28Sep

 “TMJ”– WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
“TMJ” is a common acronym term for an affliction that plagues a large segment of the population. Actually, everyone has two TMJ’s, or temporomandibular joints. They connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the upper jaw (temporal bone). They are very unique to all the other joints in the body, as they move in and out of their sockets, or “dislocate” so to speak, during normal functions such as chewing, speaking and yawning. All other body joints normally remain within their sockets during motion, and if they dislocate, it is a very traumatic event. The TMJ’s are a ball and socket type joint (condyle and fossa) that can move in many directions during normal function. In a healthy functioning mouth, however they do have a stable “home base” position (left image) when the teeth are closed together. They can, however, also be forced to operate out of their normal, healthy positions, in this case, the cartilage being dislocated in a forward position (right image).





22Sep

X-RAY EXPOSURE IN DENTISTRY

Henny Youngman is famous for an old chestnut he has used for years.  In response to the query, "How is your wife?” he replies, "compared to what?" “Compared to what” holds the key to an understanding of the significance of x-ray exposure in dentistry. For, although we all know radiation is in general undesirable, what then is dentistry's contribution to the overall picture?

Dental x-ray (Gonadal Exposure) compared to background and other sources of radiation:

The Gonadal radiation absorbed by an individual in a normal day from fall-out, sun, TV, etc. is approximately .3mR/day (1972).

People who live in mountainous areas may absorb up to .5mR/day. 

Wrist watch dial, 1 mR/hr. to wrist.

Pilot’s absorption from instrument panel, 1 mR/hr. 

Coincidentally, ..3mR is the gonadal dosage from a full mouth set of dental x-rays taken at 65kvp at 10 ma, and at a distance of 8 inches and is tantamount to watching TV in the evenings for 4 weeks.  (Journal of American Dental Association).  

16Sep

How We Deal With all patients with Bleeding Gums
It is well known that diabetes is associated with inflammation in the body.  To put gum inflammation into perspective, the combined surface area of bleeding gums of a person scoring high in the number of bleeding areas would be equivalent to the area of the palm of their hand.    

For some time now, we have seen amazing results with our non-surgical approach to stopping gum infection and inflammation.  Each patient has individualized needs, and these are determined through:

  1. A complete medical and dental history
  2. Thorough oral examination, including x-rays of teeth and surrounding bone
  3. Measurements of the spaces between the teeth and gums (periodontal pocket depth measuring)
  4. Phase microscope plaque assessment
  5. Blood marker testing including:
  6. Fasting Blood Glucose
    • Hb1Ac
    • Lipid profile
    • C Reactive Protein
  7. Neutraceutical Supplementation
  8. Laser pocket sterilization
  9. Bacterial elimination rinses

What is exciting is that we routinely see reductions in the above mentioned blood test markers due to the elimination of gum inflammation and infection.   

The formation of plaque on the teeth is the first step toward periodontal disease. Plaque, the white sticky substance that collects between teeth, is often the start of periodontitis. Made of microorganisms, dead skin cells and leukocytes (infection fighting white blood cells), it can be removed by brushing and flossing regularly. If it is allowed to build up, it will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar can only be removed with a professional cleaning at the dentist's office. Both plaque and tartar make the gums vulnerable to infection.
If an infection enters the gums it is referred to as gingivitis, the first stage of periodontitis. Bacteria that collect and breed at the gum line and the groove between the gum and the tooth cause the gums to redden, swell and bleed. This response is normal but can also lead to periodontitis. Gums affected by gingivitis often bleed and are sensitive, but not always. Other signs include swollen gums, loose teeth, a bad taste in the mouth and persistent bad breath.