More Research Linking Heart and Gum Disease

Oral-SystemicResearch is consistently underway regarding whether or not bacteria in your mouth (the same ones that cause gum disease and tooth decay) can travel into your body and cause other systemic health issues. One recent study at the University of Florida shows distinct data regarding the fact that the same bacteria which cause gum disease also promote heart disease. The more proof scientists can uncover regarding this matter, the closer we can get to better preventions and treatments for oral-systemic conditions.

Periodontal Disease Epidemic

The scientist reported their findings recently at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The data was reported by Irina M. Velsko, a graduate student in the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. Velsko says,”We report evidence that introduction of oral bacteria into the bloodstream in mice increased risk factors for atherosclerotic heart disease. Our hope is that the American Heart Association will acknowledge causal links between oral disease and increased heart disease. That will change how physicians diagnose and treat heart disease patients.” Heart disease is known to be the leading cause of adult fatalities in North America. Periodontal (gum) disease affects 46% of the American population.

Study on Gum Disease Germs

Many other studies over the years have made a connection between heart disease and gum disease. In fact, the American Heart Association published a statement saying (more…)

Save Toothpicks for Non-Dental Pursuits

Toothpick GuyAre you the type of person who likes to grab a toothpick after a meal to clean out your teeth? With a name like toothpicks, what else are you supposed to do with them, right? In fact, you really shouldn’t consider poking so close to your gum tissues with anything sharp. Sure, your dental hygienist uses pointy instruments to clean your teeth, but she is highly trained. Cleaning out the crevices of household items, or participating in crafts are better uses for toothpicks if you want to keep your sensitive oral tissues safe.

Toothpicks are Great for Baking

Other uses for toothpicks might include checking for completion when you bake something like a cake or brownies. When you plunge a toothpick into a baked good and it comes out caked in batter, you know that you still have a few minutes to go in the oven. However, poking a pan of brownies is one thing. Poking yourself in your gums is another thing entirely. You may say, “I’ve been using toothpicks for years, and have never had an issue.” All it takes is one unfortunate poke in the wrong spot and you can end up with major regrets. An open lesion in your gum tissue might heal with no further implications, but it can also open up a gateway for germs.

How to Safely Remove Popcorn from Your Teeth

smiling girl eating popcornWhether you’re at the movies, at home watching a movie, or simply want a light, non-filling treat, popcorn is often the snack of choice. As pleasing as it is to your palate, though, popcorn is notorious for working its way between your teeth and gums, sometimes remaining for days, weeks, or longer, until your mouth grows uncomfortable from its presence. Left untreated, popcorn remnants can threaten your teeth by causing your gums to swell, and by feeding bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and persistently bad breath.

First Thing’s First

The first thing you should do when trying to remove anything that’s stuck between your teeth is to rinse your mouth out thoroughly with warm water, preferably sprinkled lightly with salt. The water will remove all the loose food particles and debris, while the salt helps control discomfort and swelling. (more…)

Is Green Good for your Teeth?

SmoothieYour pH levels inside your body can greatly affect your overall health. Too much acid in your system can make various parts of your body inflamed. This may include your gum tissues. Gingivitis (early gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) are conditions of infection and inflammation. Striving to consume a healthy diet with the goal of achieving an acidic-alkaline balance (balanced pH level) has been shown to reduce (even erase) symptoms of many health conditions. One of the fastest and easiest ways to saturate your body with balancing nutrients are green smoothies.

Smoothies at Home

Smoothies take less time to make than sitting in line at a fast food restaurant. They are, in fact, the ultimate “fast food.” With the right ingredients, you can blend together a complete nutritious meal with all of the vitamins and minerals you need. What’s even better is that smoothies can be completely delicious. Combining your favorite foods with ice and your milk of choice (try almond, hemp, or rice for an optimal pH balancing boost) is just the start. You can get creative with seeds (chia, hemp, sunflower, flax) nuts, and even green vegetables. (more…)

What Summer Means for Your Dental Health

beautiful woman summer smilingGood dental health isn’t seasonal; your mouth, teeth, and gums are with you always, and need to be kept clean and healthy all year round. Still, it can be difficult not to automatically think of smiling when you think of summer. Even if you’ve long left school and no longer get the whole summer off, the warm, bright sun and overall feeling of relaxation can still encourage more smiles than the dreary months you’ve left behind. For better or worse, the unique conditions of summer can also have a significant impact on your dental health, from the sun itself to the methods you choose to beat the heat and stay hydrated. (more…)

How Bacteria Lead to Gum Disease

young guy with surprised lookThe human body truly is a wonderland, though not exactly in the way John Mayer may have intended. On a microbial level, the interactions between your body’s cells and those of countless other microorganisms dictate much of your physical wellbeing, and your mouth is no exception. In fact, a typical mouth contains more bacterial cells than it does human cells, and when the delicate ecological balance is disturbed, issues like inflammatory gum disease can arise and threaten your oral and overall health.

The Truth About Dental Plaque

If the fact that bacteria live in your mouth comes as a surprise, then you may be even more stunned to learn that these germs are the building blocks of the plaque that sticks to your teeth. (more…)

What’s the Point of a Dental Filling?

woman amazedWhether as a child, teen, or adult, there’s a good chance you may have received a dental filling at some point in your life. After all, the cavities that they’re meant to treat are the most common dental health issue, affecting over 90% of adults in at least one of their permanent teeth. As the name suggests, a dental filling is a manmade material, usually metal amalgam or tooth-colored composite resin, that’s molded into the cavity (hole) caused by tooth decay. By restoring the empty space, the dental filling helps reestablish the tooth’s strength while protecting its interior from further infection. (more…)

What Are Dental Bridges?

mature gentleman thinkingA dental bridge is used to close a gap created by one or more missing teeth. Consisting of one or more replacement teeth bordered by a pair of dental crowns on either side, a bridge is typically supported by the teeth adjacent to the gap, called abutment teeth. The crowns on the side of the bridge are bonded to the abutment teeth, holding the dental prosthetic in place as it restores your smile’s beauty and function. (more…)

Do I Suffer From Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

woman with trouble sleepingObstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep due to abnormally large or over-relaxed oral tissues blocking the airway. It can affect anyone in any age group, including children, and since it doesn’t typically wake the patient from sleep, many people with sleep apnea are unaware of their condition. If your sleeping partner hasn’t already pointed out your excessive snoring—a common indication of sleep apnea—then you might discover the problem through its many other symptoms. (more…)

Veneers FAQs

Have you ever wondered how some people maintain an extremely bright, white smile? Do you think that celebrities with perfect teeth have special toothpaste or mouthwash that facilitates their beyond pleasant smile? Did you know that you could attain a smile like the ones seen in hollywood? Your Shrewsbury, MA dentist offers a cosmetic dental treatment that can take your smile from average to excellent in just a few visits. Discolored, oddly shaped, or abnormally spaced teeth can benefit from cosmetic alteration. Dr. Pizzi answers some frequently asked questions about dental veneers to inform the patient of their options when enhancing their smile with cosmetic dentistry treatments.


Question: What is a dental veneer?

Answer: A veneer is a thin, shell-like cover for the front surface of your teeth. Veneers are a cosmetic addition to your smile that corrects oddly spaced, abnormally colored, or inconsistently shaped teeth.

Question: How do dental veneers work?

Answer: Dr. Pizzi offers ceramic dental veneers that cover the front surface of your teeth. The veneers, once created and confirmed to fit correctly, are adhered to the patient’s teeth. The result is an evenly spaced, straight smile.

Question: How long does the dental veneer process take?

Answer: In most cases, dental veneers take no more than two visits. The first visit consists of a consultation to determine if you would be an ideal candidate for the treatment. If so, then Dr. Pizzi would take impressions of your teeth and send them to a lab. The ceramic veneers would then be created to custom-fit your existing teeth. The lab process usually takes about a week. Once the doctor receives your veneers, a second visit is scheduled for the placement of your cosmetic enhancement.

Question: Who is a candidate for dental veneers?

Answer: For most people that dislike the aesthetic appeal of their smile, veneers are a viable option. However, those that posses dental prosthetics or lack adequate enamel may be redirected by Dr. Pizzi towards more plausible cosmetic enhancements. The end result whether you receive veneers, or another cosmetic treatment is a brighter, more attractive smile.

Question: Are there other options to smile enhancement?

Answer: Yes, your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Pizzi, can discuss with you the plausible treatment options. Choosing another type of treatment all depends on the condition of your smile, and your Shrewsbury, MA doctor can determine what will work best for you.

Schedule An Appointment

At Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury, Dr. Pizzi and our trained professionals provide exceptional dental care for all patients, whether new or tenured. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment for dental veneers, contact our office today. Our office serves patients from Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and surrounding communities.