Author Archives: Dr. Ari Forgosh

December 12, 2016 | Dr. Ari Forgosh

To Floss, or Not to Floss?

By Keshua, RDH

You may have read an Associated Press article claiming weak evidence for benefits of flossing. Although the common perception is that flossing reduces tooth decay, plaque and periodontal disease, AP points out that there has been surprisingly little scientific research to back that up. I would also point out that there is no published research to support the claim that wearing a parachute when jumping out of an airplane reduces the risk of injury. Some things just don't require further study. Image result for image dental floss Dental floss is the only way to break up the biofilm (bacterial goo) that forms between your teeth. This is where cavities form and gum disease starts. As a dental professional, I can tell you that a $0.02 piece of floss a day can go a long way to improving your oral health. Not only does this save you the embarrassment of bad breath, decayed teeth, and that annoying piece of spinach no one bothered to tell you about, but flossing regularly saves you money and has a positive affect on your general health. There is, however,  a ton of scientific evidence that chronic inflammation (such as that caused by caused by gum disease) affects the rest of our bodies. For example, we now understand that cholesterol forms plaques in arteries only in presence of inflammatory mediators. This is why there is direct correlation between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. The small investment of time it takes to floss each night pays enormous dividends in terms of your general health. It also reduces your bills at your dental visits by reducing the number and extent of restorations and periodontal therapy needed. So the jury is in on this one. Go ahead and floss your teeth every night. You won't regret it.

November 14, 2016 | Dr. Ari Forgosh

How Can Pregnancy Affect Your Gums?

By Rowena M.

About half of all "Moms-To-Be" have swollen, red, tender gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing. This happens because hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the body's natural response to bacteria found in dental plaque. The result is an increase in inflammation which is the hallmark of pregnancy induced gingivitis. If left unchecked, the inflammation can lead to bone loss around your teeth, and periodontitis. Image result for pregnancy toothbrush photo Once bone loss has occurred, the condition requires a lifetime of maintenance to prevent it from progressing. There is also a link between maternal periodontal disease and pre-term low birth rate babies. Patients who already have gingivitis when they become pregnant, are more likely experience an increase in symptoms during pregnancy unless they take steps to prevent it. Fortunately, pregnancy induced gingivitis usually resolves within three months of delivery. You can help  by seeing your dentist regularly both during and after your pregnancy. We recommend a three month hygiene interval for our pregnant patients, and stress good oral hygiene at home for the health of both the mother and child.  

October 18, 2016 | Dr. Ari Forgosh

Healthy Halloween Hints (from your dentist)

By Sharon G.

Halloween is the number one holiday for buying and eating candy-so much that the thought of trying to keep it healthy may have you saying, BOO! However, making healthier choices around this holiday doesn't always mean you have to go without when it comes to tasty goodies. Here are a few simple tips to make your Halloween both enjoyable and healthy:
  • After letting your kids...and yourself...indulge on candy the night of Halloween, limit how many pieces of candy each person in your family eats daily or weekly. Keeping the candy out of sight and reach helps keep it from being too tempting.
  • Offer Tick-or-treaters healthy(er) non-candy alternatives like a small toy, a bag of pretzels or chips, or even a new toothbrush (look out for flying eggs and toilet paper). This limits the temptation of digging in to your stash of leftovers.Image result for PHOTO healthy halloween
  • Introduce the "Switch Witch" to your children. Never heard of her? The Switch Witch is a good witch that visits your home on Halloween night, usually while the children sleep, and takes (not steals) all of the children's Halloween candy (or a select amount) and leaves a toy in its place. Your kids are able to participate in trick-or-treating without feeling like they're missing out when the candy gets taken away, and parents don't have to feel like they are depriving their children of a fun tradition.
  • Having a party? Check out this link for healthier alternatives for Halloween shacks and appetizers. Healthy Halloween Recipes
  • Fall can mean the beginning of flu season, so be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and water before eating your treats, or carry around sanitizer while trick-or-treating.
  • Eat a full meal before trick -or-treating. This will prevent you and your family from over-indulging on candy later in the evening.

September 22, 2016 | Dr. Ari Forgosh

What causes sensitive teeth?

By Mary V., RDH

Having sensitive teeth is one of the most common problems that patients have. Symptoms can be felt when drinking hot, cold, or acidic liquids, or when eating sweet or crunchy foods. The nature of the sensitivity can be clues to help us discover the cause. Some common causes of tooth sensitivity can include receding gums, aggressive brushing, tooth decay, gum disease, bruxism (clenching and grinding). Each of these can create a breach in the hard protective layer of your teeth called enamel, exposing the softer dentin which is in direct communication with the nerves in the pulp. Recent dental restorations (fillings, crowns, etc...) or periodontal therapy (cleanings) can be traumatic to your teeth and cause short term inflammation in the pulp and the sensitivity that goes with it. Image result for image tooth cross section

What can I do to stop sensitivity?

The good news is that we do have ways to help reduce, and often eliminate, sensitivity. First and foremost is good oral hygiene, including flossing. We recommend using a soft bristle or electric toothbrush with gentle pressure. Remember that aggressive brushing will only make you more sensitive. Try to avoid sugary and acidic foods. If you just can't stay away from that glass of orange juice, try drinking through a straw and follow it with a glass of water or milk to buffer the acid. Wait about 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow the pH in your mouth to return to a normal level, otherwise your toothbrush could actually increase the erosive properties of the acids. There are several good sensitive toothpastes on the market. We find Colgate Pro Relief Sensitive and Sensodyne to be two of the best out there. In certain situation, we may recommend a prescription strength toothpaste or apply fluoride varnish for patients with severe sensitivity and a high risk of decay. Some people injure their teeth by clenching and grinding. A nightguard can protect your teeth from damage, but even better approach is talk with Dr. Forgosh about adjusting your bite so you are less inclined to clench and grind in the first place. The most important thing you can do is come in to see us regularly. Let us know about any problems you are experiencing so we can discover and address the cause of the problem. Once we know what is going on in your mouth, we can recommend the best course of treatment for you.

September 8, 2016 | Dr. Ari Forgosh

A Different Kind of Dental Course

If you called our office yesterday, you know that we closed the office (again) so that we could take yet another continuing education course. Most of the courses we go to are focused on techniques and methods we can use to deliver better, more predictable dentistry for our patients. Yesterday was a little different. Image result for teddy bear Yesterday's course was about child abuse. I am still a bit numb from the program. I know I shouldn't be shocked at what can and does happen in our world, but to see those images and hear those stories presented one after another is heartbreaking. The statistics are staggering. The problem is real. As a dental professional, I am required by law to be trained to identify signs of abuse and neglect within my area of expertise, and to report any suspicions. This is a heavy burden, and one I fortunately have never needed to exercise. I pray I never do. Be kind to each other out there, hug your kids, and keep an eye out for the most vulnerable among us.