Even though it may seem that our cardiovascular health can’t have anything to do with our oral health, research has shown a surprising connection between the two. During this American Heart Health Month, our dental office in Doylestown would like to do our part to help raise awareness of heart disease by sharing the link between oral health and heart health.
It Starts With The Gums
Your dentist in Doylestown is concerned with much more than just your teeth. In fact, an area that gets a lot of attention at your bi-annual visits are your gums. Your gums can hold a lot of information about not only the health of your mouth, but can play a role in heart health too. If the gums are healthy, they’ll be pink in color and tight to the teeth. However, if these qualities aren’t observed, there’s a chance gum disease may be present. Gum disease is a serious infection that can progress to gingivitis or periodontitis, and can even cause tooth loss.
How Does Gum Disease Affect The Heart?
If gum disease isn’t treated, the infection can move into the bloodstream. When this happens, your body produces more C-reactive protein (CRP) than normal. Elevated levels of CRP can cause some serious cardiovascular issues including:
- Inflamed arteries
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
Signs of Gum Disease
If you have any of the symptoms listed below, contact your Doylestown dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as you can.
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Puffy, tender gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
How to Prevent Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease and protect your mouth and heart is to brush and floss every day. Make sure to also visit your dentist at least twice a year. It’s important to know that gum disease can be treated, and treatment is easier and more successful if caught early. That’s part of what makes seeing your dentist regularly so important.
If you overdue for a dental appointment, give our Doylestown dental office a call today.
We all know that following a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can go a long way in protecting your smile against cavities. But even if you always brush twice a day and floss daily, there are still some things that may be putting you at risk for cavities. Join our Doylestown dental office as we cover a few of the surprising ways you may be damaging your teeth.
Alcohol & Drug Use
Alcohol in particular poses two potential threats to oral health. First, it’s naturally drying and can lead to dry mouth. Second, its acidity wears away enamel. Dangerous, hard drugs such as methamphetamine traditionally cause tooth rot and many other oral health and whole-body health concerns.
Eating disorders affect teeth in different ways. One way is by keeping you from getting the proper amount of nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, that your teeth need to stay strong. Another is by damaging tooth enamel through purging. While not all eating disorders involve purging, it’s a common practice in those with bulimia.
Like your overall health, your genetics also play a role in your oral health. Whether your genes cause you to have higher amounts of bacteria in your mouth or they make you more likely to have soft or brittle teeth, they may put you at increased risk for cavities.
It’s a known fact that our bodies change as we get older. Our oral health is no different. Aging tends to weaken tooth enamel, which increases risk for decay by leaving teeth exposed to damaging bacteria. But the worries don’t end with tooth enamel. Gum recession is also common in older people, giving bacteria yet another place to attack.
Both smoking and using chewing tobacco can make you more susceptible to cavities since they contain nicotine, and nicotine is known to dry out mouths. Using any form of tobacco can also lead to yellow, discolored teeth.
Even though fillings are meant to fix and treat cavities, having one that’s a bit large can put you at risk for developing more cavities. Large fillings can cause bacteria to get trapped underneath, which becomes impossible to remove with a toothbrush. If this is the case, your dentist in Doylestown will need to fix the filling or perhaps use a dental crown instead.
Besides making sure you brush and floss regularly, visiting our dental office in Doylestown bi-annually can help reduce your chances of getting a cavity. If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental check up, call to schedule an appointment today.
Chances are you’ve seen all the social media posts raving about using charcoal toothpaste to whiten your teeth. Its popularity has soared over the past few years, and many people are raving fans of it. But what is this gooey black stuff that everyone seems to be using? Does it actually work? Our dental office in Doylestown wants to help get your questions answered.
Question 1: What is Charcoal Toothpaste?
When you first think of charcoal, we’re willing to bet you envision a gray rock that’s typically used for grilling food at the annual family picnic. Charcoal toothpaste isn’t made of that, but rather from activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that’s been processed to have tons of tiny pores. In relation to oral health, it’s believed that these pores can absorb stains, tartar, and bacteria that may be lingering on teeth.
Question 2: Is Activated Charcoal Safe to Put in Your Mouth?
Activated charcoal has been used for over 2,000 for a variety of healthcare reasons including dental uses. In fact, the ancient Romans’ toothpaste consisted mainly of charcoal powder. As time progressed, activated charcoal was used to help victims of poisoning. Some hospitals may still utilize this technique today.
Question 3: Does Charcoal Toothpaste Whiten Teeth?
It turns out that the claims about charcoal toothpaste are in fact true. Charcoal toothpaste can be effective at giving teeth a whiter appearance by removing surface stains. However, if the staining is deeper, activated charcoal toothpaste probably isn’t your answer.
Question 4: Should You Use Charcoal Toothpaste?
Essentially it’s your decision to use or not to use charcoal toothpaste. But the American Dental Association (ADA) warns against is repeated use. The abrasive texture of charcoal toothpaste can wear away tooth enamel and leave your teeth exposed to bacteria. Diminished enamel may also cause teeth to appear more yellow or darker, which probably isn’t the look you’re going for.
Alternative Ways to Whiten Your Smile
Despite the charcoal toothpaste craze, there are safer and more effective ways to get whiter teeth such as:
If you’re looking for the best way to whiten your teeth, give our Doylestown dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We’d be happy to have you!
Bad breath can be caused by any number of things. But it can be embarrassing, and gum or mints only go so far in covering it up. Instead of masking the issue, our dental office in Doylestown has a few tips on how to solve the problem once and for all.
The Best Ways to Fix Chronic Bad Breath
Occasional bad breath may be a result of something you ate, such as a super garlicky pasta dish. This type of bad breath is usually short lived and easily fixed by brushing your teeth. However, chronic bad breath, or halitosis, doesn’t disappear no matter how much mouthwash you swish. When this is the case, there are several things you can try to help you freshen up.
Back to Basics
The easiest way to start working on beating bad breath is to make sure you’re practicing proper oral hygiene by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day.
Drink More Water
A hydrated mouth is a happy mouth. The more water you drink, the more bacteria is rinsed away before it has a chance to settle in and lead to decay or bad breath.
Smoker’s breath can linger around long after you put out your cigarette. Smoke particles can hang around in lungs for hours after smoking, and tiny amounts are released every time you exhale… hence the bad breath.
Visit Your Dentist in Doylestown
Twice annual dental visits are the best way to fight off bad breath and keep it away in the first place. Your dental team will deep clean your teeth removing stuck on tartar and freshening your entire mouth. They’ll also be able to notice and treat any other issues that may be contributing to bad breath.
Sometimes Bad Breath is More Than Simply Bad Breath
If you practice good oral hygiene at home, visit your dentist twice a year, drink plenty of water, and don’t smoke, yet you still suffer from chronic bad breath, there’s a possibility it may a sign of a larger problem. Bad breath can be a sign of:
- Gum Disease
- Sinus Infection
- Liver or Kidney Problems
If you’re been in the bad breath battle for some time and you’re ready to make a change, we welcome you to contact our Doylestown dental office to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to get you on the right track towards fresher breath.
Nobody enjoys the threat of the flu lurking everywhere this time of year. But with the right precautions you can protect yourself and your family and reduce your risk of contracting the flu. Our dental office in Doylestown has put together a guide to help you avoid the flu and keep you healthy all year long.
Wash Your Hands Often
Using warm water and soap, scrub your hands before preparing food, after eating or using the restroom, and after shaking hands. If soap and water are unavailable use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
Germs spread easily through the eyes, nose, and mouth. If your hands get in contact with flu germs and you rub your eye, itch your nose, or bite your fingernail, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll get sick.
Drink Plenty of Water
Your body functions optimally if it’s hydrated. This includes its ability to fight off germs. Not to mention, a well hydrated mouth is a healthy mouth, and that’s sure to make your dentist in Doylestown happy.
Eat a Well Balanced Diet
Fueling your body with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins is crucial in helping your body stay healthy. Proteins, in fact, have been proven to support the immune system so make sure you’re getting your fair share.
Clean Your Home and Your Office
Sanitize the areas you or others use most. Think about the items that get touched often like doorknobs, toilets, elevator buttons, or your computer mouse. A good rule of thumb to follow is to clean it even it doesn’t look dirty.
Take Care of Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes can hold a lot of bacteria and if not taken care of properly could make you sick. Make sure you rinse the bristles thoroughly after each use, store family members’ brushes far away from each other, and consider sterilizing them once a week in hot water.
Avoid People Who Are Sick
Although this seems obvious, it’s not always simple. If a co-worker comes to the office sniffling and sneezing, it’s difficult to avoid them and everything they touch. Try to communicate via email instead of face-to-face meetings, carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you, and again, always wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
If you do happen to get sick, try your best to stay home to help prevent the illness from spreading to others. Our dental office in Doylestown also encourages you to find sugar-free medications so as you’re working on feeling better, you’re not doing damage to your oral health.
When we spend as much time as we do at work doing similar responsibilities every day, we are bound to develop habits. Some workplace habits like diligently checking emails or reserving a block of uninterrupted time to get work done can be beneficial and make for an efficient employee. However, other things we tend to do at work can be harmful to our teeth. Our dental office in Doylestown would like to highlight a few of the most common workplace habits that may be damaging your smile.
Taking Smoke Breaks
Smoking, as well as using smokeless tobacco, can lead to very serious health problems. Some of which can be life threatening. These habits can also contribute to several oral health concerns ranging from minor problems like tooth discoloration and bad breath to very serious issues including gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Smoking can be a very difficult habit to break, but instead of stepping outside to light up, consider chewing sugarless gum and talk with your doctor about ways to quit.
Not Brushing Your Teeth
We believe that everyone should keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in their desk drawer for use in between snacking and lunchtime. When we eat, the bacteria that live in our mouths begin to feed on the tiny foodstuffs left behind. As a result, these bacteria release acid. When the acid isn’t rinsed away by either saliva or through a proper brushing, it’s left to eat away at enamel. Enamel is designed to protect teeth from decay and once it’s gone, we’re left at increased risk for cavities.
Chewing on Pens
Chewing on the tips of pens or pencils is incredibly common among office employees and even children in school. We typically put pens in our mouths during times of intense thought, boredom, or stress. Sometimes we aren’t even aware we’re doing it. But nibbling on these tough writing utensils can cause some serious damage. Biting on pens or pencils has a tendency to lead to cracked, chipped, or broken teeth that will require restorative dentistry treatment from your Doylestown dentist to fix.
Not Using the Right Tools for the Job
Whether you’re trying to open packaging that may be sealed a bit too well, or you need to rip a piece of tape off the roll, you should always use tools meant for these purposes like scissors, not your teeth. Teeth are meant to help us chew food to make it easy to swallow and digest. They aren’t designed to grab and rip or cut. Using teeth as tools can result in damage like cracked or broken teeth.
Recognizing the habits that can lead to tooth damage can help us realize when we’re putting our smiles at risk. If you find yourself doing any of the habits, our Doylestown dental office is here to help you stop or fix any problems you may have as a result.
There’s no surprise that your bi-annual dental hygiene visit is about getting your teeth a deeper clean than you can get alone at home. The hygienists at our dental office in Doylestown are dedicated to removing plaque, flossing in between each and every tooth, and polishing your pearly whites for the ultimate clean. But your visits are about more than just getting your teeth clean. In fact, they’re about much more…
Checking Out Those X-Rays
Sometimes at your cleaning appointment, you’ll receive digital, low-radiation dental x-rays that are used to see what the human eye cannot. Both your hygienist and dentist in Doylestown will review these x-rays and check for cavities that are just forming and are still too tiny to see without the help of digital images. X-rays can also help your dental team see problems below the gum line like an abscess or bone loss in the jaw that holds your teeth in place.
Taking a Peek at Your Gums
We already know that your hygienist is taking a good, long look at your teeth during your visits, but she’s also paying quite a bit of attention to your gums. Gum health is critical to keeping mouths and bodies in their best shape. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, you may be in the beginning stages of gum disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to other whole-body health issues including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Keeping an Eye on More Than Teeth
While your hygienist is working on cleaning your teeth, she’s not only looking for decay, cavities, or gum disease, she’s also searching for any signs of a larger concern. Since there is a correlation between oral health and several serious systemic diseases, some early warning signs of these health issues often first appear in the mouth. Your hygienist is trained to look for any areas of concern in order to catch any problems early when treatment tends to be more successful.
At-Home Care is Important, Too
One of the best ways you can keep your smile healthy in between appointments is to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine at home by brushing and flossing every day. Brushing should be done twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and flossing should be done once a day to remove food particles and plaque buildup from between teeth.
The team at our Doylestown dental office wants to encourage our patients and neighbors to visit their dentist at least twice a year. And if you’re family is looking for a dentist, we always welcome you to give us a call.