Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Your Heart: The Dental Connection!

To celebrate American Heart Month this February, we pause and look at the recent studies that have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, which underscores the importance of good oral health.

Cardiovascular disease remains American's leading killer, claiming more lives than all other major causes of death, according to the American Heart Association.  Not surprisingly, an estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.

Studies suggest that people with gum disease are believed to have an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke.  Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, regular dental visits can help detect early warning signs of heart issues, prevent gum disease, or at the very least catch it at its early stage.

Know your numbers:

Blood pressure: less than 120/80
Cholesterol: less than 200
BMI: less than 25
Healthy Periodontal Pocket Range: 1-4MM

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Periodontal Prevention: The Dental Connection!

Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent health issues in America, with the Center for Disease Control reporting that it affects approximately 65 million people, or roughly 47 percent of the population. People with periodontal disease have bacteria beneath the surface of the gums, which are responsible for tissue inflammation that can lead to pain, bleeding, gum recession, and even permanent tooth loss.  Unfortunately, the chances of developing gingivitis and periodontitis only increase with age, with 70 percent of adults over the age of 65 having at least some degree of gum disease.  However, a lot can be done to prevent periodontal disease and keep teeth and gums healthy.

Daily Hygiene.  The process you take each day to clean your teeth and gums goes a long way towards preventing periodontal disease.  Since gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by plaque build-up, the most important steps you can take to prevent them involve cleaning your teeth each morning, night and 20 minutes after meals.  Start by brushing your teeth and tongue, and follow up with mouthwash to kill any lingering bacteria.  At least once per day, take time to floss throughly along the gum line to prevent gum infections from occurring in between the teeth.

Periodontal Exams.  In addition to caring for your teeth and gums at home, it is also important to have comprehensive dental exams.  Our dental team can detect gingivitis in its earliest stages and treat it before it has a chance to progress.  Although everyone needs periodic periodontal exams, some people with certain risk factors may required them more often.  Examples include individuals who smoke or have a personal family history of gum disease.

Treatment.  If you suspect that you may be experiencing the warning signs of periodontal disease, it is important that you have an assessment as soon as possible.  Symptoms may include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, gum recession, pockets that have formed between the teeth and the gums, and even tooth loss.  If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, treatments are available to help restore your oral health depending on how advanced the gum disease may have progressed.  For example, gingivitis may require only a thorough cleaning and topical antibiotic.  On the other hand, periodontal disease that has been allowed to progress may require scaling and root planing, and in some cases, surgery to prevent tooth, bone, and gum loss.

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, January 26, 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Dental Connection!

Researchers have new evidence that suggests that microorganisms responsible for chronic inflammatory gingival infections may also trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  The latest research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore has implications for prevention and treatment of RA.  The findings point to a certain oral bacteria as causing a cascade of inflammatory events, which links the periodontal infection to the autoimmunity in RA.

Periodontal disease and RA may be closely associated, as researchers feel that common factors may link the conditions.  The John Hopkins team discovered that a process found in the joints of patients with RA was also noted in the gingiva of patients with periodontitis.  Furthermore, the oral bacteria in periodontitis that is responsible for the inflammatory cascade, is the only pathogen that could trigger the process that attacks tissues.

Prevention of all forms of gum disease is the key.  Regular cleanings and early treatment of periodontitis can reduce the abundance of the destructive pathogens that have been linked to RA. If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, January 12, 2018

X-ray Safety: The Dental Connection!

It is not uncommon to be concerned about your safety when you have dental x-rays performed.  Putting on a heavy lead vest may make you apprehensive.  The benefits of dental X-rays far out weigh the risks when safety procedures are followed and the number of X-rays is limited to the required number.

Intra-oral X-rays are the most common pictures of the teeth used in dentistry. These allow for the detection of cavities as well as to check the health of the bone and root structure.  Extra-oral X-rays provide the information that is needed to monitor your jaw and TMJ, as well as look for impacted teeth and tooth development.

Guidelines from the American Dental Association have been established in order to achieve the most detection for disease in the safest manner.  Digital radiography (X-rays), which is utilized by our office, is one of the most important new advances that the dental profession has seen in quite some time.  The capability to even further reduce the exposure to radiation to the patient while increasing the diagnostic proficiency has been astounding.  Digital radiography has reduced radiation exposure to patients by up to 80 percent as compared to conventional methods.  The reduction in the need for harsh chemicals and other waste materials associated with traditional radiography is also an added benefit to our environment that digital X-rays provide.

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Top Five: The Dental Connection!

Some foods like cookies and candy bars are obviously considered to be enemy number 1 for promoting tooth decay! However, there are certain foods that are beneficial to your oral health! Check out the Top Five foods that can increase the health of your teeth and gums.

  • Crispy, low-acid fruits and vegetables:  Fruits like apples and vegetables such as carrots and celery act like "natural toothbrushes," helping to clear plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath.
  • Kiwis:  These little green superstars are packed with Vitamin C, which is essential for gum health.  The collagen in your gums is strengthened when you consume foods that are high in Vitamin C, like kiwis, thus helping to prevent periodontal problems.
  • Raw onions: Onions have long been studied for their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.  Proliferation of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and cavities. By including raw onions in your diet, you will be doing your part to wipe out those little microbes before they can multiply!
  • Shiitake Mushrooms: A specific compound in shiitake mushrooms called lentinan has been shown to have antibacterial properties that target the microbes that cause cavities while leaving other beneficial bacteria alone.  It may also help to prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.
  • Green Tea: Often praised for its antioxidant content and many health benefits, it turns out that green tea also benefits your oral health!  A Japanese study found that men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower occurrence of periodontal disease compared to men who drank green tea infrequently.  It is believed that this is due to catechins in green tea, a type of flavonoid that may protect you from free radical damage, but more research is needed.  Either way, drink up for your overall health, as well as your teeth!

If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 New Year Tips: The Dental Connection!

As we begin yet another year, we at Thomas Family Dentistry thought that we would like to remind our patients to practice good oral hygiene to keep your smile looking its best!  Of course, this includes brushing and flossing on a regular basis, brushing after consuming foods that can stain your teeth and visiting our office every six months or as recommended.

The American Dental Association also recommends the following for ideal oral hygiene:
  • Brush two minutes twice daily with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Clean between your teeth with floss in areas where bristles don't reach.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Visit our office on a regular basis for professional cleanings and exams.

Finally, a great reason to smile is this: recent studies have shown that smiling can actually help you live longer!  If you need an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday Cheer: The Dental Connection!

Spreading Holiday cheer begins with Fresh Breath! Not only during the Holidays, but everyday of the year, keeping your teeth clean and your breath minty fresh, can be a struggle for many people! Although good oral hygiene is the first step, there are many other factors that can contribute to bad breath such as tobacco, a dry mouth, medications, sinus issues, foods and gum disease.

So if Buddy the Elf's famous quote about Santa, your breath smells like "beef and cheese," is hindering you from spreading Christmas cheer, then remember that visiting our office for regular cleanings and exams can keep your Holidays fresh and bright!

God Bless,