Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Here, use my toothbrush..."

Ever use someone else's toothbrush? You may think twice about doing it again after reading this: (1) Toothbrushes can be a source of repeated dental infections. (2) Toothbrushes can cause a bacteremia (bacteria entering the bloodstream) that may result in an endocarditis (a heart infection). (3) Toothbrushes can harbor and transmit viruses and bacteria. (4) Toothbrushes can retain 50% of the herpes simplex virus for one week. (5) Gingival [gum] inflammation can be reduced by changing toothbrushes biweekly.
Still think it's sexy to share a toothbrush? How about sharing food? Kissing? Certain bacteria can be transmitted from site to site in the mouth via dental instruments or from person to person sharing someone else's eating utensil. In juvenile periodontitis, virulent bacteria can move from an infected site to an uninfected site in the same mouth. Other bacteria can be transmitted between spouses. Some bacteria can be transmitted between parents and children. Still other bacteria can be transmitted from dogs to children.
So you see, bacteria once thought to be localized to specific sites in the mouth can be migratory. We're not advocating that you stop tasting a scrumptious morsel or two at a four-star restaurant; we are advocating that everyone maintain good dental health not only for themselves but for the sake of those they love.
As far as ridding toothbrushes of bacteria, soaking them in a mouthrinse containing essential oils for 20 minutes kills 100% of the bacteria on the bristles. Ultraviolet light also sanitizes toothbrushes. But when researchers* tested the efficacy of using a toothpaste containing a common disinfectant compound - triclosan - they found little benefit when it came to eliminating the offending bacteria attached to the toothbrush bristles.
So what can you do about bacterial contamination from toothbrushes? Soak them in a suitable mouthwash, expose them to ultraviolet light, or from a practical stance, change them frequently. As for kissing someone, the benefits may still outweigh the risks... as long as you have an inkling as to their periodontal status!
*Warren DP, Goldshmidt MC, Thompson MB, Adler-Storhz K, and Keene HJ: The effects of toothpastes on residual microbial contamination of toothbrushes. JADA 132:1241-1245, 2001.

For more information, or to schedule a cleaning, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Setting Priorities for Good Dental Health

Many people have bleeding gums, and they don’t think twice about it. They view it as a minor inconvenience. If you were bleeding from any other part of your body, you wouldn’t hesitate to see a physician. If you lost a body part you wouldn’t hesitate to have it replaced. We have 32 teeth - they are all body parts.
While we may not need our teeth to live like one needs a heart, we need our mouth to be pain-free and functional to enjoy a good quality of life.
But like exercising, dieting or anything that requires a routine, many of us fall short of a sustained effort to accomplishing long-term results. Why do we run out of toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, vitamins, etc. when we know their importance? Why do we have problems maintaining an oral hygiene regimen? Perhaps, we don’t make the answers priorities.
We in this dental office believe in the philosophy espoused by Dr. F. Harold Wirth who said, "The mouth in its entirety is an important and even wondrous part of our anatomy, our emotion, our life; it is the site of our very being. When an animal loses teeth, it cannot survive unless it is domesticated; its very existence is terminated; it dies. In the human, the mouth is the means of speaking, of expressing love, happiness and joy, anger, ill temper, or sorrow. It is the primary sex contact; hence it is of initial import to our regeneration and survival by food and propagation. It deserves the greatest care it can receive at any sacrifice."
This is our passion. Make it yours and the rest will fall into place. Call and ask us how we may help you achieve your oral hygiene and health goals and ensure a greater quality of life.

For more information, or to schedule a cleaning, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

About Me

My photo

With over 20 years of creating smiles, we are proud to provide gentle, family-oriented dental care to the adults and children of our community. We are located in Williamsburg, just minutes from York county, Toano, Denbigh/Newport News and surrounding areas.