It is commonly known among dentists and dental hygienists that patients who smoke are at higher risk for mouth cancers of all type than patients who don’t. But what is the impact of smoking e-cigarettes?

The American Dental Association this week announced new research results that show e-cigarettes are having negative health consequences and that vaping is causing more people to start a real smoking habit rather than quitting.

When they first emerged in 2004, e-cigarettes were promoted as a “healthier” alternative to traditional cigarettes for those who wanted the feeling of smoking tobacco without the harmful side effects….

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CHARCOAL

Charcoal is the latest rage, but is it good for your mouth?
by Mark A. Penshorn, DDS, Schertz Dentist

Recently there have been many advertisements and testimonials advocating the use of charcoal and charcoal-based toothpastes. In response, a large review of international scientific literature has been published. Here’s what it found:
*None of the 50 different toothpastes that were identified had any references for any clinical trials of effectiveness or toxicity and none displayed the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
*No scientific support was found in any of the literature for charcoal providing any detoxification benefits to the teeth or oral…

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Beverages matter …

The New York Times (5/1 Bakalar) reports that “Substituting just one serving a day of water or unsweetened tea or coffee for one serving of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or dairy beverage can significantly reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes” according to a study published online in the journal Diabetologia.

The Los Angeles Times (5/1 Healy) “Science Now ” blog reports that after tracking the consumption habits of more than 25,000 Britons (ages 40-79) over about 11 years, researchers found that “drinking sugar-sweetened milk products was an even more powerful driver of diabetes; compared with those who…

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“Physics is so interesting to me, and it’s everywhere we look,” says Clemens Senior Christian Jacobson enthusiastically. “From dark matter to the way the dimples on golf balls affect the ball’s flight, I think it is all cool. “
Echoing his energy is Steele Senior Enrique Navedo. “I have a devout passion for all sciences, but I absolutely love chemistry! It is my favorite because it is a way to apply advanced mathematics into real life use. I think it will be a good major to build a foundation…

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by Mark A. Penshorn, DDS
Schertz, Texas

In response to the social media conversation regarding the effectiveness of flossing, I have several comments:

The effectiveness of flossing has “never been researched” because the visual evidence is so overwhelming for those of us who look at teeth every day, it was unnecessary to research, in my opinion. Why would you need a study to see if sweeping a floor with a broom actually moved dirt around and got the floor cleaner? You don’t need a study to see this. Everyone who has ever swept a dirty floor knows this works. And while…

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For some 20 years, dentist have been reluctant to place dental implants on patients with diabetes because of problems they often have with slow healing and high infection rates. A recent study by researchers at the UT Health Science Center-San Antonio shows that, with some accommodation, diabetic patients (even those with poorly controlled diabetes, had as high a success rate with implants after one year as patients with no high blood sugar issues.
“The most striking thing to me about the study is that we are not only able to see that dental implants can be successful for…

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The Washington Post reports (12/1) that researchers from Melbourne University Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre tested a wide range of sugar-free soft drinks, sports drinks and sweets and found that “many of them can be just as harmful to teeth as their sugared counterparts due to their chemical composition.” Researchers found that because these sugar-free beverages contain acids like phosphoric acid (found in colas) or citric acid (found mainly in lemon and lime flavored drinks) they can strip away a tooth’s out layer, leading to chalkiness of the tooths surface, pitting, opacity, tooth sensitivity and other issues. Researchers found…

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Fun Fact:

The cheery Christmas song “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” was written by Donald Gardner in 1944 after he asked his second grade students what they wanted for Christmas. He noticed they all responded with a lisp because they each had at least one front tooth missing!

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Dental emergencies can happen anywhere. Here are some tips for responding to mouth trauma from the time of an accident until getting to your dentist…

If you lose or break a tooth, do NOT dry the tooth or store it in water. Your best options are to

*reinsert the tooth into its socket in the mouth if that is possible, and keep it in place as you travel immediately to the dentist, or
*place the tooth in a cup of milk for transporting with patient to the dentist, or
*place tooth in the pocket of the cheek, ONLY if patient is alert enough…

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With infectious disease concerns in the media, it is understandable that patients want to know what steps we take to protect them from disease while they are at the dentist. In our Schertz dental office, we go beyond the required protocols for infection control. Obviously, we change gloves for every patient, but what else would you want to know?

You would want to know that we disinfect each operatory between each patient with an EPA-approved target germicide that is effective against fungus, viruses (including HIV and Hepatitis) and tuberculosis.

You would want to know that we send spore test…

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By Mark A. Penshorn, DDS

One of the trends we are noticing in the dental field is a resurgence of tooth decay in patients age 65 and older. This is happening as more people are keeping their natural teeth longer and living longer. Many of these patients have taken really good care of their teeth, and may have had a lot of dental work or very little. But now these same patients are getting a bunch of cavities after not having had them in their younger years.

The primary cause of this problem is “dry mouth syndrome,” more technically called “xerostomia”…

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by Dr. Mark Penshorn, a Schertz, Cibolo, Garden Ridge Dentist

Summertime heat brings the delight of cold beverages. Sweet teas, iced coffees, chilled sodas … what could be better on a hot day?!

While you are enjoying these refreshments, keep the health of your teeth in mind. All tooth decay is caused by acid decomposing the enamel and then the underlying dentin of your teeth. Certain bacteria that live on our teeth (plaque) convert sugar into acid. Frequent exposure to sugar can harm your teeth and turn “almost a cavity” into “needs a filling” rapidly. Many canned or bottled beverages are also…

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