How Much Oral Health Affects Your General Health?

Your mouth is the primary entrance into your entire body and well, your tongue is the red carpet! So, of course you want it to look nice in photo’s, but your smile should be more than just aesthetically pleasing. It’s important you are taking CARE of your mouth and keeping it healthy so YOU can be healthy! Many people aren’t aware that their dental health can affect their overall health. That’s right, poor oral hygiene can affect almost every part of your body! Here, are just a few examples of the link between oral and over-all systemic health.

Heart Health:
Oral bacteria can cause inflammation and infections that research has suggested could be linked to clogged arteries, stroke and heart disease. Endocarditis is another troublesome heart condition that has been linked to oral bacteria. This is an infection of the inner lining of your valves/heart chambers. It can occur when bacteria from your mouth or other part of your body spread into your bloodstream and then attach to certain areas of your heart.

Pregnancy:
Periodontist has been linked to low birth weight and even pre maturity! It’s more important than ever to get your dental cleanings and exams while pregnant. You are more likely to carry your baby to term if you have periodontal treatment before the 35th week of your pregnancy.

Arthritis:
Periodontal disease may increase inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is a common underlying problem with many diseases including autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis.

Dementia:
Did you know that having gum disease can cause your risk of dementia to increase? There have also been studies for those that have severe gum disease scored very poorly on memory tests and calculations. Researchers have found memory issues and mild cognitive impairments that can affect your day to day life have been found in those with periodontal disease.

Pneumonia:
Bacteria can be aspirated into the lungs and cause pneumonia. When you skip out on dental cleanings, the number of bacteria in your mouth continues to grow, increasing your risk of pneumonia. Good oral hygiene decreases these bacteria thus decreasing your risk of pneumonia! So, brush your teeth to help prevent this respiratory illness.

Of course, there are many more factors and health conditions that go hand in hand with dental care. It is important to understand your mouth is an integral part of your body. Your mouth can say a lot about your health without using any words! Be sure to visit your dentist today to get a checkup and cleaning to ensure you are in tip top shape.

Sinister Effects of Smoking on Your Tonsils

Tobacco use is life-threatening. This is definitely not news. You’ve probably encountered countless cases of irreversible lung damage, cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancers in organs such as bladder, cervix, colon and rectum, larynx, liver, esophagus, kidney and ureter, pancreas, larynx, stomach, trachea, and bronchus. In fact, the harmful effects of smoking are so multi-faceted it’ll take us quite some time to discuss them all. But the point has been made—one cheap stick has expensive consequences.

Among the risks of massive tobacco abuse lie the detriments of nicotine to your tonsils. Though not as well-known compared to respiratory diseases, smoking has equally adverse effects to the first barriers of the oral cavity.

Your tonsils work round-the-clock. These lymphoid tissues are located at the side of your throat, the back of your tongue while the adenoids are located found high up your throat, behind the nose. Tonsils help prevent germs and other microbes from entering the body through your oral cavity and nose. They also contain an abundant number of white blood cells responsible for killing bacteria.

What’s inside the stick?

Cigarettes contain around 7,000 chemicals—the majority of which are highly poisonous while over 60 are known to be carcinogenic. Among these deadly substances is the infamous nicotine, a colorless yet highly noxious compound responsible for smoking’s highly addictive properties. Take a look at this long yet partial list of what goes inside a small stick of cigarette:

  • Toulene – used as an industrial solvent
  • Carbon Monoxide – interferes with blood vessels
  • Arsenic – commonly found inside insecticides
  • Ammonia – known for its use in cleaning products and pesticides
  • Hexamine – triggers asthma attacks, coughing and chest tightness
  • Methane – fatal gas that hampers breathing
  • Methanol – used as rocket fuel
  • Butane – prolonged butane exposure affects the cardiovascular and central nervous system
  • Hydrogen Cyanide – highly poisonous and volatile compound

The first victims

Where does one puff the cigarette smoke? You guessed it right. Of course, smokers use their mouths to satisfy their cravings fully. And as one of the initial barriers of the body and oral cavity, your tonsils are the first ones to take a beating. Smoking inhibits normal salivary flow which leaves you with a dry mouth. In turn, the lack of saliva encourages bacterial growth.

Tobacco also decreases the mucosal immunity responsible for regulating inflammatory cells. As well, the harmful chemicals present inside one cigarette stick profoundly affect the oral microflora, encouraging the presence of bacteria putting your gum and dental health in jeopardy. Studies made in 2010 to 2011 already concluded how smoking aggravates the tonsils. Cases of abscess-filled tonsils and recurring tonsillitis are reported along with risks of post-tonsillectomy bleeding. To add fuel to the fire, your smoking also weakens your immune system making you susceptible to infections.

Dental and gum health

Before bacteria hijack your tonsils, they first take refuge in your swollen gums and plaque-filled teeth. Smoking reduces the blood flow in your mouth while hampering the production of saliva. When this happens, your oral cavity becomes a breeding ground of microorganisms, most of which are detrimental for your teeth and gums. Cuts, ulcers, and scratches take longer to recover. This is also why recovery from dental procedures takes longer compared to non-smokers.

In a more worrying note, smoking leads to inflamed gums and the loss of bone and tissue surrounding your teeth. When this happens, your teeth eventually loosen and become more prone to tooth decay. Tooth extractions might be needed to prevent complications.

Before picking up your next stick, think about your hardworking tonsils. They might be equipped in handling bacteria and germs, but they don’t stand a chance against toxic and lethal chemicals present in tobacco. 

To schedule an appointment or ask a question, please click here or call us at 587 317 4161

4 Simple Practices For Healthy Tonsils

Tonsils don’t get enough credit that they deserve. Even as one of the body’s first barrier against bacterial and viral infections, they seldom get the spotlight. These low-profile clusters of tissues reside on both sides of your throat, at the back of your tongue, and behind your nose. They work 24/7 while staying behind the scenes to shield you from nasty germs.

Sure, your tonsils can do well on their own, but this organ also suffers a painful irony–they can still get infected when exposed to contagion or upon contact with Streptococcal bacteria. Want to take extra precautions and be proactive in your health? Read on to discover simple ways to safeguard your tonsils.

Stay hydrated

Water is, indeed, life. But in this case, drinking plenty of fluids keeps your mouth moist, thus preventing bacteria from living in your oral cavity. A dry mouth is a place where bacteria thrive. The lack of saliva allows microbes to take shelter in plaque build-up and decaying teeth. Drinking your prescribed water intake maintains salivary flow. With enough saliva, acids produced by bacteria become neutralized, and bacterial growth is effectively hampered.

Proper oral hygiene

Your tonsils will have a harder time keeping the germs and bacteria at bay if your mouth is the ground zero of bacterial formation. To improve your mouth’s defenses against filthy microorganisms, a combination of flossing, mouthwash, and thorough brushing is highly recommended.

When brushing, aim your toothbrush bristles at a 45 degree angle to your gum line and make gentle circular strokes. You might be wondering, “What does brushing have to do with my tonsils?” Remember the tasty snack you had a while ago? Some of its remnants are still in the crevices of your teeth. Without flossing and frequent brushing, the scrumptious sandwich you had an hour ago might be the new headquarters of bacteria. Also, choosing an excellent anti-bacterial mouthwash goes a long way to helping keep your entire mouth clean.

Say no to Nicotine

If the repercussions of smoking to your lungs are not enough, maybe knowing the effects of tobacco on your tonsils might sway you. Cinamon, Goldfarb, and Marom of the International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology concluded that heavy smokers are more prone to chronic or recurrent tonsillitis plus the added risks of developing Peritonsillar abscesses or pus-filled tonsils.

Aside from making your teeth prone to bacterial build-up, tooth loss and discoloration, smoking irritates your tonsils–not just the two Palatine tonsils at the side of your throat. Pharyngeal tonsils (adenoids), located behind your nose, and lingual tonsils, situated behind your tongue, are equally affected when smoking. Your body’s immune system weakens as your lymphoid tissues making you more susceptible to bacterial infection. Think about your precious tonsils. Don’t make their job harder than it already is.

Book dental cleanings at least 2 a year

 When was the last time you’ve booked a dental cleaning appointment? If you haven’t visited your family dentist for a thorough cleaning, your tonsils might be in grave danger. Brushing alone is not enough to shield your teeth from plaque build-up. Bacteria could be hiding in plain sight. In between your teeth, microbes could already be destroying your teeth while they take shelter in your cavities. As explained earlier, the more plaque and bacteria-riddled your teeth and mouth are, the greater risk you put your tonsils in.

Final thoughts

 Remember that while it’s simple to take care of your tonsils; brush, floss and gargle regularly, developing complications are equally easy. You’re not just doing this for your tonsils. The benefits of the habits mentioned let you have holistic oral health and a healthier life.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or have questions for us please click here or call us at 587 317 7713

Common oral infections that can damage your teeth and health

 

Many people are just ignoring the fact that they need to take proper care of their oral health. Improper hygiene, vices and physical contact are just some of the causes of the infections that can occur within the mouth. Being aware of what’s going on with your mouth is one of the most important things to know.

very decayed teeth caused bacteria
bacteria cause massive tooth decay

    Massive Tooth Decay

This blog will empower you with knowledge and inform you about the common infections that may occur in your mouth

Tooth decay: also called dental carries or cavities. Imagine your teeth are breaking down due to acids that are caused by bacteria. If you are experiencing pain whilst eating, or are noticing pits in the tooth surface, the chances are you already have tooth decay. It may still be reversible if you catch it is time. Regular flossing and brushing along with dental cleanings and checkups can help prevent having to fill a cavity.

Gingivitis: this is the baby brother of periodontitis, and if you let this one slide, you’re probably going to regret it. Gingivitis is caused by plaque that becomes attached to your tooth surfaces. Regularly going to your dentist for teeth cleaning is important as they will remove the plaque for you. Better yet is practicing good oral hygiene, especially flossing to make sure the areas your brush can’t reach get properly cleaned. Don’t ignore gingivitis as it could cause your teeth may fall out in the future. Isn’t five minutes a day worth the investment?

Gingivitis can cause extreme pain and cause issues with your teeth
Gingivitis can cause extreme pain and cause issues with your teeth

Gum Disease: a.k.a. periodontal disease, this one makes your gums more inflamed than gingivitis and affects the tissue around your teeth. The tissue pulls away from the tooth leaving pockets where particles can get trapped, causing an infection. If you have ignored your gingivitis before, I suggest that you not let this one pass. If you are having troubles with your gums already, you should go visit your dentist immediately.

Cold Sores: a.k.a. oral herpes is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are names for every herpes infection that occur in your body. Oral herpes is a very visible infection that occurs on your face or in your mouth. If your lip starts itching or maybe you already have fever blisters, chances are good this is a cold sore. Cold sores may take two to four weeks to disappear. While the cold sore is present, you’ll probably feel pinching-like pain at the affected area. Herpes will usually let itself show for a period of time with some active cases, but it will also decrease depending on severity. There are medicated creams that can help speed the process of healing the outbreak. Herpes is not limited to cold sores so watch out for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain, and headaches as the first symptoms to be concerned about.                                                                                          

Taking care of your oral health is simple and easy. Brush after meals and before bed and floss once or twice a day. There are many electric toothbrushes that can help make this a light task. There are also many aids to make flossing less of a bother as well. Having bad oral health is not something to be proud of and can cause far-reaching health issues. Start to change this pattern now, come in and see us for your checkup.

 

We’d be happy to help put you back on the road to a healthy, happy smile.

Give us a call at 587 317 7713 or Click Here to contact us.

 

 

Your Mouth and Mountain Dew? Why This is a Problem…

Our friends to the south, way, across the border, south in the far most Southern region of the United States are surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and have a long proud history. In fact, that’s where a lot of the bootlegged liquor came from during Prohibition. And it’s also home to the beginnings of NASCAR racing.

 

During that time of prohibition, many who made this moonshine home-brewed alcohol referred to is as “mountain dew” after that particular mountainous region.  A couple of brothers, Barney and Ally Hartman of Hartman Beverage first bottled a beverage called Mountain Dew and received a copyright for that name in 1948. After a sequence of events, it was eventually purchased by the PepsiCo Company in 1964.

 

Any sugary drink can lead to rotting teeth if not taken care of.
Any sugary drink can lead to rotting teeth if not taken care of.

If you’re not familiar or don’t live in that part of the United States; you may not realize how prevalent the beverage is in their everyday lives and culture. Some drink it instead of water. Daily.  The constant drinking of the sugary beverage has led to an outbreak of truly rotten teeth and the term “Mountain Dew Mouth”.

 

Some politicians have tried various methods to get people in that region of the US to drink more water and less Mountain Dew.

 

Over the years, drinking soda (or pop as it’s known in some places) has become increasingly popular. And “Mountain Dew Mouth” can be attributed to any soda. The high sugar content will take its toll is consumed on a regular basis.

 

If you’re “addicted to soda” or maybe just have a smile you aren’t happy with; the good news is there are ways to reverse the effects of previous bad oral hygiene habits. It is possible to restore your teeth from “Mountain Dew Mouth.”

 

In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? Getting Started With Your Child’s Oral Health, A Parent’s Guide, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.

 

Also, for further information, make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at West Airdrie Dental at 587 317 7713 or click here to visit our website.

What You Can Do if You Crave Sweets When You’re Pregnant…without harming your teeth

Not every woman craves ice cream and pickles, turnips and cupcakes, or other weird and unusual food combinations when they’re pregnant.

 

However, many women do confess to noticing an increased desire for snacks higher in sugar. If you’ve been diagnosed with having gestational diabetes, this adds to the craving.

 

Choose healthy snacks when pregnant
Choose healthy snacks when pregnant

Stop! Before, you reach for a bag of chocolate chip cookies, or a box of Twinkies, try grabbing some fresh fruit instead. Fresh fruit has natural sugar in the juices that can satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

However, if you don’t care for fruit, or at the moment, it’s the reason for your upset stomach, then, substitute a low-sugar or sugar-free option to the food you’re craving.

 

Remember, pregnant women are at an increased risk for gum disease (especially if you have gestational diabetes). The added sweets, left unchecked, can cause an increase to gum issues and tooth decay.  So, to keep from harming your teeth…here’s what you need to do.

 

After you’ve indulged yourself, well, ok, you can blame it on the baby…After you’ve indulged the baby, it’s important you take a moment and rinse with an alcohol-free wash or brush your teeth after consuming the sweets.

 

By doing this, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of harming your teeth when those urges for the unusual combinations or treats high in sugar hit.

 

In addition to this topic, we’re pleased to offer a FREE report that provides information vital to forming good dental habits. Why not get your copy now? The Smart Patient’s Guide to Wisdom Teeth, is just a click away. And it’s absolutely FREE.

 

Also, for further information, make an appointment, or have a question answered, you’re more than welcome to call us at West Airdrie Dental at 587 317 7713 or click here to visit our website.