TikTok has more bad advice

A health hot topic now on #TikTok is the use of #garlic to treat #sinuscongestion. The instructions are to put a clove of garlic up each nostril and wait a bit. When you remove the garlic, the congestion will drain out of your nose.  garlic -SM -  paid - storyblocks - SBI-300616412-JPG

The drainage you see when you remove the garlic is a small amount of mucus that has collected above the garlic in your nose. It collects above the garlic because the blockage has left it nowhere else to go. When you remove the obstruction, the mucus can drain. This is not a cure.

Does sticking garlic up your nose do anything for your sinuses? No – at least nothing observed by a doctor. So, even if it doesn’t help, it probably won’t do any harm? This is also wrong.

 Any time that you put something in a part of the body not intended to accept it, there is a danger of the object becoming stuck. This blockage can damage nasal tissues and possibly sinus tissues. If the clove of garlic becomes lodged in your throat, there is a choking risk. Finally, if you inhale the garlic, it can cause respiratory distress or a dangerous infection in your lungs.

Another bit of popular medical advice espoused on TikTok is not helpful and may in fact be harmful. TikTok is not the only social network that is propagating inaccurate medical information. It is always important to check the veracity of advice shared online. Check with your doctor or dentist, or check the guidance against a reliable website like NIH, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic. etc.


Dentists are Not Pregnancy Tests


A woman claiming to be a fourth-year dental student is attracting a large following on TikTok by taking the appearance of some symptoms and standing them on their head. The latest interpretation concerns the oral side effects of pregnancy. She is presenting the information in the format of a revelation that your dentist may be able to tell if you are pregnant during a dental exam.pregnant woman sm - paid - storyblocks - DD-05142016-160304A-3543

Pregnancy affects the oral health of many women when pregnant. Some women experience bleeding gums, some show signs of serious morning sickness in a weakening of tooth enamel, and some show signs of gingivitis related to pregnancy in swollen and inflamed gums. This is typically caused by the surge of hormones that occurs during pregnancy. Some women have claimed that they noticed a loosening of some teeth during pregnancy. But it is important to remember that gingivitis can result from several factors and causes and that damage to tooth enamel can also have several causes.

Dentists should not be used as a pregnancy test. We may recognize some indications that typically accompany pregnancy or illness. When we stand this back on its feet, we see that it is important for pregnant women to see their dentists during pregnancy. It is important to diagnose any of these effects and help them manage their dental hygiene regimen. If we see indicators of other conditions, we might suggest that you see your physician about them. We are not on a quest for your secrets. We are looking for signs of problems that could affect your pregnancy, your baby, or your health. We use that information to develop the most effective plan to help you protect your teeth during pregnancy.

Bleeding gums might indicate a need for Vitamin C

If your gums are bleeding, it could be a symptom of gingivitis/periodontal/disease. This suggests attention to brushing and flossing. If this is not the cause of the bleeding, you might want to check your Vitamin C levels.vitamin c - paid - Depositphotos 113402070 s-2019


A recent study concluded: “The results showed that bleeding of the gums on gentle probing, or gingival bleeding tendency, and also bleeding in the eye, or retinal hemorrhaging, were associated with low vitamin C levels in the bloodstream.” These researchers also learned that “increasing the daily intake of vitamin C in those with low vitamin C plasma levels helped to reverse these bleeding issues.” Further, they pointed out that “both a gum bleeding tendency and retinal bleeding could be a sign of general trouble in one’s microvascular system, of a microvascular bleeding tendency in the brain, heart, and kidneys.”

Some key points emerging from the study:

  • Successfully reversing increased gingival bleeding tendency with vitamin C will not prevent strokes or other serious symptoms.
  • Current vitamin C recommendations were drafted primarily to prevent scurvy (a deadly disease caused by lack of vitamin C.
  • Current recommendations are, in fact, too low. Insufficient vitamin C levels can lead to a bleeding tendency.
  • Raising one’s vitamin C level can be accomplished often with consumption of non-processed foods like peppers, kale, or kiwis.
  • If vitamin C levels cannot be improved with diet, a supplement of 100 – 200 milligrams daily is recommended.
  • People on some specialized diets – a paleo diet, for example – need to be aware of their vitamin C levels. Many vitamin C-rich foods are avoided due to their sugar and carb content.
  • “People who exclusively eat lean meats and avoid offal, the vitamin-rich organ meats, may be at a particularly high risk for a low vitamin C intake.”

Vitamin C is important for gum health. It is also important for a number of other serious health conditions. Keep brushing and flossing twice daily. See your dentist twice each year. And eat a vitamin C-rich diet. See your doctor if you are experiencing bleeding not related to gingivitis.

Primary Immune Deficiency and Oral Health

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Children with Primary Immune Deficiency (PID) are particularly subject to development of periodontal dise

ase. According to a new study. PID diseases (more than 200 in number) are genetic disorders that compromise the immune system. Compromised immune systems make people with PID subject to a number of serious infections. One of these infections is Epstein-Barr Virus, which often increases the risk of cancer. Some of the diseases are terminal.

PID can be diagnosed in people of all ages, whether the disorder is inherent at birth or acquired at some later time. It affects approximately 1 in 10,000 people, and is most commonly found in children.

Children are born with no natural protection from the oral microbiota that cause periodontal disease. This, combined with an immune system that is compromised by PID, makes them patients more likely to develop severe infections and to develop periodontal disease. PID also makes these children less likely to benefit from periodontal treatment. As a result of ineffective periodontal treatment, many patients experience early tooth loss.

The report of the study concluded, “children with PIDs have a more severe response to dental caries, which can potentially lead to advanced periodontal disease. However, if the PID is controlled and good oral hygiene and interceptive treatment are achieved early on, the high susceptibility does not necessarily result in tooth loss.”

The researchers suggest that further study is needed to better understand the connection between PID and periodontitis and other oral diseases in order to improve PID disease management and dental care and prevention of disease.

If you, your child, or another family member has PID, it is important to inform your dentist and work actively to prevent and manage oral effects of the disease.

Vaping Cannabis?

If you use Cannabis (for whatever purpose), you should know that vaping cannabis increases the possible health and oral health effects. Cannabis has some of the same potentially dangerous side effects in your mouth as tobacco. Those effects are compounded when you use tobacco and cannabis vaping - paid - Depositphotos 104915416 s-2019

Decades ago, marijuana smoking was calming. The forms of cannabis in use today can actually increase blood pressure and heart rate. The health implications of this are significant.

Cannabis can also create serious complications in the dental office. If you are having a procedure that requires pain management, the drugs we use cause the same effects as the cannabis. Thus, it makes you resistant to the desired effects of local anesthetics.

Cannabis can also suppress the immune system. Some heavy users have reported paranoia or anxiety when in stressful situations, such as sitting in a dental chair.

When you add vaping to cannabis, you exacerbate the possible side effects. Most people experienced relatively few side effects from smoking pot years ago. But when used in an electronic cigarette or a vaping device today, you introduce additional chemicals into your mouth and lungs.

There is little to no regulation of how cannabis is grown or processed. Some growers use insecticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals during the growing process. Molds often form that are contained with the use of fungicides. These can enter your mouth and lungs when inhaled. It also may produce certain new chemicals that are carcinogenic. Finally, vaping is introduced to your mouth at temperatures of approximately 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which can damage oral tissues in several ways.

Please be careful what information you trust online --  some is accurate, some is not. If we know that you are using cannabis, especially if you are vaping it, we can look for problems when conducting your oral exam. Finding and treating problems early always produces the best outcomes. My best suggestion is that you think twice before vaping cannabis. And please tell us if you are using cannabis before any procedure. We don’t judge and we keep your information secure. We always want to provide safe, effective, and comfortable dental care. 


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