Chewing Gum Responsible for Migraines in Teens

Chewing Gum a Cause of Migraines in TeensA team of researchers recently identified gum-chewing as a cause of migraine and tension headaches in adolescents, according to a study published in Pediatric Neurology.

Thirty teenage patients were asked to simply stop chewing gum for a short period of time. Out of the 30 teenage migraine patients, 26 reported significant improvement and 19 had complete headache resolution. Twenty of the improved patients later agreed to go back to chewing gum, and all of them reported an immediate relapse of symptoms.

Factors Affecting Tooth Decay and Dental Health

http://www.freedigitalphotos.netBrushing and flossing, filling cavities, preventing tooth decay, orthodontic care, extractions and root canals. For all but a lucky few, our teeth will require constant maintenance for life, and not all teeth are created equal. So let’s talk a little bit about the “root” of the problem!

In a typical family with three children, two of them may have perfect teeth, yet the third one is prone to dental problems. According to Dr. Lawrence Kotlow, a board-certified dentist, says that only about 2% of our population are born with a “get-out-of-cavities-free card.”

There is something in our saliva that protects our teeth from decay. There are many factors that can cause decay or cavities in teeth. Not just lack of brushing or eating to many sweets, but the anatomy of the tooth, deep fissures and pitted teeth can also weaken the enamel. Teeth that are crowded, mouth breathing and asthmatic behavior can contribute to cavities as well.

There are no hard and fast rules, and no firm truths that apply to every patient. The best advice for the other 98% of us, who face the risk of cavities? Be aware of the sugars in the foods you eat, from candy bars to milk, and to be sure to brush, or at least rinse with water, after every meal. A good foundation, the result of orthodontics, is also important to keep the teeth healthy. And, be sure to schedule your regular dental visit.

Dr. Zachary

Swimmer’s Calculus is Not Advanced Math!

“Can chlorine from a pool turn my child’s teeth yellow or brown?”

swimmers and the effect of chlorine on teechRecently, I received this very question from a concerned mom. My three boys swim and play water polo competitively, so the question rang pretty close to home. An article from the Academy of General Dentistry states the following regarding this phenomenon: “Athlete swimmers, who often swim laps more than six hours a week, expose their teeth to large amounts of chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives like antimicrobials, which give the water a higher pH than saliva, causing salivary proteins to break down quickly and form organic deposits on swimmer’s teeth. The result is swimmer’s calculus, hard, brown tartar deposits that appear predominantly on the front teeth.”

To answer the question directly, swimming a lot can cause you to get yellow to dark brown stains on your teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist should be able to remove these stains for you at a routine cleaning appointment. At home, I recommend using an electric toothbrush with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda toothpaste. The slight grit in the toothpaste can help remove these stains between dentist visits.

~ Dr. Zachary

Dental Health Linked to Dementia Risk

We found this interesting article online with an interesting take on dental health. If true, it’s yet another argument for taking care of our teeth, through daily care, periodic checkups at the dentist, and proper orthodontics.

Aug 21 (Reuters) – People who keep their teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a U.S. study.

Researchers at the University of California who followed nearly 5,500 elderly people over an 18-year-period found that those who reported brushing their teeth less than once a day were up to 65 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed daily.

“Not only does the state of your mind predict what kind of oral health habits you practice, it may be that your oral health habits influence whether or not you get dementia,” said Annlia Paganini-Hill, who led the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Inflammation stoked by gum disease-related bacteria is implicated in a host of conditions including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Some studies have also found that people with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, have more gum disease-related bacteria in their brains than a person without Alzheimer’s, Paganini-Hill said.

It’s thought that gum disease bacteria might get into the brain, causing inflammation and brain damage, she said.

The rest of the article can be read on

For information regarding an orthodontic consultation, please contact Dr. Zachary via email or by phone at (949) 831-5500.

Having Straight Teeth Makes Cleaning Easier

When your teeth are straight, they are easier to clean. There are fewer hard-to-reach areas and your toothbrush bristles can contact all the surfaces that need to be brushed. Plus, flossing is more likely to dislodge food particles completely when your teeth are properly spaced.

In contrast, crowded teeth provide an ideal hiding place for food debris which serves as a breeding ground for bacteria. As this biofilm accumulates, it hardens into plaque and eventually tarter that is very difficult to remove. This process doesn’t take long, either. Biofilm starts to “set” within 48 hours and can turn into tarter within just a couple of weeks. When you have crooked, crowded teeth, your dentist may have to work longer and harder to remove plaque — even if you brush regularly.

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.

Dental Health Month = Healthy Smiles for Kids!

At Zachary Orthodontics, our local Orange County schools are very important to us. Many of our patients are school-aged children, so we make a point of giving back to our schools whenever we can.

February was Dental Health Month, so we have been extremely busy providing dental health information to several of the schools in South Orange County. The students have been very engaged! The kids, teachers, and the staff at Zachary Orthodontics have had a great time!!!

Zachary Orthodontics Visits Orange County Schools