Your Toothbrush: A Ticking Time Bomb?

Brushing our teeth is an exercise in self-care that most of us do at least twice a day but there is also something we seldom consider; the health of that toothbrush. It might shock you to realize that literally millions of microorganisms (bacteria) live on the bristles of your personal toothbrush. That comes down to millions of microscopic bugs that can potentially cause flu, colds and other illnesses.

Recent studies have confirmed that oral health is connected with overall healthfulness. For example, there is a strong correlation between heart disease, diabetes, premature delivery in pregnant women, and strokes; and gum disease. Researchers discovered there are upwards of 10 million bacteria live on the typical toothbrush and we know that tooth decay is also caused by the type of bacteria that can survive on toothbrushes.

Studies have proven that cold and flu viruses and even the viruses that cause fever blisters (Herpes Simplex I) can survive on toothbrushes for several days – infecting and re-infecting the unsuspecting owner of that toothbrush. Here are just a few viruses that thrive on toothbrushes and some of the problems they can cause:

  • E. Coli: bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal pain and tenderness with no fever
  • Influenza Virus: fever, cough, headache and fatigue, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Staphylococci Bacteria: abscesses, boils, and skin infections
  • Herpes Simplex I: can affect the mouth, face and skin and can be present in the body without symptoms, generally causes recurring and painful blisters (cold sores or fever blisters)
  • Candida Albicans: mild nasal congestion, blisters in the mouth, sore throat or abdominal pain, and/or fatigue, dizziness and mood swings
  • Coliform Bacteria: usually present along other disease-causing bacteria and organisms

Some researchers also discovered bio-film thriving on toothbrushes, which is living colonies of breeding bacteria, with estimated numbers as high as 100 million microorganisms existing on individual brushes.

PROTECTING YOUR TOOTHBRUSH

Surprisingly, it isn’t the bacteria from your mouth that contributes to the worst bacterial problems on a toothbrush, it’s the fact that most people store their toothbrush unprotected in the open, on
the bathroom counter top. By far, flushing the toilet is the worst culprit for germs found on most toothbrushes. Every time you flush the toilet invisible jets of water propels germs into the air, where they can land on toothbrushes.

Family toothbrushes stored side-by-side only compound the risk of sharing germs and viruses. Bacteria, molds, and fungi love moist environments provided by most bathrooms and they also love dark enclosed spaces, so storing toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet may not be as ideal as you might think.

While most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every couple of months, most American’s aren’t likely to change their toothbrushes more than twice a year. Here are some steps you can take to keep your toothbrush germ free:

Storage: Store toothbrushes away from the toilet in a cool, dry place.

Rinse well: Wash off your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it.

Dry it after use: Dry your toothbrush thoroughly between brushings and avoid using toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.

Store it upright. Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down.

Keep it to yourself: Never share a toothbrush and avoid storing it side-by-side in the same container with other people’s brushes.

Ultraviolet Light: Studies indicate that ultraviolet light can be effective in killing germs on toothbrushes and are able to kill many of the bacteria, yeasts, and viruses. A study conducted at New York University Medical Center on countertop ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizers found that this device eliminated up to 99.9 percent of bacteria tested on toothbrushes.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse: Cheaper than an ultraviolet device and a measure perhaps just as effective could be the practice of rinsing your toothbrush after each use with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is antibacterial, antifungal, kills mold and mildew and when used properly, it is non-toxic for humans, plants, household animals.

Best practice: keep it clean and keep on brushing

Now that you know how to keep your toothbrush truly clean and germ free as a way to protect yourself and your family from harmful bacteria, it is also important to choose a brush that will do the work of keeping your teeth clean without harming the delicate surface of the tooth or gums. Choose a brush with soft or medium bristles, as they are gentler on the gums and may actually clean better because they’re more flexible. Brush twice a day, at least two minutes each time and rinse your mouth after sugary or starchy snacks. Replace your toothbrush frequently. These practices combined with visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings will help to ensure that you have a lifelong healthy smile.

Nutritional Support For Teeth & Gums

The biggest culprit in tooth decay today is sugars found in processed foods, candy, soft drinks, sweetened juices, and others foodstuff. Fructose, lactose, and glucose are all sugars that cause a rapid production of acid and the resulting destruction of teeth enamel, leading to tooth decay. The carbohydrates in sugars cause bacteria to grow rapidly, breaking down the body’s natural ability to resist attack. Research is indicating that even if you brush all of the offending sugars away from your teeth, just the simple act of eating these kinds of foods can increase the likelihood that your teeth will decay.

UNDERSTANDING CAVITIES

Cavities are formed when bacteria feed upon food particles that cling to the teeth or become stuck in crevices or grooves on the surface of teeth. In particular, the bacteria that are responsible for cavities love carbohydrates. As they feed, the bacteria secrete acid that compromises the integrity of the enamel which normally helps to protect teeth. The rate of secretion depends upon the type of carbohydrate that the bacteria are feeding upon – in other words, some sugars are worse than others.

To compound the problem, research conducted on lab rats at Loma Linda University has indicated that there is a definite relationship between what kind of food we eat and our ability to maintain good oral health, regardless of how well we brush and floss. In that study Dr. Ralph Steinman injected rats with a glucose solution so that the sugars introduced into the system would avoid contact with the teeth entirely. He found that glucose levels reversed the normal flow of fluid in the dentin tubules, resulting in all of the test animals developing severe tooth decay.  Although animal studies may not be entirely applicable to the human situation, the results clearly point to a need to take a closer look at how nutrition can impact oral health.

THE BIGGER PICTURE ON CAVITY PREVENTION

Good oral health is not just about limiting sugar as a way to avoid cavities. It’s also about learning how key nutrients such as minerals, antioxidants and vitamins can support strong teeth, healthy gums and bone. One supplement that is showing good results at reducing the risk of cavities is vitamin D. Vitamin D induces the production of naturally occurring enzymes called cathelicidin and defensins in the mouth, enzymes that support available antibacterial properties in the saliva.  Together these emzymes create a powerful antimicrobial peptide or protein which attacks oral bacteria known to cause cavities and tooth decay.

To take it to the next level, vitamin D taken in combination with a calcium supplement is proving to be a powerful blend of supplements that can prevent cavities. Not only is vitamin D naturally produced by the body in response to sunlight, but it comes with no side effects (unlike fluoride) – particularly when activated naturally though exposures to sunlight and/or as long as proper dosages are followed when using supplements. Foods rich in vitamin D include: shiitake and button mushrooms, mackerel and salmon, herring, tuna, catfish and eggs – among others – while green leafy vegetables are a good source for calcium – and calcium we already know it is necessary for bone health.

RESTORING HEALTH TO TEETH & GUMS

It is possible to change the course of tooth decay and increase oral healthfulness by maintaining good oral hygiene, adopting a routine of good nutrition and taking supplements aimed at increasing the health of teeth and gums. With just a little effort, it is also possible to strengthen and restore the teeth to perfect health.

People tend to think that teeth are something other than living organs – which is what they actually are. Having an understanding that teeth are alive gives us a chance to rethink how we treat our teeth, and points to the role nutrition can have on teeth and gums. Teeth are nourished both through the bloodstream as it flows into the root to the tooth’s pulp chamber and from saliva and food as it passes through the mouth. Therefore, it is vitally important to nourish the whole body in a manner that allows the blood to be rich in all elements the teeth require to maintain optimal healthfulness.

A healthy diet and body helps to ensure that the saliva will be high in calcium and phosphate. Through this process the daily deterioration caused by chewing and eating acidic foods, commonly called ‘demineralisation’ will be reduced by constant remineralization via healthy saliva balanced in the proper pH range and naturally filled with the necessary and important minerals. In other words, in addition to healthy supply of minerals provided by the bloodstream to the pulp of the tooth — inside the mouth the quality of saliva is of crucial importance in the prevention of tooth cavities since it is this medium which bathes and carries nutrition to teeth.

YOUR HEALTHY MOUTH

Recommended for healthy teeth: Calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables (for vitamins A and C), filtered water and tea

Not recommended for healthy teeth:  sticky foods that lodge between the teeth, snacking between meals, sweet drinks and snacks, acidic drinks

Natural dentistry has long believed that by maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and using vitamin supplements a person can prevent, if not cure, tooth and gum disease. The best way to ensure that your teeth will be healthy for your whole life is to adopt a healthy eating plan, take supplements if you need to, and most importantly continue to practice good oral care and hygiene, which should include having your teeth professionally cleaned and seeing your dentist regularly.

What Is Miles Of Smiles Dentistry?

Dr. Sammy Noumbissi | Maryland's Premier Implant SpecialistHi, I’m Dr. Sammy Noumbissi, America’s Implant Dentist and Zirconium Implant Expert. As an expert in my field of Implant Dentistry, I am committed to keeping you Healthy!

One of the biggest problems I see in Implant Dentistry is the lack of information available to patients. Dentists are always ready and willing to place an implant, but rarely is a patient fully informed of the risks, benefits, and OPTIONS available to him or her.

MY GOAL IS TO CHANGE THAT

That’s why I have created a series of videos designed to help YOU get the information you DESERVE so you can make an informed decision that could affect your health, your smile, and your confidence for the rest of your life.

WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR MY FREE NEWSLETTER, I’LL GIVE YOU A COPY OF EVERY VIDEO I HAVE ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS (INCLUDING THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS I RECEIVE… ALONG WITH THE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE ASKING YOUR IMPLANT DENTIST). I’LL ALSO GIVE YOU A COPY OF MY E-BOOK ON CERAMIC DENTAL IMPLANTS… ALL FREE.

MY GOAL IS TURN THE INDUSTRY UPSIDE DOWN BY ACTUALLY GIVING PATIENTS — NO MATTER WHO YOUR DOCTOR IS — THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW REGARDING DENTAL IMPLANTS AND YOUR OVERALL HEALTH.

IN THESE — FREE — VIDEOS, YOU’LL DISCOVER ALL THESE TOPICS AND MORE!

  • THE POSSIBLE DANGERS OF TITANIUM IMPLANTS!

  • SHOULD YOUR TITANIUM IMPLANTS BE REPLACED?

  • THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BRIDGE AND AN IMPLANT.

  • ARE IMPLANTS UNIVERSAL?

  • SAME-DAY IMPLANTS… ARE THEY SAFE?

  • HOW LONG DO IMPLANTS LAST?

  • HOW MUCH MONEY WILL AN IMPLANT ACTUALLY COST?

  • WHAT MAKES ZIRCONIUM IMPLANTS UNIQUE?

  • AND… WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

You owe it to your health — and yourself — to get the information you deserve. Use the form on the right to register for my newsletter today and I will give you all my best information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to replacing a tooth. Click Here

How Does Miles Of Smiles Handle Insurance

Hi, I’m Dr. Sammy Noumbissi, America’s Implant Dentist and Zirconium Implant Expert. As an expert in my field of Implant Dentistry, I am committed to keeping you Healthy!

One of the biggest problems I see in Implant Dentistry is the lack of information available to patients. Dentists are always ready and willing to place an implant, but rarely is a patient fully informed of the risks, benefits, and OPTIONS available to him or her.

MY GOAL IS TO CHANGE THAT

That’s why I have created a series of videos designed to help YOU get the information you DESERVE so you can make an informed decision that could affect your health, your smile, and your confidence for the rest of your life.

WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR MY FREE NEWSLETTER, I’LL GIVE YOU A COPY OF EVERY VIDEO I HAVE ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS (INCLUDING THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS I RECEIVE… ALONG WITH THE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE ASKING YOUR IMPLANT DENTIST). I’LL ALSO GIVE YOU A COPY OF MY E-BOOK ON CERAMIC DENTAL IMPLANTS… ALL FREE.

MY GOAL IS TURN THE INDUSTRY UPSIDE DOWN BY ACTUALLY GIVING PATIENTS — NO MATTER WHO YOUR DOCTOR IS — THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW REGARDING DENTAL IMPLANTS AND YOUR OVERALL HEALTH.

IN THESE — FREE — VIDEOS, YOU’LL DISCOVER ALL THESE TOPICS AND MORE!

  • THE POSSIBLE DANGERS OF TITANIUM IMPLANTS!

  • SHOULD YOUR TITANIUM IMPLANTS BE REPLACED?

  • THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BRIDGE AND AN IMPLANT.

  • ARE IMPLANTS UNIVERSAL?

  • SAME-DAY IMPLANTS… ARE THEY SAFE?

  • HOW LONG DO IMPLANTS LAST?

  • HOW MUCH MONEY WILL AN IMPLANT ACTUALLY COST?

  • WHAT MAKES ZIRCONIUM IMPLANTS UNIQUE?

  • AND… WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

You owe it to your health — and yourself — to get the information you deserve. Use the form on the right to register for my newsletter today and I will give you all my best information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to replacing a tooth. Click Here

Dental Cyst Assessment Using Three Dimensional (3D) Dental Imaging

Conventional regular two-dimensional X-rays (2D) are not always sufficient to determine the extent and nature of a bone lesion or a lesion of the jaw associated with a tooth. In some cases the very presence of a lesion is only verifiable with 3D imaging because often 2D imaging superimposes neighboring structures and the actual lesion becomes blurred or less visible.

The situation presented here is one where there was no pain or any other symptoms at all. The patient actually came in for an implant consultation and this cyst was discovered. The patient was immediately referred out for biopsy and treatment. The lesion was found to be benign, it was cleaned out and bone grafting done to correct the defect.

Oral Surgery

WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?

Also called third molars, wisdom teeth usually make their first appearance in young adults between the ages of 15 to 25. Because most mouths are too small for these four additional molars, an extraction procedure, sometimes immediately after they surface, is often necessary.

WHEN SHOULD WISDOM TEETH BE REMOVED?

The following symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced, and should be removed before they become impacted — meaning, the teeth have surfaced and have no room in the mouth to grow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain infection in the mouth,
  • Facial swelling
  • Swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth

Most oral health specialists will recommend an immediate removal of the wisdom teeth, as early removal will help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar.

WHAT PROBLEMS ARE OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH IMPACTED THIRD MOLARS?

  • Bacteria and plaque build-up
  • Cysts development (a fluid-filled sac)
  • Tumor development
  • Infection
  • Jaw and gum disease

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE EXTRACTION PROCEDURE?

Wisdom tooth extraction surgery involves removing the gum tissue that presides over the tooth, gently detaching the connective tissue between the tooth and the bone, removing the tooth, and suturing the opening in the gum line.

WHAT IS A DRY SOCKET?

Dry Socket is the most common complication of extraction. (removing a tooth) Most commonly associated with wisdom teeth extractions & lower molar extraction. Dry Socket is one in which the patient is having pain due to the loss of the blood clot from the socket following extraction, thus exposing the bone to air, food, and fluids. Patient experiences excruciating pain along with an offensive odor. This often occurs two or more days after an extraction and can last about 5-6 days.

This condition occurs most commonly –

  • In individuals who smoke before their recommended time. Smoking: decreases healing, decrease blood supply to the protective blood clot, brings toxic products to the area, injuries the gum tissue and the negative pressure of sucking removes the blood clot from the surgery site.
  • If you do not care for your extraction site as instructed by staff.
  • Not following your home care instructions.
  • Sucking action from smoking, sneezing, coughing, spitting or sucking, within the first 24 hours.
  • Women taking oral contraceptives are more susceptible.