Tag Archives: Bacteria

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is finally upon us! For all of us here, at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. Who can resist all that deliciousness; the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and all those yummy pies? But, we all know that some of our favorite Thanksgiving yummies can really do a number on our waistlines and our teeth. However, there is good news: there are foods on the Thanksgiving table that are actually good for your pearly whites!


Luckily, the main Thanksgiving course is one the best foods for your teeth. This succulent bird is a great source of protein, and protein, contains phosphorus, which is great for your teeth when it’s combined with calcium and vitamin D. These minerals and vitamins keep your teeth nice and strong! So the next time you bite into a drumstick or turkey sandwich, remember that you’re doing it for your teeth.

Leafy Green Vegetables  

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories, and they are high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel.


Cheese is rich in calcium, which keeps teeth strong, but cheese also has been found to protect your pearly whites from acid erosion by raising the pH in the mouth to above 5.5. A pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion. Eating cheese also stimulates saliva production, which protects teeth in itself.


Pass the cranberry sauce please! This Thanksgiving staple contains compounds that inhibit the bacteria, S. Mutans, ability to form dental plaque. Without this sticky protective biofilm, bacteria cannot produce as much acid, and the threat to your teeth’s integrity is significantly lessened.

Red Wine

Great news for wine lovers; this magic elixir also helps in the fight against S. Mutans and cavities. Red wine also contains antioxidants that can help fight bacterial infection, and it contains tannins, which help stimulate saliva production. Saliva is your natural protection against acid, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. So, go ahead and pour yourself another glass!

Pumpkin Pie

Don’t forget dessert! Yes, there actually is a dessert that can help your teeth. Bring on the pumpkin pie! While it’s true, there is a lot of sugar in pumpkin pie, there is also a lot of good stuff, like calcium, two different types of vitamin B, and a huge dose of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant.

We hope this Thanksgiving brings you delicious treats and plenty of fond memories with your family. From all of us here, we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, to schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, give us a call at 972-242-2155, or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page. At Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, we are here for you!!

The Biggest Myth about Cavities

ADA Spokesperson Discusses the Biggest Myth about Cavities

American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper discusses dental carries. “The biggest myth about cavities is that if it doesn’t hurt you don’t need to fix it,” Dr. Cooper said. “That is completely wrong.” She states that when a cavity has begun to cause pain, it usually requires “more extensive treatment” at that point. Explaining what causes dental decay and why some people may have more cavities than others, Dr. Cooper says “brushing and flossing, of course, are the best way to minimize the number of cavities that you get.” In addition, dentists have many tools available, such as fluoride rinses and treatments, to make teeth more resistant to dental decay. “The best thing to do,” Dr. Cooper says, is to have regular dental visits to ensure detection and treatment of cavities while they’re still small.


Tips to help prevent cavities:

  • Brush at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Floss or use an interdental cleaner, such as a Waterpik or proxy brush, daily to remove food and bacteria from in between teeth
  • Limit sugary drinks and snacks
  • Prescription strength  fluoride pastes and rinses are also recommended if you are at a high risk of developing decay. We offer prescription strength fluoride paste for purchase in office
  • Visit Dr. Griffin at least twice yearly for your professional cleaning and exam

If you think you may have a cavity and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Griffin, please call us, at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.


The American Dental Association provides additional information on cavities and other oral health topics at Mouthhealthy.org

WebMD Considers “15 Myths and Facts” About Dental Caries

WebMD Considers “15 Myths and Facts” About Dental CariesMyths & Facts

WebMD (6/23, Brown) provides a list of “15 myths and facts,” about dental caries, featuring quotes from American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Kimberly Harms throughout. For example, the list states that it is a myth that sugar is the only cause of dental caries. Dr. Kimberly Harms states, “The truth is, acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is the cause of cavities.” Another myth is that children have more dental caries than adults. As a result of fluoride in tap water, “we’ve actually cut decay in school-aged children by half in the last 20 years,” Dr. Harms says. On the flip side, more senior citizens are getting dental caries because of medication that reduces saliva, she says. WebMD also states that the following are myths: aspirin on a tooth will alleviate a toothache; all fillings will eventually need replacing; people will know if they have a cavity; bruxism causes dental caries; gaps in teeth lead to dental caries; dental sensitivity means there is decay; dental caries are the cause of root canals; and dental caries aren’t possible in baby teeth. In addition, the article states it’s true that acid causes dental decay; once treated, the decay stops; dental caries are more likely to appear between teeth; dental chips and cracks can lead to decay; and proper dental hygiene helps prevent decay.


If you have any questions about dental caries and what causes them, or if you need to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Griffin, please call us, at 972-242-2155.


Choosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

ToothbrushChoosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is the most important item in your oral health toolkit. But with such a wide variety of toothbrushes available which do you choose? We here at Paul Griffin, DDS, answer several frequently asked questions about choosing and caring for your toothbrush:

  • What should I look for when choosing a toothbrush?
  • Should I use an electric toothbrush?
  • How often should I change my toothbrush?
  • How can I keep my toothbrush clean?
  • How should I store my toothbrush?

What should I look for when choosing a toothbrush?

The best toothbrushes have a long wide handle to ensure a firm grip. The toothbrush head should be small enough to reach all areas of the mouth, with soft bristles that won’t hurt the gums.

Should I use an electric toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes, which use an oscillating or rotary motion to clean the teeth, are beneficial because they can cover a larger area of the mouth faster than a manual toothbrush. They are especially well-suited for those with braces, those who need extra motivation to brush, and those who have difficulty operating a manual toothbrush due to age, disability, or other factors.

If you use an electric toothbrush, avoid pressing down too hard; instead use light force and slow movements, letting the brush do the work for you.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Old toothbrushes with worn and frayed bristles will not clean your teeth effectively, and they may also harbor harmful bacteria. You should change your toothbrush – or brush head, in the case of an electric toothbrush – every three to four months. However, if you get sick with a cold or the flu, you will need to change your toothbrush as soon as the illness begins and again once the illness has subsided.

How can I keep my toothbrush clean?

Wash your hands before and after brushing to avoid transferring bacteria to your toothbrush. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush to thoroughly remove any excess toothpaste and anything else that may be in the bristles. Occasionally soaking the brush in antiseptic mouth-rinse can help eliminate any lingering bacteria. Remember: Never share toothbrushes, as this habit can lead to the transmission of bacteria and viruses.

How should I store my toothbrush?

Store your toothbrush upright and let it air dry. Microorganisms are more likely to grow in a moist environment, so don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container. Because bacteria can travel easily from brush to brush, don’t store your toothbrush in the same container as someone else’s. Finally keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible to avoid contamination from airborne bacteria that are released with ever flush.

No matter which kind of toothbrush you have, make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and visit Dr. Griffin regularly to maintain good oral health.

If you have any questions about choosing or caring for your toothbrush everyone here at Paul Griffin, DDS is happy to help!  You can call us at 972-242-2155 or simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.

(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)

A Cup O’ Joe a Day May Keep Cavities Away

Coffee & CavitiesCould a cup of coffee a day really keep plaque and cavities away?

According to research, that might just be the case. Studies suggest that black coffee may actually help prevent plaque and tooth decay.

A study, published in 2009, by the KLE Society’s Institute of Dental Sciences, in Bangalore, India, found that compounds in coffee could reduce plaque formation. Plaque is a complex biofilm, which contains the bacteria Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), and is the main culprit in tooth decay and gum disease. Coffee brewed from roasted coffee beans was found to contain antibacterial activities against certain microorganisms, such as S. mutans. Scientists performed laboratory tests with 1,000 people of both genders, which showed coffee molecules actually prevent adhesion of S. mutans on tooth enamel.

Researchers also suggest that trigonelline, which is a bitter alkaloid in coffee, that contributes to the aroma and flavor of the beverage, has been found to reduce the incidence of dental caries due to its ability to prevent the S. mutans from adhering to teeth enamel.

Another study from 2010, by researchers at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University, examined the effects of Coffea canephora extract – a type of coffee bean that makes up 30% of the world’s consumed coffee – on baby teeth that had 10 days of biofilm growth. The results of this study concluded that the coffee extract actively broke down the bacterial biofilms, which are responsible for causing plaque, which leads to harmful tooth decay.

It’s important to add, both studies show that coffee should be consumed black and when milk and sugar or sweeteners were added, it no longer had beneficial properties.

Even though these studies show promising results that coffee may boost your dental health, it doesn’t mean you should ditch the toothbrush and floss. There are still problems with drinking a lot of coffee, including staining and the effects of acidity on tooth enamel. To minimize staining and the effects of acidity from coffee, swish with water after drinking, brush and floss at least twice a day, and visit Dr. Griffin regularly.

If you are needing to make your next appointment, please call us at, 972-242-2155, or you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.