Saturday, October 20, 2012

Your Tongue

The reason I am blogging about this topic is because when I woke up this morning I felt a slight burning sensation on the tip of my tongue. Being a dentist, I went to the mirror for a quick exam and I realized I must have burned it a little on the delicious, but very hot pasta last night at Zeppoli. It got me thinking about just how important the tongue really is.  It is a big part of your mouth but you probably have never given it much thought, unless, like me, you were very hungry and bit into something too hot! Have you looked at your tongue today? This question may seem very strange but when a dentist looks in your mouth, it is one of the first things he or she checks.  You are probably wondering why, don't dentists just care about teeth? There are actually a few different reasons the tongue is of such importance. The most important in my opinion is it can manifest signs of oral cancer.  When you come in for your 6 month checkup you may think it is only for the usual tooth scraping and polish, but I  check every surface in your mouth for signs of cancer and other health issues.  By keeping up with your routine cleaning schedule it is more likely that I can find early signs and hopefully avoid serious problems.  I look specifically at the tongue for red lesions, ulcerations, white patches, and other signs and symptoms that I and all dentist are trained to look for. You probably just ran to a mirror to do an exam of your own!   Sores on the tongue can be brought on my trauma, eating acidic food, toothpaste/ mouthwash, or even stress!  If you notice a sore, or anything else on the tongue that does not go away within 2 week, schedule an appointment with your dentist so we can do an exam on the area.  Is your tongue pale or white?  This could simply be due to dehydration but it also can be a sign of a nutritional deficiency in your diet. If you have persistent dry mouth due to medications or other reasons, I recommend trying Biotene mouth rinse and using sugar-free mints or candy, emphasis on sugar-free. Tobacco irritation can also cause white areas.  If you use tobacco in any form, please stop, because you are putting yourself at an incredibly increased risk for oral cancer. If your tongue is swollen and does not return to its normal size within a reasonable amount of time it may be caused by a strep infection, hypothyroidism, or a reaction to food, medicine, or something you had to drink.  It can also be a sign of leukemia.  You may not think of your dentist as a person that diagnoses cancer but believe me, oral manifestations of cancer come early.  We have referred many patients to a specialist after abnormal findings from doing an oral cancer screening and unfortunately sometimes it is cancer. These are things for you to be aware of but please consult with your dentist for a professional examination.  On a different note, have you ever been told you have bad breath? Your tongue may be the culprit! Bacteria builds up on your tongue, especially on the top surface and toward the back near your throat. What can you do? Buy a tongue scraper.  You will be amazed at how much debris and bacteria you can scrape off of your tongue. Also, when you brush your teeth, make sure you carefully brush your gums and all surfaces in the mouth, especially the tongue!  I also recommend an antiseptic mouth rinse, such as Liserine. This should get your breath minty fresh and get you on the way to a healthy smile!

If you are overdue for your cleaning please schedule an appointment today so we can help you achieve oral and overall health.  (856) 797-8600. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

End of the year

Now is a very good time to schedule a dentist appointment to use up your insurance money for the year. Most plans cover two cleanings per calendar year so if it is has been more than 6 months since your last check up and cleaning, give your office a call today.  Also,  insurance money resets in January so if you need work done and have money left overt, use it before the year ends!  If you have reached your maximum for the year, schedule an appointment for January when you have a fresh slate.  Oral health is the gateway to your overall health so be sure to keep up with your hygiene.  If you need a dentist, call our office today!  (856) 797-8600

Monday, June 20, 2011

How long does Zoom last?

Several people either have tried Zoom Whitening themselves, or at least knows someone who has. Zoom Whitening is an in office system that is a fast, very predictable way to achieve "Hollywood" white teeth.  The set up takes about 10-15 minutes and the actual procedure is only one hour.  Zoom can make teeth 6-10 shades whiter.  It is a great alternative for people who do not like using bleaching trays at home or want instantly whiter teeth.

Ask anyone who has had Zoom, it works! The question is: "How long will it last?"  As with most dental procedures, it depends on the individual.  Good oral hygiene is very important in keeping teeth white.  If you drink a lot of coffee, red wine, smoke, drink dark sodas, etc., the results will not last as long.  I recommend rinsing with water or brushing after eating or drinking anything that could potentially stain your teeth.  With this in mind, a Zoom Whitening procedure can last over two years.  If the results fade, bleaching trays provide a way to "touch up" your pearly whites.

If you have questions please visit our website at  Also, feel free to email me at or call the office at (856) 797-8600.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What toothpaste do I use?

I get this question all the time.  My first question back is, "Are your teeth sensitive?" If they are, then I always recommend Sensodyne. Personally, I use any toothpaste with fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay.  The brand I buy most often is Colgate Total

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pediatric Dentistry

It is almost June and the kids are getting excited for Summer Break!  Over the next few months are prime time for a child's dental visit.  I thought this may be a good time to answer a few of the more common questions I get about pediatric dentistry.

1. Q: How can I keep my child cavity free?
    A:  If you are a parent, this has inevitably crossed your mind.  Although it is never too late to prevent tooth decay, the real answer to keeping your child's "chompers" in great shape starts before they even have teeth!  Cleaning a baby's gums with  a wet cloth after each time he or she eats is a great start to excellent oral health care.  One thing to always keep in mind is to never allow the baby to go to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth.  Doing this can lead to Baby Bottle Rot, which is essentially the destruction of almost every tooth in the child's mouth. The reason for this is that the juices and formula contain substances such as sugar, which leads to tooth decay.  Around 6 months, the first tooth should appear.  Believe it or not, brushing can start as soon as a tooth is present in the mouth.  As with feeding and sleeping, a routine makes life easier for the child and especially YOU, the parent.  Until you are absolutely sure your child is mature enough to care for his or her own teeth, it is important to "check" their brushing.  Allow them to have the independence of brushing on their own, but always be sure that they are keeping all areas of the mouth clean.  Until at a minimum age of 9, I feel a parent should be monitoring the oral care habits of their child very closely I tried to include a few things you may not have heard before.  However, I must say, avoid feeding your child an abundance of sticky sweets and candy, which can lead to cavities. (I know you heard that one before!)

2. Q: When is a good time to take my child to see the dentist?
    A:  The answer to this varies with whom you ask.  Technically, the child should have enough teeth for a check-up by age 2 or 2 and a half.   In my office, we find it beneficial for mom or dad to bring their child along for their visit and we will take a look into the child's mouth, just to get him or her used to the dental visit.  Showing a child how the suction works, squirting water out of the air/water syringe, using a mirror to show them their teeth, and of course, getting a prize before, during, and after the visit, can be a great way to set up any child for stress free dental appointments later in life.  By age 3 or 4 the child should be seen twice a year for a standard check-up and cleaning appointment. This is important in cavity prevention and to monitor tooth development.

3. Q: Does my child need to floss his or her teeth?
    A: Yes!  As soon as two teeth in the mouth touch each other side by side, it is important to floss.  A toothbrush can not fit in this very small space and so to clean the area, floss must be used.  Of course, as with brushing, mom or dad should be assisting in this process until the child can handle it on their own.

Tip to Remember:  A child learns his or her oral habits from mom or dad, or both!  Most dentists will agree, parents who do not take care of their teeth, have children who do not take care of their teeth.  If you set a good example of good oral health care, your children will follow your lead.  Making brushing and flossing a daily routine is very important in the overall health of children.  If you do not want your child to have cavities, make sure they start good early habits and follow up with them regularly.  Of course, it is important to schedule a professional cleaning and exam every 6 months as well.  So schedule an appointment today!

If you have more questions please visit our website, or email me at

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Welcome to my blog

As many of my colleagues would tell you, being a dentist is great. I love it. I wanted to get into this profession ultimately to help people. I started this blog because in almost every social environment, I find people have a question to ask me or a comment about their teeth. This is a small outlet to deal with these questions and concerns. My intention with this is not to diagnose or treat any disease or oral health problems. My intention is to use the technology of today to host an informal and fun dental environment. Feel free to interact and enjoy the information provided. Use this blog to answer the questions you have for the dentist in the room.