Posts for: April, 2018
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the entire world. Many people have a cup, or two, or even three a day. It's common to drink it in the morning to wake up and get ready for the day, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or just to catch up with a coworker or friend.
These days, there are many diffferent kinds of coffee flavors to enjoy, so it's almost impossible for a person not to like it. But as delicious as coffee can be, it's worthwhile to be aware of the effects it can have on our dental health.
Coffee contains a lot ot tannic acid, which is what causes its dark color. Tannic acid ingrains itself into the grooves of tooth enamel, and that can lead to serious stains. In addition to containing tannic acid, the fact that coffee is generally served hot makes your teeth expand and contract, which allows the stains to penetrate even farther into the enamel.
Although it's not easy to kick the caffeine habit, consider these helpful tips that can lessen the dental impact of your everyday cup of joe:
- Make it a habit to drink a glass of water with your coffee to dilute the acid.
- Try enjoying your coffee with a straw, lessening the contact with your teeth.
- Pop in a piece of gum after your coffee to help prevent a dry mouth.
Of course, if you are feeling ambitious, you might find that setting a limit on the number of cups of coffee that you have per week or even per day can also be helpful. If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!
Americans from all forms of life should mark April as National Facial Protection Month on their calendars. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pedicatric Dentistry, and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have combined forces to sponsor this annual campaign, which aims to educate and remind us of the importance of protecting our face and teeth against impacts and injuries.
Wearing a helmet can save your life and prevent devastating physical damage in a variety of situations, from playing football to riding a bicycle. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, helmets reduce the risk of various head injuries by as much as 85 percent. Although most states do not have laws that mandate the use of helmets for contact sports, we want you to make sure that you and your loved ones wear helmets with the appropriate safety ratings for specific activities. Helmets can also help save your teeth if they come with an attached faceguard, an essential addition for football players and others involved in contact sports.
PREVENTING DENTAL INJURIES
A mouthguard can protect you against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. The American Dental Association states that mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200,000 dental injuries each year, and many states now mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. The Academy for Sports Dentistry warns, however, that these mouthguards must be custom-fitted as precisely as possible to prove effective. Have a professional-quality mouthguard molded and fitted by our office for better protection than a generic store-bought or "boil-and-bite" variety can offer. These cheaper versions tend to wear out very quickly, interfere with proper breathing, and provide uneven degrees of cushion against impacts. Also, always have a fresh mouthguard fitted for each new sports season.
Choose the right combination of helmet, faceguard, and mouthguard to protect your teeth and face this April. If you have any dental questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month! We know that oral cancer can be kind of a scary topic, but it is worth using this opportunity to learn more about the disease and spread the knowledge so that everyone can increase their awareness about this type of cancer. The more that we know, the better that we can all work to prevent it!
Oral cancer is exactly what it sounds like: cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth. It could occur on the tongue, the lips, the gums, inside the cheek, or in the roof or floor of the mouth. Every year, more than 8,000 people die from oral cancer. It truly is a deadly disease.
The reason that oral cancer scores a higher death rate as compared to other cancers such as Hodgin's disease, thyroid cancer, or even skin cancer, is because it often goes undetected until it has become too advanced to treat. Unfortunately, due to the high vascularity or blood supply to the oral cavity, it can spread to other body parts more quickly if it is not treated early.
So what causes this devastating disease? There is no clear answer, but some potential causes have been identified. By being aware of these, we can be alert and promote prevention of this illness.
- AGE: Most patients who develop oral cancer are above 40. If you are over 40, make sure that your doctor checks you for the signs of oral cancer and that you stay on your dental hygiene regimen.
- TOBACCO: Excessive tobacco use, whether in the form of cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing, can be a substantial contributor and cause of oral cancer. So that is yet another reason, among many, to avoid all forms of tobacco.
- ALCOHOL: Excessive alcohl consumption can put you at risk because alcohol converts into a chemical call acetaldehyde, which damages the body's DNA and blocks cells from repairing the damage. When paired with tobacco, the dehydrating effects of alcohol make it easier for tobacco to infiltrate the mouth tissue.
- SUN EXPOSURE: Your lips ned SPF, too! Repeated sun exposure increases your risk of contracting cancer on your lips, especially the lower lip.
- DIET: Not getting all of the nutrients that you need, from vegetables and fruits for instance, can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to the disease.
Perhaps you had a particularly irritating commute from work, and then you realized at the end of the day that your jaw was clenched tight the entire ride home. Or maybe you grind your teeth when you are nervous or anxious about an upcoming business meeting or dental appointment! Most people do grind or clench their teeth from time to time, but it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic tooth grinding also known as bruxism. This condition can lead to oral health problems and dental issues later.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF BRUXISM
- Your partner might complain about the fact that you grind your teeth while you sleep. People who grind their teeth on a regular basis often do so during the night, and most individuals are not necessarily aware that it is happening.
- You may experience a persistent and unexplained headache if you grind your teeth too often. You may not even realize why you have this headache, because you are not aware of the fact that you have been grinding your teeth during your sleep. Take note of any headaches that you have, and if you cannot attribute them to another source, then it could very well be as a result of nocturnal bruxism.
- Your jaw will more than likely become sore if you suffer from bruxism. If you wake up in the morning and have any discomfort in your jaw, you might have spent the night grinding your teeth.
- Restless sleep.
While many people associate their teeth grinding with stress, it actually is caused more often by crooked teeth, an overbite, or an under bite. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to a variety of complications, including dental injuries, hearing loss, the onset of TMD, or even some insomnia. The good news is that there are treatment options that are available and affordable!