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.

 

 

February – National Heart Month

We know that February is National Heart Month, but what you may ask, does that have to do with your teeth?  Heart disease claims over 610,000 lives each year, and is the  No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S. But did you know that a link has been found between this deadly disease and the health of your gums?

According to a 2016 study by the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, having gum disease can increase the risk of a first heart by 28%.

“Although the findings indicate a strong link between gum disease and heart disease, it’s still unclear whether one actually causes the other,” says the American Heart Association. The two conditions have some of the same risk factors, including smoking, poor nutrition and diabetes. Researchers believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the connection.

Practicing health habits can help lower your risks of both gum and heart disease.

Daily good habits such as:

  • Brushing and flossing daily to remove plaque.
  • Following healthy dietary habits by reducing sugars and starches.
  • Avoiding chewing tobacco and cigarette smoking that can destroy your gums and cause heart disease.

By just implementing a few good habits you can help your gums and teeth and also, by design, your heart.  Give us a call here at Brogdon Dental and let us give your gums an exam and see how you rate.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss -and a Fork 10

This post we will be talking about herbs and spices.  Although great taste is just one reason to use many sweet smelling herbs, did you know that spices like cinnamon, mint, parsley and thyme are packed with monoterpenes, which are a highly volatile compound that help your breath smell fresh. Also, they contain antibacterial properties that prevent cavity causing Streptococcus mutans bacteria.

Cloves are rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting infections causing tooth decay. Also their anesthetic property is associated with alleviating any tooth pain.

Chewing gums that use essential plant oils have been shown to reduce bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities.

Though the oils were used for flavor, even a small amount reduced bacteria. In fact, the original formula for Listerine was made from a blend of menthol (from mint) and thymol (from thyme).

So next time you find a spring of mint or parsley on your plate, it’s not there just for decoration. Go ahead, chew on it. It’s good for your teeth.

cakemint

 

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss – and a Fork 9

Last time we discussed foods, we talked about nuts and the benefits of eating more almonds, but today we’ll talk about something to drink… tea!  We discussed coffee before, but did you know that tea has some dental benefits too?

Not only can a cup of tea soothe your nerves, but it’s good for healthy teeth. Black or green tea is a rich source of micro nutrients that reduce gum disease and prevent cavities, according to a 2004 Rutgers University study. Researchers showed antioxidants in green tea, called catechins, reduce gum inflammation.

While some avoid tea for fear of staining teeth, black tea contains polyphenols that produce a protective film that coats and shields teeth from cavity-causing bacteria.

So sit down, brew a cup of tea, and relax. Your teeth and your nerves will thank you!

tea

One Reason for Dental Cleaning

There are many reasons to see your dentist for dental cleanings and its not just to keep your smile looking bright. One of those reasons could be your breath.

Some of the causes of bad breath include:

  • Food We Eat 
  • Infrequent Brushing and Flossing
  • Oral Diseases and Infections
  • Dry Mouth
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Medical Conditions

Some of the things you can do to prevent bad breath is to brush and floss at least two times a day, especially after a meal that contains foods that are known to cause bad breath. Also consider the use of a tongue scraper. Rinse thoroughly with water or mouthwash afterwards.

If your bad breath is caused by smoking, take steps to stop. This can also help combat periodontal disease. If you experience dry mouth, try sipping water throughout the day and during meals. Chew sugar-free gum or dissolve sugar-free candy in your mouth to help produce more saliva.

Gum, mints, mouthwashes and breath sprays are just temporary measures to mask your bad breath. Make sure that you call our office at Brogdon Dental to schedule an appointment for a complete examination of your teeth and gums and a thorough cleaning by our hygienist. We recommend you visit our office every six months for routine cleaning.

Dehydration and Oral Health

Although summer may be coming to a close, temperatures continue to soar in to the upper 90’s. The end of summer has many students heading back to school.  With the beginning of the new school year brings the start of high school athletics. Many kids will participate in practices, especially football, in the late afternoon heat after classes. The need to maintain adequate hydration is essential, especially considering the many problems it can cause. Failure to drink enough fluids before physical activity can result in serious issues.

One of the first warning signs of dehydration is dry mouth.  You may find that you have trouble swallowing, and others may notice that you have bad breath, which is one of the problems associated with a dry mouth.  If your mouth is not producing enough saliva it can become an breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria causes infections that may lead to cavities and gingivitis.

We need sufficient saliva in our mouths to wash away food debris and reduce plaque, which is why severe tooth decay and gum disease can occur if dry mouth is left untreated. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 30 percent of all tooth decay in older adults is caused by dry mouth. (www.toothwisdom.org)

Besides drinking plenty of water and brushing and flossing daily; chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugar free mints can help fight dry mouth since they stimulates saliva production. Products that contain xylitol (a sugar substitute) can actually help prevent cavities.

As the temperatures still continue to rise, keep a check on your hydration. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Experts recommend at least a gallon (eight 8-ounce glasses) of water per day. Dehydration effects every part of your body including your oral health. Keep drinking water.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss and a Fork 6

This month we will discuss number 6 in our list of 12 beneficial foods for healthier teeth and smiles, Vitamin C-Rich Fruits and Veggies. In order to build strong gum tissue, you need a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially those with a high vitamin C content.

According to research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people who consume less than 60 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day had nearly 1-1/2 times more risk of developing severe gingivitis than those who took in 180 mg a day – the same amount you’d find in a half cup of guava. 

A cup of raw broccoli or half a cantaloupe has 75 mg of vitamin C, nearly a full day’s minimum requirement for women (the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) is 85 mg for women 19 and older).

Do you smoke? Then, you’ll need 35 mg more vitamin C per day to ward off gingivitis, because cigarettes reduce vitamin C levels in the blood, according to a 2000 study by the State University of New York at Buffalo, published in the Journal of Periodontology.

melon

Vitamin C helps prevent gingivitis, which is a disease that caused gums to swell, become red and bleed and eventually leads to tooth loss. Call us at Brogdon Dental today for a check up to see if you might be suffering from gingivitis and find our what we can do to help. In the meantime, eat your melon!