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Causes of Tooth Decay

It’s critically important to help heal the misunderstandings that our culture has around how to navigate the path to greater oral health. 

Let’s study 5 aspects of how diet and nutrition can impact oral health. 

5 dietary recommendations to positively impact oral health

  • Have sufficient fat-soluble vitamins in our diet (vitamins A, D, E, and K2)
  • Have plenty of vitamins B and C in our diet
  • Have sufficient minerals in our diet
  • Avoid too many foods that are high in acid
  • Avoid eating too much sugar (in all forms) 

In this article, let’s explore the inner workings of diet’s impact on oral health.

To put into perspective the role that diet plays in helping or undermining our oral health, this first article is going to explore the work of Dr. Ralph Steinman. 

Dr. Steinman was a dental researcher in the 1970s who did extensive research to determine the cause of tooth decay. He published his work in his amazing book, Dentinal Fluid Transport. He conducted tens of thousands of experiments on lab rats to determine the cause of tooth decay. What he found may surprise you.

What is dentinal fluid flow? (and how does it impact my oral health?)

Fundamentally, what Dr. Steinman discovered is that our teeth are alive.

Contrary to the popular cultural belief that teeth are like small rocks, the fact is that our teeth have fluid running through them, and this is called ‘dentinal fluid flow’.

The dentin is the layer of tissue in each of our teeth that’s just between the hard outer (enamel) surface and the inner soft tooth pulp.

Dr. Steinman discovered that this dentinal fluid flow is part of the blood circulation that goes into and out of each of our teeth.

He also discovered that when the dentinal fluid is flowing from the inside of the tooth outward, the teeth are very resistant to decay. However, when the fluid flow reverses and flows from the outer surface of the tooth towards the inner portion of the tooth, decay sets in very quickly.

The thug bugs in our mouths contribute to tooth decay. If the dentinal fluid is flowing the healthy way, this flow prevents the thug bugs from being able to decay the teeth; the flow washes them out of the teeth. It’s like they have to swim upstream to get into the teeth. On the other hand, if the dentinal fluid flow reverses, then it’s like the thug bugs get a free pass on a highway right into our teeth! 

Dr. Steinman found that dentinal fluid flow is controlled by the parotid gland, a part of our salivary system that is located in the region behind our lower jaw.  Then he discovered that the parotid gland is controlled by the part of our brain called the hypothalamus.  For the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to this relationship between dentinal fluid flow, the parotid gland, and the hypothalamus as ‘dentinal fluid flow’.

With these pieces in place, Dr. Steinman’s work helped us to understand that a healthy, balanced diet not only helps to control the thug bugs responsible for dental decay, but also helps to maintain a healthy, living tissue within the teeth that can help resist decay through healthy dentinal fluid flow. 

https://orawellness.com/why-do-teeth-decay/

Teeth Grinding

Written by- https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Teeth grinding is called bruxism, and often it happens as you sleep. 

Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but also by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth.

In a September 2020 report, the ADA Health Policy Institute found that more than half of dentists surveyed saw an increase of patients with dental conditions often associated with stress: Teeth grinding and clenching, chipped and cracked teeth, and symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder such as jaw pain and headaches.

The symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • dull headaches
  • jaw soreness
  • teeth that are painful or loose
  • fractured teeth

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling, and exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.

Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:

  • irritation in the mouth
  • allergies
  • misaligned teeth

If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask your dentist about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding

7 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know about COVID-19 vaccines

Oral health is essential to your overall health. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist has been working to put your health and safety first by taking extra steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the dental office.

1.     COVID-19 Vaccines are Safe and Effective 

As doctors of oral health, reliable scientific information is important to us when recommending treatments for our patients. While these vaccines were developed in a shorter time frame than some other vaccines, it’s important to know that the science behind them was not rushed. These vaccines were tested by thousands of people to make sure they work and are safe for patients. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the data from the tests and authorized them for emergency use after determining they are safe and effective for the public.

The CDC has set up expanded safety monitoring systems like the V-Safe smartphone tool to monitor vaccinations in real-time, as an additional safety measure.

2.     The Vaccine has some side effects

COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. They might, however, come with some side effects that make you feel uncomfortable for a short time.

Because vaccines teach your body how to recognize and fight off a COVID-19 infection, you might feel some of the symptoms you’d get if your body were fighting off the real virus, such as a fever, according to the CDC. While unpleasant, this is a sign the vaccine is working in your body.

3.     You Should Still Get the Vaccine Even If You’ve Had COVID-19

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have some natural immunity that may protect them from getting sick again, but some people get re-infected. It’s unclear how long natural immunity to COVID-19 lasts and it can vary from person to person. The CDC recommends that people who’ve had COVID-19 still get the vaccine.

4.     Get All Recommended Doses

If you are receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you need two doses to get the same level of efficacy seen in the clinical trials. For the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is recommended three weeks after the first. For the Moderna vaccine, the second dose is recommended four weeks after the first. And if you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only need a single dose.

5.     Vaccine Supply Is Increasing

While the first available doses of the vaccine were set aside for healthcare workers and other essential workers, the federal government has called for the vaccines to be available to all U.S. adults by April 19, which means you’re likely eligible now. Check with your local health department to find out where it is being administered.

6.     You’ll Still Need to Wear a Mask

Vaccines are just one layer of protection available in this pandemic, so it’s not time to get rid of your mask indoors just yet. Here’s why: a vaccine will protect you from getting sick from the virus, but it’s not yet known if it will prevent you from spreading the virus to others. That’s why the CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks, wash their hands frequently and avoid crowds even after getting vaccinated. Your dentist will also continue to require masks at your appointment. However, the CDC says fully vaccinated people can now participate in more activities, like traveling and visiting with friends and family inside a home or private setting.

7.     You Can Get the Vaccine If You Are Planning to Get Pregnant

Whether you are planning to get pregnant soon or in the future, you should still get the vaccine when it is available to you. The CDC states there is no evidence that the antibodies created from COVID-19 vaccines will cause problems with a pregnancy. The CDC also says there is no evidence that fertility issues are a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine. 

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/covid-19-vaccines

Five oral health faux pas you never knew were bad for you


Written by-
  George Bushell

In an era where people say appearance is everything, having a good smile is key! Many of them know to brush twice a day and stay away from sugar but are you sure you’ve thought of everything?

The Oral Health Foundation is providing the following information to those who’d like to make sure their dental health routine isn’t full of holes!

1. Spit Don’t Rinse

Fluoride is very good for your teeth. You’re likely to find it in most of the toothpaste on the shelf at your local supermarket. To give your teeth the best chance of staying pearly white, you don’t want to lose the full benefit of brushing with fluoride toothpaste. So, after you’ve finished brushing, spit out the excess, and then do not rinse. Let the fluoride work its magic after you’ve finished brushing!

2. Mind the loo!

This is something you might not think of too much, but where you keep your toothbrush when you aren’t using it is very important. If you keep your brush a little too close to your toilet, every time someone flushes, some of the sprays will fly out the toilet and may land on your toothbrush. It’s always a good idea to move the toothbrush back to a safe distance after brushing.

3. Sharing is a no-go

It doesn’t matter how close you are, or if you’re related, if you want your oral health routine to be air-tight, you should be the only person who uses your toothbrush. No exceptions. Not just because you can get colds and blood-borne diseases from people you share your brush with but also because you could be sharing your germs with others! Nobody is perfect, keep your germs to yourself, just like your toothbrush!

4. Brushing is NOT a quick fix

Have you ever had a drink of something sugary or acidic right before bed and go to brush your teeth straight after you finish? You’d think it was a good idea, but you’d be wrong. Consuming anything even remotely bad for your teeth makes them weaker and if you brush straight away you could be brushing away fragments of your enamel. That can lead to toothache and increased sensitivity. Instead, give it an hour and then brush with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes as the last thing at night. In the meantime, read a book, catch up on your favorite TV series, or do those chores you’ve been putting off all week!

5. There IS such a thing as brushing too much!

The enamel of your teeth is one of the hardest substances in your body – but it isn’t indestructible. Again, it might sound like a good idea to brush hard to provide the most thorough clean but being tough on your teeth can do more harm than good. By all means, be firm with your teeth and make sure you clean every tooth but there is no need to go crazy, whether that means brushing too hard or for too long.

There’s a lot more to your oral health than you might think. Hopefully, you’ve gained a new perspective on how you can improve your dental hygiene at home, whether that be closing the lid of the toilet more often or deciding to buy a new toothbrush for your loved one.

https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/five-oral-health-faux-pas-you-never-knew-were-bad-for-you

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