Tips & Tricks for Teeth Grinders

Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching, affects both kids and adults. While often caused by high levels of stress, bruxism can also be triggered by a misaligned bite and sleep disorders. Regardless of your underlying issue, here are a few tips and tricks to help:

  1. Take Notice –Throughout the day notice if you’re clenching or grinding. Take a few deep breaths and place the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This helps the muscles in your jaw relax.Untitled design (1)
  2. Stop Chewing – On non-food items that is! Pencils, ice, etc. This also includes avoiding gum because it trains your jaw to clench and encourages teeth grinding.
  3. Cut Back – Avoid foods with added sugar, especially for children. Adults may find drinking alcohol intensify their condition. Cutting out liquor and limiting caffeine is recommended.
  4. Relax! – Especially before bedtime. Take a long bath, listen to mellow music, find what works best for you and enjoy it.
  5. See Your Dentist – It’s important to be properly diagnosed. We’ll partner together to find the best treatment plan for your well-being! Call and schedule an exam today (707) 585-8595

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

Tips & Tricks for Teeth Grinders

Gum Disease and Improved Treatments

Gum disease is rampant in our society.  More than half of all people over 18 have at least the early stage of gum disease called periodontal disease.  After age 35, three out of four adults are infected.   The major cause of tooth loss is gum disease.   Gum disease affects the entire body being correlated with heart disease, diabetes, strokes, ulcers, and pre-term births. Luckily, there are new advances in periodontal treatment. One of the best is the use of antibiotics put directly in the gums, a product called Arestin.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums that causes damage to the gums, tissue, and bone around your teeth.  Periodontal disease is often painless, and usually develops slowly over many years, but may progress in rapid destructive stages.  The destruction of tissue and bone causes pockets around teeth that can lead to tooth loss.  Being warm and moist, gum pockets are an ideal environment for bacteria. The bacteria can feed on the sides of the pocket, increasing the pocket depth, which adds instability to the teeth. Bacteria form rough deposits, which are an irritation to the gums, causing gum bleeding and swelling.

Improved Treatments

Scaling and Root Planing

Often called a ‘Deep Cleaning’, scaling and root planing (SRP) is the first step in treating gum disease. Scaling removes plaque, tartar, and stains from the surface of the tooth and its root; planing smoothes the rough areas on the roots of teeth to promote healing.  Root Planing sounds like a rough carpenter term but actually is the fine smoothing of root surface using numerous light strokes.  The objective is to make the root surface super smooth by removing all the rough tartar and making it more difficult for the bacteria to adhere to the root surface.  Ultrasonic scalers comfortably speed up the process using ultrasonic vibration and warm water.  Depending on a person’s comfort needs, numbing with topical gel, anesthetic, headphones, nitrous oxide or conscious sedation can be used.

Arestin – Antibiotic Treatment

A recent advancement in periodontal treatment is the use of Arestin, an antibiotic treatment that is put into deep gum pockets during root planing.  Antibiotic treatment has been tried for many years but without an effective method of keeping the antibiotic in the gums until the advent of Arestin.

Arestin contains “Microspheres”, tiny, bead-like particles that are smaller than grains of sand and are not visible to the eye. The Microspheres are filled with the antibiotic minocycline, and they release the drug over time into the infected periodontal pocket, killing the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Arestin Microspheres continue to fight the infection for up to 21 days.

Arestin is placed inside infected periodontal pockets just after the scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure is finished. Even though SRP removes a great deal of the bacteria that cause periodontal infection, the instruments used during this mechanical procedure can’t always reach the bacteria that hide in the bottom of pockets or in difficult to reach areas. Adding Arestin helps to kill the bacteria left behind, plus the slow release of Arestin allows the gum tissue to heal without the reinvasion of bacteria.

Amazing Results with Arestin

Since using Arestin for the past 3 years, I have seen amazing improvements in gum health. In the past teeth that were very loose with extremely deep gum pockets would be considered not savable and need an extraction. With the use of Arestin, many of these teeth have tightened up with major gum pocket reduction.  Two years ago, a 45-year-old woman had a loose first molar with a 12 mm pocket; extreme bone loss and I recommended extraction.  She wanted to try and save the tooth so I said we could try Arestin with scaling and root planning.  Amazingly the tooth tightened up.  She works hard on her dental hygiene and continues to have cleanings every three months. During those appoints, Arestin is added as needed. The tooth is still going strong today.

Avoiding Surgery

Arestin has helped avoid the need for gum surgery.  Surgery is very affective treatment, but is much more invasive and costly.  Plus with Arestin, the gum pocket can be retreated much easier. The most important aspect of periodontal treatment is the regular on-going maintenance visit, usually every 3 months.  It always bothers me when patients would have gum surgery, their gums would look great afterwards, and they would have regular cleaning appointments for awhile, doing great and then disappear for a few years, return and need surgery again.  Scaling and root planning with Arestin can often prevent that need. Often a periodontal pocket can be controlled with the retreatment of SRP and Arestin.

Periodontal Disease is often called ‘The Silent Killer’, because it can occur gradually and painlessly over time.  The good news is that gum disease can be stopped with professional treatment, such as SRP and Arestin.   So, please don’t wait until it hurts!  Have regular dental exams and cleanings.

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling!

George Malkemus has had a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park for over 22 years at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at

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

Gum Disease and Improved Treatments

Antibiotics and Your Heart

New Guidelines from the American Heart Association

If you have had to take antibiotics prior to dental treatment because of your heart condition, you may not need to anymore.  The recent guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend not taking antibiotics prior to dental treatment in most heart condition cases.  You should contact your cardiologist, physician, and dentist to see if you should stop.

For decades, the American Heart Association [AHA] recommended that patients with certain heart conditions take antibiotics shortly before dental treatment.   This was done with the belief that antibiotics would prevent infective endocarditis [IE], an infection of the heart’s inner linings or valves.  The idea was bacteria in the mouth could enter the bloodstream during dental treatment and travel to the heart.  It was thought that with a heart mummer, turbulence in the blood flow caused by the heart valve would allow the bacteria to eddy out and start a growth on the valve – not a good thing.  However, a growing body of scientific evidence has shown this is not the case.

The scientific evidence shows that the risks of taking preventive antibiotics outweigh the benefits for most patients.  The risks include adverse reactions to antibiotics and development of drug-resistant bacteria.  Adverse reactions range from upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea to allergic reactions such as hives or life-threatening anaphylactic shock.  Allergic reactions to medications, as well as, foods, environmental substances including insect bites and stings can occur after years of never being allergic.  If you have redness, swelling or itchiness after taking medication, stop future pills and call your doctor.  If you have accelerating symptoms including shortness of breath, seek immediate emergency help, i.e., call 911.  Use an epi pen if available, which is found in some emergency kits or carried by people who are allergic to bee stings.

The overuse of antibiotics causing the development of drug-resistant bacteria is another reason the ADA guidelines have changed.   Drug-resistant bacteria are formed from antibiotic use.  The inappropriate use of antibiotics increases the risk of drug-resistant forms and prevents their effectiveness when antibiotics are really needed.

Scientists also found no compelling evidence that taking antibiotics before a dental procedure prevents infective endocarditits in patients who are at risk of developing a heart infection.  There is actually more exposure to bacteria from their mouths during basic daily activities such as eating, drinking, brushing or flossing.  People with gum disease are at a much higher risk of having bacteria enter their bloodstream and causing endocarditis and heart disease.  A person’s best defense against endocarditis is preventing gum disease through good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing, healthy diet, and regular professional cleanings with a registered dental hygienist.

The AHA guidelines state that patients who have taken prophylactic antibiotics routinely in the past, but no longer need them include people with mitral valve prolapse, rheumatic heart disease, calcified aortic stenosis, or most congenital [present from birth] heart conditions.

Certain heart conditions still require pre-medication with antibiotics in patients who would have the greatest danger of a bad outcome if they developed a heart infection.  Preventive antibiotics before a dental procedure are advised for the following patients:

-Artificial heart valves

-A history of infective endocarditis

-Certain specific, serious congenital heart conditions

-A cardiac transplantation that develops a problem in a heart valve

If you have any of these heart conditions, you should consult your cardiologist for the use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.

The new recommendations apply to any dental procedures that could involve possible bleeding in the gums or oral tissues.  Antibiotic use prior to dental treatment is not necessary for an examination or x-rays, but is mandatory for teeth cleanings and oral surgery treatment like extractions.

The ADA guidelines emphasize that maintaining optimal oral health and practicing oral hygiene are more important in reducing the risk of endocarditis than is taking preventive antibiotics before a dental visit.   So keep brushing and flossing and have regular dental cleanings.


George Malkemus has had a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park for over 22 years at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@  Visit Dr. Malkemus’  Web site at

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

Antibiotics and Your Heart

Health of the Planet

Our earth seems vast on an individual level, but there is a finite livable space on our globe with a thin surrounding breathable atmosphere layer.  We now have over 7 billion human beings on planet earth, nearly tripled from 2.5 billion in 1950, which had doubled from 1.25 billion in 1850.  [Currently one billion humans are at the starvation or near starvation level.]  We have 70 billion farm animals.  Together with our animals, we are 98% of the animal biomass on earth, creating  pollution for the air, sea and land with our waste products.

What follows is an overview of the current state of the health of the Earth and our current treatment of the Earth.   It is not a pretty picture, but do not give up hope.  In my next article, I will discuss positive changes that are already on the way and things that can be done in the near future to reverse the current trends and make our lives sustainable

Green House Gases

The air is polluted with CO2 from 7 billion humans. The biggest contributors are burning fossil fuels [coal, oil and gas] and wood for energy use, as well as livestock food production.  Methane production is also a major pollutant of the atmosphere, particularly from live stock [heavily from cattle].  Also methane release from the thawing of arctic tundra is an accelerating air pollutant.

CO2 and methane [ 30 times stronger than CO2 ] are what are called Green House Gases, because they reflect and trap heat radiating from the earth, thereby causing increased captured heat in the atmosphere.  Increased CO2 in the atmosphere causes an increase in CO2 dissolved in the oceans, which increases the acid levels in the seas, which in turn leads to less sea life.  To put it in perspective, we are now trapping as much extra heat energy in the atmosphere as would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding on the Earth’s surface every day.

Hotter Atmosphere and Hotter Oceans

2016 was the hottest global year in recorded history, with 2015 the second hottest and 2014 the third hottest.  In fact, 16 of the 17 hottest years ever measured with instruments dating back to the 1880s have occurred in the past 17 years.  And it looks like 2017 is going to beat them all.

The warming planet leads to more extreme weather. More than 90 percent of all the heat energy trapped by man-made global warming pollution goes into the ocean, causing aglobal temperature increase in sea water.  High ocean temperatures have caused unprecedented severe weather events, including Superstorm Sandy on the US East Coast and Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines after crossing areas of the Pacific Ocean 5.4 degrees warmer than normal.

Increased ocean temperatures leads to more evaporation and increased air temperatures can hold much more water vapor.  This leads to extreme, intense storms, releasing record-breaking downpours. The comprehensive 2016 NOAA [U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] report found a 13% higher than normal number of tropical cyclones and hurricanes in 2016.  Water vapor is also a green house gas, so higher concentration of water in the air adds to higher temperatures.

High coastal ocean temperatures [90 degrees and above] kill coral, a process called bleaching, because the small animals, which form and live in coral, die and only leave their white skeleton.  In  2016 and 2017,  extreme hot ocean temperatures caused The Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Sitein Australia, to lose nearly 50 percent of its coral to bleaching. The combined impact of these back-to-back years of bleaching stretches for 1,500 km (900 miles).The northern third of The Great Barrier Reef has over a 90% die off, with many areas having less than 1% live coral.


The same increased heat that is evaporating water off the oceans is also sucking moisture out of the soil, causing more droughts, deeper droughts, and longer droughts.  The recent NOAA report found that nearly one-eighth of the world’s land mass is in severe drought, which is far higher than normal.  This is causing massive starvation, political upheaval, and refugee migration.

A multi year drought in Syria played a major part in it’s civil war and paved the way for ISIS to gain traction in that country. From 2006 to 2010, Syria had a record breaking drought [the worst in 900 years] causing the destruction of 60% of their farms and 80% of all their livestock.  This drove 1.5 million people into Syria’s already crowded cities.  We can expect more refugee migration problems as people are unable to live on their historic lands due to severe weather.


Increased heat is also causing unprecedented fires. When vegetation dries out, fires increase.  Fires are becoming much larger and occurring much more frequently throughout the world. This adds to the Green House gases in the atmosphere.  The burning of Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil, largely for cattle grazing or cattle feed production is a significant global warming problem.  An acre a second is being burned with the loss of 100 animal and insect species a day.


Earth’s ice is melting away and raising sea levels.  The world’s glaciers receded for the 37th year in row at an accelerating rate – by an average of 3 feet a year.  The Arctic is warming faster than any other place on Earth.  Last year, Greenland’s ice sheet lost 341 billion tons of ice and has lost 4,400 billion tons of ice since 2002.  On February 10, 2017, a polar winter night, which is normally extremely cold with no sunlight, the north pole was 50 degrees above normal and began thawing.

Antarctica is warming too.  Last month an iceberg the size of Delaware broke free from the Larsen C ice shelf, losing 10% of the peninsula’s area. Cracks are spreading in the huge iceberg and it has begun to drift away from the mainland.  More cracks are growing on the Larsen C ice shelf and if all of the ice shelf should collapse, it would add another 4 inches to world sea levels.

Sea Level Rise and Flooding

Sea level rise has all ready began to cause coastal flooding worldwide in low lying areas.  The Global Mean Sea Level has risen by 8 inches over the past century and has been accelerating due to global ice melting and thermal expansion. When water heats up, it expands, so warmer oceans simply occupy more space.When sea levels rise rapidly, as they have been doing, even a small increase can have devastating effects on coastal habitats. As seawater reaches farther inland, it can cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants.  Loss of fresh water to salt intrusion is a major problem for low lying areas.

When large storms hit land, higher sea levels mean bigger, more powerful storm surges that can strip away everything in their path.  Hundreds of millions of people live in areas that will become increasingly vulnerable to flooding. Higher sea levels would force them to abandon their homes and relocate. Low-lying islands could be submerged completely.Island atolls with little elevated land are particularly at risk.  The Pacific Ocean nation of Kiribati has begun to purchased land in Fiji to move it’s populace.  Miami is averaging 8 floods a year due to sea level rise during high tides even without any storm surge. Miami expects flooding to increase to 45 times a year by 2030 and 260 times by 2045 if sea level continues to increase at the same rate.It is possible that sea levels could rise 23 feet by 2100 if global ice melting continues to accelerate, that would be enough to submerge most the cities along the U.S. East Coast and even London, England.

Livestock Agriculture

According to the United Nations, 33% of Earth’s arable land—land capable of growing crops—is used to grow feed for livestock and 26% of the ice-free terrestrial surface of Earth is used for grazing livestock.  In all, almost a third of the land on Earth is used to produce meat and animal products.  The 2006 report Livestock’s Long Shadow, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, states that “the livestock sector is a major stressor on many ecosystems and on the planet as a whole. Globally it is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and one of the leading causal factors in the loss of biodiversity, while in developed and emerging countries it is perhaps the leading source of water pollution.”

It takes much more land, water and energy, with much more waste, to produce meat than to produce grain or vegetables.  Meat produced on the current massive scale is not sustainable.

Also, globally our fisheries are dwindling from massive net fishing factories.  Over 75% of world fisheries are being over fished.

Bummer…… This information can be overwhelming and hard to take.  It puts us face to face with the reality of a rapidly changing planet, and catastrophic consequences for human beings – consequences that emerge as a result of our shortsighted actions.

But do not to give up hope.  Many positive responses are emerging and will be discussed in the next article.  There is still a small window of time to slow and change this human destructive phase of planet Earth.

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling!

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200.  #585-8595

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

Health of the Planet

4 Tasty Foods That Are Actually Horrible for Your Teeth

Even those with outstanding oral hygiene can fall victim to a few unknown cavity causing culprits. Some of our favorite treats, while seemingly healthy, can be responsible for tooth stains, bad breath and other forms of mouth destruction.  Most tooth-conscious consumers already know to limit sugar and steer clear of things like soda and hard candies to keep their dental hygiene top notch. But, here are a few surprising snacks just as capable of damaging your smile.

  1. PicklesPickling

Pickles? Yes, while not typically considered something to avoid for oral health, pickles are soaked in vinegar during the pickling process.  Vinegar is highly acidic, and acid is notorious for quickly wearing down tooth enamel. So, it’s important to keep this in mind when eating anything pickled. Drinking water or rinsing your mouth can help clear some of the acid once your meal’s over.

  1. Peanut Butter

You either love it or hate it. You may even be particular in how you eat it, straight from the jar or only in a sandwich… Have you ever tried it with pickles? This childhood staple can be a healthy snack when opting for the “no added sugar” variety. Sugar helps peanut butter better grip your teeth. While it may take some getting used to, it’s a healthier choice all around.

  1. Dried FruitDried Fruit

In small doses, dried fruit is a healthy alternative to sweets such as chocolate bars and ice cream. However, dried fruit has high sugar content, and is often sticky making this treat more likely to get caught in between your teeth for days. When something high in sugar is stuck in your teeth it feeds the bacteria and contributes to dental erosion. Checking nutrition labels can help you weigh the best choice for your sweet tooth.

  1. Crackers

This appetizer favorite is not typically associated with dental problems, yet consuming refined carbs is a known cause of inflammation. The significance here is that inflammation can be linked to a number of dental dangers such as gingivitis and other stages of periodontitis. Limiting carbs such as white bread and pasta, pretzels and white rice can be a treat to your weight, overall health and your smile.

Regular dental check-ups with a dedicated hygiene routine will keep your smile on a healthy track. At a glance, it looks like limiting sugar in all forms is what it’s all about. Remember sticky and pickled foods also pose a risk. No need to stress. While your teeth may thank you for cutting out these items entirely, moderation and awareness will serve you best.

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

4 Tasty Foods That Are Actually Horrible for Your Teeth

Comfortable Dentistry – No Fear!

Dentistry has made great strides in creating a more comfortable atmosphere for patients.  Vast improvements in dental technology have made dental treatment much smoother, more effective and much more comfortable for patients.  In my office, patients have the option to listen to an I-pod  with headphones or use their own cell phone to alleviate dental noise.  Many patients elect to use nitrous oxide for relaxation.  Fearful patients can have Conscious Sedation Dentistry, which safely allows them to sleep during dental treatment.

Dental materials and technology, as well as patient comfort, have advanced rapidly over the last 30 years.  When I began practicing, silver-mercury amalgam fillings were the norm.  Gloves where only used for surgery. Extractions and dentures were the common treatment.  All billing, appointment scheduling, and treatment records were hand written or typed.  Computers were unknown in the dental office.

It doesn’t seem possible, but things have changed so quickly.  Now dental implants have allowed teeth to reappear where they had been missing.  Computerized digital x-rays have revolutionized x-ray taking, improving performance, comfort and safety. Video viewing and digital photos of a patient’s mouth during a dental examination is an amazing advancement in communication and understanding of oral health. Computerized records storage has done away with paper charts and filing. With new bondable white materials, the ability to make beautiful tooth-like restorations is a reality. New high technology electric drills are quiet and more efficient than traditional air driven drills. Dyes can detect decay so it can be completely removed.  Sterilization of dental instruments used for each patient is total; everything is autoclaved or discarded.   Dental lasers allow fine precision surgeries. Isolite allows comfortable suction and opening for dental procedures. Painless, long-appointment dentistry is now possible with Conscious Sedation Dentistry.

Dental Comfort Needs

Many people are relaxed in the dental office and only need dental anesthetic with an injection for treatment.   Many enjoy listening to music with headphones. Many others have a fear of dental treatment, usually from a terrible childhood experience.  Others have had difficultly with dental treatment, due to an extremely small mouth opening, a painful jaw joint from opening, or an awful gag reflex.  For these patients, either Nitrous Oxide [N2O] for mild cases or Conscious Sedation for advanced cases can be effective and comfortable for dental treatment.


Nitrous oxide [N2O], also called “laughing gas,” has been available for many years. N2O is inhaled through a dental mask covering the nose and relaxes the patient. Nitrous oxide makes time go by without the patient being anxious and stressing about when the procedure will over.  Often times, the patient will say, “ Are you already done?”  The level of gas can be adjusted to allow the patient to be in just the right relaxation state. 100% oxygen is breathed at the end of the appointment to clear their head and avoid getting a headache.  The patient is clear headed when they leave, so can drive themselves home.


Conscious Sedation Dentistry


Conscious Sedation, often called Sleep Dentistry, is a procedure where sedative medications are taken orally at home the night before and the morning of the dental appointment.   During treatment in the dental office, additional sedative medications will be given, as needed. The medications make the patient groggy and sleepy, but able to easily respond to touch and voices.  Even though conscious, the patient is totally relaxed in a sleep state and has no memory of the visit. With Conscious Sedation, the medication does not immediately wear off like nitrous oxide, so someone is needed to give the patient a ride to and from the office.  Not all dentists offer N2O or Conscious Sedation, so you need to ask your dentist if either of these options is available to you.

One of the greatest improvements in my practice has been the use of Conscious Sedation Dentistry.  Before I was trained and certified in the use of Conscious Sedation Dentistry, I had many phobic patients who would call only for treatment when they had a terrible toothache.  Treatment usually involved either having an extraction or a root canal.   The patient underwent a fearful visit to relieve the immediate pain without the benefit of advanced planning.  I would explain the importance of regular, early preventive visits, having regular cleanings and less involved filling treatments to catch the decay while it was still small.  But their fear of going to the dentist was so strong, they would wait until they had a roaring tooth ache to return to the office for treatment, usually a number of years later.  Now conscious sedation allows that same patient to have years of dental neglect reversed in one appointment with no discomfort whatsoever during and after treatment, and have little or no memory of the visit.

Last year I saw a fearful woman in her mid-40s who had not seen a dentist in over 25 years.  She had a terrible dental experience in her teenage years, when she was not completely numb and the dentist continued drilling anyway.  She was traumatized.  This is so common, where a painful childhood experience has jaded a person and made them a dental phobic.  Her husband had to bring her to the office and hold her hand during her initial visit.  She had been living with dental pain for years, unable to chew on her right or left side without pain.  Her smile was unpleasant with dark, decay-ridden teeth.  After conscious sedation, she was happily smiling and chewing comfortably.  She is now ecstatic about her dental experience and her new smile.

Imagine not being afraid to go to the dentist.  Imagine being able to accomplish all your dental care in as little as one appointment.  This is what Conscious Sedation Dentistry can do for you.  You will be able to smile with confidence and chew your food without pain.  If you have been putting off years of dental work, Conscious Sedation Dentistry can change your life.

My best tip is to have regular dental checkups. Early detection and treatment can oftentimes prevent the need for extensive procedures later.


George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at


2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595

Comfortable Dentistry – No Fear!


I recently viewed Al Gore Global Warming sequel at the Summerfield cinema.  I urge you to go see it and the purchase the accompanying book. They are powerful.  Al Gore is an amazing, uplifting, positive, perseverant human being.  It has been 11 years since “An Inconvenient Truth” and much has changed.  The Globe has become even warmer to near no return, but the world leaders have acknowledged the problem [our own President not included] and agreed in Paris to advance technology to reduce green house gases, particularly with solar energy.  I will write a follow up article soon about the current state of affairs, high-lighting Al Gore’s documentary and book, and the change from 11 years ago.  Following is the article that I wrote in 2006. Enjoy


Go see “An Inconvenient Truth”!  Al Gore’s documentary on global warming is playing at the Rialto, and purchase the accompanying book at North Light Books.  The film depicts the warming of our planet earth in an overwhelmingly visual and clear way.  The need and urgency for a value change in our way of life is shockingly obvious if we wish our quality of life to continue.  We must reduce our energy use from burning fuels, which produce greenhouse gases that are warming our planet.  Of course this is inconvenient, when our life styles have become use to cheap convenient energy from burning oil, gas, coal and wood.  But the change is necessary and soon.


Scientists throughout the world are all in agreement that the planet is heating up at an unprecedented alarming rate.  Of the 21 hottest years in recorded history, 20 of the 21 have occurred within the last 25 years, including the last 12 in a row.  2005 was the hottest year recorded during the entire period.  This alarming increase in world temperature parallels the dramatic increase in CO2 levels in our atmosphere. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas produced by burning fuels.


The glaciers are melting on every continent.  The glaciers from Alaska to the Alps, the Himalayas to the Andes are rapidly receding.  The snows of Kilimanjaro in Africa are disappearing.  Antarctic and Greenland ice shields are much reduced and recently melting faster than any computers had predicted.  The Arctic ice is dramatically thinner, and the North Pole has become open ocean much of the year.  For the first time polar bears have been drowning in significant numbers.  Such deaths have been rare in the past.  But now, these bears find they have to swim much longer distances from floe to floe.  In some places, the edge of the ice is 30 to 40 miles from shore.

If ice continues to melt at the present rate, it will cause worldwide flooding within the next 50 years, including San Francisco Bay and most of Southern Florida.  Increased ocean temperatures cause an increased in the number and intensity of storms, hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and typhoons in the Pacific Ocean.  Hurricane Katrina increased in intensity to unprecedented levels while crossing the warm Gulf waters.  In 2004, for the first time ever a hurricane formed in the South Atlantic and hit Brazil.

What Can We Do?

Gore’s positive attitude is empowering, considering the grave problem the film illuminates.  The scientific evidence that Gore portrays is staggering, but he gives us hope by summarizing ways to stop the warming trend with energy conservation and new energy technologies that don’t burn fossil fuels.

Reducing our own individual energy use, lowers our own costs  [a big saving in our pocket book], while reducing global warming.  It is a win-win.  Every little bit of savings adds up to a massive amount when added up nationally and globally.

Save Energy At Home

One of the easiest savings is to replace regular light bulbs in your home and office with compact fluorescent lights.  They last 10 times longer and use 66% less energy.  If every home in the US replaced even one light bulb, it would have the same effect as removing a million cars from our nation’s roads. Lighting accounts for 33% of our nation’s energy use. Keep lights off when not in use. Install motion detectors for security lighting.

Choose energy-efficient appliances, called Energy Star, when making new purchases. Conserve hot water. You can cut energy use by setting your water heater to no higher than 120 degree F.  Take showers rather than baths, and install efficient aerating showerheads. Save energy by running full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine.  Use the cool or warm setting rather than the hot.  When you have time, wash your dishes by hand, and use a clothesline to dry your clothes.  Over the last year, I began to frequently hang dry my clothes, and I am amazed at the reduction in my PG&E bill.  Adequately insulate your house, seal any air gaps, insulate hot water pipes, and replace single pane windows with double pane.

Get Around on Less

Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking mass transit.  I am lucky to live only 3 miles from work, so I ride my bike.  It doesn’t take any longer, I get daily maintenance exercise, I save money on gas and it is fun.  Drive smarter.  Avoid gas-brake-gas brake type driving.  Avoid unnecessary idling and keep your car in good running order.  Make you next vehicle a more energy efficient one.

Consume Less, Conserve More

Energy is consumed and greenhouse gases are produced in the manufacturing and transport of everything you buy.  Buy less. Buy things that last. Buy local products and produce [or grow your own] as much as possible.  The farther a product travels, the more energy used.  Recycle.  Compost.  I produce more than a cubic yard of rich soil every year from composting kitchen scraps and paper.

Support Alternative Energy Sources

Solar, wind, and geothermal are great alternative sources of energy.  We are lucky to have the geysers in Sonoma County.  Solar panels have become efficient and cost effective over a number of years.  They actually give energy back to PG&E.

Support energy efficient green building; Windsor recently began selecting new construction based on green design.  Sonoma County is actually a leader in the energy reduction process.  Our nine largest cities, including Cotati and Rohnert Park have ratified the Kyoto Treaty on their own and are implementing policies to reduce global warming pollution below the levels required by the protocol. The Kyoto Treaty, which reduces Greenhouse gas emissions, has been ratified by 132 developed nations. The U.S. and Australia are the only advanced nations not to sign the Treaty.

We Need To Lead The Way

In the past, The U.S. has led the way when there has been a global concern.  The protective ozone layer was being depleted by chlorofluorocarbon emissions.  CFCs were the major chemical use in refrigeration since the 1930s.  In 1987, with a Republican president, Ronald Reagan, and a Democratic Congress, the U.S. drafted a treaty, secured worldwide agreement and began elimination of the problem chemicals.  To date CFCs level in the atmosphere have stabilized or declined.  The ozone layer is in the healing process.

Our nation and the world need a unified commitment, much like our effort during WWII.   Our nation came together under that world threat; everyone sacrificed for the each other and the greater good.   Global warming is an even greater threat – just not as obvious, yet.

Quoting Gore, “There was a storm in the 1930s of different kind: a horrible, unprecedented gathering storm in continental Europe.  Winston Churchill warned the people of England that this was different from anything that had ever happened before, and told them they needed to prepare for it.  There were many who did not want to believe his warning and he became impatient with their dithering.  And he said this: THE ERA OF PROCRASTINATION OF HALF-MEASURES, OF SOOTHING AND BAFFLING EXPEDIENTS, OF DELAYS, IS COMING TO ITS CLOSE.  IN ITS PLACE WE ARE ENTERING A PERIOD OF CONSEQUENCES. Winston Churchill, 1936”

So let our nation awaken, and begin a commitment to reducing Global Warming!

 Halitosis Reduction

Remember to brush, floss and see your dentist and hygienist regularly.  You will reduce global warming by reducing halitosis.  By eliminating bad breath, you will have more friends as well as improving the environment.

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling!

George Malkemus has had a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200.  #585-8595


2 Padre Pkwy #200, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone | (707) 585-8595