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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Healthy Gums – Healthy Heart

Did you know that brushing and flossing your teeth can help you avoid heart disease? Having clean teeth and healthy gums could reduce your chances of atherosclerosis.

So how does bacteria in your mouth affect your heart? The bacteria could possible enter the bloodstream through your gums, traveling to the rest of the body.  This bacteria could create inflammation, resulting in the clogging of arteries.

According to WebMD,

Gingivitis is an infection of the gums usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Gums become inflamed, swollen, and bleed. Bacteria within plaque (which forms on teeth) lead to chronic inflammation of the gum line and tooth loss. Chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Every day, an estimated 2,600 people in the U.S. die of heart disease, says the American Heart Association. That’s an average of one death every 34 seconds. Every 45 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke – or about 700,000 people this year.

Heart attack and stroke can strike anyone. Each year, heart disease kills 150,000 people younger than 65, says the AHA.

There are lots of ways to prevent heart disease. Diet, exercise, handling stress better, and keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control are all good. Brushing and flossing are not a substitute for these measures, but they are two of the simplest things you can do to help your heart.  If you haven’t had your teeth cleaned in the last 6 months you need to call us at Brogdon Dental to set up an appointment.

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.

 

National Children’s Dental Health Month

Each February, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Helping your children develop good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits will give them a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

According to the National Education Association (NEA):

Reports show that American students miss 51 million hours of school every year because of oral health problems. And students who are absent miss critical instruction time—especially in early grades where reading skills are an important focus and the building blocks of future learning. And students who have experienced recent oral health pain are four times more likely to have lower grade point averages than their counterparts who have not.

Educating parents to help their children with their oral health is important.  Parents are recommended having their children brush 2 times for 2 minutes per day.  Also to further help their children, the NEA encourages them to read for 20 minutes as a way of building good oral health and literacy habits.  Not only for your children, but parents can also participate by brushing 2 + 2 and reading 20.  By showing your child you are willing to do this, you help them promote good oral health and literacy skills.

Pregnancy and your Teeth

Did you know that maintaining healthy teeth is an important part of a healthy pregnancy?  Routine brushing and flossing, as well as seeing your dentist during pregnancy may decrease the chance of complications during your pregnancy,

According to Medical News Today..

Research has indicated that women with periodontal disease may be at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such giving birth to a pre-term or low-birth weight baby, reports the AAP and EFP.  Several research studies have suggested that women with periodontal disease may be more likely to deliver babies prematurely or with low-birth weight than mothers with healthy gums.

In addition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently released a statement encouraging pregnant women to sustain their oral health and recommended regular dental cleanings during pregnancy.

It’s important to maintain your regular dental appointments and not forget to keep your teeth at their best.  As an expectant mother, by taking care of your health, you also help insure the health of your unborn baby.  Call us today at Brogdon Dental to schedule your bi-annual cleaning.

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