TruDenta Treatment Can Relieve Headache Pain

TruDentaChronic migraines, tension headaches, vertigo, tinnitus, and pain in the face, neck, and jaw affect millions of Americans. Unbalanced forces in the jaw can contribute to these problems. Unbalanced forces can affect muscles, which can cause chemical and nerve reactions that create chronic pain.

Many people have tried numerous treatments but found little or no relief for their symptoms. Dentists may be able to help. A dentist can use devices derived from the field of sports medicine to evaluate and treat vertigo, tinnitus, and pain in the head, face, neck, and jaw.

TruDenta is a treatment that can relieve chronic headaches, migraines, TMJ/TMD, and many other conditions. TruDenta treatment does not involve the use of drugs or needles.

Your dentist will have you complete a questionnaire that will ask questions about your pain symptoms, dental history, head and neck problems, and any accidents or injuries that may be responsible for your problem. During an exam, your dentist will take computerized measurements of the force balance of each tooth in your mouth. He or she will also take computerized measurements of the disability of your muscle movement and measure your mouth movement. These tests are simple and painless.

The results of these tests can help your dentist identify the cause of your symptoms. He or she can also identify other issues with your mouth, muscles, and teeth that will be treated with TruDenta therapy.

TruDenta is a type of in-office treatment that includes gentle light therapy, electrical stimulation, muscle manipulation, and ultrasound therapy. One to 12 weekly treatments will be needed, depending on your symptoms and their cause. You will continue your treatment at home with exercises and an orthotic to wear for a short period of time. Many patients report that their symptoms were significantly lessened or completely relieved soon after beginning TruDenta treatment.

MouthWatch Intraoral Camera Helps Dentists and Patients

MouthWatch intraoral cameraMouthWatch, which recently became a StartUp Health company, produces intraoral cameras that are important tools dentists can use to evaluate problems and communicate with patients. By showing patients problems in their mouths with the cameras, dentists can illustrate the importance of taking action and undergoing necessary treatment.

MouthWatch cameras are much less expensive than other companies’ intraoral cameras and can produce better images. MouthWatch lowered its price by removing some features that customers told them were difficult to use, such as autofocus and a metal housing. The company hopes to expand into the field of tele-dentistry. Mouth Watch also offers EHR integration and secure dentist-patient messaging capabilities.

While it is not intended to replace visits to the dentist, MouthWatch can make a dentist’s work easier and make communication between dentists and their patients more effective. Patients can view images, x-rays, and treatment proposals even after they leave the dentist’s office via browser, mobile app, and email reminders.

Many dentists find the cameras helpful in their practices. They can be used to calm young patients who are nervous about their exams or treatment or to show patients why they should have recommended work done. The cameras are marketed to dental practices but are inexpensive enough that they can also be given to patients. Approximately 600 dental practices across the United States currently use MouthWatch intraoral cameras.

Using MouthWatch intraoral cameras can help dentists use their time more effectively. They can help dentists diagnose problems more easily, show the areas of concern to patients, and recommend necessary treatments.

Solea Laser Makes Dental Treatments Pain Free

Solea laserSolea CO2 lasers can make dental procedures easier and eliminate the need for anesthesia, which can make treatments simpler for both dentists and patients. Solea is the first carbon dioxide laser approved by the Food and Drug Administration for both hard and soft tissue ablation.

Solea is the first Computer Aided Preparation system to be used in dental treatment. Solea uses galvos – motors controlled by a computer that move mirrors inside the handpiece. The mirrors manipulate the laser beam to adjust to the tissue that the dentist is cutting. This gives the dentist more speed, accuracy, and control. The dentist can choose the proper spot size and does not have to readjust the laser. Solea has a navigational touch screen and a foot pedal that adjusts the speed of the laser’s cutting.

Other CO2 lasers only work on soft tissue, and erbium lasers only vaporize water and slowly chip away at tooth enamel. Solea is an isotopic CO2 laser that vaporizes enamel. This allows the dentist to work anywhere in the mouth at any angle efficiently and easily.

The laser numbs a tooth for 15 to 20 minutes, which is long enough to fill a cavity. Patients do not need to be injected with anesthesia, and dentists do not need to wait for it to take effect before beginning the procedure. This can significantly reduce the amount of time in the dentist’s office and improve efficiency. It also means less discomfort for the patient since there is no need for needles and the mouth and face are not numbed. Procedures done with the Solea laser produce little or no bleeding. The Solea laser is quiet and produces virtually no sensation.

The Solea laser system allows dentists to complete more procedures. A dentist can fill cavities in different quadrants of the mouth in one visit and fill cavities found during cleanings immediately, rather than scheduling another appointment.

The Worst Foods and Drinks for Your Teeth

foods drinks teethWhat we eat and drink can mean the difference between a healthy smile and tooth decay. Many people are not aware that common foods and drinks can contribute to serious dental problems. Here is a list of some of the most dangerous foods and beverages.

Processed carbohydrates, such as white bread, are sugars. Saliva has an enzyme called salivary amylase that starts digestion in the mouth and turns complex carbohydrates into sugars. Bacteria in the mouth convert the sugar into acid that causes tooth decay.

Dried fruit has just as much sugar as regular fruit, but it is worse for teeth because it is sticky and stays on teeth. If you eat dried fruit and then do not brush your teeth, it can lead to decay.

Sour candy can damage teeth more than sweet candy because it contains the same amount of sugar, plus citric acid. Since it is sticky, it stays on teeth longer.

Lemons and limes are also very acidic. Sucking on lemons or limes can wear away enamel on the front of the teeth, which can make them appear yellow.

Chewing on ice can easily break a tooth because it is so hard. The coldness can also make teeth brittle, making them more susceptible to damage.

Soda contains sugar and phosphoric and citric acids that break down the surface of the teeth. Teeth are coated with acid, and sugars combine with bacteria to produce more acid. Sipping soda slowly is worse than drinking it quickly because it keeps a low pH in the mouth over a long period of time.

Sports and energy drinks are full of sugar. Some also have a lot of citric acid. Sports and energy drinks can do more damage to teeth than soda.

Saliva dilutes plaque and acids and fights bacteria. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Drinking alcohol can dry out your mouth. While a moderate amount of alcohol is not necessarily a bad thing, it can create problems if you already have dry mouth.

Kombucha is a drink made from fermented sweetened black and/or green tea. It has a very low pH, which means that it is full of acid that can damage teeth.

Cancer Treatments Can Affect Oral Health

cancer oral healthCancer treatments can affect the mouth in several ways. If you are undergoing treatment for cancer, it is important to take care of your oral health and to include your dentist in your health care.

Radiation therapy to the head or neck can cause dry mouth, tooth decay, loss of taste, mouth and gum sores, bone disease, or stiffness in the jaw that can be temporary or can last for years after treatment. There is a greater risk of developing these problems if you have underlying dental problems, so it is important to visit a dentist and have any problems addressed before you begin your radiation treatment. Your dentist may recommend special fluoride treatments that can prevent tooth decay and infection that can be caused by inadequate amounts of saliva due to radiation.

Chemotherapy often causes mouth sores, pain in the mouth and gums, peeling or burning of the tongue, infection, and changes in taste. Chemotherapy can temporarily reduce your body’s ability to fight infection, so you should get any source of infection treated before beginning chemotherapy. Fixed orthodontic appliances should usually be removed prior to chemotherapy. Oral side effects caused by chemotherapy usually go away soon after treatment is ended.

Patients who receive stem cell or bone marrow transplants also usually receive high doses of chemotherapy that can cause oral health side effects. Graft-versus-host disease can cause dry mouth, sores in the mouth, tooth decay, sensitivity to spicy or acidic foods, and difficulty swallowing. Palifermin (Kepivance) is a drug that can be given to patients with leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma who receive stem cell transplants to prevent mouth sores.

Bisphosphonates and other drugs can be used to prevent or treat bone loss caused by cancer. An uncommon side effect is osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) that can cause pain, swelling, and infection of the jaw; loose teeth; and exposed bone. Visit your dentist before beginning treatment to deal with any infection you might have.

Other medications used to treat cancer and side effects can also impact oral health. Pain medications can cause dry mouth, and some mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine that are used to treat infection can cause discoloration of teeth.

You should visit your dentist at least four weeks before beginning cancer treatment and have any problems addressed. If you need to have a dental procedure done, ask your dentist how long you should wait before beginning cancer treatment.

There are some steps you can take to minimize oral health problems during your cancer treatment. Gently brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. You can use an extra-soft toothbrush and soak it in warm water to soften the bristles. Your doctor may give you advice on other ways to prevent bleeding and infection. Avoid alcohol and foods that are extremely hot, cold, acidic, or crunchy. Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D for healthy teeth and jaw.

If you experience any dental problems during your cancer treatment, discuss them with your doctor or dentist immediately. He or she may recommend a mouth rinse, pain medication, antibiotic, antiviral drug, antifungal drug, drinking water or sugarless drinks, or a medication or gel to stimulate the production of saliva.

What Is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

burning mouth syndromeBurning mouth syndrome is a condition in which a person experiences a burning or tingling sensation on the tongue, roof of the mouth, gums, cheeks, or throat. It can be accompanied by dry mouth, soreness, numbness, or a bitter or metallic taste. People with burning mouth syndrome can be so affected by it that they experience depression or have trouble sleeping. The condition can have many causes.

• Several oral conditions, including dry mouth, oral thrush, and Sjogren’s syndrome, can contribute to burning mouth syndrome.

• Menopause and hormonal imbalances can affect the amount of saliva that is produced. This can cause dry mouth, which can lead to burning mouth syndrome.

• Some medical conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid problems, can contribute to the condition.

• Deficiencies in certain vitamins, such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins, can lead to burning mouth syndrome.

• Stomach acid that is brought to the mouth due to acid reflux disease can irritate the mouth and lead to burning mouth syndrome.

• Some medications and treatments, including antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, and radiation can contribute to burning mouth syndrome.

• Things that irritate the mouth, such as acidic drinks, smoking, some mouthwashes, loose-fitting dentures, bruxism (teeth grinding), tongue thrusting, and hard tooth brushing can irritate tissues in the mouth.

• Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by an allergic reaction to a food or other substance.

• The condition can be caused by nerve damage, which can cause pain.

• Anxiety and depression can contribute to burning mouth syndrome, and the syndrome can also affect a patient’s mental health.

Since burning mouth syndrome can be caused by so many things, you may need help from your dentist to pinpoint the cause. He or she can check for oral problems and may also recommend that you see a physician and have some blood tests performed.

Modifying your habits may help you reduce the effects of burning mouth syndrome. Your dentist may recommend that you eliminate smoking, alcohol, and acidic drinks that could dry out your mouth; improve your diet; drink more fluids; take vitamins or saliva replacements; adjust your dentures; improve your brushing; or possibly take medications to treat any underlying medical conditions that are causing your burning mouth syndrome.

Israeli Oral Surgeons 3D Print New Jaw for Patient

King-lab-articleOral surgeons in Israel used innovative technology to help a patient who was severely injured by fighting in Syria. The man had suffered a bullet wound that had completely destroyed his lower jaw. He was taken to Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel and was in critical condition and unable to eat or speak.

The medical team at the hospital decided to try a new approach to treat the patient. They had a new jaw custom-made for him using a 3D printer.

3D printers are being used more and more to create dental plates, veneers, dentures, and implants. These items must be custom-made since every mouth is unique.

With traditional procedures, dentists used impression plates filled with silicone, sodium alginate, or polyether to make models of a patient’s mouth. The patient would bite down into the material and leave an impression of teeth marks. This impression would be the basis for a product that was custom-made for that individual patient. A dentist would then refine the design based on observations and make necessary modifications to the device or product and to the patient’s teeth in order to make it fit properly.

In digital dentistry, molds and impressions are not necessary. Instead, dentists use intra-oral scanners, which provide a complete view of the patient’s mouth, jaws, and teeth. A digital file sends information to a 3D printer, which produces an object that will fit right the first time and will not need to be modified.

The team working with the Syrian patient in Israel used a procedure called Patient Specific Implant to create a jaw perfectly made for him. Unlike past procedures, which required the use of many plates that had to be connected, the team was able to take precise measurements and use statistical models to measure areas that had been destroyed. This enabled them to create a jaw in one piece made from titanium that was a perfect match.

The operation was a huge success. One day after the surgery, the patient was able to eat and speak. Rambam Hospital plans to perform the same procedure on three other patients in the near future.

Breathometer Mint Can Measure Breath Quality and Hydration

Breathometer MintEveryone has woken up with bad breath, but many people do not know what that means about their oral hygiene and overall health. A new app called Mint can measure breath quality and hydration, identify problems, and recommend steps to treat them.

Mint is the latest product from Breathometer, a company that introduced a Bluetooth breathalyzer that measures blood alcohol content in 2014. Both are based on similar technology. Mint connects to a smartphone with an iOS- or Android-compatible Breathometer app.

The device sucks in air from the mouth. You do not need to blow into it because the purpose of the device is to measure the quality of breath from your mouth, not your lungs.

Mint measures two elements in the mouth that affect breath quality: sulfide levels and humidity. Sulfide levels are measured via volatile sulfur compounds. Levels that are too high can be an early indication of periodontal disease, gum disease, or cavities. Humidity levels that are too low can be a sign of dehydration.

The app gives a score based on its measurement of both sulfide levels and humidity. The score is displayed in a scale of mint leaves. It can also report the percentage of hydration in the body. The data that are collected can be exported and shared with dentists, doctors, personal trainers, or other users who want to compare their results.

Mint also gives recommendations based on the results of its analysis. It can suggest that you brush and floss more, drink more water, or visit a dentist to have a problem it identifies evaluated.

The device is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. If used four to five times a day, the Mint will work for seven to 10 days on one charge.

Mint is currently available via Breathometer’s Indiegogo campaign. It will be more widely available at a lower price starting in August.

Oral Health Problems Can Lead to Low Birth Weight

oral health pregnancyProtecting oral health during pregnancy is important to ensure that you will have a healthy baby. Researchers have found a link between oral health problems, such as gingivitis, and premature birth and low birth weight.

Low birth weight is defined as a weight of less than 5.5 pounds at birth. Low birth weight can contribute to a host of medical problems, lengthy hospital stays, and possibly premature death.

Dentists believe that bacteria in the mouth that cause periodontal disease can spread to the placenta or amniotic fluid. The inflammation caused by gum disease may also contribute to preterm labor and rupture of the membrane around the fetus. This is likely caused by prostaglandin, a chemical in oral bacteria that occurs in high levels in people with periodontal disease and is known to lead to preterm labor.

Pregnant women are susceptible to specific problems that they do not face at other times. About 50 percent of pregnant women get pregnancy gingivitis that starts in the second or third month and gets progressively more serious until the eighth month. This can cause swelling, bleeding, redness, or tenderness in the gums. Women with pregnancy gingivitis can have strong reactions to irritants and develop “pregnancy tumors,” large, non-cancerous, painless growths that may need to be removed by a dentist.

Morning sickness and indigestion can cause tooth decay. Acid from the stomach can remove minerals from tooth enamel. Your dentist can recommend a fluoride rinse to use to reduce your risk of tooth decay.

It is important to protect your oral health at all times, but especially during pregnancy. Brush and floss every day. Eat a healthy diet, including plenty of calcium of vitamin D, and limit the amount of sweets and sugary drinks you consume. Drink fluoridated water to prevent tooth decay. If you smoke, quit. Get plenty of rest.

Make an appointment to see your dentist. Tell him or her that you are pregnant. If your dentist identifies any problems, get them treated as soon as possible. If you need x-rays, your dentist can take precautions to minimize the risk to your baby. Dental x-rays are safe if you are planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.

Osteoporosis Can Affect Oral Health

osteoporosis oral healthOver 40 million Americans either have osteoporosis or are at high risk of developing the condition. Osteoporosis causes bones to become less dense, which can led to fractures. While the hip, spine, and wrist are most commonly affected, osteoporosis can weaken any bone in the body, including the jaw. Studies suggest a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw, which can lead to tooth loss.

The alveolar process is the part of the jawbone that supports the teeth. Several studies have linked the loss of alveolar bone with an increase in loose teeth and tooth loss. Low bone density in the jaw can also cause dentures to be loose or not fit well.

In patients with periodontal disease, bacteria and the body’s immune system can cause the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place to break down. This can cause the teeth to become loose, fall out, or need to be removed. Some studies have linked bone loss, periodontitis, and tooth loss. Researchers theorize that loss of alveolar bone mineral density makes the jawbone more susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Researchers have discovered that dental x-rays can help dentists identify patients with osteoporosis. Dental problems such as loose teeth, gums detached from the teeth, receding gums, and loose or ill-fitting dentures can indicate low bone density. If a dentist detects evidence of osteoporosis, he or she can refer the patient to a doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

Scientists do not know whether treatments for osteoporosis can benefit the jawbone in the same way that they benefit other bones. Bisphosphonates, a group of medications used to treat osteoporosis, have been linked to osteonecrosis of the jaw, or destruction of the jawbone. The risk is highest in patients taking large doses of bisphosphonates intravenously and rare in people who take the medications orally.

A healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D can help keep your bones strong. Exercise, especially activities such as walking, jogging, dancing, and weight training, can promote strong bones. Don’t smoke, and drink alcohol in moderation. If you have any problems with loose teeth, detached or receding gums, or loose or ill-fitting dentures, discuss them with your dentist and doctor.