Got Fluoride? This month Dr. Mary Rose discusses what benefits fluoride has on your oral health.

September 5th, 2023

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water.  Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making your enamel more resistant to acid attacks.  Every day, your enamel (the protective outer covering of your tooth) gains and loses minerals.  You lose minerals (demineralization) when acids that are formed from bacteria, sugars, and plaque attack your mouth. You gain minerals (remineralization) when you consume food and water that contain fluoride, phosphate, and calcium.   Tooth decay is a result of too much demineralization without enough remineralization.

Fluoride strengthens teeth and reduces your risk of cavities by approximately 25%.  Fluoride bonds to areas of decay and attracts other minerals, like calcium, to the area.  Fluoride stimulates the production of fluorapatite, a type of tooth enamel that is highly resistant to acids and bacteria.  Fluoride cannot reverse cavities, but it can slow the rate at which they develop.

While fluoride can be harmful in large quantities, it is difficult to reach toxic levels due to the low amount of fluoride in over-the-counter products like toothpastes and mouth rinses.  For young children, Dr. Mary Rose recommends using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste at each brushing.  Children need to spit out rather than swallowing the toothpaste.  Dr. Mary Rose also suggests not giving fluoride-containing dietary supplements to children under 6 months of age. 

Adults can benefit from fluoride especially if you have dry mouth, gum disease, history of tooth decay, or you have crowns, bridges, braces, or removable partial dentures.

What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

August 1st, 2023

Have you ever experienced a burning discomfort in your mouth?  This month Dr. Mary Rose discusses the causes and treatment for this uncomfortable condition.

Burning Mouth Syndrome is the medical term for ongoing or recurring burning in the mouth without an obvious cause.  Acid reflux, emotional stress, anxiety and depression, hormonal deficiencies in post-menopausal women and neurological abnormalities have been identified as possible contributors of burning mouth syndrome.  Other factors include medications, Type 2 Diabetes, allergies or reactions to foods, food flavorings, and other food additives, and vitamin deficiencies.

Symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome include a dry mouth with an increased thirst, loss of taste, or a bitter or metallic taste, burning sensation on lips, tongue, or surface of the mouth between the gums and lips.  It can appear suddenly and can be severe, as if the mouth was scalded.

Dr. Mary Rose Twohig recommends making an appointment if you are suffering from any form of oral burning for a proper diagnosis.  Treatment for Burning Mouth Syndrome begins with avoiding spicy foods, alcohol, and tobacco.  Alcohol-free dental products with minimal additives and flavoring are recommended.  Other therapies to decrease the pain include stress management, yoga, and moderate exercise.  Dr. Mary Rose Twohig recommends making an appointment if you are suffering from any form of oral burning for a proper diagnosis.

Are Vitamins Important To Your Oral Health?

July 5th, 2023

Vitamins play an important role in the development and maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.  When we are lacking specific vitamins, we may experience a variety of oral health problems including dry mouth, tooth decay and bad breath.  To help avoid these issues, try to include the following vitamins and minerals in your diet.

Vitamin C can be found in broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, and tomatoes.  Eating foods containing vitamin C helps your body produce more collagen.  Collagen helps repair and strengthen your gums and other connective tissues in the mouth.  Lack of vitamin C can lead to bleeding gums, loose teeth, and other oral health problems. 

Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, egg yolks, tuna, salmon, orange juice and cod liver oil.  Foods containing vitamin D help your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which is critical for strengthening teeth and bone.

Vitamin A can be found in leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, cantaloupe, mango, beef liver and tomatoes.  Vitamin A helps keep our mucous membranes healthy, which helps prevent dry mouth, gum disease and tooth decay.  Vitamin A helps boost your saliva production, which can help wash away bacteria and food particles. 

Calcium can be found in dairy fortified plant-based milks, yogurt, cheese, winter squash, almonds, Edamame, and salmon.  Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones.  Vitamin C also helps your heart, muscles, and nerves function properly.

Potassium can be found in bananas, spinach, beans, lentils, potatoes, avocados, raisins, and apricots.  Potassium helps boost your bone mineral density, which helps keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Toothache or Sinus Infection-How do you know?

June 1st, 2023

Not Sure If You Have A Toothache Or A Sinus Infection?  Dr. Mary Rose discusses their unique symptoms to help you decide if you should see your dentist or your physician.

Nobody wants a toothache!  Tooth pain can be caused by sinus infections.  If you are suffering from a constant ache that affects more than one tooth, you are probably suffering from sinus pressure.  If you are experiencing a sharp or throbbing pain that is localized to one tooth, it is probably a toothache. 

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissues in your sinuses (spaces in your forehead, cheeks and nose usually filled with air).  Symptoms of sinus infections that are different from a toothache include:

Sore Throat

Congestion or runny nose

Postnasal drip

Altered sense of smell

A toothache will have symptoms that are different from sinusitis.

Swollen gums

Sharp or throbbing pain

Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold

Pain when chewing

If you are suffering from a toothache, do not ignore it.  Call Twohig Dentistry and make an appointment with Dr. Mary Rose. 


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