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Could It Be Gingivitis?


 If you’ve ever brushed or flossed your teeth and noticed your gums were bleeding, it could be the sign of a condition called gingivitis. It is estimated that more than 75 percent of adults in America have some form of gum disease. The most common and earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Patients with gingivitis may experience redness and swelling of the gums, elongated teeth due to receding gums, and the patient’s gums may bleed during brushing or flossing. But while gingivitis itself is not that serious of a condition, if left untreated it can quickly escalate to full-blown periodontitis, which can cause everything from tooth loss to bone and tissue loss. Thankfully, gingivitis is reversible with proper oral health care.

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Wisdom Teeth Removal Patients Should Beware of Dry Socket


 Just like getting your driver’s license or taking your SAT’s, getting wisdom teeth removed has become somewhat of a rite of passage for young adults in America. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 85 percent of American adults have had their wisdom teeth removed.   Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) are the third and last set of adult molars to erupt in the adult mouth, as well as the most common set of teeth to be removed.  This is because wisdom teeth can often become impacted, a condition which occurs when wisdom teeth do not fully erupt. But while partially erupted teeth may not seem like a big imposition, impaction causes many painful side effects, including crowding, inflammation, infection, cysts, cavities and even damage to the other nearby teeth. Worse still, the longer you keep your wisdom teeth, the greater the risk of damaging the rest of your healthy teeth.

"That’s why we recommend getting them removed when you’re a teenager or young adult," said Dr. Michele Simpson of Wilmington, North Carolina. "But even if we remove wisdom teeth before they begin to cause other problems in the mouth, removing them is not without its own set of risks the patient should be aware of." One such complication is a condition called "dry socket," which happens during the healing process following the removal of wisdom teeth."When your wisdom teeth are removed, the space left behind is essentially an open wound until the gum heals," said Simpson. "To protect your gums and jaw bone, a clot forms in that opening. This clot will eventually break up and go away, but if it becomes detached before it has had adequate time to heal, you can develop a very painful condition called dry socket."Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis is what happens when the bone and nerves in the opening of the wound become exposed to food, drink, air and anything else that the patient may put in their mouth during the healing process. So, what can you do if you think you’ve developed dry socket?"If you suspect you have dry socket, check in the mirror and see if you see a clot in the opening of the incision," said Simpson. "If there’s a red spot there, you’re probably just experiencing normal post-extraction pain, but if there’s a whitish spot and no clot, call your dentist or oral surgeon. They’ll have you come in and get the socket cleaned out, and may fill it with a special oral dressing or medicated paste to keep it protected until the gum heals on its own."Thankfully, while dry socket can be incredibly painful, it’s also easily preventable and easily correctable," said Simpson, "To decrease your risk of developing dry socket, you should avoid doing things like smoking, drinking hot fluids and drinking with a straw. Unfortunately, some medications may also increase your risk of developing dry socket, including oral contraceptives."Simpson also recommends cutting back or quitting smoking, and if you do use oral contraceptives, scheduling your extraction for days when you are on the lowest dose of estrogen."It’s very important that you are up front with your medical history, but also that you follow the post-op care instructions provided by your doctor as closely as possible. This will give you the lowest possible risk of unnecessary complications."

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Why Choose Invisalign?


 Is your smile a little less perfect than you’d like it to be? Do you have minor crowding or rotations that you’d like to correct without having to commit to traditional wire brackets? You may be an excellent candidate for the tooth straightening system known as Invisalign.

Invisalign works by creating a series of custom-molded, transparent plastic trays that you wear over your teeth to slowly adjust the positioning of your teeth over time. Most treatments last between 3-12 months, depending on how many trays you need to achieve your desired results.

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Does Brushing Your Teeth Affect Your Appetite?


For years, people trying to lose a few extra pounds have been offered tips like ‘If you get hungry, just brush your teeth," and for many people, that advice has proven to be sage. But as writers at the magazine Popular Science recently discovered, that wisdom doesn’t hold true for everyone.  Following some recent engagement with fans on their Twitter page, the brains behind Popular Science discovered a surprising number of their followers believe that brushing their teeth actually makes them hungrier, not the opposite. So, which is true? Both ideas can’t be right- or can they?

 

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Say Goodnight to Morning Breath


If you’re one of the estimated eighty million unlucky people in America who wakes up each morning with less than minty-fresh breath, you’re not alone. In fact, approximately thirty-five to forty-five percent of people on earth suffer from the condition known as halitosis, or as it is referred to in the morning "morning breath" – that combination of bad breath and equally bad taste in your mouth that only seems to show up after sleeping. So, what causes morning breath- and what can you do to stop it?

Morning breath is that sour, Sulphur-laden odor in your mouth that shows up after you’ve been asleep. Much like the term ‘morning sickness,’ however, morning breath is a bit of a misnomer. Morning breath can strike anytime you wake up- even after a mid-day nap. Morning breath is caused by the bacteria in your mouth that normally nosh on the carbohydrates left behind after you eat. However, once you brush your teeth and rinse all those carbohydrates away, they have nothing to snack on until your next meal- so they move on to the proteins in your mouth, which can be found in your saliva and mucous membranes. The breakdown of the proteins is what causes the Sulphur smell that most of us associate with morning breath.

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Reading Teeth: What Morphopsychology Says About Your Personality


We recently read a fascinating article about the art of "morphopsychology," which is essentially reading the shape of one’s teeth to determine their personality type- but is there any merit to it?

In morphopsychology, there are supposedly four shapes of teeth, each shape possessing its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Individuals possessing that tooth shape are said to personify the traits associated with their tooth shape. The shapes are as follows:

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Coping with Dental Fears in Looming Nitrous Oxide Shortage


When a deadly explosion tore through an Airgas nitrous oxide plant in Cantonment, Florida in August of 2016, the last thing anyone was thinking about was their teeth. But after the dust settled and the victim was laid to rest, both the medical and food industries were left with the startling realization that a nitrous oxide shortage was a very real possibility.  Unfortunately, despite Airgas’ attempts to shift manufacturing of their laughing gas to other plants, they are still falling short on production nearly a year later. As a result, they have cut back shipments to foodservice companies who typically use the gas as an aerosol to create things like whipped cream. Despite these efforts however, the medical community is still feeling the pinch of the shortage, and patients around the US who have come to rely on laughing gas to get them through anxiety-ridden dental procedures are now faced with the reality of having to attend their dental visit without the aid of this popular relaxer. Dr. Michele Simpson of Wilmington, North Carolina understands what the nitrous oxide shortage means to practices like hers. She's also aware of how it can impact her patients, however, there are things patients can do to help get them through their dental anxiety without the help of laughing gas.

Though production of nitrous oxide has been hampered since August, when the FDA announced that nitrous oxide supplies were depleting to record lows back in January, they assured Americans the supply would be restored by the end of February. Unfortunately, their estimates were off and the shortage continues. Many dental practices around the US are using their last tanks, and some are already out. So, what does this mean for patients who grapple with the very real fear of the dentist, or odontophobia?Simpson, who provides nitrous oxide for sedation in her practice says patients who rely on laughing gas to get them through their appointment shouldn’t be dissuaded from keeping their appointments.

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Dentists Caution Against Growing Foreign Dental Tourism Trend


As health insurance costs skyrocket and more and more employers are declining to offer dental coverage as part of their compensation packages, Americans with costly dental work are feeling the pinch in their wallets. To get the care they need without breaking the bank, many patients are traveling beyond borders to undergo procedures that can often cost three or four times more in the US. But a growing number of dentists are cautioning patients that when you undergo dental procedures in some foreign clinics, you may not be getting the bargain you think you’re getting.

According to the North Carolina-based research firm Patients Beyond Borders, an estimated 500,000 patients per year cross the border to Mexico for dental care each year, and that number is on the incline. In fact, Patients Beyond Borders estimates that global dental tourism is increasing at a rate of about 15-25% a year, with most Americans heading to Mexico or Costa Rica for dental procedures, followed by Turkey, South Korea and Malaysia, to name a few. So, what’s the big deal? If patients are saving money and getting the care they need, that can’t be a bad thing, right? Not so fast, says Wilmington, North Carolina dentist Dr. Michele Simpson."When you cross the border to any foreign country for care, you could be putting your health at risk," Simpson said. "In the US, we have numerous safeguards in place to protect the patient from unsanitary or unsafe practices or practitioners. In foreign countries, while there may be standards, you don’t know how strictly they’re enforced, or if there is recourse at all if something goes wrong." Whereas in America, doctors have a litany of organizations in place to make sure the highest standards are met, not every country requires as much "That’s part of why the costs in the US are higher," Simpson said. "Because doctors must carry malpractice insurance, licenses, permits- many of these safeguards are expensive, but they’re worth the investment in your health and safety."

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Could Your Dentures Be Making You Sick?


It is estimated that at least 20 million Americans wear some form of denture- ranging from a partial to a full set of teeth. But despite these high numbers, many dentures or partial denture wearers have not been properly trained in the care and cleaning of these dental devices. This can cause huge problems for the wearer- ranging from ‘dirty’ looking teeth to bad breath to an increased risk for illnesses. So, what can you do to make sure you or your loved ones are properly cleaning these helpful oral appliances? Keep reading to find out.

Nobody really wants to get dentures. Having dentures means you have lost the last remains of your natural teeth, and must now put in a device that doesn’t always feel great or stay put properly. Perhaps this is why many older patients who have had dentures for many years don’t wear them as frequently as they could. The good news is that today’s dentures are more comfortable and natural looking than ever before. New denture wearers never have to experience those awkward dentures of years past, and those replacing older dentures may actually want to wear their new ones, even if no one will see them. But while dentures do replicate the look and feel of natural teeth, what they do not do is replace the need for proper cleaning and oral hygiene.

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Could You Be Diagnosed with Diabetes at Your Next Dental Exam?


A recent study by the University of Amsterdam and published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found that patients with periodontitis were twice as likely to have undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes as those with less severe forms of gum disease. We spoke to Dr. Michelle Simpson of Wilmington, North Carolina about this study and what it could mean for the future of diabetes diagnosis.An estimated 422 million people suffer from the condition known as diabetes. Here in the U.S., that number hovers around 29 million with another 8 million cases undiagnosed. Unfortunately, those numbers appear to be growing. In fact, it’s estimated that 37 percent of Americans over the age of 20 are already pre-diabetic, a condition that if not corrected will inevitably lead to full-blown diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder categorized by the body’s inability to process blood glucose properly. It causes blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels to rise to a state called hyperglycemia, making the body resistant to insulin and causing the pancreas to make extra insulin at first, and not enough insulin as the disease progresses. Patients with diabetes have shorter life spans, and frequently suffer from a host of other complications including increased risk of heart disease, lower-limb amputations, blindness, dementia, sexual dysfunction and kidney failure.

The University of Amsterdam study used glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) stick tests to evaluate the blood of 313 patients. Shockingly, researchers found that the higher the patient’s HbA1c, the more frequent and severe the patient’s periodontitis. Furthermore, nearly 50 perecent of those patients with some stage of periodontitis were at a minimum pre-diabetic.

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The Surprising Reason You May Have a Toothache Right Now


Spring. It’s a time of renewed hope. The snow melts, the birds return, the flowers, trees and grasses bloom. But along with all those wonderful perks, many people experience a major downside: tooth pain. So, what could be causing this unexpected discomfort and what can you do to prevent it? We asked Dr. Michelle Simpson of Wilmington, North Carolina for some insight into this surprisingly common problem.Imagine waking up one beautiful spring morning to chirping birds, blue skies and the most excruciating tooth pain of your life. You take great care of your teeth, never miss a cleaning (okay, maybe you miss a cleaning here or there) and when you went to bed last night your teeth felt fine. What gives? Well, if you’re like many people this time of year, you could be suffering from allergies, thanks to the influx of new pollens returning to the air. But why would allergies hurt your teeth? 

"It’s not really the allergy itself that’s hurting you," Simpson said. "It’s the sinus pressure." Your sinuses are positioned directly above your top layer of teeth, which means if there is pressure on your sinuses, there’s a good chance you’ll feel that pressure in your teeth, too. Worse yet, because that pain isn’t caused by a specific tooth, it can often be felt in all your teeth. "Sinus pain can radiate throughout the top jaw and in extreme cases, through the lower jaw as well," Simpson said. The bad news for people with sinus-related dental pain, is that it could last the entire allergy season, depending on how severe your allergies are. In some areas of the U.S., allergy season can last two weeks, while in other areas it can last up to three months. For people with pollen allergies, that can be agonizing. But there is good news, too- the symptoms of sinus pain and pressure can often be alleviated with an OTC allergy medication. "I definitely recommend visiting your primary care physician or allergist if you believe you’re experiencing the effects of a pollen allergy,"  Simpson said. "Because there is so much overlap between allergy season and cold and flu season, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to medication." If beginning an allergy medication regimen doesn’t help alleviate the pressure on your teeth, Simpson recommends visiting your dentist to rule out any dental problems. "There could be a number of things causing you tooth pain in addition to sinus pressure, anything from cavities to an abscess to TMJ disorder," Simpson said. "Unfortunately, none of these things are problems you want to leave untreated, so do yourself a favor and get your mouth checked out just in case."Simpson also cautions that tooth pain may not be the only symptom of allergies in your mouth- swelling of the tongue and lips, and even itchiness inside the cheeks and roof of the mouth can all indicate an allergy. "If you are experiencing an allergic reaction, it’s important to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, especially if your lips or tongue are swelling. These are signs anaphylaxis, and could be life-threatening," SImpson said. Another important thing to remember? Just because you have never had seasonal allergies before doesn’t mean you don’t have them now, allergies can appear at any age, even if you’ve been exposed to the same pollen for your entire life. "People often think that it's only new pollen exposure that triggers allergic reactions, but you can theoretically go 40 years without any problems and wake up one day with a severe allergic reaction to the trees right outside your door,"  Simpson said. "The same thing happens all the time with food allergies."For those who are experiencing side effects of seasonal allergies, the good news is that this too shall pass, along with the sinus pressure and tooth pain, which according to Simpson is no cause for long-term concern. "Though this type of tooth pain may be uncomfortable, it poses no risk of long-term damage," she said. "If allergy medication isn’t going far enough to reduce the pressure, speak to your physician or dentist to see if there’s something else that can be taken to help reduce some of the pressure- and always use medications as directed by your doctor."

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When Dental Implants Don’t Work


When dental implants were introduced to consumers in the late 1960’s, they offered new hope to patients who thought they’d never have the look and feel of ‘real’ teeth again. Since then, dental implants have steadily increased in popularity, earning a reputation as the luxury alternative to dentures. Today, though still expensive (the average cost of a full set is around $35k, though some sets have cost nearly triple that), dental implants are now becoming more mainstream. But like any medical procedure, they are not without risks. We spoke to Dr. Michelle Simpson of Wilmington, NC about what happens when dental implants don’t implant.To most people who get dental implants, they are well worth the time, pain, and expense incurred to have them installed. But many patients do not realize that implants carry with them a risk of failure – and when they fail, it can cause irreparable damage to your gums and jaw bone. That’s why it’s important to know the risks associated with dental implants."Dental implants are titanium screws that are implanted into the jaw bone. Once the screws have successfully adhered to the bone (a process called osseointegration) and the bone and gum have healed, an abutment is placed on the titanium post. From there, artificial teeth are created and attached to the abutment," says Dr. Simpson. The implant process is done in stages, which are completed over several months. This allows for healing between each stage. But according to Dr. Simpson, "Sometimes, even despite the allotted healing time the implant doesn’t properly bond to the bone."While there are many factors which may cause the osseointegration process to fail, new research is shedding some light on a surprising reason. A recent study by McGill University in Montreal found that certain medications may be to blame for some osseointegration failure. In the study of 728 patients, those who took antacids during the osseointegration process had more than double the risk of implant failure (6.8%) than those who did not take them (3.2%). On the other hand, patients who took beta blockers (a medication is taken to reduce blood pressure that works by blocking the hormone epinephrine) were found to have the lowest risk of implant failure – just .6%, whereas those who did not take beta blockers had a 4.1% chance of implant failure. It is believed that because antacids decrease calcium absorption (and have been found to increase the risk of bone fractures), they make it harder for dental implants to osseointegrate to the jaw successfully. Conversely, according to Dr. Simpson, "Beta blockers have been shown to increase bone formation in other studies- so their use in dental implant patients actually increased the body’s ability to accommodate the implant."What this means for future implant patients is still unknown, there is a good chance that beta blockers may play a role in the healing process. In the meantime, Dr. Simpson says the research can help dentists provide more information to their patients about what to avoid during the implant process. "Now we know to tell patients to limit their use of antacids. Whether that means they need to cut back on certain foods or find a different medication that doesn’t affect the bone metabolism, it will empower them to have the best odds at a successful implantation."

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Alzheimer’s Drug Could Heal Cavities


Dental occlusions, or cavities, are the number one dental problem facing American adults today- with nearly 90% of people between the ages of 20-39 possessing at least one filling in their teeth. But when it comes to treating cavities, very little has changed since the 1830’s when the first amalgam fillings were used- that is, until now. Recently, a team of scientists at King’s College in London made headlines after finding success treating cavities with a new drug in development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease- and their findings could change how we treat cavities forever.  Wilmington, NC’s Dr. Michelle Simpson explains.Though it hasn’t even hit the market yet, the drug Tideglusib is already causing quite a stir in the medical and dental communities- for its ability to help both Alzheimer’s patients and surprisingly, regrow the dentine in the teeth of laboratory mice. Recently, a group of researchers at King’s College in London set out to discover if the stem-cell-encouraging drug Tideglusib can be used to help more than Alzheimer’s patients. To conduct the study, researchers drilled small holes in the teeth of test animals and then filled those holes with tiny, biodegradable sponges soaked in the drug Tideglusib. As the teeth absorbed the Tideglusib, the sponges dissolved, and the holes in the teeth healed shut on their own. "This is important because unlike with fillings that simply act as a semi-permanent patch which re-fills the damaged area of the tooth, Tideglusib healed the damaged teeth- eliminating the need for fillings entirely," explains Dr. Simpson.Next up for Tideglusib is more clinical trials- this time with actual cavities- not just holes drilled into healthy teeth. If the King’s College team is able to demonstrate success with tooth decay, then human trials will likely follow, and hopefully someday in the near future, Tideglusib will be approved for use in treating cavities. In addition to trials for the treatment of dental occlusions and Alzheimer’s disease, the drug is also in testing for use in patients with Myotropic Dystrophy and teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.So, what does a dentist think about Tideglusib potentially healing cavities? "It would be wonderful," says Dr. Simpson. "I actually think it would help patients take better care of their teeth because they would be less afraid of getting fillings or having teeth extracted, and less afraid to visit their dentist in the first place. If I were to tell a patient ‘if we catch your cavity before it has a chance to worsen, we could heal it’ I think they’d be a lot more likely to come in at the first sign of a problem. Instead of waiting until the pain is unbearable, and losing the tooth."

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Veneers vs. Crowns: Which is Best for You?


If you read a lot of celebrity news, you’ve probably already heard a lot about porcelain veneers- which celebrities have them, which celebrities need them, and how much better their teeth look after getting them. If you’ve ever wondered if veneers are right for you, keep reading. Dr. Michelle Simpson discusses these handy little porcelain facings, and the many ways they can benefit your smile.

One of the most common questions we get about porcelain veneers is, what are veneers- and how are they different from crowns? Veneers are porcelain facings that are adhered to the front of your tooth to improve the look of your smile. They are often used on teeth with chips, undesirable shapes, permanent discoloration, or other damage that is only on the front facing surface of the tooth. Conversely, crowns are cap-like fillings that offer 360-degree coverage that encompasses the entire tooth’s surface- so, it not just the front of the tooth. Crowns are most often used when a tooth is broken, or when too much of the original tooth has already been replaced by fillings and attempting another filling or veneer carries too much of a risk. In terms of insurance, whereas veneers are usually considered cosmetic, crowns are generally considered more of a necessity and are often at least partially covered by some insurance plans.

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Meet Dr. Michele Simpson!


For over 22 years, Dr. Michele Simpson has been practicing the art of dentistry – but did you know that her original passion was not for teeth, but for music? That’s right- Dr. Simpson initially majored in music in college and intended to be a musician or music teacher. She even dreamed of touring Europe, playing her bassoon with the symphony. In fact, she still plays the bassoon today!

So how does one go from gifted musician to gifted dentist? It all started with a part-time, after school job. A college student at the time, Dr. Simpson answered an ad for a dental assistant- no experience necessary, and was hired on the spot. She remained on the job for several years, and as graduation neared, she realized that she not only loved the practice, she loved the work, too. It was then that she decided she no longer wanted to pursue a career in the music industry- and broke the news to her family that she wanted to go to dental hygienist school. Thankfully, her mother had loftier goals for Dr. Simpson. "My mother said ‘are you kidding me you’re almost finished with four years of college, please just go to dental school and be the dentist.’" And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Could this Common Chemical Be Disrupting Tooth Enamel Development?


Back in 2012, when the FDA banned the chemical Bisphenol- A (or as it is more commonly known, BPA) in baby bottles and children’s sippy cups, parents breathed a collective sigh of relief. But as it turns out, this ban may not have been enough. Recent studies have found that BPA is present in many more products than initially thought- and the chemical itself does far more damage than scientists were previously aware. We spoke to Wilmington, NC dentist Dr. Michele Simpson about the findings of the newest study on BPA- and what these findings could mean for the development of your child’s teeth.

So what exactly is BPA- and why is it so bad? BPA, along with similar chemicals bisphenol S and bisphenol F, are chemicals added to in some plastics to add strength and durability. First developed in 1891, BPA was not widely used until 1955, following a 1953 discovery by two separate scientists that the compound was nearly unbreakable. Since then, it has been used in a wide array of products- from cups to cash register receipts, and even as a liner in aluminum cans that acts as a barrier against rusting. However, in 1992, a Stanford University researcher by the name of Dr. David Feldman made a startling discovery about BPA when studying estrogen activities. Feldman and his research team noticed the presence of an "estrogenic molecule" in a plastic container of yeast growing in the lab. The researchers realized the yeast was not synthesizing the estrogen itself- the estrogen was literally leaching out of the plastic container. The experiment was then replicated in a glass container, and shockingly, the estrogenic molecule did not appear.

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Can a New Augmented Reality Game Finally End the Tooth-brushing Battle?


A new augmented reality (AR) game is creating a buzz in the dentistry world. The game is called Grush, and it was designed to teach children proper brushing – all while having fun. The game’s designer, Dr. Yong Jing-Wang, created Grush after his own son had difficulty taking proper care of his own teeth. Now Grush is available to families all over the world – but is a video game toothbrush really a good idea? We spoke to Dr. Michele Simpson of Wilmington, NC about Grush and the scores of other teeth brushing apps on the market.

While Grush is certainly not the first app to make cleaning teeth into a game, it is definitely the first app of its kind. Most tooth-brushing apps on the market today fall into two categories. One variation uses toothbrush ‘timers’ that offer some kind of tutorial or game to children while the app counts the time spent brushing (and usually encourages brushing for 2 minutes). The other is strictly a game, where players actually use their own hands to ‘brush’ the teeth on the characters of the app - with no relation to the actual player brushing.

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Is Something Leaving a Bad Taste in Your Mouth?


Most people have experienced a bad taste in their mouth they couldn’t get rid of fast enough- but what if that taste lasted more than a few days and nothing you tried made it any better? If this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from a condition called Dysgeusia. The word Dysgeusia literally means "distaste" in Greek. It is usually characterized by an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth. Dr. Michele Simpson of Wilmington, NC discusses the causes of Dysgeusia and what you can do to treat it.

Dysgeusia can be caused by a number of different things, such as conditions of the body or medications. Things like hormonal changes due to pregnancy, or even zinc deficiency have been known to cause Dysgeusia, and it can also be caused by medications and treatments like chemotherapy, albuterol asthma inhalers, and iron supplements. So why is it so hard to fix? The answer may surprise you.

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Why Do We Accidentally Bite Our Cheeks While Chewing?


If you’re like most people, you have most likely experienced the pain of accidentally biting the inside of your cheek while chewing – and then continuing to bite the same spot over and over for days, because it’s now in the way of your bite. But why do we do this- and what can we do to stop it? We asked Dr. Michelle Simpson of Wilmington, NC to give us the lowdown on cheek biting.

Though frequent or intentional cheek biting can be a sign of a bigger problem, such as TMJ disorder or a nervous or stress related condition, most of the time when cheek biting occurs, it's merely accidental and no cause for concern. Still, cheek bite injuries are particularly frustrating because they feel like they take forever to heal. This is probably because not only is the injury now right in the way of our bite, causing it to be re-bitten, but it can also become irritated by certain foods- especially if it’s an open or fresh wound. Unfortunately, unlike an external wound, we can’t just put some bacitracin on it and cover it with a bandage. Thankfully the mouth really does heal faster than the rest of the body, so if you can manage to not re-injure it repeatedly, it should theoretically clear up quickly. If you do want to help it along, Dr. Michelle Simpson recommends rinsing your mouth with salt water or alcohol-free mouthwash after eating, to keep the injury clean. It is important to keep the injured area clean because any wound in the mouth is susceptible to infection thanks to the plaque and bacteria already present in the mouth.

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Can a Smartphone Device Tell You How Healthy Your Mouth Is?


A new device called "Mint" is taking the ‘breath-check’ to a new level. With the Mint device, Gone are the days of trying in vain to smell your own breath by breathing into your cupped hand. The device allows you to check your breath by breathing into a wireless plastic meter that connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone, delivering your results to via app. The device is not only useful for hygienic purposes, but according to manufacturers Breathometer and Philips Sonicare, the device could also save your life. Dr. Michele Simpson of Wilmington, NC discusses this groundbreaking new technology.

When Charles Michael Yim appeared on the television show "Shark Tank" in 2013 to introduce his "Breathometer" breathalyzer device, little did he know he’d make history by securing not only an investment by all five ‘sharks’- but the first million-dollar investment in the show’s history. Yim’s original product, the Breathometer device is a personal breathalyzer device which connects to your smartphone and delivers an accurate blood/alcohol reading via a coordinating app. Mint is the company’s newest venture- designed not just to detect bad breath, but to also give an "oral report card" which scores your oral health based on the readings from your breath. Scores range from A to F, with A being excellent breath, and F being breath so bad it could be a sign of serious problems.

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31 October 2017
If you’re one of the 91 percent of Americans with dental caries or cavities, you know what a pain they can be. But good news may soon be on the way from a team of researchers at Queens University in B...
05 June 2017
 If you’re one of the 81 percent of people who believe their smile is unattractive, or the 28 percent who refuse to show their teeth in photos on social media, you could be a candidate for porcel...
29 June 2017
A recently released study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has found a connection between prenatal and postnatal exposure to some metals, and autism spectrum disorder, also k...
29 March 2017
A recent study by the University of Amsterdam and published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found that patients with periodontitis were twice as likely to have undiagnosed Type 2 Di...
02 June 2017
 We get it- life gets busy. No matter how old you are or what you do for a living, it can be easy to forget to do simple everyday things like brushing your teeth if you’ve already got a lot of pl...

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
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Wilmington, NC 28409