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Lara James, RDH

Lara James, RDH
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Lara James, RDH, is a licensed dental hygienist of clinical hygiene, including corporate, dental management, and private practices. She graduated in 2004 from Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. Lara has created DentalAisle.com, a dental blog, to educate consumers on dental products and dental issues. Lara also has written an online continuing education course on dentalcare.com. For more information, email her at lara@dentalaisle.com.

Oral Allergy Syndrome: Educate Dental Patients about Reactions to Food

Oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which is also called pollen-fruit allergy syndrome, is a type of food allergy that causes instant allergic reactions in the mouth and throat. The syndrome is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen and the protein in raw fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts. This reaction occurs usually from eating raw or fully ripened fresh fruits...

Pharmacology Review of Dental Patients’ Cholesterol Medications

Cholesterol can be controlled by diet, weight management, exercise, and lifestyle, although in some cases, medications may be required. Medications are confusing to dental patients − multiple names and pronunciations, and the spelling is a nightmare. Patients are often unsure what medications they consume and will disclose two medications only to find out it's the same medication. Or they know...

Dental Career Longevity: Healthy Immune System for Healthy Job Performance

The immune system is essential as it is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend the body against infections. Other parts of this system are made up of white blood cells, antibodies, lymph nodes, and organs, and the system's primary purpose is to kill the pathogen without harming the host. The dental field is considered a high-risk job...

Barodontalgia: How Pressure Changes can Cause “Tooth Squeeze” Pain

Barodontalgia, also known as “tooth squeeze,” is pain in the tooth region after a pressure change. The name reflects the condition – “baro” means pressure, and “odontalgia” means tooth pain. It is an acute toothache with high sensitivity when a sudden change in environmental pressure occurs.1 Another condition is dental barotrauma that happens when changes in barometric pressure generate damage...

Dental Erosion: Is It Heartburn, Acid Reflux, or GERD?

Heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are often used reciprocally as they are stages of each other.  The initial signs of any digestive issue may be heartburn. As conditions progress in the digestive process, acid reflux will start to appear more frequently. If that doesn't resolve or settle down, a chronic condition known as GERD becomes a lifetime event. Dentally, it's...

Galvanized Shock: Some Dental Patients Can Still Experience a Shocker

Galvanized shock, which is also referred to as oral galvanism, oral electricity, electrogalvanism, or galvanic currents (and even called "battery mouth") is a distinct, sharp, electrical zap of a sensation when two different metals touch a tooth. Anyone who has experienced this knows exactly what that feeling is. Galvanism is defined as electricity produced by chemical action. Shock is the...

Hepatitis: Different Types of Hepatitis Dental Professionals Should Know About

Hepatitis
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that ranges from minimal symptoms to severe liver failure. Hepatitis is mainly viral with the common A, B, and C strains and these strains are the ones dental professionals are mostly aware of. Other hepatitis categories include infectious, metabolic, autoimmune, genetic, and ischemic. As discussed below, the dental management of hepatitis patients is...

Frenums: Checking for Frenum Abnormalities During Oral Hygiene Exams

Frenums are normal anatomy within the mouth, yet often neglected. The frenum consists of loose, fibrous connective tissue, elastic fibers, and striated muscle fibers that develop from muscle bundles of the lip. The purpose is to provide stability to the tongue and upper and lower lip. This mucous membrane fold attaches the lip and cheek to the alveolar mucosa, gingiva,...

Tooth Staining: Awareness of Oral Health Effects of Tetracycline and Minocycline

Tetracycline and minocycline are common antibiotics used medically for infections and inflammation. While useful for medical reasons, dental professionals know it more for internal staining of the teeth. Tetracyclines lead to permanent tooth staining when ingested during pregnancy, nursing, or during the developmental period of secondary and primary teeth. This vulnerable time frame is from the fourth month in utero...

Cerebrocostomandibular Syndrome: Oral Health Signs of Rare Disorder

Cerebrocostomandibular syndrome (CCMS) is an extremely rare disorder with a low survival rate. This condition is so rare that only around 80 confirmed cases have been reported in medical literature. The disorder involves a severely small chin, glossoptosis, an absent uvula, a cleft palate, narrow chest, missing ribs, gaps between the ribs, and difficulty breathing and feeding.1 Other conditions are...