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May 20, 2018
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Oral Allergy Syndrome is not typically something your dentist can help with, but since it involves the mouth, it is in the dentist’s realm. Oral Allergy Syndrome is itching, burning, or swelling in your mouth caused by certain foods. It’s usually seen most often in people that also have hay fever. The main symptoms are swelling of your tongue, mouth, throat or lips; itchy mouth or ears; or a scratchy throat and usually occur just after you’ve eaten raw produce (fruit, vegetables, and nuts). It is thought that these symptoms are caused by similar substances that are found in both pollen and raw produce.


In most cases, the irritation usually goes away quickly and doesn’t require treatment but it can progress to a body-wide or anaphylactic reaction. Those who have severe, body-wide reactions may need to carry an injectable epinephrine pen. Unfortunately, you can’t count on antihistamine medications or allergy shots to prevent a reaction, so it is best to avoid your triggers.


You may be able to peel the fruit or vegetable to minimize your reaction since most of the substances are located in the peel. Canned versions, baking, or microwaving also helps since cooking can deactivate the offending substances.


Some examples of pollen/produce interactions:

  • Birch pollen => apples, almonds, cherries, carrots, celery, hazelnuts, kiwis, peaches, pears, and plums
  • Grass pollen => celery, melons, oranges, peaches, and tomatoes
  • Ragweed pollen => bananas, cucumbers, melons, sunflower seeds, and zucchini


If you think you have Oral Allergy Syndrome, your dentist may be able to refer you to an allergist or physician for additional testing .


Note: This advice is not intended to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals.


Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who is taking new patients at her office located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH. Call 440-960-1940 to reserve your seat!        

May 20, 2018
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Coming soon.

Many things can affect your child’s future dental health: oral hygiene, diet, or habits like thumb sucking or teeth grinding. But there’s one you might not have considered: how they breathe.

Specifically, we mean whether they breathe primarily through their mouth rather than through their nose. The latter could have an adverse impact on both oral and general health. If you’ve noticed your child snoring, their mouth falling open while awake and at rest, fatigue or irritability you should seek definite diagnosis and treatment.

Chronic mouth breathing can cause dry mouth, which in turn increases the risk of dental disease. It deprives the body of air filtration (which occurs with nose breathing) that reduces possible allergens. There’s also a reduction in nitric oxide production, stimulated by nose breathing, which benefits overall health.

Mouth breathing could also hurt your child’s jaw structure development. When breathing through the nose, a child’s tongue rests on the palate (roof of the mouth). This allows it to become a mold for the palate and upper jaw to form around. Conversely with mouth breathers the tongue rests behind the bottom teeth, which deprives the developing upper jaw of its tongue mold.

The general reason why a person breathes through the mouth is because breathing through the nose is uncomfortable or difficult. This difficulty, though, could arise for a number of reasons: allergy problems, for example, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids pressing against the nasal cavity and interfering with breathing. Abnormal tissue growth could also obstruct the tongue or lip during breathing.

Treatment for mouth breathing will depend on its particular cause. For example, problems with tonsils and adenoids and sinuses are often treated by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. Cases where the mandible (upper jaw and palate) has developed too narrowly due to mouth breathing may require an orthodontist to apply a palatal expander, which gradually widens the jaw. The latter treatment could also influence the airway size, further making it easier to breathe through the nose.

The best time for many of these treatments is early in a child’s growth development. So to avoid long-term issues with facial structure and overall dental health, you should see your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect mouth breathing.

If you would like more information on issues related to your child’s dental development, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

May 10, 2018
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May 11th is Root Canal Appreciation Day. While it is hard to imagine most people appreciating a root canal, believe me, when your tooth is hurting and the root canal makes it feel better, you sure do appreciate that root canal!

Within the past week, I’ve had two different people show me an online article whose headline claims that 97% of terminal cancer patients have had a root canal.  This begs the question, are root canals safe?


The answer is root canals are safe (even says so!), but let’s look more deeply into the matter. This issue is one that has come up periodically throughout history. The most recent incarnation appears to be tied to a 2012 article attributed to a Dr. Mercola who cites the century-old work of Dr. Weston Price. By 1948, Price’s focal infection theory was already falling out of favor among professionals and by 1950 it was considered an outdated fringe belief.  All research since has failed to turn up any link between root canals and cancer. In fact, research published in 2013 by the American Association of Endodontists showed a 45% reduced risk of cancer for those people who had had multiple root canal treatments!! (For more information see:


Root canal treatment removes bacteria and infected soft tissue from the pulp chamber located at the center of your tooth. Once the infected material is removed, the space is sealed up with various materials to prevent reinfection of the tooth. Do root canals fail? Yes, they sometimes do, but it is a very small percentage (around 5% according to most reliable sources). In most cases, those failures are detected. Sometimes the tooth needs retreatment, but there are some reasons for failure, such as a fracture, that might result in loss of the tooth. There is no valid, scientific evidence linking a root canal to disease elsewhere in your body.


As for that 97% figure cited in the headline, no case studies or research exist to support it. We might just as easily say that 97% of terminal cancer patients have dyed their hair at some point during their life. Does that mean the two things are related? Maybe, maybe not. Just because two things are linked together does not mean that one causes the other.


Carefully consider the options presented to you by your dentist, but please don’t rule out a root canal solely on the basis of one headline. You can learn more about root canals here: Root Canal Treatment FAQs and Root Canal Treatment


Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist and recipient of multiple root canals. She practices at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. 440-960-1940 or You can also find her on facebook at


If you’ve just received a dental implant restoration, congratulations! This proven smile-changer is not only life-like, it’s also durable: more than 95% of implants survive at least 10 years. But beware: periodontal (gum) disease could derail that longevity.

Gum disease is triggered by dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that builds up on teeth. Left untreated the infection weakens gum attachment to teeth and causes supporting bone loss, eventually leading to possible tooth loss. Something similar holds true for an implant: although the implant itself can’t be affected by disease, the gums and bone that support it can. And just as a tooth can be lost, so can an implant.

Gum disease affecting an implant is called peri-implantitis (“peri”–around; implant “itis”–inflammation). Usually beginning with the surface tissues, the infection can advance (quite rapidly) below the gum line to eventually weaken the bone in which the implant has become integrated (a process known as osseointegration). As the bone deteriorates, the implant loses the secure hold created through osseointegration and may eventually give way.

As in other cases of gum disease, the sooner we detect peri-implantitis the better our chances of preserving the implant. That’s why at the first signs of a gum infection—swollen, reddened or bleeding gums—you should contact us at once for an appointment.

If you indeed have peri-implantitis, we’ll manually identify and remove all plaque and calculus (tartar) fueling the infection, which might also require surgical access to deeper plaque deposits. We may also need to decontaminate microscopic ridges found on the implant surface. These are typically added by the implant manufacturer to boost osseointegration, but in the face of a gum infection they can become havens for disease-causing bacteria to grow and hide.

Of course, the best way to treat peri-implantitis is to attempt to prevent it through daily brushing and flossing, and at least twice a year (or more, if we recommend it) dental visits for thorough cleanings and checkups. Keeping its supporting tissues disease-free will boost your implant’s chances for a long and useful life.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Disease can Cause Dental Implant Failure.”

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