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The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Disease

Most people are unaware of the link between oral health and overall health. In fact, more than 80-percent of America's population is living with undiagnosed gum disease or periodontal disease. The reason for this is most of the symptoms are painless and therefore patients skip dentist appointments until they are forced by some physical symptoms to visit the dentist.

Recent studies have pointed to a link between oral health and heart disease specifically. Recent studies reveal that people with moderate to advance stages of gum disease are far more likely to develop heart disease than their counterparts with healthy gums.

Revelations from new studies have also given doctors clues into a person's heart condition simply by looking at the teeth and mouth. There are certain warning signs of heart disease that manifest as oral health issues.

Relation between the Mouth and the Heart

The reason for the link between heart disease and oral health is bacteria and other germs easily spread from the mouth to the various parts of the body via the blood stream. The bacteria found in the mouth can therefore find its way into the heart and cause inflammation in any already damaged areas of the heart. This manifests as heart diseases and illnesses including endocarditis which is an infection of the heart's inner lining.

Additional heart conditions that have been so far linked with oral health (or lack thereof) including stroke and atherosclerosis also known as clogged arteries.

Are You at Risk of Heart Disease?

Studies show that people suffering from untreated chronic gum conditions such as advanced periodontal and gingivitis are at high risk of developing heart disease.

Besides gum disease, people who neglect oral hygiene are also at high risk of heart disease. Accumulated plaque poses a risk of bacteria finding its way into the blood stream and elevating the C-reactive protein. This protein is a marker identified for inflamed blood vessels including arteries.

 Symptoms of Gum Disease

Note that simply because you have gum disease doesn’t automatically mean that you also suffer or may suffer from heart disease. Common symptoms of gum disease to watch out for include;

  • Pus around the teeth and gums
  • Swelled, red and sore gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gum line
  • Frequent foul taste in your mouth or bad breath

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to protect yourself from gum disease and subsequently possible heart disease is to practice good oral hygiene. Learn to brush and floss properly. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss every night before bed.

Finally, take a proactive measure to protect your oral health by visiting your dentists at least two times a year. Any early signs of gum disease can be spotted and treated accordingly. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 4/26/2018
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What is A Canker Sore?

Canker sores are tiny, often painful ulcers that occur on the inside of the mouth such as on the lips, tongue, throat or roof of the mouth. These small ulcers look a bit like craters. The medical term is aphthous stomatitis or aphthous ulcers.

Canker sores are often confused with cold sores and fever blisters but are very different. Canker sores in particular have a red border while the inside of the sore may appear yellow, gray or red. Unlike cold sores which are caused by a viral infection, cankers are considered as an oral lesion. Canker sores are also not contagious.

What Causes Canker Sores?

There are multiple possible causes for canker sores including;

  • A mouth injury such as from dental work, vigorous brushing, sports accident or braces
  • Food allergies or sensitivity especially common with highly acidic food and spicy food
  • Dietary deficiency such as of iron, folic acid, vitamins B12
  • Hormonal stress
  • Emotional stress
  • Allergic reaction to certain bacteria in the mouth
  • Smoking
  • Toothpaste made with sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Gastrointestinal tract diseases such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease

Signs and Symptoms of Canker Sores

You will typically find canker sores on the gum, tongue, lips, roof of the mouth, soft palate and cheeks. Common symptoms include;

  • Painful reddening in the mouth
  • Small yellow or white oval-shaped ulcers in the mouth
  • Tingling sensation in the mouth

Treatment of Canker Sores  

Canker sores typically resolve naturally in a week or so without requiring any treatment. You should however visit your dentist or doctor if your symptoms include;

  • Painful sores persist after two weeks
  • Bleeding gums
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Earaches
  • Canker sores accompanied with fever
  • You aren’t feeling well for more than two or more days

There are also a few home remedies that can help you manage the condition including;

  • Drinking milk or eating ice cream or yogurt
  • Brushing and flossing regularly to avoid a bacterial infection
  • Avoiding spicy foods to expedite the healing process
  • Over the counter medication such as benzocaine, fluocinonide or hydrogen peroxide rinse for pain relief

How to Prevent Canker Sores

You can begin by avoiding foods that might have ignited the condition in the first place. Foods that are commonly associated with canker sores include acidic, salty and spicy foods.

Use calming techniques if you suspect that your canker sores are as a result of stress.

Finally, maintain good oral hygiene including brushing and flossing regularly. You may also. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 4/12/2018
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How to Properly Care for Your Teeth during Pregnancy

It is essential that you take good care of your gums and teeth while pregnant. Getting pregnant changes your entire hormonal chemistry making you more susceptible to gum disease, cavities and other dental issues. This however isn’t just about you. Your oral problems can actually harm the baby. There are a few great tips that you can employ to take care of your teeth while pregnant.

Schedule a Dental Appointment

Schedule a dental appointment as soon as you discover you are pregnant and after visiting an obstetrician. The Obstetrician will recommend any precautions or instructions you might require during your pregnancy. Relay this information to your dentist.

Your routine dental work can still be done while you're pregnant and so can emergency or urgent procedures. Elective dental procedures should be pushed forward until after you have had the baby.

Report any medication you might be taking including prenatal vitamins. Relay any information your doctor might have given you. The more information your dentist has, the better he can modify your dental treatment plan.

Consider Changing Toothpaste

Morning sickness can make it virtually impossible to brush your teeth. Begin by rinsing your mouth every time you vomit or experience morning sickness. Consider switching to milder or bland-tasting toothpaste during this time. Your dentist may be able to recommend a good brand for you.

Brush Thoroughly

Now more than ever you need to pay attention to how you brush your teeth. Pay particular attention to your front and back teeth. Brush the gum-line since you are susceptible to gingivitis during pregnancy. Be sure to also brush the biting surfaces of your teeth along with the teeth to prevent tooth decay.

Brush after every meal and especially if you have a snack just before bed or in the middle of the night. Again, you are more prone to cavities while pregnant so it is prudent that you brush soon after eating. Rinse with fluoride mouthwash to strengthen your teeth.

Eat Healthy

Maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Again, this isn’t just for your oral health but also that of your baby. The baby's teeth begin to develop roughly three months into the pregnancy. Dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese and milk are great for you and your baby's bones, gums and teeth.

Schedule a dental appointment as soon as you notice any gum or teeth problem. Lastly, pregnancy is no excuse to neglect or miss your dental appointments and is actually more important now than ever. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 4/12/2018
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