Posts for: October, 2016
Researchers have found that frequent recreational cannabis use -including marijuana, hashish, and hash oil- may be associated with an increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. When compared to study participants who used cannabis less regularly, those who had used it at least once a month for a year demonstrated increased indicators of mild, moderate, and severe periodontal disease.
In the report published in the Journal of Periodontology, participants who identified themselves as frequent users of recreational cannabis demonstrated an increase in periodontal pocketing. Pocket depths are critical indicators of periodontal disease, measuring the space between a tooth and surrounding tissue. Healthy attachment of gum tissue, which should fit snuggly around a tooth, measures between 1MM to 3MM in depth. Pocket depth measurements indicative of disease can range from 3MM to 5MM deep (mild periodontal disease) to more than 7MM deep (severe periodontal disease).
Periodontal disease is caused by an inflammatory reaction to a bacterial infection below the gumline, and it can lead to swelling, irritation, receding gums, and tooth loss if left untreated. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends regular flossing, brushing two minutes twice a day, and undergoing yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluations for the prevention of gum disease, which is treatable and often reversible with proper and timely care.
October is the time to celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month! Once again, the American Dental Association and the Wrigley Company have partenered to help raise the public awareness about good oral health. The National Campaign focuses on Brush, Floss, Rinse, Chew!
- Always brush two minutes, twice daily
- Make flossing a daily habit
- Use Mouthwash to freshen breath
- After eating, chew sugar-free gum to fight tooth decay
More evidence continues to surface that is related to the important connection between good oral health and the elevated risk for heart disease and stroke. Simply remembering to brush regularly, floss effectively and maintain regular dental cleanings, can significantly reduce the oral bacteria that has been associated with your heart health!
If you are like many people, you might think of your dental health as separate from your overall health. After all, most dental coverage plans are separate from your medical health coverage. However, your oral health goes far beyond being able to chew nutritious and enjoyable foods. Oral health problems may be an indicator of a variety of other health problems.
Links between Oral Health and Your Overall Health
In the late 1980s, researchers noticed a trend among patients who had recently suffered from heart attacks. As the Journal of the American Dental Association reported, they oberved that these patients were more likely to have dental cavities, inflammation around the teeth, and other forms of gum disease. Later studies found similar results. Dentists and medical doctors now recognize poor oral health as a risk factor for a variety of heart conditions, such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease.
There are even more links between dental health problems and overall health problems. Some individuals do not find out that they have Type 2 diabetes until a dentist sees that they have periodontitis. If you have diabetes, worsening periodontitis can indicate that your diabetes is not under control.
Poor oral health is also associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Futhermore, poor oral health puts you at a higher risk for respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, because harmful pathogens can enter your body through your mouth.
Keeping your teeth healthy remains important, especially as you grow older. Older adults are more prone to dental caries and other oral health problems, as well as to chronic diseases. While taking care of your oral health might not prevent a specific disease, a healthy mouth is a significant factor in your overall health.
Although most patients enjoy a cup or two of coffee throughout the day, many don't realize that coffee can be especially tough on your teeth because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, staining your pearly whites and being geerally detimental to your smile.
Coffee is one of the most poular beverages in the world, with more than 50 percent of people drinking a cup daily. In fact, it is so popular that National Coffee Day is celebrated annually every year! Although other foods and drinks such as wine, chocolate-flavored beverages, and soft drinks can all cause tooth enamel discolorations, a hot cup of coffee, however, goes one step farther: extreme temperature changes in your mouth can cause teeth to expand and contract. This thermal dynamic allows the stains to penetrate deep into the micro-cracks of your tooth enamel.
If you can't make it through the day without a cup of java, then consider the following tips to help make sure that your teeth stay in tip-top shape:
- Drink a glass of water with your coffee or rinse with water after every cup.
- Chew gum after you drink coffee.
- Enjoy your beverage with a straw.