Dental Health and Overall Wellness

STEP AWAY FROM THE SCALE… (xenia dentist/xenia cosmetic dentistry)

by Lee Anne Austria on June 5, 2017 , Comments Off on STEP AWAY FROM THE SCALE… (xenia dentist/xenia cosmetic dentistry)

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There are plenty of reasons to keep your waistline trim…now here’s another one:  A new study published in the journal Oral Diseases found that overweight  people had worse oral health than their normal-weight peers, with obese people having a nearly six-fold higher risk of severe periodontal (gum) disease.  Overweight or obese means weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height.  Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a screening method to determine whether an individual is overweight or obese.

BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters.  If this sounds complicated (it does to me), here is a cheat sheet you can use to determine your BMI.  A high BMI can be considered an indicator of a high level of body fat.

  • A BMI of less than 18.5 is considered in the underweight range.
  • A BMI of 18.5 to <25 is considered in the normal range.
  • A BMI of 25.0 to <30 is considered in the overweight range.
  • A BMI of 30.0 or higher is considered to fall in the obese range.

What is periodontal disease again?

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the tissues surrounding and the bone supporting the teeth.  Here are the warning signs.  Not only is periodontal disease a major cause of tooth loss, it is also linked to other diseases.  Increased risks of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, and even premature births have been linked to periodontal disease.

So how does obesity affect periodontal disease?

For a long time overweight and obese adults have been considered to be at high risk for many chronic inflammatory diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.  A recent study showed that overweight individuals had double the incidence of gum disease while obese individuals had triple the incidence.  It is now known that fat cells produce many chemical signals and hormones and that many of these substances are thought to increase overall inflammation in the body.  This may lead to a lowering of immunities which increases the susceptibility to gum disease.  The inflammation may also decrease blood flow to the gums and cause the disease to get worse.

That sounds complicated!  What’s the bottom line?

Brilliant Smiles is a Complete Health Dentistry practice.  That means we focus on overall health as well as dental health.  Obesity and gum disease significantly affect overall health and understanding this relationship is important.  With the increasing rate of child and adolescent obesity, increased occurrence of periodontal disease is likely to follow.

Remind me what I can do to prevent periodontal disease.

  • Take care of your mouth.  That means regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.
  •  Maintain good overall health.  Focus on a healthy balanced diet:  Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and plenty of water.  Try to avoid sticky, sugary snacks.  Regular exercise never hurt anybody!  And…We can’t repeat it enough…STOP SMOKING!
  • Stay on track with your visits to the dental office.  Your hygienist and dentist can catch the early signs of periodontal disease before it turns into a major issue.
  • Visit your doctor.  Gum disease occurs in the mouth but there are many medications that can increase your risk of getting it.  And some medical conditions can increase that risk.  So talk to your doc about non-dental risk factors.

It’s important to mention that the study could not show a direct “cause-and-effect’ relationship between gum disease and obesity.  However, it should sound the alarm about another potential drawback of packing on those extra pounds (besides fitting into that summer bathing suit.)

Until next time!

Information for this article came from the following sources:

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SCARED YET? dentist xenia/affordable dentist xenia/ emergency dental

by Lee Anne Austria on March 30, 2017 , Comments Off on SCARED YET? dentist xenia/affordable dentist xenia/ emergency dental



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It’s early to start thinking about Halloween (Even though the new trailer for Stephen King’s IT gave me a jumpstart – yikes!)  However, oral cancer is something that is scary at any time of the year.  April is oral cancer awareness month and your chances of beating it depend on how soon you find it.

In 2017 about 49,670 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.  An estimated 9700 will die of these cancers.  Oral cancer can strike in the mouth and throat with most of these cancers beginning in the flat cells – squamous cells – that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue, and lips.  Some of the risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), sun exposure, diet, betel nut use, and personal history of oral cancer.

Symptoms to watch for include patches inside the mouth or on the lips, a sore on the mouth or lips that doesn’t heal, bleeding in the mouth, loose teeth, pain or difficulty swallowing, lump in the neck, numbness of lower lip and chin, difficulty wearing dentures, and a persistent earache.

You need to get to your dentist or physician ASAP if you have any of these symptoms.

So are you scared?  Be scared.  Embrace it.  Get that screening!

(You’ve been warned about the movie…if you still want to watch the trailer click here.)

(Reprinted in part from

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TALK ABOUT MADNESS… (xenia affordable dentist)

by Lee Anne Austria on March 23, 2017 , Comments Off on TALK ABOUT MADNESS… (xenia affordable dentist)

(Here’s a disclaimer:  This article is reprinted in part from a blog written by Implant Seminars – Implant Dentistry Education.  As I usually do, I’ve changed a few things to make it more interesting reading (hopefully) for the average person but the gist is the same.  The article mentions climate change.  Since this is a controversial subject, we here at Brilliant Smiles are not expressing an opinion on whether climate change is valid science or not…only that it is controversial.  If you want to debate the subject go to Facebook.  Or click here.  To read the original article click here.)

Sometimes you have to marvel at our species’ collective progress.  Almost everyday breakthroughs in science and technology are transforming how we live and interact with the world around us.  In medicine alone, new theories of disease, new vaccines, and new treatment methods promise to vastly extend human life.  It has been reported that sometime in the not-too-distant future, many of us could be living to around 120!

But just when you think nothing could stifle such optimism, we receive a dose of reality: Tooth decay remains a pressing problem for more than 2.4 billion people.  That’s about one-third of the entire human race.  And to make matters worse, some 190 million new cases are estimated every year.

In an age where miracles like a heart transplant can occur from a cadaver, bionic eyes are developed for the blind, and an artificial skull transplant was completed using a 3D-printer – all achieved in 2014 alone…how can this be??

There are several factors at work here.  First, tooth decay often exhibits a threshold event or “tipping point” tendencies.  In science, thresholds are moments where after periods of continual stimulus, a sudden new state is achieved.  The term is used frequently in climate studies and posed as a question.  How much additional carbon dioxide emissions from industry will push the Earth’s climate into a new state?

  • When Your Mouth Runs Amok.  ​Like climate change, tooth decay is a slow and deceptively sneaky process.  The time it takes a microcavity to grow into a damaging and painful abscess can be measured in months and years.  And during that long interlude, few symptoms may manifest.  And if they do emerge, (things like hypersensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages) they can be easily ignored.  But eventually, that threshold is crossed.  Perhaps the patient bites down and their tooth shatters.  Or perhaps easily dismissed discomfort becomes excruciating.  Long before the threshold is crossed, significant damage has been done.  Economics and diet also play a significant role.  Even in wealthier countries like the U.S. and the U.K., there remain great disparity rates between the rich and the poor.  A recent study found that dental health was worse among the poorest 20% of British society.  By the time these individuals reach 70, they have on average 8 fewer teeth than their richest counterparts.  In terms of diet our overly processed, high-sugar products are assaulting our teeth like never before.
  • Give Tooth Decay the Time-out it Deserves.  Tooth decay may not grab the evening headlines like the threat of terrorism or March Madness basketball scores.  But when tooth decay impacts a third of the human population, you can bet it’s on the mind of the worlds dentists.  If left unchecked, tooth decay can negatively impact a patient’s life in a variety of ways, ranging from malnutrition and articulation troubles to social anxiety and barriers to employment.

This spring, as we embrace the warmer months ahead and yes, perform a little spring cleaning, let’s remind ourselves that now would be a great time to make a dental appointment.  If humans really are going to live to 120 on a regular basis, let’s do what we can to make those years as pleasant and pain-free as possible.

While you’re at it, check out OUR Facebook page!  Not as controversial as climate change but still entertaining nonetheless!

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POST-SUPERBOWL ANGST emergency dental xenia

by Lee Anne Austria on February 9, 2017 , Comments Off on POST-SUPERBOWL ANGST emergency dental xenia

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Wow…that was some game the other night!  A halftime show featuring…drones!  And oh yes, a certain superstar who jumped off the roof into the stadium and even more amazingly…DIDN’T LIP-SYNC!!  Pretty impressive.  I, however, missed the beer commercials with the cute puppies so I’m making up for it here.  If you’re feeling depressed about the outcome of the game and/or the fact that we have 5 more weeks until spring, I’m here to help:  By making a few simple adjustments to your diet, you can elevate your mood and boost your metabolism.  The benefits are potentially huge! Maintaining a good mood will help you stick to a healthy diet, be more productive, and increase your self-esteem.  Keeping in mind that we are a Complete Health Dentistry practice, here are seven simple tips to help you optimize your diet to boost mood and metabolism.

  1. Resist Skipping Meals – Skipping or missing a meal can cause a dip in your blood sugar, leading to crankiness and lethargy.  Maintain your blood sugar levels, and your energy by eating small amounts of food throughout the day.  You might even prefer eating six smaller meals rather than three large ones.
  2. Stay Hydrated – This is a biggie.  Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and lethargic.  Be sure to drink (water, not beer) throughout the day and don’t rely on thirst alone to remind you to have another glass of water.  Some experts say the average person needs about eight glasses of water daily, and that may be hard to accomplish without reminders.
  3. Think Moderation, Especially for Low-Nutrient Foods – Avoid a lot of caffeine, refined carbohydrates (sugar), alcohol, salt, and other food additives.  Any of these, especially in large amounts, can decrease your metabolic efficiency.  Which basically means this:  TOO MANY CARBS = RUSH =>CRASH/FATIGUE.  In addition, excess salt can disrupt your fluid balance, changing your daily water needs, not to mention increasing health risks like high blood pressure.
  4. Strive for Balance in the Food You Eat – In general, a healthy diet includes a mix of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and some protien, but each person has inidivudaul needs based on age, sex, physical activity level, body size, and stress factors.  You can consult with a nutritionist to determine the best combination for you to help you find the right balance.
  5. Get a Boost From “Good Mood” Food – While research about the mood- and metabolism-boosting qualities of certain foods is mixed, foods high in the amino acid tryptophan have been found to increase seratonin levels in the brain, contributing to feelings of optimism and calm.  Bananas, avocados, dried apricots, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds fall into this category.  Foods rich in Omega-3 fats can help help elevate mood and reduce anxiety and depression (salmon, mackerel, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.)
  6. Keep a Food Diary – Some foods can have the opposite effect of tryptophan and instead trigger negative changes in mood and cause irritability or headaches.  A food diary can help.  If you think a particular food might be affecting your mood, record everything you eat each day and how you feel before and after every meal.  After two weeks, review your entries to see if any foods line up with specific moods either good or bad.
  7. Exercise Exercise Exercise – So important!  Now we’re not talking about running marathons here.  But a moderate and regular exercise routine will keep your body working most effectively and will augment both your mood and metabolism.

I hope this helps you get through the rest of the winter.  The key message is balance.  A variety of healthy foods with a dose of exercise will help you maintain your energy, speed up your metabolism, and boost your mood.

Until next time!

(reprinted in part from

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WE’VE BEEN PLAYED xenia dentist/xenia cosmetic dentistry

by Lee Anne Austria on September 13, 2016 , Comments Off on WE’VE BEEN PLAYED xenia dentist/xenia cosmetic dentistry

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As a total wellness practice we are concerned with not only your oral health but the health of your entire body.  So that is why this article we ran across grabbed our attention.  Yesterday, documents published in a major medical journal reveal that the sugar industry has been, shall we say, less than forthcoming.  As in for decades.  The documents show  that the sugar industry paid scientists to downplay the effect of sugar on our health.  Back in the 60’s research started to link sugary diets with the country’s high rate of heart disease.  Turns out the sugar industry paid researchers to publish findings that would shift the blame to fats.  Then along came our decades-long obsession with low-fat diets, and food companies pumping products with sugar (and salt) so that they still tasted good.  The article states “The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today…For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.”  Heart disease is the #1 killer in America and newer (and hopefully valid) research shows that sugar and fat are both to blame for the country’s health issues.  So put down that doughnut and click here to read the entire article.

(reprinted in part from

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TO FLOSS OR NOT TO FLOSS: A MESSAGE FROM AN EXPERT ( affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental )

by Lee Anne Austria on August 15, 2016 , Comments Off on TO FLOSS OR NOT TO FLOSS: A MESSAGE FROM AN EXPERT ( affordable xenia dentist/emergency dental )

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As evident by the numerous numbers of patients who have asked me this question during the last couple of weeks, obviously the news story stating there are no benefits to flossing was heard/read by many, many people.  I have to hand it to our media (and we already know this,) they sure know how to twist a story to make news!


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Apparently the federal government has been recommending flossing since 1979, but when recently asked by The Associated Press to provide the scientific evidence of flossing’s benefits, the government quietly slipped the recommendation out of its latest dietary guidelines.  When the AP followed up, the government confessed that the effectiveness of flossing had not actually been researched to the extent required.  The AP then hit the stands with the message that flossing isn’t necessary because the government no longer listed it in its guidelines.

This article is not really about the ineffectiveness of flossing but having the proper supporting to research to legally make the recommendation in the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans report from the surgeon general.  In order to include flossing as part of the guidelines the law states there must be evidenced based science to support it.  When the flossing literature was reviewed the studies were weak, poorly done, unreliable, biased, very low quality or lacked efficacy and it was decided the available scientific evidence was not really there.

As a practitioner of 30 years, currently working with 4 associate doctors and ten dental hygienists, we evaluate the periodontal health of many people every single day.  Our responsibility is to evaluate for the presence of gum inflammation and disease.  Comprehensive and very costly studies wanted by the government aside, it is easy for us to determine for most patients who has been flossing, or more importantly, who hasn’t, by the condition and health of their gums.

The fact of unavailable evidence should not be confused with the concept that it is not worthwhile to clean in between your teeth.  The government simply said the research to prove the effectiveness of flossing has not been done to satisfaction and if flossing is going to be listed in the Guidelines, the supporting research needs to be there.  So the press did what they do best; take a nothing story and twist the words a bit to create a media splash that suggests to the world that something we thought to be helpful is a waste of time.  It is ultimately your call to floss or not, but if you don’t manage your biofilm load (a fancy phrase for oral bacteria,) and if you are disease susceptible, rest assured your health WILL suffer.  For me, I floss because I want to closely manage my periodontal health.  Regardless of what the media says, it will remain a part of my every day regimen.

Dr. Gregory J. Austria, Owner and Founder of the Brilliant Smiles Dental Offices

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by Lee Anne Austria on May 23, 2016 , Comments Off on WHEN REST ISN’T SO EASY Dr. Greg Austria



It is estimated that 87 million people snore in America – that two thirds of the population!  It’s an even bigger problem when you consider secondary snoring, and the effect it can have on spouses and other family members that have to listen.  Snoring disrupts sleep which can cause depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while working or driving.  Snoring and sleep apnea should be treated as quickly as possible. 


Snoring and sleep apnea occur when the soft tissue structures of the upper airway collapse onto themselves.  The snoring sound is caused by the vibration of these tissues.  The complete closure of the airway causing the individual to stop breathing is called an “Apnea Event.”  The causal factors may be:

  • Structural – A narrow jaw, a large tongue, enlarged tonsils, enlarged adenoids, a thick soft palate, small nasal valves, or a crooked septum.
  • Outside Causes – Allergies, over consumption of alcohol, sedatives, smoking, disruption of normal sleep patterns, or decreased lung capacity (can be caused by obesity.)


  • 67% of the general population snores.
  • 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.
  • 85% of people who have suffered a stroke have obstructive sleep apnea.
  • 30% of the hypertensive population has sleep apnea.
  • Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of cardiovascular mortality 5 times.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular failure.

If you experience interruptions of deep sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, grinding of your teeth, headaches, and complaints of snoring from family members, WE CAN HELP.  Call our office or visit our website to make an appointment for a consultation.



(Reprinted in part from information obtained from Steven Lambert, DDS, Diplomate, ABDSM and Sleep Joy Int., LLC)

Dr. Greg Austria

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SHOCK VALUE xenia ohio dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on March 8, 2016 , Comments Off on SHOCK VALUE xenia ohio dentist

The saying goes “A picture is worth 1000 words.”  That is definitely true in this case as evidenced by the pictures below.   Believe it or not, the topic of this blog is Diet Soda.  As in, it can be bad for your teeth…very bad.


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Diet Soda is a highly acidic beverage that can actually erode dental enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay.  In a recent issue of General Dentistry,  the Academy of General Dentistry’s peer-reviewed journal, researchers illustrated a shocking discovery:  Drinking large quantities of soda can be as damaging to teeth as using illegal drugs.  If this sounds hard to believe, have a look at the pictures below.  In the study, patients were examined at dental clinics in Philadelphia and Appalachia over the course of two decades.  A striking similarity was found between the teeth of patients who consumed large quantities of soda and those who used methamphetamine or crack cocaine.  The article compared the damage in three individuals’ mouths:  An admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and a woman who drank two liters of diet coke a day.  Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their “drug” of choice – meth, crack, or soda.  It was noted that a person doesn’t even need to consume as much as two liters of soda per day to damage their teeth, as the effect of soda-drinking is cumulative.  Even those who drink more than one regular sized 12-ounce soda per day are at risk of dental erosion.  The incredible similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to consumers who think that soda – even diet soda – is not harmful to their oral health.  (reprinted in part from  5/1/2013)


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by Lee Anne Austria on January 21, 2016 , Comments Off on PREGNANT? ADVICE FOR THE NEXT 9 MONTHS affordable dentist

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Back pain, morning sickness, fatigue, hunger – it’s hard to know exactly what to expect when you’re expecting.  Your teeth may seem secondary to the stereotypical symptoms, but they matter more than you realize.  Here’s what you need to know to keep your smile glowing throughout your pregnancy:


The same pregnancy hormones causing you to sob during a cute puppy-themed Superbowl commercial affect your teeth as well.  Increased estrogen and progesterone levels multiply dental plaque.  Because of a surplus of the sticky stuff (bacteria) many women are prone to get pregnancy gingivitis.  It’s characterized by inflammation of the gums, swelling, and tenderness.  Plus, studies link periodontal disease to pre-term and low birth weight babies.


The “Eating for 2” cliche makes it easy to justify consuming an entire pint of ice-cream, right?  You do need to consume more when you’re expecting, but not enough to justify eating the whole pint.  Your baby’s teeth start to grow as early as 3 months into pregnancy.  Make 2 smiles and 2 bodies strong:  Eat a balanced diet filled with calcium, phosphorous, protein and vitamins A, C, and D.  Eat healthy and your baby’s kicks will feel more like a high five!


Add a dentist visit to your new nursery and gender-reveal plans.  A dental check-up may not be at the top of your list, but it’s key to a healthy pregnancy.  If you’re newly expecting, make this a priority.  A routine cleaning will help keep your smile on track.

Finally, follow this simple tips to maintain your oral health during this exciting time:  Remember to brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush twice a day, paying attention to the gum line as well.  And floss at least once a day.  (Here’s a fun fact about flossing:  If you fail to floss, you’re missing out on cleaning 34% of your teeth’s surface – yuck!)

Click here to learn more about Brilliant Smiles and how we can help YOU maintain your oral AND overall health!




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