Posts Tagged ‘periodontal’

Tooth Brushing Basics

September 26, 2013

Do You Know The Basics?

Recently the American Dental Association did a survey to see if typical Americans knew some basic facts about dental health. Here are some of the questions – play along and see how you do!

• What type of bristles should you have on your toothbrush – soft, medium or hard?

Most people chose either medium or hard, but the fact is soft bristles are best! Medium or hard can actually damage your sensitive gum tissue and wear your teeth!

• Sugar causes cavities – true or false?

Practically everyone answered “true” to this one, but the answer is actually “false!” But you may feel it’s a trick question. Cavities are caused by bacteria, but the problem causing organisms feed on sugar that is stuck to your teeth! We recommend limiting sweets and soft drinks, especially the sticky kind!

• Does The American Dental Association recommend brushing your teeth for sixty seconds after every meal, or for two minutes twice per day?

Again, most people got this one wrong! The ADA suggests twice per day for two minutes. Of course, if you want to throw in a few extra brushing sessions each day we won’t object – especially before you come to visit us!

• True or false – it is normal for your gums to bleed while brushing and flossing.

Okay – this one is a little scary. 35% of respondents answered “true” – but the answer is definitely false! Think about it – what would you do if your nose bled every time you sneezed, or your arm bled when you scratched it? Well, the same goes for your gums! Bleeding is a sign of gum disease and infection, and is certainly not normal or healthy!

So how did you do? Hopefully this little quiz was fun, and maybe you even learned something!

At Malenius Dental, we are here to answer any questions you may have, no matter how basic! Give us a call at 630-668-6180
and we will be glad to help you – or to set up an appointment for a dental examination, cleaning, to look at any dental problem you may be having, or even to brighten up your smile. Whatever it is – we can help!

Researchers Find Tongue Piercing Could Lead To Gum and Tooth Problems

April 18, 2010

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As many of my patients have heard in my office, Why in the world would you put something in your tongue that can only cause you harm? Well I went searching for information to back this up and here’s some things that I found: A study in 2002 published in the JOURNAL OF PERIODONTOLOGY found that extended wear of tongue jewelry (barbell-type) could increase your chance of gum recession and tooth chipping.. Study Abstract *

Researchers at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and Ohio State University College of Dentistry examined and surveyed 52 young adults with pierced tongues. They found gum recession in 35 percent of subjects with pierced tongues for four or more years, and in 50 percent wearing long-stemmed barbells for two or more years.

“During tongue movement, long-stem barbells are more likely to reach and damage the gums than short barbells,” said Dr. Dimitris Tatakis, professor of periodontology at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry and coauthor of the study. “Over time, this damage may cause the gums to recede, which can lead to more serious dental/oral complications.”

Additionally, 47 percent of young adults wearing either type of barbell for four or more years had chipped teeth. The prevalence of tooth chipping was significantly greater in those wearing short-stemmed barbells (1/4 inch – 5/8 inch) for four or more years.

Researchers believe tooth chipping is a result of habitual biting of the barbell. “A short barbell is possibly easier to position between teeth, which could be one reason why we are seeing more chipped teeth in this group,” said Tatakis. “Another factor that was not investigated could be the size or material type of the screw caps attached to the barbell.”

Dr. Timothy Roberts from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York presented study results on 4,500 adolescents aged 12 to 21 and found that teens with body piercings are more likely to smoke cigarettes, use drugs and exhibit other types of unhealthy behavior. Study findings were presented at the Society of Adolescent Medicine’s annual meeting in Boston.

“Mouth piercings and smoking combined could cause a mouthful of trouble,” said Dr. Kenneth Bueltmann, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. “As a smoker, you are more likely than nonsmokers to have calculus on your teeth, deep pockets between your teeth and gums and loss of the bone and tissue that support your teeth. Combine these problems with gum recession from tongue piercing and you are on your way to having a serious infection called periodontal disease and not to mention a not so cool looking mouth.”

“Given this new information, I strongly recommend discussing potential risk factors with your dentist before mouth piercing,” said Bueltmann. “Additionally, anyone with a pierced mouth should receive a thorough oral examination of their gums and teeth to identify problem areas. Taking precautions now will increase your chance of keeping your teeth for a lifetime instead of needing dentures like many of your grandparents.”

In addition to periodontal diseases (serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth) tongue piercing may cause other complications such as t ongue swelling, difficulties with chewing, swallowing and speech, increase of saliva flow, localized tissue overgrowth and metal hypersensitivity.

A referral to a periodontist in your area and free brochure samples are available by calling 800-FLOSS-EM or visiting the AAP’s Web site at Thanks for this info from the site of the Periodontal association.

10 Unsuspected Foods That Help Protect Your Teeth And Gums

April 18, 2010

A Beautiful Smile and Healthy Gums always require regular brushing, flossing, and dental care, but a diet rich is essential vitamins and minerals also make an important contribution to one’s overall dental health. We often overlook the importance of good nutrition in keeping our smiles beautiful and our mouths healthy. Here are ten foods that can contribute to our overall oral health:

1. Water – Natures Gift For Healthy Teeth and Gums

Drinking water keeps your gums and oral tissues hydrated and is a great way to stimulate saliva flow. This Saliva Flow is one of your bodies defenses against the bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. Rinsing your mouth with water also helps wash away trapped food particles that decompose in the mouth and can cause bad breath. Water also dilutes the concentration of bad breath causing byproducts of anaerobic bacteria metabolism (see my blog on 10 tips to avoid bad breath). You should always try to drink six 8-ounce glasses of purified water each day to keep your gums (and whole body) hydrated and to stimulate saliva. If you can”t brush your teeth after eating, be sure to rinse your mouth with water.

2. Parsley –A Natural Bad Breath Remedy That Leaves Sweet-Smelling Breath

Chewing parsley or mint leaves aftert meals will help you maintain sweet-smelling breath. These herbs contain monoterpenes, volatile substances that travel quickly from your bloodstream to your lungs, where their odor is released via your breath. Try This: Top zesty dishes with a few tablespoons of minced fresh parsley or garnish dessert with a few sprigs of fresh mint. You can also chew parsley or mint leaves for a change of pace.

3. Green Tea -Helps Removes Plaque and Bad Breath

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains wonderful substances called catechins. Catechins kill the bacteria in your mouth that turn sugar into plaque (a sticky mass of bacteria, sugars, proteins, and fats that produces cavity-causing acid when it comes in contact with sugary or starchy foods), that gross gooey film on the surface of your teeth when you forget to brush. Catechins also help kill the the bacteria that cause bad breath. Try This: Drink 2 to 5 cups of green tea (regular or decaffeinated) a day, says Mindy Green, director of research at the Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colo. She suggests making a thermos of green tea to drink at work. At night prior to tetiring for bed, steep 3 to 4 green tea bags in 4 cups of boiling-hot water in a covered thermos for three to five minutes. Remove the bags. Serve the tea the next day over ice or after reheating it. For more information go to and check our newsletters for more information on the health benefits of tea.

4. Onions – Kill Bad Bacteria In the Mouth

That’s Right!! I said ONIONS. Onions contain powerful antibacterial sulfur compounds. In a 1997 test tube study, onions killed various types of bacteria, including S mutans. Research also shows onions are most the most effective when eaten freshly peeled and raw. The major downside, raw onions can make your breath stink, so be sure to have some fresh parsley on hand (see point 2 or my blog on bad breath). Try This: Add a few onion slices to salads and sandwiches each day.

5. Celery – Protects Teeth from Cavities

Celery protects your teeth in two ways, says Lana Rozenberg, D.D.S., a holistic dentist and founder of Rozenberg Dental Day Spa in New York City. The extra chewing it requires produces extra saliva, which neutralizes the bacteria Streptococcus mutans that causes cavities. Actually, chewing on naturally fibrous and abrasive foods massages gums and cleans between teeth. Suggestion: Snack on a handful of raw celery or carrots once a day to help protect gums and teeth.

6. Shiitake Mushrooms – Prevents from Creating Plaque

A Research Study in 2000 on tooth caries showed that lentinan, a sugar found in shiitake mushrooms, prevents mouth bacteria from creating plaque. Suggestion A few times a week, add four to five sliced shiitakes to soups or stir-fries. Buy fresh shiitakes or dried ones: Dried shittakes are easily reconstituted by soaking them in hot water for about 25 minutes before use.

7. Wasabi – Protect Teeth from Cavities

Wasabi, the devilish green sauce served with tuna steaks, is also known as Japanese horse-radish. This condiment not only adds zing to sushi, it also protects your teeth. A 2000 study in Biofactors revealed that the substances that make wasabi taste hot, called atessothiocy, also inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Eating wasabi a few times a week will protect you from cavities. For a delicious and smile-saving asian salad dressing, combine 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar or sugar substitute), 1 teaspoon wasabi paste, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. (I also sometimes add 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Note: this Dijon is also good in plain od vinegar and oil)

8. Sesame Seeds – Clean Teeth and Remove Plaque

According to fossils, our Paleolithic ancestors had great teeth. Anthropologists suggest that this is partly due to the cleansing action of primitive foods like seeds, which slough off plaque and help build tooth enamel. Sesame seeds, for example, are also high in calcium, which help preserve the bone around your teeth and gums .Suggestion: Sprinkle a tablespoon of sesame seeds on salads and steamed vegetables a couple times a week for a gentle teeth cleaning and 87 mg of calcium.

9. Kiwis – Prevents Gum Disease

Kiwis are Vitamin C atom bombs. Kiwis contain more vitamin C than any other fruit their size., Actually, one large kiwi supplies more than 100 percent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C and it tastes good too!. Research shows that a vitamin C deficiency causes the collagen network in your gums to break down, making your gums tender and more susceptible to the bacteria that cause gum (periodontal) disease. Suggestion: Try topping your cereal or oatmeal with Kiwi and fruit instead of sugar at breakfast tomorrow.

10. Cheese – Preserves and Rebuild Tooth Enamel

During the last decade, studies proved that cheese, with its low carbohydrate and high calcium and phosphate content, provides several benefits for your teeth. It helps balance your mouth’s pH by making it more basic (an acidic pH encourages the growth of dental cavity-causing bacteria). Cheese also supples calcium and phosphate which builds tooth enamel and produces saliva, which helps fight the bacteria that cause dental cavities and gum disease. Suggestion: Enjoy a nice mediterean style after dinner treat of fruit and cheese.