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During the COVID-19 quarantines, stir-crazy celebrities have been creating some “unique” home videos—like Madonna singing about fried fish to the tune of “Vogue” in her bathroom or Cardi B busting through a human-sized Jenga tower. But an entertaining Instagram video from Kevin Bacon also came with a handy culinary tip: The just-awakened film and TV actor showed fans his morning technique for cutting a mango to avoid the stringy pulp that gets between your teeth. After cutting a mango in half, he scored it lengthwise and crosswise to create squares and then turned the mango inside out for easy eating.

With his mango-slicing video garnering over a quarter-million views, the City on a Hill star may have touched a nerve—the near universal annoyance we all have with food stuck between our teeth. Trapped food particles aren't only annoying, they can also contribute to a bacterial film called dental plaque that's the top cause for tooth decay and gum disease.

Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to avoid stuck food if you love things like popcorn, poppy-seed muffins or barbecue ribs. It's helpful then to have a few go-to ways for removing food caught between teeth. First, though, let's talk about what NOT to use to loosen a piece of stuck food.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 adults found that when removing something caught between our teeth, we humans are a creative lot. The makeshift tools that survey respondents said they've used in a pinch included twigs, safety pins, screwdrivers and nails (both the hammer and finger/toe variety). Although clever, many such items are both unsanitary and harmful to your gums and tooth enamel, especially if they're metallic or abrasive.

If you want a safe way to remove unwanted food debris, try these methods instead:

Brush your teeth: The gentle abrasives in toothpaste plus the mechanical action of brushing can help dislodge trapped food.

Use dental floss: A little bit of dental floss usually does the trick to remove wedged-in food—and it's easy to carry a small floss container or a floss pick on you for emergencies.

Try a toothpick. A toothpick is also an appropriate food-removing tool, according the American Dental Association, as long as it is rounded and made of wood.

See your dentist. We have the tools to safely and effectively remove trapped food debris that you haven't been able to dislodge by other means—so before you get desperate, give us a call.

You can also minimize plaque buildup from food particles between teeth by both brushing and flossing every day. And for optimally clean teeth, be sure you have regular dental office cleanings at least twice a year.

Thanks to Kevin Bacon's little trick, you can have your “non-stringy” mango and eat it too. Still, you can't always avoid food getting wedged between your teeth, so be prepared.

If you would like more information about effective oral hygiene practices, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Daily Oral Hygiene.”

By Ron T. Williamson, DDS
January 03, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

If you're intrigued by the strange and bizarre, here's one to pique your interest: geographic tongue. It's a rare condition that causes the appearance of red patches on the tongue surface, surrounded by grayish-white borders, and which look a lot like continents on a map (hence the name). But although it may look odd, geographic tongue won't harm your health.

The condition is also known as benign migratory glossitis, so named because it's not cancerous and the patches seem to move or “migrate” around the tongue surface. The most common causes are thought to be stress or hormonal disruptions in those predisposed to the condition. Many researchers believe zinc or vitamin B deficiencies in the body contribute to its occurrence. It also seems more prevalent among non-smokers and pregnant women, as well as occurring as a family trait.

The red patches are created by the temporary disappearance of some of the papillae, tiny bumps on the tongue's top surface. The patches can abruptly appear during a flareup and then disappear just as suddenly. But as “angry” as the patches may look, geographic tongue is not considered a health danger. It isn't normally painful, although people can experience stinging or numbing sensations emanating from the patches that can be mildly uncomfortable.

Because it's also rare, you're not likely to encounter it personally. But if you or a loved one does begin to notice red patches on the tongue, there are a few things you can do to lessen any accompanying irritation. For one, cut out foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, eggplant, mint or highly spicy or acidic foods, all of which have been known to increase discomfort. You might also avoid astringents like alcohol or mouthwashes that likewise irritate the patches when they occur.

Although geographic tongue can't be cured, your dentist can help you manage symptoms when they arise with the help of prescribed anesthetic mouthwashes, antihistamines or steroid lozenges. These not only can help lower any discomfort or irritations, they may also lessen the duration of a flareup.

For the most part, geographic tongue usually causes more embarrassment than physical discomfort. But with a little help from your dentist, you can keep it to a minimum. Geographic tongue may be odd, but it's nothing to worry about.

If you would like more information on geographic tongue, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Geographic Tongue: No Cause For Alarm.”

By Ron T. Williamson, DDS
December 31, 2020
Category: Dental
Tags: dentures  

You depend on your dentures to go about your daily life. They affect how you eat and speak, and help you look your age, or younger, by giving your face back its natural contours. So when they break it's understandable that you will want to get back to normal as quickly as possible. You have options, but before taking action you should consult with your dentist as soon as they break to find out the best possible solution. Get in contact with Dr. Ron Williamson in Berkley, MI, for more information.

Over the Counter Kits
Some recommend over-the-counter denture repair kits as a solution to minor accidents. But realistically, they're only a good option if you can't promptly get to your dentist.
You should make certain that the kit is FDA approved, as not all adhesives are safe for dental use. Don't believe all the claims, over-the-counter products cannot fix cracks as only a professional can.
Keep in contact with your dentist during the process, as these types of repairs are only meant as a temporary fix until you can get to your dentist's office.
You will find that the majority of work can be done in a day, only major breaks need to be sent out to a lab. Your dentist will give you a time for the repairs frame after they examine your dentures.

Your jaw and gums change over time, which may cause your dentures to begin to slip and make accidents more likely. So it's doubly important to keep your dental checkups.
Proper maintenance is also key. Keep your dentures submerged overnight and clean them daily.
Use a denture cleaner, not toothpaste, and don't be too rough on them while brushing. Something often recommended is to put down a folded towel underneath you while you do this to keep them from breaking in case they fall onto the sink.
Also, consider asking your dentist about a backup set of dentures, but consult also about how to store them correctly.

Dentures Repair in Berkley, MI
Your dentist can repair your dentures and examine them and your mouth to help prevent possible complications in the future. If you're looking for a more permanent solution to them, ask about implant-supported dentures. Make an appointment today, call Dr. Williamson in Berkley, MI, by dialing (248) 399-4455.

By Ron T. Williamson, DDS
December 24, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures  

Although teeth are quite durable, we can still lose them—even all of them—to disease or injury. The good news, though, is that we have effective ways to restore teeth after they're lost. One of these, the removable denture, has given people their teeth back for several generations. And with recent advances in technology, today's dentures are even better.

Although more advanced, today's dentures share the same basic structure as those from a century ago: prosthetic (false) teeth set in a plastic resin colored to resemble the gums. The traditional denture is molded to fit snugly over an individual patient's alveolar jaw ridges, which once supported the former natural teeth. The denture stays in place primarily through a suction effect between the denture and the ridges.

Modern technology, though, has greatly improved today's dentures. Digital imaging can be used to generate highly accurate impressions of the dental ridges that can lead to denture bases with better fit. Dentists using photographs of the patient, especially in earlier years, are better able to identify facial landmarks, which enables them to position the new teeth to more closely recreate the patient's former smile.

These technological aids now help dentists to create more attractive dentures with better support and comfort. But the fit that makes this possible may not last due to a particular weakness inherent in traditional dentures—continuing bone loss. When teeth are missing, the underlying jawbone can lose bone volume over time. Dentures don't stop this process and can accelerate it due to constant friction and pressure on the dental ridges.

But a new modification incorporating dental implants with dentures can help solve these problems. By placing a few strategically positioned implants in the jawbone that then connect with the denture, the appliance not only gains more stability, but also produces less pressure on the dental ridges. In addition, bone cells naturally grow and adhere to the titanium implant posts, which helps to stop or slow bone loss.

If you've experienced total tooth loss, dentures are an affordable and effective option. Thanks to modern dental advances, you can get back the smile and dental function you once lost.

If you would like more information on denture restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Full Dentures.”

By Ron T. Williamson, DDS
December 16, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Dental crowns from your dentist in Berkley, Michigan can rebuild your smile.

How much do you know about dental crowns? Did you know that they are one of the best options to rebuild damaged or badly decayed teeth? In fact, dental crowns can strengthen your teeth, AND they can make your teeth more beautiful too.

Dr. Ron Williamson in Berkley, Michigan offers a wide range of dental services, including dental crowns to rebuild your smile.

A dental crown protects your tooth by encasing the entire visible surface of your tooth above the gumline. When you bite down on a crown, the pressure and stress of biting are spread out over the entire surface of your tooth, guarding the tooth against breaking.

Dental crowns offer superb protection, but that’s not all. They can also enhance the beauty of your smile. One of the most common crown materials is porcelain, which reflects light. Porcelain also looks just like natural tooth enamel. In fact, when a full porcelain crown is placed, it is virtually identical to your natural teeth.

Full porcelain is beautiful, but sometimes you need a bit more strength, especially with back teeth. Porcelain can be fused to a strong metal underlay. These types of crowns are known as porcelain-fused-to-metal or PFM crowns. They are an excellent choice for both beauty and durability for your back teeth.

If you need to restore badly damaged teeth that have lost a significant amount of tooth structure, you may need a post and core build-up. Your dentist will place a post inside your tooth and build a metal framework around the post. The post and core build-up provide a strong foundation on which the crown is cemented.

Just take a look at some of the beautiful results achieved with porcelain crowns by viewing amazing before-and-after photos of Dr. Williamson’s patients. Please visit the Smile Gallery page on the website at

You and your smile deserve to enjoy the magic of dental crowns. To find out more about how dental crowns can help your smile, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Ron Williamson in Berkley, Michigan at (248) 399-4455. Call now and start enjoying your great new smile with dental crowns.

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