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Scuba Divers Have Special Dental Risks

Scuba divers should consult their dentists periodically to prevent a condition known as "diver's mouth syndrome," says Dr. Ryne Johnson, regarded as Boston’s best prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners. Diver's mouth syndrome, known technically as barodontalgia, can include gum problems, pain in the jaw joint, or a condition known as "tooth squeeze," in which changing pressure causes pain in the center of a tooth. "Many divers drag the bulky air regulator through the water with their teeth, and this can cause stress or damage to the oral cavity. Divers may bite too hard on the mouthpiece which can lead to pain in the jaw joint and gum lacerations. Complicating this problem is the fact that most standard mouthpieces are too small for most people and only support the very back teeth. Divers really have to work to keep their lips pursed around these small pieces of rubber." But the problem, he says, is easily remedied. "If a diver feels pain or soreness in the jaw, he or she should consult with a dentist," says Dr. Johnson. "A custom-fitted mouthpiece is available in most scuba shops that will support all of the teeth, so these problems can be avoided." Tooth squeeze can occur when a cavity, a deteriorated or broken dental filling, a dental abscess or an incomplete root canal has developed an air space and reacts to the changing pressure once the diver is under water. It can occur both in descent and ascent as can other squeeze problems. "It can be very painful, but the irony is that many divers do not feel it because of the exhilarating experience they feel at being in the water. When divers do feel tooth squeeze, they should schedule a dentist visit to get the appropriate dental care." Dr. Johnson recommends that divers be in good dental health before diving. Be wary of scuba diving if you have recently undergone dental treatments in which there was a tooth extraction or if a tooth contains a temporary filling. "The change in pressure can cause severe pain and cause healing to take much longer," says Dr. Johnson. “Be cautious if you have dentures. "Be sure they are well-fitted; have them relined or remade if necessary.” Go to a dentist where you can be evaluated for joint pain or earaches. "Custom-made mouthpieces are readily available. Yes, they cost more, but you will be amazed at the difference," says Dr. Johnson. "It's worth the cost because the dive will be much more comfortable." It's never too late to improve your dental health. Visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com for more blogs or to contact Dr. Johnson  

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Can Gum Disease Affect Ovulation?

According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “Women struggling to get pregnant need to take good care of their gums, a study has found. Bacteria that causes gum infections appears to have a role in making conception take longer”.  According to a recent study, “Women with bacteria that causes gum disease in their saliva, P. Gingivalis, took three times longer to get pregnant than women without. And women with the bug as well as symptoms of periodontitis - disease of the gum and underlying bone - took four times longer”. Researchers believe that infection in the gums and jawbone leads to further inflammation in the body. This inflammation may prevent ovulation or could stop the embryo implanting. Women struggling to get pregnant need to take good care of their gums, a study has found. Researchers think gum disease might be a warning sign of problems elsewhere in the body - particularly type two diabetes and heart disease”. Additionally, post-menopausal women are more likely to die early if they have gum disease according to this study.  Women who lose teeth after the menopause are at a higher risk of an early death, experts have warned. A major study suggests gum disease and tooth loss is a red flag for severe health problems. Study leader Dr Michael LaMonte, of the University at Buffalo in New York, said no matter the cause of the link, more intensive dental screening in old age could help nip problems in the bud. Other possible effects are inflammation interfering with hormone production, as well as contributing to endometriosis, a condition where tissue that normally grows inside the womb grows elsewhere in the body.  Dr Susanna Paju, of the University of Helsinki said: ‘Our study does not answer the question on possible reasons for infertility but it shows that periodontal bacteria may have a systemic effect even in lower amounts, and even before clear clinical signs of gum disease can be seen. Thus, Dr. Johnson suggests that, “results encourage young women of fertile age to take care of their oral health and attend periodontal evaluations regularly”. How the study was carried out: Researchers at the University of Helsinki studied 256 healthy non-pregnant women aged between 19 and 42 who had stopped contraception and were trying to get pregnant. The health of their mouths and gums, as well as their reproductive organs, were examined.  Over 12 months they were observed as to whether they became pregnant or not.  Researchers believe gum infection leads to further inflammation that may prevent ovulation.   Key findings : Gingivalis Bacteria was ‘significantly more frequently detected in the saliva among women who did not become pregnant during the one-year follow-up period than among those who did.’ The research found women who either had P. Gingivalis in their saliva – or antibodies indicating they had been infected by P Gingivalis, were three times less likely to get pregnant, while those with the bacteria and signs of gum disease were four times less likely to get pregnant. The bacteria remained a factor even after other factors that have an effect on getting pregnant such as socioeconomic status, general health and smoking were considered. Original article:  www.dailymail.co.uk/health Artwork:  www.freepik.com  

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Pot Mouth? – Wellesley, Newton, MA

We recently had a college student return from college in Colorado who came to the office for a general visit.  Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners reports that, “Upon reviewing his medical history before a routine cleaning appointment, “John” admitted to “smoking a lot of pot” during his four years away.  There was a raised, white area along the cheek”.

Like Colorado, Massachusetts has recently adopted policies that allow for recreational use of Marijuana.  There are dispensaries being planned around the state and a likely increase in recreational use of Pot is certainly coming.

Ganja, Hash, Weed, Mary Jane are but a few of the more common names for cannabis which is a plant-derived drug.  Commonly abused, about 2.5% of the world’s population uses cannabis.  It can be used in several preparations, with dried leaves and flower (marijuana) that are smokes being the most common.  Other methods include smoking via water pipe or vaporizer, adding marijuana to food and consuming it, and using concentrated liquid forms.

Dry mouth is a common problem experienced for one to six hours after using cannabis, as well as an increased appetite.  Both lead to becoming more vulnerable to an oral attack from foods and sweet drinks.  Thermal injury to the tissues is seen in an additional effect by other opportunistic infectious agents.

And our college student?  Because it is virtually impossible to distinguish between these benign entities and carcinoma, biopsy is essential.  If dysplasia is demonstrated, consider such lesions premalignant. They have the propensity to transform into carcinoma in situ or invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Thus, such leukoplakic growths must be excised completely and the region observed closely for recurrence.  … a biopsy report of hyper-keratosis.

Lessen learned!

For other Blogs by Dr. Johnson, click here.  To contact the office or Dr. Johnson, click here.

Artwork: www.researchgate.net Original article:  Dr. Gerald Fine

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Earlier Death In Older Women Related to Gum Disease? -Wellesley, Newton, MA

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners found an article that resonates with his patient base which he wants to share:  Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that, “gum disease and tooth loss are connected to a higher risk of early death in women past the age of menopause.” Michael J. LaMonte, lead author of the study and a research associate professor at the University at Buffalo in New York, notes that the findings only suggest an association between oral health and premature death. CNN adds, “The research does not show gum disease or tooth loss cause early death.”   However, according to Dr. Johnson, “there are many published findings that correlate gum disease with many medical entities like cardiac issues, pancreatic cancer and poor diets”.

For the study, HealthDay (3/29/17, Preidt) reports that investigators “tracked data on more than 57,000 women aged 55 and older.” The researchers found that “a history of gum disease was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of death from any cause.” In addition, researchers found that loss of natural teeth was associated with “a 17 percent increased risk of death from any cause.”   Dr. Johnson recommends a 4x/year regimen with a talented hygienist for many of his periodontally compromised patients.  He adds, "it is clearly the best 'bang for your buck' in dentistry and can save you many thousands of dollars over one's lifetime".

MouthHealthy.org provides oral health information for adults over 40 and adults over 60.   MouthHealthy.org also provides additional information for patients on gum disease.

For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson or to contact him directly, visit: www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com

Original article in CNN.com

Artwork: www.healthline.com

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