14 Things Your Teeth Can Reveal About Your Overall Health: Part 1

14 Things Your Teeth Can Reveal About Your Overall Health: Part 1

When it comes to your teeth, even when you’re not actually speaking, they can say a lot, particularly about your overall health. So if there’s something off with your smile, here are 14 things that might be affecting your health:

1. A sleep disorder

This can be indicated by flattened edges of your teeth. These flattened edges may result from grinding your teeth while you sleep or clenching your jaw. To prevent this wearing down your enamel and cause pain in your jaw, you should invest in a night guard, but all of this could be a result of undiagnosed sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor and see if your grinding is related to trouble breathing while you sleep. Another indication of a sleep disorder is bad breath especially in the morning because people who have trouble sleeping tend to sleep with their mouths open rather than breathing calmly through their noses.

2. An unhealthy diet

Yes, what you eat does reveal itself to your dentist. In what form? Stains. Excessive coffee drinking, chocolate, candy, sugary sweets, soda, energy drinks, and so much more leave their mark on your teeth as well as the rest of your body. Your teeth need a balanced diet to stay healthy and so do you.

3. Cancer

Chronic bad breath has links to certain cancers. From time to time you might have an open sore in your mouth from incidents such as accidentally biting your cheek, but when these sores don’t go away within a week or two it could be a sign of oral cancer. Healthy tissue appears pink, but problematic tissue will show sores of white and red coloring and may even be raised. Bleeding and numbness can also be an issue with cancerous sores and they may hide under the tongue or at the back of your mouth, which might not be seen until a dental checkup.

4. Diabetes

Gum disease can be related to overall inflammation in the body from chronic stress and therefore has been linked to diabetes. Make sure to treat your gum disease because it can positively affect your diabetic health. Chronic bad breath can be another indicator of diabetes and may have a fruity odor. Dry mouth is also related to this autoimmune disease.

5. Kidney issues

Chronic bad breath can be a red flag that you are experiencing some sort of issues with your kidneys. Typically the bad breath smells fishy when it is linked to complications with your kidneys.

6. Anxiety

Grinding your teeth can also be a sign that you suffer from anxiety. Unfortunately, unless you specifically bring it up to your doctor, many cases of anxiety go undiagnosed, but grinding your teeth might be the sign that something more is going on. Whether it’s day grinding or night grinding, you just might be taking your anxiety out on your teeth.

7. Dementia

Gum disease can be an indication of dementia in a patient. A loss of teeth is also related to dementia. Further, poor oral health could be related to poor health in general. Deteriorating memory and the ability to properly perform daily activities is devastating, but letting oral health fall by the wayside will only age you faster.

At the end of the day, keeping your mouth clean and healthy is directly related to your overall health. So make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing every day, and scraping your tongue daily. Don’t let any serious issues go untreated such as gum disease. Finally, be sure to make regular visits to your dentist, especially because if all of these serious health issues can be revealed by your teeth, then getting a checkup might just save your life. Don’t forget to tune in next month for 14 Things Your Teeth Can Reveal About Your Overall Health: Part 2.

Results of Grinding Your Teeth: Part 1

Results of Grinding Your Teeth: Part 1

Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding refers to a condition where you consistently grind your teeth or clench your jaw tightly. It typically happens during the night while you are asleep, but in some cases, the individual grinds their teeth throughout the day as well. Either way, it is a harmful act that you do unconsciously. So what are the possible side effects?

1. Muscular pain

The muscles of your jaw will tire out from grinding for hours on end. Your neck and face may also experience pain as they are both connected to this daily or nightly trauma. Soreness as a result of grinding may just become a part of your everyday life.

2. Gum recession

Bruxism may also make your gums begin to recede due to pressure caused by the motion of grinding. It directly damages the soft tissue surrounding your teeth. Not only is this bad for your teeth, but as your gums recede your teeth will look more prominent ruining your once beautiful smile.

3. Shortening of your teeth

You can literally grind the edges of your teeth away. Your teeth can become flat which you may be able to feel with your tongue or might even be visible to you. Even worse, you can grind your teeth away to a point where it is not only noticeable but may affect other aspects of your mouth such as your bite. The grinding is essentially wearing down your teeth and ruining your classic smile.

4. Loose teeth

The constant grinding can actually loosen permanent teeth. The repetitiveness of the act can be a sort of trauma to your teeth even affecting their very roots. The associated gum recession also helps to loosen teeth. Loose teeth make it hard to chew amongst other problems. If you go so far as to actually lose a tooth, it cannot always be reconnected, particularly if the roots are damaged.

5. Tooth sensitivity

Over time your teeth can become more sensitive to hot and cold, basic dental care, and even certain foods. While some things may help, like specific toothpaste for sensitive teeth, the grinding must be stopped in order for daily sensitivity to subside.

Sleeping with a mouth guard in every night can help to prevent short-term and long-term effects of teeth grinding. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders but letting it go untreated can cause permanent damage to your teeth. If you are worried that you may be grinding your teeth, contact our dental office immediately for an appointment. Don’t forget to look for Results of Grinding Your Teeth: Part 2 next month.

Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 2

Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 2

Gingivitis can easily lead to the more serious condition of gum disease. One of the best ways to step up and work to prevent gingivitis is by learning what factors put you at greater risk for the condition. So here are the final 7 circumstances that increase your risk of getting gingivitis:

1. Genetics

Unfortunately, being at risk for gingivitis is linked to your genetics. That means that if your other family members have suffered from gingivitis you might be next. So if the condition runs in your family, make sure you’re taking extra steps to keep your teeth healthy like maintaining a well-balanced diet, committing to a daily oral health routine, and making regular visits to your dentist.

2. Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding or clenching your teeth doesn’t just hurt your jaw or wear down your pearly whites. It can affect the enamel of your teeth and push them harshly into your gums, putting a strain on your teeth’s supporting tissue. If you’re a night grinder, look into getting a proper mouth guard. For those who clench during the daytime due to stress, find a way to relieve that stress and ditch that bad habit. At the end of the day, your teeth will thank you.

3. Unhealthy Oral Hygiene

A regular dental hygiene routine cannot be stressed enough. Skipping out on brushing your teeth or forgetting to floss can easily lead to gingivitis. That’s why you need to make sure you brush every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. After you’ve brushed, follow up with floss to make sure you rid your mouth of any plaque or extra food particles clinging to your teeth and gums. Just remember, a hygienic mouth is a healthy mouth.

4. Obesity

Obesity isn’t just the leading cause of heart disease. It affects the rest of your body too—including your mouth. Your oral health is directly affected by what you eat. A diet low in nutrients can lower your immune system making you at risk for a number of diseases and illnesses. Even worse, your body will have a harder time fighting off these infections. Nutrition is connected to the health of your gums. So keep your body healthy to keep your mouth healthy too.

5. Crooked Teeth

The sad fact is crooked teeth are harder to clean. They don’t brush nicely right in a row and they can easily develop hard to remove plaque and trap food particles. At the end of the day, straight teeth aren’t just a cosmetic fix they genuinely help maintain the health of your teeth too. So consider a professional straightening method, or if you love your crooked smile, make sure you clean every tooth properly.

6. Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, your hormones are all over the place, and surprisingly enough, that can affect your teeth. Your gums may become so sensitive that the inflammation is actually referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” So stay on your “A” game with your oral health routine and keep your dentist in the loop if you experience any sensitivity or other problems.

7. Dry Mouth

Believe it or not, saliva is actually good for your oral health. Saliva works to rinse out sugar and other food from your entire mouth. It’s there to protect your oral health and even strengthen your enamel. So make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water because dry mouth will definitely put you at greater risk for gingivitis.

Now that you know all of the risk factors, you can find ways to work against any of them that may apply to you. So feel free to speak with our dental staff about further ways to protect yourself and your children from gingivitis, and don’t forget to refer back to Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 1.

Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 1

Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 1

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that develops before gum disease. The plaque will begin to build up, your gums will become inflamed, and the gums may bleed when brushing your teeth or flossing. If taken care of, gingivitis does not always result in gum disease, but it should be taken seriously so that it does not progress. If any of the items listed below apply to you, you may be at greater risk for gingivitis:

1. Smoking

Or any other form of tobacco use. Once again, the world is telling you that smoking is not healthy for your body. It’s not just your lungs and heart at risk and it’s not just the risk of cancer. Since tobacco goes into your mouth, it affects your mouth too, because those cigarettes, chewing tobaccos, cigars or any other tobacco products definitely aren’t helping to keep your mouth clean and your immune system high. It doesn’t just discolor your formerly pearly whites. It’s unhealthy for your gums and teeth in general. Even breathing in secondhand smoke can put you at a greater risk for gingivitis.

2. An Unhealthy Diet

Nutrition plays a vital part in your oral health. Most people crave two things—carbohydrates and sugar. Unfortunately, those two guilty pleasures put you on the straight and narrow path to gingivitis. Why? Because just like you love those foods, they’re the foods the bacteria in your mouth love the most too. Those bacteria will feed and then spread until you’re officially suffering from gingivitis.

3. Age

Unfortunately, gingivitis is yet another disease that becomes more and more likely as you get older. This may be due to the fact that typically the older you get the more medications you take. Medications that may result in dry mouth. Additionally, the elderly are more likely to suffer from other diseases and ailments lower the immune system and negatively affecting your teeth in general. That means the older you get, the more important it is to keep your dentist’s appointments.

4. Stress

Stress is linked to so many diseases, and your mouth isn’t free from the drain stress puts on your body. Stress can lower your immune system making you more susceptible to gingivitis in addition to other oral health complications. Stress even makes it more difficult to fight gingivitis, so you’re more likely to end up with gum disease. Life is stressful for us all, but in order to keep your health in check, find a way to relieve that stress and keep it under control so you don’t end up with even more to worry about.

5. Diabetes

When combined with diabetes the symptoms of gingivitis may worse. Further, gingivitis may make the symptoms of diabetes worse. Diabetes can weaken your immune system and therefore increase the likelihood of developing gingivitis. So just like with the rest of your health keep all of your doctors up to date on your diabetic state.

6. Medications

Certain drugs can affect your oral health. So make sure you’re aware of all the potential side effects of any drug you take. If the medication does pose a greater threat to your oral health, be thorough about your dental cleansing routine. Additionally, make sure that all of your healthcare providers—including the dentist, know all of the medications you are taking. That’s the best way to make sure that your oral health isn’t put at risk.

If you are at greater risk for developing gingivitis talk to your dentist about what you can do to help fight the disease and even prevent it from developing in the first place. Don’t forget to tune in next month for Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 2.

7 Ways to Help Prevent Cavities

7 Ways to Help Prevent Cavities

First of all, what exactly is a cavity? When plaque is not properly removed from your teeth, it starts to produce an acid that eats away at your tooth enamel. This then creates a hole, known more commonly as a cavity. So now that you know what a cavity is, how do you prevent them?

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Lots of sugars and carbohydrates are exactly what the bacteria in your mouth wants you to eat. So make sure that you’re eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, and protein too. Sugar and carbs might be the things you crave, but in this case, too much of a good thing can result in cavities.

2. Brush Twice a Day

Morning and night are what it’s all about. Brushing should be one of the first things you do when you get up and the last thing you do before going to bed. You need to have a regular oral hygiene routine that you stick to. No matter how tired you are at night or how busy you are in the morning, never skip out on brushing your teeth.

3. Don’t Forget to Floss

Brushing does a lot, but it can’t do everything. Plaque and tiny food particles can get stuck between your teeth and in your gums. So make sure you’re flossing daily in order to remove that unwanted debris and keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible. Leftover food particles—particularly sugar, can put you on the fast track for a cavity.

4. Control Your Sweet Tooth

Some people just love sugar, and you might be one of them, but going overboard isn’t just worrisome for your weight or your health, it affects your teeth too. Sugary foods feed the bacteria in your mouth. So fight the urge of your sweet tooth and you’ll be fighting cavities too.

5. Change Out Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush needs to be replaced on a regular basis. We recommend at least every six months or when the bristles of your brush begin to flatten out. Continuing to use an old worn out toothbrush won’t clean your teeth properly, and even worse, your toothbrush can develop bacteria that certainly won’t help prevent cavities.

6. Drink Water

Sugary drinks aren’t doing your teeth any favors. Not only is water healthier for your body, it’s healthier for your teeth too. Water rinses the mouth and washes away sugar and bacteria. It’s not just soda either. Drinking too much coffee or tea can do damage too. At the end of the day, sugary acidic drinks can do a lot of harm. So as often as possible, choose water instead.

7. Visit the Dentist Regularly

It’s important to talk care of your teeth at home, but you also need to make regular dental appointments to ensure your teeth are as healthy as can be. Dentists reach the spots you miss and give your mouth a clean you just can’t get at home. We have the tools to fight cavities in ways you can’t, so never skip a visit.

It’s sad to say that getting a cavity is almost as common as getting a cold, but there are things you can do to prevent them. Follow these steps in order to keep your mouth clean and healthy, because while we love seeing you at your visits, we want your mouths to be cavity free.

6 Reasons a Tooth Needs to Be Pulled

6 Reasons a Tooth Needs to Be Pulled

Extracting a tooth doesn’t really sound fun for anyone. We definitely want you to be able to keep your pearly whites and we believe that knowing under what circumstances a tooth needs to be pulled can help you prevent these problems from ever happening. So here are the 6 main reasons teeth need to be pulled:

1. There Is an Infection in the Tooth

If tooth decay goes untreated, it can lead to further infection. It’s especially worrisome if an infection reaches the nerve (or pulp) of the tooth. If the infection gets to the nerve then it can easily spread to your other teeth. A root canal may be possible, but if the damage is too extensive then there is no other option than to pull the tooth.

2. There Is Severe Tooth Decay

When it comes to tooth decay, there is a point of no return. While there are many methods for reversing or treating tooth decay, not every tooth can be saved. The damage might be irreversible, in which case, the tooth must be pulled. That’s why it’s important to make regular visits to the dental office before it’s too late to correct the damage. If the tooth has cracked or broken down, then it will have to be pulled.

3. A Tooth Has Grown or Moved Into the Wrong Position

This problematic issue is referred to as impacted teeth. When teeth move into the incorrect position they are no longer useful and can disrupt the placement of the rest of your pearly whites. Teeth that become too large to properly fit within their lineup are referred to as “overcrowded” teeth. These teeth can prevent other teeth from coming in to place. In either situation, the tooth must be pulled in order to not damage the rest of your mouth.

4. A Permanent Tooth Is Loose

If a permanent tooth is only slightly loose, it will most likely tighten back up on its own as long as you don’t wiggle it or apply too much pressure. Eat soft foods and don’t mess with the tooth until it feels properly tightened once again. If a tooth is extremely loose, however, to the point where it may fall out, you must reach your dentist immediately. The tooth needs to be put back into the socket within two hours or else the damage will be permanent and the tooth will be pulled.

5. There Are Signs of Gum Disease

You might think gum disease is something the dentist uses to scare you into taking better care of your oral health, but gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss. Even worse, this problem isn’t rare, it’s actually pretty common. What actually occurs in your mouth is that the gums start to pull away from the teeth and that space becomes infected. Everything keeping your teeth in place begins to break away. Without treatment the entire system will break down, the tooth will become loose, and will eventually need to be pulled.

6. A Severe Trauma That Cannot Be Corrected

In many trauma cases, dentists can repair the damage with a filling or a crown, but in some cases, the tooth is beyond the point of a healthy return. In cases where the filling is used, the filling helps to repair any damage teeth until they are able to function normally once again. A crown resets the entire structure of the tooth and covers said tooth entirely. In a severe trauma case where the tooth cannot be saved, the dentist has no other option than to remove the compromised tooth.

At the end of the day, preventing a tooth from needing to be pulled is all about maintaining the health of your teeth and acting as quickly as possible when you experience a dental problem. Make oral hygiene a systematic part of your daily routine and never skip a dental appointment. Above all, when you experience anything out of the ordinary contact your dentist as soon as possible because waiting to act might just result in the loss of a tooth.