Posts Tagged ‘brookline’

You Asked: Should I Use Mouthwash? – Newton, Wellesley, MA

“Many people really enjoy the sensation of rinsing after they’re brushed,” says Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners. “They feel like the mouthwash is clearing away all that loose debris.”  And those people are right. Dr. Johnson says mouthwash can help you spit out loosened plaque and other bits of detritus hiding in the cracks and crevices of your mouth. But so can water, he adds.Project1 “I like to say mouthwash is an addition to proper oral hygiene, not a substitute”.  It’s not going to take the place of your morning brush or twice-yearly dentist visit, but it may help freshen your breath, and in most cases it’s not harmful, he says. That last point may raise eyebrows among those who spotted the recent headlines connecting mouthwash to some forms of cancer and heart disease. One recent UK study in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine found some mouthwashes could raise your blood pressure by wiping out a kind of helpful mouth bacteria. This bacteria helps your body generate nitric oxide, “which is known to play a critical role in protecting our cardiovascular system, including keeping blood pressure down,” says Dr. Amrita Ahluwalia, a professor of vascular pharmacology at Queen Mary University of London. But Ahluwalia says her study focused on mouthwashes containing a strong antibacterial agent called chlorhexidine, which is usually only available by prescription in the United States. Also, hers was a very small study—just 19 people—and requires more research to support its findings. Since the 1990s, some studies have suggested rinses that contain alcohol could contribute to the development of oral cancers. A 2014 study from Europe reinvigorated the debate. But experts say those studies are not only flawed, but also focus on excessive mouthwash use—three bouts of swishing a day or more. Even if you’re a zealous mouth-rinser, several review studies that dug into the possible associations between alcohol rinses and cancer have failed to find links. However, mouthwashes with alcohol can dry out your mouth, Johnson adds, so choose an alcohol-free version if dry mouth is an issue. When it comes to antiseptic or antibacterial mouth rinses, he says, the picture is more complicated. “If you have periodontal disease or some harmful types of mouth bacteria, an antibacterial rinse could help kill the bacteria that cause the disease,” he says, but you need to speak with your dentist about the benefits and potential risks. But for those with healthy teeth and mouths, a mild mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol or strong antibacterial agents is probably your best choice. “Some rinses promote the idea that tingling or discomfort are signs the rinse is working, but that’s really just marketing,” Johnson adds. You don’t need to feel a burn when you rinse for the stuff to do its job. And in the end, its job is mostly about making your mouth “feel” fresh. “You don’t need mouthwash, but if you enjoy it, or you have bad breath and feel it helps, then there’s no substantiated risks to rinsing once or twice a day”. Original article: Artwork:

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Big Tonsils & Sleep Apnea – Newton, Wellesley, MA

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist & managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, came across a new study that found that the size of a person's tonsils may indicate their risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which blocked upper airways cause breathing to stop and restart repeatedly during sleep. Tongue indentations, or teeth imprints on the tongue that suggest it's too big for the mouth, may also be a sign. Big Tonsils & Sleep Apnea More than 18 million adults in the United States are affected by OSA. Since people with the condition are often suffering from interrupted and reduced sleep, it can lead to fatigue, irritability, and trouble concentrating. In severe cases, the disorder can lead to learning and memory difficulties, heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke or depression, the National Sleep Foundation reports. To reach their conclusions, the researchers examined 200 patients. Patients were screened for known and potential OSA risk factors including neck circumference, body weight, blood pressure and the size of their tongue, tonsils and uvula. Of these 200 participants, researchers concluded that 23 percent were at risk for OSA, with 80 percent of those being male. Obesity, large tonsils and tongue indentations were the most common factors among people who were deemed high risk. The findings are particularly important in the way they lend themselves to dental practice and education. While dentists won't be able to formally diagnose OSA in patients, equipping them with the knowledge to screen for it could potentially save many cases from going undiagnosed. The University at Buffalo points out that a dentist who recognizes an enlarged tongue or tonsils can suggest a patient visit a sleep specialist.  "Dentists see into their patient's mouths more than physicians do and the signs are easy to identify.” Dr. Johnson has been treating sleep apnea cases for many years using a SUADE appliance. For additional information or other blog topics, visit: Original article: Artwork:  

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Antidepressants & Dental Implants

For a lot of people, antidepressants are life-changing, and there's no shame in taking them to take care of yourself. But according to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, they might have some unexpected side effects — including messing with your dental implants, new research suggests. Dr. Johnson, who has been called a pioneer in computer-assisted, implant prosthodontics wants patients to know of this correlation. Project1 The study, to be presented at the upcoming conference for the American Association for Dental Research, included 74 participants who all received dental implants during the course of the study. All of the participants were at least 18 years old, and they'd all gotten their implants at the University of Buffalo postdoctoral dental clinic between January and August of 2014. A dental implant is an artificial tooth that your dentist can place into your jaw if you lose a tooth to decay or injury. What's supposed to happen is new bone forms around the implant to secure it in place. But when the researchers went back and looked at the medical information for those 74 people, they found that those who were taking antidepressants — but not necessarily those who were currently suffering from depression symptoms — were more likely to have an implant failure than those who weren't taking the drugs. Among those who did have implant failures, 33% of participants reported taking at least one antidepressant drug. However, among those who didn't have any problems with their implants, only 11% took antidepressants. It's important to note that this is a small preliminary study, but this isn't the first time antidepressants have been linked to problems with bones and teeth. A 2007 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that antidepressants could speed up bone loss in older women. And way back in 2003, another study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that many dental patients are given medications that may interfere with their antidepressants, possibly creating an environment for tooth problems. Researchers think that because these drugs often act on our serotonin receptors, which are important for both our moods and our bones, they may be doing some damage under the radar. Still, this isn't a reason to start skipping your much-needed meds — but it's always a great idea to touch base with your doctor about side effects.   For more information about implants, Dr. Johnson, or other blog topics, visit:   Original article: Artwork:  

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A Cancer Screening from Saliva?

Project1 According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “A 10-minute cancer test which can be taken at home using just a drop of may be the wave of the future”. Scientists at California State University says it is possible to detect tumor DNA when is it circulating in bodily fluids – an approach known as a liquid biopsy.  The saliva test is 100 per cent accurate and is so simple that it could be carried out at a pharmacist, the dentist or even in the privacy of someone's own home if they were concerned. Currently scientists can only use blood tests to detect cancer if they have already taken a biopsy and sequenced a tumor, so they know which genetic signature to look for. Although this can be used to monitor cancer spread it cannot be used for an initial test. And it can throw up false positive. Tests have shown that just a single drop of saliva contains enough data to give a definitive diagnosis as soon as a tumor develops, he said. The test is non-invasive and cheap, costing around just $20. It is due to enter full clinical trials in lung cancer patients later this year, and is expecting approval within two years from the Food and Drug Administration in America. “If there is circulating signature of a tumor in a person blood or saliva, this test will find it,” research scientists told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington. “We need less than one drop of saliva and we can turn the test around in 10 minutes. It can be done in a doctor’s office while you wait. “Early detection is crucial. Any time you gain in finding out that someone has a life-threatening cancer, the sooner the better. With this capability, it can be implemented by the patient themselves in a home check, or dentist or pharmacy.” The test looks for genetic mutations in blood plasma which are consistent with a tumor. “The advantages of this technology is that it is non-invasive. If you have a credible early screening risk assessment technology that people can use on their own or at dentists’ office or pharmacists - that’s the key, early detection.” For more information or for other blogs of interest, visit:   Original article at:  

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Sleep Apnea – treatment via a dental appliance

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners has been treating sleep apnea and finding success with something besides c-pap therapy (which involves putting a mask on overnight). Project1 A 54 year-old patient (name withheld for HIPAA compliance), wakes up every day ready to put his life on the line as a Newton police officer, but there was something draining his energy. "I was constantly fatigued and my wife and co-workers would say, 'Hey, you snore really loud,'” reports one of the city’s top-cops. That snoring revealed a bigger problem: sleep apnea. "The soft palate or the tongue will collapse and actually stop the air from moving," explains Dr. Johnson. "picture a garden hose kinked with no flow -- that's sleep apnea." Dr. Johnson reports an increase in the number of sleep apnea appliances done in his practice and he's finding success at treating it with something known as SUAD appliance. "What they do is limit the ability for one to open typically and it gently holds the lower jaw forward in a position to get the tongue out of the airway," says Dr. Johnson. “The small device is placed inside the mouth during sleep, which is much easier to tolerate for patients who tried the traditional and cumbersome c-pap. "It's night and day," according to the patients Dr. Johnson works with on these sleep apnea appliances.  For one of Newton’s ‘finest’, "I wake up in the morning. I feel refreshed. I didn't even realize how tired I was all the time until my body adjusted to it. It literally changed my life completely." For additional information visit:  

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