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Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC December 2011 Newsletter
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Painting Yourself into a Corner
Recently, I have had the same disturbing discussion with several elderly patients about the prospect of losing their few remaining teeth. I'd like to share that discussion with you.

Gravity is a natural law. If I drop a ball it falls to the ground. I can't choose a different outcome for the ball. Gravity is obeyed regardless of my wishes. So it goes with missing teeth. Neglect's natural consequence is tooth loss and trouble chewing. At age 80, Carol wants to keep the teeth she has left. Sadly, what she has are neither sufficient for chewing nor able to support a partial denture. Furthermore, Carol does not have enough bone for dental implants. You see, physical laws don't care what she wants. Carol simply has no alternative: she must get dentures so she can eat, digest food, and smile!

Long-time denture wearers say, "they're not so bad." But only those who've worn them for 30-40 years have good things to say about dentures. They have simply forgotten how nice it was to have their own real teeth. Adapting to dentures at 80 is a very different story. Carol's health will steadily decline over the next 10-15 years. Add toothlessness to chronic disease and the gravity of Carol's situation is apparent. Had she previously made better decisions for her teeth, Carol would have better options.

Like all who face this predicament, Carol wishes she could go back 20-40 years and make different choices. Now most of you reading this article are age 25-60, not 80 like Carol. This is written to you! Ask yourself these questions: What will I start today to avoid Carol's unfortunate situation years from now? Am I preventing? Will I start flossing? Should I pull this tooth or fix it right? Will I replace that missing tooth to prevent bite destruction? My point is, wherever you are on the path of life, its probably not too late to choose better. Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you!

- Dr Jake Layer

Toothy Tid Bits: Baby its Cold Outside!
Brrrrr…it's that time of year again. Yep, Winter! And when I think of Winter I think of my cold-sensitive teeth. Weird, I know, they've been telling me that for years. As far back as I can remember my teeth have been sensitive to cold. I've had to lick my ice cream cones till the bitter end while cringing at my friends chomping on theirs. I know I'm not alone and I'm here to relay some good news to those of you rocking in this same boat.

Why are our teeth so darn sensitive? The dentin is the softer layer underneath the enamel and is full of microscopic tubes. If the tubes are open then a cold substance can trigger the nerve in the tooth to send a pain signal. If the tubes are plugged, no trigger to the nerve occurs. Think of the dentin as the pores of your teeth. Historically, fluoride has been one of the best plugs – until now! A promising new product called, NovaMin® (GSK) is available to treat sensitivity! For more info, search for "novamin" at www.sultanhc.com.

- Jocelyn Codington, RDH

Did You Know?
Who invented dentistry? It's hard to credit any one person, however, G.V. Black (1836–1915) is considered the founder of modern dentistry. Born in Winchester, Illinois he spent his early life on a farm. In 1857, he began dental studies with Dr. J.C. Speer. After serving as a union scout in the Civil War, GV Black opened his dental practice in Jacksonville, Illinois. During his career, he developed the composition for dental amalgam and deduced the cause of dental fluorosis (too much fluoride). He also invented the foot-driven dental drill and enumerated principles of tooth preparation which are still used today. Now you know!
Dr. Layer and his highly trained team would love to hear from you and answer your questions. Simply click the "submit question" link below this message. Referrals are appreciated.

Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC | www.layerdental.com | 541-734-0970
1485 East McAndrews Rd., Medford, OR 97504



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