Blog

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
Comments: Leave a comment

Dental Technology

Technology plays a major role in how the world operates nowadays. It has helped in the development of effective tools and equipment that make dental services more efficient, fast and comfortable for the patient. Dental technology has evolved in terms of diagnostic and treatment. There are many tools that are now available to help make the visit to the dentist and subsequent treatment more pleasant.

 

Finding out the status of your teeth has been made easier with use of intraoral cameras. These are digital tools that take pictures of the teeth therefore giving a clear indication if they are at their best or not. The pictures show if plaque has formed and if there are any visible cavities. Another helpful tool in diagnostic is the DIAGNOdent laser that is used to indicate if there is any decay on your teeth. By scanning, it is able to pinpoint even the slightest indication of decay and treatment can start right away. This is not only fast but it enables the dentist to treat the tooth before a cavity forms.

 

In the quest of catching oral cancer before it forms, dental technology has made it possible through a VizLite, which basically uses light to indicate any possible danger of oral cancer forming in the mouth. The light is able to differentiate between the cells in the mouth and to set apart the cells that are not healthy.

 

Apart from diagnostic, dental technology makes it possible for patients to have dental implements such as implants, dentures and braces. Technology has made the processes of using these implements easier and more aesthetic in appearance. Patients do not have to deal with awkward braces and ill fitting dentures. These devices are more refined and flexible in their use therefore more comfortable.

 

Dental technology advances have also seen the development of more friendly ways of administering sedatives. Patients do not have to deal with injections unless they really have to. This makes the process easier for the dentist and more comfortable for the patients. Technology has made dentistry more pleasant and there is no doubt that there are good things to come in future.

 

Through the continued evolving of dental technology, procedures that were time barred such as straightening of teeth can now be possible for adults through technology such as Clear Colour and Invisalign. With these advances, there is now no excuse as to why you would not readily go to the dentist often.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 9/6/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Can Food Damage Your Teeth?

Tooth damage is caused by the erosion or cracking of the enamel over time resulting to tooth decay and other dental health problems. This can be attributed to a number of factors including:

 

  • The type and amount of bacteria you have in your mouth - some bacteria are good, and some are bad for your oral health.
  • How much of sugar you eat.
  • How much of high acidic foods and beverages you take.
  • Whether you use fluoride products like fluoride toothpaste - lack of which will lead to dental decay.

 

Certain types of foods can also be a cause of tooth damage. These foods include:

  1. Sugary foods.

Many foods have sugar in them either in the form of glucose, maltose, sucrose or fructose.  Processed foods like chocolate, cakes and soft drinks contain extra sugar which is harmful to your teeth. Sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque and produce harmful acids which corrodes your enamel leading to tooth cavities.

  1. Acidic foods and drinks.

Acidic foods and drinks cause dental erosion. They wear away the enamel leaving the dentine uncovered which makes your teeth sensitive. Some foods and drinks are more acidic than others. The acidity of a product is measured by its pH value. Any food product with a pH value lower that 5.5 are more corrosive while those with a pH value of 7 are in the middle between acid and alkali.

 

Foods with a pH value below 5.5 include vinegar, red wine, lager and grapefruit while foods such as walnut, carrots and mineral water have a higher value than pH 7.

  1. Not eating enough vegetables and fruits.

Eating a balanced diet is vital for your oral health, fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins which help prevent gum disease, tooth loss and bad breath. When you do not eat enough vegetables and fruits it can cause dental problems like scurvy.

 

Eating and chewing naturally weakens your tooth enamel. The most efficient way to protect yourself from damaging your teeth is by:

 

  • Brushing your teeth after every meal.
  • Using sugar free chewing gum which makes your mouth to produce more saliva and those containing Xylitol help reduce tooth decay. Saliva helps cancel out the acid in your mouth after eating or drinking.
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
  • Eat healthy well balanced meals.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/26/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Bad Breath Causes

Bad breath is a condition known as halitosis and is used to describe disagreeable odour in the breath. The bacteria that cause bad breath needs an oxygen free environment to survive hence they are found between your teeth and the groove of your tongue. As the bacteria breaks down the food debris they release volatile sulphur compound, which produce the unpleasant odour in your mouth.

 

There are different types of breath odour which include:

 

  • Oral malodour or morning breathe; is often experienced when waking and starvation can also lead to the same kind of odour. Oral malodour can be rectified by;
  1. Eating.
  2. Rinsing the mouth with fresh water.
  3. Tongue cleansing using a scraper after brushing your teeth may help.
  • Malodour is a type of breath odour associated with what you have ingested and depends on your lifestyle. Foods such as spices, cauliflower or habits such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can result to a distinctive bad breath.

The causes of bad breath include:

  1. Some foods and drinks.

Some foods and drinks such as onions, cabbages, garlic and alcohol contain sulphur, which creates odours that linger in the mouth and digestive system when ingested.

  1. Tobacco.

Tobacco causes deterioration of the lungs and gum disease which can cause bad breath.

  1. Infections.

Mouth and respiratory tract infections like tonsillitis, bronchitis and other lung infections and tumours can cause bad breath.

A postnatal drip for example, is caused by inflammation or infections in the throat, sinuses and nose. As the fluids drip down the back of the throat, they accumulate and cause bad breath.

  1. Anxiety.

Being anxious may increase the level of volatile sulphur compound therefore causing bad odour.

  1. Poor dental hygiene.

Poor oral cleaning habits like failure to remove food particles from in between the teeth, along gum lines and in braces can leave plaque causing bad breath.

  1. Dry mouth.

A dry oral environment can be caused by problems with the salivary glands which cause dryness. Also having your mouth open dries it out. This often happens when you are asleep and is a major cause of morning breath.

 

The best way to get rid of bad breath is by:

 

  • Maintaining a good oral hygiene.
  • Drink lots of water to moist your mouth.
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
  • If you wear dentures periodically soak them in an antiseptic solution.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/19/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Are You Grinding Your Teeth?

Grinding or clenching your teeth from time to time is not uncommon. It is medically known as bruxism. Occasionally, grinding or clenching your teeth is not harmful at all. However, it can become harmful if it occurs on a regular basis. This is because it can result in the damage of teeth as well as in the development of other dental complications.

 

Causes of bruxism

 

Teeth grinding is usually caused by stress or anxiety. Simply observe people under stress, anxiety or who have been angered by an event. You’ll notice that they have a clenched jaw.

 

Bruxism can also occur during sleep. In this case, it may also be caused by stress or anxiety that has not been dealt with. Bruxism during sleep can also be the result of a missing or cracked tooth as well as an abnormal bite.

 

How can I know if I grind my teeth while sleeping?

 

Many people who grind their teeth are unaware of the habit as it occurs while they are asleep. Many of these people wake up with common symptoms of bruxism which include:

 

  • A headache
  • A sore jaw

 

In most cases, people learn that they grind their teeth when they are informed by a loved one of the habit. If you suspect that you grind your teeth in your sleep, you should talk to your dentist. Dentists can examine your jaw and mouth to determine if the signs of bruxism are present. Some signs that dentists look out for include:

 

  • Jaw tenderness
  • Tooth abnormalities

 

Why you should be concerned about grinding your teeth

 

If teeth grinding is so common and natural, why should you be concerned about it if it occurs while you’re sleeping? Firstly, grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping is not normal. Chronic grinding of the teeth can result in damage to the teeth. It results in wearing down of the teeth into stumps. You may need to have crowns, bridges, implants, a root canal or dentures to correct the damage.

 

The fact that your jaw is clenched for an extended period of time can also result in damage to the jaw. In some cases, the effects to the jaw may result in affected hearing. Some people with bruxism have experienced hearing loss as a result. You may even suffer a change in the appearance of your face. In worst cases, patients develop Temperomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMD or TMJ). This is a disorder of the jaw nerves and muscles resulting from injury to the temperomandibular joint. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/15/2014
Comments: Leave a comment