Dr. Kourosh Maddahi - February 2020



Look Your Best


For many, February is the month of love. Many people will be dressed in their finest as they enjoy a night on the town on Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day. Of course, a night on the town also means many people with whitening and brightening their teeth for the occasion. They want to look their best and be prepared for every photo opportunity. But tooth whitening can also come with an unwanted side-effect: tooth sensitivity. This often happens when people go overboard with at-home tooth whitening products, as many of these products contain harsh chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, which is a leading cause of sensitivity today. Tooth sensitivity can be traced back to before the invention of at-home tooth whitening. When I became a dentist over 30 years ago, it was common for tooth sensitivity to be caused by improper brushing, using the wrong toothbrush, and gum recession. As the gums recede, for instance, many people experience sensitivity to hot or cold liquids. In the past, gum recession was commonly caused by improper brushing and that’s still the case today. We see a lot of people who are brushing too hard, leading to recession. As time went on, I started to see more tooth sensitivity caused by jaw clenching and grinding. This wears away the enamel and can eventually expose the interior layers of the tooth. Clenching and grinding are primarily caused by stress and anxiety.

And then there was the rise of tooth whitening. In the late 1980s and into the ‘90s, there was an explosion of tooth whitening products on the market. Many of these products were hydrogen peroxide-based. But there was a reason why so many tooth whitening products were becoming available: Starbucks! Starbucks coffee shops were starting to appear everywhere. More and more people were drinking coffee and they were noticing the stains on their teeth. Starbucks’ sugary drinks were having a serious impact on everybody’s teeth. As a result, many more people started using teeth whitening kits. I saw the number of tooth sensitivity cases shoot up by 50% in a matter of years! This is why products like Sensodyne toothpaste became so popular in the ‘90s and remain popular today. It’s also why I developed my own products for people with tooth sensitivity in Lumineux Oral Essentials. What can you do about tooth sensitivity? It’s important to look at the root causes. If your sensitivity is caused by improper brushing, you may need to adjust how you brush your teeth. You may also need to get a soft brush (as recommended, always use a “soft” brush). If you use an electric toothbrush, make sure it’s doing the work for you. You only need to press lightly against your teeth. If you’re clenching or grinding, a nightguard may be the solution. It will keep your teeth from rubbing against one another and will reduce sensitivity. You can also look for your sources of stress and anxiety and work to reduce or eliminate those, but this can be very challenging. Finally, if you do find yourself using teeth whitening products regularly, make sure they don’t use hydrogen peroxide-based products. Look for products designed with sensitivity in mind. The Oral Essentials Whitening Strips are a good place to start. You can continue to drink your coffee (always use a lid or straw when drinking staining beverages like coffee, tea, and red and green juices!) and have beautifully white teeth.

I’ve noticed that over the years, there

has been a distinct increase in the number of grinding or clenching cases. It affects many people, from students to long-time professionals. The common thread in all of these patients is stress. They’re more stressed out at school, at work, and in their daily lives.

So, in this month of love, it is possible to look your best while avoiding sensitive teeth. Enjoy your evening out without the worry!

-Dr. Maddahi

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Facts About the Leap Year LEAP INTO 2020

Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar.

is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday.



To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over

Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the

time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be.

celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big. Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.


The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S.

What You Can Do to Alleviate Jaw Clenching and Grinding

Stress plays a big role in dental health. As Dr. Maddahi mentioned in the cover article, stress and anxiety can lead to clenching and grinding — two involuntary actions that can do serious damage to your teeth. When you’re stressed out, your facial muscles can tighten, forcing your jaw to clench. It can happen when you’re awake, but it most commonly occurs while we sleep. In either case, we may be completely unaware that it’s happening, that is, until it’s discovered at your next dental appointment. Your dentist may notice wear or discoloration on the tops of your teeth. At the same time,

your mouth open, touch the tip of your tongue to the back of your front upper teeth. Hold for five seconds, then relax. Repeat this for about five minutes daily. Neck Massage Book a professional massage to target your neck and shoulders. This can help ease your stress overall and help loosen the muscles that trigger your jaw to tighten and clench. Regular massages can be a great part of your health and well-being regimen.

you may have noticed an increase in headaches, neck aches, and shoulder aches — not to mention tooth sensitivity. If you experience tension in your jaw, neck, and shoulders, you can do a few things to help alleviate some of that tension. Jaw Exercises Open your mouth as wide as possible without causing discomfort. With

A Night Guard While this won’t necessarily ease tension, it can help keep your jaw muscles from over-tightening and your teeth separated. This works well in concert with continued jaw exercise and neck massage. If you’re concerned about jaw clenching or grinding, speak with your dentist. We can help you put together a plan to achieve relief and restore the health of your teeth and gums. To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Maddahi, call (888) 592-0974. You don’t have to live with continued discomfort.

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3 Surefire Signs You’re Brushing Too Hard

Our teeth are incredible tools and they serve us well. This is why it’s so important to brush and floss every day. However, sometimes we can get in the habit of brushing too hard. After all, we want to remove all the plaque. But brushing too hard can lead to other problems, namely tooth sensitivity, as discussed in this month’s cover article. Here are three signs you may be brushing too hard. Your gums are receding. You or your dentist have noticed your gums are receding. If your dentist recommends changing your brushing habits, it’s best to heed their advice. If you continue to brush too hard, your gums may recede to the point where you will begin to experience tooth sensitivity. It can get a point where tooth sensitivity cannot be reversed. This means you may have to rely on sensitivity toothpaste and mouthwash. Your teeth begin to look dull. Over-brushing, or brushing too hard, erodes tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is a hard, off-white mineral layer that protects teeth. Brushing too hard wears down this protective layer, and two

things occur: First, the potential for sensitivity increases significantly. And second, as enamel wears, teeth can start to look discolored. They may look darker or take on a gray appearance. This is most pronounced along the gums. As gums recede, you may also notice graying near the gum line. Your teeth become sensitive to hot and cold. One of the sure signs you’re brushing too hard is when you feel pain or discomfort when you eat or drink anything hot or cold. This is one of the first signs of tooth sensitivity. In the beginning, the discomfort may only be mild or last for little more than a second. But over time, the discomfort can turn into pain and it can last for minutes or longer. It can even be debilitating. What can you do? If you’re brushing too hard, practice lighter brush strokes. It can take time to form a new brushing habit, but it’s worth the effort for the health of your teeth. Additionally, always use a soft-bristled brush — or try an electric toothbrush and let it do most of the work for you! Refer a friend, get a brighter smile! That’s right, every time you refer a friend to Dr. Maddahi, you get one FREE teeth cleaning!

Homemade Paleo Bread

There’s nothing more comforting than a slice of homemade bread. Settle in with this paleo-friendly version of the ultimate comfort food.


1 2/3 cups almond flour 2 tbsp flaxseed meal 2 tbsp coconut flour

• • • •

5 eggs

Call us today at 888.310.6771 to get started and to start earning your free cleaning!

• • • •

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp agave syrup

2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line an 8x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. 3. Add eggs, olive oil, agave syrup, and vinegar and whisk until smooth. 4. Pour mixture into prepared 8x5-inch pan and smooth top with a spatula. 5. Bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from pan and slice when cooled. Inspired by Delish

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Looking Your Best With Brighter, Whiter Teeth Without Sensitivity! Learn All About Leap Year Stop Living With the INSIDE 436 N. Roxbury Dr. #202 Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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Discomfort of a Clenching Jaw Signs You’re Brushing Too Hard

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Homemade Paleo Bread Your Epic Adventure Awaits

Gozo, Malta While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ggantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. Ithaca, Greece If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey —minus the mythical monsters, of course.

Create Your Own Odyssey Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean

Sicily, Italy One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food.

One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own.



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