Matters of the Mouth While Pregnant

Matters of the Mouth While Pregnant

Being pregnant creates special circumstances for your oral health

Tooth Care During Pregnancy. Conditions during pregnancy make mouths more vulnerable to disease. A little extra attention goes a long way to maintain a healthy smile. Step-by-step and trimester-by-trimester here are the things that will keep teeth healthy.

First Trimester

It’s still early in the pregnancy but hormones and morning sickness can start making big changes to oral wellness.

  • Check with your insurance provider, you may be allowed extra cleanings and check-ups while pregnant.
  • If you’re suffering from morning sickness stay hydrated. Also, Rinsing the mouth frequently keeps gums healthy.
  • Avoid triggering nausea, use a bland toothpaste and small, soft toothbrush.
  • Contact your dentist, ask if they have any special recommendations during your pregnancy.
  • Check gums regularly for Pregnancy Gingivitis. Look for puffy, inflamed gums. Changes in hormones often cause symptoms in the mouth too.

Second Trimester

Trimester two marks the middle of pregnancy. The end is closer, stay on top of oral care to keep teeth healthy.

  • In the second trimester avoid eating sugary snacks, your gums are the most vulnerable at this point in the pregnancy.
  • DO NOT skip brushing or flossing. Vigilance will pay off with healthy gums and teeth at the end of pregnancy.
  • Take vitamins and supplements as instructed by your doctor. Make sure your diet includes lots of Vitamin C, Calcium and Vitamin B12.
  • By the second trimester some patients develop small, temporary tumors on the gums, called Pregnancy  Granuloma. They can be found in the mouth, on gums or even on lips.

Third Trimester

The home stretch is the last 6 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Take special care to not let all of your hard work be wasted.

  • You may be tired, fatigue can be chronic in pregnancy. DO NOT skip brushing or flossing. Vigilance will pay off with healthy gums and teeth at the end of pregnancy.
  • At this stage, hold off on any dental procedures you need. Consult your doctor but in most cases this is the best option for mother and baby.
  • Schedule a cleaning appointment for after the baby is born.

Post Partum

Many mothers choose to nurse their newborns. Nursing has a few provisions to keep teeth tip-top too.

  • Eat lots of mineral dense foods like nuts, cheese, dark green leafy foods as they help make up. for calcium and other nutrients needed for breast milk. Ensure that your body has enough to go around.
    • Use vitamins to supplement as recommended by your doctor.
    • Teeth need strong dentine to keep from becoming brittle and hypersensitive.
  • Proceed with any dental work, X-rays, local anesthesia and nitrous oxide are all considered safe while breastfeeding.
  • Consult your dentist about removing silver fillings or any other dental work that may potentially contaminate your breastmilk.

Mother Hood is wonderful, its also a lot of work. Make life easier for yourself by maintaining healthy teeth.

 

 

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

Early First Check-ups Keep Teeth Healthiest

Early First Check-ups Keep Teeth Healthiest

Never too early for a first check-up

  • The First Year is the ideal time for the initial check-up visit with your child’s dentist.
  • By twelve months old your child can have as few as one or two teeth or as many as twelve teeth.
    • regardless of the number of teeth, making the dentist a familiar, friendly place ensures a better visit for you and baby.
    • Between two and three years of age kids get their full set of baby teeth complete with molars.
      • Molars appear last and the front middle teeth usually emerging first.

Often the exact moment a child’s first dental visit is recommended can seem arbitrary. Some recommendations call for a dental visit at age one. Some recommend as soon as teeth first appear. With such a wide range it may be hard to decide how urgent that first dental check up should be.

First Impressions and a Positive Experience

A good rule of thumb is to start regular check-ups with the dentist early. Start visits after the first tooth has erupted, or by the age of one.

  • Very young children become accustomed to visiting various places and can quickly build a positive impression of the dentist office when they have several quick, easy and positive visits.
  • Learning to sit in the dental chair, open up and say, “ah” and having fingers and tools in their mouth can seem strange for a little one.
  • A small child with a few positive past experiences will be much more inclined to trust the dentist if and when a bigger issue should arise.

Quick and Invaluable

A first visit to the dentist can be a very brief visit or last up to thirty minutes. The dentist will check bite alignment, teeth, and soft tissues. Since decay can start as soon as teeth erupt, the dentist will also thoroughly check teeth for signs of decay, and go over at home care with you and your child, and if indicated they may perform a gentle cleaning to remove plaque, tartar, any stains and quickly polish teeth.

Questions and History

If you have any questions or concerns there will be time to discuss these things as well. Questions you have may range from fluoride use, number of times and length of time to brush, appropriate tooth brushes, or discussing previous bumps and tumbles that may leave teeth chipped or injured, mentioning those events can help your dentist evaluate potential future issues.

Best Times To Set Up Appointments

  • Earlier in the day many children will have a much higher tolerance for new experiences and new people.
  • A goodnights rest, and a healthy breakfast, will set the stage for successful dental visit and exam.
  • Bringing a favorite toy, book, or blanket can also be helpful in building confidence while visiting a new place like the dentist office.

Finally

First time dental check-ups are ice-breakers. They set young children up for positive experiences when visiting the dentist in the future. Being extra patient and calm go a long way in sending the message that there is nothing to be worried about or afraid of. Talk to your little one in the days leading up to your appointment. Telling small children how dentists help keep our teeth healthy and strong also relays a comforting, reassuring message.

If your child is already older than one and has not yet been to a dentist or more than six months have passed, this is a good review, now is the perfect time to get that appointment booked.

Straight the Gate to a Perfect Smile

Straight the Gate to a Perfect Smile

A Straight, Great Smile For Your Health

A fantastic smile reaps dividends. First impressions are weighted by a bright and confident smile, things like trust and appreciation are a little more effortlessly gained just by sharing a confident smile. Conversely, confidence is easier to cultivate when we are well received, both points making a good argument for taking good care of your smile. Less often considered are the number of other health benefits that come from having straight teeth.

Keep Them Straight to Keep Them Clean

  • Perfectly aligned teeth stay cleaner.
  • Clean teeth smell better, a benefit of nicely aligned teeth, less places for smelly bacteria to hideout.
  • Malocclusions (teeth that are misaligned) tend to create crowded spaces that are more difficult to clean making removal of plaque or tarter unsuccessful.
  • Current scientific evidence has conclusively established a link between gum diseases–caused by plaque and tartar deposits–and other, more serious health maladies.
  • Definitive studies demonstrate there are links between health issues like heart disease, diabetes, even birth defects and gum disease.

Missing Teeth Undo a Great and Healthy Smile

When teeth are missing due to loss or defect the remaining teeth can become unstable and begin to move around in the mouth. Moving teeth can become crowded and develop malocclusions leading to other problems besides increasing bacterial deposits.

  • Misaligned–or malocclusions–elevate a tooths risks of fracturing and breaking.
  • Even seemingly minor malocclusions can lead to defects like cracks in enamel.
  • Broken teeth are cause for immediate dental attention.
  • Cracks and fissures may not be immediately evident.
  • Over time those small breaches in the enamel can significantly weaken teeth, making them more likely to break or shatter later.
  • Cracks can make teeth more susceptible to sensitivity as well.

Ceramic, Permanent Implants; Best Option

Overtime, improper alignment of teeth can lead to other problems. Excess wear and teeth moving into open spaces created by tooth loss may inevitably lead to additional loss. Healthy bone and soft tissue growth will diminish and increase the likelihood of further loss. For this reason and others get missing teeth restored with an implant.

It’s never too late to get a better smile. Call our office to schedule a consult today.

Eight more reasons you should follow up on getting that smile you deserve

  1. Straight teeth give you healthier gums – When teeth are too widely spaced or crowded, they often become inflamed and red. These characteristics not only look bad, they’re a sign of periodontal disease.
  2. Straightening your teeth helps the gums fit more securely around the teeth, creating the strongest defense against periodontal problems.
  3. Makes teeth easier to clean – Crowded teeth are much more difficult to floss, which can lead to plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay. The inability to remove all the food caught in the brackets and wires of metal braces can also lead to a similar outcome.
  4. Prevents abnormal tooth wear – Crowded bottom teeth often cause one or more teeth to jut out, which rub against the upper teeth. Over time, this leads to an inefficient chewing function and can cause undue wear to tooth enamel.
  5. Decreases your risk of tooth injury – Crowded, protruding upper teeth are more likely to be broken in the event of an accident.
  6. Decreases headaches or neck pain – Crooked teeth place excessive stress on the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. This can also be a sign of a jaw misalignment, which can lead to chronic headaches as well as face or neck pain.
  7. Improves self-esteem and happiness – An important component of your overall health is your mental health. Numerous studies have shown that having a better looking smile increases the amount you smile, which in turn leads to various health benefits, including lower stress and improved cognition.
  8. Improves overall health – The tooth decay and gum disease associated with crooked teeth are caused by decay. Left untreated, this bacteria can lead to mouth sores, bleeding gums and possible tooth loss.

 

 

Flossing for Results

Flossing for Results

Does daily flossing effectively reduce cavities, gum disease or gingivitis?

You’re flossing. Great. Is it actually doing any good?

Amidst dozens of studies, data in favor of flossing can be hard to find, yet dentists still highly favor the practice. Careful analysis of previous studies indicate that many variables potentially influence the final result. Participants used varying methods, inconsistent technique and consistent length of flossing tended to vary a great deal.

Definitively, when trained hygienist performed flossing, outcomes were proven in several studies, demonstrating that the issues with flossing are likely due to user error and not proof that the practice has merit.

What you really need to know

How To Use Dental Floss

For dental floss to effectively remove plaque from your teeth, you need to be sure you’re using the correct technique. Because you’ll be putting your fingers into your mouth, be sure to wash your hands before you reach for the floss. Then just follow these steps:

  • Use enough floss.
    1. Break off a piece about 18 inches long.
    2. That sounds like a lot, but you want enough to keep a clean segment in place as you move from tooth to tooth.
    3. Wrap most of the floss around either the middle finger or the index finger of one hand, whichever you prefer, and a small amount onto the middle or index finger of the other hand.
    4. (Using the middle finger leaves your index finger free to manipulate the floss.)
  • Slide between teeth.
    1. Gently slide the floss between the teeth in a zigzag motion
    2. and be careful not to let the floss snap or “pop” between teeth.
  • Form a “C”.
    1. Make a C shape with the floss as you wrap it around the tooth.
    2. Then carefully pull the floss upward from the gum line to the top of the tooth.
    3. Roll along.
    4. As you move from one tooth to the next, unroll a fresh section of floss from the finger of one hand while rolling the used floss onto the finger of the other hand.
    5. Use your thumb as a guide.
  • Reach both sides.
    1. Don’t forget to floss the back side of each tooth.

As long as you use the correct technique, the type of floss you use is a matter of personal preference. There are many types to choose from, and you can even choose a variety of types to meet your needs and those of your family members. Either way, using the correct technique will help you remove the excess food particles and plaque buildup between your teeth and help improve your oral health.

What about those Bi-Annual Dental Check-ups

What about those Bi-Annual Dental Check-ups

Dental check-ups and modern dental history

Just a few decades ago dentist did little preventative work. Most dentist visits were set up to fix an often painful problem. People went to their local dentist because something was hurting or broken or both. Having bad breath was almost the norm. Fifty years ago, as toothpaste was becoming a commercially competitive product and as science was isolating ways to prevent cavities, dentist began recommending more and more preventative care. It’s working too.

Five decades ago adults, on average, experienced twice as many permanent teeth lost over a lifetime as they do now. Cavity incident keeps seeing lower and lower numbers. Dentist and dental hygienist prevent and help reverse more cases of gum disease and decay than ever before.

How frequent do check-ups really need to be?

Every patient and every mouth is different. On average most people benefit from a twice a year check-up with their dentist. Due to genetics and biology, some patients need to be seen slightly less and some slightly more. In the occasional patient there are circumstances that predicate a increased schedule of visits. You may even need appointments as frequently as every three to four months. Higher risk patients include those who;

  • Smoke
  • Pregnant women
  • Diabetics
  • People with current gum disease
  • People with a weak immune response to bacterial infection
  • People who tend to get cavities or build up plaque

How to determine the right frequency of visits for you

First, discuss your oral health with your dentist, ensure you’ve established a good at home hygiene regimen. Keep in mind that during a lifetime your dental needs may change, times of stress or illness for example. Then, if you have no cavities, no symptoms of gum disease and are experiencing no other dental issues for a significant  period of you time, your dentist may start extending the time between your dental visits.

Dental Restorations: Bridges -vs- Implants

Dental Restorations: Bridges -vs- Implants

Conventional bridges -vs- dental implants

Why dental implants are better than conventional bridges

Patients are increasingly opting for dental implants over conventional prostheses such as dentures or permanent bridges. Implants offer a number of reasons, both physically and aesthetically, they are superior to older restoration options. Since implants sit securely in the jaw bone, and not glued to adjoining teeth, they offer superior durability and look completely natural at the same time.

Three major categories of restorations still compete with implant option for tooth replacement:

Bonded dental bridge

Bonded dental bridges use the teeth adjacent to the empty space to help support the missing tooth by using a very thin piece of metal or tooth-colored material to overlay and bond to the back of the adjacent teeth. A tooth replacement is set between these two bonded pieces in order to fill in the empty space. Failure rate is about 25 percent after just five years of use.

Cantilevered dental bridge

A cantilevered restoration uses the closest tooth next to the empty space to support the missing tooth using the either the back of the neighboring tooth or a full crown to help support the missing tooth. Success rate is higher than with a bonded bridge depending on how much pressure the actual replacement endures due to grinding and normal wear.

Conventional dental bridge

This type of restoration uses crowns on the teeth next to the empty space that are hooked together to help support the missing tooth. Unfortunately conventional dental bridges predictably fail at a range from 20 percent over 3 years to 3 percent over 23 years.

Compare to the (ceramic) Dental implant

A dental implant is created from a high performance material (zirconium oxide) that is inserted into the bone to act like a natural tooth-root. Due to its nonmetallic construction the ceramic dental implant does not interfere with the body’s immune or meridian systems and therefore does not create a potential for rejection. Once anchored into the jaw, the implant integrates directly into the bone to give firm support to the artificial replacement that it is built to hold and should last the lifetime of a patient.

Routine maintenance of a dental implant is exactly the same as a person would follow for normal teeth.

Healthy patients prefer implants

Patients who prefer dental implants say that they are more comfortable and provide a more secure fit than fixed bridges or removable dentures. Dentures tend to make a person feel and look older. They can cause embarrassment in social situations when they slip and click, and hamper the everyday pleasure of eating comfortably.

Reasons to consider a ceramic dental implant:

• preserves healthy natural surrounding teeth

• looks and feels like natural teeth

• enhances a sense of self-confidence when eating, talking and smiling

• no gooey denture adhesives to deal with

• no embarrassingly loose dentures

• improves quality of speech

• perfectly natural comfort and fit

Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth may be a candidate for implants. If more than a few of the teeth are missing, implants in supporting a crown or bridge can replace those teeth and function as normal teeth without concern for decay. If all or most of the teeth are missing, then implants may be placed to fix in place a full-mouth fixture.

Considering the overall advantages patients can expect to benefit from as a result of choosing a dental implant, they are better able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle without the restrictions many denture wearers face. Ultimately, not worrying about dentures becoming loose or falling out when speaking or eating offers a freedom that simply makes sense. The more secure foundation offered by a dental implant improves biting pressure, making it possible to enjoy the foods that a patient probably would not be able to using a dental prosthetic. With improved chewing ability it is more likely for a person to have a better diet and therefore improved overall healthfulness.

Key to Keeping Healthy Teeth

Key to Keeping Healthy Teeth

Great Tips For Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

As soon as we can hold a toothbrush we are taught that we need to brush, floss, and use mouthwash to make sure to keep our teeth healthy. These three basic things are so common that we tend do them automatically and without thought. Not paying attention to what we are doing and how we are doing it will eventually lead to our teeth not looking the way they used to. Eventually that can lead to the last that thing that you want from your teeth; a yellow, dirty or discolored smile. The culmination of these symptoms, a potential cavity, gum disease or worse. The last type of disease that you want in your mouth, periodontal disease, can easily follow. Keeping your teeth healthy is something that should be taken seriously and not fooled around with.

Follow these simple tips for healthy teeth and a beautiful smile:

  • Brushing: We know that we all have to brush twice a day, but how you brush makes a difference. Always take time when brushing your teeth;
    • Rushing is just as bad as not having brushed at all. Likewise trying to multitasking often defeats the purpose, being distracted can lead to not brushing all quadrants of the mouth evenly.
    • Use bristles that are comfortable for your teeth and gums. Use the proper motion of actually brushing on your teeth by going forwards and backwards while not forgetting to brush the insides of your teeth as well.
  • Flossing: Flossing, while often overlooked as vital, plays an important role in dislodging debris between teeth and removing bacterial colonies in tight spaces. People tend to dismiss flossing from their teeth cleaning routine because, in reality flossing helps reach the spot in between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot. Flossing helps remove all the plaque in between the teeth and the surrounding gum lining. Make sure to floss daily to ensure your teeth stay as healthy as possible.
  • Mouthwash: Though not as important as the other two methods to keep a set of healthy teeth, mouth washing ranks as one of the easiest ways to add one more safety net for your teeth. People that regularly use mouthwash are much less likely to get gingivitis and excessive plaque. On average, mouth washing twice a day gives the most benefits. Using mouthwash recommended by your dentist will also provide you with a wash ph balanced, and free of chemicals or sugar that may not be beneficial. Some mouthwash also promote slippery saliva, in turn protecting teeth from bacteria further.

Having experience in the dental field and knowing the importance of having clean, healthy teeth is what Dr. Marilyn K Jones has been about even since getting handed her dental degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Jones, a great student of health throughout her life, and knows what is needed to keep a person healthy and their teeth happy.

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

Zenith of the Toothbrush and ultrasonic Brushes

Zenith of the Toothbrush and ultrasonic Brushes

Have you ever considered the history of the modern toothbrush?

We have all benefited from the advent of the modern toothbrush. What came before the modern toothbrush?  A lot more rotting teeth!  In fact regardless of fluoride, countries across the globe that employ modern dentistry and routine dental care have all recorded progressively lower rates of decay and tooth loss over the last 100 years.

The toothbrush in your bathroom cabinet (especially a sonic toothbrush) is the culmination of not just revision after revision, science and engineering has brought forth the best version ergonomically, hygienically and scientifically to clean and deter further bacterial colonization and plaque build up on your pearly whites.

The First Toothbrushes

Bearing in mind that people have always had teeth, it may not be surprising that we’ve been attempting to keep them clean and healthy for a very long time. The toothbrushes predecessor, the chew stick, have been unearthed in various places around the globe. The oldest chew stick, found in Babylonia and dated to 3500 BC, followed by archeological evidence in Egypt dating to about 3000 BC.

Chew Stick or teeth cleaning sticks.

Chew Stick or teeth cleaning sticks.

Chew sticks-ancient toothbrushes-were a stick that, tapered on one end and frayed on the other end. The soft frayed ends were used to gently clean the surfaces. The opposing end was pointed and could be used to dislodge debris stuck in the teeth crevices and cracks.

A variety of trees or bushes could be employed to make chew sticks.  Different regions and cultures each, had their own prefered bush or tree, sometimes cinnamon, sassafras or even tea tree and walnut. Well over a dozen different types of trees/bushes with bitter roots were utilized for chew sticks, or teeth cleaning sticks.  The types of trees and bushes typically selected for teeth cleaning or chew sticks have long been known to have antimicrobial benefits that no doubt benefited the user to some degree.

Eventually the chew stick evolved into a bristled brush similar to our more modern toothbrushes. The first of which have been unearthed in ancient China.  The Toothbrush made it’s way across the globe and while the handles varied between bamboo, ivory and bone, the bristles on those first toothbrushes were generally made from horse-tail hairs, boar bristles, even badger fur. By the 1900’s modern handles made from man made materials were the norm and nylon bristles were standard.

The Zenith of the Toothbrush

Over the last hundred years or so the toothbrush has changed but is still recognizable from even its earliest versions. The biggest difference in the latest models are those brushes that offer ultrasonic cleaning speeds.  We easily assume that this feature is but a mere gimmick, yet by far, this is the pinnacle of hundreds of years of reinventing and researching oral health. Today’s ultra-sonic toothbrushes–outfitted with a new toothbrush head and properly charged–remove stains, debris and colonies of bacteria both above and below the gumline. Ultrasonic toothbrushes may even contribute in retarding harmful anaerobic bacteria.

Ultrasonic toothbrushes can make brushing teeth even more efficient

As ultrasonic toothbrushes are moved from tooth to tooth they create thousands of teeny-tiny bubbles, some that may be small enough to slip into the tiny space between the teeth and gums. Those little bubble are all it takes to break up the party of nasty anaerobic bacteria hanging out down below the gumline. Anaerobic bacteria can be some of the stinkiest and contribute, extensively, to periodontal disease, gum disease, decay and other oral infection.

By now you’re probably day dreaming about a nice rendezvous with your new, modern, toothbrush!

Contact our office weather you still use a chew stick or even if you have the fanciest, latest version–the ultrasonic toothbrush–we can help you make sure your oral health and your whole health are in alignment.

Mouth Health: Portal To Overall Health

Mouth Health: Portal To Overall Health

Your mouth health is a not-so-secret portal to your overall health so Keep it tip-top

In recent years science has confirmed that even the health of our teeth and gums affect our overall health. Heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and many other disorders can all be affected by the health and wellness of teeth and gums in your mouth.

As we build healthy habits and healthy bodies, remember to be vigilant of effects on your mouth from common viruses that cause things like cold, flu and strep. Staying healthy and virus free can help keep your mouth healthier too.

Cold and flu viruses affect your oral health too

Flu and cold viruses are a part of life. We wash our hands, take vitamins, and try to stay healthy, inevitably the average adult will still get 2 to 4 colds per year. The full magnitude of the annual cold and flu season is often overlooked. However, in America, the cold virus alone, claims nearly 60 million sick days annually.

Viral infections and your oral health

  • Dry Mouth: Cold viruses, and many other viruses, dry out the oral cavity. The use of many medications that suppress runny noses and excess mucus, also contribute to drier mucus membranes. Many drugs may ultimately leave the mouth drier. Dry mouths are less slippery, allowing bacterial colonies to thrive.
    • Breathing from the mouth due to swollen, congested nasal passages also dries the oral membranes contributing further to dry mouth, and bad breath.
    • Individuals suffering from flu and cold viruses are especially prone to dehydration complicating dry mouth conditions.
  • Cough Drops and Medications: Sucking on cough drops, sipping ginger ale, even oral inhalers all adversely affect teeth and surrounding tissues.
    • Cough drops and throat lozenges, even cough syrup, are sticky and sweet. Sugar from these medications feed bacteria that cause decay and cavities.
    • Ginger ale and other fizzy drinks help with dehydration and nausea, they also create prime conditions for bacteria to thrive in.
    • Inhalers, used to help treat asthma, bronchitis, lung inflammation and COPD have medicine that dries surfaces in the mouth, creating areas ideal for bacteria to colonize.
    • To ward off the effects of these oral medications, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after using them.  Stay adequately hydrated.

Sleep and fatigue are culprits too

  • Fatigue: Being over tired, lethargic and general malaise are all common Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night reduces inflammation and improves overall health, improving oral health and reducing gum diseasesymptoms when battling a cold or flu virus. Forgo changing out of Pj’s but do not skip oral hygiene practices. Viruses attack the immunes system, dampening your body’s natural ability to combat infection and inflammation.
    • Sleep deprivation is a huge contributing factor in cases of gum disease and gingivitis. Don’t let being too tired influence your ability to maintain good brushing and flossing habits.

Good Oral Health Supports Good Overall Health

Recent studies support what clinicians have long suspected. Individuals who have unhealthy teeth and gums, tend to be less healthy overall. Higher rates of oral infections are linked to higher rates of bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, stroke and heart disease, for example.

The ideal time to improve your oral health is right now, but if you are sick or feeling under the weather, don’t neglect taking care of your oral hygiene.

Call or come in and make an appointment today and we can help you get your best oral health, and your brightest smile.