Gum Disease – Get the Facts!

27 02 2013

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.





The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

26 02 2013

i feel sorry for the public

I shared an article on this blog over the weekend, which really hits home how the food industry intentionally creates food that are convenient, low cost, high in sodium, fat, sugars and extremely addictive.  I was very incensed about the fact that it is really not just about the willpower of the public, but that a conscious effort is made in the laboratory settings and marketing meetings to get people hooked on these foods.  The article spoke about the fact that  1 in 3 adults in the United states are clinically obese; that 24 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes; and, one in 5 children have type 2 Diabetes.  What was not included in this article was that 50 percent of the American population has periodontal disease.  Clearly all of these degenerative diseases are making us as a country very sick.  I see the ill effects of eating these harmful foods and how it effects the oral cavity.  It is critical that we stop just picking up the easy to get convenient for us foods and take some time and read labels.  What seems like the easy way now, becomes the hard way in terms of pain, disease, and suffering in our future.  Please, if you haven’t read the article,  take time to do so, it is so important to be aware of the thought processes that go into the food that we so casually pick up at the store and place in our mouths.  Become aware! Stay healthy!

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.





“I FEEL SO SORRY FOR THE PUBLIC”

23 02 2013

Please read this excerpt from an article in the New York Times about the link between obesity and addictive junk food, and the companies that produced and advertise these items:

photo: Grant Cornett for The New York Times

On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.

James Behnke, a 55-year-old executive at Pillsbury, greeted the men as they arrived. He was anxious but also hopeful about the plan that he and a few other food-company executives had devised to engage the C.E.O.’s on America’s growing weight problem. “We were very concerned, and rightfully so, that obesity was becoming a major issue,” Behnke recalled. “People were starting to talk about sugar taxes, and there was a lot of pressure on food companies.” Getting the company chiefs in the same room to talk about anything, much less a sensitive issue like this, was a tricky business, so Behnke and his fellow organizers had scripted the meeting carefully, honing the message to its barest essentials. “C.E.O.’s in the food industry are typically not technical guys, and they’re uncomfortable going to meetings where technical people talk in technical terms about technical things,” Behnke said. “They don’t want to be embarrassed. They don’t want to make commitments. They want to maintain their aloofness and autonomy.”

A chemist by training with a doctoral degree in food science, Behnke became Pillsbury’s chief technical officer in 1979 and was instrumental in creating a long line of hit products, including microwaveable popcorn. He deeply admired Pillsbury but in recent years had grown troubled by pictures of obese children suffering from diabetes and the earliest signs of hypertension and heart disease. In the months leading up to the C.E.O. meeting, he was engaged in conversation with a group of food-science experts who were painting an increasingly grim picture of the public’s ability to cope with the industry’s formulations — from the body’s fragile controls on overeating to the hidden power of some processed foods to make people feel hungrier still. It was time, he and a handful of others felt, to warn the C.E.O.’s that their companies may have gone too far in creating and marketing products that posed the greatest health concerns.

—–

for more of the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.





Morningside Dental Care

22 02 2013





The Strawberry and Basil Martini

21 02 2013

strawberry and basil martini

I am having dinner at Ristorante Settepani in Harlem observing people sitting at the table nearby enjoying their food, laughing, discussing, talking and just having a good time.  To me, the mouth is one of the most important parts of the body that we so often take for granted until it has a problem.  So, instead of just keeping all of this information to myself, let me share some of the insights I have with over 20 years as a dentist.

While sipping a very delicious strawberry and basil martini, I felt the cool pieces of strawberries on my tongue and the small strawberry seeds that when you bite down you feel them between your teeth.  It is fascinating to me just how sensitive the nerve endings in the mouth can on the one hand allow you to bit into a large hard apple, yet still be able to detect the very miniscule small strawberry.  Not to mention that our mouth is critical to bite, chew, and grind food down into small particles to enable proper digestion.

I observe a very intense discussion with a group at a table, where a lot of loud talking and laughing ensue.  Suffice it to say that I cannot hear the details of the conversation, but, what I note is how the lips, teeth and tongue come together in distinct ways to create different sounds.   In order to create the sounds “th” , “s”, “m”, … every letter in the alphabet and all of words that we speak,  it is critical that we use our mouths.  Have you ever spoken to someone who has no teeth, or wears ill fitting dentures?  They cannot speak properly or enunciate their words.

Finally, the laughter!  We take so for granted a beautiful smile.  But each and every one of us first made the connection with our significant relationship from the first look, that smile.  Even if you date online, you must show upload a picture if you want to get any response.  It is quite tragic to see people who place their hand in front of their mouths, or keep their mouth almost shut, for fear and embarrassment when they have missing teeth, or teeth that are broken down.

I will admit, I love to eat!  My passion is Dental Health.  I see little children from the first tooth that comes into their mouth, to older patients, who are trying to hold onto their last teeth, and the whole spectrum in between.   I would like to prop up the status of the MOUTH and give it the respect it is due.  I know that there is strong correlation between oral health and general health.  As our community sees increases in diseases such as diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, etc. the mouth, and oral cavity play such an important part.  As a New Yorker and foodie, I am confessing my oral fixations and hope to provide some positive “food for thought” about the mouth, the oral cavity, healthy food choices and healthy habits and try to live a little bit healthier.

A “Food Network”  Recipe for the Strawberry and Basil Martini

Ingredients
7 basil leaves with stems
1-ounce strawberry puree
1 cup ice cubes
2 1/2 ounces soju (Korean vodka)
1/2-ounce lime juice
1/2-ounce sweet and sour mix
1/2-ounce strawberry syrup
Directions

In a 16-ounce cocktail shaker, add the basil leaves and the strawberry puree. Muddle until the basil leaves are broken into pieces. Add the ice cubes, then add the soju, lime juice, sweet and sour mix and strawberry syrup. Shake vigorously. Strain the drink into a 7-ounce chilled martini glass and serve cold.

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.





A Funny Thing Happened in the Subway

20 02 2013

false teeth

One of my patients had me laughing hysterically when she told me the story of a man she observed in the subway this week.  She said he seemed partially asleep as she was on the 2 train in the evening, however,  he woke up to sneeze.  As he was sneezing his denture projected out of his mouth and he caught it in midair in his hands.  He was so embarrassed, that he place his head down, held the denture in his hands for the next two stops, then when the subway doors closed again, he popped it back in his mouth, and proceeded to open a bag of potato chips and started eating them.  Well, envisioning the situation, it just seemed hilarious as she described the situation, however, it must have been very embarrassing for the poor gentleman.

We really take our teeth for granted, until we lose them.  I see patients everyday who come into my office, and, it’s been a very long time since their last dental visit.  When they come to see me, they are in pain.  It really sometimes takes some convincing to get them to save the teeth, instead of their normal reaction to extract them or have them removed.  Dental pain is some of the worst pain you can have, and patients are always ready do get rid of their teeth, to alleviate the pain forever.  I always let them know, that the interrelationship of the teeth together is so critical, and that once you start down the road to extractions, it really becomes a never ending spiral.  Because, at the other extreme, I have patients who I see in my office, usually middle aged who have lost many teeth.  At this point they ask the dentist to perform a miracle and try and save the few teeth they have remaining.  These are always the same patients who confess “I wish I had listened to my dentist when I was younger” at the time, because of pain, and sometimes finances, I just wanted them removed, and I did not want to listen to the dentist.

Each of your teeth are very valuable parts of the body.  You wouldn’t have pain on a finger or leg, and have the doctor remove the finger or leg?  There is a reason why our creator (whomever, that may be for you) decided that 32 teeth is what are necessary for proper chewing, speaking and digesting.  Once we start removing teeth, you are considered dentally crippled.  The sense of casualness that people have toward their teeth, and caring for their teeth worries me alot.  People are very casual about their teeth,  these vital parts of your body, until the day that you have none…you are in the subway…you sneeze…

Your teeth are some of the most important parts of your body.  It is so important that we always treat them as such!

 

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.





Mandatory Toothbrushing? (Here is a reprint of an article from the NY Times Magazine from last weekend)

19 02 2013

Who Made That Toothbrush?

Jens Mortensen for The New York Times
By PAGAN KENNEDY
“I don’t have any of those toothbrushes that went to the moon,” says Dr. Ben Swanson, former president of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry. He was speaking from his basement, where he stores his trove of 40,000 artifacts related to dental history. Swanson once dreamed of owning every kind of toothbrush in existence, but ended up stockpiling only a few hundred. “I had to give up because there were so many of them,” he says. In fact, it would be nearly impossible to collect every specimen; the toothbrush is one of the most reinvented of human objects, with thousands of patents on file.

The story starts in China during the Middle Ages, when people began grooming their teeth with animal bristles. Legend has it that centuries later, William Addis, generally recognized as the first to patent the toothbrush, served time in Newgate prison in London, where he whittled down a bone and stuck it full of bristles.

Even when toothbrushes migrated to the corner store, many people preferred to rub their teeth with a rag. As late as the 1920s, “many Americans did not brush their teeth,” Swanson says. One reason is that those early toothbrushes could tear up your mouth — the tip of a boar bristle, under a microscope, resembles a spear. By the 1940s, synthetics offered a solution. One ad trumpeted: “For years, only hog bristle made fine tooth brushes. Then Science made round-end Prolon” — its soft bristles were designed to preserve the gums.

The advent of plastics also meant that toothbrushes could take any shape imaginable. And so brushes jingled and hummed tunes. They arrived on the drugstore shelf enshrined in hermetic tubes. They boasted “anti-soggy” bristles.

Asked to pick a favorite toothbrush from his collection, Swanson says he’s fond of a model that cleans both sides of the teeth at once. “You remember the Reach toothbrush with the angled head?” he says. “One year they came out with a brush that had two heads.” But the design failed to catch on. In the world of toothbrushes, apparently, two heads are not always better than one.

BRUSH HEAD

Vermin Supreme, a performance artist, has run for president many times; he espouses “mandatory-toothbrushing laws.”

You often carry a giant toothbrush to scrub away the decay that clings to public monuments. I’ve scrubbed many, many landmarks. I scrubbed the Kremlin back in ’98. We had a mandatory-toothbrushing parade; we had the text of the mandatory-toothbrush law translated into Russian. And we had like 30 Russians; we had musicians; we had the giant toothbrushes. The police came and told us to stop, and we stopped. It was a beautiful thing.

So what would these mandatory-toothbrushing laws involve? Secret dental police. Government-issued toothpaste containing an addictive yet harmless substance. Computer-dental-chip implants to keep track of you and your children for your protection. For too long this nation has been suffering a great moral and oral decay.

Over the last 25 years, you’ve pushed lots of politicians to answer tough questions about oral hygiene. That’s right. When I asked Bob Dole if he supported mandatory-toothbrushing laws, his response was, “As long as it’s locally controlled.”

Dr Donna Williams

Dr. Williams began her career in the field of dentistry at Howard University and graduated from Baltimore College Dental Surgery/University of Maryland. She is one of a select group of general dentists who have completed a fellowship in Holistic dentistry, and is also certified to use the only FDA approved laser for periodontal surgery. She is passionate about improving the health status of people throughout the community and beyond. Contact her at: Morningside Dental Care.








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