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.

Advertisements

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 5

February is the month for love and what better way to express your love than with Chocolate.  But isn’t chocolate bad for your teeth? Surprisingly no! In fact chocolate can be good for your teeth as the following studies show.

dark chocolate

5. Chocolate

Candy is a dentist’s nemesis, but unique properties in cocoa and its husk actually maintain healthy teeth, according to several new studies.

Cocoa extracts work as well as fluoride to strengthen teeth and protect them from decay, Japanese researchers at Osaka University discovered. But not just any chocolate will do. 

Tulane University researchers compared different types of European chocolate and found that dark chocolate, made from 70% cocoa, had the most protective effect, because it contains the most polyphenols (health-boosting compounds) to protect teeth. 

And it doesn’t take much. Study participants ate a small 15 gram (g) piece of dark chocolate (approximately 76 calories). 

The 2007 study’s lead researcher Arman Sadeghpour, Ph.D., has patented, and is producing a new peppermint-cocoa toothpaste called Theodent, which he says is an effective natural alternative to fluoride toothpaste.

The Tulane study could prove beneficial especially since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded in 2011 that Americans might be getting too much fluoride from drinking water and food sources. Too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, resulting in a permanent staining of teeth and brittle bones. (lifescripts.com)

Wow, chocolate toothpaste. That could be a new Valentine’s gift!

Need your teeth whitened as well?  Give us a call to set up your appointment. Brogdon Dental 423-870-5698.

 

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.

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.

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!