Do “Bad Teeth” Run in the Family?

Now that’s a great question! Patients often tell me that their siblings or parents had bad teeth or lost their teeth and they often feel that they’re doomed to a similar fate. Nothing could be further from the truth! Take me for example.My father lost all of his teeth and his father before him (Do bad teeth run in the familymy grandfather) lost all of his teeth. I have all of my teeth and as a dentist I’m going to make sure I keep them.

Yes, there are some complicated hereditary factors that can contribute to poor dental health, but the fact is that poor dental care habits are more likely to be “inherited” and contribute to the demise of one’s dentition. Unhealthy snacking and inadequate oral hygiene practices are much more likely to cause tooth decay and periodontal disease (the number one cause of tooth loss in adults).

Please feel free to to contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence H. Stone, DDS, any time at 215-230-7667with any specific questions relating to this topic. Everyone’s circumstances differ a little, and we are more than happy to provide customized recommendations for you to help maintain a healthy oral environment.

To Floss or Not to Floss? That is the Question!

dental flossRecently the Associated Press (AP) published an article entitled “Medical Benefits of Dental Floss Unproven”. This was a very interesting and well researched piece of journalism. It seems that the research in favor of flossing is not as solid as one would have hoped. This may in part be due to the fact that dental floss has been used in one way or another for over 100 years. It’s not surprising that research criteria were not as strict a century ago as they are today. It’s also disappointing though, that even the more recent studies involving flossing are not as rigorous as modern science requires.

That being said, it will remain my recommendation to continue daily flossing as it is my personal belief that proper use of floss not only prevents periodontal disease (the number one cause of tooth loss in adults), but also helps prevent tooth decay between the teeth. Let’s face it, no matter how well you brush, you can’t get a toothbrush in between your teeth to remove bacterial laden plaque. That I can prove!

I can remember my 10th grade history teacher proving that pigs can fly through the use of logic! Common sense however tells us that this is not the case. I suggest that we apply the same common sense to the question of flossing. For now…at least until additional research is done. After all, floss is cheap enough and only takes a minute or two to do.

Until I’m convinced otherwise, I’ll stand by my current recommendations:

  1. You don’t have to floss every day- just the days you eat!
  2. You don’t have to floss all your teeth- just the ones you want to keep!

I’d be more than happy to discuss any of your thoughts regarding flossing the next time you are in the office. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding flossing, don’t hesitate to contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence H. Stone, DDS, any time at 215-230-7667.

Three Ways That Modern Dentistry Can Help Improve Your Love Life!


Three Ways That Modern Dentistry Can Help Improve Your Love Life!

Don’t believe it? Well, it’s true. There may even be more! I can think of at least three ways that modern dentistry could change your love life. I’ve seen it happen time and again. Here are the three ways that come immediately to mind:

1.Cosmetic Dentistry

Repeated studies have shown that people with attractive smiles have an advantage – at work and at life in general. They are more likely to get that job, a date, or a new spouse because a beautiful smile naturally attracts more positive  attention. Whether it’s tooth whitening, porcelain laminate veneers or cosmetic bonding, dentistry today can help you get that winning smile!

2. Fresh Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a real “buzz kill”. No one wants to kiss someone with bad breath. Most bad breath comes from inadequate home care. Just brushing and flossing properly can solve most of these problems.

Other causes can, however, occasionally be the culprit. These include: smoking, sinus infections, periodontal disease, eating foods that contain aromatic compounds  such as garlic and raw onions that are eliminated through the lungs, and Xerostomia or dry mouth. Whatever the cause, the dental office is the place to start. By asking a few questions we can usually determine the cause and solving the problem can sometimes be surprisingly easy.

3. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and sometimes life threatening medical condition that is often treated with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines but can in many cases be alleviated with oral appliances. Patients with OSA show more sexual dysfunction relating to erectile dysfunction and sexual dissatisfaction when compared to normal subjects. Treating patients with OSA with oral appliances when possible has been shown in controlled studies to improve erectile dysfunction as discussed by Aarnoud Hoekema in his book: Oral-appliance Therapy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea-hypopnea Syndrome.

And there you have it, three ways in which modern dentistry can improve your love life! I’d be interested to hear from any of you who have your own stories to share.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

What is your dental health age?


I was reminded earlier today of a lesson I learned many years ago from a wonderful mentor I once had, Dr. Norman Schenk, one of my first employers. He taught me that much like our age in years, our age can be measured in dental health as well. For example, you could consider a youth to be someone from birth to let’s say 30, an adult to be someone from the age of 30 to maybe 75, and an elder to be someone over the age of 75. Similarly, you could consider a “dental” youth to be someone with all of their teeth even if there was some decay and gingivitis; an adult someone with some missing teeth and perhaps some decay and periodontal disease but amenable to treatment with small removable partial dentures or dental implant-supported crowns; and an elder, someone with advanced disease and perhaps many missing teeth requiring extensive removable partial dentures, implant supported dentures or complete full dentures.

The point of all this? In dentistry we have the ability to literally reverse the aging process! We can take someone who is either 70 or has the dental health of a 70 year old and with advanced dental treatments and cosmetic dental procedures give them the mouth of a 30 year old. Amazing! Ask us about this the next time you are in the office. The value of an attractive smile is priceless.

I’ve seen it time and again.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!


Dental Myths Dispelled – Part 2!


In my  last blog we discussed the pervading myths on root canals, baby teeth and dentures. This blog will address even more popularly held beliefs that could not be more false. Welcome to dental myths dispelled, part 2.

4.  Dentistry is Expensive

Really? Compared to what? A friend once showed me a bill from her veterinarian to have her dog’s teeth cleaned. Not to denigrate veterinarians but it was a lot more than my fees! What’s really expensive is neglect. Not paying attention to proper home care procedures and failing to take care of problems when they are small and easily managed can be a very costly mistake. People often decry the fact that they don’t have a dental insurance. Insurance is actually Intended for catastrophic problems, i.e. your house burns down, you need a $100,000 triple bypass, etc. Dental problems can be more easily managed financially with proper planning and smart prevention. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish!

5.  Dental Disease has no Effect on my General Health.

With all that’s been written in the media recently, I can hardly believe anyone holds this to be true anymore. Dental disease and periodontal (gum) disease in particular has been associated with pre-term low birth-weight babies, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few. Think about it. Even in times past, when folks went to buy a horse, the first thing they looked at were his teeth! People instinctively knew that an animal’s health was related to its general health. Sir William Osler, one of the most forward-thinking physicians who ever lived, is quoted as having said, “The mouth is the gateway to the body.” More than that, the mouth is an indicator of what’s going on in the body!

6. It’s Normal to Lose Teeth as We Age

There are over 30 million people in this country alone that are completely edentulous (having lost all their teeth), So it’s easy to see why people might think it’s normal to lose teeth as we age. Fact is – teeth are lost as a result of disease, periodontal (gum) disease in particular, the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, periodontal disease is so widespread that it is said to be more common than the common cold! 80% of adults have some form of gum disease and gum disease causes 90% of the tooth loss in adults. Statistically a lot of folks may be missing teeth, but remember, teeth are lost as a result of disease. Disease is not normal. Health is normal!