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Dunes Dental Blog

Welcome to my blog


Your dental health is important to us, and as dental health professionals, we want you to be confident in our training and expertise as skilled clinicians. In order to maintain the high level of service and results that you demand and deserve, we are continually updating our education by participating in dental lectures, meetings, and conventions so that we remain in full awareness of any new techniques, products, and equipment that become available so that we can provide the highest level of care for our patients.


Please enjoy our Dental Blog!

By Dr. Alina, Oct 25 2018 09:35PM

Words can really pack a lot of punch, depending on how they are used of course. The word “JUST” for instance. Saying that you JUST had a dental cleaning simplifies what you have had done, implying that it may not be important to you and it’s JUST another chore checked off the list. A dental cleaning is so much more than JUST a dental cleaning. Thinking about what is actually done when you are at the dentist, it is a lot for one hour and can greatly impact your life for the better.

What many fail to remember is that all things that enter the body first pass through the mouth and therefore either be ground up by the teeth or touch the teeth in order to enter the body. Over time the remnants of leftover food or drink that remain in the mouth deposit bacteria which in return form clusters together and cause a coating of sticky substance known as plaque. This plaque must be removed from the mouth within a short period of time or these bacteria begin to irritate the gums and cause tenderness and bleeding known as gingivitis which may be reversible with a professional cleaning. If these sticky bacteria clusters are not disturbed they quickly begin to multiply and congregate and cause a hardening of the material on the teeth called tartar. The millions of bacteria species living within these harden deposits cause the human body to recognize a harmful environment and cause an autoimmune disease in the mouth known as periodontal disease. When periodontal disease is present, the body's natural reaction is to try and protect itself and migrate away from these harmful bacteria which causes bone loss around the teeth. Bleeding gums, pus, bad breath, cavities and mouth pain are very likely side effects of tartar below the gums. If these harmful bacteria are not professionally removed the body continues to diminish all the bone that hold teeth in and tooth loss will occur.

Every day, you look at yourself and certain things may look normal to you that have slowly made an appearance after some time. Spending too much time in the sun without a hat or without the use of sunscreen can cause squamous cell carcinoma anywhere on your face. Now, when you make a trip to JUST have your teeth cleaned, your hygienist may notice that there is some sort of new growth or a new mole that to you, looks normal but in fact may not be. That same logic can be applied to the inside of your mouth. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol are major risk factors when it comes to oral cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment of oral, head, and neck cancer is essential. It can sometimes be too late and be found as late stage three and four disease. So when you have JUST another dental cleaning, remember that there could be something for your hygienist to find.

Many individuals may think that a dental cleaning is JUST going in and getting gums poked and teeth scraped; however there are so many more procedures performed during the dental cleaning than others may think. A professional cleaning begins with a full medical history review as many may not know that the oral health is directly linked to other health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer's and many more. Also many medications that are consumed daily have a major effect on the oral cavity and can affect the teeth as well. Then X-rays are taken as a diagnostic table to tell any signs of cavities, bone loss, infection, cysts or TMJ complications. A very detailed chart of the bone level existing on each patient is then charted and evaluated to proceed with the best treatment for the individual. Then professional instruments are used to remove all harmful bacteria from above and below the gums in order to bring the mouth back to health. The dental professional will then polish the teeth to smooth out all imperfections as the sticky bacteria is less likely to adhere to a smooth surface.

An incredibly large problem is that many people will not make that trip to the dentist until something is hurting so bad they can’t sleep at night. When you go for JUST a dental cleaning, the hygienist may take x-rays. The patient raises the question, “Is it absolutely necessary to take x-rays today?” The beauty of an x-ray is that they can detect so much more than JUST a cavity between two teeth. Certain X-rays show the entire cranial cavity, the bone levels surrounding the teeth, cysts or abscesses, root resorption, tumors, and developing teeth. Having one x-ray taken is worth knowing and understanding what may or may not be happening and developing in your mouth when you go in for JUST a dental cleaning.

Please ask yourself this question the next time you are heading to the dentist for your six month checkup, “Is this really JUST a dental cleaning?” Your dentist and dental hygienist are there for YOU and YOUR health. They are there for PREVENTION and to help with a diagnosis if needed and to help you through the process.

-Laura Wahl and Kortni Lorson

By Dr. Alina, Sep 22 2017 11:10AM

This toothpaste has rapidly emerged over the internet marketplace and we have had many patients question the viability of this product and several that have been using or have tried it. I was not aware of any research on Black Charcoal Toothpaste until I ran into an article that discusses 13 studies on the use of charcoal and charcoal-based products. The article found that the creators of the black toothpaste claim a lot of properties as a form of advertisement; antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, repairing cavities, whitening and oral detoxification.

In regards to cavity prevention the comments were that the teeth where clean but displayed concave cavities in the dentine on the surface towards the cheeks, which means that the charcoal has very abrasive properties. The lack of fluoride in the Charcoal Toothpaste also influences the rate of cavities.

The studies failed to identify scientific support that the topical application of charcoal can provide any detoxification benefits to the teeth or the oral mucosa.

For the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties there is no evidence in literature to support these claims.

About the whitening, the producers claim that the content bentonite clay gently polishes and scrubs teeth and acts as a sponge and that bacteria are drawn into the sponge. This is not the case; the researchers say that charcoal is an abrasive mineral and raises concerns about damage to the teeth and the potential loss of enamel would increase caries susceptibility.

Overall there was insufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate the cosmetic, health, or safety benefits of Charcoal Toothpaste.

However, in our practice we have seen reduced staining among our patients brushing with charcoal toothpaste, and that would be the only benefit for now.

By Dr. Alina, Nov 3 2015 02:00PM

Healthy gums mean that you are doing a fantastic job in taking proper care of your oral hygiene no matter what you brush with. As long as you have healthy gums the only thing that you have to take into account is the toothpaste that you use. To prevent the future erosion of your enamel please take into consideration the abrasiveness of your toothpaste. Dr. Alina recommends any toothpaste with an abrasiveness value of 70 or less. Please see the chart below for our recommendations:

If you have been diagnosed with gum disease our recommendations are a little different because you are dealing with a lifelong disease that you can never fully eliminate, but you can keep it under control with proper care. In this case the type of toothbrush that you use is very important. The presence of plaque is the factor that makes microbes stick together and produces inflammation. The plaque is what we need to eliminate entirely by proper brushing. We recommend and electric toothbrush in this situation because of the number of brushstrokes that they provide. The number of brushstrokes that an electric powered toothbrush can provide in a minute of brushing is far more than that of manual toothbrush.

The most important thing to remember in regards to your toothbrush is to change it every three months, be it the head of an electric toothbrush or the entire manual toothbrush. After three months the bristles start to wear off and the amount of plaque that the toothbrush can effectively remove is reduced by up to 27%!

Happy Brushing Everyone!

By Dr. Alina, May 4 2015 04:16AM

My passion for dentures has come from my time in dental school. I took an elective course at the VA Hospital under the supervision of the most inspiring professor, who ended up being one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. His passion for every little detail, groove, bump and edge was mesmerizing. Giving patients back the look of a normal face and letting people show their teeth when they smile is one of the most rewarding feelings I have ever had. Comments such as; “Wow! These look like my original teeth!” always make my day so much brighter.

My real purpose in writing this blog is that I want to tell you what research now proves with what happens with the bone under the dentures. The longer that a patient goes without NATURAL teeth the more the bone resorbs, which means it is difficult for the denture to adhere because there is no bone to support it. There will also be a decrease in the support for the lips, cheeks and the distance between the upper and lower teeth will decrease.

A good alternative to natural teeth are implants, especially in patients with the need for an overdenture. Implant placement to anchor an overdenture or fixed appliance alleviates bone loss and provides an extremely stable prosthesis. A traditional denture may seem like the most affordable option, but the long term costs and benefits of the traditional denture vs. the implant denture should always be considered.

By Dr. Alina, Feb 17 2015 04:00PM

Hormones - the cause of many problems and the solution of many illnesses! Everybody knows about pregnancy and perhaps everybody knows that all the bodies’ hormones go wacko during this period of time. What you may not know is that beside the body’s hormones your gums suffer a lot of tragedy too.

Yes, the gums become inflamed giving you pregnancy gingivitis. What happens when you have inflamed gums? A lot of food and bacteria gets trapped under the inflamed gums and cannot be removed just by brushing or flossing. It stays there for days, gives off a bad odor, makes your gums sore, there is a lot of bleeding with brushing and this is the happy case. If you follow up on your cleanings and be rigorous in your dental hygiene AND you are lucky enough to not have a genetic component you can get rid of it. What the research is saying now is that there is a significant relationship between a variation in the gene associated inflammatory response and spontaneous preterm birth. Another study looked at a specific oral bacterium called Fusobacterium Nucleatum, found in gum disease but also in infections of the fetal-placental unit, and discovered that this bacterium may be linked to pregnancy complications including pre term birth, sepsis, etc.

We all love our children...and now that you have read this blog you know that YOU can have a better impact on your baby's life by simply taking care of your dental needs.

-Illustration by Lillian Chan-

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