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How California Lawmakers Are Pushing for Dental Health

A proposed bill in California is seeking to change baseball’s image for the better. Tony Thurmond, the author of the bill, proposes to ban all forms of tobacco from Major League Baseball games in California. The bill is part of a nationwide campaign planned by anti-tobacco groups seeking to publicly promote healthier habits.

A Long-Standing Tradition

Tobacco has long been associated with baseball. And even though smoking has been banned for years, it’s commonplace to see players chewing and dipping tobacco during their games and practices. Smokeless tobacco has been linked to significant health problems and even deaths--most recently, the death of baseball icon Tony Gwynn. He died on June 16, 2014 from cancer of the salivary glands, which many dentists attribute to his habits of dipping tobacco.

What Changes Will Be Made?

The proposed bill would ban all forms of tobacco from ballparks, including cigarettes and E-cigarettes. Stadiums would also be required to post signs to notify players and ballpark visitors of the ban. Dipping and chewing tobacco is already officially banned from Minor League games; however, the rules are not always enforced. If this law is passed, it should encourage officials to enforce the tobacco ban.

Tobacco and Dental Health

Although Thurmond's proposed bill would only affect California stadiums, he and other anti-tobacco activists hope that it will help bring greater awareness to their campaign and that the momentum will spread to other states as well. It's no secret that tobacco use causes severe dental issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and bone loss; however, it continues to be popular despite the risks. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, sees this sort of damage first hand as he works with patients with severe damage to their teeth and gums. As a dentist in Newton, MA, it’s his job to create dental prosthetics to replace teeth that have become too badly damaged to save. Unfortunately, this damage is all too common. However, Dr. Johnson and other dentists hope that with greater awareness about the negative effects of tobacco, young boys will follow in the footsteps of their role models on the baseball field and give up tobacco use for good.

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Who’s at the Greatest Risk for Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is extremely common in the United States, with nearly half of adults over age 30 affected by some degree of periodontitis. Periodontal disease begins as gum disease (also known as gingivitis), which is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria along your gumline. Over time, this develops into more serious inflammation that can cause permanent tissue damage and even tooth loss. Keep reading to find out who is at the greatest risk of developing this disease.

Tobacco Users

Smokers are much more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, regularly treats patients who have suffered severe tissue damage from a lifetime of smoking. He recommends avoiding tobacco use altogether, including dipping and chewing, to improve your overall dental health and reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease.

People with Other Medical Conditions

Medical conditions like diabetes and AIDS are often linked to periodontal disease. Anyone with a weakened immune system is at a higher risk of developing gum disease because the body has a hard time fighting off 2 diseases at once. Certain medications also increase your chance of developing periodontal disease. If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, contact our team of professionals to discuss steps you can take to reduce your risk of periodontal disease.

Ethnic Minorities

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that periodontal disease is more prevalent in ethnic minorities such as Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans. As with other cases of periodontal disease, it is most common in those over 30 years old and can still be prevented with healthy dental practices. The study recommends that anyone with an elevated risk of developing periodontal disease should visit their dentist at least once a year for a thorough examination. Talk to your Newton dentist, Dr. Ryne Johnson and his team of professionals, if you have any concerns about your dental health or want to learn more about preventing periodontal disease.

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Want to Permanently Improve Your Smile? See a Cosmetic Dentist

A cosmetic dentist in Newton, MA, like our very own Dr. Ryne Johnson can do many things for you if you want to improve your smile. Here are the top 4 treatments that cosmetic dentists perform that can help you land that job, meet your significant other, wow your date, and improve your overall quality of life.

Teeth Whitening

This is perhaps the simplest cosmetic dentistry procedure, making it the least expensive and the quickest treatment as well. Teeth whitening involves a dentist using a whitening agent to whiten or bleach your teeth. Many offices will have systems available for you to whiten your teeth at home yourself. Teeth whitening is safe and a quick fix if you have yellowing or stained teeth.

Tooth Fillings

If you have been putting off getting a tooth filled because you do not want the unsightly metal mouth look, you should know that advances in technology ensure fillings are not noticeable. Fillings can be done using porcelain or composite resin that mimics the look and function of your natural teeth, so even if you have to have a filling close to the front of your mouth, no one ever has to know.


Dentures have a reputation of being only for the very elderly, but an increasing number of both young and old people who are suffering from tooth decay and disease are choosing dentures. Denture technology has come a long way in the past few years. Especially when combined with other procedures such as dental implants, a treatment known as overdentures, dentures can help your smile look amazing and natural.

Dental Implants

Finally, dental implants are another common cosmetic dentistry procedure that replaces the roots of teeth that have been lost for any reason. Unlike dentures, dental implants are considered a permanent solution to tooth loss and have many health benefits, including the fact that they improve the health of the teeth that surround them. For more information regarding these services, contact our prosthodontist, Dr. Ryne Johnson, and his team of professionals at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners today!

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