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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Toothpaste in History

Last time we discussed the history of the toothbrush, but have you ever wondered about the toothpaste you use?  Apparently toothpaste has been around for a long time in some shape or fashion, longer in fact than the toothbrush. The first formula for toothpaste was created by, you guess it, the Egyptians, in 5000 BC.  A concoction made up of crushed rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers and pepper, were mixed together which created a powder, when mixed with water, was used in cleaning teeth. Also a power of crusted oyster shells and bones was often used. But let’s not forget the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used a powder made up of ashes of ox hooves and burned eggshells and added more flavoring to help with bad breath, as well as powdered charcoal and bark.

According to spearseducation.com, here are some important dates in the history of toothpaste:

1780: People were known to scrub their teeth with a powder that was made up of mainly burnt bread. That’s right – what a lot of us eat for breakfast was once considered an effective solution for clean and healthy teeth.

1824: A dentist named Peabody added soap to toothpaste for added cleanliness. Soap was later replaced by sodium lauryn sulfate to create a smooth paste.

1873: The first commercially produced, nice-smelling toothpaste was launched by Colgate and sold in a jar.

1892: Dr. Washington Sheffield is the first person to put toothpaste in a collapsible tube. It has been suggested that this version of toothpaste is the most similar to today’s version.

1914:  Fluoride is added to toothpastes after discovering it significantly decreased dental cavities.

1975: Herbal toothpastes, such as Tom’s, becomes available as an alternative to cleaning teeth without fluoride. These toothpastes include ingredients like peppermint oil, myrrh and plant extracts.

1987: Edible toothpaste is invented. What is mainly used by children just learning to brush their teeth was actually invented by NASA so astronauts could brush their teeth without spitting into a zero-gravity abyss.

1989: Rembrandt invented the first toothpaste that claimed to whiten and brighten your smile.

The toothpastes we find today typically contain fluoride, coloring, flavoring, sweetener, as well as ingredients that make the toothpaste a smooth paste, foam and stay moist. Toothpaste in a tube, is used throughout the world.

Maybe it’s taken 5000 years, but dental care has improved as well as the taste of your toothpaste.

Have a cuppa and smile!

We’ve all heard about the benefits of a cup of coffee.  Things like protecting your liver, reducing the risks of heart disease, cancer and diabetes are well known but did you know that coffee can also help your teeth by preventing bone loss in the jaw and may help to protect your gums? If you drink coffee in moderation, the nutritional benefits can outweigh the bad such as tooth staining.

You should limit your intake to less than 5 cups of coffee a day, since more than this can over stimulate you and may interfere with your sleep.

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If you are worried about staining, try drinking or rinsing your mouth out with water after your coffee. As with any acidic drinks that can soften the enamel, do not brush your teeth right after your coffee but wait about 30 minutes so the enamel on your teeth can harden again.

So don’t give up that morning joe! Just remember, no more than 5 cups and drink water or rinse after your coffee.  For more information about teeth whitening, call Brogdon Dental at 423.870.5698 to see what we recommend or to schedule a consultation.

The Heart of the Matter

Since February is National Heart Month, we wanted to review the relationship between heart disease and gum disease.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in North America and gum disease affects 46 percent of the population.  Gum disease, also known as Gingivitis or Periodontitis, is caused by bacteria that grows on the teeth under the gums. Studies show that patients with gum disease are at a higher risk for heart disease.

According to Science Daily, A University of Florida study shows that the same bacteria that cause gum disease also promotes heart disease — a discovery that could change the way heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Understanding the importance of treating gum disease in patients with heart disease will lead to future studies and recommendations for careful attention to oral health in order to protect patients against heart disease

Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day is recommended. Teeth should be professionally cleaned every six months.

At Brogdon Dental, we want to protect your smile as well as your heart.  Make your appointment today for your teeth cleaning. Your heart and your family will thank you.

Cracked or Crumbling Teeth

Have you noticed your teeth cracking or do they seem to be crumbling?  Older adults seem to be vulnerable to teeth that appear to be cracking or crumbling away. The enamel becomes thin and almost translucent. But this erosion isn’t necessarily a normal consequence of aging. In fact, it can happen at any age.

This condition can be caused by acid coming up from the stomach and dissolving your teeth. The cause of this is know as GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called acid reflux disease). GERD causes stomach acid to back up into the esophagus — and from there, it’s a short distance to the mouth for some of the damaging acid. GERD is a chronic disorder caused by damage or other changes to the natural barrier between the stomach and the esophagus.

You may also experience dry mouth and or heartburn, as these are also symptoms of GERD. Cracked or chipped teeth in a younger person can be a sign of bulimia, an eating disorder in which stomach acids can wash over the teeth and over time destroys the enamel.

If you think you may be suffering from cracked or crumbling teeth and you’re not sure why, give us a call.  We can help determine what your problems is and if we can help. Don’t suffer from tooth loss if there is something that can be done.

 

 
 
 

Dental Bonding

You may ask, “What can bonding do for me?”  Bonding can quickly fill in ugly gaps between teeth and repair chips and cracks. It is called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth.

According to colgate.com …

Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth.

Sometimes, bonding also is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.

Dr. Brogdon uses dental bonding to sculpt individual teeth with a special tooth-like material that looks, acts and feels like the real thing. If you feel you are a candidate for dental bonding or want to find out more information, give us a call and we can set up an appointment to discuss your questions.

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Is too much Candy a Treat or a Trick?

With Halloween happening this evening, many children will be going through their neighborhoods, going door to door chanting the words, “Trick or Treat”. Of course, they expect a treat, but how good are these treats for their teeth and are there some candies better than others?

The real problem isn’t so much the amount of sugar, but the streptococcus bacteria in our mouths that  feed on it. When this bacteria feeds on the sugary tidbits lodged in your teeth, they excrete acids that eat away at your tooth enamel.  That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth after eating candy.

If you must eat candy, there are some better than others.

  • Sugar-free Lollipops and Hard Candies and Sugar Free Chewing Gum: These act in similar ways by stimulating saliva, which prevents dry mouth. A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities. Also chewing sugar free gum containing the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol reduces cavities.
  • Dark Chocolate: Even though there is a lot of sugar in chocolate, dark chocolate has been shown to have antioxidants, which are good for your heath.  Just remember to eat in moderation.

Bad candies to avoid include:

  • Snacks high in sugar such as cake, cookies and candy corn.
  • Chewy sticky sweets such as gummy bears, taffy and caramels that can get stuck between your teeth.
  • Sour candies. Candies high in acid can break down tooth enamel.

One good thing to remember is that saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. After eating acidic foods, wait around 20 minutes before brushing to allow the natural acting saliva to do its thing, otherwise you might cause more damage by brushing acid onto tooth surfaces.

Candy can be a treat if you choose the right kind, and limit the bad ones.