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Gettysburg Dentist Discusses the History of the Toothpick

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 14:04 PM

 

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"Pick not thy teeth with thy knyfe, but take a stick, or some clean thyng, then doe you not offend" ~ Rhodes: 15 century philosopher

Apparently, picking the teeth with some type of dental implement has been around for a while, probably long before there were dentists! Although the quotation above dates back to the 15th century , toothpicks have been around long before that. A short portion in the Talmud reads: “one may take a splinter from the wood lying near him to clean his teeth” in reference to what the people can do before a festival suggests the use of tooth-picking sticks.  Today, toothpicks have become part and parcel of life; they make convenient aids to dislodge food particles. Despite its humble appearance, the mere 3-inch toothpick has an interesting history.

Various archaeological finds reveal striated grooves on fossilized teeth. In 1911, grooved teeth found at the La Quina Neanderthal site suggest the use of an abrasive implement on the teeth. Across different continents, similar grooved teeth were found among the remains of Australian Aborigines, North American Indians, Canary Islanders and the Upper Dynastic Egyptians, with some dating as far back as two million years. These early forms of toothpicks may have served more than picking out food as these grooves on the teeth suggest. They may also have been used to soothe the discomfort of periodontal disease and dental caries.

With time, different cultures put their own creativity into honing the toothpick. The lowly toothpick has evolved from a necessary tool for dental hygiene to status symbol. In Europe, kings, queens and lords used designer toothpicks made of gold, silver or ivory, sometimes inlaid with precious stones; while the common man used twigs or porcupine quills. In China, a curved pendant toothpick made of cast iron was found. The Chinese loved toothpicks, using mint-tipped toothpicks in between meals to clear the palate.

Charles Forster of Maine was the first American to manufacture toothpicks. At first, he handmade them, but with growing demand, he duly invented a machine to keep up. He went one step further when he decided to make disposable toothpicks, after a trip to South America, where he saw natives using slivers of wood to clean their teeth. To create demand for disposable toothpicks, Mr. Forster hired Harvard students to eat at restaurants and instructed them to loudly ask for toothpicks after finishing their meals! He used the same tactics in retail stores and with time, toothpicks became part of the dining experience.

We don’t manufacture toothpicks, but we hope, when you need a dentist, you’ll pick us!

Topics: Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

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 Gum Disease and Diabetes

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 @ 14:02 PM

Gettysburg Dentist Gum Disease

 


 

Various population studies indicate a strong relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. These two chronic and highly prevalent diseases work like a tandem bicycle, one affects the other and vice versa. People with periodontal disease have a harder time controlling their blood glucose level and, conversely, patients with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, which can further complicate periodontal disease. In recent years, researchers and dentists have been able to understand a little more of the complicated puzzle to better treat periodontal disease. Recent development may shed more light on how to manage periodontal disease and in so doing, keep diabetes in check.

Nonsurgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease (due to unchecked oral bacteria) that works to destroy the tissues and bones that support the teeth. If left unattended, the disease can inflict eventual tooth loss. In the early stages of periodontal disease, nonsurgical treatments are used for damage control and to prevent progression. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, basic nonsurgical procedures did not improve the glycemic control of patients with type-2 diabetes. However, there is evidence that more proactive intensive periodontal treatment may be effective in glycemic control.

In the above research, 500 patients were divided into two groups. One group had basic periodontal treatments done such as scaling, root planing and an oral rinse, followed by further periodontal treatment after three and six months. The other group received no treatment at all. After six months, the group receiving treatment showed improvement in the gum disease, but no visible improvement in their blood-sugar control.

In the light of recent developments, one thing remains constant: prevention is better than cure. The perennial, old fashioned method of diligent oral care remains your best defense against periodontal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommend daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and quitting tobacco use.Patients with diabetes should also receive annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (includes thorough assessment of periodontal health and any other risk factors).

Do your body a favor.  Keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Call us today for a visit with a Gettysburg hygienist.

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

Denture Treatment through the Ages

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

 

 

Dentures

 

Dentures can be used successfully to replace missing teeth. Whether it’s a partial or complete set of dentures, they’re designed to fit nicely in the mouth to facilitate eating, talking and smiling. But this hasn’t always been the case. Dentures have evolved from crude contraptions to durable, look-like-real teeth. The history of dentistry gives us an interesting look at dentures and how they’ve changed over the years:

  • As early as 2500 BC, ancient tribes in Mexico used animal teeth, reportedly from wolves to act as replacement teeth. They were simply placed in the socket, previously holding the lost teeth.
  • On the other side of the globe, the Etruscans of Italy fabricated gold wire or bands to hold human and animal teeth to act as replacement teeth (circa 700 BC).
  • Archaeology revealed that Egyptian mummies also had teeth replacements held in place by gold and silver wire at around 300 BC.
  • Fast forward to 1500s, the Japanese designed the first recorded set of wooden dentures. Made from Japanese Box, it was supposedly used by priestess Nakaoka Tei. It bore a strong resemblance to modern dentures and they were held in place by suction. The Japanese continued to use wooden dentures until the Meiji era of the late 19th century.
  • At the end of the Renaissance period, in the 1700s, the trend shifted to using human teeth, animal teeth and carved ivory. They didn’t fit well. George Washington used a variety of these dentures and according to history, he wasn’t particularly pleased with these innovations.
  • The Waterloo teeth came into the scene during this time frame. After the battle of Waterloo, many soldiers fell and since teeth were badly needed, scavengers went around removing teeth from the dead and shipping them to Europe to be used for dentures for profit.
  • Real advancements were made when British physician, Alex Duchateau, created the first set of porcelain dentures in 1770. It was far from perfect due to the tendency to shrink during the firing process. Dubois De Chemant, a prominent French dentist of that time overcame the problem and King Louis XVI duly granted him an inventor's patent. He later fled to England and in some accounts, was Duchateau's assistant.
  • In the early 1800s, porcelain teeth became readily available and quite the norm in replacing teeth. However, the denture bases remained ill-fitting until the invention of vulcanite (hardened rubber) in the 1850s.
  • As technology advances, dentures become more durable and functional. In the early 20th century, acrylic resin became the standard material used.

In the last 70 years, dentistry made huge strikes in helping people cope with missing teeth. While dentures remain an option to replace missing teeth, there are now other options such as dental implants and root canal treatments. Modern dentistry stresses prevention as the first line of defense.

Looking for the most modern, denture treatments available?  Give us a call! 717-334-0555

Topics: History of Dentistry, dentures in Gettysburg, Gettysburg Dentures, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist

Do You Know How to Take Care of Your Dentures?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:01 PM

Gettysburg Dentures

 


 

You’ve finally had your dentures made. Whether you need them to fill up missing teeth or to replace all your teeth, dentures give you a boost of self-esteem by completing your smile and enabling you to eat properly. You want them to last, to look good for a long time and stay clean and healthy. Here are some effective tips to keep your dentures in better shape than ever. 

Handle With Care 

Although dentures are made with hardy materials such as acrylic resin or durable plastic, they still need tender loving care. Rough handling may chip, break or scratch the polished surface. When handling dentures, stand over a towel or a sink full of water.

Daily Care

Treat dentures like natural teeth. Brush faithfully, at least twice a day to prevent build up of food particles and plaque. Dentists advise using a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent abrasive effect on dentures. It’s a good habit to remember to rinse dentures in between meals.  One of the very best denture cleaners is antibacterial hand soap!

Denture Cleaner

Even with careful brushing, sometimes, stain, bacteria and plaque may still build up in between teeth. To remove these undesirable elements, a number of denture cleaner (or cleanser) is available. It ranges from chemical formulas in the form of cream, liquid, powder or tablet to mechanical cleaners such as denture brushes or ultrasonic denture cleaner that uses sound waves to dislodge deposits. If in doubt as to what cleaner to use, look for one with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. Your dentist will be the best person to advise you on what to use to effectively clean your denture.

When Not in Use

You see it on television, how dentures are placed in a glass of water by the night stand when not in use. As antiquated (perhaps the black and white movie is to be blamed) as that seems, that’s the idea. Dentures should be kept moist when not in use. They should be soaked in a denture cleaning solution or water.

With proper care, your denture will stay in optimal shape and condition and will serve you well. Proper care will also maintain oral hygiene and reduce denture odor.

If you’ve further questions about taking care of dentures, feel free to contact us. We’ll be glad to help you with your dental needs.

 

Topics: dentures in Gettysburg, Gettysburg Dentures, dentures Gettysburg, Dentist in Gettysburg, Dentist Gettysburg

Gum Disease May Increase Certain Health Risks

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 14:01 PM

Gettysburg dentist gum disease


 

Gum disease is the result of unchecked bacterial activities in the mouth causing inflammation of the gums and tissues that surround and support the teeth resulting in eventual tooth loss. But its devastating effects are not just confined to the mouth. Various studies reveal a frightening correlation: a number of health risks may be related to gum disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers. 

Endocarditis

The bacteria in the mouth don’t just stay in the mouth cavity. Bacteria may enter the blood stream via the infected gum and attached themselves to the damaged areas of the heart. When that happens, the inner lining of the heart becomes infected resulting in endocarditis. If it's left untreated, it may cause damage or destroy the heart value. 

Cardiovascular Disease

Those suffering from gum disease are twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease because bacteria in the mouth may cause the hardening of arteries. There are two possibilities. In the first possibility,  the bacteria traveling through the blood stream may stick to the fatty plaques already in the blood stream, bulking it up and narrowing the arteries in the process. The other possibility, and the more current of the two, has to do with the body’s response to invading bacteria in the blood stream. It triggers inflammation, thereby causing the blood cells to swell and narrow the arteries.

Diabetes

Does gum disease compound diabetes or does diabetes contribute to gum disease? The chicken-and-egg question remains open to debate but one thing is clear: research shows that gum disease and diabetes are closely linked. Those with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar level, which may lead to more diabetes complications. Conversely, diabetes makes the body more susceptible to infection, gum included.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, the disease that leads to bone loss, may also affect the bone in the jaw. When the density of the bone in the jaw decreases, it becomes unstable and loses its ability to support the teeth.

Respiratory Disease

People with gum disease are also more susceptible to respiratory disease as bacteria in the oral cavity may be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory complications and chronic lung conditions such as emphysema.

Other Diseases

Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Sjogren's syndrome (an immune disorder), complications in people suffering from HIV/AIDS, even premature birth and low birth weight have been linked to gum disease.

If gum disease increases certain health risks, it is paramount to maintain good oral health by exercising oral hygiene and having regular dental checkups. Call us today for a comprehensive exam. 

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

What You Should Know About Periodontal Disease Before It's Too Late

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

gum disease Gettysburg

 

Periodontal disease affects the gum and compromises the bone supporting the teeth. In full-blown cases, this silent but insidious disease may lead to eventual tooth loss. One out of two Americans, aged 30 and older, suffer from some form of periodontal disease, according to the Center for Disease Control. Given the preponderance of periodontal cases, how can you prevent periodontal disease? If knowledge is power, knowing how periodontal disease comes about and how you can prevent it is key to keeping it at bay. Let’s find out:

How It All Started

Just like a few little termites can eventually bring down the house by reproducing more termites to eat at the foundation of the house, periodontal disease begins small too. First, poor oral hygiene may give it fuel. Bacteria (together with food particles) in the mouth deposit a clear, slimy layer on the teeth, called plaque. If it’s not removed by tooth brushing or flossing, they hardened and form tartar (not the cream of tartar, but nasty gum-ruining tartar). Tartar can be stubborn and can only be removed with the help of professional cleaning.

Progression to Gingivitis

If plaque is left to fester, it wrecks damage. The bacteria inherent in plaque may cause gum inflammation, causing the gum to become red, swollen and to bleed easily. The dentist refers to this mild form of periodontal disease as gingivitis. It’s the beginning of the slide, unless you seek dental treatment right away.

Periodontal Disease

Unless gingivitis is taken care of, the plaque will continue its sure and sly work, causing the gum to pull away from the teeth, leaving “pockets” between the gum and the teeth, opening it up to infection. As the body tries to fight off these bacterial invasion of the gums, bacteria toxins formed and they break down the bone and connective tissue in the process. If it’s left unchecked, they will gradually destroy the bones, gums and tissue that support the teeth. The sad result? Loss of teeth.

How can you make sure you’re not a victim of periodontal disease?

Watch out for these telltale signs: perpetual bad breath, red, swollen gums that bleed easily, receding gums, longer-looking teeth, loose or sensitive teeth. If you’ve any of these symptoms, a visit to the dentist is necessary, even crucial.

Because periodontal disease can inflict serious damage in the long run, nipping it in the bud is your best bet. Call us today for a comprehensive dental exam.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a an instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School and a local Gettysburg dentist.  GettysburgFamilyDentist.com  334-0555

Submitted by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

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

New Technology for the New Year at Samuels Dental Arts P.C.

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 2, 2014 @ 14:01 PM

technology pic

 


 

Dr. Peter Samuels, Dr. Julie Berger and the staff of Samuels Dental Arts P.C. want to wish you a Happy New Year and hope to see you in 2014. We welcome new patients and our goal is to serve your entire family. Come and give us a visit and see how our investment in new technology in dentistry can help you.

Our Gettysburg dental practice has invested in training and equipment to provide you with the latest in the dentistry. We have more options in your dental care that includes a CAD/CAM which allows for faster delivery options. We know that your time is valuable, ask about our CEREC same day crowns.

 

Dr. Samuels, earned his D.D.S. from Georgetown University School of Dentistry and, as a local Gettysburg dentist, has been active in his continuing education. He has attended the following programs among many many others: 

  • The Misch Implant Institute at the University of Pittsburg
  • The Pankey Institute of Graduate Dentistry
  • NYU's Rosenthal Cosmetic Dentistry course

Besides his full time Gettysburg dentl practice, he is currently a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.

He maintains active memberships in:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Academy of General Dentistry (Fellowship status)
  • American Dental Association
  • American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

See our facebook page for his aikijuzu martial arts technique!

Dr. Julie Berger, DDS, as a board certified Prosthodontist trained for three additional years after dental school. She then attended a 1 year, full time fellowship in periodontal prosthodontics and in dental implant placement. She is an expert in dentures, crowns & bridges, implants and esthetics. She received her training from the University of Maryland and is a clinical instructor there.

She maintains memberships in:

  • American Board of Prosthdontics
  • Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists
  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • Pennsylvania Dental Association
  • Gettysburg Hanover Dental Society

So what's the latest in dentistry you might ask? Well, for starters we can make crowns quicker. In some cases we can have them done in one visit. Our porcelain onlays are a popular choice over silver amalgm fillings.

For cosmetic needs we have all ceramic crowns, veneers, and in office, power Teeth whitening.  We offer sedation dentistry with a board certified anesthesiologist. You and your family are in great hands with Dr. Samuels and Dr. Berger.

All phases of dentistry are offered including:

  • Veneers
  • All Ceramic Crowns
  • Porcelain and Gold Crowns
  • Implants
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Full mouth reconstruction
  • Dentures
  • Cerec one day crowns 
  • Sedation dentistry
  • Invisalign 

Our new, modern office has been designed for your comfort. Come by and pay us a visit. We love to give tours and hope to see more of you! We are located at 1650 Biglerville Road, Gettysberg, Pennsylvania 17325 (717)778-4268.

See our website for additional information. 

Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, Cerec dentist, Gettysburg dental implants, Gettysburg implant dentist, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist

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

Fun Facts about Dental History from Peter Samuels, DDS

Posted by Peter Samuels on Sun, Dec 8, 2013 @ 18:12 PM

dental history

 


 

It's time to dive deep ladies and gents, the History of Dentistry is more interesting than you may think. Though many of us may be apprehensive about our dental checkups, dentistry is one of the oldest forms of formal medical care in human history. Take a look at the bellow fun facts and spread the word, dentistry's colorful and intriguing past will help you greatly appreciate the current practices and technology used today.

  • St Appollonia was one of the first virgin martyrs to suffer during the great uprising in Alexandria. According to legend, St. Appollonia's punishment for her beliefs was to have all of her teeth pulled and shattered. That is why today she is considered the patron saint of dentistry and those suffering from dental pain or apprehension.
  • Think your toothbrush is a modern marvel, Archaeologists say no way. Evidence states the first toothbrush was developed in China during he Tang Dynasty (619-907AD). European travelers brought these curious inventions back with them from their travels to Asia, introducing them to Europe and eventually the entire western world.
  • August Tavieau invented the first dental amalgam in 1816. He developed the amalgam using silver coins and mercury but mysteriously never used them until 10 years later. Eventually the FDA began to regulate the amalgam and it is now considered a medical device under the law.
  • Dental records were first used to identify victims of mass disaster in 1878 after the Vienna Opera House fire. In 1897, they were again used for identification of the 126 poor souls who perished in the infamous fire of Paris, France. This prompted Oscar Amoedo to write the first textbook of forensic dentistry. Since its publication, it has become the foundation for dentistry in forensic science, and has helped criminal investigators solve cases all over the world.

For more information about any aspect ofdentistry, be sure to ask the staff at Samuels Dental Arts P.C. They emphasize anxiety-free, sedation dentistry. Their caring and knowledgeable staff can help you overcome your fear of the dentist and get your oral health back on track.

Submitted by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: History of Dentistry, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist

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