Snoring/Sleep Apnea Alert: Stop Snoring Before It Stops You!

silentnite01Snoring can kill you.  The struggle for breath can result in soaring blood pressure that can cause heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.  30% of the population under 40 snores, while 50% over the age of 60 does.  Sleep Apnea is the direct cause of over 40,000 cardiovascular deaths per year.

So while snoring can be annoying to the significant other,  it can be deadly to the person doing the snoring.  If you snore and have obvious signs of sleep deprivation such as morning headaches, feeling sleepy during the day and your snoring is very irregular, you are well advised to get a professional opinion.

Usually the first step is to be screened by your physician or dentist who will determine whether you should be referred to a sleep diagnosis center.  The sleep center will be able to determine the level of severity of your sleep apnea and recommend an appropriate range of treatment options.

For treatment of low to moderate levels of sleep apnea, I have found the “silent nite” appliance to be the most comfortable and effective.  This has been confirmed on many of our patients who have obtained very good results using the “silent nite” during follow up sleep center studies.

Please don’t risk your health on magic drops or low budget self fitted appliances.  Just like parachutes and life preservers, a properly chosen and fitted appliance based on thorough diagnosis is where you want the best available.

Water, Water Everywhere, So Why Do We Drink Coke?

cokerealthing01cokedecay01Sugar is addictive.  The food industry knows it.  The tobacco industry knows it.  That’s why they add as much sugar as they can to all their products in order to make you crave more and more.  8 full teaspoons of sugar in each and every can of coke.  7 teaspoons of sugar in one cup size serving of pre-sweetened cereals.  There is a popular email that outlines the benefits of pure water verses the scary usefulness of coke as a very effective cleaning solution and rust remover.  Most of the statistics it contains have been confirmed as the truth by www.truthorfiction.com.  First, about WATER:

  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated (half the world population).
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.
  • One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
  • Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk  of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Then why aren’t we drinking the right amount of water every day?  Could it be because of sugar-loaded sodas such as COKE?

  • To clean a toilet: pour a can of Coke into the toilet bowl and let the “real thing” sit for one hour, then flush clean.  The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
  • To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: rub the bumper with rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coke.
  • To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: pour coke over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
  • To loosen a rusted bolt: apply a cloth soaked in Coke to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
  • To remove grease from clothes: empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle.  Coke will also clean road haze from your windshield.
  • FYI The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.  It will dissolve a nail in about four days.  Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to osteoporosis.
  • Trucks carrying the concentrate of Coke must display a “Highly Hazardous Material” sign because it is extremely corrosive.

So do yourself and your family a big favor, drink water and save your Coca-Cola for cleaning and rust removal.  When it comes to cereal, serve unsweetened cereal to your children and have them add their own sugar from the sugar bowl.  I doubt they will even come close to adding as much as the manufacturer does to pre-sweetened cereals.  Unless you’re the tin man, stick to drinking water and save the Coke for rust.


Tooth Whitening-read this before you bleach!

treswhite01treswhite03toothwhitening02Mirror, mirror on the wall, I want the whitest teeth beyond them all.  But the mirror doesn’t have a dental degree nor a basic understanding of what’s important here.

Tooth Whitening products are available from many sources and can vary considerably in final cost for the same results.  It’s a huge industry with a lot of good and bad information.

The basic chemistry used is carbamyl peroxide which is a relatively stable (good shelf life) and viscous (easy to use) form of peroxide (H2O2).  And then comes the marketing hype, of the safest, easiest to use, no sensitivity and quickest results.  Like toothpaste, over time, all of these products yield very similar results.  The difference comes in how you use or misuse the products.

An extensive study by one of the most respected researchers in the dental field, CRA, established that quick vs. slower acting was inconsequential since all products and techniques yielded very similar results over time.  More important was ease of use and consistent quality of the product.

Tooth Whitening salons have bragged about how quick you can whiten your teeth.  Quite often this is accomplished with the use of a laser or special light source that zooms you to that new “Hollywood smile” right out of  “Glamour” magazine.  What they don’t tell you is that a very slight increase in temperature that may occur inside treated teeth can quite often result in irreversible pulpitis and the need for root canal therapy.  The other common source of tooth sensitivity can occur when self fitted and applied trays are left on the teeth too long.  The teeth actually become dehydrated and the sensitivity is similar to a bad hangover.

So what’s the best way to whiten those smiley pearls?  First, make sure your teeth and gum tissue is healthy.  A regular exam and cleaning by your dentist or hygienist can insure the conditions are right for effective and successful bleaching.  Quite often we recommend tooth whitening before any cosmetic restorative service in order to get the teeth back to the baseline color you were or wish you were born with.  Next, we discuss different techniques depending on your individual needs and circumstances.  Usually the simplest and cheapest product is a good way to start.  But for some, such as those who have developmentally stained teeth, a more sustained and long term product may be best.  Finally, when using any product, the amount of time per application is no longer than 45 minutes.  The effective half life for this type of chemistry is no longer than this.

The link for “TresWhite Bleaching Trays” is a good example of a quality product that we have obtained consistent and reliable results with.  There are many more out there but as usual, “let the buyer beware”.


VELscope Enhanced Oral Cancer Screening

 

VELscope Oral Cancer Screening

Chances are you don’t have oral cancer.  But wouldn’t it be nice to be sure?

Oral Cancer Facts:

  • Oral Cancer kills one North American every hour of every day.
  • Oral Cancer strikes more victims than cervical and lung cancer combined.
  • 2/3 of Oral Cancer cases are detected in advanced/ late stages.
  • Advanced/Late Stage Oral Cancer has a 5-year survival rate of 22%.
  • Early Detection of Oral Cancer has a 5-year survival rate of 80% – 90%.
  • Tobacco and Alcohol are High Risk Factors.
  • Studies have linked Oral Cancer to the human papilloma virus (HPV-16) via oral sex.
  • 25% of Oral Cancer victims have never been exposed to alcohol or tobacco.
  • Before VELscope, only 35% of Oral Cancer cases were diagnosed in early stages.
  • Pre-malignant changes actually start below the surface, at the basement membrane.  These changes may not be apparent to the naked eye until the disease progresses to the surface.

Our Oral Cancer Screening:

  • Takes about 5 minutes.
  • Features a traditional visual and palpation examination, plus a screening with the state-of-the-art VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System.
  • Non-invasive and completely free of pain or discomfort.
  • With the VELscope system, abnormal tissue typically appears as an irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.  Thus VELscope enables us to discover abnormal tissue as early as possible.
  • Any suspect area is then referred to an Oral Surgeon for biopsy and diagnosis.

Oral Cancer Symptoms May Include:

  • A sore that doesn’t heal within 2 weeks or increases in size.
  • Persistent pain in your mouth.
  • Any increased swelling of hard or soft tissues.
  • White, red or dark patches inside your mouth.
  • Difficulty in swallowing or moving your tongue or jaw.
  • Numbness, soreness, looseness or pain around your teeth.
  • Changes in your voice, teeth or bad breath.

It is highly unlikely that you have oral cancer but for Peace of Mind, schedule your VELscope enhanced oral exam today!

The VELscope enhanced oral exam can help detect many different kinds of oral lesions, not just precancerous or cancerous ones.  This new technology helps to look for possible problems beneath the surface of soft tissue in the same way  X-rays check for hidden problems in teeth.

BEST DIET PLAN

pyramid_forriver2The best diet plan is simple and straight forward.  A great set of diet guidelines is now available from “The Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Go to their link listed on the right.

This website contains information regarding the food pyramid, fats and cholesterol, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables, and vitamins, as well as other nutrition information.

This information came to me via the “Health Professionals Follow-Up Study Newsletter” since I have been involved with this study as long as I have practiced dentistry here in West Chester, PA.

A Plea To Parents For Children’s Dental Health

February is children’s dental health month.  Parents are the key to making this effort successful.

As your infant is transitioning from nursing to solid food, the worst thing you can do is to add sugar or salt so it tastes better to you.  At this point the baby could care less.  But adding sugar or salt is the initiation of a life long addiction.  Yes, salt and especially sugar is a “gateway drug”.

A “gateway drug” is defined as a habit forming  substance whose use may lead to the abuse of drugs that are more addictive.  Last night, ABC aired “Hidden America-Children Of The Mountains” which demonstrated this in epidemic proportions.  Infants, children and then adults drink “Mountain Dew”, a highly acidic poision laden with 19 spoons of sugar in each and every bottle.   This concoction is highly addictive and more corrosive than car battery acid.  Gatorade is not much better.  This region has a very high incidence of tooth decay, obesity, alcoholism and drug addiction.

The tobacco industry takes advantage of this early dependency by making sure cigarettes and smokeless chew tobacco are loaded with sugar.  The earlier, these peddlers of sugar and nicotine can grab a captive user,  the more success they have to retain and increase this use through adulthood. The need to regularly take in a substance that creates a false sense of euphoria is worsened by a weak family structure with little or no parental guidance.

A healthy mouth is a clear indicator of a healthy mind and body.  Parents who take an active role in guiding their children toward a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise can make this happen.

Life Can Begin With New Dentures

locator01locator02Life Begins When You Can Chew Anything With Your Dentures!

Do you recall the joke about when life really begins for a married couple?  After the kids are finished with schooling and the tuition is paid in full?  When your daughters are all married? When the dog dies?  Sorry pet lovers, it’s only a bad joke.

What’s not a joke, is the common frustration of not being able to use your dentures to eat.  Huge globs of pink denture adhesive don’t seem to help.  The lower denture never seems to fit but slips and slides around like a skate board without wheels.  Well that’s because the tongue moves and breaks the seal of the lower denture more than 2000 times a day, every time you swallow.  The upper denture is rarely a problem because it is relatively secure with undisturbed suction.

Well life really begins when you can chew anything with your dentures!  How is this possible?  Two implants placed by a surgeon are the foundation for two locator abutments which is the dentist’s version of clothing snaps.  Once these are inserted into your lower denture, you can throw away that awful adhesive forever.

Placement of locator abutments to stabilize lower dentures is now considered the “Standard Of Care” which means all insurance companies should cover this type of procedure.  Any knowledgeable dentist should be able to offer this very successful service.  I personally have placed many of these systems.  Fortunately we can adjust how tight they are because the usual complaint is that the denture is too hard to remove from the mouth.

Life can begin with that new set of dentures.  Pass that corn on the cob.