The Relationship Between Oral Health and Osteoporosis

February 28th, 2014

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Bone density affects all parts of our bodies, not just our spines and hips. In this way, osteoporosis, or the thinning of bones, has an immediate connection to tooth loss. According to the National Institutes of Health, women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those without the bone disease.

In the U.S., roughly 40 million people already have osteoporosis or are at-risk due to bone  density. The word osteoporosis literally means “porous bones” in Greek, and the condition occurs when our bones lose calcium and minerals, causing them to become weak and brittle. Bone is a living tissue that constantly regenerates, yet when the creation of the new bone doesn’t keep pace with the removal of old bone, osteoporosis kicks in. As a result, people are more prone to a painful fracture, even while doing everyday tasks, such as bending over or taking out the trash.

In 2009, a study conducted by Dr. Nicopoulou-Karayianni at the University of Athens Dental School evaluated 665 females aged 45 to 70. The number of teeth and bone density in the hips, femoral neck and lumbar spine were counted. The results showed that participants with osteoporosis had an average of three fewer teeth than subjects without the bone disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Skeletal bone density and toothless grins
Though the correlation between skeletal bone density and tooth loss is evident, researchers have tried to probe the causes more deeply. According to the Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, studies indicate a link between the bone disease and bone loss in the jaw. The portion of the jaw bone that anchors teeth is called the alveolar process, and when that bone structure becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur.

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The New Old Practice of Oil Pulling

February 25th, 2014

1211548_68090598Oil pulling. No, it does not have to do with digging beneath the dirt to fill up expensive barrels. Gaining ground in recent years, oil pulling describes swishing around coconut oil in the mouth in an effort to pull bacteria from your mouth and body. Though its health benefits have been debated for some time, people who use it tend to swear by it. Daily oil pullers report improvements in dental hygiene, such as whiter teeth and healthier gums, as well as a detox of the body.

While it may be rising in popularity, the practice is far from new. Oil pulling was invented thousands of years ago by Ayurvedic medicinal practitioners who utilized it for its cleansing properties. In the ancient Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, oil pulling claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases, spanning from migraines to asthma.

Until recently, it’s been hard to find qualified experts in the scientific or dental community to back up these health claims. Now, some dentists have spoken up about the resurgent trend.

Jessica Lo, a dental hygienist, said she saw a healthy transformation in her patients who oil pulled, according to Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV.

“Specifically the patients that had periodontal disease – they’re the ones that had the gum infections, the inflammation, the bleeding, the tenderness, the bad breath,” Lo told WRTV. “This is amazing, because I’ve been able to whiten my teeth and not have sensitivity.”

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National Tooth Fairy Day

February 21st, 2014

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Get out the wands and dollar bills, because Friday, Feb. 28 is National Tooth Fairy Day.

This holiday celebrates one of children’s favorite visitors. Since losing baby teeth is sometimes a traumatic experience for young children, entering the magical world of the smiling, gift-giving Tooth Fairy helps wash fears away. Whether your child is scared about the pain or what his or her mouth will look like afterward, this is the day to help.

National Tooth Fairy Day marks a great opportunity to share with your kids the importance of keeping your teeth bright and healthy from a young age. Say so long to cavities and bad breath. Studies have shown that how well children take care of their baby teeth often translates into how well they will take care of their teeth as adults.

However, there is one simple, yet frequently overlooked fact: Children’s smiles depend on their parents. Encourage your kids to brush, floss and eat smart every day. Don’t forget about visits to the dentist, either! Working on habits surrounding oral health for kids will give them a head start on a lifetime of picture-perfect teeth.

Four magical tips
So, before parents tuck money under their child’s pillow at night, here are three things they should put to use to keep their kids smiling through the gaps in their teeth – these tips could even save you money on dental treatments down the line.

  • Brush      following the “two-and-two” rule: twice a day for two      minutes each. Most people spend only 46 seconds brushing, according to      Delta Dental. It’s time to step up your child’s game! For youngsters, one      good way to do this is to bring your smartphone or mp3 player into the      bathroom and play their favorite song. Have them brush until the two-minute      mark. For pre-teens, you and your spouse could decide to lengthen      TV-watching privileges or cut down one of their chores for good      oral care habits.
  • Floss      once a day. Though often considered the forgotten middle child of hygiene      routines, flossing is extremely important, since it can dislodge food      particles from nooks that a toothbrush cannot reach. Some dentists find      that flossing before brushing proves to be more effective in      developing the practice into a habit, since after we      brush we sometimes get the false notion that our mouths feel clean      enough, and we will forego flossing.
  • Fun      tip: Demonstrate what flossing does. Please note that it’s a bit messy! In      the kitchen, put on a pair of plastic (kitchen) gloves, then smear peanut      butter, preferably chunky, over one side of your fingers and between them      all the way down to your knuckles. Then, squeezing your fingers together,      have your child try to brush your fingers, which are serving as the      substitute for teeth. Does the toothbrush clean the food stuck between the      fingers? Now, instruct your child to floss between your fingers. A lot      better, right? This exercise will help visualize the power of      flossing.
  • Visit      the dentist once every six months. There doesn’t have be an      issue with your child’s teeth for them to go in. In fact, their      dentist – and tooth fairy – will be more than pleased to see them when      they don’t have problems! If you notice long-lasting halitosis, or bad breath, it may be      a sign of an underlying issue for your child, such as a rotting      tooth. If the tooth finally comes loose, yank it and leave it for the      tooth fairy. Otherwise, consult your dental professional.

On National Tooth Fairy Day, oral health for kids is the shining star. However, putting these habits to use after Friday and throughout the year will ensure your kid will wear a bright, healthy smile for years to come.

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Brightening Athletes’ Smiles at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

February 19th, 2014

1121970_38284485Competitions in the Olympics have moved into the dental chair. 

Throughout the games, the Procter & Gamble Company has sponsored dentists to help athletes achieve top oral health in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Athletes will receive oral care products and educational materials at the dental clinics situated in each of the Olympic Winter Games facilities, where dentists will also offer routine dental care, dental screenings and emergency services.

No one wants a repeat of the 2012 Olympics, when poor dental health was shown to hinder athletic’ performances.

You might presume that for these world-class athletes to remain in top shape, they must have equally “fit,” or healthy, mouths. Yet, dental reports from the London Games indicated that more than half of athletes had shockingly poor oral health – worse than that of the average person their same age. Nearly 55 percent of athletes had signs of cavities, with most having irreversible decay – talk about flexing your bad breath! Even more troubling, 3 out of 4 athletes suffered from gingivitis, or early stage gum disease. The biggest kicker? Many found it worsened their training and performance, whether on the track, the field or in the gymnasium.

“It happened in the past that a dental emergency or poor oral health has seriously influenced the performance of an athlete at one of their most important events,” Dr. Paul Piccininni, a coordinator of dental services for the International Olympic Committee at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, noted in a Procter & Gamble Company press release.

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Save Now or Kiss this Sale Goodbye.

February 14th, 2014

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Hi there,

Happy Valentine’s Day! We’re definitely feeling the love here at TheraBreath with so many of you taking advantage of our 14% off and order of $25 or more (or as we simply call it: the Valentine’s Day deal).

Haven’t taken us up on our offer yet? Since we’re romantics, and we really like you, we’re willing to give this relationship one more shot by reminding you that you still have all day today (until 11:59 PST) to save – but then it’s over. Make sure to stock up and enter coupon code ALUV4 at checkout.

We’ll even help you out on your hot date tonight. Want some interesting dinner conversation? Be sure to read about the history and science of kissing and bad breath written by Dr. Katz the Bad Breath Guru. You’ll definitely score some knowledge points and since you use TheraBreath, you won’t have to worry about your breath while you’re telling that special someone.

Wishing you fresh breath and love,

TheraBreath

* Order value, not including shipping costs and sales tax (where applicable), must be US$25.00 or more to receive discount. Offer valid on orders shipped to the US and Canada only. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer valid on orders placed from 12:00am PST February 10, 2014, to 11:59pm PST February 14, 2014.

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