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Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for keeping a healthy smile. Keeping good habits is essential for this but keeping bad habits can ruin your hard work. Below are the top 5 bad habits destroying your smile.

Top 5 Bad Dental Habits

  1. Not Flossing Regularly. Flossing at least once a day is critical to overall dental health. In fact, it is recommended to floss after every meal if at all possible for optimal dental health. Flossing regularly removes the food particles and cavity causing bacteria that build up in and around our teeth. Some patients may notice slight bleeding upon flossing this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Speak to your dentist if this bleeding upon flossing persists as this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Once it progresses, there will be damage to your oral health.
  2. Not Changing Tooth Brush Regularly. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and definitely no more than every 6 months. Your toothbrush will wear down over time and not be as effective. It will also have harmful bacteria build up over time that can wreak havoc on your dental health. Another tip is to change toothbrush after being sick (for example the flu or a common cold).
  3. Crunching and Sucking On Ice Cubes. Some people have the bad habit of chewing the ice after finishing their drink. This can be very harmful to your teeth due to the brittleness and cold temperatures of the ice cubes. This can cause microfractures in the enamel of your teeth. Over time this can lead to big problems, like fractures of teeth and tooth decay.
  4. Grinding Your Teeth. This is also called Bruxism. It is quite common and is usually brought on by stress. Many do this at night and are not even aware of the damage they are causing to their smile. Over time, the cusps of your teeth will wear down causing bite issues, fractured teeth, and tooth decay. In severe cases, it can also cause temperomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. A simple fix for this is a night guard to wear during sleep to protect your teeth and keep them healthy.
  5. Using The Wrong Tooth Brush And Technique. A hard bristled toothbrush along with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. It is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle. Using a sawing, back and forth motion can cause the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth. If the underlying material of your teeth (Dentin) is exposed it will make your teeth extremely sensitive. This can be quite painful.

Bad Dental Habits Conclusion

Maintaining good dental habits is all about routine. Once we get into a routine it is easy to keep our smiles healthy for a life time. It is important to discuss these issues with your dentist and correct them as soon as possible to avoid long term damage.

Liver cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cells of your liver. Our liver is an organ that is about the size of a football. Your liver is located in the upper right portion of your abdomen. Your liver sits just beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach. Liver cancer is actually fairly rare with less than 200,000 cases in US each year.

Cancer that spreads to the liver is more common than cancer beginning in the liver cells. Cancer that begins in another area of the body (breast, lung or colon) and then spreads to the liver is called metastatic cancer rather than liver cancer. This type of cancer is named after the organ in which it began. For example if it begins in the colon it is referred to as metastatic colon cancer.

Signs And Symptoms Of Liver Cancer

Many people do not show any signs or symptoms in the initial stages of primary liver cancer. Signs and symptoms to be on the look out for include:

  • Loss of weight without dieting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (also called jaundice)
  • White, chalky stools
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Good Dental Health Can Equal Good Overall Health

Liver Cancer Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of primary liver cancer include:

  • Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C Infection. Long term infection with the hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus has been known to increase your risk of liver cancer.
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver. Cirrhosis is a progressive and irreversible condition causes scar tissue to form in your liver. The presence of this scarring increases your chances of developing primary liver cancer.
  • Genetics. These diseases include hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
  • Diabetes. Statistically those with diabetes have a higher chance of developing liver cancer than those who are not diabetic.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. An accumulation of fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.
  • Exposure to aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are poisons produced by molds that grow on crops that are stored poorly. Crops, such as grains and nuts, can become contaminated with aflatoxins, which can end up in foods made of these products.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption. Over consumption of alcohol over many years can lead to irreversible liver damage and increase your risk of liver cancer.

Dental Health Link To Liver Cancer

A recent scientific study completed at Queen’s University in Belfast found a substantial link between poor oral health and liver cancers. The study included 469,628 people and investigated an oral health link with liver, colon, rectum, and pancreatic cancer. There were no significant links for colon, rectum , and pancreatic cancer but there was a link with liver cancer.

Of the 469,628 participants, 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the 6 year follow up. In 13% of these cases, patients were in poor oral health. Participants with poor oral health were more likely to be younger, female, living in deprived socioeconomic areas and consumed less than two portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

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Eat A Healthy Diet Including Fruits And Vegetables

The biological mechanisms by which poor oral health may be more strongly associated with liver cancer, rather than other digestive cancers, was not determined by this study. Researchers believe one possible explanation may be the potential role of the oral and gut microbiome in development of disease. One of the functions of the liver is to help with the elimination of bacteria from the human body. When the liver is damaged by diseases (this can include hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer), liver function will decline and bacteria will survive for longer and therefore have the potential to cause more harm. One such bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum, originates in the oral cavity but its role in liver cancer is unclear. It is obvious further studies will be needed but this leads scientists down a path to possibly deciphering this type of cancer development.

Another theory in explaining the higher cancer risk due to poor oral health suggests that participants with poor oral health (including missing teeth) may change their diet, consuming softer and potentially less nutritious foods, which in turn influence the risk of liver cancer.

Liver Cancer And Oral Health Conclusion

The overall survival rate for liver cancer is about 18%. There are many factors that go into the survival rate but that number is quite sobering. Dental health has been linked to other systemic diseases (alzheimer’s disease and heart disease) recently as well. Evidence is mounting that dental health is vital to maintaining good overall health. See your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to stay healthy for a lifetime of smiles!

Losing our baby teeth is an important milestone in any child’s development. Teeth are an integral part of our development whether we realize it or not. Our teeth are needed not only for chewing but also for speaking. They are also necessary for the growth and development of our face and jaws. They are also able to convey feelings to the outside world thru a smile.

Our teeth are so important that they start growing before we are even born into the world. They emerge quickly into your child’s mouth around the 6 month mark of life. Because of how much we need them, teeth start to grow even before we are born.

Tooth Eruption Facts

Humans have 2 sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth. These teeth develop in stages often overlapping timelines. The schedule is different but the development and tooth eruption of each of these sets of teeth is very much the same. Following are a few facts about the eruption of our teeth:

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Tooth eruption tends to happen in parallel. This means that the bottom premolar tooth on your left side should erupt into your mouth at about the same time as the bottom premolar tooth on the right side.

-Primary tooth development begins during the 2nd trimester of a woman’s pregnancy. Primary teeth are place holders for permanent teeth. They reserve space for our growing faces so the permanent teeth can slide right in properly when the time is right

-Loss of primary teeth due to extraction or loss of space due to breakdown of baby teeth, makes a child susceptible to malocclusion and more likely to need orthodontic treatment.

-The crown of a tooth is the first to begin forming. The roots continue to develop and lengthen even after the teeth have come through the gums.

-There are 20 primary teeth. These are usually fully erupted by age 3, and remain until around 6 years of age when they begin to fall out to make room for your permanent teeth.

-Adult teeth usually begin to erupt into the mouth between 6 and 12 years of age. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth.

-Permanent teeth are larger and take longer to erupt than primary teeth.

Types Of Teeth – Tooth Eruption

A person’s teeth will vary in size, shape, and their location. Each tooth in your mouth has a job to do and that is why it is shaped the way it is and where it is located. Tooth eruption follows a definite pattern.  There are 5 types of teeth:

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1) Incisors. Incisors are the eight teeth in the front of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). These teeth are used to take bites of your food. Incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt. Primary incisors erupt at around 6 months of age.Permanent incisors should come in at  6 and 8 years of age.

2) Canines. We have four canines in our mouths. These are the next type of teeth to erupt. Canines are your sharpest teeth and are used for ripping and tearing food apart. Teeth eruption for primary canines usually occurs between 16 and 20 months of age, with the upper canines coming in just before  the lower canines. The order is reversed for permanent teeth. Lower canines erupt around age 9, with the uppers erupting at about 11-12 years of age.

3) Premolars. Primary molars are replaced by premolars.Premolars (also called bicuspids) are used for chewing and grinding of food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. The first premolars appear around age 10 and the second premolars arrive about a year later. Premolars are generally the teeth that may need to be removed during orthodontic treatment to create space.

4) Molars. Primary molars (replaced by the permanent premolars) are also used for chewing and grinding food. Teeth eruption for these happens between 12 and 15 months of age. The first permanent molars erupt around 6 years of age while the second molars come in around 11-13 years old.

5) Third Molars. These are also referred to as “wisdom” teeth. These are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth and do not typically erupt until age 18-21 years of age. Some people never develop third molars at all. These molars may cause crowding and need to be removed. Other times they develop in the jaw but never erupt into the mouth. When this happens it is referred to as impacted.

Tooth Eruption Schedule

 It is important to note that every child will develop at their own pace. It is not unusual to have certain teeth erupt earlier or later than the charts below say. As long as the child is under a dentist’s care, you will be able to know any issues that might be arising based on dental examinations and dental x-rays.

Upper Primary Teeth Development

Upper TeethWhen tooth emergesWhen tooth falls out
Central incisor8 to 12 months6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor9 to 13 months7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid)16 to 22 months10 to 12 years
First molar13 to 19 months9 to 11 years
Second molar25 to 33 months10 to 12 years

Lower Primary Teeth Development

Lower TeethWhen tooth emergesWhen tooth falls out
Second molar23 to 31 months10 to 12 years
First molar14 to 18 months9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid)17 to 23 months9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor10 to 16 months7 to 8 years
Central incisor6 to 10 months6 to 7 years

The complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2 ½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age. Dental issues which occur in development of primary teeth directly affect the development of the permanent teeth. If you do not develop a baby tooth, you consequently will not develop the replacement permanent tooth. There may also be extra teeth which may need to be removed so as not to impede eruption of the permanent counterpart. Overly small or large teeth can also cause issue. Genetics play a large role, so if you know that there are tooth issues running in your family such as missing teeth or extra teeth, have them checked out early by your dentist.

Purpose Of Primary Teeth

Primary teeth are a necessary part of a child’s development. While only in the mouth for a short period of time they are essential for the following reasons:

-They hold space for the permanent teeth.

-They give the face its normal appearance.

-Aid in speech development.

-Aid in obtaining good nutrition for growth and development.

-Teach Good Oral Hygiene. They help give a healthy start to the permanent teeth.

Primary Teeth Conclusion

The development of a child’s teeth can be confusing because all kids schedules will be quite different. The tooth eruption pattern will give clues to a child’s development and make sure things are on track. It is important to start dental care early for your child to ensure they maintain dental hygiene and keep a healthy smile for life. Losing these primary teeth before their job is done can be challenging for your child and an expensive endeavor. Remember to visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.


Burning mouth syndrome is the medical term for a chronic burning in the mouth without an obvious reason. This discomfort or pain may affect the tongue, gums, lips, inside of your cheeks, roof of your mouth (palate) or widespread areas of your whole mouth. The burning sensation can be quite severe. It can feel as if you burned the tissues in your mouth.

Burning mouth syndrome generally appears suddenly, but it can also develop slowly over time. Often the specific cause often is not easily or cannot be determined which can cause frustration for patient and doctor.

Burning Mouth Syndrome Symptoms

  • A burning sensation that most commonly affects your tongue. This syndrome may also affect your lips, gums, palate(roof of your mouth), throat or in some cases your entire mouth.
  • A sensation of dry mouth (also called xerostomia) with an increased thirst.
  • Taste changes. This can include a bitter or metallic taste.
  • Loss of taste.
  • Tingling, stinging or numbness in your mouth.
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Relief From Burning Mouth Syndrome May Be Possible

Burning mouth syndrome can last for months to years. In some rare instances of burning mouth syndrome, symptoms may suddenly go away on their own or become less frequent. Some of the burning sensations may be temporarily relieved during eating or drinking.

Burning mouth syndrome generally does not cause any outward physical changes to your oral tissues.

Burning Mouth Syndrome Causes

While there is no known cause, there is a belief that an issue with the taste and sensory nerves of the peripheral and central nervous systems plays a role. In other cases, burning mouth syndrome can be caused by a medical condition. These may include:

  • Dry mouth (xerostomia), which can be caused by various prescription medications (include antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and anti depressants), health problems (diabetes and autoimmune disorders), salivary gland function issues or the side effects of treatment for cancer (chemotherapy and radiation).
  • Oral Conditions such as a fungal infection of the mouth (oral thrush), an inflammatory condition called oral lichen planus or a condition called geographic tongue that gives the tongue a maplike appearance
  • Nutrition deficiencies. This can include a lack of iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12).
  • Allergies or reactions to foods. This can include food flavorings, other food additives, fragrances, dyes or dental materials.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that enters your mouth from your stomach.
  • Certain medications, particularly high blood pressure medications
  • Oral habits, such as tongue thrusting, biting the tip of the tongue and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Excessive mouth irritation, which may result from overbrushing your tongue, using abrasive toothpastes, overusing mouthwashes or having too many acidic drinks
  • Psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression or stress
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Botox And Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome Risk Factors

Burning mouth syndrome is not very common. It is mostly seen in patients with cahracteristics below:

  • Female
  • Perimenopausal or Postmenopausal
  • >50 yrs old

Burning mouth syndrome usually begins with no rhyme or reason. However, your risk of developing burning mouth syndrome may increase with the following:

  • Recent illness
  • Presence of a chronic medical disorders such as fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune disorders and neuropathy
  • Previous dental procedures
  • Allergic reactions to food
  • Prescription Medications
  • Traumatic life events
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Traditional Burning Mouth Syndrome Treatment

Most treatments focus in on a dry mouth issue.

  • Change medications that cause dry mouth. Many medications are known to cause dry mouth. Your doctor may adjust dosages or change to a different medication to give you some relief from burning mouth syndrome.
  • Recommend products to moisturize your mouth. These can include prescription or over-the-counter mouth rinses, artificial saliva or moisturizers to keep your mouth lubricated. There are mouthwashes designed specifically for dry mouth. These can include Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or Act Dry Mouth Mouthwash.
  • Prescribe medication that stimulates saliva. Your doctor may prescribe pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) to stimulate saliva production to relieve symptoms of dry mouth.
  • Protect your teeth. To prevent tooth decay from dry mouth, your dentist might fit you for fluoride trays, which you fill with fluoride and wear over your teeth at night.

How Can Botox Help?

Botox has been used for a long time by dentists and doctors for cosmetic purposes. However, recently it’s use has been expanded to help other conditions including Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) and migraine headaches. A recent study has shed light that it can help burning mouth syndrome.

The very small study finds that Botox “might be an effective, long-lasting, and safe treatment” for the disorder. It is important to temper expectations until more research is performed as this was a small study but very promising.

The research team examined three women and one man (all between ages of 60-80). All 4 subjects were experiencing burning mouth syndrome on their tongue and lower lip for at least 6 months. Each of the patients received a total of 16 Botox injections directly into the tongue and lower lip. The researchers found that within 48 hours of injection all pain and discomfort disappeared. They also reported relief last for a period of between 16-20 weeks.

Botox And Burning Mouth Syndrome

While the study was small the results were promising. This could give hope to those suffering from burning mouth syndrome to give them relief long term. It is important to see your dentist or doctor as soon as symptoms develop so that a course of treatment can be prescribed to limit the pain and discomfort and bring you back to full health. As always see your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.