Silicon Valley Surgical Arts, Inc. & San Francisco

Elevated blood sugars and its impact on the survivability of Dental Implants

Photo Dec 14, 11 36 09

 

The cover story in the most recent edition of the Journal of American Dental Association (JADA) cited an article that added more evidence as to the detrimental effects of diabetes and elevated blood sugars toward dental surgery, more specifically dental implants.   In this prospective cohort study it was determined that poor glycemic control is a risk factor to implant therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study sample consisted of 117 edentulous patients (patient with completely no teeth and wearing dentures), each two mandibular implants (implants in the lower jaw), for a total of 234 implants.   The authors then assessed the implant survival and stability (by means of resonance frequency analysis – aka as Osstell device as seen below which is used on out practice to test every implant at the time of placement and right before the implant is loaded 4-6 months later) relative to glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, with baseline levels 11.1% -13.3% over a one year.

Osstell

Implant survival rates were followed up for one year after loading.  The results of this study indicate that elevated HbA1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes were not contribute dental implant failures however, there was alterations in early bone healing and implant stability, which may later lead to issues with implants.  Unfortunately since the duration of this study was only for one year, it would be beneficial to know what would happen at least 5-10 year follow-up.

Commonly Used Anti-depressionMedications and Dental Implant Failures!

In the September 2014 issue of the Journal of Dental Research (JDR) a group of researchers found that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Implant with abutment and crownSSRI’s) the most common form of anti-depression medication, were associated with higher rates of dental implant failure!   This was attributed to a reported decrease in bone formation and an increase in bone fractures in the same group of patients.

In the time period between 2007 and 2013 close to 1000 dental implants were followed closely and in patients that were taking SSRIs the rate of implant failure was twice as much at 10.6%, versus the non-SSRI group at 4.6%.  Additionally in this retrospective study it was found that smaller diameter implants of less than 4 mm and smoking were also associated with a higher risk of implant failure.

This is a very interesting finding and warrants further research into the relationship between the medications that we take in a regular basis and its impact surgical outcomes, such as dental implant placement.

Five Surprising Cavity Killers

The Green Goblin of oral hygiene is an influx of cavities in one’s mouth. Most patients are aware that brushing and flossing is the central defender of cavities. However, few people know about these foods, drinks, or tips that may help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

wineandcheese

1)   Cheese- Evidently, being cheesy isn’t always a bad thing. Casein, a protein included in cheese, increases calcium levels in the mouth. Because teeth already partially consist of calcium, salvia calcium helps mineralize teeth, which prevents cavities. This does not mean to eat 5 cheese sandwiches a day. However, cheese and crackers every now and then wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it might help!

2)   Sugar Free Gum- Believe it or not, chewing sugar free gum has been doctor recommended to avoid cavities for years. The reason – sugar free gum consists of a sugar substitute called “xylitol.” This isn’t the same teeth-rotting sugar substitute included in diet soda. Xylitol prevents cavities because bacteria cannot use it to grow or produce acid. Bacteria uses many components within the mouth as opportunities to spread, but xylitol is not one of those components.

3)   Dark Chocolate- Perhaps indulging isn’t as guilt-stricken as one would think. It turns out that dark chocolate contains cocoa beans with strong antioxidants that can prevent tooth decay. Tannins, the component in dark chocolate that give it its bitter taste, prevent oral bacteria from sticking to one’s teeth. The polyphenols in dark chocolate not only limit bacteria, but also work to cease bad breath by neutralizing microorganisms. Remember that DARK CHOCOLATE – not milk chocolate or white chocolate – is the cavity killer. Probably not a smart idea to add a Hershey’s bar as a side to your meal.

4)   Using a Straw- Carbonated beverages are never a wise choice regarding oral health. However, there is a way to limit cavity growth while consuming soda: using a straw. Using a straw and while not letting the soda hit your teeth reduces the chances of tooth decay and cavities. However, the best way to avoid cavities regarding soda is NOT DRINKING SODA.

5)   Red Wine- *For the 21+ only* While many believe that wine is an unfavorable drink for teeth due to the stain left behind, one study suggests otherwise. It was found that wine has many components that actively prevent tooth decay and cavities. This isn’t saying that one should excessively drink wine, and isn’t even proof that red wine is effective in fighting cavities. It merely says that wine consists of cavity fighting components.

5 Points for Wearing a Mouth Guard During Sports

It’s easy for people to not realize what they have until it’s gone. Imagine what it would be like if you were missing one of your front teeth? You’d probably be a bit embarrassed smiling and talking, and not to mention eating would feel pretty abnormal as well. The good news is that taking preventative measures to protect your smile can diminish the chances of you having a toothless smile.

Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports decreases the risk of injuries to the mouth or jaw. Some sports players don’t like to wear mouth guards because of the inconvenience of their appearance while wearing one, but more injuries can happen when not wearing a mouth guard that can affect your appearance in a much more inconvenient way. Here are five reasons why you should always protect your pearly whites when participating in any contact sports or collision sports where unexpected contact can happen:

1. Protection Against Tooth Fractures

Mouth guards protect your teeth from chipping and breaking. Even though tooth fractures can usually be saved, why go through the risk when wearing a mouth guard can save you all the trouble.

2. Protection Against Tooth Replacement

Wearing a mouth guard is a cushion for your teeth, so if a ball hits your face your teeth don’t receive a crushing force. However, if a ball hits your mouth without a mouth guard, it can result in completely breaking or ruining your tooth, leaving you with a toothless smile and an emergency call to Dr. Massoomi’s office. Having a gap in your smile due to an accident that could have been prevented isn’t worth it.

3. Protection Against Soft Tissue Injuries

Some contact sports involve quick impacts that could leave you biting through your tongue or lips! A mouth guard can prevent soft tissue injuries by creating a soft resistance from teeth contacting your lips and tongue.

4. Protection Against Concussions

According to the American Dental Association, mouth guards could help reduce the severity and incidence of concussions. A properly fitted mouth guard decreases the likelihood of sustaining concussive injury because the padding between the mandible and the maxilla can lessen the force of the mandible pushing up on the skull near the brain, which causes a concussion.

5. Protection Against Jaw Fractures

Wearing a protective mouth guard protects you from jaw fractures. Impact to the neck or jaw could result in serious injury, but with the protection of a mouth guard during an impact, it reduces the likelihood of jaw dislodgment or neck trauma.

The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year! Using a mouth guard won’t only help prevent you from dental and jaw injuries but can also prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work. If you’re ready to take the step to save your smile when playing sports, contact Dr. Massoomi for more information about mouth guard protection.

The Evolution of Dental Care: From Finger to Floss

Did you know that the toothbrush is one of the oldest tools that humans still use? In fact, in a survey conducted in 2003, Americans chose the toothbrush as the number one invention over the car, personal computer, cell phone, and microwave. This may come as a shock in a day and age obsessed with technology, but it just goes to show how much value we place on our pearly whites. But it makes you wonder… how have people kept their teeth clean throughout the centuries? How did the toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss come into existence and how have they evolved over time?

One would assume that the first toothbrush was surely the finger, but evidence has shown that as far back at 3500 BC to 3000 BC chewing sticks were used in Babylonia. These chewing sticks were essentially a stick from an astringent tree with a frayed end that acted as bristles to clean teeth. These chewing sticks have also been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Their predecessors are still commonly used in certain areas of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America and are known as miswak or mswaki sticks.The Evolution of Dental Care

When excavating Ur in Mesopotamia, ornately decorated toothpicks were found that dated back to 3000 BC. Other archaeological digs have recovered various tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones, and porcupine quills as the earliest toothbrushes and toothpicks. An ancient Sanskrit text on surgery dating back to the 6th century describes severe periodontal disease and stresses oral hygiene; “the stick for brushing the teeth should be either an astringent or pungent bitter. One of its ends should be chewed in the form of a brush. It should be used twice a day, taking care that the gums not be injured.” Pretty sound advice, even by current standards! Ancient Greek and Roman literature referenced the use of toothpicks to keep their mouths clean, and ancient Roman aristocrats kept special slaves for the sole purpose of cleaning their teeth. Imagine that job!

Ancient Chinese writings from around 1600 BC portray chewing sticks that were derived from aromatic trees and sharpened at one end to act as a toothpick. In the thirteenth century, the Chinese began to attach boar bristles to bamboo, essentially fashioning the first toothbrush. The optimal choice for bristles was taken from the back of the necks of cold climate boars, generally found in Siberia. Traders introduced these toothbrushes to the West and they quickly gained popularity. At that time Europeans were brushing their teeth by dipping a linen cloth or sponge in sulfur oils and salt solutions to rub away tooth grime. This was referred to as “The Greek Way”, as Aristotle had recommended this method to Alexander the Great. As these toothbrushes spread from East to West, in the West they preferred softer horse hairs over the coarse boar bristles, yet horses were deemed too valuable for the sake of toothbrushes, making boar bristles popular well into the early 1900’s.

Fast-forward to 1780 and we meet a man named William Addis of Clerkenwald, England. Addis was sitting in Newgate Prison for allegedly inciting a riot. The method for brushing teeth in jail was to take a rag and dip it in a solution of soot and salt and rub it onto the teeth. Addis believed there had to be a more efficient way, so while he passed his time in jail he began to think up solutions. Spying a broom, inspiration struck him and he took a small animal bone leftover from his meal and drilled holes into it. He then tied some swine fibers into bunches, strung them through the holes, and glued them into place. At this time in Georgian England, refined sugar was being shipped in from the West Indies in mass quantities. This caused a huge increase in the consumption of sugar for Londoners who then suffered from rotting teeth, the only treatment for which was to pull the infected teeth. When Addis was released from jail, he went on to market and sell his toothbrush under the name Wisdom Toothbrushes, which went on to become a very successful business that is still around today.

Toothbrushes continued to be made with animal bone handles and more often than not, boar bristles, although fancy toothbrushes were made with badger hair for those who could afford them. Celluloid handles were introduced in the 1900’s and quickly replaced bone handles. In the 1920’s a new method of attaching bristles to the handle was developed: holes were drilled into the brush head, bunches of bristles were then forced through the holes, and secured with a staple. This method is the same method that is commonly used today.

The next evolution in toothbrushes occurred when Wallace H. Carothers of Du Pont Laboratories invented nylon in 1937. Nylon bristles quickly overtook animal hair bristles for sanitation and cost-effective purposes. Although boar hair bristles often fall out, do not dry well, and are prone to bacterial growth, they strangely still account for 10% of the toothbrushes sold worldwide. The new nylon bristled toothbrushes were sold as “Doctor West’s Miracle-Tuft Toothbrush” due to its more hygienic properties.

With World War II looming in the background, British and American housewives were instructed to waste nothing, which translated to no more bone handles for toothbrushes. Bone handles had long been popular for things like toothbrushes, knives, guns, and handles for many more items. The shift to celluloid was a natural progression as soup bones were needed more than ornate bone handles. World War II gave oral hygiene an unexpected boost. The soldiers in World War II were expected to brush twice daily, a habit they brought home with them, likely due to the fact that Trench Mouth had become so rampant during World War I.

And what about toothpaste? Well, ancient Egyptians were making a “tooth powder” as far back as 5000 B.C.E. It was made from ox hooves, myrrh, eggshell fragments, and pumice. No device was found with the remnants of the tooth powder, which is why it is assumed that the finger was the first actual toothbrush. Other early tooth powders contained mixtures of powdered salt, pepper, mint leaves, and iris flowers. In Roman times, urine was used as a base for toothpaste. And since urine contains ammonia it was likely an effective whitening agent. In later times, homemade tooth powder was made of chalk, pulverized brick and salt. It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte regularly brushed his teeth with an opium-based toothpaste. In 1873, Colgate mass-produced the first toothpaste in a jar called Crème Dentifrice. By 1896, Colgate Dental Cream was packaged in collapsible tubes. Finally, by 1900, a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda was developed, and by 1914 fluoride was introduced and added to the majority of toothpastes on the market at that time.

And what of floss? Researchers have found floss and toothpick grooves in the teeth of prehistoric humans. But it wasn’t until 1815 when a New Orleans dentist named Levi Spear Parmly promoted flossing with a piece of silk thread that floss really gained notoriety. Levi went on to be credited for inventing the first form of dental floss. By 1882 the Codman and Shurtleft Company of Randolph, Massachusetts began mass-producing unwaxed silk floss for commercial use. In 1898 Johnson & Johnson received the first patent for dental floss.  Dr. Charles C. Bass then developed nylon floss, which performed better than silk because of its elasticity. Today floss is still made of nylon.

Who would’ve thought that the history of dental care would be so fascinating? And who would’ve guessed that the toothbrush we use today evolved from a stick and was perfected by a convict? Today, there are over 3,000 patents worldwide for toothbrushes. Regardless of how they got here, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss are a necessity in our daily lives.

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Will Wisdom Teeth Someday Become Obsolete?

Will-Wisdom-Teeth-Someday-Become-ObsoleteMost people are familiar with third molars, more commonly known as “wisdom teeth”.  It is usually suggested that a young adult entering the “age of wisdom” have any existing wisdom teeth removed prior to developing any problems. Because most people’s mouth do not have room for these third sets of molars, the remaining wisdom teeth often fail to erupt and can cause pain, infection or inflammation.

However, you might not realize that about 35 percent of the population doesn’t experience any third molar development. This percentage is slowly growing, begging the question of whether we are on an evolutionary track of losing them completely.

Scientists still aren’t sure of the role that DNA plays in third molar development. One large difference in third molars is that they are the only teeth to develop entirely after birth, which makes it harder for nature to select against them. There may also be environmental factors at work. Studies show that certain cultures have fewer incidences of third molars, but scientific evidence of influencing factors is still to be determined.

As science progresses, many believe bioengineering could be used to prevent the development of third molars altogether. For wisdom teeth to form, a special tissue that promotes the bone growth has to migrate back into the mouth to interact with jaw tissue. Some scientists have begun work on administering a laser or chemical agent that would prevent this process.

It is hard to say what the future might hold for wisdom teeth. For now, we continue to recommend removing your wisdom teeth to avoid the pain and periodontal disease that results from impaction of wisdom teeth. Moreover, this surgery should take place during the young adult years prior to the teeth attaching to the jaw and becoming more difficult to extract.

Wisdom tooth removal in our office is a relatively simple process. Call us to reserve a consultation today.

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What To Expect When Having a Tooth Extracted

What-To-Expect-When-Having-a-Tooth-Extracted 

One of the most common procedures done in our office is tooth extraction. The removal of teeth can be necessary for a number of reasons, including:

  • Too much damage to tooth to be repaired
  • 3rd molars (Wisdom Teeth) impacted (wedged between the jaw and another tooth or teeth)
  •  May be needed to create room for other teeth (such as when you’re getting braces)
  • Shifting or mal-aligned teeth
  • Baby teeth that don’t fall out, a.k.a. ankylosed teeth
  • A tooth with an associated pathology, such as a cyst or a tumor
  • Joint problems in your jaw

Prior to Surgery

In preparation for surgery, we must obtain a full medical and dental history; hence the reason for a pre-operative consultation.  In some instances we may have to get medical clearance from your MD prior to any surgery.  We will also review a list of all medications you take, to make certain they will not interact with any of the new medication we may be providing you during the time of surgery.  We need to know any vitamins, herbal supplements, or over-the-counter drugs, as well as any medications you are taking.  Allergies to medication will also be reviewed.

Typically a panoramic x-ray is then taken to assess the affected tooth and determine its proximity to to vital structures such as nerves, arteries and/or sinuses.  In some instances a 3D image, a.k.a CBCT, may be required for more complex cases.

You may be required to take antibiotics before or after surgery, depending on the duration of the surgery, or if you have a specific medical condition. Dr. Massoomi will discuss this with you if necessary.

Day of Surgery

At the time of surgery, your oral surgeon will provide local anesthesia, a.k.a numbing medication, at the site of the surgery.  This is is provided whether you will have sedation or not.  You are always provided with local anesthesia at the site of the surgery.  Additionally, as a convenience Dr. Massoomi will usually provide a longer-lasting local anesthesia in order to reduce the pain when you get home.  This will allow you enough time to take your pain medications before the numbness wears off.

As with most other types of surgeries, you will be sedated for the majority of the cases.   This mean you will most likely not remember much of anything about the surgery itself.  This will ensure a comfortable experience.  Additionally, the IV access will allow us to provide with additional medications through the IV to only help expedite your recovery after surgery.  In most cases, as a preventative measure, Dr. Massoomi will provide you will anti-swelling, anti-nausea, anti-biotics, anti-anxiety and short & long-term pain medication through your IV.  As with any surgery the swelling usually presents itself 3-5 days after the surgery.  As a result of the administered IV anti-swelling medication, most patients will have very little swelling after surgery – this is one of the advantage to IV sedation.

If you are not sedated, during the simple extraction you will still be provided with local anesthesia at the site of the surgery.  You should not experience any pain, however it is common to feel pressure during the actual extraction.  The only way to feel absolutely nothing….you have to be sedated.  The affected tooth is firmly rocked back and forth with a forceps, to loosen it for removal.

Surgical Extraction

A “surgical extraction” is a slightly more complex procedure that occurs when a tooth has not yet broken through the gum line, or has not yet fully grown into the mouth, or has decayed to a point that it cannot be grasped with a forceps.  When a surgical extraction is needed, a small incision into your gum in order to access the affected tooth.  Then some removal of bone with a drill may be required to access the tooth.  From here, the procedure is similar to a simple extraction.  Dr. Massoomi will always stitch the incision site, in order to bring the tissue back to its original state.   In the interest of time, some practitioners do not suture the extraction site, leading to food entrapment in the extraction site and other dreaded complications such as “dry socket”.  This is why he always sutures any extraction site closed – unless there is a severe infection necessitating natural drainage of the infection, a.k.a pus.

After Oral Surgery

After the extraction you will be asked to bite down on a piece of gauze for the first hour,  in order to reduce the bleeding from the extraction site.   This pressure helps to form a blood clot in the extraction site, a crucial part of the healing process.  From time to time over the next few days you may have to place a new gauze and apply pressure, if you only notice new bleeding – but eventually the bleeding will stop.  You should not eat or drink with the gauze in the mouth.  It should always be removed first and only replaced if there is active bleeding.

Medications/Pain Management

  • Take pain medication as prescribed and recommended PRIOR to the pain and swelling.  You want to prevent the pain and swelling by taking the medications early on.
  • Research has shown that taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) greatly decrease pain after an extraction.  This is why we provide you with prescription strength 600-800mg of ibuprofen to help with the swelling.  In the 200-400mg range of ibuprofen, is mostly helpful for pain and not much effect on swelling.
  • We will provide you with a “compression dressing” that includes multiple re-freezable icepack.  We encourage all of our patients to wear the compression dressing as much as possible the first 2-3 days, as this will reduce and hopefully prevent the swelling that my show up on the 3rd day.

Eating/Drinking

  • Eat liquid to soft foods for the first week or until we see you for your first post-op appointment.
  • Avoid hot (temperature) foods
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages while on any medication, especially if on antibiotics and pain medications.
  • Chew food on the opposite site of the extraction site
  • Do not use a straw or spit after surgery. This can cause the blood cut to dislodge, greatly delaying healing, leading to “dry sockets.”

Brushing/Cleaning

  • Avoid brushing the area around the extraction site for the first week or until we see you for your first post-op appointment.
  • Use the provided prescription mouthwash to keep the mouth clean.

Healing

The mucosa, a.k.a gums, over the extraction site will generally close up in about 2 weeks time, but it can take three to six months for the bone to heal.  Remember, tooth extraction is a common procedure and our caring team has years of experience helping patients through this easy treatment.

The Evolution of Dental Care: From Finger to Floss

The Evolution of Dental CareDid you know that the toothbrush is one of the oldest tools that humans still use? In fact, in a survey conducted in 2003, Americans chose the toothbrush as the number one invention over the car, personal computer, cell phone, and microwave. This may come as a shock in a day and age obsessed with technology, but it just goes to show how much value we place on our pearly whites. But it makes you wonder… how have people kept their teeth clean throughout the centuries? How did the toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss come into existence and how have they evolved over time?

 

One would assume that the first toothbrush was surely the finger, but evidence has shown that as far back at 3500 BC to 3000 BC chewing sticks were used in Babylonia. These chewing sticks were essentially a stick from an astringent tree with a frayed end that acted as bristles to clean teeth. These chewing sticks have also been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Their predecessors are still commonly used in certain areas of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America and are known as miswak or mswaki sticks.

 

When excavating Ur in Mesopotamia, ornately decorated toothpicks were found that dated back to 3000 BC. Other archaeological digs have recovered various tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones, and porcupine quills as the earliest toothbrushes and toothpicks. An ancient Sanskrit text on surgery dating back to the 6th century describes severe periodontal disease and stresses oral hygiene; “the stick for brushing the teeth should be either an astringent or pungent bitter. One of its ends should be chewed in the form of a brush. It should be used twice a day, taking care that the gums not be injured.” Pretty sound advice, even by current standards! Ancient Greek and Roman literature referenced the use of toothpicks to keep their mouths clean, and ancient Roman aristocrats kept special slaves for the sole purpose of cleaning their teeth. Imagine that job!

 

Ancient Chinese writings from around 1600 BC portray chewing sticks that were derived from aromatic trees and sharpened at one end to act as a toothpick. In the thirteenth century, the Chinese began to attach boar bristles to bamboo, essentially fashioning the first toothbrush. The optimal choice for bristles was taken from the back of the necks of cold climate boars, generally found in Siberia. Traders introduced these toothbrushes to the West and they quickly gained popularity. At that time Europeans were brushing their teeth by dipping a linen cloth or sponge in sulfur oils and salt solutions to rub away tooth grime. This was referred to as “The Greek Way”, as Aristotle had recommended this method to Alexander the Great. As these toothbrushes spread from East to West, in the West they preferred softer horse hairs over the coarse boar bristles, yet horses were deemed too valuable for the sake of toothbrushes, making boar bristles popular well into the early 1900’s.

 

Fast-forward to 1780 and we meet a man named William Addis of Clerkenwald, England. Addis was sitting in Newgate Prison for allegedly inciting a riot. The method for brushing teeth in jail was to take a rag and dip it in a solution of soot and salt and rub it onto the teeth. Addis believed there had to be a more efficient way, so while he passed his time in jail he began to think up solutions. Spying a broom, inspiration struck him and he took a small animal bone leftover from his meal and drilled holes into it. He then tied some swine fibers into bunches, strung them through the holes, and glued them into place. At this time in Georgian England, refined sugar was being shipped in from the West Indies in mass quantities. This caused a huge increase in the consumption of sugar for Londoners who then suffered from rotting teeth, the only treatment for which was to pull the infected teeth. When Addis was released from jail, he went on to market and sell his toothbrush under the name Wisdom Toothbrushes, which went on to become a very successful business that is still around today.

 

Toothbrushes continued to be made with animal bone handles and more often than not, boar bristles, although fancy toothbrushes were made with badger hair for those who could afford them. Celluloid handles were introduced in the 1900’s and quickly replaced bone handles. In the 1920’s a new method of attaching bristles to the handle was developed: holes were drilled into the brush head, bunches of bristles were then forced through the holes, and secured with a staple. This method is the same method that is commonly used today.

 

The next evolution in toothbrushes occurred when Wallace H. Carothers of Du Pont Laboratories invented nylon in 1937. Nylon bristles quickly overtook animal hair bristles for sanitation and cost-effective purposes. Although boar hair bristles often fall out, do not dry well, and are prone to bacterial growth, they strangely still account for 10% of the toothbrushes sold worldwide. The new nylon bristled toothbrushes were sold as “Doctor West’s Miracle-Tuft Toothbrush” due to its more hygienic properties.

 

With World War II looming in the background, British and American housewives were instructed to waste nothing, which translated to no more bone handles for toothbrushes. Bone handles had long been popular for things like toothbrushes, knives, guns, and handles for many more items. The shift to celluloid was a natural progression as soup bones were needed more than ornate bone handles. World War II gave oral hygiene an unexpected boost. The soldiers in World War II were expected to brush twice daily, a habit they brought home with them, likely due to the fact that Trench Mouth had become so rampant during World War I.

 

And what about toothpaste? Well, ancient Egyptians were making a “tooth powder” as far back as 5000 B.C.E. It was made from ox hooves, myrrh, eggshell fragments, and pumice. No device was found with the remnants of the tooth powder, which is why it is assumed that the finger was the first actual toothbrush. Other early tooth powders contained mixtures of powdered salt, pepper, mint leaves, and iris flowers. In Roman times, urine was used as a base for toothpaste. And since urine contains ammonia it was likely an effective whitening agent. In later times, homemade tooth powder was made of chalk, pulverized brick and salt. It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte regularly brushed his teeth with an opium-based toothpaste. In 1873, Colgate mass-produced the first toothpaste in a jar called Crème Dentifrice. By 1896, Colgate Dental Cream was packaged in collapsible tubes. Finally, by 1900, a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda was developed, and by 1914 fluoride was introduced and added to the majority of toothpastes on the market at that time.

 

And what of floss? Researchers have found floss and toothpick grooves in the teeth of prehistoric humans. But it wasn’t until 1815 when a New Orleans dentist named Levi Spear Parmly promoted flossing with a piece of silk thread that floss really gained notoriety. Levi went on to be credited for inventing the first form of dental floss. By 1882 the Codman and Shurtleft Company of Randolph, Massachusetts began mass-producing unwaxed silk floss for commercial use. In 1898 Johnson & Johnson received the first patent for dental floss. Dr. Charles C. Bass then developed nylon floss, which performed better than silk because of its elasticity. Today floss is still made of nylon.

 

Who would’ve thought that the history of dental care would be so fascinating? And who would’ve guessed that the toothbrush we use today evolved from a stick and was perfected by a convict? Today, there are over 3,000 patents worldwide for toothbrushes. Regardless of how they got here, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss are a necessity in our daily lives.

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FAQs Regarding General Anesthesia for Oral Surgery

FAQ-Regarding-General-AnesthesiaHere in our office we perform a variety of treatments including dental implants, facial reconstruction and teeth removal. If you have recently been diagnosed with a condition that requires any of these types of treatment, you will likely be required to go under general anesthesia. 

For some people, impeding anesthesia can induce a bit of anxiety. We completely understand what you are feeling and believe that proper education can help put your fears at ease. The following are some of the most common questions our patients have before “going under”.

What is exactly is general anesthesia?

General anesthesia is a medically induced loss of consciousness (also called coma) that affects your entire body. This administration of a variety of medications is extremely beneficial for both our patients and our oral surgeons. The side effects include:

The purposes of general anesthesia include:

  1. Analgesia (loss of pain)
  2. Amnesia (loss of memory)
  3. Immobility
  4. Unconsciousness
  5. Skeletal muscle relaxation.

Is anesthesia safe?

Due to many advances over the past 25 years, the risks of anesthesia are very low. Certain types of illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity, can increase your anesthesia risks. Still, even very sick patients are routinely brought through major operations safely.

Adverse events are very rare. The specific risks of anesthesia vary with the particular procedure and the health of the patient. You should ask your oral surgeon about any risks that may be associated with your specific condition.

What should I know before I come in?

Before you go to have your procedure completed under general anesthesia, here are a few requirements:

  • Have a responsible adult accompany you to drive you home.
  • Do not eat or drink anything before 8 hours of surgery.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after surgery.
  • Do not wear contact lenses, jewelry, or dentures during the time of your

procedure.

  • Do not wear excessive makeup, lipstick, or nail polish on day of surgery.
  • Make sure to notify your oral surgeon of any illness, cold, sore throat, or upset stomach.

Are there side effects I should be aware of?

There are a few different side effects of general anesthesia. The most common are nausea, sore throat, sleepiness, and shivering. However, effects may vary greatly with each patient — it all depends on how your body reacts to it. It’s a good idea to consider any prior experience(s) with general anesthesia to get an idea of to know what t expect during your next oral procedure.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any remaining questions you have. We are happy to answer them!

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Lifesaving Facts About Oral Cancer

Cancer is a disease that shows no discrimination. What makes oral cancer so scary is that it is often not diagnosed until a late stage, In fact, only one-third of all oral cancers are diagnosed in an early oral-cancerstage. While typically thought to affect older people, it’s now more prevalent in younger age groups. These facts make it crucial that you maintain good oral health, live a healthy lifestyle (including diet, proper exercise, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol), and have oral cancer exams during your routine dental checkups.

Oral cancer can often mimic a harmless mouth sore. If you notice any unusual sores or ulcers anywhere in your mouth that do not heal within 2-3 weeks, contact our office or a physician to make an appointment as soon as possible. To learn more about the causes and treatment options for oral cancer, read the article “Oral Cancer.”