My Blog

Posts for: March, 2017

By Ashley Harrison, DDS
March 28, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental visits  

Recently, there has been a large influx in the instances of articles explaining the benefits of regular coconut oil pulling. However, in the oral hygieneinternet age, it is important to zero in on the facts, especially when it comes to health trends which go viral online like oil pulling. Learn more about oil pulling with Dr. Ashley Harrison in Chico, CA.

What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an age-old traditional folk remedy which is thought to have originated in India and Southern Asia. It is a form of holistic, alternative medicine. The practice of oil pulling itself involves placing about a tablespoon of oil into the mouth and swishing it through the teeth for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Traditionally, oil pulling is thought to improve the health of the teeth and oral tissues and help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Is oil pulling beneficial to my teeth? 
According to the American Dental Association, the benefits thought to come from oil pulling have minimal scientific evidence and almost zero peer-reviewed scientific studies. Due to the lack of scientific backing, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a supplement or replacement for the standard oral care routine which has proven to be successful in reducing tooth decay and gum disease and keeping your teeth and oral tissues healthy. Children and adults alike should use fluoride toothpaste to brush at least twice daily and floss at least once. However, at-home care is only one part of keeping your teeth truly healthy.

Regular Dental Examinations and Cleanings in Chico, CA
Seeing your dentist for routine dental examinations and cleanings helps catch problems before they start and treat issues like tooth decay as they appear. This helps avoid an inevitable toothache caused by untreated tooth decay among other issues. Additionally, regular cleanings remove built up plaque and tartar from the teeth, giving your smile a clean slate. Those who are at risk for dental issues should see their dentist at least twice a year.

For more information on coconut oil pulling, please contact Dr. Ashley Harrison in Chico, CA. Call (530) 894-5454 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Harrison today!

By Ashley Harrison, DDS
March 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Is having good oral hygiene important to kissing? Who's better to answer that question than Vivica A. Fox? Among her other achievements, the versatile actress won the “Best Kiss” honor at the MTV Movie Awards, for a memorable scene with Will Smith in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. When Dear Doctor magazine asked her, Ms. Fox said that proper oral hygiene was indeed essential. Actually, she said:

"Ooooh, yes, yes, yes, Honey, 'cause Baby, if you kiss somebody with a dragon mouth, my God, it's the worst experience ever as an actor to try to act like you enjoy it!"

And even if you're not on stage, it's no fun to kiss someone whose oral hygiene isn't what it should be. So what's the best way to step up your game? Here's how Vivica does it:

“I visit my dentist every three months and get my teeth cleaned, I floss, I brush, I just spent two hundred bucks on an electronic toothbrush — I'm into dental hygiene for sure.”

Well, we might add that you don't need to spend tons of money on a toothbrush — after all, it's not the brush that keeps your mouth healthy, but the hand that holds it. And not everyone needs to come in as often every three months. But her tips are generally right on.

For proper at-home oral care, nothing beats brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing once a day. Brushing removes the sticky, bacteria-laden plaque that clings to your teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease — not to mention malodorous breath. Don't forget to brush your tongue as well — it can also harbor those bad-breath bacteria.

While brushing is effective, it can't reach the tiny spaces in between teeth and under gums where plaque bacteria can hide. But floss can: That's what makes it so important to getting your mouth really clean.

Finally, regular professional checkups and cleanings are an essential part of good oral hygiene. Why? Because even the most dutiful brushing and flossing can't remove the hardened coating called tartar that eventually forms on tooth surfaces. Only a trained health care provider with the right dental tools can! And when you come in for a routine office visit, you'll also get a thorough checkup that can detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other threats to your oral health.

Bad breath isn't just a turn-off for kissing — It can indicate a possible problem in your mouth. So listen to what award-winning kisser Vivica Fox says: Paying attention to your oral hygiene can really pay off! For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read the entire interview with Vivica A. Fox in Dear Doctor's latest issue.


For some time now you've noticed a painful, burning sensation in your mouth for no apparent reason. It doesn't matter what you eat or drink — or whether you eat or drink — the dry, tingling sensation seems to stay with you.

You may have Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS). You feel as if your mouth is scalded or burning generally or in a certain area like the lips, tongue or inside of the cheeks. Regardless, the discomfort (which seems to grow as the day wears on) can contribute to irritability, anxiety or depression.

It's not always easy to lock in on the specific cause. BMS has been linked, among other things, to diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or cancer therapy. It's common among women around the age of menopause, so there's some speculation it could be affected by hormonal changes. It could also be connected with dry mouth (brought on by age or medications), an allergic reaction to toothpaste ingredients, acid reflux or autoimmune disorders.

While there's no single proven treatment for BMS, there are some things you can do to lessen its effects. First, stop habits that cause dry mouth like smoking, drinking alcohol or coffee and eating hot and spicy foods. Second, keep your mouth moist by frequently drinking water or using products that stimulate saliva flow.

You might also try toothpastes without sodium lauryl sulfate (a detergent that can cause skin peeling in some people), whiteners or strong flavorings like cinnamon. If you have chronic dry mouth, speak with your physician about any medications you're taking that might be causing it and seek alternatives. And because stress seems to magnify your symptoms, try to reduce it in your life through relaxation techniques, exercise or group support.

In some cases, BMS may resolve itself over time. In the mean time, making these lifestyle changes could help ease your discomfort.

If you would like more information on burning mouth syndrome, 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 “Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Painful Puzzle.”