This Thrush is no Songbird

A thrush is a bird known for its beautiful songs; however, there is another type of thrush that will have you singing out of tune: a fungal infection.

Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus, which grows out of control and causes painful lesions usually on the inner cheeks and tongue, but can also spread to the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils, and throat. Symptoms of thrush include pain, difficulty swallowing [a feeling that food gets stuck in the throat], and fever.
People of all ages can contract thrush, though it occurs most often in infants, the elderly and anyone who has a suppressed immune system. Candida infection is not limited to the mouth; it can occur in other parts of the body as well, causing diaper rash in infants or vaginal yeast infections in women.

What Causes Thrush?

Small amounts of the Candida fungus are present in the mouth, digestive tract, and skin of most healthy people and are normally kept in check by a balance of bacteria and microorganisms in the body. However, certain illnesses, stress, or medications can disturb the delicate balance, causing the Candida fungus to grow out of control, causing thrush. Diseases or medical situations that make Candida infection more likely to develop include uncontrolled diabetes, HIV infection, cancer, or pregnancy (caused by the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy).

Many medications that caused reduced saliva production called dry mouth, can allow the fungus to grow without the normal healthy cleaning functions of saliva. Medications that upset the balance of microorganisms in the mouth that may cause thrush include corticosteroids, antibiotics, chemotherapy medications, immunosuppressant drugs, and birth control pills.

People who wear dentures that don’t fit properly are at increased risk for thrush. The Candida fungus can grow on the underneath of a denture when not properly and regularly cleaned, often in individuals who rarely remove their dentures. The infection will originate on the tissue under the dentures and then spread to other areas of the mouth.

Sometimes antibiotic use can change the oral environment, killing good bacteria and lead to fungal growth, thrush. Even using too much antimicrobial mouthwash can bring on a case of thrush, usually when other medical factors are involved.
Also, smoking greatly increases the risk for thrush, as well as many other diseases.


What Are the Signs of Thrush?

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It is easy to spot thrush because it produces slightly raised, creamy white clumps that look like cottage cheese on the tongue, gums, cheeks, throat, tonsils and/or roof of the mouth. The cottage cheese looking clumps can be painful and may bleed slightly when scraped or brushed. Thrush usually develops suddenly, but it may become chronic, persisting over a long period of time, particularly in denture wearers, since the Candida fungus can become embedded in the underside of the denture.

Thrush is common in infancy, during which time the normal microorganism balance in the mouth is developing. In addition, babies can pass the infection to their mothers during breastfeeding, since the disease is contagious. With an infant, thrush usually goes away without treatment in a few weeks but should be checked by their pediatrician.

For an adult, if thrush is left untreated, the fungus can spread to other parts of the body. The infection may spread into the throat causing painful, difficult swallowing and possibly fever. In severe cases, it has been known to invade the lungs, eyes, joints, liver, heart and even the brain. This happens more often in people with cancer, HIV, or other conditions that weaken the immune system.

How Is Thrush Treated?

While healthy children and adults can be effectively treated for thrush, the symptoms may be more severe and difficult to manage in those with weakened immune systems.

Anti-fungal medications, which are generally taken for 10 to 14 days, are usually prescribed to treat thrush. These medicines are available in tablets, lozenges, or liquids. Extensive cleaning and relining or replacement of infected dentures are necessary for an infected denture wearer.

I treated an 81-year old woman with a loose fitting upper denture with severe soreness on the roof of her mouth. The sore on her palate was a cottage cheese white with redness and bleeding, indicating Candida infection. I prescribed Nystatin, antifungal tablets. Her denture was old, worn and ill-fitting. Underneath the denture, the denture material was rough and impregnated with Candida fungus. A new denture was made that fit great. Now she is happily infection free, smiling more and chewing better.

Underlying Medical Problems Causing Thrush

Sometimes the presence of Candida infection can be a symptom of other medical problems. Depending on the patient’s age, medical history, cause, and severity of the infection, a patient should be sent to their physician to diagnose and treat any underlying health problems.

About ten years ago, I saw an emergency patient, a 23-year-old young man, with extreme mouth pain. His entire mouth was covered in cottage cheese-like, white puffy clumps. No pink tissue could be seen. His tongue looked like a swollen white ‘Hostess Snow Ball’. He had severe Candida infection. He had no known medical problems and was on no medications. But I definitely knew that he had some underlying medical problem to allow such an advanced fungal infection. I prescribed pain and anti-fungal medications and arranged for him to immediately go to the emergency room. There he was found to have a complete kidney shut down. He was quickly admitted to the hospital and put on dialysis. His internist later told me that if he had delayed a few more hours, he would not have survived.

Thrush is just one more good reason to make and keep those regular dental check-up appointments. With a healthy mouth, you can sing a sweet song like a thrush, the songbird!


George A. Malkemus DDS
2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595

This Thrush is no Songbird

Season To Smile

Time flies. We’re almost halfway through 2018. Which also means it’s the start of graduation and wedding seasons. How confident are you with your smile? It doesn’t matter if your big day is in weeks or months there are steps to take now.

Have you ever thought about getting a smile makeover? The first thing someone notices about you is your smile. It can be as complex as restoring missing teeth, or as simple as correcting uneven, chipped, or cracked teeth. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures and can be done in a single visit.

Cosmetic dentistry is generally the new kid on the block. With advancements in technology, cosmetic dentistry came to life in the 20th century. The focus is to create beautiful natural looking smiles.

What is a smile makeover and what can it do for me?

A smile makeover improves the appearance of your smile using one or more cosmetic procedures. It’s completely customized for you and the smile you desire! If you need a quick fix, bonding might be for you. Bonding is a tooth-colored composite resin to fix chips, fractures or small gaps. It can even be used to make your teeth appear longer.


Veneers are another option. Custom made and placed over your crooked, discolored, or chipped front teeth, they are thin and durable to give you a more aesthetic smile. Usually, it will take a couple visits to complete and lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 years, fixing multiple issues with a single procedure.

Do you have missing teeth?

Dental implants could be your best option for a complete smile. Implants are metal posts that fuse with your jawbone to help avoid that sunken jaw look. After they are in place a crown is added on top. Implants look and feel like natural teeth. While this procedure can only be done if you have healthy gums and enough bone for support, we can help with this. They are permanent and it’s important to maintain good oral habits to preserve them.


What can help discolored teeth?

Does the color of your teeth make you self-conscious when smiling for photos? The food and drinks you consume may be the reason your teeth aren’t sparkling white. Coffee, tea, berries, and sweets are just some examples of what can stain your teeth. Did you know whitening is the most requested procedures in cosmetic dentistry? It can be done at home or in our office and can possibly make your smile up to 8 shades brighter!

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You deserve to have the self confidence to share your smile big on your special day! Don’t over think what you should or shouldn’t do, give us a call or request an appointment online and let’s discuss your best smile options together.



George A. Malkemus DDS
2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595

Season To Smile

Smile Personality

Job Hunting? You Cannot Afford to Ignore Your Smile and Your Breath!

It’s no secret. Looking for a job is nerve-wracking. But there’s one thing that can help land a job offer: a great smile. Having a healthy, good-looking smile with fresh, pleasing breath can have a positive effect on a job interview, or for that matter, any personal interaction.

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Studies show that people who have bright, white teeth are perceived to be more successful, attractive, intelligent and healthy. First impressions are so important, and a person’s smile is the window to that impression, with either a happy warm positive smile or a sad sheepish withdrawn one. In a recent study, 92% of the people polled thought that a person’s smile could affect their careers.

In 1985 when I began my Rohnert Park practice, I met a local insurance salesman. He was trying to sell me disability insurance. But he had this one upper front tooth that was obviously a fake, large dark tooth, which stuck outward. It was extremely distracting, especially considering he was speaking to a dentist. It made him seem like a con artist, used car salesman [No offense to used car salesmen, a tough job. We, dentists, have to live with jokes about root canals, as well]. What he was selling was a good product and something I needed, but I could not concentrate on what he was saying. I did buy the insurance, and lucky I did because I used it during my 2005 experience with colon cancer. [Hurrah, I am a 13-year survivor after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatment.] I also restored the natural beauty of his smile with crowns and veneers. Recently, he told me that it was the best thing that he had ever done for his business. Establishing immediate rapport with a winning smile is so vital to building relationships.

Studies have shown that 93% of communication between people is non-verbal. Only 7% of what people react to and hear is the content of what is being said. [A sad state of affairs, but true.] What is most important is the person’s body language and facial expression. A beautiful positive smile helps make people listen to you and respond in a positive way. Many of my patients say that they never smile because of the look of their teeth. They are psychologically self-conscious about their smile and it affects their personality. What a wonderful change for them after a smile makeover. Often just an in-office whitening procedure is all that is necessary to give an individual an instant smile and confidence improvement.


About fifteen years ago, I did a dental examination on a 42-year-old male patient. He confided that he never smiled, and had grown a giant walrus mustache to hide his upper teeth because he hated and was ashamed of his smile. His upper front teeth were dark, crooked and had large spaces between them. He had this Eeyore [the donkey from Winnie The Pooh] type personality. He appeared quiet, sad and timid. After making him a new smile with veneers, he shaved off his mustache and walked around with the biggest Cheshire cat grin. He became effervescent and began laughing aloud. It literally changed his personality to be more out-going and positive. And people reacted much more positive to him accordingly.

Bad breath is a turn off for any personal interaction, especially a job interview. Usually, bad breath indicates gum disease, but halitosis can also be caused by deep tooth decay. Having dental treatment for decay problems and a professional deep cleaning to improve gum health is necessary for stopping bad breath. Malkemus Blog (2).png

Many years ago, I examined a young man who was in a graduate program at SSU. From a distance, he had a nice smile, but a closer look showed puffy, swollen red gums and he had the worst bad breath. It was difficult to stand within a few feet of him, even wearing a dental mask. Being embarrassed, he confided that he had “difficulties with meeting girls.” Amazingly, he had no idea he had halitosis. No one ever told him, and he was unable to smell himself. [The human brain blocks out its own body smells. It is a mammalian characteristic so that animals are able to smell predators and/or prey. A deer cannot smell itself, so as to be able to smell for mountain lions or human hunters.] Often, I am the first person to point out a patient’s bad breath.

The cause of his bad breath was severe gum disease, many deep cavities and heavy plaque on his tongue. After going through gum therapy and decay removal with fillings and crown restorations, he was given good dental hygiene instructions, including brushing and flossing techniques and use of a tongue scraper. Personal relationships improved dramatically for him. Now, he is happily married with a boy and girl and teaching at a Santa Rosa Junior College.

A healthy, beautiful smile can have major positive psychological and interpersonal significance in a person life, including finding the right job and the right life partner.


George A. Malkemus DDS
2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595



Smile Personality

How Green Is Your Dental Routine?

Go green for Earth Day! In 1970, 20 million Americans rallied in streets, parks, and auditoriums for a sustainable environment. Later Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Senator created Earth Day. After the first Earth Day, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created. Every April 22nd Earth Day is celebrated worldwide.

We’re focused on global warming and clean energy. Everything we do, from brushing our teeth to eating and driving all contributes to polluting the environment. Did you know that toothbrushes are plastic and nylon which can’t be recycled? When you throw your toothbrush away it sits in our landfill forever. Every year 50 million pounds of toothbrushes get added to our landfill and plastic doesn’t biodegrade because it’s not in nature’s food chain.

Landfill.pngA completely plastic-free dental routine might not be possible, but small changes can make a big difference. For instance, there are toothbrushes made of bamboo or wood. The wooden toothbrush bristles are made from pig hair which is recyclable and will reduce the amount of plastic in landfills. A shocking one billion toothbrushes get thrown away yearly in the US.

Change isn’t easy. If you aren’t ready to make the change to pig hair bristles then stick to your regular toothbrush. And when it’s time to get rid of it and get a new one, keep it and reuse it for household cleaning! Toothbrushes are great for cleaning bathroom tiles, toilets, computer keyboards, jewelry, and even shoes.

Bamboo and wood toothbrushes aren’t your only options for a healthy smile and environment. There are plastic toothbrushes made from recycled materials such as yogurt containers and the bristles are a new plant-based plastic . There are also compostable cornstarch toothbrushes that won’t clog landfills.

Floss is wax covered nylon and comes in a container that has metal. This means that floss and it’s container are not recyclable. Good news, there is plastic free and refillable floss! Refillable floss is sold in a glass container with a protective label which protects the container from dropping. The bundle of floss comes in a clear compostable bag and it also has a plastic-free spool. It is completely made from silk and coated with vegetable-based wax.

Toothbrush Tip

Show your gums some love! Don’t brush with all your strength, it’s not good for your gums or your toothbrush! Every time you brush your teeth it affects your toothbrush. The harder you brush your teeth the quicker you will need to replace your toothbrush. Protect your gums and the lifespan of your toothbrush!

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.pngThese are the three R’s when protecting the environment. Do you leave the water running while brushing? If so try filling a small glass and set it in reaching distance to rinse after brushing. Another tip is don’t leave your electric toothbrush plugged in all day every day. The average toothbrush lasts up to several weeks. Unplug!

Ready, Set, Go Green!

Are you ready to make the change to help save our environment? We know this is a lot of information at once, and it’s okay to take small steps and make one change at a time. It’s as simple as sharing with your family and friends about the environment and how they can help sustain it too!

Remember to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss daily! We hope you have a Happy Earth Day!


George A. Malkemus DDS
2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595


How Green Is Your Dental Routine?

Toothpaste, Toothpaste Everywhere

 I am often asked, “What type of toothpaste I should buy?” The best answer is the toothpaste that you like best and that will keep you brushing the longest. Though toothpaste is a billion -dollar business with much advertisement, the mechanical action of the toothbrush is what prevents gum disease and tooth decay and not the type of toothpaste. So pick toothpaste that you like and brush for at least two minutes. Brush every tooth well, trying to reach ever crook and cranny between the teeth.

History of Toothpaste

The Egyptians began brushing their teeth with toothpaste as long ago as 3000–5000 BC. Their toothpaste was a cream made of oxen hooves ground up into ashes, myrrh (a dried tree sap that was used in perfumes and incense), burned eggshells, pumice (a lightweight, porous volcanic stone that was used as an abrasive), and water.

In the 1700s, one type of toothpaste was made from burnt bread; another was made from dragon’s blood (Someone had a good imagination.), cinnamon and burnt alum. In the 1800s ground charcoal was common in tooth powder as an abrasive for cleaning teeth.

In 1873, one of today’s most popular tooth care products, Colgate, sold its first toothpaste. In our lifetime, toothpaste has become very popular. Even though its ingredients have changed dramatically from what the Egyptians used, all of today’s toothpaste contained nearly the same ingredients.

Toothpaste Ingredients

Different toothpastes use different combinations of ingredients; the list below was acquired from several brands of toothpaste to show you the range of ingredients that are currently used.

-Abrasives that help remove tartar, plaque and stain off teeth include baking soda, mica, hydrated silica (or other forms of silica), calcium phosphate, alumina, calcium carbonate, and dicalcium phosphate dihydrate.

-Thickeners that make toothpaste the ideal consistency include carrageenan made from red seaweed, cellulose gum made from wood pulp or cotton linters, and xanthan gum made from glucose or sucrose.

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-Coloring agents add a pleasing color to toothpaste. For example, Chlorophyll adds a green color to toothpaste, and Titanium oxide makes toothpaste white. Most coloring agents are artificial.

-Flavorings make toothpaste taste good by masking the not-so-flavorful taste of the detergent, especially sodium laurel sulfate (see below). Flavors include peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, and cinnamon.

-Glycerin gives toothpaste texture and keeps it from drying out.

-Peroxide marketed as a “cleaning agent”; however, there is lack of evidence to support that claim. Oxygen could make a better environment for good aerobic bacteria.

-Preservatives added to prevent bacteria from growing in toothpaste [so you do not have to refrigerate your toothpaste] include sodium benzoate, methyl or ethyl paraben.

-Sodium laurel sulfate is a detergent found in most toothpaste that makes toothpaste foamy. Some people are allergic or form canker sores from sodium laurel sulfate and should avoid its use and find non-foaming toothpaste or powder.

-Fluorides that form a protective shield over the exposed portion of your teeth so that bacteria have a more difficult time causing tooth decay include sodium monofluorphosphate, stannous fluoride, and sodium fluoride.

-Sodium pyrophosphate helps to prevent tartar from attaching to your teeth by preventing mineralization.

-Sugar substitutes included Sorbitol, saccharin, and Xylitol. Xylitol also kills decay-causing bacteria.

-Desensitizers include strontium chloride, and potassium nitrate, which prevent teeth from being sensitive to hot or cold foods or liquids by “numbing” the tooth nerve.

-“Germ fighters” that kill decay-causing bacteria include triclosan, and zinc fluoride.

-Calcium peroxide is a whitener that removes stains from teeth but does not change the color of the teeth, which is much like washing a dirty sink. The cleaning agent removes the soap scum from the sink so you can more clearly see the white color of the sink.


What Is The “Best” Toothpaste For You?

Malkemus- Blog photos (7).pngThe American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you buy any toothpaste that contains fluoride and that is ADA approved. The ADA thoroughly reviews laboratory studies and scientific data on toothpastes; so you can be sure that any toothpaste that has the ADA seal is safe to use and is effective.

If toothpastes use about the same ingredients, what does all this mean? Essentially, it means that if you like the taste of specific toothpaste and the way it feels in your mouth, buy it and use it. If you like the toothpaste, chances are you will use it more often and longer than toothpaste that you do not like.

Most importantly, regular brushing is a major tool in preventing tooth decay. Toothpaste does not clean the teeth or remove plaque—the toothbrush does! Toothpaste effectively delivers fluoride to your teeth.

Consider this: When you are sitting watching the evening news or your favorite program on television, use a toothbrush without toothpaste to gently massage your gums and brush over the surfaces of your teeth. Then, before you go to bed, add that favorite toothpaste and brush again.


George A. Malkemus DDS
2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595


Toothpaste, Toothpaste Everywhere

Wisdom Teeth- Is It Wise to Have Them?

When we are born we usually come into the world toothless, but as we age, teeth appear in our mouths on a somewhat regular schedule. For example, our first molars (large grinding teeth at the back of the jaw) usually appear when we are 6 or 7 years old, our second molars when we are 12 or 13, and our third molars (wisdom teeth) when we are typically between 18–20 years old—when we are much “wiser.” 20 was a wise old age a few hundred years ago when life expectancy was much younger.

Over time, human jaws have decreased in size. The cooking and processing of foods have reduced the need for massive grinding. It seems we are evolving away from the need for wisdom teeth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one on each side of the upper and lower jaws. However, wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to be genetically missing. Some people have only 1–3 wisdom teeth and some have no wisdom teeth at all, lucky them!

About 80% of people with wisdom teeth do not have room for them to erupt in their jaws. In these cases, the wisdom teeth either erupt incorrectly or stay impacted in the jawbone. Of the 20% of people that have room for their wisdom teeth, only about 80% can keep them clean. The other 80% develop gum disease, due to the difficulty of cleaning teeth so far back in their mouth.

Wisdom Teeth Impactions

A wisdom tooth impaction occurs when the tooth does not erupt completely. The wisdom tooth may lie totally in the jawbone, called a bony impaction. A wisdom tooth that only partially breaks through the gum is called soft tissue impaction.

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Impaction is not a good thing. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause serious health problems. Severe pain can occur from an abscessed wisdom tooth or from a gum or bone infection around a wisdom tooth. A crowded out impacted wisdom tooth can cause other teeth to become crooked and more prone to decay. The roots of the second molar can be harmed by pressure from the impacted wisdom tooth. One of the more serious problems is the development of a cyst. If not treated, the cyst can form a tumor and cause jawbone destruction.

Infections of Wisdom Teeth.

Infections from soft tissue impactions are the most common wisdom teeth problems. An infection in the soft tissues that surround a partially erupted wisdom tooth is called pericoronitis. ‘Peri’ is the Latin word for surrounding, ‘corona’ means crown [the top of a tooth] and ‘itis’ is Latin for inflammation. Enamel is the hard, protective, top part of a tooth. Gum tissue does not attach to enamel. Therefore, when a wisdom tooth partially pushes up through the gum tissue, it leaves a small flap of gum covering an area on the top of the tooth. This allows bacteria to travel around the top of the tooth causing a bacterial infection that cannot be cleaned. Tiny food particles slip under that tissue flap and bacteria feed on the trapped food particles causing an infection. It is impossible to brush or floss a partially erupted wisdom tooth.

The resulting infection can produce pain, swelling, a stiff jaw (difficult to fully open the mouth) and bad breathe. The infection can spread to the cheek and neck. Usually, antibiotics can reduce the infection until the wisdom tooth can be removed.

Now for the really scary part: life-threatening problems can occur when a wisdom tooth infection is left untreated. The infection can migrate to other soft tissues in the mouth. A lower wisdom tooth infection can proceed down along the throat and even cause swelling to the point of closing off the windpipe. An upper wisdom tooth infection commonly invades the sinus area and can even travel to the brain!

Ideal Age to Extract Wisdom Teeth

If treated early, during teenage years, complications from impacted wisdom teeth seldom arise. If not treated until later years, after 20 years old, complications are more likely to occur. During the teenage years, the jawbone is not as dense and hard as it is as the person ages. Roots of teeth develop last, that is, the top of a tooth, the enamel develops first. Therefore, the tooth roots are shorter and easier to remove at a younger age. Also, a teen heals more quickly than an older individual.

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The ideal time for wisdom teeth removal is when the teeth have erupted as far as possible but the roots have not totally formed. That is usually age 15 to 18 in girls and 17 to 20 in boys. During these ages, it is best to have a panoramic x-ray, which shows a full view of the wisdom teeth in the jaws, to determine the need an ideal time for wisdom teeth removal.

After age 25, the wisdom teeth are locked into the jawbone with completely formed long roots. People rarely have problems with their wisdom teeth till after this age. After age 25, extractions become more difficult. So don’t wait till it hurts!

Digital Panograghy is Best Taken for Wisdom Teeth Extractions

The digital panograghic x-ray called a pan for short, is a machine that shows the entire mouth in just one image. The name comes from the word panoramic, a full view. The pan shows all the teeth, both jaws and other important landmarks in one full image. Impacted wisdom teeth are vividly shown in relationship to important items like the sinuses and main nerve channels in the jaws. Abscesses, cysts, and tumors can also be seen well.

Sometimes a CBCT [Cone Beam Computed Tomography] is needed in complicated wisdom teeth extractions. CBCT is an amazing technology that allows a 3-dimensional computer image of the jawbones and teeth and can determine the exact location of other important structures, like the position of nerves, arteries, and sinuses, as well as cysts and tumors. CBCT is not needed for routine wisdom teeth extractions, but definitely has a place for many surgical related treatments, especially implant placement.

If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth, talk to your dentist. Your dentist will advise you about the risks, complications, and outcomes related to keeping or removing your wisdom teeth.


George A. Malkemus DDS
2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595


Wisdom Teeth- Is It Wise to Have Them?

Neglecting Dental Care is Madness

Are you feeling lucky? Do you think you can fill out a perfect March Madness bracket? The odds are 1 in 9 quintillion. March Madness is known for last second game winners and unexpected wins. Games will have your heart beating quickly and have you on your feet to see what’ll happen next.

We all know about the thrillers and defeat that takes place during the tournament. But what we don’t know is what happens behind the scenes. Some injuries are kept quiet; such as dental injuries. If a player were to go down with a torn ACL, ruptured Achilles, or sprained ankle it’s well broadcasted. The University of California conducted a study about dental injuries in sports and found that basketball players suffered the highest amount of dental damage compared to all other intercollegiate sports.

_BlogBody1.pngBelieve it or not, basketball is considered a ‘non-contact’ sport. Mouth guards are only required in contact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing. The American Dental Association says that 1/3 of dental injuries are because of sports. The three most common types of tooth injuries are: cracked teeth, fractured roots, and tooth intrusions.

While playing basketball it is common to catch an unexpected elbow to your face and mouth. this can cause you to chip or lose teeth. During games, it’s important to communicate with your teammates which can be challenging while wearing a mouth guard. This is a possible reason why a mouth guard isn’t popular for basketball players. The University of California study also reveals that only 7% of collegiate basketball players use a mouth guard.

Basketball has a variety of protective gear for players. There are high top shoes to help support your ankle along with ankle braces. There are also padded compression shorts and shirts that are worn under your jersey to protect your body from any unpredictable falls. In a way, padded compression clothing is similar to a mouth guard. Both protect your body from experiencing the full force of a hit helping prevent greater injuries which can be expensive and time consuming to heal.

There are three different types of mouth guards: custom-made, Boil and Bite, and stock. A custom-made mouth guard is seen as the most comfortable and offers the best protection. They need to be manufactured by your dentist or in a specialized lab. Most athletes prefer to have a custom fit one but one downside is they can be a pricey investment. You can think of the Boil and Bite as DIY custom fit mouth guards. The plastic pre-formed shape can be found in sporting stores. You simply boil it then bite into it for a custom fit. Stock mouth guards are the most inexpensive but don’t fit well and aren’t very comfortable. They can be bulky making breathing and talking a challenge.

The loss of a tooth or multiple teeth is not the only thing at risk for basketball players. Tooth loss can also cause bone damage to your jaw and tissues and rip your gum or lip. These injuries often lead to implants or root canals.

Over the years, wearing mouth guards have gained popularity throughout the sport. Top NBA stars like Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry are known to wear mouth guards while playing. Did you know they have flavored mouth guards for better a better taste?

Injuries are unpredictable but the best way to protect yourself is by taking precautions. _BlogBody2.pngAs we now know the importance of wearing mouth guards lets share our knowledge. Hopefully, we will begin to see more star athletes and players wearing them. Change always starts small! So we encourage you and your family to play with your health in mind!

It’s going to be a heart-wrenching month of basketball. Here’s to our teams conquering the title or to us for that 1 in 9 quintillion!


George A. Malkemus DDS
2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595



Neglecting Dental Care is Madness