Mama Gums recognized by HHS

On April 4, 2008, Mama Gums was recognized by Health and Human Services, receiving a certificate of appreciation as a nominee for Public Health Champion of San Diego. Read more about this nomination below.

Sheila Wolf, affectionately known as “Mama Gums”, has been passionate about helping people since her teens. At 16, she worked as a candy striper in a local Connecticut teaching hospital. As a young adult, she went to Israel to work on a kibbutz as a dental nurse. And in 1998 she drove cross-country to a small coal mining town in Appalachia to teach oral health in a one-room schoolhouse.

Sheila’s career as a dental hygienist has spanned over three decades, culminating in her authoring three books on oral health, including the first ever for pregnant women. “Pregnancy and Oral Health” won a national book award as well as a thank you from first lady Laura Bush.

Currently, Sheila provides a unique service. Retired from clinical practice, she is an educator and “oral wellness coach”. Working with a phase-contrast microscope, she teaches and empowers people to take control and responsibility for their own mouths, enabling them to prevent dental diseases before they occur and reverse damage already done by the pathogenic bacteria responsible for decay and periodontal infections.

A year ago, Sheila created a fun, upbeat, motivational oral health video to send around the world: It has been seen on YouTube, on Yahoo, in seminars, and in private dental offices across the country. Her educational website,, was inspired out of her passion to make a difference in oral health to those searching for support.

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