Archive for January, 2014

Gum Disease Almost 100 Percent Preventable

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

gingivitisDo you wear sunscreen on blistering hot days? Do you buckle your seat belt when going on a road trip? Like these measures, taking care of your gums and teeth marks the benefits of preventative care. Think ahead of time. Not only will staying on top of your gum health ward off unwanted accidents, it might also keep money in the bank later on.

The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is the inflammation of your gums. Red tissue, receding gum lines and bleeding gums after brushing are all telltale signs of gingivitis. This occurs when plaque is allowed to accumulate in the pockets between where your teeth meet the gums. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce toxins that slowly eat away at the tissue. Although gums may be irritated at this point, teeth remain firmly planted in their sockets, and no irreversible bone damage has occurred yet.

If left untreated, however, gingivitis may progress to periodontal disease, or advanced-stage gum disease. At this point, the inner layer of the gum and bone begin to pull away from teeth, creating small pockets. The deeper the pockets, the more space bacteria have to grow.

At its nastiest, gum disease can result in the loss of teeth as well as the bones that support the teeth.

Biggest causes of gum diseases:
• Tobacco products: Smoking, chewing and any other use of tobacco has been shown as one of the leading causes of gum disease. The chemicals in tobacco leave harmful bacteria in the mouth, which erodes the gum tissue. When this happens, smoker’s breath might be the least of one’s concerns. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis.

(more…)

No Comments Yet »

The Differences Between Regular, Soy and Almond Milk

Monday, January 27th, 2014

1155002_70100397

Many people have chosen sides for which type of milk they prefer. Cow, soy and almond varieties all provide nutritious sources of vitamins and minerals, but let’s look at which are the healthiest for your body and teeth.

For a healthy mouth, calcium and vitamin D rank as two of the best nutrients. As your mom told you, calcium helps promote strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, thereby increasing bone density and reducing the risk for softening. This will help lower the risk of cavities and other oral health problems, including gum disease. Besides soaking up the sun, you can get a healthy dose of vitamin D from fortified cow’s milk.

Cow’s milk
What we normally call “regular” milk is cow’s milk, a product of the cow’s mammary gland. In the store, you’ll typically find four various types of milk made from cows: whole (which is 3.5 percent milk fat), 2 percent, 1 percent and fat-free. Consumers who want to cut calories typically opt for fat-free milk. As far as nutrients go, milk is a great a source of calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Lactose, the primary carbohydrate in cow’s milk, creates a digestive problem for some people who are lactose intolerant. They are often deficient in the enzyme lactase​, which is required to break down milk sugar. Too much milk (or milk products) with not enough lactase can trigger bloating, gas and diarrhea.

Soy milk
Soy milk, on the other hand, is not technically milk, but rather a beverage made from soybeans. It is made from soaking, grinding and boiling soy beans with water. This milk contains twice as much vitamin B-6 and a lot more iron than cow’s milk.

Almond milk
Almond milk is a beverage ground from almonds. Many people prefer its sweeter flavor to other milk alternatives. Since almonds are naturally very nutritious, almond milk does not need to be fortified with other ingredients like regular and soy milk. It is often the healthiest of these three milk options.

While 1 percent milk has around 30 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium, soy milk contains roughly 6 percent of calcium. Unsweetened almond milk surpasses both of those, with 45 percent of your daily intake. There is around 25 percent of vitamin D in regular milk, none found in soy and 25 percent in almond milk. Cow’s milk has half of the total fat of soy, still less fat than almond, with almost the same amount of sugar. All nutritional facts are based on a one cup, 2,000 calorie diet.

The bottom line: Almond milk is healthier than cow’s and soy milk. It is a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, as well as people looking to strengthen their smile and ward off cavities.

No Comments Yet »

Racing Toward Better Dental Health with Danica Patrick

Monday, January 20th, 2014

1397111_44698680NASCAR speedster Danica Patrick has launched a new campaign to give thousands of in-need Americans better oral health. Teaming up with Aspen Dental and Oral Health, the program is called the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands of low-income communities across the country, spreading oral health education to millions more.

“Last year 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care,” Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, told Digital Journal. “This is an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. It’s time to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with Aspen Dental and Oral Health America.”

Too many people live with gum disease - a problem that’s 100 percent preventable – and toothaches caused by cavities. These issues are a roadblock to staying focused at school and work, and can affect the body as a whole. After all, periodontal disease, or advanced stage gum disease, has linked diabetes and oral health together. Patrick reminds us that a healthy mouth paves the way for a healthy body.

(more…)

1 Comment »

Educating Parents to Improve Kids’ Oral Health

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

730529_81831841

To improve children’s oral health and keep them active in the classroom, education for parents may be the first step. From the early 1970s to the 1990s, the amount of cavities in the baby teeth of children ages 2 to 11 declined, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. However, in their latest study, that trend flipped. A small yet significant rise in tooth decay showed that 42 percent of kids have some form of cavity or dental caries. That’s about 21 million American children.

Education starts at home, where parents are lifelong teachers. Since day one, we learn from what our parents do, how they treat others and how they take care of themselves. You are your kids’ learning models. The attitudes you maintain about oral health inspire theirs and can steer them to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Even if your kid seems to rebel against you sometimes, little Johnny or Sara will take after you more than you realize.

After all, tooth decay in primary teeth has hefty implications on dental health later in life.

“We do know from a number of studies that when children have tooth decay in their baby teeth, they tend to have decay later in their adult teeth,” lead researcher Bruce Dye of the National Center of Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told ABC News.

Encourage your children to eat nutritious meals and avoid frequent snacking. If you pack his or her lunch for school, make sure to throw in an apple, banana or some other fruit. Teach them from a young age to develop good habits for flossing and brushing. Dentists recommend that adults and kids floss once a day. Interestingly enough, it has been shown that flossing before brushing is more likely to develop into a habit. Why? Often after we finish with the toothbrush we feel like our mouths are sufficiently clean, so we postpone using the thread until tomorrow … or sometimes next month. Always floss before brushing!

(more…)

No Comments Yet »

Navy Dentist Vying for the Olympics

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

468230_30211180

Lieutenant Amanda Rice, 29, is a general dentist who treats sailors at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Japan. She’s also an elite runner.

As the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro rise into sight, Rice continues training on a rigorous schedule. Before she goes to work at the Atsugi Branch Health Clinic in Yokosuka, Japan, the dentist/marathon runner gets up at 3 a.m. to start her workout. Often she runs 18 to 22 miles a day.

“It’s definitely a lifestyle one has to adapt to,” Rice told DrBicuspid.com. “It takes an amazing amount of self-discipline and perseverance. It can definitely be exhausting, but it’s also definitely rewarding.”

In the 2011 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Rice broke a personal record with 2:38:57. For the Tokyo Marathon, she ran a 2:42:44 – both under the 2:43 time needed to quality for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Rice was inspired to go into her chosen field by her uncle, Dr. Keith Stenshol, a central Oregon dentist. Stenshol pointed out that she’d treat patients with a mouthful of problems, including gingivitis and tooth infections.

“When we got together for our annual summer family reunions, I saw his passion for dentistry and the love he had for the profession, and I wanted to have the same in my own professional pursuits,” Rice explained to the source. “Through his guidance, I was encouraged to travel to Guatemala and Samoa to provide dental care to those most in need.”

(more…)

No Comments Yet »