Health benefits of bleach

bleach-bottlesBleach, or sodium hypochlorite, is known to remove colour, whiten or disinfect, often by oxidation. Most people associate it with its ability to clean and make whiter clothes. But bleach can be used for other purposes as well, as much for dental, medial and household purposes.

In high concentrations, bleach has an anti microbial effects nod is a dentist’s best friend for root canal therapy! Liquid sodium hypochlorite quickly reacts with microbes to irreversibly denature and destroy many of them that are considered pathogens. In most countries, bleach is used by the dentist during root canal treatment to disinfect an abscessed tooth. It has also been reported that in lower concentrations, bleach can be used as a mouthwash, when very diluted in water, in adjunction with gum disease treatment.

When bleach is in very low concentrations, it can be used to treat eczema. BBC News documented a study that involved 31 children with eczema and who took baths in water that contained a small amount of bleach. All children ended up having less skin irritation. The reason bleach helped was its disinfectant ability, killing germs that usually make eczema even more challenging to treat. These microbes cause infections and alleviate eczema’s symptoms like redness, irritation and the spread of the rash to other parts of the body. Diluted bleach disinfects those germs and reduces the symptoms. But it’s important not to conduct this bleach treatment alone and be medically assisted because high concentrations of bleach can be toxic.

Another study suggested that bleach treatments can slow down aging of the skin. Older mice were given daily 30 minute baths in water containing small amounts of bleach. They have all gained a baby skin. Bleach is not only a disinfectant but also an anti inflammatory agent that multiplies skin cells, providing those mice with thicker epidermal layer that became thin with age. Again the study does not encourage humans to add bleach in their baths.

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day

breakfast important

Breakfast is the daily meal that people have the most tendencies to skip, whether it’s for not feeling hungry, for being late at work or at school, or for having a few more minutes to sleep. But skipping this important meal can lead you to a grumpy day and, believe it or not, gain weight!

Breakfast and your metabolism

breakfastWhen you eat breakfast in the morning, your body receives food and tells your brain that you’re going to need to start working to digest it. This wakes up the metabolism so that your system is ready to work throughout the day. If you skip breakfast, you can actually gain weight because your body thinks that it needs to conserve the energy it has because it didn’t get any more through nutrition. Skipping breakfast therefore actually slows down your metabolism, resulting in a decrease of the amount of calories you burn throughout the day.

Breakfast and certain diseases

Many studies suggest that there is a link between not eating breakfast and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Experts aren’t certain why, but they think that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be hungrier later during day and eat larger meals. Those meals mean the body must process a larger amount of calories in a shorter amount of time. That can spike sugar levels in the blood and perhaps lead to clogged arteries.

Breakfast and your oral health

Eating a fast and sugary breakfast can be harmful for your teeth. Here are some tips in having a healthy breakfast for your body and for your mouth:

  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Eat whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread) instead of refined grains.
  • Eat high fiber cereals with less preservatives and added sugar.
  • Try to limit fruit juices and smoothies because they tend to have very high concentrations in sugar.
  • Limit the amount of sugar you add to you coffee or tea.
  • Brush and floss your teeth after breakfast, not after you wake up.

Links

What is a dental crown

dental crown cartoon

Here’s a cartoon of what most people would imagine a dental crown being like! But in reality it is not like that :)

dental crownA dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover it and to restore its shape, size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crown, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gums. The materials used can be either gold or porcelain. When porcelain is used, a tooth can look brand new!

When is a crown needed? Only when a tooth has had advanced trauma, cavity or root canal treatment. The more a tooth is cracked or restored with a filling, the more it is susceptible to fracturing under chewing forces, and that is when a dental crown can protect it and make it look like a real untouched tooth.

Links

Root canal treatment procedure

I found this great video on YouTube that shows an animation of how a root canal is done by dentist. Sometimes when I am asked to explain what a root canal is. But as they say an image is a thousand words. An animation is even much more!

The video shows two uncovered teeth: the premolar on the left has a healthy pulp tissue with nerves and blood vessels; the molar on the right has its pulp infected. The infection was caused by either a very deep cavity or trauma, and we see that it has gone beyond the ends of the roots.

The first step of the root canal is to access the infected pulp. Then the procedure consists of cleaning all of the pulp tissue contained in each of the canals. We see 2 canals here, but a molar actually contains 3 to 4 canals (sometimes even more!)

After the inside of the tooth is clean and disinfected, each canal is sealed with filling material so that the infection doesn’t appear again.

Posts are placed, followed by a crown because a tooth that has had root canal is more fragile and needs support to function properly without breaking.

Oral hygiene for all

Oral hygiene for all

In China, the Shanghai zoo has designed a special four-foot (1.2 meters) long toothbrush to clean the teeth of its hippopotamuses. The zookeepers put on a public show three times a week so visitors can watch while they do oral care with their three hippos. That job could be very challenging and unpredictable!

Source: Kitsap Kids Dentistry

Bisphosphonates and dental care

women-cancer

If your doctor has prescribed you bisphosphonates, especially if they must be injected intravenously, it is important to tell your dentist because, in this case, it is contra-indicated to proceed with any surgical treatment in the mouth, including extractions and dental implants.

Bisphosphonates are drugs that prevent the loss of bone mass in certain medical conditions. Doctors prescribe it in tablets for women in menopause or pre-menopause. Bisphosphonate tablets are also indicated for people with Paget’s disease (misshaped bones).

These drugs can also be injected intravenously during therapy of bone metastases of breast cancer. In this case, some patients may develop in their mouths a condition called osteonecrosis. This condition is described by bone death following a blood circulation problem.

The link between osteonecrosis and bisphosphonates is not yet well understood. It is important then to inform your dentist if you take these drugs especially if intravenously. Your dentist can then check for any signs of osteonecrosis in the mouth and treat if needed. Furthermore, it’s strongly believed that keeping a good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of getting osteonecrosis of the jaw.

Links

Dental Christmas

christmas

During the Christmas season, don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth after that delicious meal and dessert you will have with your loved ones!

But also, remember those less fortunate than you who either can’t afford a Christmas meal, or those who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with.

Dental history

old_dental_chair

The true precursor to the modern dental chair was constructed by James Beall Morrison in 1867. The base of the chair was made of iron, and the chair itself boasted both a headrest and a footrest. Coupled with a foot-powered dental drill, this chair allowed dentistry to become less of an art and more of a science.