DentalBLU Blog

Posts for tag: Oral Health

By Dr. Depp
July 26, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Health   Summer   Healthy  

Summer is our favorite time of the year! It is great for slowing down and relaxing with friends and family, school is out, camps and outdoor activities fill the calendar, and vacations are planned. But it is not the time to take a break from good oral health habits.

Here are some useful tips to help keep your teeth healthy this summer:

Stay Hydrated
Choose water as your main source of hydration this summer and throughout all seasons. Water promotes saliva formation and helps rinse out bacteria that form in your mouth to prevent decay. Limit the number of sweet and alcoholic beverages you consume and opt for ice cold water or make your own fruit-infused water to stay hydrated.

Stock a Healthy Kitchen for Smart Snacking
Nutrition and healthy teeth go hand-in-hand. When you’re munching on snacks this summer, consider foods that can benefit your oral health. Fresh foods, especially those grown and/or purchased locally, are full of vitamins and minerals that are essential to building up bones, warding off cancers, and recovering from injuries. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium, an essential component for healthy teeth; and contain proteins like casein that is known to fortify your teeth’s surface, protecting it from decay. Snacking at home isn’t the only time to be tooth aware…many summertime activities involve time away from home, so be sure to pack healthy snacks for days on the go!

Stay Safe During Summer Activities
It wouldn’t be summer without lots of swimming, bike riding, volleyball and other playground activities. And while these are great fun, they can, unfortunately, result in a dental injury.

Make sure your kids follow the “pool rules.” According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose. Also, keep in mind that excessive exposure to chlorine can be harmful to teeth by weakening enamel and cause staining known as swimmers calculus. Swimmers calculus is a common cosmetic issue and can be removed by a professional dental cleaning.

Sports-related dental injuries are an unfortunately common issue, but many sports-related dental injuries are preventable by taking appropriate safety measures. Studies have shown that mouth guards provide the best protection against facial and dental injuries. Mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year. Using a mouth guard can prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work, as well as prevent mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage.

Establish a Summer Routine to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits
While summer schedules are typically a lot more flexible than usual, it’s important to still have a daily routine. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is as important in the summer as it is in any other season. To keep good oral hygiene habits in place, establish a summer routine. Add tooth brushing and flossing to a list of simple tasks, like making the bed and putting away laundry. Have a similar plan as part of a nighttime routine.

Keeping up with your dental health during the summer will help you stay healthy all year long. With a little planning, you can easily maintain healthy, strong teeth during your summer adventures.

Can your mouth tell if you're at risk for heart disease?  It just may!  Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease.  A recent analysis shows that the potential heart disease risk for patients with periodontal disease may even be greater than for those with high cholesterol.  For too many Americans, this reality hits close to home in that more than 85 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, while more than 200 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease.

Scientists suspect the link between the two diseases is due to the same bacteria.  In this scenario, bacteria found in infected gum tissue around teeth break down the barrier between the gums and the underlying connective tissue, causing inflammation.  During normal chewing or brushing, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and move to other parts of the circulatory system, contributing to the formation of cardiovascular disease.

Inflammation, or swelling, is the body's natural response to infection.  It is possible that as oral bacteria travel through the body it triggers a similar response, which then leads to the formation of arterial plaque.  Oral bacteria have been found in the fatty deposits of people with atherosclerosis.  These deposits can narrow arteries or break loose and clog them entirely, leading to heart attack or stroke.

While scientists are still researching whether inflammation is at the root of the problem, one thing is for sure:  It is firmly established that a link exists between periodontal disease and heart disease.

Given the link between these two systemic diseases, the dental profession can be considered a key assessor of not just oral health, but also heart health.   The first step is getting scheduled with your dental team for a dental hygiene checkup.  The hygiene team should be actively looking for the disease by doing a thorough periodontal exam and charting.  In this exam they will be looking for:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums or other pain in the mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between the gums and teeth
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way the teeth fit together when one bites down
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Some of these initial symptoms of periodontal disease are often silent or you don't notice any symptoms until later stages.  This is where your dental team will help identify symptoms at an early stage so you can get the proper treatment to maintain a healthy smile and heart.

If periodontal disease is detected, then a treatment plan will be recommended to repair the damage caused by the disease by getting rid of the infection and close up the pockets.  Today, many general dentists and periodontists offer a patient-friendly protocol to help treat your disease.  You should also be educated by your dental team to help you identify early symptoms and how to maintain the treatment that was performed to keep you in good oral health.

For more information on periodontal disease and how our office can help, please visit our website at www.Dentalblu.com or give our office a call to set up your dental hygiene checkup.