Why are my teeth so Sensitive? Wednesday, Aug 31 2011 

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common of all dental complaints. In fact one in five adults suffer from sensitive teeth.  As long as you have adequate enamel and gum tissue around your teeth, sensitivity will not be much of an issue. However, once the gum begins to recede or shrink from around  your tooth for some reason, things change. This situation allows the dentin which is under the enamel to become exposed to the oral environment. This is the start of the problem.

At the center of the dentin is the nerve of the tooth. From the nerve, millions of tiny nerves travel through microscopic tubules to the surface of the dentin. These tubules are filled with fluid which protects the nerve fibers. But when you drink something really cold or hot, or sweet for that matter, the fluid in the tubules is stimulated and moves the fluid. This movement travels to the inside of the nerve chamber and results in pain.

Other things can cause the fluid to move and create pain. Some of these are dehydration of the tooth, which can be caused by tooth whitening chemicals. Decay at the gum line, a cracked or broken tooth, acidic foods like lemons, and grinding or clenching of the teeth can  combine with aggressive tooth brushing to create a sensitivity problem. In short anything that exposes the tooth surface (dentin) to the oral environment , can result in sensitivity.

Most treatments for this problem involve an effort to close or seal the microscopic dentin tubules. With the tubules closed, nothing can bother the small nerves and make the fluid move around in the tubules creating pain.  One method of treatment is using a tooth paste which contains potassium nitrate or a prescription strength fluoride rinse. So, you must clean and brush all parts of your teeth and use floss to keep the tubules sealed. Plaque on your teeth is another cause of tooth sensitivity. The bacteria create an acid that dissolves the dentin enough to open the tubules. Make sure your tooth-brush is soft since it will clean efficiently and  is gentle to your gums. Hard and medium tooth brushes can actually brush the gum from around your teeth.

If you are clenching and grinding your teeth you will need to use a night guard. Now, dental procedures can also cause sensitivity. Tooth cleanings, gum treatments, fillings and cementation or preparation of teeth for crowns can all result in sensitivity issues. These can be addressed by your dentist or will resolve by themselves.  For a quick fix, the dentist can apply desensitizing agents and make you feel better. But this is just a band aid. The real solution is proper brushing and flossing and maintaining your teeth. These two things combined with regular use of sensitivity tooth paste or fluoride rise will make you feel better and correct the problem.

How to fry Pheasant Tenders Monday, Aug 29 2011 

I realize that the name of this blog refers more to teeth and dentistry and airplanes, but from time to time it might be nice to discuss something else just to keep the interest up. So, I chose to provide a recipe of how to prepare pheasant.

Pheasants are great game birds and common throughout the mid west of America. They fly but are great runners which provides the chef with some problems when preparing them for a meal. The legs have many little bones, probably tendons, but they are difficult to eat due to this anatomical variation. Having attempted to cook pheasant many times, I have not met with great culinary success. My wife came up with a  good recipe for baking them with sweet potatoes and onions, but those legs are still an issue. I have grilled them, used the beer trick on the grill also, and even found a french version of pot a feu which was interesting, but all were still plagued by those legs and difficulty keeping the meat moist and tender.

In frustration, I decided to try frying them with some variations taken from some other recipes I will discuss in the future. Your pheasant should be clean and have no skin. Cut the breast from the bird staying as close to the bone as possible and keeping the meat whole. Once you have all of the breast from the pheasant or pheasants cut them into slices. You should be able to get three to four tenders per breast. Clean them and pat them dry and then add them to your marinade.

The marinade is simple. Depending on the number tenders you have, take a pint or quart of butter milk(you can use low fat or regular) and pour it into a large bowl (I don’t use metal bowls) and add some hot sauce. Texas Pete works well but use whatever your favorite is. Put a 1/2 cup to a full cup in with the butter milk (you can add more if you want). Add the tenders and work them and the marinade around until it is thoroughly mixed. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge overnight or at least six hours.

When you are ready to fry, take House of Autry fish breader (regular, medium or hot all work) and coat the tenders with any method you desire. I use a plastic Bill Dance Fish Breader, but paper bags, plates or other bowls all work just as well. Place in the hot oil and start frying.

When they are nice and golden brown remove and place on a draining pan or paper towels. When they cool they are ready to eat. I don’t think they need any salt or pepper as the breader is well seasoned.  Dipping condiments are optional, as I think the tenders hold their own quite well.

As for the rest of the bird; you can boil it and make stock and take any of the meat and make Pheasant salad as opposed to Chicken salad. Be careful of those little bones though.

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