Our team at Fashion Isle Smiles would like to share with you some evidence-based dental health advice that could change your life. While merely living longer isn't necessarily a good thing, living better during those extra years is. Fortunately, improving your oral hygiene will not just extend your life, but will improve the quality of your life. Research has demonstrated that people with good oral hygiene live seven years longer than those with poor oral hygiene. Your mouth is connected to every system in your body and the condition of your mouth can impact the function of your lungs, heart and brain. The environment in your mouth can even alter levels of toxicity and inflammation throughout your body.
Maintaining a clean mouth can:
What if I told you that no matter how frequently you brushed and flossed your teeth, you might still be at high risk for developing dental decay and gum disease? For some people this is the case. On the other hand, there are people who are not very consistent or thorough with oral hygiene, yet they never seem to have cavities or gum issues. How is this possible? A growing body of evidence indicates a link between genetics and susceptibility to oral disease. In order to explain how genetics plays a role in oral health, let’s first take a look at how genes work altogether.
Genes consist of DNA that codes for specific traits in humans. A unique set of genes are passed down from parents to offspring, creating unique individuals despite sharing DNA similarities with our parents. For example, there are specific genes that code for eye color, so an individual can express eyes of blue, green, or brown depending on their inherited genes for eye color.
Studies have shown that genes may influence the following oral health factors:
According to some research, the genes that increase risk for oral diseases, just like the genes for eye color, are familial (passed from parents to children). Children with high rates of dental caries often have one or more parents with similar problems and tend to have siblings with tooth decay.
Knowing your inherent risk for dental disease is important in developing your oral hygiene routine and can help your dentists provide individualized care for you and your family. As dental practitioners, understanding the role of genetics helps us focus more attention on preventative measures for patients who are more susceptible to developing oral disease.
As dentists, it’s our job to teach our patients the importance of daily brushing and flossing, in order to prevent the formation of dental decay and periodontal disease. However, to truly appreciate the benefits of oral hygiene, it’s important to understand the challenges we face as we go into daily battle with our toothbrush and floss.
Who is enemy number one? ORAL BACTERIA!
It’s estimated that at any given time, our mouth has a total of 20 billion oral microbes (bacteria), made up of at least 800 different species. The ability of specific bacteria to cause dental diseases is largely dependent on the environmental conditions found in the mouth, much of which can be controlled by our oral hygiene and what we eat. An important characteristic of pathogenic bacteria is the ability to create a biofilm, also known as plaque. Adhesion properties in bacteria are key to establishing communities and three-dimensional structures in plaque that are difficult to remove. Sugar provides the key fuel for bacteria’s ability to achieve strong adhesion. Once established, bacterial plaque will continue to multiply and grow.
Dental decay is a direct result of bacteria that release acid, and periodontal disease is associated with an over-accumulation of different species of bacteria. In either case, the destructive bacteria reaches a point where it dominates the good bacteria and infiltrates in such a way that causes destruction of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth.
With an understanding of how bacteria leads to disease, we can better equip our mouths to fight these organisms by:
The majority of people who grind their teeth do so at night while they are sleeping, completely unaware of what they are doing. In fact, it’s often significant others who are woken up at night by the sounds of teeth crunching together in what sounds like someone chewing on gravel. Nevertheless, this habit can be extremely harmful to your teeth and oral health. Let’s review some of the signs of severe bruxism:
Results from a recent study provide more evidence that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia could be the result of an infectious bacteria. Researchers took brain tissue samples from deceased Alzheimer’s patients and found the exact same bacteria that has been linked to chronic gum disease: Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis). During clinical testing, mice were exposed to this same bacteria. Brain tissue samples were measured and not only found to have been infected with P. gingivalis, but also contained some of the same biomarkers and proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, P. gingivalis was found in human brain tissue of patients who were not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, providing more evidence that the gum disease, specifically P. gingivalis, could potentially contribute to these cognitive diseases. In the people aged 65 and older, 10% of the population suffers from Alzheimer’s and 70% suffer from advanced gum disease. Most people believe that dementia is the cause for improper oral hygiene in older adults. However, given the strong evidence, it’s possible that gum disease from improper oral hygiene increases chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia. Therefore, maintaining good habits throughout the life cycle may prevent the onset of cognitive decline observed in aging adults.
Dominy, S. S., Lynch, C., Ermini, F., Benedyk, M., Marczyk, A., Konradi, A., ... & Holsinger, L. J. (2019). Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors. Science advances, 5(1), eaau3333.
Children and adults with cerebral palsy are at an increased risk of oral health problems. While cerebral palsy does not involve any defects of the mouth, teeth or gums, other problems such as acid reflux and vomiting can lead to damage of the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth. Understanding how cerebral palsy affects oral health can help you plan for your loved one's current and future oral health care needs.
Oral Health Risks Associated With Cerebral Palsy
Children, teens and young adults with cerebral palsy typically have weak jaw muscles. The muscles may be tight, which makes it hard to brush the teeth. Swallowing disorders are common in people with cerebral palsy, which could lead to food sitting in the mouth for an extended period of time. This promotes tooth decay. Other aspects of cerebral palsy that increase the risk of tooth decay, gingivitis and other oral health problems include:
Caring for Oral Health at Home
A person with cerebral palsy may have a difficult time holding a toothbrush and cleaning all of the surfaces of each tooth. Drool, sensitivity and a fast gag reflex may also impede good brushing. Maneuvering dental floss could be difficult for a person with cerebral palsy. Parents or caregivers may have to handle the person's oral hygiene needs in order to ensure that all of the teeth are cleaned every day.
Dental Treatments for People With Cerebral Palsy
The increased risk of cavities and gingivitis in people with cerebral palsy may require additional dental treatments beyond what is usually done for a child, teenager or young adult. It is a good idea to locate a dentist who is experienced in providing care to people with special healthcare needs. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants may be recommended in order to lessen the risk of tooth decay. A prescription toothpaste may also be recommended. Working with a speech therapist for assistance with swallowing disorders could also help with the oral health care needs of a person with cerebral palsy.
Extra Dental Costs for Oral Health Care
People with cerebral palsy may have higher oral health care costs than people without the disorder. They may need more frequent dental cleanings because of the higher risk of tooth decay. Most insurance companies only cover dental cleanings twice per year, so extra cleanings would be out of your pocket. In 2018, a dental cleaning costs $75 to $200. Cerebral palsy may also lead to misalignment of the teeth, necessitating orthodontic care. The costs of orthodontic care range from $3,000 to more than $10,000 in 2018, and that does not include any extractions or implants. Overall, the lifetime cost of oral health care for someone with cerebral palsy will be higher than the costs for people without the condition.
Oral hygiene is important for everyone for maintaining good dental health, but for someone living with
cancer, like mesothelioma, that hygiene becomes even more important. Mesothelioma is a devastating
cancer of the tissue lining the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Dental complications are
common in these patients, which can cause added discomfort and pain. Practicing good oral hygiene can
help patients prevent these uncomfortable complications.
What Cancer and its Treatment Does to Dental Health
Cancer can impact the mouth and dental health , but it is treatment for cancers like mesothelioma that
really have a detrimental impact. Chemotherapy, for instance, can cause mouth pain, dry mouth that
can lead to infections, blooding in the gums, difficulty eating, and a condition called oral mucositis,
inflamed and painful sores in the mouth. Radiation therapy may also cause dental complications,
including many of the same caused by chemotherapy, but also by increasing the risk of cavities and
See the Dentist Before Treatment
If you are facing chemotherapy or any other treatment for mesothelioma, it is important to see your
dentist in advance. A dentist can check for any existing problems and treat you before beginning
treatment so the issues don’t get worse. You will also get good advice on how to care for your teeth and
mouth as you go through treatment. Going into chemotherapy or radiation in good dental health sets
you up for a better outcome and a lower risk for complications.
Oral Hygiene During and After Treatment
Even if you have excellent oral health before starting mesothelioma treatments, you still need to
practice good oral hygiene to maintain that good health. Here are some things you can do to keep your
mouth healthy and happy:
Oral hygiene is always important, but as a mesothelioma patient going through chemotherapy your
dental health may be compromised, and good hygiene practices suddenly become so much more important.
Don’t let dental health slide. Talk to your doctors and your dentist about oral health before, during, and after treatment so you get the best care.
Oral cancer refers to cancer that either appears in the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, gingiva, palate, floor of mouth (below tongue), inside of cheek, or in the throat. In the United States, oral cancer comprises 2.9% of total cancers, killing 9,750 people per year. It is important to know and understand some of the signs and symptoms associated with oral cancer, and it is even more important to maintain regular dental check-ups when cancer screening exams are routinely performed. The five-year survival rate for diagnosed cases is 60%, but the chance of survival and successful treatment is much higher if the disease is detected early on. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, you should contact your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible:
Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health, so keeping your gums healthy is essential. All it takes is one minute a day for a cleaner, fresher, and healthier mouth. And it's perfect for anyone with braces, implants, crowns, or periodontal pockets. It is perfect for everyone.
A waterpik is an oral irrigator. Like a miniature pressure washer, it directs a forceful stream of water through a special tip and is directed around each tooth emitting a pulsating stream of water that massages and stimulates the gum tissues. The force of the water dislodges and washes away plaque, bits of food, and bacteria from the gums and teeth, cleaning deep between teeth and below the gum line.
Does it replace flossing? We don’t believe it does. The scraping action of flossing removes the sticky plaque bacteria on your teeth in a way that only physical pressure can accomplish. We recommend an oral cleansing regimen as follows:
Your oral health will be superior, providing decay prevention, gum health, fresh breath and a resultant improved overall health. All waterpiks have a reservoir to hold the water, and an electric motor to power the pump. Waterpiking with lukewarm water is a much more pleasant experience than with cold water, so remember to fill the tank accordingly. Waterpiks come as countertop, portable and shower units.
Our team here at Fashion Isle Smiles highly recommends the regular use of a waterpik in conjunction with brushing and flossing. For a special holiday gift, consider giving your loved ones the gift for a lifetime…a waterpik. Happy Holiday!
According to the American College of Prosthodontics (ACP), more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 120 million people are missing at least one tooth. Although the primary cause of tooth loss is from dental decay and periodontal disease, missing teeth can also be a result of trauma, illness, or abnormal development. The biggest impact for most people missing a tooth is the psychological and social aspect. One of the first things people notice during conversation is a person’s smile. Missing a tooth not only affects appearance, but it may also impair speech, as teeth play an important role in formation of sounds that produce words when we talk. The ACP has also shown that missing teeth can also contribute to nutritional changes, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
Our goal is to prevent tooth loss altogether, but sometimes it's inevitable. In this article, I will be explaining dental implants, and why they have become the standard of care for replacing missing teeth when compared to other treatment modalities, such as dentures and bridges.
A dental implant is a titanium device that looks similar to a screw, which is surgically placed into the jaw bone in the area of the missing tooth. Once the the bone heals around the implant through a process called osseointegration, about 3 to 6 months after implant placement, the permanent crown may then be screwed or cemented to the implant.
Advantages of implants: