Eliminate Food Related Sensitive Teeth

Eliminate Food Related Sensitive Teeth

A long history of enduring sensitive teeth doesn’t mean a lifetime. Minimize sensitive teeth related to food.

1.)  Chew Gum

Reduce sensitive teeth by chewing gum (sugarless of course). Chewing a stick of gum’s a great way to keep saliva flowing. Chewing creates ample saliva helping prevent periodontal disease (gum disease). The benefits of chewing gum are particularly measurable in the initial thirty minutes immediately after a meal. When you chew gum it increases salivary flow, helping to wash away debris and bacteria that may be stuck to teeth. Gum that contains xylitol can also aid in remineralizing enamel.

2.) Eat Fewer Processed Foods, Especially Starchy Carbs

We all know the dangers associated with sugar filled snacks and juices. Sugar wreaks havoc on teeth. Surprisingly, crackers, chips, cereal and other starchy snack foods can be just as detrimental as sugary snacks. Starches readily convert to usable sugars when consumed by the bacterial colonies in your mouth.  Brushing after starchy snacks, even chewing gum can reduce the particles left behind. This keeps acids excreted by bacteria to a minimum, preventing periodontal disease and decay.

3.)  Get Your Teeth Cleaned by a Professional

It’s not enough to just brush and floss in order to protect your teeth from the threat of decay and periodontal disease. Eliminating sensitive teeth takes an all over approach. For optimal conditions you need to have your teeth cleaned. In the chair–the dentist chair–where your dentist and their hygienist can inspect each tooth and surrounding gum tissue for potential problems.

While in the chair your teeth will be scaled (scraping off all tartar, stains, and plaque) with special tools designed especially for each tooth.  Your tooth will even get scaled below the gum line. Plaque and tartar may be accumulating out of sight, initiating periodontal disease. After your teeth have been scaled they will then be polished. Polishing the teeth at the end of the cleaning is the step that gives you that slippery feeling on your teeth. Did you know when your teeth get polished it removes all microscopic abrasions and scratches? Places where bacteria might be able to get a foothold. That leaves teeth smooth and strong.

4.) Get Enough Sleep

Second only to smoking, studies show sleep is the next biggest factor in worsening periodontal disease.  Our schedules are busier now than ever before. Often there are more demands for our time than we can accommodate. Lack of sleep has been shown to affect how rapidly we age. lack of sleep affects how readily our immune system respond. Sleep even effects our response times while driving or reacting to physical demands.

Now scientific studies also conclude that periodontal disease gets measurably worse in patients who routinely get six or less hours of sleep per night. In the same studies, those patients who increased their nightly sleep up to seven or more hours saw a dramatic decrease in the spread of periodontal disease.

Poor gum health, from gum disease, can stimulate nerves in teeth inducing sensitive teeth.

5.) CoQ10–Proper Vitamins and Nutrition

Naturally, the first line of defense against all forms of gum disease is proper dental hygiene, including brushing twice daily, flossing once a day plus routine professional cleanings. Good oral health also requires proper nutrition. Supplements and nutrients that are known to work to boost the immune system. They also build collagen in the periodontal ligaments, and decrease inflammation. This helps to stop gum disease before it gets started – and helps to heal gum disease. One of the most researched and highly recommended supplements for fighting gum disease is CoQ-10.

In Recent studies CoQ-10 was given in a blind study in which candidates with significant gum disease (periodontal disease) were chosen after aggressive brushing and flossing had no measurable impact. Those patients receiving the CoQ-10 had measurable and sustained improvement from their periodontal disease, in many of the patient’s gum disease completely resolved after only 8 weeks of therapy.

There are a number of choices when choosing the CoQ-10 that is right for you. Learn about your options and choose wisely.

Give us a call today.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (713) 785-7767
Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

The Fluoride Debate

The Fluoride Debate:  To Use Fluoride Or Not To Use Fluoride

Beautiful and healthy smiles may not be dependant on fluoride use.

The Debate: Beautiful and healthy smiles may not be dependant on fluoride use.

You can find a professional opinion at every turn regarding the argument: To Fluoride or Not To Fluoride. The topic “to use fluoride” or “not to use fluoride” should be less confusing.  One simple answer.  A nice and neat, black and white answer is what we need.  Historically, in science, black and white are not something easily come by.  Currently the ongoing argument finds dentist on the defense weather they are pro fluoride or anti-fluoride.

Why The Debate?

Fluoride has been a staple of the American dental regimine and dentist recommendations since the 1950’s. You don’t have to look long, or hard to see why that protocol fell into place. Communities with naturally fluoridated water supplies had drastically lower rates of decay, sometimes as low as 30% lower than non fluoridated communities. Enter fluoride’s stampede into the american household. Fluoride found it’s way into toothpaste, mouthwash, baby vitamins, and municipal water supplies across the country.  Today more than two thirds of americans are currently receiving artificially fluoridated water at their faucet. Additionally some of their foods, toothpaste, many mouthwashes and supplements can contain fluoride.

Naturally occurring fluoride is a mineral called calcium fluoride, found in various places around the world it readily absorbs into ground water in trace amounts.  Communities with naturally occurring calcium fluoride, a mineral found in various regions around the world, have consistently demonstrated lower incidence of tooth decay so the argument seemed sound.  Except that the fluoride added to municipal water supplies all around the country is not naturally occurring calcium fluoride.

Municipal water that is fluoridated today essentially is an chemical waste product. The entire argument for the use of fluoride is based on studies in communities with naturally occurring mineral deposits of calcium fluoride. Recent studies from communities with artificially fluoridated water have not been able to backup or substantiate the original findings of reduced dental decay and cavity incident.

Fluoride is a Toxin

Many Americans are aware that fluoride is a toxin, yet somehow we look past the fact that a tube of toothpaste easily contains enough fluoride to kill a small child. As consumers we’ve educated ourselves about all kinds of toxins that find their way into our bodies, even switching out the containers in our homes to eradicate exposure to BPA’s and other known chemicals with potential to harm.

Fluoride is not an unknown. Science has linked fluoride exposure to cancer, complications with diabetes, dementia, arthritis, mental defects, alzheimer’s, birth defects and a whole myriad of other complications. Still we have not eliminated or reduced our exposure, our children’s exposure or the eventual overload to the environment to the toxins of fluoride.

Since fluoride is nearly impossible to filter out of water the best option to reduce exposure is to get it out of toothpaste and mouthwash products in your home. There are alternatives that are very effective, maybe more so than fluoride, at remineralizing enamel and strengthening teeth. In essence fluoride only effectively works topically, unless teeth are still forming below the gum line, otherwise ingesting fluoride serves no purpose and, in fact, is toxic.

In the long list of everyday things people come into contact with that are toxic, potentially even deadly, fluoride should not be overlooked or separated out from worst offenders. Fluoride hurts people.  In many cases it is forced on us through regimented doses in public water systems.

Alternatives to Fluoride

There are ways to help ensure tooth enamel stays strong and resilient while avoiding fluoride products. Individuals may focus on foods that are especially good at remineralizing teeth, eliminate specific foods that soften and wear out enamel and use products like xylitol that have shown potential in remineralizing and protecting enamel. These are just a few of the options when it comes to eliminating a toxic substance and continuing to protect your teeth and overall health.

Contact our office for products and information about alternatives to fluoride.

Can Stress Contribute to Periodontal Disease?

Evaluate the Level of Stress in Your Life

Stress and having a calendar too full of necessary commitments seem the norm in our modern-day busy lives. The likelihood that our lives will slow down or become less cluttered with appointments, work, social obligations, and the day to day maintenance of our homes, our personal and our professional lives looks unlikely. Through a careful balancing act (and occasional mad scramble) most of the time people manage to get it all accomplished. Not without cost though, they sacrifice sleep, health and sometimes a little bit of sanity.

Everyone knows there is a physical and mental and physical price to pay for maintaining high levels of stress. People sacrifice their time to exercise, their attention to diet, and regularly give up hours of sleep to keep up with the demands of a busy and productive life. All of which compromise their ability to handle more stress. In other terms, everyone has their breaking point, functioning and performing does not indicate that your health is not being compromised.  One of the factors relating to stress that has often been speculated on but not previously proven through research, until now, periodontal disease as it related to stress has been evaluated in several recent studies.

The Research Indicates

As with everything else, stress can have a negative impact on overall oral health. A six week study conducted on a college campus found twice as many plaque deposits in medical students involved in a major academic exam in comparison to an equal number of students not involved in preparation for a major exam. Several mitigating factors seem to contribute to the overall decline of their oral health: sleep, diet, oral hygiene and regular exercise. In that order.

In Fact a 2007 study at another university found that the only lifestyle factor that had a larger negative impact on oral health than sleep was smoking.  A variety of factors have been analyzed for potential influence on periodontal disease and oral health, even the number of hours a person works and if they eat breakfast have been studied. The leading lifestyle factor, smoking, was followed next by lack of proper sleep, surprisingly a bigger factor than alcohol consumption and diet, though the study did conclusively link stress and alcohol to a measurable impact on the progression of periodontal disease.

Not getting adequate sleep seems to go hand in hand with maintaining higher levels of functioning stress and busier lives. In corresponding follow up studies, improved sleep (a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night) had a direct correlation with improved and diminished periodontal disease.

Science has established that damage from high levels of stress throughout life accumulate over time and accelerate aging on a cellular level. This damage and aging not only affects our ability to maintain a healthy glow and slow the progression of things like wrinkles but also ages our smile weakens our immune system and gives a foothold to chronic processes like periodontal disease. A new Study from UCSF demonstrated that cellular aging was diminished in participants who had good quality sleep, healthy diets, and active lives despite stresses that occurred in their lives.

To the Rescue

There are no magic fixes, no secret recipe to untangling an over hectic and stressed out life, using a “Good, Better, Best” scale can help people become conscience of what they have choices over and where there may be some flexibility. There are a number of other healthy options that can kick start an effort towards reducing and better managing the effects of stress, all of which won’t take any extra time, even if it adds to the “to-do” list.

Remember that it helps to manage the effects of stress when we consume adequate amounts of water (to promote adequate saliva production). Saliva, as you know, protects teeth and keep bacteria from being able to adhere to teeth and gums. Busy people sometimes forget or neglect drinking enough water. Chewing sugarless gum can also help stimulate saliva during a busy day as can eating crunchy fruits like apples.

Increasing physical activity and getting a healthy amount of sleep greatly improves the bodies ability to repair, regenerate and restore all the way down to a cellular level. Since our lives look to remain stress filled, finding time to let your body both recover and remain strong are imperative to overall health both in your mouth and your body.

People can take some supplements that have also have demonstrated a usefulness in promoting healthy gums and teeth, one of which is CoQ-10. Studies demonstrate a link to it and improved and reversed periodontal disease.

We are all doing the best balancing act we are capable of. Don’t forget to schedule in an appointment with your dentist to ensure your mouth stays healthy and your teeth strong. Call our team today for appointments.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (713) 785-7767
Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

Your Strongest Smile (Part 2)

In Part 2 of Your Strongest Smile we will be talking about supplements or nutrients that have the largest impact on your pearly whites, a quick refresher on some foods that seem healthy but actually hurt your teeth, and a few other interestingly easy things you need to start doing (if you’re not already) to prevent periodontal disease and decay giving you your best smile and strongest teeth.

6.)  Chew Gum

Chewing gum (sugarless of course) is a great way to keep saliva flowing and ample saliva helps prevent periodontal disease (gum disease). The benefits of chewing gum are particularly measurable in the initial thirty minutes immediately after a meal. When you chew gum it increases the salivary flow and helps to wash away debris and bacteria that may be stuck to teeth.

7.) Eat Fewer Processed Foods, Especially Starchy Carbs

We all know the dangers associated with sugar filled snacks and juices and the havoc sugar wreaks on teeth. Surprisingly, crackers, chips, cereal and other starchy snack foods can be just as detrimental as sugary snacks. The reason being that the starches readily convert to usable sugars when consumed by the bacteria colonies in your mouth.  Brushing after starchy snacks, even chewing gum can reduce the particles left behind and help keep acids excreted by bacteria to a minimum, preventing periodontal disease and decay.

8.)  Get Your Teeth Cleaned by a Professional

It’s not enough to just brush and floss if you want to protect your teeth from the threat of decay and periodontal disease. For optimal conditions you need to have your teeth cleaned–in the chair–the dentist chair, where your dentist and their hygienist can inspect each tooth and surrounding gum tissue for potential problems.  While in the chair your teeth will be scaled (scraping off all tartar, stains, and plaque) with special tools designed especially for each tooth.  Your tooth will even get scaled below the gum line where plaque and tartar may be accumulating out of sight, initiating periodontal disease. After your teeth have been scaled they will then be polished. Polishing the teeth at the end of the cleaning is the step that gives you that smooth silky feeling on your teeth. Did you know when your teeth get polished it removes all microscopic abrasions and scratches, the places where bacteria might be able to get a foothold, leaving your teeth smooth and strong.

9.) Get Enough Sleep

Second only to smoking, studies show sleep is the next biggest factor in worsening periodontal disease.  Our schedules are busier now than ever before and there’s often more demands for our time than we can accommodate. Lack of sleep has been shown to affect how rapidly we age, how readily our immune system responds and even our response times while driving or reacting to physical demands. Now there are scientific studies that also concluded that periodontal disease gets measurably worse in patients who routinely get six or less hours of sleep per night. In the same studies, those patients who increased their nightly sleep up to seven or more hours saw a dramatic decrease in the spread of periodontal disease.

10.) CoQ10–Proper Vitamins and Nutrition

Naturally, the first line of defense against all forms of gum disease is proper dental hygiene which includes brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and routine professional cleanings. Proper nutrition is also vital to oral health. Supplements and nutrients that are known to work to boost the immune system, help build collagen in the periodontal ligaments, and decrease inflammation can help stop gum disease before it gets started – and help to heal gum disease. One of the most researched and highly recommended supplements for fighting gum disease is CoQ-10.

In Recent studies CoQ-10 was given in a blind study in which candidates with significant gum disease (periodontal disease) were chosen after aggressive brushing and flossing had no measurable impact. Those patients recieving the CoQ-10 had measurable and sustained improvement from their periodontal disease, in many of the patient’s gum disease completely resolved after only 8 weeks of therapy.

There are a number of choices when choosing the CoQ-10 that is right for you. Learn about your options and choose wisely.

Give us a call today.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (713) 785-7767
Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

 

Your Strongest Smile (Part 1)

Part 1

Your Strongest Defense For Your Best Smile

There are so many things that contribute to the health and well being of our teeth. In this two part series I am intent on both reiterating the importance of (and the often, overlooked benefits of the mundane and expected,) at the same time I hope I can shine some light on a few new things you might not have considered.

1.) Brushing

I guess we can start with the most obvious. Often we feel like we are doing an adequate job with our brushing but it’s my experience that most people will cut short their standard “two minute” brush times, everyday or almost everyday. If you are an ardent follower of this rule then pat yourself on the back. The next most common brushing failure is cutting out one of your normal brushes (recommended twice daily) Patients who will admit this say it happens rarely once or twice a month.

Get the most out of your brushing. Don’t cut short your brush times, don’t skip it on a late night,  don’t’ skip replacing your toothbrush at regular intervals, all of these abuses take a toll on our mouths over time. Finally a reminder that you can skip all the fancy, fangled toothpaste with sparkles, added colors, gimmicks and chemicals to help you think it works better, try an easy, really good homemade brush paste to get your whitest smile without chemicals.

2.) Flossing

Again another obvious step to a healthy mouth. While flossing might seem unsurprising and should be a routine part of our daily hygiene, it is largely ignored or skipped by patients. Note that flossing can remove as much plaque, food particles and biofilm from teeth as brushing AFTER you’ve finished brushing.

When done properly flossing involves wrapping the floss around three sides of the tooth being flossed and using a “sawing” motion up and down the surface of the tooth all the way into the gum line. Flossing can play a big factor in stopping gum recession and periodontal disease. Floss your teeth, all of them, at least one time daily.

3.) Drink More Water.

Maybe this grabbed you by surprise.  Water is perhaps our greatest asset in our whole body’s defense against disease and this analogy holds true even more so inside our mouths. Adequate amounts of saliva are your mouth’s best defense against the food particles feeding bacteria and against the bacteria themselves. The best way to make sure you have enough fresh, slippery, slimy, beneficial saliva?  Take your body weight and divide it by two, this give you the recommended number of ounces you need to drink of water, daily to stay adequately hydrated, more if you sweat, its really hot outside or you drink caffeine. Go and get a glass of water to drink while you finish the rest of this article. I’ll wait.

4.) Cut Down on Alcohol, Quit using Nicotine.

Smoking has an immediate and lasting effect on the bodies circulatory system. Changes in blood pressure and heart rate can affect your overall health but in your mouth these processes comprise the tissues and the blood flow to vital nerves and tissues. The tar and smoke and nicotine interrupt the natural process that saliva plays in keeping your gums and teeth healthy.  Pair this with the increased temperature from the inhalation of smoke (if you are smoking vs other nicotine forms) and it is the perfect storm to impede the natural ability of the mouth to heal itself.

Drinking alcohol also introduces harmful chemicals to the body. Alcohol, like smoking dries the oral tissues and impairs the natural process of the saliva that is there to protect the teeth. The acidic nature of alcohol invariably weakens and erodes away the protective enamel on the outside of the teeth, thus teeth become even more susceptible to decay. Decay leads to gum disease and bone loss.

Limit alcohol consumption and stop smoking. Long term these are two of the most measurable things you can do for your body’s overall health AND your mouth’s health.

5.) Sleep!

In a four year study of over two hundred patients the largest factor contributing to gum/periodontal disease after smoking was lack of sleep. Those patients receiving six or less hours of sleep had a more rapid progression of disease and inflammation.  Surprisingly when subjects increased their average hours of sleep up to seven or eight hours of sleep their gum disease decreased or slowed measurably.

Next Time

In Part 2 of your Strongest Smile we will be talking about supplements or nutrients that have the largest impact on your pearly whites, a quick refresher on some foods that seem healthy but actually hurt your teeth, and a few other interestingly easy things you need to start doing (if you’re not already) for your teeth.

Call our office now at (713) 785-7767 to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to meeting you and earning your trust.

 

 

A Natural Way to Prevent – and Reverse Gum Disease

Gum disease – also known as periodontitis – is a chronic bacterial infection that essentially destroys the soft tissue and surrounding bone structures that otherwise help to support healthy teeth. This unfortunate scenario happens as the bacteria binds with food particles to form a sticky, colorless plaque on the teeth. If the plaque is not brushed away it can build up and lead to more serious forms of gum disease. While the first line of defense against all gum disease is, of course – regular check-ups with your dentist, decades of research studies suggest that the fight against periodontitis can actually begin at home, in the form of a nutritional supplement called Coenzyme Q10 or ‘ubiquinone’.

Stage One – Gingivitis

Gingivitis is considered to be the mildest and earliest form of gum disease. Left untreated it can cause the gums to become red, swollen and to bleed easily. Although there may be little or no discomfort at this point, it is important to treat these early symptoms because as gingivitis progresses, it can lead to periodontitis or periodontal disease – the more advanced form of gum disease.

Stage Two – Periodontal Disease

At this point the build-up of bacteria begins to form a deep inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth. This stage of gum infection can lead to normally benign mouth bacteria multiplying out of control and spreading throughout the body – where it can cause or compound other chronic health issues.

Who is affected by gum disease?

As much as 90 percent of all Americans will be affected by gum disease during their lifetimes, and fully a quarter of those will lose their teeth to advanced forms of periodontal disease by the age of 60. Warning signs include swollen, tender and bleeding gums transforming into chronic bad breath, loose and shifting teeth, and then pus-filled buildup between teeth and gums as the disease takes hold. And then it gets even worse as sensitive gums recede away from the teeth, this eventually leading to total tooth failure: or tooth loss.

How can we guard against gum disease?

Naturally, the first line of defense against all forms of gum disease is proper dental hygiene which includes brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and routine professional cleanings. Proper nutrition is also vital to oral health. Supplements and nutrients that are known to work to boost the immune system, help build collagen in the periodontal ligaments, and decrease inflammation can help stop gum disease before it gets started – and help to heal gum disease. One of the most researched and highly recommended supplements for fighting gum disease is CoQ-10.

COQ-10 Studies – the proof is in the results

Clinical studies conducted since the mid 1970’s have shown that people with gum disease tend to have low levels of CoQ-10 in their gums. A few studies found that CoQ-10 supplements led to faster healing and tissue repair – primarily by boosting the immune system and supporting the body’s natural ability to fight off pathogens. In one of the more interesting studies 24 patients suffering from severe periodontal disease that did not respond to extensive flossing and brushing were selected for study. About a dozen of those subjects received 50 mg of CoQ-10, while the others received placeboes. The majority of CoQ- 10 patients showed dramatic improvement while only about a quarter of the placebo recipients showed minor improvement. Interestingly, a full quarter of the CoQ-10 patients were completely healed of gum disease in as little as eight weeks. Later studies conducted in Japan confirmed that 60 mg a day of CoQ-10 could improve diseased gums overall.

The benefits of CoQ-10 go beyond oral health

The human body requires CoQ-10 to generate energy. This energy takes the form of adenosine triphosphate molecules, or ATP. ATP works like a rechargeable battery helping to transfer of energy from cell to cell. People who suffer from gum disease require sufficient energy for the healing and repair of gum tissues, which naturally necessitates sufficient amounts of CoQ-10. CoQ-10 is not only important to anyone interested in stopping and/or reversing gum disease, this nutrient is so essential to the proper functioning of every cell in the body that a deficiency of CoQ-10 has been linked to a number of chronic diseases including:

  • Heart Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Migraines
  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s

Periodontal disease has also been associated with many of these same chronic illnesses and in particular; heart disease, type 2 diabetes and respiratory disease as well as problems in conception and pregnancy.

Finding the right CoQ-10 for you

Small amounts of CoQ-10 can be found in foods, primarily meat and fish with the greatest amounts found in organ meats like heart, liver and kidneys. It is also found in beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel and peanuts. As a supplement, coenzyme Q10 is available in numerous forms such as soft gel and hard shell capsules as well as mouth rinses and oral sprays. But before you rush out to buy a bottle at your local health food store, you might want to consider that a new and likely superior form of CoQ-10 called Ubiquinol is now available. This type of CoQ-10 makes the benefits of this important supplement even more readily available to the body, particularly in adults.

The CoQ-10 found in most supplements is called ‘ubiquinone’. In order to produce cellular energy, the body must convert the ubiquinone to ubiquinol. It is the ubiquinol that carries electrons through the mitochondria to produce vital energy to the cells. By and large younger, healthy people can easily convert CoQ-10 to ubiquinol. But as people age – or when chronic illness is present, a person’s ability to convert CoQ-10 to ubiquinol is limited. This decreased ability becomes more apparent the closer we get to age 40, although some researchers suggest that it may begin in the early to mid-20s. Therefore, most experts recommend that healthy individuals under the age of 25, who can easily convert standard CoQ-10 to ubiquinol, take the conventional form of CoQ-10 – everyone over the age of 25 will likely benefit more from the properties of CoQ-10 by using Ubiquinol.

More information:

Ubiquinol – A More Advanced Form of the Energy-Producing Nutrient CoQ-10 

University of Maryland Medical Center: Coenzyme Q10 

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments 

MedlinePlus: Coenzyme Q-10 

“Indian Journal of Pharmacology”: Role of Coenzyme Q10 as an Antioxidant and Bioenergizer in Periodontal Diseases; Shobha Prakash, et al.; December 2010