Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mouth Body Connection

Your Mouth, the Gateway to Your Body

To understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to understand what can go wrong in the first place. Bacteria that builds up on teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.
Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

Oral Health and Diabetes

The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. Inflammation that starts in the mouth seems to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy.
"Periodontal disease further complicates diabetes because the inflammation impairs the body’s ability to utilize insulin," says Pamela McClain, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. To further complicate matters, diabetes and periodontitis have a two-way relationship. High blood sugar provides ideal conditions for infection to grow, including gum infections. Fortunately you can use the gum disease-diabetes relationship to your favor: managing one can help bring the other under control.

Oral Health and Heart Disease

Though the reasons are not fully understood, it’s clear that gum disease and heart disease often go hand in hand. Up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease. The two conditions have several risk factors in common, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, and excess weight. And some suspect that periodontitis has a direct role in raising the risk for heart disease as well.

"The theory is that inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels," says Cram. This can increase the risk for heart attack in a number of ways. Inflamed blood vessels allow less blood to travel between the heart and the rest of the body, raising blood pressure. "There’s also a greater risk that fatty plaque will break off the wall of a blood vessel and travel to the heart or the brain, causing a heart attack or stroke," Cram explains.
more information available at webmd.com 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Are biting off more than you can chew?

In our fast-paced lives, many of us may be eating in a hurry, taking giant bites of our food to get done quickly and on to the next task. Fast-food restaurants advertise giant burgers and sandwiches as a selling point, but often those super-sized delicacies are larger than a human mouth.

Taking bites that are too big to chew could be bad for your jaw and teeth, says the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education. At particular risk are people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which can restrict the range of acceptable bite size. "People with TMD need to avoid opening their mouths too wide," says AGD spokesperson Barbara A. Rich, DDS, FAGD. "Taking large bites of food can aggravate their condition." So, smoosh that hoagie before taking a bite.

Dr. Rich also cautions against biting into hard candies, which can chip teeth. Even apples can cause problems. "If you need to open your mouth more than feels comfortable to take a bite, then you should cut the item into smaller portions that are easy to chew," Dr. Rich says.

People should always avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and opening nuts with their teeth, which can lead to chipping and breakage of natural teeth and restorations.

information taken from KnowYourTeeth.com

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Resolution.

2013 is fast approaching!

Have you begun your list of New Year's resolutions? Why not include your dental health as part of your resolutions? Any of the following strategies will go a long way toward giving you a brighter, healthier smile in 2013.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables 

Eating well is important for your dental health. Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system, increasing susceptibility to many common oral disorders, including gum (periodontal) disease. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.

Quit Smoking or Using Other Tobacco Products

Using tobacco can harm your mouth in a number of ways, increasing your risk for tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease and throat, lung and oral cancer. Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. It’s not just smoking tobacco that has negative effects on your oral health: use of smokeless tobacco can be just as harmful to your oral health. The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

You may already know that excessive alcohol intake can have an effect on your overall health, but did you know that it may also affect your oral health? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who smoke, eat poorly and consume excessive alcohol also have increased gum recession (periodontal pocketing). Their studies show that smokers who regularly consume alcohol are less likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis and are less concerned about their basic health than nonsmokers.

Brush at Least Twice a Day and Floss at Least Once a Day

Brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and gum disease, which is caused by your teeth’s most persistent enemy, plaque – a sticky, colorless, invisible film of harmful bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day. Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health: according to the Academy of General Dentistry, only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begins.
Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums, which may worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums (gingivitis) and, eventually, gum disease. Because diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body, it is especially important to maintain good oral health.

See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups

By seeing your dentist at least twice a year, you can help prevent any dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and recommend a dental health regimen to address areas of concern.
For this new year, resolve to treat your mouth right: improve your diet, quit smoking and improve your oral hygiene habits – your teeth and your body will thank you for it!
Some information courtesy of the Academy of General Dentistry.Information courtesy of http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/new-year.html

Friday, November 9, 2012

Do you drink energy or sports drinks? It could be hurting you more than helping.

 General Dentistry, a clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, did a study recently  finding that the consumption of sports and energy drinks is causing irreversible damage to teeth.  These drinks have high acidity levels that cause erosion of tooth enamel.
"Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are "better" for them than soda," says Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, lead author of the study.  "Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid."  Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks.  They found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand.  To test the effect of the acidity levels, the researchers immersed samples of human  tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours.  This cycle was repeated four times a day for five days, and the samples were stored in fresh artificial saliva at all other times.
"This type of testing simulates the same exposure that a large proportion of American teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours," says Dr. Jain.
Damage to the teeth was found after only 5 days of testing with both energy and sports drinks.
However the energy drinks caused twice as much damage to the teeth as the sports drinks.
Stay informed....and remember, prevention is the best medicine.