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Smilelines, Issue #001
June 01, 2003

For Your Better Dental Health

Welcome to SMILELINES!

In an effort to provide better dental care to our patients, we are launching SMILELINES, a monthly educational newsletter.

The goal of this publication is to provide relevant information to you and your family, so that you can enjoy the very best in dental health, and can prevent oral problems from occurring.

We will have copies of this newsletter in the office for you to take home. We are also going to send it electronically via email to those of you who prefer this format.

Finally, we will post the most recent copy on our website at for those of you who like to surf the web.

What sort of articles can you expect in SMILELINES? In this issue, we discuss the relationship between oral health and heart disease. Also, the value of calcium is covered. And, there is a section about what to do in case of a dental emergency.

Upcoming articles will provide information on oral cancer, children's teeth, nutrition, sports injuries, infant care, brushing tips, insurance benefits, teenage issues, orthodontics and more. We will also try to keep you up to date on the latest advances in dental materials and techniques.

Ultimately, our goal is that you would read, enjoy, and benefit from each and every issue. Any suggestions or comments you may have are always welcome.

Dental bacteria linked to heart disease

Recent studies have shown a positive correlation between oral bacteria and heart disease. Dentists have known for years that poor dental hygiene can pose a significant threat to the heart valves. What is new is that this hazard has now been shown to relate to hardening of the arteries as well.

What does this mean? Just this. If you let gum disease develop, by failing to brush and floss your teeth daily, and by not having the plaque and tartar removed professionally on a regular basis, you are putting yourself at risk for high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, possible heart attack and even stroke. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to this problem, as are diabetics.

So give your immune system, and your heart a break—keep your teeth and gums clean!

Are you getting enough Calcium?

Calcium has been called a master nutrient. As far back as the Roman Empire, people realized the value of calcium in the diet for healthy gums, teeth and bones. Today, it is even more important to be sure that you are receiving enough of this valuable mineral. The following are some suggestions:

1000mg—1500mg daily is a good starting point for most people.

For women, it is especially important that this is fulfilled, to avoid osteoporosis.

Caffeine blocks the absorption of calcium, so one must avoid coffee and strong tea for at least one hour before and after the taking of a calcium supplement.

Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium. Sources of this important vitamin are exposure to sunlight (at least 30 minutes a day without sunglasses) or by supplement or from foods that are enriched with vitamin D

One new resource in this area is coral calcium, which is manufactured in an ionic form and is even more absorbable than normal.

What to do in a dental emergency

No one ever expects to have a tooth knocked out, or to be in an auto accident with injuries to the face and mouth. But accidents do happen, so it is better to know what to do. It might not be you who is might be a neighbor or friend. So here is the lowdown on dental accidents.

First, if a tooth is knocked out, try to find the tooth. Many times it can be reimplanted. Call the office immediately, place the tooth in a glass of milk and remember to bring it with you when you come in.

If there is a fracture, but the tooth is not knocked out, protect the tooth by biting on a tissue or rag, and call immediately.

Sometimes an adjacent tooth has also been injured, and we need see the patient as soon as possible. The main accidents for children are bikes, skateboards and swimming pools.

If you have been in a dental accident, call us as soon as possible. Our number is 650-965-1234.

All the best!

Dr. Burch

P.S. For further reading, please visit us online at, and select "Education". The links at the bottom of the page will lead you to hundreds of related articles, guides and other resources.

P.P.S. If you have a friend or relative who you feel would enjoy SMILELINES, please feel free to direct them to the same page on our website. We offer the newsletter on a complimentary basis to anyone who wishes to subscribe.

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