Posts for tag: Prevention
Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You can choose gel forms and even some with ribbons of color and flavor. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth.
FLUORIDE. The majority of all dental patients should use toothpaste with fluoride, which helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth; making them stronger and more resistant to decay.
SENSITIVITY PROTECTION. If your teeth are sensitive to temperatures, toothpaste with sensitivity protection can work wonders for your discomfort. Ingredients in these pastes or gels work to block the pathways to the nerves that react to hot or cold.
PLAQUE, TARTAR, & GINGIVAL PROTECTION. Everyone has bacteria in his or her mouth, and this bacteria is normal. Unfortunately, some bacteria also cause plaque. If the plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens into tartar or calculus, which is the cement-like substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone.
WHITENING. White teeth are desirable, and manufacturers are heavily marketing whitening toothpastes. Most brands do not contain bleaching ingredients; instead, they use abrasives to polish stains away. Unfortunately, too much abrasive use can be damaging to your teeth.
Blood, saliva and even breath may one day be able to diagnose lung cancer, which is the number 1 cancer killer in the U.S. A primary reason why is that lung cancer is often detected at later stages than some other cancers. Lung cancer currently does not have a widespread and easy to implement screening test available compared with other cancers - think of the annual or biannual mammogram for breast cancer, routine pap smear for cervical cancer or colonoscopies for colon cancer.
New research is currently looking into developing an early screening method for lung cancer. Researchers are investigating whether body fluids other than blood may provide insight into diagnosing lung cancer at an earlier stage. The salivary diagnostics lab at UCLA School of Dentistry are analyzing molecules in saliva, including DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites and microbiota to determine whether these elements hold clues as to the individual's cancer status. Unlike the current lung biopsy, salivary diagnostics are a non-invasive, easy to use tool for patient specimen collection as well. Although more research is needed, these advances in the early diagnosis of lung cancer appear to be very promising.
In a world where everything moves so quickly and teens and young adults find themselves pulling "all-nighters" or working long hours, energy drinks have grabbed the spotlight. You will have one (or three) and suddenly you have the drive that you need to keep on going. The same can be said for sports drinks. It's common for people to have one even when they are not engaged in any strenuous physical activity, which is what they were designed for. People will drink them simply because they have grown to love the taste.
Although they might taste great and boost your energy, there's a serious down side to consuming energy and sports drinks on a steady basis. Studies have shown that these drinks contain so much acid that they start to destroy your teeth after just five days of consistent use! The acid in these drinks dissolves your tooth enamel, which can make your teeth more vulnerable to bacteria. This can progress to staining, tooth decay, and hypersensitivity.
Limiting the amount of sports and energy drinks that you consume is in your dental best interest. If you do enjoy either or both of these drinks, you should make it a habit to rinse your mouth with water immediately after consumption, and brush your teeth about an hour later, after the period when the acid has a softening effect on your enamel has passed.
Did you know that there are certain foods that you can eat which help to clean your teeth? They are known as "detergent foods." In dentistry, we look at the impact of food in three ways: the kind of food, how often it is eaten, and when it is eaten. Detergent foods should be the last piece of food you consume during a meal for the best results. Think of them as the closest you can get to brushing your teeth.
A healthy diet is important for oral health as well as overall health, but here are some particular foods that can help clean your teeth and mouth:
- Celery Sticks
As you can see, detergent foods are usually firm and crisp. They act like scrubbers on and around your teeth and gums. They also bring your mouth's pH back to 7.0, which is optimal. Always remember, these foods are not a replacement for brushing and flossing. You still need good dental hygiene regardless of what you are eating!
Many studies over the past several years have focused on the question, "Does Chronic Stress Impact Your Periodontal Health?" Since we all face stressful situations during our life, it is a good question to consider. This question also delves into the mind-body connection - the psychological having an effect on the physical and vice versa.
Studies were performed as far back as the 1940s and continue today. Many of them have shown that stress "downregulates" or hinders cellular immune response. The most common periodontal diseases related to this stress induced downregulation are gingivitis and periodontitis.
It is believed that stress and depression contribute to a state of chronic inflammation within the body. Stress also raises levels of cortisol in your body, which has been linked in studies to higher levels of tooth loss and deeper pockets between the gums and teeth.
Since Prevention is the key to so many aspects of good dental health, take a look at some things that you can do to help:
- Daily Relaxation: Taking time to relax has been proven to be effective in easing stress.
- Good Oral Hygiene: Letting your dental hygiene fall by the wayside has a detrimental effect on your oral health. You should also aim to quit smoking if you do smoke.
- Regular Dental Checkups: Getting regular checkups will help you to spot anything that's amiss before it gets out of hand.
Stress is something that affects all of us, but it can be managed. Each of us may manage it in a different way. Find out what works for you and always make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!