Digital X-Rays?

By admin @ Oct 5, 2010 | 0 comments

Cool picture.  This person is actually missing his upper right canine.  A bridge replaces that missing tooth.  Plus if you didn't notice, there is a giant camera in front of him. 

Photo credit blog.jayparkinsonmd.com

Chewing gum? Good or Bad?

By admin @ Sep 24, 2010 | 0 comments

Do you like chewing gum?  No problem.  So does this Salt Lake City dentist.  Sugarless chewing gum helps stimulate saliva flow.  Saliva neutralizes acids caused by bacteria which naturally resides in your mouth.  Brushing and flossing your teeth eliminated food for the bacteria.  No food for the bacteria results in less acid produced and less cavities.  But chewing sugarless gum does not elimate the need to brush and floss your teeth.  However for in-between meals, sugarless chewing gum is an excellent alternative.  

Then what chewing gum do you choose?  Well first it needs to be sugarless.  Second, choose one recommended by the ADA.  Chewing gum approved by the ADA passes both laboratory and clinical studies with rigorous requirements.  As of 9/1/10 here is a list of chewing gum with the ADA seal:

  • Dentyne Ice Sugarless Gum
  • Orbit Sugarless Gum
  • Stride Sugarless Gum
  • Trident Sugarless Gum
  • Wrigley's Extra Sugarfree Gum

To see a complete list of ADA approved products go to www.ada.org or click here.

Fructose damages more than just teeth. Studies find link to cancer.

By admin @ Aug 3, 2010 | 0 comments

Fructose, found mainly in high fructose corn syrup, does damage to more than just your teeth.  Constant consumption of sugar leads to decay and possible loss of your teeth.  But what happens beyond the chompers?

A team from UCLA found that tumor cells fed and proliferated on fructose. Their research links fructose intake with the deadly pancreatic cancer.

"These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation," Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.

"They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth."

Here is a link and credit to the actual article by Maggie Fox and Reuters.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38528161/ns/health-cancer/

We would also like to remind others to donate to cancer research.  Also please let others know that we provide a free smile makeover to a survivor of breast cancer through our Survivor Bright Smiles program.

Elephant teeth

By admin @ Jul 16, 2010 | 0 comments

Now that we know why we have wisdom teeth.  See previous blog about previous use of our 3rd molars.  How is the wisdom teeth example like elephants?

Elephants have a better example of that conveyor belt of teeth as explained before.  Tusks are their incisors or anterior teeth.  Elephants usually have 8 teeth in their mouth at one time.  There are 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. 

Baby elephants start with a smaller 1st molar and a 2nd.  Elephants chew in a front to back motion rather than a side to side one like cows.  So the very front of the anterior molar does the hard work and eventually chips.  Then the back tooth pushes forward.  Just like a conveyor belt.  They have 6 sets of these teeth pushing forward as one gradually chips off.  They also get progressively bigger.  The last one is about 8in x 3in (21cm x 7cm) and weighs 8 lbs (4 kgs).   Looks like a brick.

So this conveyor progression continues with the last tooth.  The last one wears away around 60 years old in certain species.  Sorry, no dentists to make dentures for the old elephants.  And there tends to be a lack of applesauce and yogurt in the wild.  Older elephants migrate to marshy and swampy areas because the food is softer and easier to eat.  These elephants then die of malnutrition and starvation.  The places where they die have been given the term "elephant graveyard".  And it's due to their teeth or lack thereof. 

Why do we still have wisdom teeth?

By admin @ Jul 16, 2010 | 0 comments

So why do we have still have wisdom teeth or 3rd molars?  We don't use them.  They errupt around 18-26 years old.  Most of the time coming in impacted leading to jaw pain and ruining perfectly aligned teeth.   

The answer is simple.  Modern dentistry has rendered wisdom teeth useless.  The 1st molars errupt around the age of 6 years old.  They are then hammered by acids and sugars in food.  They hold up remarkably well considering the human jaw can generate 200 lbs of pressure.  Then the 2nd molars erupt at 12 years old giving the mouth a fresh new pair of chompers. 

Now, teeth like to move or touch each other.  So if the 1st molars have been broken down, the 2nds try to fill "the hole".  Round 3, or wisdom teeth, come in later making a crude attempt to push things forward if any tooth anterior to it didn't handle 18 years of getting beat up.  Compare it to a curde conveyor belt of replacement teeth.

Today, teeth can be protected by sealants.  If necessary, they can be repaired by fillings or crowns.  Now there are no holes for that conveyor belt to work properly.  Humans and modern technology created their own problem - impacted wisdom teeth.  But then, what is worse?  Impacted teeth that can be easily removed or several abcesses caused by infected teeth.

Here's a very interesting comparison to the animal kingdom.  The link will lead to another page of this blog.   


Photo credit:  wikipedia

Headaches Problems?

By admin @ Jun 4, 2010 | 0 comments

Chronic symptoms of the head and neck can often be attributed to:

 Headache -- the temporalis muscle (it closes and clenches the jaw)

 Sinus pressure and pain -- the lateral pterygoid muscles (it moves the jaw side to side and/or forward)

 Neck stiffness and pain -- trapezius muscle (it stabilizes the skull during jaw clenching and grinding)

Dental offices have treated and helped more and more people with their headache problems. For years, we assigned all of these names to headaches, like muscle tension headaches, neuralgia, migraine and so on, and it seems that many headache patients share one very common trait- They clench or grind their teeth at night!

Most medical research has shown that headaches, even people with classical migraine headaches, have no physical reason, no vascular problems and no neurological problems; in fact their physician's exam will give no physical reason for the pain. Many patients have had CAT scans and MRI's that were negative, and find that drugs really don't help their problem; instead the medication makes them groggy and "drugged out."

What we have discovered is that people who can control their nighttime clenching and grinding will get tremendous relief for their headaches and neck aches. Many people do so much unconscious clenching of their jaw muscles that when they wake up, their teeth are sore, their muscles are already tired, and they are set up for the beginning of a headache from the start of the day, if they don't wake up with one.

One effective treatment utilizes an NTI appliance (short for nocioceptive trigeminal inhibition), a dental device that fits between the upper and lower front teeth. (Detailed information can be obtained from the website at www.headacheprevention.com) The simple fact is that this device reduces the intensity of nighttime parafunction by 70 percent immediately, which can explain why so many patients wake up feeling better very quickly.

A traditional dental mouthpiece, or splint, reduces the resistance to side-to-side movement, thereby, reducing the effort and resultant strain to the jaw joint and sinuses (so long as clenching intensity isn't too intense). However, the same splint also provides an ideal clenching surface, where maximum clenching intensity may increase and/or allow jaw joint problems to perpetuate.

Many patients run the gamut of the medical world's attempts to control their headaches- with multiple drugs, injections and so on, without ever thinking that the pain might be muscular in origin. But just like back pain is often muscle spasm, the pain we call TMJ, as well as headaches of many sorts are very much caused by overuse of the muscles of closing the jaws.

We would recommend that if you or a loved one has chronic headache problems, that you go to the web site, or give us a call and let us take a look. It can do no harm, and it might very well make a huge difference in your lives!

A Beautiful Smile Is Precious And Priceless

By admin @ Jan 28, 2010 | 0 comments

Did you know that the shape, shade, length and spacing of your teeth could significantly affect your smile? And our smiles can greatly affect our self-esteem and confidence. Common conditions that impact negatively on your smile include broken, cracked or worn teeth, discolored teeth, missing teeth, crooked teeth, decayed teeth, gaps between your teeth and/or "gummy smiles." The good news is that with modern technology and improved materials, these situations can be dramatically changed to create natural looking and long-lasting beautiful smiles.

Each patient and each specific circumstance must be evaluated on its own merits. Factors such as occlusion [bite], oral habits, available space, health of the gum tissue, severity of the problem and patient expectation must be taken into consideration while planning your cosmetic makeover.

Depending on the situation, there are a variety of choices that all result in excellent esthetic outcomes. For whiter natural teeth, in-office or at-home bleaching [whitening] techniques are available. Repairing teeth or closing spaces may be accomplished with tooth-colored composite resin bonding, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns.

These procedures vary in time and cost and have differences in longevity and appearance. If you're not satisfied with your smile or want to learn if you're a good candidate for any of these remarkable techniques, call our office for a cosmetic consultation.

Taking Your Toddler to the Dentist

By admin @ Dec 18, 2009 | 0 comments

When to Visit the Dentist

It's never too early for your child to see a dentist.

As recommended by the American Dental Association, your little one should visit the dentist as soon as the first tooth comes out, and that visit should not be later than as his or her first birthday.

This way you will have the advantage of finding out if your child is at the high risk of developing serious dental problems. During toddler years, a set of primary teeth start to develop that helps in chewing and speaking, making them just as important as the permanent adult teeth.

What to Expect

Just like visiting your pediatrician, the dentist will review your toddler's medical history and check any complications that might arise when given dental treatments. Most dentists allow toddlers to sit on their parents' lap during check ups to make them more comfortable.

The dentist should also be able to give advice with regards to caring for your child's teeth and gums and should give you an idea of what to expect as your child's teeth develop. The dentist might also schedule a follow up consultation if needed.

Preparing Your Toddler for a Dental Check-up

 Children may become uncomfortable when exposed to a new environment such as a dental clinic. If you know that your toddler will get anxious during a dental check up, it would be best to take the child to the clinic for a visit before your scheduled appointment. You can also bring your toddler each time you  or anyone in the family has a dental check up. This will help familiarize the child with the clinic's environment prior to the actual appointment.

You could also write down any question or concern in advance regarding your child's dental health to avoid missing out on any questions or concerns that you would like to bring up to the dentist.

photo credit: peasap

Top 5 Foods to Prevent Bad Breath

By admin @ Dec 7, 2009 | 0 comments

Bad breath results for two key issues: Oral hygiene and gastrointestinal health.  Basically this means that breath odors originate not just inside the mouth but also from your digestive tract.  The culprit in both cases is largely bacteria.  Doctors will tell you that if you have bad breath, you should first make sure you are eating right. (getting a balanced diet of protein, carbs, lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of fluids to keep the GI tract healthy), and brushing and flossing after every meal.  But that still doesn’t mean you might not be offending your friends and co-workers after lunch at the new Italian place.  Here are some things you can ingest (or chew) that can help.


1. Chew on this.  Move over parsley, there are some new halitosis-fighting herbs in town.  “Coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary and cardamom are all good for fighting bad breath,” says Dr. Christine Gerbstadt, who has lecture don oral health.  You can chew on fresh herbs or make tonics by steeping them in hot water.  These herbs make an excellent digestive as well – doubling the benefits of ending a meal this way.


2. Get some active culture.  No, not Cirque du Soleil, but yogurt.  A recent study found that a serving of yogurt each day reduces the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide in the mouth.  Apparently it also cuts back on bacteria in the mouth – plaque and gum disease were reduced in the yogurt eaters as well.  Plus, the American Dietetic Association recommends getting enough vitamin D from yogurt, cheese and milk if you’re worried about halitosis because this vitamin creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth.  Be sure to get the kind of yogurt with active cultures - not overly processed or sugar added varieties.


3.  Crunchy types.  Apples, carrots, celery - basically any fiber rich fruit or vegetable is your friend when it comes to fighting halitosis.  “Inside your mouth, plaque build-up causes odors,” explains Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian.  “eating foods that increase saliva production keeps the mouth moist – and rinsed out.  Also, many carbs and proteins can get stuck in your teeth – even healthy foods like whole grain cereal or chicken breast.” So follow a meal with a Granny Smith (feel the saliva kick in at the mention of it?) to cleanse the mouth.


4.  Masking techniques.  Sugarless gum shouldn’t replace brushing your teeth after a meal, but in a pinch it can freshen breath (masking odors) and is another way to increase saliva production to rinse away plaque and bacteria.  Mints can mask as well, but only briefly – and go for sugarless.  Sugar creates plaque, and no one wants a mint that makes breath worse.


5.  High C’s.  Eating berries, citrus fruits, melons and other vitamin C-rich foods creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth.  A diet rich in vitamin C is also important for preventing gum disease and gingivitis – both major causes of halitosis.  Get you C in foods, not supplements, which can cause gastrointestinal upset in some, according to Sass, and exacerbate bad breath.


Marin Gazzaniga
MSN Health and Fitness

Pregnant? Bad Oral Hygiene Can Lead to Complications in Pregnancy.

By admin @ Nov 5, 2009 | 0 comments

Pregnant women are very careful about their health as any activity could affect their unborn child's wellness. Extra precautions are needed especially when taking medications and medical procedures as these could bear side effects that are bad for the baby's health. Because of this, many have concerns on undergoing dental treatments during pregnancy. The following are dental care tips to help soon-to-be moms with their dental health choices.

"Bacteria from a mother's mouth can be transmitted through the blood and amniotic fluid in the womb to her unborn child." - ScienceDaily

Inform your dentist. 

The best thing you could do is inform your dentist about your pregnancy so that special procedures and or treatments could be made to ensure your health and that of your baby's. Also, inform your dentist of any medicine, prenatal vitamins, or any special medical advice that your doctor may have given and are currently taking. This will also affect the types of medicines that your dentist will prescribe.


X-rays emit radiations that could harm your baby. It would be best to avoid it when undergoing dental procedures as much as possible. But in cases such as dental emergencies where X-ray is essential, your dentist will use extreme caution to ensure the safety of your baby. A blanket made out of special materials is used to cover the uterus to safeguard the baby from harmful radiation.

Maintain good oral hygiene. 

It is important to practice good oral hygiene because of the fact that the hormonal changes during pregnancy could cause gum diseases such as Gingivitis. Brushing your teeth after meals and flossing will help keep your gums healthy.

Tooth extraction and root canal therapy. 

Under local anesthesia, you can undergo dental procedures such as tooth extraction or root canal therapy without having to worry about your pregnancy, but please consult with your dentist or give us a call at 801-277-1412.


Local anesthetics such as novocaine and lidocaine are considered safe and used widely by dentists on their pregnant patients and are preferred over inhaled anesthetics.

Avoid sugar. 

It is common for pregnant women to crave for something sweet. But being the number one source tooth decay, sugar should be avoided. Eating healthy is one of the keys to healthy pregnancy so be sure to eat balanced meals everyday.

Certain studies show oral bacteria are easily passed from mother to child, therefore it is important to never neglect dental care not just for you but also for your baby as well.

photo credit: rahego