Amber M Allen, DDS
Creating Beautiful Smiles in Omaha, NE


Xylitol: The Sugar that is Good for Your Teeth

Most people have never heard of xylitol.  It is a sugar alcohol, so has a low glycemic index and can be consumed safely by diabetics.  But its oral benefits were discovered by accident (as many things are it seems) through its use as a nasal spray to clear the sinuses of bacteria. 

When bacteria metabolize or “eat” its five-carbon sugar, it causes the bacterium to die.  In the last few years, its use in dentistry has really picked up due to its ability to alter the bacterial population of the mouth, especially for cavity-causing, acid-releasing bacteria such as Strep mutans. 

In fact, simply putting xylitol in your mouth and moving it around ...

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Bruxism (aka grinding of teeth)

Continuing with the subject of tooth conditions we encounter daily, bruxism is very common.  Estimates of prevalence of this damaging behavior based on studies range from 50 to 75% of the general population.  It wears the teeth down, and accelerates once the tooth wear has progressed past the enamel layer.  It also makes chewing muscles sore (such as the masseter and temporalis) which can then affect hyperactivity of other connected muscles in the neck and upper back.  

There is a lot that is not understood about bruxism.  Currently, theory states that it results from one (or more) of three causes:  neurologic (central nervous system-based behavior, and this includes effects of meds ...

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Blog Welcome and Silver Mercury Fillings

Welcome to our first blog post!  We thought it would be a fun way to chat a little about the things we encounter, study and think about every day in relation to not just teeth, but "bites", jaws, muscles, airways and whole bodies.  

One thing we deal with daily is silver mercury fillings.  This material had its time, as an alternative to losing teeth to dental caries (decay), but thank goodness we have alternatives now.  Not only is it not pretty to look at, but silver filling material is 40 to 50% mercury in content, which may affect systemic health.  It's also very hard on teeth... in most cases, ...

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