Here is how Abfractions are caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY,  President Washington! 

280 years old   February 22, 1732-2012

Dentistry has come a long way.

There must be dozens of portraits of George Washington. I have never seen any with him smiling. Those darn Hippo dentures with the spring openers must have been painful.

Light from a red laser scans a resin reproduction of the 1789 lower denture originally carved from Hippopatamus ivory for George Washington.
Here’s a fascinating article by Michelle Keib about George’s oral condition:

Was the throat infection that took George Washington’s life caused by colonies of bacteria that grew in his world famous dentures?

By all reports Washington was a very athletic, strapping man who was taller, (at 6’ 2 ½”,) larger, and stronger than the average countryman of his time. So how is it that, at the age of 67, he became ill and died in only 3 days? Let’s take a look at that question.

George Washington’s suffered from both dental problems and various illnesses in his younger life. He lost his first adult tooth at the young age of 22. By the time he became President, in 1789, at age 57, he had only one tooth remaining, despite daily brushing, use of dentifrice, and mouthwash. At his inauguration, Washington was wearing a full set of dentures which were attached to his final tooth.
Modern historians suggest that mercury oxide, which he was given to treat illnesses such as smallpox and malaria, probably contributed to his tooth loss. He suffered from headache, fever, and severe muscle and joint pain. Over the ensuing years there were attacks of malaria, flu, and rheumatic complaints. Combined with what were most likely genetically poor teeth, and the stress of being Commander of the Continental Army caused constant unrelieved toothaches. In some instances, one cannot help but wonder if his teeth might have been the source of the chronic infections he suffered. His dental and health problems were intertwined. Were there abscessed partial roots still present? His diaries contain multiple references to dental pain.
Washington had frequent dental problems during his tenure as commanding general of the Continental Army. A famous painting of Washington in 1779 shows a scar on his left cheek, believed to be the result of a badly abscessed tooth. One correspondence from Washington to a dentist in 1783 was a request for material to take an impression of his mouth. He would then send the impression back to the dentist for a denture to be made. Washington was treated by no fewer than eight prominent dentists who practiced in colonial America, but his favorite was Dr. John Greenwood.
Dr. Greenwood’s dentures had a base of hippopotamus ivory carved to fit the gums. The upper denture had ivory teeth and the lower plate consisted of eight human teeth fastened by gold pivots that screwed into the base. The set was secured in his mouth by spiral springs. The upper and lower gold plates were connected by springs which pushed the upper and lower plates against the upper and lower ridges of his mouth to hold them in place. Washington actually had to actively close his jaws tightly to make his teeth bite together.
Washington complained to Greenwood about discoloring of his dentures. Dr. Greenwood suggested that Washington refrain from soak his dentures in Port wine and minimize his drinking of wine entirely while wearing his dentures. Had there been a product like SonicBrite in the late 1700’s, the President certainly wouldn’t have had to remove his dentures to enjoy his favorite wine.
His final dentures were made in 1798, the year before he died. This set had a swaged gold plate with individual backing for each tooth and was fastened together by rivets. Today, the lower denture is on display in the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, and another the set was donated to the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore, the oldest dental college in the world.

How many cups of SUGAR do you eat each day? SURPRISE!

About the time of Henry VIII–when they first got easy access to it–the British were really enjoying their sugar. They put it on everything, from eggs to meat to wine. Even though sugar was expensive, they consumed it until their teeth turned black, and if their teeth didn’t turn black naturally, they blackened them artificially to show how wealthy and marvelously self-indulgent they were.

In the following pictures (slide show), one cube equals one teaspoonful of sugar.

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What’s your favorite “snack food” after looking at this?

How about a bag of Cheerios and a small bag of carrots?

SAVE YOUR WISDOM TEETH- You may need them later!

Scientists in Japan have been successfully harvesting stem cells from wisdom teeth. This is of great clinical importance, as wisdom tooth extractions are a relatively common type of oral surgery. Patients who have their wisdom teeth removed are currently able to opt to have stem cells from those teeth isolated and saved, in case they should ever need the cells.

It will be welcomed by many who argue against the ethics of using embryonic stem cells. The breakthrough is significant because it avoids the ethical problem of using embryonic stem cells – wisdom teeth are usually thrown away – and it is easy to stock wisdom teeth.

Having such a plentiful source of donors means scientists could produce stem cells with a range of genetic codes, increasing the chance that a patient’s immune system will not reject the transplanted tissue or organ.

Scientists at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology said they used wisdom teeth that had been frozen for three years after being removed from a 10-year-old girl.

In addition to this, recently reported on the use of baby teeth as a source of stem cells by a UK company.

Wisdom teeth can be transplanted to replace lost molars. Rejection applies to teeth just like it does to other body tissue and donor trials so far have been unsuccessful.

A wisdom tooth, in humans, is any of the usually 4 third molars. Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. About 35% of the population do not develop wisdom teeth at all.


In the radiograph above the lower left wisdom tooth is horizontally impacted. The lower right wisdom tooth is vertically impacted.
Wisdom teeth are extracted for two general reasons: either the wisdom teeth have already become impacted, or the wisdom teeth could potentially become problematic if not extracted. Potential problems caused by the presence of properly grown-in wisdom teeth include infections caused by food particles easily trapped in the jaw area behind the wisdom teeth where regular brushing and flossing is difficult and ineffective. Such infections may be frequent, and cause considerable pain and medical danger. Other reasons wisdom teeth are removed include misalignment which rubs up against the tongue or cheek causing pain, potential crowding or malocclusion of the remaining teeth (a result of there being not enough room on the jaw or in the mouth), as well as orthodontics.

Interesting fact. Agenesis (The failure of an organ to develop during embryonic growth and development) of wisdom teeth in human populations ranges from practically zero in Tasmanian Aborigines to nearly 100% in indigenous Mexicans.   (Lucky Mexicans!)  The difference is related to the PAX9 gene.


There are many identified causes of halitosis. This article will deal with the oral causes and what you can do to manage them.  

1 Tongue
The most common location for mouth-related halitosis is the tongue. Large quantities of naturally occurring bacteria are often found on the posterior of the tongue where they are undisturbed by normal activity. This part of the tongue is relatively dry and poorly cleansed, and bacterial populations can thrive on remnants of food deposits and postnasal drip.
2 Mouth
Other parts of the mouth may also contribute to the overall odor, but are not as common as the back of the tongue. These locations are, in order of descending prevalence: food-impaction areas in between the teeth,  faulty dental work, abscesses, and unclean dentures. Oral based lesions caused by viral infections like Herpes Simplex and HPV may also contribute to bad breath.
3 Gum Disease
Gum Disease is a major cause of a bad taste in the mouth and bad breath, and this can happen so gradually that you may not be aware of the odor. Removal of the subgingival calculus (i.e. tartar or hard plaque) and dead tissue has been shown to improve mouth odor considerably. This is accomplished by “deep scaling” and root planing and irrigation.


Chronic halitosis is not well understood by most physicians and dentists, so effective treatment is not always easy to find. The following strategies may be suggested:

  1. Gently cleaning the tongue surface twice daily is the most effective way to keep bad breath in control. Methods used to counter bad breath, such as mints, mouth sprays, mouthwash or gum, may only temporarily mask the odors created by the bacteria on the tongue. They cannot cure bad breath because they do not remove the source of the bad breath. Effective ways to clean the tongue would be to use a tongue scraper or a toothbrush.
  2. Eating a healthy breakfast with rough foods helps clean the very back of the tongue.
  3. Chewing gum: Since dry-mouth can increase bacterial buildup and cause or worsen bad breath, chewing sugarless gum can help with the production of saliva, which washes away oral bacteria, has antibacterial properties and promotes mechanical activity which helps cleanse the mouth.
  4. Gargling right before bedtime with an effective mouthwash. Mouthwashes may contain active ingredients that are inactivated by the soap present in most toothpastes. Thus it is recommended to refrain from using mouthwash directly after toothbrushing with paste.
  5. Maintaining proper oral hygiene, including daily tongue cleaning, brushing, flossing, and periodic visits to dentists. Flossing is particularly important in removing rotting food debris and bacterial plaque from between the teeth, especially at the gumline. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist).
  6. Probiotic treatments, have been shown suppress malodor bacteria growth.
  7. Smoking Smoking’s contributions to bad breath include dry mouth and gum disease, and it can also increase your risk of oral and sinus infections.
Protect your dental and general health and avoid these sources of bad breath with regular visits to your dentist.


Here are the most prevalent sources of halitosis:
Some one quarter of the patients seeking professional advice on bad breath suffer from a highly exaggerated concern of having bad breath, known as halitophobia, delusional halitosis, These patients are sure that they have bad breath, although many have not asked anyone for an objective opinion. Halitophobia may severely affect the lives of some 0.5–1.0% of the adult population.


About the time of Henry VIII–when they first got easy access to it–the British were really enjoying their sugar. They put it on everything, from eggs to meat to wine. Even though sugar was expensive, they consumed it until their teeth turned black, and if their teeth didn’t turn black naturally, they blackened them artificially to show how wealthy and marvelously self-indulgent they were.



A Hygienist/Staffing Specialist in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio posed this question on LinkedIn to the American Dental Education Association: “…why are schools graduating so many Dental Hygienists in a field that is very saturated, with little chance of job opportunities for these new Dental Hygiene grads? “

We also interested in hearing the answer. Here in south Florida there is a plethora of well trained, dedicated Hygienists who are working part-time for Staffing Agencies, as clinical assistants, and in other industries because there are not enough opportunities in dental offices. My colleagues in Philadelphia and southern California tell me the situation is similar there.

Do you find this to be the case in YOUR area?

From The Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Job prospects are expected to be favorable in most areas, but will vary by geographical location. Because graduates are permitted to practice only in the State in which they are licensed, hygienists wishing to practice in areas that have an abundance of dental hygiene programs may experience strong competition for jobs.

Projection data from the National Employment Matrix Occupation:
Dental hygienists

174,100 2008
237,000 2018
36% increase


Many dentists still use them, while others would not even consider them. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE?
Here’s a study by Catherine Hughes and published by Jim Du Moran. Read the comment by the American Dental Association.
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