Blog Dental Health


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Don't like flossing?

Posted On: January 10, 2017

BlogDon’t Like Flossing? Try One Of These Methods and Get Those Gums in Shape! 

When it comes to dental floss, what’s the best kind? Well, if you ask a dentist, they’ll tell you the best dental floss is the floss you’ll actually use. That could be Teflon floss, dental tape, nylon floss, waxed floss, and flosses with or without flavors – there are a lot of choices! There are also a number of ways to get your flossing done that don’t have you wrapping a long string of floss across your fingers and deftly maneuvering your hands in such an enclosed space. Enter floss, the oral irrigator, the vibrating flosser, and the dental pick! Which might be best for you?

  • Dental Pick:If you’re prone to ignore flossing, you may want to consider a good old fashioned dental pick. You’ve no doubt seen these before (sometimes cast aside on the sidewalk!) … they look like a plastic toothpick with a strand of dental floss strapped across a wide u-shaped tip. The simplicity and compact nature of these little portable floss “picks” seem to add to their convenience, and kids seem to love them when they’re first learning to floss. We also recommend using Soft-Picks with a flexible tapered bristles that fits between teeth.  It removes food between the teeth, stimulates and massage gums.  We’ll bet you can find at least one colleague in your office who has a few in their purse or desk for those moments when lunch lingers on the teeth a bit longer than appreciated!  “We’ll even give you a packet of these for free the next time you come in! 
  • Electric Flossers:Depending on the brand, electric flossers are known by a variety of names, and searching for these handy little devices can be somewhat maddening online (trust us!). You may be best just wandering into the drug store or supermarket to explore in person! There are vibrating flosserspower flossers, and air flossers. Picking the one that’s right for you depends on the task at hand. Power flossers and air flossers seem best if you’re dealing with space concerns near the gum line, and may be a good substitute for an interproximal toothbrush. A vibrating flosser, on the other hand, looks much like a dental pick and because of its design, can cover the entire length of the tooth. We recommend avoiding the use of these flossers buy using an electric toothbrush along with floss twice a day to keep your teeth clean and gums healthy.
  • Oral Irrigator:An oral irrigator is a device that uses a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth. There are a variety of instruments on the market, and your dentist can recommend one based on the health of your gum tissue and budget. Oral irrigators are remarkably effective at keeping gum tissue healthy, and have been shown to reduce pocket depth due to periodontitis. “Pocket depth,” refers to the depth of the gum tissue that immediately surrounds your teeth. You may not know it, but that’s what your dentist or hygienist is testing for when they’re poking that instrument in your mouth during an exam and 
  • It’s worth noting that each of these devices, while recommended, should be considered as supplements to normal flossing – still your best choice. But, if you have dexterity concerns, are purchasing something for a youngster, or just want to ensure your teeth are the cleanest they can be, these tool are great options!


  • Are you already our patient or looking to schedule your first appointment? Ask about our special for our patients. Mention this blog post and receive 10% off a Triumph Genius Electric Professional Toothbrush with Bluetooth Technology to make the job of brushing easy and fun.



Summer check list.

Posted On: June 01, 2017


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!


Health for Senior Citizens

Posted On: May 01, 2018

When we think of developing good oral hygiene habits, we usually think of children.  And is is true, that the best time of life to create good habits like these is when you are very young.  Dental health, however, is important throughout life, and may be even more significant for older adults.

Teeth are in greater jeopardy as they age.  Statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) fir 2014 show that 2.3% of adults 18-44 years old were missing all of their natural teeth.  For the age group 65-74 years old, this rate jumps to 16.4%.  For the population of American adults over 75, the rate of total tooth loss is 26.8%.  Older adults may experience dental decay at a higher rate than children because gum recession exposes a larger part of the tooth to contaminants.

Exposure to contaminants threatens tooth decay, but poor oral health is reflected in various other health conditions, and old age is the most vulnerable time for a breakdown of healthy body systems.  The decay and loss of natural teeth is not inevitable in old age, though.

Exposure to contaminants threatens tooth decay, but poor oral health is reflected in various other health conditions, and old age is the most vulnerable time for a breakdown of healthy body systems. The decay and loss of natural teeth is not inevitable in old age, though. Through proper oral hygiene, the elderly can continue to maintain good dental health and thereby have a positive effect on the rest of their bodies.

Importance of Dental Care for Elderly

There is a connection between oral hygiene and health in the rest of your body. In fact, oral health is a general indicator of other health issues. The mouth is naturally full of bacteria. As long as that bacteria is kept in check by good oral hygiene habits and functioning saliva glands, there are no problems.

Problems do arise, however, when oral hygiene is poor or saliva production is impeded, such as in elderly patients. When the bacteria collect in the mouth and travel throughout the body, it can cause or accelerate infections in other areas. Four important problems that can develop as a result of poor oral hygiene are:

Respiratory Infections  Pneumonia is a serious concern for the elderly, who often have diminished lung capacity due to aging. When you have infected teeth or gum disease, you are constantly breathing in that bacteria. It can travel to your lungs and cause infections as well. A buildup of bad bacteria in the mouth for any reason is dangerous to your lungs.

 Diabetic Complications  Diabetes is common among senior citizens, most of whom manage to control their symptoms with diet and exercise or medication. Diabetics are more prone to periodontal disease, due to a reduction in blood circulation. Blood sugar levels are also harder to control when gum disease is present. A combination of diabetes and periodontal disease can result in a prolonged period of uncontrolled blood sugar levels, which may cause more serious diabetes complications.

Cardiovascular Disease — Excessive bacteria build up in the mouth can easily get into the blood stream through gum tissue or abrasions in the mouth from poorly fit dentures. The more bacteria that get into the blood stream, the more likely it will travel to the heart and induce an infection. Bacteria can also cause hardening in the arteries around the heart, increasing the risk of a blood flow blockage, resulting in stroke or heart attack.

 Dementia — When excessive bacteria travels around the body, it can possibly get into the brain through the bloodstream or even nerve channels in the head. If bacteria get into your brain, it can kill brain cells and later your thought patterns. Those sorts of changes in brain chemistry, especially in the elderly, can lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s.

The elderly are more susceptible to infection because their immune systems are not as strong as they once were. Bacteria build up in the mouth is a concern, especially given the location of the mouth in the head, with easy access to vital systems. As a result of age, senior citizens are more likely to have oral conditions that promote bacteria development.


As we age our health conditions change, inCluding oral health.  The increased use of medications, changes in body chemistry and other life changes affect their oral health.  Common dental conditions that present in elderly patients include:

  • Root Decay —Roots of the teeth are generally concealed by gum tissue. They do not have a protective coat of enamel like the crown of the teeth, so when the roots are exposed, they tend to decay rapidly. Root decay becomes a concern when gum tissue recedes.
  • Dry Mouth —A number of medications can cause reduced saliva production. Certain diseases can also result in a chronic dry mouth. Radiation treatment applied to the head, neck or throat, to fight cancer or other serious diseases, may also reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth.
  • Diminished Sense of Taste —As people age, their senses become impaired, including their sense of taste. Other factors, such as dentures, diseases and medications, also reduce the ability to distinguish between subtle flavors.
  • Tooth Loss —Tooth loss is a very common condition for senior citizens. It is primarily caused by gum disease. Losing teeth can affect your bite and actually alter you’re eating habits, keeping you from getting the nutrition you need to stay healthy.
  • Darkened Teeth —A lifetime of foods and beverages can leave teeth stained and yellowed, or even brown. This discoloration also appears when the enamel layer wears thin, revealing the dentin underneath. Dentin itself can undergo changes later in life that makes it appeal darker.
  • Thrush —An overgrowth of a fungus commonly found in the mouth, Thrush is the equivalent of a yeast infection. Candida albicans can be triggered by certain diseases or drugs, some of which reduce the count of good bacteria in the system which normally keeps it in check.
  • Stomatitis —The tissue beneath a denture can become inflamed and painful. When dentures don’t fit properly, are not refitted periodically, (following weight gain or loss, for instance) this condition can occur. An overabundance of fungus, like Thrush, or generally poor dental hygiene can also contribute to this condition.Uneven Jawbone — Following tooth loss, the jawbone can become unstable. When missing teeth are not replaced, the remaining teeth have room to move around and will drift into the empty spaces.
  • Uneven Jawbone —Following tooth loss, the jawbone can become unstable. When missing teeth are not replaced, the remaining teeth have room to move around and will drift into the empty spaces. Ultimately, the bite is affected, causing pain and other health issues including malnutrition.

    Dentistry for senior citizens is a different practice than pediatric dentistry, for example. Older adults have different concerns when it comes to oral hygiene, and they need a dentist who is experienced at looking for and treating these conditions. When caught early in elderly patients, these common dental conditions can be reversed or relieved with treatment. As the condition lingers and is allowed to develop further, it takes more invasive measures to address.

Good oral hygiene is important at any age. As we get older, it becomes especially important, since dental health is closely linked to some serious health concerns for the elderly.  The mouth becomes an avenue for bacteria to enter the blood stream and even the nervous system.  Seniors, who already have a less robust immune system, should take precautions to protect themselves against excessive and unwanted bacterial contamination.

A comprehensive oral hygiene routine will help ensure that bacteria don't to build up in the mouth.  For many people, continuing a regular routine is enough.  For some, making additions to the oral hygiene regime as you age is a good idea.  The most important part of maintaining dental health for the elderly is keep the teeth and gums clean and having a dentist monitor the situation on a regular basis.

A healthy oral hygiene regime for the elderly includes:

Daily Cleaning

The habit of brushing and flossing your teeth that you have established over your lifetime will serve you particularly well in your later years. Brushing is the first defense against bacteria buildup, tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have never had a cavity, this is not the time to relax your brushing and flossing routine.

Since senior citizens are more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay, it is a good idea to increase your daily efforts to fight cavities. Most dentists recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, and even between meals if necessary. Also, cleaning between teeth with dental floss or some other product designed for that purpose should be added to your daily routine.

Denture Cleaning

Dentures need cleaned every day, just like natural teeth. Unlike natural teeth, however, dentures cannot be cleaned with toothpaste. It is too abrasive, and may do more damage than good. Instead, be sure to use a product specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Soaking them overnight in water is not enough to remove the bacteria that accumulates up during the day.

Dentures also need to be taken out each day to help maintain healthy gums. The tissue on the inside of the mouth needs at least a four hour break from the dentures each day. It makes sense to do this at night and clean your dentures at the same time.

Dentist Visits

Dental care is much more accessible now than it used to be. Some people may not have grown up visiting the dentist regularly, but as a senior citizen it is important. An annual dental check up can support your at-home cleaning efforts and also recognize signs of gum disease and tooth decay while it can still be treated.

Treat your dentist as part of your regular medical team. Be sure to update him on the medications you’re taking, or any health issues you have experienced since your last check up. He can give you tips on improving your oral hygiene routine. Remember that what goes on in your mouth can affect your whole body, so talk with your dentist about changes in diet, lifestyle and health since your last visit.

 Dry Mouth

It is important to be aware of a dry mouth condition and take steps to improve it.  Dry mouth can accelerate tooth decay and cause dentures to fit poorly and irritate the skin underneath them.  By adding a moisturizing mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene regime, you could improve or even eliminate dry mouth.  There are also sprays and gums available that encourage saliva production.  Artificial saliva products are available at the pharmacy, but is is a good idea to consult your dentist about what product is right for you.

Diet and Lifestyle

Everything you put in your mouth has a potential to affect your oral hygiene. Maintaining a healthy diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Chewing is good exercise for your mouth.

Chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes is not healthy for your mouth. You may have used tobacco products for years without any obvious consequences, but when you reach your twilight years your health risk from these increases. Ask your dentist about tobacco cessation products that could improve your oral health.

Fluoride continues to be an important part of a healthy diet, even for the elderly. Drinking plenty of water helps to remain hydrated and flushes out toxins. Scientists have proved that drinking fluoridated helps maintain healthy teeth, and is an important part of good oral hygiene.

Just like every other system of the body, it is important to maintain good oral health as we age. A robust hygiene routine will help insure good oral health by preventing decay and disease and by treating any adverse conditions before they become serious and affect other parts of the body. The mouth is the gateway to the body, so it makes sense to take care of it.

Making Dental Health a Priority

There was a time when dentistry was a luxury for those who could afford it. It was considered cosmetic, not essential and not covered by insurance. Many people who visited the dentist were concerned about how their teeth looked, and it was an accepted fact that senior citizens would lose their teeth.

Now, we recognize that dental health is an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Teeth that look good are nice, but the health of your gums and the other tissue in your mouth is perhaps even more important. What goes on in your mouth affects the rest of your body and can change your health status is serious ways.

As we age, change is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be all bad.  Losing your teeth in your old age is no longer a foregone conclusion.  By adjusting your regular oral hygiene routine for the conditions common to senior citizens, you can maintain good dental health, and that will be reflected in your overall health.  Make dental health a priority to maintain a good quality of life through your twilight years.


Dental Care Tips for Caregivers

Posted On: October 26, 2016

BlogWhether you're caring for an elderly parent, a loved one who is injured, or a family member who is ill or has special needs, there are steps you can take to help them smile.
The mouth is the gateway to the body. Good oral hygiene helps prevents tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Clinical studies have linked periodontal disease to stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and other serious health problems. A healthy mouth lets people eat more easily, feel more confident about their appearance, and hopefully avoid tooth pain and tooth loss.

While these tips focus on at-home dental care for the elderly or special-needs patient, it’s very important for the caregiver to ensure the person also visits a dentist for regular appointments. Only a dentist can evaluate the condition of the person's mouth and provide a thorough teeth cleaning or denture analysis.

Oral Care for the Elderly  

There are many reasons why someone who is elderly may not be able to easily brush his or her teeth anymore. If the person has arthritis or another health condition, it may be difficult for the person to hold a toothbrush. If the person has dementia, the person may not remember how to brush or floss. Experts recommend using a Tell-Show-Do approach. First, use a soothing voice to explain what that the person is going to brush his or her teeth in order to keep their teeth healthy. Then, demonstrate using your own toothbrush how the person should brush.
After you've modeled the behavior, give the person his/her toothbrush with a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste already on it. You may want to gently place your hand over the other person’s hand and guide the actions at first, and talk them through what's expected. Be sure to use clear, simple directions, such as, "Hold your toothbrush, now put it in your mouth on the side closest to me. Move it back and forth; that's right. Now get your back teeth. Now get your top teeth. Now let's do the other side." To learn how to do this, ask your dentist.

10 Dental Care Tips for Caregivers

Here are ten dental care tips for caregivers helping someone who may have trouble taking care of his or her own oral health.

  1. Establish a routine.  Having an established routine can reduce anxiety and increase compliance. Make it part of their routine to brush teeth after breakfast and before going to bed. Playing the person’s favorite music may help make it more enjoyable.
  2. Make it easy.  Place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush before giving it to the person.
  3. Use a power toothbrush.  If the person has trouble holding a skinny, manual toothbrush, try using a power toothbrush instead. A power toothbrush requires less dexterity. The user simply needs to guide the power toothbrush along the surfaces of the teeth and the rotating bristles will remove the food and bacteria. There are several types available in dental offices and in stores. Coast Dental recommends the InteliSonic toothbrush and the Revolation toothbrush. Ask your dentist which is the best type to use for your loved one’s specific needs.
  4. Floss daily.  Use a floss holder, floss pick, or an oral irrigator (water pik). If the person doesn’t have the dexterity to floss his or her own teeth, the caregiver can floss the teeth, just like a hygienist does at the dental office. Ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate the technique.
  5. Rinse dentures after every meal.  This is as easy as it sounds. Simply rinse the partial or complete denture with water after every meal, and then insert back into the mouth.
  6. Clean dentures daily.  If you're taking care of someone with a denture or partial denture, be sure to remove it and clean it every night according to the directions your dentist gave you. Leaving a denture or partial in the mouth overnight can cause bacteria and mouth sores. And remember: Even denture-wearers still need to brush. After the denture is removed, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or gauze to wipe the gums and tongue, and have the person swish with water or mouthwash, then spit.
  7. Know medication side effects.  Many medications that help common problems like high blood pressure, allergies, heart disease, and depression can lead to dry mouth. That means the mouth is not producing as much saliva as it should to wash away bacteria, which makes people more prone to tooth decay (cavities). Bring the dentist a list of any prescription or over-the-counter medication being taken, and the contact information for the patient’s medical doctor. The good news is that dry mouth can be treated easily.
  8. Consider MI Paste.  MI Paste is like vitamins for the teeth. It provides minerals such as calcium and phosphate that strengthen the teeth and protect the enamel. It reduces dental erosion caused by acids in soda, sport drinks, alcohol, and food. It also reduces dental erosion caused by gastric reflux or nausea associated with morning sickness and chemotherapy. It can be used by people of all ages, and is often recommended for seniors. Some types of MI Paste contain fluoride, which can be particularly beneficial for children.
  9. Eat right.  You might not think this of this under dental care, but nutrition plays a very important role in keeping teeth healthy. Food, beverages, even medication can contain sugar, and sugar causes cavities. Reducing soda, sport drinks, and sweets can help keep teeth in good condition. A healthy diet combined with proper hygiene (brushing, flossing, and regular dental office visits) will provide the best defense against cavities.
  10. Swish with water or mouthwash.  Caregivers providing dental care may not think of this, but it’s important. If the person can spit, have them use the recommended amount of mouthwash and swish and spit into a sink or cup. If the person is not be able to spit, the person may be able to swish with a small amount of water, and then swallow. That will help wash away bacteria-causing bacteria.

Providing dental care for senior citizens, children, or anyone who is injured or sick requires patience and dedication. Fortunately, caregivers have a wonderful resource right in their communities: dentists. Make an appointment to bring your loved one to the dentist for a thorough exam and diagnosis, and make a plan for providing the best dental care possible.



What Smiling Says About You

Posted On: February 01, 2018


What Smiling Says About You and Why You Should Do More of It.

      You might’ve guessed that smiling can make you happier … but did you know it also helps you live longer?
It’s true!  Smiling also helps with attraction and happiness in more ways than you may have imagined. Looking for a romantic partner, or a new job this year? Then, get ready to flash those pearly whites!  More than a century ago, philosopher Charles Darwin and scientist William James suggested we might be able to adjust our mood simply by assuming the facial expressions representative of our goal.

The first step to happiness is to start smiling!       

Ever since Darwin and James proposed their theories, scientists have researched and discovered some interesting side effects to smiling along the way.

  • Smiling makes you more attractive:Research suggests we’re more attracted to people who smile than those who do not. While scientists aren’t exactly in agreement as to why this may be, there’s a perception that a smiling person makes others aroundthem relaxed and happy. Basically, your smile is contagious … and therefore welcoming.
  • Smiles boost the immune system: It’s all about the neuropeptides, they say. Smiling (and also laughing) release these neuropeptides which help reduce stress. The result is less taxation on your immune system so you can remain healthy to combat any illness or stress that may come your way.
  • Smiling enhances your mood:Smile-science has a bit of a “chicken or the egg dilemma.” Does a smile make you happy, or do you smile because you’re happy? We can assume the latter is true, but what about the former? Recall those neuropeptides we mentioned earlier? Well, according to Psychology Today, when we smile, “feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphin and serotonin are all released.” Your body relaxes, while your heart rate and blood pressure lower. This flood of feeling then places us in a better mood. Not bad for just crinkling up the corners of the mouth!
  • And, what about helping you live longer? Well, if the above three reasons aren’t enough for you, it seems, that, yes … smiling more can help you live a longer life. And the proof appears to be in the research. In 2010, a team of researchers aimed with an odd source material (The Sporting News Baseball Register), examined historical photographs of baseball players – tracking smile and life statistics throughout their lifetimes. From 1952 onward, these intrepid scientists crunched the numbers (and smiles), and discovered that, yes indeed, smiling did help these chaps live longer, healthier lives. They also remained married longer. Pretty neat, huh? You can check out a bit of the story on this fascinating study at Pacific Standard Magazine.
    So, to wrap things up … we’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom from cinema’s happiest of happy characters, Buddy, played by Will Ferrell in the feel-good Christmas film, Elf.

  • “I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite. Go forth and smile!”



Sjogren's Sndrome

Posted On: July 01, 2018

July 23rd is World Sjogren's Day. It's named after Dr. Henrik Sjogren, the Swedish ophthalmologist who noticed a connection between patients he was seeing with dry eyes, and patients who suffered from a consistently dry mouth. Further investigation resulted in the discovery that these symptoms were caused by an immune system attack on these patients' moisture-producing glands. Today, approximately 4 million Americans live with this chronic disease, and many more go undiagnosed. Let's take a quick look at the symptoms, and learn more about this disease that causes far more complications than the occasional parched mouth. Read more

What is Sjögren's?

Sjögren's is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which people’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. However, it has also been known to cause dysfunction of other non-exocrine organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. While you may not have heard of Sjogren’s, you’re likely aware of world tennis star, Venus Williams, who discovered she had the disease herself in 2011.

What are the primary symptoms?

Among individuals with Sjögren's, the most common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, and dry eyes and mouth. However, since these symptoms can also point to other illnesses, Sjögren's is often misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all. This is such a pressing concern for medical professionals involved in diagnosing and caring for Sjögren's patients, they have made it their mission to cut the time to diagnosis in half by 2017. Currently, the diagnosis isn’t typically made until a person with Sjögren's has been suffering with symptoms for 4.7 years on average – a fact that often leads Sjögren's patients to experience complications related to the disease like cavities, oral thrush, and vision problems.

When does it develop? Can kids be affected?

Sjögren's can develop at any time, affects women more commonly than men, and (while rare) can also affect children.

If I have Sjögren's, does my dentist need to know?

Yes, without a doubt, your dentist plays an important role in the management of Sjögren's. They may also be the first person to suggest you see a specialist for further examination. Since Sjögren's affects the body in a variety of ways, patients often work with a team of medical professionals, including rheumatologists and ophthalmologists, who work together to help patients control this complicated illness.

For more on the importance of saliva, and how it affects your teeth and overall health, read perhaps the best article on saliva you’ll ever read in your life, on the European Food and Information Council’s website. Saliva is indeed, amazing stuff!


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


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...


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