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Eat for a Beautiful Smile- what you eat affects your teeth and gums too!

Posted on 17 July 2009 by admin

A FEW SIMPLE CHANGES TO YOUR DIET CAN HELP KEEP YOUR TEETH HEALTHY FOR LIFE.

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You brush, you floss, you see your dentist, but do you eat with your oral health in mind? And it’s not just the usual suspects like sugar that may be harmful. Some surprising–even healthy–foods can cause cavities, while others can help protect you from decay, gum disease, and even bad breath. Here, how to tailor your diet for optimal dental health.

Eat carbs at mealtimes
A handful of potato chips or even a whole wheat roll can be just as damaging to your teeth and gums as a chocolate chip cookie. All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, which are ultimately converted by bacteria in the mouth into plaque, a sticky residue that is the primary cause of gum disease and cavities. Carb-based foods such as breads and crackers tend to have “a chewy, adhesive texture,” making it easier for them to get caught between teeth or under the gum line, where bacteria can then accumulate, says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Have carbs at mealtimes rather than as a snack: When you eat a larger amount of food, you produce more saliva, which helps wash food particles away.

Drink tea Black and green teas contain polyphenols, antioxidant plant compounds that prevent plaque from adhering to your teeth and help reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. “Tea also has potential for reducing bad breath because it inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause the odor,” explains Christine D. Wu, PhD, associate dean for research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, who has conducted several studies on tea and oral health. Many teas also contain fluoride (from the leaves and the water it’s steeped in), which helps protect tooth enamel from decay.

Sip with a straw
Most sodas, sports drinks, and juices contain acids, such as citric and phosphoric, that can erode dental enamel–even if they’re diet or sugar-free versions. Sipping acidic drinks through a straw positioned toward the back of your mouth limits their contact with your teeth and helps preserve the enamel, says a study in the British Dental Journal.

Increase your C intake
“Vitamin C is the cement that holds all of your cells together, so just as it’s vital for your skin, it’s important for the health of your gum tissue,” says Jones. People who consumed less than 60 mg per day of C (8 ounces of orange juice or one orange contains more than 80 mg) were 25% more likely to have gum disease than people who took in 180 mg or more, according to a study of over 12,000 US adults conducted at the State University of New York University at Buffalo.

Eat 800 mg of calcium a day
People who do are less likely to develop severe gum disease, says a recent study by the Buffalo researchers. The reason: About 99% of the calcium in your body is in your bones and teeth. Dietary calcium–available in foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt–strengthens the alveolar bone in the jaw, which helps hold your teeth in place. The recommended amount is 1,000 mg per day for women younger than 50 and 1,200 mg for those older.

Dr. Daniell Mishaan, is a dentist in Midtown, New York City. For more information about what kind of preventive measures you can take to protect your teeth- please click here.

For More information- feel free to check out the following link: http://www.prevention.com/loveyoursmile/index.shtml

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The Effects of Periodontal Disease on the Body

Posted on 28 May 2009 by admin

     pain-body My patients know that I am a huge advocate of preventative dentistry, emphasizing proper oral hygiene through brushing and flossing and timely treatment of problems.  Preventative dentistry techniques keep the mouth healthy.  A healthy mouth provides a bright and beautiful smile, fresh breath, and prevents other medical problems throughout the body.  When proper oral hygiene is ignored, bacteria tends to build up around the teeth and gums.  This bacteria is the cause of periodontal disease. 

      An astounding 75 percent of adults over the age of 35 have some degree of periodontal disease.  Left unchecked, periodontal disease can cause serious damage to bone and tissues in the mouth and affect conditions elsewhere in the body.  In fact, there is ongoing research linking periodontal disease with very serious medical problems.  Some of these potential ailments include:

 Increase in the risk of Cardiovascular Disease

  • Increase in the risk for strokes
  • Respiratory problems
  • Problem pregnancies
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
     

    Bacteria stored in the plaque in your mouth can very easily enter the bloodstream, which has been know to trigger an increase in certain protective materials which attach to vessels in the heart.  This build up of plaque and fatty proteins thickens coronary arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis.  This inflammation is the major cause of the development of cardiovascular disease and increases the risk of having a stroke.

      Researchers have found that a person with a large amount of bacteria, due to improper oral hygiene, will inhale these germs into the respiratory tracts.  An increase in bacteria in the respiratory system causes infections and worsens existing respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia.

      Current research has found a link between periodontal disease and pre-term births.  Mothers with periodontal disease have been found to be much more likely to give birth to a pre-mature or low birth weight baby.  While this research is new, periodontal disease seems to increase certain biological fluids which induce labor, leading to pre-term births.

      Periodontal disease has been known to be more prevalent in those who suffer from diabetes.  New research is now finding that periodontal disease may, in fact, play a role in the development of diabetes.  While victims of diabetes have a hard time fighting the infections caused by the bacteria associated with periodontal disease, conversely, these infections can bring about reactionary processes that lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals.

      While periodontal disease is found in a large majority of adults, it is important for people of all ages to be aware of the damage this disease can cause to the mouth and the rest of the body.  It is imperative that proper oral hygiene is practiced at home and regular trips to your dentist’s office are scheduled throughout the year. 

 Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan.  He serves patients from all over New York City.

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