Periodontal health, which refers to the condition of the structures that support your teeth, is an important part of your oral and overall health. However, periodontal health becomes even more important when you are pregnant. Bad oral heath can have detrimental effects on the health of your unborn child that can lead to low-birth weight babies as well as to giving birth pre-term.
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a set of chronic, bacteria-induced, inflammatory diseases that attack the gum tissue and in more severe cases, the bones that support your teeth. Early signs of gum disease include tenderness, swelling, and redness. Symptoms can also include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, receding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. These signs should definitely not be ignored, especially if you are pregnant!
Of course, as in all of dentistry, prevention is the key!
- Brush your teeth properly for two minutes twice daily.
- Floss daily.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash.
- Maintain regular dental checkups.
The use of Vaping devices has been on the increase in the past few years. Even though most patients feel that vaping is a much safer alternative to use than smoking tobacco, recent research has been released that further elevates the concern that Vaping, like tobacoo use, has some important adverse side effects.
Although it has long been known that tobacco use decreases the body's ability to heal, a recent report that was just released in October 2018, indicates that vaping interfers with wound healing as well! This research was published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery by Boston University researchers. Dr. Jeff Speigel, who is the chief of facial plastic surgery at the Boston Medical Center, stated that based on their recent findings, "e-cigarettes are NOT a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as it relates to timely wound healing." Smoking and vaping both appear to be equally deterimental to wound healing and are associated with a statisically significant increase in tissue death! These new findings are more evidence that continued research of the long term use of vaping is needed. One can only think to intuitively draw a conclusion that since post operative dental procedures that require tissue healing, such as oral surgery, gum surgery, or even implant placement, could be negatively impacted by patients that currently vape!
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.
According to a recent study, people with big smiles may actually live longer than those who don't! It has been known for quite some time that positive emotions have been linked to both physical and mental health. Researchers looked at photos of 230 ball-players who began their careers in baseball prior to 1950 and studied their smile intensity (ranging from a big smile, no smile, or a partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred from 2006 through 2009. The researchers then took into account other factors that impact longevity, including body mass, career length and even college attendance.
THE RESULTS. Researchers found that the players who were not smiling in the photos died at the average age of 72.9 years. While players with partial smiles lived to be 75, those with big smiles, however, lived on average to be 79.9 years old!
What can we learn from the study? Smile now, smile often and you might just live longer! If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment to give you a reason to brighten your smile, call our office at 918-455-0123!
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.
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