressing that symptom, some patients may not get the early detection they need.
  • Nicotine has also been identified as a muscle stimulant, which can cause teeth grinders to intensify that harmful activity.
  • Although not necessarily relevant to oral hygiene, smoking is obviously related to coughing, known as smokers cough.

Studies are also showing that “Juuling” is more addictive when started at an early age.  We suggest talking to your kids about this new trend and we would be happy to address any concerns you may have- just give us a call!

Patient Appreciation Party- Come Celebrate

Patient Appreciation Party
Patient Appreciation Party

 

Join us Thursday, April 19th from 6pm- 8:30 for our annual Patient Appreciation Party!  This is a night to celebrate you and we have lots of fun things planned for you.  Bring a family member or friend and be eligible to spin our prize wheel-you know we always have good prizes!  We will also have Donnell back doing seated massage again to relax you.  Magic Mike will be back with his card tricks and magic- he is sure to bring you a laugh!  We will have plenty of lite bites and wine for everyone, so don’t miss the party of the year!

Please RSVP by April 16th to 703-548-8584- we look forward to seeing you!

HPV- Men and Oral Cancer- the link

This is a very informative article written by Marie McCullough of Philly News- we think it is well worth the read!

Five years ago, when actor Michael Douglas candidly revealed that his throat cancer was linked to having oral sex, two things happened.

He made headlines that mortified his family. And he helped publicize the fact that a pervasive, sexually transmitted virus called HPV was unleashing an epidemic of oral cancer among men.

Since then, scientists have made headway in figuring out why HPV, the human papillomavirus, has this glaring gender bias. Men are four times more likely than women to be diagnosed with oral cancer, a hard-to-detect, hard-to-treat disease that has overtaken cervical cancer as the most common HPV-related malignancy in the United States.

To be sure, changes in sexual norms over the last few generations have played a role in this alarming trend. But research increasingly shows the real problem is something men have practically no control over: their immune response.

Compared with women, men are more likely to get infected with HPV — including “high-risk” cancer-causing strains. They also are less able to wipe out infection on their own, and more likely to get reinfected. The reasons are unclear.

 

“There is good evidence that men acquire oral infections more readily than women, even if they have similar sex practices,” said Ashish A. Deshmukh, a University of Florida HPV researcher.  “And more than the acquisition, it’s the persistence of the virus. The clearance rate is not that fast in men.”

Michael Becker of Yardley has stepped up as the face of this immunological inequity. The 49-year-old former biotech executive is health-conscious, clean-living, happily married for 26 years – and battling terminal oropharyngeal cancer, the medical term for malignancies in parts of the mouth and throat.

He’s also battling the misconceptions and ignorance that keep too many parents from protecting their pubescent children — especially boys — against HPV-driven cancers. Two shots. That’s all it takes for the leading vaccine, Gardasil, to prevent most cervical cancers, less common genital malignancies, and the disease that is killing Becker.

“I can’t tell you how many emails I got from parents after the CBS segment,” he said, referring to a national television interview last month. “They said, ‘What do you mean this vaccine is for boys?’ and ‘What do you mean oral cancer incidence has eclipsed cervical cancer?’ ”

An inescapable virus

HPV is a family of more than 100 virus types that can live in the flat, thin cells on the surface of the skin, cervix, vagina, anus, vulva, penis, mouth, and throat.

The virus is spread through contact with infected skin, mucous membranes, and bodily fluids. Some types can be passed during intercourse or — as Douglas pointed out — oral sex.

While virtually all sexually active people will get infected at some point, the virus is usually wiped out by the immune system without so much as a symptom.

But not always.

In the cervix, persistent infection with high-risk HPV types can lead to precancerous changes that, left alone, slowly turn malignant. Fortunately, the Pap smear enables the detection and removal of abnormal cells before cancer develops. What’s more, age-related changes in cervical cells reduce the risk that HPV will take hold there as women get older.

No such screening test exists for oropharyngeal sites – the tongue, soft palate, tonsils, the throat behind the nasal cavity – and symptoms usually don’t appear until cancer is advanced. Becker, for example, had metastatic disease by the time he noticed a lump under his jaw line in late 2015.

Traditionally, smoking and heavy alcohol use are the big risk factors for oral cancer, but the non-HPV tumors linked to these bad habits have been declining in recent years.

HPV-related tumors, in contrast, have increased more than 300 percent over the last 20 years. The virus is now found in 70 percent of all new oral cancers.

About 13,200 new HPV oral cancers are diagnosed in U.S. men each year, compared with 3,200 in women, according to federal data. Treatment — surgery, chemotherapy, radiation — can have disfiguring, disabling side effects. About half of late-stage patients die within five years.

Natural defenses go awry

Oral HPV infection rates are skewed by gender, just like the resulting cancers. The latest national estimates of this disparity, published in October, come from Deshmukh and his University of Florida colleagues. They used a federal health survey that collected DNA specimens to estimate that 7.3 percent of men and 1.4 percent of women have oral infections with high-risk HPV types. That translates to 7 million men and 1.4 million women.

The chance of oral infection increases for women as well as men who have simultaneous genital HPV infections or a history of many sex partners, but male infection rates still far surpass female rates.

Patti Gravitt, an HPV researcher at George Washington University, believes these estimates are a bit oversimplified because women counted as uninfected may actually have undetectably low virus levels, or HPV may be hiding in a dormant state in their cells.

Still, Gravitt said the study is in line with others that suggest “men are more susceptible to HPV viral infection than women.”

In women, an HPV infection usually sets off the body’s defense mechanisms. The immune system makes antibodies that kill off the invader, then immune cells remain on guard, ready to attack if the virus reappears.

But in men, something goes awry. The HIM study — for HPV in Men — documented this by collecting genital, anal, and oral samples from 4,100 unvaccinated men in Florida, Mexico and Brazil between 2005 and 2009. The samples were tested for the presence of two high-risk HPV types and two that cause genital warts.

Among 384 men who developed infections during a 24-month period, only 8 percent produced antibodies. But this response rate varied depending on the site of infection; none of the small number of orally infected men produced antibodies.

Rather than putting the immune system on guard and protecting men from the virus, infection sharply increased the chance of getting infected again with the exact same HPV type. And many men who got reinfected were celibate at the time.

 

How could this be? Anna R. Giuliano, the researcher at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., who led the HIM study, said recurring infections may be due to reactivation of dormant virus, or to auto-inoculation – the man spreads infection from one part of his body to another. Or to something else entirely.

While the scientific understanding of this puzzle is evolving, one implication is clear. “HPV vaccination is the only reliable method to ensure immune protection against new HPV infections and subsequent disease in males,” Giuliano and her co-authors declared in a recent paper.

Becker hammers that message – when he is not being hammered by chemotherapy – using his self-published memoir and his blog. This week’s blog gave a shout-out to Sunday’s first-ever International HPV Awareness Day, declared by Giuliano and other members of the International Papillomavirus Society.

Christine Monahan for BioNJ

Michael Becker and his wife, Lorie, joined “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, a two-time cancer survivor, at a recent event.

 

Becker realizes that the novelty of the vaccine, the complexity of HPV, and its link to sex are obstacles to immunization. But he focuses on the life-saving aspect.

“Parents are being asked to vaccinate their 11-year-old child and they can’t imagine 30 or 40 years down the line, it will prevent cancer,” Becker said. “If you don’t know it’s connected to six cancers, you’re not going to care. So it really should be cast as an anti-cancer vaccine.”

Staff writer Marie McCullough with Philly News.com

Can I chew gum?

Many of our patients ask if they can chew gum and the answer is yes, as long as it is one with the ADA seal.  When you are short on time and can’t brush after a meal chewing gum can help to rid teeth of debris by increased salivary flow in the mouth.  There are 2 catches, it must be a sugar free gum that is ADA approved and we recommend chewing no longer than 20-30 minutes.  Why only 20-30 minutes you gum lovers ask- well many times the acting of chewing gum can make issues with TMJ flare up by the increased movement of your jaw.
A company earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by producing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements- so chew away, sparingly!orbit

Hookah’s Not As Safe AS You May Think

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Many Hookah and Vapor Smokers believe that they are safer using these methods than traditional cigarettes- however in recent research and articles published by the JADA- Journal of the American Dental Association, this type of “smoking” is just as bad if not worse- here is a recent excerpt from an article published this past fall…

We found that waterpipe smoking is associated with serious health problems affecting the head and neck region,” said study author Teja Munshi, B.D.S., M.P.H of Rutgers University. “The public needs to know they are putting themselves at risk. They should be made aware of the dangers of smoking hookahs.”

The authors conducted a literature review that focused on waterpipe smoking and head and neck conditions. They found waterpipe smoking to be associated with gum diseases, dry socket, oral cancer and esophageal cancer among other conditions. According to the World Health Organization, smoking a hookah is the equivalent of smoking 100 cigarettes, based on the duration and number of puffs in a smoking session.

“This study sheds light on the common misconception that smoking from a waterpipe is somehow safer than smoking a cigarette,” said JADA Editor Michael Glick, D.M.D. “Whether you are smoking a cigarette, an e-cigarette, a cigar, or tobacco from a waterpipe, smoking is dangerous not only to your oral health but to your overall health.”

 

As always if you have specific questions about Hookahs or Vape Smoking feel free to ask us at your next dental visit with Dr. Mullaney

The Truth about Dental Myths

We loved this article from the Huffington Post and thought we would share it with you!

Did you hear the one about the flying spirit who traded cash for old molars? Myths abound when it comes to dentistry:

• Put an aspirin next to a tooth to treat a toothache:
Don’t — it will burn your gum and do nothing for your toothache.

• Use a hard bristle toothbrush to best remove plaque.
Don’t — the abrasiveness can damage your gum line.

• George Washington’s wooden teeth were prone to termite infestation.
Don’t — believe it; while Washington was an early denture adopter, his false teeth were not made of wood, but merely stained metal and ivory that gave his smile a grainy appearance.

Here are the best of the dental tall tales:

Myth: Baby teeth all fall out eventually so there is no need for dental care for young children.

Fact: Baby, or primary teeth can decay, become infected and painful, if routine dental care isn’t sought early on.

Baby teeth act as space maintainers allowing the permanent teeth to come into the mouth properly. Prematurely losing baby teeth (from decay) could cause teeth to drift and block out permanent teeth from growing in. A child’s first dental visit should take place by age one. Your child’s dentist should be monitoring and discussing with you, your youngster’s diet, hygiene, and oral habits.

Myth: Natural fruit juices won’t cause tooth decay like candy or soda will.

Fact: Westchester County, New York Pediatric dentists Dr. Jeffrey Ginsberg and Dr. Benjamin Dancygier advise on baby teeth and decay:

“Even 6-month-old infants can get decay, from going to sleep with a bottle or constant breast-feeding throughout the night,” says Dr. Ginsberg.

“All juices contain sugar which can cause tooth decay. The only safe drink for children is water,” says Dr. Dancygier.

Myth: It’s best to wait until my child loses all his baby teeth before seeing the orthodontist.

Fact: Waiting until all the permanent teeth arrive can result in two irreversible consequences: the need to extract permanent teeth due to the inability to correct crowding and missing a growth spurt without which extractions or jaw surgery is necessary. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist at age 7 for early detection of problems and to assure proper and timely planning for optimal care.

Myth: My child will grow out of it.

Fact: The majority of orthodontic problems do not-self correct.

Myth: The orthodontist will correct this problem with a retainer just worn at night.

Fact: Retainers are removable devices meant to retain, or hold teeth in place not designed to make active corrections. Tooth movement requires at least 20 hours of force applied daily over a period of time for teeth to safely reposition in a stable manner.

Myth: Wisdom teeth will cause other teeth to shift positions after orthodontics.

Fact: It’s a natural assumption to think that wisdom teeth (which commonly erupt in late adolescence) can cause post orthodontic changes, but the real cause of shifting or relapse is a late adolescent growth spurt of the lower jaw for a patient not wearing retainers.

Myth: Once teeth are straightened, no other follow-up is needed.

Fact: Teeth shift over varying degrees over a lifetime. Retainers mitigate these changes and are as important a part of orthodontic treatment as is wearing braces. Your child needs to be an active participant throughout treatment and retention in order to ensure a successful outcome.

Floss Like a Boss!

 

untitledWe thought this recent article from  HealthyWomen.org had some great reminders about flossing and we wanted to share with you- brushing alone does not take care of everything , floss like a boss and see some real improvements with your teeth and gums!

A national survey conducted by Harris Poll for the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recently discovered that a lot of us are lying to our dentists. No, it’s not about how much sugar-laden candy we’re eating or how often we brush (or don’t brush) our teeth. It’s about something that potentially has more impact on our health than that.

Twenty-seven percent of us lie about how often we floss.

The reason is fairly simple: People don’t like to floss. In fact, they’d rather wash dishes, clean a toilet or even spend time doing their taxes than floss. The American Dental association reports that only 50 percent of Americans floss daily, 31 percent less than daily and 18 percent don’t floss at all.

But when you consider that flossing helps prevent gum disease and cavities and not flossing is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, it makes you wonder why more people don’t do it.

Flossing Facts

1. Maybe you’re too tired at the end of the day to bother with flossing. Yet, it doesn’t really matter when you do it. The most important thing is to just do it—once a day. Whether you floss before or after you brush doesn’t much matter, either.

2. Here’s a no-brainer tip for easy flossing: Try storing floss in your car, in your bag or in your office drawer—then break it out when you have time (just don’t floss in public—your friends and coworkers will thank you). There’s no need to floss in front of a mirror, either. (And there’s no need for an excuse if you keep the floss handy and within reach!)

3. Flossing removes plaque from areas between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. If this plaque is not removed, it can eventually harden into calculus or tartar, leading to gum disease. There’s also evidence that periodontal bacteria can attach to the fatty plaques in blood vessels and set off an inflammatory process, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Other research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems.

4. You need not use only dental floss to clean between your teeth. There are other options specifically made for the purpose, like pre-threaded flossers, tiny brushes that can reach between your teeth, pointed rubber tips or wooden plaque removers.

5. Flossing should not be painful. It’s normal for it to be uncomfortable when you first start, but within a week or two, that discomfort should ease.

6. Be aware of flossing too hard—it could damage the tissue between your teeth. But don’t be too gentle either, which might not result in a complete job.

7. Children should start to floss as soon as they have two teeth that touch