Category Archives: Dental Health

How Does Gum Disease Interfere With Your Sex Life?

Nitric oxide is important in maintaining heart health. But nitric oxide’s benefits extend far beyond the heart, relaxing blood vessels throughout the entire body. This is particularly pertinent for men with erectile dysfunction.

An estimated 40 percent of men aged 40 and over have some degree of erectile dysfunction. About 80 percent of them can be helped with Viagra and Cialis, drugs whose primary function is to raise nitric oxide levels by blocking enzymes that destroy it.

Erectile dysfunction should be an early warning sign for more life-threatening circulatory problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Next to maintaining healthy testosterone levels, ensuring adequate amounts of nitric oxide are available in the body is crucial to men’s health.

Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and the amino acid arginine, can be used to boost nitric oxide levels and help with erectile dysfunction. Both in their own way are vasodilators — substances that widen blood vessels and increase blood flow.

Gum Disease Affects Erections and Prostates

It’s also interesting that arginine stops the formation of dental plaque (a type of biofilm), which can help prevent cavities and gum disease.

It seems like many body functions begin to slow down around the age of 40, and our ability to naturally increase nitric oxide is one. Part of the reason is that certain bacteria in the mouth and gut are responsible for the conversion of nitrates found in food into nitric oxide. Foods don’t contain nitric oxide. They contain nitrates that have to be converted to nitric oxide.

As soon as nitrate-rich foods enter the mouth, beneficial bacteria that reside on the surface of your tongue reduce them to nitrites. These nitrites are swallowed and then either reduced to nitric oxide in the acidic environment of the stomach or converted by gut bacteria. Once transformed into nitric oxide, they are absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract and placed into the circulatory system. This describes the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway, one of the primary ways the body produces nitric oxide.

Roughly 30–50 percent of the population doesn’t have the proper bacteria necessary to generate nitric oxide. This can stem from poor oral hygiene, the constant “leakage” of mercury from amalgam tooth fillings, and the use of antibiotics and mouthwash.

Studies are just beginning to surface linking chronic periodontitis to erectile dysfunction. The problem is obviously more prevalent as men get older, but even men in their 30s who have inflamed gums due to periodontal disease are three times more likely to have problems with erections. (J Sex Med 2013 Mar;10(3):838– 43) (J Clin Periodontol 2013 Feb;40(2):148–54)

Researchers at China’s Luzhou Medical College found that when they induced periodontal disease in lab rats, their ability to produce nitric oxide was significantly impaired due to systemic inflammation. In other words, the researchers could actually cause these animals to have erectile dysfunction by giving them gum disease. (J Sex Med 2011 Sep;8(9):2598–605)

In addition to erectile dysfunction, you now hear a lot about prostate problems like benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer. What you don’t hear about, however, is their connection to gum disease.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio treated 27 men who had undergone prostate biopsy because of abnormal findings on digital rectal examination or an elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. Twenty-one of the 27 men had no or mild prostate inflammation, but 15 had biopsy-confirmed malignancies. Two men had both inflammation and a malignancy.

In addition, all had moderate to severe gum disease, for which they received treatment. They were retested at four and eight weeks and showed significant improvement.

During their periodontal treatment period, the men received no treatment for their prostate conditions. Even with no prostate treatment, 21 of the 27 men showed decreased PSA levels. Their urination issues and other symptoms improved as well. Those with the highest PSA levels experienced the most benefit from the periodontal treatment. (Dentistry 2015;5:284)

Roughly 50 percent the population brushes their teeth only once a day, and just 25 percent floss. Surveys indicate that nearly 24 percent of adults in this country have untreated dental cavities and 39 percent have moderate-to-severe periodontitis, a number that rises to 64 percent for those over the age of 65. This explains why 25 percent of those over 60 years of age have lost all their teeth.

Avoid Mouthwash

Good dental hygiene (brushing, flossing, professional cleanings, etc.) is imperative to good health, but wiping out the beneficial bacteria with mouthwash should not be part of that plan.

Mouthwash works like an antibiotic. It indiscriminately kills all bacteria in the mouth, even beneficial strains necessary for the production of nitric oxide. And research shows that arginine works more effectively than antimicrobials used in many popular mouthwashes, such as cetylpyridinium chloride. (PLoS One 2015 May 6;10(5):e0121835)

Don’t be surprised down the road when someone “discovers” that using mouthwash increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity, prostate problems, and erectile dysfunction. It’s coming.

It took decades for those in conventional medicine to finally accept the fact that the microflora in the bowel affects our immune system, psychological well-being, and practically every other aspect of our overall health. Hopefully, it won’t take that long to realize the importance of having a healthy, balanced oral microbiome.

By some estimates, there are more than 700 different bacterial species that inhabit our mouth. So far, only half of those have even been named. Like the bacteria in the gut, many in the mouth are beneficial, while others are pathogenic. But rather than sterilize our mouths, the key to optimal health is to maintain the right balance.

The findings I mentioned earlier are just some of the reasons I not only recommend and use probiotics for the intestinal tract, but also an oral probiotic supplement specifically designed to replenish the healthy strains of bacteria in the mouth and upper respiratory tract. Doing so can help keep pathogenic bacteria in check, just as nature intended.

See my blog articles on “Oral Probiotics” and also “Oral Probiotics And Their Relationship To Your Health”.

I also like the Ayurvedic technique of oil pulling, which I’ve discussed in the past. It’s another way you can improve gum health and help restore the balance of oral bacteria. See my blog article on “Oil Pulling”.

The PSA Test Scam

Research studies don’t support the PSA test as an accurate test to detect cancer. I think far too many men get surgery and treatment for cancer based on their PSA scores. It continues to be the gold standard when it comes to diagnosing prostate cancer. This is despite the fact that it is notoriously unreliable in that respect and more of an indicator of inflammation than cancer.

Some studies estimate that when it comes to diagnosing prostate cancer, PSA tests produce false positives in one out of three cases. While early screening tests have been associated with over diagnosis in a variety of cancers including neuroblastoma, melanoma, thyroid, breast, and lung, nowhere is over diagnosis more prevalent and clinically relevant than in prostate cancer. (J Natl Cancer Inst 2002 Jul 3;94(13):981–90)

One 2009 study found that using the most optimistic assumption about the benefits of early detection and treatment, at least 1 million men were over diagnosed and needlessly treated for prostate cancer in the previous 20-year period. (J Natl Cancer Inst 2009 Oct 7;101(19):1325–9)

Even the developer of the test, Dr. Thomas Stanley, now says a positive PSA test is an indication of inflammation, not cancer.

Canine Cancer Detectors

Fortunately, there is a less expensive, more accurate test to detect prostate cancer. But I don’t know if or when we’ll see it used in this country.

There are certain patients that emit a very distinct, peculiar odor. In almost every instance, those patients were later found to have cancer.

A human obviously couldn’t detect every case of cancer…far from it. But we quickly became strong believers in the diagnostic significance of various odors.

Researchers have tried to develop diagnostic tests based on the presence of various compounds when a person exhales, and a few have been successful. Dogs, with some of the keenest sense of smell on the planet, may turn out to be the diagnostic tools.

The Russians recently patented the Sulimov dog breed for use in airport security. The breed was developed by Klim Sulimov, the Russian airline Aeroflot’s chief dog breeder, over a period of 30-plus years. This dog is particularly suited for use in colder weather. Sub-zero temperatures can suppress smells. But this dog has been shown to still smell effectively at temperatures as low as -70 degrees C (-94 degrees F) and as high as 40 degrees C (104 degrees F).

It doesn’t appear that we need to wait 30 years to develop a distinct breed to diagnose prostate cancer. A new study shows we can use existing breeds to get the job done.

Researchers in Italy tested two 3-year-old German Shepherd explosive detection dogs that were trained to identify prostate specific volatile organic compounds in urine samples. They were tested on 362 patients with known prostate cancer and on 540 healthy controls with no prostate cancer and no non-cancerous prostate tumors.

Both the dogs were correct over 96 percent of the time in identifying patients with prostate cancer. Earlier research using similar testing showed dogs to be successful 91 percent of the time. (J Urol 2015 Apr;193(4):1382–7) (Eur Urol 2011 Feb;59(2):197–201)

It’s pretty amazing, especially when you compare the dogs’ 96 percent success rate to PSA screenings’ 20 percent.

It’s no surprise that most of these studies are taking place in Europe. With the way our medical system works (or doesn’t), regardless of how cost effective and accurate canines may be at diagnosing prostate and other cancers, I doubt we’ll see them being used here anytime soon. There’s too much money to be made in the treatment of prostate cancer, necessary or otherwise, based on PSA test results.

Active Surveillance and Natural Therapies

Most prostate cancer is slow growing and better left alone. Prostate cancer that starts out as low-grade and slow-growing almost always stays that way. Men are likely to die from some other cause before cancer ever spreads beyond the prostate gland.

On the flipside, most high-grade, aggressive cancers are “born” that way and behave aggressively from the beginning. By using what is called Gleason scores, where the prostate cancer cells are graded depending on how they compare to normal prostate cells, a prediction can be made as to the aggressiveness of the disease. Fortunately, this is why “active surveillance” is becoming more popular, rather than automatically resorting to surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

One of the most useful substances you can take to prevent prostate cancer and/or stop it from progressing is the green tea extract epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

Researchers reported this year at the American Society of Clinical Oncology that taking 200 mg of the extract twice daily could help prevent these problems. (J Clinical Oncology Vol 33, No 15_suppl (May 20 Supplement)2015:1572)

An earlier Japanese study followed 49,920 men aged 40–69 years for up to 14 years. There was a dose-dependent relationship between the number of cups of green tea they drank daily and the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Those who drank five or more cups a day had just half the risk compared to those who drank one cup or less. (Am J Epidemiol 2008 Jan 1;167(1):71–7)

This helps explains why prostate cancer deaths are the lowest in Asia, where 20 percent of the entire consumption of green tea takes place.

The other compound that I think is promising and effective to prevent prostate cancer and inhibit metastasis is modified citrus pectin.

There are some amazing benefits of PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin from EcoNugenics ( It is one of the few products shown to effectively lower levels of galectin-3, which has been linked to numerous diseases triggered by inflammation, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. You should take modified citrus pectin on a daily basis.

Please share this important information with the men in your life. And if you’re a man reading this, please take to heart my advice about boosting nitric oxide levels and protecting your prostate. You don’t want to become one of the millions who fall into conventional medicine’s trap of pharmaceutical drugs, unnecessary surgeries, and expensive, harsh treatments.

Legal CMA Disclaimer:

Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.

Unfortunately, I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our web page for more information.
Click here now:

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.

Oil Pulling

Research Finally Reveals What Some Have Thought All Along. Coconut oil is an awesome tropical oil with many health benefits.

Many people use coconut oil for something called Oil Pulling – which is kind of like using an oil as a mouthwash.

Apparently, there are quite a few studies that support this process and a lot of people swear by it.

It is claimed to whiten your teeth, make your breath fresher and lead to massive improvements in oral health.

What is Oil Pulling and How Does it Work?

Oil pulling involves swishing oil around the mouth and has been used for thousands of years as an Indian folk remedy. In order to oil pull, you put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, then swish it around for 15-20 minutes. The main benefit of doing this is that it reduces the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

There are actually thousands of different types of bacteria in the mouth. Some of them are friendly, others are not. The bacteria in the mouth create a “biofilm” on the teeth – a thin layer that they use to adhere to the surface. This is what we know as “plaque.”

Having some plaque on your teeth is normal, but if it gets out of hand it can cause all sorts of problems, including bad breath, yellow teeth, gum inflammation, gingivitis, and cavities. The way oil pulling works is simple. When you swish the oil around your mouth, the bacteria “get stuck” in it and dissolve in the liquid oil. Basically, you remove a large amount of the bacteria and plaque in your mouth each time you do this.

I Personally Prefer Coconut Oil

Traditionally, the Indian folk remedy used other oils, such as sesame oil or sunflower oil. Oil pulling should work with pretty much any oil you choose, but I prefer coconut oil because it has many health benefits.

The Lauric Acid (one of the fatty acids in coconut oil) is also proven to be antimicrobial… it can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The taste of coconut oil is also fairly pleasant compared to other oils. I found it rather disgusting at first having my mouth full of oil, but I got used to it after a few days.

Now let’s look at a few studies on oil pulling…

Oil Pulling Can Reduce Harmful Bacteria in The Mouth

Streptococcus Mutans is one of the main bacteria in the mouth and a key player in plaque buildup and tooth decay. In a study from 2008 with 20 boys, oil pulling (using sesame oil) caused a reduction in the number of Streptococcus Mutans in the plaque in as little as 2 weeks.

It was not as effective as a Chlorhexidine mouthwash, but much cheaper and MUCH less nasty.

Oil Pulling Can Reduce Plaque and Gingivitis

Gingivitis is caused by inflammation of the gums and happens when the immune system starts attacking the bacteria in the plaque.
Another study compared oil pulling and chlorhexidine in adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis. Both oil pulling and chlorhexidine mouthwash were effective against gingivitis.

Oil Pulling Can Reduce Bad Breath

Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is in many cases (but not all) caused by the smell of chemicals and gases produced by bacteria in the mouth. If you can get rid of some of these bacteria, you reduce bad breath.

In a third study of 20 adolescents, oil pulling therapy significantly reduced all markers for bad breath and was just as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash.

How to Oil Pull

Oil pulling is incredibly simple and effective.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth.

2. Swish the oil around your mouth for about 15-20 minutes.

3. Spit out the oil, then brush your teeth.

If you use coconut oil like me, then you may have to chew on the oil for a minute or so to let it melt, because it is solid at room temperature. It turns liquid at 77°F. It is best to do this on an empty stomach before you brush your teeth. You can also do it while taking a shower in the morning.

Put the oil in your mouth, swish it around while in the shower and try to “push” and “pull” the oil between your teeth. When you get out of the shower, spit out the oil into the trash or toilet (not the sink… it can clog), rinse your mouth with water and then brush your teeth.

There is no need to use a lot of force here. If oil pulling causes pain in your facial muscles, then just relax a bit. Try using less oil next time and don’t swish it around too forcefully.

What to Expect

You will definitely notice that your breath is fresher and your teeth look a lot cleaner… both whiter and shinier. I’ve never had any dental problems, but I can see how this could have benefits for people that have them.

There are a lot of wild claims about oil pulling online and I don’t believe all of them. However, oil pulling IS effective at reducing the harmful bacteria in your mouth and improving oral and dental health.

Given that inflammation can cause all sorts of health problems, it does make sense that reducing inflammation in the gums and mouth could lead to benefits for overall health as well. Perhaps this is the reason why many people report improvements in health issues that really have nothing to do with the mouth.

Legal CMA Disclaimer:

Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.

Unfortunately I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our webpage for more information.
Click here now:

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.


The Hidden Cause of Sinus Infections & How To Destroy It

Found in 96% of Mayo Study Participants
By Dr. Joseph Mercola and Rachael Droege

About 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, an inflammation of the nasal sinuses commonly known as a sinus infection, each year and for many this is a chronic problem that can seriously affect the quality of your life. Most cases of sinusitis are treated with antibiotics, which may help to cover up symptoms in the short-term but are a disaster when used in the long-term.

Sinusitis can be acute or chronic, and can last for months or years if not addressed. Symptoms of sinus infection include:

● Runny nose
● Nasal congestion
● Thick, colored nasal drainage
● Cough
● Head congestion
● Headache
● Post-nasal drip
● Facial pain or swelling
● Toothache
● Fatigue
● Diminished sense of smell and taste
● Fever

And despite constant treatment with antibiotics, many people’s sinusitis continues to return. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, not only is sinusitis one of the most expensive disorders in the United States, but also its prevalence is on the rise, indicating that the common treatment methods are not getting to the root of the problem.

So what is the root of the problem? Researchers have found that most cases of chronic sinusitis are not caused by infection but are actually an immune disorder caused by fungus. In a 1999 study, the researchers discovered that fungal organisms were present in the mucus of 96 percent of patients who had surgery for chronic sinusitis, and inflammatory cells were clumped around the fungi, which meant the condition was an immune disorder caused by fungus.

Fungus and mold spores are in the air all the time and are commonly inhaled so most people have fungi lodged in the mucus lining of the sinuses. However, only people who are prone to chronic sinusitis will experience an immune response to the fungi that results in the symptoms of sinusitis.

They took the research a bit further and in the next study found that a fungicide was effective in decreasing inflammation and nasal swelling among participants suffering from chronic sinusitis. The researchers are hoping the study will lead to the development of new antifungal medications to treat the condition.

Although antifungals may be more effective than antibiotics–antibiotics make fungal infections worse–there are other steps you can take to lessen your risk of sinus infections by getting at the underlying cause.

Make Your Body Less Hospitable to Fungus

As the body attempts to destroy the fungus, the immune system damages the sinus membranes, which causes the symptoms of sinusitis, the researchers say. To combat the fungus and prevent the immune system reaction, you’ll need to create an environment that makes it more difficult for fungus to thrive. Here are the top natural cures for sinus infection:

Avoid Eating Sugar or Grains

Fungus feeds on sugar and grains (which break down to sugar in your body), so reducing or eliminating these foods is necessary to keep fungus under control.

Consume Fish or Cod Liver Oil

Consume a high quality cod liver oil or fish oil every day. The high order omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA are essential to maintaining and improving your immune system. Don’t get fooled by taking any general omega-3 supplement. The ALA in flax seed oil won’t give you the same benefits. Not only will cod liver oil or fish oil improve your sinus infection, but they will also improve your health and brain and reduce your risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Eat Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. However, be careful with which oil you choose, as many coconut oils contain fungal toxins. This is because they are commonly made with copras, or dried coconuts, which are often contaminated with mycotoxins. So in order to fully enjoy the benefits of this coconut oil, you will want to be sure that you find a company that uses only fresh coconuts to make their oil, like the Tropical Traditions virgin coconut oil on this site.

Avoid Eating Mycotoxic Foods that are contaminated with mycotoxins (fungal toxins).

How Temperature and Humidity Can Make You Feel “Stuffed Up”

Rhinitis is the medical term for “stuffy nose.” Vasomotor rhinitis is a non-allergic condition, characterized by chronic runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion. Changes in temperature and humidity have already been identified as a potential triggers. (Other triggers include strong odors, perfumes, smoke, fumes, and bright sunlight.)

The results of the featured study indicate that the sensory feedback from nasal airflow can contribute to the feeling of congestion, and that by altering temperature and humidity levels of inhaled air, you may experience some relief.

The authors of the study suggest that the interaction between temperature and humidity influence “nasal cooling” as the air moves through your nasal cavity. This nasal cooling is detected by “sensors” inside your nose, which stimulate the sensation of air flow being either easy or obstructed, with cooler air resulting in feelings of less obstruction. Essentially, nasal congestion can be sensory related.

According to lead author Kai Zhao, Ph.Dd, a bioengineer, an effective treatment for nasal congestion may need to include restoring optimal humidity and temperature to the patient’s nasal airflow.

What’s the Ideal Level of Humidity?

According to Dr. Robert Ivker, D.O., former President of the American Holistic Medical Association, the ideal level of relative humidity for sinus health is between 35-45 percent. This level is also generally recommended to avoid mold damage in your home. (To accurately determine the relative humidity in your home you would use a hygrometer, available in most home improvement stores.) In the featured study, the two types of air conditions associated with the most effective decrease in feelings of congestion were:

Cold air, and Dry air at room temperature
If your home or office is too humid (above 45 percent), you may want to consider reducing the amount of moisture in the air, as excessive levels may also cause mold and fungi growth that could wreak havoc on your health—it may even be the root cause if you’re suffering from chronic sinus infections. To decrease humidity, you can:

● Use a dehumidifier
● Run the air conditioner
● Take colder and shorter showers
● Install a fan in your kitchen and bathrooms, and leave them on for a while after you’re done cooking or showering

You must be VERY careful about making sure your humidity levels are not too high. This does not need to be due to high outdoor humidity but more commonly is due to some type of water intrusion in the home from a leaky roof, foundation or plumbing. The high humidity will cause mold to grow and could devastate your health as I have written about previously. So the key is to find the cause of the increased humidity and repair it. It would be wise to use a large commercial dehumidifer in your home to lower the humidity until the problem is fixed.

However, very dry air is also known to increase feelings of congestion because drying out your sinus membranes can irritate them further. So depending on your individual circumstances, if the air in your home is excessively dry, then increasing the humidity may help.

To increase humidity, you can:

● Use a vaporizer or humidifier
● Create a steam bath by taking a hot shower, or filling your sink with hot water, then placing a towel over your head as you lean over the sink
● Breathe in the steam from a hot cup of tea

Do You Have a Sinus Infection?

Sinus infections (sinusitis) affect over 39 million Americans every year. It typically occurs when the mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses become irritated by a cold, allergy, or pollution, for example, which then cause them to become inflamed. Once inflamed, the motion of your cilia (the tiny hairs that coat the mucous membranes and are responsible for moving mucus over their surfaces) slows down. At the same time, the irritation stimulates your mucous glands to secrete more mucus than usual to dilute the bacteria.

As a result, mucus gets trapped in your sinuses, where it can easily become infected.

It’s important to understand that antibiotics can spell disaster for this problem. If used long-term, they can lead to very serious complications that may be very difficult to remediate against, including chronic yeast infections and impaired immune function. Furthermore, as I will discuss below, the vast majority of chronic sinusitis cases may be due to exposure to mold or fungi rather than bacteria, which antibiotics will have no effect on at all.

Symptoms of sinus infection include:

● Congestion and pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead
● Thick, green or yellow mucus
● Toothache
● Cold symptoms lasting more than 10 days
● Postnasal drip (excess mucus dripping down the back of your throat)
● Fatigue

Beware: Sinusitis is Often Misdiagnosed

The problem with sinus issues is that that they’re very easily misdiagnosed. Sinus problems and post-nasal drip can actually be a tip-off that you’re being affected by mold or fungi.

In fact, research done by the Mayo Clinic in the 1990s that strongly suggests NEARLY ALL chronic sinusitis is caused by fungi, but blamed on bacteriathen mistreated using antibiotics. The findings were published in 1999 in two peer-reviewed journals, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Mayo Clinic Proceedings.iii Yet, most physicians are still unaware of this study, or at least of its significance. A 1999 Mayo Clinic press releaseiv stated:

“Mayo Clinic researchers say they have found the cause of most chronic sinus infections—an immune system response to fungus.

The Mayo Clinic study suggests that 96 percent of the people who suffer from chronic sinusitis are “fungal sensitized,” meaning they have immune responses triggered by inhaled fungal organisms! This explains why antibiotics are so ineffective for chronic sinusitis as they target bacteria, NOT fungi. Antibiotics and steroids can actually worsen fungal-related infections by destroying your body’s natural biological terrain, creating an internal incubation ground for further fungal growth.

The bottom line is, if you have chronic sinusitis, you MUST approach it from the perspective of a fungal infection FIRST, not a bacterial infection, even if it means having to educate your healthcare provider. A good place to start is by sharing the Mayo Clinic study referenced above. The book, Mold: The War Withinv is also a useful resource.

How to Treat Sinusitis Without Drugs

For chronic sinusitis, please refer above about how to address sinusitis caused by mold and fungi exposure. The following natural treatments can help you get over an acute sinus infection without the use of antibiotics and unnecessary OTC drugs, by keeping your cilia healthy and functioning, thereby preventing excess mucus build-up in your sinuses.

Drink hot liquids, such as tea or hot chicken soup. It will help moisturize your mucous membranes, speeding up the movement of your cilia and thus washing mucus out of your sinuses more quickly.

Apply warm compresses to your face, three times a day for five minutes. A small towel soaked in warm water, placed over your face below and between the eyes, will help increase the circulation in your sinuses, which will also help speed up the movement of your cilia.

Irrigate your sinuses. In a 2007 study from University of Michigan Health System researchersvi, saline irrigation was found to decrease nasal congestion more effectively than saline sprays. It appears to work by thinning mucus, decreasing swelling in your nasal passages and removing debris, bacteria, allergens and inflammatory substances from your nose, hence decreasing swelling that makes it hard to breathe. (If you’ve never done this before, see these Nasal Irrigation Guidelinesvii by the University of Michigan.)

To make your own preservative-free saline solution, just add one teaspoon of himalayan or sea salt to one pint of distilled water. Make sure you use a saline solution that does not contain benzalkonium, a preservative that can impair your nasal function and might sting and burn.

Clear your sinuses with an aromatherapy steam bath. To help open up congested nasal passages and sinuses, put a couple of drops of eucalyptus or menthol aromatherapy oil into a bowl of hot water, then breathe the vapors. In lieu of aromatherapy oil, dabbing some Vick’s VapoRub on your skin underneath your nose can also be effective.

Unclog your sinuses with the right foods. Horseradish, grated on top of a sandwich, or some Japanese wasabi mustard can also help open up congested sinuses.

Elevate your head when sleeping.

Dust your bedroom. Dust and dust mites can wreak havoc on your mucous membranes, especially when you’re asleep and your cilia are at rest. Using a HEPA filter air purifier is also beneficial in keeping your air as free from allergens as possible.

How to Prevent Sinus Infections Before They Start

Poor food quality, excessive exposure to toxic chemicals and a high-stress lifestyle puts you at greater risk for not only sinus infection but all disease. Therefore, maintaining a robust immune system and creating an environment inhospitable to bacterial and fungal proliferation can help prevent sinus problems and infections from occurring in the first place. Here are some of the basic strategies to keep your immune system in top form:

Avoid eating sugar or grains.

Take a high-quality animal-based omega-3 supplement such as krill oil, which acts as a potent anti-inflammatory

Optimize your vitamin D levels by getting appropriate amounts of sun exposure year-round. Alternatively, use a safe tanning bed (one with electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, to avoid unnecessary exposure to EMF fields. Safe tanning beds also have less of the dangerous UVA than sunlight.) If neither of these are feasible options, then you should take an oral vitamin D3 supplement.

Consume organic coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal

Avoid eating mycotoxic foods

Get proper sleep

Get regular exercise especially Peak Fitness type exercises

Legal CMA Disclaimer:

Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.

Unfortunately I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our webpage for more information.
Click here now:

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.


Fight Cavities With Xylitol



Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is safe, good tasting and very sweet. It is so natural that your body actually makes about 4 grams of it every day.

Xylitol interacts with the plaque biofilm on your teeth and disrupts it in such a way as to make it break down. That is how it helps prevent cavities.

Chewing Xylitol gum works to keep your mouth fresh and healthy. But NOTHING replaces daily flossing.

You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep. And Xylitol adds extra protection.

For more information on how to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy go to: 

Decay Prevention Naturally

Tooth decay is something we all face. In fact, over 90 percent of adults in the United States suffer from some form of tooth decay! With that in mind it’s important to learn the best ways to prevent it. At Gentle Family Dentistry we’re firm believers in using the materials that nature has provided us to protect and preserve your teeth!

It’s amazing, really – there are countless natural products and simple combinations of healthy living and eating that can do wonders for your teeth! Sugar isn’t the only wonderfully sweet taste that we’ve discovered in the world and there are plenty of great alternatives that not only taste good but protect your teeth as well!

Natural Sugar Alternatives

There are several alternatives to sugar that are easily available. We definitely recommend sugar alternatives because they are usually better for your teeth and body, but not all are created equal! The best sugar alternative available is found in a lot of the products you already use, like sugar-free chewing gum, mouthwash, breath mints, and dietary supplements. It’s called xylitol!

Xylitol doesn’t just taste good: it’s also great at protecting your teeth! Not only does it stop plaque bacteria from causing damage to your teeth, it’s also been found to reduce cavity growth, help preserve bone density, fight osteoporosis, and of course freshen your breath! All that with less calories than sugar!

We also recommend other natural sweeteners like stevia, which is naturally found in the leaves of a plant with the same name. It has practically no calories, doesn’t cause the same oral health problems as sugar, and has even been found to reduce blood sugar levels, prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, and lower blood pressure!

Dietary Supplements For Oral Health

We’re proud to offer a dietary supplement called EvoraPro. When you come in for a routine appointment at our Duncansville dentist office we’ll be happy to get you a supply of dissolving tablets that do wonders for your teeth and gums!

EvoraPro comes in tablets similar to breath mints. You hold them in your mouth and let them dissolve, where they release probiotics and bacteria that regulate the balance of good to bad bacteria in your mouth, along with freshening your breath! EvoraPro helps prevent cavities and tooth decay caused by harmful bacteria by out-competing them and changing the balance of your mouth’s bacterial makeup. Your cleanings will stay effective longer and it has even been known to whiten teeth!

Beneficial Food and Drink

It’s always a good idea to keep some mouth healthy foods handy too. We’re more than happy to talk about your dietary choices with you during your appointment – we want you to be healthy! Between appointments there are a few great things you can do for your teeth besides just brushing and flossing!

Drink tea! That’s right – green and black tea both contain natural compounds called catechins. These tooth-healthy parts of your morning pick-me-up are great at killing bacteria in your mouth! Catechins also prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and gums, making them far less likely to get a hold on your teeth! If you want to get the most benefit out of catechins we recommend green tea – its catechin count is far higher than black tea!

Dark green leafy vegetables are also great for your teeth and body! They’re rich in fiber, which causes an increase in saliva production. Saliva is a key component in keeping your teeth clean and is able to wash away food particles, bacteria, and acids that can harm your teeth!

Make Good Choices For Your Oral Health!

Good brushing and flossing habits along with regular cleanings and exams at our Duncansville dentist office can help protect your teeth and your health! Combined with the use of these cavity-fighting foods, supplements, and sugar substitutes you’ll be in great shape for years to come!

If you ever want to talk about your teeth, dietary choices, and what you can do to improve your oral health you know we’re here for you! Don’t ever hesitate to call Gentle Family Dentistry at 814-693-6777! You can also schedule an appointment with ease by simply filling out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our webpage for more information.
Click here now:

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.

Fast Foods High In Phosphorus

These foods add phosphorus to your diet.
Avoid menu items that consist of these foods.

Note: I am not suggesting that you strictly avoid these food items or restaurants. This list is just for information so that you can make informed choices.

Arby’s Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Roast Beef
Corned Beef
Roast Turkey
Fish Fillet
Cheddar cheese sauce
Jalapeno bites
Onion petals
Mozzarella sticks
Scrambled eggs
French toastix
Sourdough breakfast
cheddar bread
Ciabatta bread
Cream of broccoli soup
Buttermilk dressing
Chocolate cookie
Milk shakes
Cola beverages

Arby’s Better Choices

Main Dish – None
Sides – None
• Apple Turnover
• Cherry Turnover

Boston Market Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Beef/BBQ Brisket
Crispy Country Chicken
Boston Carver sandwiches – all
Macaroni & cheese
Mashed potatoes
Vegetable stuffing
Chocolate chip fudge brownie
Chocolate cake

Boston Market Better Choices

Main Dish
• Roasted Turkey
• ½ White Rotisserie Chicken, no skin
• Sweet corn
• Green beans
• Cinnamon apples

Bruegger’s Bagels Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Cream cheese (all flavors)
Asiago parmesan bagel
Sourdough bagel
Asiago softwich
Plain softwich
Spinach & cheddar omelet sandwich
Chicken (all products)
Roast beef
American cheese
Fire roasted tomato soup
Four cheese broccoli soup
New England clam chowder
Hot chocolate

Bruegger’s Bagels Better Choices

Main Dish
• Bagel with butter or jelly: 1 of any bagel except asiago parmesan, sourdough
• Softwich: 1 of any softwich except Asiago or plain
• Garden veggie bagel sandwich minus cream cheese
• Caesar salad (no chicken)
• Mandarin salad (no chicken)
Sides – None
Desserts – Ingredients unknown

Burger King Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Buns (except BK Shots)
All Potatoes/Fries
Onion rings
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
French toast sticks
Milk shakes
Hershey’s sundae pie

Burger King Better Choices

Main Dish
• Garden salad (no chicken) with 1 packet of any dressing
• BK Burger Shots (2 pack)
• BK Fresh Apple Fries
• Side garden salad with ½ packet of light Italian, regular ranch, or honey mustard dressing
• Dutch apple pie

Dairy Queen Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Sandwich buns (all)
Hot dogs
BBQ beef
Iron grilled cheese sandwich
French fries
Onion rings
Texas toast
American and jack cheeses
Butterscotch and caramel toppings
Oreo brownie earthquake
Pecan mudslide

Dairy Queen Better Choices

Main Dish – None
• Salad with ½ pkt of honey mustard dressing
• Artic rush slush – small Desserts
• Soft serve ½ cup
• Small ice cream cone
• Small dipped cone
• Small strawberry sundae
• Small chocolate sundae
• DQ sandwich
• Chocolate dilly bar
• StarKiss
• DQ fudge bar – no sugar added
• Vanilla orange bar

Domino’s Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Deep dish crust
Thin crust
All Chicken/Wings
Philly meat
American cheese
Cheddar cheese sauce
Chicken alfredo
Chicken carbonara
Pasta Primavera
Ranch dressing
Chocolate Lava Crunch Cake

Domino’s Better Choices

Main Dish
Hand-tossed pizzas only
• 1 slice of 12” pepperoni, veggie, or pepperoni feast
• 2 slices of 12” cheese or veggie feast
• 1 slice of 14” cheese, pepperoni, veggie, pepperoni feast, or veggie feast
• Breadsticks (up to 3 pieces)
• Cheesy bread (up to 2 pieces)
• Garden fresh salad with ½ packet of creamy Caesar dressing
• Cinna stix with sweet icing dipping sauce (up to 4 pieces)

Dunkin’ Donuts Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Donuts & “Munchkins”
English muffin
Hash browns
Breakfast wraps
All Sandwiches (Flatbread, Cravings, Deli, Favorites)
Chicken Caesar Salad
Reduced fat cream cheese
Cream (in coffee drinks)
Vanilla Bean, Coffee, & Tropicana Orange Coolattas
Hot chocolate (including white)
Vanilla chai

Dunkin’ Donuts Better Choices

Main Dish
• Bagel: any flavor except salt
• Plain croissant
• Egg & cheese on bagel or croissant
• Caesar salad (no chicken)
• Cream cheese: plain, salmon, or strawberry
• Garden Salad
Beverages: do not add cream
• Coffee: plain or with milk and sugar (hot or iced) -small
• Coffee Coolatta with milk –small
• Flavored coffees (except pumpkin spice and vanilla spice)
• Brewed teas
• Latte or latte lite (hot or iced) -small
• Cappuccino
• Espresso

KFC Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Chicken (all varieties)
Country Fried Steak
Pot Pie
All Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
Cornbread Muffin
Cheese and Cheese
Ranch Dressing and
Dipping Sauce
Parmesan Dressing and
Dipping Sauce
Strawberry Cream Pie
Sara Lee Pecan pie
Lemon meringue pie
Cookie Dough Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
Double chocolate chip cake
Lil’ bucket desserts

KFC Better Choices

Main Dish
• None
• Corn (3 inch & 5.5 inch)
• Cole slaw
• House side salad with ½ packet of original ranch dressing
• Apple pie slice

Long John Silver’s Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

All Battered Fish and Seafood
All Battered Chicken
Alaskan Flounder
Baked Cod Filet
Grilled Pacific Salmon
Popcorn Shrimp
Shrimp Scampi
All Bowl Meals
Breaded Clam Strips
Buttered Lobster Bites
Lobster stuffed Crab cake
French Fries
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Chocolate Cream pie
Pineapple Cream pie

Long John Silver’s Better Choices

Main Dish

• Grilled Tilapia
• breadstick
• corn

McDonald’s Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

French fries
American cheese
Hash browns
Flour tortilla
Breakfast steak
Canadian bacon
Hot caramel topping (for sundaes)
Hot fudge topping (for sundaes)
Chocolate drizzle on coffee drinks
Coffee creamer
Cinnamon melts
Apple pie
Vanilla ice cream

McDonald’s Better Choices

Main Dish
• None
• Side salad with ½ packet of Caesar, creamy southwest or ranch dressing
• Snack size fruit & walnut salad
• Fruit ‘n yogurt parfait (no granola)
• Apple dippers with honey (no caramel dip)

Panera Bread Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Focaccia breads
Cinnamon raisin bread
Honey wheat bread
Tomato basil bread
White Whole Grain bread
Apple Pastry, Cherry pastry
Apple Cherry Cheese
Pastry Ring
Bundt cakes
Muffins & muffies
Bear claw
Cinnamon Roll
Pecan Roll
Egg soufflés
Grilled breakfast sandwiches
All Kid’s Sandwiches
Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad
All Paninis
Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich
Italian Combo Sandwich
Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich
Sierra Turkey Sandwich
Smoked Ham and Swiss Sandwich
Tuna Salad Sandwich
Chipotle Chicken Sandwich
Frozen Mocha and Caramel beverages
Baked Potato Soup
Broccoli Chedder Soup
Low Fat Garden Vegetable Soup
New England Clam Chowder

Panera Bread Better Choices

Main Dish
• Bagel: 1 of any bagel
• 1 cheese, chocolate or pecan braid, pastry
• Croissant
• Caesar salad with an apple
• Asian Sesame Chicken Salad with an apple
• Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (no tomato) with an apple
• Classic Café Salad (no tomato) with any side listed
• Three cheese bread (1 piece)
• Three seed bread (1 piece)
• Whole grain bread (1 piece)
• 2 oz any cream cheese
• Brownies: 1 of any brownie
• Cookies: 1 chocolate chipper, chocolate duet, shortbread, cookie

Papa Johns Pizza Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Alfredo sauce
Garlic parmesan sauce
Garlic ranch sauce
Blue cheese dipping sauce
Cheese dipping sauce
Garlic ranch sauce
Garlic parmesan sauce
Ranch dipping sauce
Chocolate dessert pastry

Papa Johns Pizza Better Choices

Main Dish
Eat 1 slice of the following pizzas:
• 10” or 12” Original crust pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, 6 cheese, spicy Italian, Garden fresh
• 14” or 16” Original crust pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, or garden fresh
• 14” Thin crust pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, garden fresh, or spicy Italian
• 12” Pan pizza: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, or
garden fresh
• 1 Breadstick
• 1 Cheesestick
• 2 Cinnapie
• 2 Apple pie sticks
• 1 Cinnamon sweet stick

Pizza Hut Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Chicken wings
Onion rings
Jalapeno poppers
Lite ranch dressing
Fat free ranch dressing
White pasta sauce

Pizza Hut Better Choices

Main Dish
Eat 1 slice of the following pizzas:
• 12” Pan crust, thin ‘n crispy crust, hand-tossed crust, the natural crust, stuffed crust or pan pizza pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, pepperoni & mushroom, Italian sausage & red onion, Dan’s original, supreme, Classicana or veggie lovers
• 14” Pan and thin and crispy pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, pepperoni & mushroom, Italian sausage & red onion, Dan’s original, supreme or veggie lovers
• 14” stuffed crust: veggie lovers
• 14” stuffed crust pan pizza: cheese
• 14” Hand-tossed pizzas: cheese, pepperoni & mushroom, Italian sausage & red onion, or veggie lovers
• 1 Breadstick
• 2 Cinnamon sticks with icing
• 2 chocolate dunkers with sauce
• 2 Apple pie

Subway Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Parmesan oregano bread
Italian herbs & cheese bread
Cold cut combo meats
Italian BMT meats
Roast beef
Seafood sensation
Subway club meats
American cheese
Ranch dressing
Fat Free Italian Dressing
Chipotle Southwest sauce
Fat free honey mustard sauce
Light mayonnaise

Subway Better Choices

Main Dish
• 6” Veggie delight sub (no American cheese or cheese bread)
• Tuna deli sandwich (no American cheese)
• Veggie delight salad with Atkins honey mustard dressing
• Tuna salad (no dressing or American cheese)
Sides – None
• Any cookie
• Berry-lishus Fruizle Express
• Peach pizzazz Fruizle Express

Taco Bell Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

Flour tortilla
Chalupa shell
Flat Bread
Nacho cheese sauce
Lava Sauce
Potato bites
Sour cream
Three cheese blend
Caramel Apple Empanada

Taco Bell Better Choices

Main Dish – None
Sides – None
• Cinnamon twists

Wendy’s Food Items Containing Added Phosphorus

All Chicken/Wings
Buns and Rolls
American cheese
Frosty (all flavors)
French fries
Sour cream
Ancho chipotle ranch dressing
Cheddar cheese sauce

Wendy’s Better Choices

Main Dish – None
• Side salad with ½ packet of fat free French, light honey Dijon, or Italian vinaigrette dressing
• Mandarin orange cup

Phosphorus Values Chicken Products
The following table lists phosphorus content for a variety of chicken products. (Source:Catherine M. Sullivan, Janeen B. Leon, Ashwini R. Sehgal Journal of Renal Nutrition – September 2007 (Vol. 17, Issue 5, Pages 350-354, DOI: 10.1053/j.jrn.2007.05.008))

Phosphorus Values Chicken Products

Funded by NIH/NIDDK grant. This information is current as of September 2009.

Return to: “The Secret to Staying Young and Healthy Long Into Old Age”


BREAKING NEWS: We’re a Premier Invisalign Provider!


We’re proud to announce that Gentle Family Dentistry is an Invisalign premier provider! This honor is awarded to dentist offices that have provided a large number of Invisalign treatments and see a continual flow of new cases. As a premier provider you’ll know we’re an experienced, trustworthy, and well-established Invisalign provider – you’ll be in good hands at our Duncansville office!

With a service as complicated as Invisalign you need more than just an education in it – you need extensive practice in designing treatment and providing great results. With our premier status you are getting years of Invisalign experience to match our extensive and continued training – the perfect match!

What is Invisalign?

Have you ever wanted to straighten your teeth without wires and brackets? How about invisibly? You’re not alone, and that’s where Invisalign comes in! This great system uses plastic aligners that slowly move your teeth over time. Every few weeks you’ll switch to a new aligner, and once you’re done you’ll have the smile you’ve always wanted! Better yet, no one will even have noticed!

The trays that make up your Invisalign treatment are amazingly hard to notice. They only go over your teeth, not your palate like a retainer, and are thin and comfortable. You only take them off to brush your teeth and eat, so your daily routine will barely change! Invisalign isn’t just a more aesthetically pleasing option, but it’s a more convenient one too!

Who Can Benefit From Invisalign?

If you have ever looked in the mirror and seen a smile you didn’t absolutely love Invisalign is for you. For many people the smile is something that would be great to fix, but there is a long list of reasons why they’ve never done it.

● Worried about looking bad in braces?
● Worried about being an adult undergoing orthodontic treatment?
● Don’t want the pain and hassle of braces?
● Just want to correct a small problem?

Any of those questions can be answered with just one word: Invisalign. And if you’re worried about Invisalign being unable to treat your smile you can rest easy – the majority of patients who need braces can benefit from Invisalign.

What’s The Process of Getting Invisalign?

Starting an Invisalign treatment at Gentle Family Dentistry begins with a full exam of your mouth – we need to be sure that you’re in good health! Once we’ve determined that you’re a good candidate for Invisalign we’ll take fully 3-D model of your teeth – no nasty gels or wax for impressions! That digital model allows us to precisely model your care, providing the best possible results!

The 3-D model and treatment plan is sent to Invisalign’s lab where they build your aligners. We receive them back within a few weeks and you’re on the road to a great new smile!

What’s The Catch?

There’s no catch when it comes to Invisalign – it really is a great system! For about the cost and time of an orthodontic sequence you can get beautiful, straight teeth without anyone noticing you’re undergoing treatment! You’ll love the results we can produce, and you’ll love the peace of mind that comes with seeing a premier Invisalign Provider.

We’d love to help you find the smile of your dreams, and we’re well equipped to do it! Don’t spend another day wishing you had decided to get a straight smile – take control of your teeth and call Gentle Family Dentistry today at 814-693-6777! You can also schedule an appointment using our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our webpage for more information.

Click here now:

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.


Metal Braces vs Invisalign


Traditional metal braces are notorious for:
1. Being very difficult and time consuming to floss around. So most people don’t try.
2. Being very difficult to clean and clean around with a toothbrush.
3. Trapping tons of food particles in them and between your teeth.
4. Leaving plenty of white decalcified areas on your teeth when the braces are removed. The white decalcified areas are from where plaque was not readily and regularly removed.
5. May promote cavities between the teeth from sugary items, where proper cleaning is difficult.

Invisalign clear removable braces however:
1. Are easily removable by the wearer making your teeth easily accessible for flossing and brushing.
2. Eliminate the development of white decalcified areas on your teeth because your teeth are easier to clean.
3. Do not promote cavities if the wearer flosses and brushes daily.
4. Cost about the same as metal braces.
5. Time in treatment may be as long as with metal braces.
6. Not advisable for young teenagers simply because of ‘lack of compliance’.

If you have any questions about keeping your teeth healthy or are ready to schedule an appointment you should give Gentle Family Dentistry a call today! You can reach us by phone at 814-693-6777 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our webpage for more information.

Click here now:

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.

Caring for Your Teeth as You Age

A lot of people are under the mistaken assumption that aging necessarily means they’ll lose teeth, which is completely untrue! Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime and any tooth loss has a cause that isn’t aging. Aside from suffering a traumatic accident that causes your teeth to be broken or knocked out keeping your teeth is completely under your control!

At Gentle Family Dentistry we work hard to keep your smile healthy. Regular visits to our Duncansville dentist office are essential to keeping your teeth healthy but that isn’t all you need to do! Lifestyle choices are the biggest deciding factor in the future of your teeth so don’t let bad habits leave you in dentures!

By following these tips you’ll be all set for a lifelong healthy smile!

Quit Smoking

It’s the truth whether you like it or not: smoking is bad for you! There are a lot of things it can do to ruin your overall health and it also causes serious damage to your teeth as well!

There is always bacteria in your mouth. It makes up the plaque that forms on your teeth over the course of the day. Some of it is harmless but other strains are what cause tooth decay! When plaque bacteria metabolize the sugar in foods you eat they turn it into acid that destroys your enamel and starts cavities.

Studies of smokers have found that the bad bacteria levels in their mouths was much higher – the harmless bacteria is actually dying off! That greatly increases the risk of infection and tooth decay which in turn can lead to eventual tooth loss! Even just one lost tooth can start a domino effect!

Eat Right

That harmful plaque bacteria won’t do a lot of damage if you don’t feed it a lot of sugar! While it’s possible to still end up with cavities on a healthy diet it’s not nearly as likely and when they do happen they’re generally minor and easy to treat.

Make sure you’re avoiding excess carbs too! Foods like bread, pretzels, chips, crackers, and other things high in processed white flour are high in a different kind of sugar, called glucose, that plaque bacteria still love!

If you do treat yourself to sweets or starches don’t panic – just make sure you’re drinking water to keep your mouth clean and brush as soon as you have an opportunity.

Practice Good Oral Care Habits

Plaque bacteria is the thing that will destroy your teeth. The best way to manage bacteria day to day is through your brushing and flossing habits. Just because you brush doesn’t mean it’s effective, though! Make sure you follow these tips to ensure good brushing.

● Brush for at least two minutes
● Use a soft-bristled brush. Hard bristles can damage your teeth and gums!
● Sweep down from your gumline toward the edge of your teeth or gently brush in circles.
● Use small, tooth-width strokes and focus on each tooth.
● Make sure to get all the surfaces of your teeth – front, back, and chewing surfaces!
● Use toothpaste containing fluoride for an extra boost of protection.
● And don’t forget to always floss in the evening! It’s the only way to get the tricky bits of plaque and food that hide between your teeth!

Get Regular Professional Care

Aging doesn’t mean you have to lose teeth but without caring for your mouth your chances definitely increase! To guarantee you’re keeping a healthy mouth you should make sure you’re seeing us at our Duncansville dentist office every six months! By seeing us regularly we can monitor your oral health and catch any potential problems before they become serious!

If you have any questions about keeping your teeth healthy or are ready to schedule an appointment you should give Gentle Family Dentistry a call today! You can reach us by phone at 814-693-6777 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
go to our webpage for more information.
Click here now:

And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.

All About Tooth Extraction

What Is It?

Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.

Reasons for Pulling Teeth

Removing a tooth is necessary when decay or an abscessed tooth is so severe that no other treatment will cure the infection. Removing the tooth can help keep infection from spreading to other areas of your mouth.

Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. A very common reason involves a tooth that is too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired.

Other reasons include:

A Small Mouth or Crowded Teeth: Sometimes dentists pull teeth to prepare the mouth for braces. The goal of braces or Invisalign is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth. Likewise, if a tooth cannot break through the gum (erupt) because there is not room in the mouth for it, your dentist may recommend pulling it.

Infection: If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp — the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels — bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Often this can be corrected with root canal therapy (RCT), but if the infection is so severe that antibiotics or RCT do not cure it, extraction may be needed to prevent the spread of infection.

Risk of Infection: If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy or are having an organ transplant), even the risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason enough to pull the tooth.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease: If periodontal disease — an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth — have caused loosening of the teeth, it may be necessary to the pull the tooth or teeth.

● Some people have extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.

● Sometimes baby teeth don’t fall out in time to allow the permanent teeth to come in.

● People receiving radiation to the head and neck may need to have teeth in the field of radiation extracted.

● People receiving cancer drugs may develop infected teeth because these drugs weaken the immune system. Infected teeth may need to be extracted.

● Some teeth may need to be extracted if they could become a source of infection after an organ transplant. People with organ transplants have a high risk of infection because they must take drugs that decrease or suppress the immune system.

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in. They commonly come in during the late teens or early 20s. They need to be removed if they are decayed, cause pain or have a cyst or infection. These teeth often get stuck in the jaw (impacted) and do not come in. This can irritate the gum, causing pain and swelling. In this case, the tooth must be removed. If you need all four wisdom teeth removed, they are usually taken out at the same time.

●  Least Expensive Option: Some people may opt to lose a tooth rather than save it for financial or cultural reasons.

What to Tell Your Dentist Before You Have a Tooth Pulled

Although having a tooth pulled is usually very safe, the procedure can allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Gum tissue is also at risk of infection. If you have a condition that puts you at high risk for developing a severe infection, you may need to take antibiotics before and after the extraction. Before having a tooth pulled, let your dentist know your complete medical history, the medications and supplements you take, and if you have one of the following:

● Damaged or man-made heart valves
● Congenital heart defect
● Impaired immune system
● Liver disease (cirrhosis)
● Artificial joint, such as a hip replacement
● History of bacterial endocarditis

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and are taking drugs for that condition, or if you expect to have treatment with intravenous drugs called bisphosphonates for a medical condition, be sure to see your dentist first. If any teeth need to be extracted, this should be done before your drug treatment begins. Having a tooth extraction after bisphosphonate treatment increases the risk of bone death in the jaw.


Your dentist or oral surgeon will take an X-ray of the area to help plan the best way to remove the tooth. Be sure to provide your full medical and dental history and a list of all medicines you take. This should include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements.

If you are having multiple teeth removed or teeth in certain places, you may have a panoramic X-ray. This X-ray takes a picture of all of your teeth at once. It can show several things that help to guide an extraction:

● The relationship of your wisdom teeth to your other teeth
● The upper teeth’s relationship to your sinuses
● The lower teeth’s relationship to a nerve in the jawbone that gives feeling to your lower jaw, lower teeth, lower lip and chin. This nerve is called the inferior alveolar nerve.
● Any infections, tumors or bone disease that may be present

Some doctors prescribe antibiotics to be taken before and after surgery. This practice varies by the dentist or oral surgeon. Antibiotics are more likely to be given if:

● You have infection at the time of surgery
● You have a weakened immune system
● You will have a long surgery
● You have specific medical conditions

How It’s Done

There are two types of extractions:

A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. Some General dentists commonly do simple extractions. In a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then the dentist uses an instrument called a forceps to remove the tooth.

A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure. It is used if a tooth may have broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet or has very curved roots or if the root has fused to the bone. Surgical extractions commonly are done by oral surgeons. However, they are also done by some general dentists. The doctor makes a small incision (cut) into your gum. Sometimes it’s necessary to remove some of the bone around the tooth or to cut the tooth in half in order to extract it.

Most extractions can be done using just a local anesthetic (Novocaine). You may or may not receive drugs to help you relax. Some people may need general anesthesia. They include patients with specific medical or behavioral conditions and young children.

During a tooth extraction, you can expect to feel pressure, but no pain. If you feel any pain or pinching, tell your doctor.


Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on what to do and what to expect after your surgery. If you have any questions, make sure to ask them before you leave the office.

Having a tooth taken out is surgery. You can expect some discomfort after even simple extractions. Usually it is mild. Research has shown that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can greatly decrease pain after a tooth extraction. These drugs include ibuprofen, such as Advil, Motrin and others. All of those drugs, however, can be toxic if overused. Take the dose your doctor recommends, 3 to 4 times a day. Take the first pills before the local anesthesia wears off. Continue taking them for as long as needed. Dr. Locker will give you complete instructions.

Surgical extractions generally cause more pain after the procedure than simple extractions. The level of discomfort and how long it lasts will depend on how difficult it was to remove the tooth. Your dentist may prescribe pain medicine for a few days and then suggest an NSAID. Most pain disappears after a couple of days.

A cut in the mouth tends to bleed more than a cut on the skin because it cannot dry out and form a scab. After an extraction, you’ll be asked to bite on a piece of gauze for 1 hour. This pressure will allow the blood to clot. You will still have a small amount of bleeding for the next 24 hours or so. It should taper off after that. Don’t disturb the clot that forms on the wound.

You can put ice packs on your face to reduce swelling. Typically, they are left on for 20 minutes at a time and removed for 20 minutes. If your jaw is sore and stiff after the swelling goes away, try warm compresses.

Eat soft, cold foods for a few days. Then try other food as you feel comfortable. But make sure you avoid crumbly foods for a few days. Those would include cookies, chips, pretzels, popcorn, nuts etc. Because any of those things could irritate the new wound and cause unnecessary pain.

A gentle rinse with warm salt water, started 24 hours after the surgery, can help to keep the area clean. Use one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Most swelling and bleeding ends within a day or two after the surgery. Initial healing takes at least two weeks.

If you need stitches, your doctor may use the kind that dissolve on their own. This usually takes one to two weeks. Rinsing with warm salt water will help the stitches to dissolve. Some stitches need to be removed by the dentist or surgeon.

You should not smoke, eat crunchy or crumbly foods or eat on the side of the extraction for a week to avoid damage to the area. If you have persistent pain for more than a day or 2 after your extraction, or if pain begins a few days after your extraction and is relatively constant then you may have a dry socket. A dry socket is caused by the dissolution or destruction of the blood clot leaving an empty hole down to live bone. The exposed bone can be very sensitive. But there is a simple procedure that we can do here at Gentle Family Dentistry to relieve your pain and stimulate healing. The dry socket is packed with a medicated gauze which acts as a false scab. If you believe you have developed a dry socket make sure you contact Gentle Family Dentistry immediately to obtain relief.

Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.

You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just click the link to
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And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.