Change Your Eating Habits for Healthier Teeth

Healthy Eating for Healthy Teeth

You know that your teeth have an essential role to play in daily life. It would be lovely to have your full set of teeth for smiling and speaking, among other things. Most important of all, is that you use them for eating your food – biting, grinding, munching – without which it would be extremely difficult to eat, let alone survive. Over time you might have developed habits that may be detrimental to your teeth and overall oral health.

Some of these are everyday habits that have to be changed to maintain healthier teeth.

Firstly, limit your intake of sweet treats. It’s been established that sweets and cavities are linked. Biscuits, cakes, chocolates and candies are so sugar-loaded that the smart way of enjoying them is eating them only sparingly. That’s the same with fizzy drinks and energy drinks. When shopping or going to the grocers, remember to check the labels of processed and packaged foods. Store-bought salad dressings, cereals or tomato sauce have a high sugar content and adding onto to them your smoothies, sodas and dessert are not helping you cut down on sugar. Though you brush and floss after eating, still is wise to cut down sugar.

Limit your sticky or acidic food intake. Foods with sticky consistency take longer to break down by saliva. The stickier consistency will more likely stick to your teeth, leading to plaque. Honey, molasses, dried fruit or raisins can remain on the surface of teeth and increase your risk for cavities. Acid in food also rapidly escalates the process of tooth decay. Foods and beverages like alcoholic drinks, coffee, potato chips, including foods beneficial in a diet, as tomatoes or citrus fruits are acidic. Remember to eat these with other foods like fruits and veggies to render them less harmful to the teeth.

Limit foods and drinks that can stain teeth. Rich-colored foods and drinks as coffee, tea, red wine, berries, balsamic vinegar and rich sauces can stain your teeth when consumed in large quantities. Brush, drink water or rinse the mouth soon after to avoid the pigments from remaining on the teeth.

Remember that calcium is important for strong teeth. A healthy level of it in your diet – through dairy, eggs or leafy green vegetables – is crucial for healthy teeth, as calcium helps strengthen your bones and teeth. Lack of calcium can cause osteoporosis and can also cause problems with your teeth and jawbone. Those who have osteoporosis are three times more likely to lose teeth than those who don’t.

Giving Healthy Food Advice in Bellingham

Your Bellingham dentist would also like to add, that, for overall well being, including oral health, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, legumes, and lean protein. Such a diet provides a wide spectrum of nutrients for optimum oral health. See us for a consult in Bellingham.

A Dead Tooth: What You Have To Know

Signs, Causes and Treatments

Some people keep a dead tooth or two in their mouths with a large cavity in it, a defective filling, or a discolored appearance. If such a tooth does not bother them, then no dental treatment is sought at all. It is properly known as a non-vital tooth as there is no longer any blood flow to it.

There are two symptoms that can tell you that a tooth is dead – pain and change in color. Pain from a dead or dying tooth is anywhere from non-existent to extremely painful. A dying nerve or an infection usually causes an increase in pain.

And why should there be pain when a tooth is considered dead or dying? Pain comes from very sensitive nerve endings around the outside of the tooth, the periodontal membrane. A combination of bacteria and dead nerve remnants, or pus, builds up in the pulp cavity and puts pressure on the periodontal membrane, which can cause severe pain. On the other hand, an infection may turn into an abscess and produce symptoms like bad taste or smell, swelling, or a pustule on the gums that can be clogged or infected.

A change in color, like yellowish to gray or black, may signify a tooth death. Red blood cells are dying, which is a very similar effect to bruising. If a dead tooth remains untreated the discoloration increases over time.

What causes a tooth to die?

It’s either tooth decay or tooth trauma. Tooth decay starts with an untreated cavity on a tooth surface inviting bacteria to enter and penetrate deeper, as far as the pulp which is rich in nerves and blood supply and cause inflammation. Pressure inside the pulp increases, cutting off the blood supply, starving the nerve, and killing the pulp. This can cause intense pain. Tooth trauma caused by sports injuries, accidents and blows to the mouth can cause blood vessels to burst and blood supply to be cut off. Eventually, nerve and other living tissues in the pulp die.

What are the treatment options?

It’s either one of two: root canal treatment or tooth extraction. Root canal is an effort of the dentist to save the tooth. It’s a long process of clearing the infection, cleaning debris and sealing the tooth permanently. A crown is fitted if extra support is needed. Tooth extraction removes the tooth completely if it is beyond saving.

Doing Something for a Dead Tooth in Bellingham

Don’t do nothing for a dead or dying tooth when you would like to save it. See us right away at Tetrick Family Dentistry in Bellingham, WA.

Want To Stay Fit and Healthy? Start with Your Teeth

Oral Health and Overall Health Go Hand-in-Hand

Just brushing and flossing every day can help prevent disease in the rest of your body. It has been proved time and again that improving your oral health can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which in turn can lead to serious medical problems. Oral diseases have been linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke; according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

When your dentist examines you, he or she can determine your medical condition in a certain way. That’s because your oral health can be a reflection of the overall health of your body. For instance, if you already have a chronic condition such as diabetes, you are at a greater risk for oral disease, such as gingivitis, oral yeast infections (thrush) and mouth ulcers.

The mouth is full of bacteria of different types, mostly harmless. If you practice good oral hygiene and are otherwise healthy, your body’s defenses can normally overcome infections. However, some factors may compromise oral health and allow an imbalance between the harmless and harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Some of these factors are poor oral hygiene which can lead to a buildup of bacteria; medications that decrease saliva, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers and antidepressants, leading to a condition called ‘dry mouth’ that increases susceptibility to tooth decay; also, conditions that affect the immune system that allow bacteria to proliferate more easily.

There can be certain medical conditions that are linked to poor oral health. Conditions like cardiovascular disease have been found out to have oral bacteria links, and endocarditis, a potential fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart also have the same links. There’s also rheumatoid arthritis and head and neck cancers. Periodontitis has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth.

Minding your oral health is an investment in overall health. So practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy, balanced diet, avoid excess sugar, stop smoking, and go for regular dental check-ups.

Taking Care of Your Oral Health in Bellingham

Know more about other medical benefits of good oral health when you visit us at Tetrick Family Dentistry, your friendly and experience oral management team in Bellingham, WA.