10 Mar 2022
Food for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Top foods for healthy teeth and gums

We have all heard the saying “you are you what you eat.”  The idea that what we eat can affect our health is not new.  For National Nutrition Month, we wanted to know what specific foods can help our teeth and gums stay healthy.  Here is what we’re putting on our next charcuterie board!

Fresh Fruits and Veggies

March is national nutrition month.

Ok, this isn’t exactly a shocker.  The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Dental College explains that beyond the nutritional benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables, they have an added teeth-cleaning benefit.  Chewing on crunchy foods produces more saliva, which can help prevent the formation of plaque on your teeth.  The bacteria that trigger gum disease embed into plaque and create an imbalance in your mouth.  Keeping plaque from forming is a proactive way to help prevent periodontal disease.

Cheese

Cheese is consistently found in the lists of top foods for healthy teeth.  (Woohoo!)  Cheese tends to be low in sugar, high in calcium, and contains casein.  These three features work really well together for keeping your teeth healthy.  Bacteria feeds on sugar, so eating foods naturally lower in sugar can keep the bacteria in your mouth at normal, healthy levels.

Calcium helps keep your bones strong – including your jawbone (alveolar bone).  American Bone Healthy explains it pretty simply. When your body creates bone, it starts with a framework of collagen. Then hard calcium crystals fill in the collagen framework to create strong bones. Almost every cell in your body needs calcium to function and if there isn’t enough calcium available, the cells will suck it out of your bones.

So how do we get calcium? This is where casein comes into the picture. Casein is a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. The Wisconsin Center for Dairy research notes that casein is a storage protein and a carrier protein found primarily in milk.  It stores the protein calcium in order to deliver it from a mother to children via milk.  So, the protein casein delivers the calcium found in milk that we need to maintain bone density.

Apples & Pears

Eating apples and other fibrous fruits can help clean your teeth and also increase saliva to keep your acid levels neutral.  Fresh apples are the best; dried apples can be sticky and adhere to your teeth while apple juice is notoriously high in sugar.

Raw pears are also good for your teeth.  While pears are naturally sweet, they also have high water levels that will help dilute the sugar.  Pears are also a great source of vitamin C, and unlike citrus fruits better known sources of vitamin C, pears are less acidic and less likely to damage your enamel.  Powerhouses of nutrition, pears contain fiber to help with digestion; flavonoids to help prevent type 2 diabetes; antioxidants which help prevent heart disease and cancer; and potassium that regulates heart rate and blood pressure.

Roasted Peanuts, Raw Walnuts & Edamame

One overlooked, but important nutrient in keeping our gums and teeth healthy, is CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that our bodies produce naturally and is used for growth, maintenance, and controlling inflammation.  As we age, we produce less of this important anti-inflammatory substance.  We know periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease – the pathogenic bacteria and endotoxins incite an inflammatory response. Your body tries to fight the inflammation by getting rid of the source – in the case of periodontal disease, your body tries to get rid your teeth.

Roasted peanuts, raw walnuts and soybeans (edamame) are some of highest plant-based sources of CoQ10.

 

Now that we know what foods can help keep our teeth and gums healthy, we just need to figure out what wine to drink with our charcuterie board.

19 Jul 2021
6 really bad ideas for your teeth - how not to use your teeth

6 Really Bad Ideas for Your Teeth

We’ve all been guilty of using our teeth improperly. From using as bottle openers to opening up bags of chips, our teeth are more versatile than a Leatherman tool.  While it’s convenient to use our teeth as tools, it can be a bad idea.  Here are six really bad ideas for your teeth from dental experts:

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04 Mar 2021

Genetics and Gum Disease

The data you get from your mom and dad that determines your eye color and height also plays a role in the health of your mouth! Genetics affects the onset and the progression periodontal disease. While gum disease does run in families, it’s not as quite as simple as other genetic traits like curly versus straight hair. So what is the role of genetics and gum disease?

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14 Feb 2020
Gum Disease & Other Illnesses - Valentine for Your Mouth

Valentine’s Day Special: The Connection Between Gum Disease and Other Illnesses

Candy hearts – the tried and true method of demonstrating your affection for someone on Valentine’s Day. As the years have gone by, the phrases may have been updated to fit modern slang, but the message remains the same: “I like you!”

If the elements that make up your body could give candy hearts to one another on Valentine’s Day, would they? One thing’s for sure, if you’re keeping up to date on your oral health and treatment of gum disease, your mouth is sure to have a full box of love notes on the big day. Why? Because of the connection between gum disease and other illnesses.

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03 Jan 2020
Gum Disease and Pregnancy: What to Know

Gum Disease and Pregnancy: Why Your Oral Health Matters When You’re Expecting

Gum disease and pregnancy are not two subjects you might expect to go hand in hand, but if there’s anything we’ve learned in educating ourselves and others about gum disease, it’s that it can have surprising and drastic effects on the rest of your health. Because the mouth is an entry point to the rest of your body, bacteria from gum disease can actually travel from your gums and teeth to other parts of your body and begin wreaking havoc.

When it comes to gum disease and pregnancy, the health of both the mother and the baby are at risk. Because pregnant women are already likely to have gum disease due to hormonal changes, it’s especially important to stay on top of your oral health so the following side effects of gum disease don’t impact your pregnancy and child’s life in infancy and beyond.

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26 Dec 2019
Laser Gum Disease Treatment FAQs

Laser Dental Treatment FAQs: Come Prepared to Your Dental Appointment

We’ve talked to you at length about the importance of getting your gum disease treated – not only to save your smile but also because of the very real consequences leaving it unchecked can have on your total health.

After education comes the decision-making time – how will you address gum disease? If you’ve seen a doctor and been diagnosed, you know that “doing nothing” is not going to make the problem resolve itself. You have a handful of options with regards to surgery, but more and more patients are opting for laser gum disease treatment because of its minimally invasive nature. Laser gum disease treatment is an alternative to painful methods that may require extensive pain management and downtime.

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15 Oct 2019
Gum Disease & Women's Health

Gum Disease and Women’s Health: A Consideration for a Lifetime

While dental professionals consider gum disease to be an epidemic among adults in general, the struggle between gum disease and women’s health is particularly noteworthy because of the various unique ways periodontal disease can impact female health.

Hormones & gum disease

Increases in hormones due to pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives can make women more sensitive to plaque and bacteria in the mouth and accelerate the progression of gum disease. Even a standard menstrual cycle or the onset of puberty – when there are increased levels of progesterone and estrogen in the body – can cause a heightened response to bacteria that can impact your oral health if left untreated.[1][2] Pregnant women with gum disease run the risk of passing along the burden to their children, with preterm, low weight babies and even stillbirth linked to untreated cases.[8]

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21 May 2019

Are Gum Disease and Stroke Related? Exploring the Evidence

Having a stroke is something that is terrifying in theory, yet may feel a long ways off if you are under a certain age. The fact, though, is that it isn’t just the elderly that are susceptible to the potentially life-threatening dangers of strokes.

Similarly, gum disease isn’t something that many people — of any age — seem to spend much time worrying about. Because of its relatively mild symptoms and lack of pain, people tend to shrug off the diagnosis as unimportant. However, untreated gum disease can lead to bleeding and sore gums, bad breath and even lost teeth. There is also evidence that the bacteria in gum disease may be related to other systemic health problems.

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19 Mar 2019

Laser Pocket Disinfection: What Patients Should Know About Lasers in Dentistry

Technology has changed almost every aspect our lives, and dentistry is no different. One of the exciting developments is the advancement of laser dental treatment. We are constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care within dentistry, and in our own office. Many practices are adding a new procedure that complements routine cleanings and can help fight periodontal disease – Laser Pocket Disinfection.

Periodontal disease affects approximately 85% of adults and is a growing epidemic. Our understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years. We now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection around teeth. Specific types of pathogenic bacteria collect in pockets between your gums and teeth; as they multiply, they destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place.

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21 Feb 2019

What is Gum Disease Awareness Month? The Goals Behind the Movement

Gum Disease Awareness Month started as a grassroots movement. Recognizing the epidemic-level problem of untreated gum disease in the United States, the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD) launched a campaign in 2012 to educate the public about the prevalence and the consequences of untreated gum disease.

Today, Gum Disease Awareness (or GDA for short) Month is recognized in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands, supported by clinicians whose aim is to improve their patients’ understanding of the disease. If you’ve ever wondered “why” Gum Disease Awareness is important enough to deserve its own month, here are the main goals behind the movement.

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