Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Parents Sucking Their Baby's Pacifier Is a BAD Idea

Some parents think sucking their baby's pacifier can help the baby resist allergies. Not true.

There are certainly a lot of weird ideas going around. Some strange beliefs are actually based on an underlying fact that is not well known, but some eccentric ideas are just plain foolish and dangerous.

I noticed one such oddball belief on the ADA's Mouth Healthy website, dated May 6, 2013.

I will quote the entire short article on sucking on a pacifier to hopefully transmit to a baby an adult's immunity to allergies.


Should you suck on a pacifier before giving it to your baby?

A new study in Pediatrics, journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, reports that parents sucking their infant’s pacifier may reduce the risk of allergy development.

The ADA wants parents to be aware that licking a pacifier can transfer the cavity-causing bacteria from parents to children—increasing the possibility of tooth decay as they grow.

"A child's teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they begin to erupt," said Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dentist in Maine and a pediatric dental spokesperson for the ADA. "Cavity-causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans, can be transferred from adult saliva to children, increasing their risk of getting cavities."

Sharing eating utensils with a baby, or the parent sucking on a pacifier to clean it, can also increase the likelihood of transmitting decay-causing bacteria.

The ADA recommends that parents protect the dental health of young children by promoting a healthy diet, monitoring their intake of food and drink, brushing their teeth or wiping gums after mealtimes, and by having infants finish their bedtime or nap time bottle before going to bed. 

The ADA recommends that children receive their first dental visit within six months of eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tips on How To Get Rid of Bad Breath VIDEO

 Here's a funny but accurate presentation on "How to Get Rid of Bad Breath" by Lifehacker.

 Many of my Peoria, IL patients are probably going to relate to this.

You're out in public somewhere, a bar or restaurant or event. You suddenly see someone you know or would like to get to know.

Problem is -- does your breath stink or smell good? 

How do you check your breath's fragrance or stench? How do you keep your mouth smelling good for talking or kissing?

 What causes halitosis (technical term for bad breath)? Are breath mints really effective or do they just attempt to add to the overall smell of your breath?

 Enjoy this brief but well scripted and acted video.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Bruxism or "teeth grinding" is a fairly common problem, with serious dental health consequences.

Many people in Peoria, IL, where I have my dental practice, have questions about teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It seems to be a rather common problem, more prevalent than you might realize.

Often patients are shocked when I ask them if their grind their teeth, because they have never considered this possibility, but I can see some potential signs of it.

When people have this issue, they can be grinding their teeth while asleep or when awake or both. Lots of people grind or clench from time to time, but when it becomes regular, you need to deal with it and try to stop it.

Mild cases aren't so bad, but severe cases can result in damage to teeth and jaws. Teeth grinders can also cause themselves to have headaches and other health problems. Bruxism may result in damage to natural teeth, crowns, partials, bridges, dentures, implants, and fillings.

Some patients grind their teeth so hard, they wake up their husband or wife in bed next to them. "What is that racket?" they ask and you don't know what they're talking about.

Every case of jaw clenching and teeth grinding must be considered individually, but the Mayo Clinic offers these possible causes:
  • Emotions, such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, fear, or tension
  • TMJ syndrome
  • Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs like cocaine, crack, Ecstasy, crystal meth, LSD, heroin, etc.
  • Too much coffee, chocolate, or caffeinated beverages and foods
  • Aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type
  • Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion)
  • Other sleep problems, such as sleep apnea
  • Response to pain from an earache or teething (in children)
  • Stomach acid reflux into the esophagus
  • An uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, such as phenothiazines or certain antidepressants
  • A coping strategy or focusing habit
  • Complication resulting from a disorder such as Huntington's disease or Parkinson's disease
If you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, headache, or teeth feeling worn down, you may have bruxism.

Patients with bruxism need to stop chewing gum, munching on ice, and gnawing on pencils or other objects. 

Remedies can include mouth guards, exercises to reduce stress, massage, counseling to detect possible anger or frustration issues, fixing crooked teeth, replacing missing teeth, and even sedatives or sleeping pills.

If you suspect you may have this problem, be sure to contact a dentist immediately.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dental topic news stories June 2015

Here's a recap of recent news stories related to dentistry -- commentary and links I have posted on my Facebook page.

(1) In medieval times, the common people ate very little sugar and used honey sparingly. Peasant diets consisted of healthy fruits and vegetables, with plenty of calcium.

Sugar has been the modern nemesis of dental health.

(2) Dental plaque isn't all bad -- for archaeologists. It has preserved microscopic organic remains for thousands of years, revealing the diet of ancient humans.

(3) Why is dental treated differently than medical? Too many times, dental insurance is considered less critical, a garnish, like parsley on a steak dinner. This is old fashioned and dangerous thinking.


About a third of people in the U.S. don’t visit the dentist every year, and more than 800,000 annual ER visits arise from preventable dental problems.

“Medicaid doesn't acknowledge that you have teeth unless you're a child,” said Thomas Ritter, a dentist who was volunteering at the event.

One reason for this is that since the beginning of time, dentistry and medicine have been considered inherently distinct practices.

The two have never been treated the same way by either the medical system or public insurance programs.

But as we learn more about how diseases that start in our mouths can ravage the rest of our bodies, it’s a separation that’s increasingly hard to rationalize.


(4) Your teeth are amazing. Learning more about your teeth can inspire you to take better care of them.

(5) How would you feel about dentures made from the teeth of dead troops? Dentistry has certainly come a long way since that time!

Contact me to learn about the new dental technology that increases efficiency and comfort, while giving you the smile you deserve!

(6) Don't let tooth decay fester, in hopes that it will somehow "go away." You'll just make your problem worse and more expensive to fix. Don't let a problem turn into a disaster.

(7) Your inner conversation (internal dialogue) can be shaped to overcome fears. Those who suffer from severe Dental Anxiety (DA) are being helped with cognitive therapy.


Some good news about free bilingual dental screenings.

"Due to factors such as language barriers and lack of awareness about proper dental hygiene, a large percentage of U.S.

Latinos tend to experience poor dental conditions and difficulty in accessing oral health education. Colgate's Oral Health Month aims to empower these consumers by providing the oral health tips and information they need."

(9)  The golf tee, that is most often used today, was invented by a dentist. Dr. George Franklin Grant, a Boston dentist, secured US patent no. 638,920 for the golf tee on Dec. 12, 1899.

Dr. Grant graduated from Harvard in 1870 and was the 2nd African-American to receive a dental degree in the US.

While a number of others claimed to have invented the golf tee, in 1991 the USGA officially recognized Grant as the original inventor of the golf tee.

(10) "Only floss the teeth you want to keep" is a slogan being used to communicate dental hygiene to disadvantaged people.

(11) Jurassic Dinosaur Teeth Quiz.

Fun for you and your kids.

(12) How a mobile dentist brings a dental office on wheels to companies who offer it as a perk to employees.

(13) “He’s the guy with no cavities, (and) to think he came from poor origins where people lose their teeth,” de la Vega [dentist] said.

He said mouth guards for pro athletes – whether the sport is football, basketball, hockey or even badmitton – is highly specialized work that can play a major role in preventing catstrophic injuries.

He believe’s Pacquiao’s mouth guard, adorned in the colors of the Filipino flag, is well-made.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are material placed on teeth to improve their looks or to protect them from damage.

Veneers are important tools for cosmetic dentristy. This use of veneers began all the way back in 1928 as a way to improve the appearance of the teeth of actors.

Veneers can be made of composites or porcelain. Porcelain veneers are more durable.

WebMD gives a good list of what veneers are designed to accomplish for patients.


Veneers are routinely used to fix:
  • Teeth that are discolored -- either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
  • Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)


If you are interested in dental veneers, or have any questions, contact my office.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Interview with Dr. James Lynn Davis on BlogTalkRadio

I was interviewed on the Vaspers Advanced Technology Show on BlogTalkRadio on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 10:00 PM.

The episode is entitled "High Tech Dentistry." Time is about 24 minutes in duration.

In the program, I discuss how I got into the field of dentistry, why I became a dentist, and some of the new technological devices that make diagnosis and treatment more efficient -- and more comfortable for patients.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dentist Related Videos on YouTube

I'll share a kind of weird thing with you now. YouTube videos about dentists are mostly negative.

I search YouTube for dentist videos, to find something by the American Dental Association, or other good patient education organization.

Sometimes I find really good videos on dentistry. There are a lot of good ones for teaching kids about brushing, flossing, and mouth health. I've even found some funny ones, like a Carol Burnett show episode.

But the really sad thing is that if you type "dentist" into the YouTube search box, you get lists full of "I hate the dentist" videos -- or videos expressing hostility toward what I assume to be dental quacks or mediocre practitioners. Every profession has those types of inferior providers.

However, there are some gems to be found on YouTube when it comes to dentistry.

Here's a nice attempt by a dentist to produce a video showing him doing his job and explaining things: How to Become a General Dentist by Career Zoo.


The business of "drill and fill?" We're all familiar with the patient care side of dentistry, but how much do you know about the business end of it? Many dentists are also business owners and managers, taking the job far beyond the "drill and fill" stereotype. Dr. Brian Britt tells us about the many hats he has to wear, and what it takes to sink your teeth into this rewarding career.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Meth Mouth VIDEO

Unpleasant, but important to be aware of, Meth Mouth is the total destruction of all an addict's teeth and gums.

Methamphetamine (crystal meth) abuse causes dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, bad diet, tooth chipping, teeth grinding and clenching, gum problems, infections, and abscessing.

"Crystal Meth: What You Should Know"