Friday, September 25, 2020

How Gum Disease Affects Your Heart


You do everything you can to take care of your health. From maintaining a healthy diet to exercising regularly, you make your health a priority. But if you’re not equally as diligent about your oral health, your heart may be in jeopardy.

Recent research suggests that there’s a strong link between gum disease and heart disease. While the two may not seem like they have much in common at first glance, the more you learn about their connection, the easier it is to see how they’re related.

Gum Disease
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, typically starts out as an inflammatory gum infection called gingivitis. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque — a sticky film of bacteria — on your teeth and gums. As gum disease progresses, it can advance to periodontitis, which happens when plaque sits in small pockets beneath the gum line.

Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease, is caused by an entirely different type of plaque called atherosclerosis, which is made from cholesterol and fat. This gradual buildup of atherosclerosis is a serious health concern if left untreated. It’s one of the leading causes of heart attack.

How They're Connected

While medical experts don’t know exactly why gum disease increases your chances of developing heart disease, they believe that untreated periodontitis can cause bacteria from your mouth to travel through your bloodstream, which clogs your arteries and raises your risk of heart infection.

As your arteries become clogged with plaque and bacteria, they can narrow and harden, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Gum disease is certainly not the only condition that’s been connected to heart disease. Diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), poor diet choices, and unhealthy lifestyle habits all increase your risk of heart disease.

However, you can protect your gums and heart by making yourself aware of the early warning signs of gum disease, before it advances to periodontitis.

The most common gum disease symptoms include:
  • Gum inflammation;
  • Bleeding gums;
  • Gum sensitivity;
  • Pain when chewing;
  • Loose teeth;
  • Receding gums;
  • Halitosis (bad breath);
Inflamed gums are typically the earliest warning sign of gum disease, so it’s important to talk to your dentist about your symptoms at the first sign of trouble. Early intervention and gum treatments, such as deep cleanings, scaling, and root planing, can help reduce the symptoms of gum disease and protect your heart from infection.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

How Do You Get Rid of a Canker Sore?


Do you suffer from canker sores? These little white balls of blinding pain can be annoying, but there is hope.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Oral Health Is Overall Health


You’ve just taken a bite of an apple when you feel that dreaded crunch. No matter how hard you try to rationalize what that noise could’ve been, you know in your gut that it’s a chipped tooth. Now, you might think it’s just bad luck, but what if it’s not? Believe it or not, how you care for your teeth impacts your overall health and vice versa.

Let’s stick with our example of a chipped tooth.

While chipped teeth do happen accidentally, your teeth might actually be vulnerable to breaks and cracks if you have an underlying health condition, such as cavities, heart disease, osteoporosis, or hypertension (high blood pressure). On the other hand, having an oral health condition like gum disease or tooth decay puts you at risk of potentially serious health complications, including stroke and diabetes.

A healthy mouth doesn’t just mean good teeth that look white and straight; it’s also having healthy gums that can effectively hold your teeth in place for years to come.

Here are a few ways you can ensure your dental health and overall health remain in their best shape possible:

Brush Your Teeth

You should brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day to keep plaque and bacteria buildup at bay. To improve your oral health, try brushing your teeth after every meal.

Floss Regularly

Ideally, you should floss after every meal to remove debris from the small crevices of your teeth.

Follow A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet isn’t just good for your waistline. It also helps prevent chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, tooth decay, and gum disease. Calcium-rich foods, leafy greens, and lean protein keep your teeth and gums strong while maintaining your overall health.
Visit Your Dentist

Visiting your dentist for a dental exam and teeth cleaning at least once every 6 months is essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing serious complications, like gum disease or oral cancer.

Stop Using Tobacco
The nicotine and tar in tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco aren’t just bad for your body health. They can also eat away at your tooth enamel and gum health, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

Alcohol has been linked to oral cancer, tooth decay, and even halitosis (bad breath). In addition, too much alcohol can damage your liver and contribute to heart disease.

Drink Plenty of Water

A healthy body needs plenty of water to keep running. Saliva helps remove plaque, bacteria, and debris from your teeth. If you’re dehydrated, your saliva supply will start to run low. For optimal oral and overall health, make sure you’re drinking between 11 and 16 cups of water per day.

Use Flouride-Based Products

Fluoride helps protect your teeth from damage and tooth decay. Using fluoride-based toothpaste and mouth rinse lowers your risk of cavities.



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Seal Out Tooth Decay


Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew (called molars). Molars are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.

Still, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, and it is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They’re no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.

In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child's dental health. In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, of which only 43% of children ages 6-11 have. According to the CDC, "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants."

You may have many questions about sealants, and we have answers for you below. Read on to learn more about sealing out tooth decay.

How Do Sealants Work?

Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth—just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run. Ask your dentist if sealants are a good option for you and your family.

How Are Sealants Applied?

It’s a quick and painless process. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, your dentist will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Your dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

Sealants can be used over areas of early decay to prevent further damage to your tooth. Because some sealants are clear, your dentist can keep an eye on the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job.

Are There Any Side Effects?

With the exception of an allergy that may exist, there are no known side effects from sealants.

Is There BPA In Sealants?

Yes, there is a tiny amount of BPA in sealants but not enough to cause you or a loved one any harm. In fact, you get more exposure to BPA by simply touching a receipt, using cosmetics or coming in contact with dust.


How Long Do Sealants Last?

Sealants will often last for several years before they need to be reapplied. During your regular dental visit, your dentist will check the condition of the sealant and can reapply them as needed.

Are Sealants Covered By Dental Plans?

Some plans do cover sealants, so call your dental benefit company to find out what kind of coverage you have.

Article Source: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhtopstories&utm_content=sealants

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Here's What Happens If You Stopped Brushing Your Teeth


Nearly half of Americans don’t brush their teeth enough. This opens the door for a bacteria invasion, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Even worse, you might increase your risk for issues like kidney disease and dementia.

Friday, September 11, 2020

How to Select the Best Dental Floss for You


Are you a dental floss connoisseur? Didn’t think so. But walk into a drugstore, and you have choices to make. It’s not just waxed or unwaxed anymore. There’s super floss. Dental tape. Electric flossers and water flossers. Green options include natural floss and biodegradable floss.

Don’t fret. Dental hygienists say the best floss is the one you find easiest to use—and therefore habit forming.

But if you are like many new mothers, you want all the information about getting dental x-rays while pregnant and breastfeeding, before making a decision.

Unwaxed floss: Best for tight spaces
Are your teeth set close together? Traditional, unwaxed floss is made of thin nylon strands and fits into tight spaces. Its non-slip grip makes it easy to hold. Some dentists believe that unwaxed floss cleans better by absorbing more plaque and food particles. Unfortunately, unwaxed floss can fray or break. If that becomes a problem, you can switch to the sturdier waxed floss.

Waxed floss: Best for rough edges
For teeth with rough or irregular edges, waxed floss is the ticket. The waxed coating allows floss to slide rather than snag and it strengthens the material, preventing the floss from fraying or breaking in use. Additional benefits: waxed floss comes in flavors including cinnamon and mint, as well as whitening options, welcome incentives to floss. More importantly, you can also find fluoride-coated floss, allowing you to strengthen your enamel as you clean your teeth and gums. Fluoride-coated floss is particularly recommended for people living in rural areas or who drink bottled water regularly.

Dental tape: Best for larger gaps
Do you have larger gaps between your teeth? Try dental tape. It’s wider and flatter than regular floss and is sold in both waxed and unwaxed versions. Because it glides between teeth at their full height, it’s very effective in removing bits of leftover food.

Water flossers: Best for gentle care
If your teeth or gums need gentle care, try a water flosser. This electric wand shoots a thin stream of water between teeth and around the gum line. Water flossers are quite effective, removing food particles and plaque with ease. Of course, they’re more expensive than other dental floss options and they aren’t as portable.

Super floss: Best for braces and bridges
Water flossers are also good for maneuvering around braces, bridges, and implants. You can try super floss, too. Super floss is a pre-threaded flosser that comes in pre-cut segments. It has a stiff end that helps guide it through tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas.

Electric flossers: Best for when you need a helping hand
If you have arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or for any reason find it difficult to maneuver dental floss by hand, consider trying an electric flosser. Electric flossers use a sturdy fishing line-like nylon that vibrates between the teeth in an oscillating motion. Don’t overdo it, though. Overzealous use of an electric flosser can wear down your gum line.

Natural and biodegradable floss
Some brands make dental floss out of silk, which will biodegrade in a landfill or even your back yard. However, silk floss isn’t as strong as other floss.

PTFE floss: Not recommended
PTFE floss, made of polytetrafluorethylene, slides with ease between crowded teeth and through complicated dental work. However, PTFE contains suspected carcinogens as well as compounds that may disrupt hormone levels and compromise the immune system. Many oral health professionals recommend selecting a non-PTFE floss. Read package labels before you buy.

Talk to your dentist and try different dental floss options until you find the one that works best for you. If you’re not sure, start by looking for products with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. That way, you’ll know it’s safe for your teeth and will get the job done

Article Source: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2019/how-to-select-the-best-dental-floss

Monday, September 7, 2020

Your Teeth Can Last Ages—Keep Them Healthy


Your teeth can survive for centuries, but only if you take care of them. Keep your teeth amazing - visit your dentist and schedule a check-up.

Friday, September 4, 2020

What Causes Bad Morning Breath and How To Fix It



Your alarm shreds the early dawn tranquility, yanking you into consciousness. You slap snooze, roll over and yawn…and out wafts a malodorous cloud of ‘morning breath.’

What is that smell? Why do you have it? And most importantly, how do you get rid of it?

Why Do I Have Morning Breath?

Your mouth is a virtual Petri dish of biology and lifestyle. First the biology: Everyone’s mouth harbors bacteria, both good and bad. We play host for their entire lifecycle – bacteria are born, they eat, produce waste, and die – in our mouths. Icky as it sounds, we need the good bacteria and the bad comes along for the ride.

Your lifestyle can up the ante for bad bacteria when you partake of things such as onions, tobacco, and medications. When all these bacteria are confined to simmer in eight hours of slumber, they combust into bad breath.

So, don’t fret. Funky morning breath is normal. And it’s different than halitosis, which is a chronic bad-breath condition that you cannot remedy with a good brushing and mouthwash.

Causes of Bad Morning Breath

Food
Certain foods instigate bad breath more than others – such as onions, garlic, and other spices. You boost your chances of morning odor if you eat these things close to bedtime.

Dry Mouth
Saliva – or spit - is your mouth’s natural cleanser and deodorizer. It helps break down bacteria and wash away food particles left behind after eating. Saliva production naturally decreases during sleep, but those with dry mouth experience an even greater reduction in saliva. With less saliva to clean your mouth, the bad stuff will breed.

Poor Oral Hygiene
Most of us are aware that brushing twice a day is crucial to good oral care. However, failing to floss – particularly before bed – can leave food particles in your mouth that will add to bad breath. Without diligent brushing and flossing, you set yourself up for bad breath and gum disease.

Tobacco
Smoking – especially cigarettes – deposit smoke particles in your lungs and throat. And chemicals in tobacco linger in your mouth several hours after just one smoke. Tobacco use also escalates your chances of gum disease. In addition to its own set of dangers, gum disease adds to bad breath.

Medications
Some medications cause dry mouth, and dry mouth, in turn, can bring stinky breathy. Also, certain medications break down in your body, which can leak a foul smell into your mouth.

Mouth Breathing
Again, another dry-mouth motivator. But how do you know if you’re breathing through your mouth at night? If you’re waking with an exceptionally dry mouth or tongue, or irritated throat, you’re probably mouth-breathing. Ailments such as clogged sinuses and sleep disorders often inspire mouth-breathing.

How to Get Rid of Bad Morning Breath

A certain degree of morning breath is normal, so you can’t completely halt its development. But you can take measures to minimize its severity and eradicate it once you wake.

The 2-Minute Minimum
Brush your teeth for no less than two minutes. Time yourself. Going for a full two minutes washes away more food leftovers than a few quick swipes.

Floss, Floss, Floss
Flossing gets what brushing can’t. Brushing removes only 60 percent of food debris. Flossing reaches the other 40 percent. Flossing before bed is exceptionally important, as sleep offers food the opportunity to fester for hours, without beverages and sufficient saliva to flush it away.

Wash It Away
Maybe you don’t have time for a good brushing, but still need to freshen up – a vigorous rinse with mouthwash will give you a quick refresher. But opt for sugar-free brands. Sugar feeds stink-causing bacteria, so you can end up with an even yuckier mouth.

Grab Some Gum
Chewing gum gets your saliva flowing. But go for sugar-free and mint-flavored – sugar fuels odorous, bad bacteria, and ‘cookies and cream’-flavored gum won’t deliver that fresh, cool breath you’re after.

Get Your Greens
Chomp some fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro — their chlorophyll neutralizes odors. Cloves, fennel seeds, and anise also supply antiseptic powers along with fresh breath promotion.

Drink Up
If you wake in the night with a dry mouth, keep a glass of water by your bed. A few swigs of water will stir up your saliva and wash away musty breath.

Keeping It Fresh

Now that you know what causes morning breath and how to fight it, you can step up your game to turn that early-morning funk into freshness.

And don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly. If you feel your morning breath is following you throughout the day, your dentist can determine whether other underlying issues or conditions are at play.

Article Source: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2020/07/What-Causes-Morning-Breath-and-How-To-Fix-It

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Why Is Fluoride Good for Teeth?


If our teeth are made mostly of calcium, why do we use fluoride to keep them healthy? Quick Questions explains why, and how we finally figured it out.