A little bit of dentistry just for CPP

Because he loves it when we post about floss.

Two things.

1.  Tenure-related stress causes cavities.  Two cavities and a fracture.  Fun times.

2.  Apparently Glide floss does not get off enough stuff from between teeth and is a sub-optimal floss even though it doesn’t snap like regular floss.  However, as I have been using Glide floss for 5 years I said I did not believe that was the problem and asked what else could lead to gingivitis and plaque build-up the likes that have never been seen in my biannual (biennial?) twice yearly cleanings.  She suggested anemia… which I have had.  I’m on vitamins again.

So yeah, stress and anemia are bad for your teeth.

Do you have anything tooth related to share?  Then totally post it here try to send it directly into #1’s mind, because it icks out #2.  Thanks.

32 Responses to “A little bit of dentistry just for CPP”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    I have one crown that still causes me a lot of pain. I think it was done wrong as too much of my tooth at the gumline is showing. I really don’t know what to do about it. I should get a second opinion.

    Stress sucks. It also contributes to my food, caffeine and alcohol intolerance. My stomach aches are 100x worse and more frequent when I’m under a lot of stress. . My goal in life for the last few years was to reduce that feeling, by a lot.

  2. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    Tenure-related stress causes cavities. Two cavities and a fracture.

    It’s not the stress per se. I bet you’re grinding your teeth.

    If the flossing isn’t working well, try these:


    My periodontist recommends them very highly as a supplement to flossing. I actually stopped flossing completely once I started using them, and my gums are great.

    Finally, if you want to spend the moolah, it is well worth going for cleanings every three months. This is what I have been doing for a number of years, and it has made a huge difference to my oral health.


    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Well, stress and frozen homemade chocolate caramels (which I have since stopped eating). I have put soft-picks down on the grocery list. DH does cleanings every 3 months (and has a very elaborate oral hygiene routine every night). Most months for me it doesn’t hurt a bit and there is very little scraping.

  3. Dr. Dad Says:

    Stress does indeed suck. Even though I’m just a postdoc, your post makes me a bit worried and kinda makes me wish I still had dental insurance. Ironically, I lost mine after I became more competitive for TT jobs (got an NIH grant)…

    Maybe it’s time to look at super-glue dentistry (link provided as sarcasm, not endorsement: http://members.cox.net/cosmicrat/t5dental.htm)

  4. Everyday Tips Says:

    I was born with incredibly soft teeth, which is very unfortunate. (For me, not me dentist.) I have had a plenty of dental work done, and I get angry every time I walk out with a numb mouth when I think about how little progress there has been in dentistry.

    I am not a fan of Glide floss. I don’t know that it works as well as some others, and it is expensive compared to many competing brands. However, since you have been using the product for 5 years, I agree that something else might be going on unless Glide secretly changed their floss.

    Good luck, hope the vitamins do the trick.

    By the way, if #2 hates anything regarding flossing, she should watch the odd movie ‘Kingpin’ if she ever wants to drive herself insane.

  5. Linda Says:

    I thougth the same thing CPP wrote: you must be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw at night. Usually you get a lot of soreness from this, though, and your dentist would have likely noticed the symptoms by now. So maybe it’s not grinding/clenching.

    When I started grad school (part-time while working full-time) I started grinding my teeth. I thought I had a cavity because it hurt to chew so I went to the dentist where I got the problem accurately diagnosed and had a nightguard made. I feel so sexy putting in a nightguard every evening, (Oo la la!) but it works.

    I have been really lucky with my mouth. While my teeth aren’t optimally aligned and never have been, they are tough. I have had no cavities in my adult teeth. :-) But I can relate to your mouth problems. This year I’ve had three procedures at the periodontist: two gum grafts, and a gum “stretching.”

    I am very afraid of that long needle full of novocaine now. I’ve actually cried and hollered as I get the shots. I hate them. The surgery has been a piece of cake compared to the shots. Well, except for the time I could hear the periodontist cut and pull off a piece of tissue in the back of my mouth for the first graft. Yuck. I’d rather not hear my flesh being cut up. (There is that gross enough?)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      No, I haven’t really been getting soreness. I do think it’s the anemia, since I went on iron again about a week before the appointment. My body is all broken.

      DH also has a nightguard Incredibly sexy. Congrats on no cavities! I think #2 recently had some sort of gum thing. She doesn’t want to talk about it.

  6. Money Beagle Says:

    We’ve used Glide for quite some time and our dentist has always said it’s a good floss to use. I’ll have to ask at my next visit which happens to be next week :)

  7. kh Says:

    Here’s a new one for you .. the ADA has said that cavity rates have skyrocketed in the last decade in large part due to the increase in the use of bottled water. Bottled waters aren’t fluoridated the way municipal water is, which makes the difference. When fluoride was added to the water in the 1940s, incidences of tooth decay dropped by 40% (according to the studies).

    My personal experience (anecdotal tho it may be) reflects this: I’ve always had perfect teeth, no cavities and no issues. At 41 I had my first 3 cavities. At 42 I had my first root canal. I brush 2x a day and floss 5x a week (or more). The only difference is that about 4-5 years ago in an effort to drink more water, I started buying bottled water from Costco and drinking it almost exclusively. I even drank LESS of other stuff – soda, tea, etc. that would otherwise be suspect in causing tooth decay. I’ve gone back to drinking tap water filtered thru a Brita or Pur filter – which doesn’t remove the fluoride.

    Just a bit of information, fwiw.

  8. bogart Says:

    I’m very dubious about the Glide claim, I’d guess 90% of the value of flossing is doing it and 10% might related to the tool used (and the other 50% to technique, ala Yogi Berra). Also I’m pretty sure my dentist offers Glide among the options she gives us each time we go for a cleaning and I trust her — and she’s pretty well connected to our nearby dental school, which is widely acclaimed. So.

    (Hmmm. Also if you go to pubmed and search on Glide Floss you’ll find two studies, so you can read up on it yourself, though neither abstract states who funded the research — maybe full text will)

    Since you ask, I’m dealing with gingivitis around a tooth that’s been crowned and told I need to have ~$1.2K in periodontal surgery. Not enthusiastic about that so am diligently trying to improve matters less invasively (though the cost doesn’t thrill me it’s actually the thought of making permanent changes to my mouth that bugs me more, though obviously that process has already started because, hello, crown!) via diligent cleaning, flossing, and use of mouthwash (chlorhexadine rx’ed by the dentist and H2O2 because what the heck)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It is interesting that those two studies both use Glide as the baseline condition. (For those interested, they both say CPP’s dentist is right and you should buy those little gum brushes.) Sadly our library does not subscribe to the Journal of Clinical Dentistry, so I couldn’t check to see if they were funded by the brush company or not.

      Maybe I’ll switch dentists next year. This one is in walking distance of our house, but I don’t like the way she tells both DH and me to do the same things all the time. No other dentist has done that. (I generally have much better teeth and gums than DH, though not when I’ve been anemic or under hormonal stress such as pregnancy.)

      • bogart Says:

        Yeah, I couldn’t find full text either. My university ostensibly provides online access but when I went to look, the pages cited don’t line up with edition/year so I don’t know if there are 2 so-named journals, or what.

        My search (and presumably yours) was *on* Glide so of course that’s what popped up (!). Had you searched on Reach floss you’d have gotten different studies. And my read of the findings is a bit different from yours — sure, what you say is true (the gum brushes are better) but basically what I read is that everything helps and the gum brushes help more but the significance of the differences is reported as statistical rather than clinical so I’m honestly not convinced that there’s any actual inter-product difference (i.e. that the brushes are genuinely better than floss). This is particularly true if one controls for user preference, i.e., if you like one better than the other and therefore use it more regularly I’d be willing to bet that that would trump any other sort of “superiority” it might have.

  9. Cloud Says:

    Pregnancy was not kind to my gums… And I’m lazy about flossing. My dentist has been trying to get me to come in to do a deep cleaning for about 6 months now. I keep putting it off. Mostly because it will take a lot of time, and sitting in a dentist’s chair getting my teeth scraped is pretty low on my list of things I want to do with my spare time.

  10. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I hate teeth stuff. :/ I haven’t been to the dentist in a long while… *shame*

  11. hush Says:

    Ditto the aforementioned experiences of teeth problems happening after a period of drinking water without any fluoride in it. In my case, there’s no fluoride in the water here, and perhaps not coincidentally, there’s a dental office on every other corner. And none are open on Fridays.

    An electronic toothbrush and regular use of mouthwash have helped, as have drinking soda through a straw, and not eating as many nuts (which I hear can be hard on teeth, though generally quite good for you.)

  12. Rumpus Says:

    As a teenager I always figured they would replace teeth with some sort of cool super-material. Like dentures crossed with nanomachines or something. Unfortunately, now that I know a bit more about the human body, prosthetics, and nanomachines, I no longer think the dental revolution is imminent. Though maybe someday we’ll be able to stimulate the body to grow another set of teeth on its own.

  13. pvcccourses Says:

    Oh god don’t get me started on what academia can do to your teeth. Short version: four crowns; four other chipped teeth that don’t need crowns…yet. Stress-related bruxism.

    Try the brand called Tom’s in the tooth floss. They make toothpastes, which are easy to find; the floss is a little more elusive. I’ve found it at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s at various times. Get the “flat” variety. It’s much, much, MUCH better than the Glide.

  14. Dr. C. Louboutin Says:

    wow. the sudden onset of cavities (4!) at age 39 is all clear! $^&@% tenure track! And I just thought it was living in Kentucky….

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