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.





DENTISTRY OF THE FUTURE

18 02 2013

dentistry of the future

There are dentists who are tooth mechanics and gum gardeners, and there are also dentists who evaluate the entire body and evaluate the relationship between the teeth and the rest of the body.  Some dentists understand that in order to make an impact and positive changes in a persons health, that they must be an active participant in their health care. There are dentists who really understand that it makes a difference what materials you use in a patient’s mouth, and the total impact it has on their body.  These holistic/ whole body dentists practice dentistry in a slightly different manner.  Some of the characteristics that distinguish this type of dentistry are the following:

1.            The patient must be an active participant.  “Doctor” means teacher; it is up to the doctor or any healing practitioner to help educate the patient, in order that the patient can make the decisions regarding their treatment.  Today health is more of a consumer product.  The patient and/ or the insurance company pay for a commodity, namely health repairs, which are to be supplied with very little input from the patient.

2.            Treatment should above all, do no harm.  Much of orthodox medical/dental treatment neglects this very important tenet, either by dispensing toxic drugs on a chronic basis, or by implanting toxins in the mouth.  Often more harm is done than if nothing had been undertaken.  Natural therapies attempt to rid the body of toxic substances and assist the body in healing.

3.            The body has a natural, innate desire to be in a state of homeostasis.  The chronic use of drugs suppresses symptoms and does not act curatively.  Natural therapies do not work o this suppressive level, but rather gently push and assist the body towards homeostasis.

4.            A person is more than a physical being.  He or she is more than can be measured by our inventions, which are extensions of our five senses- for example a microscope.  A person is a spiritual, electro-dynamic, energetic, psychological being, who thinks and feels.

5.  Disease is not a name; it is also not something localized which can therefore just be cut out, i.e. a cancer of the breast.  The cancer which is localized to a portion of the breast is a disease of the entire person.  It is a degradation of the entire immune system, or possibly a hyper functioning of the entire immune system.  It involves not just some localized tissue, but rather the entire being, especially at the “other body” level.

6.  Diet is what’s eaten; nutrition is what’s effective.  To e effective, food must be in a form which is vibrant.  It must be full of energy, and not dead.

The future of medicine and dentistry is exciting.  The use of a device like the Star Trek Tricorder for diagnosis is on the near horizon, and one can envision the day when disease will be remedied by exposure to different vibratory waves, audible and non-audible.  Imagine placing a metal implant in the mouth, and altering its electromagnetic frequency so that it can exist harmoniously within your energy field.  You have a dead tooth?  NO problem, exposure to another specific frequency will impart a new vibrational pattern, so that it does not interfere with the meridian it is on.

That is the future of dentistry.

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.





EIGHT BENEFITS OF TOOTH BRUSHING-THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR TEETH

11 02 2013

brushing

We are all aware that brushing your teeth on a regular basis prevents cavities and keeps you smiling.  But there are many other surprising benefits, including these eight that don’t have to do with your teeth!

  1. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, participants who did not brush on a regular basis had a 65 percent greater chance of developing dementia compared to those who did brush.  So don’t forget to brush!
  2. A study in the American Journal of Medicine found that regular brushing decreases the chance of stroke!  Wow – two very serious diseases can be curtailed with good oral hygiene.  And the list goes on…
  3. As any dentists, hygienist or physician can tell you, regular brushing (and flossing) helps to prevent gum disease.  But you may not know that along with causing stinky breath and unattractive smiles, gum disease is a major indicator of heart disease and the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.
  4. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology has shown that increased brushing decreases the risk of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and COPD.  Why, Bacteria which form on the teeth make their way into the lungs and respiratory tract, wreaking havoc along the way.
  5. Dental researcher Dr. Caitia Gazola has shown that having healthy teeth and gums increases the chances of having healthy babies, while dental disease can cause underweight pre-term babies.  And men- you aren’t off the hook!  WE strongly suspect that not brushing your teeth regularly can exclude you from the whole pregnancy process!
  6. Prevention Magazine has reported that regular brushing can help you maintain a healthy weight!  Why? Brushing your teeth indicates to your brain that mealtime is over.  Plus – food just doesn’t taste as good with squeaky clean teeth!
  7.  Okay guys – here’s your turn.  Several studies have shown that men with poor oral hygiene are at greater risk for erectile dysfunction.  Scared yet???
  8.  Have a heart – a healthy one that is!  The American Journal of Medicine has linked dental health with heart attack risk.

So if clean teeth, fresh breath, a beautiful smile and fewer cavities aren’t enough, here are eight reasons why brushing your teeth on a regular basis can save your life!  Plus let’s face it – going around with a big piece of lettuce stuck between your chompers is not the most attractive look in the world!

brush or die

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.





GO DADDY???!!!

7 02 2013

kiss with bar rafa

I know this Go Daddy ad sparked quite a lot of controversy after Sunday’s Super Bowl.  Many were uncomfortable about the “geek” kissing the beautiful woman.  Some were wondering about the appropriateness of that intimacy of affection during prime time.  Frankly, as a dentist, some other thoughts also ran through my mind.  So, with St. Valentine’s day coming up next week, now would be an appropriate time to share these thoughts with you.

Did you know that bacteria can be passed between two people by mouth to mouth contact?  The same goes with sharing your toothbrush.  What about sharing that appetizer? Maybe a little smooching on the couch? Bacteria can be passed between people not just through toothbrushes or other dental implements, but also from shared silverware or any other mouth-to-mouth contact.  Parents and children are not immune either, and bacteria can be passed between them. The family pet may even serve as the source of a bacterial infection.Did you know that the bacteria that causes juvenile periodontitis can be transferred from the infected site to an uninfected site within the same mouth? Even between a husband and wife, there can be bacterial transfer.

Recurring dental infections are commonly caused by infected toothbrushes. In addition to dental problems, a toothbrush may also result in the formation of a bacteremia (bacterial infection in the bloodstream) which, if left untreated, can lead to endocarditis (infection of the heart). A typical toothbrush may be infested with various viruses and bacteria, which can then be transmitted to a new user.

For example, if the toothbrush owner has the herpes simplex virus, 50% of the virus can remain on the toothbrush for up to a week. If you suffer from gum inflammation (gingivitis), you may be able to find relief by using a new toothbrush every two weeks. Wondering if it’s still okay to share a toothbrush with someone you trust?

We now understand that oral infections are not restricted to the mouth but can move through the body and be transmitted that way to other people. You don’t need to become obsessive about your toothbrush, and you can still share a sample at your favorite restaurant, but for your own well-being and that of your family, you should develop a good dental health program.

You can remove 100% of the bacteria on your toothbrush by soaking in an essential oils mouthrinse for 20 minutes. Another good way to clean your toothbrush is ultraviolet light. You may have seen a toothpaste that contains triclosan, a common disinfectant, that claims to clean your toothbrush; however, recent studies* show that this toothpaste is not very effective at removing bacteria.

What are the best ways to eliminate the bacteria that are on your toothbrush? Place them under ultraviolet light, soak them in a mouthrinse with essential oils, or, perhaps easiest of all, replace your old toothbrush with a fresh new one on a routine basis. There’s not much you can do about the kissing since most people won’t want to give that up…just keep an eye on the health of your mate’s mouth!

Have a happy Valentine’s Day!
 

 

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.

 





Are my mercury fillings making me mad?

5 02 2013

mercury fillings

The amalgam or mercury fillings used commonly in dentistry contain up to 50 percent mercury.  Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that most scientists believe can be harmful to your health. The name “Mad Hatter” was inspired by the phrase “as mad as a hatter”.   Mercury was used in the process of curing felt used in some hats, making it impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hat making process; hatters and mill workers thus often suffered mad hatter disease, mercury poisoning causing neurological damage including confused speech and distorted vision  Mercury has been removed from the shelves in our pharmacies and drug stores, because we know the dangers of inhaling mercury.

You can no longer get mercurochrome antiseptic nor mercury thermometers at the pharmacy, because the FDA has deemed the mercury to be hazardous to your health.

The manufacturers of mercury fillings themselves place warning labels on the outside of their containers.  The labels state that mercury fillings are nephrotoxic, neurotoxic.  It states that they are skin sensitizers, that they should not be used in small children, or expectant mothers, the list of warnings goes on and on.

When you have a mercury, or amalgam filling placed, your dentist can no longer use a squeeze cloth to remove the excess mercury before placing a filling.  The amalgamators (what we use to mix the filling together) have to be sealed so that while the mixing process is taking place, the mercury vapors are not released.  An amalgam separator is a special apparatus required to be in place in all dental offices to ensure that as you are removing the mercury fillings, the mercury do not get into the water supply once it is out of your mouth.  In translation, before the mercury filling is placed in your mouth it is toxic, and after it is removed from your mouth, it is toxic.  Why does the ADA say that during the time the fillings are in your mouth, they are safe?

Because it is very challenging to diagnose when a symptom in your body is the result of mercury toxins from your teeth, the ADA still allows for the placement of these fillings in our mouths.  They are also more cost-effective than some of the other materials that we use to restore teeth.

But the bottom line is there are other options, the composite fillings, and porcelain restorations look most natural,and they are a safer option for you.  In future blogs, I will discuss safe protocols for mercury removal.  But suffice it to say, when you go to your dentist to have fillings placed, insist on other options.  They are out there!

 

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 French Fry – A right of passage?

4 02 2013

baby with french fry

A right of passage:  That first time you take your child on a fast food adventure , isn’t it cute when they take that first nibble on a crispy McDonald’s french fry, often drenched in ketchup.  The child is so adorable, the french fry tastes so good.  Nobody thinks for a moment how we are starting that child down the road towards a possible addiction to unhealthy foods, towards diabetes, obesity and other health issues that will plague them for the rest of their lives.  That first trip to McDonald’s is commonplace in so many households here in the United States, and everywhere around the world, will start them on the path to dental disease  including cavities and gum disease.

The month of February is recognized as Children’s Dental Health Month.  I really think it is important to establish healthy nutritional and oral health routines from the time a baby is an infant.  Here are a few helpful tips that can help prevent dental disease from the start:

From infancy, the routine of cleaning your babies  mouth out after they have milk or formula is important. The sugar in the milk can cause decay from the time the first teeth erupt into the mouth.  It is especially important to refrain from allowing children sip on milk, or juice in a bottle throughout the day and especially at night.  Baby bottle, or nursing bottle caries are really a struggle for the parent and the child, when their baby teeth erupt into the mouth rotten from the sugar in these drinks.

Really pay attention to food labels.  Watch for the hidden sugars in a child’s diet that they might be consuming.  Try and avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Brushing after meals, and especially at bedtimes is critical, as most of the bacteria builds up in ones mouth at night when they are sleeping and their mouth is closed.  Also, ensuring that they develop healthy routines when it comes to brushing and flossing, starts when they are very young.  In fact, one of the best things you can do is let them watch you as you brush and floss so they can emulate some great behaviors.

Sealants, which are a thin plastic coating, a protective layer that should be placed on all of the back teeth, once they have erupted into the child’s mouth, have shown to significantly decrease the amount of dental decay a child will get in the grooves of their teeth.

Finally, soon after the teeth start coming into your child’s mouth, is the right time to take them on their first visit to a dentist.  Let them get used to the environment.  It will help to prevent them from developing a fear of the dentist, that their parent’s might have had.  It will also allow the dentist to evaluate their teeth and make sure to prevent and detect any dental problems before it will arise.  Let your children develop a lifelong healthy relationship with one of the best preventive healthcare providers they will have for their entire lives.

Happy Children’s Dental Health Month!

 

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.





2 02 2013

Before you watch all of the commercials during tomorrow’s Super Bowl, please read this post…..

 

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.

Dental HealthStyles

Why Do Stars Think It’s OK To Sell Soda

I read this article last week about Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears and their participation in ad campaigns  of sodas and other products that are harmful to our health, however, they create great profit to the celebrities who endorse these brands.  It makes me question what are our core beliefs as a nation?  Are we going to remain true to our core beliefs, or does that take a back seat when it comes to making money?  I understand that we live in the United States of America, in this great consumer driven economy, but, what if we stayed true to our core beliefs?  What if celebrities aligned their core beliefs with opportunities for making money?  I think our country would look a bit different now.  But to take that personally, what if we as consumers stuck to our own core beliefs…

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