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Posts Tagged ‘oral hygiene’

What is the Oldest Disease Known to Humans?

In Dental Care on June 21, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Nope, it’s not the common cold. Nor is it arthritis, malaria, or leprosy.

According to Healthplex Dental trivia, tooth decay is not only the oldest disease we know of, but also the most common and widespread.

A quick internet search should reveal plenty of claims to the contrary, with even the Guinness Book of World Records getting in on the action.

Tooth decay, which is also called dental cavities or dental caries, is the destruction of the outer surface (enamel) of a tooth. Decay results from the action of bacteria that live in plaque, which is a sticky, whitish film formed by a protein in saliva (mucin) and sugary substances in the mouth. The plaque bacteria sticking to tooth enamel use the sugar and starch from food particles in the mouth to produce acid.1

How can we keep this cavity coalition at bay?

Brush our teeth, floss, keep our regular dental appointments…lather rinse repeat!

It has been estimated that 90% of people in the United States have at least one cavity, and that 75% of people had their first cavity by the age of five. Although anyone can have a problem with tooth decay, children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk. Other high-risk groups include people who eat a lot of starchy and sugary foods; people living in areas without a fluoridated water supply; and people who already have numerous dental restorations (fillings and crowns).2

Prevention is Key

With the cost of dentistry and health insurance limitations sometimes compounding the issue of proper treatment, we can all take a little preventative maintenance. According to the Medical Dictionary; It is easier and LESS expensive to prevent tooth decay than it is to treat it.

The four major prevention strategies include: proper oral hygiene; flouride; sealants; and attention to diet.

Proper oral hygiene equates keeping our dentist appointments, and brushing twice a day. Throw in some daily flossing and we’re ahead of the game!

Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance that slows the destruction of enamel and helps to repair minor tooth decay damage by remineralizing tooth structure. Toothpaste, mouthwash, fluoridated public drinking water, and vitamin supplements are all possible sources of fluoride.3

A sealant is a thin plastic coating that is painted over the grooves of chewing surfaces to prevent food and plaque from being trapped there. They cost less than fillings and can last up to 10 years, although they should be checked for wear at every dental visit.

As Americans, we can all probably use a little help on the diet. Big Macs and super sized sodas taste great, but maintaining a healthy and balanced diet will keep us having less fillings.

By knocking out foods high in sugar, we can deal a blow to the cavity creeps before they get entrenched in our mouths.

If it’s good for our teeth, it’s good for our overall physical health too.

If you have any questions about tooth decay, dental sealants, flouride treatment, or with help maintaining a proper diet…ask your dentist. Our teeth and gums act as early warning indicators of more serious physiological issues, don’t let the cavity creeps call in reinforcements!

Do Tongue Cleaners Work?

In Dental Care on December 21, 2010 at 4:00 AM

YES – unless bad breath, oral bacteria, and leftover food gunk are things you want to take with you as you start your day…or before you go to bed. Some people use their toothbrush for the job, but for better removal of the oral bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, plaque, and gum disease; scrape that tongue!

We won’t get into any specific brand or style of tongue squeegee, just choose one you think will do the job. And if you have any questions, just ask.

Oral bacteria have been linked to many other general health problems such as:

Plaque (the kind in your blood vessels) & Heart Disease
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Premature birth or low birth weight

Watch this 3min YouTube video, “Healthy Mouth, Healthy You“… can you believe there are more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people in the world!?!

What many people first deemed a gimmick is actually a useful and inexpensive oral health care tool to add to your arsenal. The cavity creeps are unrelenting, they don’t take time off for Holidays!

What’s Your Score?

In Dental Products on November 4, 2010 at 4:00 AM

We know, your last visit was less than 6 months ago…but haven’t you ever wondered how to gauge your risk for gum disease, oral cancer, or other restorative risks and needs between appointments?

Ok, we know – that’s why you so diligently keep those regular 6 month visits! And we appreciate your continued commitment to optimum overall health and wellness.

But when you have some time to browse around, be sure the check out this cool little tool –

According to, myDentalScore generates scores for gum disease risk and severity, oral cancer risk, and restorative risk and needs based on answers to a simple health questionnaire. Reports graphically display the numeric scores and provide valuable systemic health information related to oral health status.

Let us know if you think something like this might be a good tool for our practice website. We’re constantly looking for ways to better educate the surrounding community about the latest in dentistry and health care, but we also want to learn how we can serve you – our patients – better.

Be on the lookout for a quickie poll over the next few days, we’re going to be asking you what you look for most when choosing a dentist. Enquiring minds want to know!