Tyler, TX Dentist | Health Link: Oral Hygiene and Heart Disease

75703 Dentist

The human body is a network of interconnected systems and organs. Unfortunately, issues that impact one particular area of your body can also effect the health and function of other areas. Recently, studies have highlighted evidence for links between gum disease and heart disease.

While the exact nature of the connection is still being researched, heart disease is almost twice as likely to occur in people who have gum disease. Nearly half of all Americans have undiagnosed gum disease. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death, making it pertinent that you maintain a healthy heart. The first key to doing so might lie in keeping your gums healthy.

While gum disease may be a contributing factor to heart disease, it is not the only cause. It is essential that you maintain regular visits to your primary care physician as well to measure your overall health. Other factors and lifestyle choices can impact your heart health.

Diet and exercise. Maintain an active lifestyle with activities you enjoy, such as taking walks, riding bikes, playing sports, or doing yoga. Avoid foods high in starches and sugars, including carbonated soft drinks, as they can also damage your teeth.

Don’t smoke. Whether you’re smoking or vaping, nicotine has a detrimental effect on your cardiovascular system and can damage teeth, gums, and lungs. Recent studies have connected vaping to a rapid loss in healthy cells that line the top layer of your mouth. These cells play an essential role in keeping your mouth healthy.

Brush your teeth. The most basic part of oral hygiene is also the most effective. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice a day.

By keeping a balanced, exercising regularly, and taking care of your teeth, you’re taking a holistic approach to your well-being and minimizing your risk of developing heart disease.

As with other diseases, preventing gum disease alone will not completely remove the risk of developing heart disease. However, you can take a proactive approach to keeping your body healthy, starting with your oral health.

To schedule a cleaning and examination, please contact our office.

921 Shiloh Rd., Ste. A-100
Tyler, TX 75703
(903) 581-1777

Dentist in Tyler, TX | Health Alert: Preventing Osteoporosis

75703 Dentist

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects roughly 10 million Americans, according to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Additionally, another 44 million people are at an increased risk of developing the disease due to of low bone density. Symptoms appear in more than one-third of women over the age of 65. Fractures, pain, and mobility limitations can occur from osteoporosis. Understanding the signs and symptoms, as well as prevention methods, can decrease your chance of developing osteoporosis.  

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases bone density and weakens bones. Many people are unaware that they have this disease, and only catch it after an injury. Bone fractures can greatly diminish your quality of life through persistent discomfort and limited mobility.

Oral Health Linked to Osteoporosis

If you suffer from osteoporosis, your oral health is also at risk. Your jawbone may begin to weaken, leading to significant oral health complications. A routine visit to our dental office can allow us to detect early signs of osteoporosis. Tooth loss and gum disease are potential indicators of an underlying health issue. Our team will take X-rays of your jawbone and surrounding teeth. If we detect diminished bone density, or signs of bone loss, we will discuss the best course of action with you.

What You Can Do

The risk factors associated with osteoporosis include genetics, calcium deficiency, smoking, menopause, excessive caffeine or alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle. Simple changes such as increasing your daily calcium and vitamin D intake, exercising, quitting smoking, decreasing consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and visiting our team regularly can help lower your risk.

Osteoporosis affects the lives of millions of people. It can significantly diminish your quality of life. Through regular oral health examinations, our team may be able to identify early signs of bone loss.

Schedule your visit to our office today.

921 Shiloh Rd., Ste. A-100
Tyler, TX 75703

Help Your Child Grow a Beautiful Smile

Parents of infants and toddlers may not be thinking about their child’s smile as a young adult, but babyhood is the time to start planning for that gorgeous smile.

1.) Brushing is crucial. When your baby’s teeth appear, brush twice a day with an infant toothbrush. Always brush before bedtime and then only give your child water until the next morning.

2.) Start flossing when two of his teeth touch each other.

3.) Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle of juice, formula, or milk. That can cause tooth decay. If you must give your child a bottle to take to bed, make sure it contains only water.

4.) If you let your child drink juice or sugary drinks, give them at a meal. Between meals, the sippy cup or bottle should only contain water.

5.) Watch out for mouth breathing or snoring in your child. Many times this is caused by allergies. A major class of allergens for children are dairy products.  Dairy includes milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream. Other major allergens include eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. If you see signs of allergies in your child, begin your search for the source by eliminating the dairy.

6.) Other causes of snoring may be obesity in the child or smoking by an adult in your home.

7.) Avoid any unusual pressure on your child’s growing gums to avoid crooked teeth. Sucking thumbs, pacifiers, or bottle feeding longer than normal can cause your baby’s teeth and jaws to grow out of shape.

If your toddler has some unhealthy habits, you may want to spend a week helping them eliminate those habits. I know if may seem like waging a battle you don’t really want to face, but helping your toddler grow up with healthy teeth, and in turn, a beautiful smile, will be so worth it.

Periodontal Disease & Diet?

The photo above shows what moderate periodontal disease looks like: bleeding, inflammation and recession of the gums plus pockets of pus forming around the roots of the teeth. Not only does it look bad, it causes extremely bad breath, shifting of teeth and even tooth loss! The infection and inflammation of periodontal disease can affect your whole body.

What are some ways to prevent it?

The tried and true ways have been daily brushing and flossing plus frequent professional cleanings. Of course, if you smoke, you must stop.

Once you have exposed roots, your dentist or hygienist will need to scrape the hardened calculus off.  In more severe cases, the patient will be referred to a periodontist for surgery.

The infection and inflammation of periodontal disease can affect your whole body. In fact, periodontal disease has now been linked to coronary artery disease.

But how?

Does the infection in your mouth lead to heart disease?

Does the plaque buildup in your arteries lead to periodontal disease?

Research has shown that people with periodontal disease also have plaque buildup in their arteries. Studies have linked high cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol with both heart disease and periodontal disease.

Other studies have shown an association between chronic periodontitis and erectile dysfunction in men. Of course, erectile dysfunction is caused by plaque in your arteries and can be reversed with a plant-based diet.

One study titled, “High Fiber Foods Reduce Periodontal Disease Progression in Men Aged 65 and Older” shows that eating the same plant foods, which slow the progression of heart disease will also slow the progression of periodontal disease.

A study published in the Journal of Dental Research indicates that saturated fatty acid may actually contribute to periodontal disease.  Saturated fatty acid (SFA) is typically found in butter, milk, meat fats and oils and can cause inflammation.

Multiple studies have found that people with coronary artery disease and diabetes have a higher rate of gum disease. The common denominator seems to be a person’s diet. All tissues in the body must receive nutrients through the blood vessels. If the blood vessels are stiff and filled with plaque, the circulation to all parts of the body is compromised, which causes health problems from head to toe. The same poor eating habits that sicken people with heart disease and diabetes also result in poor oral health.

To find out whether you have risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and periodontal disease, get a blood test to check your total cholesterol and your LDL cholesterol. If they are high, change your diet.

And, in the meantime, don’t forget to visit your dental hygienist regularly.