By Mark Levy | November 5, 2012
Most of America is so sleep deprived that we really look forward to that one extra hour of sleep each year when our clocks “fall back” marking the end of Daylight Savings Time.
The trick is to use the time change to keep getting the sleep you need every night. Since it will be getting dark earlier your body will probably be ready to sleep a little earlier as well. Don’t try to stay awake – you can record the late night talk shows – make bedtime a priority.
In the spring when we change to Daylight Savings Time our bodies need almost a week to adjust and we see higher rates of heart attacks, injuries on the job and car accidents. In the fall, the rates of all of these drop. The bad news is that workers are usually driving to work in the dark, and then driving back home at the end of the day in the dark as well. The tendency is for people to get tired, take a little nap in front of the TV and then have a hard time falling asleep at bedtime.
Patients who suffer from sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea need to be especially vigilant about keeping a sleep schedule and making sure that they are treating their sleep apnea. For patients who are not able to use a CPAP a wonderful alternative is an oral appliance. Oral appliances are highly effective and most patients find them very comfortable and easy to sleep with. The best part – no electricity, tubes or masks! You can still treat your apnea even if you are without power.
Please contact Columbus, OH sleep apnea dentist Dr. Mark Levy at 614-476-6696 today to schedule your consultation.
By Mark Levy | December 15, 2011
Another reason to keep your mouth squeaky clean. A professor at Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine has discovered that the common oral bacteria Fusobacterium nucleatum has the ability to knock out the safeguards that protect our blood vessels and allow bacteria to spread. This bacterium is the most common of the 700 or so bacteria that inhabit the human mouth.
Dr. Yiping Han found that the germ has a bonding agent that allows it to unlock the cells on the blood vessels surface which allows it, and other germs such as E. coli, to cross the placental and blood-brain barriers. The bacteria has been found in infections and abscesses in the brain, lungs, liver, spleen and joints. Dr. Han had previously linked it to preterm labor and fetal death.
This bacteria typically enters the bloodstream through breaks in the mucous membranes in the mouth. Periodontal disease offers this bug, and others, the opportunity to enter the bloodstream and cause damage to many systems of the body.
Keeping your gums healthy by practicing excellent home care including brushing and flossing as directed by your dental hygienist is important. Home care alone can’t diagnose or treat periodontal disease. Treating gum disease and getting it under control as soon as possible is very important for your overall health. If you experience puffy, sore gums or if you bleed when brushing or flossing you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment is simple and inexpensive — waiting makes treatment much more complex.
In Columbus, OH please contact StoneRidge Dental Care today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your dental hygiene visit. Remember that keeping your dental hygiene schedule of professional cleanings two times per year can save health care dollars in the future. If you have active gum disease you may need to visit your hygienist more frequently.
By Mark Levy | August 4, 2011
Trying to lose weight and it just isn’t working? The reason could be the amount of time you are sleeping. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who didn’t get enough sleep ate more but they didn’t burn off the extra calories.
The study took a group of middle-aged men and women of similar size and had them live in a research facility for five days. They did this twice. The first time the participants could sleep for nine hours. The second visit restricted their sleep to only four hours each night. During both stays the study participants diets were restricted during the first four days of their stay — on the final day they could eat whatever they wanted. Tests showed that the same number of calories were burned each day no matter the sleep duration. However, when the participants were sleep deprived they ate 300 calories more on the final day than they had when they were well rested.
Other recent studies have also shown the link between the quantity or quality of sleep and weight management. For obstructive sleep apnea patients this is especially problematic because many are overweight and are told by their physicians to lose weight in order to better manage their conditions. Because their sleep is disrupted by stoppages in breathing they never get a full night of sleep. For those patients using a CPAP to treat their condition sleep can also be disrupted when nighttime movements dislodge the mask or hoses.
Oral appliance therapy treats obstructive sleep apnea without machines or surgery. Similar in size to an orthodontic retainer or mouthguard these custom fitted appliances allow the patient to breath all night long allowing undisturbed sleep.
For more information please contact our Columbus area office at 614-476-6696 today. We will be happy to schedule a consultation to see if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy.
By Mark Levy | September 10, 2010
Dr. Howard Jenkinson of the University of Bristol explained how oral bacteria can escape from the mouth into the bloodstream and increase the risk for heart attack. Dr. Jenkinson explained “Poor dental hygiene can lead to bleeding gums, providing bacteria with an escape route into the bloodstream, where they can initiate blood clots leading to heart disease.”
The streptococcus bacteria live in the mouth and are commonly confined to “biofilms” or confined areas. They are responsible for causing plaque on teeth and eventual gum disease. The researchers from the University of Bristol showed that once these bacteria have escaped into the bloodstream they use a special protein on their surface to force blood platelets to bind together and form clots. The bacteria force the clots to form in order to protect themselves from attack by the immune system. “Unfortunately, as well as helping out the bacteria, platelet clumping can cause small blood clots, growth on the heart valves, or inflammation of the blood vessels that can block the blood supply to the heart and brain.”
Professor Jenkinson echoed a very important message that the dental community has been saying for years. “People need to be aware that as well as keeping a check on their diet, blood pressure, cholesterol and fitness levels, they also need to maintain good dental hygiene to minimize their risk of heart problems.”
Help minimize your risk by contacting my Columbus, Ohio office today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your appointment. If you have been avoiding dental care because of anxiety or fear ask about dentistry with “the little pill”, the completely anxiety-free way of getting the treatment you need. Your healthy smile and healthy heart depend on it!
By Mark Levy | August 13, 2010
I was recently interviewed by Angie’s List about technology in the dental office. Please take a minute to listen to the podcast and then feel free to contact me about the dental technology I use in my practice at StoneRidge Dental Care in Gahanna, Ohio.
By Mark Levy | August 6, 2010
Some days it feels like there isn’t a whole lot to smile about but those are the days when smiling will help you the most! The human face contains 44 muscles that allow us to make thousands of facial expressions, including many types of smiles.
It has been proven that the simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you are happy. This chemical message makes it to the brain even if the emotion isn’t real. In a 1984 article in Science a study showed that when participants mimicked different emotional expressions, their bodies produced physiological changes that reflected that emotion. A German study discovered that people felt happy just by holding a small pen clenched between their teeth, which imitated a smile.
Smiling is also contagious – when you are around someone who is happy and smiling it is almost impossible not to join in. In fact, studies have found that simply seeing a friend smile will stimulate your facial muscles to do the same!
If you are afraid to smile in company, or hide your smile behind your hand you are depriving yourself and your loved ones of happiness. There are many choices in cosmetic dentistry today that can give you a dazzling smile that you will want to share with the world.
Something as simple as dental bleaching can easily brighten up an otherwise nice, but dingy smile. Dental bonding techniques and materials can repair many chipped teeth. Dental veneers are a wonderful option for creating brand new smiles while retaining most of your own tooth structure. Lifelike and long-lasting, dental veneers can correct the appearance misshapen, chipped or crowded teeth.
Start smiling again – in the Columbus area contact my office today at 614-476-6696 to schedule a consultation.
By Mark Levy | July 9, 2010
In the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano researchers reported on the development of a technique that could bring diseased teeth back to full health. Root canal therapy is a procedure that is used to prevent tooth loss by removing the diseased soft tissue inside a tooth leaving a non-vital tooth in the mouth.
Dr. Nadia Benkirane-Jessel and her team developed a film containing a substance that could regenerate the dental pulp and bring root canal treated teeth back to life. The substance called alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone was placed in a nano-sized film (only 1/50,000 the thickness of a human hair). Scientists in the laboratory found that the nano-films increased the number of dental pulp fibroblasts, the main type of cell found in dental pulp. The researchers suggest that one day this approach could help revitalize damaged teeth.
While this new research is intriguing, any use of this type of treatment on actual dental patients is many years away. In the meantime we all need to be diligent with good home care (brushing and flossing) and regular cleanings with your dental hygienist. It is important to let your dentist take x-rays (using digital radiography to reduce exposure to radiation) of your teeth on a regular basis to discover small problems before they become larger and maybe lead to a root canal. A regular, thorough examination by your dentist can save your teeth and your pocketbook.
Please contact our Gahanna, Ohio office today at 614-476-6696 to arrange your consultation and start your journey toward a healthier smile.
By Mark Levy | June 18, 2010
A Neuromuscular Dentist is specially trained in the branch of Dentistry that diagnoses and treats the proper alignment of the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) and how it affects the surrounding muscles and nerves. The relationship between the teeth, jaw joint and surrounding tissues is among the most complex in the human body. General dentists are usually trained to focus on the health of the teeth and gums alone.
You should seek a qualified neuromuscular dentist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Jaw Pain
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
- Pain or noises in the ears
- Clicking of the jaw joint
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
Your neuromuscular dentist has a special focus on the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ (or TMD). TMJ disorders produce the symptoms listed above and can be caused by many factors such as accidents, misaligned teeth or even stress. Diagnosis and treatment of TMJ problems are highly effective, often relieving pain that has haunted patients for years.
Dr. Mark Levy use state-of-the-art technology to discover the correct alignment for your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – one in which the surrounding muscles are relaxed and nerves quiet. With this correct alignment comes relief from pain. If you are suffering from recurring headaches or facial pain in the Columbus, Ohio area please contact your neuromuscular dentist at 614-476-6696 today.
By Mark Levy | June 11, 2010
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a dental advisory panel to review “scientific issues that may affect the regulation of dental amalgam. The panel meeting will focus particularly on the potential risk to vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, fetuses and young children”.
In 2009 the FDA concluded that dental amalgam was a safe and effective restorative treatment and issued a final rule that reclassified dental mercury and amalgam components for regulatory purposes. Since that ruling the FDA has received several petitions raising issues relating to the final rule.
This additional review is long overdue. Amalgam fillings, which are half mercury, were created about 200 years ago as a cheap alternative to gold and before the scientific knowledge of the dangers of mercury. The World Health Organization believes there is no safe level of mercury and acknowledges that its vapors can cause neurological damage. Mercury exposure causes kidney damage, fetal damage and developmental disorders in children.
Several nations worldwide have banned the use of dental amalgam because of safety issues and the environmental risks associated with the mercury. Perhaps the United States will join these nations in protecting its environment and its citizens.
There are many safer and more attractive alternatives for dental fillings today. Composite resins are tooth colored fillings that take longer to place than dental amalgam but are far superior type of restoration. Composite restorations look better from a cosmetic standpoint and, because they don’t react to temperature changes the way amalgam does, they last much longer without breaking down or cracking.
If the thought of mercury in your dental fillings is bothering you please contact our Gahanna, Ohio office at 614-454-3488 to discuss your options for becoming mercury free!
By Mark Levy | May 30, 2010
Accidents happen. Teeth are typically knocked out because of an accident – whether it be a fall or an accidental elbow when playing a sport. How you handle the tooth and how long it takes to get to your dentist can make a big difference in how this injury is treated.
Many times teeth are knocked out completely whole, including the tooth roots. If this happens put the tooth or teeth in a container of cold milk and get to the dentist within 30 minutes. “There is a short window of opportunity in which the remaining living tissue on the root surface can be kept alive” according to Dr. Joseph Orrico of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Dr Orrico feels that because milk has a neutral pH balance and is vitamin fortified it is excellent for helping to preserve the living tissue that is needed to re-implant the tooth.
Often the teeth are broken above the gum line. In this case your dentist may suggest a root canal followed by a crown. These procedures will save the existing tooth structure below the gum line which is very important.
In the event that the tooth has broken below the gum line, the best course of treatment may be to remove the remaining fragments of the tooth. To replace the missing tooth a dental implant or bridge may be suggested. Which option is best depends upon each patient. Age and overall dental health are taken into consideration. For younger patients an implant is the best option. Bone loss in the jaw because of a missing tooth can be significant for younger patients and may cause serious oral health and cosmetic problems over the years. Dental implants prevent bone loss because they are placed in the jaw bone and naturally fuse to the jaw, acting like a natural tooth root.
In case of an accident that affects your teeth in the Columbus, Ohio area contact Dr. Mark Levy immediately at 614-454-3488.