Is It True That Gum Disease Can Cause Heart Attacks?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect more than just oral health. There are many studies showing that people with gum disease also have significantly high rates of developing cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke. While scientists continue to research the theory, it has been recognized that there is a strong relationship between gum disease and heart attacks.

Heart attacks are considered the most common medical condition in the general population. It is also known that heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States. On the other hand, many researchers have found that gum disease affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 30. Because the two conditions similarly affect the population, the idea that gum disease links to heart attacks is prevalent. During a study that was conducted in 2012, known as PAROKRANK, researchers evaluated a group of dental patients to back up the theory. The results showed that 43% of heart attack patients also suffered from gum disease. They also found that people with gum disease had a 50% higher chance of a heart attack than those without.

When it comes to the link between gum disease and heart attacks, inflammation caused by bacteria may be the culprit. It is understood that the common factor between gum disease and heart attacks include the same type of bacterial infection. The bacteria found in gum disease produces inflammation in other areas of the mouth when left untreated. By continuing to live with this condition, the bacteria can eventually spread to other parts of the body. Infection caused by gum disease can easily enter the bloodstream through everyday activities, such as brushing, flossing, and chewing food. As the bacteria spreads throughout the body, it can eventually reach the circulatory system, causing blood vessels to swell and increasing the risk of blood clots and heart attack. Because inflammation is the body’s instant response mechanism, the inflammation can cause the formation of plaque. It is known that the existence of excess plaque can cause the clogging of arteries, similar to how it causes tooth decay.

With the proper care and consistent follow-up with your dentists, the possible health risks of gum disease can be avoided. Everyday care is essential to keeping the signs of gum disease at bay. Continuing to correctly brush and floss each day as well as avoiding alcohol and tobacco can prevent gum disease from forming. Regular cleanings and dental visits can also help with early diagnosis of gum disease. During dental appointments, your dentist can evaluate and measure the gums for inflammation, build-up, and possible bone loss.

The bottom line is that prevention and treatment of gum disease can ultimately save our bodies from further health conditions, such as heart attacks. That is why it’s important to contact your dentist if you suffer from any of the related symptoms:

* Red, swollen, tender gums

* Bleeding gums after brushing, flossing, or eating

* Receding gums

* Loose or separating teeth

* Pus surrounding the gums

* Mouth sores

* Bad bread

* A change in bite

Gum disease has been debated as a possible cause of heart attacks for many years. While research continues to be conducted on the direct link, it’s best to take the proactive steps to beat the possibility

How Late In Life Can One Get Braces?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Childhood is frequently viewed as the prime time to get braces. However, more adults of all ages are choosing orthodontic treatment to fix many of their oral health problems and opting for braces. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, one in five people who seek the treatment of braces is over age 18.

While the appearance of a beautiful, straight smile is a common motive for adults to get braces, there are many other reasons why someone might be interested in their later years of life. Whether it is the natural effects of aging, misalignment, or underlying health conditions, it is never too late to seek orthodontic care. In fact, proper teeth alignment becomes even more crucial as people grow older.

 

Braces are more than just creating attractive smiles.

Braces help correct improperly positioned teeth, which will also prevent common oral health issues. Crowding pressure, tooth decay, and the deterioration of enamel can cause a substantial amount of pain and discomfort without the proper treatment. Getting braces to fix the positioning of your teeth can end up saving a lot of distress and money in the long run, no matter the age.

Aging can cause the teeth to shift. As we age, it is not uncommon for our teeth to start moving. As the jawbone changes, the midline shifts from it’s ideal positioning. This can happen even if our teeth have been straight throughout our whole life. The continuous, yet slow shift of the midline can ultimately result in crowding and overlapping of the teeth. Braces can undoubtedly straighten age-related crooked teeth at any age.

Some health conditions contribute to misalignment. While aging is a large factor, sometimes health conditions and injuries can influence our teeth to move in an undesirable way. Periodontal disease, a condition caused by bacteria living under gum tissue, can also lead to the spreading of teeth. Stress is another common factor when it comes to teeth shifting and misalignment. Grinding, clenching, nail biting and tongue thrusting are all examples of unconscious habits that cause wear and tare on your teeth. If an adult is noticing that their teeth are changing their shape and size, they might seek the advice of an Orthodontist to see if braces are right for them.

Problems that were left untreated as a child can get worse with time. Common oral issues, such as a misaligned jaw or bite, can lead to further health complications that might urge a person to be interested in braces. Headaches, TMJ, and gum disease name a few conditions that a person might run into when misalignment is left untreated. As an adult, the getting braces can help correct these issues and improve your overall health and wellness.

Neglecting the use of retainers. Sometimes, adults who have had braces when they were younger may need to go through a second or third course of treatment. This is usually due to not wearing retainers as instructed by their orthodontist. The proper use of retainers long after wearing braces can prevent the teeth from shifting back to its original state. When a previous orthodontic patient neglects that responsibility, the chances are high that their teeth might become crooked again. It is not uncommon to see an adult get braces multiple times throughout their life.

Modern braces make a difference. Sometimes, children and adolescents choose not to wear braces for aesthetic reasons. Now, with more reliable options such as clear brackets and Invisalign, braces are more socially acceptable, even for adults. That is not to mention that braces today are more affordable than they have been in the past. Adults might decide on orthodontic treatment later in life due to financial reasons. Today, most orthodontic offices accept dental insurance and create reasonable payment plans for all patients.

With the right treatment, braces can be beneficial at any age. Braces used to be a type of dental care that was more commonly seen on children and teenagers. Now, statistics show that more than 20% of orthodontic patients are adults, including those in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It’s never too late to make improvements to our health and wellbeing, which is why more adults are getting braces to straighten their smiles.

How Apples are Good for Your Teeth

Oct 5th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 5th, 2018

Good for my teeth

People have been asserting that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” since the 19 th century. While it may not necessarily be true that those who eat apples never have to see a doctor, apples certainly have great health benefits for our bodies! Did you know they can even be good for our teeth? Let’s take a look at what the research says …

It’s widely thought that chewing a crisp, fresh apple can help brush away plaque on our teeth. We’re not too sure on this one, as some studies show a higher plaque content on teeth after eating an apple. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them.

You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind. As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay! Schedule an appointment today!

Are Dental Procedure Costs on the Rise? 

Sep 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 30th, 2018

Over the last several years, the cost of dental care has been increasing at a faster rate than most healthcare services. With such rapid developments made to dental procedures, technology, and education, the average American cannot afford many of the treatments that are often recommended by dentists. Although most Americans are insured with some form of healthcare, the expense of a dentist visit often outweighs those benefits, especially during the more demanding procedures, such as root canals and tooth extractions. As a result of this abrupt increase in the cost of dental care, research has shown that only 36% of Americans actually go to the dentist on an annual basis. Unfortunately, when cost is the only thing standing in the way of proper dental care, we are either forced to pay the expenses out of pocket or skip the recommended treatment overall. This in turn, can lead to further health complications down the road. 

With such an increase in dental bills, many of us find ourselves wondering why a trip to the dentist is so expensive. Professional dentistry requires extensive knowledge and advanced technology in order to deliver the highest quality of treatment. Studies show that 80% of what a patient pays after their dental procedure goes toward the expense of running an up-to-date dental practice. Considering the cost of office space, payroll of certified staff, health and business insurance, taxes, supplies, and updated technology, it’s no wonder why dental visits are costly. The quality of products that are manufactured in dental labs are also on the rise, resulting in a much higher demand in order to afford reliable crowns, dentures, and other dental products that are being placed inside patients’ mouths.  

Dental Fillings 

Dental fillings have come an extremely long way over the last 150 years. Dental filling advancements that might affect the higher treatment costs, include the variety of updated bonding techniques. Now, we have the option of treating our cavities with dental fillings that blend with the actual color of the tooth, making it more aesthetically pleasing to the patient. Tooth composites are also being produced to be a stronger, more translucent material. While a traditional, silver amalgam filling can cost as little as $50, there are some porcelain fillings that can cost almost $4,500. With so many options to choose from, the price of treating tooth decay will most likely continue to increase. 

Tooth Extractions 

Sometimes, dental procedures require surgical and non-surgical extractions to fix the issues that can’t be treated. While the cost of tooth extractions depend on the difficulty and length of the treatment, the actual procedure usually involves administering anesthesia. Furthermore, the latest anesthesia technology is expensive, and even the most basic forms can get pricey. Depending on the severity, the average tooth removal can cost anywhere from $75 to $700 per tooth. 

Root Canals and Crowns 

Dental procedures, such as crown placements, normally follow a root canal, turning the treatment into a couple weeks worth of dental visits. The cost of a crown is usually tied to the type of material that it’s made of. Dental labs are making the material more durable so that there are less chances of the crown cracking later down the road. The improvements made in the material of dental crowns make the overall costs range from $300-$700. That’s not to mention that the root canal procedure can cost a couple hundred dollars as well. 

Running a Dental Office 

With the rise in modernized dental procedures and technology, running a dental office as a professional can cost a small fortune. A small dental office serving roughly 1500 patients per year can cost several hundred thousand dollars per year to operate.  

Studies have recently shown that more and more people continue to skip the dentist office all together because of the unpleasant bill that comes along with the visit. However, it’s important to remember that the high costs are associated with giving the patient the best quality of care and satisfaction. Dental care is an essential part of living a healthy life, thus why such extensive measures have been taken to make all dental procedures as reliable as possible. 

 

The Dental Care Gap

Aug 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Sep 11th, 2017

When they find themselves in severe pain, uninsured individuals tend to wind up in local emergency rooms. If their pain is caused by a broken bone or a ruptured appendix, they’ll receive the care they need immediately. On the other hand, if their pain is the result of rotting teeth and dental abscesses, they’ll receive little care. They may be given a pill for the pain or an antibiotic to fight the infection, but that’s it.

These individuals will then be sent home and forced to seek out their own dental care. Often, this means painstakingly saving money for months, taking loans they won’t be able to pay back, or waiting for an annual free clinic to come to town. As they postpone the care they cannot afford, these individuals are forced to live in agony for weeks, and even months, at a time. In addition, this wait can allow dental problems to worsen and can pose serious health risks.

Many people out there believe it is immoral to allow the poor to live in agony simply because they cannot afford dental procedures. Dental insurance should be provided for everyone who cannot realistically afford it on their own.

At The Dental Center, we’re committed to supporting increases in affordable dental insurance, but are still waiting for members of the government to step up to the plate. Instead, we’re taking action everyday to help uninsured individuals get the dental care they need. Through his work with the Dental OPTIONS program, Dr. Gilmer is actively improving the lives of the neediest members of his community.

 

 

5 Basic Mouth Maintenance Tips To Remember

Jun 30th, 2017
Easton Dentists Jul 11th, 2017

You maintain your car, but do you maintain your mouth? Here are five basic mouth maintenance tips to remember.

Brushing and Flossing

Regular brushing and flossing does more than just eliminate bad breath and keep your teeth gleaming. This is according to a 2006 study commissioned by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The study revealed some surprising benefits of regular brushing. For instance, regular brushing and flossing can prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), promote weight loss, boost memory among senior citizens and prevent pregnancy gingivitis. Moreover, a 2011 British study established a link between gum disease and erectile dysfunction (ED), which means regular brushing and flossing could prevent ED.

Eating Healthy

The America Dental Association (ADA) says that high-sugar foods are bad for your oral health because they promote plaque buildup in the mouth, which eventually causes tooth decay. Examples of such foods include and sugary snacks and junk food. Additionally, such foods typically lack certain nutrients that promote oral health by fighting dental infections. For these reasons, your diet should consist of foods from each of the five major food groups. Examples of foods that promote good oral health include celery, apples, yogurt, almonds, carrots, leafy greens and cheese.

Avoid Sugary Drinks

Sweetened beverages are among the leading dietary causes of tooth decay, according to Colgate. Specifically, these drinks provide the harmful bacteria in the mouth with sugar. The bacteria use the sugar to produce energy and in the process release acid as a byproduct. The acid ultimately causes myriad dental problems including plaque buildup, enamel erosion, dental cavities and halitosis. For these reasons, you should avoid sweetened and carbonated beverages, including “sugar-free” soda.

Dental Sealants

Made of plastic materials, dental sealants cover the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of permanent molars and premolars, which appear at age six or thereabout. In essence, they protect the back teeth from dental problems including dental caries and tooth decay.

Fluoridated Toothpaste

Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it less susceptible to tooth decay. For this reason, you should brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste. Equally important, ensure you use the right amount of toothpaste — a pea-sized amount should be sufficient.

Conclusion

Dental sealants, fluoridated toothpaste and eating healthy promote good oral hygiene. Additionally, you should brush/floss regularly and avoid sweetened drinks.

Teeth Whitening Resolution?

Jan 31st, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

New Year and resolutions go hand in hand. These resolutions are promises people make to themselves to get rid of a particular bad habit or develop a specific good habit. However, most resolutions don’t stand the test of time as they’re unreasonable or difficult to start with. Therefore, it’s important to take up a resolution that adds value and is also easy to implement. Teeth whitening can be one such New Year resolution. If you believe a fresh, white smile is what you need, the following teeth whitening treatments shall help you.

1. Tray and Gel

A tray-and-gel setup is a potent teeth whitening method that you need to work on with a dentist. The gel contains 10 to 15 percent hydrogen peroxide, which is the primary constituent of every teeth whitening product on the market. The dentist will custom fit the mold with your mouth and give you the whitening gel and tray for use at home. The tray makes sure the gel is applied evenly, ensuring some extremely impressive results.

2. Whitening Treatment Course

Another popular teeth whitening treatment option dentists provide is a series of treatments that last 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll require multiple sessions before you could notice results. This treatment is more expensive and more effective than the previous method as the hydrogen peroxide content here is 35 percent.

Foods to Avoid

There is a negative correlation between certain foods and whiter teeth. Some foods cause the teeth to lose their pearly white hue and are called “staining foods”. They are dark soups, dark chocolate, beets, dark marinades, tomato and soy sauces, blueberries, and dark beverages (coffee, wine, colored juices, etc.). Generally, Indian and Spanish cuisine could darken teeth thanks to their higher use of curry and tomato sauces.

It’s hard to imagine not eating these aforementioned food items forever, but you can certainly keep the consumption and frequency as low as possible. Also, these foods are strictly not recommended right after a teeth whitening session.

Conclusion

You may try at-home teeth whitening remedies, but remember they won’t be as effective or safe as in-office teeth whitening treatments since some foods are acidic and may cause tooth sensitivity issues. Needless to say, it’s not wise to experiment with your already vulnerable teeth.

Should you like to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening at The Dental Center please call 614-414-0111.

Best Foods To Eat To Keep a Healthy Mouth

Oct 31st, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Best Foods To Eat To Keep a Healthy Mouth

food

Preventative health measures for a healthy mouth can start with your diet. Depending on the foods and snacks you eat can keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Calcium For Healthy Teeth

Two of the best products for healthy teeth are milk and cheese. While they both provide calcium, they provide additional benefits. The calcium in milk is absorbed faster because milk contains Vitamin D. Calcium-rich cheese destroys bacteria in your mouth.

Chewy Vegetables For Healthy Gums And Teeth

When you chew fresh vegetables, it will keep your teeth strong and your gums healthy. Carrots, onions, and celery provide important nutrition while keeping your mouth healthy. They reduce the bacteria in your mouth by increasing saliva. Carrots also contain beta-carotene for strong teeth.

Apples For A Healthy Mouth

When it comes to dental health, all fruits are not equal. You can have the healthiest mouth if you choose apples instead of citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are acidic, and can harm your tooth enamel.

Strawberries For White Teeth

You can eat strawberries for natural teeth whitening. With their nutritional benefits, strawberries can be an inexpensive alternative to over-the-counter whitening products.

Healthy Foods With Protein Contain Phosphorus

Some of the most common protein-rich foods provide phosphorus for healthy teeth. Eggs, fish, and meat contribute to strong, healthy tooth enamel.

Healthy Foods With Magnesium

Magnesium is also important for healthy tooth enamel. Some popular foods that are high in magnesium include bananas, spinach, and whole grains.

Shiitake Mushrooms For Dental Health

When you are looking for a different snack for yourself or your children, or want to add something special to a recipe, consider the dental health benefits of shiitake mushrooms. Not only will they destroy harmful bacteria in your mouth, they are a natural way to stop plaque from building up on your teeth. You will be less likely to develop cavities when you include the mushrooms in your diet.

 

Here at The Dental Center we recommend maintaining a balanced diet, and include some of these products every day. You can enjoy good nutrition, delicious food, and dental health.

For more information on preventative health measures and more information on some more of the best foods to eat to keep a healthy mouth, contact our Columbus office today and schedule your next cleaning!

 

 

7 Oral Health Concerns for Those Over 50

Aug 4th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Oral Health Concerns

When they say “age is all in your head,” they’re probably right. But then, your teeth ARE in your head — so you likely can’t escape having to pay a little more attention to them after the age of 50. Although some oral health concerns are seen as common as we age, if you adopt a proactive mindset and educate yourself, these concerns do not have to be common for you. Anticipating and recognizing changes in your mouth can help you be on top of your health in this area — so let’s take a look at the main ones you have to watch out for.

Dry Mouth:

The most common oral health concern you’re likely to experience as you age is dry mouth. In the medical world, dry mouth goes by the name xerostomia, and can be brought on by a number of contributing factors, including the over-consumption of drying beverages like coffee and alcohol, as well as the frequent consumption of salty foods. Another big offender is the medication we take over a lifetime to treat various illness. And the list isn’t a short one – there are at least 400 medications that can contribute to xerostomia, including medications for high blood pressure and depression. We have been able to help many patients find relief and prevent them from greater harm.

Ill-fitting Dentures: 

First off, it’s important to note that the need for dentures is not a must as we age. Today, healthier living and better access to dental care has reduced the percentage of seniors wearing dentures to 27% from nearly 50% just a few decades ago. That said, should dentures be a part of your life, or that of a loved one, wearing properly-fitting dentures is critical. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a denture reline. Give us a call at (614) 414-0111 and we can see if that will help. Dentures that cause pain or shift in the mouth tend to alter a person’s eating habits, which can lead to nutrition deficits if healthy, but hard-to-chew, foods are avoided. Ill-fitting dentures can also cause thrush.

Physical Obstacles to Good Oral Care: 

As we age, we sometimes find ourselves having to contend with physical ailments that limit our desire to maintain good oral care. Arthritis, vision loss, or injuries are a few of the most common. To combat these concerns, using a floss pick to get between teeth can be helpful, and the regular use of oral rinses can assist in dislodging difficult-to-remove food debris, while adding to the overall health of one’s mouth and gum tissue. Here’s how to choose the best mouth rinse for your needs!

Naturally Receding Gums: 

The old expression “long in the tooth” isn’t just a quaint idiom about how one accumulates wisdom with age – it also refers to how our teeth appear to “lengthen” as we age. In other words, it’s a fancy way of saying our gums are receding. While some degree of gum recession is indeed natural as we get up in years, this predisposes us to cavities along the root structure of the tooth where enamel doesn’t exist. So, as one ages, flossing, brushing and rinses are more important than ever.

Gum Disease: 

Natural gum recession is one thing, and a part of “growing up,” if you will. Gum disease, however, is preventable. So, if it’s been longer than six months since you’ve seen us, please do give us a call at (614) 414-0111. Each of the above items in this list can contribute to gum disease, and good oral care can prevent it. Failing to do so can lead to a need for dentures at its most extreme, and pain and swollen gums at its least. We’d prefer you experience neither concern!

Tooth Loss: 

If a tooth is lost due to trauma or decay, and not replaced with an implant or other prosthetic, it can have serious complications for the health of the jawbone. Teeth can shift out of place and fall out, and bone tissue can be resorbed back into the body. Not a good thing.

Loss of Insurance Coverage:

Retirees without dental coverage can sometimes cover the expense of dental care on their own; sometimes they cannot. But a lack of funds to take care of one’s teeth can be devastating to the health of our mouths, and our overall health. So we need to plan for two things: a care routine that allows us to take care of our teeth as much as humanly possible and some sort of financial backup plan for when problems do arise.We help dozens of patients a week to discover what the plan that best fits their needs!

Is Xylitol Good For Me?

May 11th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

You may have heard this funny sounding word or saw it listed in the ingredients of a pack of gum you recently bought. In fact, with nutritionist pushing for consumers to read food labels and for food manufacturers to be more transparent, you’re probably beginning to notice all kinds of ingredients that you may have never heard of before. Xylitol sounds anything but familiar, so what is it and more importantly, is it good for you?

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, much like sorbitol, mannitol, or erythritol. It is derived from the carbohydrate xylose and occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. When produced for commercial purposes, xylitol is extracted from one of two sources; corn cobs or birch wood.

What is xylitol used for?

Since xylitol is naturally sweet and contains 1/3 fewer calories than sugar, it is often used as a sugar substitute in chewing gums, mints, and other items such as “sugar-free” candies. Xylitol is also found in some oral care products such as tooth paste and mouth rinse.

Is xylitol good for me?

There are mixed results as to whether xylitol is beneficial to humans beyond the recommended serving of 6-10 grams per day. However, in small doses xylitol has shown to help prevent tooth decay and cavities because it does not convert to acid in the mouth like sugar does.

Although xylitol has proven to benefit human’s oral health when consumed in small doses, any amount of xylitol is toxic to dogs. If your dog eats any amount of xylitol, you should take them to the vet immediately for treatment.

How can xylitol benefit my oral health?

Xylitol has shown to increase salivary flow, helping keep the mouth hydrated and washing away harmful acids that break down tooth enamel. It is also useful in helping prevent plaque buildup which in turn helps prevent cavities.

Should I add xylitol to my diet?

Before you add anything new to your diet or oral health care routine, it’s best to talk to your doctor and/or dentist to learn their recommendation. While xylitol does show some promising oral health benefits, work with your doctor and dentist to determine if it is the right option for you.

If you have dental care concerns about cavities or tooth decay, having regular cleanings and exams with a professional dentist is the first step to improving your oral health. Contact us today to set up an appointment.