Posts for: March, 2018
March is national nutrition month—a good time to look at the connection between diet and oral health. You probably know that sugar is a major culprit in dental problems. This is because bacteria feed on sugars and create acid that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks as much as possible is a good rule of thumb, but there are some food choices that actually benefit your oral health. Here are nutrition tips that will help keep your smile healthy for life:
Say cheese. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt contain calcium and phosphorus to build teeth and strengthen the supporting bone. And cheese neutralizes acid in the mouth to help fight cavities and gum disease.
Choose lean proteins. Lean meats, poultry, fish, milk and eggs help strengthen teeth. They are rich in protein and phosphorous, which is essential for building strong bones and teeth.
Eat a rainbow. Fruits and vegetables provide many key nutrients, including vitamins necessary for healing, bone strength, and healthy gums. Besides being nutritious, fruits and veggies scrub your teeth while you chew and stimulate the production of saliva, which is necessary for neutralizing acid and rebuilding enamel.
Nibble on nuts. Nuts contain protein, fiber and healthy fats. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals to keep teeth strong and gums healthy. Further, chewing nuts stimulates saliva production, lowering the risk of tooth decay.
Go for the grains. Studies have shown that eating too many refined carbohydrates such as white bread and sweet bakery items can lead to chronic inflammation, which is a factor in gum disease, heart disease, stroke and other conditions. In contrast, eating complex carbohydrates such as whole grains may reduce inflammation in the body.
What you put in your body can play a big role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, so choose foods that provide the right building blocks for optimal dental and overall health.
Losing a tooth can have a greater impact on your life than you might have imagined. In addition to altering your appearance, tooth loss can make chewing challenging and may affect your ability to speak clearly, in some cases. Fortunately, dental implants can restore your missing tooth and fill in the gaps in your smile. Naples, FL, dentists Drs. Richard and Maria Linden of Linden Dental discuss the benefits of dental implants.
Dental implants replace your whole tooth
Implants, bridges and dentures can all be used to restore missing teeth, but only dental implants replace your entire missing tooth. Implants rebuild missing teeth, starting with the roots. Titanium posts serve as artificial roots and absorb the strong forces generated by chewing and biting. Once the posts are added to your jawbone, they begin to osseointegrate, or bond, to your jawbone. When osseointegration is complete, a lifelike dental crown is attached to the top of the implant in our Naples office.
Implant don't just replace single teeth
Dental implants offer an excellent restoration option if you've lost a tooth due to decay, infection, gum disease or an injury. Although they're often used to replace single missing teeth, they also provide an alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. Replacing several missing teeth or all of the teeth in your upper or lower jaw with implant-supported dentures or bridges improves comfort. In fact, your restorations won't move or slip even if you bite into a hard apple. Implants also won't decrease your biting power as dentures can. As a result, you won't have to make any changes to your diet or resort to cutting hard foods into tiny pieces.
Dental implants help you maintain your oral health
Your mouth doesn't like that gap in your smile any more than you do. After the loss of a tooth, nearby teeth may begin to drift in a futile attempt to fill the space. Unfortunately, all that happens is that your teeth start to overlap. A change in the position of your teeth can affect your bite and make plaque removal more difficult. Implants prevent your teeth from changing position, assuring that your smile doesn't change.
Dental implants also keep your jaw strong by stimulating the bone. Without constant stimulation, the jawbone can weaken, which may affect its ability to support and anchor your teeth.
Are you ready to restore your smile with dental implants? Call Naples, FL, dentists Drs. Richard and Maria Linden of Linden Dental at (239) 593-0777 to schedule your appointment.
When you're first startled awake in the middle of the night by a loud, gritting sound emanating from your child's room, you may have two questions: how can such a loud racket not be harmful to their teeth? And, how can they sleep through it?
While it sounds earth-shattering, teeth grinding (medically known as bruxism) is a common habit among children. It involves an involuntary grinding, clenching or rubbing of the teeth together, either during the day or during night sleep.
While certain medications or conditions could be factors, it's believed most teeth grinding arises from the immaturity of the part of the neuromuscular system that controls chewing. It's believed to trigger a night episode as the child moves from deeper to lighter stages of sleep toward waking. Older children and adults typically handle these sudden shifts without incident, but a young child's under-developed chewing response may react with grinding.
If a child's teeth are normal and healthy, teeth-grinding typically won't create any lasting damage. But because grinding does generate pressures greater than the teeth normally encounter, it can be harmful to decayed teeth or those with enamel erosion due to high acid from consumption of sports and soda drinks. And it's also a cause for concern if the habit continues into later childhood or adolescence.
To avoid these problems, it's best to keep your child's teeth as healthy as possible by practicing daily brushing and flossing, and regularly seeing a dentist for cleanings, treatments and preventive measures like topical fluoride or sealants. And be sure to limit sugar and acidic foods and drinks in their diet to protect against decay and erosion.
You can also take steps to minimize teeth grinding and its effects. Consult with your physician about any medications they're taking that might contribute to the habit. If there are psychological issues at play, seek therapy to help your child better manage their stress. Your dentist can also fashion a custom night guard worn while they sleep that will prevent their teeth from making solid contact during grinding episodes.
Most importantly, let your dentist know if your child grinds their teeth. Keeping an eye on this potentially harmful habit will help lead to appropriate actions when the time comes.
If you would like more information on teeth grinding, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Children Grind Their Teeth: Is the Habit of 'Bruxism' Harmful?”