7 Dental Concerns for Those Over The Age of 50

Jul 13th, 2023
Easton Dentists Jul 13th, 2023

When they say “age is all in your head,” they’re probably right. But then again, 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 over 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 Easton Dental Center in Columbus Ohio 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 Smoking Detrimental To The Health Of Your Teeth?

May 25th, 2023
Easton Dentists Jul 13th, 2023

By now, it is no secret that smoking can lead to serious health problems such as lung and throat cancer, but did you know that tobacco use can also have a huge impact on your oral health? Using tobacco of any kind, whether it be chewing, cigarettes, or smoking from a pipe, can create nearly irreversible effects on your oral health.

Some common problems associated with smoking and your oral health include bone loss, gum disease, plaque and tartar buildup, halitosis, and the notorious discoloration, “yellowing” of the teeth. These issues may result in the need for dental insurance, or asking about company plans. These are just some of the many effects smoking has on your teeth.


Gum Disease

Smoking effects the gums by inhibiting the regular functions of the gum tissues, as well as affects the bone attachment and soft tissues in the mouth. Over time the blood flow responsible for healing will become impaired and the mouth will become more amenable to infections. All of these issues combined makes smokers more susceptible to periodontal disease, or “gum disease.”


Oral Cancer

It is estimated that 35,000 patients will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer in the United States. The odds of developing cancer is stacked against tobacco users, with an estimated 90% of oral cancer patients having been regular tobacco users (whether from pipes, cigarettes, cigars, or other smoking apparatuses.) In fact, statistics from the American Cancer Society show that smokers are 6 times more likely to develop cancer of the tongue, mouth, lips, or throat, than that of a non-smoker.


Issues with Dental Procedures

Not only does smoking make your teeth look bad, it also effects your recovery from dental procedures. This happens because of the weakened healing capabilities, causing an extended recovery time post-surgery. Persistent smoking can also lead to repeated tooth decay and complete loss of teeth.


Smokeless Tobacco

Those hoping to curb these oral health issues by using smokeless tobacco should know that they are still at risk. Smokeless tobacco products contain many chemicals that affect the esophagus, mouth, and throat, and may cause receding of the gums.

Protect your mouth against disease and unwanted issues by maintaining good oral health, brushing and flossing daily, having regular dental checkups, and conquering the habit of tobacco use.

If you feel that smoking may have damaged your teeth beyond repair, call Easton Dental Center in Columbus OH. Maybe it is not as bad as you think?

Employer Dental Benefits: Why They Are Still Important

Apr 19th, 2023
Easton Dentists Apr 20th, 2023

If you are employed and your company offers dental benefits, you should take advantage of them. Dental benefits provided by employers are often comprehensive and cost-effective. They can include a range of services from preventive care, such as routine checkups and cleanings, to more complex procedures like orthodontic treatment or oral surgery.

  

Why do employers provide dental benefits?

Employers have the advantage of numbers when it comes to obtaining the best dental benefits plans. Insurance companies offer large corporations excellent rates on their policies because they know they will be covering a large group of employees. This allows employers to offer better overall dental plans to their employees than they could find on their own.

Dentists who join dental networks agree to offer discounted benefits to those on the plan. This discount can be as much as thirty-five percent. Additionally, dentists are monitored to ensure that patients receive quality care.

Many employers split the cost of the dental plan with their employees, making dental insurance benefits affordable. In fact, dental benefits provided by employers are typically better than individual dental insurance policies for the same or less cost than an individual dental policy. When an employee visits the dentist, a portion of all bills will be paid by the insurance company, with a co-payment due from the insured patient. This is better than a dental discount program, which simply offers discounted dental care.

  

Employer dental benefits in the era of COVID-19

COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of dental benefits, as oral health is closely linked to overall health. Delaying dental visits or treatments can lead to serious oral health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Moreover, some oral health conditions, such as periodontitis, have been linked to increased risk of COVID-19 complications.

Many dental offices have implemented new safety measures to protect patients during the pandemic, such as air filtration systems, enhanced personal protective equipment, and social distancing measures. Some employers have even expanded their dental benefits to cover additional cleanings and preventive care to help employees maintain good oral health during these uncertain times.

In conclusion, if your employer offers dental benefits, take advantage of them. These benefits are often comprehensive, cost-effective, and can help you maintain good oral health. Additionally, they may even provide extra protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call The Dental Center @ Easton Town Center in Columbus Ohio to find out what part of you visit would be covered by you current dental plan or suggestions as to how you can get your next visit covered.

What Are The Best Foods To Eat To Keep a Healthy Mouth?

Sep 15th, 2022
Easton Dentists Nov 18th, 2022

What Are The Best Foods To Eat To Keep a Healthy Mouth?

food for a healthy mouth

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, but they are also a natural way to stop plaque from building up on your teeth. You will be less likely to develop cavities when you include mushrooms in your diet.

Here at The Dental Center at Easton in Columbus OH, 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!

Trouble Thinking? Maybe it's Your Teeth

Nov 16th, 2021
Easton Dentists Jan 2nd, 2022

Though it may seem odd, good oral care such as regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist, may help aging adults keep their thinking skills intact, according to a U.S. study. Research has already established an association between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York found that gum disease could also influence brain function through several mechanisms, such as causing inflammation throughout the body, which is a risk factor for loss of mental function. The study also found that adults with the highest levels of this pathogen were two times more likely to fail three-digit reverse subtraction tests.

The study, reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, was based on more than 2,350 men and women who were tested for periodontitis and completed numerous thinking skills tests as part of a national survey.

Overall 5.7 percent of the adults had trouble completing certain memory tasks, 6.5 percent had impaired delayed recall, and 22.1 percent had trouble with serial subtractions.

But those with the levels of the pathogen were nearly three times more likely to struggle with the verbal memory tests, and twice as likely to fail on both delayed verbal recall and subtraction tests.

“Although the results are preliminary, they suggest that further exploration of relationships between oral health and cognition is warranted,” they concluded, “Although results presented here are preliminary and inconclusive, a growing body of evidence supports exploration of a possible association between poor oral health and incident dementia.”

Who Else Needs a Family Dentist?

Dec 9th, 2019
Easton Dentists Jan 2nd, 2020

Even though most people only associate family dentists with taking care of families, and even though the term “family dentist” contains the qualifier “family,” these dental practitioners are in fact for everyone! Truth be told, the term “family dentist” is something of a misnomer. A family dentist is a dentist for everyone, even if you don’t have little ones running amok. All other types of dentists specialize in one age group or specific type of treatment.

It’s easy to think that you don’t need to go to the dentist if you’re taking good care of your teeth. There are two things very wrong with this line of reasoning. Most likely, you probably don’t take as good of care of your teeth as you think and a dentist or dental professional can clean your teeth much better than you ever could. Your teeth don’t need to be super cleaned every day, but every six months or so will make a world of difference. Think about your car – sure, you wash it, keep it clean and put gas in it. But you still need to take it to qualified professional for maintenance like oil changes and fluid flushes. You need to treat your teeth the same way.

When you’re looking for a dentist in the Columbus, Ohio area (such as Dr. Gilmer), you’re really looking for qualities that you would want in a friend. If he or she looks you in the eye and is interested in what you have to say, then the dentist truly may have a vested interest in your teeth. Being comfortable with the person working on your teeth instills trust, and in turn, does not give you a reason to avoid them. Sound logical?

XYLITOL: CAN A SUGAR BE GOOD FOR YOUR TEETH?

Apr 3rd, 2019
Easton Dentists May 3rd, 2019

It is a safe bet that most people have never heard of xylitol.  Since it is a sugar alcohol, it has a low glycemic index, diabetics can consume it safely. 
Through its use as a nasal spray to clear the sinuses of bacteria, its oral benefits were discovered by accident .

When bacteria consume its five-carbon sugar, it kills the bacterium in the process.  In the last several years, its use in dentistry has increased due to its ability to decrease the presence of cavity-causing, acid-releasing Strep mutans and other harmful bacteria.

With the simple action of putting xylitol in your mouth and swishing it around a bit cuts plaque (which is made up of bacteria) levels by 50%.  And there are many ways to utilize xylitol for your teeth:

  1. Mints/gum/candy
    1. 100% xylitol spry is effective.  Can be found at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Fresh Thyme, online, or at your favorite your favorite dental office.  It is great tasting with no unpleasant aftertaste.

Your kids will love it.

  1. Toothpaste/gel/rinse
    1. Carifree is a product that has revolutionized our ability to alter the tough, sticky “biofilm” of bacteria that lives permanently on the teeth.  Carifree has xylitol, as well as a pH neutralizer, fluoride, and calcium nanophosphate to remineralize teeth.  Studies have shown a significant reduction in decay with Carifree products.  However, for a more natural product xylitol can be used alone.
    2. Spry toothpastes and rinses are great tasting – especially the wintergreen! – and pastes come with or without fluoride.  Their kids’ gel is great, very few ingredients, no fluoride, xylitol, and safe to use until your kiddo can spit all their toothpaste out and rinse well to avoid any swallowing of fluoride.
  2. Granulated xylitol
    1. This is the most economical way to buy xylitol – around $7 or so per pound.  It has a cooling sensation on your tongue, and no aftertaste.  My husband has used it daily in his coffee for five years, and I bake banana bread and cookies with it regularly.   In its granulated form, you can just place a half teaspoonful or so on your tongue and use your tongue to rub it on all of your tooth surfaces, then spit it out.

“Strive for five” is the catchy phrase we use to note that we get a cariogenic or decay-reducing effect from xylitol when it is used at least three, but optimally five times per day.  Xylitol is a game-changer 

Why Are Implants Becoming More Popular?

Feb 25th, 2019
Easton Dentists Feb 27th, 2019

Almost everyday now you encounter advertising for dental implants. Why has implants taken the world of dentistry by storm?

Since their introduction into the market over thirty years ago, implants have zoomed ahead of more conventional tooth replacements to become the top choice among both implant dentists and patients. What makes these modern dental devices so popular?

Resemblance to natural teeth. Dental implants can more accurately emulate both the appearance and function of natural teeth. Just as teeth have two main components—the roots beneath the gum surface and the visible crown, implants have a similar in design. Implants have a root replacement by utilizing a titanium metal post that is embedded in the jawbone. Then a life-like porcelain crown or even another form of restoration is permanently attached.

Durability. Due to implant materials and unique designs, a long-term success rate are achieved after the ten year span in the 95-plus percentile. This longevity is primarily achieved due to the use of titanium as the primary metal in the implant post. Since bone has an affinity for titanium, it will successfully grow and adhere to the post over time, creating well-anchored hold. With proper maintenance and care implants, it is reasonable to expect them to last for decades, making them a wise, cost-effective decision on the consumers part.

Added stability for other restorations. While a good many people think of implants as a single tooth replacements, technological advancements have created a much broader reach. For instance, with a few strategically-placed implants a removable denture can be supported, giving this traditional restoration much more security and stability. Better yet, bone loss can be stopped, one of the main drawbacks of conventional dentures. Also, implants can support a fixed bridge, getting rid of the need to permanently alter adjacent teeth that are often used to support a conventional bridge.

With continuing dental advancements, implants are becoming increasingly useful restorative dental work. Depending on your individual tooth-loss case, you can ask your Easton cosmetic dentist if implants would be the smartest choice to put the form and function back in your smile for many years to come.

Steps To Take To Preserve Your Implants

Feb 4th, 2019
Easton Dentists Mar 4th, 2019

There are many reasons as to why dental implants are more popular than ever. One of the most important, though, is their how long they last in the human mouth.  If taken care of properly, your implants can last for decades. But believe it or not, they are not indestructible—certain conditions inside of your mouth could put them in jeopardy. But if you address these situations early, you may be able to prevent implant failure.

Your implants may be eventually compromised, as an example, if you have a teeth grinding or clenching problem. This can happen when a person involuntarily and repeatedly bites down on their teeth for no productive reason. Triggered by high stress, teeth grinding can incur damage to both natural teeth and implants to greater than normal levels of force. Eventually, this can inflict bone loss around an implant and weaken their support. It could possibly cause a direct break in an implant.

But there are several ways to stop or reduce the harm of grinding the teeth. One proven to be successful method is a custom-made bite guard that can be worn while you sleep. Constructed of hard plastic, the teeth guard prevents the solid contact with each other, thus reducing the amount of force applied.

A more common problem is periodontal disease, a bacterial infection that is the end product of built-up dental plaque on tooth surfaces. This can trigger inflammation, a normal defensive response that when the gums are stressed for an extended period of time,  damaging tissues and supporting bone. This can lead to a specific form of gum disease related to implants known as peri-implantitis, where the tissues that support an implant become infected and weaken, eventually leading to possible implant failure.

As to the prevention for a good many dental issues, brushing and flossing daily is a productive step in prevent gum disease, as well as seeing your implant dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups. Should you notice anything such as reddened, swollen or bleeding gums, see your dental professional immediately. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your implants will function as well as maintaining your overall health.

Dental implants can provide years of great service and can prove very cost effective. But you’ll need to stay vigilant against gum disease and other mouth conditions that could endanger as time passes.

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