Superhero Dentist

Superhero Dentist

I’m willing to bet that most of you think of going to the dentist as a chore or at least as an inconvenience. You know it is important for your teeth and the health of your mouth to keep those appointments twice a year. But still, many of you avoid the dentist until you have pain or an injury. Now, what if I told you that going to the dentist can literally save your life? It certainly changes the perspective on that dental visit quite a bit.

As dentists, we specialize in your mouth. Not just gums and teeth either, we have to know how to examine the tissue around your neck, jaw, lips, nose, and head. All of these systems interrelate. We can tell the difference between a cold sore and cancer. Certain autoimmune diseases, for example, have symptoms like blistering gums.

More importantly, though, many diseases which affect your mouth have no symptoms or symptoms so mild they take some time to be noticed. One example is a cyst or tumor; they can grow for several years before you notice they are there. By this point surgery is usually required. In the case of a tumor, a biopsy will determine if it is benign or malignant.

These growths can be detected on dental x-rays long before they grow to the point where they can be felt. Aside from injuries, this area mostly gets x-rayed when you visit the dentist. Without this early detection, tumors, cysts, and autoimmune disorders become much harder to treat.

There is a lot we can tell about your general health by simply examining your mouth. Color changes in your mouth, such as blue, black, red, or yellow patches or unusual bumps generally have a cause. By finding out about other symptoms, it is easier to discover the cause and treat it. These color changes and bumps are commonly caused by a more significant issue. Though it isn’t the case most of the time, color changes in your mouth can indicate lymphoma. Once again we are back to early detection.

Heart disease and diabetes are both more common in individuals with poor oral health. Many chronic conditions have been linked to periodontal disease and gum inflammation. In the early stages, these conditions are nearly undetectable to the untrained eye. When you go see a dentist, even if you don’t have cavities, the purpose is to keep your mouth clean. Yes, some of this is managed with brushing, flossing, and rinsing, but for a really thorough cleaning, go to the pros.

It is estimated that this year, nearly 3% of all cancer cases will be oral cancer. This sounds like a small number, but in reality it is over 48,000 people. Oral cancer is among the hardest to detect of the cancers. This is partly because, as previously stated, most people will not have symptoms until later on.

We really need to step away from this “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality when it comes to health care. This is damaging in more ways than one. Waiting until you are bleeding out of your gums eyes to go to a dentist instead of going in when your teeth hurt does not make you tougher, it puts you at risk.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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Gold Teeth Going Away as White Smile Craze Takes Over

Gold Teeth Going Away as White Smile Craze Takes Over

A decade or so ago, to “bling” out your mouth in gold teeth was all the craze. While it is still popular in certain circles, more people are looking for a healthy, realistic look. During the height of its popularity, the gold-tooth craze was bringing in about $2.7 billion to the gold industry every year. Unfortunately for the industry, this number has dropped by 60% in the last five years.

The use of better ceramics, CEREC machines, and the outrageous price for gold have all contributed to its decline in the dental industry. The thing about fads is that they come into style, then go out of style just as quickly. Some fads, like tie-dye, eventually come back into style, only to disappear once more. Whether gilded teeth ever come back into fashion, only time will tell.

Having teeth fixed or fashioned with gold is not a new concept. As far back as 630 BCE, gold was used by the Etruscans to make dental bridges. Women of the upper class would remove an incisor (or two) and have it replaced with a golden tooth. This was a symbol of their status and standing in society.

Dental patients today have more choices and options than ever before. Ceramic crowns, laser whitening, bleaching, and advances in cosmetic dentistry make it possible for anyone to have the whitest and brightest smile of their whole lives. Gold can still be used on the back teeth as a filling, but many people still prefer the ceramic type.

When it comes to the back teeth, a gold crown is very strong and enables a lot of preservation to the tooth structure. It will not fracture like porcelain can. When done by a qualified dentist, a gold filling or crown can last a very, very long time. The downside, aside from its golden glow, is the price tag on gold. Even with the drop in price, it is still over $1,200 an ounce, making it too expensive for the average household budget. In comparison, you could get six or so composite resin fillings for the price of one gold tooth.

Nowadays, a gold “grill” is usually seen on celebrities. Regardless of if you go for the natural look or want to your mouth to sparkle like the sun, a dentist can make your smile into whatever you want it to be.

In ten years it is possible that the stark white smiles will fade away as most trends do. In its place, we may see people going for the natural look, slightly less than white, with flaws and character. No matter what trends take hold, a healthy mouth will ALWAYS be in fashion. So between your cosmetic visits, make sure to get those brushings, flossings, and dental visits in. It is much easier to whiten and brighten your teeth when they are healthy to begin with.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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Avoid the ER for Dental Emergencies

Avoid the ER for Dental Emergencies

Every year, millions of people go to the hospital for dental problems. Whether it’s an abscess, a lost or broken tooth, or swelling, people rush to the ER to get treatment. Decades ago, when dentists were 8-5 Monday through Friday, this could be understood. But, when most dentists offer off-hours treatment this is no longer the best option when you’re in pain. In the North Miami Beach area, you can call Dr. Jean-Jacque Edderai 24 hours a day at 305-947-7999.

According to a study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, in the state of Florida, trips to the ER for dental problems is costing millions in taxpayer money every year. Within the past decade, trips to the ER for dental problems rose by 57 percent. Half of the $193.4 million came from Medicare and Medicaid. This is a pointless expense since modern emergency rooms are not equipped to do anything for you. All they can do is give you a painkiller and/or antibiotic and tell you to go to a dentist.

The question then becomes, if dentists are more available then ever for emergencies, why are people still flocking to hospitals? Part of it may have to do with the Medicare/caid program in itself. In some states, like Florida, Medicaid only has to cover emergencies related to dentures, draining abscesses, and extracting teeth. Adding an option to pay online has helped some people, but it is not the only measure that we should be taking.

Since less than 10% of Florida dentists take Medicaid, many people aren’t getting desperately needed root canals and fillings. So the damage, then the pain, get worse. Until patients are out of options. The flux of people to the ER can’t be placed directly on Medicaid though. Nearly 40% of those who went to the ER for dental problems paid cash.

If there was a greater focus on prevention, then a lot of these visits could be avoided. If the $1500 per ER visit was put towards early treatment and education, we would see fewer problems, period. Another step we should be taking, as a country, is to cover routine visits and fillings. It is a twisted notion that people should have to be in excruciating pain before they can get the help they need. We don’t just see this in dental insurance, health insurance almost never covers preventative measures (one exception being birth control).

As a dentist, it is difficult to see a person with tooth pain, which is arguably the worst type of pain. By the time a person is in pain, a special procedure is a given. You are not going to go in with tooth pain, get a shot in the arm and be on your way. By the time there is pain, drilling, and filling, and applying crowns are all likely outcomes. If we instead took the time and put the money into educating people, we could save time, money, comfort, and even lives.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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What’s in the Meat We Eat?

The United States has a lot going for it… diversity, free enterprise, a thriving movie industry, and much more. It is enough to make some countries jealous. But, one area of the U.S. lifestyle they will never envy… our diet. Many of the “foods” we eat here are outlawed in other countries due to safety concerns. This rarely sways us, though, we throw on another steak never thinking about what, besides meat, is really in there?

You may think that relaxed safety regulations on the part of the Department of Agriculture are a sign that our meat is getting safer. But, they made this decision while blatantly ignoring the cleaning supplies, gas, metals, drug residues, nitrates, hormones, and other unwanted contaminants still found in our meat. For information on counteracting the effects on your teeth, go to https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/
Unless you are buying your meat certified organic or from a rancher whose practices you know, you will never know what is in your meat. After all, it’s not like any company wants to put “growth hormone” on their label. The worst of the offenders are antibiotics, cleaning products, and bacteria.

Antibiotics
It is common knowledge that meat manufacturers use antibiotics to prevent disease in cattle and to force them to grow. When these animals cross our dinner table, they are only allowed X amount of the drug residue to be in the animal’s system as they can’t be cooked away.

What you don’t know is that most meat is way over the legal limit, but sold anyway. The scariest part is that many of the antibiotics and hormones found in our meat right before we eat it are specifically labelled “not for human consumption.” Exposure to some of these antibiotics has even been linked with human death. It is mind blowing that these are not only allowed, but encouraged.

Cleaning Products

The fact that more and more cows are being squeezed into tiny spaces can only lead to the inevitable… disease. Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness, as a result, meat manufacturers are trying all sort of things without regard for the consequences on anything other than the bottom line.

To stop the spread of germs (especially E-coli), manufacturers are trying ammonia, chlorine, bleach, gasses, radiation and sprays made out of viruses. It doesn’t stop at beef either as up to 99% of poultry farm dip their birds in chlorinated water to cool them.

Bacteria
Maybe the fact that we are being fed poisons could be justified if the harmful bacteria were gone, but they’re not. In fact, they are becoming stronger and more resistant to anything we throw at them. These bacteria are in about half of the poultry, beef, and pork in the U.S. Bacteria impact the health of your body and your mouth. See details at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/periodontics-gum-disease/

Several years ago there were massive recalls of turkey and chicken because two deadly strains of salmonella, Salmonella Heidelberg and Salmonella Hadar. Both varieties are so deadly that authorities warned people to seal it so that wildlife would not be killed.

The list of contaminants in our meat goes on to include hormones, heavy metals, mad cow disease, nitrites and nitrates, and carbon monoxide. It makes me wonder if all the new diseases in this country aren’t a direct result of the “food-like product” we are unknowingly consuming?

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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Five Easy Ways to Change Your Diet (Without Losing Your Mind in the Process)

I would be willing to bet that most of reading this have some area of your diet that you want to change. Maybe you binge on junk food or have a huge sweet tooth. For information of fixing common dental conditions visit https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/oral-surgery-wisdom-teeth/. I’m sure you’ve heard all of the benefits of eating healthier, but it may seem like an impossible feat.

So what do you do? You have to try something, but have no idea what. It is okay, change can be a good thing. These tips are designed to help you make the changes you want (and need) without losing your sanity.
Start small- If you try to go from a soda drinking carnivore to a super-vegan overnight, your body will have withdrawals and there is likely to be some pain as a result. You are also less likely to succeed if you try to do too much at once. Make a list of the behaviors you want to change. Label the ones you think will be easiest and which are likely to be the hardest. Knock a few of the smaller ones off first and work your way up to the harder ones.

Along these lines, you should tackle a mini-goal every week. If your goal is to eat more fruits and veggies than a mini-goal would be to eat a full serving every evening with dinner. If you want to cut out sweets than your mini-goal for one week would be to stock your cupboards with nutritious substitutes. Though they seem small, they really add up. As an added bonus, you will feel like you are accomplishing a lot because you are.

Look at the cause of your habit- If you get bored and snack, then boredom, not hunger, is the issue. Keep your hands and mind busy with something you enjoy. If stress is your trigger look for ways to relax. Stress is dangerous and can lead to heart disease, TMJ (https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/tmj-disorders/orthognatic-repositioning/), stomach problems, ulcers, and more. The point is, you can’t overcome the symptom if you don’t know what the cause is.

Have realistic goals- You would not expect to take one karate class and be a master. It takes 21 days for you to build a pattern and 66 days for that pattern to become automatic. Your goals should be challenging, but possible. Do not chide yourself if you mess up, just learn from it and keep going.

Make a specific plan and write it down- You may forget in 30 days what your goal was. By then you have been doing it for long enough that it feels as though it’s always been that way. Writing your plan down helps you keep track of the progress you’ve made and helps you stay on track.

Become consciously aware of what you are eating- Yes, eating less sugar is a great goal. But you can’t just stop putting it in your coffee and assume you got it all. Sugar is in everything from BBQ sauce to beer to most canned goods. Start reading your labels. A good rule of thumb is that if you can pronounce what’s in it, you’re probably okay.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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The Importance of Saliva

Very few people think about their saliva until they no longer have any. But, this liquid impacts your health every minute of every day. Even while you are asleep, your saliva is working hard to keep the balance in your mouth.

Saliva is derived from your blood. Like tears, which are formed in the lacrimal gland, saliva is formed when blood passes through capillaries. These small capillaries do not allow the bigger cellular components and proteins to pass through. What results is saliva. All of this saliva is distributed throughout your mouth using ducts.

We get more than just the watery basis from our blood. All of the proteins, enzymes (amylase), minerals, and proteins in your blood carry over and influence the health of your saliva. The better the health of your blood, the better the health of your saliva.

Now the question becomes… why is healthy saliva important?

Saliva contains a lot of antibodies, which fight off bacteria and viruses. There is a sort of pump system which keeps your saliva stocked with antibodies. Since most bacteria enter your body through the mouth and nose, having strong antibodies in these areas is your first line of defense against sickness.

Your glands are constantly producing saliva. It is released continuously, but when you eat or think about food the glands are stimulated and more saliva is produced. Even the act of chewing, regardless of if there is any food in your mouth, will contract your salivary glands and release more saliva.

Saliva helps wash away leftover food particles. It is not always possible to brush after every meal, saliva washes away the bacterial food source until you have a chance to brush, floss, and or rinse. Proper saliva production prevents gum disease, tooth decay, and periodontic gum disease (https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/periodontics-gum-disease/) by washing away extra bacteria.

Digestion is aided by saliva. In fact, without saliva our food would taste bland. It acts as a lubricant for your taste buds, making them sensitive to the main taste groups. If you do not produce enough saliva, it may be difficult to swallow and digest food. When food is not properly mixed with saliva, fungus, yeast, and bacteria will build in your stomach. Digestive diseases can easily spread to your mouth.

Some people have a condition called xerostomia, or chronic dry mouth. They are more likely to have dental complications. Anyone who has this condition should drink a lot of water. This will wash your mouth out like saliva and prevent dehydration which decreases saliva flow even more. Also, try rinsing 4-6 x per day with a baking soda solution. Use 2 tsp of baking soda per 8 oz glass of water.

A dentist may be able to prescribe you medication or give you suggestions for supplements to help your condition. Proper dental care becomes even more important if you have saliva production issues because you lose that first line of defense. Getting regular cleanings and check-ups will prevent decay and may help you produce more saliva. Saliva production can be increased by chewing sugar-free gum or eating sugar-free mints.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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What is Geographic Tongue? How to Treat It?

For it being one of the most common maladies affecting the tongue, most people have never heard of Geographic tongue. After all, it sounds a bit like slang for a savvy speaker. This condition is common and relatively harmless. If you are unfamiliar with geographic tongue, seeing it appear out of nowhere can cause any parent to go into a frenzy.

The name “geographic tongue” refers to the map-like appearance of shapes. Some patches are completely smooth making your tongue look like it is covered in tiny, tongue-colored oceans. Most commonly this condition affects the sides of your tongue, but it can occur in other parts of your mouth as well (for answers to other common questions see https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/).

At any given time, geographic tongue affects between 1 to 5% of American’s in various age brackets. Like fibromyalgia, however, this disease is most commonly found in women. This condition looks super scary, but it will not harm you and it is mostly treatable. There is no indication that cancer, or other serious diseases, develop as a result.

Also known as erythema migrans or benign migratory glossitis, geographic tongue occurs when papillae (the bumps are your tongue) are missing from one are and crowded into the light area of the tongue. No one knows what causes papillae to move away from areas of your tongue and into others, but genetics is the most common theory.
Individual who already have psoriasis or a fissured tongue are more likely to experience geographic tongue. This leads many scientist to believe it is related to these other ailments. Geographic tongue comes without warning, sometimes leaving on its own within a few days. At other times, it can last for a year or more.

Most patients do not report sensitivity, but 1 out of every 10 people may have burning, tingling, or pain. These symptoms are made worse by ingesting foods which are acidic, spicy, salty or hot and by using certain toothpaste and smoking cigarettes (More ways cigarettes impact your mouth can be found at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/oral-surgery-wisdom-teeth/. While you have the condition, consider a sensitivity friendly toothpaste.

If you have geographic tongue do not be surprised to see some areas healing while others get worse. Even with treatment, your tongue may not heal all at once. Your first step, if you think you have geographic tongue is to visit a qualified dentist or doctor to rule out other conditions.

There are many conditions which cause similar patches on the tongue (AIDS, thrush, oral lichen planus, syphilis, and certain cancers). All of these have a different course of treatment from the treatments given for geographic tongue. Geographic tongue does usually heal by itself, but if you have pain or your condition is severe, there are treatments to help you along your way.

For pain, a mild over-the-counter pain reliever is usually prescribed along with anti-inflammatory medication. To treat the condition itself zinc supplements, corticosteroids, and antiseptic mouthwash are the usual methods used. Alternative therapies such as meditation, chakra cleansing, medical marijuana, and Reiki have not been conclusively proven, but many patients have a great deal of success with them.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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Foods You Avoid If You Have Braces

Wearing braces has become so common in the United States that they are almost iconic with childhood. In fact, recent surveys suggest that 50-80% of children will wear braces at some point between the ages of 6-18.

The process of putting braces on can be a bit uncomfortable. The soreness and stiffness go away in a couple days and with proper care the braces can do their job and be removed. Braces can be damaged by foods, causing them to be ripped out. In some cases, a tooth can even be ripped out.

By avoiding foods that are not “braces-friendly,” you can make sure that your kids mouths get the most benefit out of these orthodontic devices. If you are an adult looking for alternatives to braces, please visit our page: alternative-to-braces-2 for more information.

For the first few days after braces have been placed, all foods should be soft. This prevents your lips and cheeks from getting cut, and ultimately increasing the soreness. The best foods for the first few days are yogurts, mashed potatoes, soup, and other easy-to-swallow food.

As a general guideline, people with braces should avoid chewy, crunchy, or sticky foods. Gum is one of the worst foods for braces. Not only does the gum weave its way in and out of the wires, making it nearly impossible to get out, but it can rip out the brackets.

The sugars from these foods get caught behind brackets and hooks, making your child’s teeth more prone to decay. This means another dental visit to get them reinstalled. Caramel and taffy will have similar damaging effects to your braces and teeth.

Any foods which are hard… raw carrots, nuts, jawbreakers, some pizza crust, apples, hard rolls, etc… can chip your teeth even without braces. Once you are equipped with braces or other orthodontic equipment, these hard foods can loosen brackets, make wires break, and loosen the whole setup. When wires break they can stab and poke your kid’s mouth until they are repaired.

Many people love to chew ice. As a dentist, I try to discourage this behavior in all of my patients. For my patients with braces, I cannot emphasize enough how much damage this can do (read here more dental-bonding. Broken wires, coils, and hooks are common results. Not to mention all of the snapped bands which result.

Even though it is soft, soda should be avoided by anyone wearing braces. The sugar in soda provides a continuous food source for bacteria. Salivating and brushing usually wash away these sugars, but braces have spots where these sugars can hide. Using mouthwash helps to you avoid decay, but sugar intake needs to be limited.

If you are considering beef jerky or some other tough meat, know that these are infamous for loosening wires and brackets. Along these same lines, avoid chewing on anything that is not food. Chewing on pens, pencils, paper clips, etc… are fairly common habits, but extremely bad for your mouth. If you must chew on something, opt for fruit slices or a minty toothpick instead (do not chew it too long). For more information about different options for braces, go to our braces page.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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The Benefits of Marijuana for the Mouth

The possibility marijuana possesses to treat many medical ailments has been the focus of many studies over the past few decades. It is the cannabinoids in marijuana that hold the key to treating (and maybe curing) diseases from Alzheimer’s to Cancer to Diabetes. Even certain mental and psychological disorders can be balanced out using marijuana.

People overlook the mouth in many treatment studies and usually limit treatment to pain relief. The possibilities are endless when it comes to treating problems in the mouth. People generally know that marijuana fights nausea, what they may not know is that preveionfnting nausea helps save your teeth.

When a person has acid reflux or is prone to bouts of indigestion, what happens is the acid from the stomach makes its way to the esophagus. From the esophagus, these acids can make their way to the throat and mouth. Even when it is in small amounts, stomach acid is bad news for teeth.

When indigestion and acid reflux get severe enough, it can lead to increased vomiting and food sensitivity. Needless to say, both of these will expose your teeth to large amounts of stomach acid.

Smoking is actually one of the least effective methods of using marijuana. From a medical standpoint, 90% of the medicine in marijuana is “up in smoke.” When using edibles or vaporizers, more of the cannabinoids are taken into the body. Thus, you get more benefit.
For tooth pain, THC topically work wonders. Marijuana is fat-soluble, it enters the membranes and the skin. This versatile little plant can be used as a lotion, balm, ointment, solution, chapstick, put in drinks, or as a poultice (using the leaves). Poultices, solutions, and ointments are the best options for the treatment of many oral conditions.

Proper dental treatment should always be sought, but as a temporary treatment, marijuana and its derivatives can be used to treat the symptoms of toothaches, abscesses, canker sores, and more. In states where medical and/or recreational marijuana laws exist, these topical treatments are readily available.

Many people who use THC products to alleviate pain or for other medical conditions prefer to use topicals because the effects are localized. This means that there isn’t the “high” which is associated with ingesting, smoking, or vaporizing methods.

In its raw form, THC is immune modulating, which helps patients with diabetes (see: https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/periodontics-gum-disease/ for more information). Marijuana has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and bone stimulation properties. All of which can help with various tooth maladies.

It is not all good, however. The drying sensation which occurs in your mouth when you smoke, more commonly known as “cotton mouth,” may be linked to gum disease. I do want to state here that smoking anything will affect your mouth. It can cause tinting of the teeth and gum problems. To counteract these, brush frequently, floss, and use mouth rinses. Also, consider alternative methods such as vaporizers and edibles.

If you are going to use any THC product, drink a lot of water, avoid sugar, avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, and use sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. As long as you take the necessary steps to avoid cottonmouth, these dangers can be avoided.

Before using any marijuana based products to treat gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai (a well-respected Miami dentist who has earned the trust of his patients for their dental care needs). A dental check-up every six months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health so when that law passes, you’ll have a dentist who knows his stuff.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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Medieval Dental Tools and Techniques

To this day, there are many people who loathe the thought of going to the dentist. The thought of drills and fillings really stops some people in their tracks. Really though, dentistry has made some amazing advancements. During the Medieval Ages, roughly 500 to 1500 CE, dentistry was much different than it is now. The tools and techniques seem barbaric by today’s standards, but at the time they were the only options.

Back in the Dark Ages, only the wealthy elite knew about the importance of caring for the teeth. Many of them had specialized rinses which kept their teeth white. At the time, dentistry was not a specialty. Surgeries, haircuts and shaves, dentistry, and minor medical treatments were performed by the same person. People had generally good oral health during this time, but that was due to a lack of sugar in the diet and not to good hygiene.

Beginning in the 1400s, and continuing on until the 1600’s, the dental pelican was the primary tooth used for the extraction of teeth. Its name comes from its striking resemblance in shape to the beak of a pelican. They are known to be one of the first tools designed to extract teeth. Teeth were pulled out sideways with this painful looking instrument and damage to the gums could happen as a result.
The Dental Mouth Gag was a crude instrument used to treat lockjaw and situations where the mouth would not open as wide as it should. Relatively simple in design, it had jaws which would be slid in the mouth of the patient. Wingnuts were then tightened causing the jaws of the instrument to open which would open the mouth. This was a very painful process and could cause jaw problems to occur in the future.

Before toothbrushes were invented, the teeth were wiped down with a rough linen cloth. During the time, there were many pastes and powders which could be put on the linen to help clean their teeth and freshen their breaths. Ground sage mixed with salt was one popular concoction which was used. The ingredients varied, but generally there were scented herbs and abrasives in the mix. The exact recipe depended a lot on what was growing in the garden.

Toothaches were one of the most common dental ailments for people in the Medieval Ages. Herbal treatments were designed to provide temporary relief. These were also regional and based on what was growing in an area. Some of the common remedies included; honey, goldenrod, mullein, yarrow, willow bark, and others. Often the area of the affliction would be cauterized, then the herbs would be heated over hot coals and the smoke inhaled.

The use of prayers to saints was another way in which relief from toothaches was found. On her feast day, the 9th of February, St. Apollonia was prayed to and given offerings. This former Goddess was a martyr who had all of her teeth removed. Saints played a key role in all aspects of life and were thought to treat anything from stiff muscles to infertility.

We are lucky to live in an age where old ideas are challenged and questioned and where dentistry does not have to be a scary experience. The quality of work done by dentists today is a far cry from 500 years ago. The impact the health of your mouth has in relation to your body is understood in a new and previously unknown way.

Copyright Dr.Jean-Jacques Edderai 2015

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