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Archive for Month: May 2015

May 4, 2015
7 yearsago

Westchester NY Dentist on Tongue Troubles

With the month of May being “National Better Hearing and Speech Month,” your Westchester NY Dentist wanted to take the opportunity to discuss the importance of the latter half of this: speech. Every day your teeth, tongue, lips, cheeks and rest of your mouth plays a huge factor in the way that you speak by combining multiple complex systems in hopes of articulating a clear result.

Sometimes, however, there are mouth related conditions, such as OMDs, Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, that can negatively impact speech.

What are OMDs and how do they affect my speech?

OMDs correlate to the tongue’s placement in the mouth either while speaking or swallowing. It may move too far back or forward, in between the teeth during speech or rest. This can result in an outward tongue thrust and speech impediment with certain sounds (such as “ch” “sh” or “th”) that can dissipate with age, but can also stay around until corrected.

Causes of OMDs?

Although allergies, enlarged tonsils, and heredity can cause OMDs, so can some dental related issues. Chronic thumb sucking, teeth grinding and biting at other objects, especially while still young, can alter the shape of the jaw and teeth- that may lead to OMDs. These causes may also lead to other orthodontic and dental work being required as the patient ages, as well.

How are OMDs diagnosed and/or treated?

A dentist or orthodontist may be able to diagnose OMDs when the tongues continual pressure affects alignment or eruption of the teeth. Consistent airway blockage due to this behavior could also be a warning sign.

Some of the best forms of treatment are related to behavioral therapy. These means will help the patient increase strength in, coordinate with and become aware of the muscles in the mouth and tongue, helping them to speak and swallow easier.

Disorders like OMDs are just some of the ways that the mouth can affect speech and overall impact an individual’s life. Other issues such as TMJ disorders, oral cancer, saliva reproduction issues and various misalignments of the teeth can also affect speech, and be diagnosed and potentially treated with the assistance of dental professionals like your Westchester NY Dentist.

To further discuss the importance of your mouth in speech, or to schedule an appointment today, please call (914) 939-2132.

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May 3, 2015
7 yearsago

Your Westchester NY Dentist Shares Some Fun Dental History Facts

The truth about dentistry and teeth is that we have been striving to perfect the practice of dentistry for ages. People from all different places and time periods have experimented with keeping teeth clean and healthy. The main reason for this is that tooth decay causes really uncomfortable and painful toothaches that people would naturally want to avoid. Although we’ve come a long way in the field of dentistry, many of the techniques we use today like brushing and flossing are developed from a long time ago.

For example, the toothbrush was used during the Middle Ages by wealthy Europeans who used twigs made out of sweet smelling wood to clean their teeth. While your Westchester NY dentist doesn’t recommend brushing with a wooden twig, you can still see how even in the past, people attempted to clean their teeth. In fact, it was the Chinese who were using something much more similar to a modern toothbrush today. In 1498, the Emperor of China implanted hog bristles in a bone handle. This style of toothbrush became popular throughout Asia and eventually Europe. However, because of the expensive cost of hog bristles, poor people couldn’t afford individual toothbrushes so an entire family would share one brush. Believe it or not, Americans did not practice the importance of brushing teeth until well after World War II. The army enforced soldiers to develop the habit while they were fighting in the war and they ended up bringing the good habit back home.

Similar to toothbrushes, compounds for cleaning teeth while brushing have been used since ancient times. Early Egyptians, Chinese, Greek and Roman writings describe the process of mixing different substances and powders to create a paste for brushing. Some of the tastiest ingredients used in early toothpaste were powdered fruit, honey, and dried flowers. The most unappealing ingredients include mice and lizard livers. Modern toothpaste began to appear around the 1800s. A dentist named Dr. Peabody was the first person to suggest adding soap to toothpaste and fluoride was eventually added in 1956.

The earliest known dentist was Hesi-Re, an Egyptian who lived around 3000 BCE. From the 5th to 15th century CE, dentistry was practiced by “barber-surgeons” who not only cut hair and groomed people but also extracted decaying teeth. It wasn’t until between 1650 CE and 1800 CE that the science of modern dentistry developed. Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon, has become known as the father of modern dentistry. Of course, dentistry would come a long way since Pierre Fauchard, but we have dentists like him to thank for not having our teeth extracted at a barber shop. Yikes!

While the history of dentistry is much longer and extensive than this short blog, your Westchester NY dentist hopes that patients see just how far dentistry has come in the last several thousand years. Healthy teeth have been important to a number of cultures over a long period of time and it’s important to follow through with modern dental care. After all, you should take advantage of the modern advances and technologies in dentistry. We’re lucky to have anesthesia and sterile procedures now!

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May 2, 2015
7 yearsago

Westchester NY Dentist with Dietary Dilemmas

It is safe to say that all of the different patients your Westchester NY dentist treats have a varied diet they follow. And while we always suggest one high in nutrients and vitamins and low in sugars and acids, everyone can interpret that somewhat differently. Rather you are a vegetarian, vegan or just go with the flow, enjoying your meats and other foods freely, there could be positives and negatives to your choices.

Many of the vegetarian patients we treat have amazing gums and lower levels of periodontal disease than their meat eating counterparts. Much of this can be attributed to the high nutrient levels, saliva stimulating abilities and stiff “brush” effect vegetables and fruits can have on the mouth. Where we do see that some (not all) may have issues with is their actual teeth and decay. Vegetarian patients who are very strict in their practices may choose not to use fluoride, including toothpaste that include it because some can be made with animal fat byproducts. And while this dedication to their cause is strong, the helpful effect fluoride has in protecting the teeth from damage may be stronger.

Another place where those on a meat-less diet could be missing out is with certain amino acids. An acid common in red meat, dairy and poultry called “L-arginine” is proving to have a profound effect in breaking down dental plaque. This acid has proven so effective and easy to replicate that it is now being included in several tubes of toothpaste and mouthwash products to give users that extra benefit. And while this acid is used in higher quantities in these products than found in those foods, studies on its natural ability to not allow bacteria to form and stick to teeth are currently underway as well.

Trying to vary your diet as much as possible with a balance of nutrients and vitamins is essential to whole-mouth health. Round out this practice with a regular at-home regimen and visits to your Westchester NY dentist to maintain a smile you can absolutely love.

To make an appointment at our Port Chester NY dental office, please call (914) 939-2132

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May 1, 2015
7 yearsago

Westchester NY Dentist Discusses the Effects of Dry Mouth

Many people have experienced a dry mouth at one point or another. However, for some patients dry mouth is a persistent and irritable oral health issue known as xerostomia. For these patients, the mouth and throat become dry and sore, eating and speaking become difficult and the sensation of taste is reduced. The oral health implications that dry mouth has on the mouth are vast and include the rapid and destructive breakdown of natural dentition, quicker than normal plaque deposit buildup, early signs of gingivitis, and pain during brushing.

Why we need saliva

Saliva is produced by both major and minor salivary glands which are all scattered throughout the mouth. Together, they are capable of producing up to one liter of saliva a day! The most obvious function of saliva is lubrication, which is what makes speech and eating possible. Another mechanical property of saliva is its binding ability, which enables food to be swallowed.

Important to dentistry, your saliva also protects against harmful proteolytic enzymes, which are largely produced by dental plaque. Saliva’s most important function is to the digestive system. The digestive enzyme pepsin found in saliva is what allows your food to be properly digested.

What can I do?

If you’re not getting enough saliva, there are a few tips that you can try at home. Start by drinking water to stay hydrated. Another tip is to try chewing sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy, which are both known to stimulate salivary glands.

If your dry mouth persists, you should contact your Westchester NY dentist. We will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for you, whether that involves a rinsing your mouth with artificial saliva. Artificial saliva is a liquid or spray that is sold without a prescription and can be used as often as needed. Although it doesn’t contain the proteins, minerals, and other substances found in real saliva that help with digestion.

If you have any questions for a Westchester NY dentist regarding dry mouth or need more information about why saliva stimulation is necessary for your mouth’s care, feel free to call us at (914) 939-2132 for an appointment today.

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Are you looking for a Rye NY Dentist? Visit Chester Hill Dentistry in Portchester, Westchester NY with Dr. Chi Fu today! Serving the areas of Port Chester NY, Rye Brook NY, Greenwich CT and beyond!