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.

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Take your vitamins…

How many times did you hear your mother say, “Did you take your vitamins?”  I know as a kid my Mom would say this to me every morning before school as she would dole out our Flintstone vitamins. But seriously, vitamins do play a major role in our health, but did you know that certain vitamins can help with your dental health?  Doctors have found that Calcium and Vitamin D not only help your bones but can help strengthen your teeth as well.

According to WebMD… “If you’re supplementing your diet with calcium and vitamin D to prevent bone loss, you may be more likely to hang onto your pearly whites, according to a report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Toronto.”

To explore the role of supplementation on tooth retention, the researchers followed more than 140 older adults for five years. Participants took either a placebo or 500 mg of calcium plus 700 units of vitamin D daily for three years. Both during and after the trial, their teeth were examined periodically.

For those who took supplements, the likelihood of losing one or more teeth was 40% less, even two years later. Tooth loss was also linked to the number of cavities, frequency of flossing, and use of thiazide diuretics, a type of medication that helps lower blood pressure.

Adding vitamins like calcium and vitamin D to your morning regime can not only help you feel better and have stronger bones, but can help save your teeth.

Be sure not to overdo though. The recommended upper limits are 2,500 mg a day for calcium and 1,000 units a day for vitamin D. Any more than that could be toxic. Be sure to check with your doctor if you take more than the recommended amount.

And don’t forget to brush and floss daily as well. Your Mom would be proud!

 

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.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we want to remind everyone that now is the time to visit your Dentist for your regular exam. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, Approximately 48,250 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. 132 new people in the US EVERY DAY will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it.

Oral Cancer Month

An oral cancer screening is an essential part of every dental exam, and should be done at least annually according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Oral Cancer exams are:

1. Painless
2. Inexpensive
3. Non-invasive
4. Quick
5. Necessary 

When identifying potential warning signs of oral cancer, dentists are often the first ones that will notice any problems.  Generally oral screenings are perform during your routine six month dental check-up. Remember, Oral Cancer one of the fastest growing types of cancer.

Call us today at Brogdon Dental to schedule your exam with Dr. Brogdon. Don’t be one of the 48,000+ who didn’t take it seriously. Your life could depend on it.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss and a Fork 3

This month we will discuss number 3 in our list of 12 beneficial foods for healthier teeth and smiles, Beta Carotene Packed Produce.

Orange-colored vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and winter squash, are loaded with beta-carotene (vitamin A), an essential nutrient for forming strong bones, and healthy teeth and gum tissue. Diets low in these nutrients can lead to increased tooth loss, research shows. 

carrots
Meals high in simple carbohydrates, like rice and sugary foods, and low in vitamin A-rich vegetables resulted in more decay than those with fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene, according to a 2009 study of more than 20,000 Japanese dentists.

Best sources are orange-colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, papaya and squash, as well as green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.

Next time we will discuss a food that you wouldn’t think about in relation to healthy teeth, Mushrooms!  Check back to find out about the good qualities it possesses.

 

Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Floss and a Fork 2

Last month we talked about 12 beneficial foods that can help you have healthy teeth. Our first one was crunchy vegetables.  On this post we’re going to discuss number 2 in our list of foods that will help you have a healthier, happier smile.

2. Fish

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Gum disease is 20% lower in people who eat a diet rich in omega-3s, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish and linolenic acid (LNA) from plant-food sources, according to a 2010 study by Harvard researcher Asghar Z. Naqvi, MPH.

Fish are rich in DHA and EPA, while LNA rich foods include flaxseed, walnuts, pecans (whole and nut butters) and oils such as canola, hemp, pumpkin seed and extra virgin olive oil.

Because researchers asked participants to guess their intake of omega-3 foods, the actual amount of DHA, EPA and/or LNA wasn’t exact. But they concluded health benefits came primarily from diet, not supplements. Those who used supplements didn’t show any additional advantage, researchers say.

Who would think that by adding more fish to your diet you would help your teeth? So not only will your heart improve, but your gums will too!

Check back with us next month as we address colorful fruits and vegetables and how they can benefit your teeth.

 

 

September is National Gum Care Month

September is National Gum Care Month, and one of the most important steps to improving the care of your gums is recognizing the warning signs for gum disease. These can include:

  • Gums that appear red or swollen
  • Gums that feel tender
  • Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
  • Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position

If you notice any of these signs, call us to schedule an appointment. Getting a grip on gum disease early on can possibly save your teeth. Don’t delay, call today.