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.

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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!

October National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month.  Two things important to good dental hygiene is brushing and flossing. Today we will focus on brushing.

According to American Dental Hygienists’ Association

Research shows that brushing for two minutes is the single most important method for reducing plaque and preventing cavities, gingivitis and other plaque-related diseases. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is crucial to maintaining healthy smiles. Proper brushing technique cleans teeth and gums effectively.

Knowyourteeth.com has some easy techniques for you to follow while brushing…

Place a toothbrush (soft, rounded, multi-tufted brush) beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and between teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.

REMEMBER:

Always brush two minutes, two times a day, every day! 2x 2x 1 = Good Dental Hygiene

How Important is Flossing?

Every  time you go to the dentist you probably hear about the importance of  flossing.  At Brogdon Dental our hygienist will probably mention it, and Dr. Brogdon will too. We can’t ignore the fact that  flossing is an important component of good oral health.

Yet, people don’t floss. Or, at least, lots of folks don’t. The range  of people who report flossing on a daily basis is somewhere between  10-30%, depending on who you ask. That’s a pretty low percentage. There are plenty of reasons that people give for not flossing, but here are a few good reasons you should:

  • Brushing cleans about 70% of the surface of your teeth. That leaves 30% not being cleaned if you don’t floss.
  • Flossing  prevents tooth decay. There is no doubt, it is proven fact. Cleaning  between the teeth removes bits of food, prevents plaque buildup and  prevents decay.
  • Bad breath is usually preventable, and flossing helps prevent it.
  • Gingivitis can be painful and can lead to worse conditions. Flossing helps prevent it.
  • You only get one set of teeth. Okay, you really get two, but you should still take care of them!

There  are many more options available for flossing than there were even a few  years ago. Experiment and find a method of flossing that you are  comfortable with. Try to incorporate it into your routine at the same  time everyday. Flossing is quick, inexpensive and one of the best things  you can do to keep your teeth healthy.

If you have any questions about flossing, ask Dr. Brogdon or the hygienist on your next visit. You’ll be glad you did!

New Technology, LANAP and Periodontal Disease

What is Periodontal Disease?

It’s an infection of the gums. It starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form calculus or tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria which attack the soft tissue around the gums. This early stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. Symptoms include red swollen gums, bleeding, bad breath and, sometimes, an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis. At this severe stage, bacteria destroy both the gums and the supporting bone structural Pockets form where teeth are separated from the gums and surrounding bones. Left untreated, Periodontitis eventually results in tooth loss.

Many people suffer from Periodontal Disease.  One of the best ways to treat Periodontal Disease is the LANAP Procedure. At Brogdon Dental we use the latest technology to provide for your dental needs. 

What’s the best way to treat Periodontal Disease?
LANAP® surgical laser protocol alternative to gum surgery, is a less painful, less traumatic way to treat periodontal disease at any stage.

WHY IS THE LANAP® PROCEDURE better for the treatment of gum disease?

The LANAP® Procedure is about as easy as erasing a blackboard — there’s no cutting and no suturing.  There’s much less discomfort with the LANAP® Protocol than with standard surgery — during and after the procedure. It takes less time than traditional surgery. All it takes is two 2-hour visits to the dentist and two follow up visits. Traditional surgery requires four sessions of about one hour each, with subsequent visits for suture removal and additional check-ups. LANAP® gives better, longer-lasting results. In fact, 98% of LANAP® treated patients remain stable after five years.

We recommend a soft diet for a day or two, and common sense should prevail, but in most cases, patients feel good enough to eat anything they want right after the procedure. Following traditional surgery, recovery can take between to 2-4 weeks during which patients can experience considerable pain and swelling, where they may be restricted to liquid or soft diets. There’s less than 24 hour recovery period, so you won’t lose time from work.

The LANAP® Procedure is safe for patients with health concerns such as diabetes, HIV, hemophilia, or those taking medications such as Plavix or aspirin.

Call us today to schedule an appointment.