Your Gum Health is Directly Linked to Your Heart Health

Your Gum Health is Directly Linked to Your Heart HealthMore research than ever has connected a healthy mouth to a healthy heart. This supports the need for good oral health in order to prevent a host of other medical issues.

By better understanding the connection between oral and overall health, you-ll know why dental hygiene needs to be a priority in your life.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Several research studies have found a connection between gum disease and heart disease. The exact cause-and-effect hasn’t been proven, but the studies have shown that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe this may be due to inflammation caused by gum disease.

In addition to increasing heart disease risk, gum disease could exacerbate existing heart conditions. This is because bacteria in the mouth could make their way into the blood stream and travel to the heart and other organs. For example, patients at a heightened risk for infective endocarditis might require antibiotics before they undergo dental procedures.

Gum Disease and Stroke

Other studies have pointed to a connection between gum disease and stroke. One particular study looked at the relationship between oral infections and stroke risk factors. Researchers found that people diagnosed with stroke were more likely to have oral infections compared to people in the control group.

Protecting Your Gums and Heart

Good dental hygiene and regular dental exams are the best way to protect your mouth against gum disease. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily. A plaque or tartar controlled mouthwash with fluoride can also help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

In addition to caring for your teeth, regular dental appointments are crucial in order to maintain healthy gums. If it has been a while since your last appointment, give us a call today to set up your next dental cleaning.

You Need to Tell the Truth about Your Flossing When You Come to See Us

You Need to Tell the Truth about Your Flossing When You Come to See UsThe American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day, but we know that for many people, this is a challenge. That’s why some of our patients come in for their cleanings and are not completely honest about their flossing habits.

We want you to be truthful about how much you floss so that we know how to best help you.

Flossing is Critical for Good Oral Health

Flossing plays an important role in the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque builds up around the gum line and between the teeth where your toothbrush won’t reach. Failure to floss will allow bacterial buildup that can wreak havoc on your mouth.

We Can Tell if You Don’t Floss

For the most part, lying about your flossing habits is unnecessary, because we can tell whether or not you floss by the condition of your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed immediately, it turns into a substance called tartar, and this hard material cannot be removed by any type of at-home oral hygiene. We’ll need to use specialized tools to remove it.

We Can Help

Flossing is relatively easy, and we can show you how to do it so that it is painless and comfortable. If you have dexterity issues, we can recommend a pre-threaded flosser or other tools to make the process easier. Otherwise, you- simply need to wrap about 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers. Work the floss gently between the teeth in a back and forth motion and be sure to move on to a new section of floss for each space.

The next time you come in to see us for a dental cleaning, please know that you can be honest with us about your oral hygiene. We want to help you maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile, and to do that, we need an accurate picture of how you care for your teeth.

Would Veneers Improve Your Smile?

Would Veneers Improve Your Smile?Absolutely! You can use dental veneers to mask the imperfections in your teeth and achieve a much-improved smile. A smile is a big part of your life. As much as you might want to wear that smile as often as possible, dental imperfections may come in the way. Your smile should be an element of pride, but tooth imperfections may be making you embarrassed to show your teeth out. It is in this light that cosmetic dentistry came up with veneers.

Veneers allow you to get a dental transformation, enabling you to have beautiful and well-aligned teeth that match your natural features.

Veneers are made out of thin shell-like porcelain. These are crafted and customized to your perfect fit. A cosmetic dentist determines the size, shape, and color of your teeth to make the veneers appear more natural. Once prepared, the dentist carefully sticks them to the surface of your teeth, and you achieve an instant makeover.

Advantages of Veneers

Before dental veneers

Before dental veneers

After porcelain dental veneers

Dr. Shapiro created a new smile with 10 porcelain veneers

They are long lasting. If you properly maintain and care for them, your veneers can last up to 20 years or more. These dental enhancements have a non-porous surface that is resistant to chipping and scratches to ensure extended durability.

They give a natural appearance. Veneers blend so well with your natural appearance that other people cannot tell that you are wearing them. Also they are stain-resistant because of the nature of their structure. This feature allows them to retain their original color over time.

A wide range of dental imperfections can be masked using veneers. Veneers can be crafted for one tooth, multiple teeth or the entire smile. They can be used to cover up discoloration, a crack, a gap or a chip of the tooth.

As incredible as they sound, dental enhancements should only be applied to healthy teeth that are free of infections and gum disease. Your dental health should always come first. Book an appointment with us and find out if a dental enhancement is the right fit for you.

Why Your Teeth Need Vitamin D

Why Your Teeth Need Vitamin DVitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, and your body needs a good amount of it in order to function. One of the things that Vitamin D does is promote strong teeth and protect your gums and mouth against bacteria. If you have a deficiency in Vitamin D, it’s likely that you will develop cavities, gum disease, and other issues.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize exactly how vital this vitamin is to the body or what it does for your teeth.

Vitamin D and Calcium

In order to absorb enough calcium for the body to create strong bones and teeth, you have to have a good amount of Vitamin D in the body. This vitamin makes it easier for the body to absorb calcium from food and drink. If you’re deficient in Vitamin D, you’re going to only get around 10 to 15% of the calcium from your food. This can lead to increasing your risk of infection, developing osteoporosis, and other health issues in addition to having weaker teeth and having a higher risk of gum disease.

What Vitamin D Does

Unlike many different vitamins, the body doesn’t absorb Vitamin D from food. Instead, it creates Vitamin D itself. This process is activated when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Of course, you can also get Vitamin D from supplements, but the Vitamin D created by your body is more potent and easier to use.

Once created, your body transforms Vitamin D into calcitriol, its active form. Calcitriol is then circulated throughout the body and functions similar to hormones, promoting cell growth, helping to battle infection, and reducing inflammation. It helps the teeth by fighting off infection that can lead to gum disease.

Short on Vitamin D?

If you know you have a Vitamin D deficiency, your doctor likely has you on supplements. It’s also important that you make sure you make your six-month checkups and call us when you believe you have the beginnings of gum disease so we can keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

How Long After Brushing Should You Wait to Eat?

How Long After Brushing Should You Wait to Eat?There is a lot of conflicting information regarding the order in which you should brush your teeth. It is logical to think that brushing right after eating is the best thing to do because your mouth is dirty and has all these food particles between your teeth. The short answer to this common question is, it depends.

Brushing Your Teeth in the Morning

Some people brush their teeth before they even shower, as they can’t tolerate the morning breath taste in their mouth or perhaps they don’t brush their teeth before bed. It may be better for your oral health to brush first thing in the morning in this case.

Your mouth is full of bacteria that can react to certain foods, especially after the sleeping hours. Cleaning your mouth in the morning will remove the harmful elements in your saliva and adds protective fluoride before foods touch your teeth.

Should You Brush Before Bed?

Brushing your teeth before bed is essential. In many cases, you don’t have time or access to a toothbrush at work or school. This means you haven’t brushed your teeth since you left the house and you ate lunch or snacks during the day. If you get too tired at night to spend two minutes brushing your teeth, try to do it about 20 minutes after eating your last meal to give them time to recover from the acidity in the foods you had. Don’t skip brushing your teeth before bed and don’t forget to floss at least once a day.

In people with good oral health, there is no problem with eating after brushing his or her teeth. However, those who are prone to cavities should wait. There is no set time you should wait, and you can also let the taste of the toothpaste wash away before having a snack or drink.

How Kidney Function Stems from Your Oral Health

How Kidney Function Stems from Your Oral HealthIt is indisputable that your overall and oral health are intimately connected. With scientific research, the way in which people view dentistry has changed dramatically in recent years, and we now focus on our patient’s overall health.

There was a time when going to the dentist was seen as a form of torture, but with recent discoveries, we realize how important having a healthy mouth is for your general well-being.

People who suffer from kidney disease are particularly susceptible to dental infections. Something that can be easily solved in a person with good health can be a grave problem to someone with kidney issues.

Kidney Disease and Periodontal Disease

The primary function of the kidneys is to manage all the waste our body produces. When a person has a disease in these organs, their immune system is compromised, and it doesn’t fight infection as effectively as it does in a healthy individual.

Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease that has become chronic, generally due to neglect and lack of professional dental care. As the infection progresses, someone with limited kidney function won’t be able to fight off the disease as effectively.

Gum disease can also make a person more susceptible to periodontal disease because one of the common symptoms of kidney disease is bone loss, which can affect the jawbone. Teeth can become loose with a weaker jaw and could eventually fall out if the situation is not brought under control with dental treatment.

It is critical that you let us know if you have kidney disease because some of the medications we use can interact with dialysis treatment and cause more bleeding during a dental procedure. Moreover, a kidney transplant can be delayed until after treatment for gum disease, or severe tooth decay is completed. We recommend you advise your treating doctor of any dental procedure in advance.

How Telling Us About Dental Fears Can Help You Overcome Them

How Telling Us About Dental Fears Can Help You Overcome ThemFear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias, and many people suffer from this issue. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence, and your oral health doesn’t have to be jeopardized by avoiding the dentist.

The best thing that you can do to ease your dental fears is to tell your dentist about them. There are plenty of ways that we can help you to feel more comfortable throughout the process.

Let Us Help with Your Dental Fears

The foundation of any good relationship is open communication, and this is no different with your dentist. It is important that you are vocal about your anxiety, fears, and apprehensions as soon as possible. This way, you give us the chance to evaluate your situation and to create a plan of action going forward.

Tips for Easing Fear during Your Dental Exam

There are several ways that you can feel more relaxed and at ease throughout your dental appointment:

  • Bring a companion. Having a trusted friend or family member with you may make you feel more comfortable.
  • Consider sedation dentistry. A variety of sedation options are available, including nitrous oxide, oral sedation, local anesthetics, or IV sedation. Your dentist can determine if you might be a suitable candidate.
  • Use a distraction. Consider bringing in some music and headphones to keep your mind occupied throughout your exam.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Certain relaxation exercises may help you to remain calm throughout treatment. Controlled breathing is one of the best options, and mindfulness meditation may also be useful.

Regular appointments with your dentist are essential to maintain good oral health. If you are apprehensive about your upcoming appointment, please call us and let us know. We can help to ease your fears and explain how we’ll ensure your comfort in our office.

Bypassing the Myths Surrounding Root Canals is Important for Your Health

Bypassing the Myths Surrounding Root Canals is Important for Your HealthThe term “root canal” is strong enough to strike fear into many hearts and souls. Much of this fear is based on myths about the procedure.

When you bypass these myths, you’ll see just why root canals are so important for the health of your teeth and your entire body.

Myth: Root Canals Are Extremely Painful

One of the biggest myths about root canals is that they are extremely painful. Pain and root canals are often associated but the connection is usually incorrect Painful teeth are more often made comfortable with a root canal. Dentists often make people feel better.

This is also one of the reasons that so many people dread the procedure. In reality, the pain level associated with a root canal is no more than that of a typical filling. Advances in sedation dentistry will further improve your comfort level, so there is nothing to fear.

Myth: It is Better to Remove the Tooth

Sure, there are times when removing a tooth is the only possible option, but it should always be the last resort. Extraction leaves an empty space in your mouth, and if you don’t fill it with an implant, bridge, or another restoration, you are asking for long-term problems. Your teeth might shift and you will likely suffer jawbone loss. It is always better to try and save your existing teeth.

Myth: Root Canals Always Fail

Root canals are a highly successful and long-lasting procedure. Most of them encounter no issues and the treated teeth can last a lifetime. There are always exceptions to that rule, though, and there are times when a root canal may need to be repeated.

The nerve root branches off into many tiny little hallways, and if one is missed, the infection may remain. A repeat root canal may be required, but again, this is rare and certainly not the norm. The key to success is being treated by competent dentists.

Do you have questions about your upcoming root canal, or do you simply want to learn more about the process? If so, please give our office a call today.

Best Vegetable Snacks for the Cleanest Teeth

vegetables that clean teethVegetables are widely known to be healthy food items that can offer you a wide range of benefits, from helping you lose or manage your weight to increased heart health, reduced cholesterol, increase immunity, and more.

But, did you know that vegetables are also good for your oral health? Snacking on various veggies can help to keep your teeth clean, strong, and healthy. Below is a look at some of these veggies.

Carrots

Carrots are among the most nutritious foods. Among the many health benefits of carrots, they contain keratin, which helps to fight tooth decay, thus keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Carrots also act like a toothbrush when you snack on them. The fiber of carrots, when mixed with saliva, polishes away food particles stuck in your teeth, as well as oral bacteria.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, lettuce, mustard green, asparagus, and cabbage are other types of vegetables that act as natural toothbrushes. These vegetables have a high-fiber content, which, when mixed with saliva, washes away the dental plaque and the food particles stuck in your oral cavity.

In addition to cleaning your teeth, these vegetables contain various nutrients, for example, vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and others, which help to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Celery

Celery is another healthy vegetable that offers numerous oral health benefits. It contains a lot of fiber, which helps to wash away plaque and food particles stuck in your teeth. It is also very watery and thus helps to fight dry mouth. The extra chewing required when eating celery (due to its high fiber content) also helps to increase the production of saliva in your mouth.

Raw Onions

Research studies have shown that raw onions are very useful in fighting bacteria that cause bad breath. Therefore, adding a few slices of raw onions to your vegetable salad or sandwich can help to keep oral bacteria at bay. Of course, after you finish your snack, you will need to brush your teeth or chew some mints, else you will end up with bad breath – exactly what you were trying to avoid.

In addition to observing proper oral hygiene, you can keep your oral cavity clean, fresh, and healthy using various natural remedies. Get in touch with us to find out more natural ways to improve your oral health.

Best Things to Drink for Optimal Oral Health

Best Things to Drink for Optimal Oral HealthDuring the hot summer months, it is important to stay hydrated while also considering which beverages are best for your oral health.

Acidic and overly sweet drinks can cause some major damage to your teeth and gums, especially with prolonged consumption.

Read on to find out what beverages might actually improve your oral health.

Water

Water is the best possible beverage for your body – for your teeth and for the rest of your system. Water will help to wash away bacteria, food particles, and acid from the teeth before they have a chance to damage the enamel. Water is also free of sugar, which makes it a good substitute for soda or other sweetened drinks that wreak havoc on the teeth.

Green Tea

Tea – specifically green tea – is another great option for your mouth. Unlike acidic beverages, green tea does not offer any erosive effects, and it also works wonders on control bacteria levels in the mouth. This will ultimately lower dental plaque and salivary acidity. The results will be a reduced risk for cavity and tooth decay.

In addition to preventing against decay, green tea offers many other helpful benefits to the mouth. This tea kills off microbes that may lead to bad breath, and it can also reduce inflammation in the gums that leads to periodontal disease. Additionally, some studies have found a connection between green tea and reduced oral cancer risk.

Milk

Calcium is incredibly important for the health of your teeth, specifically the enamel. Milk is a major source of calcium, making it a great drink to maintain strong, healthy teeth. Milk also contains an important protein known as caseins, which create a protective film over the enamel, enhancing the decay-resistant ability of the teeth.

Are you interested in other ways that you can improve your oral health? Call us today to set up your next appointment.