Boise Dentist Blog

The professional blog of Doctors Dan Bruce, Steve Bruce and Rob Ririe

Periodontal Disease and OSA

Dr. Dan Bruce - Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Several recent research studies have reported a link between chronic periodontal disease and obstructive sleep apnea. Both conditions are relatively common and are associated with a systemic inflammatory response. One large, population based study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology revealed that between 77% and 79% of subjects with obstructive sleep apnea also had obstructive sleep apnea. While a correlation between the two conditions has been shown, there has not been any conclusive evidence regarding causality.

Food Drive

Dr. Dan Bruce - Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We love living and working in the Treasure Valley and want to give back to the community! In honor of Thanksgiving, our office is holding a food drive for the Idaho Foodbank. Throughout the month of November, Drs. Bruce, Ririe, and Bruce will donate 5 pounds of food for each new patient we see and 1 pound of food for each new "like" our Facebook page receives. We are also collecting food donations from patients and employees.

Dental Herb Company

Dr. Dan Bruce - Thursday, October 24, 2013
Our office has recently started carrying products from The Dental Herb Company. These all natural products do not contain any alcohol, chemicals, SLS, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives. They are made in the U.S. and not tested on animals.

The Dental Herb Company Tooth & Gums System includes tooth and gum tonic, paste, spritz, and under the gums irrigant. The products contain essential oils and organically grown herbs that reduce oral bacteria to help achieve and maintain oral health. They are a natural treatment alternative for halitosis and periodontal disease.

There have been multiple research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of these products. In one study by the University of Rochester, the Tooth & Gums Tonic was found to be effective in reducing gingival inflammation, plaque, and whole mouth malodor in adult patients. Results from the Fresh Breath Study by the Clinical Research Associates showed that The Tooth & Gums Tonic masked bad breath for 52 minutes- longer than any other product tested. More research can be found on the company’s website.

The company founder believed the products should be used under the guidance of a dentist, so they are only sold through dental health professionals, not in retail stores.

Blizzident Toothbrush

Dr. Dan Bruce - Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The World's Craziest Toothbrush

The future of tooth brushing is here! The Blizzident toothbrush is made from 3D scanning and 3D printing and is shaped exactly like your teeth. The manufacturer claims that the Blizzident can clean all of your teeth in only 6 seconds. All you have to do is bite into it and move your jaws up and down and side to side.

The process for getting a Blizzident is easier than you may think. Your dentist takes an impression of your teeth and then sends it to the Blizzident lab, where they turn the impression into a digital image and print the toothbrush using 3D technology. Currently, the cost for a Blizzident is $300. It sounds expensive, but if it really cleans all your teeth in only 6 seconds, it could be worth it.

Recent Patient Comments

Dr. Dan Bruce - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Here are some of the recent comments we have received from our patients:

"Thanks so much for getting me in so quickly! As always, professional and friendly! I'm so glad I was referred to this practice years ago and will continue to refer my friends and family." - Ruthie

"The Downtown office is AWESOME!" - Sherri

"I love that everyone is so great with kids. Thank you." - Jeremy

"I am extremely satisfied with the service provided by Bay Pointe Dental." - Robert

Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

Dr. Dan Bruce - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New recommendations from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists address concerns about the safety of having dental treatment during pregnancy. The College states that dental cleanings, x-rays, and local anesthesia are safe during pregnancy. Furthermore, ob-gyns are encouraged to emphasize the importance of oral health to all their patients, including pregnant patients.

Around 40% of pregnant women in the U.S. have some form of oral disease - including periodontal disease and tooth decay. Good oral health is important for the overall health of the mother and the child. Improving the mother-to-be’s oral health may also help to decrease the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mother to baby.

Pregnancy is not a reason to delay necessary dental treatment. In some cases, health insurance may even help pay for pregnant women to receive dental services. As always, proper oral hygiene is critical to maintaining good oral health during pregnancy. Brush twice a day, floss daily, and see the dentist regularly.


Source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Diet Soda vs. Drugs

Dr. Dan Bruce - Tuesday, July 23, 2013
A recent study published in the journal General Dentistry, claimed that diet soda can have the same effect on your teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine! Pretty scary, right?

The case study compared the oral health of three participants - one who drank two liters of diet soda daily for three to five years, a 51-year old crack user, and a 29-year old methamphetamine addict. The researcher found similar patterns of severe enamel erosion on all three participants. Diet soda, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine are all very acidic substances. Once enamel has been eroded, teeth are more susceptible to cavities and other oral health problems.

While this example is an extreme case, drinking diet soda does pose some risks to your oral health. Diet soda may not contain sugar, but it has a very low pH. If you have to drink a diet soda, do so in moderation and try not to sip on it throughout the day. It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water after drinking anything acidic or sugary. Remember that good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent oral disease.

Tooth Whitening

Dr. Dan Bruce - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Whitening" is any process that makes the teeth appear whiter. This can be achieved in two different ways. Some products bleach the tooth and actually change the natural tooth color. On the other hand, non-bleaching whitening products contain agents that work by physical or chemical action to help remove surface stains only.

Whitening products may be administered in the dental office, dispensed by dentists for home-use, or purchased over-the-counter (OTC). There are two major groups of whitening products:

• Peroxide-containing bleaching agents
• Whitening toothpastes (dentifrices)

The ADA recommends that you consult with a dentist before choosing to use a bleaching product. This is especially important for patients with numerous fillings, crowns, and/or extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. The dentist and patient together can determine the most appropriate treatment. The dentist can then provide bleaching instructions, answer any questions, and supervise treatment.



Dr. Dan Bruce - Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar substitute that is widely recognized for its dental and other health benefits. Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol found in fruits like plums, raspberries and strawberries; vegetables, such as lettuce and corncobs; and hard woods, like birch. It has 40% fewer calories than sugar and is approved in more than 35 countries, including the United States, for use in food products, pharmaceuticals, and oral health products.

Multiple studies have shown that xylitol reduces plaque formation and bacterial adherence and inhibits enamel demineralization. Xylitol is noncariogenic because it does not ferment (produce acids in the oral cavity), and it has been found to be antimicrobial in high doses. Long-lasting oral health benefits have been demonstrated up to 5 years after 2 years of using a xylitol chewing gum. Furthermore, use of xylitol gum by mothers (2-3 times per day starting 3 months after delivery and until the child was 2 years old) reduced caries-causing bacterial levels in children up to 6 years of age.

There are many different xylitol products on the market now, including gums, mints, and mouthwashes. For caries prevention, research suggests that xylitol intake should be between 6 and 10 grams per day divided into 3 to 7 consumption periods.

When buying xylitol gum or mints, look for a brand that is 100% sweetened with xylitol, such as Epic or Spry. These brands can be found at natural food stores such as the Co-op in Boise or online.

Nutrition and Dental Health

Dr. Dan Bruce - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nutrition and Dental Health

By: Carmen Oldenburg, MA, CHES

Guest author Carmen Oldenburg is a Health Educator and Mind/Body Specialist and helps patients with lifestyle education and health and wellness coaching.

Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increasing fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases.

Diet and nutritional advice for healthy teeth and gums:

First and foremost in developing strong teeth and gums is to ensure a balanced diet or an anti-inflammatory diet. An anti-inflammatory diet is based on the general concept that constant or out-of-control inflammation leads to ill health, and that eating to avoid constant inflammation promotes better health and can ward off disease.

Carbohydrates consist of non-starchy vegetables, fruits, starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes. Approximately 45% of an individual’s diet should come from this category of foods with the bulk of the foods coming from non-starchy vegetables. However, most Americans are eating less than 2-3 servings of vegetables and fruits a day and instead are eating the bulk of carbohydrates from the starches like grains and potatoes. Too many carbohydrates, sugars (for example, from cake, cookies, candies, milk, and other sugary foods and beverages), and savory foods and starches (for example, pretzels and potato chips) can cause tooth decay. How long carbohydrates remain on the teeth is the main culprit that leads to tooth decay. On the other hand, eating 5-8 half cup servings of non-starchy vegetables (e.g., leafy greens, broccoli) provides high levels of antioxidants, calcium for stronger teeth and a good source of fiber.

Protein provides a supply of amino acids that help to preserve and build muscle, and heal musculoskeletal tissues. Adequate protein is needed every day. It helps to maintain your muscles, and the amino acids are the building blocks for many important cell reactions. The average adult needs approximately 35% of their diet in the form of plant and/or lean animal proteins. Protein is important for the formation of teeth. In children, malnutrition of protein causes significant delay in eruption of primary teeth and studies suggest a relationship between early malnutrition and susceptibility to cavities later. In addition, protein and fat protect teeth from cavity-causing acids created as carbohydrates ferment.

Eating healthy fats has a direct impact on inflammation in the body. Sources of omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body. Unfortunately, the average American diet includes too many foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids, found in processed and fast foods, and far too few rich in omega-3 and 9 fatty acids, such as those found in cold-water fish or nuts/seeds. When that balance is out of whack, inflammation can set in. The average adult needs about 20% of their diet in healthy fats. Omega-9 fats include avocado, olive oil, and almonds, to name a few. Sources of omega-3 fats include flax seeds and oil (don’t heat flax), sardines, ocean salmon, and walnuts.

Here are some tips for selecting and eating foods that are more healthful to your teeth:

• Keep fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your house to offer as "healthy snacks" instead of carbohydrates. Buy foods that are sugar-free or unsweetened or preferably natural such as whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Choose fruits and vegetables that contain a high volume of water, such as pears, melons, celery, and cucumbers. Limit bananas and raisins, as these contain concentrated sugar. You should brush immediately after eating fruits.
• Avoid sticky, chewy foods. Foods that cling to your teeth promote tooth decay. So when you snack, avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods such as cakes, candy and dried fruits. Instead, choose healthy foods such as nuts, seeds, raw vegetables, and plain yogurt. Try to brush teeth immediately after eating.
• Serve sugary treats with meals, not as snacks. If you plan to have sweets, eat them as desserts immediately following the meal. There’s usually an increased amount of saliva in the mouth around mealtime, making it easier to wash food away from teeth. The mealtime beverage also helps to wash away food particles on teeth.
• Drink plain water instead of juice or soda. Juices, sodas, and even milk contain sugar. Water does not harm the teeth and aids in washing away any food particles that may be clinging to teeth.
• Include good sources of calcium in your diet to build strong teeth. Good sources include green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Eating 5-8 half-cup servings of vegetables per day helps fight inflammation in the entire body.
• Avoid eating fermentable carbohydrates by themselves. When you eat fermentable carbohydrates, such as crackers, cookies and chips, eat them as part of your meal, instead of by themselves. Combinations of foods neutralize acids in the mouth and inhibit tooth decay. For example, an apple with some nut butter provides a great snack by balancing the fructose from the apple with some healthy fat and protein from the nut butter. Your snack will be just as satisfying and better for your dental health as well as balancing blood sugar with some protein.
• Get in the habit of eating as few snacks as possible. The frequency of snacking is far more important than the quantity consumed. Time between meals allows saliva to wash away food particles that bacteria would otherwise feast on. Frequent snacking, without brushing immediately afterwards, provides constant fuel to feed bacteria, which leads to plaque development and tooth decay. Try to limit snacks as much as possible and to no more than one or two a day. Brush teeth immediately after consuming the snack, if possible.
• Avoid sugary foods that linger on the teeth. Lollipops, hard candies, cough drops, and mints all contribute to tooth decay because they continuously coat the teeth with sugar.
• Never put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with milk, formula, juice, or soda. If your baby needs a bottle at bedtime, fill it with plain water.


The Cleveland Clinic
Institute of Functional Medicine