Posts for: January, 2018
Although everyone knows that the mouth is full of bacteria, this invisible community of germs lives in a protective home called biofilm. This biofilm can be be found in wet places such as ponds, sewers, bathroom drains, as well as growing on metals and minerals. The type of biofilm that is found in the mouth can be either healthy or diseased! Both are composed of the same compounds, but when they combine with certain amino acids or chemicals, diseased biofilm will begin to destroy the enamel. You might notice this as a slimy yellow buildup of dental plaque on the surface of the teeth.
Biofilm takes form when free-swimming bacterial cells land on a surface and attach in a cluster. The cells begin to multiply and form a micro-colony that promotes diverse bacterial species to grow. To prevent diseased biofilm from settling in the mouth to begin with, make sure that part of your daily hygiene routine includes two minute twice daily brushing and flossing. Regular and consistent dental cleanings are also a very important part of keeping the bad bugs at bay. Although there are harmful bacteria that damage healthy tooth structures, it is essential to keep a healthy amount of biofilm in the mouth. This healthy biofilm protects the body from disease and is replicated every twenty minutes. Maintaining the proper amount of healthy biofilm also decreases the chance of the mouth producing too many harmful bacteria!
When most people think of their blood sugar, they immediately think about diabetes! And when most people think of complications of diabetes, they usually think of an increased risk of blindness, limb amputation, heart disease, and neutopathy. However, we wanted you to know that emergening research is revealing a possible connection between uncontrolled diabetes and dental problems. Whether you have type 2 diabetes or type 1, uncontrolled high blood glucose level increases the risk of certain oral health conditions including:
- TOOTH DECAY
- PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Diabetes And Proper Dental Care
If you have diabetes, it is more importance than ever to take your dental care seriously and practice excellent oral hygiene. These recommendations will help:
MANAGE YOUR DIABETES. First and foremost, it is vital to control your high blood sugar in accordance with your physician's instructions - not only for the sake of your oral health, but your overall health. With properly controlled blood sugar, you reduce the risk of developing gingivitis and oral health issues.
PRACTICE GOOD AT-HOME ORAL HYGIENE. This means brushing at least twice a day and flossing. At a minimum, brush your teeth in the morning and at night, but after meals and snacks if you can. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid injuring your gums. Don't neglect flossing, because it helps to remove plaque below the gumline and between teeth.
VISIT THE DENTIST REGULARLY. While it is important to see the dentist every six months even if you do not have diabetes, it is even more crucial to have a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam if you have diabetes. As dental professionals, our team at Thomas Family Dentistry is able to detect early dental conditions before they develop into something more serious and costly.
BE CONSCIENTIOUS ABOUT EXAMINING YOUR OWN GUMS AND TEETH. By looking for early signs of gum disease, which can include bleeding gums, irritated gums, gums that are red (verses a healthy pink), or swelling, an early diagnosis and treatment can be started immediately.
Managing diabetes takes effort, not only in watching your diet, exercising, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and taking your medication, but obtaining proper dental care. If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!
You already know that taking care of your teeth can help to prevent tooth decay and the need for extensive work such as root canals or implants, which can be inconvenient and expensive. But the benefits of good teeth can go far beyond having an attractive smile and being able to crunch carrots and chew meat.
The American Dental Association explains that healthy teeth are linked to lowering the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Futhermore, recent research published in the Bristish Journal Of Sports Medicine states that good teeth can improve athletic performance among elite athletes.
Researchers examined the oral health of nearly 300 athletes in 25 sports at the 2012 Olympics in London. They looked for conditions such as dental caries, gingivitis, dental erosion, and periodontal disease, and also asked the athletes about their recent visits to a dentist.
Study investigators also asked each athlete whether their oral health interfered with their quality of life or athletic training and performance. The study concluded that poor oral health and fewer dental visits led to an interference with the athlete's preparation for competition.
This can happen for a few reasons. Tooth pain can disrupt sleep, which leads to slower reaction times. Oral health conditions can indicate chronic inflammation in the body, which means suboptimal performances on an elite level. Tooth pain can interfere with focus during training and competition.
Unfortunately, merely taking good care of your teeth won't turn you into an Olympic gold medalist. However, the benefits can still be worthwhile. Even if healthy teeth provide little if any detectable gain in your athletic abilities, the potential benefits of maintaining a healthy mouth clearly go far beyond an attractive smile.
Although good dental health may not cause the transformation into an elite Olympic athlete, practicing good oral hygiene and seeing us regularly can promote your physical health, and maybe - just maybe - you will start to achieve an advantage over your weekend athletic opponents.
Most people know when they have a cavity...they can either see it on their tooth, or unfortunately, they feel it...OUCH! But there are certain things that many of our patients don't know about cavities that could save them a trip to Thomas Family Dentistry here in Broken Arrow, OK! Take a LOOK ...
> NOT ALL SUGARS ARE CREATED EQUAL. It's quite well known that eating dietary sugars in excess along with poor oral hygiene can lead to dental decay. This is due to the fact that the bacteria in the mouth feed on these sugars and form acids as a byproduct of that process, which in turn can disslove the protective enamel of the tooth. But did you know that Xylitol, a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn that is commonly used in sugar-free gum, actually prevents the bacteria from converting sugars into harmful acids.
> NOT WHAT YOU EAT BUT HOW YOU EAT. Did you know that "grazing," the art of contant snacking, can actually contribute to cavities and other oral health problems! Every time a carbohydrate is consumed, the bacteria in the mouth produce acid, which lowers the pH of the saliva. Constant eating does not allow the saliva to ever return to it's neutral state, which is more alkaline. It actually takes saliva about 20 minutes to neutralize the acids in the mouth after eating. So sipping on pop, lemon water, or a latte throughout the day is especially harmful! From a dental cavity risk stand point, it is always best to consume any food or drinks that contain sugar all at once and not over the course of the day.
> FLOSSING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ORIGINALLY THOUGHT. Although flossing is considered as an after thought by most patients, the toothbrush cannot actually reach many of the areas that are coated by bacteria and food debris. In fact, it is said that brushing alone does not clean about 54% of the tooth structure, mainly between the teeth and below the gumline.
> A DRY MOUTH. The mouth's best defense against cavities and tooth decay is actually the saliva! As the importance of the neutralizing effect that the saliva's pH has on cavity prevention has been previously stated, the drier the mouth, the higher the risk for tooth decay. A dry mouth can be caused by many factors like common medications and simple aging. Using a dry mouth toothpaste, sipping on water and chewing gum that contains xylitol can actually be easy ways to decrease the dryness.
> OVER-BRUSHING. If you brush like a construction worker with a jackhammer, you should ease up! Brushing too hard, especially with a firm or hard toothbrush, can actually scrape away at the enamel. Thinning the enamel increases the risk for decay. Brush lighly, with the toothbrush angled at the gumline for two minutes, twice a day. Remember the dental motto, brush longer, NOT harder!
As we begin yet another year, our team at Thomas Family Dentistry wanted to remind everyone to practice good oral hygiene to keep your smile looking its best throughout the entire year of 2018! Of course, this includes brushing and flossing on a regular basis, brushing after consuming foods that can stain your teeth, and visiting our office every six months or as recommended.
The American Dental Association also recommends the following for ideal oral health:
- Brush two minutes twice daily
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
- Floss daily to clean between your teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Limit between-meal snacks
- Maintain regular professional cleanings and exams
Finally, another great reason to smile this year comes from a recent study that has shown that smiling can actually cause you to live longer! If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!