Wisdom Teeth - To extract or not extract? That is the question.

Typically, my health and nutritional philosophies lean more towards the natural or holistic side of things. While I'm not against medical treatment and believe that medical interventions can be necessary, I prefer practicing preventative lifestyle methods and using natural methods of treatments whenever possible. I typically try to put effort into staying informed with health and nutrition related issues so that I can help guide my family in an educated lifestyle.

Well....that is except for today.  When I was told to have my son's wisdom teeth extracted I never even questioned it.  I had mine extracted and practically everyone I knew had them removed too.  It wasn't until today, AFTER I had my son's wisdom teeth extracted, that I became aware of the controversy over routine extractions of wisdom teeth. It was at that moment that I realized my oversight of information.  I'm not going to let myself worry about how this could affect my son now that they are extracted, whats done is done. I know that ultimately, if an unknown mistake was made on my part, Jesus can heal Ethan of any effects caused.  However, now that I have the wisdom, I am evaluating whether or not I will do the same thing with my other children when they are of age.

To extract or not extract.  That is the question.

Here are a few links that I'm storing for myself until I need to revisit this issue with my other children.  I hope they help you get started in your adventure to discovery so that you can find the path that is right for you...to extract or not to extract.  (If you find additional links in your personal research, please add the links in the comments below.  I would love to see.)

WebMC.com Wisdom Teeth Removal Often Unnecessary
same story on Fox News

Your extraction sites may look healed but are they really?
The Natural Recovery Plan - Dental Cavitations - This site explains how some specialist practitioners estimate that up to 90% of routine extractions may result in the formation of cavitations in the jaw bone, and the further back in the mouth the extraction, the more likely they are to occur. Of all sites, lower wisdom tooth extraction sites form cavitations the most frequently. They go on to explain how cavitations are difficult to detect using the usual methods such as examination or x-rays. Visually, the gum has healed and there may be no overt signs of redness or swelling over the extraction site.

VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE!!  LOTS of information.  They discuss how the bacteria and enzymes harbored in cavitations can affect your body.  They also share the opinion that cavitations after extractions are a very common occurrence. -  Natural Dentistry - Cavitations

In my opinion, these articles (and others) give enough weight to the concern of cavitations that I will personally strongly consider what path to take for the rest of my children.  (extracting all of them, none of them or only the ones causing problems)  I'm not saying I won't have it done, but that I have a lot more researching to do to decide.

This next statement is pure speculation on my part as I have not found information to back it up yet.  I question the bacteria's ability to to start in a cavitation and hinder our immune system from fighting other germs and infections or transferring to other parts of our body.   For example, we know that dental infections can cause endocarditis (an infection of the heart valves) and rheumatic heart disease. I also read that it is accepted practice for individuals with joint or hip replacements to be prescribed antibiotics before every dental visit because of the possible transfer of bacteria from the mouth to the joints.  I would be interested to see if information on this exists and if it is in fact a side effect of cavitations.

Dental Cavitation Infections - While this article admits that other professions feel you can't self heal cavitations, their personal feelings are that you can.  Half way down the page they have a list of natural alternatives you can try to heal it.

Enough researching for now.  :)  I have a couple years to find more information and a son who needs some TLC healing care.

UPDATE:  I have a friend in another state who uses a dentist that practices on a more natural side of dentistry.  I contacted her about my son Ethan hoping for advice on the best way to heal his bone and gums since his surgery had already been done.  Surprisingly, the dentist responded with additional information that I thought I should pass along in case it was helpful.
"Thanks for your email and question.  I am glad to answer and help in any way.  

The concern about extractions (commonly in third molars) is that during the surgery, all of the remnants of the periodontal ligament are not removed.  This ligament surrounds each tooth root as the connection to the bone.  Leaving this then allows a wall of soft tissue that can prevent bone from healing in the site.  Over time this can develop into an area of necrosis that may be filled with any level of tissue or even infection. Some anesthetics have also been indicated.  These lesions have been referred to as a NICO lesion.   http://www.drshankland.com/page11402151.aspx  This is a great website that explains it well. 

In my office I routinely use PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and PRF (Platelet Rich Fibrin) which are products of our own blood.  I process the blood from the patient here and then will place these concentrated products in the surgical site.  It encourages bone growth and improved healing.  It is amazing!

The concern is now, what to do since this surgery has been done on your son?  Nothing at this point.  If he is healthy and had a good outcome with no dry sockets, doesn't smoke, etc, he is probably going to be ok.  In a year or two you can have a cone beam scan performed to check his healing sites.  (Dr. Shankland's site does not have any CT views available for review, but is the current way for us to evaluate for areas of necrosis.)  You must be careful about traditional dentists however, most of them have never heard of this, let alone treat or diagnose it.   

I hope this makes sense and helps.  If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate."

Blog Resurection...scratch that. Blog Transformation

Its time for a blog resurrection...or rather a blog transformation. 

My life interests have changed since starting this blog.  Even though I have been wanting to collect and post these new thoughts and discoveries (mainly for easy personal recollection), I also have felt hesitant, fearing previous readers would be disappointed with the content from my new interests.  I have allowed my worry and anxiety to keep me away for way too long. 

So here is what I decided
  • Blog For Me.  I want a place to collect all of my discoveries so that I can easily find them in one location.  What others may see as random topics will be a collection of information that helps my family meet our goals.
  • Video Blog.  There are certain things I that I'm asked about over and over.  To help answer those questions easier I decided I should blog about them.  In an effort to reducing the time it takes to write about these topics and the anxiety of not being a good writer, I will try video blogging for a few posts.
  • No More Perfectionism.  I'm going to keep it real.  My house isn't a catalog home that is perfectly decorated.  I don't always have time to take studio quality pictures of things I'm blogging about.  I'm a stay at home mom who has to wait until naptime to get a shower.  And I constantly have four kids needing my attention.  As much as I would like to say that I'll be in a picture perfect home, nicely dressed, hair fixed and looking pretty for video blogs or have beautiful pictures to accessorize written posts...the reality is having a perfect presentation isn't reality for my life. Instead of procrastinating as I try to attain that perfect presentation, I'm going to keep it real and force myself to post things as is.    
So here we go...

Who is YOUR mommy guru?

A friend of mine recently shared an article with me called Every Mother Needs A Mom Guru.  Who's Yours?  I absolutely loved it.  "Finally!" I thought after reading it.  "Someone who gets it!"  (I've attached the article below so you could enjoy it as well.)

When it comes to pregnancy, birth and raising our children, I feel as though our culture will many times position moms to be automatic failures right from the beginning of becoming a mom.  We have an overwhelming amount of medical interventions that tell us "your body isn't going to carry and birth your baby on its own...its incapable...you have to have me to do it."  And after our baby is born we have every psychologist telling us "if you follow that model for raising your family your going to ruin your child....do it this way".  Then there are others who act as if we are supposed to have this-as she describes it in the article-"magical" ability to be able to reach inside ourselves for the constant encouragement that is needed to be a mom.  With so many people telling us how to do our job (all in different ways mind you) how are we to ever feel like we can succeed?

Spinach & Quiona

Not many recipes surprise me.  But this recipe that I found on Simple Daily Recipes did.  I was expecting a particular flavor and ended up with something better. All I have to say is Yummo!!

I was drawn to this recipe originally because of my new found interest in Quiona.  I could sit here and list all the wonderful things about Quiona.  Like that it has the highest 'non meat' protein  you could consume...but I'm not.  Like that it is LOADED with all kids of vitamins...but I'm not.  I could tell you that I've used it with grilled veggies, as a sweet breakfast cereal or blended in smoothies...but I'm not.  You'll just have to google and find out all the wonderful things about Quiona on your own.  :o)  Mr. google can refer you to more accredited places to find this information than here.  Go ahead...get to it.  Get your google on.

Serves 4-6


'Good For You' Vegetable Dip - Mayonnaise FREE & Dairy FREE

This recipe came from one of my new favorite blogs... Whole New Mom.

I was browsing through her recipes and found a Homemade Vegetable Dip recipe that contained...

No Mayonnaise, No Soy, No Egg and No Dairy

Wooo Hooo!!  EXACTLY what I had been looking for.

If you've ever taken time to read the label on store bought dips, I can guarantee you can't read half of what is listed.  That is...if you can even bring yourself to read past the hydrogenated oil listing.  Blaaaa.

The base for this dip is healthy nuts of your choice.  I became a believer in the value of this healthy dip alternative when I saw my two year old princess swipe up a piece of cauliflower and chow down.

This dip isn't just good on vegetables.  Spunk up your sandwiches. Instead of using mayo reach for this spread.  It will be our go to condiment of choice for now on!  Out with the mayo and in with the new....or something like that.

Did I mention that I was really excited about this dip? hehehehe  


Soaking and Dehydrating Seeds & Nuts

I recently ran across a blog that I have thoroughly been enjoying. Whole New Mom   I find her writings down to earth, easy to understand and health conscious. Being a mom herself, she understands the struggle to find quick and easy ways to get healthy foods in our kids.

One that caught my eye was an article she wrote on Soaking and Dehydrating seeds and nuts.  "Interesting...how does it make them more nutritious?" I wondered.

Here is how she explains it...

Crockpot Black Eye Peas

I'm convinced that this recipe can convert anyone who isn't a black eye pea eater into the bean's biggest fan.

I've personally had to start doubling the recipe.  Black eye peas went from being a side dish to a main course at my dinner table.  Not that I mind...it doesn't get any easier than throwing all the ingredients into a crockpot. And it doesn't get any CHEAPER than dry beans.  Its a win-win.


Favorite Things - Newborn

"...when the dog bites.  When the bee stings.  When I'm feeling sad.  I simply remember my FAVORITE THINGS and then I don't feel sooooooo bad."  Sorry...I'm a Julie Andrews fan and got caught up in the moment.

One of my favorite things is to talk to moms (or soon-to-be moms) about pregnancy, laboring for delivery and newborn care.  Its so much fun to hear about all the different ways other moms care for their babies.  I've learned several things over the last 15 years of being a parent and talking to others.  Now that I'm once again caring for a newborn, I thought it would be fun to share a few of these favorite baby items.

Family Dinner Questions - aka Table Topics

Visit the DIY Tutorials section of our site to learn
how to transform your old sauce and pickle jars
into this table decor

I came across this idea on another blog and had high hopes for the change that it would bring to our lack luster conversations we had over dinner with our kids. Our typical conversation starters had been something like "how is school."  In which they would respond "good".  "Did you do anything fun today."  Again with single word response they would reply "no".  Okay then...where do you go from there?  I had high hopes that these spontaneous topics would bring laughter and fun back to the connection we were attempting to make with our kids.  (And I knew the moment I saw it that I'd have the perfect place to house my table topics when I completed my pickle jar up-cycling decor project.  Bonus for me!! yaaa)

We used our table topics for the first time yesterday.  I couldn't believe how much my boys (who are almost 13 and 15) enjoyed them.  It was like opening up pandora's box.  Table discussions were fun, fluent and easy.  They enjoyed it so much, they drew several different topics before our meal was done.

To print off your own set of table topics visit How Does She at the following links.

How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 1
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 2
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 3
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 4
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 5

And if your looking for a fun gift, visit Table Topics online at www.tabletopics.com   They offer a variety of topics such as girls night out, dinner party, teen, sleep over, grandparents, campfire, bachelorette, tailgating and many more.

Mongolian Beef

  My BFF is always a great source of inspiration for me when it comes to cooking.  As a mommy of four, she doesn't always find it economical to eat out.  But being the amazing provider that she is, she splurges on her family by bringing those flavors home.  Case in point...this Mongolian Beef recipe.  One of their favorite restaurants happens to be a Asian style habachi grill.  After researching different recipes online, she was able to come up with one that matched their taste bud's desires with perfection.

I made this recipe for my family yesterday.  Its very simple and exceptionally tasty.  It passed the taste test challenge for all six of us.  (Yes, even my two year old devoured the broccoli.  And the baby...well...she gave it a thumbs up because it didn't give her a belly ache from nursing after I ate it.)

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