Dr Johnson's Blog

DENTAL IMPLANTS – ALL ON FOUR – WELLESLEY, NEWTON, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Those who have missing teeth — or are soon to have their last, failing teeth removed — have several options for tooth replacement. One of the most advanced and reliable techniques is to permanently attach lifelike prosthetic (new replacement) teeth to dental implants that are anchored in the jawbone.

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, is recognized as a pioneer in dental implants and placed his first implant prosthesis in 1989. Since that time, he has honed his approach to develop a computerized technique, incorporating CT scan coupled with CAD/CAM technology. This synergistic effort offers immediate results with incredible precision.

Implant-supported teeth look and function just like real teeth, and are maintained with the same oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing. They provide important health benefits (described is this article). And while dental implants are relatively expensive, a newer procedure that also provides functional teeth on the same day implant surgery is performed has brought the cost down and put this beneficial technology within the reach of many.

Implant-supported teeth allow normal function of the whole stomatognathic system (“stomato” – mouth; “gnathic” – jaws) including the nerves, muscles and jaw joints. By permanently replacing missing teeth — and lost gum tissues — dental implants restore the support of the facial structures (cheeks and lips), thereby creating a more youthful appearance as well as the ability to function normally. This includes chewing tough foods, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, laughing, kissing, speaking confidently, and smiling with joy.

Dental Implants: State-of-the-art Tooth Replacement Systems

It is not an overstatement to say that permanent tooth replacement with implants has revolutionized dentistry. Implants have particularly transformed the lives of people who are edentulous (completely toothless) by giving them a solution that is a lot more comfortable, secure, and reliable than removable dentures. They also prevent the loss of jawbone density and volume that is inevitable when teeth are lost. Dental implants stabilize and stimulate the bone around them, maintaining bone dimension and strength. This is something removable dentures can’t do. In fact, wearing dentures actually accelerates bone loss.

A dental implant is a small, screw-shaped post that replaces the root of a missing tooth — the part that is housed in the bone beneath the gum. Implants are made of titanium, which has a unique ability to fuse to bone in a process called osseo-integration (“osseo” – bone; “integration” – to join with or fuse to). That’s what makes them so sturdy and reliable.

After implants are inserted into the jawbone during a well-tolerated surgical procedure, fixed bridges can be attached to them immediately that look and function like real teeth. This can be accomplished in one or both jaws in the same day.

All For One — And One “Four” All

Today’s state-of-the-art implant systems enable a minimum number of implants to support a maximum number of teeth. That means as few as four implants can be used to support a full arch (upper or lower jaw) of fixed, non-removable replacement teeth. And this remarkable life-changing event can be accomplished in a single day!

Success will depend on some crucial steps:

This person had no upper teeth and wore an old denture that fit poorly.
An implant-supported fixed denture replaced the upper teeth, re-establishing the smile as well as the ability to eat.
  • When the implants are placed in the jawbone, they must remain completely immobile to allow the process of osseo-integration to occur. Any force that causes even minute movement of the implants in the early healing phase can ruin the integration process, resulting in implant failure. That’s why a soft diet (no hard, crunchy or tough foods) during the first 6-8 weeks is essential.
  • The implants themselves must be strategically placed to offer the most effective support. By rigidly connecting the new teeth to the implants, they stabilize each other. Think of this arrangement like a tabletop or chair supported by four legs — which are sometimes angled outward for maximum support.

This process is not only the most efficient way to replace all the teeth, but also the most cost-effective strategy for implant-supported tooth replacement. Individual implants to replace each tooth are impractical and not recommended. Given that there are usually 28 functional teeth (excluding wisdom teeth), replacing teeth individually can be vastly more expensive and may not offer any better results.

For more information on dental implants in Newton and Wellesely, MA, contact Newton Wellesley Dental Partners.

For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson, click here

Original article: http://www.deardoctor.com/

THE LATEST ON TEETH WHITENING

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners was recently interviewed for a national magazine that was developing a synopsis of cosmetic dental procedures. According to Dr. Johnson, “Tooth whitening has become one of the most frequently requested dental procedures in his office. The public has come to demand whiter, more perfect smiles and in response many choices for tooth whitening have been made available. These include home-based products such as toothpastes, gels, and films, as well as in-office based systems where products containing highly concentrated bleaching agents are applied under professional supervision”. The profession and public have been aware of certain risks related to tooth whitening such as increased tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation. New research has shown that there are other risks such as tooth surface roughening and softening, increased potential for demineralization, degradation of dental restorations, and unacceptable color change of dental restorations. The new research is also focused on optimizing whitening procedures to reduce tooth sensitivity and to increase the persistence of the whitening.

Types of Teeth Whitening Systems

Whitening systems can be variously categorized. The following approach is in accordance with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes typically contain higher amounts of abrasives and detergents than standard toothpastes, to remove tougher stains. Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach (sodium hypochlorite) but some contain low concentrations of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide that help lighten tooth color. Whitening toothpastes typically can lighten tooth color by about one or two shades.

OTC Whitening Strips and Gels

Whitening strips were introduced into the market in the late 1980’s. They deliver a thin layer of peroxide gel on plastic strips shaped to fit onto the buccal surfaces of the teeth. There are a variety of white strip products on the market with varying instructions. A typical set of instructions are to apply the strips twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. Tooth lightening can be seen in several days and this method can lighten the teeth by 1 or 2 shades. There are some newer whitening strip products that require only one 30-minute application per day that have the same whitening end point as the two-a-day products.

Whitening gels are peroxide-based gels applied with a small brush directly to the surface of the teeth. Manufacturer’s instructions are usually twice a day applications for 14 days. Like the whitening strips, the teeth can usually be lightened by 1 or 2 shades.

Whitening Rinses

Whitening rinses contain oxygen sources such as hydrogen peroxide to react with the chromogens. Manufacturer’s instructions are for twice a day rinsing for 60 seconds each. It takes up to 3 months to see a 1 or 2 shade improvement in tooth color.

Tray-Based Tooth Whiteners

Tray-based tooth whitening systems are available both professionally and OTC. This method involves use of a fitted tray containing carbamide peroxide-bleaching gel worn for 2 to 4 hours a day or overnight. Usually by following the manufacturer instructions tooth whitening is noticeable in a few days, lightening the teeth by 1 or 2 shades.

In-Office Whitening

Quicker tooth lightening can be achieved through in-office whitening because the products deliver higher concentrations of peroxide than OTC. Consequently, gingival tissues are usually protected before the agent is applied. Some products claim to increase the oxidation of chromogens by exposure to heat or an intense blue light with a wave length between 480 nm and 520 nm to activate the product while on the tooth, causing the chemical reactions to proceed faster. Some professionals use laser systems to increase the rate of the chemical reactions. This use of lasers is considered to be an ‘off-label’ use of laser systems in dentistry by the US Food and Drug Administration. In a systematic review by Buchalla and Attin no added benefit from light-activated systems was found and thus the American Dental Association does not endorse such whitening systems.project5 Tooth lightening results are seen after one 30- to 60-minute treatment. More dramatic results can be obtained with several applications.

Risks associated with Tooth Whitening

Risks commonly reported with tooth whitening include increased tooth sensitivity and mild gingival irritation. The degree of these side effects is directly related to the concentration of the peroxide bleach component, duration of the treatment, and the non-bleach composition of the product used. Tooth sensitivity usually occurs at the time of treatment and can last several days; gingival irritation begins within a day of the treatment and can also last several days. There are additional risks that have been reported from in vitro studies which include tooth erosion, tooth mineral degradation, increased susceptibility to demineralization, and pulpal damage.4 The ultimate endpoint for tooth whitening is dependent upon the tooth itself, with common wisdom telling us that all treatment regimens will eventually arrive at the same whitening endpoint. This is not exactly true as some very aggressive regimens can damage the tooth through dehydration and demineralization such that the tooth temporarily appears whiter.

Dr. Ryne Johnson, who first lectured on tooth whitening procedures in 1989, has helped thousands of patients achieve a more beautiful smile, often incorporating this proven technique.

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Original article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Artwork: www.dentalguideaustralia.com , www.askthedentist.com , www.webmd.com , www.parasomnia.tk , www.denmat.com

9 TIPS THAT WILL SAVE YOUR TEETH FROM COFFEE STAINS – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners wants to help you protect your teeth from permanent discoloration without giving up your caffeine addiction.

Why does coffee stain teeth?
Enamel, the hard outer coating that protects the other layers of your teeth, is covered in microscopic gaps. When food and drink particles get stuck in those gaps, it forms an extrinsic stain, which just means the outer layer of your tooth is discolored. But the longer the particles stay in the gaps, they start to affect other layers of the tooth. “The more you drink [coffee] and don’t do anything to remove it, the stain goes deeper and deeper,” says Denise Estafan, DDS, an associate professor at the New York University College of Dentistry. This is called an intrinsic stain, and it’s a lot harder to clean. Here are ways you didn’t even realize you’re staining your teeth.

Brushing: Your first plan of attack
The primary cause of a tooth stain is plaque accumulation, so brushing your teeth with whitening toothpaste and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings are the best ways to prevent ugly coffee stains. But trying these additional tricks can keep your teeth sparkling in between dentist visits. The best part? You don’t need to give up your morning pick-me-up. By the way: Are you making these tooth-brushing mistakes?

Don’t forget to floss. Seriously.
Let’s be honest: It’s hard to floss as regularly as dentists want you to. But setting aside a few minutes each day—morning or night—can make a big impact on your oral health. It gets rid of plaque generally, and plaque attracts stains. Brushing alone doesn’t remove all the bacteria in your mouth. Whatever is left over could harden and turn into tartar, which can cause infections.

Use a straw. Less liquid touches your teeth when you drink it through a straw. The smaller the straw, the better. This comes more naturally to iced coffee drinkers, but it works for hot coffee too.

Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
Make your own whitening paste by mixing a small amount of baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide (this is what dentists use to clean your teeth, but you can buy it over-the-counter at drugstores). The paste should be pretty runny. If it’s too gritty, that means there’s too much baking soda, and you could scrub off your enamel. Here’s how you can whiten your teeth with natural ingredients from home.

Add milk
Estafan says that a splash of milk can make a real difference for your teeth. A study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that casein, the main protein in milk, can latch onto tannins in tea (bitter-tasting particles that leave residue on teeth) and prevent staining. In fact, Ava Chow, the lead researcher in this study, says it may work even better than whitening toothpaste. Coffee also has small amounts of tannins, so coffee drinkers can reap these dairy benefits too. For the best results, use high fat animal milk; soy milk won’t do the job.

Sip water between cups of coffee A swig of water can wash away staining liquids quickly before they start to set into your teeth. Even though science shows coffee isn’t dehydrating, this is still a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Drink it quickly
Let’s say you and your coworker both grab cups of coffee when you get into the office. You drink your whole cup in five minutes, but your coworker takes his time and finishes the same amount of coffee in two hours. Lucky for you, Estafan says that your teeth will be the less-stained ones. Since your coworker exposed his teeth to the coffee for a longer period of time, his will be more stained. Wash even more particles away by following that quick cup with a glass of water. Just don’t burn yourself.

Chew sugar-free gum
Conquer coffee breath and clean your teeth at the same time. Chewing gum increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, and saliva washes away acids and plaque from your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent tooth decay.

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Original Article: http://www.rd.com/health
Artwork: www.DoclandsDental.ie

8 DIRTY BATHROOM MISTAKES YOU’RE PROBABLY MAKING – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

8 Dirty Bathroom Mistakes your probably making

By now, you’re probably on autopilot when it comes to your bathroom routine. But are your ingrained habits the cleanest ones? Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners want to make sure you’re not making these mistakes:

1. You don’t shut the toilet lid when you flush
In a Scrubbing Bubbles survey, 60 per cent of respondents indicated that they skip this important hygienic habit. And this is a big deal: If you leave the lid up when you flush, germy water particles (and whatever else is in the toilet) can spray across the room — up to six feet away from the toilet. This fact was first discussed in a 1975 study completed by germ expert Dr. Charles Gerba, and has been proven time and again. He and his team found that bacteria can linger in the air long enough to settle in a filthy film all around the room — so make sure everyone in your household is onboard with a lid-down flushing protocol.

2. You store your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet
You might think this a clever way to keep toilet bacteria from reaching your brush, but you could be trading one ill-advised move for another. Trapped in a cabinet or container, your brush may not be able to dry between uses, creating a welcome environment for bacteria. The American Dental Association recommends storing toothbrushes in an upright position, and not touching other brushes, to mitigate the risk of cross-contamination. And shut that toilet lid!

3. You leave your makeup and brushes out on the counter
Anything you apply to your face should be kept out of the path of toilet germs, too. Plus, if you store your makeup in your bathroom, the room’s moisture can make it even more susceptible to bacteria growth. Keep beauty supplies out of grime’s way in drawers or boxes, and clean brushes and replace makeup as necessary.

4. You use your loofah for way too long
Bacteria just loves breeding on these fluffy mesh shower staples, which are designed to hold-in soap and water to help you lather up. Toss them every three to four weeks.

5. You let your towels dry on hooks
Washing your bath towels after every three uses is a good rule of thumb, but only if you hang them spread out to dry on a towel bar. If you hang them on hooks, moisture (and any excess soap that’s collected) can stay trapped between the folds, which could lead to mildew and bacteria growth.

6. You never run the fan
If you haven’t already figured out, bathroom moisture can cause a host of yucky issues, so turn on the fan (or open a window) while you shower and for 15 to 20 minutes afterward.

7. You never clean the shower curtain
The Scrubbing Bubbles survey also revealed that 42 per cent of their respondents neglect this unassuming item. Feeling lazy about scrubbing residue away? Good news: You can often toss shower curtains in the washing machine. To keep mildew at bay for longer, pull the curtain across your tub (not scrunched to one side) between showers so it can air dry thoroughly.

8. You use your mobile phone in the bathroom
If you catch-up on Instagram or go a few rounds in Candy Crush while sitting on the toilet, consider this: Anything you take into the bathroom can get contaminated with lingering germs or faecal matter (16 per cent of mobile phones have it, according to a 2011 study). And even if you wash your hands after every bathroom break, we’re guessing you don’t also disinfect your phone…and then you put it to your face when you take a call later on. Yes, this is most definitely why you should avoid using your phone in the bathroom.

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Original article: www.housebeautiful.co.uk
Artwork: www.plus.google.com

LESS TEETH = NEED LONG-TERM CARE – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners asks, “Can maintaining good oral health help older adults prevent a variety of health problems and disabilities?

In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers explored this connection. To do so, they examined longitudinal, retrospective data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) project.

In their study, the research team examined information from more than 60,000 community-dwelling people aged 65 and older who did not meet the criteria for needing long-term care.

The participants were given questionnaires to complete. They answered a number of questions, including providing information about:

  • How many teeth they had
  • Their medical and mental health history
  • How many falls they had over the last year
  • Whether they smoked or drank alcohol
  • Their body weight
  • How well they were able to perform common activities of daily life

The researchers learned older adults who have significant tooth loss are less functional when compared with people who lose fewer teeth. The research team suggested that it is essential that older adults receive the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care practices, and that they receive adequate dental care.

As we age our ability to maintain ideal oral health is diminished and basic home care is often lacking” says Dr. Johnson, “Thus, I recommend an every-three-month regimen for my geriatric patients. We identify problems earlier and are able to maintain better gum health’ which limits tooth loss”.

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Original article: www.sciencedaily.com

Artwork: www.yourdentalcare.co.za

DENTAL DISEASE & LUNG CANCER – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, wants you to know that a recent study found a link between gum disease and lung cancer. According to a study published online in the Journal of Periodontology, Individuals with periodontal disease saw a 1.2-fold increase in the risk of lung cancer. Dr. Johnson states, “this data accompanies several other studies that link gum disease to increases in heart disease, joint disease and pancreatic cancer”.

One study suggests that specific oral bacteria may be involved in the development of cancer cells in the lungs. Another study indicates that successful treatment of periodontal disease may lead to a significantly reduced lung cancer risk.

The take-away… good dental health can minimize additional disease development. Thus, Dr. Johnson recommends, brushing two to three times daily, regular flossing and most importantly, routine preventative dental visits.

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Original article: Decisions in Dentistry 8/2016
Artwork: www.abcnews.go.com

COMBATING BAD BREATH – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, reveals best way to combat bad breath – and most people are reaching for the wrong thing. If you think mouthwash and sprays do the trick, think again – there are other measures you need to take.

Unless you exist on a diet of mouthwash and chewing gum (which, by the way, we do NOT recommend), there have probably been occasions when your breath has not been as minty fresh as it could be. Perhaps it was that ill-advised last cup of coffee . Or maybe you were a little liberal when cooking with the garlic – and who could blame you? The point is, at some point most of us have suffered bad breath paranoia.

But if your halitosis is a bit more of a persistent issue, then that can be problematic – and reaching for that mouthwash isn’t a long term solution. There are, however, a few simple changes that you can make. According to Dr. Johnson, “this is the most effective way to incorporate good oral hygiene into everyday life, and beat that bad breath.

1. Don’t just brush your teeth – brush your tongue too

We’re all familiar with the importance of brushing our teeth, but if you suffer from bad breath, your tongue may be contributing to this. “Bacteria accumulates in the back surface of your tongue and can also cause a strong odor.”

2. Be sure to drink a lot of water

“When your mouth becomes more dry you have less saliva and when you have less saliva food and bacteria tends to sit in your mouth for a much longer period of time. Staying hydrated can help with all that smelly bacteria. “But also remember there are other things beyond just being thirsty which can make your mouth dry. “For example, coffee, alcohol, smoking and even some medication can cause a dry mouth.”

3. ALWAYS brush your teeth after eating

If you think your twice daily regime is cutting it, then think again. “If food remains on your teeth because you don’t brush and you don’t floss, that food just sits in your mouth and is degraded by bacteria and you can just IMAGINE the odor that gives off. This especially applies before you go to bed. “When food just sits in your mouth in the morning, your bad breath will be far stronger than you imagined.”

And…

“If you find your breath is strong no matter what you do, if you find you’re constantly having to use mouth wash which really just camouflages bad odor you may have something else going on than poor hygiene.. “In that instance it’s really important to see your dentist.” Often, bleeding gums and bad breath can be an indicator of periodontal disease that can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

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Original article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health

TEENAGERS AND DENTAL ISSUES – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

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

DIABETES…ITS IMPACT ON DENTAL HEALTH – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

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

TONGUE SCRAPING AND ORAL HEALTH – NEWTON, WELLESLEY, MA

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