Friday, February 28, 2014

Chocolate: The Dental Connection!

Even though Valentine's Day 2014 is a mere memory, read on to learn more about a "healthier" dental connection to the "sweetest time" of the year! From a student handing out sweets for her classmates to an older married couple exchanging boxes of candy, Valentine's Day is definitely the time of year when more people like to show affection by gifting sugary treats to their loved ones.  Whether you're on the giving or receiving end of Valentine's Day candy, you can celebrate the holiday in a healthier way by making dark chocolate your confection of choice.

Health Benefits
According to the Cleveland Clinic, studies have shown that the cocoa beans used to make chocolate contain flavonoids, which can help protect the body against damage from various toxins. Flavonoids may also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and the brain. Dark chocolates typically contain a higher amount of these flavonoids than other types, making them a great choice for chocolate lovers.

Cavity Protection
If you think that there's no way that candy could ever be beneficial for your teeth, think again.  The Texas A&M Health Science Center has reported that the tannins present in cocoa beans may actually help prevent cavities by interfering with bacteria's harmful interaction with teeth.  Just like flavonoids, tannins have been found to be present more often in dark chocolates, rather than milk chocolates, giving you another great reason to choose the richer, sweet varieties.

Avoiding A Sticky Situation
One more benefit of choosing chocolate over other candies is that it is less likely to get struck in the crevices and spaces between teeth.  Gooey sweets like taffy can stay lodged in the mouth for longer periods of time, placing you at a greater risk for developing cavities.  When you choose chocolate, opt for the plain varieties.

Remember that the health benefits that you can receive from dark chocolate are largely based on eating candy in moderation.  With that being said, it's easy to make this delicious and health conscious switch when satisfying your sweet tooth.  If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, February 21, 2014

Heart Disease: The Dental Connection!

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 200 million Americans suffer some degree of inflammation of the gums.  Over the past decade, researchers have published studies that link the bacteria involved in periodontal (gum) disease to cardiovascular disease.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have connected oral infections to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and low birth weights.

Studies also suggest that the common bacteria that cause periodontal disease are also responsible for causing a thickening of the carotid arteries, which increases the chance of a heart attack or stroke.  Although further research is presently being conducted to more fully understand the link between oral health and heart disease, the same species of bacteria that causes gum disease has been discovered in the plaque in the arteries of the heart!

To learn more about the connection between heart disease and oral health, or if you are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123.  Remember, a clean mouth can lead to a much happier heart!

God Bless,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

NCDH: The Dental Connection!

February marks another National Children's Dental Health Month, which has been sponsored by the American Dental Association for the past 64 years in order to raise awareness about the importance of children's oral health. During the month of February, the ADA encourages all parents and caregivers to help children develop good dental habits at an early age.  Regular dental visits can help children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

If you have questions about your children's dental health or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day: The Rest Of The Story

Did you know that the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine's Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war.  Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming that marriage was illegal.

Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD.  Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it "From your Valentine."  Nearly 1800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in the manner.  As Paul Harvey so eloquently would say..."and now you know the rest of the story."

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at Thomas Family Dentistry!

God Bless,

Friday, February 7, 2014

February & Your Heart: The Dental Connection!

The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of good oral health since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and stroke!  Studies suggest that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels.  This can cause the formation of blood clots.  And yet another study suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease.  Gum disease increases plaque buildup, and inflamed gums may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

Although there is no definitive proof to support these theories, it is widely acknowledged that better oral health contributes to overall better health.  When people take good care of their teeth, get thorough exams, and a professional cleaning twice a year, the buildup of plaque on the teeth is lessened.  A healthy, well-balanced diet will also contribute to better oral and heart health.  There is a lot of truth to the saying "you are what you eat."  If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,