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    Alzheimer’s Medication Could Help Retire Dental Drills for Good

    Dental drills and fillings are one of the reasons many people avoid or dread a visit to the dentist. New research may have found a way to treat cavities without the pain and anxiety of the drill. Alzheimer’s drug Tideglusib is currently being used in clinical trials to encourage brain cell growth. Now a research team from King’s College London have successfully used the drug to regrow dentin, the layer of tooth that protects the pulp, in mice. How Does It Work? The drug works by switching off enzyme GSK-3, which prevents our bodies from regrowing dentin. The King's College team soaked collagen sponges already on the market in Tideglusib and placed them into cavities in mice. As the sponges disintegrated, constantly releasing the medication, the teeth began to form new dentin, healing the decay. Researchers are hopeful that because the drug is already being used in clinical trials, it may...
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    High-Sugar Diets Costing Billions in Dental Treatments

    It’s no surprise that experts say Americans consume far too much sugar each day. New research from a study conducted by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG says it’s a worldwide problem. According to their research, the cost of dental treatments globally are approximately $172 billion U.S., or 128 billion euros. The research teams looked at data on tooth decay, gum inflammation and tooth loss. They also evaluated the consumption of white household sugar and the hidden sugars found in nearly all processed foods, drinks and condiments. Finally, they looked at the cost of treatments in relation to dental concerns commonly caused by sugar consumption. Just How Much Sugar Are We Consuming? According to the results of the study, every 25 grams of sugar consumed per person per day caused an increase of $100 U.S. per person per year. To put that into perspective, 25...
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    5 Things to Do Besides Brushing for Whiter Teeth

    Few people would answer no to the question, "Do you want whiter teeth?" We all know brushing helps, and professional teeth whitening can make a huge difference as well. But what about other ways we can achieve whiter teeth on a day-to-day basis? Avoid the Stainers - Or at Least Rinse After If you just can't avoid tooth-staining favorites like coffee, wine and soda, you can at least minimize the impact by rinsing your mouth with water after indulging. It also helps your teeth to drink it all in one sitting versus sipping slowly over the course of an hour. Chew Sugarless Gum  This may seem like an odd recommendation coming from a dentist, but chewing gum actually stimulates your body’s production of saliva. Saliva is so important to oral health because it helps wash away debris and bacteria. A cleaner mouth means whiter teeth. Floss Some patients are surprised to...
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    A Clear Alternative to Braces for Adults

    More adults than ever are taking measures to perfect their smiles. For some, traditional metal braces just aren’t something they want to consider. Thanks to the invention of clear aligners, there are now options that never existed in the past. Most of Dr. Pappas’ adult patients simply don’t want to wear metal braces. For some it’s about professional appearance; for others the uncomfortable wires and brackets aren’t something they want to deal with just for the sake of a better smile. When clear aligners entered the playing field, they truly filled a need in dentistry, and since then they have given many patients the opportunity to achieve the straight teeth they’ve always wanted. Benefits of Clear Aligners The most exciting part for many patients is the fact that clear aligners are almost invisible. One of the major drawbacks to traditional braces is how much they change the wearer's day-to-day life. From...
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    Study: Some Kids at High Risk for Tooth Decay Regardless of Lifestyle

    New research published in the journal EBioMedicine reports that some children may have a higher risk than others for developing caries, also known as tooth decay or cavity, because they carry particularly severe and destructive variants of the Streptococcus mutans bacterium that is responsible for decay. The research team from Umea University in Sweden conducted a five-year study that monitored the oral health and saliva from a large number of children.  These children were much more likely to develop decay regardless of their lifestyle in regards to diet and oral hygiene. These variants are particularly concerning because of their unique adhesive capabilities that help them survive longer than normal, even against the antibacterial properties of saliva. Of the study sample, one in five children were high risk and did not respond to traditional preventative or treatment methods for tooth decay.  Childhood Caries a Common Chronic Disease Worldwide The American Dental Association defines...
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    Solutions for TMJ Disorder Pain

    The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is what connects your jaw to your skull. It works as a sliding hinge that can be felt by placing your hands in front of both ears on either side of the face. According to the TMJ Association, disorders involving the TMJ are poorly understood, even though 12 percent of the American population have them.  Natural Solutions for TMJ Disorder  The National Institute of Health recommends a conservative approach when treating TMJ disorders. Simple, reversible treatments should be attempted first before considering aggressive, permanent options, according to Dr. John Pappas, DDS, of Arcadia Dental Arts in Phoenix, Arizona. "Every time you talk, swallow, chew, yawn or laugh, your TMJ is in use," he said. "Sometimes, something as simple as correcting posture or learning exercises for your jaw can bring huge relief to this overused joint." Surgery for TMJ Disorder Often hailed as a last resort, jaw...
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    In-Office Dental Implants Are Possible

    shutterstock_92989378There’s a reason dental implants have become the gold standard when it comes to replacing teeth. The permanent nature of implants makes them ideal for comfort, ease and a greatly improved quality of life over dentures, dental bridges or gaps left from missing teeth.  In addition, because implants replace the teeth all the way down to the root, the jawbone stays strong and continues to support the structure of the face. Many people don’t realize that when you don’t replace teeth from the root up, the jawbone can be compromised over time, leading to signs of premature aging in the face. We try to take care of as many of our implant patients in our office as we can. This allows us to see the treatment through from start to finish. We plan the treatment process from the beginning with the desired end result always in mind, and we achieve that...
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    A Dentist Who Goes Above and Beyond

    shutterstock_444243769There’s a saying from Newton D. Baker that sums up the importance of continuing education perfectly: "The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after."   Never has this been truer than in today’s world of ever-evolving technology. All dentists are required to take 25 hours of continuing education a year. For those with a passion for what they do, like Dr. Pappas, 25 hours a year isn't nearly enough. Each month Dr. Pappas takes 10 to 20 hours of continued education, and by the end of the year, he always has well over 100 hours. Why does he take continuing education so seriously? His office uses a lot of advanced technology that is always changing and getting better. In order to offer patients the latest and greatest treatment options, Dr. Pappas and the entire staff devote hours a week learning and further developing skills so...
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    Middle-Aged Americans Experiencing Troubled Teeth

    Untitled design (1)A new national poll shows that one in three Americans aged 50 to 64 years old are embarrassed by the condition of their teeth. In addition, they report dental issues have caused them problems and/or pain over the course of the last two years.   Problems accessing or paying for dental care are not new to Americans, but studies usually report on children or the elderly. The University of Michigan’s National Poll on Healthy Aging took a look at middle-aged people and how their oral health is faring. Insurance was identified by the survey as one of the potential reasons for lack of care -- 28 percent of those surveyed reported not having any dental insurance. Among the respondents who reported only seeking dental care when a serious problem arises, 56 percent had no dental insurance. Things don’t look up for this demographic as they age, either -- 13 percent of...
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    New Study Links Aspirin to Reduction of Dental Decay

    shutterstock_149625803Recently released research from Queen’s University in Belfast shows that aspirin can help stimulate stem cells in teeth, which could enhance tooth regeneration. Aspirin is primarily used as a painkiller due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its popularity is in large part due to its easy availability and affordability. If further research proves it to be helpful in preventing or reversing tooth decay, these factors could help those who typically struggle to afford or gain access to preventative care.   First, researchers analyzed data and determined that aspirin could possibly help induce the gene signature required to create new dentine. Then, they used aspirin to treat stem cells in a petri dish. They concluded that there was genetic and material evidence to support their hypothesis. The next step in their research will be to find a way to apply it to the tooth so that it can be slowly released over time....
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    How to Achieve Whiter Teeth Naturally

    shutterstock_243236059In a culture of quick fixes, it’s easy to find an instant solution to something like stained or yellowing teeth. For some, the chemicals and harsh side effects of instant-whitening products are a serious downside. Fortunately there are natural ways to improve the color of your teeth without resorting to chemicals:    Flossing  It might be everyone’s least favorite part of their hygiene routine. Many people even skip it altogether. If you hate the yellowish stains you see in between your teeth, you’ll be happy to know that consistent flossing could be all you need to fix the problem. Not only does flossing help prevent cavities by removing debris that causes decay, but it can also help prevent staining that occurs when this debris sits on teeth and in between them for extended periods of time. Eating Certain Foods Just as there are foods and drinks that are terrible for teeth,...
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    5 Reasons for a Toothache

    shutterstock_195237566The second you feel a twinge of pain when you bite into something, panic sets in. The first thing that comes to mind is a big needle and a drill filling the cavity you’re already convinced you have. The good news is not every toothache means you have a cavity. Take a deep breath, relax and read about five possible reasons for that toothache:   1. You could have a bad sinus Infection. Although it sounds crazy, the roots of your top teeth actually sit very close to the sinuses. When you have a sinus infection, the pressure can cause tooth or jaw pain. Sometimes treating the sinus infection is all you need to relieve the tooth pain. 2. You could be grinding your teeth while you sleep.  Many patients come to Dr. Pappas and are shocked to find out they show signs of grinding their teeth. This is because it...
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    Research Explains Why Diabetes Patients Are Vulnerable to Gum Disease

    shutterstock_631495091Dentists, doctors and medical researchers have known for years that a link exists between diabetes and periodontitis, or gum disease, but they’ve struggled with pinpointing the exact origin of the connection. New research indicates that the connection has to do with changes in the oral microbiome (the collection of bacteria and other microbes that live in our mouths) of diabetes patients once blood sugar rises and hyperglycemia develops.   How Does Gum Disease Develop? Diabetes weakens the body’s immune system, so patients are already more susceptible to infection, said Dr. John Pappas, DDS, of Arcadia Dental Arts in Phoenix, Arizona. "Poor oral hygiene can lead to a buildup of bacteria and plaque on and around teeth," he said. "The first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, becomes evident with bleeding, swollen and red gums in many cases." According to Pappas, this first stage of gum disease is reversible with proper care....
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    Green Tea Extract Could Help Treat Tooth Sensitivity

    shutterstock_626851823A cup of hot green tea can be both relaxing and refreshing, but for those with sensitive teeth it can be painful. Now, new research published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces suggests that an extract from the green tea itself could help treat that dental sensitivity.   Dentin Hypersensitivity: Why It Happens The most common cause of tooth sensitivity, called dentin hypersensitivity in the dental community, is a breakdown of the enamel, said Dr. John Pappas, DDS, founder of Arcadia Dental Arts in Phoenix, Arizona. "The enamel is the outermost layer of teeth and protects the next layer, the dentin, and the inside of the tooth, the pulp, which lie beneath," Pappas said. "When the dentin loses its protection, sensations of hot and cold can travel through the tubules in the dentin and reach the nerves inside the tooth, causing pain." Pappas said sensitivity can be caused by many...
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    Are You Sick of Coffee Staining Your Teeth?

    shutterstock_319784171Some of us can’t wake up all the way until we’ve had a nice, fresh cup of coffee. But while many of us love the aroma and taste, we don’t love the stain and discoloring it causes on our teeth.   Coffee Stains on Teeth There are two types of stains when it comes to teeth: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains refer to those on the surface of the teeth. Over time, these stains can seep into the deeper parts of the teeth and become intrinsic, or inside, the teeth. It is much more difficult to reverse the signs of intrinsic staining, but it’s definitely still possible in most cases. New Colorless Coffee The obvious answer to avoiding stains is to avoid the stain-causing foods and drinks you love. But no one wants to do that! In fact, two brothers in the United Kingdom were so adamant about maintaining their coffee...
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    This 10-Second Toothbrush Has the Internet in an Uproar

    shutterstock_103318601A super-fast, fully automatic toothbrush called the Amabrush is creating a stir on Kickstarter. Amabrush's campaign raised more than 3 million Euros, far surpassing the original goal of 50,000 Euros. So what has people so excited?   The Amabrush comes in three parts: the mouthpiece, the hand piece and the toothpaste capsules. The mouthpiece contains rows of 3D bristles at 45-degree angles that are soft but strong. The company's first round of products will only offer one mouthpiece size, which the company claims will fit most adult jaws, both female and male. Inside the mouthpiece will be a series of micro channels that will deliver toothpaste from the toothpaste capsules directly into the mouthpiece. The hand piece will house the device's wireless charging capabilities and a battery that can last for up to a month. The hand piece is designed so that couples and eventually families can share them. Each person...
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    Treating Jaw Joint Pain

    shutterstock_324033263Many patients suffer from joint and muscle pain. Dr. Pappas has spent over 20 years of his career learning and perfecting ways to help alleviate this pain. Using a combination of neuromuscular dentistry and centric relation dentistry, Dr. Pappas helps patients achieve a better bite and, in turn, decreases their discomfort and TMJ-related pain.   Neuromuscular Dentistry The neuromuscular treatment philosophy is all about balance. It’s about finding a perfect resting position of the jaw to create a balanced bite. Using a series of measurement tools such as sonography, electromyography, jaw tracking and TENS, Dr. Pappas can establish the optimum position of the jaw and plan treatment options that can help you achieve and maintain that position. Centric Relation Dentistry Centric relation has had many definitions since its debut in the 1930s. What has been consistent, however, is that centric relation is about the ideal jaw position that creates a comfortable...
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    Why Teens Should Be Skipping the Sports Drinks

    It looks healthier so it must be right? That’s the idea that many children and adults have when it comes to sports drinks. While just about everyone now knows that water is best, many believe sports drinks come in at a close second. But sadly, that’s just not the case. In fact, some sports drinks have almost as much sugar as soft drinks and are just as bad for teeth. Enamel is the Protector of Teeth It’s hard to get on board with something if we don’t understand it so let’s break down how it works. The enamel protects the teeth and is the outermost layer. When you drink or eats things high in sugar, it causes a reaction with the bacteria that is naturally found in the mouth. This creates an acidic environment in the mouth and softens the enamel on the teeth. When the enamel on the teeth becomes soft...
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    Say Goodbye to Tetracycline Stains

    One of the things many people worry about most when it comes to their smile is the color. Thanks to advances in dental medicine, it has never been easier to whiten your teeth. In fact, there are so many options that it often leaves people overwhelmed by which is best. For those that suffer from tetracycline stains on their teeth, it can be disheartening to try product after product with little to no results. You may even begin to feel like there’s just no hope for a whiter smile. However, you’ll be happy to hear that Dr. Pappas has had great success helping those who have lived with tetracycline staining find confidence in their smile. What is tetracycline? Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to stop the growth of bacteria. It’s been around for decades and before the side effects were fully understood, it was used on pregnant women and children regularly....
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    Contouring Isn’t Just a Makeup Technique

    Contouring is all the rage right now. There are countless tutorials all over the internet to help perfect the makeup technique that allows us to emphasis certain areas of our face to reshape the way it looks. Of course, as soon as the makeup is wiped off, our faces return to their natural shape. But did you know, there’s a way to change the shape of your teeth, that doesn’t go away after a brush? An Enameloplasty provides instant cosmetic results  The procedure is simple. Using a laser or other tools, dentists remove small amounts of enamel from the teeth to reshape them or change the length, making them shorter or more even. The tooth contouring, or enameloplasty as it’s referred to in the dental community, usually takes only 30 minutes or so and ends with a polish to make the teeth really shine. It’s essentially a makeover for your teeth...
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