Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Beyond tooth decay: why good dental hygiene is important

Most of us are aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath - but not brushing your teeth could also have consequences for more serious illnesses.

We peer beneath the plaque to investigate what other - perhaps unexpected - health conditions are affected by poor dental health.
Alzheimer's disease

In 2010, researchers from New York University (NYU) concluded that there is a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer's disease, after reviewing 20 years of data on the association.
However, the number of participants in the NYU study was fairly small. The researchers analyzed data from 152 subjects enrolled in the Glostrop Aging Study - a study looking at psychological, medical and oral health in Danish men and women. The study spanned a 20-year period and ended in 1984, when the subjects were all over the age of 70.
Comparing cognitive function at ages 50 and 70, the NYU team found that gum disease at the age of 70 was strongly associated with low scores for cognitive function.
Study participants were nine times more likely to have a score in the lower range of the cognitive test - the "digit symbol test" (DST) - if they had inflammation of the gums.
Although this study took into account potentially confounding factors like obesity, cigarette smoking and tooth loss unrelated to gum inflammation, there was still a strong association between low DST score and gum inflammation.
In 2013, UK-based researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) built on the findings of this study, by comparing brain samples from 10 living patients with Alzheimer's with 10 brain samples from people who did not have the disease.
Analysis showed that a bacterium - Porphyromonas gingivalis - was present in the Alzheimer's brain samples but not in the samples from the brains of people who did not have Alzheimer's. What was interesting was that P. gingivalis is usually associated with chronic gum disease.
The team followed up this research in 2014 with a new mouse study, the results of which were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's DiseaseMedical News Today spoke to co-author Dr. Sim K. Singhrao regarding the findings.
Dr. Singhrao says that there is sufficient scientific evidence to show that two of the three gum disease-causing bacteria are capable of motion (or "motile") and have been consistently found in brain tissue.
"These motile bacteria can leave the mouth and enter the brain via two main routes," he explains. "They can use their movement capability to directly enter the brain. One of the paths taken is to crawl up the nerves that connect the brain and the roots of teeth. The other path is indirect entry into the brain via the blood circulation system."
In a patient who has bleeding gums, says Dr. Singharo, the gum disease-causing bacteria will enter the blood stream every time they clean their mouth and even when they eat food.
He continues:
"P. gingivalis is particularly interesting as it has found ways to hitch a lift from red blood cells when in the blood stream and instead of getting 'off the red blood cell bus' in the spleen, they choose to get off in the brain at an area where there are no immune checkpoints. From there, they spread to the brain at their will. In addition, in older individuals, the blood vessels tend to enlarge and become leaky."
"The published work confirmed P. gingivalis placed in the mouths of mice finds its way to the brain once gum disease becomes established first," Dr. Singhrao concludes. "Furthermore, our hypothesis is strengthened by the recent results demonstrating that the chemicals released by the brain's immune system in response to P. gingivalis reaching the brain 'inadvertently' damage functional neurons in the area of the brain related to memory."

Pancreatic cancer

A research team from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, were the first to report strong evidence on a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer, back in 2007.
The type of gum inflammation associated with pancreatic cancer in the study was periodontitis, which affects the tissue that support the teeth and can cause loss of bone around the base of the teeth.
The other main kind of gum disease - gingivitis; where the tissue around the teeth becomes inflamed - was not linked to increased cancer risk. However, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis if persistent. Gingivitis happens when bacteria in the plaque around the base of the teeth build up due to bad dental hygiene.
Examining data on gum disease from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which involved a cohort of more than 51,000 men and began collecting data in 1986, the Harvard researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with men who had never had gum disease.
The greatest risk for pancreatic cancer among this group was in men with recent tooth loss. However, the study was unable to find links between other types of oral health problems - such as tooth decay - and pancreatic cancer.
The researchers suggest that there may be a link between high levels of carcinogenic compounds found in the mouths of people with gum disease and pancreatic cancer risk. They argue that these compounds - called nitrosamines - may react to the digestive chemicals in the gut in a way that creates an environment favorable to the development of pancreatic cancer.
However, a follow-up study from the team in 2012 was unable to prove whether the periodontitis bacteria are a cause or result of pancreatic cancer - the study could only prove that the two were linked.
"This is not an established risk factor," admitted author Dominique Michaud. "But I feel more confident that something is going on. It's something we need to understand better."
Heart disease

Perhaps more well established is the association between dental hygiene and heart disease.
In 2008, MNT reported on research from joint teams at the University of Bristol in the UK and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, who found that people with bleeding gums from poor dental hygiene could be increasing their risk of heart disease.
The researchers found that heart disease risk increased because - in people who have bleeding gums - bacteria from the mouth is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, which can then form blood clots, interrupting the flow of blood to the heart and triggering a heart attack.
"The mouth is probably the dirtiest place in the human body," said Dr. Steve Kerrigan from the Royal College of Surgeons, explaining that there are up to 700 different types of bacteria co-existing in our mouths.
Prof. Howard Jenkinson, from the University of Bristol, added:
"Cardiovascular disease is currently the biggest killer in the western world. Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis are common infecting agents, and we now recognize that bacterial infections are an independent risk factor for heart diseases."
The Bristol University researchers investigated how the bacteria interact with platelets by mimicking the pressure inside the blood vessels and the heart. Prof. Jenkinson's team found that the bacteria use the platelets as a defense mechanism.
By clumping the platelets together, the bacteria are able to completely surround themselves. This platelet armor shields the bacteria from attack by immune cells and makes them less detectable to antibiotics.
The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) recommend that we should brush for 2 minutes, at least twice daily. The ADHA guidelines also stress the importance of flossing daily and rinsing with mouthwash.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Are You Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard?

If you have sensitive teeth, brushing too hard or using the wrong toothbrush altogether can make symptoms worse. Learn the proper technique for brushing your teeth.

When it comes to brushing your teeth, there is such a thing as proper technique. Brushing too hard — or using the wrong toothbrush — can damage your teeth and gums, leading to problems like enamel wear and receding gums, which can in turn lead to tooth sensitivity. People tend to brush aggressively, thinking it’s the only way they can get their teeth to feel clean and look whiter. That’s counterproductive, because not only does it cause recession of your gums, but you're also wearing away the white, glossy enamel on your teeth, making them look yellow and darker. And when that happens, you’re putting yourself at risk for developing sensitive teeth.

Not sure if you’re brushing too hard? Take a look at your toothbrush. If you’ve been using it for three months or less, it should still appear relatively new. If it looks beat up and flat, that’s a sign you're brushing way too hard.

The Proper Way to Brush Your Teeth

It requires a lot of mindfulness, but you can change your hard-brushing ways. Follow these tips to brush properly to help relieve tooth sensitivity and prevent damage to your teeth and gums:

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Choose one with the ADA seal and replace it every three months — or sooner if it frays.

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. That way, the bristles can reach and clean underneath your gumline.

Gently move the brush back and forth. Use short, tooth-wide strokes to clean the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth, the ADA recommends. If you have a lot of gum recession, your dentist may recommend you try the roll technique instead.  If you’re using an electric toothbrush, let it do all the work and just lightly glide it over your teeth instead of pushing it against them. To make sure you’re using a gentle grip, try holding your toothbrush in your nondominant hand.

Slow down. Dentists recommend that you brush for two full minutes — 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth — twice a day. Use the timer on your phone or choose an electric toothbrush that alerts you every 30 seconds.  For people who have never tried it, it can feel like an eternity. You don’t really know what two minutes feels like until you actually brush that long. But when you’re not rushing to finish, it will keep you more mindful about brushing too aggressively.

Sticking with these tips can help you keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy, while eliminating symptoms of tooth sensitivity.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Making Any Fitness Resolutions?

15 signs they won’t last 7 days

Treating yourself to a new tracksuit, yoga mat or pair of kicks helps make your workout routine stick by getting you psyched for your sweat session, say sports psychologists.

Plenty of us intend to work off those Christmas cookies with extra cardio in the New Year. But an estimated 1 in 4 people who have made the decision to get in more exercise in 2018 won’t be able to stick to their new fitness habits for more than a week, according to the Association for Psychological Science. Gym traffic spikes in January by as much as 40 percent, only to taper off in a few weeks. No wonder people who gain weight over the holidays typically lose only half of the added pounds 12 months later. Don’t be part of the 25 percent who get tripped up before gaining traction. We’ve collected behavioral experts’ top reasons why the well-intentioned experience fitness fails — and the fixes to keep your workouts working for you all year long. 

1. Fitness fail: You’re not really ready. Picking up a magazine that has “New Year, New You,” on the cover doesn’t count as willpower. 

The fix: Think about your goal. Now ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how bad do I want this? Next ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, how confident am I that I can make it happen? If you don’t rate at least a 6 on both motivation and confidence, experts say, select a simpler goal. Also, run the plan by your doctor. 

2. Fitness fail: You’re starting the New Year with old gear. Old shoes could have you sidelined with an injury. A chlorine-faded swimsuit might show off more than your breaststroke.

The fix: Treating yourself to a new tracksuit, yoga mat or pair of kicks helps make your workout routine stick by getting you psyched for your sweat session, sports psychologists say. 

3. Fitness fail: The countdown clock has stopped. With the incentive to look great in a New Year’s party dress behind you, what culminating event will keep you motivated? 

The fix: Sign up for a 5K race, a bike-a-thon or a hiking trip — and mark your calendar.

4. Fitness fail: Your mind-set is too macro. Those with an all-or-nothing approach often give up too soon. 

The fix: If you’re new to running, don’t start with a mile. Start with a minute, then walk for a minute or two, and repeat. 

5. Fitness fail: You don’t have a backup plan. It’s raining. The pool is closed. Yoga class is full. Oh, well. 

The fix: Arm yourself with workout alternatives before you need them. If I’m too late for Zumba, I’ll get on the cross-trainer. If the treadmills are all taken, I’ll use the rowing machine. If it’s too cold for a walk, I’ll follow a workout video indoors. 

6. Fitness fail: Your routine is so … routine. 

The fix: If you’ve been doing intervals on the elliptical trainer all week, try a cycling program. Vary your walking route. 

7. Fitness fail: You don’t reward yourself.

The fix: Celebrate small wins as often as possible. Losing 10 pounds by next month is great, but logging 10,000 steps will help you get there

8. Fitness fail: You don’t have a digital cheering section.

The fix: Health-related online social networks enable people to monitor their diet and motivate them to make healthy fitness changes, University of Connecticut researchers found.

9. Fitness fail: You’re not having fun. 

The fix: If you don’t like Pilates, try karate. 

10. Fitness fail: You’re tracking “exercise,” not “activity” — which means you’re not getting credit for your full calorie burn. 

The fix: It’s pretty NEAT. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work and typing to performing yard work and housecleaning. Move more to boost your metabolism. 

11. Fitness fail: Your gym bag isn’t packed — which means you’ve set yourself up for a.m. mayhem.

The fix: Swap out the sweaty shorts and shirt for clean togs and towels the night before. Refill that travel-size shampoo bottle. Stow everything by the door.

12. Fitness fail: Your habit has no “hook.” You meant to take a short walk, but you forgot. 

The fix: Reinforce new habits by attaching them to existing ones. “When I go to the mailbox, I’ll walk around the block before collecting letters and packages.”

13. Fitness fail: You’re going it alone.

The fix: A date with a gym buddy or trainer makes it harder to skip sessions. A series of group texts between your like-minded buddies keeps you accountable, too.

14. Fitness fail: You trip if you skip a workout. The day got away from you after you put a fire out at work. Now all you are exercising is regret, which sours your feelings about fitness. 

The fix: Don’t sweat a setback. Tomorrow is another day. 

15. Fitness fail: You haven’t learned the three R's. These are the thoughts and behaviors you’ve got running in a loop, creating a bad habit — or a good one. Why is it so hard to get up and run in the morning?

The fix: If you need to get to bed earlier, look at the loop that’s making you turn in late. Reminder: What trigger initiates the behavior? I watch the late-night host’s monologue. Routine: Right after, it’s light’s out. Reward: Laughing lets go of the stress of the day so I can sleep. Now you can sub in a similarly relaxing reward that supports getting more shut-eye, say, meditating for five minutes or enjoying herbal tea an hour before the show airs. (You can time-shift and enjoy it while on the treadmill tomorrow).


Friday, December 15, 2017

Miami Beach Dentist Gives His Holiday Survival Guide for Your Smile

About you oral health with Miami Dentist Dr. Rothman

The holidays are here and it’s the time for family, friends, and food. We don’t all celebrate the same holidays, but the one thing that brings everyone together is comfort food.
Your first instinct is to dive into all that wonderful holiday food, but take a moment to think about what all this food is actually doing to your teeth.
How Could Something So Good Be So Bad?

Miami Beach Dentist

Sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth use your sweets as energy, growing and multiplying faster than they would otherwise. Some bond with the sugar to form a sticky glue called plaque. Plaque, in turn, produces acid. The acid dissolves the minerals that make your tooth enamel hard, and the surface becomes porous. The acid causes these tiny holes in the enamel to become bigger until one large hole appears. This is decay and ultimately a cavity.
Miami Beach Dentist

Does This Mean No More sweets?
While ideally we would never expose our teeth to sugar or anything else that promotes tooth decay, that’s just not realistic. All we can do is try to minimize the damage. Don’t let your holiday routine interrupt your dental care regimen. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once.

If you decide to indulge in more sweets than usual, it’s a good idea to brush more often. If you don’t have your toothbrush on hand, rinse your mouth out with water. Certain sugar-free gums can help as well. Choose those with Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can help prevent tooth decay. And finally, try to mix up your snacks. If you’re eating a sugary treat, try to also eat a bit of cheese (or a similar protein) as well.

Miami Beach Dentist

Remember to keep your dental appointment to ensure you have the best holiday smile possible.
We truly enjoy seeing the effect that a bright smile has on our patient’s lives. We believe that a healthy smile begins with knowledge. That is why one of our goals is to help elevate each patient's dental awareness and to provide you with the best tools to maintain your dental health at its optimum.
Call our office today and have a new smile tomorrow. Call now (305) 534-2002

You can make an appointment with our dentist by calling our office at (305) 534-2002 or by visiting We are conveniently located in Miami Beach at 939 Arthur Godfrey Road, Miami Beach, FL 33140

Miami Beach
Dr. Arnold Rothman
(305) 534-2002
939 Arthur Godfrey Rd.
Miami Beach, Florida 33140


Monday, October 30, 2017

Miami Beach Dentist Talks About How to Improve Your Smile With Dental Veneers

Miami Beach dental veneersAbout you oral health with Miami Dentist Dr. Rothman

If you're looking for a more perfect smile, then you might want to consider veneers.
Popular among movie stars and other celebrities, veneers let you change the
appearance of your teeth as dramatically as you want. Veneers let you brighten your
teeth and straighten your smile - you can even change the size and shape of your teeth.

Miami Beach Dentist

Veneers can be either composite or porcelain. The veneer is actually a thin piece of
porcelain or composite material about the size of a fingernail. Once the custom-made
veneer is bonded onto the tooth, it becomes extremely strong. It also blends in with the
remaining tooth structure so that it is unnoticeable to the naked-eye. Once in place, it
looks, feels, and functions just like a regular tooth.

Miami Beach Dentist

Veneers are a popular choice for total smile makeovers, letting a dentist change not just
the color but also the size, shape, and straightness of your teeth. Veneers are often
used for the same reasons as bonding - to lighten stains, close gaps and even alter
crooked or malformed teeth. Both can be utilized to change the shape or color of a
single tooth or if necessary to revamp the entire smile. Veneers are generally more
durable and stain resistant than bonding.

If you have any questions about veneers, or if you're interested in a cosmetic
consultation, please call our office.

We truly enjoy seeing the effect that a bright smile has on our patient’s lives. We believe that a healthy smile begins with knowledge. That is why one of our goals is to help elevate each patient's dental awareness and to provide you with the best tools to maintain your dental health at its optimum.

Call our office today and have a new smile tomorrow. Call now (305) 534-2002

You can make an appointment with our dentist by calling our office at (305) 534-2002 or by visiting We are conveniently located in Miami Beach at 939 Arthur Godfrey Road, Miami Beach, FL 33140

Miami Beach
Dr. Arnold Rothman
(305) 534-2002
939 Arthur Godfrey Rd.
Miami Beach, Florida 33140

Monday, October 16, 2017

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine.

Xylitol is widely used as a sugar substitute and in "sugar-free" chewing gums, mints, and other candies. However
, sorbitol is the most commonly used sweetener in sugarless gums because it is less expensive than xylitol and easier to make into commercial products.

As a medicine, xylitol is used to prevent middle
ear infections (otitis media) in young children, and as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes.

Xylitol is added to some chewing gums and other oral care products to prevent
tooth decay and dry mouth.

Xylitol is sometimes included in tube feeding formulas as a source of energy.

Dog owners should know that xylitol can be toxic to dogs, even when the relatively small amounts from candies are eaten. If your dog eats a product that contains xylitol, it is important to take the dog to a veterinarian immediately.

How does it work? 

Xylitol tastes sweet but, unlike sugar, it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay. It reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and also acts against some bacteria that cause ear infections.

Likely effective for:

Preventing dental caries (tooth decay). Use of xylitol-containing products such as foods, chewing gum, candies, and toothpaste that provide 1-20 grams of xylitol per day can significantly reduce the rate of cavity formation in both adults and children. But some national brands of chewing gum contain milligram amounts of xylitol, far less than the gram doses that prevent tooth decay. Xylitol products appear to be more effective than products containing sorbitol for preventing cavities.

Possibly effective for:

Reducing episodes of ear infections (otitis media) in preschool children. Xylitol given in appropriate doses after meals to preschool children seems to significantly reduce the number of ear infections they get and the need for antibiotics. However, giving xylitol at the onset of symptoms of an acute respiratory infection does not seem to prevent ear infections.

Xylitol side effects and safety

Xylitol is safe in the amounts found in foods. It seems safe as a medicine for most adults in amounts up to about 50 grams per day. Avoid higher doses. There is some concern that extremely high doses for long periods of time (more than three years) can cause tumors. Xylitol can cause diarrhea and intestinal gas. It is probably safe for children as a medicine in amounts up to 20 grams per day.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of xylitol during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

How Does What I Eat Affect My Oral Health?

You may be able to prevent two of the most common diseases of modern civilization, tooth decay (caries) and periodontal (gum) disease, simply by improving your diet. Decay results when the teeth and other hard tissues of the mouth are destroyed by acid products from oral bacteria. Certain foods and food combinations are linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Although poor nutrition does not directly cause periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients.
Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increasing fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases.
How can I plan my meals and snacks to promote better oral health?
Eat a well-balanced diet characterized by moderation and variety. Develop eating habits that follow the recommendations from reputable health organizations such as the American Dietetic Association and the National Institutes of Health. Choose foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products and meat, chicken, fish or beans. Avoid fad diets that limit or eliminate entire food groups, which usually result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
Always keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water. Saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues. If you have a dry mouth, supplement your diet with sugarless candy or gum to stimulate saliva.
Foods that cling to your teeth promote tooth decay. So when you snack, avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods such as cakes, candy and dried fruits. Instead, choose dentally healthy foods such as nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese and sugarless gum or candy.
When you eat fermentable carbohydrates, such as crackers, cookies and chips, eat them as part of your meal, instead of by themselves. Combinations of foods neutralize acids in the mouth and inhibit tooth decay. For example, enjoy cheese with your crackers. Your snack will be just as satisfying and better for your dental health. One caution: malnutrition (bad nutrition) can result from too much nourishment as easily as too little. Each time you eat, you create an environment for oral bacteria to develop. Additionally, studies are showing that dental disease is just as related to overeating as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension. So making a habit of eating too much of just about anything, too frequently, should be avoided.
When should I consult my dentist about my nutritional status?
Always ask your dentist if you're not sure how your nutrition (diet) may affect your oral health. Conditions such as tooth loss, pain or joint dysfunction can impair chewing and are often found in elderly people, those on restrictive diets and those who are undergoing medical treatment. People experiencing these problems may be too isolated or weakened to eat nutritionally balanced meals at a time when it is particularly critical. Talk to your dental health professional about what you can do for yourself or someone you know in these circumstances.