Posts for: September, 2018
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.
Lichen planus is a chronic, inflammatory disorder affecting the skin and lining mucosa. While it can affect other areas of the body, it is often only found in the mouth, where it is called oral lichen planus (OLP).
Who does it affect?
It affects only about 2% of the population, the majority of which are women over the age of 50. The cause is still not well understood but may be related to genetics and immunity. Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person.
Appearance and symptoms of OLP
- Reticular OLP appears as white, lacy patches inside your mouth, most commonly on the inner cheeks. This type of OLP is usually asymptomatic.
- Erosive OLP is a more painful form in which the oral tissues are red and swollen, and ulcerations develop.
Getting a diagnosis
To get a definitive diagnosis of oral lichen planus, you will need to visit a healthcare professional. A biopsy is usually required to rule out any other potential disorders.
Oral lichen planus can be managed but not cured. Usually, medical treatment is not needed unless there is a painful outbreak. Topical steroids or immune response medications are potential treatment options.
Other considerations when dealing with OLP
- Spicy foods, coarse foods and citrus fruits may increase oral discomfort caused by OLP. Very hot (temperature) foods may also cause discomfort.
- If there are lesions on the gums making brushing painful try using gentle brush strokes and an ultra-soft toothbrush. Use a low-abrasive, mild flavoured toothpaste and avoid mouthrinses containing alcohol.
- Tobacco and alcohol can further irritate the oral tissues affected by OLP and should be avoided.
- Mouth injuries can trigger OLP. Avoid biting on inside of your lips and cheeks and try eating softer foods that won't scratch your oral tissues.
- Emotional stress may make the symptoms worse.
Oral lichen planus and oral cancer link
While it is very rare, there is some evidence of an association between oral lichen planus and an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Proper diagnosis of OLP and periodic monitoring is recommended.
If you suspect you have oral lichen planus, it is essential to consult with your doctor or your dentist. If you have any questions about your oral health, contact us today!
Dental crowns are an essential means for restoring damaged or unattractive teeth. A well-crafted crown not only functions well, it looks and blends seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth.
Crowns are artificial caps that cover an entire visible tooth, often used for heavily decayed or damaged teeth or as added protection after a root canal treatment. Most crowns are produced by a dental lab, but some dentists are now creating them in-office with computer-based milling equipment. On the whole, the various crowns now available function adequately as teeth—but they can vary in their appearance quality.
In the early to mid 20th Century the all-metal crown was the standard; but while durable, it could be less than eye-pleasing. Although more life-like dental porcelain existed at the time, it tended to be brittle and could easily shatter under chewing stress.
Dentists then developed a crown that combined the strength of metal with the attractiveness of porcelain: the porcelain fused to metal or PFM crown. The PFM crown had a hollow, metal substructure that was cemented over the tooth. To this metal base was fused an outer shell of porcelain that gave the crown an attractive finish.
The PFM reigned as the most widely used crown until the mid 2000s. By then improved forms of porcelain reinforced with stronger materials like Lucite had made possible an all-ceramic crown. They’re now the most common crown used today, beautifully life-like yet durable without the need for a metal base.
All-ceramics may be the most common type of crown installed today, but past favorites’ metal and PFM are still available and sometimes used. So depending on the type and location of the tooth and your own expectations, there’s a right crown for you.
However, not all crowns even among all-ceramic have the same level of aesthetic quality or cost—the more life-like, the more expensive. If you have dental insurance, your plan’s benefits might be based on a utilitarian but less attractive crown. You may have to pay more out of pocket for the crown you and your dentist believe is best for you.
Whatever you choose, though, your modern dental crown will do an admirable, functional job. And it can certainly improve your natural tooth’s appearance.