Dr Johnson's Blog


Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Daily Mail (9/1, Reporter) reported that a new study finds teenagers who are “night owls” are “up to four times as likely to require fillings as those who prefer an early night.” Dr. Ryne Johnson prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners suggests that, “this may stem from the teenagers neglecting to brush their teeth before falling asleep.” In addition, the study found teenagers who go to bed late are “more likely to wake up later and skip breakfast,” resulting in “increased snacking throughout the day.”

Given this, the Oral Health Foundation is “encouraging parents to ensure their children understand the importance of brushing their teeth before bed, and the impact of tooth decay.” Dr. Nigel Carter, the foundation’s chief executive, said the combined effect of not brushing teeth regularly before bed and skipping breakfast is “a real recipe for disaster” for oral health and increases the “risk of developing tooth decay.” Dr. Johnson reminds all that, “Problems in the mouth can affect the way our children communicate, their relationships and their wider general health, so it is vital they prioritize their oral health.”

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artwork: www.verywell.com
original article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health


Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners wants you to know that, “if you have diabetes, you know the disease can harm your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body. Did you know it can also cause problems in your mouth? People with diabetes have a higher than normal risk of periodontal diseases”.

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. In advanced stages, they lead to painful chewing problems and even tooth loss. Like any infection, gum disease can make it hard to keep your blood sugar under control.

What Is the Link Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease?

Diabetic Control. Like other complications of diabetes, gum disease is linked to diabetic control. People with poor blood sugar control get gum disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than do persons with good control. In fact, people whose diabetes is well controlled have no more periodontal disease than persons without diabetes. Children with IDDM (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) are also at risk for gum problems. Good diabetic control is the best protection against periodontal disease.

Studies show that controlling blood sugar levels lowers the risk of some complications of diabetes, such as eye and heart disease and nerve damage. Scientists believe many complications, including gum disease, can be prevented with good diabetic control.

Blood Vessel Changes. Thickening of blood vessels is a complication of diabetes that may increase risk for gum disease. Blood vessels deliver oxygen and nourishment to body tissues, including the mouth, and carry away the tissues’ waste products. Diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients and the removal of harmful wastes. This can weaken the resistance of gum and bone tissue to infection.

Bacteria. Many kinds of bacteria (germs) thrive on sugars, including glucose — the sugar linked to diabetes. When diabetes is poorly controlled, high glucose levels in mouth fluids may help germs grow and set the stage for gum disease.

Smoking. The harmful effects of smoking, particularly heart disease and cancer, are well known. Studies show that smoking also increases the chances of developing gum disease. In fact, smokers are five times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease. For smokers with diabetes, the risk is even greater. If you are a smoker with diabetes, age 45 or older, you are 20 times more likely than a person without these risk factors to get severe gum disease.

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Original article at http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/periodontal-disease

Original artwork: www.deltadentalco.com


Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It’s been hammered into our heads to brush twice a day, floss once (though that’s up for debate) and maybe rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. Dr. Ryne Johnson, managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners suggests that, “in addition to your current dental routine: tongue scraping should be considered”. But is this ayurvedic practice that dates back to ancient India really worth your while?

Dr. Johnson, recommends the practice to all of his patients. “Most of my clients don’t realize the effectiveness of tongue scraping until they actually do it and see all the gunk that comes off their tongue,” he says. “The tongue is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, but although we take care of our teeth and our gums regularly, we don’t pay nearly as much attention to our tongue. The bacteria on your tongue is one of the main causes of bad breath, so scraping it regularly can significantly improve your breath over time”. In fact, a recent study showed about 85 percent of all bad breath cases begin in the mouth and half are caused by bacteria residue on the tongue. Brushing your tongue is “the best way to ensure that your breath stays fresh throughout the day,” Williamson says.

However Kimberly Harms, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, says “your taste buds in the back are made for bacteria to hide.” And when your mouth has a lot of bacteria in it, you can taste it. “That sour taste is often due to bacteria,” she says. If you often suffer from dry mouth, this quick health routine can help that, too. “If you’re not producing enough saliva when you chew, you may have digestive issues,” Harms says. “Scraping can help.”

How to do it

“A scraper is an efficient way to remove all that’s coating your tongue,” Harms says. Here are four things to keep in mind as you scrape:

  1. Buy a dedicated tongue scraper (they cost as little as $6) that comes in plastic or metal and is usually shaped like the letter U.
  2. Always be gentle — scraping your tongue should never hurt.
  3. Scrape only five to 10 times, Harms suggests.
  4. Don’t go too deep. “Since we have a gag reflex, be sure not to put the scraper too far back in your mouth,” she adds.

“It’s a wonderful thing,” Harms says. “We don’t like to praise things without research but tongue scraping makes sense. If you’re successful at brushing twice a day and flossing daily, great. Do that first. Consider tongue scraping a great adjunct to good oral hygiene.”

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original article: www.mnn.com/health
artwork: www.wisdomsofhealth.com


Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 09, 2016

According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “ One’s ability to chew has a direct correlation with longevity. Many studies show that one loses 75% chewing strength wearing a denture”. The force of a man’s bite at age 70 may be a marker of his longevity, says a study in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.

The risk of dying before reaching their mid-80s was 84% higher in men with a weaker bite than those with a stronger bite, the study found. The association was significant even when such factors as tooth loss and severe gum disease were included in the analysis.

No connection was found between jaw strength and long-term survival in women of the same age group.

Low bite force may be a sign of poor dental work, loss of teeth and this musculoskeletal decline that can ultimately lead to disability and death, the study suggests. Low intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can also affect oral health and increase people’s vulnerability to chronic disease, the researchers said.

The study, conducted in Japan, involved 559 people born in 1927, who were enrolled in a larger study in 1998. At the start of that study, the subjects underwent dental and medical examinations and reported personal information, such as diet, chewing ability and smoking habits, on surveys.

Dr. Johnson suggests that you see your dentist routinely and address factors that will influence your bite force. If you are wearing a removable prosthesis, consider implants as an adjunctive approach to improve your chewing ability…and this is likely to increase your life expectancy.

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Original article: www.wsj.com

Artwork: www.webmd.com


Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 22, 2016

According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, many people are now saving their child’s extracted teeth for stem cell preservation. While it may be a relatively new process, the development of stem cell therapy holds significant promise and banking this ‘insurance policy’ may ultimately save your child’s life or help correct a major disease later in life”.

Below are some talking points, but remember, it is important to discuss these matters with your dentist BEFORE the visit is scheduled:

What are dental pulp stem cells: Dental pulp is the soft living tissue inside a tooth. Stem cells are found inside the dental pulp. Dental pulp stem cells retain the ability to renew themselves by dividing and can change into specialized cells.

When is the best time to save stem cells: The ideal opportunity to harvest dental stem cells occurs when children and young adults are losing their deciduous (baby) teeth either thorough natural exfoliation or extraction for orthodontia. The teeth that contain the highest quantity and quality of stem cells will be those that maintain a blood supply until they are harvested.

Are these cells currently being used for treatments: Dental pulp stem cells, are being used only in laboratory settings at this time. While mesenchymal (MSC) cells are currently used in procedures such as bone marrow transplants, MSC cells from dental pulp are not yet being used for medical treatments.

What types of cells can MSC cells become?

  • Cardio Myocytes which have the potential to repair damaged cardiac tissue following a heart attack.
  • Myocytes which have the potential to repair muscle.
  • Osteocytes which have the potential to generate bone.
  • Chondrocytes which have the potential to generate cartilage.
  • Neuronal which have the potential to generate nerve and brain tissue.
  • Adipocytes which have the potential to generate fat tissue.

When were dental pulp stem cells first identified: Stem cells in dental pulp were discovered in 2000 by Dr. Songtao Shi, a dental researcher at the National Institute of Health (NIH). After verification that these cells were in fact viable stem cells, the NIH announced the discovery in 2003.

How long can stem cells be stored: We know that stem cells from the late 1980’s are still viable. In fact, most research indicates that stem cells frozen through a slow-rate process and stored with liquid nitrogen are viable for an indefinite period.

Why is dental pulp a great source of stem cells: Dental pulp stem cells can be harvested without controversy, in an inexpensive, non-invasive manner, unlike bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell collection. These methods of stem cell recovery can be both painful and expensive. Umbilical cord blood, another source of stem cells, is a once in a lifetime opportunity at birth. Umbilical cord blood stem cells recovered are typically only used in disease treatment.

How is dental pulp collected: Dental pulp collection is simple and poses no risk to the client. The tooth is either extracted or is harvested when it falls our naturally. Next a sterile transport medium is used to ship the tooth to the laboratory. The lab removes the dental pulp from tooth, processes, and then cryogenically preserves and stores the stem cells.

Why do I need my dentist to harvest the teeth: It is important to have your dentist or oral surgeon work with you to harvest a healthy tooth for preservation because with their help, you will be able to remove the tooth while a good blood supply is still present. If the tooth is allowed to fall out at home, there is less possibility of finding viable stem cells.

What happens if my child’s tooth is falling out early and my dentist has not received the kit: Detailed instructions on collecting dental pulp without a collection kit on hand are available. These instructions can be faxed or e-mailed to your dentist. In an extreme emergency the tooth may be stored in milk in your refrigerator for a BRIEF period of time.

How do you prevent the stem cells from damage during the freezing process: The laboratory’s processing technique follows the FDA guidelines of minimal manipulation. The stem cells are prepped for slow-freeze by using a cryoprotectant which prevents damage. The cryoprotectant is washed out of the stem cells in the thawing. Research has shown that this methodology is the most successful in terms of cell recovery.

How are the stem cells stored: Stem cells are stored individually in a sealed cryo-container. The cryo-container is designed specifically for long-term cryogenic storage. The container is coded and then placed in a jacketed vapor tank cooled by liquid nitrogen. This type of cooling method prevents all cross contamination.

What systems are in place to protect stem cells during long-term storage: The cryogenic facility maintains multiple levels of security. This includes back up alarm systems, 24 hour on-call staff, 24 hour temperature monitoring, and a gravity driven liquid nitrogen system which does not depend on electricity.

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Original content can be found at: http://www.toothbank.com/faq/ or http://www.ndpl.net/faqs.php
Original artwork: www.pellasmiles.com


Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stress can cause stomach aches, along with headaches, backaches, and insomnia. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “stress can have a significant detrimental effect on teeth as well. Bruxism (or teeth grinding) is often seen in my patients who are under stress and it can lead to TMJ issues, periodontal disease or fractured teeth”.

One study of 1,953 men and women found that those experiencing the highest levels of stress were more than three times as likely to have abdominal pain as their more relaxed counterparts. The exact connection is still unclear, but one theory holds that your intestines and your brain share nerve pathways; when your mind reacts to stress, your intestines pick up the same signal.

Because of this link, learning to manage stress with the help of a clinical psychologist, meditation, or even exercise can usually help relieve stomach troubles, too. However, if you have frequent stomach aches, see your doc to rule out food allergies, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or an ulcer. Dr. Johnson recommends a hard, acrylic night guard (often with a soft lining) for his patients who grind their teeth. “It is designed to spread the forces out evenly on the flat surface and the hard plastic, with the softer lining, acts as a shock absorber.”

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Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 30, 2016

A trip to the dentist can result in a big bill you hadn’t budgeted for. Or maybe things have been so tight that after you’ve paid other bills, dental care doesn’t even make the list. While cleanings, check-ups and X-rays have fairly predictable costs, any problems detected may result in significant bills.

According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, Prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, here are some tips on making dental care less expensive.

1. Brush Your Teeth & Floss

This is the best — and cheapest — way to minimize your expenses. “It’s amazing how many people don’t brush and floss,” he said. “Dentists like to say, ‘Only floss the teeth you want to keep.’” Bonus: You’ll have better breath.

2. Make Checkups & X-Rays a Priority

Twice a year is a good rule of thumb, and that’s probably what insurance will pay for, if your insurance covers dental health. But you may need more or less. People who may need more include those who have a weakened immune system or gum disease, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And detection and treatment of a problem early can save you hundreds (or thousands) over waiting until it is much worse.

3. Shop Around for Braces — & Financing for Them

If your child needs braces, you have some time to check to see what your options are. Ask around about treatment plans, costs and payment plans. Practitioners may not agree on the kind of treatment or how long it will take. Be sure you understand what your choices are. Sadler said sometimes patients can get a discount by paying for the whole treatment upfront. Ask. (And if you have dental insurance, see what it covers. You may have at least some coverage.) This is also a great time to check on your credit — you may find getting a new low-interest card or using a credit card with an interest-free period to finance the braces can give you both a discount for paying upfront and allow you to repay over time. Before you apply, make sure you can qualify for a credit card by checking your credit scores.

4. Get a Second Opinion

The procedure your dentist is recommending may not be your only option. As with other types of medicine, there is sometimes disagreement on the best way to proceed. Other times, the optimal way may not be the one you choose, if you


Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Living in 2016 means living in a world where your smart phone, umbrella , egg tray , or tampon can sync with that miniature computer in your pocket. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, Prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “Toothbrushes are no exception. We’ve seen the likes of Oral-B use smartphone apps and built-in motion sensors to (purportedly) make your cleaning more efficient, but a Chicago-based company called Onvi is taking things a step further by putting a video camera within the toothbrush itself”.

That brush, called the Prophix , can then take 10-megapixel photos and stream 1080p video of the inside of your mouth, sending it all to the requisite companion app over Bluetooth and WiFi.

Apart from giving you a very intimate view of dinner, the idea is to help you better see which spots of your clickers you might be missing on a regular basis.

As Engadget notes , the Prophix’s brush can be swapped out with three included attachments: There’s a rubber tip for your gums, a prophy cup for more involved cleaning, and a small mirror. A plaque-fighting rubber scaler will be sold separately.

Onvi aims to ship the Prophix in the first quarter of 2017. The companion app is iOS only for now, but the company says an Android version is in development.

The whole thing will set you back $400, though if you’re in the US, you can pre-order now for $100 less. Either of those seems excessive when you consider how bathroom mirrors and human eyeballs still exist. Regardless, if you’re all-in on the internet of everything, or you’re really particular about oral health, here you go.

Contact Newton Wellesley Dental Partners for more information.

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Read the original article on Tech Insider.
Artwork: www.getprophix.com


Joseph Coupal - Monday, June 13, 2016

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners wants his patients to know that, “People who use cannabis for up to 20 years may be more likely to have periodontal disease, according to research published in June in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry”.

Using self-reported data on cannabis and tobacco use, the longitudinal study compared health outcomes in persistent cannabis users versus tobacco users and found cannabis usage associated with poorer periodontal health at age 38, and within-individual decline in periodontal health from ages 26 to 38 years. Cannabis use was not, however, found to be associated with other physical problems in early midlife, according to the open access article.

The authors conclude that the study results imply that “(1) cannabis use for up to 20 years is not associated with a specific set of physical health problems in early midlife. The sole exception is that cannabis use is associated with periodontal disease; (2) cannabis use for up to 20 years is not associated with net metabolic benefits (i.e., lower rates of metabolic syndrome); and (3) the results should be interpreted in the context of prior research showing that cannabis use is associated with accidents and injuries, bronchitis, acute cardiovascular events, and, possibly, infectious diseases and cancer, as well as poor psychosocial and mental health outcomes.”

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Original article found at, www.ada.org
Artwork: www.herbs.co


Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Gum disease may cause more than just bad breath, according to a new study presented at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research meeting, which points to a connection between periodontal disease as a potential early marker for pancreatic cancer. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “This could pave the way for early detection of pancreatic cancer – one of the most deadly forms of the disease –because of the advanced stage at which it is often diagnosed”.

It is estimated that in 2016, 53,070 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed with only 7.7 percent of victims surviving 5 years. Initial findings support a hypothesis and previous research showing that people who have developed pancreatic cancer tended to have poor oral health. The researchers reasoned that periodontitis, which is inflammation of the tissue around the teeth often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth, is due to oral bacteria dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is a term for an unhealthy change in the normal bacterial ecology of a part of the body, such as the mouth.

Many previous studies have shown a strong relationship between associated periodontal disease with pancreatic cancer. Findings from a 2013 European prospective cohort study showed having high levels of P gingivalis antibodies in blood caused a 2-fold increase of developing pancreatic cancer. Another 2007 prospective cohort study looked at over 50,000 male health professionals with a history of periodontitis and found a 64 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Both of these previous studies however, were unable to determine which came first, poor oral health or pancreatic cancer.

A new study from NYU is the first study to determine that periodontal dysbiosis does in fact precede the development of pancreatic cancer and does not develop after the diagnosis. This was determined by looking at the oral samples of saliva collected prior to the onset of pancreatic cancer confirming the positive association with P gingivalis.

Researchers pointed out that this finding does not confirm that the two periodontal disease-causing bacteria cause pancreatic cancer. Rather, they most likely correlate it with systemic inflammation occurring within the body, known to be a precursor for developing cancer. Having periodontal disease-causing bacteria in the mouth may increase the likelihood of inflammation.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

The pancreas is located deep within the abdomen sandwiched between the stomach and the spine, with a small portion of it nestled in the curve of the upper portion of the small intestine. It functions as a glandular organ having an essential role in converting the food we eat into fuel for the body’s cells. It has an exocrine function of secreting digestive enzymes into the small intestine helping with digestion, and an endocrine function of releasing the hormone insulin into the bloodstream, a critical controller of blood sugar levels.

Tumors of the pancreas are rarely palpable, which is why most symptoms of pancreatic cancer do not appear until the tumor has grown large enough to interfere with the functioning of the pancreas, or has spread to other nearby organs such as the stomach, liver, or gallbladder. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include:

  • Upper abdominal pain spreading to the back
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Diminished appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive difficulties
  • Nausea
  • New onset of Type 2 diabetes in people over 50

Risk factors which may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Age – over 80 percent of pancreatic cancers develop between the ages of 60 and 80
  • Race – more common in African Americans
  • Gender – more common in men
  • Religious background – more common in Ashkenazi Jews
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Diet – diets high in meats, cholesterol, fried foods and nitrosamines
  • Family history

Future additional studies are planned to determine if periodontal disease is a cause of pancreatic cancer. Until then, good oral hygiene including regular brushing and flossing of the teeth and visits to a dentist are recommended. If a person does have periodontal disease, they should be seen regularly by a periodontist for regular cleanings and checkups to get the condition under control.

Anyone who has any of the potential symptoms of pancreatic cancer should make an appointment with their physician for an evaluation and testing as soon as possible.

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Original article: http://www.foxnews.com/health
Artwork: www.medicineworld.org