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Tomato – Fruit or Vegetable? Maybe it is both!

June 3, 2017

Filed under: Diet for Health — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 11:18 am
Tomatoes - Fruit or Vegetable?

Tomato – Fruit or Vegetable?  Both?

Tomato – Fruit or Vegetable?

They say it is important to eat your fruits and vegetables.  Shoot, I say that all the time!  Maybe it is time to respect the lovely tomato.  So, is it a fruit or a vegetable or both? Are they delicious?  There are so many different kinds of tomatoes and I love them!  Sliced for a caprese salad ( one of my favorites) with fresh mozzarella, and freshly made dressing with fresh basil – yum! Perhaps overuse of the word ‘fresh’ here but this is important for the best taste.

And with summer almost in full swing, local tomatoes should start rolling in from the fields and our home gardens more delicious than ever!  Let’s have some!

So which is true?  Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?  And, perhaps more importantly, does this have anything to do with dentistry?  Probably not, but I love tomatoes in all their forms and since our office is concerned about your overall health as well as your dental health this fruit (or is it a vegetable?) is a very good addition to most diets!  Just brush your teeth and maybe even floss before your dental appointments no matter what you eat.

  • Does it stain your teeth?  No, not in any permanent way.
  • Can they irritate your stomach?  Well, most tomatoes are acidic – some more than others – so this can be true.  Two good rules of thumb to apply here are ‘naught in excess’ and ‘know your stomach’!
  • Are they nutritious?  Yes!
  • Is it fun to try different colors and sizes of tomatoes?  Yes!
  • Are they hard to grow?  You will get different answers on this one!  I sometimes have incredible luck and sometimes the plants look healthy but the fruit is scarce.  I never seem to have the success we see every year when we go to the fields for several bushels of ‘pick your own’ tomatoes for our somewhat famous ‘Salsa Weekend’.  But I don’t really want to have that many on hand all the time.

We will try to be a bit more ‘Dental’ with our next blog.  Until then, from our office to you, may many happy and delicious tomatoes arrive on your table.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS. PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Is Your Diet Hurting Your Teeth?

November 3, 2015

Filed under: Dental Health,Diet for Health — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 4:45 pm
IMG_0466Our office just wanted you to see this information so that you can stay informed!

Most people know that acidic foods and sweet foods are bad for teeth – especially if you combine the two (think soda or energy drinks).  What many may not be aware of is that food and diets considered ‘healthy’ may also cause harm.  This information from an article put out by the ADA (American Dental Association) in their publication ADA Morning Huddle 11/3/15. (more…)

Fun Way to Get Your Fruits and Vegetables? Yes!

May 19, 2015

Filed under: Diet for Health — Dr Gillis @ 6:23 pm

Fun Way to Get Your Fruits and Vegetables? Yes!

Smoothy deliciousness on the way!

Smoothy deliciousness on the way!

While our office is mostly interested in helping you keep your teeth healthy, we want your overall health to be as good as possible as well!  Eating healthy includes enjoying lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking a smoothy is one of my favorite ways to do this!

And having an awesome blender makes this easy.  This is a Vitamix blender with an assortment of pears, strawberries, kale, carrots and bananas.  I will often add concentrated juices – this one has cherry juice – for added flavor and vitamins!  Also added to this smoothy is a healthy sprinkle on cinnamon.   I put in whatever I have on hand that sounds good together.  Especially if that fruit or vegetable is in season!

Cheers to your overall good health!



Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/ Restoring Health

What is Tooth Erosion?

August 25, 2014

Filed under: Dental Health,Diet for Health,Tooth Erosion — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 6:29 pm

What is tooth erosion?

In the photo to the right you can see the yellow dentin showing on a first molar with severe tooth erosion.   All of the white enamel has been eroded away exposing the underlying yellow dentin.  These particular molars (first molars) typically erupt when a patient is about six years old and they are meant to last a lifetime.  So, keeping them healthy is very important!  Do you have tooth erosion?  You may not even be aware of this but the effects are permanent and should be diagnosed as soon as possible to prevent this irreversible trauma!

Severe erosion of first molar.

Severe erosion of first molar.

A quick search of the internet (I elected to copy some of the information that I found) will tell us that Tooth erosion or enamel erosion can be caused by the following:

  • Excessive soft drink consumption (high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
  • Fruit drinks (some acids in fruit drinks are more erosive than battery acid)
  • Dry mouth or low salivary flow (xerostomia)
  • Diet (high in sugar and starches)
  • Acid reflux disease (GERD)
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Medications (aspirinantihistamines)
    • Genetics (inherited conditions)
    • Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion)

    What are some of the environmental causes of tooth surface erosion?

    Friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion (or any combination of these actions) can cause erosion of the tooth surface. More clinical terms used to describe these mechanisms include:

    • Attrition. This is natural tooth-to-tooth friction that happens when you clench or grind your teeth such as with bruxism, which often occurs involuntary during sleep.
    • Abrasion. This is physical wear and tear of the tooth surface that happens with brushing teeth too hard, improper flossing, biting on hard objects (such as fingernails, bottle caps, or pens), or chewing tobacco.
    • Abfraction. This occurs from stress fractures in the tooth such as cracks from flexing or bending of the tooth.
    • Corrosion. This occurs chemically when acidic content hits the tooth surface such as with certain medications like aspirin or vitamin C tablets, highly acidic foods, GERD, and frequent vomiting from bulimia or alcoholism.


The contralateral molar in this patient also shows severe erosion.

The contralateral molar in this patient also shows severe erosion.

Enamel is the thin outer covering of the tooth. This tough shell is the hardest tissue in the human body. Enamel covers the crown which is the part of the tooth that’s visible outside of the gums.  Because the loss of enamel during tooth erosion usually occurs over a long period of time, there is often very little sensitivity in teeth with erosion.  The tooth actually has the ability to lay down more tooth structure from the inside protecting the nerve inside the tooth from painful stimuli.

Looking at the photo to the left, you can also see staining or decay within the enamel of the molar behind the molar with tooth erosion.  Sometimes tooth erosion will look like small pits in the enamel before the near total destruction of the enamel on the chewing surface of the tooth as seen here.

Enamel is translucent meaning that it allows some of the underlying color of the tooth to show through as light passes through it. The underlying portion of the tooth, the dentin, is the part that’s responsible for your tooth color — whether white, off white, yellow, or grey.  So when enamel is lost with tooth erosion, the darker dentin color of the tooth becomes more evident.

See bilateral erosion of the lower first molars.

See bilateral erosion of the lower first molars.

If you are concerned about whether you have tooth erosion, or if treatment is needed here, our office can help! Call our Grand Junction, Colorado office at (970) 242-3635 and we will do our best to answer your questions about this or any dental health concern!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Bad Breath May Be Caused By Low-Carb Diets!

January 31, 2014

Filed under: Diet for Health,Uncategorized — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 4:21 pm

I thought this information was so good that I wanted to reproduce it in the original form supplemented with some of our photos and thoughts for your information!

Low carb diets may include meat, fruit and vegetables – not just meat.

Low-Carb Diets Can Cause Bad Breath

WebMD Feature Archive

WebMD Feature

Low-carb diets may be good for your waistline, but you might not be able to say the same for your breath.

It’s easy to ignore the effects of poor oral hygiene because they’re hidden in your mouth. But gum disease may point to problems with diabetes and heart disease and loose teeth could be a sign of osteoporosis.
Could it be that a healthy mouth means more than just a sparkling smile? And what could your dentist learn about you the next time you open wide? Could it be that your diet – beyond just eating known odor causers – could be contributing to your bad breath?
© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Low-carb lifestyle junkies are more likely to suffer from a seldom discussed side effect of such diets — halitosis, aka bad breath. And since more than 25 million people say they have tried the Atkins diet (not to mention other low-carb eating plans), according to the National Marketing Institute, bad breath may be an epidemic!
Bad breath in the low/no-carb sect is often caused by certain chemicals that are released in the breath as the body burns fat. They are called ketones, and entering into a fat-burning state of ketosis is the hallmark of the Atkins diet. So the good news is that if your breath stinks, you’re probably doing a good job of sticking to that low-carb diet.
“Carbohydrates aren’t readily available, so you start to use other fats and proteins as your source of energy, and as a result you are going to get a breath problem,” explains Kenneth Burrell, DDS, the senior director of the council on scientific affairs of the American Dental Association.

Pass the Bread?

Bring on the carbs! Dr. Gillis made this delicious, carbohydrate loaded pie.Carb loaded, delicious spuds!

This is not an oral hygiene problem, Burrell says, so “all the brushing, flossing, and scraping of the tongue that you can do is not possibly enough to overcome this.”
The bottom line is that you must “reconsider the diet and modify it so this doesn’t happen,” he says. Sure, “there may be some ways to mask it by using mouthwashes, but you can’t overcome the fundamental problem other than by changing the diet — or at least introducing some carbohydrates.”
“It’s a difficult problem to solve because if one uses any sucking candy or lozenge, one has to be careful that it has no sugar in it” as sugar is a big no-no on many low-carb eating plans, says S. Lawrence Simon, DDS, a New York City periodontist. Even so-called “sugar-free” products are often loaded with carbs.
“If you have a metabolic cause of bad breath, there is very little the dentist can do; you have to change your diet,” he says.
In fact, “the South Beach diet permits more carbs than the traditional Atkins diet, so there is bound to be less bad breath on South Beach because you are not going into a state of ketosis,” he says.

Masking the Problem While Dropping the Pounds

“If I was dropping weight, I would buy more sugarless mints, not quit the diet,” says Charles H. Perle, DMD, a general dentist in Jersey City, N.J., and a spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry.
Perle says that even though this is not an oral hygiene problem, certain things can help banish the bad breath or at least mask the odor.
  • Drink more water.
  • Chew sugarless gum.
  • Suck on sugarless mints. In particular, those that contain Xylitol also kill bacteria and can prevent cavities.
Or, he says, “drink water and swish it around in your mouth after you eat. It moistens the mouth and gets the food particles that may contribute to odor out.
“Basically when you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, the key to success is breaking fat into ketones to create ketosis, and as ketones get into urine and saliva, it can cause horrible breath,” Perle tells WebMD. Drinking plenty of water helps dilute the concentration of ketones. In addition, chewing fresh parsley can help.
If your bad breath persists, see your doctor, as it can be a sign of a serious medical condition, such as diabetes.
Our office is interested in your overall best health as well as your dental health.  In our Grand Junction, Colorado office we are always interested in the best ways to care for your teeth, your gums your teeth’s supporting structures.  We love hearing about the ways you exercise and the things you do to stay fit.  It’s all important!  If you are reading this from my website, you already know our office’s web site, but if not it is https://www.juliegillisdds.com. We would love to have you find us and “LIKE” us on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc.

Sincerely yours,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

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