Dentist Blog

Posts for: January, 2015


After her husband, producer Bruce Paltrow, succumbed to oral cancer in 2002, actress Blythe Danner made it her mission to help save other families from the heartache she and her children (Jake and Gwyneth Paltrow) suffered with his loss. Now active with the Oral Cancer Foundation, Blythe uses her fame to bring awareness to the disease, which she says she and her family knew very little about before Bruce received his diagnosis.

In an interview with People magazine, Blythe said she believes her husband's cancer could have been detected earlier if the family had been alert to the symptoms.

“For months I had noticed Bruce's voice was hoarse,” she said. “I started asking him to see a doctor. But he kept saying, ‘No, no, no, I'm fine.’ ”

When a lump became visible in his neck, he did go to the doctor and found he had a tumor in his throat. The cancer eventually spread to his lymph nodes. Compounding Blythe's sadness is the feeling that she might have been able to do something to prevent her husband's death.

“I feel tremendously guilty,” she told the magazine, noting that she wishes she had simply insisted her husband get himself checked out. “Education and early detection are so important,” she said of her campaign to raise awareness. “That's why I'm doing this.”

Though Bruce Paltrow was a smoker, it's important to note that young, non-smokers comprise the fastest-growing segment of the population being diagnosed with the disease. That's because a sexually transmitted virus known as HPV16 is now a major cause of oral cancer.

Oral cancer screenings are yet another good reason to make regular semi-annual visits to the dentist. We have the training to notice oral abnormalities, and to monitor and/or biopsy any suspicious lesions. At your oral cancer screening, we will feel your neck for lumps and inspect your lips and all inside surfaces of the mouth, including the back of your throat.

Of course, if you or a loved one experience persistent hoarseness, white or red patches or other changes in your mouth or tongue that don't go away in a few weeks, please don't hesitate to come in and see us.

If you have any concerns about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about the disease in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”

By Murphy Dental Group
January 14, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

Today’s crowns, the visible part of a tooth replacement system, can effectively mimic the shape and color of natural teeth. But not all crowns are equal — so it’s best to be well-informed before you undergo a restoration on your natural teeth such as a single crown or bridgework — or if you need a crown on a dental implant that replaces a missing tooth.

To give you a starting point, here are 3 things to keep in mind about crowns as you consider a dental restoration.

Material composition. Most crowns in years past were made of a precious metal, most notably gold. What it lacked in appearance, it made up for in performance and durability. In recent years, dental porcelain has become the popular choice because of its ability to mimic the appearance and translucent color of natural teeth. Today’s porcelains are much stronger and are used more frequently for back teeth than in years past. A common recommendation for back teeth is a hybrid crown using metal and porcelain. Metal is incorporated beneath the porcelain in this type of crown to create a strong foundation and is also used along biting surfaces for strength. Porcelain is used in the more visible areas for esthetics.

The dental technician’s level of artistry. Most dentists sub-contract crown fabrication to dental laboratory technicians who may have varying levels of experience and artistic ability. A highly skilled technician can produce a crown that blends seamlessly with the patient’s remaining natural teeth.

Take a “test drive” of your future smile. Although we as dentists adhere to certain aesthetic principles, beauty is ultimately subjective — “in the eye of the beholder.” The final product must meet your expectations and level of comfort. If available, then, consider wearing temporary “trial smile” crowns as a preview of your new smile while your permanent set is under construction. This allows you to “try out” your future smile ahead of time, so you can make recommendations and sign off on the final set before it’s finished.

Undertaking any dental restoration is an important life step, both for your health and appearance. Being well-informed — especially about the crowns that you and others will see — will help you make wise choices that lead to a satisfying outcome.

If you would like more information on crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Murphy Dental Group, PLLC
January 02, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Stress   TMJ  

TMJBoth you and your family deserve a mouth full of good health - but the persistent stress you've been feeling this holiday season could be undermining just that. That's because stress can cause problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in the form of temporomandibular disorders (TMD), a set of conditions characterized by pain symptoms and insufficient use of the muscles and joints in that area.

Fortunately for you or anyone you know suffering from TMD, there are long-term answers available right here in Milton, MA. That's because Murphy Dental Group, PLLC makes sure of it, providing only the most comprehensive treatment options for any TMJ need you may have.

Check out some of the biggest signs that you may have TMD below:

Jaw Noises

If you're starting to hear a clicking, popping, or grating sound in your TMJ when you flex your jaw, then it's time for the dentist to take a look. After all, this sometimes happens because the disk located inside the joint is moving around. This symptom should be of particular concern if pain or limited jaw function comes along with it.

Muscle And Joint Pain

If you start to feel pain in your cheeks or temples, you may be fighting a TMD. If a residual soreness is awaiting your jaw muscles when you wake up in the morning, your dentist will likely help you find a custom-made nightguard that can help protect you from grinding your teeth together unknowingly while you sleep. This can help your jaw muscles relax so that they can enjoy a full night's rest, too!

Similarly, if you're experiencing pain in the joint itself rather than the surrounding muscles, you might be suffering from TMJ arthritis. Though arthritis is currently uncurable, ask your dentist about available medications for arthritic symptom relief.

Milton's Answer To TMDs

While stress serves as one of the leading causes for just about all health problems, that doesn't mean your TMJs need to be the next victim. Make Murphy Dental Group, PLLC your trusted family dentist by calling (617) 696-3900 today!