G is for Gingivitis

Last month we learned that Flossing was more than just a dance. This month we are going to learn about Gingivitis. So what is Gingivitis? When plaque, which contains bacteria, builds up on teeth it creates an inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue. This gum disease is know as Gingivitis.

Left unchecked, gingivitis can develop into a more severe form of gum disease, known as Periodontitis, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, 75% of Americans will experience gum disease at some point in their life.  It is also the number one cause of bleeding gums in adults.

gingivitis-symptoms

According to crest.com here are some steps to help prevent, if you don’t already have gingivitis, or to treat it if you do:

  • Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste.
  • Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash.
  • Brush your teeth and gums for at least 2 minutes, at least 2 times a day.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months: Worn-out bristles remove less plaque.
  • If you have sore gums after flossing or brushing, or notice bleeding, don’t stop brushing or flossing. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles so you don’t hurt your gums.  If you notice bleeding regularly, see your dentist.
  • Check your gums in the mirror often for changes in color or texture. If their appearance changes, see your dentist and hygienist.
  • Cut back on foods that are high in sugar. Sugar promotes the growth of gingivitis-causing plaque.

If you feel that you may have gingivitis or even periodontitis, please call call our office at Brogdon Dental as soon as possible so we can begin the process of reversing the problem and restoring healthy gums again.

 

 

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Calcium and your Teeth

pexels-photo-236010.jpegI know many will remember your Mom saying to you “Drink your milk, it’s helps you build strong bones”… But what about your teeth? Will milk help them as well?  Calcium is one of the most important nutrients to help keep your teeth healthy.

The American Dental Association recommends that the average adult consume between 1,000 and 2,000 mg of calcium on a daily basis to maintain optimum tooth and enamel health. Consuming a diet high in calcium helps to fortify enamel, so teeth are less likely to break.

So what foods are a good source of calcium?

  • Leafy Greens such as spinach or turnip greens contain over 250 mg per cup.
  • Canned Fish are high in calcium especially if the soft bones are included.
  • Fortified Cereals, especially those containing almonds.
  • Tofu,  just a half cup of tofu contains 253 mg of calcium. Remember, it takes on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking.
  • Orange Juice that is calcium fortified. Although it may be acidic, can give you your daily requirement of calcium.

Remember these foods and add some calcium in your diet. Not only is it good for your bones but your teeth as well.

 

Is there any “Good” Candy?

Around this time of the year, we are often asked this question… Is there any good candy?  Obviously, most sugar coated candies are bad for your teeth. Especially candies that stick to your teeth when you eat them.  That not only includes candies but dried fruits as well which are full of sugars.  Also lollipops are bad because they take so long to eat which allows the sugars to stay in your mouth for a longer time.

But are there any sugars that can be considered good for you?  Dark Chocolate has many attributes that make it a good choice.  Several studies have shown that it may be just as effective than fluoride in fighting tooth decay. Also, compounds in cocoa beans have an antibacterial effect that fights plaque. It also helps your heart too.

 

Since sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, sugarless gum and candies are an alternative to sugar laced candies. Also choose a “candy bar” with lots of nuts which serve to break up the stickiness of most bars.  When choosing a bar, why not pick a protein bar with more nuts and dark chocolate and less sticky sugars such as caramels.

Be sure to read the labels for the sugar content and avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup.

More Fun Dental Facts

Here are some more fun facts about teeth from 123dentist.com…

  • The enamel on the top surface on your tooth is the hardest part of your entire body.
  • No two people have the same set of teeth.
  • Your mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime—that’s enough to fill two swimming pools. Saliva has many uses, including assisting you with your digestion and protects your teeth from bacteria in your mouth.
  • Many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
  • One third of your tooth is underneath your gums—that means only two thirds of your tooth’s length is visible.
  • Teeth start to form even before you are born—milk teeth or baby teeth start to form when the baby is in the womb, but they come through when the child is between 6-12 months old. 
  • If you get your tooth knocked out, put it in milk and hold it in your mouth—this will help your tooth to survive longer. Make sure you see a dentist right away.
  • Toothpicks are the object most often choked on by Americans.

 

tooth

 

 

 

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss and a Fork 3

This month we will discuss number 3 in our list of 12 beneficial foods for healthier teeth and smiles, Beta Carotene Packed Produce.

Orange-colored vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and winter squash, are loaded with beta-carotene (vitamin A), an essential nutrient for forming strong bones, and healthy teeth and gum tissue. Diets low in these nutrients can lead to increased tooth loss, research shows. 

carrots
Meals high in simple carbohydrates, like rice and sugary foods, and low in vitamin A-rich vegetables resulted in more decay than those with fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene, according to a 2009 study of more than 20,000 Japanese dentists.

Best sources are orange-colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, papaya and squash, as well as green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.

Next time we will discuss a food that you wouldn’t think about in relation to healthy teeth, Mushrooms!  Check back to find out about the good qualities it possesses.

 

Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Floss and a Fork 2

Last month we talked about 12 beneficial foods that can help you have healthy teeth. Our first one was crunchy vegetables.  On this post we’re going to discuss number 2 in our list of foods that will help you have a healthier, happier smile.

2. Fish

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Gum disease is 20% lower in people who eat a diet rich in omega-3s, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish and linolenic acid (LNA) from plant-food sources, according to a 2010 study by Harvard researcher Asghar Z. Naqvi, MPH.

Fish are rich in DHA and EPA, while LNA rich foods include flaxseed, walnuts, pecans (whole and nut butters) and oils such as canola, hemp, pumpkin seed and extra virgin olive oil.

Because researchers asked participants to guess their intake of omega-3 foods, the actual amount of DHA, EPA and/or LNA wasn’t exact. But they concluded health benefits came primarily from diet, not supplements. Those who used supplements didn’t show any additional advantage, researchers say.

Who would think that by adding more fish to your diet you would help your teeth? So not only will your heart improve, but your gums will too!

Check back with us next month as we address colorful fruits and vegetables and how they can benefit your teeth.

 

 

Smile – it’s back to school time

With a new school year beginning many parents think about new clothes, haircuts or books for their kids, but many forget about their child’s smile. Studies show that one of the first things people notice about you is your smile, and what better way to increase your child’s positive self esteem, than by making sure they have a great smile.

According to knowyourteeth.com:

Seeing a dentist twice a year during the school-age years is vital because this is a time of great change in the mouth, with kids losing baby teeth and getting in their permanent teeth. Tooth decay is still the most common chronic childhood disease and, left untreated, it can impair a child’s ability to eat, speak, sleep and learn. However, studies show more than 60 percent of school-age children do not see a dentist annually.

Start now establishing good dental habits by teaching your children to brush at least twice a day. And don’t forget to floss.  Also make sure you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and a soft-bristled toothbrush. The sooner you make these habits a priority, the sooner your child will benefit.

Contact our office – Brogdon Dental at 423-870-5698 – to set up your child’a appointment.