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Headache Cartoon

 

Could My Medications be Causing My Teeth to Break?

In The Journal of the American Dental Association, March 200 vol. 131 no. 3 297 was an article regarding bruxism (nighttime clenching and grinding) and associated headaches.  The study showed a link between SSRI antidepressant medications like Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil and the increased incidence of clenching and grinding.  I have personally seen this connection in my practice where I have had patients with no previous history of bruxism develop a nighttime clenching and grinding habit that not only causes headaches but has caused damage to their teeth, bridges, implants, etc.  The study also showed that by ADDING a non-SSRI antidepressant (Buspar was used specifically in this study) resulted in relief of the symptoms of clenching and grinding.

The link appears to be the brain chemical dopamine.  Dopamine helps to control muscle and motor functions in our bodies.  For example, tremors and other movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s are believed to be related to reduced dopamine.  SSRIs suppress dopamine while Buspar increases the activity of dopamine.

SSRIs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.

The take home message:

1. Please notify your dentist if you are taking new medications

2. Please discuss the side effects of these medications with your doctor and dentist

3. Notify your doctor and dentist if you develop headaches and/or a bruxism habit

4. If you are taking an SSRI drug, consider discussing with your doctor adding Buspar

 

RECENT HEADLINE: “Is Flossing a Waste of Your Time?”

Posted in General

Please do more than just reading the headline! Daily flossing was dropped from the nutrition guidelines produced by the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services this year.  Why?  They state “because the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required”.  This is not entirely true. A review of 12 separate studies regarding this topic (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008829.pub2/abstract) shows the following: Flossing and brushing reduces the risks of gingivitis significantly compared to brushing alone. There was no evidence of reduction in plaque The studies did not go on long enough to confirm nor deny the reduction in caries (tooth decay) Gingivitis is the bleeding and mild inflammation of the gums.  It is early stages of periodontal disease.  Untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, bone loss, infection and loss of teeth. The problem: the trials were deemed to be of poor quality and the results were unreliable.  Hopefully, this will lead to better research on the benefits of flossing in addition to brushing.  I think the manufacturers of floss would want to push for this research to be done.  Long term controlled studies should be forthcoming. Based on my experience and observations, my recommendation is: KEEP FLOSSING!  The benefits of proper flossing outweigh any real or perceived risks. No brush can get to the tight spaces between teeth.  Mouthwashes and rinses do not remove any debris caught between teeth.  Anecdotally, I have seen patients with beginning carious lesions between their teeth halt the progression of the decay and avoid having the have fillings done by simply adding this one simply thing (flossing) to their daily...

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Inflammation is the Name of the Game

Posted in General

Please click the link below and read about the connection between gum disease and prostatitis. http://consumer.healthday.com/dental-and-oral-information-9/misc-dental-problem-news-174/treating-gum-disease-might-help-prostate-symptomse-batch-1738-699142.html     Inflammation…the key to a lot of disease processes. Reduce inflammation systemically and you improve your overall health. Even our bodies reaction to sugar is considered to be an inflammatory...

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Posted in General

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Posted in Veneer

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Posted in Bonding, Recent Work

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Posted in Dental Implants, Recent Work

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Posted in Dental Crowns, Recent Work

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