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8 Health Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene that Extend Beyond Your Mouth

Posted On: January 02, 2018

8 Health Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene that Extend Beyond Your Mouth

By Denise Reynolds RD/EmaxHealth

It is very important to take good care of your teeth and gums, but for more reasons than you might think. Because the mouth is the “gateway to the body,” bacteria from the teeth and gums can affect your overall health in more ways than one.  To keep the mouth and teeth healthy, it is recommended to brush and floss every day – at least two times a day. Dentists also recommend avoiding certain cavity-producing foods, such as sugary treats, and avoiding tobacco products.  You should also see your dentist or oral health professional regularly (recommended every six months).

But why?  Well, obviously, poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay or cavities.  Despite what you might think, cavities do not only occur in children, adults can get them too.  The teeth are covered in a hard outer coating called enamel.  Every day, a thin film of bacteria (dental plaque) builds up on the teeth which produces a bacteria that can eat a hole in this enamel if not removed.  Brushing and flossing can help protect your teeth from decay, but once a cavity has formed, a dentist has to fix it.

Gum disease is another consequence of poor dental hygiene.  When plaque builds up along and under the gum line, infections can occur that harm the gums and the bone that hold the teeth in place.  The most severe form of gum disease is known as periodontal disease.  In this case, infection has become so severe that bone deterioration can occur, leading to tooth loss.

Bad dental health can be also particularly bad for your social life as well.  Halitosis-bad breath-is caused by small food particles that are wedged between the teeth that collect bacteria and emit chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide.  This is the same compound which gives rotten eggs their characteristic smell.  Good dental health, though, is not just important for your teeth, gums an breath. The bacteria that originate in the mouth can travel throughout the body and cause a host of health problems that you may not be aware of.

1.  Heart Disease/Stroke Risk
People with periodontal disease are two times more likely to develop heart disease and arterial narrowing as a result of bacteria and plaque entering the bloodstream through the gums.  The bacteria contains a clot-promoting protein that can clog arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attach.  In addition, if high levels of disease -causing bacteria from the mouth clog the carotid artery-the blood vessel that delivers blood to the brain and head-it could increase the risk of having a stroke.

2.  Increase Risk of Dementia
Tooth loss due to poor dental health is also a risk factor for memory loss and early stage Alzheimer's disease.  One study, published in Behavioral and Brain Functions, found that infections in the gums release inflammatory substances which in turn increase brain inflammation that can cause neuronal (brain cell) death.

3.  Respiratory Problems
Bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where it can aggravate respiratory system, especially in patients who already have respiratory problems.  A study published in the Journal of Periodontology uncovered a link between gum disease ad an increase risk of pneumonia and acute bronchitis.  "But working with your dentist or periodontist, you may actually be able to prevent or diminish the progression of harmful disease such as pneumonia or COPD," says Donald S Clem, DDS, President of the American Academy of Periodontology."

4.  Diabetes
95% of US adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease and 1/3 have such advanced disease that has led to tooth loss.  This is likely because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections.  The link between gum disease and diabetes appears to be a two-way street.  In addition to having a higher risk gum disease due to diabetes, periodontal disease may also make it more difficult to control blood sugar, putting the patient at risk for even more diabetic complications.

5.  Erectile Dusfunction
Men with periodontal disease are 7 times likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men with good dental hygiene.  Periodontal bacteria can travel through the bloodstream, inflaming blood vessels and blocking flow to the genitals.

6.  Risk of Premature Birth
In the US, nearly 13% of babies are born prematurely according to the March of Dimes. Premature babies face a host of medical problems including breathing issues and infections. A mom’s dental health can impact this association.  Doctors theorize that one of the main causes of preterm birth is infection in the mother’s body. One common site of infection is the mouth. In addition to brushing and flossing, a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found an association between the use of a non-alcohol antimicrobial mouth rinse in pregnant women and a decreased rate of delivering babies prematurely. The theory is that gum-disease-induced inflammation could be reduced through the regular use of bacteria-killing mouthwash



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Beer, Wine and Whisky? Good or Bad for Your Mouth?

Posted On: December 03, 2017

Beer, Wine and Whisky? Good or Bad for Your Mouth?

Those of us who enjoy an adult beverage from time to time are, no doubt, privy to the research that suggests such consumption is, surprisingly - good for us! Of course, with every endorsement of a habit that might not really be "too" good for us, there is "but" in there somewhere. And when it comes to alcohol, there is little debate that whether it's whisky, beer or wine, alcohol just isn't that great for your oral health. So if you're drinking more these days to help your heart, you may want to re-think that strategy a bit. Let's take a look at why.

1.  Drying effect:  Unlike water, which hydrates your mouth and protects it from cavity-causing bacteria and acid, alcohol dries it out. When paired with alcohol's acidic nature, this drying effect provides the perfect low pH environment for bacteria to feast. And if that weren't all, because we're prone to sip alcoholic beverages for hours on end, doing so keeps the pH in our mouths low for hours at a time - not a good scenario for our teeth and gums.

2.  Staining: Wine, like coffee, can stain your teeth. In most cases, the staining is temporary, and is caused by a number of things like its acidity, which etches the teeth allowing color to "stick," and tannin's, which love teeth so much they bind to the enamel and trap the wine's color along with it. Joy! How's that for a festive party? The good thing is, you can keep discoloration at bay by munching on food while drinking, and chewing gum once you’re done consuming for the night. This will bathe your mouth in saliva, and bring your pH back to normal. Also, as an aside, hold off on brushing your teeth until at least a half hour after you’re done consuming. If done too early, the soft nature of your enamel after drinking can cause unwanted enamel abrasion.

3.  Long term effects:  Of course, it goes without mentioning, that if your alcohol consumption habits are more frequent, and of larger amounts than "recommended," you should be aware that these effects are compounding, and can even result in oral cancer. In fact, if you are prone to combining alcohol with smoking, your oral cancer risk is six times greater than if you just smoked, or just drank. Scientists believe the effects of alcohol on the mouth enable cancer-causing agents in cigarette smoke greater access to our oral tissues resulting in a favorable environment for cancer to develop.

As is often the case, your health is within your control.  Therefore choosing habits wisely, and being informed of their consequences is always knowledge worth possessing...Everything in moderation.

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Great American Smokeout

Posted On: November 01, 2017


Kicking the Tobacco Habit is good for your Mouth.

The Great American Smokeout is the third Thursday in November.

While the current percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes is the lowest it's been in decades, those who continue the habit remain at risk for heart and lung disease.  Additionally, while we know smoking is also bad for our oral health, most don't understand just how bad it is...

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More Than Just Stained Teeth

From its seemingly mild side effects (bad breath, tooth discoloration, buildup of plaque and tartar), to the more sinister ( increased risk of oral cancer, loss of bone within the jaw, gum disease and any number of resulting complications) - tobacco is indeed an oral health risk.

Tobacco can cause serious health issues by breaking down the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth.  Because of this breakdown, the use of tobacco makes smokers much more susceptible to infection and disease.  In fact, 90% of people who have cancer of the mouth, throat, or gums admit to using tobacco in some form.

Cigarettes, cigars and pipes aren't the only culprits; smokeless tobacco can be just as detrimental to oral health, if not worse.  In fact, there are twenty-eight chemicals found in chewing tobacco alone that are proven to chewing tobacco alone that are proven to increase the risk of cancer in the mouth, throat and esophagus.  Chewing tobacco and snuff contain higher levels of nicotine than those found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, making it's exposure to the roots, and ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to decay.

According to the National Cancer Institute, smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and has a negative impact on overall health.  It is the leading case of cancer of several types, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, throat, mouth, and bladder cancers.  It is also the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.

In addition to cancer, smoking contributes to and causes strokes, heart disease, macular degeneration, cataracts, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is chronic bronchitis and emphysema, osteoporosis, and diabetes.  Smoking makes other conditions worse or increase a person's risk of developing them: pneumonia and other respiratory infections and asthma.

Smokers weakens the immune system and makes getting pregnant more difficult.  Smoking  during pregnancy increases the risks of birth defects, miscarriages, and g\premature babies and low birth weights.  Smoking also puts non-smokes at risk of health problems by exposing them to secondhand smoke.  Secondhand smoke is now to cause lung cancer in non-smokers and also increase the risks of heart disease ad stroke.  It also puts children at an increased risk for infections and asthma.


          

Click on the picture below for more information about the Great American Smokeout.

 


Help is Just Next Door                                          

The only way to help eliminate these risks is to never start using tobacco products, or to quit if you do.  In fact, simply reducing tobacco use is proven to help lower your risks.  If you feel that it is time to reduce your risk of cancer, gum disease, infection and other oral complications, your dentist or doctor can help you create a plan to help you quit using tobacco, along with prescribing certain medicines or programs to help you kick the habit.  Here at Baylee Dental we've shared programs with patients have helped make a difference in their lives, while helping protect their health at the same time.  Remember, it is never too late to quit.  If you're interested in getting help, let us know the next time you're in for an appointment or call us now. 352-307-3006

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The Biggest Two-Letter Reason for Why You Get Cavities

Posted On: October 02, 2017

The Biggest Two-Letter Reason for Why you get Cavities.  It's not only the Halloween Candy this month.

Isn’t it interesting how one person can do a wonderful job brushing and flossing their teeth each day and still end up with cavities, while someone with poor habits can sidestep cavities altogether? In the few minutes it’ll take you to read this article you’ll get a glimpse into one reason this happens. We’ll start by making a bold statement. That is: the primary reason people get cavities has a lot less to do with brushing and flossing, and a lot more to do with something most of us know little to nothing about: pH. We promise to make this easy on you – understanding pH is simpler than you think. No need to dust off your high school chemistry book! 

Understanding pH

In order to make sense of pH, you only need to know two things. First, that “pH” is just a word used to indicate the corrosive nature of any watery solution (it’s simply a unit of measurement, like the words “teaspoon” or “mile”). Second, pH measurements are plotted out on what is called the “pH scale” represented by numbers that run between 0 and 14. On that scale the number seven represents the midpoint, or “neutral” point of measurement. Also, in case you’re wondering, it is possible to have negative pH and numbers higher than 14, but generally speaking those are results produced in a lab and not something you’re likely to run into while navigating the grocery aisle.

Now that you know what pH is, consider the pH scale not as a rating system of chemicals, but a rating system of things you would want to put in your mouth. The further away you get away from the neutral seven, the less likely you are to enjoy the experience. For example, hydrochloric acid is measured at the very bottom of the scale (zero) – and we sure as heck don’t want that stuff in our mouth. Stomach acid is just above that at 1.5 - 3.5. A lemon which comes in around 2.0, we could probably handle. Wine? Between 2.9 and 3.9. Water and milk are measured at seven – completely neutral, and saliva typically falls between 6.5 and 7.5. How about on the other side of the scale … the alkaline side? Well, eggs come in around 7.6, and baking soda, an 8.0. Beyond that it gets kinda’ icky, literally. Borax is a 9.0, and Lye is a 14.0. Definitely not items we’d want to swirl around in our mouth.

Applying pH to Your Teeth: It's all about Acid

So how does pH affect your teeth? When we think about what causes cavities most of us naturally think about sugar, because that’s what we’re told to avoid. However, it’s important to understand it isn’t sugar that destroys your teeth, it’s the digestion of that sugar by certain bacteria in the mouth that does the damage. The final result of that digestion process is a byproduct you won’t be surprised causes damage to teeth: acid. So basically think of avoiding sugar as essentially avoiding acid and you’ll be thinking about sugar as it relates to your teeth in the proper fashion.
 
Given what you now know about pH, you’ll likewise want to avoid consuming too much of anything that’s already acidic – things like soda, energy drinks, sport drinks and acidic fruitthey’re clearly bad for your teeth. Coffee, wine and tea are also pretty acidic so be aware of their threat to your enamel as well.    
 
Lastly, since pH isn’t something you’re going to find labeled on foods here is a fantastic list of food items that will help bring the pH scale to life. Without a doubt, being mindful of what you put into your body will protect your teeth, and better fuel your body. 

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Over-the-Counter Oral Care

Posted On: September 05, 2017

When Over-the-Counter Oral Care Treatments Might Not be Enough.

Most of us are used to the idea of just popping into the local grocery store or pharmacy to replenish our usual brand of toothpaste, mouthwash and floss when we know we’re running low on supplies. But what if re-stocking that old familiar brand isn’t really helping you as much as when you were younger? As we grow older and our teeth and gums age along with us, sometimes those old familiar products are worth switching out – often with a prescription from your dentist. But how do you know when you should opt for something new? Let’s take a look.

  • Do you Have Sensitive Teeth or Gum Disease?  

If you're experiencing tooth sensitivity due to a receding gum line, you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste.  Such toothpastes have higher levels of fluoride and can help lessen sensitivity and protect exposed tooth structure no longer protected by enamel or gum tissue.  Typically your dentist would recommend prescription toothpaste for you if you have significant recession, or if recommend prescription toothpaste for you if you have significant recession, or if you have recent been in for scaling and root planning.  Ask your hygienist about our prescription toothpaste or Sensi Strips available to purchase in the office on your next visit. (Not available in stores)


  • Do you Suffer from Persistent Halitosis?                                                                                                  Many people don't know this, but there are prescription mouthwashes that can be used to help combat persistent halitosis.  As with dry mouth, however, it's important to understand why you have bad breath.  Maintaining good oral hygiene has a lot to do with preventing halitosis.  If you do not have gum disease and feel otherwise healthy, there could be more serious reasons for your halitosis. At Baylee Dental, we have a number of products on hand that can help you with bad breath. After your next exam if this is a concern for you, just let us know, and we’ll let you know how we can help. 
  • Do You Suffer from Dry Mouth?            
  • Most over the counter (OTC) remedies for dry mouth are effective for the majority of people. However, if you’ve been using an OTC solution for some time, and are experiencing limited relief, you might want to ask your dentist if there are other options. You should also ask your family doctor help you get to the root of the problem – which could be indicative of any number of benign or more serious concerns.  Many patients have sucsess with OTC Biotene or a generic rinse .
  • Are Frequent Mouth Sores a Problem?  
  • Elderly patients and those undergoing treatment for some diseases, such as cancer, can develop mouth sores. It’s not necessary to endure this pain for days and weeks on end, so ask your dentist or physician for a prescription mouth gel or rinse available. Magic Mouthwash works by forming a barrier that protects the nerve endings and shields them from over stimulation that can result in pain. Magic Mouthwash really makes a difference.  Ask Dr. Cayia on your next appointment, or call us now, 352-307-3006 to evaluate which prescription would be best for you.


  • Do You Get a Lot of Cavities, or Drink from an Un-fluoridated Water Supply?
  • If you get your drinking water from a well, or any other un-fluoridated source , prescription toothpastes can be helpful.  They're also worth considering simply if your're prone to decay.  Excessive cavities can be a drain on your wallet, and the overall health of your mouth.  Ask if there are ways (other than frequent visits to the office for repair) you can proactively fight your battle with cavity-prone teeth.

For the overwhelming majority of us, over-the-counter toothpastes, mouth washes and other dental hygiene products will do the trick just fine. Just know that your options don’t stop there and speak with Dr. Cayia if you have any concerns.

 



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5 Stages of Tooth Decay

Posted On: August 01, 2017

   

Five Stages of Tooth Decay

Did you know there are five distinct stages of tooth decay? And that in the first stage of decay, you can actually take steps to reverse the progression of the disease? Indeed, it’s true. In the first stage of decay, whether you’re a child or an adult, the application of fluoride via fluoride treatments, your toothpaste and your local water supply can stop a cavity from penetrating through the enamel and reaching its second stage. Even the saliva in your mouth and the foods you eat help to re-mineralize a tooth in jeopardy. But that’s just the first stage! What about the rest? Understanding how a cavity progresses can assist you in preventing each successive stage from occurring in your family's mouth.

Stage One:  White Spots                                                                                                                                                                                      In stage one, the tooth begins to show signs of strain from the attack of sugars and acids, and white spots will begin to materialize just below the surface of the enamel.  These white spots are representative of the demineralization of the tooth and can be easy to miss because they're most likely to occur in the back of the mouth, molar area.  A dental exam, of course, is designed to catch such cavities!  Can you see why regular visits to Baylee Dental are recommended?  As mentioned previously, at this stage, the cavity can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth.

Stage Two: Enamel Decay                                                                                                                                                                                   Stage two marks the beginning of the end for the surface enamel that is being attacked.  Initially, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, so the outer enamel will still be intact for the first half of this second stage.  Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, there is no turning back, and you will need to have the cavity corrected with a filling. 

Stage Three: Dentin Decay                                                                                                                                                                                  If a cavity in your mouth were to progress beyond stage two without you knowing, you’d tend become aware of it because it would probably start to cause some pain. At this level, the cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel: the dentin. A filling can still be used to stop the onslaught of bacteria assaulting the tooth in order to prevent the cavity from reaching the tooth’s most critical component: the pulp.  

Stage Four: Involvement of the Pulp                                                                                                                                                                  Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it’s going to hurt. A lot. So if you’ve unfortunately missed all the signs to this point, a screaming child or moaning teenager or your tooth will certainly let you know there is a big problem. Stage four is serious, and a root canal is the best option of treatment at this stage.  “Should you have a tooth that has reached this stage, we would work with our endodontist partner to help treat and bring you back to good health.”

Stage Five: Abscess Formation                                                                                                                                                                      In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection has reached the tip of the root and exited the tip of the tooth’s structure. This in turn infects the surrounding tissues and possibly the bone structure. Swelling would be commonplace and pain severe. In children (as well as adults) an abscess can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. Root canal or extraction would be the order of the day should decay reach this stage.

As you can see, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stall and reverse the progression of these dastardly little devils, so it really does pay to visit the dentist at pre-selected intervals.

 Need to see us?  Call Baylee Dental at 352-307-3006 or email to: info@bayleedental.com and one of our patient coordinators can help you.                


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Blog- What's up with that poking?

Posted On: June 27, 2017

WHAT'S UP WITH ALL THAT POKING AT MY GUMS DURING MY CLEANING OR MAINTENANCE VISIT?

Have you ever wondered why your hygienist starts rattling off a series of numbers in the beginning of your recare visit? 2,2,3,4,5,7!  What's going on there?  What your hygienist is doing is checking the depth of gum tissue pockets that surround your tooth.  It's a proactive way to identify your risk for gum disease, and when done, regularly , can help catch it early. Dental probing is pretty interesting exercise in dentistry, can save you from surgery and extractions, and her's why.

DENTAL PROBING CATCHES PROBLEMS EARLY

One reason to visit the dentist regularly is to identify problems in your mouth that you are completely oblivious to.  Subtle changes in the health of our gums tissue can be missed by the naked eye, and some people-even those who visit a dentist regularly-can be prone to an excess buildup of plaque and tartar that can result in gingivitis and periodontal disease.  Thankfully, your dental team can catch these changes early through the use of X-rays and the practice of dental probing.  We do an annual probing on all adult patients.  This is done on the initial visit and once a year on your recare appointment.  

The reason for probing is straightforward.  As periodontal disease progresses, the visible markers of the disease (plaque and tartar) migrate down along the side of the tooth into the natural "pocket" between the ridge of the gum line and the tooth's enamel.  This inflames the gum tissue and widens this naturally slim gap between the tooth and gum.  As this gap becomes wider, even more bacteria are allowed access to the sensitive tissue fibers along the root's outer surface, casing more damage.  

One part of your treatment might be placing Arestin® , an antibiotic made especially for use in the gum pocket.  When placed in a periodontal pocket, Arestin®  maintains a high-level of antibiotic right at the gum disease site without exposing the rest of the body to antibiotics.  This allows treatment using one-hundredth the usual pill-form dose.  It directly fights the gum disease infection for 14 days

If not addressed, it may result in further bone loss, and the need to extract a tooth.  This is why probing is so important.



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Summer check list.

Posted On: June 01, 2017

BlogSUMMER CHECKLIST

Summer is about to burst onto the scene.  And with it, your "free time" will turn to "busy time" as you plan, plan, plan for your relaxing summer vacation.  So while your're thinking about where you'll go, where you'll eat, and what you'll see along the way, don't forget to plan a visit to your dentist as well.  Doing so can save you from the misery of a dental emergency that will surely spoil even the best planned getaway.

The Best Plan of Action

Now, we're sure visiting the dentist is the last thing you want to do before a relaxing vacation.  Yet we're also certain discovering a painful cavity mid-trip isn't on the agenda either - especially if you're going overseas.  Can you imagine having to look for emergency dental care in some remote part of the world?  Ouch.  Truth is, a quick checkup can catch a future crisis before it ever materializes, and this is one of the beautiful things about dentistry.  Imagine, for example, if you had a bone in your leg that was weak for one reason or another, and a strong impact upon that leg could cause it to break.  Nine time out of ten, you would never even know you had this issue until your leg broke and you were lying in emergency room.  With dentistry, however, oral exams, x-rays and other tools allow your dentist to ferret out problems before they present themselves and that's why visiting prior to vacation can help. Just looking at this tooth in the mouth does not show the abscess without taking a x-ray to diagnosis and avoid a painful vacation.

If you are not current on your annual recare exam visit, we recommend about a month prior to departure - or at least two weeks before you go - schedule a visit.  Your dentist will explore your mouth for any loose crowns or teeth that could cause a problem and identify any cavities that are close enough to the nerve to cause an abscess or pain.  If your're traveling by plane, air pressure in the cabin can cause a recently drilled tooth to be overly sensitive, so you'll want to be certain to plan your visit at least a month ahead of time if your're flying.  If you do take a trip with an unresolved issue, we can make sure you leave with the necessary medication or recommended over the counter medicine.  

Of course, any surgery such as the removal of a tooth, or a root canal should be scheduled in significant advance, and if you wear braces, you'll want to visit your orthodontist as well.  Definitely don't travel with pain if it can be avoided.  We've had many a patient go on trips with a sore mouth only to have it get worse while at their destination. We recommend you plan ahead and be prepared for possible dental issues.

Visiting your dentist prior to vacation might be one of the easiest things to plan this summer.  You'll depart with a fresh clean mouth, and the confidence that a sneaking dental emergency won't be appearing in your vacation scrapbook this year.  So, give us a call at 352-307-3006, we'll be happy to send you off on the right foot!

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