The Cold and Flu Tax on Teeth

The Cold and Flu Tax on Teeth

Cold and flu tax 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

  1. 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 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fatigue:
    • Being over tired, lethargic and general malaise are all common symptoms 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.

Health Secrets Starting in Your Mouth

Health Secrets Starting in Your Mouth

Health secrets that start inside your mouth

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 too 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.

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.

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.