A is for Anxiety

Do you dread going to the Dentist? Does your palms start to sweat and your heart starts beating faster when you walk in the door?  Do you find yourself avoiding making an appointment because of your fears?  If this describes you, you are not alone.  Somewhere between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.

According to WebMD here are some of the most common reasons for dental anxiety:

  • Fear of pain. Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear usually stems from an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful or from dental “pain and horror” stories told by others. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of today’s dental procedures are considerably less painful or even pain-free.
  • Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
  • Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don’t like the numbness or “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics.
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s going on.
  • Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors.

If you suffer from any of these anxieties, the best thing you can do is talk about your fears with Dr Brogdon. He can discuss ways to make you feel less stressed and more comfortable.  Ask him to explain all he is doing, when he is doing it.  Knowing what to expect can help you relax. If you have any pain or just need to catch your breath, you might raise your hand or give him some signal to stop what he’s doing.

Dental Anxiety doesn’t have to keep you from having the best smile possible.  We are here to help.  Give us a call and set up that appointment.  Don’t be one of those 20%.

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February Heart Month

Since February is known as Heart Month is there a relationship between your oral health and your heart health?

Heart Disease is defined as cardiovascular disease, and occurs when blood vessels either narrow or become completely blocked, a condition that can lead to a heart attack, stroke or chest pain.  So what does this have to do with your Oral Health?

Recent studies show that if you have gum disease in a moderate or advanced stage, you’re at greater risk for heart disease than someone with healthy gums.

According to colgate.com, patients with chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease have the highest risk for heart disease caused by poor oral health, particularly if it remains undiagnosed and unmanaged. The bacteria that are associated with gum infection are in the mouth and can enter the blood stream, where they attach to the blood vessels and increase your risk to cardiovascular disease. 

So what should you do? Regular dental exams and good oral hygiene are two ways to protect yourself against developing gum disease. Visit our office at Brogdon Dental for regular professional teeth cleanings.  We want to keep your heart and your smile healthy as well as beautiful!

Wine – Good for your Breath?

Recent studies have shown that drinking wine may protect teeth by destroying bacteria that cause cavities, halitosis (bad breath) and periodontitis. According to DailyMail.com  Studies suggests antioxidants in wine significantly prevent bacteria that cause plaque, cavities and periodontal disease from sticking to gums.

But what kind of wine is best?   Research shows that antioxidants in red wine are more effective against plaque-causing bacteria that sticks to gum tissue, and when the bacteria is destroyed, your breath will reflect it.  Tests revealed two red wine ingredients – caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid – stopped tooth destroying bacteria from contaminating the mouth. Also red wine contains polyphenols, which can also help protect against heart disease and cancer.

Over-drinking though doesn’t have the same healthy benefits.  You should limited your consumption to one to two glasses of wine per day since too much wine can cause damage to the enamel on your teeth.

So Cheers! And remember to call Brogdon Dental for your next dental appointment.

 

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The Purpose of Mouthwash

While it should not take the place of daily brushing and flossing, mouthwash is good to add to your daily oral hygiene routine.  The benefit of using a mouthwash is that it can reach areas not easily accessed by a toothbrush.

Basically there are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic.  Cosmetic mouthwash may temporarily control bad breath and leave behind a pleasant taste. If it doesn’t contain any ingredients that can kill bacteria, it would be considered cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwashes on the other hand, contain ingredients that control or reduce conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay.

When choosing a mouthwash, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of  Approval.  Mouthwashes offer additional benefits such as reducing the risk of bad breath, cavities, or gum disease; or for relief of dry mouth or pain from oral sores

Remember, children younger than the age of 6 should not use mouthwash because of the risk of swallowing.

So use your mouthwash, either before or after brushing. Your teeth, mouth and gums will feel better for it.

Why Regular Dental Checkups are Essential

It’s important to schedule regular dental checkups. The ADA recommends that you see your dentist every six months.  During this time the dentist (or dental hygienist) will probably evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination and examine your mouth for any signs of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies.

Don’t be surprises if your dentist checks for plaque and tartar build up.  One of the reasons we have you come so often is that plaque and tartar can build up quickly if good oral hygiene is not practiced at home. This plaque can lead to gum disease.

Here is a list of some of the things the dentist will look for during your examination:

  • Examine your gums
  • Will look for signs of gum disease.
  • Check for loose teeth
  • Examine your tongue
  • Check your bite
  • Look for visual evidence of tooth decay
  • Check for broken teeth
  • Check for damaged fillings
  • Look for changes in the gums covering teeth
  • Evaluate your dental appliances
  • Check the contact between your teeth
  • Take X-rays

The trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be a bad experience.  We at Brogdon Dental want to make sure you have as enjoyable experience as possible.  Call us today to schedule your Checkup. Hopefully you will see how essential it can be.

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.

 

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Oral Health and Body Health

There is a relationship between our teeth, gum and body. Our body is considered an ecosystem and our mouth is the main entrance to it. What goes through our mouths and into our body determines many of the diseases we contract.

Each tooth is surrounded by gums that create a seal that controls the bacteria that enters our body. If we fail to take care of this seal, and allow it to be weakened, we open the door for all kinds of things to enter our bloodstream causing a myriad of problems.

teethgums

According to OraGuard, Ltd, listed below are of some diseases that we can develop as a result of bacteria entering the body through the mouth and gums:

 

  • IBS
    Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attack the friendly bacteria in your gut. And that’s when your digestive issues begin to worsen.
  • Breast cancer
    Women may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer due to lack of good oral care.
  • Prostate cancer
    Research has shown that men with indicators of periodontal disease and prostatitis have higher levels of PSA than men with only one of these conditions.
  • Diabetes
    Serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
  • Weight gain
    Oral health, diabetes, and obesity are intertwined and inflammation is at the core of  this complex interaction
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia
    Research shows gum disease bacteria lipopolysaccharides (the surface of the bacterium) in samples from people suffering from dementia and none of the people who do not have the condition.
  • Cardiovascular disease including stroke, heart attack, infective endocarditis, and thickening of the arteries
    When bacteria reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation.
  • Low birthweight and premature birth
    Periodontal health also plays a key role in a healthy pregnancy. Research suggests that pregnant women with gum disease are at higher risk for pre-term and low birth weight deliveries.
  • Bacterial pneumonia
    Bacterial infections in the chest are believed to be caused by breathing droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
    Those who had moderate to severe periodontitis had more than twice the risk of RA compared to those with mild or no periodontitis

We don’t realize how important our oral health is in relation to a healthy body, but we need to think about not only what we put in our mouths, but how we take care of our mouths, which includes our teeth and gums. Good oral health is not only brushing your teeth and visiting your dentist, but don’t forgot to do this as well.

Contact our office at Brogdon Dental to set up your cleaning today.