People love to experience that “fresh from the dentist” feeling, when the tip of the tongue glides effortlessly and smoothly over a freshly cleaned set of pearly whites. So, why not have that feeling all of the time?
If you want a healthier-feeling mouth, follow these tips:
* Brush regularly. Yes, you’ve heard it over and over: brush your teeth twice every day. It also helps to brush after eating and snacking whenever possible. Brushing keeps small food particles from becoming food for harmful bacteria. If possible, brush for a full two minutes.
* Drink green tea. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology in 2009, found that routine consumption of green tea may help promote healthy teeth and gums. Of the 940 men evaluated, the study found that those who regularly drank green tea had superior periodontal health than subjects who consumed less green tea.
* Use probiotics. The use of products like EvoraPlus probiotic mints goes a long way in securing a good base for oral care. The probiotic mints add beneficial bacteria to the mouth, leaving less room for harmful bacteria to grow.
* Floss once a day. Flossing helps clean and remove tartar where your toothbrush cannot reach.
* Irrigate the teeth and gums daily. Oral irrigation helps to remove food particles trapped below the gum line. The addition of an antimicrobial fluid in your irrigator can further help remove the plaque that harbors harmful bacteria.
* Take nutrition seriously. Avoiding sugar is key, but also watch out for simple or highly refined carbohydrates. Consume plenty of vitamin C, as it plays a vital role for building healthy gums and helps boost the immune system. One of the best defenses against poor oral health is a strong immune system — and healthy food is your best source of essential vitamins and minerals.
(ARA) – People living with diabetes need to take care of and monitor their health very closely. While monitoring their blood glucose is usually top of mind, the 26 million Americans living with diabetes may be surprised to learn that 95 percent have a form of gum disease. This is compared to only 50 percent of the general population. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop serious gum disease as people without diabetes.
“People living with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing periodontal disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums,” says Dr. Maria Emanuel Ryan, professor of oral biology and pathology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y.
A big misconception is that patients always experience pain if they have gum disease; this is not the case and it is especially important for diabetes patients to know and watch for the following signs and symptoms:
* Bleeding gums when you brush or floss.
* Red, swollen, puffy or sore gums.
* Gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
* Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
* Pus that appears between your teeth and gums.
* Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
People living with diabetes and those who may be at risk should take an active role in their condition management to combat the risk of gum disease and other health problems by flossing, visiting the dentist regularly and brushing twice daily with antibacterial toothpaste specifically formulated for gum health, like Colgate Total. It is the only FDA-approved toothpaste to prevent gingivitis and the No. 1 recommended most by dentists for gum care. Colgate Total(R) toothpaste reduces 90 percent of plaque germs that cause gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease, for 12 hours.
If you do suffer from diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, it’s important you visit your dentist to determine if there is any oral care procedures you can follow to give you better oral health.
If your last trip to the dentist revealed a crop of new cavities, look no farther than your coffee cup.
The culprit may be lurking in your latte, according to Seattle dentist Heidi Hackett, who says her conversations with patients have led her to believe that the popular coffee drinks are causing an uptick in adult tooth decay.
“We found that the majority of the patients are spending many hours a day working at the computer and ‘nursing’ either lattes or coffee with milk,” says Hackett. ”The constant exposure to the lactose or milk sugar is giving the bacteria in the mouth a flood of raw fuel or ‘food’ to metabolize.”
According to Hackett, the type of bacteria most responsible for tooth decay is Streptococcus mutans, which metabolizes carbohydrates and sugars into acid. The acid then eats away at the tooth enamel until — voila! — a cavity is born.
Over the past five to seven years, Hackett says she’s seen a definite rise in tooth decay in people who haven’t had a high rate of cavities in the past. Now, though, the common denominator seems to be that they’re all sipping on lattes or other milk-laden beverages or snacking at their desks throughout the day.
Drinking your latte in 15 minutes is fine, says Hackett. But nursing it all day long like an adult baby bottle is where you get into trouble.
Unfortunately, stretching that moment out to several hours gives the bacteria a chance to go to town on your teeth.
Lattes should be considered snacks because of their high milk sugar content, Hackett says. And sippers should take appropriate steps to protect their teeth.
“If you’re going to drink a latte or coffee with milk, you can drink water after to help neutralize the acid, or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate salivary flow to help rinse the acids and neutralize,” she advises.
Fluoride rinse, she says, is another great way to keep your teeth healthy, especially if you drink a lot of beverages with milk, sugar, honey or if you constantly snack throughout the day.
Losing weight can improve a lot of things about your health: your cholesterol, you blood pressure, even your self confidence. But how about your smile? New research from the Journal of Periodontology has found that when people lose fat, they improve the health of their gums, too.
Researchers looked at 31 obese people with gum disease. Half of the subject hadgastric bypass surgery and had fat cells from their stomaches removed, while the other half did not. In those who had the weight-loss surgery, their gum health (periodontal attachment, bleeding, probing depths and plaque levels) improved much more than those who did not.
Although the research is preliminary, researchers have two theories as to why those who lost weight had better dental health, and they both have to do with inflammation. First is that the weight loss helped reduce blood sugar levels and therefore inflammation in the body. Second, researchers saw that the hunger-regulating hormone leptin, which has also been linked to inflammatin, was reduced after the subjects had surgery. Inflammation from gum disease can erode bone and cause tooth loss and cause breaks in the gums where harmful oral bacteria can enter the blood stream, so anything to keep inflammation down is a good thing, according to ScienceDaily.
November 11, 2011 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will retain its Division of Oral Health (DOH), according to a story in ADA News.
Earlier this year, the CDC came under fire after announcing a restructuring proposal that would have folded the division into the Division of Adult and Community Health.
The ADA, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), and a group of former chief dental officers of the U.S. Public Health Service all sent letters to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, voicing their opposition.
In each case, the authors emphasized that if the consolidation occurred, oral health would inevitably become less of a priority.
“Dissolving one of the separate dental divisions from the department would only seem to decrease and take away from highlighting the importance of preventing and treating oral disease,” the ADA letter stated.
“Such organizational changes would diminish the visibility of oral health at CDC during a time of critical need for public health leadership less than a year after the Department of Health and Human Services announced and began to implement a department-wide oral health initiative,” the letter from former chief dental officers of the U.S. Public Health Service stated.
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up to date in the profession through continuing education to better serve the public. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the second-largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists. More than 772,000 persons in the United States are employed directly in the field of dentistry. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services related to patients’ oral health needs.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums become swollen and red due to inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria. In the more serious form of periodontal disease called periodontitis, the gums pull away from the tooth and supporting gum tissues are destroyed. Bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or eventually fall out.
Chronic periodontitis, the most advanced form of the disease, progresses relatively slowly in most people and is typically more evident in adulthood. Although inflammation as a result of a bacterial infection is behind all forms of periodontal disease, a variety of factors can influence the severity of the disease. Important risk factors include inherited or genetic susceptibility, smoking, lack of adequate home care, age, diet, health history, and medications.
Several research studies have suggested that periodontal disease is connected to variety of other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists believe that inflammation may be the basis for the link between these systemic diseases. While periodontists are experts in treating oral inflammation, additional research is needed to better understand how treating periodontal disease may reduce the risk of developing other inflammatory diseases.
Periodontists typically rely on a visual assessment of the patient’s overall oral condition in addition to charting pocket depths with a periodontal probe. This visual/mechanical method of assessing periodontal disease status can only tell whether or not disease is present. There are other tests currently available that go beyond basic and subjective visual assessment to provide dental professionals with the detailed genetic and biological information required to better determine the appropriate treatment regimen for each individual patient. This information includes evaluating the inflammatory burden that is causing periodontal disease, as well as looking at the patient’s unique genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease.
Approximately 75% of adults in the United States are affected by some form of periodontal disease, ranging from mild cases of gingivitis to the more severe form, periodontitis. However, recent research conducted by the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that periodontal prevalence rates in the US may have been underestimated by as much as 50 percent.