Our Blog

Gettysburg Dentist Discusses the History of Toothpaste

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 17:02 PM

 

Gettysburg Dentist


 

Way before there were dentists or dental hygienists, people found a need to keep their teeth clean. Dental hygiene may have been crude, but not without some degree of ingenuity. As always, the focus on preventive dental hygiene remains paramount. The history of toothpaste revealed some interesting developments as mankind searched for the ultimate toothpaste to banish stain, toothaches and bad breath.

The oldest record of toothpaste was found written on a piece of dusty papyrus in a Viennese museum, dating as  far back as 300-500 B.C. An ancient Egyptian scribe recorded the formula for a “powder for white and perfect teeth.” The list of ingredients included rock salt, mint, dried iris flower and pepper, all crushed together for that magic effect. Other accounts detailed the use of less savory ingredients such as oxen hooves, egg shells, pumice and myrrh (thrown in to offset the smell, for sure).

Separate records dating back to more than 6,000 years ago reveal interesting development in the quest for better oral health in various cultures. In China, they utilized an assortment of twigs and bones, mashed and then mixed with water, salt and flower petals to form a thick paste. They used the sharp edge of bamboo leaf to apply paste to the teeth.

In India, they drew upon their strong Ayurvedic background and came out with a clever way of sprucing up their dental health—they used special twigs filled with sweet nectar. They figured that by chewing on these “tasty” twigs, the abrasive nature of the twigs would clean the teeth and dislodge any unwelcome food particles.

In Greece and Rome, they also found the need for abrasive ingredients, using crushed bones and oyster shells. They also used various flavorings to freshen up breath such as charcoal and bark.

As ingenious as these powders and pastes were, they remained crude and the abrasive ingredients may not be very friendly to tooth enamel and gums. In the 1800’s, soap was used to try to mitigate some of the abrasive nature of these pastes.  An actual paste sold in jar became commercially available and, in 1873, Colgate decided to mass produce the toothpaste, as we know today.

Over the years, with research and experimentation, toothpaste has become less abrasive. More synthetic ingredients were added such as sodium lauryl sulfate as a foaming agent and sweeteners to make tooth brushing a more pleasant experience. The 1950’s and 1960’s saw the addition of fluoride for better dental health and from then on, toothpaste took on more sophistication with the use of additives such as gels and whitening agents. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth, toothpaste to whiten and brighten teeth, and toothpaste to strengthen enamel, the choices are as varied as the needs of the populace.

Toothpaste will continue to evolve, with more emphasis on preventing dental decline. To keep your dental health in optimal condition, it is important to get regular checkups and professional cleaning. Contact us today for all your dental needs. 

 

Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, dentist, Dental Hygiene, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Periodontal Disease

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 @ 14:12 PM

Gettysburg dentist gum disease

 


 

Periodontal disease affects gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth, resulting in red and swollen gums, bad breath, receding gums and loose teeth. Left untreated, it is the major cause of tooth loss. An increasing body of studies reveal that periodontal disease may be linked to a number of major diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis and cancer. Considering that one out of two American adults, aged 30 and over, suffer from some form of periodontal disease, understanding how periodontal disease is related to other health risks  is crucial.

Diabetes

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, diabetes increases the risk of periodontal disease. Impaired blood flow that comes with diabetes may weaken gums and bone and make them more susceptible to infection. In addition, higher glucose levels in the mouth fluids make it ideal for bacteria to flourish, further encouraging gum disease. The reverse may be true as well. Research has also shown that periodontal disease may also complicate diabetes, making it difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Heart Disease

Evidence suggests that people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. While the cause and effect is still unclear, scientists believe that inflammation may be blamed for the strong correlation. Bacteria from the mouth may enter the blood stream and deposit in the arteries, thereby blocking blood flow. Another possibility is that the bacteria may trigger the body’s natural defense mechanism to kick in, resulting in inflammation and blocking of blood arteries.

Osteoporosis

Bone loss associated with osteoporosis is often blamed for diminished stature or hip fracture but it is also linked to bone loss in the jaw. The National Institutes of Health revealed a greater propensity to lose jaw bone if you have osteoporosis.

Respiratory Disease

Bacteria in the oral cavity may be aspirated into the lungs and cause complications such as pneumonia and pulmonary embolism.

Cancer

Yes, it’s linked to the dreaded disease as well. Men with advanced periodontal disease have a 63% higher incidence of pancreatic cancer. Even moderate periodontal disease may increase lung, kidney and blood cancer by 14%.

If periodontal disease is linked to major systemic diseases, it’s paramount to maintain good oral health. Visit your dentist regularly for periodic checkup and routine cleaning. Keeping periodontal disease at arm’s length will greatly improve your overall health.

 

Topics: dentist, Dentist in Gettysburg, Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg Cosmetic Dentist discusses options for Cosmetic Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Sat, Sep 14, 2013 @ 15:09 PM

Cosmetic dentistry in Gettysburg

 

You may be under the impression that all cosmetic dentistry involves
time-consuming, expensive, and painful procedures just so your teeth can look
good. In fact, several options are available at different price and convenience
levels.

Teeth whitening treats colored or stained teeth so they
become whiter. This is the least intrusive option and can be done at home with
kits you can buy over the counter. In-office dental whitening and professional, custom, take home whitening using custom, fabricated teeth bleaching trays is far more
effective because it can use stronger agents while protecting sensitive areas of
the mouth, such as the gums.

Fillings are arguably the most familiar of the cosmetic
methods because many individuals have had cavities filled as a protective measure
when they were still schoolchildren. Fillings can also repair rough spots and
chips with resins or porcelain materials that can be colored to look like
natural teeth. They bond directly to the enamel and dentin, adding further
protection.  Modern, cosmetically oriented dentists have the ability to artistically bond composite fillings to front or back teeth making the fillings almost invisible.

Crowns cover broken, cracked or decayed teeth to prevent further
damage in the future which can involve extensive procedures, time,
and expense. In the past, such crowns were made out of gold for better
durability at the expense of aesthetics. Modern crowns can often be pure ceramic.
 They provide strength and durability, and are indistinguishable from
natural teeth even when used in the front of the mouth. 

Veneers are a thin layer of porcelain artistically designed and custom made for your individual teeth.  They can be bonded to the outside surface of front teeth to produce the gorgeous, white smile you have always wanted.

Rather than trying to decide on your own which of these options is preferable
for your appearance, why not contact us for an appointment? We can thoroughly
diagnose your problem and recommend options that are not only effective but also
fit your time and budget constraints.  As unrestricted dental providers, Dr. Samuels and Dr. Berger are able to provide the right dental solution using the most cosmetic dental materials available without worrying about the restrictions of your dental insurance companies.

Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, dentist, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Gettysburg dentist

Gettysburg Dentist Explains How to Brush Your Teeth

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 @ 08:08 AM

brush resized 600

 

Brushing your teeth is something everybody can do, but unless you learned from
parents who were professional dentists, you may not be doing it in the most
effective way! Try these tips to make a difference.

  1. Divide the mouth into four quadrants starting with the top left as quadrant
    one, the top right as two, the bottom right as three, and the bottom left as
    four.
  2. Start brushing from the last tooth in the back of quadrant one, if you’re
    right handed. (Reverse sides if you’re left handed, so you’re starting from the
    back of two.)
  3. Don’t brush from side to side. Instead, use a circular motion on each tooth
    that includes the gums so you remove any particles trapped between the gum and
    the tooth. Be sure to get the front, back, and top surfaces of each tooth.
  4. Move the brush forward, repeating the movement on each tooth.
  5. Continue from front to back on quadrant two, from back to front on quadrant
    three, and from front to back in quadrant four. Spend at least 30 seconds on
    each quadrant.
  6. Brush the tongue and the inside of the cheeks. The bacteria that builds up
    in these locations can cause bad breath.
  7. Rinse your mouth and toothbrush.
  8. Repeat this pattern with every brushing until it becomes a habit.
  9. Brush at least twice a day, preferably first thing in the morning, to
    eliminate any plaque buildup while you sleep, and before you retire to remove
    debris built up from meals. If possible, brush after every meal.

If you want more dental tips, or want to have your teeth checked, please
contact us, your Gettysburg dentist.

Topics: dentist, tooth brushing, Gettysburg dentist

Follow Me