How Eating Disorders Can Affect Oral Health

DO YOU OR DOES SOMEONE you love have an eating disorder? This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. To help spread awareness about eating disorders and their effect on oral and overall health, share this post with your friends and family who may benefit from it.

Be Aware Of The Dental Complications

We all know that eating disorders can result in various health complications. You may be surprised to hear, however, that they are often first diagnosed during a dental exam. In fact, changes in the mouth are many times the first physical signs of an eating disorder.

A nutritious diet is crucial for healthy teeth and gums. And as those with anorexia and bulimia are often undernourished, they can experience a number of oral health issues. Poor nutrition can cause sores in the mouth, swollen salivary glands and periodontal disease. Gums and other soft tissues in the mouth may bleed more easily. People who have eating disorders are also more prone to chronic dry mouth and bad breath.

Frequent vomiting can also result in dental problems. Exposure to acid, especially strong stomach acid, on a regular basis is bad news for teeth. Tooth sensitivity, discoloration and decay can be the result. Because of the damage to tooth enamel, the shape and length of teeth can also be affected. In addition, teeth may become more brittle and chip or break more easily.

Reduce The Damage

As you or your loved one seek treatment for an eating disorder, follow these steps to reduce the damage to the oral cavity and teeth in the meantime:

  • Continue a rigorous oral hygiene routine–brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.
  • Instead of brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting, rinse your mouth out with water or water with baking soda to neutralize stomach acids. Don’t brush your teeth for at least an hour after purging.
  • Be open and honest with your dentist, and see them on a regular basis.

We Are Here For You

As your trusted oral healthcare providers, we are here to give advice without passing judgment, and as always, maintain full patient confidentiality. We care about your health and well-being! If you have any questions regarding this blog post, call us or come in today. You can also send us a private message on our Facebook page. For more information and resources to help those you love get the help they need, visit http://nedawareness.org/.

Thank you for trusting us with your oral health.

Top image by Flickr user Joe Szilagyi used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Are Your Teeth Sensitive? Here’s Why

DO YOU EVER cringe when you watch someone bite into ice cream? Are you sometimes fearful of that first sip of hot soup or drink of tea? You’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints we hear about!

Teeth Feel Sensitive When Nerves Are Exposed 

On the outside of each tooth is a protective layer of enamel. Over time, the enamel can wear away leaving an inner layer, called the dentin, exposed. This occurs due to normal wear and tear, poor dental hygiene or certain lifestyle choices.

Dentin contains fluid-filled tubules that reach into the innermost part of the tooth where all the nerves reside. Because the nerves inside the tooth are exposed when the enamel is eroded away, sensitivity is the result.

Another form of tooth sensitivity develops when gum recession leaves the root of the tooth exposed to food, drink, and air.

Desensitizing Toothpaste Can Help

Desensitizing toothpaste is a great way to ease tooth sensitivity. Many of our patients ask us how these toothpastes actually work! It’s simple: they are specially formulated to either block the tubules in the dentin, protecting the nerves in the tooth from exposure, or numb your teeth, in a manner of speaking, so you don’t register the pain of sensitivity.

It’s important to remember, however, that if your teeth are at all sensitive, your first stop should be your dentist’s office. Some problems that cause teeth to be sensitive can be quite serious and may require more extensive treatment than desensitizing toothpaste can provide.

Follow These Helpful Tips To Avoid Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can range from mildly annoying to severely painful. To prevent further damage to your teeth or any sensitivity in the first place, follow the suggestions below:

  • Practice proper oral hygiene. Gum disease and tooth decay are frequently the cause of tooth sensitivity. In addition, avoid smoking or any form of tobacco use.
  • Don’t brush so hard. Aggressive brushing or brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause gum recession and enamel erosion. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t apply too much force. Plaque comes off easier than you think!
  • Protect your teeth. If you clench your teeth frequently or have been diagnosed with bruxism (teeth grinding), make sure you protect your teeth with a nightguard provided to you by your dentist and try to be conscious of your clenching habits during the day.
  • Make sure your diet is healthy. Eat sugar and carbohydrates in moderation. Drink plenty of water and eat foods that are good for your teeth such as dairy products and vegetables.

Nobody Should Live With Tooth Pain

No matter what your level of discomfort, it’s our belief that nobody should have to live with tooth pain. If you experience any kind of sensitivity in your teeth, come in and see us! We can diagnose the root cause of your sensitivity and ascertain the best way to treat it.

We are thankful for our wonderful patients!

Top image by Flickr user Lachlan Hardy used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Take Care Of Your Furry Friend’s Smile!

WE TALK A LOT ABOUT what you need to do to keep those teeth of yours healthy and beautiful. While you’re taking care of your smile, don’t forget about your pet’s! Your furry friend’s teeth need to be cared for as well.

Keep Up On Your Pet’s Dental Health

You probably don’t think about checking your dog or cat’s mouth very often, but it’s important that you do. Dental problems can often lead to other health problems in your pet, not to mention they can be painful and costly. As with our own teeth, prevention is key!

Here are some things you should do to keep your furry friend’s mouth healthy:

  • Have your pet’s teeth checked and cleaned at least once a year by a veterinarian
  • While daily toothbrushing is ideal for your pet, at least get in three to four good brushing sessions per week (using toothpaste specially formulated for them–not human toothpaste)
  • Make sure your dog or cat is on a nutritious diet that is good for their teeth; your veterinarian will help you know what kind of food is best
  • Chew toys are great for scraping plaque off of your dog’s teeth and can be a great supplement to tooth brushing!

There are many products out there that can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy and breath fresh. Talk to your veterinarian about what products they recommend for your dog or cat’s oral hygiene routine!

Watch the video below to see how to properly brush your pet’s teeth:

Healthy Smiles Make It All Worthwhile

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA), 70 percent of cats and 80 percent of dogs have some kind of oral disease by the age of two or three. That’s why attending to your pet’s oral health on a daily basis should be as normal to them as their daily walks.

After enough practice, they may even look forward to toothbrushing time! And while brushing your pet’s teeth may be a lot of work, just remember, healthy smiles make all that work worthwhile.

We’d love to see your pets’ smiles! Snap a photo of you and your pet showing off your pearly whites and post it to our Facebook page!

Thank you for reading our blog and supporting our practice.

Top image by Flickr user Suzanne Schroeter used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Much Calcium Do We Actually Need?

 

WE’VE ALL HEARD calcium builds strong bones and is key to preventing osteoporosis. But did you know taking in the right amount of calcium also has a huge effect on our oral health?

Calcium Benefits Our Oral Health

Does calcium really make a difference in our oral health? The answer is yes! Even before we’re born, we begin storing a supply of calcium and other nutrients to grow strong, healthy teeth and bones.  As we grow older, calcium continues to repair and strengthen our teeth, making them more resistant to decay and fortifying them against disease.

Although many foods contain calcium, the best and most easily absorbed source comes straight from milk and dairy products!  Milk is not only a rich source of calcium, but of phosphorous, magnesium, and Vitamin D, which combined together coat teeth in a protective film and ward off harmful acids and bacteria-causing cavities, and also strengthen and reinforce tooth enamel.

How Much Calcium Should I Get Each Day?

How much calcium you need depends on your age and gender. Although the amount you need will differ from others you know, including enough calcium in your diet is important to your oral and overall health.

To give you a better idea of just how much you need, one eight ounce glass of milk contains around 300 milligrams of calciumStudies show that those who consume more than 800 mg of calcium a day are much less likely to develop gum disease.

The Dietary Reference Intakes lists a recommended amount of calcium for every age:

  • Children ages one to eight need anywhere from 500-800 mg a day,
  • Teens need around 1,300 mg,
  • Adults and nursing mothers ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 mg,
  • Older adults and younger mothers need 1,200 mg or more.

What Are Good Sources Of Calcium?

Need some inspiration to increase your calcium intake? Try any of these:

Dairy products

Milk, cheeses, yogurts, buttermilk, cottage cheese, puddings, and ice cream are an easy (and delicious) way to get calcium.

Vegetables

If you don’t like dairy or are lactose intolerant, you still have plenty of options to choose from! Broccoli, collard greens, and kale are good, healthy sources of calcium. Collard greens alone provide 268 mg of calcium per cup!

Other Good Sources

Looking for other options? Oranges, sardines, white beans, tofu, almonds, and some breakfast cereals and juices are all non-dairy alternatives to get your daily source of calcium!

Make Calcium A Part Of Your Diet

Do your teeth and gums a favor by incorporating the right amount of calcium into your daily diet! Enough calcium coupled with good oral hygiene habits make all of the difference in your smile and will keep your teeth healthy and strong for years to come. If you have any more questions about your daily calcium intake, call us or let us know in the comments below!

Thank you to all of our wonderful patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Preparing For Your Child’s First Dental Visit

SEEING A BABY’S FIRST SMILE is a wonderful moment in a new parent’s life–that little grin leaves a lasting impression! Visiting the dentist early ensures that your child’s smile remains happy and healthy.

First Tooth Pop In? Time To Schedule Their Appointment!

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental appointment once their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday. Although this may seem early for a first visit, there are many reasons for acquainting your child with a dentist so early in their oral development.

The first, and most obvious, is that we are able to monitor the health of their new teeth as they come in. As soon as your little one’s first tooth erupts, he or she can begin to develop cavities. Aside from checking for tooth decay, we check to ensure that their overall oral development is on track and answer any questions you may have about your child’s growing smile.

What To Expect During Your Child’s First Visit

As you prepare your child for their first dental visit, you may begin to wonder what you can expect during their appointment. The first dental visit is often very brief and gives your child an opportunity to meet their dentist in a friendly, non-threatening way. This helps get them acquainted and can help calm your child before their dental exam.

Once your child is ready for their exam, the dentist will:

  • Check their existing teeth for decay
  • Examine their bite and look for any problems with the gums, jaw and oral tissues
  • If discussed beforehand, clean any teeth present

These appointments are also an excellent opportunity for us to share information with you about proper oral care as your child’s smile develops. If you have any questions about your child’s oral hygiene routine, this is a perfect time to ask! We’ll be happy to discuss strategies to help soothe your baby during the teething phase, answer questions about oral habits such as thumb sucking, or share tips about a smile healthy diet.

After their visit is complete, your dentist will suggest a schedule of follow-up visits based on the unique needs of your child.

Watch the video below to learn more about your child’s first dental visit and how to prepare them for their appointment:

We’ll Make Sure Your Child Leaves With A Smile!

Whether it’s your child’s first visit or their 50th, we’re committed to giving them an experience that helps pave the way for a lifetime of good oral health. If you have any questions about your child’s first visit in our office, feel free to give us a call! We’d love to talk with you about any specific needs they may have for their first appointment.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.