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Toothfully Blog

Sports Mouthguards

by Linh Cao-Chan, DDS on 09/14/14

Sports mouthguard

There's has been recent published studies about using sports mouthguards and reduction of brain injury.  High school sports such as football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse and wrestling require wearing mouthguards during participation.  These players are at risk for damage to their teeth if their jaws are hit from any angle from physical impact of another player, or a fast flying ball.  Not only the teeth can be damaged, but also the brain which sits above the upper jaw.  

The mouthguard covers the upper teeth, which creates space between the the upper and lower teeth, and space between where the upper & lower jaw meets at the TMJ (temperomandibular joint).  In a high impact hit with the mouthguard in place, the teeth won't gnash against each other, and the lower jaw won't collide so hard with the upper jaw, therefore lessening the impact on the brain above. 

The study found that kids playing football who had custom made mouthguards (which fit better and are thicker) have less than half the number concussion/ mild brain injury compared to those that wore stock mouthguards (from sporting goods stores).  Of course having  a mouthguard is better than none.  The stock mouthguards just do not fit as well in the mouth and move around, kids may not wear them properly or cut off part of the mouthguard to make it more comfortable, therefore reducing its effectiveness

If you are interested in getting a custom mouthguard, we can make one one for you at the office, even with your school mascot or logo!


Pregnancy and Dental Health

by Linh Cao-Chan, DDS on 05/03/12

During pregnancy, women will experience wild hormone fluctuations, which commonly manifest in gingivitis.  The gums will get more inflamed easily, and therefore bleed more frequently.  Surprisingly, only about 22-34% of pregnant women in the US visit the dentist during pregnancy.  Maybe they are worried that dental treatment can be unsafe for the baby.

We don't take X-rays during the pregnancy, avoid major dental work until the baby is delivered, and are mainly concerned with keeping the gums healthy.  Low birth weight and pre-term labor has been linked to gingivitis and gum disease associated with pregnancy.

Dental X-Rays and Radiation

by Linh Cao-Chan, DDS on 03/25/12

We've had several people voice concern about the amount of radiation involved in dental X-rays.  At our office, the protocol is a full mouth set of X-rays (18 pictures) taken every 5 years.  This is to look at all teeth and roots, and check for any abnormalities, cavities, or gum disease.  Then we take update bitewing & anterior X-rays (6 pictures) every 18 months, and this is mainly to check for cavities in between the teeth.

A full set of X-rays deliver about 36 mrem (unit measurement of radiation).  With digital X-rays (which we do use), the amount is about 18 mrem since exposure time is less.  To put it in perspective- a US person is exposed to 360 mrem per year just from background radiation.  I understand the concern about radiation, but from a healthcare provider point of view, we can't do a complete & thorough oral exam if we are missing the X-rays.  You can learn more (than you ever wanted to) about dental radiation here.

10110 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530   510-526-4747   Email Us

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