Tag Archives: plaque

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!!

Tooth Decay

Image result for dentistry imagesTooth Decay


Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is an oral disease that affects many people. Natural bacteria live in your mouth and form plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods and produces acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralizing enamel, which weakens the teeth and leads to tooth decay. Tooth decay is not life threatening and is highly preventable.

What types of foods may contribute to tooth decay?

Foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, and cake, and even some fruits, vegetables, and juices, may contribute to tooth decay.

How can cavities be prevented?

The acids formed by plaque can be counteracted by the saliva in your mouth, which acts as a buffer and remineralizing agent. Dentists often recommend chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow. However, the best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss regularly. Fluoride, a natural substance that helps to remineralize the tooth structure, makes the tooth more resistant to the acids and helps to correct damage produced by the plaque bacteria. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and water sources to help fight cavities. Your dentist also may recommend that you use special high concentration fluoride gels, mouth rinses, or dietary fluoride supplements. In addition, professional strength anti-cavity varnish or sealants may be recommended.

Who is at risk for cavities?

Because we all carry bacteria in our mouths, everyone is at risk for cavities. Those with a diet high in carbohydrates and sugary foods and those who live in communities without fluoridated water are likely candidates for cavities. Also, those with a lot of fillings have a higher chance of developing tooth decay because the area around the restored portion of a tooth is a good breeding ground for bacteria. In general, children and senior citizens are the two groups at the highest risk for cavities.

What can I do to help protect my teeth?

The best way to combat cavities is to follow three simple steps:

  • Cut down on sweets and between-meal snacks. Remember, sugary and starchy foods put your teeth at risk.
  • Brush after every meal and floss daily. Cavities most often begin in hard-to clean areas between the teeth and in the fissures and pits on the biting surfaces of the teeth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside, on top of, and in between your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every few months. Only buy toothpastes and rinses that contain fluoride.
  • See your Dr. Griffin at least every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Because cavities can be difficult to detect, a thorough dental examination is very important. If left untreated, cavities can lead to permanent loss of the tooth structure, root canal therapy, and even loss of the tooth.

In general, children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk for cavities.

If you suspect you may have tooth decay or if you have any questions, please call us here at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.


(Compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry)


Chewing Sugarfree Gum Helps Keep Mouths Healthy

Chewing sugar-free Gum Helps Keep Mouths Healthy

We all know sugar-free gum tastes great and freshens our breath, but did you also know that it is good for your teeth? Chewing sugar-free gum after meals has proven benefits for oral health.

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals helps:

  • Stimulate saliva flow
  • Neutralize plaque acids
  • Maintain proper pH
  • Promote tooth remineralization
  • Clear food debris

Chewing sugar-free gum, especially after eating and drinking during the day, is a simple step to improving your oral healthcare.

And, remember, while chewing sugar-free gum is beneficial, it does not replace brushing and flossing. It is important to remember to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day.

Wrigley’s has been researching the oral care benefits of chewing sugar-free gum since the 1930s. Their dedicated science and technology team continues to conduct research into the oral-care benefits of chewing. They also partner with national dental associations and dental professionals worldwide to support this research, promote oral health education and support better access to oral care.

Wrigley’s Orbit® and Extra® sugar-free chewing gums were the first chewing gums to be awarded the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

To further maintain your oral health and the overall beauty of your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Griffin. Please call (972) 242-2155 or you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of the page. 


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.


Dentistry Can Be Quite Punny!

Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PAAlthough dentistry and oral hygiene are both serious business, it’s good to joke around from time to time. We’ve put together some of our favorite dental puns and jokes that we think are quite punny... Enjoy!

Be kind to your dentist because he has fillings too.

I’ve been to the dentist several times so I know the drill.

Contemplating my imminent root canal procedure was deeply unnerving.

My cavity wasn’t fixed by my regular dentist, but by a guy who was filling in.

A dentist and manicurist fought tooth and nail.

My dentist would simply not stop working on my teeth. He was abscessive compulsive.

An endodontist gets on everybody’s nerves.

No one knew she had a denture until it came out in conversation.

My dentist seems distracted, I think he was brushing me off.

Dentists have the same old grind day after day.


Q: What is a dentist’s favorite clothing store?
A: The Gap

Q: What does an orthodontist do on a roller coaster?
A: He braces himself

Q: What does the dentist of the year get?
A: A little plaque

Q: What game did the dentist play when she was a child?
A: Caps and robbers

Q: What do you call a dentist who doesn’t like tea?
A: Denis.

Q: What is another name for a dentist’s office?
A: A filling station

Q: What did the dentist say to the golfer?
A: “You have a hole in one.”

Q: What is the best time to go to the dentist?
A: At tooth-hurty (2:30).

Q: How did the dentist become a brain surgeon?
A: His drill slipped.

Q: Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused a Novocain injection during root canal treatment?
A: He wanted to transcend dental medication!


If you know of any funny dental jokes or puns you’d like us hear, or are in need of an appointment, please feel free call us today, at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.