Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Soda and Tooth Erosion

Hi Gang!!

A little bit of delay posting this latest version. I've been having some computer issues that are taking some time to resolve. However, I've managed to get things organized enough to post this article on the relationship between soda or pop consumption and tooth erosion.

This is becoming an ever more common problem in our younger patient population. The article summed it pretty well in this statement:

...any highly acidic food has the potential to cause structural damage to the teeth. It's the job of saliva to restore the mouth's normal acid balance, but a steady diet of tart and tangy foods can overwhelm this natural defense.

Like almost everything in life, the key is moderation. I find it highly unlikely that most kids would shy away from soda totally, so practical success will be the limiting of intake and encouraging the rinsing or drinking of water shortly afterwards.

Take care!

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Friday, March 18, 2005

Help Conquer Disease with *Your* Computer

Hello gang!

Here's an endevour that is kind of a pet project that I have., in tandem with IBM (yes, that IBM) have created software that uses the unused processing time on your computer. It doesn't slow down your computer but runs as a fancy screensaver to help medical researchers fold proteins and do various other complex calculations in the hopes of finding a cure for cancer and other diseases. I have it on my home computer, my computer at the dental practice and various other family computers. It is an unqualified success.

I would like to recruit your computer to help humanity. Please download the software, install it and then go to this page to join my team: The Canadian Dent/Med Grid. You don't have to be Canadian or in the Health Sciences to join. I aim to have one of the largest teams in the worldwide grid, which currently has over 2.5 million computers helping out!

I am hoping for your kind support! Take care all and have a great weekend!
Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Teeth Trauma in Ontario Common in Teens

Hello friends,

Been a slow day with a couple of cancellations so I decided to write a blurb on a study revealing an alarming number of injuries to front teeth. Nearly one in five teenagers shows some evidence of trauma. Based on my experience, most of these are related to sports (hockey and baseball notably). Personally, I truly believe in wearing a sport guard at *every* athletic endevour. It would definitely cut down on the substantial future expense of repairing these injuries for a lifetime.

Some quotes from the Medical News Today article:

Overall, 18.5 per cent of the teens - almost one in five - showed evidence of tooth damage; six per cent exhibited severe damage with teeth broken or knocked out.

They also found that youth who had problems with cavities also tended to have tooth injuries.

I have to admit that I did not expect the number to be that high...truly stunning.

I'm off until Monday, so until next week, take care and have a great weekend! :)

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Google Search Box

Hello all,

Well, it's been a late day at work here. Spared another minute or so to put up the Google search box at the left for web searches.

Take care and have a good night!

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Truth in Advertising and Tooth Booth Policy

Hi all,

Well, I've decided to add some advertising in order to start preparing for the possible move to my own server. It should defray some cost, but I wanted my readers to know that I do not endorse *any* product or service, nor will adverstising affect any content. If such a situation could arise, I will cancel the advertising and pay out of my own pocket to maintain the site.

So to reiterate, when describing techniques, products or services that I use, I do not endorse them. Ads that appear via Google (an excellent internet service) reflect the content of this site but are not endorsed by me.

You should always consult your dentist or physician and ask questions before any procedure, and/or potiential drug therapy (prescribed or off the shelf).

Take care and have a great day! :)
Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Lip Piercing and Receeding Gums

Hello all!

It has been a powerpacked day at the office, I've been busy with restorations and a root canal this morning. However, I managed to sit down during my lunch period to quickly write an entry on this article on lip piercing and receeding gums which I saw on both and the Toronto Star. The few patients that I see who have lip piercings, are often associated with some recession, trauma, or inflammation in the gum areas near the piercing. This article noted that:

About 41% of those with pierced lips had receding gums. That's much higher than the 7% rate seen in those with unpierced lips. (From

What I try to do with my patients is advise them on the risks, without getting on the soapbox.

Well, I'm off to eat my lunch. Have a great day all and take care! :)

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Sad State of Canadian Dental Schools

Hello all,

Sometimes I pause and think about looming shortage of dentists (already acute in rural areas like the one I work in). Dental students have to pay almost obscene tuition fees (in some cases over $40 000 a year) while the dental schools they study in are on the verge of bankruptcy. An increase in funding is very much needed.

The Globe and Mail (you may have to register to read the article) had a great article on this, I was particularly struck by the fact that some students have debt loads exceeding $150 ooo! In addition, the compensation rates for external dentists who supervise clinic students (our future dentists and surgeons) are in the $100-150 per day range. We pay almost everyone in health care more per day...very frustrating and illogical.

Will our government (both federal and provincial) please step up to the plate?

Take care! :)
Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Syndication Features

Hi gang,

Just trying to add a few features to the weblog, namely : syndication. If you use a service like and would like to add the Tooth Booth to your listing of news services, click on the link below. It'll be on the tagline from this point onwards.

Take Care as always!

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Bad Breath Article

Good morning (yawn!)

Woke up today and read the Toronto Star's Sunday Ideas Section and came over this article about bad breath. Apparently, Japanese researchers found that eating sugar-free yogurt reduced bad breath (volatile sulphur compounds, e.g. hydrogen sulfide) by about 80% after 6 weeks. Gingival (gum) and plaque measurments also improved when compared to non-yogurt eating volunteers.

(Toronto Star March 13, 2005 - Ideas section -D10)

Hmmm....but what about the taste? (blah!) :)

Take care as always!

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Colour and Shading in Dentistry

Hi gang,

Went to the POW labs course on colour and shading in dentistry. It was a great course in terms of tips and techniques. While at the course I was trying to see what tips I could give the layman dental consumer when undergoing crown and bridge (caps) procedures.

In terms of colour matching your crown as accurately as possible:

  • If you are whitening (bleaching) your teeth, try to do it well before the procedure and then let your teeth "settle" for a couple of weeks to get the best result.
  • Try to schedule your appointment in the late morning and early afternoon hours in order to take advantage of the best natural light condition (6500K light for those scientifically inclined)
  • Porcelain crowns are more aesthetic but may not be applicable to your case, traditional porcelain fused to metal may have to be used due to strength reasons
  • *Tell* your dentist what features of the teeth beside the future crown you would want or not want to be included. This includes items like glossiness, shape, variations in colour etc.

In short, communication is the key to a great looking crown and a very happy patient!

Take care as always!

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Been a slow day at the office. Inserted a nice looking crown today, beautiful aesthetics and colour match. Will be heading to a course tonight at POW labs on colour shade matching techniques. Should be interesting. I'll keep you posted any new revelations from that lecture. (Can't turn down free food and continuing education points)

Take care as always.

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Health Canada Website

Hello all,

Yet another day completed at the office. Once again, my patients were very comical and the day just flew by. On an interesting note, one of my hygienists asked me about the effects of "kava" (it causes potential liver issues among other things), which she had on one of her trips around the world. In sourcing some information for her, I wanted to remind all my readers that a great source of information for Canadians (North Americans) is the Health Canada website. Click on the link above for the main website.

Take care as always! :)

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Tooth Whitening

Now here is a topic that is pretty popular in the dental office that I work in. The article linked above a good summary but I would add a few items:

1) I would start in the commercially available products (Crest/Colgate), if this doesn't help then ask your friendly dentist about at-home/in-office whitening.
2) To limit sensitivity with the stronger formulations, it would be wise to start with a desensitizing toothpast such as Sensodyne twice a day for 2-3 weeks *BEFORE* starting a whitening treatment plan
3)Have resonable expectations. Do not expect the "Hollywood" smile if you drink significant amounts of wine/coffee/tea or any other food or drink that are known to cause significant colouring of teeth. If toothpastes and the products whiten your teeth slightly, then chances are the we in the office will be only able to get a few more shades on top of that. Veneers or other cosmetic dentistry may a be more viable option.

Take Care as always!

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

Monday, March 07, 2005

ADG Patient Website

Just a reminder that the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry) has a tremendous amount of information for patients. Check out their website at the link above.

Take Care as always!

Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Sheesh, more than a year since I last updated this blog. Hope to be better this year. Lots of exciting things to talk about in the near future. I especially want to get into the need for grid computing and for the kind people out there to donate their *unused* computer time (no...not their computer, but computer time). More on this on the next post. Currently, I am testing grid software in hopes of a large scale deployment.

As always take care and stay safe!