Spring is a time to start cleaning out our homes from being shut in all winter long, and your oral health is kind of similar to that. Without regular checkups and cleanings, damaging bacteria, acid, and plaque are able to pile up, which can lead to problems. However, the risks of these dangers don’t stop at your mouth. In fact, oral health is strongly connected to your overall health, and visiting your dentist in Sparks at least twice a year can help protect you against both the risks of oral and overall health problems.
Isn’t Brushing & Flossing Enough?
Even if you practice a great oral hygiene routine in the comfort of your home by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, you may not be fully protecting yourself against some of the dangers lurking in our mouths. Professional dental cleanings and comprehensive checkups can catch potential problems early and do wonders in keeping both your mouth and your body healthy.
One of the things you’ll usually experience at one of your bi-annual dental visits is having x-rays taken. These often digital photos allow your dentist in Sparks to take a peek under the surface of your teeth and gums to get a full picture of what’s going on in your mouth. Images created from x-rays can allow your dental team to catch any decay that may not yet be visible to the naked eye. When decay is caught early, it’s treated easily and protects you against the need for advanced dental treatment such as root canals or even tooth loss. X-rays can even help diagnose an abscess (infection). If not treated, a dental abscess can affect overall health and lead to:
- Tooth loss
- Sinus infection
- Bacterial endocarditis (when the infection makes its way to the heart)
- Infection in the face and jaw which can restrict the airway (Ludwig’s angina)
Oral & Overall Health
As we’ve mentioned before, there is a strong connection between oral health and overall health. For example, gum disease can potentially be a serious infection that can easily contribute to health problems outside of the mouth. If not treated promptly and it’s allowed to progress, gum disease puts patients at an increased risk of heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes.
But that’s not all. Many whole-body diseases may first show signs in the mouth including diabetes, kidney disease, certain cancers, and heart disease. The sooner these health concerns are diagnosed, the more successful treatment tends to be. This is one reason you should see your dentist in Sparks every six months.
Your dentist will usually recommend that you schedule and complete an appointment twice a year. However, if you’re at higher risk for some of the problems listed above you may be asked to be seen more often. These preventive appointments can go a long way in not only protecting your smile and oral health but your overall, whole-body health as well.
If you’ve been putting off your dental checkup and cleaning, call to schedule an appointment today.
Every March is recognized as National Nutrition Month and is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Its purpose is to raise awareness of just how important it is to eat healthily. But good nutrition doesn’t only benefit our bodies, it can also help protect your oral health. Join your dentist in Sparks as we do our part in promoting good dietary habits for your oral health and whole-body health.
The truth is, eating right doesn’t sound too difficult. But fully understanding nutrition and those crazy nutrition labels can be confusing. The basics are, well, basic — don’t eat too much sugar, avoid indulging in fast food, eat more vegetables, etc. However, truly fueling your body with what it needs to perform at its best is complicated. In fact, even the Food Guide Pyramid from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has changed twice since it was created in 1992. And the current MyPlate dietary guidelines are individualized based on age, gender, height, weight, and daily activity level. Essentially, what’s right for one person may not be right for another. No wonder we’re all confused! The best way to find out the best dietary recommendations for you is to check out the MyPlate checklist to find your ideal combination of:
- Whole Grains
- Lean Proteins
Nutrition & Oral Health
We know that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can certainly benefit our bodies and help keep us healthy. The same is true for your oral health. Sugary foods, carbs, and acidic foods and drinks can definitely put teeth at risk for decreased enamel protection and, as a result, more susceptible to decay and cavities. Try your best to avoid those foods in high quantities. Instead, choose some of the best foods for your smile (and your body) including:
- Fatty Fish
- Raw Veggies – especially the crunchy ones!
More on Sugar
It’s no secret that your dentist in Sparks really, really doesn’t like sugar. This is because sugar is one of the top contributors to decay. When we eat sugary foods, the bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugar and release an acidic byproduct. This acid attacks tooth enamel, weakening it, which makes it easier for bacteria to find its way into teeth’s tiny nooks and crannies. The result? Decay, cavities, and the need for dental treatment such as fillings or even a root canal. Reduced tooth enamel can also make teeth very sensitive to hot or cold or change the color from bright white to a dull, darker appearance.
However, sweet treats aren’t the only snacks that are packed with sugars. In fact, there are foods out there that don’t even taste sweet but have the same effect. Carbohydrates have something called the hidden sugar effect. As we eat them, carbs break down into simple sugars, and we know what happens in our mouth when we give the bacteria sugar. So even if you don’t have a traditional sweet tooth, check out the nutrition labels and try to limit not only foods with high sugar content but also those with a lot of carbs.
Choosing healthier meals and snacks for you and your family can help you all live a healthy life. Eating foods that are good for your body can also protect your teeth from the damaging effects of sugar and acid. Try to pick foods that are good for you overall. Your body, your smile, your dentist in Sparks will thank you for it.
Re-posted with the permission of Perio Protect.
If you’ve never heard of National Dentist Day on March 6th, don’t feel bad. It’s not exactly a time where people exchange dentistry-related gifts, browse the dental section of the greeting card aisle or sit down for a feast that includes brushing and flossing immediately afterwards. Maybe National Dentist Day isn’t widely celebrated—but we sure think it ought to be.
First of all, dentistry has resulted in a higher quality of life—and longer lives—for people all over the world. For most of human history, people suffered from oral diseases and really had no way of treating them. Today, not only do you not have to worry much about serious oral diseases, but the ones that do occur can be treated quite comfortably. And then there’s the added benefits of a bright, white smile, healthy teeth and gums, as well as fresh breath—all thanks to dentists who are just an appointment away.
As a certified Perio Protect provider, those benefits are even closer for our patients. Perio Protect is a non-invasive periodontal disease treatment. It’s a simple, convenient way to treat gum infections (that 80% of American adults have!) comfortably in your own home, and on your schedule.
The FDA-cleared Perio Trays® are custom-molded to fit comfortably over your teeth and gums while delivering antimicrobial medication deep below the gum line. It’s great for treating and preventing gum disease.
We love to share good news with our patients about treatment that prevents disease or addresses it in its earliest stages. Contact us if you have concerns about bleeding or inflamed gums. Or even just to wish us a happy National Dentists Day.