P is for Plaque

Plaque is defined as a soft, sticky, thin layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth.  Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth when you eat or drink foods and beverages that contain sugars or starches.

Because the plaque is so sticky, it remains on your teeth, breaking down the enamel and leading to tooth decay.  Plaque can also lead to gum disease.  Studies have even found that people with gum disease are more likely to also have poor heart health leading to heart attacks. Researchers have found that gum disease can raise the risk of dementia later in life as well.

In order to keep plaque under control, you need to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.  Also it is important to have your teeth cleaned by your dentist on a regular basis.  Call us at Brogdon Dental to set up your cleaning schedule. Your teeth depend in it!

 

 

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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.

 

 

D is for Diabetes

So what does diabetes or being a diabetic have to do with your teeth? Plenty!  Almost 30 million in the United States alone suffer from diabetes.  It affects your your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body.

But what about your teeth? You have millions of tiny bacteria that live in your mouth and affect your teeth and gums.  This could result in Periodontal disease, which an inflammatory disease that, left unchecked, can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones.

Periodontal disease is one of the more common dental diseases affecting diabetics. Nearly 22% of those diagnosed with diabetes suffer from this gum disease as well. As we age, poor blood sugar control can increase the risk for gum problems. And as with all infections, serious gum disease can cause blood sugar to rise.

So what can you do to prevent this?  Regular visits to your dentist are important.  Research has shown that treating gum disease can help in controlling blood sugar. Practicing good oral hygiene and having cleanings done at your dental office can even help in lowering your A1C numbers.

DiabetesBoxInfo

According to the American Dental Association, here are some things you can do for a healthier smile:

  • Control your blood sugar levels. Use your diabetes-related medications as directed, changing to a healthier diet and even exercising more can help. Good blood sugar control will also help your body fight any bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth and help relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • If you wear any type of denture, clean it each day.
  • Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and clean between your daily.
  • See your dentist for regular checkups. 

If you suffer from diabetes and haven’t seen us lately, give us a call at 423-870-5698 or email us at brogdondentalpc@gmail comWe are here to help.

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%.

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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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.