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

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!

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.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss and a Fork 4

When you think of foods that are good for your teeth and gums you probably don’t think about mushrooms. Mushrooms?  Surprisingly, mushrooms can help with plaque formation.

mushrooms

Mushrooms

When plaque lingers on teeth, it hardens and forms tartar, which leads to gum disease. Only a dental hygienist can remove tartar, but shiitake mushrooms can stop plaque from forming in the first place.

A 2000 Japanese study at Nihon University found that a sugar in shiitake mushrooms (lentinan) creates an unfriendly environment for various plaque-causing Streptococcus bacteria.

Beating plaque is as easy as adding a cup of shiitake mushrooms to a stir-fry or stew. 

Yes they are good for your teeth! Who would have known.

How are Your Gums?

Do you suffer from sore, swollen or bleeding gums? This could be a sign of a more serious condition.

According to caring.com, swollen, sore, or bleeding gums are symptoms not only of periodontal disease — in which exposure to bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth — but also a possible early sign of underlying cardiovascular disease. A 2010 study by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimated that the prevalence of periodontal disease may be underestimated by as much as 50 percent.

Can your heart be a cause of periodontal disease?

Experts believe that poor circulation due to heart disease could be an underlying cause of periodontal disease. Researchers are also studying whether a common bacteria is involved in both gum disease and plaque buildup inside coronary arteries. The link may also have something to do with the body’s response to prolonged inflammation.

A recent article in huffingtonpost.com states, “A study presented in 2011 at a meeting of the American Heart Association, for instance, showed that getting your teeth professionally cleaned even just once in your life is associated with a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke. (though the association is strongest among people who get yearly cleanings).”

If you are having problems with your gums or you are concerned about the relationship between heart disease and gum disease give Dr. Brogdon a call.  We can treat your gum disease and thus help prevent the presence of bacteria. You should consider gum disease a red flag for inflammation and circulatory problems. Ask your doctor if you need to set up an appointment with us. Your gums and your heart will thank you!

 

Healthy Gums and Your Heart?

Can brushing your teeth help save your heart?  Studies show that improved gum health can reduce the risk of harmful plaque buildup in neck arteries.

According to US News, researchers found that as people’s gum health improved, the buildup of plaque in their arteries slowed. This narrowing of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and death.

The study included 420 adults who underwent tests to assess their gum health and plaque buildup in their neck (carotid) arteries. Over a follow-up of roughly three years, improvements in gum health and a reduction in the proportion of bacteria linked with gum infection (periodontal disease) was associated with a slower rate of plaque accumulation in the neck arteries.

Gum disease-related bacteria may contribute to atherosclerosis in a number of ways. For example, animal studies suggest that these bacteria may trigger inflammation associated with atherosclerosis.

In order to reduce the risk of gum disease, daily dental care and regular visits to your dentist are recommended.  If you need to have your teeth or gums checked or if you are concerned about your heart in relation to your dental care, give Dr Brogdon a call.  Our office would be glad to set up an appointment to discuss your dental needs.

Your heart might depend on it.