April 2016 Edition

April 29, 2016


This past April Fool’s Day, while practical jokes had been played, the New York Times sought to debunk a series of misconceptions and falsehood in their feature called a Week of Misconceptions. One such misconception is related to the topic we are passionate about– teeth, specifically baby teeth.  

The misconception states: Baby teeth don’t matter because they are going to fall out anyways. 

The truth:  baby teeth are in fact very important! Here are some facts to show why:

  • Studies show that kids who get cavities in their primary teeth are much more likely to develop cavities in permanent teeth as well; these can lead to all sorts of dental problems.
  • Some 20% of kids from 6 to 8 years old have untreated tooth decay, according to the CDC.
  • Kids with tooth decay may experience pain, along with difficulty eating and speaking, and may have trouble focusing on schoolwork and other activities
  • If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to an abscess, a type of oral infection which may require emergency-room treatment.
  • A missing primary tooth can cause permanent teeth to erupt (come in) in the wrong places, or in poor alignment; orthodontic treatment may be needed to fix the problem.

Want to read more?

Visit the New York Times Week of Misconceptions

April 27, 2016


1. The average human produces ______ quarts of saliva (spit) in a lifetime.
A. 250
B. 2500
C. 25000

2. 100 years ago ____ % of the adults in North America were toothless.
A. 20
B. 50
C. 74 3.

If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning ____ % of your tooth surface.
A. 15
B. 25
C. 35

4. The average amount of money left by the tooth fairy in 1950 was _____.
A. 15 cents
B. 25 cents
C. 70 cents


1) C 
2) B
3) C
4) B

Did you pick the correct answers? Comment on our Facebook post at (www.facebook.com/sleavittdmd) to tell us your answers and your thoughts!

April 20, 2016


Oh sugar! The substance not many can resist. However, it is not without faults.  Not only is sugar known to increase the chances of cavities, it can also leads to “metabolic syndrome.” If a person has at least three of the following: high blood pressure, high blood sugar level, high triglyceride level, low HDL cholesterol, or excess body fat around the waist, then this person has metabolic syndrome. These metabolic risk facts can cause an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. 

Dr. Robert Lustig compiled in his e-book the 56 know aliases of sugar for the public to become mindful of sugar intake. A few are mentioned below. The American Heart Association says Americans consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day when the maximum intake for adult men should be 9 teaspoons, for adult women is 6 teaspoons, and for children is 4 teaspoons. 

  1. Agave Nectar
  2. Beet sugar
  3. Brown rice syrup
  4. Date sugar
  5. Dextran
  6. Ethyl maltol
  7. Florida crystals
  8. Golden syrup
  9. Panocha
  10. Rice syrup
For all the names of sugar: http://www.responsiblefoods.org/sugar_names

April 15, 2016


The first dentures date back to around 700 BCE to the Etruscan people living in Etruria, what’s now Umbria and Tuscany, Italy. Teeth from other humans or animals were inserted into a gold band with metal pins and fitted on the other teeth. They were easy to produce and remained popular until mid 1800s.

Ivory dentures, from hippopotamus, walrus, and elephant, were popular in the 1700s. George Washington also wore dentures at the time. Contrary to popular belief, Washington’s dentures were not made of wood! They consisted of human teeth fitted into carved hippopotamus ivory. 

In the early 1800s, the major source of teeth came from dead soldiers on the European battlefield. Following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, so many teeth were removed that dentures with human teeth at that time were know as Waterloo teeth. 

Around the 1850s, dentures were beginning to be made with vulcanite, a hardened rubber. It molded to the person’s gum and hardened to the same shape. This became a cheap and relatively ideal base for dentures. Acrylic resin and other plastics became the main material in the 20th century. 

April 8, 2016


Continuing our conversation regarding oral cancer, here are 7 factors that would increase the chance of oral cancer. Regular visits to the dentist can help you detect such cancers early, and changing a few potentially harmful habits may help reduce the chances of developing oral cancer.


Men are twice more likely to get oral cancer. The American Cancer Society attributes this to higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use, but also notes that more younger aged men are being  diagnosed with HPV-related forms of oral cancer.


Risk of oral cancer greatly increases after age 44. 


Tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer. Pipe smokers are also at higher risk of developing cancer in their lips. Smokeless tobacco can lead to many issues, serious ones include cancer of the cheeks, gums, and lips. 


Heavy drinking, defined as average of two drinks or more a day for men and one drink or more a day for women, is associated with high risk of developing oral cancer. 7 out 10 oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that is associated with around 10,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancer diagnosed each year. 


People who have jobs working outside are more prone to developing lip cancer and should use UV protection.

Poor nutrition can put one at risk of developing oral cancer. A diet low in fruits and vegetables may increase the chance. 

April 6, 2016


Your dentist is not only looking for cavities during those regular check-ups but also screening for cancer at the same time. A recent estimate by the American Cancer Society of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in the US is about 40,000 a year. Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers occur most often in: 

  • the tongue
  • the tonsils and oropharynx
  • the gums, floor of the mouth, and other parts of the mouth

The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:

  • a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • red or white patches
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
By scheduling regular check-ups, you would be examined closely for signs of oral cancer! 

April 1, 2016


Once a year on this day, you may become skeptical. You may question everything that’s happening around you today. You may feel embarrassed, amazed, or impressed by the pranks. Sometimes, these pranks may also involve teeth. Well, we would like to point out toothpastes that would be sure to confuse your taste and smell. 

Toothpastes have always be associated with “minty fresh”. Well, have you heard of bacon, pickle or cupcake frosting toothpaste? Check out this slideshow for the 15 of the World’s Most Bizarre Toothpaste Flavors.