Our Blog

Alcohol’s Effect On Our Gum Health

January 21st, 2019

EVEN IF YOU only enjoy an occasional glass of wine, it’s important to know how it can affect your gum health. A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology brings new light to the connection between alcohol consumption and gum disease.

Drinking Can Raise Our Risk For Gum Disease By 27 Percent

Over 500 study participants were asked about their drinking habits, and their gum and overall oral health was evaluated on several levels. This revealed a surprisingly close relationship between alcohol and gum disease risk.

  • Men who drank regularly were shown to have an 18 to 27 percent increased risk of gum disease.
  • For people who already had periodontal disease, levels of alcohol consumption increased the rate and severity of the condition.
  • In participants without periodontal disease, heightened alcohol consumption increased risk factors for gum disease: symptoms like gum detachment, gum bleeding, and increased plaque levels.

Correlative Relationship May Be Caused By Dry Mouth

While further research is needed to evaluate the precise reason for this connection, it seems to be greatly due to dry mouth, a common effect of alcohol consumption. Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth, and serves to cleanse our mouths from harmful bacteria. Alcohol decreases saliva production, and can strip our mouths of the protection they need.

Preserve Your Smile By Taking Gum Disease Seriously

Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. 50 percent of those over 30 are affected by some level of gum disease. The good news is that in its early stages, gum disease is reversible with strategic oral care.

Here at our practice, we know how to deal with gum disease and we can help you get control of it.

Talk With Us About Your Habits So We Can Give You The Best Care

Here’s our advice to you: be aware of the risks that alcohol poses to your oral health, especially if you enjoy an occasional (or not-so-occasional) drink. Be upfront with us about your habits, and we can help give you the most effective care and advice to preserve your healthy smile for life.

Thanks for your trust in our practice! We appreciate you.

Our Team’s Favorite Smile-Friendly Snacks

December 3rd, 2018

EVERYONE KNOWS that snack time is one of the best times of the day! Getting a tasty treat in the middle of the workday or grabbing a snack after school can be just the pick-me-up you need to tackle the rest of your day with a smile.

But before you reach for the chips or chocolates, we have a few smile-friendly suggestions! Today we want to share our team’s favorite snacks that protect your teeth and benefit your smile.

 

Eat More Of These
Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and magnesium; all essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt: Dairy is a delicious source of calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth.
Kiwi, Oranges, And Other Vitamin-C-Rich Foods: Vitamin C boosts your body’s ability to fight infection that causes gum disease.

Eat Less Of These

Soda And Energy Drinks: These acidic, sugary drinks attack and gradually deteriorate your protective tooth enamel.
Sticky Candy, Gummies, And Dried Fruit: These foods stick in your teeth and continue to bathe your teeth in sugar for hours after eating.
Highly Processed Carbs: This includes crackers, white bread, and pastries, which feed decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Keep In Touch To Learn More!
Now that we’ve shared our favorite healthy snacks, we want to hear from YOU! If you have any healthy recipes you make make at home, share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to see what kinds of creative snack ideas you’ve come up with.

Thank you for CHEW-sing our practice!

Can Poor Dental Health Lead to Dementia?

July 3rd, 2018

As part of our focus on Alzheimer's awareness this month, Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller wanted to share a study showing a possible link between dental health and Alzheimer's Disease.  It is a small and early study which showed a link but much additional research would be needed to discover whether one caused the other or was the result on the other.

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry conducted a small study which looked at donated brain samples in order to further investigate suggested links between oral health and dementia. Half of the brains were from people who had dementia while the other half of the brain samples were from people with no known dementia.

Researches noted the presence of P. gingivalis, a known bacteria in gum disease in 40% of the brain samples of the dementia patients and none in those without.  Dr. Sim Singhrao, PhD a senior research fellow at the university noted that it is possible that "when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria from our gums, subsequent immune responses may lead to nerve cell death and possibly memory loss."  She points out that this could mean that regular visits to the dentist could be essential for brain health according to an interview by Tim Locke.

There is currently on-going research into a link between dementia and inflammation caused by many factors including poor dental health.  Dr. Simon Ridley, PhD, of the Alzheimer's Research UK pointed out that we do not know whether the presence of the bacteria could contribute to dementia or whether perhaps people with dementia are more likely to develop gum disease due to lack of oral hygiene and regular dental care.  More studies will be needed before we have a good understanding of this possible link.

In the meantime, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is a wise idea.   If you know someone with dementia who could use your help caring for their dental health, feel free to ask us or read our blog on Alzheimer's Disease and Dental Care.

Also, don't forget that if you write a review on our office and let us know about it, we will give $5 to the Alzheimer's Association this month.

Alzheimer's Disease and Dental Care

July 3rd, 2018

June is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. For this month's charity, Powell & Tiller Dental Care is giving to the Alzheimer's Association to help with research and awareness into this disease.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, it is important that you help them with their dental care. Proper care of the mouth and teeth can help prevent eating difficulties, digestive problems and extensive dental procedures down the road. However, brushing is sometimes difficult because a person with dementia may forget how or why it’s important to take care of his or her teeth.
To assist the Alzheimer’s Association provides this advice (excerpted from Alz.org):
• Provide short, simple instructions. "Brush your teeth" by itself may be too vague. Break down each step by saying: “Hold your toothbrush.” “Put paste on the brush.” Then, “Brush your teeth.”

• Use a “watch me” technique. Hold a toothbrush, and show the person how to brush his or her teeth. Or, put your hand over the person’s hand, gently guiding the brush.

• Monitor daily oral care. Brush teeth or dentures after each meal, and make sure teeth are flossed daily. Disposable flossing devices may make flossing easier. Remove and clean dentures every night. Very gently brush the person’s gums, tongue and roof of the mouth. Investigate any signs of mouth discomfort during mealtime. Refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating may indicate mouth pain or dentures that don’t fit properly.

• Keep up with regular dental visits for as long as possible. Seeing a dentist regularly is essential for healthy teeth. Ask the dentist for suggestions or items that may help make dental care easier.

One more way you can help? Help Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller raise money and awareness for this cause by reposting this blog to your facebook or other social media. Tag us so we know you did, and we will give $5 per share to the Alzheimer's Association.

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