Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ethical Treatment

Timely and conservative treatment is essential to dental health and longevity. It is crucial to have at least two cleanings and examinations in a year to be able to diagnose potential problems and treat them in the most conservative way possible. A more conservative approach in dentistry will lead to less issues in a life time. Over-treatment with unnecessary procedures is not only unethical but will also compromise long term health.

I occasionally come across a patient who has been given an extensive treatment plan and has come to our practice for a second opinion. After preforming a comprehensive examination, I discover that some recommended treatments are not necessary. These situations put all parties involved in an awkward position. I do realize that different clinicians have different philosophies but in my humble opinion as long as oral structures are healthy and the patient is functioning alright, there is no real need for treatment. Now don't get me wrong, if a patient requests some elective treatments(cosmetic or otherwise), then so be it. However, to try and "sell" unnecessary treatments to patients who had not requested such is unethical. I would urge anyone with an unexpected treatment plan to ask questions and request a proper explanation. In some cases a second opinion should be in order.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Natural Homemade Mouthwashes

In addition to regular flossing and brushing, using a mouthwash has been proven to be beneficial for treating inflamed gums(gingivitis).

There are many brands of store bought mouthwashes to choose from and we usually recommend a fluoridated product such as Listerine Total Care. However, some prefer a more natural alternative. There are several types of homemade mouthwashes that people can mix to treat gingivitis. These include:

1- Lemongrass oil mouthwash

A 2015 study found lemongrass oil might be more effective at reducing gingivitis and the plaque that causes it than traditional mouthwash.

To make a lemongrass mouthwash, dilute 2 to 3 drops of lemongrass oil in water. Swirl around the mouth and then spit out. Repeat up to three times daily.

2- Aloe Vera mouthwash

A 2016 study found that aloe Vera was as effective as the active ingredient in traditional mouthwash at treating gingivitis symptoms.

Aloe Vera juice does not need diluting and can be used on its own, so long as it is pure. Similarly to other mouthwashes, people should swirl it in the mouth and spit out then repeat up to three times daily.

3- Tea tree oil mouthwash

A 2014 study found that tea tree oil mouthwash can reduce the bleeding associated with gingivitis significantly.

To make tea tree oil mouthwash, a person should simply add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water then use in the same way as the other homemade mouthwashes above.

Tea tree oil can interact with some medications, so it is best to speak to a doctor before using it for the first time.

4- Sage mouthwash

A 2015 study found that the bacteria that cause plaque were significantly reduced by sage mouthwash.

To make sage mouthwash, add 2 tablespoons of fresh sage or 1 tablespoon of dried sage to boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then strain the mixture and leave to cool. Use the resulting liquid as with other homemade mouthwashes.

5- Guava leaf mouthwash

Studies have shown that guava leaf mouthwash can help to control plaque due to its antibacterial qualities. It may also reduce inflammation.

To make guava leaf mouthwash, people simply need to crush 6 guava leaves and add to 1 cup of boiling water. The resulting mixture should then be simmered for 15 minutes and left to cool. It can then be used, as with other homemade mouthwashes, after adding a small amount of salt.

Lastly it is important to realize that these options should be utilized in conjunction with regular professional care to ensure best results.